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#442426 - 07/28/13 03:21 PM Need some help understanding this please!
eltoro65 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 10
Loc: chicago
Hello everyone,

I'm struggling (esp.) with a particular part of my recovery and wondering if you guys could help.

It goes something like this...

Basically when a child is sexually abuse, the abuser has total power over the child and the child's body (autonomy and agency) is completely dominated and controlled. So how would this particular aspect of the abuse effect the survivor later in life. What debilitates a survivor because of the overwhelmeing power, domination and control that the abuser does to him?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,
Gene

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#442433 - 07/28/13 06:32 PM Re: Need some help understanding this please! [Re: eltoro65]
Poorsoft Offline


Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 163
How does it effect him?

Each person will be different, yet a person who has suffered a trauma of any kind where control and dominance was a prime feature; may end up become controlling in several ways themselves. Firstly, you have passive aggressive control; where a person may use intelligence and whit to control a social situation, the downside to this one is they generally become argumentitive, one sided on some matters and highly critical of any authority. A person may become aggressively controling, but that generally depends if violence was a key feature of their childhood too.

What debilitates a survivor?

It is unatural for any animal to be under complete control. When we are controled; we are stressed, we are anxious, we are unsure and most of all we are not happy. In a situation when you are told what to say or in this case; what not to say, what to think and you are at mercy to an adult; a much larger, more intelligent, stronger, faster and they tell you to do something; you will do it because this is your only choice. You have no other options, this is traumatic. Humans, like most mammals; are problem solvers. This instinc we have is generally situational and if we cannot solve the problem; our brain goes to plan b; which may mean blocking out the event via dissociation or any other means.

It took me a while to understand how this was probably one of the worst aspects of the abuse, not being free in your own mind. Being taught what to think or say and most of all what you tell yourself to survive and function in the reality you knew before the abuse.

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#442441 - 07/28/13 07:41 PM Re: Need some help understanding this please! [Re: eltoro65]
genedebs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 288
Loc: MO
Dear Elotrol

A link to an article about the neurologic effects of abuse and trauma was recently posted. It is titled something like changes in the brain before during and after. This explains what happens.

In addition, there are response modes that were attempted when you were being abused that worked or you thought worked. These may include positive response. Or negative response,avoidance or avaiability, finding others less threatening to repeat or experiment with, fight back, be passive, use chemicals to numb out, use pornography to get ready, etc, etc. It is normal to repeat patterns of anything that workede in adult situations,

"if the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem is a nail."

We all have different stories and we all are just the same.


Edited by genedebs (07/28/13 07:43 PM)

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#442454 - 07/28/13 09:05 PM Re: Need some help understanding this please! [Re: eltoro65]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1491
Originally Posted By: eltoro65
Hello everyone,

I'm struggling (esp.) with a particular part of my recovery and wondering if you guys could help.

It goes something like this...

Basically when a child is sexually abuse, the abuser has total power over the child and the child's body (autonomy and agency) is completely dominated and controlled. So how would this particular aspect of the abuse effect the survivor later in life. What debilitates a survivor because of the overwhelmeing power, domination and control that the abuser does to him?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,
Gene

Hey, Gene -

This really touches on a topic I have been thinking of bringing to the boards but it is real sensitive. The fact is that despite saying "no" so many times, my body would say "yes" as he settled into his process with me. From my barely-pubescent perspective, I am not sure it was as disturbing as it was confusing, but the fact was it was very much a hand-in-a-puppet kind of control. I remember thinking that it was like my body was a car that he just got into and drove it where and how he wanted. I had to grip the road and give him the ride while he enjoyed the curves. The sexual tide was overwhelming (not in a fulfilling way but as an absolute sensory circuit overload) and in retrospect extremely damaging mentally. I did not know if I was surrendering to him or to myself. But I surrendered each time, and for years I never forgave myself. While that was my normal, I am not sure anyone who has not been through such seductive coercion night after night could ever truly have a clue.

More disturbing is the compulsion of the victim to repeat his role in the crimes perpetrated against him. I know that is a huge factor for many survivors, and it was (and still is) for me. Frankly I have heard so many attempted explanations, like we are trying to rework our way through the abuse, etcetera, and I am not sure I buy any of it. It is really enough for me to know at this point that it is common and that I am not alone. The fact I had such frequent sexual responses at his whim, coupled with my seeking out to re-enact my own subjugation to his trespasses, made me own it so deeply. It was my darkest and dirtiest secret, and that just poisoned everything in my adult life - my sense of integrity, my sense of decency, my ability to trust myself and my reactions.

Think about it - and I'm speaking from my own experience here - the victim says no, is raped or molested anyways, and the body consents by returning an orgasm. So... in the victim's mind, that means either it wasn't rape/molestation but instead a consensual deed, or it means the victim is just as dirty and despicable as the abuser. Neither answer, of course, is true, but they set up a false reality that becomes a fundamentally flawed foundation of our sense of self as we start adulthood. And the dysfunction begins...

You have asked a tremendously important question that goes to the heart of so much here. It is a difficult question to address because it requires such a personal answer. I respect anyone who steps up and answers this.
_________________________
Eirik




Click my pic to see why I'm here

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#442480 - 07/29/13 01:30 AM Re: Need some help understanding this please! [Re: eltoro65]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
Quote:
[/quote]completely dominated and controlled. So how would this particular aspect of the abuse effect the survivor later in life.[quote]


One, I became passive. With most situations I remain so calm it frightens even me, and people say I am one of the most patient men they know. If they only knew it was a passive way to function because I had been taught by example and experience that I had no voice in any decision. I may have hesitated or even said no just before the sexual assault, but I still was coerced into performing.

Another, more embarrassing effect, is that I never experience- or almost never- an orgasm with a sexual partner. It is all psychological. I learned that my job in the sexual act was to please. I learned incredible control of erections and denial of my own body feelings. Not with any of the abusers was I encouraged or even permitted to experience orgasm. As a result, by the time I reach a comfort level with someone that would permit mutual enjoyment, I have long departed in fear of a relationship association.

Fear of intimacy has become a major problem. It leaves me feeling lonely, empty, and like I did when I was a kid. This leads into repeating a pattern of recreating the abuse with an effort to control it or as someone told me not so long ago, an attempt to "get it right".

Add to that periods of eating disorders, irrational compulsions to do bizarre things such as repeatedly move furniture, straighten the magazines, or check the door locks a hundred times. All of these are the effects of the abuse.

Quote:
[/quoteWhat debilitates a survivor because of the overwhelmeing power, domination and control that the abuser does to him?[quote]


What debilitates us as survivors of CSA is that whether negative or positive, the behaviors we have learned to survive as kids are those we carry into adulthood. Most situations don't require such extreme coping skills as we have honed, but we are so conditioned to using them, that it is automatic.

We (at least me) can dissociate in an instant, can offend in a millisecond, and can literally disappear for days with no contact with the outside world. Those things which made me a success in my career such as fear of making a mistake or the compulsion to seek out order are also the things which keep me exhausted.

Even though the end result of the abuse has had many, many effects, I can honestly say that throughout life, I have never felt debilitated- confused definitely. I have functioned at an extremely high level, been successful in family and career... Only recently have I arrived at a point where the effects of rape are causing me to experience more pain in life than joy.

Its a great question and a great thread, Gene. Thanks for starting it.
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



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#442492 - 07/29/13 09:09 AM Re: Need some help understanding this please! [Re: eltoro65]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 918
Loc: New York
Quote:
I became passive. With most situations I remain so calm it frightens even me, and people say I am one of the most patient men they know. If they only knew it was a passive way to function because I had been taught by example and experience that I had no voice in any decision.


Would you mind stepping back from my grave? You're trampling the flowers frown

The abuse made me passive, nervous, and jumpy - an ideal target for bullies - against whom I sought protection from someone who turned out to be another abuser. Having to always follow along with all of his dictates left me even more passive, more accustomed to letting others get - or have - their way.

In adulthood this led to situations that I thought might work out in my favor but didn't. Like, when people described me as "the most congenial person they'd ever met" I thought I'd be treated better for it because that's a good thing, right? Instead I got ignored and left behind socially and intimately (girls don't like it when the guy DOESN'T take control), and dogpiled and thrown under the bus careeristically, with group projects in particular. The best manager I ever had said in a performance review "Matt does his job well, but too quietly. He'll finish tasks ahead of schedule and then sit around waiting to be told what to do." Guilty as charged. I had 5 jobs in 6 years.

Since entering therapy I forced myself to fight - mostly because I knew if I got fired again at that stage in my life it would probably kill me or at least my marriage. I fought on behalf of other people, by emotionally imitating other people. I completely stopped all work at my old job, devoting all my energies to a job hunt and masking myself with an unprecedented campaign of professional fraud, forgery, and plagiarism - complete with fake mistakes ledt in to be caught on purpose so as not too look too perfect. No one suspected. No one would have thought. When you hide a truth about yourself for a quarter of a century, what is hiding things about clients for a month? At my new job I'm doing great because my entire persona is an affectation, more fraud - I play an obnoxious, puffed-up, self-promoting intellectual snob. I'm doing great thus far, everyone loves my performance, and no one asks me to do their job for them. When there are clear boundaries, other people don't feel as bold at filling in what they would prefer to be there instead.

The abuse taught me to follow along with what others demanded, and to cover myself with lies so no one could find me.

In general it's depressingly hard to find anything in me that I had once seen as a personality trait that DOESN'T match a classic symptom of being a survivor: quiet distant dreamer, compulsive academic overachiever, easily startled, distrustful, nonstop frenzied libido - and bisexual to boot. Really enough to make you wonder what there is of "you" left.


Matt
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#442517 - 07/29/13 12:09 PM Re: Need some help understanding this please! [Re: eltoro65]
bodyguard8367 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""
""


Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/27/14 06:25 PM)

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