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#394755 - 04/24/12 03:09 PM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: jls]
Asmodeus Offline

Registered: 10/25/05
Posts: 112
Loc: Vestavia, Alabama, USA
The fact that there will always be people who had it worse doesn't take away from what happened to any of us.
I may not be perfect, but at least I'm not fake.

#394919 - 04/25/12 05:44 PM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: Asmodeus]
jls Offline

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
When I look at it objectively, as in how anybody else would see it, I guess I had it pretty bad, being a young teen living on the streets and subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation by adult predators while trying to survive in that situation. Its just hard for me to see it that way, it being that bad I mean, for a number of reasons. One of them is that I am often so dissociated from my feelings about what happened to me that I feel nothing, so I guess its not surprising that I'm having difficulty grasping the full reality of what I went thru. Also, I wonder if I tell myself it wasn't that bad as a protective mechanism, like I'm trying to alter the reality of what happened to me in retrospect so that I don't have to face the pain of it today, which is in effect a form of minimization/denial. Anyways these are all intellectual insights and are far away from feelings I've been long detached from. Hopefully I'll reach them someday.

#394924 - 04/25/12 06:21 PM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: jls]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3785

I think it is important to speak of the abuse like others have said, tell what you went through, how you felt and feel today about the abuse. My T sees speaking as letting the poison from the abuse out of the mind and body. Be selective to whom you tell. I told some close to me and the treatment, as least as I felt, was as bad as the abuse--scorn and humiliation and down right inhumane. Fortunately I found support from strangers who allowed me to speak and heal, I found live support groups that allowed me to speak and heal, I have a therapist who is excellent and creates a safe place for me to heal--these people offered me safety and a non judgmental ear and smile. If I had not found these people, I would have been lost at the hands of the first people I told and do not believe I would be here today. Reliving the abuse in a condemning environment does not allow one to heal but rather destroys. Hearing yourself speak and seeing eyes listening and not rolling into a shallow head in disbelief, hearing people say you can talk when ready we are here and not hearing people demanding to know when are you going to get money for the abuse, seeing a gentle smile and a pat on the back instead of fingers point at you, and hearing words you are so brave to have survived and be here today--helps one to move forward. Like most,I could not speak until I felt safe.

Remember, it only takes being sexual abused once that makes you a victim--each victim reacts differently. The impact is the same, you have been violated, robbed of your childhood and ability to trust and love. You are standing today, so you are a survivor and you deserve to be free and happy.


Edited by KMCINVA (04/25/12 07:29 PM)

#394949 - 04/25/12 11:30 PM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: jls]
traveler Online   confused

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4223
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
i agree 100%
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#394988 - 04/26/12 04:55 AM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: jls]
kirby Offline

Registered: 04/23/12
Posts: 23
Same for me man it was only when i found, others who had been through it when i realized these feelings were normal,

#394992 - 04/26/12 05:37 AM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: jls]
whome Offline

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1743
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa

I know the feeling, I also have those thoughts. When I read stories like yours it makes me feel even worse, living on the streets and having men take advantage of you.
I feel like a bit of a fraud. But the truth is that I have a guy that was molested for a year at school, he was just fondled, and he shows the effects of abuse more than probably others would.
Its not the intensity, its the ramifications.
In AA after years of meetings I sat and listened to the readers on day and something they said hit me, and it was this.
"I will not regret my past, nor wish to shut the door on it" and the other one was "No matter how far I am down the line, I will us my experience to help others"
I have, and in the very first meeting that I shared my 'real' story two people stood up and shared their abuse too. My story helped them, I felt so good about that. So I no longer keep my abuse a secret, I no longer hide it, it is what it was and I had no control over it, it was not my fault.

Your story is here on MS and I am sure that it helped a lot of guys here over the time you have been here, I know it helped me.

Heal well
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

#395061 - 04/26/12 06:00 PM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: whome]
jls Offline

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
"I will not regret my past, nor wish to shut the door on it"

I like that line. It rings as equally true for my recovery from sexual abuse as it does for my recovery from alcoholism. What I take from it is that the past is what it is, as in it can't be changed, or willed or denied away. In the absence of access to a time machine my past will always remain part of me so learning to accept it is vital to healing from it. Like you said though, its the ramifications of the abuse that are most relevant since with alot of effort those can be changed, as in how the abuse affects my life today, which I am still working on.
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And well change the world.

#395066 - 04/26/12 06:37 PM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: jls]
Steve J Offline

Registered: 09/26/08
Posts: 24
Loc: MS Gulf Coast
Hey Guys,

I resonate with all of your responses. The one thing I took away from the Oprah Show was that the way CSA is perpetuated is by victims not speaking out. Since then, I've taken every opportunity I can find to tell my story. I've told my story to my therapist, my addiction support group, my Mankind Project men's group, the HEA annual conference ( I do have mild hypospadias), the Exchange Club (a national service organization that raises money for the prevention of child abuse), and anyone else who will listen.

If you are looking for safe men, I personally recommend the Mankind Project ( It is through this organization that I have learned that it is possible for me to have a non-sexual, intimate relationship with other men. When I attend my MKP men's group every other week, I can bring anything to the group, knowing that I will never be criticized, judged, or condemned. I may be challenged, but never criticized. I have found these men to be caring and very supportive.

Several years ago, I staffed a New Warrior training in Montreal. On Saturday morning while observing a process, I got triggered. I moved to another room and was leaning against the wall weeping when I heard someone come up behind me. He asked if he could touch me, and when I said yes, he just held me. Moments later, he was joined by another man, and they just held me and comforted me while I dealt with the emotions. After about 15 minutes, the emotions passed, and I was able to talk about what had happened. After I shared my story, one of the other men acknowledged that the same thing happened to him. I don't know where I could have found that kind of support outside of MKP.

The Mankind Project is not the only organization doing men's work. There are a number of others. MKP is the only one I am intimately familiar with. There are a number of guys here on MS who are New Warriors. I'm sure they will reveal themselves if asked.

If you want to know more, PM me. I wish you all the best.
Steve J
Courageous Buffalo

New Warrior, May 2008
WoR, Hope Springs, October 2009
WoR, Dahlonega, May 2010

#395072 - 04/26/12 08:10 PM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: jls]
ArtsyGuy Offline

Registered: 04/26/12
Posts: 9
Loc: GA, USA
Originally Posted By: jls
I often feel like my experience of sexual abuse is illegitimate, as if I somehow dont qualify to be a survivor. Things go thru my head like -

As a teenager I was old enough to know better...

Other people had it worse...

jls, I'm new here, and these two thoughts in-particular resonated in my mind often over the years. I was 14 at the time of my experience. You're not alone in having these thoughts- and it can be painful, but we're headed in the right direction by just talking about those thought processes openly. It takes a great deal of courage to do so.

#395098 - 04/27/12 12:21 AM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: jls]
Sailor John Offline

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 310
Loc: Newfoundland & Labrador
Hi jls,

I can completely sympathise with you. Most of those feelings have happened to me. A couple others that still haunt me to this day is thinking about a woman that I never asked for a date because of fearing rejection even though we often chatted for a long time as she worked in the canteen in the building I was staying in.

Another is why didn't I tell my best friend because I know that his family would have taken me out of the hell I suffered and still do.

I think that we get all f()@ked up at times and have to just work through it. It's amazing what we can do when we have to to help our recovery along
I will mourn the teenager I never was and strive to make that dot of light way out in the far reaches of the end of the tunnel turn into a bright sun.


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