Elbow: My Deep Dark Secret

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

My Deep Dark Secret

I feel intense pain for an area of my life that I rarely think about, and it's hard for me to communicate what I am feeling when confronted with its memory. When I was young (like 6 or 7) I had sexual experiences with a cousin . He was a couple of years older, and I looked up to him so much. It happened off and on until I was 15. Sometimes a year would go by without us doing anything, and then out of the blue we would get physical, and the guilt that I felt was inexplicable.

When I would go to Church, and because of what I was hearing, I was certain that I was headed to outer darkness, and that I was destined to Hell. When I learned about sexually transmitted diseases I convinced myself that I had AIDS, simply because I thought that it came from two guys having sex. I felt so worthless.

We never talked about it. We never really spoke to each other, we just knew what each other wanted and we went for it. I hate that it's a part of my life. I hate that I carried so much guilt as a young boy. I hate that I hated myself, and that I felt so rejected and evil. I believed that I was the worst person that walked the earth.

Luckily for me, I was able to separate my actions from the person that I really am. I didn't let those experiences dictate how I should feel about my life, and about my future. I was determined to be a good person. I was dead set on being as perfect as I could.

What I hate is the guilt that I felt, and the self-loathing that was incorporated into my life everyday. I don't think I have ever mourned for the little boy that suffered so much. I have never cried for the loss of my innocence. I have never really gotten past the fact that I feel like a bad person still for what happened. I'm 27, why should it still bug me? But it does, I don't like thinking that this little boy had to suffer so much. It's not this neighbor kids fault, it's not my fault, it just happened.

I feel like I have to let this go in a healthy way. I need be at peace with what happened so that I can forgive myself. I have come a long way, but I still feel that I let myself down because I was weak. It's the hardest thing to forgive myself, it's so hard to not have regrets. I deserve to be forgiven for this, I know that the Lord can't hold me accountable for what happened, I was young when I started the habit, and against all my will I couldn't break it, until he wasn't in my life anymore.

No wonder I have so many conflicting feelings about my life, about my sexuality, and about my future. That is what I have always known. I can't remember ever feeling peaceful about myself, and free from turmoil.


Anonymous Foxx said...

Would it be safe to guess that part of your reason for holding back is fear of that same guilt and self-loathing that you associate with gay intimacy because of your experience?

12:59 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

foxx, I think you are right on track.

I realized over the past couple of days just how much I came to associate my homosexual feelings--emotional and sexual--with guilt and shame. The realization came in a flood. I have come to think of myself as strong and confident and increasingly secure in my sexuality. And yet, it is still incredibly hard for me to speak with people close to me about my desires and wants because of the shame that I attached to those feeling for so long.

Elbow, that's what I see in your description of these youthful experiences as well. The tentacles of guilt and shame are long.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Dave Walter said...

I have never really gotten past the fact that I feel like a bad person still for what happened. I'm 28 for fuck sake, why should it still bug me?

It's because of the effects on you of the fucking anti-gay-sex attitudes of your religion and, to a somewhat lesser extent, society in general. If God didn't want guys to fool around as kids, then he/she/it would have made orgasms not feel good until adulthood.

When I hear gay friends mention the "playmates" they had as children, it makes me envious, because I didn't have the same as a kid. Of course, had I messed around with another gay kid, I still would have felt the same tremendous shame as when I masturbated. But I'm way past feeling shamed by it anymore. You must and will get to that point as well, and in so doing you will experience a permanent sense of relief and liberation.

3:42 PM  
Blogger BB said...

I shamelessly (pun intended) quote, in all seriousness, from Dave Matthews:

Forget about the reasons and the treasons you were seeking
Forget about the notion that your emotions can be swept away
Forget about being guilty you are innocent instead
And soon we all find our lives swept away.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Elbow, the reason you feel guilt about these experiences is simple: every victim of abuse (which is what you experienced--and don't believe otherwise!) feels extreme guilt about the sexual exploitation they underwent. My father, who was a social worker, talks about how he was always amazed at how guilty victims of sexual abuse of any kind feel. There are steps to be taken to overcome those guilty feelings. They aren't real, and they in no way reflect your level of responsibility for what happened. They are the result of the abuse itself and have very little to do with social/religious constructs. (People with no religious ties feel identical guilt in abuse situations.)

Shame on anybody who tries to say that the exploitation of a SIX YEAR OLD is ok, even by a peer only a few years his senior. The thought of embracing that concept as not only acceptable, but desirable sickens me and stuns me. Such a preposterous idea is very indicative of the complete disregard of the realities of human development that certain gay activists try to disseminate. Abuse is never OK. It has serious, serious repurcussions, and always will. The thought that there is justification in children having sexual experiences because they have the capacity to feel orgasm is the MOST repulsive twist of logic from gay propogandists I've seen while reading these blogs. Children are children! They are not meant to have sexual experiences! Three year olds can feel good when sexually stimulated. Does that make it Ok to stimulate them? I am shocked and appalled that such an idea was actually shared!

Elbow, I think that, in whatever way you feel is postive, the exploration of your feelings about what happened to you in your childhood would be a good step towards emotional resolution and catharsis. There is no excuse for what that kid did to you, and it's OK that you haven't dealt with yet. It's understandable. A very special part of yourself was obliterated when you were sexually violated at such a young age. And you're right, God can't and absolutely does not hold you accountable for what happened, as real as the guilt feelings are to you. Honestly, this is a situation that would probably be best handled by a good mental health professional--any religious affiliations aside. I think that unearthing this childhood trauma is definitely a step in the right direction for you, Elbow, and I commend you for being so self-honest. As always, good luck.

11:17 AM  

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