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#193001 - 11/28/07 01:29 PM One issue at a time... parental mental illness
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
I just made the mistake of thinking that it's time to confront the reason I was available to be abused, my father's schizophrenia.

I started looking for some websites to give me some direction, and I encountered nothing but triggers. The hallucinations, poor hygiene, constant frantic phone calls... Sometimes it doesn't seem right that I have to not have any contact with him or try to research the subject in order to feel okay.

_________________________
Craig

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

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#193005 - 11/28/07 01:37 PM Re: One issue at a time... parental mental illness [Re: cbfull]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I think it might be useful for you to separate two distinct issues.

The first is that it was never okay for you to become available for abuse. It's never okay or explainable for that to happen to any boy. Nothing can excuse it. The abuser always bears 100% responsibility.

Your father's illness may show you that he had diminished responsibility to care for you and protect you. Okay. Maybe so. But that is entirely separate from the question of your right to be safe.

You don't need to research anything to know you were a defenseless innocent boy. NONE of what happened could ever have been your fault. Please do hold on to that. It's not a mantra. It's the Truth.

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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#193020 - 11/28/07 03:16 PM Re: One issue at a time... parental mental illness [Re: roadrunner]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Larry,

What you say makes a lot of sense, but I am so overwhelmed right now it is not processing well. I have always lumped the two things together in my mind, believing that the reason my parents were not able to protect me was because my father was having his "nervous breakdowns". The family was in shock at his behavior and we were even "testing his limits" because we just didn't understand what was going on with him.

The family members became distant and my mom was forced to maintain an income for the family, which she managed to do and I thank her for that. But this is why I use the term "available" and I see what you are telling me, that perhaps I could stand to benefit if I try not to lump the two problems together. I think you are right, it makes no sense to try and treat them as a single issue, they are not.

My thinking also seems to make "schizophrenia" responsible for my abuse and not the abuser. I have always believed that if my father had not been mentally ill, none of this would have happened. I don't know what I am supposed to do with this now, but I am glad to have someone point it out to me. Perhaps I should believe that it is likely that it would have happened anyway? I'm not sure I can believe that yet, but I will discuss it with some friends to see if they can help me make sense of it. I'm going to have to spend some time on that one.

I'm glad I brought it up because I finally got an appt with the Affirmations clinic next week where Dr. Fradkin is. I have that usual unsettling feeling about a first appt with a new T, hopeful, yet doubtful and fearful.

Thanks Larry, you have once again shed some light where it was once dark.

Craig

_________________________
Craig

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

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#193121 - 11/29/07 09:06 AM Re: One issue at a time... parental mental illness [Re: cbfull]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

You're most welcome. \:\) Heavy stuff often doesn't process well, at least not right away; it's not easy to work with an idea that requires us to change the basic way we think about something.

There is no way to know what would or would not have happened to you had this or that circumstance in your life been different. We will never get the answers to the "what if" questions, since if one thing had been changed that could have affected a thousand others in ways we can never predict.

You make an interesting point about believing things and making sense of them. Can I suggest that these two are different and a normal part of our healing?

Imagine yourself going to visit a friend who lives on the other side of a pond. It's February and the temperature hasn't been above 0 degrees F since Christmas; the pond is probably frozen solid. And if you cut across the pond instead of walking around, you will save 20 minutes getting to your friend's house.

Intellectually you "know" the pond is safe; it HAS to be frozen deep enough for you to walk across, and you have seen others doing precisely that. BUT...it's late afternoon, the light is fading, and no one is in sight. What will come to your mind? You will probably think that if you cross halfway and go through the ice at a deep spot in the pond, you're screwed!

What's happening here is that your knowledge about the situation, however certain it may feel, isn't something you are willing to believe in yet. You aren't willing to trust that knowledge and use it as a tool in your life; too much is at stake - your survival - if you are wrong!

Much of what we do in recovery is like that. We "know" something to be true and figure that's enough. It isn't! We have to press on and learn to trust that truth and learn how we can use it. I think this process has a lot of bearing on the situation you are addressing in this thread.

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)

Top
#193224 - 11/30/07 09:26 AM Re: One issue at a time... parental mental illness [Re: cbfull]
Lazarus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Below the radar, USA
Excellent thread, gentlemen. I too will have to ponder this for awhile to make good use of it.

Originally Posted By: cbfull
I have always believed that if my father had not been mentally ill, none of this would have happened.


Well, aren't all pedophiles, molesters, pederasts, etc. mentally ill by definition? If my abuser had not been mentally ill, he wouldn't have sexually abused me. Or, to turn that around, the simple fact that he DID abuse me proves his mental deficiency.

I'm sorry this doesn't clarify things any. Maybe it's just semantics, maybe it's splitting hairs. It's just an observation, that's all...

Ric

_________________________
"That which does not kill us, surely makes us stonger." - Neitsche

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