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#209718 - 03/09/08 01:38 PM Excuse vs. Reason...
evanescentjoy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 46
Quote:
an unfortunate truth that I have had to face as a survivor is that I am an adult NOW. I am no longer that child that couldn't defend himself or stop the abuse. I accept responsibility for my actions NOW. I had to realize the difference between my childhood abuse being and "excuse" and being a "reason" for some of my self-defeating behavior. A reason implies that I have the power, responsibility and accountability to correct it. An excuse is just that - something to say that what I have done is not my fault and I don't have to change anything. As with anything that requires a person to ask for help, they have to first realize that there is a problem that they can't deal with on their own. Yes, we're confused, hurt, scared, act-out in self-defeating or hurtful ways and we hate ourselves for it. But it doesn't, and cannot, excuse what we choose to do. We all want those things to stop - not only because we want to feel the much-deserved love for ourselves, but to stop hurting those who love us. ~Minute2Minute


Minute2Minute said this in a previous post and I could not agree with him more. Remembering this seems so vitally important both to those who are supporting their loved ones and CSA survivors, themselves.

To be honest, the more I think about it, the more it makes me angry with regard to my brother and the man I have written about in previous posts. I'm angry and tired of their excuses to themselves and others. I know that anger can sometimes be a productive force and I hope that this is a case in which it can be utilized effectively. I've been afraid to be angry in the past. I've been afraid that if I express anger, people would no longer love me, so I said nothing. But I'm not afraid, now.

What has made me especially angry about my brother's and "friend"'s behavior is the fact that I, too, have had very hard things in my life that I could use as an excuse to behave inappropriately, too. From what I've seen on this board, it seems that most of the partners of CSA survivors have been abused themselves in one way or another... Otherwise, they would not put up with the emotional abuse and manipulation of their CSA survivors.

What I don't understand is why I never use my difficult experiences as an excuse for hurting others and somehow, my brother and friend have justified their inappropriate actions with their past abuse. I am adopted. I have Complex PTSD like many other adoptees. I fear abandonment and betrayal. But I never disappear without warning and/or explanation, as my "friend" and brother have done. I never act controlling and clingy, although many adoptees do. I don't mistrust people before they've had a chance to prove themselves untrustworthy. I don't treat the obviously trustworthy persons, who have proved themselves time and again, with utmost contempt. I don't manipulate and emotionally abuse people, hoping that it will force them to stay with me.

Also, I have been emotionally and sexually abused and was recently diagnosed with "borderline" traits. But I don't use this as an excuse to manipulate and deliberately hurt other people. I get depressed sometimes. I hurt sometimes. I sometimes have difficulty asking for what I want. But I have GROWN UP and no longer expect everyone to read my mind. I have sought help from friends and professionals. What's THEIR excuse?

I know that everyone evolves on their own time, blah blah blah, but... I am angry right now and perhaps am not thinking as clearly as I might in a calmer state, but truly, after seeming to make headway with their heartfelt apologies and, in my brother's case, born-again Christianity, NOTHING seems to have changed.

Perhaps I'm not being patient enough. It took me time to evolve and I am still a work in-progress, as are they.

CSA friend wrote me a message a couple weeks ago, telling me that I was the best girl he had ever met and that he was so sorry for how blind and ignorant he had been. I was happy about this, then... But now, after further unresponsiveness and silence, I am left thinking - Can he really admit how much he hurt me and mistreated me? He says sorry, but he cannot admit what he is sorry for and how deliberate it was. And now, instead of responding to my reply, what gives him an excuse to remain silent?

Same with my brother. Our entire family has been supportive of him through his abuse and molestation-mess, he sends us wordy emails about his progress and recovery, etc.... But everytime I try to IM him he all but ignores me. Or I send him an email reply to his long "recovery" emails and he doesn't even bother to reply.

I'm tired of putting my needs aside for the sake of others. I think we have to get to the point of ANGER and allow ourselves to feel our ANGER in order to make positive changes for ourselves, which will then allows us to communicate better with our friends and partners, and allow them to take an example from us, as well.

I just feel like writing a sincere letter (which, as usual, will probably never get a response) to both of them stating something about this. I'm tired of their unresponsiveness. There is no excuse for it. If they don't feel like writing or would prefer a call, or are not feeling up to it, they should say so. That's what I say to my friends when I feel that way - Because I often do feel that way: hurt and with no energy to respond or contribute anything. But I make sure that they know what is going on with me and not to take it personally.

Likewise, I know that I should not assume that whatever my brother or friend do is about me - which has taken some time for me to "get" - But I still think that I deserve acknolwedgement from them, from time to time.

I understand where they are both coming from. But I'm no longer going to allow this understanding to enable them to take me for granted and walk all over my needs. Why should I? I think we each need to take on the responsibility of communicating our needs and not making assumptions about others' behavior, instead of using our past as way to excuse inappropriate behavior/reactions.

Any thoughts?

Thank you for letting me get this out of my system. I think I have been repressing this anger for a really long time.

_________________________
"Become who you are." -Nietzsche

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#209744 - 03/09/08 05:01 PM Re: Excuse vs. Reason... [Re: evanescentjoy]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Originally Posted By: evanescentjoy
I'm tired of putting my needs aside for the sake of others...
I'm tired of their unresponsiveness...
Likewise, I know that I should not assume that whatever my brother or friend do is about me - which has taken some time for me to "get" - But I still think that I deserve acknolwedgement from them, from time to time.

I understand where they are both coming from. But I'm no longer going to allow this understanding to enable them to take me for granted and walk all over my needs. Why should I? I think we each need to take on the responsibility of communicating our needs and not making assumptions about others' behavior, instead of using our past as way to excuse inappropriate behavior/reactions.

Any thoughts?

Yes, actually. From what I read in your posts it appears all your efforts have only enabled their treatment of you. Go ahead and send your letter. Tell them that you're getting on with your life, and that if they feel the need to communicate with you they know how to do it but you will not be in contact with them.

You'll either hear nothing from them again or they'll panic and attempt to manipulate you into your former way of relating. Don't fall for it. The choice is your whether you allow them to continue hurting you or not.

I admire your determination. Go for what you need and deserve.

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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#209756 - 03/09/08 05:54 PM Re: Excuse vs. Reason... [Re: evanescentjoy]
GateKPR4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
I have a sister who ignores me does not read my email, does not respond to my email. When we talk on the phone its all about her.
I can understand your frustration but for myself I just don't email her anymore. She's got my number and email, myspace, real address, if she wants to talk then she can contact me. From what I read I have no idea how you put up with it this long. Then again I was once like you in this respect where I was mistreated many times, I just had finally say F$%& it and move on. You have your own life to live.
I post this URL many times, it has helped me a great deal in my dealings with this kind of situation.
http://www.joy2meu.com/New.htm
You may have to sort through some stuff to get to the free stuff but most of the book is on line and is wonderful - I think it may be called the journal or something like that.
Detach with love I hope this helps on your own journey of recovery.

_________________________
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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#209838 - 03/09/08 11:48 PM Re: Excuse vs. Reason... [Re: evanescentjoy]
AnneWantsToHelp Offline
New Here

Registered: 03/06/08
Posts: 15
Dear Evanescentjoy,

I have found a substantial amount of comfort in
reading several posts from CSA survivors & those
who love them. I've now come to grips with a
certain reality about CSA survivors.

By far, I am not an expert. But this is what
I've come to realize so far. Hopefully you'll
find some level of comfort as well.

We (those who love CSA survivors) keep expecting
a certain level human behavior, rationally speaking,
from CSA survivors. Yet, we fail to realize & except
the fact that CSA survivors who continue to feel deep
pain from their past, do not respond to our gestures
of love, they way we may want them to.

For instance, when I see news stories of pedophiles,
I wonder, "How could anyone do that to a child (or
adult)?". I catch myself & stop to think, "That's
a stupid question". We all know that the answer is,
the only person that could do that to a child (or
adult) is basically a sick, disgusting evil bastard
(male or female). If you are not a sick & disgusting
evil bastard then you'll NEVER understand the mind of
a pedophile. Why do I try to even rationalize their
disgusting ways & ask that question in the 1st place?
Not an excuse. Just a sick disgusting evil reality.


Simply said...what we may identify as a rational excuse
is actually a CSA survivor's reality. When you send an
email to your brother or "friend" you expect a particular
response. When you don't receive this response it hurts
your feelings. I've gone through this. I used to think
that my CSA survivor of interest would see an email from
me & shrug it off, as though I mean nothing at all. It
used to piss me off, make me cry, ultimately hurt my feelings.
I've come to realize that he sits there & cries (physically
or mentally), while feeling horrible because he cannot bring
himself to respond; for reasons that have nothing to do with me.

He had the nerve to call me on Valentine's Day. I was beyond
pissed & upset with him. I looked at my phone & just let it
ring. I felt guilty but I knew the conversation wouldn't go
well. Later, he told me that he thought I had been out on a
date. Which was hysterically funny to me. He read me all
wrong! Just an example of how no response will drive
anyone to imagine the worst.

Anyway, back to you. In the future, try to understand
that CSA survivors deal with loved ones in a way, that
does not follow the formula folks like you & I have been
conditioned to live by.

You are a CSA survivor, as well as I. Honestly, I'm
just learning how to admit that to myself, which is a
bit irrational. But you & I have learned how to NOT
drive loved ones away. You & I have learned how to
express love in a loving manner. But obviously, you
can not compare your coping abilities to the abilities
of your brother & "friend". Many CSA survivors aren't
so lucky to find such happiness to do the same. But I
do believe they wish they could show, express & feel love
the way that you & I do.

Many people who have been adopted have not learned
to cope with the pain of being put up for adoption,
the same way that you have learned how to cope.

Whether you realize it or not, you & I have learned
how to cope with our abuse differently. You have
learned to live life day by day without being driven
in a negative way, by your adoption status.

For various reasons, somehow CSA survivors like you
& I have found an outlet for our pain, & that allows
us to NOT hurt loved ones.

For men, in most countries, there is no revolving
door in which to cope. Therefore, loved ones of CSA
survivors are the 1st in the line of fire.

I have given up on connecting to the CSA survivor
that I'm in love with. So please know, I am not
one to make excuses for him. But I do realize that
the pain he deals with day in & day out is on a whole
different level then my pain. I also believe that if
he could avoid hurting me, then he would. I do hope
you will come around to believing the same thing.
Trust me, you'll feel much better as oppose to the
way you felt when you posted this.

Whenever you send an email to a CSA survivor or
express love towards a CSA survivor, please do not
take it personally, whenever you do not receive
that expected response.

Again, it's not an excuse. It's a CSA survivor's reality.

With a grain of love & understanding,


-anne.

ps - my older sister is a CSA survivor. she
does not cope with her pain at all. now 42, she
still lives a reckless & dangerous life that most
would not be proud of. i do not allow her to use
her abuse as an excuse to do certain things.

but i do know that her behavior is driven by a brokenheart,
created by a sick evil disgusting bastard. not the loving
whole heart that she was born with, created by two loving
parents & God himself. (such as your brother & "friend")

_________________________
Treat everyone you meet as if they were God in disguise.

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#209843 - 03/10/08 12:40 AM Re: Excuse vs. Reason... [Re: AnneWantsToHelp]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Anne said
"You & I have learned how to
express love in a loving manner. But obviously, you
can not compare your coping abilities to the abilities
of your brother & "friend". Many CSA survivors aren't
so lucky to find such happiness to do the same. But I
do believe they wish they could show, express & feel love
the way that you & I do"


Anne you hit the nail on the head here. Women have generally speaking grown up with much more support and connection to their feeling than men and boys. Women are usually very connected socially and with their mothers and boys are with each other and with their fathers. Women are more collabroative with each other. Where as boys are competitive with each other. We grow up isolated and alone most of us. If we are isolated and alone as little boys we are hard targets for predetors. Which makes us even more isolated and alone as victims. This in turn skews our reality to the point where we would not know an honest loving gesture if it sat on our lap and spelled it out for us. We have NO compass points, no stars, no friends, no fathers to guide us and tell us where the land marks are. WE ARE LOST. We need help to find our way back and learn how to relate in a healthy way to you and to each other. Not to mention sort out what the f@#$ is going on in our head and emotions. A simple gesture of a touch and a kiss on the cheek to a halfway normal male will get you some well deserved afection. Not to a survivor. RED ALERT! SHIELDS UP! PHASERS TO MAXIMUM! FULL REVERSE THRUST WARP 9.

Sorry get carried away. But you get my drift. We are way more than you can handle alone. And if that is not enough discouragement. This is all subject to change without notice.

Girls, and this breaks my heart to write this. We see you. We love you as much as lies within us, but we are LOST. We don't know how to get there where you are in your tidy world. Because our is a Freaking choas. All we can do is react and watch the disaster unfold and weep. Some one throw us a rope. Pull us in. and teach us the rules.
I don't know if this helps or not but Anne for one so new you GET IT. And I weep for all of us.

It is not hopeless. There are people and places like this that are throwing ropes and some of these guys have in fact made a life for them selves. You must take care of your self though. You cannot do this alone. We need help and more than you can give.


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#209844 - 03/10/08 12:43 AM Re: Excuse vs. Reason... [Re: AnneWantsToHelp]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
duplicate post deleted



Edited by Freedom49 (03/10/08 12:56 AM)

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#209936 - 03/10/08 06:23 PM Re: Excuse vs. Reason... [Re: WalkingSouth]
evanescentjoy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 46
Thank you, John. It's a fine line to tread, between enabling and enmeshment, versus being supportive and undersatnding.

I too often tread the enabling line, I think, due to fear of being abandoned and unloved. At some point, however, enough is enough and it must be said in no uncertain terms.

I do get the impression that they are really trying... However minute the changes may be, they are noticeable. Even one of my friends noticed the change in I., who everyone swore was a lost cause and would never change.

That ever-lingering promise of hope is what makes this so gut-wrenching...

I am not certain what the panic and manipulation would look like. How do I even know, anymore?

Thank you again, John, as always, for your supportive words.

_________________________
"Become who you are." -Nietzsche

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#209937 - 03/10/08 06:26 PM Re: Excuse vs. Reason... [Re: GateKPR4]
evanescentjoy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 46
Yes, I have no idea, either... But actually, I do. I became used to being mistreated and receiving the message that I was worthless and had to work hard at being loved from a very young age. Is it really such a surprise that we were so immune to mistreatment, after experiencing things that told us we deserved it?

I would say that a large part of it (putting up with the unbearable torture of it) has involved hope and love... But perhaps, sadly, that is not all.

Thank you for that ever-important reminder that sometimes, enough is enough.

The difficulty is that I actually have seen and witnessed changes in both of them... I see they are making progress. But it is slow and inconstant. I would never want someone to give up on me - It has happened before. Why would I give up on them?

I feel very conflicted...

How much is too much...?

I suppose that is for each individual to decide for himself.



Edited by evanescentjoy (03/10/08 06:27 PM)
_________________________
"Become who you are." -Nietzsche

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#209943 - 03/10/08 07:23 PM Re: Excuse vs. Reason... [Re: evanescentjoy]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Originally Posted By: evanescentjoy
I do get the impression that they are really trying... However minute the changes may be, they are noticeable. Even one of my friends noticed the change in I., who everyone swore was a lost cause and would never change.

And You may be right, probably are actually. I know from my own experience early on in my marriage that when my wife set some very clear boundaries I at first tried to manipulate and change because I was frightened of losing her, but not out of real desire to change. It took her holding persistently to that boundary that convinced me that there were things I had to change in order to keep her, and there was no way I could fake it.

So yes, the possibility of them actually trying is real. Your task will be sticking to your boundaries and having the wisdom to know when they are being adhered to, and it can be a fine line between being cruel and using tough love. Hopefully they are sincere. As they say, the proof is in the pudding.

I wish you well with your new determination, and hope the tough love will have the desired impact and help them take positive steps.

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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#209960 - 03/10/08 08:54 PM Re: Excuse vs. Reason... [Re: WalkingSouth]
GateKPR4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Maybe just taking a step back for a little while, take some time for yourself, be good to you for a while. Then see what happens, Everyone needs a break sometimes. I have my down time every day where I try to do something for me. Might be playing a game or working in the yard. My T suggests taking breaks from recovery and just go have some fun. I will be doing this soon when I go on vacation the 20th. It really clears the head to just get away from the situation for a while even if its only a day or two. I also listen to music on my mp3 player at lunch at work and relax listening to my music drowning out the world and get lost in the songs. This helps me relax ... I'm rambling now so I'll stop here.

_________________________
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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