Wow, what a place you have all created. I am happy to be here and look forward to hearing and sharing. I looked in a year ago but just didn’t have the guts to join. I fear other guys - they scare me. I scare me. I have been in therapy twice in my life after surviving sexual abuse that occurred shortly after starting puberty. Therapy the first time was when I was in college. My life was spiraling into what would have ended in suicide had not I received help. Unfortunately, at that age I was just not able to do much healing. Some of this stuff is just too hard to really address at a young age. I managed to setup enough defense mechanisms to live what appeared to be a “normal” life. I fooled everyone, including myself. There were so many signs, but I couldn’t see them.
After realizing that all I had accomplished from my first attempt to deal with sexual abuse was just an illusion, even though I was married with 4 kids, I started another round of therapy. I had kept everyone, but my wife, at a distance so I wouldn’t get hurt again and could appear as normal. It had worked for so long and everyone for the most part thought I was normal. People may have thought of me as a friend, but to me it was just and act that I had to follow. I felt either nothing or fear if it was with a guy. I had intense feelings of loneliness caused by my inability to make connections with other people. I’ve always been able to make connections with other women, but since being married that didn’t seem to be something I should continue to do and I couldn’t make connections with other guys. My last attempts at being friends with other guys was back in college and that didn’t go so well – hence the downward spiraling.
My ability to fake it was not meeting my needs so I tried to start making connections with others – guys and girls. It felt really good at first – almost like a drug. Then fear set in, especially with some of the connections with the guys I was talking to. At first it seemed like I found a few I could really be friends with and while cool, it sent me back to my college days and how I just couldn’t be friends with other guys. Panic attacks and all. I knew what it was and went straight to a counselor I knew and trusted. It’s been almost one year now and there is light at the end of tunnel – sometimes…
Right now I feel like a kid who wants a friend he can call up and ask him if he wants to come over and play today.
I joined because I still can’t make friends very easily and I NEED to talk to people about this stuff.
Thanks for everyone who reads this and to everyone who has posted on the site. You’ve all been very helpful already.