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#416680 - 11/20/12 06:51 AM I am ready but I need your help(possible triggers)
Publius Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 396
Loc: OH
After being here quite awhile I am happy to find this particular section for sexual identity issues. Honestly, I am embarrassed, ashamed, and upset with myself for the mistakes I have made over the past year and a half since recovery began. After my repressed memories broke through I started having problems with SSA. I told myself I was just experimenting by being bi-curious even though I knew it was not the case. In short, I indulged my SSA on a number of occasions but never felt good about it afterward yet I kept doing it. I know in my heart and head that I am heterosexual. Yet, even though I am not attracted to men I suffer from this strong desire to act out sexually with them sometimes. I mean, it is ridiculous I have read lots and lots of CSA literature but I couldn't keep myself from doing what I had read about and knew was wrong for me. Why is this???

Whatever the case, IT STOPS NOW. This is not who I am and honestly I feel bad because some of the men I've met when acting out exhibited behaviors/said things that made me think they were also survivors : ( I am sorry to myself, them, and to you all for this fact. I am really hoping someone here can give me some advice on how to curtail this compulsive behavior while I am working through recovery. As you recover more are these feelings mitigated? Do they pretty much go away if you work through the underlying issues?

Also, why the hell am I so anxious around kids. It is hard to explain but when I am around kids or think about having kids I become extremely worried about the possibility of abusing them...almost like I am going to go insane/lose control over myself and that abusing them is an inevitability. Just thinking about that possibility makes me feel like I am already guilty of doing it. Thus, I avoid kids and even though I want children I am deeply afraid of the possibility of hurting them. HOWEVER, and this is what confuses me, I am not sexually attracted to children (or at least I don't think I am). I admit sometimes I see a teenage girl (meaning post-pubescent) I feel attracted to but I've read that is normal as long as you don't feel compelled to act on those feelings, which I haven't found to be the case. I don't feel any of the strong compulsions I've read about in CSA literature discussing predators like "not being able to control themselves around children" or grooming or any of that shiat. The very idea of hurting a child frightens/angers me and honestly if I thought I was going to go insane to the point where a child would be at risk I'd just end my life to save a child from CSA. It is simply not an option or an obsession with me unlike SSA but I still worry because there is so much at stake.

I mean I've babysat a few times when I was in high school and not once considered hurting the kids under my care. In fact, I felt very overprotective/careful around them. But, then there was this time in fifth grade where I had a crush on this cool guy from my school. It eventually subsided in sixth grade but WTF is with that!? Was it because I hit puberty in sixth grade? Awhile back my friend's little sister climbed up on to me and I froze because I was super afraid of touching her the wrong way even though I didn't want to. Generally speaking, when I interact with kids I feel uncomfortable to the point of being panicky because of the above fears. Why is that? How can I work on my recovery in a way that will help with these fears/feelings? Am I at risk of becoming an offender? I've read that sexually abusing children is an insane act (I agree) but is it possible that I could go insane and do something I abhor so deeply I would choose death before letting it happen while sane? Can people tell if they are about to go insane? Is any of this normal for CSA survivors?

There are a couple boys who live across from me and one is the age I was when my abuse started and the other when it ended. Seeing them around playing, riding their bikes, etc. makes me really depressed occassionally. Sometimes I smile watching them doing the things I enjoyed when I was a kid but then I remember how my abuse affected me even during those golden childhood years and I feel sad : ( I hate those moments...like I am being robbed of my good times/nostalgia as well.

I've been holding all of this in for awhile now guys thank you all for providing a safe place for me to share. I genuinely appreciate any advice you can give me for my problems. I promise I will reflect upon what you say and continue to work towards recovery. Now, after four hours of writing/editing I think I had better get to bed : P
_________________________
"Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." ~ General Iroh

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#416682 - 11/20/12 08:28 AM Re: I am ready but I need your help(possible triggers) [Re: Publius]
expom Offline


Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Australia
Hi Publius

I've been actively engaged in my journey of recovery for coming up to 9 years now and I have to tell you that things do change and mostly for the better. Things that I struggled with a few years ago are now no longer much of an issue. Somethings, though, don't seem to go away but others just get outgrown. Let me tell you what I've come to realise about the issues you talk of:

SSA and acting out. When we realise that the only difference between rape and sex is the issue of consent it is comparatively easy for us to start to understand what our therapists tell us about acting out. The childhood sexual abuse was traumatic (even if it didn't feel like that at the time) and our subconscious searches for ways to lessen the pain of that trauma.

As adults, acting out, we can put ourselves in similar positions / situations to the ones we were in when we were being violated. In 'choosing' to do this as adults, we are attempting to put a veneer (counterfeit) of consent on top of the childhood experiences. It dulls the emotional pain for a while but tends to increase the sense of shame and blame.

How do we stop these episodes of acting out? Again, from the experience of the experts; take a look at the times that the urge to act out is at its strongest. When we are tired, stressed out, just had a fight with friend/family/spouse, in feelings of crisis etc. When we can spot the triggers we are in a better place to look for alternate replies to those triggers.

It is worth noting that crisis is always time limited - it just is not possible to live in a state of perpetual crisis. There are always times that things subside.

It is also worth noting that engaging in any form of consensual sexual activity requires that perennial triangle of 1 - Desire, 2 - Availability and 3 - Opportunity. For guys, if we get 2 out of 3 it is easy to find the third.

So taking those two principles, the suggested course of action is simply to put in place delaying tactics. Looking at the situation for what it is (the desire to act out), we know where to go to find the availability. That leaves 'Opportunity'. Making a conscious decision and following through with it is then required. "OK, so this is how I feel today. I know I can go somewhere and get laid but as this is not something that I want long-term, today I'm choosing NOT to act out - I'm going to wait until XXX? and if I still feel the same way, then I'll act out". Set a short time frame. Don't beat yourself up if you don't hold out. In time, you should be able to regain the control that you currently feel you've lost.

Remember that all of these things that we do to ourselves are self defense measures that are doing a pretty good job at helping to keep us alive. As we process more and more of the long term effects of what was done to us as boys, so we move on to other things that need to be processed. But it is a bit like Nicotine addiction - in times of heightened stress and crisis the desires can come back and we need extra support and personal vigilance to avoid these behaviours.

Now, about the issue of being around kids. If you are like a vast number of adult male survivors then you will have absorbed a whole load of the bullshit about yesterday's victims are tomorrows perpetrators. This is hard to challenge in conversation with others and even harder to ignore in ourselves. As a consequence, we withdraw from occasions where we come into contact with kids - we know that we would rather die than hurt the kids but that doesn't stop us from the fear of being wrongly accused. This is especially true relating to kids who of a similar age to us when we were being violated.

Another thing that frightened the crap out of me, was the natural process that we have of using the same forms of words to children that we heard when we were kids. On two occasions, I recall using totally innocent phrases with kids that I know that the perpetrator had used on me when I was a kid. Don't get me wrong, like you, I have absolutely no desire at all for hurting kids in any way and I have to tell you that I was quite traumatised when I realised where those phrases had come from.

The depression you speak of when seeing the boys across the street, I identified in me as being a form of grieving; for what was lost, stolen, destroyed in my life. Now, I try to remind myself that I'm not that little boy anymore and that I know that I'd move heaven and hell to make sure that no one else has to go through what I went through - and indeed, am still going through.

Now, my friend, it is time for me to head to bed. I trust that there is something here in what I have written that you will find able to be of use to you.

Regards

ADen
_________________________
I endured all my yesterdays. I prevail in all of my todays. I exercise my right to be able to enjoy my tomorrows. I choose not to do it alone.

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#416684 - 11/20/12 08:36 AM Re: I am ready but I need your help(possible triggers) [Re: Publius]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3617
Loc: South-East Europe
Originally Posted By: Publius
After being here quite awhile I am happy to find this particular section for sexual identity issues. Honestly, I am embarrassed, ashamed, and upset with myself for the mistakes I have made over the past year and a half since recovery began. After my repressed memories broke through I started having problems with SSA. I told myself I was just experimenting by being bi-curious even though I knew it was not the case. In short, I indulged my SSA on a number of occasions but never felt good about it afterward yet I kept doing it. I know in my heart and head that I am heterosexual. Yet, even though I am not attracted to men I suffer from this strong desire to act out sexually with them sometimes. I mean, it is ridiculous I have read lots and lots of CSA literature but I couldn't keep myself from doing what I had read about and knew was wrong for me. Why is this???

Hey Publius it is great that you wrote what bothers you. You wee very honest and opened and it needed a lot of courage to to do so.
I hope now when you wrote it are feel a little bit better.
I can speak about SSA because I have it as constant problems which makes me very sad sometimes and above all very empty and hurt.
The reason why is happening although many of us learned and read about this issue is complex.
Everyone of us has been driven by our feelings even it could be that we are not totally aware of that, such is the case related to SSA attraction in case it is left like scar from abuse.
I'm talking about traumatic event (sexual abuse) which left memorized a lot of hurtful feelings in our brain and body.
In some cases and under some conditions we are doing some destructive behavior in compulsive manner like against our free will. It could be acting with men/women, it could be related to problems with alcoholic, drugs, gambling and many different things. The common thing is high driving action which will made our brain busy for a while and in atmosphere like during abuse.
The background of all this is actually our inability to cope with certain situations and feelings.
Every one of us has to discover those feelings that are difficult to cope so we could recognize it and try to manage it.
In my case because of various reason sometimes I have terrible feelings of uncertainty, like I don't have everything in my hands or control and some very negative outcome will happen because of that.
In scuh cases and when I've been felt like that I need to esacpe from my reality and I do it by runing in world of porn (usually gay porn with some scenes that are very real and that could be connected to survivors).
I'm still exploring other feelings that I can't handle and I'm not yet ready to get all those hurtful emotions under complete control.
Please read this article by Ken Singer, I think that is the best thing related to destructive behaviours that I've found:
http://www.malesurvivor.org/ArchivedPages/singer2.html
I hope this will help you!

I don't have intrusive thoughts like you do related to kids, but I know that there are a lot of literature about it. Please try to find some articles, I'm sure it is nothing to worry about and there is some solution for that too.

I admire your readiness for recovery and healing! Just follow those instincts!


Pero
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My story

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#416721 - 11/20/12 05:05 PM Re: I am ready but I need your help(possible triggers) [Re: Publius]
apsu Offline


Registered: 11/08/12
Posts: 3
Hi,

I feel somewhat the same as you. Here is a bit of my story.
at the age of 3 or 4 I was molested by neighborhood boys. I was dragged by the arms through a yard behind a house where we were sitting on the front porch.
I was trying to get away but couldn't. The boys were older than me. I was forced to perform oral sex on them and then they urinated on me.
From that point on do believe I shut the incident out of my mind until highschool. One day in class a voice popped into my head that said "your gay". From that point on Ive been struggling with Intusive thoughts, SSA, sexual aniexty with women etc etc.
I struggled with soft porn addiction and constant masterbation. Never SS porn though.
I'm in therapy now and this is the first time in my life I have tried to deal with the thoughts, feelings without alcohol or repressing them.
Im in my late 30's now and everytime I try to date a girl I feel like I lose complete control of my life. I lose interest in friends, work and generally start to feel bad. I feel thoughtless except for My mind becoming consumed with these SSA thoughts and feelings. Things seem fine until the relationship gets sexual and all of the SSA and emotions and stress start to pile up.
A large part is a compulsion to do what I was made to do when I was with these boys.

Do you ever get the same with dating women?


I don't know how to deal with this.
A

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#416738 - 11/20/12 07:55 PM Re: I am ready but I need your help(possible triggers) [Re: Publius]
Publius Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 396
Loc: OH
In my experience CSA has definitely affected my self-esteem and ultimately my relationships with women. Basically, I have issues with trust and intimacy. When it comes to sex I became what is commonly referred to as a "performer," which basically means I could not share nor enjoy sexual intimacy with women in a mutual way. Although different on the face of it I believe our two problems are related to the severe trauma of our abuse, which taught us long lasting lies about sex, trust, and intimacy. However, I am on to talk as I am having quite a few struggles right now but I wanted to respond to your question : /
_________________________
"Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." ~ General Iroh

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#417734 - 11/30/12 08:13 AM Re: I am ready but I need your help(possible triggers) [Re: Publius]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 916
Loc: New York
"some of the men I've met when acting out exhibited behaviors/said things that made me think they were also survivors"

This, this, this, this, this.

The population of guys on various websites who are straight-identified but willing to consider experimentation via various methods (real or virtual) contains an astounding number who by any definition would count as survivors even if they don't know it or don't seem to feel bad about it and give all appearance of enjoying their current sexualities.

TRIGGERS
If in the thread about "first times" you say you were 10 and an acquaintance 7 or more years older taught you to suck dick, or that you were 14 and your 44-year-old neighbor taught you to explore, then as Jeff Foxworthy would say, you might be a survivor. And so would be the dozen other guys saying much the same. I realize there are differential grades of whether experiences were truly unwanted and left truly bad feelings, but still - from just a mechanical perspective it all would ring up the same at the register.

On a seemingly standard and not-even-kinky porn chat site one of the regulars posted a thread about CSA called "Breaking the Silence". It went on for about 20 pages. Moths, meet candle. There was even a link given to here.


Edited by SoccerStar (11/30/12 08:19 AM)
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My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#417770 - 11/30/12 03:14 PM Re: I am ready but I need your help(possible triggers) [Re: Publius]
Publius Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 396
Loc: OH
POSSIBLE TRIGGERS

No kidding SoccerStar. I did not want to delve too far into that topic but suffice it to say most of the guys I met were straight identified but "sometimes just felt like doing this or that with a guy." Part of what helped me stop was the thought that I was quite possibly hurting other survivors by enabling their self-abuse (not to mention my own). The point you made about people not realizing the connection between CSA and their behavior is actually quite profound.

A while back I read an "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit.com with a former gay prostitute who supposedly liked girls but lived off of his hooking for awhile. At one point, someone asked him when and with who his first sexual experience was and he responded by saying he was 12 and his partner 18. He mentioned it like it was nothing. Someone later on said something along the lines of "ummm you were sexually abused..." I actually have a female friend who was sexually abused but hasn't made the emotional connection yet, stating rather flatly it is something that happened, it felt good, and though it was probably bad it hasn't really impacted her terribly. For the record, she once told me she "could never say no" when propositioned for sex and most recently she is getting a divorce after a couple years of marriage : /
_________________________
"Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." ~ General Iroh

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#417778 - 11/30/12 03:40 PM Re: I am ready but I need your help(possible triggers) [Re: Publius]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 916
Loc: New York
DELETED - too dark.


Edited by SoccerStar (11/30/12 03:42 PM)
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#417793 - 11/30/12 05:23 PM Re: I am ready but I need your help(possible triggers) [Re: Publius]
ScorpioBlue Offline


Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 5
Loc: NYC Metro Area
I can relate to your posts. What a relief it has been to find Male Survivor and these message boards! I've spend decades filled with shame around my SSA. Through years of therapy, I began to understand on some level that my SSA had to do with being sexually abused by an older brother. I acted out my abuse or should say "reenacted" my abuse and continued to return to the scene of the crime by having compulsive anonymous sex with older men for many years. It is a relief to be able to say this all and feel understood and not judged. I am married and truly feel that I am heterosexual by nature. Most people (gay and straight) would just laugh me and tell me I was in denial. This is the first place that I am able to feel comfortable being myself and not feel judged. Thank you all.
_________________________
"Take me down
You can hold me
But you can't hold what's within
Pull me round
Push me to the limit
Maybe I may bend
But I know where I'm not going
I Will Not Be Broken" (Bonnie Raitt)


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#417830 - 12/01/12 05:39 AM Re: I am ready but I need your help(possible triggers) [Re: Publius]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
You know,

It strikes me how one of the biggest consequence of my abuse was that I was taught about being sexual WITHOUT being in a mutual heartfelt relationship. Sex without caring does not affirm me or sustain me- but deepens my isolation and undermines my self concept and ability to have rewarding relationships.
_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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