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#49701 - 02/18/06 10:20 PM When Did You Realize That Those Complicated Memories Were of Abuse?
Josh1 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 39
Loc: New York
I have never really not remembered my abuse; it started when I was fifteen and lasted for over three years -- I wasn't young enough for the abuse memories to fade into forgotten memories of childhood But up until much more recently in my life when I began disclosing to more people and visiting Male Survivor did I began to see "that relationship" as more than a bunch of complicated experiences, to see them definitively as psycho-sexual abuse.

I am curious about when others began to (a) remember the experiences you now refer to as abuse and (b) when you began to identify them as abuse -- if at a different time.

Another question I have is how many people have felt empowered to call their experiences abuse and to talk more openly because of the publicity surrounding the church scandal? This question arises partially from noticing that I have met quite a few men here at MS who are in their forties, fifties, sixties.

I am in my twenties, but I am not sure I would have been able to confront and label my abuse without the leadership of other, many older, men who are screaming at society that it has to stop ignoring us. Society's male stereotypes of strength, power, and independance were some of my perp's greatest allies.

I think that a lot of the feeling of empowerment that has allowed me to recognize my experiences as abuse and to disclose more publicly has been awakened by the men on this site who have lead the way in saying that there are no ifs, ands, or abuse, those experiences I used to think of simply as "complicated" really were abuse (period).

I am so curious to hear others' thoughts.

Josh


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#49702 - 02/19/06 01:10 AM Re: When Did You Realize That Those Complicated Memories Were of Abuse?
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
Josh, I always remembered. I did not disclose until I was in my 40s. I wish I had disclosed much earlier. Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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#49703 - 02/19/06 01:27 AM Re: When Did You Realize That Those Complicated Memories Were of Abuse?
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
Josh - I wish that someone had noticed when I was abused. My personality and appearance changed fairly rapidly, but that was 1969!

The swinging sixties...I didn't have a clue what swinging was then, I didn't even have a clue what sex was then (Iwas only just turned 12). I didn't know what grooming was, and that some perverted men groomed young boys so that they could eventually sexualise them ! I didn't know what 'sexualise was'. I didn't know what sex was....in any form!!!

Why did a 32 year old man/pervert think it was OK to do those things???

Talking about empowerment to talk about the abuse... I hope you've read some of my recent posts!

Josh - dealing with the problem now whilst you are in your 20's must be a good thing. I must have been 45 (or there abouts) the first time I told. That means that you have so much more time to put this behind you, and put it into the context that it belongs. The abusers should carry the guilt, not us!

Empowerment - yesterday I went to court expecting to see the pervert that abused me jailed! He asked to withdraw his guilty plea! My friend that went with me was livid - it was really no less than I expected!

In the witness protection house, before the case was presented in court, I was talking to one of the volunteers that I have built up a repartee with. I told her a few things that my friend didn't know...he kept turning away and looking out of the window..he was wiping his eyes & thinking that I hadn't noticed!

It wasn't what I was saying that upset him, it was the fact that I was standing there telling someone about what had happended, and the fact that I was no longer ashamed about it. So maybe I am now empowered through speaking out.

Sorry I'm ranting a bit at the moment because I am fired up and seeking justice!

Best wishes ...Rik

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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#49704 - 02/19/06 02:13 AM Re: When Did You Realize That Those Complicated Memories Were of Abuse?
Josh1 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 39
Loc: New York
Thank you, Andrew and Rick, for your honesty and for sharing.

Andrew, did you always think of what you remembered as abuse? For me, my process of disclosure has brought me to think about my experiences very differently. I am curious whether it is that way for you, too.

Rick, I have been reading some of your posts and am proud of your confrontation process. New York's f!@$%*d up s.o.l laws are preventing me from taking legal action.

An additional question for both of you and anyone else. Which came first: disclosure or recognition that it was abuse/criminal/wrong?

I really mean what I said in my first post. I think so much of my ability to disclose now rather than 20 years later is that survivors such as you through speaking out have been changing the public conscious and letting it be known that it is okay to remember, see it as abuse, and to talk out.

Thank you,

Josh


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#49705 - 02/19/06 02:31 AM Re: When Did You Realize That Those Complicated Memories Were of Abuse?
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11182
Loc: Denver, CO
As far as I can tell, I have no repressed memories.

I've always remembered the events that happened to me. However, I would simply shelf those memories and not consider them more than weird, undesirable events, taking them "off the shelf" once in a while to look them over, then put them back again. I never called them abuse. It took talking to a T in 1998 to give them their proper place and label. The events have always been abuse. I just never saw them as such until in the last 10 years.

FT

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#49706 - 02/19/06 02:38 AM Re: When Did You Realize That Those Complicated Memories Were of Abuse?
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
Josh - the first time that I realised that something was wrong, was the last time that I met the perp by arrangement all those years ago!

I live in an old railway town (actually the birth of the railways) - the grooming process (to cut the story short) began with rifles (22 slug guns) and progressed to 'games'. These were 'activites that everyone did, but no one talked about'. He was one lying b******!

The last time I saw him (pre-arranged), we were stood next to a water tank that was used for filling up the boilers on steam trains! Suddenly he told me to stand still and say nothing! A local policeman was walking along the path about 15 yards away!

I couldn't understand why I had to be silent and not move, when everyone did this! That's when it dawned on me how stupid I had been! I was in shock and obviously didn't shout out! It took a hell of a long time after that to actually speak up! About 3 and a half decades!

I just felt so different to everyone else for such a long time after that (and still do).

When I decided to fight back, that's when things got better!

I still have to see the b****** walking around town even now - he is bailed without restriction!

I have posted here that the moment that I spoke was chosen for me, I didn't choose it!

You are right that speaking out changes the publice perception...possibly it is the last taboo!

Best wishes ..Rik

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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#49707 - 02/19/06 03:46 AM Re: When Did You Realize That Those Complicated Memories Were of Abuse?
Morning Star Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: Home
After my abuse I acted out for nearly 20 years thinking that it is the 'normal' way to get love, and it was not until today that I realised that what happened later on was only part of the sexualization process, I could not escape, it really was NOT my fault.

Thank you Rik, for putting a label on it, and freeing me.

_________________________
~ It's over!...Let go of Thy Past, Remember Thy Self ~

Why Don't People Heal, by Caroline Myss; 30 days to clean up your vibrations - Abraham-Hicks

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#49708 - 02/19/06 10:18 PM Re: When Did You Realize That Those Complicated Memories Were of Abuse?
Josh1 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 39
Loc: New York
Thank FT, Rik and Morningstar for sharing.

I think I'm trying to wrap my mind around the phenomena of MaleSurvivor.org, and the grassroots raising of social awareness that has been occurring the last decade or so.

Part of my curiosity revolves around when survivors decide to start talking, start becoming receptive to the idea that it was abuse, not jsut "weird, undesirable memories."

For me, this has been a long, complicated process, and yet there have been certain well-defined landmarks, the most recent of which being when I first came to these discussion boards and realized how not-alone I was.


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#49709 - 02/19/06 11:05 PM Re: When Did You Realize That Those Complicated Memories Were of Abuse?
FLRich Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/21/04
Posts: 1404
Josh1,

I have never forgotten my abuse. I always remember it. I never disclosed it to anyone until I was in my early 40s.

The church scandal had nothing to do with it, although it definitely triggered me from time to time. The thing that hit me hard in my early 40s was my oldest son's 16th birthday. The rest of that summer, I was restless and confused. I had the nightmares again more frequently. I mulled over memories more often and could not get them out of my head. Finally, my dense self realized that I was going through all of this because I was 16 when I was raped. I guess it's sort of like living my life through my son. When he turned 16, that was all it took to trigger my rape at 16.

It was obvious enough until I had to tell my wife. Our marriage was on the skids by then due to my undisclosed SA issues. It's like everything just fell into place and I had no other choice but to face these issues and deal with them.


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#49710 - 02/20/06 03:23 AM Re: When Did You Realize That Those Complicated Memories Were of Abuse?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Josh,

I was abused from the age of 11 until 14 by a Scout leader who was also a big deal in our church. He was not only a pedophile but a sadist, and by the time I was 14 I was pretty badly tramatized and emotionally destroyed. Things felt worse after the abuse ended, because I actually missed the bastard and felt that now I really was all alone. By the age of about 16 I was going into a kind of denial, from which I did not start to emerge until 2000, 35 years later.

My T told me that I did not lose memories, I had simply broken them up into safe pieces and refused to think about what all the pieces meant. I am still putting things back together, and when a big section of the puzzle comes together I still get hit pretty badly by it.

When things started coming back to me, they were as fragmented memories of same-sex activity, so at first I wondered am I gay or what? I also considered the possibility that I was going insane. In reality I was desperately trying to avoid the conclusion I must have suspected all along. In November 2003 I finally gave up trying to avoid this conclusion and told my sister that I had been abused as a boy. But I kept hoping that therapy and medication would prove me wrong, and only gave up the last shreds of that hope last November, when I disclosed to my parents.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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