Now if a person exhibits these behaviors, does this mean he or she was sexually abused? No. We all have symptoms that match some items from the above list. But abuse victims exhibit these behaviors in spades. Some could check off every item on this list.
What interests me about this is that even if the abuse occurred some 45 years in the past, adult survivors live their lives based upon a reality that is no longer temporally present, and no longer valid as a reality.
In other words, even though someone can be a fully grown adult, he can manage his life as if he were still a three-year-old being abused and in order to shield himself from future abuse. Intense fear of abandonment or loss of control can manifest itself in either his becoming manipulative and power-hungry and a control freak, or in his becoming submissive and a push-over, constantly desiring to please others for fear of losing them or losing control over an artificial relationship with them.
This oscillation between two poles can even take place within the same person's life. He can seem to be a bum, chronically under-employed and living a life of low-balling it so that he never has to deal with the engagement of his Eros in anything that challenges his real self; or he can become a workaholic, driving to succeed at whatever he throws himself into, to the exclusion of his family or his private life. In both cases, the goal is control - for a disengaged man is in control by not being drawn into anything exciting, compelling or risky; and an over-engaged man is in control by forcing everything to go exactly the way he wants it - which takes a phenomenal amount of work.
The point is - a person's entire life can be lived in order to avoid the horrors of an event or events in his or her past. The fear, anger, loss of control, sense of abandonment and existential terror that a victimizer gives his victim can dictate an entire life's misery, without intervention of some sort.
Thus the Old Wound from childhood continues to dictate the way fully grown adults live.
In the same way, the Old Wound of Adam dictates the way we all live. The damage done to our natures by that Original Sin continues to create a false reality in our hearts that we strive to compensate for.
And in the same way that some survivors of sexual abuse don't recall clearly all the details of what they endured, so we as God's people don't know exactly what the first few chapters of Genesis really and fully tell us. We know we had some sort of original set of parents who committed some original sin that corrupted our natures, creating an Old Wound that has dominated our thinking and acting ever since. Was there really a garden? Really a snake? Really an apple? Literally?
Well, perhaps not - but for adults who ask, "Did this abuse really happen when I can't remember all of it clearly?" and yet while asking that, live all ten of the ten manifesting symptoms, the question is in some sense beside the point.
The point is our healing.
For more on this, check out Dawn Eden's book My Peace I Give You - Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints.