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#197891 - 01/04/08 02:19 PM Staying Strong Need Advice
MDR Offline
Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 48
I haven't been on the site for a long, long time. I don't have the energy to write about what I've been doing for a while. Not bad stuff. In short, I went to a place in Florida to deal with my sexual abuse issues. I got so much stuff out and I was around other guys who experienced the same things as me. It was intense. I stayed for seven months and now I'm out. I feel like I'm regressing. I also found that SLAA meetings really help me. Unfortunately, there is only one meeting where I'm living and it's a pick up joint. I'm thinking of going out west to Arizona where this is an abundance of SLAA meetings, getting a T who concentrates solely on sexual abuse issues, renting a studio apartment, work a menial job for a year and just concentrate on my recovery for a year. What do you guys think? This place in Florida was a stepping stone. They concentrated on trauma and really opened my mind. I'm feeling better because I understand my behaviors and I just want to keep progressing. Is this a solid plan? Appreciate any advice, guys. Glad to be back.


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#197923 - 01/04/08 05:06 PM Re: Staying Strong Need Advice [Re: MDR]
tartugas Offline
Board Member
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 513
Loc: NYC
MDR,

Congratulations on your progress so far.

It sounds like a plan to me. There's no question that our recovery process is a long and difficult one at times, but it sounds like you have a positive attitude when it comes to finding solutions that will help you keep moving forward.

I'm not sure that you have a solid plan yet, however. It's not going to be easy to relocate and find a place to live. Unless of course you have some significant financial resources to fall back on. Also, I don't think that purposely looking for a dead end job is going to be a positive step for you. You sounds like an intelligent guy with a lot to offer any employer. A job is not going to be something that has no impact on your life, it will be a significant part of how you spend your time. I'd encourage you not to drop out of life entirely to focus on recovery, but to continue making positive self-building steps.

Healing and recovery doesn't happen in a vacuum. Every day the progress you make in therapy and in healing inside will be challenged, reinforced, and strengthened by your experiences in the world. Do more things to build yourself up, get a good job, find good friends, take the time to do the things that you've always wanted to do, but never gave yourself the chance to. This is a time not to fall back into worry and doubt, but to take greater and greater risks in grabbing for your dreams. Think of yourself as a chick who's just broken through the shell of your depression, fear, and pain. Now is the time to start learning how to fly. That's the kind of plan I'd love to hear you talk about.

Best of luck.

Chris

_________________________
"I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections.
And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds to the soul, to the deep emotional self...."
Healing D.H. Lawrence

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#197958 - 01/04/08 08:28 PM Re: Staying Strong Need Advice [Re: tartugas]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
MDR,

I have feelings about your plan rather similar to those of Chris. Recovery is about regaining control of our lives and learning to be the guys we were meant to be. For that to happen we have to be in a living environment where our healing serves the interest of our lives.

What you are talking about sounds rather different. That is, you are talking about giving up a normal routine and pattern to your live in order to concentrate on recovery alone. But recovery gives us tools to use in our lives. What will you do with these new tools if the life you are living has no real connection to the guy you want to be, or can be?

Just a thought.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#197975 - 01/04/08 10:49 PM Re: Staying Strong Need Advice [Re: roadrunner]
MDR Offline
Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 48
Larry and Chris,

Thanks for the advice. My self esteem plays tricks on me. Two years ago I was headed towards finishing my Masters in Education. I was a Special Ed. Teacher. However, thats when I finally broke down about everything and I could barely function. I lost my job and grad school. My school was paying for grad school as well.

I figured out that one of the reasons I was teaching was because I wanted to protect the kids. I was good at my job because I was passionate about it. However, I'm scared to go back because I'm afraid that it might be a trigger for me. I don't know...its tough.

You guys gave me some great advice. I do need a job that will give me esteem and not something menial that will lower my self esteem.

I also have a friend in Nashville who is one of us. He says that there are great SLAA meetings there and I'd have to do some research in finding a T, if I made that an option.

Couple of Questions:

Should I get back into teaching?
Do any of you guys attend SLAA meetings?

Guys, thanks again for the support and positive encouragement.

Love and Peace,

Mark


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#197976 - 01/04/08 10:56 PM Re: Staying Strong Need Advice [Re: MDR]
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948
whats wrong with protecting childern-----------------------they need all they can get


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#198078 - 01/05/08 03:54 PM Re: Staying Strong Need Advice [Re: sabata]
tartugas Offline
Board Member
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 513
Loc: NYC
Mark,

Thanks for your kind words. I hear very clearly the struggles and questions that you have. It's not an easy path we've been set upon, sometimes it feels like the way forward is really a way backwards, in that it seems that we have to lose some of the things we had struggled for (your career and masters, my marriage, to name two examples) in order to move forward. For that reason, I think it's really important that you should try and teach again. (With regards to your other question, I don't attend SLAA meetings, but I am a member of a survivor's group, and I have found it tremendously helpful).

It's important for you to know that your desire to protect and help children was only one of the reasons you chose to go into teaching, and that that specific reason is itself only partially an outcome of the abuse you suffered. While it's certainly true that dealing with children can be a trigger for many of us, that isn't a good enough reason to withdraw from something that you honestly feel called to do in life. There comes a point where we need to stop being fearful of triggering circumstances. If we strip ourselves of the ability to live and make use of the gifts and talents we already have to make the world a better place, then our abusers win. If, on the other hand, we manage to take back from our abusers the spirits, the hopes, and the dreams of the children they crushed, then we win.

The difficulty is that taking back those things is usually a hard, painful, and time consuming process, as you already well know. Oftentimes it just seems easier to turn away from the world outside, to find a way to rest from the effort of healing. The problem is that if we give in too far to that desire, if we isolate ourselves too deeply within the "recovery cocoon" then we may find that once we've addressed all those old issues and traumas, we're unable to cope with the present, and we remain trapped within ourselves.

Yes, it certainly painful at times to engage with the world, and even more painful at times to expose our hopes and desires and our gifts to a world that, more often than not, doesn't listen, doesn't pay attention to us, and doesn't seem to care about us. But that interaction with the world outside is life. Finding ways to cope and to thrive in spite of our pasts is the whole point of what healing is about. And anything we do to handicap or restrict ourselves (beyond what is strictly necessary in life and death emergencies) is only going to add to the time our recovery will take.

The good news in all of this is that, the more we come out of our shells, there more moments of joy and pride and happiness we'll experience. While there will always be moments of pain and anxiety (life being the uncertain journey it is, anxiety and disappointment are inevitable), they will gradually lose their power over time.

Keep moving forward Mark. You can do this. We all can do this.

Chris





Edited by tartugas (01/05/08 03:58 PM)
_________________________
"I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections.
And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds to the soul, to the deep emotional self...."
Healing D.H. Lawrence

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