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#71349 - 12/01/01 05:48 AM Beginning the Process

Hi Guys,

Just registered with the website today.

I know that I was sexually abused at least once, it was an isolated incident by a stranger in a department store. But I really think there was earlier abuse that I can't remember.
It wasn't until I spent the years of really accepting and dealing with my coming out issues that I could even begin to look at this area.
I think I'd like to begin some therapy but I'm wrestling with fears of being incapacitated by fear or pain by going through the process. I'm afraid of finding out something I might not want to know. What if I open Pandora's box only to want to close it again.
I'm torn because there are small areas in my life where I feel that push to get resolution. Like knowing that continued struggles at getting in shape are so entwined with a fear of being physically attractive.
Any suggestions, thoughts or even shared experience would be appreciated..

[ November 30, 2001: Message edited by: CanadaGuy ]

#71350 - 12/01/01 10:41 PM Re: Beginning the Process
Mark C Offline

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 39
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Hello Canadaguy....let me say first, Welcome to our bulletin board. Second I just want to say I love your city of Vancouver...I am from NJ right accross from NYC.

Well all I can tell you is that I once felt as you do now..wanting to get help, but then maybe not. As time went on things started happening that almost seemed as if everything was getting out of control. I am not suggesting this will happen to you. I don't think I did anything in particular to bring this on. It was my mind telling me it was time to deal with this. Then I had to make a choice...continue to try and put it in the back of my mind, which worked for so many years or DEAL WITH IT! I know I wanted to get better, I had an insatiable appetite to understand what was going on, to understand how I was feeling. YES IT WAS SCARY, yes it was often painful...but here I am and I must say MUCH BETTER OFF. I spent more than three years in therapy and I would do it again. I am certain not everyones experience is the same but If there is something there which pops up from time to time my inclination is that it will only get stronger. You described it well when you said you were afraid of opening pandoras box. However, had I never dealt with this, I would still be afraid and haunted by the thought of "pandoras box" today. My victimization no longer has that grip on me...I am not afraid, I have faced those demons and won! To live otherwise was to allow the person who victimized me to, in an indirect continue the abuse.

Although I was abused for a number of years from someone I knew well, who I regarded as a kind of surrogate father. Even one incident from a stranger can have a profound effect on an individual. Your abuse was no less aggregious than my own. It was a violation and exersize in manipulation and control, it was about someone who had power over you and used you.

Maybe you will even be glad to find out that there wasn't other incidents in your past. I can tell you that this kind of trauma or victimization can really play tricks with your times not having any, then having too much, often times people suffer from low self esteem or feel they have lived a lie thier whole lives. There are many side effects that you probably don't even realize just yet...but they are there. For years I convinced myself I was fine...the abuse I endured had not affected me very much...WELL WAS I WRONG! Anyhow, I hope some of this makes may or may not apply to you but I will say this....FIND A GOOD THERAPIST and don't look won't regret it. I can direct you to a person who works with men who were abused in Vancouver if you are ever interested. FINDING THE RIGHT therapist is very important. Be well and again WELCOME...and please visit our chatroom if you feel up to it. It isn't always busy yet, we are trying to get it going...You can usually find someone there on Wednesday and Sunday evenings but you can find people there on other nites as well. Also spend some time on the NOMSV website as there is very much info here....Mark

#71351 - 12/03/01 02:48 AM Re: Beginning the Process

Canada Guy,

Let me add my welcome to this discussion forum! I feel very blessed to have found this place of information, acceptance, safety, support, and encouragement. I hope that your visits here will be worthwhile as well.

When you describe your wanting to know...and then maybe not wanting to know about the full extent of your abuse, it felt so familiar to me. I recall being on the edge of that same cliff a few times, and, my friend, it IS scary! But as Mark has described so well, this is a journey that is sometimes rocky, but it is well worth making it! A good therapist who is knowledgeable about sexual abuse is crucial, and it is well worth the time, energy, and money that you will expend.

Probably the greatest gift I have received in recent months (since I have come to this forum) is the simple - but awesomely powerful - information that I am not alone! Before I was in this forum, I felt as though I were the only guy on the planet who was feeling and thinking the things that were plaguing me just under the surface or in the back of my mind. When I got here and I read other guys' stories and listened as they poured out their hearts...I cried tears of joy...and relief. No, that fact alone didn't change what happened to me or "make it all better," but it gave me enormous hope and encouragement. While I would never characterize myself as "normal," for I wouldn't know what "normal" is, I will say that my participation here has made me feel SO much better able to deal with issues of childhood sexual abuse.

Based on recommendations from guys I have met on this forum, I have done some reading as well, which has been helpful.

You, like the rest of us, have been led here because you have information and things to share with others....and to receive these things as well.

My wife says, "Once you know something you can't not know it." So it looks as though you're on this journey of recovery...even if you're not sure you are!

Again, welcome!


#71352 - 12/03/01 11:54 AM Re: Beginning the Process
pondboy Offline

Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 59
Loc: benicia, california, usa
welcome. I know of a really good therapist in Vancouver who specializes in men's issues. I'll be glad to help you get in touch with him. I also think therapy is a good idea. you won't remember something until you are "ready" to deal with it. I've had therapy 3 times over a 15 year period and each sequence has helped in some way. I'm just down the coast from you in SFrancisco and am a great admirer of Vancouver. You are lucky to live there!! Come back to the discussion group and respond to what folks have written you. you will find this to be a very supportive group with no BS.

#71353 - 12/03/01 09:49 PM Re: Beginning the Process

Thanks guys, it's nice to know that there is a supportive community out there.
Please feel free to pass on the names of any really good therapists in Vanocuver that you can recommend. Finding a really well qualified professional that I can trust is really important.
Other than my usual traffic grumbles, I do love Vancouver. I have taken many walks along the seawall to comtemplate different issues in my life. It's very soothing to sit on a bench, trees behind you, the ocean in front of you and the silence of the waves to guide your thoughts.
I think I slept better the night of my original post, knowing that I had taken one step. Part of the process also comes from just disclosing a piece of myself I'm still uncomfortable with. I'm hoping one day to see it less as a label and more of an integrated part of a multi-faceted me.
Anyway, I hope these postings aren't too long. Sometimes typing it out helps provide a better framework to my thoughts.

#71354 - 12/04/01 04:12 PM Re: Beginning the Process
bosishere Offline

Registered: 02/14/01
Posts: 161
Loc: nashville,tn,usa
hello, CanadaGuy, and glad to have you at this site. It is all too bad that we have to be at this site at all, but as the other guys have said so well, we help each other by our being here. For so many years, even before you were alive, sexual abuse was something most families hid, and Male Sexual Abuse, was not even talked of, let alone discussed. It is SO GOOD, that you have started the "process." I believe we all have our down days, but that makes the "good ones" even better. Again, welcome, and I, like others are here to help in any way we can. bosishere

#71355 - 12/07/01 10:43 PM Re: Beginning the Process

Hi, and welcome! I agree with everything that has been already said, so I will just say hello, welcome you and tell you that it DOES get better. Just take it one day at a time, and keep coming back for support whenever you need it! We area all in this together.


#71356 - 12/08/01 10:37 PM Re: Beginning the Process

Speaking from a gay person, you may want to deal with a gay or lesbian therapist. If you don't or can't find a gay or lesbian therapist you like or has the skills you need, be real careful about picking a therapist to make sure they don't have a lot of baggage around gay people. If a therapist isn't gay affirming run. \:\)

#71357 - 12/09/01 02:50 PM Re: Beginning the Process

Thanks Christopher. Fortunately there is a therapist in Vancouver that is registered and is a member with this website that I am hoping to work with.

My question to everyone right now would be: How much of your therapy work was as an adult dealing with these issues and how much of it was helping your inner child and their issues?
I guess I'm finding right now that as much as I can make sense of things and try and heal some things, it's those really deep childhood beliefs that will need to be held up to the light and be examined.
What has everyone's experience been?

#71358 - 12/09/01 09:49 PM Re: Beginning the Process

I hope this therapist works out for you. In my experience sexual abuse messed up so many things in terms of dealing with people that a lot of things get talked about in therapy.


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