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#188287 - 10/21/07 08:44 PM Intimidated by a 7yo
Hauser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2962
Loc: United States
I was invited to and visited a cousin of mine, he’s married, 7 kids, (catholic, no birth control). We (my Uncle Dave, my cousin Dan and his wife and I) were having tea at the dining room table as is customary whenever we visit. His youngest 3 kids were at the table with us. Peter is the youngest at 7 or 8 years old.

I might have been triggered by looking at him I think. His spontaneity and personality were in stark contrast to the way I acted at his age. He was comfortable with his surroundings, he was extroverted in his manners, and he was happy. So……with this in mind I couldn’t help but study him. But when ever I observed him, he like IMMEDIATELY looked right back at me in my eyes and I had to look away every time. For the life of me I couldn’t maintain eye contact with him, let alone start talking to him.

It was weird; I was honestly feeling intimidated by him, as if he could see right through me, like I was transparent and not fooling him. I was not comfortable there. I’m guessing that he was just as curious about me but…………hell I don’t know. Has this ever happened to any of you guys?

The whole time I was there, I noticed that these kids were as "normal" as they can get. Happy, talkative, comfortable, inquisitive, funny, laughing, all that. I know I wasn't like that at that age, I'm happy for them, but I also envy them.


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#188293 - 10/21/07 09:01 PM Re: Intimidated by a 7yo [Re: Hauser]
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
Hauser,
I get uncomfortable around kids all the time, when ever I'm at a resturant and I'm facing a kid at the next table, I can't look at them, I have to look down, look at the people I was with, etc. When kids come into my store that I work at I get all nervous. I too envy them, they have something that I didn't a happy life.

Its normal, well normal for us anyway.

Jason

_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


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#188294 - 10/21/07 09:03 PM Re: Intimidated by a 7yo [Re: Hauser]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Could it be that you're developing some new emotions, Alan? Compassion, maybe? Empathy? Maybe you are actually feeling some shame, the most evil of all emotions? Have you ever experienced this before? If not...if this is a new thing, then I believe it is something to analyze and explore more fully.

I used to have a hard time making eye contact with kids. I used to be afraid to even talk to them. Just tonight, I was walking a couple of blocks to go pick up a 12-pack of Diet Coke, and I passed a kid on the way. I used to avert my eyes, scared to even look at him for fear that he would see right through me. Tonight? I looked right at him and said, "hello". I didn't think about it beforehand. It was the same spontaneous "hello" that I tend to give everyone, even strangers, as I'm walking past.

He smiled at me and said "hello" back.

It's amazing how such a small thing can make a person feel so good.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#188328 - 10/22/07 01:17 AM Re: Intimidated by a 7yo [Re: BJK]
Mike 999 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 18
Loc: Midwest
I can relate to your feelings about kids, I used to be scared to even be around them, much less make eye contact with one. Or let alone speak. After all he could see right threw me and see that I was damaged goods right. I have been doing much better with this, even was able to carry on a conversation with a boy 7th grader the other day with his nab or (grandpa figure) talking about what he was doing in school and I was ok with it.
I have also come to another thought that I have being around boys at the age I was when the csa happened. Its like I want to trade places with them and live life in there body for a week or so just to see how great childhood could actually be.

_________________________
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Benjamin Franklin

Knowing and not doing is equal to not knowing at all.



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#188330 - 10/22/07 02:23 AM Re: Intimidated by a 7yo [Re: Mike 999]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Me again-
Looking back, i've been jealous at times of my young cousins, or friends' kids, for that very reason, but i think most of the time i've really enjoyed being able to play with them. i get to do all the stuff i always loved (video games, hide&seek, tag, whatever) without worrying about something bad happening to me.
The kids don't know why i can enjoy it as much as them, they just can tell i really am having fun, and a grown-up that's willing to laugh at armpit-farts, or make up silly voices for their dolls, without getting bored or annoyed in ten minutes, makes for happy surprise on their part.

I don't mind them leaning on me or touching me passively, but everyone knows i injured my back a while ago, when they start wanting more physical play like Horsie or tickling, i just tell them i can't because my back hurts- that keeps any flinching or triggering from happening, they won't have the disturbing sight of a fear-reaction that makes no sense to them. If they persist, or are hyper/overexcited, I just become stern, stand up straight w/ arms folded, make it clear "playtime is over", and it's time to calm down.

The total lack of weirdness is like sunshine in my heart for me.

I've never had a child tell of any abuse to me (one time I found out the daughter of an ex-roomie immediately told on a creep the roomie was seeing, and I know it was thanks to my telling the girl (right b4 i moved out) about bad/good touch, and she promised to tell a grown-up she trusted RIGHT AWAY if anything happened. The ex-roomie thanked me tearfully for this after creep was arrested), but there have been times where they wanted to talk to me b4 their Mom or Dad, things like being scared of dead people, or other normal-kid-stuff.

Talk about a great feeling! It's like my chance to provide in reality what I was looking for as a boy, and never found- a big funny friend that never hurt me, or lied, or made me confused, someone smart and safe I could ask anything or tell anything to, that would never punish me for trusting them.

If babysitting, i let them get away w/ maybe 1% more than Mom or Dad do, but i make sure they know that rules are rules, and if i say straight to bed w/ lights out for fighting w/ their sibling(s) after being told to stop, then i mean it.

I have no children; most likely i never will. But to know that i can be the favorite "Uncle", and provide a future adult w/ lasting happy memories? That's satisfying enough for me.

_________________________
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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#188713 - 10/25/07 02:15 AM Re: Intimidated by a 7yo [Re: dgoods]
copenbay Offline
Guest

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 127
Hi,

Where do I even start with this one? I've had times in my life I couldn't make eye contact with anyone, because I was sure that I was the only one in the world who had anything to be ashamed of, and yet couldn't say why.
There may always be people that intimate me in some way, even children, especially when I think of how different their lives probably are than mine was. It's always a good thing if I can have even the simplest greeting or smile or eye contact.
It's taken a long time to realize that my shame is undeserved, the result of abuse. I may not know how to relate to those who seem 'normal' in every way, but I'm always better served to try, and not to make excuses for not making an effort to talk to someone, or at least acknowledge them. But I also try not to zoom in on any one individual. I need a good context.
I also must remind myself that things may not be as they appear. I'm sure I appeared like a happy, 'normal' boy to those around me, but that wasn't true. I was really doing the best I could to 'hide in plain sight'.
That said, today I'm only intimidated by those who seem to have nothing at all in common with me. And, most of the time, if I somehow break through the fear, I realize that they might not really be so different that no relationship is possible. But if I find the effort unrewarding, I have to recognize there's no shame in walking away either.
And I agree with Bryan that the feelings I don't like are what comes up when I feel intimidated. We've been told far too often that these feelings are a sign of weakness, something we should be ashamed of, as if being compassionate, caring, sensitive, and loving was a crime.
Friends have told me that my simple acts of kindness have been appreciated, and that should be enough for me. If only I didn't feel cheated or less than others. That, I think is what's most intimidating for me, and perhaps for you.
You (and me) must know that we are not 'less than', as if God marked down demerits either for our pasts or for our struggles or our feelings. I know -- easy to say, hard to live, or to feel. But I'll keep trying. For all of us, someday I believe it'll sink in.

Ed


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