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#47254 - 02/23/03 05:08 PM I need advice about discloser...
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Something has been troubling as of late and I need to tap the wisdom here at MS for some guidance. It's the issue of disclosure, confrontation, and my family. I love my family to death. They've physically provided me with everything that I've needed but this secret is rapidly becoming a road block for me.

Many of you know my story but for those of you who do not I will briefly summarize it. When I was 5 my older sister use to "experiment" with me and in subsequent years many more boundaries were crossed. Up until very recently I always thought of it as mere experimentation. It was very difficult to view it for what it really was because I enjoyed it and to some extent it's socially acceptable for an older female to engage in inappropriate acts with younger males.

Compounding this issue is my family and the emotionally repressed environment that they fostered. It's an environment where one isn't suppose to have problems and where one certainly doesn't speak about your problems. The shame and the guilt, the tools locking me in place, have really kept me from developing in any normal way. I quickly learned to bottle up my feelings and especially feelings evolving around sex. Above all you did not talk about that taboo. The combination of the SA at 5 years old and the resulting bottling up emotions have left me trapped where I still feel like I am still 5 years old. It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I became cognizant that my sexuality was in shambles. And it took a fairly severe mental crisis to do so.

After I finished college last year I moved home 1) to get me life back on track and 2) because I was incapable to moving on with myself. Things have gone incredibly well for me as of late. Beginning last fall I began to tell my story to all of my close friends. As I told each and everyone of them the veil of guilt that I placed on myself was slowly lifted. It felt very liberating. I could talk about my feelings and it was okay. I could now grow in ways that I never was able to do before.

Now the question at hand: I was always hoping that I would never have to tell my family that I have this problem. Telling them would be against the family protocol. But I have begun to realize that without telling them something I will always be locked in this emotionally stunted state, at least in my relationship with them. In some way I need to disclose to them that I do indeed have a problem and that it has caused me a lot of distress. I do not think I can tell them about my sister. Relations are already strained with her and I do not want to jeopardize the relationships with her two children. It also makes me incredibly uncomfortable to tell them that I have a lot of sexual confusion going on inside of me. But something has go to come out and I do not know how to tell them that. I believe I need the validation from them to continue my emotional development. It's a bit of a pickle.

I don't know when I will try and bring this up with them but I need to start thinking about it. I appreciate all of your support and feedback.
Thanks,
Mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#47255 - 02/23/03 05:32 PM Re: I need advice about discloser...
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Mike
I know how you feel about wanting validation from your parents, I do as well. But I also know I never will.

I have many reasons not to tell them, and as many for wanting to tell them.
Mainly they are now well into their 80's and although my father is still sharp enough the knowledge would surely wreck his remaining years. My mother is slowly becoming senile and I dread to think of the effect it would have.
The reason I haven't told them before is the same as you, we're an emotionally stunted family that just doesn't do 'this sort of thing'
I've never discussed sex in any shape or form with them, when sex comes on the TV there's an embarrased silence. We dont hug or kiss or show any emotion at all amongst ourselves.
Luckily I have broken this emotional frigidity with my brother, but he's in Nova Scotia and we see very little of each other. But he is coming to stop with us for a few weeks in about 5 weeks time.

Not having been abused by either of my parents, and not knowing if they know about what happened to me will alway leave a doubt in my mind as to why I wasn't protected by them.
I know in my heart they would have done so, but there's just a slight chance the headmaster did tell them at the time, but I doubt it.
It's one of the things I'll never know and I have to accept that. The amount of distress and upset isn't worth the small grain of reassurance I might get. And I don't think it would make our poor relationship any better.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#47256 - 02/23/03 05:38 PM Re: I need advice about discloser...
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Mike, check out the excellent article by Ken Singer on "Disclosure and Confrontation at

http://www.malesurvivor.org/articles/singer3.htm

Beyond that I can't offer much as I have yet to really do much disclosure about my abuse or confronting any perps. Yet.

I wish you well in this Mike. Take care.

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#47257 - 02/23/03 09:09 PM Re: I need advice about discloser...
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Hi Mike,

Wuami's suggestion to go read that article by Ken is good--it will help.

I can't let your statement go by that you think society feels it is ok for older women to have sex or sexplay with a boy or teen. That is only partially true. Society SEEMS to not get upset if the boy is 16 or 17. Maybe not even if he is 15. But, in most States, it is still rape before the age of consent in the State where it happened. No one would say it is ok with a five year old boy.

Were you thinking of simply telling your parents that you have been sexually exploited or abused? They would almost certainly ask "Who!" You need to have a believable answer for that if your sister is your only perp.

Let the other guys comment for you before you act.

Peace to you.
Bob

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

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#47258 - 02/23/03 11:39 PM Re: I need advice about discloser...
RickL Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 84
Loc: Oregon
Mike & Dave,

Boy can I relate to the "family no-talk rule" and lack of healthy emotional expression.

Mike, I know the feeling of wanting and seeking the emotional connection/support of your folks. In my case I could somewhat do that with my mom, but never my dad, who was my abuser anyway.

In an attempt to try to have a dad, (the dad I always needed and desperately wanted) I wrote some letters to him about 6 or 7 years ago, to try to have more of connection, but also to gently break the silence about his abusesiveness, but not even mentioning the sexual part. His reaction was to be very sorry, sort of like a dog with his tail between his legs, but he could not entertain the idea of "exploring" these issues. He also called my sisters to tell them I had written these letters and that he was sorry. My letters caused such an uproar in the family, especially with my sisters, that I stopped seeking the communication. It was simply too hot a potato for my entire family to handle, let alone my dad.

It's part of a sick family system, which in my case, involved lots of co-dependence, and my dads alcoholism when I was young. In my case, the rupture to the "no talk" rule was so unappreciated that I have never whispered a word about it again.

But you are a younger man than I, and, presumably your parents are younger. I know that feeling--you'll never know until you risk having the conversation. But I would urge you to have a healthy realism about their "emotional intelligence" and openness. Do lots of "preparing of the soil". And prepare for unexpected, and possibly severe family fallout. I know for myself it was good that I broke the silence, but the sick family system was not about to change that easily.

Whatever you decide, we're here to support you!

Rick


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#47259 - 02/24/03 12:10 AM Re: I need advice about discloser...
ecb Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 205
Sleepy Mike,

I'm kind of in the same situation. Since coming to realize the enormity of the effect my abuse had on me, I have been seriously considering telling my mother. The abuse was not within the family, it was the son of one of her friends who did it.

Sexual discussion has always been kind of taboo between us, but otherwise my mother and I are very close. I am very concerned that the knowledge that she left me unprotected will be devistating to her, and I'm not sure she will deal with it well. On the other hand she is a very important part of my life, and I would like to be able to open up to her.

So I too am left to wonder weather I should bear my soul to her or let her maintian her blissful ignorance.

I'm afraid I don't have much in the way of advice to offer you, as I don't know what to do myself, but just know that some of us have the same problem, and I hope you don't mind if I borrow some of the advice that you may recieve. \:\)


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#47260 - 02/24/03 12:44 AM Re: I need advice about discloser...
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
I want to thank everyone for replying to this one. This has become an issue that has been occupying much of my thoughts.

Dave,
You are very fortunate to have a very caring wife and it must be very comforting to have someone tell you goodnight in an intimate way. I long for an intimate relationship. I truely do. I think if I had that I would not feel the need to tell my parents anything. Right now I find myself in a very isolated environment where I must obey these age old rules of my family. And it's terribly frustrating and painful. I really want a release from that. I want to grow and most importantly I don't want bottled up my emotions anymore. That's why I feel the need to disclose something to them.

Obviously I cannot tell them what my sister did to me. They might not believe me and for me to convince them would be entirely too awkward. How would you like to hear that your son has been dreaming of having sex with your daughter. Yikes! I can't go there .

I need to, in some way, tell them that I have some problems that I'm trying to work through. That I'm seeing a therapist and perhaps that I have problems with my sexuality. I'm not sure how to handle that because I don't want to come out of the closet if I'm not in the closet to begin with. That would cause them undue stress.

The other thing is that I'm sure that they know something is not right with me. They must know otherwise I would be out living my own life and not this current one; the one I lived when I was in elementary school.

Bob,
You are correct in that the politically correct society doesn't think it is okay for a 5yo to experience sex at that age. However, as I grew up I felt fortunate that I had those experiences. I remember times when I was much younger when my dad's old high school buddies would joke about how they wished their babysitter had sex with them. I don't think any females would openly and normally joke about having sex with a male babysitter. Of course those were jokes I heard but the messages were loud and clear. It made me feel greatful for what had happened and it left me trying to re-create those sensations. I quickly discovered masturbation and I found the pleasures of my sister's underware drawer.

Thanks again,
mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#47261 - 02/24/03 12:55 AM Re: I need advice about discloser...
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Rick,
Thanks for sharing that. I'm glad to see that you got some good out of breaking the silence to them. I find the silence is becoming an anchor to my recovery. And I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one suffering from co-depenency.
ECB,
Take all the advice you can find. I'm certainly not hoarding it. In fact we can work through it together.

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

Top
#47262 - 02/24/03 08:55 AM Re: I need advice about discloser...
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Sleepy:
I can understand the dilema that you face and the possible outcomes if you tell.
In my case I was terrified to tell my wife and daughter about all the s**t that went on in my life. I finallyd di do this and was bowled over by the type of emontional support I got from them. My parents both passed away in 2000. My dad physically abused me from the age of 5 (return from WW2) until I ran away permanently at the age of 14. I still saw them but only on weekends. It was my father you sent me off to Military College where I met my three perps. This happend in 1957. My mother had always been a bitter woman. When I went to them in British Columbia (just north of Oregon) after my DAD had a stroke in 1999, my mother gave me shit for not being there sooner. I mean my god I was on vactaion at the time and did not find out about it till I returned. My ex younger brother 20years my junior couldnt go because he had developed a sudden fear of flying. What it really is is that he cannot handle stress. Or should I say will not.
Anyway I get out there and I proceed to have my ass chewed out by my mother about me being alwasys aloof and the child of hers that was a mistake> It went on and on and she kept telling me that my brother was a far better son. I blew my top and told her everything that had ever happened to me and the guilt and shame I had carried. I asked her why she did not defend me when her father and brothers physically assaulted me. Did either she or my father ever wondered why I was a changed person when I returned from Military College having purposely failed my best subject (Physics) so that I would not have to face my abusers again. I told her that she had a lot of fucking nerve to attack me and hold my brother up as an example of what a good son should be. All he ever did was pry money away from both of them. My mom was 79 at that time and my dad was 81. Did it cause problems. You bet it did. But I will tell you something else it absolutely was like exorcizing a boil for me. I finally realized that if I did not face the demons etc. I would never stay on the road to freedom. There is a lot more to being a parent than bringing you into the world as a byproduct of sex.
Sleepy what I am saying in this rambling is WHO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTER IN YOU LIFES PLAY IN 3 OR 4 ACTS. YOU ARE MY BROTHER. While you may have concerns about what you might create think about the abdication by them of providing a safe, health and happy atmosphere for you. I think we all tend to downplay our own needs for those of others. I suspect it has something to do with, deep down inside, that we ourselves are perverted because 1) We enjoyed it, It made us feel part of belonging to the big guy group.
Sleepy it is your life and the life of the little person inside us all that is so terribly important. I hope this has helped in some small way. Sleepy you are no longer a vitim but a survivor and that has taken a lot of inner strength. Just ask yourself this. Who is the most important person in the thing. IT IS YOU AND THE LITTLE YOU.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#47263 - 02/24/03 10:42 AM Re: I need advice about discloser...
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
I blew my top and told her everything that had ever happened to me and the guilt and shame I had carried...Did it cause problems. You bet it did. But I will tell you something else it absolutely was like exorcizing a boil for me. I finally realized that if I did not face the demons etc. I would never stay on the road to freedom.
MikeChurch,

Man, it took a lot of
to pop that boil! And obviously, you didn't get those from your family! Nope, you made those the old-fashioned (and the hard) way--you earned them!

Of course, as I'm sure you'd agree, not everybody
should much less could do something like that. Also, as with yourself, it's a matter of timing.

We've got to each know when (and if) to lay our balls on the table, and when to guard them! We've also got to know how many balls too lay out there (at a time, if at all).

In my situation, I've yet to feel the need to confront my mother "directly," meaning by phone or letter probably, since she is literally across the country. Thank God!

This may be a copout, but I think it is becuz of our past & present relationship & circumstances. We were never together much and we were never very close, in any good sense.

Still, I have progressed, in baby steps but probably the steps I've needed to take to this point, in confronting my mother.

I've gone from instantly shutting off all contact with my mother after I began recovering abuse memories, to confronting my mother in therapy, to recently sending her a note asking her not to contact me or my family anymore until further notice (if ever) becuz of issues in our past relationship & my life growing up.

No details about why yet (if ever), becuz I've tested the waters with my mother well enuf to know she would totally deny ever having sexually abused me in any way.

The only other possibility I could barely for so, which would be related but worse, would be for her to deny that what she did was abuse, to make light of it, which she's also been known to do with other abusive behaviors.

Still, the time may come when I decide she has become more open, or just that I need to open up & let it out more--and to hell with how she feels or responds.

Like you, I want to do whatever it takes to stay on this road to freedom I've finally started on.

TC & TTYL

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#47264 - 02/24/03 11:13 AM Re: I need advice about discloser...
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
I long for an intimate relationship. I truely do. I think if I had that I would not feel the need to tell my parents anything. Right now I find myself in a very isolated environment where I must obey these age old rules of my family. And it's terribly frustrating and painful. I really want a release from that. I want to grow and most importantly I don't want bottled up my emotions anymore. That's why I feel the need to disclose something to them.
SleepyMike,

No doubt a big part of the reason I don't feel the need to disclose more to my mother is becuz of my relationship with my wife, which is the most intimate relationship I've ever had. It has a lot to do with having disclosed to her, and also to others like my daughters, my T & pdoc, and a few small live support groups, as well as online, particularly here at MS.

If you want read my response in this thread, dated earlier today, to MikeChurch, related to how & how much I've disclosed, the progressive steps I've taken. All of our situations & relationships are different, but perhaps you can learn a little something from my brief experiences, even if it's how you don't want to do it.

Also, my post "Release" dated yesterday in the Religion forum might help.

Quote:
I find the silence is becoming an anchor to my recovery.
Anchors away! Cut loose the anchor, fellow sailor on the seas of survival! Set your own course for your own recovery, release that damned anchor, and "Come Sail Away!"


I'm sailing away, set an open course for the virgin sea
I've got to be free, free to face the life that's ahead of me
On board, I'm the captain, so climb aboard
We'll search for tomorrow on every shore
And I'll try, oh Lord, I'll try to carry on

I look to the sea, reflections in the waves spark my memory
Some happy, some sad
I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had
We live happily forever, so the story goes
But somehow we missed out on that pot of gold
But we'll try best that we can to carry on

A gathering of angels appeared above my head
They sang to me this song of hope, and this is what they said
They said come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me lads
Come sail away, come sail away
Come sail awaywith me,come sail away
come sail away with me baby.
come sail away come sail away with me

I thought that they were angels, but to my surprise
They climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies
Singing come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me lads
Come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me (X's 5)

Come Sail Away by Styx
[img]http://www.click-smilie.de/sammlung/alles_moegliche/allesmoegliche014[/img]
Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#47265 - 02/24/03 11:18 AM Re: I need advice about discloser...
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
WUAMEI:
I hear you brother. There is a time and a place for everything but the single mpost important thing to keep front and centre in our sites is OURSELVES, including the little us, and without exception those that we hold near and dear to us. It is the love a support from those around us that we cherish that is a godsend to our split selves. Without them the effort of melding the two of us would be much more difficut.
Personally I look on YOU GUYS here as an extended family, and, therefore by extension all of you count as brothers who are near and dear to me.
Every time I learn that one of us is having trouble it hurte me terribly that I cannot just put my arm around his shoulder and hold him tight till we reach the other side of the pothole. I also want to rage at all the shit around us. I wish I could share my tears of happiness when we take that small small step that is in fact a huge move forward. Right now I am crying ( I guess my bladder is to close to my eyes). Wuamei I admire you and the strength you exude. Everybode reaches a state where catharsis is needed. Tank care my brother.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#47266 - 02/24/03 01:51 PM Re: I need advice about discloser...
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Thanks MikeChurch. Your support & encouragement for all of us here in this brotherhood is greatly appreciated. What we have here is surely for many of us including me much more family than we ever had in our biological families. In this family we can rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. We can help each other to find our own way and reach our own places in recovery.

TC & TTYL Brother.

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#47267 - 02/24/03 11:56 PM Re: I need advice about discloser...
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Mike,
Quote:
...it absolutely was like exorcizing a boil for me. I finally realized that if I did not face the demons etc. I would never stay on the road to freedom.
That's exactly how I feel. The road to freedom and exorcizing a boil...I like it! Although facing the demons gives me ulcers.

Vic,
I like how you slid in the Styx reverence. I like it. I also checked out your post and I found it interesting. Thanks for the referral. Thanks guys,
Mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

Top
#47268 - 02/25/03 11:08 AM Re: I need advice about discloser...
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Sleepy: This is a happy post and I hope informative for you.
1. Ulcers are caused by bacteria. Stress I guess can make these little bacteria more active. and Now my brother dont let confronting the demons do that to you. Your strength shows through in your posts. The hard part that I think we all have is not recognizing that we have the strength within us to do anything. I think I said in a previous post that alone it is difficult to accomplish anything but together as brothers (just knowing that everyone here is behind us every step of the way) there is nothing we cannot do. I always try to keep in front of me that what we do in the here and now will reap rewards for those of our brotherhood are still experiencing the pain and suffering of the abuse they are currently experiencing. Not that is a crock of shit isnt it. It seems that there is a never ending flow of fresh meat and innocent faces for abusers. What we do here and now, I think, will build a support mechanism for those that follow. God this was supposed to be a happy post. Really sleey if you do have stomach problems (and not figuratively) you can get ZANTAC as an over the counter medication. I am proud to call you BROTHER. Next time you face a demon remember you are not alone; you have an army right behind you that will help you CRUSH THEM

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#47269 - 02/26/03 12:27 AM Re: I need advice about discloser...
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Mike,
I was using the ulcer reference as a figure of speech. However, I have always suffered from high levels of anxiety. It's only recently that I've thought about seeing someone about this.

You're right in that together we can do anything. I am very thankful to have this community behind me. I just hope that sometime soon I can acknowledge to my parents that I have a problem. That I'm not necessarily the good kid; the kid that was everything but my deranged sister. I don't want to carry the burden of being the the perfect son or kid who never rocked the boat or the kid who never had a problem. I need that release. I don't want to carry the burden of not being my sister anymore.

Thanks Mike Church for letting me vent like that.

Mike
p.s. Rest in peace SeaOtter.

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

Top
#47270 - 02/26/03 03:30 PM Re: I need advice about discloser...
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Sleepy. I hear your brother. You will know when that day comes believe me and it will feel like the right thing to do. Just remember you will not be alone in this. You have an army of brothers behind you and the example of some of them to hold your hand. I particular I would say Gunnar is with you and us always now. I thought that he just carried the problems that we all carry. I did not know that he was fighting a private batttle he could not win. Ye to the very end he was supportive of all. I now know the face of true HUMANITY and it's name is Gunnar. Just remember that sleepy as you move forward towards freedom he is holding your hand each step of the way.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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