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#429687 - 03/31/13 11:43 PM I told my mom tonight
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 334
Loc: Iowa, USA
Tonight I told my mom about my CSA. I described to her who did it and when. I decided that the symbolism with today being Easter would be an appropriate time to let her in on my secret. It was a tough decision, one I vacillated over for a very long time. Until I heard the words come out of my mouth, I didn't know if I would truly have the fortitude to reveal what happened. She was very supportive, more than I thought she would be. I was impressed with her strength, but in reality, I wasn't surprised that she remained strong, because that's the type of woman and mom she's always been. Of course, she was crying, and she held me and just kept saying "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." She said she always had a hunch that something happened that day I was over at my perp's apt. She said that something was different about me after I got home that day. I just seemed withdrawn and lost, and never really got over it. She never suspected it was sex abuse, because in the 70s, abuse of boys was not in people's circle of awareness and additionally, nobody in that era would ever suspect or accuse a priest of molesting an altar boy. Funny how things have changed. Ironically, in a bit of role reversal I found myself hugging my mom and telling her that everything's going to be okay.

She and I had a good talk about things after I revealed my secret. I didn't tell her my whole story and kept secret my acting out or my struggle with SSA. She wondered how I managed to stay strong all these years, and wondered what it was like carrying this secret around for 40 years. She said it's a miracle I didn't get involved with drugs or alcohol. (She has no idea about the chronic MBing or acting out in other ways). She wondered if it just ate me up from the inside out, which it didn't, but that doesn't mean it didn't have negative consequences. She said several times not to blame myself. I was happy that she didn't blame herself either, because there was nothing she could've done to prevent this other than locking me in my room, which there are laws against doing.

I'm glad I had this talk with my mom tonight. I think this will bring us closer. I love her dearly, for she's been my biggest supporter, but I have to remember she is 80 and her time on earth is limited. I'm glad I told her, so that after she's gone I don't have to wish I had said something. This doesn't take any of the pain away, by any means, and doesn't replace therapy. Also, I don't know if I'm going to regret my decision tomorrow. I hope I don't, because there's no going back.

Thank you to my friends here at MS. You have helped me garner to the strength to tell my family my story. That in and of itself shows progress. A month ago, there's not way I could've done this, and there's definitely no way I would have strong enough to handle the effects of letting this out. I appreciate your support.

DavO

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#429688 - 03/31/13 11:57 PM Re: I told my mom tonight [Re: DavoSwim]
Farmer Boy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia
DavO

Wow

I am so impressed by your progress. You handled it perfectly by the sounds of it. Not too much info - but enough.

I am so glad your mom responded the way she did - it is a lot for an 80 year old to handle and it sounds like she is a trouper. And you showed real strength in supporting her in return.

I am sure this will be a huge weight off your shoulders and I think it was wise to do it before she got any older.

Lee
_________________________
More than meets the eye!

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#429689 - 04/01/13 12:04 AM Re: I told my mom tonight [Re: DavoSwim]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 334
Loc: Iowa, USA
Thanks Lee for your support and positive reinforcement of my decision. It helps confirm I did the right thing.

DavO

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#429718 - 04/01/13 10:51 AM Re: I told my mom tonight [Re: DavoSwim]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3493
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Well done, Davo!
happy for you.
i'm sure this will prove to be a big step forward.
- the other Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#429719 - 04/01/13 11:18 AM Re: I told my mom tonight [Re: DavoSwim]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1753
Davo Well Done. I am happy for you. It is nice to have your family stand by you and believe you and in you. A big step forward.

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#429726 - 04/01/13 12:30 PM Re: I told my mom tonight [Re: DavoSwim]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1447
{{{Davo}}}

You most probably made the best decision, considering all options, by confiding to your mother. I did similar about ten years ago. I lost my dad (not my abuser, by the way - just my dad) a few years before and regretted deeply never giving him the chance to know me, to understand me by sharing my secrets. I cheated myself out of the healing words he may have offered, the warm and reassuring hug he may have given me that I desperately needed. I thought I was protecting both him and myself from swimming in the dirty waters of my past, and I bought into the idea that the superficial bliss of ignorance was enough to sustain and define our relationship. For years we've done that - we all - as CSA survivors - are used to doing that, aren't we? It's about shame and secrets. The unspeakable shame drives the crushing weight of secrets we drag through all the phases of our lives. It becomes like a religion to us. So it is perhaps not supposed to feel comfortable or natural or even right to disclose it. I suspect your feelings of ambivalence are quite normal - even to be expected. As for me - after losing my dad, I realized that I did not want to make the same mistake with my mom. I did not want to live in a false plastic paradise of pretend any more. After a while, there comes a time - like has come to you, my friend - when we realize the only person those secrets benefit is the abuser. And the people all around us who we love and hold dear - they all die and we never let them truly into our lives, and we are left with emptiness and regret.

I have come to believe that life's biggest regrets are not over what we have done, but what we have not done. You, Dave, will never have that regret - not about this. This is a major milestone in your journey - many never do it. It is a gift you have given to yourself and to your mother.

There was an NPR Interview with author Barry Lopez I recommend that you listen to. He talks about his own CSA but addresses quite poignantly the decision to tell his mother. In his case - like mine - he felt he was essentially placed on the sacrificial alter by his mom - enduring the abuse, the secrecy and the shame while she turned a convenient head to it all, ostensibly for the financial gains that they reaped from keeping this man in the family fold.

Telling my own mother gave me release from the anger, from the resentment - it yielded the surprise of an explanation that I thought otherwise impossible, and allowed me the emotional release of forgiveness. Perhaps like you - I realized that sharing the experience hurt my mom more than I expected. She sat across the table from me and seemed to literally age as I told her. It seemed her wrinkles got deeper, her hair grayer as she listened. She was like a wounded deer I hit with a purposely-flung arrow, and I suddenly found myself comforting her - paradoxical as it seems, since I thought I'd be the one needing comforting. So your experience obviously resonates with me.

This is a snippet from the interview with Mr Lopez in which he talked about confronting his essentially "absent" mother. I thought you might appreciate (I certainly did):

Originally Posted By: NPR's Fresh Air - January 10, 2013
The whole mindset of being a victim and pointing at somebody else and accusing them that's not a very productive place to go, and it's certainly a terrible place to stay. We're all of us human, and we fail we fail miserably in moments when we wish to show how we love. So I don't know what happened for her. All I really wanted from her was clarity. I wanted to be able to say to her, 'What happened to you during these years?' and 'Are you OK?' But couldn't, you know. She was dying of cancer in a hospital in Manhattan, and I sat with her off and on almost every day. And I asked her if she wanted to talk about what happened in California, and she didn't or wouldn't answer me. She just turned away and wept, and then she died.
_________________________
Eirik




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#429735 - 04/01/13 02:02 PM Re: I told my mom tonight [Re: DavoSwim]
bodyguard8367 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""
Davo,


YOU GO BOY!!!!

Good for You!!

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#429775 - 04/01/13 10:58 PM Re: I told my mom tonight [Re: bodyguard8367]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1139
Loc: The ATL

Davo, congrats on telling your mom! I'll bet it feels like a huge weight off your shoulders. It's great to hear that it went so well. Considering how she reacted, I doubt you'll regret telling her. My own experience with telling my mom didn't go as well and I still don't regret telling her. Not really anyway. I told her, and if she chooses to believe it couldn't have really happened, I'm not going to loose any sleep over it. The important thing is, I worked up the nerve to tell her and I did. I honestly think in your situation, the more that time goes on, the more glad you'll be that you told her. Kudos, man! I'm happy for you. Peace,

Ken

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#429784 - 04/02/13 01:29 AM Re: I told my mom tonight [Re: DavoSwim]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1736
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Well Done Davo

I cried when I read your post. It is so liberating telling your mom, and took a lot of courage Im sure. Well done. This is another step in your recovery.
Please remember that it is a time to stop keeping secrets. Tell her everything, she will not love you less but at least you will have a supporter.

Heal well
Martin
_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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#429785 - 04/02/13 02:19 AM Re: I told my mom tonight [Re: DavoSwim]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 334
Loc: Iowa, USA
Thank you all for your support and affirming my decision to tell my mom. I don't regret it at all. One day after telling her I feel a change in myself. I feel a connection between my soul and my exterior and a renewed integrity that goes with it. On the flip side, I feel like my secret is on display, and although my mom would never violate my trust in her, I'm not convinced others would do the same. It's a bit irrational because no one else knows, but it's just that sense that because I let it out, it may come back to haunt me. The realization that I revealed myself to the world is somewhat overwhelming - I can't believe I did it, didn't believe I had the strength to follow through. It wipes me out thinking of it. Oh well, I have a lot of time to ponder the meaning of all of this.

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