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#69953 - 03/09/06 09:02 AM I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
Timothy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/08/05
Posts: 23
Loc: Middle Earth
I am a 27 years old guy who struggles very badly with gay feelings and emotions. Most of my friends don't know that I have this as I appear very "straight" in front of them and usually joke about girls, even though I've never dated a girl before.

I get turned my by other men, which torments me greatly. I feel like a second-class guy for having such bad thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I toy with the idea of killing myself just to end this pain and misery.

Of course, I don't really want to die; I just want to stop my gay feelings and tendencies.

No need to reply to this; this isn't a call for help but merely my venting of my frustrations.

Thanks!!

Timothy


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#69954 - 03/09/06 09:26 AM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Timothy,

Wow. What you are describing is not what I would consider to be abnormal for the majority of men who use the MS discussion board.

One thing, my friend, You are definitely a valueable person. You are worth loving. Please value yourself and hang in there because you are worth it.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#69955 - 03/09/06 12:51 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 see two related issues in what you are talking about: the effects of abuse when you were a kid and confusion over your sexual identity now as an adult. You are feeling a lot of shame and guilt over these, but I hope you will see that this is entirely unnecessary.

I think we have to remember that it is in our childhood that the foundations for our thinking on our sexuality are laid down. Abuse wrecks all that by linking sex with feelings of shame, guilt, fear, worthlessness, powerlessness and so on. Those feelings and associations stay with us, at least under the surface, when we become adults. John gives a good example of the results above, and I think these feelings are very common among survivors. We really have to WORK at establishing for ourselves a healthy attitude towards sex and sexual boundaries.

No wonder we suffer from a lot of sexual confusion, and that I think is the second issue you are facing. Many boys agonize over this: I'm not sexy, I'm not cool, I'm not "big enough", I'm still a virgin, blah blah blah. I also think that many abused boys fear that being abused will make them gay, or else, if the boy IS gay, he wonders did abuse make him like that.

As men, again a lot of this continues in various forms. We have memories that make us feel guilty, for example if we got an erection or achieved orgasm during abuse episodes. But all that, regardless of the crap the abusers tell us, was just a boy's body responding to stimulation. We also wonder why didn't we say no, why didn't we try to escape, etc., but there we are projecting options we see now, as adults, back into our childhood. A kid just doesn't SEE these options.

As adults we also sometimes feel tempted to respond to memories of abuse by re-enacting it. We do that to fight against the feeling that we were powerless and defenseless; we figure that somehow it will help if we "act out" the thing all over again, but on our own terms. We feel it will help us because now WE are in control.

All of this has nothing to do with being gay, however. Abuse is a crime committed against a defenseless innocent child against his will. Being gay is part of who a boy or man is; it's part of his personality and identity and he doesn't "choose" it. Abuse and "gayness" may share common ground in same-sex sexual acts, but that is hardly a reason to link them. That would be like saying that apples and bird nests are both fruits because we find both in the same tree.

What really concerns me about your post, Timothy, is the spot where you say this:

Quote:
I feel like a second-class guy for having such bad thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I toy with the idea of killing myself just to end this pain and misery.
If this is how you feel it's good to let it out. Just say it, then you have something that's no longer a terrible secret. You can look at it and work on it.

On the other hand, you should also know that all these feelings may have nothing to do with being gay. Working on your SA issues with a T may reveal that to be the case.

But what if you ARE gay? There is nothing wrong with that. We are of course bombarded all the time with messages suggesting that it's a terrible thing to be a "queer", a "fag", and so on. But that's just the message of a traditional old morality that wasn't even followed in its own time. Certainly there is no place for prejudice against gays in modern society. A gay man doesn't choose his sexuality, and even if he did, he is no more a threat to society than a "straight" guy is. He is every bit as worthy of love, admiration and respect as anyone else. It IS more difficult for him to seek and find happiness and fulfillment, because society is still so generally negative, but the alternative, denying an essential aspect of his identity, is very harmful so far as I can see.

You are not less of a man if you are gay, or for that matter if you have been abused. A "real man" is a guy to sets his ethical, moral, and social boundaries based on a clear sense of what is right and wrong, and then sticks to them regardless of the challenges and temptations.

But I think worrying about this is premature. I would take John's comments to heart. Working on the SA issues may itself resolve the problem of sexual confusion.

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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#69956 - 03/09/06 03:59 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
george of kent Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 305
Loc: delaware
Whoa, Timothy!
Take several deep breaths, then re-read the comments above, especially Larry's.
A certain percentage (5% or so?) of human males are nowadays and almost certainly always have been primarily attracted sexually to other men. In my opinion, there is no choice to being gay or straight. Our choices come in the behaviors we choose to act on our given orientation. Moral, ethical, caring behaviors are just as prevalent in the world of gay sex as anywhere else.
American culture has been very slow to "grow up" around the issue of homosexuality; don't be too quick to buy into their stupidity.
For Timothy, I would suggest that this is a time to take things slowly and one step at a time.
And don't forget that you have a lot of friends here. Keep comin' back.
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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#69957 - 03/09/06 05:56 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

A comment of George's above banged on my cage \:\) :

Quote:
American culture has been very slow to "grow up" around the issue of homosexuality
To see the truth of this, peg it over to Europe one day. In the countries I know best (Germany, France, Netherlands and Italy) gays and lesbians are accepted and there just ISN'T a big fuss over their right to BE who they are. I have openly gay students, for example, and they are 100% accepted by the other students. Cultural venues regularly hold gay celebrations so that the community will have a great place to come and party together.

That's not to say there isn't opposition to homosexuality at all. It's just that people here are less ready to claim that their personal views allow them to impose these views on others.

But of course this thread isn't about being gay, as such. It's about your anxieties on the matter, and the possibility that all this just comes down to issues relating to your abuse. That said, I think it's good to remind ourselves that no one ought to be afraid to be HIMSELF. Unless we are willing to do that, how can we ever hope to be happy?

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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#69958 - 03/12/06 12:46 AM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
watstobe Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 40
Loc: Jackson, NJ
First I must applaud Larry and “George” for their words of wisdom. I was so stunned at the accuracy of what they wrote that my eyes filled up with tears. They wrote so eloquently and right to the point that I was touched by their thoughts and words of wisdom!

Timothy, I do know exactly how you feel for I have been
“in your shoes,” and have felt your pain; I have experienced the exact same feelings and emotions. There was a time I too “toyed” with ideas of suicide for I so desperately wanted the feeling of being gay to just go away. I often thought, “Why can’t I be like the “average” guy and look at chicks as they do?” Why couldn’t I feel the way “most” guys feel and desire a woman as most men do? It would always revert back to the sexual abuse I endured over 5 or more years when I was just a child.

During the time I was molested my abuser would constantly drill me as to when I grew up all I would want and desire would be men. He told me (as I grew older and began to ask questions) only “special” boys get to feel this way. In the meantime I had such problems dealing with the fact I really was abused for I had an erection or ended up having a orgasm, (as Larry indicated above, this apparently is a common response, a NORMAL reaction) . To me this only was an indication that I was a “queer.” Growing up I was often haunted with being called a fag or queer by my own father, who felt it was a way to toughen up his boy. I had to not only pretend to be straight but act real manly as well. This meant I could not have any emotion, and I dare not cry “for only sissy boys cried.“ Day to day life just was too difficult to bare.

When I became older I tried to break free of all the abuse but ended up doing as Larry said, I followed a destructive path…. a self fulfilling prophecy. I reverted back to the molestation days and acted out making sex this horrible thing that was only performed in dark, dingy rooms where no one knew your name. After a few experiences I knew this was not who I was and therefore I delved into work, by keeping myself constantly busy I had no time to question who I was or to act out on occasional feelings. Work became everything to me. When I found time I even entered a spa to work out an hour each day before work, but this lasted only 6 months for I felt out of place with the guys in the locker room.

Timothy, I am now 42 years old and only now am I realizing how much time I wasted. Life is so very short. May I suggest to you as Larry and George did above, take the fist step and see a Therapist, one who is experienced in sexual abuse. It will be the beginning of a long journey, however you will feel so much at peace with yourself once you have traveled down that road! It will take work and commitment on your part but the rich reward is that you will have worked through all the demons that haunt you.

If you ever want to talk Timothy please feel free to contact me and I would be more than willing to share my phone number or email address with you.

Brighter days lye ahead, may you find peace within your soul and love that runs deep.
Ciao friend,

_________________________
Eddie

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#69959 - 03/12/06 02:18 AM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

This is one that really needs to be stressed. I quote Eddie:

Quote:
In the meantime I had such problems dealing with the fact I really was abused for I had an erection or ended up having a orgasm, (as Larry indicated above, this apparently is a common response, a NORMAL reaction).
Yes, absolutely. We are all sexual beings, and a young boy is subject to stimulation and arousal even at the most unlikely and unwanted moments. Remember all the times you got an erection just as you had to stand up and walk to another class in school?

A boy being abused cannot keep his body from responding to sexual stimulation. He will probably get an erection, and if he is sexually mature he will probably ejaculate if stimulated long enough. He may also like the feelings of sexual arousal and orgasm.

But this is a physical response and has nothing to do with "liking" the abuse or cooperating with it. Abusers will often play on the boy's physical response to confuse or shame him: "See, you like it." But the fact of the matter is that the boy is not a willing and equal partner; he is a defenseless child being victimized for the sake of someone else's gratification.

There are several useful comments on this on the MS site:

For adults, see http://www.malesurvivor.org/myths.htm, myth no. 3.
Teens should also look at http://www.malesurvivor.org/Survivors/Adolescent%20Survivors/Articles/bsnl.htm#f

Bottom line: “You liked it” is one of the abuser’s cruellest lies. Within the context of this thread, like so much else it has not the slightest thing to do with whether or not the boy is or will be gay.

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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#69960 - 03/13/06 11:07 AM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
Timothy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/08/05
Posts: 23
Loc: Middle Earth
Dear friends,

First of all, thank you all for taking the time and effort to write to me. I really don't deserve your kindness. I feel terribly unworthy of it all.

I am a rascal because I always have impure thoughts when I see an attractive guy. And because of my religious beliefs (I am traditional Roman Catholic), it torments me tremendously. I know it is very sinful to have such thoughts and feelings and I go to Confession very often to get rid of the guilt caused by these feelings and desires.

My "gay feelings" actually came before I was sexually abused. In fact, they led to my being abused.

When my army sergeant first started touching me in a bad way, it felt nice because no one has ever touched me in that way before, especially not my dad. When he started touching my private parts, it felt exciting and I didn't stop him. So he continued something that I should have stopped in the first place.

And even though he wasn't physically attractive to me, he once made me ejaculate into his mouth, and I wanted to do it even though it was very uncomfortable to me, because I didn't want him to think of me as "less than a man" if I couldn't ejaculate like other guys.

I first started being close to this sergeant because he would always listen to my problems, and he always seemed to have time for me, something which was unlike what I got from my dad. I trusted him with more and more and as time went on, I dropped hints to him that I was attracted to guys.

Then one Sunday afternoon, he asked to come over to my house. At first, it was just to listen to music. He lay on my bed next to me. Then he put his arms around me. It felt good because it felt like someone cared about me.

Then he started to stroke my arms. My eyes were closed and I didn't pay much attention to him. Then he started to stroke other parts of my body, and at the same time, his hands went lower and lower until he reached under my shorts to stroke my private parts. I gasped in fear and excitement but didn't stop him.

Funny thing was, he apologised to me for what he did as I was walking with him to the train station after that incident, about an hour later. I told him that it was okay and that I wasn't angry. Pretty dumb of me, huh?

So he continued touching me whenever he was alone with me. I didn't stop him because it felt nice and exciting and also because I wanted to be touched by another man.

So you see, my sexual abuse was caused by my "gay feelings" and I am mostly to be blamed for it.

I do so wish, as Wats_to_be said, that I would desire a woman so other guys do.

The abuse happened before I became a Roman Catholic. Now, my desire is to live a pure and chaste life, knowing that I'll probably never marry. But it is hard, and sometimes I wonder if my friends suspect that I have gay feelings but are too polite to ask me.


Thank you all again for listening. I never knew I could find such good friends here.

God bless!!

Timothy


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#69961 - 03/13/06 12:28 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
watstobe Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 40
Loc: Jackson, NJ
Timothy;

Wow, I truly feel for you friend. First of all YOU ARE WORTHY and that is what this forum presents to all of us who are survivors!

I, too, am a Roman Catholic and have really had a hard time dealing with my sexual feelings and being damned for having such emotions. I worked with a therapist who I found from my local church. He was really very helpful in helping me understand that God would never "condemn" us for having natural feelings. He helped me realize this was only man made rules and ideations that are drummed into and cause us to fear. So, as far as being Catholic, I don't believe there is anything for you to fear. God is a loving entity that will love us for being kind, caring and compassionate individuals willing to help others in time of need. I personally believe at time of judgment God will be looking at my attributes rather than my sexuality.

I am troubled by your words:

"My "gay feelings" actually came before I was sexually abused. In fact, they led to my being abused.

Sorry friend but this is not the case! In NO WAY did any feelings you had be the “cause” of the abuse. Here is where you need to change your way of thinking. I say this for I too felt the same way for many years. I have always wondered whether my feelings toward men came before or after the abusive years? It troubled me a great deal to think I had such feelings before my abuse and I even believed for far too long that it was such thoughts that enticed my abuser. NO NO NO, the abuse I endured had nothing to do with anything I may or may not have felt. The abuse I endured over the 5 or more years was due to a control issue and a sense of rage my molester had for the fact I could hear and he could not. So, it had absolutely nothing to do with any feelings I could have had. I was curious to know how old you were when the sexual encounter first occurred? You see your abuser was older and should have known that if you were a child you were too young to really know how you actually felt. To have crossed the boundaries and ever touched you in any sexual way was when he went from being your "sergeant" to your abuser. It doesn't matter what you think you may have wanted/desired men, that is irrelevant.

During my teenage years I had a priest fondle me as my mother cooked dinner only feet away. I had a guidance counselor make passes at me and do it in a subtle way so that I questioned myself. Was I actually looking for or sending off vibes for these men. The truth is it had nothing to do with me, I was innocent. These guys were trying to play on my innocence for their own gratifications.

I had a very hard time (and still do) with the fact I had any sexual feelings and especially that I seemed to enjoy the time with my abuser as the years went on. I battle with the fact that I reached an orgasmic state and this has made me feel so dirty inside. It carried throughout my life so much so I can never ejaculate with any one I have had sexual encounters with. When it happened once the horror of feeling so dirty came shinning through and I nearly committed suicide. It is by the grace of God that I lived! What I am trying to come to grips with is the fact it was only normal that I had such feelings and experienced what I did. I haven't completely reached this stage but I have shared my feelings here and the responses have helped me to realize I had only a normal response for someone who was stimulating a young boy’s body the way my abuser did.

The apology you received when you both walked to the train meant nothing! Depending on your age this guy knew he was manipulating you and making you feel responsible for his actions and it worked. It was not your fault for him taking advantage of you, whether you had feelings toward guys or gals!

You stated:

The abuse happened before I became a Roman Catholic. Now, my desire is to live a pure and chaste life,

I know for so many years I used my religion as a way to avoid living a normal life. You can suppress your feelings for just so long, therefore it is not important that the abuse occurred before during or after you became a Catholic. What is important is knowing there is nothing wrong with you being who you are...YOU! Regarding living a “chaste life” that is all up to you. What you must understand is that living a life being true to who you are is living a “pure” life. As I mentioned above, God will be looking at how you lived your life as far as caring for your fellow brother or sister before he will judge you on your sexuality. God loves us and is proud when we follow in his path of being good and kind.

Please know I am here if you ever wish to talk. I know I have learned a great deal from all those who share their stories here. Best wishes to you dear friend!

God bless you as well!!

_________________________
Eddie

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#69962 - 03/13/06 03:33 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

There is so much to talk about in your post, beginning with what Eddie raises with you. He is so right on that one. A boy or young man who is gay is not an abuse magnet, though you may feel that that's the case.

You are showing a lot of self-esteem issues bro; you consider yourself to be a rascal, unworthy of kindness, responsible for your own abuse, sinful, impure, dumb, and so on. Don't get me wrong here! I don't blame you for that at all. I would just like you to see that these are typical feelings that many survivors have because of what happened to them as boys.

When a boy or young man is abused he quickly comes to see the abuse as his fault; he figures this shows how worthless he is. That of course makes it easier for him to allow things to continue, and he may also be grateful for anyone's attention, including that of the abuser, because he feels that otherwise no one at all would care about him. It gets to be a vicious circle, it really does!

My point here is that all these feelings you have ARE there; this IS how you feel, so you have to acknowledge this and work on these feelings. BUT...that doesn't mean that you should accept that the feelings are accurate. So often they are not. We have to be careful about this one, otherwise these feelings we have that arose when we were being abused will drag us all over the place, and usually to places we don't want to go.

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

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 469
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: 5778
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)

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#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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#69973 - 03/17/06 06:51 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Can I put a slightly different spin on this? Timothy, right now you are an abused guy who is deeply confused sexually. Many of us have gone through that. Whatever your true sexual orientation is, it is so important to face it honestly and acknowledge it. It is part of who you ARE!

IF it turns out that you are not gay, but just confused by a poor sense of boundaries and so on, then fine. The problem you are worried about is solved, or at least identified as not being one connected with homosexuality.

IF it turns out you are gay, then also fine! There is nothing wrong with that. Robertson won't love you, that's for sure, but somehow I don't think you need his approval. The point is that God will not look down on you. In fact, He already knows the answers you are seeking and loves you the same as anyone else.

I think it's important that you get some OBJECTIVE input on gays and the Christian religion. Regardless of whether you are gay or not, you do have what you call "gay feelings". There must be literature for devout Christian men like you, I just don't know what it would be or where you would look. A gay rights center where you live? A group for gay Christian men? I bet a google search would turn up something. Maybe the gay guys on this site would have some ideas.

Just beware, beware, beware, of anyone who tries to tell you that you have to believe what HE says about religion, otherwise you are a sinner, polluted, doomed to hellfire, or whatever. Forget the quotes from the Bible in this rubbish. Quotations can be twisted around to "prove" anything.

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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#69974 - 03/17/06 07:59 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
TX_Space Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 163
Loc: Texas
Timothy--
I am so sorry for your struggles. But, I admire your religious convictions. Don't ever lose sight of God. He is the answer and His love alone is all you need. Having said that, I understand the feelings you are having and the trouble in reconciling them with the teachings of the Church. It adds another layer to the confusion and the self-loathing. Sometimes, religions do confuse the issues and the bad leaders twist God's words to suit their purposes. But, a good leader will use God's teachings to guide us to His will. My priest(s) have been so helpful in helping me see that no matter what I do, God is there to embrace me because He loves me beyond all things. The embrace of another human will never compare...don't ever let that blind you. It is good to have human companionship and it is necessary to have it. God made us for that purpose but don't ever let anyone convince you that human acceptance is more powerful than God's.

I know He loves me. He gives me family and friends who care for me and love me too. Trust that He does the same for you. If you are gay, rejoice in the fact that you are God's creation and He knew your destiny before you were conceived. Don't listen to your father or bad leaders or church hypocrites or secular hypocrites...listen to God because He alone speaks to your mind, heart and soul. He speaks the truth. There you will find the peace you need.

Here is my prayer for you. A promise to you, Timothy from John 14:27. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

God Bless You.
Tx_space


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#69975 - 03/18/06 01:35 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
george of kent Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 305
Loc: delaware
Dear Larry -- the voice of sanity, as usual.
This is a very therapeutic thread for me.
Tim, I think there must be some literature out there such as Larry has described; I just don't know what or where it might be.
If anyone has any specific suggestions or recommendations, I'd love to hear about it.
Meanwhile, Happy St. Jospeh's Day tomorrow.
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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#69976 - 03/18/06 07:15 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
I was thinking about all this again on my way from Hamburg to London earlier today.

I know that a devout gay man will be concerned about what his religion says about homosexuality. But here is another way to look at that. In reality the Bible says very little about this question; it is NOT a major concern in>
_________________________
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
#69977 - 03/18/06 11:42 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
pbfurm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/12/06
Posts: 25
Loc: Los Angeles
As a jew I have never felt ostracized by my religion. I have grown less religious and more spiritual as the years blur by. I acknowledge that one can be brainwashed by evil people. Try and separate the hype from your heart.


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#69978 - 03/19/06 01:24 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

When I was in grad school one of my best friends, and a housemate of mine, was a Jewish gay guy who was just coming out. It was rough for him that year, and he felt that I had been of some help to him (most of his straight friends ran for cover once they knew he was gay).

The story gets complicated, but anyway, at the end of the year he wanted to say thanks by showing me "his" New York. His gay friends welcomed me, teased me, made awful and embarrassing jokes, and I don't think I ever laughed or learned so much in 12 hours in all my life!

One thing he did was take me to his gay synagogue. I asked him what could be gay about a synagogue (or a church for that matter), and he replied that at this synagogue he could be absolutely himself and relate to God on his own terms, not someone else's.

There's the ideal, I guess. God already knows who we are, whatever our religion. What is the point of trying to relate to him on any other terms?

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
#69979 - 03/19/06 03:02 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
johnsurvived Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/20/05
Posts: 332
Loc: Arlington, Virginia
Hello Timothy,

I'm sorry to jump into this thread so late, but I have been following it with interest and have seen others post many of the thoughts and feelings of which I would have written. I cannot tell from what you have written whether you are gay or not, and I can only reiterate what's already been said on that subject: many abused men suffer great doubt about their sexuality and have trouble setting appropriate boundaries in intimate relationships. Whether you are or not is probably less an issue than dealing with your feelings, your behavior and your experience. A good therapist will help with all that, and I do hope you'll find one soon.

That said, and since this is in the "Gay Survivors" forum and not the "Sexual Identity Issues" forum, I'd also like to reiterate another thing some others have already said: there ain't a damn thing bad, wrong or sinful about being gay. It's just that simple. And regardless of whether you're gay or straight or somewhere in between, you seem to have the (unfortunately common) misconception that Christianity universally condemns homosexuality. That's just not true. It has been pointed out to me, for instance, that while Jesus spoke frequently of straight people, he never once mentioned the gay folks. Nowhere in the entire New Testament will you read a quote from Jesus on the subject one way or the other.

Following are some books you might enjoy reading that deal with homosexuality, religion and history:

What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality by Daniel A. Helminiak, available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1886360...5Fencoding=UTF8

The Sins of Scripture : Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love by John Shelby Spong, available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060762...5Fencoding=UTF8

Homosexuality and Civilization by Louis Crompton, available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0674011...glance&n=283155

I think you might enjoy knowing that there are other modern voices commenting on these ancient texts, and finding different meanings in them.

May you find peace as you walk your path.

John

_________________________
Take for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards; for our vines have tender grapes. Song of Solomon 2:15

But let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. Amos 5:24

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#69980 - 03/20/06 07:55 AM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
blaidd Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 240
Loc: Australia
I would like to applaud loudly in regard to John's post. Thankyou.

I can highly reccommend "What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality by Daniel A. Helminiak"

regards,

Stuart

_________________________
Blaidd (pronounced as blaith/blithe) is a welsh word meaning wolf.

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#69981 - 03/20/06 10:46 AM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
Timothy Offline
Junior Member

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

Thank you all for writing!! I really don't know what to say but I have read each and every post and I thank you all!

Thank you for all the sharing.

The other night I did something really foolish. I was so "mad" at myself for having gay feelings that I took out a pair of boots from my closet and put one boot onto my hand (like how you would wear a glove).

And then I started using the boot to repeatedly hit myself in the groin, using all the strength I could muster.

As you can imagine, my genitals were very bruised and swollen after what I did, but I wish that it had been more painful. I told myself that it was right punishment for me for having gay feelings and that I deserved to be hurt like that anyway.

What kind of guy would do something so dumb as to what I did, except that I am trying to feel so hurt & painful that I can forget about having gay feelings.

Sometimes when I start to feel attracted to another man I see on the street, I rush into the nearest restroom and literally use my fist to hammer my groin, hoping that the pain will cause the desires to fade away.

I feel so awful that I caused a married man (my sergeant) to be attracted to me in the first place, and then causing him to ejaculate his semen unto my body, something which rightfully belongs to his wife. If I were his wife I would hate me too.

My sergeant cared a lot about me and the only times he got angry was when I asked him why he was doing "those things " to me. So after a while, I stopped asking him.

But his touches made me feel dirty and frightened, and I hated the way he forced his tongue into my mouth when we were alone in the barracks. He made me feel like a dog when he used me and made me ejaculate into his filthy, greedy mouth. I hated him for hugging my naked body against his own naked flesh. The filth, the shame, the agony!

Timothy


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#69982 - 03/20/06 05:43 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 hope you will take up the opportunity to do some broader reading on this subject, along the lines that JohnSurvived suggests, and also consult a therapist.

The bottom line is that no one deserves harm for the way they feel sexually. Certainly no one deserves it from himself.

What you say about your sexual activities with your sergeant can be addressed by looking at only one sentence:

Quote:
I feel so awful that I caused a married man (my sergeant) to be attracted to me in the first place
You didn't "cause" anything Timothy. He felt an attraction to you and acted on it from a position of power to exploit a young recruit sexually. That's abuse and not your fault. Please try to remember that.

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
#69983 - 03/20/06 09:58 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
Rustam Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 469
Loc: UK
Timothy,

What you are doing to yourself is both dangerous and harmful to you, I am not saying that is news to you, but it’s worth underlining anyway. I have self-harmed in the past when I was angry and hurting. I was also strongly Catholic and had read many lives of the saints as a teen, I was hoping to turn myself into someone good and pure after the abuse and violence I had internalised. Some of my self-harm I justified as “mortification of the flesh” as practised by some of those saints. To be honest it had nothing to do with spirituality it was masochistic self-harm based on self-hate and violence. It was quite addictive with the adrenaline rush and the short break from the psychological pain was a relief. If some of your thinking about this behaviour is about penance you need to speak to a spiritual director/confessor. From most of what I know of corporal penance in the history of the church, any serious injury to the body or endangering health has never been regarded as spiritually virtuous.

I am really sorry that you feel so bad about yourself right now that you are hurting yourself in this terrible way. I am glad that you can at least speak about it here, what you did isn’t about being dumb, it wont take away the gay feelings even if it distracts you for a while, what ever the reasons for doing this it is really very concerning. I hope you consider finding a therapist.

I agree with Larry that you did not cause a married man to be attracted to you. His behaviour is totally his responsibility.

Wishing you peace,
Peter.


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#69984 - 03/21/06 03:39 AM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Here is something to think about bro:

Quote:
I feel so awful that I caused a married man (my sergeant) to be attracted to me in the first place, and then causing him to ejaculate his semen unto my body, something which rightfully belongs to his wife.
If a bank is robbed, who is to blame and who should be hated? The robbers or the bank?

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
#69985 - 03/21/06 08:06 AM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
Timothy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/08/05
Posts: 23
Loc: Middle Earth
Dear Roadrunner & Rustam,

Thank you for your posts. Makes me feel better. Thanks for not being judgemental.

Even nowadays I get frightened when an older man touches me by accident. I'm afraid that the sensation of the touch will cause him to get arouse and then lead him to "explore" that feeling further and then end up molesting and abusing me.

After all, my sergeant first started touching me and carassing my arms before he ventured further and started touching my private parts. He said that before he met me he had never done anything like that with a guy before. So that makes me feel very guilty and blame-worthy because there must have been something about me that twisted and perverted him to cause him to do what he did to me.

There is one other thing that bothers me a little. It is a sensitive issue but because it happened to me I hope it can be answered.

I am what people would call "fair-skinned". My sergeant had what people would call "black-skin". Do fair-skinned guys tend to get abused by their darker-skinned peers because they are perceived to be weaker and more feminine?

Timothy


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#69986 - 03/21/06 12:45 PM Re: I Hate Myself For Having Gay Feelings
george of kent Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 305
Loc: delaware
Sorry, Timothy, I know that you are still in a very hurting place. But, as many of our brothers have already said, "you did nothing wrong."
The self blame (we've all been there) that says things like "there must have been something about me that twisted and perverted him" has it all backwards and upside down. There was something about him that was twisted and perverted in the first place and you did nothing to cause it.
Hoping that you can begin to love and forgive yourself (there's nothing really to forgive), please don't beat up on yourself (psychologically and physically) any more.
Much 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

Top
#69987 - 03/21/06 01:46 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:
Even nowadays I get frightened when an older man touches me by accident. I'm afraid that the sensation of the touch will cause him to get arouse and then lead him to "explore" that feeling further and then end up molesting and abusing me.
That is a normal feeling for abuse survivors and it isn't a gay thing at all. As a boy, touching was followed by abuse for you, so you are still making that connection. The feeling that you "caused" the abuse is also a feeling, a wrong one, from childhood. That's why you think that if you brush against an older man that will "cause" you to be abused.

Quote:
So that makes me feel very guilty and blame-worthy because there must have been something about me that twisted and perverted him to cause him to do what he did to me.
You have several replies on this above, so I won't add much, except to say that abuse is never the victim's fault.

Quote:
I am what people would call "fair-skinned". My sergeant had what people would call "black-skin". Do fair-skinned guys tend to get abused by their darker-skinned peers because they are perceived to be weaker and more feminine?
No, so far as I know there's no racial basis for abuse. But there's another problem here. You are blaming yourself again for what someone else did. This is something you have to beware of.

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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