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#233867 - 06/26/08 10:30 PM Why did I never tell?
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2711
Loc: durham, north england
My t asked me a difficult question last week. Why did I never tell my parents about what was happening at school, ---- and I stil don't know the answer.

When pressed, at the age of 15, after three years of progresively worse bullying and abuse, i mentioned some of the general bullying issues, and my Mum pulled me out of school, ---- though I only had three months until my GCse's, so it had no effect education wise whatsoever.

I admit, I never thought I'd experience Sa, I thought my brother must have the same thing at school, I thought it was part of growing up, ---- despite the fact that I was contemplating suicide. Why did I never say anything?

it was even my mum who said, ----- 18 months later, that I'd been raped, i never thought of it in those terms myself, it was simply stuff that girls did at school. As to how, my mum had worked it out from my panic at being seen undressed, and my extreme reaction to any mention of the S word or related matters, ---- both of which are apparently quite out of character for me.

why didn't I say anything?

the weerd thing is, several years earlier, at the age of seven,my then 18 year old cousin on two occasions got me to touch his thing. There were no threats or violence, and he never touched me, just asked me to touch him.

I can't remember how, but I did tell my parents on that occasion. they asked me if I was alright, if anything else had happened, and when I said no, they just told me my cousin was being silly and left it at that (though i wasn't left alone with my cousin until a good few years later).

When much worse, much more hurtful and major stuff happened at secondary school, why did I say nothing? What was wrong with me? Why did it all seem so normal and almost trivial that I didn't need to bother my parents and yet I'm in such a major mess about it now?

I'm genuinely confused here. I know people can't answer this one, that it's up to me, ---- but maybe someone can ask me some leading questions, or has had a similar dilemma.

#233881 - 06/26/08 11:41 PM Re: Why did I never tell? [Re: dark empathy]
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
I felt a horrendous amount of shame and fear about my CSA. That shame and fear lasted for way too many years, long after the abuse had stopped. I held on to two contradictory beliefs that 1) it happened to every boy and nobody ever talks about it and 2) it just happened to me and I could never talk about it. The common factor is that I could never talk about it.

How were your parents insofar as their ability and openness to discussion? What were your thoughts? You'd mentioned to your parents some of the general bullying, was there any quest for specifics from your parents? What were your feelings?

I think in many ways we have erroneous beliefs about the abuse to protect ourself from the reality of it while it was happening. After a while we keep a firm hold on those beliefs long after the CSA and let them govern a lot of our actions. I think we start our recovery when we start to question those beliefs. Just my 2 cents worth.

Take good care of yourself,


I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

#233885 - 06/26/08 11:49 PM Re: Why did I never tell? [Re: dark empathy]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

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

I think we all ask ourselves that kind of question: Why didn't I say anything?, Why didn't I say no?, Why didn't I run?, whatever. But when we do that most of us are of course looking back from our perspective as adults. The point we're missing is that we weren't adults when we were being hurt - we were kids. All those things we now know and realize - we didn't have any of that in our heads back when we were little.

I remember the first time the abuser hurt me as if it were yesterday. I just froze. I was confused and a bit scared already. What was happening? Why does he want this from me? I had no answers. I didn't have in my head any of the possibilities I would think of years later as an adult. I was confused, and scared - so I froze.

I think we need to remember that, Luke. It's unfair to ourselves to ask ourselves why we didn't do any of the many things we can think of now as adults. The simple fact is that if a kid doesn't know he has choices, then those choices don't exist for him.

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)

#233887 - 06/26/08 11:53 PM Re: Why did I never tell? [Re: Stephen_5]
wojax Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 171
Loc: Florida
Friend, not telling is what we do as SA..and the shame and guilt is another part of it. I still ask myself that question why did I not tell???? Remembeer you are the victim you did nothing wrong. Im now 62 and my abuse was whwn I was 13....soi good luck finding an answer

Jer 7:23 ps 91:16

#233895 - 06/27/08 12:22 AM Re: Why did I never tell? [Re: wojax]
KENKEN Offline

Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 762
I feel that the topic warrants me to say that the question for me is/was WHY DID I NEVER TELL, UNTIL ALMOST 40 YEARS AFTER MY CSA?

My world was never going to know what happened to me. My CSA was my secret until the time I departed this world. It happened to me, It was bad, It was humiliating, It was a mistake, as I thought of it, It was my fault. I was suppose to stop it from happening. I did wrong. Thats how I felt for almost 40 years. If I let something happen to me that was my fault, why would I tell anyone?

So to me I did not tell because of shame, fear, guilt and helplessness. But because of nightmares that started I had to tell. I could not control and still cannot control that part of my CSA. It was tell and get professional help or do away with myself. I am happy that I chose the correct path.

As hard as coping and dealing with this is, (and you all know what I am saying because we all are dealing and coping) I am so thankful I started recovery, I found Male Survivor and I am getting professional help. It does not make my day to day life easier, it makes my life a challenge and for me has given me a purpose. A determination to move forward and a determination to understand the best I can why I was given this burden.



From the Movie: Antwone Fisher


#234160 - 06/28/08 12:46 AM Re: Why did I never tell? [Re: KENKEN]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
To me the question is more, "Why didn't anybody listen when I told.?"

At age 4 as abuse was starting, I told my mom, "Bobby put his peepee thing in my bottom hole."

Was my vocabulary too imprecise? Was my voice too faltering? Was my command voice ill trained?

At age 10 I explained sexual funny biz-ness across the street. My father beat the c - - p out of me.

So, was it my fault again? Did I not tailer my words carefully so that my father would be able to hear them? Did I not wait for the precise moment when he could hear me best? Did I catch him at a time when he was already nervous?

At age 12 I told the boy scout camp doctor up front in the abuse cycle. Did I again use imprecise vocabulary? Did I fail to get his reply in writing? Did I fail to remember the doctor's name? What about the camp administrator who was standing there listening? Well I hadn't addressed my comments to him, so he was of course absolved of responsibility! He could let the doc do it!

I think not! It was their responsibility. I told in my faltering boy-ish way. They failed. Society failed. What happened is their fault.


#234161 - 06/28/08 12:51 AM Re: Why did I never tell? [Re: pufferfish]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Another point:

And I'm sorry to rain on Dr. Singer's parade.


We know that perps visit this site and will read his book.

Why don't we just publish a list of all the things that make a boy NOT TELL?

Why don't we just put it all together in an easy form in one place so that they don't even have to figure it out for themselves?


#234187 - 06/28/08 01:46 AM Re: Why did I never tell? [Re: pufferfish]
LN3(SS) Offline

Registered: 06/20/08
Posts: 486
Loc: MD
I am with you, Puffer. I told, and my command failed me and punished me for telling by taking my dolphins, my symbol of success. I kept trying to tell my successive commands about my symptoms that I could not control, and all the docs did was dope me up until my feet could not touch the floor and then say the rape never happened and that I had psych problems before I enlisted.
As far as the perps go, LET 'EM READ. This site is OURS! We have to draw a line in the sand. I am tired of running. I can't run from HIM anymore! I will NOT let HIM choose for me what happens to me now that he cannot control me!! I will fight until I can't fight anymore, then I will break and cry and mourn my loss, and then and ONLY THEN will I begin to put myself back together. BUT FUCK HIM!!!
Maybe I'm just angry?

"When we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead, or alive, we will all come home together." LTG Hal Moore, Jr., USA (Ret.)

#234261 - 06/28/08 11:27 AM Re: Why did I never tell? [Re: LN3(SS)]
hogan_dawg Offline

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Maybe you never told because the little kid inside you felt ashamed or fear for something that wasn't your fault?

It doesn't matter anyway. You were a KID. And you're applying adult standards of reporting to a kid. It was up to ADULTS to determine the problem by asking you the right questions - questions you could easily answer. Nobody noticed because it was so bizarre and out of left field. I mean, who in their right mind suspects that their kid is being molested by some freak? That takes some heavy detective work and some sophisticated knowledge of child development to make that leap of inference.

You're pretty hard on yourself man. You were just a kid.

Edited by hogan_dawg (06/28/08 11:34 AM)
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

#234279 - 06/28/08 02:01 PM Re: Why did I never tell? [Re: hogan_dawg]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2711
Loc: durham, north england
thanks a lot people.

the "I was just a kid" thing is quite hard for me to understand. Afterall, it isn't even ten years ago that I left that school, there isn't that sort of distance.

also, I was so often told by people that I was inteligent, grown up, ---- at the age of twelve I was invited to a Seminar on the Shoa (holocaust), for 18to 25, sinse people said I came across much more like an 18 year old.

One of the few good memories I have was my work experience at the Nottingham university chaplincy, when I was 14. Not only was it two weeks when i wasn't being abused, but also I met people who genuinely had interesting opinions and even liked me and the things I thought.

Then, I'm not sure that I've changed all that much, ---- just shut down a lot of feelings and memories and learnt to dispare.

People are right about the shame and fear though, and one other component. I assumed this was normal! I was fairly certain my brother, and all other boys growing up went through the same thing, and obviously there was something wrong with me, I tried shutting down, i slept excessively, I didn't feel much, I just concentrating on just existing, the idea that this was wrong, should be stopped, never occurred to me.

then of course, a gang of girls abusing a boy their own age is so much against all the usual deffinitions of Sa, it never even occurred to me that I'd been raped until my mum almost casually mentioned it four years later in my first year of uni.

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