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#358346 - 04/01/11 09:24 PM Who am I? What am I?
Fissy Tsickens Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 466
Loc: Bassett, Virginia
So my T has me journaling about my feelings leading up to, during, and following episodes of SSA fantasies. Did it for two weeks, but apparently didn't do it right. See, I kept writing about how I'd feel guilty, frustrated, and/or sad during these episodes. My T said I was laying the guilt trip on myself too quickly, without really acknowledging the pleasurable aspect of the fantasies. Pleasurable? Anyway, he says in order to deal with the SSA, I have to really understand it. These thoughts and feelings have caused me to all but destroy my marriage. But, what the hell, he's the T; I guess he knows what he's doing. So this week, I've tried to have my journal reflect the pleasurable thoughts and feelings. The problem is, I don't know if I can handle this. The thoughts ARE enjoyable, even though I don't think I want them to be. But there is no denying it; I enjoy the fantasizing.

There is little affection and intimacy between my wife and I right now; what there's lots of is tension. Then I'm trying to, I don't know, "enjoy" my SSA fantasies? I'm really scared right now. I don't want to cause my life to get any more f'ed up than it already is. My family deserves a husband and father. And I live in "Deliverance" country...if I give in to the SSA, I WILL lose my job and career, in addition to losing my family. What the hell am I gonna do? cry

Peace,

John

_________________________
Wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
About a home Iíll never see

It may sound absurd...but donít be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed...but wonít you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
Itís not easy to be me

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#358406 - 04/02/11 10:06 AM Re: Who am I? What am I? [Re: Fissy Tsickens]
dbrannem Offline


Registered: 03/17/11
Posts: 23
Loc: Atlanta
John,

Maybe he is trying to get to the root of your SSA - and if you don't follow through with it (meaning, don't put the guilt trip on too soon) you never get to the actual reason for it - like you circumvent the end of the story.

I have been working on my SSA and I think that my ultimate "fantasy" is to make a relationship in which I bond with another guy work long term. And since bonding always= sex it's difficult to think about it differently. It's probably a mix (for me) of not having close male relationships and being abandoned after long term CSA. Travelling down the path of "what am I really looking for" helped me understand that better.

All I can say is to give yourself a break, don't be so hard on yourself. It's a very confusing thing and multi-faceted when combined with any other factors. Sometimes you have to "go there" to report back to your present self. And it won't mean you are any less of a person - it might help you be more whole.

((((John))))

_________________________
From Surviving to Thriving

http://www.brannem.com

Grateful 2011 WofR Dahlonega, GA Alumni

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#358409 - 04/02/11 11:41 AM Re: Who am I? What am I? [Re: dbrannem]
Fissy Tsickens Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 466
Loc: Bassett, Virginia
Thanks for the input, db. I think what your saying is pretty much in line with what my T said. It just seems so scary right now, not sure I can handle it and come out where I WANT to on the other side.

Peace,

John

_________________________
Wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
About a home Iíll never see

It may sound absurd...but donít be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed...but wonít you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
Itís not easy to be me

Top
#358416 - 04/02/11 01:17 PM Re: Who am I? What am I? [Re: Fissy Tsickens]
Rusty563 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 200
Loc: Anywhere, USA
John,

What is more important to you? Your wife and family or fanazing? I think you need to tell your T that his exercise in dealing with your ssa issue is a failure and he needs a different approach. Anything that is detrimental to what's most important to you (i.e. your family)is NOT healthy. Right now it's driving a wedge between you and your wife.

Go ahead and journal. Get your feelings out. No problem there. I have ssa issues myself but I don't go around spending my time dwelling on it.

Look, our abuse piled on enough of guilt and shame on us. Why add more? That's my take on it. Take it or leave it but go with your gut feeling.

Peace, Rusty

_________________________
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you - Maya Angelous
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed - Martin Luther King
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qF_qbaWt3Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDOkMSf-F14

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#358650 - 04/05/11 06:29 AM Re: Who am I? What am I? [Re: Rusty563]
Dan99 Offline


Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 100
Loc: Washington DC
I've found confronting SSA issues is one of the most difficult aspects of recovering. I'll tell you how I look at it. Pleasurable is too simplistic a term, at least for me it is.

As you know, whenever someone is sexually aroused that process releases chemicals in their brain that give them a high. Is it pleasurable? Yes, when it's done for the right reasons. But you could also say that taking an aspirin because you have a headache is pleasurable, and it is. But it's not something done purely for pleasure seeking. No one takes an aspirin if they don't feel they need it.

For me, ssa fantasies (or even acting out on them) have always been about escaping pain or stress. Just like retreating to any childhood experience is about escaping. So when various stressers in my life rise up, I have used things like SSA fantasy or drugs or alcohol to escape and ease the stress. These do provide a temporary high, but also a rude awakening when the high is gone.

So as I say, for me it's never been about pleasure so much as escape and soothing bad experiences, though undoubtedly the escape is in some ways pleasurable. I liken it to eating a favorite food from childhood when you're having a rough day. It's just that in this case the childhood behavior is harmful and counterproductive. Understanding why I have thesse feelings has been a big help to me. When I realize why I'm thinking what I'm thinking, it takes a lot of the power away from the fantasy because it removes the "pleasurable" part of it.

Anyway, I don't want to interfere with your therapy. If that helps, great. If not, please just ignore. You'll work through this in time.

_________________________
Work like you don't need the money;
dance like no one is watching;
sing like no one is listening;
love like you've never been hurt;
and live life every day as if it were your last.

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#358677 - 04/05/11 12:36 PM Re: Who am I? What am I? [Re: Dan99]
Dewey Offline
Member

Registered: 11/13/02
Posts: 140
Loc: the sunshine state
This is the heart of it for me. This is why I'm even here at MS. I was going to post something like this this morning in Spirituality and Survivors. I agree with your T to find out what it is that you are searching for. Guilt has no real benefit in this search, so choose to jettison it. It is a real concern to not screw up everything you have worked so hard for, so don't do it. I would caution against alcohol use during this time, as confusion of fantasy and reality may result. But these issues are there anyway, under the surface. These inadequacies that we perceive about ourselves are there, so I wouldn't fret taking a look and journaling what you are looking for. The character defects or parts of us that seem missing or broken or stolen. The ones that we somehow believe could be replaced by being intimate with someone else that appears to have that "missing part" of us. I have identified my perceived lack long ago but still hobble and hop around like I only have one leg when in fact I have two. I'm not the sum total of what happened to me. Nor am I less masculine or wonderful because my father failed to call it forth in me. I have been too focused on me, my lack, or perception of the damaged vessel that I am. Then there exists the false remedy, the "other". To think that I somehow could attain or regain what was lost, through another human being, enmeshing with them on some level is equal to cannibalism. It can never work. So it seems that somehow, somehow, I need to change my gaze and look up higher and realize that all those issues whether they are real or imagined are really just a waste of time. I have a purpose here while traveling around in this earth suit and for too long, I've been allowing myself to be diminished by constantly thinking of myself as "less than". Keep going!! Dan

_________________________
I refuse to use my past as an excuse to not have a future.
My hero Dad; Trigger warning- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi3Hyxuf5AE

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#359055 - 04/08/11 10:19 PM Re: Who am I? What am I? [Re: Dewey]
Fissy Tsickens Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 466
Loc: Bassett, Virginia
Thanks very much, guys. Lots of food for thought.

Peace,

John

_________________________
Wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
About a home Iíll never see

It may sound absurd...but donít be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed...but wonít you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
Itís not easy to be me

Top
#359067 - 04/08/11 11:51 PM Re: Who am I? What am I? [Re: dbrannem]
Charlie24 Offline


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 562
John,

You really hit the nail on the head with your de>

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#359736 - 04/15/11 03:49 AM Re: Who am I? What am I? [Re: Charlie24]
learning2remember Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 289
Loc: Europe
John,

It sounds like we are talking about two things: the SSA itself, and whether your T is helping you with it in the right way.

With SSA, I guess you can tell you are not alone. It is a struggle for me,too. and the question of whether I like it or not is not an easy one. My T has not asked me to journal in the same way, but if she did I'd be pretty scared. (Just so happens that I love how journaling helps, but am so terrified of someone finding the journal--yet also too reluctant to throw away the work I put in in--that I don't keep a fully honest, graphic one.)

As a rule, I have never regretted being fully honest with my feelings. If I liked something, and was able to say it, or if I was afraid of something, or angry about something, and if I was able to acknowledge that, even just with my T, it has always been a good thing.

Is the T's approach for you the right thing? I can't decide. We sometimes resist what is good for us, which is why perceptive T's ask us about things we are afraid to face. Discomfort level is not enough to rule out an assignment.

If you have benefited from time with you T so far, if you respect and trust him AND fell respect and trust from him, then give this a shot.

If there are other issues, if things have never felt quite right, if something about his manner has always made you nervous, if you feel that his is going by a book rather than really listening to you, then maybe this assignment is not right for the two of you.

In EITHER case, though, start by telling him what's up. Either tell him about your fears re: the journal, its content, and the fears you have regarding your marriage OR tell him why you don't feel this therapeutic relationship is working out.

I know. None of it is easy. I know.

PS: One of the most productive things that ever happened with my T was when we ALMOST called the whole thing. I'm glad we didn't, but I'm also glad we had that tough moment.

_________________________
"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy

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#359806 - 04/15/11 05:22 PM Re: Who am I? What am I? [Re: Fissy Tsickens]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: Fissy Tsickens
....So this week, I've tried to have my journal reflect the pleasurable thoughts and feelings. The problem is, I don't know if I can handle this. The thoughts ARE enjoyable, even though I don't think I want them to be. But there is no denying it; I enjoy the fantasizing...


john, guess i'm having a hard time understanding this "whole picture" so i'm dividing things as equal points.

-- not sure what living in deliverance county has to do with anything so i have to set that aside.

-- losing job and career, i relate with, same for me.

-- whether or not your wife/kids/family deserve something, hey, that is great, so what do you deserve? what do any of us deserve? we sure as hell didn't deserve being molested or raped...so tough pattooties to everyone else for the moment.

-- that leads to some questions: did you feel guilty because your wife was sitting there, or that perhaps she could pick up the journal and read it?

-- fantasy is enjoyable, presuming that is fantasizing with being with a guy. this is the conclusion? are not some of our dreams pleasurable too? lets face it, dreams are quite whacky. when we awaken, how many (if any) of our dreams come true? are dreams not meant to stay put and never to be released?

-- the greater fear, i presume, is that you are gay?

-- did you ask your therapist what the goal of this exercise is?

-- how devoted is your wife to you, and to your recovery?

now, here might be an out of box thought... but speaking only for myself... if my partner was going through something, i know i love him/her and would do anything for him/her. i would be there to have him share these thoughts with me knowing full well that i won't judge. i won't react. and i'll understand the seriousness of this, along with the risk of recovery. plainly put, what happens in sharing these thoughts with the wife and in all its detail?

i don't type that as a suggestion, but more or less pose it as a question. i would hope the answer would be: "ah, my wife loves me unconditionally, fully understands my pain, and would very much support me and would even go so far as to help me write my journal! she'd not be bothered by what i wrote at all!"

if there is some element of fantasy being secret, of course when you share, there is no longer a secret, right? perhaps the secret is a burden - something holding you back? would breaking that cycle then free you to move on, and perhaps even the fantasies would disappear?

_________________________
Jeff

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