There are too many to name, none easy to talk about or put into words, the ramifications so great. But one that has come up in a few blogs lately seems the very hardest to talk about, sexual intimacy in a loving relationship. That was stolen from me. And I don’t mourn what I never had. But I know it’s a great loss.
When a child loves and trusts her brother (substitute father, uncle, mother, etc.), the closeness, warmth, and time spent together is not sexual. A hug is benign, just a hug, filled with warmth and love. That’s it. And when she gets older, perhaps adolescence, she might feel a twinge of her sexuality at her first kiss with a boy she likes her own age.
Then she’s a teenager and it’s said the hormones take over, not me. I was scared and frozen when my boyfriend tried to touch me in any sexual way. But this is when one explores happily, both boy and girl enjoying the closeness and exploration.
On to later years, women respond and feel their sensuality, and are able to enjoy the touch of the one they love who loves them back. Not me. I laid there quietly, frozen, afraid to feel, so I didn’t. And I became enraged after, feeling like I had been attacked all over again.
I never reached a place where I could be with my husband and respond lovingly during intimate times without fanaticizing being forced. This sweet gentle man would never do that, it was only what my creative mind came up with so that I too could enjoy being together that way. I think that is sad. And not the norm. And not how our bodies, emotions and minds are intended to be.
But if as a child, a brother, father, mother, or any trusted close family member, attacks a child sexually, they are arresting the child’s ability to develop as they were meant to. If you’re being forced, and by forced that also means, cajoled, tricked, manipulated, coerced, groomed, shamed, terrified, threatened, whatever treachery the attacker uses to silence the child, then you associate all those feelings with sex. You associate benign love, such as what you feel innocently for a loving family member, with sexual feelings.
That is not how it is meant to be. It is much too young to stimulate a child this way. She forever associates sex with force, shame, fear, many things, including warmth and love, because she does love her attacker.
The confusion to a child is so detrimental to her well-being and psychological health, not to mention her sexual life from then on. And she will associate a sexual response in many ways other than intended. You may hug your children and feel a response within that doesn’t match an unromantic love. And that can happen with all unromantic loving relationships. It’s crossed wires. One need not feel ashamed for what was done to them in childhood. Just note the feeling and move on.
A girl may reach adolescence and on up, looking for love in all the wrong places, because that is what she was taught. Love and sex came from the wrong places, so how does she know where the right ones are?