Ashley Judd’s memoir: repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse

ashleyjuddbook
A few of you commented on our Reese Witherspoon People Magazine story that you were interested in hearing about Ashley Judd’s upcoming memoir, All That Is Bitter and Sweet, which is included as an inset item on the cover. We heard some advance details in this week’s National Enquirer, and I initially gave it a pass as I hate reporting on sexual abuse. Plus I don’t particularly care for Ashley after some of the things I’ve heard about her. (Read the comments on that linked story.) According to the Enquirer, Ashley writes that she was abused as a child by an older stranger and that no one believed her, that she was raped as a teen, and that she was a victim of sexual abuse from an unnamed relative but didn’t remember it until the memories came up when she was in therapy. It all sounds pretty harrowing.

While her ambitious mother Naomi and sister Wynonna traveled across America trying to make it big as country singers, Ashley says she went to 13 different schools between the ages of 5 and 18, growing up feeling unloved and unwanted.

Her mother and father Mihcael Ciminella, divorced when Ashley was 4, and Ashley admitted that as early as 7 she began suffering from depression.

The first of many sexual assaults that Ashley endured occurred when she was still a little girl living in Kentucky, where Naomi had moved the family following her divorce.

Ashley recalls in graphic detail being pulled into a dark, empty store by an older man who offered her a quarter to play a pinball machine.

She remembers vividly how he grabbed and groped her and stuck his tongue in her mouth. She was able to fight him off – but afterwards when she tried to tell adults what had happened, she was devastated when no one believed her!

Later, when Ashley moved back to Tennessee with her mother, the 42 year-old actress writes that Naomi’s volatile relationships with men were profoundly disturbing to her.

Ashley said that as a child she was exposed to inappropriate sexuality, loud sex in the next room, and witnessed her mother in epic fights with men, including one during which Naomi pulled a gun.

Ashley recalled playing with that weapon at a young age, loading bullets into the chamber, giving it a spin, cocking the trigger and holding it to her temple!…

When she was still in high school, the teen won a modeling competition with the prize of a two month contract in Japan. What appeared to be the break of a lifetime turned into a nightmare.

During the modeling gig, she endured the unwanted advances of one of the bosses and a male model tried to force her to perform oral sex. One day the young model accepted a ride from a Frenchman who raped her in his car…

In the book, Ashley explains that when her older sister Wynonna went into rehab for compulsive overeating in 2006, Ashley realized that she needed counseling as well for her own issues. In an effort to finally get help, she checked into Shades of Hope rehab center in Buffalo Gap, Texas.

During her 42 day stay, Ashley wrote that her treatment revealed suppressed memories of childhood incest she suffered at the hands of a relative. She does not name the family member in the book.

[From The National Enquirer, print edition, April 11, 2011]

That’s just awful. I’m not a firm believer in suppressed memories. From what I understand it is a real phenomenon though and there have been repressed memories that have been verified as true from details given by victims. There’s controversy over the topic due to the fact that some memory “retrieval” has been prompted or planted by therapists and has led to false accusations.

Getting back to Ashley Judd, that’s really terrible all those things happened to her and maybe she hopes to help other victims. I question why she’s coming out with a memoir though. The last thing I saw her in was Tooth Fairy and that was the only movie she had out last year. Her career has pretty much stalled in the past few years, and if those diva stories are accurate we may know why.

Ashley is shown on 9/20/10. Credit: WENN.com

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139 Responses to “Ashley Judd’s memoir: repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse”

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  1. Delta Juliet says:

    Well, I am so sorry to hear all of that. Sexual abuse is a horrible thing to experience and according to statistics, more have experienced it than have not.

    BUT. I don’t want to hear about it anymore. It seems like every celebrity has a tell-all giving all details of abuse they have sustained and I find myself, after awhile, wondering if it’s even true?

  2. mln76 says:

    I think it explains a lot about her alleged bad behavior and moodiness on sets. It also makes that Lainey Blind Item very believable. Hopefully finally talking about these memories will help her and others.

  3. kazoo says:

    i don’t understand the desire for people to whore this information out. it’s one thing if they’re starting charities/foundations or making real efforts to help victims. at least in those cases, a sincere effort seems to be behind the reasoning. but when people release these memoirs (and they almost always include a huge revelation like rape, incest, or abuse) it just seems like a pathetic attempt to garner attention.

    and i don’t think most suppressed memories are based on actual facts, but i’m not sure if i feel like getting into a psychological debate today. LOL.

  4. LadyBert62 says:

    Sorry but I dont buy the “repressed until you reminded me of it!” Especially when it comes out in therapy – it is too easy to influence someone who is in therapy to “recall” such events. Perhaps if someone is deeply psychotic and it comes out under that type of therapy I might be inclined to believe it but I dont think she is psychotic. Just seems to be a convenience excuse for too many things that one does in adult life. Wonder what her mother and sister have to say about this.

    I also think that picture of her in the low cut dress is not very flattering. I would not have recognized her if you had not identified her.

  5. Isa says:

    It’s a terrible thing to go through as a child as well as an adult.
    In most cases of sexual abuse as a child the pattern is repeated when victims get older.

    I hope this book is liberating for her, so she can move on.

  6. brin says:

    Maybe writing it down is part of the healing process and also helps others who have had similar experiences.

  7. Diane says:

    Wow, she looks like hell. I feel for her if the abuse really happened, but with all the other celebs being so open about their abuse, her reasoning of helping others just bothers me.

  8. Lucy says:

    If this happened to her, then I have sympathy.

    However, bringing up “repressed memories” as a form of talk therapy is quite the black sheep on Psychology/Psychiatry. The problem is that a human’s memory is so fragmented and can be manipulated in many different ways.

    I don’t mean to rant or be an ass but I just wish people were more aware of mental health issues.

  9. Alice says:

    Are normal, well-adjusted people even allowed to be in Hollywood? I’m not trying to make light of her personal trauma if indeed it even happened (repressed memories being so controversial and all), but I’ve become so jaded to stories like this because it seems like every last actress in Hollywood has been raped, beaten, almost killed, molested, robbed at gunpoint, lived in poverty or been taken advantage of in some way. Now when I see stories like this I honestly just roll my eyes. Yet another ‘damaged flower’ in Hollywood.

  10. Tuatara says:

    I am interested to hear what the crazy mother has to say about this.

  11. islandwalker says:

    As an incest survivor, I have never believed that repressed memory crap. Sorry but I remembered everything and wished it was repressed. I am sick of celebrities playing the abuse card when it’s convenient. It is an insult to actual survivors.

    If she really is a sexual assault survovor, then I hope she gets the help she needs. I was in a groupd with other survivors and it probably saved my life after years of self abuse.

  12. Johnny Depp's Girl says:

    I actually do like her and I think she had some real trauma but like everyone else, there seemed to be ALOT of different instances but ALOT of different people. Can it all be true?

  13. Al says:

    Its horrible hearing about people who have been abused during childhood especially. But, repressed memories are bollocks. Most of us remember traumatic childhood experiences very clearly. Read some of the Auschwitz child survivor biographies,particularly the ones from the twins, there is no vague wishy washy, oh I remembered it when I was in therapy rubbish. In many respects what these kids went through, rape was the least of their problems. However dreadful that is to even think about, its the truth.
    Psychologists make money from having someone in the chair and if the patient is busy making up stories to explain away their crappy attitude in life; well…ka-ching.

  14. Barbara says:

    I believe every word she relates as to her childhood trauma. A lot of us women have kept our secrets close inside. I recently shared with my daughter all the times I was taken advantage of from the age of 5yrs on. It was not until I reached the age of 12 or 13 that I made sure no one got the chance. Unfortunately I became a woman with a cold heart to men deep down. From the age of 22 on I have lived on my own with my children. They are grown now and I live alone, but I am not unhappy with it. I trust myself to care for myself.

  15. Hautie says:

    “Sorry but I don’t buy the “repressed until you reminded me of it!” Especially when it comes out in therapy – it is too easy to influence someone who is in therapy to “recall” such events.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Unfortunately… I have to agree.

    And even with a traumatic childhood… does not justify the whole bizarro thing of the “mute stones”. Or the incredible unprofessional behavior that she is notorious for on every job.

    But I can see it now. Her and Momma on TV crying about it on a “Very Special Oprah”!

  16. Runs with Scissors says:

    No personal offense meant to any posters, but Jesus Christ, listen to some of these comments, now she’s “whoring” her own story out, and “her low-cut dress is not very flattering,” and people “don’t want to hear about it anymore” even though it’s admittedly devastating.

    Why do you think this shit happens ALL THE TIME? No one wants to deal with it, we’d rather blame the victim, tell her she’s whoring her story for attention, or lying about it just to feel special, or she’s delusional, or just a victim of an unscrupulous psychiatrist…. amnesia or partial amnesia in the face of psychological or physical trauma, especially in children, is well documented and very common.

    No wonder girls and women don’t come forward, even OTHER WOMEN attack them for it. Being molested or raped is not a COMPLIMENT ffs. I’m astounded that the reaction to this kind of news often sounds so angry and almost jealous.

    If you can’t count on other women to have your back and at least want to listen, who can you count on?

  17. Bill Hicks is God says:

    A memoir is not an autobiography. It doesn’t need to be accurate or anything in it true or proven. It’s a person’s own recollection. That could mean and be anything.

    Regardless, my intention isn’t to put down what she’s saying but take it with a grain of salt. I agree with the other poster Lucy and repressed memory. How much is actually revealing a repressed memory and how much of it is suggestion *edit* put there by the therapist?

  18. Violet says:

    I do like Ashley Judd and have often thought that some of her detractors have been intimidated by her. Maybe she doesn’t take any shit but I don’t buy that she’s a diva.

    I can’t possibly comment on repressed memories, I know they’re controversial and having been in therapy I also know that therapist can be really leading in that respect. I have often felt pushed to admit to some sexual trauma that has never happened. However I don’t rule out that people can repress memories of sexual abuse. I know that I personally have been triggered to remember bad things that I can’t believe I’ve forgotten and if it can happen about one thing it can surely happen about another. And just because one survivor remember everything and can’t forget doesn’t mean another will have the same experience.

  19. Violet says:

    hmm just realised I did comment on them. I guess i mean i can’t possibly discount their validity then.

  20. curmudgeon says:

    Oh Ashley,
    Good lord. I don’t dislike anyone enough to wish such things on them. But do we have to endure another book? Ten bucks its full of twenty dollar words. Just sayin’.

  21. MrsOdie2 says:

    I have mixed feelings about repressed memory syndrome. Why is it that she remembers the attack at 7, but the other stuff was “repressed”? Usually, according to my own reading about the subject, when traumatic things happen to people, they remember it in great detail, which is why so many abuse victims become drug and alcohol abusers. Because they WANT to forget.

  22. shockedandappalled says:

    I don’t think a horrible childhood and sexual abuse excuses her from behaving like a selfish, entitled, rude brat. I don’t even think it explains it. Rude is rude is rude. She is not a nice person.

  23. rachel says:

    All u women who post that you don’t want to hear about incest or sex abuse or rape or memories are full of it: you have no idea of the torture that women who have had such tramas go through and i think you need to make a critical evaluation of your ability to reason, because this is the type of thinking that has allowed incest and sex abuse to exist so pervasively; hidden and protected by women who are a disgrace to humanity; these women direct their disgust at the female victims when they should be holding the men who perpetrate these crimes accountable and the women who are their enablers.

  24. Anon says:

    Wow. I guess they call this “celebitchy” for a reason. I’m appalled at most of the comments here which are judgemental, trashing a rape and abuse survivor, particularly coming from women. Everyone has their story – maybe hers will help someone out there confront their own abuse. But it’s bitches like you that keep people down. @islandwalker, your experience as an “actual survivor” doesn’t define everyone else’s. You’re playing the “my story’s more important than yours” card. Not fair.

  25. rachel says:

    Repressed memories are not “bollocks” they are real and trust me, it doesn’t take a therapist to remember them- muscles hold memories – think about that one you traitors

  26. danielle says:

    Another poster asked how one person could be abused by so many people. The answer to that is abusers of all kinds, including sexually abusive people, look for vulnerable victims. This sounds like a young Ashley Judd to a T – not well supervised or cared for, then a young model in another country with self esteem issues. I believe she can be an unlikeable woman – I also believe all of this stuff happened to her. Abusers can scar their victims for so, so long. Sad.

  27. kazoo says:

    i agree, shockedandappalled.

    and rachel and anon, you have no idea what experiences anyone on here has had, so way to be hypocritical.

  28. Hmmm says:

    I’ve had two good friends who discovered in therapy that they had been sexually abused as children. These memories were finally corroborated by their respective siblings. I also can be skeptical because of some of the tactics used to elicit memories, but not wholly. There absolutely is trauma that can be repressed. I also prefer to believe rather than not, given the numbers of people who are not believed about any sort of abuse.

  29. bluhare says:

    Well, I don’t think women are “traitors” if they don’t believe everything Ashley says. I don’t know what I think about repressed memory either. I do know they can be repressed. My childhood has huge holes in it because I just don’t remember what happened. Abuse has been suggested, but I have no idea because I don’t want to go there. I’m fine; certainly have had my issues but I don’t think I want to open any box that I don’t know what’s inside.

    I understand Ashley has a happy marriage and I think she just got a degree from a prestigious university somewhere, so she’s not been wasting her time.

  30. Stubbylove says:

    I’ve always liked Ashley Judd – I think she’s a fantastic actress and is absolutely beautiful. I’m sad this happened to her. That being said, I don’t get why celebrities feel the need to air their dirty laundry – it seems like such a deeply personal matter – granted one doesn’t have to read/listen. Regardless, I hope she’s getting the help she needs and the bastards who abused her rot.

  31. california angel says:

    I think we should all stick together instead of try and bring eachother down because we have enough of that sh** in our lives to deal with already. (edited)

  32. Amanda says:

    Just read the Jason Patric interview– reminded me of this recent BI on Lainey’s site– about Ashley, right?

    http://www.blinditemsexposed.com/2011/03/lainey-who-would-want-to-work-with-this.html

  33. Gigi says:

    Ignoring the abuse stuff, she’s been out of the spotlight and not in movies because she went back to school to get a degree in political science, I believe. I think she’s been studying at Harvard.I heard her on “Wait, wait don’t tell me” last year talking about it.

  34. guesty says:

    Imo the repression theory is complete bullsh*t.

  35. Franny says:

    For those who ask why Hollywood seems to be filled with abused people…could it be acting and drama is an outlet for these people? Maybe victims are drawn to a world of make-believe, where they can leave their own identity behind and become someone else entirely. Just a thought…

  36. LindaR says:

    Repressed memory or not, if she was abused in any way that is awful.

    By the way, I have always wondered how someone as pretty and intelligent as Ashley and someone as butt-ugly and just-plain-stupid as her sister, Wynonna could have been squeezed out of the same vagina.

  37. MaudeLebowski says:

    I know just how she feels about reporting an attack and not being believed by your own parents. It’s like a punch in the guts. Who can you turn to, if not them?

    “I don’t get why celebrities feel the need to air their dirty laundry ”
    That implies she should be ashamed of the awful violence that happened to her. Like it’s in any way her fault?! That makes NO sense and is part of the damn problem with this society.

  38. clorismetchum says:

    little brat.
    i love her mama, and her sister, and i can’t believe she’d try to trash them like this. so what if naomi was having a train run on her in the room next to ashley’s? can moms not have sex anymore? sheesh. i’ve had my share of mattress dancing while my brats were in the next room…lord, in this day and age, i guess they’ll be writing some tell-all about how evil i was one day too…
    kids. ugh.
    i’ve never liked ashley. she’s always come off as arrogant and ungrateful. and i agree with a lot of the posters…i don’t believe a word of what’s she’s saying. she’s just desperate for attention, as usual.

  39. Ari says:

    Maybe this is why her act was so believable in Eye of the Beholder she played the CRAP out of that role.

  40. curmudgeon says:

    @Runswscis
    You are totally right. We women are often our own worst enemies. I am not particularly catty just for the sake of sharpening my claws. If anyone is feeling the need to communicate with me personally about something or someone, I am a really great listener. But I think once you decide to write a book about it, you have opened yourself up to skepticism. I actually don’t believe her or not believe her. I don’t really care. I unfortunately have met this silly woman so I tend to role my eyes at anything that comes out of her mouth. And I am just saying that this book is likely to be the most pretentious tell all you’ve ever read. Its gonna be full of five syllable words where a simpler one would do. And if it isnt and I’m wrong, if the book is heartfelt and well recieved, I will never write another catty word about AJ again.

  41. original kate says:

    wow – some of these comments could have been made by rush limbaugh. maybe ashley wants to help other women by sharing her story? maybe she is tired of keeping it secret and feeling ashamed, and bringing it to light will help her heal? why does that bother people? if you don’t want to read her story (as i don’t), that’s fine, but to trash her/question her integrity for being the victim of sexual assault is pretty nasty. christ, even i’m not that cynical.

  42. N.D. says:

    Sorry, but I don’t want to stick together with some unstable woman who imagined abusive childhood so that she could feel better about herself as adult and sell a book.

    And I actually like Judd as an actress.

    Still “repressed memories” are a very questionable concept. This kind of reaction to the trauma is possible but rather rare, and to have multiple instances of the same trauma actually lessens the probablilty and rather dramatically.

    So I’m not inclined to believe this without some other evidence. Yes, it’s a shitty situation for the real victims but it’s no less shitty for falsely accused (which happens as well).

  43. MrsOdie2 says:

    I am sad for her that she was raised by such irresponsible, selfish parents who failed to protect her and failed to BELIEVE her. That is almost a bigger violation than the molestation itself. Mama Judd has always struck me as a very selfish, narcissistic woman. Didn’t she announce like 30 years ago she was “dying” of hepatitis in 10 years? I guess she REALLY wanted out of The Judds, but didn’t know how to tell Winona.

  44. jj says:

    This book will be interesting to read just to see what she says about Naomi. I never believed the “goody two shoes” persona Naomi puts on. I read the book about Naomi and Winona’s rise to the top, and it is obvious there are several “holes” in the stories about Naomi where they obviously gloss over the truth about her actions. She abandoned one child (Ashley) while she paraded the other one (Winona) across the country doing one night shows in inappropriate venues. They try to make it seem as if she did it for Winona because she was a “troubled” child but Naomi has always been a fame whore and rode her child’s back to get it. This is the same woman that lied about Winona’s real father, claiming Winona and Ashley were fathered by the same man, when in fact they weren’t.

  45. rachel says:

    SEXUAL CHILD ABUSE & INCEST: IT IS ABOUT THE POWER AN ADULT WIELDS OVER A CHILD PHYSICALLY EMOTIONALLY AND MENTALLY. I CAN SAY IN ALL CONFIDENCE THAT THE POSTERS DERISIVE OF THE LEGITIMACY OF MEMORY ARE JUST AS GUILTY AS THE CHILD ABUSERS BECAUSE THEY HAVE BOUGHT THE LOAD OF CRAP THAT IS BRAINWASHING THE GENERAL PUBLIC INTO THINKING IT DOESN’T EXIST. A LARGE PART OF CHILD ABUSE IS THE ABUSER’S ENJOYMENT OF THE BRAINWASHING. YOU ARE ALL LIVING IN A BUBBLE OF DENIAL IF YOU DENY REPRESSED MEMORIES EXIST- I GUESS SOLDIERS DON’T HAVE REPRESSED MEMORIES EITHER, OR DOGS IN SHELTERS DON’T EITHER. WOMEN NEED TO STOP BEING THE INSTRUMENTS OF MEN’S MYSOGONY!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. sapphire says:

    @Rachel-so I guess you don’t believe that males can be sexually abused or that women can be abusers? Or that there are other reasons for airing these “repressed memories”? And that questioning veracity is not an insult or disparagement to the men and women who have survived such abuse?

  47. Lynne says:

    Runs with Scissors: I don’t agree, if you want to DO something about it you file a complaint and press charges. Don’t write a book about in the middle of your failing career hoping for attention from the media.

  48. Violet says:

    I find it odd that so many people think it more likely that Ashely Judd is just making it up than that a young girl was abused, something that happens everywhere, every day.

  49. Delta Juliet says:

    My goodness people can be so harsh on BOTH sides of the coin!

    I was the first one who said I was tired of these stories. Only because it seems like everyone has one (celebrities, I mean) and I think it cheapens the situation by making money off a book like that. I guess I’m not wording myself properly but hey–I’m a abuse survivor myself. It does change who you are. It does not define you. I don’t think it should be hidden, but I also don’t think you need to sing it from the rooftops. I can count on one hand how many people know about my situation.

    Ugh…I can’t think straight today…damn sinus infection!

  50. KateNonymous says:

    I have mixed feelings about “repressed memories.” Yes, it’s easy to suggest them to the person in therapy. But does that mean it never happens? I’m not so sure.

    We all pick and choose the stories we tell about and to ourselves, and over time we more strongly remember the events that support those stories.

    What’s the truth in Ashley Judd’s case? I have no idea.

  51. TQB says:

    I was always suspicious that her mother and her sister had so many issues with food, alcohol, men, and here’s Ashley, the pretty perfect one.

    I will say this for repressed memories: I have friends who are sisters. One remembers the abuse they suffered together (never forgot it), the other doesn’t and calls the first a liar. It happens.

    Edited to add: let’s be clear here – it’s only the incest she says was repressed – the other assaults she recounted without therapy. So are we arguing over to what degree she was abused? That’s pretty lame.

  52. Bill Hicks is God says:

    CAPS LOCK = not reading ya.

  53. Kloops says:

    I do believe that memories, if the abuse happens at a very early age can be forgotten or “repressed”. I’m leery of therapists who attempt to recover these memories because while some may be successful and legitimate, others may do more harm than good and be “planting” or leading vulnerable people to draw inaccurate conclusions.

    I don’t like Ashley Judd so I have no opinion on her motives for this book, a book I will not read.

  54. Lucy says:

    I think she has not been acting much because she is at Princeton doing her masters.

  55. JenJen says:

    I have always liked all the Judds. They have never made a secret of issues between the 3 of them. It seems like Ashley has jealousy issues which is understandable. Wynonna has issues with Naomi, too. I always respected Ashley for making her own career in acting and she is very good at. I thought in the movie I watched a long time ago, Ashley went to live with her father, I may be mistaken. At any rate, I do not agree with her publicly discussing Naomi’s private behavior, whether it was inappropriate or not. It is disrespectful to her mother.

  56. Marjalane says:

    Ashley Judd has always had kind of a sketchy relationship with the truth, and I think she still has issues with the mom hitting the road with Wynonna for all those years. I have a feeling some of this past abuse may be manufactured to sell books and get back in the spotlight. Just my opinion.

  57. Liana says:

    I am sad for her that she was raised by such irresponsible, selfish parents who failed to protect her and failed to BELIEVE her. That is almost a bigger violation than the molestation itself.
    * * * * * * *

    Absolutely. It’s horrible that she endured what she did and admirable that she came out the other side. Doesn’t mean I have to LIKE her, though. Doesn’t make me a bad person for not liking her. She’s a diva bitch and a nightmare on the set. I know firsthand.

  58. willynilly says:

    Kazoo: ‘Whoring out this info’, really??

    Memoirs are also very therapeautic for READERS, not just the authors. Additionally, I don’t remember 75% of my childhood – a coping mechanism for my father’s alcoholism. There is a very real possibility that I might remember one day with the guidance of a phycolgist but I am not pushing it. Nor am I wanting to, there is a reason it’s been burried.

  59. lulu says:

    Holy Sh*t! This has opened a can of worms.

    Anyways, tragic either way- If it is true or isn’t.
    There is definitely something off about their lives.
    I noticed Naomi said that “everybody has their truth and she respects Ashley’s”. WTF? Either it’s true or it isn’t.

    Winona married that last guy-Roach, who was caught with a minor. I’m not sure her book is necessary but I hope the proceeds go to something charitable.

  60. littlemissnaughty says:

    @ Runs with scissors: I agree. That’s exactly what I was thinking when I was going through the comments.

    If you don’t want to read any more of these “terrible stories” because you’d rather hear about the Kardashians being ridiculous, fine. Then don’t read her book. Jesus, repressed memories or denial, that’s not the point. These bitchy reactions are exactly the reason most women don’t want to talk about their experiences. I’m beginning to understand why. And file charges? Have you tried that? If not, please don’t give advice about things you don’t understand.

    Women’s rights my butt. And can someone tell me who “all these celebrities” are who are constantly talking about their experiences with abuse? I remember Teri Hatcher and that’s it.

  61. alexandra says:

    @Franny you hit it right on the head.

  62. Just Me says:

    @Runs with Scissors: Totally agree!
    ‘listen to some of these comments, now she’s “whoring” her own story out, and “her low-cut dress is not very flattering,” and people “don’t want to hear about it anymore” even though it’s admittedly devastating.’
    The responses of some boggle the mind!
    Judging her because you wouldn’t write about it doesn’t make any sense.
    In therapy you are encouraged to write things down and it becomes a release of oneself that just pours out.

    She was 5 years old! Good grief! This happened to a child of 5, not to the Ashley Judd you see today.
    She was a little girl shoved to the side by an ambitious mother who also took her sister away from her. Playing favorites, keeping one child close and leaving the other behind
    because ‘mommy, wanted it all’.

    Men in and out of her mother’s life.
    What’s not to believe? She isn’t now or wasn’t then deaf!

    While she may be a piece of work in her own right, she is a product of her mother’s upbringing and lack thereof.
    How would you fare after your mother and sister left you in the dust from 5 years on?
    She, as well as you and I, can freely tell our stories verbally, in print, on the web because that is our right.

    Good grief, have some semblance of compassion. Guaranteed on any give day of your life, an occasion will arise when you will need the benefit of the doubt!

    So it is . . .

  63. Krystin says:

    As someone who has repressed similar memories, I can tell you that it’s not “crap”, or what some of the other posters have described this as. Without going into specifics, I can tell you that abuse was brought to my attention by my sister, confirmed by my other sister, and further validated by otherwise unexplainable similarities in our personal lives. This is my first time posting on this website (as a regular reader), but to have people say that this doesn’t happen is rubbish. I do agree, however, that the recovery of these memories can do more harm than good. The brain represses memories for a reason, in my opinion. While the aftermath of such trauma can present itself constantly (in the form of daily panic attacks, in my case), I would much rather manage that than know the disturbing details of my past. As ignorant as that may sound to some.

  64. MaudeLebowski says:

    @N.D., just to sound big and brash you take a position and accuse her of making the whole thing up? You don’t even know her or the situation, so you know damn well that you are talking out of your arse.
    I’ll bet you think you are real tough and clever though. Oooh.

    “Sorry, but I don’t want to stick together with some unstable woman who imagined abusive childhood so that she could feel better about herself as adult and sell a book.”

  65. MaudeLebowski says:

    “I would much rather manage that than know the disturbing details of my past. As ignorant as that may sound to some.”

    It’s not ignorant at all, Krystin. I agree, the mind is trying to block things out for a reason. Protection and survival.

  66. Zelda says:

    I am continually saddened by the doubt sexual abuse stories receive when the statistics for sexual abuse are so horrifyingly high: http://www.sacha.ca/home.php?sec=17&sub=43 http://www.rainn.org/statistics
    http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/mythsampfacts2.php

    Saddened, but not amazed. I was victim of a rape, and told exactly two people, because I was ashamed that people might not believe me. Neither of those people were women. I knew my closest male friends weren’t going to question me or say “you shouldn’t have been ___”, and I feared this–almost expected it–from my female friends.
    Am I proud I felt this way? Hell no. But under emotional duress, this was my instinct, and it’s telling.

    Maybe women just want to believe it doesn’t happen as often as it does? I don’t know. But I find them frighteningly accusative on the topic.

  67. MaudeLebowski says:

    I’m so sorry Zelda. I wish all the best for you.

  68. danielle says:

    Zelda – so sorry to hear. I think it maybe makes women feel safer to think it doesn’t happen that often, or that it will not happen to me because “i’m smarter, safer, more cautious, etc. etc. – whatever reason – I am safe”

  69. kazoo says:

    yes, willynilly. this is something to be discussed in therapy, in women’s groups, at charities, or foundations. not to get your name in the news again and have people care about you again.

  70. Myra says:

    Cloris has to be a troll, right? I don’t get it.

  71. Delta Juliet says:

    @littlemissnaughty

    Teri Hatcher
    Meredith Baxter Burney
    Anne Heche
    Oprah Winfrey
    Mackenzie Phillips
    Christina Aguilera
    Fantasia
    Missy Elliot
    Fiona Apple
    Rosie Perez
    Fran Drescher
    Gabrielle Union
    Marylin Manson
    Mary J. Blige
    Pamela Anderson
    Queen Latifah
    Roseanne Arnold
    Sandra Dee
    Tori Amos
    Julie Andrews

    to name a few

  72. Sassy says:

    Hmmmm…Ash sounds likes she’s PO’d w/her mother, Naomi. Oh…and after ALL she experienced w/regards to sexual trauma @ the hands of others…in a FOREIGN COUNTRY (AFTER the aforementioned other sexual traumas) she accepts a “ride” from a UNKNOWN MAN in a foreign country?!? Does she reveal her IQ in this book?

    Maybe her book will help others…I don’t know. She’ll probably be perceived as “brave,” while outting her mother & what she “endured” from her…I think she shouldn’t put her family business in the streets…especially because she’s not estranged from them…they’re always talking about how much love they have for one another…maybe not after this book.

    I don’t like it when women try to play the victim role (& I’m a woman). She should have just gone through her therapy & if she felt compelled to write this crap all down….she should have done so & put the “therapeutic scribblings” in a safe, or better yet…burn ‘em.

  73. Zelda says:

    @Krystin: That doesn’t sound ignorant. That sounds practical. I get it. The hardest thing to remember after sexual assault is that it doesn’t define you. It is just a thing that happened to you. But some days it does feel like you ARE the attack(s). Maybe this will help a bit: I was a particular mess one day and apologised for being so “broken” to my partner, who immediately replied “Fuck that. You are not broken. There’s so much more to you than this.” If, for whatever reason, memories flood my head, I think of this instead.

    @danielle–Good observation. That makes a lot of sense.

    And thanks for the words of support, guys. But I’ll be okay–there’s so much more to me than this ;)

  74. MarenGermany says:

    @krystin and zelda
    i´m with you on that one. i have been through traumatic stuff concerning sexual-abuse, too. and repressed memories exist!! there is NO doubt about that, but my former psychologist once said (like you did)”the brain has a reason to forget”. it makes sense, you shouldnt violently bring back memories.

    the problem i´m having here with ashley judd: should she write it for the world to read? I get that some people might say:It shouldnt be a taboo, you should be able to talk about it. but on the other hand (and that is my opinion): it is too personal. it is way too personal for someone who is in the spotlight, whos face you know, whos work you know.

    I personally told four people in my life and rarly have been on internet-pages sharing a thought or two anonymously.
    if I were a celebrity, I would never let the public see this deep into my heart.

  75. JustBe says:

    CB, Thanks for posting this story.

    I have to admit that Celebitchy is one of my favorites sites to frequent on the web, but the comments from the “women” here on this forum saddened me to the point of no words.

    To combat the level of (what I can only assume is) ignorance being displayed by some of the “women” here on this site, I’m going to share something very personal.

    About 6 months ago, I was having a ‘come to jesus’ moment with Mr. JustBe about his recent selfish behavior. I explained to him my belief that in order to intentionally hurt another human being (in our case being inconsiderate, lying and selfish), you have to have some serious darkness within yourself, something that may be so repressed, you’re not even consciously aware of it. I was walking ahead of him as I continued talking and noticed that he was no longer walking beside me. When I turned around, he was on the ground, having what I can only describe as a severe panic/anxiety attack (something which [in 18 years]), I’ve never seen from him before. When he was able to talk, he divulged that when he was about 7 his mother took him with her to a house and left him alone while she went to do drugs. While alone, a man found him in that room and assaulted him. Mr. JustBe had never admitted this fact to anyone else and had spent most of his adult life trying desperately to suppress this incident.

    Over the next month or so, I got him books and he agreed to step into therapy at a crisis center to start the healing process.

    Recently, we sat down with his family to have a family discussion about the abusive and disruptive behavior of his mother. Mr. JustBe found the courage to openly tell his whole family about the details of the abuse that he suffered. There were 5 other people (excluding he and I) that were in that room when he opened himself to his family. His mother took the next 5 minutes to explain how his not telling her about the abuse made her feel. His sister only remarked that she felt that he had evolved into a bad person because he doesn’t spend more time with her (she’s damn near 30 y.o.).

    I was so completely disgusted with his family that night as I held him and this 39 y.o. man sobbed at the cold and uncaring response of the people that are supposed to love him the most in this world.

    I’m telling you non-believers just like I told his family that night. When someone opens themselves up about a painful tragedy that they endured (especially as a child and especially sexual abuse), the HUMAN response is to have empathy for the pain suffered. The crass response is to doubt the existence of the abuse or to question the behavior of the child when the abuse occurred or to question the motive of the adult who recalls the abuse.

    Even for the most selfish people, publicly admitting to sexual abuse (especially when it occurred when you were a child and especially multiple occurrences) is one of the hardest, most gut-wrenching experiences to endure. For the vast majority of children, they have no other coping mechanism to deal with severe trauma other than to suppress it and make every effort to forget about it. This suppression most often leads to a level of self-hate and extreme shame. When you’ve done enough growth to be able to get over your shame and share your pain with others, the worse thing that anybody could say to you, be them internet stranger or parent, is ‘I don’t believe you’. That shit hurts more than words can say.

    /rant

  76. Runs with Scissors says:

    @Zelda, I’m really sorry to hear that you were raped. I hope that you felt safe and protected enough to come forward and get support after enduring this crime.

    There is an incredibly high incidence for sexual assault (yes, just look at the list that Delta Julia has kindly provided us with) yet most of these incidents go unreported because of the very biases shown on this post.

    I never heard people attacking Oprah, saying that she must be lying just to get attention, etc. etc.

    Obviously, these incidents need to be discussed MORE not less. And in the most public, loudest way possible. It’s not airing “dirty laundry” if someone talks about having breast cancer, or surviving a natural disaster, why is it in this case? Because people love to blame the victim in these cases.

    Vulnerable girls are targeted because they’re vulnerable. And the more they are fucked with, the more vulnerable they become, it’s a vicious cycle. Being raped or sexually harassed is not a compliment, any more than being robbed is a compliment.

    As Flotus said above, “It is as though they want pity! Sorry, your cross to bare, not mine……”

    God forbid, that we would offer “pity” or understanding or empathy towards a child who has been violated sexually.

    Can you imagine this attitude if that same child had been beaten, or hit by a car, or was sick?

    What? You want me to feel sorry for you? It’s your cross the bear, not mine!

    Let’s hope that Flotus or anyone she/he loves never gets raped. They might want our “pity.” They might want us to believe them. They might want us to listen.

    Globally, at least one in three women and girls is beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime. (UN Commission on the Status of Women, 2/28/00)

    Look around your classrooms, offices and churches and do the goddamn math. It’s time to speak up, not shut up.

  77. tango says:

    Well I’m sorry that this happened to Ashley. It might go a long way towards explaining the behavior of Ashley, her sister and mother. Though it doesn’t justify it.

    I really think Ashley is a self-absorbed, judgemental twit but that doesn’t mean I can’t feel sympathy towards her for childhood abuse. It sounds like though Ashley still need to work out her issues.

  78. Krystin says:

    @Zelda, thank you, and I know exactly what you mean. My own mother has denied the possibility for years, and she just recently began to entertain the notion. She now attributes my agoraphobia and other issues to my past. And, while it’s likely that my various problems are a direct result to this abuse, it is much more important to work towards improving ones future than defining a person based on a given event. The number of people denying the occurrence of these things is appalling, and this misunderstanding of human coping, whether it be through writing a memoir or attending groups is extremely detrimental to the cause. Let Ashley Judd cope with her issues however she sees fit; if it’s therapeutic for her or anyone else who has experienced something like this, it isn’t up for anyone else to judge.

  79. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    Discounting the testimony about her ‘difficult’ personality (those stones do suggest a Kathleen Battle-level of craziness), and just getting off of the Repressed Memory Side Eye Trolley To Nowhere that addresses a small amount of the abuses discussed here, let’s look at the rest of the picture for a minute and assume that those allegations are true. With the glut of celebrity tell-alls and scandals that seemed to die out after the second week of Vintage Hollywood Scandal Mondays, it may come off as a play to increase a Q-rating, perhaps come off as disingenuous or raise the profile of a flagging career, but so what? Personal dislike of a person or celebrity memoirs doesn’t dictate her life history or belittle the traumas that others have endured. If she wants to write a book about it, so what? Are we all so possessive of our own struggles that pretenders to the throne have to go through a lengthy application and interview process to be deemed worthy of being granted Gold Status Membership at the I Had It Worse Than Anyone Club? I’m trying to sound crass or unsympathetic, God knows the adults in my childhood made things very, very difficult for me and those cases when I wasn’t believed it was devastating.

    Abusers are liars and they have a lot of practice at pulling out the long, slow and insidious con, or fleeing faster than a forest fire when it’s time to show him/herself. You had better believe that they’re good at making reasonable adults with even the best of intentions look gullible and outright stupid. You go through life thinking that adulthood is this hallowed land of milk and honey because at every difficult moment, no matter large or small the crises, someone who cares assures you that it won’t always be this way, that when you grow up your testimony is more credible and that life experience teaches you how to cope, to steel yourself from the full force of external dangers, that the law of cause and effect will rule your life and that if you make good choices your life will bear some mark of that. Aren’t adults the wiser version of children?

    I’m not playing Ashley Judd Crusader, I don’t have any interest in her personal or professional life and I’ve heard way too much strange stuff about her to want to be taken under her wing, or anything. If this happened, we don’t get to take it away from her and while the world doesn’t need any of the salacious tell-alls that are published, it doesn’t actively offend me to see her write one. And to be honest, if she wants to write this and get a few bucks out of it, let her. It does us no harm and she’s not the one who actually sexually assaulted anyone.

    You want to know what’s jarring? When every Tom Dick or Xenu explodes with overwhelming sympathy for whatever overpaid and entitled abortion of dignity has sucked, blew, smashed and slurred through the weekend–because he’s obviously bi-polar, right? Oh, the poor little slag dropped her favourite crack pipe: telethon time! He had to beat her up, once his gums started tingling the ghost that haunts the Pompideau Centre MADE him do it. Well, of course if you’re a member of the general public it will be far easier for you to take your health seriously, everything’s easier for them because they’ve got nothing! Hands Across Amsterdam, Hos! Nevermind that a lot of that behaviour doesn’t reflect mental illness as much as it does ‘jack-ass-ness’, as long as every unqualified armchair psychiatrist spontaneously decides that adults with every resource available should be granted a Victoria Cross because he terrorized the civilians with meth-tinged relish. All of the worst crimes of humanity get the mental illness gaberdine based on nothing more than a Sunday afternoon spent watching The Snake Pit, so me, a confirmed BP-1 with MDD was immediately that thing to be feared and loathed by people who have known me for a decade or longer without incident gets to have her social life obliterated with lithium jokes and unread letters for a chemical imbalance that wasn’t self-administered, but some piece of shit like Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen are ‘Poor Sick Pookies’ because they treat the world their own personal trash bags. No one’s perfect, but that is just a little too much for me. I don’t know their medical histories, but from experience, being a jerk is what makes you a jerk, mental illness doesn’t explain all your shittiness away. Although if they truly do have sickness, I’ll sound like an even huger bitch.

    I don’t think that bothers me much.

  80. TQB says:

    @JustBe, thank you for sharing. Some people are born to kind, caring families, some find that support in a mate. He has you. That works.

    Who are we to judge from what an abuse survivor gains strength? For every one of you griping that Judd only wrote the book to get notoriety or money, there’s a person out there who will read it and feel a little less alone, isolated and damaged.

  81. devilgirl says:

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion of this story.

  82. Zelda says:

    @justBe:
    My God–my sympathies to your Mister. What a bunch of assholes.

    @Jo Mamma:
    “Are we all so possessive of our own struggles that pretenders to the throne have to go through a lengthy application and interview process to be deemed worthy of being granted Gold Status Membership at the I Had It Worse Than Anyone Club? ”
    Very nicely written.

    @runs with scissors:
    “Obviously, these incidents need to be discussed MORE not less. And in the most public, loudest way possible. It’s not airing “dirty laundry” if someone talks about having breast cancer, or surviving a natural disaster, why is it in this case? Because people love to blame the victim in these cases”

    Very interesting point. Never thought of it. Shame really is encouraged.

    But wait? How could I say that when we have the enlightened advice of:

    @Sassy:
    “Oh…and after ALL she experienced w/regards to sexual trauma @ the hands of others…in a FOREIGN COUNTRY (AFTER the aforementioned other sexual traumas) she accepts a “ride” from a UNKNOWN MAN in a foreign country?!? Does she reveal her IQ in this book?”

    I’ve had to edit my statement about 5 times, since I thought the levels of cuntitude I was accusing you of might be too high for moderation. Really, why should I insult you? You are so much smarter and better than all the other stupider, sluttier, more deserving victims of sexual abuse.

    Sexual assault: not an issue if you are good enough!

    Sassy: I truly, genuinely hope that life continues to offer you the luxury of accepting that delusion. The alternative–the circumstances in which it is broken– is not something I would wish on even you.

  83. TG says:

    @kazoo – You forgot to mention “bullied”. Celebs love to claim they were bullied as kids. I would like to know who wasn’t? I hate bullies and think there should be help for it but, unfortunatley, many people have to deal with it while growing up.

  84. curmudgeon says:

    I am trying to imagine having the time or arrogance to write a blog in the comments on somebody elses blog. Just start your own blog. Maybe you can get Ashley to do an interview with ya. Be sure and bring your dictionary and some aspirin.

  85. Kim says:

    Considering repressed memories have been proven by MANY medical doctors, psychiatrists, etc. alot of you posting here are crackheads who dont have a clue what you are talking about.

  86. Jennifer Leigh says:

    @ Runs with scissors–YES, I agree with you wholeheartedly!! I am sick and tired of people blaming the victims, not believing victims, etc. It just FEEDS the cycle of abuse!

    @cloris whoever you are–your comment was disgusting. Who cares if her mother was getting a train run on her in the next room? Um, child protective services would, honey. That is wildly inappropriate and it does harm to children being forced to listen to their parent’s sexual escapades. I would NEVER expose my children to sex noises especially coming from a man they don’t even know. That is just disgusting. I feel bad for your children.

  87. littlemissnaughty says:

    @ Delta Juliet: Wow, see, I never even heard that most of these women were abused (I don’t know all of them to be honest). So, how “loud” could they have been? And were they all attacked like this? I’m really curious because I have no idea.

    @ Sassy: So it’s her own fault because she was a dumb teenager who made a bad call about getting a ride from a stranger? Really??? Do you want to be judged on the bad decisions you made as a teenager? I don’t but maybe you were just that much smarter than Ashley Judd. And what’s with the “foreign country” in caps? Like this can’t happen in your home country?

    I have to say, the lack of compassion some posters exhibit is disgusting. Let’s pray this never happens to you, your daughters/sons or anyone you love because I promise you, you would need some compassion yourself. And Karma is a bitch.

  88. Liana says:

    How would you fare after your mother and sister left you in the dust from 5 years on?
    * * * * * *

    My birth vessel did. Drugs (and subsequently hooking to pay for them) were more important than I was. I remember pretty much everything that happened to me growing up, up to and including finding my birth vessel dead on the floor when I was still a kid. But it’s my story, to tell or not tell as I wish. Just like whatever happened to Ms Judd is her story, to be told or not told as she wishes. I’m just lucky I came out of it all with a phenomenal family and a husband who adores me unconditionally.

  89. Bella says:

    I’m sorry to anyone who has gone through anything tramatic, but it doesn’t give you the excuse of bad manners and poor behavior.

    No matter what has happened in someone’s life you have to own your own shit… good, bad or indifferent.

  90. Alix says:

    Perhaps we can reach consensus on another point altogether — what the hell has she done to her face???

  91. My2Lincolns says:

    I have never been a huge fan of Ashley,watching Sister’s she freaked me out. She is a good actress however. But I must say…I am from Eastern Kentucky also, like Ashley. And, finally, after reading the excerpt from her book, I now, finally understand her. Please inform yourselves on the travesty of the sexual abuse that continues to thrive in that reagion, and I challenge you to get involved.

  92. Helene says:

    My represed memories surfaced while driving after a night of partying. I knew some of things that had happened to me during my younger years, but not why I was so sure I was “unworthy”. It did efect every relationship after without me knowing. I was date-raped in my teens, probably due to the deep, ingrained fear I had of males, and the way my mother chose to hand me out whenever she needed something. I was her sob story and her mealticket, and it caused confusion and repressed memories for a long time. No therapist brought them out. No one knew, until I had dealt with the excruciatingly winded and torn feelings that surfaced. It is real, and sometimes we keep the easiest of the bad things surfaced so we can explain away our issues, without having to go too deep. When I was ready, I found ways to deal without having to pay anyone, and I found my own inner strength to carry myself and help others when needed.

    I hear you, Ashley, when people choose not to believe or think there are alterior motives. You have to fight even more for those who are afraid. Keep up your charity work, and help the other women in the world who need it more then we do. If I could, I would be right there with you.

  93. mara says:

    I can understand talking about it with your phychoanalyst or your loved ones, but with the “Whole World”? This is just an attempt to use her celebrity to make money. She appears to be blaming everyone of sexual inappropriateness. 1. her mother 2. the older man 3. the relative 4. one of bosses 5. the male model 6. the french man.etc, etc, etc This is absurd!

  94. Moops says:

    Argh! Why is it that if you critically analyze a person’s claims of rape or incest, you are deemed to be victim-blaming or perpetuating the abuse?! Last time I checked, Ashley isn’t a child coming to us for protection from her abuser(s) – she is a fully grown adult who is selling her written memories after a long career dry spell. We would all be fools not to wonder about her veracity.
    Moreover, she claims to have recovered (at least some of) these memories in therapy. Recovered memories are a highly contested concept in psychology, and scientific studies seriously question their validity. (See the detailed studies conducted by McNally & Clancy at Harvard, published in 1999). She has never before mentioned her sexual abuse (the stuff she didn’t repress) – not at any of the numerous women/feminist charity functions she leads, where such revelations would have been relevant and even inspiring as a survivor story. And, as anyone who follows her knows, she has unresolved issues with Naomi and likes to stick it to her publicly whenever she can.

    In short, here are all the reasons someone could doubt Ashley:
    1) She didn’t disclose this stuff when she remembered it 5 years ago, or at a venue where it could help or inspire women. In fact, 5 years ago she talked incessantly about her therapy and voluntary psychiatric commitment, but claimed it was to help her get over her perfectionism.
    2) She only discussed her abuse in a memoir released in order to revive a sagging career (the proceeds of which aren’t even benefitting any charity)
    3) Recovered memories are scientifically suspect. See above.
    4) Ashley loves to trash her mother (not that I can blame her), and nothing says “bad mother” like failing to protect one’s child from or failing to believe a child’s account of sexual abuse.

    And here are all the reasons to believe Ashley:
    1) She’s a woman and claims to be an abuse survivor! What kind of woman ARE you if you doubt her!!!!!!!

    Utter rubbish.

    Of course, what do I know. I’m just an Ashley hater.

  95. TG says:

    @My2Lincolns – I am from that region too and I just now read her excerpt and realize that could be my 10 yr old niece talking. Her mom has loud sex in the next room without a proper door and the parents fight nasty all the time. I am more familiar with incest from that area rather than strangers but I believe you

  96. GradStudentEatingHotPockets says:

    I offer my deepest sympathies for every person, including Ashley Judd, who has suffered from a traumatic event(s). It is incredible to read the resilience of people and I am in awe that you guys are survivors and so strong!

    I’m in grad school for psych. We’re taught that repressed memories do exist- normally this is called dissociative amnesia (you can’t remember periods of time before, during, and/or after a very traumatic event, depending on the type of amnesia). The amnesia can last for any length of time. Some people never remember, some people do.

    The controversy isn’t the existence of repressed memories, it is how they are retrieved. There were some pretty shady things that happened in the 60′s and 70′s where psychologists and psychiatrists were “planting” memories in people. I have NO idea about how these memories were uncovered during therapy, so I can’t comment on that.

    Just wanted to give you guys a little info about this jazz from a person that practices/studies this does evveerrryyy day in school.

  97. curmudgeon says:

    I was going to ad one more thing to this conversation, but I’m not. Its enough already. Peace to everyone and sorry for your troubles. Seriously.

  98. kb says:

    i don’t know or care about ashley judd but it is sad to see so many strangers judging someone else’s experiences and mental anguish in such a way. i always try to be compassionate. put yourself in the other person’s shoe and remember that not everyone experiences and reacts to those experiences in the same way.

    when i was a child i was molested by a cousin. i didn’t remember until i was a teenager. no therapist helped me uncover this memory. it started as me remembering parts of the vacation this occurred during. then i’d remember a little more and then a little more. when i was 19 i was living out of state from my parents with my 25 year old boyfriend. he introduced me to coke and heavy drinking and partying. one night while he was out of town, our roommate’s boyfriend was leaving out of frustration that she wouldn’t sleep with him and proceeded to enter my room and rape me while i was blacked out. i came to during and fought him off. i felt i deserved it from my careless decisions and told no one. then years later i was raped on halloween by a friend who left me crying to be discovered by my best friend.

    so yes, different sexual abuses can occur to one person in their life. and no, not all are suppressed but some can be. especially when it happened to a child. you guys need to be a little more compassionate.

  99. Chris says:

    @72: Roseanne actually retracted her accusation about incest.

    “On February 14, 2011, Barr and Geraldine appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show where Barr admitted that the word “incest” could have been the wrong word to use and should have waited until her therapy was over before revealing the “darkest time” in her life.[44] She told Oprah, “I was in a very unhappy relationship and I was prescribed numerous psychiatric drugs… to deal with the fact that I had some mental illness… I totally lost touch with reality… (and) I didn’t know what the truth was… I just wanted to drop a bomb on my family”.

    So it just goes to show that people who are mentally unwell can convince themselves that things happened in order to make sense of why they’re so messed up. My advice to anyone suffering from mental illness would be to go and get a psychiatric assessment instead of drawing their own conclusions or attending therapy.

  100. KCT says:

    IF it’s true, then I’m sorry for her. But so many celebrities have come forward with the same kind of stories through the years. It’s just hard to believe when so many famous people pull this type of thing out of their hat years later. She’s famous in her own right for her acting as well as charity work so I would think she wouldn’t need it for the publicity, so it’s curious to me why she would want to open this can of worms.

  101. momof4 says:

    The things that most of you have written here you should take a look in the mirror. I hope Ashley’s book helps some people out there. Whether or not you want to believe her well that is your opinion (and you know what they say about opinions) I am personally happy about this book and will buy it and sure I will become more of a fan.
    You women who are downing her and more or less saying she deserved what she got, well I pray that you never go through anything remotely similar, or that your children don’t either! This is what is wrong with the world today, if something bad happens to someone, its their fault, and the asshole who does it to them well, lets stick up for the criminals. pathetic! People need to get their heads on straight!!

  102. LittleDeadGirl says:

    I don’t think anyone here was saying you should be ashamed of having undergone abuse. I think what people are saying is that they don’t understand these kind of tell all books. I myself, having undergone abuse, took a very long time and I only told specifics to a few friends. It’s not that I was ashamed but it was painful and I didn’t want to talk about it. I encourage others to talk to friends and family and every write their story down, it is cathartic, but to publish is, well it’s not something I understand, I’m not saying it’s wrong, to each his own, but I just don’t get the need to share something like that with the whole world. Maybe it does help other women, I’ve never been helped by these kind of books, I don’t get how it’s supposed to make me feel better that someone else went through terrible shit too.

  103. crumbcake says:

    In my opinion, nothing is more devastating to a victim of sexual abuse to have people doubt or blame them. It’s not for me to judge Ashley Judd’s painful experiences from her youth as far as whether or not they are true and valid.
    If she wants to write a g-damned book about it and you don’t “like” or “approve” of it, then don’t freaking read it–it’s that simple. Some people might get strength from her story as it relates to their own tormented childhoods and maybe it will help them seek help for themselves.
    I was truly disgusted reading some of these comments. . . my mistaken believe that misogynists can never be women. . how disappointing.

  104. MorticiansDoItDeader says:

    @krystin @zelda @Justbe, and others. thank you for sharing your stories. I was sexually abused as a child and only recently revealed it to loved ones. For me, the guilt and shame associated with the abuse was lessened via sharing my experiences and listening to those of other sexual abuse survivors.

    @TQB,@Runswithscissors,and @crumbcake, your kind words and support are appreciated.

    As for some of the negative comments, I’m shocked and saddened by those who choose to believe that Ms Judd would manufacture these “stories” for attention. Only a truly sick person would do such a thing. It takes true courage to reveal such painful experiences.

  105. Catherine says:

    I always wonder why celebrities need to come out and tell everyone about how they were sexually abused, are/were addicts to whatever substance and all of their insane personal details. Maybe like another fellow commenter said, maybe this will help her heal.

  106. MarenGermany says:

    wow wow wow.

    do you guys know, how many people on this board confessed today to being sexually abused?

    i feel kinda overwhelmed. (a couple of hours ago i confessed either)

    gives me a strong feeling for most of you guys.
    we always bla bla and chit chat but topics like these go straight to the heart.

    @kaiser and cb
    you really achieved your goal of making a friendly, welcoming site where people can discuss in a lighthearted safe environment without fear of harassment, excessive negativity or bullying.

    thank you for doing this the way you do!

  107. Isa says:

    I have a difficult time believing her. You can yell at me all you want.
    Just because sexual abuse happens all the time doesn’t mean that someone can’t lie about it or be led to believe it happened to them.

  108. tmbg says:

    I imagine she didn’t have a great childhood and the opportunity for a family member or friend to take advantage of her was there due to lack of supervision.

    This book (and other celebrity books) might help someone out there who has had the same experience. They might be feeling alone, and reading it might encourage them to speak out, so I don’t think this is a bad thing.

    It had to hurt growing up with a mother and sister who were always on the road. I’d feel so left out and lonely.

  109. foozy says:

    OMG! what happened to her was horrible!!!

  110. Crash2GO2 says:

    @JustBe: Your post just about ripped my heart out. Best wishes to you and your dh.

  111. Ron says:

    I can see how people would think that repressed memories are bullshit. I was raised in a highly abusive home with my sister. My sister, quite honestly, does not remember half of the history of our childhood. She has called me, on numerous occasions and asked me if things that came back to her, in therapy among other things, are true. I have never forgotten a thing and, quite honestly, I wish I could. This abuse lives in my mind, I have gotten past most of it, but it truly shapes who you are for the rest of your life.

  112. eternalcanadian says:

    Wow, can’t believe some of the comments here saying negative things about Ashley and even Celebitchy saying “I’m not a firm believer in suppressed memories” and “I question why she’s coming out with a memoir though.”

    I can tell you as someone that has personal problems arising from school, family, friends, etc., that I feel so alone sometimes I wish I could block everything out. A child’s mind is truly remarkable and if trauma happens the child’s brain can block things until suddenly a trigger happens. That’s what psychotherapy is about. They really know techniques how to unblock memories that have been buried in the brain for years and years.

    I find it really helpful to read stuff like this and be comforted somehow other people have gone through what I have or I can learn from their experiences so my personal problems don’t overwhelm me.

    Also being a celebrity and writing about such things really lifts the curtain on what used to be taboo. The more people write about their experiences, the more celebrities admit to personal problems, the better as things like this are public and we are writing on this website about our own experiences or whatever. Because it really does help people in some way. :)

    So maybe the time was just right for Ashley to write this book. She wasn’t ready before, but she is now and we should all applaud her courage for giving us an inside look at what happened and perhaps we can learn from what she went through or be encouraged we are not alone. :)

  113. Stephen says:

    I am ABSOLUTELY APPALLED at how many women on this site are so cruel, insensitive, and lack compassion for a fellow woman. And, I’m a MAN!! We are talking about a human-being here not some random inanimate object…YOU ALL SHOULD BE APPALLED and ASHAMED!!!
    Sexual abuse is horrible and as a father of two, your comments are truly offensive! May your cold hearts melt someday and may God forgive your insensitive, callousness towards one of his children.

  114. helen says:

    Who knows if she’s telling the truth or not? People have been known to make things up for sympathy and attention. But regardless. We can’t know. She doesn’t have a history as a liar as far as I’m aware, so there is no real reason to doubt her word. And I think she should write about it and tell as many people as possible because maybe if we all stop being shamed and ignored and disbelieved as victims of abuse, maybe someday people will wake up to the fact that it happens ALL THE TIME and is not unusual, and it is not the victims fault. People are in denial about it, and they need to wake up. And the more people who come forward and are open about it the better. I’m sick of it being a secret and not being able to tell anyone because they think you are “damaged goods” or unbalanced after they hear. Secrecy and shame and silence is what enables abusers to abuse, and in doing so, often create new abusers who perpetuate the cycle.

    that is all.

  115. Maddie says:

    I was abused as a child (emotional and physical) by my older sister.

    I can barely remember anything from my childhood. Just thing like playing outside with my sister and friends.

    I remember her punching me in the stomach and locking me in my mother’s closet, the closet door was hard to open and for a small child who was afraid of the dark, there was no light in there, it seems like ages before they got the door open.

    Other things I can’t recall or don’t want to remember.

    I really don’t understand some of the comment from the posters who seem like they take the stance of “well what was she wearing” the oldest line of blaming the victim.

    I do recall a story of how that Aussie serial killer was catching his victims with the pretense of being a famous photographer and luring them to their deaths.

  116. patty says:

    I always thought she was so pretty – her plastic surgery is awful. So what about the abuse – get over it and move on. I am a survivor and partake in Al anon a 12 step program. There is a place for people to talk about their shit without publizing it. It is all about attraction not promotion. Airing dirty laundry in the public eye is selfish and hurts a lot of people and breaks their anonmyity. There are so many other alternatives to handle your biz lady!

  117. Hakura says:

    I’m always torn when something like this comes up. But if i stand back & look before making judgment… Well. I’d rather run the risk of believing someone who’s lying about being abused… than to doubt a single person who actually *WAS* abused.

    I’m not sharing my own experince in any attempt to claim understanding of what she went through, only to show that things you tried to forget about happening do resurface sometimes. I was *very* lucky…

    I was about 5 years old, in a department store while my mom shopped. I was bored to death, so when she wasn’t watching, I wandered away, to a section right next to the outside door. Out of nowhere, a man swooped in & grabbed me, throwing me over his shoulder like something heavy. He started for the door. I’ll never forget that feeling of sick dread, there’s *nothing* like it. Even at 5 years old, I think I subconsciously knew I’d die if he took me.

    Long story short, the placement of the customer service desk saved my life… as he had to run past it with me to get out the door into the parking lot. A woman at the CS desk seemed to realize something was off, & that I wasn’t just a child having a hissy fit at their parent. She yelled out, & he panicked, dropping me hard & taking off. Everything after that is fuzzy, I was absolutely hysterical, couldn’t breathe.

    Understandably… this has majorly affected me, & the way I view the world. It was years & years before I’d allow my mom to leave me home alone, or even to walk away from me in public. I was terrified of being by myself or losing her. & It wasn’t until early highschool that that memory actually resurfaced after all those years. I hadn’t remembered it at all until then, but my behaviors made sense as a result.

  118. Delta Juliet says:

    I hate to add more to this. I just want to clarify. I certainly wasn’t being cold-hearted or whatever to her. As someone who went thru several instances of sexual assault, I totally feel sympathy towards her…expecially the childhood stuff. It’s horrible no matter what…but especially towards a child.
    I was just stating that I don’t understand the need or desire to write a book about it. That is all.

    **my sypathies to ALL the posters on here who have been victims. it sucks**

  119. Delta Juliet says:

    @Hakura

    Your story has me covered in goosebumps. As a mom of two small boys, that is my SINGLE GREATEST FEAR.

    Thank God for that CS woman…so many people don’t want to get involved.

  120. Zelda says:

    @Hakura/Delta Juliet

    A lighter-hearted story about getting involved:

    My partner and I were in London at the time, and came across a man paying an awful lot of attention to a boy of about 5 in a park. They were between the corner of a building and a bush, and the man was speaking to the boy very intensely, while the boy looked had an odd look of fear and uncertainty on his face. We decided we couldn’t just let it go and headed over.

    “Is everything okay here?” we asked . Then looking at the boy we said “Just saw you talking and wondered if you needed anything, or directions or something.”

    The boy bursts out into sobs wailing “I told you daddy! I told you we’d get in trouble! You should’ve let me pee in Mac Donald’s!”
    Poor kid. The dad was somewhere around mortified, the kid was terrified that we were the pee police. When we explained to the dad he was actually very nice about it, appreciative that we had inquired, but rather embarrassed, nonetheless.

    It turned out a funny story for us, but I think that kid’s got a year or two of pee-shyness ahead of him.

  121. original kate says:

    “she accepts a “ride” from a UNKNOWN MAN in a foreign country?!?”

    @ sassy: read and learn: a woman accepting a ride from a strange man is a risky thing, but it does not entitle that man to put his hands on her. she is accepting a ride, not asking for sex. just like wearing a short skirt, being drunk, or going to a man’s apartment does not equal her unspoken consent for intercourse.

    there…see how easy that was?

  122. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    @Hakura: Holy crow, that’s scary! That CS woman is a hero. Also regarding your first paragraph, I was about to say the same thing. In cases like that, I don’t care if I come looking gullible or reactionary. Your response to a revelation like that is based on calculated risk either way if you don’t have hard evidenced, so if the person in question has lied, it says everything about that person and nothing about me. I don’t relish the idea of getting stuff wrong or being duped, but I get crap wrong all of the time and no one’s dead yet. When the situation is as serious as this, I’ll leave half-measures in the bakery and manage whatever happens next.

  123. Catherine says:

    I was with @Stephen there until he had to bring God into it. Where was God when she was raped and abused? Doubt he will save the heartless commenters on here either.

  124. Delta Juliet says:

    @ Zelda

    Thanks for the laugh! I can imagine having that conversation with my own darling child ;)

    And good for you for checking, just in case!

  125. Hakura says:

    @Delta Juliet“@Hakura – Your story has me covered in goosebumps. As a mom of two small boys, that is my SINGLE GREATEST FEAR. Thank God for that CS woman…so many people don’t want to get involved.”

    I’m not sure what it was that caused her to realize something was very wrong. Maybe it was my saying ‘help me’… Since that’s not ‘normal’ for a child to say when they’re just upset with their parents. But the man was also quick to panic at the first sign of being noticed. This leads me to believe he was very inexperienced (that may have even been his very first attempt at abducting someone.)

    I think about that every time we’re at the mall, & I see small children start to wander away while the mother is distracted. I ALWAYS go over & bring it to the mom’s attention, I just can’t stand by & think ‘Oh, she’ll notice in a second, they couldn’t have gotten too far so fast.’ But that’s so wrong. I’m ALL for those backpack/leashes that are popular now.

    @Zelda – Awww, the poor kid! That’s really sweet though. I don’t know a single parent who would be offended by someone trying to make sure their child was safe. Like Delta mentioned, so many people don’t want to get involved, but the children are the ones who pay the consequences for that.

    @Jo ‘Mama’ Besser – She really is a hero. To this day I wish I had gotten her name… She truly prevented me from an unspeakable fate. I was BEYOND fortunate, something I dont take for granted, ever. I can’t remember what the man looked like at all… I don’t even think I ever saw his face (since he threw me over his shoulder). That’s the only thing I would want different… so he could’ve been identified.

    Yes, It’d be FAR worse to doubt someone who is telling the truth, it’d be like being victimized all over again for no one to believe you.

  126. Acemeister says:

    Lots of opinion here – but my evil ex-wife abducted my two year old daughter then a couple of months later, in the early divorce proceedings, accused me of sexual abuse. Total unmitigated lies – but the bleeding heart justice system echoes what a poster put up here – better to tolerate lies than let a single child be at risk. A decade and a half later, I still pay child support but have never seen my daughter. I bet the odds of her coming up with a “repressed memory” at some point are pretty good – she’s been brainwashed for many many years by her mother. Now THAT’s abuse – having a girl go through her whole life believing she was abused – when she never was. I detest those who would abuse any child – but the folks who spout up should give equal weight to the likelihood that repressed memories are more likely to be planted, than dredged up and remembered – particularly for really young kids.

    Reality.

  127. Newbie says:

    Heard about this thread and I know, I know, I’m late. But I can’t help but comment.
    To all those saying that repressed memories are “bullshit”:
    They ARE NOT. I understand that some people are led to believe certain things by the fault (or mistake) of the therapist. My mother’s sister swears that they were all abused by my grandfather as children. Out of 6 kids, she’s the only one who remembers it. Having grown up around my grandfather, I don’t want to be rude to my aunt, but I don’t know that I believe her. Some of the other children have listened and honestly tried to find out if there was truth to it. There doesn’t seem to be any, and my grandfather has been broken-hearted and unnecessarily apologetic for years. My aunt has had many, many emotional and mental problems and I have true sympathy for her, as I’m sure that any kind of abuse, if it’s truly believed and felt, is still traumatic. The mind is too powerful. I’m a very open person, and if there were ever an inkling of truth to this, I’d more than consider it. To sum up, I understand why it’s controversial…
    BUT…I myself have repressed certain things that were too painful to deal with. As a young teen, I saw some crazy stuff that led me to believe that my father was having an affair. I wanted to talk to someone about it, but I just couldn’t. I have a vague memory of beginning a conversation with my mom. I was so young, and terrified about how to start. I didn’t get very far before she gave me a weird look, and even though I was just a kid, I knew that the hurt she would feel, and the pain we would all go through was just too much. I never spoke about it again. And I swear to you, I forgot/repressed it. Fast forward to my adult life when I was about to get married. I was driving with my fiance and suddenly realized why I was so scared to get married. I remembered. I knew then why I felt like no one would ever be true to me, and why I felt like it would be easier to BE the other woman and to be a whore than it would be to be a wife. Because as a trusting wife, I would always have to live with the reality that I could be cheated on. Sidenote: perhaps that’s why I cannot STAND cheaters and the women who are stupid enough to think “oh, I know he slept with me while he was still married, but he’d never do that to me. I’m better than that”. Riiiiigghhht.
    I had to drive to my parents house that night and have a sit down right then and there. I couldn’t get married without knowing that it’s possible to be happy/committed/faithful throughout a lifetime, which is what you commit to when you give your vows. And my parents (other than that incident) had always been an upstanding example that way. It took more guts than anything I’ve ever done, but I pulled my father aside and asked him about it. I told him I wouldn’t hate him if it were true, and that I’d try to be understanding, but that I just couldn’t get married myself if the one example of marriage I had growing up was a total farce. The talk we had pretty much defines my adult relationship with him. I respect him more than anything because he was honest with me. Long story short, he didn’t cheat but explained to me what I had seen that day. He also told me that I was brave to ask him about it and that he respected me for my honesty and my willingness to know the truth.
    I’m sorry for the sappy story that I’m sure none of you will read this late in the game. But there’s truth to some repressed memories.
    As a woman, I’m sad that some of you are so neglectful towards people who are abused. You can’t prove she was or wasn’t, and if it’s just a plea for attention, than how sad is she? Does she not deserve someone to care about her story? That’s all that really matters at the end of the day. I understand that some of you are questioning the timing of this book in regard to her waning fame. Sure. But I don’t see what hurt it would bring to have some sympathy and choose to believe her. If she’s the type to make this sort of thing up, then she needs far more help than we can give her anyway. She may be looking for some pats on the back…so…why don’t we just do the right thing and give it to her? If we judge her when these things really happened, imagine the karma coming our way?
    Finally, I have no qualms about people wanting to write a book about it. It helps people to hear it. It helps anonymous victims. I was sexually abused for over a year by a 60 year-old man who owned a mortgage business. I was his secretary. If people doubt that victims are afraid to come forward, then you should know I felt every emotion in the book. I didn’t dare say anything. I worried that what I was wearing was too tight. I worried that maybe I was making too big a deal out of it. I tried really hard to play it down. Sometimes, I told myself it wasn’t happening. When I finally got up the courage to say something, I didn’t get very much support. There were no witnesses, the guy’s wife went around saying I was the one coming on to her husband. Yeah. Cause I’m sure that’s every 16 year-old’s dream. A fat pervert in his 60′s. I also had a college friend who was raped when she was working the night shift. By another employee. Despite my pleas, she never told anyone else and never pressed charges. So, by the look of this board and by the stats, it’s really not surprising to me that so many victims stay quiet. Women, especially, should support other women who are claiming to have gone through the same ordeal. No questions asked.

    P.S.–I’m VERY sorry for the length of this post. It all seemed so important to say. Some of these posts made me sob out loud. I’m sorry to those of you who have gone through such awful ordeals. And I’m sorry that there are so many people out there who would fault you instead of listening to you.

  128. MaudeLebowski says:

    I hear you Newbie. And you don’t need to apologise for the long post. :)

    I have some similar experiences to you, the childhood repression, and the old pervert boss.
    I also reported a molestation attack to my parents and was not believed. I hope they feel awful about that. I think it’s probably the second worst thing you can do to your child. Anyway, being yelled at and told to shut up pretty much killed our relationship from then on.
    (Childhood is something I would erase entirely, given the right futuristic pill. ;) )

  129. Hakura says:

    SUPER LONG POSTS, Sorry guys! Bear with me >.<

    @Acemeister – I’m so sorry. There are always going to be scenarios where the ‘rather believe a lie than doubt someone telling the truth‘ mentality isn’t the right way to go. Especially in this context where divorce/custody is an issue.

    In this case… I can’t relate to your position in this mess, but I can relate to the position of your daughter. My dad passed away from a car accident when I was 2. (My parents were highschool sweethearts who’d waited until 28 to have me). My mom was a wreck, & needed to be with her parents to get back on her feet, but that meant taking me with her to Hawaii (where her parents were pastoring a church at the time.)

    This meant my dad’s parents didn’t get to see me… when before, we lived right next door to them, & they practically co-raised me. They resented it terribly… We moved back to Maryland a year later. My dad’s best friend (who’d been his best friend since elementary school) had always been around, & had a relationship with me… there when I was born, always over at the house. My mom started (very gradually) going out with him, & after 2 years, they decided to get married.

    But to get to the point. My grandparents (my dad’s parents) resented this for some reason, even though they had actually *come* to them ahead of time to talk about everything (out of respect. My step dad was like their own son.) Gradually over the years… my grandparents started to fill my head with lies about him… I can’t remember it now, but my mom said one time I came home from spending the weekend with them, & was absolutely *terrified* of my step dad. Didn’t want him to touch me or anything…

    I can’t remember what they actually told me, but I know it was all negative lies. My step-dad (who I just call dad) has always treated me like his own, & I’m so fortunate to have that. He was like my grandparent’s own son. I loved to spend time with my grandparents, & would spend weekends with them. But it wasn’t until I got to about 15 that I started to *realize* what they had been doing all those years… Planting those little comments & suggestions in my head. Never anything specific, but negative things about my parents.

    I was just a child who loved her grandparents. I didn’t understand that they could lie. I finally exploded at 16, & told them they were disgusting for being so willing to let me think I was somehow abused, just to get back at my mom somehow. It was years & years of passive agressive BS that has really hurt me. It resulted in my cutting them completely out of my life.

    So I know how incredibly damaging that sort of lie can be to a child. The victim in your situation is you & your daughter. I only hope that your daughter will find the truth one day the way I did, even though it will be painful.

  130. Hakura says:

    @Newbie – I really hope you’ll decide to comment, & share your opinions with us, more often. =) You worded your response so well, & I really enjoyed reading it (I’m long-winded in comments too, no worries!) Don’t ever hesitate to reply to older stories, If there’s a convo going back & forth, most of us will swing by to see if anyone had anything else to say. =)

    I’m so sorry for the horrendous experience you had with that boss… God, it made me shudder. Everything you described is something so many people go through… I’m really horrified, honestly. I had no idea… absolutely NO clue… that so many people have experienced all this abuse. It feels like there’s not a single person who *hasn’t* had to deal with it…

  131. Acemeister says:

    @Hakura…

    I feel your pain over your trials as a teen, as well. Hey, I have to believe that someday she will seek out the truth – but then the dilemma lies with telling my daughter the whole truth or not. As her mom’s side of the family (and their nest of lies) is all she knows, I would lean towards not dwelling on it. I don’t want to shatter the part of her life that she is anchored to…

    If you have kids yourself, you know it doesn’t take long to miss a lot. I last saw my daughter at age 2 in a McDonald’s parking lot near her grandmother’s house – before the ex rolled out the accusations and lies. She turns 18 in December. My only child (though I’m very happily remarried) – and I never got the chance to know her.

    So with all the hurt and pain expressed on this blog about people actually being abused, I just sit back and wonder how people can be so cruel and self-centered as to inflict either the abuse or the lies.

    Maybe karma will even things out in the end, maybe we get to do it all again in another lifetime, maybe Eric Clapton’s “tears in heaven” is what happens, or maybe you just have to make the best of what you have in this life… Forgiveness, even of my evil ex wife, is among the highest callings you can follow. In my case, there never has been anger – just sadness and emptiness – over my daughter.

    I rarely venture on this website – but just to let you know I appreciate your note. Not a big Ashley fan – but if she did have thoese experiences, they do have the benefit of making small positive connections elsewhere – a real Butterfly Effect :) All the best to you – Hakuru!

  132. Newbie says:

    @MaudeLebowski: thank you. my parents had no trouble believing me, but the situation was pretty complicated, and we couldn’t press charges. His wife, and some of his adult/married children continued to tell the world that I was a slut. There were other children in their family who were no longer allowed to have anything to do with my younger siblings. And the community reacted in a mixed way. Thus, I didn’t really feel supported. Interestingly enough though, his adopted daughter, who was in her early forties and married at the time, told my parents and I that she believed me. Hmm.
    I’m sorry about your parents. People choose to shut things out rather than hear the truth. It’s too painful. I hope that the pain diminishes over time for you.
    @Hakura: thank you. I’m always late but I just felt it was the right thing to say. And yes, there ARE more of us than we realize. Which is why we need to stick together and stick up for each other. Your words are appreciated.

  133. Hakura says:

    @Acemeister – I’m sure you’re right in deciding not to ‘dwell’ on things, for your daughter’s sake. Telling her the whole truth may make *you* feel better, but you know it could hurt her, which is more important. I wish I’d found out sooner, but everything happens for a reason. Things they did & said has caused me to develop an ability to stand up for myself (after being painfully shy my whole life before then.) So I guess even that had a positive outcome, somewhat.

    Again, I know talk is cheap, but I’m truly sorry for everything you’ve been through. I can’t believe you haven’t been allowed to see your daughter since she was *2*… Even missing out on a month can be a lot when they’re so young. I’m not too far from your daughter’s age myself (24), so I don’t have any children of my own yet, & I know being a parent is the only way to really understand how you feel.

    I’d personally like to believe in reincarnation… That one’s previous life would have an effect on where you start out in the next one. Though I’m not sure if I could do it, but forgiveness is the only way to prevent such a thing from eating you from inside… It’s admirable to realize this. Forgivness is far more difficult than the alternative… & far better for you in the long run.

    It’s been so nice talking to you <3 & I appreciate your sharing such a personal painful story. The best to you, & your daughter, as well. =)

  134. Carrie H says:

    It absolutely disgusts me, that people would bash Ashley for giving her account of her childhood and molestation! Assholes like this are the reason 1 in 3 women are molested! Repressed memories are real, and anyone who has ever been molested can confirm the trauma and how it manifests in our adult lives! Her mother, confirmed her recollections and apologized for her actions! All the haters are so uninformed and a major cause of why women and young girls are afraid to come forward! You people disgust me and perhaps you should read up on psychology! Not an attempt for publicity but for healing and reaching out to others who need a voice! Go Fuck yourselves, you disbelieving, pious Assholes! I hope none of your children are molested or come to you entrusting you with deep emotional trauma! That’s exactly why 1 in three women are molested but don’t report it! Fuck you and your self centered opinions and judgemental bullshit! Remember, Kharma always comes around you fkn disbelieving pieces of shit!

  135. Great review! You actually covered some curious news in your post. I came across it by using Bing and I’ve got to admit that I already subscribed to the site, it’s very great :)

  136. mary says:

    For all those who doubt the fact that represeed memory can come out when prompted in therapy, i have a story for you. My sister was molested as a child and did not recall it until her late thirties when she was in therapy, preparing to die. She was terminally ill with cancer at that time.

    The moment she told me of the abuse, I told her my memory of the abuse she suffered — because i witnessed it. Until she brought this up, although i had memories of the events, i’d never regarded them with an adult brain. The moment i did, i recognized them as sexual abuse. As i child i was just afraid… knew it was wrong, but didn’t really understand it’s nature because at just 7 i didn’t really understand it. My sister was 9 years old at the time.

    Something else you should know is that when public figures come out and talk about their own history with abuse, it does a great deal to validate the experiences of people who have suffered in the same way. You may personally find it uncomfortable to hear, but if it can help people who have suffered beyond your imagination, it’s a good thing.

    Please find the generosity in your hearts to see this for what it is — a woman’s attempt at telling an ugly truth about her own history and showing how she’s transformed that pain into a life spent helping others.

    Read the book. She has a big heart and was very, very brave to tell her story.

  137. OpenUrEyes says:

    Unfortunately, the level of ignorance is still very high regarding early trauma, PTSD and mental health…so many uninformed opinions and judgements…some even say they’re survivors of incest and think that every person deals with trauma in the same way. Society is still so bent on re-victimizing the victim unconsciously perhaps, but nonetheless, blaming the victim for abuse. We know that we are susceptible to patterns- repetitive cycles in ALL our lives in the best of conditions, so why would someone who had witnessed abuse or had been abused be any different? Memory in the brain is a very ‘funny’ thing and so little is still known, but what is known is that people do forgetgood and bad occurrences sometimes as a coping mechanism, sometimes because the person subconsciously prioritizes memories in order to succeed or even just go on…especially if someone wants to disassociate herself from a painful event by which she does not want to be identified. People need to be more informed before making assumptions about others. Many have experienced early childhood trauma, have blocked the worst memories with good reason but still KNOW they have been victimized. Many do not even feel the need to remember everything.