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#252449 - 10/01/08 07:09 PM Trying to deal
James909 Offline


Registered: 10/01/08
Posts: 8
Loc: ny
Hey Guys,
Recently I have become interested in coming forward with the abuse which occurred to me when I was younger (7 -8). Perhaps earlier but the memories are still vague and I am not sure if they are real or not.
When I was 23 (9 years ago) I recognized that this abuse had happened to me and how it was turning my in to a drunk and a junkie. Through some tough times I pushed myself through and taught myself how to move forward. Ok, I have done it on the physical side but emotionally I do not think I am able to do it.
Recently, the girl whom I thought I was going to marry broke-up with me. She found that we were growing emotionally apart and lost our chemistry.
I know part of this is on my end because I knew I was hiding my abuse from her and not letting her into my past. She could see on my face there was something behind me but I was too much of a coward to tell her. Over-the-past 9 years, since I recognized my abuse, I have used it as my motivation. I used it to push my forward when quitting seemed easy. My feeling is that because of this I would not let anyone else know because it was mine burden alone to bear.
Also,when we would make love and began to explore each other I pulled away because I was worried about being a pervert. So much literature (not sure if it is true or not)is out there about kids who were abused who grew up to become abusers. There is one thing I am sure of, is that I will never be an abuser.
Another aspect of me which I believe stems from my abuse is my complacency (does anyone else feel this way?). It seems at times I just have no ability to stand up for myself on the stupidest things such as people cutting me in line at the grocery store to more important things like going to the doctor.
If anyone can provide me some insight as to what steps I should take to move forward it would certainly be helpful. The steps I have taken so far: told someone about my abuse (ex-girlfriend, she suggested I talk to someone) and am willing to move forward. I am apprehensive about therapy, I suspect I would like to keep my anonymity in dealing with this abuse.

Thanks
James.


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#252450 - 10/01/08 07:18 PM Re: Trying to deal [Re: James909]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
James,

First of all, that old wives tale that if you're abused you go on to be an abuser is just that, and old wives tale. It's not supported by statistical research. While it's true that many abusers were abused, the converse that if you were abused you will be an abuser does not hold water when the studies are done. The percentages are only marginally higher for an offender being abused as a child than they are for an offender who has no history of abuse.

That being said, Welcome! \:\) we're glad you're here, though sorry for the reason. What you describe in your life sounds so familiar to us here. We've experienced it to in one way or another. This is the place you can talk about those things and find understanding so come on in and talk to us when it feel right to do so.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#252451 - 10/01/08 07:28 PM Re: Trying to deal [Re: WalkingSouth]
James909 Offline


Registered: 10/01/08
Posts: 8
Loc: ny
Thanks John.
I knew it was a myth but at times when your nerves are tense myths sometimes myths sound true (even if only in your mind). I realize we are all going through a painful struggle and am glad to know there are people out there to find support from.


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#252455 - 10/01/08 07:35 PM Re: Trying to deal [Re: WalkingSouth]
lungfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/26/08
Posts: 64
Loc: nowhere special nj
Hey James, I could of wrote your post almost word for word as my own. The only difference is that I married the girl. I could never emotionally give myself fully to the relationship (or any other) because of my lack of trust due to childhood abuse. I now trust my dog, my t and the other men on this site. A good therapist is worth their weight in gold. One that couldn't keep your anonymity worth spit. Actually I've never heard of one breaking anonymity. Shop around, I've seen more than I could count. You will know when its right. Try to find one that specializes in our situation. Use this site for info. Good luck, Pete

_________________________
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like to be taught. -Sir Winston Churchill

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#252462 - 10/01/08 07:49 PM Re: Trying to deal [Re: lungfish]
oriolesguy Offline


Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 106
Loc: Long Island, NY
James...
I'm there. I'm a coward when it comes to disclosing to my wife, and I'm not as emotionally involved as I should be.
The first thing I did was stop denying that I was raped. I denied it for a long time. I faced that reality, and next, I have to be more comfortable in my own skin. I'm not quite there yet with that one, but I'm working on it.

It's not an overnight process. I'm finding that out. I am trying to do this without a therapist, but maybe I have this macho attitude (stupid?) that I can - and have - always done everything on my own.

This is the only place where I've told my full story. Maybe, sometime soon, I'll tell someone else - including my wife. But I just don't trust myself yet.

Heal, my brother. With you in NY.

Oriolesguy


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#252478 - 10/01/08 08:35 PM Re: Trying to deal [Re: oriolesguy]
M3 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 1392
Loc: Central Ohio
Hey James! Welcome to MaleSurvivor!

Congratulations for beginning to work on your recovery. Sounds like you've gotten pretty far on your own. Coming here should help you along the way! There is so much wisdom and information contained in the discussion boards and the men here are compassionate and supportive. MS has been a life saver for me. Hopefully you will find the same benefits.

I think it is far to say that almost everyone on this site has destroyed relationships by not disclosing our childhood sexual abuse (CSA) which kept a wall between us and our partner making us seem distant and even cold. I'm sorry you've had to experience that. That can change when you develop the tools to deal with the CSA and disclosure. Great threads about that here.

Quote:
My feeling is that because of this I would not let anyone else know because it was mine burden alone to bear.


I would have to disagree with you on this one. Part of what is wrapped up in that burden you bear is shame and guilt. These aren't yours to bear, they belong to your abuser. During your recovery, you'll learn to give back the emotions and feelings that have been given to you so you no longer have to carry that burden. It is a very freeing experience.

Quote:
Also,when we would make love and began to explore each other I pulled away because I was worried about being a pervert. So much literature (not sure if it is true or not)is out there about kids who were abused who grew up to become abusers. There is one thing I am sure of, is that I will never be an abuser.

I think this was addressed well by others, but I just want to add that so many of us have been worried about this.

Quote:
Another aspect of me which I believe stems from my abuse is my complacency (does anyone else feel this way?). It seems at times I just have no ability to stand up for myself on the stupidest things such as people cutting me in line at the grocery store to more important things like going to the doctor.

This will come with time as you learn to define who you are and what emotions you are feeling that are unprocessed childhood emotions. Trust in the system and you will learn to build your self confidence.

Though I have posted these elsewhere (sorry guys) I thought you would benefit from this list. Here are some ideas of how you can continue your recovery:

1) Disclose - I know you've told your girlfriend, but since you've broken up, you may not have anyone in your life to support you who knows about the CSA. We have places on this site where survivors post their story. Read over our stories and post your own. This may give you a sense that the burden of the secret is being lifted. And be reading our stories, you will not feel so alone or isolated and may being to feel more comfortable talking about the abuse and its aftermath.

2) Find a Therapist - I know you are apprehensive, but therapy has been hugely crucial in my recovery. Like you, I tried to do a lot on my own before therapy. So, the therapist helped me fit the pieces together and helped reflect back to me some of my behaviors and incorrect self-image issues - challenging me to be better, to get better. I would recommend that you think about it. There is a link from the front page to find a therapist.

3) Read - There are great books out there on recovery and abuse: Victims No Longer by Mike Lew and Abused Boys by Mic Hunter are two good books that I can think of off the top of my head. One of the moderators here, Ken Singer, also has a book that hopefully will be coming out soon too. Mark (Trucker51) also recommends Self Esteem by Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning. I haven't read that one yet, but I think you'll find that Mark is an incredible source of knowledge and wisdom about recovery.

4) Build a Support Network - You'll need local, in-person friends to support you on your journey to recovery. These friends will be invaluable to you when you are discouraged or just need a hug and someone to listen.

5) Build Friendships Online - Build friendships here online. Having a network of friends that you have access to 24/7 online is also invaluable. Since we are survivors, we have a different perspective and shared experiences that you can draw from by posting or reading previous posts.

6) Journal - Write out your feelings. It will help you remember things you want to talk about in therapy or online and may give you a voice to your past. You can talk you your little boy and see if you can articulate the feelings, memories that are from those days. I write letter to him, discuss my feelings or just free write to see what comes out.

Again, glad you are here James! You've just found a great bunch of guys who understand and will support you during your journey down the road of recovery.

Peace and love...

Michael


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#252485 - 10/01/08 08:53 PM Re: Trying to deal [Re: James909]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
Hi James,

Welcome amongst friends, you've taken the right first step and if it's wellness and freedom from the past that you seek then you're on your way...

I was going to post something savvy so as to encourage you, but Pete took all my words - seems we are all more alike than we sometimes think.

Your fellow journeyman
Joel

_________________________
My Story 1
My Story 2
The longest journey we take is to self-discovery

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#252525 - 10/02/08 03:46 AM Re: Trying to deal [Re: joelRT]
Stretch73 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/27/08
Posts: 336
Loc: Sea Isle City, NJ
James,

Society knows little about child sexual abuse. It doesn’t even want to know. We change the channel at random because we cannot handle the reality that our children are being terrorized. George Bush should realize that the Weapons of Mass Destruction are right here in our own country, in backyards, our playgrounds, schools, churches, and bedrooms. I have found most abusers use the excuse that they themselves were victims as children, whether or not their admissions are true, the media lunges forward in a irrational and uneducated knowledge of knowing why this sort of thing happens. It’s odd how much we all want to know how things happen, how something is assembled, what it consists of, and once we know it, we move on. For many people, once the evidence is clear and apparent on how a monster is made, rather than controlling and regulating such monsters, we brand the present monster and warn and exploit of his existence. The rationality is that if we can protect our children from the sex offender moving into the neighborhood, or ostracize the inappropriate behavior of an adult hanging around a playground where children are at play, then surely we can eliminate the problem. Of course, many of us know that “stranger danger” is real, but not the more significant problem. Most children are abused by a family member or a trusted adult in the child’s life.

Being abused as a child doesn’t make anyone abuse other children. I am happily civilized with a wonderful man, and I have a 3 year-old adopted son. I have never once thought of abusing him or any other child. In fact, I have difficulty seeing my son naked… mostly for fear that it might corrupt him now and he will have problems when he matures. Certainly I know this is not the standard, and if every child suffered effects from a parent seeing them naked at some point in their lives, then we’d have about 4 billion victims traversing the Earth. For myself, this is my only known issue that I feel, is directly related to my experience with sexual abuse as a child. I can pinpoint others which affected myself in the past, but don’t affect me today.


I know of the “pulling away” during sex. I’ve been there. When I was younger (I‘m still 32 years young. LOL), I would not submit to any man who initiated sexual contact with me. It has always been a control issue, and since there was a period of several years in which I lacked the ability and strength to control the situation of abuse, my psyche became perplexed and I eventually gravitated away from the situation and sought an intimate situation of control. I suppose I was something of a troglodyte sexually, living in my own world, and I built up these personal walls that weakness and the distortion of how I felt and what I didn’t want couldn’t get me there. I’ve come to realize that walls can be fortified with all the armor and firepower affective enough to obliterate a small country. However, the problem with those kind of walls is that we also keep out those who want to love us. It can become a very lonely fortress. It’s great to be King, but if you lack followers, what’s the point?


Success! Effort! Skill! Education! Hard work! Dedication! Money! Betterment! Triumph!
I’ve been there, James. I’m still riding all of those words. I am a highly educated individual, who owns several businesses, makes a ton money, owns the nice house, the cars, the toys that we think make us better, because we are in a higher tax bracket. BULLSHIT! I’m just started to realize the truth and reality of my life. There is nothing wrong with being financially successful, but if you measure your success by how much money you have in the bank, or what kind of car you drive, then you might as well STOP, sit back, and RELAX. Until you wake up next to a person you love to death every morning, or until you have children, or until you find something so significant that you love that person or thing more than you love yourself, you’ll never know true success. I’ve just started learning, and how great it is when you finally discover it for the first time. You’ll feel wrought with an oblivious stupidity, because you didn’t see it sooner, but that only lasts for a little while, because you’ll be reeling with happiness in what you’ve finally discovered. “All You Need Is Love.” - John Lennon

I do believe when life throws you a lemon, you make lemonade. (I just won’t drink it. I have a severe acid problem. :)) We all must find something positive in our lives if we’re ever going to not only fantasize, but ascertain personal achievement, financial success, love, and/or a new beginning. If you want to move forward, my advice would be to first STOP and figure out in what direction you’d like to head.

I’m sorry that I went on and on, and maybe some of what I said has been irrelevant, but I just felt like writing this morning. I hope you don’t mind. I also hope I have wrote some things that can be useful to you in your life. And by the way, WalkingSouth has some good things to say, just bare in mind, he is a Cubbies fan. ;\) GOOOO PHILLIES!

If you need to chat James, or want someone just to listen or just to talk, send me a private message and maybe we can chat. I hope you find serenity.


Take care!
Rich






Edited by Stretch73 (10/02/08 03:46 AM)
_________________________
"I was so poor growing up, that if I wasn't born a boy, I wouldn't have had anything to play with." Rodney Dangerfield

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#252569 - 10/02/08 11:37 AM Re: Trying to deal [Re: Stretch73]
jnj Offline


Registered: 09/30/08
Posts: 27
Loc: UK
Hi James.

So much of what you have said is like a reflection for me.

I think for me one of the number 1 reasons why I took so long to tell my wife about my CSA was the fear that she would think I too would be an abuser.


Infact because I was abused I think that in some perverse way has had a positive effect on my relationship with my daughter.
I know I am not an abuser and I prove it too myself and my wife by being the best dad I can possible be. The love I have for my child is so full and I know that having been though CSA I just want to give my daughter the happiest and safest life I can.

I know we all come here for help and just by telling our stories to each other we in turn are relating to each other and know we are not alone.

Good Luck James, I hope you find peace with yourself

_________________________
I started out with nothing and I still got most of it left.

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#252583 - 10/02/08 12:56 PM Re: Trying to deal [Re: jnj]
James909 Offline


Registered: 10/01/08
Posts: 8
Loc: ny
When I embarked on phase 2 of this understanding (moving forward and discussing my CSA with others), I told myself I would not shed another tear or get angry over this again. Too much have I lost because of what happened to me and I thought I was unwillingly to lose anymore.
After reading these replies, I have shed tears in the comfort which I have received from them. I am comforted in knowing that there are others who are walking with me side-by-side in trying to alleviate which has been inflicted upon all of us.
I am proud of the steps which I have taken and proud of all of you for having taken the same.
I know the future holds much toil; perspectives and obstacles which at the moment I cannot fathom but I am thankful that I have found a group of people who can help me through this.


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#252591 - 10/02/08 02:00 PM Re: Trying to deal [Re: James909]
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
James,

A lot of the guys have given you some really great insight into this but I'd like to add one thing. It's about seeing a therapist and the anonymity. A lot of us kept secret what happened to us out of fear of rejection, shame, humiliation, etc. Keeping secrets is not healthy, it lead us into isolation. A qualified therapist who has dealt with survivors, especially male survivors, is essential to healing and moving forward with your life. Therapists are bound by laws not to reveal anything about you to others unless you are a danger to yourself or pose a specific threat to someone else. They are there to help you understand what happened to you and to help you move forward in your natural development.

You've come to a very supportive place with a wonderful bunch of guys who have been through some horrific stuff. We're here to help in any way that we can.

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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#252606 - 10/02/08 03:12 PM Re: Trying to deal [Re: James909]
sunwolf Offline


Registered: 09/20/08
Posts: 225
Loc: Indiana
I also suffer from complacency..its hard for me to satnd up fopr myself..i always try to please everyone and is hard for me to say no...but am getting stronger with therapy and reading and talking to others in this group.


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