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#73399 - 06/22/05 05:47 PM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Jasper,

Suppose in your childhood you and Paulie were out somewhere and were injured - say, for the sake of argument, exposed to a nasty chemical. Suppose also that you, as the older child, was the one who came up with the idea to go there.

That was 35 years ago, and now at the age of 50 you discover 1) that chemical can mess you up really bad, and 2) there is a way to get help to deal with this. What would you do?

Of course you would go to Paulie and tell him what you know, and ask him to join you in getting help. The fact that you are gay and he isn't would have nothing to do with it. You would probably not feel guilty - you were both just kids.

And if Paulie decided, no, nothing is wrong with him and you are exaggerating the danger, then of course you would go on your own, and probably you would tell him, when opportunities arose, that this really is a serious business and you are being helped a lot.

It's startling how everything looks different when a problem is one of sexual abuse. To steal a phrase my kids use, it's a total mindfucker. When the problem is SA, then all of a sudden everything is on a whole different level of pain and emotion - for us, for our families, and for society at large.

I know the comparison soon starts to fall apart in all sorts of ways. My point, Jasper, is that of course you should approach Paulie, of course you should tell your sister, and of course you should seek other assistance.

Ever notice how it is so much easier to see what someone else should do? The best option is sometimes so clear! I think that's because when we think of our own case then the little boy is right there: ashamed, guilty, and scared to death.

I am quite sure this is how it is with me anyway. I feared rejection or disbelief so bad when the denial was starting to fall apart. But everyone I have told has been wonderful and 100% supportive. I think things through, yes, and I am careful who I let my defenses down for. But I have been alone and afraid too long already. Now it's time for me!

And you, and Paulie.

Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#73401 - 06/23/05 12:08 PM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Hi Jasper,

Two points come to mind today:

A few weeks ago we still had a small group of teens here, and I wonder what they would have said about the issue of being fat. I was always insecure about something or another: was I too fat, was I too tall, did girls like me, how come I'm so bad in baseball, just endless. One of my friends tells me he was so insecure in school about being skinny (he still is rather thin). So be easier on yourself perhaps. There was nothing wrong with you.

The other point has to do with Paulie again, and this comes back to what I said earlier about how it is so much easier to see the truth in someone else. It is written all over your post how guilty you feel about wishing that Paulie would get home first. But you were a child Jasper - an innocent frightened child. There is no way you could be responsible for anything you did to protect yourself. All of the blame belongs to the one who hurt two little brothers when he should have been doing his best to protect and cherish them.

This propably has a lot to do with how you feel about approaching Paulie now.

Hang in there \:\) ,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#73403 - 06/24/05 12:48 AM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Actually Jasper, I doubt that it matters whether either of us are "right" in some verifiable way. It's just that a lot of what you say rings true for me and helps me. It makes me think that I may get through all this crap somehow after all \:\) .

Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#73405 - 06/27/05 04:28 PM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Jasper,

First of all, thanks again from the depths of my heart. You will never know how much discussing these things is helping me along and getting me to see. Yes, I think you are making great progress, but believe me, it is not up to a basket case like me to judge that. ;\)

You pose a lot of deep issues in this post!!! Hereís just my feedback, for whatever it is worth. Iím just going to hit a few things as they come to my mind.

Your responsibility for Paulieís healing: None at all, in the strictest sense. He is your brother and you love him, that is so clear! It sounds a lot like how I feel for my sister. But the analogy of the sinking ship is a good one. Look at it this way. Even if you were to swim back you would not be able to make Paulie jump and come back with you. He has to realize that the boat is going down and make his decision for himself. Your love can result in you trying to get him to see what is really happening Ė that would be a great gesture of fraternal affection and dedication on your part. But at the end of the day what needs to be done he has to do himself. You are not and cannot be responsible for that.

Paulieís rage and cruelty towards you: Jasper, I was thinking about this with this feeling, you know, you think you are onto something but you just canít express it. Now I think I have it. You and Paulie are two little kids whose communications and relationship as adults have been drastically distorted by what happened to both of you. There has probably been a lot of tension for a long time, and as a result, you are now just signaling to each other in ways that neither really understands. You mention several times his invitations that come very late. You see that as meaning "you are not welcome"; maybe what he is saying is, "I think you hate me and wonít come, but here is an invitation anyway". Is that possible? The awful truth is no one knows. The only way you can see if things can be saved is to take a big chance that the answer is no.

Finally something you said struck me as really powerful and insightful:

Quote:
I can't go back into that room and save little Paulie. I can't go back into my childhood and stand up to our older brother.
Thatís the source of unending grief for me: not being able to go back and tell my Dad "Something happened and Iím scared to tell". How many others would that have saved? I donít know, but Iím not responsible for that. I was just a terrified kid. I can only work in the here and now and try to sort out my future in a way that will benefit me and those I love. In the same way, you canít go back and save Paulie. What is going on now can't have anything to do with making up to him for what occurred years ago. As you say, it wasn't your fault. You can express your love for him by trying to help him see what you now know, but if he wonít come along, thatís it, he doesnít come along. And even if he does, you have still not saved him from what happened to him; you are not atoning for some sin or failure. You didn't do anything wrong. Either way you are just acting according to your love for your brother. The rest is up to him.

Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#73407 - 06/27/05 05:41 PM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Jasper,

I saw your post just as I was about to pick up my odds and bits and go home for the day \:\) .

Yes, I remember Ken Singer's article and thought it was very good. I keep discovering new ways in which this place is so helpful to me.

I don't know much about child psychology, but that game with Paulie does sound like two abused boys playing: "I don't matter, neither do you, and whatever happens here, it doesn't matter either." That's a heavy way to start out relating to a sibling.

It looks like we have come to similar conclusions: I need to tell my Dad and you need to talk to Paulie. I have been speaking to my sister to get her to see why I have to do this, and she has, as always, been very supportive. She is getting the idea that this isn't just about "telling", it's about healing as well.

Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#73410 - 07/19/05 01:36 AM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Jasper,

I have no idea if what you are suggesting really happened. But what is important right now is that you are taking the possibility seriously.

No, you are not a bad person. Not in the least. You are a wonderful guy whose friendship I value and who has helped me in a million ways already.

You were a kid Jasper. You were being abused by an older brother who was probably emotionally unstable from a young age himself. The beatings, lies, and shaming from an abuser can get a kid to do anything. Even an older kid, like I was, can be "trained" to just get in the car, go with him, wait for him to unlock the door, and march upstairs and wait for him. YOU WERE FIVE YEARS OLD! You had absolutely no resources to resist the beatings, and it is an incredible tribute to your love and concern for Paulie that you were able to back off and say no.

It's the same thing we always tell each other, Jasper, and this time it's my turn: "It wasn't your fault". It can never be the kid's fault.

Take care,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#73411 - 07/19/05 10:17 AM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
medicb4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/07/05
Posts: 71
Loc: Sweden
TRIGGERS
I am fighting the same demons in some respects.

I am the oldest in my family. I did not "penetrate" my 2 brothers but I know that we were doing things that can only be described as bad touch. I was oldest and I was instigator so I *am* a perp, but the ultimate responsibility lays with my mother for screwing me up by screwing me.

My wife said yesterday that she thinks I need to take the step of hating my mother - I do---I have for the last week hated her worth 25 years of repeatedly beating and raping me. 1 year's sexual assault has had ripple effects that make the tsunami look like a fart.

I am ashamed of what I did. I have spoken to my brothers - sought and recieved their forgiveness - but the damage is done...to all of us.

_________________________
Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow". -Anonymous

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#73413 - 07/19/05 11:55 AM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Jasper,

I am really glad you posted on this, as I would never have wanted you to allow this misunderstanding to fester and cause problems between us. I simply misread your post, and I think you have misread my reply. I thought you were saying that you think this might have happened but you were not sure. If you look at your post I think you will see how I could have read it that way.

So my response was to say that while I can't judge one way or the other (only you could do that), let us assume that the worst is true and take it from there.

You have now misread my misreading and taken it to suggest I don't believe you. Or at least, that is what I think you are saying.

Of course I believe you Jasper! Without any reservation whatever! This is the problem with text conversations sometimes - it is so easy to get something wrong, especially on a sensitive subject.

I am very sorry for upsetting you. It was entirely unintentional and I am very embarrassed that this could have happened. You are a great friend and I would never do anything to doubt you or hurt you.

Take care,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#73415 - 07/19/05 05:52 PM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Jasper,

I' m so glad that got straightened out. I never meant to question you, I just thought you were talking about possibilities.

I understand why you feel so hurt and ashamed about what your big brother made you do, but I also think its a good idea to insist that apologies for being graphic here aren't necessary. Sometimes I think it is a good thing just to say it and get it out in the open. Any time I have done that here the reaction has been so supportive and empowering, and at the very least being able to talk is a way of rejecting our abusers' power over us so many years ago - or not so many years ago for some of us. That too is important, or that's how I see it anyway.

Take care,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#73421 - 08/11/05 06:36 PM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Jasper,

Yes, of course, the door is always open! Lean away! \:\)

I have two comments on this Jasper. The first is that as something that says what you feel it is perfect. It hits hard, yes, but it leaves open the possibility of reconciliation. I have spoken to you a lot recently, so I know that to be true.

But my other comment refers to this as something to be read by Paulie. The problem here is that I do not know Paulie at all. But there does seem to have developed a considerable gap in communication between you. What I wonder then, is this. Will he understand this letter and what you are telling him? Only you can answer that.

Should you revise the letter? That depends on what you want it to achieve. If it is a vehicle for you to speak your mind, then here it is - just send it. But if you want to communicate something to Paulie, then the problem of how this will look to him becomes very important.

I am not saying that the letter as it stands should not go to him. If you asked me that, I would have to say that's up to you and I support you however you decide. But if you pressed me further I would have to add that it's really difficult to call that one when I doesn't know Paulie at all.

You speak of things improving with your other brother. How about asking him to look at the letter and see what he thinks? Would that be helpful?

However this works out Jasper, you are basically saying to Paulie: 1) it isn't okay you are hurting me, 2) it does matter that things are not alright between us, 3) I cannot continue like this, 4) the ball is in your court - I am ready for a reconciliation when you are, but I cannot continue to pursue it alone and at huge emotional cost to myself and those around me. On all these points it seems to me that you are absolutely right.

Take care,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
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