Hi Genedebs. Thanks for the reply.
Who knows. My older brother always thought that he had been sexually abused and therefore felt that his abuse of me and my younger brother was perfectly natural.
I don't think "perfectly natural" is the right term. What your brother did to you was wrong, just like what T did to me was wrong. Sure, it is fairly typical for sexually abused children to act-out their abuse on other children but that doesn't make it ok. What I guess I'm saying is, T or your brother having been sexually abused themselves explains their behavior but it doesn't excuse their behavior.
The confusion about abuse is easy to understand. But, the fact is that sexual experimentation that is sadistic, controlling, and violating is abusive.
That's exactly it. It's fairly normal for children to experiment with one another sexually but that's not what happened between T and I. What happened between us was not
normal. It was controlling and often outright sadistic. It was sexual bullying, plain and simple. That's what made it abusive.
There is no question that what you experienced was childhood sexual abuse. Your confusion may be further conflicted because of social norms of male power versus female power. But that is and always has been a social construct. The whole concept of cognitive dissonance is based on the conflict between social norms and personal experience. And cognitive dissonance is always confusing.
Yes, it sure as hell is.
I, and many of the other people on this site, were also sexually abused, even if it would not meet the legal definitions.
So true. It is for this very reason I was reluctant to join MS for a long time and have been reluctant to share my story when posing at other abuse-related sights and forums over the years. Partly because I was ashamed to even consider calling what happened to me abuse when so many others had been abused in the more classic sense. You know, by adults and whatnot. How could I consider these things abuse when they didn't even fit the legal definition of abuse? (Although, the things that happened with the teenagers in CT probably did.) How could these experiences have fucked me up so unbelievably badly when they would be shrugged off by most people has having been "not that bad?" For this reason I have felt at times that I didn't have the right to stand along side other CSA survivors and call myself one of them. My participation here at MS in the last few months has helped me immensely in this regard though.
Anyway thanks again for the reply and thank you for your insight. Take care. Peace,