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#350406 - 01/11/11 07:48 PM Protecting the perpetrator
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 945
Loc: southern California
A quote from another web site referencing Mike Lew's Victims No Longer:
"Help the client not yield to the inclination to protect or take care of the perpetrator. Even if the client cares deeply for their abuser. The perpetrator is not in need of protection."

I just discovered today that this is a symptom. It is quite a realization because it is the primary roadblock in my path to healing. Has anyone read Lew's book and can share some insight? Has anyone else experienced and/or worked your way through this tendency to protect your abuser?



Edited by WriterKeith (01/11/11 08:44 PM)
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#350409 - 01/11/11 08:09 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: WriterKeith]
weharry1959 Offline


Registered: 11/13/10
Posts: 70
Loc: N/W Pennsylvania, USA
Writer - I have been having a crummy day and for that matter a while. For this subject has been a conflict for me. My previous employment was that I worked with high maintenance/high risk developmentally delayed individuals. I built such a good name and program that my boss told me that I was going to start a new program working with Sex Offenders. I quickly begged off, and after a month of arguments he asked me why I was so adamant. My first step into self disclosure that I was a victim of sexual abuse. Thinking that he have understanding, he stated that I was the perfect person, because I wouldn't let them get away with anything. I was pretty emotional and felt the shame of telling my boss this. so, I started a program for community based M.R. Sex Offenders and for 12 months I attended a long weekend program with academics, attorneys, state officials, therapists, counselors, probation officers on how to develop and work with this population. I've learned that before the perp gets caught the first time, they, on average, have 83 victims and were often victims themselves.
I had a counseling session this AM and I am sooo frustrated. one side of me wants to take a golf club and hit their nuts so hard they get lodged in their throats and the other side of me wants to understand that these perps are acting out their experience in attempting to gain control of the abuse in their own lives.
I also have been working on my walk towards forgiveness. For me it is important in my walk. I'm just feel so angry and hurt and frustrated and stupid. Why do I try to be compassionate and understand and yet, such a rage in me. My counselor says that this a part of the process for me. I've always been a controlled person. Always the diplomat and peace keeper and learning to express my anger is something new and scary. I just feel so befuddled! Bill

_________________________
Forgiving does not always mean everything goes back to the way it was. There are still natural consequences for what was done.

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#350413 - 01/11/11 08:22 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: WriterKeith]
tommyb Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 361
Loc: American South
__________


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#350416 - 01/11/11 08:50 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: weharry1959]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 945
Loc: southern California
"Befuddled" Bill? You have more self-discipline than I. Your profession gives you a unique POV on these issues.

Perps average 83 victims before they're caught? Wow...that is mind boggling.

_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#350465 - 01/12/11 10:28 AM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: WriterKeith]
RecoveryReady1 Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 433
Writer-This does seem to be the problem and I see it in my new group for cas.
I see these people as so important and powerful and I dont step up with my own thoughts and feelings about the abuse.
Or I see them as weak and needing protection.
Either way I stay in this state of catering to people who are abusive even in my life today...I seem to seek them out and then feel hurt overwhelmed and rejected.
It became clear when I saw others in the group make their abusers and the ones who should have been protecting them seem so powerful and important....almost seemed delusional when I was listening to them....then I see that's what I'm doing.


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#350473 - 01/12/11 11:26 AM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: RecoveryReady1]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 945
Loc: southern California
RR1, you hit it on the head. It was so very obvious and yet it hit me like a bolt out of the blue. The only time I have seen my father in the past 5 years was when he fabricated a story and attempted to get a restraining order against me...and I'm worrying myself about his daily welfare, his doctor appointments and medication, and whether his house is clean for him? I needed a knock upside the head...which is exactly what I got when I read about the symptom of victims protecting their perpetrators. I spared my father public embarrassment for molesting and torturing my sister and I, which is more than any son is required to do.

btw.. welcome to the site. Glad you're here. You're a great addition to the team. -Keith



Edited by WriterKeith (01/12/11 11:26 AM)
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#350490 - 01/12/11 01:57 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: WriterKeith]
1227ms Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/01/10
Posts: 98
Loc: PA
An average of 83! That means 82 besides me! Ouch! I am with you on swinging the golf club! I guess that is me starting to allow myself to feel anger! I guess that is actually good at this point. I don't feel any sympathy or need to protect my perp. My perp was a stranger. I can understand how people could feel differently about someone they are, or were close to.

Matt

_________________________
“Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud.”
Hermann Hesse

Hope Springs alumnus 2011

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#350501 - 01/12/11 03:50 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: 1227ms]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 945
Loc: southern California
Hi, Matt,
I've been reading up on the issue of forgiveness. From what I've read this week from CSA specialists on the Internet, forgiving the perp is not recommended for everyone, and contrary to popular belief, is not essential to healing. Who knew?

As it turns out, we are all unique individuals requiring unique combinations for working through our recovery. Because there are so many of us, therapists and researchers have no choice but to study us in grids and categories. This results in generalizations and blanket beliefs like, "The only way to heal is to forgive." Turns out many specialists disagree with that as a cure-all for everyone.

So, Matt, it turns out you know what you're talking about!

Keith

_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#350600 - 01/13/11 09:38 AM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: weharry1959]
brokenleg Offline


Registered: 01/05/10
Posts: 65
Originally Posted By: weharry1959
I've learned that before the perp gets caught the first time, they, on average, have 83 victims and were often victims themselves.

83. That's more than I thought. Unfortunately they are deriving like mushrooms.
Tigger
I was 6 when the sexual abuse had began, 9 when it was over.
I remembered I had felt sorry when they had left the city that time. I thought being alone was worse than the abuse. Now I am glad that they had left.
Protecting them was the last thing I wanna do.


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#350628 - 01/13/11 12:51 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: WriterKeith]
RecoveryReady1 Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 433
Cheers Writer
It is good to be here...glad I found this incredible support.
RR


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#350629 - 01/13/11 12:56 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: RecoveryReady1]
RecoveryReady1 Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 433
Writer- cant help but to think about the ways we protect the abuser...thank you for saying that, it's really helpful.
It's like the abuse causes this reverse thing where I felt guilty for not protecting them....crazy!


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#350633 - 01/13/11 01:36 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: RecoveryReady1]
traillius Offline


Registered: 04/21/10
Posts: 260
I didn't protect my abusers. However, due to my own circumstances apart from them, ( wife and son issues ) I took no legal or physical action. I did inform them that it would be in their 'best interest' to avoid me.


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#350636 - 01/13/11 02:16 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: traillius]
sono Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/09
Posts: 1069
Hey Guys,

Protecting the abuser...classic Stockholm Syndrom. Very common. I protected mine at the time..certainly not now! Yes, golf clubs and much worse lol. BTW, I confronted my abuser last year...no gold clubs, but I certainly wasn't interested in protecting him.

Bill, just because someone was abused is no reason to have an ounce of compassion for them IMHO. Rehabilitate if that's possible, I guess...but compassion? no friggin' way.

Forgiveness is absolutely not necessary for recovery in most people's eyes. Things like recovery programs and often this website are dominated by Christian themes like forgiveness. If you've got a religious reason that's one thing, but most clinicians have moved beyond that. A survivor has real issues to deal with, and forgiving someone really isn't gonna help PTSD and all the rest very much. I know it can work wonders for some, I just really don't like it being presented as a requirement or a cure.

all the best,

Kevin

_________________________
the family
the perp

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#350670 - 01/13/11 09:04 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: sono]
Neverquit Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/26/10
Posts: 147
Loc: Ohio
Oprah presented 2 definitions of forgiveness which I like. Accepting the past cannot be any different and no longer allowing the abuser to hold any reigns to our life. Boths these are non religious. To me, forgiveness means handing over my mothers punishment and karma to a higher power and no longer being angry - just complete invalidate her existance and everything shes done to me in my new view of reality.

I feel like most people define foregiveness as excusing what the abuser did... atleast thats how I used to define forgiveness and why I rejected it so passionately.

~Grant

_________________________
There is always hope

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#350703 - 01/14/11 08:42 AM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: Neverquit]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Quote:
I've learned that before the perp gets caught the first time, they, on average, have 83 victims and were often victims themselves.


This is not accurate. The figure of 83 likely came from research done over 25 years ago on a skewed population (convicted sex offenders) and has not been replicated even closely in other studies.

The latter satement that these men "were often victims themselves" helps perpetuate the myth that victims go on to become offenders.

When you get these "facts" or statistics, it is generally a good idea to check out where the figures come from. Often, misleading or erroneous statements get replicated like mushrooms in a forest after a rain. They get cut and pasted without anyone checking out their truthfullness.


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#350724 - 01/14/11 12:52 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: tommyb]
risingagain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 595
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
wow those are dark stats

tommy,
i too was abused by my parents
my therapist said something that i found helpful to understand my little boy
she said that parental abuse puts the child in a horrible double bind
when a child is hurt, the instinct is to run to their parents for protection
but when the parent you run to is destroying you
....

it's so heartbreaking. my heart goes out to you man.

ra


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#350725 - 01/14/11 12:58 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: risingagain]
risingagain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 595
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
just read that that stat may not be accurate.

ken can you give us another stat that better reflects recent research?-- how many victims does the average perp have before caught


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#350730 - 01/14/11 01:29 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: risingagain]
RecoveryReady1 Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 433
That is a very destructive experience when you are abused by your own parents....This is true for me as well...The difficulty in trying to figure out what's going on..why it's happening.....must be my fault...and of coures the need to survive, so one cannot even think it could be the parents fault.....and then the monumental task of coming to the reality about what happened....and the acceptance of that...means turning everything I know on it's head and trusting that some other way ....Seems so strange to actually stand up for the child, just for the sake of standing up for the child ...not for anyone else's sake or for some higher good, but just because it feels right


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#350733 - 01/14/11 01:35 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: risingagain]
RecoveryReady1 Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 433
Anyway ....meant to say ...that is so true about being caught in that double bind you describe...It takes so few words to describe that situation...but it is so destructive...I feel the pain of that ....it was really bad.


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#350734 - 01/14/11 01:40 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: RecoveryReady1]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 945
Loc: southern California
Risingagain and RecoveryReady1, for me, your comments bring up some profound points. Thanks for adding to the conversation. A light bulb switched "on" for me.

_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#350736 - 01/14/11 01:53 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: RecoveryReady1]
RecoveryReady1 Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 433
I must say that having this support to communicate is so helpful. For a long time I could think of standing up for the child...not caving in to situations where I feel used or rejected...but I could not sustain the stength on my own...I would very soon fall back to thinking it was my fault and that I should be making more of an effort to help people who abusive or cold to me....Now I get a sense that it's real, I don't have to fall back, I can maintain this self validation....The problem before was each time I would fall back it was another reminder that I not worth looking after....It's a bad cycle down...This is a good cycle forward...


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#350767 - 01/14/11 06:28 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: WriterKeith]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: WriterKeith
.. through this tendency to protect your abuser?


when it only involved me, yes. however, that clearly reflected a very low self esteem in the first place. i'd intended to just take the secret to the grave and suffer the consequences.

when it involved others, as was the case with my sister, no. immediately told and there were no longer any issues or guilt when everything centered upon helping her. (screw my needs, different topic.)


_________________________
Jeff

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#353892 - 02/16/11 10:45 PM Re: Protecting the perpetrator [Re: RecoveryReady1]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 945
Loc: southern California
I came back to say that Mike Lew's book, "Victims No Longer" has been helpful in answering my original question on this post. I needed to know the "why" of some of the events and reactions, and the book certainly helped me clear the table and hit balls in the corner pockets.

Rack 'em up, I'm ready for a new game!

_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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