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#69963 - 03/14/06 02:01 AM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
Rustam Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 431
Loc: UK
Timothy,

I want to echo what has already been said, no matter what your feelings, sexuality or behaviour you were a boy and the abuse is solely the responsibility of the abuser. I know my saying that wont change how you feel, but it’s the truth and as you work on this you will I hope find this out for yourself. Wanting to be close to a man and have safe nurturing touch is natural for any boy, gay or not, the fact that he used your natural need and abused it does not make you in any way to blame, that’s an absolute fact, even when our feelings from the abuse convince us otherwise.

As for Catholicism and homosexuality, I am an ex-catholic; the church doesn’t condemn us for being gay it only has a problem with us if we have relationships. Sexual abuse makes all sexual feelings seem shameful and dirty and for those of us who have been abused and are gay, we can use religion as a way to reinforce and in some way justify the guilty feelings about sex and about ourselves. We feel impure and filthy and unlovable (sexual abuse does that to us) we can feel that we deserve punishment for what we falsely believe “we did”, but the loving god of the bible does not see us that way. I would suggest that in Christianity the fact that God loves us means that God wants us to love ourselves and that we are therefore lovable.

All humans have sexual thoughts, its part of what makes us human, they are not considered sinful in Catholicism in themselves. I hope you have a good confessor who can reinforce that your attraction to men is not something you need torment yourself about. I hope you will be able to see that you do deserve and are worthy of kindness,
as are we all.

Welcome to MS

Peter


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#69964 - 03/14/06 10:03 AM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
Timothy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/08/05
Posts: 23
Loc: Middle Earth
Hi guys,

Thank you all again for writing. I feel very overwhelmed by all the kindness that I sense from all your postings here.

Wats_to_Be, you asked how old I was when the abuse occured. I was 20 years old when it happened. You see, I was at an age where I should have been old enough to know what was happening, and to have stopped it from the beginning. Instead, I let it go on and on because I enjoyed what was happening to me.

The funny thing is that I didn't realise I was sexually abused until very recently. I was just thinking about the past and then the horrifying thought occured to me that I was SEXUALLY ABUSED. It felt like a death sentence, or like when someone tells you that you have been diagnosed with cancer. It is one of those things that you always read about happening to other people and never think that it could ever happen to you, much like house-breaking or an armed robbery.

Wats_to_Be, I almost cried when I read when you wrote:

"I, too, am a Roman Catholic ....I personally believe at time of judgment God will be looking at my attributes rather than my sexuality."

It is something that I've never thought of before. I have this book by TAN Books (you must have heard of them \:o )) and it has all the writings of the church fathers, saints and church councils that condemn homosexuality. Frankly, I've stopped reading that book because it seems very severe and harsh, and I always feel awful after reading it.

And sometimes, with no intention of being disrespectful, when I think of the purity and chasity of the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph (incidentally my patron), I feel like a lost cause. \:o )

Last night when I closed my eyes to sleep, I saw an image of a man reaching out to touch me at my genital area. I jumped out of bed and mentally kept shouting, "Don't touch me!! Don't touch me!!" This happened even though I was alone in the room and I was already wide awake.


*****************STRONG TRIGGERS FOLLOW*********
************************************************


There's something that I sometimes do when I feel overwhelmed by my gay feelings. I physically hurt myself, especially in the genital area. It gives me a sense of satisfaction when I can punish myself and do penance for being so perverse and sinful. There were times when I managed to make my genitals bleed, and I feel good to see the blood flowing. To me, when the blood is drained from that part of my body, then part of the desire also goes out with it (like an exorcism, maybe).

I never tell anyone about this (except now) because no one will understand. I just do it once in a while to feel better. But please don't worry about me, guys, because I can take care of myself and I won't kill myself in the process. \:o )

I read recently about a Swiss soccer player who, during a fight his team had with Turkish players and security staff in the stadium tunnel, got kicked so hard in the groin that he had to be hospitalised. The trauma from the kick tore his urethra (the tube that brings urine from the bladder through the penis to the outside of the body), causing him to have a lot of blood in his urine. Even a week after the incident he would still experience severe pain each time he urinated.

When I read all that, I keep telling myself that "that should have been me", that it would have been a good penance for my having gay feelings. In fact, I would pay anyone to wear a pair of hard boots and give me a few kicks in the groin.

Timothy


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#69965 - 03/15/06 02:39 AM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I hesitated to reply to you this time because I fear to offend your religious feelings. Please believe me when I say I don't mean to do that.

My first point, however, is that if you were 20 when your sergeant approached you that doesn't mean that you could or should have done more to stop him. First of all, there is nothing wrong with a young man being curious about his sexuality, especially if all this is new to him. Your approach to this is religious, so let's follow that up. We are ALL sexual beings, and those feelings are gifts from God. You were simply trying to find your way, and you were showing a lot of the normal apprehensions and anxieties that any guy would feel.

In addition, do bear in mind that sexual abuse is about power: one person is using his power over another to gratify himself sexually at the expense of the other. There is no way that an encounter between a young soldier and his sergeant could be an equal relationship.

Here is the part where I fear to offend you. I am a historian of ancient and medieval times, and I am familiar with the literature you have read concerning homosexuality. Please remember that this literature was written and compiled in an entirely different time, and that it reflects not only religious truths but also the views and prejudices of the time. This isn't just a matter of the literature that Roman Catholics consider important. I see the same in the Protestant tradition, in Judaism and in Islam.

As you are a devout Roman Catholic I would suggest that you have a look at modern material written specifically for gay men in the Catholic church. It would be a lot more helpful and reassuring to you.

I am a Christian as well, a Protestant. But I would like to think that God does not hate us or punish us for the sexual orientations with which HE has endowed us. I hope you can work on this and see that there is absolutely no reason to hate or punish yourself for being the person you are sexually. I have seen lots of gay men whom I really admire for their values, and of course many "straight" men who are a complete moral write-off.

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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#69966 - 03/15/06 09:11 AM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
Timothy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/08/05
Posts: 23
Loc: Middle Earth
Hi Roadrunner,

Hey, don't worry! I am not angry or offended at all! \:o )

I think you are right in saying that a lot of the writings of the church fathers and church councils need to be looked at in its context. And often, I believe they were condemning promiscuous homosexual fornication, rather than individual people who struggle with such feelings.

I haven't had much chance to look at modern material written for people who struggle with gay feelings. I have a very good book, though, that is written by a Protestant who managed to overcome his gay feelings and then got married. That is one of the best books I've come across so far. (Can't remember the title now).

Thank you all for being so patient with me. I must come across as very strange to most of you! \:o )

God bless,
Timothy


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#69967 - 03/15/06 01:25 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I'm glad what I said was okay. I think we really do need to look at our sacred texts from a clear perspective these days, especially when so many groups are trying to ram their own particular agendas down our throats by quoting>
_________________________
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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#69968 - 03/16/06 01:17 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5773
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Timothy:

I think your conflict is not at all uncommon and I'd bet a number of young men, particularly those who are seminarians, go through similar conflicts.

If you pm me with your location, I can see if there are any therapists or resources that you can check out to resolve this. Are you currently in therapy?

Ken


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#69969 - 03/17/06 03:27 AM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
Timothy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/08/05
Posts: 23
Loc: Middle Earth
Hey Ken,

Just to reply to your question. I'm am not from the United States or Canada so it may be a bit hard for you to help me with the therapist bit. But I really appreciate what you are doing and am very grateful. Thanks!!

Roadrunner, your postings really help me a lot in terms of sorting things out.

Your quote:

"I have seen lots of gay men whom I really admire for their values, and of course many "straight" men who are a complete moral write-off."

is really true. I know of many straight men who are total scums (alcoholics, wife-beaters, financial cheats, compulsive gamblers, habitual liars, etc.) who somehow seem accidentally united in the belief that people who struggle with gay feelings (and who do none of the above-mentioned stuff) are somehow morally inferior to them. I have seen this again and again.

I am very grateful to you for what you have written, especially the part where you said,

" Allow yourself to discover who Timothy is as a man. If you are gay, that doesn't mean you are less than me, a straight guy (whatever that means)."

That is totally different from what my dad says. My dad seems to have some suspicion that I struggle with gay feelings. I don't know what gave him the clue because he would be the last person I would want to tell these things to. (I am considered very good-looking and decent (ha ha!) by most people who know me and I think my dad finds it strange that in spite of my "qualities" I've never had a girlfriend in my entire life.

Anyway, he has hinted to me many times that if I ever "were gay" I would be worse than filth in his eyes. Actually, it hurts a lot to hear him say that. My dad is a wife-abuser, flirt and gambler but somehow feels morally superior to a person who struggles with gay feelings.

Take care all!
Timothy


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#69970 - 03/17/06 04:31 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Quote:
That is totally different from what my dad says. My dad seems to have some suspicion that I struggle with gay feelings. I don't know what gave him the clue because he would be the last person I would want to tell these things to. (I am considered very good-looking and decent (ha ha!) by most people who know me and I think my dad finds it strange that in spite of my "qualities" I've never had a girlfriend in my entire life.

Anyway, he has hinted to me many times that if I ever "were gay" I would be worse than filth in his eyes. Actually, it hurts a lot to hear him say that. My dad is a wife-abuser, flirt and gambler but somehow feels morally superior to a person who struggles with gay feelings.
I don't mean to run down your father at all, but these things he's saying reflect his prejudice against homosexuality and nothing more. Many good and decent people have similar problems with this issue; they have been bombarded by negative propaganda about gays for so long that they can't see the subject in any other way.

But that doesn't make their feelings any more than prejudice. They will say things like "This is what I believe" and "I have a right to my opinion", and both statements are true. What is NOT true is what they mean when they say such things: "My beliefs and opinions allow me to treat you with less respect and compassion than I show towards others."

I mean no disrespect to your Dad, Timothy, but on this one your father is wrong. Not only that, he is placing his emotional response to homosexuality above your interests as his son. That may be because he fears you are gay, but again, that doesn't change the fact that he's wrong.

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)

Top
#69971 - 03/17/06 04:56 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
george of kent Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 305
Loc: delaware
Oh, Timothy, you are much too hard on yourself!
My love and devotion for Holy Mother Church was second to none when I was a teen, but now we are only nodding acquaintances. I did not leave the Church, but the Church (since 1978) clearly left me. I do NOT advise dropping God from your life, but for me as a self accepting gay man the practice of "organized religion" became hypocritical.
Please don't mis-read me here, but I find nothing remotely "Christian" in the anti-gay pronouncements of self appointed prophets of the far right. For this reason (and others) the idea of moving to Canada - or New Zealand? - seems more and more attractive every day.
I wish you well, brother. Gay or straight, you deserve love and respect - and that definitely includes self respect.
You have begun a healing journey. Congratulations!

_________________________
"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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#69972 - 03/17/06 06:21 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
Steven Heath Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/06/06
Posts: 81
Loc: New York City
Timothy....your words and issues touched me greatly....i am gay... and my first love was one year after my abuse had stopped....i was 16....it was pure, wonderful and mutual.....the other person could not deal with his homosexuality and turned to religion to rid himself of his feelings for me and any other man......i was devistated for many years.....please try not to let what i am about to say offend you.....i have many religious friends and respect them for their belief in god......but i feel that your religious beliefs are possibly keeping you from something even more wonderful than your love of god.....that being the possibility of the love of another person....even if it is a man.....i hope you come to peace with yourself and your guilt and your conflict...if you can find it within yourself to allow another man into your life to share life and love with.....and not lose your obvious strong religious beliefs.....you may find something even stronger than you can imagine....i hope this does not sound like i am putting your religious beliefs down.....that is not my intent at all....it's just that too many people i know have shortchanged their life's possibilities because religion on many levels has gotten in the way......i hope you can find your way through this....someone out there needs you and your love.....steve


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