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#184128 - 10/02/07 03:33 PM Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION
cbfull Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Something happened the other day that has me very unsettled. I hesitate to even talk about it, but I know I'll just feel worse if I don't. I have to talk to somebody. I know I can trust you guys not to jump to any conclusions or judge me. I need your help guys.

Some of you may remember me talking some time ago about a crush I have on a married guy I work with. Everything for the most part smoothed out, we have become fairly good friends over the months and the intensity of the crush dulled to a managable feeling. Lately it's been more of a friendly affection than a crush.

For some unknown reason, very recently the sexual attraction seems to have spiked in intensity, and I'm pretty sure it's a mutual feeling (I'll explain what I mean). I typically just ignore it and conduct myself in a manner that is conducive to a casual friendship. As I was sitting and talking with him, I could feel the intensity taking a very, very steep rise, more intense than it has ever been, and he then seemed to adjust his position in his chair so that he was now facing me. He kept rubbing his eyes and sort of yawning, all while I had a very clear view of the crotch of his jeans. I could see what appeared to be the beginnings of arousal on his part.

I have reached a point where I believe I understand why this has disturbed me so.

- It was an inappropriate and highly suggestive gesture, not to mention crude. UNHEALTHY
- It suggests that there is something going on that is being kept secret, therefore we do not talk about it. UNHEALTHY

These two reasons seem to stand out in my mind. Please, please feel free to help me expand these or add more to it. I need to clarify this situation and regain my feelings of confidence and safety.

The second one is probably the part that makes it the MOST unhealthy. If we were good enough friends that we could have a mature discussion and agree that just because these feelings are powerful, it doesn't mean we have to do anything with them or act on them, then I think we could be just fine. The key seems to be communication. But how do I communicate with a "heterosexual" about something like THAT? He is actually a very deep feeling guy and doesn't like to hurt people's feelings. I get the feeling that he is capable of having such a discussion but there's no way to know for sure. What would I even say?

That gesture he made was very triggering to me. It was PRECISELY what my college roomate did to me during that incredibly painful and confusing year of my life. I remember I tried to break down the walls and open a discussion about what was going on, and he called me to his room, laid back on his bed with his legs hanging over the edge and his "crotch" towards me and placed one of his hands over his eyes. Apparently I was just supposed to "go for IT". The thought of it both disgusts me and (regretably) also sorta arouses me. The part of me that is disgusted is my wise and clear thinking, healthy side. The part that is aroused is the part of me that still feels confused by desires to act something out.

Time to go home.

Craig



Edited by cbfull (10/03/07 09:00 AM)
_________________________
Craig

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

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#184316 - 10/03/07 09:08 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
cbfull Offline
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Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
I hope this post hasn't offended anyone, but I am hoping for some feedback, and I don't really care if it's positive or negative. ANY feedback will do. I need to hear some thoughts.

Maybe my de>
_________________________
Craig

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

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#184346 - 10/03/07 09:53 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
Jarrad Offline
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Registered: 10/27/06
Posts: 1071
Loc: arizona
hey. your post is well thought out. maybe thats why no one has really replied. not because we dont care, or understand, but because it was so clear your feelings already and it seems you answer yourself about your issues. i think that it is great that you are aware of the issue and you point out that it has happened before. and yeah, idealy it would be good to avoid situations like that in the future, but that might not always be possible.

im also thinking maybe you are reading too much into it. is it possible the other guy didnt know what that he was "coming on to you?" maybe you are looking for it not interpreting normal things in a sexual way? i dont know. i wasnt there. but maybe that is a possibility too.

can you talk to the guy? sure. i think talking to any guy about his own sexuality face to face is difficult. particularly if you are asking a straight guy if he has gay tendencies. i dont really know how to approach this one. i think if it was me, i wouldn't bring it up.


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#184369 - 10/03/07 11:19 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: Jarrad]
cbfull Offline
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Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Thanks so much Jarrad, I'm so glad you responded. I need some reassurance kinda bad. I sorta value your opinion because of the way you talk about your own sexuality and your myriad of very rich life experiences. With great experience comes great wisdom.


Originally Posted By: Jarrad
im also thinking maybe you are reading too much into it. is it possible the other guy didnt know what that he was "coming on to you?" maybe you are looking for it not interpreting normal things in a sexual way? i dont know. i wasnt there. but maybe that is a possibility too.


You make a very good point. I am on the extreme end of analytical, and it is what makes me so passionate about my interests (chemistry, electronics, physics... most things scientific). This analytical side of me is very, very hard to tame if it gets directed at the wrong thing. I have learned a few tricks over the years however, and they do work if I remember (key word there) to use them. Having said that, I take it that's what you meant in the above statement was that I could be looking for something too hard and end up seeing it whether it's there or not. That is definitely a possibility, but in this case I think it is kinda the opposite since I didn't even notice that he was getting aroused the first couple of times. I was actually trying not to see.

The other thing is that in order for me to believe that I am seeing something that is not there, would require me to reject what my instincts are telling me.

By accepting and trusting what my instincts tell me about somebody, I have been finding relationships that are more valuable and fulfilling than I ever thought possible. If I start doubting myself and saying things like, "He is not attracted to me I'm making it all up because I'm attracted to him." This creates within me a cycle of dismissal of my own intelligence and the result is extremely painful and confusing feelings. Not to say that I am absolutely 100% correct in thinking that this "heterosexual" dude has a strong sexual attraction to me, but by trusting and believing what my senses are telling me, I can tell you that there is definitely something strong being felt on both sides, but I can't say for sure exactly what that is. That's why I absolutely abhore the fact that discussions about sexuality are so taboo.


Originally Posted By: Jarrad
can you talk to the guy? sure. i think talking to any guy about his own sexuality face to face is difficult. particularly if you are asking a straight guy if he has gay tendencies. i dont really know how to approach this one. i think if it was me, i wouldn't bring it up.


You said it bro, I think that pretty much only guys (and girls) who are sworn exclusively to same-sex relationships are comfortable talking about their sexuality. I don't want to bring it up either. If it were to come out very awkward, I would probably end up feeling worse.

Thanks so much for your time Jarrad. I have a nearby friend who I talk to about this sometimes and it helps a great deal. I don't like to mention it to my partner too much because he comes from a very different culture and it hurts him to hear about it.

Craig

_________________________
Craig

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

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#184504 - 10/03/07 08:15 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
cbfull Offline
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Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Well, I chatted with him breifly this afternoon at work, and my impression after our silly little chat is that I was reading into it way too much. I'm not even sure he realizes what he has been doing right in front of me. This might sound a bit hard to believe, especially after my graphic de>
_________________________
Craig

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

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#184535 - 10/03/07 10:49 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
Jarrad Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/06
Posts: 1071
Loc: arizona
okay, so this is going to take a preface. at my work, we do this thing where they asses peoples patterns of learning, and communicating. its broken down to 4 quadrents of the brain. analytical, structural, social, and conceputal. you said yourself you are very analytical. so when one of the quadrants dominates, you lead with that way of thinking and its very difficult to see things the way other people see things, like for example if someone is very conceptual, he would communicate in a drastically differnt way.

the moral of the story is, be aware of the other quadrants that make up your brain. if you know you are very analtical, then you need to really focus on the other areas you might be missing. i can totally talk to you more about this, but if he is dominant in a different quadrant, he might not even see his actions as sexual at all. you might be over analyzing.

just based on the length of this post shows how much you are over analyzing. phew.

anyway.. you ask if you can be friends with a guy you are attracted to. that, for me is a 50/50 thing. part of me says go for it, but then im like... if i wanted to be his friend im always going to think about jumping his bones and hope he switches sides and somehow finds me perfect for him. but thats me. so should i say "no thats a bad idea" then thats wrong, because it could turn out to be a new best friend. so i guess you should take it one day at a time. see how it progresses.


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#184616 - 10/04/07 09:39 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: Jarrad]
cbfull Offline
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Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
We have something similar to that called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It was like 4 years ago I did it. I was real stubborn at the time and I resented taking it, but I ended up taking it anyway. I might look into taking it again, I can't remember the results.

I get what your saying and it makes a lot of sense. There's no question I would benefit from putting some time into exercising the other areas of my brain, and less on analytical. If anything it would give me a fresh perspective, not to mention a mental vacation.


Originally Posted By: Jarrad
...you might be over analyzing.


This is actually very amusing to me, but only because I am OF COURSE over-analyzing, and you are being so nice by saying it so diplomatically. My mom sometimes feels very bad for me because she knows how difficult it is for me to refrain from over-analyzing things. She used to tell me all the time, "You're too smart for your own good." At the time, I had no idea what that meant but I have learned. She's a sweetheart.

This is something that everyone who knows me, knows is both a wonderful gift, and a terrible burden for me. It's when I start analyzing my fears that I get into trouble, because the microscope is turned on itself, and that's just not going to get me anywhere.

As for the "attracted to my friend" deal, I am just going to have to make it as healthy an experience as possible. Avoiding him would not be possible since we work together, and I wouldn't want to do that anyway. I know him well enough to realize that he is not "gay", and he never will be. He's not going to "switch sides", and I'm certainly not going to try to make him.

If I were to try to put into words the kind of guy he is, all I can say is that it is so incredibly refreshing to get to know a hetero guy who is so kind and sensitive, and not at all caught up in annoying issues with masculinity and sexuality. I have no desire to do something to change a quality friendship with a guy as genuine as that.

_________________________
Craig

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

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#184623 - 10/04/07 10:05 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
Jarrad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/06
Posts: 1071
Loc: arizona
bullet points of your post.

-dont over analyze
-give friendship a shot

\:\)


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#184639 - 10/04/07 11:23 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: Jarrad]
cbfull Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Thanks for listening man, points taken. I have learned how to stop analyzing when it gets painful, and basically I meditate. It clears my mind and I slowly return to a calm and clear state of mind.

I think the most important thing for me was recognizing that what I had was a flashback, and I made it through in a little less than a week. I believe it was the use of my coping skills that brought me to the epiphany in such a short amount of time.

Thanks again,

Craig

_________________________
Craig

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

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#184715 - 10/04/07 07:26 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
Lazarus Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Below the radar, USA
You know, guys, I agree with everything you have been talking about, but there is one possibility that you might be overlooking.

In my experience, when a str8 guy gets comfortable being friends with a gay guy, he will start to 'flirt' or pose in provocative ways, as a sort of tease. I know they don't intent to start up anything with me, and I know they aren't really intentionally tempting me, but it's kind of ego stroking on their part. Maybe they like the idea that they can turn me on. Maybe they get a rush from the power trip. Mostly (I think) they just like the flattery that my attention gives them. It's something you just don't get very often with women.

Just a possibility...

Lazarus

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

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#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

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#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.

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

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

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

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#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.

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#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

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#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

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#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.

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#187653 - 10/17/07 03:50 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
dgoods Offline
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Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Sure i'll expand- I dunno my IQ or whatever, but I tested at 12th- or-above grade level in 5th grade "bubble tests", was temporarily in a "gifted" program until the acting-out ended that. Always using my intellect for the wrong things, how best to fool myself and others that i was fine, getting lost in detail, agonizing over trivialities, using my command of language and psychology to win arguments or power struggles, I guess it's been comparable to a state-of-the-art jet fighter being piloted by a monkey. I'm really just a monkey, but you can only see that from inside the cockpit. Make any sense?

"failed test"- i'm just speaking from my own experience, but it's almost like a tug-of-war at the start of the process. Let's say I meet someone that i'm attracted to as a person: male, female, str8, gay, whatever. It's like the boy inside me is still convinced that sexual availability is the only way to gain closeness, you know- "I'll do whatever you want if you like me" thinking. So I get all wound up, short of breath, etc. Immediately after, "inner parent" says, "OK, I'll let you peep your face out there for a second, but if they lick their lips when they see you, you're going back in the basement."
PS i'm not a multiple, just seemed the easiest analogy.
I hope this makes some kind of sense, thanks for reading.

_________________________
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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#187763 - 10/18/07 09:13 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: dgoods]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
It seems we may have a few odd things in common. I was accepted into a "gifted" program (I don't think this is good word to use around young people, it confuses them) for my junior and senior year in high school. It seems that I perform better on tests when I don't care about the results, and they used test scores that were not part of any coursework to select the students. I was quite a boisterous and influential kid in that program, and I can't help but suspect that my rebellious nature contributed to the demise of that whole program a few years later. I'm probably giving myself too much credit by feeling guilty about it.

I am always lost in detail. I constantly agonize over trivialities as well, but I have learned to manage that a bit more efficiently or "choose my battles" over the years.

I try to win arguments and power struggles by creating logical twists and turns, which sounds like the same thing you are describing. Honestly I think it's just a fancy way of admitting to having a manipulative edge.


Originally Posted By: dgoods
...I guess it's been comparable to a state-of-the-art jet fighter being piloted by a monkey. I'm really just a monkey, but you can only see that from inside the cockpit. Make any sense?

I think I understand what you mean by that analogy, let me describe my own and maybe we can get a better understanding of each other. I am a bit of a large-ish guy (I enjoy working out and staying as lean as I can) at 6"1' and 210 pounds, and I have always described myself as feeling like a very small guy stuck inside a "big guy machine", and he's always overwhelmed trying to operate this huge thing. As a result I am pretty clumsy, always bumping into things and knocking things over. When I'm drunk I'm a walking disaster.

_________________________
Craig

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

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#187795 - 10/18/07 01:00 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: Lazarus]
hisashley Offline
New Here

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 8
Originally Posted By: Lazarus
You know, guys, I agree with everything you have been talking about, but there is one possibility that you might be overlooking.

In my experience, when a str8 guy gets comfortable being friends with a gay guy, he will start to 'flirt' or pose in provocative ways, as a sort of tease. I know they don't intent to start up anything with me, and I know they aren't really intentionally tempting me, but it's kind of ego stroking on their part. Maybe they like the idea that they can turn me on. Maybe they get a rush from the power trip. Mostly (I think) they just like the flattery that my attention gives them. It's something you just don't get very often with women.

Just a possibility...

Lazarus




hmm I am just going to throw in my two cents worth here my fiancee is I am not sure what \:\( he has told me stories about when he used to sell cars and he met a guy he sold a car to and in a round about sort of way asked him a posing question " so I assume you are into girls " the guy replied yes but later called my fiancee and told him he was "open " to anything perhaps it is as Lazurus said about the flirting posing way the others act around each other .. I dont know if anything came from my fiancees encounter but it was just "put" out there more or less .Now that I think about it probly something did come about from it because he told me he had done some "things" I love him and it really makes no difference to me at times but occasssionally it does (jelousy perhaps ughhhhh ) but I agree with Lazurus and his opinion and I have also heard that str8 males have not so much as a phobia but more of a curiosity of being with another man , yet they are ashamed or unsure how to approach it . just my thoughts .. ~ Ashley ~

_________________________
I am my beloveds and he is mine ~

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#187804 - 10/18/07 01:44 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: hisashley]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: hisashley
...I have also heard that str8 males have not so much as a phobia but more of a curiosity of being with another man , yet they are ashamed or unsure how to approach it . just my thoughts .. ~ Ashley ~

I agree with you about this. It seems that some men are "taught" to be phobic, while other men realize that it doesn't really matter, and it has nothing to do with being "gay" or "str8". I think you will find most of the guys here agree that those labels are hurtful and a huge waste of time.

Sexuality is something that very few people can talk freely about, and it depends very strongly on who is asking. What I mean by that, is that there are some people with whom I can discuss sexuality quite comfortably, some who make me too nervous, and some who I just have no interest in discussing it with.

The "sexuality rules" seem to be changing at a very fast pace, and the change I see happening is definitely for the better, but that's just my opinion. It's like people are realizing that there are far, far too many rules and restrictions, and that there really doesn't need to be any rules at all, just the one's we decide for ourselves.

Most men have not been given a healthy opportunity to explore that side of their sexuality (yes, it exists in all males), and it tends to make them very nervous, clumsy and "unsure" as you state. Men get chemistry around each other and sometimes the chemistry can be sexual and even intense. I think it's sad that most of the time they are too scared, clumsy, uncomfortable, etc. to find a safe way to enjoy a whole different side of themselves. It's worse than mustering up the courage to talk to a girl you like for the first time because it's not a girl and you are both adults. There is the possibility that they can be getting the wrong idea and it could result in a disaster.

It think it's great that you can recognize that you felt a bit of jealousy at the idea of your fiancee being physical with another man. It's so refreshing that it wasn't fear, suspicion, or disgust.

Hope I am making sense.

_________________________
Craig

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

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#187832 - 10/18/07 06:29 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
hisashley Offline
New Here

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 8
[\quote]It think it's great that you can recognize that you felt a bit of jealousy at the idea of your fiancee being physical with another man. It's so refreshing that it wasn't fear, suspicion, or disgust.[\quote]


No I did not feel any fear disgust or suspicion although I was not liking the jelous feeling I am a jelous preson but that is a result of my former relationships and the abuse and rejection I delt with at the hands of my x . He messed around on me and to me infidelity is a crime .. when he told me of his problem he asked me if I was disgusted and I told him no in no way I am was I or could I be ..I love him just as he is and any thing short aside of healing would be changing the man I love , I know he loathes himself and it is manifested at times by him saying he is not worthy of me and I could do better these remarks hurt me to no end but I know it is his insecuritys I belive that cause him to say such as it is a rare thing .. te whole fact of the matter is he was abused by his father and has a distorted veiw of himself and the fact that his ex wife did the damage she inflicted has made him very insecure .. it is my prayer that healing would be for all who are open to embrace it and that there be no shame asscoiated with thosee who have distorted sense of who they are str8 ..Bi .. Gay.. whatever they are all human and I have yet to see anyone walk on water ..people attact those things they fear ..

_________________________
I am my beloveds and he is mine ~

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#187911 - 10/19/07 08:21 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: hisashley]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: hisashley
...I was not liking the jelous feeling I am a jelous preson but that is a result of my former relationships and the abuse and rejection I delt with at the hands of my x .

That is completely understandable. I hope it didn't sound like I was saying I am glad that you were feeling jealousy, it tends to be a very painful feeling. I am glad that it was not one or more of the unhealthier and darker feelings.

However, I don't know much about his situation but it sounds like he is at least in tune with himself enough to know that he sees himself spending his life with a woman, but unfortunatlely he has had his sexuality corrupted and exploited at a young age. He was introduced to "same-sex pleasure" in a most inappropriate way, and unfortunately the result tends to be life-long memories of intense arousal by another male, which is my theory of why men seek to act-out. The problem is that it is accompanied by an iceberg-sized arsenal of pain and emotional disruption that keeps ruining any possibility of a healthy understanding of his attractions.

To be honest, I have "helped" a few opposite-sex oriented males explore same-sex intimacy over the years, and I have yet to find an unhealthy side of those experiences. It's just too bad that men's same-sex attractions don't typically get the opportunity to be explored in a safe and healthy way, resulting in enhanced confidence rather than diminished or even a complete lack of confidence.


I hope my comments are not sounding too biased, but that is very difficult for me to avoid given my current situation.

_________________________
Craig

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

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#187918 - 10/19/07 10:18 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
hisashley Offline
New Here

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 8
Hi and no your opinons sound very healty and on point .. no the jelousy thing is just insecurity lashing out as well but I have decided a long time ago to crucify that in me on occcasion it tends to rear it head but I try and not react on those feelings and emotions and talk myself down more or less ..I have so enjoyed our discussion it is great to have a place where I can find out more a mans perspective on such matters and it seems as though discussing these issues takes the fear away ..

Yes he is in tune with his situation he doesnt have male encounters that I am aware of but he has looked at the porn on the net and I think he was trying to hide that because he did a recovery on our computer the only way I stummbled across it was that I had misplaced a link for a paper I was writting and had to go to history ..I did not mention it to him and as far as I know he doesnt know I know ..I know one time he mentioned that he was afraid I would turn on him and throw his problem up in his face and I belive that is what his ex -wife did she damaged him with words and such and I think that is a shame I love this man no matter what and I think it is terrible for someone to be abused as a child grow up still wounded and have to continue to be hurt by careless others .. The toungue is a terrible thing and full of poision .


What do you suppose is the cause for the "iceberg size " pain you mentioned do you think this is shame and confusion ?? I have read on here that many men when they "act -out " then kinda spiral into a dark place I am assuming the excitement from the initial " I need to I have to do this " is far stronger than the actual deed itself ??

You seem to be very intouch with your self and I hope I am not asking too many questions ..I greatly appreciate your time and honesty and I hope that your situation rights itself for you in everyway ..thanks so much again ..Ashley..

_________________________
I am my beloveds and he is mine ~

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#187932 - 10/19/07 12:23 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: hisashley]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: hisashley
...discussing these issues takes the fear away ..

That is quite true. It is equally important that you choose wisely who you discuss them with, or it can be a disaster. You have come to the right place.

Given your current situation, it seems like a wise decision not to tell him what you found in the browser history, it can only put a barrier up between you two because it is an invasion of his privacy, unless you believe he is actually going out to meet other fellas for physical contact. If he were doing that he could be putting both of you at risk and then it becomes 100% your right to know. It doesn't sound like he is in a place to safely explore this part of his sexuality yet, but if he can manage to keep it between just him and computer images (porn I guess), it should be okay. I don't know if it is wise or even possible to try and purge these desires altogher, they are just too powerful and the repeated failures would only push him down deeper.

The reason I call it 'iceberg size', is to represent how the top is the only part we actually see, while there is a giant mass that we cannot see. And yes, shame and confusion are just a couple of emotions involved in his pain.

My belief about the "spiraling" is very much related to some things I touched briefly in my previous post. Men who have never had a pleasurable and healthy same-sex experience do not have the memories and images to draw upon in their minds to allow them to realize that they can actually enjoy it, and perhaps enjoy it more than they even thought was possible (trust me on this one). When a boy is corrupted at a young age, their bodies respond sexually because they have not yet learned how to interpret, let alone control their physical response. As a result, they are confused by this feeling of intensity and pleasure and they often (perhaps usually) go back for more. The terrible irony is that they have no idea how much they are being damaged, they are just far too young to understand.

As they grow older, they remember the intense arousal and physical sensations, but they usually aren't even aware of the fact that there was a tremendous amount of guilt, shame, disgust, denigration, anger, and so on that is going to accompany the memory, so they try to repress it. As we become adults, the responsibility to recognize what is healthy and what is unhealthy becomes too great. They want he physical intensity, but it cannot yet be separated from the dark part, they coexist in the memory.

There a many ways for a man to get past this, and it is up to him only to decide if that is even an option. Coming here is probably the best first step for anyone. Another way (and this one was actually a big help for me) is to form a bond with another man he feels chemistry with, but it must be a man who has likely not been abused himself. What I'm getting at is that it is possible for a man to relearn how to have a safe and healthy physical relationship with another man, as long as the other guy is experienced, patient, and of course a turn on for the misguided man. This is all very important because the interaction must be carefully kept clear of anything that could re-victimize. There aren't many men out there willing to do all of that, but they do exist. I must mention however that I would never, never recommend that anyone actively seek this as a means to recovery, but it does have a certain very intriguing logic to it that most would not even consider. I only mention it because it unknowingly allowed me to realize that it is possible to have a completely positive sexual experience with another guy. I hung on to that positive memory and allowed it be my model for future same-sex endevors. I no longer only had the bad memories to draw on.

It wouldn't surprise me if some of the other guys here have a reaction to what I've just said, but I'm just being completely honest, and believe me I've thought about it a lot. The more I think about it, the more it sounds like a very reasonable and effective way to deal with the trauma.

I'm afraid that it may be inappropriate for me to discuss the details of my very positive sexual experience, but if you think it will help I can give you a summary, perhaps a PM if you want.

I'm glad you posted, and I'm really enjoying our chat! Your open-mindedness has allowed me to see some things in a very different way, and even put some thoughts into words that I have never been able to before. Thanks!

Craig

_________________________
Craig

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

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#187948 - 10/19/07 06:13 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
hisashley Offline
New Here

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 8
I am glad I posted as well I am just realy beside myself at times I love him and I only want him to be true to himself I dont think it is by accident I am with him nor do I think it is by accident that I stummbled across this website ..I have a very strong prophetic gift in that I have dreams that come true and or reveal things that are going on I dont like it but I do have it and it has shown me things I have found out were true .. three times in our relationship has this happened and he is well aware of it he insist that I am his only desire I wonder who he is trying to convince me or him sometimes ~ I feel a little confused today he is out of town for a 3 day weekend so I am a little on the wondering side (dear God I hate this ) I want so much for a healthy happy relationship and I pray I can remain focused on the fact that he has always suffered and he is like me just a broken vessel perhaps I can find strength to indeed belive that Love covers a multitude of Sin ~ And I like your quote for truly guilt and shame have never done us any good at all ! have a great weekend ~ Ashley ~

_________________________
I am my beloveds and he is mine ~

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#187954 - 10/19/07 07:31 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: hisashley]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Have a great weekend too!

I can't help but notice that your tone seems to be moving towards one that is experiencing some repressed intensity, which is just how afraid you really are about the feelings of jealousy. Are your instincts telling you something that you don't like? If so, are you covering them up with "logical interpretaions" to help keep your calm? Perhaps I understood it wrong, but it almost sounded like you expressing a bit of desperation about your fears concerning what he might be doing, but you are too afraid to ask or even know.

Am I picking up on you correctly, or am I totally misinterpreting your words (we don't know each other at all)? I have a terrible habit of "reading between the lines", sometimes it pays off, sometimes it does nothing but make me miserable. I hope I am not picking at "scabs" in your situation but I can't help but think that I might be able to understand what you are trying to say, but haven't quite spelled it out.

If this is way off or just sounds goofy I apologize. I got a rotten performance appraisal that I didn't deserve today and I really let my boss hear it all. I told him that I think he is not taking responsibility as my manager, he is making examples to justify giving me a bad score, and there are incinsistencies and loops in his logic which suggest that he is lying to me... so on and so forth... my point being I came home and made myself a big fat vodka martini made with basil infused vodka, and garnished with a feta cheese stuffed olive... YUM! I passed out shortly after I drank it so I am a little bit drunk still as I type all of this .

Take care

_________________________
Craig

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

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#188041 - 10/20/07 01:08 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
hisashley Offline
New Here

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 8
no actually you are very perceptive ~ I felt the pain I suffered from my x as I was typing my response hell I am F**ked up still I guess too lol ~ I guess my problem is I just dont have much confidence in myself or others I have been fragile as anything since my x, however I was single for almost 5 years before me and my sweetie got together.

I would have never imagined being with someone again much less engaged ..I really am upset but I havent mentioned anything to him. I kinda dont want to know but then again I kinda want him to know that I know . F**K I am fairly certain he has not physically messed around on me since we have been together but I dont know for sure .
I guess I will just either trust him or not. I was sounding logical now I am sounding emotional ~ I am exteremly prophetic and have been showed things in dreams several times about our relationship that are true( scared the brakes off of him too) because he is a christian as well so he knows that I am not the kind of person to mess with.
I was almost destroyed by my x physically and mentally and I stayed single for almost 5 years in intense prayer fasting and Bible study my only prayer was Lord dont ever let me be decived and not my will but thy will be done in my life .


I know these things are a struggle for him and I know that only God can fix a person he says these things dont consume him and that they are not his every thought I wonder if perhaps I have been thrown for such a loop that I am over anylizing them myself . We attend church together and our upcoming marraige was confirmed in the middle of the congregation by the preacher as a word of knowledge . So ultimately I need to chill before I freak myself out lol ~ I guess if I didnot love him I would not care . I dont feel as though I am making sense lol . Craig , I appreciate so much our talks they have given me so much to sit back and reflect on and to which I am most greatful ~ you are very perceptive and dont second guess yourself you are that ~ I have a another question if you can answer it ..what exactly is the drag queen thing ?? is that a fetish thing ?? let me know .. if you can and be sweet you have helped me so much !

_________________________
I am my beloveds and he is mine ~

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#188238 - 10/21/07 02:31 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: hisashley]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
I am so pleased to hear that I might be helping your situation in any way.

There is something that I learned about myself many years ago that bridged a huge gap for me between my insecurities and the stable confidence I was so desperate for, and I think it might be something that could work for you too.

I decided to start trusting my instincts at all times, no matter what. I realized that if I don't start trusting my instincts, I've literally got absolutely nothing to serve as a foundation to build confidence on, and I likely never will. Instincts are fairly easy to tune in to, so I decided to not only trust them, but voice them when possible to find out if they're right or wrong. It doesn't matter if someone lies to you when you are just listening to your instincts, you will eventually find out the truth, and in the event of an unsuccessful relationship, you come out with much greater integrity because you were honest, and you trusted your partner (I use that term for str8 or gay relationships). It makes doubts and suspicion a waste of time.

If I may make an observation, it sounds like you are going into this marriage with a bit of baggage (both of you). Don't worry about what that means for right now, try to search yourself and find what plans or lack of plans you might have in the event that the baggage should need attention. Is it possible that it could devastate your relationship? Ruin your marriage? I don't know the answers to these questions but it's definitely worth taking a good hard look at.

I know nothing about marriage but I can tell you that with my current boyfried (he's quite the little tiger by the way, I love him like crazy), I had to break it off once in the beginning because I realized that we would have little chance for success if I didn't make him aware of my baggage. The point of it was, I told him that I struggle terribly with issues relating to childhood sexual abuse, my father's mental illness (schizophreniform), and I can't promise that it won't affect my judgement from time to time but I am working hard to recover. I also told him that I can't make any guesses as to what that means or how long it might take to heal those wounds, and I might not ever get over them. He said, "I can live with that".

I am so glad I did that, we have been together for a very happy 6 years.

Let me know what you think.

_________________________
Craig

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

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#188360 - 10/22/07 12:42 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
hisashley Offline
New Here

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 8
awesome dont have much time right now but will get back to you in a bit ! Thanks ~ Ashley ~

_________________________
I am my beloveds and he is mine ~

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#188603 - 10/24/07 10:24 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: hisashley]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
A lot has changed in my mind over the last several days since I was able to identify that what I have been experiencing are actually symptoms of PTSD. I am now able to recognize that I am not fated to relive terrifying and painful experiences, I can now choose to see things headed down a very different path.

I can't tell you guys what a huge relief it was to realize that what I thought was happening all over again was not actually happening at all. I would literally start to feel the fear coming over me many times in a day, and then I would remember that these fears are very old and out-dated. I have been able to let go of them and be in the present for a change!

_________________________
Craig

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

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#188702 - 10/24/07 11:40 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
Wow, Criag that sounds like a Delicious Martini! I'll have to remember that recipie.

I've enjoyed reading your and Ashley's conversation. I don't really want to add anything other than to encourage you two to keep on conversing. There are a lot of us out here who benefit form your candid intercourse. I guess you could call it 'Verbal Voyeurism' but so what?

My best to you both...

Lazarus

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

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#188724 - 10/25/07 08:21 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
Thanks Lazarus. I am largely jotting down my thoughts with the hopes that someone might be able to follow my progress should they find themselves struggling with something similar.

Sometimes I get tired of just trying to emotionally "put out fires", and I want to try an approach to a big problem that really bites into the meat of it, so to speak. I was getting tired of having these emotions come and go like the wind with no explanation, so I decided to get the whole process out where it can be seen and scrutinized, and from the beginning. I am so, so glad I did because I am getting answers that I thought I might never get!

I have finally gained a reasonable understanding of these fears that can take over my life. It seems understandable that I would be baffled by my symptoms, I don't think many would consider a sexual attraction to be a cause of emotional trauma, but when you consider the pre-existing abuse, it becomes very real.

As for the martini, it is without a doubt the best I've ever had. The basil infused vodka has to be made at home, and I haven't got the procedure quite right yet.

_________________________
Craig

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

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#188956 - 10/27/07 08:08 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
I have been feeling some strange new feelings lately about myself and these intense feelings of desire.

Thursday morning I was sitting around bullshitting with my work friend, and I asked him if something was on the back of my head. Someone earlier made a comment like, "what's that on the back of your head?" and since I can't see the back of my head, and since this person left the room after he made that comment, I just decided to ask my coworker friend (yes, the one I have a crush or something on) if he sees anything. He made me swivel all the way around in my chair, and then he didn't say anything. Just as I was wondering what the heck he was doing, WHACK! He slaps me in the back of the neck, giggling like a 5th grader. He jokingly put up his "dukes" like if he thought I was gonna try to pop him one, and I just sat there in disbelief. He didn't hit me very hard at all, he was just being playful, which was such a good feeling.

Now to the point. The touch of his hand on the back of my neck was driving me crazy with desire that entire night. Seriously it was starting to actually bug me, I'm not trying to make this sound like some taboo romance novel about two unavailable men, but that's just the point. The endless fantasizing was actually starting to feel sort of annoying, and not so much frightening like usual.

I also found myself thinking a lot of things that I never realized before. The most important one seemed to be, "What is the point of all this endless fantasizing and anticipation of the tiny little 15 to 30 minutes that I actually spend chatting with him each day?" How is it possible that the other 23 and half hours in each day could be of so little significance. All I do is torture myself with sexual fantasies for an entire day, just to sit with him each day and talk about nothing, then it's over and I start anticipating the following day. That seems so incredibly bleak and depressing, yet I was not really feeling too depressed. It is actually the goals of my recovery and my progress that are keeping me optimistic.

I felt myself realizing even more what a waste of time it all was when I left his office the next day (Friday), after a whole night of fantasizing. As I was walking down the hallway back to my office, I started feeling angry, which I have never felt as a result of these encounters before. I was not angry at myself, I was more angry at the situation, and how foolish it all seems. I guess I was feeling a bit like a fool for spending all that time thinking and fantasizing, and for God knows what.

I believe that I am trying to relive another one of my crushes, except this one was in high school and it lasted for about 5 years. I think that's when I first began practicing and enjoying the endless fantasizing about an unavailable guy friend. I remember how I counted the minutes until each upcoming encounter. I spent a HUGE amount of time making plans that would allow us to be together. I even applied to that "gifted" program in high school because he was in it, but a year ahead of me. When I went to college, I made sure I was not living in a dorm that was too far away. What's interesting, is that after all of that time, the sexual energy between us did not diminish, it actually intensified. It got to the point where he was getting very frustrated with the lack of physical contact. At one point, I remember him making sort of a sexual joke towards me, and then he followed it with, "Yeah if that ever happens." It was very clear to me what he meant by that. However, we must have had a thousand chances to share physical intimacy but the anxiety was always far too great, and far too forbidding.

I feel that I now must move on to that crush, because I believe that it was also very damaging to me, but in a very different and less sinister manner than the creepy Greek roomate who kept leaving me "high and dry" all the time. This very long and drawn out crush was my second "sexual" crush. The first one was of course my abuser. I believe that this second crush is the one where my self-esteem first started to take a beating. I remember being very depressed and quiet almost all of the time, and it was because I liked this guy more than I liked myself. Five years seems like a very long time, long enough to develop some very unhealthy habits and ideas about myself and my sexuality.

Some thoughts for today. Happy Halloween everyone!!!

_________________________
Craig

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

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#189103 - 10/29/07 07:23 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
Danbuff Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 249
Loc: NY state
Hello Craig, In some ways we sound alike and maybe the two of us are similar to other survivors because we fantasize or sexualize benign acts that have no intention of being sexual. I do not mean to be harsh or judgmental towards you. My point here is support...(the reason I come here too). If you are really like me,then perhaps this will make sense. I tend to enjoy male attention. I can fantasize or sexualize situations that are not sexual at all. I have a history of that. In fact if you read some of my posts, you will note my confusion.

My T has helped me see my distorted thinking which is a source of pain, desire and confusion. The truth about me is I do not have experience in healthy male to male relationships and I tend to interpret actions, words, body language, eye contact or whatever I can connect in a sexual way. The person may not have any intentions but I assume otherwise. The result is frustration and confusion with anxiety and insecurity.

I am getting better at not sexualizing communications. Instead I focus on the real substance of conversations to mean what is actually said and not what I imagine it to mean. My abuse came from brother, father and a few others later on. I was told I was no good and otherwise ignored by men (except for sex) The result is a confused adult man. It is hard for me to accept that anyone would be a friend, much less like me for who I am. Instead I usually think the attention is a veiled sexual come on. A simpler way to say it is Oh he is nice to me and enjoys my company so he must want to get off. It becomes wickedly haunting and just another secret and more frustration. If I act on it in a sexual way, I crash with shame for doing it or rejection and the loss of thier respect for my sexual overture at them.

Now, I choose to accept someone may simply be a decent or fun person who is comfortable in my company or they are enough at ease to be playful or joking. I work hard at not sexualizing my interactions, no matter how much I am attracted to or how much my distorted mind steers me to those places.

The net result so far has been more self control, empowerment, and feeling better about myself for my abilities to just "be".
Craig, I share this with sincere hope that something I have said will change your way of looking at this relationship. If it is to be anything more, he will likely let you know. Then it becomes your choice. If it were myself in your situation now, I would let go of my desires and fantasies and try a non-sexualized view of things. If he makes a very clear gesture or statement, you can then decide what is right for you.

I guess if I made a sexual response to someone that blew up in my face because I misread the guy, then I might feel like crap and be in a crisis mode for many reasons. Sorry to be so long winded, but this is important stuff and I really connect with what you have written. In that regard, I hope I can connect with you!

Craig,
One last thing, ease do not berate yourself and be harsh in your judgments of yourself. Be kind to yourself in all ways. Be gentle because we are wounded and need to heal. It is a very scary, confusing journey and clarity does not happen overnight no matter how much we want to feel "normal" or free from the hell we experience in life.

Best to you...
Dan

_________________________
When you stumble, make it part of the dance.

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#189152 - 10/29/07 10:59 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: Danbuff]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
You know, it's really odd that you should be saying these things to me right now, because I am in the middle of a similar realization. I am frighteningly aware of how everything keeps getting "sexualized". I think what made the playful slap so odd was simply realizing that he has never actually touched me before, even playfully. I see him goofing around with some of the other guys at work and I end up feeling very odd because he acts very different with them than he does with me. Like you say, it's just too confusing.

After realizing that my experiences are a solid match for PTSD, I have been dealing with some new emotions. For the first time I am feeling anger that seems to be pointed in the right direction, the things I am angry about make more sense than ever, and all this has brought me to another epiphany.

Saying no to a sexual advance from him does not feel like an option, and I was actually too ashamed to admit it. I remember even saying in one of my posts that I plan to set an example by keeping the sex factor out of the equation, which worked very well in the beginning. A few months (I think) before that flashback I remember throwing the no-sexualization rule out the window in a compulsive manner. It has been all downhill since then. This has all the signs of re-enactment. If it weren't, it wouldn't feel impossible to say "no" to the idea of sex. The good news is, with every epiphany comes eventual resolution, but not right away. Resolution seems to come only when you stop waiting for it.

I am in a very difficult situation at work with my supervisor, he is a small guy who wants to be a big guy. Problem number 1 for him is... never going to happen. So he compensates by taking on too much responsibility. Well, in that aspect I am the opposite of him, a big guy who takes on very little responsibility. The result is what I think is a displacement of feelings on his part. He sometimes shakes visibly when he talks to me, and I just can't take responsibility for that. There's nothing I can reasonably do about his reaction to me. For the last 4 years I tried sitting down everytime I talk to him, to try and sort of shrink so I'm not towering above him, but it didn't work. He is worse than ever. I have realized today that he is trying to transfer his uneasiness and insecurities onto me. I had a meeting with him a week or so ago and he sat across from me and shot down every single comment and observation I expressed. When I pointed out that he dismisses everything I say, he said, "I'm not dismissing you I'm just disagreeing".

I responded, "You just did it again."

He denies any wrongdoing and continues to provide me with the exact opposite of everything I ask for his help in achieving. I just found out today that he has taken me away from the engineer that has some extremely solid statistical and analytical skills that I want to learn, which I told him I wanted to learn, and instead he has placed me back working with a man who has a social disorder and is more disorganized than anyone I have ever known. The worst part is, his behavior is incredibly odd and uncontrolled, and he reminds me a LOT of my schizophrenic father's behavior when I was younger. As I'm typing this I am realizing that this man's behavior is triggering flashbacks, the proof is that I have been treated for three separate ulcers while working with this misfit. I don't think that going to his boss and trying to get assigned to a different supervisor is an option, not to mention it just sounds unwise. There is no reason why this twerp needs to be my boss, he has less experience than the others. There is a very clear conflict of interest going on here, and it feels like some weird sort of "size" discrimination. He knows I'm gay but I honestly don't think that has anything to do with it. I sure as hell hope it doesn't.

Well, I digress, but suffice it to say my mood is incredibly flat right now and I don't even want tomorrow to come, I don't really have a lot to look forward to. I guess I'm gonna have to start looking for a new job, which I don't want to do because despite all the bad stuff that's going on I actually really like what I do. The only thing that's keeping me going right now is hope. Not really sure what I am hoping for, but I guess I'm just waiting for things to turn around.

I think it's time to find a therapist again. I'm completely overwhelmed with major life decisions right now. Ugh.

_________________________
Craig

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

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#189343 - 10/31/07 02:11 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
hi craig, hope you don't mind me butting in-
Yeah, i have CSA and physical abuse issues, but being all of 5'7", i recognize the Napoleonic complex in your boss, and it seems like classic passive-aggressive behavior on his part. One reason why could be he finds large guys scary, and your sitting down might've subconsciously tipped him that you could see that, which makes him even more likely to be a jerk to you.
BTW, i couldn't help but notice the post wasn't primarily focused on the co-worker this time...
\:\)

_________________________
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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#189379 - 10/31/07 11:20 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: dgoods]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: dgoods
BTW, i couldn't help but notice the post wasn't primarily focused on the co-worker this time...
\:\)

Wow dgoods, you're right! For once I guess I was more concerned about something else.

As for my boss, Am I the only the only person around work with a degree AND social skills? Actually, his social skills are not that bad, he just needs to find a way to deal with the intimidation thing. How ironic is that if what you suggest is actually true? If he knows that's why I started sitting down when we talk, and that makes him even worse, I want to just scream. It just proves the fact that his intimidation is not, nor should it be in any way, my responsibility. I was hoping he would see it as a gesture of kindness.

I think Dan has hit the nail on the head for me. I have to stop reading into people's behavior, especially his. When my hubby and I first started dating, I remember getting really stressed out trying to understand him. He told me to quit reading into everything he says and just take it at face value. I was so completely caught up in my overanalyzing, I couln't believe what he was asking me to do! I said, "I don't know how to stop." Well, very soon I managed to stop doing it, and lo' and behold, the stress disappeared in the next day or two.

I have tried to remind myself to stop reading into people's behavior, but it's not easy. It's such a habit now that I forget in no time and I'm back to getting freaked out again. There is a good chance that this 'reading in' is the source of most, if not all, of my stress and anxiety. I did it all through high school with my first boy crush, and that year with the creepy roomate. That's when it was at it's absolute worst. That's all I did all day, everyday was sit around and read into every single second of our interactions, and I literally mean that every single second was analyzed over and over and over. In a very sick way, I think a part of me was enjoying it.

I need to come up with a mantra that will help me remember to check myself frequently throughout the day to help me stop.

BTW, here is a little survivor humor if anyone is interested(could be a trigger so I apologize if it is)

The Abusers Mantra: "Why do you make me do this to you!"

The Victims Mantra: "Why does this keep happening to me!"

My good friend and I came up with these after watching Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest say, "You love it don't you! You love to make me hit you!!!"

Feeling a bit better today, and please, if anyone notices me posting and griping about my last encounter with my co-worker and how things aren't good, feel free to ask me if it was something he said. It probably won't be, and if it is it's probably because I am making up alternate meanings of his actual words.

Thanks guys,

Craig

_________________________
Craig

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

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#189425 - 10/31/07 05:07 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
My confidence is taking a dip. I am at the point where I think I may have created this whole "dance" in my head. I am so completely overwhelmed, I don't know what to think.

On one hand, it doesn't matter if there is a physical attraction because I can only "see" it if I read into his behavior. If I stop reading into his behavior, I see nothing.

Very, very confused right now.

Oh jeez, he said he has never had any gay friends before, what if what I was picking up was him being nervous because I'm gay, and not because he was attracted to me? I feel like I have to consider these things. If it wasn't attraction what the hell was I feeling coming from him?

I'm taking my Klonipin right after I work out. My good friend is coming over tonight and he always helps me to make sense of things and get back on track, plus he knows this coworker since we work for the same company (and he has a bit of a crush on him too).

_________________________
Craig

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

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#189436 - 10/31/07 09:34 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
craig,
i could be wrong, but it's a double-whammy for a gay survivor in my eyes- I've never tried to flirt w/ a self-declared lesbian, b/c i never wondered if her friendliness toward me might've indicated a "closeted str8" trying to pick me up, if you know what i mean... add that issue to being overanalytical, and all the other survivor baggage, of COURSE you're confused! I honestly think your "what if" is on the money, based on what he said; most non-survivor str8 men w/o any history of gay friendships ARE nervous, they don't know how to act when it comes up, he may be wondering a little about himself, if his upbringing planted the old ideas of homosexuality being "contagious" somehow. He sounds like he likes being your friend, and is just trying to find a way to keep the friendship, and feel comfortable around you; he may be looking for cues from you as to what "the rules" should be, and doesn't want to let any unconscious prejudices to slip out and piss you off, so he is nervous and compensates, or sees your flirting as a litmus test, like"are you comfy enough around me to be playful?"
Remember, str8 women often can joke around and act flirty w/ each other, w/o being self-conscious at all; he may be taking that as an example to try to follow, lacking any role models other than stereotypes in the media.(See, you're not the only analytical one around, heh)
I know as a survivor, i flirt w/o thinking about it, b/c i want to be liked, and i feel safer also if i'm the initiator. I get hit on by men i think b/c i send unconscious signals, not that i'm attracted to men, but that i've got something hidden, and that probably translates into "closeted" for men who find me attractive, and who aren't survivors- they have nothing else to make sense of the blip on the gaydar, so to speak. I hope you're able to resolve this situation w/o a crash; remember, your co-worker is a real person, w/ feelings, flaws, and issues of his own, he in all likelihood is not sure what to make of things either.
Let's say this has all been something you've let your mind run away with; that doesn't mean it's the end of the world, or that you've failed at recovery 101- it just means it's hard for you to catch yourself filtering at its beginning. For me, just being attracted to a woman sets off all kinds of anxiety and confusion, and i've had to be rigorous in reminding myself, that no good relationship has ever resulted from my allowing obsessive thinking free rein, just pain and isolation.
as always, just my 2 cents...

_________________________
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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#189466 - 11/01/07 07:46 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: dgoods]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
What you say makes a lot of sense. With the realization that I could be imagining the whole thing, the result is another mix of emotions. On one hand it brings about feelings of foolishness, embarassment, (and the worst ones) abandonment and isolation. Yet on the other hand there is a sense of relief that I haven't quite pinned down yet. I guess the relief is coming from the sort of "resolution" meaning that I can finally stop analyzing, fantasizing, and sexualizing everything.

In the way you say it's a "double-whammy" for a gay survivor, it seems like that also applies to a hetero man who has been abused by a female. I could be wrong about that but I just thought I'd throw it out there.

_________________________
Craig

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

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#189494 - 11/01/07 12:05 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
well, since you mentioned it...
i fall under that category. i meant in the sense that even today there many gay men who stay closeted, for fear of being ostracized, beaten or worse- or they may live in a gay-friendly town, but were brought up religiously, or in a homophobic environment, and have a deep sense of shame about their identity.
But yes, there's a "double-whammy" of a sort for me too- i'm currently avoiding any romantic anything until i'm in a better place emotionally.

I'm happy to hear you can feel that sense of relief; once i was secure in my sexual identity, i felt a similar sense of relief: "i don't HAVE to do these things, it's MY choice". thanks for all your honesty, it helps me too.

_________________________
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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#189510 - 11/01/07 03:48 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
I really, really hate how society has made same-sex intimacy into something so ridiculously and unbelievabley perverse.

I often wonder if the stigma attached to same-sex relations was no different than opposite-sex relations, would a great deal of male sexual abuse cease? I don't know, sounds a little crazy I guess.

Why is there SO much freaking shame associated with it? I remember that shame, and as a matter of fact, I was slapped with it yesterday when I took my lab partner out to lunch for his 40th birthday. For some reason he felt compelled to share with me something that my "co-worker" friend said to him. I wish I had told him I don't want to know. It was a crude remark involving an "observation" during sex with a woman. I really hate to say it but I felt my heart completely break. It might even be a flashback to high school when my crush/best-friend decided to call me because he needed to confide in me about something terrible he had done. He called to tell me that the senior lock-in (the seniors spend the night at the school) wasn't actually cancelled like he said before. He and one of the girls we were hanging around with drove into a cul-de-sac and parked. You can guess the rest I'm sure.

I had never imagined I could feel such a breaking in my heart as when I heard that, and damn if I didn't have to sit there and listen to the awful and heart-gouging details of the whole thing. It took me quite a long time to get over that. I was so horribly devastated, I'll never forget that evening. What made it worse is that I had to bottle it all up, sharing my feelings with no one.

That's exactly how I felt yesterday when I heard the joke. I don't want my lab partner to know any of this because it's just not important for him to know. In the future however, I don't know what I'll say if he tries to tell me something else crude that our machinist (my crush) said to him.

I don't know why I'm surprised. I feel really stupid that I should feel so brokenhearted. Brokenhearted over what? I guess after all that daydreaming and fantasizing it was bound to end up that way.

My wonderful husband said something to me yesterday that I couldn't quite make sense of. Something like, "You probably don't really want to be physical with him just a good friend." I don't know if he was saying that for his own feelings or for mine. I say that because that could be interpreted to mean that I don't really think he's a cool person that might want to experiment with gay sex no strings, I am only feeling this way about him because my past abuse and trauma has made me seek out the wrong things. Does that make any sense? He also told me to just give it all a rest and don't initiate any encounters with him for a week or two. "If he's really a good guy and a good friend, he'll come around again and none of this will matter." I guess that makes sense, plus I feel so emotional lately that I don't need to see him run off to get away from me because I'm behaving strangly. That would probably send me into another crash.

My husband (I call him my little tiger) is so wonderful, even when I think he's not.

*sigh*

_________________________
Craig

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

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#189550 - 11/01/07 07:04 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
craig-
i'm really sorry you had to hear that "gossip", i know it sucks. I was often a girl's or woman's "best friend", i'd torment myself listening to her go on and on about their callous jerk of a b/f, "but i love him! what should i do?", and i'd listen as best i could, clinging to the impossible fantasy that they would realize i was who they needed, etc.
If you look back at earlier replies, i think a few of us had already said, or gently implied, what your hubby was telling you. You may have had some trouble "hearing" it at the time, but i understand- i've had totally unrealistic crushes before, and i always turned a deaf ear to anything that didn't reinforce the fantasy- until reality smacked me one way or the other. Only one secret crush actually liked me too, but my nervous intensity botched that up so i lost a potential friend as well as a lover.
It sounds like you have a very understanding hubby, my partners always tended on the jealous, posessive side. You sound like you have a handle on how to avoid a further mess; that's great, no need for self-flagellation. Hope things get better; scratch your little tiger behind the ears, he deserves it, and so do you!

_________________________
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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#189641 - 11/02/07 09:49 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: dgoods]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: dgoods
...clinging to the impossible fantasy that they would realize i was who they needed, etc.

Uhhh... I have no idea what you are talking about. Of course I am joking, I still think that from time to time about unavailable men!



Originally Posted By: dgoods
If you look back at earlier replies, i think a few of us had already said, or gently implied, what your hubby was telling you. You may have had some trouble "hearing" it at the time, but i understand-

Would you mind being more specific for me? I'm serious, this sounds like a "trouble zone" for me personally so I think I need to have it spelled out for me, if you can. And please, you don't have to sugar coat it (well, unless you want to \:\( ). I'd rather hear harsh realities from you guys than have to learn them the hard way again. Perhaps it's time now for me to read through this whole pathetic thread from the beginning (I know, I'm being a bit hard on myself, but that's just how I feel right now).

I cannot believe how ridiculously deep these painful feelings of humiliation (combined with longing) run. I feel like such a huge dork, I'm still confused by a lot of the things that happened when we were first getting to know each other. I'll jot down a few examples just to be fair to myself.

When he was getting ready for his natural bodybuilding competition, he came up to my lab to tell me that he just bought a "banana hammock". I found that to be quite an odd thing for a hetero guy to say to start a conversation.

The first time I went to his house, when he showed me the master bedroom, he stood at the foot of the bed and just sort of looked at me awkwardly for a moment. I have no idea what he was thinking at that moment.

Another time he was closing up his shop and I was walking out with him, when he switched off the lights he kinda mumbled, "Oooh, dark". Now when I shared that one with my hubby he got jealous and a little irritated.

Not to mention, the "enlarging" I thought I saw that day that triggered my serious flashback. All I know is that one minute there was no visible "bulge", and the next minute his shirt was pulled up a bit and suddenly I could see plenty of something going on in there.

Sorry for the graphic de>
_________________________
Craig

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

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#189697 - 11/02/07 02:46 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
Oh jeez, does it never end? I just put together another important similarity of what's happening here at work with my friend.

This guy (the machinist co-worker) is a popular figure. He is noticed and talked about by both guys and girls, because he is so masculine, muscular and not to mention cute as hell. I was reading one of Larry's posts the other day about whether or not a risk of disappointing the perp was involved. I can't remember exactly what or where it was, but I realized that I felt the need to be by his side, so we can be seen together, and I wanted to be the only one to get in close with him. I was treating him as some kind of prize or trophy. Now I see how sick and unhealthy that is.

My abuser was regarded much the same way when I was younger. He was a noisy and wild kid, who did all these "big kid" things. He never paid much attention to me until he started babysitting us. My mother should have known he couldn't be trusted, he disobeyed his parents all the time. I think that's one of the things that made him so attractive to me.

_________________________
Craig

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

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#189702 - 11/02/07 04:15 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Lazarus said in a previous reply he sounded like a tease and a jerk, you hadn't mentioned about the bodybuilding bit before, OR being over to his house; i've never been into the whole bodybuilding scene, but i would imagine "banana hammock" may have made the rounds there. Who knows? He's either very insecure and overcompensates like crazy, or he's completely vain and loves attention, or in denial big-time, but nothing adds up to "healthy interaction" so far. Would you be as attracted to him, if he were unpopular, or generally disliked at work?
As far as my previous reference to what your hubby said, here's quotes from previous replies of mine:

*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.*

*"failed test"- i'm just speaking from my own experience, but it's almost like a tug-of-war at the start of the process. Let's say I meet someone that i'm attracted to as a person: male, female, str8, gay, whatever. It's like the boy inside me is still convinced that sexual availability is the only way to gain closeness, you know- "I'll do whatever you want if you like me" thinking. So I get all wound up, short of breath, etc. Immediately after, "inner parent" says, "OK, I'll let you peep your face out there for a second, but if they lick their lips when they see you, you're going back in the basement."*

i'm still new at this, i'll figure out how to properly quote other posts someday, but you get what i mean...
All the emotional turbulence may suck, but at least you're using it constructively \:\)




Edited by dgoods (11/02/07 04:23 PM)
_________________________
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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#190021 - 11/05/07 08:54 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: dgoods]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
I'm still trying to understand where you were going with that first quote. Are you suggesting that HE may have been testing MY response? If that truly is what my co-worker was doing that would make him a huge prick, especially since I told him that I was sexually abused. That's right along the lines of entrapment. Taunting me just to judge me? I don't think I want anything to do with a person like that, that's really, really creepy.

I don't think that is the point you were making, and your clarification quote is helping me to apply it to my situation.

Something happened last thursday that has me really pissed off. We were all standing around eating cake for someone's birthday, and I started talking to him about how the drywallers putting in my basement rotozipped all the pre-wiring right off. I mean they destroyed all the wiring behind the wall, and my hubby was having a bit of a meltdown at their incompetence. We were just chatting about nothing, and he was standing sideways to me while talking and sorta leaning a bit towards me with one hand in his pocket. He was actually pretty close and it felt a bit odd. I stopped in the middle of what I was saying because of his proximity and said, "I'm not sure why but I want to smack you right now." He jumped into action and sorta walked to a safe distance from me, turned and gave me the weirdest sorta look like if I was some sort of weirdo and headed for the door.

I don't know what the heck that look was but I didn't like it one bit. It was just an innocent playful remark, and I think perhaps HE read into it a little too much. I got a distasteful sort of feeling from his reaction, and the only thing I can say to that at this point is "Screw you, you freaking dork I'm only following your lead". It seems very probable at this point that he has not been completely sincere in his words, and I don't have to take that.

I feel glad at this point that I can say I have no desire to go see him to "try to keep things on an even keel", not that I have any control over that anyway. I'd rather let him sit and hopefully reflect on anything he might have done to bring on his own reaction. I saw something that appeared to be a very ugly side of him, perhaps I saw it because I wanted to or needed to, I don't know. The fact of the matter is I didn't do anything I need to be concerned with.

I'm actually glad that his own insecurities and insincerities are perhaps starting to show in some way.

So to sum it up, I'm feeling both a lot better and a little worse, but the part of me that feels worse is actually glad to be feeling this sort of rejected, hearbroken sort of sensation. It has a healthy aura.

_________________________
Craig

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

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#190032 - 11/05/07 10:39 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
craig,
first- let me say i had to go back and re-read the thread, just to make sure i wasn't missing something you'd already said before, \:\) but it wasn't me- you never mentioned before that you had told him you'd been abused. Re-reading was helpful, in regards to my picking up on another clue you dropped twice; "intimidating". Another thing: maybe it's just the nature of reading text, rather than RL conversation, but my first take on the series of events that led to him moving away and looking at you funny, was that you unconsciously were protecting yourself, then said, "uh-oh" and instantly mentally self-edited it as "playful" ("i didn't mean it, i'm sorry, don't hate me").

Were i on the other side, having someone stop themslves and say they wanted to smack me would tell me i had crossed some line somewhere, and i'd withdraw too. Were i in your position- if i was talking about day-to-day stuff to someone who knew of my SA history, and who also had been the source of a lot of conflicting feelings for me, and that person started invading my personal space, "inner parent" would intervene and give some kind of "back off" message, probably before i had time to exercise conscious control over it.

As de>
_________________________
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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#190153 - 11/06/07 09:03 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: dgoods]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Rather than pick out quotes and respond to your observations individually, let me just say that your observations are pretty good, and I appreciate every word, even if some of them might anger me a bit \:\) (I'm not scared of a slap of reality, so bring it on!)

I apologize that some important details were left out, I forgot that I hadn't mentioned them in this thread, I discussed them in some other threads and I guess I just sorta stayed on the same train of thought.

I told him about the sexual abuse for a couple of reasons. For one, he was at least acting like he wanted to be a good friend, listening to my problems and then telling me he's glad that I trust him enough to share those kinds of personal things. He even went as far as to say to me, "You can tell me anything you want", and it's been close to a year since he said that, but I do not think it is a misquote. The other major reason I told him about the abuse is because he has a 5 year old son, and I just needed him to know some things about CSA.

There are several more things that have happened during the last year that I have not included in this thread, the one's that come to mind would be that he has been to my house too, when my gay friend and I took him out for his birthday. He really seemed to enjoy it. When he left to head home, I gave him a friendly hug just like I would any of my other friends, because I wanted to treat him the same as I do anyone else (all crushes aside).

This brings me to the visit I made to his house, which was many months later, and it was his idea, not mine. I was going to my mom's house because my grandmother was in the hospital, and he happens to live in the same part of town that my mom does. We used to send text messages back and forth (just silly stuff, for laughs), and I sent him one saying, "traffic in your direction sucks". His response was that I should "stop by if I am in the area." I thought that might be his response because I wanted to see his house anyway. I went and visited my grandmother and then went over to see his house. He was so nice and accomodating, when I got there he had already had a little bit of something to drink, I think it was rum & coke. His wife was out with some friends, and he was keeping an eye on his son. This was when he was showing me around his house and gave a moment's worth of awkward silence when he showed me "their bed", which was messy and not made, and I would think that most people would just give you a peek into the room if they didn't like the condition of things. We just spent the evening talking about nothing and watching his entertainment center TV, and I was glad to finally meet his wife when she came home around 11 or so. I was enjoying the visit and I decided it was time to go when I noticed him yawning. I said as much and when I got to the door, I started to just give him a quick little handshake "goodbye", and he pulled my arm towards him and hugged me, which I thought was very sweet.

I don't think I am confused when I say there was a certain sort of genuineness and sincerity on his part that seems to have vanished. (ouch, seriously) If he is like most males, he could be feeling insecure about something and he's compensating by being defensive. Hell, half of what he does in general already appears to be compensation for insecurities. I guess that's a big reason why I felt I could relate to him so well during all those chats.

Two things come to mind, maybe a little of both are true, maybe a lot of both. First, it would not surprise me if any feelings of attraction on his behalf have scared him pretty good. We all know this happens. Second, I am thinking that he may have put the pieces together and figured out that my flashback was triggered by him. If neither of these are the case, perhaps after the flashback my behavior changed, and in such a way that it was getting "creepy". The more I think about it, the more I believe that this is likely so.

I don't think I have been deceptive with him, unless you consider the fact that I have never told him I have a crush on him, which I don't think is appropriate to tell any co-worker. I handled it the absolute best I knew how. That's why I'm here, sharing my situation because I am perfectly willing to hear anything that I am doing that might be putting me at fault somehow.

I don't know that I "instantly mentally self-edited" my remark to be playful. It was both a boundary issue and a playful remark at the same time. But I am disgusted and angry at his reaction. Judging by the look on his face, you would think that I was the creepiest person in the world, and I very well may have been on my way to becoming that.

I realize that after my flashback I was trying to re-enact with him, but I promise you that I did not want that to be true, and I kept promising myself that I would just back off and deal with it myself, but with him just two floors away from me, it was too easy for me to keep trying to seek approval (sort of a codependant thing I guess). What I wanted was for those F*ing triggered feelings to be gone, but to have a hasty attitude towards them will get me absolutely nowhere. I am going to have to respect the flashbacks because they are very, very powerful. This is what I have been hoping to achieve by putting my feelings out for everyone to see. Who knows, there's always the possibility he found the website and read all this, I really don't care (nor do I think so) because all I want is for me to continue getting past the abuse issue and to maintain healthy relationships. Even if he is creeped out, that's still no reason to abandon anyone's honest attempts to create a healthy friendship (aside from the fact that I believe I have failed).
I am also realizing, as I type this, that another reason I told him about the abuse was in the event I should become triggered, which of course has happened, but perhaps my expectations were a little bit high.

I feel like such a piece of shit. I feel like I ruined a great friendship, and it was all because of my abuse issues. I know this all sounds very "fatalistic", but afterall that is a symptom of PTSD.

Correction, it was because of the incompatability between abuse driven feelings and behavior, and real healthy relationships.

It feels good to decide not to seek out any interaction with him, which I think I was allowing myself to do previously for the wrong reasons (after the flashback was triggered). I just need some time to get back to being the happy and confident me that I remember.



Edited by cbfull (11/06/07 11:27 AM)
_________________________
Craig

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

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#190223 - 11/06/07 03:41 PM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: cbfull]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Ohhh. OK! Thanks for clarifying- it sounds like although you feel crappy, you've got a good handle on it. Hey, i know how you feel, i broke my fiancee's heart by trying to be someone i wasn't for 4 years; she's adult enough to still stay friends w/ me, but the fact remains i made a total mess of things; the best i can do is to not allow my crap to get dumped on someone else who doesn't need it, in the future...*sigh*

_________________________
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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#190314 - 11/07/07 07:57 AM Re: Feeling triggered and I don't like it - CAUTION [Re: dgoods]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Still, thanks so much for giving my so much of your time on this. You have helped me with a gread deal of confusion in this.

It looks like my hubby was right, the co-worker sent me up a message yesterday about how quiet things seem to be up here in my area. I had to consult with him about some parts for a project I'm on, and it seemed as though things were completely normal. He asked me why I was so quiet.

I am starting to wonder if the reaction I observed last week wasn't also mostly imagined. I actually hope that it was, because it would help me to make a lot of sense out of what I have been going through.

It almost seems as though the reaction and it's "meaning" (I know, reading into it) was a logical conclusion in my mind to the flashback that was triggered about a month ago. It's as though I needed to realize my worst fear (abandonment and isolation) in order to conclude the episode that was triggered. I knew I was still experiencing the effects of the flashback weeks later, it was just so annoying and frustrating that I couldn't shake it's effects. I was getting used to telling myself that I was back to normal, I started to believe it.

I have decided to start taking low-dose lithium to see if I can't smooth out some of these ups and downs that I experience once I'm triggered. By low dose I mean less than what is used for a person who is bi-polar, and that dose for me right now is about 600mg.

For any of you guys reading through this, it is probably easy to understand how confusing this all is, I used to think I was crazy for perceiving things from others that aren't there. I still don't know, but the point is to not care.

There has been a slightly melancholy feeling with me over the last 4 or 5 days, almost like a little stuck speaker in my head
has finally burned out. I actually sort of have an aversed feeling towards paying too much attention to my coworker's behavior. We'll see.

One last thing, the things that Danbuff said many posts ago are really ringing true with me, thanks again for that.

_________________________
Craig

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

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