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#200209 - 01/19/08 11:14 AM How long to heal?
Curtis St. John Offline
Past President
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 1796
Loc: Westchester, N.Y.
Hi All,

Many come here to MaleSurvivor thinking they are alone. Soon they find out they are most certainly not alone, but then wonder "how long?"

I remember my wife one time in exasberation saying, "You've been working on this for a year now! When are you going to get better?" We laugh about it now because we've come a long way to understanding that recovery for survivors and partners takes its own time.

I came across this quote in which we can substitute the word recovery with the words spiritual practice.

Quote:
Time Is Not a Factor

Munindra-ji used to say that in spiritual practice, time is not a factor. Practice cannot be measured in time, so let go of the whole notion of when and how long. The practice is a process unfolding, and it unfolds in its own time. It is like the flowers that grow in the spring. Do you pull them up to make them grow faster? I once tried to do that with carrots in my first garden when I was eight years old. It does not work. We do not need any particular length of time for this process of letting things be.

--Joseph Goldstein, Insight Meditation from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book



What do you think?


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#200233 - 01/19/08 02:55 PM Re: How long to heal? [Re: Curtis St. John]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
It is hard when the pain seems to never end. You go along doing ok at work and some one says something or something else tirggers a memory, feeling. and you want to crawl in a cupboard and cry you lil eyes out. Or you get angry for no reason it seem at whoever happens to be in the way. No one understands that not even you at the time and it seems to go on for years.

Our partners/wives understand it even less. They fell in love with what they thought was a wonderful man who may have a few quirks/issues but still a strong handsome guy that can be a great supportive campanion/lover only to find he is broken inside and they now have to be the strong one. It is a kind of cosmic betrayal as they see it and I can't argue with that.

To us it is just another persone we feel we have hurt and the guilt piles on and on and on. I won't even mention children here. That betrayal is another guilt/pain/betrayal altogether.

But if they really love us they stick by us (for better/for worse as they say) and the work gets done and the brokenness comes together and humpty dumpty amazingly starts looking like a good egg again. Lots of cracks, glue, tape and bandaids but functional again.

Worth it???

Well speaking from the concrete here and gathering my own pieces meanwhile I have had a chance to look around at some of the good eggs I find here and I have to say YES! IT IS WORTH IT, DAMMIT.

I have talked with some Amazing perceptive, compassionate wonderful people here who are looking pretty good after all they have been through. They have turned into pretty cool human beings and are making a contribution to the lives of othere that is beyone price.

So....hang in there. If the wivee/companions can't hold out with you let them go and god bless them. Each according to their gift. When your dome they my come back, they may not but you will be OK. You will have made new friends who will not betray you and will love you for who you really are and not for who you think you are or others think you are. And that is a lot.

Roger



Edited by Freedom49 (01/19/08 02:56 PM)

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#200237 - 01/19/08 03:26 PM Re: How long to heal? [Re: Freedom49]
alexey Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 08/16/05
Posts: 1674
Loc: Moscow, Russia
This message of you has been of a great importance to me. I realized what recover is.

It is indeed has much in common with spiritual practices from the old ages, and sometimes healing IS the result of the spiritual practice albeit conducted in modern environment, between work and going out with a friend to a movie premier, for example.

To my mind, the meaning of recovery is neverending search and learning of our own strengths and abilities (not taken awayy by the bad guys).

Thanks Curtis.

Alexey



Edited by alexey (01/19/08 03:26 PM)
_________________________
(\__/)
(='.'=)
E[:]|||||[:]3
(")_(")
--------
When you feel all alone and unhappy, turn to you Inner Child and talk to Him.
You will see He can comfort you like nothing else!

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#200334 - 01/20/08 06:24 AM Re: How long to heal? [Re: alexey]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

On this theme I can say I have learned several important things as I moved forward. I'll just list them as points as I think of them:

1) It has helped me enormously to think of recovery as a path rather than as a goal. It's a way of thinking about things. That helped me a lot way back when, because if the important thing was to be on the path then when I stumbled or fell that didn't seem to be so disastrous anymore. I no longer felt like a failure at being human. Everyone knows there are rocks and rough spots on any path.

2) "How long" is always the wrong question. We are all different in our personalities, circumstances and abuse experiences. We will deal with those things each in our own way, and that's okay. Indeed, that's what we have to do. We never really know what tomorrow may bring.

3) Others may seem to be doing it faster or better, but if we look we will see others who also seem to be doing it more slowly or worse than us. Comparing ourselves with others can be useful to get new ideas for ourselves, but judging ourselves because we aren't doing as well as A or B or C seem to be doing is never a good idea.

4) Refusing to deal with the things that make me feel afraid or ashamed just means that those things will retain their ability to harm or hijack me. Recovery means facing the rough stuff. If it's difficult to say, it's probably something important to say. If I think I will never be brave enough to tell my T THAT, then without any doubt that's something that needs to go on my list of things to talk about.

5) Never say "never". I have done so many of the things that I once thought I could never talk about or deal with.

6) I have always found that my fears concerning abuse are based on some false lesson taught by an abuser, some fundamental error in thinking that I learned as a boy. I have been set free from so many of those fears now that I can't count them anymore. Really, guys, it was not your fault!

7) Knowing in my head that something is true isn't the same as believing it in my heart. Believing in something means trusting it enough to use it as a tool in our own lives, and that takes longer.

8) I had to learn to let things happen rather than make them happen.

9) I needed to "get present". I did need to spend some time on my past, to review everything, acknowledge what happened to me, and and learn what there was to be learned. But after awhile we find we aren't learning much anymore, though we are using up a lot of time and emotional strength on our past. I of course have every right to grieve and rage as much as I want. But in order to move forward, at some point I have to "let go" of the past and acknowledge that I can"t change anything about it. My real goal is to "get present", that is, to work on myself where I am right now.

10) My goal is peace. For me that means I want to be content with myself in my own skin and be able to live a joyful and fulfilling life. It doesn't mean forgetting; I know that memories will continue to come up from time to time, but that gradually these memories are losing their ability to harm me, divert me from things I want to do, or make me feel bad about myself.

Thanks Curtis - great idea for a thread.

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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#200362 - 01/20/08 10:26 AM Re: How long to heal? [Re: roadrunner]
John Oarc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/10/06
Posts: 633
Loc: Louisiana
My son asking are we there yet, is close to how I have to look at this. As an adult I look at it like Im in the back seat asking God when I am going to be healed. When I surrendered, began trusting and believing that he is in control is when I found peace and began relaxing, fell asleep in the car seat so to speak.

My job is to continue believing he will get me there on time and safely.

I coupled this with years of therapy and diligence to recovery but the day I truly began experiencing pure peace is when I surrendered the control of my future to God.

I imagine my boy in the back seat when I begin to get anxious about my life, I cant make him believe me or make him quit worrying about whats going on. He alone has the power to leave the driving up to me. This is not an easy task as you know but sittig back and enjoying the ride gives you time to work out issues and rest, it works for me.

Great thread,




Edited by John Oarc (01/20/08 10:39 AM)
_________________________
Whatever It Takes, God


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#200437 - 01/20/08 08:41 PM Re: How long to heal? [Re: John Oarc]
GateKPR4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
I have been on the road to recovery for many years. There are some things I feel I have recovered from, but others will happen when I am ready. I used to try to push it but it pushes back. So now I go with the flow and try to have fun, and live life in the mean time. Two steps forward one step back is still progress and thats good enough for me. \:D

_________________________
I'm a normal person dealing with abnormal experiences.
The greatest discoveries we will find within ourselves.
Ricky
__m__m__
|| || || || || || |

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#200501 - 01/21/08 07:52 AM Re: How long to heal? *DELETED* [Re: Freedom49]
awakening Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/01/08
Posts: 342
Post deleted by awakening


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#201049 - 01/24/08 04:45 AM Re: How long to heal? [Re: awakening]
Eric5 Offline
New Here

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 27
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
You mean, do you ever feel happy again? ups and downs. But isnt that life? if your not fighting this feeling then you are stressing over bills. if youve overcome a difficult memory, you stressing over the company meeting tomorrow.
For all its worth, you are a survivor. Each day is a win. I think the ideal is not to heal, but to stay alive. at least, for me it is.
ok, here is a pathetic metaphor i just thought of:
your abuser put scars on you. so, now you have colors you can use to take those scars and paint an awesome picture. Your life isn't over until you've made the most incredible picture. There's your clue to a goal. As long as you're alive, you're going to take what was given to you (from that animal of an abuser) and turn it into something people will love: you. To further the illustration: some people will stop and look at your work and love it (love you). Persistance means you have healed. Dont give up. Do you like that?


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#201059 - 01/24/08 05:54 AM Re: How long to heal? [Re: Eric5]
GateKPR4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Originally Posted By: Eric5

ok, here is a pathetic metaphor i just thought of:
your abuser put scars on you. so, now you have colors you can use to take those scars and paint an awesome picture.


Every time I shower I see the scar left by my abuser. a 4inch gash on my chest.
When I see this I know what happened was real and I have survived. I don't know what kind of picture I can paint with it but I can tell you it has been a source of strength and courage to know that after all that has happened I can still help someone else by sharing my experiences. So far that scar has helped me talk a few very special people who now know they are not alone. One was a cutter who would not talk to anyone. We shared our familiar stories and held each other as we cried "we are not crazy nor are we alone". This person had never told anyone and now she has and I could see hope in the eyes of a person who had none. If this is painting then I have created a Rembrandt out of my past experience



Edited by GateKPR4 (01/25/08 04:57 PM)
_________________________
I'm a normal person dealing with abnormal experiences.
The greatest discoveries we will find within ourselves.
Ricky
__m__m__
|| || || || || || |

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#201441 - 01/26/08 01:46 AM Re: How long to heal? [Re: GateKPR4]
Eric5 Offline
New Here

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 27
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
Originally Posted By: GateKPR4
If this is painting then I have created a Rembrandt out of my past experience


I like that. There's poetry in you.


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