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#278138 - 03/03/09 10:37 PM Breaking Bad Habits
Charlie24 Offline


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 562
Guys I'm back for more advice. I feel like for the most part I've learned some coping mechanisms for dealing with life and my past and others. I try for the most part to think positive and think good thoughts. I notice though I often start making assumptions of what others think of me. I guess I'm in a pattern of seeking approval. Why do I do this? Why do I need to feel like a complete stranger has to like me for in order for me to feel comfortable with my life and myself. Do you guys struggle with this/these issues? I really wonder and probably have asked this before but do most of my issues today stem from my sexual abuse? What are some of the ways that you all have dealt with these issues? How many of you really care what others think?

Charlie.


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#278140 - 03/03/09 10:46 PM Re: Breaking Bad Habits [Re: Charlie24]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


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

I'm sure that this is not what you were hoping for, but quite honestly - I couldn't give a Flying F*** about what other people think of me, my opinions, my choices or how I live my life.

I personally don't need others to like me and most often prefer that they don't - that way they stay away from me and I then have the peace & space I need to just be me.

Sure it's lonely, but it's also very peacefull and yes, I gotta say it, safe as well.

No one gets in - no on hurts me.

Maybe not the best solution, but it's the only one that I've found, so far, that works for me.

Even here at MS I'm very carefull who I allow to get close - some of the guys here have really hurt me (most have been super great) and this is cyberspace, so imagine how carefull I am in 3D...........

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

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#278151 - 03/03/09 11:53 PM Re: Breaking Bad Habits [Re: Charlie24]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
charlie, why do you post such good questions in this particular forum?

such topics as this are shared by many of us and i think would have great appeal in a forum that has a broader spectrum of interest. i think you may get a lot more visibility if you post your subjects primarily in the male survivor forum. of course i could be w[ron]g; i've been w[ron]ng before.

aaaaanyway......just thought i'd say that!

ron

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


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#278161 - 03/04/09 03:54 AM Re: Breaking Bad Habits [Re: Sans Logos]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
I personally don't think that it is at all unusual in your teens or 20s to base some of your self-esteem on your perception of what your peers and other adults think of you. I would also say that guys victimized as children and teens can have somewhat more of an issue with this than your middle of the road crowd. Young people especially can be cruel to anyone on the fringe. Imagine the social dissatisfaction experienced by a young lady who is grossly overweight? She just wants everyone to like her and the crowd avoids her like the plague. As you get older this issue will subside somewhat over time as you age and become more self-confident.

For those of us victimized as children, we often take a developmental path away from that enjoyed by our unafflicted peers, the disparity of which widens with every passing day. We tend to favor our wounds and try to avoid certain subjects like developing healthy intimate relationships which our peers learn without us. I my own case this resulted in my befriending ever-younger guys. When I was 18 I had a lot of 16 year-old friends. When I was in my mid-20s, my younger friends were already growing away from my stunted personal and social growth position, and I became friends with an even younger crowd. To this day I still have a couple of close friends who are 6 or 7 years younger than I am from that era. Even both of my wives are substantially younger than I am.

It is a good thing that you are already moving towards your own recovery at your age. Further on in recovery you will learn to develop healthy "boundaries", one of which is learning to be responsible for your own happiness. In your 20s you are still fairly heavily bound to what your peers think of you, somewhat less so than you likely were in high school. Most of the average crowd moves away from the support of their peer group into developing healthy intimate relations by their late 20s, and if you continue to concentrate on your recovery within a few years you should be in a better position to be much less dependent on what your peers and other adults think of you, and to begin to develop towards establishing healthy intimacy. Developing better self-esteem and greater self-confidence is the key leading to personal social growth beyond what happened in our past.

And Ron is right, we would enjoy seeing more of you up on the survivor forum.

Keep coming back, recovery is possible if you will put forth an honest effort.

Mark



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



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#278191 - 03/04/09 11:41 AM Re: Breaking Bad Habits [Re: Trucker51]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 862
Loc: washington
Charlie,

When I stopped drinking for oblivion, I started to become deluged with every emotion imaginable.

The first thing I figured out was I had lost the essence of who "I" am, and I wasn't comfortable in my own skin.

Secondly,I know that I am an extrovert and that I don't really like being alone for any great length of time...boundary work has also helped me to connect/discern where I am at in any given relationship...to include strangers (outermost boundary).


Walkin' Away (Kix)

island

_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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#278202 - 03/04/09 01:16 PM Re: Breaking Bad Habits [Re: Charlie24]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Charlie24

I guess I'm in a pattern of seeking approval. Why do I do this? Why do I need to feel like a complete stranger has to like me for in order for me to feel comfortable with my life and myself.


This is a normal and natural quest. We struggle with this especially when we are younger. If we experienced any abuse or abandonment or rejection (who hasn't) then it is made much worse. We can gradually deal with this by learning how to make friendships.

Originally Posted By: Charlie24

How many of you really care what others think?

Again, this is a normal and natural thing for us. The question is, how can we not be ruled by this. For me it is still in process. I have had to work with a T on abuse issues and relearning some of the issues of a difficult childhood.

Originally Posted By: 1islandboy

The first thing I figured out was I had lost the essence of who "I" am, and I wasn't comfortable in my own skin.


This has been a biggie for me. I have had to relearn who I am because of horrendous abuse when I was 12. At an age when young guys should be starting to learn who they are, I suffered an enormous setback. My T has called it "depersonalization disorder". It has taken a bunch of counseling to make progress.

I also have watched movies and read special books as therapy to reconstruct this thing of who I am (or who I was at the time of the abuse). Movies connect with the visual and emotional apparatus in my brain and help me see who I was at age 12.

Movies which I found helpful (you might need a different list) are: Empire of the Sun, Flight of the Innocent, I'm Not Scared, Where Eskimos Live and Father and Scout. I got all of these from Netflix.

Some of the books I found helpful are: Last Days of Summer, The Tender Bar, Twice Adopted. None of these books are depressing.

Allen

pufferfish whistle





Edited by pufferfish (03/04/09 01:28 PM)
Edit Reason: add names of books

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#278406 - 03/05/09 10:55 PM Re: Breaking Bad Habits [Re: joelRT]
michael banks Offline


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

Why play the hard ass when we all know you are a marsh mellow.

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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