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#63631 - 11/14/02 12:44 PM my son
crackerjack Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/14/02
Posts: 5
Loc: massachusetts
hi - i'm new to your group - i am the mother of a 13 yo boy and i am concerned that he may have been sexually abused. i know that he was physically abused in 1999 by my ex - not his father - but the only reason i bacame aware of it was because the man lost it in front of my 14 yo daughter an d 4 of their friends - hit him so hard in the head that he fell off of a jungle gym - landed on his head. he subsequently developed problems with his ears - his ent said were consistent with a blow to the head. i have had(and still have) him in counselling, have a restraining order against the man, and have tried talking to him myself. he did so poorly in the school year following this that i kept him back a year, but i continue to see problems. he said he was threatened by the man if he told about the physical abuse and that i wouldn't believe him anyway, but when i have questioned him about sexual abuse, he says he doesn't know, he's not sure, he doesn't remember, etc. he continues to do poorly in school, is very forgetful, has many complaints of vague ailments and real ailments - such as constipation, headaches, stomach upset. he has outbursts on occaision of rage and violence. Question - are these signs and symptoms of sexual abuse and or physical abuse? where do i go from here? his counselling is through MSPCC, but he has not discussed any part of the abuse with the counsellor - is this something that will come with time or should i be seeking another counsellor? he seems to like and respond to him. Help!


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#63632 - 11/14/02 02:34 PM Re: my son
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Hi - it certainly sounds like your son is exhibiting symptoms of some kind of abuse. You also said that your son may have sustained some kind of head injury too which could also result in personality changes (has your son had a CT scan or a psychiatric/neurological exam? If not, I would insist on it - dont just rely on your family doctor).

Rage/anger, etc can be the result of any kind of abuse, not just sexual. Although I'm on here because my BF is a SA survivor but I too am a survivor of emotional/physical/mental abuse and I too have had (and continue to have) issues with rage/anger/trust, etc. There are some behaviours that are usually linked to sexual abuse however, such as compulsive sexual activity (i.e. if you find your son touching himself frequently when he never used to do that before) that would be a major red flag.

I am not sure the nature of your son's therapists' approach for your son's treatment - I would talk to him/her and find out if he/she plans on investigating sexual abuse and if he/she is not following up on it within a reasonable amount of time (a few months) after talking to him/her, then I would try another therapist. I am sure that some therapists are better at dealing with SA than others. Remember, just because someone is certified, does not mean they are effective for every patient.

Try not to take it personally if your son does not want to talk about the SA with you directly - with my BF's case he has NEVER told his parents about being molested (for a variety of reasons), even now almost two decades after the abuse happened.

Soccer


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#63633 - 11/14/02 09:23 PM Re: my son
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Your young son has had a tough life so far. I am sorry to hear of all that has happened to him.

Have you talked to his counselor and tod the counselor of the physical abuse? If not, I would think the counselor would want to know that.

It would just be my gut feeling, but if his response to your question about being sexually abused was he doesn't know and doesn't remember, I would very much suspect it. Even a flat, firm "no" could be evasive, but I "I can't remember" seems suspicious to me.

Thanks for being a good and caring Mom. Your loving him and letting him know that you are saddened by the bad things that have happened to him will be helpful to him.

Bob

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

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#63634 - 11/14/02 09:53 PM Re: my son
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Hi Crackerjack:
If your son has a good rapport with his present counsellor, it might not make sense to switch him to someone new. Some of the symptoms you note COULD be indicative of sexual abuse. I agree with Bob that his evasiveness is telling. (I've been working with adolescent and adult male victims/survivors for nearly 25 years and adolescent boys are often reluctant to disclose sexual victimization, even when it is fairly obvious).

I would share your concerns and observations with the therapist. If s/he is not very experienced with male victimization issues, s/he should get some help or consultation with someone more experienced. It could be a toss-up in terms of staying with someone familiar and comfortable vs. going to someone new with more experience. A consult could bring the best of both worlds to the relationship.

To avoid a sense of betrayal or putting the counsellor in a difficult position, you might consider letting your son know that you want to tell the counsellor about the abuse and some of the other problems. If he doesn't want you to, I'd take the position that you are doing it for his own good, similar to having him get a shot at the doctor, or getting a cavity filled. It's for his own good, even if he doesn't want it at this time... parent's call for the best. By your telling the therapist, he may be mad at you temporarily, but it can be worked out in counselling.

Ken Singer, LCSW


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#63635 - 11/15/02 10:52 AM Re: my son
New to this Offline
Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 138
Loc: Mississippi
Crackerjack,

Fisrt let me say it is good that you are taking an active role with your son. Most of the guys here did not have a concerned parent to help. (Many had parents for abusers).
I have not told my parents about my abuse. It happened 28 years ago when I was 12. It is not an easy thing to discuss.
Your son's answers indicate that there is more to be learned. "I don't know, I don't remember", are answers many of us have used. Abuse left us confused.
I repressed the memory of my abuse. If someone had asked me soon after it happened I may have answered like your son. I eventually repressed it to the point that I could say "no, I was never abused".
I think that you should discuss your concerns with your son's counselor.

_________________________
"Knowledge itself is power" Francis Bacon

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#63636 - 11/15/02 02:31 PM Re: my son
crackerjack Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/14/02
Posts: 5
Loc: massachusetts
thank you all for your help and information - i did tell my sons' counsellor about the assault - at the start of therapy in (?) march 2001 - it was the reason we started - and we have discussed it since then. i also brought up that i did not know how many other times he had been assaulted or if there had been sexual assault, too. I also dicussed the assault with his ENT - after follow-up for his first operation - i asked the ENT if the hearing loss could have been caused by the blow to the head - the DR confirmed that the type of hearing loss was consistent with blunt force to the head - that is when i got the restraining order against him and still have one - his primary care physician is also aware - (he dropped the man who was responsible for it from his patient group) and after examination felt that he did not require further testing but i will bring it up again as he does have c/o's neck pain also on occaission.....he's been going to this therapist for 1 1/2 years - the last time we discussed his treatment plan he felt he was making progress - just very slowly - stated that in his experience with troubled teens it takes a lot longer to establish trust as there have been very few adults in their lives that they can trust - most of the adults that they have known have hurt them in one way or another.....i'm not surprised that he doesn't talk to me about it - i am his mom after all!....one of the reasons it is so hard for me to not know is the fact that this abuser is an RN! while he has the restraining order on him, he gets fired from every job he gets as a nurse once the CORY check goes through, but it really bugs me that he has any contactwith people who are at risk to be taken advantage of - adult and child alike. i have decided to gather all the information i have available about this man and lodge a formal complaint with the board of nursing - he needs to lose his license - the sooner the better! i'll keep you up to date, and thanks again! Binti-jua (daughter of sunshine in swahili)


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#63637 - 11/15/02 07:28 PM Re: my son
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Crackerjack
How many of here here waited until we were men to disclose our abuse ? an awful lot of us - I was 46.

It's so hard for 'men' to admit we have had some kind of sexual contact with other men, and at 13 he's a young man. And he probably believes the contact ( if it's taken place ) is just that, or worse, in his mind - his fault if that's what he's been told by an abuser. He hasn't had the chance yet to figure out that it was unwanted - it was abuse.

Abusers tell the strongest lie in the world "this is our secret, it will always be our secret" and on pain of being branded "queer - faggot" or any derogatory term like that, we accept the secret.

It wont surface until he's ready to let it out, although the trust of a good counsellor will help that process immensly, and don't forget yourself.
A good counsellor will help you to think clearly and cope with this stressful time, you can't help him if you're suffering yourself.

I agree with the other guys who have said that his evasion makes it likely that SA has taken place, if it hadn't I believe he'd be very defensive and offended by the suggestion that it had.
But, he can't be forced into an admission of what might have happened.
Only when the time is right for him will he say what really happened.

He's a lucky boy, his mother loves him.

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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#63638 - 11/16/02 04:56 PM Re: my son
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
crackerjack, I really praise you for being such a caring mother. I think you have done all you can. Your son will tell whatever he needs to tell when hye is ready. I sure hope that he does not have to suffer anymore. I hope that if there is damage to his neck, that he can get help while he is young and the bones and catrilege are more supple.

Good idea to have a support group you can rely on.
Your son is in my prayers and you too.

Bob

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

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#63639 - 11/25/02 07:22 PM Re: my son
Pete Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/25/02
Posts: 7
Loc: New Jersey
You sound like a good Mom. I hope the counselor helps him. I was a victim of severe abuse and understand what he is going through. He needs to understand what happened. I hope that helps. Peter

_________________________
I pray for all my buddies on this site. If you want to talk. please email anytime.

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#63640 - 11/27/02 06:28 PM Re: my son
Pete Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/25/02
Posts: 7
Loc: New Jersey
Please do something as fast as you can. Contact any hospital and get him help. Don't wait. get help from friends neighbors etc. he is prescious and must be helped now. Please do it. Pete

_________________________
I pray for all my buddies on this site. If you want to talk. please email anytime.

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#63641 - 12/06/02 04:00 PM Re: my son
Muldoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
Crackerjack
hi - i'm new to your group - i am the mother of a 13 yo boy and i am concerned that he may have been sexually abused

Those words made me so sad but also tears of joy came over me. You son is so lucky to have a mom like you, one who cares and wants to help. You have come to the best place possible to get knowledge as you help your son heal.
I do agree with most everthing that the others have said. You are doing the right things. It is super important that you find out the truth now. Your son is going through major changes as he grows to be a young man. This is the best time for your son to begin his healing.
I do disagree with one thing, I think that your son would end his silence with you if given the right opertunity. We never told our parents because they never gave us a chance to do that. Who does your son trust more than you.
Find the time to spend a few hours alone and reach out to him. Tell him that you want to help him improve his life, to help him get over what is holding him down, you just want the best for him. Talk to him about his T and if he feels good with this person .Don't talk about the SA just make him know you are there for him. If he was abused it will flow out because he feels safe with you.
Thinken of you, Muldoon

_________________________
Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

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#63642 - 12/06/02 10:44 PM Re: my son
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Crackerjack:

You've gotten lots of good advice & encouragement here. You seem to be handling an awful situation very well, with courage & compassion.

When I was 13, I was being put into a children's home by my mother who had abused me & let others abuse me thruout my childhood. She was getting rid of me before she got found out & so she could be "free."

Your son is very fortunate at his age to have a mother like you, with all he's going thru.

If you think the therapist is a good one, give it time. It took me 35 years from the time of my last SA trauma (at age 10) before I remembered any of my SA--this was just last year.

If you can handle it, going after the man who physically abused your son, whether thru prosecution or his work or whatever, may help uncover any SA he may have committed against your boy.

I feel for him & for you. I hope he'll be able to open up & get help. I know how hard it is to do that. Your love & support helps beyond measure.

Take care

Wuame

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

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#63643 - 12/19/02 10:29 AM Re: my son
crackerjack Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/14/02
Posts: 5
Loc: massachusetts
please, somebody, tell me that this whole thing gets worse before it gets better. My son is home again from school(yesterday, too) - says he feels sick - but nothing that I can positively say "oh, yeah, a cold....the bug thats going around, etc."- complaints he has: sore throat, dizziness, upset stomach/nausea, says he's hot but doesn't feel it to the touch, headache, not sleeping well - up and down several times during the night - he came out into the living room last night, which is right next to my bedroom. He has already missed 15 or so days of school, and I will be bringing him to the doctors' as some of this can be related to all of his ear problems....but I also just had a meeting with his teachers, as they were concerned with his lack of responsibility, outright lies to them and me regarding homework....actually, if he is graded on all but his homework, he is an A/B student - homework kills his grades, and this has been an ongoing issue.......????? maybe he is getting worse - physically and school wise because he is getting closer to actually dealing with this issue? Please give me your input. CJ


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#63644 - 12/19/02 02:11 PM Re: my son
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
maybe he is getting worse - physically and school wise because he is getting closer to actually dealing with this issue?
Probably. That's why a lot of people try not to deal with it. But they have to; it comes out some way or another. I know that's what happened to me. Tho it sure doesn't look like it right now, it's really probably a good thing your son, and you, seem to be trying to deal with this now--the right way!

But--is your son going to therapy? If not, this could be a great help. If so, maybe he needs to go more often? Or get another one?

Just some thots to consider...

Quote:
actually, if he is graded on all but his homework, he is an A/B student - homework kills his grades, and this has been an ongoing issue.......?????
What is it with homework? I had that same problem in school--now I know why! And I still think most kids get way too much homework!

Take care CJ, and son

Wuame

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

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#63645 - 12/19/02 02:16 PM Re: my son
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Crackerjack
I know my behaviour and marks at school changed drastically for the worse from the age of 11, when my abuse started.

I think it was a lot to do with being unable to concentrate, I was becoming obsessed by sex and thought of very little else.

I also developed a personality that made me believe I was different, some of which I believe was a belief that because I had this secret life that was becoming so important to me ( why wouldn't it, the only praise and encouragement I got was for my sexual prowess ) I started to believe I was 'above ordinary things'

But SA isn't the only option, bullying ( not just physical - verbal as well ) and just plain feeling inferior ( lack of a 'family' etc ) can be just as damaging.

I know schools here have some very good services to offer, my wife works in a college for 16 / 17 yo students that provides free counselling.

But I suppose it's like most things - funding might make it patchy.

Don't give up and make sure he knows how much you love him, encourage him to trust you. Make it safe for him to share his problems.

Good luck
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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#63646 - 12/19/02 02:54 PM Re: my son
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
Quote:
please, somebody, tell me that this whole thing gets worse before it gets better.
It gets worse before it gets better. It really does. Confronting these issues brings them to the surface, and that makes things, temporarily worse.

I wish and hope that what I have said gives you some comfort. Sadly, it doeasn't give me much comfort to say them. I think that is because it triggers my own feelings of what it was like to be that age. It was very tough for me.

But your son is in counselling, right? and dealing with this issue specifically? That is so important. I would like to illustrate with my son's story.

My son (age 10) was diagnaosed with Type one Diabetes two years ago. He was in a coma for a couple of days in the hospital. Five months later, I was attacked, stabbed several times and spent almost a week in intensive care. I nearly died. Five months later, his mother's (my wife) sister died unexpectedly and horribly at the aage of 28. My son went to therapy to deal with what was described as severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It was hell for a year, but then, almost miraculously, this boy reemerged. The therapist told us, that the younger you are, the more easily one can process the therapeutic benefit.

My wife and I now joke that we still suffer from the PTSD (we were all diagnosed with it) while our son is fine. He processes better than we do.

I hope this helps a little. It is terrible that your son should have to get through this at all, but I am so happy for him that he has a supportive mother and therapist to guide him.

Peace

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#63647 - 12/20/02 04:38 AM Re: my son
Muldoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
Hi Crackerjack:
hope things get better for you and your son. At times it becomes super hard for us to do things we don,t think are important. Think you son does know whats going on in his classes but just don,t think the homework is important in his life.
If the SA is # 1 on his mind then there is no room for much alse in his world. Hope you and his T can work this out before he get to far behind in his school work. Best of luck Muldoon.
PS Maybe you and you son can spend some time together after Christmas but before he returns to school. Realy think that he will open up to you if you give him the oppertunity. Muldoon

_________________________
Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

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#63648 - 12/21/02 02:45 AM Re: my son
Lil Red Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 14
Loc: Oregon
Crackerjack Ė
Quote:
complaints he has: sore throat, dizziness, upset stomach/nausea, says he's hot but doesn't feel it to the touch, headache, not sleeping well - up and down several times during the night - he came out into the living room last night, which is right next to my bedroom.
I read this and started to cry. I had the same symptoms at his age, as well as a nosedive in school performance, lying, withdrawal. If I recall your earlier postings, your son was physically abused and you suspect there may have been SA, too. Whatever he has been through, he is obviously suffering. I donít know if any of this applies to you and your son, but Iíll share it.

It can be very difficult for a child/adolescent to put things in a linear or causal order. Said a little more plainly, I knew I was screwing up, but I didnít know it had anything to do with being abused. No amount of my folks asking ĎWhatís wrong?í was really helpful, because I couldnít figure it out. I donít know how you determine if the T your son is seeing is the right one for him, but hopefully the therapy will help him sort this out.

13/14 is a really tough time to be going through this. (Not that thereís a good time.) Just at the time a kid needs to be taking steps away from dependence on his parents. Even as a girl, it was bewildering to need my mother so desperately and at the same time want to be grown up. It can only be more confusing for a boy. I hope you are not too familiar yet with the adolescent shrug and rolling eyes. Hang in there. Iím sure your love and support will be a foundation for him forever even if he doesnít seem to respond now.

E


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#63649 - 12/29/02 10:14 AM Re: my son
crackerjack Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/14/02
Posts: 5
Loc: massachusetts
Thank You All for your input, it has helped me a lot. Sometimes I think I'm going crazy with all of this stuff....sometimes I wonder if I'm looking too hard at all of this, and seeing more than there is....if I listen to one of my sisters, then yes, I am. But I look at her children, and how they've become from her ignoring stuff that was there, and I feel like I'm on the right track. Thank you all for making me feel that way, too. All I want is for all of my kids to grow up healthy, happy, and to know they are loved and worthwhile, and that I am there for them. Thanks,(can't say it enough, can I?)


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#63650 - 12/29/02 01:30 PM Re: my son
Les_Angry Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 195
Thanks for listening to your son. You are a good mother. I wish my mother took the approach you are taking either now or 24 years ago.


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