Will I ever be able to push through the fear?
Whether you stop feeling the fear or not, I think there's a really good chance that you can go forward even if you feel it. Soldiers I know call acting despite your fear "courage." And there are some really courageous guys who are survivors.
How can I let go of the "victim"
In his book Victims No Longer
Mike Lew has a great saying: we can't get that kid back but we can become that kid's friend. When you like and love who you were, it isn't such a burden to have him around all the time.
How can I learn to trust? To love?
One risk at a time, the same way we learned to walk, to talk, to make friends in the first place, always scary, but each success shows us how to succeed, and each failure gives us more info on how to succeed. Even when our loved ones can't live up to our wants/needs, we're still moving forward. YOU are still moving forward!!!
Why do I shut down on the people I should be reaching out to?
Well, I'm not in your head, but I shut down on people who are like those who have hurt me one way or the other before. I can chat and have all the Minnesota-Nice superficial relationships in teh world, but to open up to someone, to let them in scares the hell out of me because then they're past my defenses and they can hurt me. But in the end they're worth the risk. I am
worth the effort. Because I want to be someone with loved ones on the inside.
How long will this go on?
Dunno, maybe forever? But the 'this' can change. It's the change from a victim to a survivor. I like the word veteran sometimes because it sounds like someone who has earned their strength on the battlefield. Our battlefields are emotional, sexual, relational, but they're every bit as deadly as bullets, so when we walk through the fire we have earned our own respect at least. And instead of carrying the wounds we carry the strength born of surviving them!
I am now a 43 year old married man, and I am so afraid.
so you're not crazy! Good! This is really scary stuff! All systems go there. But fear is the start, not the end. There. Is. Hope!!!
I have been battling depression since I got married.
I've been battling depression since the first time someone fiddled me up at 11.
I fear I am pushing her away from me. I just don't know where to start sometimes.
If the fundamental need and reason for human beings is to love and be loved, "I love you." is a great start.
Me too, some days.
I also feel there is NO ONE that can help me. Or truly understands. This compounds my isolation.
No one will ever be completely able to understand you. I had my abusers, you had yours. Everyone's story is slightly different. But there are commonalities. And the more you open up to your loved ones, your therapist, your pastor/priest/life coach/whatever... the more they can understand you. You are not alone. You are not alone. You are not alone.
OK - I have been sexually abused. Where do I go from here?
forward. Only always forward. You can do it. One great thing I found here was the stories of people who are so much better off than they were. But at the same time so many people who understand just what it is like when I stumble.
It was ok when I was younger... why has it gotten so much worse as I get older?
Because you've run out of denial? Because the frivolous things of youth are passing away and the things that matter are going to be more central to life, and this is where the damage of abuse shows up? When I could sing, dance, and entertain people I always had something that would let me escape to. But now I just have reality, my life, and it's made me look my demons in the eye and start trying to punch their lights out.
It seems daunting, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. Then another.
You're here, so you don't have to walk alone.