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#69870 - 02/15/06 09:26 PM healing shame...is it possible?
Galapogos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/15/05
Posts: 110
Loc: usa
I spent time online reading gay postings and profiles and I was surprised at how open and out so many guys are, both younger and older.

I thought about how I was so in the closet and lonely at 19 (I'm 39 now) and how much shame and self-loathing I had around being gay. I hadn't yet seen my CSA for what it was, I'd blocked out some of it, and some I had chalked up to just being gay. I didn't see all the manipulation and grooming for what it was.

So I've had, and still have, all kinds of hangups about being gay. At 39 I know family and friends must wonder whats up with me. But I don't make any efforts to pretend to date, or pursue relationships. I'm in the closet, I don't feel proud of being gay. Maybe in part because of my 2nd perp manipulating me. if you're a gay 12 year old (in the 1970s) you need some kind of positve role model, not somebody using you.

Sometimes I wonder why I can't get over it, at least accept my self as gay and come out of the closet. Maybe I believe that "knowlege is power" and if I tell people I'm gay, then they'll have some kind of power over me. That's probably wrong...secrets have power, not truth, it's confusing.

Lately I've been wondering about intimacy and sex with women (something else I haven't experienced). But I'm paralyzed at the thought of being naked with a woman. I'm sure it's connected to CSA from my mother, violating my boundaries and privacy.

I don't fantasize about women, I'm not really attracted to them. So why should I be freaked out at the thought of any intimacy? Or just being naked around them, like at a nude beach?(Duh...my mother f'd up all of that)

How do I let go of all of this shame, embarassment? Or at least minimize it to the point where it doesn't paralyze me from taking action, living? Is that possible?

_________________________
Digging in the dirt
Stay with me I need support
I'm digging in the dirt
To find the places I got hurt
Open up the places I got hurt
--Peter Gabriel

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#69871 - 02/18/06 11:49 PM Re: healing shame...is it possible?
watstobe Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 40
Loc: Jackson, NJ
In reading your insert I couldn't help but associate with so many of your thoughts and feelings, and therefore I sympathize with you. I am 42, and still fear to pursue any kind of relationship.

Fear has hindered me from pursuing any kind of contact with anyone other than those in my past who used force and intimidation. I dabbled in sexual experiences in my 20's, however I always aimed at pleasing the stranger and never ever myself. To reach pleasure once nearly cost me my life. I felt ashamed and dirty.Sex was not to be pleasureable on my end but a service I owed the individual I was with.

In order to escape or actually not deal with any of this I delved into work and left no time for any thing else. I also handled matterss by being a bulemic since the age of 12; it was the one and only thing I could control! It nearly cost me my life a few times, but no one knew what the real problem was. I hide my emotional side very well.

I am new to this site and hope to learn how to get past my fears of being gay by working my way through the past. Throughout the years I was molested I was also brainwashed to believe I would grow up to be gay and a "nobody." In order to prove him wrong I made something out of myself and wanted desperately not to be gay. I would show him, I thought! I now realize it is no longer about "him" but about me. I just don't know how to move on to the next step.

For some reason I have a fear of even trying to have any sexual activity with a woman, yet when in their company I mingle and socialize real well. I feel scared, confused. I feel if I ever try and learn for sure I am really gay that I will feel that my abuser won.

I look forward to reading and learning more about myself through others. I feel so much of life has been wasted by fear and allowing the years of molestation to rule my life. I want to be set free to be me, whether that means I am gay or straight. What I most yearn for is to once experience love, a relationship with my soul mate, my lover, my friend.

Thanks for sharing and listening.

_________________________
Eddie

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#69872 - 02/19/06 03:09 PM Re: healing shame...is it possible?
george of kent Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 305
Loc: delaware
Gentlemen,
Very good work here! You're both very articulate in your explanations of the situation and you've both taken the very difficult first step - putting the information out here for others to see. In my experience the best way to starting moving toward wholeness and healing is to talk about our issues. And this is the best place I know to do that kind of intimate disclosing.
Congratulations on finding this sacred place.
Love, etc.,

_________________________
"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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#69873 - 02/20/06 01:08 AM Re: healing shame...is it possible?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Galapogos and Watstobe,

I hope it's okay for a randon straight guy to wander in here and comment. Anyway, I've been assured by George that I have honorary gay status. ;\)

I think the first thing to be said to gay guys who have bad feelings about who they are is this: You are fine. Being gay is part of who you are as a man, and it is no more a valid subject of judgment than the color of your hair. I know that's easy for a straight guy to say, but all the crap gays get is just that - crap. It reflects the intolerance of straight society over the centuries and the hangups that many straight guys have over their own sexuality.

How many "straight" guys go to the gym with a friend for the first time and fail to note how the friend looks nude? NONE! Is that okay? No. Why not? Because some puritan system of morality (that wasn't even followed in its own time) tells us that "real men" are ONLY interested in women, and only voluptuous women to boot. And on and on. Just this example alone is enough to see how ridiculous it is to set up "gay" and "straight" as opposites. We are all complicated sexual beings.

The issue of pride comes up here, as it has in the past. I will only say here that I personally think that a gay guy who makes his way in the world through all the bigotry and prejudice has a LOT to be proud of.

Knowledge is power, sure, but once you are out then what power do others have over you? As you say Galapogos, it's the need to keep silent that hands others this potential power over you.

I think the CSA has a lot to do with the whole problem. As boys abuse taught us that we were just things to be used and manipulated, and what is more, it wrecked the normal process that a boy goes through as he lays the foundations for what will be eventually be his adult appreciation of his sexuality and how to set and stand by appropriate boundaries. No wonder abused boys come to feel alone, confused, ashamed and unlovable. No wonder they feel they don't know who they are sexually and feel intimidated by sex - sex wasn't something they learned about by sharing it with a partner, it was something forced on them as frightened kids.

To both of you I would suggest that it might help if you remember that while we do have to acknowledge our feelings and work with them, these feelings are not always accurate. That is, if I feel ashamed or afraid that tells me areas where I have issues; it does NOT mean that I am a shameful man or a coward.

Watstobe, you raise the issue of the abuser winning. The only way that will happen is if you remain silent and cannot get onto the path of recovery. Once you can talk freely and deal honestly with your problems, you will be able to benefit from therapy (which most of us need) and can move on to areas like your sexuality. You don't have to be afraid if you are gay. There are plenty of happy gay men in the world, and none of them was "turned gay" by abuse. Therapy will also help you to see that acting out doesn't prove your sexuality one way or the other.

I think the most important task for all survivors, of whatever sexuality, is to be honest with ourselves and appreciate and love ourselves for who we are. That is the key to all our future happiness.

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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#69874 - 02/20/06 05:20 PM Re: healing shame...is it possible?
watstobe Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 40
Loc: Jackson, NJ
Larry and George of Kent; I wish to extend my sincerest gratitude for your insight. I have survived this journey I have traveled on for so very long by just never allowing myself to explore who I really am. The fear of being gay crippled me, despite the fact I engaged in activity that proved I was just that.... gay. I assume it was not allowing myself to experience life freely that helped me cope with my past.

What I am left to still ponder is if there is any chance that I am straight. Again, the abuse I suffered over the years was both sexual and psychological. I was repeatedly told from the age of 5 that I would grow up only loving men and that I was a faggot and queer. I believe I have a much harder time dealing with the mental abuse issue opposed to the sexual acts I endured as a child. (Although I felt extremely guilty and responsible for these encounters; reason being after some time these "acts" became what I thought was pleasurable and I remember wanting to be with my predator. I have since realized I was only a child and that it was a form of brainwashing on my predator's end to make me want him. I accepted his definition of me then but no longer believe anything he said was right.) What compounded this was that my father would repatedly call me a fag because I was the type to show emotion. In my father's eyes a true man never shows tears or emotions, the only exception perhaps would be in the case of death of a very close individual.

I never thought of myself as sensitive, however I can say I am a caring individual who has compassion for my fellow human being. I'm not feminine in any manner, quite the opposite I believe is true, but in my father's eyes I wasn't a man for whatever reasons he had.

Again, I wish to thank you "roadrunner" and 'george of kent'" as well as Galapogos for sharing your thoughts and feelings on this subject. I realize that there is a road that lies ahead, in which there is a fork that divides the two paths I could take. I have ridden the one path for far too long, in which I stedily buried myself from living life. Now, I hope to venture down that other path that will allow me to live life to the fullest. I am such a productive individual in every other manner, it is now time to allow myself to be free! I realize this will not happen overnight; I only hope I have the fight in me.

Thanks for listening, sharing and caring to respond!
Best regards.

_________________________
Eddie

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#69875 - 02/20/06 09:57 PM Re: healing shame...is it possible?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Just as a quick follow-up, might I suggest that thinking of your choices as gay/straight isn't very helpful?

Sexuality is so complicated bro, and it isn't a matter of this or that. Nor it sexuality a straight line with gay as the opposite of straight. The reality is that there are probably as many different views of sexuality in a room as there are people!

I like to think of the question as not "Am I straight or gay?", but this: "Am I in touch with my feelings, am I being honest with myself, and I being responsible, and do I feel sexually fulfilled?" Answering these questions may be difficult and may involve clashes between different priorities, but life in general is like that. We each have to find our own way - a path that is right for us.

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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#69876 - 02/21/06 04:19 PM Re: healing shame...is it possible?
george of kent Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 305
Loc: delaware
Is there any chance you may be straight? Of course there is. Is it likely? Only you can know the answer to that.
All I know for sure is that I was essentially "gay" -- primarily erotically attracted to men -- long before my step father abusive situation developed. Yet I later functioned heterosexually well enough for almost 20 years, and I felt that I was "happy" enough most of that time (even though I sometimes fantasized about men while having intercourse with a woman).
I think I'm saying two things here: 1) Larry's right that "either/or" doesn't quite work sometimes when dealing with human sexuality, and
2) You are absolutely correct, your work with this question will not be resolved overnight. Takes time, but I can tell already that, yes, you do have the "fight" (or guts or courage or self awareness or whatever) to be successful in walking your personal healing path.
Love, etc.,

_________________________
"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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#69878 - 02/21/06 08:59 PM Re: healing shame...is it possible?
george of kent Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 305
Loc: delaware
Shazam!
"I'm open to things that might change after I begin working with my T".
I think you've found the the secret -- the willingness to look at old wounds/scars and the openness to the possibility that our previous beliefs and self image might be based on some false ideas/memories. Truth will (slowly) become more clear to you and then it may be time to make some new choices/decisions -- or not (be open to that possibility also).
You sound very grounded and intellectually ready to open that old can of worms -- let some light shine in and you'll probably be surprised at what you find.
Keep smiling; I think that there may be light at the end of this tunnel.
Love, etc.,

_________________________
"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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