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#466020 - 05/30/14 03:12 PM My Introduction
tomboulder Offline


Registered: 05/29/14
Posts: 8
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
This is going to be more difficult than I thought. I've already been sitting here just staring at the screen for I don't know how long. I'm disassociating like crazy, and feel like I need to vomit. I guess I'm also stalling. So taking some deep breathes, and just going to jump in.

My name is Tom and I'm 67 years old. When I was 7, I was raped by my blind grandfather, and he kept me quiet by burning me with his cigarettes. I'm not sure how long the abuse continued, but I have no memories of being 7 and 8 (2nd and 3rd grade). I blocked out memories of the abuse until I was 42. My first memory was so graphic I passed out. Now, 25 years later, I am finally working with a therapist I trust, and am experiencing more memories of the abuse. My therapist recommended I join this group.

I grew up in a small factory town outside of Pittsburgh, and knew from an early age that I was somehow different from the other kids, but I didn't know in what way. We moved from there when I was 12, and I kept moving until I finally settled here in Colorado in 1990. I've been married and divorced twice, have 3 wonderful children and 6 amazing grandchildren. When I was 36, I finally figured how I was different, and accepted myself as a gay man. From that moment, all I ever wanted was to meet another man, fall in love and live happily ever after, but that was not meant to be. I did fall in love once, but it was very short-lived, and he broke my heart. So today, I'm 67, single and HIV+. I'm retired and spend my days providing child care for 2 of my grandchildren, a 5 y/o girl and a newborn baby boy. In that regard, I'm the luckiest man I know. My children, their spouses and my straight friends are all very supportive, but in the gay world I live under the stigma of being hiv+, and I'm a very lonely man.

I credit the abuse for f**king up my life, but also for saving my life. It kept me from coming out at an earlier age, which allowed me to have children, but wasn't so great for my ex-wife. But by not coming out until later in life, I believe it kept me from dying from AIDS.

Now that I am seriously working with a therapist, and hopefully from joining this group, I will work through the abuse issues, and finally find some peace. I look forward to communicating with other members of this group, and hope we can be of help to each other. I can't believe it took me over an hours to write just this much.
_________________________
"Some people are oh so smart, and others are oh so pleasant. I much prefer the latter." (paraphrasing Elwood P. Dowd from Harvey)

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#466025 - 05/30/14 06:05 PM Re: My Introduction [Re: tomboulder]
TheBobcatAgain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 507
Loc: AZ, U.S.A.
Welcome to MS, Tom.

Sorry to hear about what happened to you, man - both the physical and the sexual abuse. Just want you to know that you're not alone, buddy. There are many men here who understand completely what you went through and what you're going through now. You are not just among friends - you are among family.

I know what you mean about taking an hour to write out a simple introduction. I've been there. But I'm glad you had the courage to join us. I think you'll find a lot of healing here, as well as some new friends, maybe - guys who can understand and help you on your road to recovery.

Again, welcome here, brother.

Bobcat
_________________________
You don't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

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#466028 - 05/30/14 06:28 PM Re: My Introduction [Re: tomboulder]
tomboulder Offline


Registered: 05/29/14
Posts: 8
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
Hey Bobcat,
Thanks for the welcome. I really appreciate it.
Looking forward to getting to know you and others.
Being referred to as "brother" has a good feeling to it.
Tom
_________________________
"Some people are oh so smart, and others are oh so pleasant. I much prefer the latter." (paraphrasing Elwood P. Dowd from Harvey)

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#466034 - 05/30/14 10:06 PM Re: My Introduction [Re: tomboulder]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1513
Loc: New England
Welcome to MS Tom,

We are a motley crew of 12,000+ men from all walks of life, all over the world, older and younger, rich and poor, gay and straight, religious and atheist. The one terrible thing that brings us together is having been sexually abused as boys. We have a common experience in that, and similar struggles in recovery.

There are alot of helpful resources here, but most importantly you can talk about what happened and how its affected you, with guys who can understand, without fear of judgement. That is AMAZING.

Be well,

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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#466061 - 05/31/14 02:56 PM Re: My Introduction [Re: tomboulder]
tomboulder Offline


Registered: 05/29/14
Posts: 8
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
Thank you Jude for the kind words. I've been sitting here looking at them for about 30 minutes thinking about how great it would be to have someone to talk with besides my therapist, and at the same time, afraid to talk to anyone for fear that more memories may surface. I have been running and hiding from those memories for almost 60 years. I want to be brave and face them head on, but most of the time I just feel like a scared little kid, and want to go back to bed and hide under the covers. I kind of wish there was a mentor program, so someone could guide me through this process. I'm not so good about reaching out and asking for help. Tom
_________________________
"Some people are oh so smart, and others are oh so pleasant. I much prefer the latter." (paraphrasing Elwood P. Dowd from Harvey)

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#466073 - 06/01/14 02:46 AM Re: My Introduction [Re: tomboulder]
pattom Offline


Registered: 05/20/14
Posts: 32
Loc: Southern Midwesternish
Tom...

Im new here too. Its only been a couple of weeks, but this place, these guys, have been a huge source of support and inspiration for me. I did not expect that when Google sent me here.

The reply you wrote to Jude I could have written myself. I am right there with you, I am scared shitless. I believe to a certain extent all of us here have been ruled by fear at one time or another. Fear of our abuser(s), fear of the memories, fear of who we have become, or are becoming, fear of what people will think if they knew, and even fear of who we will be if we finally come to peace with our abuse. Im not sure I know how to release that fear, but I believe I know where that process can begin. In those first few days I was here, almost every single message I received contained the same four word sentence... "You are not alone." Its true, we really arent. I know in my own life I am less fearful when I have people on my side. Everyone here is on our side. These guys understand what we are feeling. They get it. They are traveling the same path we are. They know we are afraid. This is a community of strength and support made up entirely by those who once felt they were weak and powerless.

So, fellow newbie, welcome to the club that we all wish werent a part of! I offer you some wise words that I received here from learning2luvme, "In some ways getting over CSA is like choking up a phlem ball after a bad cold. It hurts to swallow and it hurts coming up. Either way you just can't feel better until you get it out." Thats about as true as it gets!

Peace, Patrick
_________________________
Before I knew you, I thought brave was not being afraid.
You've taught me that bravery is being terrified and doing it anyway.
Laurell K. Hamilton

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#466075 - 06/01/14 05:52 AM Re: My Introduction [Re: tomboulder]
TheBobcatAgain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 507
Loc: AZ, U.S.A.
Tom,

I know EXACTLY what you mean about wanting to get into bed and hide under the covers like a little boy. I often feel like I stopped aging, maturity-wise, around the time of my abuse. Like I'm stuck or trapped at that age. Like I'm a boy in a man's body.

Many male survivors are not good about asking for help - "men should be able to handle their own problems" and all that BS - but I'm glad you could muster up the courage to ask. That's something to be proud of, brother! smile

Just my two cents. Hope it helps you.

Bobcat
_________________________
You don't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

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#466080 - 06/01/14 11:49 AM Re: My Introduction [Re: tomboulder]
Adam A Gedman Offline


Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 187
Loc: Canada
Hello tomboulder,

I am sorry for your reason to be here, yet also glad for,you to have found and joined us here at MS.
You can feel proud of the brave step you've taken to allow yourself to be vulnerable.

The feelings you describe could be written by most of us.
Fear of opening the door and letting others see our dysfunctional existence.
Shame for what was done to us, and assuming responsibility for it.
How we blame ourselves for what happened, even though logically that makes no sense at all.
And a myriad of other skewed messages we tell ourselves that further perpetuate our dysfunctional beliefs.

At 48, I feel years younger that the age I have achieved, I see you too identify with this.

The good news is, your on the road to dispel all this misinformation.
You bravely took the necessary steps toward recovery.

Take your time, this is more a marathon than a sprint.
When you feel ready speak your truth, honestly, openly and you'll see and feel the support of the MS community.

Welcome, keep well 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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#466084 - 06/01/14 01:45 PM Re: My Introduction [Re: tomboulder]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Iowa, USA
Hi tomboulder,

Welcome to MS. It's good that you found this group of guys. I've been here for little over a year after burying my story for over 30 years. I'm sorry you have to be here, but you will find tremendous support by the men here. They have offered me a backup system to my T-sessions.

I understand your reluctance to talk for fear that more memories might come to the surface. That is the work we must do. It does take strength to deal with the memories, and that is where the support from the men here is valuable. Truthfully, when you work through the difficult times, the result is a better life. I have seen that for myself and I hope you can experience. Good luck to you.

Dave

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#466091 - 06/01/14 02:54 PM Re: My Introduction [Re: tomboulder]
tomboulder Offline


Registered: 05/29/14
Posts: 8
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
To all who have responded to my post, first I want to say thank you, and second I have to say I'm feeling overwhelmed. 25 years ago, when I had my first memories, I tried to seek help and deal with them, but I guess I wasn't ready. I finally said "enough" and "I just don't want to remember anymore". Now, my body won't let me not remember - it is making me re-live the pain and the other feelings. I don't know if it's appropriate to go into detail because it's so graphic, so I'll just say that my ass hurts all the time for the past month or so. My T tells me that it's my body's way of telling me that it doesn't want to keep these memories locked away, that it wants me to finally deal with them - get them out and be free of them. I want to be strong and just get it over with, but the pain - physical and mental - really hurts, and the fear of what I may have yet to remember scares me - really scares me. Sometimes, I feel like such a coward, and I tell myself they are just memories, they aren't going to kill me, but I think that 7 year old boy still lives inside me, and he is the one who is afraid, not the adult I am today, but it must be both of us because since this started again, I've been afraid to have sex. You might think well he's a 67 year old gay man who is hiv+, how much sex could he be having anyway? You'd be surprised. In my search for a loving relationship, I've kissed a lot of frogs. I love sex, now that I've figured out the correct gender for me. I think I love touching and being touched more than anything, even if it's only for 20 or 30 minutes. I'm exhausted from having written this, so I will just say "thank you" again for the welcome and support. Tom
_________________________
"Some people are oh so smart, and others are oh so pleasant. I much prefer the latter." (paraphrasing Elwood P. Dowd from Harvey)

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