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#446281 - 09/03/13 12:11 AM talking about it
traveler Online   confused
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3376
Loc: somewhere in Africa
A family we visited a week or so ago while traveling have a son who was a CSA victim in his middle school years. No one knew for several years. He acted out in major ways – drugs, pranks that borderlined illegal activity, anger and violence. He was expelled from school and was sent away for treatment of “his problems.” No one – not even so-called counselors – guessed that CSA was the root of everything. Apparently the program was successful.

We met him and were impressed with a very nice young man – charming, congenial, poised, polite, well-spoken, friendly and engaging – who is now pursuing a university degree in an area that will put him in constant contact with the public.

I was nervous the whole time we were there because when his parents first told us of their shocking discovery of his CSA, I was jolted by my recognition of the issues he would be dealing with. I said nothing at the time. I had not yet regained all the knowledge of my own history at the time, and certainly was in no condition to help or advise or reassure anyone else. Now I wondered if the topic would come up and what – if anything – I should say. We were there several days. The topic of the son’s rehab did come up repeatedly – but not the topic of the root cause of the problem. The son came and went – and was pleasant and open about his rehab experience but did not engage in lengthy conversations. I was breathing a sigh of relief as we were preparing to leave. It looked like I would not need to feel pressured to say anything.

Well – at the last minute everything changed. His parents had already gone to work and we were packing to leave. He returned home from a class and I suddenly felt compelled to say something. I was glad his parents were not there because they were quite intense and i felt pretty overwhelmed by them – and this was obviously a very personal matter for which neither of us needed an audience. I took the chance and was glad I did.

We talked for nearly an hour. I know we both benefitted from it. we both compared how we felt, reacted and how we are doing now. In some ways he seemed further along than me in recovery and in some ways I am obviously more mature. But our relative ages at the times of the abuse experiences seemed to mean more than our actual present ages. He thanked me several times for talking about it.

I guess what finally made me take the plunge was trying to imagine what it would have meant to me to have had someone older who was also a survivor reassure me at a younger age that there is the possibility for a decent life in the future. I also told him about MS so he may show up here someday. It was a VERY encouraging experience that I know did as much for me as it may have done for him. i was high for at least a day afterwards.

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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#446295 - 09/03/13 10:37 AM Re: talking about it [Re: traveler]
Lenny Offline


Registered: 07/19/13
Posts: 20
Loc: Kansas
Thank you for sharing your story of your courage and bravery. I see you as a man with a compassionate heart and who is strong and someone who is willing to step out of your comfort zone for the sake of someone else. Remind yourself of this win to build on and growth stronger from.


Edited by Lenny (09/03/13 10:37 AM)
_________________________
No one can make you feel inferior without your permission
Don't take anything personally
It's not the event, it's the meaning applied to it

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#446312 - 09/03/13 11:46 AM Re: talking about it [Re: traveler]
Publius Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 396
Loc: OH
Thank you for your courageous and generous gesture Lee.

"I guess what finally made me take the plunge was trying to imagine what it would have meant to me to have had someone older who was also a survivor reassure me at a younger age that there is the possibility for a decent life in the future. I also told him about MS so he may show up here someday. It was a VERY encouraging experience that I know did as much for me as it may have done for him. i was high for at least a day afterwards."

This is so awesome to read. I have no doubt your talking to him had a huge, positive impact. You see, even if his CSA came up a few times during rehab I've heard and experienced a lot of "yes, yes, yes, we know, but lets talk about your problems with XYZ." By putting the CSA out there first and foremost, talking to him about it, and most importantly listening to him as he talked about his experiences you did right by him. Bravo! : )
_________________________
"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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#446315 - 09/03/13 12:17 PM Re: talking about it [Re: traveler]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
You helped him a great deal - and no matter how far along he was in recovery, he still needed to hear it.

Once a great teacher, always a great teacher! smile
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#446321 - 09/03/13 12:36 PM Re: talking about it [Re: traveler]
toddop Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 214
Loc: California
Lee,

Thanks for sharing this account. It sounds like a nice in-person moment with another survivor. I really enjoyed reading this.

I encountered someone once who I met at a job. We took one look into each other's eyes and we both knew we were survivors and kindred spirits. We went out for coffee after work the first day we met, and spilled our stories out to each other. She was the second person I ever told. She is miles ahead of me in dealing with her CSA. But, she has been my best friend and one of my biggest champions in my life ever since.

I know that is not likely to occur in your instance, but I just wanted to share because that connection between survivors in real time can be really powerful. I am glad you got to experience that and that you were able to be there for someone who it sounds like needed to talk to another survivor.
_________________________
Todd

"Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds."
-Albert Einstein

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#446325 - 09/03/13 12:42 PM Re: talking about it [Re: traveler]
Rich1967 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 270
Loc: PA
Lee - that is so great that you had the courage to reach out. I hope we all get to the point where we are able to do this more often. I bet you had a huge impact on him by reaching out like that. He now may feel like he can do the same thing for someone else. I just remember the intense feelings of loneliness even in a room/house full of people because no one understands what you are going through. Now this kid knows there are others out there who feel the same way.

It's also nice to see someone so young doing well. I have just heard from too many young survivors that seem to only struggle and not make as much progress as I would have hoped by dealing with it earlier in life as opposed to trying to ignore it for decades like I did. It was making me wonder if the stuff we have to deal with can't be overcome till we're much older and mentally mature enough and that to me was depressing.

Thanks for sharing. I always like hearing from you :-)
_________________________
Rich

"Me too" - I don't think I will ever get tired of saying or hearing these two words.

My Story:
http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=441625#Post441625

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#446327 - 09/03/13 12:55 PM Re: talking about it [Re: traveler]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Iowa, USA
Lee

This is an awesome and inspiring story. The thing that sticks out the most is that you didn't let your own doubts and nervousness stop you from reaching out and helping another survivor. I'm sure he's very grateful for your unselfish gesture. This is a great illustration of what happens when we act for the greater good of mankind, and not for just what makes us feel good. Again, congratulations on a great story.

Dave

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