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#72677 - 08/08/04 11:35 PM Making up for 32 lost years...can I?
whendoIcry? Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/02/04
Posts: 34
Loc: Metro Boston
I am 52, married for almost thirty years and have two great kids; 18 & 21...but only recently coming to grips with reintegrating myself after dealing with a lot of the stuff around my abuse, health, sexuality. For about 20 years I engaged in a great deal of random and anonymous sexual encounters with guys...from lonely, dark wooded areas to glitzy gay strip joints...I paid for some of it...I also had a few long-term relationships with guys...all lovely men. One part of me lived a regular life with the job, wife, kids, church...and then when I traveled or went out...I entered a world of prowling for sex...mostly a cat and mouse kind of game which often ended up in guilt-ridden mutual masturbatory activity. This very dissociative pattern was, I felt, my entitlement...to get waht I wanted because I deserved the intimacy...

...my therapy consisted of justifying my behavior to myself but repeating the same thing, over and over...

...compulsive, impulsive, meaningless 'sexual' excursions and explosions...someone talked about chronic masturbation...it is when I masturbated as a chemical fix...like a drink...the intensity of the pleasure...the fatigue afterward...the guilt, the rush...acted like a drug to keep me from connecting and feeling in the real world...

...I sometimes think that my marriage sex was basically just this disconnected physical thing that my body could do...

...you see my story is that I went to a priest at age 19 for what was to be draft counseling and he turned it into a sadistic game where he spanked me, masturbated me and then tried to escalate it to me doing stuff to him. I had 'confessed' to him that I was gay...and he made it into a game where he was punishing me and somehow testing me...I failed him because Iput a stop to the abuse by recoiling into a fetal position and faking tears...he mocked me. He also distributed communion with the same hands that he was jerking me off with...right in front of me...

I am now a very integrated, conflicted 52 year old man who realizes that I will never truly be 'in love' with my wife...because my fulfillment will come from finding a man whom I can love and be loved...I know that I am gay, not bi, not straight.

I used to be confused, guilty, suicidal, alcoholic, severely ill...now I am just conflicted. Do I give up family, wife, thirty yesrs together...to go out on my own now?

Here I am...recovering from alcoholism, heart surgery, depression...and I have the energy, drive and passion of a 20 year old...but I am not.

I am fine, to those reading this but I want to share that the abuse suffered by men is complicated by the interruption of our sexual development...I think it gets stunted by the abuse and it is very, very difficult to get it back. I think I am unique in how I am surviving this but it tests my sobriety and sanity each and every day.

I live now with nerve damage from the very medication that saved me from the turmoil of the PTSD...my right hand is partially numb and I have lots of strange neurological sensations. Small price for my sanity but it is a constant reminder of the wide-ranging damage done because of my abuse.

What keeps me going? Love for my family, love for myself, love for the sun rising...hope that my experience may help another man.

There is hope but it takes a great effort.

_________________________
I survive, one day at a time...knowing that I now can accept the things that cannot be changed, change the things I can and find the wisdom to know the difference.

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#72678 - 08/08/04 11:59 PM Re: Making up for 32 lost years...can I?
Aden Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 499
And that is how the story goes. All of the conflict of thoughts and confusion of mind.

It is tough to be well into middle age before you realize your true sexuality. Having a family and social history that doesnít agree with your internal reality creates some serious problems. Believe me, I know.

I wish that there were some words of wisdom that I could give you right now. But I am not sure what you need to hear or what would be helpful. If you want to talk about it send me a PM.

Where you are, I have been and done and am living with the consequences of my choices. I canít claim that it is all good but if you want to discuss it, I am here.

Aden


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#72679 - 08/09/04 10:58 PM Re: Making up for 32 lost years...can I?
David1010 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 46
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
I know there are organizations and support groups for people that deal with coming to terms with being gay later on in life. There are also other organizations for gay men that are in heterosexual marriages. I have heard that these groups are very good and can provide a sense of support, more important, you could be able to connect with people that are going through similar situations.

Regardless of what we all decide to do, I think that taking care of ourselves and caring for those around us is not easy.

We are here to support you. \:\)


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#72680 - 08/10/04 02:27 PM Re: Making up for 32 lost years...can I?
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
I could have written what you wrote. I'm almost 57, have two children, 19 & 29, and have been widowed for almost a year and a half. I have finally come to terms with my sexuality and have found someone who I care about and who cares about me. We talk, we laugh, we are compatible in so many ways. I'm still trying to reconcile my feelings for him with my formerly 'straight' life. I've spent time at his home and he's spent time at mine. I think both of my children know what's going on and seem to be allright with it. It doesn't mean that I didn't love my late wife, I will always love her. But after having a couple of cancer surgeries and a bunch of radiation treatments I've decided that I just can't keep living my life like I used to. I am gay.

I guess I thought that was why I was abused in the first place and I thought that I deserved it. I was only eleven when it started and yes I liked some of what happened but I shouldn't have been exploited and used by that older boy. I didn't tell anyone about it then or for the next 38 years. I re-created some of the abuse scenarios, had anonymous sex with guys and generally felt like crap afterwards.

Take good care of yourself my friend, you're not alone in feeling like that.

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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#72681 - 08/11/04 12:00 PM Re: Making up for 32 lost years...can I?
whendoIcry? Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/02/04
Posts: 34
Loc: Metro Boston
The update is that I had a heart to heart with my therapist yesterday and finally said the words, 'i want a divorce'. I am sad, sad for my wife, our family...for all of it. I will die if I continue on hiding my true self and failing to find a true, loving, intimate relationship. The last time I made love to my wife it was so weird...my body worked fine but I knew that the person I was making love to was a friend, and that I was trying to prove that I was a heterosexual man...I felt dirty afterward...I do not get it...it is like the guy I was is gone...he was able to get it up but it was almost like a physical response with no passion...shoot. Now what?

_________________________
I survive, one day at a time...knowing that I now can accept the things that cannot be changed, change the things I can and find the wisdom to know the difference.

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#72682 - 08/11/04 12:48 PM Re: Making up for 32 lost years...can I?
Abe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/28/02
Posts: 27
Loc: New York, NY
Good for you. That takes courage.


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#72683 - 08/11/04 09:37 PM Re: Making up for 32 lost years...can I?
David1010 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 46
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
I guess honesty seems to be working out with you. I'm glad that you are in a place where you can first identify and then express what you truly feel. Congratulations.


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#72684 - 08/13/04 09:23 AM Re: Making up for 32 lost years...can I?
FastForward Offline
Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 188
Loc: US
I suppose I am a bit confused. You said you are not "in love" with your wife but the relationships you have had with men do not seem to have had that aspect either. Perhaps I do not understand what feelings you have with the men that you do not have with your wife. Sorry.

_________________________
FastForward

L&P - always.

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#72685 - 08/13/04 02:01 PM Re: Making up for 32 lost years...can I?
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
I am 50, have been in a committed relationship for 20 years. I have a stepson, daughter-in-law and grandson.

Iíve been working on SA recovery for 2-3 years after a new therapist who, fortunately had had experience working with abused children, recognized that the depression, anxiety and bi-polar tendencies as well as s-xual dysfunction were symptoms of childhood abuse.

Iíve felt guilt and shame around any sexual activity, even thoughts, my whole life. I was first abused when I was about 4-5 years old.

I feel like a shell sometimes, like Iím pretending to be able to deal with my life, my history, and the world around me. I know what you mean by says that you have lived a Ďregularí life when around some people, particularly family, friends and co-workers, and a very much different life when not around them.

Iíve always been secretive and, to some extent, manipulative.

Iíve talked about my guilt and shame around s-x and, particularly my compulsive use of p-rn, with my therapist but still keep doing it. Iíve felt the guilt and shame but have but keep justifying it and doing it. I was resisting, then gave in, and resisting again but am compulsively drawn to it. I donít know what its about. Maybe I am looking for an image of one of the guys or the guys who used me when I was a kid. Sometimes, I think it is about objectifying guys, taking away their power over me.

Among the results is no s-xual intimacy with my partner. That must bother him, frustrate him, but I canít bring myself to talk about it. I make excuses for not sleeping with him, which are not the truth or whole truth.

My relationships with anyone seem empty. I donít seem to have any real friends. I am afraid of guys and feel uncomfortable around women.

I think I was attracted to my partner initially and for a long time, to some extent, still because he provides a safe retreat from the world, a protection, and a loving, safe and supportive parent.

Iím a recovering alcoholic. Lately, I find myself sometimes really craving a drink, which I didnít really feel for quite a while after getting sober. I know it is about getting away from the pain. Thatís what the drinking was to begin with. I know, however, that it would be not just one drink, or one day of drinking, but many drinks and a steep incline into the pain and hopelessness of alcoholism that I experienced before.

Like you, my life was interrupted. A lot of the time, I feel like a little kid, just as unequipped to deal with the world, emotionally stunted, lonely, frightened. But, Iíve been finding, thereís still the creativity of the child-part there. Iím learning to be the adult that listens, helps, nurtures and, most of all, preserves a safe place.

I agree: There is hope but it takes a great effort.

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72686 - 08/13/04 04:12 PM Re: Making up for 32 lost years...can I?
FastForward Offline
Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 188
Loc: US
Brayton,

I am very grateful for your input. It reinforces for me what I have been thinking for a long time but was not sure how to work: perhaps the issue of one's sexuality is never completely clear until one has processed through the CSA issues and made peace with the past. I find so many things sexualized, that should not be sexualized. Also, using s-x for reasons other than what is was intended but a substitute for something missed seems somehow like a flight response. It is hard to heal on the run.

Well, I am not sure this makes sense but it seems that in the aftermath of CSA, many things get lumped under the s-x umbrella.

Best wishes and thanks again. You help me persevere in the hard work of looking at things as they really are and not how I want them to be. In doing so, I am better able to see the past for what it was and somehow feel more alive and connected. And it has nothing to do with s-x!

_________________________
FastForward

L&P - always.

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