Why Do Abused Children Deny What Happened?

~by Oliver J R Cooper

“Although the title refers to abused children, this article will primarily look at why some adults, who were abused as children, grow up to deny what happened to them.

Individuals that were abused in their childhood by their parents or caregivers often find it hard to look at and admit to what happened.

With what happened all those years ago being repressed to such a degree, that an alternate past is able to be constructed; the past often becomes the complete opposite to what one actually experienced all those years ago.

The Perfect Childhood

Here one may describe their childhood with great fondness. And all memory of the abuse is denied and their parents might even be admired and idolized.

And because this abuse has not been looked at or processed in any way, it will appear in ones relationships, behavioral patterns and in the health of ones bodies for example.

A Disconnection

After each year that has passed one will become more and more cut off and estranged from this original abuse. And once this happens, the present difficulties that one experiences will appear to be happening to them as opposed to being a reflection of what happened many years before.

This can then add to the original experience of feeling: anger, rage, powerless and hopeless. The original trauma is appearing once again and the feelings are the same, but as the experience may be different and the ego mind can defend what is going on; it can deny this.


Defense mechanisms are used to protect one from what the ego mind perceives as a threat. And it is clear to see how this applies to the area of childhood abuse.

At such a young age one is vulnerable, powerless and completely dependent on the ones caregivers for survival. For if these defenses were not used one is unlikely to have made it through all of those traumatic years alive.


When this abuse is taking place the child is not being listened to or given the love or mirroring that it needs; it is purely being taken advantage of and being invalidated. And as the child is receiving so much negative stimulus it has two choices.

It can either express how it feels or it can hold on what it receives. It is unlikely that the child will feel safe enough to express how it feels, given the type of environment that it is in and therefore has to push down in to the body all that it is feeling and thinking.

The Lie Begins

So not only when the child is being abused does it have to deny, repress and dissociate from the pain to survive, but it also has to deploy these defences when it is around its caregivers.

Because although it has all these conflicting messages going inside and is also beginning to lose conscious awareness of these; on the surface it still has to respond and answer to the caregivers to ensure its own survival.

This is surely where one first loses touch with how they truly feel and what their real needs and wants are. And out of the fear of what their caregivers might do, this truth has to be hidden and will remain unexpressed.


The abuse may even be classed and portrayed as discipline and that the caregivers are only doing it for the benefit of the child. At this age the child does not have the ability to question what is going and as the parents are often viewed as god like figures; there is nothing the child can do. In reality this is just a cover up, which enables the caregivers to express their own repressed childhood pain.

What then arises in the abused child are the feelings of shame and guilt. This association is formed through how the caregivers respond to the child. If it is being abused its actions must be bad and therefore the child feels guilty. And as the child is being punished and not just its actions, it feels shamed to the core.

Time Goes By

From the very beginning the child learned to survive through repression, denial and idealising its caregivers. And unless the Childs grows up to question what has happened it is unlikely that these defence mechanisms will ever be questioned or challenged.

This will not be the easy option, because to question or to look over ones past; there is the potential for extreme pain and trauma to appear again. And without the assistance of a therapist or someone similar, it could cause all kinds of problems should one try to face it alone.

Guilt And Shame

Although what happened all those years ago had nothing to do with the innocent child; through regression one can feel not only the pain of what happened, but also the shame and guilt. This shame and guilt is like the gatekeeper to the past.

These two feelings may not represent the whole experience, but they have to be faced in order to deal with the past. The reason these feelings are so powerful is because they were felt to such an extreme degree during the moments of abuse.

So although one can be an adult, and an adult that has every right to let go and see the past for what is was – impersonal, one has to be aware of dropping into the feelings again to avoid feeling guilty and ashamed for being abused.

This is because these are two feelings that the abused child was made to feel so often and therefore as an adult the ego mind will hold onto these feelings because they are familiar and safe.

Avoiding Responsibility

Because the caregivers didn’t take responsibility for what was going on for them and used their own children to regulate their own feelings, the child was made to feel responsible.

The child ended up carrying all the feelings that they had denied and repressed in themselves. As they could no longer feel them, it was not possible for them to empathize with their children. And so the abuse was probably generational; with them perpetrating what had been done to them.


When one regresses to the inner child and re-experiences all that has not been processed they will take on the same feelings and behaviors. This will not only cause one to feel great pain, but it will also influence their behavior. And this child survival still rests on the caregiver’s approval and acceptance.

So as well as feeling the repressed guilt and shame, one will feel that their very foundations and survival still depends on their caregivers. And this inner child only knows who it is in relation to its caregivers, it will hold onto the past because it still sees the past as what is keeping it alive.


Facing the past is not something that one can do over night; it may even take many years. To face it straight away would be too overwhelming for the ego mind to handle.

And what is true is often only revealed to one when they are ready to see it. If it has not been revealed, perhaps one is not ready.

However, as long as one has not looked at this past and processed what happened, they are
destined to repeat it.

If you feel this has been of value, please leave a comment, like or get  in touch. And feel free to share this article. ”

~ Oliver J R Cooper

Thank you Oliver.



This entry was posted in Child Abuse, child molestation, child sexual abuse, repressed memory, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Why Do Abused Children Deny What Happened?

  1. Hello everyone,

    I am pleased to see that some people have been assisted through reading this article.

    And what is clear to me is that we are all unique and we often see life through our own interpretations. As the saying goes – ”we don’t see life as it is, we see life as we are”. This is why conversations or words can be interpreted in numerous ways; with the actually meaning being lost along the way.

    When it comes to healing and coming to a place of acceptance within: I do not say that there is only one way. To me, the way is whatever works for someone.

    It is easy to get caught in one person being right and the other person being wrong (to the ego mind, being wrong is equal to death), but what truly matters – is being happy and seeing results.

    So I wish everyone the best on their healing journey.


    • Alethea says:

      In most everything you are correct. But there is relative truth and absolute truth in the Universe. Not everything is relative, or based on how we are inside.

  2. Why Not? says:

    Alethea: One last update for you – I have taken a long, hard and heartfelt look at your recommendation – based upon your experience, evidence of your own healing as spoken here, and unwavering championing of knowing what is possible for me and others:

    If you do not change that bear into the image of your mother, and grow tall and strong in your mind, and overpower her, AS YOUR MOTHER, AND NOT A BEAR, then she will always have power over you.

    I SEE it now, Alethea, and am ‘growing taller’ by the day. Tomorrow would have been my beloved brother’s birthday – who died 34 years ago, from the power of the “beast.” He was my childhood hero – as much as his young, powerless life could be.

    My birthday gift to him is one of: Finally, I am prepared for the battle.

    I SEE what you KNOW I must do… in order to be victorious over the “learned helplessness” that has kept me in the dungeon, bearing all of that evil, dominating my life all of these years.

    Thank You… and God Bless you, Alethea…. Truth-Sayer, Blessed by God, True Friend to Many.

    • Alethea says:

      Why Not, my heart is sad inside for your brother’s pain. It sounds like the abuse contributed to his death…so common…so unnecessary….I am so sorry.

  3. mglvsjc says:

    I don’t agree with a few of these statements from Oliver. But I do agree with the the generational abuse statement. I have waited 2 years (when my memories came back after 51 years) to tell my mother ..thinking she may have another stroke or possibly even suicide if she knew..I think she knew anyway but blocked it out. Her response was to say she lived thru the same thing. Point blank. 51 years of dysfunction ..she could only say that and say I did not know.
    She has dementia…and that’s is one reason…but the 4 year old in me is pretty pissed. But reading this blog kinda prepared me for this response.

    • Alethea says:

      Wow, it appears you received a tiny bit of validation with her essentially saying, “the same thing happened to me.” It’s a confession without a confession. She sounds like my mother, who lives in a world of self-protection through hard-core denial and “what happened to you, happens to a lot of people, get over it.”

  4. Alethea says:

    I have tried four times now to post a comment to the author of this article, Oliver JR Cooper. After initially commenting at his website, he replied to me that he would not suggest the form of therapy that I have. He feels it is “important to face the emotions and through doing that, they will begin to disappear, as long as they are actually faced that is. To try to change the memory is still identifying with what happened and not letting it go.” This is an erroneous statement. Changing the memory is EXACTLY what sets a previous victim free, not “feeling their emotions.” The emotions must be healed, at the subconscious level, or they will always have power over our lives.

    Allow me to clarify that the emotions are indeed felt and faced with hypno-analysis therapy, and this is *part* of the healing. But someone just consciously feeling and facing emotions without knowing the exact traumatic incident, or the root of the emotion, and without changing the memory…cannot heal in full or with true liberation.

    Oliver also feels that “true empowerment comes from seeing that we are more then they are.” That is the EGO talking. The ego cannot heal a person.

    Oliver says “we are not our past or our memories, we are so much more.” Oliver has no knowledge of the subconscious mind, or of the science that has now discovered the power of the subconscious. There is not space and time, so our memories and the past are knocking at our door until we revisit that past at the subconscious level and take power at the SC level.

    I have tried to reply back to Oliver, and now I am unable to post there. Maybe he does not want to hear the truth? Nevertheless, this is what I wanted to say to him. Maybe he will come here and read it:

    This therapy works miracles. You are judging something you know nothing about, something that has been utilized for decades, and that truly liberates and heals a person. Most therapies merely treat the symptoms and do not heal the root cause, and do not make FREE, a previously suffering person. This therapy allows a previously traumatized person to take power over their abusers and change, in their subconscious mind, what happened…into what they would like to have happened as a child. This is what heals a person. At first, I thought you understood trauma and the subconscious mind, but by your closed-mind, you shut the door to anyone who might read your message, but who might otherwise have been helped by inquiring with me about this form of therapy, and that is not okay for you to do. Trauma, abandonment, fear, shame and guilt do not disappear in the way you have suggested. The hypno-analysis therapy I speak of, and the subconscious mind, are key to liberation from the extreme and life-long suffering that most victims of child sexual abuse experience. You are denying what can give a person true peace and health.

    Maybe my two Blog readers who have also had the therapy with Ysatis De Saint-Simone (both of which have had liberating and healing results) can post a comment to Oliver at his website about this therapy. Grace and Little Nel can also give testimony of the power of the Subconscious mind and healing with hypno-analysis….http://www.transformationalwriting.co.uk/1/post/2012/06/abused-children-why-do-abused-children-deny-what-happened.html

    • little nel says:

      Hi Alethea,
      I was able to send an email to Oliver. I briefly told him my story of abuse at age 9. I told him about having no conscience memories of what happened until I got into therapy with Dr. Ysatis de Saint-Simone. I told him how I was healed of my life long sinus pain, swelling, and breathing problems when I remembered that I had fainted from fear at the hands of those matrons and how they over-dosed me with what ever they used to revive me.

      My nightmares, night sweats, and night time anxiety attacks have ceased. I still find myself waking up at 3:00 AM and checking the doors and windows of my home because I have always had a conscience memory of the clock in the county home reading 3:00 AM when the night matron dragged me out of my closet to hurt me and take my panties.

      I will ask Dr. Saint-Simone about it in therapy.

      • Alethea says:

        Thank you Little Nel. I think it is so important to help others by giving testimony about this miraculous therapy that you, and I, and Grace all have with Dr. Saint-Simone. It’s also important to bring awareness to those who have such a closed-mind, or who have a concept –a false one at that– in their mind about the hypo-analysis that she practices.

        • Why Not? says:

          Alethea: I went over to Oliver’s blog and read the dialog between the two and other comments.

          These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of revelations for me, culminating into my ability to speak my truth on this blog, share with others the same and have an experience in my Therapist’s office that I’ve never believed to be possible for me – the wall came down and for the first time ever, I told most of my story of the abuses of my mother with a great deal of emotion – FEELINGS – that I have never been able to allow myself to feel – I couldn’t.

          Oliver said:

          “In my experience there is no separation between the emotion, memory and the incident; they are all connected. And emotions and feelings are often frozen in the body and therefore have to be released there.

          (bold emphasis mine)

          This was true for me, I now realize. Nothing else was possible for me without getting past that block. (I could feel the blocked place in my upper stomach – but could not get inside that place, past the block – I couldn’t even get a breath beyond that place.) My emotions were “frozen” inside of me – and it was directly due to all of the abuse-trauma involving my mother.

          I am living in the miracle of “being” (ME) right now – I can see, I can think, I can feel – and I can express-communicate them all. I am experiencing “healing” – in real time, so to speak. I have, at the suggestion of my therapist, re-framed The Bear Nightmare into one where I am more powerful (she suggested to think of how I could kill the Bear – but, I couldn’t with violence.) So, I devised a plan to trap the Bear and starve it into complete submission. It worked. The Bear is in the forest now, lying on the ground, so emaciated it’s unable to move. I am up in a tree above it – watching it die – and its eyes are fixated on me, watching me cry.

          I have not experienced Dr. Saint-Simone therapy – I don’t know if I could have – until I had this breakthrough of the frozen tundra – blocking passage to and from my soul – It felt like to me.

          You and Oliver are both right, as far as I can tell -as he also said to you:

          There are many healing methods and approaches around; and this is surely a sign that the same approach doesn’t work for everyone. A therapy that is championed by one person can be rejected by another, and vice versa.

          This is right I did, meaning that our emotions are not who we are; we are more, we are the observers of them, the watcher, the silent witness – consciousness.”(emphasis mine)

          This too: “our emotions are not who we are; we are more…” is what I am now also capable of experiencing – for the first time EVER in my life, since last week.

          • Alethea says:

            >>the wall came down and for the first time ever, I told most of my story of the abuses of my mother with a great deal of emotion – FEELINGS – that I have never been able to allow myself to feel – I couldn’t.>>

            What a liberating moment that must have been –to be able to expel the ugly truths.

            Yes, the emotions and feelings are often frozen in the body, but unless a person gets in touch with repressed memories, and repressed guilt and shame, and fear –then those emotions will remain locked up. Trauma-induced shame and fear can often remain hidden. I thought I had dealt with my father and mother years ago in many different areas, only to have new memories and repressed emotions show up years later. The subconscious keeps many things hidden, so it is usually at the SC level that one must find true liberation and complete healing.

            What your therapist has suggested is, in my opinion, keeping the bear at bay for now. Just be aware that when we do not address the person -not the symbol- but the person who abused us, and if we do not address them at the subconscious level, they will come back into our body and mind.

            In my therapy, in my subconscious mind, I make that bear into the mother, and I allow myself to do whatever my SC mind wants me to do her…But I also tell her exactly what needed saying at the time of the abuse, but I did not dare say, and say whatever I want to say to her now, and I say it without holding back.. I tell her, at the SC level, exactly everything my SC wants to say to her. Then I burn her image, or send her into a black hole. I also do this as a strong warrior type of woman, like Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings. Or I make myself as tall as a house and step on her.

            Some people might gasp at the thought of doing these things to their parents, but we are NOT doing it *TO THEM,* we do it to their image in our SC mind. It is all symbolic, no one gets hurt, the repressed emotions are expelled in a natural and healthy way, and the image of the abuser is blown away into the cosmos.

            Just know that if you keep your mother’s image as a bear (a beautiful innocent creature in real life), and only make the bear submissive, and do not address the mother image, then her power will come back.

            Ysatis also teaches that our emotions are not who we are, but we cannot allow them to remain lodged in the unconscious mind to wreak havoc. We can become the observers of them in the interim, but the toxic emotions must go, or they will create illness, disease, and psychological problems.

            This information is all for discussion purposes. I am not a therapist, and only presenting what I have learned in 17 years of therapy and in 17 years of dealing with the SC mind –which controls and drives 90% of our lives.

            • Alethea says:

              I think it would be prudent of me to leave my therapist out of further discussions. She has an excellent reputation, maintained for over 30 years or more. If anyone wishes to discuss her therapy, they can contact me for her phone number.

            • Alethea says:

              Why Not, I think what I am trying to ultimately convey to you, is that, there is an underlying root, an original sensitizing event which is USUALLY NOT REMEMBERED BY THE PERSON that must be brought out, or the emotions will always be unhealed. You can read about this by clicking on the link below for my therapist:


              “This therapeutic Method of Hypnoanalysis can free most everyone of any psychosomatic symptom, addictions, character flows and even other problems not consider psychosomatic. It is a truly powerful and harmless method of healing, what has been called by Quantum scientists ‘the Medicine of the Future. Nature has endowed us with – our Mind. The process is natural and exciting because you not only heal, but learn to be who You truly Are and to function from that center of Power and Strength in all aspects of your life.

              It is a method of deep introspection of your self in which the Subconscious Mind will eventually release the I.S.E. or Initial Sensitizing Event. The I.S.E. is usually not consciously recalled, or even suspected by the person. This event is the root-cause of the problem, it is normally linked to serious emotional trauma, thus it is usually well buried in the Subconscious.

              You can explore the rest of her therapy page from the link above.

              • Why Not? says:

                Alethea: Thank you for expanding on the many elements of my journey.

                The Bear, I’ve come to understand-identify as revealed, I believe, from within my own subconscious. is the ferocious, seemingly all-powerful, unconquerable ‘force’ driving the abuse: my Mother, her mental illness, the completely dysfunctional family “unit” – evolving individually and collectively, operating in tandem, to absorb, deflect, defend against by blaming, punishing, reenacting – waging war against all threats (good, kindness, recognition, truth, injury… exposure,) – DENIAL.

                My therapist didn’t recommend ‘keeping the Bear at bay’ – but killing it. I knew I could not “KILL” the Bear in some violent confrontation because of my respect for all animals – even BEARS.

                Returning home, I knew my conflict so, I began to “ask” for an answer. The plan came. It began by my locking the steel basement door and hiding the key in my pocket – the basement was where my family always ran to hide – leaving me to fend for myself, by hiding in a tiny space in the attic – alone – the Bear always coming after me – clawing through the opening – almost reaching me by mere inches.

                This time, when the Bear came – I yelled at my family that the key to the steel basement door was missing and for them to hide up in the attic. I unlocked the door, opened it all the way and hid in the space between it and the wall – tossing my slipper back out into into the opening so the Bear would believe me to be in the basement.

                It worked – the Bear ran down the stairs and I pushed the steel door closed, and locked it. It raged, as it tore through the basement – came back up and tried to break out the door. I squatted down with my back to the door and waited – for days – as the Bear weakened, its groans and breathing barely audible.

                Finally, I unlocked the door, and released it – it dragging its emaciated body out of the stairwell and on out though the front door, struggling with each claw-pull of a foot or so. I followed safely behind as it dragged itself down the street, foot-by foot, past all of its destruction – children on each side of the street, throwing stones at it – me walking stoically, but sadly, behind – knowing somehow that its whole existence, as it had been, was coming to an end in my life. Every so many feet, I saw one of its huge claws had broken from its paws – I picked each one up and carried them – like sticks – as the number turned into a bundle.

                As I realized that I now had the Bears claws in my hands – I felt immense uncertainty, not knowing what my life would be like without all of the fears, struggles, avoidance, the direction of energy, focus, creative projects-expression – dissociation (having just associated behaviors and activities – the day after my therapy – as that of dissociation being a huge part and normal function of my daily life.)

                The Bear finally reached the forest and after a short distance it could go no further – stopping under a huge tree. I knew this would be it. I climbed the tree and out onto a limb overhanging the Bear. It rolled to its back and fixed its gaze on me. It’s struggling for each breath and I cry out over all of the damage done. When I stop, it stops breathing – when I start crying again, it takes another breath, as if to allow me every last tear I need to shed over its existence in my life.

                I’m afraid, somewhat, of the Bear’s last breath. I think I am at ‘that place’ in the story of Jesus and the blind man (who pleaded for Jesus to heal his sight.) In one translation, Jesus turns and asks the blind man, “Are you sure?” The blind man responds that he’s been blind all of his life, having to beg for people to help him. So, ‘Of course he wants to be delivered from such a struggling existence!’ Jesus asks him again if he is sure, in essence saying to him: ‘Once you are no longer blind, you will have to live your life as healed – as one who was never blind.’

                I now know what ‘being healed’ at the subconscious level is like – it reveals, it takes one on a journey, it allows us to choose to take the next step along the way – including MY being ready to release the Bear, completely, and trust what’s next.

              • Why Not? says:

                Alethea: I believe in Dr. Saint-Simone’s therapy – I’ve visited her blog many times and have read what you have written extensively about with respect to your personal experience – resulting from her extensive research, education and understanding of the sub-conscious mind and its relationship with TRAUMA.

                It is a method of deep introspection of your self in which the Subconscious Mind will eventually release the I.S.E. or Initial Sensitizing Event. The I.S.E. is usually not consciously recalled, or even suspected by the person. This event is the root-cause of the problem, it is normally linked to serious emotional trauma, thus it is usually well buried in the Subconscious.

                I hope to see her personally in the near future – I have no doubt that she has immense insights and abilities as a highly specialized practitioner that offers a therapy that is much more deeply transformational for clients who’s trauma injuries are “compounded,” thus, rarely experienced as fully resolved.

                I hope you can trust that it is because of what you have experienced in transformational healing, as a direct result of Dr. Saint-Simone’s therapy, this blog provides a path to Dr. Saint-Simone’s therapy – a healing that many of us are just now beginning to recognize as being possible – and beyond the traditional therapies that have brought us to this place.

                That’s true for me. (Which includes my journey with the Bear – that ends with a final act of MY putting IT – along with all of its many “faces” of evil power and control – to death on Thursday. I don’t know exactly how it’s all going to unfold – but, I’ll be loaded – with one hell of a baseball bat in hand – for Bear. I’m done.)

              • Alethea says:

                Why Not,

                “I hope you can trust that it is because of what you have experienced in transformational healing, as a direct result of Dr. Saint-Simone’s therapy, this blog provides a path to Dr. Saint-Simone’s therapy – a healing that many of us are just now beginning to recognize as being possible – and beyond the traditional therapies that have brought us to this place.”

                Thank you, and so true how you describe the healing. There are many planetary things going on right now that are indicating that the world is in for big changes because what we humans have been doing for centuries, is not working. We humans MUST evolve, or die out, and that means total transformation of mind and soul.

                Why Not, I am going to say this next thing with love…this is not with anger or condemnation…but of love:

                If you do not change that bear into the image of your mother, and grow tall and strong in your mind, and overpower her, AS YOUR MOTHER, AND NOT A BEAR, then she will always have power over you.

                God Bless you my dear.


  5. Marjie says:

    very true.

  6. Why Not? says:

    Thank you Oliver, JR Cooper.
    I’m kind of teed off tonight about the reality of everything he’s saying, actually. I need to go work on changing my thought life – starting with “it being such a struggle to change my thought life.” Seriously. It’s going to take a strong commitment to chanting a new vocabulary of subject matters, if I am ever going to override the conversation my mind seems to want to keep having with me about everything. It’s wearing on me.

  7. little nel says:

    Well, Oliver, you have effectively detailed the things that I remember experiencing through out my lifetime.
    “And so the abuse was probably generational”
    I know that it was generational on both sides of my family.
    Great post!

  8. Kevin F says:

    Excellent article, again, Alathea. And again, only us survivors know how true and real these feelings and situations are.

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