Originally Posted by Papooses
I haven't had a chance to read every post, but I've been thinking about this thread more & took time away to try to focus myself on the issue in hopes of better presenting my view -- I believe that in the world of cyberspace there are a lot of miscommunications & misunderstandings....
What I presented has been taught to me by reliable professionals through an American perspective: since I have great difficulty trusting my own self with such issues because of my own trauma as a young child, I choose to seek educated individuals who I can trust to help me find what is best for MY family -- I tried to present what I learned by taking the average US family into consideration: AP parents are not usually the norm, so, fortunately, much of what I expressed may not apply to many here....
However, I feel the need personally to stress the fact that while we are more aware now than in the past, the rates of sexual abuse (2/3 of all women before the age of 12, 1/4 of all men) are still a low estimate. Also, when at least 90%of perpetrators are trusted family members or friends + the younger the child the more susceptible to emotional blackmail & the less likely to express their pain in ways that lovign adults understand ... it is still so urgent that kids develop boundaries very early in life!
Boundaries do not mean that we make children afraid of or uncomfortable by seing genitalia. It simply means that we provide the example that our bodies are private. If our own family sees us naked on occasion, then we do not freak out about it, but continue to provide the example that even looking CAN be abusive. Kids trust their parents. Kids also learn to trust family friends & relatives. If it's safe to bath with a parent, then why wouldn't they think it's safe to bath with their uncle? Then if uncle touches them, it's more likely that a child who bathes with their parents will feel that THEY did something wrong if they feel wrong & not report what their uncle did - or at the very least, not use specific enough words that adults can understand....
I thought perhaps you all might appreciate it if I opened up a bit to reveal some of my personal history as it relates to this subject?
I was sexually abused by my parents' basement tenant who was also my babysitter while my father was away & my mother need to do chores & this person also tutored me (I was "gifted"). At 4 years old, we all trusted this college student. At first he would simply call me in while I was playing outside while my parents were right at home upstairs & he would show me various media of porn. Since I had highschool aged siblings, I'd seen some scraps of porn stuffed away where they thought it was hidden. I was showering with my mom during this time & all of this continued until I was 7 years old. Even before the tenant moved in I became slightly aroused & confused in the shower with my mother after seeing my siblings' hidden porn -- it had created the connection between nakedness & sex. But by 7 I began to enjoy watching the porn in the basement & my perpetrator noticed this -- he progressed to touching me & having me touch him.... He worked me up into craving it. This caused such intense shame because at the same time my parents were teaching me not to let anyone touch me "down there" & to tell -- but I had tried telling! I said I thought *he* was YUCKY. I wash ashmed to say anything more for fear that I would get into trouble because I liked it, because I sought it out. I didn't understand that I was not responsible for this, that my perp had caused all that. So years went by of daily sexual abuse & none of my 5 family members ever noticed. They still don't know because 20+ years later I still have such intense shame that I can't face them about it even though I KNOW I didn't nothing wrong back then. FWIW, my DD self weaned around her 4th birthday & I have allowed her to "test the Leche" since when she's asked (she's turning 5 tomorrow)
My parents did everything "right" in regards to protecting me (my perp only had mere moments at a time, but he still got to me right under my parents' noses) -- I can barely function as a mother when I imagine all that could happen to my DD right in front of me ... so I do more than what is "normal" -- I teach her to love her own body, to respect herself & to value when other people respect themselves by wanting privacy, but to also value the naturalness of the human body as a divine source of knowing one's self -- I focus on simply knowing herself well enough to know what feels comfortable & what doesn't.
What's right for each family always varries & I respect each parents' decision ... I hope that no one here thinks I have tried to force my own way upon anyone else -- it's just that I tend to function under the premise that there isn't enough awareness yet & so I often toss out as much information as I can in an attempt to keep my emotional side separate from the issue so that I do not end up spewing harsh oppinions based solely on my own unfortunate experiences & fears.
Wow Mama, I am so sorry for the events that happened to you. That's truly heart breaking.
I admire you for coming out and telling your story.
I am trying to understand where you are coming from, as a sexually abused child. And I do see your point. However, I think to each family there own.
I grew up with my mom walking around naked alot, just getting ready etc.
It never bothered me, I really never even batted an eye. But, I was never sexually abused. I never saw porn until I was 18. But, I was sexually active around 16. But, still my mom being nude was just normal to me. I a way I am glad that she showed me that the body is not a sexual thing, its just a "body". But, as you know my experience was not like yours..
I also teach my son (4) that his body is private when not in our family.
Its odd because my nieces (6) mom is VERY private and has tried to get her to be private and she is not even as close to being as private as my son. She leaves the door open to the bath room, and the other day she took her pants off in front of my son and said look at my butt. My son would not do that. He knows that his body is private and not for showing people beside mom, dad, gma and papa. But, he wont even with my parents he "slams" the bathroom door shut when he goes. I dont know what we have done different than my sister in law. It could just be personalities... But, I just found it odd that what she was trying to create with not being open about her own body is making her daughter act out.