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#464666 - 04/27/14 11:35 PM Need help/advice please - (new to this forum)
TKC Offline


Registered: 03/18/14
Posts: 8
Loc: Australia
My name is TKC and I was sexually assaulted by an older female when I was a 17 year-old teenager in 2002. I was taken advantage of after a drunken night with friends and what was worst is that this was my first experience of a sexual nature.

When I came-to mid way throughout my rape I pulled away. I was confused, scared and worst of all alone. I still remember my surroundings as if it were yesterday. I knew my friends weren't the type to help and in those days I never knew men could actually be sexually assaulted let alone raped.

For a while I avoided women but it wasn't long before I started noticing everyone around me enjoying their privilege of being in healthy relationships. Worst of all for me is that I didn't know how to commence a healthy sexual relationship. I had no older siblings to turn to and I was too afraid to ask my parents.

Before long I began to start trying to connect with women, but I went about it all wrong. I would have sex first and then try and determine if the person was appropriate for a relationship. My efforts were very sporadic as I faced an uphill battle with maintaining an income, studying, and doing what I could to take my mind off of that first time.

Later in life after having met a girl whom I wanted to have a long-term relationship with, these bad habits surfaced again. I later came to identify that I had developed a form of sexual addiction. The worst instance of this surfaced after a bout of frequent internet pornography use. During this time my partner and I discovered that we were expecting a baby. We were told that this was impossible. We didn't have any money and I decided against my partners wishes to work as a stripper. At the time I did not see a problem with this but I believe that I was o.k. with this choice due to my misuse of internet pornography. I initially chose to become a stripper to make money and had a good sense of intentions in doing the right thing by my growing family to support them. Little did I realize that I would often be abused physically and emotionally while working there by both men and women who visited the nightclub. This fed into my porn addiction where I would use internet pornography to de-stress. This fed into a cycle of a need to 'get-off'.

I began to masturbate heavily, sometimes even at my day time work. The exposure to this nightclub on Saturday nights and the people there began to fuel flashbacks of the painful memories of being raped and I don't feel like I ever truly came to terms with it. I began to cheat to fulfill this need to 'get off' though the incidents left me upset, angry and ashamed. This fueled my flashbacks even more. I became angry, enraged and depressed at my actions after each time. I became abusive to my wife and wasn't there for her when I needed to be. I became more demanding of my wife sexually when I was there. This sexually demanding energy boiled over into anger and my wife ended up wearing the brunt of this, placing strain on her and our relationship throughout this time; this was before discovery was even made.

The news of both being abused as a teenager and having cheated numerous times traumatized my wife, leaving her as confused as what I was. It lead to diagnoses of trauma, P.T.S.D., Anxiety, Depression, Anger, and more.

My wife and I have stayed together for our daughter and in the hope that we can make things work. However my wife feels that huge flood of emotion multi-daily when she is hit with the realization of what I have done whether it be by an imagination of events, a trigger, places that give a reminder or simply my presence/my being away from home to run errands, etc.

Feelings of depression, anxiety have hit me also. I know that my actions and inaction have led to excommunication from some members of family, humiliation, shame, fear and helplessness.

I have since completed a course in anger management, read through chapters of books relating to sexual addiction as well as healing from rape. I have also been to both individual counselling and relationship counselling but it hasn't addressed the sexual acting out. I have stopped the negative behavior and cannot believe how far I had fallen. I didn't realize how badly I was treating my wife and family and want to be a better person for not only my family, but for myself as well.

I am so confused, stricken with grief and don't know why I was so angry all the time. I'm in disbelief that I developed an addiction to sex. I never wanted to be this type of person.

I want to know if any of this makes sense to those of you reading and if it's normal acting-out behaviors after an assault? Your feedback may help me to understand how I can better understand myself and how I can better help my family into the future.

Kind Regards,

TKC

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#464741 - 04/29/14 12:57 AM Re: Need help/advice please - (new to this forum) [Re: TKC]
genedebs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 285
Loc: MO
Welcome TKC,

You ask if it is normal acting out behavior. If it is acting out it is by definition not "normal." I think you are asking do many of us as survivors become sex addicts. Yes. Not the majority, but it is not unusual. Is anger, resentment, blaming others, and being confused a common experience for us while we struggle to find a process to cope with the betrayal and trauma of sexual assault? Yes. and it is worse to have the experience before you are "legal."

Shame, substance abuse, and addictive behaviors are all common place. But there are many different addictive behaviors. So none is the experience of us all.

I hope this helps

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#464744 - 04/29/14 03:41 AM Re: Need help/advice please - (new to this forum) [Re: TKC]
learning2remember Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 253
Loc: Europe
TKC,

I think it took a lot of work for you to write your post, so good for you. I think it is a sign that you have what takes to do the work you have to do.

To me, the most important part of what you've written is this: "I didn't realize how badly I was treating my wife and family and want to be a better person for not only my family, but for myself as well."

genedebs has given a good answer to you question about whether your situation is normal. What I would say that whether the acting out is "normal" or not, you sound like you want to leave it behind and heal. That is what you need to focus on. Well done on seeking therapy, reading, etc.

I think what you need is a support group. Whether it is Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, or a group for male survivors or for anger management, the main thing I am thinking is that it needs to be regular and anonymous.

Having a chance to vent our frustrations and temptations to others on a regular basis can help us in everyday situations. If something upsets you, then rather than exploding right away or letting tention build, you can stay calm and say to yourself, "I'll bring this up at group."

Without worrying whether something is normal or not, you might find that, on any given incident or issue, there might be someone else in the group who can relate. It helps when we see we are not alone. Alternatively, even if people don't have the same struggles, they do have struggles, and we see that it's not just us.

Finally, groups can hold us accountable. It's scary, but good, when people disagree with you in concern.

And now, in the category of accountability, I will confess that I myself do not attend a group. I haven't been able to find one where I live. There was a time when I did attend one, though, and sometimes I wish I had one here.

Whether you find a group or not, you can turn to this website for help, as you have already done.

Keep working. It's worth it.
_________________________
"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy

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#464745 - 04/29/14 03:44 AM Re: Need help/advice please - (new to this forum) [Re: TKC]
learning2remember Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 253
Loc: Europe
TKC,

I think it took a lot of work for you to write your post, so good for you. I think it is a sign that you have what takes to do the work you have to do.

To me, the most important part of what you've written is this: "I didn't realize how badly I was treating my wife and family and want to be a better person for not only my family, but for myself as well."

genedebs has given a good answer to you question about whether your situation is normal. What I would say that whether the acting out is "normal" or not, you sound like you want to leave it behind and heal. That is what you need to focus on. Well done on seeking therapy, reading, etc.

I think what you need is a support group. Whether it is Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, or a group for male survivors or for anger management, the main thing I am thinking is that it needs to be regular and anonymous.

Having a chance to vent our frustrations and temptations to others on a regular basis can help us in everyday situations. If something upsets you, then rather than exploding right away or letting tention build, you can stay calm and say to yourself, "I'll bring this up at group."

Without worrying whether something is normal or not, you might find that, on any given incident or issue, there might be someone else in the group who can relate. It helps when we see we are not alone. Alternatively, even if people don't have the same struggles, they do have struggles, and we see that it's not just us.

Finally, groups can hold us accountable. It's scary, but good, when people disagree with you in concern.

And now, in the category of accountability, I will confess that I myself do not attend a group. I haven't been able to find one where I live. There was a time when I did attend one, though, and sometimes I wish I had one here.

Whether you find a group or not, you can turn to this website for help, as you have already done.

Keep working. It's worth it.
_________________________
"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy

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#464802 - 04/30/14 08:35 AM Re: Need help/advice please - (new to this forum) [Re: TKC]
focusedbody Online   content


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 332
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: TKC
I didn't realize how badly I was treating my wife and family and want to be a better person for not only my family, but for myself as well.


TKC:

Having been around a lot of acting out in my life, it has been difficult to find examples of people taking alternate routes to expressing themselves. Although not as abusive as your story, I had a similar situation with a woman friend who ignored boundaries and acted aggressively. That left me hurt in ways I never fully explored.

As far as acting out, it has been helpful to know what I am feeling and see which emotions are heading me into that territory as the anxiety increases. Holding onto that thread can seem threatening at first. I get pretty agitated as I begin to come to terms with what made me angry in the past. Sometimes the present day reminders are strong and relentless. But with support, a balance and sense of safety return.

I have two children and am separated from their mother. The deep sense of shame I have about neglecting her is something I can't very close to. Brave voices like yours help remind me that there is hope.

Peace and healing,

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#465758 - 05/25/14 03:34 AM Re: Need help/advice please - (new to this forum) [Re: TKC]
TKC Offline


Registered: 03/18/14
Posts: 8
Loc: Australia
Hi everyone,

Thankyou to those of you whom took the time to reply to me.

Genedebs; It's good to know that while my circumstance isn't unique that there aren't as many out there that followed the same path. The destruction and trauma I have caused my wife and family I would hate to understand as being normal behavior within society.

Learning2remember; Group are an excellent way to openly discuss your inner feelings as I'm sure you will attest, perhaps the best therapy I have had throughout this unfortunate journey. The best exercise was that the leader asked us to 'be our partner/wife' and answer how we think that they would answer or how they do answer in a one-on-one scenario. It was very powerful.

focusedbody; I haven't yet been to a group for anxiety but know they exist, this is hopefully a step I go through as I believe the anxiety I experienced was an inability to process the scenario which became an agressive anxiety. I have been guilty of being defensive post-discovery and found that by dropping this barrier (while hard at first) harbors much more ability to heal for my wife.

Many thanks again to you all,

TKC

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