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#439938 - 07/03/13 05:26 PM Re: A question for all... [Re: Chase Eric]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1202
Wow - the answers seem to be following a definite pattern. I don't think I am surprised. Lewis is "no" on homophobia and straight, while Soccer really dealt with homophobic feelings and identifies as bi. Anyone else?
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#439973 - 07/03/13 10:12 PM Re: A question for all... [Re: Chase Eric]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 758
Loc: upper south
I have been thinking about this since reading it yesterday. An interesting thread, Eric. Since the first abuse happened so terribly early, I have a difficult time separating my thoughts.

... when the teen abuser started, he used gay porn. And he showed me repeatedly pics of guys entwined in their sexual business. His consistent remark was, "that's what you like, that's what you want." Many, many times. So he must have identified me as gay.

I was not homophobic while in school. I was the object of intense bullying with a heavy undertone of being different and had been since the brothers started when I was four.

I identified myself as straight until the age of 47. As time passed I have come out to myself, and to those observant enough to notice, and to a few close friends, male and female, that I am gay. It is a peaceful feeling, the inner struggle is over.

And off topic and not to steal the thread... but how in the world do you make such fascinating font appear when you post? I have noticed that since January when I arrived. Thanks, guy. Always thought provoking posts.

b
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#439996 - 07/04/13 12:45 AM Re: A question for all... [Re: ThisMan]
Chase Eric Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1202
Hi, b -

Isn't self-acceptance such a peaceful thing? Like you, it took me a while to come to terms with my sexual identity. I think for years I saw it as what I now identify as SSA - a term I learned here at MS. As long as I considered myself not gay, then SSA precisely described my self-perspective. I loved girls emotionally - had crushes even. I loved the female form, and hated gay porn (which does - and always has done - essentially nothing for me). But always that drive to men, always that pull to repeat what I learned at the behest of my molester. It's all very similar to the feelings I experienced as a young boy of twelve - the site of my neighbor - his nakidity, acne-scarred and hairy skin and large erection really repulsed me. But the feeling he brought me - of being held and fully possessed almost every other night through a long, hot summer - was something that always brought overwhelming physiological response despite myself, despite my saying no. The no's always became yes's when he got underway. And so my body learned something perhaps it never should have learned, and I could not unlearn it. Not that I didn't try.

Some years after the abuse, it turned out - for me at least - that once I let go of fighting it and just floated where the sexual currents took me - once I dropped the hang-ups and stopped following the undertones of guilt and shame and the supposed social expectations of sexual conformity - that I really enjoyed exploring who I was. Friendships opened up, people enjoyed being around me more, and amazingly my family and friends were even more accepting of my being gay than I was myself! And I'm still exploring what seems like an endless dimension of my identity. I lived an entire adolescence following the sexual dictates of my abuser. Was I not just doing the same thing by forcing myself to be straight? Straight wasn't me - it was what I imagined everyone around me wanted - that the approval of those outside me dictated my identity.

Being gay is not the damage my molester did to me. Oh, I may well be gay in part because of what he made me experience. And so what? Lose your legs in a landmine - you'll never grow them back no matter how angry you get. And changing my sexuality to something other than how he thwarted it was incredibly frustrating. Every time I thought I moved even an inch away from same sex attractions, I'd fling right back to it like snapping a rubber band. Then it occurred to me. The real damage he did was to take away my CHOICE in the matter. To express my sexuality in terms of what that did for HIM. So I'm gay. But at least I fully own my sexual identity - he no longer does.

And so I can either define that identity as damaged goods, or embrace who I had to become under his twisted tutelage. So I am proud of who I am - who I had to become. I could bend to his will because I was a child and I had to. And he couldn't bend away from his demons because his character was fundamentally weak. That's the paradox - that I was ALWAYS stronger than him. He acted from weakness, and I responded through unfathomable resilience. Perhaps I could argue that he did not make me gay - rather I adapted that way because I had no other choice. And so I can OWN being gay and embrace it. And I feel empowered when I suspect others disapprove. It just doesn't bother me like it used to. Dr. Seuss said it best: Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. So simple and true. Accept yourself, because life is short. And peace is wonderful.

I suppose I digress. But it still speaks to the point of the thread, because outward anger towards gays was my only tactic to fight the same sex attractions I felt within me. I suspect - and the answers here so far seem to support - that the most vociferous anti-gay rhetoric (homophobia) comes from those who are fighting it desperately within themselves. And that's a huge deal for us survivors, because we feel profound anger that perhaps we were lead astray, "hooked" on a drug called gay when we didn't ask for it. The whole SSA thing - and there are incredibly deep threads on SSA so nothing will get resolved about it in this one - really speaks to the sexual identity schism, to that part of the iceberg no one here really talks about much, the part of the iceberg that sinks us. Am I straight? How can I love HER, yet at the same time sort of want HIM? But maybe wanting HIM isn't really ME - so I think my identity is straight (thank God!) and those same sex attractions are not really my sexual identity. But then again, I just can't shake them...

I do not discount true SSA! I can only speak for myself and my own experience with it. For me, those same sex attractions fostered harsh self-judgment. With my molester finally 3,000 miles away, I couldn't direct anger at him but I sure as hell could be angry at what he made ME. Read that: I could be angry AT me. And if gay wasn't acceptable for me, I sure as hell didn't appreciate it in those around me. Those who indulged were just weak, giving into the temptation. And I felt threatened BY them as well, because, after all, with my molester all my no's became yes's. So to gay people, my no's were VERY loud. I thought I could not trust them - when in fact I could not trust ME. Like a hypocrite, however, I still took it out on them with my attitude. That's sort of how it flowed for me, at least. The crime, I thought, was that he made me gay. The real damage, however, was that he made me bitter and angry, suspicious and scared, and I lost the ability to trust myself. He darkened my soul because I still allowed him to possess it years after he last pulled out of my body. Until I accepted myself - and kicked him out of me for good.

Finally the lighter stuff...

The font thing - you have to use full reply, not quick reply. You'll see a menu bar of formatting icons at the top of the writing space. Just highlight the text and select the color/size/font/whatever. I simply take the first letter of each paragraph and elevate it to size 17 font. Why? I don't really know. I just did it once and never stopped. I think it's a stupid individualistic personality quirk. I've always tended towards sharing my little artistic derangements with those around me. Adding a spice of meee is perhaps not necessarily a welcome grace, but that's just who I am. But I figure I'm easy enough to avoid here, so the offense to others I suspect is minimal smile .
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#439999 - 07/04/13 01:37 AM Re: A question for all... [Re: Chase Eric]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
......Jesus Christ, Eric, on the one hand you say "recovery is impossible" and on the other hand you de-mystify and crystallize all THAT?? Burning down the weeds of one of the most painful and enduring questions here and sowing salt over them so the doubts can never grow again? That was seriously the best and most moving treatment of this aspect I've ever seen. I feel like I owe you a copay.

And yeah, took about 10 years for me to stop hating myself for my own thoughts / desires; escaping the generally brainless and poisonous suburban atmosphere, actually getting to know gay people, and "proving myself" with girls, helped. I'd never even heard of SSA until I came here, and was then hit with EVEN MORE HORROR because maybe the self I had accepted wasn't my real self at all, but something I'd been mutated into. But that passed because.... once the war is over it doesn't restart just because you mis-counted the bodies.... once you accept yourself, you cannot un-accept. Mercifully.
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#440036 - 07/04/13 09:35 AM Re: A question for all... [Re: SoccerStar]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1202
Quote:
......Jesus Christ, Eric, on the one hand you say "recovery is impossible" and on the other hand you de-mystify and crystallize all THAT??

Hey, Matt- I take it you are not referring to my use of fonts? laugh

Seriously, thank you for those kind and supportive words. And as paradoxical as it may seem, I don't believe there is any inconsistency. I have not described a recovery, but merely an accommodation - a survival. The caveat is that this is MY truth - only what I have realized for me: You never recover from this stuff. You adjust. I adjusted as a child. I adjusted growing up. I am adjusting still. My life is one big adjustment.

Semantics? Perhaps. The literal meaning of recovery is a return to the normal or original state. To me, the distinction is more than casual.
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#440053 - 07/04/13 02:04 PM Re: A question for all... [Re: Chase Eric]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 758
Loc: upper south
Wow. So very excellent. To both Matt and Eric.

CE- I enjoy seeing the quirk of individualism you share, as I am certain others do. It lightens the mood and brings a smile... I can't even master the dang quote boxes...
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#440054 - 07/04/13 02:10 PM Re: A question for all... [Re: Chase Eric]
toddop Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 206
Loc: California
Eric,
Thanks for sharing your experiences in the post above. It is a very powerful explanation about your own development on a major issue that we all struggle with. It is really helpful to see how you have followed the threads of this through your own unique history. I share a lot of your experiences with this, but was never outwardly homophobic, but turned that in on myself. As a result, I just cut off all interest in ANY sex as my way of dealing with those feelings of being gay, which I later came to understand and accept as just was who I was.

Your self-awareness and discovery are very inspirational to read. Thanks for sharing this!

Todd

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