This post deals with suicide and might be triggering for some readers.
At 10 years old, I discovered that male validation gave me a sense of purpose and fulfilment.
I was one of the weird outcast kids at school. I looked different because I hit puberty earlier than most, and I was into Japanese music, anime, and the emo scene and aesthetic.
I did okay with my schoolwork, but I didn’t fit in very well. I felt very anxious, lonely and depressed. I was missing the validation that I needed from my teachers and peers at school, so instead, I sought validation on the internet.
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I began chatting online to adult men around 2008, which was during a time that we were still learning the dangers of the internet that we are now very much aware of today.
I did whatever these men asked me to do. You can fill in the blanks. I knew what men wanted, and the thought of receiving validation and praise from them filled me with excitement. I didn’t enjoy it or get any kind of pleasure from it, but I felt compelled to keep doing it.
My experiences during those times inevitably left me with a lot of trauma. Trauma that didn’t get unpacked and healed until I was in my twenties.
As a child, I couldn’t possibly understand the situations I would get myself into, how dangerous and harmful they were, and the potential risks and consequences.
And because I didn’t get the help that I needed at the time, I didn’t learn or understand anything. I didn’t understand the thoughts and emotions that I was experiencing and became a highly anxious and stressed person.
I kept living and breathing for the male gaze for many years. My life revolved around male validation.
I always knew I was supposed to like the opposite gender, and I thought I was supposed to try to appeal to men.
But I never once thought about if I actually liked boys. I just wanted them to like me because it made me feel good and that I was an okay person.