Tuesday, September 1, 2020

 Addictions and fetishes?

In my discussions with a lot of victims and a few perps, I've noted an amazing variety of addictions and fetishes that have been born as it were, from these abuses, especially the ones begun in childhood and teen years. I've had to deal with my own issues in both of these categories and trust me, it wasn't easy. I went for years in weird behaviours never realizing that in some cases, I was reenacting childhood trauma. Several times in my own personal counselling sessions I was led to view things from a more normal perspective and thereby realizing I was totally missing what should have been an obvious inappropriateness. 

I can remember several times leaving my sessions after spending minutes weeping uncontrollably over some revelation that turned my world upside down. Or maybe I should say right side up. It was painful.

One that I will relate here is the time my counsellor asked me to relate my first experience with sex. I talked about it for a few minutes and then he asked about my second, then my third. I was beginning to get the uncomfortable feeling he was perving on me when he stopped me and said he wanted to point something out to me. 

What he then pointed out was that he had asked me about my earliest experience with sex and I would always go to my earliest experience with my abuse/abuser. He pointed this out and said "Roger, you equate sex with your abuse. That's not sex." 

When I realized that in my marriage I was reliving my role as the victim instead of really relating to my wife as my lover; when I realized where I had been placing her as the seducer, I broke down for probably five minutes. I knew nothing about intimacy at all. I'd failed in my role as husband and lover and ruined intimacy for both of us. 

We never really know sometimes the whole ramifications of what might have been done to us and our view of healthy normality. With good professional help, much can be done to steer us back to healthy sexuality. I am forever grateful to those who were willing to wade through the mess of my life and lead me back out of the twisted mindset to which I was blind.

Don't be afraid to ask for help. It's worth it. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Shattering the Silence: Walls and Perceptions

Shattering the Silence: Walls and Perceptions: (This post comes from Roger Mann.) Sometimes I have trouble being around other men because we tend to get close after a while. That makes me...

Sunday, July 19, 2020

When I was growing up still just a kid, I never thought it remarkable that my sleeping habits were marked by what I understand now was some strange experiences. I was a very sound sleeper when finally and fully asleep. That's not unusual I guess but there were times I'd wake in the morning undressed or uncovered or both. I just assumed I'd kicked off the covers, (we lived in Phoenix, AZ), and/or my sleeping attire for that night.

There were other things but those were the most remarkable as I look back now. I was used to having strange dreams and was an occasional sleepwalker. I'd often wake up in the living room or kitchen again sans clothing. The sleepwaking carried on through college which gave me a lot of ribbing from other guys in the dorm. I also talked in my sleep occasionally which for my roommate was entertaining/annoying too. I accepted this as not normal but not unusual for someone my age.

The nightmares didn't start till after I was married and in therapy. While in therapy things I'd repressed began to surface and that led I guess to the nightmares. They weren't often but me waking up screaming was upsetting my wife. Luckily those only lasted a few years and tapered off. I'll have maybe one a  year or so now. I'm not sure what it's all about and I don't usually remember what it was I dreamed so I just take it a part of the package.

Seriously, I never really accepted that I was as screwed up as the above would indicate. It was just what was for me. In reading about other's experiences I'm a little taking aback that only a small minority share many of my symptoms and those that do have gone through hell.

We each deal with our own demons but I've come a long way with mine and I never really thought I would. I attribute that to my faith in God. He's amazing.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Father's Day,

Father's day; the celebration of Dad's everywhere is painful to me as you might imagine and I'm glad I'm not attending church tomorrow to see it all shoved in my face.

That said, there were some good things about my dad. First and foremost and probably his saving grace, was that He loved God. He may not have been dad of the year, but he taught me much about God, the Bible and gave me my first real study Bible that I read and teach from still today. He stayed with my mom and provided for us as best he could all his life. There were several things that I remember and things my mom told me that let me know there were times he was proud of me. I think he probably loved me as best he could in his twisted way due to his own childhood.

In my own way, I loved him back. Even though there were times I was really angry with him. As a kid, I really looked up to him. I can remember playing church with my little sister and imitating his preaching style. And of course, I took an offering.

I have a lot of his traits and mannerisms which I've mixed feelings about. Occasionally I'll catch his scent in my sweat which makes my stomach knot up but reminds me that he was my father and we share genetics. He gave me my work ethic too and that has stood me in good stead over the years for which I'm grateful. He was pretty intelligent too and I probably get that also from him again for which I'm grateful.

So, yes, there are things I'm grateful for and I hope in my heart I've really forgiven him. So I've tried to come up with some good things to remember about him today. It wasn't all bad but some of it was wrong and should not have happened. I guess many guys could say the same. No dad does it perfectly ever but it could have been much worse and so for that, I'm thankful.


Today, I'm thinking of boys everwhere and praying for their fathers. God bless us, everyone.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Control

One of the first things I've noticed in all of this COVID-19 nonsense is the growing feeling of a loss of control. Control has always been an issue in my life. As a kid, of course, there is no control. I was at my parent's discretion on what happened to me and how I was allowed to respond.

As a teenager, we start getting a little more control of our lives but in my case, my father being a pastor and all I was under an extra demand to be an example of what his teachings were all about. And then there was the other stuff that was going on that I was under an imperative to keep the secret.

When I left home at 18 for college, I pretty much went out of control. I went to movies, dances, parties, and listened to that awful music on the radio of the 60's and 70's. Really terrible stuff right?

Well, having my sexuality manipulated like dad did, I also explored a lot of things I'd only heard about. I was not a good Bible College Student and left after a year and went to Southern California. Again, not good, but I felt in control for the first time in my life. It was an illusion but I still bought it.

Now with all this pandemic stuff, those old feelings are creeping back up on me. I'm fighting to remember that God is still in control and he is not my earthly father. I can trust Him.

The world right not seems out of control. That's a trigger for sure, but I can work through that now. It's taken a lot of work and counselling but I'm in a good place now if I can just stay there.

Friday, May 15, 2020

I have often thought that if I'd had someone to talk to, someone to help me get out of the abuse early I'd have been able to live a more normal life. And I use that word normal loosely.

At one point I likened a child's psyche to wet cement. Things happen when you first pour it out in its form. Someone can step in it and leave a print, throw a rock in it and make a bad imprint. But when it's wet, things can be done to repair it and smooth out the blemishes. Over time though, if nothing is done, it's very difficult to repair the gouges and holes. It can be done but it's a lot of work and will still leave a mark.

I think as I said, kids are like that. Recognize the symptoms of damage and get them help early and they have a chance. Otherwise, as in my case it takes a heck of a lot of work and a long time. The conditioning is deeply ingrained.

Still, scars or no scars help is possible and just needs the will to do the hard work.

Just my thoughts

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Growing up my worldview was shaped of course, by my parents. As a child, it's all you know. We moved around a lot, sometimes twice in the same year. It seemed like I was eternally the "new kid".  One of the ways it shaped my ideas of boundaries is the way I always seemed to run into other kids who were sexually inquisitive like me. It wasn't until I was in my 60's that I really took a hard look back at that.

As a boy, I assumed because of that every boy or girl was curious about their body and wanted to "play". This occasionally led to some awkward and embarrassing encounters. Someone would say or do something that I would see as an invitation to go further and was surprised to discover that was not the case.

As I look back on memories of my childhood it becomes clear that my father had guided some or maybe a lot of my special friends to me. Some older, some younger and many the same age but all having the same leaning in common. I grew up believing anyone was a potential "playmate". And why wouldn't I?

It really didn't seem strange to me at the time. I had no experiences in which to compare. It just was how things always seemed to develop. So now in looking back, I've begun to see a pattern. I realize this was not normal. That I had been deliberately guided to certain families, certain friends and playmates and provided an opportunity to interact. This is more insidious than I realized. As I got into my pre-teen and early teen years I often caught dad watching or more to the point spying on me and my friends.

So, in my late teens and on I can see how I always seemed to see my friends and acquaintances as sexual beings first. A kind of automatic objectification of those around me. I find this really sad to realize and disappointed that in so many cases it became true and led to promiscuity instead of genuine friendships. Which also seemed to lead to isolation and confusion.

Train up a child in the way it should go and when it is old they will not depart from it. A Biblical instruction that when misused can be horrific. The ability to see this trend early on and do something about it is vital to the health and well being of a person.

More on this later.