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#152268 - 04/22/07 06:17 PM the dynamics of interpersonal power
cat lover Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 89
Loc: Denver, Colorado
I haven't posted on here for a bit, but mostly I just need to get this topic out. I've made some observations on how we use our power in relationship to others - some related to my rape, some not.


My ex (the perp) abused his power. He used it unethically to get his addict needs satisfied. He manipulated me, coerced me, call it what you will. He was emotionally abusive of me.


I also have personal power. I am trying to be intentional about how I use it, and to be ethical with others. The other day, I turned down an offer for a date with a guy (I think he just wanted to get laid). He was 24. I'm 41. I'm not interested in dating someone who was born the year I graduated from high school. My age and life experience and graduate degrees (and a host of other factors) give me more power than he has. I want to be ethical. And I want a relationship with a peer.


The way we and others use our personal power makes us vulnerable in our relationships and friendships. I appear to have inadvertently injured a friend (who was waiting for me to give an apology when I thought the incident had already been acknowledged). Making myself vulnerable to friends carries risks for both of us that one or the other won't live up to someone's expectations. Being vulnerable to a lover who then abuses that trust and love is scarring.


Sometimes, nearly four years later, I still find myself with moments of bitterness. Recently an acquaintance with whom I shared the brief mention of being a rape survivor, said about moving on that sometimes you just have to trust that the next person won't do the same thing.


Anyway, those are some of my opening thoughts on this emotionally confusing day.


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#152273 - 04/22/07 07:35 PM Re: the dynamics of interpersonal power [Re: cat lover]
dan17 Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/30/07
Posts: 72
"I'm not interested in dating someone who was born the year I graduated from high school."

that's hilarious
sorry if you didn't intend it to be so

anyway, on the topic of your post (sorry for the diversion), I agree that both friendships and relationships carry many unforeseen dangers (especially for rape survivors)
the most important thing is to gain enough trust in a person to be able to consider them a friend or a potential partner
don't push yourself
give yourself plenty of time to get to know a person and to learn to trust that person (if possible) before you invest in a relationship with them
of course there is no definite way to avoid getting hurt
but, as you have mentioned, you have a personal power
a power to make your own choices and you seem entirely capable of making those choices wisely or else you wouldn't be here
I think you should trust your choices and see where it takes you




Edited by dan17 (04/22/07 07:35 PM)

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#152304 - 04/22/07 10:20 PM Re: the dynamics of interpersonal power [Re: dan17]
cat lover Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 89
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Thanks dan17. And it's okay to laugh at my sarcasm.


The particular friend I mentioned I've known for 2.5 years... she was a good listener with rape recovery issues, along with many other aspects of our friendship. And so I guess that sharing made me open to being hurt by her. But it was also a mutual thing. I listened to her too. Anyway. Looks like I'm accepting applications for new friends.


My intention: to live life ethically and with integrity. To love and be loved profoundly.


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#152310 - 04/22/07 11:32 PM Re: the dynamics of interpersonal power [Re: cat lover]
dan17 Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/30/07
Posts: 72
4 words:
cats rule dogs drool

so I sound like a 5-year-old
so what?



Edited by dan17 (04/22/07 11:32 PM)

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#152371 - 04/23/07 10:24 AM Re: the dynamics of interpersonal power [Re: dan17]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I'm a dog lover but that one is still hilarious! Yep, go for it, 5-year-old or whatever.

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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