I update my story from time to time as I remember more of it. So here is the story as I have recalled the memories now.
This is my story, probably a condensed version. Who can tell everything, right? I don't know. Reading stories from other men has encouraged me to share my story,too. After lurking here a long time, I'm finally going to try to get real and talk about some of this stuff.
Before you read further, know this MAY TRIGGER powerful reactions. I know it does in me! PLEASE take good care of yourself first!!!
Like you, I, too, am a survivor of sexual child abuse. In my case, the abuse was perpetrated by people outside my family when I was ages 1-11. It is important now to share the story of my abuse in a safe place. As I write this, I still feel like I am crazy. Sometimes I even have trouble believing that it all happened, but I know it did.
The pain from that experience has been devastating in my life. Every so often, I get a glimpse of just how devastating it has been. Severe anxiety, depression that has been nearly disabling on many occasions, panic attacks, dissociation, depersonalization, and reactions of shock to certain music have plagued me regularly since my early 20s.
For example, I couldn't even listen to any music by Chopin until I was 35 years old because one of my abusers used to play Chopin's Fantasie-Impromptue! At one point, when I inadvertently heard that particular composition, I nearly fainted from shock and had to put my hands against the wall to hold myself up. I remember it well: I was in the locker room of the athletic club where I've been a member since 1990, and a recording of the Fantasie-Impromptue was playing on the radio. I had to get out of there as quickly as I could. I was worried about having a panic attack. Yet, I had no idea why until several years later.
Memories of the abuse hit me very hard when I was probably most vulnerable and destroyed my relationship with the woman with whom I was most deeply in love and to whom I was very close to proposing marriage.
When I add to those things, the tens of thousands of dollars I have spent on my recovery through 17 years of therapy, more than 10 years of psychiatric care, and the lost productivity, income, and opportunities, I see that the economic costs have been huge, too. I guess this is pretty much the same for everyone here, so I think you'll relate to what I am saying.
Yeah, I managed to put myself through school and even managed to become a lawyer and a businessman. I feel like a whiny little snot sometimes, because I know things could be so very much worse. But I'm not happy. My relationships with women have been failures. I'm not earning anything like what I feel I should be. I'm anxious most of the time. To be honest, most thoughts of sexuality are gross and repugnant to me. Almost everything seems like a struggle.
Despite all of this, I refuse to consider myself as a victim. I won't give away my power that way. Nor will I hate anyone, even my abusers. I won't let the abuse continue to harm me by prompting me to hate others. As tempting as it has been to hold on to rage and anger, I just can't do it anymore.
I often wonder what life would be like if I had not had those experiences. Sometimes, I still feel as if I'm in denial, like it really did not happen. The memories and the surrounding circumstances are so crazy, it's like a f***ing dream!
Even as I write this message, I feel like I am dissociating from the whole experience. What a mess. What an awful, goddamned mess! Still, this "mess" is part of my life, a part that has caused profound consequences. Let me begin to tell more of the specifics about how I have gotten to this place.
My sexual abuse went on from ages1-11, perpetrated by people outside my family. The first perpetrator was a family physician (yeah, go figure!) and the second perpetrator was my sixth-grade teacher, my only male teacher in elementary school. There may have been other perpetrators, but I don't remember any others. If there are any others, at this point, I really don't want to remember them. My innocence has been shattered enough times already.
My parents cared a lot for my brother and me; they loved us and continue to love us now that we are adults. Sadly, though, there was so much crap going on in the extended family and with my mom's own illnesses, that any subtle signs of the abuse got overlooked. The chronic extended family chaos included my uncle's numerous psychiatric illnesses. He's my mom's brother and has been disabled from psychiatric illnesses as far back as I can remember. I believe he suffers from schizophrenia. That was really scary stuff, too--lots of delusions, extreme paranoia, turning off all the electrical appliances in his home out of some irrational fear, violent behaviors, extended stays in state hospitals, and so forth.
My mom has had her own illnesses. They included an erratic and rapid-cycling bipolar disorder,addiction to pre>