So its time I introduced myself. I found this site and joined up a few days ago and have gotten a whole lot out of reading everybody's posts and exchanging emails with a few of you. Part of me just wants to sit on the sidelines and observe, like I usually do, so as not to risk rejection, judgement, having my shame exposed, etc. For the first time I feel like I am "home" with a group of men. I really need you guys. I will contribute to the best of my ability.
My biggest fear is that you will reject me because I am gay. I do not want to be defined by my sexual orientation, there is much more to me than that. I don't want to make any of the straight guys uncomfortable because they might think all or most gay men are abusers or perpetrators. I am tired of seeking out only gay men for whatever reason. I identify more strongly with the larger male community than I do with the gay community.
Seven years ago I was working as a medical social services intern at a large hospital in southern California providing counseling to patients and their families, mostly to those who were terminally ill or who had suffered a trauma. I had two end stage AIDS patients on my caseload who were in awful shape and really suffering. This was just before the advent of protease inhibitors, the class of drugs which has made such a radical difference in the treatment of the disease. Around that time I hooked up with some dude for some recreational sex. We were getting along fine, actually having a great time until he wanted to fuck me. Neither one of us had condoms and I refused because of the risk of HIV transmission. He was getting pushy about it and I stopped and explained my reasons why I was reluctant, describing in detail what my two patients were going through. I should have gotten up and left right then and there but I thought he understood and I did not want to wreck what was up until then a lot of fun. We were taking a break and then all of a sudden he was on top of me, pinned me down, and raped me. It was very painful and was over pretty fast. At that moment my entire world turned upside down. It took me three years to be tested for HIV because I thought he had deliberately infected me, which really does happen to people. It felt like he had stolen my soul and reduced me to being a meaningless thing like a piece of trash on the floor.
I had never before felt vulnerable or afraid as a man. I am a strong tall masculine guy that people don't generally mess with and I never thought such a thing could ever happen to me. I had always been very sexually confident, self assured, with forward momentum in my life and this fucker took all that away from me. I have spent the last seven years putting myself back together again and I am so very tired. I want my life back. Of course there is a lot more detail I could go into, but I have already rambled on too much probably. I had to leave grad school, became extremely depressed and suicidal, eventually got addicted to crystal meth, lost friends, etc. Am in recovery now, clean and sober almost 1 year and need the support of other men who have been through similar experiences. Since I stopped drugs I have been having "shadowy" memories of childhood sexual abuse by an uncle I think occurred around ages 6 - 7, but no specific recall yet. I admire you all and your courage so much! I hope I have a tenth of what you have.
Trust is a really difficult thing for me, as I suspect it is for most of "us", and I feel like I have just taken a huge risk by sharing myself like this. I am finally learning to ask for help. I have always been the helper, it is so scary to admit that I need help, too. I never open up like this, at least to men. Anyway, blah blah blah, I don't know whether I'm coming or going, so I hope its ok if I hang out here for awhile. Thank you so much for sharing yourselves and for listening to me. I will gladly do whatever I can for any of you.