Male Survivors of Child Abuse: the Social Outcasts

I am a male childhood abuse survivor.  There.  I said it.

Do you know the connotations that brings to a man’s head?  The social pressures on men which mean:

I was screwed in the butt by a pedophile for 5 years, and worse. It started when I was 6 – and I liked it.

Yeah.  Go figure.  As one particularly callous shrink told me, “So what? You got f*’d in the a** by Bubba.”  Jeeezzzz . . . thanks, doc.

But figure this: how does that man fit into today’s society?  Add, oh, a few screws loose, straps unbuckled, whatever.  Throw in years of depression; loose cannon, shame and loss of hope; fighting suicidal thoughts day in and day out for years at a time . . . okay, yeah, don’t look at the scars on my arms.  They are both a badge of honor – and of  shame . . . but . . .

and you can’t say a word.  Not a peep.  Because YOU are a MAN.

Women say they like sensitive men – who can go to war and skillfully, efficiently, and heartlessly kill someone with their bare hands and be okay with it one minute, then hang up drywall and quote poetic love songs the next while giving them flowers.  (Yeah, I can do all that quite nicely, thank you very much, LOL!).  What they don’t want are tears, depression, or lack of strength.

Men are even worse.  We have codes.  I have seen men severely injured, even killed for breaking a code.  You guys know what I’m talking about.  Those codes regarding emotional control, lack of tears, chin up, chest out, nuts a-struttin’.  The manly code.  Tough, vicious at times – and permitted. We are SHARKS – and we sniff for that little weakness, that hint of blood.  We have to; society demands it, money demands it; profits demand it, corporations expect it.  Even among friends a hint of weakness can bring the shark out – the verbal probing, subtle (and not so subtle) sparring; the insults (mocking, funny, disregarded – a man does not get mad; he just kicks their balls in, right?  Verbally or whatnot.)  You guys know what I mean, even if you don’t, you know exactly, deep down inside – right? Think about it.

That’s why so many of us abuse victims hide.  That’s why we are ashamed to share.  We broke the code, and inside of us . . . everything is breaking down and apart and we silently scream and rage and go insane and suicidal . . .  (deep intake of breath!) – it’s a bitch, boys, ain’t it? (Manly Military tone of voice, because yes, indeed, I was a Marine Corps Sgt. with balls of brass and good as gold to my men.)  Oh, and BTW, remember: I live in the Deep South: land of homo-cidal  rednecks who, like vultures, mock and shame any weakness.  It’s tough down here folks.  You guys in California got it easy, trust me.

But . . . when all falls apart and we go insane – where do we turn to?  Aside from the ‘socially acceptable’ grain alcohol, or culturally related drug scene (I’ve done both. Yeah, former 8-ball sweet brown sugar crystal meth IV injections.  Been there done that and through.)

So you finally – breaking the last code of the insane – go seek psychiatric help.  Counseling.  Something.  Before . . . before you commit the final atrocity by killing yourself – and not doing it not for you, but someone you love – if you are that lucky.  (Otherwise, dear: hang on to the hope for hope someday.  That’s what kept me alive for many a long year.)

And that’s when you find just how scanty resources are for male survivors of childhood abuse (can you say “all three?” as in emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, children?).  That sucks.

I live (WE live, my Crowd keeps muttering and murmuring – they are disgruntled today) – near one of the biggest medical communities in the entire Southeast.  Number one: you gotta see a counselor.  Number two: it takes time.  Number three: the counselor (in my case) gives up, refers me to a shrinky-dink.  It goes on and on folks; let me stop here.  I do not disparge shrinks.  I just get tired of typing “psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and therapists”.  You’d get sick reading that, so shrinky-dink will do.

But: we found – No safe homes for abused men.  YOU get shuttled off to a hotel to stay by yourself.  The women have multiple ‘safe homes’ with live-in counselors.  Gee.  So I sit on a lonely hotel bed staring at the floor while the couple next door gets it on and the cars go in and out the lot.  The ladies get a group hug, party thrown in their favor, generous welcome, and lots of shoulders to lean on.

Comforting, ain’t it.

Out of pages of shrinky-dinks and shrinky-doos, 5 would accept my case.  One was a religious nut who was friends with one of my primary abusers (coincidence strikes again in my life! Dammit!  LOL!  Yeah, my life is FULL of crap like that!).  3 turned me down.  One failed; then the second one (brutal, with her own agenda) – failed. She did give me 1 tool; that’s it folks . . . lol, end of line, end of help.

My best help has had to come from myself.  I’m lucky: I was forced to study shrink books as part of a lab experiment (no sh*t, I ain’t kiddin’) by pop; the other rat got no training; chief rat (pop) was going for his masters in shrinkdom coupled with a BA in sociology – so yeah, I had my 8 years.  12-17, after which I continued on my own.  Poor bubba rat died inside, methinks; we are trying to revive him a bit (breath! Bubba! Breath! Damn, he’s out.)

But . . . guys? Gals? You doubt?  Start asking questions.  ASK THEM: the organizations for support – see how many shrinks are willing to take on a male childhood abuse survivor (all three!  Wheee!) – and see how many will vs. won’t.  It’s a strange system.

Anyway; just some loose ramblings.  Weird, I know.

Until later, on behalf of all of us:
M3 and friends.

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About jeffssong

JW is an adult childhood abuse survivor with DID*. He grew up in a violent family devoid of love and affection. He is a military brat and veteran. He no longer struggles with that past. In 1976 JW began writing "The Boy". It took 34 years to complete. It is currently on Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004T3IVKK ), or if you prefer hard copy, on Amazon ( http://www.amazon.com/Boy-J-W/dp/1461022681). JW resides somewhere in the deep South. He is disabled and living with family. Note: Please feel free to take what you need; all is free to all. With that in mind, keep it that way to others. Thank you. We have 3 Blogs - One for our younger days, 0-10 (The Little Shop of Horrors); one for our Teen Alter and his 'friends' (also alters) with a lot of poetry; and finally "my" own, the Song of Life (current events and things)
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4 Responses to Male Survivors of Child Abuse: the Social Outcasts

  1. Dave says:

    That’s a tough thing to have to live with. People often blame themselves for allowing it to happen, but it wasn’t your fault. You were just a kid. The only way to live with it is to forgive yourself. There’s a saying that goes: “Forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past.”

    Good luck.

    Like

    • jeffssong says:

      Thanks, Dave! While we have managed to embrace ourselves, we still have trouble admitting our past to others, knowing that really it doesn’t matter: we are who we are now due to that past, and it’s not an all bad thing. Working on facing that. Funny – I can address crowds no problem on anything but this – but I’m learning I reckon. We’ll see, LOL, me myself and others.

      Like

  2. Sam Ruck says:

    Hey Jeff,

    I’m not an abuse survivor, but my wife is. But I know what you mean about “the code.” You have nothing but my respect. I have cried an ocean of tears as I have helped my girls through their healing. But its lonely on this side, too. There are plenty of forums as you know for women abuse survivors, but very few for the husbands who are helping their wives heal.

    Best wishes to you.

    Sam

    Like

    • jeffssong says:

      I feel for you, the spouses, friends, and supportive family members of childhood abuse. My wife, a rural girl raised on a farm, has done well, sticking by me when so many others would have left. Without her I’d be dead, I think, or in a very bad place both mentally and physically. And you are so right: resources for men are a tenth of those for women, if not less it seems. If you ever need a male shoulder to cry on; mine are old, but broad, and we have years of understanding. That’s the blessing in the curse: the ability to understand. A tad heavy, but we’ll take whatever we can get, eh? Take care and remember: we’re here for ya, bud! (cracking open a beer, LOL! Manly men we are! … chuckling … so we can hide the tears in our eyes as laughter instead. The code, ya know. >wink!<))

      Like

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