Newest Members
DT, kk90, Austintexan, Cancan, LS
12257 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
Blank (36), christx (41), Heartonfire (38), Nathan LaChine (31)
Who's Online
6 registered (JayBro, Obi, 4 invisible), 21 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12257 Members
73 Forums
63126 Topics
441438 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#387752 - 02/29/12 09:17 AM Can I understand?
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2572
Howdy.

Because of a connection recently formed with someone who experienced ASA and not CSA, I started reading in this forum.

I want to understand, if that understanding is possible.

So my request is, help me understand.

I always struggle to declare who can/can't post etc, not that I can realistically limit that, but I really want to only hear from those who are dealing with and working through ASA issues. (It's weird but I actually feel horrible making that request.) I really want their perspective and feelings though.

I really want to understand.


Top
#387754 - 02/29/12 09:42 AM Re: Can I understand? [Re: JustScott]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3599
Loc: South-East Europe
Bravo Scott for your honesty.
It is same here, I wish to be more aware of issues that victims of ASA have to deal with.

Brothers don't blame us if we have asked for too much or for something inappropriate and maybe hurtful. Let us know more about your problems...

Pero



_________________________
My story

Top
#389412 - 03/15/12 08:19 PM Re: Can I understand? [Re: JustScott]
TheTwoOfUs Offline


Registered: 11/03/11
Posts: 149
Loc: USA
Scott,

What exactly are you looking for a window into? I want to offer at least my own answer to this, but I need a starting point, because there is SO much involved in this request/question.

Are you looking for the after-effects? The feelings/etc that happen *during* this sort of trauma? Are you looking for the ripple effects on our families and friends?

Need a starting point. And then I'll try my best to offer something up from my own position in this area.



Edited by TheTwoOfUs (03/15/12 08:21 PM)
_________________________
Matthew

Adapt. Overcome. Survive.

Top
#389417 - 03/15/12 09:22 PM Re: Can I understand? [Re: TheTwoOfUs]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2572
I guess I'm looking to understand what you experience that might be different from csa survivors. On another site one fellow pointed out the difference in physical violence usually involved (or drugs) that aren't always involved in csa.

Also read an article about that issue as well.

So really looking for insight into what the differences may be so that I don't step on toes or come across in an unkind manner.

I guess help me understand so that I can offer compassion as best as possible.


Top
#389454 - 03/16/12 07:26 AM Re: Can I understand? [Re: JustScott]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
I would extend the violence theme to that of the enormous level of fear at the time fear of impending death at the time of the assaults. Im not saying that fear does not exist for CSAs and that there is not the fear of being killed but I do believe an adult has a much better grasp of the permanency of death were Id think a child would be fearing the pain of being hurt. But for too many ASAs as there assault proceed they become aware they are no longer in control of the matter of their lifes existence and are pretty damn sure that the last act by their attacker or attackers is going to be his death. Then finding yourself alive and wisher you were not becomes the next battle to survive- Sigh

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

Top
#389487 - 03/16/12 12:34 PM Re: Can I understand? [Re: JustScott]
TheTwoOfUs Offline


Registered: 11/03/11
Posts: 149
Loc: USA
The violence was definitely a huge thing. Through almost the entire assault, I was scared so shitless I just fell into my old combat mode. For a large chunk of it, I grabbed hold of my sister and I would. NOT. LET. GO.

At that point, during that phase, it suddenly didn't matter WHAT they did to ME. They'd already taken everything they could from me by then (or so I thought at that time). I just had it in my head that if I lost my grip on my sister, I'd be watching her die.

They used it against us at the end, I still can't talk very well about that part of things.

I guess - there's a huge violence factor, at least for me. There's this HUGE psychological factor. I was actually terrified for both of our lives through most of it, and when it ended they literally did leave us for dead, bound together, so neither of us could move to go get help.

The sheer violence - the psychological aspect - then you deal with TONS of disbelief from others, I actually had one officer laugh at me when I tried to explain to him that we were both raped. He laughed at me and told me that I must mean my sister, and when I said it again he just snorted and told me that I had the wrong anatomy for that.

The sudden loss of faith in other people is another thing. You grow your whole life knowing there's good and bad people, but that most people are good. Suddenly EVERYONE is supect. NO one is trust-able. You are suspicious of EVERYONE. Your faith in humankind is gone. You are always looking over your shoulder, wondering if they have an ulterior motive, if they're going to hurt you, if they're planning to hurt you. Paranoia sets in.

The fear sets in. You are terrified of the thought of even going NEAR anyone you don't know very well (read : your family). I still get panic attacks at the thought of leaving my house sometimes. It's getting better, but it still happens often enough to be noted.

Then there's the whole society thing. Men aren't supposed to be ABLE to be victimized in this manner. Men are supposed to be stronger than that. No one believes you. Or they laugh at you and chide you and you become a source for jokes. They think it's funny. Or they tell you that you're lying, you're too big and too strong to be overpowered like that. Or, if they DO believe you.. suddenly they think less of you. Like you're less of a man because you were overpowered.

There were drugs involvedd in our assault. I'm not sure how it happened, I'm not clear on it, but they did tell us later that they found heroin in both of our bloodstream. I am allergic to morphine. Heroin is opium and morphine. It's no wonder I went so stark raving crazy on them. But I have NEVER in my life done drugs. Hell, I didn't even do the obligatory pot-smoke thing in high school. I never liked the thought of anything that would take my wits away from me.

You lose your faith in yourself. I couldn't protect myself or my sister. What the hell makes me think I can protect my wife? My children? I lost all faith in myself, in my ability to take care of, provide for, and protect my family. I was supposed to protect my sister and I failed miserably at that. I had to hurt her to keep her alive! So what the hell makes me think I can protect my kids and my wife? That goes through my mind a LOT, even still.

You get ignored, too, sometimes. People often times, even if they do honestly believe you, don't know what to say. It shatters their pretty little glass world, and they can't handle it. They shut you out, they avoid you, they pretend you don't exist, they ignore you and the nasty little reality check that you bring to the table. They just can't handle the thought sometimes, that grown men can be violated this way.

And especially when some of our perps were female - then you become a weakling, a wuss, a loser. A "girl" outdid you? Yes, she did. Three of them did. I could't get them off of me, I had others holding me down. And during the phase of time where I was trying to just hold onto my sister, they probably could have cut it off and I wouldn't have stopped them - I was that intent on trying to keep my grip on my sister. We had a mixed-gender group of perps. Sis had to fight the females off as well as the males, just like I did. She got hurt by both genders, just like I did.

I've heard comments behind my back joking that I must have liked it, that I was a "closet-homo" and that I yelled "rape" to "cover that up."

*sighs*

I'm not sure what else to add... bear in mind that this is just coming from my perspective, my situation, and my experience. I'm only speaking for myself. These are some of the things I've had to deal with. I'm sure some of it might cross over into stuff that the CSA men have, but I'm not sure how much or how far.

Hell. I didn't mean to write so much....

I hope this helps.

_________________________
Matthew

Adapt. Overcome. Survive.

Top
#389564 - 03/17/12 03:23 AM Re: Can I understand? [Re: TheTwoOfUs]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3599
Loc: South-East Europe
Thank you so much Earlybird and Mathew for your insight!!!
My blood boils on thoughts that you Mathew were mistreated and ignored by other people after such terrible experience. I don't know what to say, sometimes it looks to me that this planet deserves only decent explosion although I mustn't been so negative because of some crazy and not worthy people.
I hope that you have healed at least some of scars of those terrible assaults.
You've got my full compassion.

Sending hugs for all of you smile :
(((TheTwOfUs and Earlybird)))

pero

_________________________
My story

Top
#389633 - 03/17/12 11:08 PM Re: Can I understand? [Re: peroperic2009]
Anomalous Offline
Greeter Coordinator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1340
Thank you, Gentlemen, for asking.

I do not feel that your questions are prying or inappropriate. You are validly asking for information, not asking out of voyeurism (as I had one "therapist" do!!). I very much appreciate your wanting to know about the experiences of those of us abused/ assaulted as adults.

The information you seek would fill books, if anyone was willing to write them.

As you will see from the responses you get, we all have different experiences. Those who were repeatedly abused have different feelings about themselves than those who experienced being assaulted.

I would like to say that there are many more similarities to CSA than there are differences, but there certainly are differences.

As others have stated, when an adult male is abused/ assaulted, frequently we are not believed. We are told that "it is not possible" and that it must have been "a lover's spat that went wrong," and other inappropriate things. You are told "men can't be raped," or "you must have wanted it."

We are laughed at by law enforcement, and too many in the therapeutic community still do not want to believe it happens. A friend of mine who was raped by the woman he was dating finally went to a therapist after many conversations with me. She told him that men cannot be raped. and that he wanted to experiment and was now just unhappy about how he was feeling.

Thankfully, "therapists" such as her are starting to be in the minority. The problem is, since there has been little research about adult males who were abused/ assaulted, many therapists do not have specific information about the trauma to use as they endeavor to help us.

But back to some of the symptoms/experiences/ consequences.

Whether a person has had CSA or ASA experiences, there seems to be a commonality of "I should have known better" or "it was my fault." This is particulary true in situations in which repeated abuse occured, or in the situation in which an adult male may have willingly "gone" to the location in which an assault occured. For the adult male who was repeatedly abused, those feelings are even more intense, and the self loathing and self hatred is even more deeply ingrained due to the longevity of the abuse. Adult males who blame themselves for "putting" themselves into a situation which turned into an assult, also harbor a deep sense of shame and guilt and endlessly recriminate themselves.

"I should have known better" and "it was my fault" seem to be the mantras for adult males who were abused/ assaulted.

HOW could one possibly get into or go back to such a situation? It MUST have been "me" and not the person doing the abuse. *I* must have wanted it, and other such things are constant thoughts. Those thoughts only deepen the shame, and make one feel unworthy of help. Afterall, "I asked for it," didn't I? And "if I did," then "it wasn't abuse." We see the "choice" we had as one of not putting ourselves in such situations, rather than the "choice" belonging to the person or people who harmed us. We blame ourselves for not being able to control the actions of others, and for "making a bad choice" in the first place.

The fact that one was physically mature (puberty, or post puberty) deepens the shame of the abuse/ assualt, especially when pleasure was experienced. Again, it is the self-recriminations of "I must have wanted it or I wouldn't have responded," and other such thoughts that drive, and maintain, that shame.

The size and strength differences as compared to a child also deepen the shame and guilt. Blaming one's self for not being "strong enough," physically or mentally is a constant torment. The societal attitudes of "blaming" an adult male for having been abused and calling him "less than a man," while hurtful, is no where near what we do to ourselves.

We cannot tell ourselves that "we were just kids" or "kids don't know how to make good choices," etc. and accept the fact that adult males can find themselves in untenable situations. It doesn't matter if a guy "went" somewhere to meet someone, regardless of the circumstances of that meeting (going to a bar, friend's, etc.), or if they were just walking down the street. If an assault happens, we frequently blame ourselves. For those of us who were in the situation of being repeatedly abused, we also blame ourselves, for "letting it happen," and for "letting it continue.

We blame ourselves whichever way we look at the situation.

We have great difficulty in seeing that we were not the ones at fault. We have almost a "need" to blame ourselves and to hold ourselves responsble for what happened. To do otherwise is to admit that we were victimized - that we were powerless to control the behavior of another or to control a situation. For the adult male who society sees/ expects to ALWAYS be in control, or have control in every situation, the guilt and shame are burdens too heavy to bear. It is the guilt and the shame and for believing we were responsible for what happened to us that makes it hard, if not impossible, for many of us to seek help.

Society does not accept that adult males (or even adolescent males) get sexually abused. It is jsut not something that society seems to want to accept. Hence the lack of resources or even the consideration that adult males are sexually abused/ assaulted.

But, societally speaking, the biggest damage comes from the unethical generalization of a study that was done on incarcerated males (I believe back in the 60s or 70s). For that study, adult males incarcerated for sexual offenses were interviewed and it was found taht a very high percentage of them had been sexually abused. (Valid data.)

Where the researchers went wrong, is when they generalized their findings to say that ALL adult males who experienced sexual abuse would go on to be abusers. It is NEVER good research (or ethical) to generalize (apply) the findings from one study population to a non-studied population.

That is what those researchers did, and the "myth" that abused males WILL abuse, persists to this day.

You can walk down any street and ask the random person if they believe an abused male will be an abuser and, sadly, the answer is a resounding "yes."

Just look at how many guys here, after revealing they were abused/ assaulted, lost not only the relationship with their SO's, but were DENIED further contact with their kids, even though they NEVER did anything inappropriate, and they would never do such a thing. The assumption that they would sexually abuse their kids, despite no evidence to support this, drove the decision to rip father and children apart. To make matters worse, some attorneys/ judges use the history of past abuse/ assault as "evidence" that the father "poses a danger to the kids and to society."

Too many employers will fire a male who admits that he was abused/ assaulted. He is no longer seen as "trustworthy" or otherwise "fit" to do the job he has been doing for many years. The societal fallout from the inappropriate generalization of the findings from that study, seems to have no end.

Males are traditionally not raised to seek help, whether it is with school, personal relationships, health, etc. We take those deeply ingrained lessons of always being expected to be the "capable" ones, or the "strong" ones with us through life. We are taught that we are supposed to be the one to take care of others -- to be their protectors. We, with our supposed "superior" physical strength, and our "lack" of fear of anything, are NEVER supposed to be afraid, or less than "strong." To be something other than a brute without feelings is deemed to be "soft," or "less manly."

We are labeled "incapable," "untrustworthy," "suspect" and "abusers."

These are twisted societal messages that are damaging to our adult selves and which are damaging future generations of young males, unless we change those outdated ways of thinking.

Without writing a book, it is impossible to state what the differences and experiences are. Sometimes the differences are a matter of degree. Other differences and experiences are societally driven.

Look at the commercials for various health screenings. You see a plethora of messages about breast cancer; walk-a-thons, symbols, etc. Free mamograms are given to women in need.

Have you ever seen such a thing regarding the cancers specific to males? Where are the "ribbon" symbols for prostate or testicular cancer, or the walk-a-thons? Heck, when is the last time you even saw a message telling guys to get tested? And there are virtually NO free screenings for male specific cancers.

Are you aware that men get breast cancer? Yes, 1% of males will get breast cancer. But there are no screenings for it.

Those examples may seem to be "off topic," but they really aren't. It is the societal attitude that adult men "can take care of themselves and do not need any intervention." Old, outdated and dangerous messages that still persist.

If adult males aren't seemingly "worthy" of cancer awareness/ screenings in the public consciousness, where do you think that leaves adult males seeking help for having been sexually abused/ assaulted?

No where.

Most rape crisis centers in the United States do NOT offer services to males, despite the fact that it is ILLEGAL to deny services to males. Their state and federal funding does not allow them to legally deny services to males, but that is what most of them do. Worse, they feel "justified" in their service denials.

In the county in which I live, they came up with every excuse in the book for over three years as to why they would not provide services to males. The therapist who worked for pushing that rape crisis center to provide services gave up.

Society doesn't see males in the same light that they see children or women. As a result, we are ignored and our experiences and needs are minimized and dismissed.

We are not seen as "men," but as "damaged goods." Many women do not want to be in a relationship in which an adult male was abused/ assaulted -- for he has "lost" his manhood and is not capable of taking care of her, especially in the realm of protection.

We are emasculated by society at large and by those who are supposed to love us.

Society does not have, and does not want, a place for abused/ assaulted adult males.





Anomalous



Edited by Anomalous (03/17/12 11:10 PM)
Edit Reason: grammar
_________________________
Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

Top
#389657 - 03/18/12 12:54 AM Re: Can I understand? [Re: Anomalous]
TheTwoOfUs Offline


Registered: 11/03/11
Posts: 149
Loc: USA
There's one other aspect I need to add, in addition to everything Anomalous said.

Former military are held to a much HIGHER level of expectation on the usual societal "assumptions" about men. Ie, strength, endurance, ability to protect, etc. I've had two members of my wife's family comment that because I was a soldier, there was no excuse for me to not be able to protect myself and my sister from this.

Don't they think I don't know that? Don't they think I've fought with that since it happened? No, they don't, and they don't, because they don't get it. And they don't care to get it. They don't want the reality check on the table that one of America's "warriors" can be overpowered, because then they have to wonder if the "warriors" can do their job abroad.

And I haven't experienced that just from my in-laws. I've heard it before from others, too. The "but he was a Marine! how is that possible?" thing has come out a LOT with certain people. I don't tell people about this if I can help it. My current job, they have no idea. I don't dare.

All they were told is that I was in "an accident" some time ago. That's it. That's all I will ever tell them. You don't tell a bunch of roughneck guys on a macho-wannabe type of job that you as a man, and as a former military, were assaulted in this manner. It is proffessional and social suicide.

Sorry. That just ocurred to me as I was reading the post above. Anomalous, you are absolutely correct... and for those of us former military, we experience that stuff to a more potent degree, I think, at times. People hold soldiers to a much higher standard of "they can take it/deal with it" than they do, say, a banker or a salesman.

Anyway. Just some random thoughts, I guess.

It's wrong. It's bullshit. It's crass, shallow, insulting, frustrating, infuriating, and hurtful.

I'm done, I think. Sorry for going on.

_________________________
Matthew

Adapt. Overcome. Survive.

Top
#389668 - 03/18/12 03:15 AM Re: Can I understand? [Re: TheTwoOfUs]
Anomalous Offline
Greeter Coordinator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1340
Hi Matthew,

Please do not ever feel you need to "apologize" for expressing your feelings.

You are absolutely correct. Adult males in general, and males in so-called macho or powerful jobs such as the military are held to even a higher standard regarding being able to take care of/ protect one's self.

These are hurtful, damaging messages.

But please, do not ever feel you need to hide your pain and your rage, either from the abuse/ assault, or from the narrow-minded, prejudiced and discriminatory words of others.

Only by expressing ourselves can we begin to educate and eventually make changes.

Some people will never "get it." They are just too close minded to hear what anyone says about anything.

The reasons for their close minded-ness really isn't important. Such people will never change, and I am sorry you have many of them in your life.

Those words hurt more when they are said by those who are supposed to care.

So, let it out. Rant, rave, yell, scream.

We will hear you.


((((Matthew)))))



Anomalous

_________________________
Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

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.