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#349506 - 01/01/11 01:53 PM "...and the wisdom to know the difference."
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
That is the part of the serenity statement that often eludes me in my recovery. Knowing what to accept and what to attempt to change has often been a struggle for me. A therapist once told me it was the ying and yang of both experiencing what I did as well as coming out alive at the end of it.

For a long time I never had the desire to join any kind of men's group. Then some years ago I decided not only did I need to but I also wanted it. I am a non-joiner by nature but see the possible benefits of it. Or at least I am willing to see if there are benefits. There is nothing as discouraging as finally dragging oneself to the point of accepting something and then to find that it is not available. Every year I make calls all around the area to see if there are any men's groups. I am given the same negative responses. But I try again the next year or so. That has gone on for many years now.

I wondered if I should just accept this or find a way to change it. I would go back and forth on that.

Last night I ended up at the Equality Center which is an hour from me. I had never been there before. A very nice guy gave me a tour of the place and explined some things about the place. He then introduced me to the executive director. We sat daown and talked and he went into further detail about what the center did for the community.

I was very impressed that not only do they offer things for the glbt community but extended it out for all folks. He told me of groups for coming out, transgendered preparation, domestic abuse and other issues. Therapists from the local community lead many of the groups. They also have fun stuff like dance classes as well as health presentations.

I asked him if they had any classes on sexual abuse. He said that they do not have any though he was sure it probably came up in other groups. I told him that I had been raped and that every year I make the rounds of phone calls looking for a men's group. And that every year I come up with the same results. He asked if I meant as a child and I said I was an adult. He told me that what they relied on was the people telling them what they needed. He looked me in the eye and told me that he would contact the lead therapist and talk to him about this. He assured me that it would happen. He said where there is the need for one there are many more who have not come forward for help. I am hesitantly hopeful but will wait to see how it goes. We exchanged business cards.

A bit later I found myself sitting with a man who shared how he had been raped in his early twenties. This was the first time I had ever met a man in person who had been assaulted as an adult. It is a bit hard to explain what that meant to me.

I am hesitantly hopeful about the group and will keep in touch with the ceter. This is something I need to work on - what is in the realm of possibility of changing and what there is to accept. I need more of the wisdom to know the difference. Otherwise I may be accepting what I do not have to. And that is worse than beating my head against the wall. At least in my opinion.


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#349533 - 01/01/11 08:20 PM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: prisonerID]
Guss Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/17/10
Posts: 26
Loc: tx usa
The nearest group to me is 2.5 hrs away. It is too far for me to attend on a regular basis. I am thankful for this site. At least I can chat online with others who would understand.
Daryl I was 20 when I was attacked by a monster coworker. I was fortunate that by the time he decided he wanted to penetrate me, I had become emotionally strong enough to tell him I'd kill him if he did. To this day, I cannot stand the thought of anyone's mouth on my body. I freak out if anyone touches my penis. I have finally gotten where I can endure an annual physical, and prostate exam. It has taken over 30 years for me.
Don't give up on yourself.
God bless you
Guss

_________________________
moooooo

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#349543 - 01/01/11 09:58 PM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: Guss]
Mountainous Buck Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Hey Daryl,

Bravo to you for making the effort to find a meeting: maybe you can advertise and start one and reach out to more organizations in your area. Sounds like you already got some good results from doing the footwork.

The serenity prayer portion you cite is powerful, and wisdom comes through action and experience and awakening. I cannot change other people, I can only change me, my actions, and mature as a man: in doing so, I leave behind the childish, immature, chaos and crazy making, enmeshed, co-dependent, and hurt ways that served me well in my defensiveness.

_________________________
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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#349763 - 01/04/11 04:04 PM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: prisonerID]
LandOfShadow Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 684
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Originally Posted By: prisonerID
A bit later I found myself sitting with a man who shared how he had been raped in his early twenties. This was the first time I had ever met a man in person who had been assaulted as an adult. It is a bit hard to explain what that meant to me.


That sounds useful... might get a lot of that in a group.

Could you give it a try?

_________________________
Et par le pouvoir d’un mot Je recommence ma vie, Je suis né pour te connaître, Pour te nommer
Liberté

And by the power of a single word I can begin my life again, I was born to know you, to name you
Freedom

Paul Eluard

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#352293 - 01/29/11 10:21 AM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: LandOfShadow]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Yes, I would be willing to give it a try. I think I am to the point of doing this.

Right now I am wrestling with whether to keep knocking on the door or retreat and let it be. My knuckles are a bit sore right now.

I have been in constant communication with the director. I asked about the group again on the 12th. I again stated I understand that this takes time but just wanted an update of some sort. He and I had shared email messages a few times that day. I have not heard from him since then.

He has my personal email, work email, cell phone and work numbers and even fax.

There is a sense of peace in just letting it go. Or maybe that is avoidance of the pain in reaching out again.


Daryl



Edited by prisonerID (01/29/11 11:06 AM)
Edit Reason: grammar
_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#352323 - 01/29/11 06:06 PM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: prisonerID]
Avery46 Offline


Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 1243
Loc: USA
Daryl,

YOUR WORTH the "wisdom" to keep trying. In keep with the title of your post - which btw sorry to be joining in late - I believe the wisdom is within you.

YOUR a good man. Keep going your doing well.

smile Donnie

_________________________
aka DJsport

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#352363 - 01/30/11 09:26 AM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: Avery46]
philistine Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 208
Loc: Oregon
Daryl,
You are amazing.
You kept looking for what you wanted, found it wasn't available and started the process to, hopefully, get what you want/need.
So please accept this pat on your back, because we all get tired of doing that for ourselves.

_________________________
Mike

"No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself" - Nietzsche

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#357797 - 03/27/11 11:18 AM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: philistine]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
Here we go again...

It has been a long time since I have received any word from the center on the proposed group. My knucles became sore from knocking on the door. I eventually retreated and it caused me to go into a five week deep depression from the feelings of rejection. I again felt the strong pangs that there is nothing out there for men who have been raped as adults. No books, no specialty therapists and no one gives a crap to change it. Is there truth to all I just said? Yes, I sincerely believe it to be so. Did I carry it to a detrimental point? Of course I did. I feel I am right in this viewpoint but it is not right how I allow it to affect me and deter my efforts to change it. It just all makes me feel like a dismissed fool telling a far fetched story too amazing to believe. To me the message is that it either does not happen or as a man I can deal with it.

The deep depression passed and life went on as usual - for the good and the bad of that. I bought an okay book on adult male rape and have been reading it kind of slowly. I received a PM from a guy here talking of giving to others. That made me think of the young man who was attacked recently in Tulsa for being gay - he was beaten and bloodied up pretty good for daring to be gay. That caused me to think of the guys who are young - college rapes do not just involve women. And how if there was a visible group for them maybe they would seek help. I felt selfish for not pursuing this any further.

I emailed the center's director just now. I then emailed the United Way in Tulsa - at one time they had groups for men. At least that is what my last therapist told me. So I asked them if they had any right now and if not if they had any plans to do so. In both emails I cited my concerns for the young men out there at risk and what this might mean to them.

I am still wrestling with the wisdom thing but I still think this is needed. Whether they do or not.


Daryl



Edited by prisonerID (03/27/11 11:28 AM)
Edit Reason: spelling
_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#357831 - 03/27/11 02:42 PM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: prisonerID]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Hi Daryl,

I hope very much that those two organizations will see the need and respond to it. It is true that college is a very formative time in a lot of peoples' lives and that is where experiences like rape often happen for many people. Sometimes colleges will have groups on campus that promote awareness about sexual assault, my brother's college i noticed has support for male rape survivors.

Sometimes giving to others can give us the "push" we need to get out of our own little worlds and start living life again. I think about trying to find some way to volunteer again, if only to get out of the house and to know that I do, on some level, still have something to give to this world.

You are trying to find the support & resources from your community so that you can bloom where you are planted. There is no reason to ever feel ashamed like that, and I admire your courage in seeking the help you need.

_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#358424 - 04/02/11 04:06 PM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: CruxFidelis]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
I just read an email from the center's director asking me to choose a day to have lunch or dinner with him. He wants to discuss how "we" can do this. I must admit I kind of wanted "them" to do it. I sent him back a message asking if Friday would work since I am off that day.

I did get a message back from the United Way and was given a number and a website. It is for the agency that deals with domestic abuse and rape services. I was assured there were groups for men. I could not find evidence of that on the website and I have not called the number yet. I will contact them next week. Maybe if they do then the center could work with them and not have to go from the ground up with this.

I know, I know. Who am I talking to - you or me?

(Sighs and reaches for a Dew, some Tylenol and a scoop of Calgon)


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

Top
#358515 - 04/03/11 02:50 PM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: prisonerID]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
what are you doing with the calgon? do you have laundry to do or something?


I am overjoyed to hear about the fact that you are finally getting a response from that center! See, if you hadn't asked for what you needed, this might not have happened. I had been praying that your voice will be heard and that people will come out of the woodwork who are able to provide help for you. smile smile

About how the director saying "we" instead of "us" in reference to who is the helper. I wish things were different and there were more systems in place to help people with ASA. I hate being helped by anyone to do anything. I am one of those people who likes to do things by himself and it hurts my pride to rely on others, especially when I can't hold myself together emotionally... but it is essential to help the people who are in a position to help you by enlightening them as to what your needs really are, because this is a situation they may or may not have seen before.

_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#358524 - 04/03/11 04:50 PM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: CruxFidelis]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Calgon - as in "take me away".

I sent an email this morning to the DVIS (Domestic Violence Intervention Services/Call Rape)- other oranization I was recommended to contact. Will see what they have to say. Your support, as always, is much appreciated.


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

Top
#358530 - 04/03/11 06:33 PM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: prisonerID]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio
Hi Daryl,

I also look for a mens survivor group every once in awhile, with frustrating results, perhaps one day... I even have a friend who is a director for a Battered Woman's Shelter, operated through the YWCA. As an outreach project someone-else there has tried to get a group for male CSA/SA survivors off the ground, my understanding is that it's being facilitated by a woman, and the few attendees have not been comfortable with this arrangement and would prefer a male leader. Makes sense to me, especially for a male group. I've had a few female therapist over the years and two of them were the best I've ever experienced, but I still can't see them in the role of leader of a male survivor group.

I hope the project you speak of gets off the ground and running soon, I understand how you feel about being able to spend time with other survivors face to face. I also understand restraints due to time and distance restrictions, limiting how much you can do yourself, hopefully this will resolve itself in a positive way also.

Best of luck on this!

Gary

P.S. Hope you had a good relaxing soak!!!

_________________________
"It's never too late to be what you might have been."

George Elliot

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life."

Virginia Woolf

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#362459 - 05/18/11 08:12 AM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: 1.healing]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
I thought I might update my "progress" in this area of my life. I have spent quite a bit of time on the phone and emailing various organizations within an hour from where I live. I have spanned out in all directions and had some nice conversations with some good people. I admire the work that they do with females rape victms/survivors as well as those who work with children who have been abused. I have been given other places to contact and did so each time that I found a dead end. The last place I talked with did say that I was welcome to come in for individual assessment/counseling but that there were no groups or other services available. The good part is that I like honesty. I am one who has a need to know and can live with it if people shoot straight with me. I may not like it but it is better than "of course you are welcome - just not sure where at right now".

I have also contacted various national and international male abuse organizations and was impressed with their quick responses. In fact they were very generous in creating an email dialogue with me for a few days while we explored ideas and thoughts. Again I was impressed with their honesty and sincere regret that they could not take on ASA issues due to having their plates full with CSA ones.

Like the local organizations each would send me a link to another organization. The last one referred me to MS and this forum. On the one hand Male Survivor should feel proud of that. On the other hand it also told of how limited things are for ASA men. And that is what these organizations stated themselves and I do appreciate their acknowledgment of that fact.

The last organization's response to me has been ongoing and he has offered to be a "thought partner" with me. So we have emailed some and he even set up a time to call me. He was very generous to give me forty minutes of time when I am sure he did not really have that to spare. I was touched by that on Monday.

All the emails to these organizations have been honest ones from me but I am always polite even in my frustrations. But in the initial one to the last organization I was short and blunt. I was tired and very frustrated at the time. I might add that I had been on the internet and the phone a week solid doing part of this. I am sure lack of good solid sleep contributed to me losing my "Okie charm" as well. I simply stated the that organization that I was "tired of being a footnote in the issue of male sexual abuse". I later apologized for my rude intro to him but he was very kind and understanding.

I am still awaiting a call back from one agency and I have made small steps in doing so with the local university. I have reconnected with one of my main contacts there and she has provided me with the person she feels I should meet with. I am going to breathe a bit before I tackle this since I am talking about the community I work in and I work closely with the school's sccial work department. They provide interns for us and we provide training for those students. There is more riding on this possible contact than on the others.

Summer is almost here and that tells me that it will be time to leave this be if the university does not pan out and if that last organization does not work out as well.

You see I have this past week seen more and more how the work and battle for help to those who are male CSA has just scratched the surface. These organizations cannot even begin to keep up with what is needed.

I sincerely hope that men here who are CSA are not offended by any of my words. I know I am welcome here. I know I am cared for here. But I am not satisfied with the resources available or the acknowldgment given to adult males who have been sexually assaulted. Whether it is in the 3D world or on the internet. I see more articles written since the media has latched on to military rapes more and more. I am told that 10% of the calls to rape hotlines are males. I am told I am not the only ASA man who contacts abuse organizations.

I think this was told to comfort me on the phone and by email. But it only fueled my anguish that if this is known then why does nothing change? If the knowledge is there and nothing is done...

Like I said earlier in that email - I am not satisfied with being a footnote in the books, articles, cyber organizations and physical organizations concerning male sexual abuse.

And life goes on.


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

Top
#362463 - 05/18/11 10:17 AM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: prisonerID]
Mountainous Buck Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Thanks for updating this thread-

I applaud you for the searching you are doing-the topic of how to create effective support for male survivors is a topic I've been seeing a lot if lately.

I just read about a Man's tombstone in my community: the ten most powerful 2-letter words in the english language-

"if it is to be it is up to me".

We'll all be footnotes in other people's stories-I think we need to write our own.

_________________________
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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#362479 - 05/18/11 01:07 PM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: Mountainous Buck]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Thank you for your response to this. I do not mind writing my own story - just came to a point in my life where I would like some assistance with some of the details. A base from which I can advocate for change.

I am beginning to wonder if I do not need to access more female oriented assault organizations. At least I was told at the one place that I would be eligible for individual counseling. I am thinking that now I may need to go where I really did not think any success would be available. I will be contacting the local university and that is the base of their work. That is a long shot but will give it a whirl anyway.

That kind of energizes me just a bit - maybe I have been knocking on the wrong doors the past year or so. Maybe I have been trying to force fit myself into the wrong system. I am not giving up but thinking that I am going in the wrong direction.

Jamie - your words have actually poked me into a little bit of realization here. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I think it is time to go in a different direction with this.

Thanks - you helped me in a very interesting way.


Daryl



_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

Top
#362517 - 05/19/11 12:10 AM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: prisonerID]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio

Dear Daryl,

As a CSA brother, I am not offended by any of your words or feelings about the very real lack of resources and help for men who were raped as adults. That you and other survivors of ASA are so composed and understanding about the lack of specific resources available to you is beyond generous as I see it. In all honesty this situation makes me feel frustration and anger over the huge void in services to ASA men which should not be. I don't understand why the treatment community is so slow to respond when there is such a need, their empathy should begin to extend beyond sympathetic rhetoric to include real action and tangible help. The wake-up call is past due!

Bless you and the other men who find themselves in this bewildering situation. I admire your courage and perseverance and hope you one day see the positive outcome you so deserve.

Your brother in healing,

Gary


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#362528 - 05/19/11 08:14 AM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: 1.healing]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I cannot begin to say how much your words meant to me this morning as I read them. Without acknowledgment nothing can change for it is like ignoring the horse in the room. Not admitting there is a leak in the boat or not enough food for all at the table.

At least some of the organizations, both online and by phone, acknowledged the gap. But none felt compelled to do anything about it. Maybe that is the second step that will come one day. I honestly thought one of the male sites would take it up but tha apparently is not meant to be and that puzzles me. I thought I stood a much better chance with them than with a basic female organization.

On the one hand CSA experts like Mike Lew stated in an email that "all abuse is abuse" and that ASA men were welcome to his workshops. Yet the organizations I contacted were specific in that they did not mix CSA and ASA in counseling tracts and groups. So there seems to not be a consensus concerning male ASA. Just things I am picking up in my conversations with those working in the therapeutic community. So, which is it? I confess to being just a bit confused now.

Thanks for your input on this as I ponder my last angle. I am taking it slow on it right now as I think out each step.

Another day...another Diet Mt. Dew. Or two. smile

Have a great day my dear and wonderful friend.


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

Top
#362529 - 05/19/11 08:18 AM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: 1.healing]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

(I’m a bit cranky this morning so if this comes off rather short, please if you can, see it as me only being frustrated)

Your diligence on the behalf of all ASA is amazing, humbling as well. I wish I had some bit of wisdom but frankly it all feels and falls flat and trite.

Yes, to do the same thing over and over is often seen as insanity but when the road dead ends with each “new” path taken the returning to the one that leads to insanity seems nearly palatable even preferable, which in of itself is spooky. And I agree that if we don’t write our own epitaphs we most likely won’t like what is on our own tombstones but some of us aren’t articulate masons and need the assistance of those who are. To right our own ship alone is what far too many of us have done. No one would suggest CSA’s or adult women who have been raped must do this so why would it be suggested I/we “must”! Sorry but that idea just rubbed me the wrong way. I’m not advocating for us to just sit on our asses and let everyone else do the heavy lifting but, dang it!

I’ve not tried nearly as impressive as you Daryl to find resources that don’t say for all intense and purpose “good luck, but not here ” and have sank in the sludge of despair. The mud is beginning to feel warm and accepting. (A poem about mud? Humm, maybe that will brighten my day)

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

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#362545 - 05/19/11 12:11 PM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: earlybird]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio

Dear Daryl,

I'm puzzled too and quite frankly I don't get it either! Why are the professionals not responding to the need, what's needed to flip that switch on? And as you and our good friend Earl expresses ASA's like anyone need to be participants in their process of healing, but it's not asking too much to expect some help. It's something akin to expecting a surgeon to perform their own heart transplant, impossible!

I can't begin to tell you guy's how sorry I am about this ridiculous situation and how hollow that statement feels because it isn't enough! It sounds as shallow as all the dead end voices on the other end of the many lines you've pursued. I only wish that I knew what the answer was to this one and certainly support you all in your reasonable quest to find it!

Your CSA brother in healing,

Gary

_________________________
"It's never too late to be what you might have been."

George Elliot

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life."

Virginia Woolf

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#362548 - 05/19/11 12:34 PM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: 1.healing]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
Thanks Gary for seeing through my rather pissy reply to the heart of the issues. Your words are neither shallow or headed to a dead end. Rather they are words of hope and encouragement and for my part deeply welcomed. Earlybird

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

Top
#362549 - 05/19/11 01:04 PM Re: "...and the wisdom to know the difference." [Re: earlybird]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio

Dear Earl,

If ever anything deserved a pissy reply and attitude this issue does, so don't worry about it, it's completely understood and quite appropriate under the circumstances. Thank you for your encouraging words, you always inspire me, as does Daryl, you guys personify the very meaning of and are wonderful examples of HOPE and what's right about the world.

Always your friend,

Gary


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