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#440261 - 07/07/13 02:29 AM "My perp"
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
I keep seeing posts where different contributors here claim a sexual predator as "mine".

No! He ain't mine! Y'all can claim the one who violated you as "mine" if you want. Not me! I happily gave that up years ago smile

Jus' sayin'


Edited by WalkingSouth (07/07/13 02:31 AM)
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“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#440266 - 07/07/13 09:24 AM Re: "My perp" [Re: WalkingSouth]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1443
Originally Posted By: WalkingSouth
I keep seeing posts where different contributors here claim a sexual predator as "mine".

No! He ain't mine! Y'all can claim the one who violated you as "mine" if you want. Not me! I happily gave that up years ago

Hi, WalkingSouth -

OK, I hear you. More than hear you - I am perhaps as guilty as anyone here in using that euphemism. And I am moved by what you suggest. But it took me years to acknowledge he was my ANYTHING. All the work I have done with this was based on my owning my past. In any sexual assault, rape, molestation - it takes two to define the act: the perp and the victim. That's just a fact. The blame? Squarely on one. The ownership? Unfortunately on both. Because that defines the very essence of the crime. Reality hurts.

This guy planted himself in my psyche and stayed there. For years. He never left because I never acknowledged that he was "my molester." I couldn't kick him out until I got to that point. For years it wasn't molestation at all. *I* owned it - the blame, the shame, the guilt, as if a skinny little 12 year old boy could seduce or entice or in any way be responsible for the actions of a big, acne-scarred 15 year old. I blamed my body, my inability to keep my co-victims (all girls - including my sister) safe. My failures. My dysfunctions, My screwed up life. My secrets. Where was "my molester" as I dealt with the fallout? Raising a family and probably working on his next victims. He wasn't my anything. Frankly, I didn't even want to acknowledge him as part of my memory. It is a crime of my's. Because we end up owning it so deeply, despite every effort to deny that ownership.

My molester? It took me a lot of work to face that that ugly truth and start to reclaim my life.

My molester? That is precisely what he was.
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Eirik




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#440267 - 07/07/13 09:44 AM Re: "My perp" [Re: Chase Eric]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Well, he molested me, he raped me, sure. I claimed him as mine in the posessive sense of the word for quite some time. I no longer do. I finally saw the sense in ridding my psyche of the particular bit of posessive self deception that he was mine. It was a matter of adjusting my verbiage to reflect the healing process taking place in my mind. Psychologists will tell us that the spoken word, our spoken words, have a direct impact on how our psyche perceives our world. For me at least this was an example of that truth and a necessary next step in the healing process. .
_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#440268 - 07/07/13 09:57 AM Re: "My perp" [Re: WalkingSouth]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1443
Hi, WS -

All this is discussed in the greater context of respect and brotherhood, and I fully appreciate what you say. It is your truth, and I encourage you to stick by it if it is healing. We are just two people finding our own ways through this. Still, it is worth discussing.

I think the paradox in our perspectives is defined by this line you just wrote:

I finally saw the sense in ridding my psyche of the particular bit of possessive self deception that he was mine.

I had to do precisely the opposite. My self-deception was that he wasn't mine. When I say he was my molester, believe me, it is not a term of endearment. It has in fact proven to be one of empowerment.
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Eirik




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#440272 - 07/07/13 10:45 AM Re: "My perp" [Re: WalkingSouth]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 916
Loc: New York
Well put. I hate that phrase and its connotations and try to avoid it as much as possible. I don't "have" a molester. There is no "my rapist" to grammatically equal "my friend." I denounce any such possession or relationship.

Just not sure what TO say. The perp? The abuser in my case? The man who abused me? TMWAM?
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#440286 - 07/07/13 02:36 PM Re: "My perp" [Re: WalkingSouth]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1443
I'm pretty raw emotionally, and I hope that doesn't distort what I say below too much. The tears don't well into my lower lids and sting my eyes easily, but this is doing it. I suppose this is a bit triggering...

For so long I had defined him as my sister's molester. As those girls' molester. As perhaps other kids' molester once I broke away from him. Never as mine. I never accepted that. When my T asked me to talk about my past it came out. I was seeing this therapist to deal with inconsolable grief over the sudden death of my father (who was not my perp, by the way). I never remotely imagined that my early sexual experiences would become the focus. He asked me to talk about them. Simple questions guided me through a detailed account of every nasty thing I did. It was awful - it was embarrassing. It was my deepest secret. I felt like crap. I finished, and he just looked at me, almost with a look of pain in his eyes - so subtle - his eyes drilling into mine and he broke the silence with a quiet statement. "So you were molested."

"Didn't you hear a word I said?," I shot back. It wasn't molestation. It was MY fault. *I* owned the mess of my childhood. I was nobody's victim. Victim's sit on afternoon talk shows and cry and whine. That was NOT me.

And he just looked at me and came right back with the same quiet assertion. "So you were molested."

I had to OWN the fact that I was a victim. He wasn't just their molester. He was MY molester. Possessive? I had to OWN what he dumped into me. Because I OWN the damage he left. MY molester? Yes - because when I failed to own the fact that he owned me, I was just kidding myself. That brutally honest realization was key to all the work I have done. Wishing he wasn't my molester? Sure, why not? I guess he wasn't my sister's molester, either. He was just the molester, a molester, some molester - and we happened to get molested but we didn't really have a molester.

Or - maybe to say he wasn't my molester is like whistling and looking the other way all over again. Maybe it flies in the face of my reality because he WAS my molester. Maybe that was precisely the crime. Maybe nobody really saw it because they also didn't accept him as our molester. And so maybe nobody had a molester - it just wasn't that intimate a trespass.

I think everyone's story is like a fingerprint - no two are exactly alike. One person's "recovery" is another person's poison. The fact that I embrace the concept my molester does not in any way negate the validity of WalkingSouth's assertion to the contrary, which for him, perhaps, is equally valid as the "necessary next step in the healing process."

But this thread puts up a comment whose semantics are far more nuanced than I suspected at first read. And I thank WalkingSouth for bringing up this opportunity to discuss. It has helped crystallize a lot for me just to read and talk about this.


Edited by Chase Eric (08/04/13 10:25 PM)
Edit Reason: Trimmed out the fat to make the point a bit more clear
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#440289 - 07/07/13 02:55 PM Re: "My perp" [Re: WalkingSouth]
peacemaker67 Offline


Registered: 05/28/12
Posts: 45
Loc: WI
Chase,
I am here today looking going through the Forum and trying to find anything I can relate to that I think might help me move even more forward in my own healing. I remember when the therapist I was seeing over a year ago now do the same thing to me. I had said "it was my fault" and "I wasn't a victim." I learned to cry the tears and admit I was a victim. It was not my fault. I wasn't in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was victimized. That was not something that should have happened to me; it was a choice and choices of others that took me to the dark shadows of fear, demise, and shame.
I so appreciate you sharing this and being honest. It is still painful for me today to even look at the first day I broke down in therapy and almost darted out of the room because I was so disgusted and afraid. Once I came through that door, though, it has opened up so much freedom for me that healing is possible and freedom from that pain is a possibility and a reality.
NO, it has not nor will it all happen at once, but
I CAN be me again, and the little boy I never knew I am learning to be friends with again, and it feels great.
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-Love is love when it is free; love is love when others don't feed on you as a "need". If we reach one person with betterment, and in turn that one reaches another, what power we have to change the world."

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#440290 - 07/07/13 02:59 PM Re: "My perp" [Re: peacemaker67]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1443
Originally Posted By: peacemaker67
Chase,
I am here today looking going through the Forum and trying to find anything I can relate to that I think might help me move even more forward in my own healing. I remember when the therapist I was seeing over a year ago now do the same thing to me. I had said "it was my fault" and "I wasn't a victim." I learned to cry the tears and admit I was a victim. It was not my fault. I wasn't in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was victimized. That was not something that should have happened to me; it was a choice and choices of others that took me to the dark shadows of fear, demise, and shame.
I so appreciate you sharing this and being honest. It is still painful for me today to even look at the first day I broke down in therapy and almost darted out of the room because I was so disgusted and afraid. Once I came through that door, though, it has opened up so much freedom for me that healing is possible and freedom from that pain is a possibility and a reality.
NO, it has not nor will it all happen at once, but
I CAN be me again, and the little boy I never knew I am learning to be friends with again, and it feels great.

Those tears welling up in my eyes? Reading this just broke the dam. (((Peacemaker)))
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Eirik




Click my pic to see why I'm here

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#440297 - 07/07/13 04:27 PM Re: "My perp" [Re: Chase Eric]
peacemaker67 Offline


Registered: 05/28/12
Posts: 45
Loc: WI
You are "the man"; this will make all the difference in your life. You are full of potential. You're gonna make it!!!

I am really happy for you, my friend.
_________________________
-Love is love when it is free; love is love when others don't feed on you as a "need". If we reach one person with betterment, and in turn that one reaches another, what power we have to change the world."

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#440333 - 07/07/13 10:33 PM Re: "My perp" [Re: WalkingSouth]
unhappycamper Offline


Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 619
Loc: VA
I hate the phrase "my molester", too. If I bought that idea, I'd have to refer to "my rapist" and "my attempted murderer." The injuries may be mine forever, but the boy-raper never was and never will be--if only because I know I wasn't his only prey.

John

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#443265 - 08/04/13 06:18 PM Re: "My perp" [Re: WalkingSouth]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5945
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
A longtime ago a fellow survivor on the site and I went around on the "my perp" v. "the perp". Interestingly my perspective was that I was abused by a relative, but I called that person "the perp" where his abuser was a non relative, someone who was in his life as a mentor and he used the term "my perp". He used the term as the abuse happened to him in his teens and late twenties where the abuse I suffered(interesting again that I almost use the term "mine" here) was as a child barely in school. His abuse was after the "home" experience where the abuse I suffered was at my hoe of origin.

I think the experience of the abuse, the amount of shame, gender and age as well as other factors can determine the proprietary stance taken by survivors. I find in writing thus that I struggle with the pronoun versus using the definite article, my observations, good topic as it helps us to consider our perceptions.

"Not my abuser",
Sam
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MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#443291 - 08/04/13 09:42 PM Re: "My perp" [Re: WalkingSouth]
Castle Offline


Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 733
Loc: NJ
Im a big believer in "the" perp, rather than "my perp".

The shame belongs to him, not me. Its his abuse to carry, sadly I just carry the invisible scars of being his victim.

Blame Mike Lew laugh
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#443295 - 08/04/13 10:09 PM Re: "My perp" [Re: Castle]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1443
Five to one say "the" perp vs "my" perp. I reserve the right to be dead wrong as I well could be, and certainly counter-current as I often am. But I suppose at least I can say that makes it "my" work and these words could be "my" mistakes. But they ring true for me, so I'll let them stand here. Always the maverick, I guess.

Interesting insights, never-the-less, and I respect all the views expressed here. They really make me think.
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Eirik




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#443310 - 08/05/13 02:03 AM Re: "My perp" [Re: WalkingSouth]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3488
Loc: somewhere in Africa
I not only say THE perps -- but also THE step-dad and even THE mother.
I want as little as possible connection and relation to any and all of them.

Lee
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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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#443332 - 08/05/13 05:38 AM Re: "My perp" [Re: WalkingSouth]
Publius Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 399
Loc: OH
I guess I fall into the "my perp" category although I am not particularly attached to its usage. As I continue to shift more and more blame onto the person responsible for my abuse I personally have become more comfortable with referencing "my abuser." I believe this is because "my abuser" no longer represents a threat to me. The blame, the guilt, and the shame all belong to him and so in calling him "my abuser" I am alleviating myself of all these things while exposing and proclaiming his culpability. Nevertheless, I can see the value in disowning him entirely and choosing a different route just so long as both roads lead to recovery : )
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"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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#463875 - 04/08/14 09:04 PM Re: "My perp" [Re: WalkingSouth]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Bottom line is that each person is different and maybe even heals from emotional trauma differently. Each person must find what works for them in their recovery. Just as importantly each person in recovery will probably at some point learn to allow his fellow travelers the grace to recovery in a way that works for them. "My perp" or "the perp", whatever terminology we use, if it furthers our healing it's awesome!!! smile
_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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