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#393025 - 04/10/12 06:40 PM Crazy, confused, or possibly abused- please help
birdsurfer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 14
Hi all. I am really hoping someone can help me out with some feedback on my situation as I really do not know what to make of it. I am beginning to feel that I may have been abused as a child. I am a 49 year old gay man who has never really had any sexual experience to speak of- only one brief and limited episode with an escort a few years back (after working up the courage) which was OK. I have always been very shy, embarrassed about my body (either too skinny or too fat), have always been uncomfortable around straight men and have never sought or made friends with any gay men. I have always told myself it was shame over appearance (which I've been told is just fine), fear of HIV, and presumably internalized homophobia. The only gay men I knew were my past shrinks (for depression/anxiety/panic) and some guys from group therapy.

Anyway, in addition to my lack of experience, I have never really liked to be touched even casually by others. I get very uncomfortable. Its much better now. And so I brought this issue (possible abuse) up with 2 past shrinks while being seen for depression and neither thought I was abused given I had no recollection. Still no one had a good explanation for my lack of sex, despite a normal libido. And so I always wondered.

Well, a couple years ago, I learned from my mom that my younger sister who had a bad problem with drugs accused my father of abusing her. (My parents were divorced then and my sister had told a friend who told my mom.) I told this to a good friend one evening after we had some drinks and some pot and he acted all weird and implied he too had been abused but gave no details. He later denied it when I asked him. My mom and I then asked my dad who very calmly denied it. Later when I saw my sister, after she got clean with my and the family's help, she too denied it. She has subsequently come down with a rare immune disease and is largely dependent on my parents who have informally gotten back together. So I dont know if her financial dependency has anything to do with her recanting the accusation.

Sorry for the length, guys. Anyway, I give all this info because I do not know if all this talk of abuse from sister and my friend has settled into my mind and now made me feel that I was abused or if in fact it might explain my lack of sex and some recent dreams and weird feelings.

After I said I had believed my father and that my sister probably was just angry at him and tried to hurt him, he uncharacteristically said he'd give my some money for my business. Then later, when I helped my sister get clean and asked about the abuse, he then rescinded the offer of help. He had not given me a good reason nor can I understand it. It is unlike him to break his word. (He now ways he does not remember offering me the funds.) Well, as a result, I had to close my business, forclose on my condo, and go bankrupt given the timing 2008-9. All this stress caused an extreme depression (bipolar) and I have since been dependant on my family for support as I have not been able to work. Needless to say, I am not happy with my father. I have never felt that close to him, as I would imagine is the case for many gay sons. Strangely, after my parents divorce, both me and my mom independantly came to believe he was probably a severely closeted gay man. So perhaps I internalized his homophobia and thats why I am uncomfortable around men and so very shy.

Now for the confusing crazy part. During this time, I have had strange dreams implying that my sister had let a big secret out and that I was still keeping it. More disturbingly, (POSSIBLE TRIGGER?) while looking at porn after a smoking pot (which I rarely do) I saw a scene of a single nude man from the waist down in a white tile bathroom (similar to my parents and grandparents) standing over a sink with running water. It was so weird, the man's body looked EXACTLY like my father's when I was a child. How I would know what he looked like nude, I have no idea. Presumably we got dressed and bathed together at some point. Then the noise from the running water seemed very real and I got very nauseous, anxious, and light headed and had to stop. I have had susequent similar reactions to some porn scenes since. I also have gotten more sexually aroused from them too. I also had the image of my grandfather's ranch hand pop into my head to as well as an older boy up the street from where lived as a kid. I also have had terrible bouts of anxiety and rage just rise up both prior to this and afterwards and my depression has gotten much worse.

So I guess what I'd like to know is, does this sound sexually suspect? Are my problems with body issues, homosexuality, sex, physicality, trust, etc. and now strange dreams and odd visceral reactions to nude images mean that these memories are trying to resurface, or am I just a hysterical, depressed, neurotic who is angry with my father for betraying me financially and making me dependent again like a child? Or was it the pot? Or could it be abuse from the neighbor or ranch hand and I am confabulating them.

I am so confused and distressed. If I was abused, I think I would be OK with it because it would finally explain so much. I think I could move on with my life. And if it turned out to be my father, well, I think I could deal with that too. So I dont understand why then if I was abused, I cant remember it. I would like to try. I know shrinks warn of the dangers of false memories, but unless the abuse was physically painful or threatening, I dont see why or how I could mentally repress it. My old shrink told me that almost all abuse survivors remember their abuse. I see here on this forum, that this is not always the case. I dont want to bring it up with my sister as she is dealing with a lot now, and is dependent on my parents.

Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated. Again, sorry for the length of the drama.

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#393056 - 04/10/12 10:33 PM Re: Crazy, confused, or possibly abused- please help [Re: birdsurfer]
lapchinj Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1166
Loc: New York
Peace,Rainbows & Healing


Edited by lapchinj (03/17/13 08:18 PM)
_________________________
Depression Feels Like Home, and Happiness is Just a Place I Visit

It will get better....

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#393087 - 04/11/12 05:56 PM Re: Crazy, confused, or possibly abused- please help [Re: birdsurfer]
Vadrian Offline


Registered: 09/10/11
Posts: 111
Loc: Pacific
Yes, from reading your post I do think that both you and your sister were likely abused by your father. It isn't uncommon for people to develop conditions like an autoimmune disease when they disregard their own truth in order to remain obedient to their abusive parents. I myself had buried memories of being sexually abused rise to the surface, they were shocking but definitely true. The human body does not create false memories of abuse; I think the more likely standard is that people often create fake memories or impressions that they had a good child when in fact it was terrible. I suggest you continue to explore your early life and how it led to where you are now, and do everything you can not to end up dependent on your parents like your sister is.

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#393231 - 04/12/12 07:06 PM Re: Crazy, confused, or possibly abused- please help [Re: lapchinj]
birdsurfer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 14
Thanks Jeff

While I have some basic childhood memories before age 10, I dont have many. I also tend to have a poor memory for stressful events even now as an adult. So if I might ask you then, if you do not have any recall, what makes you feel you were abused? Is it just a feeling? Or do you have "symptoms" of possible abuse? And if its just a feeling, is it directed towards anyone? Anything you'd be willing to share would be helpful.

Thanks,
Richard

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#393233 - 04/12/12 07:38 PM Re: Crazy, confused, or possibly abused- please help [Re: birdsurfer]
lapchinj Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1166
Loc: New York
Peace,Rainbows & Healing


Edited by lapchinj (03/17/13 08:19 PM)
_________________________
Depression Feels Like Home, and Happiness is Just a Place I Visit

It will get better....

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#393236 - 04/12/12 08:02 PM Re: Crazy, confused, or possibly abused- please help [Re: Vadrian]
birdsurfer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 14
Thanks Vadrian

My sister was adopted as an infant, so her genetic history is a mystery. Still, I understand what you are saying about the effects of trauma on the immune and neuroendocrine system.

If me and my mom (and my father's long ago shrink) are correct about father's "latent homosexuality" (the shrink's terminology), I could see how I might be target of abuse, but am perplexed as to why my sister would be. Have you heard of cases where a presumably gay father would abuse both female and male offspring? (I guess a true pedophile does not care so much about the sex of the child.) Do you know of any info about personality characteristics of such abusers in general?

Also, more importantly, do you have any tips on how I might try and get memories to surface? If you don't mind me asking, how did your memories arise? I desperately want to have something concrete one way or another as it is really making me crazy.

Before the mention of abuse by my sister and friend I never really considered it. Yes I was aware that people with atypical/bipolar type depressions often had histories of abuse, but I always thought my sex and intimacy problems and wariness with men were due to extreme shyness and bad case of internalized homophobia. These feelings I can trace in my childhood. But this is pretty common to most shy gay men my age, and yet I see it does not stop them from ultimately seeking out other gay men for friends, sex, and relationships.

I however actively avoided this despite a strong sex drive. I can see how a closeted gay father could exacerbate internalized homophobia in a child, but to the extent of having no gay friends (still) and being a virgin until my late 40s (and celibate since) despite being out to family and others since I was 26? Weird huh? I always felt something did not quite add up. Perhaps unconsciously I am just looking for someone else to blame for my problems. I dont know, its all so confusing and distressing.

Anyway, thanks for your reply.

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#393240 - 04/12/12 08:21 PM Re: Crazy, confused, or possibly abused- please help [Re: lapchinj]
birdsurfer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 14
Thanks for sharing Jeff. I am so sorry you had to endure such things as a kid. I hope that now you are healing and finding peace and that you will also find the happy childhood memories that I am sure do exist. smile

Richard

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#393330 - 04/13/12 12:57 PM Re: Crazy, confused, or possibly abused- please help [Re: birdsurfer]
petercorbett Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2433
Loc: TEXAS
Hi, my fraternal brother, birdsurfer.

Well, i would suggest to you that if you think that you might have been sexually abused. Then i would start from there. Perhaps a visit to a therapist to probe your memory.

But here is a guide book for you to read. You can either buy one here, or go to your local library and they might have it.
It's the sexual abuse guide book. The name of it is Victims No Longer, by a Mike Lew.

You are not crazy, we all sure are damned confused at times.


But, credit this passage from the book and Mike Lew,it might be of a help for you.
Pg106 "I can't go on with my life until I know exactly what happened." Maintaining this belief distracts the individual from the task at hand..healing the hurts of childhood. (He becomes obsessed with remembering.) Success or failure, health or pathology, normality or abnormality___all are judged by the degree to which the abuse can be recalled.

The abuse given to me by my "mom" was physically, mentally, emotionally & sexually hurtful.The beatings, berating,incest, etc. Would affect me for the rest of my life.

But and I really don't care for the word (abuser) as it pertains to me. I genuinely had made a mental & emotional bonding with him. I also believe that he loved me too. He was the exact opposite from my "mom." He was kind,& gentle. He loved & wanted me. I had adopted him as the parent(s) that i never had. I latched on to him because he loved & cared for me. He gave me attention he gave me someone to return my love too. But, as i have come to realise on my journey to recovery that it was wrong. But I'll settle for the term his TAINTED love for me. I was with him from 8-14 years old off and on.

My real love was to another gay boy at the orphanage/Home that i was in. He and i were in genuine, innocent & pure love with each other. I genuinely loved him & he genuinely loved me. We were together for four years. We were both between 10-14 years old.

I hope that this might be of some help for you. To replace your words Crazy, confused & possibly abused.

Here is what i offer, compassion, understanding, love & hope for you.
Be kind & gentle on yourself. Believe in yourself.

Wishing you well on your journey in healing, my brother, birdsurfer. 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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#393381 - 04/14/12 01:42 AM * [Re: birdsurfer]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
*


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (04/28/13 05:15 PM)

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#393477 - 04/14/12 09:53 PM Re: Crazy, confused, or possibly abused- please help [Re: birdsurfer]
Vadrian Offline


Registered: 09/10/11
Posts: 111
Loc: Pacific
birdsurfer, I don't think molesting children does have much to do with the adult's sexual orientation--if we consider after all that it generally follows a chain of children being abused and growing up to abuse others, then the urge to molest comes from a time in childhood before sexuality.

In my case, one of the main effects of my csa was dissociation, and I had dissociative flashbacks to being sexually abused since I was around six or so. When I was 20, I started to really look into my childhood and this brought on more flashbacks that showed me much more of what happened, but some memories and realizations still had to wait until I was emotionally stable and safe enough to handle them. So, it can take some time but if you delve really deeply you should be able to uncover things. I don't think excessive shyness and isolation just happen--there surely was a cause of it in your early life. Good luck.

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