Gay Man Works Through The Trauma Of Sexual Assault. “I Am A Lot Happier Now That I’ve Done This Work.”

by Nicholas

My name is Nicholas and I’m from Orange County, California.

So when I was 14, or sophomore year of high school, whichever came first, I came out to my mom first off as a bisexual and then eventually has a flaming homosexual. It wasn’t necessarily a fully antagonistic reaction that my mom gave me, but it wasn’t positive and we did fight over the next six years over it. I wasn’t going to come out to my dad until I was financially independent and out of – in college and away from my house.

Right around that time, I had access to an iPhone and had downloaded the apps like Grindr and Jack’d. And one of my first-ever sexual experiences or the first people that came over to my house was significantly older, at least by 20 or 30 years. So when I invited him into my house, we – no one was home and we were in my bed. And stuff started happening. He proceeded to try and enter me eventually. And he was very big and I told him that and I also told him that I was in pain and he just told me that it wouldn’t – like, I would feel better and that it would… I will get used to it.

That proceeded for a little bit. I would tell him that it would still hurt and it would continue with the It’s going to be fine. And eventually we moved on to other stuff. I didn’t stop him right there. After he had left, I remember it being a very out of body experience where like I kind of told myself, I was like, This isn’t what I think it is. This didn’t happen. Like, this wasn’t rape, like this can’t have been raped. It wasn’t violent. I wasn’t punched around or anything. I gave some consent.

A similar event happened when I had moved away for college. So at this point, I had moved to New York to be in a military program for school – for college. My freshman year, I had known this upperclassmen and him and I had met before even me going to the school, so he was someone that I did know and had had sex with. So one of the free weekends that we get, I decided to take off and he decided to take off with me. So we went off into the city, got a hotel room.

The second night, he got drunk and I didn’t. He started trying to have sex with me and I was in no mood, which I told him so. So he reached for my wrist, held onto it and I proceeded to emphatically say no. And this went on for about a minute, body weight on me, hand on the wrist, before he huffed and got off of me and laid on the other side of the bed. Woke up the next day and similar to the first time, we – I pretended that nothing had happened and we went on to our daily lives.

Gradually my performance, for a variety of reasons, but this definitely affected it, started to decline while I was at the Academy. When I entered my second year, I tried to reestablish contact with the second gentlemen so that my upperclassmen and instigate sex again. When that first, that experience had happened with him in the hotel, I was trying to tell myself that he wasn’t a bad person. It was just that he was drunk.

I invited him over to my room and then started to instigate stuff again. And I specifically told him we’re not gonna do anything penetrative – it’s going to be just… anything but that. And then he tried to enter me.

I said, “No. I told you I did not want that. Get out of my room.” Which he did.

After that classes started happening again, business as usual, one of my friends at school  tried to hurt themselves and after that, I just started to gradually decline. And it got to a point where my superiors had to get involved and so made me into the process of getting mental health help and getting therapy.

So I left, spent a semester back at home. So eventually I got fully processed out of that specific school. The therapist I was chatting with helped me further understand the fact that one of my major issues was that I had an issue with boundaries because one of my first formative sexual experiences was so traumatic, I didn’t fully register what I was dealing with there, or like the boundaries that were necessary for me.

During the course of therapy and outside of – when I was outside of school, I came across the realization that I had – like, I had violated someone else’s boundaries. I had gone home and met up with someone that – who was an underclassman in high school at the time, and then had invited him to my house. And we chatted. I proceeded to hug him from the back, and then when we were facing each other, I went in to kiss him and he pulled back. And again, we did not talk about it.

It was something that I – for me at the time, it was just shame of reading the signs wrong. Because of my therapy. I had realized that maybe, even though it might not have been as violent as what I had experienced, it could have been equally as traumatic. And that began to… that began to weigh down on me very heavily. It was a small thought that just gradually started to get bigger and bigger in my mind over the course of a year.

So I reached out to him over text and he decided to meet with me when I was back in town.  When we did, and when we met at a coffee shop, we caught up and then I started off the conversation by stating, “I don’t know if you remember this, but I went in for a kiss with you, and I don’t know if that has affected you or not, but it has started to weigh on my mind and I wanted to apologize if it has affected you like I think it has.”

He  started to tell me that he initially did not want to meet up with me because it had affected him because I was someone that was an upperclassmen and was someone that he was – someone that he trusted and look up to as someone who was doing things for himself to move forward in life, and that it meant a lot to him that I had reached out and said something to him and made the effort to apologize.

He didn’t cry because he processed it, but I told him this, bawling, by stating, “I have affected you and you are someone that I would – I had hoped the best for. You are someone that I had positive memories and only goodwill for. So the fact that I – not someone else and no stranger – that I had hurt you is going to be something that I’m going to have to bear for the rest of my life.”

After approaching the third gentlemen and having that weight lifted off my shoulders, I began – I began to take that feeling and that strong lesson with me into future sexual encounters or just friendships that I had.

I am a lot happier now that I’ve done this work. I still have dark days, but more often than not I am happy. By lifting this mental weight off my shoulders, I am more willing to empathize and match my parents who are still not completely comfortable with my sexuality. Our relationship is still in its infancy in that me, in my gayness and just in general with me growing and my family growing with me.

I share this story because hopefully it helps someone in any capacity to not experience the pain that I did. I have no problems with you if you see me approaching me or talking to me about it, but I would ask that if you know me, respect my parents’ privacy and my family’s privacy. Don’t approach them. Don’t ask them about it because it would be something that’s between me and you if you want to discuss it further, but I want to retain this relationship that I have with my family.

The lessons that I learned on boundaries from sex do carry on into just business and family life as well. Just the more I thought about what I was willing to learn on and what it was not willing to deal with, I became a much more calm person.

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