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#251339 - 09/26/08 09:56 PM Family reunion
Tinman Offline


Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 359
Loc: Lake Forest, CA
I could use some advice here.

As some of you know, my mother has been minimizing what happened to me.

We are supposed to have a family reunion in Oxnard a week from Monday.

A cousin of mine called me today to say that my mother has been talking to other relatives about how to deal with Paul. You know, he has something in his head that is a big deal but isn't really. And it might cause trouble. Because she says that I might "implode" in front of the family, which is not true. The only one I am angry with is my mother.

I am really outraged that she would do this. I had no intention of bringing this subject up. It makes me feel like she thinks that I am crazy and unstable.

This makes me not want to go because I don't want any looks judgement, or feeling like I have to wonder what everyone is thinking.

What do you think I should do?

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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#251352 - 09/26/08 10:30 PM Re: Family reunion [Re: Tinman]
M3 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 1392
Loc: Central Ohio
Sorry ((Paul)). That really stinks...

I always wonder if parents who participate in this type of activity are either 1) trying to minimize their guilty feelings and to minimize other's responses to their self-perceived bad parenting by heading off this information at the pass or 2) are attention seeking and want the drama focused on them. In either case, the parent isn't purposely trying to hurt the child, they are too self-absorbed to think about the child. I think this is what my mom does.

Any, back to your question. Whether your mother is purposely trying to hurt you or is so self-involved that she thinks this is about here, she's disclosed your CSA to the rest of the family. That happened to me too. What I did was showed up at the family events, enjoyed my extended family members and ignored my mother. I corrected misconceptions, set the record straight when I had to, but only did those things if they brought up the subject. Otherwise, I just went on as if she hadn't said anything so my actions and behavior spoke for me.

I don't know what you should do Paul. This type of behavior from parents... But that is what I did and still do. Both my mother and brother use my issues to try to illicit sympathy for themselves from our extended family. I when confronted with this, I just tell everyone that if they want to know anything about me, and want to know the truth, is to ask me.

Peace and love Paul...

Michael


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#251353 - 09/26/08 10:33 PM Re: Family reunion [Re: Tinman]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
One way to shut her down would be to go and be the most charming, engaging man any of these folks have ever seen - then they'll all think SHE'S nuts. \:\/

On the other hand, only you could possibly know how you would handle it. If you've got a cousin willing to tell you this, it sounds to me like you definitely have allies in the family and if you want to go then you should go. It won't be easy, but if you enjoy your family then why deny yourself that pleasure?

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

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#251360 - 09/26/08 10:56 PM Re: Family reunion [Re: Tinman]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
hey paul

the truth is, you are still the same person, even though your mother is somehow different with this new knowledge.

it's obvious she is trying to take the focus off of her own responsibility. that's pretty typical.

don't give away your power to people who are stuck in their own shame. i'd say just maintain your ground. you have nothing to prove.

good luck with things as they continue to unfold.

your brother in your recovery,

ron

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


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#251368 - 09/27/08 12:26 AM Re: Family reunion [Re: Sans Logos]
Bewlayb1 Offline
Guest

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 243
Loc: NYC
Hi Paul,

I'm sorry that your mother is minimizing what happened to you. It was a horrible shock when I told my parents, at twenty-one, about the abuse. They thought I was lying, or making a big deal over nothing. You really don't expect that kind of reaction. I don't think anyone does, yet it's so common. Even reading about it saddens and disgusts me.

What helped get me through it, strangely enough, was a song by Suzanne Vega: "Bad Wisdom." The narrator experiences abuse. She sings each verse to her mother. The verse which was most relevant is, "Mother, your eyes have gone suddenly cold And it wasn't what I was expecting. Once I did think that I'd find comfort there And instead you've gone hard and suspecting."

It's a terrible betrayal. I'll never get over it. But I gradually stopped caring what my family thought. I acknowledged their limitations, and didn't let myself become upset. I learned if you react emotionally, they will use it against you.

I still see my family, but I don't talk about the abuse. In fact, I don't talk about anything personal at all. I joke and act fake, and they all know I've put a wall up that they can't break through. I don't know if that's ideal. Still, I see it as refusing to be dragged down by their pettiness. Trish may have been onto something. I would act like I don't know what anyone's talking about, and let someone else cause a scene. If you don't give away anything emotionally, often times others will feel the need to cause drama, and embarrass themselves.

That's just my advice, coming from an angry, damaged, isolated man. But I know this reunion will be tough, and I wish you luck.


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#251371 - 09/27/08 12:39 AM Re: Family reunion [Re: Bewlayb1]
LN3(SS) Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/20/08
Posts: 486
Loc: MD
Paul,

I'm like Trish. "The best revenge is in living well." Go and be the best person you can possibly be, EVEN if you have to fake it a little bit!

What you choose to acknowledge of your trauma there is your affair, not anyone else's, so why stay away? Likewise, showing up makes you more of a man for standing up to that sort of bullying behaviour.

Let's have a quick attitude check,
UP HERS!

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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#251393 - 09/27/08 07:10 AM Re: Family reunion [Re: LN3(SS)]
Stretch73 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/27/08
Posts: 336
Loc: Sea Isle City, NJ
Paul,

1)It is important you understand that it is none of your business what other people think about you. The late civil rights activist, Medger Evers said, "Do not hate, because when you hate the only person who suffers is YOU, because most of the people you hate, don't even know it."

2)I have spent a very long time trying to make money, and trying to prove to my parents, my family, and to the world that I am better than they. But do you know what I've discovered? Even though I've made all this money, and I have this nice house, and the business... nobody cares! My parents still despise me. \:\)

3)I say this; If you want to go to the family reunion to see other family members,then go. If you don't want to go, then "fuck 'em!" I always looked at it this way --- it's going to be one boring party without me!

Take care!

Rich

_________________________
"I was so poor growing up, that if I wasn't born a boy, I wouldn't have had anything to play with." Rodney Dangerfield

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#251440 - 09/27/08 12:41 PM Re: Family reunion [Re: Stretch73]
Chrissy Offline
New Here

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 10
Loc: DC
I have been put in touch with a lot of the abuse in my own extended family by being aware of my ex-boyfriend's abuse. I don't know about the boys, but I know there are quite a few girls who have been sexually abused.

It's been a few years, but I was at family reunion and my cousin's high school aged daughter was way too quiet and reserved. When I asked, my cousin told me that our uncle had molested her. That same uncle lived with me when I was little girl. Things could have been totally different in my life had it been me.

You didn't say if it was someone who may be at the reunion or not, but it what it is. Your mother can't change what happened to you no matter how much she denies the truth. But only you can be a presence and tell the truth about what you experienced. I'm sure it won't be a cake walk, but it's yours to deal with whether you tell it yourself or you let it be denied like your mom would have it.

I wish you the best.


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#251509 - 09/27/08 05:53 PM Re: Family reunion [Re: Chrissy]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Paul,

A lot of very good advise above. I like Trish's idea of being a good citizen, but in the end it's up to you. Try to give it some considered thought and do what will improve and make a difference for you. So many of us operate from the viewpoint that we'll do what is good for other people, and while that is a nice and worth goal, we cannot serve humanity easily or well if we're not taking care of ourselves.

I wish you peace with whatever decision you make.

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

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#251548 - 09/27/08 10:31 PM Re: Family reunion [Re: WalkingSouth]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Hi Paul,

I'm really sorry you're having to deal with this, it sounds like something my mother would do as well. She doesn't know about the CSA in my past, but I know if she did that she would do the same as your mother - try to minimize it, and then tell me how it affects her. Grrrrr. Try to do whatever you think is going to be good for you, because ultimately, you are what's most important.

_________________________
Eddie

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