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#46026 - 12/15/03 10:52 AM Good things come in recovery
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Hello, all,

I thought it only fair that I report a few of the really excellent things that have come to me of late. Most of them, I believe are linked to the decisions I have made regarding disclosing and confronting the effects of the sexual abuse in my life.

I have used this forum so much to vent my sorrow, shame, guilt and pain. I am profoundly grateful that this space is given to me to do that. By letting go, here, publicly of a lot of the fear and shame left in the wake of the sexual abuse that occurred so many years ago, it seems I have made some room for a lot of really great things to happen.

First, I am very happy (understatement!) to pass on the news that the doctors have pronounced the Hepatitis C with which I was diagnosed some 2 years ago, as completely and totally GONE. I went through 48 weeks of gut wrenching hell of chemotherapy with interferon injections and ribavirin doses. It's been six months since the end of treatment and the hep C is not detectable at all in my system. That's a cure in Hep c terms.

Of course, it cost me at least fifty thousand dollars and I was unable to work the whole time, which leaves me in a big mess of debt; but hey, the good news is that today I feel I am worth fifty thousand dollars (and more). And I can go ahead and scratch my name off the liver transplant list! It was hard to do, but I didn't have to go through it alone and in going though this I feel so much less like a victim today. Victims don't overcome their oppressors or diseases, but survivors do. What a great feeling.

Second, after 30 years of trying to fit my round peg into their square (and homophobic) hole, I have at last been able to formally leave the religious community of which I have been a part all of my adult life. After years of thought, prayer, counselling, meditation and endless questioning of God's will for me, it is here at MS that was I was reminded of the cardinal rule of recovery from the effects of sexual abuse--

First and foremost, REMOVE MYSELF FROM THE ABUSIVE SITUATION. For me, in this case, that meant leaving the Baha'i Faith, the religion of my youth, where the abuse took place, a faith where there is not an iota of room for gay people.

I kept trying to figure it all out while I was still in the middle of the situation which felt very much like a continuation of the abuse to me.

It suddenly occurred to me...that trying to decide what steps to take to stop the abuse, while the abuse is ongoing, is not the best thing to do. The best thing to do is to STOP the abuse and then think about what to do next. What a simple concept. I hope I can remember it!

It feels good to NOT be a part of a community of belief that contributes to the horrible social violence known as homophobia. Until I left, I had no idea how much of a burden that was on my soul. It is at least in great part here at MS that I truly saw in a very personal sense, the next big lesson for this gay man. And that is that YOU DON"T HAVE TO BE GAY TO SUFFER AS A RESULT OF HOMOPHOBIA! As I met men here who have suffered the pain of being sexually abused, molested, exploited and raped by other men, and I saw how the homophobia in our society prevents so many of us from acknowledging, disclosing and confronting our pain; and further how that pain goes on the destroy our lives and our families and degrades our society as a whole; it is then that I became excruciatingly aware that I did not wish to have any part in a religion or belief system that tacitly or explicitly allowed the evil of homophobia to exist in their midst.
I was finally able to simply leave the abusive system that kept me in constant torment for so many years.

Now I have the task of pursuing a greater awareness of the God of my understanding...a God who loves us all.

And third, though this list could go on. I want to tell you about last week. My little brother, not so little anymore, he's 47 and has worked in the oil fields for almost 30 years, a real gentle redneck kind of guy, came and stayed with me for a week to help me work on my new (old) house.

He took a week of vacation and left his home and family to come and help me out. I didn't ask him to, he's never done this before, so what is different now?

This, I'm sure, is his response to the letter I wrote to him and many others in my life over the summer where I finally told the story of the sexual abuse in my life and how it has continued to cause pain and damage to me and others.

At the time he acknowledged that he had read it, and seemed at a loss as to how to express his sorrow about what had happened to me. A few days later, he volunteered to come and help me with this house built in 1954 that I just moved into.

This was his way of telling me that he is with me, he supports me and he is willing and able to help me rebuild the life that sexual abuse has ruined. It was such a beautiful example of real love in action that I just had to share it with somebody like you guys here.

It's one thing to be told that you are loved, it is one thing to know that you are loved and it is a completely wonderful thing to be shown by actions, quiet and unassuming, that we are loved and accepted. We hung drywall, made endless trips to Home Depot, ate out a lot, reminisced a little and worked together to do a lot of things that are just really hard to do alone (like hanging sheetrock on a ceiling! or recovering from the effects of sexual abuse.).

After sending my letter this summer (it's somewhere in the archives of MS, under Survivor Stories, and it's terribly long) I got some incredilbe messages of love and support. Some folds were fairly indifferent and others just couldn't find a way to express themselves.

My little brother was one of those who couldn't find the words to say how much he was sorry I had been hurt and how much he loved and supported me.

Instead he found the actions to let me know.

And it was wonderful.

For any of you out there struggling with disclosure and worried about what will happen to your lives as a result of beginning to recover from the effects of sexual abuse, I just wanted you to know a little bit of this side of my story. Especially since I share so much of the pain and misery side of it, which really does exist no doubt.

Today, I'm grateful and making a point to say how grateful I am. I am sure there will be other days of gloom and despair...maybe on that day I can recall the love I feel today.

It is possible to recover from the effects of sexual abuse. I believe that today, because it is happening to me. And so I believe it can happen for us all.

Thanks guys, for always being here, rain or shine.

With much love and gratitude,

Your brother,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#46027 - 12/15/03 01:05 PM Re: Good things come in recovery
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
CONGRATS...as one who has come out about my abuse, i know how it can set you free. most dont know what to say. i guess it is hard for them to completely understand.

all i can do is thank God i dont have to battle the homosexual thing. i am bisexual, but that means i can fit into marriage and 'normal' society better because i am atracted to women. i also have the benefit of being able to align my life with my beliefs. i am sorry you ran into such intolerance. i know it has to be hard.

i do understand how feeling gay can completely trap a person too. i feared that part of me so much, i blocked out the abuse and follow-up same-sex relationships so no one would know. it kept me from dealing with the abuse, as you have pointed out, and i know it kept me trapped there much longer that i would have otherwise.

take care, and God bless
jeff

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

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#46028 - 12/15/03 01:39 PM Re: Good things come in recovery
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Danny my brother you have come a long way since you have been here and I am truly proud of you. The act of brotherhood from you little brother shows the depth of true brotherly love.

I do not know what it is like to be a part of the gay community in my adult life. I suppose that when I was a hustler many of my clients were gay as were most of my friends at the time. To be really honest I dont know what I am. All I do know is that I love my wife dearly and that is enough for me.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#46029 - 12/15/03 01:44 PM Re: Good things come in recovery
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
mikey,

you said something i know i feel, "To be really honest I dont know what I am." i guess when i say i'm bi-sexual that greatly over simplifies things, as you know. this has tested my marriage, but we keep getting stronger and stronger. like you, i may not always understand it, but i love my wife, and that get me through.

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

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#46030 - 12/15/03 04:14 PM Re: Good things come in recovery
crisispoint Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
Danny,

\:D

No more need be said. Except that you're an inspiration.

Peace and love, my brother,

Scot

_________________________
There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

fromacuriousmind.blogspot.com
malehurtandsurvive.blogspot.com

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#46031 - 12/15/03 06:37 PM Re: Good things come in recovery
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
DANNY \:D

I agree, hanging plasterboard ( sheetrock ) on a ceiling on your own is just about as hard as dealing with CSA. We NEED some help.

We seem to search for it in all the wrong places, but once we do find it - it works.
Your brother does what mine does, even from his home in Nova Scotia - he just acts like a brother.

I'm sure you haven't foregone your Religion though, just the establishment and framework. You are a spiritual man Danny, it's inside your head.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#46032 - 12/16/03 12:12 AM Re: Good things come in recovery
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
An uplifting and wonderful report Dan. Thank you. Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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