I was a victim of childhood sexual abuse. I was abused by four different people as a child and young teenager. That has definitely impacted me as a grownup. To make matters worse, one of the perpetrators was a Catholic priest. There is definitely quite a bit of ignorance and shame surrounding being a child abuse victim, especially since I'm male. As an adult, I've found it difficult to get close to people. I have built up a wall around myself and retreated into my own world. It's hard for me to trust people. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I think it could happen again. I never married and have had trouble maintaining friendships and romantic relationships I've also felt that somehow I deserved it - that I did something wrong and was punished. This too has carried over into adulthood. I don't feel worthy of success and I believe that I don't deserve to be successful or even happy. I'm getting better though. I found a good therapist and am working to unlearn all the messages I was taught. It's tough, but I think I can do it.
I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to express my experience. It does a great deal of good to get this out there.