Hello, all.

I just joined the Forum this week and spoke to so many nice guys with experiences similar to my own.

Here goes: I will turn 40 in a few months. I have professionally accomplished a lot. I am an overachiever, and I compete with myself on a daily basis to be the "best that I can be."

However, my abuse hinders me to move forward in certain aspects of my life. I was abused at 11 by my brother-in-law (sister's now ex-husband). I trusted him as a brother, but he obviously violated that trust. For seven months I endured the abuse. I knew it was wrong, I wanted it to stop and I assumed that I had the power to make him stop on my own. I didn't.

I decided to tell my parents, who in turn told my siblings--including my sister. As you can imagine, it threw our once tight knit family for a loop. My family was obviously supportive. However, the real abuse was the after effect. The emotions that I have continuously endured.

1. I became distrustful and apprehensive of people. I keep a very normal, friendly facade. However, deep down I'm nervous when I meet new people.

2. I have a hard time being in a committed relationship with a woman. When I become close to a woman, my mind flashes back to my childhood events. I have to "grin and bear it," but it's a hard time.

3. While I know it wasn't my fault, and my family has moved on, I hated that I had to tell them about the situation. Granted I know I was a child who needed help. However, I feel that I, through my involuntary actions, ultimately took away their positive family experiences. I know it sounds irrational, but I love my family so much and wish the best for them always.

Ultimately, I spent 29 years with these challenges. My goal is to spend the second half of my life in a more secure, positive and peaceful existence. Joining and participating in this forum is one of several steps which I must encounter.

While we are all here due to these extreme circumstances, I also want to engage in healthy online chats and friendships as they arise. I pray for each of you, having some knowledge and understanding in your specific situations.

All my best to each and every one of you.

CafeMan