Those are all very helpful ways to see this. Thank you. Eric, your imagery is particularly lyrical; I'm a sucker for anything involving how trees grow around obstacles. /:)
I've accepted my sexual interests and desires, I've accepted myself. I enjoy my fantasies about both genders and feel no guilt - it is who and what I am.
But I think back to the 10+ years it took me to reach that point, and think every day of doubt and shame and attempted self-deception might all have been a response to someone else hurting me, without me even knowing it.... and I could just cry, scream, punch a wall. I probably should, now that I think of it. It's like... being born with a really conspicuous birthmark that you find embarrassing, and being teased for it for years, then eventually learning to love yourself with it and making it part of a fashion "look," then finding out it isn't a birthmark, it's a burn someone gave you. You've reached the right place, you're fine with yourself, but learning about the new scope of a past crime still hurts. If I'd ever, ever, ever thought for an instant at the time that my inner conflict could have been related to the CSA, I'd have reported it immediately from pure moral outrage - and it would have been within the statute of limitations and the guy would at least have had to stand trial.
Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Shoulda invested in Apple while I'm at it.
"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny