Where do I start? 
I have been asked that question so many times over the past 15 years as a male survivor coach.  My answer is always the same, begin where you are at this moment in time with an open mind.  It seems like it's really not an answer but a cop out, but it's reality.

Where are you at right now? 
Can you admit that sexual abuse is part of your history and that it does and has affected your life?  Even if there are only inklings and the pictures or memories are not vivid and clear, yet there is a sense that something happened.  Past participants acknowledge some of the issue below they face due to the abuse:

  • Gender shame
  • Confusion on masculinity and gender identity
  • Alcohol & Drug abuse to numb feelings
  • Confusion of emotional needs with sex
  • Vulnerability issues
  • Multiple compulsive or addictive behaviors
  • Pornography challenges
  • Physical & emotional symptoms (panic attacks, impotency)
  • Patterns of self-sabotaging
  • Patterns of victimizing self and others
  • Anger management
  • Poorly defined sense of self
  • Chaotic relationships
  • Trust and intimacy issues 
  • Boundary and authenticity issues
  • Sexual re-enactment of the abuse 
  • Inability and confidence to make decisions
  • Body image disorders
  • Helplessness, isolation and alienation
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Feeling inadequate as a man

The list continues.  Often times the basic starting place to begin healing is thwarted because a male survivor will not simply admit he was or most likely experienced sexual abuse.  Although I say "simply" it's really not, because the stigma  attached to men being overcomed, dominated, penetrated, raped, violated or abused is overwhelming in a culture that believes men cannot be victims. 

Start here
If you know that sexual abuse is part of your life history, start by acknowledging it and admitting that it probably has affected your life in ways that you may not see or understand. 

  • If you are experiencing flashbacks, nightmares, memories concerning the abuse, try not to totally block them out and ignore them.  
  • Find information on childhood and adult sexual abuse
  • Find a competent therapist, counselor, coach who can effectively help or point you in the right direction. 
  • Attend a support group, workshop for sexual abuse victims.  Yeah it's scary.  
  • Work on your substance abuse issues if they are present, but realize, that until you address the abuse and betrayal, you have not touch the roots. 

My number one recommendation is to find someone who can help you determine where you're at right now?  You can work the issues mentioned above during the course of your healing journey.  However, if you cannot identify where you are at right now, you will wander in an endless frustrating circle.   The first thing I ask those interested in working with me "Where are you at right now?"  Then we move from that point of reference.

Another option is to start with a coaching session 

After attending a workshop and some coaching a male survivor shared this story with me of how he now viewed his journey

pdf here

Where Do I Start?


If you don't work on the abuse issues, they will work on you!