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#197772 - 01/03/08 02:55 PM Playing the Part.
AndyJB2005 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1245
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
I seem to want to write about the post-abuse effects more than the actual abuse itself. It seems like that is, for me, the more important and relevant topic at hand. I was shaped considerably by my abuse, but I think what shaped me more was what happened after the touch. It seems more important to discuss my relationships with my friends, and family: my relationship with my dad after he stopped; my relationship with my mom and Julie, her partner; my relationship with my friends and other kids. I donít know why I think this way, but itís the way my brain is leaning. Iíve told my story a lot in the past, and saying it out loud, let alone writing, has produced limited results. Yeah I got it off my chest, but it seems that by focusing on that stuff Iíve stayed there longer than I need to stay. How much chest do I have, anyway?

Someone once told me that I wore my abuse on my sleeve. At the time that comment really hurt me. It was who I was, after all, but surely I wasnít proud of it. The abuse cut me SO deep and I KNEW I was damaged goods (pardon the clichť), and screw him for saying the abuse and its effects werenĎt real. ďIím not playing a part, THIS IS WHO I AM,Ē I thought.

Then I read a PostSecret that said something like, ďMy mental illness defines me, and I donít know how to live without it.Ē I think I butchered that, but you get the idea. The idea is that maybe I WAS being defined by my abuse. Maybe I WAS playing the part of an abuse victim andÖwas wearing it on my sleeve. Maybe I was living IN the abuse rather than living WITH the abuse.

Then I seemed to feel a rush of memories. Thinking back on everything that has happened as a result of my Abused Boy casting.

I donít count the years before I understood it all, but after Iíve told people as an adult I think it is, for me, a mental choice to keep living IN it. Yeah, I was abused, but I donít have to suffer any more with my poor boy face.

Itís sort of freeing for me to kind of step aside from going day in and day out with that burden on my shoulders. I have memories and hurt feelings, but it seems like I really held on to them for some reason and wouldnĎt let go, when really that was an option. Strange that I held onto that which hurt me the most.

Iíve learned that focus is really the key for me. I choose what to focus on and what NOT to focus on. I try not to hold on to the hurt inside me because of my past, and when I feel it welling up I just watch it go by, I guess, like a cloud. I experience the hurt and pain, I mourn my childhood a little, and then watch it float by and out of my head.

I really wasted so much time living in my abuse victim world. I chose to be depressed and sad and hurt and tormented by everything it seems. Now Iím nearly 30 and what did all that crying pay off as in the end? Iím only now learning to be an adult. I havenít finished college. Iím barely making enough money to live on because I never did well in school, which limited my college aspects, which limited my job aspects. I see so many successful people in the world and I can really be one of them someday -- I just hope Iím not 50 before I get there.

_________________________
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

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#197776 - 01/03/08 03:49 PM Re: Playing the Part. [Re: AndyJB2005]
DanM Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 540
Loc: So. California
Hi Andy,

I want to thank you for your posting, it really hit home with me.

I am relatively new into the recovery phase of CSA; it has only been a year for me this past week. However, I have shared many of your same thoughts. I have wondered if I have been playing the role of the victim for the last 40 years or certainly the last few years. I have had some sucess in my work life, but I always was the underdog having to work twice as hard or not placing value on my work or contributions.

I also have not finished college. I never felt that I was worthy of graduating or that I was intelligent or capable of earning a degree. It was a self-fulling phrophecy. I did everything to sabotage my success and happiness.

I am now 51 and I have gone back to school and will complete my degree in the upcoming 12 months.

I want you to know that you can do it. If I can, anyone can! Hng in there...it is scary at first, but once you get past the first course it is very rewarding.

I think that finally coming to terms with my abuse and seeking therapy has helped me and allowed me to advance my life so I am not a 24/7 abuse vicitim. i still get depressed and struggle with my feelings and emotions, but I am taking positive steps forward.

We are all here to help and support you...Andy there is no doubt you can do it. You need encouragement, support and love. We are here to help you.

Please let me know if you have any questions, I have learned it is never too late to reclaim your life.

With warm regards,

Dan


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#197777 - 01/03/08 04:12 PM Re: Playing the Part. [Re: DanM]
AndyJB2005 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1245
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Thanks for the kind words, guys. \:\)

I am in therapy now, and I'm enjoying it. That said, I've always wondered how much my past therapists fed my victim status. I'm not really sure, but it seems a possibility.

My mom's partner has been in therapy for probably 15 years, and while she's a lot better than she was, I just wonder...how long does it take to heal? \:\)

_________________________
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

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#197790 - 01/03/08 06:48 PM Re: Playing the Part. [Re: AndyJB2005]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

This may sound like a negative, but the fact is...we have to face the fact that healing will be a lifelong journey. Yeah, I look back on my life and I want back that which was stolen from me, but the goal is to live each day a little more healthy than the last. Sure, it may seem like we regress sometimes, but as long as we keep moving forward, we have something to be proud of.

When I talk to you, I don't see a victim. I see someone who has overcome that role and is working as hard as he can to put his life together. I've only known you a short time, but I can say with absolute certainty that within that short time, you have not been living in your victimized past.

You are definitely correct in one aspect, though. We can only get so far by reliving memories. For me, the biggest battle has been learning to understand what certain feelings remind me of. It is the battle of those affected by PTSD, and the hope that each time a trigger comes, it affects me less and less.

It's been great getting to know you, Andy.

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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#197851 - 01/04/08 09:34 AM Re: Playing the Part. [Re: BJK]
Jarrad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/06
Posts: 1071
Loc: arizona
omg its so easy to play vicitim. a lot of guys fall into it here. i think we all do it at some point but some guys get stuck in it because its comfortable. and people are freaked out of trying to figure out who they are if they aren't a "victim." its way easier to haev the "woe is me" "my life sucks" attitude because it allows you to stock pile shit easier. "my credit card was stolen... oh well... its because my life always sucks." etc. but you arent actually dealing with anything. so yeah for you for seeing that there is more. thats not to say you cant have a "victim day" once in a while \:\)


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#197852 - 01/04/08 09:41 AM Re: Playing the Part. [Re: Jarrad]
James_dup1 Offline


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 1332
Loc: Wyoming
I think your on to something with our reply Jarrad. It is easy to fall into the "vicitim" role. I don't think it's because we want too, I think it's because it's comfortable. It's what we were growing up, it's what we are use too, it's a feeling we know very well. Even if we dont like it. People in general are creatures of habbit. We like things that are familer to us. And breaking out of them "habbits" can be hard and as you say

Quote:
freaked out of trying to figure out who they are if they aren't a "victim."


But thats why we here, isn't it? To learn from each other that's it's ok to be freaked out. It's ok to not know. It's just ok.

James

_________________________
I have more issues than Rolling Stone!


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#197875 - 01/04/08 12:18 PM Re: Playing the Part. [Re: James_dup1]
Eric5 Offline
New Here

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 27
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
Sometimes I think people impress themselves when they tell you that you're wearing your problems on your sleeve. Who doesnt have SOME kind problem in their life? Is anyone around to make them apologize for it? Do they want an apology from you if they recognize you have an issue? You can't back down. Declare your right to grieve. The right people will be around when you're done.


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#197879 - 01/04/08 12:53 PM Re: Playing the Part. [Re: Eric5]
AndyJB2005 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1245
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Very true, Eric. The guy who told me this definitely has his own set of problems, as we all do. \:\) I know it was a shot to me. *shrug*

_________________________
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

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#197884 - 01/04/08 01:55 PM Re: Playing the Part. [Re: AndyJB2005]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
I think that if people are asking for some support then they have a real need for that understanding, why else are they looking for it. What I don't understand is why so many have such an aversion to offering that to people. I don't really see the down side to empathizing with someone. Is that person not going to get over the problem if they empathize with them. Emapthy seems to be negative for so many. It seems like people think everyone should skip the grieving and get right to the moving on no matter how long it's been. Definately an issue within themselves because there really isn't a downside to offering support to someone who is hurting. Makes me think there was no intention of helping to begin with. In the end, pretty selfish to try to get their own control issue met on the back of someone who is hurting.

Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#197893 - 01/04/08 02:35 PM Re: Playing the Part. [Re: mogigo]
AndyJB2005 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1245
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Don't mean to be selfish......just offering a way out -- and sharing my own experience....

_________________________
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

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