Survivors of childhood trauma deserve all the peace and security that a loving relationship can provide. But a history of abuse or neglect can make trusting another person feel terrifying. Trying to form an intimate relationship may lead to frightening missteps and confusion. How can we better understand the impact of trauma, and help survivors find the love, friendship and support they and their partner deserve? Whether the trauma was physical, sexual, or emotional, the impact can show up in a host of relationship issues.
As extreme as these two dilemmas seem to be, I have found it to be remarkably difficult for people to find a happy medium. These people seem to never be able to say or do anything without reminding themselves, and subsequently me, of my survivorship.
In no way does this help, either.
Both of these reactions are frustrating. I refuse to settle for people who are so uncomfortable with my survivorship that they cannot seem to treat me like a normal person. Literally everyone has some sort of twisted past, some sort of confusing present, and some sort of bright future.
I am no different, so stop treating me as such. To all the people out there who will inevitably date survivors because there are more of us than you think : we are normal human beings. This might come as a shock to you, but it is not your place to be made uncomfortable by my survivorship.
Needless to say, that date ended shortly thereafter. While I have spent so much energy in trying to explain how to react to finding out you are dating a survivor, I have not yet addressed the most important part of this experience: the survivor.
As such, with male survivors of sexual abuse the healing process typically and necessarily proceeds slowly, in fits and starts, with plenty of breaks. Often it is two steps forward, one and three. Aaron Burden. PTSD and trauma affect our sexual relationships, so how about we actually talk about it! Openly! Publicly! With Humor! And Love! As an outspoken sexual trauma survivor, the one thing I hear most from other survivors and the people who love them is a desire to talk about the specific ways that living PTSD affects sexual relationships. Sep 05, Dating as an adult can be quite difficult and frustrating, but when you add in being a survivor of abuse, it adds an entire new dimension to the process. As a guy in my 40's, trying to find my way through the online dating scene is such a frustrating experience.
I find it very difficult to allow myself to care deeply about anyone these days, even platonic friends. When a survivor tells you their story, you should always thank them for trusting you with that information. It is no easy task to be open about this, and when we are, we are the putting ourselves in the most vulnerable position possible.
This is the second in a guest post series for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, highlighting the intersection between sexual assault and teen dating violence. For resources on teen dating violence, visit tiendakiteboarding.com Navigating the world of dating is one of the trickiest things anyone can attempt, especially if you're a survivor of abuse. Sep 01, As a survivor and as a human, I can only be the expert in my own experience. But throughout my decade of dating, I picked up a few pointers when it comes to encountering a survivor of sexual. Sexual assault is in no way related to the sexual orientation of the perpetrator or the survivor, and a person's sexual orientation cannot be caused by sexual abuse or assault. Some men and boys have questions about their sexuality after surviving an assault or abuse-and that's understandable.
A word of caution: vulnerability should not be equated with shame, and we should try to be proud of ourselves when we manage to be open about our stories.
While this is much, much easier said than done, we must remember that when someone reacts poorly to our survivorship, it does not mean that we are any less of a person. To all the non-survivors out there: keep in mind that while it may be difficult for you to tread the waters of dating a survivor, it was infinitely more difficult for that person to get to the point in their life where they could safely call themselves a survivor. Can being assaulted affect sexual orientation?
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How to support male survivors It can be hard to tell someone that you have experienced sexual assault or abuse. Many people in crisis feel as though no one understands them and that they are not taken seriously.
Show them they matter by giving your undivided attention. It is hard for many survivors to disclose assault or abuse, especially if they fear not being believed because of stereotypes about masculinity.
Validate their feelings. Even if you are curious about what happened and feel that you want to fully understand it, avoid asking for details of how the assault occurred. However, if a survivor chooses to share those details with you, try your best to listen in a supportive and non-judgmental way.
Provide appropriate resources. For example, trans men may face barriers when navigating medical care or black men may have concerns about reaching out to law enforcement.
The Truth About Being In A Relationship With A Survivor Of Sexual Abuse
Be sensitive to these worries, and when supporting a survivor try your best to suggest resources you feel will be most helpful. What if I experienced sexual assault as an adult?
Aug 11, Childhood sexual abuse of boys, perpetrated by another male, may lead a man to again and again seek out sexual encounters with men in an unconscious effort to . Jun 27, Sexual abuse harder or if it is common for sexual abuse survivers to attract sex addicts/porn addicts etc. All my previous boyfriends have had some form of addiction and often were really focussed. Sep 24, Survivors of childhood trauma deserve all the peace and security that a loving relationship can provide. But a history of abuse or neglect can make trusting another person feel terrifying. Trying to form an intimate relationship may lead to frightening missteps and confusion. How can we better understand the impact of trauma, and help survivors.
What if the abuse happened when I was a minor? How could this affect my relationships?
Dating a male sexual abuse survivor
Finding support If something happened to you, know that you are not alone. Visit the helpline. Visit online. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Call HOPE to be connected to a trained staff member from a local sexual assault service provider in your area.
Consider therapy or other mental health support. Some therapists specialize in issues you may be facing as a result of the abuse or assault.
You may want to speak on the phone or meet with a few therapists before deciding which one is the best fit for you. You can ask your insurance company which providers are covered by your insurance plan.
Find the center that is closest to you and best fits your needs. Read more at Jimhopper. Read more at Malesurvivor.
More resources Being able to share your story with other male survivors may be important in feeling less alone and connecting with others in your healing process.
It's not well-accepted. As a Black man, you've been broken down so much that you have to put on a face of being strong. We have a lot of pain that is unattended to.
I was ashamed that a man sexually assaulted methat I didn't fight hard enough.
Tips For Dating Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Child Sexual Abuse When a perpetrator intentionally harms a minor physically, psychologically, sexually, or by acts of neglect, the crime is known as child abuse. Read More. Truly elevating, truly healing. No words to express my gratitude-you made it all such a pleasant experience.