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#170881 - 08/04/07 12:28 AM Why can't I get on with my life?
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
This was posted in the members' section by Sabata. I thought it was profound enough to post here.
Dewey2k


Counselling Issues: Why can't I get on with my life?

Some impacts of childhood sexual abuse on the life of adult survivors.
By Juliet Summers B.A., B.S.W. (Survivor 1961 - 73)

Many people believe that, because the abuse happened as a child, as an adult the survivor should now just 'forget about it and get on with life'. If it were this simple, many survivors would do it! It is not this simple however. Survivors were not given the opportunity to experience a 'normal' childhood and they cannot go back and re-experience it. Childhood is where all humans learn the basics of adult behaviour. It is where they learn to talk, to walk, to feed themselves, dress themselves, to relate to others and how to decode all manner of verbal and non-verbal messages. When this learning process is distorted through abuse, it is impossible to change or erase the lessons learnt once adulthood has been reached. This is not to say that a survivor cannot lead a perfectly happy and fulfilling life, but they will never be the same as a non-survivor. The way a survivor is taught to think and act is forever different from a non-abused adult. This altered way of thinking affects relationships with their families, partners, close friends, their own children and with themselves.

If someone is skeptical about this statement, then ask them to try a simple experiment. Ask them to do two things in their life differently from the norm. Ask them to brush their teeth with their non-dominant hand and to brush their hair with their non-dominant hand. Once they have done this, ask them to imagine that, for the rest of their lives, brushing their teeth and hair will be that difficult. It won't feel 'right'. You look in the mirror and know that you can't quite do it. You can see others around you who seem to have no problems with it, but your own hands are clumsy. There are knots in your hair that you can't quite reach, or the part won't go straight. You resign yourself to the fact that you will never be able to make your hair look as good as everyone else's. Even if you get it done professionally, this is only a temporary solution. You know when brushing your teeth you've missed some of those back molars and scooping up the water was a nightmare so you used a little less than was needed. You know that eventually this type of tooth care will lead to decay but resign yourself to having to pay for the dentist bills and being admonished for your delinquency. You have learnt that others will attribute the reason for these behaviours to either a deliberate choice on your behalf or some undesirable personality defect such as laziness. But you endure, you get by.

Now tell the person to imagine that the reason they have to do this is merely to titillate and amuse some grown-up. Ask them to reflect on how they would think about life knowing that everyday was going to be a struggle and all because someone else selfishly used you for their own gratification when you were young. Now tell them to blame themselves for allowing it to happen and to feel the guilt that they are unable to tell anyone about it. This experiment may give a non-abused person a small insight into the life of a childhood sexual abuse survivor. Instead of teeth and hair brushing being 'different' for a survivor it is everything.

What Is This Thing Called Love?
Adult survivors therefore, do not have the same outlook on life as non-abused adults. As a child, someone they trusted hurt and manipulated them. Not understanding what was happening, but somehow 'knowing' that it was wrong, they assimilate many deviant behaviours into their understanding of 'normality'. They grow up with a different view of many of the cornerstones of inter-human relationships and interactions.

An example would be the concept of 'love'. Often the abuser will say that they love the child. The non-offending parent(s) will say they love the child. Love is then understood to be a good thing - people who love you care for you, comfort you when you are sad, give you presents on your birthday, make you feel happy etc. It is also a bad thing that leads you to get physically hurt, to become terrified at times, makes you feel embarrassed or dominated. It will include forced involvement in activities that must be shrouded in secrecy and which you will not be able terminate, avoid or have any control over. To a child being abused, this becomes what 'love' is. Upon reaching adulthood the social pressure to find a life partner to love and that loves you in return is seen as a dubious or alarming goal. The survivor may also 'love' someone else and may view this emotion in themselves as forever corrupted. Anyone who proclaims love may 'naturally' be viewed with suspicion, perhaps dread or fear, or at best with wariness. The other person's motives will always be open to speculation.

To try to grasp complex emotional concepts like love, children group experiences into simplistic extremes. Good or bad, black or white, there is no grey. They can't differentiate between one trusted adult's behaviour and that of another's. Therefore, if one trusted adult abuses them, this experience is not taken away by the non-abusive relationships they experience, it just becomes part of their understanding of 'relationship'. The child learns not that 'some adults do bad things', but that 'all trusted people can do bad things.' This includes even the child itself. Like many other aspects of their developing psychological make up, this distrust becomes an integral part of their socialised constructs - their sense of how they see themselves and others and how people relate. It is just the same as their sense of humor or ability to reason. As with these psychological traits, once it is integrated it can never be 'unlearned' or erased. It 'just is'.

In adults, this total acceptance of distorted worldviews form the basis of many survivors beliefs about their 'true selves'. These views are like coloured lenses placed on the eyes of the survivor - they see everything through them and are usually totally unaware of their existence. It forms the core of their beliefs of themselves and of how others see them. It is through these lenses that they observe others interactions with themselves. As the beliefs are tainted with shame and guilt, they promote isolationist or self-destructive behaviours (I hate myself, you have no idea what I'm 'really' like, I am unlovable, you're only being nice to me because you want something). It is common for these beliefs to go unchallenged until the survivor begins sexual assault counseling.

The Family
The family interactions become the child's preoccupation. The quality of the child's day, the level of terror they must endure is dictated by external influences, always. This has lead to comparisons made between the trauma process displayed in survivors and that displayed in combat troops in war. Just like the foot-soldier, this situation galvanizes the child's sense of survival. Adult survivors continue to display this inner strength and resilience. They have vast amounts of courage and heightened skills for coping under extreme conditions. Survivors have adapted to continually being in a state of readiness.

As a consequence, the family unit is seen paradoxically as a place of support and of pain. Within the family is where a child learns the concept of authority and respect. They are taught to respect authority. To obey authority. This adds to the confusion of the concept of 'family'. On the one hand, there is kindness and caring from the non-abusing family members with whom the child willingly bonds. On the other is suffering and degradation from the abusing member(s), which the child tries to avoid, but yet is also bonded to. However, to a child a family is one whole unit. In order to reject the abuser, they think they must reject the whole family. Children are vulnerable. In order to survive they must remain in a family unit.

They come to believe that the abuse is the price they pay for remaining a part of their family. They believe they made a choice and therefore must accept the consequences. This adds to their guilt and self-blame (it was my fault). The authority figures in their lives are not perceived as benevolent dictators as in non-abusive families, but as tyrants with absolute control and little compassion or empathy. Feeling 'trapped' and powerless becomes a common understanding of being a part of a "family". In an adult this view is evidenced in statements like; I don't respect anyone, I have no respect for myself, I have problems with authority figures, s/he was trying to take over my life so I left, they are the boss I must do as they say, I can't visit my brother/sister, my abuser might be there.

A "Mother's Love"
To a child, their primary caregiver's powers are unlimited and omnipotent. Therefore, regardless of whether the primary caregiver (usually the mother) intervened or even knew of the abuse, the child assumed that she did know and therefore chose to do nothing. We are socialised into believing that mothers are supposed to love and protect their child. Mothers are supposed to make things better. To the abused child, none of this was true. Adult survivors often harbor deep hostility and resentment towards their mothers for these reasons.

In order to resolve their resentment towards their mothers, adult survivors must reconceptualize the cultural stereotype view of mothers. They must understand that mothers are not omnipotent, that they are humans and that they have flaws and weaknesses just like everyone else. Mothers also must work hard to reestablish a genuine intimate relationship with their adult child. Just saying 'I'm sorry, I didn't know' is not enough. It is hard for victim/survivors to accept the fact that many mothers were successfully duped by the offender into believing that there was nothing going on. This manipulation by the offender is aimed at keeping the crime a secret so that it can continue.

It is not surprising therefore, that adult survivors often believe that they have never 'known' a mother's love. Mothers and primary caregivers in general may be regarded with suspicion from an early age. This paradox is in conflict with a child's natural state of dependency and innocence. It often results in children learning to equate dependence with trepidation and even fear. In adult survivors it is common to see this belief fueling behaviours which ensure that a degree of distance and independence is maintained from those they choose to be close to. It also enables many survivors to be able to 'cut their losses' in a situation they find undesirable and to quickly start afresh, for instance by changing jobs, moving house, ending a relationship etc. On the other hand, feeling overly dependant on someone or something for an adult survivor will often trigger depression, panic attacks, anger or helplessness.

Hypersensitivity
The child quickly learns three vital lessons:

That they are powerless to escape from abuse once the scenario begins.
That they are powerless to prevent the abuse from happening permanently, and
That no one is going to 'rescue' them.

The objective now becomes to avoid abusive situations on a day by day basis.

A child is not psychologically able to understand the complexities of human interaction. They have no concept of a man feeling powerless through work pressures and compensating by exerting his power over his family through abuse. The child knows the abuse is happening for a reason (it must). They use their limited life experience and equate the abuse with a concept they are familiar with - punishment. They have already learnt that punishment is only metered out to a bad child. The child comes to the realization that the real reason for the abuse is due to themselves. They are the bad ones. This belief is often encouraged by the abuser. "You're special/different/bad, I have to do this". In adult survivors this belief is converted into self-hatred and self loathing and causes profound psychological damage. If left unchallenged, it will remain a part of the adult survivor's self-concept for life.

With the child's new 'It's my fault, I'm the bad one' belief firmly in place, suddenly things begin to make sense. There are now a myriad of reasons why the abuse occurs. Now there is hope. Now the child believes they can control the abuse or stop it completely by being 'good'. The longer they are abused, the more minutely they examine their actions to isolate the offending behaviour and eradicate it from their routines.

Behaviours and beliefs linked to this survival mentality are very difficult to alter when internalized during the dependency stage of childhood. Each time an adult survivor tries to change them, they literally feel they are taking their lives in their hands. They firmly believe their lives will be decimated by even the smallest modifications to their carefully constructed routines and beliefs.

And so the child analyses everyday incidents and uses these observations to predict when abuse (punishment) is most likely to occur. These predictions are achieved through staggering amounts of both conscious and unconscious observations and calculations. Some examples: observing that if mother applies a certain shade of lipstick, it means she is preparing to visit a particular person's house. That if the car keys are placed on the bench it means someone is going out (=danger), but if they are tossed onto the bench, it means that no one is planning to go out (=safe). That when the abuser raises his eyebrows 2 millimeters while looking at the child's crossed legs, then he has abuse on his mind, but the same action while he is looking at the child's hands means it will be alright (=crossed legs bad). If the abuser inhales or exhales in a certain way there may be trouble (=don't let this happen/run and hide when it does).

This learnt hyperawareness continues on into adulthood and is why survivors often seem 'psychic' or aware of trivial details that no one else is. It is also common for survivors to habitually sit close to doors or windows, to avoid confined spaces when others are present and to 'just know' when someone is in a bad/angry mood. This strengthened sense of others makes survivors empathetic friends. The hypersensitivity enables many survivors to write stories full of de>

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#170923 - 08/04/07 08:32 AM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: Dewey2k]
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948
belive it or not---------------i e mailed this to my boss the other day-----------i got a very good response from him-----------------------you never know until you try----------------------been sitting on the side lines to long------------------steve


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#170924 - 08/04/07 08:35 AM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: Dewey2k]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Thanks for posting this here...the article was quite informative and offered me much to consider.

S-n-S

_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#170986 - 08/04/07 05:43 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: sweet-n-sour]
emptydreamer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/19/07
Posts: 276
Loc: Midwest USA
That is one of the most powerful articles on this subject I have seen. I found it just as I had started this road to recovery. It answered so many questions, and explained so many issues.

I'm happy to see it shared here, it will provide insight that can't be found everyday.

Best wishes and warmest regards,
Scott

_________________________
I'm here for a reason. Failure is not an option.

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#171002 - 08/04/07 07:21 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: emptydreamer]
ttoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/19/07
Posts: 977
This is, hands down...the very best written article I have ever read about these issues. Without a doubt, the best.

Thank you for posting it.


Dave

_________________________
checkin out for a few weeks... whistle
02/07/09

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#172756 - 08/12/07 08:06 AM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: ttoon]
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948
bump------------------------for stefan


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#172757 - 08/12/07 08:07 AM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: sabata]
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948
and anyone else who mite hae missed this


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#172778 - 08/12/07 09:27 AM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: sabata]
Stefan012 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 281
Loc: The Netherlands
Great article, thanks Sabata

_________________________
You lost the things that you thought you would never miss.
You let them out and miss them while they're gone
But there's memories down here and they will always live down here
No they can't take them away, so they won't

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#187970 - 10/19/07 09:06 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: Stefan012]
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948
bumped-------------------for frost


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#187976 - 10/19/07 09:34 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: sabata]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Sabata,

It is a fabulous article. Thank you for bringing it back up. It helped to read again. And I just sent it to my b/f with a note for him to read it when he's ready. I'm holding my breath that he does.

Trish



Edited by Trish4850 (10/19/07 09:49 PM)
_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#188013 - 10/20/07 04:05 AM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: Trish4850]
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948
Trish-------------i hope he does also------------as i stated above----------------i sent this to my boss--------------------it has helped him to understand me better-------------------so our work relationship-----------is better now---------------steve


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#188050 - 10/20/07 01:37 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: sabata]
testingWaters Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 508
This is the *best* article I have ever read about something so fundamental to my own experience. Thank you so much D2K for posting and Sabata for bumping it.


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#188510 - 10/23/07 08:50 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: Dewey2k]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6500
Loc: Terminus
Originally Posted By: Dewey2k
The child quickly learns three vital lessons:

That they are powerless to escape from abuse once the scenario begins.
That they are powerless to prevent the abuse from happening permanently, and
That no one is going to 'rescue' them.

The objective now becomes to avoid abusive situations on a day by day basis.



This is a three-pronged brutal truth

_________________________
When the phone don't ring, I'll know its you.

The Aftermath Video

My Absolute Hero!

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#188517 - 10/23/07 10:24 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: Still]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
I don't think i've ever been more grateful for "Copy", "Paste", and Notepad in my life! There are many loving, well-meaning friends and family that need to read this as much as i did...
TYSVM! (thank you so very much)

_________________________
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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#188784 - 10/25/07 09:50 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: dgoods]
trusty Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 167
Loc: Indiana, USA
OH MY.

This is me all over the place.

Fascinating....and frightening.

Thank you, Steve.

Russ/REJ

_________________________
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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#188785 - 10/25/07 09:52 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: trusty]
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948
i still gon back to this and re read it


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#188787 - 10/25/07 10:28 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: sabata]
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
I emailed this to my H about a wk ago. I have no idea if he looked at it or automatically hit "delete."

But I have a copy saved in my documents so I can always access it. It helps ME to read it, to understand him better, as well. Sometimes I wish I could "require" that he read it, just so he finally realizes I'm not just acting like a "know it all" with him. To me this article is easy to understand and conveys so well what it is like to be a survivor.

_________________________
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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#188789 - 10/25/07 10:32 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: Brokenhearted]
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
Maybe I could say something like, "We can't move on if you won't even look at the possibility of what is wrong with "us"." Because it is very frustrating to me that WE are sort of on permanent "hold" until we start figuring out why and working on it, it does affect me too, half my life is already over too. I want to be close to him and blameless for HIS problems for once. I love him, my heart aches for him, but also sometimes I feel enough is enough, I've been so patient and it's so hard. Please let me know if my thinking is way out of line, to just request that he read it, for OUR good.

_________________________
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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#188791 - 10/25/07 10:53 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: Brokenhearted]
trusty Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 167
Loc: Indiana, USA
Dear Brokenhearted,
There is as much eye-opening wisdom in this article, for me as a survivor, as in the entirety of many of the books that I have read. I hope to share it with many, many people, including my wife, my siblings, my therapist, and my pastors.

From my point of view, however, this may be of some help...reading this article confirms that there is a huge amount of work still to be explored by my wife and me in figuring me out, figuring us out, and ultimately, coming to grips with our uncertain future.

Good luck in your quest to share it. You should definitely keep trying and hoping that he reads it.

Russ/REJ

_________________________
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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#188875 - 10/26/07 10:35 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: trusty]
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
Russ,

I so appreciate your honesty and encouragement. I wish I knew why the future w/ our spouses should be so "uncertain." I wish we could all just decide to stay together, as in commitment, through tough and good times....I hate not knowing whether my future includes the continuation of my family.

I wonder, is it usually the survivor who is uncertain about remaining married, or the spouse? Because I, as a spouse, am willing to remain, but yet I feel he is the one who seems so aloof and autonomous and independent of me... Hmm, wonder if that would change once he "gets" that he was abused and the whole recovery thing begins.

Thank you again for encouraging me -- I will definitely keep trying to encourage him to read it. I find the damage done to you survivors as horrendously monumental. I guess children are just so very fragile, more than I even thought I was as a kid. It just keeps blowing me away how ingrained the damage is.

Bless you and I am so glad you are open and willing to talk about your case and share material w/ your loved ones. Was there a long time before you were ever able to talk about it or disclose? Is talking about it much easier after denial, after recovery actually begins?

_________________________
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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#188959 - 10/27/07 08:26 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: Brokenhearted]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Hi BH,

You and I have similar problems in trying to get our guys to read or think about things we think they should embrace. I resist, 99% of the time, sending him anything from this or any other site because the moment he sees a link, it instantaneously shuts down his brain and sends him to a place he doesn't want to be. This happens often enough without my intervention so the last thing I want to do is be the cause of it. That said, there are times I read something that I find so important, I want to share it with him. This article was one of those things and this is the e-mail I sent to him.


Quote:
Hey baby,

I'm not sending you a link to MS because I know that it upsets you when I do, so, I've copied and pasted this article that one of the guys posted. It's long and should be read only when or if you feel ready to read it. It's not triggering, I don't think, except of course for the subject matter. I see so many of your behaviors and ideas and things you've said to me described and explained. It was of great help to me and I think it could explain alot of your feelings to you because I know so much about yourself is confusing and frustrating even to you.

Again, read it only when you feel you can.

I love you and I'll see you tomorrow - Trish

PS: It also explains why I believe!


The response I got was please don't send me e-mails like this! It was said calmly but firmly and he had a very valid and understandable reason. When he gets an e-mail, he's usually working (yes, this could even be at 1:00 in the morning - he's a workaholic). If he sees an e-mail like this, he's pulled away from the important work he was doing and can't function for some time because he has to re-group.

The positive was that he understands why I've sent him information and he appreciates my efforts, BUT please, please please, if there is something I want him to read, print it, give it to him and ask him to read it. He promised he would. What the point of this? I don't know, I think I got caught up in a story Oh yeah, presentation. My guy has now told me exactly what to do and what not to do so now I've got a leg up. I'm still going to resist giving him anything, most of the time, because he's just not ready, but when I find something irresistible, now I know what to do.

Do you think a similar explanation may apply to your husband? Can you explain to him that you'd like to give him something to read and contemplate because it's important to you? Maybe if he thinks he's helping you, he'll inadvertently help himself.

Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#188999 - 10/28/07 02:01 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: Trish4850]
trusty Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 167
Loc: Indiana, USA
Dear Brokenhearted, and Trish, and all,
What you describe as us survivors who are hard to reach...or gain access to...is very true. Part of it, I suppose, is the sense of secrecy, the use of denial we employ for years in order to pocket away the pain.

You asked how long it took to begin to deal, and if it was easier once the recovery began. I did something that sounds much like your husband...I disclosed to my wife 17 years ago, but didn't allow her to talk to me about it. I refused to believe that it was affecting me...which was a huge lie of self defense?, or hiding from her?...I don't know. But, the result was that I was angry at her any time she brought it up. Oh, I was so wrong to do that to her. She WAS suffering. It DID affect us both...in huge ways. So, now, 42 years after my abuse ended, I am finally dealing with it. And, I have included her in everything. I've spilled all the beans. And it has been so frightenly ugly. So painful. So hurtful to her and me.

So, when she wants to talk, she has had to come to realize that I get flooded after a while. I can only do so much talking in one sitting. I have to have isolation time. But, I know we DO have to to talk. So, for example, I've shared this article with her. And, we're taking it slow...talking a bit at a time about what it means.

I went to the weekend of recovery retreat last weekend and I unloaded everything...a huge number of issues. Although they were shocked that I put so much on the table, my small group was so helpful to me, as were the therapists. And, I came away from that event realizing that I cannot possibly solve 42 years worth of pain in any short amount of time. So....my wife, again, was correct. She told me me that I have to work on the abuse first. Then, the sexuality issues, the marriage issues, the relationship issues, the work issues, the God/faith issues, etc. (Yes, I have a lot of stuff to deal with.) \:\)

Regarding your men and their willingness or lack of willingness to read things you're sending them, I wish I could say there is an easy way to approach them. I've been through that with my wife as well...she has read dozens of self-help books that I have refused to read. I simply have a really tough time with non-fiction reading. But, I have, FINALLY, read three books on male childhood sexual abuse, and they have been an amazing help to me in the past six months. So, keep listening to your men, and giving them the space, and keep trying when the opportunity is there to share some things...in small amounts, maybe. But, best of all is talk...in small amounts at first. I know we all want this pain to end as soon as possible, but we do have time. We must take the time. We cannot use pressure. It will never work.

Bless you all,
Russ/REJ

_________________________
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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#189018 - 10/28/07 06:21 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: trusty]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Thank you Russ,

That was beautifully stated and helpful. You know what's funny? not in a funny haha kind of way, but in an odd way. When I tell other's "in the know" that my b/f is still in such a dark place after two years of therapy, they look at me, and sometimes actually say, that something is wrong with him and me. I faced that at the conference this weekend from a woman who is a therapist and should absolutely know better! It's very disconcerting to realize that I, as nothing more than your average woman who finds herself in a very complicated situation, knows more and has more empathy than a "professional." This is certainly not true of all or even most, but it's out there and the realization is like a stinging slap to the face.

It's the men and women I communicate with here who provide me with the most insights and support and understanding and hope than just about anyone I've met in real life. I can't thank you all enough for that.

ROCK ON...........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#189024 - 10/28/07 08:19 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: Trish4850]
trusty Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 167
Loc: Indiana, USA
Trish,
If we all wrote the incredibly insensitive, or even outright stupid things that we have heard from the mouths of some therapists, we could fill a huge amount of space on this website.

My favorite idiotic thing was a therapist who asked me if my abuse felt good. Then, he said..."Don't worry about it...why don't you find a fishing buddy to have sex with once a week...you're wife doesn't need to know."

Let's face it...there are incompetent people in every profession.

Hang tough!
Much Love,
Russ

_________________________
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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#189953 - 11/04/07 05:25 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: trusty]
GateKPR4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Thank you for the article, I found it most informative esp. the parts about being hyper sensitive and empathic. Feeling somehow different from others has been there most my life. This article helped me understand a lot.
peace&love
Rick

_________________________
I'm a normal person dealing with abnormal experiences.
The greatest discoveries we will find within ourselves.
Ricky
__m_ô¿ô_m__
|| || || || || || |

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#189954 - 11/04/07 05:25 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: trusty]
GateKPR4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Thank you for the article, I found it most informative esp. the parts about being hyper sensitive and empathic. Feeling somehow different from others has been there most my life. This article helped me understand a lot.
peace&love
Rick

_________________________
I'm a normal person dealing with abnormal experiences.
The greatest discoveries we will find within ourselves.
Ricky
__m_ô¿ô_m__
|| || || || || || |

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#353759 - 02/15/11 02:48 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: GateKPR4]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 862
Loc: washington
Took me some reasearch to figure out, I have been feeling kind of "Stockholm*ish" as of late.

Anywho, I ran into this article on Page 1...(and thought it was good).

I am bumping it for the benefit of others...


Home Sweet Home (Motley Crue)

island

_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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#353770 - 02/15/11 04:24 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: 1islandboy]
Shawushka Offline


Registered: 01/05/11
Posts: 128
Loc: VA
Thanks for posting this article, it's superb.

Trish, thanks for sharing your story about mailing your partner things like this. I myself was about to put this in a mail, but reading your posting made me aware that I really shouldn't do that.
So I'll print this article out and just give it to my partner and let him read whenever he's ready for it.


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#353983 - 02/17/11 06:47 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: Shawushka]
elshaneo Offline


Registered: 02/07/11
Posts: 10
Loc: Canada
Thanks so much for bumping this. It was amazing to read. I had quite a few OMG moments when things just clicked and made sense.

I almost cried when I read this. This is SO me:

"The child quickly learns three vital lessons:

That they are powerless to escape from abuse once the scenario begins.
That they are powerless to prevent the abuse from happening permanently, and
That no one is going to 'rescue' them."

_________________________
I've been very well acquainted with the fact that there's evil in the world but I work every day to believe that there's an equal amount of goodness out there.

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#365679 - 07/08/11 05:26 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: elshaneo]
loved1forever Offline


Registered: 05/28/11
Posts: 15
The article on the first page is so insightful and well written. Seems like it would be of great benefit to both survivors and family/friends. I really want to share with my H and I’m hoping it would help at this point (no T yet, and not much willingness to talk). I’m worried he’s at that “cut your losses” state again and getting ready to run once more because he doesn’t understand what’s happening to him and can see the hurt around him. That would be absolutely devastating at this stage, after everything we’ve gone through over the years. I wonder if any survivors here who have not yet sought therapy, found this article helpful?
Peace and courage to carry on,
L1F


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#365688 - 07/08/11 09:18 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: Dewey2k]
1lifenow Offline


Registered: 03/07/11
Posts: 408
Loc: west coast
This has been possibly one of the worst days of my life. I am so grateful for this post, i am breathing for the first time today. I am experiencing great relief, understanding and the tears would be of happiness not exasperation. I have been stuck for so long, and it is almost like with each little step, I face a new mountain. I have tried so hard to get to the end, but now for the first time, I truly realize there is no end , just the journey.

I just can't believe serendipity and my souls thermonuclear meltdown have just collided. This gives me great peace, and conviction I am on the right path that I have started on. I can rest now, thank you. It IS going to get better, I just wish they would make this article a permanent place, as so many don't read this section, and so many are stuck too.

I didnt know this feeling I am experiencing right now was possible. The panic is fading.

_________________________
The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. Dalai Lama

WoR Barrie 2011

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#365843 - 07/12/11 04:01 AM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: 1lifenow]
mike13 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/11
Posts: 419
Loc: California USA
Thanks for the great article. My lack of progress has been very frustating so say the least. It is nice to know that there is still hope for an old fart like me Mike


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#369735 - 09/08/11 12:57 AM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: mike13]
NewSummer Offline


Registered: 09/01/11
Posts: 59
Loc: Surrey BC
I never knew what my programing had done to me...For the first time in my life I feel as if I can join in on the party...I am welcome. It will be OK. I am survivor, and survivors are strong. I am no longer stuck.. I can and will move forward.

_________________________
life is what happens while you make other plans- John Lennon

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#371374 - 09/30/11 04:17 AM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: NewSummer]
cris40ky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 188
Loc: KY, US
I've been "surviving" for a long time now. In and out and back into therapy again. This article makes a hell of a lot of sense! I'm gonna have to keep it handy.


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#371724 - 10/05/11 10:03 AM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: Trish4850]
misscrespo Offline


Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 45
great article. Thanks for sharing. I feel I understand my man a little bit better now


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#371821 - 10/06/11 12:25 PM Re: Why can't I get on with my life? [Re: Trish4850]
misscrespo Offline


Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 45
excellent article. thank you for posting.
I read it with my boyfriend last night. we were both very touched.
He could identify himself with so many things. He said, especially with the feeling of a soldier on foot, always ready, always anxious, always alert for danger.
He said he could see himself having trouble with authority but at the same time struggling to say no to a figure he considers his superior.
I never noticed he always chooses to be by the window or door until it was pointed out in this article as well.
He says he is ready for the hard work that it is changing his thought pattern. I am proud of him, even if it is a very hard road to recovery.
thanks again


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