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#421942 - 01/13/13 02:26 AM How exactly do I get better?
CloudyFalls Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/12
Posts: 173
Loc: Ohio
It's a simple question, but I've never got an answer, and I don't know of an answer. Some people even think there is no answer. So how exactly do I get better?

I was sexually abused for 12 years by my cousin, whom was my best friend and I loved him in such a way I had no word for it. My word for it then became his name, Curtis. Last year my world collapsed around me and the illusion was gone. I was being abused not loved or valued. I did things for him that I would've never done had I known, but because I thought he was someone else I did those things willingly and joyfully. But many times I sacrificed myself for his love and I was hurt, but it was okay because he loved me, so I thought. Now all that pain and sacrifice has no meaning, no painkiller, no safety of an illusion or anything to believe in, it's raw and it's real. And that's where all my pain comes from, guilt, shame, disgust, sense of betrayal, abandonment, forsakenness, despair, all those feelings we all know too well.

But how do I get better? What is best to do? I can think of many ways to make the pain go away, but which way is the right way? I could hold on to that illusion I had, I could drown it all with alcohol and drugs, I could kill myself, I could forgive and forget, but still, none of that changes a thing.

The thing that troubles me the most though is whether or not my cousin did have a sense of shame and a sense of love, but couldn't control himself. What if it were just a huge mistake that he can't live down? I may never know how he truly feels or if he is even sorry. So how to I put this behind me? How can I forgive someone who doesn't think they need to be forgiven, or if they're not even sorry? I'm confused. I have to figure out something to do with no facts. Forgive and forget, forgive and never forget, or never forgive and never forget, or resent and hate forever. If I don't have the facts, no matter which one I choose, I will be living with some sort of illusion.

I'll tell you all what I do want. What crosses my mind all the time. What if he did love me, but made a mistake, a huge mistake that he knew he could never make up to me, and he was sorry for. I could still love him. I know I could, but should I? I don't even know what goes through his mind, so how can I come to a conclusion, and how would I even know if he was telling the truth if he lied to me for my whole life? The only way I see myself being healed is if he is sorry and he does love me, but that's not in my control. It's up in the air.

-

I'll tell you all something else, that eats me up inside. I confronted him almost 2 years ago about what he did to me. I told him I loved him and that I wanted to be with him and I didn't care what the family thought.

I almost committed suicide the next day.

He told me he never loved me, he told me he was a nymphomaniac and that I was just his fix. He told me he was fucked up more than I knew. He described himself as this freak, and it shocked me because it was exactly the last thing I expected to hear from him. So I was crying uncontrollably the rest of that night and into the next day, contemplating how I'd kill myself. I had a plan, the perfect plan, and I was going to do it. But to cut that story short, I didn't do it.

Instead I decided to ask him questions. At this point I was still delusional (and would be for a whole year) in thinking he was just lying to me. But the thing I still don't understand is that the next day he was the complete opposite of who he was the night prior. He was my loving cousin again. He told me he was sorry, he never meant to hurt me, and that he'd never do it again, and all this stuff my heart told me I should believe. He told me he was in fact fucked up and if it weren't for me he wouldn't have made it in life, that I was this central person in his life that gave him stability and I provided the friendship/love whatever you want to call it to survive his fucked up life (which he did have a fucked up life). He even came to a session with me and my old therapist to clear things up.

For a YEAR after I confronted him about the abuse (which I had not called abuse or thought of as abuse) I repaired our friendship and we hung out all the time. I held on the the illusion I guess for a year, and we remained best friends despite everything. But it didn't exactly work. We fell back into sex. And this is a grey area to me. I initiated the sex, after he told me he wouldn't try anything with me anymore. So I actually brought that back. It WAS my fault wasn't it? I did want it didn't I? There was no pressure, I did it all by myself, and he even felt bad afterwards. He tried to tell me he didn't want to do it anymore, but it happened 3 more times, once he initiated it. So it happened about 4 times since I confronted him.

Before I had a word for what he did to me, I didn't care. Before I met my ex, I didn't know what abuse was. And before I met my ex, I was still hanging out with my cousin and his boyfriend all the time.

I fucking confronted my abuser before I even had a word to call it, I forgave him before I even went into therapy. I did everything backwards. I mean isn't confronting your abuser usually one of the last things you do when dealing with CSA?

I don't know how to explain myself, and it's hard to tell this story in any kind of order or in any way that makes sense because to me it's fucked up. But in a sense, I was over this, and I brought it back and am holding it over mine and his head relentlessly.

This was very hard to write, and I feel like I will be misinterpreted and I will be misunderstood. I went into a fucking rage because I couldn't remember one word he said to me when I was typing this and spent 30 minutes just trying to remember the word he used to describe me, his "fix". So I thoughts were definitely jumbled. But I just had to get this out there, I wish I could portray my situation better, but this is all I can do. My mind is screaming run away, keep away right now. So I can't think, but what I've written will have to be sufficient for now.
_________________________
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein

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#421947 - 01/13/13 04:04 AM * [Re: CloudyFalls]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/26/12
Posts: 2217
*


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (04/29/13 06:03 PM)

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#421964 - 01/13/13 09:14 AM Re: How exactly do I get better? [Re: CloudyFalls]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3843
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey CloudyFalls,
it is long way to reclaim all lost parts by destructive happenings like betrayal and abuse is.
I hope you are going to some therapy?
Disclosure I see as some kind of final part in healing/recovery, difficult to reach place and not for everyone.
Before that we should be fully aware of all our scars, proportions of destruction and we should learn how to set safe borders to abusive and "problematic" persons. Those are just some of important issues relating to disclosure and I think it is a lot.
For some of that huge work is needed and for some time.
Many of us came on terms to deal with abuse many years later simply because we weren't mature enough to take it in full and comprehend it.
Please don't be hard on yourself.
Many of us have repeated some mistakes during healing journey; we are learning slowly on that path and trough making some steps forward and some backward too.
Take care of yourself!

Pero
_________________________
My story

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#421973 - 01/13/13 03:54 PM Re: How exactly do I get better? [Re: CloudyFalls]
CloudyFalls Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/12
Posts: 173
Loc: Ohio
@Gary

I guess you could call it consent, because I initiated it, but I was raised from 7 to want it from him. I couldn't control myself, I found myself wanting it so badly, sex. And during that year I guess you could say I consented to having sex with him, even after he said sorry and even after he promised not to do anything sexual with me anymore.

I feel like I am the problem, I couldn't control myself, even when the abuse stopped I seeked it out. How can I be resentful towards him after he apologized to me and vowed not to hurt me anymore? And I couldn't turn it off. I couldn't get out of that abuse.

I mean in reality we talked it out, the abuse. I confronted him, but I never told him how much he hurt me, like what the abuse did to me. I just told him I would've never done those things had I not thought he loved me, and that that hurt me. I didn't have a word to call what he did to me growing up. But he told me he never meant to hurt me and that he was sorry. And I forgave him. But during that year, I couldn't keep from having sex with him, the urge was too strong. I'd done it all my life, it wasn't just something I could turn off. I craved his love, that closeness I thought we had, and sex was how I knew he still cared. It happened about 4 times that year. Then I met my ex, and he taught me what abuse was and how horrible it was, and it all clicked and I realized how fucked up my cousin made me, all the damage he caused. So I cut contact with him and now I feel like I'm supposed to hate him. It's just really confusing.

What I do know is that my cousin sexually abused me. I know sometimes I liked it, and sometimes I wanted it. But I know I was never in control, I was always controlled. Sex was for the most part not my choice. I was manipulated and used.

But what I think I also know is that my cousin did love me, and he never meant to hurt me. He was only 2.5 years older than me, how could he know the ramifications of his selfish actions? But it became a thing we just did, it was just something we did, and when he got older he should've stopped, but he didn't. I don't think he questioned it, it just was what it was. But he damaged me so deeply because of his selfishness. But it was a mistake. A huge huge mistake. From what I know of him, and what he told me, this seems to be the most probable story.

So my dilemma is, I can forgive him, easily. But it feels like if I were his friend, I'd end up going back to sex. (I don't think I would knowing what I know now, but it feels like I would) Also, I don't know of any survivors who are friends with their abusers. It sounds outlandish and crazy for some reason that I would forgive my abuser and still be friends with him.

But again, I don't know anything for certain. I'd have to talk to him to find out the truth, and even then he could be lying to me. How could I ever know if he was telling the truth?

And for the record, yes I am seeing a therapist and I'm in a group.
_________________________
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein

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#421988 - 01/13/13 06:12 PM Re: How exactly do I get better? [Re: CloudyFalls]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Minnesota
Sounds like you have been in therapy- even addressing this issue.

What direction and guidance has your T given you?

What other help and support are you plugged into and integrating into your life? I hope your group is helpful as well.

Part of recovery is building a stable and fulfilling life- methinks- rather than waiting for a mountain of pain shame and trauma to disappear.

There are a ton of resources here and men who care and understand- you have been around MS for a number of months so hopefully you have accessed some of this great stuff and felt some hope about moving ahead.

I hear your sadness and heartbreak and anger- I pray you will be gentle with yourself and make progress towards a better life. You deserve it and we are here.

You are taking steps and asking for help to get better - that is good!


Edited by Mountainous Buck (01/13/13 07:09 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

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#421993 - 01/13/13 07:08 PM Re: How exactly do I get better? [Re: CloudyFalls]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2714
Hi, CloudyFalls -

When I read what you write, I see a loving, vulnerable, and forgiving person. Most of us, I suspect, were that way as kids being abused. Those qualities tend to have enabled our abusers' access to us. Many of us have retained those qualities - like you and me. Maybe we saw our abusers and decided - in the simple binary child's perspective - that it was better to be vulnerable and victimized than to be abusive and predatory. But there is a flip-side. As painful as the situation you describe may be, you have far more admirable human qualities than Curtis. You can forgive. You can be honest about your feelings. You can give love. You have the courage to be vulnerable. You may see those qualities as a collective weakness, and in a sense that is true. But it is also true that those very same qualities are where your strengths lie. It is quite simply who you are and unlikely to change.

And so you ask how you get better. I used to ask that of myself. After years of asking what seemed an unanswerable question, I finally realized that it was the wrong question all together. The right question was: "Who am I after all this?" Discovering the answer - taking that journey - allowed me to address most of my other challenges.

You sound like a wonderful person who has emerged from events so dark that many survivors grew up knowing only how to hurt themselves and others around them. Some didn't even get to be "survivors" and died by their own will or at their abuser's hands. What made all the difference for me at least was to finally embrace who I DID become, to accept myself for who I had to become and for who I am today. Once I stopped trying to run away from myself, so many things in my life fell into place. I don't know if that will help you, but it is what I have to share. Your journey and your questions are similar to the ones I have experienced myself.
_________________________
..



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#422002 - 01/13/13 07:31 PM Re: How exactly do I get better? [Re: CloudyFalls]
genedebs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 323
Loc: MO
Dear Cloud,

It may seem impossible for you to want to be loved by your abuser. But, he was one of the only dependable sources of love you had. To be unable to separate love and sex from love is difficult for many people, although traditionally this is supposed to be how women feel it isn't gender limited.

My father physically abused everyone in the house, my mother set me up as her narcisistic supply and in various sexual abuse circumstances. I needed my older brother's love, but I couldn't get it. He resented me, but I didn't know that. I was willing to be sexual with him, even when he berated me for being homosexual.

I couldn't get his love. But I was available to have been used for love. I just never met anyone who made that offer.

You did. In therapy you understand you were used and abused. But you blame yourself for doing what you did to keep his love. Like you had so many choices of how to get that love. I thought I was complicit in all of the sexual abuse, doing what my mother directly told me to do, and what I thought she implicitly told me to do.

But my T enabled me to learn that when you have too few choices, then you really only have bad chooices. The fact that you made one bad choice instead of another is not your fault. It is just what your limited options creates.

Giving up the delusions are very difficult. Using drugs or alcohol will make giving up the delusions almost impossible. Accepting that as long as you carry the hate and resentment you are hurting yourself is very hard to understand. But, it is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

While you don't know any, there are many who put that together. They are abused by a relative and never learn to separate. Some continue to "bleed" in the relationship. Others understand it is how their relative reacted to their own abuse and just learned how to cope by harming others.

The way we heal is by making a journey where we can live with our selves. We no lopnger have to abuse ourselves , physically or mentally. We find a path of self acceptance and a way of life that does not require predatory expectations or compulsions.

Welcome to the site. welcome to this group of friends most of whom are struggling like you. Welcome and may you be genetle with yourself as it has almost never been for you til now.

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#422023 - 01/14/13 03:02 AM * [Re: CloudyFalls]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/26/12
Posts: 2217
*


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (04/29/13 06:04 PM)

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#422093 - 01/15/13 01:43 AM Re: How exactly do I get better? [Re: CloudyFalls]
CloudyFalls Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/12
Posts: 173
Loc: Ohio
Thanks guys for all the insight and wisdom you've all shared with me. I decided to bring this up with my therapist today and we're going to be focusing on this for awhile. I think it's important. I may not reply to this thread just because it's really difficult to talk about/think about, but I will definitely read your responses.
_________________________
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein

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#422094 - 01/15/13 01:58 AM Re: How exactly do I get better? [Re: CloudyFalls]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4181
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
Cloudy -

you've probly already seen this - but here is another thread on a very closely related topic:

http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=422045#Post422045

we are all in this together, guys!

Lee
_________________________
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

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