Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Survivor Diaries #1

Contrary to the notion that only girls are sexually abused, a male adult survivor of child sexual abuse decides to Break The Silence. High time we move past the false definitions associated with "Being a Man" and allow a more understanding and comfortable environment to the men around us.

Warning - The content below may get GRAPHIC and can be TRIGGERING for some readers.

" My first inappropriate sexual awareness is a simple memory of being very young, say 4-6 years old, wrapped in a towel, fresh from the bathtub, which I used to enjoy immensely, standing with my mother sitting in front of me and talking to me about my penis and how it would never grow unless...( the words escape me now), and her touching my penis. I remember feeling uneasy and in no state of sexual excitement or enjoyment. I felt invaded or at the least uncomfortable being touched. It was the same feeling of powerlessness that happened when she would do the same, touching my toes and trying to manipulate them to either 'pop' them as in massaging or taking my little toe and folding it over the next toe. Nothing was painful, just invasive and made me feel awkward. I wish I could remember more. I still have the unsettling feeling whenever I think of this early memory. It makes me wonder why I can't remember more, or what else happened. 

hurt child abuse sexual healing scared
 Concerning my mother, at about the same age, I also have another disturbing image/memory of her sitting or lying on the bed and showing me her vagina. As a child I didn't understand what I was looking at, why she was showing me, other than the blurred and non de-script memory of her talking and the impression I seem to remember was she thought she was helping me by 'educating' me to know what women look like compared to little boys. 

  My whole life, my mother exhibited extreme lack of boundaries in almost all issues, especially sexual verbiage and sharing. For some reason, she felt when I was a teenager to take me to participate in some group sexual awareness class. It was extremely uncomfortable being in a room full of strangers, other kids and parents and being asked to go to a chalk board and write and say all the sexual words you knew/know.  

The most embarrassing and hard to control boundary was all her life complaining and sharing intimate details about her lack of sex and disappointments with my father. Not something a child wants to hear or think about at any age. Her other favorite activity in public was to flirt excessively and licentiously with waiters or men she thought handsome, no matter what their age, usually being  much much younger than herself. She also loved to share about her first husband (only after I found out she had been married before, when I was 16. She felt I didn't need to know about it and I had only found out by accident). She would go on and on how handsome he was, like a movie star and how much she loved him. It made me extremely uncomfortable for my father and never could understand her, other than her first husband had cheated on her and left her, evidently with her still in love with him. 

I didn't mean to make this sharing more about my mother than myself, but from therapy I have learnt not to focus on the past and not dwell there, so I'm trying to put down what I can remember, realize I can't change anything about it, or even get answers about my mother's behavior or possible abuse she suffered as a child. Instead, move on to my own feelings and what I can change, control and focus on positively in my present life. In past retrospect I've come to question her sexual behavior with me, due to her ancillary behavior which now as an adult I see she had other mental and behavioral problems, such as a lifelong eating disorder, warped self image of her own sexuality and OCD behavior in almost all she did. 

My first clear and concise sexual abuse happened when I was 11. My father had taken a sabbatical from his work and had planned a great European adventure, to take my school summer break and travel for 3 months with me and my mother. One month of that time, we were planning to stay at a friend’s flat in London, England; and do trips around the city and country during that time. This was my first trip abroad and I was excited. Both my parents were older than normal parents, my mother having me late in life, at 45 years of age, my being an only child.

My parents had planned a day of art museums in London and I of course was along for the ride. After visiting the Tate Modern Art Gallery, I am afraid to say, at 11 as even now at 50, modern art is not much my taste. I must have complained that I didn't want to be dragged around any other museums that day, so somehow my going ALONE to the London Zoo was chosen as an alternative to me staying with my parents. I assume this would have been early afternoon and I remember having a time that I was to meet my parents back at the entrance to the Zoo. From there on, I was on my own, just turned 11, in a strange city, in an unknown Zoo and I am sure I was as happy and glad to be on a big adventure on my own as I had ever been. Boy, I was in for an adventure. 

I remember him first approaching me while I was looking at the rhinoceroses. I can't describe him. I don't remember what he was wearing, how old he was or what he looked like; only the impression that he was taller and loomed over me, of course NOT in a menacing way at first. He was polite and gregarious. My mother had always been the same, always talking to strangers and striking up conversations with anyone around her, so I somehow was not put off or found this dangerous. I wasn’t lonely, but having a friendly person to share the zoo seemed fine. 

We continued to walk around the zoo and talk but I have absolutely no memory of anything shared, other than he had said he was East Indian in ethnicity. I have no clue about his age or even his name now; no matter how hard I try to remember. What I do remember is him wanting to take me to see the snake and reptile exhibit. 

It was enclosed in its own separate building and it had lighted exhibition windows and set in tanks, but the building was dark and not brightly lit so as to focus on the animals. That is where he first started to act and talk differently. He removed his penis from his pants. I don't remember how I felt, other than scared and that no one else seemed anywhere around. I remember him having me fondle and touch him and not knowing what to do or how to get away. He then wanted to go to the aquarium building, which was the same darkly lit environment as the reptiles’. There I remember him doing the same, having me hold and touch his penis. I can't bring forth any image of it. I can remember thinking that he would kill me , that I would be dead and how much I was afraid and wanted to yell out, or run away, but I had never been a fast runner or sports inclined and he was so much taller and larger than me, so I didn't think I could do anything. 

The next place he took me was to the men's bathroom. Again, there seemed no one around to cry for help to, no security guards or other visitors. He took me into a bathroom stall and again took out his penis. I don’t remember anything other than him making me hold it. No memory of anything he said, or actually if he really was threatening me or if the fear was all internal inside my own head. 

The next few memories are disjointed and seem to jump in my mind. Somehow, I remember running away from the bathroom. I remember feeling scared while I was running, that he would pursue me or chase me and hurt me. I remember being with my parents and telling them what had happened, and their shock and concern. Next I remember talking with a policeman, and being embarrassed having to say what had happened. I remember being at a sink and washing my hands and face over and over and over again. 

Later, maybe on the trip itself or years later when I must have asked my parents about the incident and why nothing else happened, they said that they were 'told' that if they didn't make a big deal or fuss about what happened, I wouldn't either. Well, I guess they were wrong and one shouldn't listen to others for advice at times.

child sexual abuse teenager hurt pain depression

It did make a big deal to me. Some of my biggest concerns were that I can't recall more of what happened. For years I didn't remember and had put it out of my mind so deeply it shocks me I could bury something so deep. It did affect me greatly and I can't come to grips how my parents would have been so naive to allow me at 11 to be alone in the London Zoo. They didn't get me any counseling for this sexual molestation, but did feel it was important a few years later when at 14-15 I started showing extreme signs and actions of aggression and anger. They never knew, but later that year once back at school, I started using drugs. 

My mother passed away a few years ago, so I can't ask her anything about the incident. My father is 96 and has always been aloof emotionally and never been one to share much intimately. Moreover, his memory is spotty and he suffers from mild dementia so I am not counting on getting any clarity from him. 

All I can do is to not focus on the past, only focus on my current feelings and go from there. I do feel that if I had not undergone this first clear molestation, I would have had better boundaries later in life and not had that childhood fear effect me in both external and intimate relationships that were to come. I might have been able to stop and end a violent marriage to a mentally unstable wife which caused 10 years of direct mental, emotional and physical abuse and years more for my children whenever they were around her. I can't say, but just my feelings."

Dear Friend,
I really appreciate that you took the initiative to share your story with all of us. I'm extremely glad to know such a brave and wonderful person like you. Much power to you!


  1. Short of any words... just wanna say be strong jist the way u have been all your life cause it's worth it!

  2. Man, I don't know you personally..but, I can bet that you are an amazingly strong person!
    Sharing such an experience needs lots of courage..and you surely are courageous..!
    Stay strong and stay blessed..! :)

  3. It was tough to read about all awful things you've been put through, however I fully recognize the feelings and the aftermath you describe. Thank you for courageously sharing your story and showing to the world that abuse also is a grim reality for boys.

  4. This was shocking story to me as I can never imagine ANY mother doing such thing with her own baby. Strangers we still accept because we know that world is full of sick people. The upbringing of a person from childhood to teen plays major role in building a strong personality and when you get such upbringing and environment, how can you be a positive and successful person in life. But now as you are young and capable to understand whats right or wrong, i would request you to tell all those people to F*** O** and delete the dirty chapters from your life's book . Try to give your life a new start without these sour memories. Go ahead with new things in life and give place to good people in your life and try to be happy always. I know being a stranger i don't have right to guide you what to do but i feel pain for everyone and get emotional when I read some one's problem. God Bless you..