Childhood Struggling with intimacy due to incestual COCSA, family childhood trauma


New Here
I just made an account on here because i need to get this off my chest in a place like this. Mostly cause i dont know the next time i can meet with my therapist and i want to know what other people who have been thru similar things think.

From ages of 10-11 i engaged in sexual behavior with my younger brother. Even though hes 2 years younger than me and had many developmental delays growing up (we both have autism) he initiated it and held the power in it. I enjoyed some of it and i think i may have initiated it once or twice but there were many many times i just went along with it because it was easier than saying no and i was scared of what he would do if i said no. This is especially true after the first time because i had a huge fear that if i said no he would tell my parents what was happening. It was 4th-5th grade and just on the brink of puberty for me which is part of what makes it so awkward. This heavily ties into my overall childhood trauma but thats a whole different can of worms that i cant even begin to describe.

Ive mentioned every so often in passing that ive been through sexual assault when i feel comfortable saying it but ive only shared that it was my brother to my other sibling, my current significant other, and one other friend. Its excruciating because it ties so much into my childhood trauma because him being my brother is so essential in understanding my trauma and why i am the way i am today. I had to grow up alongside the person who took away my innocence, where i was put into a situation i couldnt understand the gravity of and just decided to play along because i was taught that placating my brother was the safest option when dealing with him. I had already known a little bit about masturbation because my older sibling explained it to me when i got a book about puberty in 4th grade and that alongside with these events were the awakening of sexual feelings for me. It stopped when i got extremely panicked because he escilated it and told me to lay on him fully naked and i was scared i would get pregnant so i stopped it.

I repressed the fact this happened for a while. I know that i still had vague memories about it by the time i was in 6th grade because i remember wanting to ask at the sex ed talk if someone younger than you could rape you but decider not to because i thought the question was stupid. I carried so much guilt about the event because i thought i shouldve known better as his older sibling. I thought if i told anyone i wouldve been blamed. And i probably would have been at the time. But at some point in middle school i repressed it, and eventually the memory started coming back in the form of awful nightmares around the age of 15-16.

Like i said before, even without these events, my brother is a huge part of my childhood trauma. I have strained but not necessarily negative relationships with my family (mostly him but also my mom and maybe dad to a degree. I have a pretty great relationship w my older sibling and an ok one with my stepdad) because of just how shitty our home environment was for everyone growing up. I always felt like i needed to keep my feelings locked inside to myself in order to keep other people happier and let them get the help they needed. I felt as if resources shouldnt be wasted on me and so i silenced myself and hid myself away.

Sorry this whole thing is really so disjointed..i get carried away trying to explain the intricacy of it all. the original reason for this post was to talk about intimacy. Im currently a sophomore in college (19, turning 20 in a couple months) and have been in a relationship with someone for a little over two years. We are just about the same age and are eachothers first real relationship, and first and only other people to (excluding the sexual trauma i just described) be sexually intimate with. Im really struggling at the moment to try and engage with my sex life without thoughts of my cocsa encounters with my brother coming to mind. This isnt anything new but i just seem to be drowning in another wave where i cant get it off my mind.
For a long time i refused to acknowledge my sexual urges as a part of me. I would masturbate to make them go away and feel dirty afterwards. I want to have a healthier sex life and have a decent sex drive, but cant make the thoughts of my brother go away, and the more i try to put them aside and tell myself im safe here in the present, the more violent and persistent they seem to get. I seem to have on and off periods of time where im ok to engage in sex/intimacy and periods where the flashbacks get bad and im repulsed and scared. I think its likely cause its the only other sexual experience ive had in my life. I reallyget scared of crossing the wires though and fear that if i continue that my brother and boyfriend will start to overlap in my mind and ill start to associate other traumatic events with my current relationship. I already struggle when im heavily dissassociative to identify my boyfriend and if he is a threat or not. Anyone else with a similar experience?


New Here
Hey there, I can definitely relate to your experience. I experienced emotional incest growing up (bordering on actual incest) with my mother, and I'm have a super difficult time with intimacy right now. I don't have any desire at all for intimacy and it's making my boyfriend feel really rejected...I'm in such a bad place that I don't even know how to reassure him because I can barely take care of myself. I explained all this to him and he understands but it's so difficult.

I'm so sorry for everything that you went through. I hope you can start to heal significantly soon and work through some of the distressing things you're feeling. Remember that none of this is your fault and taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do.


Hi @z3phyr, welcome!

I had similar experiences with an older brother and similar issues as a result. For me the more I process and accept what happened the less it impacts on my relationship now. If possible, as with other intrusive thoughts or images, try to let them pass by without getting sucked into their meaning but I understand this can feel very hard to do but fighting them will only make them stronger.

Take good care and be kind and patient with yourself.