I have known of MaleSurvivor for years. I even joined about a decade ago. I would read your stories and gain positive afirmation that I was not the only one with such a story. That I was not the only one wandering through their life, feeling like no one understood, feeling all alone with just your own thoughts for company - feeling like a "freak" who just never quite fit in anywhere. I never did have the courage to contribute, until now.

My journey began at age 33, 4 months before the birth of my only son. Up until that point in my life, or whatever I could remember of it, I was a very troubled man. I was in and out of therapy, had one suicide attempt under my belt, and one subsequent hospitalization. My siblings and I all had this same pattern up until that point. NO ONE HAD REMEMBERED ANY ABUSE. We were all just confused, depressed, scared little children, attempting to fit into the adult world, but with alcohol and drugs to push us along.

At that time, I had been married 9 years, had my third child on the way, was a fairly successful businessman, but I was troubled in many ways. I loved my wife dearly, and our sex life was a beautiful thing to me. Unfortunately it was not my only sex life. What I did to myself when alone at night, in the comfort of my bathroom, my thoughts, my actions, my fantasies. Well, that was something completely different. I never knew "why" I was this way. And it was always disquieting that I lived these two separate and competing sex lives. But that was the way I was. And I struggled along.

The triggers that began the onslaught of flashbacks in February of 1993 were separate conversations with my brother (1 year younger) and with my little sister (4 years younger). Although those talks were non-specific as to abuse, they led me to the conclusion that I had been abused by my father. Up until that point in my fife, I had no memory of such a thing, nor did my waking thoughts allow me to even consider it a possibility.

The flashbacks began fast and furious. Sexually abused by my father at a very young age. Raped by other men he took me to. A sexual free for all with my parents and siblings in that surburban hellhouse of ours. Afternoons at grandmas, with her "playing" with me and my brother in the tub. Going to this big house on Saturday nights, with many families in attendance, where I was continually sexually abused, and drugged, threatened, tortured into compliance. I was abuse by adults and by children older than me. I was also forced to abuse those younger than me (this last one still haunts me to this very day).

The past 20 years have pretty much been a downward spiral. The flashbacks lessened over time, but the lingering effects of them were agonizing. I was now a different person, more distracted, more troubled, more isolated. Once again, I was in and out of therapy, another suicide attempt & hospitalization. I was able to work and support my family for years. But that too spiraled out of control, as I lost job after job, and just about every cent we ever had. My two sex lives continued, yet the one with my wife suffered greatly and all but disappeared. I don't know how I got through most days. A lot of it was a blur of pain, drugs, self abuse, and feeling like the loneliest man on the planet.

Forgive my wordiness. I will now wrap up this diatribe of my life. I am, this very morning, aged 53, unemployed for 4 years, penniless, living alone in the deep south (yes, very different from my NY upbringing), and am reaching out to you all for help.

I have had some successful therapy. The psych drugs I take each day do make a difference. And I do have the support and compassion of my children (they all know of my journey), and of my wife (we are separated). But each and every day continues to be a struggle.

I look forward to the camaraderie of this group of yours. Thank you for listening.

Regards, Joe