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Counseling/sexual abuse 20 years ago



         Sexual abuse is a terrible crime that I recognize today is as damaging to a person's psyche as anything, if not properly treated.  Today, 20 years after my own experience, I find myself questioning what is the proper thing I should do to move forward?

         As an eleven year old, I often times would ask my eighteen or nineteen year old sister if I could sleep with her in her bed.  I was afraid of the dark.  I also enjoyed laying in her water bed.   Sometimes she denied my request, maybe knowing what could happen.  Other times she allowed me under the covers with her.

         But as a boy entering puberty, my body reacted to being cuddled with my half naked sister.  As time passed, she encouraged me to sleep with my face into her chest.  She also kissed me, masturbated me and gave me oral sex.

         Now comes the hard part;  I enjoyed this more than anything.  I experienced mind blowing orgasms.  But I also think I responded as most boys would at my age.  That does not make what she did right.  That is why I am asking for your help.

         Today, I am thirty one years old with a family of my own.  She has her own family.  Is counseling something I should seek?  I fear this is going to eat away at me at my life progresses, even though I enjoyed the contact with my sister.

         I also ask if I should look into prosecuting my sister?  I don't want to because I love her.  But I also do not want to allow somebody who is guilty of a serious crime just walk away freely.  I learned this by watching the Penn State University scandals.

         Please offer taking your time on this matter.  I really need somebody experienced and an expert in sexual abuse to give their professional opinion.  I looked at your profile and you look like you deal with this type of stuff on a regular basis.  Thank you for helping.

Hi Jonathan,

First, let me tell you that the body doesn't know the difference between a partner who is a relative, abuser, or lover. It responds to sexual touch the way it was designed to. It's pleasurable because it's biologically advantageous to enjoy it so that the species can continue.

Unfortunately a lot of people feel guilty because the sex was enjoyable. They feel like it was their fault or that perhaps it wasn't inappropriate. What makes it inappropriate is the inequality of power, the lack of ability to consent due to maturity, intelligence, drunkness or whatever it is that impairs one of the parties.

You are telling me that twenty years later this still bothers you. That said, I would suggest that you see a counselor who is trained in sexual assault and trauma recovery. As to whether or not you should report your sister, I think there is time to figure that out with the help of the counselor. Obviously what she did was wrong. Obviously others may be at risk, but your first priority is your own healing. You can't really know how telling will impact you until you have begun that journey. For some it is a required part of reclaiming their power. For others the process only contributes more damage.

Good luck!

Laura Giles


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Laura Giles, MSW


I can answer questions about sexual assault, sex offending, domestic violence, substance abuse, acudetox, hypnosis, biofeedback, neurofeedback, ADHD, relationship issues, and run of the mill mental health questions.


Extensive inpatient, outpatient and criminal justice experience.

BS counseling, MSW social work

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