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#2958 - 08/15/04 11:21 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
I don't remember exactly why I didn't tell but I think there are several things that may have had an effect

#1 I didn't know that what was happening to me was wrong. In addition to my brother implying that this is what brothers do. I also was kind of misinformed by the media, I remember listening to a New York based sex call in show called Love Phones on my walkman. It was reported that most men had atleast one homosexual expierence in there life and that this was normal. While I don't know if that is truly a fact, trust me I have no clue as to what is normal sexually, I think it reinforced that what was happening was ok.

#2. I could have been threatened, whether it was implied or blatent. I don't remember this but I do remember when I was considering disclosing to my mother, I had this fear what would he do to me when he found out..would he hurt me/kill me.

#3. I guess it could have also been because he was my brother and he wouldn't do anything to hurt me

_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


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#2959 - 08/16/04 08:29 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
heart Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/04
Posts: 48
Loc: UK
when abused at age 9 i didn't say anything simply because i didn't have the understanding and the words necessary to explain to my parents what happened although i knew something was very wrong by the way i felt inside. also i felt intense shame and i guess that was a great factor to stay silent
when abused at 13 the perp was caught and the police informed my parents but they felt it was better to protect him which they did by droping the charges against him and arranging for me to meet up with him again, so every time i got abused after that i didn't say anything (f*** this is bloody painful to write down but that's how it is) otherwise they would send me straight back to those bastards (am i allow to use this word?)
i was covertly emotionally and sexually incested by my mother but did not understand what it was until i read a book about this topic a few years ago


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#2960 - 08/17/04 03:15 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
bec Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/02
Posts: 187
Loc: chicagoland area
dear Ken:

in my case i was emotionally incested by my mother for 30 years. i told noone because i did not know that anything wrong/harmful was taking place. i was so enmeshed/lost within her i had no idea that i was being severely wounded by her and the sick relationship that existed between us. i am 41 now and so far have no memories of any physical incest by her. this is my story. i hope it helps. sincerely,


bec


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#2961 - 08/18/04 01:41 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
JeffLRich Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 8
Loc: NJ
I didn't tell because I didn't realize there was anything to tell.

I first started having sex with my brothers when I was about 3 so that by the time my father first molested me at the age of 5 it was nothing out of the ordinary, it was just what happened in that house. The sex with my brothers was constant where as the molestation by my father was sporadic but all lasted until I was about 17. It was just a way of life and so ingrained into my psyche that it was "normal".

I now realize that my father had molested my brothers which taught them what sex was (our "acts" went way beyond just childish experimentations), so I don't feel victimized by them since they were just as much victims as I was, we were all just "acting out" from what we had been taught. But the prevailing air of sex in that house (father molesting daughters and sons; brothers having sex with brothers; sisters having sex with brothers; brothers having sex with male friends) certainly had made for an extremely askew vision of the world.

So when I was younger 3-12 I didn't tell because I didn't realize that it was abnormal (it wasn't discussed among us, there was an understanding of secrecy). And when I was older 14-17 I didn't tell because I was a burgeoning homosexual and to be honest with myself even though I then realized that it was abnormal it also felt good and by that time I was so far removed emotionally from the family that it no longer felt like having sex with my brothers or my father but just having sex, which is exactly what a teenage boy whats to do all the time.

I finally started dealing with the effects of the abuse when I was about 25 or 26 (I'm now 39) by going into therapy but by that time my father had already passed (when I was 21). In my early 30's some of us started talking about what had happened in that house (I'm the youngest of 8 children and it now looks like my father got to at least 6 of us as well as some of the grandchildren) and that disclosure has helped but I still choose to be emotionally separated from them, it's just easier for me even though I realize that it's just avoidance of the memories.

As for our mother, there was also an unspoken understanding that we would never tell her because I'm sure we thought "why cause her any more pain". She had her hands full with 8 children and an alcoholic husband.

It was all about a cultivation of secrecy and silence that began at such an early age that when viewed from within that bubble didn't seem like anything worth telling - it was just the way things were.

_________________________
"It's when you cry just a little but you laugh in the middle that you know you've made it." Jason Mraz

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#2962 - 08/18/04 02:05 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
phoster Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
you know it never even crossed my mind to tell. Mat made it seem like a game, and like everyone did it. i thought it was fun, and it felt good, so it never even crossed my mind to tell.

after going back there using memory regression, i have gained a little insight into my mind as a child. i didnt think in terms like i do now. it seems logical we should have known something was wrong with what was happening, and i beat myself up for it for many years. going back to when i was five, my mind just didnt work that way. it never occured to me when he said we had to keep it a secrete that it was wrong. he explained that it was a game older kids played, and that if adults found out that he had showed me, he would get in trouble. that was good enough for me. it felt like he was being honest, and like i made the choice to do it, instead of like being forced into it. that dumped all the blame in my lap for years. it wasnt until therapy that i began seeing i didnt have the knowledge to make that choice, and what he did was steering me into it. i carried a lot of guilt over that, but was finally able to let go.

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#2963 - 08/18/04 02:35 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
David1010 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 46
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
What kept me from telling was fear, shame, not knowing what was going on, etc. But most important, WHO to tell? One of my perps was my own father, the one that is supposed to protect me!


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#2964 - 08/21/04 10:22 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
honest_lion Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/19/04
Posts: 16
Loc: Dallas, Tx
Hi Ken,
What a great question. My therapist did not even go there, yet.
When I was four my father almost killed my brother in rage for being 45 minutes late in bringing home his clothes from nearby Laundomat. He actually went to the kitchen, brought the big knife, put white clothes around his head. It took place in a foreign country. All these were legal & moral.
I was seven, when I was molested by a temporary school teacher. Good thing is that it only happened twice. He left the school. I did not have to face him every day any more.
I am not sure I kept quiet for just one reason.
Fear of death by my father so that he does not have to look at the sorry face everyday, fear of hurting family image (which is enormously important over there), and possibly fear of loosing my own face. I knew I never took the time to analyze what to do next. I instantly, knew keeping quiet was the right thing to do. I still believe that, just because of one big reason, that is, that's what I ended up doing. Now what would have happened if I was molested a lot more, and or tormented by his sight for a long time I don't know, and I don't want to know.
During my divorce process, I had to go to a shrink. I was around Forty that time. I finally told him what happened. It was very tough. He told me it was not my fault. And that was it. I thought the Saga was over. Of course I know different now. I became a alcoholic. On the process of recovery I had to go through all traumatic experiences in my my. I had a very tough time expressing that part of life in detail. That's when I knew I have to somehow totally open up, if I wanted to live. I am doing this just for one reason. My Own Recovery. That's why I am here. I have no intention to add more to my recovery process by trying to get even with anyone. I need all the energy I can gather for my recovery.
-honest_lion


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#2965 - 08/24/04 02:17 AM Re: What kept you from telling?
Kenn Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/10/04
Posts: 146
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I didn't tell anyone because I could not reconcile the revulsion I felt, for what had happened, with the underlying knowledge that I was gay - something which, in my very limited worldview at the time, seemed to be everything except loving, heterosexual sex.

Now, with the benefit - and occasional curse - of hindsight, I see the abuse as THE formational event in my development. From it, and the lies which spun from it, came an inability to be honest with myself and a lack of interest and inability in forming a true relationship with anyone - leaving me with the unfulfilling years of sex for sex's sake.

Just coming to that realisation is empowering in itself!

_________________________
"This above all; to thine own self be true."

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

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#2966 - 08/24/04 04:01 AM Re: What kept you from telling?
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
Ken,

1) The worst thing you could call someone in '58 was 'queer' or 'fag'. I got an erection, I liked getting oral sex, it was implied that because of those things I was complicit. I believed it for way too many years.
2) He was my older sister's boyfriend, a trusted friend of the family, I didn't think anyone would believe me.
3) My dad was gone a lot, my mom was an alcoholic, especially when dad was away. I liked the attention of an older guy, any attention I guess, I thought it was all my fault.
4) I always thought that I was a disappointment to my father, that I was never good enough. I can't remember a time that I didn't feel that way. Telling him about it would just reinforce his disappointment in my 11-13 YO mind.
5) I realize now (at almost 57) that I was curious about boys and girls but mostly boys even when I was younger (6-9 YO) than when the abuse happened (11-13).
6) One of my best friends at the time was engaging in anal sex with another boy the same age as us. It reinforced my view that this happened to everyone and no one ever, ever talked about it.

So I didn't say anything to anyone for 38 years. Only after my wife died a year and a half ago and after some horrendous health issues of my own have I decided that life is too short to live two lives any more. I am more gay than straight, I don't believe it is either one or the other but subtle shades of grey. I like myself more now than I ever have before in my life.

I hope this helps some other survivor deal with some of those 'why' questions.

Steve

_________________________
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

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#2967 - 08/25/04 07:34 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
Little Red Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/25/01
Posts: 15
Loc: White Plains
Ken,

I think you have posts from all here that cover what everyone went thru and thought. Mine was many different issues - ashamed, not wanting anyone to know and he clearly stated that if I said anything who would believe me I'm a kid. He was the Great Teacher that everyone loved and respected. I also knew that my parents would never listen to me. When I finally did tell my mom, she listened but didn't do anything and then later told me that she thought I was making it up. As I think MIKENY wrote - he was the adult, I was raised to do and respect my elders without saying a word. It is a stupid thing but that was how I was raised listen to your teachers and elders. He also told me that I would be made fun of when the other kids knew what happened to me. I was stupid to listen to him on that since I knew that he was abusing 16 other kids from my school at the same time. None of us felt comfortable at all to talk to each other about it or our parents.


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