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Counseling/Touching between cousins, guilt ridden.

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Question
When I was 8 years old, I was involved in a sexual game with a younger cousin who was just over 2 years old. We are both females. The game involved touching genitals and that was it, it only happened a couple of times as far as I can remember. I'm now 18 years old and completely guilt ridden over this. I knew of nothing sexual when this happened and I can't believe I let it happen. I don't remember how it even started but I know it was never forced or anything like that and I don't remember telling my cousin to keep it a secret. My cousin and I still remained close after this and we still are pretty close now at the ages or 18 and 13. My cousin seems perfect fine and happy and never had any issues or problems. But I just can't get over this, I feel so guilty, I can't eat or think about anything else. I don't think my cousin remembers that this happened but I'm terrified that I could of ruined her life. I just don't know what to do. I feel like committing suicide. I know that 5 years is a big age difference, but it didn't have anything to do with her being younger, I didn't use that to an advantage or anything.. It just happened. Do you think I molested/abused her? I really hope I haven't and I hope I haven't ruined her life.

Answer
No you did not abuse or molest her. You were only 8 years old and sexually curious. What would you say to another person in your situation? The shame and guilt are normal emotions because they are intended to create normal sexual boundaries. Let it go, and understand it as a normal and common childhood experience.

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Daniel Keeran

Expertise

I am able to answer personal questions about relationships, parent, child, self-help, marriage, counseling, depression, sexual abuse, rape trauma, bereavement, grief, death of loved one, child abduction, conflict at work, separation, divorce, break-up, fear of remaining single, infertility, childlessness, anger management, verbal abuse, family violence, repeating unhealthy relationships, substance abuse, addiction, childhood abuse, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, loneliness, co-dependency, porn addiction, religious alienation, bi-polar disorder, homelessness, anti-social personality, foster care, borderline personality disorder, psychology, mental health, adoption, bankruptcy, insomnia, agoraphobia, social anxiety

Experience

I have been a counselor for over 30 years in private practice and hospital settings. For deeper understanding and healing childhood experiences affecting adult life and relationships with self and others see the reader-friendly source http://www.amazon.com/Effective-Counseling-Skills-therapeutic-statements/dp/1442177993 FREE PDF DOWNLOAD "Counseling In A Book" http://www.ctihalifax.com/images/CounselingInABook.pdf

Organizations
College of Mental Health Counseling at http://www.collegemhc.com

Publications
author, "Effective Counseling Skills" at http://tinyurl.com/yen574x and "Loss and Grief Counseling Skills" at http://tinyurl.com/35da8ov

Education/Credentials
MSW in psychiatric clinical social work

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