Personal testimony from a woman who submitted her experience of child-on-child sexual abuse to be shared.
When I was young, about 4 yrs old, my oldest brother started molesting me.
He was a child himself, at 8.
We were often left alone while both parents worked and he became curious. I was too little to know anything. As we grew, he continued. My other older brother joined in too at times. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night with their hands touching my private parts.I started to realize what was being done to me was wrong. I started to cry and beg God to make it stop when I was alone.
This continued until I turned 11. He was 15. He wasn’t a child anymore and had known better for a while.
I would avoid eye contact and felt ashamed and horrible. I was fearful he would tell someone or get angry and harm me if we stopped. My 11th year our church introduced girls my age to the youth program they host. They talked about virtues and strength and how we girls have the power to make our own choices. I decided I was done. I forcefully and repeatedly turned my older brothers away and fortunately they gave up. I thought I was done and could heal.
I had a month or two of healing before a strange glow in our office woke me up one night. I quietly went to see what was going on and found both my brothers, naked, watching porn separately on both our computers. I ran and told my parents. It didn’t stop. I don’t know how long it had been going on, I just knew it made me sick to my stomach.
In my formative years as a teenager I would walk in on them repeatedly and find their searches in the internet history. I began waking up to them touching me again. They started calling me names like “fat lard” and saying no one would ever love me. I started to hate males. I refused to date in high school because I was certain they only wanted sex. I hated the idea of sex and intimacy. I gagged when I saw kissing, in real life or in the movies. I developed anorexia.
When I graduated high school my brothers were still living at home and I was determined to go to college out of state to get away from my abusers, ignorant parents and a house that carried scars in every room. I was able to begin to heal for real.
I eventually met my future husband and was able to open up to him about some of my past. I’m still too ashamed to tell him all of it. I explained to him that pornography was just as egregious to me as adultry and because of my past scars I would not not be able to stay with him if he ever indulged. He was then and is still now patient and understanding. We talk about pornography regularly to make sure our home stays safe from its effects. I know his feelings are hurt when I don’t want to kiss, which is most of the time, or when I struggle with intimacy, which is often. I have a son now too and I’m terrified of him becoming a teenager in today’s media-centric and pro-pornography culture. I’m afraid if he gets tempted and falls prey that I will hate him, like I still hate my brothers no matter how much I’ve tried to forgive them.
Pornography has hurt me. It has scarred my perceptions of love, of family, of trust. It encouraged my abuse and made me feel worthless and unsafe in my own home. It has diminished my faith in the male half of the population.
I’m grateful I was able to find a healthy relationship and love with a very patient and understanding husband. Pornography and abuse happen. They hurt. They hinder. They harm. But they can also heal. I’m still on that path and am making progress.
My oldest brother got married and is struggling to stay that way due to his pornography addiction. His wife is hurt and diminished and I feel guilty for knowing his issues and not telling her before she married him. I can’t even will myself to wish that they will stay married because I know the pain his addiction can cause. My other older brother has never married and the home page on his phone is a porno site. I know I’m still fighting my way out of the damage done, but it seems my brothers are more damaged than I.
They are slaves to their addictions with no current end in sight.
I don’t know if they will ever heal or recover, or even if they want to, but I’m determined that I will.
Have you or a loved one been impacted by child-on-child sexual abuse, pornography, or other forms of sexual exploitation? You can share your story, to be shared anonymously here.