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#132254 - 01/02/06 05:12 AM femininity
Shyboy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 1
Loc: US
My s. abuse by my father started when I was about 8 or 9 (I'm not sure due to repression of many memories) and continued for at least 2-3yrs. It has left me really screwed up. I, unlike a lot of posters do not have gay feelings toward another man and in fact is the opposite for me. I feel more comfortable around females. It is the feminine qualities that I have that conflicts with my being male (this is a hard thing to describe). Even my wife says (in a helpful and non hurting way) that I am more like the girl in our relationship. The number one thing for her is that I am not the sexual, horney one and she is always the one to try to initiate sexual relations and most of the time I am not in the mood. I am highly shy and sensitive and it doesn't take much to make me cry. People are careful around me so as to not hurt my feeling. I am very untrusting of other males and really have no male friends. Even my therapist says that I feel the same feelings that a female who has been raped feels. I am the only male invited regularly to typical female events such as parties, girls night out and am not uncomfortable with it.
I am the only male in a female equestrian club. I can't handle any violent beat 'em up, shoot 'em up type of movies. Even my legal name given by my parents is feminine, Shawna Sierra J. I just try to go by Sierra. The frustrating thing is that there is conflict ongoing in my head where I know how I am but it goes against my biology which is male. This is a source of great anxiety for me and I am afraid that no therapist will able to unscrew this mess. I seemed to take the atypical path of a
male survivor of sexual abuse
-Sierra

_________________________
-SJ

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#132255 - 01/02/06 06:07 PM Re: femininity
Dominic Offline
Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 43
Loc: Dallas
Sierra,

You have survived a traumatic childhood event. Someone that you trusted and that was supposed to love and protect you, violated you in a horrific way.

There is nothing wrong with how you are feeling. We each feel something different and some things the same as a result of our trauma. What we feel or how we are afterwards is not wrong, it is just how we feel.

You spend time with women because that is where you feel safe. It is ok. I do not know how long you have been in counseling but I will go out on a limb and say the more you continue to work with your therapist and heal, the less the confusion will be present. Ultimately this is really about accepting ourselves as we are and being ok with ourselves.

There is nothing wrong with you, you are merely working thru the traumatic event. It is not easy but hang in there. You are doing a good job.

I have had similar conflicts as you and the more I have healed the less the conflict has become. In the meantime honor yourself and be gentle with yourself.

You are loved!

Dominic

_________________________
Dominic

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#132256 - 01/05/06 12:40 PM Re: femininity
Dewey Offline
Member

Registered: 11/13/02
Posts: 137
Loc: the sunshine state
Sierra, hi. There is a book written by John Eldridge called "wild at heart" that will probably be of help to you. Your Dad dropped the ball in instilling and nurturing your sense of masculinity. There is a weightiness about us that we sometimes don't believe exists. But it is there and there for a reason. You are blessed to have a strong emotional tie to your wife, [if I'm reading correctly]. There is a great dimension to our relationships too when it comes to the area of pursuit. You pursuing her and her responding. So glad you posted Dan

_________________________
I refuse to use my past as an excuse to not have a future.
My hero Dad; Trigger warning- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi3Hyxuf5AE

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#132257 - 01/18/06 06:14 PM Re: femininity
ForeverFighting Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/09/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: New Mexico, USA
I feel a lot of what you're describing, too. Abuse really messes with our brains. My dad wanted a girl and made no secret of the fact that he was disappointed I was born. Even within the last few years he told me that if I'd been born a different kid he would have been a better father. My dad's a whiney, selfish man, so it's not like I had much of a role model anyway. But he was athletic, track team, basketball. I'm a musician. There are a lot of men here who've been the "disappointment" for their fathers. It's actually our fathers who were the disappointment for hurting their own little boys. No, "disappointment" isn't nearly strong enough of a word. Pedophiles, abusers, perps. It was their fault.

For most of my life I stayed with the women. My dad was a religious fanatic, and I remember praying when I was about 11 that God please not let my voice change. I could not become my dad or his brother. When the physical changes hit, I almost died. Being stuck in the boys PE was a nightmare.

I've been talking to a therapist for quite a while now. It's taken a lot of time, but in the last year or so I've actually made a couple of friends who are male. For so long I could not say the words "I'm a man." Even now I almost choke writing that. "Man" has been a bad thing for so long. My therapist reminded me that it wasn't because I was a boy that I was abused. Pedophiles hit boys and girls. He helped me to see that there are men who are good people. This site has helped me remember that, too. That doesn't mean all those years of bad training by my weak father and domineering mother have vaporized. I talked to a new therapist this week who in the first visit asked me about "identity issues", and I thought, is it that obvious? What do I have to do? Wear camouflage, grow a scruffy beard and carry a harpooned deer on my back?

Maybe you don't hear so much about the "atypical path", but believe me, you're not alone. My goal is to be the man my father will never be. I'm experimenting by trusting some men just a little, and I'm finding that there are men who can be trusted. And above all, it's OK to be me. So I'm one of those artistic, touchy-feely type men who actually cares about people. If that's my worst flaw, so be it.

I will add that I had my name legally changed. It's not like I'm stuck with whatever they thought up in the back of a car. I will be me.

It's OK to be the man you are, Sierra. Take care of yourself.

_________________________
ForeverFighting

"This search for the truth--it's not for the faint of heart."--Goren on 'Law & Order: CI'
"The former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart."--Isaiah 65:17

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#132258 - 01/19/06 02:23 AM Re: femininity
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Sierra,

I am glad you posted on this subject, and you know what? I am happy for the man you have become.

We are constantly buffeted by images and pressures in society to be this or do that, all for the sake of attaching ourselves to some stereotype of what a "real man" is. But in reality many of us will laugh when we see a guy like that walk by: you can almost smell the testosterone!!!!

I think those stereotypes are mindless and very harmful. They take a decent guy and make him feel guilty because he isn't a man cut from the most preferred pattern. Preferred by whom? Hollywood? Madison Avenue advertising firms?

The stereotype robs society of a lot. Each of us has to find our own way to "manhood" by being a good person with clear moral values and compassion for other people. There are so many rich and varied possibilities for all of us. Why should we give them up for the sake of someone else's stupid and barren cliches?

All those things you say you do that you think are unmanly? I think they are just fine, if you are comfortable with them and they do not interfere with your relationship with your wife.

If you have difficulties reconciling yourself to all this, I would not blame you in the least. The pressures to conform are all around us. But I do think a T would be able to help you. This is the kind of problem that a T would have the special training and insight to help you through your feelings and reach a point where you are comfortable with who you are.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#132259 - 02/08/06 12:24 AM Re: femininity
sophiesdad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 462
Loc: Florida
Sierra:

I, too, am glad that you wrote about this subject as I think it is on the minds of many SA survivors.

From what you have written (and I'm NOT a doctor) I agree with the other guys who have said that SA really messes with your head. Your abuser was a male and you may have a lot of difficulty relating to other men because of that.

In addition to that, you may have feelings of shame being the very gender of the one who abused you. Because you were mistrusting of males, you probably felt more comfortable and less threatened around the women in your life.

I think that this is VERY different from someone who may be a transgender candidate. From what I have read and heard, the prominent complaint is that they feel that they are essentially women trapped in men's bodies (or the other way around). Please someone correct me if I'm mistaken.

From what I hear in your writing is that you have picked up a lot of the affective behaviors of many women - ie., listening, discussing, paying attention to more emotional issues.

I hate violent movies, despise sports, can't throw a ball for the life of me, am not "macho" at all, but yet I am very comfortable being a man. Just because you don't fit into the "mold" that our society has created of what a "man" is, doesn't mean that you are trapped in a man's body.

I think it's really important for you to get a very good therapist to help you to sort out these feelings and see which are truly the result of the SA and which are not. The most important thing, also, is to make sure that your therapist has no pre-conceived ideas or biases either way.

The most important thing to remember is to be true to yourself and try not to be afraid of whatever answers you discover. It's like peeling away the layers of an onion - you shed a few tears, but you eventually get to the core.

Please keep writing - you're in the right place.

SD

_________________________
There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"

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#132260 - 02/14/06 04:13 AM Re: femininity
endlessjourney Offline
Member

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 518
Loc: Cincinnati Ohio
Sierra,

I know the feeling of which you speak. Do you ever feel like it's about power. In society, men are stereotypically viewed as strong, masculine, insensitive and rough. The person who abused you didn't want you to be that way so they may have trained you to be the opposite. Sexual predators want their victims to feel week and out of control. Now stereotypes are not always accurate and all men have at least some if not, a lot of feminine attributes. You don't have to be ashamed of yours and for the ones that do bother you, a therapist can help you with as long as you can be honest with yourself. The feelings of weekness my not necessarily be "feminine" but may be an after affect of what happened to you as a child. Count your blessings and virtues. You 'are' strong. It took a lot of courage to write what you did. Your on the right track and you're in my prayers. Good luck my friend.

_________________________
Truth is the very reason we strive to live. It surrounds and resides within us. Accepting the truths we already know and seeking out those we do not is a direct path to inner balance and joy. For life is not a means to an end, but a journey. Life comes and goes but the truth will always live on.

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#132261 - 03/16/06 09:51 AM Re: femininity
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 797
Loc: North Texas
Hi Sierra, I had meant to give this link to you earlier. There is a Ebook here that talks about things that can go wrong in pregnancy that could be the causes of your feminine ways. I know that it seems to fit me very well. Are you love-shy ?

Take care,
Lostcowboy

_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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#132262 - 03/16/06 10:04 AM Re: femininity
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Sierra,

I hope you will continue to post and talk about your issues with us here. As you can see, you won't be judged on MS. We all have our own abuse issues of course, but the guys here will also help you see that you are worthwhile and accepted as the man you already are.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#132263 - 03/16/06 08:40 PM Re: femininity
Bobby Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 1287
Loc: Arizona
Sierra, I'm so sorry you are having these feelings. My first thought is that I would like you very much. How much does this world need someone kind and caring? We have enough macho to last us for years. I, too, have questioned myself all my life about my manliness, but as with my sexuality, I'm beginning to see that as a continuum (hope I spelled that correctly), rather than an either/or. Now if the world would just wake up and stop stuffing things into little categories....... I am accepting myself more and more each day and have even begun to appreciate some of the qualities that are a part of who I am that others have been criticizing all my life. "You're just a little sissy." Thank-you very much. I do have some feminine qualities. I like that part about me. Couldn't we say just as easily that I am artistic and not agressive, love music and am really a good dancer? There are different ways to look at everything. Unfortunately, I was born into a family and into a town that saw anything but a big, strong, nasty, agressive football player unmanly. Now, I have nothing against big, strong, nasty, agressive, football players. Some of them are pussycats off the field. But I resent very strongly having had my life ruined (well made miserable, anyway) because I wasn't one of them.

What I mean to say (and I never say in a couple of words, what I can say in 200...it's the way my mind works) is that you sound like a really great guy....maybe not stereotypical, but who needs stereotypical? I would accept you and readily appreciate you, and I'm sure you would do the same for me. Now, if we could just accept ourselves as easily. You sound great to me!!!

Bobby

_________________________
I'm healing now, and I wasn't sure I would.




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