Childhood COCSA (Child on Child Sexual Abuse) I don't know what to do with this information.

N

Nyoom

Thank you so much. I am going to take your advice and try to get better. I still keep trying to think about it and dig deeper but everything seems blurry. I even told my mom but she said I shouldn't think too much about it but I have always been an over thinker and when I do, I think of different things that might have happened or didn't happen. I work myself up over things a lot, and I am trying to calm myself and focus on the present. Before I even remembered those things I already knew that I wasn't alright psychologically because I have problems functioning in society and I can't tell my parents because I come from a country that doesn't care about mental health. I even tried hinting to my mom that I am not okay but they all thought I was joking. I am not sure if I will be able to find those types of free help lines you mentioned but I will look for one and try to help myself.

Thank you once again.
You're welcome and it was no problem.

On regards to overthinking and digging deeper as you put it, it is common to get a bit confused over your emotions and your memories can even be altered by overthinking. But personally, I wrote down my experiences in a book. A funny side tangent, but it was a dorks diary book that I wrote it in, one of the special edition ones that had pages for your own diary at the back, which I've always found a little cringe but funny of 13 year old me. I always had some memory of what happened to me as a child, but I wrote it down when I was realising what happened was considered abuse, as to try and organise my memories and feelings. Organisation of your memories can help you understand the events more clearly, as well as establishing a timeline. For example, I always knew the abuse happened in year 2, and the details of what happened, but I didn't pay attention to the duration or specific dates of the abuse. But when writing my account and therefore having the timeline of events more organised in writing, I know it started in march when I was 6, and ended after I turned 7. The first month was consistent, the rest of the abuse was less consistent (likely a result of spring break disrupting the "schedule" my abuser had) but it continued until I was at least 7, continuing on until early summer although apparently less consistently based on specific memories I have. I get paranoia that my memories are fake, exaggerated, or otherwise false memories, so it used to be quite useful to consult my original account of what happened to sorta reassess my memories. It helped me keep track of my experiences, and to avoid forming false memories. I recently burnt it, as a sorta symbolism to the recent progress I'd made in recovery, and also because it kinda became compulsive to re read it to make sure I wasn't having false memories and that my memory remained consistent (again, I may have OCD, specifically POCD and real OCD, so that passage connects to my OCD symptoms a lot. Re reading it was highly unpleasant, so I burnt it partially to prevent me from engaging in my own self-destructive tendencies.) but at the time when I originally wrote it, I found it useful in understanding the events and emotions in regards to it more clearly, so potentially writing the event down in detail would help? Of course, if it'd be too much for you, you may want to avoid it, but I personally found it useful when I was younger in keeping tabs of my emotions and what I could remember.

Apologies if I rambled. I've drank a bit when going out with friends, and am still a bit tipsy, and while I acknowledge this fact I am still here on this forum anyway lmao, so I may be a bit disorganised in my structure and grammar. I hope you're doing ok. Oh, and RAINN has an international crisis line that is related to rape and sexual abuse, and if you google "international rape crisis line" you should find a w3ebpagethat has multiple international lines for you to call or otherwise contact :)

Thank you so much. I am going to take your advice and try to get better. I still keep trying to think about it and dig deeper but everything seems blurry. I even told my mom but she said I shouldn't think too much about it but I have always been an over thinker and when I do, I think of different things that might have happened or didn't happen. I work myself up over things a lot, and I am trying to calm myself and focus on the present. Before I even remembered those things I already knew that I wasn't alright psychologically because I have problems functioning in society and I can't tell my parents because I come from a country that doesn't care about mental health. I even tried hinting to my mom that I am not okay but they all thought I was joking. I am not sure if I will be able to find those types of free help lines you mentioned but I will look for one and try to help myself.

Thank you once again.
Also. I'm sorry about the reaction from your mom. I had a similar reaction from my mom throughout the years, she only really took my mental health struggles seriously until after I told her about my COCSA experience, since she assumed it was just hormones. It can be hard to have a guardian who doesn't take your emotions seriously, but I hope you know that there are people who care about you and your emotions. Idk what country you're from so I can't provide specific advice, but I know there are many international mental health services, so if you are struggling I implore you too look into those. I wish you the best.
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
Because, at 23, with no formal education, training, or experience in trauma.. much less 12 years of school, medical school, and internship… CLEARLY you did a thorough DDX and ruled out every other possibility much less strong possibility.

None of which means that you don’t have PTSD, you may… but seeeeeriously… did you know that most of what you shared falls under “completely normal” early childhood experience. &/or that there are half a dozen common misdiagnoses for PTSD, and a couple dozen very possible related dx’s?

Are you pissed off, yet?

Good.

Get pissed off enough to take your brain -and your life- seriously.

Give it the same attention you would give a sore throat, or boo boo that needs stitches, AND SEE SOMEONE who is actually qualified to help you.

Yes. It will takes months.

Yes. It will be expensive as hell. ($700 min, just for bubble testing, severaL thousand for the medical work without insurance; or several more weeks/months on waiting lists if you get free healthcare w/ patience).

But it’s your brain. And your life. And deserves more respect than you’d give to the local OpEd, inspiring tweet, or exciting/infuriating prospect.
“but seeeeeriously… did you know that most of what you shared falls under “completely normal” early childhood”

The point I wanted to make here was it’s very important when a person is trying to come forward not to say “that’s completely normal” because if they are trying to speak out about their csa it’s probably not .

People said this to me for years and I had suffered severe psychological trauma from csa.

But i couldn’t talk about it . If I tried to and someone said “oh that’s completely normal “ the perp got my voice again and silenced me .

Even when it was going on I couldn’t have told you it was abuse .

SO in my opinion one should be very careful about telling people sexual episodes from childhood are normal. Especially if their putting forward they’re feeling like they might not be .

Also in my opinion as I’ve said here often no sexual contact between underage children is normal. Unless whatever they’re doing would be ok with you if you walked in on it and wouldn’t tell them to stop doing that.
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
I was very specifically responding to this statement:

The OP doesn't say they experienced it as abuse, doesn't refer to discomfort, or internal conflict of any kind. The OP didn't include anything about their subjective experience except remembering that they didn't protest.

You might be assuming "didn't protest" means that they were uncomfortable. I'm not making that assumption.

If they WERE uncomfortable, on ANY level - if there was guilt, or shame, or fear, or even a feeling they can't name....that would start to make the story different.

But the OP didn't say how they felt. Therefore it's not automatically abuse, just because it involved private parts. And it could have been abuse WITHOUT involving private parts. I think people do themselves a disservice when they abuse has to involve the groin area. That's
My point was for many survivors telling anyone even many years later is practically impossible. I told idk how many therapists and doctors that “some weird things went on about sex when I was little”. Usually I’d get “oh that’s normal.”

It’s not . But not even that’s important. What is IMO is this person might be a survivor, they’re at MYPTSD remember, and they’re trying to talk.

They may never try again. It’s that severe s struggle , especially at first .

Thx
 
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goosegoose

Confident
@Mach123 you absolutely took the words out of my mouth, thank you for sharing your perspective. @Twedont is new here, potentially sharing this very stressful information for the first time and also shared that they have repeatedly been told "stop overthinking" "you didn't experience trauma" etc, but how can anyone make that judgement for anyone? Some of the responses given in this thread are just irresponsible and insensitive. Formal diagnoses can be extremely expensive, exclusive, inaccessible, etc. It's not like you have to have a degree to be able to tell if you have PTSD with a little research and it honestly feels...dismissive? (looking at you, @Friday and @joeylittle. How would either of you like it if someone told you to "just stop thinking about your triggers"? How would you feel if you heard that right at the beginning of your healing journeys? I think it would be crushing, personally. That the thing that left you traumatized and broken "was totally normal, get out of your head." That's not productive or helpful, it's silencing.)

I also want to say that I completely agree with Mach123 that NO sexual contact between children is normal. Kissing a crush? Yeah, okay, sure, probably normal. Two children fondling each others' genitals? NOT normal.

I truly hope that no one reads this and feels that I'm attacking them, this just really got me upset seeing how Twedont was being replied to. This shouldn't be controversial, we're here to help each other heal. Lift each other, don't tear down. My hands are shaking writing this because of the hurt that I feel on behalf of everyone told "stop thinking about it," and also shaking from being terrified of someone trying to argue about this with me.

I truly wish you healing Twedont, resources can be extremely difficult to find but keep going. If you have even an ounce of strength, keep going. And please try to rest when you're able to. Resting has been absolutely vital for me while trying to heal.
 

Friday

Moderator
TL;DR? Just read the bold.

My hands are shaking writing this because of the hurt that I feel on behalf of everyone told "stop thinking about it,"
looking at you, @Friday and @joeylittle. How would either of you like it if someone told you to "just stop thinking about your triggers"?
Grateful & relieved, especially if they could actually help me with that.

I didn’t happen to say that, though, I said the opposite… that what they are experiencing (symptoms &/or problems now), and have experienced (whether trauma or not), is important and serious enough to seek real and qualified assistance with.


Do you know how many disorders share symptoms with PTSD? Dozens. And how many of those disorders the best treatment is the exact opposite of what’s best for PTSD? Almost as many. One even shares all the symptoms of PTSD, but if caught in the early days can be completely cured. If left to fester, alone & untreated, disregarded & invalidated, will often progress to one of a few lifelong & incurable disorders, including PTSD, but sometimes jagging off in other directions (like specific phobias, mood disorders, delusional disorders). As avoidance is one of its symptoms too, a person will often wait months -if not years- pouring their energy into any and all kinds of distressing or disturbing possibilities -both real and imagined- that distract from their very recent trauma, until it’s too late. If they’d sought help sooner they’d be cured, but as they wasted time avoiding their recent trauma, now they’re stuck with suffering for life.

Did you know it’s actually a giant red flashing warning sign for a child to have been sexually abused (or have any of several major developmental &/or neurological disorders) to NOT be casual/curious/explorative with their own and other’s sex organs? For the developmental & neurological disorders there are several different causes (but a common cluster is the inability to form connections / make eye contact / participate in parallel play); meanwhile sexually abused children have experienced real and serious trauma that makes sex organs veeeeeery different from elbows, ears, toes, hair, noses, belly buttons. Normal/healthy/unabused children? Take parents/family/teachers/neighbors/ (the whole durn village) years and years of conditioning to not just pull off their shorts in the middle of a soccer game, run through sprinklers naked, and hundreds upon hundreds of other “so what? Adults are weird.” That conditioning? Is also highly cultural. Nudity taboos are very different in the US, Scandinavia, Mali, Saudi Arabia, etc.

I didn’t know ANY of these things until I went to school and studied anthropology, sex&sexuality, psychology, and nursing. Most people don’t. Instead, we go through life believing whatever myths we’ve absorbed through pop culture, fiction, churches, family, friends.

((Which you’ve probably experienced the frustration with, as people who sooooooo don’t “get it” think they understand PTSD Which is why both Developmental Psych /LifespanPsych & Stats for healthcare workers are preReqs to even get into any health field, as well as why triage testing includes washout questions to demonstrate sexual/racial/cultural bias… and also why there’s been strong push for decades to extend those basic requirements into law enforcement and polysci courses. ))

But I didn’t have to witness/experience the real heartbreak of people who had been misdiagnosed, or left undiagnosed, wasting years and decades of their lives until later. You may very well have far more experience with that, than I, if you spent years -or even decades- labouring under misdiagnosis, undiagnosed belittling, secrets/shame, misunderstanding, screaming for help and no one around you taking you seriously or understanding what you were screaming for, or even that you were screaming at all. Soooooooo many people do. With so many different disorders and medical conditions. All of which deserve to be treated seriously.

How would you feel if you heard that right at the beginning of your healing journeys?
In point of fact, that’s exactly what happened.

I’ve written about my very first panic attack on here a few times, and how that was followed by a long weekend completely eliminating that trigger. Because the people I was with recognized what they saw, and taught me what they knew, and I was damn lucky they were right. Because I was completely clueless.

Beyond “simply” eliminating, minimizing, or chipping away at triggers? And manage intrusive thinking? Over the next several months… The people I was with also taught me how to reality check, ground, blow off steam / manage my stress levels, called me out on bullshit & f*cked up behavior, taught me how manually assess & dismiss / run rapid threat assessments to rein in hypervig & retrain vigilance, and countless other things I use to this day.

I often wonder, if I’d stayed with that unit if I’d ever have developed PTSD at all? IDK. Maybe. Maybe not. Instead, women were banned from my MOS and I was sent back to school to be in units that went for the more typical handling of trauma & stress (suck it up, push it down, pretend it never happened, numb it with alcohol, distract, avoid, shame, shatter). The very predicitble, to the point of being cliche, followed. I got wilder & wilder, more and more out of control, until eventually I was suicidal as f*ck, symptomatic to my eyeballs, and completely non-functional. Spending years alternating between working, partying, homeless/jobless. My stability, relationships, life? Completely f*cked.

I truly hope that no one reads this and feels that I'm attacking them
Nope. Either simply misunderstood, misread (jumping to conclusions, Mindreading, projected upon), or misread and misunderstood.

Which is why I spent the time to explain both WHY I direct people to take their problems seriously, and what I ACTUALLY experienced, when someone was kind enough to do the same for me.

1. Because I genuinely care about people, and want the best for them.

2. Because, like most people, I share what helped me, what I know, & how I’d want to hear it.


<<< That’s (#2) going to be extremely limited by personality & personal experience …and will never have a “correct” answer. Maybe the OP -or someone else reading fhis 10 years from now) is like me, and it’s exactly what they need to hear, said how they need to hear it. Maybe they’re not like me, and took what was useful and ignores the rest. Maybe they’re the polar opposite of me and nothing I said was useful to them. As I’m not a mind reader? No way for me to know.

But the best I have to offer is 🐝 Be yourself. 🐝 10 people can say the exact same thing in 10 different ways, and if you’re lucky? 1 might resonate. If you’re super lucky what resonates is also helpful to you, instead of harmful. Both ways I initially learned to deal with my trauma resonated with me. The first way is still useful to this day. The second way? Cost me a helluva lot.
 
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