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#416763 - 11/21/12 12:05 AM Re: Just found out. What do I do now? [Re: crazy gecko]
wrldtrvlr Offline


Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 10
Thank you for the article. It's a slow read, but I got through half of it today. I almost stopped reading it, then found more interesting facts so I will definitely finish it.

I'm certainly not judging my bf for anything but who he is. He's a wonderful person, otherwise I wouldn't be with him. He deserves me and I'm awesome! smile

Can I ask you about how to deal with him not "being ready" to deal with it? Do I give him time and space, or do I address it? Keep in mind that he didn't exactly choose to give me the information. I practically stole it from him.

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#416764 - 11/21/12 12:18 AM Re: Just found out. What do I do now? [Re: wrldtrvlr]
wrldtrvlr Offline


Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 10
Thank you as well, cdndw. I hear a lot about setting boundaries, but I'm not sure what mine are. It's a given that I don't condone and won't allow what I found in the email, but I really don't see any other acting out behavior. He does drink, but not to a point where it's a problem. He smokes occasionally, but again, not a problem.

My biggest problem is that I love him and he can't say that he loves me. He can say that I'm the best girlfriend he's ever had and things like that, but he can't say the "l" word. He's "not very good" at emotions, which I see now is a result of his trauma. When my self esteem is low, like tonight, I would almost rather not talk to him because he'll inadvertantly make me feel worse instead of better by the end of the conversation. Do I set boundaries in this department, and if so, how?

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#416767 - 11/21/12 12:46 AM Re: Just found out. What do I do now? [Re: CdnDW]
crazy gecko Offline


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
Originally Posted By: CdnDW
Of those 5 pedophiles, 35% were victims of child sexual abuse themselves.

Actually, according to the article I posted above, this number is much lower. The 30-35% is based on "sexual trauma", that includes things like your mother catching you in the act of masturbation and various other things that are NOT CSA. wink
_________________________
I guess what I'm trying to say
Is whose life is it anyway because livin'
Living is the best revenge
You can play
-- Def Leppard

My Story, Part 2

My blog

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#416768 - 11/21/12 01:02 AM Re: Just found out. What do I do now? [Re: wrldtrvlr]
crazy gecko Offline


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
Originally Posted By: wrldtrvlr
I'm certainly not judging my bf for anything but who he is. He's a wonderful person, otherwise I wouldn't be with him. He deserves me and I'm awesome!

Excellent smile He is fortunate, then.

Originally Posted By: wrldtrvlr
Can I ask you about how to deal with him not "being ready" to deal with it? Do I give him time and space, or do I address it? Keep in mind that he didn't exactly choose to give me the information. I practically stole it from him.

I honestly don't know how to answer this. Getting help, or even just breaking the silence and disclosing what happened, is a huge step. Me, I had no choice in the matter - my initial treatment was court-ordered. I'm sure if you post a new thread asking this question, others on here will be able to offer advice...
_________________________
I guess what I'm trying to say
Is whose life is it anyway because livin'
Living is the best revenge
You can play
-- Def Leppard

My Story, Part 2

My blog

Top
#416769 - 11/21/12 01:05 AM Re: Just found out. What do I do now? [Re: wrldtrvlr]
wrldtrvlr Offline


Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 10
That is very reassuring. I can't wait to share that with him.

If he isn't ready to talk about it, is it ok to tell him this information anyway? He told me today that he is dealing with a flood of memories and that its just too much right now. I'm torn between sharing what I think is good news and letting him have some space. Opinions?

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#416770 - 11/21/12 01:07 AM Re: Just found out. What do I do now? [Re: wrldtrvlr]
wrldtrvlr Offline


Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 10
Oops, just saw your post, crazy gecko. I'll post it on a new thread. Thanks!

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#416811 - 11/21/12 10:17 AM Re: Just found out. What do I do now? [Re: crazy gecko]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Gecko, this stat came from a study I found, but the actual percent is irrelevant to me. Every study has slightly different findings... Most likely based in part on how questions are worded (i.e. did they specify child SEXUAL abuse versus child abuse / neglect / emotional abandonment as one study that included these types of child abuse had the number up closer to 70%).

The most important part I wanted taken from the stats part of my post is how the statistics boil down. A lot of people, when they hear that if 35% (or whatever) of pedophiles were abused assume this same 35% is applied backwards on the survivors and that a survivor is 35% at risk for abusing. This is simply not how the math works and I just wanted that to be clarified.

Again, the overarching point of my post is the same as yours. I do not believe that being a victim makes someone predisposed to being an offender... I am not saying it doesn't ever happen, but not necessarily because of their own abuse.

Gecko, as you likely know, abuse is about power, dominance and humiliation. These are the things that drive the predator's sexual gratification. This is not a sexual preference. These are not lifestyle choices nor are they driven by socio-economic influences. Perhaps someone who was raised in a neglectful environment may not learn to be the best caretaker for their own children, but this is often due to ignorance... not due to purposeful cruelty. Being a sexual predator is not something anyone does by accident, from ignorance or by environment. It is purposeful and cruel. It is perpetrated by individuals at all levels of society and it breeds in an environment of secrecy, societal fear, and ignorance about the facts. People do not want to talk about this. It is an ugly part of society that people hope will never touch them and they don't want to discuss it in an open, healthy, head-on way with other adults or with their children.

Organizations like MS, 1 in 6, Parenting Safe Children and Voice Found here in Canada are trying to raise awareness, but it is a tough go. Most people only think about this problem after it impacts their life directly. I hope this changes. I am not sure what the legal environment is for perps in various States, but I can tell you that Canada's most recent "tough on crime" changes to child molestation raised maximum sentencing to 12 years. This is a joke! Most only get 2-3 years with allowance for time already served. Really doesn't make it worthwhile for survivors to go through the pain of reporting.

Wrldtrvlr, I have to apologize for hijacking your post. I am very passionate about this and have been known to ramble! wink Please do not feel judged for having these fears. You are still learning and probably knew nothing about this before the discovery of your BF's abuse.

I sense in your posts that you are feeling a lot of guilt about how you discovered this. Please let yourself off the hook for this. I am not saying you should snoop in the future, but what is done is done and it is a positive thing that this is now in the open. Obviously, there was something that you sensed was wrong and that is why you went looking in the first place. Secrecy and even lies are things my H fights in himself daily. He was programmed to do this. His instinct to lie is automatic - even about silly irrelevant things. Whenever he is leaving a store, he has this OCD like compulsion to empty his pockets so no one suspects he might have stolen something. This is a 45 year old professional man! He is just so paralyzed with guilt and shame that it has seeped into many, many unrelated behaviours.

So, how do you get him to talk? I don't think you can. This must be his choice. I am still not privy to all the details of my H's abuse, even after 13 years together. I think as partners who are separate and distinct from each other, all we have a right to expect is found in behaviour. Emotional connectedness, honesty, healthy intimacy, kindness, care and a life without any self-harm, self-humiliating behaviours. My H seemed well adjusted and easy going in the first few years together. Maybe he got a little more drunk than I liked at times, but he didn't drink all the time, so I thought nothing of it. His acting out worsened after we had children. The reality of loving and caring for a child that was as vulnerable as he was at the time of his abuse was very triggering for him. Another trigger for him was hitting 40. Many survivors manage to keep the lid on things until their middle life, then things start to unravel. Not sure why, but very common.

My insistence that certain behaviours end and my openness about why I thought those behaviours existed finally brought my H to begin talking to a therapist. He had tried a number of times to get the behaviours under control without this step, but kept reverting to them because the core issue was never addressed. When he realized he was risking driving me and his children away, he finally chose to seek recovery. I did not threaten or force this choice, but I did set my boundary firmly and let go of the outcome. It was in his hands to decide if he wanted a life moving forward with us or if he wanted to remain stuck in his abuse. I love him dearly, so am thrilled he made the choice he did, but I also love and respect myself and my children's needs enough to have let go if he could not move forward. I remain patient and expect we will still face pitfalls, but as long as the overall trend is upward, then I am a happy wife!

Again, all the best to you Wrldtrvlr.
_________________________
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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#416866 - 11/21/12 10:15 PM Re: Just found out. What do I do now? [Re: wrldtrvlr]
ALovingMum Offline


Registered: 02/24/12
Posts: 34
Loc: England
Worldtraveler,

You are indeed awesome. I hope you have now learnt that your boyfriend being a CSA survivor does not make him a paedophile.

In my humble opinion, I think you need to apologize to him for telling him to not have children because his childhood was stolen from him by a vile person(s). You might not agree with me, but if you really love him you need to take those words back and apologize. I think he is a wonderful man as you say, and remember he was only a child, a child who should have been loved, nurtured and protected - but all he got was abuse of the worst order.

About him not being ready to deal with it - it is very difficult for survivors to face up to these things. The demons and monsters are scary and gigantic. What he needs is patience. Let him have some breathing space - he is already feeling choked up with the abuse, and your discovery. I don't know that he could take added pressure of being made to deal. Key thing to remember is you found him out, he wasn't yet ready to confront or deal with these matters. So my 2 cents is to let him be for now, while showing him your love and support, and gently nudge him in the direction of this site. Do it together. Also gently suggest that he seeks a good therapist and see how he welcomes/reacts to that.

Lastly, look after yourself. Be honest with him about your feeling that you had to discover, but also let him know that you understand how he feels. He has come leaps and bounds and he is in a good relationship with you - many find this which we take for granted an extremely difficult thing.

You are a great woman and I think you are both very lucky to have each other.

If you need anything feel free to come on here and ask away! Keep us posted. I wish you happiness and the very best.
_________________________
Daily I worry for the safety of my young sons - but worry achieves nothing! So I pray for their safety!

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#416887 - 11/22/12 12:54 AM Re: Just found out. What do I do now? [Re: wrldtrvlr]
crazy gecko Offline


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
I have been thinking about this thread, and this is what I came up with -
(And I apologise in advance if this sounds harsh, but I want you to understand...)

As LovingMum said, you need to apologise. You told him that he should never have children. Yes, I know that was before you did research, but now you know better and I really think he needs to know that. He deserves to know that. I've been told that too, and it cuts you to the bone. It was one of the most hurtful, most traumatic things ever said to me.

You see, with that simple sentence, you told him - You are no better than your abusers. I don't trust you. No one should trust you around their children. You were right not to tell me, because now that I know, I know you are a bad, evil person. You should never tell anyone else, because then they will also know what a horrible person you are. You are right to loathe yourself - you deserve that, etc, etc. I know this isn't how you feel, but this is very likely what he heard.

Can you blame him for not wanting to talk about it any more?

If you can convince him that you trust him and believe him to be a good man, with the potential to be a good father, he may be more inclined to talk with you about it...
_________________________
I guess what I'm trying to say
Is whose life is it anyway because livin'
Living is the best revenge
You can play
-- Def Leppard

My Story, Part 2

My blog

Top
#417024 - 11/23/12 04:30 PM Re: Just found out. What do I do now? [Re: wrldtrvlr]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Not sure if I am doing this correct, but trying to link to a post Ken Singer made on this very same subject on November 20th in the Male Survivor forum. Topic was called "My girlfriend thinks all survivors become abusers" ... Hopefully this works!!

Originally Posted By: Ken Singer, LCSW
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.
_________________________
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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