Sunday, October 20, 2013

Survivor of childhood sexual abuse

I'm hard at work insulating my living room because winter is fast approaching and parts of it are still open to the great outdoors.  Most days, our temperatures are around the freezing point with occasional snow flurries. 

But many distractions have prevented me from making much progress.  Parents' Night is coming up next week and I have four sets of tests which must be marked this weekend.  As well, my fridge failed yesterday and I had to clear it of dipping, thawed food.  

And last night, just as I was preparing for a 21 year old "athletic build" gay-virgin university student to come over for some sexytime (he wanted to call me "Daddy!"), my friend Dave phoned to chat.   He didn't sound well at all, so I cancelled my hookup with the horny virgin and drove into town.

I first met Dave nearly two years ago;  he had messaged me on POF.com and we had a coffee date which I blogged about here.  He is 48, part Aboriginal, not particularly handsome but extremely fit and he fills out his jeans beautifully.  Since then, we've developed a friendship which I've never blogged about. 

Dave has been HIV+ for the past 24 years and of the eighteen men he knew with HIV at that time, all the rest are now dead.  He has a Masters degree in health administration and had an exciting career in that field in Toronto and New York.  But Dave's relationship feel apart and he quit his career three years ago to move back to our hick town to look after his aging parents.  He's been here ever since, unemployed and living a friendless (except for me) and sexless existence.

About once a month or so, Dave's depression gets the better of him or he's had too much to drink and he phones me;  we get coffee and walk around our beautiful waterfront park.  Our conversations are far too explicit .... and too gay.... to be had in the coffee shop, surrounded by little old ladies and young families.

Dave is extremely experienced in all things gay and is keen to offer me advice, and to hear my hookup stories.  He's deeply depressed much of the time but can be wickedly funny and I enjoy our chats enormously.  

He's asked me for sex numerous times and I've always declined, although he has a very hot body and I know that he would be extremely skilled.   But Dave is the most damaged person I've ever met.   In his words, throughout his childhood he was "fat, gay, Indian and ugly" and now he's HIV+.

This low self-worth and neediness made him a prime target for sexual predators starting with a Catholic priest when he was an 8 year-old altar boy.   His second abuser was his school guidance counsellor when he was in Grade 10 and 11.  

"Mr. Morris" * would page Dave to come to Student Services two or three times a week at 2:15 pm and they would have sex on the couch in his office.   When Dave finally refused because it "just wasn't right", Mr. Morris threatened to tell his mother that Dave was gay.   Dave finally broke free of this abuse after a few years but never did report Mr. Morris to the authorities.

*  Mr. Morris worked at a local high school where I had my first teaching job but had retired before I joined the staff.

Last night, in great anguish, Dave told me his most shocking abuse story of all.  When he was around 12 to 14, his father would force Dave to give him a blowjob when his mother was at Bingo.  Every Saturday at 4:00 pm, Dave said, the TV would be playing "The Bugs Bunny - Road Runner Show" while he was sucked his father's cock.  "All I wanted to do was watch Bugs Bunny!"  he said plaintively.  Sad.

This abuse ended at 14, when Dave was old enough to get an after-school job.  He then spent all of his time either at school or at work and then at 18, escaped to attend university thousands of miles away.   But 30 years later, he returned to care for his father, his abuser.  Dave is now certain his father is bisexual but they've never discussed the sexual abuse.

Dave and I now have plans to do things other than have coffee, such as the occasional outing to the ski hill, gym or for a hike.  It's a bit of a conundrum:   I like him as a friend and not just because I feel sorry for him.   But he's so messed up, I want to keep a certain distance as well.






15 comments:

  1. I've had friends like that. You like them, care about them (to a degree), but it becomes hard to avoid becoming entwined in the other guy's misery. Dave sounds like he needs to talk to a professional about his abuse (and other issues), and it's never too late to do something about the scars from sexual abuse. I'd encourage him to try that, at least.

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Yes, you've nailed it exactly! I like Dave and find him very intelligent. He can be wickedly funny and is also very hot!

      But if I were to get too close or even hook up with him, I'm afraid that I'd get sucked right into his drama.

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  2. It's a difficult line to walk when dealing with people like this. My heart always goes out to them, but I know only too well the folly of playing therapist or opening the door too wide. Because their personal boundaries were never respected as children or adolescents, people like Dave, tend to not understand the need or respect the existence of such, and therefore, will always seek to gain 'more'. So, as much as it pains one, you have to keep them at arms length. Jay M. is correct. A goal-oriented therapist would be able to help Dave make significant changes in his life. You, as his friend, could make that a condition of your continued emotional support. It's a tough love move, but it appears, based on your account, that Dave is sliding down a path that isn't bringing any joy into his life. Ski trips and outings are nice, but not the kind of happiness that sustains a good life. My heart goes out to you both. - Uptonking from Wonderland Burlesque

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    1. Thanks for your excellent advice! So far, we've only had coffee for an hour, every month or two. But I do question your final sentence: "My heart goes out to you both."

      Actually, I don't really need any commiseration. I'm not really involved with him and don't intend to be. A simple trip to the gym for an hour or an afternoon at the local ski hill won't be getting too involved with him.

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  3. Please do what you can for him in the way of support. I know from experience it isn't easy being sexually abused. A therapist can only do so much. A friend is needed more because you just don't feel you can tell a therapist what you can a friend. Think of it this way the people who you are told you must trust already let you done.

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  4. Do what you can - but, do not abandon him.

    Those people did not "abuse" him - they molested him and there is a big difference between the two. He struggles all the time - every waking moment, this guy is struggling to stay afloat. As his only friend and confidant, don't betray him. Betrayal or abandonment could be the thing that sends him over the edge.

    But, do encourage him to seek professional counseling. You're smart not to get intimate with him - keep it that way. But, don't place conditions upon your friendship, though; that would be a betrayal of sorts. Other's he's trusted have already let him down.

    Be kind, be supportive. In other words, continue to do exactly as you are doing. And add suggestions (each time you visit or talk) that he seek counseling. Offer to help him find a therapist, offer to go with him, or take him there, the first time - not to take part, but to be there in the waiting room when he emerges.

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    1. Skier and whkattk: I won't abandon him. I'll continue to support him in whatever way I can without being sucked into his drama.

      I actually do like Dave quite a lot and besides, he's my only platonic gay friend in town. All the other gay guys I know are ones who I've hooked up with.

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  5. can't be easy for him to take care of his father

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    1. I can't imagine how he does it! I'd be tempted to ask him this at our next meeting.

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  6. I think I would like to meet Dave. As an HIV+ man living in small town BC, I think we have many things in common.

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    1. I'm sure you and Dave would have much in common! His biggest frustration occurs when he tells our small-town gays that he is HIV+. Most of the time, he never hears from them again.

      I'm the only gay guy in three years who has continued to see him after he made his disclosure.

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    2. Oh I hear you. Most hetrosexuals that I have told have been really great about my HIV status however the rural gays have been brutal. I have never met such a group of misinformed people. Feel free to send Dave over my way, I have provided peer support for HIV positive men so I might be able to help. Sometimes it is nice just to have someone to share your thoughts with.

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    3. Don, you are absolutely wonderful!! I am negative and I try to be supportive to those who aren't. I am in health field and have been following HIV since 1983. As a disease, it is fascinating after all. I have a couple of positive friends and they echo what you say. Amazes me how they don't realize it could just as easily been them. Compassion shouldn't be so hard to have.

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  7. I lost a partner and many friends to AIDS. The loss was almost too much for me to handle. I was secretly happy when I was transferred to a different city where I didn’t have any friends. I can’t imagine adding dealing with sexual abuse to what I was going through. I would try to be a friend Dave, but as the other readers have advised, I would not try to fix him or get consumed by him.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your story! Thanks for the caution! Having survived a 20 year marriage with a spouse suffering from depression, I know very well that another person can't save a depressed person from himself.

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