Hi. I joined this group a few years ago. I read a little and tried to reach out, but I guess I wasn't ready to be open and honest about me. I'm back now, not sure why all of a sudden I just looked for this group and started reading.

The effects of child sexual abuse in adults... can I really say that my issues today have to do with sexual abuse? Yes and no. Yes because I relate to many of the things I read here from other people who deal with similar problems I have as an adult. I identify events in the past, the burdens, the betrayals, the having to grow up too soon, the issues with love, spirituality, relationships, choices, etc... And no, because the abuse I was submitted to as a child was not just sexual. I'm also a survivor of severe spiritual and physical abuse. I don't mentions psychological abuse because I don't think I need to. All other forms of abuse have psychological abuse attached to it.

Anyway, days like today when I feel depressed, sad, angry, lonely, pathetic, vulnerable, hopeless, never suicidal, though, are what really make me feel the effects of abuse. There's always this sense of missing something, some sort of spiritual hole, some hidden resentment about something precious that has been taken from me and can't recover.

This is my life now. I have many reasons to feel good (especially about mysefl). I'm certainly not in the messes I used to be when I found myself struggling with the ways I used to run away from facing my past. I have closed certain chapters in my life, and my life is manageable. Yet, it sucks. It just sucks because of the anger I feel, the loneliness I've had for soooooooo long.

I guess I should start from the beginning. Although I do not remember faces anymore, I was sexually abused by several people when I was a child. I can't remember the time frame in which those incidents happened, but one of my abusers was my father. I was also gang raped when I was 8 years old. All that time I felt it was me who had to feel ashamed for it.

At the same time I grew up in a cult. I was not to question anything or anyone, just be obedient and a good follower, which I was. I grew up surrounded by so many people slapping me, mocking me, hittin me, laughing at me. I can't talk about my childhood without mentioning one event without me getting laughed at, hit, or abused in a way or another by a sibling, a parent, a teacher, a neighbor, or even a stranger.

I have no idea how at 4 I learned to read and write, so I started school earlier than the rest of my peers. I was 2 years ahead in school, so though intelligent, I became the punchojg bag of others in my class. There are instances in my childhood in which the teacher herself (and that happened with more than one teacher in different schools) had me in front of the class to bash me and have the others laugh at me. In one ocasion it was becasue I lied about and absence, and in the other ocasion was because of my family's religion.

Fast forward to my early adulthood. I find myself in a spiritual and sexual crisis. I have no idea on how to deal with what I was feeling. I knew since earlier that I felt attracted to people my own gender. I had this question about whether my sexual orientation was the result of so much abuse, the result of some other type of disorder, or if it was just "God" testing me or something like I was made believe that God does things like that. At the same time I started seeing the religious organization I dedicated the first 23 years of my life for what it really is, a brainwashing cult full of hypocrits. I had a "girlfriend" at the time, and everybody in the family and the congregation was very happy that I was going to "solve my problem" by getting married.

One event triggered my decision of leaving that organization. It was a meeting that was called by one of the members of that organization and several others with the sole purpose of bashing me because I was "too independent", "out in the world", or something like that. That meeting took place exactly the day after I was on my knees asking God to give me an answer to whether or not I belong in that place, and if I do, to show me how to regain my faith. That meeting was my answer. I knew: (1) That leaving that organization was not going to happen overnight, (2) That living outside that organization was going to bring new both good and bad things to my life, (3) That being out of that organization means saying goodbye to my own family of origin, and (4) That I couldn't wait to be out.

I don't really have a victim mentality; never did. I was not planning to become a rebel, get myself into a life of drugs, alcohol or anything self-destructive. That would have proven the right. I had something to prove to them, and that was that my life is better without them, that I was NOT going to be seen as an example of what happens if you leave. I went to college and became an Engineer. It was really hard, difficult, and a struggle, but I FUCKING DID IT!!!

Most of my adulthood has always had similar struggles. I've always strived against people, society or anyone for that matter to tell me who or what I am. I never abide all the stereotypes (sometimes ridiculous) about gay people, about people of my ethnic background, about people of my ethnic background living in USA, etc. I refuse to take crap from people, especially when they come to me trying to preach me about how "happy" thier lives are because of so and so. I guess after all I am a rebel, just not the kind that acts rebellious in a self-destructive manner.

Something that I see here in this board is that many of us feel really afraid and concern about becoming abusers themselves. In my relationships, at work, and in social situaltions I feel that I struggle with balance. I feel that sometimes I let people take advantage of me (patterns of years of abuse), or on the other hand, I become authoritarian, cruel and cold. Sexually I could never harm a soul. Anything that could remotely resembles what I went through revolves my stomach, makes me literally sick, maks me vomit. Part of my depression has to do with many instances in which I still feel in survival mode, in part because I've never been completely honest about my story even to my partner who I love and trust (a sexual abuse survivor's definition of trust). I don;t think I have been able to let go, mostly beacuse I trust no one.

I celebrate victories, but I always feel there's something or someone missing for me to fully enjoy them. I feel very angry at my family or origing (part of it) for not being there for me or with me, although I have to remind myself that many if not all are also survivors of this many forms of abuse.

I'm glad that I decided not to self-destruct when I left the cult. Back then I had something to prove to them, vindicate my character and who I really am. Today I don;t think in such way. Today I don't need to prove my "better" life to anyone. My position now is my life could be better, the same or worse, What really matters is that it's MY LIFE. MINE. It doesn't belong to anyone else but me, not to that so-called God I was taught about, not to any of my perpetrators, not to whoever wants to mold me into something or someone I'm not.

I don't know if I had written too much or not enough. I don't know if these bits and pieces of my life even make sense in a coherent manner. I think this is enough for now. I'm glad this board is still here, and I'm ready to let the healing begin.