Joined a couple of months ago, but stopped reading for a while because I found some people's stories too hard to take. This is a middle-of-a-bad-night ramble. I guess many (most?) won't indentify with this, but I actually get more angry about non-abusers failing to protect children than I do about the perps themselves. I mean, life is like that - there just are bad people in the world and we expect to be protected by the police etc. So I find it sickening to read about a church hierarchy that tries to shut up victims, or a mother who sides with a stepfather rather than the child he's been abusing, etc.

I guess I thought I'd come to terms with some post CSA issues, but they're bothering me at the minute. This involves corporal punishment - so don't read if that might trigger you.

I guess I was too screwed up to think clearly, but my solution to bring my CSA (by a neighbour) to an end was to tell a teacher. He wouldn't believe me or something and caned me for lying. (This was standard schoolboy punishment in those days, not much used - most pupils would have gone through school without experiencing it.) I thought I'd rationalised that away - I know now for instance that there was then no general knowledge that CSA existed, or that it was harmful if it did, and for all I know teacher and abuser may have been friends. But it's been sort of getting in on me recently - How could an 11-year invent a story like that? How could a teacher be so cruel? When I refused to go back to school for a long time, how come nobody came even near to asking the right questions?
A couple of years later, I'd developed a sort of fuck-you-all attitude. Along with that, for some reason I hated taking orders. Sometimes if a teacher ordered me to do something in a way I didn't like I'd just stare at him, and it would end up with me being caned. I've always got the same feeling when I think I'm under threat or in any kind of crisis - cold and watchful, determined not to show any emotion.

I don't often get nightmares, and never remember them when I do, but I always go into this mode as I'm waking up after one. It's quite good tonight because my wife is away visiting one of our children and so I've been able to smoke in the house, switch on lights, play with our dog, etc. (If she's here I sneak downstairs and out into the garden to smoke.) I know I've a better life than most people, but I do feel kind of angry at the moment. When I woke up, there was a black figure with a glowing red face watching me, and just for a minute I was terrified, but I'm always able to 'ground' myself quickly and he faded away. My T said that the fact that I can't see his face is a self-protective mechanism. Don't know if I'd recognise him if I saw photos from those days.

Paddy

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A dog is a man's best therapist