I see a lot of familiar names still here, and as ever a whole lot of new ones.
Which proves what a great place MS is.
I still read a lot and take an interest in what's going on, but I've been very happy to sit back for a while.
MS helped me immensly when I first came here, and I'm proud to have helped the site for a while as well. It was a challenge, but one I enjoyed and taught me a lot. I also appreciated the thanks and kindness I got in return.
But I didn't abandon the cause when I left, I was already working for Axis here in the UK where we provided therapy for nearly 400 clients last year, and we operate in one rural county!
Over the last couple of years I have been mainly involved in setting up a parrallel service within Axis called "4MEN2" which is actively aimed at male survivors. And last year we saw an 83% increase in men coming through the door.
That's something I'm incredibly proud of, and something I would never have been able to do 10 to 15 years ago because I was a 'typical survivor' in so many respects ( if there is such a thing? ) and didn't have the slightest bit of confidence in anything I did.
But I do now, and I can honestly say that most of that is down to the interaction I had with other survivors, discovering that I was not alone in how I felt and what I'd experienced was mind blowing, and I did that here at MS.
I first disclosed my abuse to my wife back in 1999, so it's been a 9 year journey so far. It feels like 9 weeks!
That might sound very discouraging to anyone coming here for the first time and wondering when they will feel better, but the truth is you will feel better tomorrow, and better still the day after that, now that the wheels of recovery are in motion. Yes, there will be dark and troublesome days when it all seems too much to cope with, but if you have made this much effort then the dark days will be easier to deal with.
I still have them, I still deal with them. Even after all the work I've done, but now it's a natural thing that I have to do and I "just do it".
Being an abused man isn't easy, some people say being a man isn't easy these days! But we are slowly getting the recognition and resources we deserve.
The success of MS proves it, as does an 83% increase in men using our service.