I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

Was It Really Abuse?

This comes from an anonymous reader.

I thought every little boy went through what I did—fondling, bondage, brutalizing. It never occurred to me that I had been abused until I sat in a therapist’s office much later in life and explained my addictive problems with masturbation and lust.

So why is it still difficult to accept what happened to me was abusive? One hurdle to accepting my experiences as abusive is that the perpetrators were family members. Whatever their own abuse had been, they inflicted their pain on me repeatedly.

Another hurdle is that I participated in the abuse. I was a child. I didn't know any better than to go along with the invasive and inappropriate advances. They made me feel important and needed. I felt a greater sense of belonging in those moments that I didn’t feel at any other time. Someone wanted me. Someone needed me.

My parent’s own abuse and abandonment at early ages left them incapable of providing a safe, nurturing environment for me and for my siblings. Sexual acting out was the way this void was being filled in our family system. Our boundaries were blurred or lost.

What happened to me was abusive. As I grow to accept this more fully, I can seek love and acceptance at a deeper human level instead of by acting out in inappropriate ways.

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