I'm not sure this is a topic for new beginnings, but that's what I want. A new beginning.
Is there anybody out there that can offer anything? All responses welcome.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
the wisdom to know the difference.
We can be what were always meant to be- precious and free.
Basically, you were traumatised, to cope you disassociated which may be why the memories are difficult to access otherwise you may not have come out sane. The resulting sexual behaviour is common among male abuse survivors! It's like post traumatic stress disorder. Also, sexual activity releases calming hormones, so becomes a coping mechanism for stress.
There are many websites that are dedicated to help you understand the long term effects. Male Survivors is one we gained a lot of information from. One in six men have had this happen to them, but personally I think that's a conservative number.
Yes, abuse leaves a legacy of crazy sexual behaviour. The good news is that once you get help you can heal. My fWH is in that process now and is doing well.
You are not unusual, unfortunately. Please make sure that your IC is experienced in dealing with male sexual abuse.
Hope this helps a bit.
D Day 11 November 2012
You can't scale a mountain in a single step
What happened to you was massively traumatic, it's equivalent to witnessing the horrors of war. You were wounded inside by the abuse and it's been an open wound ever since. Sometimes it gets infected and the crazy sexual acting out gets worse.
Like any wound, it can heal, though, and the best way of doing it is to let the air get to it - and you've already started that process in IC.
You keep your feelings to yourself because that pattern was forced on you by the abuse, as a kid you HAD to. It's a defence mechanism, that's all. My fWH said he used to hide behind a facade of normality, but it was a mask. Inside, he felt a whole host of negative stuff. To allow himself to heal he had to come out from behind the mask and reveal the real person. Of those who knew, no-one thought any less of him.
With your IC you are starting a journey, but please keep going, it is so worth it.
I'm so sorry for both the abuse you suffered, and for the confusion and questioning of the situation, yourself, everything, since remembering the events. It is heartbreaking to think of someone so young being abused in such a manner, and by someone so trusted.
How could I stuff that so far down that it took ic to remember?
The human brain is a strange 'place' with a great many defense mechanisms that will spring into action (or non-action). One such mechanism is 'hiding' things that are too much for the individual to handle.This might last an hour, a day, or decades. It's all about what the mind will let in.
Am I just trying to make a reason for my perverseness?
It certainly doesn't sound that way.
Do other victims of childhood abuse forget? F up their entire lives? Take so long to realize that it's reeking havoc on their lives and choices??
My best friend is in her late 30s. She grew up in MA, and spent many years in foster care. She was never certain why she and her brother - whom she was separated from - were in foster care, and strangely never asked. Also, her relationship with her mother was very strained. and she never asked why.
In early 2013, my friend and her H were watching television. Nothing unusual came on TV, and there was no conversation happening. In other words, there was no reason for these repressed memories to surface, yet they did just that. My friend was molested by one of the priests associated with the church her family had been a member of for several generations. My friend wasn't molested once, or twice. She was routinely abused for several years, from around 3 years old until she finally moved to NH as a preteen. Her mother knew what was happening, as she too was molested by this same priest when she was a child. The priest gave my friend's mother money. The story was that the money was from the church, and it was to help families in desperate need of money for food, bills, etc. Really, the mother was basically 'selling' her daughter to this old creep!!
There is of course much more to this story, but the above information was shared to let you know that yes, people do block out painful events in instances where the information is simply too much to handle. You aren't abnormal. You were victimized by a person that took advantage of his position as your teacher. At the time, your brain didn't want this information, and wasn't equipped to deal with it, so it locked it away. The same can be said of my friend.
Mrunderstood, you did nothing wrong. Your mind did what was available at the time to protect you. You didn't intentionally not act on anything. The incidents with the teacher were too much for your young mind to accept. It seems very likely that this would affect your attitudes and also your relationships with others.
I'm so sorry Mrunderstood. Please remember, you did nothing wrong. Not then, not now. This did NOT happen because you deserved it, and it didn't happen because you did something wrong, or 'unholy', or any other reason that involves you. It happened because some depraved man was talking advantage of his position. You didn't cause this, and you weren't being punished. You were molested by a very bad person that should not have been around children.
(((( hugs ))))
My WH also has a history of CSA. However, he refuses to see that it has any effect on his current life situation. I'm happy to see that you are IC for it!
My WH did not disclose his CSA to me until we had been together for about 18 years. We were doing some MC because of sexual issues and the IC asked him to think about why he had such trust issues with women.
A few days later he said he had been thinking about that and he remembered incidents x, y, z. I nearly died from the horror of what he was saying and he spoke completely unemotionally. Completely detached.
Something I have heard before is that when your children reach the age that you were when you experienced trauma, it can bring those things to the surface. Our son was approximately the age my WH was when he was victimized.
Don't give up on the counseling. My WH is leaving the marriage. He does not wasn't to go to counseling to work on our issues...I believe it's because it would require him to work on his issues.
He doesn't recognize how truly traumatic his experience was.
Hang in there. Heal yourself. Don't let the abusers take any more of your life than they already have.
Then, when I was 15, I was at a restaurant with a friend when my abuser walked in, and all the memories started flooding back to me. When my family found out, they said he had left for the military, so that was probably a reason I was able to block it out. I think the fact that I had hit puberty by then helped me to finally realize what he had done.
I agree that blocking it out is a coping mechanism. It's like the body's way of protecting itself.
I almost feel lucky that I realized what had happened when I did. My family got me straight into counseling, and I have gone off and on over the years. I've been determined not to let it affect my relationships or my sex life, though it's very difficult sometimes.
My STBXWH was also sexually abused as a child. While I knew about some of the abuse he endured as a child, I had no idea about the extent of it until after D-Day when I begged him to start opening up to me. A couple weeks later, I found out he was continuing his affair and took it underground, and I separated from him. Even after we separated, I was still begging him to get help for his issues, but he cursed me out and threatened me and told me to never tell anyone and to never bring it up again.
And there I think lies the big difference between us. While I was dedicated to healing and not letting affect my life, he seemed content to continue using it as an excuse for his bad behavior. I think childhood sexual abuse is like addiction in that unless a person really wants to get better, they just aren't going to.
I have a lot of pity for my STBX for what he went through, but I REFUSE to allow him to continually use it as an excuse for his actions.
Armed with what I'd found out, I was able to reconcile on the proviso that he got help and any further acting out and I would be gone.
If I hadn't got myself informed about the after effects of abuse on males, I would have been gone faster than you could blink. It's a reason, not an excuse because he had other options, he could have got IC before he did anything, but was unable to talk about it. But the knowledge that a criminal act had been committed against him as a child and no-one knew, softened me and helped me to give him another chance to come through for me. I understood that he had been hurt long before we ever met.
That's why I've been able to try to reconcile.
Can you talk to your family about what happened to you and your efforts to get help ?
I do not feel like I can speak to my family about it. I've thought about it long and hard and am afraid that they would blame themselves for not protecting me. I feel like I've put them through enough recently bc my ex and I were engaged and planning our wedding when we broke up. They were devastated bc they loved her and her dd so much. My mom especially. She can't even bring herself to take pictures of us down. I don't want to drop another bomb on them. It is just me and my IC. It's hard bc talking to someone other than IC would be helpful but I think telling them at this point for be selfish of me and hurt them even more.
Repressing these memories is common. It is hard going to talk about these memories but getting them out is soooo helpful and allows you to move on.
Married 8 years.
DDay: March 2012
I was abused right under my parents' noses, by their employee. They didn't know. I stood up to that scumbag when I was about 7 years old, and said, "No more," and at that moment:
a) My brain put those events in a compartment. Even though the employee continued to work for my parents and I saw him several days a week, I *literally* had no memory of the events. None. Not until after my parents sold that business and I bumped into the guy when I was about 18. Then it came rushing back. Before that, when I was maybe 15-16 years old, I remember watching a documentary (or something) about repressed memories, and I thought it was utter bullshit! No way could you "not remember" something, I said!
b) I learned that being strong and telling people off, is a great way to get you out of a bad situation! For most of my adult life, the hammer has been the only tool in my toolbox.
c) The POS pedophile got away with it, AFAIK. And I've been "getting away with" minor indiscretions, and getting a little thrill from it, my entire adult life. It was a very painful revelation, to know that I've been subtly "copying" my abuser my entire life.
Anyway, back to telling the parents. Give your parents an opportunity to have compassion for you. It could really help in your healing. Might they blame themselves? My mother does, IDK about Dad. But telling them as an adult showed me that *not telling them* as a child was the right call. This is how my therapist spun it, anyway, and I was glad for her insight. My therapist says, that I knew my parents well enough by age 7, that telling them may have had bad consequences. I told my mom about the CSA about 2 years before my affairs. Her response? Crickets. She glazed over, froze up, right in front of my eyes. And never mentioned it again. Ouch. I mean, as a grown woman that stung, imagine how 7-year-old me would've reacted to that response! And Dad had a temper, I might have been worried that he'd do physical harm to that POS and end up in prison.
How is this possible?? I am in my mid thirties and I'm just now realizing what had happened???
Repressed memories are very common among CSA survivors. So is sexual deviancy. (Yes "common," but not "acceptable" or "inevitable." I recommend you read a book called The Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Maltz. When you read it, you will no longer feel alone.
I have no memory of any sexual abuse.
However, I could tell you the place and people that it would have involved. I have a snapshot of that time and place in my mind.
Separately from that incident I have had nightmares or dreams or just a "vision", if you want to call it that, of some very terrible things, not actual events(I'm positive as I wouldn't have survived these things) happening to me at the home of my god parents. I don't ever remember a time in my life of not having that picture, or whatever it is, in my head. Not too many places it could have come from.
So - my point is, yes, you can repress these things. It isn't important to me to know the details of what happened to me. I just know it's there and it gives me insight into where some of my issues come from so that I can work through them.
I put it in a box. I told myself, "he was drunk, he didn't know it was me, so it doesn't count".
I put it away.
It came out in a conversation with my sister, she was questioning if it had happened to her. I said,"well he did it to me, so he probably did it to you too".
I was shocked, I had to get off the phone, it was as if I didn't know before but I did all at the same time. I was in my late 30's.
It definitely impacted my life. I see that now. In a different way from you but just as destructive.
I became very passive, very willing to please, willing to accept abuse at the expense of myself.
So, yes it does change your life.
Therapy helps. It was not your fault but you do have the power now to control what you do with it.
It is so sad that any child has to know that kind of pain. I am sorry that you experienced that.
Learn, get help. It is not your shame, you were innocent.
I would now like to be known as Can!
dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013
I attempted R, he was a lie
I'm so sorry to read of all the painful experiences of people who have written here.
One of the things that makes child abuse of any sort so horrible is that because children don't have perspective like adults, they can't see that the horrible thing that is happening is distorting that very perspective as it forms... Kind of like a fish doesn't really understand that it's swimming in water. So you live with that warped perspective all your life til something jars you hard enough to force you to reconsider it.
An interviewer once asked me if I could sum up everything I know about psychology in ten words or less. I said, "Hell, I can do it in two words: People cope." --Mira Kirshenbaum
Those people that harmed us will never know what they have done and have no remorse. and no consequences.
This may sound wrong and I am sorry if it is taken wrong. The only positive so far from my Affair is the fact that I have had to face this. And stop it, So I DO NOT pass it down to my children.
I want to be able to model good coping skils, be emotionally there in the right way,a healthy way,so they hopefully will be able to live a happy fulfilling life and be willing to be open to love and trust in a healthy way. And then pass that down to their children.
You did not choose to be abused,nor did I, It has affected us,it made us unhealthy. Face it, accept it. Give it back to the person.
And no its not an excuse like our abuser they had a choice,we had a choice to cheat or not. It does however answer some of the why's and how's.
Bestrong and keep working on getting healthy.
Hm. That makes no sense.
I have nightmares of being sexually assaulted by members of the same sex at times and in my sexual addiction, eroticized transgendered prostitutes, and masturbated to those thoughts. Needless to say, even though I have no real attraction to men or young children, I am terrified of sexually abusing my own son and perpetuating the cycle because of my experiences with CSA.
Just remember, it is NOT your fault. YOU are a SURVIVOR.
I don't think you are making up a reason for your actions, but rather trying to make sense of your own behavior. It is important to understand and process CSA. Might I suggest reading the following:
You are in my thoughts, Mrunderstood.
I am a sex addict, working on myself, and facing the wreckage of my actions. Original D-Day was in 2008. My lies about my sexual addiction and STD lasted for another 5 years.