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#460776 - 02/15/14 07:22 AM Hello
DrumRunner Offline

Registered: 02/06/14
Posts: 16
Loc: Massachusetts
Iíve read here on MS and in books and articles that abuse is abuse. Period. The extent of my CSA isnít as important as the fact that it happened. But all these years later, I still feel its ripple every day. Is it because what happened didnít seem traumatic to me at the time, that the circumstances were titillating, and that it felt good? To this day I feel, not responsible for what happened, but rather, complicit. What happened to me sexually that day seemed like a dream come true. At least thatís what a 13 year old boy can believe when something sexually powerful happens, when an adult man demonstrates control over you in new and exciting ways. I know, thatís the insidious nature of CSA. Over the years, Iíve figured out ingenious ways to minimize and deny the significance of my CSA because my adult abuser didnít use a weapon, or threaten my family, or molest me or a sibling over many years. But the scar he left caused me to live a secret sex life with men, and to behave in sexually compulsive ways I am only coming to terms with now. I thought I had a handle on my CSA. But not really. I only recognized what happened in an abstract and intellectual way. I hadnít parsed out my unformed adolescent sexual desires with what my adult abuser took from me Ė the ability to express loving emotions through my sexuality. I still struggle with bridging the schism between sex and love.

Up until very recently I felt it was more important to preserve the healthy parts of my identity by refusing to identify and behave like a victim, or let what happened define my life. Doing so would allow my abuser to win.

It's been said that the first person we deceive is ourselves when we are not being totally honest with others. So what do I do? Do I really have to wear the badge of abuse? Join a menís support group to see that Iím not alone? Replace my compulsive sexual thoughts and behaviors with recovery culture? Really? Do I have to do that? I know Iím not alone! I can be such a willful person. Iíve run 12 marathons, Iíve had a successful career, Iíve got two amazing daughters from a previous marriage, and my current wife is incredibly understanding of what Iím going through Ė Iíve got so much to be thankful for! But I just want to live my fucking life without the distraction of compulsive sex! I donít have a clue as to what being a survivor or what healing means for me now. I thought I knew who I was, that I had dealt with the defining event itself. But Iím only now seeing the trajectory of my conflicted sexual and self-defeating behavior over the last 42 years.

I know, Iíve got some work to do.

Thanks for reading,

Edited by DrumRunner (02/15/14 03:20 PM)

#460779 - 02/15/14 07:43 AM Re: Hello [Re: DrumRunner]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 5854
Loc: O Kanada
we all have our work to do.

you are welcome to do some of it here.

you have been through some rough stuff.
i agree with you that honesty is the best policy for recovery.
i learned that the only one who believed my lies was me.
it was shocking to discover how transparent my cloak of deception was to other people.

i hope this website will help you heal and give you some hope and happiness.
there are some triggers scattered throughout the forum, and you may encounter some hostility from other survivors, but the overall experience has been positive for me.

just be careful, go slow, take it easy, and protect yourself at all times.

make sure you read the site guidelines for posting.
that helps a lot.


#460803 - 02/15/14 04:00 PM Re: Hello [Re: DrumRunner]
DavoSwim Offline

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 379
Loc: Iowa, USA

I'm very sorry for what happened to you and the events of your life that led you here. There are similarities among abuse cases, but at the same time, each individual's story is unique. The fact that you felt complicit is not uncommon, but that doesn't absolve your perp from guilt. A 13 year old can feel pleasure and pain, but is not capable of making an adult decision. It was abuse that you experienced. It may seem that you had some choice in that matter. That is a true emotion and reaction, but it doesn't take away from the fact that CSA occurred.

At the same time your recovery is your experience. Please take it at your pace. You aren't forced to behave or think in a certain way in order for healing to take place. It is your story and you will know what healing feels like.

Good luck to you. You've done a lot of good things already as you work on recovery. Keep it up.


#460822 - 02/15/14 10:40 PM Re: Hello [Re: DrumRunner]
kcinohio Offline

Registered: 06/06/12
Posts: 476
Loc: Ohio
Hi DrumRunner,

Thanks for your introduction. Sorry about the abuse experience you suffered. there are a lot of options regarding what to do now. Looks like some good advice has been shared about that already.

I think discovering "what healing means" for you is a key question to address. It is not always the same for each that has experienced CSA. Best wishes on your continued healing.

#460827 - 02/15/14 11:36 PM Re: Hello [Re: DrumRunner]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: DrumRunner
...So what do I do? Do I really have to wear the badge of abuse? Join a menís support group to see that Iím not alone? Replace my compulsive sexual thoughts and behaviors with recovery culture? Really? Do I have to do that? I know Iím not alone!......I donít have a clue as to what being a survivor or what healing means for me now.

Welcome aboard Doug. This was a really good post. You got alot off your chest. I can hear the frustration and pain. But understand,you dont HAVE to do anything. There are no rules or roadmaps in this. There's just facing all of it, with all the strength you can muster, and learning to live with it.

Lots of guys have posted their stories here, including how they've made progress in recovery. Do some more reading. You might get some ideas. But it all comes down to the fact that this is YOUR recovery, and you are calling the shots. You can go as fast or slow, deep or shallow, as you like. You can identify as victim, survivor, or something else. You can seek to change behaviors, or keep them. No one here will judge you.

Be well,

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#460857 - 02/16/14 12:17 PM Re: Hello [Re: DrumRunner]
DrumRunner Offline

Registered: 02/06/14
Posts: 16
Loc: Massachusetts
Thanks for all your thoughtful responses! I realize everyone travels a unique path in their recovery and must do it at their own pace. That said, I feel like I've been picking at a scab for the past couple of weeks and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I'd like to spend less time at the computer in general. Spending too much time looking at posts and thinking about all of this is leaving me pretty depressed. One thing, though, I find the forum search engine pretty useless in terms using tags/key words to locate the most relevant threads. Any suggestions on how to search the site would be much appreciated. Thanks again.

#460872 - 02/16/14 03:33 PM Re: Hello [Re: DrumRunner]
Adam A Gedman Offline

Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 188
Loc: Canada
Hey DrumRunner,

I am sorry for your reason to be here, but glad you found us none the less.

Yes, abuse is abuse, but make no mistake, whether we feel complicit or responsible, we were changed by it.
We weren't given the chance to grow and develop as we should have.
The abuse short circuits our development, and a child's mind full of false or misleading information comes to some ill informed conclusions about how we are supposed to be.

So your sexual compulsion, or sexual identity confusion, or my self abuse, or someone else's re-enactment of their abuse are some of the end results, and unfortunately there is more under the hood than out in the light of day.
This is why I believe a good therapist can be essential.

If you haven't purchased Dr Fradkin's book, "Joining Forces", it is good mix of insight, practical exercises, and stories of survivors who went through this before us, as well as their partner's.

You'll need to find your pace, and what works for you, in order to mitigate feeling overwhelmed.
For me, 1-2 hours twice a week was my start. More than that was overwhelming for me but, that has shifted around since I started.

I can't offer anything regarding the search function, as I have never utilized it.

Welcome and 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

#460925 - 02/17/14 08:01 AM Re: Hello [Re: DrumRunner]
DrumRunner Offline

Registered: 02/06/14
Posts: 16
Loc: Massachusetts
I realize, too, that what my abuser took from me was my ability to discern the difference between willfulness and assertiveness.

#461005 - 02/18/14 12:59 PM Re: Hello [Re: DrumRunner]
genedebs Offline

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 303
Loc: MO

I too thought I was complicit, however I have learned to look at my CSA differently. When your choice is based on recognition by an adult (whether family member, family friend, or someone else)and the alternative is to be ignored and alone (perhaps rejected) this is not a choice, it is a confrontation with loss. Which ever course you take will give you loss. The "choice" is already to face loss, how you do it is not a meaningful choice. To enjoy the sexual stimulation is virtually undeniable. As humans we are made so we will enjoy sexyual stimulation. To come back for more does not make you complicit. One way or another we will explore sexual stimulation.

The issue is that experiencing this as a young adolescent with an adult is harmful. A, it does not allow for the normal experimentation with the sexual stimulation. B, it imposes on you the sexual experiences available and does not permit you to have choices. C, it is about power - you do not have it and the adult does.

The discovery of alternative experiences and finding sources to participate in meeting your needs is part of discovery. Your description of your experiences suggest you are compulsive about achieving your sexual needs. This is not healthy. It continues to limit your compacity to explore your true needs and the relationships you can build around them It also inhibits your ability to expand the honesty and intimacy of your relationships.

I am glad to welcome you to this site. I am sorry life is so difficult. There is support and safety here, and no need to "wear your victimhood on your sleeve."

#461013 - 02/18/14 03:08 PM Re: Hello [Re: DrumRunner]
Chase Eric Offline

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2145
Hi, DrumRunner -

I think it's natural as kids to believe that we were more empowered than we actually were - not just with respect to abuse, but in many aspects of life. I felt responsible for everything - things that went right and things that went wrong - because I think that is part of the mindset of a child. My dad, as loving as he was, was pretty strict. "Responsibility" was a key word he liked to drill into my head. I learned well how to take responsibility for my successes and especially my mistakes.

And I saw my molestation as a huge mistake. I owned it. My molester may have been the true devil, but I signed the pact. And I never shared it with anyone. I look back now and realize that if my dad knew, he'd say I was not responsible for THAT. But that's hindsight. Back then, I was just a scrappy little boy trying to learn how to step into the bigger shoes of manhood. I kept the secrets in part because I owned the problem, and I never gave my father the chance to save me.

For those of us whose rapes progressed like gentle seductions, for those of us who felt we could have said no but did not, for those of us whose unwanted sexual responses seemed to speak louder than our unsettled conscience, I suspect we naturally assumed the mantle of responsibility for the crimes against us - because that was simply how we did everything else.

Taking the responsibility upon myself for my molestation was nothing more than the natural reaction of a child to an unnatural situation.

I don't know if that helps you sort through this, DR, but so many things made sense for me once I finally understood that.

Click my pic to see why I'm here.

#461016 - 02/18/14 03:55 PM Re: Hello [Re: DrumRunner]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 2426

We all have work to do when it comes to healing from CSA. It is tragic, it robs us of our inner soul, it confuses us as to you we are.

Like you said we first learn to deceive ourselves in so many ways--deny it happened, pretend it had no effect on us. We become lost in ourselves. The abuser conditions us to a life of silence, silence creates shame and sadly acceptance of what was done.

For me, I thought I could hide the abuse and what was done to me. But every time someone looked at me differently or made me feel uncomfortable, I would think they know and are looking down at me. In the church's cellar my mind took over to protect me. Sometimes, I could leave and it would be over. I was physically there but my mind was elsewhere. Sometimes felt I was looking down and watching what was being done to me and the most difficult times were when I was there in full force.

At 49 the child and the abuse had full control of me. No longer did I have the strength to fight and bury the child. I was battling the child I buried and those around me that triggered the past. Two converging forces, squeezing me from both ends, and like the child I left. I let the two forces,both evil in my mind,to figure out what needed to be done. The lost child squeezed to from the body to the mind, took over looking for the love it only knew. Not a wise decision, as I reflect in hindsight, but I could not control. But I had learned how I could survive. For me it was dissociation and fugues, for you it is compulsions to escape the pain, the void we are left with in our hearts and soul.

I did not know how to be a survivor, just a victim to myself, to the abuser and to others around me. As a victim I left myself open for attack. It was only after hitting rock bottom did I realize I needed help. I resisted early on in therapy. But finally a breakthrough. I began to attend support groups, first SNAP for both genders abused by a priest. Then a second for men who had been sexually abused. I can only tell you, slowly acknowledging and speaking of the abuse allowed me to heal. I began to think of myself differently. I will be honest, it was not an easy path, ups and downs, setbacks and steps forward. I have been at it for almost three years. And today I can honestly say I am happy and surround myself with supportive people, I have not been hospitalized for the effects of the abuse in almost a year, I have learned new methods to cope, dissociation and fugues are no longer the coping mechanisms of choice.

For me, the options you mentioned but had managed to avoid may give you hope on healing. You sound like you have a wonderful supportive wife. Make sure she takes care of herself as you begin the healing journey. You mentioned you had escaped the conflicts of the abuse created, so it may be time to find a path that allows you to heal before these conflicts control your life.

I wish you well, and hopefully the experiences of others will be insightful to you as you undertake a path to heal.

Remember, we are here for you, we have lived what you are living, we know healing requires support and finding what works for you. We all reacted differently to the abuse and we all heal differently.

Please keep us posted. We are hear to support and if you need to vent, I have done it so many times, just let it out.


#461034 - 02/18/14 06:19 PM Re: Hello [Re: DrumRunner]
DrumRunner Offline

Registered: 02/06/14
Posts: 16
Loc: Massachusetts
Thank you all again for your incredibly thoughtful and compassionate responses. I'm still figuring out how to use MS and move past my self-defeating behaviors. That said, and without minimizing my abuse, I just want to say, I do a lot to take care of myself. It's great to see that many MS members participate in the Health Living forums. I plan to participate and share what I know about the practical benefits of physical activity, especially, as they apply to surviving and thriving! I've always used exercise to elevate my mood, improve my concentration, and frankly, to help stave off depression. I used to joke that if I didn't exercise regularly I'd either be a drug addict or in jail. I know, it's not funny. I'm thankful to have found meaningful physical and artistic outlets to keep my equilibrium through the ups and downs of life. But even with those outlets, I still used sex as a drug. It feels good and right to finally begin connecting the dots to the underpinnings of my "need" to have a secret sex life. Your feedback and suggestions have been helping immensely. Thank you!

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