***********Triggers?*************

Hi - I suppose it's about time I did a quick intro - this and my post about my name and avatar pretty well sums me up here in the forum until/if I post my so-called story.

I don't know really the difference between introductions and stories - a casual introduction explains little, yet a full story seems overkill. Since I often find myself repeating the essentials of myself to others, I might as well use this as an opportunity to post an abridgement for reference.

When you get to the end of this intro, I think you'll know pretty much who I am and why I am here.

In a nutshell, I was the victim of a long-term serial abuse case that my therapist characterized as "unusually intense". It was at the hands of an older next-door neighborhood kid - I was his little "side kick". He molested several of the 8-9 year old girls in our neighborhood and I was one of the only boys (I was 12 when it started). Despite his ubiquitous interest in the little girls, his sessions with me were far more frequent. This continued through my teens, and I finally just "ran away" from it all and moved to California.

Among those who were caught in his web was my little sister. The dynamics of that went deep. I was the protector not only of her but of all the girls I was aware of. I did so by "taking the bullet", knowing he couldn't shoot them if his gun was empty. Better me than my sister, I thought. I was already tarnished - so if I was in for a penny, I guess I was in for a pound. I can't even start here to explain all the psycho-dynamics THAT caused me, but one of the results is that I still have a very tough time getting in touch with my anger. I had to be very cool and manipulative with him, even though I was the greater victim of his manipulations. I was smarter than he was, but he was older and stronger and had a tremendous urge that I was ill-equipped to decline. Yet I knew that if I took what he dished out, my sister and her friends wouldn't have to. Until the next day. And the next and the next...

Anger? It never seemed appropriate. I didn't understand what sex was when this started, and even when I knew instinctively it was wrong, I was too busy keeping a level head to save my sister. I couldn't afford to indulge in the rage that the parents in the neighborhood showed once they found out. Had they been just as calculating as I was, this guy would have been TREATED AND MANAGED instead of threatened with punishment (as if that would make him keep his richard in his pants). To this day, I rarely get angry about anything. Frustrated? Yes. Anger, however, has always proved to be a useless indulgence for me. How Spockian.

He was caught, and the situation was dealt with in true Penn State/Catholic Church/Syracuse University/Boy Scouts of America style: "We'll handle it ourselves" was the essential resolution promulgated by the "special committee" of three fathers (including my own). Years later, those fathers since gone, I discovered they apparently never knew I was a victim - nor my sister. There were so many others that they never looked at US. Maybe they could never have imagined that. There's more - much more - and I'll share my story, but the fact remains I was essentially thrown back in the lion's den to save the girls. I was perplexed as to why they insisted I "help him through this and keep him from the little girls," because at the time I thought they knew I was a victim as well. I was 13-14 at that point, and while the girls were saved, my abuse was to get a whole lot more secretive and frequent and intense. It felt like the whole neighborhood was in collusion with my molestation sessions. My dreams gave that away. I remember vividly a recurring nightmare in which my parents - and other adults - were standing in line behind my molester, waiting for their turn. Of course I never experienced incest or even the hint of that. But my shame was pretty intense. I would wake up and avoid my parents. I didn't trust my friends with respecting my boundaries. I was being made to feel things I didn't want to - and so I didn't even trust myself. Eventually I just ran away.

In California, I thought I might be gay but wasn't sure. I would fall in love equally with girls or guys. My first "coming out" experience ended with me in the bar alone with the bartender after hours. I was excited to be making decisions out from under the bit and bridle of my molester. *I* held the reins to my own life, now. But I didn't - not that night. In my one and only episode of ASA, I left the bar far wiser than when I went in. True to my nature from all the CSA, I convinced myself it was just a "bad date" and I deserved his anger and aggression without seeing it for what it was. Despite the trauma and violence, I "kidded" myself about it. It was my first first "gay" experience and my thinking was - hey - what else should I expect for being a despicable little gay boy?

So who is Eirik today? I am an educated professional, in the middle of my life (I hope) and generally happy and functional. I am also wounded and coming to terms with who I am. A lot was stolen from me - and I'll never know the man I might have become had my CSA not occurred. When I went through therapy ten years ago, I was so full of self-delusional constructs that I didn't even see that what happened to me was molestation (I went for grief therapy after my father died). I was having sex with a guy 3 years older than me under threat that he'd molest my sister if I said no! And when I said yes, he'd molest her anyways. But - hey - that was MY fault, right? It's amazing how much I managed to kid myself for so long. Unlearning those lies I told myself was an adventure into my soul that was as dark as it was fascinating.

One of the events that brought me here was an email from a girl who thanked me for being her "hero" all those years ago. I walked in on her and my perp, and told her to get out just as he was starting to undress her. And the funny thing is - I don't remember it. There were so many. But I can pretty much guarantee I took the bullet. She has a beautiful family today. She said if I didn't step in and rescue her, that family of hers may have never existed. I don't have a family. But I'm the dirty little hero.

Eirik