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#190297 - 11/07/07 04:30 AM Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators
frost Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/15/07
Posts: 1377
Loc: Eh?
Hi Everyone,

I closely watched a thread that was here recently, and am disappointed with its outcome. I don't know if a 'conversation' ever took place with regards to how some feel towards their abusers.

Firstly, I want to make the distinction that this is not one of those "one size fits all" threads. What I'm about to notate applies to some, not all. The thoughts I'm about to post are from my own personal agony over the topic: "How do I feel about my abuser, and how did I feel about my abuser?".

Oftentimes, when faced with the question, I find a lot of us, myself included, will reply with some form of the words, "Hatred" or "Anger".

While I do have burning hatred and anger towards my abuser, I don't find that for myself, that's the full story to it. The reality of it, in fact, is that there is a massive range of emotions built into what I feel towards my abuser. I can start off with hatred, disgust, anger... However, on a much more confusing note, I also can look back at my childhood and realize feelings of sympathy, and a very strange brand of... love? Perhaps a more fitting term for this would be Stockholm syndrome... A little fine tuning might be necessary in this case but... I'm essentially highlighting the extremely complex emotions that have been felt throughout the years towards the person who has left such destruction in my life.

For me, my abuse lasted for 9 years. Starting from the age of 6 where it was more or less grooming and what I commonly refer to as 'training'. By age 11 or 12 I reached the onset of puberty and discovered the all-powerful orgasm. By this point in my life, I had basically become some kind of sex-slave to my abuser. The tables turned, instead of being all for him, it became about my outlet as well. This is extremely difficult for me to admit in a pubic area such as this, but I feel as though it needs to be discussed because I know for a fact that there are others out there who had this same psychological turnabout.

To reiterate, I look at my abuse as having two significant chapters. The first 'chapter' being the extremely early sexualization from ages 6-11, and the second 'chapter' being the 'extreme, but normal under the circumstances' sexual exploration of an extremely confused 12-15 year old.

Something often discussed here is the lie, "You liked it, you wanted it". Here's what I say to this: Yes, I did indeed enjoy the physical sensations like any male would. However, the "High" was absolutely nothing compared to the emotional fallout that would follow my abuse sessions. While I had been trained to enjoy these sensations and respond sexually over the years, my mind became consumed with the guilt and shame that had also been 'programmed in' from the start. It's a bizarre paradox and it is difficult to see all of the shades of gray but in the 9 years that my abuse persisted, I experienced every shade there could possibly be. Every emotion that could be felt along the way was felt.

Something that I feel needs to be said here is that; Just because you have had, or now have feelings of sympathy, desire, resexualization, fantasies, and such about your abuser does NOT mean that you can't also have feelings of hatred, disgust, and pure anger towards your abuser. I have talked to a lot of men here who are consumed with guilt because they not only enjoyed the sensations that were presented them, but they sought out those sensations from the place they knew where to find them: their abuser.

As children, we are not ready for all of these emotions. Because of that, I have the feeling a lot of men here are trapped by these feelings... Trying to figure out what is wrong with themselves and not being able to examine their emotional experience of the abuse because it's simply too painful. I think a lot of us cannot stand to look at the idea that they did get sexual arousal, not to mention a sexual outlet from the abuse. I want all men here who fight with these feelings to know and understand that these feelings don't make you dirty, sinful, guilty. These feelings don't define your sexuality or sexual orientation. These feelings don't devalue or invalidate your feelings of hatred and anger.

Another layer to add on to this, that I noticed existed in the removed thread, is there also comes in to play family boundaries. I can't speak on this from personal experience as my perpetrator was an unrelated neighbour. However, one survivor asked, "How can I hate my brother?". Again, I'm trying to highlight the fact that... Love and Hate (and everything in between) CAN coexist and CAN cause a lot of conflict within the mind of a survivor. It isn't against the rules to feel both, and feel everything in between as well. As well, for me, my abuser was a neighbour that unfortunately was my only 'friend' growing up in an isolated neighbourhood. It was only recently that I came to terms with how unfriendly he really was.

This is getting long, so I'm gonna save further thoughts and keep it at this for now. I hope I'm not offending anyone. My thoughts do not apply to everyone. Not only that, everyone's abuse experiences were different... There are some here that never derived any pleasure from the sexual aspect at all. Childhood abuse takes on many forms. What I survived did not feel like a torturous ordeal at the time, it was gentle, it was subliminal at times... The ordeal for me was the extreme range of emotions and how truly conflicted my inner 6-year old (see my avatar) has been all these years. It's still agony; just of a different type.

I welcome, and truly hope for, your feedback.
~Brian

_________________________
Boom!

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#190300 - 11/07/07 05:21 AM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: frost]
ak Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/10/04
Posts: 1491
Brian,

I had 4 different abusers. One who is dead, I did not have hate or anger at him, and I do not now. He was a kind man, and why he did what he did to me, I do not know. I do not understand it. But I think it is possible that good, even very good people, can do sometime something very terrible. Bad choices happen. His bad choices with me happened over several years, so I can not think it is only 'one time' thing. But so much else, his person, his behaviors, everything else about him, speak 'goodness'. I liked him most the time, he was very nice and gentle with me, he speak kind and listen to me, he give me gifts. I have sympathy to him, because I think very much, to have lived with what he was doing, would been painful to him, and I hope that he have the grace of God now.

One of them, he was quite a monster, and did not only abuse, but torture. I still have fear of him, and he is been in prison for 2 years now. The worst of the nightmares, the worst of the flashbacks, general it would involve him. Do I have anger to him? Yes, probably, although I do not know I recognize it as that, because of the fear. Do I hate him? Maybe. I want to think that I do not 'hate' anyone. But if anyone, then I am rather sure he would be someone to deserve it. I try hard to try to think good on most everyone, but it is very hard with this man. I will continue to pray for him, because I think someone who is that very cruel, specially to children, it must be a very black world to him.

I know we are not to 'minimize' abuses, or to compare ours to others, because it minimalize what happen. One of my abusers, it was more minimal to me, then the other three men. It is not minimizing it, all abuse is bad. It is just, his part in my abuse was so rather small, that I guess my feelings of him are also. I dislike what he done. I do not know enough about him as a person to know if, in his life, he is a good person who do other good things, or if he is not. His abuses of me were very, I guess, 'matter in fact' like. It was not the terror of the one man, it certainly was not kind, it was not 'bi polar' like the other. It was not very often, which is good, and not as bad as it could been, which is also good I guess. I guess in my mind, I do not have much feeling of him at all. There is not confusion or fear in my thinking about him, like some of the other abuses.

The other man was not only abuser himself, but arranged the others who abused me also, he rather 'give me out' to them. He is also one who physically abused me, and others I know of, and sexually abuse others I know of. He is also person who is responsible for my back injury that is still problem to me, even after the surgery last year. He is the only one I have actually said I forgive to him, directly. And he is also the one who I truly think, I do not 'trust' him, but I truly think he is changed hiself, his life, at this time. He is very much one that I think is no longer abusing. He have told to his wife about what he done (I know that to be true, because I have talk direct with her). He have done things to help to 'make amends' some to me, and to some other persons he had harmed. Nothing can take it away or erase it, but he is only one I know of who is actively trying to make it better for those he victimised. No, he have not turn hiself into police. And I tell to him, that if another of his victims do go public of what he had done, I would also, in support of that. I think he is actually someone who have changed, or at least is trying very hard, not 'faking' or lying about it, to change. I have given to him my forgiveness, he know that. I still have anger sometime of his actions, specially if my back is causing problems to me. But I can not say that I have directly anger to him, and I certainly do not hate him. He can not make things now 'right', but he is trying very hard to make things now 'better', and I credit that very much. I do not know that he is truly a 'good man', like the first person I speak of, but he is trying very hard to become one. I respect that, I respect his efforts now, and I respect his successes in his career. I do not know I 'respect' him personally, but I do not at all hate him.

Brian, you can see, my thinking is rather confused and conflicted to, and is some different of each of these men, even though all abused me. Perhaps some the conflict do not come from their actions to me, but from my personal beliefs, and of how I wish to be as a person. In reference of that 'other post', I did not 'like' any of it, simply because the physical act is not something I would enjoy, in any circumstance, because I am not gay, so any sexual behavior with another man would not be pleasant to me. But very much of my abuses, they was violent, or at least, 'rough' and that is just not how I am as person either. So I can not say I ever 'enjoyed' any of it, or even that physically, that most of it even feel good (the physical 'feel good' part of it maybe happen 10% of time with man number 1, and that may have been just because I was greatful he did not hurt me).

It is difficult question to answer, and to discuss, and it have take me a long time to respond to this. Definitely, it is a lot of thought needed, and is worth it.

Andrei


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#190304 - 11/07/07 06:26 AM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: ak]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Two very awesome posts, Andrei and Brian. Thank you for sharing.

The postive feelings I had towards my abuser (my mother) as well as the desire I had for the sexual contact most surely was a barrier in my realization that what I experienced was actually abuse. And in the time since I reached that realization, I have found that in a conversation with a co-worker (who has a 13 year old son) that this confusion exists in the rest of society as well. Until I explained to her my dilemma (which wasn't easy), she didn't understand how something enjoyable to a 13 year old could be considered abuse.

This is a topic that needs to be explored fully again and again.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#190305 - 11/07/07 06:34 AM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: BJK]
Grunty1967b Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Australia
Brian,

You made a very good, balanced and well thought out post. Can’t say I disagree with any of your conclusions or suggestions. Thought of writing a book?


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#190332 - 11/07/07 10:41 AM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: Grunty1967b]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
I was actually thinking about starting a new thread with a very similar theme (I still might).

In additiond to everything you say, I believe that far too many of us are stuck for most of our lives with the buried (but not always so) desire for our abuser to come back. So many of the symptoms and troubles we struggle with seem to be somehow related to an absence of "closure" with our abusers.

I think we can all agree that when we meet up with an old friend we haven't seen in years, the relationship seems to take up right where it left off the last time we were together. I don't see any reason why it should be any different for our relationships with our abusers.

Thoughts anyone?

_________________________
Craig

Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.

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#190365 - 11/07/07 05:11 PM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: cbfull]
Russ2 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/28/03
Posts: 77
Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts about such a deeply personal and meaningful subject. I can assure you -- you're not alone man!

Russ


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#190375 - 11/07/07 07:14 PM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: Russ2]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Great thread absolutely, thanks for such thoughtful posts. Craig has an interesting point about closure, but i have to admit the idea of "picking up right where we left off" is certainly not a particularly comfortable one for me... i did see my 1st abuser briefly in the hallway at school 3 years after the abuse, she gave me a gentle "hi" which made me think she was grateful for the adult involvement that ended the SA, at least i knew then she didn't hate me anymore. The 2nd abuser i don't want to see again, i just wish i knew he was off the street.

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#190406 - 11/08/07 01:35 AM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: dgoods]
frozen Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/26/07
Posts: 22
Loc: Europe
I have no feelings for my first molester,even he did biggest destruction in my mind,being nice and gentle but doing those things.My second one was rought and violent,but he was my closest friend,I miss him,when I am in lu I hate him.My third was a girl,even she did it only twice it was most embarrissing thing.
Now and then I have to meet my first and third molesters,they are family friends to my father.It usually ends me running away.If I would meet my second,I have no defence against him,he probably would take me again ,I hate it.I donīt want to be weak anymore.I donīt wanna live in shame anymore.


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#190439 - 11/08/07 09:28 AM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: frozen]
Jarrad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/06
Posts: 1071
Loc: arizona
i was holding off on posting because i didnt want to get this post locked. but i reread it again and i feel compelled to reply.

so while you experienced a range of emotions for your perp, is it possible not to have that range and experience one? does that make me shallow? you talked about the "high" of the abuse and i can totally relate. but i need had that crash after like you did. there was no guilt. or feeling like it was wrong. there's no anger or anything. just love.


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#190467 - 11/08/07 02:06 PM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: Jarrad]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
*sigh*
there's plenty of stories or events or feelings i run into on the site that i don't necessarily identify with, but there's a reason i don't focus on those things; it doesn't help me. I come here because it helps me not to focus on how different or unique i am- if i wanted to do that, i'd just walk around the neighborhood. "Methinks thou doth protest too much"- i didn't forget what was going on right before your "best f---" post.


_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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