Tomorrow is my little son's first birthday party. He was born on June 20, 2010. About 8 months after I had been raped and sexually assaulted. It was also at this time last year that I first went into that Male Survivor chat room and talked about what happened to me. It was at the urging of my therapist. He said that it might help to see that other men were recovering from sexual trauma, and he was right. It was through talking to so many of you that I could see that I wasn't alone.
I was kind of shocked at first. It seemed like every guy had been sexually abused as a child and could not relate to certain aspects of my story. I was saddened to read that so many horrible things can happen to young children and that knowledge has colored my son's first year as well. I have to do everything in my power to protect him. But at the same time it was lonely those first few months before some other loner ASA survivors popped out from out of the woodwork.
About two months after I first joined this site, I finally was able to have some honest talks with another man here who was raped as an adult, and this was extremely instrumental in finally making the decision to tell my wife about the assaults, as many brothers here urged me to do. It hasn't even been two years since the assault/rape happened but I am in a different place now. I am so grateful for my son and the way he continuously reminds me that God still has a purpose for my being present in the world. Those little eyes stare at me with the same wonder and amazement as they did when he was first born. My beautiful wife had waited so long for a little baby to hold, and watching her joyfully embrace the gift of motherhood has probably been one of the most endearing things I have ever seen. There is a lot of trauma for the both of us to overcome, and I am still making sense out of what happened to me but it is our task as survivors to go on living life so that we can create new memories that can outnumber the traumatic ones. They might not disappear but we can at least try to crowd them.
I joined this site because I realized, "Oh, S&*T, I am going to be a father in a couple of days." I had spent months on end doing nothing but lying in bed wondering what the hell happened to me. Playing it over and over in my head and asking myself what I could have done differently. I missed a lot of those ultrasound appointments, I wasn't as supportive about the pregnancy as I could have been, it was nothing personal I just was too numb to care about anything. Somewhere I found the strength to be there when my son entered the world. As soon as I laid eyes on him, I knew he was going to be my new purpose. I was so apathetic during the pregnancy, I didn't even suggest names to my wife. As soon as they gave him to his mother to nurse, she said that his name was Peter, after me. I remember many nights rocking him to sleep and wishing he could have a different name because I didn't want to set him up to be a failure like me. Talking to many of you here has helped me to see that I do have a lot to teach this boy, and maybe one day he will be proud of his father the way I am proud of my own father.
I am grateful to God for all of you here who have been my friends and companions over this past year. Your support means more than you know. Some of you had great fathers growing up. Some of you had terrible ones--and the only Father's day gift they deserve is the electric chair. We all come from different backgrounds but I thank each of the men who sat with me and listened to my story. Thank you for giving my son his father back.
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”
- Saint John of the Cross