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#340798 - 09/25/10 04:24 PM The "man" in the fortress
duncanUK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 632
It has been now eleven years since the arrack.I am not going to use the "r" word because i cannot face it. I am still in denial. I have built wall after wall to protect what is left and now no one can get in and i cannot get out.

I look in the mirror and i do not recognise who is looking back. I am consumed with anger and hate. I hate myself.I use solvents to escape the world but come roud back into the world.

I am no good at expressing myself on an emotional level and find it difficult to respond emotionally to other people, be it sad or whatever. I dont know what else to say

I am no longer a man.. that all died yearsago.

_________________________
you dont see me. i am not really here. Its my fault.. all of it. I am to blame and no one else.

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#340802 - 09/25/10 06:03 PM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: duncanUK]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
duncan,

It took me nineteen years before I could use that word. I still back away from time to time from it.

From what you wrote I wonder if you are saying you feel you are trapped? Sometimes our protective modes can work against us as well as for us. Is the anger and hatred for the abuser(s) or for you? You said your hated yourself - do you hate the one(s) who hurt you too?

I think you expressed yourself very well here. And I understand about not recognizing yourself. I have stood in front of the mirror wondering where I went and who the guy in front of me was. I still do that at times.

Making myself stand in front of the mirror and talk out how I felt towards myself helped a lot. A guy here kept encouraging me to do that and he was so right. As painful as it was - and still is - it helped me make some peace with myself.

I hope you continue to talk things out here.


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#340805 - 09/25/10 07:04 PM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: prisonerID]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Hi Duncan,

I hear your pain--you have a lot of defenses, but admit that they exist and that you try to escape by getting high.

Alcohol was my BEST friend and only true love for a long time-then the day came I knew it would only pave the way to death, and that I needed help to face my life and my past. SO I asked for help and found people I could trust who were safe and offered a real way out. They were examples of people in recovery and healing.

I hope you can know that this is possible and it is better than isolating and numbing. I know that you have more to offer and more to live, I am here for you.

Always, man.

Your brother,

Jamie

_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

“It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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#340807 - 09/25/10 07:22 PM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: duncanUK]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
Duncan,

You have said a lot and expressed your emotions well. As to the “R” word, as Prisoner expressed, I also took years to get to a place where I could understand the meaning of the word and who to blame for its existence in my life.

Duncan, anytime you want to use me rather than solvents to escape, please - if you feel comfortable - PM me anytime. I have found that dealing with the anger and hate, including self-hate, with the help of other men who “know” is healing. You are not alone in this lonely struggle, Earlybird

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

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#340839 - 09/26/10 08:12 AM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: earlybird]
duncanUK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 632
I hate myself for failing to defend myself from the attack. It plays over and over in my mind everyday.. never stopping. yes. I hate them, they destroyed the last part of my human self. The man that i once was is gone.

I read articles on the "r" subject but it does not make me feel any better. I hate it all. It brings me to tears and i just draw it all back in. I get angry..... They laughed as they attacked me.. they hurt me........ i tried counselling once but i cannot face it. I cannot say the "r" word. i feel ashamed, guilty...

I dont know who i am anymore. I try and get by day by day.. blocking it out.. i tell everyone that i am fine.. but deep down i am not. I feel like crying as i type this out but i hold it all in. someone once sadi to me "just get over it!!!!you are a man!!!". I tried that.. did not work. I try and shut my emotions down and it gets difficult.

I am scared of men. even guys at work who i have known for a long time. My borders are closed to people who try and enter. I cannot tear down te walls that i have built its too difficult to do.

_________________________
you dont see me. i am not really here. Its my fault.. all of it. I am to blame and no one else.

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#340840 - 09/26/10 08:52 AM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: duncanUK]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
duncan,

I blamed myself for the assault for over nineteen years. I would be lying if I said that at times I still struggle with it. But I can also honestly say that I find myself more and more seeing that it was not my fault. True, I was a grown man in my late twenties. But I also was ovepowered by two men who had weapons. I was outnumbered and outgunned by them. You had multiple assailants too - it does not diminish who you are as a person or as a man. You were a victim when you were attacked and the best thing you could do is what you did and that is you survived what they put you through. I do not know how old you were when this was done to you but just because you were an adult does not diminish their evil or their culpability. They are guilty and you are competely innocent.

I have played over my assault almost every day for over nineteen years. It it still enters my mind every day but now with the knowledge - the truth - that I was innocent of anything that night.

I am working on discovering myself at that age again. I know that I buried him out of anger and shame. I blamed him for what happened and I had a list of why it was his fault. I look at that list and I can see how I was dressed, my physical appearance, my decision to stop to wash my car and my naive ways were not my fault I was assaulted. These were just incidentals to the night. The blame is on the deviants who saw me and thought of the cruel thigns they could do to me. I do not know how much of him I will get back but know I cannot spend the rest of my life trying to get back to then.

It is fine that you could not face this in therapy yet. I wasted two hospital stays and several great therapists while I lied to myself and to them. Only with the last one was I able to open up and tell the whole story. That was just sixteen months ago.

Whoever said those horrible words of getting over it was wrong. Your gender has nothing to do with the actions of your assailants. They were sick and twisted animals. I do not know the circumstances of your assault but I hope you are not using them to build a case against yourself. I fear you are by reading your tag line. You did nothing wrong. You did something right because you lived through that horrible experience.

I hope you keep putting these thoughts and emotions out here. No one has the right to tell you to get over it and move on. However you feel then just say it. We are here to support you and offer our own experiences and maybe little insight.

Being a man does not negate anything that anyone would say to another victim/survivor of abuse or assault. We deserver the same consideration that we would give a man or woman who is CSA or a woman who was assualted as an adult. You deserve that. Our gender and our age should not enter into it. Especially in our own minds.

I am so sorry for what you have gone through and still struggling with even now.


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#340849 - 09/26/10 10:30 AM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: prisonerID]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
Duncan,

I’d like, once again, to echo Prisoner’s words. I know I needed to hear it over and over by different men that the assault was not my or your fault. Duncan you are not in any way to blame. A person cannot always completely protect themselves from all dangers and evils. You are a man, one that has been deeply injured. You are a man who is reaching out to other men who grasp the issues. (We know there is no simple method or plan the will “get us over it). We are each on a pitted road full of dead ends but there is hope for each of us. You are doing the right thing by being here and talking with us about the assault. I want to commend you are your strength in not sidestepping the issue. I’m impressed and wished I done it as quickly as you have done. We are all here as a support with and for you, Earlybird

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

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#341645 - 10/07/10 12:03 PM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: earlybird]
Marley Offline


Registered: 10/06/10
Posts: 54
I know I am getting here late but wow, just wow.

Duncan, in a way I can relate to everything you are saying here. All the feelings and emotions, thoughts, anger, all of that is deep within me too, and like you, I can't express it so I just shut it down.

The blame, the shame, the constantly wondering why, thinking back to figure out what you could have or should have done differently and basically feeling trapped there. Your post and each reply after has brought tears to my eyes for the first time in a long time and I thank you for that.

I can say with 100% certainty that you are not alone and it was not your fault.

Marley



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#341847 - 10/10/10 09:08 PM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: Marley]
oriolesguy Offline


Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 106
Loc: Long Island, NY
The "R" word?? Hate it. I've been in therapy for two years and it was one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome. I preferred "assault". It didn't sound as harsh.

Th "R" word couldn't apply to me. That word was reserved for a woman, or maybe for someone weaker. I was never weak, always strong, or at least I thought I was. At least physically. Turns out that being strong didn't mean macho, or any of that. I was the weak one for not admitting to myself what happened.

For too long I also shut down. I distanced myself from everybody, at least emotionally. On the outside I was a friendly, happy, athletic guy. Inside was a mess. I shut down emotions, true colors, hurt feelings, and all that. I could talk weather, politics, sports, and any other safe topic. But I could never talk about the way I felt about anything. And I could certainly never talk about me. And it all goes back to the assault, the "R" word.

I think as adults, we somehow feel much more responsible for what happened to us. If we are assaulted as children (and unfortunately I had that happen too), there is a certain degree of innocence we have, and there is so much more out of our control. As an adult I felt more at fault for what happened than I did as a child.

I remember my teachers, coaches, all adults drilling into my head that, "You are responsible for everything you do." "You are accountable for all your actions." And so when I was assaulted, what did I think? Who was responsible? ME. And it took me a long time, and a lot of hurt feelings and wasted withdrawals from my real self to figure it out.

No, it wasn't my fault. I am responsible for the things I do, but not for the things done TO ME. Once you get that, the road gets a little easier. Never, ever blame yourself.

Oriolesguy


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#341905 - 10/11/10 08:54 PM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: oriolesguy]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
Oriolesguy,

That is an interesting spin you put on this. I had not really thought of how it was drilled in my head that I was responsible for the course of my life. That I have allowed that to bleed over into my assault. I mean I thought it was my own voice saying it - but in fact I have had a chorus.

My first semester of college my parents helped me. But then my dad fell ill and I was on my own to pay for it all. A lot then went to me to take care of and I was grown at that point. I knew it was up to me to make it or I would not at all. And I became resourceful and was able to overcome, or slide out of, any situation. Until that one night.

Good thoughts you have left here, my friend.


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#343332 - 10/27/10 08:34 PM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: prisonerID]
davidm Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 20
This all sounds painfully familiar.

I was utterly helpless to defend myself during any of the assaults I suffered. The first time, I simply couldn't accept the horror of what was happening. I pressed my hands over my eyes and started chanting, over and over, "No. This is not happening."

It's haunted me for years that I didn't do anything. Couldn't do anything. I've tried to rationalize it, reminding myself that I was frail after many years of illness, and my former instructor was much bigger than me. But that isn't why I froze. It was the horror and the terror. And part of me has never been able to forgive myself.

Afterwards, I went into total denial. But that didn't restore me to normal. I hid in my apartment for a month, while my music instructor stalked and harassed me by telephone and mail.

When I finally ventured out, further assaults rapidly broke down that denial. I started resisting, first by just crying and pleading. Then, by degrees, by struggling. In response, my instructor got ever more violent, bashing me in the face at one point to subdue me -- and forcing me to do things, horrible things, that filled me with paralyzing shame. I went and hid in my apartment for another five weeks.

Then I did something really stupid. One of my instructor's oldest friends had taken me aside weeks before, and pleaded with me to convince my teacher to get psychiatric help. He told me that he, and my instructor's sister, who is a medical doctor, were afraid my teacher was going insane and might be on the brink of suicide. He told me how my teacher's best friend had killed himself about a decade before because he couldn't stop himself from molesting boys. I held onto his words like a life preserver. It seemed so much easier to blame what had happened on my teacher's being mentally ill -- and to imagine that he might somehow be "repaired," and everything somehow magically undone.

So I left my apartment, and my city, to intercept my instructor and confront him. He rewarded my efforts to convince him to get help with a particularly brutal assault.

I fell apart. Spent five weeks in hospital being subjected to "secondary victimization" by a doctor who later apologized for his incompetence.

Lost everything. Academic career only a distant memory in a few years. I wouldn't be here now were it not for a brilliant psychiatrist, a great psychologist, mountains of Prosac, and the woman who's been my wife these past 20 years.

Her only reward, however, has been to be dragged down with me as I've slowly sunk under the weight of all that horror. She left me for about six months during the mid-90s, during which she aborted what would have been our only child. I begged her not to. But she'd despaired of my ever recovering sufficiently to support a family. That pretty well finished what little was left of me.

I've since briefly risen to some prominent positions, only to be knocked down by a self-punishing stretch of depression and flashbacks. And I've long ago forgotten the things that made me happy before I took that music class.

On November 6, it will be 25 years since the first assault -- since I put my hands over my eyes because my mind wouldn't accept what was happening. And I can honestly say, looking back on all those devastated years, that it would have been merciful if he'd had the decency to simply kill me afterwards. Making me live all these years with those horrors playing and replaying in my head has been the cruelest thing he's done to me.

But he will pay for it. I learned this past spring that I can go after him, by suing him in his home country, England. I've got two boxes full of documentation. And as of today I've got referrals to five first-class solicitors in London. If I can find one that will overlook the fact I'm flat broke, my former instructor will be in for one hell of a shock. Believing that I can make that happen, that I can punish him after all these years of pain, is really all that keeps me going.


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#343575 - 10/29/10 04:04 PM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: oriolesguy]
Avery46 Offline


Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 1243
Loc: USA
This is very thought provoking post. I did not think about the fact that I blamed myself for being in the bathoom where I was raped until some time ago when my T said "who do U blame for what happened in that bathroom". It was a clear ME answer.

Donnie

_________________________
aka DJsport

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#344783 - 11/11/10 02:26 AM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: Avery46]
Scotty123 Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 51
..


Edited by Scotty123 (01/08/13 05:07 AM)

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#344830 - 11/11/10 02:28 PM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: Scotty123]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
Scotty123,

I lost my confidence after my rape. I felt like I was not as good or as capable as other men. It is something I have had to really work on for the last twenty years. Due to my lack of confidence over the years I allowed others to take advantage of me in other ways. In essence I allowed others to continue to diminish my quality of life. I had the idea I did not deserve a full life and settling for the scraps was more than enough for me.

The fact that your assailant was female does not make you weak. I have known many women in my life who were physically strong and could fight better than many men. It was not your fault at all.

You are still a man in my eyes and in the eyes of the good men here.


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#344895 - 11/12/10 05:34 AM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: prisonerID]
Scotty123 Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 51
..


Edited by Scotty123 (01/08/13 05:06 AM)

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#344906 - 11/12/10 08:17 AM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: Scotty123]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
Scotty,

We play the biased judge in our lives so much. I was under the shame of one night in my life. I found it so easy to accept and believe the negative and reject even a hint of postitive. No matter what I attained or accomplished I always shrugged and feared I would be outed as a con or fake.

We reject the mountains of evidence on our behalf that weighs a lot more than one night. And yet we give more importance to that one event than a life time of achievements and accolades. I was given employee of the year once and I casually went "okay". I found it so odd. Did I hang on to it? No, did not embrace it in the first place.

There is so much more to you than one night. I know it is so hard to believe that. Your life is more than one night.


Daryl



Edited by prisonerID (11/12/10 08:29 AM)
Edit Reason: grammar
_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#344950 - 11/12/10 05:11 PM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: prisonerID]
Avery46 Offline


Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 1243
Loc: USA
My ASA happened 18 years ago at the U. I was doing very well.

The despare sent me packing for 16 years.

I really empathize with you guys. The devaluation as a person especially as a man was almost complete.

I also struggle with CSA. For me I look forward to hearing more good things. It has taken me time but I am getting there.

I know we can grow even more.

We are more than one night - I agree.

Donnie

_________________________
aka DJsport

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#348956 - 12/24/10 12:46 AM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: prisonerID]
honorableman Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 25
Loc: United States
Yes, Oriolesguy has it right "A Man is responsible for what he does but NOT responsible for the the things that are done TO HIM. Let them with live with their sinful and criminal actions. Hold you head high brother. Hold all your heads high bothers! We lived well and the best we knew how and with honor.


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#408471 - 08/30/12 06:22 PM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: duncanUK]
Getting By Offline


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 8
Yes, I know the feeling.

It took me 30 years to figure out what it was going on in my head which made me do f*cked up things.

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#409233 - 09/06/12 02:31 PM Re: The "man" in the fortress [Re: duncanUK]
Tyr Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/05/11
Posts: 180
ed


Edited by Tyr (09/11/12 06:13 PM)
_________________________
Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat.

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