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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
He still believes in God and everything, he just doesn't want to go to church. Which I can understand where he is coming from. I have looked up the information that you gave me and I am going to sit down with him over the weekend to see if he wants to talk about it. He may not and I am not going to push him to, I just want him to know that I am there for him and that if he ever wants to talk about it he can talk to me. Thanks for all of your help and the information that you provided to me!!
I have known men who have struggled with this too, I'm glad he has you to be there for him. It can make a huge difference to him to know you are so supportive.
You need to find him a good therapist. That would be a great favor.
Only a professional can help him now... he has all kinds of feelings stuffed and repressed inside him.
People want to be helpful, but this kind of long ago episode is above their abililty to deal with. Don't baby him or treat him differently than anyone else. Be normal.
Best wishes to your friend,
Well, that is a hard questions to attempt to answer. First he needs to understand that counselling could help him. Second, it does not need to be from a minister. But there are some extremely good ministers that deal with sort of problem almost on a daily basis. A good one will not throw religion into the mix, but simply help him deal with what has happened to him. Belief in God can come when he is ready. Not sure where you are located, so I can only make general suggestions. For you, look up "Pure Desires Ministries". Try and find a church that has or is involved in this minisrty. It might help you to learn how to deal with his problems.
He does believe in God but doesn't think that he needs to go to church to show it. I want to be active in a church though for my daughter's future. That is why I want him to go with us. I haven't talked to him about counseling yet, but I will tonight. Thank you all for your advice. I want to take it slow so I don't upset him or push him away. Thanks for everything. Oh, and I live in Alabama.
I would not try to push the church thing. People come to a spiritual place on their own, whatever that may be. And that is meaningful. The less you try the more he will respect you. You need not try to convince him. People seek happiness and affirmation where they are most comfortable. Don't worry, If he senses it is the place for him through tangental observation, he will join you... or whatever place makes him whole.
I'm sure my post won't go over too well with members of the moral majority, but I have to say I think this is being played way out of proportion. It reads as if a 5 year old was molested, instead of a High School age teen boy who has probably already been sexually active to some degree for at least a couple of years already! Well, unless this happened in the 30's or 40's, but let's face it, there's a huge difference mentally and physically between "Wally Cleaver" and today's average teen boy, and girl as well.
I'm not condoning what the older male did, but if you think the 14 year old was helpless in what happened, then you are so very out of touch! Yes, it was wrong, the adult knew better, but if your boyfriend is suffering mental anguish over what happened 15 years ago, it's far more likely that it's from the guilt that was instilled in him from being told it was wrong and sinful to engage in same sex relations, not quite the same thing as a innocent child being molested. I am 36, and first became sexually active with a friend when we were both 10, and continued until graduation. And by seventh grade, over half of the girls and boys in my school were sexually active. My first year in High School, at age 14, I initiated a sexual relationship with one of the Coach's. It was ALL my doing, and he was very resistant to my advances for several months before our relationship began. (And yes, morally and legally it was wrong of him, but I knew what was going on, and it was by my decision. And most 14 year old's are more than physically able to put a stop to something they don't want to do.
And how did this affect me in life? Well, I learned that what was only natural instinct was not something dirty, abnormal, and sinful that you only did in the dark, that made you wish you were dead afterward. And what did scar me for most of my life? The feelings of guilt that were so ignorantly instilled into me by someone who thought their purpose was to judge and condemn God's creation of me to be the person I am, making me feel like I needed to apologize for being one of God's mistakes, instead of rejoicing and being thankful that I was meant to be more than your "normal" average Joe.
Maybe your boyfriend just hasn't found the "right" church, he might not realize there are some that preach God's love instead of judgmental damnation of anyone different from themselves.
He needs professional counseling. Religion has nothing to do with molestation. No legitimate religion I am aware of anyway. Only perverted and demented individuals. He needs to understand that point.
People get raped all the time, some are virgins & some are not. The fact they are not virgins doesn't make the act of their bodies being assaulted any less of an ordeal for them, whether teens or geezers.
I'm not condoning what the older male did, but if you think the 14 year old was helpless in what happened, then you are so very out of touch!
While it an added psychological trauma to be introduced to sex via rape / molestation, having someone force themselves sexually on a person is just wrong & often does long term damage especially when not appropriately addressed. That also applies even when the person is promiscious, they still have the right to decide where, how & with what person they chose to share their body with or not. When a rape / molestation takes place, that right is taken away from them whether it is done by blatant violent force or a more subtle psychological manner as many molesters use. Being used & abused is never a pleasant experience for the victim, no matter what their age or sexual experience is, it is a trauma that some never overcome, even with all the support & psychological help possible. To belittle that sort of an ordeal by claiming that if the victim was sexually active it had less of an impact shows an utter lack of understanding of the horror such an experience truly is for the person who was sexually assaulted merely because their virginity had been freely given to a chosen partner, even if that is in fact the case. They had a choice with that, were in control of the situation & were also able to change their mind & have that decision respected, clearly not the case at all with rape. And when that happens with someone who purports to be a trustworthy person who is in fact a sexual predator, the damage is much worse than if the same thing had happened with a complete stranger as an isolated incident whether the victim is young, old, male or female.