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Childhood CoCSA occurred in family

H

hardhat

I’m a teenager trying to understand CoCSA because I feel like I was a perpetrator of it. I was introduced to pornography and things sexual at a very very young age due to unrestricted internet access and accidental access to erotic material and gained a sense of those things being normal or in a way accepted I guess. Me and my cousin who is about 2 years younger than me around the ages of 9 and 7? Would watch these materials together and engage in sexual acts together unknowingly. I believe this went on for about a year and a half or maybe two years I’m unsure, but the incidents were separate happening when I would visit my cousin in that period (We visited twice in that time period) and haven’t since in the last 5 or 6 years because I’ve come to realize it’s not a normal or okay thing. I feel like we/I went on to victimize my younger sister when I was around 9 or 10 though, we had noticed when we were all changing she had some kind of discharge I guess and were talking about it but I’m not sure like if that constitutes anything, but when I was around 9 or 10 we shared a room and she would sir on my head as a way to like annoy me and I just feel disgusting about it because I don’t know if I essentially like enjoyed that or something, also when I was around that same age of 9 or 10 I began with masturbation and would attempt it whilst my sister was in the room but I feel like I would always try and distract her from it by trying to get her to her talk or face and turn away from me because I didn’t want her to see or know but I didn’t exactly understand why I just felt like I didn’t want her to be a part of it in any way but I felt like I had to do it and felt wrong doing it when she was in the room but I had no idea what to do because she had to be. I feel like I had a problem with frequent or like almost compulsive masturbation since I began knowing how? But also that I don’t anymore, I didn’t like ever feel anything for my sister like sexually or anything and I don’t now nor did I back then and I never have and I’m completely sure of that, I just felt like these were all things I guess I had to do or were like normal to do? They all felt very compulsive and like things I had to do. This is just eating me alive inside I Don’t know what any of this means I feel so sick and guilty and painful every time I remember it and I don’t know what I’ve done Please Help
 
That's a lot of stress and worry you are carrying around. Do you have access to a trusted adult to talk about this in real life?

I can't say yes/no to your question with the details left out. But I can say masturbation is normal. I can say that younger children need instant gratification as delayed gratification comes with more maturity (so the feeling masturbation was a compulsion when younger could just be a stage of development and entirely normal/common). The fact your didn't want you sister to see or be part of it shows that you did not want any sexual activity with her.
Her sitting on your head to annoy you and you feeling you liked that, also can be a very innocent and non abusive situation.
So for me, someone who had COCSA happen to them, a lot of what you write doesn't sound abusive.
The only bits that might need more info are the bits between you and your cousin. Not saying you need to explain anything further here. It is normal to explore things as children. But there is a line.
What makes me wonder is what supervision you had and your access to pornography at such a young age. You needed more protection from that. So sounds like you were vulnerable because of this access/lack of supervision.
 
That's a lot of stress and worry you are carrying around. Do you have access to a trusted adult to talk about this in real life?

I can't say yes/no to your question with the details left out. But I can say masturbation is normal. I can say that younger children need instant gratification as delayed gratification comes with more maturity (so the feeling masturbation was a compulsion when younger could just be a stage of development and entirely normal/common). The fact your didn't want you sister to see or be part of it shows that you did not want any sexual activity with her.
Her sitting on your head to annoy you and you feeling you liked that, also can be a very innocent and non abusive situation.
So for me, someone who had COCSA happen to them, a lot of what you write doesn't sound abusive.
The only bits that might need more info are the bits between you and your cousin. Not saying you need to explain anything further here. It is normal to explore things as children. But there is a line.
What makes me wonder is what supervision you had and your access to pornography at such a young age. You needed more protection from that. So sounds like you were vulnerable because of this access/lack of supervision.
I only have a therapist but I’m scared to tell them. I guess its good a lot of it doesn’t really sound abusive but I’m still so like pained by all of this because I’ll remember at the most random times and this time it doesn’t seem like its going away this time and it makes me feel sick and guilty like I’m a Terrible person. What more information do you think you may need about me and my cousin? And I understand that I did need more protection from those materials because I initially discovered them around age 6 or 7 through youtube erotic material of one of my favorite kids shows and then went on to have unrestricted internet access where I could watch more pornographic material centered around my general typical school age interests later on, I also around the same age of 9 had encountered a sexual game on a childrens gaming platform displaying adult sexual acts and genitalia.
 
I remember when I was in high school, when the Internet had this shift from being this information center with fun games to suddenly there being horrendous content from adult fans of kids' shows. This is a well known and well documented phenomenon that a therapist would be happy to work with you on, and more, there are lots of surprising places where you can find others who are dealing with the same problems you are. I found many in a video about the Internet inappropriate content phenomena via My Little Pony -- the commenters were very supportive of each other and relieved that they were not the problem.

And neither are you. It's genuinely not your fault. In a perfect world, the Internet would have had better ways to restrict access to content like that, or your parents would have known how, or you would have felt safe telling your parents what you found and why it's bothering you so you wouldn't have all these distorted thoughts.

A distorted thought is a type of thinking that does not reflect reality. For example,
and it makes me feel sick and guilty like I’m a Terrible person
If I say, "I feel sad, and therefore the entire world must hate me," that will never reflect the world around you. That's an internal feeling, and I'm using my emotion to draw a conclusion. Emotions are not facts, and they are not thoughts. They happen in reaction to things, and it's good to have them! But in this case, your feelings of being sick and guilt are there because you are upset about your past. It has nothing to do with who you are as a person.

I think you're not a terrible person. I think you're someone who has had to keep this to yourself with no context on how to process it.

Sexual acts are often stigmatized in our society. This has nothing to do with you as a person, especially because you were a child working without guidance. Even if your cousin did get hurt, it wasn't your fault. You were too young to know.

It is common for kids to want to explore their bodies, by the way. I'm sorry it became a sexual for you, and I'm so sorry you are dealing with all this guilt and shame. You're damning yourself, though, and I imagine you don't need to be.

Why are you scared to tell your therapist? I would work on those feelings first, because in order to process this so you stop having to "obsess" over it, it will be important to find out what is making you so slow to share it in real life.

Thank goodness for this website and the Internet, though, for allowing you to spill it all out here and get your first outside perspectives. :)

If you're scared of being shamed, try to entertain your anxiety for a moment. What if you tell the therapist and they point and laugh at you? That would be pretty silly, and you would know that that was that therapist's problem, not yours.

Are you scared that as a minor the therapist might have to tell your parents? Are you worried about what adults think of you? Are you worried about something else?

And, for the record, my initial impression was that I felt so, so sad for you that you're going through this. It's not fair for you to have to deal with this so much, and you don't deserve to be so anxious, so ashamed, or so desperate. Of course I'm worried about other kids too, but not because of you. I am not judging you, I don't see you as dirty, I don't think you're disgusting or unworthy of love.

Try to take it easy and do something good to cope, if your therapist has taught you anything -- and maybe prepare some questions for your therapist to help you feel safer, such as what they have to report by law, or what her opinion on child-on-child sexual contact is with or without context, etc. Let us know if you'd like help with your lists, because a lot of people here are very good at that.

<3
 
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