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#465151 - 05/09/14 04:21 PM It took over 40 years, but here I am (My Intro)
SurvivingMe Offline


Registered: 04/09/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Texas
Hello, everyone. I've been here about a month reading your posts, learning from your experiences and making a few friends, so I thought it was time to give an intro.

I was sexually abused as a child. There, I said it.

I am 40-plus, married over 20 years to an amazing wife, father of 4 awesome kids, good career. To most people on the outside, my life probably looks pretty good. On the inside, things are not so great. In fact, I'm a mess!

My world has been spinning out of control for awhile, but especially over the last 2-3 years -- major depression (which has mostly subsided now), work issues and resulting financial problems, trouble in my relationships with my great wife and kids (who all deserve better than what I've been). I've withdrawn from everyone and everything, basically.

About a month ago everything started to change. I stopped denying the abuse and all the crap that came with it -- sexual issues, destructive behaviors, self-sabotage, isolation, alcohol, etc.) I embraced -- for the first time in over 40 years -- what I now recognize to be "THE FACTS":

1. I was a victim of sexual abuse.
2. I was deeply and forever affected by it.
3. Because I never dealt with it, it unfortunately still impacts nearly EVERY area of my life decades later. While I cannot blame all of my life's choices on my childhood events, these events certainly played a big part in who I am.
4. I need to deal with it. NOW.

Over the last few weeks, I've added one more FACT:

5. I can heal and move on.

A few weeks ago, for the FIRST TIME, I admitted to myself (and my wife) the extent of the childhood abuse -- it started when I was about 5 years old. Over the next 11-plus years, there would be at least 4 different abusers -- both male and female, both strangers and trusted family friends. And, it messed me up. Bigtime.

It was an enormous relief to say it and accept it. Since that disclosure, I have started to educate myself about CSA and seek help. I can now recognize how much the abuse has affected me. I've always remembered the sexual abuse events, but over the years I had minimized the abuse and its effects on me. I would tell myself "It wasn't THAT bad. It didn't affect me THAT much. I'm over it. It was SO long ago, anyway." Many of you know what all that sounds like. As a result, I told no one, I ignored it, and I let it destroy me without even knowing it.

Today, I am on a journey to find what I lost as a result of the events of my childhood . . . and to create something better for my future.

Thanks to all of you who have shared your stories, your struggles and your victories. Your posts have been a source of strength, comfort and knowledge to me. I welcome PMs and look forward to getting to know others who are on the same journey I am. I wish I didn't have to be here . . . but I'm glad I found this place.

Thanks for reading.

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#465152 - 05/09/14 04:31 PM Re: It took over 40 years, but here I am (My Intro) [Re: SurvivingMe]
CafeMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 150
Loc: Chicago
Welcome, SurvivingMe.

First I am so sorry for your abuse, but it's good that you are taking proactive steps to heal. Our stories are somewhat similar being that we put these issues to the side, only to have them reappear later in our lives.

As I stated before, take a systematic approach towards healing. Write down your issues or challenges which you want to overcome and start addressing them one by one. When I joined here, I thought I could "crash diet" on healing. Meaning I thought I could tackle my issues like a work project and move on . . . Sadly, I realized that was not the case for a healthy recovery. Many have pointed out to take things slow, absorb, experience emotions and as much as I hate this expression -- go with the flow. So that is what I am doing.

Again, welcome and I'm sure you will be on your way to a better YOU!

-Nick

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#465155 - 05/09/14 05:16 PM Re: It took over 40 years, but here I am (My Intro) [Re: SurvivingMe]
Tiger1982 Offline


Registered: 01/31/14
Posts: 26
Loc: Slovakia
Hello, friend smile

Thank you for your introduction. I'm sorry that you have to be here. And I'm sad for what you've been through in your childhood. I feel a lot of strenght and determination in your post. I think you already know that there are many of us out there and we all can relate to how you feel. You are not alone. This site is a safe place where you can find a lot of tools to help you along the way. And also a lot of friends. I wish you all the best on your journey of recovery.

Andy
_________________________
Out of the dark, into the light.

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#465163 - 05/09/14 09:38 PM Re: It took over 40 years, but here I am (My Intro) [Re: SurvivingMe]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1513
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: SurvivingMe
...for the first time in over 40 years -- what I now recognize to be "THE FACTS":

1. I was a victim of sexual abuse.
2. I was deeply and forever affected by it.
3. Because I never dealt with it, it unfortunately still impacts nearly EVERY area of my life decades later. While I cannot blame all of my life's choices on my childhood events, these events certainly played a big part in who I am.
4. I need to deal with it. NOW.

Over the last few weeks, I've added one more FACT:

5. I can heal and move on.


Welcome Surviving Me,

You have accomplished alot already just in accepting thos "facts". There are alot of us here in the "I kept it secret for 40+ years" club. Those secrets may have done us as much damage as the abuse itself. But the good news, as you have said, is that its not too late for healing. We can try to make our latter years different than the earlier ones. Its not easy or pleasant, but there's no turning back. Go for it!

Jude
_________________________
I went back to the doctor
To get another shrink.
I sit and tell him about my weekend,
But he never betrays what he thinks.
Can you see the real me, doctor?.
The Who

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#465169 - 05/10/14 01:31 AM Re: It took over 40 years, but here I am (My Intro) [Re: SurvivingMe]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3333
Loc: O Kanada
your voice echoes, mirrors, and resonates with me.

your powerful introduction very deeply reached me.

i welcome you to ms.org.

You can heal and move on.
You will heal and move on.

i congratulate you on your amazing recent breakthroughs and achievements.
great stuff!

please continue to keep up the good work, fight the good fight, and moving forward in the positive direction you have chosen.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#465189 - 05/10/14 12:53 PM Re: It took over 40 years, but here I am (My Intro) [Re: Jude]
SurvivingMe Offline


Registered: 04/09/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Jude
Those secrets may have done us as much damage as the abuse itself.

Jude


Yes, Jude, I agree. The secrets (combined with the CSA effects that we carry into adulthood) can be as damaging as the abuse itself. Of course, that's not to minimize what happened to us a kids -- and this certainly doesn't apply to everyone -- but for me, I find some truth in that.

I had (at least) 4 perps -- but sometimes I think the one who did the most damage to me is . . . ME.

Nick, Andy, Victor -- thanks for the welcome and encouraging words. I appreciate it.

SM

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#465190 - 05/10/14 01:30 PM Re: It took over 40 years, but here I am (My Intro) [Re: SurvivingMe]
CafeMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 150
Loc: Chicago
Couldn't agree more. The emotional turmoil I put onto myself was greater at times than the abuse.

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#465220 - 05/11/14 09:41 AM Re: It took over 40 years, but here I am (My Intro) [Re: SurvivingMe]
Jay1946 Offline


Registered: 08/08/13
Posts: 82
Loc: Miami, Florida, USA
SM:

It took me 57 years!

Sorry that we meet you because of csa. Welcome. I have found a lot of wisdow in this place. In reading the posts of so many I have learned much about myself.



_________________________
Jay

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#465221 - 05/11/14 10:15 AM Re: It took over 40 years, but here I am (My Intro) [Re: SurvivingMe]
I Want 2 Thrive Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 81
Loc: Florida, U.S.A
Originally Posted By: SurvivingMe
SurvivingMe


Welcome,

Looking forward to two changes. From "Surviving Me," to "Me Surviving," and then "Me Thriving (still working on that part myself)."

Acknowledging (owning) the past is a critical step, well done. Now recovery (healing) can begin. I am 48 now, I started my healing journey "early" at 22. There are good days and bad. I am pleased to report, today there are FAR more good than bad. Once I realized I couldn't leave the ugly bits of my past hidden (ignored), I began to live again.

Welcome to MS, and to the journey sir! You have a lot of fellow travelers with you.
_________________________
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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#465266 - 05/12/14 05:29 PM Re: It took over 40 years, but here I am (My Intro) [Re: SurvivingMe]
SurvivingMe Offline


Registered: 04/09/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Texas
Jay and Izzy --

Thanks, guys, for the welcome and encouragement.

Onward and upward!

SM

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#465268 - 05/12/14 06:02 PM Re: It took over 40 years, but here I am (My Intro) [Re: SurvivingMe]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1628
Welcome and I am glad you are here. It is a kind place that welcomes everyone. We do not judge, we try to support.

It took me 45 years to start the process of healing. Like you admitting the abuse was hard--I thought denying and burying it would take it away--I was wrong. I am happy you coming to terms with the abuse.

Please post as you feel, read others posts, we are all trying to heal and become whole. We travel the path to healing differently, for some it is venting and writing, for others it is reading and relating to how others are progressing. I have vented and ranted, when troubled, confused or looking for an answer in my writings. Sometimes they come quickly, other times it takes awhile.

You may want to consider other support groups, if available in you area, a therapist--but only you can decide what is right.

Take care and heal well--we are all here for you. We have traveled our own rocky pot holed road.

Kevin

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#465272 - 05/12/14 07:43 PM Re: It took over 40 years, but here I am (My Intro) [Re: SurvivingMe]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6401
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
Hey Man: hold tight to what you have earned...what you have won...and all the good things you deserve and have. Hold on damned tight!
_________________________
Wishing You Were Here!

The Aftermath Video

The Water Buffalo Song

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#465311 - 05/13/14 10:34 PM Re: It took over 40 years, but here I am (My Intro) [Re: SurvivingMe]
learning2luvme Offline


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

What a great name and an even better introduction. We have a lot in common. I like how your name recognizes that we are our biggest enemies. You made a great first step in choosing your name. I applaud you for that.

I also admire your courage for taking control of your life. It certainly is a rather difficult and challenging journey. You have come to a great place. There is great wisdom and advice here.

One of the most important things I learned is that I first have to love myself which is always a challenge. I also learned that it takes a village to face this challenge. It is easier when others help carry the load. Lastly, be honest. Be honest with yourself. Be honest with your therapist or other mental health professionals. Be honest with your spouse and significant friends and others who can and will help you. No secrets. No shame. The more honest you are the quicker and easier the healing.

Your intro post shows you have taken the greatest and most significant step. Congratulations. Standing applause. This won't be easy but it will be worth it. Be strong. Be honest. Be safe.

Happy Healing,

L2LM

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#465507 - 05/19/14 07:45 PM Re: It took over 40 years, but here I am (My Intro) [Re: SurvivingMe]
SurvivingMe Offline


Registered: 04/09/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Texas
Once again, thanks for the welcomes and encouraging words everyone.

Kevin, Still, L2LM - I appreciate your thoughts.

L2LM, thanks for "getting" my name. It is a fact that my abusers messed me up at the time of the abuse, with lasting effects (I have discovered recently). But, the abusers are not part of my life anymore. On the other hand, I live with "me" everyday. That's where "the work" is now.

SM

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#465911 - 05/28/14 01:28 PM Re: It took over 40 years, but here I am (My Intro) [Re: SurvivingMe]
Adam A Gedman Offline


Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 187
Loc: Canada
Hello SurvivingMe.

I am sorry for your reason to be here, but glad for you to have found and joined MS.

Your moniker could be the title for us all I think, yet that fact that we are all still here speaks to our resiliency as individuals.

If I may, I would like to alter your own observations to read...
1. I suffered sexual abuse as a child at the hands of others.
2. I was deeply affected by it, but it will not be forever.
3. I became aware of the tremendous impact this has had and does have on my life, and chose to do something to address this.

I don't mean to say that you are not correct, just want to show you that how we say things, understand things, has a huge impact on how we react emotionally. My rewrite above is written to absolve you of any responsibility you may feel for what was done to you.

You made no conscious choices that would suggest that you were responsible for the abuse you suffered. You are not to blame, it is not your fault, I believe you and you are worthy of support and empathy.

Take your time, and when you are ready speak your truth, if you so choose.
The MS community will be here to listen and contribute in whatever way we can.

Take care 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

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