the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

Be quiet, my friend. You can't tell my secrets.


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I think I got gaslit, even if men are not typically gaslighted

This screenshot shows Ingrid Bergman being gas...

This screenshot shows Ingrid Bergman being gaslighted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear readers: The standard trigger warning applies.  I’m trying to stay light on the details, but… I’m nauseated just thinking about them.  Please, take any precautions you need; I know many of you ask the same.

I thought I’d shared my story with this person.

Someone with a strong media voice.

And I don’t think I tweeted anything different from what I shared in my story.

But… I was assumed to be a MAN making a WOMEN’S issue my deal, and not allowing them to own it alone.

Never mind that I was upset that someone was tearing Cimmy a new asshole in the same conversation.  That was totally ignored, for some reason.

I got numerous excuses when I complained, privately.  This person said they had grown numb to such nuances, because of numerous hate mails flooding their inbox.

NO NO NO DAMN IT, I HAD NIGHTMARES ABOUT BEING RAPED.  ONLY WEEKS AGO.  LIKE BLOODY FUCKING HELL WOULD I WISH THAT ON SOMEONE, JUST BECAUSE THEY WERE SAYING SOMETHING I DISLIKED.

And I wasn’t disagreeing with what was said at all.  No way.  If they weren’t already a part of Cimmorene’s painful, horrifying experiences, they were experiences of a friend, or a churchmate, or someone else close to me.  Mostly women, yeah, but a number of men.

Raped? Oh yes.  Raped.  No, not the Anne Hathaway one… that was pretty creepy, though.  No, it was another one.  I was blindfolded.  Gang raped.  By men.  What the hell is in the garbage of my brain?  (No, that sort of gay porn isn’t my thing, if that was ever a possibility.)

I have moved past suicidal thoughts.

NO NO NO I’m not going to tell someone to kill themselves, when I dealt with that.  Someone in my parents’ congregation took his life only a week or so ago… incidentally, I didn’t that mention in my Suicide Prevention Day post.  But I hope you get the idea.  Of course, I was shamed once for not condemning a suicider as “selfish”.  I can’t.  I’d have to tell myself I was selfish… well, I already did.  Several times.

This is all I can write for now, dear readers.  I hope you understand.  No, I won’t name names.  I already feel bad just writing about it… because it feels like so much veiled aggression.  But I’m angry.  And afraid.

I was just trying to stick up for Cimmorene.  I had no idea I was being held in contempt, too.  No idea.

Compassion-Logo-FINISHED1


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Compassion for the Bullied

So, a 1000 Voices for Compassion marches on.  I’m late as usual– the 20th was my wife Cimmorene’s (@wavemistress) birthday, and I simply did not have time, or rather, the energy, to line up a post that quickly.

I’m going to broach a more sensitive subject than just the idea of simply bullying.  It’s bullying of a sexual nature– better known as slut shaming.956ed-sexualabuse5

I don’t expect any of you dear readers to understand that it happened to me.  I don’t even expect any of you to understand that it can happen to men.  Not even Wikipedia editors seem to acknowledge such very much at all.  But if you figure you’ll do your best anyways, and consider yourselves sufficiently warned of possible triggers, than I invite you to read on.

The tough stuff starts here

Work In Progress v. 2I’ve been busier on Twitter lately, because, to be quite blunt, I have a support network there, and they haven’t recoiled in horror when I’ve shared my story, the way some bloggers have.  They’ve lived the grit and the shit of childhood sexual abuse, and although I’d say a lot of them have had it far worse than I did, they welcome me regardless.  Because of the great stigma men face with this issue, I am overwhelmingly outnumbered by women, but there are a few men, and a few amongst that small section that are quite actively championing the cause of survivorship and trauma recovery.

A supportive Twitter chat friend introduces me to the UnSlut Project

http://unslutproject.tumblr.com/press

Image credit: Emily Lindin and The UnSlut Project, by way of Tumblr. Link image for source

If you’re not familiar with the UnSlut Project, I invite you to go check out the website really quick, and then come back here.  I think the context is important.

A friend from #sexabusechat (Stewart- @gottogetoutof) does all he can to get word out about resources for sexual abuse survivors.  One day he retweeted some Tweets from Emily Lindin and the UnSlut Project.  I was intrigued and decided to check it out.

Once I learned what the issue was about, I felt an impression that I should share my story.  I was reluctant to at first; much like a lot of domestic violence and abuse in general, the issue has been framed as women as the targets/victims, and men as the aggressors/abusers.  Even if men are targeted– fairly rarely is it said that a woman perpetrated the abuse.  Then I got a DM from Emily asking for financial support (since part of the project is a documentary film).  I thought the message was automated at first, but she very sweetly and congenially reassured me that it wasn’t.  I asked her if I might share my story, and she enthusiastically agreed.

My sexual bullying story starts here

I tried to keep things short.  I’m prone to tangents and ramblings.  I didn’t talk about all the instances that women were quite cruel to me in a sexual way.  But I will simply add that I was always bothered– whether it was in childhood or as an adult, in college.  One story is just too embarrassing to share so openly, right now.  So here’s the message I sent to the site, in (most) of its ugly glory:

Dear Emily,

I’m writing with the hopes that when people read my story, they realize that this is not a gender-based issue. It’s not an issue where only men are the aggressors, and women are the targets. Sexual bullying and slut shaming can happen to anyone.

During the middle of my college/university experience a little over twenty years ago, I somehow caught the attention of a sorority girl in one of my classes at a small private college. I was still socially awkward at that time, and her rather energetic nature and interest made me a little nervous. I blurted out, “don’t have an orgasm, now!” after a nerve-wracking conversation one day, which I realize now was totally inappropriate.

But I was totally unprepared for the onslaught of revenge from her sorority sisters. I was harassed repeatedly by e-mail, telephone, and even in person. This continued even when the campus police got involved. It didn’t stop until I left the school.

Thankfully, that experience didn’t follow me to university, but, I remember walking across the street when a convertible pulled up and a young woman leaned out and said, “Yeah, baby. Shake it!” For some reason, that triggered memories of being mercilessly teased in middle school by boys that thought I wiggled my buttocks too much when I walked. Even though I doubt her comment was homophobic like theirs were, I still felt like an objectified piece of meat.

I know that men in our society are encouraged to welcome sexual attention. Yet how can it be welcomed when it’s unwanted and degrading? I think most guys know the difference, and no amount of swagger (or retaliatory insult) covers up the hurt. It’s not cool, and it’s not “studly”. It’s abusive.

A quick thanks to my friends at the No More Shame Project/Trauma Recovery University, who’ve given me courage to heal from childhood abuse, including sexual abuse. Survivors can be vulnerable to this sort of bullying. Please use my real name; I’ve come far enough that I don’t need to be ashamed anymore.

Jonathan/”jaklumen”

I don’t think the story has been added to the site, yet.  I can say it’s a rare one– most of the stories are from women, and one gay guy last I checked.  It frustrates me that society filters this issue by way of gender and sexuality.  Granted, I’m actually bisexual by way of orientation, but, I still don’t think that it directly has anything to do with it– women are capable of sexually bullying a man, just as they are capable of raping a man.  Attitudes and definitions may not have caught up, but, that’s my experience.

Some final thoughts

I don’t expect you to understand, or agree, right way.  I do not expect accolades to my bravery or courage in speaking out.  I do not expect many comments on this post, at all, even negative ones, although I fear someone will come along and reply with smack talk.  I’m not looking for praise, high regards, or any of that.

I’m simply tired of the bullshit and the lagging attitudes, so I’m saying my truth.  It is what it is.

See also Compassion for the Sensitive

 


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Sojourn of Torment (Deeper Down The Road)

As I said in Purification by fire:

I don’t know how, but, so many WordPressers (at WordPress blogs, and on Twitter) are drawing it out of me.  Splinters, impurities, pain.

So much pain, but hurt, that must be drawn out and released, and then valued.

The hurt is spilling out again into other people’s blogs… what they have to write just reminds me of the hurt.  My comments are bolded and italicized; their original segments are in italics.

from Lizzi the Considerer’s Beach Art and Benefaction:

I need you to open the doors of memory and wander back down the pathways of your mind to a point when you were a small child – maybe six or seven – and magic was still a possibility.

No, Lizzi. Too much pain. The first time I heard Neil Sedaka’s “Laughter In The Rain” after a long, long time, I cried. A tonal memory of a time before the nightmare.

I was six when my innocence was brutally crushed, by my mother. Whole heaps of sexuality just dumped into my lap and I had no understanding what any of it meant. She showed her parts to me, and I didn’t understand why my hand was getting slapped.

Of course, I never understood the emotional abuse, either, why she grew so cold, so critical, so unrelentingly negative.

No matter what I did, it never stopped. This didn’t feel like a mother’s love.

The nightmare is over, but it keeps coming back

I’ll never forget her telling me to stop burdening people with my problems.

I didn’t even know I had a voice

Absolutely I attempted.

From Aussa Loren’s How To Dump Your Boyfriend At A Casino:

It was a Friday night and The Man-Child and I were driving an hour to meet his sister at the casino where her new boyfriend worked. As we got into the car, I made a passing remark about rape culture, which gave him an opportunity to share his enlightened opinion on sexual assault.

“I’m not sure I understand what the big deal is? I mean, she might not want it at the beginning but you can’t help liking sex.”

Seeing my reaction, he tried to explain himself.

“What I mean is, if a girl comes onto me I can’t help how my body will react, even if I really don’t want to sleep with her.”

“So if some random woman seduces you tonight, you’ll sleep with her because you can’t help it?”

“Probably.”

nononononononononono I hatehateHATE guys that are oblivious to the possibility that women CAN ignore the concept of consent.

And it ain’t cool. I still recall the times I thought, “What the hell? I didn’t sign up for this much! What the hell am I doing?” Or women that were even more downright predatory, catty, or all of the above. Sure, dude, you think it’s cool, until it happens to you. The first time a woman petted me… I felt… ugly. Violated. Like I was dying inside. (This was the one whose roommate falsely accused me of rape.)

In 1993, I was falsely accused of rape… by my then-girlfriend’s roommate. I thought I was guilty until a real survivor told me I wasn’t.

In the early 2000’s, I was stalked and sexually assaulted online.  I just had no idea it would be a young woman engaged to be married.

It wasn’t the first time I got more than I bargained for.


The horror. The agony. And for years, I never understood the burning, smoldering rage that would come welling up from deep inside me.

 

I don’t think society gets it.

I don’t think any of my abusers will ever get it.

 

If only they could look into my eyes, and see.

 

 

Related posts:

Empowering boys and men: The psychologically/emotionally abusive mother and her son: Learn to say NO!

The Forgotten Ones: Maternal Abusers and their Victims: a Pilot Study


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Sojourn of Torment

Please come back to this post, dear readers. I may fill this with more words when I can get through the pain.

No matter what I did, it never stopped. This didn’t feel like a mother’s love.

The nightmare is over, but it keeps coming back

I didn’t even know I had a voice

Absolutely I attempted.

In 1993, I was falsely accused of rape… by my then-girlfriend’s roommate. I thought I was guilty until a real survivor told me I wasn’t.

In the early 2000’s, I was stalked and sexually assaulted online.  I just had no idea it would be a young woman engaged to be married.

It wasn’t the first time I got more than I bargained for.


The horror. The agony. And for years, I never understood the burning, smoldering rage that would come welling up from deep inside me.

 

I don’t think society gets it.

I don’t think any of my abusers will ever get it.

 

If only they could look into my eyes, and see.

 

 

Related posts:

Empowering boys and men: The psychologically/emotionally abusive mother and her son: Learn to say NO!

The Forgotten Ones: Maternal Abusers and their Victims: a Pilot Study