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#223182 - 05/08/08 02:17 AM Have I said something stupid?
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
Yesterday, I saw C again, and we ended up going out to a cafe.

As people would notice, I talk a lot. We had a discussion about many things, ----- C in fact shared some stuff about herself with me (goodness knows why).

We literally ran around my abuse. when talking about social expectations, I talked about my time at boarding school and how I had to become fairly individualistic to cope, ---- sinse C had had a similar thing. Then though I said when i got to secondary school, that hadn't worked and bad things had happened ---- and just stopped there.

In fact whenever C mentioned herself at 14 or 15, I started feeling worryingly edgy, and usually deflected the conversation elsewhere.

Then, in a discussion about genda equalities and the awfulness of both female and male sterriotypes, I said (truthfully), that one thing which really annoyed me was this stupid idea that the male has to make the first move. C said that if she was ever in the situation, she'd ask the guy out, ----- but she's never asked me.

What does this mean? I don't even know how I feel about C, we're certainly friends, but I'm not sure if I want it to turn into something more. At the same time though, even though she's shared a lot of stuff about herself, I feel really awful, sinse I haven't shared the major things about me.

I'm not sure what I want to happen, or what's in fact going on, but I can so easily see this getting stuck the same way things with female friends have always got stuck, with me just being casual friends with them. My self-isteme is telling me that nobody has ever been interested in me anyway, so it's not surprising, but then discussion with my friends tells me I apparently come across very much as unavailable, in fact as if I'm already with someone.

What the heck do I do?

I'm not actually sure how I feel about C, ---- but I suspect it's something more than friendship, and I really! deon't know what she feels about me at all.

The worrying thing is I've mildly picked up that C isn't quite comfortable self-isteme wise, both through her comments, and whenever I try and do something for her, she says "thank you" in an almost surprised way, as though she were really not expecting it. For example when we got to the cafe, I just flatly said "You pay next time" sinse I know C is quite skint at the moment (I'll wait and see if she remembers for next time). Her response was to be almost surprised, as though she wouldn't expect that sort of thing.

I really don't know what this means at all.

Today, C even told me she has had counceling herself. I was within an ace of admitting that I was having counceling at the moment, ----- but didn't sinse it wouldn't be fair, and I really don't want to hurt her with my rubbish, ---- I don't want to hurt anyone with my rubbish!

I'm not sure what I want to happen with C, but I just don't want things to go on and peter out as they have before, ---- sinse afterall, what the heck am I going through all this recovery awfulness for anyway?

I know we should just have an honest conversation, but I'm really afraid to do that. The only three times I've said it to girls in the passed, it's been at a stage where my head is about to explode, and I have to say it to releave my feelings. Also, on two of those occasions, I knew the girl in question had a Bf anyway. On the third occasion this happened http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthr...true#Post214260

What do I want to happen with C? I really don't know.

I'm sorry for this ramble, I'm just confused, and unsure of what to do and really quite scared.


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#223188 - 05/08/08 02:45 AM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: dark empathy]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Luke,
I think your worrying way to much about this. It is way to early to worry about such things. You have been out together a couple of times. Had some good conversation and enjoyed each others company. It is still way early to go baring your soul. Give it a few months and see what developes on its own.


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#223195 - 05/08/08 05:11 AM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: Freedom49]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
Hi Roger.

the thing is she's told me things of her own, things she's concerned about. I always feel as if I'm being unfair, if someone I feel close to is willing to trust me that much, and I can't trust her the same way.

I really don't want to hurt her with my own stuff though.

it's weerd, i don't know why, but people do seem to tell me things, things that bother them, things that are worrying them, OFTEN THINGS WHICH i GET THE FEELING THEY WOULDN'T TELL MOST OTHERS.

I always feel very proud that someone has trusted me with that sort of thing, and I feel rather bad that I can't trust someone else.

As far as going out goes, well we've known each other for two years. we've been out with other people several times, and often walked back together to the station etc, or met up before a rehearsal we both had to go to for coffee.

while we've sort of formally only set out to go out, ---- in the sense of go somewhere together a few times, we have spent quite a lot of time together with other people, and a reasonable amount together on our own.

My fifth poem, the one about empathy and distance was in fact written about C.

I'm not saying your wrong. Talking about my abuse is really hard work, and I wouldn't want to do it, i'm not even sure if I want to with C, I just sensed in our last conversation a couple of occasions when i could've done it relatively comfortably. there was one occasion when I told a friend who I hadn't had any notion of telling, but either because she's a qualified counceler, or because I felt safe with her, ---- sinse she was both on the phone, in her fifties, and married, I ended up telling her, and I think that was the easiest occasion of telling someone I've ever had (I was quite cross that neither of the therapists I've told could make it that easy for me).

the real worry though is I have no idea how to get from being really good friends to even exploring the possibility of something else or wondering if C feels something else for me. I just can't see it or do it. People keep talking about communication, ---- but I've no idea how! I keep treating C exactly he same way I'd treat a male friend, but i'm not sure if there is something more going on in me or not, and I really wish someone, ---- namely C, could help me explore that possibility and maybe understand it a bit more.

for so long I've always assumed automatically that nobody I have feelings for will have feelings for me. I'm now recognizing that possibility, and I don't know which is more frightening, the not knowing, or knowing that she does.

but I've been going through recovery hell for almost seven months now, it'd be nice to get something back, ---- even if just a bit of honesty and maybe move a bit further on with this hole bloody stupid mess than I have for 9 years!


Sorry Roger, I'm not upset with you, I'm jsut upset with me and with my hole inability to do anything with this mess.

I will also admit I keep seeing these messages from all these female friends of male survivers. I feel really sorry that there's that sort of problem going on, ---- but also sometimes I want to scream, what's! wrong with me! why can't anyone feel that way about me! am i so damaged, so useless, so pointless that nobody thinks that of me?

Or am I just afraid to notice.

sorry, I'm getting into a mess here, I'll step back.

Oh heck I'm really sorry, his thread has run away with me totally, ----- brazillian coffee, reading poetry and a walk in the sun is called for I think. I'm really sorry about the ramble and for slightly exploding.

As I said, I'm really not upset with anyone here, the only person I'm incredibly angry with, the only person I really dislike is myself.



Edited by dark empathy (05/08/08 05:23 AM)

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#223200 - 05/08/08 07:03 AM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
Okay, i'm really, really sorry for the wrant. I hope people don't mind. I've just been for said walk (i had a book to return to the library anyway).

I've decided however tempting it gets to say anything, I won't until it actually comes up, sinse me being slightly secretive and dishonest is much better than her getting hurt.

About the other stuff though, ---- eg her feelings, what she might have picked up from my conversation and so on, I'm stil not sure.

but at least I've sorted my brain out about not telling her about my abuse until it actually comes up.

thanks for reading, and I'm really sorry for the wrant and for blowing up slightly.


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#223201 - 05/08/08 07:24 AM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: dark empathy]
arronb Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 1005
Loc: Perth
DE ...

Relax & breathe ...

Just my observation here, not worth anything more than that,
but I'd say if you are getting this worked up over "C"
then you feelings for her run deeper than friendship.

The 'secret' as you have already mentioned is in open
communication ... but that doesn't have to include revealing
your abuse if you haven't arrived at that place with her yet.

Its a scary thought to put your feelings on the line for
the other person to see, but ultimately if you want to
get to the 'next level' with your friendship with "C" that's
what you have to find the courage to do ...

Now if talking to her is too hard, use your talent,
as the brilliant poet that you are, and write her some poetry,
now there's nothing more romantic than that \:\)
It can open up the whole feelings arena for discussion for you

Just a few thoughts from across the pond \:\)

_________________________
Keep Smilin'
arronb

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#223219 - 05/08/08 10:01 AM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: arronb]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2574
Howdy Luke!

Just wanted to say that it's ok to rant! Rant all ya want!

Also wanted to add that I never imagined that someone would possible want me either. Never had a girlfriend, tried a time here or there and it also always ended horribly. Trust is hard for sure.

In college I had a friend, who absolutely refused to let me get away, trust me, I tried :-) At lunch, when I would sneak off to a secluded spot in the cafeteria so as to be completely alone, she'd seek me out and find me. I got angry and irritable at her more than a few times for not leaving me alone. But she kept coming after me. Just because she was a good friend and nothing more. Eventually the weirdest thing happened. We started talking about things and it turned out for some insane reason she liked me. Just a little more than friend level, she was still ok with things if nothing ever grew between us. This was unimaginable for me.

Then something else weird happened, we got engaged! We never dated... were really only ever just friends, never anything more, and suddenly we were engaged. But that friendship we had, became a rock solid foundation for the marriage we have now. After being married 5 years, I told her about things from my childhood. Things that I still didn't realize as abuse, just painful things that I felt guilty and shameful about. Amazing she didn't run away or hate me, like I thought she would. She's still with me (going on 9 years now) and now that the full realization has hit me things have been really really hard for her and me. But she still doesn't hate me! WOW was my feeling on that!

Seems to me that C likes you enough to be your friend, and trusts you enough to share some deeper things with you. That's awesome! It might lead somewhere, I don't know. My wife is still my best friend, and now that I've learned to open up more, it's better than it's ever been. I'm not saying it's easy, it's still really hard at times for me to say those thing that are inside me. Years of silence and isolation are very hard to over come, but it is indeed possible!

I'd say hang in there, and keep being friends, do your best not to pull away or push her away. Focus on the friendship for now, and if things can be more, it'll come with time. If she has any sort of abuse in her past (you mentioned her self esteem doesn't seem to be real great either) she might have similar feelings for you but she might be struggling with some of those same fears. I don't know if you make a lot of eye contact when you talk with her, but if not, try it, and through in a warm smile now and again that reflects what you feel inside. Communication is 90% body language, so you can say a lot without using words.

I'll agree with your statement about knowing about her feelings.... when I first realized that the girl who was to become my wife just might have feelings for me, it scared me! Big time! I even ran away from her quite a lot. I like Arron's idea, write a poem, make it just about friendship, it'll work wonders I'm sure!


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#223227 - 05/08/08 10:14 AM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: JustScott]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Luke,
It seems your getting some real good feedback and advice above from Arron and Scott. Why not experiment and do the poetry thing and see what happens. As you can see from Scott being friends and good friends at that is a great foundation of trust and caring that can lead to a deep and committed love. I agree with your assesment that you perception of how women are feeiing about is is totally false and deep in your abuse history. It will be scary to push through that and test the waters but Boy can it be worth if to find out that you were wrong and are very desireable even with all your quirks. You many not be crazy, just eccecentric LOL. Just kidding. Take your time, don't panic, like arron says BREATH and take the tenative step. I am excited for you. Keep ranting, or wranting (oh you English), and keep us informed.


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#223235 - 05/08/08 10:41 AM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: JustScott]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
A poem? hmmmm, interesting, I'll think about that one.

thanks for your story Scot. the problem is, I've been "giving it time" for 8 years now, and it's constantly got me nowhere at all ever!

I have lots of female friends, ----- in fact probably slightly more female than male, one consequence of being interested in musical theatre, sinse %70 of the people who do that type of thing are girls. the problem is, that's all that ever happens.

I'll meet a girl, she'll be kind enough to be friends. We'll go out for coffee, chat about everything. She'll probably even end up telling me about herself, ----- often deep things.

On one occasion, in a lecture in the 2nd year of my degree, a girl asked a very angry feminist question. Sisne I'm interested in feminism, I had a chat to her afterwards and took her out for coffee. Within half an hour she was telling me about how she was a recovering alcoholic.

I have no idea why this happens, or what I do, ---- people, (both male and female), just end up talking to me, and as I said I'm always proud to here, and do whatever I can to listen and let them feel better.

the problem?

that's all that ever! happens. whether I know a girl for years or only a couple of weeks, we get to that point and just stick there.

Roughly once each year, I'll find myself wanting more than friendship, though I'm infinitely certain that she doesn't feel the same way. On three occasions, ---- the last being last november which started me on my recovery, things got out of hand and i'd end up saying how I felt about someone and being told a varient of "I'm already with someone else"

I know for a fact C isn't with someone else. I'm probably not completely in love with her, ---- I honestly don't know. i might fall in love with her later on (it seems to be a slow process), but how do I move things forward? how do I just stop the usual cycle just repeating once again.

I just can't read or see whether C has any feelings for me, ---- in fact the idea that she might is very frightening, but at least if I knew that she certainly did I'd be able to confront my fear and deal with it, ---- and in fact have a good reason to deal with it.

the "give it time" response just hasn't worked, continues not to work, and I'd like to actually do! something about it.

Back in my first year at age 19, only one of my friends had a Gf, and the rest of my friends were, and had always been single.

Now my friends are all on their third or fourth partner, ---- accept for my male friend with the Gf, who's stil with her and getting married, and for me, it stil! hasn't happened.

In a fit of extreme dysmalness I made a 200 bet with my male friend that I'd stil be single at age 27, ---- a bet I'd really! like to lose.

it's my 26th birthday in august, and I'm stil! no further on, hell, I haven't even ever had an adult kiss.

About C herself, I don't think she suffered abuse, the issues she mentions are different ones, but I won't say any more here sinse that wouldn't be fair to her.


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#223239 - 05/08/08 11:11 AM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: dark empathy]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Luke,
Just tell her how you feel. Take her to dinner and flat out ask her where she would like this friendship to go, if anywhere at all. If she says lets just stay friends. Then you know. If she says I haven't thought aobut it. Well, again then you know there is a chance maybe. If she says I would like to know more about you, get to to know you better. Yippee! again you know.
What she will probably do as a Woman is ask "Well, what do you think/feel about it?" (They can be so exasperating}. Then tell her you really like her and have found yourself thinking about her a lot. You have had some bad experiences in middle school that hurt you and are still gun shy of opening up to a woman again but think that maybe you could with her. See what she says. NO EXCUSES! DO IT. LOL otherwise we will end up with pages and pages of "I like C but......."

You will be ok, Honest. Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye, promise.

With love




Edited by Freedom49 (05/08/08 11:13 AM)

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#223243 - 05/08/08 11:20 AM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: dark empathy]
arronb Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 1005
Loc: Perth
DE ...

A couple more thoughts after you're latest post ...

If you're "I'm probably not completely in love with her, ---- I honestly don't know." then "C" is probably picking up on this and won't make that "If I knew that she certainly did" statement you want ...

Being friends is probably the best thing right now ... ask her out for dinner, go to the movies together, basically spend more time together, invite her over for movie night ... moving it forward safely, and relax man ... get comfortable with spending time with her without the pressure of the 'relationship' word hanging over ya head ... the more time ya spend with her the more certian you can be about your feelings towards her ...

and when the time is right for you ... ask ...
take that leap of faith in yourself \:\)

_________________________
Keep Smilin'
arronb

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