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#393149 - 04/12/12 06:58 AM Adult Survivors in MS chat with CSAs
WriterKeith Offline

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 980
Just a quick reminder, especially for MS newcomers, that Adult Survivors of Abuse (ASA) are a part of us.
I try to steer away from giving advice when in chat. When it's appropriate, I may offer observations from my own journey in hopes it may help someone here. It's hearing what others share about their experience that helps me figure out ways to find my way through it as well.
But this means I can only speak from a CSA perspective, the perspective from my own experiences. I think most survivors do the same. ASA survivors often sit silent kind of waiting for the conversation to broaden and include them (jump in, guys!).
Sorry, ASAs...maybe we CSAs can do better at keeping you in mind in chat conversations, and you can contribute by helping us learn more about ASA.
The more we all learn about ASA and CSA the more empowered we are as a force against abuse. cool

#393150 - 04/12/12 07:09 AM Re: Adult Survivors in MS chat with CSAs [Re: WriterKeith]
Life's A Dream Offline

Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 886
Loc: Bouvet Island
Considering the staggering rate of imprisonment, and prison rape of males tolerated and in some cases encouraged by our government, male ASA's are in dire need of support. And I don't mean to leave out male survivors of female perps either, when I say that, considering I was sexually assaulted by a female coworker, who used blackmail to do what she did to me. I hope no one feels left out or forgotten.

#393177 - 04/12/12 01:40 PM Re: Adult Survivors in MS chat with CSAs [Re: WriterKeith]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3852
Yes we can help each other. Anyone subject to sexual abuse is a victim-our age at time of abuse does not diminish it from being a violation of bodies,mind and souls. We may have different coping abilities at various times in our lives, but as we have seen no matter the age, each victim reacts differently--recovery, suicide, self abuse, acting out, alcohol and drug abuse to number the pain. It is all about trying to forget or control the abusive situation after it has occurred. We need to honor and respect anyone who has suffered from sexual abuse. Do not let others tell you differently--it was not the victim's choice. We should be here for sexual abuse survivors and those trying to survive and we must remember those lost because of the abuse.

Edited by KMCINVA (04/12/12 01:43 PM)

#393252 - 04/13/12 02:40 AM Re: Adult Survivors in MS chat with CSAs [Re: WriterKeith]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline

Registered: 03/26/12
Posts: 2217
removed per user

Edited by ModTeam (05/02/13 05:39 PM)

#393281 - 04/13/12 07:19 AM Re: Adult Survivors in MS chat with CSAs [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 980
Something I have to wonder, and it's a painful point, but it is common for CSAs to be blamed for the assault. Do adult male survivors get blamed even more than CSAs?

For example, my mother was not a fool, she was not evil, she was not uncaring, she was not cruel or mean-spirited. Yet, when as an adult I spoke of the abuse with her for the first time, she responded with, "It's your own fault. You should have told somebody. You should have fought them off. You should have.. you should have... you should have...." And even when I explained that I was a 4 year old being restrained by 2 men with electrical wire around my ankles, she replied, "I don't care... you should have.."

I've gotten similar responses a few times when I confided in the wrong friend about it. I believe it's because the general public is completely ignorant on the issue and denial is their way of putting blinders on. From what I've heard here on MS, it is a very common reaction.

I have to wonder how much more an adult survivor faces this type of reaction when looking for a shoulder to lean on or any kind of help.

#393297 - 04/13/12 12:11 PM Re: Adult Survivors in MS chat with CSAs [Re: WriterKeith]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
When I returned to my home town I was greeted with rumors. There were assumptions that I had been on a date gone wrong, was so drunk in a club I set myself up and so on. Not that if any of those things had happened it still would not have been rape.

A very common reaction was "did you fight back?". Mostly it was a desire on the other person to know what I did to try to avoid it and to stop it. Like I was looking for two men to attack me out of nowhere and take me for a full night to torture, beat and rape me.

The common reaction to most abuse is still skepticism. In the work I do I see staff who are doubtful of most abuse claims. Kids of both genders face this and so do adult women. And if someone is going to doubt a kid or an adult female then questioning a grown and healthy man is something pretty automatic.

I stopped confiding long ago but if I were to do so today I could do it with much more strength of character. I know it was not my fault and I did the best I could under the circumstances I found myself in that night. If you look at "My Story" here you will see that I was very careful to make sure that it was apparent that I tried to get away. I looked back on that a year after I wrote it and saw how meticulous I was about that. That even here, in a grouping of survivors, I had to make sure the audience saw that I put out an effort to stop the attacks. It is something that is very hard not to over do.

But as a human with a survivor's mind I still wince at things I read and when I think on past reactions of others.

All any survivor wants to hear is "it was not your fault". That would include any ASA man as well.

What is harmful for so many of us in this category is the lack of resources, public acknowledgments or efforts on the part of the therapeutic community. Right now the only emphasis I see is directed at two populations: military and those incarcerated. I am thrilled to see movements in these two areas. But I find it sad that one must be in an extreme situation for a man to be considered at risk for being assaulted. There are no banners or marches on Washington for those like me who simply was raped and happens to be male. That pushes the shame on men like me even more to the extent of self blame.

With a heavy sigh I am resigned that society is far from doing much else concerning this. I hope it is better for the ones to come who will need these resources. With many years of off and on therapy and the hand of God I am doing pretty good overall.

You raised a very good question here.

Broad statements often miss their true mark.

#393299 - 04/13/12 01:24 PM Re: Adult Survivors in MS chat with CSAs [Re: WriterKeith]
earlybird Offline

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 1007
Thanks WriterKeith, for tapping at the door.
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

#393323 - 04/13/12 04:12 PM Re: Adult Survivors in MS chat with CSAs [Re: WriterKeith]
phoenix321 Offline

Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL

I'm sorry that happened to you, Daryl (and anyone else). Rape is rape. I think the rape of kids is far worse due to dependency and a mind that isn't fully formed yet. That just seems logical. But, don't see the rape of adult males much different than the rape of adult females. All want to be heard.

I think society does understand males raping males, except in prison (sad). It's the adult male being raped by a female they have the hardest time with. I had a hard time with that (and so did the rest of the class) in college. Once guy turned 14, most didn't believe in female on male rape either. I would say the women came around 10x faster than the guys. Guys outside the class discussions said, "Yeah, bullshit!" It only changed the opinions of me and one other guy out of 8-9 guys. Most of it, we just didn't know. It was eye-opening and it's just not a public issue. This was pre-CSA knowledge of my own.

Just a question: are that statistics on male rape outside of prisons (prison is hell and it makes sense more rape happens there)? I know every two minutes someone is raped (44% of those under 18). RAINN doesn't talk about gender in those stats. I've read 1 in 10 of rapes are men. If true, that's rape of a male every 20 minutes. One of the sickest stats I saw is "40% of Black women under 18 are raped." Females 16-24 are 3 times more likely than anyone to be raped. 1 in 7 women are even assaulted by their husbands. What about wives assaulting husbands? Very little research outside of prisons.

The resources are undeniably for women. It's coming around for boys. Just not for men. In the hospital, I saw the women get far more concern than the guys in groups. My own therapists didn't want to discuss it much at all. A few I don't think gave it much thought. Ignore it and it'll go away. That's society's attitude in the first place even with girls. Let's give money to a crisis shelter, not have in our neighborhood and forget it. I remember even RAINN wasn't that helpful to me either (or other guys from what I read). No offense to anyone. Just doesn't seem to be much on adult male rape outside of prison. It sucks. I'd love to know more. Knowledge is power. Outside of the shrink, no one believed me either in the so-called support system called "family."

Edited by phoenix321 (04/13/12 04:15 PM)
Edit Reason: add

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

#393362 - 04/14/12 01:39 AM Re: Adult Survivors in MS chat with CSAs [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 980
Excellent post and explanation, Daryl.

#393365 - 04/14/12 02:16 AM Re: Adult Survivors in MS chat with CSAs [Re: WriterKeith]
Anomalous Offline

Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 2241
*************** TRIGGER ALERT ***************

Hi Keith,

Thank you for opening this discussion again.

Another thread in this forum Can I Understand? addresses the questions and the issues about which you ask.

For far too long I have observed a "CSA / ASA" divide, as if one group felt that what had been done to them was "worse" than what had been done to the other.

Nothing is further from the truth.

It is all horrific, and each person who has been sexually abused or assauted, regardless of age, and regardless of the frequency or the level of physical violence experienced, has been harmed in a way no person should ever expereince.

Is this to say there are not differences?

Certainly not.

Referring back to the post linked above regarding adult males who have been sexually assaulted/ raped (I am temporarily omitting adult males who have been abused for the moment, or those in prison), society does not want to hear about it.

The automatic reaction is to blame that male for having been assaulted, except in some very narrow situations. Adult males who are hospitalized or in some other institutions (convalescent centers, psychiatric hospitals, etc.) are generally not blamed for having been assaulted.

However, their ASSAULTER blames them for being too "sick, weak, unmanly," etc. Basically, as most rapists, the rapist blames their victim. A victim they chose for the very reasons they use to denegrate and degrade the person they chose to assualt.

Outside of those settings (and, again, omitting prisons for the moment) adults males who are sexually assaulted/ raped are automatically blamed. They are told things like "you must have wanted it," "you weren't man enough to fight them off," "I would NEVER have LET it happen to me!!"

If the assault was committed by a female, the denegration of the man who was assualted is even worse, espeically by other males. Unfortunately, if a man tells a therapist he was raped by a date, girlfriend or wife, he is usually accused of having wanted to sexually experiment, but since things didn't "feel as good as he thought they would," he is now "remorseful" and is "crying rape." Some of those ignorant therapists compound the problem by telling the client that "men cannot be raped.

For the man who took a chance at seeking help for the assault, after hearing such blaming, shaming and terrible things, he will probably never go back to therapy. Instead, he will carry those hurtful words and continue to blame himself rather than take the chance with a qualified therapist who will help him see that he was never wrong. What was done to him was wrong.

Society views males who have been assaulted as weak, ineffective, lacking masculinity, and as men unworthy of consideration as mates. Afterall, if he couldn't protect himself, what good is he?

There is a double standard when it comes to rape.

Women are told to do anything that assures your survival. If that means being raped, let it happen. The goal is to survive.

Males aren't given that message. In fact, the message is quite the opposite.

Rather than being told the goal is survival, men are told to never "let" it happen, at any cost. If you have to lose your life in the procces to make sure you don't get raped, do it.

If you happen to be the male who chose to live, you are scorned and ridiculed, by males, females, and far too many therapists.

Males who have dangerous and "macho" positions, such as the military, law enforcement, fire fighters, etc. receive an extra heap of that shame and ridicule.

Society wants to close their eyes to the reality that adult males get raped. And when adult males get raped, it is usually combined with a very high level of violence.

But instead of giving adult males who were raped a chance to talk about the experience, the message is that this is a taboo subject and NEVER talk about it. Afterall, you don't want others to know you couldn't "take care of yourself."

Men are blamed for being raped. They are accused of "letting it happen."

The other segment of adult males who are shamed into silence are the adult males who are being abused.

I differentially use the terms abuse and assualted/ raped.

Assault (the term currently in use regarding the rape of males) and rape (the term slowly coming into use) are one in the same. It it usually (but not always) a single, violent act, that might be done by a known or unknown person (or group). It is no uncommon for a man to be raped by the same person/ group over time (especially those in hospitals and other care facilities). For the moment, I am not discussing prisons.

The definition of rape starting to be used is: a penis or object insterted into the vagina or the anus, or a penis inserted into the mouth.

Abuse occurs on a frequent basis, at the hands of the same person or people. While there might be violence involved, it is usually less violent (but necessarily so) than the rapes mentioned above.

Some abusers are the very people that are supposed to be the caretakers of people with medical or physical difficulties. Daily bathing becomes an abusers opportunity to abuse. The abuser may hold their charge "hostage" -- withholding cleaning or changing, physical activiity, food, water or medication until their "ransom" is paid. Whether the abuser is hired help, live-in help, friend, former lover, or a room mate or housemate, they use their role of "caring" as an excuse to repeatedly abuse.

This type of sexual abuse also includes a lot of emotional abuse -- "head games." Telling the adult male over and over that it is his "fault" for "letting it happen." And that no one will believe him.

If it happened once and he told, then perhaps he would be believed. But since he "let" it "happen" repeatedly, the only thing people will believe is that he "wanted it." And if you "wanted it" it couldn't be "abuse."

Abusers are master manipulators. They know how to take from others what they want, and assure the silence of their victims by instilling such a deep sense of shame and blame in them that the victims remain quiet.

The abuser also tells the person they are abusing that they are having a "relationship." The abuser might also say things like they are "teaching" their less expeirienced "partner" how to be sexual and how to "properly" please their next "partner." If the abuser is the same gender/ gender identity as the person they are abusing, the abuser says things like "I'm teaching you how to make love to both sexes. Why settle for only half of the population?"

Since their victim didn't come forward after the 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th, or 5th time it happened, he feels he cannot come forward.

How could anyone believe him since he waited so long? How can he possibly explain not coming forth after the first time?

These matters get even more complicated when the abuser is a family member or someone held in high regard by a family member.

How can the man being repeatedly abused come forth, when to do so will be to cause harm to the family member/ unit? How can you risk being blamed for either "cheating" with this person (who might be in a relationship with a family member) or accusing a family member of something so "disgusting?"

If the man being abused cannot financially afford to leave the household, he is enslaven to the abuse, physically, emotionally and sexually. Saying "no" to the sexual abuser can have violent and deadly consequences.

The abused male is also very isolated. Since he did not tell when it first happened, he abuser has just made him his property, to do with as often and what- and whenever he pleases. The abused male cannot now go to a family member and discuss this, so relationships become distant. He blames himself for "letting" the abuse happen, and he is ashamed. The abuser tells him he will be accused of "cheating" on the abuser's girlfriend or boyfriend, so there are additional layers of shame, blame, disgust, self loathing and self hatred.

Since the abuser is in close physical proximity, he has the ability to control whether or not the abused is able to have the opportunity to work, work over-time or get a second job. The abuser doesn't want their "prize" to ever have the means to leave. The grip of control over all aspects of life is a stranglehold that does not stop, and which seemingly cannot be broken.

It is also not uncommon for the abuser to take control over the finances of the abused. He learns how much money the abused has, and always seems to be in need of just that much. Mail is opened and all aspects of privacy are violated.

Other family members, who are not aware of the abuse, only see a growing tension between the two individuals. Unwittingly, they "blame" the abused for causing conflict, or not wanting to join in activities. They blame the abused for making things "uncomfortable." To maintain the secret and family harmony, the abused remins silent, and diligently does what is demanded of him.

Where the adult male who was raped is truely blamelss, the adult male who has been sexually abused for a long period of time blames himself. "I kept going back for more," even if that was only to lessen the duration each episode of abuse would last, is an expression of self blame and responsibility, and not an understanding that it was a survival strategy.

There are many more layers of complexity and difficulty regarding an adult male who endures repeated abuse, sometimes daily and lasting for years.

Joining converstations in chat are .... tricky.

There are some on both sides of the abuse expereince who do not want to discuss their experiences with someone "who cannot understand" - code for not having the same abuse experience.

There are still some here who are of the opinion the CSA is "worse" that ASA.

Some guys are just too shy to jump in, or are too afraid the self blame and recriminations they tell themselves migh be said to them by anohter, confirming their feelings of worthlessness.

Others, who have experienced both CSA and ASA feel they do not fit in. If they join a coversation about CSA, they feel unwelcome to discuss anything related to ASA.

Any ASA converstations that might be taking place are ususally hijacked into CSA-only conversations. That either forces the guys with ASA experiences to leave, or just take their conversation into another room. Most of the time they just leave, feeling once again, their experiences are not important and, by extension, neither are they.

To give you an example of the magnitude to which ASA is ignored by both society and the therapuetic community, look at this list of ASA Resources. Pay particular attention to the book section. There are FIVE books written exclusively about, and for, men with ASA experiences.

Now, look closer at those titles. They are all about the rape of adult males (though I do not know if any of them refer to female aggressors), but NONE of them speak of the expereince of adult males who are repeatedly sexually abused.

Those of us who experienced the latter, become the educators of those who are supposed to help us.

The rape of adult males outside of prison is only now being considered important "enough" to research and about which to write.

But there are many of us who aren't even a blip on the therapeutic research screens.

Education, not only of those in the therapeutic communities, and of society at large, but here, at places like MS is going to be the key to bridge the CSA/ ASA chasm and to get rid of notions such as "one is worse than the other, etc." OUT of the conversations.

Just because a person might have been chronologically older, doens't mean they were any less naieve about sex than a four year old. And just because a person was physically taller than their aggressor, doesn't mean they were a match for that aggressor, group of aggressors or the drugs weapons involved.

In battling between ourselves as to who "had it worse," or "who was hurt more," "who has more damage to overcome," or "who has a harder time healing," etc., we are diminishing each and every one of ourselves, and our experiences.

We have all been hurt, in ways no one should ever have been hurt.

More importantly, we all need to heal, and we all have a right to heal.

It is easier for us to heal together than it is for us to heal alone. Afterall, that is why we joined this site -- to no longer be alone.


Edited by Anomalous (04/14/12 05:07 AM)
Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

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