Author Topic: Its a process...I guess.  (Read 50692 times)

Pete McVries

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #400 on: July 09, 2019, 08:18:11 AM »
So this might be a weird journal entry but I feel like I am in a bit of shock and this is a safe place for me to get this all out. I really value the support from any of you who comment so thoughts and encouragement is welcome...

My heart is just so broken right now and I feel very overwhelmed. My son (age 11, going into 6th grade) was attending a science camp at a state college. He was really excited because they were building robots, and coding, and doing all these things he really loves. On the very last night of the camp one of the kids attending (all kids are grade 6-8) was assaulted by a few of the other kids. Yes, authorities were call and police notified. I am just horrified at this situation. Apparently 4 or 5 kids cornered a smaller kid in a bathroom on the last night and they whipped him with belts, kicked him repeatedly, and pulled down his pants and grabbed at him. My son had been playing during free time with this boy and one of the kids who attacked him was a kid on my son's science team. I asked my son about this and he said he was just so shocked and confused. He said that he felt so bad for this kid who was attacked. He said he was scared because it could have been him (he is smaller too), and he said he was confused because he had known all the kids who did this and they didn't seem like the kind to do that. I can see how this experience has really shaken him quite a bit. Frankly it has shaken me too. These are middle-schoolers!!!! The oldest kids were 13! It was a science camp at a state college. One of the administrators had told my son that attacks like these have been becoming more and more common in schools sadly. I am not sure what to think about that.

This program is a year long program. They are supposed to return for 2 Saturdays per month from September till April. They won't have any overnights anymore and obviously the kids that were involved in this are removed. I still just don't feel ok about any of this. This is such a broken world.

I can only speculate but my best guess would be that there is a general coarsening happening on all fronts and it's especially affecting the youth. This is undeniable in my mind. Just look at the movies, games, music, topics and billboards compared to a few centuries ago. I grew up in the 90s and I fell in love with hip hop early on. Recently, I have been listening to some of my favorite albums from back in the day and I really had an epiphany. The music back then was so much more thoughtful and in a way innocent. There has been gangster rap or even lyrics that are brutal but even they were much more harmless. And the artists who made this type of music weren't mainstream so only accessible to people who were actively searching for this type of music in an era where filesharing was in its child's shoes. Don't get me wrong, I'm not reluctant against gangster rap or so (quite the contrary to be honest) but this is music for adults. There was a line in some of the most popular rap songs from recent times that goes something like "Bring your gf to my show, she is going to be shredded backstage // run-of-the-mill, afterwards the sex-tape of her gets published in the internet" (this is a translation from German). It even went sort of viral in the US, if I'm informed correctly. You can watch it on youtube without any warnings for children or young people. It is not restricted (potential triggers ahead, watch at own risk) in any way. That is a problem in my mind.

Same thing with video games. Most of the kids these days with a computer are playing Fortnite because it is free, highly addictive (it's crazy to think that loot box systems are still allowed especially for games that target kids and adolescents. They are groomed to become gambling addicts...) and all their let's player idols play it. In Germany, it is recommended for 12 year olds and upwards if I'm informed correctly but there are no restrictions. So if you are eight year old and want to play it, you can play it. Fortnite graphics are in a comic style but it's still a battle royal shooter and there are different hit boxes, so you always want to aim for the head to deal the most damage. I want you to remind, that the original doom was put on the index and only available in video game stores from under the counter (at least in Germany). Please compare a 320x240 DOOM pixel party where you couldn't even aim for the head to a 4K Fortnite that "all" children play nowadays.

Look at music videos. A friend of mine showed me a video of Nicki Minaj a few months ago where she is in a jungle or so (can't remember it correctly and I don't listen to this type of music) and she was basically naked and stripping. When I was in my early teen I was glad if I could masturbate to a Jennifer Lopez video where I could catch a glimpse of her tush for a split second. Wind back a few more centuries and they didn't even dared to show the bellybutton of Tarzan. I'm not saying that this is ideal either and I don't want anyone to run around in a burka if he or she doesn't want it, I'm just trying to name a few examples.

Then you add porn to the mix (average age of boys being exposed to porn is 10 years old if I remember correctly) and then you have the perfect storm. And porn came a long way, too. I started on porn really early but porn back then were mostly movies with a small story and in hindsight I get the impression that the women were treated with respect (in the scenes) and not used like disposable objects like in a lot of scenes these days. I get the impression that women pretended to enjoy the act in the scenes and today it is really no anomaly to see actresses being disgusted, in pain, anxious and in other negative emotional states you never ever want your sexual partner to be in. Gonzo was a genre/category back then, if I'm not mistaken, and today it's the standard. If you go on a regular tube sites, you can find really disturbing stuff on the front page and easily access every legal thing imaginable. I read studies that young people (both boys and girls) believe anal sex is a everyday sexual practice and that it is normal to finish the coitus with a cumshot to the face. Girls are wondering why they won't have an orgasm when giving a BJ and all that sort of stuff.

A hotbed for brutalization and less empathy.

There needs to be more restrictions for children and adolescents and parents must be in a constant dialogue regarding this sort of stuff. It's funny and sad at the same time. Sex education back then was about how sex works, what it does and how to prevent catching STDs and pregnancy and it was done in a single or two sessions. Today you need to constantly protect your children from all the negative influence that modern media provides and regularly exchange information about it. Because even though you manage to prevent your child from consuming this sort of stuff successfully, there will always be a friend or a class mate who does and who shares his impressions and the data. That's just how things work. Media education is more important than ever.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 08:18:52 AM by Pete McVries »
ten months clean and counting...

malando

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #401 on: July 09, 2019, 04:57:07 PM »
Pete, I think it's highly debatable that such material can be bad for kids, but somehow suitable for mature adults. I doubt that it is - everything we take in is altering our thinking. The more of this anti-social dreck we stick into our minds, the more we become proponents of it in one way or another. The mind tends towards that which it focusses on. Even people who claim. "oh, I maintain my rage/shock/opposition to what I'm hearing here, I'm just interested in the social commentary of it", they are still directing their minds toward dark matters and off other matters which have a more life-affirming effect. It's not going to promote anything good within the person - no matter how much of a fan they are. There's an analogy with porn in there, I think. Things accepted by the mainstream as acceptable or at least go unchallenged, yet the longterm effects are completely unresearched. Both given permission to exist by the freedom-of-expression/free-speech mantra.

Pete McVries

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #402 on: July 10, 2019, 08:17:23 AM »
Hey malando,

I think my post was a bit inacurrate. Of course all these things hold potential dangers for adults as well (that's why we write in a PMO/ED recovery forum, aren't we?). In cases of, let's say, violent games or movies an adult should be able to reflect more easily on what he has consumed. Nevertheless, I agree with you and I'm quite sure that it will have an impact as well. Especially if one indulges in it. I also want to stress that I don't listen to the type of music that I've posted. It just came to mind because of friend of mine who works in a school was in shock when he reported to me that all the 13yo boys in his class cite this song all the time and listen to it on the smartphone. That's what I was up to. You and me, one could argue, we could listen to the song and even enjoy it in a sense like we enjoy a very brutal gangster movie for example (if you are into those type of stuff). But we would never think of the protagonists as potential role models. These boys (might) do though. And that's a problem. These boys watch P as well and even some girls do. If the majority of what they see is rough stuff then the boys will probably treat the girls this way and the girls may even think that this is normal because both parties have been socialized sexually by porn. Madness.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 08:19:14 AM by Pete McVries »
ten months clean and counting...

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #403 on: July 11, 2019, 01:46:16 PM »
Hello, I do agree on all levels  and am a very technology hesitant parent. We home-school, restrict screen exposure and several other things. We live in an area where there are lot so of home school families and there is one thing I have noticed that our kids differ from their in. Our kids are really confident and sure of who they are. They ask questions, hard questions, they push the status quo, they make eye contact when speaking to people. Other families that shelter their kids tend to do so from a position of fear, they tell their kids that screens are scary and bad. We don't do that. We talk to our kids, at a level they can understand, but we tell them the facts. This experience at this camp was a really big one for my son and as we have processed it a bit I have noticed a few takeaways he has learned from this..... First I want to say I am not trying to pat myself on the back here. Second, my son is amazing and I am so proud.

First he said that even before this incident he didn't not make a lot of friends there. He has in the past said he doesn't need a lot of friends, he just wants a few good ones. He said he struggled to fit in at the camp because all the kids talk about fortnite and he doesn't play that game, nor does he want to. (We have always told our kids why we don't allow excessive screen time and been honest with them about the effects of screens and we have been honest about their fathers porn addiction as well) Our kids are at the point where they choose not to want to play shooter games. They would rather spend their screen time doing more productive things like researching how to build catapults and other thing they are working on. He said after the attack he felt fear because he recognized that as a kid not fitting in he could have easily been a target of this abuse and that scared him. I am proud that he was able to understand his feelings and be open to admit them to us. That take vulnerability and is not easy to do.

The other things he communicated he felt was doubt in himself and his abilities to trust his gut. One of the attackers was a kid on his team that he was working with. He said he thought that kids was an ok kid. He didn't demonstrate any bad behavior or anything. He felt very unnerved that this kids was able to do these horrific act against another kids when he seemed so normal. A few days after coming to me with this he approached the subject again and asked about my husbands addiction. My husband and I together talked with him. My 11 yr old son had question about why my husband wanted to view images and videos of women being demoralized and treated as objects. My husband explained about how the brain needs new material and how addiction works and what people do for dopamine. At some point my son said that he loved us both and that this has shown him how you never know a person fully. All you can do is treat people with love and allow them to be who they are, you cannot change them. He said he felt bad not just for the the kid attacked but also for this boy the attacker. He said this experience has made him have even less desire to watch porn, spend time on screens, and to play video games. He now understand more clearly how technology while sometimes can be helpful can also be something that detracts from your life in big ways. Apparently the whole attack idea was started because of an app that dared them to do this. It is called Momo? I don't understand it but I guess it is an app that you download and it has a creepy lady daring you to do bad things. Who would want to download that in the first place?

While I am sad that this experience even happened. I am glad that my son was able to take something constructive away from it. He understand better why we are such weird parents and he even thanked us for being the way we are. We try to not just use the "Because I said so" but more to explain why we have these rules. It was really amazing to see my son not just understand but then get to a point where he is choosing to continue those rules for himself.

Redfire03

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #404 on: July 11, 2019, 06:34:18 PM »
I wish there was more awareness pushed about the effects of dopamine in the brain and what it can lead to. Great conversation here.

Gracie

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #405 on: July 13, 2019, 06:01:15 AM »
This mus t have been very scary for your son!  Today on one of the news sites they had a video of JLo giving a lap dance to one of the US Women's soccer team members during a concert of hers.  My first thought was how is this news? Then why would she do that?   I try to help guide my grankids now, through all of this.  Their parents do a great job I am the assist.   I feel too many behaviors have become acceptable.   We need to keepb banging our drum of unacceptable.   

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #406 on: July 29, 2019, 07:17:05 AM »
Gracie so true!

I had an adult who was working my my kids in a kid club come up to me today and said that my kids are really remarkable. They speak really clearly and communicate thoughts and feelings so well and they make eye contact when they talk. She was shocked. I was shocked at how big a deal this was for her, lol. I thought well...they are 4 & 6 grade, they better be able to do that. Then I realized just how uncommon it is today. That is so sad.

Overall like is going well. Just keeps on moving. We have contienued to build our business and it is crazy busy. So far things are good.

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #407 on: August 21, 2019, 12:19:29 PM »
Haven't posted here in a bit but I have been on and messaging and encouraging friends. Figured I should drop a not here too. Things are good. Our business is busy and we are expanding. Trying not to grow too fast and to keep mindful of quality and integrity amidst growth. I had to say no to some things as a result and even though it was a bummer it felt good to be choosing consistency over quick $. My husband came to me later and said thank you. He was initially against declining the job but after it was done he agreed that it would have been too much. We talked about how much more stress that would have been and how that impacts our family. One of the points he made was that is when he feels temptation to porn, in stressful times. It was great to see him recognize this and he said in the future he will be more supportive about it. I am really proud of his progress, he still has some work to do (as do I!) but he really has come a long way. Over 3 years porn free for him and sometimes it feels like a ghost that haunts him, other days it feel like a dream from the past. No matte what tomorrow is, I know we can tackle it....together.

kopp

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #408 on: September 23, 2019, 02:56:40 AM »
Keep us updated!

I read your last post, then the first one... god there must be an interesting story between the two. You seem to be doing better than ever, congratulations on that!

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #409 on: October 02, 2019, 03:22:12 PM »
Kopp,
Thank you, yes it has been a long three+ years but we are still here and going strong. Healing is a process and nothing happens over night.

Things are good. Life is busy but thankfully nothing major is happening. November we are going to Disneyworld as a family and I am looking forward to a fun family vacation. Disney isn't really my cup of tea (I prefer the woods and less people) but the kids will love it and  I know we will have a great time.
Hope anyone reading this is doing well!
Cheers

aquarius25

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Re: Its a process...I guess.
« Reply #410 on: October 07, 2019, 11:10:58 AM »
Just had a week of high stress. My mother n law visited and well she is not my cup of tea. While out visiting my husband decided to finally tell her about his addiction, mainly because she kept hinting about our parenting style. Finally my husband told her he actually has really suffered from the lack of structure and lack of character in his upbringing. He did be sure to say he isn't blaming, he takes full responsibility, but he is recognizing areas that he has chosen to be different than her and he asked her to respect it. I am so proud of him for this. It took a lot of courage. She is half Japanese and  very traditional. She doesn't like direct conversation, more passive aggressive and lots of snide comments. He has always had an odd relationship with her, very cold. This is the first time he really just said what he felt to her. I didn't really care for the entire visit but I am very glad to see him standing up and speaking up for his family. That is a big improvement. 16+ years and this was the first time!