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#53529 - 07/11/03 02:12 PM 7-10-03: The day I became Flabbergasted!
Sans Logos Offline

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5796
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
I've known a lot of different feelings in my life, and until recently mostly all negative, but I think I can, for the first time in my life, say I have known this one.

The story around this post is rather involved, so I apologize in advance. However, it is a story that is important, because it is a story about my experience, strength and hope as a survivor.

I had planned a trip to Pittsburgh, my hometown, for a week beginning this Monday. This meant going home and seeing a family who has been in denial about the sexual initiation of nearly all 8 brothers and sisters by an older brother. After he died of a cerebral hemorhage in 1975 at the age of 23, I spilled my guts about he had done over the course of 4-5 years in his teen age life.

It was a double whammy: not only was the family dealing with the death of a first born child, a male yet [I am sure that means something to some people--it certainly meant a lot to my mom who always said "everybody knows the first one is 'special'], but they were dealing as well with the tragic news of his untimely death. They were not pleased, and I was basically threatened that one of my brothers was "gonna kick my ass". All of my brothers and sisters who were abused are substance abusers. I retreated into myself after this, and became scared silent.

Anyway, as I had asked a few weeks ago for guidance from you around the issue of confronting my parents, again, almost 30 years later, and you were able to help me quell the strong urgency I had to revisit this with the family. I heard you telling me to accept them where they are, and that they are human, and mostly likely emotionally unable to deal with this.

I surrendered to your advice, and was able to have closure on the interior issues, particularly on on my need to confront. However, after reading Bob Wheelocks articles, I felt impelled to broach the subject with them.

So I sent an email:


Hi mom,

I just wanted to let you know that I will be coming to pgh on Monday the 14th at 12:30. I will be staying until the following Monday. Suzie said I could stay at her house.

I think I have found my purpose for the rest of my life. It is my involvement in this Male Survivors of Sexual Assault organization. I know that this topic is one that is very difficult for you, because you must have tremendous feelings of guilt over what Bill did to all of us. Mom, you need to know that I do not blame you or dad for what Bill did, but I have been tortured carrying this every single sleeping and waking moment of my life for the last 40 years. I can only surmise that the other brothers and sisters also bear this burden, even though silently. My only solace is knowing that there God's supportive hand is in the work being done for us. This is the next frontier to be conquered.

Through my involvement in the Male Survivor website, I have learned that the silence is the deadliest component contributing to the proliferation of the tragic effects of this abominable disease, for all who have suffered it.

As it turns out, I know and understand first hand what your tremendous pain over this must be, because my friend Vicki who has three grown children the same ages as mine, also experienced this. Her daughter was abused repeatedly by her ex-father-in-law.

I hope you will take the time to read an article I am enclosing by a friend Fr. Bob Wheelock a capuchin priest. He is a moderator at the web site for Male Survivors. Hearing the story of one so close to the institutional church gives a small measure of comfort.

Please take time to read this and absorb it, mom. We have the power to help both the sacred and secular world better equipped to handle the devastation brought on by the effects of this illness.



Enclosure: Bob Wheelock's article: Sex Abuse and You
I was mortified after three days went by and I heard nothing!!!!

You can imagine where my mind must have gone. I was thinking about having my last name changed; I couldn't sleep through the nights with nightmares, and imagining the rage I must have stirred up. I was sunk lower than low.......


Yesterday I got this email from mom:


Hi Ron,

I am glad that you wrote (and i did read the article, as did Dad) because I did feel that you somehow blamed us all these years even though we never knew anything about all the "ugly" stuff that was going on.....SO HELP ME GOD...IF I HAD KNOWN, I WOULD BE IN JAIL FOR KILLING MY OLDEST CHILD.

I know this is no consolation now, and I have indeed suffered all these years, after having this brought to my attention....but I can't do anything to change it except to pray that you can come to terms with it (I know it will never completely go away, but I hope you can get peace in your heart).

As far as me being "in denial", that isn't completely true; I only know that I can't take it away and if I dwell on it every single moment, it makes me so sad and depressed that I can't seem to function in the everyday happenings in my life.

I am so sorry that we didn't have the communication that was needed to bring this to a head, but since I can't change it, I can only say "may God give you the peace that you need to continue in your journey to your "heavenly home".

I love you and hope you will always keep that close to your heart.

God bless,


Friends, thanks for taking time to read this. It is important to know how devastating the far reaching effects of male victimization. It tool 30 years for my parents to be able to allow themselves to address this; 30 years of torture living in the nightmare of silence.

The world might be a different place if all of us in the family had been at liberty to address this pain in a timely manner. It was because of the shame and guilt around the issue of seuxuality that we were unable to come to grips with this.

Changes need to be made in the way in which our culture addresses issues around sexuality in general and sexual victimization of males in particular. This destroys families, destroys destinies, and alters the course of a society's evolution. It is ever so important that the culture examines the fact that there is no ideologic support system for families touched by this evil. Moral posturing is not an effective solution.

It is up to organizations such as MS to get the ball rolling on developing policy that may result in effective educational tools for minimizing the predacious potential of this silent demon.

Only our concerted effort will unmask this monster for what it is. Thank you to all who participate in this forum; I hope that it is making a positive difference in your lives, and empowering you to do more beyond the limits of your own need for healing, for the good of future victims of sexual assault.

Thanks brothers,


Ron Schulz, MSPC, NCC

#53530 - 07/11/03 03:52 PM Re: 7-10-03: The day I became Flabbergasted!
Nathan LaChine Offline

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 5407
Loc: Washington State

I will always wish you and the rest of my friends and brothers the best of luck. I do hope it turns out ok with you and your parents. Do bear in mind that you will probly not get the support that you would like from your parents.

lots of love, Nathan

#53531 - 07/11/03 04:10 PM Re: 7-10-03: The day I became Flabbergasted!
Thad Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 08/28/01
Posts: 1752
Loc: Oakland, CA

Your email was a big risk for you. And her response was a complete surprise. That has got to be a milestone - your mother's response takes on the truth of what happened and acknowledges you while saying how sorry she is for the non-communication. Give her a big hug - she loves you and is dealing with it the best she can. Sounds like healing for both of you. Right on!

"..this place isn't a discussion's a portal..." Lupin
"The truth will set you free, but first it will probably piss you off." dwf's AA sponsor.

#53532 - 07/11/03 10:54 PM Re: 7-10-03: The day I became Flabbergasted!
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Dear Ron,

Incredibly moving story you are living there, my friend.

Congratulations on your willingness to do the right thing.

What a tremendous act of love and compassion to offer this hope of healing to your mom and dad, even when it seemed to have little hope of any positive outcome.

I've heard it said that in order for us to remain in this place of healing and grace that we must pass it on to others, our fellow sufferers.

Surely, your mom and dad have suffered too much.

God bless you for reaching out to them and offering them the peace of understanding and compassion.

I admire your strength of character and goodness of heart.

May you inspire me to take measures to allow such healing in my relationships. I know that my silence about the abuse creates barriers between me and the people I love.

I just can't yet find the courage to be the one to take that wall's been my safety net for so's hard to give up even though I know now that's choking the life out of me.

Have a great trip to Pittsburgh. You've already travelled light years in the immensity of God's grace and human courage.

Take care, brother,

With warmest regards,

"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

#53533 - 07/12/03 02:10 PM Re: 7-10-03: The day I became Flabbergasted!
guy43 Offline

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Moral posturing is not an effective solution.
Let this be one of many truths we use.

#53534 - 07/12/03 04:42 PM Re: 7-10-03: The day I became Flabbergasted!
outis Offline

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2261
Loc: Maryland USA
Changes need to be made in the way in which our culture addresses issues around sexuality in general and sexual victimization of males in particular. This destroys families, destroys destinies, and alters the course of a society's evolution. It is ever so important that the culture examines the fact that there is no ideologic support system for families touched by this evil. Moral posturing is not an effective solution.

It is up to organizations such as MS to get the ball rolling on developing policy that may result in effective educational tools for minimizing the predacious potential of this silent demon.

Congratulations on taking such a big step in your own recovery. I hope your mother's letter feels like a positive result to you. It looks like a great result for you to me.

You're absolutely correct about the education. Where shall we start? I see a need for society to recognize that the problem exists, and not just for girls. Speaking out, publicizing the upcoming conference, etc. can get us started on that.

But I think we need to educate the kids, the potential victims, so that they don't feel silent shame is the best or only way to deal with it. If I had believed I could have told someone, I think I would have. How does society have to change to let children feel that they can find a place of safety, outside their home if necessary? I'm not asking as a rhetorical question. I really want to know what we can do to make the secrecy which is so important to a perp much more difficult to achieve and maintain.

Maybe thinking about the pieces currently in place that help the perps is the right approach.



"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

#53535 - 07/12/03 07:23 PM Re: 7-10-03: The day I became Flabbergasted!
Sans Logos Offline

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5796
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
Originally posted by outis:
You're absolutely correct about the education. Where shall we start?

Just some quick random thoughts in response to your provoking post.

These are all the right questions. In response to Don Wright's invitation I offered to become involved in the Advocacy aspect. I have not heard back from Mark Crawford who I emailed about this. Advocacy is quite possibly the next stage of "follow-through" for what has begun here on the site.

Certainly one of the ways to begin to do this involves a great risk: becoming public. I am willing to do this. I don't have a martyr complex, but someone has got to stand up and say emphatically: "kill the disease before it kills you".

Schools, churches may be able to make these available as PSA's to their general populations. We could contact them & offer ourselves as speakers, much in same way that recovery groups do. Of course, we must not do this on our own, but under the auspices of a valid research oriented organization such as MS. We could become somehow become certified or trained by attending classes that would be sponsored by MS or its agency. Much in the same way that any community based sexual assault facility functions. This may be a longer range goal. For starters, someone on MS staff could devise a plan for such a talk, one that would give general information, tied to a personal witness, who to contact etc. This service could be trunked onto local crisis centers agendas such as here in Minneapolis, the Men's Center, or Neighborhood Involvment Project (NIP). Can MS afford to supplement a budget for this? It would only have to cover printing and advertising.

This is, of course, a stream of consciousness answer, but I think that there is a way to start doing something of the nature that you suggested. Getting the word out. Anytime we begin to speak the demons name, we diminish its power bound in the secrecy wherein it hides.

I hope more contribute to this "how to" discussion. Perhaps it would be best posted as a new thread. I know we are all at different stages of recovery. I just hope that none of us are at "indifferent" stages. ( If we are, that is fine, too, because the power of MS will do for us what we can't do for ouselves.)

I will be on vacation next week, but I definately will check in to MS;

Hey, anybody out there in the market for designing a bumpersticker or a lapel pin? How about refrigerator magnets?

Momentum gents. Let's make it happen. Let 'er rip!


Ron Schulz, MSPC, NCC

#53536 - 07/12/03 10:12 PM Re: 7-10-03: The day I became Flabbergasted!
Ivanhoe Offline

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907

I just have to add my quarter's worth.

Good job on that letter to your parents.
Alleluia for your mom having the stuff that it took for her to write what she wrote.
Big steps for all of you.

What's next, indeed. The mind races, doesn't it?

Thought about a bumper sticker to end all horn honking................. .

Your thinking about what's next is most provacative. I especially like your phrase..about mentioning the demon's name casting light and shrivelling the son of a bitch.
Keep up the good thoughts and whatever string you start about what's next, I'm there.

Your brother in the struggle,


"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

#53537 - 07/12/03 11:12 PM Re: 7-10-03: The day I became Flabbergasted!
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
your letter, and your mothers reply, show how strong family bonds can be. And it shows the levels of doubt, mistrust and..........ignorance ; for want of a better word, that exists when the bond is stretched to breaking point.

Your mother didn't know what was happening, you didn't either, you all moved on in ignorance of the devastating effects of the abuse, and I don't use 'ignorance' in an insulting fashion at all.

It's not a area of knowledge that people know about unless they go looking, like you did. And then, eventually, you passed on that knowledge to your mother. And the result was good.

It's a result that could ONLY happen when you were ready and able to make it happen.

I'm so pleased for you.


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

#53538 - 07/13/03 01:36 AM Re: 7-10-03: The day I became Flabbergasted!
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
Powerful letter to your mom and a great response. Many have hoped for such an outcome and you got a validation you couldn't have paid for.

Also glad you have found so much help and comfort in MS. I hope to meet you in Minneapolis at the conference (assume you are going since you can commute and save hotel expenses?)

Take care and have a nice vacation. At least you don't have the uncertainty hanging over your head.


Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

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