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#515193 - 09/10/17 09:02 PM Here is what I've waited years to say.
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 394
Loc: Midwest
Hey,

I joined MS in February, 2013. In a few short months it’ll be my 5-year anniversary here. I don’t post as much as I used to, but I still log in regularly to see what’s happening and read other people’s posts. At the time I joined, I had been keeping my abuse secret for 41 years. As a child and adolescent I had been molested multiple times by several different people. As an adult, I was sexually assaulted. I wrote about these incidences in my earlier posts. Before I joined MS, I’d been very ashamed about what had happened to me. At one point, I told myself I’d keep this secret until the day I die. The funny thing about secrets, though, is they just can’t remain hidden forever. That’s one of the reasons why I joined MS, because I was tired of hiding my past. I give credit to MS for being a safe, non-judgmental community where I could tell my story. I got a lot of support when I told my story here, and I’m very grateful for that.

As a kid, I was somewhat effeminate, and got called a fem and a fairy quite often. Coupled with the memories of the abuse, the name calling made me really miserable. When I was in school, and then out in the working world, people frequently told me they thought I was gay. I tried denying it, but doing so didn’t feel truthful. I knew I was experiencing same sex attraction. That really scared me, because everything I had been taught was that being gay was wrong. I come from a devoutly Catholic family, and I thought I would be disowned by my family and kicked out of the church if I were gay. That thinking was really messed up, considering one of my abusers was a Catholic priest. I also thought being gay meant I would be like my abusers, and I wanted to be anything but like them. I tried to fight my same sex attraction, but it didn’t help. I prayed to God, asking him to take away these gay feelings, but nothing happened. I tried dating girls, hoping I could train myself to be straight, but that was a failure. I wouldn’t sleep with the girls I dated, because that’s not what good Catholic boys did. It was a bit of a contradiction because I was visiting adult bookstores and hooking up with guys. So much for being a good Catholic boy.

At the same time that I joined MS, I found a very good therapist, one whom I’m still seeing. My T, and MS were instrumental in my healing from the damage caused by the CSA. However, I couldn’t get rid of the same sex attraction I was feeling. After a great deal of introspection, and with the help of a very dear friend here at MS, the truth became evident. I am a gay man. I don’t wish to imply that CSA survivors who experience SSA do so because they’re gay. The brain’s response to trauma is very complex, and no one can make assumptions about anyone’s sexual orientation based on their reactions to CSA. In my case, my understanding that I’m gay was based on more than just the SSA.

I told a few friends of mine here at MS about my realization, and I also told a few friends in real life. The guys here at MS were most supportive; the real life friends less so. One guy here told me he knew it was just a matter of time before I came out. I lost a couple of friends after I told them I was gay. That was really hard on me. Even though I knew I was better off losing friends who couldn’t accept the real me, it still hurt. Consequently, I kept quiet about my true sexual orientation and didn’t really tell anybody else.

Lately, I feel like I’m in state of limbo between the gay and the straight communities. I’m definitely not part of the straight community, and I don’t feel like I’m part of the gay community either. That’s my fault, for I haven’t put myself out there. I’ve never taken part in Pride. I haven’t even been to a gay bar. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed about being gay. Accepting the truth gave me a wonderful sense of freedom and relief. Truth and honesty, even if only to myself, is a wonderful thing. I haven’t ever lied about being gay, I’ve just kept it private. I’m fully aware that I may not be fooling anyone.

I’m now getting to point where I’m ready to make a change, and be more open about being a gay man. Ultimately, I’d like other people, especially my family, to know the real me. I’m a little nervous about taking this next step. Because MS was a supportive and non-judgmental environment when I was dealing with CSA, I believe this would be a safe place to come out.

So here it is – I’m gay. There, I’ve said it (for about the 7th time in this post). I’m not ashamed about it. I know being gay isn’t a choice. If anything, I think the CSA has kept me from coming out sooner. I hope that coming out here is another step in the healing process. I hope I can take what I gain from this and come out to family and friends. It would also be good if some other guy struggling with his sexual orientation could learn something from this. Thank you MS for all your support over the years.

Thanks,
Dave

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#515194 - 09/10/17 09:26 PM Re: Here is what I've waited years to say. [Re: DavoSwim]
Ceremony Online   confused


Registered: 09/15/16
Posts: 1802
Loc: Minnesota
Blessings Dave, it means a lot to me, and I'm sure so many, to be a part of your coming out. There is a sense of acceptance and community that I crave, here on MS. I wish it were irl very badly. It's got a definitive social atmosphere here, very supportive and caring, one I know my own woes and foibles, fumbling in the dark and exposing new discoveries may delay, are not.

I miss this kind of honesty, I'm not sure I ever had it? Skirted it, played with the edges, but this depth, I'll ponder that.

Recently, another man(occurs infrequently), said to me "because you're gay"? A question relating to how I seem outgoing in the design part of my job, enjoying it immensely. I can definitely lay on a bit too much happy when I think the discussion is fun. I responded, "no, I'm not gay", and I still mean that. Yet, my best friends in college were gay. I fear many things, most of them are not about being gay, they're more how I fail, how I look, my very low self worth.

I too was bullied, very badly. I've done some direct therapy regarding that, and I think my T wants me to explore my femininity, but, I sort of do that anyway. I wrote of it this past week. I have issues with old attachment, and failure to care about myself. That isn't even directly related to being molested, or raped, but it had a role to play in why those happened, and the responses.

I too, don't think CSA shapes sexuality. I too think it's wired in some genetic reality, taking the time of each to find what that means. Some sooner, some later. Maybe I'll know things in a much later date, I don't see it at all, but my life has drawn others to ask, and I'm not offended. I'm kind of flattered, if I perceive it as liking me? But, really, liking me, and I hear my mind saying me??!! , where that's a No Way!!

Few, very few understand what it's like to be in a body where bullies hated me, rejected and ruined how I looked at myself for a lifetime. So few can reach into their empathy about what that is really like. I think most grow, most will have some means to see they've changed and grown out of the belittling rejecting. Being called queer or fag stings, but that's not the worst.


Dang it, I go off all over the place...

I think this place draws all of me into the open, and I want to share, and be me. But, I take too much space.
_________________________
Finding ways to cope with my mind!

https://youtu.be/6nQc1ADbWLA
This is the story of my rape, posted on MS:
http://www.discussion.malesurvivor.org/b...1680#Post501680

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#515197 - 09/11/17 03:03 AM Re: Here is what I've waited years to say. [Re: DavoSwim]
manipulated Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/26/14
Posts: 535
Loc: Great Lakes Wine Country
DaveoSwim

Congratulations on honesty with self! Just remember those who do not care for truth or honesty and insist on judgement, particularly self righteous judgement will have much more to answer for than those who stand in truth and honesty. Welcome to the light from the shadows. Proud of you!
_________________________
.Be who you are and say what you feel
...............Because those who mind don't matter
............And those who matter don't mind.
.......................-- Dr. Seuss

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#515198 - 09/11/17 01:09 PM Re: Here is what I've waited years to say. [Re: DavoSwim]
KMCINVA Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3713
Dave

Thank you for sharing. You are coming to terms as to who you are and can be. I am proud of you and I hope you find peace and a path to happiness.

As you said CSA leaves people confused as to who they are and their sexuality. Too many people judge without understanding facts and the impacts of CSA.

I am sorry your non MS friends were not as supportive. I believe they do not understand the challenges you have faced throughout your life because of the CSA.

I have read where CSA can confuse many survivors--some unable to understand or accept their sexuality and others who come to believe they are gay and later realize their attraction is just an attraction because of the CSA influences how the survivor comes to see the sexual acts and not their sexual orientation. So confusing.

I lived life in a dissociative state forever, and now I am committed not to return to that way of living. It was denial of the abuse. Some say SSA was part of my subconscious life as I wandered in dissociation. I do not know and to be honest I do not care what may or may not have happened in those days because like you I am regaining my life and no longer allowing triggers from words and actions to push me into that world of dissociation. I came to use dissociation to escape the world. When here in the present I do not question my sexuality but if true in dissociation I sometimes run to SSA there must be a buried component in me that is struggling with this concept and emotions. But when in the present SSA is not evident or even an element of my life or thoughts or actions. SSA is such a complex concept to understand and grapple with as a result of CSA. The doctors say my conscious state is who I am and the dissociative state is one of escape or running to recapture the past abuse. To be honest, it is difficult for me to grasp, so I know I must remain in the present.

I am happy you found who you are and do not be ashamed to be who you are because many people struggle with the question of who they are as a person and their sexuality. The feelings and underlying emotions need to be understood in assessing SSA. For you SSA that CSA may have brought on you impeded clarity in understanding yourself and your SSA was rooted in being gay, the person you truly are meant to be. You have overcome a major hurdle and acceptance is so important. We respect and love you for who you are and a label does not define you.

Dave, remember we are here and understand the confusion and damage CSA has done to each of us. You clearly are on the path to reclaiming your life.

I have learned people who truly love and have compassion and empathy will welcome you without reservation, they will not judge. Someone recently said people who spend their life judging others are true cowards because they are hiding from their own issues. I do hope your family and friends embrace you. If not, remember it is their loss and a reflection of their character and not yours.

Best wishes for a happier life. Thank you for coming out to us!

Kevin

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#515200 - 09/11/17 02:36 PM Re: Here is what I've waited years to say. [Re: Ceremony]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 394
Loc: Midwest
Ceremony,
Thanks for your support. I'm glad you wrote about some of your own experiences. It helps people understand the wide ranging consequences of CSA, and how the long lasting effects spread into other areas of a person's life.

I wish you all the best.

Dave

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#515201 - 09/11/17 02:41 PM Re: Here is what I've waited years to say. [Re: manipulated]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 394
Loc: Midwest
Manipulated,

Thanks for writing, and I appreciate your support. I like your perspective on handling people whose reaction is harsh. I will keep that in mind. I wish you well.

Dave

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#515205 - 09/11/17 03:52 PM Re: Here is what I've waited years to say. [Re: DavoSwim]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2713
............
............Be who you are and say what you feel
...............Because those who mind don't matter
............And those who matter don't mind.

.......................-- Dr. Seuss

I am gay. I did not choose to be. In fact, I tried hard to choose not to be. My molester ran me relentlessly through the entire compendium of conventional gay sex. He also abused my sister. So... if he got me in touch with being gay, did he get her in touch with being straight? I think I may have been gay before he started in with me but I wasn't really sure. So was I gay because I learned to embrace and even enjoy the forbidden fruit I could not say no to? Is a person's sexual identity truly immutable? Even if he did not sway my sexuality, he introduced questioning and doubt. I've seen enough gay people evolve naturally into their identity without the insertion of such doubt. They have a gravity and an attractive certainty to their identities that I do not possess.

Abusers can be diabolically gifted at knowing who the questioning children are. I am quite convinced that like a shark who can detect the subtle rhythms of a weaker prey, they smell that 1-in-a-billion parts of uncertainty and home in on the most easily groomed prospect. They "smell" the one who may crave the attention more than the others, the one who is subtly separated from the protective pack of friends, the one who may be relatively less certain of where his feet are in the world amongst his peers and perhaps open to the guidance of a mentor. Being a gay child can be like being a box of cake mix. All the ingredients that make us so malleable and vulnerable are right there and ready - the questioning, the practiced propensity at keeping secrets, the yearning to be accepted and embraced, the self-doubts that make weak barriers to stronger certitudes as our 'no's" become "okay's" under the force of strong and targeted seduction. Just add water and bake. I was that easy.

Recently, I reconnected with my molester and we had some very frank conversations. He was married and had kids after he was done with me, then got divorced and at the time of our meeting was institutionalized. He told me that he wasn't gay and never was. This was from the person who engaged in a far more intense and extended sexual relationship with me than anyone I had been with since. So it seems the years have proven which of us truly owns himself in this world. I walked out of there feeling stronger - not for BEING gay, but for knowing who I was. Your statement above, Davo, is about that strength. What speaks loudest to me in your post is not "I am gay." It is the ability to say, after all you have been through, "I know who I am." There is no stronger statement a survivor could possibly make. I wonder if your abuser would be strong enough to say who he is - if he would be any stronger than mine in being able to look straight in the mirror and admit who he was in the world.

As far as SSA vs Gay - there is a wonderful threaded response to my question on that issue. But I am honored to reply to this remarkable post.
_________________________
..



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#515223 - 09/12/17 07:21 AM Re: Here is what I've waited years to say. [Re: DavoSwim]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3843
Loc: South-East Europe
Hello Dave,
congratulations on your bravery!
From own experience I know that the impulse and desire to show and express myself was too great couple years ago when I was in similar situation like yours. I guess because of shameful feelings, so many years of denial and negative self image when I finally came out I disclosed to couple friends including some that I wish I didn't now when looking back.

Nevertheless there is healing power in act of bringing out something so important and so valuable and the feeling was always good.

Take care!


Igor
_________________________
My story

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#515234 - 09/12/17 02:52 PM Re: Here is what I've waited years to say. [Re: KMCINVA]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 394
Loc: Midwest
Kevin,

Thanks for responding and thanks for your support. From reading your posts and from communication we’ve had, I know that we’ve both had similar issues with the Church. I know that had a big effect on my coming out. You’ve written some very good points about how CSA influences SSA and how that also interferes with someone determining their orientation. I liked your point how it can sometimes confuse people into thinking they’re gay when they’re really not. Thank you for opening up and telling your story about how SSA has affected you at different points in your life. That took guts to write.

I appreciate your support. I also wish you the best in your healing and your happiness.

Dave

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#515235 - 09/12/17 03:07 PM Re: Here is what I've waited years to say. [Re: Chase Eric]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 394
Loc: Midwest
Eirik,

Thanks for your support. I’ve always been impressed with your level of understanding of the issues surrounding CSA survivors. I’ve done some reading on epigenetics, and how environmental factors, including trauma, can modulate the expression of genes. If I was born to be gay (and I truly believe I was) all the experiences I ever had, including family dynamics, nutrition, and the CSA influenced the expression of that identity. Of course, no one can ever be completely sure, but for me, there was a tipping point where I just to say this is the way it is. As I read your description of how perps hone in on their victims and groom them, I was able to recognize how the priest did just that. I was ripe for the picking, and an easy mark. He likely was able to identify that I was the kid who would grow up to be gay, and he exploited that using characteristics I exhibited such as longing for attention, seeking validation, not one to speak up for myself, the effeminate traits, and he got what he wanted. It all makes sense.

Thank you for sharing your story. It is most kind and helpful to others when you do that. I wish you all the best, and again thank you for your support.

Dave

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