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#368407 - 08/18/11 12:25 PM gender identity issues
dark horse Offline


Registered: 08/18/11
Posts: 1
My CSA that I had to endure has caused me not only to have the usual fallout one gets from a traumatic experience but also something that has been bothering me for the past 45 years that no one seems to be able to help, and until now I have been too embarrassed to mention. Thanks to my father, ever since I could remember and even to this day I have always felt disgust at being male and have had fantasies, intrusive thoughts and wishes that I was born a female. I know that sounds f'd up but it causes me a lot of anxiety. All throughout my life, the only friends that I have had were female. I have a constant fear and distrust of men which is maybe why i am more comfortable around females. It is NOT in a sexual sense but more of i am 'one of the girls' sense. I like doing 'girly' things, watching 'girly' movies, wearing clothes that are considered to be more 'girly', however i dont crossdress or anything like that. My wife always gets on my case for not having any guy friends and only female friends, and I have been teased unmercifully (by other guys )throughout my life because of being feminine, being called names like pussy, sissy, girl, cunt, etc. It also doesnt help that my parents gave me a girl's name (i think deep down they wanted a daughter). Many times i am able to find comfort being feminine even with the embarrassment and teasing. If anyone else has been affected in this way it would be nice to know that i am not alone or a freak of nature.
-DH


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#368547 - 08/20/11 06:35 PM Re: gender identity issues [Re: dark horse]
thefutureorbust Offline


Registered: 04/24/11
Posts: 171
Loc: NC
Hey man, im a bodybuilder 5'9 210 pounds and after my abuse I had severe masculinity issues and to this day I feel the need to prove my masculinity. I know for me working out and having a common interest with other guys in the gym has helped my self-esteem like nothing other. I know it may sound dumb to "try masculine things". But bonding with guys and being one of the guys helps alot at times!

_________________________
"What does not kill me makes me stronger"

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#368563 - 08/21/11 02:05 AM Re: gender identity issues [Re: thefutureorbust]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 862
Loc: washington
DH...

You are not alone...

Confusion surrounding sexual identity is very common amongst csa survivors...

For the longest time...I thought I was a girl trapped in a boys body...

Today...I can be androgenous and comfortable in my own skin...

(I went on a long and ardous journey inward)...


...I might add, it was the best trip I ever took...



Carry On My Wayward Son (Kansas)

island



_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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#368593 - 08/21/11 01:28 PM Re: gender identity issues [Re: 1islandboy]
petercorbett Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2439
Loc: TEXAS
Hi, my fraternal brother, DH.

Welcome to MS. Here you will receive compassion, understanding & love, from your brothers (fraternal) & friends (in pain).

We all have been there. We have been into the depths of our soul & hell too.

We will hear your cries. We will share in your fears & tears.

You are already experiencing that emotional roller coaster ride of your life.

You are neither alone or a freak of nature. You are a worth while human being. tyring to make sense of things that happened to him long ago that were way above his comprehension and understanding.

We are here for you 24/7/365. You have a lot of company.

Heal well, my fraternal brother, DH, heal well. You are on your way.

"I will take that lost boys hand, and I will lead him from the depths of darkness, into the sunshine, forever into eternity." As he is me.

Pete..Irishmoose.

_________________________
Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
____________________________________________________________
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.


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#368620 - 08/21/11 05:57 PM Re: gender identity issues [Re: 1islandboy]
EdfromNYC Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 233
Loc: New York City
Agree with 1islandboy and futureorbust. Being around other men helps but if you don't trust other men, how can you do that? Being subject not only to sexual abuse but emotional/verbal abuse/humiliation like name calling by other men really makes all men "other" and me all alone. That's how I lived my entire life - no close friends, sexual abuse and then sexual acting out. I avoided male intimacy at all costs.

I am 45 and recovered from drugs. I finally started doing the steps with another man and I guess I started to trust him. Through my failure of becoming a drug addict and trying to handle it all alone, I found that I had to reach out to someone who offered me help. Now, 2+ years later, I am expanding my world. I am joining a male abuse group next month (just interviewed for it), I have a new therapist who is challenging me to do things, I am aware that I don't trust and aware that I can learn to trust but only through trying like futureorbust.

Similar to 1islandboy, I engaged in a long and arduous journey inward and it is now paying off in a sense of strength and purpose. For me, it was going through 12 steps and therapy. It continues. I am seeing that I missed out on so much that words don't do it justice but that focus will eventually go away.

In 12 steps, there are some promises as I do the work and one that seems especially relevant to me is that no matter how far down the scale I have fallen, I will see how my experience can benefit others. My experience is important as is your experience and because its different from the ordinary doesn't mean its less valuable.

Regardless of your confusion about your gender identity, you are important and valuable. You may have so much to offer under that confusion that is darkened by worry and fear (rightfully so). Those old voices ran my life too but I now see that they are just voices from my past and not the people who currently surround me. You're doing the right thing by acknowledging it, identifying it and asking for help and other perspectives. You can change these thoughts and patterns - I did and I am. But only with help (for me, at least.)

_________________________
And more, much more, the heart may feel,
Than the pen may write or the lip reveal.
Winthrop Mackworth Praed

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#368642 - 08/21/11 11:27 PM Re: gender identity issues [Re: EdfromNYC]
Sailboat92 Offline


Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 79
Loc: Ct
You lived my life in parallel!

_________________________
I don't have one

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#368680 - 08/22/11 04:48 PM Re: gender identity issues [Re: Sailboat92]
EdfromNYC Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 233
Loc: New York City
Sailboat, I've read your other posts and I have a different take on being "born this way". I thought I was born a certain way, meaning gay, but I realize now that I was not born gay. I was born as a sensitive boy in a certain type of household with bad parenting (like most other men with SSA) and then I was abused. I was sort of attracted to other boys but really I just felt different than them and I didn't believe that I was like them so I had a very skewed self-image that told me I appeared somehow different.

Then add male-to-male sex and I thought I was actually connecting to other men when I wasn't - AT ALL. I now generally see, for myself, male-to-male sex as two hurt boys confusedly looking to connect with themselves.

I write this not to differentiate between us but wondering about parallel lives. I don't believe that my view on sexuality is the rule or right except for me. I accept my path and where I am at. I guess what I am getting at is that you've come to a different conclusion about what gay is, right? But we have a lot of similar struggle in common either way, right?

_________________________
And more, much more, the heart may feel,
Than the pen may write or the lip reveal.
Winthrop Mackworth Praed

Top
#368697 - 08/22/11 08:33 PM Re: gender identity issues [Re: EdfromNYC]
Sailboat92 Offline


Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 79
Loc: Ct
I was responding to generalities, not specifics...nor was I referring to your statement as an "expert" piece of guidance, I was simply responding to what I perceived was a person who knew maybe how I felt?

Your response made me feel badly about disclosing my feeling, it felt judgmental, as though somehow you were different, better perhaps?

Contrary, I have not come to any conclusions, if I had, I would not be seeking support and alliances through pain on this wonderful site.
I feel judged and since I try not to do that, as I see it as arrogance, which inevitably hurts, I choose to stay away from people or things who do this to others. I have very permeable skin, i am raw and exposed, and anxious, and
scared, and alone, and wondering when willI it ever feel ok to be me in my
own skin.
commenting on what i read was an illustration of similarity in feeling,.a brotherhood, an alliance of likeness, I will be more mindful in the future
Clearly we are not the same, specifically or generally

_________________________
I don't have one

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#368703 - 08/22/11 09:22 PM Re: gender identity issues [Re: Sailboat92]
EdfromNYC Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 233
Loc: New York City
You're 100% wrong about judgment. I was asking honest questions and there was no judgment.

I am absolutely so surprised at your reaction. I am open to other's experience and how do I find out what that is except ask questions? I'm sorry that you think that since I expressed my experience that it made you think badly about yourself.

I was asking honest questions that I have. I was interested in the fact that we have parallel lives but at the same time different understandings of sexuality. I am okay with that. I even said my way is not the right way.

You're feeling bad or judged is how you read the post but its just not there. If you read it as me saying I'm better, again, its not there.

I was looking for identification, embellishment on your parallel lives comment to see what you meant while at the same time asking questions about other posts and relating my experience while asking about your experience.

My experience is different. If you perceive my relating that as arrogance, there's nothing I can do to put you at ease. It has nothing to do with me.

Am I happier not having sexual urges toward men? I am. Does it mean that my experience is one size fits all? It does not. That doesn't make me better than anyone - its just my experience.

I am amazed - I try to open up and relate and somehow its seen as judgmental. I feel like I can do no right on this site but trust me, I am just as entitled to my experience as anyone else on here and entitled not to be shut down or seen in a certain light because I experienced something different than others.

Added: I also had gender identity issues which is the topic here. I knew I was a boy but I related to girls and was afraid of boys and men until recently. There are still residual pieces floating around but, for me and me only, treating my SSA as a problem because I felt like it was, helped me connect with men simultaneously. My gender identity issues coincidentally lessened, too. I'm not advocating, I'm telling the truth. If you had these issues too and came to a different result, I'm interested and curious and open to a dialogue. That's it. I don't feel that I am better than a man who identifies himself as gay. This is really my attempt to reach out more.



Edited by EdfromNYC (08/22/11 09:32 PM)
Edit Reason: postscript
_________________________
And more, much more, the heart may feel,
Than the pen may write or the lip reveal.
Winthrop Mackworth Praed

Top
#368955 - 08/26/11 04:23 PM Re: gender identity issues [Re: dark horse]
SaberCat Offline
New Here

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 46
Loc: Florida, US
Originally Posted By: dark horse

If anyone else has been affected in this way it would be nice to know that i am not alone or a freak of nature.
-DH


Hey DH,

You aren't a freak of nature or a freak of any kind. You are reacting to something that happened to you which was beyond your capacity to handle. I don't know how old you were but it seems like it went on during your early life. My CSA stopped when I was 5. How could a 3 4 or 5 year old be expected to handle the overwhelming experiences that comes with a CSA. How could you fight back? I don't think it is worse or better at a specific age, just different. I feel similar things as you do. I reacted by trying to be "more manly." I joined the military, I always kept short hair. I avoided anything I thought that might make me look effeminate or God forbid "gay." I even wouldn't ever own a cat because I thought it was too "feminine." An F'ing CAT! I'm not sure where that came from. (By the way, It's why I chose the "kitty" avatar)

_________________________
"There is always hope."

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#370972 - 09/24/11 09:11 PM Re: gender identity issues [Re: dark horse]
Celtaf Offline


Registered: 07/02/11
Posts: 23
Originally Posted By: dark horse
My CSA that I had to endure has caused me not only to have the usual fallout one gets from a traumatic experience but also something that has been bothering me for the past 45 years that no one seems to be able to help, and until now I have been too embarrassed to mention. Thanks to my father, ever since I could remember and even to this day I have always felt disgust at being male and have had fantasies, intrusive thoughts and wishes that I was born a female. I know that sounds f'd up but it causes me a lot of anxiety. All throughout my life, the only friends that I have had were female. I have a constant fear and distrust of men which is maybe why i am more comfortable around females. It is NOT in a sexual sense but more of i am 'one of the girls' sense. I like doing 'girly' things, watching 'girly' movies, wearing clothes that are considered to be more 'girly', however i dont crossdress or anything like that. My wife always gets on my case for not having any guy friends and only female friends, and I have been teased unmercifully (by other guys )throughout my life because of being feminine, being called names like pussy, sissy, girl, cunt, etc. It also doesnt help that my parents gave me a girl's name (i think deep down they wanted a daughter). Many times i am able to find comfort being feminine even with the embarrassment and teasing. If anyone else has been affected in this way it would be nice to know that i am not alone or a freak of nature.
-DH


I am humbled by your courage and honesty. I wanted to post something similar but had too much of a sense of shame to even write about it to strangers. You're not the only one. I was called the same names at school, was beaten up and had stuff stolen from me on purpose, was humiliated in front of others. I became tough in response and I've felt though that shame all my life. I've struggled with my sexual identity all my life. Thank you for posting this. I know it is you showing others your pain and suffering and I just wanted to say I respect you a lot and appreciate a lot you having the courage to write this.


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#371725 - 10/05/11 10:05 AM Re: gender identity issues [Re: Sailboat92]
peculiarstar Offline


Registered: 11/28/10
Posts: 14
Loc: Stuart, Florida USA
I have a parallel existence. I'm not woman trapped in a man's body, I'm a shell with a woman and man trapped inside that facade. On the outside, I'm whatever I need to be to satisfy the situation at hand. That battle between the parties within me never ceases, it only intensifies as a get older.


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#371728 - 10/05/11 10:20 AM Re: gender identity issues [Re: EdfromNYC]
peculiarstar Offline


Registered: 11/28/10
Posts: 14
Loc: Stuart, Florida USA
I don't think it matters if I was born a certain way, or drawn in to a perverted/freakish sexual/social life by my horrid upbringing. The reality is that my last 40 years I will never get back, and the confusion/shame/pain continues. I've been trying to figure who I am for a long time and I still don't know. I know the truth of today. I've alienated everyone who attempted to get close to me, and I may never find a healthy relationship because I don't know what one is. Despite how I feel, I still hold out the hope (and always have) that there will be something better if I keep working and trying. "You are a survivor, you'll be OK." People tell me this everytime I hit an emotiional valley. I don't want to be a survivor anymore. I want to be a person who lives, like most of the people I've ever known.


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#371776 - 10/05/11 11:50 PM Re: gender identity issues [Re: peculiarstar]
petercorbett Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2439
Loc: TEXAS
Hi, my fraternal brothers.

We all have to deal with our often conflicting emotions & feelings.

The confusion, shame & pain does not belong to us. (easier said than done) I know.

I was always a gay boy/man in my emotions & feelings for my boyhood male friends. Those other boys in the orphanage/Home that I was in. My military buddies. Right up to this day.

I know and accept who I am. As I was taught in Catholic school, I was a precious gift from God to my parent(s) (delivered to the wrong address) made in HIS image and likeness.

I am what I am, a human being made by God who just happens to be Gay.
It's no longer an issue for me anymore, as I didn't know me until now.

Heal well, my brothers whatever sexuality you are, heal well.

"I will take that lost boys hand, and I will lead him from the depths of darkness, into the sunshine, forever into eternity." As he is me.

Pete..Irishmoose.

_________________________
Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
____________________________________________________________
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.


Top
#393122 - 04/11/12 10:47 PM Re: gender identity issues [Re: dark horse]
Matthew Broderic Offline


Registered: 04/11/12
Posts: 1
Dark, I identify with what you are saying very much. I truly believe that having been abused and dominated in such a way, that I was totally emasculated and identify as a girl to this day. I did not always feel that way, but after my abuse, I feel like my life and gender were forever altered. I did my best and still try to present as a male, but I know that within, I am one of the girls. I dress like a female when I can, because I sadly that is how I truly feel and identify. I fantasize about men, (but don't believe I am attracted to them, or females for that matter.) as I dream of being dominated by men, any man for that matter. I am not sure if I can ever go back to being masculine, or just have to adjust to life after the abuse. I wish you only joy and peace on your journey of healing.

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#393260 - 04/12/12 11:48 PM * [Re: dark horse]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
*


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (04/28/13 05:14 PM)

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#393292 - 04/13/12 07:37 AM Re: gender identity issues [Re: Smalltown80sBoy]
EdfromNYC Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 233
Loc: New York City
For me, my identity conflict wasn't a result of my abuse; rather, it contributed to my abuse. My identity conflict made me feel like I didn't identify with men/boys nor did I really identify with women/girls. I was lost, alone and extremely vulnerable and like all little boys, I needed a man's guidance, attention, love, affection, affirmation and valuation of my worth. I didn't get it and my identity conflict caused adult men in my life to shun me to a certain extent which is exactly the opposite of what I needed. If anything, I needed more attention/affirmation than a so-called normal boy which I no longer see as "wrong" but just my way of being.

Instead of getting attention and love and truly getting shunned and shamed, I was extremely vulnerable to predators. A predator found me and took me in my confusion and only added to it by sexually molesting me and leading me to believe that it was what I wanted, it was my doing, I contributed to it (since it felt good) and that it was some form of answer to my problem about not feeling connected. After that abuse, I thought my connection to men was through sex and I spent much of my teenage years being abused but not realizing it.

I devised a odd, secret, private world of thinking I was getting my needs met by acting out sexually in one compartment of my life, trying to act like a regular guy in another compartment of my life and in another compartment, having (too) many female confidants/friends. No one knew me, no one knew I was being used sexually, no one knew how many different facets of life I was juggling. I worked hard to control what everyone knew about me, and I had no intimate friends. It gradually crashed over the years and it had to happen and now I'm finally putting all the compartments into one full picture.

I write this to identify with the gender identity issues that some of us (but definitely not all of us) share. I am in this particular group of men on here. I was ashamed of this fact but I am not anymore. I am one of those very sensitive boys who suffered the shame of being very sensitive and being looked at as less than because of it. I took a mental path that told me that secretly I was actually better than other men due to my sensitive nature but that was wrong, too. Its not better or worse, it just is and that is what I work toward - self acceptance and self worth. (An aside - I do wonder if this extra-sensitivity is some sort of mechanism developed early in life to let me hide out from perceived male rejection and loll in my feelings and find some sort of superiority to avoid feeling rejected.)

This identity issue stuff is very difficult and full of land mines, internal and external. Many people have opinions on how to be a man and it can be awfully hard to find your own values, own voice if from an early age, people, especially men, were basically telling you that your voice, your perspective, is wrong and worthless. Talk about creating self-doubt! Being sensitive is also considered a somewhat feminine value so of course there was some comfort-seeking in that refuge of women but it wasn't really satisfying and it only contributed to more disdain from men. It was a cycle of hate from the outside that became confusion inside and then a recreation of the hate cycle in my life. Ugh. I feel like this last paragraph was messy but I like I leave it as is.

I have my experience with this issue and I am just adding my voice (again).
_________________________
And more, much more, the heart may feel,
Than the pen may write or the lip reveal.
Winthrop Mackworth Praed

Top
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