Hi. I have been posting here a little bit but have not introduced myself. I am in Illinois, US, grew up here in the midwest. I was molested by a church group leader of a (protestant) boy's group when I was 8. I had not repressed the memory, but had not felt its impact for many years until a dream I had about 14 months ago. I had just begun with a new therapist and she helped me interpret the dream. I did a great deal of grief work, then psychodrama where I confronted the abuser, the church preacher, and my mother and father. Much of my rage came out during that session.
After the abuse occurred, I did not feel safe to go home and tell my parents it had happened. That feels as awful as the abuse itself. My mother covertly abused me sexually throughout my life until I could make some boundaries with her just 3-4 years ago. Other boys were abused by the man at church and one finally told his parents. The man was run out of town by the sheriff - this was about 1963-4. I envied that boy. Years later, my family was discussing things that had happened in and around the church (church was/is very pivotal to my parents life). When the issue of the sexual abuse by the man came up, one of the victims was mentioned - the one who told his parents. I was about 16 or 17 and said that he had done the same thing to me. My mother immediately said, "No he didn't."
But of course, she could not possibly validate sexual abuse of me. I feel she was abused as a child and has never faced it. Possibly by a brother.
I have grappled for years with the "it wasn't that bad" idea. There was no mistaking the rage that came out of me during that psychodrama session, though. My father would never stick up for me against my raging, whining mother. I turned my own anger into myself and became an alcoholic and drug addict. I am now 21 years clean and sober and delighted to be so. Many of the "why" questions I had when I first joined AA are now coming to me. Shame that follows acting out just creates more acting out, creating more shame, etc., etc. I have also been treated for depression, including shock treatments when I was 22 and am currently taking Welbutrin and Lexapro.
After quitting drinking/using I experienced a depression caused by my body giving up that substance. I have given up other "unsuccessful" behaviors such as smoking. Another unsuccessful behavior is masturbation. I may be off topic here. I am going through another depression that is telling me it is time to give up pornography. So far today, I have thrown away two bags of magazines and videos. I feel ready to take this new step. I would like a real relationship with a real woman and feel this old behavior must go.
I have an extensive support group, including AA, therapy group, psychiatrist and two (yes, 2) therapists. And a good job that keeps me alert and challenged. I have come a very long way in recovery, including working on Adult Children of Alcoholic stuff. Most of all, I am grateful that my heart is open and I might be of help to other men. I crave fellowship of men that has nothing to do with our relationships with women. I hope I can participate in a positive way here and find help here as well.
Peace. My name is Rick, but I usually sign as,