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#61230 - 07/27/04 08:02 AM Mom of 4 year old boy *caution - may be triggering*
lorisweet68 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/04
Posts: 7
Loc: So.Cal.
Hello,

I have been reading this site since I found it the other day. I cannot tell you how heartwrenching it is to read your stories. It is hard to read them, it is scary and terrifying to think that there are horrible monsters in the world like these perpetrators.

The reason I am here, is that my little one has just told me that his father had been doing things to him. Some background - I left his father a year ago because of his abuse of both of us. I had no idea that he was capable of abusing our baby. When we left, my child three years old, was almost 4 and it has taken a year for him to tell me about it.

I had been feeling like a terrible mother because I thought my son would have been doing so much better by now. He had become aggressive, and had stopped, restarted, stopped, and restarted progressing with his toilet training several times. He has been fully trained for a few months now, and since he has told me he has reverted somewhat, wanting to wear his pullups again and refusing to go even when he knows to go. He has also gone back to his "sucky" (pacifier) and cookie monster and blankie. All of which is perfectly okay - now that I know why. I kept thinking something else must be going on here, what am I doing wrong? And then he told me.

In addition, he was having nightmares, extreme insomnia (we have often been up until 5:30 a.m. trying for sleep)

I had read an article on how to help to keep your child from being molested and I thought, "wow, good article, that's the best one I've read yet", so I decided to follow it's suggestions and have a talk with my little one. I told him that some people have a problem with wanting to look at or touch other people's private parts, particularly a problem with wanting to look at and touch children's private parts. I told him that these people that have this problem could be someone you know and love and that they will ask you to keep a secret. To get you to keep that secret, they will tell you big lies, like - they will hurt you, hurt your mommy, or you will hurt them so much they might go to jail and/or die. He asked me over and over to tell him the tricks they might use. We had gone over this before about strangers, and how they will ask you to help them find a kitty or a puppy. We had gone over many many scenarios on that, so I thought he was intrigued with the subject of "tricks" and people making up stories to get you to do what they want.

At that time he told me that his Daddy liked to touch his peepee. I was floored and had a hard time acting normal. I asked him if that was because Daddy was helping him get clean in the bathtub or helping him go to the potty, and he said no, no, no and no. He said that he rubbed it until it was hard and it hurt. I asked him how many times this happened and he told me, about 10 times, which to him means "lots of times". Ten is his idea of a lot. I panicked and I think I sort of pressured him, and he then told me that he was just teasing that Daddy touched his peepee (sorry, I just can't seem to be perfectly politically correct with him and make him call it by it's scientific name). I told him that I was very proud of him and that he's a very brave little boy to be able to tell me that, even if he was "just teasing". I tried to back off with the pressure even though I wanted to know every single thing he could possibly tell me.

The next night I brought it up again as gently as I could, and as casually as I could and told him again about secrets and that we don't want to have secrets in our family and a few things along those lines. I told him, "remember the things you told me you were teasing about? You are a very brave boy to have told me that. Daddy should never have done that and he needs to have help with his problem (like 50 years in the slammer but I didn't want to upset my son because he still has feelings of love for him). At which point my little boy said, "Daddy hates my bum" and I thought, "what????" and I asked him, "Daddy hates your bum? How could he hate your bum? How could anybody hate your bum" (trying to lighten things up a little and be casual) Then he said, "Daddy hates my bum because he hurts my bum." I said, "how does he hurt your bum? Did he spank you?" He said, "no, he put his finger in my bum". I said (about to collapse),"which finger?" (to buy myself time or orient the story or something) and he said, "his pinky." So I said, "which pinky finger?" and he said, "the one he cut off that's a stump" (his father had cut off 4 fingers of his left hand, the pinky is a stump and the two middle ones are reattached, the index is also a stump) I said, why did he say he put his finger in your bum? He said, "I don't know, he just put his finger in there" I said, "was he helping you get clean or changing your diaper or something?" and he said, "No". So I said, "did he say anything when he did that?" and he said, "he asked me if he could put his finger in there and I said "I don't want you to" and he put his finger in there anyway before I finished answering him".

I asked him some other stuff, like where was Mommy? and he told me I was in California, and that I was just "gone". When I was in Calfornia he was just barely two years old. I went there for some surgery, for 5 days without him and then returned home. I had not wanted to go by myself without my son, but my (now)ex insisted that he take care of him while I was gone. So now I am obsessively going over and over in my mind when I first noticed his personality changing, and trying to discern when this took place and so many other horrible thoughts have taken over my mind.

I went to a counselor that I had already been seeing because I had been so worried about his aggressiveness, nightmares, and insomnia. She reported it just last week. My ex lives in another country and his two daughters from a previous marriage are visiting him for the summer. He has also suddenly demanded to come down where I am and see my son in September. He has barely paid a penny toward his support for all of this time, he made sure that I got out of there with nothing but the clothes on our backs. I have been struggling to support us. He has been bad mouthing me every time I allowed my son to talk to him on the phone. My son hasn't wanted to talk to him for a very long time, and this monster hasn't bothered calling him in months anyway. Now he's telling me that he will fight me in court if I refuse him access and that I will lose my son.

My little boy has told me he is frightened that Daddy will come and get him and take him away and he will never see me again. He also told me that Daddy got him to keep the abuse a secret by telling him that he would kill him. From my discussions with my little boy, I believe this is the tip of the ice berg.

I am just in shock, numb, at times I am in an extreme rage, then I go back to not believing it. (I don't disbelieve my son) It's just so surreal.

I also took him to a play therapist and I was very impressed with her. He also seemed better after he played with her, and he wants to play with her every day.

I would like to know your thoughts and opinions, on therapy, on what happened to him, on his reaction and how he might be feeling. Any and all input would be very very much appreciated.

Thankyou,
Lorisweet


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#61231 - 07/27/04 09:42 AM Re: Mom of 4 year old boy *caution - may be triggering*
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Lorisweet:
I presume one of the therapists has reported this to child protective services? That is important for the safety of your son.

Play therapy is the treatment of choice for children your son's age. Since he likes going there, that is a good sign. I hope the play therapist is experienced with sexual abuse so she can help him work out the fear and anger.

You are doing a good job.

Ken Singer


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#61232 - 07/27/04 05:26 PM Re: Mom of 4 year old boy *caution - may be triggering*
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Lorisweet,

I have a four year old daughter, my heart goes out to you and your son. Good for you for getting out of that house when you did.

Don't worry about the past and when things started changing or what you could have done, just worry about being the best mom you can be today and tomorrow. You can help your son now. You don't sound like a terrible mother at all.

I wish I knew how to help you get your scum of an ex away from you and your boy. I can't imagine that your ex has much of a chance of getting your son away from you through the courts.

We're here for you whenever you need to vent or ask questions.

SAR


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#61233 - 08/03/04 09:19 PM Re: Mom of 4 year old boy *caution - may be triggering*
lorisweet68 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/04
Posts: 7
Loc: So.Cal.
Hello Ken,

Thankyou so much for your reply. As of now, two therapists have reported it to the Child Abuse Registry. The first therapist was referred to us by Social Services since I volunteered for counseling for myself and my son since I knew he was very upset but I didn't know why, and why what I was doing to help him with his insomnia, nightmares, and what I call "identifying with the bad guy" didn't seem to be working too well.

The other therapist, the play therapist, also reported it for me. I told her I am worried that his father will try to see him in September (he has said he is determined to come and see him) and she is just such a wonderful person, and she said it might help if she reported it also.

Just yesterday the social service worker who has been helping us out with counseling and things called me back, she has been on vacation but I can't talk to her too well with my son in the room.

He is very up and down, I think he's doing better, and he falls asleep well (for him) and then the next night we are up until 3 because he is afraid to sleep because of nightmares. He had a nightmare the night before that his Daddy was chasing him and then caught him and killed him. He's been drawing pictures of our former family with Daddy's face looking like a monster. Almost every night he wants me to read him a really good book the play therapist gave us called "No More Secrets For Me" (sexual abuse is a secret no child should have to keep). It has 3 excellent stories of abuse in escalating order, and in each the child tells the awful secret and feels better.

I finally talked to my attorney and she said that I should allow child services to handle it before we finish my sole custody papers, because if the investigation comes out inconclusive then it could go badly for us. I will not allow that to happen, no matter what I have to do.

The tricky part now, apparently, is to have a team of people called a "C.A.S.T" team interview my son. The first therapist tried to get him to talk about it a few days ago and he clammed up, although I was a little upset at how she was handling things. She asked me in front of my son what I would like to see happen. I had to tell a white lie - because obviously I would like if my son never saw the @#$!%#! again but I couldn't say that in front of my son I feel that he needs to come to that conclusion himself. I don't know the exact threats his father used against him, but I think one of them is that he would never see him again. So I'm really wanting to stick with the play therapist more. I'm so glad to know that that is the treatment of choice. He loves going to play with her and would like to go every day, so that's a good thing. She's very non-threatening and she understands the importance of the C.A.S.T interview so she said she would do her best to help us with that.

He has said things like, "if I hate my Daddy then I will die and I hate my Daddy", and makes up songs with lyrics like "I will never love you, I will never love you again - you lied" and the song is prefaced by him saying, "this is a very very sad song about my daddy". He sang another song the other day about "never ever ever lie, never lie, never lie" (he wants to be a rock star when he grows up, where he got this I have no idea). The intense emotions that he should not have to experience until he is old enough to handle it! I do not know what would happen if he had no one who cared what happens to him and how he feels. I think he would end up being one extremely furious individual. I just hope that what I'm doing really does help.

I don't know how any of the adult survivors of this survived without some support. Who could NOT KNOW that something is going on? What kind of person would turn a blind eye? I left the abusive %$#@ based on the things I observed him doing with my son, and would have left when he was a month old if I had had any resources whatsoever. But then I really and truly did not think that doing something to a baby was even a possibility, the most remote possibility. He is really a good actor and liar and did a major snow job on me, and I was wary too. I did know, when my son was about two, that something was different but I thought it was the awful yelling that his father did at us.

I'm rambling. It's so nice to be able to talk to others who understand about this, and I appreciate your input very much.

Lorisweet


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#61234 - 08/03/04 09:45 PM Re: Mom of 4 year old boy *caution - may be triggering*
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Lorisweet:
It sounds like you are doing a great job with your son. I can't suggest you do anything different than what you are doing. Let the play therapist know what is going on with him and she will be able to translate that into treatment for him.

Ken


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#61235 - 08/04/04 07:44 PM Re: Mom of 4 year old boy *caution - may be triggering*
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Lorisweet
Never EVER give up.

Your son is young enough to learn good things, and you're the person to show him.

Thank you for caring so much.

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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#61236 - 08/05/04 12:23 PM Re: Mom of 4 year old boy *caution - may be triggering*
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
You are definitely doing a great job with your son. From what I have learned from SA counsellors it is often the inability for the child to be protected AFTER the abuse that is much more damaging than the abuse itself...

So the fact that you have/are protecting him from his father NOW and getting him therapy NOW will go a long way to teaching him that the world is NOT a horrible, scary place, that he doesnt have to create these really maladaptive coping techniques to deal with a scary and hostile world.. you are teaching him that he DOES have worth and he DOES deserve love and protection.. that someone really DOES care a lot about him, which is something that survivors who dont have the protection from an adult struggle with for the rest of their lives. Survivors struggle with feelings of safety, self worth, self esteem, and what you are doing now is really demonstrating that you care, that you would put HIS needs ahead of his father's demands, that there is someone out there to protect him, that there is some justice in this world, and that is going to pay off MAJOR with respect to helping to keep that intact for your son in his future. I wish the same had been done with respect to my own father -who abused me for about 20 years, both verbally and psychologically, and my mother was a willing accomplice. To this day I struggle with issues of lower than low self esteem and severe anxiety that affects my life significantly. I often wonder what my life would have been like had my mother stood up to my dad and protected her kids from my father's wrath.. would I be more secure in this world? Would I believe in myself more? Would I have been able to accomplish more in my life? Would I be able to sleep at night?

While you and your son are in a difficult sitation you can find some pride and relief in the fact that you can and are protecting him from something that some counsellors believe is equally or even more damaging than the abuse incidences themselves...

Bravo!!

P


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#61237 - 08/14/04 05:53 AM Re: Mom of 4 year old boy *caution - may be triggering*
lorisweet68 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/04
Posts: 7
Loc: So.Cal.
Hi SAR,

Thankyou so much for your reply. I am so glad that I got out when I did too, and thankyou for that.Lorisweet,

You're right; I shouldn't worry about the past, I just can't seem to help it. I am trying so hard to be a good Mom now. He is just sooooo angry! He told me he has wondered why I didn't know about it, even though he never told me. I think this is from playing that little game of "a birdie on my shoulder told me" and "Didn't you know Mommy has eyes in the back of her head?" and "well, Mommy knows a lot of things you might not think she knows about" - all said in fun, but that age believes in magic. So I feel terrible about it.

He seems to be doing a little better. I'll write a post on what happened lately a little further down.

Thanks again for the kind words.

Lorisweet


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#61238 - 08/14/04 05:57 AM Re: Mom of 4 year old boy *caution - may be triggering*
lorisweet68 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/04
Posts: 7
Loc: So.Cal.
Hi again Ken,

Thankyou so much for the words of encouragement, it really means a lot to me. I have read some of your articles, and thankyou for those as well. I am just so glad a site like this exists. It is not something that is easy to discuss with your friends. I don't want my son branded for the rest of his life as a "future molester" by people who are uneducated!

The play therapist is just wonderful, she is really gifted and I am so glad I found her. I will add an update on things below.

Lorisweet.


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#61239 - 08/14/04 06:03 AM Re: Mom of 4 year old boy *caution - may be triggering*
lorisweet68 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/04
Posts: 7
Loc: So.Cal.
Hi Dave,

Oh, thankyou for your reply! I need that encouragement to never give up. Although once I get my teeth in something I am pretty stubborn if I think it's important and this is top of the scale.

I hope I can teach him good things. Before this happened to him, he was so happy go lucky and trusting. Always sunny and just knew he was the center of the universe, which is as it should be for a child of his age. I am seeing more of his true personality these days, a little less rage, especially after he sees the play therapist.

I only wish that every child, every adult person that has been through this hell had a Mom or Dad that listened to them, believed them and stood by them come hell or high water. It's the least a person who has been abused especially in this way, deserves.

Thank YOU for caring too.

Lorisweet
Never EVER give up.

Your son is young enough to learn good things, and you're the person to show him.

Thank you for caring so much.

\:\) Lorisweet


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