Seriously had a lump in my throat as I was reading all these responses, and one in particular left me woozy for like an hour. Seems to be unanimous, that I ought to go through with this. I'm (surprise surprise!) really scared.... but as memory serves, that is exactly the circumstance of me first coming to MS in October, when I basically said "should I deal with this at all?" and people all said that yes, it's worth the new pain to dull the old, you can't turn back now. I even see some of the same names here in fact. And you were all correct that time....
A few specific points....
You say it was part of YOU that brought the pain and heartache. Didn't the perp do that?
I know... I know... yes, he did. And I can hate... what he did to me. I sure as hell hate feeling this way. It's just blocked at some level... it's harder to associate the feeling with him because I'd been cognizant of what he did for so long and felt nothing at all. The poison burst out from within - so I guess that's where I'm focusing the blame, at the part that actually changed. On that note....
Imagine your present-day self in that toilet stall, watching it happen. Who are you angry at now?
Another perfectly reasonable question to which I'm surprised I find I can't give what seems like the reasonable answer. WTF is wrong with me. I'm too afraid of that guy to muster the thought of realistic in-person anger. I spoke to him on the phone in November. It was a horrible, horrible mistake. By the next day his voice was sandpapering me all over my body and I couldn't keep food down. And that was him at 92! Probably in a goddamned Depends diaper! I wish I could say that, yeah, if I were timewarped back to the critical moment, I'd be more clear-minded about it. But if there's anything this whole vile business has taught me, it's that Life Is Not A Movie, the "good guys" are not always stronger than the "bad guys" and don't always "win," and that "facing your fears" absolutely does not "conquer" them, it in fact can make them worse.
Although you don't blame your young self for the attack, you now hate him for making you feel these new overwhelming feelings. Do I have this right?
Yes yes yes yes yes. Your whole post was extremely well-written and astute but that's really the nugget of it. I just...
People here talk about becoming "thrivers," but in all honestly I feel I WAS a thriver, I had a great life up until late 2011 if I say so myself, and even through most of 2012 even when things got bad it was still MY LIFE, as lived by ME.
And that was made possible by whatever sort of psychological NORAD bunker that had sealed off the direct involvement, the pain, the sheer immediacy of the abuse. Whatever broke down those defenses is the enemy, a traitor, and I hate it. At least for now, I hate it. It doesn't help that the bunker-buster takes the physical form of the exact opposite of everything I'd ever believed myself to be: I always prided myself on being smart, on being likable, and certainly thought I looked at least above-average too. So the source of weakness comes out as.... something with no mentality at all except animal terror, something that was just a target for hate and dehumanization, something that would have been... you know it really makes me cringe and shiver to imagine what I must have looked like during the incident and I don't think I have it in me to write it down. It is the excruciating opposite of everything I ever believed and worked for. Why WOULDN'T it horrify me, why WOULDN'T I hate it? Forget logic, none of this is logical. If CSA issues were logical none of us would be here, we'd all be like "well, the rape, etc., is over, and you're in the ground for a long time, so fuck this teary shit, I'm gonna go a-skippin' through flowerfields and find my heart's true love by next Thursday!" That would be logical. But the mind is too complicated for its own good.
it's not fair to your young self to blame him for breaking the seal on this dormant pain. He needs you to feel what he feels so that you can protect him from it.
And that was the part that left me woozy for an hour. Still not sure what to say to it. You definitely reached me.... rung me like a tuning fork.
But the smart, fun, happy boy that you love, and the "victim boy" that you hate are both you. They are both part of who you became as a man. You can't take one without the other, you need to deal with them both to fully heal and overcome your terror.
in feeling and thinking that way about myself, i was doing to myself the exact same thing that all my abusers had done to me. i was joining them on their side. the ONE thing i was sure of was that they were all wrong in what they did to me.... by accepting what they had dumped onto me, i was participating in their abuse and believing their lies.... it had to be wrong if it was coming from them! therefore i had to fight and resist and negate those lies
And both of those rung the tuning fork too.
It's true. It's all true. Intellectually I know it's true. On the EMOTIONAL level it doesn't FEEL true, I still react to the thing in the bathroom with nothing but horror, disgust, and betrayal. But I've seen several guys here come around and forgive / accept their younger selves for perceived flaws, however damning.... guess it'll be my turn, sooner than later.
I'll try. I don't know HOW to try. I don't know HOW to "get ready" for something like this. I get dismantled badly enough in average T sessions, I go there during my work day and have to ask her to check me at the end if it's obvious I've been crying (and sometimes it is).
I spent a lot of time at my parents' house this morning. It was sort of the sequel to my initial disclosure, a sad sequel, I leveled with them and told them I was having a really bad time of it and a lot of fear. They.... were so sweet about it. They were perfect parents. They took turns holding me and telling me it would be okay. Mom is bitterly, venomously angry at the perp... I view it as some exotic practice of an alien culture, like religious charismatics who speak in tongues. I took Dad aside in private and said the saddest part is that no matter how many good days I have, and no matter what happens, I just feel like I'll never be the same. And he said: "Well, you're the same to me. And I've known you as a person since before you knew yourself as a person. You're yourself, plus this bad thing. But I don't see you any differently."
Maybe that's just something parents are supposed to say.... but when I needed it, it helped, a lot. There's another MSer here whose PMs have been particularly constructive too... all but holding my hand as I resign myself to moving towards the scariest part yet.
Have asked my mom to find pictures of me at 8. And also, a specific artifact, something from those years that meant very, very much to me, that I know could not possibly have ever been thrown away. I don't know how all the rest of this will unfold but I just feel - just KNOW - that that will have to play a role.
None of my feelings have changed yet - but I've accepted that it would be appropriate for me to go through with the process that would change them. I've got to move on, I've got to feel better. Thank you for shouting loud and clear that it IS worth it, despite the fear.