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#53248 - 01/03/04 01:21 AM Silent for so long
RICK57 Offline

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Hello and warm wishes to everyone that visits this site & reads these postings. I was abused when I had just turned 12 years old & never told anyone unitl 2 years ago (44 years old), when I told 3 friends whilst I was under the influence of alcohol - as you may have seen elsewhere on this site I was OK for a while as my friends were shocked but supportive. Recently I regressed & to cut a long story short, sought real help for the first time - this appears to be working.

The question/statement is that my Therapist (god I used to think this was an American thing - no insult intended)states that it is fairly common for someone my age to hold back for such a period of time, i.e 34 years (this appears to be true judging by some of the other postings on this site)- I now alternate by feeling like telling everyone & going back into my shell.

Has anyone else felt like shouting it from the rooftops after hiding it for so long?

The other issue is that I can now tell it to strangers, also some close friends, but not to my sister who would be extremely hurt that I had kept it to myself & caused such self harm for so long. Does anyone else feel this, that strangers will listen but you don't want to hurt those that would care most.

Love to you all!

*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

#53249 - 01/03/04 02:17 AM Re: Silent for so long
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I stayed silent for 31 years, and told my wife for the first time just days before our 25th wedding anniversary - ain't I the romantic eh ?

And now I just don't care who knows, most of my workmates know, as do most of my family except my parents.And the reason for that is they are now old and unfortunately not in good health, I think it would be too much for them to deal with now.

But what have I, you, or any of us got to be ashamed of ?

Nothing !


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#53250 - 01/03/04 02:22 AM Re: Silent for so long
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Rick aside from confiding in an asshole at 17 (long story) I did not tell anyone until I was 56. I told my wife in 2000 after I had been married for 34 years. What a dip I was. Yeh I dont give a shit who knows now. I use my name here and am comfortable with myself. Sometimes I want to scream it from the rooftops to try and make it stop for all our brothers in pain.

Word of advice you pay a whole heap of attention to Dave (Llyod) for he is one really smart dude and full of terrific information.



#53251 - 01/03/04 02:56 AM Re: Silent for so long
Green Offline

Registered: 07/13/03
Posts: 115
Loc: NYC, NY
I didn't tell anyone, including myself, until I was 56. I am now 57 and have told my therapist, wife, and a close friend. At this point, I don't intend to tell any one else.


#53252 - 01/03/04 03:38 AM Re: Silent for so long
RICK57 Offline

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Dave, Mikey & Harry - thanks for your responses. I presume you've been checking around the postings tonight & spotted that I've been trying my best to support others - don't know if i've quite got the hang of it yet but will keep trying. Was going to go to bed earlier but this is helping me & I can sleep Saturday.

After adding responses to other users, I picked up the courage to add my own topic & then go back to reading the others. After a while I decided to see if I had any responses & it looked like I didn't have any. Must have to log out & in again to see what responses there are (on the tally), I decided to read again what I had written & spotted your responses.

When I read them I just sat here & sobbed, such an enormous relief that I wasn't the only one that had allowed things to degenerate for so long. It's like this wall around my heart is starting to loose its mortar. I saw Return of the King today (Lord of the Rings part 3)& near the end it was stated that sometimes things are so deep (words are not correct but meaning is)that you cannot go back and change them (my friend who is aware of my current predicament made a point of not spotting this comment to save me from climbing the wall further, although I knew he was thinking the same as me)and do you know what - I thought you cannot change them but you can change your reaction to them. Don't know if you're into that middle earth stuff but the amount of inspiration I'm getting from different sources indicates that 2004 will be a good year. I intend to turn it all around - I don't want to dissapoint (that spelling looks wrong but I bet you don't care) my friends, yourselves, the people that think I am so strong & for once, myself.

*Believe it or not, I am sat here drinking a bottle of beer brewed in Newport, Oregon, USA - its by Rogue Brewery & called Dead Guy Ale - do they make a Live Guy Ale?

Thanks again to you all - to everyone else, it's never too late.

*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

#53253 - 01/03/04 05:20 AM Re: Silent for so long
Kurt Offline

Registered: 12/29/03
Posts: 42
Loc: New England
Hey there, Rick:

I went almost 30 years before dealing with my SA. The abuse memory popped up once before, about ten years ago, right before my final exams in college. I recognized that I was abused when a friend confided her own sexual assault story to me, promptly flunked all of my exams, and immediately buried it all again for a decade... until about three months ago.

Since I recognized my abuse and have started working through it, I've told a few people about the situation -- my wife, my parents, one sister, my counselor at school, my clergy, and a couple of... like, two... very close and trusted friends. That sounds like a lot of disclosures, I guess, but I am fortunate to have a good support network around me of fantastic people. Aside from these people knowing, I'm not exactly about to go out and have t-shirts made up about my SA, if you know what I'm saying.

However, part of me wants to tell people at my school because I know that I am smart and now I recognize that there is a real and legitimate reason that I blanked on and failed so many tests during first semester. I mean, it's not that I'm just a complete idiot or something, although I feel like some classmates might think that.

On the other hand, I DON'T want to use SA as an excuse, either, and I know that most people will likely freak out if they hear about the abuse behind my troubles. To the people at my school and church who ask about my situation, at least those who ask in a kind and genuine fashion, I am willing to give a very vague explanation, and express my thanks for their concern.

As far as family members are concerned, I have told only my closest sister and my parents. I come from a large family, and at this point I feel inclined to shared the info with NONE of the rest of my five siblings.

Completely off topis, but with regard to your beverage from Newport, Oregon, I grew up in Oregon. My family actually used to spend part of every summer right near Newport! Man, that brings some happy memories --the Oregon Coast is a gorgeous place. Now, I live on the other side of the country, but it's nice here, too.

I am glad that you found this site, Rick, and I appreciate your comments. Yeah, you Brits always sound so insightful! I try to read your posts with an accent in my mind, and you come off sounding a bit like Roger Moore. I'm sure that's accurate.

All the best to you, and smooth sailing in your healing process, Rick.



"Looking good, Billy Ray!"
"Feeling good, Lewis!"

#53254 - 01/03/04 08:44 AM Re: Silent for so long
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills

Lloydy and I have a lot in common. I kept silent for 38 years. I didn't start dealing with this 'til I was 50. I told my wife about it for the first time on our 28th wedding anniversary after I'd been seeing a therapist for about 2 months and crying my eyes out for the first time in my life. I slowly started telling people. My younger sister and I are close so she was the first one in the family that I told. I've told everyone in the immediate family, not in detail, just that it happened and about when. It's none of their business who did it or how or how long it went on. A week before my dad died last year I even talked to him, he was not conscious or responsive, but I told him and I assured him that he did the best he could and I didn't blame him. I told my mom that it happened, that's it, nothing more. I don't want to burden her with the details and I think she might blame herself for not being there for me at the time. I've told some of my closest friends and all of them have been supportive.

Yeah, there are times when I feel like shouting it from the rooftops because there are still so many people out there who just don't get it. It happens, a lot of guys just don't talk about it, they shove it down so deep that it takes a long time to come back up again when they are able to deal with it. It's a survival mechanism, it worked for me 'til I just couldn't deal with it on my own and sought help. At this time in my life I don't care who knows and can't stay silent anymore.

Take good care of yourself my friend,


I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

#53255 - 01/03/04 12:22 PM Re: Silent for so long
Leosha Offline

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here

first, welcome and I'm sorry. Those are the two things I always think when I see a new person post here.

I do not know about yelling from rooftops, but I am much easier able to talk about it now, with anyone. I still am struggling much to actually talk of it with my therapist. But with friends, now, and people I have known for some time, I am more able to.

I still have difficulties sometime, I just want to put it all back away and never think of it anymore. But I know I'm beyond that, in terms of not being able to do it at all, but also, in that I have healed enough that now I CAN handle it. It is still a pain in the but sometime, but I am still surviving.

I wish you well, and again welcome you to this site.


Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

#53256 - 01/03/04 04:25 PM Re: Silent for so long
outis Offline

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2261
Loc: Maryland USA

Survivors have a lot of things in common. Hiding the abuse, minimizing it, and denying it is common.

I hid mine from everyone for 26 years, including my wife for the first 15 years that we knew each other, 12 of them as a married couple. When I saw our marriage in "deep doo-doo" I finally told her, but I think I had been preparing to tell her for a few months before that.

Now it seems I did even more hiding, hiding earlier abuse even from myself.

Funny Kurt should mention T shirts. I got the T shirt for the Male Survivor conference in Minnesota last September. I wore it to try to find people in the lobby of the hotel the first night I was there, since I had never met any of the guys except online. I wore one for the flight home. One day I decided to wear it to my SIA meeting, since I would be among survivors anyway. My wife gave me a shopping list for the Home Depot (a chain of lumber and hardware stores here). I didn't get any questions from folks, but I rehearsed my answer in my head over and over!

I fluctuate between wanting to march on Washington (actually not far from where I work these days) and wanting to be left alone to heal myself. Or maybe just be left alone. I've written to newspapers about stories on child sexual abuse, yet I still haven't told most of my own siblings.

I think you'll like this site. In one of your posts I think you said there are survivors all over the world. In Mike Lew's book, "Leaping Upon the Mountain," he has quotes from male survivors around the world, from dozens of countries. We were really only alone while we stayed in silence. Once we break the silence, we are not alone again. We each have to do the hard work of recovery for ourselves, but once we reach out like we do here, we can each escape our "Fortress of Solitude."

Hey, if the therapist thing is American, chalk it up as another worthwhile import, like the grog! \:D



"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

#53257 - 01/05/04 11:17 PM Re: Silent for so long
Thomas Offline

Registered: 07/31/03
Posts: 109
Loc: boise
Hi, Rick!

Boy, do I ever identify with shouting from the rooftops. My particular situation is compounded by the fact from about the age of four (when I think the abuse stopped) until this last spring (just before my 50th birthday), I not only hid it, I couldn't even remember it! Now I am whipsawed between telling everybody and nobody. As I've been reminded by my therapist, why do I want to tell? Is it to convince myself that it did happen? Am I looking for validation? Pity? Do I lay myself open to further abuse by telling the wrong person? All good questions, but in the end, I just have to make a judgment call based on what seems appropriate to the situation. Right now, apart from my therapist, my Al-Anon group, and you guys, no one knows, not even family. I'll just keep listening to those with more experience in this.


To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive. - Robert Louis Stevenson

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