ou could have written a chapter in my life. Perhaps that lends some credibility to the words I share. And they are not easy ones for me to write. I don't have answers for you, but maybe you might be a little heartened to see that you are not alone with the day after...I
was a Great Lakes boy new to Los Angeles and to big cities. I swallowed some courage and finally dared to step into a gay bar for the first time in my life when I lived in Glendale. The bartender and I were similar ages to your situation. And like you, he got me drunk. He could see I was terrified (I think I was actually shaking) and poured my second drink on the house. Then another free one. But they weren't free. I paid for them after last call, when he locked the door to allow me that "special privilege" of finishing my last drink with him after hours.I
t happened on the pool table. I was crying. He didn't care. He didn't stop. When I got back to my apartment, I stood under the shower just like you. For maybe an hour. Washing it all down the drain - my blood, his semen, the decision to never look at it again that I abided by for so many years since. Like you I blamed myself completely. I was in a gay bar, after all, so I "asked" for it. Maybe I was a young tease, so I deserved it. Maybe I owed him this because he was so generous and nice to me with those drinks. Maybe I owed him acquiescence even if I didn't think he'd make me return the favor. Maybe I was a brat about it when I told him I wasn't ready, so I deserved the anger. Maybe I was doing it all wrong, so I deserved the forced positioning. Maybe because - even though he was bigger and stronger - I didn't fight back physically, I deserved it even more. Or maybe because he and I both interpreted my reaction as consent, I was somehow complicit and lacked the integrity to admit even that.A
ll those lies I told myself I imagine are be similar to the lies many rape victims tell themselves - men and women both. I won't say it's worse for men because situations as terrible as these are simply not amenable to comparison. But being a "guy" - hey, this wasn't supposed to happen to me. I never expected any of it when I walked into the bar that day. So I made it my fault, and then I wasn't a victim any more. Easy peasy, right? Until I faced what I wrote here (most of it in therapy) - and see a different truth stare me right in the face - a truth I did not see for years because that's how badly I did not want to see it. This is the first time I believe I am sharing this experience at this level. But these are real issues and when they are not talked about, we just replace them with myths. And the truth that we don't face haunts us forever. I'm no expert in this stuff, but this is what my journey through something very similar to what you went through taught me. So I'm sharing it here and at this level.I
moved very shortly after that from Glendale to North Hollywood and never went back to that bar again. But I managed to find other people to abuse me anyways - although I was never violently raped again like that. I was gently used and abused, sort of on my own terms. I knew it. My partners knew it. We agreed. And it just happened.
It's affected me more deeply than the other abusive events I guess. I don't know. I guess I just gotta keep talking it out once in a while. I wonder what ever became of him? His name was Dale. Why do I even care?
y adult victimization affected me perhaps just as deeply as the more constant CSA, but - like you - I think that's because I internalized it. I blamed myself. As far as wondering about Dale, I think that is normal. You went back to him. Maybe it says something about your spirit that you may not be able to fully disconnect sex from more human connection. I'm not saying that was a healthy or welcome connection, of course. And I cannot speak for your situation - I can only speak from my own experience. I know some people are capable of distilling sex from the deeper humanity of the act (certainly rapists). I question my ability to do so. I developed feelings for my child sex abuser that I didn't even realize at the time, and look back now wondering if it was ever possible for me not to form a connection through the grooming and intimacy. At the time I despised him and even hated him. Or I thought I did. I certainly had some pretty powerful and confusing emotions about what he was doing. When I looked back over the years and started seeing the lies, I also started seeing some truths about myself that were even harder to look at. That maybe there was a razor-thin line between the hate I could see and other feelings I did not want to see. At first I thought I was disgusting. I hated what he was doing to me and - even more - what he was doing to my sister. But I sometimes wonder if it also says something salvageable about my spirit - that I can still make the connection between sex and love despite it all. We were like we were plucked violets from a forbidden garden. Even if the person who plucked us should not have - and even if he started a slow death by doing so - the fated violet is still fragrant and beautiful. It's still a violet doing everything a violet does. We are who we are. That doesn't change. And it doesn't lessen the crime against us that we still kept being who we were. Don't be angry with yourself that maybe you were someone, despite yourself, that he never deserved.T
he guy who took me when I was 20 was different. That happened only once, and it was pretty quick and pretty brutal. Any chance I may have felt anything
for him washed down the drain with that first shower. And for years I just I never looked back.