Newest Members
journey4two, VASurvivor, jayceemac, rwolf, FindingNemo
12328 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
Alicia (55), bubblytam (56), crazydragon (39), JGag78 (36), kris82 (32), Shin (28)
Who's Online
5 registered (Shyshark, Rich1967, 3 invisible), 15 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12328 Members
74 Forums
63402 Topics
443277 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 5 of 6 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 >
Topic Options
#238582 - 07/16/08 09:43 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: hogan_dawg]
AndyJB2005 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1242
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
My dad raped me for my 10 years...so yeah, I get the paternal incest part...

And don't get me wrong...I spent years and years and years angry....I hated him and everyone around me...and all that nearly killed me...literally.

I hated myself most of all though, but I couldn't admit that...so I got into several addictions and nearly flunked out of school because all I cared about was hating my dad...

Soon the hate turned INTO me...became my persona...that's who I was...and it really reflected itself to others...

When I came to the real source of my problem, the rest seemed to fall easier into place....

_________________________
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

Top
#238591 - 07/16/08 10:43 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: AndyJB2005]
CDavid Offline


Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184
Thank you, Andy.

I am an incest survivor, also. The way it manifested itself with me was that I could not say no. Oddly, if you can not say no, all too often you can not say yes to what you need.

I wasn't outwardly angry...but as you point out, anger turned inward manifests itself into any number of addictions and I drank, a lot.

But, in order for me to find my way through recovery I had to consciously push myself to connect to the anger. I did not want to...I hated anger and angry people.

Thanks


CD


Top
#238595 - 07/16/08 11:07 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: CDavid]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
I hear you Andy. You needed to get past your anger. And it took a long time. It sounds 'all consuming'. Before coming to terms with my denial I felt a lot of anger too. Even once I acknowledged my abuse I've felt anger. But strangely, I don't feel any need to wallow in it. But when probed, I'll still say I feel angry about being forced sex against my will. I can say nothing else and be me.

I think how people take back their power is going to vary a lot from person to person. Maybe with paternal incest it's even more important that we all have to chart our own course to achieve the empowerment that was denied us by our parent.

One way LW, that you can take your power back and feel whatever you feel with 100% validation for what you feel, is an UNSENT LETTER.

It's like expressing in words all of your feelings (plus reasons good enough for you) for any of the members of your family that need(ed) a good reminder of how you were made to feel. Make a list of people who need an unsent letter. It can be one sentence long, a paragraph, or a book. Say whatever you want to say to them. Dead or alive. If you write one, do it on paper. Do it by hand because it is more visceral and less 'detached' than on a computer. It doesn't even have to be legible. Then, if you decide to forgive some day, you can toss the letter away. Say what you want to say, and say exactly why you feel what you do, with all the details you think are important. It can further validate your experience to yourself. That's empowering to know exactly why you feel what you feel towards each person involved. It brings some clarity to the haze of, say, rage. The clarity you'll feel is you integrating your emotions with your rationality.

No need to actually send the letter.

That's just one way. I'm sure there are other ways to constructively work through your feelings.



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/17/08 12:15 AM)
_________________________
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
#238625 - 07/17/08 06:58 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: hogan_dawg]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Originally Posted By: hogan_dawg
Yes but Bryan, he doesn't feel forgiveness. When you say "The refusal to even attempt to forgive is triggering to me" those words force LW into a very tight corner, such that if he doesn't do as you want, and 'try' to forgive, you're going to be triggered.


I don't think this is true at all.

LW and I have exchanged some private messages regarding this thread. It must absolutely be emphasized that anger and rage are healthy emotions that need to be dealt with accordingly. I've emphasized to him that posting about his anger and rage here, even if it involves wanting to enact revenge and refusing to forgive, is absolutely appropriate as long as it is accompanied by a trigger warning. However, when those emotions start to bleed over into the category of wanting to hurt someone, even if it is someone who wronged us, we need to be careful. That is an unhealthy manisfestation of a healthy emotion, and the temporary relief it gives us to imagine the suffering of those we hate tends to be quite addictive.

I've seen numerous people on this forum for the past year who get angry when the topic of forgiveness is brought up. "I'll never forgive my perp" is what they tend to say. That's fine. Each person is responsible for their own healing, but the fact of the matter is, if we refuse to forgive those who hurt us, then those who hurt us will always control some aspect of our lives. Recovery is all about shedding that control, and whether we like it or not, forgiveness is an absolutely vital part of recovery.

I refuse to let my mother control my life anymore. The only way to accomplish that was to forgive her for the horrible torment she wrought upon my life. I will freely admit that forgiveness is a process. We can't just wake up one morning and say "I forgive so and so because I choose to". We can, however, wake up one morning and say "I'm going to work on forgiving so and so because I owe it to myself". Holding on to grudges, no matter how right we are to hold those grudges, does nothing more than keep the people against whom we hold those grudges as focal points in our lives.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#238628 - 07/17/08 07:50 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: BJK]
CDavid Offline


Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184
Hmmm?

I don't know, Bryan?

I certainly understand what you are saying. It is easy to see that rage is a distortion of anger, a little more difficult, or, I will say, it was for me, to see that sarcasm is anger, frustration is anger, addictions, too.

Some of us become fierce protectors, others, unfortunately lash out indiscriminately, still, others and many fall somewhere in-between.

It is easier to see that guy that lashes out indiscriminately as angry, less obvious, I think, or, it seems like...to see the guy that needs someone or, something to protect. A philosophy, a way of life, a belief, to defend it as though his life depended on it. When, it is much easier to just walk away.

When we say, "The honest expression of anger" when it is expressed in a supportive environment...when we are heard, what we are saying and expressing is validated...then, doesn't the anger become less? Not unlike say, the need to cry...when we are hurt.

Anger is an interesting topic, that's for sure.


CD


Top
#238637 - 07/17/08 09:30 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: CDavid]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
LW know that from where I sit, you're doing fine, your feelings about forgiveness are valid, and if it matters, your feelings of anger and fantasies of revenge make perfect sense to me.

I'm in a support group with a dozen guys, none of whom forgives their abuser, and all of whom are pretty decent chaps without any serious anger issues. We hug at the beginning and end of meetings, there is humour, love and acceptance throughout the group. Maybe some will forgive some day, but none of us sees any need to forgive what we concur are pretty horrific crimes against us. We're not rage filled lunatics. We're normal guys and some of us are damned easy to get along with and enjoy.

I'm not a clinical psychologist. My formal training focused on children's understanding and experience of emotion, and was experimental - so I'm no expert clinician nor am I an expert on you. But I understand the basics of dissociation and emotional distress in children. I've attended enough talks by clinicians to be pretty confident that you can heal up just fine without any requirement to forgive. Just know the forgiveness requirement has mixed appeal, at best, across clinical circles. And I don't know of a properly controlled empirical study that shows forgiveness works best. Maybe I just don't know the literature well enough. But my guess is that if forgiveness were so effective, it would become standard practice, and it is by no means standard practice. It is one approach among many many approaches.

So I phoned a registered psychologist friend of mine last night just to see if you were off base or on track by feeling what you felt, and she assures me, without knowing you as a person, that generally speaking such acknowledgment of your feelings is a huge step, especially as it pertains to dissociation, and speaking generally she notes that recovery isn't dependent on a victim forgiving anyone, in her view, and prematurely forgiving, she noted in an afterthought, can be a sign that the person hasn't really, in her view, 'come to terms' with one's own feelings.

Anyway, you have your own therapist and you have to work with that therapist. Bounce forgiveness off the therapist. Ask if you 'must' forgive to heal. After all, you have to work with that person for the next X months. Best to be on the same page.

Just do whatever you do knowing that this is your timetable and your recovery. I urge you to continue to do whatever it takes to recover the power that was taken away from you.

Your empowerment, right now, is primary. So have at it! \:\)



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/17/08 10:38 AM)
_________________________
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
#238641 - 07/17/08 10:29 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: CDavid]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Originally Posted By: CDavid
Hmmm?

I don't know, Bryan?

I certainly understand what you are saying. It is easy to see that rage is a distortion of anger, a little more difficult, or, I will say, it was for me, to see that sarcasm is anger, frustration is anger, addictions, too.

Some of us become fierce protectors, others, unfortunately lash out indiscriminately, still, others and many fall somewhere in-between.

It is easier to see that guy that lashes out indiscriminately as angry, less obvious, I think, or, it seems like...to see the guy that needs someone or, something to protect. A philosophy, a way of life, a belief, to defend it as though his life depended on it. When, it is much easier to just walk away.

When we say, "The honest expression of anger" when it is expressed in a supportive environment...when we are heard, what we are saying and expressing is validated...then, doesn't the anger become less? Not unlike say, the need to cry...when we are hurt.

Anger is an interesting topic, that's for sure.


CD



I spent an hour long session with my T once discussion the three different manifestations of abuse in the pschology of the abused that were discussed in Mike Lew's book Victims No Longer. I know you are quite familiar with Lew, so I'm sure you're familiar with the manifestations: Aggressor, Victim, and Protector.

Naturally, most people would automatically assign positive and negative connotations to the above three manifestations. However, that could not be further from the truth. We spent that hour discussing the positive and negative qualities that are associated with each of these three labels.

Aggressors, for instance, tend to be quite successful in their pursuit of fulfilling careers. Victims tend to be very empathetic towards the difficulties of others once they get past their own difficulties. On the flip side of that coin, protectors oftentimes go overboard, letting their emotions control and dictate how they react to different stimuli.

In other words, the label of "protector" is not always a positive role to have.

This was almost a year ago when we had this discussion, and we spent a great amount of time talking about the element of revenge. It was emphasized repeatedly during this session, and I discussed all of the ways I wanted to hurt my mother, that those thoughts were not healthy. They didn't release anger. Instead, those thoughts harbored anger. There was only one way to rid myself of those thoughts, and that was to forgive my mother.

I have found a vast amount of peace and tranquility in doing so. I cannot begin to describe how wonderful it is to have worked through this anger and to not have those feelings of revenge permeating my very soul. It wasn't an easy process, but I'd still be stuck where I was a year ago had I not undertaken the task of acheiving this state of being.

I do not judge those who choose not to forgive, though I do have a hard time with those who wish revenge upon those who have wronged them. In my eyes, revenge is simply a way of acting out our abuse. It does nothing to help our abuse. It only holds us back.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#238644 - 07/17/08 10:34 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: BJK]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Bryan, the perpetrator is dead. The revenge point was moot 3 pages ago, for goodness sake.



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/17/08 10:36 AM)
_________________________
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
#238645 - 07/17/08 10:37 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: hogan_dawg]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Originally Posted By: hogan_dawg
Bryan, the perpetrator is dead. The revenge point was moot 3 pages ago, for goodness sake.


I'm not talking about the act of revenge. I'm talking about the desire to commit revenge, which is a point that is very relevant.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#238646 - 07/17/08 10:39 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: BJK]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Jeepers creepers. Let it go, man. He knows his Father is dead. I think he can handle this unfulfilled fantasy without falling to pieces. Besides, who in their right mind can't understand feeling doubly ripped off when someone can't get justice because the perpetrator has died? I'm sure there are thousands of people who feel exactly the same way after the perpetrator departs this world.

Stop nit picking at the guy. It won't help him.



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/17/08 10:50 AM)
_________________________
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
Page 5 of 6 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, TJ jeff 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.