Remember when you were not supposed to share your private parts with anyone, but a parent, or with someone else usually a medical person when your parents were present. Later you were told you could choose to share them when you were an adult; but not with someone you didn’t want to share them with.
Now we can view others’ private parts anywhere on the street, in magazines, on the internet, and in advertisements. It is hard to say, “No, I don’t want to look at that, I don’t want to see you that way, and if you are going to do that either you must leave or I will leave myself.”
It is still alright to feel icky and to refuse to view things that you don’t like. As a long-time psychologist, I thought I had seen everything and nothing surprised me or offended me. If viewing something does not have to be done in the line of duty, I still can say it is inappropriate and switch channels or walk away or if it is my space, tell someone to leave and possibly not to return.
Private parts are your personal possessions and they are there for your satisfaction and enjoyment. This can be spoiled when someone tries to use another person’s private parts for their satisfaction and enjoyment only and will say anything or do anything to make it happen.
Feelings can become detached from the event and the victim may not remember what happened. This is a form of self-defense and possibly a form of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). This makes it difficult for the victim to bring up from inside him or herself what happened in order to digest it properly. This also can interfere with a person’s appropriate sexual development.
The victim has a large price to pay. What about the offender? Usually as long as he or she can do it, he or she will do it to more and more victims and in worse and worse ways. It could be called an addiction. It usually has to do with what an offender needs to do to get sexually excited and to reach orgasm. Like alcoholics need more and more alcohol, the offender takes more and more risks and does more and more damaging things to his or her victims. The frequency and intensity of the abuse also can increase.
Gullibility: We would like to think the best of someone sometimes rather than the worst. We can be gullible when we believe that any authority figure is an expert about such things if he or she thinks he or she is or should be.
Secrecy: Family, friends, and associates of sex offenders are afraid if they admit they know about the person’s sexual offender status and/or offenses that some of the onerous might rub off on them and can cause them not to be accepted too so they don’t say anything about it or admit to having a relative or associate with such tendencies.
Disbelief: (What actually is more onerous is not warning others that the person is not to be trusted to be alone with a child and/or to be in the care of a person who won’t keep the child safe as they see no reason to not to leave a child alone with this person under certain circumstances like when they go to change clothes and the child is taking a nap.)
Sexual offenders are often not found out until they have committed several different offenses with more than one victim. Also offenses can become more and more onerous over time and what act that may have satisfied the offender’s need for sexual stimulation and climax becomes less satisfying and the offender goes on to doing things that can not be considered victimless and/or harmful.
Many offenders often convince themselves and try to convince others that they are just educating and helping the victim with his or her sexual adjustment and not leaving it to chance with some other person when they reach adolescence or adulthood with a peer.
Also sexual offenders are not all men and they are not all homosexuals. Anyone who inappropriately touches or has a child or in some cases adolescent inappropriately touch them in a way that causes sexual arousal and/or climax for the offender or the victim can cause mental and emotional pain, confusion, and discomfort that can be disabling.
What kind of things can a parent, either mother or father, do that sends confusing messages to their child? Children can sense when somethings seems or feels right or wrong and in these situations are encouraged by the person doing these things that feel wrong to them to doubt their own feelings and “put up” with it and deny their own feelings or doubts.
People may have different standards of what is right and what is wrong but any responsible adult usually knows that what the offenders are doing in front of the child or making the child do is not in the child’s best interests.
Doing something for the child’s own good can be an excuse for bad behavior or an appropriate reason for doing something the child does not like. Remember to think twice if a child avoids a person or situation and /or demonstrates the reluctance to do something.
When dealing with child sexual abuse, consult knowledgeable sources with experience and professional education in the area. Remember even registered nurses usually specialize and do not work in every area of the hospital or area of practice out in the community.
(Here is the place to put a graphic picture of sexual abuse; but that might be considered child pornography.)
I am talking about the abuser, not the victim. The chances are extremely high they will offend again and probably had committed other offenses before they got caught. Also offenses tend to escalate over time as it takes more and more of a thrill to “get off”. Some people protect and support offenders because they think they deserve a chance and they would like to believe that the offenders have reformed.
It takes extreme vigilance to protect potential victims from these offenders. You and any other responsible adult who know about the offender should attempt to shadow the offender and keep them from being alone with potential victims. To do this, you have to think like an offender.
The sexual abuse often reflects the offenders’ full time commitment to getting access to potential victims and to collect information that would help them do this. A sexual offender never says to a responsible caretaker I will watch your child for you while you go to the grocery store and while you are there, I will get your child to undress and play a “fun” game with me from which I will get sexual pleasure.
Should you believe me? Yes! I have conducted interviews with many victims of sexual abuse, often by play therapy and by using drawings, One thing I have been careful not to do is implant an idea in a child’s mind where one didn’t exist and to try not to commit further trauma. The child may be frightened and somehow feel guilty. These are ways that the abuser knows to keep the victim from talking about the abuse with anyone.
When abuse occurs, children do many things in an attempt to help them handle it. They may learn not to trust their feelings and/or intuition. They might put a lot of it out of their mind as it is too hot to handle. But the unconscious usually retains the memories of sexual abuse somewhere and also the feelings associated with it. It is like a splinter. It may hurt a little if you leave it alone but it might hurt a lot when you take it out. Then the pain can go away.
Possible consequences of sexual abuse are confusion about sexual identity, decreased or even absent libido, and a sense of inferiority that never goes away. Don’t wait for someone else to do something about it! The sexual abuser counts on this.
Introducing this topic, I do want to make it clear that I am Pro-Life (especially if you have not figured this out from my past posts). Children do exist in the womb. At eight weeks after conception, all necessary organs for the child exist and the rest of the time in the womb is spent growing and becoming capable of independent existence. In my lifetime, science has found more and more ways to detect life in the womb and to sustain such life either in the womb or out of the womb. The question is at what point do we determine that another human being does not have the right to exist. No one is infallible when it comes to making this decision.
Maybe we should call our children the “throw-away generation”. I think we would all admit that many children are not given the training, experience, and resources necessary to grow up to be responsible adults. How can we consciously keep the next generation in areas of the country that are veritable war zones in inhabitable surroundings with irresponsible adults and penalize those that do sacrifice resources, time, and sometimes careers to help raise responsible adults whether as parents or teachers or volunteers to provide opportunities to help the next generation grow up as safe responsible citizens.
Here is one example of how ignorant one of the most responsible areas of our government operates in one area of my state. Custody determinations cases (often done when a divorce is granted) are given to the judges who are considered the least competent and who have little or no training in this area. This leaves them free to make up their own minds about the cases and/or to depend on professionals who are presented to them as qualifying “experts” by dueling attorneys for each person seeking custody and those agencies who deal with these cases with certain biases as to parental (often not children’s) rights. This was in spite of well recognized and highly motivated diversion courts for domestic violence, drug addiction, and mental illness.
A bad custody decision can result in a “life sentence” for some children. One they didn’t ask for and one they didn’t deserve. It appears to me that in these situations early and appropriate intervention is desired and those appointed to discharge this duty should be well-trained and held responsible for what they do. Is there anything “flippant “about making a custody decision? and shouldn’t the best and most well-trained judges be given this duty. Another point that needs to be made in this area is that the best person for this position of making custody decisions should be someone who is and/or wants to become knowledgeable about child-rearing.
Children at different points in life need different things. Initially, it is important that needs must be met that help maintain the physical body of the child such as food and clothing, shelter, etc. and physical gentle, loving touches and caregiving, and by someone who is concerned about the safety and well-being of the child. How a task is done in caring for a child telegraphs to the child whether or not he or she is safe, secure, and the object of someone’s care and concern.
One of the next steps necessary to a child’s development the ability of the person providing the care and education of the child be aware that children are different and that is not necessarily bad. Nature requires diversity and that means that those providing nurturance be able to able to provide and or seek out sources for the education, training, and future achievements possible for each child.
Children also learn at different rates and in different ways. Having, eight young grandchildren, I have noticed this. Children progress at different rates in different areas and it does not necessarily mean that the child is “backward” and may not catch up in this area later when he or she changes their focus of learning.
Over time, children need to become responsible for certain things and to have certain experiences. For example, you don’t don’t teach a child about dating by not letting them be around the opposite sex until they are twenty-one and then let them figure it out by themselves. Children need also to learn to make certain decisions for themselves and to experience the appropriate consequences. Learning is done in steps and certain concepts need to be acquired and practiced before going on to other more advanced and/or difficult ones.
Frightened young girls get pregnant so they have somebody to love and young boys like to feel studly and see how many babies they can generate. Neither is a good reason to have a child. Nurturing a child is also a full-time process which involves being selfless much of the time. It also requires good judgment which is not fully developed until young adulthood.
Our welfare state facilitates irresponsible parenthood and children often raised without discipline or love. How many children are thrown out on the street and have to learn how to survive there on their own.Then we chastise them (not the parents or the state) for doing this and becoming angry at society and not fitting in there.
No wonder these children don’t trust anybody. Yes, the ghetto (where many of these children end up) doesn’t always teach middle-class values. In order to survive, these children do what they can to live on the streets or with parents and foster parents that don’t care or use them for their own purposes. They often only want the check. Worse yet these parents may have been raised the same way that they are raising their children.
Parents having the right to raise or not raise their biological children as they see fit does not take into account the rights of the children. They also go so far as to often use abortion as the method of choice when it comes to practicing birth control.
I think it is a case of blame the victim (which is the child) for the sometimes irrefutable abuse they sustained whether caused by the system, natural parents, and/or foster parents.
Last, but not least, parents who do a good job of raising their children by giving their kids love, discipline, and values do not get rewarded by the system. There are no rewards for doing a good job, just for doing a bad job.
Child custody also gets handled often by people who do not know what they are doing, what the child needs, and what constitutes a good parent. If they do know these things they are hampered by laws and regulations that often don’t make any sense.
For example in one northern county of my state, only the worst judges, those who are not doing their job in other venues, get “demoted” to doing child custody cases and they receive no training on how to do this in a way that would benefit the child whose custody is being determined.
I have proposed that that county develop special training for these judges determining custody cases. It would include forty hours of hands-on training by professionals in the field of custody determination. Doing it this way ensures that judges would actually participate and not just skim through some information on the subject. It should also be a mixed group so no judge would be swayed in a particular direction.
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As much as we would sometimes like to, rotely learning material does not automatically generate people who can use the material. Rote learning is good for learning things that we must be able to recall quickly and what is learned rotely is different from person to person depending on what they do and what kind of information they need to have on hand. A simple example is memorizing words and their meanings to give a person a good vocabulary that they will use every day. This is true of what we call knowledge.
A person does a lot of learning when they are still little. They generate theories with resulting hypotheses that they test out probably before they can talk. Most adults reason with words, but children start learning how things work before they can talk. I am sure science will find out just how this is done with or without words someday or may be studying it even now.
They also learn usually through rewards and punishments what ideas that they have about things work or don’t work. Even animals learn this way although we used to think that animals had inborn instincts that determined what they would do or not do. Instincts are definitely inborn probably because most animals have to be able to do some things for themselves at birth.
Everyone is an individual even before birth. Their inborn DNA determines many of the strengths and weaknesses they might have. Thus no child is exactly like one of their parents. The problem is that sometimes one of the parents wants a child to do what they like to do; but the child was not born with the same abilities, the same brain, and/or bodies. Thus such a desire can be doomed to failure and the child may receive the blame for not being able or wanting to do what the parent would like the child to do. The child then often grows up to feel worthless in their parent’s eyes and to fail to develop as his or her individual self.
For example, my mother was the youngest of two girls (no boys) and while her older sister got to help with chores in the house, her father expected her to help him outside at the farm. He wasn’t unreasonable but she was afraid of horses and while she was young everything was still done with horses.
Children are thinking and reasoning and planning for themselves long before their parents even know it. Children can recognize different tones of voice, and facial expressions and body postures and how people react to determine if it is safe to do or not do something. Sometimes the parents may say one thing and mean another. How about telling a child to go give someone a kiss when the child can tell that either that person does not like them or their parent does not like the person. Double bind? Say one thing and do another?
We can learn not only from our own experiences we can also learn from other people’s experiences. But sometimes other peoples conclusions or theories from these experiences may not fit into our understanding of things. Eventually most parents want children to think for themselves and to be able to make good decisions so they can be independent (parents usually die before children) and require less and less supervision.
Ultimately children should be able to think for themselves and to be able to evaluate what they have learned and experienced and change their bodies of knowledge some learned through the experiences of others and their theories about how the world works to fit new information. Sometimes the information instead is changed or rejected because it doesn’t fit their theory.
Wisdom comes with time and having learned to be able to think for oneself as you have accumulated knowledge and experience. Strange or new information can be frightening and it might be easier to reject it, but the cost, in the long run, is greater than if the person had worked it through even if it was scary or painful to do so. Many people do this with physical problems and sometimes if they do do something, it can be too late. Yes, we all have the right to make mistakes and sometimes we can learn from them; but fear of change or possible consequences can keep us from even trying to do it.
Colleges and universities used to be places where you could learn new things and try new ideas out. It was supposed to be a safe place where things could be discussed freely and new ideas often tried out safely. Professors could have different ideas about the way things should be; but there was open debate encouraged in classes. Yes, you may have been expected to learn certain things especially in certain areas of work or professions because you were expected to know these tings to graduate and go on in your field or the college was not doing the job they were getting paid for.
Wisdom is usually obtained over time and there are things that are not learned through study or only by experiences in universities or medical or law schools. Wisdom is also flavored by individuality and people’s individual tastes. It never hurts to try something even though you think you might not like it. I have had experiences that I might not been completely ready for that gave me strengths that I might not have been able to develop any other way.
You are never ready to do anything, but at some point you have to go ahead and do it because the time when you are completely ready might never come. Wisdom truly comes from these experiences. I didn’t truly understand grief until my best friend, her unborn child, and her young daughter were killed in a traffic accident.
I may be older than you; but I might be wiser than you in many ways that is one of the reasons I write this blog. Do I expect you to believe or learn from everything I write, no. But it might it expose you to some information that would spur you to do or think differently in a way that would benefit you.
I also am a teacher and I have learned that students are all different especially in terms of the knowledge and experiences they come into class with. They are also different in terms of their mindsets about learning. This is especially true when it comes grade time.
Think for yourself. Evaluate what you have learned just don’t accept something without thinking about it or testing it if possible in real life. There is a reason that all science classes includes laboratory sessions so the students can have experiences that they can relate to the material being presented in lectures. This called critical thinking and it is something dictators don’t want people to do.
I just talked about fear and the biggest fear is of fear itself. If we don’t talk about things until one of us, either partner gets mad, then it is hard to overlook how bad it makes us feel and deal with the issues themselves.
I don’t know about you but my very sense of security can be threatened. It got this way in my first marriage and maybe if we had the fights that we did when we were divorcing all along, the marriage could have been better.
Not trusting your partner is very destructive in a relationship; especially not trusting them to make a fair compromise and to not penalize you for bringing something up that needs to be dealt with.
Becoming a grandmother has me dealing with usually two or three toddlers at a time (possibly four). I would have more babies to watch but they aren’t out of diapers yet (P.S. I am used to the kind of diapers with pins in them).
Criticism and put-downs can be a form of mental abuse and so can sarcasm and being told that you can’t take a joke. Constant volleys of such “verbal” abuse can wear a person down and definitely not help them back up. It is often used in arguments to denigrate the opinions and/or wishes of those being put down. The partner might find him or herself spending more time defending themselves than having a constructive arguement.
Nagging can result from such interactions. If a person is never allowed to win an argument by the means cited above, they may resort to nagging as a substitute for not being able to win in an argument. Nagging can be a symptom of a relationship where one person doesn’t do something that the other person wants and in an argument over this issue, the other person feels that they don’t have to a chance to win.
Such forms of interaction discussed above can result in a negative living situation with one or both persons involved feeling “less than” and unable to cope. Being constantly “put-down” does not generate a comfortable situation and it can become a constant war zone in which one person always wants to win and the other person doesn’t feel they have a chance.
Punishment is not a good way to encourage certain forms of behavior; positive reinforcement is. Also on many issues over which partners fight there is often no one “right” answer. Many such arguments are about personal preferences and not absolutes although some people like to think that they are. Mother nature and our environments are set up to encourage certain types of tastes and certain types of skills.
For example, if I have sensitive hearing, I may prefer certain types of music over other types. Does that make me right or wrong when I argue with a person with different sensitivites and experiences. For example, I do not like most “bluegrass music,” certain old time country music, and polkas (unless they are extremely “lively”). However that doesn’t mean that I don’t like music as a whole.
It often boils down to a whole issue of control. If I maintain that the things I like and like to do are the only “right” ones than I can be sure that I won’t have to do or experience anything different that I might not like. In one relationship I was in, I was not allowed to eat any onions cooked or raw at home or away from home for he could always tell if I did and he didn’t like them.
Nobody is happy if only one person is in control of the relationship. The winner might get tired of having to tell the loser everything they are supposed to do and the loser might get tired of never having “any choice”. This can be the motive for murder where one partner kills the other.