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#2918 - 08/03/04 11:00 AM Re: What kept you from telling?
crisispoint Offline

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts

No matter how many times I look at this, it still hurts, but I'll try.

Why I didn't tell -

He was an adult.
He manipulated me into loving him.
He manipulated me into thinking he loved me.
He used my love of my mother against me.
He used my fear of my father against me.
He took pictures that I didn't want anyone to see (and probably have anyway).
He scared me.
He beat me.
He tried to murder me.
He told me love hurt.
He raped me repeatedly.
He made me believe I was nothing and nobody would care.
He made me believe he was the only one who cared.
He made me feel like I was less than nothing.

I'm angry as I look at this. Not at you personally, Ken, but that it stirred up all the frigging shame again.

I hope it helps. I don't know if I'll read your book.



There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

#2919 - 08/03/04 11:06 AM Re: What kept you from telling?
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I did tell someone about it.

He told me to get over it. I was not the first kid it had happened to and I would not be the last. He also told me that is was probably my own fault because normal guys ( yeh right) know what kind of guy to use that way and I must have signalled wanting it. This is exactly what my three abusers had told me.

This statement by a so-called counsellor at the YMCA contributed a whole lot to my spending 3 years on the street as a male prostitute and kept me from telling another person until I was 56 years old.



#2920 - 08/03/04 12:18 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
jacobtk Offline

Registered: 04/08/03
Posts: 527
i told one person before i went into foster care. i was tired and it slipped out. he told my father, and my father took it out on my brother. after that, i kept my mouth shut until i was "safe" in foster care.

Every day I die again, and again Iím reborn/Every day I have to find the courage/To walk out into the street/With arms out/Got a love you canít defeat/Neither down nor out/Thereís nothing you have that I need/I can breathe/Breathe now - U2

#2921 - 08/03/04 12:25 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
Mr. Malaise Offline

Registered: 07/29/04
Posts: 22
Loc: New York
I didn't tell, not for one reason, but many. I was very small and easily manipulated. I didn't tell at first becuase I loved my Grandmaother. She told me if I told i wouldn't get to see her anymore. Later on when I didn't like seeing her, she told me if I told God would kill me and send me to hell. If I tried to resist her molestation she would hurt me, threaten me by hanging me off the pourch, flipping me out windows, and getting very physical; if I fought back, I made it worse. I knew that if I told I wouldn't be believed (and in fact I wasn't the one time I did tell). There was really no safe place for me to turn for help and i knew it. If I told I would get in serious trouble. I would be dead and sent to hell. At 5 years old, I was inclined to believe it.


#2922 - 08/03/04 12:26 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
My gang rape, early on in the cycle of abuse, was discovered by my headmaster at the boarding school.
And I eventually told him what happened to me, and who the older boys were.

But he believed them and not me, and I got caned for being a troublemaker and lying.
I was 11yo, and he was the most powerful person in my world at that time.
Was I ever likely to trust anyone else with this secret? no way!
I hung on for 31 years because I feared more rejection, more humiliation.
It took me 25 years to tell my wife, and by that time I was so screwed up I didn't know if she'd believe me.

I was also thinking that people would ( if they believed me ) wonder why I took so long to say anything, especially my wife.
Would people think I was making excuses for my dysfunctional behaviours? I thought they would.

The reality has been so much different, and 31 years is a long time.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#2923 - 08/03/04 12:58 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
Dan88 Offline

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 247
Loc: DC
Fear was the main reason I didn't tell while it was going on. My abuse ran from age 6 to 14. It started right after my dad died, and my mother invited a local minister and teacher into the family. She had little interest in being a mother to begin with, and even less after my dad passed, as she was quite depressed. She handed our care over to this minister. And my brother and I didn't know what was going to happen to our family. He was a strict disciplinarian with a quick temper, and he used this small stick to hit my brother and me. Later he'd occasionally hit me with bigger things, but it's that small stick and his tirades I remember most. It really stung and I think it instilled fear in me so that even as I got bigger, the fear stayed. At the same time, he worked hard to isolate us from others. We weren't allowed sports, music, or friends because he had convinced my mother these things were evil -- that they could lead to illegal drugs. Instead, we got a lot of home Bible study. Any time I would fight with him, he'd just accuse me of being worldly or joining the "drug culture."

In the beginning, I really didn't understand what he was doing when he was molesting us. I was too young. Later, when I was older and understood what was going on, I was intimidated. One thing he had done was take pictures of my brother and me. I remember that made me incredibly ashamed. I had terrible fear that someone would see those. I don't believe he ever threatened it directly, but he alluded to those pictures many times.

As I got older, the fact that he was a well-respected minister and teacher in our small town was also intimidating. He worked with the police in teaching kids about how to avoid drugs. Add to that, by the time I was 12 I was getting pretty much out of control. The police and schools knew me as a trouble maker. I don't recall specifically thinking about going to them for help because I didn't believe my word would count for much. My brother and I did run away once, when I was 10 and he was 11. The police returned us home, and I'm still pissed that they thought it was their business to catch us, but no one ever asked why we ran away. They just treated us like criminals. By 14 or 15, I was out of the house more than in it, and just chose to stay away from him, other than occasional fights over drugs. He never lived with us full time, and spent less time there too as we got older.

When I was 18 or 19, I told a state welfare inspector that he was a molester. They were investigating him in relation to another child whose back had been mysteriously broken. They came to the house looking for any information. I never heard why, but that case died.

The last time I dealt with this directly was on my own when I was 23. It was a Christmas morning and he was still in the habit of interacting with my family, though generally not me. I was going home for Christmas for the first time in a while. My mother told me he would be stopping by. So I went to his house early in the morning and gave him a letter explaining why he should stay the hell away from me and my family. He told me that he wasn't molesting kids any more (which I doubt). I told him if I ever heard he was, I'd kill him.

Anyway, I'm sure that's more than you wanted to know. The bottom line is I never told anyone when it was happening because of fear and isolation. I hope today kids are taught more about sexual abuse and made to feel more empowered to tell adults and that teachers and police are taught to go looking for it rather than sweeping it under the rug. When I was a kid, no one ever mentioned it to us, let alone told us how to handle it. And when I finally got my freedom by rebelling, I had no interest in discussing it with anyone. Like everyone else, at that point I just wanted to ignore the whole ugly mess.

#2924 - 08/03/04 02:19 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
reality2k4 Offline

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6841
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Absolute terror and fear of him coming back, or of others getting to know and calling you things like gay or c**k sucker.

It is the only crime I can think of where the victim ends up being "victimised" he feels he is the wrongdoer and somehow attracted it to himself.

Feelings of anger, frustration, humiliation, worthlessness, danger, inability to understand, fear, guilt.

No kid ever really wants his mates or family ever to know what happened, I think the abuser knows that and hopes nobody tells, but I just hope every one of them spend a life looking over their shoulder and waiting for that knock.

Mine was reported, but after the event and another one of them kept following me, I told him I would report him to the Police, but I guess I probably wouldn't have, just as I never did with the second one, I thought, no, they will never believe me, you think that older people are always gonna win because you're only a kid.

So he got away, and I knew where he lived, but thankfully I never saw him again


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

#2925 - 08/03/04 02:29 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
Aden Offline

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 499
Shame, guilt, fear of punishment from supposed protectors. Maybe will add more detail later, but that is the basic reasons.

#2926 - 08/03/04 02:37 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
survive75 Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 304
Loc: Massachusetts
This was from a prior post of mine... guess I'm just being lazy, but it was easier to quote it than rewrite it.

A good portion of my therapy over the years has been spent on dealing with my refusal to admit that my abuse happened because I could not remember much, if anything, about the sexual abuse. I could remember most of the physical abuse, I could remember my mother questioning or commenting on some of the symptoms I had as a kid, and I could realistically look at my symptoms of depression as a teenager, my suicide attempt at 17, my need to control everything, my excessive drinking, and my issues with sex and violent fantasy all as definate signs that "something" happened.

Ahhh... that elusive "something." It is "something" that no one seems to want to ask about or acknowledge. When I was 17, they put me on Prozac. The two times I was asked about the possible "something" I denied it. I wasn't lying... I really didn't remember and didn't believe that "something" happened. I was just depressed and suicidal.

Once I went to therapy as an adult, however, my symptoms were too difficult to ignore and we started to work with the few memories I had. But even then, I held onto the belief that "if I couldn't remember everything, then it didn't happen." Or rather, how could I say that something happened if I couldn't remember it?

And that is what I am posting this about today. I really believe, and I think many survivors do, that we will be doubted if we even DARE to admit that this happened out loud. We fear doubt by our families, our friends, our therapists, and society.

And can anyone blame us? We are SCARED SILENT everytime we see criticism of rape and abuse survivors (male and female) on television; the jokes made about male rape in prisons (and the sick assumption that it is part of the territory and punishment that criminals must endure); the complete and public disbelief of survivors that have told their story after years of silence. We hear people ask the same questions over and over:
"Why didn't they come forward sooner?"
"What are they looking to gain?"
"How come they didn't tell when it was happening?"

Add all of the media pressure to shut up about abuse to what many of us heard or felt from our families, and gee... is it any wonder why we don't say anything sooner? Is it any wonder why we repress these memories for years and years and years and years. And then DISBELIEVE OURSELVES once they surface?!?

We have been taught to distrust ourselves. Hell... why didn't we tell when it was happening? Why didn't we come forward sooner? What are we looking to gain? I am haunted by these questions every day.

And the answer is the same: I was SCARED SILENT from the time I was four years old. So basically, our abusers scared us into not telling, and then our families wanted to live in the denial so we didn't tell, and when we finally get old enough and the symptoms and memories get big enough to bring this shit up, society and the media tells us to shut up too.

The fear that people will either dismiss it or disbelieve it or hell, disown us, if we tell is so strong that I think many of us run around with a little courtroom in our heads where we are always on trial. We see the media portrayal of the difficulties of prosecuting rape and abuse cases all the time, whether real or fictional, and we apply that to ourselves, even if we never plan to prosecute our abusers!

In my head, I really do think I have this inner criminal defense attorney asking, "Sean, how can you say these things about your stepdad if you can't even remember EXACTLY what he did?" Or "Sean, you mean to tell me that you 'recovered' these memories in therapy? If this really happened, you would have remembered it from the beginning, don't you think?"

Maybe I'm being dramatic here, but that is really how it feels sometimes, even in therapy. What will happen if I say this out loud? What will happen if I even speculate about this flashback that I'm having?

I am angry that we have been taught to censor ourselves. I am angry that we have been convinced that we will not be believed if we tell. I am angry that we continue to perpetuate our silence out of fear of dismissal and disbelief from anyone in our lives.

I am angry that despite that I can write about this clearly and see it all for what it is, that I cannot stop myself from doubting my memories.


"Even though I know/I donít want to know/Yeah I guess I know/I just hate how it sounds"

#2927 - 08/03/04 03:33 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
Redsongbird Offline

Registered: 12/01/01
Posts: 209
When I was kid - I didn't tell because I was told they would hurt my family. (this was 5-6years old)

Laster on 7-8 I was told no one would believe me - besides I lived in a VERY christian home.

Later as an adult (40) whne I was assulted I did tell..I called the police got examed etc etc etc.
I was told I was brave for doing so.

Now (43) I keep getting stalk by the same people - even yesterday I was at the local fitness place and there these two men where - I told my wife.
She is now worried about me going there too.


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