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#435517 - 05/23/13 01:36 AM My Story (and my Path to Healing)
LeGrandVent Offline

Registered: 03/14/13
Posts: 7
Hi All,

*trigger warning*

I've been hesitant to post here as this a completely new foray for me in my healing (I'm currently in therapy for the 4th time in 5 years, but have never been in a male survivor group). As a result, I've long felt like a ghost statistic, knowing full well that there was at least 1 in 6 men who could understand, but never entering a community of male survivors. I think I'm at a place where I'm ready for it though.

That said, I'm here today because I won a competition with a friend of mine for a girl we both liked when we were all in 3rd grade. I thought I was lucky at the time, unafraid of cooties, and more mature than most of my classmates. What I didn't realize was how soon that luck would change dark. At age 8 I found myself in my bedroom kissing my girlfriend, when she pulled away, jumped on my bed and laid out suggestively. It was unnerving seeing her, at age 8 strike this pose so naturally. She then said, "Let's have sex." It was not a question. It was a command. I must have stammered no a dozen times as she undressed, the panic rising inside me. She then coerced and prodded me to take my clothes off and in my terror I did it, shaking the whole time. "It will be fun," she kept saying, telling me not to worry. I began to wonder who had put these thoughts in her head, who had taught her that this was something 8 year-olds should do. Quickly I found myself having my first out of body experience as she repeatedly ground into me, attempting to rape me. It couldn't have lasted more than 5 minutes, but the effects have been dogging me for years.

Since that spring day, I've experimented with my sexuality, drugs, and for many years, relationships (to mostly disastrous results). I often found myself being triggered in coercive situations, having flashbacks in public, and eventually willfully triggering myself into "rush" states in an attempt to mentally exhaust myself to the point where I thought I could make it through the rest of the day (not a healthy coping mechanism, let me tell you!).

In the fall of 2008 in my junior year of college, after an especially rough breakup I found myself spiraling into a deep despair. I was self-sabotaging in a myriad of ways, including changing essay answers in the middle of a test, going from the right answer to the wrong one, time and time again. My grades suffered heavily. But, in an amazing stroke of luck, I found myself on a Friday night bawling my eyes out and telling my story to three friends in their dorm room, all of whom just happened to be survivor advocates. 3 hours later, they had calmed me down and were talking to me about an event for survivors called Go Beyond. They encouraged me to write my story down and to submit it to the event director as a testimony. The thought of writing it all down 14 years after the fact terrified me, it was completely uncharted territory, but I sat down and wrote it all in one stream of consciousness. The second I was done I clicked save, and let out a startling giggle, one I couldn't stop. As I kept giggling, I found immense relief in FINALLY writing my story down, having it be concrete, on the screen in front of me. The giggle was literally one I had suppressed since 3rd grade. It was eerie. To make it funnier, my roommates were all convinced I was high as a kite, laughing for 2 hours straight...who does that right?

A couple days later I gave my speech to a crowd at the Go Beyond event of about 250 people, and despite having read my story over only a couple times, I had almost the entire thing memorized. It was very weird, as I'm usually a shaky public speaker, being so unexpectedly calm and in control in that moment. From then on I got to know more people in the college survivor network, and began therapy. Since then I have been diagnosed with PTSD, have found a fantastic woman (who is a survivor as well) who's been my girlfriend for the past 3+ years, and have taken on some new coping mechanisms like poetry, meditation, and yoga. I'm currently exploring the Buddhist Path further to guide my healing and my life. I still have some unhealthy crutches to ditch ("rush" states and porn being two) but so far my progress has been steady even if it has seemed slow.

I'm encouraged by this community and am looking forward to seeing how we can collectively heal.

#435530 - 05/23/13 02:39 AM Re: My Story (and my Path to Healing) [Re: LeGrandVent]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6387
Loc: 𝒪 𝒦anada
welcome LeGrandVent

thanks for your post.

your story sounds so much like my own.
it really strikes a chord with me.
i am glad i am not alone.

i have been trying to figure out how to deal with my own memories from that age, and what happened. similar to your story. i need a lot of help in that area.

this part of my story is fresh to me, although it is from the 1960's, i have been avoiding it a long time. i am only now able to discuss it.

i am confused because it is more complex than my sxperiences later in childhood. those were clearly abuse.

i know you can help me.
hopefully we can help each other.


#435536 - 05/23/13 03:00 AM Re: My Story (and my Path to Healing) [Re: LeGrandVent]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Welcome LGV,

You are right, we try to collectively heal here. Some slower, some faster. There are no rules about healing, except perhaps that the more you speak the truth, outloud, about what happened to you, the less power it will have over you. But you will not feel any pressure here to speak out when you're not comfortable doing so. Say what you need to, when you need to, and you will find support, without judgement, or condemnation.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#436754 - 06/04/13 02:31 AM Re: My Story (and my Path to Healing) [Re: victor-victim]
LeGrandVent Offline

Registered: 03/14/13
Posts: 7
Hi victor,

I just read your story and our experiences do indeed have a lot in common. You and I have never been alone. But I, like you, used to feel very alone. I felt like a ghost statistic, 1 in 6 boys who was sexually abused, and I felt like I was in an even rarer category because my perpetrator was female and young like I was. This "collateral damage" abuse, as you describe it, how your cousin was abused and then projected that behavior towards you, is a lot how I viewed what happened to me. In your case though, you knew that her uncle was the source of this pain. In my situation, I can only guess, but I still harbored a long hatred of him for what I assumed he did to her. From what I heard he was in and out of prison and had some scary people he hung around. I was never allowed to meet him when I was over at her house, her mother always made sure I cleared out well in advance of him returning. I was able however to forgive my perpetrator after 4 years of silence about what happened. It was the only way I could go on. For those years of silence, my childhood is a blur. Friends in school would ask me about events during that time and I wouldn't remember them, only little bits would come back if I saw pictures. Silence is the worst, speaking up, bringing your story into the light is the first step toward healing and I'm so glad we're both doing just that.

I know we can help each other recover, and I look forward to talking to you further on here.
I'll be sure to comment in regards to your questions on your story.

Thank you for the welcome, I am glad I finally stepped into a survivor community, this feels like a big step forward.

#436756 - 06/04/13 02:34 AM Re: My Story (and my Path to Healing) [Re: Jude]
LeGrandVent Offline

Registered: 03/14/13
Posts: 7
Hey Jude,

I'm really glad to be here. Joining a male survivors group has been a stumbling block for me for a few years now but it feels right, and I feel ready. I look forward to learning how we can all move from survivors to thrivers. Survivors are STRONG. smile


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