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#190694 - 11/10/07 12:11 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: FormerTexan]
River Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 112
Loc: Nashville,Tennessee
Bryan,

I have great respect for your journey. What I see is a man who has survived. I see a man who has the balls to ask the tough questions and to embrace the pain and conflict that this creates in your life. I see a man who stands genuinely in your truth with no pretenses.

Some people cannnot handle "the questions," the searching and the agony that goes with this....and they make inaccurate judgments regarding this important piece of healing and recovery.

Even though this thread has had it's challenges, I still feel like this is a safe place to state our truths, to ask the tough questions and to journey together.

Peace

_________________________
GD

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#190760 - 11/10/07 11:04 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: River]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Originally Posted By: River

Even though this thread has had it's challenges, I still feel like this is a safe place to state our truths, to ask the tough questions and to journey together.


I truthfully feel like there is no "safe place" when it comes to the topic of my religious beliefs (or lack thereof).

Religion was used as a tool to abuse in my family, and I've seen it happen in countless other families and countless times in history. If I was a ruler of a kingdom with the charge of protecing my people, the easiest way to that would be to invent a deity and threaten those people with it. This is the temptation that mankind has faced since the beginning of our race, and the effects of this temptation has affected my life greatly.

When I was 3 or 4 years old, I remember breaking an antique lamp of my mothers. She grabbed the closest weapon she could find, a high heeled shoe, and cuffed me over the head with it so hard I saw stars. We then did the wooden spoon therapy in the kitchen, and when she sent me to bed, she told me that God was going to take me in my sleep that night. I slept under my bed in fear, and I prayed to him for the last time. I told him to take me quickly because the fear was worse than the outcome. He never came.

When I was a teenager, I flirted with suicide on a day to day basis. I can say with absolute conviction that I would have done it if I would have allowed myself to believe in God. I truly believed that hell could not be any worse than my life. I embraced that afterlife as an improvement, and then one day....the thought arrived. What if there is no hell?

For about 20 years, the fear of nothing is a large part of what kept me alive.

I was 22 the first time I attended an AA meeting. After about three meetings, the topic was step two. I told the group that I didn't bleieve in God, and they all went on about how they would help me to find the path. I reiterated by telling them that I refused to believe in God, and they all stopped talking to me. I was quite unwelcome after that, and I never went back. At about the same time, I started seeing a counselor through Lutheran Social Services because I couldn't afford one any other way. In our first session, she asked me what church I attended. I told her I was an Atheist, and she lectured me on the need to believe in God for the rest of the hour. I never went back.

When I was 25, I was fired from a job because I was again asked what church I belonged to, and I responded by saying that I don't believe in God. I got my walking papers.

A couple of years later (my time line becomes kind of skewed because I was so messed up most of the time), I made a second attempt at a support group. This time, it was narcotics anonymous. Again, we got stuck on the second step. I got a lecture about how believing in God was a necessary step in recovery. I never went back.

The thoughts of suicide became very strong again after that, for if I was required to believe in God to improve my life, then there just seemed like there was no future for me.

Earlier this summer, when I was first made aware of my childhood abuse, I called a local Rape and Abuse Crisis Center. They told me that they only accept female clients, and they again referred me to a local Lutheran Social Services group. I called them, made an appointment for consultation, and the subject of what church I go to again came up. I walked out without answering.

If my aunt had not been so persistant about me finding help this summer, there is no telling what may have happened. Let's just say that when the topic of religion comes up, I am completely accepting of other people's beliefs, but only if they are accepting of mine. Yes, I hold people to a certain standard there. Plus, if someone makes me feel inferior because I refuse to believe in God and I refuse to pretend to believe in God, I will fight back.

I've gotten to the point in my life where I will not accept this any longer. I'm slowly learning to stand up for myself, and I have a feeling that this is where it starts. The power of God still has a hold on me, and in my life, that power is no different than the power that was exerted over me in my sexual abuse. In both cases, I'm learning to fight back.

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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#190763 - 11/10/07 11:38 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11027
Loc: Denver, CO


*** POSSIBLE TRIGGERS ***

Bryan,

I can see at some level where you are coming from. Though I am a believer in God, I can see how it was used against me at one point or another, and how that can cause a negative association.

My third perp was a counselor from a church I attended as a teenager. I first met him when I was turning 14. He changed congregations and became a counselor of sorts at this church. When I was 17 I would call him seeking guidance on why my social life was a shambles. He said to me "let me help you." So I let him.

Here was a man who paid attention to me, wanted to guide me and care for me. How cool is that! Our first year of visits went positive, but started to go downhill when started touching me wrong. I remember another time when I avoided talking about things and he said "Why do you resist the Holy Spirit?" In retrospect, this was totally abusive on his part, phrases like this and his inappropriate touching and "counseling exercises."

This man did not represent God or anything spiritual. He only represented himself. Over seven years of therapy, this man was one of the prominent subjects of discussion.

Andy

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#190764 - 11/10/07 11:54 AM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: dgoods]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
Originally Posted By: dgoods
Mark, no offense, but you're using "know" in the subjective sense, which is still belief, in the way "i know i will never sprout wings" is equal to "i believe i will never sprout wings". i meant "knowable" objectively speaking.

No offense taken - but you're wrong. I am not saying "know" in the subjective sense. I don't expect you to believe me - but "I know that I know". Yeah - a lot of faith is involved in my life, and there are beliefs mixed in.

But my knowledge of God is exactly that - first hand knowledge.

That said, I sincerely thank you for your honest and open communication.

M


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#190787 - 11/10/07 03:36 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: MarkK]
buzz_key Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 635
Loc: USA
Bryan,

you truly are lost and clueless, not inferior (as you stated)...we were, or are, all that way until we know God.

buzz


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#190789 - 11/10/07 04:12 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: buzz_key]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
If I must know God to truly find myself, then you might as well kill me now. I refuse to believe in mythology.

I'm sorry, buzz...but I have to put you on ignore to keep my piece of mind.

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.

Top
#190790 - 11/10/07 04:19 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
buzz_key Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 635
Loc: USA
whatever...you can ignore me...i would expect nothing less of you...
it's not about me...or you...
i undertand...you have to do what you have to do.


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#190796 - 11/10/07 04:47 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: buzz_key]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
I'm sorry I got involved in this. But at least now I know better.


\:\(


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#190798 - 11/10/07 04:54 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: MarkK]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Mark,

You haven't said anything remotely offensive or triggering in this thread. In fact, your comments here have been welcome. You know there is a God in the same way I know there is not one. I think we acknowledge and respect each other's beliefs in that regard. I'll go one step further and say that I admire you greatly for your ability to acknowledge and respect my beliefs in that regard. Too many people use religion as a moral pedestal, a tool to repress, or as a mask to hide behind. It is obvious to me that you don't.

When someone tells me I'm an intellectual idiot and that I'm lost and clueless because I refuse to believe in God, that reminds me a little too much of my abuse.

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.

Top
#190810 - 11/10/07 06:46 PM Re: Higher Power: (possible triggers) [Re: BJK]
River Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 112
Loc: Nashville,Tennessee
Bryan,

I struggle greatly with the Christian church... even though that is where I still hang my hat. Many Christian people think I an condemned to hell... including my parents... if that says anything about my beliefs. It is discussion like this that really saddens me and completely disgusts me on behalf of God-believers and "Christians" ... I just want to apologize from the bottom of my soul and heart and all that is within me for the horrible, awful behavior of fellow God believers and Christians. I acknowledge the many atrocities that Christianity has wrought on many people and am repulsed by it, but nevertheless cannot do anything about the behavior of individuals posting unloving comments in this post nor the many people who have been murdered over the centuries in the "name of Christ" ...BUT I can take responsibility for myself and tell you that I do have great honor and respect for you and what you believe and where your are in your journey and hope that you will not hold it against me personally.

Peace



Edited by River (11/10/07 06:47 PM)
_________________________
GD

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