Child Sexual Abuse
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16-12-2013, 09:34 AM
RE: Child Sexual Abuse
(09-12-2013 11:37 AM)anonymous66 Wrote:  I've tried counseling several times over the years, but I didn't get much out of it, and I have real problems with the entire concept of psychology.

I think I know what you mean. The last counselor I had always wanted to change the subject whenever I talked about the sexual abuse done to me or when I wanted to talk about God. I think that to a lot of counselors, it's just a job and they want to keep clients coming to them so that they can get paid but they have no real method to help people with major abuse issues. I don't think that psychology has the answers. In my experience, they want to tell you that "it's not really that bad", but those who have experienced extreme pain in their lives know that it really IS bad.
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16-12-2013, 08:21 PM (This post was last modified: 16-12-2013 08:57 PM by anonymous66.)
RE: Child Sexual Abuse
(12-12-2013 01:51 AM)Gordon Wrote:  
(11-12-2013 01:18 PM)anonymous66 Wrote:  I also tried to tell a few counselors about my upbringing in a fundamentalist church, and my issues with religion. Unfortunately, every counselor I've had so far was a believer, as far as I can tell, and actually encouraged religious thinking.

I'm not sure their reasons for encouraging religious belief, but I can see where they might be coming from: An atheistic view of suffering is somewhat pointless. When you think about it from an atheistic point of view, it really doesn't matter if we suffer or not--there's no reason to anything so there can be no reason to suffering--no overall "grand" reason anyway. There can only be the reason or purpose you assign to it, but since it happened to you, there's no way for you to do that.

I'm not saying that an atheist counselor wouldn't be sympathetic to you, or that they wouldn't be able to give you some tools to use to help cope with it, but they would be hard pressed to go much deeper than that. They really wouldn't be philosophically capable of discussing "why" it happened to you. And that might be what you're looking for.

So, I can see why someone might suggest you seek out a religious opinion, or use religion to help yourself. It sounds like you come from a religious background, and it might be easier to go that route.

Even though you wrote like it, I don't think you really find any satisfaction knowing that your family is doing badly compared to you (your mom being mentally ill, your father working at 70, your brother in jail, etc.). None of that mitigates what happened to you. They may not be capable of helping you, but that doesn't mean you can't be there for them.

Because think about it: Sexual abuse is just another form of assault. Some people get beat up, some get stabbed, some get shot, some almost die in fires, some almost drown in canals, some narrowly escape dying in a plane crash, and some hide in closets during a school shooting (i.e., Sandy Hook Elementary School). That doesn't lessen what happened to you, but it does catagorize it as an assault on you. But you survived. You don't have to let this color your whole life. You were assaulted, but you survived.

Now, what can you do with it? I mean, is it a complete injury and nothing else, or might healing through it give you tools you can use to do something great. You know, life gives you lemons so you make lemonaid, and all that. Isn't there some way healing through this could be a power you have that others don't have? For instance, myself, I was never sexually abused when I was young, so I'm handicapped in helping you in that respect. But you were sexually abused, so if someone came to you, if you found a way through it, you might be of great use to them.

What do you think?

I don't know that an atheistic point of view can be criticized. I happen to believe it is an honest way of looking at the world. I can't pretend to believe in a God that I see no evidence for, even if I thought that the belief might help me (like it does appear to help some). Better to be completely honest and deal with whatever comes my way.

You make it sound like there is no way to get through troubles without a belief in God. I'm sure you will find that most on this forum disagree with you.

I think you'll find that a majority of counselors, therapists, and psychologists are believers. And they don't mind mixing their religion with their therapy. In fact, it's difficult to find counselors that aren't religious. I don't like the fact you are claiming that a religious perspective on life is inherently better than an atheist one. It's an empty assertion.

The abuse happened because my parents made a stupid decision, and because the world does contain some messed up people like the man who molested me.
This world just ain't perfect. I suppose the man who molested my had his own screwed up past. Cause and effect. We are getting better about letting parents know to be careful with who they let their kids spend time with.

There are still many complex issues for me to deal with.

For instance, how does the fact I was abused affect me today? I talked about the abuse quite extensively with the first counselor, but since then, it's been mostly about current problems.
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16-12-2013, 08:50 PM
RE: Child Sexual Abuse
(09-12-2013 11:37 AM)anonymous66 Wrote:  I'm in my 40's now, and I still have issues with trust. I have virtually no friends except my wife.

I'm in my 50's now and, except for my immediate family, all my friends are virtual. Even my real-life friends are now virtual via Facebook. I like my virtual friends. Especially the ones I have here. They are very supportive.

(09-12-2013 11:37 AM)anonymous66 Wrote:  I can be combative and arrogant when I talk with people and I'm not even sure if I want to change.

I used to be like that. And then I wasn't.

(09-12-2013 11:37 AM)anonymous66 Wrote:  How do I change in ways that allow me to be genuine, but not make people feel they need to "get even" with me?

That one's easy. I just stopped giving a shit.

Breathing - it's more art than science.
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16-12-2013, 08:52 PM
RE: Child Sexual Abuse
I'm so sorry that this happened Sad
I can't imagine what it must be like
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16-12-2013, 09:10 PM
RE: Child Sexual Abuse
(10-12-2013 02:15 PM)anonymous66 Wrote:  Thanks for the kind words. I've been dealing the issue of my abuse for about 20 years. I have thought along the lines you suggest. Being abused did have a role in making me the person I am today. and I can't change what happened.

What I can do is to get away from people who try to make me feel bad about what happened to me.

I never experienced sexual abuse as a child. I have experienced sexual assault and have had a lot of bad things happen to me by people I trusted. It's about finding your power again.

My husband was raped by an older classmate when he was 10. He has a hard time trusting people, but deciding to trust someone is completely in your power.

A lot of people view trust as relinquish your power. It's not. "They might hurt me." That's true, but that has nothing to do with trust. People who you don't trust can still hurt you. Strangers can hurt you...you still feel a sense of betrayal. How can a human do this to another human? The betrayal feels the same.

Bad shit happens, and it's not always our fault. In the case of a child, it's NEVER their fault. I'm sorry this happened to you.

I won't placate you or try to take this away from you. It happened. And you are allowed to feel whatever you are feeling about it.

For me, I used my anger as a motivator to move forward. Moving past the trauma and the flashbacks was hard, but My motto was "because fuck him, that's why!" Ironically, I use that anger to stop being angry...if that makes sense. When my attacker tried to rape me, he took away all my power. I was terrified to leave my house. So after using my anger to push through my fear (anger is a much more useful emotion than despair), I used that anger and defiance to refuse to let him turn me into a miserable, bitter, and unpleasant person. I refused to let him just stay in my thoughts...I wanted indifference. Eventually, the anger subsided and I've moved past it. I'm not a victim. It was hard for me to say that, because, somehow, if I was ok, then it meant that what happened to me wasn't so bad. That if I stopped being injured or wounded than it made what he did okay, or diminished in some way.



I give you permission to move past being a victim. It doesn't minimize what happened if you stop letting dictate your actions.

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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18-12-2013, 07:11 PM
RE: Child Sexual Abuse
(16-12-2013 08:50 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(09-12-2013 11:37 AM)anonymous66 Wrote:  I'm in my 40's now, and I still have issues with trust. I have virtually no friends except my wife.

I'm in my 50's now and, except for my immediate family, all my friends are virtual. Even my real-life friends are now virtual via Facebook. I like my virtual friends. Especially the ones I have here. They are very supportive.

(09-12-2013 11:37 AM)anonymous66 Wrote:  I can be combative and arrogant when I talk with people and I'm not even sure if I want to change.

I used to be like that. And then I wasn't.

(09-12-2013 11:37 AM)anonymous66 Wrote:  How do I change in ways that allow me to be genuine, but not make people feel they need to "get even" with me?

That one's easy. I just stopped giving a shit.

I can relate. Do you ever think about trying to change?
I've been involved with a few groups... I don't like them, but I keep trying. I'd rather spend my time in online forums, reading, researching and writing.
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18-12-2013, 08:51 PM
RE: Child Sexual Abuse
(18-12-2013 07:11 PM)anonymous66 Wrote:  
(16-12-2013 08:50 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I'm in my 50's now and, except for my immediate family, all my friends are virtual. Even my real-life friends are now virtual via Facebook. I like my virtual friends. Especially the ones I have here. They are very supportive.


I used to be like that. And then I wasn't.


That one's easy. I just stopped giving a shit.

I can relate. Do you ever think about trying to change?

I changed when I stopped giving a shit from being unnecessarily argumentative and confrontational to just not giving a shit. I mean 'cause if you really just don't give a shit, why bother? I find people who just don't give a shit tend to be generally more affable and far more entertaining. Big Grin

Breathing - it's more art than science.
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