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#460277 - 02/07/14 03:43 PM My Story Part 2
randombreeze Offline


Registered: 02/03/14
Posts: 29
Loc: WNY
The first part of my story may be found here:

http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=460224#Post460224

My struggles to feel comfortable with the opposite sex continued despite my attraction to women. I felt confused as to why this was, despite being acutely aware of the abuse a few years earlier. At the time, it felt like what happened was a long time ago. Despite my fear of dating and struggles with sexual dysfunction, including impotency, I met the girl of my dreams and we married shortly after she became pregnant. We were blessed with two more children over the course of a fourteen year marriage, yet beneath the facade of normalcy and happiness, confusion and pain affected every aspect of my life. While somehow managing to hold down a good job and maintain many friendships, I continued to drink and use drugs to keep the shame at bay. From the time I began driving at age 16 I somehow managed to total no less than four cars, somehow managing to harm only myself and two trees, a telephone pole, and to a much lesser extent a very deep culvert. My close calls weren't limited to behind the wheel escapades. At age seventeen I wandered off by myself from yet another party at a park and managed to end up passed out in a field of tall grass. I woke up in time to see the undercarriage of a motor vehicle rolling over me. Somehow I escaped again with nothing but the exact tread pattern of the truck's tires imprinted like tattoos on my right hip and shoulder. Even the ER doctor was shocked that I hadn't suffered a broken bone at the very least.

By 1995 the marriage was over and I eventually re-married, this one lasting only five years. My second wife was an incredibly patient and understanding woman, and the first and last person I was able to reveal my secret to until finding this place. It was during this marriage that I began to experiment sexually with other men. I'm still confused by my decision as i felt no attraction to men and the few encounters always ended badly, with guilt, shame and confusion the byproducts of these encounters. Since the second divorce I've been single and refrain from sex of any kind with a partner. I feel I've done enough damage and am reluctant to enter into another meaningful relationship with anyone until I'm able to recover from the past. I truly believe I need to learn to love myself before I'm able to give genuine love to another.

There are many more aspects of my life thus far affected by my past, not the least of which are my relationships with my now grown children. I think I subconsciously withheld affection. I also panicked after the divorce to their mother as she was struggling with her own addictions and had brought another man into the house soon after separation. Of course I panicked at the prospect of what might happen to them if the guy was a predator. Fortunately that wasn't the case(as far I know)and all three have managed thus far to find varying degrees of success in their personal and professional lives. Despite outward appearances I have plenty anxiety about their future. I'm afraid the dysfunction they inherited will also affect their lives. I'm also hoping my recovery(which I'm determined will occur)will make me a better father. My son and I have never had a close relationship. Hopefully my coming to grips with my past will have a positive effect on all my relationships. I haven't drank more than the occasional glass of wine since the last accident in 1992 and quit doing hard drugs after the birth of my second child in 1983. It'd been many years of understanding these demons needed to be dealt with, but just now have I found the courage. The tipping point in finally accepting the inevitable(dealing with it)occurred in a most unimaginable way. It wasn't a car accident, near overdose, or anything else so dramatic. No, the thing that pushed me back from the abyss was a simple 40 year old photograph my brother posted on facebook. He playfully teased all us siblings about this old photo he was about to download, warning us that it might not be so flattering. As I gazed at my face in the pic I was struck by the fact that the only child unsmiling was myself. I was blown away by the depth of sadness in that boy's face and cried like I hadn't since my first divorce. The memories of the sexual assault perpetrated on that innocent boy flooded back with a force that terrified me as if happened yesterday. Like that pic taken all those years ago, nearly every other taken of me since I see the same sadness on my face.

I'm incredibly fortunate to even be here today considering some of the events of these past 40 some years. It's only because of the unwavering love received from family and the few friends that have weathered the storm that's kept me alive thus far. Finding this place has been a life affirming discovery, and it's my sincere belief that with all my fellow survivors I can grow to become the man I've been afraid to become. The desire to heal my own scars is tempered by the sincere hope that I might be able to someday offer others the same safety, comfort and love I've found in my short time here.

I want to sincerely thanks those readers who've taken time out of your own lives yet still managed to get this far in my inordinately lengthy piece. I'm well aware of my tendency to ramble and hope I haven't bored anyone to tears with a story that's probably familiar to all of you. I also hope it didn't come off as a "poor me" piece looking to garner any sympathy. Thanks again for the warm welcome and comforting comments I've received thus far. I anxiously await the highly recommended book I ordered last week, Victims No Longer by Mike Lew, and plan on attending at least one of the upcoming WoR's this year. I would like to be able to start therapy but it's not financially possible at this time. I didn't see any listings for group therapy meetings anywhere near my hometown of Buffalo NY, but intend to look a bit harder as I'd really love to attend one. I encourage anyone that would like to comment on this or any future post to please do so, I welcome any and all feedback. In addition I'm more than willing to answer any questions anyone might have, either here or in private message.

Love & Peace, Paul
_________________________
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Beneath the dust and love and sweat that hangs on everybody
there's a dead man trying to get out."- Adam Duritz

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#460282 - 02/07/14 04:35 PM Re: My Story Part 2 [Re: randombreeze]
Adam A Gedman Offline


Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 186
Loc: Canada
Paul,

I want to reassure you that your posts are not too long, in fact sometimes more is better. It allows me for one to better understand what you're experiencing.
The one theme if you will, that I sense, is your feeling of responsibility.
You express a level of responsibility for the crime committed against you, you express responsibility for not telling, worry about the effect you have had on your kids, all these responsibilities, or blame, as I referred to them in my own case.
Blame needs to be placed where it belongs, and the neighbors father is the one to blame, no one else.
You recite many instances of close calls or perceived bad behavior, try to look at them differently. Through all the muck of our histories, we are still here , we made it this far, and that is no small feat.
We tend to blame ourselves, and in reality it is just not true.
I am glad for you that you were given that moment that struck you to do something, in the observation of your child self's expression in a photo.
I was going to suggest Mike Lew's book, but it seems you are on top of that one already. I have read and listened to several books that have helped in different ways.
Non-Violent Communication, by Marshall Rosenberg
A New Earth - Eckhart Tolle, as well as The Power of Now.
Victims no Longer, Courage To Heal, Joining Forces - By Dr Fradkin of this very site.
Writing, my story, or stories here and on a personal blog, wrting poetry (not something I had ever done before, but a way to express as well).
I have recently taken up Meditation and finding it also quite helpful. I would offer NSR which is basically Transcendental Meditation without the $2000 price tag. It can be purchased and downloaded for $25 at http://www.natural-stress-relief.com.
I am feeling I am being a little verbose, so I leave you with that.
Keep well
_________________________
Presence is the key, for all we have is now.
All we ever have is right now.

Formerly Adam A Gedman (AKA - A damAGed man)

But you can call me Kevin

Toronto Mini WoR - May 2014

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#460285 - 02/07/14 07:23 PM Re: My Story Part 2 [Re: randombreeze]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1554
Paul

Thank you for sharing. I echo the sentiment you are taking responsibility for the abuse--it was not your fault. It controls you and you need to step back and realize it was not your fault but your neighbors fault. He took advantage of you, a child who had no control of what was happening. You were under his control. And it took its toll on your life.

I understand how you have felt, sadness is part of our lives until we let the control of the abuser go. I was always smiling on the outside but crying and hiding on the inside. Until I could no longer smile, hurt from the inside took over my mind and body. I would see people, fear what they would do or say, I lived afraid of the world. Because I knew their actions would bring him to me and I would be lost.

Your story hit me and I understand your pain but I am happy you are here and sharing. Opening up allows us to heal. Finding support and safe places is the only way to heal. Keep posting and welcome--you are on a path of healing.

Kevin

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#460294 - 02/07/14 10:44 PM Re: My Story Part 2 [Re: randombreeze]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1481
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: randombreeze
....I'm also hoping my recovery (which I'm determined will occur).....

Paul,

You wrote a great post and many peices of it are so familiar to many of us. But this line is the most important part of your post. Nothing changes unless you are determined that it will, and become willing to do whatever it takes to get there.

Jude
_________________________
"But now old friends are acting strange,
they shake their heads, they say I've changed.
Something's lost but something's gained in living every day
....it's life's illusions I recall, I really don't know life at all. "
Joni Mitchell

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#460319 - 02/08/14 11:32 AM Re: My Story Part 2 [Re: randombreeze]
randombreeze Offline


Registered: 02/03/14
Posts: 29
Loc: WNY
Thanks for all the kind heartfelt comments...it means everything to now fully realize you guys have my back on this journey.
_________________________
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Beneath the dust and love and sweat that hangs on everybody
there's a dead man trying to get out."- Adam Duritz

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#460383 - 02/09/14 11:24 AM Re: My Story Part 2 [Re: randombreeze]
BraveFalcon Online   content
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1092
Loc: The ATL

Hi Paul. I just finished reading both parts of your story. Thank you for sharing and congrats on completing it. For me, it has always felt like such a weight off to type parts of my own story out and share them with the world. Don't feel bad about the length either. Some of us need that length to be able to tell everything we need to tell and express everything we need to express about what we went through. For a lot of us that can't adequately be done in a couple of paragraphs. Some of my own posts are excruciatingly long. That's not to take anything away from those here who have only told the ultra-short versions of their stories. Some guys just aren't comfortable telling any more than that, and that's ok too, but don't ever feel bad about the length of a post. Your posts are only as long as you needed them to be. I think that applies to everyone here.

Also, Introductions is a fine place to tell your story. I have been here for almost a year and have yet to post in Survivor Stories. For me, I prefer to be able to get feedback and read people's comments and shared experiences. Just a personal preference of mine.

I know that to many of us here relate all to well to your title, "56 going on 15". I often feel like I am "39 going on 8". There is a big part of me that never grew up and I think that is in large part due to a lot of what happened to me when I was a kid. Sometimes I wonder if I wasn't just born wired this way but endless amounts of self-evaluation and soul searching leads me to conclude that I was not. The wiring was screwed with as I grew and developed, the growth stunted, the train derailed. There is no going back but there is perhaps a path forward from the wreckage. Finding that path and navigating it is the tricky part.

Good luck in your recovery. I am glad you found us here. Peace,

Ken

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