I'm Starting To Figure Things Out

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Trigger Warning: From what I can remember, it all happened while I was age 5 & 6. I would have denied it even 2 years ago, hence the power of disassociation and the survival instinct. Throughout my life I had the foggy memories. Memories filled with disgust and fear, yet I doubted them. I would drive by the boutique of one of my abusers and have this sick feeling. She was the mother of one of my friends watching me sometimes in a baby sitting co-op. Approximately 15 years ago, this lady was publicly accused of sexually abusing numerous children, and at that point my doubts stopped. I knew I was one of her victims. At least at that point I started telling myself I wasn't crazy for having these memories. I only remember one incident of being molested by her, which led to me telling myself again and again "it was one time and not a huge deal", "how can you be so weak to let one incident impact you like this", "think of all the things other kids went through much worse". Even after accepted the truth I told myself that I would take this to my grave. Thoughts like "it was so long ago, move on". I can finally admit today that I was greatly impacted.

I have another memory from around the same age. I was forced into a neighbor's bathroom with a girl my age while she was abused by her step brother. He was approximately 8 years old. He molested her forcing me to watch. He obviously had done this to her before. I thought it was her biological brother until a few months ago when I unexpectedly learned otherwise. For some reason, finding out it was her step brother made me stop questioning this memory as well. I don't recall him touching me but I wonder because so much it's still foggy. I remember the walk home from their house and the burden I carried being being pressured to not to tell anyone what happened.

Throughout my childhood I remember feeling different and broken. Still have those strong feelings today. Most of all, I remember feeling SO alone. These ALONE feelings are starting to make sense. As a young child my parents were distracted and unattentive. Twice at the age of 2 & 3 I ended I in the emergency room needing plastic surgery on my face. Once, according to my parents, I pulled a glass terrarium on myself which led to needing 48 stitches (my mom remembers the exact number). Once, again according to my mom, I ran into a corner and needed 26 stitch and plastic surgery as well. My mom blames these accident on being a top-heavy child with balance issues. Twice I need tubes surgically installed in my ear canals due to ear infections which did permanent damage to my hearing. I recently found out from my audiologist this damage could be due to my parents not getting me medial treatment allowing ear infection to go untreated. This helps explain some why I never told my parents about the abuse from my friends mother or the 15 year old neighbor. I believe I learned at a young age that my parents wouldn't protect me and meet my needs. Maybe I am wrong about this.

Shortly after the abuse, also according to my mom, I was obsessed with sex. She took me to 2 different child psychologists, one of which had me draw and write out all my thoughts in a journal. I remember drawing pictures of what I had seen while my 6 year old friend was abused. Also drawing a picture of what my friends mother had done to me. They never connected the dots that I had been a victim but blamed a neighborhood kid for having sexual knowledge that he shared causing my issues. I'm angry about the psychologist not seeing that I was a victim and demanding an investigation. I'm angry that my parents not connecting the doubts. Even know they describe me a "sensitive and disturbed" child. I'm angry that they were so consumed by their own issues they neglected me. Around the time of the abuse my dad's father died or cancer, my little brother as a newborn, and my dad started a new business. I don't even know if I had the ability at the time to communicate what had happened. Why did they allow me to go over to this neighbors house alone, at the age of 5 - people they didn't even know? Why did they or the psychologist not see that no 6 year old boy would have these sexual images in his mind and such emotional disturbance if he had not been potentially molested. If I would have received the right help after the CSA I believe it would have altered the course of my life. A life that's had a lot of struggles.

The problems related to the CSA started early. A continual feeling of unworthiness. A lack of confidence in sports, even though I was a good athlete. Social issues. Living in my head and isolating. The target of bullying.Trouble trusting authority and people in general. People pleasing. My parents and family would say often "you're so sensitive" and "stop being so sensitive". It all makes such sense now. These early experiences of CSA and the people in authority who didn't come to my rescue led me to seeing others as unreliable.

I'm heterosexual. I received a lot of attention from girls in high school & college. I wanted to be involved with them sexually, but was terrified. Not the typical nervousness, something much different. Sexual experiences ended up demoralizing, leading to further self worth issues. My body wouldn't react the way I wanted it to. They would feel rejected and so would I. After numerous similar encounters, I started to do whatever I could to close myself off emotionally and resisted being physically or sexually vulnerable. I didn't now what was wrong with me as I assumed none of my friends has similar struggles. I now understand, for the first time, that my body was acting in a self protective fashion based on the past CSA.

Growing older, I found ways to hide out and avoiding vulnerability. I would engage woman on accusion with the same similar outcome. Turning sometime to substances to cope. Finally decided that I would hide behind the strict sexual guidelines in a conservative Christian denomination. I found a career where I would be the authority hiding behind helping others with their issues while avoiding my own. Doing anything to hide from my strong emotions and avoiding my core issues. I married and had issues eventually leading to divorce. And here I am today, a grown man in his 40's just now starting to figure things out.
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