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#355346 - 03/02/11 01:15 PM Secrets - Silence - and Fear
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 329
A little rant today.

I was just reading another thread by NM and it reminds me of a conversation I just had with my husband two days ago. These are my opinions…and they are kind of fierce. You don’t have to like them but – as H does - you do need to respect my right to have them.

I did not ask to be put in the position I am in. I am a very open and extroverted person so secrets are not my norm. I am not afraid of what people think of me.

When my husband allowed his abuser to effect my life, and the lives of our children – it no longer became just his story. It became our story. Period. I was CRYSTAL CLEAR with my husband – prior to our marriage – about anything that I could think of that may affect our marriage. I did not go into it harboring secrets. He did. The reason he did that was because he had NO VOCABULARY to disclose because NO ONE TALKS ABOUT SA with regards to men. It’s all a big secret that everyone knows about but no one wants to talk about…..

Well, I own my story and I will not be a party to the web of destruction that this abuse creates. Secrets only perpetuate abuse. Secrets, fear and silence allows abusers to continue to rot people’s lives. Period. Example: Why do we never use the names of the abusers? We don’t even use our own names so it cannot be because we are afraid of liability. So then, why?

I am not the perpetrator. I will not sulk around hiding his secret as if I am somehow a party to his actions. I did not cause my husband’s abuse, I was not in a position to prevent it, and I cannot take away what has been done to him.

I will not (and he should not) carry the shame that only belongs on the shoulders of the abuser. I am not embarrassed by what has happened to him and I don’t think he should be either. His perp ought to be embarrassed, not us. His perp should feel isolated and alone (and I hope he does), not us. If anyone should live in FEAR of what people think of them it’s the perp. If anyone should shut up and try to propagate SILENCE it’s the perp.

In my opinion……Secrets, silence and fear should be perp behavior…..not victim.

BUT … When I speak about abuse, in most cases, I tend to speak in generalities, for my H’s comfort. I need to respect his level of comfort – and I do. My comfort level is WAY beyond his and I understand that.

So – When it comes up, or I bring it up, I say things like ‘A friend of mine was abused and ….’ Or ‘Someone I knew was abused as a child and….’ Or ‘An old neighbor of mine had a son who..…” Or ‘ In my experience, with people I’ve known…..” – etc.

Very often you can have meaningful, helpful, healing, conversations and not actually disclose who you are talking about.

As SOs we NEED to have these conversations sometimes, but, it can be a slippery slope to express what we need to express and maintain the comfort level he needs. Honestly though– most of my best conversations happened here on this site. Most of the in-person friend/family conversations don’t get nearly as in depth. On the flip side though – this web site doesn’t give you the simple hug that can be much needed.




Edited by sugarbaby (03/02/11 01:16 PM)

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#355369 - 03/02/11 03:14 PM Re: Secrets - Silence - and Fear [Re: sugarbaby]
Shawushka Offline


Registered: 01/05/11
Posts: 128
Loc: VA
Quote:
I will not (and he should not) carry the shame that only belongs on the shoulders of the abuser. I am not embarrassed by what has happened to him and I don’t think he should be either. His perp ought to be embarrassed, not us. His perp should feel isolated and alone (and I hope he does), not us. If anyone should live in FEAR of what people think of them it’s the perp. If anyone should shut up and try to propagate SILENCE it’s the perp.


I couldn't agree more.
Sadly, people have far too many prejudices. Whenever I address the subject people seem to feel sorry for abused girls but for abused boys, they tend to think those will become perpetrators.
This is far more complicated than it looks like. There are few people who think that mothers can be perps, too.


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#355705 - 03/06/11 09:50 AM Re: Secrets - Silence - and Fear [Re: sugarbaby]
pixystick Offline
New Here

Registered: 04/11/08
Posts: 19
Loc: east coast
Sugar
You took the words right out of my mouth. Thanks for saying it. It validates how the S.O. (spouses)can feel.


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#355730 - 03/06/11 03:15 PM Re: Secrets - Silence - and Fear [Re: pixystick]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio
WOW! Excellent post... We should all be so lucky to have a sensitive, sincere and respectful partner, as you are, as an ally in our own healing.

_________________________
"It's never too late to be what you might have been."

George Elliot

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life."

Virginia Woolf

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#355731 - 03/06/11 03:48 PM Re: Secrets - Silence - and Fear [Re: 1.healing]
RecoveryReady1 Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 433

My daughter was raped and I gotta tell you....that my comfort level in talking about her rape is way more than hers....but I respect where she's at I only wish she could see it the way I see it....I don't rush out and tell everyone the way I used to....but I just want her to hurry up and get on with it...so I know exactly what you mean.


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#355784 - 03/07/11 09:11 AM Re: Secrets - Silence - and Fear [Re: RecoveryReady1]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
I mentioned to some acquaintances I politick with, that I had a male friend who was sexually abused as a child, and was disappointed with their reactions.

Out of the three, two women had sympathy, but one of these believed victims were likely to become perpetrators. The last of the three, she had ZERO compassion or sympathy, saying they should, "Get over it." I tried to explain my experience with him, and the other things my involvement had revealed to me about it's effects on him, but she had no patience or interest. I suggested she - they - come here, and read how the men describe it's effects, and she had no interest.

I guess she doesn't believe the mind can be injured. Peculiar.

D.



Edited by Disappointed (03/07/11 09:14 AM)
_________________________
Female.

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#359854 - 04/16/11 08:51 AM Re: Secrets - Silence - and Fear [Re: Disappointed]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 329
I almost accidentally outed my H on Facebook the other day. There was a relevant post and I had a point to make. Mid sentence I caught myself and backspaced over what I wanted to say.

"WOW! Excellent post... We should all be so lucky to have a sensitive, sincere and respectful partner, as you are, as an ally in our own healing."

Thank you but, I didn't start out that way. It's taken 3 years of a lot of trial and errors, kicking and screaming, foot in mouth, gettin yelled a, yelling at others, etc, etc smile

"Out of the three, two women had sympathy..."

As Meatloaf sings: two out of 3 ain't bad.....


At a dinner party a man was talking about his wife'e CSA. I had to catch myself again because my first reaction was to say "My H was abused....he went to therapy....this is what worked, that is what didn't work....."etc.

My H was there and I just shut up and waited to see where he would go with it. He didn't. He was silent and that burns me up in a way but I have to respect his comfort level.

I don't like silence. I want to reach out.

I ended up making a short speech about how silence protects the perps and we as a society need to understand the sheer numbers of people who are abused and support them, men & women. My H understand my point there and that it was not directed at him.

I feel like I walk a tight line sometimes.



Edited by sugarbaby (04/16/11 09:09 AM)

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