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#416525 - 11/18/12 02:08 AM My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers
mh6893 Offline


Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 35
Loc: Hong Kong
I began a relationship this year after several years being unattached. I began therapy last year and admitted for the first time to anyone else my experience with CSA. I have not shared that with anyone else, including my family.

Long story short, I was talking with my girlfriend and she was telling me about her experience as a special ed teacher and one boy in particular, who was a serial abuser that they were watching closely to prevent him attacking anyone.

She said that he himself was abused and that that was why he was an abuser, she said that all abusers had once been abused themselves.

At this point I stepped in to ask the question "but surely it's not the same in reverse- not all abused kids turn into abusers?"

She said that yes, all abused kids turn into abusers.

I did not push the question too much because I did not want the conversation to turn back to me.

Now I am troubled. I like this woman a lot. Maybe I love her. I can't say that this will be a long term relationship, it's only been a few months. But I feel like I cannot trust her with my story. Not now, not ever.

Anyone have a similar experience?
_________________________
Regards -

Jack


My profile photo is me around the time of my experience.


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#416528 - 11/18/12 03:03 AM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: mh6893]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1600
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: mh6893
she said that all abusers had once been abused themselves.

At this point I stepped in to ask the question "but surely it's not the same in reverse- not all abused kids turn into abusers?"

She said that yes, all abused kids turn into abusers.


Dear MH,

Its sad but many people have been taught to believe this myth. The truth is that SOME abusers were themselves abused. And that SOME abused kids grow to become abusers. But there is no generalization that can be made, nor is there any evidence to support this idea. From Psychology Today 1/30/2011 Talking About Sexually Abused Boys and the Men They Become:

Quote:
Many believe sexually abused boys almost inevitably become sexually abusive men. But, while a significant proportion of male abusers were victims themselves, there's evidence that relatively few sexually abused boys actually become abusers. Because of the myth, however, many men fear they'll become abusive or worry that if they disclose their history, others will consider them predators.


You might consider bringing this article to your friends attention, but you may have to explain why you're pursuing the subject. If you're not ready to disclose to her you may want to wait. Good luck.

Jude
_________________________
Seems I've got to have a change of scene
Every night I have the strangest dreams
Imprisoned by the way it could have been
Left here on my own or so it seems
I've got to leave before I start to scream
Joe Cocker

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#416532 - 11/18/12 04:13 AM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: mh6893]
mh6893 Offline


Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 35
Loc: Hong Kong
Thank you Jude!
_________________________
Regards -

Jack


My profile photo is me around the time of my experience.


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#416545 - 11/18/12 09:13 AM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: mh6893]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
If you need more documentation from more authoritative sources, see www.csom.org or www.atsa.com. The info is more research-based than psychology today.

However, the consensus is that a victim does not become an offender in the overwhelming majority of cases of csa. In my 30+ years working with offenders (and I do ask about their sexual histories including victimization), the majority have no experience with sexual victimization done to them.

The analogy I use is that if you went to a drug rehab center and asked heroin addicts if they used marijuana before they went to heroin, the large majority would say yes. However, if you asked the same number of marijuana users if they went on to use heroin, the vast majority would not use it. Being victimized does not make one a potential abuser.

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#416551 - 11/18/12 10:00 AM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
mh6893 Offline


Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 35
Loc: Hong Kong
Thank you Ken!
_________________________
Regards -

Jack


My profile photo is me around the time of my experience.


Top
#416553 - 11/18/12 10:15 AM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: mh6893]
Obi Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1395
Loc: kansas
if that were the case then MOST of the abusers in the world would be females since, statistically speaking, there are more females that are abused versus males being abused.


Edited by Obi (11/18/12 10:16 AM)
_________________________
live another day. climb a little higher.

my story

my vlog

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#416572 - 11/18/12 06:45 PM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: mh6893]
mh6893 Offline


Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 35
Loc: Hong Kong
Very true Obi, thank you.
_________________________
Regards -

Jack


My profile photo is me around the time of my experience.


Top
#416673 - 11/20/12 02:22 AM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: mh6893]
Publius Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 425
Loc: OH
Nice Obi I am going to use that line one day : )
_________________________
"Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." ~ General Iroh

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#416707 - 11/20/12 11:40 AM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: mh6893]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Don't be too ready to use that line. For all we know, most abuses may be committed by women.

People don't do things for environmental reasons. Sure, everyone's environment affects them. But it's not the cause. People do things because on some level they choose to. People who have been abused have boundary issues and power issues and self-hate issues and so many other issues (thanks to our society's piss-poor way of handling truth and shame and what-not), and those issues can sometimes make it more likely for someone to be in a position to choose to become an abuser, but that's not the same thing any more than being poor causes people to be criminals.

It's just as Ken said above, with the heroin-user-pot-user analogy.

And it's true. And I, like many of us, know, because I was abused, but I never abused anybody.

Bob

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#416711 - 11/20/12 01:20 PM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: Robert1000]
mh6893 Offline


Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 35
Loc: Hong Kong
Thanks Robert!
_________________________
Regards -

Jack


My profile photo is me around the time of my experience.


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