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#17439 - 11/04/02 08:09 AM Ensuring your own safety on this Forum
Richard Gartner, PhD Offline
Past President
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/20/00
Posts: 404
Loc: New York, NY, USA
Given some of the recent events and discussion involving deception and possible predatory behavior on this Forum, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about ways to protect yourself. We try to make this a safe place, but, as people on this Forum all know, there are people who will abuse others, whether unconsciously, for a power trip, out of viciousness, as an enactment of something in the past, or whatever.

Many people who have been abused want so much to trust (even while knowing that the world isn't always trustworthy) that they ignore their own instincts and believe things that their rational minds know may be unbelievable. In doing so, they ignore the red flags that they otherwise would pay attention to. In particular, people may experience difficulty sticking with their boundaries, either allowing someone to ask too much of them, or offering too much to someone else. It's really hard to manage this area, because if we are overly vigilant we run the risk of having our walls get too rigid, leaving us lonely, alone, overly on guard and wary.

I bring this up not because I have definitive answers but because I want to open the topic up for discussion -- not just to dwell specifically on what happened with LionCub, but to talk about what people can do that is helpful in protecting themselves, and what gets triggered in situations like these. Or just to talk about what happens inside when you realize you have erred in one direction or another in this area.

Richard Gartner
MaleSurvivor/NOMSV President

_________________________
www.richardgartner.com

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#17440 - 11/04/02 01:37 PM Re: Ensuring your own safety on this Forum
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Richard:

Thanks for posting this! A lot of good balanced info & things to think about.

Boundaries have always been a big problem for me; basically, as I grew up there were none. So I've gotten burned a lot in my adult life, and I've had to really work on this thruout my recovery, which started about 15 months ago.

There's a lot to read out there about boundaries. I got "The Boundary Workbook," becuz I wanted actual exercises to do to train myself in boundary-creating skills. I haven't finished it, but I have been working on creating boundaries.

But actually for me the main part of it has been in learning to trust myself & my intuition. I've always been a pretty sensitive & discerning person, but becuz I don't trust myself I often go against my better judgment.

Thankfully this has been changing, especially recently. It's been pretty much a matter of loving, believing, & believing in myself. No small or easy matter of course.

But thru therapy, support groups (mostly online), opening up to my wife & daughters, good reading, and deliberate hard work (love is a choice & a commitment), I'm learning to love & appreciate myself more. To see the good in me, as distinct from the bad that's happened to me.

The more I like myself, the more I take care of & am aware of myself, what is & isn't best for me. Thus the more I create & maintain healthy boundaries.

These are not walls that keep others out & me in alone. They are lines that I can keep safe behind & use to keep the wrong people & things for my recovery out--and let the right ones in!

I've been an expert bricklayer, putting up walls. Now I'm trying to be a good surveyor, drawing the proper lines on my territory--and marking it! ;\)

Let's hold those lines men! \:D

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#17441 - 11/04/02 01:54 PM Re: Ensuring your own safety on this Forum
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Hi Richard and Wuame,

You boths give some really good ideas for me to think about. My heart often wants to rush to help others--but sometimes that is to my detriment.

The difference between boundaries and impenetrable walls seems a good guideline for me.

Thanks to both of yoou.

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#17442 - 11/05/02 12:13 AM Re: Ensuring your own safety on this Forum
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Dean,

Never lose that heart, my friend. Just guard it.

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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