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#443795 - 08/09/13 04:55 AM Pass it On
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
The other day I sat down with a fellow who I'll call "Bert". He had heard me talk about my CSA and was eager to get together. Bert lives alone and is a lifelong alcoholic struggling to stay sober. He isn't much older than me, but looks at least 20 years my senior. Years of hard living have taken their toll.

Bert's head hung as he quietly related his story of a childhood of being passed from foster home to foster home, each one more horrific than the previous. Emotional destruction, incredible physical brutality, repeated violent rapes. Being forced to watch the rapes of other little boys and girls.

Then he went on to describe the life that resulted. Addiction issues, anger, fear, self-isolation, difficulty with relationships, difficulty with sex and sexual identity. The details were different, but the bottom line was all too familiar to me: Sexually assaulted boy/broken man.

I've been down the CSA recovery road enough to know that telling his story was a turning point for him. The years of keeping his secrets were over. He had broken his silence and now for the first time he was feeling the unfamiliar taste of freedom. He related how good that felt, and what it meant to him to know that I "got it" because I've been there. I felt happy for Bert being able to unburden himself, but I also felt sad....always sad. There just are too many of us. 1 in 6 for God's sake! Too many men living with the horror of what was done to them. Too many who need to tell their stories, with no one to hear them. Chances are you already know some of them.

There's not much good to be made out of what happened to us as boys, but we can do this much for each other: Be there for the man who is ready to tell his story, ready to tell the truth, ready to begin to be free, ready to see that he's not alone. Those of us who are on this journey have a responsibility to pass that on to those just starting it.

I'm glad I was there for Bert that day. I gave him no advice. I just gave him the phrase that was given to me when I was beginning to deal with my own CSA: "Sexual abuse happens in secret, but healing happens out loud."

Edited by Jude (08/09/13 04:56 AM)
I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#443800 - 08/09/13 06:21 AM Re: Pass it On [Re: Jude]
Publius Offline

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 444
Loc: OH
I'm glad I was there for Bert that day. I gave him no advice. I just gave him the phrase that was given to me when I was beginning to deal with my own CSA: "Sexual abuse happens in secret, but healing happens out loud."

My experience:

Father: "that's something you can talk to you mom about I'm not good at that"

Doctor: "yeah, I'd recommend you just bury it back down because that is the kind of thing that can really hold you back." (I kid you not, you just have to wonder what he buried...)

Friend: "I mean if it were me I'd just put it behind me and move on but I never went through that so I dunno."

All of these people were trying to be supportive in their own way but came up short. When I come here people actually read, offer support/understanding, and then bring up any questions/advice that may be warranted. So thank you for being there for Bert.
"Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." ~ General Iroh

#443810 - 08/09/13 11:14 AM Re: Pass it On [Re: Jude]
Suwanee Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 1284

That's a great sentiment for us all. It's great to see you back on MS.

I've got this life
And the will to show
I will always be
Better than before

#443824 - 08/09/13 01:34 PM Re: Pass it On [Re: Jude]
CafeMan Offline

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 169
Loc: Chicago
Hi, Jude. I remember when I told my family about my abuse, my mother told me not to tell anyone. I understood. Back then, you just did not do that. My family was well known in the community, and, as we all know, you just did not disclose this stuff to outsiders.

However, I was lucky to have my family as confidantes, yet I still had that fear that someone would find out. It was a double edged sword. I don't feel deprived, but I did feel a burden of carrying this secret.

I did tell a few people in my adulthood. They were supportive. Some asked questions; some just listened. Did it feel good to disclose? A little. I guess it felt good that I could tell someone face to face other than my family. I always felt that my family were also victims in this, too. It not only impacted me, it also impacted the whole family. So telling an "outsider" somewhat lessened my burden and simplified it as "just another story to be told, nothing more."


#443825 - 08/09/13 01:38 PM Re: Pass it On [Re: Jude]
Rich1967 Offline

Registered: 07/18/13
Posts: 621
Loc: PA
I still need a lot of help myself I'll admit, but one of the reasons I'm here at MS, posting, and reaching out to some is to give back. To just be there for some of these guys who are just starting. I think helping others like us is one way to help break the cycle and reduce that 1 in 6 number. I hope to feel strong enough to join a group at some point in my area and give/get some support there as well.

Jude - How did Bert hear of you talking about CSA? How open are you with letting people know about your abuse (sorry, haven't read any of your posts)? I've toyed with the idea of being much more open with things like bumper stickers or even putting a link to this site in my signature at work (I'd have to ask HR first about that) to raise awareness.

Motorcyclist often wave to each other on the road as they pass (well sometimes the Harley guys don't wave to he Honda guys :-). I wonder if we all had a bumper sticker that said "I'm one of the 1 in 6" if we'd do the same for each other?

What do other people do to raise awareness so that more things like what Jude has related have the opportunity to happen?
"Me too"-I don't think I will ever get tired of saying or hearing these two words.
My Story

#444152 - 08/13/13 02:54 AM Re: Pass it On [Re: Jude]
focusedbody Offline

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 541
Loc: NY

My voice is just beginning to be heard. First by me, and little by little by others.

Thanks for letting me know that the sound of it helps the process.

Lose the drama; life is a poem.


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