I don't know if it is okay to post in multiple places if your topic fits several places??? If I am being redundant I apologize.

Hi Everyone,
I have been reading these posts and this is such an amazing place. It kind of renews my faith in men to see how warm and caring and how much you truly care for each other here. In my experience, these are behaviors that you don't often see in men. It blows my mind to see how you guys have developed these skills; I am so impressed.

Here is a part of my story. I am in love with, and may marry, a man (brilliant and beautiful) who was raped at age 11 by a 17 year old boy at camp. The rape was fast, he was so little and underdeveloped, he was consumed in the older boy's dorm room and immediately after went down to the rec room and was picked up from camp by his father to go home. I mean that within 30 minutes of the rape he was in a car travelling home. I'm sure he sat in the back (his father and his father's friend were in the front so he didn't have to talk) with rectal bleeding, searing pain and a mind and spirit smashed, broken and rocketing into a dark place where it could be protected, and hide.

He never told anyone. Not a word until he was in his forties.

I could go on and on and give you every detail. There are commonalities in the stories here among survivors which must be comforting to those who have been abused; you are not alone. The behaviors and feelings you have are normal and are a direct result of the rape.

My BF has had a much different life than the one he would have had if he had not been violated by sexual brutality. I cannot even describe the way his eyes look when his face is in repose and he doesn't know I am watching him. His default expression is fear and sadness.

He had a brief affair with a man after his second divorce where (in my lay-person therapy brain) he tried to work out where he fit into the world sexually and on the spectrum. His virginity was forcefully stolen by a man and questions of homosexuality plagued him his whole life. And then he felt dirty and ashamed by his exploration as an adult in this affair.

So now he had two secrets from the world and everyone he loved.

He carried this backpack of shame-laden rocks into every professional encounter, love affair, parenting choice, friendship, etc. The two secrets lay in the back or the front of every moment of his life and colored every choice he made and paralyzed him regularly.

I saw it, I felt it, I knew something was terribly "off" but I'm no professional or psychic and all I could determine was that here was a guy with everything going for him who was closed off to me in a weird way emotionally and had no idea of his worth. That is making it to broad but I can't describe how it felt on my end. It was like he had the looks the brains the everything in his box of tools and talents to have a charmed life but his feet were stuck in heavy mud. It was so strange and I couldn't put it together.

There is so much more to his story but as an introduction I just wanted to share that I feel honored and hopeful that he finally told me and I believe this share and his honesty (and the reaction he got from me which was acceptance; he thought I would possibly be disgusted and reject him) is the start of his healing and gives us a real possibility to make it as a couple. We will see.

He is going to start seeing a wonderful (and I mean amazing) therapist this month and said he is willing to do anything to heal from this. He is at his rock bottom with this thing which makes him desperate which makes him willing. So he has a great shot.

So I am hear to learn what I need to do to be supportive. I love him and regardless of what happens between us for now the planet has put him in my care and I in his so for at least part of this journey I will be along side him.

Thank you for this beautiful place you gentlemen have here. I am blown away that a bunch of dudes are doing this for each other. Right on!!!

Thank you for letting me share and I would welcome any introductory pointers.