Some of us may have initiated abuse—after we became victimized. I question the reason was because we’d know what was coming. For me, I see it as habitual, learned behavior. We weren’t mature enough to know the difference between our need for love and the perp’s lust.
We help ourselves by remembering and focusing on our youth and innocence. Someone older groomed us and exploited us. Even if we sensed there was something wrong with what was happening, we had been carefully chosen and were easily convinced of the other’s love for us.
The analogy that comes to mind was my aversion to many vegetables when I was first married. My wife got me to eat a few Brussels sprouts. I didn’t like them. Over a period of weeks, she put one or two on my plate. Over time, I learned to enjoy them as well as cauliflower and other members of the cabbage family. Now they’re among my favorites.
Because we felt wanted and loved in our loneliness, why wouldn’t we sometimes initiate the abuse?
I started this series by asking if sexual harassment was different for men. My answer: The emotional results are much the same—lack of trust, doubting our self-work, afraid to speak, and the list goes on.
Perhaps we can form our own #MeToo movement to encourage more victimized males to speak up.