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#125485 - 02/25/06 06:18 PM Re: Accepting Personal Responsibility
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Quote:
there is no courage without anxiety
:)

Got to run bro. Am off to the airport in 45 minutes.

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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#125486 - 02/25/06 08:51 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
this post has really made me stop and look at myself and my life ,how i have reacted to different things at different times ,so i kinda stared looking at the major events in my life ,and tried to see if ,i did have any personal responsibility for them .i really looked at them ,with an unbiased eye ,without the survivor on the cross mentality .so what i ended up doing is seeing how each event was connected to something earlier in my life ,it was like looking at my life and moving from the present all the way back to the point where my life changed for the first time .and in most of them if i rationalize" each experience i can see decisions that i made that caused more problems for me later.my question is where is the benifit, the magical healing that comes from realising that i am responsible for my life? for everything that happened i can rationaly accept responsibility .it seems your ideas are assuming that the answer will always be that you are not to blame ,but what if your soul searching leads you to a different place ,the dark place of guilt and shame that we are all trying to dig out of .i think that even if what your hearing is just sugery sweet ,feel good advice ,which seems to be the perception of support here ,it is better than facing the fact that if i try hard enough i can find a way to blame myself for every bad thing in my life .ok i accept that i'm to blame ,now what?was i not better off believing everyone who keeps telling me ,hey its not your fault .i think this is what this post tried to get across that we must stop feeling sorry for ourselves and move on take responsibility ,keep it real ,well this is real but i dont find it very healing . shadow

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

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#125487 - 02/25/06 11:31 PM Re: Accepting Personal Responsibility
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I read the list of "Personal responsibilities" and thought that they are great goals, but that they were completely alien to my old life.
And as such I didn't think that they would have had a place in my early days of therapy and healing.

I think that a few years back I would have barely understood them and actually reacted against them.
How could I possibly be expected to take responibility for things that I was just learning were out of my control?
I wasn't 'personally responsible' for my acting out, but that perception of my 'responsibility' was something that was evolving as I learned new things about myself in therapy. A few years ago I did believe that acting out was my responsibility, that's what f****d me up and led me to seeking help and therapy.
That's where my perception of my responsibility began to change and I saw that acting out was a result of someone elses LACK of responsibility.

But now I accept my present and future responsibilities and can see the value of that list.
Now I have the tools and knowledge to make choices based upon reasoned thinking, so I can be responsible for my thoughts and actions. I might not always be right, but I can make choices based on my current thinking rather than my old thinking which was so influenced by my abuse.

Danny, how I agree with this comment -

Quote:
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.
I also see this, not only here at MS but at most if not all the other survivors sites.
I firmly believe that there is a place for butt kicking some survivors, not all, and it's something that has to be done with some care.
But guys like myself get to a stage where someone else telling me to get my arse in gear and take responsibility for my actions is what's needed.

But it takes a lot of trust and respect, which is difficult online. I think that I could do it with many guys here, mainly 'old timers' like yourself that I feel I know well enough to administer a sharp kick to the butt if you were slipping outta line. And I'm certain that I could, and do, take it in return.
I email a few survivors frequently, and that's what we do with each other, we're forcefull and blunt, sometimes to the extent of rudeness I guess. But it works, if we do cross the line we have the balls to admit it and apologise.

Sometimes we need a wake up call to even see where our personal responsibilities lie.

Dave

_________________________
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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#125488 - 02/26/06 01:49 AM Re: Accepting Personal Responsibility
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Thanks, Andrew, for bringing us back to the original topic.

How many times have I noted that when I focus on the problem, the problem grows larger; when I focus on the solution, the solution grows bigger?

And yet, I am a slow learner and a quick forgetter, so that's why reminders are always good for me.

A few suggestions from the coping website Andrew cited in his original post. These are suggested solutions that have worked for me.

They are possible solutions in response to the many problems I have which stem from the sexual abuse, for which I am NOT responsible.

Here are some things that have helped me as I try to outgrow some of the life difficulties I have experienced.

Quote:
What behavior traits need to be developed in order to accept personal responsibility?

In order to accept personal responsibility you need to develop the ability to:

Seek out and to accept help for yourself.

Be open to new ideas or concepts about life and the human condition.

Refute irrational beliefs and overcome fears.

Affirm yourself positively.

Recognize that you are the sole determinant of the choices you make.

Recognize that you choose your responses to the people, actions, and events in your life.

Let go of anger, fear, blame, mistrust, and insecurity.

Take risks and to become vulnerable to change and growth in your life.

Take off the masks of behavior characteristics behind which you hide low self-esteem.

Reorganize your priorities and goals.

Realize that you are the party in charge of the direction your life takes.
[/QUOTE]
(Emphasis added)

Hope these help as they have helped me.

Best wishes for quick healing for us all,

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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#125489 - 02/26/06 06:08 AM Re: Accepting Personal Responsibility
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
OK Guys,

The Title of this thread is "Taking Personal Responsibility".

My wife and I attend a "Relationships Group" on Saturday mornings. Today the facilitator opened up the discussion with a story from his own life this past week that was so similar to this thread and the things that have been happing here that it scared the **** outa me for a bit.

One of the things he said is that if we are triggered by something like this to the point that we have trouble letting it go, then perhaps our spitituality and our recovery are not running as deep as our pain.

The discussion centered on these issues today and at the close the facilitator read a quote from a famous American that hit me square between the eyes.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." Martin Luther King Jr.

So - - to take personal responsibility...

Although I still hold a strong opinion which is diverse from that of Danny, I must here admit that the way I handled the expression of that opinion was quite probably out of line, and for that I offer my apology to Danny, and everyone else on the board who read it.

I do not find this difficult to do. In fact, quite the opposite. I find it very liberating and I do it with a smile.

I do believe, as has been said here already, that our strength lies in our ability to have these conversations, even confrontations, to dissagree, and be able to move beyond it with honesty and better understanding of what the real issues are that created the tension in the first place.

I appreciate those of you who have taken the time to provide me with feedback on my part in this little episode, regardless of which viewpoint you were speaking from. I count you as my friends, and value you as such as well as for just being you.

I love you all,

John

For the record---My objection raised above was not to the content of the posts. The things said were for the most part spot on. My objection was to the way in which one or two of them were presented. I guess I expected better, but then I have to understand that no one is perfect, least of all me, and I do indeed need to allow leeway for my brothers to err. Again, my sincere apologies to Danny for my sharp comments.

[edited for spelling]

_________________________
“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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#125490 - 02/26/06 07:38 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
i'm sorry if my part in this thread in any way caused hard feelings ,or made someone feel bad .but no one has answered what i think is the real question here ,what do you do when you find out that you are responsible? what if it really is your fault . what if the suggestions in the article make you realize that you are to blame ?i mean all these things work if your totaly innocent ,but what if your not ,what if you did things that made your life harder ,what if i really am to blame? do they tell you how to deal with that?

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

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#125491 - 02/26/06 08:23 PM Re: Accepting Personal Responsibility
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
Shadowkid,
You are NEVER EVER to blame for having been sexually abused. Please understand that. ABSOLUTELY NEVER. The personal responsibility part only comes at some point down the road, into recovery, when a survivor asks himself "fine, it happened, this is where I am today, where do I go from here, and what do I need to do to get better? In other words, start looking inwards for some answers. Moving on doesn't mean forgetting or removing the blame for the assault that was perpetrated on you. That doesn't change. The perpetrator is/was and still is the bad guy. Moving on and taking responsibility for the rest of your life means just that. Your life is yours, your future is yours, you are moving on, to hell with the f...... perp, you are going to make positive choices for yourself. Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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#125492 - 02/26/06 10:23 PM Re: Accepting Personal Responsibility
Don-NY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
Adam,

Yes, it does tell you. It's right here.
Quote:
Letting go of blame and anger toward those in your past who did the best they could, given the limitations of their knowledge, background, and awareness.
The FIRST one, the most IMPORTANT one in your past that you have to let go of anger and blame towards is YOU.

You are not responsible for what ANYONE did to you or didn't do for you. Those were their choices; their responsibility. You are not responsible for how you acted and reacted when you were a hurt, damaged, scared child. No child is or could be.

Your feelings and emotions may still be influenced by everything that came before, but how you ACT NOW is your choice and your responsibility. Especially since you have now acknowledged the harm and damage done to you.

So yes, you acted badly, wrongly, when you beat that man in the parking lot. And yes, you made a terrible choice when you used hard drugs a couple of months ago. Those were your choices and they are your responsibility.

I would say you aren't responsible for using those drugs when you were a teen, or the fighting and violence you may have committed back then, but YOU, and only YOU are responsible now.

You know that violence and drug use are bad choices. You know what led you to them. If you resort to them now, it is YOUR choice and YOUR responsibilty. The consequences are also YOURS, no matter what happened to you years ago, no matter anything else.

You can sit down right now and accept that what you did before NOW was the best you could do THEN. You can forgive yourself for what you did then. You SHOULD forgive yourself for what you did back then because of "the limits of your knowledge, background, and awareness" back then.

But don't for one minute think that if you F*ck up big time again, all you will need to do is forgive yourself again. Those days are over. You have knowledge and awareness NOW. What you do NOW, having this knowledge and awareness is YOUR choice. This is what accepting responsibility is about.

You also need to look over the next item on that list.
Quote:
Working out anger, hostility, pessimism, and depression over past hurts, pains, abuse, mistreatment, and misdirection.
You can't change what happened to you. You can't change what you felt back then or how you reacted back then. None of us can.

You might think that we can't change how we feel now about the past, but the fact is that we can. It is one of the two things we can change.

We can change how we feel now, and we can change how we act now. Every one of us is responsible for what we do now. Changing how we feel is harder, but it is necessary, and it can happen.

I don't mean to make any of this sound easy. It isn't. It's damn hard but WE have to do it. It is OUR OWN responsibility to make ourselves recover. There is no pill, no support forum, no book, no therapist, no prayer, no loving partner, friend, or family member that will pour healing into us.

We can certainly "get" healing or understanding or support from any one of these sources, but always, ALWAYS, it is ourselves, taking the responsibilty for ourselves, that DOES the work, that GETS the healing.

Recovery is not given to us. We take it. We make it. We are responsible for healing just as we are responsible for everything else we do or don't do.

That is the message from that web site. And I believe that it is entirely appropriate for survivors of any trauma or events that damage them or derail their lives in any way.

Hell, I think it is entirely appropriate for everyone, not just Survivors. If more people took responsibility for themselves and their actions, we'd all be better off and there would be far fewer Survivors of any type.

Donald

_________________________
If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

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#125493 - 02/26/06 10:38 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
andrew thanks for responding this is a great thread ,even if it angered some ,it personaly has not upset me. but !i think what has happened here is an example of how even good ideas can turn out wrong taking responsibility for my life is very important ,necessary to healing . but iwould bet that if many of us use rational thinking about our lives we can come up with things we did or didnt do that make us responsible,even at 8 years old i made a choice to do something that started the whole chain of abuse ,and i chose to deal with my abuse by closing myself off and acting out missing any chance i might have had to have a normal childhood ,so due to my actions i ended up in foster care and detention centers or on the street,this is so confusing ,if i say it wasnt my fault then i am doing exactly what the original post was about ,but if i say ok i accept the responsibility ,then i'm being told i'm not to blame again ,is any one as confused as i am on this? i do believe that the ideas in the first post on dealing with responsibility are not meant to applied to abuse victims.

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

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#125494 - 02/26/06 11:24 PM Re: Accepting Personal Responsibility
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
Adam,
There is absolutely nothing an 8 yo boy could do that would make you responsible for being abused.
Also, don't forget that the 'accepting personal responsibility' message (link) is for adults who are some distance down the road in their recovery, not children. In no way are children responsible for all the choices they make. That's why there are adults there to help, guide and nurture them.

I started this thread and posted the link to encourage discussion and thought. In no way is it an elixir to all that may be wrong in the world or our lives. And as I said in the very beginning, they are not necessarily the gentlest suggestions. Some of them worked for me, and so I am just sharing. I know that at one time in my own life, I was very heavily invested in being a 'victim', and it wasn't until I started looking inwards and building on my strengths that I started having positive outcomes. Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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