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#278739 - 03/09/09 09:22 AM is there a sign on me?
JBells Offline


Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 218
Loc: Juneau
I swear sometimes there is a big neon flashing sign on my back that says “hurt me”. I simply don’t understand it, even when I meet people who seem perfectly sane and perfectly normal they end up just like everyone else in the end, they want to take advantage. Spent a lot of years trying to make myself invisible, stay under the scope. I feel completely transparent. Is it written on my face? Can you see it in my eyes? And I have a question and I don’t quite know how to ask it. at what point does it become rape? I mean, fuck, you meet someone and everything seems great, not that I trust anyone but still I have to get out there and meet people you know? I don’t want to be alone like I was as a kid, so everything is going really good and you kind of feel like you can “talk” to this person and well he’s real good at listening, he cares and he can relate and convince you that share things with him, so you do. Then you find yourself in a situation where things are going too fast and as much as you want to be there you also want to run away, but you freeze and you start to panic and you start to flash and before you know it you’re flat on your back again wishing you were dead but pretending you like it because you’re scared to death to say stop


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#278750 - 03/09/09 12:52 PM Re: is there a sign on me? [Re: JBells]
nomansanisland Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 156
Loc: NM
JBells'

Youve come from where many have been..."when you find yourself in a situation where things are going too fast.."

You already know they are, but as a person who was once victimized, you have to know that its hard to say no or to express that things are going too fast. We want the closeness and for someone to be there. maybe aren't ready for the intimacy. I am sorry, for the freeze , your letter says you are a warm inisghtful person with deep understanding of emotions. Dont get down on yourself, you have to make mistakes in order to learn. The sign I see says" I am human be careful with me..." 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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#278751 - 03/09/09 12:58 PM Re: is there a sign on me? [Re: nomansanisland]
JBells Offline


Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 218
Loc: Juneau
thanks. i just cant even stand the thought of it anymore


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#278752 - 03/09/09 01:00 PM Re: is there a sign on me? [Re: JBells]
Letourski Offline


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

I don't think we have a sign over our heads but I will say that many of us lack self esteem. This fact unfortunately can be seen in our body language at times. Signs of this may be lack of eye contact, head kept low when walking, eagerness to befriend people quickly... Self esteem issues are pervasive in today's society and even moreso for CSA survivors.

Sadly many men who were abused as children are re-victimized throughout the course of their lives. A perpetrator uses this as a manipulation tool to "groom" the victim. The abuse leaves us vulnerable and I can say for myself that as a teen I was ready to mould to anyone's expectations or views they had for me. I entered a precarious relationship with a female survivor and I literally put all my efforts into healing her wounds all the while ignoring my own. This eventually led to drug addictions and a collapse in August 2007.

I took the reigns of my life and began my recovery. I have to constantly remind myself to be myself. I was so eager to please everyone else around me and it really became an escape. Saying no to others was hard to do at first but as you place yourself at the top of your priority list it does get easier.

If you feel this person is for real then voice your feelings, let him know it's moving too fast. You are what matters most and you deserve to be heard, we spent too long keeping things to ourselves. The trust issue comes with trusting ourselves. We felt very quickly that our bodies and feelings betrayed us and it's important that we begin to deconstruct this belief by reenforcing the reality of our abuse. When this is done we allow ourselves to feel which in the end will be very rewarding. This takes time, trust is earned.

You have every right to live your life and meet new people. If someone feels pressuring or manipulative than it's best to stay away or distance yourself. It's important to work on that self esteem. Read books, post often and do what you can to create a better image of yourself. I know I have said it once but you are the most important person in your life and you deserve happiness.

Heal well my friend

Dan

_________________________
I am the warrior.

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#278755 - 03/09/09 01:22 PM Re: is there a sign on me? [Re: Letourski]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
JBells,

This is one of the hardest areas for a survivor to confront, I think. If as a boy you were made to feel that you were only good for one thing, or that "it's not like I don't know how to do this" (a line I rehearsed many times), then abuse has wrecked a very basic boundary for you. It's difficult to overcome that, because until we deal with these issues in therapy the old broken ways of thinking can still define how we react in a challenging situation.

Not wanting to be revictimized all over again is not enough to prevent it from happening. Many times a survivor may succumb because this is a situation he knows so well; he may hate it, but it's familiar territory. Or as I said, he may be burdened with feelings that he doesn't deserve better, or that sex is something he has to give in order to gain or repay friendship or kindness. Or he may feel that revictimization is inevitable, so why resist the unstopable?

Predators do seem to have a way of "sniffing out" the vulnerable, but I personally think the problem is larger than that. The root of it goes back to what was done to the guy when he was a kid and the bad feelings and false ideas he learned when he was abused. What he has to learn now is that sex isn't something he owes to anyone; it's not a currency he needs to pay with when good things happen in his life. He deserves to be respected and well treated - end of story.

But these are lessons we need to learn at an emotional level, which is where most of the enduring harm has been done to us. It's not something we can reason through solely as a rational exercise. We may be controlled by these feelings without even realizing exactly what's going on. Hence the need for professional help. A good T will guide a survivor through the minefields and help him get to the point where he actually believes that things can be better, that he deserves for them to be better, and that he himself can make it happen.

I hope you will keep talking about this. You show a lot of courage in your post, and that will help you a lot as you work your way through this difficulty. Just remember that the problem isn't you - it's what was done to you. That is what you are trying to overcome.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#278774 - 03/09/09 02:09 PM Re: is there a sign on me? [Re: roadrunner]
JBells Offline


Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 218
Loc: Juneau
i wish i could think as clearly as you guys explain things.


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#278776 - 03/09/09 02:11 PM Re: is there a sign on me? [Re: JBells]
JBells Offline


Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 218
Loc: Juneau
everything you said in the second paragraph is exactly it. why try to resist, resisting never worked before so why would it work now, better to just go with it and get it over with. but then again no means no, right?


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#278778 - 03/09/09 02:37 PM Re: is there a sign on me? [Re: JBells]
Survivinguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 310
Loc: Colorado
My two cents,

Work with a therapist until you feel capable of establishing and absolutely maintaining set boundaries in a relationship. If not for already being married when I first started my therapy work, I know there is probably very little chance I would have been capable of creating and maintaining a healthy relationship (and I doubt my wife would say we are 100% or ever 60% right now).

I don't think we have signs on us that same victim here - I think the people that seek out abusive relationships have some kind of radar. To say we have signs verges on saying its our fault.

While I agree control is an illusion in that we can't control what anyone else does (either as a child or now) - we can control how we act or react (for the most part).

Is there a chance you can find a social group to fulfill the need for personal contact for right now - a club or activity group?

Otherwise I think defining very clearly for the other person that you aren't ready for the intimate aspect of a relationship early on is a good step with a sort of contract with yourself that you when you think you are ready to take that step you will do something like: wait a week before taking that step; talk to a close friend that knows everything, about it first; talk to your T about whether you are ready; ask a trusted MSer their opinion in a PM.

Sorry for your hurt frown

_________________________
Survivinguy

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

Alumni Dahlonega WoR May 2010
Alumni Sequoia WoR March 2012

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#278785 - 03/09/09 03:41 PM Re: is there a sign on me? [Re: Survivinguy]
JBells Offline


Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 218
Loc: Juneau
thanks for the reply


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#278787 - 03/09/09 04:01 PM Re: is there a sign on me? [Re: Survivinguy]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
There are a number of unconscious "signals" that survivors may exhibit that those experienced in taking advantage of others seem to be able to pick-up on well. There is the lack of trust and the fear of touch issue, there is sometimes an issue with eye-contact, there can be issues with social anxiety, sometimes a lack of confidence, a lack of assertiveness, or a lack of aggressiveness is present, and some survivors still struggling in recovery tend to walk and/or present themselves with a body posture that indicates a lack of confidence. So your feeling that you have a target painted on your back is not uncommon among survivors. Some of us tend to get re-victimized because we show symptoms of victimization, and thus are fairly easy prey. As Larry said, your boundaries have suffered greatly, and in recovery you will not only begin to repair your boundaries, but also you will learn to become more self-confident and learn to value yourself, and over time you will move away from your "victim mentality" towards a healthier way to live.

Sorry to hear about your experience, hope that you didn't get hurt again. Keep on trying and have hope. You don't have to endure like this forever. Recovery is possible.

Mark

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



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