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#463982 - 04/11/14 08:50 PM Of all they took, I miss my smile ****TRIGGERS****
I Want 2 Thrive Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 81
Loc: Florida, U.S.A
I figure it's about time that I introduce myself. Believe it or not this is the short version. I have been pretty much editing it down all day. It does not cover all the ugliness but, it gives you a good picture of my story. I have been in and out of counseling (mostly in) since I was 21.

I wish you could have known the boy before CSA. I was 8, thin, and small for my age, shy, blonde haired, with blue green eyes that my grandmother said sparkled. I was always smiling with a big infectious toothy grin that would light up a room. That was my cousin's description of me. I was not just from a blended home, mine had been through a freakin Cuisinart. At 6 months old my French Catholic mother divorced my hillbilly Southern Baptist father. My father married my Irish Catholic step monster, well earned title (think Cinderella but that's another story). My mother married the man I would eventually adopt as my father, I guess you could say he was Jewish agnostic, he did not practice his parents faith, unless his mom was visiting (Bubbe Dagmar was a force of nature). December was more than a little confusing. Like I said well mixed. I was nothing special, I was like any other kid who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, you know normal. Damn!

All of that changed when I was 8 years old. The story of my abuse began the day after my brother (M) was sentenced to reform school. M had always been my protector. That big toothy grin I was telling you about, was the decorative grill that sat in an equally large and smart assed mouth. Sadly, that mouth was also connected to a brain that had more big words in it than most bullies could understand. That was constantly getting me in trouble. M would always have to come to my aid when the bullies would come after me. We did not always have such a tight relationship, but that's another story. Thomas's boys saw me on the back porch crying. TJ, the older brother, was a mighty high school freshman and was the first to speak, he wanted to know what was so wrong. For the first time in the year I had known him, he actually said an entire sentence without a profanity, and with what appeared to be genuine concern. I felt very special, he was almost 5 years older than me, a huge age difference to an 8 year old. D the younger brother was two years older than me and had been in my brothers class at school. After telling them about my brother's incarceration D thrust his unopened bomb pop into my hand. I thanked him and took it but, thought it was odd, I hadn't heard the ice cream man. TJ asked if I wanted to take a walk at which point my mother yelled out the window and said yes he does. I blushed, I didn't know mom was listening. As we walked down the road I told them that I was in trouble for breaking our family's cardinal rule, "what happens in the house stays in the house."

By now you probably have guessed, Thomas was using his boys to get his hooks in me. He had a preference for boys 7 to 10, lucky me. Both of his boys were outside that age group, but that didn't stop him from using them other ways. That was the day that I was raped for the first time, by both TJ and D then by their Dad, Thomas. This was not the standard pedophile seduction, this was brute force. It was also the last time TJ and D would ever use me. Thomas made it clear to me, I was his to use as he wished. Then came the threats, be quiet or else. Most of the time it was a threat to burn down the house while my parents were sleeping. Thomas was very graphic and what would happen if the back of the house was set on fire with the burglar bars on the front. To an 8 year old boy he was very convincing. That night as I was getting ready for bed, I lost control of my bowels. I felt shame and utterly useless as I cleaned myself up the best I could. I put my pajama bottoms underneath my dresser, so that my mother would not find them, she did a month later. I was 8, I was not a criminal mastermind.

The rapes continued for only a year and a half, between 3 to 5 times a week. I was used by multiple men over that time, too many to count. When I was in therapy at 21, I often referred to that part of it as, being passed around like a party favor. I also did many sessions of child pornography. One of my worst recurring nightmares, involves a manila envelope dropping on my desk and spilling open containing those many super 8 films, there are two glossy slick magazines to my knowledge (produced by a Dutch "photographer" who I was rented to for the afternoon on one of our Chicago day trips) and then all of the photos. In the dreams, the envelope never stops spilling out its content. I normally wake at that point shivering. I had also been sold as a child prostitute on multiple occasions, normally when my abuser needed something. It is a miracle I never caught anything.

Safety at last! About one year after the first attack, my step father came home from work and announced that the store he worked for went bankrupt and we were moving to the other side of the state. I was overjoyed, I believed the long nightmare was over. We moved to the west side of the state and started our new lives. I was walking home from school, when I suddenly bumped into someone on the sidewalk. I looked up, it was Thomas. The pit of my stomach froze, I started shaking uncontrollably and peed my pants. He put his hand on my shoulder and told me to pull it together. He then slid around to my side keeping his hand on me and sliding it to the other shoulder almost fatherly. We walked two blocks down and I saw his semi. As he put me in the vehicle, I truly believed that was the last time I was ever going to see my parents. I was terrified but, so long as they were safe, I was good with that. As we drove to a nearby truck stop he told me to climb into the sleeper and strip. He barely had the vehicle and park when he climbed into the back and reclaimed his prize. I went numb, my brain shut down, and I just did what he told me to do. He told me he was going to be coming up regularly and that I should be ready when I see him. Again he threatened my family, and I believed him. This went on for another 6 months my grades plummeted, and my behavior became erratic. When my mother could take no more, she asked what the hell was wrong with me. I told her, "I can't forgive you for what you did to M, you quit on him! I hate you, and I want to live with dad." She believed me. Two weeks later, I saw Thomas for the last time. We met at our usual rendezvous spot. When he was finished with me, I told him mom doesn't want me anymore and she is kicking me out to live with my father. He said well that's not a problem you know I can travel, where does your old man live? When I told him he was a MCPO and lived on Great Lakes Naval Training Center. Thomas turned white as a sheet, "Well, damn!" With that I knew it was over. Thomas reminded me about the peril of telling anyone, "I may not be able to get to you or your dad but, I do know how to get your mom." I still believed him. One week later I moved in with my father. One nightmare ended and a new one began, but that's another story.

Maintenance of a secret life... It was about 2 months after I moved in with my father when I finally felt "safe". I was down in the TV room with him we were watching the news. I was going to do it, I was going to tell my father what had happened and why I moved in with him. Then he shouted at the TV, I forget what the story was about, "f****** queers, that's what's wrong with the world, too many f****** queers." To my mind this was not a safe environment to explain what had happened to me for a year and a half. I guess I always had trouble with my sexual identity. I couldn't reconcile what was done to me, and who I was. We moved off base before the new school year began. I was walking around the neighborhood and made friends with one of the girls who would soon be one of my classmates. I don't know what I said but apparently she took it way out of context. Two weeks later when I was standing in front of my new school the whispers began. I was approached by the school bully and was promptly called a queer. No matter how much I could protested, or tried to ignore the bullies I would be called, fairy, fag, or queer boy several times a day. I retreated back into my safe place and went numb for 7 years. The taunting finally ended one day when one of my tormentors wrote a suicide note saying that I could not live with a failed gay romance and signed my name to it. Then he passed it around the class. When the note hit my desk and I read it I became so angry I grabbed his head and shoved it into a cinder block wall. In my whole life up until that point I have never been violent without someone touching me first but, something snapped. I felt guilty immediately and more so when I was told during my disciplinary counseling that he had developed a concussion. The dean said we cannot abide violence in the school, you are being suspended for one day. The other boy was suspended for a week. My father after reading the note was so angry. For the first time he stood up for me. He looked at me and said you've been putting up with this s*** this long. He then added next time, drag him off campus and beat him till he is dead. At that point my father was escorted out to his car. The Dean looked at me and said I have to suspend you. However, I want you to go to the courthouse tomorrow. If you do a report on what you see, I will give you credit for being at school. This guy rocked.

I squirreled the pain and memories of my CSA away into a small box in my mind and kept it there somewhat successfully. When I enlisted in the Air Force at 18, the walls in the box started to crack. After graduating boot camp I was shipped to Biloxi, Mississippi for technical school. I was a basso profundo (DEEP BASS) at that point, and was encouraged to volunteer for the Keesler Male Chorus. One of the benefits of volunteering was that you immediately became a "phase 4" student. Being in phase 4, you could wear civilian attire whenever you were off-duty and you could drink. Oh, I found my new mistress, and loved her completely, alcohol. She numbed the pain of the past, and dominated the dark memories. We went steady and hard for almost 4 years. I found that I was a highly functioning drunk. I also found that I was a violent angry drunk. But for the first time in my life I wasn't out of control because of someone else. This was my own little act of defiance, my own little piece of chaos. A chaos of my own choosing. Or so I thought. At 22 I finally sought treatment for the booze because an Officer who cared for me, and my career more than I did. He showed me there was more to life than I could find in a Crown Royal bottle.

This was the short version (THE FULL STORY IS HERE.)


Edited by I Want 2 Thrive (04/26/14 08:43 AM)
Edit Reason: Link to full survivor story added
_________________________
Izzy

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind" C.S. Lewis
My Story: Short / Long version. *TRIGGERS*

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#463984 - 04/11/14 09:08 PM Re: Of all they took, miss my smile *****TRIGGERS***** [Re: I Want 2 Thrive]
kcinohio Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/06/12
Posts: 357
Loc: Ohio
Thanks for sharing your introduction. There's also a forum - survivor stories - where you can safely share without comment, depending on what kind of post you'd like to make.

Glad to see you participating more in the forums.

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#463994 - 04/12/14 01:25 AM Re: Of all they took, miss my smile *****TRIGGERS***** [Re: I Want 2 Thrive]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1584
Loc: New England
Welcome I want 2 thrive,

Congratulations on posting your story. As horrible as it was, it helps to tell others about it. I hope you will pursue healing with your whole heart and all the resources you can muster. You always have a group of 12,000 guys here who have your back.

Be well,

Jude
_________________________
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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#463999 - 04/12/14 08:47 AM Re: Of all they took, miss my smile *****TRIGGERS***** [Re: kcinohio]
I Want 2 Thrive Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 81
Loc: Florida, U.S.A
Thank you KC. I am still poking around. Thanks for the heads up.
_________________________
Izzy

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind" C.S. Lewis
My Story: Short / Long version. *TRIGGERS*

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#464001 - 04/12/14 09:05 AM Re: Of all they took, miss my smile *****TRIGGERS***** [Re: Jude]
I Want 2 Thrive Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 81
Loc: Florida, U.S.A
Thanks Jude, Still a little overwhelmed by how many are here. I knew I had brothers out "there". Please don't take this the wrong way, part of me was happier thinking I was alone.

Telling my story is not a problem. I still have shame or embarrassment issues at points. I also have more "triggers" than Roy Rogers. But, after 2 decades of hard work I have developed good coping skills. I had a set back a couple weeks ago, that triggered 4 days of cluster nightmares and that brought me here to MS.

I am so grateful it (the site) an you all are here. I wish such a place existed years ago. I also wish it was not necessary.

Love your signature. One of my favorite PF songs.
_________________________
Izzy

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind" C.S. Lewis
My Story: Short / Long version. *TRIGGERS*

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#464016 - 04/12/14 04:52 PM Re: Of all they took, miss my smile *****TRIGGERS***** [Re: I Want 2 Thrive]
Adam A Gedman Offline


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

I am sorry for your reason to be here, but glad for you to have this place to express and share your story.

And what a story! It was very difficult to read of the repeated abuse you suffered.

I hope that putting this truth out there can help in your continued healing.

What else can I offer.
We're here, we're listening, we believe and support you in any way we can.

Welcome and take care.
_________________________
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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#464017 - 04/12/14 05:44 PM Re: Of all they took, miss my smile *****TRIGGERS***** [Re: I Want 2 Thrive]
I Want 2 Thrive Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 81
Loc: Florida, U.S.A
Kevin,

I am better than I was then, Now I want what I think we all do, to be better than I am now.

My first T told me "until you can speak it, you cannot own it. Until you own it, you cannot recover."


Izzy
_________________________
Izzy

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind" C.S. Lewis
My Story: Short / Long version. *TRIGGERS*

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#464039 - 04/13/14 01:59 PM Re: Of all they took, miss my smile *****TRIGGERS***** [Re: I Want 2 Thrive]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1443
{{{Izzy}}}

Your story was emotionally palpable, but I am most impressed with your strength.

Quote:
Maintenance of a secret life...

And that is the story of most any CSA survivor. For me, things were not as brutal or violent as they seemed to be with you, and I was not passed around from person to person; the CSA was more like a reluctant and endless seduction. So maintaining the secrets ultimately became even tougher to manage than living them. My heart broke when you almost - but could not - tell your dad.

Like you, I had a pretty infectious smile. Our physical attributes were similar - I was a slender brunette. My molester had a slew of girl victims (including my sis), but I was his main focus. So I am somewhat convinced that my appearance and my general carriage had a role in my being targeted. I'm curious if you have similar suspicions surrounding your own situation. In any case, however, I hope that you have found a way to reconnect with that child and own that smile once again.
_________________________
Eirik




Click my pic to see why I'm here

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#464040 - 04/13/14 03:49 PM Re: Of all they took, miss my smile *****TRIGGERS***** [Re: Chase Eric]
I Want 2 Thrive Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 81
Loc: Florida, U.S.A
Thank you Eric,

I'm not sure if it was exactly strength. I cried myself to sleep most nights. You will be pleased to know, I finally did tell my father, albeit that was when I was 24. I never told him the full story, he was freaked out by just the broad strokes. We have not spoken to each other since, but we do to exchange emails on occasion. He stopped being my father a long time ago. Don't get me wrong I still love him, I will miss him when he is gone. But, I cannot and will not invest anymore time or energy in pursuing a relationship where I will always be treated as just another member of the band, instead of as his son.

Thomas had a thing solely for little boys, I was the age group he preferred. I have no doubt that my bright smile, and the way I carried myself was what attracted him to me. The fact that I could carry an almost adult conversation, was icing on the cake. The fact that my family life was crap at the time, was just a means to an end. They were the situation that made me available, without my family's noticing the effects of the abuse.

I have been able to connect with some of the joy that I had as a child. Though I no longer have that big toothy grin. That was my one act of rebellion that I truly regret. I did not take care of said teeth.

The first member of the family that I told was my stepfather at 22, and I swore him to secrecy. My mother was dealing with major health concerns and she did not need to know. Dad said he would obey my wishes so long as I got help. I looked at him and told him, "I'm telling you this because I have gotten help. I just needed you to know why I left you and mom. He hugged me, we cried, it was good." Three years later, I was able to tell my mother, she started crying and told me how she had been raped. For the record that is where my older brother M came from. More tears.

My Pastor is fond of saying that God never gives us more then we can bear. I wonder how big my shoulders are in God's eyes? I wonder how big all of our shoulders are from that perspective?
_________________________
Izzy

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind" C.S. Lewis
My Story: Short / Long version. *TRIGGERS*

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#464133 - 04/15/14 08:12 PM Re: Of all they took, miss my smile *****TRIGGERS***** [Re: I Want 2 Thrive]
learning2luvme Offline


Registered: 06/12/12
Posts: 49
IW2T,

Thanks for sharing your story. We unfortunately have alot in common as I was also used and passed around by my abuser. One of my nightmares involves a Polaroid camera that he would use to take pictures of me and the other abusers. He would give them to the abusers in exchange for money...which was funny because when he died, the SOB left 1.5 million to planned parenthood...how screwed up is that. He also used the Polaroids to shame me into secrecy threatening to show my family and friends what "I" had done. To this day, the thought of the existence of these Polaroids still scares me as if someday somebody will knock on the door and say "is this you?". Scares me to death.

Your statement of "God never gives us more than we can bear" is one I heard often growing up a Mormon. If anything that just made me madder at God for letting it freaking happen, right? I mean really? An 8 year old?

Today I don't belong to organized religion and have never been happier in that regard. Not sure of a higher power and if I am...I'm still freaking angry for what happened to me.

Today...almost three years since my world came crashing down I am working with a small amazing group of people on a documentary meant to shine light on this tragic problem that is still a huge issue today. My hope is that by sharing my story, little by little things will change. Heck if I help even one person then I feel my efforts will be well spent.

I hope you continue with therapy. It helped me tremendously. I still have bad days and good days, but today I am comfortable being "me". Do the work. Stick with it...you can do it :-)

Warm Regards!
L2LME

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