I believed fully that people who are your best friends really care about you and wouldn't do anything harmful to you. When the abuse started, I understood it wasn't right, which led to a dilemma - if I was being harmed, then these people couldn't be my friends. It was something that I call cognitive dissonance. The way I solved my cognitive dissonance was giving my abusers the benefit of the doubt - they were my friends after all; thus, I decided that what they were doing to me (the abuse) could not have been harmful after all. A simple kiddish decision.[/melliferal]
[quote=buzz_key]my dad spent many years TELLING me i liked it because if i didn't i wouldn't have an erection. how can a kid argue with that logic...i didn't know any better...my head and heart said no...my dick said yes...i told myself he was right..i must like it.
Man, I could go on and on with examples from my own childhood. Do the "good feelings" mean what we are doing is okay?...that's what I asked him. And guess what the answer was?
And yep, I looked at him and saw 1) an adult, 2) a friend of my Dad, 3) a guy I had seen around for years helping with the cubs and scouts, 4) a poobah in our church, ushering people to their places, taking collection, etc. So far as I was concerned the world was safe and so was he. And anyway, I supposed to listen to adults when I go to their home, right? Larry, be a good boy and do whatever Mr and Mrs **** say. Larry, remember your pleases and thank yous and do what you're told.
What do we see so clearly in all this: the fact that kids are just not
emotionally, socially, or intellectually equipped to respond to the challenges that come up when they are being abused. Remember the "deer in the headlights" feeling? Remember wanting
it to be okay so the fear and confusion would stop?
Someone here last year had a signature line that says it all: A child can comply, but he can't consent.