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#443681 - 08/07/13 09:44 PM A movie title---and a sudden trigger
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 758
Loc: Southeast USA
Earlier today I had a sudden urge to Google something. That isn't unusual---my ADHD brain does it all the time. What was different is the phrase that popped into my head.
"An Early Frost."

It was no deep mystery because I really knew what it meant. For those in the dark, it is a title of a made-for-TV movie from the 80s.

The movie was the first of its type to deal with the AIDS crisis. A young lawyer is forced to come out to his family after he is diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in an era that offered no treatment, oftentimes little sympathy, and plenty of fear. At the age of 13, I watched the movie alone in my room during its NBC broadcast. I was recovering from knee surgery and quickly changed the channel if I heard my mom anywhere nearby. I know the time and place. It is distinct.

That's important because it came just a few months after I was abused and raped at summer camp by a hebephile of a camp counselor who manipulated me into a position of helplessness. The movie hit me like a ton of bricks. AIDS was such a mystery, but I knew what happened to me was a risk factor. Certain events were suggested, and I knew what happened behind closed doors...even if consensual in this (movie) case.

The movie portrayed in rapid-fire succession, a diagnosis and deterioration of health in the absence of a treatment protocol. As a pubertal teen, I experienced pangs of doubt about my own sexuality and the fear of what it could mean.

Is this what befalls everyone who does that?
Did he pick me because he thought I was gay?
Did he make me gay?
Was I now on a different trajectory than I was before?
Was this inevitable?
Who knew?
What did I need to watch out for?


Forgive these questions. They were produced by a 13 year-old's mind addled by recent events in the milieu of 1985. We know so much more now...and can do so much more. Then....not so much. I haven't thought about this movie in years, but the quickness and ease in which it came to mind today indicates its place in the bedrock of my CSA recovery.

I realized that I was now on a different trajectory...one that froze normal sexual experiences and rendered me a pseudo-asexual teen who gazed at girls from afar because I felt like a perp if I got the least bit intimate with one (holding hands). Eventually, I overcame that with an enhanced appreciation of LGBT issues and rejoined my initial trajectory as a straight kid, but only after a lot of hope, fear and loathing.

This is the stuff of CSA.

Will
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Cruel Summer
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#443684 - 08/07/13 10:25 PM Re: A movie title---and a sudden trigger [Re: Suwanee]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 918
Loc: New York
I can barely imagine how chilling it must have been to think of the real chance of having been given a fatal disease from an attack by a brutal criminal. Not just the disease itself but that everyone would know what happened - what was done to you. '80s TV and movies were full of Death By AIDS. And you couldn't even have inconspicuously gotten an immediate test.... That's a sort of fear that you remember even after the cause is gone, even after the answer is no. The worries you must have had.... it might explain some of the early acting-out ie teenaged binge drinking. I wonder if it also laid a foundation for compulsively signing up for invasive and degrading medical research.

You know, even when I'd basically figured out what had been done to me... I never got tested for anything. Never even considered it. I can only presume I was still detached enough and had gone long enough in good health that it would never ever have occurred to me, because it didn't.
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"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#443692 - 08/07/13 11:04 PM Re: A movie title---and a sudden trigger [Re: SoccerStar]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 758
Loc: Southeast USA
Matt,

I'm certain the early acting out was related to this---the fear, the anger...
I did really, really stupid stuff...things "smart" kids weren't supposed to do. Later at age 15 I knew I was okay...and got an answer which relieved my mind tremendously.

I think the college student experiment stuff (psychological guinea pig/medical) was "plain" old acting out in my own hidden way. This was coincidentally correlated with my "rejoining" the trajectory.

Will



Edited by Suwanee (08/07/13 11:05 PM)
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Ruins of a past unknown-

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#443697 - 08/07/13 11:35 PM Re: A movie title---and a sudden trigger [Re: Suwanee]
Publius Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 425
Loc: OH
*Possible Triggers*

I know that fear Suwanee. Oddly enough, soon after the flood of recovered memories/connection to abuse occurred I began acting out with men. I was always afraid of STDs, HIV especially, but continued on with the behavior on occasion until eventually nipping it in the bud a couple months back. And even then it had been a long time since the previous incident. Nevertheless, here I am with a folder on my desktop entitled "test date" where I will be getting tested for STD's and even though the behavior I engaged in was less risky than unprotected anal sex it was still unprotected. It will be a good day when I get the negative results back here in a few weeks at the 3 month mark.

One of the most upsetting, nay infuriating aspects of CSA for me is the fact that it basically tricks us into engaging in dangerous activities be they sexual, drug related, or direct destruction to our body (i.e. cutting, fighting, etc.).
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"Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." ~ General Iroh

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#443702 - 08/08/13 12:32 AM Re: A movie title---and a sudden trigger [Re: Suwanee]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 336
Loc: Iowa, USA
I remember when that movie was broadcast. I couldn't watch it in it's entirety. I was flipping through the channels and saw it. I watched a little bit, but was overcome with fear and shame, and had to change the channel. After I would calm down I'd turn it back on and watch some more only to have the same reaction. At the time, I was trying my damndest to bury all memories of my abuse. I didn't want to remember anything or even acknowledge that it had happened to me. Not only did seeing the TV show bring back memories, I thought if people knew I watched it, the would be able to figure out that I had been abused. It was ridiculous to think that a logical reaction to my stating that I watched the movie would be that someone would know I was a CSA victim. It was even more ridiculous because I thought anyone walking down the street would know that I had seen the movie and that I had been abused. I think about how stupid that line of thinking is, but I was alone, scared and didn't know how to handle things. Times have changed. If that movie were made today, it would not even elicit a reaction. I can look back and see how damaged I was. It does make me sad to think how many years I wasted by denying any damage from the CSA.

Dave

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#444608 - 08/18/13 03:57 PM . [Re: Suwanee]
JoeSmith Offline


Registered: 05/03/13
Posts: 129
.

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#444939 - 08/21/13 01:56 PM Re: A movie title---and a sudden trigger [Re: JoeSmith]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 758
Loc: Southeast USA
Thanks for the compliment. I also appreciate your earlier comments---I meant to thank you earlier, but I've been immersed in a lot of work projects.

Will
_________________________
Cruel Summer
My Journal

-Signs and traces left in stone
Ruins of a past unknown-

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#445144 - 08/22/13 05:26 PM . [Re: Suwanee]
JoeSmith Offline


Registered: 05/03/13
Posts: 129
.

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