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#232477 - 06/21/08 10:30 PM Why CSA men act out?
heismyworld Offline
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Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 25
First of all, I'm so sorry for the pain a person has after being abused as a child . . .

I'm just trying to understand sexual acting out better. Would some men be able to share why they acted out sexually--especially married men. What led them to that point?


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#232481 - 06/21/08 11:02 PM Re: Why CSA men act out? [Re: heismyworld]
testingWaters Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 508

I need to take another hiatus from this place but wanted to respond before I go.

Answer:
PAIN

aka

Instinct, compulsion, undoing, mis-association of pain/pleasure, unbearable hurt, trying to take control of what was forced before, addiction, risk-seeking, proving we are bad, devaluing ourselves, many more possibilities and combinations thereof.

I am not married but have been in serious, committed and monogamous relationships. These are only a few of the reasons.

I can only say that it took me a long time to understand that it is nearly impossible to explain to an outsider and especially someone who is close to you.

I might recommend this - can you black box it? In other words, accept that it is not "ok," that it hurts you and that that you don't understand it? That sounds like it'd be very tough to do, but it might give you the most peace.

The only good news I can give you is this - I guarantee you that if he is getting good help and his recovery is proceeding, there will come a point when he will be able/willing/and determined to explore, confront and stop acting out (meaning all avoidant and self-destructive behaviors).

I wish you luck. It's a long road. Try to take care of yourself first and foremost.


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#232486 - 06/21/08 11:16 PM Re: Why CSA men act out? [Re: testingWaters]
KENKEN Offline
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Registered: 09/25/07
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I sent you a PM,
Ken

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#232499 - 06/22/08 12:04 AM Re: Why CSA men act out? *DELETED* [Re: testingWaters]
heismyworld Offline
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Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 25
Post deleted by heismyworld


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#232551 - 06/22/08 11:59 AM . [Re: heismyworld]
JustJeff Offline
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Registered: 03/19/08
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#232577 - 06/22/08 02:45 PM Re: Why CSA men act out? [Re: heismyworld]
pufferfish Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6816
Loc: USA
Pardon my ignorance.

But could we have a clear cut idea of what it means to act out?

I'm not trying to be difficult, but there is a wide range of behaviors which could be labeled "acting out". We need to have a better idea what type of thing you are thinking of.

How about a few examples?

Puffer


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#232582 - 06/22/08 03:14 PM . [Re: pufferfish]
JustJeff Offline
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Posts: 262
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#232587 - 06/22/08 04:22 PM Re: Why CSA men act out? [Re: testingWaters]
blueshift Offline
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Registered: 01/21/08
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Originally Posted By: testingWaters



I might recommend this - can you black box it? In other words, accept that it is not "ok," that it hurts you and that that you don't understand it? That sounds like it'd be very tough to do, but it might give you the most peace.




Well put! This is exactly what I have been having to do. I think the idea that understanding it will make it hurt less is flawed.

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#232590 - 06/22/08 04:31 PM . [Re: blueshift]
JustJeff Offline
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#232605 - 06/22/08 06:01 PM Re: Why CSA men act out? [Re: JustJeff]
testingWaters Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 508
My T gave very good advice to my ex-girlfriend. She told her to protect herself when I would get the most PTSD/reactive. She referred to it as putting on her PTSD raincoat. I thought it was a helpful metaphor.

Acting out usually refers to putting oneself in sexual situations that are not healthy and often not about pleasure. Among the male survivors I know this usually means having sex with other men that is anonymous or generally not entirely respectful. But, a funny caveat - for a lot of straight male survivors, this is easy to identify, but I have several gay survivor friends who would describe some of their own activities as "acting out."

In other words - acting out shouldn't get overly identified with "straight" men having sexual episodes with other men. But sometimes it does, because it seems so f*cking weird to a bystander.

Another caveat, acting out is not about gender - I have definitely acted out more often through casual sex with women.

One more caveat - acting out more broadly (and not specific to survivors per se) also refers to self-destructive or volatile behavior that is usually an attempt to escape pain. So binging on drugs and alcohol or getting into a fight might be included as well.

And a final caveat - "acting out" never means perping others, in my experience. In fact, acting out is usually about trying to undo something bad that has already happened. Recreating the confusion and power dynamic of the abuse but doing so in a way that makes it seem safe or harmless or less exploitative. Perping someone else would not achieve that because it would make the horror of the abuse too real.

But I'm no shrink. This is just how I have come to understand my own past behaviors and its influenced by what I have read.


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#232607 - 06/22/08 06:05 PM Re: Why CSA men act out? [Re: testingWaters]
testingWaters Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 508
ps. Let me just add that blueshift has expressed the most important thing I have learned in two years of active recovery:

"I think the idea that understanding it will make it hurt less is flawed"


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#232610 - 06/22/08 06:23 PM Re: Why CSA men act out? *DELETED* [Re: testingWaters]
heismyworld Offline
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Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 25
Post deleted by heismyworld


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#232611 - 06/22/08 06:24 PM Re: Why CSA men act out? [Re: heismyworld]
testingWaters Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 508
I think its just a universal truth that we all accept at some point as a result of suffering.


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#232613 - 06/22/08 06:25 PM Re: Why CSA men act out? *DELETED* [Re: testingWaters]
heismyworld Offline
New Here

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 25
Post deleted by heismyworld


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#232614 - 06/22/08 06:28 PM Re: Why CSA men act out? *DELETED* [Re: heismyworld]
heismyworld Offline
New Here

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 25
Post deleted by heismyworld


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#232828 - 06/23/08 05:57 PM Re: Why CSA men act out? [Re: heismyworld]
testingWaters Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 508
Not sure if this will help - in my experience acting out is almost the opposite of being a perp. For me, when I act out (not usually involving sex) I am trying to find power and control "safely" (though often my actions are self-destructive.) That is by taking control over hurting myself or devaluing myself so that noone else will do it to me. But I never act out by taking power or control over anyone who is weaker or more vulnerable to me.

In a strange way, acting out is effective - it sort of maintains a working distance between my adult self and my child self. As though I am "abusing" him. But in doing this, I am keeping others out of the whole equation. Like noone else is going to get affected by my rage or fear - just me.

So, the fact that your partner acting out goes against everything he believes in makes perfect sense to me. It is as though he is protecting you, your family and his beliefs from the part of himself that he probably feels is "bad."

Again, this is something I've worked alot on trying to understand but take it with a grain of salt - I am sure as recovery goes on, I will have new insights of my own.

I would recommend reading what some professionals have written. Check the MS site for good suggestions.

Oh, and an important caveat, as for understanding not making it hurt less - I understand very clearly "what's going on" but unless I stay really mindful all the time, I still act out sometimes, though increasingly in less dramatic ways.

Good luck!


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