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#449574 - 10/08/13 06:18 PM Why didn't I tell someone? [possible triggers]
Survivinguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 310
Loc: Colorado
I partially know the answer to my own question which makes it seem stupid, self-serving and ridiculous to ask. But the abuse lasted for more than ten years and at some point I think I started feeling like a collaborator of my own abuse, complicit because I didn't resist, I did what they said and sometimes did it eagerly - I can remember pretending I liked it, I can remember being proud I could do certain things well, I remember laughing with some of the other boys about what we would be told to do. I hate these memories. I hate myself for remembering. I hate myself for everything we did.

It started when I was around 3 or 4 and ended around 14 or 15. I know I didn't tell when I was much younger because I didn't know it was wrong. I know I didn't tell when I was in grade school because I was scared he would kill me as he so often promised after sending me back to my room. But as a teen I knew it was wrong and the threat of killing me was pointless as I often fantasized of being kidnapped or killed - the only two ways I could imagine escaping.

So why didn't I tell then?

Add to that mix that once it did stop I wondered what I had done wrong that it stopped, why wasn't he interested in me anymore and to some extent I think I missed it. I don't think I missed the pain or torture but with all of it suddenly gone - it felt like I was missing the feeling of terror or that I can't stop feeling terror.

And more than two decades later I still wake up every night at 3, 4 and 5am expecting him to come into my room to take me from my bed so he can rape me. And he's been dead for over 21 years.

Shame, self-hatred, guilt so thick I lose my breath and want to hurt myself but I don't act on that deep and desperate desire because if I do everyone would find out how crazy I feel every day. So I hide all of it and pretend like nothing is happening - wake up, dress, play the roles I'm expected to play all day, go to bed, wake at 3 and 4 and 5am, waiting for him to come get me again, wake up, dress and repeat. Sometimes today doesn't seem all that from yesterday - pretending everything is okay, hiding his truth as it is my burden to bear. I've told others - my therapist, my wife, my brother, my mother, close personal friends - I'm not living the secrets every day but sometimes it feels like nothing has changed and he is still in control and I'm being the obedient child while I slowly die inside.
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Survivinguy

============================================
I have to survive and I hope to thrive.

Alumni Dahlonega WoR May 2010
Alumni Sequoia WoR March 2012

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#449589 - 10/08/13 08:03 PM Re: Why didn't I tell someone? [possible triggers] [Re: Survivinguy]
forgive777 Offline


Registered: 05/18/13
Posts: 118
Loc: california
I can relate to you my friend.. I feel angry I feel like I sometimes participated and also felt like I was looking for it and now that iam a grown 30yr old man I hate remembering that it makes me feel less as iam not that real man that my co workers think iam I hate it... I feel as iam nasty like I been living this nasty dream and know woke up to realize... that I might of made some huge mistakes that might of ruined are future ... but let me tell you like this ....point blank iam learning to forgive my self and also need help on feeling and knowing that it wasn't are fault that we where inoccent children like the little kid you have or nieces nephews etc. I get very immotional around kids I get major triggers and sudden sadness that iam oviously showing others my anxiety... but I believe we will heal and live like all our other partners that been thru this csa and now feel free we can do it to.. ... good luck

Hope I ment sense since iam typin from a phone.... and excuse any typo...




Edited by forgive777 (10/08/13 08:06 PM)
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#449629 - 10/09/13 05:20 AM re: guilt. ***triggers!*** [Re: Survivinguy]
Onesimus75 Offline


Registered: 08/22/13
Posts: 158
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: Survivinguy
Shame, self-hatred, guilt so thick I lose my breath and want to hurt myself but I don't act on that deep and desperate desire because if I do everyone would find out how crazy I feel every day. So I hide all of it and pretend like nothing is happening - wake up, dress, play the roles I'm expected to play all day, go to bed, wake at 3 and 4 and 5am, waiting for him to come get me again, wake up, dress and repeat. Sometimes today doesn't seem all that from yesterday - pretending everything is okay, hiding his truth as it is my burden to bear. I've told others - my therapist, my wife, my brother, my mother, close personal friends - I'm not living the secrets every day but sometimes it feels like nothing has changed and he is still in control and I'm being the obedient child while I slowly die inside.


Survivingguy!
Hang in there man!
Your last part is worth stating first! You really are free! He doesn't own you. You belong to your wife and your family, and maybe to your higher power if you have one.
You aren't carrying his secrets any more. You have told, and it sounds like you chose well! You're not alone! You have loved ones who know and support you! That is a great victory!
I heard a survivor of long-term abuse quote a great old saying: (forgive a quick paraphrase.) "Someone who is full hates honey, but a starving person will find even something bitter will taste sweet."
Whether our abusers were family, friends, or others who got close to us, they put themselves forward as a sweet answer: a 'loving' father, a 'good' friend, a 'special' teacher...
My abuse wasn't very long-term (maybe a 6 month build-up until it got really bad), but guilt over it used to tear me to shreds.

I can offer you the bullets I put in my own gun to shoot my guilt. It's worth repeating.
The abusive stuff my perp did to me wasn't good, but it was the best that I had available to me at the time, so I accepted it. It was only later that I could look back and see how hollow and bitter it was.
I think I have a basic human need to be wanted, accepted, and loved. I think those are as primal as breathing. And my perp seemed to offer those things, but he shouldn't have offered them with a hook.
It sounds like this was a family member. Well, you deserved to get attention, to be cherished and loved without the things he did to you.
I don't need to feel guilty that I wanted to be wanted, or that I liked being treated like I was special, like I was glorious. If it hadn't come with a terrible price it would have made my High School years the best! instead it wrecked me pretty good.
But it wasn't my fault to want to be special. Didn't mean I wanted to be laid out and used like that.

I don't usually use this expression. But man... ***hugs***

You aren't to blame. I only have this one voice to say it, but it wasn't your fault.
This guy abused you for basically your whole conscious life. It was the only real intimacy that you knew. You'd have to be superman or a heartless robot to have the only real intimacy you knew ripped away without feeling some loss. But you went from poisoned 1 to 0 and then you kept going to count up. Marriage, children, family... I'm SO sorry that you didn't get the love you deserved, and i'm so happy that you have a wife and children, siblings who love you.
Please don't hate yourself for remembering the only thing you knew. That's the horrible, unspeakable thing about abuse by people close to us. It isn't that there was nothing we got out of it, it was that the abuse took things we were supposed to enjoy, BORN to enjoy (acceptance, closeness, intimacy, touch, appreciation) and betrays it, wounds it, stomps on it in our hearts and minds.
I've been working on this for more than a decade, and I still have sexual dreams about what my perp did to me. But the difference is that I don't look at knives when I wake up these days, like I used to. I used to accept his blame, and hate myself. Now I let him have his blame. I have enough on my own plate without his extra helping.
I don't get to un-do the boot-print he stomped into my memory and sex life. But I don't have to own it any more.
He made sure that you never knew life apart from sexual abuse. Please don't blame a little boy for trying to do good at the only life he knew. It was the best he knew. And he survived. Please don't blame that teenage boy when he was at an insecure time, when even the strongest and "normal"iest of us wonders if we're loveable or worth anything, when he felt a loss when that poisoned crutch got pulled out from underneath him. Be proud that he found firm ground to stand on. You did!
You don't have to own it.

Waking up? Remembering? Those aren't your faults. They're scars. You survived them. You ARE surviving them. That's strong. That's admirable. Even with all the crap we feel you have built a family, reached out to circles of family and friends. I've read more than one guy here who wishes they had what you have done.

And you're still breaking his hold on you. You're reaching out. You're talking about it.

I use this phrase a lot but it isn't untrue. You're a hero.

You talk about guilt, but all I feel for you is compassion and pride.

When you wake up, I'd think... "I beat you. You don't own this time any more. Look at the family I don't hurt like you hurt me. Look at the people I love better than you loved me. Look at the people who will never feel guilty because of how I love them."

A hero, man. You're a hero. When your heart is wounded and tired, there's at least one guy who thinks you're a hero.


Edited by Onesimus75 (10/09/13 05:22 AM)
Edit Reason: sentence fragments! Tired. Sorry.
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We are not defined by our faults, or our wounds, but by the truth within us, which nothing can take away.

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#449633 - 10/09/13 07:18 AM Re: re: guilt. ***triggers!*** [Re: Survivinguy]
Onesimus75 Offline


Registered: 08/22/13
Posts: 158
Loc: Minnesota
Sorry. It's a little later and one more coherent thought trickled through my head.

You said you hated yourself for what happened, and how you felt about it.

I think that answers why you didn't tell, and why I don't feel any blame or accusation for that boy. I never told not because I had some belief about guarding my perp, but because I could never have dared tell anyone that someone did that to me and I... Man some days i can't even type it.

I admire the kids who tell, so very much. But I couldn't commit psychic suicide like that, and that's how, in my warped and wounded way of living at the time, that's how I saw it.
_________________________
We are not defined by our faults, or our wounds, but by the truth within us, which nothing can take away.

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#449734 - 10/09/13 11:29 PM Re: re: guilt. ***triggers!*** [Re: Survivinguy]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1584
Loc: New England
Why didn't we tell? Why didn't we run? That could be a thread in itself.

In my case it was because when I was a kid, things like this just were not spoken of. It was because my alcoholic parents taught us that problems were never discussed, they were to be hidden at all costs. It was because I feared being shamed by revealing it. It was because my abuser supplied me with alcohol and drugs, and as a proto-alcoholic, I didn't want that to stop. It was because he was a cool guy and he let me hang out with him and that made me a cool guy too. It was because I was starved for attention, and he gave it to me. All these reasons sound stupid from the vantage point of an adult. But as a kid, they made perfect sense.

We have to remember that were were KIDS, not just small adults, doing the best we could in an impossible situation. We can all cut ourselves some slack.
_________________________
Can't be bothered with sorrow
And I can't be bothered with hate, no, no
I'm using up the time but feeling fine every day
That's why I'm telling you
I just want to celebrate another day of livin'
Rare Earth

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#449868 - 10/11/13 05:12 PM Re: re: guilt. ***triggers!*** [Re: Survivinguy]
Survivinguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 310
Loc: Colorado
My thanks for all of your responses - I am heard, I am acknowledged, I am understood and I am supported. This is a good place.
_________________________
Survivinguy

============================================
I have to survive and I hope to thrive.

Alumni Dahlonega WoR May 2010
Alumni Sequoia WoR March 2012

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