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#357077 - 03/19/11 11:18 AM The Odds
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Lately, I've been far too inclined towards self-pity for my liking. I was always taught from a young age that asking the question, "Why, me?" never does a soul any good, and so I always avoid going there. Isn't it more emotionally productive to work hard at changing our situations when it is possible, and accepting the adversities in life that are beyond our control? I know I shouldn't go here, but at the same time I've been having these moods where my mind can't help but to think the darkest things imaginable.

I worry about it happening again. A lot of us probably do. It is a comfort to many survivors to say, "I am not in X environment, therefore I am safe from abuse." For example, if someone is abused by clergy, they can feel safe by avoiding church. If you are abused as a child, there can be a sense of peace that comes from knowing that you are no longer a vulnerable little child and are now a grown man with the ability to defend himself. Removing yourself from the context of your abuse is something that is often necessary for healing and a source of peace to a lot of men here.

I get ANGRY as HELL because I can't get out of that context. I was assaulted in a healthcare setting and and avoiding doctors, nurses & hospitals is not a choice that would lead to survival for me. I told a nurse once before a medical procedure that I was assaulted in a hospital and she said, "You are safe now." I replied that my physical state & my environment didn't make me feel safe. And she said, "Well, what are the odds of it happening again? This sort of thing is so statistically rare."

Do the odds matter? What do we do as ASA survivors when we can't remove ourselves from the context of our abuse? What if you were abused by a complete stranger, and everyone you meet today is a potential threat? How do we cope with that?

I wonder what it was about me that led to me being assaulted, as opposed to someone else. I am convinced that my abuser was a cold calculated sociopath who planned it out in a premeditated way--not the sort of person who would choose just any victim. I worry about the aspects of myself which led him to abuse me are the same things about myself that I cannot change.

_________________________
“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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#357080 - 03/19/11 11:37 AM Re: The Odds [Re: CruxFidelis]
RecoveryReady1 Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 433
Where ever "cold calculating sociopaths" are lurking is a dangerous place....for me it was in my home.....and in my closest relationships....and I struggle....but I think that remembering that it took a cold calculating sociopath to do that kind of thing not the walls of a health center...seems to me like letting the monster off the hook if we are willing to blame the setting......


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#357092 - 03/19/11 04:02 PM Re: The Odds [Re: CruxFidelis]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: CruxFidelis

I worry about it happening again. A lot of us probably do. It is a comfort to many survivors to say, "I am not in X environment, therefore I am safe from abuse."

My understanding is that inner parts of our brain, the amygdala, get programmed for disaster. The areas are not accessible by our conscious minds and so they remain fearful.
Originally Posted By: CruxFidelis

If you are abused as a child, there can be a sense of peace that comes from knowing that you are no longer a vulnerable little child and are now a grown man with the ability to defend himself. Removing yourself from the context of your abuse is something that is often necessary for healing and a source of peace to a lot of men here.

Perhaps we even re-create those situations unconsciously.
Originally Posted By: CruxFidelis

I get ANGRY as HELL because I can't get out of that context. I was assaulted in a healthcare setting and and avoiding doctors, nurses & hospitals is not a choice that would lead to survival for me. I told a nurse once before a medical procedure that I was assaulted in a hospital and she said, "You are safe now." I replied that my physical state & my environment didn't make me feel safe. And she said, "Well, what are the odds of it happening again? This sort of thing is so statistically rare."

She didn't understand, did she?
Rarity of circumstance is irrelevant.

Originally Posted By: CruxFidelis

Do the odds matter? What do we do as ASA survivors when we can't remove ourselves from the context of our abuse? What if you were abused by a complete stranger, and everyone you meet today is a potential threat? How do we cope with that?

I wonder what it was about me that led to me being assaulted, as opposed to someone else. I am convinced that my abuser was a cold calculated sociopath who planned it out in a premeditated way--not the sort of person who would choose just any victim. I worry about the aspects of myself which led him to abuse me are the same things about myself that I cannot change.

My abuser (when I was 12) was also a cold calculating sociopath. I'm convinced that he selected me from the group of scouts he was responsible for. He even gave me at least one little "test" to see if I "qualified". I did (obviously).

So there is something in my mind always searching for sociopaths. Especially ones who look a certain way. Of course that was a long time ago and he is probably a fat old man by now. But my search memory calls for someone who looked and acted something like that chef who comes on the TV program. You know, the one who cusses everybody and makes some of them cry?

Allen


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#357111 - 03/20/11 08:31 AM Re: The Odds [Re: pufferfish]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

What the nurse failed to understand, as do most, we, meaning no one, are really ever “safe”. We have the illusion of safety but there is no power capable, or at least willing, of keeping us from being harmed. This is the lesson that we have learned. But there is one thing that is different than before the assaults. We are more aware, wiser if you will. Therefor more alert and less vulnerable.

For me the trick is to not make myself completely invulnerable or untrusting of others. As you fear hospitals, I have great trepidation of schools and most any group. Yet, I’ve harmed myself by the act of dropping out of college and pulling away from groups giving myself, as I see it, a “false sense” of safety.

Thanks Pete for bringing this topic up.

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

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#357116 - 03/20/11 09:49 AM Re: The Odds [Re: earlybird]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I think all abuse or assault survivors have that constant "will it happen again" thought pattern. For you it is very strong due to not being able to avoid hospitals. What you are able to do is say how you feel and what you need. There is nothing wrong with asking for assistance and support in this. I honestly cannot imagine what you have to face in your mind when you go to a hospital. I still rarely go to a car wash. I just use the drive through ones. But even then it is a haunting feeling for me.

I also have great difficulty with other types of places. One of my favorite things was to walk in the dark for the solitude of it. I used to run a dimly lit track. That is quite different now. I cannot even walk by a van in a parking lot. A van had nothing to do with my kidnapping and yet in my mind I can visualize that happening. I guess just connected thoughts and fears from past experiences.

You are now tragically aware of something that you did not think would or could happen to you. I was the same way - a man being raped was not something that had been on my mind. So now we take control of what we can in life. We are vigilant - sometimes to our detriment - but we are also aware. Now we take control to make sure that we keep ourselves safe in an unsafe world. As much as we can we must do that. If that means looking around before getting out of the car we do it. If it means being more careful than we were before our assaults we do that. We do that because we do not deserve to be assaulted again.

Use your voice to advocate to your family, friends and the patient advocates at hospitals to make sure that extra precautuions are made for your safety. To both keep you physically safe and to ease a pensive mind. It is absolutely not appropriate for you to be dismissed by others in reference to your fears and needs. You have a voice and it is easy to become silent after being rebuffed not matter how inteligently or softly it is done. I know that first hand. I become easily silent when done this way concerning my own needs. This is magnified many times when it comes to my own issues from the night I was kidnapped.

I encourage you not to back down no matter who it is - loved one or professional. It is absolutely your right as a human being - as a man - to do that. Remember that we stand beside you as you do.

With great respect, honor and concern.


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#357149 - 03/20/11 04:53 PM Re: The Odds [Re: RecoveryReady1]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
it is easy to blame the setting where abuse takes place. I see what you're saying. My wife has a very all or nothing attitude about therapy because her abuse took place in the context of therapy sessions. I try not to get caught in that mix and I am counting it as progress that there are some health care professionals that know about my sexual assault and are very understanding and have done the best to accommodate.

There is a book called "The sociopath next door" that I saw last time I went to the used book store. I almost picked it up because I was intrigued by the premise, but decided against it because I don't need anything else keeping me up at night.

_________________________
“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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#357258 - 03/21/11 08:45 PM Re: The Odds [Re: CruxFidelis]
oriolesguy Offline


Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 108
Loc: Long Island, NY
Peter,
I think you're right in that all of us have gone to the "Why me?" question. And there are other issues, legitimate ones, which you raise as well. Here's what I think.

First, I don't think anyone wants to go the self-pity route. Yet it is conveniently easy to go there. We can feel sorry for ourselves, and so on. But I do believe the person who told me that self-pity gets you nowhere. It only fosters more anger and frustration. Nor do I want pity from anyone else. What I DO want is understanding. I want others to know that male rape is for real, it's out there, and I (we) are all living proof of it.

Second, I think we all avoid what we fear, and being in the proximity of where it all happened can scare anyone. I am in the middle of facing that predicament, in that I plan this week or next to go back to where I was gang raped for the first time since it happened. Yes, I avoided it. And for me, I'm beginning to think it was stupid. Never in my life have I run from anything, and I think I have to face my fears and not run away from them. I know others don't see it that way, but I look at it like this: nothing can happen to me now. Going back will cause some shit, maybe some emotion, pain, and other stuff, but it will be nothing like the pain of the original event. And in the end, I hope to be empowered.

Third, the change issue. Like you, I felt like blaming myself and sought to change myself somehow to guarantee myself that I would never get raped again. I built walls around myself on account of it. But that was wrong. Truth is I didn't have to change at all. I shouldn't have. I have a right to be who I am, and keep my own personality and so on. And no one - NO ONE - has a right to make me change that. I've some to the conclusion that there are people in this world who are just pure evil - and we have run across them. But their behavior isn't about to make me become fearful, guilty, shameful or self-destructive. That's when they win. And I won't let them. You shouldn't either. You have too much good to let the evil side win.

Lastly, the nurse's reaction. To be honest there's just no telling what response we're going to get from anyone who knows our scenario. I've told three people, my wife included, and I got great support reaction (from my wife) to the "I think I'll avoid you" response. I've said it before, and I'll say it again..... the public is still not ready for this issue.

All of it amount to this: we are in control of our daily lives. I can control my fears, or let them control me, or simply not deal with them. I can control who I tell and where I go. I can control my expectations. I can't control how others act, but I can control how I REact. And I plan to do just that.

I understand you totally. Been there. Still there, sometimes. But it's all a process, and hopefully we gain strength through our own insights and those of others.

Rock on, Pete.

Joe
(Oriolesguy)


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#357263 - 03/21/11 09:37 PM Re: The Odds [Re: oriolesguy]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

As always you put things in an order that is very helpful and well thought out. I am always glad to read your replies here and gain a lot of insight and perspective.


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#357282 - 03/22/11 12:25 AM Re: The Odds [Re: oriolesguy]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
I think the key for me to getting out of the cycle of self pity is not being so isolated in my own thoughts. It is easy to feel bad for ourselves when we are just letting our fears and ideas "stew" inside us until negativity changes the way we see the world. Part of the isolation has to do with not wanting to hurt the people closest to me by overwhelming them with my own issues, and part of the isolation has to do with the fear of being misunderstood. I've talked to guys on here who have told friends and familyonly to receive rejection. While that hasn't been my own experience (my wife, 3 siblings and home nurse have all shown me support)I am afrai dto tell anyone else or go into too much detail. I know there isn't technically anything to be ashamed of.

I do hope you can be empowered by going back to the place of your assault as well. it is eerie and scary sometimes going back to those places, and while I went back to the hospital where I was raped I have not revisited the room where it happened and don't think it would be a good idea for me at this point. It has only been a year & a half for me, though.

There are a lot of things I don't have control over that other people do have control over. that is a fact of life & not really anything I can do to change it. I am grateful that the people who do things for me are people who do truly have my best interest at heart.

I really like the point you make about what we could have changed to avoid getting raped. There is no excuse ever for what our assailants did. I told my therapist once that I was at the wrong place at the wrong time, and he said, "No, you were in the right place at the right time, and you were assaulted by a wrong person who did the wrong thing." There were certainly circumstances that he took advantage of but the blame has to be on him.

_________________________
“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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#357283 - 03/22/11 12:30 AM Re: The Odds [Re: pufferfish]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
I understand the preoccupation with "sizing people up" to make sure they don't fit my bill of what a cold calculating sociopath looks like. It is not a comforting thought to know that everyday people with all the appearances of normality can do terrible things... but at the same time, i could get hit by a bus tomorrow or mauled by a mutant walrus(perhaps I should lay off the pain meds).

Even if that scout leader did choose you for some bizarre messed up reason, that only serves to prove how wretched of a person he is, and not anything about your own character or worth.

_________________________
“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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