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#174351 - 08/19/07 05:26 PM bittersweet
cat lover Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 89
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Greetings, all. It's been a while since I have posted or even been online, but it seems important today to my recovery to take the step of checking in with this post.


For a couple of weeks, I've had some bittersweet feelings about my ex b.f. (the perp) Remembering the good moments, having that nostalia flare up - but also being acutely aware of what he, the person I loved most in the world, perpetrated against me. It happened just over four years ago now, and I haven't seem him in 3.5 years, nor do I care to. But it's been there, in the background, and I can't identify a trigger. Maybe there isn't one.


Yesterday, I was doing some long overdue hoeing out and was going through some boxes in the closet & spare bedroom. I came across a couple of things which were definite triggers - a picture of him, guide books we used together. The picture went in the trash. Perhaps the books should too. I nearly cried - maybe I should've let myself - it was an instantaneous reaction to finding the picture in the box, but I managed not to. I haven't cried about him or being raped in a long time, probably over a year.


Today, there was another trigger. There is a mutual friend of my ex's parents (they go to the same place of worship) who last year I finally had to ask to stop telling about his parents. Mostly he's respected that, but today, while four people were hiking, he told me that my ex's mother had died back in December, and that he had spoken with my ex's father yesterday, and that my ex's father said to tell me hello. I didn't know she had died. I feel sad about that because she was always rooting for things to work out. Which they didn't. I do not think it would be good for me to contact my ex, even with a sympathy card, and so I'm not going to. His father I may send a card - or not; I need to figure out how that would feel for me and if it would be healthy. My issues are not with my ex's father.


Anyway, I wish I could've gotten the mutual friend to be quiet, but there were other people around, and apparently he felt this was important enough to pass on to me in spite of my request. The mutual friend just learned about the death recently.


Argh.


And as long as I'm checking in, sometimes I wonder if I will ever be able to love deeply again, to the same degree that I did with this ex. I've had some dates but no sparks, really.


Thanks guys.


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#176704 - 08/29/07 12:48 AM Re: bittersweet [Re: cat lover]
cat lover Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 89
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Well, having spent the last week with this, I've concluded that at the present time, I'm not going to send anyone a sympathy card. It's been enough to have that trigger which caused me to mentally revisit the profound love I had for my ex, and revisit the realizing that I needed to end that relationship, and revisit the naming of 'it' as rape. I want that stuff in the past and not in the present. Maybe I'll love again to that degree someday; I have to look at it now as knowing that I have the capacity for deep love. If I were to send a card to my ex's dad, I would then wonder, 'what if the ex sees the card, contacts me, whatever.' So I'm not going there. My intentions:

1. Continue to affirm for myself that I can love deeply

2. Continue to affirm for myself that I wasn't the one in the wrong who used / violated another person

3. I need to restate to the mutual friend that I do not wish to have any knowledge of my ex or his family. (Another mutual friend, who knows all of us, has honored this request 100%, and I thanked her for that a couple of days ago.)


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#176757 - 08/29/07 08:08 AM Re: bittersweet [Re: cat lover]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
cat lover,

I'm sorry that this causes you so much pain and indecision. I can relate to the unbelievable confusion that your emotions are causing.

There's one thing that is jumping out at me in your post, and it is related to the intensity of your feelings toward your ex, and your fears about the future. Why not spend some time trying to discover that level of love for yourself rather than for someone else? You need to be at the top of your own list of people to love, nobody else belongs there. You need to be at the top of this list because, this is the one person to which we give a seemingly infinite amount of unconditional love. As long as you are not at the top of this list in your mind, you will always be vulnerable to great pain and despair. Each time we give away this very important love, we make ourselves vulnerable to wounds that are so deep they take many years to heal. Trust me on this, I know it as well as you are finding out now.

One incredibly valuable thing I have learned from all of my own pain and despair, is that the love I give someone else can only be as healthy as the love I give to myself. By reserving the most unconditional love for myself, I can stay emotionally healthy and then decide if I feel that somebody else is worthy of me sharing (as opposed to giving) this very delicate yet powerful love. Don't get me wrong, I still struggle with feelings of self-loathing from time to time, but it most certainly is not the "disease" it once was.

Am I making any sense?

Hang in there bud, and give yourself some credit. You deserve it.

Craig

_________________________
Craig

Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.

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#177731 - 09/01/07 10:14 PM Re: bittersweet [Re: cbfull]
cat lover Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 89
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Craig:


Thanks for your words. Mostly what you said made sense. Maybe I should visit a bookstore to see if there are "how to love yourself" workbooks. Although I do know that I love myself - if it weren't for that, I'd still be in that relationship. I ended it. I got myself to a counselor for a year and a half. I worked through some books with the therapist - a couple on rape, one on emotionally abusive relationships. I knew I needed to confront my ex and I did. Acts of self-love. So that's me claming some of my own credit. Maybe in my journal tonight this will be a topic.


I had a small trigger today which I didn't see for what it was until 45 minutes later when some anger and frustration popped out sideways. I watched a DVD which unbeknownst to be contained a scene in which a guy is essentially raped by the guy he loves. I realized how close to home it hit when I was frustrated at the automatic post offie machine and swore at it. I left without mailing my parcel. As I was leaving I became aware of the source of the anger.


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#178206 - 09/04/07 11:47 AM Re: bittersweet [Re: cat lover]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
It sounds like you are on the right track. Being able to track emotional reactions back to the source is a very good indicator of progress.

It sounds like you have spent a lot of time trying NOT to pay attention to your thoughts, and the awful things you might be telling yourself. See if you can "listen in" a little better and determine how much of your self-talk is negative. This self-talk will give you the facts on just how much you are NOT loving yourself.

Let me know what you think of this idea.

Craig

_________________________
Craig

Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.

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