Newest Members
hans32, SilentNoLonger, masryt, feartheroo, Xzander32244
12130 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
ACLover94 (50), Henry (40), james 1959 (55), Johnny90 (24), poliwog (44), Starbuck (38)
Who's Online
9 registered (estuardo, I Want 2 Thrive, CafeMan, Jwmcd2, 3 invisible), 65 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12130 Members
73 Forums
62555 Topics
438326 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#126696 - 06/17/06 02:24 AM Vulnerability
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16263
Guys,

I’ve been thinking about something for several months now. I sort of knew what or how I felt about the issue, but yet there was a bit of ambiguity there for me as well. Recent events on the discussion board have solidified my thinking on this issue and I’d like to discuss it here.

First, let’s assume for the sake of the argument that everyone who comes here is honestly seeking healing and healthy relationships, and will never do anything intentionally abusive while on the site.

One of the things we learned from the abuse was that it was not safe to trust, not safe to give of ourselves, to give or receive love. In a word, it was not safe to be vulnerable. We constructed a very high and very thick wall around our hearts, and guarded that wall jealously. Anyone who came near was turned aside by whatever means was at our disposal, in order to protect our hearts from being hurt yet again. In doing that we not only defended that wall, but in the process we unfortunately starved our soul of the love and nourishment it so desperately needed to flourish.

Then one day while surfing the net, we click a link, or in our pain and despair we Google a few key words and ended up here, on MaleSurvivor.org. A completely new world opened up before us. Suddenly there were others touching us in very real and sometimes painful ways who had similar hurt in their lives. We found ourselves almost irresistibly drawn together, and yes, began to develop feelings of closeness, sympathy, admiration, and even love toward one another.

And why not? It’s a healthy thing. For the first time in our lives, we began to learn that it’s OK to open up just a little bit in this “safe” place. We learned once again to give that most precious part of ourselves, our love, as an unconditional gift to those who come here.

But there is a danger. This place is not real, at least in the sense that we are interacting with flesh and blood sitting across the coffee table from us. Real though they are, the people we are learning to care about are cyber people. To us, they exist only as text on the screen. Yet we love them still, as if they were indeed sitting with us in our living room. Perhaps we love them even more so than if they were. Then one day one of them gets hurt in some way and leaves, or something bad happens that is beyond their control and they are no longer able to be with us. We have no way of knowing if they are OK. We cannot contact them by simply driving over to their house, knocking on the door, and telling them that we care.

So what happens inside us when this kind of thing happens? Do we suddenly find ourselves mourning the loss and withdrawing once again in an effort to keep ourselves safe? Do we once again start building that wall, afraid to let anyone in?

The answer to the problem, at least as I see it, is to learn, even if only a little at a time, to love ourselves, and not allow our identity to be tied up in the other guy’s presence in our cyber world. In interacting here, our purpose should be to learn to believe in our own value, and that our value is not dependent on any external sources, influences, or persons, cyber or otherwise. Only by believing in our own worth can we truly begin to love the other guy, and allow him the freedom to do what he believes is best for himself even if we believe it to be a mistake.

Does that mean then that I am suggesting we all be self centered? No. Far from it, but we need to be able to function here, and in the "real world", in a way where we can love unconditionally, and yet be able to weather the storms of friendship's ebb and flow.

Does it hurt when a friend moves on for whatever reason, or is tragically taken from us? Of course, but if we've learned anything at this site, hopefully it is that we cannot share or receive strength with or from others if we have not learned it is better to be vulnerable and have loved, than never to have allowed ourselves that pleasure.

~~~~~~~~~

Well, that is the summation of what has been bouncing around in my mind for some time now, spurred on perhaps by events such as one of our brothers being hurt, and one or two others feeling they need to move on for one reason or another.

It has helped me to focus on this issue and nail down my philosophy on the subject. I hope that in sharing a bit of my journey, you too may benefit.

Lots of love,

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

Top
#126697 - 06/17/06 05:37 AM Re: Vulnerability
FLRich Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/21/04
Posts: 1404
Excellent post, John!!!


Top
#126698 - 06/17/06 10:03 AM Re: Vulnerability
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Thanks John,

it is so easy for us to get entangled with anothers hurt, but that is how it will always be, for me and each other.

Fact is, its a natural thing to do, and so many find they cannot even find that basic instinct.
I have lost so many people in my life, that I have pretty much got used to it, even though it still hurts,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

Top
#126699 - 06/18/06 06:38 AM Re: Vulnerability
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16263
Guys,

In going back and rereading the original post, I see where it could possibly be interpreted that I think this site is primarily about what I can get out of it. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I believe it is our fundamental duty in life to reach around and help those who are traveling this path behind us if we are at all able to do so. That aspect is one of the things that I find the most rewarding about being here. It's a two way street. As I learn to give of myself, I am rewarded in return with friendship and further lesson's on the journey of recovery.

Just felt the need to clarify that in case I was mistook.

Lots of love,

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

Top
#126700 - 06/18/06 07:51 AM Re: Vulnerability
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
John,

I think your first post makes a lot of sense. I would go farther and say, even if you operate with the assumption that everyone here is being honest about who they are and why they're here, that everyone here wants to heal and would never intentionally do anything abusive to someone else here...

The internet is a very flawed method of communication and all of the people here are hurting and struggling, and carrying a lot of their own pain here with them. It's safe to assume that even if everyone's intentions are as good as your own, you can still be hurt, and you can still hurt someone else.

It will happen from time to time, and as you say it is learning to love and trust ourselves that allows us to focus on ourselves, and protect ourselves.

At the end of the day, every survivor here came here to help himself, and that's where your primary responsibility needs to be. There's nothing selfish about that, and nothing wrong with setting boundaries to protect yourself from ANYTHING that hurts or feels difficult or uncomfortable to you on the site. That can mean "This guy's getting too close, I care about him but I need to step back." or it can mean "Something's NOT right about this guy."

SAR


Top
#126701 - 06/18/06 04:03 PM Re: Vulnerability
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16263
SAR,

I think you and I are saying the same thing here. Let me say it another way.

One of the most important things the abusers took from me was the the ability to give of myself. I gave to them, and they hurt me terribly with it. Little John took one look at that and said to himself, "That ain't gonna happen again." He took his heart, wrapped up carefully and put it away in a box where it could never be hurt again.

Part of the healing process then, is for me to be able to set the boundaries you spoke of, yet be able to love and give of myself without reservation that says "I will only give if you promise not to hurt me." It is learning the ability to love and not be destroyed by the first disappointment or betrayal that come along - - to be willing to continue to love and give without rebuilding the walls which kept out the pain, but was also my prison.

I would go a bit further and say that genuine healing cannot take place without learning to give of oneself in this manner. To be able to offer kindness, caring, and compassion without lashing out in anger or being hurt when something potentially damaging occurs.

Lots of love,

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

Top
#126702 - 06/19/06 03:08 PM Re: Vulnerability
Jaysen Offline
Member

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 680
John, and everyone, that was an awesome post and great replies, I agree with what you all have to say about this. I don't really have anything useful to add except something a friend said to me a few years ago, she said "If you're close enough to care about me then you're also close enough to hurt me."

Jay


Top
#126703 - 06/19/06 04:38 PM Re: Vulnerability
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I think you are absolutely right in saying that in coming here our first priority has to be our own healing. There is nothing selfish about that, it's just a fact. In the same way, if I go to see a doctor with my own healing as my first priority, that isn't selfish either.

But at the same time, I think it's also important to understand that sharing is enormously important in healing, and that by seeking to understand the pain and hurt of others we come to a greater understanding of ourselves. There is also the "no man is an island" argument. When I say I want to heal, I need to know that genuine healing means finding my place in a world in which I will face a lot of triggering challenges and perils on a daily basis through involvement with people who do know know or understand what I have endured. How I deal with my brother survivors here can help me a lot in facing those challenges.

And finally, there is the question of what kind of survivors we will be when we "recover". Where will that lead us? Will the path of recovery actually have come to an end?

I personally feel in my heart that it will never end for me. I hope to heal, yes, and I hope to put away the fear, anger and all the rest of the bad feelings I have now. But I see my role as a recovered survivor as placing me still in the middle of my brothers, and especially those who are further back on the path than me. It's part of the way I find meaning and healing in what happened to me. I feel that every good thing that happens to someone here is also happening to me. It gives me spiritual energy, if you like.

So back to your point John. Yes, our recovery is rightly about ourselves and we need to be realistic about some of the relationships and connections we develop here. For some of us a sudden departure, or an announced one, really is the best way, and the rest of us have to accept that.

But I think it's also important to realize that ackowledging our vulnerability here, and "owning" it, can also be a healing tool. I have seen some painful departures and injuries in my time here, and I regret each and every one of them, especially in cases where I feel my own role could have been more positive. But do I regret the effort? Nope. Does the pain make me reconsider? It sometimes makes me take stock. Do I see myself changing as I recover? I have no way of knowing the future, but my guess is no.

You guys - in the sense of whoever is still here and whoever has moved on - will always be very close to my heart.

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)

Top
#126704 - 06/20/06 04:16 AM Re: Vulnerability
Derdlecar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 1314
Loc: Ogden Utah, USA
John,

Take two brothers, you and me. We grow up in the same dysfunctional home with all its physical and emotional abuse. We are both sexually abused by the same two pedophiles. You come to the place where you say
Quote:
That ain't gonna happen again
I tried to do that, I really did. But being all alone behind the wall hurt worse than the pain of the abuse so I chose to let it continue. The result was that I had no boundaries. Anybody who wanted me could have me. All they had to do was "be nice” and I'd melt, giving them anything they wanted.

So you came to male survivor needing to tear walls down and learn to allow yourself to love and trust and make yourself vulnerable. I came here needing to build walls up and establish boundaries, love and trust yes but I desperately needed to learn not to be so vulnerable.

But what you say is still true from whichever side one comes. Boundaries need to be established or walls need to be torn down to a certain distance from the heart where one allows themselves to love and be loved but doesn’t fall off the deep end if someone up and leaves. For me, learning to form healthy relationships is what MaleSurvivor is all about. So I just want to say thanks to all my friends here who have made themselves vulnerable enough to make this the place of healing it is. If healing is a learning process, and I think it is, mistakes will be made along the way and with those mistakes comes some pain. With out risk or vulnerability there would be no growth. Complete safety is stagnation. I for one am willing to take the risk and be vulnerable, I just need to learn not to be too vulnerable.

Love ya

Darrel

_________________________
If a man would get his life on track, he must first go back to the place where it was derailed.

Top
#126705 - 06/20/06 05:09 PM Re: Vulnerability
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Quote:
I for one am willing to take the risk and be vulnerable, I just need to learn not to be too vulnerable.
I am son many times reminded of what a mod once said to me, "It's all about boundaries."

Here I think you really hit it. If we are going to stay in our safety zone we will never move forward. No good things that are worth having come to us without risks. Recovery from CSA isn't any different.

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)

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, TJ jeff 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.