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#232238 - 06/20/08 07:34 PM Re: Disclosure Was a Mistake [Re: Still]
evanescentjoy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 46
"Focus on others; as you spend time getting to know others you will love them. You cannot help it. People are amazing. However, the minute you begin focusing on yourself you will be miserable. You will hate yourself: people are not perfect. Do not be ashamed to love--and hurt. With the love, comes pain, but "you learn, my God, you learn." --(C.S. Lewis)

Part of it lies in one's thinking.

Many who are survivors of abuse tend to have black & white thinking (including myself), a symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder. I'm working on my own twisted thought processes. I hope that you find healing in mind, body, and spirit, too.


"Become who you are." -Nietzsche

#232281 - 06/21/08 01:02 AM Re: Disclosure Was a Mistake [Re: Still]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
Dear Rob,
I sorry your disclosure went badly. And not knowing you, nor those you chose to disclose to, I can't comment on how things could've gone that way. From my position, I can't even imagine.
When my SO disclosed, it explained alot, and I'll admit that I felt ashamed for not seeing it for what it was, All the signs were there.
Other than this site, and a couple of therapists I've spoken to, I've never discussed what my SO told me with anyone, not even his brother who I've been fairly close to and recently came out with statements that lead me to believe it's happened to him as well. I don't believe in lies and I don't believe in secrets, but I do have respect for a certain amount of classified information between two people.
My SO reacted badly after his disclosure. He believed that I HAD to feel differently about him once I "knew". The truth is, the way I see it, the abuse was never about him. There was nothing about him and nothing he did that made it happen.
I hear what your saying when you refer to "normals". But I refuse to give up hope.
As someone who has been involved with a survivor for a LONG time...
Even after he disclosed, he was the same man I fell in love with and continue to love. When he asked for "a way out of this" and a "way to make it all stop", I found the best therapist I could and got him there. Something spooked him. He hasn't been back. I can't make him go. But I don't love him any less. I can't speak for him. Maybe he thinks I look at him differently now, but I have to tell you, I don't. This was NEVER about him.
His reaction following disclosure (which was, 16 years ago) has been passive-aggressive. He'll avoid the subject at times, and other times blurt things out to me from the perspective that I "know." The biggest issue that comes to the table now are the effects which have become incapacitating to him at this point. He thinks he's going crazy. I know he's not. He always comes back to me.
I'm sorry disclosure has gone so badly for you and so many other men. All I can say is that, you are not responsible for what happened to you, and you are not responsible for the reactions of un-informed, un-educated people.
In life, you don't have to read minds, if you can learn to read people.

P.S. On the subject of "the People". My SO quotes them ALL the time. My question is always the same, "Who are these people and where do they get their information?" "Do these people REALLY matter?" He's harder on me than the people, because I'm closer to him. I have to "prove" myself over and over again.
There are "arguments" to be made for both sides here, the survivors and those who love and are committed to them. There are "adjustments" we readily make and "rules" we live by.

Edited by Liv2124 (06/21/08 01:19 AM)

#232439 - 06/21/08 07:56 PM Re: Disclosure Was a Mistake [Re: Liv2124]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
Can we maybe settle on the following statement:


Edited by Robbie Brown (06/21/08 08:56 PM)

#232442 - 06/21/08 08:28 PM Re: Disclosure Was a Mistake [Re: Still]
Barkabus Offline

Registered: 05/09/08
Posts: 809
Yes, disclosure IS risk.

It takes courage to disclose. But we have to take that risk in order to progress with our recovery. The alternative is to embrace brokenness, denial and paranoia. I've had disclosures that went bad. Robbie, you've quoted me on one of them and I'm still reeling from my mom's reaction. I had another disclosure this week that didn't go well. I'm not done disclosing though. The benefit from disclosing to those that do still love you and support you even though they may not completely understand CSA far out weigh the alternative.

It isn't "us" and "them". There is no such thing as "normals". ALL people are broken in one capacity or another, some more severe than others. In the same way that our CSA is so often misunderstood and wrongly stigmatized, so too, we are just as apt to misunderstand others to. Part of our burden is to help bring a right understanding of our pain and the effects we suffer to a world that has been feed incorrect information. It is also our burden to seek to understand others as well.

Robbie, I'm glad you are talking about this.


My Story

#232461 - 06/22/08 01:10 AM Re: Disclosure Was a Mistake [Re: Barkabus]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Ok Robbie - we definitely agree on that one. Disclosure is risky. It's also scary as hell for the one disclosing and for the one hearing it, but it can make all the difference in the world.

ROCK ON........Trish

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

#232542 - 06/22/08 02:35 PM Re: Disclosure Was a Mistake [Re: Trish4850]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
Hi Rob,
I'll agree disclosure is risky. I don't think anyone could disagree with that. No one has control over what another person will do with information we share with them in confidence. But I believe that people's reactions and behavior (such as turning around and making someone else's personal information public) speaks volumes about themselves as human beings.
It reminds me of something my father used to tell me about people when I was growing up. He always said, "Sometimes you just have to consider the source and chalk it up to ignorance."

#232689 - 06/23/08 04:43 AM Re: Disclosure Was a Mistake [Re: Still]
dgoods Offline

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Well, to be honest, i can understand both points of view, in a sense; i can't say i've been thrilled with the reactions i've gotten from family and others who know, but in another sense, it's been a very bumpy downhill ride for me in terms of "quality of life" since my own personal dam burst, and i no longer was able to block out or ignore what happened to me, or how far-reaching the effects of it have been through the years. I went from:
(A)being engaged, having a decent-paying job where i was liked and respected, having a healthy circle of friends and acquaintances, and generally believing i might've finally gotten enough positive momentum going that a minor bout of depression or other negative circumstances wouldn't completely derail me- to:
(B)living on my own, being borderline agoraphobic and surviving on my withdrawn retirement fund, witnessing "friends" dry up and blow away as soon as i had no emotional, intellectual or financial resources to offer, family members reacting with barely masked discomfort and/or unconscious minimizing and denying, and just recently having had to stop drinking again after relapsing (having progressed quickly to 2 twelve-packs a day), as well as the usual anxiety, depression, anger, all that fun stuff.
So for me, it hasn't been so much hard disclosing to others(though easy or thrilling it's never been); it's been not being able to lie to mySELF anymore that's proved the real butt-kicker.
However- i honestly believe that the dam was going to break sooner or later, and though i'm not tickled pink by the timing, i'd rather not imagine what might've been, had i gone further down the "everything's just fine" road, and had far more to lose... as far as "people" go? Sure, i can't help but be disappointed and disgusted at times, but rationally speaking, i can't deny there've been times where i was confronted with a situation where i felt inwardly helpless and/or uncomfortable, and did or said the wrong thing; it's not as though i've only ever been on one side of that coin. Sure, i'd love to still think i'm capable of sustaining things like a healthy romantic relationship or a well-kept appartment, or that i'm always more perceptive than the other blind fools, rather than seeing things that just aren't there, or any number of things that for the moment just aren't true. I can curse my circumstances all i want, but my circumstances remain unimpressed with my efforts. All i can do is try to look at anything or anyone in my life and ask as objectively as possible: helping, or hurting? I may be something of a vulnerable mess, but i CAN and WILL remove from my life any external situation or relationship, that hurts more than it helps. If there's one solid lesson i've taken away from hanging around here, it's that i need to do what's genuinely healthy for ME; though i might take a while to figure out exactly what that might be sometimes, once i know? SCREW what anybody else thinks or feels about it! I used to be too wrapped up in thinking survival meant telling "people" whatever would make them feel better, and leave me the hell alone. These days? Friends/family who hope for some bland reassurance when they ask me "how i'm really doing" so they can get on with talking about other, less troubling things, are in for a rude awakening.

Wow, i really went on and on there, didn't i? Oh well, guess the thread hit a nerve for me...

Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

#232694 - 06/23/08 04:59 AM Re: Disclosure Was a Mistake [Re: dgoods]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
Right then....

So as a least-common denominator we have "Discolsure is Risky."

Others might say "Disclosure Sucks."

I maintain "Disclosure Was a Mistake" (for me).

Has anyone noticed that in an effort to re-building a life consistent with societal demands, one must again learn to "tell them what they want to hear?"

"Tell them what they want to hear" was a survival tool I mastered in grade school. It never failed me. Why I chose to give it up is beyond me.

#232720 - 06/23/08 08:18 AM Re: Disclosure Was a Mistake [Re: Still]
Trucker51 Offline

Registered: 05/21/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO


Less risk of negative results:

1. To your therapist

2. On Male Survivor

3. To the members of your in-person group.

4. To personal friends with a known abuse history.

Greater risk of negative results:

5. Your wife.

6. Your parents

7. Other family

8. Friends of unknown background

9. Co-workers at work

10. Classmates at school

Summer, 1972: I tried telling my mother the summer that I turned 15, just three weeks after the latest and most violent incident at the hands of a two-tour Vietnam-era combat Marine. My mother flew into a rage and beat me up, for questioning the purity of her church friends. She screamed over and over that I was lying. It took me 14 years to bring up the subject again, then only with my first therapist.

Spring, 1981: I told a really close friend who I was then in a sexual relationship with. 18 months later, he broke it off. 8 months after that he killed himself of an overdose. His death still haunts me. The break-up of our relationship coincides with my loosing everything in 1982 recession.

Fall, 1986 through Summer, 1988. I told several close friends. By 1990, only one of them was still around. A few broke-off contact immediately.

Fall, 1989 After my first wife finds out through my mother, she leaves me, then abandons counseling after a few visits. We were divorced in December, 1989. She claims that she always knew that something was wrong with me.

Summer to Fall, 1990 Lost everything in recession. The decline was very rapid as I was very depressed and had no support.

Spring, 1991 The sole surviving friend that I had told suffers brain damage while trying to detox off of methadone. His BAC was over .30 when he took a bad slip and fall, and had to have brain surgery. Has been permanently institutionalized in a no-contact facility.

So, now I am down to my mother (thanks mom) and my younger sister, who is also a survivor. At least my younger sister has been consistent in her support. All of the friends that I told are gone, dead, or as good as dead. In the late 90s, I told a couple of drug abuse groups and still have occasional support from there. I had several CSA support groups and haven't heard from any of them since 6-7 years ago. And I finally told another long-term friend who had already come-out with a physically abusive childhood 12 years ago. He is still supportive. My current wife was told a cursory overview 18 months ago, and is now becoming more supportive.

Except for my 18 months in therapy in the mid 1980s, disclosure between 1972 and 1996 was only successful once out of nearly 10 tries. One of those tries came back to haunt me repeatedly, as did my ex-wife after she found out. She was still trying to hurt me with what she knew just 2 years ago.

This is why I always urge caution with disclosure. You need to learn good coping skills and have plenty of support to fall back onto just in case. Certainly I am happy for a couple of our younger members who have had a much different experience lately with disclosing. I would still urge caution because of my own experiences.


"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark

#232741 - 06/23/08 01:14 PM Re: Disclosure Was a Mistake [Re: Trucker51]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
Wow Mark!

Truly a tough sequence of events! More evidence that regular-ol people cannot handle it. This is a great story for those considering disclosure!...especially the scale of risk.

There are some people whom I disclosed to that I just dont "get." I dont get their reactions.

Earlier this year I disclosed to a friend I considered to be closer than a brother. The reaction was total and continued silence. It hurts. Its not life-shattering like some bad disclosures....but it hurts.

Edited by Robbie Brown (06/23/08 04:10 PM)

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