flashbacks, denial, anxiety, phobia...please help!!!

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    Jun 08, 2009 3:08 AM GMT
    First off, this is going to be a very personal post. It's not the lightest subject matter. I am posting on RJ because after spending a good deal on this site, I can honestly say that there are alot of very intelligent and good natured men on this site. Yes, some might disagree with me but for the most part, I dont think anyone is on this site to belittle others. This is a call for help and to see if anybody has been in the same situation and how they dealt with it. If you dont have anything nice to say, please kindly just hit the back button and forget this thread existed. Thanks.

    This past summer, I started having these wierd flashbacks. They're very quick and happen randomly. Sometimes in the middle of lectures, dance classes and even rehearsals which have been very disruptive. I keep 'seeing' and 'feeling' my grandfather violenty and sexually abusing me. When I have them, I become very scared and my heart and mind start to race. They're so debilitating that whatever I'm doing, I have to stop and just be still. I forget where I am and just have to be in my head until it goes away. The hardest is in my dance classes and rehearsals. I can't just stop when they come or its a low grade in my classes or even worse, I'm fired. Some nights, I have to sleep with the light on. I have this fear that my grandfather will show up somehow even though he's been dead for eleven years.

    I didn't want to just accuse my paternal grandfather of molesting me, especially since it has just been images that are terribly and horrifically real. I asked my mother about my grandfather. At first she was hesistant to reveal too much about him. But, I told her it was important. My fathers involvment in my life is the next best thing to him being dead so I've never really known that side of my family. She told me that he was an alcoholic and his short temper was something to very scared of. In his last few years, he was severly depressed and was in and out of the hospital. He died by hanging himself in the backyard. I know, mad crazy!!! She even told me that I was considered his favorite since I was the first born son of his first son. We share the same name. I am the fourth. The one thing that I really wanted to hear was about his relationship to all 14 of his children. She revealed to me that he we was a tyrant and used to beat all of his children for the silliest things. Finally, she told me that the eldest of the 14, my aunt, had recently revealed that she volunteered herself to be subjected to his sexual abuse as long as the other 13 would not have to go through the same sexual torment.

    I didn't know what to say. In my heart, that was all the evidence I needed but I still don't want to admit this happened to me since I can't remember, I only have these very scary flashbacks. My grandfather is dead and so it's not like I can go up to him and ask 'Hey, did you touch me inappropriately when I was a little." Besides, can anybody do that really?

    So, I got to thinking about other things that happened when I was little. I was about 6 or 7, I remember fooling around with my cousin. I would always have to take him to a dark room and I remember saying things like 'Wanna play a game?' or 'This is what adults do but you have to keep it a secret." Ok, what 7 year old child says stuff like that to another child?

    Also, I was thinking about my relationships with men in my now young adult years. I cannot socialize with men. I'm incredibly scared of them. I am constantly worried about what they will do, say or think of me. Its even caused me to underperform in my dance. I will be in the center and have to perform an exercise and all I can think about are the other men in the room and how they must think I'm the worst example of a dancer and then I mess up so bad. Once they leave the room, I'm fine. I can only have sex with older men, much older men. It may be a daddy complex. I'm not sure. But the only intimacy I like having with men is meaningless sex. I crave good male friends, esspecially gay ones, but I can't bring myself to get too close out of some unknown fear. I went to a gay club by myself. I never thought I would be able to do that but it took a ridiculous amount of alcohol to get me to do so. I ALMOST made some really bad decisions that night and I don't want to put myself in those situations again.

    I dont know how to deal sometimes. I dont know what to expect in replies or if I will get replies at all. I just need some peace of mind and I really needed to get things off my chest.
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    Jun 08, 2009 5:07 AM GMT
    Buddy if this is _THAT_ much of a problem for you i think you need to go see professional help. If you are "afraid" of men i don't think that you will get your help from us, go find yourself a proper psychiatrist and get things off your chest that way. If things don't work out - feel free to send me a line sometime, i'd be happy to talk things out with you.
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    Jun 08, 2009 8:13 AM GMT
    Coming from someone who's been through sexual abuse as well, seek professional help! I was molested/raped by an older family member when I was ages 5-10. It can definitely fuck with your relationships with men if you don't get a handle on it. I was in counseling/therapy from 12 up until I was 20, and I still have to go on occasion. So yes, seek therapy, and medication for the flashbacks. It will get better, but don't expect it to over night. I have struggled with this my whole life, I can tell you that you will have bad days... horrible days, but dealing with that will make you a stronger person, and it's all a part of the healing process. Best of luck.
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    Jun 08, 2009 10:40 AM GMT
    I've been molested as well. But the situation was very different from yours - it was consensual and I was the instigator. And yes, it does leave a very lasting impression on you and plays a large part on what you find attractive later on in life.

    But in your case, I second the others, this needs professional help.
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    Jun 08, 2009 11:41 AM GMT
    I would seek professional help for your situation involving being scared of men and your past.

    But I would highly recommend taking slow steps to building a relationship with someone. You should start off by talking to someone via message, it really helps to have someone that you can spill to, and tell them everything about you, and ask for their opinion. I had a friend I would call my secret keeper, because when I was first realizing I was gay, I had no one to tell, so I finally got the courage to tell my friend, and continued to update them on what was going on in my life.

    And your question about being 7 and doing what you were doing is no too uncommon. I have heard a few stories about kids doing this, having mock sex, saying exactly what did, "this is what adults do", and it is part of a child's exploration of development.
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    Jun 08, 2009 12:10 PM GMT
    I agree with most of the posters responses. You need the help of a licensed therapist and one that is supposed to keep the information confidential so you can truly delve into and work on this issue without fear of repercussions . I know a lot of people roll their eyes at the thought of a therapist but a trained professional really knows what they are doing and seeing one is the best thing you can do for yourself!!
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    Jun 08, 2009 12:30 PM GMT
    I'm sorry you're having to struggle with this. As other's have suggested, you should definitely seek counseling. My strong expectation is that you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. As you know, the symptoms of PTSD can be terrifying and debilitating. They also have a tendency to get worse of they are not treated.

    I am currently being treated for PTSD (unrelated to sexual abuse), but horrifying just the same. In the hands of a good therapist you will very likely be able to face what happened to you (or what you remember happened to you), deal with the feelings you probably couldn't express (or maybe even experience when you were younger), realize how much more capable you are today of protecting yourself and tolerating your feelings and in time moving on.

    It was very brave of you to face up to your fears and to look for help on RJ. Consider that the first step to helping yourself heal.

    The following link is to The National Center for PTSD, which was set up to help veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, but it covers the full range of causes, symptoms and treatments for PTSD. You may find it useful:


    http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/ncmain/ncdocs/fact_shts/fs_faqs_on_ptsd.html

    Please feel free to contact me by private message any time if you have any questions or just want to check in. And please let us know how you're doing.

    Peace.
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    Jun 08, 2009 12:58 PM GMT
    flieslikeabeagle saidI'm sorry you're having to struggle with this. As other's have suggested, you should definitely seek counseling. My strong expectation is that you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. As you know, the symptoms of PTSD can be terrifying and debilitating. They also have a tendency to get worse of they are not treated. [SNIP]

    I concur, this MAY be PTSD. And even if it is not, it is serious enough to seek immediate medical advice. I'm not sure a simple counselor with a Masters will be adequate, except to possibly get you a referral into medical channels for an evaluation. If you already have a General Practitioner I would make an appointment at the earliest, who can give you a referral to the appropriate specialists.

    I can suffer from various forms of hallucinations due to my epilepsy, in association with the "aura" that often precedes a seizure. What keeps me calm when I see, hear, and even smell things that aren't there is the knowledge that it is a hallucination, and I treat it as an annoyance that I know will pass, and a warning that I may be close to seizure and need to take precautions.

    I don't know how your flashbacks manifest themselves, as hallucinations, powerful mental images, or what. Just remind yourself that your grandfather is dead, and this is imaginary, likely a severe emotional response inside your head. It can be resolved if you get medical help.