This is essentially the same post that I replied to on the F&F board from someone who was trying to understand why survivors rarely tell their partners about their past CSA. I thought it would be helpful to repost it as a new topic so more will see it.
I hope this helps to understand us a little better.
Hi I'm Alex and I am a male survivor of CSA and incest from the age of 5 to 12 (my psych and I think I was actually younger, possibly even 3 yo). I was also gang raped (5 yo) by males and females in a satanic ritual. My experiences are beyond harsh, and are not typical, but I can offer really good insight in general.
I'm 40 and am a gay male so my experience is a little different, but not really when it comes down to it. I can only speak for myself, but reality is that us male survivors share so much of the same traits, gay or straight, young or old. So I hope I can shed a little light for you and other F&F.
We have a lot of guilt. A lot of shame. A lot of confusion. A lot of anger. "It's not supposed to happen to boys. Especially not to men. Especially not from a female." That is what society says to us. That's what we all tell ourselves at some point.
Very, very few cities have support groups for men. Usually for women, but rarely for men. God forbid if you live in a small town. You won't even be able to find a therapist who has any experience in most cases, let alone a support group.
I will open my heart quite a bit on this post, which means the language will be raw
. There is a reason for this. Not because it is fun, oh who the hell am I kiddn'? It is
. But in all do seriousness, it is because we ALL carry a lot of anger until we work on releasing it, and too few really do. You will be able to enter a survivor mind a little in order to gain some understanding.
Also, before I truly explain, I want to be clear. Abuse is abuse. I don't care if it is boy or girl. Man or woman. Young or old. It simply is not right and should not exist in our society. But reality is, it does. My heart goes out to ALL survivors, not just males.
So here I go...
Boys aren't supposed to cry. Especially men. I don't care where you are from. That is what society tells us. "Man up! Act like a man! Just let it go! Dude, get over it! WTF, pull yourself together!" ... You get the idea.
It's a load of crap! Boys are pretty damn sensitive, and so are most men. Some of us more so than others. We often cry alone in the dark so no one knows. Or, some drown themselves in alcohol or drugs to try and numb out the pain. Some seek sex, some in very dark ways. Some become workaholics, but you want to know a "secret"? We ALL cry! No matter how stoic we may appear on the outside. We ALL cry.
Society teaches little boys to be like men. But we weren't, we were boys. There is a huge difference. So the little boy tries to act like a man. It's very common for little boys to act tough and self supportive to one degree or another. I was raped by males and females. Most were adults, but even the one who wasn't was still 7 years older than me. When you are 6, that is a hell of a big difference in size, even though in that case it was a female (an aunt).TRIGGER ALERT!!!!!!
I'll paint a picture... So here is a little boy, acting, and often thinking he is "big enough" to protect himself. A little 35 pound body is no match to someone who is 100 pounds, or especially 200+ pounds. Especially if it is someone you are supposed to trust, or do trust, which is most often the case.
You're pinned down, or restrained suddenly. Adrenaline pumps through your body and brain. Your heart races. Your mind races. You go into fight or flight mode. Nothing works. Your mind freezes. You've never been in this situation before. You get hit. Slapped. Yelled at. "Stop fighting you little fuck!".
Your cloths get ripped off, seemingly instantly. If it is a male, all of a sudden your butt gets penetrated and it's instant pain. Now your body pumps a huge and sudden surge of adrenaline, endorphins, and every damn chemical known to the human race because your body and mind is in panic and trauma mode. No lubrication! Nothing to soothe you. Nothing to protect you. Nothing to calm you. You want it to end now. But it doesn't.
It's daddy! Who the fuck are you going to tell? Where the hell was mom? Why didn't the police come and stop it and get the bad guy off of you? Wait. It's daddy. Daddy can't be the bad guy. Daddy is supposed to protect you, not steal your innocence. Why wasn't anyone there!!!!! WHERE THE FUCK WAS GOD!!!!!
"Man up! Take it like a little man! Get over it! Boys can't get raped. You are supposed to be able to protect yourself. YOUR MAKING IT UP!!!!"END OF TRIGGER ALERT!!!!!!
That's a harsh picture, but it was very real for me and describes , in some detail, on what happens in our minds, body, and soul, including an idea of the chemicals that get produced in mass quantities and practically instantly. Even DECADES
For some it's a brother. Sometimes a family friend. Sometimes a next door neighbor. A teacher. A preacher. A coach. Your mom. Your aunt. Etc., etc.
If it happens to a man, the emotional pain is even worse because they are bigger. Some are trained protectors or even killers (military).
Some of us got the courage to tell someone. But like me, I wasn't believed the first couple of times. Even worse, when I was 12 I tried committing suicide (loaded a gun and put it to my head and pulled the trigger. It didn't go off). I was suffering from PTSD but had no clue. I was seriously depressed (obviously not seriously happy
), and was trying to come to grips with being gay in a small religious town during the early 80's when AIDS was first being discovered. There was a lot of homophobia on the news and in my home.
I wrote a letter to a friend crying for help and my parents found it. They took me to a psychiatrist and I told him the very basic stuff. Then I told him about being gay, and this wonderful, "God fearing Christian" folded up my folder, threw it on the table and told me "I can't help you. It's against my religious beliefs. All fags will burn in hell, and I think your making things up." Then he walked me out and told my parents with me standing there that I WANTED to be gay. Can you believe that. Shit, these days the guy could loose his license and get sued big time. I didn't WANT to be gay, I wanted to try to accept myself and try to care for me.
Anyway, not all of us have good experiences on trying to tell for one reason or another. That is if we even get up the courage. So many don't. We try to deal with it alone. Sometimes we "hit bottom" in life and have no choice so it all comes flooding out at once.
So many especially don't want to tell someone who actually loves and cares for us. "For Christ sakes, they'll reject us too. We've had enough. Please take the pain away!!!! Please!!!! Don't let them find out. How could they possibly love us if we told them?"
That's essentially what goes through most of our minds to one degree or another.
So you all aren't worrying about me too much, I'm a lot better than you might think. Yes I still have a lot of pain. Yes, I still have a lot to work through, but I am in really good hands. I have a great psychologist who is supportive and I can tell anything to. I have a very supportive sister (I only have one sibling) and a mother who does her best to support me, and is doing a great job. I have one uncle who is very supportive, and I do have a few close and supportive friends.
I do not have a partner though because the last one shattered my heart and it is something I'm still processing. That was 8 years ago. I've not dated anyone since, but I'm finally getting to the point where I'm close to slowly venturing out again.
I'm a very caring, loving and gentle person. But I do get sad. I do get depressed from time to time. I have an IQ of 146 which officially makes me a genious, even though my spelling sucks. LOL.
I'm certainly not a loss, but I do feel broken. We all do. Some get passed that but it takes a lot of work, and it does take time.
I hope this post helps F&F to get a true and honest glimpse into our pain and why it is so difficult for us to process. My heart goes out to those of you who love us and try so desperately to support us. You are all truly loved, even if you don't know or feel it.
From a true survivor.