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#208255 - 03/01/08 02:45 PM Do I have what it takes as a man?
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Good question.
What is a man?
I have never felt that I had what it takes.
I have hidden that insecurity deep inside.
I have bluffed my way through life.
Mostly it has worked.
The times it didnít were painful.
But I hid during those times.
I learned what I did wrong.
I faked it better next time.

You all got the book.
You all got the rules.

I never knew there was a book.
My dad never showed me that book.
I donít think he knew the rules either.
Humiliation after embarrassment,
Thatís how I learned.
Slowly, how life works.
At this age in my life I am pretty good at it.
It was rough though.
I have the scars to prove it.
Big scars.
I will show you mine,
If you show me yours.
Some are still fresh.
Some still bleed.
But I am learning faster now.
I may get this thing down before I die.
Then what?


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#208261 - 03/01/08 03:28 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: Freedom49]
BMF Offline


Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 60
Loc: Toronto
Roger,

We may not have had role models, and we may have started out broken, but there is so much truth to "it's how far you've come". I'm familiar with some of your postings, and I know you've come a very, very long way.

BMF

_________________________
If a man's character is to be abused, say what you will, there's nobody like a relation to do the business.
- William Makepeace Thackery

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#208262 - 03/01/08 03:30 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: Freedom49]
arronb Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 1005
Loc: Perth
Hey Roger ...

I think you're doing a fine job as man ... you show compassion, give guidance and dispense the love where it's needed all over the forums here ... no finer qualities in a man if you ask me \:\)

_________________________
Keep Smilin'
arronb

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#208301 - 03/01/08 05:32 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: arronb]
bikergary Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 32
Loc: Nevada
Roger.
It takes manly courage, guts, and strength to get this far. Often we do not realize how far we have come. Keep up the good work.
Gary

_________________________
WoR Alumni - Hope Springs, Oct 23-25, 2009

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#208303 - 03/01/08 05:44 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: bikergary]
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948
i can relate so well --------------roger


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#208321 - 03/01/08 08:16 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: sabata]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1970
It is my opinion, after all that I have felt and seen, that a man is not what a man is always portrayed as.

I think a true man is honest, lives by his word, has empathy for others, is willing to thing deeply about life, is a good person, doesn't care much for lies and deceptions, tries to lead a good life knowing it can be hard sometimes given what we all have to deal with (whether having experienced csa or not).

I think the qualities that make for a good man, are the same qualities that make for a good person. Roger, my impression of you is that you are a pretty good person and therefore are a good man as well.

I try not to buy into what the popular culture and media define as to what a man should be. I think most of that is a bunch of crap and baloney. I do understand what you are saying though, but I think a lot of what is defined as manhood can be sort fake and unreal. Not that it is easy to not get caught up in this and want to be seen in these lights, but not really realistic in many ways either. I have a lot to work on in this area as well.


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#208335 - 03/01/08 09:31 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: ericc]
GateKPR4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Ditto for me.
I don't drink beer and watch sports.
I show emotions.
I don't make off color comments about the new girl at work.
I don't engage in locker room talk with the guys.
I work on cars but I don;t live for Nascar.
At least there are the things I have noticed about me that are not like
the average manly man!
But I am A MAN DARN IT!!!!!!!!

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

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#208537 - 03/02/08 10:35 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: GateKPR4]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
And that last is one of the many things I like about you Ricky.


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#208551 - 03/02/08 11:50 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: Freedom49]
Lazarus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Below the radar, USA
Roger, I know you are a good man, I believe you are a good man.

But let's explore this for a second; what makes a good man?

I think it boils down to knowing the difference between right and wrong, and choosing the right no matter the cost. Some things you just can't compromise.

We can blame ourselves for the transgressions of the past, but the proof of the pudding is in how we move forward. Sure, we have a past to deal with, but will we use that as an excuse? No, a good man will be concerned about the past, but not obsessed with it. He will learn from it an never forget it, lest he repeat it. He will be better than he was taught.

Roger, you are much better than you were taught. You turned out OK. We know you have issues, but your experience has taught you so much. Don't let those issues make you who you are now. They are a part of you, but they are not you.

You are a good man; an honest man; a just man. You are not a deviant, or a pervert or a criminal. You are just a man.

You are just a man. Whatever that means...

Don't know why I had to post to this, but just had to...

R

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

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#209507 - 03/08/08 07:24 AM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: Lazarus]
spirit of winter Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 19
Loc: Weaver Alabama
I am the man I have always wanted to be. I have always been here and will continue to always be here. I will strive to fully accept myself as a man who is complete and manly in every aspect that counts: responsible for himself and his family, able to express himself, able to cry as I need to, able to play and be the child he loved and still is deep inside, is sexually desirable and is able to feel the sexual/emotional connection of two people who love each other deeply and truly, and is able to fully experience sex as it was meant to be felt through the heart and to the soul. A man who is caring of others feelings and can empathize with the feelings of others but also knows he has no responsibility for the feelings of others. A man who is beautiful inside and out. A man that has overcome great adversity throughout his life. a man who is overcoming his worst enemy, himself, his old self. A man who now enjoys the small things in life: a donut and chocolate milk, a cuddle before sleep. A man who knows when he needs a hug, and can emotionally and physically appreciate it and feel it. A man who knows when someone else needs a hug and can caringly give them that support. A man who is not afraid of a long fight with inner demons and irrational feelings. A man who through love for himself is a better person for himself and those around him.

What is it to be a man? It is all these things for me and a lot more I dont even understand. But I know the child I have been for 30 years was not able to live up to this. Was incapable of emotionally advancing into manhood, yet was trapped in a mans body with no understanding of what it meant and searched society for the answer and got lies in return.

I dont have to be anything but me! People dont love me because Im a strong muscle bound man or because I have a huge dick, or because I am like John Wayne all macho with no emotion, suck it up, etc. and even though I was an angry asshole, they loved the man I could never see, the man I have always been and couldnt recognize.

So being a man is being me. Accepting who I am and where I came from. I have become a true man by battling and overcoming sexual abuse and surviving a life of misconceptions and lies. I have become a man by realizing that life can and is about personal fulfillment and joy brought about by loving others and allowing myself to feel their love in return. I became a man at age 35 by accepting the darkest memories, the aftermath and battling to get my manliness, my masculinity, the true me back from the fog of pain, anger, haterd, confusion, and lies.

I am a man today at 35 because I love myself inside and out. I am a man today because of the hope I hold in my heart. I am a man today because of the support of a woman I only recently deserved. But most importantly, I am a man today because I have learned to love and accept the part of me that was abused and hurt and thrown away into the darkness. I am a man, a true man, today and I will be a man of love, compassion, caring, strength, and hope tomorrow and ever after. This is my promise, my legacy to myself. To continue changing and growing into the man I am and making myself, my life, and my families lives better by being the man I am and always wanted to be.

I wrote this during a real insecure, depresive day, and keep a copy with me and read it daily. I hope this helps and/or inspires someone else.

_________________________
I want to be me. I want to be whole. I want to be the loving person me and my wife and family deserve. Mostly I want to feel like I deserve to live without fear of people, of who I am, of intimacy, and without fear of a past I canít change.

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#209525 - 03/08/08 10:02 AM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? *DELETED* [Re: spirit of winter]
awakening Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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


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#209558 - 03/08/08 11:40 AM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: awakening]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
I have to echo Gregory's WOW. I need to read this everyday. I am soooo glad I read it today. Thank you SOW for posting this and thank you for being that man.


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#209569 - 03/08/08 12:19 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: spirit of winter]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I think we all have what it takes to be a man, simply because those things are not the kind of things that can be robbed from us by abusers. Courage, strength, character: we had all those things as boys and they are what got us through. Part of what we need to do in recovery is to learn to trust ourselves again as we search for those tools within ourselves.

I can't think of anything I have ever done as an adult that required half the courage that 10 yo Little Larry had to find every time he had to ride his bike home after yet another episode with the abuser.

Think about it, guys.

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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#209576 - 03/08/08 12:40 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: roadrunner]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Thanks Larry, for some reason I just needed to see this thread again and I am glad for whoever bumped it back to my attention. Thanks to all who posted. I am needing this today for some reason.


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#209581 - 03/08/08 01:07 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: spirit of winter]
KENKEN Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 762
Loc: NOTHERN COLORADO
I Am A Good Person;

I Am A Good Man;

It Is OK For Me To Be Me;

Something I have to tell myelf everyday. I try to live a good moral and ethical life. I stumble and fall along the way, but God gave the common sense and security to get up and try again. As I look at my life, it was and is not a bed of roses, but it is me. It is who I am and I am proud of what I have accomplished and proud of my disire to change what I don't like about what I did and who I have hurt along the way.

_________________________
I AM A GOOD PERSON, I AM A GOOD MAN

From the Movie: Antwone Fisher

***WOR ALUMNI SEQUOIA MARCH 2008***

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#209585 - 03/08/08 01:57 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: KENKEN]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Excellent post, Roger. I think so many abuse survivors wonder if they somehow "measure up" when it comes to being a man, because everything that happened to them in the past puts that in question. Many of the messages that we were told were negative, so how do we begin to undo that crap and understand that we truly are men, and that we deserve to recognize ourselves as such?

I posted a thread here at MS a couple of years ago, I think, in which I was asking this same kind of question. In it, I referred to how in some tribal cultures the elder men of the tribe teach the young boys by action and words about what being a man in their culture is like. In my post, I said that I think there is some tribal stuff I never learned as a child, since my own father was such a miserable failure at being a father.

But when I get down on myself and questioning my abilities as a person and father and man, a good friend here at MS always points out to me the obvious fruits of my life and how I have taken the different path than my father did. I have "broken the cycle". And that's true, I have, and I recognize that as being one of the most manly things I have ever done. I see that in you as well. Manhood is not about brute stength, sex, and beer. It's about being a survivor in spite of all the things of the past; being able to transcend all that, and put our lives back together when they were in a million tiny pieces.

_________________________
Eddie

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#209592 - 03/08/08 02:22 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: EGL]
MagRaith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/24/07
Posts: 69
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT
Roger - once again you've had the courage and ability to express your personal feelings and say things that I still can't say out loud. Thank you for that. This very subject hit me square between the eyes last night and I've been struggling with it all day.

Laz, SoW, and all the others who have shared - thank you as well. I struggle every day to not return to addictive behaviors as my means of coping with life, and this very issue last night put me in a bad place. I'm glad I can rely on people here on this site to share and open themselves up and help me see things in a better perspective. It makes sense in my head, I hope some day it makes sense in heart.

Kurt


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#209596 - 03/08/08 03:54 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: KENKEN]
spirit of winter Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 19
Loc: Weaver Alabama
We all have what it takes to be men. We are men, hurt, but we are still men. But trusting ourselves i don't think is enough. I know that i took a 6 year old boy and and threw him in a dark room and shut the door. I have denied him, his memory, his feelings, and his experience for thirty years, even after being retraumatized, i threw the door shut again. That part i denied is an esential part of who i/we have become, it formed our attitudes, perceptions, emotional capacity and all from a subconscious level. If we don't learn to accept that hurt part of ourselves, and understand that it wasn't his fault (that's hard to believe sometimes), that he did become a man (again hard), i don't think we will ever truly trust ourselves. Self-acceptance i believe will be the beginning of trusting ourselves. I could be wrong, it wouldn't be the first time, but thats how i feel.

And i don't mean to trample anyone elses belief or feelings. i know that is a big fear for me in posting, but i continue on hoping for better wisdom than i currently have.

I am gald that post helped someone, and i am still becoming a man. I read that daily and sometimes more than once, as needed. Not every day is a successful "manly" day. but it is a start to a better life than i have had uptil now.

Wishing everyone the best, hold your heads up high, you are all men. From what i have seen on this site, the courage, strength, and support proves beyond a doubt that you are all men - true men. And i applaude and admire all of you.

_________________________
I want to be me. I want to be whole. I want to be the loving person me and my wife and family deserve. Mostly I want to feel like I deserve to live without fear of people, of who I am, of intimacy, and without fear of a past I canít change.

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#209621 - 03/08/08 08:17 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: spirit of winter]
Scoutvictim Offline
Guest

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 434
Loc: St. Louis, Missouri
Spirit of Water,

I love the new avatar photo!!!!

Wow... it took me about 8 months before I got up the courage to face my younger self. Now everytime I log into MS, I know who I'm fighting for.

Bravo!!!! for making this huge step on your road to recovery.

Luv ya,
Carl

P.S. Sorry ... I don't mean to hijack this thread.

_________________________
Shawn and Ben will always be in my heart....

Happiness is like peeing your pants; Everyone can see it, but only YOU feel the warmth.

Peebles, Ohio WOR alumni, Oct. 2007

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#209641 - 03/08/08 09:41 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: Freedom49]
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2466
Loc: UK
That is a really inspiring post by spirit of winter.

I haven't got anything to add, besides a little thought to myself about a quote I was looking at below.

"We have not passed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until we move from the passive voice to the active voice -- that is, until we stop saying "It got lost," and say "I lost it." [quoted]

So this quote suggests that traditionally becoming man is about accepting responsibility.

But for me becoming man is about denying responsibility too. It is about saying it was not your fault.

I think that is why I keep coming back to the question of man, because of apparent contradictions, contradictions that are not on the conscious mind but sub-conscious. It is the difficulty in simultaneously understanding your weaknesses and your strengths, in understanding that they can exist together (accepting responsibility grows strength, but something about denying responsibility generates weakness in vulnerability and it is hard to shake off the weakness whilst retaining the denial of responsibility).

To heal you have to go backwards before going forwards, but when you go forwards again you still hold something that was backwards.

So you can hold your head up high, accepting responsibility, but must try to remember that you weren't responsible for what happened. But you're a responsible person now, and now you are logical too, so you have to put the responsibility somewhere, so you throw it at him. You feel strong inside, you could shout with the power of a general motivating his armies even in the face of certain death. You are strong, and you are a man.

But soon you will feel weak again, and that string that is still lightly attached to you starts to pull and unravel you.

That string keeps reminding you that you are weak, telling you that your strengths have grown from weak foundations- tricking you, making you believe that you built your house on a swamp, making you fear the moment when the house sinks. But you weren't weak- you were just a kid- we can only become men when we can accept that we were once just children. Then we can be strong again, and not the temporary strength of one who rages against the enemy, but the strength of one who is firm of heart. You can understand that your house is not built on a swamp, it is the strongest house there is, because when you were building your house the winds threatened to blow it down, but it didn't blow it down, because you built it strong, although when you think about the times you built it you know it was difficult. You see that the winds have stopped, you realize that it is sunny outside, but you still have to work on the house, because now it has become a fortress, but you have learnt a lot on your way whilst building your house, and your not afraid anymore.

At this moment, whilst I'm feeling strong, I am happy to say
I am man because I say "I lost it" and I do not say "it got lost", but I am also man because I, rather than denying responsibility so literally, accept that back then I would have said "it got lost". I am man because I was once a child.
(hope I can try to hold onto that thought- it makes sense to me anyway)

There is something very important and very liberating about the question of man, and I don't think it is coincidence that this question keeps reappearing here.

Maybe defining the difference between yourself as a man and yourself as a child allows you to compartmentalize things and therefore allow you to flourish, progress and grow strong without the fears or insecurities that continue to haunt. I don't know. It's a long road, and Im not very good at reading maps.

"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. He whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."
[quoted-slightly altered]


_________________________
"...until lambs become lions"

I love you, little lewis, and i will never leave you. We are the same. You brighten my day, and i will make sure that i brighten yours. Hugs and kisses.


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#209655 - 03/08/08 11:02 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: king tut]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Lewis, you continue to amaze me. While this was hard for my old head to follow I have to say I agree with your logic. It is not all black and white. Like all the deep true things of this life it is complicated. I do like that last quote. The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. I thought about that today when for some reason it was feeling very hard. I can do this. It will be that much sweeter a victory because of the difficulty of it and because I know what it cost me, pride will not be a problem.
Thank you for that encouragement.



Edited by Freedom49 (03/08/08 11:03 PM)

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#209668 - 03/09/08 04:11 AM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: spirit of winter]
Barney Offline


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 236
Loc: Southern Utah/Northern Arizon
Hey Spirit,

Beautifully written and well stated. I can relate to the place your in as well to Freedom's position. Your both doing great. Keep it up, stay close and focus on what you want vs what you don't have.

Jack


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#209731 - 03/09/08 04:01 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: Barney]
spirit of winter Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 19
Loc: Weaver Alabama
Thanks for the encouragement. It means a lot to know that i am not alone, and others feel the same as i do. And i also like what King Tut said. even though the foundation was built strong, some of the walls are crooked, now is restoration time.

Best wishes to eveyone!

_________________________
I want to be me. I want to be whole. I want to be the loving person me and my wife and family deserve. Mostly I want to feel like I deserve to live without fear of people, of who I am, of intimacy, and without fear of a past I canít change.

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