Hi, Luke. Thank you for reading my post and sharing. I appreciate your honesty.

First, I experienced everything you wrote about in your life. I thought I gave my abuser signals, or I encouraged it or I made him do it to me. Keep in mind this is a defense mechanism that we subconsciously impose on ourselves to cope with these bizarre episodes. I also said to myself that the abuse isn't too bad and that I can make him stop--at 11 years old!

I know every detail about my abuse, but I rationalized it. It was too much for me to take in. So what sparked the turn around? I was watching TV, and a public service announcement came on, starring Emanuel Lewis from "Webster." This was a 1980's TV show.

The youtube link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exjIHApOLeA.

Once I saw it, I became glued to the TV. I thought, "My God, this is really happening to me! I am one of those kids! I realized I had to do something. It was wrong, and it must be stopped.

A few weeks later, I was in bed trying to go to sleep. I was thinking about the last seven months of the abuse. I had one goal: I wanted him to stop touching me. I couldn't take it anymore. So I went into the kitchen and started telling my mother. We then woke up my father, and that's when I told him. I was so ashamed and embarrassed. I refused to turn the light on when I started talking to my father! From there, my parents took over and banned the abuser from coming to the house. He was out of the family, and I never saw him again.

From there, so many emotions came out of me. Keep in mind, I was suppressing how I felt. Once I revealed it, the well was overflowing. And then my insecurities kicked in, which is something I'm still trying to figure out.

The bottom line for me: the abuse was way too much for me to process so I started to doubt myself. Was it my fault? Did I want it? The answer is a definite NO! It doesn't matter what clothes I wore or whatever he thought gave him the right to do that. It was wrong--PERIOD! My (ex) brother-in-law touched me. He forced me to touch him. I didn't want it. PERIOD!

Now, I'm going to be 40 years old next month. I look back at my last forty years with pride and with some regret but with determination to make the next 40 years more fulfilling. I don't have all the answers. The insecurities still creep through. But I will be damned sure that I will not let some bastard take away more than what he already did. I believe I lost my childhood not at the moment I was abused, but when I disclosed this abuse to my parents. I took a responsible and important step to make things right in my life. That's when I became a grown up. My soul was scratched, but it wasn't torn apart.

So I joined this site. You know for the first time, I can discuss my problems after 29 years without crying! This is a huge accomplishment for me. I'm so proud of myself. I just want to be happy.

So next month, I'm starting to take Israeli martial arts--just because. I'm going to take up my customer's offer to visit his boat this season at the marina (I own a restaurant so I'm honored to meet a lot of interesting people). I want to start doing more fun, normal things.

Why feel depressed for what reason? So that a sicko took advantage of me and I can't go forward in my life because I keep reliving those past moments?? NO! It's too much for me. I get exhausted just reliving it. I want to be exhausted for the accomplishments I do now, not 29 years ago!

I hope this helps you. Because hearing from you and so many others on this site has truly started to help me. So thank you! Feel free to drop me a line anytime. Take care!