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#174984 - 08/22/07 11:55 AM feeling helpless
jessedawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 07/17/07
Posts: 345
Loc: New York
right so I cant help but to think back and feel like there must have been something I could have done. maybe not to stop it entirely but make it easier? maybe easier isn't the right word, i dont have the right word for it but there must have been something I could have said or done differently. people i encounter now are so scared, helpless, sometimes hurt sometimes angry and i know exactly what to say and do to steer them in a different direction but back then i couldnt think of not one damn thing to do to avoid any of the things that happened. because i'm older now? because i think about things and see things different? or was i just weak back then? or maybe i couldnt stop it because i did in fact deserve it? maybe my father was right about everything, maybe i was just too stupid and selfish to appreciate the things he was trying to teach me? i dont know. that doesnt sound right to me but it sure as hell feels that way. just thinking out loud here.

_________________________
Firefighters - your worst nightmare is just another day at the office.

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#174989 - 08/22/07 12:08 PM Re: feeling helpless [Re: jessedawg]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2503
Loc: Denver, CO
Jesse,

I'm sure it feels that way, but I'm sure that's not right. NO ONE is so stupid they need taught through abuse. No one. Not even you - not even me.

Yes, you were younger then. And yes - I believe you see things a LOT clearer now because of that awful filter of your past. And if you were "weak" back then - it was because of your age and who you were up against. It's taken me a LONG time to realize my father was DEAD WRONG. And I still fight that from time to time.

At the risk of being repetitive - you were NEVER too stupid or selfish. Again - NO ONE is so stupid they can only be taught through abuse. No. The abuse was something done TO you - and NEVER something you deserved.

M

PS - Thanx for "just thinking out loud".


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#175014 - 08/22/07 01:38 PM Re: feeling helpless [Re: MarkK]
jessedawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 07/17/07
Posts: 345
Loc: New York
thanks mark, he had a way of making it seem like it was all me and everything he did was someone justified

_________________________
Firefighters - your worst nightmare is just another day at the office.

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#175021 - 08/22/07 02:07 PM Re: feeling helpless [Re: jessedawg]
Brian Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 1563
Loc: Upstate NY
Those who abuse children are master manipulators. They know how to manipulate children and it's a tool that seldom fails. They do it in a way to make us feel that it was all our fault. This feeling stays with many of us for our entire lives.

Back in 2001, when I confronted the man who abused me as a young boy, the last 30 seconds of the conversation went like this:

Quote:
I then asked him if he had anything that he wanted to say to me. He looked me in the eye and said, “I’m sorry”. I snapped at him in an angry and sarcastic tone “what are you sorry for”? Then he said it… “I’m sorry. I manipulated you and I took advantage of you”. I closed my eyes for about 10 seconds. When I opened them up, I could feel the tears running down my face. It was at that moment that I finally realized that it was not my fault. He manipulated me and I was not to blame. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect answer. I was finally able to forgive myself.


Jesse, he was manipulating you! It was NEVER your fault!

Brian

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Recovery is Possible!

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#175024 - 08/22/07 02:19 PM Re: feeling helpless [Re: Brian]
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948
how-many times----does one have to hear---------------------its not your fault------before it sinks in??????????????


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#175025 - 08/22/07 02:22 PM Re: feeling helpless [Re: Brian]
jessedawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 07/17/07
Posts: 345
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Brian
Jesse, he was manipulating you! It was NEVER your fault!

Brian


thanks for sharing that story, im just not there yet, wish i could believe that right now but i cant, been blaming myself for everything that happened for so long, hard to start thinking differently

_________________________
Firefighters - your worst nightmare is just another day at the office.

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#175029 - 08/22/07 02:25 PM Re: feeling helpless [Re: sabata]
jessedawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 07/17/07
Posts: 345
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: sabata
how-many times----does one have to hear---------------------its not your fault------before it sinks in??????????????



good question, i heard "this is all your fault" about a million times growing up so i suppose i'll have to hear "it's not your fault" a million and one times before it'll sink in.

_________________________
Firefighters - your worst nightmare is just another day at the office.

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#175030 - 08/22/07 02:28 PM Re: feeling helpless [Re: jessedawg]
Brian Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 1563
Loc: Upstate NY
I know that you're not there yet but I'm sure you will get there someday!

When I wrote that post 6 years ago, I actually believed that I understood and accepted that it wasn't my fault. Unfortunately, it took another 3 years until I actually did! This is a long process for some of us but it well worth the effort!

Brian

_________________________
Recovery is Possible!

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#175032 - 08/22/07 02:32 PM Re: feeling helpless [Re: Brian]
jessedawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 07/17/07
Posts: 345
Loc: New York
right, i hate to sound so negative but most of the time im really not sure if any of this is worth the effort.

_________________________
Firefighters - your worst nightmare is just another day at the office.

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#175035 - 08/22/07 02:52 PM Re: feeling helpless [Re: Brian]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Just adding to the good ideas you have already received: It's not just a matter that you were so young back then. There's also the fact that you were facing a terrible challenge - sexual abuse has a catastrophic effect on a boy that he absolutely cannot handle. Not emotionally, not physically, and of course not sexually. In his total confusion he is desperate for answers and will believe almost anything that's said to him. Do you remember any of these lines?

It was all your idea.
You liked it./You got hard./You came.
You didn't really mean no./You didn't leave./You didn't have to come back.
I only did what you wanted.
This is our special time.
This is our secret.
All the boys are doing this.
It was for us.
You were this special to me.
You never told.

It's all bullshit Jesse, and once you realize this you will be able to believe that none of it was your fault.

So why isn't this happening yet? Several reasons. First of all, the idea that it was your fault is something abuse stuck in your head while things were happening, and after the abuse ended that idea just continues in a boy, even as he grows up and becomes a man. These old ideas are just so damn familiar to us that we find then hard to give up.

Another reason, bro, is that there's a big difference between "knowing" something intellectually and "believing" it in your heart and soul. Here's an example you may have seen me using elsewhere on the site.

Suppose it's winter and the temperature hasn't been above 0 degrees F for months. There's a lake near you, and you want to get to your friend's house on the other side. You look at the lake, and you "know" it must be frozen practically solid by now. Of course it's safe to walk across to the other side instead of talking the long way around the shore!

BUT...what if the ice is thin somewhere? There's no one else around, and if you fall through the thin ice you're fucked! That is, you aren't prepared to take your knowledge of the frozen lake and BELIEVE in it enough to use it as a tool to make an important decision.

That's the process Brian is talking about. When he confronted the abuser he felt he finally knew the abuse wasn't his fault. But it took another few years for him to process everything and turn that knowledge into something he could believe in and then use.

Ideas are like people, Jesse. We may know them pretty well, but that may leave us a long way short of believing in them and trusting them.

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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