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#951 - 08/18/02 03:40 AM lost childhood
Roy Offline

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
For the last three days I have been extremely tired. I just got up from my second nap of the day and its only 6:30 pm. I realized that I am feeling sad. It takes me awhile to recognize feelings sometimes, having spent so much of my life disconnected from them. Part of me thinks I'm just having a big ol pity party, feeling sorry for myself. Another part thinks I may be grieving the loss of my childhood. Probably its both. During this same time I have been reading "Healing the Shame That Binds You", by John Bradshaw. I have known about this book for years and just never got around to reading it. Last weekend I was helping a friend clean out his car and came across it. He lent it to me and here I am. I've only read about fifty pages and it has really affected me. It's like it was written just for me. Its funny how we sometimes seem to be mysteriously guided to the right information at the appropriate time. I have been talking with my therapist and with my mens groups about shame and how it seems to be at the core of most pathology.

I wish so much that I had had a more normal childhood or a more normal family. I would still want the same people in my family, just healthier versions. I really love my family, I even like most of them as individuals. In fact, come to think about it, as individuals they are mostly OK. Its the family unit thats really whacked out. Everybody is very nice, attractive, articulate, and well behaved in public. They are all very functional in the eyes of society, with mutual funds and frequent flier miles. Everybody works very hard to maintain a pleasant outward appearance (and gets in trouble if they don't). I put that in parenthesis because its one of the unspoken and unwritten rules, and there are lots of those. There are two realities, what appears to be and what really is. It is so weird and creepy!

I played the same game with everyone until 7 or 8 years ago. Until I was raped. That was when I started to say, or tried to say: "Hey you guys, there seems to be a discrepancy here. Things don't add up, that's a problem, and we should all join together to fix it. OK?" Well, needless to say, that didn't go over so well and I became the "scapegoat" and "identified patient". Growing up in this environment was so lonely and confusing for a little boy like me. For the longest time I thought there was a big secret that everyone was in on and I would eventually figure it out.

I often feel like my life is a mistake, not that I made a mistake, but that I am a mistake. An aberration that landed in the middle of their so-called perfect world like a ticking bomb, waiting to go off. In a sense, that's exactly what happened. My dad was 52, my mom 45 when I was born and my two much older sisters already grown, one with a child already. I wasn't exactly planned, and I was told my mom is glad she didn't get an abortion. My parents had a bad marriage and fought loudly and constantly. Screaming at each other, going on and on, with my mother ending up sobbing in her bedroom. My mother made me into the husband she always wished she had and I had to take care of her every need. One of my sisters recently told me she and my other sister remember her taking a bath with me at a rented cabin one summer when I was nine. Why would a 54 year old woman take a bath with a nine year old boy when there's no water shortage?

I say lost childhood because I never got to be a kid. I knew I could not cause my mom any problems, or anybody for that matter. I was ultra responsible, well behaved, and miserable. And ashamed about being miserable and such a weird boy/man. And ashamed about being ashamed. I feel uncomfortable around children to this day, not knowing what to say to them or how to act. I generally just avoid them. I have so much sadness in me I could cry. I will never know what its like to be a child. And I know I'm fucked up because of it and I so wish I could have a better life. I am trying so hard, trying to get to the bottom of all this and salvage what I can. Seven years of relentless struggle. When does all this self-examination and "growth" begin to pay off? I know things could be worse, and are worse for many people. I am grateful to have what and who I have in my life. I guess I am grieving for my lost potential, who I could have been. Now I need to let go of some dreams and that is proving to very hard. I just hurt inside. I want the suffering to be over now so I can get on with my life.

Thanks for listening.


#952 - 08/18/02 02:01 PM Re: lost childhood
cards Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 10
Loc: california
Wow, recently i also wondered what it would have been like to be so carefree as a child. I lost my innocence at the age of 4. And from that point on, i became so obsessed with having sex myself. Any movie star on tv or girl i had a crush on in school would make me want to do what he had done to me. I never acted out on this, so i didnt spread it like so many others do. I'm happy for that at least. That it ended with me.

I seen how my little sister was at my age. She was so happy. She grew up in a better time. She was born when my dad wasnt an alcholic anymore. And he didnt beat my mom anymore either. And she grew up with a big brother who would protect her at the cost of his own life. I look out for her. And i can keep a look out for anyone who would possibly do anything to her. She's grown up now. Still innocent. I'm glad. Its nice not having this thing hang over your head. Its eating me up inside. I been tempted to tell my mom what happened to me. Because they brought him up to me saying he works at some place. I of course got angry, but i didnt show it. I just dont want to hear he still exists. But i can use that as the start of me revealing what had happened to me. But i end up chickening out when i go up to her. And i will reveal to only my mother. She has helped me out so much. And i am still angry at my father for doing what he did to her when i was younger.

I fear i might become like him. So i try to avoid drinking like he has done. And if i ever raise my fist at my gf or wife. I dont deserve her with me. She could do so much better. I dont want to hit her come some other time, so it would be safer if she would just leave me if i ever come close to raising my fist. I just seen how my mom put up with it and i just get sad. No one should put up with that.

#953 - 08/18/02 05:02 PM Re: lost childhood
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
A loving hurturing family is a right for every child. Hundreds of studies and books have been written to show what happens to a child who does not get that.

So many of us have had either a very deficient family life, or a down right horrible one.

It is common for us to wonder what life would have been like had we not been abused, had our family been at least somewhat normal. I think we need to really grieve that we did not have that and that it has affected our whole life.

Then, with the help of our therapists and anyone who loves us, including this brotherhood we have here at NOMSV, we need to be sure that we do not continue to let ourselves be cheated.

None of us are mistakes. Any time a child is conceived it is a miracle, and I believe, a direct act of God who calls us into being.

We can feel that God has been a poor parent, abandoning us at the time we most needed him. We can't help how we feel. But we can yell at God, blame him all we need to and then try to move on, to not get stuck in the muck.

We, all of us, are among the strongest, bravest, most courageous men that have ever lived. And many of us are that even without much, if any, loving support. We have survived the very worst of betrayals, violence, abandonment and so much more that is a part of each individuals history.

I love you men! You are great heros. We are great men and we are real men, strong men. Let us enjoy and celebrate that. We are family for each other and we are a loving supportive family.

Peace to you all.

If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

#954 - 08/26/02 12:38 AM Re: lost childhood
Wuamei Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Lost childhood.

Yeah, I can relate to & empathize with that. \:\(

Sexual & other abuses began for me at age 3 maybe younger I can't remember. (Yeah, I'm a bastard, too). Sexual & emotional incest by my mother continued thruout childhood, as I became a surrogate husband, as well as a father to my younger brother.

I was "the man of the house" pretty much from age 4 on. Yet I was the scapegoat for all that went wrong it seemed. I wasn't perfect but I sure did try to be. That was (and is) my problem.

I had no childhood. I had to be an adult then, when I couldn't. Now I'm supposed to be an adult, but I haven't been a child yet, so how can I be?

I try. I have a wonderful wife & kids thank God. They're not abused, & they won't abuse, I am confident.

But in the words of the ToysRUs commercial "I don't wanna grow up...!" :p

I want & need to be a child, to grow up into real adulthood, healing & wholeness.

Having a sense of humor helps, tho I need to exercise it more & its not always easy.

No wonder I still like the old cartoons, 3 Stooges, stuff like that so much. \:D

I still have to be an adult now & fulfill adult responsibilities. But that won't stop me from finding ways to live my childhood, to let my inner child live, & grow up. That should make being an adult a lot easier & better.

Bob is right, men! We are all courageous heroes. We are survivors and we can be thrivers. I'll keep saying it until I believe it & live like it more & more.

It's good to be a part of this. Thanks!


"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

#955 - 08/30/02 05:01 AM Re: lost childhood
ARW Offline

Registered: 08/29/02
Posts: 161
Loc: LA
Man, Roy's post coulda come right out of my mouth. I too grew up as husband, brother, father, lover for my mother. And likewise I became a social miscreant around other kids. Always trying to be the "perfect" adult amongst my peers, and unsurprisingly, always failing miserably. Losing friends, alienating myself further. Until, at thirteen, I ended up in the waiting, oh so comforting and reassuring arms of a molester who was my guardian for half a year - same bed, the whole bit. Nice.
My thoughts are with you Roy. And thanks for Bradshaw tip. Shame has been the name of my game for far too long.
Peace to you.

In every cry of every man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear.
-William Blake

#956 - 08/30/02 09:00 AM Re: lost childhood
ernie Offline

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 121
Loc: Portland, Maine
Roy your post is a real tear jerker as are the responses. The fears, and shame that goes with the abuse is awful in itself much less to loose the most important years of your development. The time when mentors really mean something instead of the becoming the abusers. It is really hard as everyone has said when you are afraid to tell a parent because of the answer you will receive "what are you nuts, your uncle never could have done that, you are trying to ruin our family"!!!! The fear of being psycially or verbally abused as well becomes overwhelming so, you bury it for (in my case) 40 years. The journey is long, I too have felt that I should just stop the world I want to get off!! on two occassions then I think of my 3 great kids and say, I did not make the same mistakes, I listened and continue to listen and give them a hug when ever I can. I know I can get through this, you can too we all can if we just let it go. Take care all and thanks

The roads of life are full of stones but, they can be moved take my hand we will help each other.

#957 - 08/30/02 08:11 PM Re: lost childhood
Roy Offline

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
Thanks, you guys have made such a difference in my life. For all the therapy I've had, books I've read, and supportive friends, talking with you all, reading what you've been through and how you cope has helped me as much as the rest. I have longed for a fellowship of men who are also survivors of a distorted past, took me a long time to find you. There is so much healing in just talking about this junk with others who have been through it. Getting it out in the open where the bright light of day can burn the infected puss of our wounds dry. I love you all.


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