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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: 1596
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 Online   content
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.


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#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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#416740 - 11/20/12 08:04 PM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: mh6893]
Publius Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 425
Loc: OH
Good point. I would not want to propagate the lie that women don't become abusers. The damage risk to our cause of awareness just isn't worth the zinger. I think then I will adjoin a caveat about how women can and do become abusers sometimes but that I was merely challenging their perspective when claiming "all abuse victims become abusers." I am just being defensive because the vampire myth's popularity and imposition upon my mindset/recovery is something without which I wish I could live.
_________________________
"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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#417396 - 11/27/12 02:24 PM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: mh6893]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
I hear you, P. Thanks for following up.

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#417453 - 11/27/12 08:30 PM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: mh6893]
justplainme Offline


Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 325
Only children who are abused And Not helped after the fact become abusers., And even so sometimes the child may be so magnificent that even without help it does not choose that path.
Since day one we should know that abusers become that way when so much toxicity is kept in shame and secrecy through evil use of power by an adult.
Partners we choose need to be open minded,hugely open minded.
Abuse changes you into a whole different category of person.
You see the world through a different perspective.,I'm not saying a bad one but a less naive one.
Work on your healing and health and for others so one day you'll meet a girl who will say;
"I admire the man that you are,abuse or not"
"And I believe the abuse just made the best of you come out"


Edited by justplainme (11/27/12 08:31 PM)
_________________________

"Survivors need an opportunity to define their own sexuality in their own terms, rather than in reaction to the abuse, so that they stop allowing their offenders to have power over them sexually."

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#417457 - 11/27/12 08:57 PM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: justplainme]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
It just won't add up, mathematically speaking. An abuser like Jerry Sandusky probably abused dozens of boys. We know that few if any of them became abusers.

Another abuser I read about in a book, Conversations With a Pedophile, by Amy Carter Zabin,

http://www.amazon.com/Conversations-Pedophile-Interest-our-Children/dp/1569802475/

claims to have abused over 1000 boys by himself. (Boy Scouts). Just think. If every one of them (all?) had become abusers, that would have multiplied the number of abusers at an astronomical rate. The next generation of abusers would have resulted in 1,000,000 abusers. This is absurd. I am using a method of logic to show that it's absurd to think that "all survivors become abusers".

Puffer


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#417458 - 11/27/12 09:01 PM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: mh6893]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1046
Good point, Puffer.

If all victims became offenders, then literally everyone would be abusing everyone else.

Cant
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#417553 - 11/28/12 04:31 PM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: mh6893]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 755
Loc: Southeast USA
I can't add much more to this, but she is committing a common logical fallacy by confusing correlation and causation.

Tell her to consider that all dimes are coins, but not all coins are dimes.

Some go on to abuse, most do not.

Will
_________________________
Cruel Summer
My Journal

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

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#417557 - 11/28/12 04:49 PM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: mh6893]
Rdphish73 Offline


Registered: 04/25/12
Posts: 6
Loc: New York
This is just not true. I suffered years of rape and physical abuse so I'm as good a candidate as anyone. As an adult, I wondered if I would somehow abuse my kids if and when I had any. When I found out my wife at the time was pregnant, I got very nervous (ANY new father is nervous...period). All I have to say is the second I laid eyes on my newborn daughter, I knew instantly I would never harm a hair on her head! I was quickly shown a love so powerful its amazing. I just can't understand how a parent can sexually abuse their children....If someone harmed my daughter that way, I would likely try to kill them.

Tell your g/f that it just isn't true and have her get more educated....if not, move on. There are many fish in the sea my friend.

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#420592 - 01/01/13 11:47 AM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: mh6893]
mh6893 Offline


Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 35
Loc: Hong Kong
Dear all,

Thanks for your advice. I still do not trust my girlfriend with this secret. Since she is from my same home town, I do not trust that she would not take this knowledge and use it against me if we ever broke up. I would hate more than anything to be subject to rumors and have people not trust me.

For this reason and others, I don't think that my girlfriend and I have a future together.
_________________________
Regards -

Jack


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


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#420594 - 01/01/13 12:17 PM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: mh6893]
frankie72 Offline


Registered: 11/23/12
Posts: 32
Loc: Australia
Hi Jack,

I'm sorry to hear you don't trust her enough, but that doesn't mean there can't be a future. Maybe time will tell whether you think she is ready or not.

I know the desire to tell those you are close to or love, and honestly I have only done so on very few occassions. Sometimes it has ended badly, sometimes it has been ignored, and rarely have I found anyone who accepts it and tries to understand.

If the two of you are happy, just enjoy each other and see where it leads. As suggested before, maybe try and educate her subtly, and work out a way to prepare her if you truly want to tell her.

In the end the decision is yours though, and what you think is best.

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#420608 - 01/01/13 02:31 PM Re: My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers [Re: mh6893]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: mh6893
For this reason and others, I don't think that my girlfriend and I have a future together.

Sorry to hear that but better to determine that early rather than too late.

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