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How to break shame cycle re my role in csa

*Biggest hugs*

Everyone is right, you are not to blame at all. Your poor little body didn't know what was happening, what should've been a loving experience decades in your future, was a humiliating, confusing feeling that brings you horrible shame.

That part of yourself that blames you and yells, do you get a feeling for how old that "voice" may be?
I don't want to tell YOU what you're feeling, but could it be the beautiful but confused little 9/10yr old? They say with trauma a part of us gets stuck at the age the trauma happened at.

What would you tell a friend or family members little girl the same age, who told you she blamed herself because for the same reason?

❤️
 
I think this is important, don't overlook it as a fact. How is a kid SUPPOSED to know that "no" is an option?
I guess only by being taught about it explicitly?

I've read about this a bit. In today's society in the UK, there's a push for parents (rightly so) to be teaching children about bodily boundaries. About what difficult feelings are and when and how to say no. I've even found and read books to my own kid that focuses on this. But when I was growing up, there was nothing like that. My mum didn't explicitly tell me these things - normal for the time I think. And my dad, when I visited, was already violating my boundaries. So the concept of no just wasn't available to me.

It's not something we're exactly born knowing, is it? I'm not sure we spend enough time teaching kids about the uses (good and bad) of the concept of "no".
we don't! I'm a form believer schools should be doing this from an early age...
Sounds to me like you went into this without this important bit of knowledge that helps people navigate relationships.
Definitely.
I have a hunch telling him "no", more than you did, won't have worked because it probably wasn't a concept he really accepted as applying to him.
I've never thought about this. Because no didn't exist for me, the focus was on him and what he wanted. But I did say a number of times and he didn't stop. So I guess you're right, likely he didn't think that concept applied to him.

As far as physically forcing him to stop..... I don't know how he would have reacted to that,do you? Could you have beaten him in a fight? (Probably not.)
I don't know. It literally wasn't an option in my mind. I don't think I could have beaten him no 😔
The instinctive reaction of a smaller critter being coerced by a larger critter usually isn't "fight" because there's no coming back from that. (You can't punch someone and then tell them "oops, I did mean to hit you", that ship has sailed.) As the smaller critter in a live/death encounter, you are more likely to succeed with "flee, fawn, or freeze" than you are with "fight".
I think you're on to something here because reading this gives me a visceral reaction of feeling sick. I was essentially a rag doll. I remember being motionless for some of it (it went on for a long time so I don't remember every time - too many to count. Obviously if I could orgasm sometimes, i wasn't completely frozen at times (and that's part of the shame - the idea i partook). But I do remember certainly for the most part being in fawn and freeze mode).

You might succeed with "fight" too, but that's going to involve some luck and depends on the reaction of the person you're dealing with. (Something you probably lacked the experience to evaluate.)
I hadn't thought about this...

I guess what I'm saying is, I don't think there was anything wrong with how you handled it. Especially not at the age you were. I suppose we'd all like to handle everything heroically but that's not realistic, is it? And we live in the real world.
Maybe I am putting too high expectations on me and my role in it.

Thanks again, I'm really going deep into this topic in a way I never have done before. Hard but I think it's helping.
 
what should've been a loving experience decades in your future, was a humiliating, confusing feeling that brings you horrible shame.
Thanks @Ubergirl ... sometimes a simple sentence can stick out at you and you go 'Yeah, that's how it was'. And that's validating. 🙏
That part of yourself that blames you and yells, do you get a feeling for how old that "voice" may be?
I have a few different aged parts who carry shame. Some as young as 2/3. I have parts which carry shame from separate csa events in my life, nothing to do with this boy. But I do link the shame I feel about this time period with that boy very specifically with my 9/10 year old self. It's a different type of shame compared to the others.

What would you tell a friend or family members little girl the same age, who told you she blamed herself because for the same reason?
Oh wow. I've never considered this. I have a niece the same age as I was just before it ended (more or less). If it were happening to her, I would show anger at how she was being treated by this boy, I'd tell her it's not her shame to carry, not her fault and that there are a number of people (as per what @ninja was saying) who have responsibility in letting it happen for so long. I'd tell her I'm sorry she felt she could talk to anyone about it and that she had to deal with it all alone, especially the shame and fear of falling pregnant. I'd tell her there's nothing wrong with her and that I'll be with her to help her work through it all until she feels she hasn't done anything wrong.

I can really imagine saying this to my niece. Not sure i can apply it so easily to myself. I can't see my 9 year old self and I strangely feel a bit annoyed with her. I don't know why 😔... but writing this out, doing this exercise does help get a very different perspective...

Thank you for your support 🙏
 
I don't think it's normal for kids at these young ages to be aiming to get continual sexual stimulation (ie genital stimulation) / gratification from each other or for themselves (perhaps at 12 that could the case for a very few but in general in Western culture I'd say it's still very early). And for me 12 is still too young for sex. Period.

Maybe the question to ask here is where, then, does the remainder of the responsibility go? Because right now it seems like it's getting put on you, which isn't right.

So, where else should it go? Maybe your parents are partially responsible. Maybe the other child's parents are partially responsible. I can imagine that this might be hard to get on board with because if none of the parents knew what was happening, how could they be responsible? I get that, I really really do, but maybe the black and white clear cut thing here is that parents just are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of their children. They are responsible for taking an interest in their kids, noticing when things seem off, asking about what they got up to with their friends, building a loving, trusting, and safe relationship (which is not to be confused with never messing up).

This is sticky stuff. I haven't sorted it out and still find myself getting lost in these sorts of shame spirals. They are horrible.
With you 💜

I agree with this that it was both sets of parents responsibility, there must of been signs they missed or ignored.

But I also think it is acceptable that the older child is responsible. For example, you were abused and didn't go around using other kids for your own gratification?

Unfortunately I was a victim of cocsa, I was around 5/6 he must've been 8/9. He asked for me to have a sleepover specifically so he could do what he did.

I saw him years later when I was about 10 and he was early teens and confronted him, he casually admitted what he did.
I don't think he's necessarily evil but it shows that little kids need to be protected and taught from an early age what's accepted and what to do if somebody touches them in appropriately. The fact this kid organised a sleepover and whined that he wanted to me to sleep in his bed shows that he wanted me in a place where I couldn't do anything.
Bad people were kids once too, I didn't go abusing young defenceless kids like he did when I grew older, even though it happened to me.

Sorry I hope I didn't make it about me too much I'm not great at explaining I just wanted to offer my 2cents
 
Thanks @Ubergirl ... sometimes a simple sentence can stick out at you and you go 'Yeah, that's how it was'. And that's validating. 🙏

I have a few different aged parts who carry shame. Some as young as 2/3. I have parts which carry shame from separate csa events in my life, nothing to do with this boy. But I do link the shame I feel about this time period with that boy very specifically with my 9/10 year old self. It's a different type of shame compared to the others.


Oh wow. I've never considered this. I have a niece the same age as I was just before it ended (more or less). If it were happening to her, I would show anger at how she was being treated by this boy, I'd tell her it's not her shame to carry, not her fault and that there are a number of people (as per what @ninja was saying) who have responsibility in letting it happen for so long. I'd tell her I'm sorry she felt she could talk to anyone about it and that she had to deal with it all alone, especially the shame and fear of falling pregnant. I'd tell her there's nothing wrong with her and that I'll be with her to help her work through it all until she feels she hasn't done anything wrong.

I can really imagine saying this to my niece. Not sure i can apply it so easily to myself. I can't see my 9 year old self and I strangely feel a bit annoyed with her. I don't know why 😔... but writing this out, doing this exercise does help get a very different perspective...


Thank you for your support 🙏
When my T asked me the same question I was like 🤯 "I'd hug her and cry with her and tell her, of COURSE it's not your fault" and T says, well why can't you apply that to yourself? Lol

I know exactly what you mean with having all different ages of "trauma me's" with opinionated voices in our heads. I just want them to leave me the F alone!

But I saved a meme the other day that says something like *Those parts of ourselves that feel the darkest and the most shame, are the parts that need those most nurturing*

(I don't mean to pull on your heartstrings) Do you think perhaps that voice is the little 9 year old that's feeling so guilty and ashamed, and she can't tell anybody and feels stuck and needs help desperately, but nobody sees the anguish?
Maybe she's still trying to remind you his happened because it changed her forever and she worries it could happen again?

Can you imagine holding that beautiful girl in your arms and telling her that it's ok. It was horrible and so not her fault. That boy was not a good child, his parents were bad and your parents didn't help. She deserved so much more. But you are safe now, she's safe now. You'll make sure that she never ever has to deal with that again.
We can't control our bodies, she's just a normal girl with a normal body.


❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
 
But I also think it is acceptable that the older child is responsible. For example, you were abused and didn't go around using other kids for your own gratification?
Yes this was something I've spoken with T about. Initially I didn't think he had any responsibility in it simply because he was a child. Having worked through with T why that isn't the case, I do now accept he had some level of responsibility/ culpability. Not the same as an adult. But some because even children can know how to read other people's body language, to stop when asked.
Unfortunately I was a victim of cocsa, I was around 5/6 he must've been 8/9. He asked for me to have a sleepover specifically so he could do what he did.
I'm sorry to hear this 😞 ... 🤗
I saw him years later when I was about 10 and he was early teens and confronted him, he casually admitted what he did.
This was brave of you. Wow well done. Makes me angry though that his admittance was casual...
I don't think he's necessarily evil but it shows that little kids need to be protected and taught from an early age what's accepted and what to do if somebody touches them in appropriately.
Kids need to be protected not just from adults but also from certain children... the school curriculum should be teaching all kids what healthy and unhealthy touch and boundaries are from a young age and who to go to if you think someone is not respecting you...

he fact this kid organised a sleepover and whined that he wanted to me to sleep in his bed shows that he wanted me in a place where I couldn't do anything.
Yes.. he knew what he wanted to do... just like the boy who abused me... he may not have understood the consequences of those actions fully. But he knew enough to do it in a hidden way. Your parents/his parents shouldn't have allowed that with that age gap imo. Teach boundaries from an early age.
Bad people were kids once too, I didn't go abusing young defenceless kids like he did when I grew older, even though it happened to me.
Exactly
Sorry I hope I didn't make it about me too much I'm not great at explaining I just wanted to offer my 2cents
No not at all...I actively encourage people to share their experiences here - only if they want to though.... I think we can learn alot from each other by doing so.

Thank you for your input 😊 🙏
 
When my T asked me the same question I was like 🤯 "I'd hug her and cry with her and tell her, of COURSE it's not your fault" and T says, well why can't you apply that to yourself? Lol
Kind of predictable of a T! Although actually my T never got me to think that and I have to say, it's been really useful me imagiing my neice being in my position... I hope it helped you going through that process... seems like it has? You seem fairly level headed about it!

I know exactly what you mean with having all different ages of "trauma me's" with opinionated voices in our heads. I just want them to leave me the F alone!
Yes sometimes it's exactly that!!@ all of you just f off now!!

But I saved a meme the other day that says something like *Those parts of ourselves that feel the darkest and the most shame, are the parts that need those most nurturing*
This may seem a really stupid thing to say but I have never ever thought that the past causing so much grief is in need of nurturing...I have a number of different strands of shame - different causes which created different reactions... and some of these voices have split into parts of myself which feel very separate from myself ... which I'm also scared of... it has a hold over me and has the potential to cause deep fear in me... I've never seen this voice as a part of me or considered it a part which needs nurturing.. it's a very different approach to telling it to f*ck off as my T has got me to do in the past... I'll need to think this through!!

(I don't mean to pull on your heartstrings)
That's ok I'm putting myself out there and I know that's the risk
Do you think perhaps that voice is the little 9 year old that's feeling so guilty and ashamed, and she can't tell anybody and feels stuck and needs help desperately, but nobody sees the anguish?
Yes I do think this could be the case with one of the voices - not all...but it's never dawned on me actually... and I feel I need to really consider this...
Maybe she's still trying to remind you his happened because it changed her forever and she worries it could happen again?
This is something that could well be happening. Esp as I've managed to create (subconsciously) a similar scenario to the abuse that was happening in my adult life and the situation is almost killing me - asking for resolution...
Can you imagine holding that beautiful girl in your arms and telling her that it's ok. It was horrible and so not her fault. That boy was not a good child, his parents were bad and your parents didn't help. She deserved so much more. But you are safe now, she's safe now. You'll make sure that she never ever has to deal with that again.
We can't control our bodies, she's just a normal girl with a normal body.
Unfortunately I can't 😞 but I guess this is just going to take work and I need to think about this alot more
Thank you for your time and caring and your wise words - I've definitely been thought provoked ...
 
I don't know exactly how old he was but I do know i was prepubescent and he wasn't. I've struggled seeing a power differential between us

That is absolutely a power difference on its own. When you add to it the very real gender difference you are talking about here:

he started threatening me - not with physical force but by shaming me in front of everyone. By telling everyone what awful things I'd done with him and how disgusting I was. For him, telling people would be a trophy moment, one of pride, one which would get him respect from others, where as for me it would highlight how bad and shameful i am.

It's even more of one. When you also consider that you were

I didn't know what I was saying yes to. By the time I was in it, I had no idea that I could say no.
young and inexperienced

No wasn't a concept in my head. I didn't know I could say no

and raised (like a lot of us i would imagine) in a context where obedience is the most encouraged quality in children. I doubt anyone in your life was encouraging you to say no

How is a kid SUPPOSED to know that "no" is an option?

But when I was growing up, there was nothing like that. My mum didn't explicitly tell me these things - normal for the time I think. And my dad, when I visited, was already violating my boundaries. So the concept of no just wasn't available to me.

have a niece the same age as I was just before it ended (more or less). If it were happening to her, I would show anger at how she was being treated by this boy, I'd tell her it's not her shame to carry

!! exactly! i get where you are coming from because i also struggle to see that i was a child who was not allowed to say no when things were happening to me. for me, i'm realising that shame is the internalised disgust i experienced from others when i wasn't silent, obedient and good. it was because i was trying to meet those standards that i didn't kick up a fuss about what was happening to me.
 
. No wasn't a concept in my head. I didn't know I could say no. It literally wasn't an option. Didn't exist. Even feeling sick with it. Even when I couldn't breathe properly under him.
, I should have stopped him long before. I should have had a voice and used it. But there was nothing there. But I felt like i allowed it to happen.
These two statements bring up such an immediate reaction for me. Made my throat close off and my chest tighten up for a second. This is so relatable for me. So very much this.
 
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