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#73377 - 06/16/05 11:52 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 read a lot of powerful posts here, but this one really got to me. I admire you for the courage you show in speaking about this.

You were a kid being abused by a family member who should have been protecting you. All this is his doing and not yours. I think almost any child frightened half to death like this would have reacted as you did. The way you thought about the situation was entirely determined by fear, and that is the emotion any child would have. You don't need to be forgiven by anyone. The only failure here was on the part of your older brother.

Paulie's feelings may be directed against you because he felt as a child that you should be protecting him. What he needs to see is that both of you were victims. Neither of you is at fault. If this can be presented to him in some way that doesn't invalidate his feelings at what happened, perhaps that would open up the possibility of you two working together on this.

All the best,
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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#73378 - 06/16/05 01:14 PM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
Rustam Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 471
Loc: UK
Jasper,

Itís not your fault that you couldnít protect your brother. You were trying to cope with the impossible. Recently my brother who is 7 years younger than I and is in huge denial blamed me for leaving home while he was, in his words Ďgoing madí I sadly replied that I would have gone mad myself had I stayed there and that I would have been no help to him. I am sad to say that thatís true. When I was 19 years old I remember my dad after mum died telling my youngest brother 7 that he would sleep with him. My little brother cried and was so distressed, I felt crazy inside and was in too much denial and fear to face what was really happening. I wish it were otherwise.

One time when our mum was in a rage and we were hiding in sheds from her, I prayed that she would find someone else, when I heard my sisters cries I felt such relief and such guilt. I wish I was nobler, but I was a traumatised kid trying to live and avoid pain in a cruel brutal system. We all did what we could to survive, we were reacting to abuse we were not the abusers.

I would like to have seen myself as above the cruelty but that is asking too much of a child. I am sorry this wall exists between you and your brother, but itís not your fault; remember little Jasper and what he had to live through to survive, he deserves your understanding, he did nothing wrong.

Take care,
Peter.


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#73381 - 06/16/05 04:44 PM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
puppy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/05
Posts: 129
Loc: earth
its not your fault jasper.

my brother was 8 yrs older than me and he left when i was pretty young still. he knew what went on. i hated him for leaving me. but onc ei could understand it more, i knew he was just as scared as me and he wanted to protect me but just idnt know how.

_________________________
pUpPy

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#73383 - 06/17/05 01:23 PM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Reading your further post clarifies things a bit for me, and I have something to say that I have thought about long and hard. I really donít know whether I should go down this road, and I need to tell you these are just my personal thoughts.

Awhile back I started a thread (ďTelling my fatherĒ) about on a problem that was absolutely devouring me: should I tell my father what happened so many years ago? I was abused from the age of 11 until 14 by a man who worked with our Boy Scout troop, and he got me to shut up and let it continue by using the cruelest lies imaginable: I was a sissy and thatís how he knew I would do this, if I told I would be thrown out of the house and end up in an orphanage, nobody loves me except him and my parents keep me only because I was their only son, my father is furious with me (for reason x, y, or z) so I should go with him until things calm down at home, doing this to you shows I really am the only one who loves you, etc etc. By the time it all ended I was an emotional disaster, and back in those days there was nowhere to go and no one to talk to about such things. So I coped by burying everything and going into denial; I somehow convinced myself that nothing had happened and I really must stop worrying about those childish bad dreams. But by some twisted logic I was also blaming my Dad, who was and is a fantastic person and a wonderful father. I guess I needed somewhere for the anger and fear to go and wanted to know why me. So there it is: he should have protected me. I became extremely difficult and rebellious, way beyond the usual teenage troubles, and for years into adulthood I was emotionally cold and distant from him. I am still ashamed at all the times I rejected or ignored his endless gestures of love and support. Eventually our relationship was restored, almost entirely due to the wisdom and kindness of my wife, but I still did not understand why I had been such a prick.

When I posted on the question of whether or not I should tell my father, the issue hinged on the fact that he is 80 years old. He would be devastated, of course, and I know he would feel terrible that this had happened and he knew nothing about it. I might feel better, but what good would it do him?

How all this fit together I didnít figure out until I read your second post here. I was overpowered by your first post but I wasnít sure why. I was writing to you about things you might consider, but I wasnít seeing the truth about myself. I was a victim, it wasnít my fault. I donít need to be forgiven. My problems with my father go right back to the poison I got from my abuser. In order to keep things going he was trying to deprive me of the first lifeline I might have grabbed at. And my father was hurt as well. My abuser took away from him all those years of love and affection that the two of us should have had and which he richly deserved.

Before seeing your thread I had decided Ė more or less Ė that I will deal with this the next time I am back in the States. Both of my sisters know about what happened and both will be a great source of support. But now I am absolutely determined! Both my Dad and I were robbed. We are both victims, even today. He does need to hear what happened. He probably wonders to this day what he did wrong as a father. Answer: nothing! He needs to know that, and I need to tell him. Itís not just a way of telling that sick bastard: You lose. I donít know how long my father has Ė heís in better health than I am at the moment \:\) . But I canít allow him to pass away with that question on his heart. I owe him that.

You and Paulie are victims as well. Your older brother may have said things to keep you two from supporting each other, and going back and forth between you would already be enough to raise a barrier. You feel guilty because you are slightly older; Paulie may feel confused and angry for the same reason. But all of this is unresolved crap from childhood and the fault of someone else, not either of you two. You are both still being hurt even today, and as it happens, you are the one who is in a position to end it. That doesnít mean that it will be easy. There may be a lot of crap to work through, and of course in any one case it gets a lot more complicated than an outsider can understand.

On being gay, Iím not gay myself so I canít comment from that perspective. But sure, that may have something to do with it. Paulie may not understand that being gay is part of who you are and not some lifestyle you picked up one day. The hurt child Paulie may wonder if you were gay even as a little boy, which attracted the attention of your older brother, therefore you got things started, blah blah blah. All nonsense of course, but still Ė looks like there is a need to clear the air and do some honest talking here as well.

My huge fear here, Jasper, is that this is coming down as a way too heavy emotional post. There is always the chance, I guess, that an effort on your part could go badly wrong. I just donít know. All I can say is that thanks to your posts I know for sure what I have to do and why, and from what I can see it all fits your situation as well. But thatís only my guess. Maybe some of the moderators with some professional experience would have some comment.

Good luck!,
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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#73385 - 06/17/05 04:56 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 indeed, the dialogue is great and is helping me a lot. Thanks.

Just a quick comment on the theme of "how could they not have known". I had a huge dread of discovery. I was terrified beyond imagining at the possibility my parents would figure out what was happening; after all, I was being warned constantly of the awful consequences if they knew. My abuser's lies made sense because I was feeling more and more worthless anyway. I look back and I can't believe how vigilent I was. I had all the details covered. I invented stories about rough games in the woods or running into a tree and had them ready in advance in case I came home and needed to explain marks or bruises. I had places to stash spotted clothing until I could dash out and put it in the trash.

Another problem is that I don't think there was any real public awareness that this kind of thing was happening. I remember my parents really worrying and watching for things like polio in the summer, dogs that acted strange and might be rabid, etc. But sexuality? Ozzie and Harriet were in separate single beds and masturbating made you go blind. The possibility that something terrible could happen to your son just wasn't on the list.

This still seems to be a problem today. Michael Jackson got off, I think, because people still don't want to know. Several of our younger survivors talk about this. Puppy has some painful posts on it, and I think Charlie has some angry questions asking how his mother could not have known.

There is a lot of emphasis on watching out for danger to your children, and I don't think any man in his right mind would agree to babysit anymore. My wife and I talked to both of our kids about "bad touching". But when it comes to spotting when your child is being hurt, I think there is still almost no information or awareness. Or at least I haven't seen anything.

(Edited to add here that this is just a comment on Jasper's point about his parents not knowing; didn't mean to divert the thread off subject.)

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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#73388 - 06/18/05 03:36 PM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

It sure does make sense. I was much the same I suppose. I fought for years to pretend nothing had happened, and even now the more I let go the more I discover how totally this has shaped my life. Every time I think I have conquered a little demon there seem to be ten more huge ones lining up. I would like to think Iím not pretending anymore, but even there Iím not sure. Denying everything didnít happen in a day, so I suppose facing it doesnít happen in a day either. The comparison to the iceberg Ė absolutely.

I guess sometimes it does take a traumatic event to make you accept reality. Or at least when you talk about that kind of thing it rings true with me. Iím not to the point where I can talk about it yet, except to say that for me the point of no return came when my father told me about a few boxes in a corner of the attic that I had stored away as a teenager.

It does seem to me that your brother Paulie is doing the same thing Ė he has denied everything and connecting with you is a threat to his ability to hold that all together. But no wonder. It isnít easier just because now he is an adult. And the fact is that both of you were hurt: neither of you is at fault and neither of you needs to be forgiven.

On the possibility that he was hurt the same way you were, who knows? But in all honesty, you say that your older brother came after one of you and then the other, and then hung around to ensure you didnít tell. Why would he have treated the two of you differently?

On what I will do concerning my own case, all that has become complicated again. Yesterday it was so clear to me, but last night I received an email from my sister Ė my rock! Ė and she had this to say:

Quote:

If you tell Dad, you are telling Mom. Dad would not be able to keep this from her. I'm still not sure how they would handle this at their age, it would change the rest of their lives till the day they die. I don't remember you as ever being cold or unkind to Dad... I remember you being like every other son going off to college in the 60's - 70's. Times then were horrible....remember the "generation gap", "the establishment" and other coined phrases? Mom and Dad struggled to hold on to stability in raising us (I was not the easiest to get along with as I remember) and we were interested in our music, civil rights, opposition to the Vietnam war, etc. They were traditional, you and I were cutting our own mold. It was an angry time. I don't really know of any real close Dad-Son relationships other than TV characters. I know Mom and Dad are extremely proud of you and love you unconditionally.
So perhaps this is all just my own sense of guilt and shame still messing with my head, even though I know I didnít do anything wrong.

Flashbacks: There is discussion on the DB now about handling them, and once again I realize how poorly I am coping. It astonished me that anyone can actually do that. When one of those things gets me I am back to 11 years old and not just seeing him right there, but feeling the cruelty and danger and worthlessness as if they were physical things there with him. I canít think of anything else and I just disintegrate.

If I ever do get back to a real decision about telling my father I know I would not be calling him on the telephone. I would want to be there with him and support him, and my sister is right: my mother is in the picture as well.

What hurts the most isn't even about me or any one person at all. It's how can anybody do this to a defenseless innocent child?

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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#73391 - 06/20/05 05:10 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,

Thanks again for all your ideas and encouragement. I can see that you are absolutely right and next time let me help you get back up on the soapbox!

All this came up again today with a trusted friend of mine in my Faculty. We were sitting in a wonderful little cafe over a coffee and she asked me two things:

1. Wouldn't I want my own son, now 21, to tell me such a thing and ask for my help regardless of my age?

2. If I tell my Dad, aren't I basically rejecting the fear stuck in me by my abuser so many years ago and replacing it with the trust that every good Dad wants his son to have for him?

I suppose what I need to do now is remember my answers!

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
#73393 - 06/21/05 09:04 AM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

This one is off-topic but I think its important: your comments about heterophobia. Actually, I don't think its a phobia, it's a real apprehension. "Straight" men can be unbelievable hypocrites when it comes to sexuality. They may be accepting and accommodating to a gay guy's face, but see what happens when he leaves - pretty soon there will be remarks, jokes and so forth. And end of the day many straight men are nervous about having gay friends for fear of being labelled.

Here I will repeat what I said to another gay friend here in a PM: In many cases I find gay men more approachable and honest about their feelings than "straight" (whatever that means) men. I had a really good friend in university who is gay, and he was a housemate of mine. He came out and immediately began to get unbelievable crap from his parents ("I didn't know you could hate me this much", "Look what you are doing to your father", "We sacrificed everything and this is what we get?"). At university most of his friends ran for cover. So right at the time when he needed support the most he was abandoned on all sides. He is Jewish and I am Protestant and he is younger than I am, so I suppose at first he wasn't sure what to make of the fact that I wasn't snubbing him. But we soon became like older and younger brothers. A lot of the time all I could do was listen, since he was talking about things way out of my experience. But that seemed to help.

How close we had become came out when I won several national competitions for graduate students in the humanities. There was a huge fuss over all this in my department, but my friend's reaction meant the most to me. He told me that he appreciated that I had stuck with him even when people began to gossip about me as well, and that my support had gotten him through university. So he wanted to say thanks by taking me to see his New York. \:\) Gay shops, his gay synagogue, gay bookstores, his gay grocery store, gay bakery (? - never did figure that one out), gay bars, the whole thing, but during the day so I wouldn't get hit on or embarrassed too badly. Then in the evening, when we would absolutely have to get away from Christopher Street, he would take me to the best Chinese restaurant in Chinatown.

So off we went, and I have to say it was an amazing experience. I was totally in another world all day long, but I was always made to feel welcome. The humor and good spirit of the whole thing was constant: "This is my friend Larry - he's straight so don't even start". \:\) I don't know why, but the highlight of the day was this shop full of humorous gay greeting cards. I thought I would laugh myself into a fit. I kid you not - I was begging them to stop, I was hurting so much with laughter, but they kept showing me more cards.

From that year I learned a lot about cruelty, but also about tolerance and human relationships. My friend retaught me something I had learned from my Dad but denied for many years: that it is okay for a man to be vulnerable and emotional. I don't think that is a specifically "gay thing" (theme of much humor through that year), but I guess gay men are obliged to come to terms with it more directly in a world that can be very homophobic.

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
#73395 - 06/21/05 12:55 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,

You are again catching me with all sorts of things I can't answer on the spur of the moment. I will have to think a bit, and as I say in another thread, one thing that is happening these days is that I find myself utterly overwhelmed by many things that I previously thought I had figured out.

For the moment, back to something else you asked: does my son know. No he doesn't. I told my wife first, then later my daughter, both privately and alone so we would not be disturbed. An opportunity to do that with my son has not arisen yet, largely because 1) he works long hours, and 2) he is young and lively with a full "social schedule", shall we say \:\) .

At one level I suppose the way I raised my son must have been affected by what happened to me, though by the time he was born I had been in denial for years. I remember being extremely protective, and when he was down with the usual very uncomfortable illnesses I took time off to be with him. I have always told him that my work is just "professor rubbish" and he can barge in anytime, and we have done a lot of things that have been just for him - camping, flying kites, swimming, "scary bones museums" (dinosaurs), and so forth. He has been with me on research trips all over the world and we have made scrapbooks of all the places he has been.

When he was a teen we had our blowups over all the usual things I think (who makes the rules, chores, curfew, etc.), but now I can see things improving again. He's a rock musician and we talk a lot about that and what his plans are.

So how me being a survivor affected him when he was small I just don't know. In his later teen years there have probably been difficulties, since trying to put denial behind me has dropped me into another world of troubles. But there too I just don't know.

Best wishes from sunny muggy Germany,
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
#73397 - 06/21/05 03:51 PM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Tell away! I didn't mean to be saying you are coming at me too fast. That's not it at all. It's just that I am finding it difficult to organize my thoughts sometimes.

I think the little boy's desperate need finally to tell his Dad is connected with the adult's grief at how staying quiet probably sealed the fate of many others. I don't feel guilt; i know it wasn't my fault. I can't describe it - just the grief that comes when you yourself know what all those later kids suffered.

For the little boy everything ended in 1960. Even stopping the abuse some years later didn't help because after that the agenda was for him to be ignored and willed into nonexistence by Big Larry so he could get on with his life. The adult feels for all those hurt and frightened kids and wishes there had been something he could have done. But that was then and this is now, and there is still one little boy standing right here and saying, hey...you can still help me.

Hope that makes sense, and a million apologies if I am freaking anyone out. I really am just overwhelmed.

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
#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)

Top
#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)

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#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)

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#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)

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#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
#73422 - 08/11/05 07:23 PM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Jasper,

I've carried your letter with me all morning. I couldn't wait to get back to my keyboard to encourage you to write to your brother. And, as a habitual buttinski, I've got a suggestion or two.
I would make it a letter of love for him. I like the way your letter begins about the two of you sharing that certain sense of humor. If I may, I would go on to say how much you wish that you could have whisked the two of you away. That you wish that you were old enough, then, to have held him and kept him safe...to have kept you both safe.
Tell him how you have longed for that to have never happened, to neither one of you.
I would tell him, that if it isn't too painful for him to talk about, you'd like for your relationship to get back to where you were when you were kids, when there wasn't that abuse going on.
If he's half as neat as you say that he was, I think that he would respond to maybe hearing you say that you loved him, that you always loved him, but that you were scared out of you mind most of time.
Good luck, Jasper, I wish that I had a brother who would write that to me, or to whom I could write words of love.

David

_________________________
"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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#73425 - 08/11/05 09:31 PM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Yes, I understand. Sorry, for going off in the wrong direction.
He may never, "get it."
Good luck to you, I'm glad you're part of our family.

David

_________________________
"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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#73428 - 08/16/05 10:17 AM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

This is so difficult, especially since none of us here really know much about your brother. And of course we are all different people, with different pasts and different views of the world. All I can offer is what I think I would do if I were in your situation.

Look at your earliest posts on this thread. You really do love Paulie. He, he has said and done some hurtful things, and yes, it is painful that he denies what you know your other brother did. But I think you may be right about why he is doing this: he is trying to deny and/or minimize what happened to him, and just as he figures he's got it made, here comes Jasper again to remind him that he is living a lie. So yes, your take on things makes great sense, and if you are right then your efforts to establish a good relationship with him are even more threatening to him and his effort to keep up appearances.

So how much of a relationship can you two have with this problem between you? That is where it gets tough Jasper. You are a survivor of terrible abuse as a child and you need to recover somehow. This is something you need to do for YOU!!!! It is so important, and you have to set yourself as a priority.

One way forward might be to try to remember that Paulie is reacting to his abuse history and not to you personally. Perhaps you can accept what is available right now and simply live with him as he is, hoping that he may change his mind one day. Who knows, but I seems to me that he won't, and in any case, this would require huge emotional resources from you dedicated to him.

You may find that making concessions like this is just too painful and disempowering. In that case, we come back to the fact that on this issue you have to come first. Personally, I would not go so far as to break off with him completely right away. But if you find that you need to keep withdrawing away from him further and further for your own good, then so be it.

The bottom line is this Jasper. You deserve a lot better than this. He may have issues, but he shouldn't be venting them on you. You need to be out of range one way or another, and that means finding a safe distance. Whether that leaves you with any relationship at all with Paulie is a question only you can answer.

Just remember that you have friends who care for you a lot and will support you however this works out.

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
#73430 - 08/16/05 01:42 PM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

To be absolutely honest I feel I am treading on egg shells here. I know you feel really betrayed by your brother, and of course you are the only one who can decide how you will deal with that. On the other hand, I just hope you don't cut things off too fast and with no hope of any future reconciliation. You just never know, right?

Lots of love,
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
#73432 - 08/16/05 03:13 PM Re: The Other Little Boy Who Hurts (Triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Grieving is a part of healing, so yes, I understand and I think you are on the right track.

But there was one thing that just jumped off the page at me: I am so surprised I didn't see this before:

Quote:
I'll stop kicking myself for somehow not being able to put things right.
It was never your task to put all this right! It wasn't you who messed it all up in the first place. It's not your fault. If some gesture of yours can start a process of healing, great. But if that doesn't or can't happen you still have to move on and heal.

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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