I was gang raped, multiple times, 22 years ago in the South African army. I have hidden this secret from everyone until a year ago when I told my wife. I would never have told her either, if our marriage and losing her hadn't of been at stake.
I have drunk, took drugs, had sexuality issues and generally skimmed through life ever since it happened. I am a complete wreck emotionally and physically and am tired of bouncing off the walls trying to survive. I have never been in control of my life and have generally messed up everything I have laid my hands on.
I still have not told my wife exactly what happened, she just knows it happened. I am at the point now that I know if I don't resolve this, I will not be able to carry on much longer. I have 4 children who I love dearly and a wife who I love more than anything and deserves better than what I am currently able to provide - emotionally, financially and physically.
My wife found Rees' story on here and after she showed it to me, and I cried a lot, I made the choice to come on here and start making a change.
This is extremely hard for me as I HATE talking about it. I struggle to stay as 41 year old me when we go down that avenue. I feel attacked and vulnerable whenever the subject is brought up.
So here I am. Scared and asking for help. Bean
"This is the story of how we begin to remember."
Hi Private Bean ... I am new to this place as well and was just exploring the site ... and came across your post.
I am in Canada. Here we are aware of the horrors of the wars in Africa ... but we are at a loss ... I don't even know what to say to you. The concept is almost beyond our capacity to understand. But understand this. You're pain and anguish IS understood. I can feel it even if I don't have anywhere near a situation similar to yours. I am so sorry for what happened to you. We all are ... and wish so much that we could help. The only thing I can say is what I say to all of us ...
Be kind to yourself.
I will think of you often ... and wish for you healing and peace.
Experience is a brutal teacher.
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Hello Bean, peace to you and ShyShark.
Recovery relief is coming rest assured, as long as you continue to pursue recovery. All of those around you(and you) are innocent, the perps are years behind you but you still have abuse controls that govern your life. May I suggest the writings of Ken Singer, our resident expert on Male Sexual Abuse with his book "Evicting the Perpetrator" and also a Weekend of Recovery from MaleSurvivor co founder Dr. Howard Fradkin, who wrote "Joining Forces", both found here in our library on the homepage.
Shyshark has it absolutely right, you have been surviving, be kind to yourself. Picture you floating in the sea with many helicopters floating around shouting at you over PA systems giving you advice. What you may want is for one of those people to rescue you, but it doesn't happen, it has not happened. You will need to save yourself with the help of your fellow survivors, research, retreats, sharing, posting and supporting, here in MS, one on one in therapy, talking to your local supporters and healing from the inside.
My best to you Bean. I look forward to your sharing and communicating here in MS, Sam
_________________________ MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014
Loc: Johannesburg, South Africa
Having read your story my heart goes out to you, I fully understand what you have gone thru. You are not alone. Be kind to yourself, take your time with your journey of healing, its not a race, reaching the final destination in more important than how long its takes. I was 39 when I told my wife and it took me another 10 years to become a triver. I was touched to hear that your wife read my story, by her being on this site is evidence that you have her by your side, I would never have come this far without my wife and children. We may continue this via private messages if you wish.
I would love us to talk as that is why we have started "South African Male Survivors Of Sexual Abuse" www.samsosa.org. you might not live here, but we are here to help. We have a number of organizations we work with in the UK. Im in the USA attending the 13th International Male Survivor conference here. I will be back in South Africa on the 28th November. I will send you a private message.
Get Mike Lew's "Victims no Longer" book, my wife and I have both read it.
Edited by JoziSA (11/19/1206:42 AM) Edit Reason: Spelling
I now live in England and have not been back to SA since 2004. The parallels between our stories are uncanny sometimes...for instance , my father was British and my mother South African and the lack of emotion, hugs etc. made it impossible to tell them. I was also 'picked on' in the army for being 'English'. I disagreed with a lot I saw going on and have my suspicions that a lot of what happened was 'corrective rape'.
As with you, because I could not name my attackers (it was always in the dark while I was on guard duty) I knew no one would believe me. And I always felt that if I did say anything, I would go 'missing in action'.
I am still terrified of going public even to family and friends, such is the inbuilt terror of some one coming after me.
You are an inspiration in the work you do.
"This is the story of how we begin to remember."
I am glad you have found this place of healing and support.
There are a variety of resources available in the UK. Scroll to the bottom of that list and you will find them. AEST is no longer in service.
You may also find our Military Support forum helpful to you.
There are several books you might find useful.
Honor Betrayed: Sexual Abuse in America's Military by Mic Hunter
Victims No Longer by Mike Lew
I am certain others will share titles they have found useful. You can find these titles, and others here at the bookstore.
Take your time and look around. You do not want to trigger yourself by reading too many posts at one time.
At your own pace, read the boards and wander into chat. The lounge (chat) is open 24 hours a day though it isn't always populated.
We also have moderated chats called Healing Circles. They meet on Sunday and Wednesday evenings at 9pm eastern time and one on Tuesday at 19:00 UTC (European and African time zone) which translates to 2 PM Eastern US time zone. The Healing Circle on Tuesdays is scheduled to resume in January.
Again, welcome to MS.
Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.
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