Newest Members
tammy m, TheConqueror, Bloom, JohnWC, KKumar
12423 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
biggbill70 (44), CP4 (24), EddieMi (46), EddieT (46), hemi1024 (54), Kage (70), kdj_74 (40), Knightswhitehart (49), otlhouston (47), TX_Space (47), VirtualBman (50)
Who's Online
7 registered (Scott1962, lapchinj, Jay1159, 4 invisible), 29 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12423 Members
74 Forums
63798 Topics
445510 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 2 of 6 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 >
Topic Options
#184811 - 10/05/07 08:25 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: Lazarus]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Laz,

That's an excellent point, and it is very possible. Let's just put it this way, if that's what he is doing, I will figure it out in time. For now he is a really great friend and I will give him the benefit of the doubt. If I start to think I'm being taken advantage of or disrespected in some way, with my wisdom and the counsel of all you wonderful guys in my toolbelt, I'll (or we'll) figure it out.

In all honesty, I think he is a bit of a flirt. I haven't figured out if he is a "harmless" flirt yet, but nevertheless, a flirt. He certainly doesn't flirt with someone unless it's genuine, and he is definitely consistent (he's not hot/cold). We've talked about it and I told him that I could tell that he had a crush on one of the other girls around here. He was very anxious to know how I could tell, and I think I was hitting a little too close to home because he changed the subject before long.

Just a little background info about me, I get crushes like this quite often. They are intense and can last for up to a year or more. It is best described by a term that I was introduced to by one of you guys a while back (it was lostcowboy) which is "Limerence". I was so incredibly compelled by Wikipedia's de>
_________________________
Craig

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

Top
#185952 - 10/09/07 06:29 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
Lazarus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Below the radar, USA
Craig,

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner; I've been offline for about a week. Nothing personal...

I'm glad my suggestion helped you see things in a different light. From your comments, it seems like you've got this issue sorted out, and you're not jumping to conclusions, especially negative ones. Man, I know how easy it is to think the worst...

There is nothing wrong with flirting, in fact there is a lot about flirting that is good and healthy. My husband does it all the time, but it took me a long time to realize that flirting could be, and usually was, harmless fun. I always used to take it way too serious, like if I was nice to some guy who was flirting with me I was tacitly giving him the go-ahead for sex. One of my problems was that I have always felt bad about saying no. Now I understand that flirting can be a way of testing the waters for a more intimate relationship, or it can be just a form of friendly conversation.

Your comments make a lot of sense, and show a good deal of thoughtfulness and empathy. Good for you!

Lazarus

_________________________
"That which does not kill us, surely makes us stonger." - Neitsche

Top
#186229 - 10/10/07 01:18 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: Lazarus]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: Lazarus
Craig,

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner; I've been offline for about a week. Nothing personal...

I've been pretty busy myself, and I thought very little about how much attention my thread was or was not getting, but thanks for saying that.


Originally Posted By: Lazarus
Man, I know how easy it is to think the worst...

You are so, so right. That is actually sort of what I have been learning as a result of my current situation. I notice that my thoughts have a strong tendency to gravitate towards very negative interpretations of things. I know it is no coincidence that they are the same interpretaions and dark fears I had that year in college.

What I'm realizing is that the extremely unpleasant situation with my college roomate was just as traumatizing, if not more so, than the root abuse event. However, I believe that the root abuse event is what made me vulnerable to this extremely toxic individual. I say it was traumatizing because I often find myself re-experiencing the fears and intrusive thoughts that I experienced back then. Up to now, the only thing that seemed to slake this build up of fears and emotions (and it still does) is to just talk to him. Each time I stop in to chat or he stops in to chat, I always end up realizing that I have it all wrong. The danger with that is of course the possibility of trying to use interaction as the sole way to stop the cascade of fears, which is not a healthy path for any relationship.

What am I doing about it? Well, I have gained such a vast amount of knowledge about myself and my emotions over the years, that I am giving myself permission to just sort of ignore the negative ideas. At first it may sound like some form of denial, but it isn't. It's more like self-parenting. When I find myself ruminating over scary ideas or dark feelings involving my attractive and intimidating friend, I become sort of annoyed and angry because these ideas only lead to a very dark place that is loaded with insecurities. I know that I don't deserve to be in this dark place, and I know that I don't have to go there if I don't want to. At this point I wipe my mind blank, take very slow, deep breaths (all while keeping my mouth and my throat open to make sure I am not pressurizing my lungs). I then try to keep my mind clear of any thoughts for as long as I can. This becomes easier and easier each time I try it, and the beauty part is that I can do this anywhere and I don't even care if someone notices. The longer I have been on the treadmill in my mind, the longer it takes for this exercise to bring me back to a clear state of mind.


Originally Posted By: Lazarus
One of my problems was that I have always felt bad about saying no.

Been there, done that! If I thought someone was flirting with me and got too close, I used to get real panicky because I wasn't sure I was going to be able to say no.

Thanks so much for your supportive remarks Lazarus. It really helps.

Craig

_________________________
Craig

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

Top
#186526 - 10/11/07 01:09 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
An entry in my "chronicle" for today...

Well, I'm on a roller coaster today. Up and down, up and down. It's all making me very confused and overwhelmed. I find myself wanting to say all the things I have heard from you guys, such as, "I'm sick of this, I want off this damned ride"

I'm having internal doubts and second guesses, I'm not sure what my insticts are saying. I'm starting to think that what Lazarus suggested might be the case. The flirting may be him stroking his own ego in a way he thinks is safe and harmless. If so then he's wrong. Something has felt "not right" the last couple of days, and I don't know what it is. Something about this is feeling unhealthy and I can't deny it. At the same time, I feel like there is something very healthy in it for me, because it is something that must be dealt with. I just need to decide what is best for me.

So many emotions today. Sadness, anger, frustration, fear, anxiety, hope, despair, excitement, clarity... there's just so many things going on in my mind right now and they are all very loud and intense. I was chatting with my friend earlier and I told him that I feel like I am constantly holding my arms up to block the unpleasantness (like Wonder Woman blocking bullets) that I do not deserve and shouting over and over again, "I DO NOT ACCEPT!" Then the doubts creep in, "How much longer can I keep this up?" The truth is, I have no idea. In the past, it has not been long.

I can't ignore the subtle cues I have been getting from my friend. I am not stupid and I don't like clumsy hints one bit. It leaves me feeling very guilty and insecure, like if I am responsible for this. How can I be responsible? I had nothing but the best of intentions and only wanted a very healthy and positive relationship with this dude. Maybe I'm not being honest with myself. Do I want more than that? Of course, that's the nature of a crush. But I am aware that this is just a fantasy so how do I keep ending up feeling pain? Again, that is the nature of a crush.

It's as though he's gone a little too far with his "flirting" and now he is trying to take it back. At least that's the way I see it. I am still struggling with the flashback I had a couple weeks ago. I tried to pretend I was over it in a week but what do I know about triggers and flashbacks? Probably more than I am aware of, so I need to give myself a little credit.

This totally sucks.

Do any of you guys recognize any of the things I am describing? Does it sound like I had a flashback to you?

_________________________
Craig

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

Top
#186572 - 10/11/07 06:04 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
Lazarus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Below the radar, USA
Originally Posted By: cbfull

The flirting may be him stroking his own ego in a way he thinks is safe and harmless. If so then he's wrong. Something has felt "not right" the last couple of days


Until you figure out what that 'something' is, you will probably have a hard time dealing with it. Try again, a little harder this time...

Originally Posted By: cbfull
I can't ignore the subtle cues I have been getting from my friend.


Originally Posted By: cbfull
I had nothing but the best of intentions and only wanted a very healthy and positive relationship with this dude. Maybe I'm not being honest with myself. Do I want more than that? Of course, that's the nature of a crush.


Originally Posted By: cbfull
It's as though he's gone a little too far with his "flirting" and now he is trying to take it back.


It seems like you need to include the previous journal entry... cause I missed something. How is he trying to 'take it back'? Is that what has you all tied up? Or, is it because he's playing a game with you and you don't know all the rules? That's manipulative, and you have a right to be put off and upset.

Frankly Craig, this guy sounds like a dick tease, and a jerk. I could be wrong, but that's my impression from the info you've given. The unlikely alternative is that maybe we is/was considering a 'walk on the wild side' with you, but can't make up his mind.

Either way, I suggest you quit being the pacifier and take a more agressive stance. I know you don't want to lose his friendship, but you have to ask yourself, "with the way things are going now, is this the kind of frind I really need?" Perhaps you should call him on his flirting. You can tell him you're flattered, but confused. See how he responds (he'll probably ask you how he's 'flirting' with you, so be prepared to tell him). Better yet, next time you two get together for a chat, or a drink or whatever, try to pretend you don't notice his flirtations, but then when you finally say goodnight, give him a big, wet kiss. He'll probably be shocked, but you can tell him, 'Well, you asked for it.' And again, be prepared to explain. You've thought about this a lot, so it shouldn't be hard. And you don't have to tell him anything that you don't want to...

Look, buddy, I don't know what's best for you, and I'm not even sure what is going on with you, so don't take my advice. You have to make your own judgement calls. From what you've said, you have a pretty good mechanism for disarming your panic attacks, and that is a very good thing. I wish you could apply the same kind of logical thought process to what is bugging you about this guy. I understand that you are sensitive to triggers. You accept that you are attracted to him but that you will never be more than friends, yet you let him affect you like a lover might. Have you ever considered that he might not have any motivation or reason for some of the things he does, or if he does, even he might not know what they are? Some guys just react without thinking - espexially when it comes to sex, right? Yet you seem to hang on every word he says, every move he makes. You over-analyze. Buddies don't usually do that, but lovers do. And yes, that is the nature of a crush. If you want him as a friend, you've got to get over him... Otherwise he will probably always be just a little too close for comfort...

I hope you won't take offense at my glib comments and innuendo; most of that is just my weird sense of humor trying to show through. I have made a LOT of assumptions, all of which may be wrong. Feel free to clarify and expound on any subject I may have gotten wrong.

Best regards,

Lazarus

_________________________
"That which does not kill us, surely makes us stonger." - Neitsche

Top
#186675 - 10/12/07 08:56 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: Lazarus]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
What can I say Lazarus, you seem to have covered all bases. And you're right, I did leave something important out, I guess I was just too embarassed to admit what it really was.

Earlier this week I was sort of getting the impression that he was just sort of down and exhausted and didn't really feel like socializing. I can understand that, he's human, and honestly I sorta didn't feel like it either, I felt burned out. I just sorta took advantage of it as an opportunity to get some time away from him since I didn't like the energy I was feeling. It just felt right to step back.

I think that what has been happening the last couple of days is me needing to deal with old fears of rejection and abandonment. I call them "old" fears because I don't really believe that the same thing is "happening all over again", but nevertheless there are some striking similarities that are triggering my reaction.

I'll try to explain. There has been an ongoing sort of physical intensity that appeared to be felt by both of us, on whatever individual levels they may be. For me at least, it reached a bit of a peak intensity, which was when I interpreted his body language as "extremely sexually suggestive". Then came this tired, burned out feeling (I honestly believe it has to do with winter approaching, I go through it every fall) and the whole interaction was just sort of gone.

This is similar in many ways to what happened with the roomate. An unspoken intensity existed between us, his behavior suggested he was responsive to it, and then just as it was reaching a peak, he just walked off to his room. I didn't know how to interpret that. Was I supposed to follow him? There was no way I was going to assume that! I felt like I was left "high and dry". The real damage here was what happened in the months to follow. I kept trying to rekindle the intensity and create an opportunity for a sexual encounter, and it kept happening the same way. It was a pattern that dug a very deep trench in my mind. It was within the first month that I started to internalize it, taking it very personal. My self-esteem reached an all-time low, I was so confused and depressed I started to really believe it was going to make me go insane.

The flashback is still playing itself out. On one hand I know that something doesn't feel right, and at least one part of it is my need to find a healthy way to deal with these fears that are overwhelming me. The other part of it is that something is going on with him and he sorta acts like he doesn't even want to talk with me anymore. I don't know if he got freaked out or what, but if I am going to be a friend, I can't just think about myself. I'm going to ask if everything is okay.

Update:

Okay, I feel both good and bad about this. I just asked him if everything was all right, and it turns out that since Tuesday he has been having some serious back pain again, and he just had surgery less than a year ago. He is taking vicodin (which doesn't help the pain much and only makes him sleepy) and they are making him even more depressed. As if that weren't enough he is back on his low carb diet, which is always bad for anyone's mood.

So for now it seems that I am re-experiencing a past trauma, and my instincts are correct that something was wrong. He is experiencing intense physical pain, which is causing emotional pain. Time to stop worrying about myself so much and go back to being a friend.

It's so typical of me (as is the case with most "gays" I know) to think that everything happening around me is about me!



Edited by cbfull (10/14/07 06:43 AM)
_________________________
Craig

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

Top
#186690 - 10/12/07 10:09 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Thanks so much for taking the time to sort through my thoughts with so much attention. Your suggestions and observations are ALL very valuable to me, nothing is more valuable to a person in this frazzled state than a clear perspective. My own clarity has become buried in all these fears, and it is very, very difficult to find.

_________________________
Craig

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

Top
#187469 - 10/16/07 03:53 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
Lazarus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Below the radar, USA
Hey Craig...

Once again I have to apologize for not replying sooner. Seriously, it's nothing personal, and I DO enjoy this conversation. My remodelling business has taken off, and I have lots more work than I need or want, but there are some clients that I just can't put off (like my hubby! - his clients always seem to take priority, but that's OK; it's how I get most of my business...) Anyway...


Originally Posted By: cbfull
And you're right, I did leave something important out, I guess I was just too embarassed to admit what it really was.

I think that what has been happening the last couple of days is me needing to deal with old fears of rejection and abandonment.

he just walked off to his room. I felt like I was left "high and dry". I started to internalize it, taking it very personal. My self-esteem reached an all-time low.


So for now it seems that I am re-experiencing a past trauma, and my instincts are correct that something was wrong. He is experiencing intense physical pain, which is causing emotional pain. Time to stop worrying about myself so much and go back to being a friend.

It's so typical of me (as is the case with most "gays" I know) to think that everything happening around me is about me!


Hope you don't mind my 'cut and paste' paraphrasing of your message, but I wanted to pull out what I thought were the salient details. Feel free to correct me if I've overlooked anything, or taken things out of context incorrectly.

So let me see if I've gotten this correctly; Your roomate and you have a 'sexual energy' but not a sexual relationship, which you would like. You were confused and demoralized by his 'presumed' indifference, which left you 'high and dry.' Now you meet this new guy, and the same kind of sexual energy is there, but you know he is str8 and the relationship also leaves you 'high and dry.' I'm not sure about your 'flashbacks', but if I'm reading you correctly, you're saying that you are in the same boat that you were in with your roomate; "All dressed up with no place to go" in a manner of speaking...

If by 'taking it all back' you mean that your friend has seemed distant and noncommunicative, yes that can clearly be explained by his back pain. Perhaps it's NOT all about you, this time.. LOL I don't see how you can read too much into this because you knew that the chances of a sexual relationship were slim to none. Were you getting your hopes up? Or were you afraid that you (or he) had done something that had destroyed the friendly sexual energy that you had established? Like someone was feeling guilty or having second thoughts about something they had said or done? I wouldn't worry too much about that; Time heals all wounds, and wounds all Heels... What I'm saying is that with your new friend, you should just give it some time and not assume the worst.

But to me there seems to be a deeper, underlying problem here that you are faced with; Why don't you have a boyfriend? You have told me about a roommate and a str8 friend, neither of which have been completely fulfilling for you. It seems to me that you are barking up the wrong tree, twice. Don't settle for less than you deserve, ever! I hope soon you will find a nice guy with similar interests and similar tastes who will help you be happy; with yourself and with your life. Chances are you won't find Mr. Right the first time, but even if you did, you probably wouldn't recognize it. So play the field for awhile. Don't put all your eggs in one or two baskets.

Also, Craig, your self-esteem and self worth should not be based on what other people think of you, but on what you think of yourself. Sure, we all need affirmation and reassurance at times, but you KNOW who you are, and I believe you are a good guy. You'd be a great 'catch' for the right guy, and the right guy would do worlds of good for you.

I don't know much about your situation, but in today's world it is never hard to meet a lot of gay guys. There are risks and pitfalls, but if you don't try you'll never know. Don't throw out the roommate, and don't 'dis' your str8 friend, but you should date more. Get out there and explore.

That being said, I'll add this warning; Life is not for the timid, nor the foolish. Yes, there is a wonderful life out there waiting just for you, but you will have to wade through a lot of chafe to find it, so you should be prepared. From the little that I know about you, you have a 'thin skin' and are vulnerable to the rude, cruel world out there. You are right to be afraid, but don't let that fear dictate your life. I can advise you on how to proceed, if you need that kind of help. If you don't feel comfortable talking about these details in public, feel free to PM me and we can discuss the details privately.

In the short run, my suggestion to you is to either forget your roommate and your friend as intimates, and work on co-existing with them as best you can, OR take a more agressive stance and talk plainly with them about who they are and what you want. Does your roommate want to be more than just a roommate? Just why is it that your str8 friend wants to flirt with a gay guy? That way, you can determine if they are worth your time and emotional energy to continue persuing. In either case, a fun boyfriend would do you a world of good...

You know, Craig, I've heard it said that sufferance is a woman's lot in life. If that is true, then rejection is a man's life. We get turned down all the time, but you can't let that be the basis for your self-esteem. "Men will try; woman must deny," is the heterosexual sentiment; for gay men it is similar but slightly different. I went through hundreds (if not thousands) of men and women and 6 significant relationships before I finally met the right guy. But life is too short to play the kinds of games (?) that you have been playing, particularly if they stress you out.

All the previous disclaimers still apply; my advice is worth EXACTLY what you've paid for it. This is just my two cent's worth, because I like you and I think you're a good guy. I wish you the best.

Ric

_________________________
"That which does not kill us, surely makes us stonger." - Neitsche

Top
#187474 - 10/16/07 04:47 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: Lazarus]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
my two cents:
A) I identify with "being too smart for my own good"
B) I'm str8, but common to any of us is the potential for "testing" behavior, ie feeling the beginnings of attraction, affection, or attachment, which sets off the perimeter alarm(DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!) so we flirt, and if they respond sexually, they fail the test. If they don't respond, however, we become confused and frustrated, and often feel rejected.
C) As far as G/S friendships, I read a wonderful piece about it, google "fag-stag" or PM me for the link.
Shutting up now \:\)

_________________________
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

Top
#187644 - 10/17/07 03:04 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: dgoods]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Ric (Lazarus),

Everything you say seems to come from a very informed perspective, and I can certainly identify with it. There are a couple things I think I missed getting across.

The roomate situation is a very disturbing memory that happened when I was 21, which was 14 years ago. I wasn't even out yet. It was a catalyst that helped give me a shove out of the closet. I believe that being stuck in that terrified and depressed state for such a long period (exactly a year), not to mention trying to earn an engineering degree with sub-par grades as well as a lost bond with my schizophrenic father has precipitated in the form of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. I have been researching the symptoms the last day or two and so far the symptoms are a suprisingly perfect match to the type of abuse and subsequent anxiety I have endured over the years. I have lived in constant fear of devoloping another "crush" and reliving the depression and terrible feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness. What gave me the final clue was the reaction I had to a single "image" and how it hit me like a brick, even when I had seen the same thing a few times before. I guess the similarity of what I was observing was blocked out the first few times. I began spiraling into fear and believing wholeheartedly that I was going to go through all those terrible feelings all over again, and that I would not be able to recover until I either moved or one of us changed to another position.

The other thing I missed mentioning is that I am currently in a very fullfilling relationship with a completely amazing guy, and he knows all about my feelings for my friend here at work. We have been together for six years and I couldn't imagine someone being more wonderful than he is. I decided to share with him my most recent findings about my fears and he actually helped me to clarify what was happening to me. It occurred to me as I was telling him that I am absolutely terrified that I am going to have to "relive all those old feelings", and that is a quote directly from my mouth. As I said it out loud, I knew something about it didn't make sense. Why would I have to re-live anything I don't want to? How is it remotely possible that this guy at work would have exactly the same reactions and behavior that my college roomate did?

The answer came to me in the form of the realization that I am only seeing this happening again because I have basically been sort of waiting for it. It simply can not be happening again because everything about this situation is different. At this point a breakdown is not even necessary to believe that it is simply not the same but a few come to mind.

- I know this guy is not gay (or "same sex committed").
- We are both in happy, committed relationships.
- We both own homes with our significant others.
- And most important of all, he is not the guy that I roomed with 14 years ago.

The attraction itself is even different. In college, the attraction seemed to be based on the fact that we were completely different people, while this one seems to be based on what we have in common.

In light of everything you (Ric) have suggested, my fears are taking on a distintinctive taper that I haven't felt since I was 9 or 10, which is a very, very good thing.

The pieces are finally starting to join together to reveal the big picture.

I know I'm rambling quite a bit, but a great deal of this is so that I can get it all down and stand back to take a real look at it.

________________________________________________________________

dgoods,

Thanks for the remarks. It's always refreshing to meet others who have been described as too smart for their own good. Can you expand on that a little?

What do you mean by "...if they respond sexually, they fail the test?" Are you saying that because of the abuse a sexual response is undesirable?

I'm going to check out "fag stag" like you suggest, it sounds interesting.

Thanks so much guys!!! \:\)

Craig

_________________________
Craig

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

Top
Page 2 of 6 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 >


Moderator:  ModTeam 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.