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#11994 - 10/12/02 06:34 PM Why are we here ?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I was reading a report in a daily paper where a group of doctors and consultants were saying that online help and support groups were dangerous and did more harm than good.
To be fair they were talking about medical problems mainly, but they did include mental health help as well.

I can see their main point that people can recieve, or find, the wrong advice. And that has its dangers. But I believe that the poeple who activly seek advice are the kind of people that dont just look at one book or web site and take that information as gospel.
We tend to be people who are either dissatisfied with the mainstream help or seek the best and most up to date help and thinking available. And, most importantly, we seek the advice of those people who suffer the same complaint or trauma as we do. Who else knows the answers better ?

They used the word "dangerous", but survivors in particular are used to danger, we're dangerous people who lived a part of our lives in dangerous situations - some more than others if you read some of the tragic stories here.
I say "we're dangerous" meaning we are often dangerous to ourselves, we act out and have unprotected sex with strangers, we become addicted to drink and drugs, get embroiled in abusive relationships and are often driven by our anger to to lash out at those around us.
We understand dangerous, so why not use that understanding to our advantage ? we come to sites like this not knowing if what someone has written will offend or trigger us, but we keep coming back - we learn that the offence to ourselves isn't as bad as the origional offence against us. We overcame that, so we deal with the risk here.

Being online and remote does offer some safety, we aren't going to experience physical danger here. And if something we read is deeply upsetting we have the option of reading no further and moving on. That's a responsibility we take when we look for help and support on sites like this.
It's also the responsibility of the sites administrators and moderators to help to ensure that some kind of standard is kept, but that is always going to be difficult and relies on the standards of those people. And we all have different standards and levels of what we call acceptable.

But the real advantage of online help lies in its immediacy and availability. Where else can you get help 24 / 7 ?
Especially if you live in a remote area. Even here in the UK where I live the resources are town and city based, my local charity based therapy service is the only one between here and the Welsh coast over 100 miles away.
I've been lucky enough to have visited the US often, and I know how remote parts of it are. If you want therapy in Montana, or especially crisis help, where do you go ?
This can be especially important at crisis times when we know we're at risk of acting out, the depths of depression or reaching for the bottle. At those times we need help fast, most of can recognise the signs of the approacing crisis and feel powerless to stop it once it has us in its grip. If we have partners and friends who support us we turn to them, if we don't - what do we do ?
To know that support and the respect and love of others is just on the end of the 'phone line and all we need to do is get our fingers to the keyboard is a marvel, to get into a chat room and get instant response or even just write your feelings and fears in a forum gives us the release we need. It must make the difference to so many people who would otherwise struggle against the odds, if it didn't we wouldn't be here.

The technology that gives us this option is here to stay, and I believe that those who say it's of no use or dangerous haven't given themselves the chance to see just what it can do.

But we do, we know it makes sense.

Lloydy

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#11995 - 10/12/02 09:33 PM Re: Why are we here ?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Lloydy:

You are so right on! By and large online support has been all I've been able to get, especially as a survivor, and a male one at that. That's why this forum has become so helpful for me.

I don't know where that newspaper got its info or ideas from, but I doubt they have the experience to know what they're talking about. Not that that's so unusual for the news media!

The news media--now that's dangerous! The world--clearly can be very dangerous.

Yeah, sure online forums have their dangers, or their risks, even this one. But compared to the world? Compared to the crap the media shovels?

This forum is more like a safe place for me, a sanctuary. Clearly I and hundreds of others are glad its here, and glad to be here!

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#11996 - 10/13/02 12:01 AM Re: Why are we here ?
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
I'm with you guys.

If we left healing from depression up to the doctors, consultants, insurance companies - none of us would ever get anywhere. While I don't want to imply that ALL doctors are bad, I think there is room in this world for various methods of healing. And to be honest, if we get talking about insurance companies, they don't have a clue what should be covered and what shouldn't be covered! Before I get going on that subject, I will stop.

I've also seen medical personel cause more damage than they did good. There are so many cases of that. So I really don't think a newspaper or media outlet needs to portray doctors as having the only method to heal.

You know and I've used the online forums to do a lot for my healing. Many times there were things I just couldn't bring myself to verbally say to anyone (even my therapist). So I would use the forums to write things and get my thoughts out. Than I would take the post with me to therapy and give it to my therapist. After awhile, the therapist actually got me to read it out loud and when I did in our session, my healing really took off.

There's good and bad in everything. WE've just got to find what works for us and phewwwwyyy on the media outlets that report this type of stuff!

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
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#11997 - 10/13/02 07:51 PM Re: Why are we here ?
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
Whoa, coincidence - I JUST posted on the other thread that this board is my chosen way to process the learning I need.

There are a million qualifiers to that, of course. Distance, anonymity, the option to take what I like and discard the bullshit; if I didn't use those tools, would I be hurt, not helped? I can't answer that. As you said, Lloydy, I am, like most here, a person who reads, researches and processes alot.

And I don't believe I could go to live group therapy. So I argue that this is necessary to me, because where else would I get this support, feedback, echoing and validation of my own experience?

Like all other broad studies and 'interpretation', it is horseshit with regard to us. Of course, that is just my opinion ;\)

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#11998 - 10/13/02 08:12 PM Re: Why are we here ?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
I agree! For me, in relation to multiple dysfunctions & diseases I deal with, online forums have been a vital & necessary first step to live meetings. But they've been more than that.

Due to distance, my physical problems, and sometimes my psychological problems, I've been unable to find a group helpful enuf, close enuf & safe enuf to really help in any area.

Even if I did (I did go to one group pretty regularly for a few months a while back), I would still need the ease, comfort & dependability, not to mention the greater safety, of online forums.

For some, that may be, for a variety of reasons, all they'll ever be able to do. Or need to do.

I'd like a live group of male survivors, or possibly one for survivors of PTSD in general. That's my core issue, and nothing else seems like it can be of that much help, at least until I have that. And that is not to be found around here. I sure don't have the time, energy, resources or courage to begin a group, not yet anyway.

Maybe in time I'll find the courage. If I do it'll be becuz of online forums, particularly this group of male survivors.

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#11999 - 10/13/02 11:33 PM Re: Why are we here ?
Ken Followell Offline
President
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 990
Loc: Bradenton, FL
I think there is an element of danger in any healing environment. When someone needs help it is risky to ask for it. Whether in a group, with a therapist or any other venue you need to trust the source of help and keep enough questions going to know if it is helping.

For me the online forum is a good addition to individual therapy and the retreats I have gone to. It has given me the courage that I am going to start a survivors group in my home town. I don't think on line can meet all needs but it sure is a great place to check in and see if what your other sources of help are doing make any sense. I know too many men have been hurt by bad therapists and need a place like this.

Ken

_________________________
Ken Followell

Everything works out right in the end. If things are not working right, it isn't the end yet. Don't let it bother you, relax and keep on goin
- Michael C. Muhammad

"I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing."
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#12000 - 10/14/02 10:02 AM Re: Why are we here ?
New to this Offline
Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 138
Loc: Mississippi
I couldn't have made it through the last month without you guys.
I went for an evaluation and had my memory jolted. I had to wait 5 days before my next visit. While I waited, I found support and understanding here.
I remembered the details of my abuse in the second visit, but we didn't have time to deal with it at that session. NOMSV is where I dealt with what I was going through.

I think that within the medical and professional communities, there is a severe shortage of people qualified to deal with the issue of male sexual abuse. Lets face it, our issues are so complicated and uncomfortable that they have not been addressed well.

If our Mental Health departments understood the pain and confusion we experience and addressed it, perhaps we wouldn't be so dependent on sites like this.

What people don't understand is how we connect. Prior to NOMSV, I never knew another male that had been abused. I thought that I was alone. Any therapist can tell you that others have been through the same thing, but that is pretty meaningless. I now know other guys that have been through what I experienced. I know that I am not alone. I feel accepted by a group of my peers. You can't get that in therapy.

Besides that it gives us something else to do with our hands.

Devon

_________________________
"Knowledge itself is power" Francis Bacon

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#12001 - 10/14/02 05:34 PM Re: Why are we here ?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Devon

I just love this, the best practical reason for coming here ever...

Besides that it gives us something else to do with our hands.

Yeah, we go blind from staring at the monitor instead !!

Lloydy \:D

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#12002 - 10/15/02 01:56 PM Re: Why are we here ?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
New to This & Lloydy:

NYUK NYUK NYUK! \:D

Ken:

You're so right! Doctors, therapists, support groups--they can all be dangerous. For that matter
so can newspapers, news shows, etc.

That's been my support mostly, the online forums, a couple of retreats, and one support group I went to for awhile, for sexual addictions, all men, where we did talk some about abuse, as many of them had been abused. Unfortunately its kinda far away and at a bad time--I'm on partial medical disability, fibromyalgia.

I've known about my abuse (flashbacks) for about a year. I've thot a lot about trying to start a support group for male survivors, as there are none anywhere nearby that I know of. But I have yet to gather up the courage to do so.

Ideally, I think live support with personal face to face contact is best, but usually has to be built up to, if its available. But even with live support I still went online tho not as much (didn't know about NOMSV then). Online reading & resources are so helpful & accessible; good books are great friends too.

Thanks maybe I'll get the courage & figure out how to start a group here.

Hope yours goes really well.

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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