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#44662 - 06/25/03 05:58 PM Re: Defining Your Sexual Abuse
godsrabbit Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 98
p.s.

andrew said in the "trapped" thread:
Quote:
In my humble opinion, the worst thing an SA survivor can do is give the SA experience an importance it doesn't deserve by attributing to it all future failings and fallibilities. Doing this breathes life in the SA, reopening the wound continually. It is also, in my opinion, a total cop out ... an excuse, and a very convenient one.
this is the most sensible thing i have seen here...

what is the point of calling something abuse if it is not? it is mine to define. my body. my head. my health. and i am responsible for it. no one else.


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#44663 - 06/25/03 06:06 PM Re: Defining Your Sexual Abuse
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Godsrabbit,

You are correct. I apologize for "speaking for you." It is a character flaw of mine.

If it didn't and doesn't hurt the recipient, I do not think it is abuse.

Thanks,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#44664 - 06/25/03 06:22 PM Re: Defining Your Sexual Abuse
andrew-almost52 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/02
Posts: 243
Loc: canada
Hold on now Rabbit! I don't mind being quoted, but I'm not sure that what I said is actually supportive of what you are saying. I was suggesting that SA should not be allowed to rule and destroy our lives. The second scenario you described certainly could be perceived as abuse. It may not have bothered you, and if it didn't ... then fine. It seems that you are quite comfortable to accept the mediator's findings. And if you are now convinced in your own mind that you were not abused, then who am I not to accept that.
Peace, Andrew


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#44665 - 06/25/03 06:37 PM Re: Defining Your Sexual Abuse
andrew-almost52 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/02
Posts: 243
Loc: canada
Agreeing with Mic Hunter's list is a no brainer.

Having said that, I would propose that the following is NOT abuse:
A male adult is propositioned/approached by another male either verbally or through escalating contact. The male being propositioned
goes along with the sexual contact and completes the sex act. Later the propositioned/approached male claims he was the victim of sexual abuse. I don't believe this is abuse. In my opinion, he is just feeling guilty for having had a homosexual sexual encounter. I take the same view of teen experimentation and preteen experimentation, provided there are no physical threats and the participants are reasonably close in age, competance & maturity. Peace, Andrew


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#44666 - 06/25/03 06:43 PM Re: Defining Your Sexual Abuse
godsrabbit Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 98
thank you joe...i am soory if i seem at my wits end...this is very frustrating...

andrew, i apologize for decontextualizing your quote...what i really meant by posting it is that yes, i am a survivor of sexual abuse...but in this instance i nearly let my previous victimization make a very horrible decision for me...i nearly let it cloud my head so completely that i would lash out on anybody...even someone trying to help (misguided though it was...and he admitted that much)...we all need to be sensitive of other people's boundaries...he did not know i had been abused...he was simply naive...

is not the point of all of this (among MANY points) to try to teach other people to BE MORE SENSITIVE to one another and respect boundaries? even amongst ourselves...?

we are all survivors but in different ways. we need to respect our differences and not leap to conclusions about one another...

i am sorry for all of this...


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#44667 - 06/25/03 09:20 PM Re: Defining Your Sexual Abuse
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Dear godsrabbit,

Your posting about the two episodes seemed quite reasonable to me.

I also appreciate your continuing to put the focus (not necessarily the blame, but the focus) back on yourself, where you actually have the possibility of making some change.

It took me a long time to be able to admit that I was sexually abused. I was compelled to admit it intellectually when the story of my life matched EXACTLY the definition of abuse I saw over and over again.

It took me even longer to get angry about it--I'm still working on that as a matter of fact.

Getting stuck in the anger would IMHO be perhaps more dangerous than when I got stuck in denial.

Anger and blaming are a stage in my progress to recovery--getting stuck there can have really negative consequences for myself.

I may start seeing abuse everywhere, even where it is not; might begin to blame my own weaknesses on the abuse when in fact the weakness existed before the abuse and was only exacerbated by it.

It can start to make me sicker, rather than well.

I'm reminded of the story from a friend in recovery.

Being absorbed with anger and hatred towards the perpetrator is like a man drinking poison and expecting the hated person to die.
That's not how poison works; that's not how anger works.
So getting angry about the abuse and giving up responsibility for the abuse that is not rightfully mine, is an critical step for me.

I think of my anger as adrenalin; vital to saving my life in measured amounts, but toxic to my system as a way of life.

My anger at the abuse certainly does not give me carte blanche to accuse anyone who vexes me of abuse. These are things that are to be decided on an individual basis in consultation with professionals and/or spiritual advisors.

My thinking in regards to abuse and many other things is damaged and I must recognize the need to seek and accept help from trustworthy people.
Sounds like exactly what you did--it's your call.

I also give myself the right to change mind..... or not.

The story I tell myself of what happened in my life has changed dramatically in just a small amount of time. It is likely to change, grow , expand again.

The black/white dichotomy that is so tempting for me as a survivor to adopt is not a plan for living because it does not reflect the truth of life.

Your experience is your experience. No one elses.

We can argue about theories, but as survivors we must be allowed the opportunity to honor our truth.

Coming to a forum like this gives me a chance to bounce my version of what happened off other people's world view.

I honestly don't believe that anyone here meant to berate you or minimize the reality of your experience. Still I can appreciate that it certainly felt that way to you. And I'm sorry for any hurt you might be feeling.

Sounds like you went to hell and back with this stuff, and for that you have my complete respect.

Keep challenging me, keep questioning my motivations. It's good for me. It's healthy.

It's part of the normal give and take of human interaction.

It's beautiful.

It's also the antithesis of the dialectic of power that dehumanizes human beings through the sickness that is sexual abuse.

When I was alone and being abused, I never questioned out loud, I never disagreed with the point of view of the perpetratror.

Part of my recovery is allowing that part of myself to grow and flourish.

Your comments here tonight have helped me do that.

I appreciate your presence here, and ask you to please continue to post--not just for your sake, but for mine.

Thank you.

Grateful for diversity of opinion,

I remain,

Your fellow survivor,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#44668 - 06/25/03 11:39 PM Re: Defining Your Sexual Abuse
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Quote:
Originally posted by TheDean:
There are some things we are not free to decide on our own. For instance, sexual harassment. If any person feels uncomfortable by what someone does, says, jokes about etc. the person who is uncomfortable needs to say; "STOP, I do not appreciate what you are doing and you are not to do it again!" Anything done after that is sexual harassment, according to the law.

This may make us really angry. We may think it is not fair. We may want to work really hard to change the law. But, at the seminar I attended, I was told that harassment is harassment, it is defined and explained by others and we have to obey those laws or be willing to suffer the consequences.

I have had women tell me some jokes that really embarassed me. I did not tell them, and did not ask them, to stop it. When they told some more, really salacious stories, it was not harassment because I had not told them that they were to cease and desist. Had, I done so, it would have been harassment, not because I said it was harassment, but because the law says so. I do not have to report harassment against me. But if I do, I do not get to call the shots--the law has already done that--at least in so far as the workplace is concerned.

Dr. Gartner, in his book speaks about people being betrayed and violated, but not FEELING abused, nor traumatized. e.g. the 15 year old boy who has wild passionate sex with his 32 year old female teacher. He will insist that he was not abused, that he wanted it and it is no one else's business. He's in LOVE!

Sorry Lad, that is not your call. The law in almost all, if not all, 50 States of the USA, says that, until one is 18 years old, they can not statutorially make a decision to have sex--not with a 32 year old teacher and not with his 15 year old girl friend.

I am sorry if you were angered and disillusioned by my remarks godsrabbit. I admit, I had a very visceral reaction. I feel badly that you are feeling so misunderstood here, and certainly by me. I try to understand and see what the picture is of what a poster is saying. I did feel, apparently very incorrectly, that you did not feel yourself abused, even though you had said that he should not put his arm around you and that you were uncomfortable. My reaction is based on my own experience of thinking that some of what occurred in the 50 or 60 rapes I had, was not abuse. I have come to see that it was all abuse in my case. It would be abuse if it happened to any teenage boy. So, I reacted strongly, probably being overly protective of you and just the opposite happenen you felt denigrated and talked down to. For that I am certainly sorry. I never meant to imply that you are an idiot. But I really do not think that we have the right to decide what is and is not abuse. That would get very dangerous indeed.

We do not need to loosen what is deemed abuse, we need to make it emminently clear, what the boundaries are that society has set. And it appears society may well want to loosen or broaden those boundaries.

I do not watch a lot of TV. I am not a parent. If I were a parent I would give myself over full time, to trying to have a class action suit brought against dozens of so called "sit coms" that pervert the morals of our children, who make kids think that sex is no more a moral matter than drinking a glass of water. Words, sooner or later, have to mean something or we cannot communicate.

I may not have felt betrayed and violated in certain aspects of the abuse I endured. However, as kind and understanding and compassionate as I want to be, I could not say that it was ok, because I say it was ok, and I really didn't mind all that much. The man broke the law in a serious way and deserved to be punished for his crime.

We have been told many times that if we have a hard time seeing what happened to us as abuse, just ask ourselves if it would be abuse, if it happened to someone else. I have found that helpful.

godsrabbit, I may well have not understood well enough what you were saying. I may well have reacted without thinking it through. If you feel good about what happened to you with your fellow employee and are satisfied by the results of the mediation then it apparently did you no harm. I do have to tell you though, that if the same thing, under the same circumstances had happened to me, I would have filed charges and insisted, after his admission that he had indeed violated your boundaries, that he be penalized in some way as stated by the law. I do not think that makes me right and you wrong, I think it just means that we have different attitudes towards people touching our persons. For me, that is VERY limited.

Discussions like this certainly broaden my mind and point out to me the differences we all have in boundaries. I think it is helpful for me to see that some of you give much more latitude than I would. I probably have some work to do on that.

Bob


_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#44669 - 06/26/03 12:23 AM Re: Defining Your Sexual Abuse
godsrabbit Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 98
i have been trying to respond to this and cannot, though there is so much i want to say...

thank you danny and bob for your words...i will sleep on this and try to put together some coherent words tomorrow...i am sorry to be such trouble...i try to listen very openly...but i have always had a hard time putting together words and people seem to misunderstand me a lot, so i am sure it is no fault of anyone here...forgive me...i am just tired....

caritas all,

~ rabbit


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#44670 - 06/26/03 01:53 AM Re: Defining Your Sexual Abuse
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
godsrabbit - "I'm sorry to be such trouble" you said. I am sorry you feel that you are trouble here. EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT to speak their mind. I respect your right to hold your beliefs and state them WITHOUT APOLOGY or feeling like you are "fighting" uphill. This areana is one in which we speak our own minds from our own experiences and AGREE TO DISAGREE without any winners or losers - right/wrongs, etc. We speak our honest feelings and thoughts; respect where we each are in our respective places. There is no right and wrong feelings - just our own personal feelings without judgement.

One of the really beautiful aspects of this site, is I can read all sides to an issue... study it against my own experiences...make up my own mind...without expecting anyone to agree or disagree with me but have always encountered respect for my feelings, thoughts and conclusions.

Please don't be upset at disagreements, we are all interested in the same thing - healing - from what we all shared in our past.

Keep talking and sharing, guys! I look forward to ALL of us participating in our healing! Thanks!

Howard \:\)

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#44671 - 06/26/03 01:00 PM Re: Defining Your Sexual Abuse
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
godsrabbit, I wrote a not to you on your pm's I won't repeat that here.

We do not need to apologise for sharing what we feel and believe and have experienced. As I mentioned to you, I think you are a most gentle man and it is great to have you here. You offer a very good, stable and comapssionate view.

Bulls in the china shop like me, if there are any others here, desperately need men like you to help us slow down, back off and think things through. You are a gift to MS. I really hope you won't apologise again for giving what you give. It is not a problem, it is a gift.

You are a good man rabbit--you help me a lot in your patience and gentle ways. I think many of the guys here feel that same way.

We don't argue sports here--this is much more important than such ephemeral things. So we will disagree, but don't confuse disagreements with lack or respect or appreciation of a different viewpoint.

Peace to you rabbit.

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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