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#238820 - 07/18/08 05:33 PM Abuse at Church
LW1527 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 408
Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
Man, I don't want to start another problem here. And this is not aimed at anyone. I just got to talk about it, because it always seems to get lost. There were others out there besides my dad. I won't go into the others. But I just want to talk about one experience I had that I never talk about even to my therapist. It's simple. My dad was in the Navy. We lived in Hawaii. When I was six, my mom took my sister and I to the on-base church a few times, you know the type, white wooden church with the steeple. I don't think it was any denomination, but it was Christian, I suppose. Anyway, I don't remember much, but I do remember the preacher standing at the pulpit and behind the pulpit was a door. That door led to a landing and wooden stairs that went down to the basement floor below where there were rooms used for something. I don't know. Anyway, I remember being in my Sunday clothes, suspenders, dark blue pleated pants, white shirt and tie. But I also remember the preacher, still in his church robes, taking me behind the stairwell in the basement and pulling my pants down, touching me. I remember I had to trust him because mom always told me I could trust a preacher. It only happened once. I think I get really mixed up with that and God and how it all fits together. That's it. No big deal.


Lance


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#238826 - 07/18/08 06:31 PM Re: Abuse at Church [Re: LW1527]
OKIE MIKE Offline
Member

Registered: 02/13/04
Posts: 979
Loc: HULBERT OK
A lot of pedifiles hide behind the church . Because the community believes that "A man of God" would neaver do such a thing.
This is not unique to the Christan Church, Hebrew temples, Muslam Mascs, Hindu Shrines and Budduist Temples.

Unfortunely Most any where thaer is someone that is an athurity figure . Abuse takes place

_________________________
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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#238838 - 07/18/08 08:14 PM Re: Abuse at Church [Re: OKIE MIKE]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Yeah Mike's bang on when he says these guys use 'facades' - religious institutions or 'good guy' pursuits like Scouts or coaching or whatever. I've seen themes like 'pillar of the community' that crop up in men's stories.

You're obviously 'cognitively' aware there's a gulf between people like him versus spirituality. I mean, I'm assuming you know they're disconnected in your mind. So when you said "I get really mixed up with that and God and how it all fits together." I'm not sure I know what you mean.

Are you maybe feeling uneasy or queezy feelings around religious places or people or talk? Or triggered when you think of God? Or is your faith kaput? Whaddya mean?

Uneasiness or triggering - I try to target the context and relate it back to my abuse, then ride it out, maybe move myself out of the context if I really find it uncomfortable. I can sit through a lot of small triggers and they're sometimes like nicotine cravings for me, no big deal. Others, like drunks are a big trigger for me, I often leave, but not because I can't handle the trigger, but because I don't trust drunks.
Faith Kaput - Understandable - see Spirituality Forum
Queezy feelings - I take a Tums. \:\) (a little levity for you)

You bring this to your therapist right? Cause it's a true issue worth exploring there if it's not happening already.



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/18/08 08:47 PM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#239213 - 07/20/08 07:46 PM Re: Abuse at Church [Re: hogan_dawg]
Dale English Offline
Newsletter Founder/Producer
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 448
Loc: PA
Hi Lance,

I read your post and was deeply moved. I know it is a big deal! Clergy abuse happened to me too and because of the messages we got as kids about automatically respecting those in authority, along with the teachings of whatever church someone belongs to and how someone personally understands what God is, this is all terribly confusing no matter what the age of the one abused.

I am so glad you wrote about this memory and hope you will be very tender towards yourself whenever it surfaces. I'm glad we have a place and people to share these memories with without the fear of rejection and judgement. Your writings are helpful.

Taz


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#239216 - 07/20/08 08:25 PM Re: Abuse at Church [Re: Dale English]
Power_water Offline
Guest

Registered: 09/14/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Portland, OR, USA
The first person to abuse me was a leader in our local ministry. I was only four, and he got me in a locked room with no windows several times. He used Candy to lure me in. Now every time I go to church I go through a whole range of panic an anxiety reactions. yet I force my self to go every Sunday becuase I really do believe that God wants me to. And This confuses me. I know it's a useless question but HOW COULD A MAN OF GOD DO THAT, TO A CHILD?!?!?!?

I just have to move on and try to make me peace with God. And find support with my T, and others

_________________________
Bring works of darkness to light

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#239218 - 07/20/08 08:33 PM Re: Abuse at Church [Re: Dale English]
LN3(SS) Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/20/08
Posts: 486
Loc: MD
Lance,
Kinda sounds like the Sub Base Pearl Chapel...it occupies a very special place in my heart.
I don't discredit any of your abuse by a Chaplain. I know it can happen. The chaplain assigned to my command when I was hurt really was not effective when it came to trying to get me to help that I needed. While not an active abuser, he "enabled" a lot of what happened after the incident.
Remarkably, getting to San Diego from Guam on a MEDEVAC flight involved me going back through Pearl, where I was stationed before going to the rock, because Hickam is right next door and I had to spend the night. I found that little chapel again with another chaplain that took the time to help and showed me that God, as I understand Him, is bigger than the chaplains.
Maybe I didn't help, but that whole period in my life is very raw. Very few good people are to be found there, but I wanted you to hear the counterpoint to your chaplain so you can see the difference between chaplains and God. Sorry if I screwed up.
Brian

_________________________
"When we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead, or alive, we will all come home together." LTG Hal Moore, Jr., USA (Ret.)

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#239224 - 07/20/08 09:46 PM Re: Abuse at Church [Re: LN3(SS)]
HurtinginMD Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/08
Posts: 74
Loc: Cranston, RI
Clergy abuse is a tough subject. I have to agree with Hogan. It's not just the church. These guys are wolves in sheeps clothing and they find their way into any position that brings them into contact with kids. It could be coaching, teaching, Boys and Girls club, the YMCA. The sad thing is this, for every 1 of those wolves in sheeps clothing that exist there are 100 guys that are true and honest in their motivation, but they fall under scrutiny because of the one.

As far as how does God fit into all this......... All i can say is this. I have never blamed God for the actions of a perp. Some really messed up things happen in life. God will judge all things and those who think they got away with something will one day realize that they didn't.

_________________________
I want always to be a boy and have fun... (Peter Pan)

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#239354 - 07/21/08 02:23 PM Re: Abuse at Church [Re: LN3(SS)]
LW1527 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 408
Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
Yes, that was it. And you didn't discredit anything. I'm glad you knew about it. You didn't mess me up at all. Thanks for the input. As a kid, I didn't think of who and what minster was, chaplain whatever, it was just a preacher or minister. I tried to block this out for years, but it came back as a annoying image on Friday and I just thought I throw it out there. Thanks for your input.


Lance


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#239356 - 07/21/08 02:28 PM Re: Abuse at Church [Re: HurtinginMD]
LW1527 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 408
Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
I don't think this is a big trigger here, just an annoying one that comes up. I got to church, but oddly enough, I don't trust a single one of the church leaders. So why do I go? I believe in God. But sometimes it all gets mixed up, God, the church leader, faith, obedience. All that. It seems that I switch into a little boy's confusing viewpoint at times and my adult 28 year old brain and logic isn't even there. It's very odd. Thanks for your input.


Lance


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#239361 - 07/21/08 02:49 PM Re: Abuse at Church [Re: LW1527]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Obedience eh? Hmm.

I sought out a congregation that was good for me and it took me years to sort of 'know' what I wanted from the experience. I was about mid 20's when I started looking and maybe mid 30's when I got it sorted out to my satisfaction.

I once went to a Church and had to leave because I thought the way the people were talking was so outrageous I was going to throw up.

Another Church I went to played this really heavy organ and reverbed the music back through a synthesizer so that the sound would vibrate in our chests. Quite disconcerting feeling. I didn't go back to that one either.

_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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