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Magical World

Wouldn't it be lovely if, with just a twitch of the nose, life, or any aspect of it could be changed. Instead, positive changes always seem to involve tremendously hard work, determination, and endless setbacks. How lovely it would be to have the powers of Samantha Stephens.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Everyone should have a Therapist like mine

I met with Therapist today. He asked for a report of the past week and a half. I told him I'd done well until last Saturday, and explained the difficulties I'd encountered when confronted by my uninvited blog guest.

Before I go further I just have to reiterate how in love I am with Therapist...truly...head-over-heels...

I was worried that he, as my last counselor had done, would get all freaky about my relapsing into feelings and desires from the past, and that he'd start threatening all sorts of dire consequences because I was unstable. He didn't. He said there was a reason all that happened, and we talked about those reasons. Basically, my response was elicited because I was connecting the visits from my pedophile cousin with my blog visitor. So we talked about what that represented: My blog is my place of healing. It belongs to me and the contents are highly personal. There is vulnerability in sharing those personal contents in a public forum, but thus far the response has been largely affirming and supportive, and has come from non-threatening individuals. To have someone come, who represents fear in my eyes, constitutes trespassing, and causes me to feel unsafe again.

Therapist was unsurprised at my reaction. He was intrigued, however, that I had worked through it and was now back in control. He asked how that happened. We threw a number of ideas around and this is what we came up with:
1. Somehow, I made a shadowbox parallel between my person being trespassed upon and violated as a child, and my blog being intruded on and exploited currently.
2. In both instances I felt helpless, frustrated, weak, and vulnerable.
3. In the first instance, I believed there was no help or support for me--anywhere. In the second instance, help and support came almost immediately, and from many different sources. I had in-person people, who expressed love and encouraged me to continue fighting to continue my progress. I had online friends who allowed me to talk, or who acted in protective ways. In both instances, this time I was not alone, and I worked through the emotional stress with help--thus avoiding my need to resort to negative coping devices.
4. I came to the ultimate realization that I don't have anything to fear. I'm not alone, it is not my visitor's intention to harm my physically, I can conquer that which is hurting me.

There were some random things that were really helpful. In no particular order:
1. I didn't call Therapist. I wanted to. But even more, I wanted to make it through this on my own. And I did. There is strength in that, and triumph. And control (this will be a continuous theme...).
2. I set boundaries and ground rules, i.e.: This is my blog. No more anonymous comments are accepted. You must identify yourself if you wish to comment. There are certain people/subjects that are not allowed to be disrespected on my blog. Your presence must not interfere with my healing, which is the main reason for this blog's existence. Being able to set those boundaries/rules helps me feel more in control of myself and my life.
3. The person I decided to eliminate from my life (in my stupid destructive cycle habit) ignored my attempts to do so, and welcomed me back when I became sane once again. He said he recognized what was happening, which makes him smarter than I am, because I was clueless. But amazingly, in this instance, because he did not allow me to push him away, I learned that there really are some people who will still love me when I'm stupid, and will continue to support me until I return to my senses. Amazing--there really are people willing to do this! Who knew???!!!!??? Result of learning this? Well, obviously, I'm going to have to re-evaluate my opinion of human nature, as it seems to be flawed.
4. I can allow myself to feel protection and love from others when I'm vulnerable. I'm not alone--I actually never was alone. There is strength in this. And control... :).
5. Different friends fill different needs. Based on my neediness, I need lots of them. It was so amazing this week!! I have the friend who will listen to anything, regardless of how ugly, bizarre, or scary it is. And he never tells me to stop--which is so good, because sometimes I really need to get things out. I have the friend who makes me feel happy just because he's in my life, the friends who brings peace and joy, the ones who hold me when I'm afraid, the ones who feel protective. Then there are the friends who make me laugh, the ones who stay on the sidelines and cheer me on, the ones who don't say much , but also just don't go away. It's a wonderful phenomenon--very empowering--and makes me feel more in control of my life, and myself.

So the parallels between my past and present experiences were drawn, and this time I made it through the feelings by using all the positive devices at my disposal. Other differences were that I talked about what was happening, I addressed the person by whom I felt threatened, I did all that I could myself, but then took the rest to those I trusted to help me, and I posted my boundaries. This time, I took control, and did not allow myself to be acted upon.

Therapist is very proud of me--and he is so impressed at the calibre of people who visit me. He said, "Sam, I've never had a more unusual client--I'll admit that. You definitely have unique ways of dealing with your issues, and amazing people who help you. I wish all my clients had that."

We talked more about moving toward my last assignment, which is to learn how to resolve my relationship with my cousin is such a way that God would approve. Then I received a progress evaluation:
1. I've moved closer to allowing myself to let go of my past experiences--I'm losing the fear that accompanies that step.
2. I've acknowledged that I had no culpability in the acts that were forced on me, I was not a participant, and as a child, those things happened through no fault of my own. I do not have to accept responsibility for those acts.
3. I'm accepting the true nature and feelings of my cousin for me. I've moved beyond the mourning.
4. I continue to accept my cousin's right to seek forgiveness through Christ's atonement, and I, personally, forgive him. If he never takes the steps necessary to make things right in his life, it is not my problem.
5. I'm learning to take more control in how I view those events, and even though I still wish they had not happened, I will not allow my past to determine my present.
6. I'm accepting that God did not take the trial of abuse from me--but he did protect me. Given the facts I've found about this type of abuse/crime, I am blessed that my life was spared. And I have to acknowledge that much in my life is a gift from God. I'm grateful for his protection and
blessings.

An interesting side-note: I didn't tell my parents about all this turmoil. Perhaps there is a parallel there, I'm not sure. And I'm not ready to delve too deeply into this fact right now. I'll address it when I'm ready, but not today.

Therapist believes that as my healing trend continues, I'll be able to eat normally once again and not be bothered by the eating disorder which is the unfortunate by-product of all this. I'm trusting that he's right--he has been so far, which is, I suppose, why I'm so in love with him.

8 Comments:

  • At Friday, November 17, 2006 12:06:00 AM, Blogger Another Other said…

    Xanadu,

    The one true hypocrisy that you're not facing up to is the fact that the ONLY group you refer to repeatedly that actually DOESN'T have a voice is the group of children you seem to think you represent. It seems obvious that they are the real "other" here. They are the marginilized. And they are being marginilized by you. Used by you. In every way treated like every the marginilized group of the past by YOU and the very small population that, for reasons of self-preservation in the face of internal discord, share your backwards worldview.

    Children do need love. Children need affection. But they need it in ways you simply can't provide. They need those things from PARENT figures. And just because your parent figures were inadequate does not obliterate the fact that that is the kind of love children need (which is why families seem to be set up the way they have been!), nor does it validate your self-justifications in being sexually involved with them. The kind of "love" you offer children ruins their lives. That you could see it any other way is very frustrating to me, the parent of a sixth month old baby who would be devistated if she ever found someone offering the kind of "love" you endorse.

    It seems remarkable that you have the disrespect and audacity to come to a woman's blog whose life has been completely altered by such a perpetrator, and you say HER worldview is challenged?

    Look at her suffering! Read her entries and feel her pain! That pain is caused by the people you are advocating for, not just in her case, but in thousands of other cases as well.

    As a graduate student in the field of mental health, my opinion is that nothing does more damage to the adjustment of the individual than sexual abuse as a child--than that horrific circumstance in which an adult uses the automatic power-difference inherent in adult-child relationships to initiate sexual encounters, consentual or not. It is confusing, degrading and base. Don't kid yourself into believing otherwise.

    My father, who worked as a social worker specializing in sexual abuse of minors and incest, was talking to me the other day coincidentally. He told me of the situations he encountered, the unspeakable pain and confusion that these children he worked with suffered because of men just like you (i.e. men who believed that sexual relations with minors was helpful). He told me of girls who wept and wept because of being in situations where they were violated. Boys who, like you, had completely toppled worldviews because of the sexual abuses they suffered. He described the confusion, the hopelessness, the self-loathing, the incomprehensible pain he saw them go through first hand. You can paint it any freaking color you want, when an adult has sexual relations with a child, that adult is damaging that child. Consent, contrary to what you believe, has not impact on that reality.

    It occurs to me that you are the biggest example we presently have of the antithesis of what you claim. One need not look further than you for the proof that your philosophies are completely unfounded, and are in fact sophistry of the most hurtful kind. You claim that there are cases where the love children receive from pedophilic adults is beneficial. But because of what you experienced yourself, it is apparent to anybody that grew up with in relatively normal childhood that you are completely... devistated by what has happened to you. It was not beneficial. It's obvious that your perception of the world is totally backwards, that your ideas about adults and children and love and sex are completely confused and dangerous, and all of this because of the abuses you yourself experienced.

    You are not a monster. I don't think that. And as a gay man in a heterosexual marriage, I certainly understand the concept of having desires that don't jive with society's norms. But that doesn't change the fact that when it comes to your views on sex with children you are straight up, 100% wrong. Just because I disagree with you, does not mean that I am on par with with a slave owner or a Nazi. Your voice is being heard loud and clear, and it's just incorrect, and being flaunted in a completely inappropriate arena.

    Samantha, I don't think, views you as a monster either. Her experience as a child was absolutely tragic, and it was at the hands of someone whose philosophy and worldview must have been similar to your own. So the fact that she fears you is very understandable. Almost Pavlovian, really. Her life was completely altered by someone who espoused ideas just like the ones you spout in her personal blog. She is afraid of you. Not you as monster; not you as "other"; she's afraid of you as the very visceral representation of the person that brutally abused her body. But that does not mean she's marginalizing you. If you'll notice, she has let you have voice, which I think is respectable. She has also even dialogued with you when it must have been excrutiatingly difficult to do so. This demonstrates the excellence of her character, and her general respect and love for others.

    However, I think she's had enough. She is to kind, too polite to maybe do this herself, so I'm asking you, as her personal friend and as someone who has her best interest in mind, to not comment here anymore. If you want to shout out your personal philosophies in your own personal space that is your right. I would never go to your blog and tell you otherwise. Samantha did not open her blog to start a dialogue with you. She is here to get better. She is hear to heal. And you are inhibiting that process. She has been very, very respectful of you. If, as you said, you "wish [her], sincerely, the best," then show that wish in action. It would do you good to be respectful of her and leave her private space alone. I am completely positive I'm not the only one of her friends that feels this way. Please do us all a favor: stop commenting here and let our friend heal. Share your voice in your own space, just like she's sharing her voice in hers.

    I'm not interested in engaging in dialogue with you here, but I of course would be willing to hear anything you have to say to me in a place that doesn't violate the space of my friend. You can reach me at otherother2006@yahoo.com, and you can feel free to write to me or about me and my comments in your own blog. Please don't respond to me here.

     
  • At Friday, November 17, 2006 12:07:00 PM, Blogger Rebecca said…

    Samantha - this is amazing! You have an incredible record of your progress - the many steps forward and the discouraging steps back -- and you ARE MOVING FORWARD! Seriously - so cool!

     
  • At Friday, November 17, 2006 5:00:00 PM, Blogger Xanadu said…

    another other,

    I will respond to only one thing you said, that I can see is as much distorted in your mind as it is in the mind of society, and that will be it. I don't really want to dialogue with you because I'm already rather busy with my “real” life and don't have time to give to the internet anymore than I do here and on a couple other blogs, but if you look hard enough you can probably find your own pedophile to have a conversation with. There are many, many, many blogs on blogger.com run by acquaintances of mine (pedophiles who are Civil Rights activists) that would love to engage you in honest, meaningful conversation. I recommend you search terms like "boylover," "girlover," "MAA," http://theboyloveblog.blogspot.com/ to get started. Or go join a child-love online community and educate yourself on our culture and community.

    The topic I will address is your erroneous and dangerous (mis)understanding of the "voice" of children. I guess you call this, ironically, my one "TRUE hypocrisy".

    The MAA (Minor-attracted Adult) movement for Civil Rights has always understood the duality of our battle for rights and agency is concerned both with the need for pedophiles AND children to be liberated from the violence of straight/homo "mainstream" society.

    Under straight/homosexual rule the pedophile is persecuted with harshness not seen since slavery and Jew hating, but also under this rule children have become sexless animals that are allowed absolutely ZERO rights to voice. The result is the fetishizing of children by mainstream culture, and fetishizing is another construction of Others and of Monsters.

    I'll nip in the bud your illogical argument about pedophiles abusing babies, because it leads to the slippery slope argument, which isn't an argument at all, and if you want to use that you have to go ALL THE WAY BACK to when women started claiming agency over their own sexuality against the violent othering of the patriarchy. Besides, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Horace, et al, were happily having sex with little boys long before even the idea of women being free agents ever came into the picture. Then if the moral of pedophilia is philosophical, even theological (see God's infatuation with David and Ganymede), there is little weight to the assumption that my desires are simply perversion, rather they should be the standard for a utopian, pedagogical society—that is, a peaceful society.

    Children not only are not allowed consensual sex with adults, but in an ever increasing number of states even child-child sex can land a child (usually a boy) on the sex offender registry for simply working up an orgasm. As we’ve seen in the past, the closest path to dehumanization is to deny or control the sexuality of the victimized groups, here children and pedophiles. It is one of the simplest facts to understand that any right to sexuality has been stolen from children by your culture. A boy, for example, (I knew I liked little boys when I was a little boy) can grow up oppressed and you would blissfully whistle the tune “innocent child,” which is oppressive code-speak for desexualized. Segundo: the very fact that you have also taken the right of consent away from the child leaves us with a vacuum when we have to deal with the reality that children can (and often do) consent to sex with each other, and with adults. (See the research by Rind et al, Judith Lavine’s “Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex” Foreword by Dr. Joycelyn M. Elders.) If you take a look back on history you will see the sexual control men used over women, White society used over Slaves and Blacks, straight society used over homosexuals, and now homosexual and straight society has become the oppressors over children and their pedophile lovers. To say a child “cannot consent” is to deny that child humanity, and to deny that pedophile humanity. And that, according to the Bible, is the greatest sin.

    Your statement that pedophiles marginalize children is simply a misunderstanding of reality, and a clue that your thinking is not as honest as it should be on this topic, just as Sam relates all child-adult sex with murder and violence. On the contrary, as I’ve shown above, pedophiles give children back the right and humanity to consent.

    Also, don’t conflate the role of a pedophile in a child’s life with that of his or her parent. These spheres are distinctly different. If you can, for a moment, disillusion yourself from our contemporary Western view that children are property to be owned and managed by their parents, you might be able to understand this. Like in ancient Greece, Japan, China, and Persia, instead of creating monsters out of pedophiles, the parent should actively go out to find a pedophile for their child, someone virtuous and able to play the sexual/pedagogical role that is impossible for parents to properly administer. This overturns your concept that children only need parental love. Quite the contrary, like every other human, children are capable of the full spectrum of love, and to deny that is to deny humanity to them. Again, the greatest sin according to the Bible.

    To close, I know that things are heating up for pedophiles and for children these days. I fully expect to see, in the not-too-distant future, laws passed that will legalize the hunting and public murder of MAAs, similar or on a larger scale than the extermination of the Jews. I pray this will not transpire, but I fear that it will because far too many people embrace hate instead of love. But I also believe religiously in social justice, and a time will come when my vision that you’ve read in my words will come to pass: adult-child sexuality will once again take its place as an honored segment of culture, and help to produce a society that more advanced on the scale of love and justice.

    I’ll stop with a poem by Wilfred Owen, the great national poet of Britain, that somehow speaks to the universal compassion of the pedophile:

    MAUNDY THURSDAY
    Between the brown hands of a server-lad
The silver cross was offered to be kissed.
The men came up, lugubrious, but not sad,
And knelt reluctantly, half-prejudiced.
(And kissing, kissed the emblem of a creed.)
Then mourning women knelt; meek mouths they had,
(And kissed the Body of the Christ indeed.)
Young children came, with eager lips and glad.
(They kissed a silver doll, immensely bright.)
Then I, too, knelt before that acolyte.
Above the crucifix I bent my head:
The Christ was thin, and cold, and very dead:
And yet I bowed, yea, kissed - my lips did cling.
(I kissed the warm live hand that held the thing.)

    --W.O

    From Owen’s letter of 27th December 1914: "We made two journeys to church with the bath chair, and installed both the boys and ourselves inside the very sanctuary. An interesting position for me, all mixed up with the candles, incense, acolytes, chasuble and such like... I think the efforts of the dear, darling little acolytes to keep awake was what took most of my attention there.”

     
  • At Friday, November 17, 2006 5:15:00 PM, Blogger Another Other said…

    Um, friend. You are missing my point entirely. I don't want to have a dialogue with you, period. If you insist on having one, which is your right in light of the fact that I started talking to you, then I DON'T WANT TO DO IT HERE. You can have any opinion you want. Just don't have it on this particular blog, where your presence hurts my friend. Can I make this any clearer for you? If you want to talk to me (which your lengthy response seems to indicate), email me. Until then, I'm not going to even what you have to say.

     
  • At Friday, November 17, 2006 5:17:00 PM, Blogger Another Other said…

    Sorry for the omitted word in the last sentence. What I tried to say there was, until you email me, I'm not even going to read what you've written. It doesn't belong here.

     
  • At Friday, November 17, 2006 5:35:00 PM, Blogger -L- said…

    Dear pedophile apologist, you are hereby cordially invited to shut up and go away. If you can't manage that, despite the fact it HAS BEEN MADE ABUNDANTLY CLEAR THAT YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE, let me know and I'll host a post on my own blog where you can say your peace and I will not feel it is inappropriate to respond (as I do here).

     
  • At Saturday, November 18, 2006 3:20:00 PM, Blogger Samantha said…

    Rebecca: I can't get to your blog from your profile link anymore. :(
    I agree--very cool.

    AO and -L-: I love you guys.

     
  • At Sunday, November 19, 2006 10:45:00 AM, Blogger Rebecca said…

    Samantha - thanks for pointing that out. I don't know why my name isn't clickable anymore - I checked comments on a couple of other blogs and those are still linked. I think it might be because you're in blogger beta and I'm in regular blogger...??? Not really sure. But here's the link, in case you ever want it (don't feel obligated - I don't feel like everyone whose blog I read needs to read mine): http://rebeccaandallthatentails.blogspot.com/

    Anyway, you rock! Go Samantha!

     

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