Newest Members
Jay1159, jon-jon, want more, pgh15217, Barracuda312
12343 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
Bob_dup1 (54), Carlos Gerardo (41), FERALFOO (48), Jolly Fisherman (59), Karl (62), MikeInFlorida (52), mizphit09 (37), oktobe_me (53), Yaoichan (22)
Who's Online
1 registered (YYZGIRL), 22 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12343 Members
74 Forums
63439 Topics
443465 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#457612 - 12/29/13 11:12 PM Need some help...we are in uncharted water.
Kdw Offline


Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 4
I'm the father of a 30 year old son who was sexually abused as a child by a neighbor. We first discovered this when he was 17, but he wouldn't discuss it with us. Later, after he was married, he returned from deployment to Iraq with PTSD which compounded the emotional damage. Then an addiction to porn nearly ruined his marriage...twice. After the last incident, he went into serious counseling over a year ago which was the last time I saw him.

We haven't been allowed to see our granddaughters, our daughter in law or him in over a year...we have a very close family. Communications by phone have been sporadic, an mostly difficult.

Yesterday I received an email from him that described some of the events of the abuse, a timeline of nearly 7 years. He said that I was not available to him emotionally or physically as a child, that we were negligent parents, that we acted as if nothing had happened and that we would not have a relationship until I acknowledged that I had a problem with porn.

The problem is that I don't have a problem with porn...we were a very nurturing family...the timeline that he describes as the abuse happening simply couldn't have happened, we were over protective as parents and the abuse happened in spite of everything we did.

I wrote back and told him that I didn't have a problem with porn...that I had looked at it but not for a very long time and I couldn't remember the last time...that we knew that his abuse had happened and had not acted like it happened, he was the one who wouldn't talk about it...that we knew his memories were real to him, and we hoped he would understand if our memories were different...described our memory of his childhood.

Our daughter in law has communicated that our response was the wrong response and we had only traumatized him further...we were supposed to take the opportunity to ask him to forgive us for being negligent, for letting him be abused, acknowledge that I have a problem with porn as well as my father and my brothers.

We are pretty devastated, and horrified to think that our response may have only made things worse for him. We are not in denial...we have begged him to talk to us any time and any place, we've asked to participate in his counseling, we've apologized for everything we can think of. Can we only help him by telling him we're responsible for memories that could not have happened? Is that part of the healing process...is this some form of validation?

We need some guidance!

Top
#457613 - 12/30/13 12:26 AM Re: Need some help...we are in uncharted water. [Re: Kdw]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 585
Kdw,

Yikes.

I don't usually post on this forum, but I'm going to take the plunge anyway.

From the sounds of it, things have taken off on a bad start for sure.

I'm offering perspective from the viewpoint of a son here, so needless to say, a lot of things I'm going to write will probably be biased. I'm hoping though that it may give you insight into what your son may be thinking, and what he really needs from you.

First and foremost, please listen to him. At this point, I'm sorry to say this, but he probably really doesn't care about what you have to say. In fact, he probably knows what you're going to say, and he's probably heard what you have to say many times already. I ask you to just listen instead. Listen. Listen. Listen. Don't defend yourself, don't offer your point of view. That's all he actually wants, he wants you to listen.

Also, I can't help but point out a few contradictions you've made in your original post:

- "memories that could not have happened" and "the timeline that he describes as the abuse happening simply couldn't have happened" vs. "I'm the father of a 30 year old son who was sexually abused as a child by a neighbor"

- "we've apologized for everything we can think of" vs. "we were supposed to take the opportunity to ask him to forgive us for being negligent, for letting him be abused, acknowledge that I have a problem with porn as well as my father and my brothers"

Judging by your son's assessment of his childhood, probably this one too:

- "we are not in denial" vs. "we were a very nurturing family"

Originally Posted By: Kdw
Can we only help him by telling him we're responsible for memories that could not have happened? Is that part of the healing process...is this some form of validation?

Rhetorical questions like this won't help him for sure.

If he says something you disagree with, I ask you to put on the breaks on your impulses to contradict him, and instead, ask him further to elaborate/clarify. I imagine he has a lot more to say but is not saying it, because you get too defensive too quickly, and it squanders any chance of discussion. My guess is, you've tried so hard - indeed, your best - to become the perfect parent to him that you actually missed out on his existence. Your son's an adult now, and he doesn't need to cling onto any perfect, idealized image. I hope you realize the simple cliche that nobody is indeed perfect, and nobody needs to be perfect; you can be less than perfect and your son will love you as long as you acknowledge this.
_________________________
Husky

Top
#457621 - 12/30/13 08:01 AM Re: Need some help...we are in uncharted water. [Re: Kdw]
Kdw Offline


Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 4
Husky, thanks. I needed to hear what you are saying...thanks for caring enough to say it.

Top
#457622 - 12/30/13 09:08 AM Re: Need some help...we are in uncharted water. [Re: Kdw]
expectinfeb14 Offline


Registered: 12/27/13
Posts: 15
I noticed you keep saying the memories couldnt have happened and that the timeline is wrong. The worst thing for someone who has been abused is to not be believed or listened to. And you peobably find it hard to believe but it is very angering to the abused and his spouse to know this went on with you unaware. My husband and his brother were both abused by their father for 7 years and somehow his mother never knew. This makes me so angry that thyve nwvwr acknowledged this and doesnt allow me to trust her. I wish i was able to keep my son away from them but im not as lucky because my husband is in much more denial than your son is.

Top
#457624 - 12/30/13 09:36 AM Re: Need some help...we are in uncharted water. [Re: Kdw]
Castle Offline


Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 728
Loc: NJ
complex ptsd is a very challenging issue.

Speak with a counselor yourself, hopefully one with experience in treating ptsd/ military/csa to help guide you through the process.

The one thing that jumped out to me is the wife saying you were supposed to beg for forgiveness... that doesn't really ring true to me. More so an acknowledgement of wrongdoing and a real sorry vs asking for forgiveness.

I wonder if the overprotectiveness led him to the military in which his ptsd got worse? and he blames you for this?

There is a difference between nurturing and overprotecting to a fault.

The porn thing is most unusual. While I've had disagreements with some other survivors about this, not all porn is bad if used in a healthy way with a loving partner. I wonder why he thinks you had a porn issue, unless you are just not being honest with yourself. The problem becomes a problem when it's used as a substitute for real relationship and takes away from real life.

I certainly have my own issues with my folks since recovery, must of which is based around boundaries.... and the fact that some of the power struggle in my family possibly led/ was a factor in the abuse. I wonder if that's what's going on for him... That he's feeling things at home led him to others whom abused him and info the military ect. I don't know nor am I accusing you just thoughts based on your words.

Some stuff just doesn't add up here and I suggest you get good professional help to work through the issues.
_________________________

My posts can self destruct at any time..read them while you can.

Top
#457625 - 12/30/13 10:20 AM Re: Need some help...we are in uncharted water. [Re: Kdw]
une.vie.d.espoir Offline


Registered: 12/06/10
Posts: 106
Loc: Quebec-Canada
As the same way as Husky I would sugest that you just listen to your son, Only one thing I can say is that he did and trys to tell you something, he is trying is best to reach you. It is not a good way to be logic about it. What i can read betwen the lines is YOU and your SON are boths REALLY HURT.

Now to know why you are hurt it is a different question, What i would like to ask but no need to answer is

Why are you scared ?

Why don't you trust ?

Why is your mind in contracdiction of your feelings ?


Take care

Whit love


Jean-Pierre

Top
#457642 - 12/30/13 07:55 PM Re: Need some help...we are in uncharted water. [Re: Kdw]
Kdw Offline


Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 4
Thank you all for your observations and input. This has been a hard day for us. Not much sleep last night, and the realization that I have not been the father my son needed. Communications with him are strained right now. It's pretty hard to look at yourself and acknowledge that you have failed your children. At the end of it all, he was abused when I was supposed to be protecting him. I think it's time for me to take responsibility for that. Hopefully, the opportunity to listen will come in the future.

Top
#457646 - 12/30/13 09:25 PM Re: Need some help...we are in uncharted water. [Re: Kdw]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 755
Loc: michigan
hey kdw
I think that we need to stop sometimes and try to put ourselves in the others shoes, and other times we need to reason out as best we can what might be happening. your sons memories are his reality. and that is unfortunate. the brain is far from a perfect recording device. his perception of your porn usage ,whatever that may have been, is added into his feelings and understanding at that time. it is a truth for sure but also an amalgam of thoughts and feelings that go with that. I remember hearing my dad talking to my older brother once about playboy pictures. His comment was it is no big thing. he knew nothing about my abuse by a female. to me it was a HUGE deal. that made me feel once more like something was wrong with me. see it was not so much what he said as the way it played out in my life. csa twists our thinking,plays with our emotions,in ways that we don't even begin to understand sometimes. I just hope that you are able to piece together those events that may have been juxtaposed and bring healing to your families
_________________________
Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!"
Herman Melville

Top
#457667 - 12/31/13 02:13 AM Re: Need some help...we are in uncharted water. [Re: Kdw]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 585
Kdw,

I wish you the best of luck.

Originally Posted By: Kdw
It's pretty hard to look at yourself and acknowledge that you have failed your children.

I can't imagine what that must feel like. I really hold you in high regard though, for your willingness and courage to change your perspectives, especially on something as emotionally-charged as the upbringing of your own children. I think the road to healing your relationship with your son will definitely take some time and won't be without struggle, but I also think you've already taken a huge step in coming here and seeking help.

I really hope things work out - will be rooting for you.
_________________________
Husky

Top
#457695 - 12/31/13 02:55 PM Re: Need some help...we are in uncharted water. [Re: Kdw]
Kdw Offline


Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 4
This has been a heartbreaking experience for us, and I know that it has been much worse for him. There are so many concerns, and we feel like we are groping blindly through the dark. Part of me thinks it would be better if we could just talk to him about what he's dealing with, but I also know that he's doing this as best he can manage and talking about it isn't what he can manage now.

I haven't seen him or my granddaughters in over a year. We'll never have that time back. I guess this is when we realize that we are also victims of the abuse that he experienced.

Thanks for all of the observations and thoughts...it's been helpful.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, peroperic2009 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.