Though women are encouraged to be sexually active in our culture, they are not always treated kindly when they take that advice.


A sexually available girl who has many partners.

Mattress Back

A girl who has sex so often, whether with the same partner (nympho) or many different ones (slut), that her back seems to be constantly on a mattress.

-Urban Dictionary

Child victims of sexual abuse must negotiate this terrain with care. The emotional scars they carry do not make that an easy task.

Some women abused in childhood will seek as adults to reclaim their bodies by initiating frequent, anonymous sex. For them, sex is an attempt at self-affirmation. But no amount of it will fill the void left behind by abuse [1].

Tragically, a great many prostitutes fall into this category [2]. Drug use to dull the pain is common in the sex trade [3].

Other women will engage in sex (often with many partners) in a desperate search for love. These are the girls passed from boy to boy in high school; the women who settle for one night stands, since nothing else is being offered.

A smaller number of abuse victims will, consciously or not, avoid sex. They may be drawn to unavailable partners. Some will find their way to the so called “men’s clubs”, i.e. strip joints where they can elicit the desire of men but remain detached.

None of this behavior is irrational or “crazy”. It flows directly from the abuse to which victims were subjected.

We did not ask that these wounds be inflicted on us. We did nothing to provoke the predators – often family members – who preyed upon us. We have no reason to be ashamed.

Try stuffing a mattress into a suitcase. There is nothing wrong with the mattress. The mistake lies in the assumption it should fit into a suitcase.

The scars of abuse are too grave; they will not stay hidden. We no longer have the option of living a cookie cutter life.

But we are of infinitely more value than we were led to believe.

[1] The philosopher Blaise Pascal said, “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”

[2] It is worth noting that the prostitute, Rahab (Joshua 2) is documented in Scripture as included in the geneology of Christ (Matt. 1: 5).

[3] The women and children trafficked are treated as mere commodities by their captors, disposable property.  Frequently, victims of trafficking will become numb to sex, and despondent at having so little control over their lives. Some will try to escape or commit suicide. Others will die as the result of illness, violence, and inhumane conditions.

This post is the offshoot of an earlier one. My apologies to readers for any repetition.



Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Prostitution, Religion, Sexual Abuse, Slavery, Violence Against Women

6 responses to “Mattress

  1. jacqui

    Dear Anna, this is such a monstrous issue it overwhelms me with the feelings of it but it is good just to write about it. It is so complex that only God can heal the layers, the depths, the shame and all the multiple levels of feelings. I am beginning to realize that when God said he would heal me it is not what I thought or imagine. First off I didn’t know what was done to me was abuse I had to check and re-check words in the dictionary and then I compared my abuse with others which again is confusing because we are all so different and react so different. The one thing in it’s favour is it is being written about and brought out into the open to help others not feel so alone and to begin to find value in themselves which is the most difficult of all. I was given caution to be so open about my abuse by a professional worker yet I know Jesus wanted me to be as open as possible. for a moment I had conflict yet for me not to write out my own abuse is not healthy for me. I have to write because I can’t speak it. So Dear Anna keep bringing the subject up and speaking [writing] about it. I for one think on what you say over and over again and it gives me courage to keep on writing even if I don’t understand the process or what is being healed. All I know is Jesus wanted me to open up my page and my words even if they are too open. I know I couldn’t do it without God Anna but Jesus wants to cleanse all the shame off of me and it is for that reason alone, even if no-one comments, I am trusting Him above all else. Thank you dear Anna …. didn’t mean to write to much it just pours out of me when I type. God Bless love jacqui xx

    • You don’t ever have to apologize for writing “too much”, Jacqui. Certainly not to me. You say you have to write because you can’t speak the abuse. I think that is true for many of us. From what I know of your childhood, it was nothing less than hell on earth. I am sure your health care worker meant to protect you with the caution not to be so open about your abuse. My own feeling is that there has to be a way to purge the ugliness to which we were subjected. While speaking out has a cost, silence only protects the abusers. I am certain God is using you to help others “not feel so alone”, and “begin to find value in themselves”. You are an amazing woman to have survived at all, Jacqui. It is my privilege to know you.

      • jacqui

        Dear Anna you are a blessing to me too! You are right about my worker he was protecting me but when I had talked it through he trusted my own judgement and choice on this. He is an amazing worker which is ironic because he has the same name as my first husband – what about that for God healing eh?! ha! love you loads xx

      • Love you, too. ❤ ❤ ❤

  2. Levi Thetford

    What an issue, Anna. I have no way to identify with sexually abused people because it’s beyond my comprehension how a person could ever do this to a weaker person. Thanks for sharing and opening up the subject to all. Lord bless!!!

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