Future Stuck Points for Children Who Have Been Sexually Abused

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Children with a history of sexual abuse will benefit from their caregivers being aware of future stuck points.  Sometimes, the issues will resurface as children grow and develop both mentally, emotionally and physically.  If that happens, even if your child is grown and out of the house, please talk to your child and assess if they need more support or mental health services.

STAGES OF LIFE

  • Starting middle school
  • Starting dating
  • Leaving home; going to college or living on own
  • Getting married
  • Deciding to have children, trying to get pregnant
  • Birth of child
  • Child becomes same age as the parent was at the time they were abused, may be especially hard on future parent if they have a child who is the same gender.
  • Any life stage situation in which they feel threatened or unsafe which is similar to the dynamics present when they were abused, for example, if they were abused during one of their birthday parties, there may be issues anytime one of their children attends or has a birthday party.

BODY DEVELOPMENT AND CHANGES

  • Puberty starts
  • Puberty finishes
  • Becoming sexually active
  • Pregnancy/fathering a child/conception
  • Sexual activity that triggers flashbacks

COGNITIVE CHANGES / BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

  • Stops believing in magical things such as Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, etc
  • Abstract thinking, can think about things that aren’t there, philosophical thinking, sarcasm
  • Learns about sexuality facts, especially if it’s related to abuse, formal sex education in schools.
  • When understands the emotional aspects of sexuality and that sex does something to your soul; why someone actually wants to have sex, most likely high school age
  • Starts thinking about future/college/career choice (possibly 8th grade, possibly 12th grade)
  • After brain is fully developed, age 23 – 25