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#63492 - 12/19/04 09:08 PM DESPERATE FOR ADVICE
sandylee Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 11
Loc: Atlanta, GA
My fiancee recently told me about his brother "convincing him" to have sex when he was 8 and the brother was 15. This all came out because he wanted to deal with sex addiction (see help me help him topic - I tried to explain a lot there). I have forgiven him for any acting out he has done, and we are starting with a clean slate, the only thing I will not tolerate is lies. The truth, no matter how much it hurts, is better than a lie. He has lied for so long, and never told anyone these secrets he has kept inside for 25 years. I am trying very hard to understand and he knows that I love him more than anyone ever has and I will never hurt him. He has seen this based on my relationships with ex- husband and ex-boyfriend. He started therapy, and I told him that if we were going to have a clean slate, it had to be really clean. He told me a lot of things that were hard to hear, but I continued to hug him and tell him I wouldn't judge him, and he needs help, I'd stand beside him through this...And then the bombshell. He has told me he has had inappropriate behavior with my 8 year old daughter. She is a "sprited child" they say she's ADHD/ODD, I say shes just super smart and BAD (just a joke). I have gotten her into a special pyschotherapy class in school, etc. This was before I even met him. She has alwyas been very curious about sexuality, and I taught her about good and bad touch from the time she cold talk. But he told me that he was afraid to be alone with her. He would be in bed naked (while I was working) watching TV and she would come into the bed with him. He would cuddle her with one arm while masterbating under the covers until climax with the other. He says he has never touched her inappropriately, but he knows what he did crossed the line. Right now she is living with her Dad (long story)until the end of the school year. He has started therapy and seems sincere about wanting to change. The fact that he told me these things, and answered all my questions so honestly although it was so hard for him, makes me think he really wants to change and stop the chain of abuse. He said he has never touched another child, mostly his acting out has been with prostitutes, or other women that he otherwise wouldn't want to be seen in public with or have a conversation with. He wants to talk to my daughter when she come home and explain that what he did was wrong, and make sure she understands fully about abuse so it won't happen to her. What do I do? I have let him open his heart like he never has, told him I would stand by him, but I have to protect my child. Can he change enough to be trusted alone with her? Please, Please, Please give me some advice. My girls come first, hands down, but if it is possible to be there for him too, I would hate to hurt him. He has attempted suicide before and had a nervous breakdown before he met me. I don't want to hurt him, I love him and I know he is acting this way because he was victimized, but I can't let anyone hurt my kids. What do I do?

_________________________
Sandy

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#63493 - 12/19/04 09:42 PM Re: DESPERATE FOR ADVICE
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Sandy, this really is tough. Firstly, the protection of your daughter comes first in this, it is vitally important that he does not come into contact with her whilst alone.

I know that the witnessing of sexual acts by young kids, can make them act out, and sexualise them at an early age.

I don't know how much it affects her regarding behavioural problems, but it certainly could be a cause.

I would not let her even see him until you have had a chance to really talk to her. I would meet her in a safe environment and tell her that you fully trust her.

Ask her? How she feels about him?
Does she feel safe in her World, or would she rather you take him out of the equation.

In the end, it is yourself, and your child that needs protecting. SA, can cause very serious problems in kids. You should also be aware, that kids are really good at masking out even the most evil of things that can happen.

They can mask out, because they don't want to see you unhappy, or be seen as the cause of the problem, and YES, they can easily see themselves as the PROBLEM.

Don't forget, you are talking about child logic, it sounds illogical to us, unless we really understand it from a child's Worldly view, where it really does seem so logical.

If you need help, I am always here, but it is a dilemma, but keep yourselves safe,

take care,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#63494 - 12/19/04 11:00 PM Re: DESPERATE FOR ADVICE
sandylee Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 11
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Thanks for your response, and I know you are right, he can't be alone with her now. We live in another state and are going to see her for the holidays. It is a very long story, but basically my ex kidnapped my kids, I had to find them, they were already in school by that time and so he got temporary custody while we go through the divorce. We were separated 3 years but never had any paperwork and had always been amicable...but thats getting way off the point. She is happy and excited that he is coming. In fact, she told me once that she was going to marry him. She has always had behavior problems, from way before I even met him. And she has always been very sexually curious. What I need to know is can he change enough to ever be trusted again? If I talk to her, and then we talk to her together and I will get her in therapy, I think she will be okay. This happened on 4 - 5 occassions I just found out. He is being so honest and it is so hard for him. It takes 5 minutes for him to complete a sentence it is so hard. He says he wants help. I know he will never truly love anyone until he can love himself, but am I putting her too much at risk to let her come home. She can continue to live with her dad, but I want them (7&9 now) back so bad. It would be 6 months of him being in therapy and attending meetings before she would come home. Is that enough time, or do I start preparing to leave him somehow? It is hard for me to even understand how I can continue to love him with the things that he has done, but I guess I get the codependant award there. I know he does these things because his brother raped him. There is no "convincing" an 8 year old to have anal sex, and just because it didn't hurt and he got sexually excited doesn't make it any better. And someone probably did it to his brother. He is, for the first time ever, letting someone in and asking for help - can he heal enough to ever be trusted not to hurt her?

_________________________
Sandy

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#63495 - 12/20/04 12:22 AM Re: DESPERATE FOR ADVICE
James_dup1 Offline


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 1332
Loc: Wyoming
Hi,
You should do a search on ways children are groomed to be abused. Most of the time it's not just something that happens out of the blue, it takes time to get the child convenced this is what they want or not to tell.

I would say if he has admitted to masterbating himself while hold your daughter, that simply not leaving them alone is good enough. They shouldnt be alowed to live in the same house PEROID. Not sure about the laws in your state, but you may want to look up "Failure to Protect" and see what it says. If you know he has done this and still let him have access to the child you could go to jail with him, I would think.


Also, just to be blunt here. What is more important to you? Living with the man or protecting your kids.

We have some pro's here who deal with perp's and they may chim in as to answer some of your "is it enough time" questions.

Best of luck.

James

_________________________
I have more issues than Rolling Stone!


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#63496 - 12/20/04 12:22 AM Re: DESPERATE FOR ADVICE
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Sandy
Isn't that the hardest question you're ever likely to come across?

You and your girls must come first, that's essential given the facts he's disclosed to you already.
So what you choose to do must be your choice, and that choice must surely include everything from reporting him to the authorities to trusting him, and everything inbetween.

The positive aspect has to be the fact that he is disclosing, this must indicate a desire to change his life.
My acting out was with other men, but I believe the process that makes us act out is the same whatever we do, from viewing porn to acting out with children.

I have always said that the process for me was unstoppable.
I would have periods when the though of performing sex acts with total strangers sickened me, then something 'clicked' inside and the process kicked in. I would then plan and fantasize for days on end, winding myself up into a frenzy that only I knew about and I would go and act out.
By that time I was high on adrenline, so high that I was basically out of control. I've also said before that the rush from the fantasy / planning was better than cocaine, and it was.
I had it down to a fine art, the rush would peak when I knew I was going to be in a public toilet where I was likely to meet someone cruising for sex. By this stage I had no control whatsoever and would have given anyone a bj, which I did. There was no question of liking the other man, hell I didn't even ask their names. Precautions and the risk of STD's were of no importance.
That was the power of my drive to act out.

The reason I tell you this is to hopefully make you aware of how difficult it is to overcome.
I haven't had sex as part of acting out since early 1998, but that doesn't mean that I'm 'cured'.
I know that up until know if the opportunity has arisen I have resisted, and the opportunities have arisen because I travel around in my job and am forced to use public toilets and I've had the 'come-on' from men sometimes.
But I also know that I haven't had one of those encounters when I've been wound up. Would I resist then?
I think I would now.

For two reasons, firstly I know the reasons behind my original acting out - my abuse. And the fact that I was trying to re-create the sex acts I did as a boy under my terms as an adult. That DOESN'T WORK.
We can't regain control of what has past in that way, we can regain control of our present however.

And that's the second reason that I believe stops me from acting out.
Although there are still triggers that send me into the cycle of fantasy and winding myself up I recognise many of them and either avoid them or deal with them.
I know that if I'm alone for long periods that I can start the cycle. So I arrange my life as best I can to avoid lonely situations, and if I can't that I have stratergies that I use. If my wife goes shopping I 'will' vacuum the carpets, I 'will' clean the shower, and if that doesn't work then I masturbate to reduce the sexual element of the cycle.

I have dealt with all this in 1 to 1 therapy and still do so in group therapy, and my wife knows exactly what I've done in the past and what I still struggle with.
My experience is that the cycle that leads us to act out is possibly the hardest thing I have had to deal with.
And that's down to its complexity, I still don't recognise all of my triggers, and some days my defences are weaker than others. Not weak enough to go all the way in my acting out again, I'm as certain of that as it's possible to be, and as time goes on and I keep working it does become easier to overcome - and less frequent.

But it's hard knowing that it's still there and it's down to me, and only me, to keep the lid on it.
My wife would throw me out if I did go all the way again, that's a fact. But she trusts me and I respect that huge level of trust - and love.

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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#63497 - 12/20/04 12:23 AM Re: DESPERATE FOR ADVICE
Michael Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 92
Loc: Claremore, Oklahoma
I can only speak from my experience, but there is no way he should ever be alone with your daughter.

My weakness was other women, not children or men. My therapist explained that it was the excitement of doing something unacceptable sexually because of the SA when I was young (in my case, having affairs; before marriage it was many, many partners) then I would feel extreme guilt and remorse BUT not enough to stop. It was like I was out of control of my actions. Only until my wife understood that I needed her to be my strength was I able to come to grips with my behaviour. The effects of SA can be so complex!

THE ONE THING I KNOW IS THAT I CAN NEVER PUT MYSELF IN A TEMPTATION SITUATION WITHOUT MY WIFE BEING BESIDE ME!

That is why you must not let your daughter be in a situation where he would be tempted to repeat this act. 4-5 TIMES IS 4-5 TIMES TOO MANY!

I know this seems like rambling, but I don't know any other way to explain it. I was abused for several years from 10 to 14 years of age by 2 different men and it took 40 years for me to seek help.

PROTECT YOUR DAUGHTER FIRST!!

_________________________
"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers

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#63498 - 12/20/04 12:26 AM Re: DESPERATE FOR ADVICE
Wifey1 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 380
SandyLee,
Reading your posting has me feeling twisted inside, I am sure you are far beyond feeling twisted inside.
I may be harsh sounding here, but trying to balance having a spouse with a sex addiction who has "crossed the line" (sexually abused an 8 yr old) seems to be impossible to judge at this time.
The ONLY thing that can be judged and decision made on, is whether you choose to place your child in a dangerous situation or not. If any information comes out about how he abused your 8 yr old daughter during the divorce proceedings you can bet your last dollar that YOU wont have custody of her and visitations would most likely be supervised by the court.
I understand your empathy for your current partner, as my own separated partner is also a sex addict. My own crossed the line with a 20 yr old in front of our 20 yr old daughters. Believe me it has been pure hell these last 3 yrs. The hardest thing I had to ask was of my daughters "was he ever sexually inappropriate with you" -- and lord all mighty did I get a screaming at from them. But it was a hard question and I HAD to ask it, then HE called me and screamed at me for asking it - only later to apologize sincerely that it was a question that HAD to be asked.
Sex addiction is NOT an excuse nor a reason in anyway to be sexually inappropriate with a child of ANY age!
Are you willing to sacrifice your child for this man? Are you willing to be on constant alert unable to sleep, or run to the store without breaking into knots in your stomach, sweats and nightmares?
Your CHILD WAS VIOLATED!!
My suggestion no matter how much you think or love or care about this partner you have now, no matter how much you "understand" why his behavior is what it is and "how truthful" he seems to be is that you find a SAFE place for YOU and your child.
Seek and find a therapist who specializes in sexual abuse , sex addiction and one for your daughter also. She may be mis diagnosed if she has "always been very curious about sexuality".
Is that normal for her age and maturity level? Find or ask a child psychologist to know for sure.
I am sorry to sound so harsh -- but please listen to your CHILD FIRST... you are with a man who ADMITTED that he acted out and abused your daughter 4 - 5 times.... it only takes ONCE to do the damage of a lifetime.
I dont have all the answers -- I just want you to really think hard on this one, dont make this decision about YOU or your current Partner make this decision strictly about your DAUGHTER!
Yes, I am biased as a survivor of abuse myself, a partner to a sex addict, as a mother and someone who cares about the WHOLE picture.
Much Concern, Sammy


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#63499 - 12/20/04 12:38 AM Re: DESPERATE FOR ADVICE
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I have to agree with what the guys are saying here.

The first thing you should do is report this to the proper authorities. Abuse and acting out behaviors thrive in secrecy, the more people who are aware of what's going on, the harder it is for the behavior to continue. Your daughter certainly needs to talk about this with a professional before she talks to your fiancee about it.

Children can love and care for the people who abuse them. It is still abuse, and it still causes incredible damage and confusion.

Your daughter should get some therapy, and you need to give her space to talk about what she needs and wants. Whether or not you can all be a part of the same family has more to do with what she feels best with, than with how much you can trust him after therapy. And I agree with ste, you are her mother and if she senses that you want something bad enough, it's very likely that she'll suppress her feelings and go along with what you want.


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#63500 - 12/20/04 03:46 AM Re: DESPERATE FOR ADVICE
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Sandylee:
As a therapist who has worked with sexual abusers and male survivors for over 25 years, I am completely convinced that your friend has to deal with his behaviors, feelings and thoughts with a professional who is experienced in treating sexual abusers.

No doubt about it.

To echo the statements of survivors and partners here, you have no choice between him and your children. Kids become sexualized by the behaviors and grooming of adults/adolescents who are setting them up for future sexual abuse. Your daughter was exposed to sexual behaviors by your friend. He crossed over the line when his thoughts/feelings translated into a behavior (masturbating in front of her). No doubt.

He needs the right kind of professional help. If you want to pm me for a therapist who is experienced in this area, let me know where your are located and I will give you the name/phone number of the closest sex abuser specialist around you.

Ken Singer


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#63501 - 12/20/04 04:17 AM Re: DESPERATE FOR ADVICE
sandylee Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 11
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Thank each and every one of you for your advice and caring enough to respond. He will not be alone with her, or even really see her again after we visit for x-mas until June at the earliest. He has already begun therapy and I hope to stand by him long enough to help him get his feet on the ground. I know he is repeating what was done to him, and it was wrong, no grey area here. But her problems began years before I met him, and she is currently in therapy, and I will make sure the therapist knows everything. I will protect her first no matter what.

I do believe that knowing his friends and family and that he has been honest with me after so many years of lies and secrets that he wants to change. I told him he needed to clean the slate, and he did, no holding back - and I am sure some of you understand how painful that has been for him. I know that I need to get help because I feel guilty that I did not give her enough attention (I had been very sick for almost 2 years, right after her father left us), and believe that she was acting out against me. I feel so worthless because being a mom was supposed to be the most important job I had, and I feel like I have failed her.

I am holding on by a thread right now trying to figure out what to do...not to mention I have no job, no money and nowhere to go if I left him right now. He has been trying to help me get my life back together, and I think I am on my way - I can see the light, but it might be a train.

I want to see him get help, and if standing by him will help that process, I think I want to try. He has felt finally that he can open up to someone about his abuse and wants to change, and if I leave him to go to some kind of shelter, what will happen to him? I know some of you don't care because he has hurt a child. But I can't change the past, only the future. I am so sick about this right now, I can hardly breathe. But I appreciate every one of you responding, whether you support me or not, believe me, it helps.

_________________________
Sandy

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