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#430446 - 04/07/13 09:24 PM Volunteering with kids seems to fix everything
Edward Wong Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/25/11
Posts: 40
I recently began volunteering with an inner city Boy Scout troop. Before I started, I was worried about being triggered by the kids. Instead, the outcome has been quite the opposite. I feel better than I have in years. It seems like everyone that happened to me as a kid doesn't hurt anymore.

I don't know why working with kids makes me feel so much better. If I had known it would make me feel this way, I would have started years ago.

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#430499 - 04/08/13 09:04 AM Re: Volunteering with kids seems to fix everything [Re: Edward Wong]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5773
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
That's the way to go. If you humanize the child, it's harder to sexualize him. However, it is at times, risky business. One needs to be aware of sexual thoughts/fantasies regarding the kids. Though the person may not be engaging in high risk behaviors that might be a precursor to a sexual act, the behaviors are almost always preceded by thoughts/fantasies and feelings.

This is not to say that what you are doing is risky but you need to be aware of thoughts or feelings that, if acted on, would be harmful to another person or illegal. I had a survivor some years back who was a middle school teacher. He unconsciously picked that age group to work with and found himself attracted to some of the boys. He decided to take an administrative position to work in education but removed himself from temptation in the classroom.

If you can make it work, be aware of "Breaking the Cycle of Self-defeating/destructive Behaviors". It might help to recognize early warning signs.

Good luck in your efforts, Edward.

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#430586 - 04/09/13 12:31 AM Re: Volunteering with kids seems to fix everything [Re: Edward Wong]
si Offline


Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 42
Loc: Utah
I love volunteering with kids and spending time with them. In my head, if that child is being abused or will be, then the moments I spend with that child will have a great impact. And if the child isn't being abused, im still an awesome person in their life they can look back on and love. It helps me with csa to know that I can be a real friend towards them without wanting something in return. I want to be to them what my "friend" wasn't. I find this is the best coping method. I'm involved in the big brother big sister program Btw.

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#430591 - 04/09/13 01:07 AM Re: Volunteering with kids seems to fix everything [Re: Edward Wong]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 299
Loc: Iowa, USA
I work with kids for a living. I feel my history gives me a unique perspective. I am fiercely protective of my kids - I am on the lookout for signs of neglect and abuse. There have been times when I've found out kids are getting involved in dangerous behavior and I've notified the right people in an effort to get them to stop. No one knows my history of CSA. I want each kid to feel important and that this is a place for them. I want them to know that for a couple of hours each day, someone feels they are important I know it helps me as well - gives me focus to my life. I understand Edward's perspective on this. Maybe in this small way, I can help break the cycle of abuse.
DavO

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#430651 - 04/09/13 03:27 PM Re: Volunteering with kids seems to fix everything [Re: Edward Wong]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1362
Loc: California
I've just been accepted into the Big Brothers program, and they apparently have a match for a kid who has similar issues to the ones that I had when I was a kid.

I'm nervous, a little scared, and a little excited to have the opportunity to be a mentor and 'big brother' to the little one. I don't have the slightest worry about any improper thinking / feelings arising, as I used to teach high school kids 5 / 6 years ago with not a thought.

My biggest concern is mentoring someone who is currently going through the bullying that I suffered as a child, and not knowing how to support him. I'm not sure I really recovered from my own bullying.

My therapist encourages me to proceed forward.

Edward, I'm glad that working with kids is making you feel immensely better. I think I might make this a bigger part of my life as well.
_________________________
It's a heroes journey, and you are the hero.

-- I must remind myself that sugar is my enemy. I can't control my sugar consumption and sugar makes me mentally unstable. I'm reminding myself (because I forgot again).

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#430660 - 04/09/13 05:28 PM Re: Volunteering with kids seems to fix everything [Re: Edward Wong]
Publius Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 394
Loc: OH
Thank you all for doing what you do.
_________________________
"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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#430739 - 04/10/13 09:13 AM Re: Volunteering with kids seems to fix everything [Re: Edward Wong]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1368
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: Edward Wong
I feel better than I have in years. It seems like everyone that happened to me as a kid doesn't hurt anymore.

Originally Posted By: Magellan
I've just been accepted into the Big Brothers program, and they apparently have a match for a kid who has similar issues to the ones that I had when I was a kid.

Well done men! Anything that gets us outside our own heads, helping others, is good therapy. And I think helping kids is a way of rescuing the boys we were, the way we wish someone had rescued us. Nothing but good can come from this.

Jude
_________________________
"When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown, the dream is gone
And I have become comfortably numb."
Pink Floyd

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#430746 - 04/10/13 11:09 AM Re: Volunteering with kids seems to fix everything [Re: Edward Wong]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1362
Loc: California
I dunno. Ever since I accepted the match they have for me, I've sunk into a major depression.

Seems I just can't get a fair shake at anything.
_________________________
It's a heroes journey, and you are the hero.

-- I must remind myself that sugar is my enemy. I can't control my sugar consumption and sugar makes me mentally unstable. I'm reminding myself (because I forgot again).

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