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#460224 - 02/06/14 09:03 PM 56 going on 15
randombreeze Offline

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 60
Loc: WNY
Hello fellow survivors, after tentatively lurking around here for awhile, it's time to properly introduce myself.

My name is Paul and I was sexually abused as an innocent, naive, and vulnerable boy sometime around the time I was 13-14 years young. Why 56 going on 14? That's my million dollar question, and I hope to find some of the answers by sharing my story here with all you brave souls already on the journey to recovery. It's my hope that by finally breaking my silence I might be able to make some sense out of the chaotic life I've lived thus far, and maybe even help someone else in their recovery someday as more men come forward and find this wonderful place.

I am the oldest of six children, born in rapid succession to a young mother and absent father. I've only one memory of him, albeit not a very positive one, which I'll relate sometime later or in a future post. By the time my youngest sister was born, he was no longer "in the picture", neither physically nor financially, and my Mom was left to fend for herself. Despite having six kids aged 1-7, she was somehow able to attend college, eventually becoming a school teacher. This did help pull us out of poverty and off the necessary public assistance that sustained our large family, but not without it's costs.

I was sexually abused by the stepfather of a friend of mine that lived down the street. We lived on a crowded city block with lots of kids to play with. I remember having many, many friends growing up there, and I was always outgoing and ready to make new friends. One of the new boys that recently moved a few doors down was one of these friends. Being the new kid on the block I was his only friend, at least until his family moved away a short time later, His stepfather, like most perps, saw an opportunity in me being fatherless, and grasped it with cunning and guile. The abuse happened during a few sleepovers before I finally garnered the strength and courage to stay away. Throughout my life I've beaten myself up over what happened in that apartment down the street, despite knowing it wasn't my fault. The threats of harm to my younger sisters and brothers all did an effective job of keeping me silent. Shortly after the abuse that family moved away, and I've often thought with dread what became of my friend Billy and his younger brother.

The guilt that I should have "just said something" has followed me all these years later. I even have a vague, hazy memory of my Mom questioning my relationship to Billy and his family, but like most terrified children I kept the secret partly out of fear of the specific threats the perp made. By the time the family moved away, and it was "safe" to tell what happened, the damage was done and my downward spiral was underway. I started out like alot of damaged kids and began using drugs and alcohol to forget. I started with the easiest and probably most effective high available to a teenager back then...hairspray and model airplane glue. I even remember the brand name, Testor's. There's that selective memory thing working again! While I knew at the time what I was doing was wrong, even dangerous, boy was the high mind-numbing and pleasurable. Thankfully, I and the friend who partook in these sessions with me was caught by his Mom and the lectures on the dangers of doing drugs worked, at least until we discovered alcohol and pot. In short order I went from a promising honor roll student to barely getting by. It wasn't that the schoolwork became too hard to do, I just didn't give a damn. I was seen by my Mom, who was an honor society student and near the very top of her class academically, as an underachiever. She just couldn't understand..."what happened to her smart little boy"? I didn't trust ANYONE older than me, especially males, and to me teachers were an easy authority figure to rebel against. By the time I entered high school I was well on my way to a life of self-abuse and dysfunction. Despite the trauma of just a couple years earlier, I still made alot of friends. Problem being the type of friends I chose to associate with were just like me...eager to drop a tab or two of acid, snort a few lines of THC or name it we did it; usually washing it down with a cheap bottle of wine, hard cider, or beer.

My ridiculous, feeble attempts to date usually went badly. Despite being what others consider at least somewhat attractive, I had zero confidence when it came to asking a girl out, usually I was "set up" by friends or one of my sister's friends. On those occasions where I found the confidence to be with a girl, the first or second date usually ended up being the last. Not many girls want to be with a guy who didn't have the courage to "make the moves". I imagine they thought I must be gay, or at least a coward in their eyes, especially when comparing me to other guys they might have been with. Despite my utter failure to connect to members of the opposite sex, I was very attracted to girls and really desired to be "normal" like all my friends. It seemed they all had beautiful babes, some of whom I'd failed impress due to my shyness, and let's be honest here, utter terror at the prospect of being intimate with.

I've been writing for what seems an inordinately long time, and need to take a break for a couple reasons. I'm a hunt and peck typist, and I'm really unsure if I'm even in the appropriate section of this forum to tell my whole story. If that's the case I apologize and moderators please let me know. I just remembered this was to be my introduction, and yet I'm pretty deep into "my story". With that said I'm going to go ahead and post this and hopefully when i refer back here later I'll have received some feedback from you members in the know and can tell me wether to continue here or refer me to complete my story in a different section. As anyone reading this has likely guessed by now, I've much more to say about myself and look forward to finally, after 40 some years, being able to do so in the company of my new found friends.

Thanks, Paul

"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky"- Rabindranath Tagore

#460225 - 02/06/14 10:13 PM Re: 56 going on 15 [Re: randombreeze]
Chase Eric Offline

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2972
Hi Paul -

Your story was amazing and breathtakingly emotional. I relate to a lot of it - I was maybe a year younger than you when my abuse started but - like you - it derailed my life. In my case, I was pretty talented at the violin. but after my older neighbor started in with me (and it continued for months), I dropped studying and thought the violin was for sissies. That's the crime of this - we never become who we otherwise might have been. I had so many dreams at 12.

The thing that struck me the most, however, was the title of your post. 56 going on 15. You never mention much about that, but I suspect a lot of us have an almost desperate desire to go back to the ages we were when we were derailed. I used to look back and think that sixth grade was the most incredible. wonderful grade for me. I would tell kids younger than me that sixth was the best. Now I look back and realize that sixth grade was the last unmolested year I spent - the abuse started right at the end of sixth grade for me. I so want to go back to it. I want to start there again and redo my life the way it was supposed to be done, perhaps. I think it was similar with Michael Jackson. His childhood abruptly turned into an adulthood - for different reasons and dynamics - but really the same in that he was forever caught up in trying to pick up where he left his childhood. I think that is true for many abuse survivors.

I think your story is fine right here in the introductions forum. I see a lot of posts in the survivor stories forum, but I also put mine here (click my signature below to see it). There is something comforting to having a response to it - something you don't get in the survivor stories forum. As kids, I think a lot of us thought we were the only ones going through this. It's a bit of an emotional catharsis to finally, after years of hiding in our own shame, hear someone say, "Me, too."

#460229 - 02/06/14 11:04 PM Re: 56 going on 15 [Re: randombreeze]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6387
Loc: 𝒪 𝒦anada
So sorry to read your story.

I understand the confusion and doubt and guilt.
I went through all that even though I was not to blame, I still felt shame.

Welcome to!


#460243 - 02/07/14 04:58 AM Re: 56 going on 15 [Re: randombreeze]
kcinohio Offline

Registered: 06/06/12
Posts: 512
Loc: Ohio
Thanks for sharing your story. Sounded like there was more to your journey to be revealed later, if you choose to. Hope you find help in MS with this.

What I found in my journey was that if I was emotionally a certain age, I could really only progress a year at a time from where I was at, but at least I could progress. Things can get better in that regard, but I couldn't go from emotionally 18 (when I really started drinking) to 37 in a year, could only go from emotionally 18 to emotionally 19 and so on. After a while, it isn't so bad, especially when avoiding self-made traps one's learned about on the way. But, time takes time. At least, that's been my experience.

#460246 - 02/07/14 05:45 AM Re: 56 going on 15 [Re: randombreeze]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Welcome Paul,

You are among friends who get it. I was about the same age when it happened to me. I also turned to the oblivion of drugs and alcohol to escape the memories, pain and shame. Now at 57 I am 17 years sober, but just began facing these ghosts about 2 years ago. Its not easy, but I've run out of other options. I have to deal with it, and try to make something worthwhile out of my life.

56 going on 15. They say that when a child is traumatized, they remain emotionally stuck at the age they were at the time of the trauma. Seems true enough.

Be well,

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#460264 - 02/07/14 08:52 AM Re: 56 going on 15 [Re: randombreeze]
Banjo596 Offline

Registered: 08/20/13
Posts: 93
Loc: Ohio
Welcome Paul,
As I read, I thought I could be reading my story in what you wrote.

#460274 - 02/07/14 07:24 PM Re: 56 going on 15 [Re: randombreeze]
genedebs Offline

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 378
Loc: MO
Welcome Random,

Introductions is a fine place to share your story. There is another forum called survivor stories, that is where I shared my story.

For me, I was first molested by someone not in my family of origin when I was 13. I guess that the use of drugs and the use of alcohol stops our maturation as much as the abuse (s) do.

I am 22 years sober, having spent 27 years drinking to a blackout. I was productive for about 30, about 5 of them sober.

We obviously all have similar stories. Again, welcome. I hope you find the safety and support at this site.

Edited by genedebs (02/07/14 07:33 PM)

#460279 - 02/07/14 09:10 PM Re: 56 going on 15 [Re: randombreeze]
Adam A Gedman Offline

Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 188
Loc: Canada
Paul, welcome, and I am sorry for your reason to be here.

I don't think you need to fret about where you may place things, find pride in the fact that you did. It was a big step for me, and I assume for you as well.

This site and all the respondents represent a significant portion of my recovery, and this forum became the place I expressed my truths to the world.

I am not the man that I was when I arrived, and I hope for this to be true for you as well.

I will move on to your additional post.
Keep well.
Presence is the key, for all we have is now.
All we ever have is right now.

Formerly Adam A Gedman (AKA - A damAGed man)

But you can call me Kevin

Toronto Mini WoR - May 2014

#460287 - 02/08/14 12:48 AM Re: 56 going on 15 [Re: randombreeze]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 732
Loc: United States
Welcome Paul.

I'll let my signature do the talking....


Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips


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