I don't remember exactly when the abuse started or when it ended. I do remember certain memories. My father on top of me, the feeling of his stubble on my face and body, and his intimidating stare the morning after.
I guess I came here trying to find anyone else who has the same issue...
Your words ring very true to me. I was 47 when I could finally face what my dad did to me, and I began with similarly fragmentary memories and only feeling that something was wrong, that something had happened to me when I was a kid. I have gotten back some memories and have been told things by a family member that I don't recall.
In the absence of more, I have learned to trust my feelings regarding the abuse and not require the evidence of memory. Learning to trust myself has been the biggest struggle in my life - and the most powerful thing I have accomplished.
I think trust is what abusers take from us. There are huge amounts of doubt in all the stories I have read at MS - of events, of feelings, of self worth - and yet the evidence is that these are brave, strong men, men I respect. I wondered whether this meant that I might be equally brave, strong and worthy of respect... Finally I had to believe in myself and stop searching for facts. It was that or let the abuse win. It takes a leap of faith every day.
Over the past five years I've come a long way. I have spent a lot of time here, at MS, often simply as a visitor, reading and taking comfort and strength from the stories of men like you and me who are finding our ways. The wealth of experience in this place is an unmatchable resource, as you have already found in the responses to your post.
As petercorbett said, the next few years will be "the emotional roller coaster ride of your life"
I am glad to meet you, you are brave and strong. You made your way here, and you are strong enough to look for answers, you will make your way through. And when you it's difficult, ask for help and encouragement. The people in this place are amazing.