Childhood Lost…..Early Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse!!

This post may seem triggering to some, but please read it and pass it forward as someone may find the information to lead to an early rescue for a child!!! Thank You!!

As I’ve shared there are happy memories of my childhood that I like to visit now and again. My dad swinging me in the backyard; playing football with my brother and the other neighborhood boys; catching bumblebees in a jar; watching my dad drag race in that awesome red convertible; my favorite, sleeping snuggled in tight with my grandma that last night I visited with the McKnight family.

These are the moments I reach for when I want to think about the happy times as a child. Like many millions of others, unfortunately these are the ONLY happy childhood memories.

It’s tragic to say that after that cold February night in 1963, just after turning five, the happy memories came to a sudden dead halt. After the first time he touched me, made me gag on his tongue as he kissed me; trapped me on the couch as I waited for Richie’s head to explode when he forced him to stand on his head in the corner, all of it was gone. It simply vanished. The laughter and joy I knew as an innocent child was gone. I didn’t play like a child anymore, although I tried.

This was the moment of death for that little girl, she disappeared, hid away in the dark shadows of corners and the brutal deviant behavior of the “New Dad”, as Mom had introduced him.

When the two of them married just two weeks after that first attack, my smile still showed to the outside world, but inside there was nothing; a hallow shell of a little girl with “Dancing Blue Eyes”. I’ve quoted the title of a poem written by Mary E. Graziano, created along with a fabulous recreation of watercolor art from Michal Madison.

I can remember the changes I felt. The cheerful child was forever gone. Sure, I still tried to act as a child, but I couldn’t find her spirit. No matter how hard I searched the playful little girl was gone. My childhood was lost and he had replaced her spirit with constant anticipation of the next attack.

Hi acts caused me to fear sleeping in my own bed. He made me dread the walk home from school with Richie at my side, which I always treasured. He made me hate going in to take a bath; standing on a chair to do dishes; riding in the car; even if I was outside trying to play there was the constant preoccupation of waiting to hear him call me inside.

‘Don’t get too occupied with trying to play, you will hear him soon.”

My heart and soul wanted to run, play, ride my new bike, wade through the creek and play with the cat tails growing wild on the bank. I wanted to walk home from school and think about dodging the cracks in the sidewalk.

“Step on a crack – break your mother’s back.” I used to always dodge those cracks; carefully making sure not to hurt my dear mother!!!

This new child was playing very differently now. My barbies and ‘Ken” took turns rubbing naked bodies together. The girl I used to play with next door was banned from being around me because her mother caught me playing with the dolls while visiting in their house one day.

I brought the little boy down the street inside our house to play one afternoon when Mom was home and Grandma Moody, Mom’s mom, was over for a visit and getting a home perm in her hair. The little boy and I went into my room, closed the door, I laid on the bed and pulled down my britches. Then I began to show him this “new way of playing”.

I believe we might have been in there for about thirty minutes before Mom yelled out for us to come out of my room. I couldn’t get the button on my britches fastened up so I pulled my shirt down over it and tried to hide it. Mom asked as we walked out of the room, “Why are your pants undone?” I don’t remember what I gave as an answer, but she let me go and sent us out the door.

That wasn’t enough for this new little girl, so I took him in the back of our house where an old mattress had been put out for trash. Right out in the open I went back to teaching this little boy how to “play”. We weren’t out in the country. There was a house in back of ours and on the one side, but I’m guessing no one saw us. It wasn’t long before the little boy got up and went running away, leaving me there with my britches unfastened and wondering why he ran off so fast.

Walter’s constant sexual stimulation of the little girl caused me to continually engage in self stimulation and misguided behavior with my barbies. Instead of dancing around like a princess, chasing a football with my brother, or wading through the creek; I was involved with educating other children on how I was getting touched and how it felt. I was involved with sexual stimulation that I should not have known anything about. It wasn’t long before there weren’t any neighborhood children who were permitted to hang out with me.

This is the type of childhood change that happens when we are forced to engage in early sexual behaviors. We don’t realize how wrong it is and why should I have? There wasn’t anyone who ever told me any different. No one said, “Trecia Ann what are you doing? Where did you learn this kind of stuff?” Maybe it would have made a huge difference in the next twelve years of my life, perhaps changed the outcome of it all.

This is an example of the early silent signs of sexual abuse in our young children. The children who are too young to verbalize what is happening to them.

Our world is full of sexualized media through commercials, internet and even some of the “Disney” movies have these little silent sexual behaviors and signals. One I remember my own children brining to my attention; the word “Sex” appearing in “The Lion King”.

Our children see us hug, kiss, and may even unexpectedly walk into Mom and Dad’s bedroom, but for most purposes our young children do not automatically know these types of sexual behaviors. These acts have to be shown to them; taught to them in some form by some person.

Our young children, ages one to ten, should not know any of these acts or what these acts are like. They should not know what masturbation feels like or seek out ways to get sexual stimulation. They should not act this out with dolls, stuffed animals or engage other children in these behaviors.

If you see your child stimulating themselves or engaging in other such behaviors, BE VERY CONCERNED!!! Someone has exposed your child or taught them about these feelings of stimulation. Children at these early years inadvertently share these acts publicly in some fashion. You will see them acting out these behaviors in some form. Children can’t help it. It is a natural reaction to seek out the pleasurable sensations, and when they are this young they are too innocent to try and hide if from anyone.

When they demonstrate these acts they are giving you the SILENT WARNING OF ABUSE!!! DON’T IGNORE IT!!! First consider your child’s age. Consider what they might have seen in their environment and then ask a few innocent questions such as these below;

“Where did you learn how to do that? Did someone teach you how to play like that? Did you see it on a television show or a movie? Who were you watching the movie with? Did someone else touch you there like that or did they ask you to touch them there?”

These are just a few examples of some questions you can ask without alarming your child with concern. Don’t go into panic, keep the conversation on their level and in an innocent manner. Don’t make them feel as if they are in trouble for acting this way or for doing something such as touching themselves. You don’t want to show concern, because your child will clam up and dodge showing any future behaviors such as this in any form where they can be caught. You will place misguided blame on them, even if you do not intend to do so. A child will automatically absorb blame if they feel you are not happy in some way.

You can provide the much-needed early intervention and rescue your child from future sexual abuse if you simply watch and listen to how your young children play. If you are aware of these early silent warning signs of abuse, then you can better protect your child.

It is the “innocent” play time that can give you the best insight to what they cannot yet verbalize. This is something that all persons who have contact with young children should watch for within families, amongst friends, in neighborhoods, or children you babysit. You can make a big difference in their world if we simply pay attention to what they cannot yet tell us.

(c)Patricia A. McKnight

Advocate/Author/Speaker/Examiner/Talk Radio Host/Survivor

Please be sure to visit the NEW WEBSITE



Published by @ButterflyTrish

I am a survivor of over thirty years trapped inside the silence and brutality of Family Crimes, Child Sex Trafficking, and a life lived pattern of tolerance for over 30 years in almost murderous relationships. In Feb. 2011 I chose to publish the truth about what happened in our home, the community around me, and the learned patterns of self-hatred and tolerance which became such a huge factor in my life. My life today was built through publishing 'My Justice'. I never felt worthy of life, breathing, love & respect; not until I honestly began a strong focus in healing myself. There were many traits and tragedies that influenced my life seemed to control everything inside me and it was nothing but sadness and fake emotions. Only by facing the horrors I went through, the choices I made as a woman & mother, then relating to the greatest guilt I have; how the trauma behavior has affected my children's lives. It's my hope to help others get through their battles, regardless of the type of trauma because when we hurt our lives are forever changed. This graphic, violent memoir is NOT SUGGESTED FOR ANYONE UNDER 14 years of age. It discusses the permanently wounding life and the cycle of destruction that held me in expecting/tolerating ridicule and violence in my adult relationships. This truth was published to inspire others to take an in-depth look at their life and behaviors as a result of their past. Connect the dots of your rebuilding in understanding the pattern of adult choices in coping addictions, parenting, and partners; even affecting our careers and self-sustainable life. I'm so honored to have 'My Justice' used at the collegiate level for psychology classes, upcoming therapists and educators. Today my life is very blessed. I'm finally safe, finally truly loved, finally feeling the magic of what life is supposed to be like. My greatest power only began to show when I first made the choice to end the violent relationships and behaviors around my children; to give them something better, something SAFE!! In choosing to share my own story, I've also gone that serious extra step to educate myself through years of research, attending training opportunities, and collaborating with other advocate resources, abuse, sexual harm, and the experts digging deep to recreate help and healing. I've chosen to use my past as a way to inspire a greater good; hopefully somehow change the cycle of tragedy in our homes so that we empower our kids to live a more positive path. The best education we can give, is a survivor of traumatic experiences who can use what they felt then and what they wish they would have had available; those who could have and should have said something. We can change things for our life today, but best of all in healing our wounds, we give communities a supportive working strategy in assisting the people in our lives. One step at a time, one caring soul at a time, we can give them a path to changing our human society as a whole. This is a tell all, which was written in the midst of my third nervous breakdown as I struggled to put all my distorted pieces back together, help my children understand how the violence I tolerated against me invaded their emotional well-being. My children have always been my world, but my behaviors, lack of healthy parenting and life skills, and an inability to remain stable has caused another generation of suffering for my grandchildren. This is a very difficult thing to watch and the continued tragedies that seem to keep affecting the choices in my family. Writing this book was only the beginning of trying to release all that has haunted me for so many years. I have finally removed his thick, cruel, coal stained hand which trapped me in fear for decades. Those hands and his evil, her housemaid and caregiver; they created a slave and that slave submitted to horrific and brutal attacks but always felt it was her burden to bare. I lived with that hand holding me down to terrorize and steal away my voice, holding me captive in the dysfunction of the aftermath and casting a shadow of darkness on everything good in my life. Living in the true spirit of freedom, I have now become a strong advocate against the life cycle of human destruction. We cannot live stuck in the tragedy of hardships and pain. Life is meant to be lived, to be enjoyed, to see what you can do and what you can achieve, to find out what is important to you. We all become adults. We all have a burden to bare. Stand up and keep moving, keep living, keep dreaming. You have two choices in recreating and rebuilding yourself. Do you stay stuck in the dark shadows of your past? Do you dig deep and find that spirit that kept you alive so that you could become the proud, strong, capable, resilient, kind human being ? Which do you choose and how will that choice affect your children and theirs? We can be supportive, provide resources and suggestions for help so that families suffering with addiction or past trauma themselves can find a recovery balance to rebuild their family in a more positive life pattern. We will recover, we will rebuild, we will conquer the pains of yesterday to live in the true sense of life, freedom and safety today. Patricia 'Trish' McKnight Author: 'My Justice' Fndr/CEO: Butterfly Dreams Alliance, NFP Mentor/Advocate/Speaker/Survivor

16 thoughts on “Childhood Lost…..Early Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse!!

  1. Tricia, first of all I am so sorry you ever had to experience that as a young child. But I am a believer that God has a way of taking our pain and using it for our gain. The fact that you are sharing with others to give insight about clues to watch for might in turn save a child from what you have experienced. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story with others and being an advocate for children that do not have a voice. A new beginning starts with looking inside and I can see you have your new beginning! Best of luck in all you endeavors.

    1. Thank you so very much, and yes I believe exactly as you have shared. My experience was horrific and NO it should not have happened this way, but if it had not happened I would not be able to do what I am today. In turn I so appreciate your words and yes God is turning my pain into purpose and I believe that with all of our voices as survivors, it will make a difference in the lives of the next generation.
      Much respect, love, and appreciation,
      thank you & hugs,

  2. *******MAY BE TRIGGERING******
    Omg Trish, This brought back my memories I often wondered why I did the things I did with the little boy two doors away from me, i was only about 6 or 7, and we used to play in this tent that was in his yard, and pulled my pants down, and I remember saying to him “dont let me have a baby” how would I know this? and to do what we did, and that wasn’t the only time either, another time we went to the back of this building that had a stairway that led down, and pulled down our pants and pretended to have sex by rubbing against each other, and a man starting walking over towards us and I couldnt get my pants up quick enough so sat down on the step and tried pulling them up..Oh Trish, you are so right, we should never have known these things, trying to remember back to before this, the only time I can remember something is when I was sitting on the couch with my mother’s cousin, in my pj’s which were my brothers old ones, and they had the opening, and he had his fingers on my vagina, and I remember liking it, OMG!!! this makes me feel so bad inside,

    1. Nippercat, this is not your bad to feel. this is the bad of the one who touched you, the one who introduced you to these feelings. it is NEVER a child’s fault that this felt good in any way. It is how our bodies were created to feel. it was meant to feel good and be stimulating to us, the fault is that we should never have known this feeling at such a young age. to experience these feelings without being able to understand the why, is like taking us to a candy store and giving anything that lights up our eyes, but having no facts about the outcome of slopping it in like a child would. NEVER blame yourself or your inner child for what they knew too early. YOU DID NOT LEARN THIS FEELING OR THESE ACTS ON YOUR OWN!!! the blame and the shame belong on the head, soul, of the person who introduced you to these acts.
      hugs of comfort dear, I do hope you understand what I’m trying to say here. Never allow yourself to feel anything but sadness and grief for the innocence that was taken from you the moment he touched you. this is what happens to the childhood and it is never alright for another to commit these acts with a child.

      sweety I wish you well and please msg me if there is anything you wish to talk through. i did not mean for this to harm you or make you feel uncomfortable or guilty in any form. this is not your blame to carry!!!

    1. thank you tons for sharing, one life at a time we can help rescue and change the impact of abuse on our children,
      hugs and much appreciation 🙂

  3. I am literally lost for words Trish, I am so very sorry that you have gone through this, nobody deserves to go through such horrific, disgusting things, having their childhood literally ripped away from them, as life continues to go on outside of those closed doors that you were trapped within.
    I can not imagine what it was like the horror of your nightmare being an actual reality,
    You are so very right, you should never of known what these things were, let alone live through this again all I can say is how sorry I am that you have endured this, and how your battle to get sexual abuse out there as you tell your story is inspirational.

    1. Dear Angel, thank you so very much for your sweet concern and comments. Indeed it should have been recognized and the little girl I was should have been rescued, but as I push forward to help others see how to protect and view the silent signs of a child in this environment, it comes to me only as a purposed experience to guide me in this direction. I am so overwhelmed by the support we find in our present day and the many hundreds I’ve connected with in this mission to protect the next generation from what has been accepted as normal. All we can do at this point is to keep educating others, empowering them with the silent warning signs our children display, so that they do not have to remain in this vicious existance and be provided instead with rescue, inspiration and hope for their tomorrow, their dreams and possibilities.
      Together we will make a difference in their outcome and we will help build a better, safer world for their value.
      With kindness and appreciation,
      trish 🙂 ((hugs))

  4. Reblogged this on Angels Blog and commented:
    Trish’s story is one that is inspirational, as she tell’s her nightmare of sexual abuse and growing up. Please note that this blog may have triggering effects for some, I wish to add that like Trish, so many of our children have their childhoods literally taken from them due to those who are supposed to be their providers of safety their mentors and the ones that a child can trust unconditionally using and abusing their role, and carrying out such horrific acts.
    Trish’s story is one of courage inspiration and pain.

    1. Thank you Angel, I hope that others will see the purpose behind the very personal and intimate share of my own horror story. It is not about fame, it is not about getting legal justice for what others have done; “My Justice” is about the power of finally finding my voice stolen away by the cruel and sadistic acts of those intended to guide and protect me. How I was trained to exist without value and live in that pattern of acceptance in my adult relationships and how what I accepted impacted the lives of my own children. This is the need for all of us to continue speaking, finding justice in our own voice by using it to help prevent another single child from being stripped of human value and used only as the object of vicious desires of another. We must make a difference in their world, we must all be aware and vigilant to protect the children in our own families, our communities, within our schools and always speak out when you believe another is being harmed. Thank you for the reblog and I hope others will keep passing it forward. I know in my heart, somewhere there is a parent or friend who sees a child demonstrating the silent signs of a harmful home, this is how we can rescue them one life at a time.
      Much respect
      Hugs & smiles

    1. Dear Acicia; You are 11 so at that age your body is starting puberty, this means you are starting to have those feelings; masturbation is a normal activity for a child your age. If someone is abusing you or has abused you, then I beg you to seek some outside help. You can contact in the U.S. or your country’s Child Protective Services.
      tricia, thank you

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