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#395371 - 04/29/12 02:48 AM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: unwritten]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
To Your Son,

By now, you may have seen or read my story. Certainly, there was clear force and least early-on. The "sex," or "encounters" went on for of them. For years and years, when confronted by doctors examining me as a child, therapists interrogating me as a spouse of a crushed wife and pastors seeking the root-cause of my anxieties and fears, I refused to call any of what happened "abuse."

They would outright ask me "Rob, were you sexually abused as a child." I would emphatically respond "NO freaking way!!!" I'd say that line with full confidence, as it was not 'abuse.' It was Rob having had a sexually active childhood.

Once, the lead "guy" (Dean) asked me "how do you let us keep doing this to you????" I dropped my head in shame..because if a guy four years older than me said that, it must be true.

After turning 10, I went after those encounters with Dean. That too went on for years. It surely was all my fault. I actually considered myself a true 'sex addict,' so it was all my fault. And because I enjoyed the heck out of it, I felt pretty darn fortunate!

My guilt and shame for being the enabler and initiator of so many encounters ensured my silence. So, I did in fact remain silent about it all until I was 46. You, however are truly brave and truly strong and fantastically advantaged in so many ways. Mainly, you are fortunate and strong because you actually told someone early in life.

By now you've heard the term "grooming." I never cared for that word much (when describing the con-job many of the perps employ upon us). I prefer the term 'con-artist.'

Surely you've heard of con-artists. They snooker people out of money, possessions and all kinds of actions. But perps also fool us into thinking we actually wanted what happened...that it was all our doing and all with our permission.

Fooling the younger, the weaker and the more innocent has been a root of the majority of peer encounters.

We end up leaving the encounters, the eras and times of our lives thinking that we were in control, when in fact, we were conned. We were well-trained and good behaving puppets. We were taken advantage of by a con-artist. And you must keep in mind; you'll never be conned by someone you don't trust.

I actually have a friend from Syracuse Univ who lost all of his wealth to Bernie Madoff and his con-job. He blames himself for falling for it, for being unrealistically greedy, and for letting it happen to him. Seriously you really think he would have given Madoff all his money knowing it would all disappear? And to make my friend feel even worse, he had to find and chase-down Madoff in order to beg him to take his money! Yeah! Madoff never asked anyone for their money. They all found him, and begged for a piece of the sweet and exclusive money-making action. And who ought I blame for the loss when examining it? My friend or Madoff?

No...I don't call any of it 'abuse.' I call it "being used" and "being conned."

Edited by Robbie Brown (04/29/12 02:57 AM)

#395385 - 04/29/12 03:35 AM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: unwritten]
unwritten Offline

Registered: 04/22/12
Posts: 19
Thank you, Robbie.

Well said.
Today I will be as happy as a bird with a french fry.

#395391 - 04/29/12 03:59 AM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: unwritten]
Anomalous Offline

Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 2104
Hi Unwritten,

You ask why we/ your son, resisted help.

There are many reasons.

We feel we should be "able to handle it," and that asking for help is a sign of "weakness." It isn't, but we didn't know that. Then there is the (mis)perception that asking for help means you are less of a man. This is particularly painful when one is just entering adulthood and one's perception as a "man" is still tenuous. Not a child, but not an adult, though one desperately wants to be the latter.

We blame ourselves for what happened. Blaming ourselves is easier than admitting we were victims. We want to be anything but a victim. So we blame ourselves because it hurts less than the awful truth -- that we were used and abused.

We resist help because we feel ashamed of what happened. We fear the societal myths, especially the very painful myth that an abused male goes on to become an abuser. Even though this myth has been thoroughly debunked, it persists in the public consciousness.

Another reason one might resist help is because to speak of it makes it more "real," and one can no longer minimize, or deny, that it happened, or that it has any effects on one's life.

Fear, shame, humiliation and embarrassment are some of the driving forces behind resisting or refusing help.

Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

#395398 - 04/29/12 05:21 AM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: unwritten]
Human Offline

Registered: 03/14/12
Posts: 67
Loc: private
unwritten wrote:

"So why do you really think you resisted help?"

The SHAME!! Not just shame for myself, but for my family/parents too. I imagined everyone would whisper "How could THAT ever happen to THAT perfect family?"

UW, I let your question hit me and the word SHAME boucned around inside my head.

My mother mostly distrusts the government, so I was afraid they would haul me and/or my parent(s) off to some "loony bin" or some awful consequences would happen that we just couldn't be bothered with. Afterall, we were too good for most people, what a crock! So FEAR also. I ended up being cheated out of a decent education and a guilt free normal childhood, or at least as normal as possible if I had only embraced help.

If your son is reading this... I say "Duuuude, please don't withdraw, the abuse is now known and there are so many caring, understanding people ready and able to help...try to accept any and all help you can! You might just come out far faaaar ahead of some of the other kids! Ha!


#395476 - 04/29/12 05:13 PM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: unwritten]
whome Offline

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1739
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
HI Man.

I am a 48 year old man that had been abused for many many years, from the age of about 5 to 19.
I know it was ended at 19 because I had to go into the army at that stage. It was compulsory for us to go into the army in my home country.
That aside, I was abused by My mother several men and raped at the age of 12 by some woman who was about 17. My friends all said I was lucky, that I had scored, and it never dawned on me the shit storm that was going to play out in my life.
I never thought that the things that happened to me were rape.

I grew up sexually confused, angry, I drank a lot, A LOT. I tried everything, I also never had real friends, and never had friends from my primary and junior schools.
I always envied the guys that had friends from Primary school.
I also never understood how guys landed girls, it was easy to land guys, but I always felt that I wanted a girlfriend.
But no matter what, I never never had any normal relationships.

I now council guys, and have met a few that have had servere problems in their later lives, and they all speak of the abuse as children but some don't want to see the link to the abuse.

I gotta tell you not to live this destructive life, don't mess it all up because you feel that you wanted this to happen, None of us wanted this to happen, a lot of us feel that we did somehow invite this into our lives, that we attracted this, but we didn't.
I would rather have led a boring mundane life like the young friends that lived next door, but that was not to be for me.
I was to be thrown into a life of alcohol, porn, dysfunctional sex, a broken marriage and no friends, along with the thousands of dollars in therapy bills.

I don't know you nor do I know your mom, I live 13000 miles away, but I know what is in your heart and your head, and I pray that you will see the truth, that you will avoid the pains and struggles that I went through, that you will choose to lead a fulfilled and happy life, and not wait till you are in your 40's to decide to get help, IF YOU MAKE IT TO 40.

I hope you choose happiness, not pain, choose health not illness, and choose to live life to its fullest.

Heal well
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

#395638 - 05/01/12 01:09 AM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: whome]
unwritten Offline

Registered: 04/22/12
Posts: 19
Anomalous - All of what you said makes so much sense - and as I was reading it I got to thinking that in an odd way, pride is what stand in the way of healing - It has to be quite humbling to admit to having been, as you put it, used.

Kurt - Embracing help - that's a concept that's foreign to so many people. But the so stakes are high.

Martin - Those are exactly the concepts I want to get across to my son. I told him the other day that it's going to be painful to confront what he's been through, but we are strong, intelligent people and we can handle anything.

One day when my now-husband was a starving college student, he said 'you can be miserable forever for nothing, or for awhile for something'. I've never forgotten that comment.

Thanks, guys - you're not only helping my son, you're helping me, too.
Today I will be as happy as a bird with a french fry.

#395880 - 05/03/12 04:58 AM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: unwritten]
Jim1104 Offline

Registered: 03/17/11
Posts: 410
Loc: Louisiana, USA

First, I have got to say that I sooooooo admire what you have done for your son. You may not realize it, but you have given him a chance to short-circut the effects of abuse that could, left unaddressed, destroy his life and the lives of many others whom he loves.

From where I sit, that is no exeggeration. I have lived it.

From the time I was 12, my main goal in life has been to die. Sometimes, I tried to take the issue into my own hands, but failed. I was so inept that I even failed to raise the eyebrows of those around me that I attempted suicide. Except for my best friend in junior high, nobody ever knew I tried to commit suicide. That is how badly I botched the job.

As I read your description of what happened to your son and your family, my first thought was that I never did experience peer abuse. Perhaps, that is true, or, perhaps when that older boy showed this fourth grader his dad's secret room with Playboy calendars in it or when he taught me how to play strip poker, he was engaging in a form of abuse. I don't know.

What I do know, though, is that memories have come back in recent months and the past year about adults doing to me what they should not even have engaged in consensually amongst themselves. I have always told people that something changed at age 12 or 13 and now I know what it was.

It didn't stop me from attaining good grades, but it has made my life a living hell. I stopped growing at age 12. I feel like a kid when I am with anybody who is 17 on up. I stayed away from alcohol when I was under 18 because it was illegal for me to drink. Instead, I masturbated excessively, hid in my room so I didn't cause any problems in the family, used a tie to choke myself until I nearly passed out so I could get high and used inhalants to get high. Almost all of my pursuits involved individual activities rather than team activities.

In high school, I learned that lye could eat a hole in my stomach, so I bought some at the grocery store I worked at and bought some gum. I planned to use it to eat a hole in my stomach so I would bleed to death internally. I swallowed some of the lye, but, thankfully, it wasn't enough. Eventually, my mom found out and made me throw it away. I can't remember the exact conversation, but it was clear that she knew I intended to use it to harm myself. She acknowledged that, and then did nothing. It was the late 1970s and therapy and help for kids like me wasn't very advanced. How I wish I could have gotten help then.

Perhaps, if help had been available, my arms wouldn't look like railroad tracks now from all the times I cut gashes in them, just to relieve the pressure of the hate for myself that I felt. Perhaps, I wouldn't have found it necessary to use alcohol to numb the pain of being around people when I went to college. Perhaps, I would have learned coping skills to avoid going from one addiction to another.

For forty years, I have lived a life of sheer terror. I have been afraid to live. I have been afraid to die. I have been afraid that everyone would find out what a fraud I am in my profession and in my life. In the bible, Paul says that it tears him apart that he doesn't do the things he really wants to, but gives in far to much to the things he does not want to do. That's me, pure and simple. I have hated myself for forty years.

By the way I am 52.

The thing is, I have never been without friends wherever I lived. I may have isolated myself, but they were there nonetheless. Still, it absolutely shocks me when someone says to me, "I am your fried. Let me help."

I was in a fraternity in college and, even today, I would do absolutely anything moral and legal for a pledge brother, or any of the guys I was in college with. I can't apply that reasoning in the reverse, though. So it totally shocked me when a brother called this week. To paraphrase, he said, "I heard about your dad's terminal illness and your son's impending major surgery. If you need anything. If it's just to talk, watch the kids, or whatever it may be, call me."

In my head, I can tell you that I am worthy of his offer. In my heart, I don't feel like anyone could care for or love me. Such an offer truly blows me away.

This is NOT bragging. I really mean it. But my former business partners have told me on numerous occasions that I am, perhaps, the most intelligent person they have ever met. A multitude of people have told me this. Why, then, have I failed to be successful in my business and other pursuits? Why have I not been the husband, friend or dad that I should have been?

To be sure, I would have made many mistakes anyway, but I would have had the tools to deal with them and be extremely successful. The simple fact is that, during a period of around 2 years when I was 12 and 13, a group of adults acted with pure evil against me. Then, in an attempt to survive, I blocked out what happened and turned to very maladaptive ways to deal with the pain.

Forgetting about the society in which I grew up and it's utter lack of ability to cope with boys who were abused, I can only say "GOD, HOW I WISH I COULD HAVE DEALT WITH THIS STUFF WHEN I WAS IN MY 20s!" How many lives, including my own, would have been better if I had.

Your son, God love him (God love you and your husband, too), has such an incredible gift. He has the ability to deal with the effect of his abuse at a young age. He will be able to work on recovery without the burden of having to care for a wife, partner or children. Supportive parents that care and know how to help (and you do, with guidance from others) are such a huge blessing to your son.

I was blessed to stop drinking at age 24. God gave me an incredible gift when He literally delivered me from my alcohol addiction. I wish, oh how I wish, that I had known and been able to deal with the effects of sexual abuse then instead of going for another 28 years of feeling as though I was nothing.

Nobody deserves that, especially a young man of 17-years-old.

After all I have written, I guess I sound like I have had a horrible life thus far. I haven't. My parents were good people and did the best they could with the information at hand. I have been blessed with a beautiful wife and three great children. I have a home a job and many things most in this world would kill for. I am blessed in many ways.

Whatever good there is in my life could have been multiplied a thousand-fold if I had known about and dealt with the effects of what a few people I have met in my life did forty years ago. I hope your son will take advantage of his incredible opportunity to heal now, rather than let one person diminish the gift that he is and will be to himself, his family and friends. He deserves a good life, and so do you.


#396234 - 05/06/12 01:59 AM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: unwritten]
unwritten Offline

Registered: 04/22/12
Posts: 19
Hi Jim,

Thank you for sharing what you've been though. Sorry it took me awhile before I saw you post. I've been tied up the last few days.

I've not done anything admirable - I don't say that in an 'aww shucks', humble kind of way, but to say it sounds like your parents would have probably done anything to help, but the difference between the time you were our son's age and now is that real help actually exists. Your parents probably suffered more than you can imagine because not only was help just not out there, but people didn't recognize abuse.

We're just a couple of generations away from when cancer was only talked about in whispers.

It is pure agony to watch your child suffer for reasons you don't comprehend. And the despair we were in before we learned of the resources that are out there was unbearable.

Some people fear being 'in the system' - I certainly did - but we were truly at our wits end when we ended up there, and if anyone out there is reluctant to seek help because of that fear, words can't express the praise I have for the people who work for the Department of Youth Services. Not for one second have we felt that we have not been respected as parents and they openly embrace the concept that no one knows our child as well as we do. They are amazing, dedicated people.

I'm glad you seem to realize that your parents didn't mean to leave your problems unaddressed. I'd also venture to guess in the '70's, not only were parents clueless, they also thought the symptoms was something to be outgrown.

Obviously, I'm not an expert, but the older kid you talk about - especially the strip poker part - did abuse you and I think that this type of subtle, manipulation could actually be more psychologically damaging than outright threats because it leaves a young victim questioning what really happened to him.

I don't mean to discount the fear some of the people on this forum have experienced, but I think that when you know you've been terrorized it might be easier to make the connection. Being left with vague, something-isn't-right feelings would seem to make the victim feel responsible.

My son sounds much like you. He continually tries to self-medicate with drugs/alcohol, isolates himself despite the fact that he has friends and he shares your railroad of scars.

You've stated exactly why I joined this forum and posted our situation - I want him to deal with this now so he doesn't have to look back in 30 years and wish that he understood himself before he made irrevocable decisions.

The hard part is, no matter how many tools he has had placed in front of him or how much support he has, he has been unable connect what happened to him to how he feels about himself. I tend to look at things with a very clear eye so I tend to become frustrated. Of course, it's easier to do that when you're 50 and not 17.

I really am trying to be patient and keep my frustration to myself. Sometimes I manage that better than others. : )

It's sad that, because of the way others treated you when you were young, you don't feel worthy of true friendship. I wish that there was a way for you to grasp -not intellectually but emotionally - that the wickedness of others does not diminish your worth.

For what it's worth, you're not alone in feeling that you haven't lived up to your potential and, at 52, major accomplishments can still be in your future. I'm 50, and since I'm a woman you don't even get to try to argue that one with me. I win, game over. By now, you've surely learned not to debate with women my age. eek

If you haven't already, I hope you are considering counseling. It's never to late to address the underlying feelings you've carried with you all these years.

Your self-esteem was taken away from you. Counseling can help you to take it back.

Thanks again for posting your story. You've not only helped my family, but who knows how many others will benefit from reading it, as well.

Edited by unwritten (05/06/12 02:11 PM)
Today I will be as happy as a bird with a french fry.

#396308 - 05/06/12 07:17 PM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: unwritten]
Jim1104 Offline

Registered: 03/17/11
Posts: 410
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Thanks unwritten. I did learn long ago not to argue with a woman. I pray your son listens to you and the guys here. May his life be a joyous and healing one.

#396314 - 05/06/12 08:35 PM Re: Talk To My Son, Please [Re: unwritten]
Anomalous Offline

Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 2104
******* TRIGGER WARNING *******

Hi Unwritten,

Please, NEVER underestimate what you are doing for your son.

Just because there are more resources now than there used to be, doesnt' mean all parents will utilize them.

And neither will law enforcement.

I took my friend to the prosecutor's office because a neighbor was being sexual with his then 15yo daughter. I called it rape. The law should have, too.

I was not allowed in the room while my friend spoke to these so-called detectives who specialize in "sex crimes."

They told him there was NOTHING they could do for him. Instead, they told him to go home and, if he wanted, he could speak to he local police.

I was infuriated, to put it politely.

I immediately took him straight to the local police station.

An officer came out into the very small waiting area and asked him why he was there. We were not the only people sitting there. NO privacy.

Anywho, he started to explain that his underage daughter was being raped by a guy who was around 40, and that he wanted the law to intervene.

The cop told him "well, your daughter will be 16 in a few months, and 16 is the age of consent."

I spoke up and said "but she is only 15 now."

I asked him what he would do if it was his daughter.

That @$$***** cop stood there and said "if she was my daughter, it wouldn't be happening."

He walked away.

He did NOTHING. Just like the prosecutor's sex crimes division.

Just thinking about this again makes my blood boil!!!!

I have no reasonable explanation as to why law enforcement here, and elsewhere, doesn't take these crimes seriously, or they capriciously and inequitably apply the laws.

Resources are great, but only if they are utilized. Thankfully, you are doing that.

Your son will have a much better life because you care so much to make sure he gets the right kind of help now.

So, yes, your son has the advantage of this being a topic which isn't completely relegated to whispers behind closed doors. And he has the advantage of advancements made by the therapeutic community.

But his biggest asset is you and your husband.

Without either of you pushing to find out why his behavior was out of control, and to find the pain in his heart, he wouldn't be getting the help.

Instead, his life would have taken a much darker and tragic path.

Please do not be afraid to acknowledge your very important role in his healing.

As for your comments that if services were available for us our parents would have availed themselves ......

I hate to tell you, but for many of us, those that called themselves "parents" were the problem. Perhaps they didn't do the sexual abuse (but many did), but they did all of the other abuses.

So, no, they would not have availed themselves of the help available at the time.

And whether or not male sexual abuse was studied, therapists were trained to deal with trauma, addictions, etc., so we could have gotten help ..... if anyone had given a damn.

Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

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