I'm so extremely torn and confused. I now remember my childhood with much more detail. I went through hundreds of family photos with me in them.
First thing that comes to mind is how perfect children are, I see myself as a kid and I look so happy, so innocent, and so loving. If I ever were perfect it was when I was a kid. I know none of what happened was my fault, but it has me questioning many things about my past.
I'm almost certain my abuser was abused probably at the same age I was (I'm imagining he was abused when he was 5). From the dates on the pictures the earliest confirmed memories I have of being "friends" with my cousin Curtis is 1999. That means the abuse actually started right after I turned 6 and that would've meant my cousin was 8 at the time. (and lasted 13 years, rather than the initial 12 I thought)
How can I blame my cousin for experimenting or doing what he thought was normal to me? But before there was me there was my cousin Ryan. I'm almost certain he started out abusing Ryan, but for whatever reason turned to me when I was 6. Me and him just clicked, idk if he was just doing it to get me under his control or what, I believe it was a mixture of things. I do believe there was a genuineness in our friendship and how it started. We both were into the same things, we were both gay. Curtis told me I was why he survived his life, and maybe that's true. It doesn't change the fact that I was sexually abused, but I'm fessing up, almost half of it was consensual. Curtis's homelife was horrible, I have reason to believe he was being raped and beaten by my uncle, his step-father. His mother was a hot-head and verbally abusive. You see, in all truth, I think I was his escape rather than his fix. And in a way, he was my escape. We intertwined ourselves into such a co-existent relationship that we needed each other. It was unhealthy no doubt, but from the eyes in the child I saw in my photos, I remember what it felt like with him. It was golden. When I throw out all of my adult thoughts and everything I've learned and I focus just on that child and his emotions, Curtis made my life worth living, he made my childhood golden.
I think what happened was a sexually co-abusive relationship. (Meaning, it hurt both of us, it was a double edged sword) There was only 2.5 years age difference, and neither of us knew the repercussions of our actions, yet I understand Curtis knew how to persuade and manipulate me with his experience. His actions were selfish and wrong, while I was innocent. Yet he was taught the abusive nature of life, and probably just thought it was normal. He never ever emotionally or physically abused me, and outside of sex, I have no regrets. We were best friends.
I don't know what to do guys, I am a loving open minded individual, maybe I'm naive but I know I am intelligent. I want to trust my instinct on this and say he never meant to hurt me. As he told me himself, but 13 years and over 1000 sexual acts, I don't know if I can go back to being his friend and not feel sexual towards him. Sex with him is like breathing. And if I were with him and not having sex it wouldn't feel right. It's almost like it's impossible to be in his life without it hurting both of us. Yet in my mind, we needed each other. We have this bond, I've never seen or heard of before, and to deny it idk how to describe it.
Every professional and all the books tell me I'm the innocent one and I was abused, it gives me black and white. And besides that, most of the research is on Adults sexually abusing children, not child abusing child. So what the fuck do I do? Am I under an illusion again? I highly doubt it this time, seeing the pictures, remembering everything, and trusting my cousins words and actions would indicate he made a mistake, but did in fact love me.
I was in love with my cousin, more in love than love though. It is like he was a part of me, like our souls intertwined and we needed each other. And without him I suffer, and if I am near him we begin to merge again. Unlearning and unfeeling 13 years seems impossible. Hell, I still love my ex and we only were in a relationship for 3 weeks!
When I think about how my ex was abused as a kid, I now can see my cousin the same way. I'd wish it on nobody. It messes you up. And really if I think about it, I was raped by my cousin's rapist. (metaphorically, and maybe even literally, but I don't remember)
I'm so confused. But what my heart is telling me is to go to my cousin, stay loyal to my friend, and talk to him about the abuse along with what happened to him. But how can I know if I'm in an illusional state of mind?
Seeing my pictures as a kid, I know I'll never be anywhere near as perfect as I was again. It feels like I felt the best there is to feel so nothing else can measure up. Tell me, how can "abuse" be such a golden memory yet cause so much pain? I don't understand.
The bottom line is, my cousin could be suffering just as much as I am right now. And if that's the case, we're equally hurt by our relationship. There is no revenge, there is no resent, there is only pain to be endured.
But to keep this all in perspective, I'll never know unless I talk to him myself. Should I trust my instinct and go for it, or should I listen to professionals who did not experience my life.
And even knowing all this will not solve my problems, I still deal with the effects of abuse. I have a whole shit load of stuff to deal with beyond even this. I've never felt more overwhelmed throughout my whole recovery till now. And the perfectionist within me screams with disdain. Because I know I'll never solve all of my problems in just "the right way". As a metaphor, I can't take a college course in recovery and get all As, there's simply no grading system.
I can't hope to explain myself, and yet I yearn to be understood. I want to write a mountain of words but fear they'll fall to def ears or blind eyes.
Here's a pic of me and my cousin. Look at that child, can you tell me he's a monster? (I'm on the far left, he's on the right next to me, the adult is my aunt Cil, and left of her is her daughter, my cousin Kristen, the birthday girl.)http://i49.tinypic.com/2crwsjp.png
And some more: http://i45.tinypic.com/2q9jhit.png
If you're curious who Ryan is, he's in the second picture from the top on the far left.