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.
flores2231
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Feeling guilty

Unread postby flores2231 » Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:01 pm

Hey scarleteen,

I recently learned about COSCA (child on child sexual abuse). I feel horrible because I don't know if I did this with my friend when I was 6 years old and she was 3 or 4 years old. I remember a girl telling me at school that she saw on the TV, two people kissing each other's genitals. I remember afterwards being curious to try it with my friend and so we did. I don't remember if i pressured her into doing it. But i do remember we just quickly kissed each other's genitals and never did anything afterwards again. I am older now and i feel so guilty by what i did. i don't remember if i told my friend afterwards to not tell her mom but i feel so guilty. i confronted her about it recently and she told me she doesn't feel violated or doesn't really remember and she said that it's okay because i was really young and didn't understand what i was doing. i do remember not having any bad intentions. i just feel horrible. i feel like an abuser.

Elise
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Re: Feeling guilty

Unread postby Elise » Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:31 am

Hi flores2231, I'm sorry to hear that you are feeling about yourself in this way.

Firstly, please rest assured that the situation you're describing does not fit the definition of child-on -child sexual abuse; firstly, the situation you describe is a normal one among children this age, they get curious about something and try it, anatomical curiosity and exploration is very common. What your friend said is important too, that she does not have any feelings of violation from it, just that neither of you knew what you were doing, being curious like children can be. The definition of abuse is very different to this, it has intent, rather than curiosity behind it and involves one child making the other do the action, to achieve an end result, see how this is different from a child's natural curiosity?

How does the above explanation sit with you? Would you like to talk about how you ended up on this train of thought? I know you've been having some conversations about consent and coercion recently, as LuC said in her other post, the important thing to do is to educate ourselves on what good communication and consent looks like, particularly when it comes to sex. Here are some good articles about that:


If the above prompts any further questions or thoughts you'd like to talk about, we'd be very happy to discuss them with you here.

flores2231
not a newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:05 pm
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: heterosexual
Location: usa

Re: Feeling guilty

Unread postby flores2231 » Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:09 am

Thank you for your response,

I just feel guilty because in the friendship I was usually the one who was bossy because I was the oldest. I feel horrible because I would be always so mean and bossy to her. Not only that I think I may have guided her to do that sexual curious stuff with me. It makes me feel glad that I now realize for it to be abuse there's gotta be intent and I was only 6 years old. I just kept overthinking about it because I heard stories online how people have been abused by children while they were children and I felt so guilty and so bad because I felt like a perpetrator. Thank you for the links and for your help

Sam W
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Re: Feeling guilty

Unread postby Sam W » Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:12 am

Hi flores2231,

I'm glad the links were helpful! In addition to what Elise said, I want to mention that another thing that often differentiates normal exploration and curiosity from sexual abuse is the instigator being much older and bigger (and usually at a different developmental level) than the survivor. In other words, the perpetrator has something that gives them power. Even if you feel you were the bossy one in the friendship, and you were a year or two older, that's very different from using your age or size to coerce her into doing something you understood was sexual and she did not (since it sounds like you two were just curious). Does that make sense?

flores2231
not a newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:05 pm
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: heterosexual
Location: usa

Re: Feeling guilty

Unread postby flores2231 » Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:00 am

I feel much more relieved now,

Thank you so much Scarleteen staff. These past few weeks have been stressful. Thanks for helping me out so much. My anxiety is always trying to find something new to freak out about. But seriously, I appreciate everything you all do thank you again

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 7294
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: Feeling guilty

Unread postby Sam W » Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:04 am

You're welcome, and I'm so glad we were able to help!


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