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#466666 - 06/16/14 06:55 AM abused at 19
Jimeast Offline


Registered: 06/15/14
Posts: 5
Loc: Arizona
I was abused by a guy my own age when I was 19. This was over 20 years ago. The abuse started while I was sleeping. It was during a time when I was vulnerable -- I was having serious psychiatric symptoms and hadn't gotten help yet. I was just coming out to myself (realizing I was gay), away at college, afraid I would lose my family, depressed and struggling with thoughts of suicide. This guy had been my only friend at college. He told me he wanted to be my boyfriend and I told him I just wanted to be his friend. I was barely keeping things together academically and emotionally. He helped me in a lot of ways.

One night he told me he was going through a crisis of his own and asked if he could sleep on my floor. I said Ok and when I was asleep he crawled into my bed. I woke up and he was molesting me. I told him he could never do that again. He promised he wouldn't, promised to respect that we were just friends. Not too long after that, the sexual advances continued. It's a long story but I stayed with him for 5 years. I stayed for many of the same reasons other people stay in long-term abusive relationships -- fear, emotional and financial dependency, isolation, mind games. The mind games were the most harmful part of it for me. He tried to convince me I was bad because I had sexual feelings for other guys and not him. Over time I started to believe this and unwanted sexual advances turned into tolerated sexual advances that messed up how I felt about sex for a long time.

I eventually got out of this situation and moved across the country to re-connect with my family. I have dealt with the abuse in therapy in a solutions-focused way -- rebuilding my life, my trust in others, learning skills and boundaries and self-esteem. Learnign it's OK to be attracted to who I am attracted to.

I think I am doing well overall. I still deal with depression but it's well-managed. I have a good career, a supportive family, and a caring partner. I still have some problems with self-esteem, feeling comfortable with sex, and trusting others' intentions sometimes.

I was abused as a young adult (19) during a time when I was vulnerable/at-risk emotionally. I haven't ever talked to other men who identify as having similar experiences. I don't usually tell people I was abused. I guess maybe I am afraid some people might think I "wasn't really abused" because of my age or because I stayed in the situation. I don't believe these things but I still feel vulnerable about the whole thing. If there are other people out there who have been through this kind of situation, I'd really like to hear what you have done that has helped you recover. Thanks, Jim

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#466669 - 06/16/14 08:09 AM Re: abused at 19 [Re: Jimeast]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 587
Jim,

Thanks for posting your story. While my abuse wasn't at the hands of a peer, it did occur from my mid-teens to early 20s, so I could definitely relate in that respect. I'm also in the middle of processing a very abusive relationship I got involved in when I was 23, so your post resonated a lot with me.

As you pointed out, the mind games had the most profound effect on me, and I'm still trying to see through a lot of manipulation that was framed positively, even as "love" when it wasn't anything but. I've suffered migraines and intrusive thoughts for years on a daily basis now.

I've found writing to be the most effective tool in addressing this. I start off with a narrative of what happened, then I move onto how I felt at the time, and what I was manipulated into believing. Then, I try to look at the bigger picture, and with the help of psychology articles that I've amassed throughout the years, I try to correctly label what technique of manipulation was being used on me. I've noticed that every detail - every action, and every word said - has a story to tell and can contribute to the overall picture. Keeping this in mind has helped me see things for what they really were.

Manipulation is really a sinister form of abuse, especially when coupled with sexual abuse. Not only has your body been violated, but also your mind, and for me, at times this combination pushes me very close to what I imagine to be insanity. It really is destructive.

I hope you will start to write out more as you feel more comfortable here. It definitely was abuse, what happened to you, and I believe you.
_________________________
Husky

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#466670 - 06/16/14 08:30 AM Re: abused at 19 [Re: Jimeast]
JayBro Offline


Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 251
Loc: Germany
Hi Jim!

Welcome to MaleSurvivor! smile

Thank you for sharing with us your story of abuse, that took a lot of courage. Reading through your account, I am glad to hear that today you are doing a lot better, with a supportive family, caring partner, good career and that you have identified further recovery goals. You brought up many great points that men who are victimized- both as kids and as adults- report, such as feelings of invalidation in their history of abuse and that you were in a very vulnerable position.

I want to also say that men of all ages, sizes, backgrounds, etc can be sexually abused and no one deserves to be in abusive relationships. No one is responsible for the abuse that happened to them. And no one "owns" THE (*not their) abuse.

I myself was sexually abused both as teen and as a young adult. I was raped in university at 19 and again when I was 20. It was these adult episodes of victimization that made me realise my long past of sexual and physical abuse as well as my unhealthy sexuality and self-image that resulted from the abuse. Until recently, I could not have sexual encounters without disassociating and looking for men to simulate the abuse.

I am only 23, but in the last three years that I have been in recovery I have been working on re-claiming my right to a healthy sexuality and to self-respect. While I may not have a partner, these past 6 months have been one of positive sexual experiences which are helping me reinforce this "new me". Before entering into this phase, I made sure that I worked on developing my safe space, understood the wider role that the abuse played in my life and the patterns which made me more susceptible to abuse (such as an inability to say "no" and feeling ashamed of my sexuality and masculinity). What really helped was to talk about my experiences and feelings; talk about it with my therapist (who is a wonderful older gay role model for me), my closest friends, and with peer-support groups of other male (and some female) survivors.

Getting those feelings out there and finding connectivity with others over such isolating and painful experiences is liberating to me. To maintain that sense of freedom and self-determination I constantly reminded myself of our common experiences and support as well as the knowledge that it IS possible for us to change how we operate. It IS possible for me to love someone who I am attracted to. It IS possible for me to share positive sexual touching. It IS possible for me to be a being worthy of giving and receiving respect. It IS possible that I can be sexy and not feel ashamed of it. And on it goes...

In order to play a new instrument or speak a new language, you need to practice it until it becomes second nature. And when you are over-come with doubt and despair, remind yourself of your accomplishments thus far, your supports, your connections with others who have also been down your path, and remind yourself that you are a Being worthy of love and respect.

I hope you find this message board to be of help and comfort. You are among understanding men who have gone through similar experiences and who are always willing to listen to you.

Wishing you much luck in your journey!
_________________________
,,Nun ging es immerzu, weit, weit bis an der Welt Ende."

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#466708 - 06/17/14 05:04 AM Re: abused at 19 [Re: JayBro]
Jimeast Offline


Registered: 06/15/14
Posts: 5
Loc: Arizona
Thank you, JayBro. Your response really helps me. A lot of the tools you share about are in my reach. You reminded me of some things that have helped me in the past but that I haven't practiced in a long time. Plus some new things I want to try that I haven't tried before, like going to a peer support group for male survivors. I think you are very courageous and sincere. I am happy you are re-claiming your right to be yourself and to be happy. You deserve it. We all do. Thanks for reminding me of that. Jim

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#466711 - 06/17/14 06:28 AM Re: abused at 19 [Re: concerned_husky]
Jimeast Offline


Registered: 06/15/14
Posts: 5
Loc: Arizona
Hi Husky, thank you for listening and understanding. I would really like to try what you did in writing out the narrative and identifying the specific types of manipulations that were used. I remember when I first started reading about domestic violence -- this is when I was still living with him. It helped me a lot to see on paper that what he was doing was abuse -- trapping me in a room, humiliation, telling me he was going to kill himself if I didn't do what he wanted, blackmailing me by saying he wouldn't pay his part of the rent unless I did what he wanted. Seeing this stuff identified in a pamphlet as abuse helped me step back from self-blame or from thinking it "wasn't that bad" -- it helped me more clearly see this was about him. It helped me feel justified in saying his behavior was "that bad" because the literature said it was. Just writing this now is helping me remember that it wasn't as simple as "I stayed with him because I was weak." He did a lot of really heavy-duty things things to trick, threaten and control. I am going to read more about the styles of manipulation and try what you suggested. I think it will help.

I have had intrusive thoughts and "unwanted thoughts" for many years. Horrible things sometimes -- the last thing I would ever want to do or think. They are not as bad right now, maybe because I am on a higher dose of medication that helps with obsessive thinking. I have found some things that help sometimes (but not all the time)like counteractive imagery and repetitions of certain phrases. Have you found anything that helps you with these?

Thank you for your sincerity and for the kindness in your response. Thank you for sharing that you relate and understand. You seem like you are at a strong place in your life. I'm not feeling very strong right now but what you wrote gives me hope. Many thanks, Jim
_________________________
There are no answers - only reasons to be strong.

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#466717 - 06/17/14 12:10 PM Re: abused at 19 [Re: Jimeast]
JayBro Offline


Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 251
Loc: Germany
Glad to hear that, Jim! Thank you!!
_________________________
,,Nun ging es immerzu, weit, weit bis an der Welt Ende."

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#466724 - 06/17/14 01:17 PM Re: abused at 19 [Re: Jimeast]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 689
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Jim,

My abuse was very young by both parents. HOWEVER, what I learned from my family of origin indoctrinated an abusive profile in me that kept me in abusive situations all my life--all my personal, business and group activity relationships were all ultimately psychologically abusive because that was all I knew to do.

I'm only now, in my mid 60's, figuring out how to interrupt the abusive self-fulfilling prophecies I set in motion.

It was so depressing for me to continually precipitate abusive scenarios and have to deal with the fallout of obsessive and compulsive behaviors, and all because I didn't understand what my family of origin had done to me.

I'm grateful I'm finally figuring it all out and setting myself free. It is a lot of work.

Sending you love and support.

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#466776 - 06/19/14 06:56 AM Re: abused at 19 [Re: don64]
Jimeast Offline


Registered: 06/15/14
Posts: 5
Loc: Arizona
Thanks, Don. It is great to hear the word free... I am glad you are experiencing freedom and are working hard to have the life you want.

It is an ongoing journey for me. In addition to the sexual and emotional abuse I remember experiencing as a young adult, there was a lot of psychological and emotional abuse in my family of origin and I also experienced a lot of trauma growing up "different" in a small town. Like many GLBT people, I was bullied and harassed for being gay before I even realized what that was. I internalized a lot of the homophobia I was surrounded by. I escaped to college in New York where I was surrounded by a whole new world of hope for gay people but I was so messed up and confused and lost inside myself... that made me vulnerable to abuse. I saw a documentary tonight called "Anyone and Everyone" about parents' journey of loving and accepting their gay kids and I cried. I saw Catholic and Mormon moms and dads saying "Our churches told us our kids were sinners. Our kids were more important than our church. We knew our kids were good and were made to be who they are." One mom talked about how her church had been partially responsible for a local boy killing himself when he realized he was gay and how that made her start fighting for change in the her church. I am so happy our world is becoming safer for GLBT kids.

I have had problems too with obsessive compulsive behaviors and creating self-destructive scenarios. Some were at least in part my way of "protecting myself" from being present and feeling my feelings and from getting close to others. I have to still watch out for the ways the hurt part of me tries to set fires and build walls to keep people away. The strong part of me that loves people and wants to thrive is way stronger than the hurt saboteur after all these years of work and healing.... but the saboteur still wants to create ruts and havoc to keep people at arm's length.

To varying degrees throughout my life, the self-sabotaging has affected my friendships, my relationships with family, and my relationship with my partner especially. They all love me and value me enough to stay connected with me but especially lately I feel like I am pulling away a little more. With my partner, some sexual issues have been coming up. It's complicated but I struggle with wanting to be sexual and fearing that I'm being used. I struggle with being able to stay present. The fact that this is occurring more recently could be for a lot of reasons, but I know I need to talk about it. That's why I looked into this website. I know I also need to talk to a counselor too -- someone with more of a specialty in this area than the therapist I have now.

I want to be healthy in the area of intimacy and sexuality, not be afraid to talk about it or run away from it. I have always felt sexually less than and "problematic." I don't want to feel this way. I know other men have felt this way and found their way to heal and feel healthy and happy.

Thank you for sending love and support. It means a lot to me. Sending it to you too, Don.

Jim
_________________________
There are no answers - only reasons to be strong.

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#466995 - 06/25/14 10:34 PM Re: abused at 19 [Re: Jimeast]
Tarobuns108 Offline


Registered: 03/20/13
Posts: 21
Loc: NJ, USA
Welcome to MS, Jim.

I'm a gay man who was abused as an adult as well. I'm almost 26 now and I suffered the abuse two years ago.

[Trigger Warning]

Before the abuse started, I moved out of my boyfriend's townhouse because we hit a rough spot in our relationship and we needed some time apart. I moved in with a very close friend who I grew to trust and respect as a big brother-type. He was around 30 or so with life experience and he showed me the kind of support and friendship I had always wanted from another guy but could never find (either because straight men were too homophobic or gay men just wanted to be with me romantically or sexually).

He started behaving weirder and weirder as time went on. He eventually started making romantic advances and told me he loved me. I told him I loved him like a friend and nothing more. He didn't like that. He started showing up at my job with flowers and told all of his friends that we were in a serious relationship. After about one month living together, he began to touch me inappropriately. He took advantage of my physical disabilities and the fact that I was relient on continuing to live in the same apartment with him to continue with my job in the area and financially support myself through school. The abuse and unstable behavior went on for most of November 2012. It all came to a violent head when he full-on sexually assaulted me after a concert we attended with his friends on Wednesday, November 28, 2012. He kicked me out of the apartment the next day.

I had nightmares and really awful flashbacks for a number of months. I eventually got help at a local rape crisis center by working with a great therapist and I became heavily invested in Stoic philosophy, which I think gave me the tools I needed to really heal. The folks here are very supportive. Husky was especially helpful in my recovery.

I still experience feelings of guilt for not reporting my abuser, but I know I was blinded by caring too strongly about the welfare of a person who clearly did not love me in any sense of the word. I wish I could take it back and make him face the charges he deserves, but I can't change the past. I need to find a way to move on from that sense of guilt. I'm also afraid to make new friends in the area after my experience, which sucks because I am extremely lonely.

Thank you for sharing with us.
- Ren
_________________________
"Don't be ashamed to need help. Like a soldier storming a wall, you have a mission to accomplish. And if you've been wounded and you need a comrade to pull you up? So what?" Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, Book 7:7

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#467093 - 06/29/14 06:22 AM Re: abused at 19 [Re: Jimeast]
Jimeast Offline


Registered: 06/15/14
Posts: 5
Loc: Arizona
Hi Ren, A lot of similarities in our stories. I am so glad that you sought out help and that you have continued support from the guys on this website. I relate to the sense of entrapment, wanting to finish school, being in a financially precarious situation, and being vulnerable because of disability. I hate that your 'friend' took advantage of your situation and hurt you so horribly. It wasn't your fault -- I sense you know that. It is good to know that. It took me a long time to stop feeling the abuse I experienced was my fault or that that kind of relationship was the only kind I could have. (The 'Who else could want me?' syndrome). My saving grace has been counseling, continuing my education, building a career in which I help others, and eventually learning to trust and make friends on my own. I still can get into periods where I isolate and push people who love me away, where I get paranoid about my partner when he initiates sex, etc., but I keep connected to my skills and supports and I don't get "lost" in my negative coping skills the way I used to. I know how to pull myself out. I have found a lot of things that have helped me move on from guilt and to be able to trust people again in my own way. I know you will find your way too. Know that I believe in you. I know you can heal at your own pace and have a good life with truly caring people in it. Thank you for your post. It helped me. Much peace, Jim
_________________________
There are no answers - only reasons to be strong.

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