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#273575 - 02/01/09 05:55 PM Friends with another survivor?
Tinman Offline


Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 359
Loc: Lake Forest, CA
I have this friend who I have known for a few months now. He is a survivor also. And he leads a local group for survivors here, though he is going to be leaving that soon. He refers to it as "retirement."

In all the time I spent in SIA, I never really made friends with another survivor. It was program and little else. I always thought that a bit of distance from people in the program was a good thing.

What I have learned from my friend is that we are more than survivors. We are people who happened to be abused. People first.

I guess what I am saying is that I have always thought the abuse is what defined me. And I am learning that it is not that. I get to define me. And have friends, some survivors, some not. Friends who give different things to me. Marty is the friend I turn to when the survivor stuff eats me up. And Terrance is the friend I turn to when I just need to let loose and be someone other than a survivor. And Terrance understands that he can't understand my survivor issues. Marty is teaching me that he can but that also we can be friends linked by other things.

I am just grateful for all of the good people in my life today. It wasn't always this way.

Paul

_________________________
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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#273588 - 02/01/09 07:34 PM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: Tinman]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
I know two survivors in the LA-area socially, and 4 others in the Denver-area. We play golf together, ski together, dine together, and have all kinds of fun, and we are always looking for new members. I think that it helps some with social anxieties too. It is hard to meet new friends at our ages, and this is something that we have in common. Sometimes we even talk recovery issues.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#273590 - 02/01/09 07:39 PM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: Trucker51]
AYounglove10 Offline


Registered: 11/17/08
Posts: 30
Loc: U.S., Arizona
My best friend is a survivor.
We talk everyday.
We talk when we are in pain, and can empathize with each other.
In a way, I ocnsider it a blessing that I have found another teen guy who is able to let it out into the open.
I love the kid more than anything or anyone.
It hurts that a loved one has shared the same atrocities, but knowing that I am not alone is a helpful notion.
He helps fill the void that my perp instilled in me.
He and I are both able to let that inner child, that little boy, feel comforted once more.
He and I both are in it together, just like all of us here.


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#273601 - 02/01/09 08:25 PM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: AYounglove10]
Barkabus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/09/08
Posts: 809
There is a special connection that is naturally forged with a friend who is also a survivor. There is a deep connection that is automatically established between friends. It's not unlike friendships forged in battle. We have a common evil, a common enemy as a reference point.

I value the friendships I have forged with other survivors.

Mike

_________________________
My Story

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#273604 - 02/01/09 08:28 PM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: Barkabus]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
at the same time, not all survivors make that connection. and if i dare say it - some "brother survivors" cause some of the deepest wounds.

m


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#273607 - 02/01/09 08:38 PM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: MarkK]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
I met my first survivor last week. It was nice to just sit there and talk.
I don't know what I expected but it was really a good experience. Just two guys having cup of coffee and talking.

Trucker Mark I really enjoyed the time we spent talking.
Let's do it again next time your in town.

Mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#273612 - 02/01/09 09:10 PM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: michael banks]
Barkabus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/09/08
Posts: 809
Mark,

You raise a good point. Our common experience as survivors isn't necessarily enough for friendship. We still need other commonalities to establish and maintain true friendship.

Mike

_________________________
My Story

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#273628 - 02/01/09 10:34 PM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: Barkabus]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
that's what i'm looking for. someone with enough in common to have a good conversation. friendship? i'm not expecting miracles.

m


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#273793 - 02/03/09 09:05 AM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: MarkK]
SurviveManc1 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/30/08
Posts: 80
Loc: Manchester, UK
I always wanted a big brother, someone i met who is a survivor has become that person. I met 23 amazing guys at a reatreat and we still keep in touch (some more than others) but they are my friends.

I am a person first, then a survivor of childhood/teenage sexual abuse; gay; 33; a partner; a brother; a worker; a T; etc etc all come second. However, the second bits all make me who i am......

I have a past, but i am not my past,
I have a family, but i am not my family,
I have a job, but i am not my job,
I have a partner, but i am not my partner,
I have interests, but i am not my interests,
so what am i....

I am a person made up of everything and of nothing.

:o)

x

_________________________
The more you refuse to hear my voice, the louder i will sing! - Labi Saffre

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#273796 - 02/03/09 09:22 AM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: SurviveManc1]
nomansanisland Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 156
Loc: NM
just wanted to say that this is my first post. I discovered this site after a long time of carrying someone elses guilt with me for 39 years. I had convinced myself that i am a victim of csa 1st. Your poem is how I feel. I spent 3 hours yesterday pouring over this site and learned alot. Couldn't sleep last nite because I felt so free...Do I want to be friends with another person who is a survivor? Right noew I just want to soak it all up..I am sure after I get over my humiliation and loss of my childhood , I will need to have friends. Where do I start ? Thanks for lettiing me purge. I really liked your post...best of everything to you..from nomanisanisland

_________________________
" If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drum. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away." Henry David Thoreau

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#273799 - 02/03/09 10:05 AM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: nomansanisland]
Juni Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 12/10/08
Posts: 502
Loc: Florida, WPB
Hi nomansanisland,

Welocome to MS and healing. Take your time. It took me a while to come to terms with what happen and then another long while to express my thoughts after I came to MS. Someone here, I think it's Joel, says "the longest journey you will ever take is the journey to self discovery." This is so true. Easy does it and welcome.

Juni

_________________________
Today I'm O.K.
One day at a time I make the journey.

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#273803 - 02/03/09 10:35 AM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: Juni]
nomansanisland Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 156
Loc: NM
Thanks Juni, I am trying to figure out where to start, theres so much to do. I don't even have all the language down. All I know is that I want the pain and tears to stop. I have isolated myself for so long, I feel like I haven't had a chance to have a life.I am greatful for any help that anyone may suggest...nomansanisland

_________________________
" If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drum. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away." Henry David Thoreau

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#273804 - 02/03/09 10:44 AM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: nomansanisland]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Hey Noman,

Welcome to our support site. Glad that you found us. I think that you will find that we are a caring and understanding bunch of guys. We are all here working together to find the freedom that we were all born to deserve. If you haven't done so already, try to get a copy of either Mic Hunter's book ABUSED BOYS or Mike Lew's book VICTIMS NO LONGER, both of which are available from our own online bookstore off of our homepage. Another book that I found helpful in my own recovery is SELF ESTEEM, by Matthew McKay, PH.D, which I got at Border's. Once you get your feet back under you this site also runs several intensive recovery weekends each year. Information about them is also off of our homepage too.

Again, welcome, together we can.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#273817 - 02/03/09 11:41 AM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: nomansanisland]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
nomansanisland,

Wecome to MS. You did exactly what you needed to do yesterday - check us out, read the post (both past & present) and just generally get a feel for the place.

I'm sorry that you have to be herre, but I'm glad for you that you have found us.

You'll see, as many have before you, that you will rather quickly begin to feel affinities with certain guys here - before you even realize it, you're making friends with other survivors!

_________________________
My Story 1
My Story 2
The longest journey we take is to self-discovery

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#273832 - 02/03/09 01:02 PM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: joelRT]
nomansanisland Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 156
Loc: NM
Thanks for your reply, I am on a journey for sure. I only have spoken of my past to 2 other people , both women who were sexually abused and with whom I had lengthy discussions. I have never met or spoken to another male who was abused\molested. I have so much to learn. I will take the advise and do some reading ...(that I am now ready for).

From reading the posts yesterday, I found out that alot of my own manifestations from abuse are common among the men here. I am so relieved. Thanks for caring and for the real support...nomansanisland

_________________________
" If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drum. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away." Henry David Thoreau

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#273842 - 02/03/09 01:19 PM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: nomansanisland]
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2465
Loc: UK
My best friends are survivors, there is definitely a special bond because we are survivors and understand eachother, but that is just a stepping stone, we let eachother in through the barriers that we present to other people who we are afraid to let in, and with those that we do let in we often find that we like what we see in eachother, and it is a very pure thing

_________________________
"...until lambs become lions"

I love you, little lewis, and i will never leave you. We are the same. You brighten my day, and i will make sure that i brighten yours. Hugs and kisses.


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#273874 - 02/03/09 05:52 PM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: king tut]
SurviveManc1 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/30/08
Posts: 80
Loc: Manchester, UK
I agree Lewis, there is something special.

When i went to a Survivors Retreat last year, there was 23 guys there that i had never met and at the time i was working through my issues with generally being around men i didnt know.

So it was a huge risk for me to take by going there alone.

But when i got there, it just felt right. I felt everyone's pain and they felt mine. it was like there was this unwritten unspoken rule of... "hey, we know because we feel it too".

Truly unbelievable.

I'm making new friends too that are survivors. Its not BECAUSE they are survivors, but because they get me and i get them. Its because of the connection.

_________________________
The more you refuse to hear my voice, the louder i will sing! - Labi Saffre

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#273889 - 02/03/09 08:05 PM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: Trucker51]
Survivinguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 310
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Trucker51
We play golf together, ski together, dine together, and have all kinds of fun, and we are always looking for new members. I think that it helps some with social anxieties too. It is hard to meet new friends at our ages, and this is something that we have in common. Sometimes we even talk recovery issues.


I think for me this is a two-edged sword (though I really can't imagine the usefulness of a one-edged sword in medieval combat).

On the one hand, I am struggling with my next phase of healing which is particularly isolating and sad. I read the books, I did therapy, I did group. I thought I was done and then last week - I discover one minor detail (via an emotional flashback) - I never recovered/experienced/felt the emotions of/during all the memories of abuse. So I'm back in therapy but with these emotions flooding in (much like the memories themselves did ten years ago) I find myself desparately sad at times. I don't want to call my T just because I'm feeling sad. I look over all the names in my cell phone - I look to the couple names of people that know my story and I think - no - they don't really understand and I hate being that random self-absorbed burden on them. I think in those times of utter loneliness, sadness and despair - it would be great to be able to call someone, a fellow survivor, and just know - when they hear my voice - they will know - I'm in one of those moments. We wouldn't really need to say very much - we would just know and the isolation would fade.

The other edge of the sword - being in the immediate presence of fellow survivor and knowing they won't buy the bullsh*t, I couldn't hide behind sarcasm or wit and they would see or know all my insecurities. I think about the vulnerability it would create - I think maybe that vulnerability would be good if in the presence of someone I could trust. The idea of that someone being a fellow survivor and a _man_ - it's almost too much to contemplate for so many different reasons.

Then to read your post - golfing, skiing, dining? It's pretty hard to imagine honestly (and not just because I'm lousy at golfing and skiing).

When I attended group - it was group counseling - a group of men, at counseling - a set amount of time every other week, end of story. I really honestly can't imagine what it would be like to be in a group of male survivors just for the sake of company.

And a retreat of survivors? I don't think I have enough tears to cry - that's probably a good couple more years down the road for me I think.

I nearly deleted this post just now - I think it might not make any sense or sound like my brain threw up.

Sorry for the mess but I still needed to think those thoughts outloud.

_________________________
Survivinguy

============================================
I have to survive and I hope to thrive.

Alumni Dahlonega WoR May 2010
Alumni Sequoia WoR March 2012

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#273896 - 02/03/09 09:54 PM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: Survivinguy]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
So no one from your old group used to go out for coffee or desert after a group meeting? Nor did anyone from the group call each other when they had something or some issue to discuss? No one shared any group recreation or group events?

I'll admit, at my first group I didn't really ever feel comfortable even being there, I hardly ever talked there, and I was never a part of any outside group events. At my 2nd survivor group, the counselor used to run weekend hiking & camping groups into the mountains. At several other of my substance-abuse or survivor groups we used to go out for coffee afterward or even to dinner before group. I've been skiing with 4 different guys from different drug or survivor groups, and played golf with several guys from therapy too. I'm one of several members of a weekend social group of survivors currently also.

It is probably a better thing after someone has had some time in recovery and is ready to accept that level of involvement. Remember, a lot of guys in recovery never make the transition from individual therapy to their first group. That is where I think that mentoring would come in handy, but that would also come with issues of unhealthy attachments too. Still, I think that the benefit would outweigh the risks, and more guys would be able to make that difficult transition more quickly without giving-up.

Sorry to hear that you are experiencing such difficulty after you had thought that you had it made. Been there, done that, I'm afraid. What killed my first attempt at recovery was isolating and feeling sorry for myself. Developing a social support network is one of the things that finally led to my freedom after my 2nd attempt at recovery. I befriended a survivor that was 7 years ahead of me in his own recovery, and he introduced me to a couple of guys from his group. We played golf, went to hockey games, and dined together. Without his leadership my recovery would have been much more difficult.

Hope that everyone gets to experience that kind of positive and friendly mentoring someday in their own recovery, because it sure helped me.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#273915 - 02/03/09 11:57 PM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: Trucker51]
Survivinguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 310
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Trucker51
So no one from your old group used to go out for coffee or desert after a group meeting? Nor did anyone from the group call each other when they had something or some issue to discuss? No one shared any group recreation or group events?


I only ever attended one group and it lasted about two years. The therapist effectively prohibited it saying that it would be nearly impossible for us to avoid discussing recovery issues, that it would be dangerous without him and that we wouldn't remember to bring it back to the group or we would share information without him.

Looking back - that didn't work so well and the group ended very, very poorly. The T quit after having a bitch session and then a "closure" session.

I lost touch with the other guys - the group had been in place long before I joined and while the guys were nice, I never felt I was really part of it - more like a guest.

WOW - weekend hiking groups in the mountains!? I think you should nominate that therapist for sainthood or an oscar or something!

I agree that group is an important step - it was a huge, huge step for me to take my issues from individual therapy to a room of other men. Even as bad as it ended - I'm glad I did it. I know it makes me stronger for having had the experience at all.

How did your weekend social group start? Are you all generally the same age?

Thanks for the understanding about coming through the therapy process for the second time - it's hard. It was very hard to admit I needed to go back to therapy but now I know it was the right thing and now I'm a thousand times more determined than the last go around - I've told my therapist I want to try every form of therapy I resisted in the past - I know I can do it (again) (and better).

Thanks Mark








Edited by Survivinguy (02/04/09 12:05 AM)
_________________________
Survivinguy

============================================
I have to survive and I hope to thrive.

Alumni Dahlonega WoR May 2010
Alumni Sequoia WoR March 2012

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#273916 - 02/04/09 12:14 AM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: nomansanisland]
brother2none Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/30/09
Posts: 264
Loc: Undisclosed
SurviveManc1 earlier mentioned wanting a big brother.... oh boy, did that take my breath away. I am an only child. When I was being abused as a child, and ever since then....I held onto the belief that if I only had a big brother he would have saved me. He would have been looking out for me, he would have noticed something was wrong when nobody else did. I just couldn't understand why this seemed so unfair to be so alone. Wow, how the hell did I survive that....well then the alcohol and drugs started.


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#273927 - 02/04/09 02:01 AM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: brother2none]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
I had two younger sisters and no brothers, but I did have my next-door neighbor who was two years older and his brother who was five years older than I was, plus a couple more guys my age on the same little cul-de-sac with 7 houses on it. Unfortunately, the one next-door neighbor was one of my abusers. I also had my cousins, three guys within three years of my age, but they were a rough and tumble bunch who liked to play hockey. The youngest one and I were like brothers growing-up, as I used to protect him from the older two. Yes, I wished that I had a brother too, though watching my nephews grow up, the older one beat-up on the younger one until the younger one got to be bigger and then...trouble!!! They are 16 and 20 now, and the 16 year-old outweighs the 20 year-old by 25 lbs and has him on reach too.

My one therapist who used to run trips to the mountains was Jeff Casebolt, and he used to have an office in Lakewood, CO in 1996. I looked recently on Google but didn't find him. He worked with another counselor and they used to run Summer weekend camping trips into the mountains with 6-8 clients at a time. Most of the guys then were between their late 20s and late 40s, at least on the one trip that I went on. In 1996 I was 39 when I saw him last.

It sounds like your last therapist didn't want you guys to meet privately because he was worried about losing business???

Glad that you are back and committed to your success.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#274000 - 02/04/09 09:27 PM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: Trucker51]
Survivinguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 310
Loc: Colorado
By the way - Tinman

I was listening to Tracy Chapman yesterday and after listening to one of her songs that I've heard 100s of times before but in a way for the first time in the context of surviving I thought about your MS ID name.

Here's a link to the lyrics of 'Remember the Tinman' by Tracy Chapman.

http://www.lyrics.com/index.php/artists/lyric/tracy-chapman-p-3874-lyrics-remember-the-tinman

I think we are on the right path to finding our hearts here on MS.

--------

Trucker - I really don't know what his motivation was for discouraging us from meeting outside of group. I'd like to think he had good/therapuetic reasons or intentions and I try not to harbor ill will against him. It was a good group for a period of time, it ended poorly, but it was still part of my path to a better me.

Glad to be back. smile

_________________________
Survivinguy

============================================
I have to survive and I hope to thrive.

Alumni Dahlonega WoR May 2010
Alumni Sequoia WoR March 2012

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#274005 - 02/04/09 10:44 PM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: brother2none]
nomansanisland Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 156
Loc: NM
Funny, I have 2 brothers and 3 step- brothers...I never wanted them to know I was soiled, used and ashamed.

I think that what they were going through was different than what i was expierencing in silence. I would have died from embarassment if they had known.

Guess it was the shame that kept me quiet, and I had decided to suffer alone...yes , later alcohol and drugs kept me numb ...Nomansanisland

_________________________
" If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drum. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away." Henry David Thoreau

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#274007 - 02/04/09 10:48 PM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: SurviveManc1]
nomansanisland Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 156
Loc: NM
I have decided to seek support from others who can identify. I am so tired of carring all this alone.

I have been wondering for years if all the things that are jacked up about me are related to being a victum of sexual abuse, and not finding support...

the mind does funny things...feels better just to talk to someone...thanks to you...nomansanisland

_________________________
" If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drum. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away." Henry David Thoreau

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#275483 - 02/16/09 10:12 AM Re: Friends with another survivor? [Re: nomansanisland]
brother2none Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/30/09
Posts: 264
Loc: Undisclosed
to nomansanisland and others, i feel better when talking about it also, and i want you to know you can reach out and talk to me, either via the boards or by pm if you prefer. i welcome that and get a lot of energy from the contact. til next time....


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