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#150306 - 04/11/07 01:16 PM Would we have been believed?
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
I've been having a side conversation with a member here about some things, and part of that conversation was about whether anyone would have believed us when the abuse was going on if we had tried to tell them. And even if we did tell, and they did believe us, what then?

I go to a men's group meeting each Friday morning early at my church. Back when the story was in the news about the two Missouri boys who were kidnapped and molested, one of the guys in the group made a comment that stuck with me. He was talking about the older boy who had been captive for 4 years. His comment was something like "I wonder why he didn't just tell someone. He was seeing people all the time." I didn't say anything then, but I had a lot going through my mind.

When I was 14, there was an older man (30+) in our neighborhood who I feel was grooming me towards eventual abuse (gifts, talking with me about very inappropriate sexual content, sharing his pornography, questioning my sexual experiences, etc.) He was respected in the community, a professional, wife and 2 kids, etc. If I had gone to anyone and revealed what was going on, would I have been believed? And if so, what of it? This guy abruptly moved away with his family, and I even felt abandoned in a way when he did. I missed him a lot. I really don't think I would have been believed. I was a very shy, introverted child, and he could have so very easily deflected all his guilt towards me. And I would have had no verbal resources to refute it. I still don't do well thinking on my feet.

I can't even begin to imagine going to my father back then and telling him something like this was going on. The hell you know is better than the hell you don't. It really, really does not surprise me at all that so many boys didn't tell. With the other abuses prior to this one, I would have been humiliated if I told about some of them. And with the first abuses by my older brother, I would have certainly been on the receiving end of a pummeling from him later -- he told me as much. And my father would have done a number on me as well. Assuming he believed what I was telling him. And even if he didn't, my "lie" would be another reason to beat me. So that was a no-win situation.

_________________________
Eddie

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#150307 - 04/11/07 01:37 PM Re: Would we have been believed? [Re: EGL]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11104
Loc: Denver, CO
Eddie,

Another thought came to mind reading your post. Even if we were believed, what would have happened next? I shared a few pieces of my story with my oldest brother a couple years ago, and he asked a question that almost implied fault on my part: "Why did this keep happening to you?" So I get the feeling that even if we were believed, something negative could have come from it anyway. It depends so much on the circumstances and the people involved.

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#150310 - 04/11/07 02:06 PM Re: Would we have been believed? [Re: FormerTexan]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Eddie,

As you know, that fear of not being believed haunted me when I was being abused. BUT...I also considered the scenario that I WOULD be believed, and that struck me as much worse. If I told and people believed me, they woudl know all those awful things I felt I was to blame for.

We were just boys, Eddie; there was no way we could have negotiated our way through this minefield. As you say, it was a no-win situation, at least so far as we could see.

It's a lot better now, that's for sure. There are so many resources available for guys who are being hurt, at whatever age, and I bet I have said it to myself a thousand times: Thank God.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#150331 - 04/11/07 03:29 PM Re: Would we have been believed? [Re: roadrunner]
lostandfound Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 148
Loc: Singularity
Eddie, RR, FT

this is really interesting. I'm writing out my story and I keep coming to places where, in my head, I think, "Why didn't I tell someone?" Then I happen upon this thread. I told no one because I was afraid of being believed. I was sure if my dad found out he would have beaten me to death. Abuse was better than death. Also, the emotional and physical abuse at home. To get way from that hell it chose a different hell. At least someone was interested in me and I escaped my family for awhile. Now, that is really f'd up but that is the way it was with me.

I think there are a lot of similarities when we talk about how we felt and why we kept silent. My abuser guilted me and told me that I wanted and I was to blame. If I told my parents it might be more than they could bare. He knew their marriage was lousy.

As for why Hornebeck didn't leave? Well, that kid is really the only one that can answer that. Maybe life was really bad at home. Maybe he'd have to explain what happened and the shame was too much. Shame kept my mouth shut for 22 years.

lost

_________________________
"I'm not suppose to be like this, but it's okay!" -REM

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#150333 - 04/11/07 03:45 PM Re: Would we have been believed? [Re: lostandfound]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6501
Loc: Terminus
Eddie,

This one hits a nerve...a large open-nerve. I would not have been believed. I would have been scorned for saying such a thing about such remarkable older boys...whom I ought to emulate.

Thus, credibility of the child-accuser comes into play in court (even today) and in the initial publicity of the abuse. My case would never even have been recorded on the police log. I would likely have been shipped-off to God-knows-where. They already thought I was psycho...accusations surrounding my rape would only have proven them accurate.

BTW: ...the Josh Hornbeck and Ben Onsby case were one of the BIG forces in my disclosure and decision to deal head-on. Robbie NEEDED a voice ... finally .. a voice!!

I was throwing things at the TV when the press brought up the "lack of his efforts to report...seek help." God...I want to throw this computer!!!!!!!!



Edited by Robbie Brown (04/11/07 03:50 PM)
_________________________
When the phone don't ring, I'll know its you.

The Aftermath Video

My Absolute Hero!

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#150334 - 04/11/07 03:51 PM Re: Would we have been believed? [Re: lostandfound]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11104
Loc: Denver, CO
lost,

"At least someone was interested in me and I escaped my family for awhile."

That's exactly how I viewed things with the perp kid from when I was in grade school. Hanging around with him was better than the empty hell-hole I called a home at the time.

In most of our cases, for one reason or another, it just wasn't safe to tell parents what was happening. Friggin' sad, considering they are supposed to be the ones guarding us.

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

Top
#150335 - 04/11/07 03:53 PM Re: Would we have been believed? [Re: lostandfound]
MemoryVault Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
I've been thinking about the boy from Missouri, too. I was only in the hands of a dangerous stranger for maybe half an hour, not years, but it's like your brain will do anything to make the situation seem safe, to deny what's really happening.

One problem with telling other people is...how can a child tell someone else what happened if he doesn't have the words to describe it to himself? Did we know the word "abuse"? Did we understand that something was done to us that did more than just feel bad? Were we ready to advocate for ourselves if nobody understood?

I had no words, no thoughts, afterwards. Just a thing that I didn't want to think about, a memory that burned every time it came up. Plus a story I told to protect myself--that this was just some strange guy that I ran into...no harm done.

To tell someone else, you have to understand it yourself. Many of us couldn't & didn't.

MV


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#150338 - 04/11/07 04:06 PM Re: Would we have been believed? [Re: MemoryVault]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11104
Loc: Denver, CO
MV,

Interesting point. Many children don't have the words to describe what happened. A few do, as in this example:


***** TRIGGER *****

There was a recent news article about some first graders who were sexually abused by a sixth-grader. The one example I recall when a boy came out of class to his father and looked rather disturbed. When his father asked what was wrong, the boy answered "someone did something disgusting to me." This of course prompted the investigation, the news coverage, the denial of responsibility from the school district, etc. But this one child managed to find the words to convey the problem.

**** END ****

To me, in a lot of our cases, we had neither the words nor the safety to even begin saying what was done to us.

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#150339 - 04/11/07 04:07 PM Re: Would we have been believed? [Re: MemoryVault]
lostandfound Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 148
Loc: Singularity
FT, MV

What's more is physical feeling. I think for me I questioned, did i like it? I must have liked it. Man, that part messed me up. But at the time no words could have described it. Many of us too were scared anyway.

What I hate for those two missiour boys is now the whole country knows. I couldn't survive. I wouldn't be strong enough to survive that. My heart feels so broken for those two kids. And, most people that know do not understand. MV you are right, to tell someone you have understand it yourself. I feel the only way to understand is have been there yourself.

God, I want to cry.

lost

_________________________
"I'm not suppose to be like this, but it's okay!" -REM

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#150340 - 04/11/07 04:09 PM Re: Would we have been believed? [Re: FormerTexan]
lostandfound Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 148
Loc: Singularity
FT,

i agree. My wife and are teaching our son proper words for body parts, good touches and bad touches. Things like that because he may, god forbid anything happen, but if it does he may not be able to articulate it. I don't want that to keep him silent nor fear of getting in trouble.

lost

_________________________
"I'm not suppose to be like this, but it's okay!" -REM

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