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  • Sep 16, 2008, 08:03 AM
    Boyfriend was molested as a child.
    A few months after my ex and I started dating he confided in me and told me that he had been molested as a boy. He was about 12 or 13 years old and his father was absent in his life. He lived with his grandmother and had a big brother from church. He used to spend the night with his big brother and one night he was molested by him. He was afraid to tell anyone and when he did his grandmother took action against the man.

    Fast forward now to present time. My current boyfriend just reviled to me that he was molested when he was about 14. Kind of the same situation. His father was absent in his life and his mother and he were active in a church. One of the men from church who his mom trusted had offered to spend the night with him and his family. This man was married and had kids my boyfriends age. That night he started drinking with him and by the end of the night he had molested him. Yea, he shouldn't have been drinking but he was longing for a father figure and thought that he was safe. Well, he now blames God for this and will not go to church. It has been about 15 years since this happened and I want him to start going to church with me but he won't because of that.

    Does anyone know what I should say to him to make him fell like it isn't his fault and to help him start going to church again? His mother told him that if he wouldn't have been drinking then it wouldn't have happened and that it was his fault because he disobeyed her by drinking. He knows that it is not his fault though, he was a kid. That dude was a grown man. I just don't know how to talk to him about all of this. I never knew how to talk to my ex about it either. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    I also would like to know if anyone else knows a young boy who has been molested. Both of the men that I have fallen in love with have been molested. That is strange to me. I wonder how many people it actually happens too. Thanks in advance for your advice.
  • Sep 16, 2008, 08:35 AM
    I believe about 1 in 4 kids are molested, so it s a very high rate.

    These monsters that molested the men in your life lured them in and when they were the weakest, they took advantage of it. The men knew exactly what they were doing and when to seize the moment. The young men were set up.

    Apparently you feel a connection to men that this has happened to, I don't believe in mistakes so you are in these types of relationships for a reason. You are drawn to them as they are drawn to you, maybe they see you as understanding or as a protector.

    I'm not a church goer so I'm not sure how you can get a person to attend, I guess by going and being happy, maybe he will see your lead and follow it.

    I know the feelings of guilt that molested children can feel, I also know how family members can blame the victim. The very people that are supposed to protect us and love us can often be the ones that put us in harms way both mentally and physically. Tell him don't buy into the bull crap that its his fault!
  • Sep 16, 2008, 09:21 AM
    I'm very sorry to learn he has had such a horrible thing happen. It does happen more often than most realize particularly with boys. It's a double blow for them since not only was their trust & bodies violated, but it also has the homosexual element to it which adds yet another level of anguish & shame which hetersexual rape victims do not have to face.

    The fact that he was molested by someone from his church has caused him to feel God didn't protect him as he deserved to be but also now has made the church itself a trigger for him. Sexual abuse can cause PTSD & being in or near a church is likely to cause flashbacks or anxiety due to the abuse he suffered.

    One of the first steps to getting him to attend church would be to appropriately deal with the trigger aspects so that he could be comfortable even sitting in church without reliving the horrible abuse he had to endure. That may entail starting by going to a church parking lot when there are no services & being allowed to talk out his feelings about what happened. Maybe just sitting in the church while empty. Having a minister re-affirm that what happened was horribly wrong, that he didn't deserve what happened & in fact, it should never have happened especially by someone using the church as a hunting ground may also help when he is physically in a church to not get overwhelmed by the feelings of the abuse itself.

    There are lots of good resources even online to help him be able to process appropriately that terrible trauma. When that happens, his heart may be more receptive to seeking God. He doesn't need to go to a church to open his heart to God, which is what you ultimately want. Maybe baby steps like watching the Christian channel on TV will help him deal with his triggers & feelings in a safe environment in a helpful way if he's not ready to subject himself to being in a church building.

    Here are some helpful links:

    Psych Central: Abuse: Support Groups

    sexual abuse of boys

    It is well documented that as many as 1 of 3 girls is sexually abused before she reaches 16; what is still not widely known by the public & much of the psychiatric community is that as many as 1 in 5 boys are sexually abused before he reaches 16. This statistic was quoted from Matthew Parynik Mendel's book "The Male Survivor: The Impact of Sexual Abuse."

    Sexual Abuse of Children - ChristianAnswers.Net

    Because some of my abusers were “upstanding” members in the church clergy, I couldn’t trust a God who seemed indifferent to my suffering & who allowed adults to abuse me. I was afraid of that kind of love, so I rejected God & the counsel of the church.

    Clergy Sexual Child Abuse-Myths

    Isely (1997) wrote his dissertation on the effects of clergy abuse, interviewing 9 men who were abused by clergy as children. Isely described symptoms of posttraumatic stress, anxiety, guilt, low self-worth, loss of religion, anger, difficulty managing & maintaining interpersonal relationships, & depression. These aftereffects are consistent with sexual abuse survivors who were abused by a family member, family friend, neighbor, or other trusted adult.

    Genesis Consultants: Sexual Abuse Recovery

    Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse face the same problems women survivors face with two exceptions--they judge themselves more harshly, & they have a very hard time recognizing they have been abused.

    Men's indoctrination since childhood dictates that they are to prove their sexual prowess.. . Additionally, men are indoctrinated to defend themselves against all odds--to fight to the death to protect their manliness. They are expected to risk their life or sustain severe injury to protect their pride & self-respect. These distorted beliefs about manliness & masculinity are deeply ingrained & can lead to intense feelings of guilt, shame & inadequacy for the male survivor.

    Both male and female survivors generally question whether they deserved or somehow wanted to be sexually abused; they believe if they failed to defend themselves, they must have wanted it. Although both female & male survivors frequently view their abuse as a loss of manhood or femininity & are disgusted with themselves for not fighting back, men judge themselves more harshly.
  • Sep 16, 2008, 10:17 AM
    Thank you so much for that information BetrayalBtCamp. I am going to go look at those websites. I don't want to push him to do something that is uncomfortable. He just told me about this last week and I have been with him for a little over a year. I was shocked when he told me. It is just so crazy that the two men that I love have been hurt so badly in the same way. I never addressed it with my ex and when I talk to him now I try to talk to him about it because he had never confided in anyone other than me. So this is good for both of them. Thanks again for your information/advice and to you as well bushg.
  • Sep 16, 2008, 10:53 AM
    The fact that he could tell you about it says a lot about the amt of trust he feels for you. It will be good for him to be able to talk it out, that's a giant step towards healing which is a slow process. And he's been living with the aftermath for a very long time, it can't all be cleared up overnite.

    Letting him take it one baby step at a time is an extremely loving, helpful thing for you to do. Just giving him some good info so he can absorb that & then decide what steps he wants to take is progress. There are a ton of good resources to help him fortunately, many inexpensive ones that are easily available.
  • Sep 16, 2008, 11:36 AM
    Thank you. I want to be there for him to help him because I know that he has some emotions built up inside about it all. I love him with all of my heart and I want him to confide in me and for me to be there to help him. Thanks again for your information and support.
  • Sep 18, 2008, 09:38 PM
    I think bringing the Church into it i.e forcing him to go is actually increasing the abuse-STOP IT!

    Discussion and understanding will do wonders but trying to get him to church will do nothing
  • Sep 19, 2008, 07:14 AM
    Well, I was only pushing the church thing before I knew what had happened. I have not really said anything about it since he told me. That is why I was asking for suggestions of how I should approach the situation. I don't want to make him hurt by pushing it on him, if I would have known then I would have never pushed it on him so hard.
  • Sep 19, 2008, 12:35 PM
    You didn't know & obviously you didn't want to cause him any pain. It's just that his particular sexual abuse is so aligned with church it's like asking a rape victim to go back to the scene of the crime, the association is there for him. That may be accomplished & even a desirable thing at some point when he's ready to do that, but pushing him to go there before he's ready will not help.

    Losing his spirituality or the freedom to practice it in church the way he ought to be able to is collateral damage of the horrible abuse he suffered, hopefully he can still recover that as he heals.
  • Sep 19, 2008, 01:09 PM
    It is unfornutate that two of your friends were molested by "religious" people. Don't get me wrong, there is no excuse for that sort of behavior, but it does happen. I think that your friend needs to get some counselling to help him deal with the anger and frustration of the situation. Could you find a counsellor in your church that could work with him? Please don't force him to attend church. Showing your love and compassion toward him is all you can do for now.

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