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#395321 - 04/28/12 05:25 PM Talk To My Son, Please
unwritten Offline


Registered: 04/22/12
Posts: 19
I recently joined this forum and have read many of the tragic stories that have been shared here and I've learned that the ripple effect on the lives of of victims of sexual abuse is astounding.

I am the mother of a 17yo son who is having serious difficulties in life and is currently living in a group home where he is receiving counseling for a multitude of problems - self-mutilation, depression, low self esteem, extreme anger, drug/alcohol abuse…the list goes on and on, and I know that these issues are no strangers to those in this forum.

He has been raised in a loving, stable environment, and we have struggled for quite some time to understand why he is having these problems.

About a year ago he told me that when he was eleven, a fourteen year old boy who came to our house often with his parents had 'taught him about masturbation' and that he 'didn't know anything about it' before this kid introduced it to him.

I don't know the specifics of what occurred because my son hasn't told me, but he did share the details with a juvenile officer who offered us the opportunity to press charges which we did not do because my son did not want to. The boy did corroborate everything my son said and was put on probation and required to attend mandatory counseling.

What I do know is that my son says that this behavior occurred on about 12 occasions but he does not consider it abuse since he participated.

I do not believe there were any threats or violence, but I suspect that he cultivated my son to comply and then made him feel as though he were a co-conspirator.

I also know from what I've read here that sometimes it can take many years for a person to realize he has been sexually abused and even longer to understand the effects it has had on their lives.

I am writing this to ask those of you who have found yourselves in similar circumstances - especially this subtle type of peer abuse - to post what you wish you had understood about sexual abuse earlier in life and how it might have made a difference?

What you would have told yourself at his age had you had the knowledge you have now?

I know that this may be a painful question to answer, but hearing from others who have been in his situation may help him to find his way it's too late.

Thanks,

Unwritten


Edited by unwritten (04/28/12 05:32 PM)
_________________________
Today I will be as happy as a bird with a french fry.

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#395322 - 04/28/12 05:42 PM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: unwritten]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 816
Loc: michigan
Hi unwritten
I just need to say that abuse is not necessarily violent.most of what happened in my life was not but it was manipulative and confusing, and it has caused me no end of pain. what should your son know? with out knowing the details I would say that he ought to give himself some credit for knowing something troubled him and even if the abuse was not done in anger or violence it still can scar. the fact that there may have been some pleasure feelings only serves to make it more confusing and painful. I have felt that in more than one instance It was likeI molested myself in a way because I allowed myself to give in. I don't know of course if that is his feeling but there is no end to the ways that csa can twist our thinking.
hope that helps
Jeff
_________________________
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

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#395325 - 04/28/12 06:01 PM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: unwritten]
Anomalous Offline
Greeter Coordinator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1355
Hi Unwritten,

All abuse is traumtic, but sexual abuse has a deeper psychological element to it, that makes it more insidious.

Though your son might have "participated," for lack of a better word, he didn't so so willingly. He was NOT complicit. The lack of violence doesn't mean he wasn't threatened or coerced. Many times emotional blackmail is used; "I'll tell your parents...." or "I'll tell kids at school ...." are some of the coercive threats. Even if what the person threatens to tell isn't true, the threat is psychological blackmail and is enough to assure the abused's silence.

Often, this is twisted into feelings of complicity. And the abuser might even tell the person he/ she is abusing that the abused is complicit. This is especially true if the person being abused experienced arousal or pleasure.

The experiencing of arousal or pleasure is a physiological reaction to stimulation. Period. The body is meant to respond to stimulation.

It is NOT a betrayal of the body, though many feel that way. The body did what it was designed to do.

The betrayal came from the other person, who at one time might have been a trusted person.

It will take time before your son can believe that he was not complicit. First he has to get past the shame and blame of himself for having experienced pleasure, regardless how much or how little he might have experienced.

If you have not done so, I suggest you get some books specifically about male sexual abuse to give to your son. If he is too embarrassed to let others at the group home see the titles, put book covers on them, even if you make them out of brown paper bags.

The fact that your son is addressing this so early in life means that he won't carry this around unaddressed for decades, and it won't have the long term deleterious affects that unaddressed trauma wreaks.

Your son is a very brave and very strong young man. This is something that was done to him, not something he did. The shame belongs to his abuser.





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

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#395326 - 04/28/12 06:06 PM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: newground]
unwritten Offline


Registered: 04/22/12
Posts: 19
Hi Jeff,

Here's a link - scroll down to the 6th post which gives more details to our current situation:

Peer Abuse

I probably should have included the link in my post.
_________________________
Today I will be as happy as a bird with a french fry.

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#395327 - 04/28/12 06:13 PM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: Anomalous]
unwritten Offline


Registered: 04/22/12
Posts: 19
Originally Posted By: Anomalous
If you have not done so, I suggest you get some books specifically about male sexual abuse to give to your son. If he is too embarrassed to let others at the group home see the titles, put book covers on them, even if you make them out of brown paper bags.

The fact that your son is addressing this so early in life means that he won't carry this around unaddressed for decades, and it won't have the long term deleterious affects that unaddressed trauma wreaks.

Your son is a very brave and very strong young man. This is something that was done to him, not something he did. The shame belongs to his abuser.





Anomalous


His one-on-one counselor has him reading 'Victims No Longer'.

The problem is that he is not addressing it and, even though he was only 11 he believes it was mutual - for over a year during which we have seen numerous counselors, he still says he wasn't abused. And we have had some wonderful, caring counselors.

I would breath so much easier if he could recognize that the problems he is having are often suffered by victims.




Edited by unwritten (04/28/12 06:14 PM)
_________________________
Today I will be as happy as a bird with a french fry.

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#395329 - 04/28/12 06:30 PM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: unwritten]
unhappycamper Offline


Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 624
Loc: VA
unwritten:

Whether or not your son's experience is labeled "abuse", it's obviously causing problems. I can't think of a more vulnerable age than seventeen, so make sure you and his counselor continue to (try to) explain the connection. Peace, I hope!

John

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#395340 - 04/28/12 08:15 PM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: unwritten]
Human Offline


Registered: 03/14/12
Posts: 63
Loc: private
To your son,

All I can say is, I resisted EVERY form of help/counselling etc for countless reasons when I was young. This resistance was during mostly my highschool age years so I "get it". I have an interesting life, but honestly it has been lonely and fraught with some serious problems (some self harm in my teens). I believe my life would be 10xs more interesting than it is and I'm working on catching up. I say do what you can as early as possible (and I ain't one of your parents) I'm just a kewl friend/survivor. I did experience a "peer abuse" and some other abuse from bad adults, so I think I know a little bit about your situation.

I recently made freinds with a great group of artists, meeting them led me to MS.org. My new freinds are highly educated/talented/succesful etc and they checked this website out for me. They gave it a green light, "It is legit" one of them said to me. I trust the people here, I hope you can also.

Now at age 49 I am peeling the onion, but I sure wish I had listened to the trusted adults, both family and school professionals, when they attempted to help me sort things out.

If anything please, take care of your physical health, do your best to pay attention to learning, get your education (hopefully college!) and appreciate your family is there and caring. Buncha dammned work isn't it? (Ha!) I'm fairly sure if you put a lot in now, then later on you can find a career you click with and enjoy, big time!

They call me Human, but you can call me Kurt (or Human, lol)

P.S. I am not a nerdy guy, trust me when I say that. And it was my younger sister who helped me stop my self harm...one day she just came to me and had a convo with me about simply NOT harming myself. So simple yet so hard to do, well slowly but surely her insight and caring sunk in and I overcame the self harm stuff. You can too. smile

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#395347 - 04/28/12 09:10 PM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: newground]
unwritten Offline


Registered: 04/22/12
Posts: 19
Originally Posted By: newground
Hi unwritten
I just need to say that abuse is not necessarily violent.most of what happened in my life was not but it was manipulative and confusing, and it has caused me no end of pain. what should your son know?
Jeff


I think that what I'd like him to know is what his future might be like if he does not address the abuse.
_________________________
Today I will be as happy as a bird with a french fry.

Top
#395348 - 04/28/12 09:26 PM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: unwritten]
Human Offline


Registered: 03/14/12
Posts: 63
Loc: private
In simple terms, for me I think my life could have been a 15 on a scale of 1 to 10, instead of a 4 to 8.

Kurt

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#395350 - 04/28/12 09:30 PM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: Human]
unwritten Offline


Registered: 04/22/12
Posts: 19
Originally Posted By: Human
To your son,

All I can say is, I resisted EVERY form of help/counselling etc for countless reasons when I was young. This resistance was during mostly my highschool age years so I "get it". I have an interesting life, but honestly it has been lonely and fraught with some serious problems (some self harm in my teens). I believe my life would be 10xs more interesting than it is and I'm working on catching up. I say do what you can as early as possible (and I ain't one of your parents) I'm just a kewl friend/survivor. I did experience a "peer abuse" and some other abuse from bad adults, so I think I know a little bit about your situation.

I recently made freinds with a great group of artists, meeting them led me to MS.org. My new freinds are highly educated/talented/succesful etc and they checked this website out for me. They gave it a green light, "It is legit" one of them said to me. I trust the people here, I hope you can also.

Now at age 49 I am peeling the onion, but I sure wish I had listened to the trusted adults, both family and school professionals, when they attempted to help me sort things out.

If anything please, take care of your physical health, do your best to pay attention to learning, get your education (hopefully college!) and appreciate your family is there and caring. Buncha dammned work isn't it? (Ha!) I'm fairly sure if you put a lot in now, then later on you can find a career you click with and enjoy, big time!

They call me Human, but you can call me Kurt (or Human, lol)

P.S. I am not a nerdy guy, trust me when I say that. And it was my younger sister who helped me stop my self harm...one day she just came to me and had a convo with me about simply NOT harming myself. So simple yet so hard to do, well slowly but surely her insight and caring sunk in and I overcame the self harm stuff. You can too. smile


Hey Kurt,

You sound a lot like my son - he's an artist too with a talent for drawing and music. He is self-taught on the guitar...we did offer him lessons, but he didn't want to take them.

And I get what you're saying about life being less interesting. I've watched as his friends have pursued their interests, but my son has limited himself to his art/music, which is wonderful and we support his talents but he has used them to isolate himself and refused to explore what else he might be good at or just enjoy.

So why do you really think you resisted help?
_________________________
Today I will be as happy as a bird with a french fry.

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