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#252320 - 10/01/08 09:33 AM Disgusting coward!
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1938
Loc: durham, north england
Last night, I did something very stupid. It was the first evening of my performing group, everyone was meeting up to meet new members and have a social event.

I went to the station, but missed my earlier train. After finding myself sitting on the platform for half an hour I started to think, started to imagine other's reactions to me, to get a sense of myself as different, standing out, disgusting!

this sense grue worse. Maybe it was because I was plannint to handle things differently at my light opera group, maybe it was because I made a resolution to actually try asking someone out at some point this year, maybe it was because my session with my T last week didn't go well, but that sense of being dsingled out, being disgusting, got worse. Before the next train arrived (yes, it was delayed), I turned around and left the station, phoned a friend at the group to tell him (with my best acting), that the train was hugely delayed and I wouldn't be able to be there, then turned around and went home.

I really hate! myself for doing this. After all my resolutions, all my thinking, all my work, i end up by being overcome and leaving. So much for my great plans for sorting out my relationship problems.

I hate myself for failing like this.

And just to compound the problem, tomorrow morning I've got to see my T again. last week I finished with her feeling awful. i spent the time being very emotionally distant and cold, even arrogant.

We even got into an arguement about the unconscious and unfalsifyable theories.

she also noted (realistically), that my dislike of hereing the S word or related matters was a form of running off.

It's weerd, I don't feel any overbearing shame about cowardice in general, but I'm incredibly disappointed with myself for behaving and reacting like this!

So much for all my recovery work!

yee gods! I'm disgusted with myself!


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#252347 - 10/01/08 11:43 AM Re: Disgusting coward! [Re: dark empathy]
M3 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 1392
Loc: Central Ohio
(((Luke)))

First, stop abusing yourself. The self-deprecation you are practicing right now is simply a continuation of the work of your abuser. Give yourself a break and show your self some compassion.

Sounds strange doesn't it. For months my T told me the same thing and I just didn't get it (which in and of its self made me feel bad and that I had the emotional intelligence of a bug). But one day in the Discussion Board I found myself telling someone to be compassionate with them self and it clicked! WOW!

What you are experiencing is what probably every CSA survivor has done on many occasions! Give yourself a break for being like the rest of us. The thing is, recovery often takes a step or two back in some areas while you are succeeding in other areas. That's the way it is. But when you get back to the area you had loses in, the next time through processing these events you can make more progress and eventually, you will heal. Focus on your successes in other areas and love yourself for you effort. This will come. But abusing yourself over not being successful won't make any of this better. No need to abuse a child who has already been abused.

I'm really sad to see you say you are "disgusted" with yourself and that you are basing the success of your recovery on this event. \:\( Those are so contrary to the impression you've made on me. No coward could possibly have survived the abuse, disclosed, started therapy, and become such an integral part of the MaleSurvivor community.

I refuse to believe any of this about you and you should also refuse to. Plan something nice for you and Little Luke tonight. And if you feel bad about the lie about the train, then you might find the person that you told the it too and apologize, telling them that you didn't feel up to the event.

Show yourself compassion, and stop abusing yourself. You don't deserve it.

Peace and love...

Michael


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#252427 - 10/01/08 06:16 PM Re: Disgusting coward! [Re: M3]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1938
Loc: durham, north england
to be honest michael, worthlessness is such an ingraned state with me, there are very few occasions when i've not felt it. I know exactly where this comes from, verbal and physical insults on a dayly basis were a huge part of my abuse. At the time, i was always glad of being insulted verbally, sinse it meant nothing worse was being done to me.

All three of my T's, ---- including my current one have said I'm carrying on where my abusers left off, the problem is I have no idea how to even begin being compassionate to myself. Anything I do which i enjoyk, from drinking coffee to creative writing to watching doctor who, is just something i enjoy, nothing more. There is no sense that "I" am doing anything to myself, ---- or even that there is a "litle luke" there t be thought of.

it might be something to do with being synaesthesic, or just the way I think, but that sort of separated thinking of myself in the abstract is incredibly hard for me. I am a mechanism which feels, I know how I work, I know what will hurt and what won't, what will feel good and what won't, I know what I enjoy and don't enjoy, but all of this means nothing!

That's one reason i love performing on stage so much, there are occasions, ---- when I've actually felt that I meant! something to myself.

I have no idea how I can start thinking more of myself, it sjust seems so blatantly obvious to me that I'm not worth it. Anyone, or anything which denies this, complements, musical passages which are very synaesthesically close to me, anything nostalgic or too reminiscent of something good actually causes me to hurt because it feels so wrong!

All i can think about my recovery is getting myself to feel and react better, ---- nothing more, and that's why when i failed like last night, I feel so bad sinse it seems it's not working.

this is one reason i'm so desperate to find a Gf, sinse in that kind of communication which I've seen other people have, there's a great sense of valuing and being valued.

I'm really sorry about all this random rambling, to be honest I'm quite tired, and just spilling stuff here, ---- sorry. I'd better shut up now, sinse this is getting really weerd and and not really going anywhere.


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#252677 - 10/03/08 12:30 AM Re: Disgusting coward! [Re: dark empathy]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1960
Luke,

I'd say as well to not be so hard on yourself. You are not the first person who backed away from some event because of feeling anxious or whatever. I know how it feels, and it can be a bummer, but don't sweat it too hard. It does happen sometimes, and I bet quite a few guys here could tell you a story or two.

If you can, try reminding yourself, as you go about your day to not give a rat's tail about what anyone else thinks about you. As long as you are not doing anything wrong, or hurting others, you have that right. Try to escape judging yourself too hard. And if you do judge yourself, don't judge yourself for judging yourself.

I think I can relate to some of what you are going through. For me, I notice there is a lot of anxiety involved sometimes. If you notice yourself getting anxious, don't beat yourself up over it. Just take a deep breath and carry on with what you were doing, or move on to the next thing. Truth be told, I think many if not most people get anxious, but maybe some more than others. I have come to realize that mostly people don't notice or at least don't focus a lot of attention on it if someone else is that way. I think the reason being is that people, at least most, understand that we all get anxious. I wouldn't worry too hard about those that don't get it; there are various names for those types.

About the Gf thing. I understand you, and I know that hurts. I'd say just keep working on yourself and grow, and that stuff will fall into place (trust me, as you feel better about yourself, you should notice others taking more notice, and in a good way). Basically, don't worry about all this, just be good to yourself and allow yourself to grow, learn, heal, etc. And don't devalue your own worth. We all had enough of that in the past coming from others.

Eric




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#252709 - 10/03/08 09:29 AM Re: Disgusting coward! [Re: ericc]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1960
Luke,

I woke up this morning feeling like maybe I was being a bit preachy in this post. Let me just add that I know the feeling, and I am in no way saying that I have it all figured out or that it is easy. But I still agree that you should be easy on yourself and try to just enjoy things. Challenge those negative lies you were fed as a kid that are still having a hold on you. When I was younger, before even the abuse, I was used as a scapegoat and was made to feel like dirt by others on a lot of front. That stuff is very powerful, and I know how it affects someone. But they were lies, I was not even close to being the person others wanted me to feel I was. But the bullying drags you down, and sometimes you become or feel you are on some level what others are laying on you. But these lies served a purpose for the other person, a selfish purpose, and it wasn't about you. So anyway, try and challenge these lies that have become ingrained and just enjoy some things without being hard on yourself and see how it feels. Again, easier said than done, but you might find it is worth the effort.

Eric


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#252753 - 10/03/08 03:40 PM Ready for recovery? [Re: dark empathy]
M3 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 1392
Loc: Central Ohio
((Luke)),

I first disclosed my sexual abuse when I was younger and the two people I told couldn't handle it. I was 13 the first time, days after my rape, and the second person was when I was 14. The day the runner brought photos of the rape to school, I went home and called a friend. I told her everything (except that I was getting ready to kill myself). My goal at the time was to have someone know the truth so when I wasn't around to defend my actions, someone knew the truth.

My point, yes, I do have a point, is that I had gotten to the point where I couldn't take it any more. My spirit was broken and I was giving up. No one wanted me for anything good, only for bad. I didn't think I was bad. I thought I was smart enough, but I must be wrong because the only thing that got reflected back to me was crap. Kind of like the saying they use with data management - Garbage In, Garbage Out. I thought I was putting out good to the world. I did what I was told, I was getting good grades again, I had friends, I was polite, I showed compassion to my peers and adults, what more was I supposed to be doing? But the only thing that came back was abuse. I lost my self worth.

I didn't kill myself, I chickened out and that made me feel even worse. So I continued to put on the act. But I wanted things to change.

At 30, my marriage of 9 years had just ended (ironically to the girl I called that night, she'd blocked that phone call from her memory and pretended it never happened) and my life was falling apart. I went into therapy and disclosed my sexual abuse. But this time to a therapist who didn't want to deal with it. We worked on other issues, anger, divorce, betrayal, etc., but not the abuse. Two years of therapy that didn't get to the problem.

For the next 8 years I read book on CSA, thought about going back into therapy, but figured that I was smart enough that I could do this for myself. But what that really meant was that I wanted change, but wasn't ready to make the change.

I read about support groups, writing letters to your perpetrators and talking to your inner child. Sounded like a bunch of pop psychology crap to me. But what that really meant was that I wanted change, but wasn't ready to make the change.

I went to a Weekend of Recovery and didn't participate in some of the activities because I was embarrassed, thinking they were childish or worthless. But what that really meant was that I wanted change, but wasn't ready to make the change.

There is a big difference between wanting a change and being ready to make the change.

I wanted change with every fiber of my being. I would cry myself to sleep because I wanted to be happy, but I was alone and unloved. It would physically hurt so bad sometimes, this desire to be like everyone else, the desire to forget, the desire to be happy. But I wasn't ready to make the change.

I was too scared to give up what was familiar - the pain, unhappiness and all those lessons the abusers taught us. To recovery, you have to be ready to let go of those things and take a leap of faith that you can learn to feel something different. It's almost like an addition, you don't want to do crack, but your body knows it and that is where it is comfortable. To make the changes you desire in recovery, you have to give up the safe and familiar: the pain, the guilt, the shame, the self-hatred, the self-abuse and be completely open for what comes next. You have to let go of that tether the abuser gave you and be open to jump in with both feet to try new things, feel new things, learn new things and to not turn around and go back to the safe.

We stumble along the way, we try to bring along bits of the tether, or at least keep it in our sights so we can get back to the safe if we need to. Some fail and have to try again and again. But you can break free from the pain and worthlessness that is so ingrained into your being. There are many examples of guys here like me who have managed to do this.

Quote:
there are very few occasions when i've not felt it

Then you know that it can be done.


Quote:
All three of my T's, ---- including my current one have said I'm carrying on where my abusers left off, the problem is I have no idea how to even begin being compassionate to myself.

I know what you mean, it took me a long time to understand what my therapist meant by that. I really had no concept of what he was talking about. Then, one day posting on this site I told someone that they needed to be more compassionate with them self. BINGO! It was like a floodlight went off in my head!

It is really simply not being so hard on yourself. Many of the negative feelings, thoughts and reactions you have were taught to the you as a child. You didn't know any better - how could you? Don't be so hard on yourself when you are simply thinking or feeling something because you were taught to. It's OK. It's something that can change. By putting your energy into punishing yourself for not being the person you want to be, for not feeling the way you want to feel, for not thinking the way you want to think, you have to be OK with the fact that you are only doing what you were taught and apply all of that energy into becoming the person you want to be, a happier Luke who feels worthy and lovable.

Quote:
or even that there is a "litle luke" there t be thought of

Something that really keeps me grounded are photos of myself as a little kid. I took every photo of me where I think I look happy and made my avatar. That way, everytime I get on this site, I get to see happy Mikey. He's the boy that those abusers hurt. How could that do that to such a great kid?

Do you remember who little Luke was? Do you have photos of him? Maybe happy ones before the abuse? What do you remember about him outside of the abuse? Make a list. If he was sitting in a chair right beside you at the computer right now, what would you tell him? Picture him there. In doing this, do you feel anything inside? Sorrow? Pain? Loss? Anger? Just a mess of emotions? That could be little Luke trying to respond.

Quote:
That's one reason i love performing on stage so much, there are occasions, ---- when I've actually felt that I meant! something to myself.

I always found acting to be a way of deriving self-worth from what others thought about me (I used to do a lot of acting). Trucker51 likes to recommend Self Esteem by Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning. I haven't read it, but Trucker51 (Mark) is a pretty right-on guy, and building self-esteem is directly related to building self-worth.

Quote:
... anything nostalgic or too reminiscent of something good actually causes me to hurt because it feels so wrong!

My interpretation of what they mean by your inner child, "Little Luke", is the legacy and memory of the emotions, thoughts, memories of past events in your life. For some of us, those emotions, thoughts and memories are negative and were too much for the little boy we once were to fully process, understand and to put into the correct context of what belonged to him and what belonged to someone else, like the guilt, shame, worthlessness, etc. I would guess that the pain you feel in these situations is Little Luke's pain, the only way he knows how to communicate with you. These unprocessed emotions are brought to the surface, triggered by the musical passage, or nostalgic memory, etc. Those are the feelings that you need to bring to the surface, the memories that you need to process so you can come to terms with your past and realize that the worthlessness that you feel was left with you by your abusers and should be given back to them - it's not your burden to carry.

Quote:
All i can think about my recovery is getting myself to feel and react better, ---- nothing more, and that's why when i failed like last night, I feel so bad sinse it seems it's not working.

That's a perfect example of needing to show yourself compassion. The reaction you had to the tapes playing in your head about not being worthy or likable and chickening out of going to the party is typical for CSA survivors. So why should you beat yourself up and feel bad for acting like everyone else who has had the same history? It's not that you need to feel and react better, you need to stop that tape in your head so you don't have those thoughts, the thoughts the abuser taught you to think. Abusers want you to be compliant and do and think what they want you to do and think. Now's the time to learn to think for yourself, about yourself.

Quote:
I'm really sorry about all this random rambling, to be honest I'm quite tired, and just spilling stuff here, ---- sorry. I'd better shut up now, sinse this is getting really weerd and and not really going anywhere.

Luke, this is what the site is for. I hope my long and rambling reply helps a bit. I don't know if any of this is on target, but I hope so. I just think you are at a point where you have to let go of the familiar, the things the abusers taught you, and be open to new things, different things, better things.

Peace and love Luke...

Michael


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