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11:56 p.m. - April 9, 2003
Thank you for listening
Today, I was accepted into a pilot treatment program designed for men who were sexually abused as children also dealing with concomitant echoes of PTSD and for me, panic attacks during intimate encounters. The program is administered by two foremost experts in sexual trauma and subsequent impairments specifically in men and will last 9 months out of Stanford and how am I calm right now? I will have two therapists

Ha, Iím starting to well up again.

Iíve been a mess, a good, healthy, warm mess since finding out this afternoon. Friday I dragged myself to work after how many days? and overheard mention of the program and within an hour was on the phone with the therapist Iíll call Dr. Indy. Did an initial question-and-answer and when she ascertained I was a fit subject went in for a 3-hour intake on Tuesday and today, I have a number and therapists and I donít feel so horribly alone tonight. Tuesday morning I had my hand on the door knob for a while Ė a few minutes? Seconds? Ė and I couldnít will myself to open the door; I wanted to turn around and go home, go back to the guest room where Iíve been sleeping in the nook between the wall and window. I was afraid and when afraid, I flee, usually before realizing Iím afraid. I stood there thinking about what it means to ask for help and receive it, to acknowledge weakness and failure and it was bitter but isnít it better to confront the weakness rather than ignore it away? And as I stood there Dr. Indy came up from behind and said in her gentle, genuine voice You must be Jason and I said yes and we talked about my memories, my sleep patterns, my dreams, the idiosyncrasies. Talked about Spec and Dana Ė she was very interested; did you know this is typical, so far as limited research has concluded? Did you also know that guys like me, if they are with other men sexually, they tend to be with partners who are violent with them? At first I outright lied when she asked had Spec ever hit me but she prodded and then everything came out about how heíd choke me and laugh and the bruises and black eye last September. And I cried, I cried a lot and was terribly embarrassed and in her quiet voice said Letís talk about suicide and so I did. Told her what Iíve been doing these past few weeks, my plans, how Iíve nearly completely shut down. And this is all normal, I am not the only guy like this and yes, itís trite to be surprised but itís sincere.

We talked about intimacy and how I find it difficult, especially with a man. Talked about being an over-achiever never achieving anything. About feeling stupid and of little worth, how I shield myself from people who wish to know me. We talked about my secret shame, the one I donít like thinking about but you know what? Telling her made me feel so light I can only hope things continue in this vein. I would go to his house and knock on his door knowing what he would do, what I would do. I would watch his motherís light blue car pull out of the driveway and would creep next door and sometimes heíd be there and weíd go to his room, sometimes he wasnít. He came to my soccer games and I liked that and the shame of knowing what I did, that I did this to myself, is the concrete ballast Iíve carried my whole life. Talked about how dirty I always feel, how inadequate and disgusting, about how I find it difficult to maintain eye contact with people, how I donít allow people to get to know me for fear of being hurt, for fear of being considered dirty by someone else. At one point Dr. Indy put her hand on my knee and promised no guarantees, no definite outcomes, no quick cure, but said Things will improve, Jason and what a simple sentiment, an uncomplicated phrase and damn it, there I go again. Iím not going to be like this forever. Do you know what this is like? Itís like diving to the bottom of the pool to see how long you can stay under, rising up only to realize youíve exhausted your air supply before breaching the surface, feeling that heaviness, that pounding, that quickening dread that suggests Stay down here, you canít do it, give up but you donít listen and push through and take that first breath that swells your head. I feel like my body is swelling, right down to the capillaries.

So I asked for help. And it feels good. Do you understand? I am not alone and there are people who want me to be well. Iím going to be okay. Iím going to be okay. Again. Iím going to be okay.

I have been worried of late, very worried. I felt as if I had lost the tenuous hold on the gradient and was rushing down, comforted by yielding and giving up. I did not want to give up and I have not, though I thought I had.

Ah. Who knew crying could feel so good.

I did not want to give up but felt I had no choice.

Thank you for listening.


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