DEAR DEIDRE: AS a child, I was abused by my mother – but my girlfriend doesn’t believe me.
From the age of six, my mum got into the bath naked with me, then into my bed.
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This progressed to kissing, then sexual touching, and even oral sex.
It stopped when I was 15. I left home as soon as I could. But as a 38-year-old man I am still suffering the after-effects.
My mum is no longer alive. I feel dirty and disgusting and find it hard to be intimate with a woman.
I also have very low self-esteem.
Recently, I decided to confide in my girlfriend, who is 32, about what happened to me, so she could understand why I’m weird about sex sometimes.
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I had never told anyone before but she is struggling to believe a woman could have abused me.
Now I feel like it was all my own fault.
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DEIDRE SAYS: None of this is your fault. The person who should have protected you hurt you in the worst possible way. This has left you with emotional scars.
Your feelings of self-disgust have been compounded by your girlfriend’s inability to believe you.
Give her time to process what you’ve told her.
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Sexual abuse by women is less common, but it does happen.
Please read my support pack Abused As A Child? and contact NAPAC (napac.org.uk, 0808 801 0331) – a charity supporting adult survivors of sexual abuse.