Hi Eric. See, I knew it would be an incredible post! You certainly weren't "babbling" and in fact, to me, expressed some realizations that were incredibly profound, even if I couldn't necessarily relate it to my own experience. I think we can always draw insight, wisdom, and even strength from one another's stories and experiences, even if those experiences aren't remotely "common" with our own.

Anyway, considering how similar your experiences with these two men as an adult were to your experience with your abuser as a boy, it's no wonder they weren't triggering in some way. I noticed that you didn't use the word "trigger" in your post when describing these experiences but it sounds to me like that's what they were, although perhaps you didn't realize you were bring triggered at the time.

Maybe something in you saw your abuser in those men, but saw what you wish he had been instead of what he was. Perhaps little Eric was still in there somewhere, searching for what he had hoped to find in that awful man who hurt him. When little Eric found something that felt similar, he came up closer to the surface, hoping this time would be different and that there could be some healing when these new experiences turned out better than the old one had. If that is the case, it sounds like the first man succeeded for little Eric where as the second failed him.

I don't know if you will be able to use these experiences and the insight you've expressed about them as a vehicle for recovery and healing moving forward but the fact that you have the insight you do about them is certainly promising. I'm definitely glad you changed your mind and decided to post about them after all though. For me, it certainly was food for thought, although my analysis of the situation may be completely off-base. Please don't hesitate to share about this in the future. Take care. Peace,