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#418905 - 12/12/12 09:35 AM Monday: Private vindication
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 925
Loc: New York
It has been a very eventful week, it's not over yet, and the biggest part of all is still to come. Monday was a huge step forward for me and I have been happy and glowing inside ever since - or at least I would have been except that Tuesday was a horrible psychic attack of a day with some of my very worst triggers. Part of how I'm trying to get back on my feet fromTuesday is to talk about Monday.

PRIVATE VINDICATION

I disclosed my abuse to my online friends on Monday. And they handled it so beautifully, I felt better than I ever really thought I could after all this shit came back to life in October.

I'd been just itching to tell someone - someone who I'd known from my normal everyday life, who I could tell and explain it to on my own terms. Not my T and psychiatrist who get paid for it. No offense to you guys here, you are wonderful and I only hope I someday can help another survivor as much as you've helped me, but - you already know, you knew the second I joined, and none of you have any separate concept or history with me as a person. And not my wife - who I was hiding it from due to how badly we'd already been hit by Hurricane Sandy, and who found my pills and then I had no choice but to tell, when I wasn't ready and made a mash of it and felt dirty and miserable doing it.

No, I wanted to tell people who knew me, on my terms. I was inspired by KMCVA's story about how his Facebook community was so supportive of him. So...

Ever since college about 50 of my best friends at the time have kept up an email list. We didnt all go to the same school - rather, we all met through collecting model kits and action figures, chatting online, meeting up to go shopping and swapping together, and going to annual collector conventions. For about 18 years we'd talk all the time and every year we'd spend one week together all of us at the convention. We also have an IRC channel but that's not conducive for serious stuff. The email list is where folks talk about really happy stuff: promotions, engagements, kids, etc., or just finding the best pieces for our collections. And also bad stuff: depression, watching your true love marry the "wrong" person, health scares, etc. Several "came out" on the list, on IRC, or at the convention. We all covered 9/11 in "realtime" and no one went to sleep tgat night until the last person from that area had called in. In 2003 one of our then-oldest members (33) got colon cancer - he kept updating us on his progress, we were all rooting for him, and when he died we were very distraught and kept emailing him to say goodbye; as it happens his younger sister had taken over his account, she thanked all of us for comforting him and they read all our messages at the funeral. Under our real names, not the screen names like DuoMaxwell23 or K0br4K0mm4nder. There have been 4 weddings among list members, and more hookups here and there. We go to each others weddings, to baby namings. Again, about 50 people, age range now is about 35-45.

And on Monday I told them.

I gave a bit of a preamble reminding everybody of how much it meant to me that we'd all been able to discuss pretty much anything over the years good and bad, and that I just had to get this off my chest. And I told them. Started: "About two weeks ago I successfully tracked down the man who sexually assaulted me when I was 8 years old."

I used the story of finding the perp as the focal point - because it is kinda dramatic. In the spirit of how I've practiced with my T to tell my parents, I de-drama'ed the story as much as possible, no physical details and trying to be very clinical about my emotional state and the factors that had forced me to confront the truth now. That I was getting help. That I hoped I hadn't shocked them and they wouldn't see me any differently.

I got about 40 responses each more accepting and heartwarming than the last. Folks said they couldn't believe my bravery in dealing with this at all, let alone calling up the perp. That they were proud of me that I'd still managed to build the life and family for myself that they'd watched and shared in the building of throughout 18 years. That the whole recovery process as I described seemed perfectly healthy and understandable. Three of the girls said some variation of how they felt proud or honored that I trusted them enough to share the story. Several of the guys offered me hugs - written out like "*hug*" - and these are guys I've known since we were teenagers, every year at the convention we go to strip clubs together. Unbelievable. Or how about this: "I can't say I understand everything you're going through, but if you want a good listener and no judging, you can talk to me anytime." One guy (an oft-drunk rowdy fratboy type, the "That Guy" at many a party) offered to assist in any revenge I'd planned.

And... yes. You're all wondering, just like I wondered, and the answer is yes.

Yes, there was someone else on the list who was dealing with this too.

Someone I'd known for 18 years, a very suave and self-possessed guy who does I.T. His response to me, totally empathetic, was a mini-essay and there were some concepts and notes I recognized. I emailed him *privately* and, after thanking him, gently said that some of his concepts were very familiar: that if he really had been abused himself too then I was sorry for whatever he'd had to deal with but it meant so much to me to hear it from someone I'd previously known from a normal, real-life context, where I could see he'd made a success of himself - and if he hadn't been abused, then he must just be much more perceptive / empathic than the average person.

His response: "You are right on both counts. Since you trusted me with your story someday I will share mine with you, but now it seems inappropriate at the moment since you so recently revealed and we shouldn't change the subject away from your own healing."

It was so emotionally intimate - I felt like we'd proposed to each other, lol.

I was glowing inside afterwards and still am; I reread every single reply every few hours, like I still can't believe I'm seeing it, that I did it. These people were at ny wedding and I was at theirs, when applicable. We will be friends forever and I know I was right to trust them.


Tuesday was a terrible day, full of public extreme humiliation and my heaviest triggering and worst setbacks since I started trying to deal with all this shit. I can't believe I got out of bed this morning. I wrote the "Monday" story so I could cling to it as much as the email replies themselves. I'll have to write the Tuesday story later just to get it out.


Matt


Edited by SoccerStar (12/12/12 09:47 AM)
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"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#418935 - 12/12/12 03:15 PM Re: Monday: Private vindication [Re: SoccerStar]
Farmer Boy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia
Matt

This just made me feel all warm and fuzzy....until this bit obviously...

Originally Posted By: SoccerStar
Tuesday was a terrible day, full of public extreme humiliation and my heaviest triggering and worst setbacks since I started trying to deal with all this shit. I can't believe I got out of bed this morning. I wrote the "Monday" story so I could cling to it as much as the email replies themselves. I'll have to write the Tuesday story later just to get it out.


I guess just like you I'm clinging to Monday for now.....but I am ready for Tuesday's story too. Boy this recovery thing is like a rollercoaster sometimes. It just goes to show that 'people' are ok....mostly. Thanks for sharing that part of yourself with us. It is great to see some 'normal' on here.

I have a confession to make .... I collect action figures too .... mostly G1 Transformers (from when I was a kid) and Starwars. That group sounds fantastic!!! My friends all think it's nerdy but for me it is something 'happy' I can cling to from my childhood.

Thanks again

Lee

PS. I understand about wanting people who 'really' know you 'know'.
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#418945 - 12/12/12 04:18 PM Re: Monday: Private vindication [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 925
Loc: New York
Lee - haha, another Transformers aficionado! I've still got a bunch of MIB G1; my favorite vintage piece is Overlord. Don't suppose you're, like, the one guy who likes the Star Wars Transformers? wink The Vader Death Star is a neat design if only to have it next to Unicron and Primus. Are you on the Ozformers board? (Thats not a request for personal info, since I don't go there or know anyone there, I just know what it is.)


Edited by SoccerStar (12/12/12 04:24 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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#418947 - 12/12/12 04:28 PM * [Re: SoccerStar]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
*


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (04/29/13 01:18 PM)

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#418955 - 12/12/12 06:24 PM Re: Monday: Private vindication [Re: SoccerStar]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3767
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Matt - so happy for you about Monday!
and so glad you had that day before Tuesday came along!!
i love hearing progress and happy, positive news.
really thankful for your friends' good responses.
sounds like a great springboard toward more healing.

lee
_________________________
"That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. . . What will your verse be?" Robin Williams as John Keating in "Dead Poets Society"


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#421475 - 01/08/13 07:29 AM Re: Monday: Private vindication [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 925
Loc: New York
UPDATE:

So the messages of encouragement and support have kept coming in. I posted one more time to the full list letting everybody know how overwhelmed and grateful I am and that they might never know how much it meant for them to accept and support me like that. Also said I didn't want to keep posting full-list discussions because it would be like using them as a living diary. However, to some of the more involved / emotional replies, I have followed up privately. The guy who told me my story made him cry, and another guy who mentioned having caught a vicious gang mugging / beating that put him in the hospital - he'd mentioned that once before, years ago, and laughed it off, tough guy... he wasn't laughing about it this time, no. Each guy I'd known since 18-19.

I'm afraid that in some of my one-on-one follow-ups I might have gone too far. I kept the full list posts as clinical as I could but a one-on-one email just impels you to speak more freely. And some phrases like "used into mindlessness," shit I have a hard time comprehending here and with my T, were a mistake to have introduced to a pre-existing normal guy friend - I really wish I could take that back, off the table and out of his mind's eye.

Anyway.... the 4-6 guys on the list from the NY/NJ area are all meeting up with me for drinks this Friday. This is not uncommon but its our first meeting since I told them. The guy who mentioned his own CSA will be there and so will tge gang-stomped guy. I'm nervous that even though they accept me, they might be different around me somehow. I really hope it isn't expected to be a topic of realtime conversation and I hope there isn't some pity-party atmosphere. I opened a new door with my friends and now we'll see if we can find the same old road with it, I really hope we can.
_________________________
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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#421477 - 01/08/13 08:02 AM Re: Monday: Private vindication [Re: SoccerStar]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3767
Loc: somewhere in Africa
This is awesome, Matt.

hope it continues to unfold in new and positive ways.

Lee
_________________________
"That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. . . What will your verse be?" Robin Williams as John Keating in "Dead Poets Society"


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#421478 - 01/08/13 08:10 AM Re: Monday: Private vindication [Re: SoccerStar]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Matt- simply beautiful.

Please continue sharing this here- you are a shining beacon of hope how important community and connection is for us.

The shame and isolation of abuse keeps us alone and separate and silent- and we can it receive the support and love from others - lacking trust and relationships we stay in shame and isolation.

It's not surprising you had a bad day after that joy - all grown risks pain and vulnerability at first, but the reward, as you well know, are lasting and empowering.

You made my day!
_________________________
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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#421560 - 01/08/13 07:43 PM * [Re: SoccerStar]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
*


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (04/29/13 01:58 PM)

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#421890 - 01/12/13 12:48 AM Re: Monday: Private vindication [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 925
Loc: New York
Oh shit, it went great for my sake but really hurt one of the other guys, I guess it triggered him, I had no idea.

As the other guys came in one at a time they'd ask how I was doing and I'd say I was "better", I was "dealing", etc, We got drunk in short order, these are my hard-drinking titty-bar fratboy buddies. Well. There was no shortage of the normal sex talk, and one guy actually said something like "Matt, you of all people should know - blah blah blah" I missed the end but laughed along with the rest anyway. I felt good, we could have our usual conversations as always. The guy who had his own CSA issues eyed me meaningfully a few times but we only spoke briefly - about how bad 2012 had been for each of us in general.

And... this was surprisingly bad... the gang-beating guy kind of fell apart. I don't know if my story triggered him or what, or how it started, probably had to have been that since what else has changed since we were 19? Regardless soon he was fully in it, how it hadn't been 4 guys beating him at once but rather 4 guys each taking their individual sequential turn at beating him to death... one guy would beat him basically to death but not kill him, he'd be allowed to crawl and beg for his life for a while, then another would start in on beating him basically to death, and so on. I felt sad and helpless as he poured out his pain, not a tough guy anymore, getting real choked up, as close as a "tough guy" can get to crying in a public bar, as we comforted him... on and on into how they slowly tortured him to near-death. There was nothing to do but reassure him that he hadn't lost anything in our eyes, was still all man, try some jokes to cheer him up... what else can you say?

That was an awkward ugly 20 minutes in a 3 hour evening hangout. They still get me. I wasn't treated any differently, there were a few awkward silences but in general going along with what I wanted in terms of my own normal treatment. Next month im sure it will happen again.

I feel amazingly better, knowing I'm still the same guy to my friends even though they know. I'm just sorry the "serious conversation" switch took one of my friends a place he really couldn't go.


Edited by SoccerStar (01/12/13 01:26 AM)
_________________________
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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