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#172865 - 08/12/07 08:00 PM Newcomer - dealing with multiple abuse memories
gay30something Offline
New Here

Registered: 08/12/07
Posts: 26
Loc: New England, USA
hello

I am a gay male - 30 - in a legally committed same sex relationship for about 8 years. Spouse is a wonderful person who has done more for me than anyone.

In recent years, panic and also some rage and depression symptoms have developed - and started noticing extreme reactions to symbols related to a religion I was part of years ago.

Over a period of weeks this year, several memories and/or portions of have come to light. Abuse at a shopping mall and also abuse during some religious instruction on a few occasions.

I can't help but notice the obvious that my inability to maintain some of the normal functions of life - panic keeping me away from employment, lack of interest in sex with spouse, etc poor decisions in recent years -- noticed this is related to what I've started to recall.

The good news is that as terrifying as this is I feel I see light at the end of the tunnell in that I think facing the past is helping me concentrate better, treat spouse a little better etc

I tried discussing these issues with some other family members - parents, grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother.
Each and every male I spoke with said things that made me so sick and depressed that I could barely cope.

I finally had to tell my brother and father I don't want to associate with them right now.

My spouse doesn't feel it is his place to intervene with them, although they have associated with each other extensively over the years.

I think part of their reaction is hetero-macho male stuff and part of it a desire to shut me up because it is unpleasant.

My father claims this couldn't have happened because I was only at the religious instruction on a limited basis.

BS!

I spent three days in complete hopeless depression after my father and brothers ridiculed me over this. They made it into a joke.

So, my frustration is in dealing with that (in short term at least, I've cut them off)

Other frustrations include worries that health insurance will cut off therapy at a difficult time.

And disbelief. There are basically two of me, one who acts like a skeptic some of the time... and then the other half who reveals all of these dirty facts from the past.

Literally, a few times I tried to write, my hand started writing in a large child like handwriting, and I didn't have control of my hand.

What I've recalled from age 6 or 7 is very disturbing. Bits and pieces.

I do want to recall everything because I fear I'll be stuck remembering for years to come. I'd rather deal with it all now, not when I'm 40 or 50.

My spouse has been very supportive to the best of his ability.

My female relatives - none of them have ridiculed me at all.

To complicate things more, I have been fearful that this information could be misused. As I've been fairly visible in helping the gay community in the past, I wouldn't want to be used for propaganda against gays.

One relative already tried to say that the perpetrators were gay, because they were men.

Upsetting to me, because I know that is false and in my opinion highly bigoted.

I've also been afraid that this could somehow tear apart my relationship with my spouse, resulting in divorce - which would be financially and emotionally devastating to both of us.
But clearly the past few years I haven't treated him properly because of this issue.

Thoughts anyone?


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#172869 - 08/12/07 08:17 PM Re: Newcomer - dealing with multiple abuse memories [Re: gay30something]
hideout Offline
Guest

Registered: 08/09/07
Posts: 84
Loc: michigan
first of all man
justthe fact that your family, the people you love and trust would even think of making fun of such an issue tells you that they most likely dont understand how horribly this affects your life

coming here was a good decision, because many people have gotten help for this problem here
best thing i could suggest is to talk to the people here and get their input, because they are all very intelligent and nice people
you are welcome here, and will never be judged for what you say


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#172877 - 08/12/07 08:44 PM Re: Newcomer - dealing with multiple abuse memories [Re: hideout]
gay30something Offline
New Here

Registered: 08/12/07
Posts: 26
Loc: New England, USA
Thanks for that.

Yeah, well, I said my spouse and I have spent a lot of time with my family. What I forgot to say is that there is a lot of disfunctionality in my family.

While they clearly have gone to great lengths to show that they accept me as gay and they've spent plenty of time with my spouse and myself ----
they are still very unusual and they have a way of being verbally abusive.

I had to back out of this. While for familial relations I may have tolerated this to an extent for better or worse...
when they start ridiculing my memories of rape (these were of perpetrators that were NOT family members)
it was just too draining on me.

I couldn't accomplish a thing for three days afterwards.

The women in my family have reacted differently. Grandmother and aunt were VERY concerned and certainly not disbelieving me in any way.

The thing with my father is my younger brothers (all adults now, but younger than me) follow his cues.

Dad decides to cast a shadow of doubt, or sound like he's ridiculing it, then so do brothers.

The scarey thing is that I believe one of my brothers was also a victim at one point at the religious instruction. But he doesn't want to go there or discuss it.
He says he doesn't remember any such thing.

The other brother never went to religious instruction - so presumably never experienced anything like what I'm remembering.

Either way, it hurts to seek help from family and be told you are crazy.

My spouse has observed that generally speaking, they always tend to marginalize anything I say on any topic.
I'm gay, they accept us, but to some extent there is a fig leaf of tolerance... or show shall I put it...
They do geniuinly accept us, but they still treat me as less than, possibly without realizing it.

My Dad is macho, so he deals best with his two macho-lite sons.... by default, I have always been less than macho (Dad actually suspected I was gay long before I realized it) so he doesn't get along with me well.

Also, as a young teenager, I exposed some unrelated things he was doing wrong/ i.e. disfunctional things to counselors, etc....
so he's always taken the attitude that I tattled on him or I'm not a loyal son.
These issues were not related to the sex abuse I experienced as a child...but yet he tried to use that as an excuse to say that I'm not telling the truth about what I experienced.

In other words, I called him a bad father when I was a teenager, he maintains this is not true, he's a perfect father, therefore I'm a liar in his mind.

So, If I say some strangers raped me as a child, I must be a liar.

Also, he seems VERY threatened by the thought that someone "got their hands on me" when I was a child. As if this means he wasn't watching out for my safety.

_________________________
gay30something

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#172959 - 08/13/07 10:18 AM Re: Newcomer - dealing with multiple abuse memories [Re: gay30something]
hideout Offline
Guest

Registered: 08/09/07
Posts: 84
Loc: michigan
he cant deal with being wrong, its sord of like the mother drowning her children because she cant have them all to herself, because in her eyes she is the perfect parent


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#172987 - 08/13/07 12:19 PM Re: Newcomer - dealing with multiple abuse memories [Re: hideout]
gay30something Offline
New Here

Registered: 08/12/07
Posts: 26
Loc: New England, USA
No, he's NEVER wrong and never says he's sorry for ANYTHING, EVER.

He tried to say I'm imagining these memories, and that it is impossible to have been sexually assaulted in a shopping mall as a child (in the restroom) because he claims my mother wouldn't have let me go to the bathroom alone at that age. Again, he knows everything, I am stupid, in his opinion.

With the religious education, at first, he tried to claim I never went, or only went for a few months. Confusing me with my younger brother, who went I think, less than a year.

I went from age 6 through 11. But either way, claiming that it's impossible to have been sexually abused in the religious education, because it was an after school/evening program, rather than an all day school.

Where he gets these irrational ideas, is beyond me.

Then, he tries to tell me these must be false memories.

He cites mental illness in another relative.

He offered to go to a psychiatrist session, but I was afraid he'd dominate the session, arguing he's correct and Dr is wrong, at my expense (running out of insurance benefits for the year, may have to pay cash soon)

Very upsetting. I can't even describe in words how upset it makes me. Yes, I can: It's like he's adding insult to the injuries that I suffered all those years ago.

He's also tried to blame others, at a different time period (my mid teens) because I was out of his supervision then.

I did have a couple of incidents then, but they don't rise to the level of the rape I suffered as a young child. There was a man who pinched me (on my butt) at a church like meeting and there was also a man who was studying the bible with me for a few years, who became a bit pysically abusive (slapped me, elbowed me, etc) and got into some sexual questioning that seemed to be unrelated to anything to do with our studies.

But these aren't the incidents from my childhood.

Again, my father, he has only a high school education, and he thinks he knows more than a psychiatrist and a family therapist (seeing both right now)

Fortunately, we are self sufficient people, with our own lives, not dependent on him. So, he has no control over the situation, ie. he's not paying for therapy or something. But it is upsetting nonetheless.

I suspect that I never faced these childhood memories when I was younger, because I was afraid of my father's reactions.

I'm sure when I was a child, I'd have been afraid to "tell on them" because I'd have thought my father would spank me.

Honestly. But he doesn't remember any of that. Actually, in recent years, my brothers have caught him telling people that he never spanked his children.

Funny thing is that I remember him hitting me with a stick on numerous occasions, and other objects, like sneakers, hand, etc.

So, my father has a way of revising history, and he gets upset if I stand up to correct him... even now as an adult.

By the way, what is confusing about the situation is that he does other things that seem like the right thing to do...

For example, he recently attended my spouse's birthday party, at a location specific to the gay community. He invites us to all his cook outs, parties, etc. etc.
But it is hard to reconcile the good Dad with the bad Dad, and that adds to the paranoid feelings I have had over recent years.

He could do so much to help me recover from the past - but apparently he's not capable.

My counselor has also observed that there is a culture of insults and verbal abuse in my family, that my brothers have both adhered to -- but I'm the only one who stood up to the behavior.

Of course my father tries to twist things she said years ago when he saw her.







Edited by gay30something (08/13/07 12:30 PM)
_________________________
gay30something

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#173047 - 08/13/07 04:50 PM Re: Newcomer - dealing with multiple abuse memories [Re: gay30something]
froggy12 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/06
Posts: 527
Loc: Marlboro, MA 01752
Fathers don't want to deal with it; many men don't want to deal with it. There are all sorts of reasons for this. You are not alone with this problem. Denial is an all American coping mechanism. (We don't own the copyright though). Right now all you are concerned about is yourself and your partner. Have you gone to couples therapy? You have no control over what others think or do. It is difficult to accept. I have a BIG problem with it and it hurts. Especially when I don't know or understand the reasons by others do what they do.

I rode steerage on Noah's Arc yet I still go to therapy, albeit a new one. Psychotherapy can be fun but draining.

Keep airing your thoughts. We all need suggestions and this forum lets us do that. And usually get lots of input. Buckle up, the journey will get rough now and then, but worth it at the end.

froggy

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#173048 - 08/13/07 04:53 PM Re: Newcomer - dealing with multiple abuse memories [Re: froggy12]
froggy12 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/06
Posts: 527
Loc: Marlboro, MA 01752
G30S, I meant to add.....gay 30 something. I am dyslexic and stumble over my words: oral and written/typed, so it's easier for me to do the G30S. No offense intended.

froggy

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#173063 - 08/13/07 06:42 PM Re: Newcomer - dealing with multiple abuse memories [Re: froggy12]
gay30something Offline
New Here

Registered: 08/12/07
Posts: 26
Loc: New England, USA
Well, I don't know that it qualifies as couples therapy, we are mostly dealing with my abuse issues from my childhood.

But my spouse attends some of the sessions. He is very supportive.

My father has a tendancy to be a know-it-all anyway. But I am shocked he would treat me this way.

Actually the Doctor (I'm seeing a psyhciatrist and seperately a family therapist) felt I should consider not associating with my father and brothers, etc because they were being very verbally abusive.

_________________________
gay30something

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#173270 - 08/14/07 06:29 PM Re: Newcomer - dealing with multiple abuse memories [Re: gay30something]
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
G30S,

Not associating with people that are verbally abusive and not supportive is a great idea. When people are dismissive of abuse survivors either they don't want to know the truth or they are afraid of the truth or they just don't get it.

Just remember the basics: It wasn't your fault: It did happen: and You did your best to cope with the aftermath. My father was a distant person, he was there financially to support the family but he was never there emotionally. I never felt that I could talk to him, or anyone for that matter, about the abuse, so I kept silent for over 38 years. You are doing the right things, your partner is supportive which is very important. You don't need your father's validation or your brother's either. If they wish to remain ignorant that is their choice. Your choice is to not continue to associate with them under those terms.

Take good care of yourself,

Steve

_________________________
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

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#173310 - 08/14/07 09:24 PM Re: Newcomer - dealing with multiple abuse memories [Re: Stephen_5]
froggy12 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/06
Posts: 527
Loc: Marlboro, MA 01752
Ditto. That's pure masochism. We usually do enough of that to ourself, and don't need outside assistance. Ever hear the Tom Lehrer song: "The Masochism Tango?" A nice Harvard boy gone wrong; maybe that's why he went to MIT!

Keep up the humor, it keeps me sane and that's for sure.

froggy

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