Why did I do that?

Hello MS Community,

Here again I find myself questioning, because of what the literature says, and my therapy team just does not cut it with me. As with everything I post about I find myself thinking back on this quite frequently. As I was driven home from school one day, my dad had hired a female graduate student to do this, the entire community looked like a war zone of police. I mean they were all over the place, marked and unmarked cars everywhere.

When I got home, I found two ladies I did not recognize, and my stepmother was home for a change. The two women identified themselves to me as being Licensed Clinical Social Workers who worked for the state. I was asked if I would be willing to talk to them, someplace private in the home and to not worry I was not in any sort of trouble. They were very pleasant and well spoken, so what was I supposed to do, say no?

I found out sometime later that one of the group of people who were terrorizing the kids in the neighborhood, myself included, had made a miscalculation. One of the kids that lived there ,and roughly my age, had a best friend he had down quite frequently for sleepovers and the like. The miscalculation turned out to be that the individual that basically attacked him assumed that all of us would act the same. Come to find out this kid was made of somewhat tougher stuff, plus he was not always there being watched. I did not know either of them well, I went to a different school so was never around them.

So, this brave young kid goes and tells a school counselor what was happening in that place. So, the authorities did react and in that instance in a big way.

This is the part that I cannot fathom and may never, this kid had had dropped my name because, in our young population apparently it was known I had become such a popular target. This is only conjecture, yet I assume he thought I would back his story; the good guys would deal with these evil monstrosities and then all would be well. Unfortunately, it did not play out that way and eventually amounted to nothing.

The two LCSWs talked to me for almost two hours and I absolutely did nothing but lie like a dog. They were tricky in their approach, but I was a bright kid. So, for every trick they tried, I simply erected a road block. I even went so far as to defend one individual they kept asking me about. Knowing what I do now, I would have pulled that place down into a million pieces but then I did not know this. I mean I was handed a golden opportunity, and the full backing of the authorities yet still I lied. I was not the only one, so did everyone else. You cannot go to court with that, so I acted and shot a golden opportunity out of the sky.

Perhaps the worst part of it is, I left that other kid hanging out to dry and what happened to him was terrible. It was a different world back then; he was ostracized at school to the point his family had to move to a different town. I don’t know whatever became of him, I just hope it was good. So, I guess what I want to ask is

Why the hell did I do that?

With Deep Respect.

Jrperkey010101
 
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Hello MS Community,

Here again I find myself questioning, because of what the literature says, and my therapy team just does not cut it with me. As with everything I post about I find myself thinking back on this quite frequently. As I was driven home from school one day, my dad had hired a female graduate student to do this, the entire community looked like a war zone of police. I mean they were all over the place, marked and unmarked cars everywhere.

When I got home, I found two ladies I did not recognize, and my stepmother was home for a change. The two women identified themselves to me as being Licensed Clinical Social Workers who worked for the state. I was asked if I would be willing to talk to them, someplace private in the home and to not worry I was not in any sort of trouble. They were very pleasant and well spoken, so what was I supposed to do, say no?

I found out sometime later that one of the group of people who were terrorizing the kids in the neighborhood, myself included, had made a miscalculation. One of the kids that lived there ,and roughly my age, had a best friend he had down quite frequently for sleepovers and the like. The miscalculation turned out to be that the individual that basically attacked him assumed that all of us would act the same. Come to find out this kid was made of somewhat tougher stuff, plus he was not always there being watched. I did not know either of them well, I went to a different school so was never around them.

So, this brave young kid goes and tells a school counselor what was happening in that place. So, the authorities did react and in that instance in a big way.

This is the part that I cannot fathom and may never, this kid had had dropped my name because, in our young population apparently it was known I had become such a popular target. This is only conjecture, yet I assume he thought I would back his story; the good guys would deal with these evil monstrosities and then all would be well. Unfortunately, it did not play out that way and eventually amounted to nothing.

The two LCSWs talked to me for almost two hours and I absolutely did nothing but lie like a dog. They were tricky in their approach, but I was a bright kid. So, for every trick they tried, I simply erected a road block. I even went so far as to defend one individual they kept asking me about. Knowing what I do now, I would have pulled that place down into a million pieces but then I did not know this. I mean I was handed a golden opportunity, and the full backing of the authorities yet still I lied. I was not the only one, so did everyone else. You cannot go to court with that, so I acted and shot a golden opportunity out of the sky.

Perhaps the worst part of it is, I left that other kid hanging out to dry and what happened to him was terrible. It was a different world back then; he was ostracized at school to the point his family had to move to a different town. I don’t know whatever became of him, I just hope it was good. So, I guess what I want to ask is

Why the hell did I do that?

With Deep Respect.

Jrperkey010101

I believe there are others here who can better articulate than myself, but I think I can see why a scared, traumatized little boy would lie about - and even defend - his abusers.

I think a lot of us, maybe even MOST of us, question our actions as children because we're attempting to apply our adult "rationality" where none actually exists. Where it SHOULD NOT exist. Children are not and cannot be expected to act as anything other than a child, which can look to us with adult eyes as irrational.

You were a child, and despite whatever internal criticisms we might have about ourselves, we were reacting the best way we knew how. We all here - yourself included, I'm sure - reacted normally in an abnormal situation.

As a child, the thought of telling anyone what my teacher was doing to me terrified me. If anyone else knew, I was absolutely convinced that I would get in trouble. The absolute shame and humiliation were overwhelming.

Looking back at my own experience, I can absolutely understand why you were so reluctant to come forward. To tell the truth, for others to see and to know your humiliation, can be too much for a small boy to understand.
 
There is nothing in the situation you describe that would make that little boy feel safe. He'd already learned what to do in the face of trauma... close down. That you as an adult who has been turning these memories over and over in your mind, discussing them with therapist, talking about them in 12 Step rooms, would conclude the boy made a mistake simply misses completely the internal experience of that boy. His mind didn't make a rational decision... his body shut down as it was designed to do. So you might want to offer a bit of kindness to that boy who was scrambling to survive. He was incapable of making a mistake. All he could do was survive.
 
I never had the experience of being asked about the abuser or having to respond to another boy’s claims. But I feel for you, because if I had been, I can’t imagine NOT lying about what happened to me. I was so terrified, so ashamed, so confused, and again, so terrified of someone finding out, that I would have not been capable of telling the truth. I can’t know the true answer to your question, but that is the answer for me. And that’s probably the answer for most of us. As you said, “I was not the only one, so did everyone else.” It’s not your fault man.
 
The responses above are all excellent ones. In the same situation, under the same circumstances, I cannot imagine that I would have or could have done anything differently from what you did. My natural and instinctive impulse was to conceal and deny it to everyone, including myself so completely, that I was in my 30s before the truth could no longer be suppressed and hidden. Please don't beat yourself up over this. ("What ifs" can be a very damaging and destructive trap!) As my T used to say, at the time, there was no way you could have done anything "wrong" - you did what you did because you felt and believed that you had no other choice and had to do it in order to survive.
Lee
 
Why the hell did I do that?
I was sent to a child psychologist at 11 because I was acting out and getting violent lots. The guys first question to me was; is your dad doing inappropriate things to you I never said a word. Now Knew what had been happening to me for a long time was wrong. They knew what was happening they just didn't know who it was that was abusing me.

I look back at that as a time I wasted I could have stopped it but said nothing. Why I am not sure but feel it was fear that stopped me from telling, it was also shame and guilt as I kept going back. It wasn't the abuse I went back for it was the being treated like I was special that kept me going back for more, he was nice to me and I didn't think he was hurting me.
 
I've written this before but it seems apropos... the story about the young child in the hospital with third degree burns calling out to mother... who was the person who set the fire... What horror, but a statement about how powerful is our need for the love we seek from our parents. So we take on the shame for everything. We are incapable to calling out our abuser if on a deep level we feel doing so puts us at even greater risk... possibly losing the love of a parent. The important thing is we are NOW facing the truth and seeking healing. I wish us all the best on our healing journeys.
 
Hello MS Community,

Here again I find myself questioning, because of what the literature says, and my therapy team just does not cut it with me. As with everything I post about I find myself thinking back on this quite frequently. As I was driven home from school one day, my dad had hired a female graduate student to do this, the entire community looked like a war zone of police. I mean they were all over the place, marked and unmarked cars everywhere.

When I got home, I found two ladies I did not recognize, and my stepmother was home for a change. The two women identified themselves to me as being Licensed Clinical Social Workers who worked for the state. I was asked if I would be willing to talk to them, someplace private in the home and to not worry I was not in any sort of trouble. They were very pleasant and well spoken, so what was I supposed to do, say no?

I found out sometime later that one of the group of people who were terrorizing the kids in the neighborhood, myself included, had made a miscalculation. One of the kids that lived there ,and roughly my age, had a best friend he had down quite frequently for sleepovers and the like. The miscalculation turned out to be that the individual that basically attacked him assumed that all of us would act the same. Come to find out this kid was made of somewhat tougher stuff, plus he was not always there being watched. I did not know either of them well, I went to a different school so was never around them.

So, this brave young kid goes and tells a school counselor what was happening in that place. So, the authorities did react and in that instance in a big way.

This is the part that I cannot fathom and may never, this kid had had dropped my name because, in our young population apparently it was known I had become such a popular target. This is only conjecture, yet I assume he thought I would back his story; the good guys would deal with these evil monstrosities and then all would be well. Unfortunately, it did not play out that way and eventually amounted to nothing.

The two LCSWs talked to me for almost two hours and I absolutely did nothing but lie like a dog. They were tricky in their approach, but I was a bright kid. So, for every trick they tried, I simply erected a road block. I even went so far as to defend one individual they kept asking me about. Knowing what I do now, I would have pulled that place down into a million pieces but then I did not know this. I mean I was handed a golden opportunity, and the full backing of the authorities yet still I lied. I was not the only one, so did everyone else. You cannot go to court with that, so I acted and shot a golden opportunity out of the sky.

Perhaps the worst part of it is, I left that other kid hanging out to dry and what happened to him was terrible. It was a different world back then; he was ostracized at school to the point his family had to move to a different town. I don’t know whatever became of him, I just hope it was good. So, I guess what I want to ask is

Why the hell did I do that?

With Deep Respect.

Jrperkey010101
The best thing I can say being new here is that you did best you can being a little boy who was scared and traumatized and afraid of the repercussions. You didn't think (at least I don't think so) at the time about the other boy and him then, you thought about yourself. You are thinking are thinking about how brave he was, how you missed a golden opportunity to stop the abuse, leaving him out to dry, etc. But that is you as an adult today looking back knowing what you know now. Like you said, you were a smart kid, you knew better to outsmart the state ladies to save yourself. We don't know the outcome today, but we do know is we can look back at that boy with kindness, empathy, and love. And for you to tell that story for the courage to tell it and to not beat yourself up. Hindsight is 20/20. Of course you at your age today would have ran in and kicked everyone's ass and grabbed that little boy and swooped him up in your arms and ran to safety. Do that today.
 
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