toni_mi

A question about sexual abuse

14 posts in this topic

I have a lot of issues with this. I was sexually molested (though I think that I've blocked out more) on and off through my childhood and early teens. My question is this: does it count as abuse if it's another kid doing it? Of the three male children who have touched me, two were a year younger than me, and one was a year older than me. My ages were 5-6, and 12-13. The reason I ask is because I told these instances to one of my shrinks (I honestly can't remember if he was a psychologist or psychiatrist--which one prescribes meds, again?) and he actually laughed at me, and told me it wasn't sexual abuse because we were all children.

I've been fighting this for most of my life, and he didn't help. Sometimes, I know I was violated, but then I think back to his response, a professional, and wonder if he was right. Ever since then (I was in my late teens/early twenties at the time), I've been reluctant to bring it up with any other counselor or shrink, because I don't think I could take the ridicule again, and it's not like they could do anything about it, anyway. I've had very bad experiences with the mental health industry, in case you can't tell.

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Hi Toni,

I hope your next therapist is more enlightened. At least in my mind, it's sexual abuse any time it's not consensual between the parties involved.

The age of the aggressor seems immaterial since we all mature at different rates. I know that I couldn't have defended myself from many people younger than I was, because I was undersized throughout my youth.

Please let your therapist know what happened. It's important to your health.

Love, Megan

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Okay, I will. Thanks, Megan.

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I have heard quibbles about the "sexual" part of the abuse over the years when it involves young children. I actually had the problem involving two of my children, when they were pre-teen by some years. At 5-6 I do not think that it was sexual in the sense of knowing sexuality or having sex etc. on the person's mind, but it was definitely abuse!! By the 12 and 13 years old though, puberty does change the focus since the physical body is gearing up for sex. You should not have had to put up with that treatment regardless of whether pre or post pubescent and adults in your life did fail you when they laughed it off. I had that happen to me also when I was 12 and again by the same person at 16. An ice pack was not enough of an adult acknowledgement, but at least I got that.

Your laughing therapist needs to be remembered as an accessory after the fact to your abuse. I do feel sorry it happened to you.

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if it wasnt wanted, it was abuse though young children often dont understand that - i remember playing around with girls in that way when i was 5 or 6 but it was mutual.

However, though i was intrigued and didnt stop it, i remember at around 8 a boy of l5 was touching me - even at 8 i didnt understand what was going on but he obviously did - that was very wrong - i think it all depends on what and how its done, the ages involved etc. I dont think its always clear cut. If it has affected you badly, then you should undoubtedly see someone whos more understanding. A child of the ages you mention cant be prosecuted for sexual abuse i dont think, so maybe thats why your psychiatrist said it wasnt abuse............

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i was sexually abused by my father when i was the between the age 1-3 . i felt it was wrong but thought it was right because this was my dad . today i think about it & all i do is cry & get so mad at myself for letting it happen . ill always think of it as if it was just yesterday but how do i try to let it not bother me so much ?

lexi

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Thought I was the only one with similar issues I was raped and beaten by my grandfather from birth till 7?

I can relate to everything you wrote the self-hate, wondering if your screwed up sexual identity is a result of it; born a guy, I like guys, yet married to a woman for 28 years, yet I am a woman inside, the inability to trust anyone especially yourself; and yes he made me, every bit of me but I chose how to live my life it has taken me a lifetime to accept what he did to me yet I can cry at the drop of a hat if I think about it too much.

2 things; ITS NOT YOUR FAULT!!! & YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL PERSON!!!, someone else violated your trust and ruined your ability to see the perfection that is Lexi. Sorry about the caps but the only person that can stop blaming and hating yourself is you, it is soooo hard to deal with this kind of thing as an adult, let alone your first memories are of being raped, it’s not the easiest or best way to start in life.

In my case he was caught when I was 4; 4 year-old Kirsten could never understand how it could be wrong, grandfather said it was love, said I was good at it, said everyone did it, I trusted him how could everyone else be right, it was wrong and I was evil that’s what they said, how could that be, grandfather was always right, right? that’s what everyone who lived in his house said, except that him raping me was wrong. Please try to explain that to a 4 year-old girl; this cognitive dissonance that plagues me till today.

Wishing you all the best!!!

Kirsten

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The most effective way to deal with those issues is to first, get counseling by trained therapists, and then with their guidance, join in real life groups of other rape and abuse survivors. In groups and with therapists you can learn to speak openly and honestly about the experience, In a sense you give away some of the horror and self hatred that has come into your life each time you speak openly about it, and each bit you give away is no longer there to interrupt you nights with the old demons. Revenge is never an answer or even a fantasy toward closure, but in talking you humanize yourself and gain pride in yourself that few others can claim, but you rightly can claim it.

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Lexi i never went through what you experienced but had my own incident with a close older relative who tried to take advantage of me when as a 10 or 11 year old i was "dressed up" in my parents hay loft. That in itself is still in my mind. Kristen is right. It is not your fault. Sharing the pain can help but i would also recommend that you see a therapist and if you are seeing a gender therapist now or plan to please bring it up and discuss it. Opening here may help but also get some professional help. You do not have to feel the pain and shame you feel now.

Hugs,

Charlize

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Hi Toni- I just wanted to tell you that you are a very strong person, and thank you for sharing your story!

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being from downunder I don't know if u have rape departments in your hospitals we do here but if u do please see one because the therapist there are best to deal with this and will not make fun of u and are best trained please try this or it will be with u all your life and eat u up I know

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I don't think because you were kids that it wasn't abuse because this happened to me all my child hood on into my thirties.And now in my 60's I love to have it happen.

When before I am not sure. I know of course I was curious about it and what was going on with them and me I thought it was a game we would play when parents were gone and cousins were over.

I of coarse was the youngest and there was four others doing things to me .

some were fingering my anus and putting things up there and even screwing my butt.

So I think it is abuse no matter how old you are.

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As an abuse survivor myself, I can tell you this: if it made you uncomfortable, then it was abuse. If you haven't already, find a therapist who specializes in sexual abuse issues. There are also support groups out there that are geared towards childhood abuse issues. Talking about it (in a properly supportive setting) helped me significantly. In my case, while I knew that others had been abused by priests, it wasn't until I found a support group and listened to others tell their stories that I truly felt that I wasn't alone. Over the years, I've listened to and talked with a lot of other survivors and victims (yes there is a difference) and the more I did so, the less my experiences haunted me. The bottom line is that you are not alone and it wasn't in any way your fault.

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Being in a group setting can feel scary at first, but when I did that it helped me gain some insight and perspective into the gravity of what had happened.   If any any health professional doesn't legitimize your feelings, emotions and experiences in regards to abuse then move rapidly out the door and find one that does, or specializes in that field.  On a personal note there is a certain amount of sexuality that can be attributed to ordinary childhood experimentation.  As children, we were curious about ourselves and exploring our world.  The determining factor is how you feel about it then and now.  If you feel it was abusive then it was.  I had similar experiences, that I am quite positive were abusive, and it took me years of frustration and some quality counciling before I was able to empathize with the older kids who did what they did, having the insight that they likely learned the behavior because it had happened to one or more of them as well.

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