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#458272 - 01/08/14 10:46 PM Is calling her a perp wrong of me?
Jacob S Offline

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 619
Loc: where the shadows lie
I don't know if I belong here. I don't know if maybe I should move to a different site, but I don't where else there is. For better or for worse, I'm not really dealing with my sexual abuse right now. Because my sexual abuse was *mostly* at the hands of male peers. But the reason I didn't think I had the right or ability to stop the sexual abuse was because of the emotional and physical abuse of my mother and my brother. So I think of my mother as my main perp, but I hesitate to say that because she's not the one who actually held me against the wall of that shed. She wasn't there. She just is the one who created a childhood of constant stress, living in fear of being hit by my autistic brother and not being allowed to defend myself, taking on the responsibility of being her emotional support (including what is called covert incest) and her verbal/emotional punching bag from the time I was 2, being made to feel worthless for having emotions or wanting food. The kid who bullied and raped me was actually slightly younger than me, and though he was bigger than me it wasn't his size that kept me in his power all that summer. It was the years of being made to feel like I only existed as a receptacle of other's peoples urges. That's why I didn't tell. It didn't even occur to me that I had a right to be protected. That was perp 3 of 3, but perps 1 and 2 also succeeded for similar reasons.

So what do I do? Is it wrong for me to think of my mother as the main perp, the one whose perpetuating of emotional abuse led to the sexual assaults on me at 4, 8 and 9? Even though she didn't know about those actions? Or is calling her a perp an offense to other survivors of more direct female sexual abuse? The emotional abuse she caused and the physical abuse she allowed my brother to cause were both very big parts in shaping who I became, and letting her off the hook with any term other than perp seems to minimize the damage she did to me.

Because honestly if I could wipe something from my past, I'd erase her before I wiped the actual sexual assaults. Because it was that home environment that wrecked my brain's stress responses and ability to value myself. But I don't mean to minimize the pain of my or anyone else's childhood sexual experiences. They certainly would've still fucked me up even if the rest of my childhood had been rosy.

It's like Lord of the Rings. The big bad guy is Sauron, who is most of the time just this giant eye. He's evill, and the evil is real, but its actually hard to nail down exactly what he does. Its his orcs who do the nasty stuff. Sauron provides the environment in which the nasty stuff can happen with impunity. Sauron's ring corrupts and destroys, Sauron's army kills. But that doesn't mean Sauron isn't a villain. He's more of a villain, because without him the orcs would be easy to defeat. Without the villainy of my mother teaching me that I only existed as a receptacle for her pain and my brother's temper, the sexual abuse would have been . . . well I don't know for sure, but things would have been different. So in my mind she is a perp and when I have to talk to her it is like talking to a perp. But I don't want to be unintentionally betraying fellow survivors by using that term inappropriately, even in my own head.

Is calling her a perp wrong of me?

#458276 - 01/08/14 11:06 PM Re: Is calling her a perp wrong of me? [Re: Jacob S]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3814
Loc: somewhere in Africa
In my opinion it is not wrong. She was undeniably an abuser - even if not the one who directly inflicted the sexual abuse. She created the atmosphere in which it could happen. And she conditioned you to be the perfect victim. If perp and abuser are interchangeable then use whichever term you please.

And I grieve with you for the innocent boy who was so unfairly and cruelly violated. (((Jacob)))

There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all. - Hamlet, Act 5, sc 2

#458301 - 01/09/14 01:41 AM Re: Is calling her a perp wrong of me? [Re: Jacob S]
Castle Offline

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 758
This is a very sad post to me.

I think many grapple with these feelings in regards to parents/ caregivers who are not direct sexual abuse perpetrators but who allowed or even grew a abusive environment.

She did abuse you, covertly, which is still abuse regardless sexual, emotional or physical.

For me writing through the abuse with T, also allowed me to work through done of my issues with my parents... some of which revolve around fulfilling thier need, and did of it revolving around the environment in which they facilitated that possibly led to the abusive situation.

I can't say that I have completly confronted them on a that, but by building my boundaries and working through some of these issues I have been able to make many positive changes in my life and healing journey.

Give yourself a bit of a break.... you deserve it. Go gentle on yourself.

#458386 - 01/09/14 11:15 PM Re: Is calling her a perp wrong of me? [Re: Jacob S]
Jacob S Offline

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 619
Loc: where the shadows lie
thanks guys.

#458388 - 01/10/14 12:20 AM Re: Is calling her a perp wrong of me? [Re: Jacob S]
don64 Offline

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 1099
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Jacob,

At the end of the day the only opinion that matters is your own. You know how you feel. The words you use don't make any difference to me. I am just so sorry your mother was so damaged that all she could pass on to you was a predisposition to being sexually abused in addition to the emotional and physical abuse she gave you.

My experience is that the early stuff you went through is extremely challenging to understand and then to change. I hope you are able to be very gentle and very patient with yourself. Your post makes perfect sense to me.

Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

#458687 - 01/15/14 10:07 PM Re: Is calling her a perp wrong of me? [Re: Jacob S]
BraveFalcon Offline

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1224
Loc: The ATL

Hi Jacob. Calling her a perp is definitely not wrong, nor is it incorrect. I mean, holy crap, as one LOTR guy to another, you can accurately and fairly make an pertinent analogy between your mother and the dark lord Sauron and you still have to ask if you can legitimately call her a perp? smirk

Physically and emotionally she abused you. That alone makes her a perp. Her covert/emotional incest towards you absolutely makes her a perp. Setting you up to be abused by others makes her a perp. After having read your story, I think the only abusive thing your mom didn't do is overtly try to have actual sex with you. If anyone thinks that a mother has to go so far as to attempt having overt sexual contact with her child to be legitimately considered a "perp", then that person's standards of what constitutes abuse are way to high. Not to mention unrealistic, uninformed and shallow.

Knowing what I know about your story, you are definitely a survivor of female abuse. I'm sorry that you have to call yourself a survivor of so many other kinds as well. frown Take care, my friend. Peace,



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