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#432747 - 04/28/13 01:39 PM Re: so confused [Re: Marc1267]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
I'll echo Andy and Lee on the physical intimidation. What helps me is the conscious realization that they're still kids intellectually and emotionally...and as clueless as I was at that age, though they may put on a know-it-all front.

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#432811 - 04/29/13 02:22 AM Re: so confused [Re: Marc1267]
Antonio78 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/21/13
Posts: 6
Hello there,

I have 3 kids, and having the same issues, I feel aroused by men. But I haven't felt the same with my wife. I have thougt of leaving her. I'm not sure if that's exactly what I want. I think a lot on my kids, before making up my mind, I would like to feel comfotable with the decision I would be making. I have issues having sex with my wife. I've been thinking lately that probably the best solution to my problem is to get divorce, let her be happy and try to solve my issues. But I'm afraid of doing things wrong.I'm really confused. I'll appreciate your thoughts!!

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#442840 - 07/31/13 10:48 PM Re: so confused [Re: Marc1267]
VirtualBman Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/20/11
Posts: 21
Loc: Dayton, OH
Antonio, I can feel your pain Brother. I am in similar position with my wife. The difference is I do have sex, wonderful sex with her. My problem is that I still have certain male attractions that confuse the hell out of me. Why would I possibly want to be with a man, sexually. My abuser was a male, 20 years my senior, yet I will still be around certain men and become aroused, both emotionally and physically. It's absolutely ridiculous to me. I hate it, I have never acted upon it since being married. I like many survivors have had a few encounters post abuse with men, but they have always made me feel sick afterwards. As far as the divorce, we were close to that at one point, then I told my wife of the abuse. She was supportive, a little confused as to what to do but generally supportive.

Have your told your wife of your abuse? I don't know your situation, but I felt certain my wife would leave me if she found out that I was "less than a man" (my words) not hers. I was very surprised to find out otherwise. She told me on more than one occasion since, that my confiding in her was the manliest thing I had ever done.

I can't tell you whether to divorce or not, however, I can tell you that this has been a hell of a lot easier with her loving support. I hope this helps, take care Brother.

Brian

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#442843 - 07/31/13 11:07 PM Re: so confused [Re: cant_remember]
nolan79 Offline


Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 32
Loc: sc, united states
Originally Posted By: cant_remember
Marc,

You are certainly not alone. One of the devious effects of CSA is that it can affect our "arousal template," that part of our sexual selves that tells us what we're attracted to.

I'm not sure if there's a cure or a solution to the problem, but talking about it here and in-person with a T is a good start.

Do not be ashamed or embarrassed about this problem, as it is not your fault. If your T acts uncomfortable with you sharing this, then find another T.

I, myself, am locked in an endless loop of recreating abuse that I don't even remember -- submitting myself to the will of white-haired men.

You are certainly not alone.

Cant


hit the nail on the head. Marc you are not alone. I feel the same. It bothers the crap out of me. Right along with the sexual images of men. At times, I want to shut myself in a closet and never come out, but some how I am able to face it everyday. Everyday is not like this, but when it comes, it stays for what seems like an eternity. I hope you can take some mild comfort in knowing that you are not alone in this situation. If anyone gets a magic pill for this, please PM me, I'm overdosing!!
_________________________
Every hidden secret will eventually find light

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#444634 - 08/18/13 09:22 PM Re: so confused [Re: Marc1267]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Can only echo speaking with a T - I thought I was doomed to this until my T helped me realize that I was just trying to control or make sense of what happened to me when I was younger. After a whole lot of trauma therapy, turns out she was pretty much spot on. As for me, those things are gone.

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#444668 - 08/19/13 08:06 AM Re: so confused [Re: Marc1267]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 753
Loc: michigan
I thought I would chime in on this one too. I can only imagine the confusion that takes place when the abuse takes place repeatedly over a long period. I was attacked only twice by different men at different times and the effect on me is profound. it is like searching for something that doesn't exist. it is very sexual but not at all, it is a deep longing for something I cant identify and it has been a life long curse. certainly I can empathize with those who have shared here. I think that the abuse triggers this in us. it seems like "if I had only" then he would not have hurt me. or "if things were different then..." I think that a lot of the pain comes from a dysfunctional family and other sources too that either set us up for abuse or allow it to happen and sadly so often perpetrate. it just leaves me wishing I could have a do over. so yea I have to agree with andys87 unfortunately I haven't got it worked out yet
Jeff
_________________________
Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!"
Herman Melville

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#444672 - 08/19/13 09:56 AM Re: so confused [Re: Marc1267]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Hey Jeff,

Don't let me fool you, I may have gotten out of the woods and made some huge strides, but I am here because I am still triggered by certain things from time to time. As a warning, I am going to recount some of my experiences below, and they are graphic, so TRIGGER WARNING.

I don't really know how to sum up my experience - something like a premature exposure to sex that I didn't figure anything out about, and then when I did, I started puberty shortly after. As far as sexual things went, I only had one framework to go off of, and that still causes me tremendous pain and regret. I did or thought about things I didn't want to do, and looking back now, didn't like. I know now that those things were me acting out, and after therapy they began to stop. Still, the fact that they were even there in the first place just tears me to pieces. In that sense, I am 100% with you on wishing I could have a do over, and all the "if only's". If only I had just said no and meant it! If only I had known enough to ask my parents to bring me to therapy right after I told them what happened. If only I had told the therapist my mom made me see at 15 for my anger issues...but I remember thinking to myself "If I tell this therapist guy, he's going to try to tell me that what happened means that I'm gay, and I don't want to be, so I'm not telling him because he'll try to make me be something I'm not". Looking back now, I go "yeah, well, probably not", but the way I see it is that I just wasn't ready to process things at that time.

If you go to 1in6, you'll read about how people marginalize what happened to them. For instance, you were sexually abused twice by two different men. I can remember at least 4 acts over a period of 5 years between me and my cousin, but I was never FORCED into doing anything. Coerced? Yeah. My cousin would whine and whine about wanting to do this or that with me. I just wanted him to leave me alone and go to sleep, so I said "alright fine". Also, I was never forced into anal sex - the one time he asked to try, I said ok, but then when I felt him getting ready to push in, I just said "no way, I just can't do that, it's not going to work" and he said "ok, well do you think you can try on me?". I did try, but I couldn't get an erection and that was the end of that. I think the most powerful and ultimately damaging act for me though was when he had me watch him masturbate.

The results of that:

To this day, I still have never been able to orgasm from oral sex. I was also reluctant to do it for women, until I realized that I wasn't bad at it at all and could bring them intense enjoyment. Ever since, I love giving it. Receiving feels good, just have never orgasmed from it.

I used to wonder, and later fantasize, about the time he tried anal on me. What if it had gone in? What would that have felt like? What if I could have gotten in when I tried on him? What would that have felt like? Those thoughts and fantasies stopped though after I processed the memory in therapy.

The masturbation one though, yikes. That one, as I said, really screwed me up. He often read anatomy books with me, so I was kind of sexually obsessed already about figuring out what the penis does in the vagina. I wanted to try that out REALLY bad, but at the same time wasn't capable of an erection and knew I couldn't ejaculate. I knew I'd have to wait until puberty.

At the same time, my cousin always used to tell me about how I had to make sure to live my life a certain way to be manly. Stupid kid stuff, like "men don't cry, you just gotta walk it off sometimes to show em your tough!" or "karate? Men shouldn't do karate, kicking is for girls! Boxing, wrestling, or judo though, those are manly". "Soccer is for wimps! Hockey and football, now those are manly sports! Let's go play football". But there was also "well, you know you're a man once you can ejaculate, because then you can have sex and get girls pregnant".

I was already a little self conscious of my body when this happened because I was kind of pudgy and not very athletic. I got bullied a lot because of that. Well my cousin comes to visit, and I see that he's grown out of his baby fat, and he whispers "lets go upstairs, I gotta show you something". I am curious but by now also apprehensive. I recognize shit usually gets kind of weird when he says this, and that I always say "no, that's a bad idea", but then end up going along with it anyway. He tells me "I can ejaculate now". So we go upstairs so he can show me. He had me sit there and watch him masturbate and eventually ejaculate.

After that was when I developed a lot of the acting out behaviors and body obsessions you read about some survivors having. I became obsessed with penis size - how come mine was so much smaller than his? I took this as a measure of self worth, and in turn was obsessed with whether I was larger or smaller than my peers. Same thing with masturbation in general. Also, why couldn't I more like him? Two years later when I finally did figure out masturbating, I would try to remember exactly where he had been standing in my room. I would stand in the exact same spot, and I'd try to set up a mirror so I could see what I was doing and try to do the same things he had done, and make it look the same as well. I never did manage to "be able to look/do" exactly what he had done though.

Going forward, I often acted out through fantasies where I would think about what he had done, or I would imagine other people I knew doing the same thing - how would they do it? How big were they compared to me? etc. and so on. Further on into middle and high school, I would think about guys who were younger than me. Looking back, that was wishing for either control, wanting to corrupt somebody the way I had been etc. In therapy, we talked about the inner child. For me, it was desperately wishing I hadn't lost my innocence the way I had and in part wishing I had somebody to control the way my cousin had controlled me. I wanted to be looked up to, I wanted to be the person who passed on the "hidden knowledge". Thank god I never acted on those fantasies though.

Eventually, much later on in my teens, I began watching solo videos of other men masturbating. I had fantasized about kids I went to school with like that for years, so why not? I also tried to get on board with gay porn, but eventually realized I didn't really like gay porn that much. Videos of guys masturbating though? Usually I was down with those. What was confusing for me was all along, I was still curious about girls. From being bullied at school, holding the secrets of what my cousin did to me, and having my sister systematically strip away and destroy every ounce of self confidence I had, I had given up on ever dating a girl in the town I grew up in. People thought I was too weird or crazy. Not the internet though. All the porn I could want for whatever mood I was on. Girls masturbating, guys masturbating, guys and girls having sex together, all down for that.

Right before I went to college though, I finally got around to kissing a girl and loved it. I was an idiot about it though, in the "Hey, nice to see you again. Wanna make out". Real smooth right? Sometimes I just have to laugh at my youthful ineptitude. Started noticing women more - what did I like about them? Legs? Hair? Boobs? What made me think they were attractive? Got into college, got my first GF, lost my virginity, realized that I like sex with girls. At that point, the fantasies from my past of other guys and the non-hetero porn really began to bother me. If I liked girls, why were these other things happening, why was I doing them?

Eventually I had a breakdown and went to therapy because I knew I couldn't sort this stuff out on my own. Through EMDR, I was able to process a lot of what happened, and I was able to forgive myself for a lot of it, at least for a time. I realized that my sexual development get knocked way off course because of what happened with my cousin. I learned how many survivors assume that what happened must have made them gay, especially if they acted out. That resonated deeply with me. I had thought on some level I must have at least been bisexual, but I liked being attracted to girls, and I didn't like the fantasies or the solo porn of other guys. I eventually realized that every time I engaged in those things, I felt as though I had just been re-victimized again, but now that I knew it was sexual and not just a thing with my cousin, it was that much more painful AND shameful. In the words of Joe Kort, I was experiencing trauma through orgasm. EMDR helped me realize that and let it all go. Sadly though, I still beat myself up that it ever happened in the first place. I know it's not abnormal for survivors to have those behaviors, and that I'm not who I was back then anymore, but I have such a hard time forgiving myself.

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#444680 - 08/19/13 11:39 AM Re: so confused [Re: Marc1267]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 753
Loc: michigan
hey andy
yea a lot of what you share has been my experience as well just a bit different, I was abused by the two guys but also there were females and that was much younger first was a baby sitter when I was about 5 then some older girls on the street and then a girl closer to my age. all that had me so fearful of girls in general and I still have that in some ways I can never deal with strong of aggressive women.and to top off all the confusion there was a same sex friendship that became quite sexual and I found it very powerful and also left me completely guilt ridden. when the last attack happened about a year later I figured two things.1) I responded to his touch during the attack so with the other experience already set I assumed I was gay and that was what it was like to be gay that I would always be the weaker one ( I was a pretty small kid) and 2) I took it as my fault as I always had. it was the "if onlys " even then I felt it was my fault for going to that restroom when I knew they were not safe. I knew the attacker so I assumed I had somehow given him the impression that this was what I wanted. I assumed because I allowed him to touch me ( not sexually) earlier in the year that I was giving him "signals" that I wanted to do more. I had the habit of always going to that restroom before leaving school so I let him know where to find me. all the fault I placed squarely on that little boys shoulders and after I began to punish myself for it. I HATED my penis and wanted it to stop getting hard all the time( I figured that was what he had seen to draw him to me ) I hated that I got hard then and wished that I could stop being curious but I also wanted NO PART of gay or gay sex just because I was so frightened, and still the girls were not attractive in that way and i was frightened of them just as much. Basically I was just screwed and really saw no hope and was near making that final bad decision. but I found my wife who was and is so much different then the others. I am married now and have managed to keep this problem secret over the years and keep my acting out to fantasies and porn but the issue still remains . T wants to do emdr and has wanted to for a time but I keep freaking out about it your story does give me some hope on that front but I still have some way to go in this area
Jeff
_________________________
Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!"
Herman Melville

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#444684 - 08/19/13 12:16 PM Re: so confused [Re: Marc1267]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Hey Jeff,

I've heard quite often that a lot of people are frightened to do EMDR. It makes sense, you're going to be going to a lot of places in your head that you've been trying to avoid for a long time, and you'll have to face memories you've been trying to get away from or numb out. It's going to take a LOT out of you. I am currently 26, and went in to EMDR when I was 21 and finished up when I was 23.

My experience was that:

1). My therapist was amazingly compassionate, and very understanding of my experience.

2.) Before we ever even started EMDR, we established a "safe place" in my mind, where when I was processing and "seeing" my memories play out, I could just go to the safe place if it got to be too much.

3.) Notice something about yourself. When you have certain thoughts about your abuse or that stem from your abuse, you will have a feeling in your body somewhere. That's really important to pay attention to, because you're going to be making connections between those feelings in your body and the thoughts in your head. Your T will guide you through that all.

4.) When you find a thought and squarely and directly start processing it and remembering the events that gave you that thought, you're going to get slammed with emotion. You may feel angry, sad, frightened, whatever. What's weird is that you'll learn to tell the T exactly what you're feeling, and you'll watch yourself pour your guts out, and then suddenly, almost as if by magic, that event or that thought/feeling loses that negative charge. It might take a few attempts to get there, but I swear to god that's how it happens.

5.) You will likely get an "EMDR Hangover" when you process particularly difficult things. You will probably feel exhausted, or you may even feel triggered. That usually subsides after a few days, but you should be aware that it happens.

6.) Even after therapy, and even after you "finish" EMDR, you may still repeat old behaviors for a while until you realize what they're doing to you and how you feel negative about them. For me, once those realizations finally fell into place, I really managed to break free of those behaviors.

Ultimately, it's your call. I went into EMDR because I had a meltdown while I was at college, and I didn't want to spend the rest of my time in school being afraid of social interaction and being near suicidally depressed. It was kind of like a "you need to face this NOW or you're going to destroy your life or your future or something, but you absolutely cannot stay where you are now". The thoughts, feelings, and emotions I was experiencing were so bad and so intense that I could barely make it to class. I didn't want to be alone, but when my room mates were around, I didn't want them to be. It was awful. I don't know how you feel right now, but if you're going to do EMDR (and I highly recommend it), then you've got to be 100% totally and completely honest with yourself. A side effect of that is that you'll gain great insight and introspection about who you are, and I've found that I've been able to be much more open to the world and a lot less resistant to things that I used to be.

Progress is not going to be a straight line forward. You will have times where you make 3 steps forward and then suddenly you'll take five steps back. You'll have periods where you feel euphoric and alive, and periods where you feel despondent, like you're just sitting around waiting to die. Or you'll be in between those two, which just feels like limbo. Not depressed, but not happy either. It's hard, and it took me two years to process everything. I do highly encourage you at least try it though.

Good luck!

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