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#352096 - 01/27/11 01:31 AM So whatís the problem?
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
I know how to have a relationship with my wife. Itís loving, caring, tender even erotic. I know how to relate to my grown children. Iím very close with each of them. They have their own lives in which my wife and I support and view them as equals. Iím confident that Iím loved and liked by my chosen life partner Jan and equally so by my daughter and son.

So whatís the problem?

I do not know how to have friends. I use to. Never was a problem till college. Then the rape and I found myself estranged from most everyone. With few exceptions this has never changed. It has puzzled me all my adult life. Iíve reduced my potential for connection to near zero and am completely comfortable with this equation which makes me stop and ponder. Even here on MS after 11 months of developing friendships Iíve watched as most have quietly dissolve. Even the ones that have not completely gone silent I sense us drifting apart. Not because of angry disagreements or bitter words spoken. No, just as natural as the receding tides which pull back from the reef abandoning it so as to die. As I see it, I or they, have begun to allow the friendship to drift apart and left to wither - baked by the barrenness. No bad guys just what happens and I allow it for it is what I expect. Iím sure this is not normal but it is the ďnormalĒ I know. Iím aware this is ďmy problemĒ, I just donít have a clue why or how to stem the tide?

Hourglass

The day is dying, sunlightís descending
Shadow of a life shrinking and fading
Sands are sifting, tideís receding,
Reefs lie exposed, life is fleeting.




Edited by earlybird (01/27/11 01:33 AM)
_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

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#352100 - 01/27/11 07:56 AM Re: So whatís the problem? [Re: earlybird]
sono Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/09
Posts: 1069
Earl,

How' do?? Well, if I may, I suggest you ask yourself a question...
compare how often you just decide to drop one of those people a note or message to say hi, see what's going on versus wondering why they haven't written to see how you are? I don't mean that in the sense that you aren't a good friend or interested in them, but I wonder how much you sit there thinking they don't particularly care to hear FROM you because they are not writing TO you. I can't imagine that anyone wouldn't be quite happy to hear from you...I know I would...so much so I resort to posting on MS just so I can stay in touch...LOL

I have lots of friendships of varying flavors with people all around the world and there is a myriad of dynamics involved from the I always write, or THEY always write, NONE of us write but make a 2 hour phone call every year or so and so on and so on. We almost always without exception pick up right where we left off. That includes some recovery related reconnections I've made with people I haven't spoken to since we were kids 30 years ago. My point there is you're talking about friendships at MS which can't be more than a year or so at longest and you speak in terms of drifting apart and withering...well gosh Earl, less than a year is pretty short to speak of withering IMO. That just means you haven't spoken in a while...chances are you'll pick right up.

So, how come you never write anymore??? lol

lots o' brotherly love and support,

Kevin (not sono wink )

_________________________
the family
the perp

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#352102 - 01/27/11 08:23 AM Re: So whatís the problem? [Re: earlybird]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Before my assaults I was one who had too many friends. I had so many I could not keep up with them. I had move out of state and made a slew of new ones and was very active with them. But afterwards much changed and I pushed them back - both the ones in my new state and in my home state. I moved back to Oklahoma and began slowly to rebuild my life.

I still have solid friends from before the assaults. The struggle has been maintaining a consistent pace of spending time with them. Time flies by for me - I have no concept of time at all. To me I am just now in my mid thirties even though I am now fifty.

I look up and four months has gone by without seeing them. I commit to them and myself that I will not allow this to happen to me and yet I do it over and over again.

I have many work related friends but rarely see them outside of work. One day I was at our corporate office and two others from work were there. A favorable comment was made by one of the corporate folks. One of the gusy I work with said "everybody likes Daryl". And to this day I go "why?". What is there to like? Why am I well thought of at work? Why do people seem to seek my company? I do not even get why men here would seek my company on MS.

But what do I do with it? I avoid invitations, turn down the offers of others and I shy away to myself. It has been worse the last several years than even before. A few years after the assaults I kind of righted myself and just lived my life. No therapy, no thoughts much of anything to do with what happened to me. Then I crashed and it has been difficult ever since to connect. I just cannot seem to maintain what I once had with others for very long. Staying present for it is so difficult.

I must compliment my friends for not giving up on me. Hell, I have apologized and made so many promises just to break them. Yet here they are wanting to start fresh again. They know of some of what happened but it is an umspken rule that it is never discussed. That is my rule.

Earl, my heart breaks for you in this for I do know the pain. I have had and lost many friends over the years. I do see that you have something that is truly wonderful. You have a base of love and support in your family. You have no doubts you are loved and respected by your immediate family. That is something many do not have or doubt it exists. I would encourage you to build from there. Take what skills you have in those relationships and expand them outward. You will win some and lose some.

You are right in that there are no villains in play. Sometimes we do drift apart from one another. But do we have to let it happen with others? You are also right that you have as much responsibility as the other guy/gal. This, as painful as it is, could be a wonderful opportunity to delve into the "why is it so" realm. And what part your assault and the aftermath have played in this.

One thing I have recently learned is it is time to do something. The support and relations here are wonderful but I have to get out in the worlk again. So I have made a commitment to spend time with my closest friends once a month and build from there. In May we are taking a three day trip together (breathe!). I am going to fight to stay in the present and stay with them. I need to find human contact on a deeper level in the 3D world.

Keep working at relationships with others and don't give up. I find you to be a caring, loving and wonderful person. Your friendship here has meant a lot to me. I value you and it.

I have struggled with all types of relationships over the years. I wonder if some other married/family guys here might say the same thing. That developing the family was safer and easier than outside relationships.

I am sorry for the agony of this but I hope for better days with it for you. For all of us.


Daryl



Edited by prisonerID (01/27/11 08:39 AM)
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#352111 - 01/27/11 10:14 AM Re: So whatís the problem? [Re: prisonerID]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

Sono, your question;

ďSo, how come you never write anymore??? LolĒ

was both cute and poignant. You boiled down the issue into a simple one line query. I think, or at least I tried, to own the issue of which I was laying out in my post. If I came across as blaming I need to apologies and redirect the problem as to something Iím responsible for. I know this to be true for it did not exist prior to the sexual assault and I know the world did not change after the rape Ė I did!

To give you an example of how I just donít do it right. As you know, several months ago you suggested I open a Facebook account. It took me weeks after your suggestion to do so. But I did and you were the first to ask to befriend me. I accepted. I think I wrote one thing on it to you and then never went back to the page. Iíve had request to be befriended by people and even extended family that live far away but I cannot force myself to go to the account and accept or converse. Why? I simply do not know the answer but the issue is pervasive. Just hanging on here has taken every ounce of energy I can muster. As you remember I could not handle the ďbarĒ scene at MT and moved on for the more ďchurchyĒ atmosphere of MS. (Ironic being an Atheist) I was the receding tide abandoning the reef, not them.

So I accept your admonishment for I know it is said in love not given from a superior platform. I hear you saying it as a brother who has joined me in a real flesh and blood battle fought over real issues. Thank you.


Daryl,

You were the first to reach out to me nearly a year ago. Our stories run so close that when, back then, reading your ďsurvivor storyĒ I thought we had crossed paths with the same two men. It scared me and ripped my heart right out of my chest. I cried uncontrollably nearly causing my wife to fall apart. It had been years sense she had seen me that shaken. You and I became friends and then drifted apart for a while but came back to establish an extremely powerful working team. We have traveled some painful paths together butt heads a little here and there but have always maintained respect and desire to keep the cord strong between us. I donít know if you or anyone has a clue how unusual this is for me. I cherish it.

It is interesting for like you Iím liked and respected in the work environment. Iíve always done well in these situations but I also carry a secret one that would not be right to expose but it keeps me leery and watchful for in that situation no one must ever know. Up until ten years ago I never stayed in a job more than two years. Then as was and is my pattern Iíd move on never maintaining the relationships of the past. So if there is a bad guy or ďvillainĒ it is me. Iím working on changing this pattern and to be honest about it is the beginning of real change.

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

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#352112 - 01/27/11 10:34 AM Re: So whatís the problem? [Re: earlybird]
Obi Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1400
Loc: kansas
earl,

there is no bad guy or villain at all. not anyone of your friends, family and especially you...

you've been through a very traumatic experience that any "group" is kept under your very watchful eye.

your family has experienced awful events as well at the hands of "trusted" people...

this does not surprise me one bit that you are very cautious about letting anyone get close, let alone have a long lasting relationship with them...

go easy on yourself...

yes, it's true that some friends slip away from time to time... that happens with everyone... i think that's just part of human nature...

however, there are also the ones that stay by your side even if you, or them, haven't had contact for a while...

i read somewhere, i can't remember who it was and how it goes exactly, BUUUUUUT the basic point to what was said that a true friend is one that even if you haven't spoken to them in a long time they will still hold you in their heart and mind so that when you do speak again you pick right back up where you left off like no time has passed...

i believe in that because that has happened in my own life.....

you've got many true friends earl, myself included, that will never let you go even if we don't talk for a while...

you've made an impact in my life earl.. one that i won't ever forget... i even mentioned how you helped me in my 1 year anniversary post....

hope this helps...

todd



Edited by Obi (01/27/11 10:35 AM)
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#352115 - 01/27/11 10:46 AM Re: So whatís the problem? [Re: earlybird]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 729
Loc: United States
Earl,

Some friendships are like stone
Made from similar stuff
Born in the same fire or flood
Connected under the earth
Or scattered across broad expanses

Perhaps eroding in the elements
But often strong and standing unmarked

Sometimes stone is tumbled together
Rolled into piles or stacked in rows
Their colors, textures, and shapes
Telling stories and changing form

The singular monolith appears remote
Only until we remember
It's genesis and history

Sometimes friendship
Is quiet, and
Simply endures the elements

-efm

_________________________

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

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#352129 - 01/27/11 01:59 PM Re: So whatís the problem? [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5947
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
You have struck a chord, Eeb's,

Indeed, within the abused and the suffering, we can choose to hang onto another in support, or we can go back inside ourselves, numb out the relationships, and continue to suffer.
While some relationships are casual and light, others are intense. Like anything external, hot and quick, or cool and slow, both need continuous fuel, or the chemical energy is used up.

What can we expect from the relationships developed in MaleSurvivor? Indeed, what questions does this bring up about us? These are valid questions, and they deserve our full attention.
There are some very good suggestions in this post, and I have been challenged by these to inquire as to my own role in relationships.

Thank you, Earl,
Sam

_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#352158 - 01/27/11 08:07 PM Re: So whatís the problem? [Re: earlybird]
Lesser1 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/10
Posts: 19



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#352164 - 01/27/11 09:02 PM Re: So whatís the problem? [Re: Lesser1]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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


Todd,

You bring up a very strong point, one I can intellectually understand but Iím not sure I grasp it on a living level. What you said that struck me in particular was about the damage to my family by ďtrustedĒ people. Letís not forget these were not only trusted people some were dear friends. Iíve never really given it much thought but Iíve never allowed myself to become close to any group sense. Iíll have to ponder on this a bit. I know I trust NO group, not one. But that is a different thread. Your point is well taken friends do drift and the sometimes reunite sometimes not and this does not change the fact that they were and currently are still friends. But it is me that does not maintain the friendship. I donít know why because I like the people Iím close with yet Iíll never stay connected and feel rejected down the road when in fact as rightfully pointed out by Sono, Iím the one not calling. I know this yet I donít get why? Frustrating!


EFM,

You know I am a sucker for
The density of poetry
And I have a weakness as
I know you know, for
The beauty of stone

Thanks for the reminder
That friendships are built
On the bedrock of life. Not
Formed from sands of beliefs

Sam,

Your thoughts always strum a chord in my soul. You and I, more than anyone I know, see the world so differently yet have developed a trust that binds fusing these difference forming a gemstone much like that of the Tiger Eye. Its uniqueness and beauty is the multiple colors within each stone. It is not like the Garnet, Amethyst or Rose Quartz whose colors are also beautiful but are mostly solid and alike.

Lesser,

Our relationship has just begun. We both have been careful in its development. Iíll look forward to its growth. Thanks for your thoughts.

And thanks to each of you for the reminder of what friendship is. Iíve got a lot to learn.





Edited by earlybird (01/27/11 09:05 PM)
_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

Top
#352168 - 01/28/11 12:35 AM Re: So whatís the problem? [Re: earlybird]
Czaesar72 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/10
Posts: 211
Loc: California, USA
E


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#352184 - 01/28/11 09:50 AM Re: So whatís the problem? [Re: Czaesar72]
sono Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/09
Posts: 1069
Earl,

Looks like you've got some good friends to me...

Kev

_________________________
the family
the perp

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#352187 - 01/28/11 10:33 AM Re: So whatís the problem? [Re: sono]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
True sono, and very warming of one's soul. smile

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

Top
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