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#415011 - 11/01/12 06:45 PM I just found out my son was abused
HeartBreak Offline


Registered: 11/01/12
Posts: 2
Yesterday was the dawn of my worst nightmare! I disovered that my 16 yr. old son had been living with CSA for the past 10 yrs!!

I don't know what to do...my emotions are all over the place.
But I hope I get some good advice from this forum.

Here's how the event unfolded...

My son is a great kid and the love of my life! Lately, we've been dealing with typical teenage issues...nothing too serious. It was during a recent blow-up about being respectful that his CSA surfaced.

He had stalked off to his room in frustration as I was finishing dinner. Later, I went to his room for further discussion, and he was sitting on his bed crying....which was confusing, because our current argument didn't warrant such emotion. When I saw the tears, I knew something other was wrong...but I would have never guessed in a million years what he was about to tell me!

I immediately went in for the big hug...I felt so sorry for his level of frustration! When I started asking him what was wrong, between sobs he said he couldn't tell me....and immediately, my mind started reeling...this was gonna be a biggie...tho I never imagined CSA! I started quizzing...school, GF, accident...and still sobbing, he would shake his head 'no'. We've ALWAYS had an extremely open relationship....and he KNOWS that he can trust me to tell me anything. He finally caught his breath....and told me that he had been sexually abused! My head started spinning...I couldn't believe what I was hearing...my greatest fear was coming true!

How could this be? I have always feared abduction & sexual abuse and I've ALWAYS been wayyy over-protective in regards...how could this be true?

And it just gets worse. He wouldn't acutally SAY how/what happened, but would respond to my questions by shaking his head yes or no. When I was finally able to connect the dots, this is what I found out:

On his 6TH birthday, we had a sleepover with his cousins. When everyone was asleep, his oldest cousin (13) convinced him to perform oral sex on him, telling him that was what ALL families did. I couldn't believe what I was hearing! My baby was only 6 when this happened!!! He had been living with this secret for 10 yrs!!

So not only was he abused, but it happened in his own home (which we still live in) by somebody that he loves while his mom & dad were upstairs asleep!! I am so overcome with guilt...it's mentally crippling...I can't think of anything else without thinking of the CSA first. And my son has been living at the scene of the crime for 10 YEARS without a word! He says he didn't know that it was wrong when he was 6...so it wasn't something that haunted him daily. When he was about 9, he realized that what happened was wrong, but didn't know what to do about it. He says it isn't something that he's dwelled on over the years, but something that would just surface occaisionally. Regardless, he's had to face his abuser time after time...wondering if the abuse might continue...and wondering 'WHY'?

He says that he's FORGIVEN his cousin....that his cousin was just a kid when it happened and that it only happened the one time. I don't know how he can feel this way....but it seems like the road to recovery. And when he disclosed the abuse to me, you could see the weight of the world lift from his shoulders! If he's come this far in recovery...I don't want to impede him with my emotions (this is all brand new to me!).

But I WILL NEVER FORGIVE this person what he's done to MY baby! I wanna cry & yell & kick & scream...but I don't know where to go with all my emotions. I certainly don't want to push them onto my son...who seems to feel so much better for confiding in me.

But I'm full of hate & anger and feel the need for confrontation!
I'm hoping that someone in a similar situation can help me with some good advice...

My Heart is broken!

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#415013 - 11/01/12 07:00 PM Re: I just found out my son was abused [Re: HeartBreak]
unhappycamper Offline


Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 616
Loc: VA
I think it's a good sign that you heard about this directly from your son. He obviously trusts you and doesn't blame you, AND it sounds like he has given the episode some healthy and constructive thought (he was a naive 6 y.o.; cousin hasn't repeated it, etc.)

Sounds like some professional therapy might yield useful advice for your son on coping in the future. It doesn't have to be lengthy, and it would be free of powerful parental emotions.

Just some thoughts from a guy who once was a naive 6 y.o. Peace!

John

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#415017 - 11/01/12 07:35 PM Re: I just found out my son was abused [Re: HeartBreak]
RunningOnEmpty Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 91
Loc: georgia
--


Edited by RunningOnEmpty (01/01/13 07:37 PM)

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#415022 - 11/01/12 08:20 PM Re: I just found out my son was abused [Re: RunningOnEmpty]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
My advice:

1) Get him the best counselor you can afford. Make sure the counselor knows how to deal with teens and with this issue.

2) Get him the book: It Happened to Me: A Teen's Guide to Overcoming Sexual Abuse
http://www.amazon.com/Happened-Me-Overcoming-Sexual-workbook/dp/1572242795/

3) Get some counseling yourself so that you will know how to help him as he goes through a healing process.

Puffer

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#415081 - 11/02/12 12:23 PM Re: I just found out my son was abused [Re: pufferfish]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
I'm sorry, too. Take solace knowing you sound like an extremely supportive mother and you told him you are there for him. My mother denied it and still denies it happened. Get him in a male csa counseling environment. I wish my mom was remotely concerned like you are about your son.


Edited by phoenix321 (11/02/12 12:24 PM)
_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#415085 - 11/02/12 12:53 PM Re: I just found out my son was abused [Re: HeartBreak]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 735
Loc: Southeast USA
I can't add too much more to the advice already given. I think it is a great sign that your son opened up to you about the CSA at age 16. Ten years is a long time to carry that around. I only recently opened up to my wife about my CSA at age 13---which was 27 years ago. I'm not at the point where I want to tell my parents about it. I was molested by an 18 year old camp counselor...so there is no family perp. My parents are approaching retirement, so I don't want to burden them with guilt after all this time. Counseling may point me toward telling them in yhe future. Since your son is still a teen, you and a therapist's guidance should be a great help in deciding next steps.
_________________________
Cruel Summer
My Journal

-Signs and traces left in stone
Ruins of a past unknown-

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#415101 - 11/02/12 02:58 PM Re: I just found out my son was abused [Re: HeartBreak]
HeartBreak Offline


Registered: 11/01/12
Posts: 2
Thank you all so much for taking the time to post...and for the good advice! I'm currently on a search for an appropriate counselor/therapist.

But it's almost like my son dumped his 'CSA Baggage' when he disclosed to me. And definitely seems happier than he has in a long time. I had just assumed that his 'attitude' was the norm for a teenage boy (he's my only child). I'm not sure what I need to pursue in order to help him. Does he really need to re-visit the CSA in therapy in order to fully heal?

I guess I will ask him what he's comfortable with.

Thx again!! smile

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#415107 - 11/02/12 04:15 PM Re: I just found out my son was abused [Re: HeartBreak]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Healing with a therapist does not necessarily mean reliving the CSA. A good therapist who is experienced with CSA and specifically teens who experienced CSA will be able to best determine the nature and direction on the therapy required to heal. CSA creates trauma and countless studies have shown that trauma simply does not heal with time - it must be actively healed through therapy. My husband also appeared much relieved when he first disclosed to me - he first disclosed to me 13 years ago... but as life changes and events occur, the pain resurfaces. I SO wish I had encouraged him to seek therapy then instead of accepting his statements that he was over it and it was in the past. If he had, it would have been easier for him to seek out therapy as life events triggered him. CSA creates trauma that is at the heart of how an individual feels about themselves and about others. Its effects can creep into so many aspects of the survivors life. Following many painful experiences and difficulties in our marriage since our first child was born, his ability to deal with conflict, intimacy, connectedness as a parent and husband and his self-esteem, he finally decided to begin his journey of real healing with the help of a therapist two months ago. It is making an enormous impact on his and our quality of life and ability to relate and function successfully. I know everyone is different, but my husband's core personality is extremely resilient and overall happy and easygoing... despite this, he still needed help. At only 16, you have an opportunity to help your son begin his healing before the brunt of adult pressures, responsibilities and independence is thrust upon him.

All the best to you and he. I have a 10 yo son myself and, especially considering my husbands past abuse, we constantly fight our desire to be insanely over-protective. Ultimately, we need to allow our children to experience life according to their developmental stage in childhood, but knowing these terrible things happen even when we are vigilant is a frightening prospect at best.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#415237 - 11/03/12 07:23 PM Re: I just found out my son was abused [Re: HeartBreak]
didi Offline


Registered: 07/12/08
Posts: 165
Loc: USA
Hello HeartBreak,

I completely understand the gut wrenching feeling of disclosure from your only son.
It is something that you will never forget. I highly recommend for you and for your
Son to seek therapy with a Child Sexual Assault Therapist. Most therapists that specialize
In CSA often help children of all ages. You may sit in with your son and she/he will guide
The both of you. Although I think it is fantastic that your son disclosed, it sounds to me
Like he needs to talk about this more with a professional that will make him truly understand
That it was NOT his fault and answer any questions or concerns that he may not want to burden
You with.

Take care,

Didi
_________________________
Raising children who have been loaned to us for a brief moment outranks every other responsibility!

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#415238 - 11/03/12 07:23 PM Re: I just found out my son was abused [Re: HeartBreak]
MissyM Offline


Registered: 09/01/12
Posts: 7
Hi. When I read your post I felt so empathetic to your pain. Unfortunately I was in a similar situation a few months ago. My 16yo son has had ongoing issues with bipolar depression (w/& wo suicidal ideation) for years, so acting out was not unusual. One day he came home from his dad's and was absolutely mentally abusive to me--I mean a whole new level. Hours of acting out. Then he said it.

Starting when he was almost 5, the 15 yo son of his dad's girlfriend molested him & my older son, then 9, repeatedly & together over the period of a few years, also making my sons do sexual acts with each other. The molester spent time in my ex's home after the breakup w/girlfriend. The day he told me was the first time he'd seen that woman in years. I was also completely shocked, pissed off, & confused on where to begin. His dad is no help. My younger son wanted therapy, but the first professional he spoke with turned him away but called for an investigation by DCFS (child services). That shut him back down & tore the family apart. He has started with a new therapist, but is still like Jeckyl & Hyde in how he treats me when we used to be close, and he's rarely made it through a school day.

My older son, now 21 still does not want to talk about it, but has disclosed some of what happened. I can hear him shouting & crying about it while pacing the house in the middle of the night. He has schizoaffective disorder & the thoughts bombard him when he's psychotic. I can only encourage him.

I wish you & your son the best as the healing can begin.

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