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#250762 - 09/23/08 05:53 PM Adult Survivor
LN3(SS) Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/20/08
Posts: 486
Loc: MD
This question keeps running around my head and I toss it out to see what's out there.

What do you do when you're a survivor but not a CSA survivor?

Over the last 3 months, I've read all sorts of posts talking about getting in contact with the "inner child" etc. But what about those that were hurt AS ADULTS? What works with that?

I see some posts about the recovery process, but am not sure what to make of those since they seem more geared toward CSA. I feel like I'm running into a brick wall.

Maybe it's because of the significant stress in my life that I'm letting out this frustration, but I am tired of a lot of things right now. And this should be one of the happiest times in my life! Instead of fully enjoying the happiness I know I should be, some of the symptoms of my military sexual trauma are coming out to play.

Thoughts and suggestions please,

Brian

_________________________
"When we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead, or alive, we will all come home together." LTG Hal Moore, Jr., USA (Ret.)

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#250778 - 09/23/08 07:54 PM Re: Adult Survivor [Re: LN3(SS)]
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
Brian,

You are still a survivor of sexual abuse. I don't know all of the details but, unfortunately, it all follows a similar pattern. You were used by a person in authority to satisfy thier perverse sexual desires and were left feeling alone, isolated, afraid and used.

It never was your fault. Never.

Take good care of yourself,

Steve

_________________________
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

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#250783 - 09/23/08 08:04 PM Re: Adult Survivor [Re: Stephen_5]
Ken Followell Offline
President
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 990
Loc: Bradenton, FL
Mic Hunter has done some studies on military sexual abuse. His book is called "Honor Betrayed: Sexual Abuse in America's Military". Perhaps that may help.

_________________________
Ken Followell

Everything works out right in the end. If things are not working right, it isn't the end yet. Don't let it bother you, relax and keep on goin
- Michael C. Muhammad

"I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing."
� Rabbi Hillel

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#250784 - 09/23/08 08:08 PM Re: Adult Survivor [Re: LN3(SS)]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
Hey Brian, when trauma happens what needs to happen after to "heal" is being able to grieve the loss that happened. That loss can come as lots of different things, loss of safety, loss of trust, loss of childhood, etc. The inner-child work is important because trauma as a child stunts the growth but there is also alot of other work that needs doing as well.

The steps for the grieving process are denial, bargaining, anger, sadness and acceptance. A part to remember is that we can be in one or many of these steps all at the same time. We can be angry at our loss of trust while at the same time being sad at the loss of safety. The key though is the acceptance. The acceptance comes when we've learned to trust again, to accept that we might not be able to live as we once did. Life will be different after our experiences/trauma but we can learn to accept this and still live our lives in the new reality, and live a happy life.

For myself healing has been accepting that when a car honks it's horn I'm going to jump at that because of my PTSD, it's been realizing that all of my feelings of "not-normal" are indeed very normal for what I went through. There are not many people on this planet who would react differently than I did if they grew up like I did. It's certainly not fair or easy. But it is normal.

How could you feel any other way Brian

Once you're able to grieve what happened it then becomes a matter of moving forward from that trauma and living with it like anyone else would have to do. Again not fair.

If a person gets hit by a car, it's trauma. They might forever feel unsafe walking across the road again, but to live they must walk across the road again, it's their reality.

They accept that they have to cross streets again, or their life will forever be diminished.

Please don't think I'm minimizing at all Brian, but in my opinion if we are to move forward we have to do this.

Stay strong
Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#250790 - 09/23/08 08:21 PM Re: Adult Survivor [Re: mogigo]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
Just wanted to add, that I think alot of talk about forgiveness is tied to this understanding of acceptance. There's a big leap between forgiving our abuser's and accepting this as part of our lives. Truely forgiving our abuser's has nothing to do with accepting our losses. I think this is a big misunderstanding.

Mike



Edited by mogigo (09/23/08 08:22 PM)
_________________________
Thriving

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#250797 - 09/23/08 08:50 PM Re: Adult Survivor [Re: mogigo]
Tinman Offline


Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 359
Loc: Lake Forest, CA
Brian, I am going to wade into a controversy that I have not seen talked about here, but I know exists. And I know I am not the only one.

I have never bought the "inner child" crap. Nor have either my last two very competent therepists. It was never an issue that I brought up when I interviewed them, but came up later in therapy. Both have said the same thing. That it is pop psychology, nothing more.

I say this (risking the wrath of many, I know) to tell you what they told me. Trauma is trauma. PTSD is PTSD. Doesn't matter whether it happened as a child or an adult. The common threads with both the child abuse victim and the male adult who has been abused are betrayal, guilt, shame and bewilderment.

I am a CSA survivor. But I had several abusers over several years. So which child is it? The five year old? The twelve year old? Or the sixteen year old.

You are every bit the survivor that I am and I stand behind you 100%

Paul

(I am waiting for the lightning strike for my heresy any moment now!)

_________________________
Tinman
"I finally have my heart!"

To the perps: Don't worry about me coming after you. But you damn well better watch out for God! "Vengeance is mine", saith the Lord

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#250799 - 09/23/08 08:59 PM Re: Adult Survivor [Re: Tinman]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
KA-ZAAAAAM lol, no worries Paul just would say that we need to not discount anything......yet. At least until I can come to MS and someone can say do this, this and this and all will be well.

How's you're journey Tinman, got it all figured out? Tell us how you did it please.

I'm begging

Stay strong
Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#250806 - 09/23/08 09:30 PM Re: Adult Survivor [Re: mogigo]
OKIE MIKE Offline
Member

Registered: 02/13/04
Posts: 982
Loc: HULBERT OK
I believe that Military Sexual Trama. Is different than Child Sexual Abuse.
Because most of the time the person that is the criminal is in a posision of athurity. The Military is set up so that if you try and report the crime, it goes no where. because the militaty traditinaly does not want to admit that there are sexual preditors in there ranks. If the victom tries to push for justice. they are the one that ends up being punished .

_________________________
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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#250814 - 09/23/08 09:43 PM Re: Adult Survivor [Re: mogigo]
Tinman Offline


Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 359
Loc: Lake Forest, CA
Mogigo, perhaps I am reading something into your question to me, but it sounds uber sarcastic. Would you care to elaborate so I can respond appropriately?

Please note I stated an opinion. I most certainly did not say to do anything. Each of us walks our own path.


_________________________
Tinman
"I finally have my heart!"

To the perps: Don't worry about me coming after you. But you damn well better watch out for God! "Vengeance is mine", saith the Lord

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#250826 - 09/23/08 10:45 PM Re: Adult Survivor [Re: Tinman]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
Sorry Paul , maybe a little in there, I don't like to hear words like, "inner child" crap and pop psychology with regards to things that may have helped others on their journey.

I'm only thinking of how that would make some feel if they have gotten some benefit out of those approaches.

Those words could proubably make some people feel pretty stupid and silly about themselves.

probably not the right approach here

Stay strong
Mike

"what works for some might not work for all"

No need to make people feel stupid because of that

I know the day I was able to "visualize!!!" my younger self being merged into myself was a day of great healing for me.

"Visualizing" being the key word





Edited by mogigo (09/23/08 10:50 PM)
_________________________
Thriving

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#250831 - 09/23/08 10:55 PM Re: Adult Survivor [Re: mogigo]
Tinman Offline


Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 359
Loc: Lake Forest, CA
Sorry, I don't need to respond.

_________________________
Tinman
"I finally have my heart!"

To the perps: Don't worry about me coming after you. But you damn well better watch out for God! "Vengeance is mine", saith the Lord

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#250833 - 09/23/08 11:12 PM Re: Adult Survivor [Re: Tinman]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
shocking!, empathy is the name of the game Tinman

_________________________
Thriving

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#250835 - 09/23/08 11:29 PM Re: Adult Survivor [Re: OKIE MIKE]
Barkabus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/09/08
Posts: 809
Quote:
The Military is set up so that if you try and report the crime, it goes no where. because the militaty traditinaly does not want to admit that there are sexual preditors in there ranks. If the victom tries to push for justice. they are the one that ends up being punished.


OKIE MIKE, you nailed it on the head! For these survivors, the secondary victimization is devastating. They are shamed in front of their friends, co-workers and family. They are tattooed with a scarlet letter right smack on the forehead for all to see and mock. They are discharged from the military in shame and left to fend for themselves wounded by the very country they swore by oath to protect and defend. This is the gravest tragedy of injustice.

Mike



Edited by Barkabus (09/23/08 11:34 PM)
_________________________
My Story

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#250853 - 09/24/08 03:35 AM Re: Adult Survivor [Re: Barkabus]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1996
Loc: durham, north england
As others have said Brian, it's not really a question of child or adult, it's a question of power.

even though i was 12-15, sinse my abusers were very much my own age, a lot of methods which others use don't seem to apply to me, sinse there was no adult authority to my abusers at all, just weight of numbers.

also, who's to say what is an adult anyway? yes i was 15, but some people are fathers at fifteen. i always got on far better with adults than those my own age at that point, and was in fact invited to several groups, such as a seminar on the holocaust, where the average given age was 18.

I'm also personally not a fan of all the inner child stuff either, but recovery very much seems to be a case of find something that works individually, rather than a one size fits all approach. people can give their opinion on what is helpful to them, and as mike said, it's always worth tryin their advice, but if it doesn't work for you, ----- fair enough.


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#250861 - 09/24/08 07:45 AM Re: Adult Survivor [Re: dark empathy]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
get ready for a ron rant......

brian, the vertical hierarchical male dominated social construct better known as the patriarchal model from which all our culture springs forth is rife with dysfunction, and we are its fodder.

awareness is ever increasing of the damage it perpetrates in institutions religious, educational, and even more apparently in its grandfather, the military system.

sorry to seem cynical [i'm really a generally happy guy!]. but at the foundation of each of these institutions lie the will to power and control and this ethic dominates everything in life that stands in need of being 'conquered'.

and that begins with the individual.

your own needs, as a person in service to an organization whose sole purpose is to preserve the 'integrity' of it own interests as a system undivided, do not matter. you were just a pawn in a game. to be of use only to the extent that you would contribute effectively to the goal of this military machine. your own individuality, your best interests, your emotional and psychological health mean nothing to this organization.

you're 18 and you want a job to make money and support yourself, maybe have a little fun and seeeeeee the world? join the military!

be all you can be! [ yea, that sounds might enticing to a youngster who is right at the stage of personal development when their dominant needs for survival and safety, gratification, control and self-determination are looking for a proving ground upon which to exert all their newly emerging powers].


sounds great, doesn't it?. ignore the fact that in this system you are groomed for murder and wreaking catastrophe on hordes of people who are, just like yourself, trying to wend a way of living, to eek out a meager existence, supporting their families, trying to find peace, happiness and love.

so here you are just believing and trusting, as you are 'being all that you can be' in service to your country and god, that everything is working for the highest and best values ever. i mean it's all biblically based, so how could it be wrong? how could it be dangerous? how could it be broken?

well as you have found out, it can be all of those things and more.

regarding your abuse in later years and within the parenthesis of this particular system, you were just as much a child abused by a parental figure, but this time the parent was an institution not an individual. your abuse was systemic. it was still about power no matter how you slice it; power, and the disparity of power between the person representing the institution under which the aegis of your abuse took place.

sorry for the blathering, but you are just as much a victim of child sexual assault as many others here. but your abuser was an institutional parent.

the proverbial parent.

scary, just plain scary.

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#250990 - 09/24/08 11:08 PM Re: Adult Survivor [Re: LN3(SS)]
Morning Star Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: Home

Your age of SA might be different, but that doesn't your sense of powerlessness and victimization is any different, you might have developed more mechanisms to cope or hide your pain, but that doesn't mean your pain is different, or less!

As for the Inner Child thing, it is only about the child like innocence we come into the world with, that this is safe place to live, and has nothing to do with age.

Technically speaking, the ‘Child’ is an archetype or a mental predisposition, we all carry within, across our lifetime, which is a mark of our innocence, truthfulness, and all the wonderful qualities associated with a child. On the shadow (darker) side, it deals with childishness, and lack of responsibility for our actions, emotions and intents, which shows itself as recklessness, first emotional, and then attitudinal, or in relationships.

That is why when we access our inner child we not only help it mature, but also retain all the qualities in it that are worth retaining and perhaps cherishing! Without accessing that we can never access that magical quality that our inner child, which comes by knowing that, it is a divine child!

Coming back to the issue here, when we go thru a traumatic experience of SA, no matter what the age, we do loose that innocence about the world around and within, the journey of recovery is about regaining that sense of inner trust that you are safe and protected, by the Universe at large, and for that very reason therapists often emphasize on accessing your hurt feelings of our inner innocence - Inner child.

Because the 'grown up' part of us will always try to hide true emotions and pain, or try to be strong, and hence not release it. Whereas the child part of you will simply cry it all, and will be ok in no time! It is this emotional release which is imperative for healing and eventual recovery as only when we can release our pain, can we ever truly forgive, and only when we forgive do we move on in the truest sense!

So that the talk is about the inner you, the innocent you, which will show you, itself in all its vulnerability, a child never hides anything from any one, it is so open to all, for that very reason it is vulnerable.

So the journey of recovery is really about remaining open, and vulnerable, as a child would and does, but still living in the faith that you are safe!


_________________________
~ It's over!...Let go of Thy Past, Remember Thy Self ~

Why Don't People Heal, by Caroline Myss; 30 days to clean up your vibrations - Abraham-Hicks

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#251121 - 09/25/08 10:06 PM Re: Adult Survivor [Re: Morning Star]
MusicMan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 144
Loc: Elmira, NY
Brian,

I am so glad that you brought this subject up. So glad! For years, professionals put abuse into a neat little package with all of these protocols around it that fit the perp and the abuser to make it considered CSA. The perp had to be at least 16 years old and had to be at least 6 years older than the victim, etc. etc. To that I say, BALONEY!! That neat little package junk kept me from realizing that everything that happened to me was indeed abuse. I was afraid to even imagine any of it was, even if some of it did fit the criteria. I could have come to the realization much sooner and maybe avoided some of the insanity that I have been through!!!!

The deal is: anyone can sexually abuse anyone at any age. If someone abused you in the service, then it is no less abuse thatyou suffered than any of the rest of us. That might not make you feel any better, but you belong here and need just as much support as the rest of us. You need us and we need you.

I feel bad that you had to endure what you did, but we are here to help you. You are no less an abuse victim than any of the rest of us. You are in the right place. I hope that no one would tell you anything any different. If anyone would tell you anything any different, tell them to talk to me.

God bless,
John, The Music Man.






Edited by MusicMan (09/25/08 10:11 PM)

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#251395 - 09/27/08 07:47 AM Re: Adult Survivor [Re: mogigo]
Stretch73 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/27/08
Posts: 336
Loc: Sea Isle City, NJ
Dear Brian,

In some ways, I think your abuse is worse than mine. Yes, I was abused as a child, but you were abused at a time when you “should have” had the control. I don’t mean to poke you, by saying that you were weak or anything like that. As adults, we feel we have more control of ourselves and our environment. It seems to me to be more complex knowing that as an adult something like “sexual abuse” could happen. As a child, we are young, innocent, impressionable, and trusting. It is the nature of every child. Once that barrier is breached, we grow into adults who are usually paranoid and suspicious, especially of new people. I know that is it for me. But it must be something different altogether as an adult when you’re less willing to do something or submit to something, and your “will” cannot get you out of the situation, because of force or coercion.

To be brutally honest, before I met you I was slightly ignorant to what seems to be an “epidemic” of sexual abuse occurring in our military. I had often thought it certainly existed, but more so with men assaulting women. For that ignorance, I apologize. Like I told you before, “I lost a little bit of respect for our men and women in uniform, because of what happened to you.” And I wish dearly that I could’ve been there for you! I wish someone was there to protect you!

I don’t have a technical support list available like the “Geek Squad.” I wish I had the answers for you, but I don’t, and I won’t sit here and pass judgment and explain what I think you should do. I do know this -- sexual abuse is more about control and power. Your abuser and my abuser both had control and power over us. If there’s nothing else we have in common, isn’t that enough?

I am a person who constantly needs control. (I think that’s well documented on this site. LOL) I have to give you credit for standing up and speaking out. I just don’t know what I’d do in a similar situation. My control issues are a big reason why I will always own my own business, because frankly, I refuse to bow down and perform for anyone else. I think this is a clear result of my experience with abuse, and also my experience coming from a difficult family environment.

Did you know there is actually a rule for people who keep running into walls? Yes. It’s STOP. J And if you don’t stop, I suggest you find the lowest insurance quote possible, and think about early retirement funds. LOL

Let me make it clear, Brian. You are the single most important person I’ve connected with here. Maybe you don’t feel the same, and that’s fine, but there’s just something about you that makes it a little easier for me “to talk about things.” I hope you understand that and are not offended by my candor.

Let me steal your calling card for one post.

Peace, Love, and Soul…

Rich

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIwtzsvaVIM&feature=related

_________________________
"I was so poor growing up, that if I wasn't born a boy, I wouldn't have had anything to play with." Rodney Dangerfield

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