A Website for Survivors of ‘Quiet’ Abuse & Hidden Trauma

Website sponsored by Counselling Initiatives Charity No: 1082706




This questionnaire is designed to help elicit information about the inner life-space of survivors of childhood abuse trauma, particularly quiet abuse trauma. Answers may be as short or as long and elaborate as you like, and you may prefer to answer all or just a few of the questions. If you prefer to answer it and remain completely anonymous, feel free to send the completed questionnaire back to me by post, rather than email.

You can download the questionnaire as a Word document here, to complete and return.


1. What does the term ‘quiet [i.e. attachment] abuse’ mean to you?

2. Do you believe that you were quietly abused as a child, if so explain how it was at the time and how you think it may have affected you as an adult? Did you also experience other kinds of abuse, if so would you like to say more?

3. If yes to either of the above, have you always recognized that you suffered abuse as a child and that what was ‘wrong’ with you was caused in some way by dissociation?

4. Looking back, what self-help survival strategies did you use as a child?

5. What self-help survival strategies have you used to survive as an adult?

6. Have your survival strategies changed over time?

7. How much have you been able to share of your secret life with others, or with another?

8. How would you describe your relationship with your parents or primary caretaker? Has it changed as you have understood more about your past, if so how?

9. How difficult has it been to come to terms with the loss of the person you would or could have been if things had been different for you as a child?

10. What have been the most important insights that have helped you survive, and to move towards and into recovery.

11. Would you describe your self-process as ‘fragile’? Could you elaborate? Have there been occasions when your fragile process broke down?

12. Have you had experiences of feeling unreal, or of not existing, if so does it happen often, or under specific conditions, can you give any examples?

13. Has it been important to you to appear normal to other people? If yes, why do you think that is so?

14. If yes to the previous question, how successful have you been at ‘passing’ as normal?

15. If yes to the last two questions what have you felt was missing that you had to compensate for or cover up in order to pass as normal?

16. If yes to the last three questions is a great deal of extra ‘work’ required to pass as normal? If so, what kind of work was it?

17. Have you found it difficult to ‘fix’ on a story and an understanding of your life? If so how did you used to explain that to yourself? If it changed why do you think it changed and how old were you when it changed?

18. Do you, have you ever felt like a fraud or not a proper person? Is it an occasional or a constant feeling? If a constant feeling’ are there times when you have not felt fraudulent, what would be examples of such times?

19. Do you feel you have difficulty feeling grown up, if so has it always felt like that or was there a moment or a time when you suddenly had the thought that you should be feeling more grown up than you did? If yes do you still feel less grown up than you’d like, if not what has changed?

20. How well do you manage criticism?

21. Where would you put yourself on the spectrums of omnipotence, entitlement, grandiosity and magical thinking? If some of  these apply to some extent to you, do you manifest them or keep them hidden?

22. Do you have any ‘default’ maladaptive schemas? e.g. ‘its not fair’; someone should be doing this for me’; there’s no point in trying because I’m bound to fail” I must do this [i.e. everything] myself because if I don’t know-one else will’

23. What is your relationship with ‘hope’?

24. What is your relationship with depression?

25. What is your relationship with anxiety?

26. Do you find it easy to relax and take it easy?

27. Would you describe yourself as hypervigilant?

28. How good are you at spontaneously showing emotion, saying hullo and good bye meaningfully for example?

29. How good a listener are you in conversations? How good at taking your own turn to speak and share your truths?

30. How good are you at emotionally intimate relationships? Can you put yourself wholeheartedly into intimate relationships or does there almost always seem to be something holding you back?

31. How good are you at sexually intimate relationships, and sexual relationships generally?

32. How comfortable are you with your relationship with food?

33. How well do you mange social situations, do they mostly come naturally to you, or do you usually have to revert to coping strategies? If so what are they?

34. If you are honest do other people really interest you, or actually bore you?

35. Do you believe that you really do understand other people or only understand them enough for your survival needs, and don’t really understand what is inside other people at all?

36. In fact are you actually quite frightened of most other people, especially ‘normal’ people?

37. Is there part of you that would love for people to listen to you for a change, I mean ‘really’ listen?

38. Deep down do you feel as if you are a very important person, sometimes even a super normal person, but at the same time inferior to everyone, and if you are really honest inadequate in almost every way?

39. Why do I often feel I don’t know how to behave in ordinary situations but go out of my way to ensure other people think I do, and believe I am very normal?

40. Do you believe at a fundamental level that you shouldn’t disturb anyone who is important to you, or cause them stress in any way, and that if you do they will leave you?

41. Are you happier with a ‘project’ with just ‘being, or equally with both?

42. How would you describe your inner life – always full of content about immediate practical matters, full of other contents e.g. spontaneous images, emotions, memories, desires, future plans, thoughts, phantasies [elaborate], or basically empty?

43. How often do you feel anxious, or are feelings of anxiety a constant in your life?

44. How often do you feel depressed, or are feelings of depression a constant in your life?

45. Do you often feel guilt, could you elaborate on your relationship with guilt?

46. How would you describe going to bed at night?

47. How would you describe getting up in the morning?

48. How do you relate to your future?

49. Do you think / philosophise a lot, not much, seldom?

50. Do you enjoy reading? What sort of reading – for knowledge, for pleasure, for inspiration, to stimulate your imagination?

51. How well does your imagination work i.e. do you easily imagine, and imagine a lot, or is it hard work?

52. Are you a manipulative person,  one who is easily manipulated, or both?

53. Do you feel needed by many people, if so do you enjoy feeling needed, or resent it [or both]?

54. Do you feel desirable?

55. Do you feel desire?

56. Is the concept of inner children a meaningful one to you?

57. How would you describe the ways in which your inner children disrupt or used to disrupt your life?

58. How has the concept of inner children helped in your recovery?

59. Have any other ideas about development, pathology or psychotherapy been particularly helpful for your survival and recovery?

60. Do you have a powerful inner critic? If so has it been an obstacle to recovery, and how have you managed to reduce its influence?

61. What has been most difficult about recovery?

62. What has been your experience of counselling and psychotherapy?

63. What does the concept of dissociation mean to you, have you always felt that dissociation applies to you, or is it a recent idea?

64. Questions I haven’t asked?



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