AFFECTED BY SEXUAL ABUSE

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I am a 53 year old white male that grew up in the 70’s. The first time I was abused was at the age of 5 and it was at the hands of my older brother. I was always considered the dumb one of a family of 7 children. All my life I was told I was a stupid child that would never amount to anything. Growing up in a very strong Italian/Catholic home, issues like child abuse were taboo. You could never discuss it with anyone!! I was never told by my parents that they loved me growing up. As a matter of fact, when I used to go to my best friend´s house, his mom would always say it to him and I thought that was very strange.
Anyway, getting back to when I was 5. My older brother, who myself and 2 other brothers revered, took me one day to our basement. He told me he had something special for me to do and if I did it I would be cool and in his good graces. I remember him taking his penis out and forcing me to put my mouth on it. I was so scared and uncertain of what was going on. He kept telling me it was ok and to just do it. I remember putting it in my mouth and immediately tasting urine. He made me gag! Afterwards, he warned me not to tell anyone and that I was now his best brother. That lasted until we came up from the basement and he quickly turned into the abusive jerk he has always been. This occurred on and off for several years, until he finally moved out of our house.
It didn’t end there.
My oldest sister was to be married in the summer of 1974. Her husband at the time seemed like a really awesome, cool guy. He drove a really nice sports car and was really funny, so naturally I was drawn to him. I didn’t know at the time, but he was my nightmare, not my friend. One night in December as my sister was in the hospital giving birth to her first child of 4, he picked me up and asked my parents if I could spend the night at his house. Without question, my parents agreed. We went back to his house, ate McDonald’s, played games and had a lot of fun. When it was time for bed, he told me I could sleep in his bed with him. I agreed, thinking nothing of it. He then told me to just wear my underwear to bed cause that’s what guys do. I agreed and got into bed. He then tried to have me wrestle with him and it was innocent at first, until he took his underwear off and proceeded to take off mine. He fondled me and showed me very graphic pornographic magazines. I had no idea what I was looking at and it made me so uncomfortable I wanted to leave and go home. I was frozen though because I didn’t know what I would tell my parents if I came home early. He then fondled me and try to get me to have an erection looking at these horrible images. Needless to say…I did not achieve one. This happened for several years, more and more explicit as the years went on. My sister has since divorced him many years ago and she has 4 beautiful children that are my nieces and nephews. They adore him and I know I could never tell them about the abuse I suffered at the hands of their father for many years. I have seen him at my niece’s wedding last July and practically wet myself in fear!
I have never been able to trust anyone after that and my life has been a mess since then. I have 2 beautiful daughters and I’m divorced. I never told my wife, or anyone for that matter, that my wife was the only woman in my life I have had sex with. I am way too nervous, confused, and traumatized about what has happened in my life to even know how to start a healthy relationship with a woman. It’s funny…they say that being a victim of sexual abuse when you’re a child eventually fades away. I can tell you that mine has not. I live in fear and self doubt everyday and I am always trying to please others to get them to like me.
I’m 53 years old and I’m as confused and scared as I was when I was 10 years old. I pray this feeling goes away, but after all this time…I really doubt it.
So that’s my story and I hope it helps other survivors of child sexual abuse. Just know…you’re not alone, there are a lot of people who have gone through this and that’s a crime!
My best to you all. Thanks for reading my story.
—Richard
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November 17, 2017

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