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#456614 - 12/11/13 10:51 PM Dinner, disclosure, and disbelief
ShortedDiode Offline

Registered: 11/26/11
Posts: 121
Loc: Hamilton, ON Canada
I had dinner with my best friend's family a couple weeks ago. My friend lives in another country but I'm still close to the family. They were my biggest supporters back then with what i had to endure at home and at school. Anyways, back then, they lived across the street from my family's house and the perp lived next door to us and my friend and I spent a lot of time with the perp when we were growing up.

I've been trying to find some closure with whatever happened to the perp so I discreetly asked my friend's mother when we were alone if she knew what became of the perp after everything hit the fan with the softball team he coached. She said she didn't know and didn't know what to make of the allegations. I explained that he'd abused me and that I was trying to find some kind of closure since not knowing what became of the perp had been bothering me more and more lately. She said the perp had been nothing but positive for my friend and repeated that she had no idea what to make of it. I wanted to scream, "Don't you understand, I just told you I was abused! Maybe he never abused your son and I hope he didn't, but he abused me! It happened!" but I retreated into silence because it had sunk in that my disclosure had been met with disbelief instead of the support I'd been hoping for.

My visit finished up otherwise normally but I can't shake the feeling that my relationship with them's been changed by my disclosure and that's really shaken me up and saddened me. I don't know what to do.
If it's a choice between laughing or crying, I'd rather laugh.

#456629 - 12/12/13 01:52 AM Re: Dinner, disclosure, and disbelief [Re: ShortedDiode]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3851
I am so sorry you had to hear what happened. Fear of the truth (especially if it is threatening or an uncomfortable situation). Most people want to see the best in others but sometimes they cannot see it in the victim--who has suffered so much.

Please take care of yourself and focus on healing.

#456632 - 12/12/13 02:55 AM Re: Dinner, disclosure, and disbelief [Re: ShortedDiode]
BraveFalcon Offline

Registered: 02/26/13
Posts: 1231
Loc: The ATL

Hi SD. My situation is probably a lot different than yours but I know how much of a punch in the gut it can be when you disclose to someone and you are met with either an underwhelming response, with disbelief, or with outright dismissal. I hope when you've had some time to process some of the feelings this left you with, you will be able to move forward in a friendship with your longtime friend, even if you've lost the desire to do the same with his mother. It definitely wasn't his fault his mother couldn't handle your disclosure.

Another thing to keep in mind is that perhaps this wasn't so much a case of his mother not believing you but a case of her just not having the emotional intelligence to deal with hearing what you told her. Some people's brains go on auto-pilot when shit suddenly gets a little to real for them. She may have panicked inside when she heard what you had to say and went into denial mode because it's her default way of dealing with something she doesn't know how to respond to and/or something to intense for her. If any of that is true, it doesn't excuse her inept response but it may at least explain it.

I know it may be hard, but if I were you, I would try having that disclosure conversation with your friend. You never know. He may be suffering in silence, wondering if the same thing happened to you but is afraid to ask. If your abuser spent time with both of you alone, it is not at all unlikely that he abused your friend as well. It's not necessarily a certainty, but it's definitely not unlikely. Peace,


#456637 - 12/12/13 03:15 AM Re: Dinner, disclosure, and disbelief [Re: ShortedDiode]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6387
Loc: 𝒪 𝒦anada
the smart peds who are community leaders make sure they only abuse certain kids when they think they will get away with it.

kids that do not fit their profile are then treated very proper.

this provides them with a large number of defenders who figure... "if they were a pedophile they would have molested me too, and i was alone with the accused many times and he never touched me."

if you treat 9 out of ten kids proper, people who think they know the perp "really well" and believe he is a "good person who has been falsely accused" will attack the victim and call him liar.

i am really sorry to hear this happened to you.

for all you know, and for all she knows, her son may have been abused by this same person who abused you, but he has not disclosed yet.

like you said, i hope he was spared the nightmare.

her reaction, as wrong and inappropriate as it was, it far too common.


#456660 - 12/12/13 08:54 AM Re: Dinner, disclosure, and disbelief [Re: ShortedDiode]
Lancer Offline

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Reading a post like yours, SD, makes ME want to scream.

KMC and Falcon nailed it, imo. With disclosures like yours some people just completely check out. Go blank. Either they're incapable of dealing with it or unwilling...not uncommon for older generations for whom denial was their tool to make them think they were "safe" ("Maybe if we don't talk about it, it will go away"). So, I agree with you that indeed your relationship with them has changed. Her reaction has given you important information and a good indication of how useful or relevant that relationship is today.

idk if you've discussed the experience with your friend to see if there's a common ground. Yeah, opening up a can o' worms, but it might be a next step, if any.

#456827 - 12/15/13 03:25 AM Re: Dinner, disclosure, and disbelief [Re: ShortedDiode]
ThisMan Offline

Registered: 01/23/13
Posts: 778
Loc: upper south
Hey, SD-

She obviously didn't know how to respond. Instead of showing concern for your safety and well-being, perhaps she was instantly defending her own parenting skills and oversight. If she is like my mother, she hasn't a clue if her own son was abused or not - and it happened under her nose. It just seems such a quick response for the woman to offer that her son was unharmed and the perp was such a positive influence. It sounds like a self-protecting mode of thought.

I hope you get to talk with your friend soon. I am sorry you encountered this attitude when you disclosed. It explains again why so many of us just don't even try.
For now we see through a glass, darkly.

#456869 - 12/16/13 02:57 AM Re: Dinner, disclosure, and disbelief [Re: ShortedDiode]
ShortedDiode Offline

Registered: 11/26/11
Posts: 121
Loc: Hamilton, ON Canada
Thank's for replying everybody. I really needed the support and food for thought. I definitely agree with the consensus that my friend's mother didn't know how to respond and handled it poorly. I wouldn't have brought up the subject at all had I known it would've gone as badly as it did. To be honest, I actually feel pretty bad about bringing it up because it brings up the whole implicit "what if?" question about her own son. That didn't occur to me until after I said it that and things went south that even mentioning my own abuse could shake her up badly about that possibility.

I wish I could speak with my friend. Unfortunately, he's literally on the other side of the world and keeping in touch has not been easy. I really, really hope he was never abused but I'm not sure if we'll be able to talk about it any time soon just because of the geographic distance involved and hit and miss communication.

I guess my friend's mother's reaction also opened my eyes to how these perps leave a trail of wreckage behind them of secondary victims - the people who weren't abused directly, but were friends and family, or the legit people on the softball team's staff, or the people who lived nearby and had no idea what was going on. I've normally thought about it as being a survivor and not from the perspective of the indirect victims, but I do know that there have been adverse effects on my friends and family that have been rough.
If it's a choice between laughing or crying, I'd rather laugh.


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