Do I say anything?

Discussion area for adult survivors who are afraid they might hurt others physically, sexually, emotionally, and/or verbally. Also an area for those who have harmed someone physically, sexually, emotionally, and/or verbally and want to heal. Sexual addiction can also be discussed.

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MerryRose
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Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:21 pm

Do I say anything?

Post by MerryRose » Sun May 02, 2021 9:56 pm

This has tormented me for years. I've always known it, but started to see it differently after realizing I might have an abuse history of my own.

When I was 11 or 12, I touched a female relative while I was changing her diaper. The child would have probably been just older than a year.

I already knew it felt good to touch myself there, and I had this moment of curiosity where I felt like, "A baby isn't sexually developed yet. I wonder what it's like for them?" I thought it couldn't possibly feel/be sexual for a baby, and I wanted to know how a baby would react. So I touched her, probably for five seconds or so. (Edit: No, more like 2 seconds, now that I watch a clock. That felt important to correct.) I did not penetrate her or attempt to. I didn't do anything that would have been scary or painful for her. But I touched her genitals, with the intent to stimulate her.

I say I only did it for maybe five seconds, (edit: no, two) because that's the time it took me to realize that she felt it, and she liked it. I don't know what made me know then the, but I knew she "liked it" in the same way that I did when I touched myself.

In those few seconds I realized, in the way a mind that young can understand, that it was sexual for her too, and it was then that I was like, "What have I done? I've sexually abused this baby. Oh my God."

I stopped of course, I finished diapering her, and returned her to her mother. I was praised for being a "good helper", and baby's mother told me I was good with the child and she loved me. My own mother was happy with me, which felt so rare in those days.

I knew even then that if I said anything, I would be treated like this horrible monster who sexually abused a baby. The lowest of the low. There would be no understanding that I didn't know it was sexual until she reacted. My mother would have been horrified if she even knew I was touching myself- she was puritanical about sex. Masturbation was seen as about the dirtiest thing a person could do to themselves. To touch another child? I had visions of being shunned from the family forever. And I mean that literally.

I always told myself that she was too young to remember and it didn't matter. But now that I know about pre-verbal trauma, and now that something from when I myself was 3 or 4 has threatened to just burn my life to the ground, I don't feel so sure that it doesn't matter or that she wouldn't remember. Perhaps not a declarative memory, but maybe her body does.

I'm still in contact with this relative. She's in her late 20's now. We have an amicable relationship, and often reminisce about how she was my little shadow when she was little. She always wanted to follow me and be like me.

If she doesn't remember and it doesn't matter, I don't want to tell her. Why would I bring news like that into her life? Why would I tarnish her childhood memories of us?

But if there's a chance that she does, I hate to think of it bubbling up like mine did, burning her life to the ground like mine almost did, making her feel crazy and confused like mine does.

But then, what happened to me was done with a degree of force. I would have been in pain, scared and crying. That isn't what I did.

I remember her reaction. She made a funny little laugh/cooing noise that made me understand that she felt it and liked it. I stopped touching her. I finished diapering her. She seemed happy and calm.

But I did touch her, and I feel horrified about it. Every time I talk to her, I'm thinking, "Does she remember? Does she know?"

Do I say anything to anyone about this?

Edited to add child's age at the time, and to adjust my time estimation.
Last edited by MerryRose on Mon May 03, 2021 12:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Chessgirl
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Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2020 7:45 pm

Re: Do I say anything?

Post by Chessgirl » Mon May 03, 2021 12:31 am

That was a very brave post merryrose. I don’t know what to say about this particular issue but I’m sorry you having to remember such difficult memories. You were young and abused yourself, so please don’t be too hard on yourself. I don’t think she would remember something like that and unless she comes to you asking, I’m not sure if you need to tell her? I really don’t know about that though. Maybe some other members would know better. Just want you to know I think you are brave and empathetic and strong. Supporting you and sitting with you.
Chessgirl

Harmony
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Re: Do I say anything?

Post by Harmony » Mon May 03, 2021 10:02 pm

Dear MerryRose,

Do you have someone in 3D you can confidently speak with at this time? A counselor or therapist would be a good guide for this issue. You were just doing what you were taught as a child. Now you know better and you feel bad about it. That is not really your shame to hold Lots of abused kids act inappropriately sexually toward others. That is why we all deserve to heal. You do too.

Sending lots of courage,
Harmony

MerryRose
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Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:21 pm

Re: Do I say anything?

Post by MerryRose » Mon May 03, 2021 10:55 pm

Thank you, Chessgirl. It hurts me so much that I did this, and it helps to hear from someone who isn't as horrified and disgusted as I am about it.
Last edited by Harmony on Tue May 04, 2021 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: edited from MT to NT due to no triggering language nor content.

MerryRose
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Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:21 pm

Re: Do I say anything?

Post by MerryRose » Mon May 03, 2021 10:57 pm

Thank you, Harmony.

I just find I am having such a hard time knowing what is real and who to trust. I still don't totally believe myself about what I think happened to me, (could write a novel just on that) but I know the incident with this little relative happened. Sometimes I am scared there was more, but I remember that one clearly, and I remember most of our time together clearly. I love that person so fiercely I would never purposely harm her, and that's been true since she was a baby. So I don't think I missed anything, because even then, I understood that anything invasive would hurt her and be wrong. And after that one touch, I knew that was wrong, too.

I didn't miss anything I didn't miss anything.

I am working with a T, and I have considered letting her know. But I don't know if I can say the words. And I don't know if I can handle her knowing that about me. And I don't know how much it will do to reassure me. I can already hear her reminding me that I didn't know what I was doing until I *knew* and I then stopped right away, so I bear no fault. But I feel like I do bear fault, because I still did it.

And I can hear my T telling me that what I did did not hurt this person, and she's fine, and I don't need to say anything. But then...I don't know if I can trust her in that, because in the past, ( and as recently as last week) I have told her some really awful and disgusting things, and she's almost like...*too* fine with it. I know that T's hear literally everything, and learn not to be fazed by it but, but I just can't get my head around her reaction (or lack thereof) to last week's disclosures.

I've been triggered to the n-th degree ever since I talked to her last week. Not sure if I'm ready to reveal this part of the story.
Last edited by Harmony on Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: edited from MT to NT due to no triggering content not language.

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