Years of sexual abuse by father (this post may be triggering)

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Kent N

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I am now 68 years old. I am a survivor of sexual abuse by my father. This abuse consisted of mutual masturbation. The abuse likely started when I was 18 months old and certainly continued until I left home at age of 18 years. I never told anyone about this until I was 40 and my father died. Then I shared my story with my wife, sister and mother. At that time my mother told me she was not aware of this, but she did have suspicion that something was very wrong. She also told my that when my sister was born my mother was kept in the hospital for a week afterwards. During that week, I was entirely in the care of my father. I was 18 months old. When my mother returned home, she noticed that I smelled like my father's body odor. My father claimed this was because he had to cuddle me in bed to get me to stop crying. I think this is strong evidence for when the abuse started. I remember for sure when I was about 2 1/2 waking up early one morning and running into my parents bedroom. I climbed into bed to snuggle between my parents. My father reached over and started to fondle my penis. He also took my hand and placed it on his penis. I knew that he wanted me to do to him what he was doing to me. As he reached climax, he pulled and pushed on me so hard that it hurt. My father never spoke to me or threatened me, but somehow I knew that I shouldn't cry out or say anything about this. When I was young I also thought that this secret activity was something normal that all fathers did with their sons. At first, the abuse happened rarely, about a couple of times a year. However, it became more and more frequent as I got older. When I was 12, my father used the excuse of his bad back to leave the saggy-mattress bed he shared with my mother and move into my bedroom where there was a spare extra-firm twin bed. My bedroom was not large, so the 2 twin beds were right next to each other effectively forming a sort of single king size bed. From then on the mutual masturbation happened every night that I slept at home. I tried to sleep over friends houses or invite my friends to sleep out in the tent in my back yard as much as possible. Still, I was usually being abused 2-4 times a week from age 12-18. I also tried to suppress my orgasms, so that my father wouldn't know I was enjoying it.
There were many consequences of all this abuse. When I was very young I had some minor sexual identity issues. I had no interest in cars, guns or sports like all the other boys of that time. Instead I was into female crafts like knitting and weaving. However, I'm am not gay. Quite the opposite, I was overly sexualized and finding all females extremely sexually attractive. I was voyeristic: always trying to look down their blouses or up their skirts to see something sexy. However, I avoided any real contact with females and rejected any who tried to get close to me. I was 27 years old before I was able to date and have any near-normal relationships with women. As a teen, when the abuse was most frequent I often had fantasies about suicide, but I was unable to act on those. I was very passive, and that passiveness attracted other abusive relationships. The bully whose grandparents lived next door also abused me sexually and physically. Another boy, my best "friend" in high school I later learned was gay. To his credit, he never tried to hit on me sexually, but our friendship was very lopsided. He was dominant and we always did what he wanted. Another consequence was repressed anger at my father, and also at my mother and myself for not being able to stand up to my father. No one in our family was ever permitted to express feelings of any kind. I now recognize that I have no responsibility for my abuse and that self loathing was completely misplaced. A final consequence was my obsessive-compulsive behavior. In one of my obsessions, I began trying to secretly brush my hand lightly against women's buttocks when I walked behind them. This got me into legal trouble. I have just completed 3 years of probation for second degree assault. When I was charged, I immediately recognized that I needed professional help and found an excellent therapist. I have made great progress in the past 3 years with him. My relationship with my wife is greatly improved, and the compulsions are gone. There is of course much shame that I have about my compulsive behavior, but I also have much about my life to be proud of. I put myself through college without my parents help and earned a PhD in a technical area. I had a great career working in a respected university lab, and became the supervisor of a group of 40 engineers and scientists. I earned several prestigious industry awards. I am not quite sure whether my achievements were despite my abuse or because of my abuse. Perhaps my perfectionist obsessive behavior and over compensation for my perceived self loathing had some part in contributing to my successes. I also raised 3 great children who are now adults with very successful careers and lives of their own. I have strong suspicions that both of my parents were sexually abused by their parents, so I am especially proud that I broke the chain of abuse and did nothing to my children.
 
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