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

However, in COCSA its really important to separate out culpability of the child doing the abuse from the impact and experience of the victim. This is the headf*ck about COCSA. The fact the perpetrator may not be deemed an abuser due to their age but simultaneously the victim experiences abuse
Thank you for this! I needed to read it. I've struggled with so much confusion about it all. My sister was 5 years older and the things she did to me were her reenactment of what the perpetrator did to her. And I've always been so confused.. and my ex therapist actually thought all of this was of minor importance because he wouldn't view her as a perpetrator due to the fact that she was a kid. An abused kid. But this, what you wrote = YES it damaged me. Despite there only being victims in the situation.
How on earth is that leap made? What blame??? Where are you seeing blame?

I don’t doubt that you’re seeing it, but what I’m seeing is water is wet & what you’re seeing is water is rocky. Both can be true, but one requires specific circumstance, that I’m not seeing. Where do you see it?
Think we need to be mindful of this being someone else's thread - though as @zaniara says the person who wrote this post hasn't logged in to read the responses in like 9 months. So I'll try writing as short a reply as possible even though I have a lot I'd like to say! I really don't aim to hijack- just responding to a question which I think is important to answer.

So when I replied to another member's comment that 'once you make that assumption everything will begin to look like abuse' what i was getting at was this:

This person remembers an event where someone else was playing with their private parts (their words not mine). So forget WHO played with their private parts. In my book, as a 6/7 year old child if someone is playing with your private parts this isn't something that can be consented to. It's a major physical/ sexual boundary violation regardless of context. Regardless of whether the person doing it aimed for sexual gratification or not. Even if there was no intent to abuse. It. Does. Not. Matter from the point of the view of the child on the receiving end.

The age of the person playing with their private parts can be seen as more easily relevant if it's an adult. This is clear cut abuse. It brings with it another (different) level / layer to the abuse. The tricky bit with cocsa is that when a child does a major boundary violation like this, suddenly the situation gets judged as 'kids being kids' or it not being experienced as abusive by the child it's being done to, simply because of the age of the perp - because their intentions can't be the same as an adult. But strip the story right back to basics - a 6/7 year old kid had someone playing with their private parts. Their body has experienced violation regardless of who did it or why. (Please tell me a situation where it's ok for a 6/7 child to have their private parts played with if anyone disagres)...

This person has come to the forum with concerns about their childhood experiences questioning their own actions and others' actions towards them involving sexual body parts. They are transparent about struggling in their own mental health and are exploring how these events feed into their current day difficulties. They themselves describe this particular incident as COCSA. But on this forum their own description of how they perceive their experience has been invalidated by being told it isn't likely to be cocsa. And that if they decide to see this situation as abusive THIS is why it's experienced as abusive. Not because it was objectively a major boundary violation but because they choose to see it this way. Ie its in their head. So it's abuse only because they choose to see it this way.

In my mind, as someone who experienced life- changing COCSA this comment is very invalidating. And it's a response which you don't ever tend to find in cases where an adult is the abuser.

So if we have a situation where someone is struggling trying to understand the situation (and let's face it COCSA is a head f*ck), but is told its not actually how they perceive it, they are then left to deal with these difficult thoughts/ feelings/ experiences without being allowed to label it as abuse. The self- blame in sexual abuse is there whether its a child or an adult who did the abuse. Only when someone comes forward about their adult-child abuse, their experience will be validated as so from society around them. For the cocsa victim, this is generally not the case and adds another barrier to working through feelings of shame and self- blame.

i'm not saying this is how it should be. I'm saying Survivors of COCSA have the added stigma of being met by society's inability to view their experiences as abuse because of the age of the perp. But this doesn't mean it wasn't experienced as abusive by the child having it done to them. But if its not recognised as such by others, ITS SO EASY for the child part to flip that blame back round to them. Because there's no validation from anyone else that this experience was abusive for them.

Such a difficult topic to unpack. But I'm glad these convos are happening because I think they need to.
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?


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.
None of that was normal. Especially not how they are responding as an adult. Not letting people touch them? Not touching others? Refusing to be in any relationships? Why was your opening literally to undermine this person. They clearly do have PTSD to some degree.
They clearly do have PTSD to some degree.
Then can you tell me why they do not have OCD, GAD, HFA, SPD, ADHD, MDD, ED, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Social Anxiety, or a Specific Phobia? All of which commonly present with touch aversion, & avoidance of relationships? How exactly have you ruled out those conditions?

Also, just from what they’ve written, please read me out their medical history, bloodwork, UA, & Head/Spine Scans and tell me how you’ve ruled out the 100 most common physiological causes for touch aversion, as well as the anxiety and depression so commonly present in relational/interpersonal difficulties?

In order for someone to clearly have PTSD? You’d have to rule out every other physiological & psychological condition that shares symptoms with PTSD. How did you accomplish this, with no access to their medical history, or ability to run even the most simple tests?

Why was your opening literally to undermine this person
Because I give a f*ck what happens to people.

Hopefully? I’ve also undermined your certainty in your ability to diagnose a strangers serious -& potentially life threatening- health condition, online, from just a couple of paragraphs, with zero DDX.