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#150037 - 04/10/07 11:20 AM Deep Inner Decisions that Allow Survivors to Heal
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
Thought this was interesting. Unfortunately my H is in the "Defeated" side from what I can tell....but maybe it is just too early for him to "choose sides."

Deep Inner Decisions that Allow Survivors to Heal

by Ellen P. Lacter, Ph.D., 2005

CHOICES OF STRENGTH AND HEALING**************POSITIONS OF DEFEAT

To choose life.******************************To consider death as an option.

To have deep inner reasons to live.**********To simply exist or look to others for reasons to live.

To find safety if suicidal feelings are not controllable.********************************To look to others to magically stop suicidal feelings.

To hunger for truth, despite the pain, for freedom.*************************************To run from truth and hope for healing without pain.

To take charge of ones memory work.**********To delegate memory work to therapists or others.

To be a loving parent to one's child parts.****To seek an external caregiver for ones child parts.

To be determined to love oneself.*************To give into feelings of unworthiness or defilement.

To defeat fear (except truly self-protective fear).*****To allow life choices to be fear-driven.

To defeat anger (except truly self-protective anger).*****To displace anger onto others or let inner parts do so.

To choose sex only in true, healthy relationships.*******To allow parts to sexually act out or be victimized.

To discover and process the trauma that causes parts to want to act out destructively or self-destructively.***************To allow parts to be destructive or self-destructive.

To be a thriver, to have an internal locus of control.******To be a victim, to have an external locus of control.

To be the leader of ones healing team.****************To want, expect, or demand that others lead.

To connect with others, to have close relationships.******To isolate.

To be kind and considerate of helpers and loved ones.*****To relate to others as if they are not doing enough.

To be financially self-sufficient, or work toward this.*****To expect others to take responsibility for ones life.

To lead. To have a mission to help others.*************To be childlike, to look for others to be caretakers.

Integration (or preserving a few co-conscious parts).******To let dissociated parts take executive control.

To be spiritually centered.*********************To have a weak spiritual foundation.

_________________________
Brokenhearted

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:2

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#150046 - 04/10/07 11:35 AM Re: Deep Inner Decisions that Allow Survivors to Heal [Re: Brokenhearted]
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
all the things on the good side are reactions of normal people ,the ones on the bad are reactions of survivors ,maybe if we had normal lives then those things would come easy ,but we didnt did we?

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

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#150074 - 04/10/07 01:53 PM Re: Deep Inner Decisions that Allow Survivors to Heal [Re: shadowkid]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

What a powerful list. You sure give me a lot to think about and a new book to read. Thanks for posting this and challenging me anew.

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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#150075 - 04/10/07 01:53 PM Re: Deep Inner Decisions that Allow Survivors to Heal [Re: roadrunner]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Originally Posted By: shadowkid
all the things on the good side are reactions of normal people ,the ones on the bad are reactions of survivors ,maybe if we had normal lives then those things would come easy ,but we didnt did we?


To some extent that's true for all of us I suppose. But hey, why can't we look at this as an agenda, a kind of work in progress program?

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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#150104 - 04/10/07 04:24 PM Re: Deep Inner Decisions -- Adam [Re: shadowkid]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Adam,

First, hi again \:\)

My opinion of this list is that it's merely food for thaught, and a flawed one at that because it tends in the direction of "rugged, atomistic individualism" rather than a more deeply interdependent model of "health" and "maturity" which I feel more acurately expresses the human condition. Because of this she puts characteristics in terms of "health" and "unhealth" when in reality even the most "healthy" person is a complex mixture of the attributes in both column one and two, and denying the fact that we're often weak or childlike or followers or looking for others to care for us, etc..., is simply denying aspects of ourselves that we share in common with most people -- whatever their experiences or their status as "healthy" or "unhealthy".

Personally, I think the only really important test for relative health and vitality is the ability to care enough for others that we attempt to do no real harm. All else seems pretty much up for grabs to me. So what if someone is nice and kind and prefers to follow rather than lead? Etc.... This list seems rather arbitrary to me.

I prefer Freud's list: the ability to have moments in which we love, work and play -- however that's done. And notice that all three are interdependent activities, requireing moments of both following and leading, and all the other opposites this list lists. Life's a dance. All we can hope for is moments of harmony. And wisdom seems to me to be merely the ability to appreciate those moments, however rare, in the midst of honoring tragedy.

Take care,
Katie


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#150108 - 04/10/07 04:42 PM Re: Adam -- P.S. [Re: Kathryn]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Adam -- oops, I forgot the most important part: According to my list, you're pretty darn normal. Or if you prefer, you're pretty messed up, as we all are, and yet have the ability to care. That's really all life's about.
There's not a human being on earth who reflects only what is in column one -- thank goodness -- cuz THAT really would be fucked up \:\)

You have a good heart. It shows in everything you write. That's the only truimph of the human spirit that really matters. Now take that strength and slowly, patiently, with much understanding, let it carry you to new places in terms of work and play. You're so young, you really can do this. Set long goals -- like being a mechanic ten years from now -- or whatever.
And smile when you see a child play, that's play enough.
You have the most important part of being human and living a life. Don't allow the false enormity of all the rest keep you back from moving forward.

Take care Adam,
Katie


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#150109 - 04/10/07 04:47 PM Re: Adam -- P.S. [Re: Kathryn]
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
thank you

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

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#150111 - 04/10/07 05:01 PM Re: Deep Inner Decisions -- Adam [Re: Kathryn]
stride Offline
Member

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
"...in reality even the most "healthy" person is a complex mixture of the attributes in both column one and two, and denying the fact that we're often weak or childlike or followers or looking for others to care for us, etc..., is simply denying aspects of ourselves that we share in common with most people -- whatever their experiences or their status as 'healthy' or 'unhealthy.'"

Well stated, Katie. Had the same thoughts myself as I read "Deep Inner Decisions..."

I sometimes think in reading posts on these forums (some of my own included, no doubt) that we can become prone to adopting the the view that certain things like shame, fear of intimacy, self-absorbed behaviours, isolating behaviours, etc, are more-or-less the sole province of Survivors. I don't find this realistic or helpful for any of us. Survivors or not, surely we can all recognize aspects of ourselves expressing from one or the other side of the "Decisions" list at various times?

Also, not in any way to take anything away from the men on this site, nor to in any way invalidate their experiences, but everyone has a story and I think it is through our shared experience of "the human condition" that we are best able to find empathy and understanding.

For some reason a poster one of my daughters used to have comes to mind: "The only 'Normal' people out there are the ones you don't know very well yet." I've always loved that one!

I am a survivor of CSA, as well as of years of daily--and extreme--physical and psychological abuse, etc, but I don't think one need be a survivor of marked abuse or trauma to relate to both sides of the list offered. In my view it is not a question of "good" vs "bad," "normal" (whatever that is, unless it's "dysfunctional";-) vs "abnormal," but degrees of awareness, how we interpret the world and ourselves through our own experiences at various stages in our lives, where we're at in our personal growth/healing, and so forth that might be a more likely determinant of where we most often find ourselves on that list.

I apologize if I'm not articulating my thoughts here well--have been feeling quite inarticulate trying to express myself in words lately--but hopefully I'm making some kind of sense. Sorry if I just seem to be rambling. Katie's point is well taken, at any rate.

Stride




Edited by stride (04/10/07 05:03 PM)
_________________________
In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

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#150144 - 04/10/07 08:15 PM Re: Deep Inner Decisions -- Stride [Re: stride]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Stride, I suspect we choose who we choose for reasons, not least of which choosing those who express for us what we refuse to express about ourselves.

It's striking how many couples share an abuse background. And while men have a tendency to express this differently than women, and vice versa, I suspect men express what women feel yet don't express, and vice versa.... And I think we choose who we do in an attempt to heal our past hurts. If BOTH parties recognize this, then the possibility of actually doing so exists. But recognizing this is pretty scary for lots of different reasons, three of which are: 1) we're pretty conservative creatures by nature and change is threatening and 2) it means recognizing things in ourselves that we're more comfortable projecting onto others, and 3) it requires that we recognize that we are indeed interdependent beings, reliant on others for developing creative, vital lives.

It's little wonder that abused women -- myself included -- are drawn to men who are sexually/physically withdrawn. First, it's safe. Also, it allows us room to play at being the more sexually expressive one -- but to be so in reality requires a partner who responds in like kind, not someone who withdraws. That we've chosen someone who withdraws sort of hints at our own inability for physical closeness, no matter our riteous protestations to the contrary.

Before finding this site, I was active on support groups for mixed orientation couples -- straight women and bi/gay men. While many men here identify as straight, many have bisexual behavior. The couples on the bisexual support groups are pretty interesting, and I've learned a lot about myself in reading other women's stories. Most of the women who stay with a "bisexual" man (and many of the men are sexual abuse victims) were themselves abused and seem to have unacknowledged fears of penetration. It's easy to not get in touch with these fears because by being involved with a man who has fears of penetrating puts the women more in control of being penetrated in that they tend to be in the position of having to ask, bribe or beg for sex \:\)

I wasn't sexually abused, but I was physically abused and really didn't like being touched, especially by my father. So historically, I've chosen physically unexpressive men, though I longed for affection. Now I've chosen a man with a history of prefering, or tolerating, sex with men rather than women. He was sexually abused by his mother....

The other thing I've thought about is that to the extent to which Rob's behavior with men (and so too his relationships with women) is more of a perversion (in the sense of being not natural to his innate sexuality and basic goodness, but a perversion of it committed by his mother) than a positive, authentic expression of his deeper longings, what this means about me. What I've come up with is that we're all tempted by the perverse solution, so he expresses for me my own temptations. I express for him the neurotic solution -- the hysterical or borderline solution.... Or put another way, these couples tend to form a Narcissistic/Borderline couple -- in broad, de>

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#150152 - 04/10/07 08:41 PM Re: Adam -- P.S. [Re: shadowkid]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303

Adam,

You're so verbose!

One of the things I really admire about you is your keen intellect -- your ability to cut right to the chase of things, to get to the heart of the matter. It's truly a gift.

For this and other reasons, you've truly touched my heart. So thankyou in return.

Katie


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#150172 - 04/10/07 09:52 PM Re: Adam -- P.S. [Re: Kathryn]
stride Offline
Member

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
Kathryn,

I am quite familiar with the concepts you're espousing here. I have no argument with the basic tenets you've put forward and am always quick to recommend the works of theorists/therapists who explore these ideas in depth. Harville Hendrix comes to mind, just off the top of my head.

Still, I must tell you that at 45 yo, my relationship is B' is hardly the first relationship I've ever had. My past experiences (sexually) in long-term relationships have largely been very fulfilling & happy ones. Indeed, with very few exceptions my past relationships have been with men who are sexually open, expressive and adventurous, so I have trouble seeing how your theory applies to me in this regard. Actually, it is the very fact that I've experienced such mutually rewarding sexual intimacy with former partners that makes it so especially painful for me not to be able to have that and more with B'. I know firsthand what we're both missing!

In my case, it has always struck me that each of the relationships I've had in my life have presented with different issues and challenges...different lessons to learn. B' is the first man, however, that I've truly felt is a soulmate and the challenges we have around sexual intimacy are new ones for me. With or without him, however, I have done--and continue to do--much examining and exploring of my own "stuff," and certainly lots within the framework of the kind of concepts you're talking about.

I guess all I'm saying is, while I can recognize quite clearly opportunities in my relationship with B' to resolve/heal old wounds from my childhood (and can see how the same seems to equally apply for him in his choice of me as a partner), I am not aware of having been uncomfortable with sexually open and expressive lovers in the past, nor with being open and expressive with them in kind. There is no doubt an opportunity for healing/resolving more old stuff of my own in the challenges that my relationship with Brant present. Still, I don't think it is about being able to wear some false mask of being a sexually "expressive" woman, since he's sexually "withdrawn" as you put it. And I can assure you that when we were in our "honeymoon phase," during which time he was quite sexually open, expressive and communicative, the whole experience kept me walking 10 feet off the ground in sheer bliss. At the time I never dreamed that sex would ever be a problem for us, that's for sure.

Stride

_________________________
In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

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#150240 - 04/11/07 04:40 AM Re: Stride -- P.S. [Re: stride]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Stride,

Oops, I didn't mean to imply anything about you. I was thinking more about me.... or just life in general....

It's just odd why we choose who we choose. Especially in cases of difficult relationships -- like Rob's and mine.

You're one smart cookie. B's lucky to have you.

K.


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#150241 - 04/11/07 05:36 AM Re: Stride -- P.S. [Re: Kathryn]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Stride,

Rob and I have been seeing eachother for a year and a half. Only six months into our relationship I found out he's had a history of sex with men. Needless to say, it's been a very strange relationship. I never in a million years would have imagined myself in a relationship with a man with his background. Heck, I didn't even know such things existed -- married men running around having sex with men. I really didn't. I've known of cases of gay men coming out while married, but not what was going on with Rob. It's been a huge shock, in so many ways.
So, it's been a pretty emotional relationship to say the least. And because it's been so emotional it's been the occasion for me to look at emotions I've never experienced, or at least weren't available to me.
Rob has a tendency to present a rather flat emotional valence, though he has deep emotions. I've been an emotional whorlwind.
In my previous marriage, my ex was the emotional one, and I suppressed, to a large extent, my emotions. I seemed remarkably "emotionally stable" -- lol.
It's just strange how we can take on different roles, or express different aspects of ourselves, in different relationships. But it's all us.

Because Rob's past behavior scares the crap out of me -- as it should, cuz it's scary crap -- I've been forced to confront a lot of my fears reaching back to my childhood in a way that no other relationship has demanded of me, as I've tended to choose people with whom I could play the more "emotionally balanced one". Well, ok, so in some ways this is still true since Rob, not me, went around acting like a crazy gay man when he's really a crazy predominantly straight man, which is pretty darn crazy. But he presents being pretty ok about this, whereas it's driven me crazy \:\)

I wouldn't bother with figuring out what all this means about me if I had made the choice to get out of this relationship once all this was revealed. But that I've chosen to stay certainly seems to raise lots of questions about me and why I'm making the choices I'm making -- in lots of different ways. Especially since I have no familial, financial or long-term emotional investment ties to Rob. In this sense, my choice to stay or leave is extremely free or unencumbered.

I've always considered myself a fairly sexual person. Yet here I am in a relationship in which I'm too scared to have a sexual relationship....
Are there really good reasons for my fears? I think so -- and the fact that I think so raises a whole slew of other questions. But then again, I could just leave.

(BTW, Rob is in therapy and is doing unbelievably well -- the twit. And if it were up to him, we'd be having a sexual relationship. Although I wonder if he doesn't secretly feel relieved that we're not, considering his past tendency to flee from women and have sex with men.)

I don't know, relationships can be really complicated and confusing.

Take care,
Katie


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#150304 - 04/11/07 12:40 PM Re: Stride -- P.S. [Re: Kathryn]
stride Offline
Member

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
Katie,

Thank you for the clarification. It seems we've hi-jacked bh's thread here though, for which I sincerely apologize...didn't mean to do that!

Stride

_________________________
In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

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#151074 - 04/16/07 01:52 AM Re: Stride -- P.S. [Re: Kathryn]
rumpole1954 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/10/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Orlando, FL
Katie,

You are right, if it were solely up to me, we would be having a sexual relationship again. And no, I am not "secretly relieved" that we are not; and the idea of fleeing from sex with you -- to go have sex with a man -- is simply out of the question for me, although I know this must be hard for you to believe, given my past. It grieves me -- that you are so scared, and that I am the cause of it, and I am so afraid that you will never be able to get past it. And even though I wish we were having sex again, what is truly more important to me, what I want more than anything, is for you to feel loved and safe and unafraid with me again, and able to freely express the incredibly wonderful, vibrantly sexual, self that you are, knowing that when you do, you will be loved and cherished, not abused or rejected. I so hope that it will again be possible for you to feel this way with me, because I love and cherish you -- and sex can wait until then.

Very truly yours, (and I do mean Very, and Truly, and Yours)
Rob


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#151085 - 04/16/07 08:03 AM Re: Stride -- P.S. [Re: rumpole1954]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Katie and Rob,

A lot of married couples without the issues that you two have to face would give anything to hear the kinds of things you are saying to each other. It really is moving beyond words, and I wish you all the best as you continue on your healing journey together.

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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#151641 - 04/19/07 01:31 AM Re: Stride -- P.S. [Re: roadrunner]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Larry,

Thanks.

Katie


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#162306 - 06/19/07 10:52 AM Rob [Re: roadrunner]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303



Rob,

I know what Larry said is so true: that many married couples would love to hear the sorts of things you've written, especially what you've written here and the incredible things you often say to me with such sincerity.

I love you Rob.

K.


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#189028 - 10/28/07 09:09 PM Re: Rob [Re: Kathryn]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303



Well, an update on this thread as it pertains to Rob and myself: just found out that Rob's been "hiding" or "lieing" -- depending on one's point of view and whether one wishes to put a softer word to a harsh reality -- for two years about a matter of rather great importance to me and about which I have repeatedly expressed my concerns that he be completely honest about.

Two years. Two years of therapy. Two years of being told how I should trust him -- not only by Rob, but by our therapist.

Geeze.

So Selene, in response to your PM about how I'm doing: I'm doing -- "So, what do I do about two years of lies?".

Oh, but things were going really well before this. We even took our two kids to get puppies together -- Rob's daughter and my son. We had a few really great weeks. I had begun to feel what Rob wrote above as well as another cool post in which he talked about lieing in the past and how free he feels now and how people can change and how I should trust this....

So to help me on that path, I had our therapist really focus on MY inability to trust.

Sort of hard to trust when you're being lied to.



Larry,

Sorry things aren't as the seem. It's a bumber. It's always so nice to see the possiblity of two people, despite great odds, seem to come together.

Katie


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#189056 - 10/29/07 08:23 AM Re: Rob [Re: Kathryn]
beccy Offline
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Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
Katie,


Sorry to hear there are more lies/hiding for you to deal with.......this is the same thing I fear too with my bf, although I do not know what it is Rob kept from you, I myself am finding it incerdibly hard to trust my bf again, for fear he is not being honest about things.....

He has admitted to me that he will withhold all manner of things from me because he fears what my responses might be, and I have been very clear about the fact that this causes me great anxiety. Not only do I not know what I might not be being told, but also I feel a sense of being disliked, or not accepted for who I am. I am not saying I am perfect and so are all my reactions/responses to things, I am perfectly willing to work on myself too, but don't see how I can even do that if there is a constant sensorship going on.....rather than a voicing and expression of thoughts/feelings etc


For a person who has been as open book(too open till now), I feel it is a one sided way to attempt a relationship.....and further more, a delay in seeing if a relationship can actually even be successfull......and it causes me to question how I can possibly trust my bf again, while he is still in the habit of this type of behaviour; since he got to make all his choices in this relationship based on truths about me/my past/my feelings etc, but I never had quite the same freedom of choice, did I?


Sorry Katie, it was not my intention to hijack your post, but what you wrote really hit home my own anxiety about trust...


peace
Beccy


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#189071 - 10/29/07 12:42 PM Re: Rob [Re: beccy]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


In a private message someone mentioned both knowing what it's like to be mislead like this as well as empathizing from Rob's point of view: fear of giving up a survival strategy.

Yep, I empathize with this as well. Unfortunately it sets up a "me against you" scenerio.

And it just plain sets things back and, as Beccy suggested, raises questions of what else I'm not being told.

Rob said that he's trying to make me his safe place. I believe him. The problem is that a person can't be a safe place for another unless they are also relatively safe.

"It's a doggy eat dog world and my survival is more important than yours" just doesn't a relationship make.

Anyway, off to the therapist.

Well, back from the therapist. It was a good session and one in which some progress was made regarding conveying my feelings to the T -- we've had a somewhat difficult time getting on the "same page" as far as how I think and feel about a bunch of stuff relating to my relationship with Rob.

So.... I though I'd articulate it here:

I think the fear that most women have in this situation (being involved with a man who has either fantasies or a history of sex with men) is that they're being set up as the defense against deeper, more authentic homosexuality. The T asked if this was my fear, I said yes. Which is true. But I also don't think that either defending against hetero or homosexuality are mutually exclusive positions. It seems to me that a bunch of guys are sort of in the postition of defending against both at the same time -- or one moment this defense or that defense is utilized.

Of course this raises the question for me of to what extent is Rob's heterosexual desires a defense against homosexuality. Why is this important? Cuz of course a woman can't cure a man of homosexual/homoerotic (whatever) fantasies and it does harm to the woman (and one's self) to assume that she has the magic bullet.

Read an interesting book called the Divided Self by R.D. Laing, though it's a tad dated having been written in 1957, it's nevertheless a very book and one which was far ahead of it's time. Laing went on to be a leader in the anti-psychiatry movement and questioned the whole category of "health" versus "non-health" and a slew of stuff that arises from this. It's a book I'd highly recommend to those who feel like they're isolated and have difficulty fully engaging their self with their actions/body/decisions.

So anyway, in this book there's a very short passage in which he describes a form of homosexuality which arises out of the progressive loss of a sense of "I and you" -- of what he calls "two-together" or "we-ness" or "I and thouness". He's smart enough to realize that this is just one form of homosexuality among many (just as there are many forms of heterosexuality and whatever else exists which we have not yet come up with appropriate language to point to). Anyway, he puts it in terms of a progressive loss of being-in-the-world with others and that women can eventually be experienced as to "other" and so one opens one's self up to the possibility of a different form of love -- either men, animals or children.

This certainly makes a lot of sense as a possibility when looking at the effects of childhood sexual abuse. And it also seems to get to the possible fantasies associated (in some people) with traumatic events. Undoubetedly some men on here seem to simply recreate the abuse scenerio and cannot tolerate anything that falls outside of reliving that strict scenerio. I'm reminded of the posts by Lloydy who freaked out if the guy he was performing fellatio on even spoke a word.

Others, it seems to me, have further fantasies -- even if they don't amount to the fantasies that allow for a full, spontaneous, romantic/sexual life with a man.

Anyway, it seems to me that if Rob and I have a chance in hell of having a productive and mutually satisfying relationship there really needs to be full disclosure surrounding this issue, no matter how scarry or upsetting it is.

I hope it happens -- without a variety of versions from which I'm expected to choose.

Thanks for the time to write some pretty disjointed stuff.

K.


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#189074 - 10/29/07 02:31 PM Re: Rob [Re: Kathryn]
dgoods Offline
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Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Thanks for being so frank w/ your struggle.."The Divided Self" although indeed dated, was valuable to me for calming fears i had about possible schizophrenia or psychotic breaks. At one point in my life i had some degree of penis fixation, and urges to pursue men sexually, but i was able to realize at one point that i really didn't "have to", and the urges faded w/ time; i cannot engage in a healthy close relationship w/ a woman, sexually or romantically speaking, but i know someday i will be able to, and i'm willing to give myself the time necessary; (as long as i don't go crazy from loneliness first)... Seriously, decisions acted upon out of fear or impulse seldom have positive outcomes, and i'm tired of (not)learning variations of that lesson over and over again... until i can feel safe and strong enough, nobody except my cat shares my bed.

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#189079 - 10/29/07 04:03 PM Re: Rob [Re: dgoods]
beccy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
Katie....


I think I understand that the question you are asking is something along the lines of, "do your fantasies represent genuine attraction, or are they are recreation scenario where you get to be in control?" (And likewise, the same question applied to anything physically acted on)


Obviously as the female partners of these men, this is the question we find ourselves tormented with......


The other issue I also think is relevant though, is the fact that fantasies are just that, fantasies! They do not represent reality and never could, since in them, we are in complete control of BOTH people.......just like you said: "I'm reminded of the posts by Lloydy who freaked out if the guy he was performing fellatio on even spoke a word....." Therefore, it is my personal feeling that any person's fanasies cannot be used to judge their sexuality.


That paragraph about types of homosexuality and progressive loss of being in the world with others is interesting indeed......I believe this is touching on my own level of anxiety about this issue. I tried to voice something of a concern about whatever level of involvement with his desires/fantasies my bf is having(I was worried about how we can begin to make things can work with us, if he is 'involved' with that),with my therapist last week. She tried to reassure me by telling me of her studies in sexual identity, saying that often it is a man's misguided attempt in accessing and experiencing his masculinity. I had to say to her that this I already understand is a possibilty and something I have soothed myself with often.........but it does not change the fact that I still find myself lonely in an intimate sense. Very lonely.


I don't consider myself to be hugely confident in this area anyway and can see how both me and my bf have sabotaged progress, which is understandable considering everything we have been trying to work through this past two years.....but it concerns me that I have seen hardly any attempts at it from him(despite periods of him wanting to f*** very often). I have had no interest in sex minus the intimacy, especially considering that's all we've ever done. I understand many of my own sexual dysfunctions from the work I've done in therapy over the past two years and have made some pretty empowering choices of my own. From my own understanding, it is all about choice, but i do understand that to make these choices, a person has to first understand themselves/their abuse and all the feelings associated.....and has to reach a point of wanting that intimacy. It causes me anxiety that it is obvious my bf has not yet reached this(at least not with me) In this space, i do not feel safe to trust. I do not know where he 'is' in a sexual, intimate sense.......this is what i was trying to explain to my T. That as long as there are negative coping mechanisms in play, and aspects of my bf's emotions that he does not yet understand, I just don;t see how we can make this work. And until that point, I am living in a lonely place......it is frustrating at best, paranoia/suspicion inducing at worst.


I'm not sure I have made any sense here, but there you have it,


peace
Beccy


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#189125 - 10/29/07 09:07 PM Re: Rob [Re: beccy]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Beccy,

For me it really doesn't matter if the fantasies represent recreation of abuse or more genuine attraction, at least not in the sense of dealing with the mere existence of them and especially the behavior which arises out of them. Yes, it would be easier to deal with a situation on par with Lloydy: I hardly translate what he was up to as sex. And while I have no doubt that a person can loosen the obsessive quality of these fantasies, even if they're more steeped in what we'll call more genuine desire -- I'm not sure where to draw a reasonable boundary that takes into account both Rob's thing and mine.

All I do know is that, while I believe in zones of privacy, on this issue I need full disclosure considering Rob's history. Partial disclosure doesn't cut it. And by disclosure I mean more along the lines of behavior, not the content or meaning (geniune vs. complusive desire/urges). It seems to me that there are pretty simple cases (Lloydy) and others in which the fantasies built up to deal with the abuse in the first place are part and parcel of what we consider to be sexual orientation, including compulsion to repeat, gaining control, reparation, etc....

Rob was sexually abused by his mother, so acting out with men represents some transformation in fantasy of the original abuse and not an exact replication of it. Perhaps, and such a thing seems immenently plausible, that he transformed the abuse scenerio to a man so as to preserve the nurturing qualities of women/his mother -- a more essential component of survival for a young child.

Then again, unlike Lloydy and others Rob did have a "friendly" relationship with a man for many years. So even if it could be argued that it's a way to make the abuse scenerio more palatable cuz it's not "so bad", "see it's 'safe'", etc.... or whatever.... there's still further fantasies that I personally feel make up all our sexuality, despite object choice in the sense that most of us are working through something in every relationship we create.

Rob mentioned feeling that mostly it's a place out of reach of his mother, a private place he can go to. Ok, sounds plausible, and I'm willing to accept his feelings about this. I can even live with them, including the likelyhood that he'll continue to visit this place for the forseeable future.

What I can't live with is that he prize nurturing this above nurturing me and our relationship. And yes, simply because it includes homosexual fantasies/behavior. If it's an easier place for him to go and a place he feels he must defend and defend it in such a way that leads to hiding certain behaviors and makeing me feel guilty about not buying his story then that's a decision he should own and feel good about. It's not, however, a decision he has the right to make for ME, and hiding this stuff is making decisions for me. And again, this issue has nothing to do with what his fantasies mean or don't mean -- it has to do with being honest so that I can make informed decisions about my life, just as he makes informed decisions about his.

BTW: Laing also mentions the recouping of masculine identity through homosexuality when a man withdraws from being in the world to such an extent that he can no longer recieve the nurturing of his masculinity through sexual contact with women.

----------------------------

dgoods,

Thanks for your response, I've really enjoyed your posts. You seem like a pretty cool guy.

What I liked about Laing's book was his ability to evoke experiences. I would think that if he were writing today he'd drop the "false self" language and talk in terms of various aspects of the self instead, and perhaps equate the "true self" with the most vulnerable self rather than the "only" "true" self.
And, unlike in 1957, it's no longer believed that Schiziodism is the forunner of schizophrenia, though during psychotic breaks in can look like it.

I actually gave the book to Rob. I guess it can be scarry to read if it's not kept in mind that we all utilize splitting and protective withdrawel and it's not a matter of him versus all "those" folks who are more intact -- intact being a very relative term.

Anyway, yeah, in some ways it would have been much better if Rob had decided to do what he's now doing before getting another person involved. But now I'm involved and wish to continue being so -- if he can find it in himself to be a bit more forthcoming. I think I'm at the end of the line as far as any more selective withholding.

And yeah, I understand the difficulty with trust as the result of abuse. I have my own issues in this regard as well. Most of us are surviving something and are pretty fucked up.

Take care,
Katie


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#189183 - 10/30/07 07:10 AM Re: Rob [Re: Kathryn]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Thanks! Someday maybe my inner Pinocchio will ditch the wooden suit-
But seriously, it's been so long since i've read it, that I remember more understanding (from the vivid portraits) that schizophrenia is truly a physical deterioration of the brain, that begins with inability to separate internal from external cues; i remember specifically reading an example of a patient's "word salad" he used, and described as unintelligible, but i "read" clearly as the patient's desperate attempt to communicate their own awareness of losing the ability to "break through the noise"; it was a cry of despair,offered helplessly.
I'm "lucky" in the sense of having my ex leave me before the light came on re: my CSA. I'm amazed at both the strength of survivors, and their significant others, as they struggle through what often seems to me to be quite nasty moments in recovery. I know that every close, long-term relationship has its own unspoken language; the volumes of inferred meaning between a couple as they catch each other's eye at a social gathering. One negative habit that seems widespread (nothing personal, just speaking generally) is what i call the "silent strikes list". It's done by men and women alike, but due to prevailing cultural mores, seems to be more common in women.(survivor couples' mileage may vary.)
An example: Ann and Bob meet, hit it off, start dating and fall in love. Both Ann and Bob notice various little idiosyncrasies that may not excite them, but they're too caught up in the moment to give them any thought. The breathless-dicovery phase wears off at some point after they take up living together, and those idiosyncrasies begin making themselves felt. Bob may find Ann's insistence on constantly doing several small loads of laundry, instead of a larger load less often, to be a waste of power and water, and becomes annoyed by her constant running back and forth, gathering, washing, drying, folding, etc. which seems to Bob as Ann's way of avoiding anything she doesn't feel like dealing with. Ann may be ready to tear her hair out if Bob keeps having full-volume phone conversations, while wandering around the same area she's trying to watch TV in, which strikes Ann as not just rude, but a passive-aggressive show of power. One day, everyday stresses take their toll, and Bob comes home in a bad mood. Ann's already in a bad mood, and picks up on Bob's crankiness right away. Bob looks at Ann, sees her staring fixedly at the TV, says to himself, "Oh great. First work, now this." Bob feels obligated to be considerate nonetheless, but manages a poor attempt- "So what's made YOU such a ray of sunshine today?" It comes out harsherand less funny than intended, but too late- Ann, already wishing Bob would go calm down before trying to talk to her, since she's been needing to vent for at least 3 hours, frowns sharply without turning to look at him, and bites off "Nothing. Why? What's YOUR problem?"
Bob, taken aback and frustrated, mutters "Chrissake, never mind, then," and stalks off abruptly to his home-office. Nothing else is said until Ann can't take the lack of physical activity, and starts angrily gathering clothes to wash, just to give herself something to do. She is passing by Bob's office door, when she hears him say to himself "Here we go again.. make way for Laundry Queen..." in a tired, disgusted voice. This is all Ann can take; she drops the clothes, marches into the doorway, and glaring at him, barks, "WHAT did you just say?!?" Bob angrily retorts, "That's your solution for everything, right? Don't deal, just do more laundry. Don't let me stop you!" Ann returns fire with, "At least *I* don't march around yammering away into the goddam phone 2 FEET from someone trying to watch GODDAM TV!"
...By now both are yelling, their faces are red, they're almost trembling with anger, and only a miracle would prevent one of them from a night on the couch, at the very least.

was this really about laundry, or phone manners? Of course not. Both Bob and Ann were silently checking off "strikes" against each other, and ended up w/ an argument that made each seem unreasonable, selfish, and ridiculous in the eyes of the other.

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#189196 - 10/30/07 09:24 AM Re: Rob [Re: dgoods]
beccy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
Katie,



this paragraph you wrote,

"What I can't live with is that he prize nurturing this above nurturing me and our relationship. And yes, simply because it includes homosexual fantasies/behavior. If it's an easier place for him to go and a place he feels he must defend and defend it in such a way that leads to hiding certain behaviors and makeing me feel guilty about not buying his story then that's a decision he should own and feel good about. It's not, however, a decision he has the right to make for ME, and hiding this stuff is making decisions for me. And again, this issue has nothing to do with what his fantasies mean or don't mean -- it has to do with being honest so that I can make informed decisions about my life, just as he makes informed decisions about his."



I SO relate to what you are saying there......and selective withholding is just about the best way to describe what my bf also does.....at the moment I am feeling very strongly that he is withholding stuff, I don't know what it is and this feeling is so common to me now, I believe I might have forgotten what life is like without it.....but you're right in saying it's not ok. And I totally understand the need to know Rob's past actions as far as his interraction with men is concerned and believe I would also need to know if my bf had an actual physical history with men......


my bf has not had a physical history with men, so it's all been theoretical here......a period when he wasn't sure if he did want something physical, a period when he didn't know if he might some time in the future. I have found much of what I've listened to difficult to deal with(there's a lot more than just those two things) and I do think this is one of the reasons why he might not tell me things, but like I said earlier, in my opinion that is simply not a fair excuse, since like you say, hiding his stuff is making decisions for me and denying me the choice to make informed decisions about my own life.


peace
Beccy


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#189200 - 10/30/07 09:37 AM Re: Rob/intimacy and disclosure [Re: dgoods]
honey girl Offline
Member

Registered: 10/09/06
Posts: 245
Loc: Midwest US
I hear you, dgoods. Add the challenges of CSA recovery to the usual relationship & communication difficulties most couples experience, it's an exponential increase in the likelihood of tension and miscommunication.
Sometimes being "right" is not enough, in any case.
Peace,
HG

_________________________
I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger, a million miles away from home.

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#189205 - 10/30/07 10:28 AM Re: Rob [Re: beccy]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303

Beccy,

It seems to me that we feel better if we get to a place of accepting today and not speculating about tomorrow. Rob would, I think, like me to believe that there will be a day when he either no longer has gay fantasies or doesn't need to indulge in certain behaviors.

It's obviouse to me that there are people for whom their homosexual fantasies are purely driven by "paranoid" ideation: If I can't get it up with a female then I must be gay. If I like anal sex then I must be gay. If I was abused by a male then I must be gay. If I don't make enough money then I must be gay..... Despite the fact that there's literally no pleasure associated with homosexual depictions and fantasies. I'm besieged by intrusive thoughts/images of what happened to me as a child, I must be gay. Etc.... And goodness knows I believe that every guy who suffers from this should be able to get some relief and not be told -- "yep, you're gay, you just have to accept it".

Likewise, there's nothing wrong with a woman hoping that through therapy her guy will gain the insight that his homosexual fantasies are seperate from his more fundatmental orientation and so he'll be more free to accept this aspect of himself as just that: a fantasy.... and so will be more able to nurture his heterosexual relationships. And again, I think guys deserve to find someone who supports his endeavors to do just this, if that's what he wants.

But there's also a time where it seems to me that we (the partners) simply ask ourselves if we can accept where things are today. If things change for the "better" (ie, the guys feel more confident in the heterosexuality and find less comfort/pleasure in their homosexual fantasies) then great, it's icing on the cake. Yippy. I like icing -- a lot.

I'm to the point I can accept the cake before me and still love Rob -- all, that is, except hiding information about which I've asked, and asked more than once.

Granted, I haven't been the easiest person to talk to -- and I've gone through my own "homosexual panic" phase in which I found depictions of gay sex as just downright gross -- and have told Rob so. Not exactly a greatly compassionate move on my part, but it was also in response to him saying he doesn't find homosexual depictions pleasent -- so kind of like "oh yeah, well I feel ______ about it" (the blank was far from nice). But I'm pretty much back to feeling about it more like I felt before having met Rob: it's just not my cup of tea and I really hardly translate homosexual (either lesbian or gay) sex as sex in the sense that it's just not sexual to ME. But I can accept that it is (in some way, even if only in a self-soothing way) to Rob. Whatever: He likes his steak medium rare, I like mine medium well. Medium rare doesn't translate into food for me.

What I'm not willing to accept are the following: 1) that I'm mislead and 2) that I'm treated as a defense against homosexuality, ie, "If Katie were nicer I wouldn't turn to homosexual fantasies", etc....

Oops, got to run, more later.

Thanks Beccy!!!!

Katie





Edited by Kathryn (10/30/07 03:46 PM)

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#189208 - 10/30/07 10:51 AM Re: Rob [Re: Kathryn]
beccy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
Wow, you wrote some really good stuff there Katie!


Especially this, "What I'm not willing to accept are the following: 1) that I'm mislead and 2) that I'm treated as a defense against homosexuality, ie, "If Katie were nicer I wouldn't turn to homosexual fantasies", etc....



I could write a lot about that, but I've got to run and get my daughter from school amongst a million other things, but thankyou for expressing things so clearly that I found so difficult to express!



peace
Beccy


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#189263 - 10/30/07 04:10 PM Re: Rob [Re: beccy]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303

Wow, I just figured out what that edit key actually does.

So anyway, I read somewhere where it takes the average straight woman to accept that her partner isn't completely straight. Not that I buy into these generalizations, but it's in fact taken me about two years.

I probably would have gotten here faster if lots of things were different, but they've been what they've been.

Rob and I actually had a nice day on Sunday after all this came out. I told him I felt ok about a bunch of stuff and said I felt confident we could get through this.

There's a part of me that in fact feels that way and the reasons are: Rob's not an unempathetic dope. He's been incredibly empathetic with me about all sorts of stuff, this one issue being a "blind spot" of sorts. Rob's smart and funny and engaging and enjoys having fun. I have no doubt that: 1) he loves me and 2) there's sexual attraction.

If I didn't feel this way then the gay stuff would be a deal breaker. Pure and simple. What straight woman wants a bi/gay man? Ok, some actually do -- but not many. I don't. But it's what I got and I do love Rob and feel his other qualities trump the whole bi/gay/whatever thing.

Personally, whatever the "truth" about sexuality/sexual orientation, it helps me to think in terms not of either straight or bisexual, but in terms of a partially developed homosexual side, which also probably implies a partially developed heterosexual side, which probably is more indicative of attachment issues rather than sexual orientation as defined as the ability to express through sex deep emotional attachments -- with both ourselves and others.

Thinking this way gets me out of the loop of X is straight and likes to have gay sex or encourages gay fantasies or gets off on gay porn or whatever. That's not really my definition of straight -- unless of course a person is capable of fully incorporating homosexual fantasies into their sense of themselves while never questioning their overall heterosexual identity, goals, strivings, hopes, whatever -- something that a lot of women, and probably some men, are capable of doing.

Anyway, there's a lot about this I can accept, given very clear and mutually agreed upon constraints.

Given the choice between a sort of bi man or a macho homophobic jerk, I'd take the sort of bi man hands down. Of course if I could design a man from scratch (about which I feel very deprived of the ability to do) he'd recognize and enjoy nice men and good looking men, be able to hug his friends, and be in touch with healthy homoerotic feelings. He just wouldn't want to give some guy a blow job. Or at least he could easily resist doing so, even if he could get turned on by the idea.

Take care,
Katie



Edited by Kathryn (10/30/07 05:09 PM)

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#189347 - 10/31/07 04:58 AM Re: Rob [Re: Kathryn]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Katie-
sorry if it seems like i'm "invading" F&F, but i'm just trying to learn future pitfalls to avoid, hope that's OK, maybe there's some perspective i can offer from "the other side" too-
I was never abused by my mother, but one of my HUGEST resentments was feeling a complete lack of privacy, even mentally; my mother's always been very intelligent and perceptive, and would make even minor deceptions nigh-impossible. I would imagine most non-survivor children have strong needs for separate identity establishment and privacy, past a certain age; but for me, i felt that keenly much earlier, for obvious reasons. I think mom saw this, and it bothered her, and made her try harder to pick my brain, and felt OK w/ "tricking" me into talking/being less secretive; or, if i was stubborn about it, she'd be unable to hide her frustration at not getting 100% from me, and inform me she'd get to the bottom of it, one way or another..listening to my phone conversations, etc. This was all even before i was abused the 2nd time @ 12. Of course, the harder she pushed, or the more clever her psychology or detective work, the more desperate i became to gain a place she couldn't reach me, and the more determined my resistance became. I didn't WANT her to "understand" me; i wanted out of the fishbowl, or to find a nice tear-proof curtain for it. "But i'm your MOTHER!" Yeah. Exactly, Mom. How 'bout cracking open an ice-cold can of BACK OFF? Many other times, however, i was grateful to have such a smart mom who i could go to w/ stuff, (excepting the abuse, NOBODY got that out of me) and who knew how to make me smile.

My point is, if i had these boundary issues, w/o maternal SA, i can't even imagine what Rob might have on his plate. i know that my boundary issues got replayed in my past relationships; i was always searching for that dream woman who was intelligent and empathetic enough to love me, and "read" me well, but who was *never* frustrated by arbitrary emotional/mental "NO TRESPASSING" signs being suddenly erected.
...What do you mean, "there is no such animal?" heh.
More vicious cycles ensued, etc. Of course, i tended to find women w/ boundary issues of their own, which didn't help matters.

...Well, typing all this helped me out a little; i hope it offered you something too.

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#189457 - 11/01/07 05:50 AM Re: Rob [Re: dgoods]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


dgoods,

Of course you're not invading anything.

And I get what you're saying. Thanks.

Katie


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#442020 - 07/24/13 11:57 AM Re: Adam -- P.S. [Re: Brokenhearted]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 606
Originally Posted By: Brokenhearted
Thought this was interesting. Unfortunately my H is in the "Defeated" side from what I can tell....but maybe it is just too early for him to "choose sides."

Deep Inner Decisions that Allow Survivors to Heal

by Ellen P. Lacter, Ph.D., 2005

CHOICES OF STRENGTH AND HEALING**************POSITIONS OF DEFEAT

To choose life.******************************To consider death as an option.

To have deep inner reasons to live.**********To simply exist or look to others for reasons to live.

To find safety if suicidal feelings are not controllable.********************************To look to others to magically stop suicidal feelings.

To hunger for truth, despite the pain, for freedom.*************************************To run from truth and hope for healing without pain.

To take charge of ones memory work.**********To delegate memory work to therapists or others.

To be a loving parent to one's child parts.****To seek an external caregiver for ones child parts.

To be determined to love oneself.*************To give into feelings of unworthiness or defilement.

To defeat fear (except truly self-protective fear).*****To allow life choices to be fear-driven.

To defeat anger (except truly self-protective anger).*****To displace anger onto others or let inner parts do so.

To choose sex only in true, healthy relationships.*******To allow parts to sexually act out or be victimized.

To discover and process the trauma that causes parts to want to act out destructively or self-destructively.***************To allow parts to be destructive or self-destructive.

To be a thriver, to have an internal locus of control.******To be a victim, to have an external locus of control.

To be the leader of ones healing team.****************To want, expect, or demand that others lead.

To connect with others, to have close relationships.******To isolate.

To be kind and considerate of helpers and loved ones.*****To relate to others as if they are not doing enough.

To be financially self-sufficient, or work toward this.*****To expect others to take responsibility for ones life.

To lead. To have a mission to help others.*************To be childlike, to look for others to be caretakers.

Integration (or preserving a few co-conscious parts).******To let dissociated parts take executive control.

To be spiritually centered.*********************To have a weak spiritual foundation.







Stumbled upon this list/thread today. Pure gold. Thanks Brokenhearted.
_________________________
Husky

My Story

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