Newest Members
Won'tGiveUp, sillyputty, Pytbull, manipulated, donmarks
12383 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
Beluga (64), Isreal101 (65), Phil Sober (41), phil1973 (41), Teddy Bear (63)
Who's Online
10 registered (dan_in_newengland, giant251, irishguym, focusedbody, 5 invisible), 39 Guests and 8 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12383 Members
74 Forums
63646 Topics
444500 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#359984 - 04/17/11 10:17 AM Hangover
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
Yesterday, I was having an email conversation with a woman that lived in Christian community with me thirty five years ago. I was telling her about the rock wall I was tearing apart and rebuilding. She wrote back, in humor, reminding me about a time, years ago, when she was awaken by a strange nighttime noise. It was about 1:00 am and she just couldn’t make sense of what she was hearing so she got up and went out to the community’s front porch. There, under the cover of darkness I was digging a rather large dead tree out of the earth. She watched, never saying a thing to me or alerting me to her presence. She was wondering “why” I was out there in the middle of the night vigorously ripping a tree from the ground with no awareness of what time it was or who might be around.

I remember that night like it was yesterday. It was in November and my fifth anniversary of the rape. No, one in the community knew, if they’d had they would have loved me even more but at the time I could not see through the haze of shame and guilt. So in my own prison - I dug. Each dig of the shovel releasing years of pent up anger. A rage I did not know what to do with so I dug trying to use this growing self-hate to do something productive rather than destructive which was a good thing but not without its downsides. I was able to avoid dealing with the underlying issues because though my actions, not unlike drinking or cutting, were a cry for help it was seen as a guy with lots of “get up and go”. To this day, when I’m fighting inner demons I still “dig”, which is what I was going with the wall reconstruction. Friends and family will see the final result and compliment me on the work, of which I’m grateful for their admiration. What they don’t know is that ever rock stacked is a result of a hangover. A silent cry for help and understanding.

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

Top
#359986 - 04/17/11 10:36 AM Re: Hangover [Re: earlybird]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 729
Loc: United States
Did you share the reason for your nocturnal labor all those years ago?

-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

Top
#359987 - 04/17/11 10:42 AM Re: Hangover [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

Good question. Yes, I did. She was mournful that she did not handle the late night event differently. Deb was sadden that she had ‘assumed’ I was just been “Earlybird” the man who dug A LOT! She and I have agreed to talk more, in many ways that is all I need – to talk more. (I’m getting too old to dig)

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

Top
#359993 - 04/17/11 12:02 PM Re: Hangover [Re: earlybird]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5942
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Earl, this touches me, your sharing and led me to this discovery...

http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=359991&#Post359991

_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

Top
#359997 - 04/17/11 12:14 PM Re: Hangover [Re: SamV]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
We've got lots to talk about, don't we? Interesting I was responding to your post as you were posting to mine. Brothers with companion hearts. Let's 'chat'. (inside joke between sam and me)



Edited by earlybird (04/17/11 12:15 PM)
_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

Top
#360109 - 04/18/11 03:34 PM Re: Hangover [Re: earlybird]
CruxFidelis Offline


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

It is good to see you sharing more of yourself with us on here, Earl. You paint some very vivid pictures with words... it is the sort of thing I like to do, too. In a lot of ways I am proud of you. I haven't gotten to a 5 year anniversary, but it seems to me that living in such a community of other people--a community that requires mutural trust and self-sacrifice--is the sort of thing that a lot of survivors wouldn't be able to handle, so you must have had a lot of strength. My household has a sort of community life of its own, and I find it to be somewhat taxing... when the traumatic memories come, I want to be alone.

On one hand, digging that hole is a rather productive coping mechanism. Taking your anger and pain out on that tree is better than taking it out on your own flesh and soul, or on those you love. However, it also sounds like the people around you never knew you before the rape, so when they saw you engaging in behaviors like that, all they could think was, "Oh, that's Earl for you," rather than, "Why has Earl changed?" So your pain was released in a way... but those community members never knew. I am proud of you for giving your friend an epilogue for that story of nighttime vigilance and digging. It breaks my heart to hear that your Christian community would have given you love and support if you told them that you were raped, but maybe your old friend can show you that it is never too late.

_________________________
“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

Top
#360126 - 04/18/11 08:47 PM Re: Hangover [Re: CruxFidelis]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

The Christian commune I belonged to was formed to take teen children off the streets. Often these children were runaways and products of child sexual assault and street rape. At that time I was young, idealistic and full of desire to “save” the world, when in fact I was only using their abuse to avoid dealing with my own. If I could fix them then I’d be fixed! It didn’t work. The one thing that I had going for me is that the kids bonded to me quickly and easily. I think is some form they knew I knew how badly this stuff hurt.

My friend who now lives only at the edges of her faith is proving to be an amazing ally on this illusive road called recovery. Her response and acceptance gives me hope that I can one day speak openly, shamelessly about this. For now I hide behind an avatar called Earlybird and poetry. Both a great disguise. Earlbird

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

Top
#360132 - 04/18/11 10:15 PM Re: Hangover [Re: earlybird]
CruxFidelis Offline


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

I don't see poetry as much of a disguise... more like a porthole to the depths of our souls. It's the truth we carry inside ourselves, in different packaging. I can see how that different packaging might function as a disguise in your life, but our writing, just like anything else we create, is an extension of who we are.

as far as the commune goes, it sounds like you were blessed with a zealous heart and mind... but perhaps you were misguided as to where to direct that zeal. You can't pick up your wounded brother in battle when you are unable to pick yourself up. I am sure you made a difference in many of those kids' lives, despite the fact that you were hurting. Had you met your wife at this point? Was this the Mennonite community you told me about before? You tell such wonderful stories.

Peter

_________________________
“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

Top
#360135 - 04/18/11 10:58 PM Re: Hangover [Re: CruxFidelis]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
We were in about our second year of marriage when we sold everything and moved into community life. We lived and work doing this for about ten years before moving cross country and living in a Hutterian Community in New Meadow Run Penn. A year or so later joining the Mennonite Volentary Service and being placed on the Hopi Reservation in a village called Bacavi on the Third Mesa Az. It was there that I discovered I was healthest living apart from others. There my faith began its change, some would call it slip I prefer change. But that is for another story and another thread. Thanks for asking and caring my brother in recovery. Earlybird



Edited by earlybird (04/18/11 10:59 PM)
_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

Top
#360138 - 04/18/11 11:23 PM Re: Hangover [Re: earlybird]
CruxFidelis Offline


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

so you must have gotten married very soon after the rape, then? and she didn't know until decades later? It sounds like she is a sweet soul who has brought you a lot of comfort over the years, and it is really encouraging for me to hear about the love you two have for each other. My wife and I have gone through a lot of changes too... except ours was from unbelief to belief.

I just looked up Hutterites on Wikipedia. Farming, one room schoolhouses, girls and women with head scarves. Were you allowed to listen to rock music? Could I bring my electric guitar? how soon into your marriage did you two have children? Did the community all speak German as well as English? Sounds like some plain & simple living... sometimes I wish I could live in an area that wasn't so urban, fast paced & gratification driven. I kind of envy a lot of you guys who are out there in nature.

it is amazing to be talking to people from so many walks of life... so many varied stories.

_________________________
“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

Top
#360147 - 04/19/11 12:46 AM Re: Hangover [Re: CruxFidelis]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I married my wife a year and four months after the rape. No I didn’t tell her. That would come twenty years later) I was confident that I was over the “event” (my only ‘word’ at the time) frankly; I didn’t understand for years that it was a rape. Rape was something that was done to women, and even that I thought was rare. It wasn’t something possible to do to a man. (I know, I was dumb) Some – come to think of it, only here on MS - have indirectly criticized me, via threads, for not telling the woman I deeply loved and admired. But damn, I didn’t even know what to call it, let along understand the long term issues especially sense these troublesome issues mostly developed later. But then again in all honesty they are right, I’m defenseless I was a coward. I should have done it differently. I should have done a lot of things differently. Lots and lots of “should of’s”

As to live with the Hutterites, no my dear friend “rock music” strictly forbidden. Lots of music though, singing is a huge part of their way of sharing in common their connection with each other and their God. You forgot to mention the black and white polka dot scarfs for the women and blue button up long sleeve shirts for the men. Oh ya, and the beards, don’t forget the beards.

Hutterites communities were born in Germany, so it is the first language for the elders but English was spoken as the community’s everyday language, at least around me. Their roots are grounded in the Anabaptist movement. They unlike Amish (Also part of the Anabaptist movement) do not reject the idea of modern machinery and such but because of their choice to live life simply so as to not be distracted from God and also I believe so others may simply live they don’t own cars for every adult member. One or two vehicles per 1000 or so will do just fine. ;-) I’m not an expert on the Hutterites but they were an amazing group that touched my heart with a peace I’d never known. But I was too damaged, far too jaded to remain there plus my spiritual journey had many more places to go.

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

Top
#360153 - 04/19/11 01:23 AM Re: Hangover [Re: earlybird]
CruxFidelis Offline


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

I don't know if I could give up rock music like that, but I do like the idea of singing being part of community life. It's cool to have access to millions of recorded musical pieces on a place such as iTunes but in a way, it cheapens the experience of making music... it becomes something you manufacture and sell while communities are losing their sense of folk music. Heck, you don't even have to actually sing to be a famous pop singer these days, most of what is on the radio is auto-tuned to hell.

My arms don't have the strength for guitar anymore, but when I have energy, I sit at the piano and just bang on those keys, playing music that I normally would reserve for guitar. But when I'm not rocking out, my family hears me play a lot of classical music as well, with some folk songs and hymns, too. And no one but my son can hear me whispering the tunes to gregorian changs, singing him to sleep...

I do love it when someone joins me at the piano, and I love to accompany my sisters when they sing their little duets together. My wife and I have always loved singing together, and while my voice has changed due to pulmonary issues/some hormonal issues related to the assault, I do still attempt tosing, although i am very self conscious now. I do like the idea of a culture like the Hutterites that sees music as something you make, not just something you buy.

Getting married a year and 4 months after rape... my goodness. You must have really pulled yourself up from your bootstraps. It has been a year and 6 months since my rape... I think if I were single at the time of my rape I don't think I ever would be able to marry... can't even get my act together enough to try having sex with my own wife.

I can relate to not having a vocabulary to describe what happened. I heard the word "assault" said by police a lot so it is the language I use now, even though I later learned that he raped me too. Sexual assault left me too stunned to even know what to say. I still don't really know what to say to people... and I have the vocabulary for it now. if people here think my writing is inarticulate, they should try having a spoken conversation with me post-assault, you would think I was hit on the head, too.

Would it have been better to tell your wife about the rape before you got married? Of course. But you were operating with the understanding that you were over the "event" and that it wouldn't affect you... In your own time, you were able to find the words to tell her, and I am thankful that you now have her support in your life. Your story about disclosing to your wife was hugely instrumental in helping me to disclose to my own wife, and that has impacted my life in ways that drastically improve my everyday life & functioning.

Peter

_________________________
“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

Top
#360154 - 04/19/11 01:50 AM Re: Hangover [Re: CruxFidelis]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

My wife carries within her the kindest spirit. She’s grown strong over the years living with the sorts of me but she still brings peace to any room she enters. That was hugely attractive to me at the particular time she entered my devastated world. We are actually about as opposite as two humans can get but have loved and admired each other through tough times and good times.

Sometimes after reading some of the threads about the “dishonesty” of silence displayed by men I’ll turn to her and apologize. I see it in her eyes and I hear it from her lips she understands just how horrific the raping must have been to silence an honest man.

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

Top
#360155 - 04/19/11 03:12 AM Re: Hangover [Re: earlybird]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Yes, Earl, you are an honest man. I don't think you were lying and I'd guess that she wishes she could have known earlier so she could have supported you earlier. I remember the day when I did tell my wife, she asked me, "Why didn't you tell me when this was happening?" If I told her, she would have pulled me out of that hospital, that man would have been convicted... I could have gotten out of it. Somehow, that didn't register as an option at the time. I don't know why. I still beat myself up over it, even now... why didn't I say anything? I stupidly believed the threats and brainwashing of that perpetrator. I was in too much pain to think. would you have told me that I was dishonest at that time?

_________________________
“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

Top
#360171 - 04/19/11 08:18 AM Re: Hangover [Re: CruxFidelis]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
Peter, I believe being silenced because one is faced with an experience outside of their understanding is not the same thing as being a dishonest person. Here on MS I use, what could be referred to as a lie (An avatar) to protect myself and family for to say I’m Earl Phillips from Vantage, WA, is frightening. I don’t fear reprisal from my rapist or other predators. Frankly they are the least of my worries. I dread society and the ignorance I’ve experienced on several occasions when I was “honest”. It’s a crap shoot as to know who will reach out in kindness and who will back hand you with a glance, then their own silence. But then again their silence may be a trigger reaction to my story and has nothing to do with rejecting me but protecting themselves. But either way it feels awful.

When you say that speaking up “did not register as an option” I felt my heart sink. I couldn’t have phrased it any better. Speaking up, going to my parents, my girlfriend at the time, protesting to the college, THE POLICE. No not even on my radar. I was far too busy distancing myself from everyone I knew and trying desperately to keep myself from finishing what they had failed to do.

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

Top
#360174 - 04/19/11 08:42 AM Re: Hangover [Re: earlybird]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
((eb))

_________________________
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

Top
#360175 - 04/19/11 09:10 AM Re: Hangover [Re: Mountainous Buck]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
Thanks Buck (((hugs all around))) I think we could all use a few.

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

Top
#360182 - 04/19/11 10:21 AM Re: Hangover [Re: earlybird]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: earlybird
I dread society and the ignorance I’ve experienced on several occasions when I was “honest”. It’s a crap shoot as to know who will reach out in kindness and who will back hand you with a glance, then their own silence. But then again their silence may be a trigger reaction to my story and has nothing to do with rejecting me but protecting themselves. But either way it feels awful.


Or, they could be stunned. Just like it's not part of our language as men to talk abour rape, a lot of times the other men in our lives don't know how to express that they care. Again, it's the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis--the idea that the structure of our language can confine our worldview. Language helps us to develop our thoughts. We store the ideas and images in sentences so we can go back to them later, and this externalization of thought allows for later development of ideas and processing of emotions. It doesn't mean that we as male ASA survivors are doomed to being stuck in our own disturbing truths. It does mean that as a culture, our language needs to grow and expand to accommodate the experience of male ASA, and that can start in organizations like Male Survivor that claim to speak for us.

My brother responded in silence the night I told him. He later told me, he had never thought about the idea that a man could be raped, and I think it was particularly hard for him to accept that it could be his older brother. I've been a source of protection and guidance over the years, but still, I ended up in a situation where I could not protect myself.

I am sorry for times you have disclosed to others and maybe the silence was from prejudice or judgment. You have placed enough judgment on yourself for one lifetime, I think. I do fear that kind of prejudice from the guys I used to hang around with before my sexual assault/rape. I worry they'll think I'm gay, I worry they'll think I'm less of a man, or that I cheated on my wife. I don't look down on any of the gay men here or in my own family... my little brother came out this year and I didn't tell him to change or anything, he is probably my closest friend right now. But somehow, the idea of my guy friends thinking I'm gay is unsettling....



Edited by CruxFidelis (04/19/11 10:23 AM)
Edit Reason: punctuation
_________________________
“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

Top
#360544 - 04/23/11 11:21 AM Re: Hangover [Re: CruxFidelis]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
Feeling like one is being silenced is a very powerless feeling for the individual. I find the voices here very empowering and healing and I thank you Earl for kicking this off here. I have been pondering much of what has been said here the last few days.

A very good conversation indeed by all here. I am still pondering...

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, peroperic2009 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.