Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Request to Male Survivors of #childabuse for "Coping Mechanisms" by @tracyblack05

OK guys, lets help this lady out and get our own points across. I should have posted this a few weeks ago but I got a little lost and caught up with events in my own life.

Hello to all male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. I am sending out a call for help! I am also a survivor of CSA and I am in the process of writing a book about triggers, flashbacks and how, as adults, we cope with them. We are aware that CSA is not gender specific therefore I would like to include stories from men. The book, Coping Mechanisms currently has seven female stories, all contributions are anonymous. I have selected my story to give you an idea of wat I am looking for. There is no restriction on word count, it can be as short as you want or longer than mine. I would like to thank Ján for giving me a spot on his blog. And I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my request!


My name is Tracy Black, my age is, well let’s say I’m in my very early fifties and I am a mother of two boys. I have three grandchildren and hope to meet a lot more in the future.
I have been living in Spain for several years now. In fact, I have spent most of my life travelling. My father was in the British Armed Forces, and as a family, we went with him to all his postings. We have travelled to Singapore, Malta, Germany and Northern Ireland to name but a few. Sounds great doesn’t it? It should have been but I dreaded each move.
My father started abusing me when I was five; we were living in Germany at the time. At first, it involved me touching him, then vice-versa. The abuse I suffered was both physical and sexual. He didn’t only groom me for himself he  groomed me for his friends.
With each new posting, he upped his game. I was a child and thought that’s what dads did. He isolated me from any friends I made and he kept me behind closed doors at every opportunity.
Abusers are good liars and they are exceptional when it comes to convincing others. He told me if I dared tell anyone my mother would die, plain and simple. She would literally be struck down where she stood. I persevered because I didn’t want my mother to die and I certainly didn’t relish the responsibility he put on me. I kept quiet for the sake of my mother.
Growing up was like living in another world, a dark and lonely place, but for me it was normal. By the time I reached 11 years of age I realised that what he was doing wasn’t right. However, I still believed that if I told anyone my mother would die, he had instilled that belief in me and had secured my silence. I knew I needed to tell someone, anyone because the older I became the more horrific his advances. Who would believe me anyway? After all, he was a hero wasn’t he? He was a man wearing an army uniform, there to serve and protect everyone.
At twelve, I became out of control. I was fighting in and out of school, thieving from shops and aggravating grown-ups. I did all I could to get noticed by the Military Police. I stupidly thought that if I became so out of control, someone would ask me why I was behaving so badly. Nobody asked. All the Army did was assign me to a Social Worker and they monitored my behaviour at school.
Things didn’t get any better and one night I ran away. The Military Police eventually found me and I refused to be taken back home. I told them everything. They didn’t believe me. The following morning they decided that I was to be sent away to a Boarding School until I was old enough to leave and make my own way in the world.
At the age of 15, I left Boarding School, and headed to the UK and began to make my own way in life. It was easier said than done. By the time I was 21 years old I was a single parent with two boys.
I remember one particular flashback that was a horrible and unpleasant experience. Prior to this, I’d had little things that reminded me of my childhood abuse, but nothing I couldn’t handle – I pushed them aside in my own way. None of them had shoved me over the top until the Old Spice incident.
The offensive trigger was the smell of Old Spice aftershave. When it happened I was sitting on a bus on my way to work. Like every other morning it was busy with workers and shoppers. I was lucky enough to find a seat near the rear, but after that, it was standing room only.
As more people clambered on the standing passengers had to move further up to the back. Suddenly, I got a whiff of something that sent a shockwave of emotions running through me.
Some guy, not too far from me, was wearing Old Spice aftershave. I found the source of the smell and he looked at me and gave me a smile. I panicked, in my mind I was a child again and all I saw in front of me was my father standing grinning and beckoning with his finger as he used to do.
In that moment, time stood still for me and I felt terrified. Even though it was wintertime sweat ran down my face and neck. My stomach was doing summersaults.
A woman sitting beside me gave me a nudge and asked who was going to hurt me and was I okay. It dawned on me that I must have been mumbling out loud. My only thought was to run, run as far away as possible from the smell of Old Spice aftershave. But to do that, I would have had to shove and fight my way through the throng of passengers and it meant passing by him too.
The thought of moving from my seat panicked me even more, without warning my stomach heaved and I vomited all over the floor of the bus. Standing passengers moved aside for fear of me being sick over them. I saw my chance and darted down the aisle and off the bus. It took a few hours for me to feel ‘normal’ again.
I stayed off work for the rest of the week because I was so scared in case the man with the aftershave was on my bus. A friend was worried about me, although she had no idea about my childhood sexual abuse. At her insistence I went to the doctor’s surgery because the work had requested a sick note. To my surprise, I ended up telling him about the abuse I had suffered at the hands of my father and the incident on the bus.
I was glad I went, he was sympathetic and understanding. It was then I found out I had had an ‘episode.’ The doctor explained about triggers and flashbacks. He discussed ‘grounding’ with me and suggested I used it if I ever had another one and it would help me through it.
I never did come across anyone else who wore Old Spice, new scents came out and men moved onto the newer products. It didn’t mean the end of my triggers though because soon after I took an aversion to the smell of lavender, be it flowers, sweets or perfumes. When I was a child, my mother used to fill my room with soap ornaments from Avon and they were always lavender scented.
A friend used to come to my house and she always had lavender perfume on. The smell overpowered me and it took me by surprise because it was her usual perfume and it hadn’t bothered me before. I was able to put the grounding technique to the test.
I left my friend in another room and went into my kitchen. I thought about painting it, cleaning out the fridge and cupboards. Keeping my mind occupied was my main objective and after a couple of minutes I was fine. It didn’t make the flashback disappear but it blurred the visions. The distraction and ‘grounding’ worked for me.
After that incident, I bought incense candles and still do to this day. My house always smelled of vanilla incense and it masked my friend’s perfume whenever she came to visit.
Even to this day, I avoid garden areas or places where I know there are lavender shrubs. I’m glad to say I can put up with the smell now without having a flashback surfacing. Although the odour still makes me nauseous but I think it is all in my imagination and my mind is playing tricks on me.
* * *

Endorsed by Lesley Hayes

Now retired from practice, Lesley Hayes worked for over twenty years as a UKCP registered Integrative Psychotherapist, a UKRC registered Counsellor, and an accredited Full Member of AHPP, the Association of Humanistic Psychology Practitioners.
I have read Tracy Black’s book Coping Mechanisms with great interest, and value the way she has approached the subject. For so many years sexual abuse has been shrouded in shame and silence, and it’s encouraging to see how the tide has turned in recent years and survivors are finding their voice and standing by their right to be heard.
The difference between Coping Mechanisms and some other books I've seen written by survivors is that it shares the insights gained by the writer rather than just the story, and aims to put the reader confidently back in the driving seat, rather than simply describing the road crash of their experience. There is sound advice here as well as some harrowing descriptions of what led to survivors losing control of their lives.
It is a book written with compassion rather than anger, by someone who has worked diligently to move beyond her own experience of childhood abuse. If you have been drawn to this book because the title and description resonates in some way with your own experience, then feel heartened. You have come to the right place. Tracy Black is the acclaimed author of several works of fiction that explore the subject, as well as her own autobiography. She is offering you here the wisdom gained from her journey out of pain and powerlessness into a place of health and optimism. Lesley Hayes

Contact Tracy via this blog, or her Twitter @TracyBlack05

Email tracyblack05@gmail.com

Wednesday, 16 March 2016



The following MYTH's need to broken down and exposed as false, as they are still widely believed.


Despite any so called statistics that say males sexually abused could go on to sexually their children or children they know, the figures FAIL to represent true male Survivors, who would NEVER sexually abuse children!If that myth was true, then surely every survivor, male and female, would be classed as abusers, yet it's rarely thought that female survivors would abuse their children, so why is it thought that we, as males, would even consider sexually abusing our children?
Having worked with over 4,000 male survivors of sexual abuse, none of them would ever consider inflicting the same pain on another child and cause them the same pain.
Some pedosceles say they were sexually abused, but they ARE NOT survivors of sexual abuse.
One man arrested in Operation Ore, said he was searching child porn because his support group, for male survivors, had told him it would help! There is NOT a support group near him, yet it was given as evidence in court, and duly reported as fact in his local newspaper! I checked all support groups miles around him and no one had heard of him. Remember, pedoceles LIE!
Just because they say they were sexually abused themselves, it is taken as truth and rarely investigated, and is therefore seen and believed to be true!
It is not true!

Child sexual abuse happens every single day..year in, year out. Estimates vary, and are so often wrong, so double or even treble any numbers you may think, to reach what may be the right number of abuse cases.

REALITY: 85% of children are sexually abused by someone they know, i.e. family members, relatives, neighbours and/or family friends. Sex offenders look for any chance and opportunity to sexually abuse children.

REALITY: Not always the case. Sometimes, the abuser, male or female, is either a parent, brother, sister, or other close family member or perhaps in a position of trust.
  • Any abuse is damaging and confusing to a child because of the secrecy, shame, lies and isolation that follows. That creates an aura of secrecy, shame, lies, isolation and breach of trust, and creates immense confusion for the child

    REALITY: It is always damaging, and always destructive to the child.
    Children who are sexually abused are:
  • Denied a childhood, 
  • Denied a loving, nurturing relationship of trust, 
  • Exploited and betrayed by a person who is in a position of authority and trust.

    REALITY: Children do not have the explicit sexual knowledge necessary to describe a sexual event that they have not experienced. Children do not have the cognitive capacities to make up stories of sexual abuse. If children do lie about sexual abuse it would be to say that it did not occur, in order to protect the offender and/or the family unit.

    REALITY: Total Bullshit! It's just another way of trying to excuse the abusers behaviour and pass on the blame to a child. Sex offenders exploit a child's curiosity and his need for affection, and then blame the child !

    REALITY: Child sexual abuse typically goes on for quite some time before discovery. It is not confined to one child, but usually involves several children.
  • In the 2004 case in Plymouth, England, known as Operation Emotion (November 2004) William Goad was sentenced to life for abusing about 3,000 (thats three thousand!) boys over a period of years.
    Goad had a history of sexually abusing boys stretching back to the 1960s, and once boasted that he had abused over 140 boys in a year.
    I've had the honour of meeting just a few of the brave men who stood up and went to court, and I am proud of them for taking that stand and getting some form of justice.

    REALITY: It it was that easy to do, don't you think we would have done so already? Child sexual abuse 'victims' try to block memories of what happened but the effects surface as they grow up. Not talking won't make it go it away, it just festers.
  • If adults are not willing to talk about the abuse, a child will probably feel there is something to be ashamed of, that it's dirty and too awful to talk about. This attitude only serve's to increase the child's feelings of guilt, shame and feelings of being abnormal and will compound their problems.

    REALITY: Any man can be sexually abused, regardless of size, appearance or sexual orientation. Not all men are strong, emotionally or otherwise, to protect themselves from attacks, including sexual assaults.
  • Men who are attacked undergo the same reactions as women. They are paralysed with fear, so frightened that they cannot call for help and often too afraid to resist in case this provokes more violence.

    REALITY: Sexual abuse can be violent, but the manner in which it is inflicted doesn't always involve violence. A pedoscele doesn't have to use a weapon or beat you into submission in order to achieve their end. The majority of sexual abuse involves the subtle brainwashing of a child.
  • Your family may have shown an a twisted expression of "touch" and "love" in the form of sexual abuse, or perhaps you were 'rewarded' with treats or extra love and attention, or even bribed to keep silent in the same manner. Sexual abuse can also be verbal, with the pedosceles main weapon being words (such as inappropriate sexual comments, or an overly invasive interest in your body and sexuality)
    Perhaps you 'gave' in because they threatened harm to someone else if you didn't comply, but it is still not your fault!

    REALITY: Many adult survivors report a deep sense of shame, because they may have felt some 'pleasure' in an aspect of what happened, but the ovcer-riding effects are damamaging,soul destroying and harms that child for the rest of his life, unless healed!
  • Perhaps the abuse was the only form or understanding of affection you ever got, perhaps it was soothing, perhaps the pedoscele got off on making you feel pleasure. Just because you did feel pleasure doesn't mean you were not abused. Our bodies are designed to feel pleasure and respond in particular ways to particular kinds of touch. If your body did respond, it does NOT negate the abuse.
    The pedoscele used you for their own ends, taking away your free will and right to let your own sexuality develop as it should have.

    REALITY: The Law is an imperfect system designed by imperfect people, in order to provide some framework for basic conduct in an imperfect world, but even the best legal systems are not guaranteed to discover the truth about a given case.
  • If the law takes your pedoscele to court, and they find him or her Not Guilty (or Not Proven, or the equivalent for your country's judicial system), that DOES NOT mean that you weren't sexually abused and violated, or that the crime never actually occurred: all it means is that it couldn't be proven in court.
    It does not mean that you are a liar, it doesn't mean that the pedoscele never did anything wrong, it doesn't mean that you have no right to feel outraged, it simply means that courts of law require very specific types of evidence in order to prove a case, and in sexual crimes cases, it is a case of one person's word against another. Maybe the statute of limitations has run out. Maybe they didn't have enough hard evidence.
    Maybe the pedoscele was such a good liar that they had everyone fooled. Maybe they got off on a technicality beyond your control. IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT THE ABUSE NEVER ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
    Maybe your experience doesn't fit the law word-for-word, because of an age difference. Maybe what happened to you was hazy to recall fully.
    All it means is that you may not be able to prosecute successfully. Memory is an inexact science -- you may remember that something happened to you, and you may remember what it was, but it is hard to make memory alone stand up in a court of law. You can still heal, and still feel angry, as the law doesn't matter in terms of your recovery. (Dont resort to vigilante justice.)

    REALITY: Heterosexual, gay and bisexual men are all liable to being sexually abused.
  • Being sexually abused has nothing to do with current or future sexual orientation.
    There is no excuse. Sexual orientation is not an excuse to be sexually abused.

    REALITY: Most abusers, if asked, would identify themselves as heterosexual.
  • Sexual abuse is about violence, anger, sexual release for them, and control over another person, nothing to do with sexual attraction.
    Just by checking press reports, etc, you will usually see that those sentenced are described as 'normal married men', living a 'normal' life.
    Sexual orientation, or their perception of sexual orientation, is not an excuse to sexually abuse others.

    REALITY: Although the majority of abusers are currently recognised as being male, men and boys are sexually abused by women. The most recent and high profile case in the UK was Vanessa George, the Nursery School worker in Plymouth.
  • Females who sexually abuse children are more often far more sadistic in the forms of abuse they force upon children, and either act alone or with others in abusing children.

    REALITY: Erection and ejaculation are physiological responses that result from the physical contact or even extreme stress.
  • Some abusers are aware how erection and ejaculation can confuse you -- this motivates them to manipulate you to the point of erection or ejaculation to increase their feelings of control and to also discourage you from reporting the crime.
    It doesn't mean you enjoyed the sexual contact, it was your bodys reaction to touch and feeling, thats all, but IF you did enjoy the sensation, and did ejaculate, dont worry about that either! I defy any man to deny its Operation to be touched around their genitals

    REALITY: A consenting individual is aware of what they are doing, has an understanding of the consequences, and is free from any manipulation or coercion to choose a certain way. If a person is NOT capable of knowing what they are getting into, how can it be said that consented?
  • If, as a child, you were abused again and again, YOU DID NOT CONSENT, AND IT IS STILL ABUSE. The reason is that a child is not a fully sexual being. Children are not supposed to be.
    A child is not fully aware of sex and all its complexities, and their own sexuality is expected to develop slowly and surely over the course of many years.
    As mentioned above, you may have also chosen to 'go along' with the abuse in order to ensure that you did get through it; but submission does not mean consent.
    If a gun is pointed at your head, and you're told to rob someone or you get your head blown off, the issue of consent doesn't even enter into it. How can you really make a choice, when one choice offered is death?

    REALITY: Sometimes, depending on who, where, etc, the child loves and protects the perpetrator. Some children feel "special" about the abuse, as it may be the only attention or physical contact they are getting.
    Because of this, some survivors try to deal with the abuse by minimizing it, by making the abuser and events "OK". All they are doing is delaying the inevitable, in that they need to heal from their abusive past, in order to leave the grief behind.
    The effects of sexual abuse last well into adulthood, affecting relationships, work, family, and life in general.

    REALITY: Yes it could! You can be old, young, fat, tall, small, black, white, asian, gay, straight, a cop, a student, whoever, and rape or abuse couldhappen to you.
    It's probably comfortable to believe that you're immune to being potentially raped or sexually assaulted; in the firm believe that you couldn't be raped because you're too nice, too white or too uptight, which gives you a false sense of security. "I couldn't be raped," because I never go out at night alone." "I couldn't be raped, because I'm a man." "I couldn't be raped".. for any of a number of highly superstitious reasons, but why hide behind the powerful spell of denial and place yourself at risk?
    THE REALITY of the matter is, you could be raped, no matter who you are. You could be assaulted or abused, no matter what. If someone really is out to get you, they can do it.
    There are never any 100% guarantees for you being safe. Bu before you freak out and never leave the house again, there are some good steps you can take to increase your safety level, and reduce your risk of being assaulted or abused.
    Trust your instinct and stay away from people who make your skin crawl or who make you feel unsafe. It's a beautiful world out there, but as you know all to well, it has the potential to be a violent one too, so use your head and stay safe!

    Many men who have been raped display symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress disorder and many try to kill themselves, and many more have turned to alcohol and drugs to help them cope with the experience.
    Male survivors can be left doubting their sexuality, fearing sex, and may have difficulty forming relationships afterwards.
    It is difficult for men to access support if they have experienced rape as most rape crisis services are not accessible to men. Therapists working with men who were sexually abused in childhood have conducted clinical case studies and consistently report long-term problems. These include guilt and self-blame, low self-esteem and negative self-image, problems with intimacy, sexual problems, compulsions or dysfunctions, substance abuse and depression, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. [Bruckner, D.F. and Johnson, P.E. 1987, ‘Treatment for adult male victims of childhoodsexual abuse’, Social Casework, vol. 68, pp. 81-87]
    They may also fear that the sexual abuse has caused them, or will cause them, to become homosexual. [Gilgun, J. and Reiser, E. 1990, ‘The development of sexual identity among men sexually abused as children’, Families in Society, vol. 71, pp. 515-521]

    Any of the responses above do not imply that you wanted or enjoyed the abuse and does not indicate anything about your sexual orientation.
    Sexual abuse against men happens in many different ways. Some men are abused by a stranger, or a group of strangers, while others may be abused by someone they know. Men are sometimes sexually abused by women, but most often they are sexually abused by other men.
    Some abusers use weapons, physical force, or the threat of force to control the situation.
    Others may use blackmail or a position of authority to threaten or coerce someone into submission.
    Others use alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both to prevent victims from fighting back.
    No matter how it occurs, it is a violation of a man's body and it can have lasting emotional consequences.
    So, if you need reminding again, it is possible to recover from all of this and regain control of your life!

  • With thanks to Male Survivors Trust



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