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.

Same-sex Attraction (SSA)

(This post comes from a reader named Ron.)

Am I always going to be like this? When I get around my Wednesday night group who are trying to help me, I feel like running away. I would just like to hide. That's the way I've been most of my life. I'm so lonely and long for male contact. I am afraid just to let the chips fall.

As I am writing this I'm listening to music and there is a song talking about running into the arms of Jesus. I would like to, but I feel he is going to reject me, find something wrong with me, and not really be my friend.

I am afraid of that because I feel I will fall back and have an affair. I've fought this feeling for years. To make things more complicated, I now suffer from emotional ED now. And I'm going to see a sex therapist.

From the day I got molested and learned to masturbate, sex has been a good thing for me because I didn't have many friends, and it was the one thing that made me feel good.

I am so lost and lonely even though I am still with my wife and I have three wonderful children. I have everything you can possibly want and yet still I'm still lonely.

I don't know how to have compassion toward myself and help this little boy who has grown up inside of me. I feel like I am living in a new world, and I am a little kid all by myself.


Roger Mann said...

I know how you feel. One of the things that I feared most of my life was my own weakness for SSA. Having been essentially trained by my father who was my first perp, that sex with males was ok and to be sought out, I was worried I could not have a normal life. I feared that I would not be able to be a good husband and father. I feared I would have affairs if things got tough. All my fears came true sadly and I lost that marriage.

It was not until I did some real serious recovery work that I realized God loved me and was able to strengthen me in ways I could not do myself. Running to his arms was literally what I had to do. Maybe I could not trust myself but I could trust God. There was too much conditioning to respond in wrong ways to approaches and desires in my heart. It took some work but I now can understand why I feel the way I do sometimes and what is behind it. I can resist and thereby enjoy my wife and family in healthy ways.

It seemed the more I tried to resist on my own the more focused I was on the struggle and not the solution. Focusing on my attractions and desires and white knuckling it just led to more anxiety and sapped my strength to overcome. It took some time to learn to be sensitive to when I was being seduced by my old attractions and how to derail the thoughts. Catching them early, not lingering on them and focusing on all the wonderful reasons I have in my life to not go there helped me to stop giving in to it.

Apparently desires to medicate in that way may not go away anytime soon, but the pull to act out on it has definitely lost its urgency. I have found great help in making good healthy contacts with the Christian men in my church most of whom know nothing of my struggle. Those that I have chosen to share this struggle with have proven safe and accepting but it took time to know that about them. I would suggest don't do this alone. I found a website called Living Hope that has given me great friends and support by sharing on the forums with other strugglers.

There is life even after abuse has twisted your heart and desires. They can be untwisted to a great extent and the struggle much more manageable with help.

Joseph said...

Roger, I relate to all you have said. I was set in my pattern of finding comfort cruising for older men, "daddy figures," to "need" me and "comfort" me, however fleeting the hook-up might be. There was nothing but loneliness and isolation at home. When those patterns are set, they are difficult to break.

But they can be overcome, if not completely broken. And in my own life, God has graciously put into my life godly men who accept me as a friend, and amazingly, as a man who listens and keeps his mouth shut. Some know more of my story than others, but they all know I have survived hurt, and rejection, and am in recovery mode.

As a widower, alone in a house full of memories, it would be easy for me to surf the net, etc., etc., but, and I speak from experience, that only makes the loneliness worse because I deal with the guilt. And of course the Roaring Lion comes with, "What harm would there be with you're going to see that friend in the next town who would "comfort" you for a little while. Just meet him for coffee somewhere; you can visit; it doesn't have to be physical." Thank God, I've not responded to those whispers from the tempter. I know myself too well and don't trust myself. But, you see, this is progress! Only a few years ago, I would have said to myself, "It'll be ok. Go on up there." And afterwards I would have been consumed with guilt and depression.

So, don't give up, Ron. Believe me the Recovery Road is worth the stones and the stumbles they bring with their spiritual cuts and bruises. We may stumble, but we make progress. Count the progress more than you count the stumbles.