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#263963 - 11/27/08 06:37 AM a question about siblings
soapy bubbles Offline
Member

Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 332
Loc: london
what are the chances of a mother abusing just one of her four children?

SB



Edited by soapy bubbles (09/01/09 10:59 AM)

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#263966 - 11/27/08 07:24 AM Re: a question about siblings [Re: soapy bubbles]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


I don't know, but it seems it runs the gamut. In most families each sibling is sort of assigned a role -- the care-taker, the confidant, the one that will succeed, the outsider, etc...

So, sometimes, the one that will be abused.

I recently read a book by a woman who's brother was assigned to living in the attic, he wasn't abused, just sent into exile. She, on the other hand, could do no wrong, was provided a fabulous education, etc...

So I think it just depends on a log of factors: the parent's ability to practice some level of impulse control, so that they may "need" to abuse someone, they don't "need" to abuse everyone. Plus their need to project onto their children their own fantasies of being perfect.... and horribly bad. So they split their own feelings in a split way with the children. Plus who know what else.

My dad beat the crap out of my brothers, but not the girls. Guess he thought it was ok to hit boys, but internalized the notion that a boy shouldn't hit girls. Guess he forgot that adults shouldn't hit children.

K.


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#264081 - 11/27/08 07:50 PM Re: a question about siblings [Re: Kathryn]
deck Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 109
Loc: Indiana
Kathryn is right. It is not uncommon for children in abusive/dysfunctional (especially highly dysfunctional) family enviroments to fall into roles. A lot of things can play into what roles they get assigned- gender, birth order, etc.


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#264085 - 11/27/08 07:59 PM Re: a question about siblings [Re: deck]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
I think one of the most famous examples of what you described is noted in the book called "A Child Called It" by David Pelzer. Like you described, he was singled out by his psychotic mother for particularly brutal abuse, while the other siblings were relatively unscathed in comparison. I'm sure it would be a good study in psychological behaviour to understand why this dynamic happens, but most assuredly it does. It could be for any number of "failings" in one particular child - for example, if one son is not athletic while the others are, or one is slow in school while the others are considered bright, etc. Unfortunately, the ability to breed does not bring with it the possession of good parenting skills.

_________________________
Eddie

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#264089 - 11/27/08 08:14 PM Re: a question about siblings [Re: EGL]
Dusty Boy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/15/08
Posts: 280
Loc: Australia
yes its possable i read a book roles that children have in the family structure and in each family of more than one child there always is a favorite and a garbage can kid with the other children filling diferent roles. depending on how the family workes these positions vary in degree of intensity. The favorite can be petted the rest so-so, the garbage can kid can cop the lot and even more as if a parent crosses the line there is often no limit.
Dusty


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#264096 - 11/27/08 09:33 PM Re: a question about siblings [Re: Dusty Boy]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303



I'm not sure the unabused siblings come out relatively unscathed. Perhaps they carry different scars, but they're pretty deep.

Like suffering from survivor's guilt. I felt so guilty about my pain that I saw a psyhchologist for about 8 months, twice a week, and literally couldn't say a word. 45 minutes of silence. What a twit.

And it's not as though if a parent is able to really abused one child physically or sexually, they're nevertheless able to let the other children be themselves, find their own idiom for living.

Plus you just sort of live with a situation in which you see your parent could actually kill one of the children. So you live in terror.

And then there's the whole exagerated rescue fantasies....

Blah, blah, blah....

And then I remember what someone wrote about how we can wear our wounds like battle scars, but shy away from showing a pimple.

There's different ways of reading this, we can show the obviouse, big scars, but feel guilty about showing what others may thing is small.

Or.... It's easy to show our scars, and once that's done, it's time to express our pimples, ie, our more vulnerable selves.... We put makeup on our pimples to visit our psychologist..... the next step is to go with no makeup. Probably the more difficult task because even those with no big scars may never express their pimples.

K.

K.


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#264099 - 11/27/08 09:45 PM Re: a question about siblings [Re: Kathryn]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Very good points, Kathryn. The survivor's guilt of a child who witnesses his sibling getting the brunt of the parent's abuse must be unbearable. Wondering if they are actually going to kill your sibling. And the inevitable question which forms in the mind of what if they do kill them - who's next to assume the "whipping boy" position in the family? Me?

_________________________
Eddie

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#264109 - 11/27/08 10:30 PM Re: a question about siblings [Re: EGL]
TJ jeff Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 3362
Loc: Northern Wisconsin
I dunno... and I hate to even say this... but... it was a bit diffrent for my brother I think... he was very much more than happy to see mom take out her anger on me at times - sometimes he framed me - other times he forced me to take the blame for things he had done himself

I guess it's a matter of the personality of the sibling as to how they feel about the other being abused

_________________________
Who will cry for the little boy? - I will... - Antwone Fisher

Abuse happens in silence/isolation - Recovery happens only when that silence/isolation is broken...

TJ's History

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#264127 - 11/28/08 12:28 AM Re: a question about siblings [Re: TJ jeff]
ptb Offline


Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 13
Loc: NJ
In my family I became damaged goods because of a childhood accident. My sisters found i was an easy target and an even easier target. No matter what happened it was easy to get the blame placed on me. This went on well into adulthood with my youngest sister blaming me for her own CSA probably at the hands of my dadbuser. I guess blaming daddy is hard but blaming Bart was always easy. It's how she was programmed.

_________________________
So what becomes of all the little boys,
Who run away from home,
Well the world just keeps gettin' bigger,
Once you get out on your own,
So here's to all the little boys,
The sandman takes you where,
You'll be sleepin' with a pillowman,
On the nickel over there.
Waits

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#264150 - 11/28/08 08:12 AM Re: a question about siblings [Re: ptb]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Guess that's what I mean though.... whether we identify with the victim or the abuser, we're all twisted.

And it's not as though those identifications are exclussive, just which one we latch onto to defend against it's opposite....

When innocence is lost, there's rarely a pure victim, or pure abuser, just depends on which aspect of ourselves we most identify with, are most comfortable with.

That's the tragedy of the Holocaust: How it produced in one person both the ability to be a hero, and the ability to steal the other guy's soup.... Or to give the other guy your soup, but wish like hell you could send him in your place when you're walking towards the shower.

K.


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#264205 - 11/28/08 02:04 PM Re: a question about siblings [Re: Kathryn]
dusty42 Offline


Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 111
Loc: Kentucky
Dusty42 has deleted this message. I no longer feel safe here.



Edited by dusty42 (03/18/09 02:29 PM)
Edit Reason: I no longer feel safe here
_________________________
Pinky: "Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
The Brain: "The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world."

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#264207 - 11/28/08 02:07 PM Re: a question about siblings [Re: Kathryn]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


I didn't mean to imply that children aren't "pure" victims, they are.

What I meant is that it sets up in the child the impossible choice to either identify with their victimhood or with the abuser. There's not a lot of other choices. So we tend to think either we're crap or everyone else is....

So then we're very often stuck with dealing with the triangle of victim, victimizer, rescuer. Or at least this is what it seems to me when we look at the effects it has in our intimate relationships.

K.


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#264208 - 11/28/08 02:09 PM Re: a question about siblings [Re: Kathryn]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Hey dusty, he didn't hate you because you weren't good-looking enough, he hated you because he needed someone to hate. You just happened to be there.

K.


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#264269 - 11/29/08 12:58 AM Re: a question about siblings [Re: Kathryn]
dusty42 Offline


Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 111
Loc: Kentucky
Dusty42 has deleted this message. I no longer feel safe here.



Edited by dusty42 (03/18/09 02:29 PM)
Edit Reason: I no longer feel safe here
_________________________
Pinky: "Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
The Brain: "The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world."

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#264277 - 11/29/08 02:15 AM Re: a question about siblings [Re: dusty42]
ptb Offline


Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 13
Loc: NJ
Dusty I can't answer that. Only he can. But really does it matter why? It's nothing you did, it couldn't be. It's his twisted mind that made the decision, you were just a kid and totally blameless.

~ptb~

_________________________
So what becomes of all the little boys,
Who run away from home,
Well the world just keeps gettin' bigger,
Once you get out on your own,
So here's to all the little boys,
The sandman takes you where,
You'll be sleepin' with a pillowman,
On the nickel over there.
Waits

Top
#264298 - 11/29/08 10:00 AM Re: a question about siblings [Re: ptb]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Hey Dusty,

Who really knows why? But we can engage in speculation, and find a satisfactory story that begins to allow the grip of the question to loosen it's hold....

And it seems to me that one aspect of a likely story is that most of us split the concept of Good and Bad -- there are Good aspects of ourselves, and Bad aspects of ourselves. And we tend to project onto others these aspects.

So, for instance, if a person prizes industriousness and hates laziness, and sense we all of both industrious and lazy aspects, there's a need to project the hated parts of ourselves on others, so the white racist hates blacks for being lazy -- he/she says: "I'M not lazy -- THEY are. It's not ME it's THEM".... I'm perfectly industrious, as are all white folk....

So basically, it's a splitting operation about aspects of ourselves that we project onto others.... The Good and the Bad, Love and Hate, Me and Them. Most of us are just mixtures, as is the world around us.

Take care,
Katie


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#264303 - 11/29/08 11:02 AM Re: a question about siblings [Re: soapy bubbles]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
sb just a buncha things that come to mind

1. it was easier to abuse the last one, because at some point there are less people around to interfere with it. husbands go to work, kids go to school, except that last one who is left at home with mom. surrogate husband/intimacy needs issue?

2. abuse being about control: perhaps has something to do with life in general being in squalor and dysfunction. are you aware of any subtle destructive dynamics carried over from unresolved issues of the first marriage?

3. a belief that she could get away with it with 'this particular one'

4. a demoralizing downward spiritual spiral that culminated in a situation of sexual abuse?

obviously, the propensity had been there all along. it would be assumed that others were abused if not overtly, then covertly. it just became convenient to follow thru with the last one.

have you asked the others is they have memories of having been abused?

ron

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


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#264331 - 11/29/08 01:57 PM Re: a question about siblings [Re: EGL]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Originally Posted By: EGL
I think one of the most famous examples of what you described is noted in the book called "A Child Called It" by David Pelzer. Like you described, he was singled out by his psychotic mother for particularly brutal abuse, while the other siblings were relatively unscathed in comparison.

An interesting point about this case and others that have been documented is that once David was removed from the home the mother turned her abuse on another of her boys who heretofore had been among the "favored" children.

The parent in these kinds of situations is often so mentally disturbed that they must always have a victim even if that victim was once a favorite.

_________________________
“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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#264342 - 11/29/08 03:04 PM Re: a question about siblings [Re: WalkingSouth]
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2465
Loc: UK
yes singling out just one child seems to be what happens, i think it is because you can keep one child quiet, and maybe they pick the quietest or the youngest or the most vulnerable or the easiest manipulated or the nicest looking or the smallest or easiest to physically control or manipulate or lots of reasons. they are ill people who like to keep prisoners to use whenever they want. and maybe they only want to keep one child because then they feel like all the disgusting things they do are likely to have no consequences because nobody will even find out because they have that much control.

_________________________
"...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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#264457 - 11/30/08 01:18 AM Re: a question about siblings [Re: king tut]
dusty42 Offline


Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 111
Loc: Kentucky
Dusty42 has deleted this message. I no longer feel safe here.




Edited by dusty42 (03/18/09 02:28 PM)
Edit Reason: I no longer feel safe here
_________________________
Pinky: "Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
The Brain: "The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world."

Top
#274568 - 02/09/09 12:32 PM Re: a question about siblings [Re: Kathryn]
soapy bubbles Offline
Member

Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 332
Loc: london
thank you for your contributions to this post. i appreciate it and you've given me a lot to think about.

SB

_________________________
"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.” --- Eleanor Roosevelt

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