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#125869 - 01/04/04 11:30 PM Not a happy camper tonight
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2259
Loc: Maryland USA
Men had felt unsafe in the MaleSurvivor forum because some women might post there. Some women actually did post there, but when asked to refrain, they did so.

I specifically sought women as therapists and counsellors, so I really didn't have a problem with women posting there. It makes some men feel unsafe, though, so then I did have a problem with it.

Problem - Some guys could feel unsafe here.
Solution - Women stopped (past tense) posting in that forum.

It looked to me like we had solved that problem. We, as in the people who make up this online community, male and female, survivor and pro-survivor alike.

Apparently there was some discussion of the proper division of the chat rooms among male survivors and others. I hope the chat page, maybe the applet itself, can be modified to make clear which areas are reserved for Male Survivors. From what I see online tonight, there is a tradition regarding who chats where.

It seems time to codify the tradition into policy.

I do not know the details of what happened. I got my information "third hand." All I know is that someone who came here looking for help in chat did not get help at all. I do care about that someone.

At our best we (see above) are the single best resource online for male survivors and everyone who shares life with some male survivor(s). That is not what showed through last night.

I do not want to blame anyone. I feel bad because a man who needed the kind of help we can provide found something else. This site is personal to me. That man matters to me. I want the best for both.

Boundaries are a tough issue for me. My wife and my psychologist say I am too literal minded. If that trait is common to other survivors, then perhaps some very explicit guidelines on the chat screens would help.

It really pains me to think about the man who came to chat last night finding more pain himself. I don't want that to happen again, especially if we can prevent it with some additional text describing how to use chat. I want this place to be as helpful for him as it has been for me. I hope that if he tries to come here again, he catches us at our best. He deserves that. We all do.

I'm putting this in Off Topic so anyone who wants to reply can feel free to do so. I've stated my opinon. It's my opinon.

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#125870 - 01/05/04 03:48 AM Re: Not a happy camper tonight
Pollyanna Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 211
Loc: Missouri
Am I just simple minded, or does it make sense that if:
1.something has an intended purpose, and 2.something is "polluting" it and defeating the intended purpose, then
3.maybe the thing polluting it shouldn't be there?

Like...women in the chat room????

Seems to me that anyone could get whatever questions answered in the F&F, or even here, or other places on the site. If they want to "talk" with someone, maybe they could just ask and set it up? Post it or something...hey, I wanna talk...anybody home? come to MSN at some scheduled time or something like that.

Some won't be ok with it, and some will. Seems simple enough to work to me!

I am adamant, and I'm not a guy, that women do NOT belong anywhere in the chat room. That's just sick and wrong!

The whole purpose here is for you guys to feel safe.

Lynn

_________________________
"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."

– Anne Lamott

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#125871 - 01/05/04 01:34 PM Re: Not a happy camper tonight
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Thanks Lynn.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#125872 - 01/06/04 02:26 PM Re: Not a happy camper tonight
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

My comments will be more appropriate expressed in another forum, perhaps the in the Members section, so I will be as brief here as I can be.

I hope to further address this subject in another post.

I am compelled to offer the idea that all this trauma/drama that erupts occasionally here at MaleSurvivor has its genesis, not in the current state of affairs on the board, but rather in our personal recovery, depending on which stage we find ourselves in.

I have observed before that without more guidance and professional advice it is far too easy for the male survivor to relapse into a male victim.

Consider the points made by Mic Hunter in his book
Abused Boys The Neglected Victims of Sexual Abuse.

On page 110, he begins to describe those of us who get stuck in the anger stage of our realization;

Quote:
[QUOTE] ......"so many men seek to avoid the sadness stage. They prefer to remain angry, thinking that if they become aware of their sadness they will lose their sense of power forever, become too vulnerable, and get mistreated again. I refer to these people as professional victims. They hold on to their resentments, become self-righteous, and may even become verbally abusive to others who do not hold the same views they do, particularly when it comes to the topic of child sexual abuse. They accuse people who disagree with them of "not being sensitive to survivor issues" or of being "pro-offender." They react to a difference of opinion as if it were a personal attack and become enraged. Ann Meissner uses the term "destructive entitlement" to describe these people who believe that because they were injured they are entitled to hurt others. They hurt themselves and others in the name of their past victimization. The have learned that they were not responsible for their childhood abuse but act as if they are not responsible for any of these actions. They blame others for anything they dislike."[QUOTE]
p. 110
Does any of this sound or look familiar?

I suggest that we each look at ourselves first and see if any of the above behavior might describe the types of interactions we engage in. If so, what are we willing to do in order to stop repeating it?

I would add that in my experience, excessive preoccupation with the affairs of others is often a big smokescreen for avoiding looking at ourselves.

By creating crisis after crisis in our lives, we avoid looking at some very painful truths about ourselves and remain the angry, yet poor and pitiful victims, of others bad deeds.

Being around people like this is very unpleasant. Whatever ones response, it is sure, sooner or later, to be the wrong one, and one finds oneself becoming the latest perpetrator in the endless line of perpetrators needed by a professional victim.

Let's do something to get out of this goddamned stuck place we always seem to get in here.

Let's resolve to move out of our professional victim stage and into a recovering survivor stage of life.

If it's not Christians and churches, then it's women and their posting.....when we are professional victims there will always be another perpetrator waiting for us.....we must have them to maintain our careers as sufferers.

We make them necessary.

Anyway, before I go too far, I would really recommend this part of Mic's book. It's the chapter called 'Recovery Issues' and addresses what happens after we become aware of the sexual abuse.

It seems obvious to me that this latest brouhaha has little to do with women and everything to do with the fear of recovery.

Your friend recovering from sexual abuse,

_________________________
"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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#125873 - 01/06/04 04:43 PM Re: Not a happy camper tonight
tschirret Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/16/03
Posts: 20
Thank you very much for your last post. I found it thought-provoking and enlightening.
I have wondered about the hostility expressed at times against women. Your explanation of the protective displacement strategy makes sense. Any idea why it seems that no similar hostility surfaces against men? I can understand that men who have been abused by women would feel angry and threatened. Why not anger against men as well when the male survivor was abused by a man/ men? Is it because then it would be akin to rejecting oneself?
If my question is offensive, please let me know asap.
Be well
MN


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#125874 - 01/06/04 07:34 PM Re: Not a happy camper tonight
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
This issue is being looked at / sorted.
Watch this space for news.

Quote:
I hope the chat page, maybe the applet itself, can be modified to make clear which areas are reserved for Male Survivors. From what I see online tonight, there is a tradition regarding who chats where.

It seems time to codify the tradition into policy.
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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#125875 - 01/07/04 12:22 AM Re: Not a happy camper tonight
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

There is hostility here between men--it seems natural that there would be. I have experienced it and so have others.

It is a part of life. And it is especially a part of life, as Mic points out, when men who have been injured and traumatized by sexual abuse come together. One could almost argue that the expression of such hostility and our responses to it, form an important part of our recovery.

Believe me, this outrage over women posting is just the latest manifestation of the latent hostility described in the above quote.

Remember when it was all about Christian vs. those who had been abused by priests? And then it was gay men vs. hetero men who had been sexually abused by other guys.

It is perfectly normal for us to have anger about what happened to us. But to stay stuck in the anger stage seems to be what generates this antagonism that leaks out into our discussions damaging us and our fellows.

Trying to 'fix' this problem by making new rules or 'guidelines' is not going to fix anything.

The problems that can be addressed are not anywhere in the outside world. They do not emanate from any exterior source.

Our problems begin with us. And that is where the solution must come from also.

So, Dave, if by coming up with a solution to this you mean that there will be a greater emphasis on progress made towards recovering from the effects of sexual abuse and less toward fanning the flames of anger and resentment, then I am completely in favor of whatever steps may be taken.

I sincerely believe, however, that attempts to 'fix' this situation by tweaking the forums or telling others that they are the problem and that by excluding them all will be OK again....it never was OK really.....that this type of approach will only further confuse the situation and continue to focus on the problem and obscure the solution.

As someone once said, "It's an inside job.".

The idea that if we can just change or manage other people better or control their unacceptable to us behaviors and we will be happy, is a complete fallacy.

A big part of my recovery is reclaiming the responsiblity for my emotions. Otherwise I risk becoming the victim of them as surely as I can become the victim of other peoples 'bad' behavior.

Looking hopefully to the future,

Your fellow survivor,

_________________________
"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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#125876 - 01/07/04 04:49 AM Re: Not a happy camper tonight
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Danny
thank you for that, it makes so much sense.

My view is that we should be able to interact here as we would in real life.
That might be hard because we all have our own problems and boundaries, and in real life it's unlikely that such a group of people would interact for this period of time on this emotional level. It's no wonder we have occasional fall outs, it's inevitable.

I agree as well that regulating the site to the last degree is also counterproductive, for many reasons.
Mainly because we as survivors are learning many new skills, WE'RE learning them - they're not being imposed on us. And with that new experience comes the confidence to do just that, learn for ourselves and be our own person.
Part of that process is to become more independant, leave behind the values our abuse imposed on us and enjoy the freedom ( and responsibilities ) of making our own minds up, and I believe that if we regulate the site to within an inch of it's life and say "only these people are allowed here and those allowed there" we'll just be replacing one set of rules in place of a set we're desperatly trying to get away from.

I would resist any move that imposes strict regulations ( personally, although if the majority wanted strict rules and it was approved then I would either have to accept that or make other choices ) I would rather see everyone move forward and use the new skills they are learning to overcome their abusive pasts in other areas as well.
Indeed, we learn to 'tolerate' what happened to us ( in a loose sense ) so I don't think it's a great step to learn to tolerate other groups of people who maybe don't fit entirely with our way of thinking ?

The diversity of our learning as we recover is astonishing, we need to catch up, and surpass, the things we missed as we grew up. How many people do we know could talk about the varied psychological problems, life issues, physical problems, sexual problems - the list goes on, with such wisdom and knowledge unless they were proffesionals in the fields ? not many, and most of us have ordinary jobs in completly unrelated areas.

So we do have the capability to shine and be tolerant I'm sure. But we also have our anger and rage, and sometimes we just have to let it out.

Thanks Danny.

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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#125877 - 01/08/04 08:45 PM Re: Not a happy camper tonight
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Quote:
Mainly because we as survivors are learning many new skills, WE'RE learning them - they're not being imposed on us. And with that new experience comes the confidence to do just that, learn for ourselves and be our own person.
Part of that process is to become more independant, leave behind the values our abuse imposed on us and enjoy the freedom ( and responsibilities ) of making our own minds up,
Dave,

What you wrote there is so true and such a keen insight into the process of recovering from the effects of sexual abuse.

In some ways there is a part of me that yearns for someone to impose a set of "rules" or "regulations" on me....of course, there is another part of me that totally rejects and hates any type of authority like that.

The idea of learning new skills, using them and acquiring new confidence is so much more real and I'm sure so much more healthy.

And I'm sure so much scarier....because it does mean that I am taking responsibility for myself and my actions....giving up the blame and the "he made me do it"...leaves me responsible for my own life....and that has scared the living shit out of me for a long time.

To read that great observation you made, has helped me realize how important it is that I continue to learn and grow....no matter how uneasy it makes me feel...

Thanks, buddy.

Your pal,

_________________________
"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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