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#204764 - 02/11/08 08:15 PM Where would you be today?
John Oarc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/10/06
Posts: 633
Loc: Louisiana
Sorry for sounding negative but I have gone through something I thought I had finished but as of today I had a little push to bring up the past. It's winter and that can get the best of us as you know but I think it has taken me into a bit of depression. I am thinking about who I could have been and what I could have achieved with my life if the CSA had not occurred.

I know that I am a good person and I have a great life but for some reason I am trying to make sense of it, trying to figure out the why's and what if's again. I'm feeling like God owes me something or the world owes me something in return for the devistation to my adult life, all the things lost because of the trauma, the low self esteem that drove me to achieve less than and all the rest of the crazy things CSA does to a person.

So my question to you guys:

Where do you think you would be today if the CSA would not have occurred and what do you think about trying to achieve it i.e. try to get where you think you should be. What stops you and why.

I've been down this road before but sometimes in the recovery process we go back to stages and hash them out until we are done. Right now I am dealing with the anger of what I lost, I'm 42 and thinking about my future, retirement, what I have contributed to this world, where am I going etc.

I want to ask if I have helped anyone through my book or on this site just to see if maybe it was worth it, this is of course the simple need for approval coming out from my codependent root but sometimes we need a pick me up and today I am taking anything I can get.

_________________________
Whatever It Takes, God


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#204766 - 02/11/08 08:30 PM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: John Oarc]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Where would I be today? I have always wanted to study physics and mathematics. I had planned on being a math major in college and HS but dad moved me around so much I never got all the courses that I needed and finally gave up. Soo I would probably be presenting the unified field theory to the scientific community and getting my nobel prize in mathematical physics.

As for achieving it now.... well I am 59 this month and have family, bills and other responsibiliies that would prevent that or at least make it to difficult to achieve at this point.

Now my interest has waned in that area. I am busy raising my daugher, loveing my wife and sons, forgiving myself for past sins, recovering from my twisted life. Now I just want peace and for someone who cares to be standing in the grass close by when I am lowered into the earth. That would be nice.

As for you John Oarc, Yes you, and others have helped me by being here and letting me read your posts. I am reading your book now. Sharing your life is an encouragement for me and I thank you for that. Your openness like others on this site, helps me to be open and gives me hope. If you feel you have not been thanked enough then I am happy to give you my thanks here and now.



Edited by Freedom49 (02/11/08 08:33 PM)

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#204769 - 02/11/08 08:52 PM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: Freedom49]
MemoryVault Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
Quote:
Where do you think you would be today if the CSA would not have occurred and what do you think about trying to achieve it i.e. try to get where you think you should be. What stops you and why.


If the whole tangled mess of stuff (including SA) hadn't happened...

I'd be wealthy, smug, and basically a jerk. I'd have the courage to go for my dreams, but my dreams would be the conventional climb-the-ladder kind. I'd be a "nice guy" on the surface, but wouldn't understand what people go through when they're in pain. I'd still be creative but have nothing to say.

If I lived a life without secrets, but without real challenges, I'd be simpler, duller. I'd never have needed to escape into books, so I wouldn't have read the books. A Lexus, but no Shakespeare. Would anything have come along to push me out of my natural self-centeredness?

It's a Catch-22--today I have a lot to say and offer, but am usually too scared to say much, or to believe I have anything to offer. No abuse, no challenges, would mean I wouldn't have those fears and doubts, but there'd be a whole lot less of me.

If I passed the sleek, happy, Yuppie version of me on the street, I doubt I'd know him, or want to. But I still need to find a better way to work with the life I've had...

I'm sorry I haven't read your book--I'd be interested in it.



Edited by MemoryVault (02/11/08 08:55 PM)

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#204785 - 02/11/08 10:09 PM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: MemoryVault]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
I think I'd be making people laugh, it was always my goal in life when I was young. Hard to make people laugh when I stopped laughing myself.

You just helped me so much right now John

Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#204789 - 02/11/08 10:19 PM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: mogigo]
OKIE MIKE Offline
Member

Registered: 02/13/04
Posts: 979
Loc: HULBERT OK
I think that my life would be diffrent. I would not have roled up my problems in a Joint and tried to smoke my toroblea away . I boleive that Iwould of made better choises . Because I have made a lot of bad desisions. out of anger and hurt

_________________________
MICHAEL

"I HAD NO SHOES THEN I SAW A MAN THAT HAD NO FEET"

"All I can do is be me, whoever that is"

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#204790 - 02/11/08 10:30 PM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: OKIE MIKE]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
I dunno, John. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about it. I know life would have been different for me. How? I've no idea.

I'm a moderately successful man working in mid-level management for a local wood products manufacturing firm. I don't like my job, principally because the boss is a micromanager and doesn't appreciate the guys he's building his empire on. I'm sure if I had more self confidence things would be different for me, but that was taken from me many years ago.

The thing is, at least for me, I choose to look at the possibilities rather than what I am not or what I did not become. I know that is not the path everyone else needs to take, but it is the one I choose.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#204797 - 02/11/08 11:12 PM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: John Oarc]
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
Hmm..Where would I be today if the CSA hadn't occured? Well, I probably would be living in my own apartment (whether I'd be living with a girlfriend, I don't know), I think I would have atleast had a girlfriend by now, I'd probably have a college degree by now and I'd probably be working at some IT department for a midsize company rather than making $10.25 an hour fixing PCs at the same small computer store I've worked at since I was 16. Or I might have been working as a reservationist for an airline somewhere, I've always enjoyed traveling and if I had enough confidence to work with the public more I think I may have tried it.

Jason

_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


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#204801 - 02/12/08 12:20 AM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: onlyakid]
Elad 12 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/15/05
Posts: 1176
Loc: on the coast
Interesting question as that is exactly what I am in the process of obtaining. Sorry that I have not read your book so cannot comment on it. What I can say is that I have been consciously dealing with my CSA for 18 years now, everyday. Until recently I figured I would be stuck in this place of dealing with it for ever....dealing with it and never moving beyond it. I never thought that I would get to this place but I actually feel like I can move on, that I can have a life better then I have allowed myself to have up to this point. I will always be a survivor of child sexual abuse but for the first time in my life I feel like the work I've done is paying off and that I can create the life I would have had without the SA. I might add that I would not have believed this was possible a couple few months ago. It is possible though. The hardest part for me has been giving up my identity as an abuse survivor. It has been who I am for so long. I was so happy when I first discovered that that is who I am. I had found myself. It is hard to give that up but what I have realized is that as long as I cling to that as the definition of who I am I cannot seem to move beyond that. Are we destined to be sexual abuse survivors forever? Thats not what I want. I want the life that little boy in me deserved and I intend to get it for him.

Dale


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#204803 - 02/12/08 12:42 AM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: onlyakid]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1961
John,

This is a good post for me. I have done and do spend a lot of time doing what-if type thinking. I know I need to let it go, but I also feel it may be part of the grieving process. Had I not been sexually abused/traumatized, I sometimes feel I would have been pretty successful financially, probably had a beautiful wife, wonderful kids, and I wouldn't have suffered some of the damage I have been through; basically I would have been happy and content with my life. Or sometimes that is what I imagine the way it would have been. What keeps that from happening now? Well I am getting to the age that for me being a first time parent seems not a good idea. For one, I would really need to get my crap together and truly fall in love and feel I could provide emotionally to bring kids into this world. That is probably not in the near future. Well as far as the rest, I am trying to create a better job/financial situation for myself. I always wanted to create my own business, and I am trying to slowly apply my creativity and talents to this possible goal. And maybe, if I start to heal and can allow myself to let others in, I may find myself in a relationship with a wonderful other who loves me for who I am. Yeah, sometimes I get real down thinking about what could have been.

But I also am starting to see, much as MV has stated, that I may have ended up someone I might not have really liked all that much anyway. Even if I wasn't 'smug' and 'a jerk', I may have had found myself buying into a false dream I was sold, and never really have known anything different. Or more likely, I would have felt something was wrong with my life, but having not been forced to think so deeply about things, I would have been unable to put my finger on what it was. Not that I will ever be happy about the fact that the abuse and all its effects were part of my life, but it does give one a different view on life that can often hold deep meaning.

Well, since I can't ever take back what happened or all the wasted years, though I will continue to engage in what-if thinking from time to time, I am going to try my best to make positive life choices that will benefit me as I heal and move forward. I am starting to see that since I can't really predict what tomorrow will bring for me, that I should at least work on making the best choices for today, so that when tomorrow comes it will put me in a better position to make something positive out of it. Well, that is what I can say when I am in a more idealized frame of mind; I still sometimes see things as futile and waste of time. But this passes like everything else, so it is best that I make good decisions even in the rough times so as to help make my tomorrows a better reality than some of my yesterdays. At least I should try. And I know sometimes dreams need revising; I would like nothing more than to learn how to do that.

Eric


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#204816 - 02/12/08 03:10 AM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: ericc]
Anonymous
Unregistered


The more and more I think about, I would probably be where I am right now. I really dont know. Good question.


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#204820 - 02/12/08 03:33 AM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: John Oarc]
GateKPR4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Not sure where I would be but I bet it would have been something to do with the space program. \:\)
Or I would be some kind of ecologist trying to come up with better ways to use energy, and save our natural resources.

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

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#204900 - 02/12/08 03:14 PM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: GateKPR4]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6399
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
There's NO WAY to guess where I'd be now. It SO radically changed my path and abilities in life. I had great potential. All of that was shut-down and I was put into minute-to-minute survival mode. There was no future in my eye's till I was 26 years old.

_________________________
Wishing You Were Here!

The Aftermath Video

The Water Buffalo Song

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#204912 - 02/12/08 06:42 PM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: ]
John Oarc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/10/06
Posts: 633
Loc: Louisiana
Thanks for all the thoughts on this matter. I have thought about this and it has ran it's course in this process called recovery. I believe that looking back is difficult to do and it is a no win situation when you think about it. There is a bible verse that talks about this, in a round about way it does no good to look backwards while trying to go forwards. I know that all of us had to look back into our past to realize how our future was being manipulated by the past traumas but at some point, we need to steady our vision on the future and what we can do now to make it happen. I know that from time to time we need to revisit the trauma and finish up on the stages as we feel the strength to do so so don't get me wrong it's all good.

I just needed to vent this one out and get my brothers feedback, that is; my brothers here at MS.

You guys are great, thanks for the help and I mean that.

It's great to know that we have this place to come to and discuss things.



Edited by John Oarc (02/12/08 08:58 PM)
_________________________
Whatever It Takes, God


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#204920 - 02/12/08 08:20 PM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: John Oarc]
Poet24 Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 36
I really don't know where I would be had the abuse not happened, however I am at peace with who I am, at least tonight, a 24 year old with scars, no self-esteem, multiple personalities, and far more problems than I could ever hope to list. However, I believe we are only given what we can handle, what we are strong enough for. I figure that I would be completely different had I not been abused,maybe better in some ways, but I believe my compassion and empathy would not be at the level that it is. Going through something terrible makes it mor likely that we can empathize with others, I believe God only puts us into situations we can handle with the help of family, and friends, and him. Sorry to sound religious there, but I believe we all go through what we do for a reason, maybe a reason not evident to us, maybe something subtle, maybe something grand, I guess that depends on the person and their personality. I figure sure some things are messed up in my life, but I have to ask what can I gain from the experience, how can I put it to good use? I think somethign good can come from almost anything, however terrible or b rutal it may seem.

Just my thought, I hope it hasn't offended anyone. and I wish you all peace.

Poet24

_________________________
THe spirit is a fragile thing, easy to break, but not impossible to fix.

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#204968 - 02/13/08 07:38 AM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: Poet24]
Lazarus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Below the radar, USA
You're right on about one thing, at least, Poet; it's a rare cloud that has no silver lining. In trying to look back to speculate about a different path, I keep coming back to the things I would have missed. Chances are some things might be better, but then maybe not. But if it weren't for the path that I followed I wouldn't have my kids, I wouldn't have my two best friends, I wouldn't know any of you guys here on MS...

But really, there is no 'why'. That's just the way it IS.

Lazarus

_________________________
"That which does not kill us, surely makes us stonger." - Neitsche

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#204984 - 02/13/08 10:19 AM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: Lazarus]
Minute2Minute Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/11/08
Posts: 70
Loc: MB, Canada
I don't know where I'd be, or what I would be doing, or who I would have become. The only thing I can think of is that I wouldn't be asking myself "What if?" with the overpowering overtone of negativity that question causes now. I try to avoid that question as much as possible. It's a much too painful road to follow. I would rather take Lazarus' approach and think about what I DO have in a positive way. I am who I am and there are good things around me...if I allow myself to see them.

SCOTT


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#204987 - 02/13/08 10:40 AM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: Minute2Minute]
VLinvictus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: NY
I love counterfactuals. But as Lazarus pointed out, if I didn't have the past that I had I wouldn't have the present that I have and the people in it that I care about.

I think that if my life had been different, I would be more socialable and outgoing. I would be more of a people-person. I would be able to handle interacting with strangers and groups better. I wouldn't have retreated into books and fantasy and obscure intellectual distractions that separated me from my peers in school. The inevitable teasing and bullying in school would not have had the devastating effect on me that it did. I would not have been the moody loner that I am.

I probably would not have latched on to older male adult authority figures in order to get validation and approval, so I probably would not have fallen in love/lust with my 10th grade European History teacher and decided that I wanted to follow his career path and go to his alma mater. So, there is no way to predict what school I would have gone to or where.

Like MemoryVault, though, I wonder that if I were more comfortable outside if I ever would have spend as much time and energy inside, if all of the interests I've explored which have given me such pleasure and made my life interesting would have gone unexplored. I guess it's a trade off.

I wish my life had been better, but I'm happy for the good things in my life now and I wouldn't want to trade them in for the mystery prize behind door number 2.

_________________________
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~ Oscar Wilde

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#205060 - 02/13/08 08:58 PM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: VLinvictus]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1961
The more I think about it, the more I realize I have no idea where I would be today if the abuse had not happened. I suppose I could speculate, but not sure it does me any good. I am going to try and make where I am now better and better as I move forward.

I think I tend to idealize what may have been, but I am pretty sure whatever the outcome, it would not be my what idealizations are. I am going to try and do well for the future, and if that means taking things one step at a time for a while, well I guess that is alright. I think I have a hard time letting go, but maybe I can let go one day at a time and see what happens.


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#205089 - 02/13/08 10:34 PM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: ericc]
ak Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/10/04
Posts: 1491
I have no idea, and no way of knowing. It seem always, when such thoughts come up, people always assume that their life would be so much better without the abuse, that they would be so much more successful persons. We have no way to know that, and to think like that, it is to feel that we have been robbed of much more even then what we already know. I rather just not think of it, and not know.

andrei


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#205095 - 02/13/08 10:52 PM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: ak]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
Quote:
people always assume that their life would be so much better without the abuse,


I think the thing for me is "not better" but what I could have done with 20 lost years. As I come to find some meaning in my life it becomes much clearer how much time I did lose.

Maybe I would have been a different person but if I wasn't that's 20 years I could have given instead of starting now.

Stay strong
Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#205108 - 02/14/08 12:15 AM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: mogigo]
endlessjourney Offline
Member

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 518
Loc: Cincinnati Ohio
Life dealt us the worst of hands. However, we've taken what little we have and built ourselves an empire. I would rather it be that way than to be born in a pampered world shielded from all pain. That would leave us confined and dependant on the very people that pampered us in the first place even through adulthood. Yes, we could have been protected from CSA but we weren't. We know about pain and suffering. We have learned to survive. My experiences with CSA were absolutely God Aweful, but those experiences were MY experiences no matter how painful and I would not trade them for the world.

I'm sure it sounds insane not to want a life without CSA. I have tackled these issues head on. Pain will come, but knowing that I AM RIGHT WHERE I NEED TO BE is the most important thing. I am a survivor and I'm damn proud of that. Maybe we could have been a CEO or a Rockstar. Maybe we could have been an Olympic Athlete or the President. All I know is that we are who we are and are exactly who we're supposed to be. We may be hurt or mislead. However, determination and hope will help light our way through this dark world. Eventually, that light will get so big, that one day, you'll look around, and notice, the world isn't dark anymore. It's actually very beautiful and so are you.





Edited by endlessjourney (02/14/08 12:22 AM)
_________________________
Truth is the very reason we strive to live. It surrounds and resides within us. Accepting the truths we already know and seeking out those we do not is a direct path to inner balance and joy. For life is not a means to an end, but a journey. Life comes and goes but the truth will always live on.

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#205191 - 02/14/08 05:13 PM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: endlessjourney]
John Oarc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/10/06
Posts: 633
Loc: Louisiana
My brother talked to me about this topic and he said and I quote; "You may win the rat race but your still a rat." To me, we are all living on this planet and some attain better positions in society, monetary gain and so forth but in the end the only thing that really counts is the fact that you did your very best and for me, when I stand in front of my maker I want him to be proud of what I did with what he gave me. We are blessed and I know that may not seem right to some but the burdens we endoured have made us stronger individuals and I am better for it, I know it.

I don't want to be a rat, I don't want to get caught up in the rat race.

_________________________
Whatever It Takes, God


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#205226 - 02/14/08 09:46 PM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: John Oarc]
endlessjourney Offline
Member

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 518
Loc: Cincinnati Ohio
Your life is what you make it. You are who you perceive yourself to be. You may do things that are wrong that you may not even be conscious of at the moment. That's the joy of being human. Imperfection is a blessing. Not a fault.

The rat race is another man's perception. Thus, his perception is his reality, not yours. Before your time comes to stand before God, do you think you can stand before yourself and say the same thing?

_________________________
Truth is the very reason we strive to live. It surrounds and resides within us. Accepting the truths we already know and seeking out those we do not is a direct path to inner balance and joy. For life is not a means to an end, but a journey. Life comes and goes but the truth will always live on.

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#205231 - 02/14/08 10:17 PM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: endlessjourney]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
i guess i don't understand the reason for the question.
does it matter where i might be IF?
fact is - things happened
i am where i am
wondering where i might be if things had been different can only serve to depress me more.

m


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#205309 - 02/15/08 11:53 AM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: MarkK]
conchshell Offline
New Here

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Southern California
I am pretty sure I know exactly where I would be if the CSA hadn't happened. I don't long for it though. It would be far more formulaic than my life today.


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#205327 - 02/15/08 02:34 PM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: conchshell]
MDR Offline
Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 48
Can't really say where I would be. However, if I didn't sabotage my passions in life at such an early age, I'd probably be coaching College Baseball, hopefully married, watching my sons play baseball (I know, who knows how they would turn out), living closer to my family and enjoying life.

As it is, coaching college baseball is not an option right now, probably won't be, but the rest will follow.


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#205414 - 02/16/08 01:50 AM Re: Where would you be today? [Re: MDR]
skingraph Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 39
Well I more than likely be married and have kids,or at least have a girlfriend and kids.Job wise dunno,thats always a toss up.

Right now all i have is material possesions,no friends(they all moved away and got married).Never a relationship with anybody as in sexual,nothing..since it occured to me at 10 years old..


Im 38,good portion of my life is over with,only took me 28 years of my life to realize that.Future wise,its pretty much non exstitent........."Im like a Zombie walking the land of the dead" and where all pretty much dead in the end..


Hopefully that wont bring you down to much,thease articles always make me think too much,and maybe depressed to much like Markk said..!


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