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#73276 - 05/31/05 04:36 PM Re: Is a little sexual abuse ever okay? TRIGGER WARNING
delta.tetra Offline

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 108
Loc: Netherlands

Your brother doing that stuff to you was abuse. Sexual abuse because your sexuality was being attacked.

My mentally ill father touched me in the bath, like an extended "washing" but it was wrong, it was abuse. My dad changed sex to woman when I was 4yrs old, so after that it was my 'Aunty' not my dad, and s/he touched my genitals every weekend until I was sixteen. But while it was happening nobody got aroused, nobody orgasmed, nothing overtly sexual was done. He wasn't trying to get me hard, he wasn't touching himself, etc. He was always sad and ashamed. I forgot about that stuff as fast as I could.

So once I got hold of memories age 40 of that behaviour I thought I was remebering weird hurtful things that damaged me, but I had no idea it was sexual abuse that I had repeatedly suffered, until I realised, that sexual abuse of a child is an abuse where the sexuality of the child is under attack. I remember sitting in the bath trying to suck my balls inside so my dad couldn't touch them. I'd be numbing my mind feeling horror and discomfort and embarassment and that shame that goes on to the end of the universe.

SO I too have the feeling here sometimes of being a lucky one. I was never subjected to anything obviously male sexual. So I have not suffered a hatred towards fellow males, I just have no way to relate, at all, to anyone.

I personally think something gets broken, or growth was choked off, the very first time a person is sexually humiliated. One attack is enough to do the damage that lasts a lifetime, when it happens in childhood it really ruins a persons outlook on life. A little abuse is never OK, and from what I've read you do belong here.

#73277 - 05/31/05 07:45 PM Re: Is a little sexual abuse ever okay? TRIGGER WARNING
RockyMtJoe Offline

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 97
Loc: East of Pueblo, Colorado
Interesting Mr. J.

Not to analyze but perhaps the recalled emotional context of each memory is as important as any overt act done to you. As in "were you afraid"? trust me if it was a "power game" it was abusive.

One related issue is what I recall at ages say 11-13 then at 13-14. Boys can be very cruel, older boys are often future monsters. Imagine a school bully wwith a sexual angle and you have a nightmare for a 10-14 year old kid.

I agree "only fondling" is a phrase that needs to
me looked at" "Only?" I wonder about those who think that just getting fondled is not so bad? My experience being "only fondled" was equal to anything else that followed. The clergy that groped me and then the others. The first "only fondles" did terrorize me. Still do.

Back to the issue of "boys" I was a rather small, thin kid. Even the girls messed with me. I do recall after my abuse by adults being lets say "playful" with another boy or two. It as consentual. I have no idea about incest but seems that carries issues. I likely prayed for a big brother to protect me.

Your brother sounds like a bully to his younger siblings. Easy for me to hate my abusers as they were stangers or not family.

The result was I was always slow to trust and
developing relationships as a teen was impossible.
Any perception of another boy being sexually aggressive was just hard to take with me. I am talking about when I first started the gay scene now: sure I was interested but it had to go slow.

Botton line, I could face school bulles, got wacked a few times but I also knew older boys that
did more than fondle. Who knows what big brother did with other boys?

RockyMt Joe

#73278 - 05/31/05 09:15 PM Re: Is a little sexual abuse ever okay? TRIGGER WARNING
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus

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

Thanks all, for responding in this thread.

It is an important topic, Jasper, because it reflects a sort of questioning and doubt that many of us have had.

I am going to put a TRIGGER warning in the subject line, not so much for the topic, but because the responses that we may get here could involve some definite trigger material.

Some advice that was given to me I will repeat here, because it helped me through some tough patches where I could not or would not remember certain episodes.

Once I entered into a state of willingness to become aware, understand and accept the truth about my life, i.e. what really happened vs. what stories I told myself to make it possible for me to survive, and then sought out professional help, which is so important in dealing with sexual abuse, my denial began to dissolve.

Once I had done those things, I was told to relax and let the process unfold--to not try to force memories to return before their time.

That sometimes me wanting more memories to come back could mean that I was afraid of facing something that was currently staring me in the face.

I was told that in order to get to where I wanted to be, I had to start where I was....sounds trite, but very true.

I was told, "Be kind, be gentle with yourself." That alone has taken years of practice. I wanted to tear the veil asunder that had hidden the truth from me--but I know that would have been too much and too soon. Thanks to my therapist and others, I was spared damaging myself in that way.

As for a little abuse, once is too much. A little is too much. It comes hard to me , I think to regard myself as a precious, worthwhile, sacred being, that no one, I mean NO ONE, NEVER has the right to violate.

My life, my body, my sexuality, my spirit are all wonderful, fragile gifts from the universe to me and the world. To abuse in any way, those gifts is an affront to the entire creation.

The fact that it happens so much, apparently all the time, does not make it OK!

To change the way I feel and think about myself is really the goal of my recovery, Because when i can see myself and the life I have from the perspective of love and respect, then my vision is true and my actions will be also.

There is an episode in my life involving my dad that occurred when I was about 18 months old and learning to walk. I do not remember any of it, because I was so young and it was so traumatic.

The story goes that I was in the bathroom alone with my father. He was shaving. Supposedly I reached up and grabbed ahold of the red hot electric coils in the bathroom wall heater. My father smelled the flesh burning, grabbed me up, put shaving cream on my hands and took me to the hospital.

It was only at the age of 40 plus years, that someone, my first therapist, made the observation that as human beings we do not have the ability to grab onto red hot objects...our instincts prevent us from doing so. And even children that small have that instinct.

The idea that my father burned my hands delibertely is one that send chills through me. He was at times a very cruel, violent man, who would react with great anger to minor provocations.

Even now as I write this, my hands are tingling. I have carried large scars on both of my palms for all of my life.

But I cannot remember what happened and so likely will never know.

A few years ago when this first came up in my therapy, I surreptitiously brought it up in a conversation with my older sister who remembered more of the episode than I.

As she was speaking, she mentioned remembering how I was brought home from the hospital with my tiny hands covered in bandages and she mentioned a yellow salve that covered the burns. As soon as she said that I instantly recalled the smell of that salve as it came flooding back into my nostrils.

The next words our of her mouth were, "You know they were afraid you would lose your hands; and that salve that they had to keep on you had some a pecualiar odor to it."

For a while after that I pursued gaining clearer memories of what had happened. But evidently the time was not right. That's all that came to me.

And now I am in EMDR therapy for PTSD and am confronting many of the same fears as before. And it is making me crazy again.

But I have faith that when it is time, the truth will be revealed. And that until that time I probably am not ready to face it.

Boy, is it hard NOT KNOWING. But learning to be OK in the ambivalence is what a lot of my life is about.

Sorry to take this topic so far into personal space.

No one has the right to injure, coerce, abuse or torment us. The human spirit is strong, but it can be easily damaged, especially when we are young.

Thank God, we are resilient and can heal and come back from so called minor and horrific abuse.

Thanks for letting me share this today.


"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

#73279 - 06/01/05 11:14 AM Re: Is a little sexual abuse ever okay? TRIGGER WARNING
ShyBear Offline

Registered: 02/08/05
Posts: 149
Loc: The American South
So what if all I'm really left with is a few incidents of fondling?
Let's turn that around : If you were the parent of a small child, would you tolerate even a *single* incident of that child being fondled ? Of course not, and that points to a huge task all us male survivors have to undertake - to learn how to gently, appropriately parent that lost little boy inside of us.

Compared to some of the horrific experiences that others have had, is that kind of abuse so bad?
The 12 Step recovery programs have a terrific slogan that really applies here : Don't compare your insides to someone else's outsides. What anybody else went through, and the harm they did or did not suffer, is irrelavent in relation to the harm YOU suffered because of what happened to YOU.

I was sexually abused only once, but the harm it did was profound and I'm still recovering from it to this day.

PLEASE don't ANYBODY take this as discounting ANYONE else's horrible experiences, the point I'm making is that SA is not a competition. In fact, I am absolutely in awe of many of you who did indeed go through so very much and still survived.

Even if it was only "fondling," he took something from me and violated me in a way that makes me want to scream.
There's your answer right there, Jasper, in what you yourself wrote - he violated you & took away your childhood, your right to innocence. That's hardly the result of something that one could dismiss with "it was ONLY ..."

You seem to be trying to make a distinction between physical abuse and sexual abuse, but there isn't one. Abuse is abuse, period. And sexual abuse is not about sex per se, it's about the brutal use of power - exactly the same way that physical, verbal and/or emotional abuse is.

...does my sick brother get a "free pass"?
NO ! He may have been a very sick boy/man but that still DOES NOT EXCUSE WHAT HE DID !

Is a little abuse ever okay?
No, never. Period.

And do I not belong here if it turns out that what happened to me is so "minor" compared to what happened to most of you?
You belong here, Jasper, because you were abused - that's all, nothing else is required - let go of any need to compare your abuse to that of others and instead, focus on what you need to do to HEAL.


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