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#69334 - 11/09/05 11:17 PM What did I do wrong?
chuck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/03
Posts: 97
Loc: mid atlantic
Met a man 2 weeks ago at a website and we emailed several times before I met him. We went to lunch and a movie. We continued to email everyday and then went to dinner and lecture. We continued to email and then we met and had dinner afterwards I shared with him about my abuse. He sent me an email that he would not be contacting until he could figure out my complexitie meaning me. I was honest with him about who I am and I am the same person that had he met on 3 occasions. Could my substance be changed because I told him what had happened to me or am I the same person he initially met?
I don't feel any different but now I do feel rejected again. Again I put my trust out there for someone to pull back from me. I am angry, hurt but somehow relieved. Relieved that I didn't get further attached to someone who couldn't understand, but it still depresses me. I have pulled my profile from that website. I don't want to date now. How could I have been so dumb or vulnerable again to expect that I wouldn't be hurt. However I don't want to be alone what a mess. I feel so confused about what happened.


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#69335 - 11/11/05 01:22 AM Re: What did I do wrong?
Rustam Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 470
Loc: UK
Hi Chuck,
I donít see that you did anything wrong at all. I tended to tell anyone whom I considered a relationship possibility about the abuse earlier rather than later. It wasnít exactly that I felt like I was damaged goods more that I wanted to get it out of the way. I consoled myself with the idea that the reactions I got told me something about the guy
I would feel hurt and angry if I got that response and yes I agree that you are still the same person he was getting to know, he just got more information about you. Its not the reaction that anyone of us would want but I guess his understanding of abuse may not be very good. I suppose itís an option to email him and ask him what his reaction is about and to tell him how you feel, if you wanted.

I can understand why you would be put off dating and it can be a frustrating and difficult process at the best of times and it does leave us vulnerable. I am very sensitive to rejection but it seems to me that itís his problem and as you say its better to know his reaction now than further down the line.

Maybe after some time you will feel ready again to have a go at the dating.

Take care,
Peter. .


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#69336 - 11/11/05 12:31 PM Re: What did I do wrong?
hanginon Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 89
Loc: sarasota, fl
Chuck,
I don't think it's about you at all, as you say (sort of)...maybe he was involved with a survivor before and has issues with Codependency?

I only say that because I was deeply involved with a guy on and off for six years who did/does have major issues with trying to "fix" others and while I internalized all of the problems between us as a result of my abuse.

I have since not been able to get intimate/develop a relationship because of the same "tape" inside my head (what did I do wrong?) that you have going on in your head.

I am ok now - let go of hoping someone else making me happy for now and I have (most importantly) realized that HE (my ex) has issues with dealing with real people in a healthy way.

In short, don't give up but don't pressure yourself to date. AND YOU DID NOTHING WRONG except tell the WRONG person about who you are!

I hope this helps - keep the faith - not all men are jerks (I hope)...

john

_________________________
walker, there is no path, you make a path as you go...

(caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar...)

Antonio Machado

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#69337 - 11/11/05 05:19 PM Re: What did I do wrong?
chuck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/03
Posts: 97
Loc: mid atlantic
Peter & John,
Thanks for your replies. When I first posted and didn't seem to get a response, I thought this must be a topic others have not encountered. Both of your insights make me feel better. I have had non survivors tell me that you shouldn't disclose this information too soon but like you I feel I want to get it out in front and if he does have questions, I can answer them.
My experience with other men and even others who are non survivors keep asking me when I will get better or why can't I move on. I find myself saying I will get better but these experiences will always be a part of my life. If I had a physical disability like I had a limp or something worst that would not go away maybe they could accept it. However this is on the inside and I look like anyone else and I think this is difficult for many to comprehend. They seem to think I can get well and this will never be apart of my life.
As I mentioned in my first post that I am not interested in meeting any man right in a dating situation. Maybe in the new year I will attempt to try this again but for right now I will keep the relationships just on the social level.
John - I like what you said about someone else making me happy, that I need to keep working on making myself happy.
I still would like to find someone to share my life and that he feels that same way.


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#69338 - 11/11/05 08:26 PM Re: What did I do wrong?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I am not gay so I'm not writing from any perspective based on your experience, but I thought I might suggest some things to you.

The trauma of CSA is so huge for us that it is tempting to identify ourselves with it. "Chuck the gay survivor", for example, when in reality Chuck is just Chuck. Of course being gay is also a part of who you are, and your experiences as a survivor are - unfortunately - part of who you are. But there is one big difference: your gayness (is that a word?) is part of your identity, personality and intrinsic character as an individual, probably from birth. The abuse is NOTHING like that: it was a horrible crime that SOMEONE ELSE committed against you. It is a violation of your innocence and trust that you must now cope with, but it is not CHUCK. Look at it this way: If your gayness were subtracted from you, then, well, you would not be Chuck; but if the abuse could be taken away you still would be. Lots of differences, perhaps, but still: you were Chuck before it all happened, and you would be Chuck if the abuse had never happened.

From this I wanted to suggest two things. The first is that the guy who got cold feet when you disclosed to him may simply be rejecting your situation as a survivor. Non-survivors often simply don't know how to react or what to think when we tell them. What prepares them for the bomb we are about to drop? Nothing.

It's impossible to guess what nonsense about survivors he got into his head when you told him. For example, maybe he thinks you meant to tell him that the only reason you are gay is that you were abused. Or whatever. My point here is just that there may be a huge misunderstanding.

In any case, if he was put off by you as YOU, from what you say he had plenty of opportunities to reach that conclusion already before you disclosed. You had chatted and emailed extensively and had dated several times.

My other suggestion is that you don't have to feel morally obligated to disclose to someone with whom you are developing what may become a relationship. As I said, the abuse was a crime against you, it is not part of who you really are. If you don't tell him for a long time, that is still okay. It doesn't mean you are withholding vital information about who you are. When I was coming out of denial I had a VERY good idea what had happened, and it still took me 5 more years to tell my wife of 25 years what was done to me as a boy. I don't feel guilty about that, and my wife doesn't blame me for it.

All of which is a windy way of saying this: Because abuse can so easily be misunderstood, and because it isn't really us as people, I think we have every right to wait to disclose until the person we want to tell knows us really well and is able to weigh that trust and confidence against the terrible revelation we are about to make.

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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#69339 - 11/12/05 09:00 PM Re: What did I do wrong?
stephan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/05
Posts: 9
Loc: Westchester County, Nw York
Chuck:
I'm still struggling with the dating situation myself. I have a feeling that revealing that you are a survivor is just too much for some people to deal with. I know its a big part of who we are and we want to be accepted in spite of it, but I know for myself that I need to come to terms with it first, before I put it out there. I recently told a very good friend of mine about it, and I could see he really couldn't process the information. It just seemed too horrible for him to take in, especially since he had a wonderful relationship with his father.
I would just say to protect your self from rejection again, not to reveal this information until a much deeper relationship is in place. But please don't let this experience turn you off to dating.
No need to hide away. You didn't do anything wrong. Stay hopeful that you will meet a really great guy that you deserve.
Paul


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#69340 - 11/12/05 09:52 PM Re: What did I do wrong?
chuck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/03
Posts: 97
Loc: mid atlantic
Larry and Paul,
Thanks for insights because I can sense how this might work better for me in the future. Larry your sharing about how you revealed your CSA to your wife makes sense. Especially the part about who I am, that I am a gay man. This is the aspect that is integral for me and not the CSA. I will let the relationship develop first and see if this is the man I want to continue to date. As time progresses I can share with him about the CSA.
Paul thanks for your note of encouragement. My therapist the other day said that I have to kiss a lot frogs before you find the right one. I still think I will wait until the new year to restart the dating process.
Chuck


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#69341 - 11/12/05 10:21 PM Re: What did I do wrong?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I don't want to set you up for more hurt, but I hate to see someone miss out on a possibly loving relationship.

I can't stress enough how unprepared non-survivors often are when we tell them what happened to us. I have heard of the following:

1. So are you gay now?/Is that what made you gay?
2. How was it? Did you like it?
3. So you abuse children now?
4. Why didn't you say no?

And so on. This isn't intentional cruelty, but just - let's be charitable here - lack of awareness

Only you know if the guy you met seems to be above just petty bigotry. If it seems likely that there was just a misunderstanding because he was taken so totally by surprise, then maybe it would be a good idea to write to him. I would put it in such a way that if he is just not ready to handle the fact that you are a survivor, he can feel free to ignore your letter and that's it. But also leave the way open for him to contact him if he feels maybe he overreacted. But then, of course, you would have to let the subject drop and not return to it until you get to know each other a lot better.

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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#69342 - 11/12/05 10:22 PM Re: What did I do wrong?
george of kent Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 305
Loc: delaware
truly, there are a lot of frogs out there! Generally it seems to me that you are processing this situation well. I believe Paul's advice is sound and Larry - for a heterosexual man - really seems to have his head on straight (excuse the expression). If others cannot accept your "truth", then the problem is theirs, not yours. You have done nothing wrong.

_________________________
"We are only two and yet our howling can encircle the world's end.
Frightened, you are my only friend.
And frightened we are, every one.
Someone must take a stand -- Coward, take my coward's hand"
Arthur Laurents

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#69343 - 11/12/05 10:27 PM Re: What did I do wrong?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Quote:
Larry - for a heterosexual man - really seems to have his head on straight (excuse the expression).
I almost fell off my chair when I saw this one, but you know what? It's a great compliment and I thank you for that, seriously. A touch of humor is always a cool addition.

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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