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#391887 - 04/02/12 09:12 AM Re: Any mothers of male survivors here? [Re: traveler]
sherefe Offline


Registered: 03/30/12
Posts: 24
Dear Lee:

Thank you so much for taking a moment to offer words of encouragement. I do have to say that I am feeling encouraged because we have finally joined hands to work through this and because so many men here have been willing to share with us.

As a mother, it seems I feel compelled to try to defend the moms who are mentioned here as less than 100% supportive. So many factors play into a mom's response. I shouldn't play amateur psychologist but---maybe lack of response is caused by overwhelming guilt that makes it easier to deny it ever happened. After all, a parent's job is first and foremost to protect a child. Knowing that we've failed in that regard is truly awful. Then, too, there may be the emotional need to remove oneself from the situation in order to live past it. I fear that when my son first told me, I was more distant than I should have been. Too much to take in all at once. I'm glad he had the guts and/or determination to come back to me with it. NONE of this is easy for anyone-- which in NO way minimizes the pain of the survivors. I've watched that pain constantly for years even when I didn't know where it came from but, of course, I can't really walk in your shoes.

What I can do is send you LOADS of wishes for strength, courage, and love in your own life.

I

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#391888 - 04/02/12 09:14 AM Re: Any mothers of male survivors here? [Re: Jim1104]
sherefe Offline


Registered: 03/30/12
Posts: 24
Thank you, Jim. I hope that you are traveling your road to recovery at maximum speed and with lots of love from those around you.

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#392004 - 04/03/12 02:05 AM Re: Any mothers of male survivors here? [Re: sherefe]
confusion4life Offline


Registered: 02/12/12
Posts: 109
Loc: Italy
will let you know
_________________________
everything is always okay in the end, if it's not, then it's not the end

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#392082 - 04/03/12 06:48 PM Re: Any mothers of male survivors here? [Re: confusion4life]
sherefe Offline


Registered: 03/30/12
Posts: 24
Dear dear Manuela:

What an amazing journey you and your daughter have been on. It is almost inconceivable and tremendously wonderful that your daughter's love gave her such determination. You must indeed be a very wonderful mother.

Sadly my son did not have your daughter's determination; maybe he didn't feel he had so much love to lose if he told. He did not do well in school for the most part although his intelligence has never been in question. He eventually dropped out of high school but then went on to college--got good grades; made dean's list one semester; had the third lead in the school play (Shakespeare) and then dropped out. Then went back. Then dropped out...on and on for years. He has never held a job for a full year; usually sleeps all day and is up all night. It's very very difficult for me to function when he can't. (I'm a teacher too)

Your advice is excellent--I need to "do things" in order to get past the guilt. My problem is that I am totally clueless about what to do. Before I knew about the abuse, I often thought I should practice tough love--kick him out, force him to function. Now that doesn't seem like a choice at all. As for the abuser--I can't confront him unless my son wants to and so far he doesn't. And feeling bad definitely makes my son feel really bad but I just can't seem to stop. Much of the time, I feel as if it is hopeless and THAT FEELING IS TOTALLY WRONG FOR HIM. I feel desperate and so very very worried about his future. How will he support himself? Who will hold his hand when he is tormented?

So what is it I am supposed to do? Because I so yearn "to do for him," I came here seeking advice. I've found WONDERFUL SUPPORT and some hope but I still DO NOT HAVE A CLUE WHAT TO DO FOR HIM.

May you and your daughter continue to be strong and determined and continue to heal. May whatever gods there be bless you with "light and love."

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#392083 - 04/03/12 08:06 PM Re: Any mothers of male survivors here? [Re: somaticfilter]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3296
Loc: back in the USA
Originally Posted By: somaticfilter
lee

we cry together. you're right. I am blessed but until now I couldn't see it. how do I make this life work? how do I learn to function like everyone who's 'normal'? It seems impossible.

I'm in a strange state where I'm at my lowest but finally beginning to break free.


Dear somaticfilter,

i am sorry it has taken me so long to reply to this. maybe you meant it as a rhetorical question to anyone/everyone - but i took it as a very direct and personal challenge and feel compelled to attempt an answer.

to begin - you will probably never function like everyone who is "normal." that does not mean that you can't have a wonderful life. but it will be different from others because of your history. in a way - that is true of everyone - there is always some unique difference because each individual has a completely different set of events and memories and reactions to them all. Forget "normal"! its over-rated. some of the worst a*&h@#$s i have had the misfortune to meet have been "normal." we survivors often have a depth of compassion and courage and strength and resilience and perseverance that the "norms" couldn't dream of. We are SURVIVORS! so just focus on being the best YOU that you can be - whatever that looks like.

here's an analogy - suppose you have an accident that takes off part of your foot. you'll be in the hospital confined to bed for a while. then you may be in a wheelchair and later on crutches as you start to heal. eventually you will get back on your "own two feet" or at least one and a fraction. you will probably need to go through some kind of physical therapy to learn how to walk with this difference in your anatomy from the normal. eventually, you may be able to walk without any other assistance and have will adapt to the balance, use of other muscles, etc - so that your walking function, ryhthm, and appearance may be only the tiniest bit discernably different from an un-injured person. it take more effort to get there. but it is do-able.

OK - now for the "how-to" part. "How do I make this life work?" that is something that you will have to explore and it will have to be your own special and unique discovery. the process is part of the answer. no one else can give you the formula or prescribe exactly what will work for you. BUT - reading books, writing your own mwmories,thoughts and feelings, discussing issues on the MS foums, sharing with other survivors, talking about your story with others, individual and/or group therapy - all can help you find the pieces of the puzzle. it's hard work - but holds an intrinsic reward. and "we" others in this hard-to-qualify membership group are here for you, working on it together.

I want to give you a letter that i wrote to myself that i posted here a while back. several others thought it was helpful, so maybe you will, too. i can't think of anything that expresses any better what i'd have wanted someone to tell me when i started this journey. so this is sort of an example of the "golden rule" - doing for others what i'd want them to do for me...

Dear younger me, Feb 5, 2012
I don’t know how to do this because I/you never had this modeled for us. No one ever told you or me the things we needed to hear, the things that would help us get through the hard times, the things that would help us feel better. As the older, and I hope, wiser version of you, I want to tell you some things that I wish someone had told you/me many years ago. Since they didn’t then, this will have to do:

You are of great value in yourself. You do not have to earn it or prove it or find it or achieve it or work for it – the value is already there because you are a unique individual that God created and that no one else will ever be able to duplicate. No matter how much anyone else tries to de-value you, do not believe them or accept it. Do not let them force you to believe their lies.

You are smart and good and handsome and creative. If they cannot see that or admit it, it is their loss and problem. You may not believe it yourself but it is true and there is evidence to support it.

You had a right to expect and receive respect, protection, validation, recognition of your value and gifts. You should have been able to live free from fear, guilt and defensiveness. You should have been loved, cherished and nurtured. The adults around you failed you and betrayed you. They were not worthy role models as parents, teachers, leaders or authority figures. Instead they either actively abused you or passively allowed abuse to take place and continue. They are guilty of Sins of Omission, being Accessories, Enablers, and Contributors. They assented by not objecting and condoned by their silence.

The bad things that happened to you were not and are not your fault. You did not want it or ask for it or seek it or deserve it. You did not bring this upon yourself by any choice or action or thought or inborn flaw or vibration or subconscious attraction. You did not agree to it or participate in it willingly or assent to it by your silence or passivity or submission. Nor was it valid to “teach you a lesson” or “toughen you up” or “make a man of you” or “good for you” in some other twisted, rationalized excuse. Even though the things that were done to you precipitated physical sensations and emotional feelings on your part, those were involuntary reflex reactions – not anything that you could prevent or suppress. Those responses were, in fact, proof that you were normal and healthy and just like any other boy or man.
There is evil in the world and there are people who choose to do evil and there are other people who suffer for their decisions and actions. You are one of the latter, not one of the former.

You are far stronger that you think or feel you are. You are resourceful and resilient and show great ingenuity and perseverance in your struggle to survive and thrive. You will succeed in overcoming many obstacles. Some bad stuff from your childhood will continue to haunt you and try to handicap you, but you can fight it and make progress against those crippling ghosts. If I could, I would help you in your difficult journey, but for long stretches of time you will feel very alone. You are a survivor – not just a victim!

There will be times when everything looks dark and bleak and hopeless. Hang on – it will get better. There will be bright spots along the way – periods of joy and contentment that are a promise and foretaste of how life can be and should be. Enjoy those to the fullest whenever you can and be thankful for them. The memories of those good times can help when everything feels like it has always been and always will be totally dark. Keep moving onward and upward toward that light. You will make it.

The hurt you are feeling seems never-ending. It will last a long time, but it is not everlasting. Some pains will diminish with time and effort and knowledge and growth. Some may end completely. You can endure even the ones that hang on persistently and stubbornly. When you start to face up to the root causes of the pain and begin digging them up, it will feel worse before it feels better. Someone said that if you can survive abuse, you can survive recovery. For it does get better if you hold on and keep working at it.

There will be times when you wonder if it might not be better and easier and more comfortable to just give up or die and end all the pain. Don’t go there. It is worth the hard work to heal.

There will be those who will not be aware of what you have been through or will deny and negate it and its effects. There will be some who do not care what you have been through or will know but not be able to understand or empathize. There will be some who blame you and judge and condemn and reject and hate. But there will be others that will understand where you are coming from and how you have become who you are and the demons you wrestle with. There will also be some precious heroes who overcome their own shame and brokenness to reach out and empathize and offer grace and acceptance and love. They can help if you will let them. They will freely give of their own costly treasures of experience and encouragement and wisdom and compassion and acceptance.

You do not have to continue to be alone.
You must forgive yourself.
You must accept yourself.
You must trust yourself.
You must learn to love yourself.
And then you will be more able to forgive, accept, trust and love others
And you will become a gift and a blessing to others.

With regret, grief, empathy, love, and hope,
Lee (in the present)
smile


Edited by traveler (04/03/12 08:10 PM)
Edit Reason: typos
_________________________
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9

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#392159 - 04/04/12 09:15 AM Re: Any mothers of male survivors here? [Re: mike13]
sherefe Offline


Registered: 03/30/12
Posts: 24
Hi Mike:

Thank you for your offer of help. My son is indeed an outstanding man. In addition to being very intelligent, he has a heart of gold, but the fact that he is very sensitive is not, I fear, helping him in this case.

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#392160 - 04/04/12 09:17 AM Re: Any mothers of male survivors here? [Re: pufferfish]
sherefe Offline


Registered: 03/30/12
Posts: 24
Dear Puffer:

Are you saying that it was your mother who abused you? How I hope not!! Horrifyingly the fact is that mothers are just people and prone to the same diseases of the mind as any other human.

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#392166 - 04/04/12 10:33 AM Re: Any mothers of male survivors here? [Re: sherefe]
rook Offline


Registered: 03/30/12
Posts: 25
sherefe are you in therapy?

"i always knew i could stop it if only i tell you. the thing was only, it was dad and i knew i will mess HIS life if i talk. i knew i will make my brothers sad and i knew it will hurt you a lot. i did think of telling you many times and a few times i almost did. but when i balanced the pros and contras, i always came to the conclusion its better if i take the abuse than hurting everyone including dad. "

This very deeply saddens me, and shows how absurd and insane incest is.


What you can do is go to a professional and talk about things to help you work through the guilt shame ect that comes with knowing what you know now about your son. They will give you healthy strategies to work on to help your son. There is so much emotional issues invovled that he cant provide you with what he may need, and you can get the help thats needed.

sensitivity is a gift,so I have been told more than a few times, instead of trying to avoid it or the likes, help him harness that power that is much more helpful. "toughining" up or the likes didnt work in the past, time to embrace the emotional side and make it work for him.

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#392169 - 04/04/12 11:06 AM Re: Any mothers of male survivors here? [Re: sherefe]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3296
Loc: back in the USA
Originally Posted By: sherefe

As a mother, it seems I feel compelled to try to defend the moms who are mentioned here as less than 100% supportive. So many factors play into a mom's response. I shouldn't play amateur psychologist but---maybe lack of response is caused by overwhelming guilt that makes it easier to deny it ever happened. After all, a parent's job is first and foremost to protect a child. Knowing that we've failed in that regard is truly awful. Then, too, there may be the emotional need to remove oneself from the situation in order to live past it.


i know why she closed her eyes and refused to see it. she and her mom and sister were abandoned by her father when she was very young. they had a very difficult time surviving. my father died when i was 3 and she was needing security and material support for herself, my brother and me. history was repeating itself. i'm sure in her mind it was too scary to contemplate losing the comfortable life she had just re-gained and going back to wondering how she would support her kids. and then - things like that didn't happen in nice families - and we were definitely nice. it was easier to believe that nothing was wrong and that this was how dads disciplined the naughty boys under their care.

i benefited materially from that decision just as she did - nice house, clothes, good food, cars, vacations... but i feel like i was the one who really paid the price for the life-style we enjoyed.

thanks for the other kind comments. i wasn't meaning to fish for compliments or sympathy. and i don't blame you. your situation was different, i'm sure.

i was very good at hiding what was happening once i realized that it upset her. i tried to protect her from the knowledge. it was a 3-way conspiracy: the abuser, the abused/protector, and the protected/intentionally blind.

Lee
_________________________
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9

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#392299 - 04/05/12 12:58 PM Re: Any mothers of male survivors here? [Re: somaticfilter]
sherefe Offline


Registered: 03/30/12
Posts: 24
Dearest son:

Maybe I am not the one to give you advice, especially when those who are in the same shoes as you are already doing so much to support you. I do believe--as I used to tell you when you were a child--you have to keep on truckin' NEVER give up; never stop believing that things will get better. Love the analogy of a man recuperating from an amputation--guess in a sense you had your childhood amputated. (I also agree that "normal" isn't all it's cracked up to be. The greatest minds in history were often deemed "cracked) But no matter what factors have scarred us, our internal fortitude, our spirit can be bolstered by the support of others, hard work and knowledge. In your case, internalize the knowledge that you are so very very dear to many people at least in part because you are truly a kind-hearted man with looks and an abundance of intelligence and wit. You are very very worthy of our love and respect and admiration as you recover.

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