A victim of COCSA, do I have a right to feel traumatized?

For years I have lived in denial that the abuse I experienced at the hands of another child (the son of my mother‘s friend) had any effect on me whatsoever. When people asked if I had ever been abused, I always said no. But there was always a question mark around what happened all those years ago. Was it even abuse? Did I somehow enjoy it? Was I ever afraid of him? Why didn’t anyone ever notice (because it happened every single time we visited their home)? Why wasn’t anyone ever there to stop it or to protect me? Is what happened to me so many times in that closet the reason that I grew up to be gay?

So many questions that I could never speak to anyone about, not even a therapist. I just wanted to block it out and mostly still do. But I would be lying to myself to say that it did not affect me. I didn’t have sex until I was well into adulthood and avoid relationships at all costs. These things are not normal for someone who has never been sexually traumatized. But this topic is so rarely talked about, if at all. It’s taken me years to acknowledge that that experience deeply affected me. When I told me mother as an adult, her only response was to get angry and ask why I had not told her sooner. My brother literally had no reaction. Both were in the house every single time I was abused.

A couple of years ago, I sent that kid‘s mother an email and told her that her son abused me for years. She never responded.

/r/CPTSD Thread Parent