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#125464 - 02/19/06 01:08 AM Accepting Personal Responsibility
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
I came across a laundry list of suggestions at the following address:

http://www.coping.org/growth/accept.htm#What

They are not the gentlest suggestions but ones that I personally can relate to.

Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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#125465 - 02/20/06 03:07 AM Re: Accepting Personal Responsibility
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Hi Andrew,

I have frequently visited that site. I find a lot that is very helpful to me there.

I'm glad you brought it to the Discussion Board.

Yes, it is difficult to accept personal responsibility.

But if you consider how difficult our lives can become when using other, less effective coping mechanisms - perhaps accepting personal responsibility is not that difficult after all.

The 20 plus years I spent as an active alcoholic for example, were no picnic. The desperate acting out sexually that characterized all my adult relationships often put me in personal danger and sometimes left me injured, both emotionally and physically.

So viewed in the light of what I have already been through, getting my feelings slightly hurt by the suggestion that perhaps I am responsible for my own happiness, instead of continuing to blame my present on my past, is not that great a chance to take.

Like I said, I'm glad you brought this here.
Unfortunately I've noticed it pisses a lot of guys here off to suggest ideas such as the ones contained on the site you link to.

As I have said before, suffering is most definitely addictive. And kicking the habit can be painful for a while, but it sure as hell beats the alternative.

I wonder if we could get this guy or someone from his organization to lead a workshop or speak at the MS conference?

***As always, this statement only represents my personal feelings at this moment in time and in no way should be taken as a reflection on the attitudes or viewpoints of the MaleSurvivor BoD or Mod/Admin staff. But of course, you already knew that.***

Regards,

Danny

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#125466 - 02/20/06 03:15 AM Re: Accepting Personal Responsibility
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
lots of it makes sense ,but how can i be responsible for my past ,?my future yes,but my past ? i'm not reponsible for what he did to me. or the ways i have to live to deal with it . am i?

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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#125467 - 02/20/06 03:41 AM Re: Accepting Personal Responsibility
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Adam,

Your post illustrates the problem with ideas and judgments like those on the "coping" website.

I agree with Andrew and Danny that there is a lot that is of value there (I only read the section on accepting responsibility), but mainly what I learn from that section is that issues specifically concerning the sexual abuse of children and its consequences are not well integrated into the thinking concerning other areas - such as alcoholism, drug abuse and addiction, and so on.

So no, Adam, you are in no way responsible for what was done to you as a child. The "coping" site really doesn't have this topic in mind.

Danny, I refer here to your feeling that:

Quote:
Unfortunately I've noticed it pisses a lot of guys here off to suggest ideas such as the ones contained on the site you link to.
The contents of that section don't piss me off; I just think that some parts are wrong, irrelevant and damaging to recovery where CSA is concerned. Adam's post is a clear example of the kind of confusion that can arise, especially where a new or young survivor is concerned.

That said, I don't think it's unfortunate at all that a survivor should get short-tempered at some of the contents of that section in so far as they might be deemed relevant to recovery from CSA. Unless he sees that this material simply does not have CSA in mind in any way whatsoever, he may read it, as Adam does, as implying that a kid is to blame for his own abuse. That conclusion would be false of course, but that's exactly the point. There is too much leeway for confusion.

Just my thoughts.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#125468 - 02/20/06 04:56 PM Re: Accepting Personal Responsibility
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Adam, are you talking about the part where it says to stop rationalizing why others are responsible for what has happened to you?

To me, the important word in there is "rationalize."
In this context, rationalize means when you find reasons which are not true, but are more satisfying to you than the real reasons.

I read that statement as a challenge-- it is challenging me to be really objective and honest about whether or not I am responsible for something that has happened to me. It doesn't mean that I am responsible for everything that has happened to me.

For example, if I'm driving a car and the person behind me doesn't slow down at the intersection and rear-ends me, I'm not responsible. But let's say that the cops get there, and it comes out that I don't have a driver's license, and I get in trouble.

Even though it's not my fault the cops showed up, even if I have lots of reasons for WHY I was driving without a license (I had to get to work) or reasons why I don't have a license (My road test was cancelled, no one ever helped me learn to drive)-- it's up to me to accept responsibility for the illegal thing that I did-- and to accept that I have the power to make other choices (take the bus, get a driver's license).

I know that is a simple example. It can be more challenging to sort out our personal responsibility in situations where there's some emotional history, but it's possible. Does that make sense?


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#125469 - 02/21/06 01:18 AM Re: Accepting Personal Responsibility
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Interesting discussion.

A couple of points. First of all, as Andrew stated in his original post: these are simply suggestions.

If the way in which you choose to live with what was done to you in the past is working well for you, then by all means continue making those choices.

If, however, you are having some heavy going in making your way through life, then you might seriously consider looking at the ideas offered with an open mind and without 'the male survivor nailed to the cross' mentality.

For me, it was the realization that "No, I am not responsible for what happened to me in the past." But that I am responsible for taking that which was done to me and using it as my personal crown of thorns whenever I felt the need to make myself suffer, which as it turns out, was quite often.

It was not my fault that my father abandoned my family. But every time I needed to feel sorry for myself in order to justify some bad behavior on my part, you better believe I dragged my dear old dad out of his grave and used his abandonment of me as my 'rationalization', as SAR puts it so well.

For what I do today with what happened to me yesterday I am responsible.

To my mind, the greatest offense for me is act as if there is no solution, there is no hope, there is no way out. Because today I know better than that.

It may well be, as it is some days, that I do not care to work hard enough to get in touch with the solution, or perhaps that I simply need to spend some more time getting sick and tired of living with the problem. But nevertheless, that does not mean that the solution is not possible. It is just not possible or desirable for me today.

As a good friend of mine pointed out to me once,

"Lots of people want to FEEL better, many fewer are willing to do the work necessary to GET better."

I do not see any caveats in the material presented excusing victims of abuse, sexual or otherwise, male or otherwise, from the necessity of assuming personal responsibility.

It is not the saying of it that makes it so, no more than Newtons enunciation of the force of gravity is what makes me bump my ass when I slip on a tulip bulb. It is simply stating what many if not most men of thought take for granted.

Once aware of it, each of us certainly has a choice as to whether or not we wish to try to understand and to live in accordance with this axiom of human behavior or the natural law of gravity on Earth for that matter.

It is easy to see the bad results from acting in contravention of the law of gravity. It is somewhat trickier to see the bad results that come from the acting in disregard for our own personal responsibility, mainly because one of the ways we do that is to blame everything on everyone else.

I hope that I do not judge others on this subject. God knows I spent many, many years evading my responsibility. I would plead that I simply did not know how to do it and was trapped like so many of us in the web of isolation and shame.

Now that I am out of that web of shame, I feel it is incumbent on me to let others know that there is a way out, that there is hope, that it is possible for a man to recover from the effects of sexual abuse.

And yes, it has time and again pissed people off to hear that said. It is my feeling that we all have the right to feel as we like. We all have the right to be wrong. It is only our lives that we are wasting, though many times those around us suffer too.

I would suggest reading through at least the next section on the site mentioned above. The section that discusses the characteristics of those who refuse to consider assuming personal responsibility.

See if those sound familiar. See if those sound like a place to which we should aspire.

Finally, I think that assuming personal responsibility (and by doing so, rejecting responsibility that is not ours) is most likely the first and most important step in recovering from the effects of sexual abuse.

After all, haven't we all felt how desperately important it was to hear the words "The abuse was not your fault; you are not responsible for being sexually abused."? That, to me, is the clearing of the decks of the false responsibility that I took on myself.

I had to clear out that false responsibility and put it where it belonged, with the abuser, so that I could have room in my life to assume what was my proper responsibility.

Until I let go of feeling, quite wrongly, responsible for the sexual abuse that was practiced upon me, and the attendant shame and guilt that accompanied it, I was completely and utterly incapable of assuming personal responsibility for my own life. And I continued to suffer mightily for it.

I cannot afford to think that being a survivor of sexual abuse puts me on some different plane than other human beings who suffer and who transcend. That to me is nothing more than another form of the isolation that kept me feeling like I was the only one for so long.

Instead of focusing on what was done to me, which I cannot change, as Adam so correctly points out, today I try instead to focus on that which I can change, which is myself and my attitudes and outlooks on life.

That to me is the essence of assuming personal responsibility.

I like this topic, can you tell?

***Usual disclaimer about this being my own personal pov etc.***

Thanks all,

Danny

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#125471 - 02/22/06 10:35 PM Re: Accepting Personal Responsibility
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
male survivor nailed to the cross mentality? sorry but that one pisses me off . i have no personal responsibility for what happened to me and while iunderstand that things work acording to the laws of nature like gravity ,i am now 21 years old since my abuse at age 11 i have spent the last ten years in foster care and juvenile detention ,so you know what i been too busy just staying alive to take personal responsibility for my life . dude i just fell off that cross ok ? and i surely never wanted to be on it to begin with ,i feel that by comming here i am starting to take responsibility .but i refuse to even acknowledge that i had any responsibility for my abuse bevause i didnt.but i guess i could say hey adam you know if you had not been a blonde haired blue eyed 11 year old ,who was totaly innocent ,this wouldnt have happened to me ,if i hadn't been such an inviting target ,he would have passed me by ,is that the kind of responsibility i should assume ? that somehow it was my fault?

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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#125472 - 02/23/06 03:23 AM Re: Accepting Personal Responsibility
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Danny,

I have no real problem with the content of your last post on this thread. I can agree with or at least see you point in pretty much everything there.

Just one thing...

Could you just maybe be a little less arrogant about it?

I think Will states if very well
Quote:
Many that are early in this process are just experiencing new feelings and memories that are scary and new. Many of us are in a crisis because this stuff is so new. We are not able to rationally examine the reality of the situation. That doesn't make us weak or in denial of our personal responsibility...it makes us guys who are taking the first steps toward tasking personal responsibility. Frankly, I think people on this site are taking much more personal responsibility that most of the general population because they are taking real steps to improve themselves.
Time to come out of your tower and associate with us mortals.

I make it my aim in life to try to give everyone a little slack, and keep my mouth shut especially where it comes to being critical of another in public, but somebody needs to say something here.

My $20.00 worth. Now I'm broke!

My apologies to you all.

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#125473 - 02/23/06 04:24 AM Re: Accepting Personal Responsibility
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Guys,

If you read the posts on this web site, they are generally loving, supportive and very allowing of all types of venting, complaining, worrying, crying and lamenting the horrible effects of sexual abuse.

I would venture to say that approximately 90 percent of the posts about sexual abuse fall into that category. The responses to those posts are almost universally supportive.

It is only right that guys who have been silent for so long should be given the opportunity to vent their long hidden emotions. I am all for that. It was important to me and still is.

What I almost never see here in our posts is any type of encouragement to move beyond the pain and blame into the next stages of recovery where we learn to focus our energy and time on ourselves and slowly leave the obsession with the perpetratror behind.

It is important to me that there also be room here for that type of encouragement. That it be said out loud that acknowledging our abuse and voicing our hatred of our abusers is only the BEGINNING of the journey to recovery.

It is the beginning of a process and not the end result that we seek when we attempt to recover from the effects of sexual abuse.

Attempts like this thread to bring the attention of survivors to the really tough work that must be done, such as assuming personal responsibility for our own lives, are always met with a lot of outrage.

Many here are unwilling to tolerate discussions about the role that we as survivors must play in our own recoveries. Sure we were not responsible for our abuse. That much is definitely agreed on by all.

But after establishing that fact, it then was necessary for me to move beyond it and begin the very hard work on myself.

You say that I speak with arrogance. Well, I am a survivor too and if you wish to criticize me for the way that I speak I cannot stop you from doing that.

But I would ask you to consider that I too have suffered greatly for many, many years and still do from the effects of being sexually abused.

I am not 'recovered'. I am simply at a point on the path. And I am trying to tell you about the point that I am experiencing.

It is a point where I am no longer obsessed by thoughts of my abuse nor my abuser. Today I spend most of my energy taking good care of myself and learning new ways to over ride the failed coping mechanisms that I employed in the past.

My life is not perfect. I declared bankruptcy and had a heart attack last year. Yesterday I went in for a biopsy on my thyroid gland and watched the doctor stick many very sharp needles into my throat. I am waiting for the results.

Besides being abused as a teenager, I went on to be raped a couple of times as an adult. It became important for me to look at what part I played in those situations. Not to see that I am responsible - but I was there after all - and how did I react, what did I do with what happened to me?

I needed to learn that stuff, not to judge or condemn myself - but as a way of understanding what dynamics were operating in my psyche that might have led me to be in such dangerous situations. As a young man, I desperately craved attention and love. The perp gave me what I thought was love and so I got hooked into his trap.

That does not mean that I am responsible for what he did. It does mean that I have a huge need for male attention and love and that I'd better find a way to take care of that need or risk finding myself in an abusive situation.

I'm sorry that you find my posts arrogant - maybe that comes from being insecure. I was a high school drop out and always felt like a failure.

To me, it's like I see guys drowning and I'm trying to throw them a life preserver - I'm yelling at them to get their attention, but they think I'm just being a jerk and so won't listen to what I say. What I'm saying is here- take this- it saved my life and it can help save yours.

I was pissed off at the people who helped me put my problems in their true perspective. I didn't want to focus on myself, because it seemed to me that meant I had done something wrong.

I was like the guy in the dark room, stumbling around and hurting myself bumping into the furniture. People kept telling me to turn on the light switch, but I was so busy being angry that I heard them calling me a son of a bitch...When I finally heard what they were saying about the light switch, I questioned the source of the electricity, where did it come from, how does it work....it turns out I did not need to know any of that stuff in order to gain the benefit of the light. I simply had to turn the switch. Stop being angry long enough to listen and follow the suggestions that were given me and turn on the damn lights.

You know, when you go into a dark room, we don't have to get a shovel and shovel all of the darkness out of the room, do we? No, we simply have to light a match and the darkness goes away.

So I would ask you to look beyond my arrogance and listen to the message I am trying to transmit.

It is possible to recover from the effects of sexual abuse. You do not have to live in pain and misery for the rest of your life.

When we learn to put our problems in their true perspective, we find that they lose their power to dominate our thoughts and our lives.

Hey, I'm just a survivor trying to express myself like you are. So give me a break, will you?

Thanks for reading all this,

Regards,

Danny

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#125474 - 02/23/06 05:46 AM Re: Accepting Personal Responsibility
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
danny sorry if i got upset it is my own innerr feelings that upset me not what you are saying ok? i believe you are tyring to help me and i should be gratefull for that ,but i think that we all have to do what you describe but we are all in different stages of healing ,and some of us may still need to hear the support and may still be on the cross but i think that as soon as i became an adult i have tried to do what you say its just that you know at what age do we become responsible for our lives .dont think it can be done by a child . as much of a child life is beyond his control . thanks for your post .adam

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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