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Guest barsik

Was I Sexually Abused In Childhood?

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Guest barsik

Hello everyone,

I'm writing to your forum in the hopes of asking people questions to see if I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I'm not even sure myself, although, as I think about my life it is increasingly looking like I am. Here's why:

My first son was recently born and just prior to that, and since then, I have been doing a lot of soul searching, trying to figure out why I am so 'screwed up' and hoping that it is not genetic and that he won't end up the same way as me.

I had been giving a lot of thought to my childhood which was, to be perfectly blunt, not a happy one. It has been no secret that it was a dysfunctional one... my father was an alcoholic whose drinking took a turn for the worse by the time I was 12 and who eventually split for good when I was 14 or 15. We lived an upper-middle class lifestyle, my dad had worked for IBM, and we moved around a lot throughout me growing up:

I was born in Seattle -> Lived in area for 2 years

Moved to Connecticut -> Lived there for one year

Moved to Massachussets -> Lived there for approx. 4 years.

Moved to Danville, California -> Lived there for two years

Moved to Dublin, California -> Lived there for two years

Moved to Kent, Washington -> Moved there at age 12, lived there for 4 years

Since then have lived in various cities/suburbs in Washington.

The reason I am explaining all of this is because I have, in the past, regarded my dilemma as being a result of moving around a lot and having an alcoholic father. Logically, it explains some things:

1. Why I had developed a drinking problem in adult life myself - My father was an alcoholic.

2. Why I am so lousy in human relationships - I moved around a lot at a young age and never had long-term friendships, hence, acquired poor social skills.

During my childhood period, too, on and off I had been seeing counselors/shrinks/psychologists. Apparantly this was for being hyper-active and I had even taken ridilin for it. For the longest time, I have viewed this as further proof that I was just some sort of 'bad egg'. Hence, even greater concern for my newborn son - Is this hereditary? Will he have the same life problems as me?

Not long ago, I began giving my past, especially my childhood, a new look. Interestingly enough, I have found that the roots of my problems ultimately lie in that of a human relations problem. In otherwords, I don't connect/relate/bond with other people well and this has been the crux of the matter since as far as I can remember in life -- whether it be elementary school, junior high school, college, work, etc... ultimately I need to escape from that environment because of my own crippled human relation skills. Bear in mind that people around me aren't aware of this. I have always kept this a secret because for some reason revealing that I have a 'people problem' is a source of much shame so others assume that it was some other external issue or reason that I switched/changed/quit something.

It is in the honest assessment of myself that I have a human relations problem that I began suspecting if I had perhaps experienced a sexual molestation/assault/whatever in my young years. The reason for this being that I have heard and read before that a person who is sexually abused at a young age can have a severely negative impact on how they interact/bond with other people... on all levels... especially with regards to intimacy.

Amid some deep thought, I have recalled things that haven't been so obvious before.

For example -

1. I remember that a counselor that I was seeing in Massachussetts, an older lady I recall, was talking to me about penises.

2. I remember as early as the third grade that my anus was irritating me, regularly, and my mother putting vaseline on it to sooth it.

3. I remember how I felt different from everyone else - even at a very young age.

4. I confronted my mother about my past and basically said to her that there is more to my childhood than meets the eye. I told her that I believe that there was more to me having problems then than some bio-chemical imbalance. She relayed to me that there was an incident in Massachussetts involving what a group of boys had done to me. The two counselors I saw in Massachuseets were aware of it, the ones in California and beyond were not. I dont remember the incident at all. Most of my child hood, especially the earlier years, are somewhat blank.

At this point I need to mention my mother - she comes from a background where 'no-no's' are hush hush and public appearances are everything. She is a nice lady.. she is also a complete airhead dingbat. She has always felt guilty about me and I have had anger in me towards her... ever since childhood. Why exactly I am unsure but as I put the puzzle together I'm beginning to think as I type this that my anger towards her at such a young age may stem from me believing that she somehow betrayed me or failed to protect me. Simply put, knowing how my mother is, I am cautious about her interpretation of reality and reality's consequences.

I'll briefly cover a few things from adulthood:

My first lasting relationship with a female, Tricia, from the age of 17 to 19, was of little substance intimacy/relationship wise but highly sexual. It ended by her coming to the conclusion that I had problems and that I needed to learn to 'love myself'. Outwardly I was in denial of this, but deep down I knew she was right and I also knew, or thought, that there was nothing I could do about it.

My reaction to this breakup event was anything but normal. In fact, it is at this point in time when it became undeniably obvious that I had problems. I literally erased her from my life by switching schools, returning/throwing away anything she had given me, and destroying anything that reminded me of her. I became increasingly depressed as the weeks past, was having suicidal thoughts, and whatever control over my life I did have before was vanishing. For anyone observing this... my reaction to this breakup was notably abnormal.

My mother was insisting that I should go into a hospital and I ended up doing that. For two weeks in the psych unit of the local hospital - a unit for people who are suffering from short-term depression. I had met a girl while I was in there and we started hanging out together. Ironically, she looked and reminded me a lot of the ex-girlfriend. One night, in the hospital, we had made arrangements to have sex. And we did. One of the staff caught us after the fact. The next day, as a result of me opening my mouth to another counselor, the police became involved because the girl was 15 years old and I was 19. I ended up being discharged from the hospital. I later contacted an attorney and he wrote a letter to the police saying that my statement is no good because I was on medication at the time. The charges were dropped (or never even filed).

Upon leaving the hospital, I began to drink alcohol and attend college party's literally every weekend. During this period, I had mentioned the ordeal at the hospital to another fellow named Jerry, someone I hardly knew (this will be more relevant later).

One night, on April 1st of 1988, less than two months since I left the hospital, there was a dance at the community college. After the dance there was a bunch of partying and drinking going on at an apartment complex occupied by quite a few students. By the wee hours of April 2nd, most of the people were pretty schnockered, including me. At one time I had gone into one of the apartments and there was a girl about my age that was either sleeping or passed out drunk. I started kissing her and she responded. The horn to my car was honking so I went outside to find Ken (my sisters boyfriend) in the car wanting to go. I told him I didn't want to leave and to wait. I went back up to the apartment and knocked on the door. The girl answered and went back to where she was lying down - she was clearly drunk. I began kissing her again and we ended up having sex. Ken eventually honked the car horn again, I left the apartment, and we drove home. I ended up driving back to the apartment to spend the night with this girl. Lying down with her I ask her what her name is and she tells me. Then I ask her if she knows my name, she says yes, that my name is Dave. My name is not Dave. I begin to realize that I should leave. As I'm getting dressed to leave, one of her girlfriends who was partying in another apartment comes in. She is startled to see me and says that I should leave. I end up leaving. The next day I leave a rose at her door with a note of apology if I caused her any trouble.

The irony is that Jerry (from earlier) is part of these peoples social group. Rumors begin to surface within their group that I 'raped a child in a mental institution'. The girl eventually pressed charges against me. I also ran into the Dave fellow once on campus and I tried to explain that the rumor was greatly exxagerated and nowhere near as bad as how it was being relayed. Because I did that, and because he told the prosecutor, that case was re-opened.

The trial never took place because on the day of trial, when I was 20, the prosecutors offered a plea bargain. The charges were 3rd Degree Rape (unforced sexual intercourse without a persons consent) and 3rd Degree Statutory Rape (Sex with a minor between age of 14 and 16). Both are classified as non-violent class C felonies. By this time I was a complete mess - showed all of the signs of a middle-to-late stage alcoholic, depression, suicidal thoughts and ideas, etc.

The judge did not want to sentence me to jail. The original sentencing plan was to do some sex counseling program. I attended one session and decided jail is what I'll do. So I went to jail for 8 months - 4 months in jail, 2 months in pre-release, and 2 months in work release. At the age of 21, in Februrary of 1990, I finished serving my sentence.

From then on, life only got worse. There were times where I had brief periods of 'doing okay' but the trend was definitley downwards. I still had all of the issues and problems from the time I was with Tricia, including before that... and it was getting worse: The additional demands and expectations as a result of being an adult, the psychological/emotional damage and baggage from the past (both recent and not so recent), my own options in life diminishing, etc., etc.

The drinking continued and I should point out, too, that there were several occassions in the 90's where I had engaged in homosexual behavior - oral sex with other males. Between the alcohol treatment centers... the psychiatric treatment centers... the hospitalizations... the half-way houses... being in and out of A.A.... As time passed, and my failures mounted, so too had diminished me caring about anything.

In the beginning of 1997, I was at my mothers home and I had gotten drunk, swallowed a bottle of prescription painkillers, and went to bed. I awoke in a hospital where I stayed for next 10 days in a psych ward. I had suggested to the doctor that I was manic-depressive because it has been brought up before. He prescribed me lithium and also zoloft.

I got out of the hospital, and continued counseling once a week for the next year. For the next 2 1/2 years, since leaving the hospital, I never drank at all. This is a world record for me. Not only since drinking was ever a problem but ever since my first actual sip.

As I was approaching two years of not drinking, in 1999, I met Tanya, who is now my wife. By April of 2000, I had stopped taking the zoloft because it has a nasty sexual side-effect - complete numbness. It was within a month or two of that that I had my first 'relapse'. Since then, being strictly on lithium, I have never achieved even one year of straight sobriety, i.e, I drank once or twice in a row every 6 months or so. (I should point out here that I never drank like a regular alcoholic - I drank the same as I did when it all started in 1988 - drink to oblivion and go to sleep)

There is another factor in that sobriety - economic security. I began living in my grandmothers house about a year after she passed away. I belive that is significant because in my shape on my own in the real world was quite frightening and drinking would kill that.

So there are three possible things accounting for the sobriety:

1. Lithium

2. Zoloft

3. Economic Security

I don't think I am manic-depressive. I am thinking that it was the Zoloft (anti-depressant) and economic security that made life manageable to the point where I didnt need to drink and bury reality.

I think that perhaps the real root of my troubles is due to a trauma in childhood -- a sexual related one. I think I have gone through life not knowing (and denying) what my problem is, nor others. In treatment and hospitals one of the standard questions is have you ever been sexually abused - my answer has always been no.

During those sex charges when I was 19 years old, I was in complete denial about that. I rationalized and intellectualized everything. I was already a mess enough and admitting to having a sex problem was too much to bear - to me back then it would be like the final nail in the coffin that I was just a worthless piece of sh*t.

I'm 36 years old now and I'm looking at things in a whole new perspective.

1. Whether or not that girl in the hospital was of age or not, whether I understood it or not, does not matter -- having sex with someone in hospital like that is sexually deviant behavior.

2. The other girl whom I had taken advantage of her drunkeness -- that was sexually deviant behavior.

3. That sex was such the crux of my relationship with Tricia, and that was what I believed how you love someone -- that is not right.

4. The homosexual encounters I had - that was sexually deviant behavior.

5. From childhood on, I have been full of guilt and shame.

6. From childhood on, I have had a very low self-esteem.

7. From childhood on, I have always felt as I was different from everyone else.

8. From childhood on, I have had human bonding/relations/connection problems.

9. I don't believe that I was seeing shrinks because of genetically induced hyperactivity, I believe that I was reacting to something that happened or was happening to me.

10. I know with absolute certainty of at least one sexual-related incident involving what a group of older boys did to me when I was 5 or 6 years old. The details I do not know.

11. I'm suspect as to why my boo-boo had been irritating me at such a young age, why I have memories of my mother putting vaseline on it, and what happened to it to make it irritate me through the whole time growing up. It looks torn. A doctor looked at it once in 1988 and he could think of no medical condition to explain it, outside of a 5% chance that I had cancer. That was in 1988.

12. From childhood on, I have been full of anger and hate.

I think I will stop here as this is already quite long. For those of you who have read this, do you think that I'm on to something here with regards to the root of my problems or am I just grasping at straws? Also, what steps in the real walks of life do people take to deal/cope/repair/recover from this? Counseling, special groups, etc...? Is there some generally accepted course of action that needs to be taken?

A couple more things I need to mention first, though, before I go... for clarities sake:

1. I understand that this place is for survivors of abuse. I hope that the two incidents I mentioned from 1988 does not offend anyone. Please understand that I am 36 now and back then I was only 19 years old. In my eyes today, and at my age, a 19 year old is just a kid. I went into full detail, with complete honesty, so it can be seen in full context in the hopes that I'm not judged too harshly for it.

2. When I read all of what I have said above I get the impression that I seem like some freak of nature or something. I am not.

Thank you for your time.

Edited by barsik

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Welcome Barsik,i hope u find wot u need here as this is a warm friendly understandin place & im sorry u have 2 b here & that u have a confusing past which u need answeres 2-i hope u find them..

I hope this is ur 1st step of recovery & healing..

U r very brave 4 postin here,u have courage..

There are a few things u can do 2 help urself heal,gain memories back-read books on child a*use,other peoples stories ect..

Get a new T/councilor..

Does ur wife know??

Anything bout ur past,wot u think en feel??

She will hopefully b ur biggest supporter..

I hope u feel safe here..

((safe hugs..)) Sookie :)

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(((barsik)))Welcome to After Silence! I'm so sorry you have a reason for being here, but I'm glad you found us. Take your time in getting comfortable here. I hope you find this place to be as supportive and helpful as I have. The people here are wonderful!

Take precious care of yourself!

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Guest jenn1228


Welcome! I am sure that you will find comfort and support here. I hope you stay. I have no advice, I don't know what happened to you as a child. I will tell you however, that I am 32 and have just recently 'remembered' that I was sexually abused as a child. Memeories still come to me, and I know I don't remember everything. The point is however, that just because I can't remember everything, doesn't mean that I don't need help. I am in Therapy, and it has done wonders. Do you have a therapist? If you don't, I would suggest getting one. Also like Sookie asked, does your wife know? I think that is ultra important to have trust and communication in a marriage. She needs to be able to support and help you in any way she can.

Just a few thoughts. Good luck and keep us updated on things....

Stay safe and be strong,

Jenn ;)

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Guest barsik

Thanks Sookie, aquapit, and jen1228 for your replies. I appreciate that you did because I had just communicated on a level I haven't done before in the real walks of life, i.e., spoken of things never revealed to others / deep-secret stuff. It would have been a bummer, for sure, if no one replied. Thank you, again.

That said, I hope I am in the right place to figure out things from my childhood. I have noted that many people here, in how the write, are like feathers or angels. I say that in compliment, of course. However, I think I write more like a rock or stone.

For some reason, it seems that typing feelings is just as difficult as talking them. I remember in community college, before the woes of early adulthood, when I was 18 and I took an elective class called 'inter-personal relationships'. The class was held once a week for 2 1/2 hours. I went to the first several classes and then stopped because they were making me uncomfortable. The instructor later got on me about and made me agree to go back to them. I never did because I was literally scared of going to them anymore. Looking back on it, I believe the instructor was disqualified to teach because he called me an as*hole for it. He was in his late 30's / early 40's and in the counseling profession. He should have had a clue.

Anyhow, regarding the question about therapists. I don't have a therapist just yet because I just started seriously looking at all of this stuff not that long ago. Plus, at this point and time, I'm more comfortable communicating over the internet. Also, none of this is even a full reality in my mind yet, especially after I walk away from the computer. Does that make sense? It's like I'm dumping my secrets in a different world. That said, as I type, the less murky the waters get.

While I have no recollection of any sexual abuse or assault against me, the more I dig into my childhood, the more the circumstantial evidence mounts and the more questions I have. For example:

1. My mother has relayed several times throughout my life that when I was 3, I wandered several blocks from the house and was eventually returned to them by some man. That the only reason I was returned to them was because I looked like my dad and this man knew where my dad happened to live. The point of this story as my mother tells it is how much I looked like my dad. As a 36 year-old, I ask myself why a 3 year old is able to wander that far, let alone wander out of the house, unnoticed?

2. In Massachussett's, I would start fires. Most notably, in the woods and at least once that I recall in someones frontyard. Why?

3. In Massachussett's, I remember digging up a bird that some other boys had buried, only to cut off the birds head with a pocket knife. Why?

4. Most, but not all, of the clear memories that I do recall in my earlier childhood I am alone and outside. Why?

5. I seem to have had an interest in the opposite sex at a very young age. Individually, these things don't seem like much, but collectively I think it shows a pattern of pre-mature interest in girls:

A. Connecticut, Age 3, I would smooch my first 'girlfriend' in the back seat of car on the way to church.

B. Massachussets - between age 4 and 7 - heavily smooched a neighbor girl in my tree house.

C. Danville, California - between age 8 and 9 - began experimenting with french kissing. I remember leaving our house once and joking my mom that I was going to 'hump' a girl from school.

D. Dublin, California - between age 10 and 11 - I remember a girl from a park that I had met and were going to, but never did, meet the next day and have sex.

Regarding item #5, above, I'm not sure if that is a big deal or not but it seems to me that boys of that age typically regards girls as gross, at least when it comes to kissing and stuff.

6. I'm not sure if this was in California or Massachussets, I think California, but I remember being away at some church camp. I was between 7 and 9, I would guess. I remember hiding naked trying not to be seen because I had pooped in my underwear and, embarassed not for anyone to see them, I threw them in the bushes. Some other kids found them and knew they were mine because my name was written on them. I first thought of this because it's one of those memories where that reminds me of how different I felt from everyone else, but now I'm wondering why I pooped my underwear because that was not something that I was in the habit of doing.

Oh yeah, about my wife... yes, she is aware of all/most of this. Quite frankly, I find thinking about stuff and typing it out and communicating over the internet rather helpful, even more so than doing it verbally. As I brainstorm, write stuff down, share it on the internet, and look at everything written down it becomes pretty obvious that something is up with my early past and help clarify, whereas, just thinking of bits and pieces here and there isn't so obvious.

One more thing, I know my posts are rather self-centered in talking about me. I'm just dumping inner stuff... I'm not trying to burden anyone at all with taking on a therapist job or anything like that. One of my biggest obstacles in past with this stuff has been a massive fear and fear of rejection so I simply don't speak of it. That I have said stuff here in front of everyone, and my posts have not been deleted and I have not been banned, means I haven't been rejected. That is a good thing.

Edited by barsik

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welcome to After Silence. I hoep you find what you are looking for here. We are here to support you.

thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. Dont worry, it is not a burden at all...that is what we are here for. This is a very supportive place. I am glad you got out some of what you have held inside for so long. You are very insightful in your search in all of this. I am glad your wife is supportive. That helps a lot, i am sure! AS for therapy, i think maybe eventually it will help, but coming here for now is a huge step and i am so proud of you for taking it. You're doing awesome, barsik! like you, i find writing much easier than speaking...mainly cuz you have time to think, and you can erase things if you dont like how it sounds. :) All the best in everything. I am here if you ever wanna ask anything, or if you just need a friend or a listening ear.

always, clarissa

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Guest barsik

Hi Clarissa and thank you for the kind words. This is a special place I believe. There is another interesting aspect about communicating in a forum, too, it seems. With me, at least. Unlike in live real-world person to person or person to group environments, communicating over the internet seems more pure. Meaning that there are not a variety of external factors and senses that determine or influence what I say, what I don't say, how I say it, etc.., etc.. On the internet it is like my my mind/inner-self/self-talk is being plugged directly into the forum, via the keyboard and internet. I think this reduces the fear factor in talking about things. Plus, the kind words people have said are pure, too... nothing more... nothing less... there are no other factors that may influence how I look at them. So they are pure, like angels.

But this stuff has been sinking in lately. The night before last, I was looking forward to dumping and exploring more stuff the next day. When I awoke in the morning, I was cynical about it and detached from all of it. In some ways, posting here is quite scary, really.

That said, I'm becoming increasingly suspect of this weekend church camp I was at in Danville, California:

1. I've always had the memory of me in the cafeteria at the church camp. I was alone with a man with a moustache. My recollection of that has always been I was held behind everyone else because I didn't completely finish my lunch and I had to because of hungry people in the world. That is how I have always remembered it. Looking at it now, while I do believe that was the stated reason for holding me back, I find it hard to believe that I was the only one out of an entire room full of boys who didn't completely finish his lunch.

2. The memory I've had of the church bus. There was a bus from the church that would pick kids up in Danville to take to church. They would pass out candy and one of the guys in it would be dressed up in a gorilla costume. Whether the gorilla costume was a regular thing, I don't know, because the only memory of that bus is with the guy dressed as a gorilla. That bus was from the same place that ran the church camp. In the past, my memory of that bus has always been a negative one. I have no recollection or knowledge of anything ever happening or taking place specifically on that bus, gorilla or no gorilla, that would make me feel that.

3. As I stated earlier, the memory of being at the church camp and hiding because I had pooped in my underwear. I remember that this took place at the 'barracks' section of the church camp where everyone sleeps at night. The bushes that I threw my underwear into were right behind the barracks.

I phoned my mother last night to ask her about the incident in Massachussett's. Apparantly, some boys pulled my pants down and one of them sucked on my penis. She asked me why I wanted to know and I told her, in brief, what I've been up to lately. The topic of the church camp came up. I guess the church camp was a week long, not a weekend long like I originally thought. While she was shocked to hear what I was suspicious of, she revealed that I had liked that church up until the camp. She said that when I got home from the camp I had told her that some man had slapped me, that I didn't want to go to that church anymore, and that I never did go there again because she switched me to a different church.

Furthermore, when I spoke with my mother she verified that the church camp I went to was when we lived in Danville, California. Before I had even given any recent thought to those church camp memories, I had traced the origins of my boo-boo irritation that I spoke of earlier to Danville, California. When I asked my mother about it on the phone, she said she was putting the ointment on me because I complained of it being sore. Except it wasn't vaseline, it was an anti-biotic ointment. And that took place in Danville, California.

Unfortunately, outside of what I've said about the church camp, I'm unable to remember anything else. I essentially have six memories of that week: the barracks/underwear, the cafeteria, a scene of the camp, the bus (which technically isn't part of the church camp itself), a memory of me (and I think with another kid) kneeling for prayer by a cot, and an image of me scared and trying to hide with no clothes on from the waste down, crouched like I'm being sneaky, with my hand over my groin. The last one I noted, I'm not sure if its tied directly to the barracks or not -- I'm not sure if it's even real because it's hard to picture the background. Sometimes it's like me in front of a bush outside of a door, sometimes the background is nothingness or black.

I've been trying to remember more, on and off, for a couple of days now and so far I haven't been successful. One idea I had was to look back, go through, and take notes of what relationships with other people were like from grades one through six. If I could do that and if I could get a good idea of how I got a long with people for each grade level, hopefully then, I may be able to find out when it was that I started hating.

I was under the assumption that after posting the first time that it would be all downhill from there. In otherwords, dump my biggest secrets and from there it would be easier, but that seems not to be the case because I'm finding it more difficult to communicate. Almost like I'm becoming afraid of here. Although I've been working on this last post, on and off, for the past couple of days and hadn't submitted it yet, I awoke this morning feeling similar to how one would feel if they got dumped by their girlfriend.

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Guest Dreamer

Hi barsik,

Welcome to this site. You are welcome here, since this is a place of healing and no one has ever healed in a state of hostility. You seem very self aware. Don't worry about feeling self centred, as time moves on you'll find yourself re-assuring others, it' s just the natural inclination , I think as humans to try and help and heal each other. Right now, I think the questioning is good. A good therapist is very helpful - g-d knows where i'd be without one right now. I'm so happy with her.

the one incident that really stands out for me from your post is that there was an incident involving a group of other boys. has your mother been able to tell you anything more about that?

I don't know what else to write. But welcome and hope that this part of your journey brings you to a place of healing.

~ Dreamer.

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Guest barsik

Hi Dreamer and thanks for the welcome. Yes, I spoke with my mother over the phone the other night and asked her the details. She said that I was with some boys and one of them pulled my pants down and another sucked on my penis. Somehow, though, I find it difficult to accept that particular event carrying much impact on my life, insofar as the grand scheme of things is concerned, anyway. I could be wrong, but it is a hard pill for me to swallow, nonetheless.

I'm appreciative and grateful that you understand the self-centered nature of my posts. The truth of the matter is that I simply do not know if I was sexually abused or not. I could be trying, in an act of desperation, to find an excuse as to why life has been so difficult for me. I have no memory or recollection that I ever was sexually abused. All I have are facts regarding, and memories of, my own personal history.

My curiosity about whether I was sexually abused or not, began sometime around the birth of my son. Shortly before he was born, I began worrying about both him and me as a father, i.e., Is he going to go through life feeling like I did?, Will he have the same difficulties as me?, Will we be friends?, Will I be a good father?, Were my difficulties due to genetic predisposition, environmental influences, and/or both? If genetic predisposition, will my son acquire these traits, too?... ad infinitum. Sometime thereafter, I began to take a very real, very long, and very hard look at my life. In doing so, I eventually realized that the real root of the problems I've had in life were, in fact, the result of a human relations problem. Combined with certain facts regarding my past, a number of which I mentioned in the first post to this thread, I became highly suspect to the idea that, at a young age, I had experienced some form of sexual abuse. The problem is, since I have no explicit memory of any type of sexual abuse, I'm essentially forced to try and 'debug' my childhood in order to find out.

In any event, there was another incident that I just recently recollected that took place in Danville, California. Whether it occurred before or after the church camp, I do not know and most likely never will. I do know that it occurred on a day when there was no school. Whether it was during the summer, spring break, or simply on a weekend I don't know. The time of year I do not know for sure, either, because even though I remember it as a hot day... I was, after all, living in California. There was nothing sexual, or even physical, in nature about it, but it stands out as somewhat odd.

The incident occured, or began I should say, fairly far away from my house, at the edge of the neighborhood where traffic starts picking up on the roads and within proximity to marts, gas stations, stores, etc. There was an over-pass over a man-made ravine. In the ravine was a sparse collection of trees, bushes, rocks, etc. I had gone down into the ravine to play. I ended up meeting someone down there. A boy my age or a year or two older at most. Whether he was there first, I do not recall. What I do remember quite clearly is that I essentially became this persons psychological prisoner for what was, or seemed, a very long time. He was mean and domineering and would not 'let me go', even though he never laid a hand on me. I remember how afraid I felt. It was awful, actually. I don't know how long we were in that ravine, but eventually I tried bribing him to let me go. I believe my bribe was to give him a Playboy magazine that belonged to my dad. We eventually went back to my house. The garage door, which was connected to the house itself, was open and my mother was inside it doing whatever. The other boy waited either in the street or on the sidewalk while I went into the garage to find the Playboy magazine. I don't believe I ever found the Playboy magazine to give in exchange for my 'release', perhaps that was because my mother was there in the garage and, if I remember correctly, the Playboy magazines were hidden (by my dad or mom) in the garage. In any case, I went back to the boy where we wandered about until we reached the school where I had attended 3rd grade. Even though there was no school that day, there were a couple of other boys there playing by the swing bars. One of the boys who knew me from school, I think even from the same 3rd grade class, saw what was going on. He interjected in the matter, and started talking to me, telling me to not take it from that other boy like that. To stand up to him. I was nervous and what not, but I eventually took a punch at the boy 'holding me hostage'. I certainly didn't do any physical damage. As a matter of fact, I just nicked the guy and I think I hurt my hand more, but it worked and the other guy backed down and that was the end of that.

The one thing in the above story that strikes me as especially odd, is that when I was at home, in the garage, I neither said a word to my mother nor did I simply go into the house to 'be safe'. I was so scared out of my wits that I went back to the boy. It seems strange to me that I was so submissive and easily intimidated.

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Guest barsik

I think I may have a better understanding of how things went down during my younger years. I need to go into more detail about my mother, first though.

Even though the family she came from was far from wealthy, she received a lot of training in the area of social etiquette and social graces. Her mother had sent her to charm school and she had even entered, and won, a beauty contest. Her father, my grandfather, passed away when she was only 17 years old due to a heart problem he had as a result of having rheumatic fever as a kid. In fact, I was named after her father. In any case, she is an emotional person and most definitely an airhead -- which, combined with her social graces, social etiquette, and charm -- makes her a very likeable person. I don't use the term 'airhead' lightly, either. In otherwords, if you were to say to anyone who knows her that she seems somewhat 'dingy', 'spacey', 'airheadish', etc... you would hear no objection. She was conditioned into an 'outward appearances are everything' type of dogma and, by all accounts, it appears that her mother, my grandmother, was prepping her to marry a man of wealth.

That said, it is perfectly obvious to me that my 'acting out' during life in Massachusset's was me making plays to get attention from her. She was young, in her 20's. I was the first one born out of two, the second being my sister. As such, she had no parenting skills and, as I later discovered during my early teen years from my intoxicated dad, my birth was an unplanned one. She was a housewife and my dad was off working at IBM -- which only further makes the case that I was lacking attention because so many of my memories back then are of being alone... rather odd, really, considering that she was home all of the time.

When I spoke to her on the phone the other night she further confirmed that I was engaging in attention ploys because she revealed that I had, in fact, gone to her and told her of the fires -- which tells me that I was wanting her attention. Her response to me as to why she didn't believe me then was because, and I quote: "because little boys lie and I didn't hear any firetrucks". As far as I'm concerned, this only illustrates how out of touch with reality she truly was and, quite frankly, still is - as she was becoming very defensive in response to some very simple straight forward questions regarding my early years and she warned me to be 'wary of groups like this'.

Another matter of relevance worth noting... something that wasn't so obvious in my earlier years, yet is clearly revealed upon examining history... is that my mothers way of dealing with emotional discomfort is to see a counselor/shrink, take a pill, and/or go into a hospital. In my early childhood I saw at least 5 shrinks/counselors. My sister sooner or later was sent to one, too. My mother certainly saw them as well. After her divorce, when my mother and her boyfriend broke up after 4 years of having a relationship, she checked into a hospital for a week or two. The same hospital she had me go to. When my sister, in her late teens, and her boyfriend broke up, she too, went to the same hospital for a week or two.

I have to admit that the thought of my mother taking me into a shrink at the age of 5 or 6, impressing the doctor with her social etiquette/class/charm/etc., with the doctor taking notes as to what my problem is according to her 'world view'... is a very scary thought, indeed.

I should point out that although it may look like it, I'm not trying to demonize my mother. At the age of 36, I know for an absolute fact that there was no intent on her part to do me harm and that she was doing the best she could with what she knew how. It's as simple as that.

That being said, I had my problems in Massachussets. It is clear to me that I was a loner who had an obscene amount of unsupervised time on his hands. I believe, too, sometime during that period, that I earned a reputation as a fibber. I would make up stories. Why? To get attention... not because I suffered from some genetic hyper-active attention disorder, but because I was clearly *not* getting any attention at home.

There is another thing that is obvious -- My 'troubled kid' / loner / outsider status at such a young age puts me square in line as the ideal candidate subject to the deeds of a child molestor.

If, and I mean if, I fell victim to sexual abuse, it wasn't a single incident involving another kid my age, or even a teenager for that matter. It would have to have been an adult, someone of authority and definitely a male. And they would have to have done more than simply fondle my genitals, they would have to have hurt me and hurt me bad. To the extent that I reverted to intellectualism in order to cope, became full of anger, and began to hate.

I have been unable to shake this church camp because there are two things, especially one, that I'm unable to account for when I play devils advocate. For example:

1. The pooping my underwear incident -- I can argue that I was with the main group of boys, had to go to the bathroom bad, the barracks was the closest area where a bathroom was, I didn't make it in time, I pooped my pants, I panicked and threw my underwear in the bushes in order to hide them. The underwear was later discovered by other kids and they teased me to the extent that I simply did not want to ever return to that church again.

2. Being held back in the cafeteria -- Maybe I was the only one, or perhaps the only one observed, who didn't finish his meal. It was a church event so them advocating eating all of your food out of respect to those who are hungry in the world is not really odd.

3. Negative feelings regarding the church bus -- Maybe I simply have bad feelings about the church bus because I associate it with the experience at the church camp. Or perhaps even, maybe something else took place on the bus that makes me think of it in a negative way.

4. That I switched churches after that camp - Upon returning from the church camp I had told my mother that a man slapped me in order to get out of having to go to that church again. I could have simply said that because I didn't want to go to the church again for other reasons. I suppose it is possible, too, that a man did slap me.

5. That my mother said I liked the church up until the church camp - It is clear to me that my mother had no clue as to what my feelings were, it would be far more accurate to say that I had no visible complaints about the church prior to the church camp.

The two things that I have been unable to explain are:

1. The incident with that boy I met in the ravine. I'm clueless as to why he had such a strong psychological hold over me, even when I was at home.

2. Most importantly, my boo-boo. This was traced to Danville, California before the church camp was ever recently thought of or brought up.

Also, the manner in which the church camp unfolded over the events of the last two months or so is, in and of itself, grounds for suspicion:

A. In light of the upcoming birth of my son, I begin doing a long and hard assessment of myself.

B. I realize that the root of my problems in life is that of a human relations/connection/bonding problem.

C. I realize that I've engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior. I trace sexual related issues with myself all of the way back to pre-puberty childhood.

D. I become suspect to the idea that I had experienced sexual abuse at a young age.

E. I eventually come to After Silence to learn more.

F. I make mention of the church camp and how I'm suspicious as to the incident at the barracks.

G. I recall several other memories regarding the church camp, that raise more questions in my mind.

H. I speak with my mother over the phone. The church camp comes up and she tells me that I had attended the church up until the church camp. That when I returned from the church camp I didn't want to go there anymore because a 'man had slapped me'.

I. In the same phone conversation, my mother also confirms that it was in Danville, California that I started complaining of my boo-boo being sore.

From what I have been able to recall from memory, I have noted that there is a marked difference between how I conducted myself in social relationships in grades 1 through 3, and 4 through 6.

In Massachusetts and Danville, CA - While I'm definitley more of a loner than anything else, in social affairs I'm more timid and shy, and with those I'm comfortable with, I'm more a goof or odd ball than anything else.

In Dublin, California I am different. I will point out that its difficult to establish an exact time with many events because I spent the 4th, 5th, and half of 6th grade in Dublin, going to the same school and being around the same people. In any case, in Dublin, while I'm still more on the shyish side with regards to the general populace, with people I am close to I am aggressive. I would be 'rough' in playing with others -- to such an extent that two neighbor parents didn't like their kids playing with me. Being rough was, no doubt, me expressing anger. There were several occasions where I began to pick fights in school.

In Dublin is where I began to have 'sexual feelings', if that is the proper term. I began to think of pretty girls in a sexual way. I can remember two girls, specifically, that I thought of that way: Molly and Ursula.

I can remember once that I had swung by a public swimming pool, with a friend, with a box of army men that I had purchased. A girl from school approaches, a pretty girl, and she was nice to me. I was attracted to her... my response to that was, on some other day, chasing her on a bike to and her mother calling my mom to tell me to knock it off.

It is in Dublin, where I met that girl at a park. The deal? If I caught her on the gym bars then we would meet the next day and have sex. I caught her. I showed up the next day. She, of course, didn't. I actually felt rejected over that.

During one summer in Dublin, I had visited my grandparents in Washington for 4 or 6 weeks or so. My grandmother stuffed me with candy and I gained about 20+ pounds. My mother was not happy about that. That fact, coupled with my over-bite, didn't help my self-esteem any and it will become more relevant later.

In Dublin, too, in the 6th grade, I can remember my dads drinking beginning to be a problem. I remember having a friend over from school to spend the night and he came home intoxicated and got mad at me for something and locked me out of the house with my friend still inside, looking at me from the 2nd story window.

We moved to Kent, Washington in January of 1980. I remember before we moved into the new house, we were staying at a Double-Tree inn. There were two beds, one with my mom and dad, the other with my sister and I. I remember one night I began hugging my sister in a sensual, not sexual, way. Very weird, really.

In Kent, my dad had quit IBM and started working for himself. This is where he took a marked turn for the worse. He ended up going into a treatment center twice, but to no avail, began drinking again, and badly, within months.

Anyway, in Kent I remember that I would grab at my sisters friends butt's and I even grabbed at them, on several occassions, when they were sleeping over in the bedroom. This is clearly very wrong behavior.

In Kent, I remember becoming interested in computers. My dad had purchased an Atari 800 and I became infatuated with them. I hung out at two different computer stores in Kent. I began to steal. One of the owners of one of the computer stores was really cool to me. He even gave me a job in his store after I had stolen. Unfortunatley, I ended up stealing again. The thing of it is that this guy, Karl, I believe knew of problems at home by observing my dad after his drinking. Karl was never once mean to me. I believe he even gave me money once when I made up a story that I had gotten a girl pregnant and needed money for an abortion. What it really was for was to buy an M-16 machine gun from a guy who was a 24-year old green beret that I hanged out with who worked at the gym (more on that later) I was going to. It is clear that he was just using me to get money. I've always wished I could bump into Karl and thank him for his kindness and tell him that I'm sorry.

In Kent, during the summer between the 6th and 7th grade, I began jogging to get the weight off and get into better shape. In the summer between the 7th and 8th grade, Rocky III came out and the whole Rocky series became an inspiration for me to work out with weights and exercise even more. I started hanging out at gyms and what not. I even started boxing. This was somewhat of a pivotal moment in my life because I established a certain aspect I never had before amongst my peers. In junior high, people from the 6th grade who had ridiculed me now feared me. And when I traded blows with one who had the reputation of being one of the 'toughest guys in junior high', I got respect on that front. I believe, too, that is somwhere around this time that I started developing an ego.

Back to the computer store, I remember there was a computer technican there. An obese sloppy fat guy, now that I recall. One night I had gone out with him and we ended up going to his apartment where his girlfriend lived, also. We went into the sauna at the apartments and he began talking to me about oral sex, that there is no difference between a guy doing it or a girl. I believe he got naked, and he was trying to cajole me to take my shorts off. I was feeling very uncomfortable and I didn't take them off. We ended up going back to the apartment and he started playing porno videos. His girlfriend came out of the bedroom briefly and they both went to the bedroom. Before going in his bedroom he told me to feel free to masturbate to the video. I believe that I ended up doing just that.

I remember once at a school dance that I stopped off at after boxing practice, that I met a girl I liked. There was chemistry there and what not and we were outside making out. I remember taking a bus to Seattle to visit her later at a hospital because she had a tumor in her, or something like that. On another occassion we were going to go out on a date, I had $75 and I was going to pick her up in a cab. Just prior to doing that, on the same evening, I had spoken with her on the phone. I believe I was feeling insecure as to if she really wanted to go out with me. She was in a rush getting ready and yelled into the phone. I didn't know that at the time and I thought she was mad at me. I never showed up. After that, of course, she really was mad at me and that was the end of that.

During this period in Kent, my dad was going further and further off of the deep end with his drinking. His business was more of a hide out to drink. He had porno videos there, too. In fact, it was in the house at Kent when I believe I first saw a porno video when I was outside and saw through a window him watching one in the downstair rec room.

Early in 1983, my parents divorced. My father had gone completely off the deep end with his drinking. He moved to Sea-Tac into an apartment townhouse. I believe I was 14 at the time and I think this is the age that I started smoking pot. I also had become somewhat infatuated with two ninja movies, 'revenge of the ninja' and 'enter the ninja'. I had ordered ninja stuff out of magazines like uniforms and num-chucks and throwing stars and books about ninjaism. In early 1983, I ended up going into my neighbors house and stealing a coffee can full of coins, a bottle of vodka, and a compound bow, all of which I hid in the dog house. Several days later a cop was knocking on the doors of all the neighbors, when he got to my house, my mother had told him that she observed me counting coins from a coffee can. To make a long story short I had a charge of 2nd degree burglary of which I later served two weeks in a juvenile jail.

During that time I dropped out of school and went to live with my dad for the next four months. I continued to smoke pot and even drank. He was a mess and there were some instances where he was physically abusive. Given my own behaviors at the time, though, I no doubt had some of that coming. For the next four months, I literally watched him drink himself to death right across a table. He revealed a fair number of family secrets during his drunken state, too. Also, there were pornos there, too, that both I, and other friends and I, had watched. Eventually, I returned to Kent because he had gone so far off of the deep end and I was so out of control myself that living there was not an option. The last time I saw my dad was for a brief moment in 1985, when he showed up in Auburn once to get a tv. I told him to get lost. Eventually, he ended up leaving the state of Washington altogether.

In 1983, the last grade I had completed was the 8th grade, I had gone to part of 9th grade but I had dropped out and I never returned to school until two years later, when my mother, sister, and I had moved to Auburn where I returned to the 9th grade again.

During that two year period, I smoked pot regularly, drank on many occassions, and even dabbled in drugs like cocaine and speed. I was sexually active during that period, too. The main guy I hung out with then was my friend Rob. We had a lot in common in that his mother had gone off the deep end and split, too. He had numerously referred to me as 'analy retentive'... meaning that my head was stuck in the left side of my brain. Although he always said it in a jestful manner, he was hitting the nail right on the head.

When we moved to Auburn, I re-entered the 9th grade. To make a long story short, I was two years older than everyone else and that, coupled with another desire to escape from my social environment, led me to get my GED and go into community college. I also quit smoking pot around this time, too.

Community college I actually liked. Unlike junior high where I did lousy in school, in Community college I did very well in classes and got to pick the kinds of classes I took. There was more freedom there and with my 'anal retentiveness' I somehow fit in better.

In Fall quarter of 1985, I ran for the student body senate but I didn't do it very long. Why? Because the closed round table sessions with other people scared me, as crazy as that sounds. I also hung around the wrong guys in school that quarter and dabbled in pot and drinking again, I made it through the Fall quarter with good grades, but I stopped hanging around them by the end of the quarter. In Winter quarter of 1986, I joined a christian group on campus instead because I figured that it was a healthier thing to do. In spring quarter of 1986, I ran for student body president, not really because I wanted to do it but more so to see if I could win. It was during the campaigning that I met Tricia. She was a christian, a clean living person, somewhat classy, and I was attracted to her. For the next almost two years she became my life, for lack of a better term.

Although I really believed that I loved her and thought it was the best period of my life for a long time - I was in school, I was staying out of trouble, I wasn't using pot or anything else, I had a car, I had a 'real' girlfriend -- in otherwords, by outward appearances I was doing great... Under the hood, however, was a different matter and looking back on that relationship, it was more of a matter of convenience than anything else. It was our dysfunctional backgrounds and sexual relations that ultimately made the relationship last as long as it did. In fact, if it weren't for my own unwillingness to break up, it would have ended much sooner. There was one time, though, that I wanted to break up because she cheated on me, however, she wouldn't hear of it and I wouldn't have really done it anyway. Suffice it to say, when she broke up with me in December of 1987 to start dating another older guy she had known from church, it was as if my entire world, what there was of it anyway, collapsed right before my eyes. And it did, actually.

Before going into that hospital that I mentioned in the first post, in January of 1988, an affair began between me and my friends mother. I was 19 and she was 38. It started by me one time trying to cheer her up because her husband had divorced her for a younger woman. It came back to me later that she had a crush on me. I was a hurting unit myself so nature took its course and we had an affair for the next several months. Having had switched to a different community college, I right away began taking girls out on dates. By all accounts, between January of 1988 and April of 1988, it appears as if I am in search of a new Tricia - someone like her in the looks/sexuality/personality department because I remember one girl in particular who I dated that really liked me and who was nice and pretty, but she didn't remind me of Tricia so that was that.

The rest of 1988, up until the summer of 1989 when I went to jail, I drank myself into sheer oblivion. I was in at least two treatment centers, and three hospitals - one of them for carving the hell out of my wrist.

When I got out of jail in February of 1990, I ended up staying with a friend in the Sea-Tac area. I was drinking again, of course. While I was there, I had once pulled a credit-card scam with an escort service. One night, I was relatively far from the condo, leaving some bar, and I was hitch-hiking to get back. A guy picked me up and brought me back. I invited him in as a courtesy and we drank. We were watching a porno on the tv and he began rubbing my crotch. That was the first homosexual encounter I ever had. The next day I felt absolutely miserable. He shows up again to get his jacket and I wanted no part of his advances and I made that clear. He ended up leaving.

One night I call Tricia on the phone in April of 1990. The first time I have spoken with her in over two years. After a small period of small talk, she suggests having lunch. We meet the next day and go to Skippers restaraunt. I, of course, am trying to do my best in pretending that all is great with me. What an ass I must have made of myself. She knew of my charges and asked me jokingly if I had any convictions lately, she later brags to me the penis length of some guy she had dated, outside she starts showing me pictures of another guy she had dated, and then she starts joking to me that if I don't give her $500 then she'll scream 'rape'. It wasn't until several years later that I realized she was deliberatley trying to hurt me, but at that time, to put it mildly, it was a very painful occasion.

I continued to drink myself to death until June of 1990, when, in Auburn, around midnight, I drank down a 12-pack of beer with a bottle of sedatives and went to sleep. I cannot begin to describe the pain, hopelessness, guilt, and shame that I was feeling. I'm 22 years old and, by all accounts, my life is over: I have no memory or reference of any real happiness and normalcy; the period I had for a long time regarded as good was nothing but a joke; my record was destroyed and so, too, was my future; I hated who I was -> A worthless wad of human junk.

Bear in mind that during this time, in fact during all of the times I was ever with a counselor/psychologist/shrink, in a hospital or treatment center, or in AA... that my childhood was an off limits subject. Even my early teens were off limits to a certain extent - the details, anyway. I was literally beating myself over the head, in shame; guilt; self-loathing; and embarassment over the pathetic miserable nature in which I reacted to Tricia dumping me and what my life had become as a result of it.

Anyhow, as later described to me, my grandmother tries to wake me up the next morning around 10:00am. My head is cocked back with my eyes rolled into my head and my mouth is wide open. An ambulance takes me to the Auburn hospital where I'm flown by helicopter to Seattle. I spend the next several days in a coma and a week in an intensive care unit. I'm later transferred to the psych ward where I spend, I think, the next 10 days.

Upon my release from the hospital, I went straight to a treatment center in Bellingham. It wasn't a typical treatment center in that it was in a large house out in the country, rather than some hospitalish/institutionalish type of setting. There was a strong sense of family there and I believe it had a positive effect on me as evidenced by the fact that I went to Western Washington University that Fall/Winter Quarter and did quite well, insofar as grades and outward appearances are concerned, anyway.

I returned to Auburn in May of 1991. In June, my mother ended up marrying a guy with a Phd from Boeing. At the wedding reception at the church, Tricia shows up with that guy she had dumped me for back in 1987. It wasn't until a long time later, like the other time, that I realized that she showed up there to try and hurt me. And she succeeded.

I won't cover any more details from then on out because it doesn't matter, really. Suffice it to say, that things never really improved and only got worse until I ended up in a hospital in February of 1997. I started taking lithium and zoloft and for the next year I did one-on-one counseling every week for an hour. I was feeling better and stable and about a year later I started dating again. Eventually, I met Tanya and we started dating in February of 1999. In April of 2000, we got married. In March of 2004, my son was born.

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Wow wot a life u have had,it was sad 2 read wot u have been through thou i really hope u wil find healin now..

U seam 2 remember so much & made me think of wot i remember which isnt as much as u..

Im soo glad u have found ur wife & u have ur new baby son-it sounds like u wil do good by them & wont hurt them..

Being here,talkin & tryin 2 understand ur past has said that..

((hugs 4 u-if allowed..)) :hug:

Im glad ur here & i hope we help-even if its just givin u a understandin listenin ear..

((huggles,smiles en friendship love..))

Sookie :) xo

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Guest barsik

Thank you for the kind words, Sookie. I believe this forum is a very special place because of the kind words spoken here that have motivated me to employ this forum as an essential tool in debugging my life.

Reviewing my posts is like hearing my inner-self speaking directly to me. It is like hearing about me in a way that I have never, ever, heard before. As such, it is dreadfully obvious, in a way never revealed with so much crystal clear clarity, that my inner-self has been greatly injured. Injured to such an extent that it has impacted the course of my entire life in a very negative and painful way.

My inner-self is also greatly confused.

Whether or not I was sexually abused at the church camp, I do not know, and perhaps, never will. Whether or not I was sexually molested by someone, somewhere else, I do not know, and perhaps, never will. I have no memory of such.

One thing is perfectly clear, though, and that is that I had become indoctrinated with sexual matters at a very young age which continued, on and off at least, through my teenage years.

I came in here looking for a single cause, a single event, that defined the rest of my life. How silly. Obviously, there are a string of issues in my childhood that set the stage for disaster in early adult life.

In reading my last post, there are a number of things that have been made all but clear to me, in a way that I never even understood before:

1. From the age of at least 13, I have been using computers, role-playing, pot, relationships, sex, and alcohol to cope with and bury pain. In the context of pot and alcohol, I have been made aware of this before in treatment centers.

2. How I reacted to the break-up with Tricia is remarkably similar to how my father reacted to the divorce with my mother. That is my fathers gift and legacy to me.

3. I have been angry at my mother and blamed her for the 'loss' of my father. In taking out his own sick and perverted revenge against her, my father exploited whatever anger I had against her over the divorce to turn me against her. All of those times watching him drink across the table, drowning himself in self-pity, character assassinating my mother and grandmother, and revealing so-called 'family secrets'... all to turn me against her in order for him to fulfill his revenge. My mother is the loveliest woman on this planet and the good in me is because of her.

4. The real weapon of mass destruction in my life, including my mothers and sisters, has been my father.

I don't hate myself anymore. I entered early adult life with a snowballs chance in hell of succeeding and my reaction to Tricia didn't have a damn thing to do with Tricia. I have a lot of work to do on this, of course, but the seed of truth has been planted.

The other night, when I spoke with my mother on the phone, she had told me to be 'wary of groups like this'. I'm not sure exactly what she meant, but one thing is for sure... there is nothing healing or theraputic about self-pity.

Edited by barsik

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Hi Barsik. Welcome to the world of After Silence. Your memories sound very full and confusing. You have taken a very brave step in coming here to try and make sense of it all and figure it out.

I don't understand your mum's reaction to groups like this. We are all very supportive of one another and always try to keep an open mind. I met my best friend through this very site. Something for which I am extremely grateful.

Good luck in your search, Barsik. I hope you find the answers you seek, be they good, bad or indifferent.


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Guest barsik

Hi Wanda1234. I believe what my mother was referring to when she said to be 'wary of groups like this' was that they can foster addiction to self-pity.

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Guest barsik
There you go then. Wise thoughts

I just call it like it is. In reading through this thread I cannot find a single instance where I have spoken a falsehood. Although, I did err when I said I lived in Danville for two years... I think it was more like 1 1/2 years.

I hope that Vera is reading this thread, though. There is a lot of pain and anger in that woman. As such, I have come to the conclusion that I love her. I don't mean 'romantic' love, but rather, true love... and I have proof, too.

In this thread right here...

LINK: Feeling A Failure, pity party...

...Vera is feeling bad and sorry for herself about her struggles with math.

Now take a good look at all of those replies to her... taking note of my reply, too.

I do not feed her self-pity.

I do not tell her to run off helpless to a learning center.

I do not write her off as hopelessly bad at math by telling her that I suck at math, too.

In otherwords, I do not enable her victim role.

Instead, I give her good solid practical advice on how she, herself, can defeat her math woes. A method that I have used myself in community college, and of which I have seen work with others when I was a math tutor at community college. Whether the method works with her or not doesn't matter... so long as she at least has a chance. If she tries and it doesn't work then that is okay. If she tries and it does work... she will feel more confident about herself, she will feel better about herself, and she will be taking her power back. As an added bonus, she will get to stay in New York, too.

I submit that my reply to Vera was, in essence, an act of true love.

Edited by barsik

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