Feeling guilty

Questions and discussion about sexual or other abuse or assault, and support and help for survivors.
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This area of the boards is expressly for support and help for those who are currently in or have survived abuse or assault. It is also for those seeking information or discussion about abuse or assault. Please make every effort in this space to be supportive and sensitive. Posts in this area may or do describe abuse or assault explicitly.

This area of the boards is also not an area where those who are themselves abusing anyone or who have abused or assaulted someone may post about doing that or seek support. We are not qualified to provide that kind of help, and that also would make a space like this feel profoundly unsafe for those who are being or who have been abused. If you have both been abused and are abusing, we can only discuss harm done to you: we cannot discuss you yourself doing harm to others. If you are someone engaging in abuse who would like help, you can start by seeking out a mental healthcare provider.
Strawberry
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Feeling guilty

Unread post by Strawberry »

I remember when me and my sister were both 9 and I started hearing from my friends at school sexual stuff they were finding out from the internet, which made me want to know more about it. All I really remember was me asking my sister if we could hug, and like rubbing my crotch against her thigh because my friends told me it was supposed to feel good. When I actually learnt it was bad, which was after like a month of doing it, i can’t believe I didn’t find out sooner, I stopped and literally went to guest room to sleep in up to right now. When I learnt about Cosca and how sexual stuff affects kids I started feeling really guilty about it and even thought I didn’t deserve to live for making my sister go through that, and to be honest I don’t even think I can live with myself right now for doing that. I don’t think she even remembers it, but I don’t want her or anyone else to go through anything like that again and I’m afraid if I ever get as close to someone as I was to her that something similar might happen and it could actually affect them. I really don’t know what to think of anything right now and idk if im actually a bad person or was just curious as a kid about things my friends told me
Strawberry
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Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2024 10:47 pm
Age: 13
Awesomeness Quotient: I can understand three languages
Primary language: English
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Sexual identity: Lesbian
Location: Georgia

Vent/advise about sexual shame

Unread post by Strawberry »

Back when I was like 9 I found out about porn through the internet, and I didn’t know it was wrong then but I definitely found out now. I started like watching porn every day till I turned 12, and found out how kids who literally haven’t gotten to double digits shouldn’t be masturbating. I wanted to stop for a while but I felt like that area was always tingling and stuff, I hated it either way but I just kept doing it no matter what until I started excersising and focusing on losing all of my energy before midnight so I wouldn’t be able to even touch there. Everyone talks bad about this kind of stuff online, and my mom is pretty traditional so I’m really scared to talk to her about it or even tell her. I feel like telling anybody this would just make them think I’m nasty, and to be honest I feel like I am for even knowing about masturbation before I was supposed to, no less actually doing it.
Latha
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Re: Feeling guilty

Unread post by Latha »

Hi Strawberry, welcome to the boards. I merged two of your posts so I could respond to both.

I'm sorry, it sounds like you're dealing with so much shame and guilt for what happened. I want to let you know that to me, it seems pretty clear that the incident you described was not COCSA. Rather, it was pretty normal child sexual behavior. Let me explain the difference.

Some people think that children never engage in any kind of sexual behavior and that they are never interested in such topics. That isn't true. Even very young children can be curious about their own bodies and those of other people, along with any novel or interesting sensations they notice in themselves. If they learn about sexual behaviors from their peers or the media as you did, they may indeed try to explore them with a partner or on their own, through activities like masturbation, developing sexual fantasies, or looking at porn.

This exploration is not inherently a bad thing. The thing is, children need to be taught about when, where, and with whom it is okay to explore these interests. We can't expect children to just know those things on their own. That might explain what happened in your case. You were a curious kid. You had learned about something new, and you didn't know/fully understand the appropriate contexts for this kind of exploration.

The term COCSA describes something very different. This kind of sexual abuse happens between children with a significant gap in things like age, knowledge and experience, or size. It often involves an element of coercion. It is deliberate and does not stop when one of the children indicates that they are uncomfortable, or would rather do something else. This is not what happened between you and your sister.

I don't think you're nasty or bad for any of the things you've described in your posts. I'm sorry that you've been made to feel like you are. I promise you won't cause any kind of harm to people just by getting close to them.

How does all this sound to you?
Sam W
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Re: Feeling guilty

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi Strawberry,

If you're genuinely feeling like you might hurt yourself because of how you feel over this, before we continue here, can you take some time to contact this number and talk to someone there? 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)/or text "HelpLine" to 62640. Your safety deserves to be prioritized, and I promise we'll still be here to talk when you get back.

In addition to everything Latha said, I want to add that there's no age where it's "wrong" for someone to masturbate. As was pointed out above, it's incredibly common for young children to masturbate as part of learning about their bodies; in fact, there's some research that suggests we might even masturbate while we're still in the womb. Too, many little kids masturbate before really knowing what the activity they're doing is, and in an ideal world an adult in their life explains to them that, while it's an okay thing to do, it's not something we can do in public or around other people. All that is to say, please try not to be too hard on yourself for engaging in a totally standard part of human sexual development.
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