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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,

That’s 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. I’ve 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 don’t 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. Don’t 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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#25501 - 12/02/02 09:06 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
Roy Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
Hey,

Yes, you definitely experienced sexual abuse at the hands of your mother. That much is clear. Much of it was covert, which I think makes recovery even more complicated because it is so hard to see and recognize as abuse. That is doubly true for abusive acts committed by women, especially one's mother. I have the same second thoughts myself all the time. What you described above has nothing to do with being working class or any other class, thats all there is to it.

Based on your more complete de>

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#25502 - 12/03/02 02:02 AM Re: Need Help and Advice
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
No one can, or should, force communication on those who cannot communicate. I mean that literally, but also in the emotional sense. Addressing those who are emotionally unprepared makes communication as useless as speaking in another language.

You, however, are able to communicate and you should commmunicate the feelings you have in some way. How? Write a letter, with the idea that you probably won't send it. This may help you to be as open, as raw as you wish. Let it all out onto the paper, everything.

I don't agree with placating family members at all. I do believe in developing a strategy so that you do not feel compelled to answer, or so you may feel strong enough not to answer those who may have abused or been complicit in the abuse.

peace

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#25503 - 12/03/02 10:24 AM Re: Need Help and Advice
JamesMichael Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 134
Thank you Roy, Cement, Wuamei (what's IMNSHO?), New to This, Lloydy, Don, and Bob. I'm so glad I came here with my dilemma. I will go over the whole matter with my T when I see her on Thursday. You've all given me a lot to think about, but mostly I feel so affirmed that what I've described to you is REAL...something that I've not gotten from my brother(s). I feel much stronger in approaching the whole issue re my mother whether I do it through a letter, live, over the phone, in or "the chair." I will write letters to her and my brother. I will probably send the one to brother. I may send the one to mother, but as a result of reading your posts, I feel much less pressure to do it right away. She'll employ the psychological labyrinth she's created for herself over a lifetime to handle this most recent drama. Meaning, I'll bide my time until I'm prepared to deal with it all with her. I'm not inclined to placate her at this point. True, I would've liked the luxury of presenting the material to her as sensitivly as possible, but brother blew that opportunity for me. When I do provide the details to her I will try to do so in a respectful way...mindful of her age, ability to hear, etc. Today, however, at this point in my life, I feel that I can no loner go on protecting her or my father from themselves. They should know why they and six sons are not "close." I do not want to be cruel, but I think it's fair to confront soberly their delusions...to just call a spade a spade...the incest, the abuse, the neglect, the alcoholism. Given the 400 mile distance and their inability to communicate in vivo, I think a well-planned written letter will be the best way to address the things I want. But again, I don't know what I'll do once I've actually written the letter.

I just cannot bear the shame of their histories and the effect of its behaviors, along with the accompanying chronic low grade depression, anymore. I will be free by speaking the truth. And we all know that that's a process. Whatever I say to my parents will not be said to hurt them, but if it hurts them...they'll have to deal with it in some way with whatever ability they have.

I feel strong in your company. Thank you.

Esse Quam Videri,
(To Be Rather Than Seem to Be)

Serve potato salad at room temperature.


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#25504 - 12/03/02 12:34 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Sorry, JM; IMNSHO = In My Not So Humble Opinion.
Also, IMNSHOFWIW = In My Not So Humble Opinion For What It's Worth.

A possibility: Before writing your mother (or anyone) try writing a letter to her you don't intend to send. I'm working off & on, on an ongoing one. May never actually send one. But if you're going to, this may help you vent & sort out your feelings first. Clear your head & thots.

Well just a thot. Take care.

Wuame

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

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#25505 - 12/03/02 07:39 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
James
this made me think - well rethink - my relationship with my parents and the choice I made not to tell them about my abuse and the 'doubts' I have over not being protected by them ( although I know they would if they had known at the time )

Quote:
True, I would've liked the luxury of presenting the material to her as sensitivly as possible, but brother blew that opportunity for me. When I do provide the details to her I will try to do so in a respectful way...mindful of her age, ability to hear, etc. Today, however, at this point in my life, I feel that I can no loner go on protecting her or my father from themselves.
My concern is for my ageing parents, I think that to tell them now would destroy them, and it's simply not worth it. I don't feel I'm lying to them, just protecting them.

Your situation is completely different, and I believe that you will make you mind up and do whatever you have to do with compassion.
But it's a very difficult thing to deal with and we all feel that we have to tie up the loose ends in the few years left.
I have any doubts about my silence, and often wonder if I will feel guilty when they're gone for not telling them. Will I have missed the chance of making our poor relationship better ?
I have to be very cold about my choice I'm afraid, and it's silence.

Dave

_________________________
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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#25506 - 12/03/02 09:34 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Hi JamesMichael:
When you are considering a disclosure or confrontation, as it sounds from your plan to contact your mother, I would stongly urge you to work with your therapist on this. If s/he hasn't seen the article on d&c, show it to him/her. Ya gotta be careful so you don't get hurt again.
Good luck,
Ken


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#25507 - 12/04/02 10:14 AM Re: Need Help and Advice
JamesMichael Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 134
Thank you all again for your thought-filled replies. Ken, I will meet with my therapist tomorrow afternoon and will bring a copy of your article on disclosure and confrontation with me to share. I hope to work closely with her on this. Thanks again.


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#25508 - 01/15/03 03:01 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
JamesMichael Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 134
Here's a letter I plan to send to my brother re what's been discussed in this thread:

Dear K,

I continue to think about our conversations about the issues of abuse in my life and persist to be disappointed with your take on things. I have shared with you some of the hurts I have experienced in my life, and have given you specific examples. Overall, you have demonstrated to me a lack of understanding and accompanying sensitivity to what I have shared. I thought that sharing on this level would contribute to building closeness between us.

You have shown me prejudice, ignorance, as well as an overall denial of the origins, effects, treatment and healing that are involved in sexual and emotional trauma. Nothing in what you've said to me is characterized by a willingness to expand your base of understanding concerning trauma beyond simplistic statements about negativity encroaching upon your individual and world views.

That being the case, you had no business whatsoever disclosing to Mom the nature of my anxiety. What I shared with you was between us. I had not come to a decision as to whether or not I would confront her with some of the things you and I had talked about. I wonder whom did you want to hurt by irresponsibly telling her that I remember being abused by her?

The ripple effect of your arrogant and willful naivete hurts.

Sincerely,


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#25509 - 01/15/03 03:02 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
JamesMichael Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 134
Please comment on my proposed letter. Thanks.


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#25510 - 01/15/03 05:28 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
Wuamei Offline
Member

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

About all I can say at this point about your proposed letter to your brother is that it sounds good if it's what you feel you need to say. It is to the point common sense, expressing your thots & feelings, asking for his; a good open letter.

I'll have to PM you later. I'm kinda freaked out right now & in a hurry to go to town anyway.

All I can say is I read your posts again, this whole thread, and it was like reading it for the first time, tho some things sounded familiar. Then I saw where I had responded.

JM, it all hit me quite differently this time...

We have a lot more in common than I realized.

Especially now, as I'm thinking of writing my mother, too...

OK I'll PM you hopefully this eve. Take care.

Victor

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

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#25511 - 01/16/03 04:01 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
JM it is a very fair and loving letter. I know I need feedback from the people around me when I’m crossing boundaries with my behavior. It would be a very unloving thing to hold back and hide the truth from me that I have been so insensitive and lacking in boundaries. I would feel the loss of relationship with the person who would do that to me. I think your letter is clean of assaults on your brother. Your focus remained on your feelings about the experience. “I” statements show that you own your own experience in this, rather than pointing your finger at him and telling him what he should do, which would be assaultive. I hear clear expressions of disappointments and your experience of profound loss in your relationship with him because of his behavior. Again, what a loving thing to do.

My mother died twice in my lifetime. I could pretend that I still had a mother even while she was taking me to bed with her. I now know I was protecting her when I would say to myself, “ she just didn’t understand what she was doing to me.” All that agony and terror I was experiencing did not fit as a response to all the “loving” she was giving me, her special Bobby. It was if she was a great air ship with ruffles and flourishes decorating its exterior and floating miles above the earth, and I was hanging by an overstretched ( umbilical ) cord about a half mile long. And oh, the sensual magic of it all! Then one day the light of the sun filled the stairwell leading to and from her bedroom. It was a light so bright that the reflected light, off the rooms surfaces,
eliminated all shadows that would otherwise have been places to hide. It was the day she said, “Don’t ever tell anyone, they wont understand.” The umbilical cord had snapped “ ping “and I felt like I was going to die because I no longer had a mother to take care of me. I had to believe she was taking care of me, she was my mother. When I finally crashed into the earth, I had to completely rearrange my parts from the way she arranged them. How she had arranged them was not visible to me until long after I hit the earth. It was years later that I realized that I had been taking care of her needs most of my life. She had provided me food and shelter at the price of my blood, my self.

When she died the second time I was engaged to my wife. She was definately threatened by the presents of my new fiance. She was dying of lung cancer from a two pack a day habit with Chesterfield cigarettes. She waited till I had awaken that morning and was coming down ” those “ stairs that led to and from her room.. I saw her laying on the couch where she had been sleeping since “picking up a bug from her visit to her little brother in Tennesee.” ( I believe she incested that little brother. He came to visit once, in my adolescense ). She struggled to lift her head, as she labored to breath, in order to see me coming. When I saw her I knew the time had come. I cradled her head in the role of a dutiful son as she passed. The bitch got me one last time.
Aside from my rage it was an issue of integrity for me to care for her at the end. She did not show me how to have integriry. I had to learn that on my own in spite of her. I reasoned that I would extend the same kindness to comfort a perfect stranger who died before me. I have done this several times in my lifetime while working with sick and dying patients. Getting even would make me like her. I lost love for her when she said don’t ever tell anyone, they wont understand. Although I did not know it at the time.

If my mother were alive today I know, without her being conscious of it, she would try every trick in the book to come between my wife and I. I know she would swoop in hoping for some kind of a wedge to turn my children against me and my invading wife. I live a thousand miles from where I grew up and our visits would be cordial, short, and we would stay at a hotel. The only reason for the visit would be for the kids, at some point in their lives. They would be very guarded by me, and they would never be alone with her. If she came to visit , it would be at a public place. A restaurant, maybe at her hotel (not her room), or a park. It would be cordial. If she asked for more, I would have to leave. My wife would have to understand what it was all about beforehand and we would have to be in agreement on what we would do. I think we have that understanding.

The first outsider to understand my relationship with my mother was a Navy buddy. I was stationed 10 miles from my mother and “ home “. He couldn’t understand why I didn’t just live at home with all the great food my mother cooked, instead of the “crappy old barracks” with 200 other men. Somehow in a dinner conversation at my house, it was decided he could rent a room and he was excited at the prospect. He lived there for a couple of weeks, loved the great food, and started to get the smother mother treatment from her too. As we were leaving the house one afternoon she reached out to him to kiss him as a goodbye. There was something “funny “ in it to him and I could see it in his reaction. It was a feeling that I was very familiar with, with her. I felt a little embarrased and I also felt validated when I saw his reaction. We said nothing when we left the house. A little while later, after a silence he said, I understand now why you don’t live at home. Silence returned. What could I say, so I said nothing. He moved out. I could not, I just continued to spend as little time there as I possibly could.

I believe it wasn’t long after that another turnning point occured. My older brother ( my other perpetrator ) was living at home at the time. He was leaving the house to go on a date. He was twenty minutes late,and she knew it. As he was running out the door she said,” before you go would you move this ( heavy livingroom )chair over here?” After 5 or six furniture moves and 40 minutes later they were hysterically screaming at eath other. I was upstairs and heard the whole thing. I knew what she was doing. I was fed up. I was fed up enough to blow the house up, but knew it was not in me to do that. I knew that anything that I would do as her favorite would stun her and I wanted to maximize that using understatement. I wasn't going to give her the opportunity to claim the role of " victim "

I went downstairs and calmly walked past the two of them screaming at each other.

I went into the pantry, and with a calmness on the outside that hid the erupting volcano inside, I felt that had nothing left to lose.

I took a glass from the shelf. I filled it with only quarter inch of water. I did not want to overstate anything. Rage with the utmost of control was extremely important to me.

I returned to where they were embattled. Before they would stop to acknowledge my presence, I threw the water in her face saying, “Cool it.”

The look in her eyes told me I had gotten her attention.

From a place of deep indignation and betrayal she said,“ And I protected you.“

I had gone from being her love “object”, to being the “object “ of her contempt.

I went to a place deeper and said, “From what?”

She was stunned speechless. Our relationship was now changed forever.

The role between my brother and my mother changed too. He was now in an opportune moment to scramble for her favor. He started to defend her from me, but now had two loyalties to be torn about.

My role to him was his scapegoat, and here I had just defended him, and because of that he was also stunned.

She was now dissuaded to provide favor on any of us.

I have described her behavior at this point before, using the Freudian image of the Oedipal Sphinx with her phallic talons. These talons were easily capable of penetrating the flesh and tearing open a heart with their razor sharpness. She did this without hesitance to satisfy her hungers. Oedipus had to solve the Freudian riddle that asked something like "What begins life by crawling on its belly then walks on four legs, then on two legs? The answer is, "A man." I had dared to solved her riddle too. Just like when Oedipus solved the riddle, my mother too became so enraged that, she too dramaticly threw herself unto the rocks, smoking cigarrettes until she became cancerous, and died. Isn’t that a poetic ending. It was 20 years later in a therapists office, before I could fully comprehend what I had done. I felt exhilerated. It was my first mountain top experience culminating all my years of anguish, agony and struggle in and out of therapy. I had actually done it on my own years earlier, but it took all those years of therapy to reach the point where I could grasp what I had done. WOW!! I was on top of the world!!!
That lasted a week and I was back in the struggle again (that kind of sounds like an old song: "Back in the saddle again.") There are layers and layers to these issues.

I don’t know if my experience that I’ve described here is helpful. Your struggle certainly triggered me and percolated lots a stuff up to the top. Like they say in 12-steps,”Take what you can use and leave the rest.”
YEP, THAT'S MY STORY AND I'M STICKIN TO IT!

Thanks for posting, I needed that.

You're doing some incredable work.


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#25512 - 01/16/03 09:39 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
It was years later that I realized that I had been taking care of her needs most of my life. She had provided me food and shelter at the price of my blood, my self.
Oh little brother how I empathize with you! I took care of my mother until I was 13 and got tired of it, then she put me away in the children's home.

Quote:
The bitch got me one last time.

Aside from my rage it was an issue of integrity for me to care for her at the end. She did not show me how to have integriry. I had to learn that on my own in spite of her. I reasoned that I would extend the same kindness to comfort a perfect stranger who died before me.
RJD, I think I could sooner care for a stranger.
My mother used me up till I started to fight back then she abandoned me and got me blamed in the process. Yeah, I still have forgiveness issues with her, I was just talkin with my T about that today.

She sent a Christmas package & wanted to know why I hadn't been writing back. I've not responded & probably won't keep the stuff; I haven't been.

When I tried to reconcile with her a couple years ago, I got the distinct impression she was worried
about getting old and was trying to feel out about me taking care of her, maybe her living closer.

I honestly don't think I can let "the bitch get me one last time."

Quote:
If my mother were alive today I know, without her being conscious of it, she would try every trick in the book to come between my wife and I. I know she would swoop in hoping for some kind of a wedge to turn my children against me and my invading wife.
This is what my mother did a couple years ago, when we flew her out a couple of times for Christmas and a daughters' graduation. My wife & girls caught onto how jealous & possessive she was being way before I did. I won't have any more of that!

Well, I'm still working with this in therapy. I may decide to write, just to say I don't want to write or be in contact anymore. Don't want to say why. Don't want to deal with the denials or minimizations I know I would get becuz that's how she is and she's done that with many far lesser things.

Seems you've handled things pretty well my friend!

Actually I guess I'm not doing so bad either. Gotta keep remembering its a process, and I'm still in it.

Victor

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

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#25513 - 01/17/03 02:25 AM Re: Need Help and Advice
andrew-almost52 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/02
Posts: 243
Loc: canada
Ah Victor, I know what ya mean about mothers. Man, they can be so totally impossible and draining. Not to mention infuriating...sometimes ya just wanna slap em. But, they are our mothers. And we don't get more than one of them in a lifetime (thank gawd). Don't do anything finite Vic, or it might come back and bite ya in the ass. i.e. writing a letter that ends it forever. The reason I suggest this is because when the old girl dies, she'll have you feeling guilty every day for the rest of your life .... which gives her more power than ever. Some of our mothers have done a lot of damage, but the fact is, when they were little girls they didn't dream of one day growing up, having a baby and then being the mother from hell. Something went wrong for them too, had to, or they would have been better mothers. As terrible as it sounds, they were probably as good as they could be. Pathetic I know. Maybe we need to feel sorry for them. Peace, Andrew


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#25514 - 01/17/03 11:06 AM Re: Need Help and Advice
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
I think victor is right on target. The mother I needed did not exist. She was a figment of my imagination. In my mind, my need was so absolutely biologically and psychologically powerful, that I forgave and made excuses to protect her all the way. I might even have died as a young child without her. That is the hidden fear of every child, and therein lies her power.

I did this at the cost of sacrificing my identity as a man. I was my "mama's boy." I left my nuts in a box so she could get her needs met. I gave my mother what no man should have to sacrifice, his identity as a human being. It was my birthright. I’m not talking about male privelidge here. Mothers and fathers who abuse their children, male or female, leave us to believe that it was who we were born that is at fault. I felt inhuman like I was a freak of nature, born with gills, that devoured my own kind, and that should be destroyed for the sake of the species, like they do in the movies. I scoured the bible to see if what happened to me ever have happened to any other man in the history of the world, and I did not find myself there. Being born male was part of the precious little infant that I was born. She was profoundly disappointed I wasn’t born a girl for reasons of her own.. My sexuality did not develop according to the way it was supposed to optimally happen. I struggle every day of my life to maintain healthy relationships. I still struggle to treat myself as if I really mattered. What she did to me just about destroyed my ability to have a normal sex life. Intimacy should not feel like I’m going to die. I should not have to feel like I would rather be dead than go to bed at night. I don’t owe her, she owes me. She was an adult as much as I am now. She had choices and if she were alive she would have to live with the consequences of her behavior just like I do.

What is it that we are willing to deepfry a male perpetrator and not mother for the same behavior? I know the answer as you do, its our mother. Mandatory prison terms for moms? I think so. One woman who was asked, "why did you do it?", and her answer was, "because I knew I could get away with it."

I know If I don’t hold the person who harmed me accountable, then I will blame myself or the person who cuts me off in traffic, or my children,or my wife. My death was the only solution that I could see.

When is it time to say I don’t owe her anything anymore? Was my blood, my sanity, my nuts or my self not enough? What more price does a son owe his mother? To do it again?

She is someone who I knew and deeply loved once. Now I need to love the boy who needed her. I can no longer chose between them. The boy is where my loyalties lie now. Divorce is painful, but sometimes necessary. She forfieted her title and priveledges as mother. She blew it, I didn’t. I would not let her grandmother my children for their sake if she were alive today.


for more on my experiences you can check through portions of my thesis in the post: REGARDING ABUSE BY MOTHER Sept 17, 02


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#25515 - 01/17/03 12:10 PM Re: Need Help and Advice
JamesMichael Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 134
RJD and Vic,

Please see private messages.


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