My story

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I'm so glad to have found this community of men who have similar struggles as I do. I did honestly feel very alone for quite some time. I've been reading some of your stories and it is truly heartbreaking...the betrayal and pain..and some very uplifting, to see how you've moved forward with your recovery. Some of you have had very similar experiences to my own, which helps me feel less "undeserving" of care. I've often belittled my experience in my mind. I'm 31 years old and for the past 20 years, I've belittled or ignored/suppressed the events that took place when I was 10-11 years old because that's what I thought a real man does. A man marches forward, ignores the pain, and get things done. I was wrong.

I had to come face-to-face with my experience when the trauma started surfacing during my marriage. I didn't have any sex until my mid to late twenties. My sole sexual experience was masturbation (except for the abuse) and this quickly became a coping mechanism to deal with my suppressed trauma. As such, after I got married, I have great difficulty being intimate with my wife. We've been married 5 years and in the last three years, I started feeling intense anxiety with just the thought of initiating sex. At first I dismissed it as simple performance anxiety. But it became more and more frequent to the point where I couldn't bare another failed attempt. One night while trying, I had sudden flashbacks to a moment when I was 10 years old and my brother called me into his room...

It was summer parents home. He closed the door and told me to sit down on the bed. He then took out a floppy disk which had some pornographic images of women. This was my first time seeing a naked woman. I was shocked. He then said that he was "tasked" by our father to teach me about puberty and that he needed to see if I "worked correctly." He asked me to pull down my pants and masturbate. I did as told - he was a bully and would often berate me so I feared him immensely. It wasn't working - I wasn't working. I couldn't achieve an erection even though a naked women was in front of me. He watched and criticized me by asking what's wrong with me, am I defective, am I gay? After what seemed to be an eternity, I was finally allowed to leave. This continued for multiple days...I can't remember how many. I only recall certain points of intense disgust or fear. Sometimes I would protest and he would berate me saying that "at least you don't have to go through this with our dad!" leading me to wonder what my dad had done to him. At its worst point, he pressured me to give him oral but I refused...he then tried to give me oral and put his mouth on my parts when I pulled away. He then proceeded to masturbate in front of me to show me "how a proper man works" and ejaculated while I was locked in the bathroom with him. I nearly vomited...the scent of the soap he used to wash his hands still makes me gag to this day. I felt broken...defective. He proceeded to insult the shape of my penis and walked around the house asking me in front of everyone "Are you fixed yet? did you fix your act?" I cowered in humiliation and buried the thoughts. I kept telling myself...if I had just been normal, if I just wasn't broken, this would all end. This experience..this humiliation would end.

I had one sexual experience in my mid-twenties with a woman and failed miserably, leading her to question whether I truly found her attractive (which I did). I excused this by saying I was very sleep deprived. But I can't run anymore. I've started therapy and I'm taking this step forward to hopefully start truly healing. My wife is also a survivor from a previous marriage so she is supportive. But I understand the pain and loneliness she feels when she can't be intimate with her husband.

Thank you for reading - and I wish you all the best on your journey of recovery.
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