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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: 2024
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: 2024
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: 2024
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: 2590
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: 2024
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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#223316 - 05/08/08 09:17 PM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: arronb]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
DE,

People tell you stuff because you listen and you care. Happens to my b/f all the time. People just like him, but you know what? He has no clue why! That is exasperating! I've told him, I've said it on these boards and now I'll tell you. Use other people, good people, people you trust as a mirror for now, 'cause your mirror lies to you!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are a good person. You are worthy of love and respect and you will have those things if you let them in. Don't reach for what may be unattainable things. Lunch at a cafe doesn't make a love match, but trust and friendship do. Try to chip away at your fear in little pieces, not the whole thing in one fell swoop.

What I'm reading is that you're a very deep man, DH, with lots to offer, but you're also a guy who is unwilling or unable at the moment to receive unless it's the whole shabang yet that scares the crud out of you. Your not seeing the little details that make up the portrait and I think its likely that your idea of love is the kind of romantic movie love that is only seen in the movies, at least the long, sustainable kind. Falling in love is easy, staying in love is hard. If you've got the staying kind it's because of alot of hard work by both people, it never "just happens" and if you expect that, you're setting yourself up to fail. Don't you think that's horribly unfair to you?

If you even think you have feelings for C beyond friendship, why not ask her on a date? Officially, a real honest to goodness date where she wears a dress and you wear a sport coat. That's what people do when they want to get to know someone better or in your case, in a different light. A yes from her would be awesome, but no won't kill you, I swear - double pinky swear!

ROCK ON..........Trish

PS: You don't need to tell her anything about the abuse until you're ready, but when and if you do, it won't hurt her, but she will hurt for you. There's no getting around that; it's that love and respect thing I talked about you being entitled to, even when the love is the love of a friend.


_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#223353 - 05/09/08 01:19 AM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: Trish4850]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2024
Loc: durham, north england
Thanks.

It's obvious from what people are saying I need to try and do something or other, sinse your probably right in that I do feel something more than friendship for C.

when this has happened in the passed, I've done one of two things either A, I've squashed my own feelins because the person in question already had a bf (the majority of occasions), or B, as happened on three occasions,the last one being in november with ****, blurting out how I feel, ---- and usually crying.

I think larry said something about guys who'd been abused being fine with friendships with girls, ---- but as soon as anything more coming up, ---- going into total panic mode.that really describes me.

Perhaps the major problem is that your supposed to learn about this stuff and experiment as a teenager, ----- but that was the point I was being abused, ---- maybe I'm stil about twelve in this area.

I can't even say what I want to have happen. A long term relationship? maybe, I can't look that far ahead, ----- and I certainly don't want children anyway, a physical relationship? hell no! that hole area is terrifying.

but just being close to someone in a way more than friends.

just being really relaxed, snuggling up and watching films, and knowing that the other person cared about me, ----- that would be enough!

Just something more than what's happened already, that would be enough.

Is that too much to ask?

I'm just aware that whenever I see my friends being casually affectionate with their partners, ----- miner canoodling, that sort of trust, that sort of warmth, ----- that's what I want!

I've only ever seen it betwene people who are together.

I have one female friend I've almost but not quite come close to that sort of thing with, ----- she's the only girl I can comfortably accept a hug from and she's one of the people I've told about my abuse.

We met in my first year, and ever sinse we had the "Well I like you but not in that way" conversation, ----- a feeling that was very mutual on both sides, I've felt really safe with her, even to the point of physical affection, and as I said, she's one of the people I've told about my abuse and one of the people I've asked for advice.

The thing is as I said, her being incredibly blunt spoken, we were able to both say "well I like you but not in that way" which made things alright for me, ----- but she's quite unusual in that respect, and I've never had any other female friend say something similar to me.

my friend is now on Bf number three and getting married quite soon, ----- which hurts, sinse back in our first year one of the thing we did was discuss the act that neither of us had a partner and we both wanted one, but she ended up with the boy she liked, where as the girl i liked was one of the three s where my feelings ran away from me and I ended up crying.

Everytime I even considder saying something to someone about how i feel, I start panicking, ---- even just a hint, or a complement on her appearence. Yet perhaps I have to in a controled way before my head gets to exploding point again.

I'm really sorry for the cnfusion, the more I look into this the more confused I get.


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#223396 - 05/09/08 09:55 AM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: dark empathy]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Originally Posted By: dark empathy
Perhaps the major problem is that your supposed to learn about this stuff and experiment as a teenager, ----- but that was the point I was being abused, ---- maybe I'm stil about twelve in this area


Luke it is funny you should say that. In one of your posts I was reading I was thinking "Geez what? are we in grade school again?". I didn't say it because I thought it was rude but since you said it I wanted to comment.

I think you are on to something there. You should talk to your T about this because when we are abused sometimes emotionally we do get stuck and sometimes mentally in the age where the abuse occurred. We can dissociate and sometimes actually speak in the language and voice we used at that age without realizing it. So yeah it is possible that emotionally when it comes to girls you are in that age mentally and emotionally and just need to see that and realize that these very stong negative feelings are coming from a frightened 12 yo.

Find a way to reassure that boy inside you that you will take care of him and keep him safe and he is not going to be hurt again. Perhaps you are trying to treat the adult in you and that is what is causing the confusion and lack of results in stabilizing you emotions here. It is the child inside you that gets frightened and starts crying when attampting to deal with this with a girl. He never developed the social skills for this.

I would suggest from reading your posts that you go back to that boy and start letting him learn about how to become friends with girls first with out the pressure of having to adulterize the relationship until he is capable of being comfortable around girls. I think that is where you are at. Girls getting close to you trigger the boy coming to your rescue and trying to protect you from being abused again. He is the one you need to talk to about how ok it is and he is the one you need to reassure. Let me know what you think of this. I know this is inner child stuff but I think this is a real possibility that you should discuss with your T.


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#223401 - 05/09/08 10:10 AM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: Freedom49]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
I agree with that "still being 12" idea as well, but not just about you. I feel that way too. Just recently I've found myself checking people out, all over the place. It was something I have never done in the past. Didn't see what the big deal was. That and quite a few others things just had me saying to my wife the other day that I actually feel like I'm growing up! I'm finding myself thinking and doing a lot of things that most kids do when their in those early teen years. So yeah, I'm probably stuck back there with ya!


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#223446 - 05/09/08 01:33 PM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: dark empathy]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
Dark empathy,
Coming in late with the woman's opinion...
It certainly sounds as though things are going very well with C. The best relationships start this way...slow. It sounds as though you both enjoy each other's company and are spending time together, talking, laughing, etc. These are all good things. You keep saying you are looking for something more...how much more? What will change for you if says out loud that she likes you? Have you thought about what you're ready to do next? Are you ready for a physical relationship right now?
I have to disagree with some of the guys' posts. (Sorry guys!) I don't think you should ask her where she wants this relationship to go. Not this soon. I mean, I'm pretty out-spoken, but I can't imagine myself "going first" with an answer to that one! She might be as uncertain as you are at the moment, and if she is, she'll be afraid of your response to her answer.
From what I can tell, you've done everything right so far. Communication is a huge thing. And you actually do know how, because that's what you've been doing. "Communication" is just a word. Try looking up the definition and picking out an alternate word for it that you find less intimidating. I actually do this all the time. If I'm asked to do something big that I'm not sure if I can do, I'll usually step back and ask myself, "What am I actually expected to do here?" Then, I break the 1 BIG thing into however many smaller things which are usually all things I can do. I've got him doing it now. It does work.
I will echo the "Give it time."
Always,
Liv


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#223450 - 05/09/08 02:18 PM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: Liv2124]
Marissa Offline


Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 67
Dark Empathy,

I don't feel like I've been here long enough to offer any advice, but just want you to know I'm supporting you in this.

Marissa


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#223458 - 05/09/08 04:08 PM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: Marissa]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2024
Loc: durham, north england
Marissa, thank you!

roger, I'm really not happy with the inner child metaphore. probably because I am synaesthesic, I have these feelings sitting there in front of me where I can see them, ---- I can even tell you what colour they are. They are there now as I write this, like a cloud inthe sky which I can look at closer if I so desire, ---- though, ---- there are certainly occasions (sometimes when viewing it), i can quite literally be enveloped by it so that it colours everything I see.

while I can accept certainly that this came from my abuse, the hole metaphore of saying "the twelve year old boy inside me" reacting just seems nonsensical to me.

I'm really sorry if this seems harsh or unpleasant, it is just genuinely the way my mental land scape functions, I'm really sorry if it sounds bizarre, and I do appreciate the advice even if I can't quite make sense of it. I will discuss it with my T on Monday though.

the problem, ---- both with C, and with communication, is that over the last eight years, I have had absolutely loads of female friends who I've done exactly the same things with.

We've had long in depth conversations, we've laughed, we've been out together. It was a standing joke around my colidge choire that almost everyone, ---- about 8 people, male and female had at one time or another come round to my room for coffee and conversation.

Even with ****, we had a great time together, chatting as friends about everything from different countries perceptions of time, (**** is canadian), to the fact that whenever something is processed it gets worsed, so there must be some chemical element of processium which reacts with anything which goes through a major factory and increases the nastiness factor.

Even though I was totally in love with ****, we genuinely were friends, ---- heck, after she told me she already had a bf and I broke down completely, when i phoned the next morning to appologise and offered to never contact her again, she was nice enough to say she really wanted to stay friends, ---- we even have!

the thing is, with C, exactly the same thing happens. We're together, we talk about stuff, we have a laugh. But now I've realized that, ---- as I've realized before, I have other feelings towards C, there's nothing I can do to move things any more forward.

My parents, ---- and my friends are certain that some of my female friends have been interested in becoming closer to me (I just can't see that myself), but if so, ----- there's just no way i can imagine things progressing, and if anything did become so overt as to hint at something passed that blind spot, ---- or even come close to admitting interest, I'd panick.

the only point in a long evening with **** that I even approached the idea of my interest (until we got to the end of things), was when she was talking about being over weight, ---- which she is not! I told her she wasn't, and then started blushing, and literally stuttering. She asked me to go on, and after a few minutes I said she looked sort of well nice.

Yes, I know this is a really sterriotypically childish reaction, but while panicking it was all i could manage, ---- and just to confuse things even more she told me how sweet it was.

So, I'm really unsure on what I should do, sinse even if I have other feelings for C, I see no way of moving things forward, and I'm almost certain that the same things will happen. I'm really in a catch 22 where I need something from her, ---- but if she showed anything I'd either not notice or end up panicking.

As to what I want, that is indeed a good question Live and one I've been thinking about.

Just to begin with, what I want would just be closeness and sharing and to feel safe. I've seen a sort of affection, something my friends and their partners have, something I've only ever seen betwene people who are together. It's got a highly distinct pattern and I can't really articulate it. to an extent it's often expressed in miner physical affection, hand holding, maybe kissing or just being close together, ---- but that's jnot the point. It's a sort of closeness, a sort of mutual feeling for eachother, it's about beeing connected immotionally to another person in a more complicated way than in friendshipp. Could it result in a long term relationship? perhaps, sinse I know it's not perminant. could it lead to a full physical relationship, ---- possibly, though in my case I can't see that far ahead, just to get to the initial stage of closeness would be enough for me. Maybe this is what people do as teenagers, I don't know, but I know I've seen it, and I know I really want it, and I know that just being friends with someone isn't going to provide it for me.

About the give it time thing, as I said, my problem is I've been giving it time for eight years. Initially, I was hopeful of meeting the right person and things working out. Arfter my first year and my second really bad experience, that hope started to die until before I met ****, I was quite certain it was never going to happen, and started literally disparing, obviously there was just something wrong with me. People were nice enough to be friends, ---- but that was as far as they were willing to go.

Now, I've been looking at my abuse, trying to find connections and alter things that I thought were unalterable, and I so want to break that old pattern but I have no idea how.

Really thanks for all the help, advice and support, I can't say what it means to me.

Luke.


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#223489 - 05/09/08 07:17 PM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: dark empathy]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Quote:
roger, I'm really not happy with the inner child metaphore. probably because I am synaesthesic, I have these feelings sitting there in front of me where I can see them, ---- I can even tell you what colour they are. They are there now as I write this, like a cloud inthe sky which I can look at closer if I so desire, ---- though, ---- there are certainly occasions (sometimes when viewing it), i can quite literally be enveloped by it so that it colours everything I see.

while I can accept certainly that this came from my abuse, the hole metaphore of saying "the twelve year old boy inside me" reacting just seems nonsensical to me.


Luke, I get all that. Would it be easier if I just said your acting like a 12 yo? Pubecent boys when they discover girls are both facinated and frightened. Facinated because the chemistry fuels the attraction and the desire and they want to be around them and talk to them and learn all about them.

Frightened because as they do this they begin to reailze and appreciate that because of this desire to be with a girl it now makes the boy VERY vulnerable emotionally to getting hurt by this wonderful creature. There is therefore a lot of angst associated with this awakening. I want her but I am afraid of her. I really like spending time with her and hate being away from her but I am scared of her. What if she doesn't like me? What if I tell her how I feel and she doesn't feel the same? What if I tell her I like her and she likes me but then she changes her mind and I am crushed? What if I change my mind and she is crushed?

I am telling you whether you agree with it or not, whether it is colored blue or pink whether it is synthetic, or synaesthesic, when that cloud envelopes you it is Luke the 12 yo who is making the decisions. It is a 12 boy who is in control and full of post adolecent angst.

I raised two boys and I was one. According to my wife still am one sometimes. Yes you are 22 or 24 or whatever, but when it comes to girls you react like a 12 yo and it is all over your posts. I know this is serious stuff for you and I am not trying to mitigate that. It is hyperintensified because of your abuse but I really think that the answer will be the same. Have one of your friends read them for you. And please do ask your T and show them to him.

Now go have some Ice Cream.



Edited by Freedom49 (05/10/08 06:09 PM)

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#223725 - 05/11/08 03:05 PM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: Freedom49]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2024
Loc: durham, north england
Well, I know there are many things immotionally I never learnt to do properly, ---- sinse obviously i spent the entire time at secondary school beeing abused. that makes perfect sense, as does the idea of actual fears, ---- such as my problem with the S word.

To talk of someone else being in control though seems very strange indeed to me, sinse these feelings and unlearned skills are there, their mine, I see them, I know where they are.

I haven't played serious chess sinse I was 17. I've recently bought a chess board and am acquiring a chess program to play against, sinse when in states of depression that sort of detailed logic appeals to me.

it is true I haven't played chess for 8 years, and only learnt so much of the game, and will need to learn more to be a better chess player. sayin "well it's 17 year old Luke in control playing chess" would just be weerd, and make no sense. It's 25 year old Luke playing chess, he just hasn't played for 8 years.

Ditto with my reactions. I fell in love with a girl at the age of 9, but then two years later, just as I was beginning to start thinking about girls, ---- and about the stuff my parents had told me about you know what, I started getting abused.

I have loads of female friends, but their exactly like my male friends, ---- I've actually asked around, and people say I show no genda related biases whatsoever. But I know there is more out there, and I want to experience it, I just start getting afraid whenever I considder it.

another highly confusing reaction I always get from girls whenever I start beeing really nervous and blushing, is "Oh, that's really sweet"

In a theatrical warm up exercise, we did the "I went to the shops and bought" game, where you say your name and what you bought, then repeat the names of everyone else and what they bought.

one girl decided to say she bought some (insert s word), toys, and I couldn't even get the word out. ****, who was next to me, first asked me what was wrong, then when i admitted I wasn't comfortable with that stuff told me how sweet that was.

this has always confused me, ---- why is being really uncomfortable about the subject, and unnable to give complements considdered to be so sweet?

Oh heck, I'm rambling again, ---- sorry. I'll talk to my T tomorrow.

Yee Gods! this recovery thing feels like lirching from crysis to crysis!




Edited by dark empathy (05/12/08 07:53 AM)

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#223736 - 05/11/08 04:42 PM 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 women find it "sweet" because they feel it is coming from an area not of pain, embarassment and shame, but from modesty. It is so rare for a man your age to be uncomfortable with the s word. Most men your age are VERY comfortable with it and tend to make others uncomfortable by turning everything into inuendo.
I am sure they feel you just are uncomfortable with talking about it in mixed company. In the good old days it was considered crude and impolite. They probably assume because of your upbringing you are embarassed. That to a modern girl, nice girl would probably be pleasantly surprising. I am sure they are just misinterpreting your reaction as modesty. If that were the case I would find it sweet too. Sadly it isn't. Good luck.



Edited by Freedom49 (05/11/08 04:44 PM)

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#223774 - 05/11/08 08:21 PM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: Freedom49]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
Dark empathy,
In reading through your post, it seems as though what you're looking for in terms of "more" is actually what you're getting. You are developing a closeness with her and you seem to be feeling (at least from the way you describe it) more comfortable with her every time you're with her. You seem to believe you are somehow missing out on something and I think that's what you're focusing on over everything else.
Earlier in this thread, you mentioned reading through the posts here and wondering why someone can't feel this/that way about you. One thing that you have to realize is that as partners of survivors, our posts are one dimensional. Our perspective and our feelings over what we see happening. If my SO came here and read the same posts you are, he'd be saying the same thing as you. I can almost guarantee it. He has made similar statements in the past,(and occasionally, still does!) only now, I don't stand there in the same dumb amazement I used to. The grass always looks greener in someone else's yard. I'm sure that your friends, married or in relationships, have plenty of problems and issues between them that you aren't privy to.
I will often use the word "sweet" in reference to alot of the things my SO says and does. I don't think it bothers him, he's never mentioned it, (and if it DID he most DEFINITELY would've mentioned it!) There's an innocent quality to alot of what he says and does that makes me feel young again, that makes me feel good, and makes me enjoy being with him. Most men are not like that. I've been in relationships where men are rude, and I have walked away feeling "used" to a degree. I wouldn't knock being referred to as "sweet", it's a pretty rare quality to possess. As far as being uncomfortable discussing sex, well, I've never been abused, but I'm not that comfortable talking about it, especially in mixed company when there are usually crude comments being made in reference to both genders. I might have a one-on-one conversation with a friend here and there, but group discussions have never really been a favorite.
Okay, so maybe you never had an opportunity to experiment with all of this in your teenage years, but it's not too late and the opportunity is right in front of you. You're so worried about doing/saying the wrong thing that you're not even enjoying this.
And as far as her feelings, if you pay attention, they'll become clear to you before you know it. Like I had asked earlier, what will change for you if she says out loud that she likes you? If you force an "exclusive" thing, she may think that you want this to become more physical. (My opinion, again, because I would) and it sounds as though it will take time for you to work up to that.(Thus creating a new problem for yourself) So, why not continue at the pace you're going? It will give you time to works some of those things out and maybe get in a discussion or two about it.
You have to "Breathe"
Always,
Liv


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#223840 - 05/12/08 08:23 AM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: Liv2124]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2024
Loc: durham, north england
thanks.

the discomfort and innocense thin always confuses me quite a lot, sinse from my Pov it is actually very uncomfortable to sicusss such things. With two friends, ---- one male and one female, I've managed it more reasonably, in fact back I firt realized that I'd been abused when my male friend ---- as was our general practice during our degrees, read me his entirely reasonable and well-written essay on the ethics of pornography. It was only as I started to realize that despite the fact this was a very close friend, despite the fact that this was ethics, ---- my own teretory, I was stil feling really uncomfortable and upset, and that in fact what had happened to me in secondary school went beyonds the bounds of conventional bullying.

I've been able to gently, ---- with quite a lot of specific illusions and shared experiences to use as substitute names, sort of discussed the area with my two friends, ---- who I've sinse told about my abuse, but from anyone else, ---- even my parents I'd just start to panic as soon as the S word gets mentioned, in fact as i said, in terms of relationship advice, my parents don't particulalry help sinse they both try to push me into doing things, --- like paying complements that I'm just not sure of doing.

I really take the point Live, but the problem is that I know there is something more. I've had a lot of female friends, ---- probably slightly more female friends than male. Because of my self-isteme mirror I tend to always think that people are my friends because of some inherent quality that they possess, some kind of special tolerance of me, rather than any characteristic in myself.

When my friends have been with their partners, I've seen this sort of two way communication, something to do with being together, being comfortable with each other, sharing things in some way.

I make friends fairly easily, and i have several very close friends. i've shared a lot of myself with them, ---- in fact up to the point of telling two of them about my abuse. But I know, from watching others that there's a sharing of selves beyond this, something more fundamental, something closer.

I can't even identify it adequately in words, I know Ive felt the desire of it with some people, and I know I've seen it betwene others. I could describe it synaesthesically, in terms of it's colour and tactile feeling, but I don't think that would mean a lot to anyone else besides myself.

the closest de>

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#223944 - 05/12/08 07:39 PM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: dark empathy]
antiphaedre Offline


Registered: 04/25/08
Posts: 8
Dark Empathy,

I don't know if this will be of any help but maybe you can talk to her about how you feel about dating and getting close in an abstract sort of way. Such as "I'd love to date someone and have it be this way...."

You can find out from a conversation like that if she'd be OK with the type of involvement you're comfortable with and if it seems like she is, especially if she's very enthusiastic about the conversation, maybe then you can ask her out.

Just speaking from my situation but I would love to be able to hold Guy's hand or get all cuddly with him and I wouldn't need it to be anything more than that. So there are definetly women out there who can handle your pace.



Edited by antiphaedre (05/12/08 07:41 PM)

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#224001 - 05/13/08 04:51 AM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: antiphaedre]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2024
Loc: durham, north england
Antiphaedre, I've heard of such people, ---- but never encountered them.

One thing I realized with my T yesterday, is not only do I personally really dislike physical contact, but even in cases where I want to hold a girl's hand or put my arm around her, I'm afraid to sinse I imagine things from her Pov, and remember my own abuse, I'd hate to do that to someone else.

In fact again, when I considder my female friend, ---- the only girl I'm really happy about hugging on a regular basis, one thing I know is that if she didn't want physical contact, she would make it clear, ----- in fact anyone who tried it would probably end up on the floor with several broken bones.

I'm not sure how I even raise the subject with C. My parents suggest I just try complementing her on her appearence, but that feels uncomfortable to me, I'm not even sure how I get close to the idea, even if I wanted to.

I saw C again briefly on sunday, and we just chatted as friends, ---- it was at a rehearsal where we were both busy, so we didn't have a lot of time together.

I'll be seeing her again this week, but I'm stil not sure how to move things forward.

Interestingly enough, my t mentioned she'd seen us together while driving around, and said that we both seemed as if we were enjoying each other's company, ---- in fact she initially thought C was the close female friend I've mentioned because we were so comfortable together.


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#224017 - 05/13/08 07:54 AM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: dark empathy]
Marissa Offline


Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 67
Hi, Dark Empathy -

As I am new here - I am going to keep this observation general.

You seem to be quite well versed in all the reasons you can't have a relationship in the way you want it. Which is great - awareness is the key - but perhaps you could pick ONE element of that and start initiating some thoughts on how to change that particular element. Seems to me you just keep spinning your wheels - so perhaps you just need a little "push" to get going, you know?

For instance - paying her a compliment. This clearly causes anxiety for you - but at the same time, it's a pretty normal thing that most people do, so it is indeed a skill that can be practiced and learned.

How about saying over and over again - out loud - "Hi, C! You look real nice today!" in the mirror until you've done it so many times you could do it in your sleep without breaking into a sweat or feeling anxious about it. Remind yourself that they are just words, and they are kind words, so it's OK to use them. Then when you see her - you say it. There, done.

Then you will have taken a baby step in the direction you want to go.

It's all about baby steps....

Marissa


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#224138 - 05/14/08 03:29 AM Re: Have I said something stupid? [Re: Marissa]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2024
Loc: durham, north england
Marissa, please don't think that the fact that your new here disqualifies you from giving advice or making observations. your here, your posting, and your husband is a Sa surviver, ---- in fact his experiences actually resemble mine to some extent from what you've said.

I really appreciate your advice, and the advice from anyone in this forum who's either a surviver or the partner of one, ---- one reason I post about this stuff in F&F.

Your advice sounds good to me. Complements are something I just find difficult, but they might be the safest way of moving my friendhship with C on a bit.

Your right in that it feels as if I'm going around in circles here, and I also know that I'm not the world's most patient person if I get no perceivable progress with something, however small.



Edited by dark empathy (05/14/08 03:32 AM)

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