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#190473 - 11/08/07 04:37 PM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: dgoods]
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
My brother was my abuser and to this day, I have a decent relationship with him. He lives about 1 1/2 miles down the road and I still live with our mom and stepfather. So when my mother invites them over, I come out and talk with him. Right now, I really don't know how I feel about what he did. I still can't get into my subconcious that it was abuse. Part of my problem is I don't have too much memory. I believe I know the basic facts but none of the details, like how I felt during the abuse. However I do feel guilty for initating sometimes, so I guess it felt good. But maybe I was just looking for someone to pay attention to me. I was going thru some rough times, with my parents divorcing, 2 out of my 3 remaining grandparents dieing within the course of a year, and my mother off at graduate school trying to get a better job so that we could have a better life post divorce.

One of my Ts in my early recovery told me that it is ok to seperate my feelings about what he did to me and my feelings about him as my brother. Am I angry for him screwing up my childhood? Yes. Is he still my brother and do I love him (as a brother)? Yes.

Just because it felt good doesn't mean that I wanted it or that I knew enough to make a proper decision about sex.

_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


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#190474 - 11/08/07 04:38 PM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: Jarrad]
frost Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

Thank you for sharing what you did. These deep conflicts are as you say, very difficult to think through and figure out. You do have very high standards set for yourself with how you want to be as a person... I think thats why I'm torn as well, I have the capacity within me for compassion, sympathy and empathy. It doesn't feel right to just dismiss it... It's there for a reason... I'm exploring that now.



Bryan,

I can totally identify with you on the barrier. Lots of people are under the impression that abuse is strictly physical. Folks like us understand that abuse goes WAY beyond the physical to the emotional. While the physical act didn't necessarily hurt, I was constantly hurting emotionally. Spiritually I have suffered as well, feeling condemned by God and church. It gets into every aspect of life if given enough time to do so. Thank you for your post and bringing that barrier into the light.



Grunty,

I love your username. Thanks for the compliments on the post... and I have considered writing a book from time to time to be honest. Don't think I'd want to take something so deeply personal and turn it into business, however \:\) Thank you for your support.



cbfull,

As Bryan noted, this is something that needs discussed again and again, so I hope you will start a new thread with a similar theme! What powerful words you've said. Something we see commonly in domestic physical abuse is the abused will constantly welcome the abuser back with open arms. I feel this exists there as well in some cases where an abused person will actually hope for the return of their lover, and abuser.

Something worth mentioning about sexual abuse is that it is the quietest form of abuse. For many of us, it remains a hush-hush topic and I think that very nature of sexual abuse contributes to keeping these types of things buried. As survivors we need to get this stuff out in the open so it becomes history, not current events!

I find it very interesting how you spoke of the relationship resuming right where it left off. I think what you said does apply because how many times have we heard about people being revictimized when they try to confront their abuser? This is something I have stressed about for some time. I'd like to think that if I ran into my abuser on the street that I'd greet him with a fist and some angry words. But would I? I have always had that worry in the back of my mind... What if I subit to him in that moment... again?

I think you said alot here cbfull; very insightful words. Thank you for your reply.



Russ,

Thank you for your support and friendship. And thanks for the assurance I'm not alone.



dgoods,

I haven't spoken to my abuser since the abuse ended. I too feel an absolute lack of 'closure'. I suppose its something to note that sex and sexuality are things that a 6-year-old is simply not ready to handle in terms of emotionally and mentally. We can't possibly expect any child to be able to handle the situation in such a way that they will walk away without some form of attachment, and I think lacking that closure is a big part of that. My question is about closure is -- is that something that we as survivors will ever get? Or will that scar be there forever? Perhaps closure is found in the legal system? I've heard otherwise. Is this something that as a survivor I will forever be thirsty for?



frozen,

I hope for the day where everyone here can live without shame for these things that we've been through. I also hope for you that you'll be able to take back your strength and power and not feel like you must run away.



Jarrad,
You don't strike me as a shallow person. I think for me, much of my guilt and that 'crash' I referred to came from was my sense of right and wrong. Most children know right from wrong in the very early stages of their lives. To take this one step further, I was brought up in a christian home where the difference between right and wrong was discussed at church and in our home. I wonder if perhaps for yourself that ability to detect that was absent. I have ready many times in various posts and discussions that the victim had no concept of what was really happening to them and that it was wrong.

Sexual orientation might have something to do with this as well. I know that always added an extra element of 'this is wrong' for me because I oftentimes found myself wishing that my abuser or I was a female so that at least that part of it could be 'right' in my mind.

One other thought on this absence of crash that I'll mention is apathy. I have spoken with people who develop a sense of apathy towards basically everything in life. Perhaps you had a sense of apathy towards the abuse?

Yave you ever dug deep into these aspects of your childhood Jarrad? Are any of these things that I'm saying hitting home for you? Perhaps its worth a discussion on \:\)



Everyone,

Thanks for the thoughts on this thread so far. We're getting some good discussion going here and I hope that it continues. This reply is getting seriously long but I hope people will give it a read. If nothing more, I hope those whom I addressed in the reply read their section! \:\)

I also hope that anyone monitoring this thread silently, finds within them the courage to post some of their own thoughts!

~Brian

_________________________
Boom!

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#190485 - 11/08/07 06:41 PM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: dgoods]
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
Brian - I now consider my reactions to being groomed and abused as a child, at the time of abuse, as like being one of Pavlov's Dogs (Psychology - if you are not familiar, look it up). Rather than salivating at the thought of food, it was the interest that this 32 years old 'person' was showing in my 12 years old self that I liked and responded too. The 'food' in this scenario during the grooming process, was just like the 'food' supplied by my Grandparents and Uncles when I had lived in another town. I was salivating for the attention, but not the attention that I was eventually given. Pavlov's dogs were never used in that way.

I know what you mean by that 'Strange Brand of Love', because I was never beaten into submission, it was just something that 'very patiently crawled up on me'!

It's the psychological impact, that the courts just do not understand.

I was Pavlov's dog, but they also say that 'Every dog has it's day'. I had mine in court. The perv fed me, but I eventually bit the hand that he fed me with!

I saw him again the other day, stood outside of the betting (gambling) shop. He looked haggard and worried - that was good to see!

Best wishes ..Rik

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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#190537 - 11/08/07 11:02 PM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: RICK57]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Maybe it's worth adding here that there's no "right" way or "wrong" way to react to abuse. Each of us is different. Personally speaking, I am very glad indeed when I see that a guy here is still able to have a good relationship with an abusing relative, so long as the survivor is clear about what has happened and is honest with himself about how it has affected him.

No one owes others the hatred of the person(s) who abused him. Our feelings in this area are something we have to work out and resolve for ourselves.

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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#190579 - 11/09/07 08:55 AM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: frost]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Thanks for the kind words Brian, and thanks also for your well thought out responses. It is very kind of you to respond to each of us individually in such an organized and clear fashion. I think it would be of great benefit if we fellas could use your post as an example of how to greatly improve the efficiency with which we communicate on this (or any) discussion board. It seems like sloppy communication can sometimes be a sort of trade off between quality and quantity, but hey, what works for me isn't for everyone.

I would like to add to your comments to Jarrod about the impact of the gender or sexual orientation of our abusers. For me, it matters a lot. I believe this is largely the reason I keep getting painful and disturbing crushes on "straight" men, and expecting to be able to break through to their "gay" side (by that I mean I want them to be irresistably attracted to me physically, I don't quite fully understand it). That being said, it is probably clear why I have such a loathing of the "gay/straight" labels and what they have done to people.

-I SHOULD POINT OUT THAT THE FOLLOWING MAY BE TRIGGERING FOR SOME IN A VERY DIFFERENT WAY-

As for the remarkable tendency for relationships to take up right where they left off, I mention It only because it is very, very difficult to determine whether or not that holds true when facing our abusers. There are too many emotions and thoughts swirling around to tell. My point is that it seems to apply to all of my other relationships (friends who move away and come back for a visit, or I go visit them, family members I haven't seen in a long time, etc.) I believe that it is the very nature of how our brains work, we have very little control over that aspect. Our brains need the input of all our other senses to "activate" that part of our memories. I simply feel that it seems very, very logical (and safe) to assume that the same will apply when facing our abusers again, even though we would like to believe that we have changed how we feel. The truth is we don't really know, and we might be doing ourselves a disservice if we convince ourselves that we would now be in control if confronted with the threat of being abused again. I get the feeling that the overwhelming emotions resulting from a "failed confrontaion" would retraumatize any one of us, and if I thought I could do something to change that, I would, and so I bring this thought here to all of you guys.

I call this kind of logic 'manual override' because I am using my adult skills to draw a connection between two things where the connection in my mind is absent. All the facts seem to say that there should be one, but it just isn't there because I have been waiting for it to "make itself", which I simply cannot wait for any longer. For all I know, it will never make itself. The best part is, it doesn't matter if the connection is wrong because it won't take long to learn that it is wrong, and since I now know how to use the 'manual override' I can simply erase it and decide that I need more information, or the answer will present itself as the only alternative, and then correct it. It's easier to do this than you might think. The key is talking it out to find where the connections might be missing.

I'm probably just tooting my own horn, but this is working very well for me and I want to know what you guys think of this kind of "logic".

Craigie

_________________________
Craig

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

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#190605 - 11/09/07 01:17 PM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: dgoods]
frozen Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/26/07
Posts: 22
Loc: Europe
TRIGGER WARNING!
First I have to point out that I donīt accept any violence,but I almost killed him.
This happend after my army service(23y)
After last rape,he was cleaning himself and talking blaa,blaa.I had enought,I got really pissed off.I jumped off bed and used my army skills and dropped him.It was only few second more and he would have died.Then I thought he ruined my life already,I am not going into jail because of him .So he stayed alive.
Well it didnīt end our story,he didnīt hit me anymore,but talked me into it.So he f***ed me coule of times and I liked it.Afterimpact was worse,he was very cold,now at last I saw his real face,he just wanted my a**.Guilt and shame was terrible,but I somehow got strenght to stop it.He didnīt touch me anymore.
I always considered me to be straight,(I have managed to drop all offers from mostly nice men,I am somehow sending wrong singnals.)I finally found nice woman to marry,maybe she found me.


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#191248 - 11/13/07 03:23 AM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: frozen]
frost Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/15/07
Posts: 1377
Loc: Eh?
Hey All,

For Starters, An Apology.

My deepest apologies for not replying to all of these posts sooner. It has been a rough week for me with lots of ups and downs... This journey can be such a roller coaster at times. This whole week it seems I've either not had the time or the strength of mind to post replies -- or much of anything for that matter.

Your responses have all been so meaningful. I can only hope that there are others reading this thread who have gotten as much out of it as I have.



jtt,

Thank you for that post. I really like how you articulated the separation of feelings towards your brother as your abuser and towards him as your brother. It might make it easier to avoid confusion when dealing with feelings about our perpetrators.

I suppose to apply that to my own situation... Can I separate the feelings of him being my only 'friend' in the neighbourhood from his being my abuser?. I am not sure if I can because I'm uncertain as to whether or not he was my friend only because he wanted to abuse me, or if he was my friend who had severe problems with boundaries and chose to do things he shouldn't have done? Hmmm. Damn. For you, its more cut and dry I suppose because your brother wasn't born into your family with the intention of him being your perpetrator... Or is it?

I can't even begin to imagine the pain of having to still deal with my perpetrator for the sole reason of being a blood relative to him. I truly hope that you get that worked out most of all, and also that your brother finds help for whatever happened in his brain to make him do that to you.



Rik,

Such a powerful post. You said so much here, I have to discuss this.

I absolutely love the reference to Pavlov's Dogs. I have brushed across some readings on his studies in the past, and know exactly what you mean. It keeps us coming back for more without really analyzing what it is we're seeking. Just mindlessly going with it because it provides us 'nourishment'. It wasn't until it was too late that someone like you or I would realize it was empty 'nourishment' and simply an unhealthy attention.

'very patiently crawled up on me' is such a fitting representation of how its just something that... develops... over time. It took me a long time to recognize the abuse for what it was due to my own misunderstanding of how it all occurred. Something rather revolutionary happened in my brain at therapy on Friday... and I might write a post on that another time but its safe to say this brand of grooming is seriously difficult to get past.

Its really neat how you continued the Pavlov's dog analogy to "every dog has its day"... In this context its such an uplifting message. I am glad you bit the hand. Tough to hear that he's a free man... but sounds as though he's now living the hell he so readily gave to you so long ago.

Again, thanks for this insightful post Rick, I love the analogy you provided for this. So fitting!



Larry,

Your point is absolutely correct. Each of us feels how we feel and no one can question that. Because it's how we feel! This is why I'm trying to bring this subject into the light because I don't want anyone to feel like they are some sort of sick person for having the feelings they do have towards their perpetrators... particularily those feelings which are rarely spoken of.



cbfull,

Thanks for your compliments on the format of my replies \:\) Unfortunately this format does take much work and isn't very efficient for me. It takes a lot of brain power to be able to read through this post and give a meaningful reply. (as I mentioned at the beginning of this reply!)

By the time I am finally posting this reply, I am so glad to see that you've drawn together the courage to post a thread of your own on this closely related subject: the absence of closure and how that leaves you. I hope the suggestions I left for you in that thread are helpful.



frozen,

I think this part of your story goes to show how vulnerable we are after the abuse supposedly 'ends'. Much like what I was mentioning to cbfull in my first reply to this thread; there is a certain power there that, perhaps it is without closure or confrontation and support therafter, the relationship is vulnerable to resume where it left off...

I am glad you didn't end up in jail for executing that justice that you likely wanted to. So glad to see how you ended your post, that you've finally found a nice woman to marry. That is so encouraging and I wish you all the best with that.



Everyone,

I can only hope there are others out there who can read through this thread and identify with it. Again if you are able to speak of such things, I encourage you to do so here. Thanks again to those who have posted and been so helpful thus far.

~Brian



_________________________
Boom!

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#191952 - 11/19/07 10:25 PM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: frost]
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
Hi Everyone,

This is such a moving thread. My feelings toward my abuser are very complicated. He was my father, and I have a hard time separating the two things, and in fact I quess I don't want to. I don't want to hate him, but just to see him as a complicated, sad person who had lots of problems. That being said, the abuse I suffered wasn't physically painful and it didn't happen all that many times, so it isn't so much of my perspective of him, which is filled with lots of other good and bad things. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that because it didn't hurt it wasn't terrible, I've just seen so many so much scarier stories here that I know there is a huge range in our collective experience of abuse. I don't think he was a danger outside our family, for example, and I wouldn't want him in jail, just helped.

I wish I could have talked to him more fully about all this so we could have understood what each of us had gone through. I know he suffered horribly because of it. In fact when I see the word perp, it makes me feel so bad for him that I'm actually tearing up just thinking about it. That my dad could be one of "those" people is so sad to me that I can hardly believe it. (pause for tears to pass...)

Because I want to have loved my dad it hurts me to see the label "perp". I so wish it could have been different.

I also see a danger in demonizing the bad guys too much. My thought on this is that the abuse that happened is not nearly so painful as the living with it. and these really aren't the same thing to me. And I desperately wish our culture put as much investment in preventive mental health care as it does for regular doctor visits. If that had been the case, I might have started dealing with it the day after it happened, as though it were a blow, which is really what it was, and my dad could have had the help he needed, too, so he wouldn't have done such terrible things for so long and lived so long in complete misery because of it. He was a sad alcoholic at the end of his life, lost. Neither my sister or I even went to his funeral.

I can't help but see the sadness all the way around the picture and think of this problem as a kind of social illness we really need to cure. If that had been the case, we all would have known the signs of abuse and of abusiveness. Then the day after the first time, when my little (nine or ten year old) sister asked me what daddy had told me during our birds and the bees talk (which she had luckily had with our mom instead), I would have said that he touched me down there and that I was scared and didn't understand instead of just muttering something and going on with the game. My mom was listening, and I could have outed the whole thing right then and gone right to the doctor for a bandaid. Then the scar could've healed right away. My dad could have been treated, too. I weep for this lost time and the lost family that happened because no one could say what was wrong and get it fixed.

I'm sorry if I offend anyone with these ideas. I know so many of us carry hate that is deep and I sure respect that...I just can't hate any more...because it hurts too much to hate someone I so desperately wanted to love. And when all I really want is to get on with my life and grow away from the ugliness and into the sun.

Danny


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#191955 - 11/19/07 10:52 PM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: DannyT]
frost Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I don't think any of what you said is in any way offensive... I think many here will understand where you're coming from.

It sounds to me as though the abuse from your father obliterated his life possibly as much as it damaged your own. You are so right about how, had there been the kind of help and publicity available in the day... You could've gone on to heal from this long ago... Your father as well. Instead of drinking himself to death.

I don't think there is anything wrong with being compassionate to those who have hurt us so. Compassion is among the finest of natural human impulses. As long as its done safely with our own healing coming first...

Its also very interesting you should mention your discomfort with the word 'perp' or 'perpetrator'. It's an extremely rare occasion that I refer to my abuser as anything other than 'my abuser'. I too am uncomfortable with the word 'perpetrator' though I am fairly certain thats my own hesitation to hold him fully responsible. For some reason, however, that word just seems to set a tone of intention and motive... Which I'm not sure if it applies to my abuser.

Originally Posted By: DannyT
Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that because it didn't hurt it wasn't terrible


What you said here is important... So i wanted to quote it and just talk about that for a sec. Often, our perception of abuse is that it must somehow be physically painful or traumatizing or scary or forced to qualify for abuse. The actual nature of 'sexual child abuse', however, is so often more about the 'mind games' that go along with it. Abuser's grooming or coercing their victims into doing things they wouldn't normally be doing. The sexual activity become a product of that, and its why so many survivors [myself included] struggle with self blame and poor self worth... Also I believe this is why so many of us wait so long to actually find help. It is our emotional self, our sexuality, and sexual development that takes such a toll. I think children especially don't recognize the emotional hurt and have trouble seeing what is happening as abuse.

Again I want to be careful to notate this doesn't refer to everyone. I know it applies to my situation as well as many of those whom have bravely posted in this thread.

Thanks for the reply DannyT... Your input is very much appreciated.

~Brian

_________________________
Boom!

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#191960 - 11/19/07 11:20 PM Re: Feelings Towards Our Perpetrators [Re: frost]
OKIE MIKE Online   content
Member

Registered: 02/13/04
Posts: 980
Loc: HULBERT OK
They should castrate them . then they would no longer be a problem

_________________________
MICHAEL

"I HAD NO SHOES THEN I SAW A MAN THAT HAD NO FEET"

"All I can do is be me, whoever that is"

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