12th March 2016 at 1:12 am #11303
I am currently receiving emdr therapy, it is bringing me all sorts of flashbacks and confusion.
One particular one is incredibly confusing and I can’t work out whether it was wrong or If I am I am uncomfortable about it because of everything else that has happened to me.
I would really appreciate some feedback.
When I was 13, my brother was 18, I was with my 15 year old friend and my brother friend was 20.
We got drunk together and then the 4 of us had a bath together, keeping our underwear on.
This lead on to my friend going with my brother to his room and having sex, and my brothers friend having sex with me.
I cannot work out if this was acceptable.
However I do know that there is the same age difference between my son’s and daughter’s and I know if my son’s ever allowed anything Like that to happen, I would not be happy about it, I , I don’t believe they would ever do anything like that though.
What should I think? The sex was consensual unlike other experiences around the same time ,
Is that okay? Because I just can’t figure it out.
Peace out x
12th March 2016 at 6:23 am #11304
Hi Jinx, that must be so hard to be experiencing a lot of new flashbacks. I have been considering having EMDR therapy myself due to childhood SA. Does it actually help you manage and process the memories that come up? When I’ve had repressed memories come up before I’ve found them very hard to cope with.
In answer to your question, I’m sorry but it was not consensual. You were under the age you can legally consent to sexual activity as was your friend. Your brother and his friend were both adults. It sounds as though you find it difficult to believe your own feelings, unsurprisingly after your experiences. You feel uncomfortable because it was abuse.
I really hope you have good support around you as you go through this therapy, you’re being incredibly brave to face these things x*x
12th March 2016 at 7:21 am #11307StarmoonParticipant
Hi jinx, I don’t know of your story but I have to agree with peaceful pig. It wasn’t consensual, you were a child and not old enough to make choices like that. I imagine this is why you feel so uncomfortable with the memory. Sending you lots of hugs x*x
12th March 2016 at 8:24 am #11310
Thanks guys, not really what I wanted to hear! I held my brother on a pedestal for a long time, how am I supposed to feel about him now!
There is no escaping the fact that I am the common denominator.
Peaceful pig, the emdr is definitely helping me but it is very difficult, bringing on so many flashbacks, I am usually a wreck for a couple of days after a session, but it is worth it
It is better to get it out that to carry on stagnating inside me.
12th March 2016 at 11:24 am #11318
Sorry Jinx, I knew it wouldn’t be and I thought very carefully before responding which is why I asked about your support. I’ve had to go through the same regarding my parents and I am definitely not there yet, despite now having specialised counselling. I’m not quite sure what you’re meaning about being the common denominator, but please know that as you were a child, nothing that happened can be your fault. Naturally it feels less painful to blame ourselves than a loved family member and someone we rely on. I agree about not wanting it stagnating inside and I’ve heard emdr gets good results but I think I’d have to do some serious planning and take time of sick from work to go through it. Please take really good care of yourself and stay safe while you are taking all this on board x*x
12th March 2016 at 12:11 pm #11322StarmoonParticipant
Sorry :(. Non of it was your fault… I don’t want to pry or anything or offend at all so if I’m speaking out of line, I really don’t mean to. If your brother was bought up around abusive or neglectful situations could he maybe given some leeway in not knowing the situation was wrong? There could be many depths to the situation and if you’re still close to your brother I wouldn’t totally say that all should be lost. I also hope you’re getting the support you need xxxx
12th March 2016 at 1:05 pm #11324
Thank you again, it’s so difficult to make sense of these, especially when I am so full of self doubt.
My brothers and myself did not grow up in an abusive environment, the worst thing our parents did to us was to never tell us they loved us, but we did know that they did from their actions.
I just feel surrounded by sexual abuse, from being raped by various different people between the age of 11 and 13, my other brother has served time for date rape and he did try this with me when I was in my 20’s.the father of my children repeatedly raped me for the 20 years we were together, this is what I mean about me being the common denominator, different people, different situations, but always me , surely I must take responsibility for that.
Regarding emdr, I would strongly advise time out when doing it . I lost my job due to problems with my daughter at the same time I started the treatment, a godsend really because there are days when I am incapable of working.
It is time for me to deal with everything, try to unscramble my brain after my ex left it in such a mess, time to face up to the childhood abuse for my own sake and my children’s.
They suffer because of my ptsd, it isn’t good for their mental health. I have had eating disorders for almost 30 years which I need to fix.
Kind of losing my support now though, I can’t tell my children even though we tell each other everything, but how can I let them know that my first positive sexual experience has only been over the past year? How can I tell them that they are products of rape? They would know it makes no difference to me, but there is a stigma attached. I always talk to my niece about these things but how can I tell her this about her dad? And obviously I can’t go to him with it, to be honest I doubt he would even remember it!
I don’t want to tell my boyfriend about these things because im embarrassed and don’t want him to feel the disgust that I feel for myself, knowing these things.
So I think I just lost my support.
13th March 2016 at 4:28 am #11394
Woah, well I thought I was confused before!
I struggle to interpret these memories with any logic and really need someone to explain to me what I. Did wrong.
I need to understand if the situation was acceptable, if I did anything wrong, if my brother and his friend did anything wrong, if my friend did wrong.
It was a a complicated friendship in that we did everything together but I was afraid of her .
She had beaten me up badly before because I spoke to a boy she liked. She had threatened to do it again if I didn’t let her boyfriends friend have sex with me. And she had told me she wanted to be with my brother and it would be good if I paired up with his friend.
Can anyone just tell me if any of those was wrong . When I replace the people with my own children and their friends , I can see everything so clearly and I know I would never allow anything like that to happen and my children would agree with me.
However, when I look back on what actually happened this clarity evades me .
13th March 2016 at 4:27 pm #11423
I so feel for you going through such pain and confusion. I wanted to reassure that your inability to remember or analyse these situations clearly is entirely normal and proof that the events were traumatic and abusive to you. In case you haven’t, I strongly recommend calling your local rape crisis centre for specialised advice and support. I can assure you they won’t be shocked or judge you in any way. Also, I found that when I first started to understand what had happened to me I went through a phase of desperately needing to talk about it (a common reaction apparently) and looking back I made myself very vulnerable for a time. I know you won’t be able to feel it, but just to confirm you did nothing wrong, you were simply a vulnerable child and you did not deserve to be abused. You will naturally have very mixed emotions and however you feel is OK. I find the book ‘the courage to heal’ very helpful. Please take e tra good care of yourself x*x
12th March 2016 at 6:23 pm #11346MemandParticipant
I’m completely new here, but this pulled at my heartstrings. It is not your responsibility at all. That is all down to the abusers. Unfortunately abuse just leaves you vulnerable.
I’m so glad you are in a positive relationship now. I’m not sure about talking to the kids though, maybe somebody else has experience of that.
13th March 2016 at 12:34 am #11387SaharaDParticipant
Hi Jinx and Welcome
I often take a while before replying to these types of difficult scenarios.
So I will just make some statements and you can see whether you agree with them or not or if you need to explore them in therapy.
1. Because you and your friend were under age of consent(assuming don’t know what the law was at the time this occurred), you both were taken advantage of by your brother and his friend. This would have have constituted sexual childhood abuse, statutory rape, sexual assault on a minor.
2. Something must have gone awry in the parenting you and your brother received for you both to think at the time that it was acceptable (consensual) to get drunk, have a bath together and have sexual intercourse at home. From my parenting, at that age I knew it was unacceptable to get drunk or to get my younger relatives or their friends in my care, drunk. I allowed my cousins one drink usually beer no more and I remained sober. There was some sexual experimentation when I was under 14 with those under 14 but over 14 I knew that it didn’t feel right with someone who wasn’t the same age as me. I never had a bath with anyone past age 12.
3. Can’t tell you how to feel about your brother. Yes he shouldn’t be on a pedestal because he is human and capable of making mistakes no matter how stupid and horrific.
4. Thing about how they would be view by the courts today if they were caught. They would not be viewed as cold hardened paedophiles and perverts sexually abusing all children and females they come across. They would be placed in the young offenders team.
5. Your brother and his friend did a stupid thing. Just like the rest of us do stupid things between 18-25 that we would never let our parents know and we would look back at and cringe and think how could I have been so stupid.
6. Although most of society views you as an adult at 18, physically and psychologically your body is still developing up to about mid twenties. Classic example my wisdom teeth caused me no end of problems from age 17 to 26 until I had had it and resolved to remove them completely with the dentist. The brain is same. Here is a link to a site on the development of the brain until mid twenties in particular the pre frontal cortex:
“It may seem logical that those aged 18 to 25 are completely mature, the brain still is maturing – specifically the area known as the “prefrontal cortex.” http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2015/02/18/at-what-age-is-the-brain-fully-developed/
7. So your brother and his friend may have just being sexually and psychologically immature,susceptible to peer pressure, problematic in good/bad decision making, low impulse control, lacking short term memory, poor at assessing risk and a reduced ability for complex planning involving logical thinking balanced with emotional regulation. Heck I have problems doing it now and I’m in my (detail removed by Moderator).
I can’t say that your brother and his friend are horrific abusers. The title of abuser is based on a pattern of behaviour based on intent, entitlement, power, control, possession and jealousy.
You are not the common denominator. You were exposed as a child to a type of sexual behaviour that you had no way of knowing was unacceptable. How were you supposed to know that it was wrong if no one told you.
When I was growing up my father would verbally abuse all of us. My mother and sister accepted it and so did all of our extended family and friends. So fast forward a few decades when my husband was calling me a fake and a sl*t and a wh*re I accepted until it started to whittle away every fiber of my being, everything that was good about me and I started to doubt myself. I only found out it was unacceptable when I google “my husband threatens to withhold money from me” and landed on and read all of the abuse pages. This isn’t my fault and it isn’t your fault.
I was the eldest and we were only girls and we went to an all girls primary school so we were never exposed to highly sexualised events like movies, magazines and real pornography. But I do know of others who were exposed to high sexualised events from age 9.
You can if you feel comfortable speak to your brother about it if you feel strong enough or you can just deal with it on your own.
13th March 2016 at 11:04 am #11402SaharaDParticipant
Jinx, you didn’t do anything wrong. You were/are the victim. We don’t condone victim blaming. Your friend was also a victim in the instance of the sexual abuse. Your brother and his friend were wrong, immature and stupid but wrong and responsible. It was their behaviour that was unacceptable and they situation in a way authorised by them as adults was unacceptable. If the 4 of you were caught it would be the adults who would have been charged and prosecuted.
The behaviour of threats and physical abuse by your “friend” was/is wrong. I wouldn’t call that a friendship. She was abusing you too. I have never been afraid of my friends.
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