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#279418 - 03/14/09 10:32 AM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: ericc]
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
I think blame brings comfort because it makes a clear separation between us (the abused) and them (the abusers).

The danger in it to me is that blame keeps the abuser in clear sight. Especially if there's dwelling on the problem.

I also don't think taking the responsibility for this problem means blaming oneself. It just means saying I did whatever I did. It's more like unbiased open-minded acceptance. I could put it another way. I could accept the fact that the abuser did things to me that led my mind to work a certain way. But then I'm still the one who needs to change the way the mind works, and blaming would still get in my way.

In my situation, it became more helpful to see the situation as something that arose rather than something premeditated, and the metaphor is that I came into contact with a kind of virus that touched me. And I got sick. If I blame the virus, I make things harder for myself. This helps me because in taking responsibility for my actions in it and in recovery, I don't blame myself for anything either. I just accept the things as part of the process of the illness and bettering of myself and move on.

In general I think of CSA as a social illness. I think the real cause isn't the individual abuser but a system that keeps people generally silent about all mental health issues. It's hard for people even to admit being abused. I can't even imagine how hard it must be for someone like my dad to openly admit to abusing and to seek help. I don't know how he could ever have spoken his urges to anyone without being totally shunned. And when he did admit some of it to his sister, it got totally ignored (I imagine she was shocked to believe it).

So the way I see it, I got slammed by an out of control person who was himself the victim of a very bad and debilitating situation. I don't deny his part in the story, but I see him as basically passing along some horrible cooties.

It helps me to see this over all context because it makes the decision to move ahead on my own so much easier.

Disentangling the web makes it simpler for me, and it seems more true to my circumstances this way. Maybe it's like slicing through the Gordian Knot?


Danny





Edited by DannyT (03/14/09 10:34 AM)

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#279421 - 03/14/09 11:00 AM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: DannyT]
Letourski Offline


Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada
Hey guys,

I agree completely with taking responsibility for your feelings in the here and now. We all have the ability to alter our conscious minds in the present. By accepting our role in the abuse(victim) we can look passed the absuer and focus our attention on the current issues that have stemmed as a result.

This however can be perceived as accepting part of the blame which is clearly not the case. How many times have we heard it's not your fault. This has been a staple in the recovery process. As an abuse survivor we need to feel it was not our fault, this allows us to feel compassion and love for our child selves. Blame creates self hatred and anger which are poison. These emotions need to come out at some point for any progress to be made.

I believe that if we continue to focus the blame on the abuser we are simply allowing them to further control a portion of our lives. Yes they are to blame that is for sure but the more we focus on that the less we focus on ourselves. Once the blame has been clearly defined it is our responsibility to move passed it and work through the web of emotions. I will accept my role in the abuse I suffered and in a way to me that is forgiveness.


Heal Well

Dan

_________________________
I am the warrior.

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#279424 - 03/14/09 11:12 AM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: Letourski]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
.



Edited by joelRT (03/15/09 12:54 AM)
Edit Reason: leaving
_________________________
My Story 1
My Story 2
The longest journey we take is to self-discovery

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#279433 - 03/14/09 12:17 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: joelRT]
blueshift Offline
Guest

Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 1242
Loc: infinity
I think looking at the abuse as a social disease is a good way to look at it. I try to look at it that way when I can. There are still times though when I feel like blaming myself and the only way to get out of that is to convince myself that it was my abusers' fault not mine.

I think better points of view about the whole issue will be accessible more and more to a survivor who is actively working on healing.


_________________________
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My Art

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#279441 - 03/14/09 01:39 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: blueshift]
ComicBookGuy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/09
Posts: 443
Loc: London, England
My personal take on forgiveness was, my Dad wasn't my perp, and he was easier to forgive on the alcohol front because he was dead. In a sense these Al-Anon sessions are cleanup work from that forgiveness at Xmas 2001.

My perp being an outsider to the family, because I never saw him again by the end of two months later, ultimately that's the reason I had no emotions over him aside from the flash of anger that caused my reporting. If I did forgive him I sure as shite wouldn't tell him about it even if he was in my life beyond being in my head, it would be all about me.

Socially though my real anger around this issue is not my perp, but the fact that that we've had an epidemic of forgiveness from lefty liberal idiots since the 1990s, to the point where it is institutionalized in our justice system, only the very worst crimes attract a punishing prison sentence in the UK anymore, as a result hardened criminals are running amok and using their "rights" to obstruct punishment. That would make forgiveness generally impossible for me if I knew that a CSA or just murdering perp hadn't been punished harshly enough and they'd gone on to permanently harm someone I loved. In fact the Guardian Newspaper today published an essay from some Death Row letter writer celebrating how she helped save a man - but not one sentence regarding the feelings of the victims whom she also met.

That's the problem, it's all pimp my trendy values and stuff the victims, here in England anyway. When offenders are properly punished, forgiveness can be considered much more easily regardless of faith. To be fair, life in prison for the above example is proper punishment compared to death.

Coming back to the personal side of MS, I would have major-scale problems if a blood relative had been my perp and forgiveness wouldn't have been on the table whatsoever. So I'm damn lucky in that regard.



Edited by ComicBookGuy (03/14/09 02:06 PM)
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- CBG

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#279489 - 03/14/09 10:18 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: ComicBookGuy]
brother2none Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/30/09
Posts: 264
Loc: Undisclosed
DannyT, I think this topic has opened my eyes to something hidden from me in my life since being abused. Today I cried tears of sorrow, the start of forgiveness I think.

I read this topic this morning and within a couple hours, I was in tears about how much I have and continue to hurt myself, in so many large and subtle ways. Its truly staggering. But this is where I am at today, and a better place than yesterday.


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#279497 - 03/15/09 01:00 AM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: brother2none]
wojax Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 171
Loc: Florida
Hey Guys
You knew i could not leave this alone...I have been yelled at put on iggy for saying the first step for me was to learn to forgive.
In order to get out from being the victim you have to forgive first Yourself then the abuser/s. You will never forget. But when you forgive it will relese you from the guilt and shame and let you take the first steps to recovery.
those of you that know me know that I am a chistian Man I walk in faith but I have my days when all of this stuff comes up now I can say Lord this is on you.
I have forgiven my abuser (Ronnie Thompson) I dont like him and I dont whant him around me. But i dont hate him anymore and that feels good to me.
D your on the right track
May God Bless all of you brothers
Gary

_________________________
Jer 7:23 ps 91:16

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#279529 - 03/15/09 12:25 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: wojax]
timothyrecovery1 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Pennsylvania
I agree that one must forgive. The hard part for me is forgiving myself. I have forgiven my abuser and my family for pushing the sexual abuse under the table and especially making my sisters and I see my step grandfather on family occasions like nothing happenned. I still think that because I sort of new the sexual abuse with my step grandfather and my sisters being abused all together that I should have told my mother. My sister told. This happenned between the ages of 5 through 8. I also feel guilty because I enjoyed it. Please give me responses. I am sort of past this. I work the 12 steps of AA and NA. Thank you for the post.

_________________________
Timothyrecovery

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#279534 - 03/15/09 12:50 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: timothyrecovery1]
brother2none Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/30/09
Posts: 264
Loc: Undisclosed
You said: "I also feel guilty because I enjoyed it."

In my life, I have believed the same thing. So can we assume then that our reactions are a normal reaction?

But as another brother here has pointed out, was I to know how being abused was to affect my life, from that point till now? Of course not. As an adolescent boy, I had no idea. And herein lies the seed of my forgiveness of myself.

It is still very hard though.


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#279582 - 03/15/09 06:12 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: brother2none]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Brother,

Excellent post!

Timothy,

Sharing those things which we are shameful of with others we trust slowly takes away the power that shame has over our lives.

It is important to look at the reasons why we feel this shame in the first place. Sometimes we take on shame from others behavior because for whatever reason they will not or cannot own it themselves. Such as the people who have abused us. We have to learn to understand that it was there behavior that has caused us to feel ashamed. So this shame belongs to them and not us and we have to give it back to them.

Then there are the things that we have done in our lives that we are ashamed of doing. Whether these behaviors or actions were a result of our csa issues or not is immaterial to me. I have to take responsability for what I have done whither it was inflicted on myself or another. To acklowdege it and to make amends (whether that be just an a apology to that person or changing behaviors).
AA"s 4 and 5 steps are powerful tools in addressing our shame.
By doing them we begin to see our humanity. That we are just one of many who struggle with a common enemy called shame.

Also becareful of letting your family off the hook and acepting the blame (shame)of their behaviors upon yourself. I too have struggled their inability to accept or own their roles in my abuse.

Best wishes to you.

Mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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