will it stick?


I've been worried to even write this, for fear that trying to make it coherent enough for others to read would somehow unpick it and it would all fall apart. So this is my best shot out of all the drafts I have.

On 9/3/19, I made a huge breakthrough. Basically I lost my crap at the therapists office last week. I was talking to him about my abuse from my brother and the guy who raped me as an adult and also the SSA sex I had. All of a sudden I started sobbing. I pulled down my had over my face in embarrassment and while sobbing it just hit me as I said, "I didn't want it! I didn't want any of it!" I finally realized, I'm not gay or bi.

The SSA stuff I've done was really something that stemmed from abuse and wanting to pretend that I was control of what happened and still be in control of it. In light of that, I look at it as an extension of my abuse, something truly disgusting* to me and it has made me feel so used.
I guess like drinking, I now see it as a really bad coping mechanism, not my sexual identity.

It's been a week since I've "felt gay/bi". I don't think I have ever gone this long just feeling happy and content with the idea that I am straight. Previously, if I did feel straight, it didn't last long. I would flip flop between sexualities at least several times a week and as much as several times in a day. It was just too emotionally hard to be straight. I just couldn't get my head around the idea that if I was damaged so much, there would be no way I could be straight. And I extended that to all survivors I met. This SSA thing has dogged me for as long as I can remember and it only got worse when I realized at age 15 that all the "gay sex" I had as a kid was actually abuse.

Realizing, that for me, SSA confusion is a coping mechanism has helped me see that its not my sexual identity. if it was my sexuality, I wouldn't be able to stop it.
So I stopped feeding my coping mechanism and stopped using it to make me feel better about myself. And now, it's like its just gone. I don't want it or need it.
I don't know if it would be helpful to post any of this, but...
I just wanted to say, some things actually do get better.

When I say disgusting, what I mean is... not that consensual gay sex is an abomination or offensive. But its something I'm totally not into. A bit like I've been told by some gay dudes that the idea of straight sex is disgusting to them.
Also, I feel for me to let my abuse get in the way of my true sexuality and to allow it to make me act out and to actually have sex with another man, that is disgusting for me. To let the abuse have that much hold on me anymore, now that I feel strong enough to stop using SSA as a coping mechanism, that is disgusting.
((((((( @OnceInnocent ))))))) - Though I have never actually "acted out" my SSA with another (outside of the CSA & ASA) I can identify a lot with what you are saying. The unwanted SSA still lingers, but I know that, for me, it is only a symptom of the abuse, nothing more. It does not define me, nor will I let it.
I'm sorry I missed this thread OI. This was a profound opening for you. Deep respect for the hard work that brought you here. While my SSA was always acted out anonymously in video arcade booths, it was an epiphany for me when my therapist framed that behavior as a way to take control of events in my childhood that were completely out of my control. Truth is, I hadn't even remembered the abuse when I began going to video arcades. I wondered why what I did in those booths somehow seemed familiar but years later when memories began to surface in EMDR I saw myself as a little boy doing some of those same things at the direction of the family of pedophiles.

I'm happy for you that you feel some release, some happiness. NO, we didn't want what happened to us as children and what happened in NO way defines us. Keep up the good work young man. This really is what the healing journey is all about... telling ourselves the truth of what happened AND how we responded to what happened, both in the moment and in later years as we simply tried to survive the horror of the past.
No one has a right to tell you what your sexuality is. And, yes, it is possible a gay situation arose and you were just acting out.

Peace and acceptance of who and what you are is encouraging! Keep talking.



So glad to know you and glad you had this breakthrough. My perp convinced me at that all of the abuse was completely a bonding experience that guys shared, for years I believed that.

While I knew I was straight the confusion from abuse caused me to measure how close I was friends with someone by whether we ever got to a physical encounter. Sadly a few even happened after marriage.

Thanks for posting this Once it has helped me too.

I would flip flop between sexualities at least several times a week and as much as several times in a day. It was just too emotionally hard to be straight. I just couldn't get my head around the idea that if I was damaged so much, there would be no way I could be straight. And I extended that to all survivors I met.
This entire post was a positive read for me, real healing/growth/recovery/whatever word works for you. This line speaks to my experience especially about it being "too emotionally hard to be straight" and what that meant and that includes being too "damaged" in different ways. This leads to another quote from you:

SSA confusion is a coping mechanism
I believe SSA confusion which includes the acting out, the not acting out, the thinking about it, the questioning of it, the obsession with SSA and whether it is my identity or not - all of that - was a coping mechanism that didn't allow me to go deeper into the feelings and fears beneath the SSA confusion like not measuring up as a man, rage at men but feeling powerless, not being able to learn how to be a man since I was abused by a man and I had a sexual reaction, hating and judging men because I only saw bad representations of men in my close emotional life, rejecting men and my own manhood and then projecting it onto other men and seeking to connect to myself via sex with other men, just being "confused" about my being a man and having so many conflicting negative messages and so much shaming done due to being a man (mother shaming, society shaming and self shaming) left it "too emotionally hard to be straight". My imagery of what it meant to be a straight male hasn't been realistic. It has been skewed and damaged (and society now is telling me that being a straight male is somehow toxic or harmful and that men should be more like women but that's another thread).

Feeling as a straight male isn't the holy grail but admitting your orientation beyond the abuse and the SSA is a great, great thing.
It can be no surprise that survivors of early sexual abuse will experience confusion about sexual orientation. We read about it over and over again on this website, especially in this forum. I'm deeply moved by the honest, often tender examination of these feelings by men like myself. Finding one's sexual orientation is difficult enough for every child without the intrusion of maltreatment by an older child who was likely sexually abused or an adult whose sexual needs led them to use children to satisfy themselves. So we're walking through this minefield trying to find truth for ourselves. Deep respect to everyone on this journey. As Jaxson notes the only thing that matters is that we find our own truth... acceptance and peace the holy grail in this quest. I wish us all well.


i thank you for being able to undo this all... i appreciate your allowing to open , understand the struggle
and share this with us.
Admire your courage!