Getting to the point where one can express their need for help can be a very challenging, ESPECIALLY when it involves the sexual abuse of a “straight” African American man in this country….. or any other for that matter. It took me an extremely long time to get to the point where I no longer cared what other people thought of or about me in reference to something that I had absolutely no control over, I basically got tired of being tired. I knew that something was terribly wrong with me all across the board… the things that I would or wouldn’t do in relationships, the vivid flashbacks, the lack of emotional availability, and so on and so on. So shortly after my 30th birthday, my gift to myself was a commitment to seek out and use any and all the help that I could find to bring some sort of understanding to the wide range of things that made my life difficult as it related to years of off and on sexual abuse at the hands of people charged with my care as a child. At the point in my life where I decided that I needed and wanted help finding it was like looking for a needle in a hay stack and still is, when you are looking for help that can also help you navigate the harsh realities of the social intricacies that exist in the African American community. When I exhausted all of my worldly options I prayed everyday sometimes twice a day asking for help and it eventually came in the strangest way…. I usually listen to the “Quite Storm” show on V-103 in Atlanta, hosted by Joyce Littel. The topic of the show for that evening was sexual abuse, so I sat in there and listened to the show in it's entirety in amazement and shock. Without fail the majority of listeners calling in were almost all women, the few men that did call did so only to discuss their wives or girlfriends rape or sexual abuse. During this particular show they discussed an article that was featured in ESSENCE MAGAZINE that discussed rape & sexual abuse as well as places that you could go to seek help. Not even a week later I find myself at Grady Memorial Hospital, my best option considering that I’ve never sought out help before. I had a long conversation with myself before I made the call to set up an appointment. Not only was I not a woman who was raped, I am a man who has not been raped so from that perspective there was nothing that they could really do for me. I eventually made the call and an appointment. M y initial visit was nothing close to what I expected it to be. First off....... the rape crisis center is on the 13th floor, as soon as you get of the elevator the entrance is right in front of you, but you just can’t walk through the door...... you must be buzzed in. So if they buzz you in that means that you must also be buzzed out. Just the thought of that is very discouraging because you realize that at any point in the session if you say anything that sounds like you might hurt yourself or someone else, weather your just expressing your feelings or not they can and will keep you and report whatever it is that you told them to the police. Although disappointed I wasn’t discouraged, then the question popped into my head……. How does a man…….. a straight man……. who has never told ANYONE about what he’s been through explain the hurt, pain, shame, and anger to a woman whom he’s never met before? The availability of help was great but the part that kicks a lot of men in the ass is ....... once again, it’s a woman........ providing all the support....... ( just like at home and in school) there are no men available......... no father/ father figure at home, and no positive male role models in the classroom or the community to make up for the lack of male support in the home. So with that I hope to start something new…...... If I can find peace, be comfortable with myself,love myself and have the strength to stand up and speak to and for those who cannot do it for themselves after enduring at least 7 - 8 yrs of molestation by the family members of babysitters, then ANYTHING is possible!