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#2948 - 08/10/04 03:40 AM Re: What kept you from telling?
TJ jeff Offline

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 3554
Loc: Northern Wisconsin
I first read this post 2 days ago (along with all of the responses) and it's been eating a hole in me ever since... - So I feel that it is time that I add my reason to the long list - I hope this is not trigger for anyone - but cannot find other way to explain my reasons for silence for so long...

I was about 4 when my uncle (8 years older) first started to play 'doctor' with me up in his room - I trully did not know that what we where doing was wrong - but as time went on and the acts performed changed I did start to think of it as being somehow wrong - and yet i could not tell - he was the nicest person to me in the whole world while I was growing up - things were not nice at home (mental/physical abuse there) so I could not tell them out of fear of being accused of being the one who brought it uppon himself - I held the shame and self-guilt inside for over 25 years... - Now it is my time - to give the shame and guilt back to him!

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

#2949 - 08/10/04 04:32 AM Re: What kept you from telling?
Ken Followell Offline
Past President

Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 992
Loc: Bradenton, FL
I never told because all my life I was being abused. My uncle bean abusing me sometime around my being 2. It continued with him until I was 14 or so. I have many blackholes in my memory of my childhood. I did not remember that abuse until I was 40. I do remember him telling me my family would leave me if I told. I belieived him.

I had a second until who talked about sexual things he wanted to do to me and I did tell a cousin who told her step father. I was scared to death by her telling someone else. I didn't know why I reacted so strongly at the time, now I know it was because of the first uncle's years of lies.

I never told anyone els till I was 40 and the memories of my first abuse returned.

Ken F

Ken Followell

Everything works out right in the end. If things are not working right, it isn't the end yet. Don't let it bother you, relax and keep on goin
- Michael C. Muhammad

"I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing."
� Rabbi Hillel

#2950 - 08/10/04 05:47 AM Re: What kept you from telling?
InjunE Offline

Registered: 12/04/01
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
Well, for me, my abuse started @ 5 years old. I was used by uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. But I do remember my mother masturbating to the "situation" more than a few times. My father never knew, but that knowledge never seems to help. I wish I had answers, suggestions, or anything. I have nothing right now, nothing but beer, pills, and pain. I wish I could help, but I have nothing here.

Without my sons, I would not be here.

#2951 - 08/10/04 04:27 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
learning2remember Offline

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 399
Loc: Europe
This is really hard for me, but important.

I didn't tell because it was supposed to be a joke.

My big brother had a mean sense of humor, and I learned very early that if I cried or told our parents that he would just laugh at me more. Call me names.

It was humiliating and I don't remember my parents backing me up when I told on him for other things. They told us, perhaps rightly so in THOSE cases, that we should work things out together.

So I learned not to tell. Not to cry.

I learned it was funny when people were mean to me, and that if I laughed with them things were somehow easier.

Keeping the secret, laughing at my abuse, was a better way to preserve my dignity than telling.

To tell would be to admit I couldn't take it, to cry, "Mercy!," or "Uncle," or whatever the codeword is for, "You're stronger than I am and I am helpless against you. Please stop. Your hurting me."

Those words would have definitely made things worse.

So I put up with it and even laughed.

I've had two good therapists, and I never admitted to them that I laughed.

I mean, how could my big brother know what he was doing to me hurt if I was laughing as he did it?

Except that he had to physically force himself onto me. And that, at age 15 or 16, he should have had more than a clue anyway.

"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy

#2952 - 08/10/04 04:38 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
Brayton Offline

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
A voice inside my head told me "You will die."

Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

#2953 - 08/10/04 08:09 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
guy Offline

Registered: 05/30/04
Posts: 236
Loc: nc

look forward to your book, current survivors who haven't could use the help, support, and understanding.

why i didn't tell and hid it for 31 years:

at the time it was happening - age 10 to 11

he was a "trusted" coach and noone would believe me. he told me that and most of what follows here.

he was a navy corpsman and he knew how to do it all and cover it up so noone would know or believe it. it did hurt some but also felt good, he cleaned me up so good, you might not physically believe i was sodomized or made to give repeated b/j's.

he said he loved me more than his g/f and it was our secret and she did not serve him as good as i did. he compared me to her and i was always "superior".

he told me if i told, i could end up going to a kids boarding school for troubled and "gay" boys.

he would quit taking me to special places and buying me things. he would buy me whatever i wanted.

i thought my dad would blame me, beat me, or punish me as it would tarnish his glowing military career. he made sure we never got in to trouble on a base, cause he would not loose rank or end up in the brig or for us to be in the brig.
we lived next door to the provost marshall and he referred to that on occasion.

i thought my dad might literally kill him as he was trained to kill as a marine. or he would have someone else do it.

because he told me we loved each other and made me enjoy it and i did some. he did not rape me but was loving and a sexual sicky on the sex, cum, his and my little erections. he taught me what to do and how to do guys or girls.

my mom has and had m.s. was weak, timid to my dad, liked our coach, even assisted the team. it would hurt her too much and my dad might blame her for this interfering with his career too.
i was her baby, would not hurt her either.

because i was taught as a marine's son- you can "hack it", be a man, be tough, don't show love or emotion, be a man since as far as i can remember. don't be a "queer". don't look at other guys stuff or do things with other boys or men.

i thought my dad might ship me off to military school as he had threatened if "we" got in to any trouble.

ron (my abuser) told me that my guy and girl friends would call me a faggot and cock sucker and i would not be able to get any real pus_y. ever..

because my dad flew at night, he had to trust my mom and i (and brother and sister) to do the "right" things when he flew, stay out of trouble. i would not let him down.

from then to age 41:

I was tough, could hack it, blocked it, it did not mess me up.

i would turn to alcohol and mild drugs to avoid it, escape.

i would sexually persue women to prove i was o.k. and not gay or not affected by my past practices and sluttiness.

I worked as a workaholic, avoided it, repressed it. Focused on career at the expense of myself and others. Wanted to make my dad proud and compare to his war "hero-ness".

i went thorugh 2 marriages and several relationships and never told them. thought they might think i was whacky or messed up, blame me, think i was bi or wierd.

when i finally told someone and now:

for therapy for depresion, finally trusted my t and told her.

finally told my ex-g/f after she shared how i withdrew, withheld affection, only loved to a certain point.

only told my other f friend from church two years after she told me of hers after my break up. i trusted her and she me.

from now on:

will tell my sister and brother one day.

my mom and dad are too old and fragile. i still think my dad might go after him or have someone else do it and he is a skinnier more frail older man now.

i will persue ron in time. not physically but legally and publicly.

i will tell my first ex wife, she deserves to know. she was a great and is a great person. did not deserve what i put her and her kids through emotionally and financially at the end.

may tell one best friend one day, he knows something is up with me but i never have shared.

sorry so long winded, but had to get it out.


#2954 - 08/15/04 09:23 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
I am truly humbled reading your responses. I would like to incorporate some of them in the book with complete anonymity for those who wrote the responses. I would use no identification but "One survivor wrote:" or "A survivor stated,".

It has been difficult for many of you to write what you did. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share painful memories. I hope your words and the content of this book will benefit many others who have not yet taken the steps you have that brought you to this site.

If anyone would not wish to be quoted anonymously (with the protection mentioned above), please pm me and I will not use your words.

Again thank you.

The book is still in the early stages of writing and I will continue to check this thread for additional comments that may be useful for this effort.


Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#2955 - 08/15/04 10:43 PM Re: What kept you from telling?
reality2k4 Offline

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6845
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...

I don't think anyone will object to you using what you want in your book, if it can relate to any form of abuse someone has been through, that alone is enough for them to start feeling they were not alone.

The main theme seems to be power, power of somebody older, who you respect, who is responsible for your upbringing or within your social gathering, teaching, coaching or the violent opportunist.

I am sure there are many other categories, but.

They break everything in the childs' life, and turn it into a totally confusing World where right seems to be wrong, and wrong seems to be OK.???

The numerous emotions the kid goes through either just after the event, or further down the line is immeasurable, he feels dirty, abused, humiliated, "am I gay"? is that why he picked me out? did I smile at him the wrong way? did I ask you for it?
he told me this is what daddies do? he told me the police will not believe you? I know where you live and will kill you/your family? It is not wrong for boys' to do this to a man? Nobody will believe you?

There are many more examples, but when you're just a kid you believe this crap, because they are bigger, they know more than you do, you trust them either because they are your guardians, who you learn your lifes'>
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

#2956 - 08/16/04 02:34 AM Re: What kept you from telling?
Leonatomi Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/10/04
Posts: 24
Loc: England
I didn't tell because I had no memory of the abuse until 35 years later. The abuse happened at some age between 6 and 11 and was pure unadulterated terror, shame and humilition. Yet I knew nothing of it. When the event came back into conscious memory (not during therapy)it wiped me out for over a year. Years on, I have still kept it to myself. Why? Because I am afraid of the damage I would do to the person I told my story to, should they even so much as attempt to minimize it or its effects.

Hope that helps, and good luck with your book.

#2957 - 08/16/04 03:13 AM Re: What kept you from telling?
CFO Dave Offline

Registered: 08/14/04
Posts: 104
Loc: Millis MA

The first time it happened I was young 5 or 6. My swim teacher was the one to do it. I'm not sure if I knew that it was wrong but I did know I was scared. My mom was waiting in the car for me. When I got to the car she was really pissed becasue I was late and she yelled at me because I put my pants on over my wet bathing suit. What would she have done if I told her what happened.

The second perp was the teenage neighbor a year or two later. I didn't recognize it as sexual abuse. I liked being with him because he gave me the attention I so much wanted. Also, even though I was like 7 or 8 I got and erection so he told me I was happy and when I was older I would it would really feel good because I would come.

I knew the swim teacher abused me but it wasn't until very recently that I recognized the other instances as abuse.


"We deceive ourselves when we fancy that only weakness needs support. Strength needs it far more."
-Madame Swetchine

"The soul that is within me no man can degrade."
-Frederick Douglas

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