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#8033 - 09/27/01 02:27 PM My friends don't believe me...

I'm 30. My mother raped me between the ages of 6 and 7. My friends say that I'm making it up, and that I am in some way delusional and mentally ill.

I'm willing to just forget about it, but something inside me keeps on telling me that it happened.

I don't know how to validate my stories, and I really need some help, but I don't want to see a psychiatrist, because I don't want to be told I'm a liar.


#8034 - 09/27/01 07:14 PM Re: My friends don't believe me...
blacken Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 1987
Loc: Northern Ohio
Douglas, Welcome.

First, I very sorry your 'friends' would tell u ur making it up.

Second, Look up counselors in the phone book that work with adults that were abused as kids. U dont have to tell them who u R. Just inquire. When u find one, make an appointment!!

Third, read the posts on this site.

Fourth, I believe you. I don't believe people make this stuff up. If you say that it happened, then I really do believe it did.
I am very sorry you experienced that as a kid, I CAN relate. And I know how it feels to be called a Liar. It hurts really bad.

Keep posting, see a counselor, stay safe............BL

#8035 - 09/28/01 02:11 AM Re: My friends don't believe me...
Thad Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 08/28/01
Posts: 1752
Loc: Oakland, CA
Hi, and welcome
You should know that any therapist who is experienced in dealing with sexual abuse will not call you a liar. he/she will try to help you sort out what you do remember and will help you recover a clearer picture of what happened.

It is very hard for us to believe that a family member would do something like this. It is additionally difficult because it happened at an early age. Memory is held differently for younger children and we often expect the memories to be like the ones we hold as older persons, conceptual immages, clear visual memories - but young kids hold them differently - sometimes in body sensations or smells or sound memories and they are not often clear.
I was abused by my mother when I very young, 0-5 and emotional abuse followed the rest of my childhood. I was helped by a very good therapist (I tried and rejected two before him) who used a technique called "EMDR" having to do with eye movements - I can't tell you much about it except that it worked for me - and he was very careful not suggest anything so that when I did recover some memories, I was clear that it was mine.

I hope you will pursue this, because it doesn't go away - I buried mine for many years not understanding what all my symptoms were about or why they effected my life so much. It is not an easy task to deal with this - but I do not regret the clarity of knowing my self better and being able to see the ways I made life choices because of it.

It also helps to tell your story - to share it with people and here, you will learn that you are not alone - that there are many of us who are ready to support each other and will really know what you are going through.

Welcome ....thad

"..this place isn't a discussion's a portal..." Lupin
"The truth will set you free, but first it will probably piss you off." dwf's AA sponsor.

#8036 - 09/28/01 12:34 PM Re: My friends don't believe me...

Hello and welcome,

I would like to encourage you to listen to whatever it is inside you that says it happened. Trust that voice. It probably knows what it is talking about. Unfortunately, letting it go isn't really an option. It doesn't go away. Telling people it happened is the first step in dealing with it though. It takes enormous guts to do that and it really sucks when you've taken that kind of risk, only to be called a liar by those you expected to support you.

I believe you can validate your stories by telling them to people like us, people who will say "I believe you. I believe you because I've been there too." You won't hear that in many places, but you'll hear it here.

So I believe you. I was sexually abused by my mother, between the ages of 12 and 15. I never told my friends about it because I was sure their reaction would be exactly what you've described. It sucks when your own friends won't believe you.

If your only concern about therapy is whether you'll be called a liar or not, all I can say is that it never happened to me. Not that it can't happen at all, I just never experienced it. I shopped for a therapist. There are good ones and bad ones, qualified ones and ones that lack experience and/or training in the specific issues of male sexual abuse. I knew that going into the process and it made it easier to protect myself. I've found therapy to be necessary for me, as it is for many men that have been sexually abused. It's hard to deal with all of the feelings that come up, it's hard to stay focused, and it is very hard to talk about. A good therapist gives me a safe place to do all of that. In addition, a good therapist is an ally, someone I can trust to be on my side no matter what. I've never had that before.

I'd encourage you to read some of the other posts. You'll likely find that you are not the only one that feels the way you do. At least, I've found that to be true for me.

Hang in there and be safe!


#8037 - 09/29/01 02:01 AM Re: My friends don't believe me...


First of all, I'd like to add my welcome to the Forum; glad to have you with us!

Your story is heartbreaking. It's bad enough that you have been sexually abused, but to have it be your's so very sad.

From my reading and work with children, the fear of not being believed is a recurring theme...and tied closely with second-guessing oneself (i.e., did it really happen?). What you are feeling, then, is, I would say, pretty typical of those of us who are victims of sexual abuse.

I acknowledge your concern that friends may not believe you or that they may think you're making up the abuse. Probably what is more likely is that if you were to reveal this information to them, they would be shocked and may have difficulty integrating it into their thinking..particularly when they're only hearing it from a 30 year-old man.

Most of us appreciate the validation and support of the people around us when we're confronting major life issues like this one. And that his one of the wonderful things about this forum. WE know about those self doubts and how scary it is to think that nobody believes us.

As Blackleaves, Thad and Davee have all said before me, having a therapist is SO important. Try not to go down that path where you are thinking that you won't be believed. These are trained professionals who deal with this sort of thing all too frequently (you'd be surprised with how many of us there are!) and would not see your remarks in any negative or judgmental way. In fact, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how accepting therapists are. Do try to let go of this fear....

YOU know you were sexually abused. By joining this forum you have taken a BIG step for yourself toward recovery. Just acknowledging your sexual abuse - for yourself and all of us - is awesome. This is major....

My wife has a wonderful saying that just seems to fit here: "Once you know something you can't not know it!" So now you march forward (with us) with the knowledge that you are a childhood sexual abuse survivor. The more you learn with respect to the effects and characteristics associated with SA, the less you will feel unworthy, unvalidated, and abnormal. The distortions that you have grown up with (while perhaps innacurate or unfounded) are your reality. And your friends may not share this same view of the world because it is your experience and not theirs. But just because it isn't in their experience doesn't mean it didn't happen.

As long as we have this forum you need never feel that you're hanging out there all alone. We (your brothers in recovery) already believe you because we know that you wouldn't have been led to this web site unless you needed to be here... And trust me, nobody in his right mind would make this stuff up!!

Be gentle with yourself..."after a storm the sun breaks through...."

Dynamite Don

#8038 - 09/29/01 09:39 AM Re: My friends don't believe me...
Neil Offline

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 81
Loc: Millersville, MD, USA
Douglas....... I believe you !!!! The posts above have made some good suggestions. You deserve to see this through. The only other suggestion I would make is don't be too hard on your friends. They just don't understand. I've found that sometimes you can't make them understand either. People who have not been abused have a hard time grasping how a survivor feels. The important thing is to find a support network of people who do understand. I've found the men here to be very supportive and compassionate with other survivors so you are welcome here anytime. We, as other survivors, believe and understand. You are a very brave man to post what you did. That's the first step. Healing is a long, slow process but there can be healing. Find someone (therapist) near you who is willing to go through the steps with you without judgement. There is also a very good book out there by Mike Lew called "Victims No Longer". It will help you understand yourself and what you are going through a little better and you can read it in the privacy of your home. Be gentle with yourself. You're worth the effort......... Neil

#8039 - 10/04/01 12:03 AM Re: My friends don't believe me...
jwh Offline

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 98
Loc: dallas, tx
I'm 30 as well. My brother raped me when I was eight. And I only began recovering memories last year. I found the same insensitive reaction from one of my "friends," who asked me for evidence and asked me if I had considered the possibility that the abuse hadn't happened. CONSIDERED it? I wanted to scream. I LIVED MY WHOLE FUCKING LIFE PRETENDING LIKE IT HADN'T HAPPENED, so I suppose I had damn well CONSIDERED it. I also had a former friend who, with his wife, decided to make my abuse the subject of their derision, laughing about the crazy idiot (me) who now, after all of his other made-up crises, believed he had been sexually abused. My former friend actually said that this served as more evidence for him that I'm actually gay.

Fortunately, these two were the exceptions. My wife, some friends and my therapist believe me and, surprisingly, my parents actually believe me. In this I am lucky. But I agree with the other guys on here: shop around for a therapist. Talk to therapists before setting up appointments with them to see if they are experienced in working with sexually abused men.

I wish you well.


"I've been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand... Could these sensations make me feel the pleasures of a normal man?"--Ian Curtis, Joy Division

#8040 - 12/29/01 07:11 AM Re: My friends don't believe me...

Doug, common common common.. I suggest you read the book Abused Boys by Mic Hunter. This book will help you (a lot). This book is one you can not put down. It has stories that help heal. Good luck.

#8041 - 01/01/02 01:13 AM Re: My friends don't believe me...
Ken Followell Offline
Past President

Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 992
Loc: Bradenton, FL
I blacked out my abuse for around thirty years until I was finally ready to deal with it. I wanted to believe I was making it up and tried to convince myself of that. But you don't make this stuff up.

Your friend don't want to belive this could happen because it makes the world a scary place. It does happen.

Therapy was VERY helpful. Please find someone you feel comfortable with and work this out in that enviroment.

There are many things in life where the "guys in the diner" just don't know what they are talking about.

Good luck as you face this and continue to heal.

Ken \:\)

Ken Followell

Everything works out right in the end. If things are not working right, it isn't the end yet. Don't let it bother you, relax and keep on goin
- Michael C. Muhammad

"I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing."
� Rabbi Hillel

#8042 - 01/01/02 10:54 PM Re: My friends don't believe me...
michael Joseph Offline

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
Doug I hope things are better, and you found someone you can trust to share this stuff with. Let me know how you are doing. I believe you. Be gentle with yourself.

Standing together is so much better than hiding in the dark.
***I am a three time WoR Retreat Alumni***
The Round Table, Men's CSA Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat


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