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#226669 - 05/26/08 01:57 AM Thoughts on survivors keeping there abuse secret
Aidanchase Offline

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 89
Loc: Vancouver, BC
First off hello everyone I know I don't get to post very often.

The other day I was thinking about a few different things and it ended up being a thought on healing that I wanted to raise the question to.

In our world today there is a lot of stereotypes that people keep secret for fear of being ridiculed, laughed or attacked for. This got me thinking about other survivors and why so many end up taking years to come forward!

The first time the thought came to mind was when some of my friends who typically make fairly frequent jokes on sexuality, as do most young adults that I've observed. The jokes topic was on incest and what bothered me is how it was used in such a laid back "funny" manor. I thought to myself what if a survivor who was abused by a parent was walking down the street and heard these jokes? I imagine that would increase his/her feelings of shame, guilt, and confusing towards where the fault really lies

I had this re-occurring thought once more when watching the news. Have you ever sat down and actually listened to some of the news stories? Abusers every day are getting away with this atrocity! what if a survivor heard this? Not only is it disheartening to survivors who have come forward but to people still in silence that feeling of being wrong is again reinforced.

My final point ties together the thought and it has to do with the number of young adult survivors who come forward. Unfortunately we are a minority in the survivor world. Although based off my original observations this makes total sense the years between 16-25 are some of the most awkward years of our lives because of peer-pressure and society saying we have to be a certain way. We see this same issue with young adults who come forward with different sexual identities. A survivor in silence is most likely to laugh along with his friends rather then come forward with there dark secret of child hood abuse especially in males!

Survivors of all ages we need to open lines of communication among males. We need to tear down stereotypes in the form of jokes. Just as we are unable to see someone of a different sexuality we are unable to see a broken soul from abuse. Empathy, awareness, and a comfortable environment can be our weapons to break the cycle.


PS: What are you thoughts?

#226672 - 05/26/08 02:13 AM Re: Thoughts on survivors keeping there abuse secret [Re: Aidanchase]
king tut Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2488
Loc: UK
i guess you could say i'm a victim of incest, what a horrible word, and yes i hear these kind of jokes and things, even by family members, and when it comes on the news my mum may say something like 'incest is disgusting' and i'm sitting there thinking i wonder how she is going to take the news, but of course i wont tell her anyway. there are myths about people who have been abused and the one that i think i hate the most is people will think you are going to be an abuser, which is another reason to be cautious about telling.

#226688 - 05/26/08 03:08 AM Re: Thoughts on survivors keeping there abuse secret [Re: king tut]
Hauser Offline

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2963
Loc: United States
When I first tried to disclose, I was still nine years old. I brought it up with my older brother and his friend. Instead of being shocked and encouraging me to tell my parents, or telling of it to my parents themselves, they laughed, ridiculed, and made fun of me. That shut me up for almost 30 years.

I would be a in a totally different place right now had my brother been supportive and sympathetic to what happened to me, instead of what he did. I very well might have gone to my parents immediately after that had they not made fun of me.

Being sexually abuses at the age of 9 was not fun. But let me tell you something, it's nothing compared to being mocked and poked fun at after you talk about it to someone that you thought you could trust. I'm still in shock (I think) as to just what they did to me.

#226694 - 05/26/08 03:28 AM Re: Thoughts on survivors keeping there abuse secret [Re: Hauser]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2711
Loc: durham, north england
hauser, I'm really sorry to here that, ---- your brother sounds particularly dire, in fact that makes me remember something myself, which probably needs another thread.

to get back on track though,aidan, don't get me started on those Jokes. any dodgy jokes, ----- whether specifically abuse related or just generally about the physical stuff, make me really uncomfortable, to the point of actually blushing, stuttering and, ---- in one extreme case at a recent roleplay session, actually curling up in a ball in one corner of the room.

It also annoys me that males aren't expected to react like this, and the usual response to my discomfort, ----- rather than sympathy is intollerance, or even a desire to tease me with it. A few people have actually picked up that it genuinely bothers me, but not many.

sometimes I really wish I could just say "please will you not make jokes like that, I'm an abuse surviver" ----- but that would feel utterly wrong and I just couldn't do it.

As to the vampire reaction you mentioned, i had a real shock recently.

I have a close friend who's incredibly kind, very intelligent but incredibly dim at the same time, ----- he can debate marxism or theology with no trouble, ----- but I had to explain the plot of the X men film to him four times when we went to see it.

I considdered telling him about my abuse, sinse, ----- as I said, he is incredibly kind and very generous, but given the fact that he's not the most perceptive or tactful person in the universe, I decided to lay the ground work first.

In a conversation about genda equality, I raised the subject of male Sa. My friend instantly responded that male Sa was really bad, sinse it was self-perpetuating, as victims went on to create more victims.

I was totally shocked. This was an intelligent, well-read chap, ----- with I might add an amazingly high profile and well-paid job, expressing this opinion.

Needless to say, I told him it was a research interest of mine, and showed him the Q-A on the front of the website. it didn't take much convincing on my part, ----- drawing on both my own expriences and those I've read of others here (though not admitting they were mine), to convince him out of this notion, ----- but that's only because I've got quite proficiant at arguing successfully with this particular friend.

Needless to say i didn't tell him about my abuse, much as he is a very good friend of mine.

#226708 - 05/26/08 05:01 AM Re: Thoughts on survivors keeping there abuse secr [Re: Aidanchase]
Barkabus Offline

Registered: 05/09/08
Posts: 809
I don't remember even considering telling anyone when the first abuse occurred when I was 10-13. The shame was overwhelming. The second abuse when I was 16-17 I didn't tell anyone ether. I became very depressed and melancholy. Some people did ask me what was going on with me. My (one and only) girlfriend asked me what was happening but I couldn't say. I couldn't hide it but I wasn't going to talk about it. My mom also approached me about what was going on. I wouldn't talk to her either. This distressed my mom so much that she cursed at me. This was the first and only time I have ever heard my mom use a curse word. She said, "this is bullsh-t Mike." I just clammed up all the more.

Since I've began disclosing three weeks ago everyone I have told that I was sexually abused as a kid have all be amazingly supportive. They've prayed with me, cried with me. In fact, of the first two guys I talked to about it one of them said, oh yeah, I was sexually abused when I was 10 too. He had only remember that last October. I have really been very fortunate to have a support group of some awesome friends that really do care about me and continue to check in with me to see how I'm doing. I think this is God's doing. This is the first time in my life that I have had such a strong group of friends that I could be this transparent with.

I just got back from a friend's house tonight. I shared with him what I'm going through. This friend said something to me tonight that has been the biggest boost of encouragement that I have had in years. After sharing with him he told me, "you know, Mike, lately you've seemed more confident and comfortable with yourself than I've ever seen you before." I about busted into tears on the spot. I told him, that encourages me more than you can know. I was completely taken a back by his observation but as I reflect, I do feel more relaxed and comfortable with myself. Now, of course I have a LONG road ahead but its great that a difference in me is already being seen by others.

My Story

#226715 - 05/26/08 06:17 AM Re: Thoughts on survivors keeping there abuse secr [Re: Barkabus]
Aidanchase Offline

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 89
Loc: Vancouver, BC
Thats awesome, someone sent me a PM in reply to this post where they expressed it really is the simple things that can cause the greatest change and in your case these kind words from your friends. I think when we realize this fact it can make some aspects of healing feel a lot more achievable rather then un-climbable mountains.

#226773 - 05/26/08 02:21 PM Re: Thoughts on survivors keeping there abuse secr [Re: Aidanchase]
reality2k4 Offline

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6845
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Knowing what I now know, I would definitely not disclose to anybody.
One of the younger guys from past, went to the cops and told, but they treated him like an abuser, or something disgusting!

One of the worst fears in my childhood, was the fear, of somebody finding out, and the ridicule of school friends.
I think that disclosure needs to be well thought out, and you have to expect some alien responses, sadly, the is how dumb folk are.

Its the only traumatic event where you can find yourself feeling like you were partly/wholly to blame.
That stigma holds as true today, as it has through time.


Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

#226789 - 05/26/08 03:15 PM Re: Thoughts on survivors keeping there abuse secr [Re: reality2k4]
AndyJB2005 Offline

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1249
Loc: Minnesota
I've been having trouble keeping my abuse secret from my roommate. I normally wouldn't tell people like that for fear of things turning awkward, but when I was going to groups she would ask me where I was going just out of curiousity and I had to lie and say something like "out to dinner with friends." I HATE lying to people -- it's a big trigger for me.

So now I feel like "accidentally" leaving a book on abuse out thinking she might put two and two together. I don't know.

I haven't been going to groups lately but the other day she was like "how come you haven't been meeting with your friends latey?"


Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

#226942 - 05/27/08 12:19 AM Re: Thoughts on survivors keeping there abuse secr [Re: AndyJB2005]
Freedom49 Offline

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 2724
Loc: Washington State
Aiden this is a good post and a good thought. I am planning on disclosing next sunday to a group in order to raise awareness and I will include some of the thoughts in this thread. It is vital to get the word out that it is ok to TELL.

#226950 - 05/27/08 01:01 AM Re: Thoughts on survivors keeping there abuse secr [Re: Freedom49]
tazrad Offline

Registered: 04/22/08
Posts: 88
Well, Friday, I told a my first friend. Before a month ago, it would have never crossed my mind. I building my support group.

I told him I was entering therapy for it. He said something that should have pissed me off but I didn't think about it until later. He said what prompted you to get therapy? Were you with someone underage or thinking about it? Is that stereo typing or what?

So I will pick and choose who to tell. That is my choice.


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