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#417305 - 11/26/12 08:37 PM Please Help Me
NotSoHappy Offline

Registered: 11/26/12
Posts: 1
Loc: WV-West Virginia
I need help and Iím not sure what to do. Iím about to lose my wife and my life seems hanging by a thread. Iíve been depressed for over a year and I canít seem to shake it off.

Iím 45 years old and two female cousins (they were both teenagers), beginning when I was 6 and continuing until I was about 8, abused me. Iím not sure what details to give here. I was terribly afraid of anyone finding out and I didnít think it affected me.

But apparently it has.

I am a compulsive liar Ė especially when I think my actions might cause my wife not to like me.

Under stress Ė financial stress mostly Ė I seem to turn to fake online personas. In the past I have went on dating websites and the like even though there was never any chance I would do anything - and I always invented someone appealing - not me.

When I do that it doesnít make me feel better, because Iím being completely fake. Itís not me online Ė itís a fantasy I guess where Iím desirable and wanted Ė but the guilt just makes it worse.

I donít trust. I basically raised myself since my mom was severely bi-polar and consumed with religion.

Iím not close to anyone except my wife. I have no friends - I choose not to have friends. I feel completely out of place in public and avoid social events even to the point of causing conflict with my wife.

Iím over sensitive. Iím not sure why but I seem to emote like a girl and feel things deeply.

Add to that Iím also into sports and highly competitive and the two donít mix very well.

I hate myself. I never look in the mirror. I never look anyone in the eyes. I have to fake to get through a day of work and at the end of the day I feel as if I were beaten.

I canít handle criticism from my wife even though its justified and I avoid conflict but fly of the handle sometimes with a violent rage Ė especially if my wife says she is rethinking our relationship.

I canít begin to describe how much I love my wife and my guilt at hurting her.

And Iíve hurt her plenty. Last year she found out I had contacted a prostitute and it was she who finally figured out my childhood abuse might be effecting me today.

Sometimes I feel the need to recreate the humiliation I had as a kid Ė to feel dirty and worthless.

I donít know what to do. I donít know how to fix this or how I can stop hurting my wife. More importantly I want to know if:
1. Why do I go online when stressed and pretend?
2. Am I a pervert?
3. Is my wife better off without me?
4. What the hell is wrong with me?

Please help.

Edited by NotSoHappy (11/26/12 08:39 PM)

#417313 - 11/26/12 09:49 PM Re: Please Help Me [Re: NotSoHappy]
peroperic2009 Offline

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3864
Loc: South-East Europe
Hello NotSoHappy,
welcome to MaleSurvivor!
I'm sorry to hear that you've had some issues and problems because of abuse.
Please be aware that you are not alone. Many of us have some problems relating to sharing intimacy...
Please don't be scared and try to calm yourself. Many survivors are occasionally doing some things in compulsive manner and like against themselves, it could be way of coping with stressful situations and emotions.
Here is great article that has explained it, you could take some time and read it, there is even some homework smile
There are a lot stories written here abut similar issues, I hope it will be helpful for you.
Please share with us more, you are not alone!

My story

#417334 - 11/27/12 01:35 AM Re: Please Help Me [Re: NotSoHappy]
nomorevic Offline

Registered: 11/19/12
Posts: 41
Loc: North Carolina
Hello NotSoHappy,
First, it takes a strong and honest person to look at things as they are , you are to be commended. Second, you are just an imperfect man like anyone else, don't be too hard on yourself. I was similarly abused by a female cousin for a period of 2-3 years almost the same ages as you and your cousins. I likewise didn't realize how much I had been affected until the last year and a half. Looking back, when I was younger, when my wife and I were dating, I was extremely insecure and this often led me to look elsewhere for female attention. More recently and what made me finally realize something was wrong is that I started having serious trust issues with my wife and for no reason. I also became very depressed. I have always been extremely critical of myself and lacking in self esteem. Prior to getting married, I was very much into auto racing, and I was extremely competitive which on more than one occasion led to post race altercations. I have had issues with anger and bottling things up until I would let go in a rage. I say this not to compare or even to say I have any idea how you feel but to let you know you are not alone in your struggle. For me, I found a great therapist and applying the direction given, I have had major improvement in my self esteem, trust, and my marriage. Finding this site has also been very encouraging. Please hang in there and keep working to heal and make positive changes.


#417373 - 11/27/12 02:30 PM Re: Please Help Me [Re: NotSoHappy]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4285
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
Originally Posted By: NotSoHappy
I donít know what to do. I donít know how to fix this or how I can stop hurting my wife. More importantly I want to know if:
1. Why do I go online when stressed and pretend?
2. Am I a pervert?
3. Is my wife better off without me?
4. What the hell is wrong with me?

Please help.

NotSoHappy -

not that i have all the answers - but i have learned a few things during the course of working to recover from the events of my past. i have had a number of similar experiences and reactions to you. i've been depressed, feared losing my wife and everything i valued, lied, kept secrets, pretended a different reality than the truth, trusted no one, was very sensitive to criticism, and hated myself. and i have discovered that all of that is very typical or "normal" for those of us that survived CSA. you are not the only one.

to try and answer your questions from my point of view:

1. you create alternate identities and lives because you are not happy with the one you are in. it is a temporary relief or escape.

2. no - you are not a pervert. you endured some damaging events that have caused you to behave in ways that you find disturbing - that is a good sign - that you recognize the stuff that is inappropriate.

3. the ways you relate to your wife may seem unhealthy for your wife (and for you) at present. but that doesn't have to remain unchanged. if you both are willing to do hard work together, it can get better.

4. what is wrong is that you were abused. you were hurt when you were young and innocent and helpless and couldn't do anything to stop it or help yourself. and now it is coming back to haunt you.

Please consider getting help for both your sake and your wife's. we can help some on the forums - but someone with professional training and experience is likely to be more effective. actually - i find both to be invaluable. there are lots of resources on this site. and those who can guide you to what you need. in the meantime, we understand and are here for you.

How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, ‚ÄúViolence!‚ÄĚ 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

#417378 - 11/27/12 02:46 PM Re: Please Help Me [Re: NotSoHappy]
Mountainous Buck Offline

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Minnesota
Welcome to Male Survivor:

If you spend time reading the sharing in these forums, looking at the main pages off the home page, and check into some of the resources - you will gain some understanding and direction for healing.

You are not alone.

Your situation is not unique.

I had many hurtful ways of coping with life and the underlying abuse and childhood trauma.

And these were really false solutions that made me more isolated, lonely, desperate and rife with problems. Online addiction, seeking one-way sex to make me feel better, drinking, putting up a facade to the outside world, battling depression and relationship problems: I've done 'em all.

Recovery is about finding real healing: for me this means facing myself, my behavior and my past in a compassionate, honest way and getting help to move towards a better life.

Struggling alone doesn't work. Shame and isolation kill men like us.
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

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

#417392 - 11/27/12 05:21 PM Re: Please Help Me [Re: NotSoHappy]
une.vie.d.espoir Offline

Registered: 12/06/10
Posts: 178
Loc: Quebec-Canada
Hi NotSoHappy,

I can fell in your letter that you are scare as hell,We all been were you are and are still there. Whit time being here other malesurvivors have listen to me and as time pass it took bit by bit all the frustrations and stress i had. I always taught i was aole for a long time but today i realise i am not. Here i have open up about me abuses and i am feeling real good about it. If you need to talk just give me a notice. If I can not help you i will tell you so, and gide you the best way i can so you can make stepps so you be good whit yourself.

Manething in the situation is to go easy on you, you never did nothing wrong and you still do do nothing wrong.

Whit friendship


#417806 - 12/01/12 03:28 AM Re: Please Help Me [Re: NotSoHappy]
wgrrcb Offline

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 49

Edited by wgrrcb (02/20/13 08:34 PM)

#420881 - 01/04/13 12:25 AM Re: Please Help Me [Re: NotSoHappy]
hapati Offline

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 40
abuse by female perps causes men a lot of shame. i found going to a t, group therapy and reading about female perp of men to be very helpful - especially revealing the abuse to a woman.

this has been my experience.

losing trust, being toxically ashamed and not feeling adequate and hiding in fantasy are ways to deal with it. with enough help from others and self knowledge you can get through these things.

#422836 - 01/21/13 10:38 PM Re: Please Help Me [Re: NotSoHappy]
Ninja_Turtle Offline

Registered: 03/22/12
Posts: 25
Loc: USA
I'm really sorry to hear about all that you're going through.

I'm not sure if it's any consolation, but I've met a few people in similar situations to you who had many of the same problems, but whom I don't think were able to admit their abuse to anyone, or maybe they were not even aware of it. That you're aware and able to write about it on here is a great step forward and something to be proud of.

You're not the only one! There are other guys out there who can't admit things to their wives, who tell crazy compulsive lies, who have online fantasy worlds, who emote in a feminine manner, who have financial problems. They have the same issues you do for the same reasons: they were essentially tortured as small, helpless children, when they couldn't understand what was happening or defend themselves, and then they were blamed and shamed about their own vulnerability and problems.

A friend of mine two years ago attended a conference at which a man spoke who was suffering from almost your exact list of issues. He had recently come to realize that he had been abused as a child and had entered therapy to begin to find healing and work things out with his wife. You're not alone in this.

As people have wisely said above, it's all rooted in shame. The compulsive lying and fantasy worlds and all of that stuff, though they may be extreme in your case, are really just different versions of the kinds of things that abuse survivors, and other people, do to escape their feelings of pain and shame: pornography, gambling, working, exercise, drinking, drugs, video games, whatever. The lie feels less shaming to you than the truth, so you lie. Spending time as a fake person online feels less shaming than interacting with people as yourself, so you do that instead. And so on.

You don't have to be ashamed; it wasn't your fault that you were abused or that you had no one to love and protect you as a child; abuse is completely devastating; abuse by females in various ways is especially devastating and shaming; it's not your fault that it caused you to develop crazy problems, the problems are natural compensation or self-protection mechanisms that make sense given what you went through. You're not a freak. Things may have happened to you that you have not even realized or remembered yet, and when you do your problems may make even more sense to you. As you said, you raised yourself, and you're still here: you're a survivor.

Even if you've done things that you think you should rightly feel remorse for, and we all have, remorse is different from the kind of toxic shame that abuse causes. Remorse is "I'm sad that I did that and I want to make it right if I can". Shame is "there's something wrong with me/I'm a monster/I'm worthless" and so on.

One of the primary ways to deal with this is to find someone supportive that you can talk to about this stuff and go through what happened to you and the shame that it made you feel. Then, instead of making you feel bad for what you've opened up about, that person affirms you and cares for you and shows understanding. It relieves the shame; as you feel less shame, the problems diminish, though it takes a long time and one is never fully better (so don't beat yourself up if you're not getting better "fast enough"!)

Hope this is helpful. It can get better and you are worth doing the work to make it better.

Ninja Turtle

#422841 - 01/21/13 11:25 PM Re: Please Help Me [Re: NotSoHappy]
Ninja_Turtle Offline

Registered: 03/22/12
Posts: 25
Loc: USA
One other excellent observation that my wife just made when I was talking about your situation with her:

You said that you emote "like a girl and feel things very deeply".

Perhaps it might be more true that you emote and feel deeply like the little boy that you once were, which is not only a true way of seeing it but one that sympathizes with your hurt rather than looking at it as somehow effeminate or defective.

All the best,


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