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#372710 - 10/18/11 02:07 AM maybe my son is a male survivor
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
Hello everyone,

I'm a member here but haven't posted in some time. I came here originally due to a relationship I was in with a guy who turned out to be a survivor. I learned a lot from that and sometimes felt that perhaps, in a way that none of us can truly understand, I was meant to learn about csa through him because of my son.

My son and I have been estranged for nearly 2 decades and I've never learned why. He cut off all contact about 2 years after moving away to attend college. After that he became very hostile and even aggressive towards me, he even struck me once. It was all quite shocking because as I said, there was never a particular incident that I could point to and say "that was it."

In fact, my son was the kid everyone told me they wanted their kid to be like. I thought we had a great relationship; I urged him to always come to me, to talk about anything and everything. I raised him to believe in himself, to count his blessings, to just be the best he could no matter what. Of course I wasn't the perfect mom, mistakes were certainly made but looking back I've made peace with the fact that whatever must have happened, I did the best I could.

But something must have happened of course, something I don't really know about. I raised him mostly on my own, divorcing his father when our son was only 4. His father was physically abusive towards me, as was my second husband but I divorced him also. I learned to take better care of myself, and domestic violence became part of my history, not my present. I put myself through college and even now am in grad school.

My son has even changed his last name. I recall reading this is common among survivors, or at least not unusual. He has communicated only very rarely and has let me know he has told people that I am dead. I lived in NYC during 9/11 and a year or so afterwards we exchanged emails, briefly, and he said he had looked and hoped I had died in the collapse of the WTC. wow - who thinks that about anyone, let alone their mother?

Then when I was in the relationship with the survivor that brought me to MS, I read the stories on here, especially the ones that some wrote about mothers. Some were abused by them (which isn't my case, of course) but others wrote how they didn't understand how their mothers didn't protect them. I kept thinking, wow, is that what happened? was he a victim and blamed me for not protecting him? or worse, did he think I knew and did nothing??

recently my son has resurfaced and visited my family who live out of state (he had no prior contact with any of us). He told them he wants to reconcile with me and then I received a letter from him. It's in longhand, not typed (he's a computer professional). He said he wants to reconcile but we must only correspond by mail and that I must "respect his boundaries" which to me, again, sounds like a BIG clue as to him being a survivor.

He didn't even address me as "mom" or "mother" he just started writing.

I've yet to respond because quite frankly, I don't know what to say. I feel manipulated and used. He's abandoned me for so many years. I feel his pain and want to help but honestly, I almost think we can't do this alone. That we should have a moderator/therapist in there. Maybe he has one - but how can I mention that? what if he doesn't and takes offense?

I'm fairly certain he is a survivor but how/should I mention this? If he's never told me before, why would he now? as I said, I'd always encouraged him before to tell me everything, but who knows, maybe he was threatened, it could have been for any reason he didn't.

please help. whatever advice you can offer.

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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#372728 - 10/18/11 10:48 AM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: indygal]
Sailor John Offline


Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 307
Loc: Newfoundland & Labrador
I feel very deeply for you. I was abused as a young teenager 42 years ago and have only recently started theraphy.

The fact that he has started to renew his family contacts is a sign that he may be taking his first steps towards admitting to being trautized in some way. He has to be ready to start the threapy himself. Do not push him and just as importantly, you will also have to look after yourself to be able to help him when he is ready.

I would suggest that you communicate with him how he wants as quickly as you are able to get your thoughts together. He probably has a great deal of fear right now dreading that you will not answer his letter. This will hurt immensely.

I had the same fear and shame when I first told my family about my abuse. In fact, I told the first two by E-mail. We are afraid of being hurt again.

_________________________
I will mourn the teenager I never was and strive to make that dot of light way out in the far reaches of the end of the tunnel turn into a bright sun.

WE ARE NOT VICTIMS. WE ARE THE SURVIVORS!!!

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#372770 - 10/18/11 09:46 PM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: Sailor John]
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
thank you Sailor John for your kind words. They mean a great deal.

I want very much to answer but am torn about what to say.

Should I let him know I suspect abuse? or even come out and ask and let him know that if it's true, I'm there to support him? or should I dodge it altogether (at least for now) and speak about nothing at all?

I fear saying too much (he'll bolt) or too little (he'll think I'm being too nonchalant, perhaps even perceive it as uncaring?).

What can I say that can make him feel safe?

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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#372777 - 10/19/11 12:02 AM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: indygal]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6810
Loc: USA
Adopt a posture of great humility. Inform him that you are terribly sorry that things didn't work out better (whatever). Tell him that you're very sorry about his dad, and you're not sure that he was a very good dad anyway, but that you're very sorry about the woundedness he experienced at such a tender age due to the separation and (whatever). Tell him that you will refrain from anger in anything he says. Tell him that you're very sorry you weren't a very good mom, and that you're sorry you weren't there for him at crucial moments when he needed you. Tell him that you're sorry you put your education and career above his psychological well-being. Tell him that you feel brokenness because of his silence.

Puffer (puffing!)


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#372810 - 10/19/11 12:21 PM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: pufferfish]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
Puffer,

I LOVE your suggestions!!!

Love them!

Wish my friend's Mom would say these things to him!

Woman was too busy making money to notice her 6 year old was off the reservation!

D.

_________________________
Female.

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#372853 - 10/19/11 08:33 PM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: pufferfish]
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
Originally Posted By: pufferfish
Adopt a posture of great humility. Inform him that you are terribly sorry that things didn't work out better (whatever). Tell him that you're very sorry about his dad, and you're not sure that he was a very good dad anyway, but that you're very sorry about the woundedness he experienced at such a tender age due to the separation and (whatever). Tell him that you will refrain from anger in anything he says. Tell him that you're very sorry you weren't a very good mom, and that you're sorry you weren't there for him at crucial moments when he needed you. Tell him that you're sorry you put your education and career above his psychological well-being. Tell him that you feel brokenness because of his silence.

Puffer (puffing!)



Puffer, with all due respect could it be you're projecting just a wee bit??

none of what you say - I repeat none - makes any sense (in my case) whatsoever.

let me recap - it's been almost 20 years. I've made peace with my life as it's been without my son, very sad at times, but I've managed. He abandoned me, plain and simple. Whatever happened, whenever it happened, however it happened, there's nothing I can do about it now and cannot nor will not be held responsible when it was he who walked away.

I bent over backwards trying to do good for my son. I was not perfect because no one is but to make such assumptions as you have written is just plain wrong and even can be construed as "blame the mom because it's just easier that way" sort of thinking.

I'm also not going to get into a defensive conversation about this because I have nothing to defend about. In the best of families, children are abused. Under the most watchful eye, a child can be kidnapped. In the most protected environment, bad things can happen. It's just the way the world works.

It is my opinion that my son has blamed me all along for whatever did happen because society simply doesn't demonstrate enough support of single parents - men or women. This is now - and I was a single mom before it became cool - when I spoke of divorcing his father, some of what was said to me was my son would automatically be a juvenile delinquent (he graduated high school with honors).

I made it a point his entire life growing up to sit down on a regular basis and discuss whatever it was that was on his mind. I brought up things in his past that might be bothering him and coaxed him to talk about it. I was one of the most - if not THE most -liberal, progressive-minded parents out there.

As for his father - he kidnapped our son when he was 4. I managed to get him back with the help of an entire squad of law enforcement when my husband pulled a gun on them all. That was a HUGE trauma in and of itself for my son and I did my best to manage the effects over time. During that time, my husband told him I was dead. Did something else happen then I'm not aware of? It took 2 years for my son to tell me that much - maybe more happened - I'm wondering now if it did.

In fact, I'm wondering about a LOT of things - his boy scout troop, or being on the track team, or receiving religous instruction at church (!!) - so many activities that I thought were supposed to be healthy and fulfilling, maybe somewhere in there something got by and I didn't catch it despite having the watchful eye of a hawk!

No, take your ill wind and blow up someone else's pipe. This kind of nonsense that because something happened to him and he walked away it MUST be my fault - sorry it doesn't hold water.

moreover, if anything, humility is NOT what is needed right now but backbreaking, jawgrinding strength - the kind that comes from spiritual awareness and uncompromising principles of knowing the difference in good and evil.

Evil will not win, not if I have anything to say about it. I have been fighting for almost 2 decades to reach him. I will reach him, somehow, I was hoping for suggestions and am believing that others will still come.

if nothing else, your response and the one that followed has reaffirmed my own self-worth and sincere understanding that it is, perhaps that most vicious of emotions: shame he has held inside which has driven him away, and deep inside himself, afraid that I would think less of him somehow, that somehow he has failed. that coupled together with blame and yes, it's a witch's brew of negativity.

for any survivor reading this who has also isolated himself in a similar fashion - shame is your nemisis - it is what needs to be conquered. standing up to shame is to open yourself to healing. don't let shame at what someone w/o conscious, w/o goodness, w/o heart and soul, did to you keep you from regaining your life.






_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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#372861 - 10/19/11 10:55 PM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: Disappointed]
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
.

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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#372876 - 10/20/11 01:45 AM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: indygal]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Hi Indygal (This reply is written in love and support not anger)

I am sorry that you need to be here.

You have done one thing wrong here. You have already made up your mind that your son was abused. You have only suspicions and no proof whatsoever. If you ask him this he might think your are crazy.

It is very difficult for any of us to give an opinion here as you can only tell one side of your story.
There are a few things that are not correct in your reply to puffer. Children that grow up in safe loving nurturing environments, WILL NOT BE ABUSED. There are three things that a child needs growing up.
Nurturing, this is physical as well as mental nurturing, food education etc.
Love, love is hugs kisses and praise.
Safety, a home a bed and a safe place to shelter from any storm, and protection from those wanting to do harm.

If one of these pillars is missing, then things fall apart.

IF you want a solution to your problem, then you would need to have a VERY OPEN MIND. Your son would not stop loving you and wish you were dead for no reason at all.

Perhaps just asking him what it is that you did wrong would be a reasonable start to any future conversation. But if you ask the question, then expect an answer.

Ill tell you were I come from.
My relationship with my mother is similar. I to sometimes wish she were dead. These thoughts rack me with guilt, as a normal person should not feel this way about his mother. I started having flashbacks a while ago, where I see my mother abusing me sexually, (I don't say this is what you are doing, so don't get all angry), But when I try to talk to her about it, she denies it and tells me that I am making it up. Why on gods.....green..... earth, would I want to make up something like this.
So she flat out denies that this happened and the relationship is still in ruins.

Search your heart and see if you neglected your son and omitted one of the three pillars of his life, This thing is going to take a lot of honesty from both of you, and a lot of soul searching.

Respect his wishes, and start an email conversation. He probably feels that this is all he can manage, so respect him and do it his way.
Don't forget that in any confrontation, one has to make sacrifices, and give ground in order to ultimately gain ground.
Start things of lightly, dont rush into the heavy stuff.
Tell him you miss him and would love to resolve the problems in your relationship.
Ask simple questions about his life, his work, his social life, loves hates and so one.
Don't expect to much, but persistence is the key here, DON'T FORCE ANYTHING.
Lure him with love. This man has lived a guilt ridden life, no one should hate his mother.
Now the most important point.
If your son tells you something that you did wrong, it is going to hurt like hell, DON'T GET DEFENSIVE,AND DON'T RETALIATE. if you do, this will be the end of it and he will never see you again. I know, this is what I have done.

I hope that you make headway with your son, I could not imagine having no contact with my daughter, she is my life. so I can imagine that this is painful for you.

AGAIN. this answer is written in love and the hope that you find a way to mend your relationship with your son. From one broken son to another, I hope you manage this.

_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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#372897 - 10/20/11 10:01 AM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: whome]
Castle Offline


Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 724
Loc: NJ
All I read is I,I,I,I, me me me me.

Im sure there is a forum for you to work out your guilt and such, as it seems to me.

And even if YOU made good with your past, maybe HE hasn't.

Who is this about?...In that time when you were in abbusive relationships and thereafter, you did things to work out your issues...Where was your son feelings? how the abussive relationship(s) effected him?

And seemingly from your story, you never did protect him, and maybe he does blame you...but I can see your defensiveness in your writing and that if you bring this attitude into this, you may never get "back' your son, if you even want to.

" I feel manipulated and used. He's abandoned me for so many years."...who's the parent and who's the child? and if he put the boundries that he would like to start by written response and its not the way you want to control it tells me soooooo much...maybe HE needs it his way for a change.

BTW, I've sparred with many here and dont care what you say about me or my thoughts...If your coming here with thoughts be prepared for the tough responses.

Men dont just cut out their MOms for no reason, if you believe that your in a fantasy land.

_________________________

My posts can self destruct at any time..read them while you can.

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#372919 - 10/20/11 03:10 PM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: indygal]
cris40ky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 188
Loc: KY, US
20yrs is a long, long time. I could only guess why he's acted the way he has.

But this is a start. He's reaching out now. The only advice I can give is to honor his step for what it is. He's trying. For whatever reason, this is very hard for him to do. And he may not do it again if he withdraws this time.

Try to meet him where he is.


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#372952 - 10/20/11 09:12 PM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: whome]
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
Originally Posted By: whome
Hi Indygal (This reply is written in love and support not anger)

I am sorry that you need to be here.

You have done one thing wrong here. You have already made up your mind that your son was abused. You have only suspicions and no proof whatsoever. If you ask him this he might think your are crazy.


I appreciate your thoughts and input - and I'm also sorry for your own hurt and pain.

it's unfortunate that you believe what you do - that it is always possible to protect a child - but unfortunately, that simply isn't the case, as stated in my prior post. life simply isn't that easy. It never has been and never will be.

thank you again for your post.

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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#372957 - 10/20/11 09:20 PM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: indygal]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6810
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: indygal
Puffer, with all due respect could it be you're projecting just a wee bit??


Absolutely!!!

Puffer


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#372961 - 10/20/11 09:34 PM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: cris40ky]
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
Originally Posted By: cris40ky
20yrs is a long, long time. I could only guess why he's acted the way he has.

But this is a start. He's reaching out now. The only advice I can give is to honor his step for what it is. He's trying. For whatever reason, this is very hard for him to do. And he may not do it again if he withdraws this time.

Try to meet him where he is.



I appreciate your words very much - you're pretty much on target, in fact, as I mailed off my reply last nite and in summary, the first statement was praising his courage for contacting me and acknowledging that he was no longer alone (or something to that effect). further along I also added that no matter what had happened to bring him so much despair and sadness, it was never, ever his fault.

again, thank you for your post and good luck in your own healing journey.

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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#372962 - 10/20/11 09:35 PM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: pufferfish]
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
Originally Posted By: pufferfish
Originally Posted By: indygal
Puffer, with all due respect could it be you're projecting just a wee bit??


Absolutely!!!

Puffer




and thank you for making me smile - I needed it!

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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#372963 - 10/20/11 09:43 PM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: Castle]
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
Originally Posted By: Castle
All I read is I,I,I,I, me me me me.

Im sure there is a forum for you to work out your guilt and such, as it seems to me.

And even if YOU made good with your past, maybe HE hasn't.

Who is this about?...In that time when you were in abbusive relationships and thereafter, you did things to work out your issues...Where was your son feelings? how the abussive relationship(s) effected him?

And seemingly from your story, you never did protect him, and maybe he does blame you...but I can see your defensiveness in your writing and that if you bring this attitude into this, you may never get "back' your son, if you even want to.

" I feel manipulated and used. He's abandoned me for so many years."...who's the parent and who's the child? and if he put the boundries that he would like to start by written response and its not the way you want to control it tells me soooooo much...maybe HE needs it his way for a change.

BTW, I've sparred with many here and dont care what you say about me or my thoughts...If your coming here with thoughts be prepared for the tough responses.

Men dont just cut out their MOms for no reason, if you believe that your in a fantasy land.



Castle,

your fiesty spirit is a very good sign of strength and a willingness to face the battles ahead. I wish you all the best in your healing journey and feel good just knowing another survivor is refusing to be a victim.

even if you are way off base - as of course, you are - your struggle to make sense of the world, come what may, is very brave.

it will get better, my friend, it will. take care.

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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#372967 - 10/20/11 09:59 PM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: indygal]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 413
Indygal is right about us not being able to protect our kids in every circumstances. I've read in this board scout abuse from mothers, fathers, siblings, cousins, neighbors, band directors, coaches. And every iteration in between. I was sick for weeks when I first got on this board because I was cursed w the knowledge that I don't really know anyone's heart and what evil lurks there. I trust no one now. I'm empowering my kids (your privates are private-no one touches or sees them and you don't touch or see anyone else's) but ultimately if I want them to become well adjusted adults one day, I have to let them see and experience some of it without me. And every time I do that, I'm taking a risk. I do what I can. I attend everything, I'm attentive to my kids, but kids are easily manipulated and I go to work and I go to the store and they love soccer and Sunday school class so I take a big breath, pray and send them to what they love and I do what i need to do.

Are there sucky moms whose kids get abused? Sure.
But there are also great moms who didn't know that the extra attention the kid they loved most was getting from the respected adult from the family or community was laced w malicious intentions. Most moms do the best they can.

_________________________
Wife of a survivor

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#372970 - 10/20/11 10:24 PM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: GoodHope]
hannah7 Offline


Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 30
I must agree with eldee and Indygal that in even the best of families, kids can get sexually abused. My parents were great. I can't blame them for what my cousin did to me. When my father found out he beat the crap out of him.

Vengence was my Dad's.

My best friend works with crime abuse victims. Her son was raped. When she found out it not only came to a stop, but resulted in court and a 'near' conviction. This is terribly sick, but it was many years ago and thank God our country is changing some on the convictions score.

I personally know of many families who are doing 'all the right' things, but still 'it' happens to one child or another. With more families having to have both parents work just to keep the roof over their head, I think we are in more danger than ever with kids left alone to fend for themselves.

It isn't good at all, but it is a fact. Sometimes, as in my case, my family was too trusting, thinking everyone was 'normal.' In today's world, we know we should not trust even the priest for crying out loud! Not the nice girl next door, or the great coach everyone loves. How sick and sad. How do you deal with this? I believe in the best of circumstances it can happen.

God help us and keep our children safe.

_________________________
And again and again Jesus said: It is I, I that you love, I that you enjoy, I that you serve. It is I that you long for, I that you desire, I that you mean. It is I that am enough for you. (Julian of Norwich)

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#372979 - 10/20/11 11:38 PM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: indygal]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6810
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: indygal
Originally Posted By: pufferfish
Originally Posted By: indygal
Puffer, with all due respect could it be you're projecting just a wee bit??


Absolutely!!!

Puffer




You're welcome smile

Puffer (puffing again)


and thank you for making me smile - I needed it!



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#373105 - 10/22/11 10:32 AM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: indygal]
Sailor John Offline


Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 307
Loc: Newfoundland & Labrador
Hi Indy Gal,

I would not ask him about anything that you may suspect or even know. He will talk to you about it when HE IS READY, if he decides to even ever open up or or only partially does so. The only person who knows my whole story is my doctor; others know only in general terms and still others don't even suspect (at least as far as I know) that I've been abused.

Remember to never try to force him into anything or go against any of his conditions such as ""Do not tell anybody about this," "Do not tell anybody about this without asking me for permission," "this will be how we communicate" etc. Then accept his answer with a "No problem" or something similiar. If you break his confidence, this will be seen for what it is - a betrayal of the trust he placed in you. He may then go the rest of his life then without even attempting to contact you and rightfully so. You will have badly hurt him and we do NOT want hurt again ever. We've been hurt enough already.

Just tell him that whatever happened, is past and can't be undone but whatever went wrong, you are behind him and willing to help in any way you can. Then, it is vital that you do more than this - you have to open up to each other to have a dialogue so that the past can be discussed and you learn to trust each other.

Good luck to both of you

_________________________
I will mourn the teenager I never was and strive to make that dot of light way out in the far reaches of the end of the tunnel turn into a bright sun.

WE ARE NOT VICTIMS. WE ARE THE SURVIVORS!!!

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#373297 - 10/25/11 01:58 AM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: Sailor John]
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
Sailor John,

thank you again for your kind words; I will take them all to heart.

right now it's time to wait as I only responded by mail the other day.

however, there is something you, as a survivor, and to all survivors reading this who might be in a similar situation need to understand, especially considering the length of time we've been estranged from each other.

this estrangement has involved not just me but virtually everyone in his life that he knew growing up. this continued to people I met afterwards in my more recent past, and may have developed a close relationship with. that is, close friends I have now do know of this estrangement even tho they've never met my son.

there have been many conversations between me and very concerned, loving individuals who felt the pain of this estrangment very deeply, if not as deeply, as I, being the mother, felt. there have been many, many conversations as to what possibly could have been the reason for all this.

in the past few years as csa, especially towards boys, has come to light, this has been discussed among my closest friends, some of who are survivors themselves (both men and women). it has been a consensus that this is most likely the issue due to many reasons, much of what has not been discussed here for various reasons.

while I may not bring it up myself, depending on how the conversation goes, again, if you are a survivor and see yourself in this situation, it is incorrect for you to believe that no one could possibly know what this is about. that is, there is simply more knowledge and awareness available now (thank goodness!) and while there is still a very long way to go, male survivors should not automatically assume that no one knows anything until the survivor states as much.

that is, if and when any survivor decides to disclose (not just my son), it may very well be only a confirmation and perhaps an identification of the perp. it could very well be that this has been suspected for some time but no one dared say as much.

I'm trying to state this as gently as I possibly can, so I hope my words are appreciated. This in no way is meant to violate anyone's privacy whatsoever; it's simply a fact of life that as we grow as a society, we learn more about ourselves, and each other, both good and bad. We learn how to help each other by supporting one another during difficult times.

You can be assured I won't bring this up on my own, that's reasonable enough to assume. I only hope and pray he will find the strength and courage to continue this journey and that I can support him in whatever way possible.

thank you again for posting. I appreciate it very much and wish you well in your own healing journey.

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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#373334 - 10/25/11 01:44 PM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: indygal]
Sailor John Offline


Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 307
Loc: Newfoundland & Labrador
Hi Indygal,

From everything that I've heard or read, it isn't unusual at all for people abused in any way to "dis-own" family and friends. While I didn't leave my family, I went for years without seeing my two best friends I had when I was growing up. Since I've started therapy, I've started seeing them again as suggested by my therapist. They acted as if nothing at all happened. The very best thing they could do.

When I told members of my family about being abused, every one of them said they weren't surprised at all. They "knew" something wasn't right with me.

When I asked them why they didnt say anything, they said that if I didn't want to talk about whatever it was, they wouldn't bring it up (By the way, I think that what they did was correct). They often talked about it on the phone from what they told me and unbnownst to me were keeping a bit of an eye on me to make sure I was OK.

Hope this helps. Again good luck to you and ALL your family

_________________________
I will mourn the teenager I never was and strive to make that dot of light way out in the far reaches of the end of the tunnel turn into a bright sun.

WE ARE NOT VICTIMS. WE ARE THE SURVIVORS!!!

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#373343 - 10/25/11 05:16 PM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: Sailor John]
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
Sailor John,

your post has brought tears to my eyes, I'm so sorry for your pain that you have experienced and the lonliness I know you've also experienced.

I'm glad to know you are here, and working towards healing, but I wish it didn't have to be that way...

thank you for sharing.

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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#373349 - 10/25/11 07:11 PM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: indygal]
Sailor John Offline


Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 307
Loc: Newfoundland & Labrador
Hi Indy Gal.

Thanks for your concern. It is greatly appreciated.

Just remember that while your son has initiated contact with your family, you will have to do everything to his timeing. It will not be easy; you will probably cry sometimes over how long it seems to you. If you want, you may consider having a chat with other family members that he's contacted initially and talk to them to see if he has made any contact with them.

He is now probably starting to plan out how he will get ready to approach and receive treatment for his problem. He will be scared beyond being scared and dealing with emotional problems such as shame, embarrasment, guilt and fear going to meet his therapist. All normal stuff.

If you are unsure of how to handle something, consider going to a mental health specialist in CSA and ask him/her how to proceed unless you find out it is some kind of other problem; then use a specialist in that field.

If you do anything at all that he perceives as potentially harmful to him, he may go back int his shell. You have to be very careful here as it could be almost anything that will act as a trigger to him. DO NOT PUSH HIM. LET HIM DECIDE WHAT TO DO ON HIS OWN TIMELINE.

Keep supporting him and act as a shoulder for him to cry on and remember within reason let him make the rules for this process. Again, I hope that everything goes extremely well for all your family. It will take time and lots of it.

_________________________
I will mourn the teenager I never was and strive to make that dot of light way out in the far reaches of the end of the tunnel turn into a bright sun.

WE ARE NOT VICTIMS. WE ARE THE SURVIVORS!!!

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#373355 - 10/25/11 08:07 PM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: Sailor John]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3599
Loc: South-East Europe
Hi Indygal,
Iím sorry that you and your son are not in best relationship but I do hope that both of you will find way to each other. It is much healthier to be close to parent/child than other way.
I have some thoughts related to your case and I will write it; but please bare in mind that Iím trying to give shot into other direction in finding some answer; this is simple guess. So Iíll try to hypothetically find possible explanation of your sonís behavior but excluding sexual abuse as cause. This is my vision of one possible explanation of your situation; forgive me if I was totally wrong, in that case consider this as some brain exercise smile.
It is normal for child to fight with parent trying to find his own place under blue sky.
But it is very hard to exclude on purpose someone to whom bond is very strong (bond mother-child). This is something that should have significant root, something that is difficult to ignore or miss. Here for me is difficult to think on possible sexual abuse as source of your sonís behavior; his act was more act of fighting than act of objecting for lack of attention.
When one person (child) tries to exclude other (parent) from his life by cutting relationship with him this could be explained like desperate move. So desperate that child hadnít had any power or other mean to force his way out of particular situation. He was so desperate that couldnít think on any other option in resolving conflict or whatsoever. This was struggle for bare survival.
Doing this your son/child admitted that he was badly hurt; he couldnít fight anymore; his all defense has had crumbled (please try to perceive his boundaries talk in his letter to you like complete lost of his defense) so he needed to completely exclude himself; it was done mainly for hisown protective purposes. By doing this he has also tried to punish you and somehow to bring you in order (this is main message from inferior person to other stronger person/side in this kind of ďfightĒ). Heís lost all other weapons and this was available option. At the same time by cutting bond with you heís hurt himself too. Child is more sensitive than parent by its nature; child needs love and care for wellbeing and consequently child has been more hurt by this action. At the end this acting was destructive for both sides. So destructive that damage is almost irreparable.
What could be source of all this? Please try to answer to yourself how was your childhood, where you happy child, where your parents supportive, loving and carrying? Have you deep connection with both of your parents now? If you had some unresolved issues for long time with one or both of your parents this could be at least part of answer. On other side your sonís first 3 years were most important for his emotional development, and if you had intensive fights with your husband at that time this could give us some more light on complete picture. Usually when mother is endangered by partner she can turn all her attention to child and by this mother can develop overprotective relationship with child. This is surrounding which is not healthy for small child who is developing his emotional capacity. Overprotective parent knows always what is best for his child. This kind of parent has a lot ambitious plans for child and can easily not be aware of real childís needs and feelings. Such relationship can give many scars to child and at the end child is brought to huge pressure and needed to fight his way out; this fight actually might happen many years later and this can lead to separation.
Iíve read book Toxic parents by Susan Forward, please try to find it and read it. This book explains way for child to recover from such parent-child relationship and gives full access to its psychology.
One of advices to children in this book is to write letter to parents. This letter is very special one; it has been written in advance with some preparation (there mustnít be any hurry), in steady, calm and secure atmosphere. That shouldnít be phone call, talk or whatsoever but letter with written words. Its message should be as clear as possible; aim is to avoid possible misunderstandings. In this letter child should tell all those things he/she objects to parents.
Iím not saying that your son has written you letter in this exact way and that you are bad parent. I presume that heís chosen to write you because he wanted to be understood very clearly. For your son this was very important...
Message with boundaries in his letter worries me; by this heís stated that you used to cross his boundaries and he warns you that he wonít take it anymore. Those are heavy scars and if Iím you I would be alarmed here. Please think more on this and try to read his letter again; maybe there are other similar messages?
For both your sake please try to be as supportive as possible. Have you written him letter back? You can send him letter with general supportive attitude, it doesnít have to be long. Give him message that you will try to be as cooperative as possible and that you miss him. Please try to act like that by accepting his terms and conditions in approaching you back. Iím sure that his approach to you is related to recovery of yours relationship; this is healing, try to feel it. Booth of you needs this and deserves it.
I wish you best!
Pero

_________________________
My story

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#373392 - 10/26/11 04:05 AM Re: maybe my son is a male survivor [Re: Sailor John]
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
Sailor John,

thanks again for your advice.

as for the csa specialists - I'm totally on top of it - already checked out some specialists on this site last week but stopped myself and decided not to rush too fast, let things unfold a bit more first. It might take him a while to respond, and I'm certainly very busy as well and intend to think things through as much as possible.

I'll update when I've heard something more. Thank you again.

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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