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“我戰勝了自己。現在我47歲了,但我的戀愛旅程才剛開始。”
2019-06-01 Crayon 3330 0 0  

'I survived abuse - now I'm starting to date at 47'

“我戰勝了自己。現在我47歲了,但我的戀愛旅程才剛開始。”



At 47, Matt is a virgin, but wants to settle down and start a family. So, for the first time, he is immersing himself in the world of online dating.

Matt今年47歲,雖然仍然是一名處男,但內心渴望著建立一個家庭,讓生活穩定下來。為此,他第一次沉浸在網上約會的世界里。

Matt Carey is struggling to find the right words to describe himself on his online dating profile."You're an attractive man. You're lovely, intelligent and funny," suggests his friend Maddy, who is helping him. Matt responds with a self-deprecating laugh.

由于之前從未接觸過,在網站注冊的個人簡介那一欄,Matt為了想出合適的詞來介紹自己絞盡了腦汁。他的朋友鼓勵他道:“嘿,你是一個極富吸引力的人!可愛又風趣幽默!” Matt聽后羞澀得一笑帶過。

"You don't have to reveal too much when you first meet someone," Maddy advises.

“自然點,對于第一次見面的人,你并不需要透露得太多,”Maddy建議道。

Matt is wary.

Matt有些拘束。

"This is all new," he says, betraying the nervousness he feels at putting himself out on the dating scene.

“這我從沒經歷過,”Matt努力克服自己對于相親場面的恐懼。

According to his friends, Matt is a catch - a kind, attractive man who has had a successful career in theatre management since moving to London from his childhood home in the West Country.

根據他的朋友們的說法,Matt是一個善良,有魅力的人。從West Country的家鄉搬到倫敦以來,他在戲劇管理方面取得了相當的成功。

But, despite his confident appearance, Matt has struggled with intimacy his entire adult life. At 47, he is a still a virgin, though he is desperate to find a partner, settle down and start a family.

但是,盡管Matt的外表相當不俗,但他對成人間的親密接觸卻一直排斥。直到47,他依然是一個處男。但內心深處,他極度渴望一名伴侶,能夠組建家庭并安定下來。

"For so long in my life I shut down the possibilities of it. I lived in a fantasy world or put women on a pedestal as a means to not do anything," he says.

“一直以來我都沒有想過這方面的事情。 我生活在自己的小世界里,對于異性更是覺得只可遠觀。”Matt說道。

Matt's fears around forming close relationships stem from his childhood in a south-west coastal town.

Matt對于形成親密關系的擔憂,源于他在西南沿海城鎮的童年經歷。

He counts himself lucky to have grown up in an affluent area, with two older siblings and plenty of friends to play with in the parks and sand dunes at the local beach.

Matt很幸運能夠在富裕的地區長大,有兩個年長的兄弟姐妹和很多朋友可以在當地海灘的公園和沙丘上玩耍。

Then one hot day when he was eight, after playing football, he walked into a public lavatory. Two men followed him into the small, confined space.

在他八歲的那一年,有一天天氣炎熱,踢完球后他進入了一個公共廁所。兩名男子尾隨著他一起進入了隔間。

One of the men complimented him on his playing, saying he remembered Matt had once waved to them from the football pitch. Matt said he didn't recognise them. But the men persisted, calling Matt a liar and saying they would tell his headmaster about his rude behaviour.

其中一名男子稱贊Matt的球技,并且說Matt曾在球場與他們打過招呼。但Matt對此表示毫不知情。兩名男子仍然不依不撓,并且表示要向Matt的校長報告他的粗魯行為。

At this point, one of men feigned a pain in his groin area. The other told Matt that it was his fault as he had hurt the man's feelings. He said Matt needed to rub the man's groin to make him feel better. Matt says he knew this wasn't right and started to cry.

突然,其中一名男子捂住小腹很痛苦的樣子。另一名男子叫嚷道這都是Matt的錯,傷害了他的一片“熱心”,并堅持要Matt幫那么男子按摩腹部來以此補償。Matt感覺到了不對勁,大哭了起來。

The men kept insisting that Matt do what they wanted, putting more and more pressure on him. In the end, he relented.

但是這兩名男子不停地向Matt施壓,強迫他就范。最終,Matt屈服了。

"I remember going home and Mum saying to me: 'What's wrong?'," he says.

“至今我仍然記得當晚回家時媽媽關切地對我問到出了什么事情,”Matt回憶道。

Matt hardly ate that night. He says it is hard to overestimate the sense of confusion and guilt he experienced. He didn't think he could tell his parents because he felt in some way responsible for what had happened.

當天晚上,Matt食不下咽, 他感到無法言喻的委屈和負罪感。甚至他覺得自己也需要對這所發生的一切負責而不敢向自己的父母透露半句。

"It was like being in a car crash. You don't know what the hell's going on. So you shut down and pretend nothing has happened," he says.

“就好像你經歷了一場車禍,你不停的向深淵墜去,不知道何時是一個盡頭。于是你只好封閉自己,假裝什么都沒有發生。”

Even though he had been deeply shaken by the experience, Matt saw his abusers again for the next 18 months. He was assaulted on more than 30 occasions in 12 different public toilets and, once, in a private flat. One time, other men and children joined in.

更可怕的是,這經歷在接下來的18個月內仍在發生。在公共廁所,或是私人公寓里,Matt被猥褻的次數竟多達30多次。有一次,甚至還加入了另外的陌生人和不幸兒童。

"They control you by threatening you that things will get worse," he says, explaining why he kept going back to the men. "There's a presence of evil. You're scared they might kill you so you go along with it.

“他們會不停地威脅你,”Matt解釋道:“他們簡直就是魔鬼!你只能順從他們,否則會被殺掉!”

"The complicity control is a lot worse than the abuse - the threats, the evil atmosphere."

“那種被脅迫的感覺,驚懼、恐怖的環境,甚至比受辱本身還要讓人絕望。”

School photographs from this time show the effect the abuse had on Matt's childhood. A photo from before shows him happy and smiling with a messy mop of blonde hair. A photo from a year later shows that he had pulled out much of his hair.

從Matt校園時期的照片中,我們可以看出這件事對于他的生活造成了多大的陰影。小時候的他頂著一頭金發,在鏡頭前開心地笑著。而在這件事發生的一年后,另一張照片中的Matt卻已經失去了大把的頭發。

When the abuse eventually stopped, Matt made a promise to himself that no-one would ever hurt him again. He says it was like something inside him shut down.

當這一切終于結束的那一刻,Matt在心中暗暗對自己發誓,再也沒有人可以欺負他。從那時起,Matt的內心就緊緊關上了門。

"For a lot of my adult life I've had real problems with sexual intimacy," he says, although he wanted a sexual relationship.

盡管在內心深處有著對性的渴望,Matt說道,“成年后,對于跟異性的親密接觸,我的內心就產生了障礙。”

"For years I imagined sex to be something really deeply uncomfortable and horrific."

“多年以來,性行為對于我來說都只是一種痛苦和恐懼。”

Becoming a teenager was difficult. Matt says he longed for a pill to stop his developing sexual feelings. He felt confused and ashamed - dirty on the inside, even though outwardly he was a bit of a lad.

青少年期的成長對于Matt而言更是一種痛苦,他渴望著有一種藥能夠停止自己生理上的發育。

"It was all a front," he says.

“這一切僅僅是一個開始,”Matt回憶道。

"Any girl showing me interest, particularly any girl coming on to me, I just ran away from. My fear was ultimately at some point, they might want to have sex."

“每當有女孩對我表現出興趣,尤其是試圖接近我的時候,我就會不由自主地跑開。在內心深處我總是懼怕她們的接近是帶有性行為的目的。”

Playing rugby helped him express his feelings, especially the rage he felt inside. Aggressively tackling other players became a way of coping with the sense of intimidation he felt in the presence of other men.

之后,Matt喜歡上了橄欖球,并借此來抒發自己內心的情感,尤其是心中的那股憤怒。與其他人的激烈對抗成為了Matt保護自己的一種方式。

Another emotional crutch was alcohol.

除此之外,Matt開始借酒精麻痹自己。

Matt began drinking at the age of 15. By 17 he was stealing to fund his habit and by his late teens, he was dependent on alcohol to get through the day.

15歲那年,Matt就開始了酗酒。到了17歲酒精已經成為他生活中不可或缺的一部分,再往后,Matt只能靠酒精度日。

"Initially I drank because of the buzz because I felt much better being drunk than being sober," he says.

“起初,我只是想借助酒精來麻痹自己,喝醉的時候才不會那么痛苦。”

Matt's drinking became so extreme that he started experiencing blackouts, tremors and palpitations. Once, after a big night out, he had a hallucination of Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini standing beside his bed. Instead of stopping, he decided to drink more.

馬特的酗酒開始變得愈發嚴重,以至于他開始出現斷片,震顫和心悸。有一次,在酩酊大醉之后,Matt出現了幻覺,他看見希特勒,斯大林和墨索里尼站在自己的床邊!這荒唐的經歷不僅沒能使他克制,反而Matt喝的更多了。

Eventually, at the age of 20, Matt had a breakdown and was kicked out of university. He returned to living with his parents, knowing he needed help. This led him to Alcoholics Anonymous where he found a sense of spirituality that became the basis for his healing.

最終,在Matt20歲那年,他被記了一次大過并被開除了學籍。為了改變自己,他搬回了自己的父母家并開始與他們一同生活。這個曾經給他帶來噩夢并養成酗酒惡習的罪魁禍首之地,卻也使他找到了自我拯救的方向。

Coming to terms with his alcohol abuse allowed Matt to begin opening up about his sexual abuse. For years he had told no-one about what he had been through.

當接受了自己酗酒這段經歷之后,Matt的內心也放開了許多,漸漸地他開始可以面對曾經被侵害的噩夢。這么多年以來,他從沒有與別人提起過。

"You feel so complicit and the manipulation forces your silence so you don't tell people - you go out of your way to hide it. It's a conscious denial to survive," he says.

“仿佛有一股力量控制了你,逼迫著你將一切都埋藏心中。你不由自主地就緊閉了自己,甚至想要以死來逃避”

A psychologist encouraged Matt to open up to his parents. Initially, Matt was cautious, not wanting to hurt them. And, although he knew they were not responsible for the abuse, he felt angry that they hadn't been there to protect him. He says it was easier to speak to his sister, Caroline.

一位心理學家建議Matt向自己的父母敞開心扉。一開始,Matt顯得局促不安,他擔心事實的真相會對他們造成打擊。并且,盡管知道這一切事情與父母無關,Matt的內心卻對他們有著一絲責怪,因為事情發生時父母沒有在身旁保護自己。他認為先跟他的妹妹Caroline交談更容易。

"It was feelings of guilt - why wasn't I there for him? I was the older bossy sister who thought I looked out for him, so it was quite upsetting to find out this had happened and I was completely oblivious of it," she says.

“當我發現這一切時,我產生了深深的負罪感——為什么當時我沒有在他的身邊保護他。照顧好他本該是我這個姐姐的職責!”Caroline說道。

Caroline considered advising Matt to go to the police, but she realised there would be no evidence for a prosecution. Instead, she offered to do whatever her brother needed to help him heal and live a full life.

原本Caroline希望Matt去報警,但很快她意識到事情過去多年,早已沒有證據。于是,為了補償,她決定今后無論Matt需要什么,她都會陪在身邊,盡自己的全力給他一個圓滿的生活。

Over the years, Matt has been helped by various forms of therapy and by travelling to India and Brazil. He has learnt to manage his emotional triggers and get over his feelings of discomfort about being physically close to another person.

接下來的幾年內,Matt積極接受治療,并且去了印度和巴西旅游。他開始學習如何控制自己的情緒,并且逐漸克服自己的心理障礙,試著去與別人接觸。

But the results have come slowly. Matt says it took him 20 years before he was able to fully remember the coercion and threats made by the paedophile ring. He says it was only then that he knew, on a deep emotional level, that the abuse had not been his fault.

但是心理恢復的過程是緩慢的,20多年逐漸過去,Matt才終于擺脫了心中對于戀童癖團伙的陰影。直到這一刻,Matt才真正意識到這一切的發生并不是他自己的錯。

"This has allowed me to move forward and let go of the shame," he says.

“我終于可以忘掉恥辱,向前看。”

As Matt has become more open about the abuse he suffered, his confidence has grown. He now helps others who have been through similar experiences, and is considering joining a NSPCC campaign which helps children know where to turn if they are abused.

在克服了這一切之后,Matt逐漸變得自信起來。現在,Matt自己開始幫助那些有過類似經歷的人,并且正在考慮加入NSPCC(英國全國防止虐待兒童協會),該組織致力于幫助曾經遭受過虐待的孩子重新找回生活的勇氣。

He's also found the confidence to put his own story into words, in a self-published book.

Matt還將自己的遭遇寫成了一本書,自己發行。

But in his personal life, Matt's progress has been more hesitant. Although he finished writing his dating profile, for months, he held back making it live.

但是自己的情感方面,Matt卻進展緩慢。盡管他已經有了自己的愛情宣言,但還是缺乏行動的勇氣。

In particular, he worried that dates would ask him to explain why he didn't drink and why he hadn't been in a relationship before. He worried that his only experience of sex was the abuse, and that he had never had a relationship based on equality, sharing, kindness and love.

特別是,他擔心約會時對方會要求他解釋為什么他不喝酒,以及為什么他之前沒有戀愛經歷。 而他唯一有過的性經歷就是虐待,從來沒有過基于相互平等,分享,尊重的戀愛關系。

"If anyone on a date senses someone is holding something back, it can raise alarm bells. Maybe it's best to be open," he says.

“當約會時,對方發現自己有所隱瞞,那么一定會在內心提高警惕。或許坦誠才是最好的選擇。”Matt說道。

Finally he summoned the courage to post his profile online. Almost immediately he received some promising responses.

最后,他鼓起勇氣,將自己的真是遭遇發布在了網上。幾乎立即他便收到了一些有希望的回應。

Now Matt is ready for his first date arranged through the website - a coffee with a woman with whom he feels he has a lot in common.

現在,馬特已經準備好參加網站安排給他的第一次約會 - 與一位女士共用咖啡,他覺得他們之間會有很多共同之處。

He says he is trying hard not to over-think what he will say and what he will do. He feels has made a massive step forward.

他開始試著表現的自然,不用刻意去思考自己要說什么或是做什么。這是一個很大的進步。

"So much of the shame around the abuse has left me, so I don't feel I need to apologise for the after-effects," Matt says.

“這一切遭遇帶給我的痛苦已經夠多的了,是時候該結束了。”

"I'm more accepting that I'm scared, but I also feel excited as well that there is an opportunity - that my life isn't about the abuse.

“盡管我的心里還是忐忑不安,但是對于新生活的期待讓我明白,過去的應該讓他過去。”

"It isn't everything."

“人生應該向前看。”
 
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