Newest Members
susanhepp, Breathe, georgetwo, frozen45, lilac
12291 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
Guillermo (37), illbedat (26), Mike58 (56), Mnovit (38), Mongo (24), pwdasw (64), Raymond Sean (38), yesac76 (38)
Who's Online
4 registered (randombreeze, tbkkfile, Cthulhu, 1 invisible), 27 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12291 Members
73 Forums
63228 Topics
442144 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#306619 - 10/15/09 07:22 PM Help on support
DrBob Offline


Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 11
Hello,

Brief History. Your input is deeply appreciated as I realize it is very difficult for many speak of.

I have a 13 YO stepson. My wife and I believe he was molested by his father. He is in therapy. His sister was, and she disclosed in therapy. My stepdaughter (18) no longer sees her father. My stepson exhibits all the symptoms, feelings, and behaviors. He's even gone as far as saying something very bad happened in the past but he says he just doesn't know what it is.

As a father figure, what is your advice as survivors on how I can best support him? Is there a way to comfort him and let him know he's loved, and OK, while he sorts things out? He is in therapy but has not disclosed. Thank you...


Top
#307081 - 10/19/09 07:48 AM Re: Help on support [Re: DrBob]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Hi DrBob-
Glad you found your way here- while the most active participants in the "Friends & Family" forum tend to be wives/girlfriends of adult male survivors, certainly parents post here too, and it's always great to see a stepfather who cares enough to come here for info and support. A few questions came up after reading your post- Does your stepson still have contact or visitation with his father? How long has he been living with you? Has he been in therapy for a while, or did he just start? Knowing those things would help me give you a better answer. That aside, i would say that at his age, i'm sure his hormones are getting pretty active, and if he was sexually abused, there could be a great deal more of inner shame and confusion accompanying the normal physical and emotional changes of puberty. The most important thing you can do in my mind is to reinforce the message that you love him, and will always respect his boundaries; if he seems to become anxious around certain topics or environments, or stiffens when given a hug, for instance, just gently let it go for the moment while making it clear that whether he needs to talk, or needs some time to himself, that it's OK, he's not doing anything wrong (as long as he's not hurting himself or others), and you love him no matter what. As long as he sees you as someone he loves and trusts, he will let you know in ways that might be sometimes very shy and subtle, other times much more obvious, when he needs you to be there for him. Often boys will find talking to a father figure much easier after a certain amount of time playing a game or other physical activity... could be ping-pong, could be blasting away at aliens on an Xbox. I've been on both sides of that coin myself, it certainly held true both as a boy and as a father figure.
Without knowing more, that's all i can come up with for the moment- i hope it helps!

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

Top
#307085 - 10/19/09 09:00 AM Re: Help on support [Re: DrBob]
Geeders Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 1901
Loc: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Morning Doc:

First welcome to MS.

As an old child welfare worker myself a number of issues come to my mind. At 13, your stepson may already be aware that if in fact he discloses abuse, a major shit storm will errupt in his life. Child protection people, police, courts etc. all have a role to play. Dgoods question about visitation rights now is a good one. Is he still visiting his bio-dad? If he is, I doubt you will see a disclosure while this is going on. If visitation is an option for your step-son to not exercise, maybe encourage him to do that so as to enhance his feelings of safety.

Can you say anything about what happened with the sister's disclosure? I mean, did what she say require the police to become involved? Were charges laid? etc. Given the different maturity levels between the kids, while the sister may have felt strong, and mature enough to go up against her Dad, the son may not.

I know its tough to just sit on your hands when all the alarm bells are going off. You want to do everything and anything to make sure your step-son is safe. But if you lead him, meaning suggest anything specific, it may down the road blow up in your face, the legal matter could be derailed, and your step-son could find himself in a quagmire, with no one able to protect him.

If something is there, your step-son will disclose it when he feels safe, and ready. Until then, just keep close watch on him, and look for opportunities during which he might be encouraged to disclose. Maybe tell him that we have a teen forum here where guys of similar age are dealing with abuse issue? I dunno. That one is up to you for sure. But, just be there for him. He'll thank you later on.

Jim

_________________________
My name is Jim
WoR Mysthaven 2008, Level 2 WoR Alta 2009, Kirkridge 2010, 2011, Oprah 200 men

Top
#307090 - 10/19/09 10:39 AM Re: Help on support [Re: DrBob]
DJsport Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Originally Posted By: DrBob


Is there a way to comfort him and let him know he's loved, and OK, while he sorts things out? He is in therapy but has not disclosed. Thank you...



Hi, DrBob.

First I want to say - Thanks for being so supportive of your step-son. As a survivor of a csa and an adult child of divorced parents (I have a step-dad), who is not nice - it is wonderful to hear you are so supportive by asking for help. I feel honored.

Jim and Dgoods are asking great questions so we can continue to be a support to you.

I would say you are helping him now by being here. He is in therapy which is great. Stay in touch with the therapist. He needs to know the therapist is their for him and not for you and this will be tricky. You as a male will be the biggest support in my opinion and will be next to his mom a great way for him to continue to have the trust he needs to grow.

Also be loving and caring as you now and do NOT waiver or treat him any differently. I would resist any efforts to get justice yourself. As a father myself I would try to get any information I can from the father about the care he is giving his son. Although be careful the feelings around this are very volatile and any efforts may damage further investigations. For me this would be very hard and I would get help professionally for myself. Maybe your doing this.

Welcome to MS.

Peace,
DJ



Edited by DJsport (10/19/09 11:01 AM)
_________________________
Live to your fullest potential

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

Top
#307205 - 10/19/09 11:01 PM Re: Help on support [Re: DJsport]
DrBob Offline


Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 11
Thank you guys, I appreciate all your input and certainly welcome more. He is still seeing his bio father whom we suspect is/was the perpetrator. We are trying to keep him from overnight stays for safety reasons. His sister disclosed a few years ago while in therapy. My wife suspected something was going on coupled with behavior patterns. The police were never involved as the disclosure was after the fact and there was no "physical evidence." She was never placed in the middle of the system for fear of greater trauma. She was counseled and is doing well now.

Her brother's behavior and history is almost classic, if there is any such thing. He was diagnosed with PTSD by 2 professionals, an MD and a PhD. Over the weekend, he heard a verbal trigger. He immediately reacted by rocking, hiding his face, and curling up.

He currently goes to a counselor who IMO may not be the right person for him. He does see a psychiatrist as well. She is very good but doesn't see him as often as the counselor. Do you guys think it would be beneficial to try to get him to a counselor who specializes in csa? Do you think it would be better for his mother and I to go to the counselor instead? I am having some difficulty locating somebody who works with kids in this area.

I am confident he experienced csa, especially given he fact his father did to his sister. I would like to help as much as I can. This is a new a difficult area for me so your input really really helps me understand better.

I need to be there and be the "rock" for my wife as well so she has somebody to lean on and take care of her emotional needs. I seek and welcome advice in this area too. A most sincere thank you to all of you.



Edited by DrBob (10/19/09 11:10 PM)

Top
#307272 - 10/20/09 09:19 AM Re: Help on support [Re: DrBob]
Geeders Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 1901
Loc: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Morning again Doc:

There are a number of issues in your last post that are causing me some concern.

First, you say the sister disclosed a number of years ago, in therapy. Given your previous statement of her being 18 now, I have to assume that she was a minor then at the time fo the disclosure. Yes? And that due to it being a disclosure of an historical abuse, and a lack of "physical evidence", no formal report was ever given to the police. Yes? What about your local child protection agency? In many jurisdictions, there are mandatory reporting rules for child abuse. I find it troubling that the therapist involved at that time made no report. While I appreciate that a decision to not place her in "the middle of the system for fear of greater trauma" was made, this decision (1) may not have been within the jurisdiction of the therapist, or even the parents to make,it (2) may also have inadvertantly placed the boy then in the middle of the target due to the sisters removal from the picture.

Additionally, with the boy having continued visits, its unlikely he feels safe at all. Its therefore unlikely he is ever going to disclose until such time as the visits are stopped. Even with his counsellor, and psychiatrist trying to help, if the boy is continually being triggered by having visits with his father, he is likely being re-traumatized every time he goes with the result being the reaction you saw on the weekend.

Doc, I STRONGLY urge you to contact your local child welfare agency immediately and report to them what you have said here. Seek their guidance, and above all, allow them to do their jobs. You do not having to have a smoking gun in order for them to do this. The fact that you already have a disclosure of abuse from the older sister may be all you need. You do not need to wait to make this call. You do not need to wait for the boy to disclose. Yes, indeed there could be a fair amount of difficulty following that call, but you are trying to protect a child, a boy of 13. If you are correct about the boy having experienced CSA, they will most likely be able to point you in the right direction to get him the help he deserves.


Please Doc, make that call. And keep us posted.

Jim

_________________________
My name is Jim
WoR Mysthaven 2008, Level 2 WoR Alta 2009, Kirkridge 2010, 2011, Oprah 200 men

Top
#307275 - 10/20/09 09:51 AM Re: Help on support [Re: Geeders]
sono Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/09
Posts: 1069
HI Dr. Bob,

Welcome to MS and what a lucky young man and young women these two individuals are to have you as their stepfather in spite of other misfortunes they have suffered.

I only want to say, listen to Jim, aka Geeders...he knows what he's talking about on every level here. He has the experience and knowledge from all sides of the fence on these issues. You can trust his council in that he is no new comer to this and knows how best to effectively deal with it, both as a former victim and a professional in the realm of child services as well as being a father.

Good luck and strength to you and your family.

Sono

_________________________
the family
the perp

Top
#307308 - 10/20/09 01:54 PM Re: Help on support [Re: sono]
DrBob Offline


Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 11
Gentlemen,

My stepdaughter's therapist did make the report a few years back to DCF when she disclosed. There was an investigation however it went no where legally. My wife filed for divorce and got sole custody with no parenting time between my stepdaughter's father and her. She is now 18 and still does not, nor does not wish to see her bio father [perp]. The court system did not protect her brother. All in all, from a court standpoint, there was never any proof and all lawyers and therapist involved thought it would be too traumatic to put the child on the stand to testify against her father.

When I say there was no police involvement, etc. there was never an arrest made, nor was she put on the witness stand. The DCF investigation was inconclusive. She did have medical exams which demonstrated a ruptured hymen. It was just the way the system worked...

Regarding my stepson, his school counselor recognized the signs/symptoms, spoke to my wife, and did report it to DCF. They did nothing since he did not disclose anything. This was about 1 1/2 - 2 years ago. The father now wants overnight stays with my stepson. We are now fighting it again in court for his protection. Our court date is coming up.

Please keep the suggestions coming so I may support the kid and my wife the best that I can. As always, thank you.


Top
#307310 - 10/20/09 02:21 PM Re: Help on support [Re: DrBob]
DJsport Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Hi, DrBob.

How are you feeling about the dad and your role as the Step-dad? I am so thrilled you are there fulling the role as a step-dad.

I have my own story which I will not go into - outside of being a survivor....

As a survivor, I want to know if you are getting your needs met? I know you want to support your step-son and your wife but dont forget yourself. If I was the step-dad and this kid was being ... I would be so furious and would need to talk it through.

I am sure your step-son is so confused about his loyality and to whom to show his love for.

****** I struggle with thinking/feeling like I am being heard and understood ***** And a lot of this came from NO ONE asking ME (in the case your step-son) how I felt or what was going on from day to day. I was ignored.

This maybe me to just stouting off and Geeders just tell me to back off if I am not being helpful - but I am letting you know some of my thoughts as a survivor.

Good Luck,

Peace,
DJ

_________________________
Live to your fullest potential

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

Top
#307329 - 10/20/09 04:37 PM Re: Help on support [Re: DrBob]
Geeders Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 1901
Loc: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Doc:

I am so sorry that the system has utterly failed you and your family. So sorry. cry

I think the best you can do now is just hang in there, and continue to do what you feel is right for your step-son. And, at the same time, as DJ has suggested, take care of yourself in the process. You are his greatest advocate, and if you fall, who will be there for your step-son.

In looking back at your other posts, you may ultimately be on the right track concerning a T that is able to focus on CSA issues. But in so doing, I would advise you again that if there is any suggestion that the idea of sexual abuse is brought up by anyone apart from your step-son, the legal system will once again fail you, your step-son, his sister, and his mother, and protect the rights of the bio-dad, even if he is a perpetrator.

Take Care of yourself, and all in your household. Keep us posted.

Jim

_________________________
My name is Jim
WoR Mysthaven 2008, Level 2 WoR Alta 2009, Kirkridge 2010, 2011, Oprah 200 men

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, peroperic2009 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.