Newest Members
JohnWC, KKumar, J44, Anura, reynel5
12420 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
almostdonew/life (39), barelysurviving (45), bigbob20 (69), billyp (65), Shawv (70), TheTwoOfUs (43)
Who's Online
2 registered (2 invisible), 28 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12420 Members
74 Forums
63773 Topics
445359 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Topic Options
#457412 - 12/26/13 06:05 AM Another night wide awake...
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
I'm writing this at about 6 AM, cause I can't sleep. I have a tough time this time of year. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter are always tough. That's when I used to see my cousin as a kid, and when he'd expose me to sexual things that I just didn't really understand. I have a lot of positive and happy interactions this time of year, but I also get emotionally drained. Being basically permanently single also makes things tough this time of year. I ask myself all the "why" questions. Why do the girls I find myself attracted to always end up being engaged or having boyfriends already? Why do I not go out and date? Why is my sex drive not what it was ten years ago, when I was 16, even though now I've sorted so much of what happened out (aside from the anti depressants I'm on)? Why am I spending so much time thinking about all these past experiences I wish I could forget?

I hate that I didn't know what my cousin was doing to me (even though I know it wasn't my fault), but I'm thankful that I never responded to it as a child. It didn't make sense. Nothing he asked me to do for him or wanted to do to me ever really felt good or seemed all that interesting, but it was part of how we related to each other. He was my closest friend, and I looked up to him like a brother. I still think I try to emotionally distance myself from how hurt and neglected I felt when he stopped talking to me after I figured out what was happening and told my parents.

I hate how I found out what was happening. From all the encyclopedias and sex ed books he made me read with him, I thought sex was just something between a man and a woman. When it all first started when I was 6, I thought that was gross, because as far as I knew girls still had cooties. After 3 years of being told and shown about sex over and over again, and how I could be a man once I was able to have sex with a woman, the thought excited me (because somehow I viewed my cousin, who was barely 3 years older than me, as an authority on manhood). Then one morning on the bus I was discussing sex with one of my best friends, and he said "ya know men can have sex with other men, right?" I thought he was talking crazy. Then he told me some of the things two men could do with each other sexually, and I remember suddenly feeling like I wanted to die. Was THAT what had been on for all those years?! I hated what I thought that would label me as, and I was terrified of what would happen if the other kids I went to school with found out. I was already unpopular as it was, which meant a lot of times I was called "fag" or some derivative thereof. Beforehand I could either ignore it or laugh it off, but after that every time I heard that word I felt crippled by it, like they knew what had happened somehow.

TRIGGERS AHEAD

It's weird how easily dismissive I am over how my cousin fondled me or used to be naked around me. I was 5 or 6, and he was 8 or 9 when it all started. I was never bothered by him being naked, or me being naked if we were together. I'm not bothered by him having touched me. I didn't care back then, and now I am able to understand that little kids are curious, and that's probably all that amounted to. I'm a little more bothered by how he used to try oral sex on me or have me try it on him, but as I said before, it didn't make sense to me, didn't particularly feel like anything special, and I had no real interest in doing it anyways. Same thing when he wanted to try anal. I had agreed, but then (thankfully) changed my mind, and he didn't try to force anything. He had me try it on him, but again, nothing happened. I didn't see the point, I just knew that he had said it would feel good for us both and it was something fun we could do together. Looking back, those words bothered me MUCH more than the actions ever did. So much of our hanging out was normal boy stuff - we'd wrestle, we'd have nerf gun fights, we'd play video games, we'd watch hockey together, play with GI Joes, build legos...but then there was all the inappropriate sexual knowledge. I was always curious to read about sex or learn about it from him, but I was never excited to do sexual things with him. Over time though, I accepted that that was just going to be part of the relationship we had and just went along with it to keep my friendship and my older brother figure. My closest friendship at the time, and before I was 9 I had learned that sexual behavior was a regular part of a friendship.

What bothered me the most was when he masturbated and ejaculated and made me watch. He told me he wanted to show me something, and how it meant he was becoming a man. After years of everything else, I thought that was the ultimate thing to aspire to and become. I wanted to be able to do what he could. When he started getting naked and told me to just sit there and watch though, I wanted out. The older I was getting, the more I realized that something wasn't quite right or that I might get in trouble if an adult came by. I remember being surprised and jealous that he was so much bigger than me, even though now I realize how silly it was to compare myself, a 9 year old, to my 12 yr old cousin who was going through puberty. Then I remember how surprised I was when he ejaculated. It looked so pleasurable, but I couldn't do it.

After that I became obsessed. I equated penis size to manhood. I went to overnight camp for the first time that following summer. All the other boys wanted to compare size. To my horror, I got an erection. Nobody else knew and just thought I "won" the comparison, but it made me feel sick to my stomach. My entire adolescence I knew clearly that everything sexual I did stemmed from that experience, but I downplayed it. I figured "hey, probably happens to a lot of people. I'll be fine never talking about this". I thought if I went to therapy, it would mean that I was crazy, or that the therapist would tell me I was gay. I never considered that gay men are attracted to each other and actually fall in love with each other romantically - I just figured my obsession with penises might mean that I was gay, even though on the other hand I knew in the back of my mind that my obsession stemmed compulsively from what my cousin had exposed me to.

It also just dawned on me now that all the pornography I viewed as a teenager, on the internet, in playboy, in hustler, or even on HBO late at night, was all compulsive sexual behavior, and it was all amplified by hormones, and it was all about me getting my action, and that was it. My first ever relationship ended because I wasn't paying attention to my girlfriends needs in bed. Once I was done, we were done. I regret that I was never able to discover sex and sexuality on my own in the context of a "normal" childhood - it had been introduced to me so early that by the time I hit puberty, my sexual associations were already drawn.


I wish more than anything that I could go back in time and change things, to see where my life would be now if nothing ever happened. I wish I had gone to therapy when I was young and still in my teens - I could have a much more fulfilling adolescence and early adulthood. Instead I waited and spent college being depressed, anxiety ridden, and having nervous breakdowns, closed up in my room more often than not, while my friends were out enjoying themselves. I otherwise feel like my life is pretty sweet except for the fact that I'm avoidant of sex and relationships, and question and microanalyze both. "Is she interested in me or did I annoy her? Does she want to sleep with me? Am I attracted to her? Should I sleep with her? Is she really enjoying herself with me in bedor just acting? What would she say about me? Was this a one time thing or will something more come from it?" They never stop.



I feel like despite the immense freedom and happiness I felt from when I "finished" EMDR a few years ago, I'm only halfway fixed.

Top
#457425 - 12/26/13 08:39 AM Re: Another night wide awake... [Re: AndyS87]
TJ jeff Offline

Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 3369
Loc: Northern Wisconsin
Andy,

just wanted to say that so much of what you wrote echo's things in my mind that I have said to myself over the years due to what my uncle did with me

we need to be gentle on ourselves - we where just kids - we really did'nt know - had no way of knowing - they are the ones who "knew" and should not have done the things that they did

I myself am guilty of microanalizing things from my past - it's so very hard now as an adult to look back - to want so badly to save that child from the things that we now know are bad - and yet being totaly unable to save that child because that child is us and those things happened years ago - but... it is in that "want" that I draw great strength of the deeper internal knowledge that there is a good man in me and it trully was not our fault that these things happened to us - you see that "want" would not be there at all if we where not the careing adults that we are now - that "want" is indeed a great strength that sadly a lot of the world is missing today (a world filled with people who care not for others problems)

we are indeed much stronger than we give ourselves credit for
_________________________
Who will cry for the little boy? - I will... - Antwone Fisher

Abuse happens in silence/isolation - Recovery happens only when that silence/isolation is broken...

TJ's History

Top
#457428 - 12/26/13 10:10 AM Re: Another night wide awake... [Re: AndyS87]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3449
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Andy -

this is really valuable work you have done here. if you have not told your whole story before, i believe that it will benefit you in ways that you may not realize. it was heart-breaking for me to read this. many of the statements you made i could identify with.

"I'm only halfway fixed."

yes - that feeling is all too familiar. probly many guys here would say something similar - even those who have made tremendous progress. keep going - though half-way is better than nothing, it doesn't have to be the final result. but i also have come to realize that i may never be completely "over it." and i am getting to the place where that is OK too.

wising you well,
LEE
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#457436 - 12/26/13 02:42 PM Re: Another night wide awake... [Re: AndyS87]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Thank you both. It's funny - I always feel like I'll get things like this worked out, but I find over time I sometimes need to keep coming back to do some housekeeping. Last night after I went to bed I was listening to some EMDR stuff and just paying attention to my own thoughts and feelings. A big part of what first got me into therapy was some confusion over my sexuality, as I said above. I thought to myself, "what do I feel when other people ask me if I'm gay, or if somebody called me 'faggot'"? I noticed that I felt defensive, and went with that. The answer was obvious - I did not want to be labeled "gay" as a child by my peers, and so I kept my abuse hidden so that society could not label me something which I did not think was true of me and did not want to be labeled. That was 9 year old me.

Then I thought about the first few times I looked at gay porn or had sexual fantasies about male friends when I was in middle and high school. It never occurred to me that the porn mirrored what I had done with my cousin, down to how the guy looked, or that in my mind the fantasies I had were about either me being in control of a classmate who made me feel threatened or about classmates who bullied me - I was, in my mind, making THEM the "faggots", imagining THEM having to deal with all the BS I had to deal with at their hands. Almost like, "hey, you can call me 'fag' all you want, but I didn't want what happened to me, and you guys do, so who's the 'fag' now?" Other times I'd fantasize about kids who were a couple years younger than me soliciting me or each other. That one really bothered me, but I think that had a lot to do with me wanting to stay young, or to gain some sort of innocence back. Or maybe I felt like because mine was taken from me, it was a turn on to think of others who I viewed as innocent being initiated like I was. I was happy that that pattern went away long before I ever went to therapy, but it still disturbed me.

It took me a long time to learn that many straight men also experiment with gay porn or same sex fantasies, and it certainly made sense to me that after what my cousin had exposed me to, I would be curious about those things. After all, he spent years teaching me all about sex out of books he had when I was way too young to understand it, and then he initiated me personally into sex. There was a split in my mind - you did it to have fun and make babies with girls, and you could do stuff with your guy friends too, but since they didn't get pregnant or have vaginas it didn't count as sex. The idea of men being able to fall in love and get married seemed silly to me too. That's sheltered nine year old logic for you.

I remember having a friend at the time who would frequently expose himself to me, just like my cousin used to, but I used to just tell him to knock it off and not to do that. Yet early in my relationship with one of my (now) best friends, I asked if we could show each other our penises (again, the older I got the more I learned that wasn't that unusual, but still). He said "uhh, no thanks. Friends don't usually do stuff like that with each other". I didn't really have any other friends though besides my cousin though, so what did I know?

It took me going into therapy and realizing that those were probably my attempts at controlling my abuse, not any true indication of my orientation. As I said though, I had to accept that yes, I did those things. Even though now after my time with professional EMDR treatments those thoughts, fantasies, and types of porn do nothing for me, I often find myself thinking "You did that stuff though, it MUST have meant something", and that's a tough one to let go sometimes. It DID of course mean something - it meant that I was still bound to what had happened to me as a child, and that by refusing to acknowledge it, I was letting it define who I was. I've never been easy or forgiving with myself though - it's going to take time for me to be able to forgive myself for what happened and how I reacted.

I do truly believe that I was born straight, but now and basically asexual. Granted, as a six year old nothing you do is really sexual, but I definitely had a thing for boobs, used to love getting the girls where my mom coached high school sports to play with me, and always used to think to myself "gotta stay cool and exercise so I can have a girlfriend!", which is hilarious when I think of 5 or 6 year old me saying that. After the 4 years of abuse and confusion, I still enjoy thinking about women, but I just can't get out of my own way.

I want to love a girl who will be patient with me and love me back passionately. There haven't been many girls who I've been with where afterwards they really made me feel like a man, but I'll be damned if that wasn't one of the best feelings I've ever experienced when I did come across it. One girl didn't even have sex with me, just the most intense make out session of my life. Afterwards she just snuggled with me, and it felt amazing to be able to be that close and intimate with someone. I want THAT, but I have no idea how to get it, and I'm afraid that my baggage will scare people off.

Top
#457440 - 12/26/13 05:09 PM Re: Another night wide awake... [Re: AndyS87]
J1 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 137
Loc: Missouri
I haven't been in ms for quite a long time but as the holidays create abnormal stressors and compel most of us to reflect as we may even repeat putting ourselves into bad situations.....I feel united in the community I found here. The first days I logged in...were deeply enlightening...like wow...other guys have endured the totally crazy stuff I , myself lived through. The details really are not vital...since many brothers here have passed through deeper hells than I...and to me the degree or flavor or quantity of improper sexual abuse is only one aspect of what we can experience as we move on....

I reflect on the many traits we share. Confused sexual roles as maturing men or the perils of dating....the unknown thing I call intimacy.....the fact that my adult abuser , a family member, still exists...the acceptance I now have that further self medicating or dangerous actions, produce negative results. The deep dreams and desires I hold close. Making the best of what I can control , seems like the best option today. As for sleep.....well....I can't speak for others but my sleep was fractured from about age 5. No doubt related to the late night sessions I encountered from an older man in my home . The smells of gin.....the steps to my room..each sense absorbing the oncoming assault. So....being awake and in another place were common and fast forward to now....my sleep, was only fleeting and as I learned...all the narcotics and meditation and medical advice simply assists me in falling into some type of zone.

Addressing the sleep issues head on, became important as I attributed my restless nature to decades of night shifts, high intensity work in dangerous environments and little down time to enjoy peace. In attacking the medical parts I learned the prescriptive approach to inducing sleep was of limited value. All the typical drugs were minimally effective. In the sleep,labs at the hospitals we concluded that I did obtain the REM and vital levels to keep my body going. The issue of apnea was eliminated. The tech was hesitant to comment but mentioned my eyes flutter a lot and in one study I awoke to accuse the control room of leaving a light on , which messed up my sleep. As it turned out the light was a pin head size led pilot light , for the smoke alarm in the facility. They had never had anyone complain about that so I suggested they cover it with a band aid, and I went back to sleep . I awoke at 0400 and they were puzzled.

I remarked that I always awake at 0400, no matter what time zone I am in. Later we speculate that this was the abuse time in my early youth and my mind goes into alert or aware status. In several surgeries I had , under hospital grade anesthesia , I would often wake up during the procedures. I never felt pain and one of the issues was the doses and levels for most patients were not especially suited for my unusual sleep situation. After a few situations like this and about 8 eye surgeries , the file reflected my possible inability to react like most patients .

In a few cases , after awakening and being quite lively in the recovery room, pain would increase to horrible levels. The medical team apparently sees this in blood pressure and other symptoms .....one situation the pain became extreme and as they injected more morphines and similar things...nothing worked. Bringing in another dr., they finally tried three different narcotic blends to quell the pain.

Not being a chemist or medical person, I can only guess that the early years of sleeplessness and my minds method to protect me during the abuse, formed some type of unique energy that thwarted traditional drug actions. I don't know if that also made me physically immune to certain pain killers etc. Or if that's even possible. During my dark drinking days , I could often consume a lot of liquor and rarely be drunk. Later in life I was diagnosed with ADHD and some theories support my unusual reactions to drugs and sleep.

I guess we eventually find rest and sleep , or the body accelerates the deeper sleep at the expense of light rest. I grasp the fact that sleep deprivation is a very powerful method to torture or alter human behavior. Do we survivors have unique sleep issues? I don't know. Can you get through it? Yes.

Top
#457453 - 12/26/13 11:42 PM Re: Another night wide awake... [Re: AndyS87]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1709
The holidays seem to be a difficult time for many--stress and everyone's own fears and weakness being put on display. It is sad to read how families contribute the most to fears, depression and unhappiness. I truly believe, and I have seen it in my own family, it is best to let everyone be who they are and not pass judgment or spend time making fun of others and talking of other people's perceived inadequacies as a way to boos their own self worth (which they should be questioning). Too much emphasis is placed on holidays--surround yourself with good people year round and minimize being with those that create turmoil and fear.

So take stock, take control and be who you are--a valuable and worthy person. Do not let those you have given much and then turned on you hold you back from being who you have the right to be. Your cousin does not own your life, you do. Begin to think positively about yourself and what you have to offer.

Keep moving forward and remember you are a good and worthy person.

Kevin

Top
#457523 - 12/28/13 02:37 AM Re: Another night wide awake... [Re: AndyS87]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Thanks Kevin. I was just talking about things like this to one of my childhood friends who is marrying his girlfriend of ten years. We were talking about dating and relationships, and he looked at me and said "I can tell right now that this discussion is making you very uncomfortable, I've known you long enough to be able to tell". He's one of the friends I have who knows my story, but I just told him "Honestly, I can't put my finger on it. I WANT to want to be in a relationship, but I just don't want to be, and I don't know why. First off, I have barely any confidence in myself, second, I have a hard time trusting women, and third, I'm assuming that if I get close to anybody they're just going to inevitably betray me or hurt me somehow". It's getting tiring for me to keep hearing the questions over and over "So, you dating anybody?" "Want to meet a girl I know?" etc. etc.

Top
#457580 - 12/29/13 10:38 AM Re: Another night wide awake... [Re: AndyS87]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1133
Loc: The ATL

Hi Andy. Thank you for having the courage to share your story with such depth and detail. I'm sorry these issues have left you unable to sleep at times but I think the clarity and perspective you have regarding everything that happened and the insight into the ways in which those events affected you is remarkable. You may feel like you're only "halfway fixed" but it sounds like you have a really good handle on the half that is fixed. What I mean by that is, if you've only come halfway, you've got that first half down pat. A lot of people spend years in recovery and don't have the type of clarity and honesty with themselves that you've exhibited here.

Your story and my own have a lot of differences. Both in terms of what happened to us and in terms of how we were ultimately affected by it. However, I also relate deeply to a lot of what you've expressed and to a lot of what you go through now as an adult. The isolation, the not wanting to be in any kind of relationship, etc. Above all else, I relate to this statement....

Originally Posted By: AndyS87

I wish more than anything that I could go back in time and change things, to see where my life would be now if nothing ever happened.


I can't tell you how much time I've spent wondering that. What if none of it had ever happened. What if I, me, the same person I am, with the same brain and the same internal wiring, had never been molested and had not been overtly sexualized before he was ready. What if that indelible scar had not been left on my developing psyche and sexuality? What would my life be like? I might be a confident and relatively normal person. I might have a wife and a kid or two. Shit, I might have even been successful. Who knows? It's enough to make you crazy thinking about what might have been, had only "it" not happened.

I hope you don't mind my asking, but do you still speak to this cousin of yours? Have you ever considered confronting him about what he did and letting him know how it affected you? Not that it excuses what happened, but considering the activities he initiated you into when he was only 8 or 9, there is a pretty high degree of probability that he was being sexually abused himself. Kids that young acting-out sexually is all but a guaranteed, tell-tale sign.

Good luck getting better sleep at night. Thanks again for sharing. Your story and the things you've expressed here are though-provoking and genuine. Peace,

Ken

Top
#457605 - 12/29/13 08:03 PM Re: Another night wide awake... [Re: AndyS87]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Hi Ken,

I don't really talk to my cousin anymore - he was diagnosed as being bipolar a while back and isn't around often since then. I distinctly remember him talking about his "friend with gray hair" whenever he had something new to "show" me. That's a big reason why I never confronted him about it. I also believe with 98% certainty that he was also molested.

I get angry at a lot of things - the situation I was put in, how my mother, who is a therapist, never thought to get me help and brushed it off as "just two kids playing doctor", but didn't want to hear the details..."I'm sorry for what happened to you, but he's my nephew". Or "Can't you just get over it already? I was raped when I was younger and I sucked it up and got on with my life". I get angry that even when I was in therapy, my mother continuously insisted that the woman I was seeing was "not the right type of therapist" for me, because she was "too expensive". Really? I don't get angry at my cousin though. If anything, whoever this "friend with grey hair" was, that's who I'm angry at. That guy, whoever he was, never knew me or singled me out, but because of what he did, my life was altered. Collateral damage I guess?

Top
#457645 - 12/30/13 09:15 PM Re: Another night wide awake... [Re: AndyS87]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1133
Loc: The ATL

Hi Andy. When I was a kid, my main tormentor was a girl who lived across the street from me who was not much older than me. As an adult, I am now about 98%-99% certain that either her father or her older brother was abusing her, and I feel exactly the same way about it that you do. I'm not mad at that girl, I'm mad at whoever was abusing her. In fact, I used the term "collateral damage" in my post about her as well. I also call it, "trickle-down sexual abuse." Lots of children who are sexually abused act-out against other kids. When my relationship with this girl began, she was only 9 years old. Somehow I just can't bring myself to be angry at what was probably just a sexually abused 9 year old. I only wish I hadn't been the one she had chosen as her sexual and emotional punching bag. Peace,

Ken

Top


Moderator:  ModTeam, TJ jeff 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.