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#165212 - 07/07/07 10:59 AM Our Secret Doors
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
In a recent thread I raised the point that there are so many things that a young boy doesn't know - things that, if he had known them, might have enabled him to keep safe. My point was that if a boy doesn't know his options or rights, in what meaningful sense can we say he really has them? If he doesn't understand what's going on at the most basic level, how can he bear any responsibility for those actions?

I illustrated this by comparing our situation to that of someone who gets burned in a fire and then in the hospital someone asks, "Oh, why didn't you walk clear of the fire through the secret door?" If the victim didn't even know such a door existed, did he have the choice of using that door?

That comment provoked some positive comments, and that made me think, hey, let's talk about this. What "secret doors" did we have that might have saved us from abuse, but were never really available to us because we just didn't know they existed?

I think this could be important because we too often blame ourselves and feel ashamed for the abuse, asking such questions as "Why didn't I say no?", "Why didn't I tell?", "Why did I just let him do it?", and so on. When we think like this, however, we are talking about "secret doors" - things we can easily see now as mature adults or older teens, but which were unknown to us back when we were little.

Here are some of my secret doors: things I didn't have any clue about and could never have been responsible for knowing at the time I was abused. Add yours! Start out by saying "I didn't know" and then put whatever you want to finish the sentence. As the list grows we will see so clearly the huge difference between what we knew then and what we know now. We will learn how mistaken we are when we accept even the slightest responsibility for the abuse we suffered.

Our Secret Doors

1. I didn't know it was sex.
2. I didn't know someone I trusted would hurt me.
3. I didn't know I would be believed if I told.
4. I didn't know abusers are expert liars and know how to confuse kids.
5. I didn't know my body is private and belongs to me and me alone.

Much love,

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)

#165214 - 07/07/07 11:14 AM Re: Our Secret Doors [Re: roadrunner]
Logan Offline

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 1368
Loc: NY
I didn't know that it was wrong at first and mistaked it for affection/love.
I didn't know how or where to get affection/it was my only source at the time.
I didn't know that one does not have to "pay" or sarifice some thing to be loved.
I didn't know that I could say "No" at anytime.
I didn't know that he really did not care about ME, it was about him.

I just wanted to add that this is a really good idea, because when ever I ask myself WHY? I can look back at these 'secret doors' as you call them, and reasure myself that that it could not have been my fault!


Edited by Logan (07/07/07 11:18 AM)
"Terrible thing to live in Fear"-Shawshank Redemption
WOR Alumnus Hope Springs 2009
"Quite a thing to live in fear, this is what is means to be a slave"
-Blade Runner

#165219 - 07/07/07 12:02 PM Re: Our Secret Doors [Re: Logan]
ecb Offline

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 205
I didn't know he was a liar
I didn't know he didn't really care about me
I didn't know what sex really even was
I didn't know it had already been done to me before
I didn't know it was he, not both of us, who would get in trouble
I didn't know he was harming me
I didn't know I could say no

#165222 - 07/07/07 12:44 PM Re: Our Secret Doors *DELETED* [Re: ecb]
ttoon Offline

Registered: 06/20/07
Posts: 977
Post deleted by ttoon

checkin out for a few weeks... whistle

#165224 - 07/07/07 01:26 PM Re: Our Secret Doors [Re: ttoon]
TJ jeff Offline

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 3576
Loc: Northern Wisconsin
Powerful thread larry

here are a few of my Secret Doors

I did'nt know that it was'nt just innocent games
I did'nt know that he did not really care about me
I did'nt know that my body was my own
I did'nt know it was not something all boys did to each other
I did'nt know that it was not the same behind the closed doors of others homes
I did'nt know that I was not my mothers "property"
I did'nt know that I deserved love
I did'nt know that I was not as stupid as I was made to feel

Who will cry for the little boy? - I will... - Antwone Fisher

Abuse happens in silence/isolation - Recovery happens only when that silence/isolation is broken...

TJ's History

#165225 - 07/07/07 01:43 PM Re: Our Secret Doors [Re: TJ jeff]
mogigo Offline

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
I didn't know that adult's could be wrong
I didn't know that adult's could not be trusted
I didn't know that drinking could make me vulnerable


#165228 - 07/07/07 02:25 PM Re: Our Secret Doors [Re: mogigo]
Army Offline

Registered: 06/27/07
Posts: 90
Loc: California
I didn't know it wasn't love
I didn't know it wasn't normal
I didn't know it was abuse
I didn't know it could be different
I didn't know it wasn't about me
I didn't know it would effect me my whole life
I didn't know it would direct my path
I didn't know I would survive
I didn't know I could forgive
I didn't know I would heal

Thanks for this chance Larry,

07 Peebbles WOR Alummni

#165232 - 07/07/07 03:40 PM Re: Our Secret Doors [Re: roadrunner]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
I didn't know why he would want to do that to me.
I didn't know why he would want me to do that.
I didn't know why he kept on doing it after I was crying.
I didn't know why he made me do it again, after he said last time he wouldn't.
I didn't know that this was the way family treated each other.
I didn't know that I had to do this to be friends with someone.
I didn't know that a friend would humiliate and laugh at me while doing this to me.
I didn't know that a man I had trusted for many years would use my brokenness against me.
I didn't know that I had any worth left at that point, because it just didn't really seem to matter anymore.
I didn't know that all of the above was not my fault.

Thank you, Larry, for starting this. It had me crying writing this out, but that's probably good.


#165233 - 07/07/07 03:42 PM Re: Our Secret Doors [Re: Army]
emptydreamer Offline

Registered: 05/19/07
Posts: 276
Loc: Midwest USA
I didn't know, that I didn't know
I didn't know that I wasn't "normal"
I didn't know that it would effect my quality of life
I didn't know it would be so hard to face
I didn't know that it left me so empty
I didn't know why no one came to my rescue
I didn't know that my whole life would be so screwed up
I didn't know where my unwanted desires came from
I didn't know that my father was such a perverted, sick man

Great thread Larry,
Thanks for sharing it with us!
Best wishes and warmest regards,

I'm here for a reason. Failure is not an option.

#165239 - 07/07/07 03:54 PM Re: Our Secret Doors [Re: emptydreamer]
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
i didn't know , what love was

its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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