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#466368 - 06/08/14 05:13 PM Fresh start after 25 years
NoSimpleMachine Offline

Registered: 06/05/14
Posts: 223
Loc: SF Bay Area
I'm going to try and keep this introduction brief because I have quite the tendency toward verbosity; I have lots of things to say about my journey and discovery but there will be other times and posts to enumerate them.

I'm a 28 year old gay man who has, with the work of a therapist who specializes in "lifetime integration", recently uncovered that I was sexually taken advantage of by a neighbor when I was age 3 (he would've been about my dad's age, so mid to late 30's). This is a person I really liked and looked up to; my memory at this stage (my understanding is rapidly evolving these days) is that I enjoyed spending time with him in a sort of "ageless friendship" way, and also enjoyed the close physical intimacy and sensuality of bodily touch, but buried the whole period with the traumatic memories of the more egregiously sexual aspects (oral and anal penetration). Of course, what I couldn't bury is the emotional learning and triggered responses to intimate and sexual situations, nor could I understand how the resulting dissociation between my young self and everything that came after would come to shape the sort of person I would be and the relationships I would have.

I responded by building up a very intellectualized sense of self; I would be safe if I could understand things deeply and innately (being alone when the Loma Prieta earthquake struck around this time also played a part in this; I was apparently convinced at that time that dinosaurs caused the earthquake and I refused to read books about them or play with dinosaur toys and was afraid of being separated from my mother for awhile after that. Still trying to figure out if I made a connection between the sexual stuff and the earthquake, like "when you do sexual things, the earth shakes", or whether they are very unrelated. I'm not sure.)

I would have same-sex attractions and fantasies throughout my late prepubescence and all of my teens, but remained closeted until age 20. Throughout this time I also would have fantasies of either being sexually taken by an older man (when I was ~8-13 sorta age) or of being the caring older half of a similar age-difference relationship (~14-mid-20s) as a sort of frustrated "if I could only have this puzzle piece, I could be sexually satiated" thing. I've never acted on these feelings outside of occasionally mixing adult-youth erotica into my mix of pornography consumption over the years. I've always had an innate sense of just how wrong and traumatic it would be to actually do that to a child, and only found sexual release through a tiny, tiny subset of these erotic stories that struck the right "tone" between the awareness of the child and the intentions of the adult. Deep down I always wanted to believe that I was an equal partner in that connection with my neighbor, that I wanted to be there and be sexual, and that my neighbor had my best interests deep at heart. If an adult-youth erotic story fell away from that mold, it went from being a turn-on to being deeply disgusting. I believe this is the impact of the grooming on my perceptions of my role in the whole thing.

In any case, I started coming out when I was 20 and had a series of relationships that went well to varying degrees, were often with the wrong sort of people, and when they were with good people, would have a habit of collapsing around me every time in a way that felt emotionally very similar, and also very foreign from any other aspect of my life. This was experiencing the disconnection between my 3 year old self and everything that came after...I could only access that emotional place about sex and intimacy in a space of sex and intimacy, and so I never got to "practice" the way my post-3, intellectual self wanted to in order to fix the problem.

Starting to spot the trend that my subconscious emotional world was repeatedly standing in the way of my relationship goals and my desires to have a positive sexual experience in my adulthood was where I really started to get serious about digging into it. After a suicide attempt in 2011 (itself in response to my most long-term relationship to date coming crashing down in spectacular fashion) I began keeping journals of my thinking, reading books on low self-esteem and CBT and self-actualization, started seeing a string of counselors who each contributed their pieces, until I ended up with my current counselor who has helped me get to this point.

I think the first thing I'm coming to really believe deep down and let sink in to my understanding is that I wasn't molested because I was gay, and I'm not gay because I was molested. This neighbor had no way of knowing my sexual orientation at that age in order to single me out and I'm quite sure I was already oriented the way I was at that age; the coincidence that my neighbor forced himself sexually on a young boy who happened to be gay definitely shaped that young boy's experience differently than if he hadn't been gay but I am not gay because of this early experience.

My head's in a weird place after all these fresh connections have been made. I feel a lot of relief and positivity now that I have the best chance I've ever had to bring new understanding to bear to form new habits that get me closer to my life goals, but I'm also feeling very fuzzy in the head as I lack a whole block of self-definition and find myself asking myself "what do I do now, and who am I that is even doing it?" It is questions like that that I hope this forum can be insightful and supportive.
If I know only one thing it's that everything that I see
Of the world outside is so inconceivable often I barely can speak
Yeah I'm tongue-tied and dizzy and I can't keep it to myself
What good is it to sing Helplessness Blues, why should I wait for anyone else?

#466373 - 06/08/14 07:35 PM Re: Fresh start after 25 years [Re: NoSimpleMachine]
Adam A Gedman Offline

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

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

I wouldn't worry too much about being verbose in your posts.
I think we can be that way to some extent or another.
I on the other hand will write and edit my posts endlessly, until it seems to say what I want, just so. A little perfectionism.

You sound to have a fairly good grasp of where you're heading, so I will offer simply this.
A Couple lines from a poem I refer to often, by Edna St Vincent Mallay called "pity me not".
I think it speaks to your search for understanding of all the new information your gaining.
" pity me that heart is slow to learn
What the swift mind be holds at every turn"
Sometimes it just takes time for new information to sink in and be assimilated into our essential self.

Welcome, 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

#466407 - 06/09/14 08:14 PM Re: Fresh start after 25 years [Re: NoSimpleMachine]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England

Gay, straight, rich, poor, black, white, and all shades in between, from all over the globe. We're all different, but we all have this one terrible thing in common. The one bright spot in it all is that we can help one another through this, to become better men, able to live better lives.

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

#466814 - 06/20/14 03:52 AM Re: Fresh start after 25 years [Re: NoSimpleMachine]
Bluedogone Offline

Registered: 07/03/13
Posts: 1079
Loc: Southern US
Welcome to MS, a unique site where almost everyone is striving in their own way to heal and recover to such a point that they don't need to be here anymore. I hope you find exactly what you need from MS. It seems as if you're well on your way to self actualization.

I couldn't agree more with your statement:
I think the first thing I'm coming to really believe deep down and let it sink in to my understanding is that I wasn't molested because I was gay and I'm not gay because I was molested

I think this is an extremely important thing to realize if real progress in healing is to be made.

My first memories were at about six or seven, and they were more of the "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" type of sexual activity, so I can only imagine that unwanted sexual activity at such an early age is quite traumatic. Good luck and heal well with you, your counselor, together with support from members here,
Whether you say, "i can't do this," or say, "I CAN DO THIS" You're Right.


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