Being Public

BDD

Registrant
I was wondering what you guys thought of being public?

This week I mentioned my childhood assault on Facebook.
It was empowering, just before I clicked Post I saw myself so clearly.
I’ve received a lot of support for having done it. Which has been awesome.

But I also have examine my urge to be public.
I am just thinking out loud, but I think the compulsion is driven by the nature of that first trauma.

That assault didn’t happen in private. It wasn’t behind closed doors. In was in front of all the kids waiting for school buses to take them home. My twin sister was with 25 feet with a clear view. I was around those same kids for years. It’s no wonder really don’t knew any of them. I pulled back, stayed distant and anxious.

It’s the humiliation and shame that stung then and has molded my life. I tend to minimize, so I am tempted to ponder if I would have been traumatized had it happened alone in the woods. But that is a question that leads nowhere.

Somehow, I wonder if being drawn to sharing publicly is a custom mixed tonic against the shame?
 

PRFL

Registrant
They say in 12 step recovery that “your secrets keep you sick”, and there’s a lot of truth to that, as keeping things secret seems to feed into the shame.
Having said that, I try to be more nuanced about that and not fall into the other extreme of sharing TMI with people that may not be able to handle it, or may simply not want to hear it. For what purpose would a self disclosure like that be beneficial?
I’ve wrestled with the temptation of going public as well, but I know that I’m very fragile right now and probably won’t handle well a negative response.
So, in my mind, I’m trying to come up with a “no secrets” policy but not necessarily volunteering information that is not requested. This would take the form of saying something like “you can ask me anything you want to know” and I would respond without feeling shamed, but also without worrying that the other person may not be able to handle unsolicited information.
I’m struggling with this so I don’t know if this is the best strategy. I hope to get into a relationship in the future and I’m already stressing about how will I broach the issue of SSA and my past, so I figure I would say “I have a difficult past (maybe even saying I’m a survivor) and I’m willing to answer any questions you may have but dont’ want to burden you with too many details if you don’t want them”. To me, this is important because I would feel less than honest if I conceal such an important part of my history, as it has made me who I am today.
Being that these days I’m struggling with a lot of things, take what I’m saying with as many grains of salt as you may need, I’m just sharing what I think may work for me.
 
To reply to this, I go off on tangents of my issues. I believe being public affects how I review what's going on with me.
 
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This is a very interesting question.
It sounds like a very positive thing to do regardless of the motivation.
But looking into the why of it for you makes sense.

I am open about my abuse and it’s effect on this site only.
It’s good enough for me and I am thankful for the progress I have made by learning to open up about all the things I was not handling well.

I don’t do well with the shame aspect of having been abused and how it has effected me and who I am as a person.

What it takes me to trust another person borders on the lines of insecurity and paranoia. So for me it would be counterproductive, at least at this point.

But I must say that every time I hear about some brave male survivor going public it gives me hope and waters the idea of maybe some day me too. Especially to the people I am closest to.

Thanks for your bravery and opening up the discussion :)
 
I am sick of hiding. I am sick of not helping. I have gone more and more public over the last few months. I finally put up a Facebook post a couple of weeks ago telling everyone that I am a survivor of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

I'm not going to mention it in every conversation or anything. But it's an important part of my life and it's an important part of who I am. What's even more important to me is being out simply because male survivors of domestic violence don't speak up. I feel crushingly alone some days. So I am going to be the change I want to see in the world and be an example that yes, it happens to men and yes, we exist.
 
Hi Bri

Thanks for the topic. I admire your courage to disclose publicly. Not sure if I would ever be able to do any thing like that.

I am struggling with just my T wanting me to talk about what happened. I am struggling because I am not sure I want to disclose all of the things that happened. This weeks session I am going to try and talk about sex something I have never had a safe conversation about sex and I don't remember ever being able to talk about sex never mind sexual assault. I have a 60 minute session and then I am to do another 60 minutes EMDR. I am not sure how this is going to work out I am scared of the disclosure in full as to what happen when I was 15,16 and 17 there are so many holes in my memory of what went on. It was a lot stuff into a short period of time.

Take Care my friend
 
I'm not going to mention it in every conversation or anything. But it's an important part of my life and it's an important part of who I am. What's even more important to me is being out simply because male survivors of domestic violence don't speak up. I feel crushingly alone some days. So I am going to be the change I want to see in the world and be an example that yes, it happens to men and yes, we exist.
Nice!
 
I am struggling with just my T wanting me to talk about what happened. I am struggling because I am not sure I want to disclose all of the things that happened. This weeks session I am going to try and talk about sex something I have never had a safe conversation about sex and I don't remember ever being able to talk about sex never mind sexual assault. I have a 60 minute session and then I am to do another 60 minutes EMDR. I am not sure how this is going to work out I am scared of the disclosure in full as to what happen when I was 15,16 and 17 there are so many holes in my memory of what went on. It was a lot stuff into a short period of time.
I can definitely relate.
I hope your EMDR helps!
 
Each of us should wisely choose how we share our stories. To who... How much/little is shared... and we should also be free to not share... if we are not ready, or if we feel the other person is not ready to hear it.
 

Toad

Registrant
I have tried to be really open about it with people. As a result I have 5 other guys who have told me that they were abused too, a few of them had never told anyone. They all know each other but none of them know that the others have been abused. All suffering in silence. One man who is a father told me about his abuse. Then later his grown son told me he had been abused by someone else. But they didn’t know that each other has been abused. I didn’t tell them. But when I talked to the son I told him I though his dad would be understanding. So he eventually talked to his dad and they are now supporting each other.

So it has worked out for me. Found a good amount of support from it.
 
I am starting to share publicly-ish, though still on a very small scale. I hint at it on Facebook (#MeToo #1in6 etc.). At my church's Men's Retreat last fall we broke up into small groups and I shared a bunch there. 1 man from that group said he wanted to talk more about my story (and I assume his) but we still have not made time to meet. This past week I shared it a few times with close friends. 1 I shared everything with (actually I sent him links to my stuff here!!) He was very supportive (And if you read my stuff here, you know how brutally honesty I am!).

Keep in mind you do not have to share EVERYTHING with everyone. I posted my "Church Testimony" here (see my signature line) which states my CSA honestly (and the SSA that came with it) but not in any detail - I let the listener "fill in the blanks". That version is what I share most often. The more I share, the more unburdened I feel!

Hope this helps.
 
@BDD I think is great that you examine the motives for doing things. Only you will know what is right or wrong for your personal healing journey. I don't actively disclose it but I don't hide it if the conversation turns to the subject as it did these past few weeks because of Leaving Neverland.
 

EQCR

Registrant
I would say if you are feeling strong enough to share your abuse as a way to get closure or reclaim yourself, great! If you feel compelled or compulsive about wanting others to accept and love you (or for any other 'needy' reason) than perhaps it may not be good timing.
 

BDD

Registrant
Guys, Thank you for the great discussion.


PRFL,
“your secrets keep you sick” so true!
For me, if I am hiding, I am in the shame.
There is a delicate balance between hiding in fear and wisely protecting.
I know when I am actively concealing my past.
It’s been an automatic response for so long, I don’t always catch it in real time.
But when I do, I can evaluate if I need to back track and amend the conversation.
I’m trying to come up with a “no secrets” policy but not necessarily volunteering information that is not requested.
You bring up a really interesting subject, social boundaries.
Part of me militantly rejects the notion that I need to apologies for pushing envelope.
Another part recognizes the profound nature of the subject requires a more subtle approach.


Ceremony,
I can see your point. The question is, does being public help you or is it an obstacle to your healing?

SmartShadow,
Throughout this thread what is so apparent is how counterproductive it can be. I believe for most men there is no need to go public. Certainly, don’t compare yourself to those who have chosen to. Our fights may be similar, but our journeys are unique. For Strangeways, he’s called to an activism.

Strangeways,
Thank you for speaking out!

Esterio,
There were things I only revealed to my T weeks ago. Not that they were particularly more gruesome than others I’ve shared. It was so cloaked in silence I had to pry it out. But I am so glad I did. It opened a wave of new thinking.
I hope you can find a way of sharing those horrible memories with them, just between the two of. It never needs to go further.
Good Luck

Kai,
I couldn’t agree more!

Toad,
Wow, that is movie magic!
It induces me to scream slogans:
Facilitate Peace!
Facilitate Growth!
Change, Openness, Compassion…


NC-Survivor,
I hope you can reach out to the man from the retreat. He may need you to take that first step?
Your “Church Testimony” is very subtle, nicely arranged to be read into.
I personally need to be careful with “alluding to”. Vagueness (and fractured) has plagued my ability to tell my story.

F.A.
I feel as if I am either saying “Yes” or “No”, and in the past “Yes” was a huge production. You seem to be more at peace. I believe I am getting there

EQCR,
I agree. My “compulsion” is more of a tendency, then a driving need. Something I am drawn to, not driven to. Great distinction.
 
I hope you can reach out to the man from the retreat. He may need you to take that first step?
I do and have. He keeps making excuses if busyness, so I will just occasionally bring it up, but not force the issue. When he is ready to, he will come to me in his time.

And the "Church Testimony" is specifically for non - strugglers. I would be more than willing to go deeper (like "My Story", depending on the group)
 

BDD

Registrant
I won't remove this, but after days of confusion I realized I replied to the wrong post.
I meant this for Seeking others who were publicly abused
-BDD 3/28/19


Guys, while the board was down I started to write what it did to me. In doing it I came to a profound realization, I am ready not to be alone anymore.
I don’t need to be a part from other men any longer.
I never needed to learn how to be a guy, I was.
I was the one, keeping me a part.
I am ready to belong.

The Assault ***TRIGGERS***
This is what I experienced.

I didn’t understand much as it was happening. I was in kindergarten. I was instantly in shock the moment he landed on top of me. As I scrambled my wits together I wasted time on questions, “Why? What?”

I was rarely touched, certainly not by another boy. I had never been in a fight. Fighting broke hardened, fast rules. How could boys fight, when it is forbidden for them to touch each other?

His glee was alien. He enjoyed hurting me. There was no place to put that in my little Disney soaked world.

That he touched his fly in public shattered a billion notions of right and wrong. Opening it, showing the white of his underwear blew past everything that had been ingrained into me.\ Then pulling it out. You only did that to pee.
“What?”
Rubbing it in my face.
“Why?”
Demanding I put it in my mouth.
I finally broke through the questioning confusion…”No!”

Consciousness recoiled and slammed me when he jumped off of me. As relieved as I was, there was a degree of magnified exposure. I was exposed a thousand times over. When he was grinding his crotch into my face, at least I couldn’t be seen. How was that better than this raw nakedness? With him not lording over me, I could now be seen from all sides. Nothing was hiding my face, my body, my stance. I wanted to be covered, I wanted not to be there.

I was flash frozen and brittle, movement felt like I would shatter. The chill was hyper real, exaggerated and hard to breath through. That I stood without cracking baffled me.

Shame suffocated my reason, reached back in time and perverted who I was. I was the peculiar thing standing there, And always was.

My face suddenly had feelings attached to it, ugly, hideous My body was pathetic. Words, descriptions were slapped onto my awareness of myself

With all those kids around I was cut off and completely alone. A part from, isolated
 
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I am ready not to be alone anymore.
I don’t need to be a part from other men any longer.
I never needed to learn how to be a guy, I was.
I was the one, keeping me a part.
I am ready to belong.
I have had fear and mistrust of men all of my life. I now have several make friends /buddies who support me, and I support them. Sounds like you have taken some major steps forward on your Healing Journey.
Congratulations.
You do not have to be alone!
 
About 6 mos. after beginning to deal with the abuse...my T(who was very good, and a person I trusted) asked me if I would be the key note speaker at an upcoming (sexual abuse) rally. It was called "Take Back The Night". At first I said no...because I was still having a difficult time and I could never see myself as speaking in front of people. It was about two months away. In the meantime I went to a WOR. After my experience there... I spoke to her...saying maybe. I eventually did work up the courage to say yes. I worked and worked on the speech...not knowing quite how "far" to go or how much detail. I finished the speech and practiced with my T.

I did give the speech in front of about 300 people. Yes, I was extremely nervous...I had never spoken in front of anyone like that other than in class during HS, and certainly had only spoken to only a few(including here) about the abuse.

After I spoke...I felt very much relieved it was over and although people gave me applause after I finished...I still wasn't sure how it had played out. When the rally was over...many, many people came up to me with accolades in one form or another. Too many in fact...I retreated, went to my car and left.

Although this didn't "heal" or "free" me from my demons...it catapulted me into turning my desire to conquer my abuse into a mission. From then on...I bullied my way through my pain into understanding, dealing with sexual abuse...to where I feel that I'm "recovered". Do I still have some issues...yes. But, I'm no longer having to deal and try to stay alive during deep depressions. I no longer have to deal with the devastating effects of PTSD. I'm FREE!

Greg
 
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