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#131517 - 08/19/04 01:05 PM Re: Is it just denial?
Aden Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 499
A lot of confusion comes from trying to accept labels that just don't fit.

Aden


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#131518 - 08/19/04 02:20 PM Re: Is it just denial?
FastForward Offline
Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 188
Loc: US
Speaking only just for myself as well, how does one know that one moves from "denial" to acceptance/giving in. Does letting go for the "struggle" really mean the right choice? That's what I wonder.

_________________________
FastForward

L&P - always.

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#131519 - 08/19/04 02:27 PM Re: Is it just denial?
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Fast Forward. Moving from Denial to accptance/giving in.

NEVER GIVING IN MY BROTHER. We must all accept the facts of what happened. They Are real and can never be changed and are a part of our history. So we cannot change the facts. What we can change is our beliefs and feelings around that fact. It was not our fault It is not our shame I am not alone I can cope I am ok and decent I am not going to let this shit screw up the rest of my life. I will deal with it

It is when this starts to happen that you move from denial or being a perpetual victim

_________________________
Mikey

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

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#131520 - 08/19/04 02:47 PM Re: Is it just denial?
FastForward Offline
Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 188
Loc: US
Here is where I have a problem in my reality Mikey: we were not responible when we were kids. Ok. No problem there. I am an adult now and still do lots of stupid things. When I start putting lables on them to justify and feel better, what good is it?

_________________________
FastForward

L&P - always.

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#131522 - 08/19/04 03:50 PM Re: Is it just denial?
Dan88 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 247
Loc: DC
Interesting issue. Like you, I more or less dealt with this years ago but reached a different conclusion. When we were being actively abused, the perp would often bring my brother and me to places where gay men cruise. This is kind of painful to recall, because it's an area I've blanked on a little bit. I definitely recall being there and some of what happened. But a lot of the nitty gritty specifics are lost in the fog. I'm guessing that nothing happened other than watching, but I suspect I may be misremembering to some degree. Whatever.

In any case, as a younger adult, I was drawn to these places. I frequently went to watch guys walking around and meeting, though it wasn't a place where you saw anything overt happening. Just guys on the street meeting up and moving on elsewhere. On a couple occasions I tried to hook up with a guy, but it was totally unsuccessful. The fact was, I was excited by the knowledge of what was going on, the secrecy and illicitness of it. But actually participating was a complete turn off. For me, only a woman can actually get the equipment working right. So there it is. Does that make me bisexual? I've never thought so as I'm not attracted to men, per se. By the same token, I've attempted to have sex with men in sorting this out. So maybe bisexual does apply. You draw the distinction between being bisexual and acting out. So I guess I've acted out bisexually without being bisexual.

I think because I've never been homophobic, the issue never really troubled me. I can see, however, how it would be very difficult to be gay and want to be straight and have the nagging question of did this abuse make me something I don't want to be. For me, whatever I did in a bisexual vein is so insignificant compared to some of the truly self-destructive things I've done, it's just not a worry anymore.

As you point out, we are all impacted by our abuse, just like everyone is impacted by what happens to them as a child. Some of the effects are good, some are bad, and some just are. This one just is.


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#131523 - 08/19/04 04:19 PM Re: Is it just denial?
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
There is a load of confusion through childhood, ordinary kids have a tough time realising where they are going, hormones changing the body etc, but this is a total new ball game when you deal with this, and have been abused, it's a double whammy going through puberty!!!!

I cannot recall ever fancying a boy, but remember on holiday with the school, a friend enticing me onto the bed, there were three of us in the room, the other boy did it with him, I was disgusted, and hurt, as my abuse was still so fresh, and the holiday was to take my mind off it, I said I would tell, I wouldn't have, but they smashed my camera, and stole money, so I had a rotten holiday.

Funny, just how best friends do this, and lose you as a friend, then wonder why?

On the other side, my mind has recently been watching gay movies, I never knock anyone for their sexuality, what will be, will be, but I was watching this stuff, though it doesn't turn me on.

I suppose part of my mind just goes off balance and just have to see it, as I know it goes on, and wonder what it is like to see, confused?

I am but then again????

ste

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

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#131524 - 08/19/04 06:10 PM Re: Is it just denial?
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
This discussion is just what I'd hoped it would be, us guys discussing what happened to us and how it may/has affected us as we continued to grow up.
Ever since my therapist said that it was his opinion that we are either heterosexual or homosexual, and all of the other stuff in between is from the confusing signals from the abuse we suffered, I've thought about bringing that comment up here, to see what you think and to see how would you answer his theory.
Just to add a comment before I have to take off for an eye exam, it was my thought that I was heterosexual but so affected by my 8th grade teacher and his abuse of me that I did some acting out with other friends my age and was afraid of being gay. My Army experience was a positive one and was only uncomfortable when I couldn't go out with the guys to find girls. Helping out in one of the orphanages probably had something to do with that.
Anyway, haunting fantasies of gay sex with my friends, and the memories of those fantasies since then has caused me all sorts of guilt, confusion and depression thinking that I would never fit in.
Since my therapist has suggested that we are one or the other, after we work through our confusion, is the reason that I suggested this topic. Is it worth it? Does it just make us more depressed? Is there any truth in it? Should we waste our time thinking about what may not be true?
Hoping that this stimulates some thought and not feelings of, "oh, no, not something else to think about!!"
For me, it answers so much. I have been so in love with Ranata, wanted our kids as much as she did, but now that I'm going through this recovery thing, maybe now, I'll get some answers.
Thanks guys,
David

_________________________
"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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#131525 - 08/19/04 07:01 PM Re: Is it just denial?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
double posting

_________________________
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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#131526 - 08/19/04 07:27 PM Re: Is it just denial?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I lived with this confusion for over 30 years, I think I have it mostly resolved now.

My abuse ended about my 15th birthday, that was the last sex with a male I had until about 1997 or 98 when I turned my fantasies into reality. By that time I'd been married for nearly 25 years.
I have had more male sex 'partners' than female in my 51 years.

But I have never looked at any man and fancied him or desired sex with him. When acting out it was just the sex act that I desired, specifically giving bj's.

In a way that acting out confirmed me being hetero, because I didn't relate to the stranger at all, I knew no names and can't remember one thing about them, it became easier for me to see during therapy that I wasn't gay.

I don't deny the pleasures of gay sex, but for me I need emotional involvement as well. Giving some filthy old bastard a bj doesn't have that, it doesn't even have the sexual pleasure ( there's a surprise! :rolleyes: ) that I imagined it would due to my overpowering fantasies. All it had was reinforcement of my feelings of self hatered and low self esteem. But I didn't figure that out all by myself, I needed therapy.

So, my view is that being gay, bi or hetero is down to the feelings we have for another person, the true, emotional feelings.
I know some people are promiscuous with little bad effect on them, and if someone enjoys uncomplicated sex for the simple act it is then that's ok. But I wasn't enjoying the sex, and I certainly didn't fancy the creeps I met or feel any emotional link to them.
I just imagined that I might find it.

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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#131527 - 08/19/04 09:01 PM Re: Is it just denial?
CFO Dave Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/14/04
Posts: 104
Loc: Millis MA
Quote:
So I guess I've acted out bisexually without being bisexual.
Dan

I knew I wasn't gay but I too acted out with men. Never really liked it but it put me in my place. In my case, the equipment did work. But it was more like an adiction than anything else.

Dave

_________________________
"We deceive ourselves when we fancy that only weakness needs support. Strength needs it far more."
-Madame Swetchine

"The soul that is within me no man can degrade."
-Frederick Douglas

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#131528 - 08/19/04 11:57 PM Re: Is it just denial?
Dan88 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 247
Loc: DC
Quote:
it was more like an adiction than anything else.
Hey Dave,
It was very much part of an addiction to me too. I can’t explain this in a way that makes sense, but I’ll try anyway. Whenever I stayed faithful to my wife or girlfriend too long, I’d find myself drawn to those parks where gay guys hook up. It was a very real argument that went on in my head with “my addict.” He was saying if you don’t do someting, I will. I'll force you to go “there.” He always had the upper hand. It was like a drumbeat that would go on loud and long enough until I’d give in and go looking for a woman to cheat with. I’d eventually decide illicit sex was inevitable, so I’d do something I at least thought I could enjoy.

I know it may sound like I’m justifying my behavior. I’m not. Just stating facts. I once tried explaining this to a VERY angry girlfriend who caught me cheating on her. She said I just liked playing around. But the truth is I would have gladly traded every woman I ever fucked if I never had to face that particular wrestling match in my head. Still would. But then we don’t get to make those trades, do we.


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#131529 - 08/20/04 07:25 AM Re: Is it just denial?
FastForward Offline
Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 188
Loc: US
Quote:

Never really liked it but it put me in my place.

________________________________________

Wow! Are we back to self esteem and control issues. It would make sense, in a way.

_________________________
FastForward

L&P - always.

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#131530 - 08/20/04 09:22 AM Re: Is it just denial?
CFO Dave Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/14/04
Posts: 104
Loc: Millis MA
Quote:
Wow! Are we back to self esteem and control issues
Huge self esteem issues on which I am working. But that I guess is an issue for another forum.

_________________________
"We deceive ourselves when we fancy that only weakness needs support. Strength needs it far more."
-Madame Swetchine

"The soul that is within me no man can degrade."
-Frederick Douglas

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#131531 - 08/20/04 01:04 PM Re: Is it just denial?
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Quote:
Originally posted by CFO Dave:
Quote:
Wow! Are we back to self esteem and control issues
Huge self esteem issues on which I am working. But that I guess is an issue for another forum.
Dave, and others,

Yes, that's exactly what I think that we're talking about, at least for me. What I have thought about, fantasized, has been those things that have “kept me in my place,” deep in the shit pile. From what my therapy has taught me is that I kept myself from accomplishing anything “worthwhile.” In other words, and I probably don’t have to explain anymore than I have, but when I thought of doing anything that would have gotten me what I wanted, I would drift into those thoughts and fantasies and stay stuck in the pile.
I have never been able to work successfully for anyone else, and my overall work history is sketchy, at best.
Anyone else?

David

_________________________
"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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#131532 - 08/20/04 05:40 PM Re: Is it just denial?
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
I am certainly enjoying your discussion guys! I have struggled a long time in this identity area. I have extensive knowledge about Raparative Therapy (becoming straight) and therapy to accept gay/bi gender orientation. I've heard therapists say - "you are born this way and that". From my experience with myself and lots of strugglers in this area is: yes some are born this way + yes, some became this way (usually by early trauma). This is debatable for sure BUT was not the bottom line in my struggle and exploration

For me, the bottom line was contingent on: (1) being totally honest with myself; (2) accepting everything I honestly told myself without minimizing, justifying, rationalizing and all that other distortion stuff; (3) realizing after I accepted my honest sexual orientation, I could choose and decide where I would go from there and how I could express honestly who/what I am. Before there was acceptance, I was stuck; I was always apologizing for my thoughts & feelings (mostly to myself); I was afraid of admitting things [finally I realized I could only move, choose or decide anything if I could accept where I was].

The hardest issue to work through for me was being a bisexual, married male and fully living my life, not in secret, but openly without apology - no shame, guilt, fear.

Sorry for being so long!!

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#131533 - 08/20/04 06:40 PM Re: Is it just denial?
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

Quote:
Yes, that's exactly what I think that we're talking about, at least for me. What I have thought about, fantasized, has been those things that have ?kept me in my place,? deep in the shit pile. From what my therapy has taught me is that I kept myself from accomplishing anything ?worthwhile.? In other words, and I probably don?t have to explain anymore than I have, but when I thought of doing anything that would have gotten me what I wanted, I would drift into those thoughts and fantasies and stay stuck in the pile. I have never been able to work successfully for anyone else, and my overall work history is sketchy, at best. Anyone else?
I think we build the shit pile, because we can't find a place to put the things into normal perspective, we put them on the shit pile, and think? I will work on that one, or that one, we put them all there, and as they mount up, we lose control of how much shit, we have accumulated.

We go in and address some of it, but hey, some of it you can't address, so it gets left there, and the festering mess gets left, eating away, and knawing at why you can,t address it, I say now, when I meet some problem, that I can't workout from the past, I try to just erase it from the pile.

It is hard for a kid to work out what is happening in life, without having to put the shit pile in order within his mind, normally a kid will live with a normal mind that is not affected by the Trauma of abuse, they learn to understand the way they are meant to be, I remember when I was a kid trying so hard to pick up the pieces of what I should be, by watching the other kids, I watched them like a hawk, trying so hard to learn what made them so care free.

I always wondered what it was like to be a normal kid!

The problem with the above, was that they were watching me, and trying to learn off me, that was totally confusing, but if I remember, I was the one who always could sort out the bullies, and I had sort of reasoning, that they couldn't figure.

Suppose another thing, I was always tops at sports, I could outrun everyone in the school, I was good at football, I honed my mind to be the best, the running I suppose, was to get away from anyone who wanted to do these things again, the football took my mind off the a***e.

I think in all of this Dave, we have had so much of a battering mentally as kids, that we always appeared to be the strongest in the group, we paid for it with our childhoods' we never let anyone see what was the driving force behind it, because we didn't dare, for fear of what we could face.

Because we have to be so strong in childhood, we miss so much of the pleasure of real play, play without destructive thought, I remember thinking.

Why do they all want to know me? Don't you see what's going on inside? But then again it is so strong an illusion to them, that you are the kid they want to know, you can never show them the crying child within.

They just see you as??? I will never know.

BTW my teachers said, you are the one to get there out of all the school, but faced with the pile of shit, is it any wonder we get anywhere? I hope you can get on top of it, I am clearing the mess all the time, it can be done.

Think, that's where confusion starts

take care

ste

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

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#131534 - 09/15/04 09:28 AM Re: Is it just denial?
daniel_ Offline
Member

Registered: 09/07/04
Posts: 41
Loc: Washington, DC
Quote:
Originally posted by FastForward:
When I start putting lables on them to justify and feel better, what good is it?
This is an excellent point. I tried to work out the orientation issues for years. Not long ago I decided to sort of let it go, just accept it. This made me feel better, but I had the little question in the back of my head "am I just giving up figuring it out? am I accepting something that really is not, for me, appropriately accepted”?

But still, I felt good and at peace about it. Until suddenly my therapist announced that he believes I am not organically attracted to men--that it basically is related the the abuse, etc. (which is what I had battled with for years). Basically, he has ripped of my comfortable label and self-acceptance.

I really don't know what to think now.


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#131535 - 09/15/04 10:34 AM Re: Is it just denial?
brokentoys Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/03/04
Posts: 149
Loc: So. California
I think the key there Daniel is that you said your T "believes". They can be wrong too you know. They are there for guidence, not to give you all the answers. That was his input, you must now apply that to what YOU know of your life and decide if it is valid or not.

_________________________
It's easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better at the top.

Arnold Bennet

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#131536 - 09/15/04 11:51 AM Re: Is it just denial?
daniel_ Offline
Member

Registered: 09/07/04
Posts: 41
Loc: Washington, DC
Quote:
Originally posted by brokentoys:
That was his input, you must now apply that to what YOU know of your life and decide if it is valid or not.
Which of course is the real problem. I can't seem to do that. Not for any length of time anyway. I can become very convinced and comfortable with a conclusion for say, 2 hours. Maybe a day if I'm lucky. Later I may be convinced of just the opposite. And mostly it's just confusion in between. Well, I know there is no answer but to keep trying and hopefully time will take care of it.

Thanks for listening.


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