Other Hello, it's me

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This post comes from text I posted on reddit a few days ago. I accidentally deleted it there, tried to repost it, and got banned. Luckily I had a couple of messages still in my inbox which suggested I check out this website as a support forum. Anyway, here it is:

I grew up in a single parent home after age 10. Before my parents divorced, my parents fought all the time. Pretty much everything I remember about my mom and dad was that mom was always screaming at my dad, having arguments that would last for hours, she would slap, kick, and punch him sometimes, throw and break things, and often leave the house to come back so drunk that she would soil herself when she passed out.

After my dad left, it was just my mom and I. We were so poor that she eventually had us move in with my grandma. From then on, there was always this background atmosphere at home of emptiness (the absence of my father) and hatred (for my father, men in general, and soon... me).

At first my grandma would anecdotally tell stories about how this awful man did this, another awful one did that. My mom and grandma both agreed and would often speak of how perverted men were, that they always wanted sex for no reason, that most men are disgusting and filthy, that sex with men was an ordeal that a woman has to endure and “put up with” at best, at worst the relationship between my mom and dad was described by my mother as “sickening” and “obsessive” and “filthy.” Eventually the questioning began around age 12 or 13, when I was randomly probed to see what my attitudes were toward sex outside of marriage, toward girls, toward sex in general, what I thought about, what I wanted, and how I treated women.

I can’t say I really even hit puberty until 14, but even before that it was very clearly explained to me that if I were to ever get married, that I should never ever put pressure on my wife to have sex with me, as women view sex very differently than men do. I was told sex was something a woman never actually has any instinct for until well into her 30’s, and even then you better be one hell of a man to even get her attention even some of the time. Neither my grandma or mom say they have ever met or known such a man, but they say they knew many who pretended to be just to try to get them into bed.

Though I had seen a measure of TV and movies where romances unfold, I always just assumed that those were ridiculous kinds of things that only happened in fiction, and that real life had no such exaggerations.

As I entered high school, I was a loner because I was ashamed at being thin, poorly dressed, hungry, and broke and did not have a car. Girls were a type of person I experienced distantly, though nonetheless as a guy, I found myself strongly curious about them and hoped that a situation or circumstance would occur someday that would provide the excuse to talk to one and perhaps make friends.

It was with this terrible shyness and fear that I wrestled with the thought of “should I bother her? What could I say that wouldn’t make me sound like the typical awful guy I’ve been warned so often about?” I was very afraid that if I made an attempt to talk to a girl, she'd automatically assume I was merely trying to cover for a desire for sex that I couldn't keep under control by pretending to be interested in whatever subject I was attempting to talk about with her. I didn’t want to give any hint that I was a sex-obsessed pervert, and in fact at that age sex itself was barely registering on my consciousness. I only knew that out there in the greater society there were girls, and they were oh so much nicer to be near (with their soft appearances and soft voices and soft touch) than just hanging around alone staring at the walls and trying to cope and adapt to the omnipresence of loneliness. Life at home was either empty or painful, and though I was constantly hungry for food, what I didn’t realize was that even more than calories, I needed a hug. One day a teacher was walking by my aisle in the classroom, and put her hand on my shoulder as she whispered to me to ask me a question about the math I was working on. I could barely answer, because I felt a wave of something like electric tingles course through me. I was paralyzed, stunned, weakened, disarmed, and overwhelmed by the sensation of touch from someone who wasn’t in the middle of a rant, an emotional outburst of hatred, criticism, or punishment. She put her hand on my shoulder so lightly, it gave me goosebumps and shivers. This was so different from the constant slaps and hard and rough treatment, talk and antagonism I constantly felt from my mother or grandma at home. As far back as I can clearly remember, I cannot recall a single time my mom just hugged me. I think this experience is what led me to discovering ASMR videos, which I listen to often today to try to resolve the constant anxiety and tension I feel.

When I turned 16 I immediately got a job so I could finally have a bit of money to buy some jeans that didn’t have holes worn in the knees, and shirts so that I didn’t have to keep wearing the same one every other day. We moved around a lot, I was always the new kid in school and I was often picked on or made fun of for what I wore or how skinny I was. I spent a lot of the money I made at my first job on food, because I was hungry (obviously) but I also wanted to gain weight and not be so skinny. I also knew that I wanted my life to have some measure of association with girls or women, but had no idea how to approach my lack of social experience and come out of it with friendships, knowledge of some (or any) girls as friends or acquaintances, and thus have a shot at maybe one day actually having a real girlfriend and getting married and all that. But I did try. I tried to talk to girls, I eventually got a car so I could take her to a movie or something (that’s what I thought boys did when they went on dates) and a tiny spark of hope existed that I could pull myself out of this terrible situation of loneliness and build a more normal life for myself.

As could be expected, every time I tried to break out of my solitary bubble and talk or say something to someone, it was awkward. I never really was able to develop the skills of conversation, I didn’t have a single friend of any kind throughout my K-12 school years, I always ate lunch by myself every day (or just spent my lunch hour in the library so no one would see me sitting by myself in the cafeteria) and when school was over, went home to my mom and grandma to basically sequester myself in my room while I could overhear my mom or grandma become livid at some new transgression men had recently committed somewhere on the news or at my mom’s job.

I left home my senior year, worked a few years and between what I could save and student loans I was able to find the means to attend college. From there, what I saw around me eventually started to sink in. Though I had tried to be as careful as I could to not be offensive, pervy, sex-obsessed, or creepy, and though I tried as hard as I could to learn how to be the kind of person a girl might want to get to know, essentially I still had absolutely zero confidence that I could even have a conversation with a girl that lasts more than 3 minutes, and yet it has been apparent all around me that most other guys do not have this problem. Somehow, boys and girls find each other just fine every day, and often so much opportunity exists for some that they find more than one partner in a lifetime and get caught cheating. All I can think of is “how?” How could someone have the luck that they know of two people who would choose them in the same lifetime? How, when it seemed to me that a girl likes a guy as rarely as a guy wins the lottery?

When I realized in my late 20’s that there was really actually a sex drive present in women, when that fact finally sunk in for me, I spent months in a kind of depressed state because I realized that I was living a peculiarly rare and awful kind of life. One I would never choose for myself, one I have worked very hard to change and yet seem to have no hope of altering. I’m older now, and still have never had so much as a female friend, never been on a date, never held hands or kissed a girl.

It bothers me greatly, I do want a normal life, the kind of life I see and hear about all the time where a person isn’t trapped in a prison of loneliness, the kind of life where you have friends, the kind of life where someone was interested in you and at least for a time you shared life together. Sex seems to me to be a thing that requires a hundred other things to be securely in place well before it becomes a possibility for someone. I think about myself, and I’m so far behind and missing so much I just can’t imagine ever bridging the gap. Watching movies is painful. Hearing songs is painful. Books, television... they all remind me that I’m different. I feel exiled. I feel like every day is punishment but I don’t know what I’ve done wrong. I’m suffering as if in solitary confinement, yet out in the middle of everybody. I’m doing all I can to distract myself from the reality that there’s life out there, but I’m not invited. It hurts. Being present and conscious and awake and aware in this world is like watching a family eat a holiday dinner together from outside their window, hungry and cold. And if they find you outside noticing them, you’re a dangerous stalker, vagrant, and creep. I work hard to pretend I’m not in pain every day. I practice trying to react to situations like normal people do. But when I’m honest with myself I just want to let go of everything, give up, and disappear.

The loneliness I feel is debilitating. To have no purpose in life, no one to care about, no one who is on my side, to fight the world alone, to know that I will grow old alone, have no Thanksgivings or Christmas to spend with anyone, to have no children to carry on what I could teach them, to have no family to look forward to coming home to, to have no one ever say that they appreciate me, to never feel human touch, to never be recognized as belonging to the family of mankind… I feel like it’s literally killing me. I don’t know what to do, how to get help, or if I’m even worth helping at this point.

I’m posting this here, because even though no one who reads this knows me, I’m taking a chance that opening up here and perhaps talking with someone about it might help. I carry this secret around with me everywhere I go, and the psychological burden on me feels so heavy that most of the time I just want to let go. I consider suicide daily.


Hi, @thatsitdavie - welcome.

Negative core beliefs and cognitive distortions revolving around sex are pretty common for many PTSD sufferers - if you search the forum, you're likely to find a number of threads on the topic. And, you'll probably get some responses here as well.

You didn't mention whether you're dealing with PTSD, specifically - do you have any kind of mental health diagnosis, or have you been able to work with a therapist on any of these issues?
Hi, and welcome. Sounds like you've been through some pretty serious trauma. I'm really sorry you've suffered so much, but I'm glad that you're learning that not all women are as awful as your mom is. I can really relate to what you've gone through. You might not have PTSD, however. Have you been diagnosed?

Reddit is a horrible, toxic place, especially for men who have been through the type of life we have been through. I've tried to share my own story of being a man who was sexually abused by my ex-wife there and was told by hundreds of people that I was a liar and an MRA and that I should just go kill myself. You won't find much sympathy there. If you haven't been diagnosed with PTSD, I really recommend the Male Survivor message board.

I also strongly recommend that you work with a therapist to process your trauma. A female therapist, especially, that you can trust might really be able to help. For me, my therapist has been a lifesaver. She's taught me a lot.

Welcome to the forums.


Wow, I'm so, so, sorry for what you've been taught and what that did to you!

You write very eloquently and your story was very touching @thatsitdavie.
It sounds similar to my partner's early conditioning, I don't think that kind of male shame engraining is as uncommon as you might thing.

My mother and both grandmother's were also horribly abusive, twisted and misery-creating woman. I got involved with a very abusive man for 20+ years because of my childhood programming, so I understand how much of a hold it has over us.

My dad has had a small amount of sex but also got treated badly by both wives and cheated on by them, so the cuck training by these kinds of malignant women is really a powerfully disempowering thing.

Your mother and grandmother are very, very mentally and emotionally malignant women.
I would strongly advise you to find a therapist or a online peer support network and address the core beliefs that have so far been holding you back from relationships with women.
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