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#468835 - 08/12/14 04:11 PM "Trigger Warning" Confusion about past events
lostc Offline


Registered: 08/12/14
Posts: 101
So in recent times I began wondering about two periods which happened in my life when I was younger, around 8/9 and 14-16. As a background, I have I believe for totally unrelated reasons of struggling with loneliness and bad luck, struggled with severe depression and social anxiety for years until now, from when I was 11. (Now 24). I remembered these things and I don't know what mental compartment to put them in, like if it was irrelevant or abuse. Because I know some of the things people generally say is just how young people experiment and explore, and I wasn't ever forced. I don't want to think of things as abuse if it really wasn't.

The first event I can't remember much at all about, but I can't remember it being something that happened for a long time. I forgot about the whole thing for a long time so I find it hard to recall anything and well. When I was around 8/9 one day I was dragged along on a family trip somewhere with my parents and my sister who is 5 years older, so would have been 13/14. When we were walking around I think I said something about how really bored I felt in conversation, and then she started talking about how she could make me feel so wonderful if I touched her or did this thing with her. I shrugged it off as I didn't really know what she was talking about and said she couldn't help.

The next thing I remember I think when our parents were gone out for dinner it was just us one night. I remember her telling me it was a game we are going to play and that she took her clothes off and made me take mine off as well. She said we take turns to touch each other, and started touching me sexually down there and then would tell me to touch her. I didn't know anything about sex or what it was we were doing then so I thought it was a game but always had some kind of feeling it was something we could get into trouble for. I remember one time in public that she would put her arm all the way through my baggy coat's sleeve so noone could see and touch me down there. I remember another time she asked me to put my tongue in her mouth and she did the same. One time she took her clothes off and laid down on the floor and asked me to put my privates in hers, but as we touched I felt unsure and like we were going to get into a lot of trouble so I said something like No I don't want to and walked away. This all the memories I really specifically remember. I would pretty much think thats all that happened, I assumed I would have remembered if anything else specific happened because it felt like all this time thats all that happened, but like I say I never made any attempt to remember these things so I have really few memories of that time apart from random unrelated things. My sister was and has always been naive, and I think she didn't think about how inappropriate it might be, but when I was that age I think I knew that already. She has always been the do-gooder/naive type so that confuses me a bit. I think she was confused maybe about boundaries too as for a long time she would hug me a lot and kiss me on the cheek or lips and I would do the same, until our dad said siblings shouldn't do that so much in a angry tone and it more or less stopped.

The other period happened when I was 14-16. At this time I was already severely depresed and suicidal. I met this woman on a chatroom of a band I liked who was 28 at the time. We had cybersex at the time through email, and eventually it developed into a sort of relationship though she lived in a totally different country. I originally said I was 16 to sound older but later admitted I was 14. She did say it was wrong as I was too young and sometimes said the same thing again, but I didn't see anything really wrong about it and tried to reassure her it was ok. We constantly sent each other sexual emails, and I would send her sexual photos and videos of myself. We also began having phone sex at night most nights (I hid the whole thing from my strict parents). It was ridiculous I see now to have expected a proper relationship but I felt I had noone at this point apart from her who really loved and cared for me, but sometimes she did really hurt me eventhough she knew I was really depressed by for example saying she had cheated with someone and that happened more than once, or a few times say we should break it off because its not working. I know she was addicted to painkillers for a long time and smoked marijuana a lot. Around this time I struggled with suicidal thoughts and tried a few times to kill myself. A self harm attempt gone wrong landed me in a psychiatric unit for many months, and the relationship ended here more or less. She also sent me boxes of gifts now and then which I picked up at a post box so my parents couldn't see. This must sound like a classic pedophile thing to do I guess but she so often spoke about how I was too young and that led to her often saying its not going to work out.

I know most guys at 14/15/16 are definitely into females at this age, and at the point I felt lucky, though now I know it was a bad choice to have made, but at the time I felt totally alone except for her and so depressed.

So I just want to know what compartment I should put these things in as I don't know what to think of them. I can rationalize both just as being bad and inappropriate choices, I don't want to say either is abuse if it wouldn't be right to call it that. I don't feel any obvious effects from it, just that I maybe was more sexually minded at a younger age and that I've always had sexual things on my mind a lot, but thats pretty normal at my age I think. What bothers me is what it was and if it maybe had any effect on me without me knowing it. I feel arrogant worrying about it like someone whose had just one bad day wondering if they have depression, but I just want to know what to think of it.

thank you for reading.







Edited by lostc (08/12/14 04:54 PM)

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#468836 - 08/12/14 05:58 PM Re: "Trigger Warning" Confusion about past events [Re: lostc]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3748
Loc: somewhere in Africa
lostc -

i believe that both instances were abusive. many of us have downplayed the seriousness of events in our pasts. minimizing is a classic defense/denial tactic. but suicidal episodes are not something that "just happen." there had to have been something really disturbing going on in your life. take it seriously. if you feel like you need "permission" to call yourself an abuse survivor, you have it, as far as i am concerned.

welcome, by the way. stick around and read some of our stories and posts. you will probly find that you have a lot in common with many of the members here.

Lee
_________________________
"That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. . . What will your verse be?" Robin Williams as John Keating in "Dead Poets Society"


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#468858 - 08/13/14 01:39 AM Re: "Trigger Warning" Confusion about past events [Re: lostc]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2112
Loc: durham, north england
Welcome Lostc.

As Lee said, minimizing is a really standard defense and to me yep, this does sound wrong.

One trick that might help you to think about it is to reverse the genders. Imagine a nine year old girl who's 14 or so year old brother got her to touch him inappropriately, and a 28 year old man who on a chat room started having explicit and s/xual conversations with a 14 year old girl. how do things look then?



society is pretty much just wrong on this one, it's a very sexist attitude but it can make judging and evaluating this sort of thing extremely difficult, and as Lee said the way your feeling is probably a truer indication.

I hope being here helps you as much as it has me.

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#468899 - 08/13/14 06:29 PM Re: "Trigger Warning" Confusion about past events [Re: lostc]
lostc Offline


Registered: 08/12/14
Posts: 101
traveler/dark empathy: thank you for the replies. It is good to have a place like this for males, I've felt a bit embarrassed about it all, acknowledging these things, but this place helps to get over that.

I'm youngish but I'm a bit old fashioned in many ways, and though if the genders were reversed as dark empathy suggested I would see it definitely as wrong and as abuse, somehow with me being male and them female I find it really tough to see it the same way, and because it was never forced. I guess I just struggle with the idea that a female could abuse a male, and because in my case I was willing. Maybe because its my own experiences I find it hard to see objectively, when I try to think about the things as if they happened to a stranger I can begin to see it as something more bad.

Now that I'm older too the more I see how young and vulnerable I was, the more inappropriate what they did and got me to do appears to me. Like the more I think about it the more it feels sometimes like the woman was more interested in her pleasure and the sexual side of it, instead of thinking about how I felt. Thank you for the welcome, I don't know how much or what I can contribute but I am glad to have found the forum and will start reading stuff and contribute if or where I can. I've had this feeling of confusion about it all since I started remembering and thinking about these things. I generally see things as either being in a good or bad category with little in between and I didn't quite know what to do with these things.




Edited by lostc (08/13/14 06:31 PM)

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#468920 - 08/14/14 06:17 AM Re: "Trigger Warning" Confusion about past events [Re: lostc]
lostc Offline


Registered: 08/12/14
Posts: 101
I feel anger at the woman for introducing me to things which made me doubt who I was, and to do things which I feel shame about now.

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#468956 - 08/15/14 05:00 AM Re: "Trigger Warning" Confusion about past events [Re: lostc]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2112
Loc: durham, north england
Lostc, one other frightening thing to considder and something that has troubled me is bodily betrayal.
Even though my own abuse experiences were anything but coerced, my body still disagreed with what my mind was doing.

This is actually the same for a woman (look on the front of site), however in the case of a man, the response is physically very evident (rhymes with connection). Thus, to a large externt when assessing "willingness" we just don't have the conceptual makeup, sinse we are culturally tied to the belief that a physical response and an emotional/mental one in men are always the same, and that women categorically have no physical response at all.

In one sense it is good your feeling shame and anger and recognizing what happened, sinse that sounds like a really useful start towards dealing with things, indeed I had to do as much myself.

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#468962 - 08/15/14 07:42 AM Re: "Trigger Warning" Confusion about past events [Re: lostc]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 1029
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Lostc,

It has been very difficult to honor my feelings, embrace my feelings, and to integrate my feelings into a personal context that holds them as worthwhile, true for me, and a central part of feedback telling me what choices I want to make for myself in the world. Another way of trying to say this is that how I truly feel determines my reality. If I have not had enough life experience to develop my awareness of my feelings, and/or I have not had developmental support for listening to and honoring my feelings, then having an awareness of how my life experiences truly impact me will be difficult.

I'm just getting some clarity with my feelings at 65, and I still am working on maintaining an intact sense of self so I can figure out what's really going on. When I'm around others, sometimes my sense of self can get blurry, and it's not so easy to get the guidance I need from my feelings.

Love and support to you.

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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#468966 - 08/15/14 11:11 AM Re: "Trigger Warning" Confusion about past events [Re: lostc]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 424
Loc: NY
Lostc:

Thanks for your post and having the courage to share your experience.

When it comes to finding the compartment to put this in, I identify with that dilemma. Through the trust I have been able to build here and elsewhere, the confusion has settled a bit. What's important in the long run has been taking care of myself. For me, trying to put the experience into one compartment or another unfortunately avoids the fact that different aspects of our lives can be affected.

Dealing with the deeper feelings eventually helps, at a pace that feels manageable, since comfortable is not always possible. Also, finding good people to talk to and places to speak freely, such as this, have been indispensable.

Best to you on this part of your journey to health and wellness,

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#468967 - 08/15/14 11:19 AM Re: "Trigger Warning" Confusion about past events [Re: lostc]
lostc Offline


Registered: 08/12/14
Posts: 101
dark empathy: yes I think I've read about that before. At the time I was in a very dark intense time and basically just wanted to die and felt all alone, so the love and sexual side of the relationship was exactly what I felt I didn't really have and that I needed. Yes my feelings about it all have been generally confusion and conflicting feelings because of this. On the one hand I felt she was all I had in the world and gave me love and attention, but on the other hand she did a lot of hurtful and inappropriate things which I feel anger about, and I wonder how true her love was if she did all these things knowing what situation I was in. Thank you very much for the comment it all helps.

don64: I understand what you mean. I've been struggling with depression and anxiety since I was around 11, and though I'm far younger than you I feel like an old man a lot of the time, lol, I get along much easier with older people too. I guess I always have. I have struggled since then to make and keep friends, and I've been isolated for so long it is tough not having people to bounce ideas off and to give feedback. My parents care a lot but they never could or did really help much, so I never really could speak to them about feelings and get good feedback. The problems I have also make it hard to get an accurate view on what is going on and easy to blame myself or feel ashamed at how I've struggled with life. I've been having a very rough patch right now and I've decided to begin seeing a psychologist again, though it never helped in the past. I hope this will help. Thank you for the comment, I hope you get to where you want to be too.


Edited by lostc (08/15/14 11:38 AM)

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#468968 - 08/15/14 11:30 AM Re: "Trigger Warning" Confusion about past events [Re: focusedbody]
lostc Offline


Registered: 08/12/14
Posts: 101
focusedbody, thank you very much for the post. Yes, I have decided to start seeing a psychologist again after a few years of not seeing anyone, so I hope talking about this there and here could help. It is very new to me talking about it as if it was abuse as I never considered it that way until recently, but I guess it would be a good thing to explore it for what its worth. I think I agree a lot there, what matters most is taking care of yourself. I am so caught up in worrying about things I think I forget to give myself a break a lot of the time. For a long time I guess until now I generally bottle up my feelings as I've generally experienced that noone can ever help, but talking about all these things and taking a new approach could maybe help. Yes, I feel like talking about these things helps, in places like this or with a professional where you can say what you want. I appreciate it, thank you. I hope you accomplish all of your goals too.

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#468978 - 08/15/14 04:39 PM Re: "Trigger Warning" Confusion about past events [Re: lostc]
Bluedogone Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/03/13
Posts: 532
Loc: Southeast US
Hi lostc,

As a result of your first post here, there've been some good insights and thoughts, and I'm glad you're considering or re-considering them in light of the abuse/not abuse question.

It's sort of an accepted thing that survivor's guilt is real, that when a friend or acquaintance loses their life and you survive, you somehow feel guilty for surviving. Well, I think the same type thinking can happen with abuse. Since someone else was forced unwillingly to submit, and I wasn't, then I must not have been abused. That's not true. Abuse is abuse. And I think to begin the path to healing and recovery a realization that "I've been sexually abused" is necessary. When a parent says "don't do that, it's not nice" there's no consideration for the traumatic effect it's had. When you engage in inappropriate behavior (even willingly) there's no consideration for the traumatic effect it's had.

For so many years I tried to brush aside things from my teens and adolescent years as just a miserable, horrible part of growing up; I thought nobody would understand or care. The same old guilt, anger, distrust, self loathing refused to go away. I'm glad I found this site. It's been helpful to see I'm not alone, and to see there is a way to healing and recovery. And I hope you find that to be true, also.
Peace, and best wishes.

CJ
_________________________
Never, never, never, never give up....Winston Churchill

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#468992 - 08/15/14 11:29 PM Re: "Trigger Warning" Confusion about past events [Re: lostc]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 1029
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Lostc,

If you feel abused, you were abused. It's not about the other person's intentions, or about what others think or say. It's about the effect your life experience had on you. Don't let your life be contingent on what others think or say. Just my thoughts.

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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#469008 - 08/16/14 05:24 AM Re: "Trigger Warning" Confusion about past events [Re: lostc]
lostc Offline


Registered: 08/12/14
Posts: 101
Bluedogone: Thank you for the response. I think I'm beginning to accept it. I've felt like I couldn't accept it was abuse, and I've always brushed it off as you say you did, but today I spoke a lot about it with a psychologist I just started seeing and her feedback helped a lot. Hearing her adamantly say both times were abuse, that I was groomed etc, seemed to shock me a bit and make me realize maybe I was wrong to disregard it as being unimportant and wrong to refuse to believe it could have abuse. I generally bottle up what I feel and it is hard and saddening to open up and talk about such personal things with another person face to face, but I feel like a little weight has been lifted that I can now truly label it as something with little doubt. I've been constantly worrying I'm just making a big thing out of nothing and should feel silly and arrogant about making a big thing out of something that impacts most people so much. But I feel now I can accept it did happen to me. Thanks.

don64: I've been really confused about what it was to be honest, as both people I loved and felt loved me and I felt since I was willing they couldn't have abused me. But I just spoke to my psychologist I just started seeing for the first time in detail about it all and something clicked and shocked me into beginning to truly accept it, when she gave feedback that she thinks it definitely was sexual abuse and say I was groomed etc. I bottle everything up generally it was hard to open up and be so open about things to another person face to face, but I feel like I can stop doubting myself. It is perfectly right what you say about not depending on other's opinions, and I have done that too much, but I felt like I had no idea about what all this was, totally blank about if it was good or bad or irrelevant, so I didn't even know what to think of it myself. Thank you that helped.


Edited by lostc (08/16/14 05:28 AM)

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#469012 - 08/16/14 09:32 AM Re: "Trigger Warning" Confusion about past events [Re: lostc]
Mark954 Offline


Registered: 01/21/14
Posts: 35
the comfusion that ur experiencing are very typical among survivors, especially when we first coming to grip with understanding the abuse,i have/ still struggle with the feeling of guilt and the worries that i might be making a big deal out of it , that others couldnt or even shoudlnt understand me , a big part of those feeling are caused by how we leanred as boys growing to tough it out ,that we'er suppose to handle those things on our own ,not go cry to therapist or express vulnerable emotions etc... learning about this actually helped me sort out alot of my comfusing i encourage you to read others survivors posts , as well educating ur self the impact of CSA that's what's happend to you ! best of luck to you in continuing ur journey toward healing
_________________________
The life you have led doesn't need to be the only life you have.-Anna Quindlen-

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#469019 - 08/16/14 12:50 PM Re: "Trigger Warning" Confusion about past events [Re: lostc]
lostc Offline


Registered: 08/12/14
Posts: 101
Thank you 96789594 for the input. yeah I was brought up where emotions weren't really talked about or encouraged to be talked about, which never helped. I feel like I've made a good beginning at dealing with it so I will keep reading and learning as you recommend, I appreciate it. I ignored it and forgot about it all for so long. Thanks good luck to you too.

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#469299 - 08/23/14 11:48 AM Re: "Trigger Warning" Confusion about past events [Re: lostc]
lostc Offline


Registered: 08/12/14
Posts: 101
Since I mentioned the stuff to the psychologist that's pretty much all we've been talking about. It seems like she thinks it had a much bigger effect than I thought, and that I've been hugely minimizing it's importance and possible impact. I still struggle with what to make of it, but I guess it can only be good to keep talking about it. I didn't even notice but she pointed out how tensed up my body and shoulders was, and how I was breathing abnormally when we talk. I often do that in any case, but I realized I've been doing it a lot more in the sessions. I've been feeling really bad generally all the time, and talking about everything makes me realize again how alone I always have been. I guess its good in the sense that I can remind myself to cut myself some slack. With both times I find it hard to mix the two things of someone who loved and cared for me with someone who could have abused me.


Edited by lostc (08/23/14 05:54 PM)

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