Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Education of Me

I followed an internet trail last night, quite unintentionally.

There's nothing like reading articles on sexual addiction on the internet, only to realize that your STBX had made a comment on the article twenty days before being sentenced to prison. A funny comment. Or at least, an attempted funny comment.

Because it's ever so amusing to have someone say that if you're a sex addict, all you need to do is masturbate a lot. What a great addiction, huh?

Needless to say, I stopped trying to educate myself by reading articles online.

Right after life hit the fan, I tried to educate myself on molestation and pedophilia. It wasn't easy. It never is.

Coming from the perspective of a survivor and a non-offending parent, the betrayal and anger that I felt came from so many different levels. There weren't many resources out there for my situation.

Also, when you are feeling so emotionally raw, picking up a book can be like picking up a bomb. I read a book that was geared toward my story as a survivor. It was for girls that have no family member to turn to. When they disclose, they are dismissed or called a liar. It was a good book until I got to the chapter on mothers. The author made almost a throw away comment that mothers almost always know what's going on and many times are complicit. As a survivor of abuse, this was true. When I disclosed, my adoptive mother called me a slut and said "I always knew."

But coming from the perspective of a mother who didn't know, this single sentence tore me apart.

When it comes to books written for non offending parents, they are few and far between. Thankfully, I found one author, Jane Gilgun, who manages to discuss all perspectives of an abuse scenario: child, parent, and perpetrator. If you follow the link, you can download the book "Child Sexual Abuse" for free. It's a good starting point.

It is hard. It is always hard to read the words of perpetrators. It is also hard to wrap my mind around reading a book on sexual addiction.

But I'm going to.

The hardest part of the whole exercise is reading a book that is talking to the perpetrator, especially after listening to STBX's statement before the court. He stood there with blinders on talking about "me...me...me..."

There are so many throw away lines and comments in books like these, regarding the people being hurt by the perpetrator. It minimizes the victimization. This is exactly what STBX fed into with his statement to the court. I'm sure it's not intentional by the author, it's just that the book isn't necessarily meant to be read by the person that was on the receiving end.

But I will go there. Somehow, I can't imagine STBX ever picking up a copy of The Courage To Heal and learning about the consequences of his actions.

And that's the saddest part.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

My lovely 25 year old daughter was sexually abused by my step father when she was 4 years old. The trauma that followed went on for years. Not only did I have to deal with a broken child but I lost my family over this. My mother became my enemy and my sisters and brother also. They couldnt understand how I could ruin our family. He denied everything, even my pastor believed him, and told me to reconsider. I had to choose between believing my child and losing my family. I died inside. It was as if a terrible monster had come into my life and I couldnt get him out. Everyday was filled with the aftermath of what he did, for years. I got phone calls from my mother questioning my christianity, by saying that if I was a Christian I would forgive it and get on. I was blamed for their business failing, their physical ailments from the stress I caused. They hired a powerful attorney in town to fight the allegations. As a young family we had no money to fight back. So we gave up, moved away, and tried to heal. We might not have got justice here on earth but I want you to know that Herb just died this year and in hell he is being sexually abused by his demons. That is justice enough for me.

Debbie said...

I am a strong believer in karma. As miserable as this experience has been for us, it has also shown me what a wonderful group of friends we have.

And I firmly believe that STBX will return to this earth one day as a dung beetle or some other awful thing.

But in the mean time, I hope he has lost all personal control over his own body in prison and gets to know first hand what it means to be afraid every single night. I hope he is being tormented as mercilessly as he perpetrated.

And I don't even feel bad for feeling that way.

We all reap what we sow.

Marty said...

Have you ever thought about writing the book you would like to read? You are a very good writer, and some of the best books come from writers who couldn't find the book they wanted and so they wrote the book themselves.

This is just a suggestion from a nobody on the internet. I stumbled upon your blog last night, looking at MN blogs, and it was so compelling I read it for at least 3 hours.

Take it or leave it, but my opinion is that you already have the start of a great book here, one that would be helpful to a lot of people.