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#275234 - 02/14/09 01:54 PM hope for healing
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
Hi Guys,

I've been away from the site for a year or so, so Hi to any old friends!

I was reading Joël's recent post and wanted to reply to a particular line: he said,"what I need is to stop pretending that there is an end to this journey and that at that end, happiness and fulfillment are waiting for me and I will claim them as my prize for a race well run."

At this point in my life I strongly believe we can heal fully such that the scars that may seem so devastating become like the scars from an old sports accident, stories from the long history of a beautiful and amazing life.

I believe we can free ourselves from the pain and sadness and bewildering complexity of seemingly endless self-searching.

I believe we can let go of the blame and anger.

I believe we can become fully happy, fully alive, brimming over with the joy of each new day.

I believe we can reach a point where the pain seems almost a blessing for the amazing quality of our compassion for others and the clarity with which we can see. I believe the pain makes the beauty of the world we finally see so rich and colorful that it is truly breathtaking.

I believe that though it seems a long and painful road, the journey is so worth it that I would live it over and over again to see the complexity of the growing self slowly coming to fruition.

I believe it is possible to stop being the victim of abuse, that the victimization can sink away like a weight in the sea leaving us clean again.

I don't feel the old pain any more. I don't cry out at night wondering who I am. I don't second guess myself in my interactions with others. I don't blame my dad, not because I'm not supposed to or because I'm forcing myself not to, but because it just doesn't matter in the same way anymore. My habits of being are not the old habits of abuse. I am not the same man I was before, hurt and dying inside.

I believe our consciousness is ours, not our abusers. I believe we can take ourselves and shape our reactions, finding the unmolested self and allowing him to come back to life.

I know we do not need to live buried lives swallowed by the pain and that we can slough off the scars and become again whole.

Joël, you're not pretending anything when you hope for the best. I'm hear to say life can be beautiful for all of us, too. CSA is not a sentence. It's an event, a happening. It brings all kinds of things with it. We tend to emphasize the pain because we're healing. But we're also slowly but surely learning the depths of the human experience. We're coming to grips with loneliness and the power of sex in ways few others ever see. That makes it hard, because we feel like there are so few people who can understand us. But when the pain begins to pass, for me at least I feel an overwhelming sense of compassion and love for my fellow men and women, that we all suffer abuse of some kind to greater or lesser extent and our way of dealing with it brings depth and beauty.

I don't regret anything in my life anymore, because regretting the abuse would mean letting go of all the growth I've had, the sense of building a life of my own that I love.

Healing happens.

Love,

Danny


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#275236 - 02/14/09 01:59 PM Re: hope for healing [Re: DannyT]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
glorious testimony danny and thanks for sharing!

ron

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


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#275242 - 02/14/09 02:30 PM Re: hope for healing [Re: Sans Logos]
riveerboy Offline


Registered: 02/04/09
Posts: 84
Loc: Indiana
Wow. That was great. Thanks. Jacque.


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#275277 - 02/14/09 10:19 PM Re: hope for healing [Re: DannyT]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


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

It would seem that, from the height of your now oh so well being, that you mke many assumptions about me and about knowing me.

What, pray tell do you know of my acceptance of my truth, or my compassion for others pain, my dedication to contributing my little part for someone else's well being.....

Recovery is an endless journey friend - get used to it- and if you are now in that place of beatitude, please I want some of what your doc has got you on...............

You read ONE of my posts and make a judgement call about me ??????

Sit down, fool - pull up the rocvery stool and rest your feet some, you're gonna be here a while longer yet!

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

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#275286 - 02/14/09 10:54 PM Re: hope for healing [Re: joelRT]
M3 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 1392
Loc: Central Ohio
Danny,

This is awesome. I hope you will consider posting this permanently in the Progress Forum. It is like the Survivor Stories forum but for stories of recovery. This would be perfect!

Peace, love and congratulations!

Michael


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#275312 - 02/15/09 12:45 AM Re: hope for healing [Re: M3]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
It is always good to hear that someone in recovery is doing great and learning to live free without their past. I'm with Danny, in that recovery is a long and winding road, but there is a promised land at the end of that road. My life is proof of that.

Thanks Danny for sharing your triumph,

Mark

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



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#275313 - 02/15/09 12:53 AM Re: hope for healing [Re: Trucker51]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
Well, I'll say it again - I want whatever it is that you guys are taking, and I'll have it in the economy size please!

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

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#275314 - 02/15/09 12:57 AM Re: hope for healing [Re: Trucker51]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Danny,

What was that rock you crawl out from under called ignorance?
Glad you are on one of the platueas we find ourselves from time to time.
You should have learned by now not to base your experience on giving you the right to judge anothers experience.

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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#275317 - 02/15/09 01:06 AM Re: hope for healing [Re: michael banks]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
I had to get it in Super Size myself, since I am the size of an NFL lineman these days!!! Have you ever been really drunk and thrown dog bones at the players? I have. Woof, woof, woof, go Browns!!! I saw Gran Torino today. It was filmed in my old hometown. It was a decent movie. Perhaps you would enjoy getting out and seeing it Joel. And Defiance wasn't too bad either. When you come to Denver, give us a call.

Quebec is beautiful in the Fall!!!

Mark

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



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#275319 - 02/15/09 01:16 AM Re: hope for healing [Re: Trucker51]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
Experience & intelligence both tell me to forego being baited, Mark, but I'm truly happy for you that you are enjoying your little high.

Rest assured that we will all be here to pick you up when next you crash................

The first hallmark of true recovery is humility, that's spelled H.U.M.I.L.I.T.Y.

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

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#275322 - 02/15/09 01:52 AM Re: hope for healing [Re: joelRT]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
I've been there Joel, and gone well beyond there too. If it wasn't for my terminal illness and my legal situation I would be at work right now, driving another load of meat to Chicago. But even with everything that has gone wrong, I still have plenty left to try to share here, in the hope that someone else won't have to struggle as long as I did to find their freedom. Yes, financially things could be better, but I have enough coming in to pay the mortgage and buy groceries in perpetuity. If I could sell this house for what it is worth and buy 40 acres and a double-wide or a cabin, my wife and I could retire even though I am just 51. As I have said many times, the last 9 years of my life have been the best years of my life. I am well beyond the point where my past intrudes on my future if it weren't for my desire to help others still struggling.

First you acquire the recovery knowledge, then you learn to put it into practice. First you have to learn to deal with your shame and guilt, learn some more positive coping skills, forgive yourself, take better care of yourself, and love yourself, then you have to be willing to take a few chances in life, and willing to endure failure until you do enjoy some success. And once you have some success, then you try to build on your success, until you are to the point where your past no longer affects you, and you move forward unaffected by your past. As someone else said, it is like a bad cut healing. Over time you won't have any reason to remember your past, except to try to give something back.

I am certainly not trying to bait you Joel. I am hoping that you too can enjoy the fruit of your labor as I have mine.

Your friend,

Mark

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



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#275326 - 02/15/09 02:22 AM Re: hope for healing [Re: Trucker51]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
You have no idea who you are taking to here - I am real glad for you Mark that you feel you reached Nirvana and perhaps you have. I truly couldn't be happier for you if that is indeed the case.

For a man who professes such deep knowledge and understanding of the recovery process, you seem to miss an important fact - some of us will indeed get to recovered but for the most of us we will always be in recovering.

We journey forward, reach and pass milestones and count our blessing for the path already trod - then raise our heads to see nothing but another long and endless pathway ahead of us still. I don't suppose we could ask you for a little empathy?

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

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#275341 - 02/15/09 11:11 AM Re: hope for healing [Re: Trucker51]
SIDUDE Offline


Registered: 02/05/09
Posts: 47
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Trucker51
I've been there Joel, and gone well beyond there too. If it wasn't for my terminal illness and my legal situation I would be at work right now, driving another load of meat to Chicago. But even with everything that has gone wrong, I still have plenty left to try to share here, in the hope that someone else won't have to struggle as long as I did to find their freedom. Yes, financially things could be better, but I have enough coming in to pay the mortgage and buy groceries in perpetuity. If I could sell this house for what it is worth and buy 40 acres and a double-wide or a cabin, my wife and I could retire even though I am just 51. As I have said many times, the last 9 years of my life have been the best years of my life. I am well beyond the point where my past intrudes on my future if it weren't for my desire to help others still struggling.

First you acquire the recovery knowledge, then you learn to put it into practice. First you have to learn to deal with your shame and guilt, learn some more positive coping skills, forgive yourself, take better care of yourself, and love yourself, then you have to be willing to take a few chances in life, and willing to endure failure until you do enjoy some success. And once you have some success, then you try to build on your success, until you are to the point where your past no longer affects you, and you move forward unaffected by your past. As someone else said, it is like a bad cut healing. Over time you won't have any reason to remember your past, except to try to give something back.

I am certainly not trying to bait you Joel. I am hoping that you too can enjoy the fruit of your labor as I have mine.

Your friend,

Mark


Where do you find recovery knowledge? Are we talking 12 step program, books, and therapists? I have done them all, I am 47 never had a girl friend no less a wife, I completely do not relate. How did u get where are?
A little background on me I am 47, Eat a good diet, train at the gym 4 or 5 times a week, I otherwise have a healthy life style because I force myself to, although the depression does keep me from attaining goals I have had set for myself. My body gets injured very easily which I believe is psycho somatic, I just except the fact that I do not have all the farcicalities that healthy man have.

Any info would be helpful.


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#275354 - 02/15/09 12:44 PM Re: hope for healing [Re: SIDUDE]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I thought like you do for a long time. I quit recovery several times and wanted to quit many times more. If it wasn't for a few very supportive and understanding people helping me to realize my worth I would likely still be mired in self-doubt. And I still take setbacks a little harder than some people do. But I have better learned to cope with my setbacks. It has been 9 years and 2 & 1/2 months since I crossed that line in my recovery and never went back. Like I said, I am on a long-term medical leave with lots of time on my hands. Lots of guys in my position would be spending lots of time at the bar. I have close friends who are there right now.

I have tried to give some of my knowledge back to the program instead. Ken Singer wrote in his chapter on forgiveness about forgiving yourself and about letting go of your past. His chapter is on here back in September if you have not as yet read it. It is contained in a topic that Lewis started entitled "Forgiveness", that Michael (M3) and I also participated in. Forgiving yourself is a critical part of letting-go and moving forward without your past.

I have plenty of empathy for the issues still affecting my fellow survivors.

SIDUDE:

I first started therapy for my issues in September of 1986 at Cleveland State University through the student counseling office there. I was lucky in that I found a fledgling CSA recovery program just a couple of years after it had started, and two experienced therapists there. My story is on the story forum in two parts where I posted it in late May of last year. The first book on the subject that I read was Mic Hunter's book ABUSED BOYS, almost 20 years ago. That is when I knew for the first time that I wasn't terminally unique. Since then there have been other good recovery books written, and on this site they are fond of promoting Mike Lew's book VICTIMS NO LONGER. Both of these books, and several dozen others, are available from our own online bookstore off of the homepage. Another couple of books that I found helpful in my own recovery are John Bradshaw's books, THE FAMILY, about abusive families, HOMECOMING, about inner-child recovery work, and HEALING THE SHAME THAT BINDS YOU, a shame recovery workbook. SELF ESTEEM, by Matthew McKay, PH.D. is a great self-esteem recovery book. I also benefited greatly from several other therapists and recovery programs including the Hazelden substance-abuse treatment center and therapist Mic Hunter in Minnesota.

My first wife I had known for 4 years before we got together because she had been one of my best friend's girlfriends. They broke-up and two months later she threw herself at me when we were drunk. We got together for the wrong reasons and got married mainly because of family/religious pressure. Our marriage lasted 2 years and 3 months after we had lived together unmarried for 18 months, through and following my first attempt at therapy, until my 1st wife found out about my CSA issue. She left me because of my problems, and I was devastated, and my only coping method was going right off of the deep end on hard drugs.

Starting in the Spring of 1996 I came back into recovery because of a dirty drug test. After 3 trips to rehab and 3 stints outpatient it was December of 1999 before I was able to finally put my addictions behind me. I participated in 12-step programs but wasn't able to fully participate because of my issues with religious abuse as a child. I am still a devout atheist. It was May of 2000 when I left my last in-person recovery group feeling like I had accomplished my goals. And it was July of 2003 before I was introduced to a divorcee with a couple of kids whom I dated for 2 years and had wanted to marry. But she was hiding a secret involvement with her ex- that finally drove us apart. Instead of falling back into the bottomless pit, I began online dating on Match.com, and a year later I met the woman who has become my 2nd wife.

You too could benefit from reading through the "Forgiveness" topic from September. I will look it up and will tell you what date it is on if you will give me a minute. I won't say that recovery is easy or quick, because it isn't. It took me 14 years of trial and error and another 5 years of learning to put my knowledge into practice, and learning to let-go, and take chances, to move beyond the person that I had been and become the person that I am. As I said, I quit trying lots of times, and it took the efforts of several caring people to keep me going.

These days this site is a great tool that I didn't have in my own recovery. Another site that you might look at that has a wealth of recovery knowledge included is in England and is run by a member of ours. Check-out: www.survivorsswindon.com. Another site that you could look at is run by our Chairman of our BoD here: www.tampabaymalesurvivor.net. Here in Denver we have both the Kempe Center and the Wings Foundation that are both long-established organizations that provide recovery services to survivors. Wings runs about a dozen weekly support meetings in Denver. I went to one of them in 1996.

Your body gets injured because you are 47. Take it from a 51 year-old truck driver who knows.

Hope that this helps, and I will look-up the reference to the "Forgiveness" topic.

Mark

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



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#275357 - 02/15/09 01:05 PM Re: hope for healing [Re: Trucker51]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Lewis' (King Tut) post on "Forgiveness" began on September 20th of 2008.

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



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#275364 - 02/15/09 01:46 PM Re: hope for healing [Re: Trucker51]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
Originally Posted By: Trucker51
Joel: Forgiving yourself is a critical part of letting-go and moving forward without your past.

Perhaps you missed it earlier, so I'll reiterate for you, Mark: You have no idea who you're talking to here.

When next I teach a workshop on forgiveness, perhaps I'll invite you.

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

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#275365 - 02/15/09 01:49 PM Re: hope for healing [Re: Trucker51]
riveerboy Offline


Registered: 02/04/09
Posts: 84
Loc: Indiana
Wow, Danny it seems like you hung a picture on the wall for all to see and enjoy. To share with.

Don't care what is said. I read it and saw hope for tomorrow, beauty that is out there, honest work, and a little bit of luck. Miracles happen every day. We each have our paths. Happy to hear of yours.

Peace.


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#275384 - 02/15/09 04:23 PM Re: hope for healing [Re: riveerboy]
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
Guys,

Thanks for the responses. I have to say I'm a little startled by some of them. All I hoped to do was share a little of the joy I take in the process of healing and hopefully provide a little light from another side of the tunnel when so often we only hear of the darkness.

I want to apologize to Joël for any perceived judging or for any other hurt my words might have caused. I never even thought of making a judgement, so I'm a bit bewildered to have my words taken that way. My words were only ever
intended to reflect my experience of the healing path I'm on, not to reflect any kind of attitude toward any one else. I'm simply amazed at the power of the spirit to grow in the face of all these challenges and wanted to share that perspective. These days even when things are bleak, they don't tend to be bleak in the same way they once were. I only hoped to share that fact in expressive terms. I think it's really beautiful when the old patterns start to dissolve and new ones begin to emerge.

Thanks,

Danny

ps: Sidude, you asked what has been helpful. For me, it's been mostly writing (I wrote a very graphic memoir) and lots of meditation. Buddhist philosophy and psychology have helped me hugely.



Edited by DannyT (02/15/09 04:35 PM)

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#275479 - 02/16/09 08:33 AM Re: hope for healing [Re: DannyT]
Juni Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 12/10/08
Posts: 502
Loc: Florida, WPB
Mike, Joel,

I want to thank you both. You guys are special.
Here I was thinking I want to take the pipe (gas pipe) and just be done with it all but you have put a smile on my face and I decided I CAN go on another day.

I have my high days when I feel good and grateful to be alive but life is not that simple. Being in recovery, attending 12 step programs, listening, and talking to those with many years of recovery in a variety of areas, including CSA, the consensus seems to be that it is a lifelong journey. We can never erase the memories, and in many circumstances, we may not want to, lest we forget and return to the evil we left behind. They will be a part of us forever, like diabetes, there is no cure just medicine (recovery) so we can live another day.

Today you guys gave me the medicine I needed, so I choose to live another day.

Juni

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

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#275486 - 02/16/09 10:43 AM Re: hope for healing [Re: Juni]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
On the one hand, no poster/member here can truly know me, inasmuch as all they have to go on is their own life-experience, coupled with what i've happened to type (and not delete) before hitting the "Submit" button.

On the other hand, eyes that see a different face when looking in a mirror aren't saddled with my particular set of assumptions, when reading what i write.

Let's just say that i'm of the opinion that the journey never ends- but the point of putting one foot in front of the other is not to stop walking... we'll all end up doing that sooner or later eventually. I just want to be able to stand my own company as i'm walking ;-)

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#275866 - 02/18/09 04:51 PM Re: hope for healing [Re: dgoods]
Letourski Offline


Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada
Hey guys,

I wanted to chime in on this inspirational post. While it is true we can never fully know one another we do share much of the same emotions in the face of the abuse. I simply want to state that we essentially heal at different rates and we have all used different coping techniques along the way. The journey hurts like hell that is for sure. I am constantly discovering old ways still lurking in certain situations. But like Danny I am fascinated by the human experience and our ability to develop to pathways in our bid to overcome our traumatic past.

I certainly do believe that the abuse will someday be a faint memory of what once was but I am also aware that it has shaped the man I am today. This kind of hurt deepens our compassion
towards others around us and towards ourselves. The pain and fear is hard to bear at times but I will not be denied the happiness I truly deserve.

There is so much darkness that clouds my past that I refuse to fuel it with negativity. Sometimes friends and family ask me what I am on and I simply tell them it's a genuine belief in the concept of Love. I have read great books on the subject and they have altered my perceptions. Eastern philosophy, meditation, martial arts and many other things have been used to recover from CSA.

Like my uncle said: "Sometimes I have good days and sometimes I have great days."

Dan

_________________________
I am the warrior.

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