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#466287 - 06/06/14 01:31 PM New here...Trying to come to terms
coming2terms Offline

Registered: 05/27/14
Posts: 3

Had this deeply buried but time i dealt with it. I was sexually abused by an older sister when I was four, parents found out and she was beaten. From that point on the abuse morphed into physical, name it - Didn't stop until I was 12/13 and was able to fight back. Been carrying this monkey around on my back all my life and it has affected me in a lot of ways. I don't like to be touched, dissociate frequently, have trouble with self-defeating behaviours, have had anxiety ever since I can remember, suffered from depressiom. Saw a listing of long terms affects of abuse and a lot of stuff became crystal clear in my life. Hey, thats me!

This is all coming to a head for me as after surgery about ten years ago i experienced PTSD symptoms, became very angry, ashamed, started into a very long depression which nearly ended my life. My worst fears are realized when I am alone naked and helpless in front of women. As an adult I have avoided situations where this would happen but in healthcare i have no choice as like 96% of nurses are female. Also there is some myth that all males are not modest when I think the opposite is true - we just dont talk about it. Had a vasectomy years ago - no one told me there would be two female nurses - guess they thought I didn;t care? I just 'manned-up' and said nothing but was pretty angry afterwards.

Maybe I'm overly sensitive but it seems that the last bastion of sexism and hate is directed at men by women. Not all women are like this of course but there is an undercurrent of acceptance of this attitude (the talk where they laugh about Kathy Beckers genital mutilation of a man). I am also aware that many women are sexually abused by men. Men's genitals are constantly mocked (size matters. little pinky gesture) in mainstream media, and guess what...boys are developing body image issues..what a a surprise.

So when i go in for surgery all this runs through my mind. Does anyone have any advice for me? I have absolutely no choice in having care from women; of course women are given that option with their women's health centers. When I started having prostate pain my immediate reaction was to get life insurance. Didn't get help until the pain was too unbearable. I avoid healthcare - not sure how many men are like me. I find it galling that women treat us like were immature or stupid for not seeing the doctor. When in my case at least they are largely the reason I wont go.

Am in a much better place than last time so am hoping to get through this process without the PTSD this time around. Thanks to everyone here for the caring support you offer one another. Have felt alone in this all my life; knowing there are others like me is some comfort although i wish none of us needed sites like this.

#466312 - 06/07/14 01:17 AM Re: New here...Trying to come to terms [Re: coming2terms]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Hey C2T,

Welcome to MS. I'm sorry for what you went through as a boy, and all the reprecussions its had in your life. You are right, it IS time you dealt with it, but many of us have waited decades to do so, so don't be discouraged. You no longer have to feel alone with this.

As a male nurse I know all to well the double standard when it comes to gender in healthcare. Women are afforded the choice of gender among health care workers. But if a man voices a desire to been seen only by males, he's considered odd. Its a shame that thats kept you from seeking the care you need, but things are changing. I encourage you to make your wishes known regardless of the reaction you get. You have the right to be respected, but sometimes you have to assert that right to get what you need.

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

#466313 - 06/07/14 01:39 AM Re: New here...Trying to come to terms [Re: coming2terms]
newground Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 1141
Loc: michigan
hey c2t
I am so where you are too man about the whole health care thing. I have been made to feel shame at the fact that i WILL NOT see a woman clinician for any reason. I have been working on this a long time now and still not much progress but then I think to myself why do I have to deal? I don't like it and that is MY prerogative I have had a pervasive arthritic pain for years now and have not found an appropriate doctor because all the specialists that my insurance covers are female. I also had prostate issues and THAT was pure hell.even with a male physician. I am trying to say it does get better man I am not at all as bad as I once was and have been able to go and take care of some medical things this past year. when we learn that the abuse causes these feelings then we dont have to have as much shame. that is when WE get to decide if we want to share the info and hope for some understanding OR if we want to just find a more comfortable place to do business. I think that is the line we have to speak to them. this is a business, and I am free to make a choice. good luck in your struggles feel free to PM me if I can help I am no where near there yet but I think I see the path at least.
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

#466370 - 06/08/14 07:20 PM Re: New here...Trying to come to terms [Re: coming2terms]
Adam A Gedman Offline

Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 188
Loc: Canada
Hello C2T,

I am sorry for your reason to be here. But I am glad for you to have found and joined us here at MS.

I honestly can't say that I understand the feelings you're experiencing, as my story is different. But I can empathize with your expression of fear.
I think we all deal with this to some degree or another.

The PTSD however I do get. The dissociation I notice almost every time now. That was not the case before, but my awareness of it seems to be taking some it's power over me away.

If I could offer anything it would be this.
How we think about things directly affects our emotional state.
The stories we tell ourselves in our head, we tend to project into others.
I try to approach thing that illicit fear or made me angry in the past, by trying to see a different point of view.
The frustration or anger that I experienced when someone driving around me does something that is less than wise, smart or down right dangerous, I try to be in their shoes.
Maybe they just lack good driving skills, maybe they are older and are fearful while in a vehicle, maybe they are young and haven't enough time behind the wheel.
While inventorying these thoughts, my frustration, anger or whatever does not materialize.

Can't say as this would work for you, but I thought I would share this.

In any case, welcome to MS.

Take care and 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

#466566 - 06/13/14 08:28 PM Re: New here...Trying to come to terms [Re: coming2terms]
J.R. Offline

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 312
Loc: United States

I'm glad you were able to find MS. I can tell you from my own experiences that coming to terms with our own realities can be a very difficult thing.

As it relates to healthcare, I can say that I have similar feelings. As an example, I have had quite to problem with trauma induced incontinence. When trying to explain to hospital personnel (or by obvious circumstances) I get this long, blank, and cold stare as if I am some "freak" who just needs to "get a grip". It feels as if my manhood is stripped from me at the moment and they think I've lost it. I can't help the way I am, I just wish everyone cold get on the same page and understand that things happen and to try and get it.

My best advice: don't let it bother you too much and understand as a culture and society, we have a ways to go so such actions and presuppositions are not entertained anymore.

On a final note, you will see how supportive the MS community can be. Take advantage of that and create for yourself a very strong support system.
Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved. -Helen Keller


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