Emotions

COMMON FEELINGS FOR SEXUALLY VIOLATED MEN

Male sexual violation is defined as any unwanted or non-consensual sexual act performed against a man or boy at any time in his life.

Emotional Shock

I feel numb. How can I be so calm? Why can’t I cry?

Disbelief and/or Denial

Did it really happen? Why me? Maybe I just imagined it. It’s not really important.

Embarrassment

What will people think? I can’t tell my family or friends.

Shame

I feel completely filthy, disgusting, like there’s something wrong with me. I can’t get clean.

Guilt

I feel as if it’s my fault, or I should’ve been able to stop it. If only I had…

Depression

How am I going to get through the day? I’m so tired! I feel so hopeless. What’s the point of going on?

Powerlessness

Will I ever feel in control again?

Disorientation

I don’t even know what day it is, or where I’m supposed to be. I keep forgetting things.

Flashbacks

I’m reliving what happened! I keep seeing, hearing and smelling things that bring it right back and I feel like it’s happening all over again.

Fear

I’m scared of everything. What if I have an STI or AIDS? I can’t sleep because I’ll have nightmares. I’m afraid to go out. I’m afraid to be alone.

Anxiety

I’m having panic attacks. I can’t breathe. I can’t stop shaking. I feel overwhelmed.

Anger

I feel like hurting the person who attacked me or lashing out at the world.

Physical Stress

My stomach (or head or back) aches all the time. I feel jittery and don’t want to eat.

The long term consequences of sexual violation are well documented and comprise a wide range of psychological, emotional, physical, and social effects. These include anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, drug and alcohol addiction, borderline personality disorder, sleep disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, psychosis, grief, post-traumatic reactions, poor self perception, sexual dysfunction, social dysfunction, dysfunction of relationships (including parenting), poor education and employment records, and a range of physical symptoms. The symptoms in an individual may be specific or general, episodic or chronic

Adapted from SurvivorsUK.org

 

EMOTIONS

As men we don’t normally identify and emotion with a specific word. Here is a list compiled to assist you

Abandoned, abused, accepted, accused, admired, adventurous, affectionate, affirmed, afraid, aggressive, aggravated, agitated, alarmed, alienated, alive, alone, ambivalent, angry, annoyed, antagonistic, anticipated, anxious, apathetic, appreciated, apprehensive, approved, arrogant, ashamed, assertive, attacked, attractive, awed, awkward

Balanced, beaten, belligerent, betrayed, bewildered, bitter, blamed, bored, bothered, bugged, burned up

Capable, cared for, castrated, caustic, chagrined, challenged, cheated, closed, comfortable, comforted, compassionate, competent, complacent, compromised, concerned, confident, confused, congruent, connected, consumed, contaminated, controlled, out of control, creative, cross, cruel, crushed, curious, cut off,

Dead, deceived, defeated, defensive, defiant, degraded, dejected, delighted, deserving, desired, desperate, destroyed, devastated, dirty, disappointed, discontented, disgusted, disillusioned, disjointed, dismayed, distant, distorted, distracted, distressed, disturbed, dominated, domineering, drained, dread, drowning, drugged, dumb, dying,

Eager, edgy, egotistic, elated, embarrassed, embraced, empty, endangered, enraged, enthused, envious, evasive, exasperated, exhausted, exhilarated, exploited, explosive, exposed,

Failed, failure, fat, fatigued, fearful, fighting mad, floundering, fooled, forgiven, forgotten, fouled, free, friendless, friendly, frightened, frustrated, furious,

Galled, generous, genuine, gifted, gracious, grateful, gratified, greedy, grumpy, guilty,

Hate, hated, hatred, healed, heavy, helpless, hopeful, hopeless, hostile, hurt, hyperactive, hypocritical,

Ignored, immobilized, impatient, impotent, inadequate, indifferent, incompetent, inconsistent, in control, indecisive, independent, indignant, inferior, infuriated, inhibited, injured, insecure, irked, irritated, isolated, intense, integrated, intimate, intimidated, irrational, irritable,

Jealous, joyful, judged, judgmental,

Liberated, light, limited, lonely, like a loser, lost, lovable, loved, loyal,

Mad, manipulated, marked, masked, masochistic, melancholic, miffed, misinformed, misunderstood,

Naked, needy, neglected, noxious,

Obligated, offended, optimistic, outraged, overlooked, oversized, oversexed, overwhelmed,

Pain, panic, paranoid, passionate, peaceful, persecuted, perturbed, pessimistic, phony, pissed-off, playful, pleased, pleasured, possessed, possessive, powerful, powerless, precious, preoccupied, pressured, private, protective, proud, provoked, punished, purposeful, put down, put out, puzzled,

Rageful, rambunctious, reassured, rejected, resentful, responsible, responsive, restrained, resurrected, revengeful, reverence, rewarded, rigid,

Sacred, sad, sadistic, scapegoated, scared, secretive, secure, seductive, seething, selfish, sensual, shaky, shamed, shocked, shy, sick, sincere, sinful, smothered, soiled, sorrowful, spontaneous, spiteful, stressed, strong, stubborn, stupid, subservient, superior, supported, suspicious, sympathetic,

Teed off, tender, terrified, threatened, ticked off, tired, tolerant, tolerated, traumatized, tranquil, triumphant, trusted, trusting, turned off,

Ugly, unable, unappreciated, unbalanced, uncertain, understood, unfulfilled, unhappy, unique, unloved, unprepared, upset, unresponsive, unlikable, uptight, used, useful, useless,

Vain, valuable, vengeful, vicious, vindicated, vindictive, violent, vulnerable,

Warm, weak, weary, whole, withdrawn, wonderful, worn out, worthless, worthy,

Youthful, yearning, zany, zealous

Extract from the ASCA Meeting Guidebook

 

 

Nelson Mandela

"As I walked out the door towards my freedom, I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind, I would still be in prison"

IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT

People from all walks of life can be a victim of sexual abuse. It doesn’t matter your age, race or cultural background, everyone is at risk of becoming a victim. It must be known that you did not choose for this to happen to you, there is nothing specific about you that makes you more vulnerable to this abuse. Sexual abuse, like any form of abuse is a criminal offence and is never the fault of the person it happens to. It doesn’t matter whether you were drinking or drugging. It doesn’t matter what you were wearing or saying. It doesn’t matter if you knew the abuser or were having an argument. You are, Under No Circumstances responsible for being assaulted or sexually abused. The person who did this to you is the only person responsible for your sexual assault; they are the ones to blame.