A test of self, new found growth & freedom.

Status
Not open for further replies.
Quick background- abused by an uncle from 8-12, from puberty on starting at 11 I was highly sexualized and consumed by sick fantasy & acting out with other boys and then later men. I suffered with major control, power & authority issues. I was left both envious & jealous of other males, I was super intimidated by other males, I was hiding in plain sight due to the intense shame of it all, I felt like a fraud and a fake when I had to interact with other males. My masculinity & self confidence was a shattered mess right from the start as a child. It was all kept festering & hidden till Jan 1999 when I stumbled into my healing journey.

Suffice to say I had a ton of issues around my own masculinity and other males, some even up to 3-4 years ago. Then there's my body image as I gained a lot of weight in y late teens which was at first was welcomed as it helped me to not feel small and vulnerable.

20 years ago I met a female csa survivor in a support group that I went to for a while, she had mentioned a few times how she had been going to a nude beach and found it healing & freedom in going there. I found that thought about it being healing & freeing intriguing but it also being very early in my healing I found sexually charged too. Then a few years ago an older friend & mentor had mentioned that he went to the same nude beach & other clothing optional places as part of research for a novel, he too said it was a good experience and found it freeing. So that got me interested in going myself, kind of like testing myself, would I be able to do go without feeling triggered by the old feelings of inferiority, get sexually charged up or feel intimidated by the other males? I have come a very long way in my healing over the near 23 years and feel that I have since conquered the old faulty drives & triggers, but there is always that wonder that if pressed would I stand up in the moment as imperfect as I am?

Well I got my chance in mid October to try and go to that nude beach but for only an hour due to my time constraints. I have to admit that I had thoughts of (am I ready for this, am I gonna chicken out last second?) swirling around in my head as I was driving to the parking lot and then during the long walk to the beach area. I then psyched myself up despite the last minute jitters to at least walk onto the beach to prove to myself that I had the balls to at least go there. Being 70 lbs overweight didn't help my self confidence in going either... I chuckle to myself now about the thoughts of WOW I'M HERE. I"M ACTUALLY DOING THIS as I made my way onto the beach area, but will I be able to go all the way and actually strip down? As I walked down to the water my eyes quickly scanned the naked crowd, they were mostly middle aged and older folks with some younger sprinkled in, just regular everyday folks of all shapes and sizes and that surprisingly instantly put me at ease. So when I got to my spot I set up my chair and figured here goes and quickly stripped and sat down in my chair and pondered on the meaning of it all. Me being me I did not set up close to anyone else to make chatting not a possibility, I sat there just taking in the view of the water and those passing by but I knew that the real test was gonna be, would I be able to feel confident enough to get up out of my chair to take the short 25 foot walk to the water naked for all to see, flab and all? Again I psyched myself up that I would do it the next time others go to the water that I would go too being that I didn't be the only focus of attention. So I did, I got up out of my chair (sucking in my gut :) and made my way as dignified as I could trying to not make it obvious that it was my first time there. Once I got into the cover of the water I was able to relax I then felt the awe of what I just did and that sense of freedom that the the two people I knew told me about in coming here. I hung out in the water maybe five minutes and then took what was a less stressful walk back to my chair and again felt so accomplished in being able to do it. I then had to leave due to time constraints wishing that I had more time. I was very happy that I didn't feel triggered at all by any of the old masculinity, SSA & inferiority issues, that I actually felt like I fit in. I was VERY happy that I didn't sexualize any of it and believe me that is huge growth.

I was now hooked and wanted to go back and was able to go one more time before it got too cold, this time for three hours. In thinking back about my first time I wished that I had gotten the chance to chat with other people and figured that I'd make it a point to do that this next time (something usually not in my nature). I had no jitters about walking in this time, I made it a point to not park my chair far from others this time too. I figured that I'd make it a point to get up as often as I could (about five times) and not just make a b-line back and fourth from my chair and the water and back, that I'd hang out exposed like all of Rome was doing. I made it a point to greet and chat about the water temp to an older guy passing by who had just left the water, I was happy about that. Then a guy a little younger approached the water & me and chatted with me about the weather & water, etc. I told him how this was only my second time, etc. He would've been a guy who would've triggered my old haunts & drives and I was well aware of that in the moment and was so happy with myself that I wasn't triggered. We would meet up a couple more times and chat as we were going to or from the water. Had brief hellos with a couple of others too. I was really amazed that I was able to walk and stand around nude with that one guy and bond while talking the few times that we did. I felt like such a grown up, that I passed the self imposed test. I get it now how the female survivor I knew said that going there was healing (obviously when feeling ready and not before). I plan on making a pilgrimage there as often as I can in the future. This is huge progress for me to feel comfortable literally in my own skin around other strange men & even women, and feel that I belong & fit in as a real Man. This is something that would've been unimaginable back when I started out.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top