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#289229 - 05/28/09 03:19 PM "Was I Abused?"
just me Offline

Registered: 05/27/09
Posts: 200
I’m new here, I found the site yesterday and it has been amazing and confusing.

I told my story, for the first time in detail, to a brother (thanks- I feel adopted) in the chat room. His empathy and understanding was truly remarkable, and helpful. I will share my story but I wanted to get feedback on what I’m most confused about. Feedback is greatly appreciated and I would also love to hear from anyone with similar experiences. (I don’t have triggers related to discussing it, so no worries).

I always struggled with how to look at the touching I experienced at 12 years old. A pediatrician touched me…but it was different…at least to me it was.

“I was at a summer camp and they needed to bring me to the local Dr…. my parents weren’t there.” My confusion was always based on “Well he is a Dr.” “It was only a little touching (fondling??).” “That is his job…to examine kids”… “I was there for a sore throat and an ear infection …so why is he touching me?” “Why did he unbuckle my belt, without saying anything?” “Why did he pull down my zipper, without saying anything?” “Why did he lower my pants, without saying anything?” “Why did he pull down my white briefs, without saying anything?” “Why did he touch me, without saying anything?”

I had many visits to my regular pediatrician, but this was different.

I never discussed it.

I began to ask friends, “So how does your doctor do check-ups?” “How much can you wear?” "What does he/she do?"

I ask myself….”Was I abused?”

I ask myself…compared to the “real” abuses out there and those experienced by brothers here…”What’s the big deal?”…”Stop making it more than it was”…

Maybe it’s my issue?

I felt validation yesterday when, in the chat room, he said “You were abused” but I I’m still confused. After all there are brothers here who were treated thousands of times worse and experienced horrors beyond the imagination…why does this affect me?

It’s been almost 30 years since then…and I haven’t stopped wondering about it.


#289239 - 05/28/09 04:20 PM Re: "Was I Abused?" [Re: just me]
Casmir213 Offline

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 851
Loc: Northeast, USA
Just me,

Welcome to the site. I'm new here myself and have experienced mixed emotions about this site too. My sexual abuse experience pales in comparison to most of the stories I've read here, and I wonder sometimes do I actually belong here. I know for a fact I was sexually abused but just how much did it affect me isn't an easy question to answer, but then again I'm only new to the site so perhaps questions will be answered the more I participate in my own and others recovery.

According to what you wrote about what happened to you it really does qualify as sexual abuse. He had no right to do that to you and it definitely was not your fault it happened. He was an adult authority figure who abused his authority over you as your doctor. There is no doubt about that from what you described, and I'm sure you're telling the truth.

I'm 42 myself and it seems that midlife is the time when our past catches up with us. That's why I'm on this site trying to deal/process what happened to me and it's after effects. The way I look at it: abuse is abuse and pain is pain. We all share in these profound feelings that come along with what happened to us. That's why it is so easy to relate to what people say here. It's like we finally found a home where we have a right to break the silence and fight back against the effects of CSA/SA. Some will have to work harder than others, and some men will probably have other issues besides CSA/SA to overcome in their life. It is confusing and scary to sort all these things out in our lives, but we are provided with a safe place to do that here, if we so choose. Because it is our choice.

What was really helpful for me also was reading books on the subject of "Male Sexual Abuse". There are a number of these books available, and the one that I've read describes me perfectly in it's case examples of men who were sexually abused either in childhood or later on in life. Trauma is trauma and our particular trauma brings us together. Dr. Richard Gartner Ph.D/Psychoanalyst, the past president of this site, wrote two books specifically for us (Betrayed As Boys and Beyond Betrayal). There are also other books written that have been very helpful to men here and you'll see them referred to in other people's posts here and there.

Again, welcome to the site,


I see recovery as a lifelong journey rather than a final destination, a journey, though, which can have many successes along the way.

WoR Alumnus - Hope Springs, OH, October 2009

My avatar is the farmhouse at the Hope Spring, OH WoR. It's a nice place.

#289257 - 05/28/09 07:44 PM Re: "Was I Abused?" [Re: Casmir213]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA

Hi, and welcome to the site. I'm so glad you have had a positive experience here so far, and it doesn't surprise me. I know I felt the same way when I was new and really confused and uncertain about so many things.

Were you abused? Well, as you yourself say, you were at the doctor's office to be checked for a sore throat and ear infection, so what's up with the inspection further south???? And without a word of reassurance or explanation to you? That certainly doesn't sound right to me. Even way back when I was a boy I think any legitimate doctor would have been trying to comfort me and keep me from feeling alarmed and afraid if he was going to touch me in a private way.

Please don't feel you need to assess the importance or impact of your own experience in abuse based on what happened to others. We are all different, after all, and what is important in your case is that this happened to YOU. If it upset you or has caused you problems that is already reason enough to ask for help. How it compares to what happened to others is really beside the point.

Again, welcome.

Much love,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

#289271 - 05/28/09 08:53 PM Re: "Was I Abused?" [Re: roadrunner]
Barney Offline

Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 236
Loc: Southern Utah/Northern Arizon
Hey guy,

So glad you posted your experience on here and got some feedback. I hope you will take the time to get as much from the site as you can not only for you personally but professionally as well.

Take care and keep in touch.


#289273 - 05/28/09 08:58 PM Re: "Was I Abused?" [Re: Casmir213]
shoes_untied Offline

Registered: 05/27/09
Posts: 8
I wanted you to know that just because your abuse was not as as bad as mine doesn't make it any less traumatic.

Edited by shoes_untied (05/28/09 08:59 PM)

#289294 - 05/29/09 12:01 AM Re: "Was I Abused?" [Re: shoes_untied]
petercorbett Offline

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2509
Hi justme.

Welcome aboard. Welcome home. Here you will receive compassion, understanding and love. We do not judge you. We want you to take our hand and join us together on this rocky road to recovery.

Were you abused? Sure sounds like it to me. An uninvited violation of your body. Forget about it being as bad as mine or any one else. We all were sexually abused, no matter how often, nor for how many years, nor in what way.

So welcome aboard.

Heal well my brother/friend, just me.

Pete (Irishmoose)

Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.

#289299 - 05/29/09 12:53 AM Re: "Was I Abused?" [Re: petercorbett]
needtobefreed Offline

Registered: 03/07/09
Posts: 26
Loc: Maryland
just me

Welcome aboard. i would have to say I tend to agree with the other brothers who have posted.

I can tell you that from my experience in working with my brothers in here that the stories varied greatly; from who the abuser was, the extent of the abuse; the length of the abuse; and so on. Although they varied greatly, the pain and suffering behind it were so tragically familiar.

I don't know your story behind your abuse, but I suspect that you have had issues behind it like most of us. 30 years gone and it is still on your mind? It had an impact on you to some degree because you are seeking we all have.

Good luck my brother.


Your brother
Alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA. May 2009
Alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA. May 2010

#289340 - 05/29/09 08:24 AM Re: "Was I Abused?" [Re: needtobefreed]
Trucker51 Offline

Registered: 05/21/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
From what you have said this incident with the doctor does sound abusive. There is always the old hernia check, and I have some odd memories of trepidation before that particular check when I was a teen and before my success in recovery too. Generally that procedure would be performed after you had changed into a hospital gown in private though several times a doctor did it after he asked me to lower my pants in an exam room. An exam for your symptoms would not generally include any reason to perform a hernia check or to remove your pants.

Just a few years ago I had a very attractive female doctor 15 years my junior perform an extended hernia exam that I found kind of pleasurable. If she had done what she did to me to a 12 year old boy I would have thought of it as questionable. From what you have said my experience in recovery tells me that this doctor's actions were well outside of normal and should certainly be thought of as abusive.

Welcome to our support site.


"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark

#289444 - 05/30/09 02:56 AM Re: "Was I Abused?" [Re: roadrunner]
wes-b Offline

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 438
Loc: Western, Canada

My Brother Just me;

I am thrilled to see you found us. I read your post and I am reminded of my tendency to minimize my abuses... It wasn't that bad Dick had it worse :-) Well, my brother, I have come to believe that comparing is part of my minimizing :-\ I was released fromm minimizing by my friend Dick, who's story I will not reference out of deference, who one day told me that he found my story horrifying... which floored me as I always saw his as horrifying :-\ Anyhow, any event that still takes up space in my head and I find my self wondering if it was abuse or not I now accept that it was and process it as such.

I hope you can relate. And I look forward to seeing further post from you.

Love and hugs, Wes

~~~ Ok I started this yesterday and was promptly distracted, work will do that ;-) ~~~

Happy to be a recovering survivor. :-)

Continuing to meet more of my fellows as I "Trudge the Road of Happy Destiny".

My Story, 1st pass

#289541 - 05/30/09 11:20 PM Re: "Was I Abused?" [Re: wes-b]
Anna1988 Offline

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 30
Just Me,

While I am here as a supporter, I have been abused as well. In answer to your question, yes you were abused.

Just because something that happened was not as bad as others' experiences does not make it something other than abuse. This is one question I have asked as well. It is normal to diminish the abuse. Though finding help here and maybe on a person to person level (AKA a therapist) will help in deciding what to do next.

Good luck.

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