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#66568 - 10/27/06 12:02 AM my first time to post
sexslave Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/06
Posts: 16
Loc: Texas
I found this site some time ago and shared it with my boyfriend who was sexually abused as a child and teen. To say he was abused is a complete understatement. By the way, I am actually using his login because I can't get the system to take my information. I don't think he even bothers to login when he is reading the posts. Anyway.....
I struggle with knowing so much about his extensive history of abuse. Reading the posts on this site has helped me to know that his behavior is perfectly normal for a survivor of CSA. I try not to think about his past, but it often creeps into my thoughts especially during sex play. We don't have intercourse per his request. He wants to wait until we get married. This request is directly related to his abuse. We are both divorced and in our 40's. During our relationship (and all his life, I think) he has struggled with his own sexual indentity which has been a huge stress for me. He shut down on me for a month last year with no contact at all. That really hurt me deeply and I fear he is capable of doing that again. He says he loves me and wants no one else, male or female. But it still leaves doubt in my mind. We agree that couple therapy would be good for us, but we have not started yet.

_________________________
James Fox

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#66569 - 10/27/06 12:41 AM Re: my first time to post
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I'm not surprised that your boyfriend sometimes shuts down on you. For a survivor there's a lot of conflict rumbling around in his head about sex, and maybe it will help you to know that this conflict doesn't focus on you, but rather has to do with negative feelings he has about himself as a sexual being.

If he feels sexually confused, well, welcome to a VERY large club! Remember that it's in childhood that we begin to erect our foundations for what will be our personal attitudes and ideals concerning sex and sexuality. For an abused boy those foundations are total wreckage; as he grows up he doesn't have much to build on, and in adulthood he often finds he has to start all over again, from scratch.

You speak of couple therapy, and perhaps that's the way to go for you two. Certainly one thing you need is to create a solid trusting tradition of open and honest communication, and perhaps joint therapy would help there.

I wish you all the best of luck.

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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#66570 - 10/27/06 01:21 AM Re: my first time to post
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
SS,

I'm glad you're here and would like to get you set up with your own login. Send me an email at partneradmin@malesurvivor.org so we can work out whatever trouble you're having.

Thanks!
SAR


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#66571 - 10/27/06 02:31 PM Re: my first time to post
sexslave Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/06
Posts: 16
Loc: Texas
Larry,
I know you are a regular at MS. I have read many of your posts in the past. I have to mention that you caused me and my boyfriend some anxiety in the beginning. One of his many perps, who abused and groomed him for over ten years was "Larry". He is dead now. Aids got him. No surprise there, but it was well deserved. I hope to visit his grave site someday and post a sign stating that he was a pedophile. Thanks for your insight.
Shelly

_________________________
James Fox

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#66572 - 10/27/06 03:04 PM Re: my first time to post
sexslave Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/06
Posts: 16
Loc: Texas
Larry,
I have a thought on your comment:

"For an abused boy those foundations are total wreckage; as he grows up he doesn't have much to build on, and in adulthood he often finds he has to start all over again, from scratch."

I don't think there is any starting over. The damage is done and cannot be removed. If a boy feels pleasant from sexual activity with an adult, that fact cannot be changed...ever. When the boy is groomed to think that this behavior is okay, the only hope is to realize the lies that were planted in his head all those years ago. But how do you tell yourself that the pleasant you felt was a lie. Physical pleasant is what it is. Your body doesn't lie. How do you deal with the pleasant of the activity? I don't know how any boy who was abused by a man cannot help but think that he is bisexual or gay the rest of his life.
Sexslave's girlfriend,
Shelly

_________________________
James Fox

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#66573 - 10/27/06 03:11 PM Re: my first time to post
sexslave Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/06
Posts: 16
Loc: Texas
Correction on post above:
Insert the word "pleasure" in place of "pleasant".
I hate it when I do that.
Shelly

_________________________
James Fox

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#66574 - 10/27/06 04:37 PM Re: my first time to post
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

The business of my name: that's a rough one! I can imagine that caused you difficulty and I'm glad you mentioned it. I of course had no clue.

On posting a sign at the abuser's grave, that might not be a good idea since the sign would of course be removed. And if you were to be caught setting it up, it could all get very embarrassing and traumatic.

Can I suggest something else that might give you and your boyfriend some sense of closure? Write a letter to the abuser, telling him exactly what you think of him and what he did. Don't hold ANYTHING back - just let it fly. Then burn the letter, take the ashes to the cemetery and scatter them over the grave.

This is a tactic that I used, and man, it sure did help. I told him I was handing back to him all the blame and shame for what he did to me, and I was rejecting any further influence he might have on my life. I rededicated myself to recovery and told him he meant nothing to me now - he was garbage and not worth my anger. My sister was with me, and that helped a lot.

These symbolic acts can be very important, and you and your bf may want to try this one or something else you think up yourselves.

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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#66575 - 10/27/06 06:16 PM Re: my first time to post
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Quote:
I don't think there is any starting over. The damage is done and cannot be removed. If a boy feels pleasure from sexual activity with an adult, that fact cannot be changed...ever. When the boy is groomed to think that this behavior is okay, the only hope is to realize the lies that were planted in his head all those years ago. But how do you tell yourself that the pleasure you felt was a lie. Physical pleasure is what it is. Your body doesn't lie. How do you deal with the pleasure of the activity? I don't know how any boy who was abused by a man cannot help but think that he is bisexual or gay the rest of his life.
I see two issues here, the first being that of what it means when a boy feels physical pleasure as he is abused.

That issue is huge for survivors (me included), not least of all because when an abused boy gets an erection, achieves orgasm or ejaculates, the abuser will often tell him that this proves the boy "likes it" and is in fact "in on it" with the abuser. But in reality all this proves is that the boy's body is functioning as it's supposed to. We are all sexual beings, and a boy will often feel physical pleasure from sexual contact that he doesn't want or like or understand, and even if the contact frightens him. The fact that the boy was physically aroused has not the slightest thing to do with his real sexuality, and the arousal does not make him responsible in any way for what's happening to him.

We can even take this and apply it, Shelly, to the case where a boy willingly goes to the abuser, or where he specifically seeks out the abuser because he wants the sexual arousal the abuser can provide.

The fact here is that a young boy, however curious about sex he may be, and however much pleasure he derives from stimulation by the abuser, is still being abused. He is not old enough or mature enough to understand what is being done to him, or what he is expected to do as "payback". He cannot make an informed decision to participate with the abuser, and when the whole case is looked at it inevitably emerges that the boy was tricked, cajoled, lied to, groomed and maneuvered into exactly the position where he would be most vulnerable to the abuser's advances.

A basic truth we all learn about abuse is that what defines it isn't the sex, but the misuse of power and authority. Figures like fathers, big brothers, uncles, priests, pastors, Scout leaders, coaches, and so on, are all personalities that a young boy will look up to and even adore; he will linger on their every word and feel so special and important because this guy wants to "be with him" as a "special friend" or for their own private "special time". What the boy doesn't see is that none of this is really for him; he doesn't really mean anything to the abuser, who is putting his own desire for sexual arousal over and above an innocent child's need for safety and happiness.

The second issue has to do with a very real and valid point you hit on: that an abused boy will THINK he was responsible for the pleasure he felt. Certainly he cannot deny what happened, since the evidence is pretty dramatic and hence rather difficult to ignore or explain away.

The key here is that the boy, or the man he becomes, has to understand that recovery isn't about changing or rewriting the past. That of course we cannot do. Healing lies in looking at the feelings we have, here and now, about the abuse we suffered in the past.

To take the example of feeling pleasure, a survivor who worries about this needs to understand what I mentioned above: that he was being used and tricked, that his own needs and feelings didn't matter to the abuser, that the physical arousal he felt has no moral dimension to it, and that he was never in a position to choose what would or would not happen to him.

Once we understand all this, we realize that we were never willing or active partners in any meaningful sense of those terms. We were just being used and exploited. That is, we were being abused. Any pleasure we felt, or sought, does not and can never change that fact.

A final word on this one, Shelly:

Quote:
I don't know how any boy who was abused by a man cannot help but think that he is bisexual or gay the rest of his life.
I see what you mean, and this issue is one of several that shows how important professional support from a therapist is to a survivor. An abused boy, or an adult, will often feel a deep sense of confusion over matters of sexuality.

A good T will help a survivor to acknowledge and then believe (the two are not the same thing) that he was never to blame for what was being done to him, and that he did not "choose" it. By the age of 14, for example, I felt that it simply didn't matter what was done to me; I thought I wasn't worth any better treatment. That was of course wrong, and therapy has helped me see that.

A gay man will need to understand that his homosexuality has to do with a lot more than who he sleeps with, and that it's part of who he is as a man. Abuse, on the other hand, was a crime committed against him by someone else.

The "starting over" that I refer to earlier in this thread is all about this process of recovery. You are so right: the reality of what happened in the past is something we don't get to cancel or forget. But by understanding what abuse is all about and how pedophiles operate we come to a new understanding of that past. We discover ways to reject old feelings that have come to us from false lessons taught by sexual criminals. We get to see ourselves in an entirely new light.

What emerges is a man who is not only confident and happy with his sexuality - whether gay or straight or anywhere around or in between - but able to live in peace and happiness with those he loves.

If you ask me am I there yet, the answer is an emphatic "no". But I am far enough along in my recovery to see that this is where I am headed, and yes, that makes all the difference!

Thanks for standing your ground and raising some important questions. If you have any further comments, let's hear them. Dialogue is what this site is all about.

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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#66576 - 10/27/06 11:10 PM Re: my first time to post
sexslave Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/06
Posts: 16
Loc: Texas
Larry,
Thank you for your comments. I was hoping you would address those comments I made. These are difficult issues for me to fully understand. You have given me things to think about and I will share your words with my boyfriend.
Another major fact that affects my thinkng...my ex-husband is on the sex offenders registry. He exposed himself to some teenage girls which he admits, but he denys that he ever molested my nephew at 4 yrs. old. He was in prison for 4 years. I divorced him. He has our 18 yr.old son convinced that it was all a big misunderstanding and he is the victim! That is a whole other story....
Now I am in a serious relationship with a survivor of CSA. When we started this relationship, I knew little about his abuse. But he was very clear that he wanted a long term relationship with me and had been wanting this relationship for at least two years. As I learned more about the abuse, one thing that was really hard for me to understand was my bf felt guilt for letting the abuser down. At one point, he said Larry was his first love. Twisted love, but love. My bf was also a lifelong cutter. My bf had never seeked professional help until I found a T for him in his area. He did go to the T faithfully for a few months, but he lost his job and couldn't afford to go anymore. He vowed when he started therapy that he would never cut again.(and he never has since that day.) During therapy is when he cut off contact with me. After a few weeks, I got a letter saying he could not change who he was and he was gay. I was crushed. He was so committed to me before he started the therapy, that I had arranged for him. While trying to help him, I had destroyed myself. I started therapy myself to deal with the whole mess. After I left countless messages, I finally resolved that I needed to let him go. Then he called me on my birthday. We talked for hours and hours. Sexuality was a major topic. Now, here we are a year later and he has moved back to my town to be with me. He has vowed his love for me, but the letter from a year ago still haunts me. Was it just a time of confusion or was it truth? I could go on and on but I should stop.....
Shelly

_________________________
James Fox

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#66577 - 10/27/06 11:56 PM Re: my first time to post
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Shelly
I was going to reply, but Larry has said everything I would say, and more.

It's not going to be easy, 'we' aren't easy people to live with. But if you love him for the spark you saw before you knew about his past then fight for him!

Dave

_________________________
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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#66578 - 10/28/06 12:17 AM Re: my first time to post
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Hi Shelly and welcome,

Haunting memories are what survivors live with and sometimes, alot of times, it makes them do things they wouldn't ordinarily do. Because of that, many of us partners have haunting memories of our own to deal with.

In my case, the only way I've been able to deal is to put those bad memories into perspective and to look at what I have now and what I believe we will have for the future. That's not to say that they don't turn up every now and then to cause me misery, they do. I see that my b/f is working so hard to not repeat his past mistakes, especially the ones that hurt us because he wants a future too. I believe what he tells me today. So, for the most part today is what I deal with because it's the only thing I can do to live my life the way I want to. Just like in everything else in life, the bad things are an experience to learn from and hopefully never repeat.

ROCK ON.........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#66579 - 10/28/06 01:01 AM Re: my first time to post
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

From what you say in your latest post I would just say that your bf ought to consider talking about his confusion with a qualified therapist. It is NOT his fault he feels this way; I hope what I said earlier makes it a bit easier to appreciate the turmoil and confusion about so many things that a survivor can get tangled up in.

It isn't at all unusual, for example, for a survivor to look back and recall missing the abuser or even loving him. That's a probem that sometimes comes up here on the site. When the man who abused me was chased off when I was 14, for example, I felt safe for the first time in five years. But very soon thereafter I felt such pain and loss; I felt like the abuser had abandoned me and that I must be a very bad boy. But at the same time I hated him for what he had done to me. It was all extremely confusing for me.

I think what this illustrates is how insidiously an abuser will often be able to manipulate his victim and make him think the abuser loves him and regards him as very special. Sometimes the abuser has set this up himself; in my case the perp isolated me emotionally from my family and bombarded me with lies about how I wasn't loved at home. But sometimes a boy really is emotionally starved; if he isn't made to feel special, loved, important, and wanted at home, the attentions of a pedophile can seem very important indeed to him.

So the point here is that your bf may be misunderstanding how he felt about the abuser as a boy, or why he had those feelings in the first place.

You ask about that letter in which he says he's gay. I don't know your bf, and well, perhaps he's right. But here too there could be a lot of confusion in the picture. That could come from lots of sources. He may be thinking that abuse "turned" him gay, for example, or he may be attracted to gay porn for reasons that have nothing to do with homosexuality but everything to do with his abuse history.

This is an issue with possibilities for lots of new pain and trauma, so he really should deal with this issue with a T to guide and help him along. The fact that he thought of the possibility that he's gay and rejected it suggests that the real problem is that looking back to his childhood causes him a lot of painful confusion. But here too, all the more reason to take this up with a T.

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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#66580 - 10/28/06 10:29 AM Re: my first time to post
beccy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
Shelly,

I understand what you must be feeling right now. My bf told me he thought he was gay when we found out I was pregnant with our first child. I was devastated. Then, he didn't seem certain. Life chugged along, till all the abuse stuff came out into the open, at which point the 'gay' issue arose once more. Bf seems to have worked through the issue with T (using EFT). He tells me he knows he's not gay now. But, he has told me this kind of thing previously, then admited he lied, so I don't know. It plagues me....

I'm sorry i don't know what else to say other than Therapy is the best way to go for your bf.
take care,

peace
Beccy


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#66581 - 10/30/06 03:43 PM Re: my first time to post
sexslave Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/06
Posts: 16
Loc: Texas
Thank you all for your thoughts. I know that my bf needs to get into therapy again, but the thought does scare me after what happened last time. His abuse has had a profound impact on his life and how he preceives himself. I always wonder if the signifcant confidence he projects is real or partially real, or just a cover-up for his low self-esteem. Thanks again.
Shelly

_________________________
James Fox

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