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#5544 - 09/14/02 03:01 PM REGARDING ABUSE BY MOTHER
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
EXCERPTS FROM MY THESIS

I remember the day I arrived home from 8th or 9th grade to find her and my older brother in the living room. She was sitting in a chair and he stood behind her. She said, “Drop your pants.” I went numb. I said, “Why?” She said, “I want to see if you have a hernia.” At that time I had no idea what a hernia involved or even how babies were made for that matter. When I hesitated and looked guardedly at my big brother, she spoke impatiently.
"He’s just your brother,” she said. “another boy."
I could see my brother smirk while standing behind her chair. It was his usual sadistic grin.
I believe my older brother had already endured the exam and when my little brother arrived on the scene he received the same indignity.
I was forced to strip in humiliation before my rapist by a sadistic mother devoid of sensitivity. In her emotional numbness she was also struggling with her own incestuous feelings, trauma, and fears. This was another emasculating incident. I had to go to my own place of numbness where I could deny my own masculinity.
It was always difficult for me to see the hernia exam for what it was unless I changed the gender of the victim in the story. What if a father said to his 14 or 15 year old daughter to strip to the waist because he wanted to examine her for lumps on her breasts? The police would be breaking down the door and rightfully so. No one heard my silent screams. Instead all I heard was "what a concerned mother." I learned well to see the lies through her eyes. I was loyal. I was fused to her. What happened to me seemed just part of a norm. To reverse the scenario frees me to see the lies for what they were.
The purpose she had for taking me to bed was beyond what I could possibly see at that age. My external appearance did not show the hysterical pleas I screamed inside. “Please somebody help me!!! I don’t know what I am supposed to do here!!! I-I-I-eee cann’t sstand thiss any more. E-E-E-E-E-E-EEEEEE!!!” My deafening screams changed nothing of my pain and impotent rage. They were a chronic siren that began somewhere in the distant past and nightly sounded the alarm of my terror. Part of the terror was the fear of what might happen next, the unthinkable shift from mostly covert incest to overt incest.

***************************************************

I wanted to be a good boy for my mom but anything pertaining to sexuality was mortifying to me. Here is some of my internal dialogue:

"I am going to hell forever and ever and ever because I masturbate so much. I feel doomed. I feel dirty. Other boys don’t do this. I heard that real men don’t do this. Maybe my father and my brother were right. I must be a sissy. Why am I doing this? I must really be a sicko. I can’t stop doing this. Why do I do this? I hate my penis. I know she wanted a daughter. If I didn’t have a penis I could be there for what she really needs and not make everything dirty by having a penis."

This self-deprecating internal dialogue ran through my head in rapid fire most of my life. It was a conscious struggle to slow them down enough to write them here. For so long, I stopped noticing them, like my breathing.
This was a way of life, a real life twilight zone; a place of distorted reality and distorted love loyalties.
I was terrified that I would get an erection. This was a terror I experienced about my own body. I felt absolutely mortified whenever it happened and I needed to protect her from my shame. I used this defense night after night.
I know I never had a chance at normalcy as a young man. Sometimes what I needed most was what I feared most: love, understanding and acceptance. These are all qualities that evoke getting in touch with vulnerability, a place where breathlessness lived.

****************************************************
When I hear the expression "Motherfucker", I feel like someone half-grinning has slit open my spine with a razor blade, and poured a box of salt into the open wound. It is a term of contempt. To become numb was the only way to find relief for this searing pain. There is also “ mean as a motherfucker.” I always wondered where these expressions came from. "Mama’s boy" is also a castrating term of contempt because it marks a boy as outside of the “boy code” fraternity every child wants to be his/her parent’s favorite but the price here was beyond too high. It should never have been allowed to happen. These terms also blame the victim and perpetuate the myths that deny men’s vulnerability. They reinforce the boy code and further entrap its anguished victims.

*****************************************************

My Aunt gave me a doll on my third birthday. I liked this doll. I had something to take care of. When this aunt left, my father made his rage obvious.
"No son of mine. . .etc."
The doll was hidden deep in an overstuffed closet. His anger was beyond my ability to understand but I knew instinctively this boy code placed me at risk in his eyes.
My mother once placed ribbons in my hair because I "was so pretty (with my curly hair)." My father left the room and my older brother taunted me. A pattern had begun. In the book Soul Murder ( 1989), psychiatrist L. Shengold suggests a mother who would feminize her son this way may have been dealing with her own repressed incestuous feelings. The effect was that she distanced me once more from my father. They often had fights where I ended up the object in the middle. I believe my two brothers were also affected by quarrels my parents had over gender>

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#5545 - 09/14/02 04:33 PM Re: REGARDING ABUSE BY MOTHER
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Quote:
If there were role models for young or adult men who admitted they were victims of abuse and told how they healed from their experience, there might be hope. But where has there been such a man willing to buck society’s measure of his manliness? The earliest role models in the media that this author can remember were portrayed as psychopathic serial killers or seducers of mothers in romantic soft focus.
RJD
This aspect has to be one of the greatest hurdles, and the source of the greatest sadness, that the male survivors movement faces.
This must be why so many of us wait until we are middle aged to disclose and begin to deal with our past.

There have been many women who are open about their abusive pasts at a young age, but the only male who springs to mind is the comedian Billy Connoly, and he disclosed in his fifties.
The book by his wife Pamela Stevenson "Billy" is such a good read, funny and inspirational. And Pamela is now a psycologist, she was also a very funny comedien, so the treatment of Billy's abuse and it's effects are dealt with compasionatly.
But other than that I can't quickly recall anyone else.
Dave Peltzer's books are a prime example of getting the message across. I don't believe people read them solely for their vicarious pleasure, they read them because they relate to aspects of his experiences.

We need people strong enough to come forward and shout out, only then will young men realise they are not alone.
But first the social stigmas have to be demolished, and that's not easy.

What you've written here RJD is good stuff, I hope you've got the results you deserve from it.

Lloydy

_________________________
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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#5546 - 09/14/02 05:41 PM Re: REGARDING ABUSE BY MOTHER
Roy Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
Thank you RJD for having the courage to put this up here for all to see. One reason I have been hesitant to share much of my abuse history here is that most of it revolves around my mother, mostly covert. Though the abuse resulted in devastating long term consequences for me, I still feel like it pales in comparison to some of the horrors experienced by others at the hands of vicious men. However, the fact that I was abused has been very hard to recognize for most of my life because it was so covert and cloaked in sick needy love. There were no visible scars, bodily fluids, acts of physical violence. Everything looked very nice on the outside, so the problem must really be me, right? That's what I thought, and have spent a lot of time and energy trying to make up for the fact that I am such a "weirdo". Reading these excerpts from your thesis has really validated much of what I am feeling. Sounds like I need to read "Soul Murder".

Also, because my mother is now weak and frail, she is becoming increasingly dependent on me for support. She is 85 years old and hard to imagine as villainous. On top of the fact that I am torn between feelings of great love and rage, there are also aspects of my mom that I really like. We have great conversations, she has remained vital and interested in the world, and has taken responsibility for much of how she mishandled my childhood and our relationship. This last part has gone a long way toward helping me heal and I am extrememly grateful. But the damaged parts are still there. I feel guilty much of the time, like I should have surmounted all of this long ago.

Anyway, thanks for sharing yourself and this vital information. It is making a difference for me, I hope.

Roy


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#5547 - 09/14/02 06:07 PM Re: REGARDING ABUSE BY MOTHER
ARW Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/02
Posts: 161
Loc: LA
---------------------------------------------------------------
On top of the fact that I am torn between feelings of great love and rage, there are also aspects of my mom that I really like. We have great conversations, she has remained vital and interested in the world, and has taken responsibility for much of how she mishandled my childhood and our relationship.
---------------------------------------------------------------

ditto for me, except my mother is twenty years younger, strong and in total arrogant denial of any wrong doing. Very tough indeed.

_________________________
In every cry of every man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear.
-William Blake

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#5548 - 09/15/02 12:34 AM Re: REGARDING ABUSE BY MOTHER
Broken Offline
Member

Registered: 03/25/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Huntingtun Beach, CA, US
I feel like a foreigner who has found someone who speaks his laungauge. Standing up alone with the truth is a lot harder than giving in to the lies. Mothers cant be child molesters. They cant be murderers, they cant neglect thier children. That is all i hear sometimes.

It is hard enough to come out about abuse, but the things women do to male children are often ridiculed, laughed at, shown as signs of weakness. A child is a child, he has no more control over what his mother does to him as his father or his preist or anyone else.

More than anything i just want people to believe me and take it seriously, that is what hurts the most, that they dont. It is hard to believe you are still a whole person without the love of your mother. My mother should be in prison for what she did, but i dont think anybody would have done anything. I can barely believe in myself long enough to get angry about it, then it is too easy to blame myself instead of her.

It is not so much that i want her to come to harm. I just want the truth to be known. But that is called "slander", assuming someone listens to me. It isnt just that it happened, it is that the world perpetuates and allows it to. She committed a crime, and though i cant prove it, i think i deserve the right to be heard, and let people decide for themselves.

But even if there were no slander laws, there are still no people who listen. People look at me and wonder why im so strange and sad, and i just want to scream, "It's YOUR FUCKING FAULT!!! YOU are the ones who pretend like this doesnt happen, the ones who leave me alone and in pain. I am sad and ashamed because im as much the worlds dirty secret as i am my mothers."

I keep trying to put my faith in people, and i keep getting let down. The only way out seems to either be to give up, or to lead them by example. That means i have to fight to be heard. I mean, what am i supposed to do? Just accept that people are cruel and ignorent and dont want to listen? They may be all those things, but if you dont fight, then they are never going to change.

I know that all my raage is buried inside me, and it is slowly killing me. I need to get it out, i need to take control of my life somehow. I want to live! I dont want to be trapped in fear and pain all my life.

I want to remember too, but i dont know everything that happened. Sometimes i wonder what seems real and what isnt. Maybe it doesnt matter, maybe i just need something to let my emotions out into.


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#5549 - 09/15/02 09:06 AM Re: REGARDING ABUSE BY MOTHER
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
Thank you all,
To your responses my impulse is to say, "so what!," and that response of mine tells me my heart has been touched in a tender place, and my defenses are up. I have been moved by your responses, thank you again.

I wasn't sure where this piece should fit here. I collected the segments about a week ago but hesitated to submit it. It's not that I haven't spoken my truths here before. Parts of my journal were used in my thesis. It was in a post way back "Self-Witnessing After a Long Break." (Jan 7, 2001). James Michaels post prompted me to go ahead and do it. I just find my hesitation curious.

There was a professional hockey player by the name of Kennedy who went public in a television interview with the chronic sexual abuse he experienced from a coach he lived with that started at age thirteen. In a television interview the famous musician Santana spoke of his sexual abuse. Tom Arnold admitted on telivision that he had been sexually abused by his baby sitter. The stories seem to just end in the media when it comes to men survivors. The struggle isn't addressed in the media as it has been for women.

********************************************
ANOTHER THESIS SEGMENT

Public Perceptions of Males as Victims and Females as Perpetrators

On the afternoon of March 3rd, 1993, I happened to watch the Sally Jesse Raphael talk show. I was alone and what I was watching brought me back to an unbearable pain and I cried angry tears. There was a young man, who was molested as a boy from the age of 11 by his 13-year-old female baby sitter. When he was 13 years old she became pregnant. On the show he was 17-years-old and the Supreme Court of the State of Kansas had found him responsible. He was ordered to pay $5000 up front and $50.00 per month for child support. The boy’s parents were sitting in the audience. The boy and his parents were verbally attacked by the studio audience and the host followed their lead criticizing the boy herself. A man in the audience said that an 11 year old boy is old enough to sexually know what’s happening.
The child of the perpetrator was four years old at the time of the show. On the air, the mother vowed that the child would hear every day of her life how contemptible her father was. She said this before thousands of viewers. She said he kissed her, and that's how it all started.
Would a male perpetrator have been allowed to keep a child born out of his transgressions? Would his female victim then be forced to pay him child support?
I remember reading in the newspaper of another case where the perpetrator was a 28-year-old female. The male victim was 11 or 12 years old at the time of the incident. She was sentenced to four months in jail. The judge was asked about the discrepancy between the 4 month sentence he handed down for this female perpetrator and the much longer sentences handed down to male perpetrators. His response was that boys don’t get pregnant.

********************************************************************

P.S. My experience reading "Soul Murder" is that it was very dense material. I needed to talk to someone to help me process what I was reading as a survivor. It was written for professionals and as a survivor some of the stuff initially felt victim blaming until I re-read it several times and had a better understanding of what he was trying to say. The material was rich, but I don't recommend it to anyone who is beginning their journey to recovery. It was suggested reading where I worked. I like the title because of the real devastation it implies, but we are not dead and we can recover. I would rather liken it to E.T.'s fading heart-light where the self is insulated to the pain of loss. Some of us do die, but it doesn't have to be that way. As the quote Don-NY shared in his post on September 06 says, "...and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." -- Anais Nin. Wow, what a quote!

--------- BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELVES


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#5550 - 09/16/02 10:48 AM Re: REGARDING ABUSE BY MOTHER
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
RJD (and everyone):

Damn! What a courageous & heart-wrenching thesis! Not to mention heart-healing, I hope for you & for all of us!

Covert & overt incest began for me almost from the start of my life.

The first incident of sexual incest I remember was when I was no more than 3 or 4 (my father was gone after that), perpetrated by my mother & my father (and damn the "experts" who say you can't remember something that young; it's taken almost 45 years for the pieces of that memory to start coming together for me, and whether even I want to remember it or not it's here, it's real, & I'm gonna deal with it whether anyone else likes it or not!)

Ongoing sexual & emotional, covert & overt incest by my mother (occassionally dragging boyfriends & encouraging babysitters & even an aunt) into the nightmare) continued until I was 12 and she abandoned me to a children's home to keep me (bullsh*t! to keep herself!) out of trouble.

The clincher was when I was I think about 10 or 11, she prostituted me to a homosexual couple for a night.

I masturbate a lot also, tho I'd never really thot of it in terms of penis hatred; however my T has noted that a now obscure (thanks to our "sexually liberated"--more like bound! society) but original definition of "masturbation" is "self-abuse," a definition I painfully agree with.

For me, erection & orgasm became what I lived for. Usually I could attract girls but not keep them long, so this involved some real sex and a lot of fantasy (yet very real for me) sex.

Girls & women became purely sex objects, and in retrospect largely objects of my hatred. My fantasies were usually rape & often violent, tho less so as the years went by, especially after my second marriage and then starting into recovery.
I obsessed over sex, I was addicted to sex, I married (my 1st; failed, from the start)for sex, I lived for sex, and I nearly died for sex.

"I know I never had a chance at normalcy as a young man. Sometimes what I needed most was what I feared most: love, understanding and acceptance. These are all qualities that evoke getting in touch with vulnerability, a place where breathlessness lived."

Damn, brother!--how did you know me well enuf to write that about me! :rolleyes: I'm dying for intimacy (and I have an absolutely wonderful wife of over 20 years & two great kids!) but I'm afraid it will kill me! ("Soul Murder"; yeah I should try reading that one too).

I still struggle with hatred of women, and of men, and (the key) of myself. My fantasy world is a way of trying to prove my manhood to both men & women, & especially myself. I'm only just beginning to break free from this, as you so well described it, twilight zone of distorted reality.

Your excerpt on terms & the boy code & the societal denial of male vulnerability really hit me. Tho I'm still early into it, I can safely say that a good book on this I just started reading is "Male Survivors: The Impact of Sexual Abuse" by Matthew Parynik Mendel, a doctor who specializes in working with male survivors (Sage Publications, 1995; available from Amazon.com).

When I was 10 or 11, my mother had taken to posing in lingerie or nude for money. Always very free in showing her body around the house, she reveled in showing me these pictures and where she kept the photo albums. Tho not my 1st masturbation experience, I would sometimes take these photos out & masturbate. I would think to myself, "I'm a motherf*cker!" I didn't remember then that being a "motherf*cker had started much earlier for me, and had happened as recently as a year or 2 earlier at the most.

In my family, I had no father from the age of 3 or 4, except about a year of an either absent or abusive drunk stepfather around age 8 or 9, and brief attempts by some live-in boyfriends.

So my mother made me her surrogate husband, and father to my younger & handicapped brother. I was the man of the house. But I was never a child.

I am one of those 1 in 3 "professional protectors" Thomas mentions in "Men Surviving Incest." Now that I know this, I'm working on not perpetrating the stereotyping, denial & myths, and facing the truth. And hopefully, with encouragement like yours & the other men in this forum, telling the truth, even publicly.

No there are still not many men who have done this, but the tide is turning. You mentioned the hockey player Kennedy, Santana & Tom Arnold, & Lloydy mentioned Billy Connally, all of whom Ive heard but not read much about, except excerpts from an interview with Santana.

An excellent story of a male survivor of mother-son incest who came forward is in the book "Come Here" by Richard Berendzen, former President & now professor at American University.

I wonder if any lesser-known men are going public with their stories and I'm just not hearing them. I can understand how hard this would be even as I consider it myself, tho not any time soon. We don't have the security socially & financially that public figures like Santana have--not that this means it was easy for them.

"The body will present its bill." (Miller 1990)
Man, you are so right! Mine is presented in the forms of fibromyalgia (FM), which my health care workers & I believe to be, as I've read before, body memories of the abuse (when I was growing up they were labeled "growing pains!"); migraines, sleep apnea, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), acid reflux, yadda yadda. The mind, I think, presents its bill too: for me, that means PTSD, severe clinical depression, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), & multiple addictions.
\:\(
"Where is the outlet?...Where is this victimized man’s experience recognized and where are the indignities he suffered as a child validated? Who will hear? Who will think this experience is important?" Damn good questions, fellow survivor!

Our fellow survivors--one of my best outlets, even if (due to geography as well as anonymity) it is plugged in primarily online right now!
Another outlet is taking care of myself physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially & sexually. This includes (ideally) a healthy diet & exercise regimen, massage therapy, prayer & meditation, meds, building intimacy, establishing true friendships, and trying to be myself.

My therapy is becoming increasingly helpful. Soon I will leave for a 2nd session of confrontation of my mother with my T as guide; not physically, but yet in a very real & powerful way. She is the only one I know of I could physically confront, but based on previous experience, family advice & concern for my recovery I have chosen this path. So far so good. I may confront others in the same way, but this is where it starts for me.

Thanks RJD for helping me get that stuff sorted out here with fellow male survivors! And way to go!

Lloydy (and everyone):

You wisely said, "We need people strong enough to come forward and shout out, only then will young men realise they are not alone. But first the social stigmas have to be demolished, and that's not easy."

I agree we must come forward & shout out, and I agree the social stigmas must be demolished.

Just a question, for which I have no answer: Is the only way to demolish the social stigmas going to be our coming forward & shouting out? Or is it somehow simeltaneous? I don't know, & I'm not volunteering! Not yet, anyway! Any thots on this, men?

Roy (and everyone):

Some affirmations for you, my friend.

Your experience is as valid & in need of vindication as anybody's.

Also, possibly, there may be more to it than you think the more you work on remembering, recovery, therapy, etc.

For years I thot the stuff I could remember was no big deal, even natural, a part of life. I was encouraged to think this & it suppressed other stuff, most of which only started surfacing in the last year or less.

Discovering this load of crap has been painful & hard to handle. But the added knowledge is adding understanding of my life & myself, how I am & why I do what I do. This helps to diffuse the power of the past over me. "The truth shall set you free." And I think, tho I wonder sometimes, things have come back to me as I've needed them & have been ready for them.

Just sharing my own experience here, for what it may be worth to you. But don't invalidate or underestimate your experience & don't let anyone else do so. Validation, I think, can lead to at least some measure of vindication & victory.

The fact that you can even think of having a relationship with much less taking care of your mother is remarkable to me. That doesn't mean I could do this; right now I can't even imagine it.

It does give me something to think on. I've acknowledged, even to my mother a while back now, that she passed on some qualities that have been of benefit to me. But the last time we were in touch & seeing each other some, the same patterns of emotional incest, of control & manipulation, of parasitic narcissism, were still there. So for now I "see" her in therapy!

But we're all different, things do change, and I affirm you in this--as long as you are taking care of you.

Broken (and everyone):

I'm with you! I want people to believe me & take me seriously, but its hard to trust people & speak out when seemingly everyone you trusted, & should have been able to trust, has burned you.

My mother should be in prison too; instead she abadoned me to a children's home! Do I want to see harm come to her. Sometimes, yes. I don't really know what I want, yet.

When I "met" with my mother in therapy last week, my counselor asked me what I wanted from her, what I hoped to get out of confronting her. I think what I want, or the best I can probably hope for, is to tell her that I know what she did no matter how much she denies it. And telling her in therapy may be enuf.

I'll see, becuz I'll be leaving to do just that soon. As far as prosecuting her or doing anything to hurt her, I don't wanna do anything to get that close to her, at least not now.

As far as people & society as a whole, I want to be heard & believed, but if I need to (not sure yet) I'll speak up whether they believe it or not. I hope.

Maybe its as you say, "The only way out seems to either be to give up, or to lead them by example. That means i have to fight to be heard. I mean, what am i supposed to do? Just accept that people are cruel and ignorent and dont want to listen? They may be all those things, but if you dont fight, then they are never going to change."

What I do know is that like you I want to get rid of the rage, get out of the trap of fear & pain, take control of my life. I too want to live!

What's real?! We are real, brother! Thanks! Let's let it out & let's live!

Gentlemen, I am thankful for all of the good insight & encouragement we share here! Thanks to you all for helping me sort things out on the journey.
\:\)
Wuame

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

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#5551 - 09/17/02 03:16 AM Re: REGARDING ABUSE BY MOTHER
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
On occasions I have spoken some of my experiences in a public venue. When I have spoken about seductive behavior by mothers including mine, such as bathing without closing the door or fastening her bra or wanting her back washed while she was in the tub. I explained that it was covert abuse. Men have approached me afterwards and said they didn't know that what happened to them was sexual abuse. One man said his eyes were opened that night and he then made a link to his rocky marriage. They expressed the shame they felt when they became aroused. I felt very blessed by their honesty it was truly a gift. Other presentations on the subject of my experiences have brought similar gifts. The raw honesty seems to beget raw honesty. Although there have been times when it has brought out peoples defenses. At those times I must remind myself that their responses are about them, not me. I never know how the response will be. I just ready myself for a worse case scenario, and ask myself can I survive getting crapped on. I then make plans for support from people who care. When I have opened up all the way, I have tended to not get crapped on. When I speak defensively I tend to get defenses. I think many men are not even aware that what happened to hem was abuse. We're just not allowed to see ourselves as victims. I held my mother in my arms as she died of lung cancer. There I was the dutiful son. With her last breaths she had done it to me again. I was again left witholding my impotent rage to protect her from my real feelings.

*************************************

HERE COMES SOME MORE THESES PIECES

As part of a men’s self-help group, I wanted to give a reality to my rage. I had worked for many years to learn to trust men. It was during one of these support meetings that I mustered enough courage to ask the men to witness my rage, and I received a resounding “yes”. I asked one of the men if I could borrow his machete. He said he had been honored by a friend who gave it to him as a gift and he would be honored to have his machete used for this kind of work. The following week I arrived carrying my mother’s wedding dress, five twigs the thickness of fingers, a wedding portrait of my parents, and candles (to connote sacredness), and a tree stump. One of the men role-played my mother and donned her wedding dress as if it were an apron (it didn’t fit him.) He sat in a chair before me. I screamed and yelled at her until I grew exhausted. When my tirade waned, the rest of the men cheered me on. I then went to the tree stump on which I placed the twigs. I picked up the machete, and asked the men to step back to safety. I opened with “get your hands off me”, and thrust the machete deep into the stump chopping the twigs as if they were finger tips. Once was not enough so I gathered five of the half twigs and repeated the action over and over again until I was totally exhausted and could not move. I just laid there panting and taking in what I had just done.
The next day I related the experience to a friend. With flat affect he asked if there was a lot of blood. I looked at him not knowing how to respond when a broad smile came upon his face. I smiled and said “There was blood everywhere.” I felt very supported.

***************************************

Wuamei, I can't imagine a therapy session with my mother in it. That took incredable courage. "YOU'RE THE MAN." Wow!

----------Thanks again for your responses


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#5552 - 09/17/02 11:36 AM Re: REGARDING ABUSE BY MOTHER
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
I wanted to emphasize my P.S. from above. Caution!
P.S. My experience reading "Soul Murder" is that it was very dense material. I needed to talk to
someone to help me process what I was reading as a survivor. It was written for professionals and as
a survivor some of the stuff initially felt victim blaming until I re-read it several times and had a
better understanding of what he was trying to say. The material was rich, but I don't recommend it to
anyone who is beginning their journey to recovery. It was suggested reading where I worked. I like the
title because of the real devastation it implies, but we are not dead and we can recover. I would rather
liken it to E.T.'s fading heart-light where the self is insulated to the pain of loss. Some of us do die,
but it doesn't have to be that way. As the quote Don-NY shared in his post on September 06 says,
"...and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took
to blossom." -- Anais Nin. Wow, what a quote!

P.S.P.S. Scotophobic, as I recall, is the fear of being seen.


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#5553 - 04/28/03 09:32 PM Re: REGARDING ABUSE BY MOTHER
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
I thought I would revive this old post with some further excerpts from my thesis.

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On another occasion, when I worked in a hospital, a nurse related a story about her infant son and her sister. It was a casual conversation. She chuckled and said that while changing her son’s diaper the night before, her sister said watch this. She then stimulated the boy to erection where she then snapped the base of his erection with her fingers causing his erection to become flaccid. Using the same tone of casualness, I said that’s sexual abuse. She became very angry and said emphatically, “It is not, my sister is a nurse.” It was impossible for her to see herself and her sister as perpetrators.


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A female fellow survivor once told me that she never told anyone about the sexual abuse by her mother. To tell me this she had to wait until all of the fellow women survivors, that were present, had left the room. She could speak of her experiences with male perpetrators and receive support from other women, but she didn’t feel comfortable talking about her perpetrator mother among other women. Her fellow survivors had one view of what perpetrators looked like and she felt a need to conform. Society is not comfortable about acknowledging female perpetrators, which further denies experiences of both males and females. Same sex abuse was a deeper secret than the abuse by men.

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The process of writing this thesis has been in part to fulfill a requirement, but that has only been incidental to the task of giving voice to my truth. Quite often my experience is discounted. When it happens, it’s difficult for me to speak up and tell the truth of the young man I once was. One of my experiences with telling the truth was in the story of the Oedipal Sphinx, with her phallic talons, dashing herself onto the rocks and killing herself. I confronted my mother when I was about 24 years old. She was trying to defeat my older brother’s attempts at dating. He was late for his date and she decided to rearrange the living room enlisting his help. An argument between them was in progress. This went on for about 45 minutes. I had had enough. I walked past them to the pantry and filled a drinking glass with one fourth inch of water. I returned to where they were arguing and threw the water in her face and said, “Enough!” She looked at me stunned that her favorite son would do this and she said, “And I protected you.” My answer was nonchalant but just as poignant as her statement. I said, “From what?” That stunned her also. The manipulations stopped and she died within a year of lung cancer. I held her head in my arms as she died as was the role of a devoted son. My rage was flaring. She did it to me one last time. Speaking my truth has consequences I’m willing to deal with. In doing this I become my own hero. I’m feeling too old and too tired to keep hiding what my heart wants to say when the people around me deny my truth as a man. Along with my truth and my gender, I take ownership of my art. Writing this has been an anchor during my two years in this program. Though well meaning, there have been concerns expressed of the consequences of speaking this truth. This has felt repressive. Others had a more positive take on my choice of subjects and welcomed what I might have to say. Concern has been expressed about dredging up this old material, that it might be too overwhelming under the stress of a master’s program. The experiences are more concrete having written these pages intended for a public venue. They can be read without having to stutter. I no longer have to shut down before I finish what I wanted to say.
The literature review was invaluable to me with new books now being written about the experiences of men. To me the issues around the boy code were obvious but no one had as yet set it into theory.
I have been asked in wonderment on several occasions how I made it when looking at the dysfunctions of my family. It was not conscious but I can now see how my art with its ability to express my unique soul helped me cope.
I now want to take this power in art to others. I entered this program with the intention of teaching others to value their art and to honor what is sacred within them. This thesis has helped formalize this process for me.


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