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View Diary: (UPDATED-Screed is DOWN!)Thank You, Pat Robertson! (200 comments)

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  •  My therapist helped me (4+ / 0-)

    with looking at the perpetrator (my mother)  who abused me when I was a child.  No.  None of that forgiveness thing.  My perpetrator died when I was twenty years old.  She was fifty-two.  My therapist helped me to know and remember that the perpetrator was mentally disturbed.  She was.  

    •  I do believe that pedophilia is a mental illness (5+ / 0-)

      Which is probably why I was able to forgive my grandfather upon his death.

      However, those who know and do nothing - they aren't afflicted with an illness, mental or otherwise.  They are weak and sacrifice children for the family name.  They believe children are expendable - tell them to "just get over it" or "you'll grow out of it" or "it was for your own good" or "you deserved it" or even worse "you wanted it".

      People who would look the other way because it's too uncomfortable - they are just as culpable as the disturbed individuals committing the heinous act.  And, if my belief is true, that the pedophile is mentally ill, then the bystanders shoulder MORE of the blame for not stepping in and protecting that child.

      It is my parents I cannot forgive.  For they knew and did nothing.  In fact, put me BACK in his presence even after I told them what he had done to me.  And for the rest of my life I had to pretend that nothing happened.  They told me by their actions that HIS life and HIS reputation were more important than mine.  I was nothing.

      "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley

      by Roxine on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 06:59:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know someone who was (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roxine, SallyCat, Cassandra Waites

        repeatedly sexually abused by his senile grandfather when he was age ten to thirteen.  His grandfather paid him hush money to remain silent.  He learned to demand more money over time.  He then, as an adult, was sent to a christian reparative therapy camp here in Florida where he was repeatedly sexually abused.  His story is deeply sad.  I think of him often.  He disappears for years and has spent time in prison.

      •  I tend to think it's a symptom of a brain disorder (5+ / 0-)

        rather than an illness in and of itself.

        Like I said below, my abuser was classic NPD. His attraction was not exclusive to children-it was just anyone he could control. Frankly, it would not surprise me if he did it to his pets too.

        But like you, I hold those who knew and did nothing most accountable. Lucky for me, my own family didn't fall into that category. My mom did suspect it, and she did try to get me help. She even took me to a child psychologist, but I would never talk (I remember none of this, by the way. I only found out after talking to her.)

        Seriously, I can't imagine what that is like-to be betrayed by your own family. I'm so sorry that you didn't have people in your life who were willing to support and protect you.

        The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places ~Ernest Hemingway
        Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle ~ Anonymous

        by SwedishJewfish on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 07:35:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)

          That has been a bizarre part of my life.  I have four siblings.  I am the middle child - the "black sheep" according to them.  I left my home when I entered the USAF at an early age.  I have not had any contact with my biological family since 1978, by my choice.  I created my own two families with my two gay partners (not at the same time).  I do have an adult son and he has a small and wonderful family.

    •  Thank you for speaking out (4+ / 0-)

      The fact that mothers sexually abuse their children is one of the least talked about and most stigmatized issues in this dialogue. There is a really good website- (MDSA is Mother Daughter Sexual Abuse, but their acronym means "making daughters safe again" which I love) and they have a documentary up about it. I am assuming you are a male from your username, but you may still find it worth watching. They all talk about how, even within the survivor community, they felt like outcasts because of who their abuser was.

      Personally, I did not find therapy that helpful-but I did study criminal psychology, and I realized that my abuser was a textbook case of Narcassistic Personality Disorder. He abused children because he was emotionally needy, and his needs could only be met by people he could exert complete control over. We were just objects to him, really. Understanding that helped me as well.

      The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places ~Ernest Hemingway
      Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle ~ Anonymous

      by SwedishJewfish on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 07:09:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Education is KEY! (4+ / 0-)

        Rebecca and I are some of the "lucky" ones.  We've made it to the other side.  Most victims of child sexual abuse don't (See our Tribute Page).  They either take their own lives or live their life in such a way as to re-create the abuses inflicted upon them.  Dead inside, detached, going through the motions, but continuing the cycle of self-abuse on themselves through the choices they make.

        My mode of escape was reading (see my post The Little Trailer).  In those books I found a world I could only dream about.  And because I was a voracious reader, education became extremely important to me.

        Like Rebecca, I became the straight A student.  I'm in an MBA program right now and my Academic Advisor called me just the other day, pulled up my record and said he had never seen anyone with straight A's throughout the curriculum!  That doesn't speak to my intelligence as much as it does to my desire to please.  Teachers, clergy, bosses, boys, men - I had been taught from a young age to "please" them - in whatever form that took.  

        But, something miraculous happened in my desire to please.  I started learning...lots of things.  And with each milestone I achieved (Honor roll, President's Honor roll, Associates Degree, Bachelor's degree, certiifcation programs, now MBA) with each accomplishment, it gave me a feeling of value.  Worth and value that was stripped away from me at 5 years old (see my post I was 5 when the grooming began).  

        This, too, will be a part of our venture...stay tuned and look for our announcement for April 2nd...

        "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley

        by Roxine on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 07:29:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We have many issues in common (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roxine, SwedishJewfish

        from interest in Psychology (my undergraduate minor) to CSA to being veterans (I am a male - older than you) to being excellent writers, to being devoted to knowledge/education - and more I am sure.

        •  I am a veteran - USN-R (4+ / 0-)

          I joined the Navy at 17.  My parents had to sign the form because I was under age.  I was a "rah-rah" girl - twirler, cheeerleader, drill team - so when I went home and told them I was going to join.  They didn't believe me.  

          And, of course, the recruiter was late!  So 6:00 rolls around and he's not there!  But 15 minutes later, they were stunned to see two Navy guys walk in with my paperwork.

          I always joked that I joined the Navy because in their presentation at my High School, they said the ratio of men to women was 10:1 - but in looking back now, it was for far different reasons.

          The Navy provided me with something my family environment didn't.  It gave me discipline, structure, a tangible, hard-core, tactile belief in something greater than myself.  Having no support at home, the Navy gave me a family.  It gave me something and someone to believe in - my fellow sailer/soldier.  It also gave me an escape.  

          Of course I got in trouble at boot camp - fraternizing (surprise surprise!) - I had volunteered to be LPO (laundry petty officer) and we got to go into the bowels of the barracks to do the laundry.  Well, the BOYS also got to go down mini-motivational tour and I was back on track.

          Spent 9 years in the Naval Reserves - Sea and Air Mariner Program - Hospital Corpsman/EMT - some of the best times in my life.  I loved serving my country...

          "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley

          by Roxine on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 09:38:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I honor you, my sister (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roxine, SwedishJewfish

            My memories of life in the USAF are among the best of my life:

            McGuire AFB, NJ (near NYC - WOW)
            Charleston AFB,SC (beautiful, lazy southern life)
            NATO HDQT'S Belgium & the SACEUR's own airfield (Chievres AB - a very old German Casserne - begun in WWI - YES WWI - no a US Army Post) - exciting w/ VIP'S all the time - glamorous - co cool in the late '60's & '70's

          •  Sadly, many women are raped, sexually (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SwedishJewfish, Cassandra Waites

            harassed and abused in the military. I am married to a Navy retiree and I lived on base ofr 11 of those 15 years he was active duty during our marriage.  It felt like every month month there was another court martial for either harassment or rape--and the defense was always, "Who do you believe? This fine senior chief with 14 years in and an exemplary record and  evals that present him as near perfect--or these three disgruntled young woman who didn't like him and likely complained out of revenge?"  Most times, the defense worked and he walked.

            I taught college English at an AF base, and got to know several students well (after 3 semesters, you do). Several had been physically or sexually abused. For them boot camp was a piece of cake.  NOTHING could compare with the uncle who molested them or the father or mother who beat them.

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:43:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I'm actually not a veteran (3+ / 0-)

          I tried to enlist when I was 18, but my eyesight was too bad. Probably a blessing, really-at the time I had a really big problem with authority figures. I would have probably gotten kicked out for talking smack to a drill sergeant or something :)

          I've always been drawn to vets though...I was engaged to one a couple years ago. When I became a nurse my goal was, initially, to work in a VA hospital. I always felt this sense of commonality with them. Trauma & Recovery (I swear, I am not this woman's publicist, I just love the book so much) helped me understand why:

          Combat and rape, the public and private forms of organized social violence, are primarily experiences of adolescence and early adult life. The United States Army enlists young men at seventeen; the average age of the Vietnam combat soldier was nineteen. In many other countries boys are conscripted for military service while barely in their teens. Similarly, the period of highest risk for rape is in late adolescence. Half of all victims are aged twenty or younger at the time they are raped; three-quarters are between the ages of thirteen and twenty-six. The period of greatest psychological vulnerability is also in reality the period of greatest traumatic exposure, for both young men and young women. Rape and combat might thus be considered complementary social rites of initiation into the coercive violence at the foundation of adult society. They are the paradigmatic forms of trauma for women and men respectively.

          Since that book was published in 1992, I think the statistics may be out of date-the research I've done actually says that 70% of rape victims are under age 17, which is pretty astounding.

          The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places ~Ernest Hemingway
          Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle ~ Anonymous

          by SwedishJewfish on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 10:02:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I know a VA PTSD/MST Group Therapist (3+ / 0-)

            who is somewhat of a pioneer in helping male victims of MST.  It has only been recently that the VA/DOD even considered the idea that this has been an issue at least since the Vietnam era.  President Obama has been a godsend to many Vietnam era male victims of MST as, in 2011,  he ordered rule changes & instructed the VA to move positively in approving claims that had been denied for so very long.

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