I have been really struggling to understand my story so I thought it would help to share.

I was sexually abused at 11/12 years old by an older woman who would babysit us. After putting my younger siblings to bed, she would jump in bed with me.

It was very confusing. I liked the attention, but even at the time I felt like we were playing two different games.

I recall a couple years after this event I saw a movie, Harold and Maude. It depicts the romantic relationship of a teen boy with a much older woman in a very positive way. The sexual component is heavily implied. This film was nominated for several awards and won a BAFTA. Ok I thought, that must be my story.

When I was 18 I started to share my experience with friends. The reaction was always the same, “lucky you!” Again, I thought I can’t have any issues because everyone is telling me this is ok. Eventually, if I shared my story, I was always keen to point out that it was no big deal.

Later in life I ended up in an emotionally abusive hetro relationship. I went into therapy to try to deal with it. I recall one day showing an article to my therapist. It was a study from a respected journal that showed people experience emotional abuse as painfully as physical abuse. I was told this was not the case.

I’m a big man. When I tell people that I was sexually or emotionally abused, I don’t feel like anyone, in their gut, really believes me. I feel like its wrong of me to claim any sort of issues or even to bring it up though the impact of these experiences is evident in my life. I wonder if other men have similar stories and if in the era of #MeToo its ok for us to talk about this.

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