You guys are really great! You know what I'm trying to say even when I don't!
Lots of good support, reassurance and strategic moves for keeping these feelings of doom from dominating my thoughts and my life.
What you have really helped me see is that I do have some fear, unreasonable perhaps, but not totally without basis in reality, that conflict and controversy will take away from me this place that gives me such relief from the agony of living alone with the effects of sexual abuse.
It seems that I have known all along that the absence of my father, difficulties between him and my mom, the resulting poverty and neglect, the shame and guilt that comes when a child takes on the sins of the parents...I knew, instinctively, that all this made me different, left me vulnerable, open to attack and abuse.
This was I suppose a gift of innate instincts. I don't suppose I ever sat down and rationally figured all this out. I just knew that I was in a dangerous place for most of my life--and the fact that I was chosen to be the victim of a serial pederast is proof that my instincts were right.
I never did have anyone to confide my fears in--the shame of having and enjoying intimate sexual contact with a man kept me living alone with my fears. I knew it was wrong, but I didn't know how to say it or who to tell.
It's like I taught myself to ignore important messages being sent to my brain from my innate nature.
Sort of like being told that I burned my own hands by grabbing on to hot grills on the bathroom heater. That doesn't make sense. We are programmed from birth to recoil automatically from a hot flame.....
I think we are also programmed from birth to sense when we are in danger of abandonment, hunger, thirst, cold. We cry out as babies and hopefully we are given reassurance.
I've mentioned this before, about the phenomenon known as "Alone in the World" where infants who are neglected soon cease to cry and complain when hungry, cold or fearful.
They cease to cry out for help because help never comes.
The babies instinctively learn that crying out doesn't bring relief and is just a waste of vital energy, needed especially because we are not able to depend on care from others.
I think that's part of what's going on with me.
I'm crying out--I didn't even know why. But you guys didn't just read my post and say "Well, that's crazy. A little controversy won't destroy this malesurvivor thing".
You didn't come to me shaking your fingers and telling me that my fear is unreasonable and that I should be quiet.
You did not ignore my crying out.
Because you didn't ignore me, I now have regained a little faith in the goodness of the world.
You have given me the soothing reassurance that I never felt--especially in the aftermath of the abuse.
I was acting out my cries for help long before the age of 15, when the abuser first seduced me.
The neglect and abuse of my earlier childhood had left me a prime target for the selfish intentions of the abuser.
My parents and the community I lived in had groomed me to perfection by ignoring and disregarding my cries for help.
I had already learned that crying out didn't change anything---better to just keep it all in and conserve my energy, because I didn't know when I would get any more.
Guess this is why this place and especially you men are so goddamned important to me.....more important almost than I want you to be.
It scares me how important it is that someone understands, that another man comes to comfort me and doesn't abuse me, that a man can give me shelter and nourishment and not manipulate me into being sexually abused as my 'payment'.
Yeah, I'm afraid that this site can be destroyed by the emnity and bitterness that we all have inside us. That's the darkest part of the terrible legacy of sexual abuse.
My loss of faith in my own instincts, my own feelings, my own abilities led me to lose faith in any one else coming to help or even hear what was scaring me so much.
I learned to just keep it inside, stuff it down inside and pretend that it didn't hurt, that I wasn't scared.
I'm so grateful to you, my brothers, my fathers, my caregivers, my fellows for hearing my cry and for coming to reassure me.
With enough practice I'll unlearn some of that sad lesson I was taught for so many years--the lesson that said I didn't matter, I wasn't worth it, that no one cared.
What you all give me is the undeniable truth that
I am not all alone in the world.
Thanks for caring, for showing you care, for responding to my cries for help, no matter how often I cry, or how busy you are.
Thank you for showing by your actions that I am worthwhile, that you love me even though I may be damaged and hard to love at times.
That I don't have to pay you with sex or anything else in return for your care.
So, yes, I'm afraid for the future of Male Survivor.
I really do think that the number of guests is way down. To think otherwise would be extremely irrational. It would be like trying to ignore the law of gravity--I do so at my own peril.
The laws of attraction are just as immutable.
Men who are damaged by sexual abuse are not going to be attracted to come to this place to heal and help me heal as long as abusive behavior dominates the life of the group!
My fear does not have to dominate my life--I can share it with others and we can take action together to help lessen the fear and action to help alleviate the conditions causing the fear.
It seemed to me, the casual observer that the crisis of hostile emotions that overwhelmed our public discussion board occurred almost exactly when we were getting a peak in response to the letter that Joe had written and was published in the newspaper along with our web address.
I remember a day when I looked and there had been 47 visitors by mid afternoon. I said to myself, I bet that's guys who got the web address from the letter in the paper.
Then I said, Oh shit, look what they're coming here to read. Invective and abuse! Yeah, we all need some more of that. Sorry for the sarcasm....
This is the way my brain has been working overtime.
I too am interested in making this place more accessible to male victims of sexual abuse.
I have volunteered to help in Advocacy and Public relations by giving out brochures etc.
But I find myself saying, "What are we going to do to ensure that when these people come here they are going to find a message of hope and love?" and not more abuse and insanity?
To our great credit, the admin and mods have all worked hard to reassure me and others. I don't really need to know what specific measures might be considered.
Right now it's enough to know that I'm heard, that I matter, that people care. Thanks Don, Dave, Llody, Thad, Ken and everyone else for that.
I know that there are many of us are determined to overcome the pernicious, destructive influence of our abusive pasts so that we can continue to have this forum as a way of assisting our fellow sufferers.
So, I can be scared, say that I'm scared, get reassurance from reliable people like my brothers here, and then use that fear as a motivator to get into action to overcome the real source of my fear---the fear that I am alone in the world.
Let's keep on loving and caring for each other.
We've all hurt for far too long, we've lived alone with the pain for too many days.
You all give me such precious gifts--the gift of faith in myself and my brothers.
With much affection and gratitude,