Child-on-child sexual abuse is not a widely discussed form of childhood trauma. In fact, you may not have even heard of it. But there are survivors out there, like myself, who are silenced because society refuses to talk about this. This is my story of child-on-child sexual abuse, and how it is helping other survivors heal.
How my story of child-on-child sexual abuse is helping other survivors heal
Childhood trauma and shame
I have spoken about my experience of trauma on this blog before and how EMDR therapy has been a huge part of my recovery journey. However, I have always been very vague about the nature of my childhood trauma. The thing is, when you suffer from C-PTSD, shame is a huge part of your life and sharing your experience with others is simply terrifying, and why many sufferers sit in silence for most (or all) of their lives.
But the trouble with staying silent and bottling up your emotions is that this makes it very difficult to heal. As I have learned from the likes of Brene Brown, vulnerability is essential to connecting with others and allowing yourself to heal. Sharing your story allows somebody (trusted) to hold space for you and allow you to free yourself from its clutches.
A huge part of my trauma related condition was feeling alone in my pain. I used to search the internet for days on end looking for stories from other people who had gone through something similar. But there was nothing. Maybe I was alone and abnormal. Maybe my feelings were invalid. But why oh why was I feeling so much pain if this was just a normal part of childhood development?
One day on my regular search I must have tried a new keyword because an article came up from an anonymous young lady sharing her story of child-on-child sexual abuse. The similarities to my story were astonishing. I sat and I read the story and I wept. I felt so many emotions reading her story, but one thing I no longer felt was alone.
This post single handedly changed my life. It gave me the courage to show it to my partner and start a course of EMDR therapy. It was the catalyst for my journey of trauma recovery.
Sharing my own story of child-on-child sexual abuse
The impact that this post had on me would eventually drive me to share my own story with the world. This anonymous lady who I had never met or even spoken to had changed my life. If I could do that, even just for one person, then I could turn my trauma into something positive.
I had a platform to share my story and this idea sat with me for a while, but I was still filled with too much shame and fear to share my story in such a public space that friends and family had access to.
An advert posted for mental health related guest posts seemed like the perfect opportunity. I could post my story on another platform that I didn’t have to share on my own, but the story could still link back to me in case anybody had any responses or questions. So I wrote down my experience for the first time in my life, I sent it over to Kate and a month or so later it went live on her blog.
And that was it – my story out there for the world to see.
An overwhelming response from other survivors
The thing is, I had obviously hoped for my story to fall into the right hands and have a positive effect, but there was still this niggling part of me that thought it was unrealistic. Who would be searching? Maybe myself and the anonymous lady really were the only ones out there suffering as a result of this. Was it grandiose of me to think that I could help other people?
But those niggling thoughts were wrong. Because since that post I have been overwhelmed with comments and emails telling me exactly what I wanted to tell this anonymous lady. “I thought I was alone.” “You have given me hope.” And every time I read them I cry, because that was me.
Shortly after my post was published, and for reasons unknown, the original anonymous post was deleted. Every now and then I still search, and sufferers have told me the same, but there is nothing out there about this. It is now my post that fills the void.
There are other sufferers of child-on-child sexual abuse out there, desperately searching for connection and something or someone to tell them they are not alone. But there is nothing… except for my post, somewhere among the hundreds of irrelevant pages.
Time to step up
The shame had told me I would never share my story here. Never put it in a place for friends and family to see, to judge. But receiving all the messages I have received flicked a switch for me. There’s something about stepping up for the benefit of others that ignites a strength in me.
Letting the post sit and fester in the hope that it will fall into the right hands isn’t enough. It is my duty to spread this, to raise awareness, and to start a conversation that doesn’t seem to be happening. It is my duty to turn my trauma into something positive.
Let’s raise awareness
So here I am… doing one of the most terrifying things I have ever done. I’m asking you to read my story of child-on-child sexual abuse, to share my story and to start the conversation. Because somebody has to.
As a little side note that I feel inclined to add, my guest post was edited ever so slightly by the poster for the purpose of SEO. This means that the details of the story remain my own but some synonyms have replaced my own words in order to rank higher in search engines. This is essential in order to ensure my post reaches the people who may be searching for it and does not affect the authenticity of my story.