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#361326 - 05/03/11 08:19 AM Healing/Recovery is it even possible?
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
Healing/Recovery is it even possible?

Dictionary definition of to heal

verb (used with object)
1.
to make healthy, whole, or sound; restore to health; free from ailment.
2.
to bring to an end or conclusion, as conflicts between people or groups, usually with the strong implication of restoring former amity; settle; reconcile: They tried to heal the rift between them but were unsuccessful.
3.
to free from evil; cleanse; purify: to heal the soul.
4.
to effect a cure.
5.
(of a wound, broken bone, etc.) to become whole or sound; mend; get well (often followed by up or over ).

Definition of recovery

–noun, plural -er•ies.
1.
an act of recovering.
2.
the regaining of or possibility of regaining something lost or taken away.
3.
restoration or return to health from sickness.


To be honest I’ve been wrestling with the idea is “healing” or “recovery” an attainable goal. I use to use these terms but as time has moved on I’m finding it harder and harder to choke out the words. I’m beginning to replace them with words such as integrate and coexist with. It may sound like I’m saying all that we are attempting to do here is hopeless which would be missing my meaning. I’ve grown so much by the help of others here and at home. I’m experiencing an internal calm I’ve not known my entire adult life. But, I can’t seem to view what is happening inside of me as “healing or recovery”. I’m missing something, for to me in the classic sense there is no recovery or healing from sexual assault. I’m not ever going to be “free from the evil” or “reconcile” with my rapists” I’m not going to “recover what was taken away”, which sounds like I’m saying the situation is hopeless. I know it is not so what am I missing or am I just copping out?

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

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#361329 - 05/03/11 08:52 AM Re: Healing/Recovery is it even possible? [Re: earlybird]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 729
Loc: United States
Yes, I believe that healing and recovery is possible. However, I don't think the dictionary definitions are made for us. Here's some that I liked:

Quote:
UNDERSTANDING RECOVERY

For most survivors, rape is probably the most traumatic event to ever touch their life. How you react and recover will be dependent upon many factors including: the relationship between you and the perpetrator, the level of violence and time duration of the attack, other life crisis experiences, your support system, your self-esteem, and your ability to ask for, and receive, appropriate professional help.

Recovery does not mean that you forget what happened. Instead, recovery is being able to understand and believe that the victimization was not your fault. Recovery is accepting the reality of what has happened, while moving beyond the immobilizing emotions which can dominate your thoughts, words, and actions. If no one has ever told you before, you need to know and believe the following statement: “A survivor of rape or sexual abuse will probably never fully forget what happened”. However, survivors can and do recover. The process of recovery can be confusing and painful. Throughout the process, remember that recovery can be a powerful and positive step in your life.

All crisis events effect your emotions. Emotional memories NEVER just “go away.” Therefore, your first step in recovery is to admit to yourself that you may be living with some aspects of the attack forever. The good news is that through recovery you CAN grow and become stronger. You can resume your same lifestyle. You can regain control over your thoughts, memories, and feelings. Recovery begins at different times for each survivor, but a general statement would be that recovery begins the moment that a person chooses to begin the process involved in taking control back from the perpetrator. For some, recovery may begin moments following the attack while others may not begin the process until years later. There is NO normal time line for recovery, everyone is different, and every person should be able to move through the recovery process at their own pace and without pressure or judgments.

Recovery involves time. strength. and courage. Recovery is believing in your future goals and your day to day achievements. Recovery means celebrating the “positive” aspects of your life. Recovery is being able to enjoy sleeping, eating, and sexual pleasures as you did before the assault. Recovery is being able to trust and believe in your choices and own judgments. The road to recovery can be long and emotional. You may at times want to quit the fight. You may want to bottle everything up inside or stop going to counseling or your support group. Please be patient with yourself.

Remember that no one is born with the knowledge needed for recovery. You must learn by working either with someone who knows or by trial and error on your own. Whatever you choose, be gentle and understanding with yourself. Know that recovery takes time and persistence. Recovery takes commitment. The decision to begin a recovery process will be one of the most important decisions you ever make. Please remember that you will be better able to deal with this process through the acceptance, support, and comfort of friends and/or family members. Counselors and other community professionals can also be of great benefit throughout the days, months, and even years following the assault. Talking to someone who will listen, support you, and offer other information will help you far more than remaining alone and silent. Allow people to help you. Believe in your goodness and your strengths. Look to the future with hope.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

And another:

Quote:
Long-Term Recovery

Survivors often fear that they will never be the same after a sexual assault. A goal of long-term recovery is to integrate the assault into your life so that it is not a driving force affecting your behaviors, feelings, thoughts, or relationships. Although the memory may always be difficult and uncomfortable, it is possible to be less affected by it as time goes by. Most survivors take some time to recover, but almost all DO eventually recover and are able to move on with their lives. It is normal, however, to experience some depression following the assault, and you may find yourself getting upset or frightened when something reminds you of the assault (e.g., TV shows, movies, yelling or arguments, a sexual experience, even if it is consensual, seeing someone who looks like the perpetrator). Ongoing therapy, support groups, and help from friends and family can all assist you in dealing with these feelings.

Some survivors also find it healing to get involved in programs such as training to be an advocate at a sexual assault counseling program or becoming part of a Peer Education Program. Working to prevent rape and help other victims become survivors can be healing and help with your own recovery.

It is important to remember that there is no one right way to heal from a sexual assault and that different people recover in different ways. You should find the sources of support and help that are comfortable for you.


-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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#361333 - 05/03/11 09:52 AM Re: Healing/Recovery is it even possible? [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
TheBobcatAgain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 507
Loc: AZ, U.S.A.
My buddy Mark,

I liked some of these quotes. May I ask your source?

Your loving brother, as always,

Bobcat

_________________________
You don't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

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#361337 - 05/03/11 11:00 AM Re: Healing/Recovery is it even possible? [Re: TheBobcatAgain]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

Thanks your quotes they really do help me to think this through. Your point that I might be being too literal is most likely correct. It’s a common problem for me.

I can remember early on here on MS having a very intense PM conversation with my new friend Prisoner ID. I was squirming and pushing back on the idea that I was a “victim”. I hated the term and was furiously fighting back against it. Prisoner was gentle but firm and would not just let me stay in the comfort of my incorrect view on the matter. Once I could let down my guard and “listen” instead of “react” to what he was trying to explain the flood gates opened. Then the whole idea of “healing” and “recovery” made sense. I was excited and dug in and drilled away at this new concept waiting for that “moment” when the gusher would be struck and I’d be “fixed”. Jezzz, I get this stuff so wrong and it fowls me up.

So as time has passed I’ve realizing being “fixed” isn’t the goal. I’m not even sure I still see complete healing as an eventual, natural result. I wonder if it’s not one of those stupid sayings our teachers and parents use to say: “you can be whatever you want to be if you just put your mind to it” sounds great but about as true as saying: “Santa will bring me whatever I want if I’m a good boy”. It’s just not how it works.

But to see healing and recovery as an ongoing process which fluxes rather than gets to a point of completion makes far more sense to me. To integrate the SA so as to have it be a positive driving force rather than a damaging one, if that is what is meant by “healing” I want that and I know with some help I can get there.

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

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#361373 - 05/03/11 05:41 PM Re: Healing/Recovery is it even possible? [Re: earlybird]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

After I read your statements I thought about them the rest of the day in between the crises at work.

There was a time I simply wanted my life back - the life I had the moment before the kidnapping and rapes. I had myself painted into a corner and refused anything less in terms of "recovery". I finally realized at one point that I was running in place and seriously harming my life and mental state by not moving from this stance.

I am not pursuing that lost life anymore. And I agree with you that there is no final resolution or solution. It is just finding our new normal.


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#361380 - 05/03/11 06:11 PM Re: Healing/Recovery is it even possible? [Re: prisonerID]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
Yes, a "new normal" with "balance" at its core.

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

Top
#361389 - 05/03/11 07:56 PM Re: Healing/Recovery is it even possible? [Re: earlybird]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 862
Loc: washington
So exceptional the reponses...not a lot to add...*cept maybe uh...

Life happens...

You might have to cross that bridge more than once...perhaps repeatedly...

For me...Balance is all about learning to adjust...(even if that means sometimes just letting go and finding neutral)...


Silent Lucidity (Queensryche)

island

_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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#361395 - 05/03/11 08:56 PM Re: Healing/Recovery is it even possible? [Re: TheBobcatAgain]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

The links you want are here and here. I made some edits for clarity.

It's interesting that the original graph raised the idea of becoming an advocate at a university, and I can think of someone who actually suggested that as something he'd like to do only a few weeks ago...

Quote:
Some survivors also find it healing to get involved in programs such as training to be an advocate at a sexual assault counseling program such as the Rape Victims Advocates (RVA) or becoming part of the University's Peer Education Program (Resources for Sexual Violence Prevention). Working to prevent rape and help other victims become survivors can be healing and help with your own recovery.

Isn't that interesting? smile

-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
#361410 - 05/03/11 11:37 PM Re: Healing/Recovery is it even possible? [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
TheBobcatAgain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 507
Loc: AZ, U.S.A.
My brother EFM,

It IS interesting. In fact, when I was younger, I wanted nothing so much as to be a Big Brother or volunteer at a crisis hotline or something. I DREAMED of working with abused boys because I felt I could understand what they were going through.

But my therapist pointed out that if I am having trouble helping myself, I might have trouble helping others...which could harm them. I agreed with her; so, I let my dream go. frown

But, maybe someday...

Thanks for the links, buddy! smile

Your loving brother, as always,

Bobcat

P.S. - Thanks to my buddy Earlybird for starting this link. smile

_________________________
You don't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

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#361578 - 05/06/11 10:18 PM Re: Healing/Recovery is it even possible? [Re: TheBobcatAgain]
oriolesguy Offline


Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 108
Loc: Long Island, NY
Good stuff, and it all makes perfect sense. The recovery road isn't easy, but I'd like to add two things.

The first is mental attitude. I think you have to be ready for recovery, and be willing to accept the fact that recovery, while it is painful/confusing, is positive. A strong positive mental attitude is a big key in moving forward. I think in order to leave the shit behind, you have to seek out the good in your life and run with it. And that includes the positive steps of recovery. We are not "damaged goods", as I frequently thought of myself. Instead, we are more like the diamond that has to go through the fire in order to come out brilliant. And the brilliance can come out if we let it.

The second is recognizing that we, as individuals, are the ones in control. No one else has a right to control my life, nor will I let that happen. My life is mine, and although there may have been a time when I was completely victimized, the fact remains that my heart, my body and my soul are mine to give from this point on. I think it is easy to get depressed, to feel sad and alone, to feel used, despised, trashy, less important and so on. But there comes a point, I think, where we can and must control how we address those issues. And so I try to let go of what I can't control.... I can't change what happened to me yesterday. That's in the past. But I can control my today, tomorrow, and future. And control it I will.

Thanks for all the thoughts, you guys. All of this helps in the road to recovery and understanding.

Oriolesguy



Edited by oriolesguy (05/06/11 10:19 PM)

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