– Sponsored Post –
I think being sexually abused is the worst and most devastating experience a human being can endure, especially as a child. When you experience abuse at a young age, every boundary that once existed between you and the world disappears. You are left not in blank, but in a very heavy and dark place. You are not you anymore. In fact, for a while, it seems that no one is living inside your own body. Physical and emotional reactions become rare for quite some time. What exactly happened to you?
We often think of child sexual abuse as a situation in which an adult uses a child for sexual stimulation. There is, however, another type of child sexual abuse, called child on child sexual abuse, in which a prepubescent child is sexually abused by another child or adolescent. We can’t compare or measure which form of abuse is worse, but I know for experience that child on child sexual abuse is a very confusing and sometimes even dismissed traumatic experience.
I was not even a kindergartener when an older boy (8-10 years old), who used to stay with the same person who took care of me while my grandparents and parents were working, sexually stimulated himself on me while I was napping in the living room’s floor. I remember to wake up and see him on top, unzipping his pants, and start grinding. I wanted to scream and move but I was so terrified that I found myself totally paralyzed. Next thing I know is that my consciousness got somehow detached from my body and mind. For a few seconds I saw the scene from above. Then everything turned black and I have no recollection of what happened afterwards.
For many years, I kept having flashbacks of the moment I woke up to that boy ready to unzip his trousers, but nothing made much sense. Why and how were these images coming back every now and then? What were they? I was 26 years old when I finally shared these flashbacks with a friend who worked with hypnosis and neuro linguistic programming. Through her guidance, I understood that the mental images I was getting were actually repressed memories trying to emerge in my conscious mind.
Forgetfulness and memory repression is something that happens to many victims of child abuse because victims were either too young or the memories were simply too painful and thus had to be blocked to avoid a greater psychological damage. Although there was no penetration, the traumatic experience of helplessness and confusion I experienced brought me serious consequences as I never developed a healthy relationship with my body since such that young age. I got disconnected from my body.
I never talked about this experience in public because it is a sensitive subject and I wouldn’t bring it up if I didn’t believe that this story might benefit or help someone to cope with a similar experience and ask for help if needed. Victims of abuse carry shame and guilt for what happened. I did too. I felt ashamed for the fact that I was paralysed and I couldn’t help myself, despite the fact I knew I was only 3 or 4 years old. The truth is that each one of us carries a story and stories are not always logical, so the only words I will tell you are these: it was not your fault.
If you experienced or have been experiencing any form of abuse, I strongly recommend that you seek help to bring the possible closure to your story. When we go through such traumatic events, it’s almost humanly impossible to deal with it by ourselves. I recently also found out about the work conducted by CICA UK, a governmental organisation which claims compensation on behalf of victims of crime (e.g. child abuse, domestic violence) with a “no win no fee”, meaning that if you are unsuccessful in your application, you won’t be charged for it. I know money can’t buy or restore our wellbeing, but the sense that justice has been made through a cica claim can make you feel heard and reassured that what happened to you was wrong.