Long story warning.
I read all of dr. Roberts pages on childhood sexuality and exploration and will not bother him with the questions he answered so many times. But I'm still so troubled. To the point of agony, suicide thoughts and not being able to grasp my breath at times by the fact on how much it hurts.
I'm currently 24 and I'm a girl. I have a 6 and a half year younger brother that will soon be 18. From the ages of my 8th till 16th and his 2nd and 10th year, stuff happened purely on my initiative, that now make me sick to my stomach. To keep the story short i dry humped him periodically through our childhood. I would gently rub against his bum as he was sleeping and a couple of times while he was awake. I'm not sure how many exact times it happened or other details.
Stuff I didn't do. I did not take his clothes off but i think i once took off my lower pajama part and i want to puke at the thought now. I never touched his private parts. I never showed him pornography or introduced him to nudity or sexual stuff. I was a troubled child, we lived in an abusive environment, my father had PTSD and was an alcoholic and a sadist. I take none of this as an excuse but what can I say. It didn't help. I had no proper guidance to sexuality or most of life things.
Recently i talked to my brother, tried to explain to him what happened. He was laughing in my face and said he has no memory of these things happening which I find disturbing since the last time it happened he was 10 and I was 16 and almost an adult and WHAT THE HELL WAS WRONG WITH ME. Is he compressing the pain????????? He said he forgives me for whatever "I think I did" and has no suffering over anything that happened from time we were children. How can that be???? I remember he said to me when it happened at the age of his 10th, and that was also the last time it happened, I'm going to tell what you did. I only answered I didn't do anything and changed the subject and spoke of it never again or repeated such behavior ever again. My first real sexual experience with a boy was at the age of 17. Everything else in my life since that point went on "normal" and I never thought of these childhood events since recently, when the memories started to crush pieces of my soul. Confessed to my boyfriend. He actually thinks I'm overreacting and looking for punishment and causing myself trauma when my brother shows none.
I say to him, that may be correct but if the rape victim forgives her rapist does that make the rape act okay. Certainly not. The guilt is killing me. And how can it not?
He is 6 years younger then me and was practically baby when it started. I would mostly do it at nights, since we slept in the same bed. He was helpless and my little brother and he didn't give me consensus. I played with him a game he didn't want to be a part of and reached an orgasm which is a fact. In every way that is abuse and it happened over a period of 8 years. Not a one time thing. And finally, the fact that i was 16 the last time it happened is cold painful fact. I should have known better by then. I should have resolved these impulses in another matter. How sick.
So.. What to do now? I feel like I stole a piece of his soul. I want to crawl up and die.
Your post more or less contains within it all the reasons why you should forgive yourself (Brother has forgiven you, abusive up bringing etc.) And 16 really isn't that old, in my opinion (certainly, looking back, I wasn't all that mature), and still childlike in many ways, especially if in an abusive environment, or recently out of one.
And you've already read all Dr. S's posts, which you seem to accept in principle.
And yet, you feel this way. Almost overwhelmed. And you've felt this way for sometime. There's no simple technique to snap out of this, and it will take time. You probably won't get much on this forum, though I hope this confession has made you feel a little better. You should find a therapist of some kind ASAP. Someone impartial, who can work you through this.
Please don't hurt yourself. Think how your brother would feel.
Thank you James for your kind words. I'm trying my best to be a grown up and act rationale. But it's extremely difficult. I will not be that selfish and cowardly to take away my life cause it repairs nothing.
I do accept dr. Roberts opinions on this matter but it's extremely difficult to live and cope with the guilt. So I spin the whole story in my head a thousand times each day. It's very unhealthy and making me paranoid. I look at the children on the streets and start convincing myself that I'm a sex offender and that I should be shout. And I know the trouble is that I'm looking at this from an adult perspective.
The facts that actually bother me the most are the age gap and the fact that on occasions he was sleeping. I immediately imagine in my head the image of a 40 year old pervert going to the room of a child at nights and doing everything those people do. How am I any different?? Anyways.. I wish.. I wish I could go back. :(((((((
You are in terrible pain, and I feel for you. I also see your pain as something largely self-inflicted due to a misunderstanding. You are looking back from your present understanding and judging the person you were then when these things of which you are so ashamed happened. If you had been then the person you are now, those things would not have happened. But you were not this person then, you were that person, and that's what she did, but not would you would do--I mean the you who is reading these words, and who recently posted her story on the Forum. This is what it means to say that the past is gone--all those characters aren't around any more, and their stories are mostly just stories they tell themselves. Like the guilty ones you have been telling yourself--unfairly and far too judgmentally in my view I must say.
Your boyfriend is right. You are being far too hard on yourself. If your brother is OK with this--and apparently he is--I strongly advise you to let it all go and just get on with your life. All of us have done things of which we are not proud, but those things are in the past which is dead and gone, and which can never come back or be lived differently. What's done is done.
The important thing is to live well now, which, in my view, means to live ethically and with as much kindness as you can muster. If you can do that, everything will be OK. Everything will be OK.
If you cannot take my word for it, then find your own therapy as soon as possible, but one way or another--either now because you can, or later because some therapy will have cleared the present confusion up enough so that you can--please forgive yourself for being human and be happy.
I suggest reading this:
It goes right to the heart of the matter.
Thank you all for your answers. The Dr. himself and others. I am indeed doing everything I can to convince myself that I am worthy human being and a good person. It is hard, so hard that this pain I feel at times, consumes every cell in my body. Through a lot of painful thinking my memories tell me that this matter happened around 15 or 20 times through a period of 8 years. But the number doesn't matter really, it does nothing to help me, my brother, anyone..
Although I live in a catholic country I myself am not that religious, or should I say not in any matter that includes repression, so really do accept the ideas of Dr. Robert that child exploration is not that abusive, wrongful or demonic as it is often stigmatized. But still, taking this into consideration, also believe that rubbing yourself against a 6 years younger child that was uncoscious of the act at times, is very much wicked and exploitative. If it was with a peer that participated equally in the act and had the same gratification it would be another matter, by my standards at least.
But I can do nothing to repair that now. And I will repeat to myself that although I took something of my brother, the closeness that wasn't mine to take or to be looked for within him or his body I know I didn't leave any physical consequences on him, they are only emotional, and seem to be well hidden or not there at all. Only time shall show.
At the end i beg on any parent that reads this to never stop talking to his child, guide them without judgment and all that crap and not for a second forget that children/young people are capable of doing and wanting to do many grown up things which could be very edgy and morally wrong by judgment of general public, or by themselves as adults. So to all.. Your children never stop needing you. That's why they are yours.
I am sorry everybody.. i can not.. sorry
Ahh. It sounds that easy when you say it. But I get the principle and I must say, it does sound logical and reasonable. There is a source of the matter and there is a consequence.
Yess, well I can't do much more then I already did. I've put my head down and confessed to my brother, just didn't get the reaction I expected. Maybe one day when it comes to his head, or perhaps never. But if i continue to think about it in an obsessive matter, it will certainly not do any good.
But self-forgiveness and letting go are the hardest part.
It is so painful to actually accept that I was not the wicked one, that the wickedness was in fact all that was around me and thus it sucked me right in.
Everything you say is beyond truth, I blame the little girl, I am deeply ashamed of her and in all ways want her dead, want her not be in any way attached to me.
I can read everything you say for so many times and it can make me cry so many times.
It's good that you cry it out. It's even healthy for you to provoke the thought of it and allow it to overcome you cause eventually.. you just wont have anymore pain to give for it. Eventually you'll get tired of crying about it.
But for now these are fresh wounds that you must allow yourself to both experience and after a while.. get rid of because you know after a while there will be no point in crying anymore. You'll know when that point comes as well because you'll say to yourself "why am I still crying about this?" and you might feel a little angry at yourself.
Your song is...
Fuel - Hemorrhage
Don't watch the music video.. just listen to the song and know that in the end it is you who is overcoming all of this. All I have done is supply you with the knowledge to help you escape but this is your journey and it goes at your pace and no one but you dictates how fast it gets fixed cause this is your head and these are your feelings.
But I do still smirk at you cause.. you are normal and you convinced yourself you were broken. I know this isn't the time but one day your ego will finish feeling sorry for itself, understand the truth cause you understand it now, and move on.
The dynamics of your mind are just fun to me. I wish I could feel that power of emotion still. I know when it hurts it hurts a lot but all I gotta say to that is.. Three Days Grace: Pain
In my head you are at a funeral saying goodbye to old emotions cause you know that even though they hurt you, those feelings were a part of you, and now you must say goodbye to that fallen part.
Just as we feel pain for fallen loved ones.. so to do we feel pain for ourselves and the knowledge that our innocents was somehow cheated away from us.
I hope you aren't mad at me for showing you how to open that door. I know it put you in a new room and you have to work things out. I've been there. A lot more questions.. but you know what.. it's better you know the truth than have an emotional breakdown.
We should never hate who we were. For who we are was built on the foundation of who we were and to hate who we were is to hate who we have become.
One day you will forgive that little girl. Everyone else forgave her. It's too bad we are always hardest on ourselves.
Oh no! It his begam!
Oh f uck, I think I know who you are...
I find it fascinating because it is largely alien to my own experience. You received good counsel from the doc and others, yet you imply that you are unable to take their advice because the guilt is oh so strong. That is interesting to me.
For the longest time I could not articulate the psychological differences between myself and most people around me. Until the last year and a half, that is. This, the experience of overwhelming guilt, is one of those differences, hence the fascination.
Do you really believe that it is impossible for you to change your thinking on this issue?
Good work. Keep at it and you will get over this.
Just to conclude the subject. I found the strength in my body and I spoke with my mother, told her everything. She wanted to kick my ass, but just because I've let a thing like this eat me up for so long. She forbid me to ever go and seek answers on the internet again. She told me about the experiences she and her playmates, cousins and all the people she knows had. She feels bad for the mistake of not seeing my need for guidance and feels sad that I myself didn't come and speak to her much earlier.
Everybody around me find it funny that I feel bad for such a "stupid" thing. My boyfriend, My mother, My brother. They all see it in a way "child growing up and exploring". If I am surrounded with people like that, how did I end up in this state. I do not know.
Conclusion. I will talk a lot more times with my mother. But I no longer feel the heavy burden and child molester stigma on me. Maybe somebody will disagree and think that I am. But, to them I say: Don't care. My mother said I'm allowed to think I'm a good person. :D
I am so glad you managed to find peace. Your story really touched me as I went through something similar myself. You are not alone and what happened is quite normal. You resolve gives me hope that I will move on with my life very soon, and somehow find a way to forgive myself.
Since you already raised my thread, I shall answer you here.
There is no emotion so destructive and overwhelming as guilt. It can be positive in a way, because you take a good look at yourself and choose to make yourself to be a better person. But the problematic part is forgiving yourself for that what is already done. I personally see no reason for any human being to dedicate his whole life to agony and suffering over any event, no matter how bad it was. It has no sense to me. The more efficient redemption would be making things better, correcting the mistake as much as you can, helping yourself and others. In all, being that better person. The concept of eternal suffering is something that is not so much natural to humans, it is mostly religious. So much of them deprive themselves of living this life they have now, to the fullest and not postponing things for later, some imaginative eternal glory where everything will finally have sense and those that were virtuous shall drink wine and roll on clouds and those or should I say, we that were not will endure hell's barbecue. I see you are in great deal of suffering over something that happened over 20 years and more and all of you is now deeply ashamed and is depriving herself of happiness because of those events. Again, it has no sense. Imagine the girl that you were then, those that did those things you are ashamed of, the little girl. Close your eyes and portray her in your mind. Now tell me. Does this girl look like and evil creature that came out of satanic pit to you? Or does she look scared, immature, unaware, not really realizing the concepts of so many life thing? Look on the streets these little girls and then imagine they did this awful thing you think you did. And what would you do to them? Beat them up? Close them up? Make them suffer in agony?
YOU ARE BLAMING A CHILD FOR BEING A CHILD. But this child is not you now. She didn't know what you know. If you are now, at this moment, not doing what she was doing, why are you not leaving this child alone and letting her fade away? Why are you constantly causing her pain? Judging her? It's so easy for you as an adult. Because you know. You mentioned you hope you will find peace as much as you think I did. Well, if I truly found the peace I need I wouldn't really still hang around here. It never stops hurting and it never goes away, but you tell to the son of a bit*h that is destroying you that you will not surrender and to all of the voices you hear in your head, the voices of people you feel that would judge you and tell you you shouldn't even be alive to shut up. You know why. Because they haven't lived your life. It's so easy for them to judge upon others, but I wish they were me only for one minute of my growing up and then I would see how virtuous and moral they would truly be. Never let anyone WHO ISN'T YOU AND HAS NOT BEEN YOU, OR IN YOUR SITUATION judge you and impose their fake morals to you. I take the blame for my mistakes. I truly do. I am deeply sorry. But the point is not to let the general opinions of uneducated and hypocritical people teach you about human body, sexuality and natural responding to your surroundings. So what are you doing that? Because when you go to the store and see other women you feel like an impostor. Because you are a "sex-offender" and they are angel's breath. Don't be stupid. There is no such thing as a perfect human being, who has never mistaken, never sinned, never done wrong.
And what did you truly do that was so bad? Compared to me and so many others here, what did you do??? I know it's easy to say for me but if I was you, I would get over this thing in a heart beat. Every time, a person arrives on this forum it simply proves the concept of Dr. Salzman's explanation on these issues. He doesn't have to do a research on it, because the research is coming to him. Don't get me wrong, just because some things happen it doesn't mean they should be taken as accepted behavior. Rape is not normal. Murder is not normal. But silly children who have no real knowledge over human body or anything connected to that, responding in a way that makes adults shocked, just means we have a whole bunch of stupid and ignorant adults who again have no idea about human development, about sexuality, about curiosity. We are not all the same, and we do not respond in equal ways. This is the sole concept of diversity and the variety of man kind. The idea that so many of us are born evil, capable of doing this "horrible" things makes me not want to ever be born at all. Because what's the point then really? Evil is doing something you know to be wrong, and not that child knowledge "this might be wrong", but truly knowing. I see you mentioned my mother. Yes I confided in her, and not just her. My secret is pretty much not a secret anymore. My boyfriend knows it. His mother knows it. My brother knows it. My step-father knows it. My good male friend knows it. And they all think I'm ridiculous. In a way I got lucky because I am surrounded with liberated and educated people that don't think inside of the box. And they all are trying to help me. I have also been to a psychotherapist, and you should do that also if you feel it is killing you inside. But be careful. Not all of them are also people you can confide in. They are after all humans, just like us. Why am I then still suffering? Because it's a disease. I got infected reading up all of the bullshit online.
The logical conclusion to all of this is actually you should never judge yourself by other stories and other people. Just because some girl wrote on the internet her brother or sister touched her when they were little and she is destroyed by it, it doesn't mean you are the perpetrator. Each story is on her own. Your story is not her own. I doubt your brother even remembers these things and the concept that he is somehow destroyed by them is completely unlikely. So if nobody is accusing you on doing him wrong, why are you accusing yourself? You know now it is wrong. But you actually know it would be wrong now perhaps. But it perhaps wasn't that wrong then. Only accepting that will help you move on with your life. You can not erase it. You can not make it go away. Learn to live with it, with yourself. Be human. What else can you be? Best to you..
It is obvious to me that you already know the way out of your dilemma. Here's why I say that:
See this is bad.
Bloodytears gets good advice from me and then you all try to make her paranoid when she is already vulnerable. I don't take pot shots at people who are already down. There is no honor in corning an already wounded animal and killing it. That kind of cowardly thinking is only used by one mindset.
Why the switch to "Zenemy" anyway?
Thank you for sharing your story BloodyTears and good luck to you. I still find guilt like this absolutely fascinating.