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#68557 - 11/26/03 11:10 PM Secondary survivors
blue Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/26/03
Posts: 11
I am angry that the acceptable standard of treatment of fellow humans is so low. Look at all the people who meet their needs by violating other peoples and justify or rationalize it. Look at all the child molesters who just get away with it because their victims are too afraid and ashamed to admit what happened to them or because what did happen was so horrible they can’t even remember! Yes, it’s a crime, but only a VERY small number of them are actually prosecuted, even after the children have the courage to tell.

How messed up is this world and many of the people in it? Prominent people with respectable looking lives are pedophiles! And when their children grow up looking abnormal, society has sympathy for the parent! After all, they have such an abnormal child, which must be hard to deal with. NO ONE BOTHERS to find out why the adult child is having trouble. And if the adult child tells what happened, they are accused of being in need of psychiatric help and not believed! Of course they need help; they were sexually molested as a small child repeatedly! Who wouldn’t need help after something like that? The emotional instability of the person isn’t an indicator they made it up or imagined it, but a symptom the abuse did occur! Hello???

And when the molester is your parent? The only person you can count on, the only person who is available to take care of you? How can that not affect you? You must rely on this person totally for your survival and view of the world and yourself. The message the parent sends the child is the world is not safe and you are not worthy. How can a child grow up and be healthy with that kind of upbringing? It isn’t possible. Who can blame them for being angry and afraid?

Not me. I blame the pedophile. And I blame society for not helping the children. I blame us for not caring enough to challenge the lies and the walls of silence. The unexplainable sexual things the child does are not because he/she is just weird or dirty. That behavioris for a reason. Children do not know about sex. It does not occur to them unless someone older introduces them. If a child is acting sexualized, it is because someone has been sexual with him/her. And yes, it can be their mother or their grandmother or babysitter or some other female. Not all perps are male. When we see a child acting in a sexual way, we need to ask the questions, until we get good, factual answers.

If we don’t get good answers, we need to protect the children. Yes, I know, pedophiles lie, shift blame and various other tactics to divert the attention of would be do-gooders. Peodphiles are as a whole, very shifty insidious people. But we need to ask ourselves: Are the children worth it? If our sincere answer is “yes”, then we need to protect them and nurture them, no matter how old they are. They may be 2 months old or 20 years old or even 50 years old and still be suffering abuse under a parent or other family member. They all need to be protected and nurtured and loved. Even if they aren’t always grateful. Even if they do bring up the ugliest anger imaginable. It is “normal” for them to do that, as they have enduered the ugliest crime imaginable. Why wouldn't they be angry? At least until they are safe and can trust that they are safe. Then they can begin to heal. Not before. Have we made them safe?

In addition,there are the secondary victims:

Their spouses, who are never fully trusted and who can not have intimacy with their loved one, the survivor of the abuse. That intimacy has been stolen from them by the pedophile. The spouse probably deals with substances abuse issues, as well as abandonment, control and anger issues in their partner.

The victims’ own children, who can not have a close relationship with their parent, because the parent is afraid that somehow they will end up molesting their own children because it runs in the family.

The society as a whole who loose the beauty, creativity and contribution these people could have made, but because they are too afraid to try. They have to have iron clad guarantees of success before they risk anything, because they feel they have so little that is their own. That is because sooooo much has been taken from them.

And us.

Brief bio: I am the wife of a survivor. The pedophile was his mother. Noone,other than myself, believes him. Even he himself has days when he isn't sure it happened. most people don't believe it is possible that a female, much less a mother could do that to a child. She still has a great deal of control over his life. We get through it one day at a time. She is a prominent member of our city,with much influence and power. We have our Creator and each other to draw strength from and to assist in fighting our battles within ourselves. It is my hope that this expression will be a comfort to others who find themselves with this opportunity to be courageous.

_________________________
The opposite of fear is faith. Faith is necessary to love. Move away from the fear toward the love.

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#68558 - 11/27/03 11:39 AM Re: Secondary survivors
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
>>>How messed up is this world and many of the people in it?

With respect to abuse/sexual assualt and all that goes with it, pretty messed up. I"m still trying to figure out why one can get sentenced to more years in prison for stealing a car or taking drugs than you get for destroying someone's soul through sexual abuse or assault.

But then again there are just so many things that just dont make sense in this world - i.e. why does a professional baseball player make millions of dollars - to do what? To play a game that he loves and to entertain? And the corollary of that - why does a social worker or a special education teacher or a nurse make pretty crappy pay? There just are SO many things that dont make sense and it is so hard to think about them for too long without blowing a billion brain cells.

>>>Prominent people with respectable looking lives are pedophiles!

My fiance's perp sure is one. He's made a career out of being close to kids. Almost 20 years later he's in a major position of influence with kids and an authority in his community.

>>>And when their children grow up looking abnormal, society has sympathy for the parent! After all, they have such an abnormal child, which must be hard to deal with. NO ONE BOTHERS to find out why the adult child is having trouble.

Unfortunately the blame the victim mentality still exists. Probably because the victim is acting so odd and so unpredictable that it is hard to have sympathy for them.. but nevertheless as one Buddhist teacher taught me: "the person that is acting most hostile is a person in most need of a hug". Too bad more people dont recognize that...

As my fiance says to me "the only reasons people act in any way at all are to either lessen pain or to seek love. And those that are acting out a LOT are obviously in great pain and deserve pity, not criticism."


>>>And if the adult child tells what happened, they are accused of being in need of psychiatric help and not believed!

Again - the blame the victim mentality. I think that sexual abuse just raises so many uncomfortable emotions that I would think that a lot of people would be prone to denial. However, rest assured that the blame the victim approach does not *always* happen. With mental health or legal services just like any "service" sometimes unfortunately you have to "shop around".

>>>Of course they need help; they were sexually molested as a small child repeatedly! Who wouldn't need help after something like that? The emotional instability of the person isn't an indicator they made it up or imagined it, but a symptom the abuse did occur! Hello???

Indeed there still is a lot of denial and cover up in this whole damn issue, unfortunately. I am the child of an abuse survivor (I have no idea what kind but it must have been bad) who did not get the help he needed, and unfortunately went on to verbally and psychologically abuse his kids and emotionally abandon us through drugs and alcohol.

I have spent my whole life "acting out" in really bizarre and uncontrollable ways, and being blamed for it by a lot of people, including my own parents ("you're such a bad kid, you're so emotional, you cry to much, you're so messed up, you're so high-strung, bla bla bla"...). It was only recently after being on my own for a long time, and being in a relatioship with a fellow abuse survivor where he pointed out "you know the behaviour that you exhibit is not YOU its YOUR reaction to pain". Duuh! What a revelation! Took me over 30 years to realize that and to start to see the "real me" and to start to love myself.

>>>> The message the parent sends the child is the world is not safe and you are not worthy. How can a child grow up and be healthy with that kind of upbringing? It isn't possible. Who can blame them for being angry and afraid?

Been that child.
Done that angry and afraid bit.
I blamed myself for a long time.
Not anymore though.

>>>>When we see a child acting in a sexual way, we need to ask the questions, until we get good, factual answers.

FYI My mother is a elementary school special education teacher (behavioural specialist - her job is to work with kids who are exhibiting behavioural problems due to abuse, slow development, special needs) and has been teaching since the late 60's.

Fortunately, in her experiences, she is seeing that teachers and caregivers are becoming more and more educated on the signs of sexual abuse (and other kinds of abuse). Its pretty damn obvious to the vast majority of teachers now that if a kid starts touching him or herself in sexual ways, starts acting in sexual ways with other kids, that's a pretty clear indication that something SERIOUS is going on at home. And in my province there are laws that if the teacher suspects abuse and does not report it THEY can be prosecuted, so this stuff HAS to be taken with the UTMOST of seriousness.

Unfortunately this new recognition does not help adults who passed through the school system decades earlier where abused kids were simply just punished for their acting out behaviour.
Unfortunately for adult survivors now they have gone through the "emotional dark ages" prior to the 90's when there certainly was no recognition or support for kids who were being abused. Back "in the day" parents were given so much power and support, and kids were really supposed to be "seen and not heard" and really were their parents "property". Fortunately that is changing... slowly... but it is happening.


>>>They all need to be protected and nurtured and loved. Even if they aren't always grateful. Even if they do bring up the ugliest anger imaginable.

I agree - there is a need for a lot of care and TLC but dont forget there is a line here - if the anger from an abuse survivor crosses the line into "secondary abuse" i.e. if my partner (who is a SA survivor) used his abuse as an excuse to beat the crap out of me, there's no lovin' coming from me on that. I dont care what his excuse is, he could be a survivor of the worst abuse imaginable, but there ARE limits.

>>>It is “normal” for them to do that, as they have enduered the ugliest crime imaginable. Why wouldn't they be angry?

It is "normal" to feel angry... but there still are boundaries of acceptable behaviour... unfortunately its yet another "responsibility" to not let what happened to you become a problem for someone else. As an abuse and neglect survivor myself I rebelled for a long time against that added responsibility. For a long time I felt that my abuse gave me licence to act however I damn well pleased. ONly after realizing that i wasn't doing myself any favours in the relationship, friendship and health areas of my life I realized that maybe I had to get a grip. I had to accept the bitter pill that not only did I have a responsibliity to MYSELF to get well but to others not to let this spill out and onto others in a damaging way if I wanted to have any kind of a decent relationship or friendship with anyone, hold down a job, etc.

>>>At least until they are safe and can trust that they are safe. Then they can begin to heal. Not before. Have we made them safe?

We can do a lot to help them feel safe but they also have to make choices in their lives to assure their safety. i.e. my fiance and I have a *mostly* good and safe relationship but he continues a friendship with someone from his past when he was in his alcoholism/drug-use/denial days - in my opintion this guy is NO GOOD for him but how far can I go to tell him that? He has his own responsiblities for the non-relationship parts of his life. There is only so far that my support and caregiving can go....

We can be there for the survivor but it is the survivor that truly has to do the work.

>>>In addition,there are the secondary victims:

>>>>Their spouses, who are never fully trusted and who can not have intimacy with their loved one, the survivor of the abuse. That intimacy has been stolen from them by the pedophile. The spouse probably deals with substances abuse issues, as well as abandonment, control and anger issues in their partner.

Indeed. Its a long road to healing but it can be done. Less than 10 years ago my partner was an unemployed alcoholic having sex with whomever would have it with him.. and now he's a sober contributing member of society with a decent job ... and we are planning our wedding. But this "turn around" did not come without a lot of soul searching, therapy, and personal development on his part, most of which happened before we even met.

>>>The victims' own children, who can not have a close relationship with their parent, because the parent is afraid that somehow they will end up molesting their own children because it runs in the family.

Or in my case, that the parent is so mired in their own pain that they turn to alcohol, drugs and suffer depression to the point where they either are a completely absent and ineffective parent, or have anger and control issues to the point where they abuse their own kids.


>>>They have to have iron clad guarantees of success before they risk anything, because they feel they have so little that is their own. That is because sooooo much has been taken from them.

Definitely how my fiance operates. I am trying to encourage him to take a leap of faith and try a new career that I think would give him a lot of satisfaction, but it is *so* hard for him.

>>>Brief bio: I am the wife of a survivor. The pedophile was his mother. Noone,other than myself, believes him. Even he himself has days when he isn't sure it happened. most people don't believe it is possible that a female, much less a mother could do that to a child. She still has a great deal of control over his life. We get through it one day at a time. She is a prominent member of our city,with much influence and power.

This sounds horrible. I am wondering if there might be a possibility that he/you could think about moving away from that place? I would think that seeing her and having her somewhat involved even if just peripherally in his life would continue the pain. Personally I had to cut all ties to my family at least for a while when I was in my vulnerable stages so I coudl heal. Just seeing my parents put me back into a state of dissociation where therapy did not work.

>>>We have our Creator and each other to draw strength from and to assist in fighting our battles within ourselves. It is my hope that this expression will be a comfort to others who find themselves with this opportunity to be courageous.

I'm there with ya in spirit thats for sure. And I'm sure that the Creator will, in due time, see that all that is wrong is right. Maybe not in this lifetime, but for the courageous survivors of sexual abuse, I think they all have a first class ticket to Heaven since they've already done their time in Hell.


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#68559 - 11/28/03 08:19 PM Re: Secondary survivors
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Blue
Quote:
The victims’ own children, who can not have a close relationship with their parent, because the parent is afraid that somehow they will end up molesting their own children because it runs in the family.
This was rammed home to me tonight when I was talking to my 25yo niece, a real good girl.
But she was telling me about one of her friends, same age, and the way she treated her 10yo daughter.
It was horrible to listen to, and thankfully the social services are involved. She doesn't physically or sexually abuse her daughter, but she is emotionally and mentally abusing her - possibly not deliberatly.
The mother it turns out was abused by her father from 6 to 15yo.

It doesn't make it right, but it does make it somewhat understandable. Survivors do tend to pass all the crap onto someone else when adults.
Unfortunately 'abuse' has a tendancy to become hereditary. It's NOT always sexual, but we have to release it somehow, and before we get help and therapy it's usually those closest to us that suffer.

But that's the big picture, what about your husband ,will he come here ?
We belive, we support, we help - and most importantly, we can share the knowledge that we are not alone.
It's a sad fact I know, but the feeling that I was not alone was possibly the greatest help to my survival and healing.

Thank you for caring for a brother survivor.

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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#68560 - 11/28/03 11:37 PM Re: Secondary survivors
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
I relate to much of what you say. I find myself saying such things also, of how can this world be so wrong, how can people care so little of the hurts and harms of others? I recall a quote I read once, I do not know who said it, but something of 'The strength of a society is based on how it treats it's weakest members', or some such thing. Most often, society does fail at that.

Secondary victims/survivors. Yes, I can understand that. I have someone in my life right now, her emotions are so intermingled with mine, I know that she is experiencing some my past as well. Without her, and a few other good friends, I would not be a survivor, I would be dead, I have no doubt of that.

Thank you to you, and to everyone here who is a supporter of a survivor. Please take good care of yourselves.

leosha

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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