My best friend in high school was a male, Markus. Markus could not figure out why I would strike at him whenever he did not announce himself and scare me. He was gay so his touch was never sexual. My body must have remembered the sexual abuse perpetrated when I was a wee child and was protecting me on an unconscious level.
I was in my early twenties when my sibling revealed to me about the incest sexual abuse done by a step-relative. I finally understood the nightmares and skittish reaction to male touch. I went for a few counseling sessions but wasn’t impressed by the therapist (she was a newbie). About a year later I joined a sexual abuse survivors group but didn’t feel comfortable. It took another couple years before I located a gifted art therapist, Nelly, who was able to help me make some progress.
Nelly understood that because the abuse occurred before I knew words, it was difficult for me to articulate what happened. I would draw or create a mini sculpture and talk about the feelings. I had built up walls of resistance since I was an infant to protect myself from pain. I remember watching a Star Trek rerun when I was in kindergarten (my dad would turn on the tv when I got home from school when my mom wasn’t home). I learned that Spock protected himself by having no feelings and that is what I decided to emulate. I experienced limited emotions until Nelly helped me to lower some of the barriers. It took a lot of meetings with Nelly but it was worth every hour and every penny (I was able to see her at a community clinic with a lower fee).
Feelings are great but still make me rather vulnerable. I have learned to avoid my family because they make me feel extra vulnerable. No matter what I say or do my siblings will never be happy. They will never be kind or supportive of me. Unfortunately, I get reminded of this frequently. Nelly told me that it is probably because I have sought out counseling and they have not. I urged them to get help but they only reacted hatefully. I have had limited contact with my siblings and their offspring for over ten years. At times I am tempted to completely withdraw all contact and just have them communicate via a lawyer. After our parents die, that will probably be the sad case. It is a pitiful situation. They should direct their anger at Arnold, the perpetrator of the sexual abuse, not me.
Keep seeking; a good therapist is out there! (Experienced and legally licensed counselor is the best option.)