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#440762 - 07/13/13 03:07 AM A kind of disclosure
GT13568 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/02/11
Posts: 133
Loc: California
I've been a very prolific writer for several years. I write about art, and I focus on the experience of looking, and learning as i look. I ask questions in my writing - of the artist, of the object, of myself. I am told by readers that my tone is very personal, that as they read they can "hear" my voice; this conversational quality helps people ask their own questions about what they see. I wear my heart on my sleeve (-: Artists I meet tell me that my empathy and insight is very helpful to them. I wonder how many of us here are told that we have a profound empathy? I feel this must be common among survivors of abuse.

While I am very open and, as I said, personal, I have never included my experience of abuse in my public writing. I am about to do so.

A young artist friend just became a father. At a social lunch one day, this friend spoke of his experience of childbirth. When he first saw his new baby, he felt an instant - and surprising to him - protective urge. He fiercely wanted to protect and love the little being he saw. Hearing his story, I was shaken. I thought of my own father, my perp. I began to wonder what this feeling is, and if my dad had it, before he abused me, before he objectified me as something for his use. Later, alone, I cried. It seems so sad.

I asked my friend if we could have a conversation about fatherhood, which I would publish. As our planned conversation ensued, he asked what my interest is, why this particular moment in fatherhood. In the moment, I dissembled. I talked about being a middle-aged queer man who had no children. I related my distance from my only nephew, my lack of familiarity with children, with family. I told him about a girlfriend in high school, and one in junior high, who I got pregnant. "These were girls/women who were significantly older than I," I said, "and my experience was of having advantage taken of me. It was not about sex as fun."

Later I regretted my decision to edit my father from my story; and as I transcribed the audio, I typed the story of my dad's abuse of me. Only the bare bones, but still I acknowledge his emotional, physical and sexual abuse.

I plan to publish this piece soon. I am very afraid. Not because I fear a bad response, on the contrary - I doubt the story will stand out much; and those who notice will feel sympathetic. No, I'm afraid of what this disclosure means to me. 

I'm afraid because I think it's good. I'm afraid of letting go.

This feels different from past occasions when I've "dumped" my story on a friend. In those instances I disclosed levels of detail that were not supported by the situation and relationship. I found those friends to be sympathetic, but overwhelmed. Some left me alone, some I avoid out of embarrassment.

I'm in a different place now. Actually, I don't know where I am now. I don't feel the need to vomit all the poison out anymore, and yet - having done the work to recognize what my dad did to me - I also know I can no longer lie about the past, or leave his abuse unspoken. 

I am a unique individual, as was the baby my father abused and groomed. I AM! 

I think that I am connecting to a moment before. Maybe to creation, my creation. I think I am healing. I think I can stop searching and trying to be healed. My dad is never going to love me right, nor is my mom. Even were they alive, they couldn't do it. No one can do it for me. I must do it.

I cry often still, even as I recover. Even as i think i am recovered. I get manically high, and I get low. I have lots of anger. I am on shaky ground, but - I expect good. It's just that I'm afraid of it.


Edited by GT13568 (07/13/13 11:00 AM)
Edit Reason: Accuracy
_________________________
I won the moment he hurt me, because he poisoned his soul, and I did not poison mine. I did not hurt anyone. He did. He was the perp. He tried to make me into a victim, but I became a survivor. Yes.

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#440806 - 07/13/13 07:11 PM Re: A kind of disclosure [Re: GT13568]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
GT- I am touched by your post. There is something about the holiness of new life, of a new creature born that touches in on eternity for us. We were all once that new creature, loved and held and protected. We must have been, if only for a short while, else we would not have survived the first 24 hours.

I know what its like to be not protected, but I can't imagine what it is like to have the one who should protect you the most to be the sexual abuser. I feel for you.

Being that unique individual you say you are, I don't know exactly where you are. But if I wished to guess, which I do, I am going to say you are well on the way to accepting what has happened to you as truth. That, again my thoughts, is where you are. For decades we minimize the truth, we avoid the truth, we dance around the truth, but it is always there to return to us. The truth.

It shapes us, directs us, leads us. Spoken out loud, or hidden very discreetly away, the truth will always rise up to show us it is never far away. Let there be no doubt, based on the conviction and insight in your words. You are connecting to a place that only you can go. You are healing in only the way you can heal. And you are so very correct, GT. Only you can love you, and love you - you must.

We must be walking parallel lanes right now, because your words of being in a different place and at the same time not knowing where that place is resonates with me as well. And its at once painful and scary and exhilarating and liberating.

I cry often still myself. As long as I breath, I think after all these years of intense pain, I will choose never to say I am "recovered". I may use your words and say I am unique, or I am ME, or just quietly smile and look at the clouds.

You sound good, you expect good, be not afraid of "good". You deserve and it sounds so very, very close. Thanks for the great post, man.


Edited by ThisMan (07/14/13 12:04 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



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#440809 - 07/13/13 08:19 PM Re: A kind of disclosure [Re: GT13568]
GT13568 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/02/11
Posts: 133
Loc: California
Thank you, ThisMan. I'm moved by the depth of your response. Reading your words, I feel less lonely, and I feel more sure.
_________________________
I won the moment he hurt me, because he poisoned his soul, and I did not poison mine. I did not hurt anyone. He did. He was the perp. He tried to make me into a victim, but I became a survivor. Yes.

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#440814 - 07/13/13 09:44 PM Re: A kind of disclosure [Re: GT13568]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio

Dear GT,

If you decide to publish your CSA story about being incested by your father; please, make certain that you have a support network of understanding friends and a therapist or support group who know you well and will be there for you during this time.

Your experience has shown you that even people we know can be easily overwhelmed by this type of disclosure. They don't always react in ways that are helpful and although they mean no injury, those reactions can be quite painful and sometimes even harmful. There may also be some readers who become triggered by your disclosure, it may be wise to include a few resources for those who could need some help themselves.

I think the fear you feel is a mix of very normal anxiety over breaking the silence and one of concern about how your story may impact you and others. They're certainly legitimate reasons to feel fearful and although we should confront our more unwarranted fears, we also need to listen to our more reasonable fears and ask why a situation is so frightening to us. If the answer confirms that it's something that needs to be addressed despite our anxiety, then we need to prepare to do so. As we advocate for ourselves and others we also need to protect ourselves from harm, use reasonable caution and just look out for ourselves. As abuse survivors we're not always good about those things.

I wish I could remember the source for this, it really helped me and perhaps it may be helpful to you too.


Expect and welcome fear, allow it; let it be, stop and wait, let it happen and stay in the present.

Label the fear from 1 to 10, ask what it is I'm really afraid of, ask what's really going on, compare the fear.

Function with your fear and be proud of yourself for doing so.

Expect and allow your fear because it will return.



GT, know that you're wished all the best in your quest to heal and that I hope something here may be of help.

Gary / 1.healing
_________________________
"It's never too late to be what you might have been."

George Elliot

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life."

Virginia Woolf

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#440842 - 07/14/13 05:20 AM Re: A kind of disclosure [Re: 1.healing]
GT13568 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/02/11
Posts: 133
Loc: California
Quote:
Expect and welcome fear, allow it; let it be, stop and wait, let it happen and stay in the present.
Label the fear from 1 to 10, ask what it is I'm really afraid of, ask what's really going on, compare the fear.
Function with your fear and be proud of yourself for doing so.
Expect and allow your fear because it will return.


Yours is wise advice, 1.healing, and I appreciate you offering it to me. I understand. I do have a support group of friends and a loved one who do and will help me.

I feel that if I put this out in the world, in the world where I am already well-known, then perhaps a friend or two who have suffered abuse, and yet have not addressed it in their lives, may recognize a truth, and may also recognize that they are not alone.

I do not expect this to happen, I would not presume; and nor do I wish to "save the world" in the way that I once thought I could. Rather, I think that if I mark stones on the path, simply as one who has walked this way, then that path will be there for anyone to follow.

Thank you so much for commenting, 1.healing. It means a great deal to me.

GT
_________________________
I won the moment he hurt me, because he poisoned his soul, and I did not poison mine. I did not hurt anyone. He did. He was the perp. He tried to make me into a victim, but I became a survivor. Yes.

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#440847 - 07/14/13 09:00 AM Re: A kind of disclosure [Re: GT13568]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 811
Loc: michigan
hey GT
we spoke briefly the other morning and I very much appreciate what you express here. there is something more than vulnerable about having our story in print. it is a record, it is permanent for all time to come our feelings thoughts will be available for comment. It is a two edged sword I suppose the fact is I have seen great good come from the telling. that being said I have yet to find words to express my story in writing so I applaud you for your courage. It is amazing to think that this is so matter of fact, "I was abused" it is a period, it happened and yet in reality there is so much more that happened and all at the same time it is hard to separate it all out.
I hope that you have great success
Jeff
_________________________
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

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#440874 - 07/14/13 04:08 PM Re: A kind of disclosure [Re: GT13568]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio

Hi GT,

Sounds like you've done your homework and groundwork and that you're prepared to disclose your abuse through your writing. It will help others and I think it will also be very empowering for you and will be very freeing and healing too. It's a monumental and brave step you're taking, I wish you everything good as you journey into your next stage of healing! Remember, it's okay when things feels frightening, that is very normal and "Heroes behave in spite of fear.".

Gary / 1.healing
_________________________
"It's never too late to be what you might have been."

George Elliot

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life."

Virginia Woolf

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#440881 - 07/14/13 05:08 PM ! [Re: GT13568]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
!


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (02/28/14 08:57 PM)

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