By: Aline-Vanya Guillaume, LCSW
“I was 7 years old. Or maybe 8?” she said.
She seemed puzzled and lost.
She stared at me, looking for assurance that what she was saying was true. Her name was Sasha.* She was in her mid-30s and had been married for more than five years. Initially she sought my services because of anxiety. After a few sessions, she shared how a family friend had molested her for years.
“Let’s see if we can trace back,” I said.
She couldn’t pinpoint exactly when the molestation began. Using various therapeutic interventions and tools, we navigated through Sasha’s history. Gruesome as it was, eventually we were able to pinpoint a time.
“Seven,” I said.
“Yup, age 7,” she repeated as her body rocked back and forth in agreement. “That’s when it all began. It went on for so long that I don’t think I had the mental energy to figure out when it had stopped.”
Most people can recall devastating events in their lifetime including the date, time and location. Sexual trauma is often different. This explains why Sasha struggled to recall her age when the abuse commenced. According to …