Incest as a child.. *warning disturbing content* - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-10-2010, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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*I am posting this under a different name for anonymity, because it is such a sensitive matter.

When I was a child, first I can remember it happening was about 5 or 6 years old. I was the oldest, with one brother 2 years younger and one 3 years younger. I don't remember the exact first time, but about 5/6 years old, it may have started as harmless play, something like doctor patient, I really don't know. Anyway, over the years it became more inappropriate, touching and such. I don't know exactly how often (I have blocked alot of it out), but lets say 1-2 a week. Voluntarily on both sides, and I remember at the time just because of the age we knew it was something *bad* that we shouldn't have been doing. (Just for clarification their was only touching and such, no intercourse). Well fast forward a few years I became very ashamed of it and didn't want to continue this anymore. I felt dirty and bad and wrong and hated how it made me feel. I think I was about 9/10 (we stayed home alone after school regularly) and there was a time I did not want to do it, but clearly remember my two brothers overpowering me and stripping me down to my panties. I became numb and block out alot after that, but there was not intercourse. I believe there was nothing for awhile and then I suppose it started happening again. Around when I when I was 13 and my youngest brother was 10, more frequently. Most of it at this point was while fully dressed, but I do remember times we were not, but again, no intercourse. I feel so full of shame writing this and after about the age of 14 nothing else happened. It all stopped. We mostly never mentioned it and no one else knows. We never talk about it and I try to block it out alot, because I feel so dirty and bad and ashamed. The reason I am coming out about this is because I need help to resolve this with myself and wonder if this is something I would need to tell someone I might marry. I cannot stress how ashamed we all felt and when it ended we all agreed to not tell anyone, for fear of ridicule. I believe we did know it was wrong, but were kids and alone alot. Please help me heal.
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:22 PM
 
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Oh my dear- I am so sorry you had to go through something like that. I don't know how much help I can offer, but as far as if you need to tell someone you might marry, I would say yes, because it is something important and it has shaped you. Definitely tell them when you feel comfortable and when you feel you can really trust them. It's something very personal. I have my own deep dark secret as well, different circumstances, but it was something very difficult for me as well, and I would torture myself with the guilt of it. I did tell my husband, because I felt he should know, as I was still dealing with the guilt of the situation when we were dating and talking of marriage, and it would impact certain aspects of our relationship. I have healed from the guilt, and for me it was finding my relationship with God, and realizing all the love, grace and forgiveness he has for me, no matter what I have done in my life. I don't know if you have a spiritual background at all, but I can honestly say, that all the counseling and other things to try and move past the guilt, nothing could compare to the change in myself that happened when I felt the love of Christ.

I really hope you find your way to healing. If there is anyway at all I can help you, feel free to PM me.
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:34 AM
 
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Hugs. I think a lot of people who suffer sexual abuse/ unwanted touching feel guilt for not speaking up. As a child we often know things are wrong, but still continue with the behavior. But it boils down to us being children. There are some things that we can only conquer as adults. I have felt similar feelings as you. Guilt, shame, fear. I won't reveal my own details, but suffice it to say that I knew what they did was wrong, but I didn't voice it when I really needed to. I worried about what others would think about me, how it would affect my mother..... I was a child as were you. If you feel the need to share these things with a SO, you can do it from a place of healing from within. You can find comfort in knowing that you are never alone and that there are many people who will not judge you or be critical of you. I kept my own details to myself, but I know for sure that I have learned a valuable lesson at a young age. And I hope to pass these lessons on to my own children, so they will never have to suffer as I have.
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:10 AM
 
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I'm so sorry that happened to you. I have no advice, but couldn't read and not reply.
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:21 PM
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PM'ed you.
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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The most common type of sexual abuse in America is brother-sister incest. It's not at all unusual for siblings to have stories like this. I don't mean to play down the seriousness of your situation, but children do regularly participate in sex play at the ages you were. Whoever the child is around most often are generally the ones they have sexual play with. If a boy has all brothers or neighbors who are boys, it happens with them. Likewise, in my neighborhood growing up, there were all girls and we definitely had our share of sexual play. Because you were all three so young, I am tempted to think that it wasn't "abuse" per se, but more children experimenting. The fact that you have guilt over it could be societal (I felt incredibly guilty as an adult acknowledging our sexual play experiences as children, especially between me and one other neighbor girl, but as I educated myself about the psychology of sexuality in children, I began to see how very commonplace it was and the guilt resolved). I did tell my husband about it, not because of some scarring effect, but because I tell him everything and that is just a part of my growing up experience. Our society is firm on saying that sexuality should not exist in children and no person should participate in sexual acts with a child (and these guidelines make sense when you see the child sexual abuse problem that we have). But children are sexual. They are born sexual. It is a milestone in the life of a child to experiment sexually with other children.

I hope you can resolve your issues of guilt and whatever impact that has had on your relationship with your brothers. I would definitely check out some psychology of sexuality books that may very well help put your mind at ease, like it did for me. Good luck!

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Old 07-12-2010, 04:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by writteninkursive View Post
The most common type of sexual abuse in America is brother-sister incest. It's not at all unusual for siblings to have stories like this. I don't mean to play down the seriousness of your situation, but children do regularly participate in sex play at the ages you were. Whoever the child is around most often are generally the ones they have sexual play with. If a boy has all brothers or neighbors who are boys, it happens with them. Likewise, in my neighborhood growing up, there were all girls and we definitely had our share of sexual play. Because you were all three so young, I am tempted to think that it wasn't "abuse" per se, but more children experimenting. The fact that you have guilt over it could be societal (I felt incredibly guilty as an adult acknowledging our sexual play experiences as children, especially between me and one other neighbor girl, but as I educated myself about the psychology of sexuality in children, I began to see how very commonplace it was and the guilt resolved). I did tell my husband about it, not because of some scarring effect, but because I tell him everything and that is just a part of my growing up experience. Our society is firm on saying that sexuality should not exist in children and no person should participate in sexual acts with a child (and these guidelines make sense when you see the child sexual abuse problem that we have). But children are sexual. They are born sexual. It is a milestone in the life of a child to experiment sexually with other children.

I hope you can resolve your issues of guilt and whatever impact that has had on your relationship with your brothers. I would definitely check out some psychology of sexuality books that may very well help put your mind at ease, like it did for me. Good luck!
I really have to agree with this. I have a 2 stories of curiosity that were very mutual! But I would never tell anyone because we are told it is perverse wrong and demented. --they were not with my sibling.

Since original poster was the older child, I would look into personal experience. Please see a councilor to help figure out if it was curiosity or acting out other abuse, or if you have a distorted view of what happen.

Some child on child sex play is abusive - but to say a 5 - 10 year old has the same culpability as an adult is wrong.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incest - I have read the below information other places, but cannot find it with out finding other sites I perfer not to have open with child awake

Between childhood siblings
Childhood sibling–sibling incest is considered to be widespread but rarely reported.[27] Many types of sexual contact between children (e.g., "playing doctor") are not considered harmful or abnormal, but become child-on-child sexual abuse when it occurs without consent, without equality, or as a result of coercion. The most commonly reported form of abusive sibling incest is abuse of a younger brother by an older sister.[27] A 2006 study showed a large portion of adults who experienced sibling incest abuse have distorted or disturbed beliefs both about their own experience and the subject of sexual abuse in general.[37]
Sibling abusive incest is most prevalent in families where one or both parents are often absent or emotionally unavailable, with the abusive siblings using incest as a way to assert their power over a weaker sibling.[38] Absence of the father in particular has been found to be a significant element of most cases of sexual abuse of female children by a brother.[39] The damaging effects on both childhood development and adult symptoms resulting from brother–sister sexual abuse are similar to the effects of father–daughter, including substance abuse, depression, suicidality, and eating disorders.[39][40]
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:54 PM
 
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I recommend trying to find a therapist with experience treating people who have been sexually abused.

I am not competent to give you any advice, but as a general rule I think it's not healthy for a marriage for one partner to have a deep dark shameful secret.
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:28 PM
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I'm very sorry for what you went through. The good news is, that you do not (and should not) tell your (future) husband about it unless he is a qualified therapist and even in that situation they are not allowed to treat family members. At least it wasn't done by an adult so it can be easier to forgive as you were all minors and didn't know better. I hope you can heal.
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:51 PM
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At least it wasn't done by an adult so it can be easier to forgive as you were all minors and didn't know better.
I disagree with this completely. Children may not be fully aware of all of their actions, but they know when they're doing something wrong. The OP is under NO OBLIGATION WHATSOEVER to forgive the boys who did this to her, whether she consented in the beginning or even if she consented right up until the last time. She said "no." I don't care that they're her brothers. They knew what they were doing and did it anyway.

Statements like yours - whether you intend for them to have this effect or not - just feed into the (erroneous) notion that being the victim of sexual abuse is something to be ashamed of.
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Old 07-15-2010, 05:21 AM
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I disagree with this completely. Children may not be fully aware of all of their actions, but they know when they're doing something wrong. The OP is under NO OBLIGATION WHATSOEVER to forgive the boys who did this to her, whether she consented in the beginning or even if she consented right up until the last time. She said "no." I don't care that they're her brothers. They knew what they were doing and did it anyway.

Statements like yours - whether you intend for them to have this effect or not - just feed into the (erroneous) notion that being the victim of sexual abuse is something to be ashamed of.
Maybe you can explain how my comments make you come to the conclusion that abuse is something to be ashamed of. I don't think the victim should ever be ashamed even though that's how they feel prior to either therapy or if they're lucky healing on their own (I myself needed lots of therapy and am still suffering the consequences). I am also not saying that anyone is obligated to forgive. In fact I disagree with most people who believe they HAVE to forgive in order to move on, especially when the perpetrator doesn't ask for forgiveness nor feels remorse.

With that said, I did have to contemplate whether to post that second comment or not but my reasoning was that at the end of the day legally speaking and in every other way, her brothers were minors. She said she was 5 and the 2 brothers younger than 5 when it started so that alone tells me they learned from an adult who was abusing them otherwise I don't think toddlers are sexual by nature and know what to do with the opposite sex or to each other. But in any case, I apologize if my comment was offensive when I stated that they are easier to forgive based on being minors when it happened vs. an adult abusing a child. The consequences can be equally damaging emotionally but I do believe there's a difference with minors doing it in that they too were victims, acting out what had been done to them on their poor sister and not as knowldgable as an adult the long term harm it could cause.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:29 AM
 
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Maybe you can explain how my comments make you come to the conclusion that abuse is something to be ashamed of. I don't think the victim should ever be ashamed even though that's how they feel prior to either therapy or if they're lucky healing on their own (I myself needed lots of therapy and am still suffering the consequences). I am also not saying that anyone is obligated to forgive. In fact I disagree with most people who believe they HAVE to forgive in order to move on, especially when the perpetrator doesn't ask for forgiveness nor feels remorse.

With that said, I did have to contemplate whether to post that second comment or not but my reasoning was that at the end of the day legally speaking and in every other way, her brothers were minors. She said she was 5 and the 2 brothers younger than 5 when it started so that alone tells me they learned from an adult who was abusing them otherwise I don't think toddlers are sexual by nature and know what to do with the opposite sex or to each other. But in any case, I apologize if my comment was offensive when I stated that they are easier to forgive based on being minors when it happened vs. an adult abusing a child. The consequences can be equally damaging emotionally but I do believe there's a difference with minors doing it in that they too were victims, acting out what had been done to them on their poor sister and not as knowldgable as an adult the long term harm it could cause.
One reason I stated she needed to seek counselling is that it started when she was 5ish and the other two were toddlers. At 5, the older child is in the dominant "preditorish" role at first. Then once the boys got big enough, they could turn on their "predator" dominant person. At the 5 year old age she could have been sexually curious, the younger could see HER actions as being abused. Then guilt and shame in her curious caused her not to be able to stand up to who is now the abuse, people she feels guilty for touching first. Then you add to the fact that their might have been other factors in the home that created the situation from the overly curious 5 year old OP to the environment that allowed it to happen later.

I truly feel their is a lot more to ALL those kids actions on all parts. Each child's actions and inactions is most likely a response to something else in the environment.

I wonder if the OP felt and feels like she created the problem because at 5 she initiated sexual curiosity and established some behaviors that the younger children felt ok to continue. At 5 she was the dominant person--and with everything else that happen, I wonder if she was acting out some other abuse.

I wonder because boundaries were messed up in the younger ones minds early on it was hard to established them later on. I think other factors in the home cause the problem that the OP and brothers.
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the responses. I have wondered myself if these events occurred because of something that happened before. My mother once told me that one time while the three of us (kids) were visiting our stepfather (my youngest brother's actual father, but mine and my younger brother's stepfather) that she came in and asked where I was, since she didn't see me. Well come to find out I was in a bedroom alone with an adult male friend of my stepfather's. She took us home immediately. I do not remember this nor did she give anymore details. I have no memory of any other abuse, but always question what was the motive for the actions that I originally posted about. I don't know if digging deeper will just "create" a memory that did not actually occur. It is a difficult matter indeed. I have had interest in seeing a counselor and wonder if speaking to a pastor/religious counselor would be beneficial, or should I seek a specialist?
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:49 PM
 
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have you thought about seeing an eft practitioner. they can help you to clear the negative energy surrounding the events and help you see more clearly the whole picture. I have had lots of success with it.

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Old 07-05-2014, 09:11 PM
 
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Is all incest abuse?

I found this thread through a search re: brother-sister incest. I am very sorry that the OP went through the abuse that she did, it sounds like her brothers were very callous abusers, and subjected her to, essentially, sexual assault/ rape. I think she should seek therapy ASAP, and I'm surprised she's doing as well as she is.
I want to say, though, that not all incest is sexual assault. I believe that incest, especially brother-sister incest, is a great deal more common than most people realize, and the reason it is not showing up more in treatment centers and criminal courts is that neither of the individuals involved feel that they have been harmed or offended against.
Obviously, any sexual contact between parents and children is inappropriate (as well as illegal in the U.S.) due to the power differential between adults and children. It would be inappropriate (and illegal) regardless of the familial relationship.
However, with siblings that are relatively close in age there is a lot less of a power differential. Maybe not "no" power differential, but much less.
As a 9-year-old boy, I was led into sexual experimentation with a neighbor girl who was eleven. We were never "caught," but we both knew we were up to something we shouldn't be. She knew a great deal more about sex than I did, and looking back on it from an adult perspective, I think it likely that she had been abused by an older male, possibly her older brother (who was 13) or perhaps even her father. I saw no concrete evidence of it, though.
I had three younger sisters, and we had no sexual contact as children.
However, when the oldest of my three sisters was fifteen, and I was seventeen, we fell in love. I had a girlfriend in my high-school class and my sister had a boyfriend. It wasn't because we were desperate or unattractive or anything like that. We just loved each other as siblings. One thing that drove us together, though, was our parents getting divorced. It had a terrible effect on both of us. My grades plummeted, we both started smoking cigarettes, then experimenting with alcohol, then smoking marijuana. Our father was involved with a much-younger woman, and divorced our mother, who was devastated and barely functioning. She began drinking heavily, then joined AA and spent a lot of time at AA meetings and functions. My sister and I essentially took over many of the duties our parents would normally perform--cooking, cleaning the house, washing clothes, getting the younger kids to school. Mom was doing her best, but we pretty much did as we pleased.
One night my sister and I threw a party when Mom was away at an AA convention. We drank way too much and smoked a lot of weed. After the party, we drunkenly wound up "making out," and then wound up in my bed. The next day, of course, hung-over and mortified with shame, we apologized to each other. (I really felt bad, like it was "my fault," but she said no, that she had wanted it too.) About a week later, when nobody was home, I approached her with no real intent, but we were attracted like magnets and had intercourse again, this time in her room. After that, it was kind of like we were dating. At some point, I gave her a ring. She broke up with her boyfriend, and my girlfriend and I decided to take a break. And, just like that, we suddenly realized that we were a couple and we were involved in a love affair. It was, more or less, like any other romance. Some things I would change if I were able to re-write history is that we would get oral birth control. We did not use condoms and she was not taking any sort of birth control. The potential for disaster is obvious, but we were kids, not adults.
Our affair lasted until I was 21 and she was 19. I was living in my own apartment and she lived temporarily at out mother's apartment. Sheusually came to visit me, however this one night I slept over at Mom's. We were making love and Mom overheard us. She didn't say anything right then, but she confronted my sister later and shamed her. Sis then told me it was over between us. We tried, really hard, to stay away from each other, but we kept "slipping up." Finally, Sis asked me to leave and not come back until she said I could. It broke my heart, but I did what she asked, and went on the road. While I was gone, she married. I stayed gone twelve years. When I came back, the kiss she gave me told me the truth, that she still felt that way about me, and I already knew I felt that way about her. We still live in the same city, and sometimes we meet for lunch.
Not all incest is abuse. I can't prove it, but I believe our story is not all that rare.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:45 AM
 
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such a touching story
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:21 PM
 
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Re: Incest as a child.. *warning disturbing content*

Such a pity it is. I mean I feel really sorry you because you have to go through such a drastic experience. Very unfortunate.
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