The following may be too upsetting for some to read as it involves childhood sexual abuse and homisexuality. Please dont read if you are in an emotional space. I feel like it is information that is helping me understand men ive been involved with. I hope it is useful for someone else,and not selfish or wrong for me to share.
When I was 9, we spent the summer in a different city for my moher's career, and shared a duplex with another divorced mom and her kids. I became friends with one of them. He was 12 but small for his age and I didn't even know until this year that he was older than me. We became best friends, and after that summer i saw him a few more times and we wrote to each other for awhile. I was a lonely kid, lived out in the country, was a weird, artistic, cerebral kid, didn't fit in. He was like me but more confident,and I loved him, and in my child's mind, thought we would marry.
He said he wanted to be a priest or join the navy.
We met again as young adults. He was out as gay, and had just been diagnosed with AIDS. It was the late 80s and he was told he would be dead in a year. We got wasted and laughed about our weird mothers and messed up childhoods. We cried about his diagnosis, we went to a gay club and danced for hours. After that we didn't have any contact for decades.
Recently, he moved to my city and we started hanging out. He survived AIDS. Has no viral load. He's healthy as he can be, still taking medicines, works out, eats well, takes supplements. We are in our early 50s and fell right into a comfortable friendship.
When we talked about the past, I learned some things that shocked me. At age 12, he was already sexually active with men. He would go to a park across from our duplex and meet men. I was 9 and thought he was my soulmate. He, obviously, never thought the same.
How could a child of 12 already be in that world of sex with strangers in a public restroom? How could he even know where to go or who to approach or how.
My brother, 6 years older than me, was groomed by a family friend, from age 13. My parents felt something was not right, but the man was an expert liar and manipulator. My mother worked with him, he was married and he and his wife became close to us and my mother had asked him to be a father figure to my brother. He took my brother camping, swimming, taught him about photography and classical music. Started spending way too much time withat my brothe4. Since my folks were divorced and didn't communicate well, the man played them and was able to tell my father that my mother had sent him to pick up my brother, and vice versa.
It wasn't until decades later, after this man molested one of my brother'so teenage sons and was prosecuted for it that my brother admitted to us and himself that he had been abused, too. The man had followed my brother and stayed part of his life for three decades across 3000 miles. It took until he was 39 for my brother to stop the sexual activity. He never told anyone but it ruined 2 marriages to keep that secret. And affected our immediate family and my brothers kids.
My childhood friend knew, way back then, that summer when our mothers shared a duplex, He caught that man in the restroom at that public park, having sex with a high school kid. My friend also observed this man with my brother - he had come to visit us that summer, but really it was to be with my brother of course. My friend understood immediately that my 15 yr old brother was having a sexual relationship with that adult man, even though he never caught them having sex. My friend remembers being jealous of the attention my brother got from this man. When he caught the man having sex in the restroom, theye didn't speak about it but the man later gave him a valuable gift and my friend understood it was to keep him quiet.
I asked how he knew my brother and the man were having sex and he said it was the way they looked at each other, the inside jokes, the ease between them, and that they would disappear (to go hiking they said). My parents were uncomfortable but didn't know why, for decades. My sister and I didn't like this guy, neither did my brother's 2 ex wives. None of us knew why. This 12 year old knew instantly.
Learning this a few months ago, was horrifying for me, on many levels. My friend said he had been sexually active with men since he was 9, but said, "Someone must've gotten to me before then, because at 9 I knew to do and who to approach."
For him, he's always been gay. But, my brother had sexual contact with a man from 13 to 39 but was only involved with women. Sadly, he died 16 years ago, and I can't ask him about it all now. we were very close and he had started telling me about this before he died, but we never got very deep into it.
How did it affect him to have this secret life? Did he and that man interact with other men? Was this secret the main reason his marriages failed? Did he really stop all male sex at 39?
And did this family secret, involving the brother I idealized my entire life, and talked to every day, and felt closer to than anyone in my family, and who I tHoughton of as my closest friend, did this have anything to do with the fact that all but one of my relationships were with men who had been sexually molested in childhood and who had rarely told anyone and had continued to have secret sexual lives (usually with both genders) their whole lives?
And did this family secret have anything to do with me recently allowing an Xbf back in my life, one who had been open with me from the start about his sex with men, and who had broken my heart many times, and I hadn't spoken to in 4 years? Could this all help me understand why I've once again been crying my eyes out and wanting to die because once again I let him convince me he loved me, only to then get weird and mean and shut me out completely?