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#211865 - 03/20/08 11:21 AM what was it in me?
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
this morning I got a phone call from a social worker who's also a family friend, who was one of the people around back when i was 15 during the time of my bullying and abuse (she was involved in finally taking me out of school). Talking to her and rereading what I wrote in the litle me thread about my passed self, I have to wonder why me!

Even compared to other kids who went to that school it seemed I got singled out, ---- especially in the matter of abuse. what was it about me? What made otherswant to single me out and humiliate me?

thinking about myself, about how I read open university books on physics, went to theology lectures and was invited to seminars on the holocaust with an age range of 18 to 20 (which I found at eleven both fascinating and deeply moving), I have to wonder was I an arrogant litle sod?

I never found work at school hard and always got top marks (I was the only person in my entire year to take the A-C grade GCSE science paper), was I just showing off?

I was constantly told during my Abuse "You think your better than us, but your not" did I really think that?

All I remember was being afraid, but did I really act in such a superior way?

was it my physical appearence? was it the way I spoke (during the abuse I was always told not to be so ****ing posh).

What was it about me that made me such a targit. Was I really such a superior litle bastard? Could i have just changed myself and stopped the abuse? What was wrong with me!


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#211867 - 03/20/08 11:59 AM Re: what was it in me? [Re: dark empathy]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
There seems to be a number of us here who have a history of "very bright, but lacking common sense" readings by others...
It helps to remember that abusers seek out the vulnerable; and never EVER has it been our responsibility, no matter how we may or may not have conducted ourselves. Does it honestly make sense to believe that anything we may have done or said legitimizes the actions of our abusers? There is a deep-seated urge to rationalize what happened, to have it make sense somehow- and very often the first place a young mind turns to (often assisted by the abuser's tactics) is "i brought it on myself"... erasing this notion can be very difficult, but absolutely essential.

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#211895 - 03/20/08 02:28 PM Re: what was it in me? [Re: dgoods]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
The school was in a really bad area, drugs, gun crime (I several times saw knives pulled on teachers). I don't remember consciously boasting, I'd never say "I was reading about the theory of relativity last night" or any such thing, but so often those who abused and hurt me told me I was being posh, or smart, or a teacher's pet getting all the answers right.

I don't remember consciously trying to show off, ----- that would've drawn attention to me and thus more abuse, in fact when not in class I tended to stay quiet and out of the way as much as I could, was this really i was.

I also realize how boastful the above post sounds about my eleven year old self. I'm really sorry, and I appologise to everyone if this sounds arrogant, I'm just trying to understand what about me was so offensive and caused such hatred in others that they would want to hurt and humiliate me so much.


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#211914 - 03/20/08 04:42 PM Re: what was it in me? [Re: dark empathy]
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
d e,

Please don't blame yourself for what was done to you by others. Yes, you were probably different from them, you were inquisitive, you were intelligent and you were well spoken. Those are not reasons for anyone to abuse you. I think sometimes people think that when they feel someone is superior in some way, it's much easier to bring that person down than to raise themselves up. It's sad but I've seen it too often in this world.

You did nothing to encourage their bad actions. If you had changed it would have been more fodder for them and they would have found some other self-fullfilling reason to abuse you. It was not your fault.

Take good care of yourself,

Steve

_________________________
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

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#211921 - 03/20/08 05:50 PM Re: what was it in me? [Re: Stephen_5]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I have had some of the same questions about some of my experiences. I was very bright as a child. I always loved to learn and enjoyed school and intellectual challenges and just always wanted to know how things worked or why things were the way they were. I wouldn't say I was singly more advanced in this than everyone, but I did fall on the high end of the spectrum in all my testings in school (at least when I was younger). I do not ever remember holding this above anyone's head, or using it to make me feel superior to others (again, best I can remember). I just really enjoyed learning.

Between the 5th and 6th grades I moved to a new neighborhood and was shortly singled out to be made to feel like a piece of crap. On an emotional level, I was somewhat sensitive (and this isn't a bad thing) and I think I took it pretty hard. I know most of why this happened actually had nothing to do with me, but I took the brunt of the blame for a situation that 100% didn't involve me one way or the other. It just seemed to grow from there. Also, and I am still working on trying to figure this out, but I think the emotional space within my family got difficult around this time (and maybe even a little before), but I am not certain what happened there, I just know there were a lot of changes in family dynamics. Sometime in 8th grade I was abused by a peer. I have no idea what drove his need for him to want so badly what he wanted, and to drive his insistence that he got it. I sometimes wonder if the fact that my self-esteem had not taken such a hit the years previous from so much garbage if this may have been more preventable and I could of stood my ground more so than I did (not that I didn't try and stand my ground, it just didn't work in the end). Tough question.

So, as related to what you speak of here, I have previously wondered if I had rubbed people in a way that they wanted to see me fall (was I arrogant, self-centered, and so on; yet never realized it?). I never wanted to hurt anyone, or had any ill will toward others on such a level, so it was hard to see why I had all this coming to me. Yet I sometimes wonder if I wasn't as good of a person as I want to remember myself as; I certainly had my faults. You are not alone in having such feelings, but I think what the other guys are saying here makes a lot of sense. And in no way or circumstance would you have deserved these types of things to happen to you. Sounds to me like you were just fine, and the problems stemmed from those that abused you. I am starting to think it is normal to try and ask why this may have happened to us. What did we do to bring it on? I think the most logical and truthful answer is, nothing. It turns out to be just another unnecessary crappy life circumstance that didn't need to be, and that is not your fault here.

Sorry to cut in on your thread, but I really needed to get this out because I have thought about this stuff before and it really seemed to hit home in regards to similar question I have had myself. Thanks for the post.

Eric


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#211924 - 03/20/08 05:57 PM Re: what was it in me? [Re: ericc]
SuperTramp7981 Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/06/08
Posts: 99
Loc: Massachusetts
I don't really know what it was. The first time (I think) something happened to me, I don't think it was for any reason other then oppurtunity.

Later on.... I wasn't really exceptional in any areas, kind of just average. I certainly wasn't "the" popular kid. But I wasn't the extreme on the other end, but I was leaning "unpopular loser type" I didn't do good in school to the end of high school, and I wasn't exceptional at sports ever. I don't say I deserved or "brought it on myself" What I think is that I could have easily stopped it right when it started.

_________________________
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
'Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? Ooh!
Some say it's just a part of it:
We've got to fulfil de book.

Chat Name-Lparsons

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#211937 - 03/20/08 06:59 PM Re: what was it in me? [Re: SuperTramp7981]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I guess it's natural to ask these "why me?" questions - we all seem to do it at one point or another. But It's so important to keep our focus on the abusers and not on ourselves. What do I mean by that?

Take your question and turn it into something like this: "Why did the abuser(s) come after me?" Keep yourself focused on the fact that the abuse was THEIR crime, not your failing. Basically, predators zero in on boys who are vulnerable in some way. The boy may be shy, emotionally neglected at home, starved for affection, or isolated by health problems. Or he may be vulnerable because the absuer has immense power over him (parent, older sibling, priest, babysitter, youth group leader).

But being vulnerable just means the boy was a child. There is no fault or blame in needing support and protection. This is why abuse is ALWAYS the abuser's fault 100%.

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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#211938 - 03/20/08 07:10 PM Re: what was it in me? [Re: SuperTramp7981]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Originally Posted By: SuperTramp7981
I don't say I deserved or "brought it on myself" What I think is that I could have easily stopped it right when it started.


This kind of thinking is very common among survivors and I'd like to get you to look at this again, if I may. If I recall your survivor story correctly, this refers to incidents in the school band, when you were groped and fondled by an adult teacher.

I can easily see how you would think that you "could have easily stopped it right when it started". This is how things look to you now, at the age of 19. If someone tried that with you now you could probably hand him his teeth! But back then you were in 4th grade. What could you have done? Shouted at him and exposed what was happening to all the other kids in the school band? What words would you have used at the age of 9 or 10? What resources did you have that would have enabled you to speak up?

I have always found that it's really important to avoid judging ourselves as boys based on what we now know or think. As little boys, we just didn't see the choices or options that seem so obvious to us now. And when a boy doesn't know he has a choice or an option, then for all intents and purposes that choice doesn't exist for him.

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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#211972 - 03/20/08 09:18 PM Re: what was it in me? [Re: roadrunner]
SuperTramp7981 Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/06/08
Posts: 99
Loc: Massachusetts
I can see what your saying, and hindsight is 20/20 I know that, but looking back it was just SO easy to do something. I know I shouldn't beat myself up about it, but that's just me and my personality, I think about would've/could've/should've way to much

I just think I could have gone home whenever it started (late 6th grade I think)and been like "dad mr.____ touched me at school" I know logically I wouldn't have done that, it would have been too hard to do among other reasons, but I just think how much different and easier my life and screwed up head would have been in exchange for whatever discomfort would have come from that.

Sorry to hijack the thread, just thinking out loud.

_________________________
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
'Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? Ooh!
Some say it's just a part of it:
We've got to fulfil de book.

Chat Name-Lparsons

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#211983 - 03/20/08 10:02 PM Re: what was it in me? [Re: SuperTramp7981]
johnnymike Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/08/08
Posts: 51
Loc: Central Ohio
I also experienced bullying in school. I moved to a new town in the third grade and never quite fit in as one of them. I always felt years ahead of them and got along better with teachers. I do not know if I matured sooner due to abuse but I was different than my peers. They noticed the difference of course. They struck out at the differences. Having been abused by my father I knew to duck and cover. This technique at school of course did not work out well. My lowest point was when I thought if all these people thought ill of me could the majority be wrong.

Now I know it is not about us. I was devestated when I walked into school to see my name had been added to the list of candidates for prom queen. Many years later I am curious to know how many votes I received. Time does heal all wounds and I am sorry you also share them. I am at the point where I can be bulleyed no longer.

Being different is no reason to be mistreated. Having different interests is no reason. There is nothing about you that should cause someone to want to mistreat you. If someone mistreats you it is something within them.


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#212034 - 03/21/08 01:03 AM Re: what was it in me? [Re: johnnymike]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1961
johnnymike: Your last paragraph I think is so very important. Unless someone is hurting someone else, who should really care if they are different than others? It just shouldn't matter, and is not reason for abuse or any other sort of mistreatment.

ST: I question the same issue all the time. It should have been so easy for this not to have happened (along with so much other junk). I said no many times, I didn't even agree to the bet he formulated after he couldn't convince me to do it (my heart was in my stomach, scared or least confused and unknowing what to do). I lost the bet (which wasn't even bet as I never agreed to it, but I just figured I could win the game we were playing and it would stop so I kept playing), and I just sort of gave up and let him have what he wanted. I just gave in. Part of me questions if at that point did I want it to happen, but I don't think that is the case; I really just sort of gave up. Why??? I just know after I was violated I started to become a (willing?) participant in this mess. Screws me up to think about it and what it did to me. But I know in my heart I wanted the whole propositions to end and it not to happen. But it did happen and it created a world of trouble for me. Sorry, I'm getting off track here I think. I don't think you are the first person who figured after the fact they could have done a better job preventing it. But you were just a kid right? You are not alone in the beating of one's self up and doing the woulda/coulda/shoulda thinking. Makes me want to cry thinking how much of that I have done over the years. But again, we were all just kids and we didn't have complete knowledge and skills to know what our options were at the time. Its a messed up situation that no one deserves, and it was never your responsibility to figure out how to get out of a situation you should have never found yourself in in the first place.

DE: Thanks again for the post. No one deserves this stuff.


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#212061 - 03/21/08 05:21 AM Re: what was it in me? [Re: ericc]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
thanks people, once again this is stuf I really need to here other people tell me sinse I'm having trouble telling myself, and when I think of myself at age eleven I can only think of "You think your ****ing better than us, but your not"

I recognize a lot of myself in what you say Eric. My self-isteme had taken a major battering just before at boarding school from what could almost be described as imotional abuse from the teachers and very cleaquey other students. I survived by standing up and proclaiming how different I was, refusing to obey any of the schools very pointless rules (such as cleaning your teeth on a set bell), and forcing the teachers to admit that I did good work. My intelligence became a weapon in that battle, sinse I loved the feeling when a teacher who absolutely hated me was forced to give me a good mark because I was right.

the fact that because it was a boarding school, and the syllabus was both slightly individually tailered to the student, and generally of a lot higher standard than at a mainstream junior school, ----- I was learning the rock cycle, bible studdy and basic atomic structure at age 9, helped a lot.

I then went to said other school where all the things I'd previously used as weapons, my individuality, and what inteligence I had just made me a targit for bullying and what I now know to be abuse (though I didn't and couldn't think of it that way at the time), on a dayly and weekly basis.

Now, I often feel that my individuality is all I have. I feel worthless, apart from everyone, and I genuinely find it impossible to believe that anyone could have any sort of feelings for me, but at least I'm stil me, an individual!

I really admire you for being able to laugh tat what was done to you Johnny, but I just feel it's impossible. though (as I said in the joke thread), what was done to me as i think supposed to be a joke from others point of view, from mine it was just pain and humiliation and fear.

I'm really sorry for the wrant again, and I'm really sorry for not paying attention to the other stuff being discussed here and the issue St has raised, which is obviously an important and major one for many people.


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#212108 - 03/21/08 10:54 AM Re: what was it in me? [Re: dark empathy]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2574
I've seen allot of people here posting about being quiet. I had an interesting experience with a "quiet" person recently. He's a very nice and decent guy, in his early 20's. He got engaged about 4 or 5 months ago. I was talking to a member of the family of the girl he's engaged to. Apparently they don't like him much. So I asked why. They see him as uppity and arrogant. Why?? Because he doesn't talk much. How freakin crazy is that??? I know this guy, I've worked with this guy, he's not uppity or arrogant. He's just extremely quiet and shy around people he doesn't know well. Heck he's quiet around people he does know well. So it seems to me that many people simply assume that someone's quietness is arrogance or some such crap as that. I did my best to inform that person the truth. I hope they took it to heart and realize that he's just shy and quiet and not arrogant in the least.

Hope that tidbit of info I gleaned from a talk and connected here can help someone.


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#212899 - 03/25/08 02:50 AM Re: what was it in me? [Re: JustScott]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
A lot of good thoughts for me reading this thread- on the "quiet=bad" issue; it reminded me that there are individuals, families, and even whole communities that can feel threatened by a surplus or lack of "output", as it were.

To me, this makes a strange sort of sense- after all, in movies with more than one bad guy/tough guy, it's usually the baddest/toughest who talks the least, yes?

The chattier one is usually proven to be "weaker", at least for the purposes of the movie; another example would be domesticated vs. wild dogs, etc. It is often said that wolves or feral dogs only bark as puppies, and only housecats continue to "meow" into adulthood.

Sometimes it's as if ordinary society were a great pack of hunting dogs, and all others are by default seen as weaker prey, or a frightening solitary adversary, such as a cougar. No one dog will ever run from a rabbit, yet neither would the dog respect it; No single hound would ever take on a cougar, yet would quickly summon the pack to take the dangerous outsider down....

often i have felt as if i were surrounded by barking dogs, who insist i must either be rabbit, or cougar, since certainly i can be no dog, such as they, quiet and peculiarly scented as i am-
i am left envying neither rabbit, nor cougar, nor dog, for that matter...


When we speak, many cannot bear it, and think us liars, or deluded, in some way. When we remain silent, many think us either soft, or a demonic instrument, and seek our destruction, however unknowingly; and so we are left frozen, between honesty and silence, finding no ground upon which to rest-

Truly those such as we know the bitter taste of, "Damned if you do, damned if you don't".

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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