What you say about trusting your gut is essential. It’s so easy for us as survivors of abuse to minimize and rationalize what happened to us to the point that it can drive one crazy. In my case I have gone over and over it again for years i.e. was I abused or not abused until I finally asked myself "did I like it?" The answer came back to me as a resounding no! I can't speak for women survivors but this is a hard one for males since our anatomy often betrays us by way of the abusive acts themselves being sexually stimulating. In my experience this was the case but after being brought to orgasm I felt horribly alone and horrible about myself, knowing deep down inside that my inner sense of self had just been violated and irreparably harmed by someone much older, larger, and more powerful who saying no to made no difference. All I wanted to do after it happened for the first time was kill him and even envisioned putting a knife in his back while he was doing the things he did to me. Perhaps such violent feelings in relation to the abuse are part of why I have buried the anger that I have had for so long about it, for fear of recognizing that anger as legitimate I mean. Instead I frequently say things like “it happened but it doesn’t matter now”, “it happened, but that’s life for a kid in the situation I was in at the time” or the proverbial question “it happened but was it abuse?” I think part of our resistance as survivors when it comes to naming it as abuse (for guys anyways) is our resistance to feeling powerless and lacking control as males. Does this make sense to anyone else? JS
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.