Alex's Answer

I get flashbacks of my abuse

Your Question

I was physically abused as a child and sometimes when I am upset I have flashbacks to what happened to me. I am attending CAMHS as I am recovering from an eating disorder. My phycologist asked me if there was anything I think would be beneficial to work on, I want to work on recovering from my PTSD from my childhood. But will my parents get in trouble if I tell her they abused me?


Hello and Welcome to Ask Alex, 


We know how difficult it is to express what is going on for you and we want to praise you for making that hard first step.  


You have mentioned that you have PTSD from childhood physical abuse you suffered, we are so sorry to hear that you went through that, having to relive it through flashbacks every time you are upset must be challenging for you. You have also said that you are recovering from an eating disorder; there are a lot of things going on for you at the minute.


You have stated that you are already linked with CAHMS, around your recovery from the eating disorder, that is excellent, we are glad to hear that you have support with this. You have also told us that they are looking to see if there is anything else they could help support you on and you fear that your parents will get in trouble if you tell your CAMHS worker about the abuse, but that you want help in dealing with your PTSD from childhood, is that right? 


Your safety, physical and mental health are the highest priority here, no one had or has the right to physically lay a hand on you and you should never be physically hurt by another person. Your parents’ responsibility is to care for you, keep you safe and free from harm and to listen to you. From what you have said in your question this has not been the case in your early childhood, have things changed now? Although you think you are protecting them you have to think what the long-term effect of that is going to be on you? By hiding the truth, we only leave space for our own pain and mental health issues to grow. It is so important that you are supported and guided through this. If you speak with CAHMS worker, they will be able to support you and keep you informed as to what the next step is.  


Remember, young people have the right to report any concerns of abuse to Social Workers or to the Gardaí. Túlsa is the Child and Family Agency in Ireland. The social workers within Túlsa are there for young people under the age of 18 years, and their job is to keep children and young people safe at home. You can find your local Tulsa office here if you would like to get in touch with them or get information. If you feel unsafe and are in immediate danger, you can call the emergency services at  999  or  112.   


You have made a brave and significant step towards making the right decisions for you and we hope that you can get some further guidance and support from above. Please remember that you are the priority and that you have the right to be heard, seen, and supported. You can reach out to our Childline team by clicking on the Live Chat button on this website or giving us a call on 1800 66 66 66You can talk about anything you want to, and we are here to listen to whatever you would like to say. You are not alone in this. 


Look after yourself, and reach out for support soon,


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