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#312237 - 11/29/09 03:30 PM Why didn't you tell?
Hauser Offline

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2963
Loc: United States
I know that this topic has been covered, but I felt the need to explore it once again, and to hear the varying responses from others here.

I've come to believe that MOST of us who chose not to disclose to our parents did so because of lack of proper parenting (teaching children to be assertive and directly instructing them to tell their Mom or Dad if someone tries doing anything they don't feel comfortable with, etc.)

In my story , the one time as a child that I tried to disclose turned out to be a tragic mistake. (disclosed to my 11yo brother and his friend who made fun and laughed at me instead of offering any kind of sympathy or support.) This kept me from ever disclosing again for almost 30 years. In that time, my life went no where, directionless, meaningless, just numbing out with drugs and alcohol was all I looked forward to.

ANYWAY, my point is that if I was TOLD what to do, this all could have been avoided, which is tragic to me, so much lost potential. Sigh.

Back to the subject in general. What *I* would like to know is, WHY is it that something that is now taught in kindergarten classes (CSA awareness) was blatantly missing in my generation. Seriously, CSA has ALWAYS been around, right? So, why is it that only 30 years ago, it was not considered outrageous for a hardly-known neighbor to invite someone's son over for a "camping trip" or even to take him out for dinner?

1978 = "What a nice man, of course you're welcome to take my 9yo son camping with you"

2009 = "What? You've gotta be kidding me! You must be a perp, stay away from my kids!"

Why is it that when something like this is tried nowadays, eyebrows are immediately raised and parent's defense shields are set on maximum and an immediate answer is a "NO"?

What were my parents and their generation missing in this department? Did they live in some kind of Leave-it-to-Beaver fantasy land where kids, in particular boys, never get sexually violated? What is their excuse? That they didn't hear enough public announcements about CSA?

Just wondering why some many of us fell through the cracks, so to speak.

#312241 - 11/29/09 03:55 PM Re: Why didn't you tell? [Re: Hauser]
dave39 Offline

Registered: 08/25/08
Posts: 3
Loc: USA - MO
the adults around me were working on putting their own problems together - and fixing them i thought if i were to tell it would risk my family and my dad would blame my mom and mom would blame my dad for allowing it to happen- i knew that is how it would play out even at that age - so i never told

#312247 - 11/29/09 04:39 PM Re: Why didn't you tell? [Re: dave39]
Freedom49 Offline

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 2724
Loc: Washington State
I never told anyone because it WAS my dad. I tried to tell my mom a couple of times which I have mentioned here on the site somewhere. The first time she changed the subject and got busy doing something else. Again I never told anyone else because of the shame of it being my dad and the fear of what would happen to my family. Alan, it was a different time back when I was a kid. It was not talked about. Everyone involved in this sort of thing victim and perp, Siblings, any relative would all be tainted by the disclosure and shamed. Appearances were more important.

So I kept silent. Secretly going along with the charade.

It is just what you did back then.

#312249 - 11/29/09 04:48 PM Re: Why didn't you tell? [Re: Freedom49]
AndyJB2005 Offline

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1249
Loc: Minnesota
I guess I'm unusual but I never knew anything was wrong until it was over, so I never knew I had to tell. Sex and abuse just wasn't something anyone explained to me where I grew up.

I always felt icky feelings but because of my dad and the situation, I guess I just put up with it for some reason to make him happy (and get stuff). Sigh..

I hear a lot of guys say different, though. :-\

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

#312254 - 11/29/09 05:47 PM Re: Why didn't you tell? [Re: AndyJB2005]
WalkingSouth Offline

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16270
Loc: Waldport, Oregon
Why didn't I tell? It wasn't safe to tell! The adults of my generation and particular subculture pretty much had their mind made up about sexual activity between anyone who was not married. It was wrong and it was evil and anyone participating in same needed to be disciplined.

It don't take no rocket scientist to figure that one out. A preschooler is more than capable. Just sitting there keeping your mouth shut is a far better plan than getting whipped with a belt till the welts rise. The sex felt a helluvalot better than that. No idiots among this group. We did what was required to survive as best we could.

"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'Holy Shit! What a ride!'" ~Hunter S. Thompson

#312293 - 11/29/09 11:15 PM Re: Why didn't you tell? [Re: WalkingSouth]
Riley Offline

Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 599
Loc: USA
I heard something today on tv. It talked about the sociology of our culture in the 40's and 50's. In the 50's when the soldiers returned from WWII they tried to create a sense of normalcy that never truly existed, hence the Leave It To Beaver, suburban sprawl type generation. Perhaps a very similar situation occurred in the 70's. I wasn't around, but my picture of the 70's include alot of drug abuse among the younger crowd and the parents having no idea, many of which served in Vietnam and Korea. So maybe, yes, they did live in a fantasy land where that sort of thing never happens. I don't know just a theory.

As to why I didn't tell, its a tough question. When I was younger my perp always convinced me to not tell, plus I never really felt I was being truly wronged. Sure I felt uncomfortable, but I always felt uncomfortable, I couldn't even fathom a world where I was comfortable. As I got older I think it just came down to not trusting anyone to not tease me about it and tell everyone I know. In my head it was easier to put up with my brother then to put up with everyone I know. Even to this day I may do something to stop it, but that would definitely not involve telling people.

#312297 - 11/30/09 12:02 AM Re: Why didn't you tell? [Re: Hauser]
LC Offline

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Canada
I didn't tell because even though my abuse only happened over a weeklong period there was pictures and even a video taken. During that week everytime I had to call home he always stood over me with a camera. This image is still the most vivid image of my childhood. Then when i became an adult it had been so long that I wasnt able to look objectively at my past and connect the dots between the abuse and my behavior. It took me completely breaking down my entire life with addictions going to rehab and finally disclosing it 17 yrs later that i felt safe and fed up enough to tell.

I really dont think that I would have disclosed at any other time in my life anyways. Great post though, for me and my family it wasnt any different in 1992 then it was for you in 78

#312301 - 11/30/09 12:15 AM Re: Why didn't you tell? [Re: LC]
Ornias Offline

Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 310
shame, feeling also at fault..

but i don't think its different now then it was in the 70s but i don't know i didn't grow up in the 70s, but maybe its changed some for the females, im not sure about the males because there is still that people will think im gay, that something is wrong with me, im less of a man, or maybe thats just only in my mind, i don't know...

its not easy to hide all this damage inside,
and ill carry it w
ith me until i'm not alive.

#312304 - 11/30/09 01:00 AM Re: Why didn't you tell? [Re: Ornias]
Casmir213 Offline

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 851
Loc: Northeast, USA
*************Trigger Warning**************************

That was one memory that I completely lost conscious access to until 13 years later when I was 20 years old. When a parent is the perp and you're only 7 years old, there's no one to tell, except maybe the other parent. And fortunately, because of the circumstances of my abuse I had the opportunity to tell, and I did. And the very next day I had already begun to block the memory out of my mind, so when my father "apologized" for what he had done I hardly knew what he was talking about. I felt blamed for what happened to me because my mother hollared at me for having been in the bed with my father to begin with, even though she allowed me to sleep with him. So, actually it was both of their faults, not mine.

It would have been better if, instead of being blamed for being there with my father, my mother would have come to me and said plainly and compassionately that what happened to me wasn't my fault, and that it was my father's fault.

Edited by Casmir213 (11/30/09 07:58 PM)
I see recovery as a lifelong journey rather than a final destination, a journey, though, which can have many successes along the way.

WoR Alumnus - Hope Springs, OH, October 2009

My avatar is the farmhouse at the Hope Spring, OH WoR. It's a nice place.

#312311 - 11/30/09 01:34 AM Re: Why didn't you tell? [Re: Casmir213]
Dusty Boy Offline

Registered: 11/15/08
Posts: 280
Loc: Australia
The parents told me that if a kid goes near a man like that it is the kids fault, when an old man (the dirty old man sterio type)asked me to come into his house to look at his marbles I knew what he was referring to and ran away, but was scared to say anything to the parents cos I would get another stern letcure and not a good boy.


Edited by Dusty Boy (11/30/09 01:36 AM)

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