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#416981 - 11/23/12 01:37 AM HEARTBROKEN!!! Is this "me" or is it from him???
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 928
In most regards I am glad I found this website. It's been a universally constructive, safe, empowering community, and for the most part I guess I'm glad to see I'm not alone (though yeah, obviously, I'm sorry it happened to anybody).

But there's one thing here that I was horrified to see. Just horrified.

This thing that is apparently known as "SSA". I consider myself a very well-read and worldly guy but I'd never heard of the concept in this context until I came here. And it's kind of erased a major chunk of my life. Is this a re-victimization? Can you be re-victimized by trying to seek help in the first place?

I was molested at age 8. Didn't understand it. Figured it out around 11-12. Felt no conscious damage from it and was able to move past and ignore it for basically the entire rest of my life - until a nervous breakdown this past fall. By 12-13, when sexual urges / interests started, I was startled and confused because my attentions seemed split between girls and guys. I'll never forget that in health class we had a project to examine gender / sex appeal issues and we were supposed to watch commercials meant to market products to either men or women based on ideas of desirability / sexiness.... and I didn't "get it", it was like they were all speaking another language, I couldn't tell any of the ads apart. All of the people were sexy. I tried to shrink into my seat and made sure to answer last so I could match what the other kids had said.

I hated myself, full of confusion - disgust - self loathing - and absolute terror - at the thought that I could ever be gay or have gay thoughts. Being gay was the most horrible disgusting fate imaginable. I'd view every time I got the hots for a girl or j/o-ed to straight porn as not just enjoyable but also a victory. It was never forced - I always liked girls. But liking guys too outweighed it. Typical smalltown internal / external homophobia bullshit - where everything bad or weak or strange was "gay" and everybody who was different or who you just didn't like was a "f@ggot."

I had a ritual mantra of straightness assurance words that, if I repeated them to myself enough, would just totally totally prove that I was straight and make it permanent and banish all gay thoughts and gay everything forever. I repeated my ritual mantra of straightness assurance words probably 200-300 times a day for 6 years.

Do you get the picture of the self-loathing and confusion and terror yet?

Okay then - fastforward to young adulthood! By my early 20s, by going through college and moving to a big city and working with a very diverse crowd including many openly gay people, and by continuing to desire women and hook up with them whenever I could... yadda yadda yadda... I manage to come to terms with my sexuality. Realized that I was a good person, that no one could "see" my thoughts, that I wasn't a dirty freak for having these thoughts, that teenagers are idiots, that there was nothing wrong with bi *or* gay people, and it was wrong to judge people on such matters anyway, and that male bisexuality was a real thing (Dan Savage finally coming around to it was a big help!).

And so, I accepted myself fully as a bi man. I came out to myself - and no one else - but that's really the most important person in the equation isn't it? In my own mind, in the mirror, there was no more denial. No more shame. No more guilt. The cloud lifted. I was comfortable and happy and confident. I never hooked up with guys in person but there were always other options.... I'm sure the guys reading in this forum of all places know exactly what I'm talking about. I was cool with all of it and left all the bad feelings behind.

And then....

....then I came here.

And I found out about the pervasiveness of "SSA" within survivors and found myself shaken and dumbfounded. I had never, ever heard of this, and if anyone had told me beforehand I would have assumed they were lying. I knew that the "vampire syndrome" was a myth and so would never have believed this either. Gaybashing creationists are the only people who believe that pedophiles "turn you gay." Isn't everybody taught that people are "born this way"? That it's just who you are? That was how I accepted it - that it really is WHO I AM and since I'm going to know myself for (hopefully) a long time I'd better get comfortable with it.

But what if it never was the real me? What if I wasn't predestined to have these feelings and this orientation - if it even IS my orientation after all?!?!

I WORKED SO HARD FOR SO MANY YEARS to like myself and not be afraid of how I felt and I finally finally finally was happy. And then this new paradigm of "yeah, getting molested can make you fantasize about dudes and be full of guilt the whole time" is just like a knife in my heart.

What if my self-loathing as a teenager WASN'T self-loathing at all? What if those feelings really WEREN'T me, weren't the "self" - but were from HIM? I feel nauseous and sick envisioning my 13-year-old self now maybe as a meant-to-be-straight kid, doing psychic battle with some alien thing that really was NOT ME - that I was RIGHT to reject - that really was hostile and not supposed to be there and was attacking me. That HE had injected those feelings into me right along with his cumload. That my "real self" was struggling and needed help in my teenaged years and maybe all my denial could have helped... could have worked... or therapy at the right time or something...

....but in the end, by accepting "myself," maybe I was actually accepting his poison, his reprogramming.

What if I was surrendering? Turning over a confused 13-year-old kid to unwanted and uncontrollable urges that really WERE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THERE? What if instead of accepting my real self, I was actually abandoning and killing my real self and settling for whatever he'd turned me into?

I am heartbroken, empty and desolate. I think back at the plus-or-minus DECADE that I spent at war with myself and then finally learning to like and accept myself and being okay with how I felt after all. Everybody noticed an improvement in my mood, my self-confidence. Argh. I was in psychic agony for so long and came very close to suicide so many times, war with myself, and then was PROUD of what I thought was a BREAKTHROUGH when I accepted being bi, gave up the guilt, reveled and luxuriated in the feelings being free at long long last, even if they were only free to me - at least I knew. At least I knew who I was and I was okay with it. I'd come so far over the years, found the real me, and liked me.

I don't know who I am anymore.

I don't know what I am anymore.

I might never know.

I feel like a statue from an extinct civilization that was smashed into a million shards and that clueless anthropologists will try and fail to piece together for decades, before giving it up and putting all the ruins in a cardboard box with a little tag on them to get cobwebby, just another unsolved mystery, permanently unsolvable without a working time machine.

And I'm more miserable than I've ever, ever been.

I will never know. I will never really know. It was all for nothing.

I should have told. I wasn't okay. I should not have waited TWENTY-SIX YEARS. I should have told. I should have told. I should have been seeing a child psychiatrist before I turned 10. Certainly before puberty. I should have told. I should not have thought it was okay. I should not have tried to spare my parents and sister from pain. I should not have cared about how much they all cried when it turned out my sister's boyfriend was a pedophile who raped multiple boys in the neighborhood (not me, I was "off limits"). I should not have prioritized keeping them all from crying more about child abuse as more important than actually telling about my abuse. I should have done something and now it's much, much too late.

I've started to go over this with my T, but what's the point? Without a time machine she's as clueless as I am.

Hate myself more than ever.

And I can't cry too loud or else I'll wake up my wife.

Oh God help me. Or someone, anyone help me. Help me know.
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#416983 - 11/23/12 03:16 AM Re: HEARTBROKEN!!! Is this "me" or is it from him??? [Re: SoccerStar]
nltsaved Offline

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 921
Loc: Kc,Mo
All i can say man is take a breath and no for sure that you need to realize that you are not as alone as you once thought you might of been . All you have to do is continue reading the board and you will begin to even feel more normal because you are around people that have lived this " normal" life .

No one who has not been abused and confused has no possible idea what it takes to have to continue having to fight everyday for a sense of normalcy .

There are days if it is not the abuse that is all consuming
it is the ssa if it not the ssa it is the many sexual aspects whether it is porn addiction , masturbation, fantasies that are just out there or all of the above all at once .

No one knows the battle and the fight that goes on all the while trying to live a coherent life a life of a husband or father or just trying to make itthrough a job on a day to day basis without a mental break down.

The terrible thing is having to do this while trying to heal or try to put together how ,why ,when Scenarios just trying to piece this thing together .

Whooo man i said all that to let you no i just summed up more than half or more of this board and that does not even begin to scratch the surface.

But i do believe to help answer your question about someone helping you is that you need to realize that you are already beginning the process by talking to a T and by coming here seeking answers and trying to confront these issues and for that you need to give yourself some credit.

It sounds like a lot on your plate and you just need to take a minute and take things one step at a time until you get a little traction and try not to climb this mountain all at once.

This is major stuff to deal with and allow yourself to feel all these things by starting to confront these issues. This is a long process but one that is well worth the hurt and pain and even the confusion.

The other choice is to have all of the above with no confrontation of the issues and just be stuck living in the same position which by now even you have to admit has not been working .

So i congratulate you on at least starting this journey much like many including myself who find the courage to seek out solutions even by not allowing yourself to sit without answers and began searching the net for people who have suffered the same fate that all here on this board have suffered and that is abuse and confusion or even rape

We all no what it is like to loose something
that we are all trying to get "It" back whatever that "It" is for each of us as individuals .
There are a lot of great people here that have helped me and continue to add prospectives i could not have gained anywhere else and for the 4 yrs i have been here i have moved from a survivor to thriver and even am advocate for the cause .

Healing is possible and it is hard and some days harder than others but like i said the fight is worth it . I struggle with same sex attraction and i no am not gay i have nothing against anyone who is gay but i no that this is something different and it is tied to abuse and desires that were fed and satisfied many times at a young age and it became my normal and it became an appetite that still wants to be fed
even though i am trying to undo sexually crossed wires and live the life i believe i would have lived had the abuse not have happened, if that makes sense.

I am married with kids and my wife knows All about Everything there is to no about me and that helps but that appetite still tries to Demand my attention and it is a battle day in and day out.
But one i am willing to fight it is my choice to fight this battle as it is yours
just know that it does not make you this or that it just means you acknowledge there is a fight that you have a choice to fight or not to fight and what ever you choose to do is up to you and you only .

This is a personal thing and just because you have this war going on does not make you any less of a man or a husband or anything we try to convince ourselves we are because of this war we fight . We were broken trying to put the pieces back together nothing more nothing less

Edited by nltsaved (11/23/12 03:26 AM)
Video of me telling my story
you are not alone never were
Why i hate Religion but love Jesus

#417256 - 11/25/12 10:49 PM Re: HEARTBROKEN!!! Is this "me" or is it from him??? [Re: SoccerStar]
Aptrick Offline

Registered: 06/26/02
Posts: 77
Loc: Nashville,Tennessee
Whether the decision is to fault the molestation or your genetic make-up, I think, humbly and respectfully, is pointless. It is the choice of accepting or not accepting how you feel. I know that i have spent decades in self-hatred and self-blame, only to realize that the choice is to accept the feelings as part of who i am or continue to tear myself apart over something I can not change. It isn't easy to acknowledge, even only to yourself, the feelings of attraction to both genders. I think it takes alot of self-respect to accept that the attraction is there.
Pain makes you Beautiful -the Judybats, 1993

#417426 - 11/27/12 06:35 PM Re: HEARTBROKEN!!! Is this "me" or is it from him??? [Re: SoccerStar]
1lifenow Offline

Registered: 03/07/11
Posts: 437
Loc: west coast
Soccer Star

you put so much on yourself, its ok its not your fault there is so much you have to learn.

WERE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THERE? you say of the urges and you are right. You will never really know. But its no different than the college star injured b4 making the pro's , how good would he have been? He becomes a great coach instead. Is that a loss? The kid blinded in a car accident , never reaching his true potential as an artist yet finding his true talent as a musician.

You are right , none of us will ever know but it doesn't really matter, there is no going back. Lamenting the 'why' didn't you tell is so hard on yourself when he made you keep secrets. Its so easy to look back and judge yourself, but you were a little boy in fear.

Its funny, i remember stuff like that class. Midway through my marriage , i even bought a video on how to please your wife, i didn't understand how i couldn't "get with the program". I didn't "get it" either. But it so different now.
You WILL find peace not through god, or T or self loathing or nights crying alone silently. But through all of it, hard work, finding a place to just ACCEPT your feelings honestly. And then just being as honest with those you love about who you truly are. Cuz if they truly love you, they WILL accept you no matter what the outcome. If they don't, they never truly loved you and knowing that is more valuable in the here and now than hurting yourself by trying to re-live a past that is forever gone.

But you have to accept you first. The reason is irrelevant, and no one, not one person can ever know. So don't feel like you have to wear this as a badge of shame. There is no shame in being you. You are not alone.
The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. Dalai Lama

WoR Barrie 2011

#417443 - 11/27/12 08:07 PM Re: HEARTBROKEN!!! Is this "me" or is it from him??? [Re: SoccerStar]
Mountainous Buck Offline

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Minnesota
Be kind to yourself.

The abuse messed me up in many ways.

Not being able to experience and develop my own sexuality on my own schedule and my own terms is just one of those ways.

I also got very phobic messages about sexuality from my parents that screwed me up and made me fearful of my own impulses and gave me rigid ideas about dating, female sexuality, etc.

We all have our paths since those times, and ways we have expressed and repressed ourselves sexually.

For me, it's about honesty and intimacy and unplugging from some of the sexual triggers so I can honestly feel and explore my sexuality WITHOUT the old habits or acting being sexual.

Truth telling is healing. And often I don't have the words to understand some difficult things. The term "SSA" is more useful to me than "gay", and I accept that most males fall on a broad spectrum of sexual experiences, fantasies, relationships, habits, and behaviors.

You wrote:

I don't know who I am anymore.

I don't know what I am anymore.

Part of this journey is learning more about ourselves and feeling some very uncomfortable feelings. For me, it is a road of deepening intimacy: knowing myself, my soul, my wounds, my abilities, past, and desires.

Please don't judge yourself too harshly: untangling the effects of abuse and discovering who are despite/because/regardless of what happened takes time.

And no matter what, you are loved.

Edited by Mountainous Buck (11/27/12 08:08 PM)
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

�It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

#417633 - 11/29/12 11:26 AM Re: HEARTBROKEN!!! Is this "me" or is it from him??? [Re: Mountainous Buck]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 928
This was the hardest and most horrible thing I've ever written or said in my life. I was frantic about posting it here and nearly deleted it, didn't look back in for days, and still just about can't bear to reread my own words.

And I cried harder with every response and PM that I got. I can't believe you guys. I can't believe that there would ever be someone who understood.

I do accept these feelings as part of me. Once you accept you cannot un-accept. I'm okay with it now. But the thought of a search for identity getting perhaps the "wrong" answer, and the thought that every day of a decade of mental anguish and denial and disgust, might actually have been part of his attack on me.... It kind of un-made me for a while.

To Nitsaved, Aptrick, 1life, Mountainous Rock, and the many who PMed me - there are no words and certainly just "thank you" doesn't cover it. But if there were anything I could say that would be adequate - I would say it - please take it as said.

I will work to get past my "lost decade." I ended up in the same place anyway - it's part of me, and I don't struggle with it, I'm okay with it.

Being okay is a good start.

My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#420018 - 12/24/12 01:03 PM Re: HEARTBROKEN!!! Is this "me" or is it from him??? [Re: SoccerStar]
Magellan Offline

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1585
Loc: California
Self acceptance is the start of a long and beautiful journey in life.

Getting to self acceptance starts with a choice. Love yourself as you are, and then "more will be revealed".


#420034 - 12/24/12 06:59 PM Re: HEARTBROKEN!!! Is this "me" or is it from him??? [Re: SoccerStar]
jondo1 Offline

Registered: 12/16/12
Posts: 4
Loc: Seattle, Washington
How do I begin to like myself? Seems so far till the finish line!

#420073 - 12/25/12 11:05 AM Re: HEARTBROKEN!!! Is this "me" or is it from him??? [Re: SoccerStar]
peroperic2009 Offline


Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3813
Loc: South-East Europe
Just keep fighting my friend, I'm sure you'll discover love and support for self. We all have to find it in ourselves no matter on our stories.
I'm sure you are good man and you didn't waste your time, it is never too late for starting fighting for full recovery.
You know I'm also very confused regarding my sex preferences. But I'm heavily trying to accept my self in full. I hate the fact that I've grown in conservative environment with very strict false moral which I integrated as small kid in full it seems. So by imposing such strict rules I've been hurting myself the most, I'm just starting to break it and look for true self. Till now I've been convicted not to ever have sex (it means something like dangerous situation for my hypervigilant mind) and especially if turns out that I could be gay (in that case it means that I've been doomed forever). So I've been living like frozen for so long and it is terrible difficult to come out of those walls. But I need to try to find my way out if I would like to live freely.
So I'm trying to learn to see myself with "own eyes" and not by "eyes of others".
Keep sharing with us brother, it is much easier when knowing that you are not alone with your struggles. You are not alone!

My story

#420094 - 12/25/12 05:29 PM Re: HEARTBROKEN!!! Is this "me" or is it from him??? [Re: jondo1]
Magellan Offline

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1585
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: jondo1
How do I begin to like myself? Seems so far till the finish line!

This is the quintessential question we're all forced to answer. A great question to ask, and the fact that you're asking it, you're far ahead of many survivors (who refuse to acknowledge that they have to love themselves).



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