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*possibly triggering* was this normal for children?(38 Posts)
I'm trying to address some of my issues. Something happened to me when I was about 8 for a few years and I'm not sure what it was? If it was normal? I'm sorry if this upsets anyone.
I used to play with a girl who lived in my street, she was a year older than me. She used to play games like mums and dads/ teachers ect but they always involved sexual acts. It was always a secret, but part of the game being a grown up. I didn't like it, but thought it was being a grown up in part of the game? she was a child aswell, I'm so confused as to what it was? would it be classed as abuse? or was it normal for kida to play in that way? I don't even know what I want to do from knowing the answer? I just need to work out why it happened and if im over reacting by possibly linking some of my issues to this.
I have never told a soul in RL
It's possible something was going on at home.
As an adult, I see that and feel so guilty I didn't say anything about her doing it to me. It might of helped her? I really atruggle being made to feel like I have to do something I don't want to, I am wondering if its connected. I know I didn't want to do it, and now I know I might of helped her if I had spoken out but I didn't. Why didn't I say anything? is it normal for lids to play these games?
It might be a good idea to get some real life support to help you deal with your thoughts around this.
where should I go? I don't want to waste a drs time? I'm guessing it wasn't normal then?
I think it can be normal, but it depends on the contexts. At 8-9 ish, it wouldn't be unusual for children to play in ways that sometimes involve what we would class as sexual behaviour. Most kids by that age are aware of their bodies and aware of sex to a degree and it's not necessarily considered abnormal or exploitative, unless it's done without consent or particularly by a much older child. But context is important. It depends on how it made you feel and certainly the behaviour she was mimicking (an adult with a child, teacher, parent, etc.) would be a red flag for me that she was being abused herself. It's relatively common for children who are being abused to act out that abuse with other children or with trusted adults (like ones who aren't abusing them but who they are close to).
It would be less typical with younger children, so like below about the age of 6 as they really have no concept of sexual behaviour yet, so any sort of sexual exploration is generally a worrying sign of abuse (where it isn't so much with older kids, except maybe in a circumstance like you've described). I personally have memories of sexual experiences with other children when I was pretty young (like 4-5), which is not normal (the specific memories especially, it was more than just showing each other our body parts, which is pretty normal). I suspect strongly (though I have no memory) that it is because I was possibly abused or maybe one of them had been (or maybe all of us, we all lived in the same area and socialised with the same adults in the neighborhood and in our families). At that age, it's a pretty sure sign something is amiss. At 8-9 though, it's a perfectly normal and healthy developmental thing, except that what you are describing seems to be her mimicking abuse (which is not normal) and more importantly, it seems like it's really affected you. Really regardless of things being 'normal' or not, if it affected you and you felt it was done without your control or consent, then it's not normal.
I found this helpful: www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/healthy-sexual-behaviour-children-young-people/
You said you’re trying to address some of your issues. Surely the best way to do that is with a counsellor or therapist?
I second the idea of real-life support. It sounds to me that you're very worried about her still and that leaves me wondering what effect these 'games' have had on you?
FWIW I think it's normal for kids to play doctors and nurses, but it sounds with her like it had become an obsession, for whatever reason (possibly abuse at home, as others have said) and that you felt pressured into doing things you didn't want to do by someone with power over you (an older, possibly bigger, child). That sounds like it could potentially be quite traumatic and you don't need to minimise it if you feel that way.
Whatever you decide, please try to ditch the guilt. You were a child! You did not have the adult understanding you now have of how damaged she might have been, and it wasn't your job to get her help. It's your feelings of guilt that make me wonder if these incidents have affected you more that you would like to admit.
Again FWIW, when I reported to the police some sexual abuse that had happened to me in my teens, a huge weight of guilt that I hadn't known I was carrying suddenly lifted. That's just my experience, and I could be projecting, but I worry that you feel guilty about this now.
But please do not feel guilty about anything you did or didn't do. You were a child. It honestly took me until about last year (at 36) to realise my experiences weren't normal and it made a lot of sense given other things in my life. But I know in no way was I responsible for any of that. I was a kid, as were you.
What happened between you and her was innocent.
What was happening to her at home was likely not.
I don't know for sure how I'd feel about this in relation to myself but I think I'd process it as no harm intended and two kids innocently playing a few steps over the line.
I don't think it's terribly unusual for children to play those kinds of games with mutual unspoken consent -- I wouldn't necessarily suspect it meant she was being abused, though of course it might -- but did you feel coerced? Has it caused problems for you? Your OP suggests it has...?
Just to clarify: I was in my late 30s when I reported the abuse and I had been carrying all that guilt for 20 years and more
I was abused, and I know that I played games like this around that age. I'm sure it's related. I really struggle with this as although I don't think I physically abused anyone I worry that it had a negative impact on others which is unacceptable. I'd say there's a good chance she was being abused, but absolutely not your fault that you didn't question it - you were a child, you didn't know any different.
Oh, and I'm not suggesting you report it to the police, but that you get some help. Either counselling or yes, you could talk to your GP if it's really affecting you. They can refer you for counselling too.
thank you all. It has absolutely had more of an effect on me than I realised.
I remember really not liking it. I didnt have many friends and was encouraged to play with her by my mum to make friends. she was nice in other ways, I remeber not wanting to do it but not saying anything so I had a friend. In ny adult life, I have struggled with bulimia and anger iasues when I feel the slightest bit controlled. I wonder if on some level it could be connected. I will look into counselling but didnt want to go if it was a normal thing all kida do and I'm over reacting
If you've struggled with bulimia and anger issues, regardless of the origin, counselling will do no harm. I'd say go for it.
Whether you think it’s related or not, just get counselling for the bulimia and anger then
I had a similar situation at the same age, but it was always mums and dads, always with a sexual element like kissing or touching naked. It made me uncomfortable too, but like you I was encouraged to play with her as I had few friends. She had much older siblings, looking back I wonder what she was exposed to or endured.
I haven't had counselling for that issue, but for other issues and it was helpful. If this is coming up for you then it would be worth talking about it with support from a counsellor.
I thought this was normal behaviour. I know lots of people who played these kind of games as children. When I was about 8 or 9 I remember a few instances of playing games with 2 different cousins which involved touching each other. Both were my idea I think and I've never been sexually abused. When I was older, about 11, me and my best friend used to pretend we were adults and actually get naked and get off with each other (her idea). As far as I know she wasn't abused either but was quite sexually mature for her age. When I brought all this up in counselling years later, I was told it was all completely normal and I was so relieved.
are there certain types of councilig that are more beneficial. I had councilling through an eating disorder charity 10 years ago, It focusrd more on food issues and I didn't really find it beneficial. But I was alot younger then and probably not really ready to get better if I'm honest
I’d look for open ended psychotherapy tbh as it isn’t a “get better in 12 weeks” or tied to a particular way of doing things.
cakedup thank you. That makes me feel very relived. thank you
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