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Childhood Is this CoCSA? Conflicting info online

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fallout6

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hi, i can't tell if what happened to me was cocsa or not

ive had memories of the incident for a few years now but whenever they come back i tend to bury them, but today something triggered me and ive been looking into cocsa to try and grasp the situation and i keep finding sorta conflicting? information. the issue here is the age gap between me and the perpetrator: shes only 3 months older than me and we were both 5-6yo at the time. from what ive seen its generally not considered cosca unless theres at least a 2 year gap

to give a bit more detail, shes my cousin and she introduced me to porn around that same age. she taught me how to masturbate. she pressured me into having sex (never painted it as a game like playing house or doctor, just as a fun thing to do, because she showed me sex is fun in porn...) whenever we would spend time at each others houses and i went along with it at first, finding it enjoyable, but i remember a time when i was so deeply disgusted by the whole thing and wanted to stop doing all of it - she convinced me otherwise for a few more months, but eventually did stop and never brought it up again

i do believe there was a power imbalance (my family always painted her as an older figure despite our age difference being only 3 months, and she did act the part) but i havent had the chance to discuss this with anyone so i just dont know. does it count as cosca? was i abused? i went along willingly at first and was never firm when saying no

im almost 22 now and realizing that i got messed up by this whole thing. between hypersexuality and anxiety and EDs and a lot of burned bridges (i cant stand being around that side of the family anymore) i can trace a lot of it back to this. its hard for me to put it into words so i tried to be as concise as possible. knowing what to call it would help
 
Hi @fallout6 , welcome to the forum. I don’t know much about that kind of experience but there was a thread recently called COCSA within family where something similar was addressed which you might find helpful. If you haven’t looked into finding a therapist to help you untangle the
hypersexuality and anxiety and EDs and a lot of burned bridges
I highly recommend doing so. Take a look around the site, the search function is especially helpful for finding articles on topics of interest to you.
 
I don't think an age difference has anything to do with it. The child who did things to me was my age, and I classify that as abuse.

Children do explore their bodies. however, Children shouldn't have access to porn. So that in itself is abusive (to both of you). You were both very young, so who showed her the porn in the first place?

Given both your ages, she would have struggled to understand the consequence on her actions on you.

What matters is how you hold it. What impact it had on you. And how you can make peace with it.

And the thing with consent, is really tricky. Remember you were 5. And 5 year olds can't consent to sexual acts.
I get myself tied up in knots about consent. But maybe you are looking at consent through adult eyes?

But as @OliveJewel says with the link to that thread. There is difference of opinion on this site about what is and isn't cocsa.
And my only suggestion is : go with what feels right for you.
 
Whether she was acting out her own abuse and conditioning or not, it was abuse for you as were too young to understand and choose, and family or peer pressure along with natural bodily responses can add to the confusion. I went along with my perp for different reasons but a similar age when it started and I didn’t have another safe place to go, and at first I enjoyed the attention instead of the DV at home, but I was too young to understand and choose and so were you. Take your time and reach out as you feel ok, and if you’re not already a therapist who has worked with sexual abuse survivors could be helpful. Whatever term you use, it was abuse and trauma for you. 🌺
 
hi, i can't tell if what happened to me was cocsa or not

ive had memories of the incident for a few years now but whenever they come back i tend to bury them, but today something triggered me and ive been looking into cocsa to try and grasp the situation and i keep finding sorta conflicting? information. the issue here is the age gap between me and the perpetrator: shes only 3 months older than me and we were both 5-6yo at the time. from what ive seen its generally not considered cosca unless theres at least a 2 year gap
The idea of COCSA between simular aged children is complicated but it is generally agreed upon that it happens. I wrote in the thread COCSA in family about the framework outlined in Johnson and Doonan (2005) that outlines a criteria that prepubesant peer on peer abuse must meet to be considered abusive, which is the framework used by organisations like the NSCPP (prolly f*cked up that acronym lol). Though there are other frameworks that exist. Ultimately though, I think regardless of label if you think you've been negatively effected by it, you have the right to call it abusive or not depending on what feels right for you. I've been badly traumatised by the COCSA I've experienced which was also between me and another boy when we were 6-7 yrs old and it was textbook cocsa according to Johnson and Doonan, but not according to other definitions. Ultimately if you were effected by it, the specific label it falls under doesn't matter so much imo. You need to label it what will most benefit you. Many sexual violence based therapies will allow you to use the language that you most identify with as pinning it down to a specific definition is just useless at the end of the day. If you're hurt, your hurt. What you call that hurt should be up to you.
 
I suspect the reason you're searching for a potential COCSA label is the same reason I went searching when I got stealthed, which before that experience I didn't even know was a thing. And here in the US, stealthing is considered to be "rape adjacent" in many states, but not yet illegal. So it too, is being debated and is in a grey area within its field.

Here's the thing, though. We (anyone) do not need a label on an experience to justify our feelings about it.

The bottom line is it was a traumatic experience for YOU, and talking with a qualified therapist will help you work through those feelings. Your feelings are what matters to your recovery, NOT the label.

Hth. 😊💕
 
I was about 40 when I got this realization. I’m in my 60’s now. It’s hard to believe it’s been all these years . You might try Judith Herman’s book trauma and recovery.
 
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