Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Explaination

RE: Training My Therapist

Okay, I feel like a putz. I just misunderstood what my T meant. Here's why he said that it's harder/worse for a male to be abused/raped:

When we were talking, I (of course) was comparing things to how I felt when it happened to me. I was using the "act" as a focal point to define everything else, so naturally, that is a horrible thing. My therapist was thinking of the "big picture." Because of the work he does with people, he was thinking of his experience with male and female clients who come to him AFTER the "act".

He explained that possibly because of the inequity of the genders, female rape victims learn to go on with their lives and function fairly well. Men have a much harder time learning to cope. T said that MIGHT be because of just what I said in my last post: males believe they are the fuckers, not the fuckees and when they are raped it carries the possibility of being called gay or weak. Females don't see it that way and are taught from birth we are "second" to the male, so, tho it's a misnomer, females believe it is their duty to be abused and go on living.

My therapist told me that men often cannot live with the fact that they were used as a female (gender role training) and they will often decide to kill themselves. He said that when a male decides on suicide, he will usually carry it out and be successful, women often want to die but he said he can get them to agree to "put it off" while they work on it together to get past whatever it is causing the problem.
So, long story, but what T was thinking was that it's much more difficult for a male to cope after the abuse/rape because of the unfair gender ideology he's got already going in his life.

T said that females, because of the way they are raised, seem to find a way to move thru all the pain and fear and go on with their lives. He mentioned the Holocaust and said those people are examples of how both sexes experienced the worst of the worst and many of them survived and went on to lead productive and happy lives. So the short of the long story is that it's the COPING that is much more difficult for males than females.

He apologized for the misunderstanding and I could tell he felt bad about it. He told me he would never try to say that rape is emotionally worse for a male than for a female because each person perceives and reacts differently. ~~ So, I feel like a putz.


fromthesamesky said...

Don't - you had a really valid point. And although to an extent he is right, it was VERY easy to misunderstand his point, and it SHOULDN'T be that way anyway - why should we as women be used to being treated that way?

I'm glad he explained it in a way that made sense to you.

fromthesamesky said...

PS - just found this link via twitter

@serial_insomnia & @WeAre_Survivors When men are the victims of rape:


Exhale said...

I don't think your a putz...you faced the conflict and worked through it. Your voice was heard...one huge step for Ivory!

The Beehive said...

I'm so glad you were able to clear that up with your T! This explanation is much more clear. Don't feel bad...I would have reacted the same way! Thank you for following up.


Paul from Mind Parts said...

OK. So I read the last post and commented before reading this... I still think your concern was valid. I don't see the point in him saying this. "Worse" is always subjective, except in intellectual circles... It's qualitative to survivors. Always. And needs to be. I will stand by what I said before, there is never any point in comparing abuses. Perhaps a more valid comparison could be same sex abuse as being harder to heal from. But even then, like anything, there is always a bell curve and one would always be making sweeping generalizations, probably none of which are helpful to a survivor.

Kerro said...

Ah, this kind of gender role modelling, stereotyping, sexist business makes sense to me. As an explanation, though completely wrong in terms of how society operates (even if it is the lived reality for the vast majority of people).

Thanks for clarifying. I'm glad your T has redeemed himself. ;)

Ivory said...

You are right - females should never be indoctrined into the "we are lesser" ideology. Thanks for the link, after I go there, I will probably send it to my friend.

Yes, my voice was heard - that's why I like my T - he listens and I think he tries, really tries, to always see things from my side.

I actually do over react sometimes, but like I told T yesterday - I have one toe over the line into women's equality and I seem to get it stomped on quite often!

I totally agree with you that no abuse, emotional trauma, etc should be compared. It is a very personal and very perceptive event. People who don't experience much trauma sometimes have a hard time understanding that to the person traumatized, it is the very worst thing in the world. Even if to someone else it may not seem to be so bad.

Yes he redeemed himself with promises of being more careful in the future. I'm glad that we could talk about it - it was difficult to even bring up.

Journal of Healing said...

I'm so impressed you told him what was bothering you. I think that is something to be admired. WOW.
Good for you.

me,me, and me said...

I think it was totally brave to bring it up and follow through, yaya for youse!!!

Michael Finley said...

I am glad you worked it out.

Good Effort!

freelyfloating said...

Wow, I can't blame you one bit for reacting the way you did. I can't put myself in your exact situation, but I imagine I'd be completely devastated. It's fantastic that you were able to talk it out with your T. Take care :]

Ivory said...

To Journal of Healing, Me, Me, and Me, Michael, and FreelyFloating - Your support is valued so much. Even tho it was me who misunderstoon my T, I wonder if I'd been so brave as to bring it up to him had I not had all of you there with me.

Bridgette said...

You’re not alone. Everyone has issues, whether it’s mental illness, addiction, or anything of the sort. I’ve found that Silver Hill, a substance abuse and psychiatric hospital, has some really good information and resources. Talking/blogging about these things can be extremely helpful not just for yourself, but for others in need. Keep up the good work.

Petrogenic said...

I think T is still more putzlike than you!

Hope you feel better now its clarified.