4) Memory loss due to traumatization – Many victims dissociate during abuse. In extreme abuse cases of dissociation, boys become so traumatized that their brain literally protects them from remembering the information that would be too hard for them to handle. They are physically blocked from recalling the memories of their abuse without any effort made to forget on their part. Others do make an effort to forget and are sometimes successful, though often through the use of alcohol and drugs (this forgetting can be temporary; often when they become adults and are in safer environments, their memories come flooding back).
5) Too hard for them to discuss – Often the abuse they suffered was extremely traumatizing and confusing. Since they can’t make sense of what happened to them, they avoid discussing it. Unfortunately avoidance as a coping mechanism…though useful in the moment has detrimental effects in the long run.
6) Protecting others - Males often believe that the details of their abuse would be too hard for others to handle. Even as boys, many males don’t discuss their abuse with loved ones simply because they do not want them to hurt too; they feel the details of their abuse would be too hard for them to handle, so they remain silent. Males are instinctively protectors, even if it hurts them.
Next week I will discuss: shame and guilt associated to involuntary arousal.