Incest Survivors’ Checklist

I was sent “The Incest Survivors’ Aftereffects Checklist” and thought I might list what I identified with here, and then go into deeper detail of each of them in future posts…

Note to therapists and survivors: Some items on this list are strongly associated with childhood sexual abuse; however, over 25 items should be identified before incest is suspected. Proceed with caution! Survivors and partners, be gentle with yourselves’ and each other.

Here are my 33.

  1. Fear of being alone in the dark; Nightmares (pursuit, entrapment)
  2. Swallowing and gagging sensitivity
  3. Poor or distorted body image; compulsive cleanliness, incl. bathing in scolding water
  4. Headaches; aversion to doctors (especially gynaecologists)
  5. Extreme requirement for privacy when using bathroom
  6. Complusive behaviours
  7. physical pain is manageable
  8. phobias, panic, anxiety
  9. suicidal obsession (passive/ideation)
  10. Depression/ sadness
  11. Misdirected anger
  12. Rigid control of thought process
  13. Childhood hiding, hanging on; Adult feeling watched, hyper vigilance
  14. Trusting indiscriminately
  15. Fear of losing control; obsessive/ compulsive behaviours; power/sex confusion
  16. Guilt/ shame / low self-esteem / feeling worthless / high appreciation of small favours
  17. Pattern of being a victim; Pattern of relationships with much older, more ‘powerful’ persons
  18. Must ‘produce’ to be loved; knowing/ doing what others need or want
  19. Disturbances in attachment; abandonment issues
  20. Dissociation; creating fantasy worlds / identities (incl. women imagining self to be male = not a victim)
  21. Feeling of carrying awful secret; fear of it being revealed; certainty that no-one would listen
  22. Feeling crazy; feeling different; feeling oneself to be real and everyone else unreal
  23. Denial; repression of memories; minimising; flashbacks with no meaning; memories of surrounding details but not identity of abuser
  24. Pursuit feels like violation; sexualising of all meaningful relationships; erotic response to abuse or anger, sexual fantasies of dominance/ rape (results in guilt and confusion)
  25. Distorted perceptions of face or body
  26. Desire to change ones name
  27. limited tolerance for happiness; active withdrawal from/ reluctance to trust happiness
  28. Aversion to noise-making; verbal hyper-vigilance
  29. Stealing
  30. Aversion to meat
  31. Compulsive dishonesty (lying)
  32. Tendency to develop relationships with incest perpetrators
  33. Personality disorders; characteristics

Will start with 1. in my next post.



4 thoughts on “Incest Survivors’ Checklist

  1. Hi Looking for parts, I relate to every single one of these too, though the symptoms have gotten less as I have healed more. It made me laugh rewarding no. 26 – desire to change ones name! Every day I think of new names for myself. It’s def parts coming out and looking for their identity. Fair enough. Good on u for being brave to own these sides of yourself and to identify, not deny. It all adds up.

    Liked by 1 person

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