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“我战胜了自己。现在我47岁了,但我的恋爱旅程才刚开始。”
2019-06-01 Crayon 3808 0 0  

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

“我战胜了自己。现在我47岁了,但我的恋爱旅程才刚开始。”



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岁,虽然仍然是一名处男,但内心渴望着建立一个家庭,让生活稳定下来。为此,他第一次沉浸在网上约会的世界里。

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.

由于之前从未接触过,在网站注册的个人简介那一栏,Matt为了想出合适的词来介绍自己绞尽了脑汁。他的朋友鼓励他道:“嘿,你是一个极富吸引力的人!可爱又风趣幽默!” Matt听后羞涩得一笑带过。

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

“自然点,对于第一次见面的人,你并不需要透露得太多,”Maddy建议道。

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.

“这我从没经历过,”Matt努力克服自己对于相亲场面的恐惧。

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.

根据他的朋友们的说法,Matt是一个善良,有魅力的人。从West Country的家乡搬到伦敦以来,他在戏剧管理方面取得了相当的成功。

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,尽管Matt的外表相当不俗,但他对成人间的亲密接触却一直排斥。直到47,他依然是一个处男。但内心深处,他极度渴望一名伴侣,能够组建家庭并安定下来。

"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.

“一直以来我都没有想过这方面的事情。 我生活在自己的小世界里,对于异性更是觉得只可远观。”Matt说道。

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

Matt对于形成亲密关系的担忧,源于他在西南沿海城镇的童年经历。

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很幸运能够在富裕的地区长大,有两个年长的兄弟姐妹和很多朋友可以在当地海滩的公园和沙丘上玩耍。

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.

在他八岁的那一年,有一天天气炎热,踢完球后他进入了一个公共厕所。两名男子尾随着他一起进入了隔间。

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.

其中一名男子称赞Matt的球技,并且说Matt曾在球场与他们打过招呼。但Matt对此表示毫不知情。两名男子仍然不依不挠,并且表示要向Matt的校长报告他的粗鲁行为。

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样子。另一名男子叫嚷道这都是Matt的错,伤害了他的一片“热心”,并坚持要Matt帮那么男子按摩腹部来以此补偿。Matt感觉到了不对劲,大哭了起来。

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

但是这两名男子不停地向Matt施压,强迫他就范。最终,Matt屈服了。

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

“至今我仍然记得当晚回家时妈妈关切地对我问到出了什么事情,”Matt回忆道。

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.

当天晚上,Matt食不下咽, 他感到无法言喻的委屈和负罪感。甚至他觉得自己也需要对这所发生的一切负责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.

“就好像你经历了一场车祸,你不停的向深渊坠去,不知道何时是一个尽头。于是你只好封闭自己,假装什么都没有发生。”

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,这经历在接下来的18个月内仍在发生。在公共厕所,或是私人公寓里,Matt被猥亵的次数竟多达30多次。有一次,甚至还加入了另外的陌生人和不幸儿童。

"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.

“他们会不停地威胁你,”Matt解释道:“他们简直就是魔鬼!你只能顺从他们,否则会被杀掉!”

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

“那种被胁迫的感觉,惊惧、恐怖的环境,甚至比受辱本身还要让人绝望。”

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.

从Matt校园时期的照片中,我们可以看出这件事对于他的生活造成了多大的阴影。小时候的他顶着一头金发,在镜头前开心地笑着。而在这件事发生的一年后,另一张照片中的Matt却已经失去了大把的头发。

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.

当这一切终于结束的那一刻,Matt在心中暗暗对自己发誓,再也没有人可以欺负他。从那时起,Matt的内心就紧紧关上了门。

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

尽管在内心深处有着对性的渴望,Matt说道,“成年后,对于跟异性的亲密接触,我的内心就产生了障碍。”

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

“多年以来,性行为对于我来说都只是一种痛苦和恐惧。”

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.

青少年期的成长对于Matt而言更是一种痛苦,他渴望着有一种药能够停止自己生理上的发育。

"It was all a front," he says.

“这一切仅仅是一个开始,”Matt回忆道。

"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."

“每当有女孩对我表现出兴趣,尤其是试图接近我的时候,我就会不由自主地跑开。在内心深处我总是惧怕她们的接近是带有性行为的目的。”

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喜欢上了橄榄球,并借此来抒发自己内心的情感,尤其是心中的那股愤怒。与其他人的激烈对抗成为了Matt保护自己的一种方式。

Another emotional crutch was alcohol.

除此之外,Matt开始借酒精麻痹自己。

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岁那年,Matt就开始了酗酒。到了17岁酒精已经成为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,我只是想借助酒精来麻痹自己,喝醉的时候才不会那么痛苦。”

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.

马特的酗酒开始变得愈发严重,以至于他开始出现断片,震颤和心悸。有一次,在酩酊大醉之后,Matt出现了幻觉,他看见希特勒,斯大林和墨索里尼站在自己的床边!这荒唐的经历不仅没能使他克制,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.

最终,在Matt20岁那年,他被记了一次大过并被开除了学籍。为了改变自己,他搬回了自己的父母家并开始与他们一同生活。这个曾经给他带来噩梦并养成酗酒恶习的罪魁祸首之地,却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.

当接受了自己酗酒这段经历之后,Matt的内心也放开了许多,渐渐地他开始可以面对曾经被侵害的噩梦。这么多年以来,他从没有与别人提起过。

"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,逼迫着你将一切都埋藏心中。你不由自主地就紧闭了自己,甚至想要以死来逃避”

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.

一位心理学家建议Matt向自己的父母敞开心扉。一开始,Matt显得局促不安,他担心事实的真相会对他们造成打击。并且,尽管知道这一切事情与父母无关,Matt的内心却对他们有着一丝责怪,因为事情发生时父母没有在身旁保护自己。他认为先跟他的妹妹Caroline交谈更容易。

"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.

“当我发现这一切时,我产生了深深的负罪感——为什么当时我没有在他的身边保护他。照顾好他本该是我这个姐姐的职责!”Caroline说道。

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去报警,但很快她意识到事情过去多年,早已没有证据。于是,为了补偿,她决定今后无论Matt需要什么,她都会陪在身边,尽自己的全力给他一个圆满的生活。

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.

接下来的几年内,Matt积极接受治疗,并且去了印度和巴西旅游。他开始学习如何控制自己的情绪,并且逐渐克服自己的心理障碍,试着去与别人接触。

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.

但是心理恢复的过程是缓慢的,20多年逐渐过去,Matt才终于摆脱了心中对于恋童癖团伙的阴影。直到这一刻,Matt才真正意识到这一切的发生并不是他自己的错。

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

“我终于可以忘掉耻辱,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.

在克服了这一切之后,Matt逐渐变得自信起来。现在,Matt自己开始帮助那些有过类似经历的人,并且正在考虑加入NSPCC(英国全国防止虐待儿童协会),该组织致力于帮助曾经遭受过虐待的孩子重新找回生活的勇气。

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

Matt还将自己的遭遇写成了一本书,自己发行。

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却进展缓慢。尽管他已经有了自己的爱情宣言,但还是缺乏行动的勇气。

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.

特别是,他担心约会时对方会要求他解释为什么他不喝酒,以及为什么他之前没有恋爱经历。 而他唯一有过的性经历就是虐待,从来没有过基于相互平等,分享,尊重的恋爱关系。

"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.

“当约会时,对方发现自己有所隐瞒,那么一定会在内心提高警惕。或许坦诚才是最好的选择。”Matt说道。

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

最后,他鼓起勇气,将自己的真是遭遇发布在了网上。几乎立即他便收到了一些有希望的回应。

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.

现在,马特已经准备好参加网站安排给他的第一次约会 - 与一位女士共用咖啡,他觉得他们之间会有很多共同之处。

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.

他开始试着表现的自然,不用刻意去思考自己要说什么或是做什么。这是一个很大的进步。

"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.

“这一切遭遇带给我的痛苦已经够多的了,是时候该结束了。”

"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.

“尽管我的心里还是忐忑不安,但是对于新生活的期待让我明白,过去的应该让他过去。”

"It isn't everything."

“人生应该向前看。”