Saturday, September 28, 2019

Part 3 of Joe's story,

Shortly after 9/11, I was diagnosed with P.O.T.S. because I’d black out frequently after standing up. I was put on meds but I’m always on guard of a blackout since my heart rate would go to zero during those episodes. I was hospitalized twice. Slowly, I became a recluse in my own home and spoke to no one unless I had to.

Over time, the flashbacks weren't as often, maybe once a day and eventually I was able to have intimate moments once again with my wife after nearly a 10yr hiatus. I don't know why she stayed with me but I’m grateful.

About a year ago, I was in the doctor office with my wife going over my blood work since I have severe hypertension. The doctor said he wanted to do a full physical and I literally freaked out like a raving lunatic. I told him if he comes near me that I’d hurt him and I meant it. I couldn't relive that again. I jump off the table ready to take him out. When we got home, I had to say something. This was not me, I always had everything under control, (cool and calm). I could only tell my wife the bare minimum of what the doctor did to me during grade school, no details

Over a period of months, I felt the need to tell her more but couldn’t tell her, so I wrote emails explaining everything as best as I could. I
was beyond terrified because I was sure she'd leave me. Who would want tainted goods or want to be with someone who held this secret for over 40yrs? How could I ever be trusted? I’d never cried so much in my life. I’d get mad at myself since I believed real men don’t cry; they just suck it up and move forward. That was how I was raised. I expected anger and resentment but she opened her arms and gave me a huge hug and said it was okay and said it explained a lot of my personality.

For the first time, I felt like a heavy weight was taken off my shoulders. I can’t even remember how many times since then that I apologized and asked if she still wants to be with me but the answer was always the same; she loved me regardless of what happened. Eventually, I felt overwhelmed and wanted to apologize at what kind of dad I’d been while my kids grew up. I was always there physically but not mentally.

So, what is blocking me from moving forward? I know I won't see a counsellor or even attempt to join a group with other men living through this. I'm just not ready and I can't trust anyone. My hope is one day to accept, acknowledge, and forgive myself since it was not my fault but I’m light years away from doing so right now.


Friday, September 27, 2019

Joe's story, Part 2, used by permission.

By 19/20, I was working full time and met my wife. I was terrified because I feared that this relationship would fall apart and once again, and I’d be left with nothing.

That relationship grew and we were married a few years later and I said nothing to her about the abuses. I was afraid she would be upset and want to leave me. Why wouldn’t she? I held in a lie for 40yrs, so how could I be trusted.

Shortly after getting married, I struggled with the sexual component of marriage since all I knew was that it was dirty and wrong, and which would be a trigger for flashbacks.

By the time I was 23 until my early 30s, I turned to alcohol to stifle the memories. I was not a drunk, I only drank enough to numb the pain but that grew into drinking up to two gallons of wine a week and, when my wife was not around, I would hit the liquor cabinet and drink vodka right from the bottle. No one suspected a thing; I was a master of covering this up.

One day, my wife said I should stop drinking since we had two toddlers and it would be bad for them to see that. I quit cold turkey that day knowing she was 100% correct, but I needed an out. With alcohol out of the picture, I took all of that anger, embarrassment shame and focused it into my work. I excelled at work and made more than enough to support my family with what they needed and wanted, but then 9/11 happened (that is another long story), being a few blocks away from a falling building with no place to go. Outside when the smoke and debris-covered us, part of me hoped that this was the end and the nightmare was finally over, but that did not happen.

To be continued.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Here is one of our Brother’s story. I’ll call him Joe.

This is part 1

Well, here is my story and I can’t believe I’m writing this. I share this to help others who experienced the same and thing. I’m not looking for pity or sympathy.

40yrs ago I was sexually abused by four different males for five or so years. Things were done to me, which were wrong and I was forced/blackmailed to do things I didn’t want to do but had no way out.

During this time, I was also physically and mentally abuse with bouts of neglect by my mother. The bouts of neglect from her were terrible as if I didn’t exist in the family

These people are still alive and nearly all of them are relatives, except one school doctor who was supposed to do a full physical twice a year, which was more like fondling and other things.

All I wanted since I was a young child was to be married with kids of my own but I felt that slowly was being taken away from me.

When the abuse ended, in my early teens, I’d lock myself in my room, go to school, come home, close my bedroom door until dinner. I’d eat dinner and speak only if asked a question, which was rare. Afterwards, I'd go back to my room and eventually fall asleep. I felt dirty, filthy, used, and contaminated so I distanced myself from everyone, especially if they were male. I couldn’t and still can’t trust another male.

By the age of around 12 or so, I was in a very dark place mentally... all memory of which is suppressed. I do remember finding myself in the kitchen several times with a knife in my hands thinking that was my only way out. What else could I do to make it stop, I felt powerless. I knew it was the coward’s way out so I never went through with it. I knew it was wrong.

used by permission.

Sunday, September 15, 2019


And why does this question keep coming up? Why me? Why this particular issue? Why did it affect my life so intently? Why? Why? UGH!

Why can't I just get over it and get on with my life? Why after 60 years can it still bring me to tears?

I was reading the story of Job in the Bible the other day. He asked why a lot, 60 times if my count is correct. God never once addressed the question; not with him and not with me. And perhaps the why is not really that important in the whole scheme of things. I still have to go to work, be a good man, take care of my wife and family, and do the right thing whatever that calls for.

And maybe that in itself is part of my healing. I will never get my childhood innocence back. But worrying and fussing over that loss has cost me a lot of the joy I could have experienced in the present many times over. I can't erase the pain I feel at times. But as an adult, I can feel it, accept it, and realize it's a part of me, the whole me. I compartmentalized so much of my life and it nearly drove me crazy. But acknowledging and accepting the wounds of my past instead of fighting them I'm finding more peace than I thought possible.

When the inevitable question pops up, I suspect I need to just acknowledge the pain, let it wash over me for the moment and then get on with the present task whatever that may be. Life is too short to be held hostage by my past. Painful, yes, indeed but not the end of all things, not yet.

Yes, it happened, it hurt, it was wrong, I didn't deserve that. I survived and now maybe I can thrive.

Just my thoughts

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The evil of abuse

As I look back at my life, there is much that has become clearer regarding the effects of what happened to me as a child. There was compartmentalization that occurred that I was not aware of at the time. It wasn’t until my father died in such a shocking way that the fantasy of a happy childhood was shattered.

I wasn’t tortured or severely beaten as a boy. I’d received some seriously painful spankings true, but it was not a regular occurrence. Most of the time I was left to myself to do whatever I pleased which was mostly normal kid stuff. The abuse was usually at night, secret, and never spoken of. It didn’t fit with what was happening during the day and was in contrast to what I was being taught as a good Christian boy.

It didn’t compute, so to speak, and therefore had to be relegated to a tight little box in my mind that could only be opened at special times and special places with special people.

As I grew up the contradiction of the two became too much for me and I really began to wonder if I was entirely sane. It was the reason I believe for much of my anger that I couldn’t explain and difficulty in relating to normal people. I felt different because I was different. I was two people struggling for dominance and the struggle was driving me up the wall.

Part of my journey into healthy relating to others was to accept both parts of my history as a continuous narrative. I had to accept what happened to me, what I experienced both by night and by day as my real past. They had to fuse in order to be a whole person and bring peace to that inner conflict. There is great peace in the acceptance of reality.

Just my thoughts

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Ok, it's been a while. I've been working on getting some help transferring the blog to my Admin control and it's a little more complicated than I had anticipated. It's things like this that stretch me and take me out of my comfort zone. My insecurities start to rear their ugly heads and I feel like a ten-year-old again. I know it's stupid but feelings are feelings and sometimes it hard to push through them.

Sometimes I just have to grit my teeth and tell myself I'm not ten and it's no big deal if I fail a few times at something new. Anyway, I think we're on our way here finally. I'll check out the page and see if I need more help organizing it. Thanks for the patience.