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#25491 - 12/02/02 12:31 PM Need Help and Advice
JamesMichael Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 134
Guys;

In mid-October I shared more of the details of mother abuse (her inserting her finger in my anus while bathing me, me scrubbing her back while she was naked in the tub, etc.) with my brother. He down-played the stuff, or just didn't get how these things were important to me. I explained that I did not know what I wanted to do about confronting her or not as she is now 73 years old and my dad will be 80 next year.

Fast-forward to Thanksgiving Day.

I get a phone call from my mother in the evening. She's very upset. She says that she's just come from my brother's house whence he's told her that I'm upset becaused I was molested by her! (Everyone knows I was molested by my oldest brother. I confronted him with that 20 years ago. The overt/covert revelations are more recent). I'm totally caught off guard and 400 miles away. I ask what did brother say. I expain that I can't talk to her now; I'll call on Saturday. I have a full house of holiday company. She pursues with, "I'm your MOTHER! What did I DO TO YOU! I think you're going out of your mind!" She shouts to my dad that I won't talk about it now, and slams the phone down. I'm rattled, but not totally undone as I would've been years ago. I'm proud that I held my own, and didn't get trapped into an unwanted dysfunctional exchange.

Later, brother calls and explains that mom kept after him about why favorite son hasn't been in touch with her. 'I it because of what happened with older brother?' 'No, mom JM says that he was molested by you!' Mom cries, gets home and calls me. Brother says I should call mom and say there's a misunderstanding. I say, no, you call mom and tell her that JM and he had a confidential conversation and he shouldn't have said anything at all as JM is sorting out childhood shit. He says he'll call her so she doesn't "cut her wrists, as if you would care." I say that's a cruel thing to say. We argue about the significance of the abuse in my life. He minimizes it, says the enemy is after me and I'm not walking with the Lord.

I want to write my brother to say that I feel betrayed by him, that I shared stuff with him because I wanted to bridge some distance between us on this issue. But, I'm stuck on what say or write to my parents, especially my mom. I don't want to backtrack...as if the things she did to me didn't happen. I'm finally finding my voice with this stuff. And I really don't want to be her caretaker through this. I did that for the greater part of the first half of my life. I don't want to feel responsible for how she's handling what brother calls accusations and what I call real events.

Mom and Dad are not very well psychologically equipped. Mom's mother tried to drown her when she was 3 years old. Mom was removed with disabled sister from the home and reared by old world ethnic grandmother. Her mother was lifetime institutionalized for alchohol brain damage. The father had died of TB before the attempted drowning. Mom was impregnated at 18 by we don't know who. This, her first son, grew up to molest me. She was also severely beaten by custodial grandmother and probably molested by male relatives. Dad was in an orphanage for 9 years. parents had divorced. Dad was raped in the orphanage and never told mom about it until a few years ago. He's an alchoholic and now I realize probably PTSD. Before he married mom, he traveled with a carnival. (Oh, and Dad's mom was in prison while he was in the home...for bigamy)!

In there own way, I believe I was as well cared for by them as I could have been given their own histories, but I really want to claim my little boy's voice in this and set them straight about what I experienced under their care and what they can reasonably expect from me.

I want distance so that I can care for myself and my family, and I want them to deal with this on their own cause I'm not going to get apologies, acknowledgement, validation or anything from them.

I feel sorry for my parents, but I want to feel more sorry for little JM and listen to what he wants and needs. I hope you all understand the quandry I'm in. Please respond here or through private messages.

By the way, I know the above must sound unreal or at least melodramatic but it's ALL TRUE.

Thanks.


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#25492 - 12/02/02 02:27 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
Roy Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
Wow JM, what a scene! Aye yi yi, your parents! I've heard even crazier stories, thought, so I believe you about it being true. Besides, you seem to be otherwise rational and level headed.

I think your brother is an absolute prick for spilling the beans. My initial unprocessed thought on this is to be more upset with your brother for betraying such a major confidence than with your mother for the abuse. I mean, I'm sure you have been working on this for years and have come to realize that your mother probably cared for you the best way she could, given the time and her own impairments related to her history of trauma. But your brother had no reason other than pure spite to say something so devastating to your mother. Devastating to both your mother and yourself. Mostly to you because you were so unprepared to handle this, but it sounds like you did really well.

I can relate very well to your feeling confused and uncertain about how to handle this thing. As you may recall, I have my own abuse issues with my mother who is now elderly and frail. I love my mom and don't think she treated me with malice in any way, rather she is selfish and lonely, and used me to fill the void. She also was a little too revealing of herself, did that whole "wash my back" thing, etc. I have come to accept my mom for who she is, and at 86 she is not going to do a lot of changing, not that I would even expect her to. To her credit, she has apologized and acknowledged her part in being too dependent on me, and she has stepped up to the plate financially, helping me while I reorganize my life. It sounds like you have not had this from your parents, and don't expect to, which makes a big difference in how you feel about things.

I think you have to do what is best for you. Thanks to your brother, there is no turning back now. So much for bridging the distance between you, he blew up the bridge. I think you also have to take a step back and consider the whole of your childhood and adult relationship with your parents. It would be unfair to focus on just the abusive parts. Of course, the abuse was unfair but two wrongs do not make a right. Then I think you need to have a serious conversation with your mom alone, and parents together, if that is a feasible concept. (It would not have been in my case). Be gently honest about your perceptions of events that occurred, as experienced by you as a child. Allow her to say her piece and listen as you would have her do with you. It sounds like there is fairly good communication between you and you may be able to work through this so you can continue to have a relationship if that is what you want.

It may sound like I am being too accomodating toward your mother. Believe me, I have great empathy for what you went through, especially since it so similar to my own experience. It is difficult provide you with a comprehensive response, given the limited knowledge of the abuse you suffered presented in this post. Your mother has a point, she's YOUR MOTHER! Depending on what she did, that alone means she is worthy of serious effort on your part to communicate. You all just need to talk to each other, and yell and cry, preferably in person. Another thing to consider is the learning curve. You are way ahead in the game because you have struggling with and thinking about these issues for some time. From her perspective, your mother just got hit with this a few days ago. She will need to be brought up to speed and will have to go through a variety of strong feelings before she gets to the place you are. That is going to take some time, which means you are going to be having several conversations about this. It is now time for you to put into practice the maintainence of appropriate boundaries, taking care of yourself, setting necessary limits. If you can do that, I suspect there will be enough room and structure for you to communicate honestly with one another.

This may sound like a directive, but you asked for advice so here it is. I'm probably talking to myself, too, as I write this. Good luck and keep us posted.


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#25493 - 12/02/02 02:48 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
First of all, your story is neither unreal or melodramatic. It is all too real, and I am sorry that anyone would minimize its significance.

Next, I wonder if you have a therapist with whom you are working? If so, maybe you can try to have a session with your mother, your therapist and you. The therapist might help you to stay focused and safe in what must surely be an intimidating conversation. Nothing says you have to tell her everything. Nothing says you have to tell her anything.

If you do not have a trusted therapist, stay the hell away. I am not a therapist, lawyer or doctor, but in my not very humble opinion, you need to stay the f&*k away from them right now.

You found the courage to share something deeply personal and painful with your brother. He, unfortunately, was not quite ready to handle the responsibility of that knowledge.

There isn't right or wrong, and there shouldn't be. There is only understanding, or the attempt to understand, and we cannot speed anyone along the path to understanding. They must travel at their own pace. If you need understanding from your family, you may need to wait until they can catch up. Hopefully that will happen soon.

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#25494 - 12/02/02 03:44 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
JamesMichael Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 134
I'm so grateful for your posts Roy and Cement. I'm not sure how far I'm going to get with my parents. I think I'll put together a letter based on the five points to cover from the article on confrontation by Ken Singer on this site. Whether I send it or not is another matter. I've recently started-up with a therapist. I'll see her for the second time this Thursday, so I'll be bringing this up. It's unlikely that I'll have a session with my therapist and mother. Mom lives 400 miles away. She doesn't drive. I want to underscore the limited nature of my parents' ability to communicate about these things. Neither have finished high school, and my mother can hardly write a complete paragraph. Neither has read a book in its entirety as far as I know. My mother is extremely obsessive-compulsive and self-centered. Neither can carry an extended conversation about anything beyond the weather, or potato salad. I believe they've done the best they were able given their impairments. I just want to have a voice with them and let them know that I'm not a crazy ass, but someone whom they say they love, but just did not protect.

More details of the mother abuse aside from finger up the rectum and washing her back in the bathtub:

"teasing" my mother's hair routinely

helping her put on her girdle by pulling on the latex across her back

imitating a carnival sideshow stripper "Pussy Galore" for everyone's entertainment as a prepubesent

examining my mother's appendectomy scar

observing my mother answer the front door with her nightgown on with her very large breasts and aereolae showing through

sitting on the porch swing holding hands'

her french kissing me when I was still small enough for her to hold in her arms

holding hands when I was twelve years old for a stroll through the neighborhood

being told throughout my life that I was her favorite son in one way or another

being scolded for wanting to spend time with other families in the neighborhood because I should be content to stay at home

being ridiculed for laughing on the phone with friends bacause you "don't laugh that way with us"

walking past my parents' open bedroom door to see my mother masturbating under the covers

being told by her that the thing all her sons have in common is large penises (there are six of us)

being told by her that my father and her enjoyed conceiving me the most, i.e. "it felt the best."

being coyly told by her that it wasn't necessary to "cover-up" when we just got out of the bathtub or were dressing because afterall "I'm your mother"

her always, always confiding in me during late night conversations while my father was at the local bar or sleeping one off

dubbing me the good-one, the religious one

My of the above occurred before I was 13 years old.

I don't know. I think I got some pretty good material here to warrant some identity as a guy abused by his mother. What do you think? Am I just stretching here? Are the above just working-class demonstrations of ignorance, or did my mother really do some inappropriate if not abuse stuff with me?

The effect of it all was to cut me off from my other brothers and guys in the neighborhood. (Who all have no problem with me being the favorite)! I felt very much like the surrogate husband. And I'm not certain that something didn't happen in bed with her and my father when I was 7-8 years old.

Thanks again for reading and commenting. I really appreciate the feedback. Others, please comment as well.

Seeking help and advice,

JM


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#25495 - 12/02/02 04:07 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
JM:

First of all, your brother. He is jealous of you from the sound of it, and trying to get in good with your mother. This is sad & complicates things a lot. If you choose to communicate with him anymore at all, he should know that there will be some boundaries & becuz of the betrayal rebuilding trust will take time. IMHO.

Don't buy into that "the enemy is after me and I'm not walking with the Lord" bullsh*t! A classic cliche which abusive controlling people try to use to beat impressionable victims into submission! The enemy does not like the truth becuz it sets us free, and that's what walking with the Lord is about. IMNSHO!

Now your mother. OK she was abused & had a rough life herself. That's absolutely no excuse.

My mother also had a very rough life. That doesn't justify her abusing me. I have no doubt I was abused far more than her (if you can measure such things), and I have managed, after some early struggles & minor incidents as a teen, to never in any way be a perp, much less against my kids.

My mother seems to have blanked out a lot, and tho we've not talked about it, that's probably what she did with the incest; basically, becuz she doesn't give a damn!

For whatever reason your mother may also have blanked out memories of abusing you. Its up to you whether you want to remind her & try to work things out or not.

My personal choice has been to deal with her in therapy & not in any person to person contact, which I've completely broken off w/o explanation since recovering abuse memories last year. She hasn't made any supreme effort to get back in touch, so I wonder if she knows. Dont care really, not at this point anyway.

But that's me, my family situation; my mother is almost 3000 miles away, & we have had very limited & very stilted contact, mostly via mail, since I was 15 years old.

From our most recent contacts, I know she hasn't changed much from the days when I was from infancy thruout childhood made her surrogate husband, housemaid & father to my late brother. She is still very narcisstic, & possessive of me when she's with me. I know she wants me to be her caretaker. NO DAMN WAY! Like you, I've got myself & my own family to take care of.

I pity my mother but I will not be dragged down by her memory or her person any longer. I don't want her around me, my wife, my daughters. Or Little Wuame, who is damn well going to get to live his childhood!

JM, your story rings true; and don't let anyone tell you any different! You sound as tho you're dealing with this very well. Don't let your brothers' bringing things out when he shouldn't have pressure you into making moves or having conversations you may not be ready for.

You are the one who has been abused. You have the right & obligation to yourself to confront--or not--when & how you want to.

(*****MIGHT TRIGGER--MOTHER INCEST SEDUCTION****)
(Sh*t, another flashback, very brief but very clear: my mother used to always want me to scratch her back, and unsnap her bra "to get where the strap made it itch," and she always seemed to itch near her *ss or on her sides near her b**bs. AARRRGGHHHH! )

I reiterate: I don't want my mother anywhere near me anymore ever!!! \:o

Whatever you do JM take care of you first, and your own family! Whatever it takes.

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#25496 - 12/02/02 04:22 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
New to this Offline
Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 138
Loc: Mississippi
JM,

Thatís not an easy quandary to grasp, but I think I see where the dilemma lies. You understand where your mother came from and what made her like she is. Your sympathy and love for her is what complicates the mess.

I think I know your mother. Iíve seen it all to often in my own mother. There is no room for error on her part. Any suggestion that she has wronged someone is met with wailing, moaning, and gnashing of teeth. It is not a pretty sight.

It may have been good that your brother spilled the beans for you. At least you donít have to bring it up. Holding your ground may be all that you can do for little MJ. Standing up for little MJ and not backing down to have peace in the family may be just what he needs.

So stand firm. You know what happened. Donít let anyone back you down.

Devon

_________________________
"Knowledge itself is power" Francis Bacon

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#25497 - 12/02/02 04:48 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
James
I was never abused by any family member, not in any form, so I can't imagine the turmoil of living the life you and others here have. Especially at the hands of a mother - all normal standards fly out the window !

But I still have problems with my parents for 'not protecting me' when I was at boarding school.
I know it's wrong for me to think this way, but I do and can't help it.

None of which relates to you, except to show that relationships with elderly parents are never going to be easy for so many of us.

There have been some excellent replies here, and they all pick up on the same things, the betrayal by your brother, the fact that you are trying to communicate with your mother and, the most outstanding thing, your vision of the whole picture.

It might not seem like you have the whole picture in front of you but I think you have, or at least most of it.

You're positive about yourself, even though this is a stressfult time, your number one concern is you and your family. And that's exactly right.
I have said to many others here on this site - "be selfish, think of yourself first. Not at the expense of others - but before others"

Quote:
I'm finally finding my voice with this stuff. And I really don't want to be her caretaker through this. I did that for the greater part of the first half of my life. I don't want to feel responsible for how she's handling what brother calls accusations and what I call real events.
Quote:
but I really want to claim my little boy's voice in this and set them straight about what I experienced under their care and what they can reasonably expect from me.
I want distance so that I can care for myself and my family, and I want them to deal with this on their own cause I'm not going to get apologies, acknowledgement, validation or anything from them.
Look at this again, it's about YOU, which is what it should be, if you worry more about your brother than yourself you'll never heal.

I think you have a great understanding of the overall problem, and an even better understanding of your position in it.

Look after number one James, that way you can look after those you love - your immediate family.

Lloydy

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#25498 - 12/02/02 05:09 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Wow,

so much of what you wrote made me think at first that you were talking about me, except it would be my father and brother instead of my mom.

and I've been told "I just needed to get right with Jesus" and well, I will refrain from my response to that here.

I am glad you didn't back down and I am glad you wrote what you did here because that will help you if the doubts come around or wanting to hide comes around. Don't know if you go through that or not, but I do and sometimes having the facts helps keep me on a steady track.

I feel honored that you shared this because it helped me know I'm not alone in these things (especially during this time of the year when all the family stuff takes place).

Thank you for sharing yourself... and know that you know what is the truth. If they choose to run or deny it, that doesn't mean anything other than they are running from it and denying it. But you hold the truth.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#25499 - 12/02/02 05:36 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Hello James Michael,

From all you have written it seems to me that you have been the victim of multiple types of sexual betrayal and violation by your mother. It is distressing to hear of that.

Your brother surely betrayed your trust. He also may well have put it to your Mother in such a way as to be more disturbing to her than you would have.

You have a good plan. Write a letter, or speak directly,as to how it was experienced by you.That is the important point from what I understand. What is percieved as abusive or betrayal by one person might not be by another. But that does not change anything for the person who feels used and abused.

It would be difficult to see why a mother would put her finger in an anus, except if she had a child who had impacted bowels and she knew what she was doing. That would be rather rare I would think.

It really seems as though you may need to write to your Mom and say that you are sorry that your brother mis-spoke. Tell her that you have some strong feelings about somethings that happened when you were a child and adolescent. She may not agree with you, but at least she knows what you are saying, how you feel and how you now perceive it.

Your brother may have been trying to minimalize the thing and made a flippant remark. But that remark was very horrifying for your mother. I doubt that you can talk this over on the phone. you might just get into a shouting match.

I hope something will be worked out for your sake and your mothers sake. But I doubt that anyone would disagree that her behavior towards you was a betrayal and violation and it was repeated. Yout T will need to work on this with you.

Peace to you.

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#25500 - 12/02/02 07:03 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
I just love to hear the 'survivor's sense of humor.' Whenever I hear it in a post, my heart warms because I know the poster is on the right track. JM, in yours, I nearly coughed up my lunch on this:
Quote:
Neither can carry an extended conversation about anything beyond the weather, or potato salad.
Wonderful, dark humor. The only additional thing I can say to all of this is: That must be some damn good potato salad.

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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