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#68301 - 01/06/07 03:49 AM Re: What's normal?
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
To echo ScottyTodd's suggestions, you can call StopItNow! at 1 888 PREVENT. They will talk with you about the situation and what you can do about it. SIN! is in business to help people deal with sexual abuse before it might happen.


Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#68302 - 01/06/07 04:18 AM Re: What's normal?
beccy Offline

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
Hauser, I totally agree with you about what you said above.

the subject of age and sharing a bed......i think we do need to be aware of the fact that we actually live in a culture which seems to believe attachment(to a 'safe' parent figure, ie. main caretakers) to be unhealthy, but there is much current research into child developement, emotional understanding, which is saying it's important that we know attachment is normal, and healthy. Both physical and emotional attachment. Children desperately need closeness and there's actually no real reason why we should be worried about sleeping next to one another. Obviously I am talking here as a parent and would never worry about my own children wanting to sleep in our bed, to be honest with you, whatever their age....although, I wouldn't really expect they'd need that when they have their own partner/life/emotional independance! Of course, as time goes on, you wouldn't really be expecting they'd really want/need that, but if occasional, if they were sad, whatever, I'd still be there for them. Of course, I want my children to be independant and I believe they will be.

I think I've read somewhere that in some more indiginous cultures, children tend to decide for themselves to sleep seperately from their parents at around the age of 10-ish I think.....don't know if that's any help for this issue.

If your nephew is looked after a lot by your grandfather, he could have that kind of attachment with him. I don;t think there'd be anything unnatural, or wrong in that. I have looked after my much younger step brother, sometimes he used to stay and he needed to come in our bed(he was about 6), as he was very used to sleeping with his parents. I don't feel there's anything wrong with that. I wouldn't think it wrong if my daughter needed to sleep in my sister's/brother's bed if she stayed with them(she's 4&1/2). Also she has slept at my dad's before and my dad's girlfriend got in next to her cause she couldn't sleep(she was about 2&1/2)

Of course I trust all of these people implicitly, and I think that's definately the key here. You do sound nervous/unsure about your grandfather, so I definately think you're right to be addressing it. It's far far better to be looking into it if you feel concerned/suspicous, than to regret something later on....

It's right that we all have this level of awareness.


#68303 - 01/06/07 05:10 AM Re: What's normal?
womanwithquestions Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/05/07
Posts: 3
Loc: Upstate New York
Again, it's such a relief to read these well-considered replies, since I had no idea where to turn until I found this site. I'll definitely call SIN for advice on how to talk to Nicholas. Because I live away, I actually don't know whether he's been taught about good/bad touching and boundaries. Don't they teach those things in school now?

What I DO know is that he's a timid and extremely docile child--a friend of mine would call him "rule bound." He's the kind of kid who will tell you that you can't bring your beach ball to the pool because toys are not allowed in the pool area. His father and grandfather are both rigid disciplinarians, so he has learned to be polite and in general to behave because (it seems to me) he's afraid not to. Let me clarify that they do not physically abuse him, but I personally don't believe in spanking children, and they think that's an appropriate punishment on occasion. In any case, Nicholas is not the kind of kid who would be likely to say "no" to any authority figure.

The point that physical and emotional attachment can be healthy is well taken. I just want to be positive that's all it is. It pains me to even entertain the idea that someone I love could do something so loathsome, but I see so many relatives (usually parents) of CSA survivors say in hindsight that they never dreamed so-and-so would hurt their child.

Does anyone have thoughts on my questions about whether I would have seen a pattern of approaching children before and whether pedophiles can have healthy adult relationships? In other words, is there a profile of the typical pedophile, or is there a great deal of variation? Thanks.

#68304 - 01/06/07 08:56 AM Re: What's normal?
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
i cant say about the relationship part but its possible he has been concentrating on the granson ,maybe ,like raising his own victim? my perp would have waited as long as it took years if necessary so you might not see a patteren ,also most of them are very good at hiding what they do ,if your far away you might not notice a pattern .its scares the heck outa me to be honest ,people ask what to look for well i think you coverd a lot of those things in your post. the kids a perfect target ,parents divorced ,going back and forth probably thinks his parents split causae of something he did. maybe you could just like have the family together and ask ,dont you think its a little , weird for them to sleep together? has anybody asked nicholas if he wants to sleep with him ? i mean i have read the things you talked about in survivor posts here, .the best thing is your questioning ,thats real good. ask him if he wants to sleep there ,if nothing is happening you wont have done anything that can make your family mad at you . if he says no then its up to you from there. its gotta be better to be safe than sorry . i dont know your grandfather i dont wanna say hes a perp ,its just it sounds so scary adam

its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

#68305 - 01/07/07 12:01 AM Re: What's normal?
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Maybe the grandparents have separate bedrooms for their own, other reasons, and the boy wanting to stay in the room w/ an adult is a convenient excuse for them not to have to explain that to kids or grandkids. Do Grandma and Grandpa sleep together on other nights? (FWIW, while I'd be reluctant to say that using a kid as a cover-up is sexual abuse, I think it's inappropriate and puts the kid in an emotionally difficult position. I think a lot of caretakers emphasize or encourage certain "needs" in children for reasons of their own, like avoiding intimacy with another adult, and it seems very wrong to me).

Was the divorce recent or have there been other major changes in the boy's life lately? 8 year old kids are not too young to regress a little and want to be treated like they were smaller, if recent events are causing them to feel like growing up is not so great.

Like Beccy I think there are situations where the shared bed would not always indicate abuse. The biggest red flag I see in the post is the discipline.

#68306 - 01/07/07 06:06 AM Re: What's normal?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
The adult in this case is the grandfather, and the child--let's call him Nicholas--is my 8-year-old nephew.
Way too much age difference in my opinion, and the whole thing you mentioned about the closeness of the relationship makes it 'suspect' to me as well.

I'm 53 and grew up in a very large family, I spent many happy days with uncles and aunts when I was a kid. When my cousins and I were young, under 10 or 11, it was nothing unusual to share a bed with one of my my male cousins who was a similar age, sometimes we would masturbate each other as well.

Why do I mention this? well, "was it abuse?"
I don't see it that way, it was mutual curiosity and 100% different to my experiences at t boarding school.
A lot of kids will experiment out of curiosity, and it does no harm because POWER doesn't play any part in what went on, sexual abuse has it's roots in the abuse of power.

Which is where the age gap makes a difference.
"If" something is going on, then it is abuse.
Which is something that I think you both appreciate and fear. There is no way it could be dressed up to be anything else.

Grandpa was himself molested as a child. I don't know how long it went on or how extensive the abuse was--only that the abuser was a male teacher and that it happened more than 50 years ago. I read that it's a myth that abused children repeat the cycle, but that most abusers were themselves abused, so I'm not sure whether this should be considered a risk factor.
Yes it should, and if that view annoys some people then so be it.
The important part of this is that "most abusers were themselves abused"

However hard it is to challenge or accuse a family member I think it needs to be done, at best it's inappropriate behaviour, at worst it's sexual abuse.
I hope it's the former, I hope that boy doesn't need MS in years to come.


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

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