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#268395 - 12/23/08 03:23 AM Re: Born old? [Re: Geeders]
Morning Star Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: Home
I see two sides to this, first when CSA happens the adult steps in to save the child, who stands stunned by the experience and in many cases this disassociation lasts a lifetime. The second thing that happens simultaneously is that the child gets stunted or frozen at that very age, so many adult survivors will find their emotional nature still parked at that age, unless they have made recovery efforts and allowed the inner child to mature enough to match the physical age!

An important part of this recovery is to respect where you are right now and start from there, rather than go top down, and ask the inner child to 'behave' at all times, something parents do as well, not to great results in the long run!

Allow your inner child to learn and grow in your presence, nurture and love it as only you can, and that does the trick for you, as now you get to enjoy your second childhood well!


_________________________
~ 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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#268409 - 12/23/08 07:25 AM Re: Born old? [Re: Morning Star]
beakin Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/13/08
Posts: 44
Loc: Texas
I've also always felt much older than my physical age. Well, luckily, at 56 that's no longer true. Unfortunately, now I feel much younger than my physical age.

What little I remember of my childhood was spent wondering why the kids around me didn't just grow up. The middle child with an older brother and younger sister, I knew early on that I had to manage the conflict in the house to keep me "safe". Didn't work too well, but I knew I had to try. It was all about wanting to fade into the background whenever possible. When that wasn't possible, I could be completely outrageous so people could laugh. It's just one more way of being invisible.

I love what you said about asking the inner child to "behave" at all times, Morning Star. I realize I do that all the time. I also agree that I can now see that, emotionally, I've been stuck back around age five - twelve at the very most. I'm realizing now I'm in therapy, behaving is becoming harder to do. I guess the smartass side of me has always been the part I allow to not behave. Seems to be getting more pronounced as I try to reconnect with the past. I also take myself way to seriously. I'm working on that.

Not all that sure I want the inner child to mature enough to match my physical age, but I'm willing to try.



ben

_________________________
Only you can do it, but you cannot do it alone.

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#268410 - 12/23/08 07:38 AM Re: Born old? [Re: Morning Star]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2016
Loc: durham, north england
Great question! and one I've been wrestling with for a while now.

I'm sorry, but it is going to take a bit of a wrant to answer from me.

when I was three, I have a very distinct memory of contemplating the fact that I would be four in a week, and wondering how I would precisely change when I was four.

Of course I found I didn't change much.

when I went to nursery and my first primary school, ---- right up until i was 7, I never really thought of myself as different from others at all, ---- it never particularly occurred to me that I was visually impared.

I remember having a gang of friends, ---- one specific best friend in particular, ---- but generally a gang of others who'd I'd just play with.

Then when I was 7, I lost the sight of my right eye and spent six months in hospital, ---- where of course I missed most of my friends.

when at the age of eight I started boarding school everything changed. I had to grow up pretty fast, to cope with home sickness, isolation, and what was tantamount to emotional abuse.

I always felt apart at boarding school, but that was not a feeling of being old, ---- just being different.

when i was 12 I was actually told I came across like an 18 year old, this went as far as being invited to the councel for Christians and jews youth seminar, ---- where everyone else was 18-25. i had a fantastic time, ---- as in fact I did on my work experience at nottingham uni chaplincey.

then of course when I was eleven I started the secondary school from hell where shortly after abuse would begin.

i can really! relate to what eric said about sitting there and looking at how stupid people were being. the stupidity often took the form of jokes which were incredibly hurtful, and people actually called me old.

by the end though, at age 15, when all the people my age I knew could be separated into the catagories of those who hurt me and those who ignored me, the "old" feeling had sort of reached it's ultimate end. I don't think I even had a mental age as a teenager, ---- in fact I find it hard to separate out thge timings of memories. A poetic way of putting it would've been that I'd become so old I'd died about become an unfeeling corpse, ----- though of course I never literally felt that.

When i got to be 16 and left that school and for the fest time met teenagers who weren't completely wrong, I actually started to feel much younger, smaller, and inexperienced than everyone else, ---- but everyone seemed so tolerant and kind of this stupid kid in their midst, that I began to relax.

this pretty much continued over the next four years until i went to uni, and that feeling didn't change until i got to be 20 or 21. Ifg people were doing something I saw as silly, it was that I wasn't quite able to appreciate it, rather than I was too old for it.

One of the few good memories I have is at the age of 19, attending the end of year ball at my school. I always feel far too self-conscious to dance at these occasions, and usually end up sitting somewhere quiet with a drink talking to people.

One of my friends though, ----- actually quite a goth, not that that matters, very gently persuaded me to come dancing with her, and in fact told me what I should be doing. she also constantly told me i didn't look like an idiot, ---- which was really nice of her.

then, It started to reverse again, and has been growing stronger right up to the point I started my recovery.

i've been feeling not just old in the sense of older than everyone else remotely my age, but old in the sense of being completely passed all oppertunities for happiness. Whereas before I waas hopeful of eventually meeting the right person and having things go well, slowly that feeling has done a complete 180 and I've started to feel completely passed it.

Now exactly as people have described, I've felt people were being immature and stupid, and actually I've felt the distinct feeling when meeting people even a litle younger than me "who would want this old git associating with them"

Sinse I started into recovery land though, I can say this feeling has changed, ---- in fact recently I've begun to make friends with someone who's 20, ---- six years younger than me, and in fact when we're messing around, --- wondering what Yoda would buy palpetine for christmas, and making up tong twisters, ---- I've not felt old at all.

then of course, when my mum described me the other day as "going on 30" I got a very nasty shock, ---- as I'm 26. My brother is 29, ---- he! is going on 30 lol!

Appologies for the highly continuing wrant, but I wonder if i could finish with one thing a friend of mine said to me.

she's 52, has a Phd in chemistry and a masters in councelling, and is one of the people I've told about my abuse.

she actually said that at the age of 23, she felt far older than she does now at 52. apparently, in people's early 20's, the brain goes through a lot of as yet not understood chemical changes. I certainly have friends who say in their early 20's they felt far older than at another time, even though they've got no abuse or other issues to deal with, so maybe for people in their 20's, ---- there's some kind of chemical component as well.


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#268424 - 12/23/08 10:12 AM Re: Born old? [Re: dark empathy]
Geeders Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 1901
Loc: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: dark empathy
she actually said that at the age of 23, she felt far older than she does now at 52. apparently, in people's early 20's, the brain goes through a lot of as yet not understood chemical changes. I certainly have friends who say in their early 20's they felt far older than at another time, even though they've got no abuse or other issues to deal with, so maybe for people in their 20's, ---- there's some kind of chemical component as well.


There was a post on here not too long ago that indicated that the brain, in the late teens and early 20's does in fact go through a change to the extent that estimation of consequences starts to be meaningful. Perhaps, because of their relative newness to the psyche, consequences cause those in their early 20's to slow down a bit to estimate the consequences of decisions and behaviours. Those of us well past this point (I'm 52) can reflect back upon our experiential learning and make the same decisions and express the same behaviours with less effort because it is based on prior experiences, and not new to the thought process.

Wow, this thread has caused some serious gray matter exercise for everyone thus far. Including that modest guy, what's his name, oh yeah, grin JOEL!

Jim

_________________________
My name is Jim
WoR Mysthaven 2008, Level 2 WoR Alta 2009, Kirkridge 2010, 2011, Oprah 200 men

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#268789 - 12/26/08 12:53 PM Re: Born old? [Re: Geeders]
G5 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 203
Loc: New Jersey
This topic touches home with me. After a WoR in october, I've been feeling so much more than I ever have in my life with maybe the exception of before the abuse.

One of the seminars of the weekend was shame busting and allowing yourself to be a kid again.....now along the subject of this thread, how is it for you others who try to be 'childish' per say....hmm trying to get this right. How are you able to cope when allowing yourself to 'let go' and have some fun or be spontaneous.....if people look at you weird and wonder what the hell you're doing? I find I make mistakes in social situations when i'm trying to participate.....I feel like an idiot and like someone who is still a child and I'm conversing with adults.

Does this make sense?......I feel sooo very behind when it comes to social situations....and allowing myself to participate.

What are your experiences?

Chris

_________________________
WoR Kirkridge '08
WoR Alta Advanced '09
International Conference '10, '12
Oprah 200
PA Support Group
WoR Alta Advanced '12
"Silence Buster"

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#268949 - 12/27/08 12:57 PM Re: Born old? [Re: G5]
Joren Offline


Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 51
Loc: US
This is something I can relate to all too well. I was forced to make decisions at age 8 that forever changed me. To this day I struggle to even understand how to "have fun" or what that even means. My wife has commented a time or two that I simply don't know how to be a kid, despite the fact that I at times still have the naivete of a child.

I have serious regrets about the parts of life I missed out on, and while I'd love to learn how to have 'fun' or be a kid again - I just don't have any clue how to do so.


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#269039 - 12/28/08 10:08 AM Re: Born old? [Re: Joren]
petercorbett Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2439
Loc: TEXAS
Greetings, Guys. Born old? Well I am sure that I did, in more ways than one. Until recently when all this sexual, emotional, physical and mental abuse surfaced, I haden't realised that I completely missed my age from being 14-17, perhaps even earlier, when I was in that orphanage/Home. Now I really can't recall much about my earlier years, except what I have just posted under little Pete & big Pete's 69 yr journey. But to get to the point of this posting, I never had any kind of girl/female contact. I never went to high school, so I was never into that dating/petting with girls stuff, proms, etc. However as a young boy I was tall and skinny, and I looked older than I was, because to get into the movies nobody believed that I was still in the kids age group. What I did after that was carry a copy of my birth certificate with me to the movies, then I would not have to pay the adult price. Looking at my Air Force basic training picture, my hair line was already receeding, and I was just 17 yrs old. And about at 18 or 19 already a grey hair or two
I sure did miss out in a lot of things, as I'm sure we all have.
Heal well my friends/brothers.
Pete (Irishmoose)

_________________________
Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
____________________________________________________________
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.


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#269043 - 12/28/08 11:11 AM Re: Born old? [Re: petercorbett]
Danbuff Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 249
Loc: NY state
To Jim and all...
I completely get it. I believe such important life experiences are lost because we had to go from safe and happy childhoods to fear, mistrust, uncertainty, confusion and vigilance. We lost the ability to enjoy things like playing, laughter and fitting in. We viewed the world through old eyes while having to hide shame and pain that only survivors know. Spontaneity got replaced with vigilance.

For me, and certainly most of us the ability to feel like we belong and are valued or lovable gets distorted and being at ease to freely laugh and feel happy. On some level I felt people knew my experiences and it made me feel ugly. I grew fearful of boys and men. I was obsessed with insecurity others would abuse me more. I avoided sleeping on those rare occasions I spent the night at someones house.

I even went through high school never taking a gym class afraid to be in a shower with other males. I was terrified. It has translated in to what others might see as irrational fear but it sure was real for me.

I was the obedient responsible kid who became the caretaker and go-to person when my peers were playing and having fun. I was pretty much kept away from having friends by parental decree and my own fear of being found out and more blackmale. CSA resulted in all of this as well as manipulation to be the good kid. Of course then there was family ridicule for being sensitive.

Of course we we appeared to be born old....childhood was stolen. At least that is how I see it. That is why this is such hard work because I lost my identity and figuring out who I am and then trusting it still a process I work on. I try to remain hopeful. Jim, your wife nailed it.

This makes me think of the Garth Brooks song: "I'm much to young to feel this damned old".

Dan

_________________________
When you stumble, make it part of the dance.

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#306120 - 10/12/09 10:59 AM Re: Born old? [Re: Danbuff]
Geeders Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 1901
Loc: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
I am ressurecting this post for the benefit of the new guys and my belief that the question bares particular relevance to those of us who, at times, struggle with the losses that were inflicted upon us. This was made particularly clear to me in the last couple of weeks when I got triggered, and all I wanted to do was have a temper tantum, lay on the floor, stamp my feet, scream at the top of my lungs, and cry. I did manage the crying part. And I really wanted to trash my office, but realized that, as an adult, that wouldn't be too good. Nevertheless, I really wanted to. Progress?

Jim

_________________________
My name is Jim
WoR Mysthaven 2008, Level 2 WoR Alta 2009, Kirkridge 2010, 2011, Oprah 200 men

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#306128 - 10/12/09 12:02 PM Re: Born old? [Re: Geeders]
Casmir213 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 845
Loc: Northeast, USA
I can relate to actually living the life of an old person my whole life. I became a surrogate spouse to my mother right from the get go, so just being a carefree kid seemed distant to me. I was a very fearful, detached, adult-like person growing up, except when I was with either my brother or a close friend, then I could act like a kid. I always lost myself in my close friendships I think. Because of the responsibility I've always felt with regard to my mother and the rest of my family, I just wanted an escape from the world. It was as if within a very close friendship the responsibilities of the outside world could not touch me. These old patterns of relating still creep up from time to time and I find myself acting very child-like with like-minded friends.

It seems that having to be an adult too soon prevents one from going through the developmental stages that one must go through in order to fully mature. Going through these stages at 42 sure makes me feel like the kid I never got to be, and it's quite embarrasing, if I do say so myself, to be an emotional and psychological child while being a physical and chronological adult.

I appreciate you giving new life to this post Jim,

Rocco



Edited by Casmir213 (10/12/09 12:23 PM)
_________________________
I see recovery as a lifelong journey rather than a final destination, a journey, though, which can have many successes along the way.

WoR Alumnus - Hope Springs, OH, October 2009

My avatar is the farmhouse at the Hope Spring, OH WoR. It's a nice place.

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