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#203944 - 02/06/08 10:56 PM ANGER QUESTION (SURVIVORS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS)
Lou Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 100
Good Evening,

My BF and I were having a discussion tonight about anger and I told him that I was going to post asking for anyone/everyone's comments on anger in dealing with CSA.

As an outsider looking in, but also not being a survivor of CSA myself, it appears that he has been in the sad and guilt stage but does not show or express any anger toward his CSA or his perpetrator.

I can remember when I was going through my divorces and also the suicide of my first husband and was in therapy that I was told that there are different stages that one goes through in the healing process. Some of those stages were sadness, guilt, sorrrow, denial, isolation, depression, why me, etc., etc., but I recall that one of them of course was anger.

When I look back at my own healing process I realize that when I was finally able to get angry, (I can remember being told by my therapist to get angry in a healthy way, such as buying a plastic baseball bat and beating the hell out of a pillow or to use a punching bag) it seemed that I was finally able to move on in my healing process. Once I was able to do this it was as if I was finally giving myself the right to be angry....after all, I had all the reason in the world to be angry.

Perhaps not everyone does go through an anger stage, but are there different stages that suvivors of CSA do go through just the same as those of us who have divorced or lost loved one's due to suicide?

I would appreciate comments, suggestions and help on this issue.

Thank you.
Lou


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#203952 - 02/06/08 11:45 PM Re: ANGER QUESTION (SURVIVORS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS) [Re: Lou]
TurningSunday Offline
New Here

Registered: 01/31/08
Posts: 7
Loc: USA
Lou,

My BF does not always show anger towards his perpetrator either (most of the time anyways) At one time, I wondered why; however I think he has just moved past the anger& is ready to start his healing. We've even discussed this before. I understand where your coming from, about the anger "phase" and the stages/phases of recovery, with regards to loss of loved ones etc. It would seem that survivors might go through the same process, however I'm no expert. I'd be afraid to give any expertise thought, but I wanted to share that my BF also goes through the same stages you described in your first paragraph, (sadness,guilt etc.)

I'm sure someone will be able to elaborate and help you out on here..........just wanted to share his feelings. I will say there are times that he does show anger, and it's usually when we are discussing the first assaults. He says he wants to confront his perp, but the times not right now. My BF feels so much guilt, because he eventually became willing, in order to survive. Right now he's having a hard time getting past this, but we will continue to work towards healing.

Wish I had some answers for you, hope you find what your looking for.

K

_________________________
"The best way to help a person in grief, is to express those things in any way that you can."

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#203956 - 02/07/08 12:17 AM Re: ANGER QUESTION (SURVIVORS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS) [Re: TurningSunday]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
I was angry with my father in my teens and occasionally in my 20's but that could have been normal teen angst too I don't know. I know some do get very angry but I didn't maybe because it was my father and maybe because it was pleasurable at the time and I didn't realize what it was doing to me. There are a lot of weird dynamics to the perp/ abused relationship and it varies from person to person.

Roger


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#204576 - 02/10/08 01:40 PM Re: ANGER QUESTION (SURVIVORS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS) [Re: Freedom49]
tartugas Offline
Board Member
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 513
Loc: NYC
Lou,

Anger is a tricky, and dangerous emotion for most of us (let alone those of us who are CSA survivors). For my part, I have very rarely shown anger for a lot of reasons. And at this stage in my healing process, I'm finally beginning to understand how and why that block has been so strong for so long.

For me, my anger has long been trapped behind a wall of fear. Deep, excruciating, and horrible fear. It's kept me from connecting wholly and honestly with people, and has caused the ruin of more than one relationship. It's odd, one might think that the less anger one expresses, the better off they'd be at getting along with people, but the fact of the matter is that anger is a valid and healthy emotion (actually I think all emotions are healthy, it's out attachment or fear of them that is the root cause of most psychological suffering).

The challenge for most of us who struggle with CSA and anger issues is that many of us had our anger reactions deactivated by the environments we grew up in. For most of us, the experience of abuse really locked in the feeling of powerlessness that has essentially kept us trapped behind these walls of fear and stopped us from being able to express anger and frustration openly. This in turn proved to multiply trust issues and difficulties in connecting with people.

The issue isn't so much being able to be angry as it is being able to be open, to be a whole person, and to allow someone else to touch us emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. It can take years of work on the part of the survivor, and almost infinite patience, love, and care on the part of those who love us to be able to get to the point where that kind of openness is possible. Of course, it's not just survivors who struggle with this. With divorce rates what they are, I'd be hard pressed not to believe that the issue of fear and openness isn't something that we all struggle with no matter what our backgrounds.

_________________________
"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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#204580 - 02/10/08 02:06 PM Re: ANGER QUESTION (SURVIVORS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS) [Re: tartugas]
ineffable Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 1371
Loc: state of holeecrapdood
really strong intense energy/emotion still gets "short circuited" in me
(dissociation)

parents fought like cats & dogs often getting physical
so anger has alot of fear attached as well
(losing control & wanting to hurt someone)

depression also squelches anger by directing it back against yourself

intellectually at some point i "decided" getting angry doesn't "work"

dealing with it let alone feeling it is loaded on many different levels for me

thanks for starting this thread



_________________________
:: "Anyone who can handle a needle convincingly can make us see a thread which is not there" ::


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#204590 - 02/10/08 03:50 PM Re: ANGER QUESTION (SURVIVORS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS) [Re: ineffable]
deck Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 109
Loc: Indiana
Hey Lou,

I think that a lot of letting out anger has to do with fearing that it will be like breaking the dam and everything will be out of control. That you'll just explode. It's sense of being out of control (not necessarily being controlled but out of controlled). Sort of liked letting out a caged animal. You really don't know what will happen so you often feel it's better to keep them caged.

My emotions often feel like a jumble. I think some things go quickly and some take more time. You have to feel you can trust both yourself and others with a lot of emotions.

Don't know if this makes any sense.
deck

Take care


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#204594 - 02/10/08 04:25 PM Re: ANGER QUESTION (SURVIVORS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS) [Re: deck]
DanM Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

You raise an interesting question. I asked my therapist why I wasn't angry at this point in my recovery. I went through many of the the other stages, but never had this deep rooted anger towards my abusers. I had alot of rage and anger that I unfortunately directed at my family prior to the start of the healing process, but never towards my abusers. I only felt sorry for them and disappointed that they would do this to I child. I wondered if they were also abused as a child. My thoughts seem to be more along the lines of trying to understand what made them do this. My therapist told me, not everyone gets mad/angry...that the saddeness and disappointment sometimes is all you experience. He said it depends on how long ago it happened and how severely it impacted you as a person and where you are at mentally/emotionally in the healing process.

Unfortunately, some of the stories I have heard on MS are tragic and in comparison my abuse, as bad as it was, was nothing compared to the pain and suffering others have gone through.

I have never respected a group of men more than those on here on MS. They are a living testiment to courage,strength and community. It is true priviledge to be accepted and embraced by this group of men/friends.

I hope your BF continues on his healing journey. He is fortunate to have a woman who cares for him and who is also able to support him on this journey.

With warm regards,

Dan


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#204604 - 02/10/08 05:25 PM Re: ANGER QUESTION (SURVIVORS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS) [Re: DanM]
Lou Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 100
Hi All,

Thanks to all of you so much for your posts. So, basically, I guess what most of you are trying to say is that each and everyone of you deal with the CSA and the feelings toward the abuser or abusers in different ways. Darn! I was hoping that someone could tell me that he was on stage 7 of 10....and once he got to stage 10....he would be home free! Can you all tell that I am a real black and white, right and wrong kind of person....it goes along with my profession....accounting....which I do well, but in real life it can cause me a lot of grief as I just can't seem to understand that 2 plus 2 does not always add up to 4.

Dan, I find your 2nd paragraph interesting as I don't know how many times I have heard my BF say the same thing....that in comparison...what he endured and lived through was not as bad as some of the other men's stories that he has read. I am sure that it is true....but just the same....what happened to him was wrong and it has had the same effects on him as the person who had to sustain more. It has messed up his life in so many areas and now that he is coming to terms with it is left to try to sort through it all and put the pieces back together again...no matter how big or small they are.

As an outsider looking in....I can also say Dan that I am so in awe as to how you men are communicating with one another...sharing your experiences, opening up possibly for the very first time in your lives about your CSA. I know that my BF gets a lot of help and insight from this site....and I feel that he is little by little healing and that all of you have contributed in some way to that.

For the couple of you that commented on anger and the fear of possibly letting your anger out in ways that you may not be able to control it...thank you for your honesty. I think it is good that you recognize that about yourselves. Perhaps these kinds of thoughts are what my BF is thinking? Maybe I should count my blessings that he is not an angry kind of guy.

Anyway...thanks again to all of you for your comments....I am enlightened each time I post or read others posts on this site.

Have a good day!
Lou


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#204640 - 02/10/08 09:24 PM Re: ANGER QUESTION (SURVIVORS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS) [Re: Lou]
DanM Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I was alway a black and white person too. That was until I started to deal with my CSA and started to look at how it impacted my life. Then I realized there are many shades of grey. Life would be so much easier if that were not the case, but I guess that is what makes life interesting or at least challenging.

If I could offer a little advise, please be patient with your BF and be there for him when he needs you and listen. There aren't many positive sides to abuse and recovery, it is hard and painful. However, I can honestly say it has helped improve communication in my marriage. Both my wife and I have expressed that we feel closer now than we did 26 years ago, when we first got married. I guess this is what they mean when they say "in good times and in bad".

Have a great week.

Dan


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#204645 - 02/10/08 09:47 PM Re: ANGER QUESTION (SURVIVORS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS) [Re: DanM]
Lou Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 100
Thanks Dan....interesting would be good....but the challenging part I am not so sure of.....but I know that you are absolutely right. Patience is not one of my stronger suits...but I am trying....I am trying.

Thanks for your insight and have a great week too.

Lou


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