Hi Phoenix

I've read your post to the committee regarding information on PTSD (by the way I am one of those non-fee paying overseas members of MS - but that's a different story) and I see that there is a link to this post in regard to feelings - and the lack of them.

May I make the following observations? From what I understand, at the moment, there are approximately 34 different forms of PTSD; several of which apply, or can be applied to Childhood Sexual Abuse. Every one of these is a medical diagnosis yet the terminology is easy to pick up and bandy about because it looks, sounds, and feels official.

Rather than looking at the over-arching term of PTSD, may I suggest that you check out, more specifically, Male Rape Syndrome or Rape Trauma Syndrome (Male). I think that you might find this more helpful.

Let me also comment on your question of "Am I ever going to feel anything . . . . " If you accept the signs and symptoms of Rape Trauma Syndrome (follow this link to find a useful website that includes some useful resources for male survivors; http://www.casa.org.au/casa_pdf.php?document=for_men_rape )you will see that one component of the syndrome is Emotional Shock that leads to the numbing you describe.

Is this reversible? It has been explained to me that PTSD is NOT a mental illness; it is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. Instead PTSD is a Psychological Injury. Not everyone recovers from their injuries when these are physical so, in my opinion, not everyone can be expected to recover from psychological injuries.

But I passionately believe that, with the right help, nurturing and support, every one of us can heal and recover from the psychological injury that we have been carrying for decades.

I find it reassuring that you talk of intimacy - especially emotional intimacy. I don't know why, but I am convinced that for many of us, emotional healing comes about when we - as guys - are able to participate as equals in legitimate, emotional intimacy (where we accept and are accepted; where we can openly discus our fears as well as our hopes; share our victories and failings) with other guys in relationships that don't involve any form of sexual contact. In fact, just as you put it in your last two paragraphs.

You mentioned Mike Lew - one of the things that he has taught me is that our journey of recovery is never linear. There are always times when it feels as if we have stalled or even going backwards - but he reminded me that even in these times we don't un-learn what we have learned and if we have to go over a part of our journey again, then we do so with the assurance that we have traveled this way before - it is familiar to us and we succeeded in getting this far before.

I know that it is no comfort whatever for you to know that others have these feelings of emotional detachment - but we do. I saw the title of a book a while ago (didn't read it just loved the title) "Splashes of joy in the cess pool of life" and at the moment that's all that I can hope for.

Emotional healing is still the holy grail that I'm searching for and until I find it, I keep on changing the batteries (checking out advanced in treatment research) in my torch so that I can keep looking.

Please forgive my rambling - and I hope that there is something here that can lessen your pain, even for a few minutes.
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I endured all my yesterdays. I prevail in all of my todays. I exercise my right to be able to enjoy my tomorrows. I choose not to do it alone.