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#71140 - 12/24/06 11:55 PM Kidding myself
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
I usually post in the members' section for various reasons, but I thought I could use some more input from the public forum.

I was abused at age 10. An effect of that was that I couldn't put the pieces together until I was 28 when I had an emotional breakdown and realized that I am gay. Before that breakdown, I had been married for four years and had a child.

Over the last seven years, I've been telling myself that I am perfectly comfortable being gay, but I realize now I have been kidding myself. It's not that I fear being gay or feel being gay is somehow wrong, but I was living a straight life for so long that it left me uncomfortable with being gay. I don't know how to reconcile my life to that.

I can't explain it any better than that right now.

Any comments are appreciated.


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#71141 - 12/25/06 12:10 AM Re: Kidding myself
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
Dewey,

It may come down to you getting to know your emotions and self - and love for another - in a much more depthful way. I am not judging your past relationships. Nor am I saying, that your gay - life is purely sexual.

But I think that - as a gay man, I have found for myself, in knowing who I am now, and making mistakes along the way for sure -

I have read - and talked - and found many men - experience and regail so much information about gayness - that make discovering yourself - a really wonderful thing.

I don't know exactly where the discomfort is from -

I do not know where - you are deriving YOUR VISION of what gay means to You.

But like anyone - our sexual and emotional lives -and who we care about is as different - on a lot of levels - as snowflakes.

and yes - the happy times and bad times -

and self care - and caring for your partner - are all in the fabric - of loving someone.

whether you only want sexual relationships -

is anyone's straight or gay's choice -

OR - if you want full life partner relationships -

or just boyfriends - is another option -

a among many -

I hope you are seeing a therapist who is gay

straight therpists - no offense - kind of got me -
better - you know? -

anyway - ttyl

Mark

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#71142 - 12/25/06 12:16 AM Re: Kidding myself
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
hey - i didn't mean to sound so opionionated here -

just i hope you can keep open to a really diverse definition - of gay

and also a big self appreciation on a basic level.

being gay - is a small part of who you are.

Dewey - you're a lot of things - and having a male partner - is just one detail.

Any relationship - is difficult to negotiate -

even the one with yourself -

have patience for yourself - please - take it slow - and small steps -

and as you date more and more -

you may realize a self comfort - which invites

happier connections \:\)

Peace -
Mark

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#71143 - 12/25/06 12:18 AM Re: Kidding myself
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
i hope something in this is useful to you.


ttyl - mark

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#71144 - 12/28/06 04:01 AM Re: Kidding myself
hanginon Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 89
Loc: sarasota, fl
Dwayne,
I would like to summarize my thoughts in a few words, but it is difficult. Can you establish any part of your identity (who you really "are") in one word? Are you your thoughts?

I think no to both; you are more than one word and more than what your mind can ever think at one moment. Just be, don't try to define who you are with one word.

If being "gay" means being a part of a subculture (which begins to try to homogenize our experiences as multi-layered individuals) - then I say don't be gay. Be different AND be attracted to men, without having to identify with all things "gay".

Does that make sense?

It's where I am at after 20 years of identifying myself as gay.

JTS

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

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

Antonio Machado

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#71145 - 12/28/06 05:56 AM Re: Kidding myself
TNuss Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 202
Loc: Del-A-Ware???
Dwayne,

I continue to try to understand the depth of my abuse has had on who I am.

I was abused from the time I was 7/8 years old till I was around about 11/12 years old by older friends of my brother's. They were all at least 5/ 6 years older then me. I remember thinking it was completely normally to do the things we were doing. It was what boys did together, till my first experience with a girl. That's when the confusion set in. I realized the social normal was for boys to be with girls, so I suppressed everything inside, BUT I STILL HAD FEELLINGS THAT DID NOT MEET THE NORM.

When I came to terms that I had been abused at the age of 26, I thought it meant I had to be gay. It was part of the issues that lead to my divorce; the other was that my ex-wife was having several affairs. After my divorce, I explored my sexuality and met a friend that continues to be the only person that knows everything about my abuse, my sexuality issues and confusions, hell my life. He has very strong feelings for me, but realizes I'm not able to give him what he desires from me, yet he continues to be my friend. That is really hard for my to understand. I don't feel I deserve his friendship because I'm not able to be honest about our friendship. Maybe it's more I'm not able to be honest with myself about who I am.

See, I have two daughters from my first marriage and I have remarried, yet I still have confusion about my own sexuality. It's depressing and I struggle because my friend is the only one I have to talk to about my feelings. I have suppressed my sexuality feelings because of fear my ex-wife will use it to turn my girls against me. My girls live with her and she has taught them that homosexuality is wrong. I have tried to teach them that everyone has to love someone, who are we to judge them. My current wife knows that I was abused, but not the details and has trouble understanding my need to seek counseling for something that happened so long ago.

Sorry I ramble on so long, but I wanted you to see that you are not alone.

BEST OF LUCK!!! XO

_________________________
All my best!!!

In harmony,
Troy
________________________________________________________
I hug myself daily until the day I find the embrace that completes me.

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#71146 - 12/28/06 05:08 PM Re: Kidding myself
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
After giving it some thought, I'm not sure what it means to be myself. I'm not sure how to answer the question, "Who am I?"

I've always believed that I need to define myself outside of being my kids' father, or my company's employee, or my parents' son; that I need to define myself in terms of 'me'.

How do I do that? Any thoughts?


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#71147 - 12/28/06 05:29 PM Re: Kidding myself
Cooljule Offline
Member

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 69
Loc: New Jersey
I try to think back before the abuse...what things i like..things i did....when i was not so consumed with the sex thing....

_________________________
Come heal with me

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#71148 - 12/28/06 05:32 PM Re: Kidding myself
Cooljule Offline
Member

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 69
Loc: New Jersey
some of those things are part of us..and other things....like MS...you and me...keep on changing

_________________________
Come heal with me

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#71149 - 12/28/06 07:58 PM Re: Kidding myself
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Hi Dewey,

Quote:
I've always believed that I need to define myself outside of being my kids' father, or my company's employee, or my parents' son; that I need to define myself in terms of 'me'.

How do I do that? Any thoughts?
Just a thought, but I think you are looking for a way to define you that doesn't incorporate those things along with a gazillion other things that you do. That's impossible. We really can't isolate anything, good or bad and say that's it, that's why I'm me. It all has an effect and it all comes together to create the being that we are.

At work, you're an employee, maybe the boss, but that's what you are when you’re there. At home, you're Dad or husband or fixer-upper or lawn mower guy or head chef and sometimes all of those things at once. On your birthday, you're the birthday boy to be celebrated, but the next day, you're just Dewey again.

We are different people at different times, usually many times a day depending on whose company we’re keeping. We're probably the most different to ourselves when we look in the mirror and try to figure it all out but the truth is, we’re all of it. It’s just a matter of which face we present to the world. I think the trick is to become comfortable enough with the face in the mirror so that it, and the one we take outside, are pretty much the same.

Trish

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

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#71150 - 12/29/06 07:20 AM Re: Kidding myself
TNuss Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 202
Loc: Del-A-Ware???
Quote:
Originally posted by Cooljule:
I try to think back before the abuse...what things i like..things i did....when i was not so consumed with the sex thing....
Because I was only 7/8 years old and I was so scared, I have forgotten so much of what life was before the abuse. I have tried to do that but I feel the abuse altered things in me. My memories are surround by issue tired to sex.

I have a memory of a record ablum cover of band (not sure which band) that was completely nude(privates blacked out) sitting on hay stackes in a barn. I remember being interested in what was under the blacked out spots. I have memories of my brother and his friends looking at nudie magazines and having no interest. I remember taking a showers with my friends per abuse and looking see him nake-it. Are these the things that help define "Who I am?"

I remember the first time I seen a girl nake-it and making fun of the fact that see didn't have a penis like my. I remember the first time I touch a girls privated and being disappoint because she didn't have something for me to hold and not liking the wettness. Are these the things that help define "Who I am?"

I was a lonely child, my only friends were my brother's friends, two of which, unknown to each other and years a part sexually abused me. The second of which, I can't hate but have a desire to comfront. So he knows, even after what he did I am able to stand-up and comfront him. The other two abusers, I have no desire to comfront or make any type of contact with. I find this very strange.

I wonder "Who I am?", but I know in due time the answer will come till then I will continue to try to be the best person I can be. The best Daddy to my two daughters that I can be. The best friend to the woman that is my wife, even if I'm not complete open with her about my abuse and the confusions it causes me. The best at my career. These are the thngs that define "Who I am?" for now, but change is continuous.

_________________________
All my best!!!

In harmony,
Troy
________________________________________________________
I hug myself daily until the day I find the embrace that completes me.

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#71151 - 12/29/06 04:04 PM Re: Kidding myself
hanginon Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 89
Loc: sarasota, fl
i dont think i "am" my thoughts - especially thoughts about the past (memories - do they define me?) or even thoughts about the future (hopes - are they the "real" me?)

i disagree with "i think, therefore i am" completely...

when i think, it's usually about the past or the future - so that the verb tense is either "was" or "will be" but not "am"...

should read: "i think, therefore i was or will be"

when i don't think, i "am"

too esoteric, i know..but the real "me" is who or what i decide to be and do at every turn of the step, trying to stay present and not let either the past or future define me

what happened to me in terms of abuse is no longer my problem to deal with - it's my brother who has to apologize and deal with the consequences. i've confronted him and he was ok, but in the end i am ok with the person i am today

have a great new year everyone...

john

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

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

Antonio Machado

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#71152 - 01/02/07 06:48 PM Re: Kidding myself
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
I've come to the conclusion that "Who am I?" is the right question, but there are no answers that can be given verbally or with words. Who one is will be defined by actions, words and deeds on a daily basis.

Now for the hard part...

I'm still not comfortable with being gay.


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#71153 - 01/04/07 11:33 PM Re: Kidding myself
Kenn Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/10/04
Posts: 146
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Being comfortable with my being gay is second only in difficulty to being comfortable with my having been sexually abused.

While I was abused long before declaring, as an adult, my sexual orientation, I cannot deny that the feelings, i.e. of my sexual orientation, were germinating before the time I was sexually abused.

It has been, and continues to be, difficult for me to look at one without also seeing the other. On my good days I view myself with the compassion I freely and objectively give any other self-identified survivor. On my bad days I retreat to the misconceptions and stereotypes, hating being gay and wondering if I would be had the abuse not happened (it was other-than-sexual abuse a few years before being sexual).

All in all I am not a poster boy for gay 'pride', the parades so named I participate in more for their (admittedly decreasing) protest value than anything else.

Despite seeing a terrific social worker these days I took my abused past with me when I visited my Mom and family over the holidays. This 'invisible date' did not speak up but it was never too far from the surface.

My s.w., who is half my age, admires me for my resilience. I wish I was better able to do so.

Kenn

_________________________
"This above all; to thine own self be true."

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

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#71154 - 01/09/07 07:59 PM Re: Kidding myself
duncanUK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 632
Dewey

I am posting here because you are a good friend and have given me so much support.

You have been throught a very draumatic childhood having being abused at the age of ten and having an emotional breakdown at 28 years old.

In answer to your question "Who am I?" You are Dwayne you are a young gay male with a big heart of love and compassion towards others who are in need.

Be comfortable with who you are and you will find peace and joy within yourself.

A good friend
Duncan

_________________________
you dont see me. i am not really here. Its my fault.. all of it. I am to blame and no one else.

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#71156 - 01/10/07 12:54 AM Re: Kidding myself
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
I am reading a book my T recommended called "The Velvet Rage" which talks about gay men growing up in a straight world. A subtitle for the book could be, "Gay Shame: Origins and Ramifications".

It is shame that I am dealing with now- the shame of being different, of not belonging anywhere, of not living up to the (often unspoken) expectations that I grew up with.

I'm going to quote a passage here that is particularly relevent. The passage follows a story about a young man who could not accept himself as being gay and jumped off a bridge. His name was Mitch. He left a note saying he would rather be dead than gay.

Quote:
Even though we may not have been suicidal, most -- if not all -- gay men start at this place of being overwhelmed with the shame of being gay in a world that worships masculine power. This begins the first of three stages in a gay man's life, and it is a stage that is characterized by being overwhelmed by shame. This is the start of his journey as a gay man, and it is by far the most difficult and damaging. He'd do anything not to be gay. He suffers immensely the pain of knowing that he can't change the one thing that makes him so different from other men. He imagines that being gay will ruin his life completely, and there is nothing he can do to change it.

During stage one, the shame over being gay reaches a loud crescendo. He knows there is something horribly wrong with himself and is helpless to change it. No amount of dating girls, playing straight, or even wishing changes it. Like Mitch, he is faced with the undeniable reality that he is irreversibly gay.

Coping in stage one means finding a way -- any way -- to lessen the feeling of shame. Very soon he discovers that shame is manageable if he learns to avoid cues in his world that trigger the intolerable feeling. In no time, he is about the business of avoiding all manner of situations, people, and feelings that trigger his sense of shame.

{...}

These and many other research statistics bear out a similar story -- young gay men struggle desperately with their sexuality during the early years of their adult lives. These are the years when stage one is most acute, and we haven't yet learned more functional ways to avoid the devastating aspects of shame. We are slammed head-on with shame, and it feels overwhelming, and to many, mortally unbearable.

"The Velvet Rage" by Alan Downs, Ph.D. p43-45
Da Capo Lifelong Books
(C)2005, 2006 by Alan Downs
This is what happened to me -- what is happening to me. This is what I'm struggling with. I am ashamed of being gay.

The sexual abuse amplifies this to the 'N'th degree, because not only am I shamed by being gay, but I'm shamed by the abuse which introduces uncertainty about my sexualty identity as a whole.

Okay, that kind of sounded like a rant... anyway...

Shame is the root of all evil.


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#71157 - 01/10/07 01:51 AM Re: Kidding myself
Kenn Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/10/04
Posts: 146
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Dwayne,

I often get stuck in rather gloomy parts of books such as you're reading but I'm guessing your T. thinks that, overall, it will help you to read it.

We are blessed to be living in places where there are all kinds of resources to help us adjust, both to the abuse in our pasts and in the sexual orientation we have been given.

I hope you will persevere.

Peace,

Kenn

_________________________
"This above all; to thine own self be true."

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

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#71158 - 01/10/07 02:01 AM Re: Kidding myself
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
Kenn,

I'm surprised at how accurate this book is in terms of the emotional side of things even though I didn't have a 'typical' childhood for a gay boy.

I trust that my therapist wouldn't have me reading this book if it wasn't going to be beneficial in some way. I'm gathering that the aim of the book is to help understand the roots of shame and how to combat the effects long-term.


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#71159 - 01/11/07 06:57 AM Re: Kidding myself
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 797
Loc: North Texas
Hi Dwayne, my friend who did not get upset when I landed on your web site, but instead only showed me kindness! That's who you are!

About the book, the quotes you put up about shame really apples to all of us.

I found a book on shame that I bought at a thrifty store, (my favorite hunting grounds), called Healing the Shame that binds you by John Bradshaw. I haven't read it yet but it looked interesting to me.

Take care,
Clifford

_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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#71160 - 01/11/07 05:47 PM Re: Kidding myself
Koveri Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/06
Posts: 80
Loc: Dallas, TX
In regards to how our abuse might have influenced our sexual orientation. I don't know if this will shed any light on the subject or not, but I'll give it anyway.

I was abused by both females (including penetrative incest) and males (including rape and sodomy). Having experienced both before puberty, I would think that I had an equal chance of being hetero-, homo- or a- sexual. As it turns out I am homosexually oriented; despite or because of my homosexual abuse; despite or because of my heterosexual abuse. Who can say? It leads me to wonder if there is any affect at all. There are totally non-abused boys that grow up to be both gay and straight. There are those abused by men that grow up to be both gay and straight and there are those abused by women that grow up to be both gay and straight. Maybe it is not sexaul EXPERIENCE that influences our orientation, but rather something else in our development???? What that would be, I don't know.


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#71161 - 01/11/07 06:30 PM Re: Kidding myself
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
Most experts in abuse psychology agree that orientation is quite separate from abuse; that abuse does not determine basic orientation.

From what I have seen and read, basic orientation is partially determined by hormonal conditions in the womb during fetal development, partially determined by genetic factors (which could be a result of the first activating certain genes in the mother or fetus), and partially determined by unknown elements.

Some people choose to act straight when they are gay or vice versa due to trauma, but basic orientation is unchangeable, IMHO.


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#71162 - 01/12/07 08:31 AM Re: Kidding myself
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
Dwayne,

I was married for over 33 years. I had two daughters. I loved my late wife very much. I am gay. Being abused at the age of 11-13 years of age was very confusing to me. It made me suppress my sexuality at a very early age. It made me appear so much more mature that my peers. I was always afraid that someone would find out, about the abuse, about the lies, about me being gay.

After my wife died, four years ago, I was in a very bad place in my life. I had two very bad years of health problems, my work was in turmoil (typical telecom boom problems), the death of my wife, and dealing with my recovery and healing from the childhood sexual abuse. I finally decided that life was too short to live my life as I had for the previous 55 years. I met a fellow survivor at a survivor weekend and had been keeping in touch with him for years. On what would have been my 34th anniversary I was on a business trip and stopped by to see him and his partner of 34 years. It made me realize that being gay didn't mean that I had to conform to some caricature, I could just be me, the way I always was.

I have a partner now who I love dearly and loves me. I feel so fortunate to have found another love in my life, a love that I didn't think would be possible. I'm out to my family and am accepted. I am out to some of my friends but I don't hide the fact that I'm living with another man. I like my life now and am happy again.

Healing is a road. Sometimes it's difficult, sometimes it's easy, but it never really ends. There is always something new to learn, about myself and about others. I'm still looking forward to the journey.

Take good care of yourself,

Steve

_________________________
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

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