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#226574 - 05/25/08 02:25 PM Re: Do feelings have color? [Re: dark empathy]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Ok well knowing you've read some about emotion I don't feel bad about dropping more poo on the table to help us get aligned (or muddled! :)). I'm an instrumentalist about emotions. Emotions are tools that help us think and act. But I want my emotions to make sense as a coherent unit - that coherence is vital to my sense of 'self'.

So using your pain-filled leg as an example, I believe if one does not acknowledge pain, feel it and remember that feeling, one will be extinguished by Nature. One may try to walk on it and fall down, for example. Or one may return to the man who held one's hand to the hot stove. Or one might forget the pain was acquired and repeat the behavior that caused the pain. Pain and memory here go hand in hand as tools that helped us adapt.

I am angry and I refuse to forget my pain, just as a Holocaust victim stubbornly refuses to forget their pain. It is integral to my, and I would argue, the Holocaust victim's, sense of self. If I were to feel anything else, such as 'acceptance', it would be a facade. It would be someone else. And it would imply that I am 'ok' with the act of rape. I can no more accept what happened to me and other guys than a Holocaust victim can 'accept' or be ok with what happened to all Holocaust victims. I can only 'accept' it in the weak sense that I acknowledge Life deals out some shitty hands and it's not my fault.

Rape produces anger because one was sexually violated without consent. As soon as one is free of anger, can one truly assert one was violated? Maybe a monk can do it. Can we mortals say we were violated without feeling the naturally accompanying anger? I dunno. I 'guess so',...but saying "I feel ok with it" just feels all wrong. Saying "I was angry when it happened but I'm ok with it now" feels like giving up my sense of 'me'. I just can't be 'ok' now with something that wasn't 'ok' then.

My head would explode should I think otherwise! lol





Edited by hogan_dawg (05/25/08 03:24 PM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#226602 - 05/25/08 03:17 PM Re: Do feelings have color? [Re: dark empathy]
OKIE MIKE Offline
Member

Registered: 02/13/04
Posts: 982
Loc: HULBERT OK
as to your title
blue : sad
black or red: anger
yellow or white : happy

_________________________
MICHAEL

"I HAD NO SHOES THEN I SAW A MAN THAT HAD NO FEET"

"All I can do is be me, whoever that is"

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#226606 - 05/25/08 03:51 PM Re: Do feelings have color? [Re: hogan_dawg]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1965
Loc: durham, north england
As I said Hogan, I'd agree with you about pain being occasionally useful in the prevention of more pain.

I remember for example being about three, and my mum explaining to me that I should always run the cold tap before the hot one. To show me she ran the hot tap, and held my hand close to the flow so that I could feel the heat from it.

this was deffinately not pleasant, ---- but far less unpleasant than plunging my hands into scolding hot water by accident would have been.

but I'm sure lots of guys here will agree that there is so much pain that's purely unnecessary for anything, and only ever harmful.

On the subject of anger, if anger is important to you, as I said, fair enough. Myself though, I genuinely don't feel angry about what happened, ----- and interestingly enough have attended talks by several survivers of the Shoa (holocaust), some of whme were indeed angry, but some of whome were not, ---- one of them had even forgiven some of the camp guards face to face.

Personally, I can't really speak about acceptance, as I'm not really sure what it means, ---- but I can say i'm not angry.

On november the eleventh, I acknolidged what happened to me, that I was humiliated, insulted and basically gang raped for an extended period as a teenager. No, this should not have happened, and I would absolutely, totally and completely never want anyone else to ever go through what I did ever!

but much as I now wish differentlyhan , it happened. i do not possess a time machine, there is no way i can ever change the fact it happened.

there was no rhyme or reason to why it happened, nothing I could've done differently to stop it happening, other than by symply not attending that school in the first place.

I can't explain why, but I'm just not angry. Two of the people I've told about what happened have been angry on my behalf, ---- but i'm genuinely not. what i want to do, and what is important for me to do, is sort out myself right now, and the feelings I stil have, sinse they are either painful, or actually unhelpful, ---- like my fear of physical contact or of anything to do with S.

As to the identity question, I myself would think of my abuse, ---- much as I think of my genda, my hight etc, as contingent to, not necessary to my identity.

yes, they are all facts about me, but only have the significance I choose to give them.

On my door at uni I hung a sign under my name plate which said "the singing philosopher" Sinse those were what I felt the most important facts about me.

Even now I've acknolidged what happened to me, ---- that's stil not a sign I'd choose to change, ----- unless maybe the singing, writing philosopher" ;D.

Oh heck again! maybe that should be the singing, writing, irritatingly verbose philosopher, lol!

seriously I'm sorry for yet another wrant, but writing all that actually helped me to put things in perspective, ----- thanks Hogan, and as I said, feel free to disagree if you like.


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#226659 - 05/25/08 09:15 PM Re: Do feelings have color? [Re: dark empathy]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
well, i dunno that i'm any further along than i was - but i thank all of you for your input.

i guess like everything - it depends on the point of view of the one making the observation.

but whether feelings are "right or wrong" - all i know is they hurt like hell, and i'm tired of having them. i was better before i opened the past. now the only question is whether i can cram it all back in the little box i had it in originally.


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#226671 - 05/25/08 10:10 PM Re: Do feelings have color? [Re: dark empathy]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Mark I don't mean to hijack your thread.

Dark Empathy - I think it sounds to me like you don't feel any emotions about the abuse. Is that right? Or is there an emotion that you do feel about the abuse? You've said you're not angry but you're coy about what you do feel about the abuse.

Here's where I'm going with this...

Regarding forgiveness, anyone who wants to forgive their sexual perpetrator deserves my admiration, and I'm happy there are Holocaust survivors who've attained such spiritual enlightenment. Yes there are exceptional people from the Holocaust who forgive their oppressors. They decided to forgive. But remember, forgiving causes emotions like tranquility, perhaps, or bliss. But itself is NOT an emotion about the abuse event(s), it's a belief bound decision that causes feel good feelings.

Further, to decide to put your energies into your own healing and not 'feel' anger about the abuse is a wise decision. But is it an emotion? Hmm.

My abuse started at 2.5 years of age by my Father. It was integral to my development. I was shaped by years of physical abuse and scapegoating and made out to be insane to the rest of my family by a demeaning, crazy making Father who called me 'bastard'.

Now I'm leaving this earth before I have the time in my life to heal myself. I might forgive, but that'll be for me, not for him. And I expect to remain quite angry.

To feel anything except anger is preposterous for me. I can't imagine how feeling merely 'peevish' or 'sad' or 'glib' or 'giddy' or 'nothing at all, numb, emotionless' would be substitutable emotions that truly do justice to the circumstances. Feeling nothing at all wouldn't be rational. My emotion of anger is the only feeling that makes any sense. And I trust my feelings - raw and real.

And if I were raped by a bunch of guys, I'd be angry.

I think with therapy and time, maybe we go over the same ground so many times we get fatigued with all of it and throw in the towel and get tired of being angry. I don't know. But if pressed to share an emotion that sums up the emotional product of a childhood rape, anger seems a sensible item for inclusion on the list. The other emotions just don't seem 'apt'. Betrayal is a close second.

My point, Mark, is that if you feel pissed off and confused and all messed up, that's your body telling you that something worth being pissed off about happened to you, that something confusing happened to you, and your body and brain really disliked what happened to you.

Listen to these feelings - understand them - they're real. And they prove to you, inside yourself, that something really ugly happened to you. I also think once you open 'the box', as you say, you're stuck with the emotional fallout. But you can handle it. As Dark Empathy is suggesting, maybe there's a less confusing time ahead - one filled with more healing.



Edited by hogan_dawg (05/25/08 10:49 PM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#226677 - 05/25/08 10:46 PM Re: Do feelings have color? [Re: hogan_dawg]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1965
Loc: durham, north england
Mark, your welcome for my response, as I said, this is a really interesting topic.

I really hope you can find a way of dealing with what's come out of that box. I tried reboxing my own stuff back in the first year of my degree, ---- destraction is a wonderful thing, but I don't think i'd be in half the mess I'm in now if I'd done the recovery then, six years ago, rather than trying it now. I admit I've also really wanted to find that box again, ---- but there are days, ---- like yesterday, when I somehow think it was stil worth it, and I really hope you can have one of those days, you deserve it.


Hogan, I'm really sorry if you thought I was making a recommendation or claiming that everyone should feel what I feel.

were I in your situation, it's entirely possible I would also feel as angry as you, ---- and I totally understand why you say your abuse feels like part of your identity.

I'm truly sorry to here of your circumstances and what happened. As I said, I don't think there's a right or wrong way, just useful or unuseful, ---- and it sounds as if your anger is useful to you, which is certainly a good thing.

just to considder my own feelings though, admitting that my abusers were people at all, and not some kind of natural desaster, ---- and even worse, admitting that my abusers had feelings has been a difficult process for me.

My T actually suggested that as a defence mechanism I denigrated my abusers to the status of things, so that they could be more easily coped with.

I'm just beginnning to recognize them as people, ---- people with feelings, but I stil find myself feeling no anger or desire to blame, ---- or for that matter forgive.

In fact, one of my friends actually put forward the idea that when people got into a gang, ---- as happened to me, they stop being people in all the important senses, and this might explain why I can't blame or feel anger, ---- heck, I don't even remember the names of most of my abusers.

the only thing I really feel about my abuse is regret. Sadness that it happened, sadness that I couldn't do the things that other teenagers do, ---- and an absolutely overwhelming sense of dispare and anguish that the closest anyone has ever wished to get to me has been to hurt and humiliate me.

but again, these are more caused by, than reflections upon my abuse.

Again, I'm sorry if I offended or upset you with my above response, ---- as you'll have noticed, my mouth, ----- or my fingers, do have a tendancy to run away with me.


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#226684 - 05/25/08 11:01 PM Re: Do feelings have color? [Re: dark empathy]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Dark Empathy you haven't upset me. 'Tis ok. I hope I'm expressing myself without arousing too much stuff in you, my reader.

My wife and I were discussing the matter too and she notes that there's a mindset that anger is the first step on the road to healing. I'm probably battling that mindset in my own mind, and here on paper. Normative models aren't my favorite.

I'm like a lot of trauma cases in that I might be permanently damaged from this abuse. I can accept that. lol but it still pisses me off. lol

Well knowing that you feel regret and sadness is good for me to hear. My wife says she felt betrayal and grief and the pain of betrayal, and of course sadness. I share the sadness feeling too.

So if I were to sum up my feelings, they'd include pain of betrayal, anger at betrayal, and great sadness.



Edited by hogan_dawg (05/25/08 11:57 PM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

Top
#226685 - 05/25/08 11:02 PM Re: Do feelings have color? [Re: dark empathy]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
Guys - thanx.
First - I don't feel anyone has "hijacked" my thread. I asked for opinions and I have gotten them. One of the greatest things about this place - most people are willing to share what they know or what they "feel".

Anger - I have more than my share. And a bad case of "fingers running away with me".

Now, as for whether or not this crap can be stuffed back into the box - I suppose time will tell. All I know is I'm tired of living with it. So it comes down to who wins - it or me.

Again, I suppose time will tell.

My family almost destroyed me. I don't care to have them continue. So the feelings must go back into the box.

M


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#226703 - 05/26/08 12:08 AM Re: Do feelings have color? [Re: MarkK]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1965
Loc: durham, north england
Mark, I'm rally sorry if this suggestion is no good, but a thought has just occurred to me, ----- appologies if it doesn't help, but I really hope it does.

It strikes mee that your feeling overwhelmed at the moment. so okay, rebox everything. apply some elbow griece, sweep it all up, put it in a cupboard and shut the door and say there, it's in the cupboard, and then go and do something fun, ----- have some icecream as Roger would say.

but then, tomorrow, or the next day, ---- or with your T, when you feel comfortable, pick one thing from that cupboard, jsut something small, ---- such as a song you find triguring, or the memory of a place that bothers you and work on that, or you could try somethig miner and positive, like writing one good thing every day.

I'm really sorry if this isn't useful to you, and if I'm mtalking rubbish please just say so. it just seems to me from your posts Mark that your plunged deep into all of this and trying to deal with it head on, and desire to have it all stop and just ignore it. Perhaps there's a medium which will work for you?

appologies if I'm totally going in the wrong direction here, as I said, I can only speak from my own experience and what I've tried, which might be very different to you, this is just a suggestion.

Hogan, no, you haven't upset me, but you have made me think, ---- which is always a good thing.

I don't like the thought that you feel perminantly damaged by your abuse Hogan, ---- that doesn't seem good to me.

for me, as I said, it happened, and will have always happened, but I hope the regret will grow less as i begin to deal with this, sinse it's not a useful feeling for me, ---- quite literally feeling sorry for myself.

I'm not sure now, but I do hope there will be a time I don't feel sadness and loss whenever I here about a teenaged romance, --- heck, even whenever I read the sixth Harry potter book, ---- or come to that the fifth (harry did afterall get kissed, which is more than I can say).

maybe this will happen when i meet the right girl, I don't know, but I want to find out, hay! I just wrote when and not if, things must be improving, lol!


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#226706 - 05/26/08 12:47 AM Re: Do feelings have color? [Re: dark empathy]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
I think DE has a good idea Mark, like him, I think you take on so much all at once. Pick one thing that is hard for you and work on that. All at once is so hard. I know that I have many things to work on, but breaking it down to smaller thing's has helped. I took the easier stuff first ;\)

Trust, then emotion's, then negative thought's, then...take you're pick.

Stay strong
Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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