When I was around 8 years old, my older sister would have me play “truth or dare” with her. She is 4 years older than me, and most of the time we had to share a bed. She would make me preform sexual acts on her and get upset or angry if I told her I didn’t want to. She rarely ever reciprocated, and if I brought it up or mentioned it later, she would act like it never happened. This eventually stopped around a year or two later, but she would still make me sleep in the same bed with her for years after, even when we got separate rooms. She would always make me do things for her (nonsexual) and treat me as if I were her slave most of the time. I did everything for her until we had a falling out around 4 years ago, and now we don’t speak to each other. I have never told anyone what happened all those years ago, for fear that I am over exaggerating the seriousness of what happened. I know that kids that age don’t know any better, but I feel as if 12 might just be cutting it close to not knowing any better.
Your courage in finally talking about this now is an important step in dealing with it. You didn’t get to have a choice about your first sexual experience and that is the issue. This, in and of itself, is important because this boundary-setting should have been yours to make.
I’d recommend individual counseling with someone experienced in helping adults recover from early sexual abuse in their family.
Being able to talk about it here is a very good start, and continuing this in therapy is the next right thing.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2019). Sexual Abuse?. Psych Central.
Retrieved on June 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/03/20/sexual-abuse-4/
Last updated: 18 Mar 2019 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 18 Mar 2019 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.