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#51729 - 05/31/05 11:25 PM Re: We need you NOW!
puppy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/05
Posts: 129
Loc: earth
ok, my opinion may not be accepted or seem harsh, but im a realist. so here it is.

reality: everyone knows kids are abused and no one talks about it.

reality: kids dont know what the hell is going on because they are kids.

reality: no one is going to listen to you unless you have the right people backing you.

so. my proposition to you. if you want to make a difference, talk to the right people. talk to CPS, talk to gay/lesbian youth centers, youth centers in general. get support from people who make it their duty to support and protect kids. have an objective. if you want to talk to kids in schools, have a letter, or firm points you want to make and things youd like to say. dont just phone some school and expect them to let a random person in to talk about possibly random things. if you are determined to do this, take the steps to do it right.

and my question to you is, why 8th grade boys? at 13, i had already been abused for 8 years. at 13 i was going thru puberty and EVERYTHING becomes embarassing and weird at that age. at 13, sometimes the message comes too late. younger kids need to know that their bodies are their own. younger kids need to know about bad touchng. i was told in 7h grade. it wa news to me, and far too late. parents dont tell their kdis this shit. and parents are often the abusers. kids need to know earlier than 8th grade. and they need to know what resources are available to them, who they can talk to, etc.

i think your efforts are awesome and its really really cool that you want to make a difference.

_________________________
pUpPy

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#51730 - 05/31/05 11:46 PM Re: We need you NOW!
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
Tom - why don't you just print off this post & show it to the principle; maybe then he will get it. Does he want hundreds more of the kids in his school coming here over the years because they were not aware of the dangers from predators out there?

Sometimes I wish the victims were the kids of these idiots, then they might just do something to stop it. I wouldn't however wish being a victim on anybody!

They either want to help or they don't!

Rik.

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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#51732 - 06/01/05 06:16 PM Re: We need you NOW!
Soccer Kid Offline
Member

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 273
Loc: Missouri


_________________________
~Zach~
Deviant of Many Talents

"Reality is just an illusion."

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#51734 - 06/01/05 11:00 PM Re: We need you NOW!
Charlie Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 148



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#51735 - 06/02/05 01:36 AM Re: We need you NOW!
Muldoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
I want to thank Kevin and Charlie for all the hard work they have put into writing your letter.
I am realy sorry that we have been unable to move the school to give us the 5 minutes we need.

A little explation is in order. I had the suport of one person who had influenes or the school. He was doing a talk on hazziing and was willing to give us half his time before the 8th grade guys who where graduating from middle school,

So that is why the 8th grade was the target age. Sure i agree that this message has to be given to others also. We where just triyng to take an opertunity and make something of it,

Sam was told he only has 6 minutes to talk about Hazzings and that cut us out of the program. I called the princple 2 times last week and talked to her about the issues and about given us our time. She wants to address this issue in the fall during the new school year. She says that she has no time this year.

Charlie and Kevin I am sorry I put you through all this and we have come up MT at this time. I was sure that Sam would move them in our direction.

Somrtimes I think that I can force them to do the right thing. At least I tried . Tom

_________________________
Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

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#51736 - 06/02/05 02:26 AM Re: We need you NOW!
Soccer Kid Offline
Member

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 273
Loc: Missouri


_________________________
~Zach~
Deviant of Many Talents

"Reality is just an illusion."

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#51737 - 06/02/05 02:37 AM Re: We need you NOW!
Soccer Kid Offline
Member

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 273
Loc: Missouri


_________________________
~Zach~
Deviant of Many Talents

"Reality is just an illusion."

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#51739 - 06/02/05 02:39 PM Re: We need you NOW!
healing_inside Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/28/05
Posts: 2005
All these posts are a little taxing for me to read, because of reading problems I have, have been abale to pick-up a thought here and there.

Just wanted to say "We are ALL hurting" inside

_________________________
I can't come to the phone right now, I am out living my life

*** WoR Retreat Alumni - Alta 2005 ***

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#51740 - 06/02/05 06:16 PM Re: We need you NOW!
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Kevin, Charlie, Soccer Kid,

This last series of posts on this thread has been very valuable, I think, and I would like to say why here. I will try not to get up at my podium, but here goes. I apologize in advance for the ridiculous length of this post.

1. Communication isnít just information passing back and forth. It is also about perception. Kevin, that photo in your eighth-grade English class is one thing: an image on paper, something real. But how is it perceived, what does it mean? Exactly as you noted, your friend sees a child with a teddy bear. Why? Because she is a child who has her own teddy and that is important to her. The rest is just big trees. The teacher, however, sees the last of the great western redwood forests and a child in the midst of a spectacular natural experience that students in the English class will now appreciate and write about. The reality is the same, but the perceptions are different. Both are "true". Both are important.

Whatís the point? I think this entire dialogue over the ways in which the teenagers and the adults on this site see the reality of child abuse needs to be looked at in this way. It is important that teens appreciate the fact that adults have been around awhile and that life experience can provide them with valuable insights and solutions. But at the same time, adults need to appreciate that their understanding of the world has evolved over a long period of time: it didnít just spring into their heads at some point. Younger people are still on the path of sorting out what things will mean for them as adults, and the legitimacy of their journey, with all its pitfalls and fears, needs to be acknowledged and validated. Itís real, itís important, and itís different.

So yes, pain is pain, but no, what pain means to a child is not and can never be what it means to an adult. To propose that the catastrophic pain of childhood abuse is the same for the abused child as it is for an adult survivor is true only at a very abstract (and so far as I can see, not practically useful) level. This is not to argue for the greater validity of how it feels to the child over the adult abused long ago. Of course we know how it felt. Of course we recall the fear, and of course many of those emotions are still with us. Over the years we have paid a heavy price. As Healing_Inside puts it: "We are all hurting inside". No doubt about it. But what the hurt means for a child now, and what it means for the adult survivor now, is different. This is why the idea of the "inner child" is so important Ė for adults. It enables us to appreciate that part of us still feels the hurt and fear as we did when we were little; that part of us conflicts with the part that over the years has tried to cope (by explanation, justification, avoidance, denial, forgetting). But Charlie, does the "inner child" mean anything at all to you? My guess is absolutely not. You are 14. There is no little Charlie and an older and more mature Charlie. There is just hurt Charlie. It seems to me that adults who want to help must accept and understand this difference. I wonder if talking to a hurt child about the "inner child" may even be harmful; the child looks for his "inner child" and finds nothing there, and so feels even more empty (a word both Charlie and Kevin use) and unimportant.

2. Another thing, and sticking with Charlie: As soon as I open my mouth to say something to you, I am also asserting my right to say it and giving you a signal that you should act accordingly. "Charlie have you done your homework?" If I say that, I am at the same time claiming the right to hassle you about your studies, and if you havenít done your homework, you already know I expect you to go do it. I am asserting something (my right to make this my business) and at the same time I am waiting for you to confirm me by giving me some satisfactory answer. This pattern of assertion/confirmation is part of everything we say. I am doing it now. I am claiming a right to be heard and believed, and I am anticipating a certain response. Well, okay, I might not get it ;\) , but that is part of the dialogue.

So again, whatís the point? Here I speak to the group as a whole. Kevin and Charlie have been hurt in what is probably the most devastating way a child can be harmed. Through whatever combination of circumstances they have landed here in a place where they are supported, empowered and validated. This is what makes them unusual. They are in an environment where they can call upon their reserves of courage to demand a voice and act to cope with what has happened to them. As young teenagers they are thinking about the here and now and in terms of what is fair and just. This is part of their healing process. They are asserting their right to a voice and they trust the rest of us to confirm it: not to tell them yes, yes, yes, as Kevin astutely notes, but to help them in a positive and constructive way. But of course the adults will respond as adults and can do nothing else. Kevin writes:

Quote:
I feel like all of a sudden were bein cornered & stared at & judged just cos of our age & Im wonderin how did that happen?
By that he means that he feels uneasy with the recent responses to his thread. They seem dismissive, disempowering and judgmental. That is of course not how they are intended, but that is how they look to a teenager. Again, things are different. There is a thin line between candor and patronization, and perhaps more so where everyone in the discussion has been deeply hurt. Here I turn to Soccer Kid and ask you to bear with me a moment. I see from your profile that you are 24. If I were to begin to comment on that as a measure of what you have to say, I think you would feel uneasy about it. As teenagers in an environment dominated by adults, Kevin and Charlie feel it more deeply and personally when their age gets brought into the picture and hovers over the discussion; itís like playing poker when you know the other guy was handed all the aces before the cards were dealt.

It is a painful business watching these guys try to rebuild their lives from the wreckage they have been handed. It isnít fair, as Charlie put it somewhere. And doing this kind of work is more complicated than any of us think. Guys, as you two go about your rebuilding we know you need support and guidance. All you have to do is ask. But that means that if you pick up a cracked brick or lay it in the wall in a way we know wonít hold, we have to tell you, right? You donít expect less from us. On the other hand, adults need to recognize that when teenagers refer to us it is an act of great courage and faith that is easily threatened by feelings of vulnerability and inadequacy. Of course this applies to all of us regardless of age. But on this sort of issue I think, again, there is a very real difference between youth and adulthood.

3. I want to offer a few thoughts on why your letter is so important guys. As I said above, it is part of your healing process, and you are using it as a concrete way to figure out and express your own emotions and reactions. The fact that you are working with a feeling of responsibility for others of your own age is a huge factor; it is helping you to develop a real and viable sense of perspective. Not one that just vents your frustration and anger, but one that can actually help others.

But there is more. A child does not have a choice unless he knows he has a choice, and choices are all about knowledge and awareness. In my own case I was taken entirely by surprise by my abuser. I was numb with fear and horror and I went into a kind of emotional paralysis. I had never heard of anything like this and I had no idea what was happening until it was too late. It genuinely did not occur to me to say no; I was the easiest mark in the world. By writing your letter, guys, you make an enormous contribution to empowering other boys of your age. I have not seen your letter yet, but I have heard it is very powerful. I can just imagine! Never mind that there is a need for such a thing at a younger age. By providing other boys with your personal insights you make them think about dangers that are real and immediate. Many of them will never have to face these perils, but in too many cases that fateful moment will arise and the question will be: Does this boy have a choice? Has he had a chance in the split-second of opportunity to think about what is happening? Does he know that the scary touching is absolutely wrong and he is being tricked and lied to? Does he recognize this as the game of a weak sick coward? As one of you said, you will never know how this works out in any particular case in the future. But abuse is unfortunately such a problem that it seems absurd (to me anyway) to imagine that unless there is major media attention your effort will have been in vain. There will be boys who will remember what they heard and call up their last reserves of courage and say no. There will be boys who have been hurt and now know that they can tell someone and get help. There will be abusers who go to jail. (What a delicious thought. Criminals in jail just love to see perps brought in. \:D )

That you two boys are doing this is absolutely crucial. Many of the adults here will remember the ridiculous talks we got in school about alcohol. In my school we all looked forward to these talks. Why? Not because the speakers had anything to say to us. We knew it was all going to be grownup bullshit and we were switched off and joking even as we were herded through the door. BUT. Eventually the speaker would get out the jar of grain alcohol and drop the worm into it and invite us to watch the worm go nuts. We all thought that was so cool. The speaker was blathering on and on, but all of us evil boys were gloating over that worm. That is the only thing any of us ever took away from those talks.

That was a long time ago, and I do know things have changed. But on the issue of child abuse of boys, which most boys still donít know about or think canít happen to them, it just has to be a great idea to let two teen survivors lay it on the line. It isnít professional expertise that makes me think this. It just strikes me as common sense.

4. Last and very briefly: Kevin Iím sorry you were hurt again and I can understand that you donít want to talk about it. But since I have just spoken about the importance of knowledge and choice there is one last point I wish to stress. Being aware and knowing he has a choice may empower a boy, but it doesnít make him responsible. Not ever. As so many have said, abuse is about power. Itís about exploitation of a huge imbalance of power by inducement or deception or threat. There is no way that a 16-year-old boy can be seen as standing on equal terms to a predatory adult. It wasnít your fault. Not then. Not now. Not ever.

Sorry for the length of this post. If the moderators wish to condense it thatís fine by me.
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#51741 - 06/02/05 07:23 PM Re: We need you NOW!
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
I agree with Larry that perceptions of things change as we grow into experience. I can vividly remember my abuse, but it's become more and more a story and less and less a source of constant pain.

A while ago I wrote that I wanted the experience to be like a flesh wound that would eventually leave a small scar. Fortunately for me that's really beginning to happen. So I guess I'm on the healing side of our continuum while Kev and Charlie and lots of other guys have just been hit with the wound.

I'd add (I think) that this continuum has little to do with age. Kid or adult, the wound brings us down (how far down probably mostly has to do with maturity or inner strength as opposed to age). Then we start to heal.

So many intersting things to think about in this thread. I also like what Larry says about any speaking as asserting a right. I read Charlie's poem where he says Not Heard. And it occurs to me that for me speaking is more important than being heard. I can't control what others receive, only my act of communication. So I speak and hope for hearing, but the assertion of speaking in and of itself makes me feel strong, even though I want to be heard as well.

It's great to talk and try to understand one another. The process is the point in this case.

In other words I hope Charlie and Kev's letter gets "sent" so it can be seen. But it's already had an effect. We've all reconsidered some important points about our safe place, and that means the letter is already being heard. Change is happening...people are thinking and responding and caring.

Danny


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