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#46719 - 08/13/02 12:02 AM Feeling very alone
Starman Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/02
Posts: 11
Loc: Tennessee
I just ran across this site and thought it might offer me some hope and encouragement. I've about exhausted everything else. I was raped and tortured by a group of men when I was a young man, and have wrestled with the effects of it for decades. For years there was anger and denial that it even happened. Then there were the (not atypical) fantasies about the abuse. I sought counseling after many years, then decided to BECOME a counselor. I have 6 years of study in the field and have led workshops and groups on sexual abuse.
I'm still feeling alone and worthless. A few years ago I told my wife about the abuse. She became distant and hostile, and her therapist told her to divorce me. She began divorce proceedings, but changed her mind. We are still together, but she refuses to have anything sexually to do with me. I have become so disillusioned with (so-called) therapists that I decided not to pursue a career in therapy, but rather to stay in my current profession. My experience with therapists has virtually all been very negative and no help at all. I am tired of the fads, cliches and "recovery talk". It hasn't worked. I am a human being, not a case in a textbook or a "typical survivor" (a term I hear a lot, which is meaningless, since every person's experiences are unique).
I have been in so-called "support groups", but grew very tired of being told that I was really "queer" (I'm not) and in denial. I have never understood why openly gay men are readily accepted in such groups, while men admitting to being abuse survivors are treated as if they had leprosy (no offense to those of you who have leprosy!!). I am wondering if others out there have had to deal with this sort of thing. I'd rather hear from someone who has been there than someone who has read about guys who heve been there.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.


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#46720 - 08/13/02 02:58 AM Re: Feeling very alone
Broken Offline
Member

Registered: 03/25/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Huntingtun Beach, CA, US
Im sorry you have had such negative experiances with therapy. There are a few good therapists out there, though. If you are mocked when you go to a group, you should tell them off, nobody has the right to say things like that.

just think how absurd that is, "you were raped by a man, so you must be a homosexual." Hang in there, and stick with it. We can dig ourselves out of this, but it is a very long, difficult process. There is no easy way out, but once you have decided to deal with this, you have already taken one of the hardest steps.


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#46721 - 08/13/02 10:13 AM Re: Feeling very alone
Starman Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/02
Posts: 11
Loc: Tennessee
Thanks for your replies. I probably need to clarify something that may have come across the wrong way. I wasn't using the term "queer" in a derogatory way, but rather to describe the reaction of the support(?) group I was in. I respect very much ALL people and honor their sexual preferences. I don't regard what others do as any of my business, just as my private life is no one else's concern. I've spoken out very strongly in favor of the rights of gays and lesbians in my workshops and groups, even though it further convinces people that I must be gay. If my careless use of the word was offensive, please accept my apologies. That wasn't my intention at all. None of us need another kick in the face.


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#46722 - 08/13/02 01:36 PM Re: Feeling very alone
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Starman
Welcome to the forum, although it's sad you need to be here.

Your experiences with therapists sounds appaling, and having trained as one you must be so angry at the views of charlatans like those.

My experience was the opposite, I couldn't have wished for better. I was lucky to find a charity that only provides therapy for adult SA victims. I now do voluntary work with them, and I have discovered most of them give their time for free.
But they are all highly qualifed and specialise in abuse trauma. These are dedicated people, and I wonder what makes them this way sometimes, possibly they're survivors as well, or maybe it's the satisfaction of helping others ?

Whatever it is, charities like ours need people who know the problem and care, and it seems a shame that your experience with others has driven you away.
I was never "told" anything by mine, just led gently until I discovered the answer myself, in my own time. And I was never led to believe anyone else had the answers except me.
All he did was show me where to look.

Lloydy

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#46723 - 08/13/02 10:19 PM Re: Feeling very alone
Roy Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
Hello Starman and welcome. I'm new here myself and have already gotten an enormous benefit from interacting with the fine men here. I have had some similar experiences to yours. I was more than half way through at a well respected graduate school working on my Masters of Social Work (MSW) when I was raped. Naturally, I turned to those around me and was met with chilly distance. Not by everyone, fortunately, but definitely got way less support than I naively thought I would.
I also have "shadow memories" of childhood sexual abuse and have gotten much more compassion and support around that issue. But the idea that a man can actually be raped by another man is unfathomable to people. Now I know what women go through when they reveal themselves to be the victim of a sexual trauma. I feel lucky if someone just believes my story.
I think it is normal to have fantasies about the abuse, even though you are heterosexual. I suspect it is a way for our subconscious mind to gain some control over that instant when we were overpowered. Or maybe it is trying to make sense out of the senseless. I have finally accepted my fantasies and feel free to indulge them in my mind while I jack off sometimes. Interestingly, that has lessened their hold over me, but it has been a gradual process. The fact that I am a gay man (no offense taken by your use of the word queer) probably makes that a lot easier for me than it might be for you. The fact that your fantasies about the experience are seemingly at odds with your sexual orientation may be confusing for others and yourself but they are mutually exclusive, I believe.
You sound burned out. Consider the possibility that you are exhausted from trying to help others, while neglecting your own need for healing. Like you, I became a counselor and social worker and tried to heal other people's wounds, which I did effectively, and that felt good. Recently I have learned that helping others was the perfect way to avoid some of my own pain and distance myself from it. Well, that whole plan came crashing down around me because I just couldn't do it anymore. Could a similar situation exist for yourself?
Hang in there man, glad you found this place. Welcome!

Roy


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#46724 - 08/13/02 11:45 PM Re: Feeling very alone
Starman Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/02
Posts: 11
Loc: Tennessee
Thanks to all of you for the kind words and support, especially you, Roy, for the long and very helpful reply. Yes, I suppose I am both burned out and a little bitter. I didn't mention it in my introductory note (mainly because if I said everything, it would take up too much space) but another thing that caused a great deal of problems was that I was "groomed" and sexually assaulted by a male therapist some years back. That didn't help my feelings about therapists or therapy much. Right now I am totally alone. PERIOD. I have no family, no friends and my wife
(since I told her about the abuse) hardly comes into the same room with me. I have absolutely no one to talk to and really don't know how to find anyone locally. I don't go to church (I am a firm believer in reincarnation and there aren't many of those here in the Bible-banging south (no offense to Bible-bangers, I used to be a fundamentalist minister). I really don't know where to begin to try to build new friendships.


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#46725 - 08/14/02 02:38 PM Re: Feeling very alone
SoCalJohn Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 05/18/01
Posts: 510
Loc: Los Angeles, California
Starman,

Welcome, we have been saving a place for you.

I have been in some really great mens groups, i have been in some really shitty ones.

I have had some absolutely wonderful therapists, I have had some horrible to the point of it being criminal ones also.

The one thing i do know that seems to help me and i see it help others also is just this....

Keep talking,, no matter what is going on, keep talking, here, at home, with a therapist, wherever is safe for you, just keep putting the thoughts and words out there.

I hope you find this place as accepting and beneficial as i have.

John

_________________________
I asked him about this law he spoke of, he said,,, *watch* he then asked the others to share about their lives,,, the others talked of how things were for them, how things worked in their lives,,, and as they believed, it was so.

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#46726 - 08/14/02 05:03 PM Re: Feeling very alone
bosishere Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/14/01
Posts: 161
Loc: nashville,tn,usa
hello Starman. I don't know your age, but when you deal with the abused past, your age at the time of when you deal with doesn't matter. I was abused at the age of 5.5 and 7.5 and then did what most abused people did with that in the 50s and 60s, one burred it, and went one with their life. Then comes 1990 and I was hit by a subway train and the name of the hospital I was in in NYC is the same as the one where mosst of the abuse took place back in MA and I tried to deal with it. My first approach was a hospital here in this city, but I like you, it was a bummer. Now comes 2000 and while in church one Sunday I hear of the problem facing the Catholic Church here and I seek help from another center which had a letter in the paper. Two years have gone bye and I have not been upset with my dealing in 2000. Yes there have been some very hard times, and some time I wanted to quit, but one has to keep trying. By the way, I'm gay and have admitted that fact since 1970 and that fact did not make a difference about the abuse until I tried to deal with that fact the first time in the early 1990s. As the previous post says, keep talking, and stay well.
;\) ;\) Bosishere


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#46727 - 08/17/02 01:54 AM Re: Feeling very alone
Starman Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/02
Posts: 11
Loc: Tennessee
OK, I'm back from a couple of days of being too depressed to get out of bed. I just can't seem to really find any reason to do anything anymore.
I live with a woman who doesn't want to be in the same room with me since I told her about the abuse and the sexual incident with the therapist who took advantage of me while I was going through a very tough time. I told her this stuff because I thought I should be open with her, and one of my (less enlightened) therapists recommened that I tell her. After I told her, the same therapist told her that I "must be a queer or I wouldn't have had sex with a man." She almost divorced me, and she told her family, who will no longer have anything to do with me. I know I made a terrible mistake in ever telling my wife anything about either the abuse or the incident with the therapist, but I can't undo it now. To further complicate matters, the therapist who molested me told some of my friends that it was me who seduced him to try to shift the blame to me. Since he had had a reputation for coming on sexually to men in his groups, and since this was widely known, most people didn't believe him, but it did a lot of damage and now many of my former friends (including my (ex)best friend) will have nothing to do with me. It all seems so unjust and wrong, and yet there is nothing I can do about it. I'm having a lot of trouble handling this.


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#46728 - 08/17/02 03:41 AM Re: Feeling very alone
Broken Offline
Member

Registered: 03/25/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Huntingtun Beach, CA, US
It is not a mistake to tell someone you care about, it is not your fault she could not understand. Some people just can't handle a reality where someone they know has been raped, so they either pretend like nothing ever happened, or they pretend like you yourself dont exist anymore. That is true with many things, not just abuse, and the kind of person who lives in an ivory tower is not someone you can ever really have a real relationship with. Regardless of how open or willing you are to share, somebody who is going to pretend like this doesnt exist is trapped in a world of thier own design. Its not your fault, so try not to put yourself down. It isn't easy being the one who tells the truth.


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#46729 - 08/17/02 04:32 AM Re: Feeling very alone
Ross Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/02
Posts: 34
Loc: Vancouver, BC Canada
Dear Starman:

Sorry to hear of your difficult times with therapists. I was abused by Catholic Clergy as a boy. As a result the church had to pay for my therapy. I had almost weekly sessions for about four years.

My therapist was very thoughtful, considerate and focused on my emerging issues and was not agenda driven. Therapy can be a wonderful vehicle for recovery if you can find a counsellor you are comfortable with. I found the client driven model that my therapist followed allowed for me to feel comfortable dealing with issues at a pace that I basically controlled.

Shop around, they are not all guru types or self promoting of the newest trendy method. I found therapy to be hard work at times and the tried and true method of the counsellor listening and actually caring from a truly empathetic position as a real person and not a "talking head" was helpful.

Hope you find some comfort and help!

Sincerely
Ross


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#46730 - 08/17/02 05:01 AM Re: Feeling very alone
Roy Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
Well no wonder you're in a state of depression over all this. I'm curious about how long ago the assault by the so-called therapist occurred. Also, when did you tell your wife? As if the rape trauma were not bad enough, the betrayal and abandonment you are experiencing almost sounds worse. I am worried about you! You have been very clear about how isolated you are and your feelings about the mental health world, and at the same time must know you really need to get help with this. You're only human you know. \:\) It sounds like your situation is really jammed up and I would like to explore possibilities with you. I will send you a private message so we can communicate at greater length. Thankfully you found this place and though you may be isolated you are most definitely not alone. Remember that there are real men behind these words on a screen, men with similar experiences and compassion for their brother. You will get through this.

Roy


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#46731 - 08/17/02 08:20 AM Re: Feeling very alone
michael Joseph Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
dump the therapist, there must be someone better for you

thank you for opening up

I just acted out witha stranger thrusday, first time, usually it is with someone I know. last time is was a year and a half ago.

hurting n MI

MJ

_________________________
Standing together is so much better than hiding in the dark.
***I am a three time WoR Retreat Alumni***
The Round Table, Men's CSA Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat

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#46732 - 08/18/02 12:55 AM Re: Feeling very alone
Starman Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/02
Posts: 11
Loc: Tennessee
I'm feeling a great deal better today, in great part due to the encouragement and support of all you guys who have cared enough to take the time to read my post and offer your support, suggestions, or words of wisdom. As for the therapist, she's long gone and has been replaced by a far more competent one...ME. We all have the answers to our pain within ourselves. Regardless of our level of education, there is a part of the human spirit where answers to all our questions lie hidden. A good therapist (and there are some) helps us to tap into that part where the answers lie. They do not give advice or tell us what we "ought" to do. They listen, and they help us find the path that is already there, hidden under the pain and feelings of worthlessness. I've never met a man who did not carry within himself a great treasure, no matter how low an opinion of himself he may hold. I've seen much of that treasure in just the past few days. I am sure many of you regard yours treasures as little more than a lump of coal, but remember, coal under extreme pressure becomes a diamond!
Thank you all again for your responses. I'm not "healed", just better. I will never truly be whole, nor, I suspect, will most of you. There will always be a hole within my spirit where something else might have grown. It is my duty to fill that hole with the love and compassion that can often only come from having been where many have never gone. I appreciate your help in cultivating that inner garden.


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