Q: I’ve been reading the topics at your site for several months now and I have found a lot of it very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to help others as you have.
Unfortunately, your topics also made me realize how much trying to help oneself isn’t usually enough. Especially when trying to work through more serious problems. I know therapy is where I need to be but allowing myself to actually go is an entirely different story.
I’ve read some of the other letters people have sent and they are right that women survivors are helped and taken more seriously. Men aren’t allowed to need help and if you do then you are considered weak. Or even worse if you disclose your horrible childhood you will surely be looked upon as a possible predator or pedophile. Women get therapy and understanding and men are left out to hurt forever or eat their gun.
As a male survivor who has never told anyone, well I suppose until now, I just want you to know how much your trying to help “everyone” is so worthwhile and appreciated. When I first found this site I was clueless as to why I felt or responded to everything in my life as I have. Coming and reading your topics kept me from eating my gun many nights and I thank you for having been out there to [letter seems to have been cut off here…].
I suppose I’m still hiding since I won’t be disclosing who I am but I wanted to write.
A: I read your letter closely. I’m glad you are considering therapy. (Writing to me is proof that you are…!)
I really do hope you let some good professional help you. I have worked with male survivors and the things you are fearing – about being accused of being a predator or pedophile yourself – have Never happened to any of them, even once. (Therapy is confidential unless you admit to abusing a child or you threaten future serious violence – like murder – that could be prevented if it was disclosed…)
I think your worries about this are a direct result of the abuse. People who were abused tend to be scared all the time, and they were brainwashed by their abusers into a lot of shame. This shame has nothing to do with what they actually do or don’t do in their lives. It’s just a deep feeling – almost a “conviction” – that they are “bad”… and then the fear comes along to help them believe that this “badness” will be discovered by others…. And although it is true that many abusers were victims of abuse themselves as children, it is also true that 95% of the people who were abused do not abuse others when they become adults.
When you do tell a therapist, it will FEEL like you are “confessing” something that You did wrong… but you will get great relief from it, and you will immediately learn that you are actually “confessing” something that was done TO you, not anything you did wrong yourself.
About your references to “eating a gun”….. Please hear me SCREAMING at you: “I WANT YOU TO LIVE!!!!” (And, if necessary, add the phrase “no matter what mistakes you’ve ever made!”) —- And keep remembering that those thoughts only happen because of all of the Unexpressed pain you have kept bottled up so long…. and that since you have succeeded in living 100% of the time you had those thoughts in the past, the thoughts themselves don’t need to be so scary. They are just a sign of the pain that needs to be released thoroughly in a therapist’s office.
I’m glad you found my site so useful!!