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.

Forests and trees



When I’m feeling anxious or restless, sometimes I’ll do Sudoku. Over time I’ve improved in my technique and now I’m pretty much at the “Evil” level. Most times I win but sometimes I get stumped and have to either start over or go to the computer and locate exactly where I went wrong. I’ve tried doing them while watching or listening to the TV but that’s usually when I mess up.

Sometimes though I just get stuck even though pretty sure I’ve filled the boxes so correctly so far. I’ve found when that happens and I’m sitting and going over and over everything and can’t find the next step it helps to just lay it aside and come back to it later. If I’ve been correct in the puzzle so far, then just getting a break can help me see what I couldn’t see before. It’s like my mind is so fixed on what I’ve done so far, it can’t see other possibilities. I need a break so that when I come back, I’ll look at it with fresh eyes and boom, it becomes obvious.

This struggle to deal with the present without the cloud of the past fogging the picture is like that. Relationships can seem difficult for me because I’m used to seeing them through victim goggles. I’ve got to step back, take a breather, and approach with fresh attitude. I’ve got to keep reminding myself I’m not a little frightened boy anymore. I’m a man and there’s no need to feel intimidated or defensive.

It’s a difficult thing to keep in my head, especially when I suspect someone is trying to take advantage of me. And in sudden situations, sometimes I REACT instead of stepping back a second and then RESPONDING. My social skills seem woefully atrophied and I know that. Probably too much hiding and secrets.

But I’m learning.