Sexually abused men and relationship problems

sexually abused men and relationship problems

Aug 11, Abuse taught me that a relationship meant losing all of my agency 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted, including both male This can manifest in a number of ways, from fear of physical intimacy and trust issues. But therapists say the relationship can be improved. 20% of women and up to 5 % of men in the United States were abused sexually as children. Some who have been sexually abused have problems staying faithful, says Linda Blick, MSW. Local sexual assault services providers were well equipped to handle support services, but the lack of a national hotline meant the issue did not receive as much.

Calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline gives you access to a range of free services including: The National Sexual Assault Hotline is a safe, confidential service. When you call the hotline, only the first six numbers of the phone number are used to route the call, and your complete phone number is never stored in our system.

Most states do have laws that require local staff to contact authorities in certain situations, like if there is a child or vulnerable adult who is in danger. While almost all callers are connected directly to a staff member or volunteer at a local sexual assault service provider, a handful of providers use an answering service after daytime business hours.

This service helps manage the flow of calls. If all staff members are busy, you may choose to leave a phone number with the answering service. If you reach an answering service, you can try calling back after some time has passed, or you can choose to call during regular business hours when more staff members are available. Who are the sexual assault service providers? Sexual assault service providers are organizations or agencies dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual assault.

Volunteer opportunities for the National Sexual Assault Hotline are coordinated through these local providers. You could at times experience problems with sexual functioning.

Painful erections, difficulty maintaining erections, premature ejaculation, lack of desire, or an obsession with sex may all stem from childhood sexual abuse. If you can function sexually only during "one-night stands" or only in short-term relationships, it could be because the abuser was a family member or someone you trusted and depended on, who had power over you for a long period of time.

Long-term relationships may remind you of these feelings of powerlessness, so you might avoid them. You may have difficulty making commitments in other areas of your life for the same reason. Dependency or Misuse of Drugs, Alcohol or Food. If you have trouble regulating your use of drugs, alcohol, or food, it may mean that you are using these substances to mask the pain of sexual abuse. It could also mean that the abuser used these substances to lure you into sexual activity.

Because these substances can be addictive, they can block your recovery. There are a number of recovery programs available that serve as an important adjunct to sexual abuse counselling. Self-Harm and Harm of Others. If you feel worthless as a result of the abuse, you could turn these painful feelings against yourself.

This might take the form of cutting, burning or harming yourself in some way. You may find yourself in situations or remain in relationships that are harmful to you, emotionally, physically, sexually or otherwise. If you find yourself thinking about or acting out your sexual abuse by becoming sexually aggressive, you need to seek help immediately because of the damage you could be doing to others.

sexually abused men and relationship problems

Contact your local crisis line, doctor, etc. Flashbacks, Anxiety and Nightmares. If you have unexplained anxiety or panic attacks you could be re-experiencing the trauma of being sexually abused. Flashbacks are sudden intrusive thoughts about the sexual abuse. They might come when you least want them, for example, when you and your partner are making love. When this happens it could mean that your sexual arousal is triggering memories of the abuse.

When Males Have Been Sexually Abused as Children: A Guide for Men -

You might also experience recurring nightmares which remind you in some way of the abuse. A counsellor can work with you to reduce these symptoms. You might feel that, as a male, you're allowed to express and to act out your anger. If you feel only anger, you are probably not allowing yourself to have other feelings such as shame, fear or loneliness.

A counsellor can help you to identify your feelings and learn ways to manage them. If you were sexually abused as a child, the underlying emotion you might share with other people who have been sexually abused, both male and female, is a sense of shame.

Shame is a deep sense of feeling 'bad' as a person. The abuser might have cut you off from the support of loved ones during the abuse by forcing you to keep the abuse secret.

He might have told you that no one would want anything to do with you if they knew what you were doing. Guilt is related to shame. Guilt comes from the belief that you are responsible for the abuse. Remember, this happened when you were a child, and adults are supposed to protect children, not abuse them. You are not responsible for the abuse you experienced. You could now be afraid that you will experience further shame if you talk about the abuse to a counsellor or anyone else.

Shame can make you hold yourself apart from others in your adult life. A support group, where you can talk and listen to others who have had the same experience that you've had, can help you overcome your shame and the isolation that goes with it. There are a number of physical symptoms that are sometimes related to child sexual abuse. If you suffer from frequent headaches, choking sensations, nausea in the presence of certain smells, blurred vision, floating sensations, or pains in the genitals, buttocks or back, they might be related to your sexual abuse.

If your physician can't find a medical reason for these symptoms, your counsellor might be able to help you understand the reason you have them.

How can I get the help I need? You might have difficulty acknowledging that you were sexually abused, and that another person had such power over you. You might even believe that being abused has made you less of a man.

This belief comes from our patriarchal society which values power, seen as a male trait, and devalues vulnerability, which is seen as "weak" and as a female trait.

As a result most men resist admitting they were once overpowered and helpless, and this is called "denial". Denial is an obstacle to getting help. Because of social values and attitudes, denial of vulnerability is usually stronger in men than in women. It takes courage to acknowledge you've been sexually abused. A counsellor, a support group or both can be helpful. The best way to find a counsellor is by asking people you trust, such as a doctor or friend, for personal recommendations.

If that isn't possible, professional counselling associations will provide names of people qualified to work with men who have been sexually abused.

You can then check out those qualifications and find a counsellor you feel comfortable working with. Individual counselling over a long period of time can be expensive, although some social services have a sliding fee scale for clients. Another option is to see a psychiatrist or psychologist who may be covered through your provincial medical plan or supplementary insurance plan.

When Males Have Been Sexually Abused as Children: A Guide for Men

In some provinces, when you file a police report against the abuser you may become eligible for counselling from a qualified psychologist, clinical counsellor or clinical social worker through a crime victim assistance program. If working with a counsellor isn't possible, a support group may be a good second choice. How can a counsellor help? The first step to recovery is to admit to yourself that you have been sexually abused. Once you acknowledge to your counsellor that you have been sexually abused, you have taken an important step to recovery.

Even after you've acknowledged the abuse, you may: It is not unusual for individuals to minimize or deny traumatic experiences and their impact as a way of coping. A counsellor can help you work through any thoughts or feelings you may have. Then you can understand the ways in which you managed to cope with the abuse and begin to resolve the trauma of the abuse to decrease the negative effects it has on your life. Your counsellor may ask you about any symptoms of post-traumatic stress that are impacting you, for example, flashbacks, nightmares, depression, anxiety, or relationship difficulties.

These skills are an important step to help you maintain control. Remembering too much or moving too quickly can feel overwhelming. Tell your counsellor when you need more time to understand and integrate what is happening.

Your counsellor might also recommend that you read some articles or books written for men who have experienced sexual abuse. Your counsellor might also recommend that you join a support group for men who have experienced sexual abuse. A counsellor will probably have to remind you repeatedly that you were neither responsible for nor guilty of the abuse. Your relationship with your counsellor is a partnership.

Intimacy After Trauma - Kat Smith - TEDxMountainViewCollege

You'll decide together what subjects you will discuss, and when it's appropriate to slow down or end counselling. If you aren't happy with your counsellor, you have the right to express your concerns and to find a different counsellor. What kinds of questions are counsellors often asked? Wasn't I old enough to know better and shouldn't I have been able to tell him to take a hike?

Boys who are dependent on an adult or an adolescent are vulnerable to being sexually abused. He let us drink around the campsite and I wasn't used to it, and all I can remember after that is waking up later with him lying beside me, passed out, with his hand between my legs.

Shouldn't I have been smart enough and old enough to be able to figure out what he was up to? When teenage boys are sexually abused, they often feel even more ashamed and responsible than younger boys and have a hard time reporting the abuse.

See booklet " When Teenage Boys…" The boys in both of these stories grew into young men who believed that they were responsible for the abuse, and felt guilty as a result. A counsellor will probably remind you that children are never responsible for adults or older teens abusing them. I told my Uncle Gordon, and he said the teacher was probably gay. Could that be true? Do you think there's something about me that turned him on?

More importantly, it's not some quality about you that makes you responsible. Sexual abusers are people who want to exercise sexual power over children because they're smaller and less powerful. Uncle Gordon's response was misleading because of its anti-homosexual bias. It is important that you keep your feelings and fantasies conscious and discuss them with a counsellor who is trained to work in this area to ensure that you do not act them out by offending. Many convicted adolescent and adult sex offenders were themselves sexually abused as children.

It does not follow from this that all boys who have been sexually abused grow up to be abusers. When I was eight, my babysitter made me put my penis right into her vagina. I learned about sex long before the other kids, and to this day I'm still a hit with the older women.

If you were sexually abused as a young boy by a woman or a teenage girl, you may use the experience to enhance your ego, and not understand how it may distort your adult relationships. I want to get it over with and get on with my life. Dealing with sexual abuse is not like mowing the lawn or putting together a business deal.

Personal change takes time, and if you were also subjected to physical and emotional abuse you'll need to work on those issues as well. There's one important thing I haven't remembered, and I just can't get hold of it.

sexually abused men and relationship problems

Can you hypnotize me? Like the previous question, it comes from a common male desire for a "quick fix". As you continue working with your counsellor, you will begin to appreciate the value of gradual change. Kevin's story Kevin began counselling at the recommendation of his minister, who'd heard enough of his story to suspect that he had experienced severe childhood abuse. Kevin suffered from night sweats, and would often wake up with his bedsheets drenched.

Sometimes he'd wake up screaming after dreaming that a large animal was overtaking him. His wife had urged him to speak to their minister because of his habit of breaking off sexual intercourse before he reached orgasm.

About the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline | RAINN

He frequently complained that his penis hurt during intercourse, and that he would rather avoid sex altogether. During the course of his marriage, Kevin had three short homosexual relationships in which he played a passive role. Kevin was ashamed of these relationships, and felt that he was dishonouring his marriage. His wife was afraid that he would contract a sexually transmitted infection and infect her. She threatened to leave him if it happened again.

After Kevin started counselling he was able to explain that he had spent much of his childhood living with his mother and five brothers and sisters in a small logging town. After his parents separated, his mother started drinking and began a series of short-term relationships. Some of her new boyfriends were violent with her and with the children.

One of them, a millworker named Willard, was not only a violent alcoholic but a child abuser as well.