Newest Members
susanhepp, Breathe, georgetwo, frozen45, lilac
12291 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
Guillermo (37), illbedat (26), Mike58 (56), Mnovit (38), Mongo (24), pwdasw (64), Raymond Sean (38), yesac76 (38)
Who's Online
2 registered (2 invisible), 26 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12291 Members
73 Forums
63229 Topics
442159 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#195721 - 12/17/07 09:12 PM Please help me help my little boy (poss triggers)
sadmama36 Offline
New Here

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 3
Hi all;

I am new here. Here is a brief version of my son's story (possible triggers)...

First of all, I'm a survivor of CSA myself. I never told anyone, never got help at all until I was an adult. My partner is also a survivor of CSA.

I always vowed to NEVER let that happen to my own children.

Well, I am mom to two boys, and 5 years ago, my youngest son WAS victimized by an older child, the son of my partner/significant other. It occurred over the period of a month or two, during normal "play times" and short intervals where we weren't in the room, or they were in one of their rooms playing (they didn't share a room). I guess it doesn't take much time alone. \:\( My son was 5 and the other child was 10... but not really "emotionally" 10 if truth be told.. and an abuse victim as well but we didn't know it at the time (hidden abuse by a cousin when he was younger). My son came and told us what was happening and was immediately supported, believed, and praised for having the courage to speak up.

Long story short: both boys were immediately started in therapy, and physically separated (partner and I moved apart). We eventually moved back in together after the therapists and both kids felt it would be okay but I can swear on my life that there was NEVER a single solitary second from that day forward that the children were ever alone together. Ever.

The older child no longer lives in the home as of a few months ago, due to other behavioral problems and such, he lives with a family member.

When this has occurred I witnessed a great sense of relief in my son, which leads me to have horrible guilt.. have I destroyed him by having him live with his abuser all these years since "it" happened? I always believed that because they were both children and both in counseling and such, and because I know nothing "else" ever happened, and because my son always told me he felt safe, that it was going to be okay, but seeing his relief at having the older child gone makes me wonder.

Anyway, the current issue; He is 10 now, very smart and fairly mature, and very open with me about things. WHen this all happened, he was only in counseling for a short while. He just insisted he'd rather talk to me, and was not opening up with the 2 different counselors we tried, and seemed to be working through things okay.. so I let him stop the counseling. He will often come to me if things are bugging him, and so far that's been sufficient, but I've noticed that every year around the same time as "it" happened 5 years ago he gets very anxious and has a lot of difficulty. This is the time of year, and this year in particular (oddly enough with the older child now OUT of the house), he is having problems with an upsetting increase in frequency.

By "problems" I mean flashbacks, triggers, moments where things (innocuous things) make him "uncomfortable", he's become more clingy and weepy and it's breaking my heart.

I have talked to him again about seeing a counselor. He doesn't want to but said he'd "think about it". Should I just take him anyway and trust that eventually, with the right one, he will open up to him/her?

I've taught him about journaling and he has been doing that for a couple of days now, then shredding what he writes. He says it's helping a little.

He's out of school right now due to a broken leg (we were in a car wreck).. perhaps it's being home from school without all the holiday distractions that is making him more prone to flashbacks and such?

I don't know, but I am just torn up and feeling hopeless. Even though I am a survivor myself, I don't know what to "say", if there is something one can "say", to make him feel better. I know that I didn't tell anyone which made it much worse, and I know that the flashbacks and sick feelings and panic attacks, for me, only went away with time. I am now 36 and since about age 32 I've gotten to the point where it isn't something I think about that much (my own abuse), but surely I don't have to let him just suffer it out for the next 22 years???

I am thinking of just taking him to a counselor anyway... thoughts? And aside from that, what to do? Are there books geared towards children that might help? He is a good reader and can read on a middle school/high school level if there's something out there but then again if the subject matter is too "mature" it won't help much. He gets upset and uncomfortable with Axe body spray commercials.

Thanks in advance if you have any words of wisdom, or links to sites for parents of children who have been abused (and not by the parent!)... thanks.


Top
#195725 - 12/17/07 09:36 PM Re: Please help me help my little boy (poss triggers) [Re: sadmama36]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6376
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
WOW Sadmama! You must be one great mom for your boy to open up to you about this stuff! Pat yourself on the back for me.

As for any guilt you are feeling about the older boy living there after the therapy...I think it was a colossal mistake, but dont beat yourself up for something that is water under the bridge. I mean, you did it with the approval of therapists...not blindly.

Just my opinion here...I'm no professional...just a survivor of abuse from older boys:

If he's having this much exhibited trouble now...that is, he's allowing you to know he's in trouble...well...he IS in trouble and in need of professional help.

I would truly hate to see him end up like me. That is waiting too darn long to deal with it before it ruins his life.

I'm hoping some of the professionals here will hop in on this one.

_________________________
Jesus Loves The Hell Outta Me!

Still's Globs

New Video

Top
#195730 - 12/17/07 10:06 PM Re: Please help me help my little boy (poss triggers) [Re: Still]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
sadmama,

Have you ever considered going to see a therapist with your son?

In all seriousness, I totally agree with Robbie on this one. I think your son should be seeing a therapist regularly, and should probably see one through his adolescence. He's coming up on some years that are going to be hard enough without having to overcome the symptoms of abuse. As you can probably relate, going through adolescense with a distorted view of sexuality can create some severe unforseen problems.

I'm so sorry that you and your son have had to endure this.

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.

Top
#195731 - 12/17/07 10:07 PM Re: Please help me help my little boy (poss triggers) [Re: Still]
sadmama36 Offline
New Here

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 3
Robbie;

Thanks so much for replying. I appreciate the compliment.. and the thing is, I tried so HARD to be a good mom, that I couldn't believe it when this happened under my own nose. \:\( I guess me and my partner both, from our own experiences, thought of abusers as adult males and never once considered... well.. anyway.... water under the bridge as you said.

I just have such a hard time, because as a survivor myself, I DID have the talks about "good touch/bad touch". I did tell both boys OVER and over about body ownership, and practiced what I preached. We have always had rules about tickling, getting in another's space, privacy, etc. and they were always taught, and by this I mean discussions a few times each month, about saying NO and having the right to say no and how to always be careful of anything that made them feel "funny", etc etc. Dammit, I tried to do everything "right"!

*sigh*

Well, I am going to start the search for a counselor. Maybe I can find one who will work on a sliding scale... I've applied for Medicaid for my kids but it's "pending"... I can't stand to do "nothing" which is what it feels like right now.

One thing I did do tonight (thanks to an internet site tip) is talk to him about how, sadly, the numbers are high.. this means at least one, probably more of his classmates have also been abused just like he has and he is not alone, and this seemed to help him a little. I know from my own experience that feeling like a "dirty freak" is a huge issue, so if I can lift that much from his mind I will try.

Thanks again, it is therapeutic for ME to talk about it... not exactly something you just dump onto strangers at work, ya know!?


Top
#195732 - 12/17/07 10:09 PM Re: Please help me help my little boy (poss triggers) [Re: Still]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
SadMamma,

As a parent, I can't imagine what you're going through. I'd love to say I know exactly what to do, but I don't. A 10 year old isn't old enough to make his own decisions, but at the same time, he will have very definite opinions. I would get him into counseling as quickly as possible. He's opened up alot to you which means he trust you implicitly, which is exactly how a child should feel about his mother. Hopefully, with that trust in place, he'll willingly go to counseling because you believe it's the best thing for him. Were the other counselors you took him to experienced in csa? Were they specifically schooled in dealing with children? I think it's critical for both of these things to be true. Does you're son have an opinion of whether he would feel more comfortable with a man or a woman? Give him the opportunity to be a part of his own health. Maybe that will help.

I'm so sorry for you and your boy. Keep fighting for him; it's the healthiest, most loving, most productive thing you can do for both of you.

ROCK ON.........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

Top
#195733 - 12/17/07 10:11 PM Re: Please help me help my little boy (poss trigge [Re: BJK]
sadmama36 Offline
New Here

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 3
Originally Posted By: BJK
sadmama,

Have you ever considered going to see a therapist with your son?

In all seriousness, I totally agree with Robbie on this one. I think your son should be seeing a therapist regularly, and should probably see one through his adolescence. He's coming up on some years that are going to be hard enough without having to overcome the symptoms of abuse. As you can probably relate, going through adolescense with a distorted view of sexuality can create some severe unforseen problems.

I'm so sorry that you and your son have had to endure this.

Bryan



Bryan;

I have definitely considered it, and am planning to do so. I know I need help so that I can continue to effectively parent my sons... and I need that outlet to be an effective mom to my eldest. He is 15 and saddened by all of this... and I don't want him growing up in the shadow of these issues if you know what I mean.

And yes, I've BTDT as a teen, resulting in horribly low self esteem, unplanned pregnancies, self-mutilation, drugs and alcohol... all paths I do NOT want for my son!! Thanks for replying.


Top
#195742 - 12/17/07 10:57 PM Re: Please help me help my little boy (poss triggers) [Re: Still]
Bewlayb1 Offline
Guest

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 241
Loc: NYC
Hello Sadmama,

I sympathize so much with your story. Although I am only twenty-five and don't have any children, it is still something I worry about. I often think, what am I going to do to protect my future children? I was abused by a teacher and would be uncomfortable with my kids even having a male teacher. But anyone can be an abuser, another child, a woman, a babysitter.

Abuse also seems to run in my family. My mother was physically abused by her father, who also beat his wife. It's an eerie pattern considering that I wasn't abused by someone in my family. All I can say is that it sounds as if you did the best you could, and are doing your best now. My family has not been supportive. You would never find my parents on this website. Over the two years of rape, from eight to ten, my personality completely transformed under their very noses and they did nothing, and don't want to hear it now.

I don't know if you told him that you were abused, but maybe you should. I realize that he's very young, but as a child I, myself, felt so alone and so hopeless. Explain to him that the pain may be with him forever, but that things will get better with time.

As for therapy...My school actually made me see a therapist during the abuse, because I became so shy. I never told her I was being abused, even if I had been abused the same day of our session. I'm not quite convinced your son will open up to a stranger, and I don't think you should blame him if he doesn't.

I think it's more important that he knows that you know what he's going through.


Top
#195759 - 12/18/07 12:37 AM Re: Please help me help my little boy (poss triggers) [Re: Bewlayb1]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Sadmama,

First, let me welcome you to MaleSurvivor. I'm very sorry you needed to seek out a resource such as this, but glad you were able to find us.

One thing I feel important is that he see a counselor who has experience in treating male children who are victims of CSA. I know from personal experience that just because a counselor is experienced in dealing with female abuse victims does not mean they will have a clue concerning male victims, so take that into consideration when seeking a T for the boy.

Also, it may be beneficial for you to attend the sessions with him for a time, and be gone from the room part of the time at the T's discretion. With you close at hand or there some of the time the boy may have a greater sense of security concerning the therapy.

The child is fortunate to have you in his corner methinks. You seem to have a good relationship with him which is a definite plus. It will do a lot to help lessen his sense of self blame and shame.

One final thought and it's not necessarily a good one, but it is this. Is there anyone else in his life that he sees alone? Father, music teacher, or someone else in his life he spends time alone with that may be abusing him even now? Think about it. I hate to even bring it up, but it seems to me that due to his level of stress regarding it right now I think it is something you need to consider. Most abusers are known to the victim and 40 some odd percent are either family members or step parents.another 40 odd percent are teachers, coaches, scout leaders, pastors, or other adults involved in some way in the life of the child.

Hope I haven't discouraged you. Like I said above, the child is fortunate to have you in his life. My mother would have whipped me for being "nasty" had she caught wind of the abuse. She had no clue about abuse or it's ramifications \:\(

I wish you well, and hope you find the answers you need.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

Top
#195767 - 12/18/07 06:48 AM Re: Please help me help my little boy (poss trigge [Re: sadmama36]
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
Originally Posted By: sadmama36

I have talked to him again about seeing a counselor. He doesn't want to but said he'd "think about it". Should I just take him anyway and trust that eventually, with the right one, he will open up to him/her?



sadmama,

i share your sadness more than you can imagine - all i can say to you is if there was ever one thing - just ONE thing i would have done differently as a mom - and my son now is 36 - i would have gone over hell and high water to get him counseling. for us, too, at that time, money was a real problem - but there are resources out there, you just have to bend over backwards to find them, to stand up for your rights, to leave no stone unturned.

listen to the voices here of the other survivors, they speak the truth so well - he needs counseling - please get him there.

all the best,
indy

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

Top
#195769 - 12/18/07 07:12 AM Re: Please help me help my little boy (poss trigge [Re: indygal]
Hauser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2962
Loc: United States
Your son has a huge advantage in his favor, that being that when he first disclosed to someone, he was believed, comforted, and supported, instead of being mocked and ridiculed. (yes, that happened to me).

Anyway, I was thinking that you could give your son a direct message from another male survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

You could tell him that the emotional turmoil that is sure to follow when he reaches puberty would best be dealt with by having a trusted professional to confide with about ANYTHING that he needs to talk about. Tell him that you know that, even as a Mom that he loves and trusts, he isn't going to want to tell you EVERYTHING that he needs to talk about and explore. ("explore" is a simple word for a complicated notion dealing with all the ramifications involved with sexual abuse). In other words, please trust the words of an anonymous survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Don't follow the path that I took, that of silence, and isolation. This path destroyed my adult life. If he wants to be happy and have a fulfilled life, he PROBABLY needs to trust a professional (and you). There are times, probably right now, that he doesn't want to "talk about it". Well, I didn't want to talk about it either, but I wish that I did. I knew when I was very young that things were going wrong, and I even knew why, but I didn't want to "talk about it", and now my life is a mess.

Lastly, I would tell you, as a loving mother, that you have an obligation to see to it the he is emotionally healed, much as you would be obligated to help him if he suffered a broken leg. Tell him that if he doesn't like to talk to a particular therapist, that you're perfectly happy to find another one that he DOES want to talk with.

Hope this helps


Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, peroperic2009 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.