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#281406 - 03/30/09 11:37 AM How do I convince him to get professnal help?
Gongas Offline


Registered: 03/23/09
Posts: 21
Loc: Europe
The other day, my brother in law (my husband's brother) - let's call him Jack - told me that he has sexual identity problems (at fourty something) and that his life is totally f***** up because he was sexually abused for almost 12 years by my husband's older brother.
Jack obviously has very, very serious issues with which he has never dealt (I though he had dealt with them because he has lived many years abroad and I thought he had sought help then, but it seems he did not).
He is now at an age where we do not see him going anywhere with his life on any, ANY, level.
Jack says the rest of the family is not fully aware of the sexual abuse and even if they knew they would choose to look the other way. So he's never told anyone, especially his parents.
My husband only knows now because I told him (Jack had asked me not to tell anyone, but I know I did the right thing to tell my husband).
I think Jack NEEDS to see someone professionally as a matter of urgency.

How do I convince him to seek help??????
HOW???
What can I do?

My husband says he's tried to convince Jack to seek help in the past but he's never gone. My husband says my mother in law took Jack to therapists when he was a kid but "they never knew what was wrong". I then asked my husband if he really thought it was possible that a therapist, ANY therapist, might have missed such blatant information when talking to a 8 or 9 year old boy. Does he really believe my mother in law never knew ???? Like Jack, I think she knew and preferred to look the other way.
This is just to say that I understand that Jack does not want their help now and feels estranged from the whole family.
But the fact remains that he still needs help.
How do I convince him to seek help????

Thank you very much



Edited by Gongas (03/30/09 11:46 AM)

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#281412 - 03/30/09 12:42 PM Re: How do I convince him to get professnal help? [Re: Gongas]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
Originally Posted By: Gongas
My husband only knows now because I told him (Jack had asked me not to tell anyone, but I know I did the right thing to tell my husband).


'Jack' is indeed fortunate to have someone like you in his life, someone who cares about his wellbeing and his happiness. I can assure that that is not the case for a great many survivors.

Your concern for him comes through loud and clear in your post and I've no doubt whatever that you would do anything you could to help. Unfortunately you have very, very likely cut off that avenue - you betrayed a trust - you don't do that to a survivor!

We have serious issues when it comes to trust and you may hope to explain this to him and your reasons for having told what he confided, but truth is you will likely never gain his trust again. If he doesn't trust you, then he's not going to listen to your suggestions of help either.

By confiding in you, you were his hope. By betraying his confidance you've taken that hope from him. He may pay lip service to your future interventions, but the fact is he will probably never again trust that you care about his well being.

I'm sorry, because I know that this is not what you wanted to hear and I do believe that you genuinely want to help, but I doubt very much that he will let you. I know that if it were me and I were Jack, I'd be telling you where 'to go' right about now. That's a male survivor of childhood sexual abuse for ya!

_________________________
My Story 1
My Story 2
The longest journey we take is to self-discovery

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#281414 - 03/30/09 01:19 PM Re: How do I convince him to get professnal help? [Re: joelRT]
Gongas Offline


Registered: 03/23/09
Posts: 21
Loc: Europe
Hi JoelRT; no, actually not what I wanted to hear, although I totally understand you. As I was asking my husband I thought "hey, this is so totally what Jack did NOT want me to do". But you do realise that since my husband is also Jack's brother and therefore a brother of the perpetrator, there was a chance that I myself could be living with a possible victim of abuse and I simply needed to know.
Incidentally, I have children who are now grown up, but the thought crossed my mind that them, too, could have been abused by their uncle. So you see, the other side of the coin is that, by telling me, Jack has made me a possible, if indirect, victim of abuse, and I needed to know.
What do you do in such cases?


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#281418 - 03/30/09 01:55 PM Re: How do I convince him to get professnal help? [Re: Gongas]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
Look I fully understand where you're coming from and I don't dispute anything you say nor question your rationale. Please don't misunderstand me, I am not condenming you for looking out for those you love, dear God girl, no.

I am simply giving you the male survivors perspective - you betrayed a trust, period. Just as Jack's older brother betrayed his trust. We don't make distinctions.

Jack's secret is now held by three other people, and in his mind it is only a matter of time before everybody knows - whether or not that is the truth, that is his truth.

How are you going to re-assure him that his secret is not going to get around when you yourself have already told?

If he can't now trust you, he won't listen to your caring about his getting help either. You have shut that door to him. He went to you in confidence and, bottom line, you betrayed him.

I'm sorry, but there just is no nice way to say that.

I don't like it any better than you do and I would much prefer that someone else be telling you this because this is not fun for me too.

My only advice to you would be to wait him out and see if he comes to you again - but don't go chasing after him offering help, you'll only likely alienate more.



Edited by joelRT (03/30/09 04:27 PM)
Edit Reason: dropped words
_________________________
My Story 1
My Story 2
The longest journey we take is to self-discovery

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#281490 - 03/30/09 08:21 PM Re: How do I convince him to get professnal help? [Re: joelRT]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I believe you did the right thing in discussing this with your husband for all the reasons you lay out, but also because in the marriage relationship it's critical that no huge, longterm secrets come between a husband and wife. If you made a mistake and it's not clear whether you did or no, it would be in making that point clear to Jack, hopefully in a way that put his mind at ease when he wanted to share this with you in confidence. Either way, your first loyalty is always to your husband, and his to you. Between the two of you, you can work it out that Jack not hear that you disclosed about what he told you.

To answer your question, you cannot get him to get help other than gently urging him to do so. Recovery is solely his decision to make and his path to find. The most you can do is attempt to show him the way from time to time but otherwise have the grace to leave it be.

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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