By Dr. Kelli Palfy, Author of Men Too: Unspoken Truths About Male Sexual Abuse
A man recently contacted me wanting help processing aspects of his sibling abuse. He mentioned no one talks about this, so I thought I would! Sibling “abuse” is not uncommon in environments where other sexual abuse is occurring. It could look like any of the following scenarios:
A. Dad (or mom or someone else) sexually abuses child (a) then that child re-enacts what they’ve learned on their sibling (b). They may do this, possibly to gain a sense of control or hoping to have a better experience of what happened during their abuse. The element of being in control, may help them feel less helpless in regard to the abuse they are experiencing. They may also be trying to re-write their own memories of abuse, or simply being kids, kids re-enact what they’ve learned.
B. Mom (or dad) is abusing one child and forces the other child to “join in.”
C. Child (a) is introduced to sexually explicit material then tries it out on a sibling (b).
Unfortunately, now we have two child victims! Child (a) may grow up and feel responsible and guilty for abusing their sibling, while child (b) may feel guilty for “not saying no”.
Children by nature of their own magical thinking, often take responsibility for things they realistically have no control over. Neither child (a) nor child (b) is old enough to understand what they are doing. This is WHY we have laws in place and why we define abuse as abuse.
Inevitably, when either child comes of age and learns the meaning of what took place in their youth, the results can be catastrophic and can lead to all sorts of problems! When they learn about sexual matters; they often judge themselves as if they knew then, what they know now.
Sibling Abuse Can Lead To:
- Boundary Issues: children who have been violated often struggle to say no, and question why they didn’t I say no to the abuse.
- An Insatiable Sexual Appetite (since they learned sex as a means of soothing and too Soon).
- Guilt/Faulty Beliefs About Their Level Of Responsibility
- Shame & Disconnected Family Relations.
Don’t think this happens? Ever wonder why so and so doesn’t talk to so and so?
Read my book: Men Too: Unspoken Truths About Male Sexual Abuse Available on Amazon, Audible & Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/author/drkellipalfy
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