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#251258 - 09/26/08 03:50 PM Re: What's missing? [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
Perhaps you could insist on how common it is to demonize the victim - it becomes our fault for telling. Also, why is it that when we disclose, it seems that our disclosure becomes about the other person? How dare they turn away from our pain to play the wounded party? Oh geez, I feel a rant coming on...

The best to you Ken, and thank you so much for what you're doing.

Joel

_________________________
My Story 1
My Story 2
The longest journey we take is to self-discovery

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#251275 - 09/26/08 05:23 PM Re: What's missing? [Re: joelRT]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
amen joel! you put the finger on my experience. i have been suffering as the victimizer for 35 years for reporting the truth about my brother's sickness.

there you go ken, in one short sentence: [wow, and i mean 'sentence', as in lifetime sentence] how common it is to demonize the victim.

i am very sad today,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#251361 - 09/26/08 10:57 PM Re: What's missing? [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2469
Loc: UK
This is good, just a few comments

Originally Posted By: Ken Singer, LCSW
guidance on how to help the adult survivor who has disclosed (or maybe some ways the loved one can help the survivor disclose to them if he hasn't).


I'm not sure about the second aim, i havent a clue about that, one thing that should be stressed is don't push the issue. The survivor will do it when he is ready. And the relative must accept that that may be never.

Originally Posted By: Ken Singer, LCSW

Many adult survivors who have not told their parents of the abuse when it occurred have anguished about telling them now. Some fear that they will not be believed, or that they will somehow be blamed for "participating" or not disclosing when it occurred. The survivor may also fear family members taking sides if the abuser was a relative.


Maybe my comment isn't needed for this section because you probably have done it elsewhere, but reading this extract independently i would note that this idea of "participating" needs to be explained more, people who arent involved will not understand the complex implications of the inclusion of "" around the word, now the feeling of participating could be the root of two big ones, guilt and shame, so "" needs to be stated less ambiguously, for the sake of people who havent got a clue and most people can't put themselves in these abstract situations so easily to be able to fully grasp an understanding. If they understand they can better relate and comfort the person by telling them they understand how it was, if the abused person sees that the loved one understands then well that is what we are looking for.

Simple and direct statements that can almost be mimicked, that's what parents need, 'i understand it wasn't your fault, and that you were....' so the reader doesn't just read it on an intellectual level but reads it with the frame of mind that this is something to be applied and having to really think about the person that they are reading this for, helps them to better connect if it's not so passive.

You could also use something to demonstrate why "" is used around the word participating, so that then when the relative is comforting the survivor by showing an understanding then they can relate to an analogy (especially since the survivor may still be harbouring such guilt and shame over this false idea that he freely participated). Or even just show an understanding that "you we're only a child"

In other words, teach the relative why some ideas that the survivor may hold are false ideas, so that the relative can show an agreement and reassure and support the survivor and therefore show the understanding that i mentioned. Of course this would be in the context of showing an understanding and not as some kind of intervention or lecture, so they would have to beware and be accepting of things. The survivor may not be at the stage where he can sort through all the things in his head and that is why simplistic statements are good.

Originally Posted By: Ken Singer, LCSW

Although many parents will want details, it is the survivor's prerogative to decide how much information he will disclose. Telling the survivor that you are willing to hear whatever he wants to tell you is a good place to start. If, on the other hand, the parent feels it is "too much information", it would be wise to simply say, "I really don't want to hear the gory details, if you don't mind."


that part in bold is perfect
'gory' is maybe not the best word though, could make somebody feel ashamed if the person they are about to disclose to uses that word, and the survivor needs just as much explanation as the relative, so "I really don't want to hear the (?) details, because...." with justification so that it's out there in a bold statement without confusion that could make the survivor feel dirty and ashamed.

Originally Posted By: Ken Singer, LCSW

As with the child victim who discloses shortly after the abuse happened, the parent of the adult child should be supportive and believing. The parent of the adult survivor should realize that their son had good reasons to keep the information a secret. Whether or not the reasons seem valid to you, remember that he has lived with the secret for many years.


PERFECT

Originally Posted By: Ken Singer, LCSW

Perhaps the best thing a parent of the adult survivor can say is, "How can I help you with this?," or, "What can I do for you?"


I personally hated that when it was asked of me (because its a hard one to answer and the way things are articulated you know the relative wont fully understand your answer- but i took a letter so i wrote it so that he would understand), i went into my disclosure already asking myself "what can he do for me?" "what do i want from him?" and it was just for him to know, which has a lot of things attached to it, different abilities come forth, different understandings and room for error, support, the elephant in the room even, the question of "would he still love me if he knew THIS?", that is what knowing is for. I think the relative needs to understand the things attached to WHY this person just wants him/her to KNOW. The relative must understand what them knowing means to the survivor, so that they can show that they understand what it means.

The question being asked to me by him, "How can I help you with this?," or, "What can I do for you?", well i didn't like that, something attacking about it, just my opinion, like i need to justify myself. It is necessary, but it corners a person and could make them feel like they don't even know why they wanted to disclose, make sure the relative is aware not to put the survivor up on the pedestal.

But more importantly, it must be an open ended question, the survivor may say nothing, i don't want anything from you, the survivor may not have a clue, and probably will be afraid to make himself feel vulnerable, that is why people don't like to ask for things, fear of rejection, and the survivors needs will change, so if its not open ended then thats bad news for the survivor who just disclosed and wants nothing and gets nothing and doesnt feel like he can ask for anything.

Originally Posted By: Ken Singer, LCSW

The decision of an adult survivor to disclose to his parent is often a difficult one to make. If your son has maintained this secret for many years, don't take it personally. It is really not that important to know why he declined to tell you. For whatever reason, he has come to the decision to tell you now and he primarily needs to know that you believe him and support him. Be sympathetic and let him tell you what you can do. It might be nothing. That's okay. He just needs you to know, and since disclosure is about his taking control of a situation that was not in his control years ago, just accept it as part of his healing.


perfect

i would also like to comment that i prefer this style where you say things like "If your son has..." talking more directly to the reader rather than being passive, it really makes it more connecting.

one note though, although "It is really not that important to know why he declined to tell you" is true, it may be very important for the survivor for the relative to understand why they were never able to tell them before, but the survivor may not be able to explain properly why he could never say before, so the relative will need to assure the person that they understand they couldn't say before, maybe even make some comments like "you we're only a child" "I don't blame you for not being able to tell me" " i understand that you couldn't tell me at the time" but of course that is for the survivors benefit and the relative can NOT say things like that unless they do understand reasons why the silence was perpetuated, in which case more education is needed for them to understand.

_________________________
"...until lambs become lions"

I love you, little lewis, and i will never leave you. We are the same. You brighten my day, and i will make sure that i brighten yours. Hugs and kisses.


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#251375 - 09/27/08 01:24 AM Re: What's missing? [Re: king tut]
MusicMan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 144
Loc: Elmira, NY
Hi Ken,

I am so glad that you shared this with us. It brought up a lot of some really strong feelings for me. I just told my parents a couple of months ago about my abuse. It was pretty much on a "had to" basis and definitely not something that I really wanted to do. I went into no detail and did not name any of my abusers. I just don't want to talk about it.

I think that all of the points that you bring up are excellent and valid. However, there is no easy way around this issue. When parents and/or loved are first told, there is going to be the element of shock and possibly denial for them, as well as probably not knowing what to say. I suppose one could hand them a book about this and tell them to read it. Then, the survivor could say, "now, I have a surprise for you". There is just no easy way to do this.

I think that the response that I would have wanted from my parents would have been, "I just want you to know that, no matter what, I love you unconditionally and if and when you are ready to talk more about it, I'm here to listen and not judge anyone."

This is getting pretty emotional for me now, so I guess I'd better not say anymore right now. Thanks for asking for our input.

God bless,
John, The Music Man.


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#251437 - 09/27/08 12:23 PM Re: What's missing? [Re: MusicMan]
Logan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 1206
Loc: NY
For some of the things that would NOT be helpful:

When I first disclosed to my mom, she immediately told me of a story when she was a kid and (oh possible Trigger) a naboorhood boy came over when she was 10 and he was nine and said to her "lets play like adults do."
so they stripped to their underwear and he laid on top her.

OK, now she may have been trying to be helpful, but THIS did NOT HELP ME!!! in anyway shape or form. It felt as if she was trying to compete with war stories or something. I think she was trying to say thats its very common, but it was as if she did not hear a word I said and the message I recieve from her was "it is so common, so 'just get over it.'" That really hurt, Ken.

I don't know of a solution to my problem, That is why I am trying to hunt down some literature on the subject, to give to her so that I don't have to play expert in getting her to understand.

Anyway, this is making me feel stressed out, but I hope it was helpful, in some way.

-Logan

_________________________
"Terrible thing to live in Fear"-Shawshank Redemption
WOR Alumnus Hope Springs 2009
"Quite a thing to live in fear, this is what is means to be a slave"
-Blade Runner

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#251441 - 09/27/08 12:45 PM Re: What's missing? [Re: Logan]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Funny, my own mother had her own "war" story involving another boy and her late in elementary school too. It only came out after my 1st marriage collapsed though. And, as Logan said, I also found her revelation particularly unhelpful, along with others about her physically and emotionally abusive upbringing. At the time, it almost seemed that she thought this was normal and was telling me to get over it because everyone else does. And yet if you were to read her book, you would discover that she eventually got to the point herself where she decided that many negative facets of her adult life were a direct outgrowth of her own abusive upbringing. Her own story is related in the 3rd person starting halfway down pg. 103 and continuing through pg. 105. Her story is essentially the beginning of my own story.

Keep up the good work, Ken. I'm looking forward to perusing the finished product.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#251457 - 09/27/08 02:28 PM Re: What's missing? [Re: Trucker51]
Tinman Offline


Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 359
Loc: Lake Forest, CA
Ken, are you a survivor? That's an important question to me.

Because if you are, I can see the altruistic possibility of having people contribute to ideas for the book. And I would hope any profits would be contributed toward this site or survivor issues.

If you aren't, is this a fish bowl to observe and gain knowledge for personal profit?

Sorry, but I have been a victim of those trying to exploit my experience for their own financial gain.

Paul

_________________________
Tinman
"I finally have my heart!"

To the perps: Don't worry about me coming after you. But you damn well better watch out for God! "Vengeance is mine", saith the Lord

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#251590 - 09/28/08 09:11 AM Re: What's missing? [Re: Tinman]
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2469
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Tinman
Ken, are you a survivor? That's an important question to me.

Because if you are, I can see the altruistic possibility of having people contribute to ideas for the book. And I would hope any profits would be contributed toward this site or survivor issues.

If you aren't, is this a fish bowl to observe and gain knowledge for personal profit?

Sorry, but I have been a victim of those trying to exploit my experience for their own financial gain.

Paul


Here you go, i hope this helps, i thought i remembered somebody asking whether or not Ken was a survivor before, so here is the link:

Ken Singer

_________________________
"...until lambs become lions"

I love you, little lewis, and i will never leave you. We are the same. You brighten my day, and i will make sure that i brighten yours. Hugs and kisses.


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#251610 - 09/28/08 11:43 AM Re: What's missing? [Re: king tut]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Paul:
I am not a survivor. I have been working in the sexual abuse field as a specialty with juvenile and adult offenders as well as male survivors for 30 years. As you may not be aware, the sexual abuse field has not made authors rich.

Mike Lew's "Victims No Longer" has sold 150,000 copies in 20 years. Any idea of what royalties are on this? I don't expect to make any money on the book, only to help survivors and their loved ones.

In my professional experience, there are only a small handful of therapists who work with both abusers and survivors. I have come to realize long ago that the abuser and the abuse puts toxic messages in the victim/survivor's brain that create problems for years after the abuse ends. This book is the first to bring the abuser's methodology out to the survivor to see what the bogus messages are and provides ways to overcome them.

Please don't assume that because I am not a survivor that I cannot know what it is like for the survivor. Of course I don't have the personal experience but that doesn't mean I can't understand and empathize. I don't think I'd need to be a recovering drug addict to work with addicts nor have experienced suicide in the family to work with people who have lost family to suicide.

Even if I were to make money on this, considering the thousands of hours I put in with writing, editing, etc., I don't think I'd net more than 20 cents/hr even if it became a bestseller.


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#251617 - 09/28/08 12:35 PM Re: What's missing? [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
As a victim of a female perp my experience from disclosing has been that of lessened concern, actually no concern at all from most, because she was female.

Adding a comment about equal damage would probably help.

_________________________
Thriving

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