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#319280 - 01/18/10 01:18 PM Re: belonging [Re: DJsport]
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
Originally Posted By: DJsport
Yep. Belonging here is tough.


On the contrary, belonging here is not hard. One only has to meet one of two requirements:

1) Be a male survivor
2) Care about a male survivor

The hard part is understanding that and feeling like we belong here.

As a survivor, we have all, at one point or another in our life, lost our voice or have been ignored or otherwise marginalized. Time and again I see posts from members saying that "I have found my voice!" Guys, this is the key to belonging.

Recovery from sexual abuse is NOT a passive activity. One must a) want to recover, and b) work for recovery.

Going to the chat room and observing other people talk about recovery may give one information on what works for others, or what others are dealing with, but it doesn't do anything to help us find our voice. That happens when we make a post on the discussion board, or go into the chat room and declare "I need help tonight, guys!" and keep saying it until someone listens. If people ignore you in chat, then you don't quit even though it feels like rejection emotionally. We've been rejected emotionally for a long time, but we have to find our voice and keep trying! Night after night if that's what it takes, until we find someone who will listen... who will hear what we have to say, even if all we have to say is two words, or even one!

Don't give up. Keep trying. By trying, you are taking an active part in your recovery. Don't let someone ignoring you in the chat room shut down your recovery efforts. If there is someone in the chat room that you don't get along with, then reach out to someone else. The vast majority of our members are willing to talk to you, but they can't read your mind. Reach out. Someone will be there for you if you keep trying, even if the first people you reach out for aren't able or willing to help at that time.

Don't take someone telling you that they can't help you personally. Everyone is at a different stage in their recovery, and some people are in a better place to help other survivors. Again, keep trying.

Never give up. Never surrender.

And never fear. You belong here-- Each and every one of you.

D2k


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#319327 - 01/18/10 10:05 PM Re: belonging [Re: Dewey2k]
fhorns Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/10/02
Posts: 669
I've been here a few times over the last few days, and this post is giving me courage. Thanks for sharing Dewey. I'm actively trying to ignore my pain, but it's not going away. Thank you for the encouragement.


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#319460 - 01/20/10 03:17 AM Re: belonging [Re: fhorns]
Joren Offline


Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 51
Loc: US
I have to agree with the OP. I don't really feel like I belong anywhere. There isn't a single place in my life where I can just be me and relax. Part of this I'm sure if that I'm unwilling to trust others and thus give them the chance. Another, possibly larger, part is that I've made mistakes and fear correcting them will cause others a great deal of pain - yet that's what is needed.

I've been to chat, but to be honest, I'm so uncomfortable most of the time I just sit and listen. It's difficult being a survivor of CSA. I've hung around here for over a year now and still only 'participate' in the forums irregularly.

I wonder how does one go about belonging anywhere? I'm not really sure I've ever belonged anywhere so I don't really know what to expect or how to identify it if I did.

Mike


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#319502 - 01/20/10 12:41 PM Re: belonging [Re: Joren]
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
To me, belonging is a combination of factors, not all of which are in our control.

First, we must interact. One can never belong in a group from the outside.

Second, we comport ourselves within the groups expected parameters. Going into a ballroom dance like it is a mosh pit won't get you included in the next invitation.

Third, the group's members must recognize you, first as a "newbie", and then later accept you as a group member.

This is the factor we can not control individually. Other peoples' reactions to us are an indication as to whether or not we're fitting into the group's expected qualities for members. These could range from how we behave and interact to how we look. I'm not saying it is fair, and frankly if a group rejected me for how I look, I wouldn't want to belong to it anyway, but I digress.

A common issue here at MaleSurvivor, both on the discussion board and especially in the chat room is that we're all coming in from the outside. We've been conditioned to feel that we are not worthy of belonging; that we are somehow flawed and no one else wants us. This feeling is pervasive and affects us in every social situation from intimate relationships to workplace relationships. In my experience, this feeling doesn't go away until we are already part of a group and have been for a long time.

Some recovery groups have a saying: "Fake it 'til you make it." Simply put, act as though you belong even if you feel you don't. That means overcoming the fear and reaching out, subtly demanding that we be recognized as part of the group simply by being there. We then have to interact with the group as a group member. Over time we become more comfortable as part of the group, and then (sometimes) we wonder how we ever felt excluded.

Cliques are always an issue. A tight-bound group may never be open to interlopers. This we can do nothing about except recognize its existence and move on.

In a place like MaleSurvivor, however, cliques are not helpful. They exclude people who come here for help, and others who are looking for a place to belong. No one person "owns" the chat room. No one clique "owns" the discussion board. We, collectively as members, are included in both by right of being members. There are no other requirements, and no one (except the site administration) has the right to tell you otherwise.

As a member, I ask my fellow members for these things:

1) Be aware of cliques, and attempt to avoid forming them by intentionally excluding or ignoring others.

2) Remember how you felt when you first came here from the outside. When you see someone new, interact with them if they are willing. Let them know you are there for them if they choose not to interact.

3) Welcoming new members -- survivors who are looking for help -- to the site is in everyone's best interest. It shows them that they made the right choice to come here. Besides, you never know which of your fellow survivors could show you the key to your own recovery.

4) Be tolerant of others. This is a diverse site, with people from all over the world with myriad differences, but one thing ties us all together: abuse. Remember that before deciding this or that member is annoying and putting them on ignore. They may not know that they are acting inappropriately because they have never been shown differently. The abuse we suffered damaged us in ways we haven't even discovered yet, so perhaps they haven't discovered that their way of interacting is abrasive or offputing. Patience is a necessity when recovery is involved, whether dealing with others or ourselves.

Above all, remember we're on the same side, and we struggle together to repair our lives, to become whole once again. Everyone deserves that chance, and if we help each other, it makes the job a little bit easier.

D2K


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#319511 - 01/20/10 02:19 PM Re: belonging [Re: Dewey2k]
DJsport Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Originally Posted By: Dewey2k
Some recovery groups have a saying: "Fake it 'til you make it." Simply put, act as though you belong even if you feel you don't. That means overcoming the fear and reaching out, subtly demanding that we be recognized as part of the group simply by being there.


Bravo - (((((D2K)))))

What you wrote are great guidelines for the "chat" room. It speaks volumes about what is needed.

What you stated is clear so each of us members to live by as well until we feel a "belonging".

It is important to know we do "belong" without question.

I feel so like I belong here and apart of life but, it has taken me some time.

I have had some very helpful mentors here. I have seen the cliches'. I have had therapy along with being here.

It works out.

Donnie

_________________________
Live to your fullest potential

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

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#319873 - 01/23/10 07:55 PM Re: belonging [Re: jls]
DJsport Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Originally Posted By: jls
It sounds screwed up but I feel that I don't belong in this chat room. I don't know why but I just don't. Even with the therapy I'm receiving I'm having a hard time receiving the help I need for being sexually abused as a kid. It makes it no one's fault by my own I guess. JS


This is a very good comment and valid. Wanted to bring this thread back to the beginning as I hijacked it.

I get what your saying JLS about "chat" here and as a survivor. Some can share but others can not - even if you ask. Definite intolerance here.



Edited by DJsport (01/23/10 10:01 PM)
_________________________
Live to your fullest potential

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

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