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#365194 - 06/30/11 12:32 AM Moving ahead
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
kb8715 has asked that I post about my decision to go back to school to become an art therapist and any progress I am making. Hope I'm posting in the right place and that it's pertinent.

For those who don't know, I've been volunteering once a week teaching arts and crafts to heroin addicts at a needle exchange program in Manhattan. During my first class I knew this was something I want to do as a profession. I'd been toying with the idea off and on for some time, but this experience is a calling.

The agency where the course takes place exists to reduce the spread of disease, specifically AIDS, by providing clean needles to heroin addicts. If a client wants rehab, the agency refers him/her. The case manager provides support with follow-up. However, my group consists of active users. Most are real thugs, people you would be frightened to meet on the street at noon on any day. Many are homeless. Some will be dead before 5 years pass.

It is amazing what comes out of these people. I'll give a recent example. We recently made "totems" out of painted toilet paper tubes. One guy, BA, glued a wad of cotton on top of a tube, topped it with a blue square of felt, put some more blue felt down the front and used a navy marker to make a definitive large face. I asked what it was. "A graduate from Hunter" (College). He was very emphatic about Hunter. Makes me wonder. Regularly one of them tells me how glad he is that I provide a place where he can forget about everything for an hour.

BR, one of the regulars, lingered after the last class. He looked me square in the eye and said, "Oliver, I've been watching you. I know what you're about." Shocked the pants off of me. He then showed me a canvas he is working on. A depiction of his life (his words),nothing in it is happy. It's a great pen and ink on gray canvas; quite poignant. It is very graphic. The scratchiness of the thin ink lines on the coarse canvas makes for a very strong statement. In the center he has drawn a self portrait of himself crying. Much of his artwork has an eye, which he identifies as his own, with a tear in it.

During almost every session with my T I mention them. My T told me that not only do I provide a safe space, but that they can see the pain from my abuse and know that on some level I relate to the pain they feel. Heroin is a devil that can eat you alive and can own you. Sound familiar? My T is very supportive of my decision to enter the field of art therapy.

I'm 57. Needless to say, I'm totally freaked out, but I've made a resolve. One of my big problems is difficulty following through and lately I've wavered. I mean, here I am making this huge decision to go back to school just as I begin working on this thing called "recovery" as well as having just lost my job. I must be nuts! How I am going to pull this one off is beyond me. A LOT has got to happen before I start in the fall.

My hope is that by becoming an art therapist I can help children who have suffered abuse as I have. I often think if someone had reached out to help me early, I would not be hurting so damned much now. Believe me, my heroin addicts give me much more than I give them. Contrary to what many may think, these are not throw away people. To me they are very valuable. Wish I felt that way about myself. Sound familiar?

Last Thursday I attended a workshop entitled "Art Therapy and Grieving." Lots of fascinating case studies and projects (I am borrowing a few for my guys.) The lecturer is an art therapist and was excited at break to learn of my plans.

The final project of the day was a Soul Collage. We had been asked to bring a picture of something (person, thing, whatever) in our lives we had lost. I had originally thought of a loved one who died 20 years ago, but then changed my mind. In a very brave leap I took a picture of me at 2 years old, soon after my csa began. The requirements of the collage were to choose one background from pictures the lecturer had cut from magazines as well as 4 images from other categories (food and beverage, animals, people, and things.) If we chose to use the photo we brought, it had to be counted among the 4. Then assemble them to create an image expressing where we were at with the subject.

You can image that most people came from fond memories. An empty chair surrounded by images of tea cakes and a particular cologne which reminded a woman of her grandmother. A dog in a warm home with plenty of food and water.

But -- it is interesting how collages, and most artwork, takes on a life all its own. The artist becomes the vehicle.

My collage turned out dark and gloomy - with knives, a shaky, gray, blood-stained earth and the quiet, sad two year old keeping his balance on top of it all. I NEVER thought I would go that route!

After we finished we were to quickly flip our work over and give a title. Don't ask me why, but I hurriedly scribbled "Bloodletting" across the back.

We were invited to place them on the back table to share with the other attendees. I figured, hell, why not? The friend from the needle exchange program I was with said people were quite taken (aback) by it. I felt ashamed I had dropped my shark into the sea of doggies and kitties and grannies and other things sweetly sentimental. Thank God for anonymity.

Only my friend knew it was my collage. Of coarse she asked. I made up a preposterous story about a cousin I was close to who had a horrible end while we were both children. She does not know about my csa. She bought the story. Whew!

The workshop confirmed my resolve, because a lot of my feelings were in those little scraps of paper and, believe it or not, it helps to see those images. My T and I are going to be busy tomorrow. (hehe)

Next step is seeking out financial aid and a job streamlined to accommodate a school schedule and pay the bills. My gut tells me everything is going to fall in place in ways I could never imagine.

I'll keep you posted. Bug the crap outta me if i don't.

Thanks.


T


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#365204 - 06/30/11 09:23 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Wow, Thebo, I read through your post above with fascination. This is excellent news about what you will be doing, congratulations, and Thank You for wanting to help others like this. I have an art background, too, so I know how helpful it will be to allow those who are hurting to express that hurt, but also feed a creative side of them rather than a destructive one (the addiction). You're doing a great thing, and let us know more as time progresses, I want to keep up on it! smile

_________________________
Eddie

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#365207 - 06/30/11 01:28 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: EGL]
kb8715 Offline
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Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 808
Art is healing. Creative expression is healing.

Helping others is so healing.

So cool.....

_________________________
"You can get far in life by pushing except through a door marked PULL...." Profile quote in my oldest son's senior year HS Yearbook.

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#365208 - 06/30/11 02:58 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
mrwhiskers Offline


Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 193
Im so happy for you Thebo....really happy....its healing...its life going in the best direction
hugs



Edited by mrwhiskers (06/30/11 02:59 PM)
_________________________
"Dont be scared... angels r here" Maria Fernanda (Mafer)

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#365244 - 06/30/11 09:06 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: mrwhiskers]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
very proud of you, Thebo!! The creative arts are a wonderful source of healing, glad to see you taking steps not only to heal yourself but to help others heal themselves.

_________________________
“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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#365259 - 07/01/11 03:02 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
My T session tonight was very insightful. He was excited to see my collage and we talked about it and analyzed for most of the session. My T said he can see the process of making the collage then sharing it with him has helped me to be more empathetic towards myself.

The woman at the workshop does collages regularly. I think I will be incorporating them into my own therapy on a regular basis.

T


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#365723 - 07/09/11 06:07 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Feeling discouraged about everything and I hate myself for it.


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#368670 - 08/22/11 01:10 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Still plodding along to get my regular life in order. I decided that making the fall semester was too ambitious. Right now I want to land work/jobs that can pay the bills and that allow that I can go to school as well.

Today I have a job interview with a wedding planner. Tomorrow i will be talking to my travel agent about meeting to discuss his new upstart company for gay wedding planning. I'd rather work with him, but today's company's established. Wednesday i have an interview to be an instructor at Michael's Arts and Crafts. Any of these would keep my fingers in the pie, so to speak.

I don't know if anyone has had this happen. When i go on interviews, especially for stuff I like, constantly I hear in my head that I don't deserve it cause I'm bad and dirty and they'll see right through me and be disgusted. It's hard to give a tremendous sales pitch for myself. That cloud hovers over every good thing in my life. I accepted my abusers' identifiers and I cannot shake them. In fact, for 50+ years I've added to those identifiers and they crippled me emotionally. Thank God I'm dealing with this in therapy (I think).

My artwork has entered therapy and has proved a great method of opening things up. I can talk to him easier through the images than finding words that try to explain the inexplicable. The project i use is called soul collage. I recommend it to everyone. Find pictures and backgrounds from magazines and put together a new image which expresses a feeling. So far I've done one on the senses, creativity, ancesters (where creation comes from), sexuality (that was one piece); sex itself; faggot (apologies to everyone who has a hard time with the word, especially pbert); basic need (shelter, food,etc.); despair; isolation; uncertainy. Real fun stuff. It helps. all this stemmed from a workshop I took on art therapy and grieving. My first collage was me after the abuse, called Bloodletting. I don't know why I associate blood with my abuse and I am not ready to look that in the face, but it must be important because it comes up a lot. some of you have seen some of these and one day I will share more.

So that is the direction my decision to pursue art therapy as a career is going. Slow, yes. I mention it here because I value any support I get and for this i need it. As with the interviews, something inside tries to sabotage every good thing I hope for.
Thebo


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#368671 - 08/22/11 01:46 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Obi Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1342
Loc: kansas
oliver,

a little trick that i used in interviews, that seems to help, is when the person doing the interview asks you if you have any questions to ask, reply with the following...

where do you see this company going in 5 years and my role in making that a possibility...





i've found that saying that shows initiative and that you are willing to go at it for the long haul and not just work a month or two and then quit...

_________________________
live another day. climb a little higher.

my story

my vlog

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#368672 - 08/22/11 01:46 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
static_00 Offline
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Registered: 01/10/11
Posts: 62
Loc: Michigan
((Thebo))

"constantly I hear in my head that I don't deserve it cause I'm bad and dirty and they'll see right through me and be disgusted."

Thank you for posting this Thebo, it helps to hear others that feel the same way and that it's not just me.

I hope that your job prospects work out and that you are able to work and continue with school. It is awesome that you have your Art to help express yourself. I wish I had the talent to create something new.

Wishing you well Thebo,
Eric

_________________________
WoR Alumni
Hope Springs 2011

I've learned that the shame we carry is our overwhelming burden. Amazingly, it does not weigh down others if we open up and share with them. Realizing that the shame is not ours to own makes all the difference in the world.

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#368673 - 08/22/11 02:37 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: static_00]
TheBobcatAgain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I'm glad you are helping others with your talents, buddy. I'm sure it feels good.

I like how you said that the heroin addicts you help are not "throw away people". That indicates to me that you can see the value of their humanity, deep down inside them.

Has it occurred to you that perhaps they can also see the value of YOUR humanity, deep down inside you?

It's there, buddy. You are not a "throw away person", any more than they are. You all have worth and value. Perhaps by seeing their value and letting them see yours, you will begin to see your own value in yourself? I sure hope so, bro.

(((((Thebo)))))

You are doing a great and noble thing. Not everyone could do what you are doing. In my book, that makes you a hero. smile

Your loving brother, as always,

Bobcat

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

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#368726 - 08/23/11 02:41 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: static_00]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Eric,

It doesn't take a whole lot of talent. A couple magazines with nice pictures, scissors and glue. Take 4 pictures that you feel relate and glue them to paper. You might be surprised.
T


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#368895 - 08/25/11 06:15 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Magellan Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1409
Loc: California
Thebo,

Thank you for posting this. Posts like these inspire me. I happened to catch Steve Jobs' commencement speech for Stanford in 2005. A very powerful speech with many great quotes.

I especially liked this one as I believe it helps us CSA survivors find our path:

"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." - Steve Jobs

_________________________
It's a heroes journey, and you are the hero.

Loving Kindness Meditation will dramatically improve your spirits; give it a try for just 3 days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM

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#370725 - 09/22/11 01:53 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Magellan]
Thebo Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Well, I finally got off my butt and went to the New School's Continuing Ed department. I had planned on learning more about financial aid, but left with a whole different perspective. I'm thinking of going for a BA. School is much different than when I last went in 1978. I could take all of the art therapy classes and get a certificate, but I won't get credits unless I sign up for the BA. So, why not dive in, right?

If I want to get in for Spring, application needs to be in November 1. If the art therapy classes are offered, I think I'll go for getting a BA.

I left feeling great. One of the biggest obstacles in this experience was dealing with new people, having to ask questions, come up with good answers. I did fine. On the street I was thinking, "Wow, maybe this can really happen." I stayed with it for a while, but "I don't deserve it." came on it's coattails. OK. It's a familiar friend.

I have to write three essays for the application. One is a simple bio. Another is what I am planning to accomplish. the third is how will the courses I choose relate to that. One of the goals is to help children who are victims of csa. I may find myself in the position to come out about my own experiences. Hmmm. Something to think about.

Anyway, that's the latest and greatest on this juorney.
T


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#370742 - 09/22/11 08:06 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Hey thebo!

Congrats on taking that next step-it's inspiring! I just landed a new project and it's tough to process the work without feeling some old feelings and getting wrapped up in old behavior-I guess that is one of my old reactions to stress.
I appreciated your post this morning.

_________________________
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

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#370765 - 09/22/11 02:26 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
StAiNeD Offline


Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 17
Loc: The Bronx
Oliver

I am so happy to hear you sound positive and full of life. I love the idea of you pursuing a career in art therapy. There is no doubt in my mind that you will be able to inspire and touch many lives.

You are on a good path. Im so proud of you. The journey won't always be easy but we here at MS, along with your therapist, will be here to support you.

You're doing well. Keep it up.

_________________________
"At any given moment you have the power to say this is not how the story is going to end."

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#370788 - 09/22/11 09:48 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: StAiNeD]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Thanks. From you that means a lot.


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#375210 - 11/13/11 07:59 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
*****THIS IS A LONG POST AND IT MAY TRIGGER****

Its been a few since I last posted here. After a conversation or two in the chat room and some encouragement from Obi. I've decided to take this post in another direction. Kinda. I will still enter an update on how my pursuit of an art therapy career is going. Now, however, I will add some of my work.

As many of you know, each week when I go to therapy I have collages with me. Its a blessing how an investment in a one day workshop led me to one of the most valuable tools in my recovery. In June I attended a workshop entitled Art Therapy for Grief and Loss. It was a great Powerpoint lecture with projects. the final project of the day was to do a soul collage. We were to bring a photo or representation of something we had lost. Most people brought photos of loved ones who had died. I took THE picture of me as a 3-year old, a photo that, for me, clearly evidenced that I had been abused. I attended with a friend and colleague. I blatantly lied to her and told her it was a cousin I knew as a child who met a horrible end. The project was to create a collage with images the moderator supplied, adding four other images which could be cut and shaped and applied any way we wanted. Our photos counted as an image. The project was inspired by a book by Seena Frost entitled Soul Collage.

I bought the book. For me the project blossomed into a 30 piece and growing body of work. It has been one of the greatest tools in my therapy. My therapist agrees. Things come out that would never be revealed strictly with talk therapy. He has asked me to write down the de>


Edited by Thebo (11/13/11 08:08 PM)

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#375211 - 11/13/11 08:09 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Well, guys, I fucked up. I am having problems loading the image. Can anyone help me out?
T


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#375213 - 11/13/11 08:27 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
rcm Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/07
Posts: 156
Loc: Boston, MA
[img]http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150168273956938&set=a.428062706937.213115.620586937&type=3&theater[/img]

_________________________
______________________________________________
Prince Zuko: [looking at a map] How am I going to find the Avatar? He is clearly a master of evasive maneuvering.
Sokka: [cut to him, looking at the same map] You have no idea where you're going, do you?

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#375215 - 11/13/11 08:34 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: rcm]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
[img:center]http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.262275517156056.83834.100001208308042&type=3[/img]


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#375216 - 11/13/11 08:35 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I hope you can view it


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#375217 - 11/13/11 08:39 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Obi Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1342
Loc: kansas
oliver... do you have a photobucket account? if not, you can get one. it's free.. you can upload the photos there then you can post them from there to here.

_________________________
live another day. climb a little higher.

my story

my vlog

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#375218 - 11/13/11 08:39 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC

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#375219 - 11/13/11 08:39 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I think it went through.


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#375220 - 11/13/11 08:41 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Obi Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1342
Loc: kansas
nobody will be able to see that unless you have them on your friends list.

_________________________
live another day. climb a little higher.

my story

my vlog

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#375227 - 11/13/11 09:20 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
[Image removed due to depictions of weapons.]



Edited by ModTeam (11/14/11 12:17 AM)
Edit Reason: Depictions of weapons.

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#375228 - 11/13/11 09:21 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
TADA!


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#375229 - 11/13/11 09:28 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Let's try for another. The second one is "Garbage." It is the way I feel I deserve to be treated.

[Image removed due to depictions of nudity.)



Edited by ModTeam (11/14/11 12:16 AM)
Edit Reason: Depictions of nudity.

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#375232 - 11/13/11 09:38 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Oh well. I will bear this in mind - the nudity thing


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#375235 - 11/13/11 09:48 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
OK. Here's the 4th one I made. It's called "Uncertainty." Not the best from a technical point of view, but i kept it until i make one to replace it.




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#375260 - 11/14/11 03:22 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Well, guys, the Moderator Team removed two of the three collages I posted. One for nudity. One for the presence of knives. I hope I am allowed to write the word knives. Although I understand their reasons, I am disappointed.

I am learning that healing here has its limits. Also, my story won't be told here. Posting my work is the only way I can tell it.

T


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#376773 - 11/25/11 12:52 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I received a Thanksgiving e-mail yesterday from The New School. I've been accepted.

Let the roller coaster begin. Already I've shifted into the mode I always do when something good happens to me. Deep inside I see the disgusting creature they made me so long ago and feel that the sub-human thing I am doesn't deserve anything worthwhile.

I always thought feeling this way when good things happen is normal. Many of you know this and also know handling it is not merely a matter of "getting over it" and accepting and enjoying good.

I still work in my therapy sessions with this. It is hard work to think someday I really can be happy and comfortable with myself. Personally, I really believe its impossible. Everyday it amazes and puzzles me that I wake up and amazes me even more that I can get out of bed. That's the real me.

I'm sorry. This is not meant to be the appetizer of yet another one of my pity parties. It's just that deep inside so much is happening inside me and I am overwhelmed. It's a mix of so many emotions and they are all conflicting for attention. I don't like handling it. I still don't know if I can.

I am questioning everything now. EVERYTHING. I don't know who I am. I am remembering more details of the abuses, which are more and more revolting than I could have imagined. I understand fully now why I am a sham, a vile piece of $#!+ pretending to be a nice, decent human being. Why should things like being accepted at the school I applied to happen? It doesn't seem just. I had braced myself for rejection and wehn I got the e-mail I panicked and got scared. All I can think is, who the hell do I think I am to think I can afford college when I have no job and few, if any, prospects? My view of myself is a lazy lying useless "thing" trying to pass off as something genuine and living.

Boy, this has not gone in the direction I expected. The anxiety is building. I am going to have to pump up denial, which for the past several weeks has been a method I've fallen back on heavily. The memories are THAT awful. I'm scared. My life has become too much to handle and I feel like i won't handle it.

I'm sorry this post went this way. I'm really sorry.
T


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#376877 - 11/26/11 02:05 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 951
Loc: southern California
Thebo,
If it's a rollercoaster, breath deeply on your way up and when you get to the top, put your arms up and yell, "aAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHhhhhhh." Let it out. In time you may come to enjoy the ride.

Congratulations on the acceptance! This is a GREAT thing! You're an inspiration.

A SONG FOR THEBO. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#376921 - 11/26/11 08:17 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: WriterKeith]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Thanks for the Klapa Sinj & Iva Ajdukovi song. It's great.



Edited by Thebo (11/27/11 11:49 AM)

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#377463 - 11/30/11 06:00 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Hi, guys. Made a FB page for posting artwork: art, videos, writing. My aka is Dusty Epson. Friend me, I'll add you to the group. The group's name is See Our Voices Male CSA/ASA Survivors Healing Through Art.


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#378080 - 12/04/11 10:10 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I received the admissions packet from The New School yesterday. Its on my desk, unopened.


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#378086 - 12/04/11 10:51 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
NewSummer Offline


Registered: 09/01/11
Posts: 59
Loc: Surrey BC
Take adeep breath and open it... Its time to move forward !
Wishing you my best
Ian

_________________________
life is what happens while you make other plans- John Lennon

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#379105 - 12/12/11 03:03 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: NewSummer]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I opened it.

They are giving me 84 transfer credits which is the cap they offer for transfers. Yay! According to the school I only need 36 credits, then I can take the Art Therapy program, which is about 6 more classes and an internship.

I really don't know if I have to submit a life experience portfolio. There a few other questions, like why are they sending me an immunization sheet? Actually at the moment there are a million questions.

Fortunately my sister is coming for a 3 day visit tomorrow. I can bounce things off my partner and her and then on Thursday, dig in. I honestly don't know how I will do this.

2012 is going to be wild. My recovery process is getting more challenging and difficult. Getting married in May. School. Have no idea how I will pay for anything. I figure this way. All the shit I've gone through this past year I might as well use it as manure for growing something good. The other thing is I have spent my life never taking risks, always settling. My clock is ticking. I might as well go for it.

I still think I'm out of my mind to think I can even attempt this.

Thud! That's me fainting.


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#379108 - 12/12/11 06:04 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
mike13 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/11
Posts: 419
Loc: California USA
Congratulations Thebo, you are truly on a roll buddy. I know how you feel about being scared. I was able to see when I was helping my daughters friend with her recovery, that I have an interest in counseling. I am speaking to the Fresno State counseling grad students in the spring and I am scared to death. I don't know why I am doing this but I truly feel compelled to do it. Good luck and lets share war stories I think it will be fun Mike


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#380161 - 12/20/11 10:43 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: mike13]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I am out of my mind for even thinking I can do this!


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#380168 - 12/20/11 11:17 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Obi Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1342
Loc: kansas
no, you are not out of your mind... look how far you have come. look at all that you HAVE accomplished. if you couldn't do it you wouldn't have been accepted in the first place. if you couldn't do it you wouldn't have even applied. however, you accomplished all of that and more!!!

YES, YOU CAN DO IT!!!! DON'T LET ANYONE, EVEN YOURSELF, SAY THAT YOU CAN'T DO IT!!!

we are all beside you! you'll make it!

_________________________
live another day. climb a little higher.

my story

my vlog

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#380194 - 12/20/11 07:23 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Obi]
Thebo Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Obi,

You sound like my therapist.

I had lots of questions that I could not find answers online, so I went to the school today to talk to someone about them.

I was ready, notebook with the questions, neatly organized from most pertinent to least. I would walk up to the students manning the desk and all would be lovely.

Got in front of the building on 5th Avenue. I looked in. I saw a security guard. Got nervous. Went around the corner, organized my paperwork to make sure it was in order and handy. Checked that my pen could write. Reread my notes, the acceptance letter.

Then an overwhelming urge to puke came over me. I took deep breaths. Kept saying, "I can't do this. I can't do this." and "I must be out of my mind." Then I left.


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#380195 - 12/20/11 07:24 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
So, tonight I'm drinking.


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#380203 - 12/20/11 09:07 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Tomorrow is another day.

_________________________
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

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#380210 - 12/20/11 10:24 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Mountainous Buck]
creyes99 Offline


Registered: 11/14/11
Posts: 66
Loc: Indio, CA
Thebo, let me say this:

If you are strong enough to life me up when i am down this far, you are strong enough to do this for yourself. You can do it, and you deserve it.


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#380890 - 12/28/11 02:53 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: creyes99]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Sent in the tuition deposit.


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#381393 - 01/04/12 04:16 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Why am I doing this? Someone remind me.


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#381408 - 01/04/12 08:31 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Obi Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1342
Loc: kansas
because you deserve it..

because it's time for you to take what has been rightfully yours from the beginning...

you've earned this... don't let it go...

_________________________
live another day. climb a little higher.

my story

my vlog

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#381438 - 01/04/12 03:48 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Sailor John Offline


Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 310
Loc: Newfoundland & Labrador
Hi Thebo,

Just start to school and then things will sort themselves out. You must have been surprised by what you have accomplished already when you look back to when you walked into school the first day to start the courses. You already have most everything done already. You got the maximum credits for your transfer; omly another 6 courses to start your art therapy specialty and you will be done in no time at all. Then you will look back and say where did the time go to.

May the New Year bring you nothing but the best of success both in recovering and your education.


John

_________________________
I will mourn the teenager I never was and strive to make that dot of light way out in the far reaches of the end of the tunnel turn into a bright sun.

WE ARE NOT VICTIMS. WE ARE THE SURVIVORS!!!

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#382381 - 01/14/12 03:48 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Sailor John]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I went to orientation Thursday. Spoke briefly to the head of the Creative Arts Therapy Program. She was fascinated by my volunteer job although I think the people at the table were kind of surprised I was doing "clinical work" before actually taking the course. Cart before the horse? I don't know, but it seems to work.

The department head asked what courses I plan to take. I mentioned Illicit Substance Use in Our Society and Therapeutic Approaches to Victims of Abuse. She was excited at my second choice. I have a funny feeling she's putting together my pieces, so to speak. While she talked to the group, she kept making deliberate direct eye contact with me. It sent an assuring message but did creep me out a little.

My partner is very concerned about my taking the Abuse course. When the speaker from the Student Services Department spoke, she mentioned our particular group of students, those returning after having been out in the world, will probably teach as much as we learn. I spoke with my friend Laurie, also a survivor, about this. Her feeling is that it is meant for me to be part of that class. Just the same, before I meet with my adviser, I will talk to my T at length. Truth be told, this is where I want to go with it, but my progress in my recovery is still in early stages. Anyone here have thoughts about that?

Of coarse I am fighting a lot of "do not deserve" messages and self-hatred over this. To combat that and get through I am creating a sacred space where I will indulge those feelings, let them out and then get on with the day. Dealing with recovery, going to school, and searching for a full time job (Yeah, that is still an important element in this equation)is a tall order. I still think I'm nuts for thinking I could do it, but what else can I do?

Also, when the bad days try to gobble me up and eat me alive, I'll be here, but more likely in the "At Risk" forum. As all of you who know me, when things go well that's when I psychologically and emotionally unravel.

So, there's the latest and the not-so-greatest of my bizarre little journey.


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#383327 - 01/24/12 02:53 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
First class tonight: Foundations of Gender Studies. The title makes me think of girdles. Homework is done online. When I couldn't access it, I had a meltdown.

On Saturday there was a student services orientation. Four people were being friendly. I was so nervous. I don't like meeting people and definitely don't like when people like me. It makes me VERY nervous.


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#383340 - 01/24/12 09:34 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2582
Good steps man! Take it one day and one moment at a time!

Maybe one of these days I can follow those footsteps of yours and get myself back to college too!


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#383341 - 01/24/12 09:52 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: JustScott]
Mountainous Buck Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Great to hear from you:

Keep moving forward!


We are all rooting for you!

_________________________
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

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#383345 - 01/24/12 11:41 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Mountainous Buck]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Thud! (I just fainted.)


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#383601 - 01/27/12 02:21 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Tonight I had my first Understanding and Treating Victims of Abuse class. I thought it would be general, but it is mainly child abuse. Damn!

The verdict is in. I am really out of my league. I never liked academia or school. Things haven't changed.

Why should they?

The textbook is 107 f-n dollars! A 1" thick paperback written in "colloquial" language and easy to read. I found it at the ebay Goodwill store for $4.39. I splurged on the $2 expedited shipping. Higher education is so full of shit.


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#383606 - 01/27/12 03:18 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
mike13 Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/11
Posts: 419
Loc: California USA
Schools are all about money. Hang in there you will win I know it Mike


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#383617 - 01/27/12 06:25 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: mike13]
traveler Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Yeah - last time i took college courses i didn't want to register as a grad student because i would have to declare a program and set out a plan for another degree. But i just wanted a few courses to upgrade my teaching credential and keep it current. But i couldn't register as an undergrad cause i'd already gotten my BA. The same courses cost twice as much if you're a grad student!!!! They finally found or invented(?) another category that i could fit into called "post-under-grad" !!! I took the same courses as i wanted, but at half the price...
CRAZY - no?

Lee

_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#383618 - 01/27/12 07:31 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: traveler]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Dude

"The verdict is in. I am really out of my league. I never liked academia or school. Things haven't changed."

Really?

One class and "the verdict is in"? After all you have done, worked for, prepared for, shown up for, you judge/condemn yourself after one class?

Fire that jury, take it one day at a time and build your own record in school before you accept ANY verdict- will ya?

_________________________
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

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#384206 - 02/03/12 03:06 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Mountainous Buck]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Ok, Buck--

Tell me.

What have I done? Really.

What have I prepared for?

Shown up? What have I shown up for?

Tell me. What is it you see and I don't? And DO NOT feed me some Survivors R Us Pollyanna bullshit.


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#384212 - 02/03/12 06:20 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Thebo,

What I see you posting as having done is to quickly and damningly (is that a word) place a harsh judgement on yourself - after the first day of class.

You have prepared for this by all the steps and education and studying and classes and interviews and applications and paperwork and moving forward that you did to bring you to this point.

One of the keystone phrases that pops into my my head is "Action is the only thing that matters". My opinions, fears, thoughts, paralysis- none of it matters as much as the actions I take, what I do,and just moving ahead right now.

What I see is a bright, motivated, articulate student (dare I say, compassionate?) who is afraid and wants to cut and run. (That was me at one point, and despite overwhelming fear and insecurity about my fitness for the course of study and institution, I stayed. I've found ways to sabotage this with messages since then, but I waded thru the muck and did my work and ignored much of my inner critic.)

Maybe a degree is something you need to build towards instead of jumping in with both feet-I don't know. But I do know that trying can turn things around. Even if i don't belief it sometimes.....I know it and have experienced it every time I put myself out there...

_________________________
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

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#384374 - 02/04/12 09:47 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Mountainous Buck]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Yes, I am very afraid.


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#384378 - 02/04/12 10:13 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Do you have some good face to face support?

_________________________
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

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#384393 - 02/05/12 12:38 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Mountainous Buck]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Thebo
I have a few quotes from some inspirational people, maybe it'll help.
In my mind you are already a hero, and I hope that you will continue to post on your progress. You inspire me to go out and do the same as you because I want to become a counselor

Don't Give up.......please


"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it."
~ Bill Cosby

"Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it. "
~ Rabindranath Tagore

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one."
~ Elbert Hubbard

"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."
~ Dale Carnegie

A personal Favourite


"Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here."
~ Marianne Williamson

And one more hard hitting one (read it carefully and meditate on it.)

"I will not die an un-lived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."
~ Dawna Markova

Heal well
MArtin


_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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#384717 - 02/07/12 01:45 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: whome]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Today's going to be a sparring match with my T. He is so friggin' unrealistic with all this school stuff. I thought once a person leaves the hallowed halls of higher education he would not move into residence in an ivory tower. Think again. Damn!


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#384736 - 02/07/12 02:45 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey Thebo,
You have to think on all of us who believe in you!!!!

Do you afraid? – Yes, actually you are trembling wink!
Do all of us afraid for you and worry for outcome? – Yes, I’m afraid the most that you’ll be too disappointed in case you wouldn’t be successful.
Would it be hard anyway (age is no matter, education is difficult activity)? – Yes, we all are aware of this.
Would there be moments when you’ll think that you can't do it? – Yes, there would be many occasions like that, especially in the beginning; but with time you’ll completely forget your fears – I guarantee this 100% wink.
Is all this some kind of madness? - In positive sense IT IS, this is lifetime challenge smile!!!

Should anyone be harsh to you if you don't succeed? – No, you've tried to fulfill your inner dream – even try is huge accomplishment. Many of us are scared even to think about it smile!
Should you stop doing your beautiful collages and stop expressing yourself in artistic way if you don’t succeed? - Certainly no, you are in some way already artist/therapist who is living his own art so that wouldn’t be possible anyway! It is impossible to live without air...
Should we all put our hope in you? – Yes, it is worthy. We could get terrible inspiring story and example that everything is possible; actually we are in some way already part of that story!

Should we all take you in our prayers wishing you success? – HUGE YEEEES!!!
Every day you’ll be in my prayers, no matter if you will not finish that school, you deserve it just because you’ve though it is possible.

Now go to your T and tell him that all MS is expecting of him to push away all your bad thoughts regarding this school smile. Your failure would mean his failure to all of us (more than 9.000 people) and it would be better for him to do some good job smile!!!


_________________________
My story

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#384929 - 02/08/12 02:36 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: peroperic2009]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
So many things are happening my head is spinning and I feel out of control. My home computer got corrupted so, for the time being I am stuck at cyber centers. I cannot afford to take the time to wait for my tekkie to show up to fix it.

One of my classmates is trying to strike up a friendship and it is freaking me out. I feel like I am walking on landmines. I hate interacting one-on-one in person. But I don't want to be rude.

Any encouragement my T has expressed comes across wrong. I asked him last night why he was making fun of me. He said he wasn't but what he is saying is far out of my comfort zone he understands why I think he is ridiculing me.

I am not special. I am not courageous. I am not charismatic. I am sick and tired of people saying it. I went into therapy because I was sad all the time and completely exhausted. I can't believe it but I am even more exhausted. No one seems to understand the feeling. I tell them, they nod, then hand me a 50lb. boulder to carry uphill. I assume that there's another pile of bullshit waiting for me at the next bend. In fact when I wake up everyday I groan because I woke up.

I got to find a job, budget the loan payment, so I can cut this loose in June. My T keeps telling me to hang in, that I have something special to give. Dam! If he's so set on this, let him do it!


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#386039 - 02/16/12 12:45 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I hate my Understanding and Treatment of Victims of Abuse class. No wonder so many of us run into T's that don't understand and are bona fide idiots on helping us. I have never met such a bunch of kiss-ass airheads sucking up biased and misinformation like it was manna from heaven.

One of my few remaining friends (who is gradually being written off by degrees) scolded me yesterday for not caring about what grades I get. Really? Oops! I forgot. Higher education is NOT about learning.


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#387234 - 02/25/12 03:37 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
This past Thursday's Victims of Abuse class was so difficult. The teacher showed a film entitled "Scared Silent" narrated and hosted by none other than Oprah Winfrey. I'm thinking of her 200 Men program she did about a year or so ago. I have never watched it, but I know of it. I understand that it was a show that was very supportive of victims. "Scared Silent," for me was the polar opposite. Focusing on the perps the documentary seemed almost sympathetic to them. The victims told their stories but it seemed they were doing that to fill in gaps of information. For the two cases that were incest between fathers and their daughters, the perps kept talking about something "taking over" and making them do what they did, like they were helpless and could not stop it. WTF!?! The strongest message of the film was about healing the perps. It recommends "healing the family." In one case, everyone was in therapy and daddy lived at home with his wife and the daughter he had raped. Dear God! Are these mental health professionals out of their minds?! Seriously, God, tell me something that makes sense out of this approach.

During the screening there was a pint I had to control the tears. Even though we were in the dark, the teacher sat across from me and we were in view of each other. At another point I felt like jumping up, tearing down the screen and screaming, "This is fuckin' bullshit!" Sincerely, I wanted to find those men, hunt them down, and kill them with my bare hands!

Needless to say, by the end of class I was a mess of emotions: anger, rage, sadness, frustration, helplessness.

Anyway, I am more settled down today. Believe me, when this class is over, i'm heading to the bar and tell the bartender to keep lining up the martinis til I pass out.

Damn!


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#392046 - 04/03/12 10:53 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Chapter 17: Adult Survivors. It's my/our story. I may need to skip class.

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#392090 - 04/03/12 08:39 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: somewhere in Africa
i know the feeling. every time we teachers have to sit through another "child protection" seminar...
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#392504 - 04/06/12 03:36 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: traveler]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Glad to know you are a teacher and understand. Do you ever suspect that a student is struggling with csa? What, if anything, do you do? How does it effect you?

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#392588 - 04/07/12 01:10 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: somewhere in Africa
yes, I've had several - even more at risk of suicide - also cutters, and other serious situations - LOTS of depression and just had a bout with bullying.

I have been able to intervene in a number of cases and refer kids for counseling - several success stories there. but the worst are the suspected CSA - i've posted about one kid - i asked him point blank once after class - he denies there is anything going on, but lots of symptoms that sure point that way. i can't help if he doesn't want it. but i drop lots of good info in lit class as we are studyinging books and poems and plays with related themes. i met with his parents and they are aware of the problem and have him in therapy so that is good.

another family that totally neglected their 3 kids. girl turned everywhere else for affection and acted out in very provocative ways - scared me. boy ran away at 15 and is still missing a year and a half later. youngest boy just trying to be "good" but often hungry and sad. mom left and dad holes up in his room all the time or goes to the gym. parents have been reported - nothing changes.

yeh - i get triggered by kids frequently - but glad i can be a "catcher in the rye" for a few of them.

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#392591 - 04/07/12 02:18 AM * [Re: traveler]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
*


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (04/28/13 05:09 PM)

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#392592 - 04/07/12 02:36 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Smalltown80sBoy]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: somewhere in Africa
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

&

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!THEBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#392715 - 04/08/12 04:53 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: traveler]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
& !!!!!!!!!!LEE!!!!!!!!!

Lee, what age group do you teach?

I used to mentor kids from group homes here in NYC. Don't get me started on child services. Is it any wonder our society is so messed up when we can't even take care of our at risk children?

Gary,

You felt weird in your forties image this 58 year old man. I jumped in the deep end with the Understanding and Treatment of Victims of Abuse. The bulk of the work is child abuse. I am praying to God it is the most challenging course I will ever take and that the rest of my coarses will go smoother. This Thursday's topic is adult survivors. Think good thoughts, light a candle, say a prayer, but send out any vibe that will help me get through.

In the textbook, whuch isn't all that great, the author matches certain symptoms of csa that can be traced to specific activity within the abusive situation. Guys, i got to tell you, there is an obsession I have that my T and I have not been figuring out (even thugh I suspect he knows but he wants me to discover on my own.) The author lists it to be associated with specific circumstances but not with any other. I will tell you, it is more horrible than I could imagine. I won't say what it is. I can't. My T said once that what happened wasa really bad, that I was tortured. I recall very, very little, but more now that i am skipping down the bloodied primrose path of recovery. It has to do with blood. Anyway, Thursday's class will be interested. Maybe i should take a bottle of valium before I go.

Gary, I know the feelings you've shared. I feel stupid all the time, but the teachers love me because the class can discuss the Stonewall riots in NYC because I remember them firsthand. Or famous abuse cases from the '60's. Eeerg!

However, I use my intellect, wit, etc. to create smoke screens. If they like my class work, they will noit want to know me. I don't understand when some of the studdents want to talk to me or make friends. Gsry, at this time in my life I know i am a dirty glob of flesh with holes for abusive fucking. That's the person i wake up with every day and the person who reacts and responds to others. It took a while for my T to absorb that. He went all cheerleader on me when I started doing well in classes until I finally told him to not talk to me that way as I did not like him making fun of me. Compliments, recognizing good connected with me, does nothing but threaten. He finally said, "Oliver, this is like a minefield to you, isn't it?"

Guys, for the first time this week I have admitted to myself that I am a very emotionally and psycholgically sick man. I know I'm not pathological or psychotic, but I know I am sick. It hurts, but for some reason I am actually relieved.

Anyway, thanks for reaching out to me
O

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#392718 - 04/08/12 05:23 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Originally Posted By: Thebo

Lee, what age group do you teach?

High school in an international K-12 school. I teach English and several electives - so i get nearly all the kids sooner or later in one or more of my courses. the troubled ones seem to gravitate to the arts electives. Though it is supposed to be kids of the "priviledged" you'd be surprised - or maybe not! - at how much hurt and neglect there is...
Originally Posted By: Thebo

You felt weird in your forties image this 58 year old man.

me too! this is a 3rd career for me - went back to univ. at over 50 to get education courses to teach what i'd been doing professionally forever. very surreal...
Originally Posted By: Thebo

This Thursday's topic is adult survivors. Think good thoughts, light a candle, say a prayer, but send out any vibe that will help me get through.

i will be doing (E) All of the above - on your behalf!
Originally Posted By: Thebo

I feel stupid all the time, but the teachers love me because the class can discuss ...
However, I use my intellect, wit, etc. to create smoke screens.

right - i discovered that they were all interested to talk with someone who'd been in the real world - not just the ivy-covered ivory towers - and had "war stories" to tell. did a lot for my self-esteem.
Originally Posted By: Thebo

Guys, for the first time this week I have admitted to myself that I am a very emotionally and psycholgically sick man. I know I'm not pathological or psychotic, but I know I am sick. It hurts, but for some reason I am actually relieved.

GOOD - i've discovered the importance of "naming" the truth in order to overcome it. not fun - but valueable and strengthening!keep at it.

with you in the journey...
Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#392766 - 04/08/12 05:08 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: traveler]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Thanks, Lee. Your words make me cry. I called my mom to say Happy Easter and she was waxing about how good i was at school as a kid. I enjoyed the conversation but the thought of, how could she not know was in my head constantly. I almost told/asked her, but chose not to. Felt what if i made this all up. Then i came here and I recall that the symptoms are there, I've been recalling stuff and that, yes, even as a child I knew how to hide it from myself and everyone.

That's Lee
T

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#395308 - 04/28/12 04:20 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
The floor is falling out form under me! I am writing an essay for a scholarship, extolling my virtues. I have a bunch of stuff down but I feel like i've walked through an emotional mine field. I am not that guy inside. Everything verifies, but i can't be that guy. i can't. If i am then it means who i think I am is all wrong. God this hurts.

Can't stop crying.

I want to drink until I pass out. I am not going to at least not at the moment. I'll take a walk. Maybe someone can write soething that will make me feel better. You can lie to me, just help this pain calm down.

I don't think I can do this.

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#395311 - 04/28/12 04:45 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey Thebo,
don't be so hard to yourself. You are very nice and sensitive guy, please try to calm yourself and to take some slow breathing.
It is easy to get lost in that emotional mine filed, try not to ketch every mine that is buried along your path.
You are not alone in all this Thebo. I know that is difficult sometimes, life is complicated and it is easy to lost focus. Can you do something that will calm you? Something like your art or some other thing?
I think that your story is more than inspiring. I've been thrilled when I've discovered this thread couple months ago. Put me to think about my dreams bringing questions would I dare to dream and even to try to fulfill some. Let say that your story gave me some additional strength.
Thank you for your honesty, willing to share and courage!
I'm sending you love and hug (((((Thebo))))
pero
_________________________
My story

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#395330 - 04/28/12 06:50 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Thanks, Pero. The walk did a lot of good. Got some pizza (instead of a drink.) I'm ready to do some more writing. I appreciate your kind words. They mean a lot.

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#395332 - 04/28/12 07:01 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
That is great news Thebo, I'm glad that walk and pizza did so good to you smile!
I'm keeping fingers crossed for your homework and scholarship.
Keep us updated wink.
Pero
_________________________
My story

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#395368 - 04/28/12 10:40 PM * [Re: Thebo]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
*


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (04/28/13 05:36 PM)

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#395421 - 04/29/12 05:29 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Hmrph! Seriously, thank you.

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#395422 - 04/29/12 05:33 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I love you guys.

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#395710 - 05/01/12 12:00 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I'm doing a term paper for the Understanding and Treatment of Victims of Abuse. Since my teacher, in my humble opinion, is little behind on the issues of male survivor, and she loves case studies, I was wondering if anyone would be willing to give me permission to quote from your story or a post so I can better support my position on standing up to her misconceptions about male survivors--she leans heavily on that 85% of all perps imprisoned were victims, but she lacks emphasizing the much lower percentage which relates to the overall survivor population. She requires references so I would use the site and your screenname. I would not give her access (i.e., my password and screenname.) I would only use the material as a quote in the paper. She is the only one who would have access to it (the paper,) however I may show it to my T to discuss as part of my healing process.

All that said, if anyone would like to share in that capacity, let me know and tell me exactly what I can use to quote.

Here's the important stuff. Under no circumstances do I want anyone to feel compromised, threatened or unsafe. Believe me, I want everyone here to feel completely safe. Understood?

Thebo

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#395714 - 05/01/12 12:10 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2582
Feel free to use any of my stuff. Not that my stuff would be very helpful, but if you find something in there, feel free!

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#395715 - 05/01/12 12:21 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
Hi Thebo,
feel free to use any of my stuff if you'll find it interesting...
Pero
_________________________
My story

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#395718 - 05/01/12 12:39 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1409
Loc: California
Thebo,

You can use anything you like of mine. Recovery is OURS, not mine.

We share our recovery together.

D
_________________________
It's a heroes journey, and you are the hero.

Loving Kindness Meditation will dramatically improve your spirits; give it a try for just 3 days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM

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#395736 - 05/01/12 02:37 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Anomalous Offline
Greeter Coordinator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1349
Hi Thebo,

This is a post I wrote in direct response to your ...ahem, "teachers" irresponsible dissemination of incorrect information.

The title of the post is Information about the Abused Becoming Abusers.

Contained within that post is the citation for the original research study from which that erroneous and deleterious conclusion was drawn.

Additionally, there is a link to a paper which discusses the faulty research and where the research failed, step by step. It then tackles the "conclusion" of that research and it discusses the inappropriateness (poor research methods) of generalizing a conclusion from the target population to the non-target population.

Information debunking the original research starts on page 4 of the article.

The .pdf can be downloaded and printed if you wanted to share it with anyone.

HTH





Anomalous
_________________________
Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

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#395752 - 05/01/12 08:39 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Sailor John Offline


Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 310
Loc: Newfoundland & Labrador
Thebo,

I went for a deck officer ticket a few years ago and before I could finish, unfortunately, I came down with epilepsy and couldn't write the government exams. That pissed me off because I figured the whole world had it in for me.

If there is anything that you can use in any of my stuff, feel free to use it. Good luck with your degree. You know you can do it so just go ahead and do it. Finishing the degree will mean more to you than you can think.

Screen name Sailor John
_________________________
I will mourn the teenager I never was and strive to make that dot of light way out in the far reaches of the end of the tunnel turn into a bright sun.

WE ARE NOT VICTIMS. WE ARE THE SURVIVORS!!!

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#395783 - 05/02/12 03:17 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
You're incredible. Now if I can figure a way of incorporating it.

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#395784 - 05/02/12 03:33 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Pero, Scott, Sailor John, Anomalous, and Magellan--

I love all of you.

I've already gotten through half of my document and I just finished domestic violence. I have a feeling the csa part will go faster -- kinda like a steamroller. I don't want to squash this woman. I just want her to know that we (csa and asa survivors) deserve --no, are entitled to our presence. A big part of male suffering on the csa, asa, and domestic violence recovery process is the bullshit of the "damsal in distress" or children of the present being the opnly ones who have validity. I know of men who have huge peices of furniture, etc. thrown at them, who were beaten regularly with pots and pans - and NOBODY was there for him. But were he to raise his hand in defense --- Not even use it, just raise it. He's be in jail.

I'm telling you, the same, even as a faggot, of being devalued by people because as a baby I was "adult enough" to fight off two abusers weighing probably doulbe than me with four arms twice as long as mine. Legs 3X as long as mine. Every fucking thing bigger and more powerful than mine How the hell can these creeps have the audacity to think that child that huiman being could even come close to fending off those mutha fuckin pigs!!!!

Sorry, now I am so mad! I'm mad at the pricks who abuse us now. they tell us to get over it. They question our ability as human beings and our experiences. They ---well, you know.

Anyway, love you all. Obi wants me to post the paper. I'm not sure. Maaayyybeee.

O

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#395785 - 05/02/12 03:35 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I'm sorry that last post was all over the place. Love you -- all of you.

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#395806 - 05/02/12 08:46 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey (((Thebo))) smile!
Those people should finally get over with repeating: "get over it".
Obi has good idea for sharing your work if you'll be alright with that.
Love you too!
Pero
_________________________
My story

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#395867 - 05/02/12 11:09 PM * [Re: Thebo]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
*


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (04/28/13 05:41 PM)

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#395894 - 05/03/12 04:04 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
and that idea might be?

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#395895 - 05/03/12 04:09 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Thanks, Gary. And to everyone else, thank you. As it turns out I stuck with Oprah's show and general stuff on this site.

The reason I did not use anyone's material is this. I wasn't willing to use any of my own. I figure if I can't/won't use my own, then it would be disrespectful of me to use yours. What's most important here is looking out for each other. If i can't trust me putting my stuff out there I can't trust me putting your stuff out there.

I love all of you too much to mess around. A few have you have been life savers (really) and I owe you. Thank you.
O

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#395903 - 05/03/12 05:34 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
Well idea to post your paper wink .

_________________________
My story

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#396047 - 05/04/12 03:40 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
ooooooooooo!!!!

I guess I could.

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#396049 - 05/04/12 03:57 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
speaking of posting stuff I've done, has anyone read about the photography project I posted about --"an interesting project..."

I'm thinking of doing it.

I know I'll be a mess from it. It is going to trigger. BUt I'm thinking, "look here's this woman offer a forum through art. I plan to be an art therapist. Maybe I should support her."

Do you think I'm being too simple minded about it?

Thoughts?

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#396053 - 05/04/12 04:10 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
You are not simple minded Thebo wink
That project is very interesting and thinking on support her is great. But take some time to think about it, there is no need to rush with this, especially if you could be heavily triggered.
Be well!
Pero
_________________________
My story

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#396165 - 05/05/12 03:11 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Oh, I KNOW I'll be heavily triggered. I'm going to talk about it with my T Tuesday.

BTW, The paper has been handed in.

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#396577 - 05/09/12 03:07 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
One more class and one more final. Then, I can concentrate on some applications (jobs and scholarships,) get married , then relax, maybe. Oh, and keep up the work in therapy.

Tonight I did a collage to unwind -- very interesting. People keep telling me to show them in a gallery or make a book. [!?!] I would not know where to start.

For the rest of this week, though, it is studying for the Foundation of Gender Studies class final on Monday.

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#396578 - 05/09/12 05:26 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Thebo - I'm proud of you for pushing through and accomplishing this! all the best on your final. and all the rest...

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#396606 - 05/09/12 12:49 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
smile Thanks

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#396692 - 05/10/12 04:07 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Publius Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 396
Loc: OH
Thank you for what you are doing and good luck!
_________________________
"Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." ~ General Iroh

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#397465 - 05/17/12 02:27 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Got my paper back from the Understanding and Treating Victims of Abuse. She gave me a B+ because I expressed opinions and didn't stick to the assignment. She's right, but I could not let being "taught" that return the perp to the family model be on of the foci of the semester without expressing my feelings about it. I also could not not speak about the under-addressed issues of violence against boys and men.

She and I had a long talk. She kept suggesting that I could rewrite the paper. I know if I cut the male survivor and opinions against the perp model she would up the grade.

Personally, I am satisfied with the B+. It satisfied my need to address some of the issues I had with the course although veering off and not covering extensively what was required in the paper.
I'm leaving it as is.

For the course I got an A-. I am perfectly fine with that.

The teacher did say she was impressed with my involvement and interest in MS. She also commented on the class I shanghaied by bringing up my experiences when I was mentoring LGBT youth in group homes. It just kind of happened and I ended up leading the class (blush.) She has offered to write me a reference letter for a masters (if I even consider that I am OUT OF MY MIND!) She also said that Hunter would probably love to have me in their program.

Although she may not like that I challenged some of the of the curriculum of the class, I think she genuinely likes me and appreciates what I have to say.

Obi (and others) have expressed interest in reading my term paper. Although I am a little embarrassed to share it, i am willing (I guess.) But I don't know how to post it. How do do that?

I took my final for the gender studies class. It went well but I haven't gotten a grade. Only problem was, quite by accident, I mistook a Lunesta for another medication I take in the AM (around noon.) My final was at 8 PM and I still had to teach arts and crafts to my addicts. When i realized I had taken the sleeping pill, I went in the bathroom and, yes, put my fingers down my throat to force me to vomit it out. Honest, honest, honest, guys, I was not trying to check out! Long story short, my throat is sore, my entire body aches, BUT I was able to teach arts and crafts and take the final.

This week is all about planning the party to celebrate Stanley and I getting married this past Sunday. After that I register for fall. I'll post about that at that time.

However, I spoke with my therapist "about all this."

as soon as the final was over, I proceeded to get plastered. You all know why. I know that the chances are very good that the school thing (even a masters --Oh, God, ug!!!!) is going to work out. I could not sabotage this semester and was waiting for the something to happen to mess everything up. I have to accept that something good could/may be/ is likely to be my reality (shit! I'm starting to cry.) And its bigger than I can imagine. Emotionally this is a mine field.

So, I am drinking heavily. I'm acting out. Anything to me that is "my" "normal". My t told me it was going to be hard because I am throwing in the face of everything I believe myself to be something that is so foreign, so out of my comfort zone, that the acting out, drinking, etc. will step up a notch or two. (or more. smile )

I know the summer will be -- let's say "interesting."

For everyone here who has traveled with me on this first semester back at school journey, i am so grateful for your support. My issue with school is not the academic work; its the emotional and psychological work that goes on concurrently with it.

I am still the disgusting piece of flesh with holes meant to be raped constantly. That is how I see myself, even though I know I am an ugly old cocksucker. My T says although it is where my "authentic" experience is right now, the fact I am trying to improve defies it. And it is going to fight me . It is.

So, guys, for those who care -- I love you. That is where I am at. It is my journey.

T

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#397497 - 05/17/12 10:37 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Ah, Thebo - so much here that is so good!

But also much that hurts!

I loved hearing everything right up to the getting plastered part.

but i get it, too...

Please be nicer to yourself.

You really do deserve it.

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#397518 - 05/17/12 01:05 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Good work-u r a scholar!
_________________________
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

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#397524 - 05/17/12 01:22 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey Thebo,
you are our hero, your fight is so inspiring, please be good to yourself and keep mowing forward smile!
Regarding sharing your papers, here is file hosting web:
http://www.filedropper.com/index.php
So you can upload your papers there, you'll get link that you would have to copy and past it here or maybe even better trough PMs (if you don't want for everyone to reach it). And after that guys who get your PM could download and read it. It is not so difficult.
Be well!
Pero
_________________________
My story

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#398256 - 05/24/12 02:01 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Registered for Fall classes. Nothing as intense as this semester (I think.) Dynamics of Art Materials, Drama Therapy: Method, and Sign Language.

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#400495 - 06/15/12 10:46 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I received my financial aid notice the other day and I still have not opened it. I don't know what I'm afraid of. Maybe that it will be good news?

Cross Country Education sent me a promo about two webinars in July: Art Therapy and Anxiety Disorders, and Art Therapy: Interpreting Art and Facilitating Communication. Cross Country is the company that provided the workshop I took on Art Therapy and Grief and Loss, the one that taught me about working with collages. The webinars are an hour and cost about $40 and worth 1 credit hour (We'll see what the New School thinks about that.) I'll probably take them.

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#401110 - 06/21/12 02:14 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Tonight I spent a couple of hours putting together a Powerpoint presentation of all the collages I have completed. I completed a sizable amount of work and I must say it looks pretty good. I wrote an introduction, made slides of images #1 - #13, with the exception of #6, and I wrote all the captions. It was a lot of work, but I enjoyed it. At present I have done 53, but discarded about half a dozen. It is a work in progress.

I still have not looked at what my notice from financial aid states. Lately I can't focus on anything.

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#401287 - 06/22/12 09:20 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 951
Loc: southern California
This thread is registering five digits (over 13,000) in views. I've not seen another thread register so many views.
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#401295 - 06/22/12 12:32 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
Hang on Thebo, I hope you´ll get some good news and that you´ll easily accept that. You are doing great job and at the same time some heavy work, who could say that you are not focused and scared of some good stuff when you are battling so many obstacles wink ?
You are our hero!
Pero
_________________________
My story

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#401388 - 06/23/12 03:28 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Get outta here! You're kidding me.

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#401389 - 06/23/12 03:31 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
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Registered: 02/16/11
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Pero,

Your words always give me so much encouragement.

BTW, I started a Powerpoint presentation of my collages. Didn't realize I have so many.

Also, I want to find another venue to teach arts and crafts.

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#401390 - 06/23/12 03:32 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Get outta here! You're kidding me.

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#403284 - 07/11/12 11:48 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Things taking a lot of interesting twists and turns.

I may have a job with an agency funded by the city and state as "Youth Specialist." Chances are I do. It is a complete departure from anything I have done professionally but it is moving me along in the "helping professionals" (one of my professors actually used the term) path. I think my T is leery, but supportive. It is working as a supervisor/monitor for juvenile offenders who are opting for the Missouri Method of incarceration. The environment is a home or apartment where six jv's between the ages of 12 and 18 live. It is constantly supervised, because it is, although it is "homey" with no bars, technically incarceration. The reason they want me is that I am studying art therapy and they were impressed with the group activity I came up with on the interview.

As those who know me know, I am now a total wreck. At yesterday's T session I opened up and allowed myself to look into the darkness. It was really hard for me. More train wreck.

Got to run.

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#403428 - 07/12/12 05:19 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Good luck.

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#403469 - 07/13/12 03:52 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
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Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
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Hey Thebo, I wish you luck.
I'm sure if you'll work with those kids that you will do great job with art therapy smile!
I hope you are feeling better now relating to your insight into darkness at therapy, there is always some light at the end of tunnel.
Hang on buddy.
Pero
_________________________
My story

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#404373 - 07/22/12 02:34 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I am now putting in place all the elements that together will comprise my fall. A new (possibly) job, a new class schedule because of said job and being officially accepted to the CAT program.

I am melting down and spiralling downward badly. Mad at my T. I feel no support. Angry bercause I can't totally give in to the negative behavours that beckon me to do so.

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#404375 - 07/22/12 03:14 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
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Registered: 10/09/11
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Thebo, what scares you the most of these upcoming challenges?
Please share wit us more. I truly believe in you and that you'll succeed no matter on difficulties. You already proved your resilience, and not just once!
I would always bet on you smile

(((Thebo)))
_________________________
My story

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#404437 - 07/23/12 02:36 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I am not supposed to have things go well.



Edited by Thebo (07/23/12 02:36 AM)

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#404539 - 07/23/12 08:29 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
cant_remember Offline
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Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1045
Hang in there brother. Good things can happen to us.
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#404543 - 07/23/12 08:49 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
KMCINVA Offline
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Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1714
excellent keep moving forward. you are doing great and taking charge. but never let a fall back stop you--heal well.

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#404544 - 07/23/12 08:52 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
WriterKeith Offline
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Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 951
Loc: southern California
Thebo,
Maybe it's growing pains you're experiencing?

I just found this thread...and read it all the way through from Jun 29 2011's first post.

This is a powerful contribution to the MS community here, because you are speaking the words for all of us who are pushing through to live at a higher elevation.

Thanks for bringing us along. It's a better journey because of the good company.
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#408994 - 09/05/12 01:20 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I am so going to enjoy the first course in my specialization, Art Therapy 1.

A lot has happened since July 23rd when I last posted. I got a job as a Youth Specialist for juvenile offenders, mainly based on my art background and, as one person told me, my honesty and directness(?!). I ended up turning down the job because I would have been required to physically subdue young people between the ages of 9-18. That was one of many things. We also had extensive training in how to break free from attacks, i.e., being strangled or attacked with a knife.

We were told that on a regular basis youth will falsely accuse employees of sexual abuse. That's where the panic hit me. I realized I would not be able to bear up under that stress at all.

I realized the job was fraught with triggers and my responsibility was to help these kids get a second chance, not work out my csa recovery through them.

However, two people from the organization are keeping their eyes open for other non-contact positions.

When I told them I could not do the job I had to disclose. Even though they were understanding, I hated it. I want no one to know. My T was on me again tonight about my lack of a support network. He said he was very worried a little over two weeks ago when we checked in by phone while he was on vacation. I had the bottle of vodka and was heading to the CVS for the sleeping pills. So, tonight we haggled over building a support network. Didn't get too far.

I'm tired right now. I'll finish up later.

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#409034 - 09/05/12 10:31 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Wow, Thebo. I'm glad you're talking to your therapist. I hope you're making good choices. Hell, anyone can enjoy a few drinks, and everyone needs to sleep, but a) don't put yourself in a position where you can hurt yourself and b) don't put yourself in a situation where your judgment is compromised and you might make shitty decisions.

Art therapy seems like a great avenue for you professionally, but maybe it would be better to take on the art side and do the art therapy yourself and for yourself, at least until shit doesn't trigger you and where you don't feel endangered. Of course, you might always feel endangered by a job where you might be called on to physically subdue someone... but hell it would be great if you could pursue something that you're passionate about.

As an example, I'm a journalist. I got into journalism because I was conflicted about the idea of truth. I thought I was a lying sack of shit, or at least a compulsive liar, but I love and have always admired truth-tellers. So I found myself attracted to journalism because of its clarity. For instance, when I was a police reporter, I'd write about where a fatal car accident took place, who died, how fast the car had been traveling, what the road was like, who the deceased was, and on and on. And as time went on and I finally faced the truth about my past abuse and the duplicity, secrecy and shame of my adult life, I found that the process of writing has really helped me.

But I'm not interested in having anything to do with writing, in a straightforward non-anonymous way, about sexual abuse or anything. For instance, I only PM (and that almost never) with male survivors. Just the other day, a troubled spouse of a survivor PM'd me with a nice note about how one of my posts had helped her. Part of my sickness is that I immediately find myself attracted to the idea of gaming out a scenario where I pair off with her and fuck her in some illicit affair! So I told her, not rudely, to back off! That kind of crap (that PM from her and my reaction to it) turns this excellent and healing environment into just another place where I could lead a double life of shame and sleaze! Believe me, there's a little voice in my head that's like, What the hell! Don't send that blow-off email! Send a smooth reply! Be the good guy! Let her lean on your shoulder!

But I know better than that. I know that I need to put my energy on myself, on my family, on my wife and kids, on healing, on honesty, on the here-and-now.

And so I urge you not to worry overmuch about this job not working out. It's not a sign or signal of anything except your good judgment. You took a good long look and understood that it could be trouble for you. And you walked away. Good job. Keep looking. Keep searching. Keep seeking. And always remember that serendipity is a powerful force. If you keep your mind open and your eyes open... if you keep healing and moving forward... you will find a place that fits for you, a place where you can earn a decent living and carry on the life you want to lead. I know it can work. Good luck. My prayers go with you.

Bob


Edited by Robert1000 (09/05/12 10:32 AM)

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#409169 - 09/06/12 03:31 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Thanks, Bob.

Oh, believe me, I was prepared to throw in the towel to becoming an art therapist at all a couple of weeks ago. However, my therapist helped me to see that young people/children are not the population for me to reach out to. My experience with my adult heroin addicts is truly relaxed. One guy dove for the scissors to use on his girlfriend and, although it did alarm me, I maintained control, was able to throw them both out and leave for the day with a mental reminder to get a tool bag to to carry exacto knives, scissors, and other art tools that could become weapons. No triggering. My class is filled with thugs, many homeless, either dealing or using hard drugs, or both, but I actually feel at home with them. I have no fear. Odd.

My therapist told me they get my pain and they know I get theirs from unspoken cues. Believe it or not we give each other a safe space. My therapist keeps telling me the hard drug addict demographic is considered to be the most difficult. He said it may be one of my niches since I do not experience it that way. He pointed out it is important for me to make a mental note of that moving forward when I consider where practicing art therapy will be most effective.

The experience with the Youth Specialist job taught me that not every population is for everybody and that youth populations are not where I would be effective in a positive way.

I hear you about the shame and sleaze -- add on filth, evil, faggot, and a few other choice words for me. Inside I don't think those personal identifiers will ever go away.

I really don't have a family or friends, at least not that I am close to. I have a partner (husband;New York State) but I cannot bring myself to rely on him for support. I sent my friends on their way a long time ago. My T and I are presently in a "dialog" about building my support system. Yeah, well. ...

Interesting that you should mention that your behavior to that woman turned this "excellent and healing environment into just another place where could lead a double life of shame...." Lately, my experience here reflects exactly those sentiments just in the fact that I come here. For me, no place is truly safe. No place ever will be.

Anyway, I appreciate your feedback and comments. Helps me think.

BTW I do art therapy for myself already. I have produce and continue to produce collages reflecting my personal emotional and psychological growth. In a little over a year I have produced a body of work consisting of about 56 pieces.

O

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#409170 - 09/06/12 03:47 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1561
Loc: New England
Hi Thebo,

So good to hear that you ARE moving forward. Sounds like you have a gift for working with hurting people. I'm a nurse and I work with quadraplegics. One of them, Paul is just 21, unable to move or speak, is blind, breathes thru to tube in his neck and is fed thru a tube in his side. Yet he smiles all the time. Used to piss me off, like "what do you have to smile about?" (I'm a cynical SOB) Now I get it: If he can smile, so can I....at least sometimes. As much as my life sucks, it could be worse, and I'm grateful to have the opportunity to help someone like Paul.

Keep us posted on your work. You rock.

Gary
_________________________
Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine.
Sheryl Crow

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#409195 - 09/06/12 09:51 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Glad to hear your thoughts, Thebo. Good luck to you. Never forget that you have brothers here. I'll do the same. I think you and me both (and maybe many of us here) have a constant tendency to isolate ourselves. Thanks for writing. I appreciate the hell out of this whole thread.... Also, I should add, I have some interesting thoughts I'd like to share about people like us, danger and our strange level of comfort with it.... But today isn't one of those days where I can delve into things. I just feel too.. fragile and fucked up... angry and desperate. I'm logging off now. Just wanted to check in.

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#409262 - 09/06/12 06:53 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
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Loc: NYC
Thanks. Whenever you feel like it....

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#409506 - 09/08/12 12:29 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Jude]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
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Thanks, Gary.

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#410377 - 09/17/12 12:12 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
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Once again I believe I am out of my mind for even considering this career or going back to school. I must be completely devoid of my senses. Really.

Started first official Art Therapy class. The teacher is a little odd, but OK. I can tell I will need to play the academia game with her. So, everything I read for assignments, I am underlining, not to learn, but to fill in the "teacher-wants-this" "blanks" of final papers. I already know what she wants. I just have to feed it to her in a format where she thinks I have learned something.

Like everything else in life, I may run from the starting gate thinking i am inspired or called or doing something for self-fulfillment only to discover soon thereafter, I have turned it over to others. I am doing this process for everyone else now. Oh well. If I keep them smiling I can keep them at bay.

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#410527 - 09/18/12 12:48 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey Thebo,
please believe a little bit in yourself smile
just for a while let it be?
Your story is very uplifting for me and I won't consider your rants at all smile
You are moving ahead no matter on so HUGE obstacles and that is so inspiring smile
Keep moving Thebo, must say that I love you man smile
here is my hug for you smile
(((Thebo)))
_________________________
My story

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#410587 - 09/19/12 01:15 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Thanks so much. You inspire me because I often wonder why anyone here would find my story interesting, but when they do, I am inspired. Thank you.

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#411337 - 09/25/12 02:30 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Learning lots of interesting stuff.

I applied to volunteer at the Expressive Therapies Summit in November. If I am accepted I may be able to go to some of the lectures and workshops for free or at least a discount. There is one on the use of folk doll-making in the therapeutic setting. Also there is a lecture on using the fabric of different nations in working with diverse populations (BTW I sew.) There a few art journalling and written journal-keeping workshops. The lectures on treating trauma in the future and the neurological studies on brain changes when the people are engaged in art, music, dance and role play (acting.)

So, in a way, I am glad I did not take a heavier class load than I have. I've been attending all these non-credit events which makes for great learning experiences.

Last week I went to a lecture about survivors of suicide, i.e., people who have lost loved-ones to suicide. Although the presenters were very good, their connecting their creative project, a film about their cross-country bike trip for suicide awareness, to art therapy was not very strong.

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#411360 - 09/25/12 11:19 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1561
Loc: New England
(((THEBO)))

This is great stuff...and the best part is it gets you out of your own head for a while. Keep up the good work.
_________________________
Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine.
Sheryl Crow

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#411369 - 09/25/12 01:37 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Thanks, Gary, but today I want to hide under a rock. I get so scared when good stuff happens. Therapy sessions get difficult, too -- I have one today.

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#411387 - 09/25/12 07:10 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
cant_remember Offline
Member
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Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1045
(((Thebo)))

You're doing great.

I know what you mean about wanting to hide under a rock. Being extroverted is exhausting.

Jim
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#411410 - 09/26/12 12:04 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
So true. LOL.

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#412554 - 10/09/12 03:32 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Tonight's AT1 class was a study of the Kramer method of analysis. Very interesting. For the sake of learning where a client is he will first draw a picture in pencil, then paint a picture, and finish up by making something with clay. Pencil for cognitive and technical skills is more free association. Pencil, because it can be a erased, can allow a greater degree of control.

The shift to paint releases emotional expressions as the client gains more command over the medium.

Clay is about dexterity as well as possessing the potential for regression. Clay is primal.

The entire class did "experientials" (we made some art smile ) last week based on Kramer's evaluation method and brought it in for discussion this week. People, the teacher particularly it seems, liked my clay piece. The teacher pointed out that in a session Edith Kramer would have the patient paint the unfired clay as coloring the object immediately was important to the analytic process.

Some of you are wondering no doubt who the hell Edith Kramer is. Edith Kramer is one of the people who founded the concept of art as therapy. She herself was an artist and, in her time, worked in institutions for children with what we today would call special needs. She believed that creating art in and of itself was the healing process. Analyzing meaning was not so much her emphasis.

The class discussed what color my sculpture might be if color were applied. Some interesting answers. The teacher asked me. I told them I want it to be colorful; lots of red, pink, bright blue, etc. I'll leave it as is until the end of the course. Once the course is over I may sand it and smooth it down and paint it. I did not tell anyone I want to paint it with nail polish for the shiniest finish possible.

I have been accepted to work as a volunteer for the Expressive Arts Therapies Summit taking place early in November. It's a series of workshops and events focused on creative arts therapies. I will be working two days as a volunteer in exchange for two days attendance for free. I am excited because there is a workshop/lecture on the use of dollmaking in therapy. One of my hobbies is collecting, making, and repairing dolls.

Some of you who are sticking around reading this are probably delighted at this entry as a welcomed departure from my usual bitch and moan sessions I've been putting here of late. smile

Tomorrow I am taking the body of my collages (around 50 pieces) to my therapy session. My T has agreed that we can look at it as a body of work. It's time. Individually the pieces do have their particular importance, but the time has come to look at them progressively and as a unit. I'll keep you posted.

My other class, four 7 hour sessions, begins Saturday. Rhythm
and Role will be interesting. I have no doubt.

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#412557 - 10/09/12 03:57 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Thebo -

this all sounds exciting. and how i wish i could see your collages. i had my art II students make collage/mixed media works this quarter. some very diverse approaches. (i never really thought of my art classes as therapy - but i guess they could be. the kids say it is like an oasis of relaxation in their day - and the only class subject where i have to make them leave!) if you are ever able to share yours here or on another site, i would love to see them.

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#412626 - 10/09/12 04:32 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1561
Loc: New England
Thebo,

I love it when you post something positive. Please keep it up!

Jude
_________________________
Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine.
Sheryl Crow

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#412669 - 10/10/12 02:35 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Thanks, Lee. At one time I had posted some here, but was asked to remove them. Most of the images are rather intense and being that they deal with own view of myself and processing they are graphic and, at times disturbing, even gruesome. I have no problem sharing but it would have to be in a different venue.

As a teacher you certainly seem to provide your students with an opportunity to express through art and thereby provide, in the act of creating art itself, healing.

Kudos!

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#412670 - 10/10/12 02:36 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Thanks. And I thank you for putting up with me when I don't.

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#412676 - 10/10/12 03:34 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey Thebo,
I love so much to see you peaceful and positive smile
I must thank you for bringing some other dimension here at MS and into talk about healing and recovery. We need to expand our horizons and you are doing exactly that with your story and art smile
My I suggest you to show to Lee-traveler some of your works trough PMs ?
It could be fun and fruitful for both of you wink !
Be well!

Pero
_________________________
My story

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#412749 - 10/11/12 02:04 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Certainly. Good idea. Thanks.

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#412964 - 10/13/12 01:43 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Today I registered for workshops at the Expressive Therapies Summit in November. I was accepted as a volunteer for 2 days and in return I receive 2 full days to attend for free.

So, I'll be taking workshops in

Mentoring Progress in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy through Art. That's about using art therapy to see where one is in their traditional talk therapy.

The Recovery Model and Multidisciplinary Collaboration: A Case Study.
This workshop is the examination of a man in his 60's who suffered considerably due to being abused as a child. It is a discussion of the concept of "It takes a village to raise a child" in the sense that to effectively help this man, many different collaborative disciplines and therapies needed.

Processing Treatment Challenges Using Art Journals.

Fragmentation to Integration: Art Directives for Treating Dissociative Disorders

Creativity, Spirit, Healing.

So, I'm excited.

As anyone here knows, when good things happen, the negative stuff puffs itself up real big. This time I'm OK. The stuff is there but I haven't gone into a tailspin. I think that's good.

Tomorrow (today, rather (Saturday) I start my 4 session, 7 hour per class, Rhythm and Role. I think there's going to be movement and music and embarrassing "public display." Oh, I hope not. I am pretty good with dance, but acting and music--oh no. In fact, I don't really like music. The coursework requires some classes in music and acting (role play) so.... Hey, I was deathly afraid to pick up a brush and do water colors two weeks ago, but did OK.


PS Went to my first Rhythm and Role: Unmasking the Essential Self. It was an intense 7 hours. It's 4 weeks of this but i figure I will do what work I can/ need to do and let the chips fall where they may. There are so many triggers and almost everything I feel requires suppressing. I have to take the class. Like I said, it's 4 weeks.


Edited by Thebo (10/14/12 02:33 AM)

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#414933 - 11/01/12 02:30 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Well, the third week of R&R has passed and I cannot wait for the last week to be over. We have to do a performance piece based on masks we made which reflect our essential self. LIke I said, it cannot be over soon enough.

A lot has happened in the class. Last week I became the resident villain for confronting a fellow classmate. We have been encouraged to "share." What a fucking bunch of bullshit! Well, the teacher "suggested" I read some articles on non violent conflict resolution, because I seemed a little angry.

I am so fed up with the "helping" professions pushing that we express ourselves, that we learn to be in touch with and let out our feelings, especially anger. Then when we do, even in a small way, BAM! Anger management training, a.k.a. suppression, the very thing we have been encouraged to let go of. What a bunch of mutha-fuckin' hypocrites.

Would someone remind me why I decided to pursue this inane profession?

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#415103 - 11/02/12 03:11 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
The more I think about the way the Rhythm and Roll class is wrapping up the more angry I become and the more I want it to be over. Fortunately I may have until December 1st to put together the final presentation AND to cool down. I think the cooling down is more important.

Here's what the professor wrote as the class assignment:

"Thinking of you and writing to clarify this task in your R&R journey. By now you are probably tuned in to the art of synchronicity - allowing the present moment to guide you to a deeper awareness of some hidden or lost aspect of yourself that is waiting to come into consciousness and bring more power and joy into your life. Synchronicity often comes through dream symbols, meeting new people, reading or hearing something that touches you deeply, making new connections from combining old things - aha! moments. Hopefully during the course of R&R you have been increasing your awareness of areas where you want to grow and expand and other areas where you are ready to let go of some old aspect of yourself that doesn't work anymore.

"You might want to sit quietly and meditate with your blank mask and allow a character/archetype or symbol to emerge from deep inside that will empower you in taking that next step - it could be a sage, a power animal, a hero or goddess figure, a medicine woman or ancestor - or whatever your imagination conjures up that has meaning for you. Decorate your mask to give life to this symbolic aspect of yourself.

"Next, plan a creative presentation that could involve drama, comedy, song, poetry and/or dance. You can do this alone or invite class members to assist you. The more attention you give to preparing this presentation, the more power it will have when you enact it. This will also ensure that its repercussions will continue to be meaningful and sustainable.

"Your final enactment will involve breathing life into this character/mask and letting it commit its first act of power in your life after the group ritual. You will be asked to share this enactment with the group who will "witness" this birthing process and celebrate your new becoming."

Truth be told I didn't have any real big aha! moments. Yes, I realized I did not like attention brought to myself. Yes, I became acutely aware of touch issues. Yes, I tried to sabotage my "voice" after telling C how I felt. All of this stuff. Old hat.

Being angry about the slap on the wrist -- that just pissed me off. The articles I am reading are akin to Pollyanna's "just be glad" approach to life. Ho-hum, and really?

I like my mask, but i have to translate it to come across as some great positive revelation when it is not. I painted it a metallic lavendar and glued some fake "jewels" on the face. Outlined the eyes in white and covered the sockets with an off white chiffon. The mouth area was molded around my goatee, so the opening is huge and gaping. I filled it with gray/purple chiffon tied in knots here and there. It is striking.

Here's the real expression. The face color and jewels the pleasant face I show the world. The eyes do not see clearly. The mouth is trying to speak, even scream but remains tongue-tied. The jewels are old wounds, healed as much as they can be. They are a part of me that is important. Their significance lies in the truth they hold about the nature of suffering. Sometimes it becomes the seed of change and a source of beauty.

For class the tongue tied explanation will have to go. Guess I'll make that a representation of greater expression. I'll use the wound analogy, but with a softer word. Hardships. Life's hardships. Shielded eyes? I don't know. Anyone have any ideas?

I took belly dance classes for 6 years. I figure, although I am very rusty, and a fat old fag to boot, I will do a short belly dance. Not that i want to. The music I chose has lots of drums. The teacher likes drumming. The dancing will be fast. I'll have to make it look joyful, not angry. THAT will take practice. Bottom line is i do not want to do the the presentation.

It's loaded with triggers. It's one thing to ask a bunch of out-of-high school teenagers to dig deep, but being in my 50's there's a lot to dig and the digging is deeper. And honestly, I think it is none of their business. I have to put on the fake face again, something I have been working so hard to acknowledge and work at changing. Damn! Well, I did it for over 50 years, I can muster up whatever I need to do it again for seven hours.



I'm bitching and moaning too much.

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#415167 - 11/03/12 12:45 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1561
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: Thebo
I'm bitching and moaning too much.


Bitch on brother! Its wonderful.
_________________________
Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine.
Sheryl Crow

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#415170 - 11/03/12 01:05 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Jude]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Jude

It's very healing to get it all out.

For me it was playing music in orchestras. It still is.

Puffer


Edited by pufferfish (11/03/12 01:06 AM)

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#415179 - 11/03/12 03:08 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
Hi Thebo,
must say that your R&R class seems very inspiring for me smile
When I've read assignment that your teacher wrote to all of you ("aha moments") and when I thought about your presentations it seems to me like you should try to think on it and just let it go while doing it.
I'm not sure should you change anything, if you are feeling anger you should let that side of you out, please don't hold nothing wink
This is great possibility, you don't need to do it for others (who likes attention?) but rather when you'll try your dance and music alone doing rehearsal why not to bring some anger out doing your belly dance and with great and powerful drums in background? Man you'll have some party there smile those will be "aha moments"
Let all anger go out, please don't make it to look like something different. We as humans are terrible when talking and making everything to sounds "better", there is no need to do it again here,language is one already spoiled medium, music, dance is other. Trough music we are bringing some instinctive deep feelings to surface, and like in other art, people don't need explanation warped into some sweet words to see it and understand it, they need only intuition.
So move on Thebo, move on trough dance, bring all feelings form inside out, let all shake around like it is earthquake, let us all hear your pain and anger, let us hear it even on other site of Globe smile !

Pero
_________________________
My story

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#415180 - 11/03/12 03:21 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Thebo -

just a suggestion - about the eyes - you could say something like - all of us see the world through out own unique filter - that has been created or at least tinted by our experiences.

about the mouth - sometimes our society or our own reactions to other pressures or authorities prevent us from expressing clearly and without censorship what we really want to express.

and your dance could express being constrained, too if that is what you are feeling. then no need to be totally wild, crazy and out there.

BTW - i haven't been able to get into my other email to see if you sent your art - sorry -

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#415843 - 11/10/12 04:42 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I completely destroyed what I had done to the mask. Left the color, but the embellishment will be much different -- something the teacher will respond well to. I forgot that the primary role of school and higher education is not for insight and learning. How silly and stupid of me.

You know what galls me? Here I am studying to help guys with their csa/asa struggles to recover and , in order to get a grade I have to revert to an emotional and psychological pattern that had become so emotionally damaging that it was dangerous. It is not ironic. It is pathetic and very sad.

To get through some of the class work, i will have to polish up the pretty face, the one I present to the world, the artificial one that hides all my true feelings. The worse part is that I will be consciously manufacturing "evidence" of feelings I don't have for the sake of consciously convincing others of what I have figured out they want to hear. What's the worst part of this is it makes my work in therapy all the more difficult. Additionally, it has hurt my relationship with my therapist. I didn't fully before and that road to trust is a slow, tenuous one. The developments in class have turned him into another in the army of the enemy. Because of what I need to do to make a grade, I trust my therapist less, sometimes not at all. Thanks, professor!

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#415913 - 11/11/12 06:49 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1561
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: Thebo
The worse part is that I will be consciously manufacturing "evidence" of feelings I don't have for the sake of consciously convincing others of what I have figured out they want to hear.


Thebo,

That is the survivor in you... doing whatever is neccesary to get through the situation. Thats not neccesarily a bad thing to do. Its your decision whether this is a situation in which to stand your ground or not. Use your judgement man, your in charge.
_________________________
Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine.
Sheryl Crow

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#416010 - 11/12/12 03:26 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I can't stand my ground on this. The woman is a brilliant teacher, but she loves making people jump through hoops. I know this work I plan to go into requires a lot of self-examination while I travel the entire path; stuff will come up.

I feel so pressured from all sides to disclose. For me it is a big mistake to disclose. My T thinks it is dangerous that I don't reach out for more support (one-on-one in person.) Doesn't anyone understand how scary it is to reach out. I have lost friends when I reached out. I have no real friends anymore. When I've reached out to you guys, with all due respect, I am expected to disclose and tell my story.

I realized today that my dissociation is much worse than I thought. Truth is, I had convinced myself i do not have DID. Only PTSD on my plate, Mrs. Cafeteria Lady. Not. Depression. Suicidal thoughts, depression.

I'm losing my mind but at the same time I am very very sane.

I am fighting this tyooth and nail!!!!!!

DAMMIT!!DAMMITT!!DAMMIT!!

The stuff that comes up gets uglier and uglier.

Guys here now ignore me. If i get angry (and drunk) enough I will name names. It hurts that bad that i'd drag people down with me. But they have no right to reject me for what was done to me. Especially when i've come here, to them, for support.

I'm babbling.

Guys here have withdrawn their support because my progress hasn't been quick and expediant, because I don't call myself a survivor.

I am going to shut the fuck up.

What soothed you as a child? Mine was to play with my farm set. It had a beautiful tin barn with lots of animals. I liked the pig. Not the most attractive of the animals and dirty to boot, he reminded me of myself.

I am no more than a cumdump for a group of creatures that used me over and over.

I'm disconnecting so bad right now. I am really really sorry. I f any of you have religion, say a prayer for me.

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#416013 - 11/12/12 03:42 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey Thebo,
please try to calm down a little bit.
I'm sorry to hear that you don't have enough support. Must be difficult for you frown
Don't bother with those who rejected you.
Sometimes there are days when everything looks much worse than it is in reality, I hope this is the case.
Please share more with us if you'll feel better.
You are great guy, very honest and very brave to take steps where many of us couldn't go. You have a lot to offer to others.
Hang on man, here is my hug for you smile

(((Thebo))))


Pero
_________________________
My story

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#416602 - 11/19/12 12:31 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Pero, you always come through.

Thanks.

O

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#418005 - 12/03/12 03:30 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Rythm and Role is finally over. Yay!

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#421745 - 01/10/13 03:34 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Got an A in Rhythm and Role. Honestly, I am surprised. Have no idea how the final project was received, but in the new semester I am sure I will find out.

Art Therapy 1 was also an A. Her comment on my paper was something to the effect that I clearly understand what art therapy is about.

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#432298 - 04/24/13 06:13 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Greetings! I know it has been a while since I last entered anything here. Since today is an R&R day after a big test in Art Diagnostics, I am taking a minute or two to make an entry.

It is that time of the semester when finals and papers and projects come due. Unlike other disciplines art therapy finals can be "experiential", in other words the student performs the psychological application upon himself, then has to present feedback. Yuck.

This semester I disclosed to my adviser. It had gotten to the point that I was putting too much energy trying to prevent being accidentally exposed that I could see it might eventually interfere with my classwork. Since she is a psychiatrist and deals with a lot of trauma patients the meeting went well.

On Monday I will be presenting my final project in Art Therapy 2 class. The project is to create a piece of art expressiong our counter transference to the population with whom we would like to work. My population is adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

My project is a multi-media (collage, wood, cardboard, rope, and acrylic) self-portrait of the abused child, my abused child. It is an ugly, disgusting, loathsome, wretched creature.

I have to present this to the class, explain the population and talk about the art. It means I am going to disclose to room full of 15 classmates and a teacher. AND I will be expected to answer questions. That will be the hard part.

I have gone over this with my therapist and discussed it with my adviser. Both are supportive. However, I assure you I will be calling my therapist from wherever I melt down right after class. smile

I still think for me that I prefer not to disclose, but in this case i feel it is for the best.

Well, I must be off.

Sending you all good wishes.

T

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#432300 - 04/24/13 07:19 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1045
(((((((( THEBO! )))))))))

It's great to see you here again, and it sounds like you're doing great.

The Q & A might be tough, because you never know what to expect. Don't take any criticism of your art to be critical of yourself personally. Keep that in mind.

Let us know how it goes.

Cant
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#432304 - 04/24/13 08:08 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Thebo -

i can't begin to imagine the amount of strength it must require to even consider doing what you are about to do. you are amazing! my prayer is that you will gain 15 new empathetic supporters who understand in a far deeper way not only your experience - but also the overwhelming effect that CSA has on children and adult survivors - and be vastly better equipped to help in the healing process.

all the best, man!
lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#432614 - 04/27/13 04:19 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Thank you, lee and cant. Your words mean a lot to me. I finished the art. The art itself reveals it all. I've rehearsed my "speach" -- only to realize I'm tossing the notes and winging it. I am so afraid I will cry, but know what? I'm taking a box of tissues -- pass around pack. If I see anyone having that strange judgemental look some get when hearing these things, I am taking a large picture of me as a child. When I sense someone might get icky I'm going to hold the picture in front of my face and tell them, "Don't listen to the man's voice. Instead see the boy with the man's voice." People need to know.

O

Love you guys

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#432681 - 04/27/13 10:50 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1561
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: Thebo
This semester I disclosed to my adviser.....It means I am going to disclose to room full of 15 classmates and a teacher. AND I will be expected to answer questions.

Hey Thebo,

So good to see you posting again. And WOW!, what a HUGE step you are taking! I sympatize with how uncomfortable this will be for you, but in the long run it will do you nothing but good. Keep it up man.

Jude
_________________________
Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine.
Sheryl Crow

Top
#432684 - 04/27/13 11:14 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
Wow. Thebo, I absolutely love the idea of having the picture of the Little You there so they can understand that its not about the man, its about the boy. How incredibly creative you are. Good luck on the presentation and critique.
b
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



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#432972 - 04/30/13 03:12 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Well, I did the presentation - blew them away, I think. One person was a bit of a jerk. For another, oddly the woman who inspired me, I think it was a little too much. She contributed in a positive way, but bolted real quick as soon as class ended. The teacher commended me. Two students stayed after and we a really nice conversation about the subject.

I'm still processing. Had to have a drink when I got home (I was trembling and frightened.) Of coarse I am afraid I did something wrong, which I talked about in class. i did thank the class for listening.

The people i chatted with at the end agreed with me. The general public needs to know graphically what happens to boys and girls at the hands of their abusers. I think John Q. Public thinks of child abuse as a flasher who opens his coat in front of a child to expose his genitals. I told them people need to know we become their science experiments, their toys to poke and prod and get their kicks from. The stuff they do, if known, would freak people out.

I'm taking a Community Service and Art Therapy course next Fall. I am thinking of putting together my collection of collages to use as a male survivors awareness project. What you think?

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#432974 - 04/30/13 03:20 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Jacob S Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 608
Loc: one foot out the door
Congratulations. I'm interested in hearing more about the jerk if you don't mind, because I always am looking for examples of how to successfully deal with insensitive people.

I think what you said about how most people perceive abuse is right on. People don't realize what it is. Its literally beyond their ability to imagine.
_________________________
"These days I just try to keep to myself,
well aware I've lost touch with everyone else.
I understand that I'm fading away."

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#432975 - 04/30/13 03:26 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
I'm joining to the congratulations!
It is awesome and so brave that you did it.
I'm sure when emotions would settle you'll be even more aware of your accomplishment (I'm sure you didn't do anything wrong wink )

((((Thebo))))
_________________________
My story

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#433030 - 04/30/13 12:32 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Regarding the jerk:

There was a discussion around the topic of the advantages and disadvantages of being a therapist for a population of which one is part. There are pros and cons, much of it around countertransference, the teacher indicated it could lean both ways. In the course of the presentation, I mentioned I disclosed because I could not spend energy on thinking what people were thinking. Rather I disclose and move forward. I mentioned I now am very careful. I don't go to chat here as I used to because it can drain me and I need to be able to stand back, so to speak, so I can develop the skills and education that will be most effective when reaching out to people. Does that make sense?

Long story longer, one of my classmates, who can ask some of the most bizarre questions, asked if any research had been done that proves whether people who have experienced the same problems as the people they serve are better or worse therapists. I know she didn't mean it, but I took it as somewhat of a personal commentary on commitment and capabilities. I guess I am still touchy from the friend who made fun of me and flippantly said, "Besides, you don't have what it takes." (That's a long story.)

Also, the woman I had found inspirational (and still do) struggled with the idea of someone from the same population working with them. She is very young and has trauma in her background. Not for nothing, this where her youth cannot serve as my age can. The perspectives are much different. No matter how far removed in time she is from her trauma, it is still fresh. I, on the other hand, am so weary of mine because it has been with me for soooooo long.

Fortunately the teacher is a great critical thinker. She pointed out that I am doing the work: attending classes, getting a good education, ensuring that my internal dialogue is supporting the healthiest mental approach to school, working with addicts (who, she said to me, "you probably recognize have symptoms of abuse), going to therapy, being careful of who and how I interact in relation to how I would deal with the topic. I took that all as supportive.

Today, of coarse I am a mess. But I see it is part of the cycle. Today is also therapy.

I got to run.

Jacob and Pero, I, as always, am so grateful for your support.
O

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#433035 - 04/30/13 12:42 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
bodyguard8367 Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""

""


Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/26/14 11:13 PM)

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#433682 - 05/06/13 01:49 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Thank you, Geoff.

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#440486 - 07/09/13 05:55 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey Thebo, how are you doing man?
Are there any news about your study?
I just came to say hello wink


Pero
_________________________
My story

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#440578 - 07/10/13 03:26 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Well, I got A's in both the classes I took this past semester. Both were pretty hard, because they are designed to bring up stuff.

Art Therapy 2 was about treating populations. The final project was to do a piece of art work expressing my own counter transference to the population I plan to work with. In layman's terms that means I had to do artwork expressing what triggers I may feel when a client and I are working together.

So, I, not to take the easy way out, did not go with substance abuse. No, no! I did an artwork expressing how working with adult male victims of childhood sexual abuse could trigger my disgust towards myself for being a victim myself.

The artwork was a montage depicting a misshapen little boy, pierced with nails, in a coffin, also pierced with nails and filled with blood.

Yep, I was finally disclosing. I had talked it over with my adviser first. She was exceptional in her support.

I was shaking. When I said the reason I want to do therapy with our population is because I was sexually abused as a child, too. I explained my artwork, which had taken on a gruesome quality. The class was attentive, but extremely quiet. The instructor was watchful. She knew this was difficult all around.

To make a long story short, overall the class appreciated it and learned a lot. One woman asked the teacher if anyone had done research on how effective individuals treating clients with the same conditions are. The teacher shot that down. She said no studies had been done that she knew of, but in my case, she had no doubt I would handle it well, because I was aware and was doing the work of my own therapy, which is an essential element to my effectiveness. (Thank you, Professor Alessandro!) Another woman who has always been open about having PTSD and who inspired me to disclose, was very uncomfortable. She turned pale, scrunched herself up in her chair, then bolted the moment class ended. Three people talked with me after class. The teacher gave me an A+ for the project, something she says she never does without the student quoting extensive theory from other sources.

Jezz! Why am I crying?

The reason i chose to disclose was because I became aware that my anxiety about students and staff in my classes would figure it out and that they would humiliate me and hate me. Those feelings were getting in the way. As much as I HATE disclosure, it was the right thing to do.

Why am I such a mess right now?

Next semester one of my courses is about art therapy and the community at large. I'm thinking of doing a gallery show of my collages and solicit men from this site, or elsewhere, to be present at a showing to help educate the public about the issue of childhood sexual abuse.

Anyway, that is, more or less, where school is at the moment. Summer is for scholarship shopping and job hunting. I also plan to get my state certificate as a person qualified to work directly with substance abusers.

So, Pero, and anyone else who has been following this saga, thanks for caring.
T

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#440585 - 07/10/13 05:34 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 770
Loc: michigan
you are a great man and a brave one! keep up the good work man
_________________________
Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!"
Herman Melville

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#440623 - 07/11/13 01:34 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
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Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Thank you

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#440625 - 07/11/13 04:24 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
Thebo,

I have been following since joining the site and I find your journey fascinating. What a great way to move forward in life.... Using your gifts of art and your desire to help others and your own experiences. Congratulations on your finals presentations and on your grades. Your hard work is paying off and I truly love the idea of the gallery presentation as an awareness tool. I must share, it has been my personal experience that sometimes the therapists themselves (all female) do not understand the destructive power of sexual assault on the male. They are at once threatened, accusatory, and minimalistic in their approach, but to professional to admit it. Perhaps this is where the fellow student was coming from when she asked the "effectiveness" question.

Again, thanks for the update Thebo, and its great to hear you are moving forward in such a productive, exciting way.
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



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#440671 - 07/11/13 06:40 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 589
Thebo,

I second what ThisMan said. I haven't voiced this enough, but for someone who is trying to build his life around art, your story of using art to recover and to help others recover as well is truly, truly inspiring. Kudos to you for your work so far - I'm looking forward to hearing updates.
_________________________
Husky

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#440701 - 07/12/13 03:00 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Thank you for your kind words.

At one time I tried posting artwork here and it was not allowed. It is too graphic. If you want to see it go to FB and go to Dusty Epson's page. He has a group called See Our Voices. Some of my work is there.

I understand your experiences. One of the first classes I took was Understanding and Treatment of Victims of Abuse. The model, which goes back to the '70's is based on the assumption that the male is the perp and the victim is female. Treatment, legal systems, medical and social services, recovery programs etc. are based on that model and that model alone, even today. I hear what you're saying about the female therapists and the deduction about the classmate.

I am sympathetic to the helping professions. These binary gendered role models require challenge and change. Unfortunately for clients for decades the therapists they produced are among us. I thank God that, although he stumbles into some of the patterns, he is genuine and sincere and has no problem with enlightenment. Many cling to their theory and afraid to part with it even when they see it does not work. Even more people are threatened by any socialized gender stereotypes we've had so ingrained into us. After all, if men aren't strong and invincible, if men, even if they are little boys, can be vulnerable, then what the hell is the world coming to? Often it really does boil down to that antiquated notion.

We are at a crossroads. What I am studying is a modality, not unlike physical or occupational therapy. Creative arts therapies (art, music, play and acting, to name a few) engage both lobes of the brain completely. Therefore the results can be quite remarkably different than with regular talk therapy which focuses mainly on engaging one side of the brain. Through the arts therapies it is being discovered that many schizophrenics are misdiagnosed trauma victims. Studies are being conducted presently on actual schizophrenics and the effects of making art is having on them. Also, it is being discovered that neurology could play heavily in patterns of mental illnesses. Creative therapies, it is being researched, may generate neurological activity that effects brain function in a positive way.

So, the helping and medical professions, in my humble opinion, would behoove themselves to regularly take some brush-up courses. Unfortunately many in these professions become proud and self-assuming to the point that their initial vision dims.

Anyway, TM, I hear you about the shortchanging that men get in mental health and crisis services, to name only two arenas, because of poorly prepared professionals. Part of a csa/asa survivor's job is to force our hand on them and educate them as much as the public. It is unfortunate that has become our job. However, the upside in educating professionals about who we are and what our needs really are is that we can call some of the shots.

My parting shot for this entry is a story about the final paper I presented for the Victims of Abuse class. We had to pick three of the case studies from class and discuss particular points, but we could state opinion as well. Mind you, I did fulfill the requirement. However, I did bring up the absence of attention to issues surrounding men as victims. Did all kinds of research supporting the argument. I even gave her the link and a review of Oprah's 200 Men show. She gave me a B+ because some of the material was not in keeping with the project.

I was OK with that. However, she suggested I could get an A if I edited and rewrote parts of it. I knew she wanted me to take out the "affront" I presented to the course overall by challenging the sexist approach that was being taught. I politely declined.

Just the same I got an A for the course. She offered to recommend me to Hunter for my masters when the time comes. Truthfully, I think she knew I was right, but she had to uphold the coursework she was teaching.

So, thank you TM. And thank you, Concerned Husky
T

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#445112 - 08/22/13 02:08 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Classes begin Monday. One class requires a community services project.

An idea I have is to have a survivor(s)holding a big piece of foamcore board. He would be masked and not speak. On the board would be a photo of him about the time he was abused. Written atop would be--

"I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Draw how you feel about me." (Remember guys, pictures are preferred over words. After all this is for an art therapy course.)

I'd have a can of markers available. I might have someone film and post it on FB or YouTube as well. The person holding the sign would be partnered with another person who would be his "voice" and encourage people to participate. He or she would provide details: perp, age, etc.

The message is male victims suffer in silence and anonymity. The purpose is to get people to think and express from the gut and the heart how they feel about the topic of male childhood sexual abuse.

I am thinking of being the man in the mask.

Feedback anyone? Also, I haven't submitted it to the teacher yet.


Edited by Thebo (08/22/13 02:12 PM)

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#445211 - 08/23/13 01:16 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey Thebo, good to see you!
I like your idea and I hope if you'd do it that people would be interested to take part in such performance.
I guess mask would be inspired by abuse somehow and showing silence of victims?

Maybe it could be difficult to be in such situation (masked victim) and to stand there in silence. Person who would assist would need to be very sensitive and to know for many details. It could be intensive.
But I guess as visualization is so important there hasn't to be "real" victim presented. I'm sure people would interact and respond equally toward symbol of victim and his/her suffer in isolation and silence.
I like your idea and it has very strong message!

Pero
_________________________
My story

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#445212 - 08/23/13 02:02 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Thanks, Pero.

Since this would be done on the street in NYC or in one of the city's public spaces like Washington Sq. Park, Union Sq., Central Park I am looking for that "thinking on your feet" responses but at the same time challenge the participant to go more within for those responses.

The mask is to deliberately create the barrier we feel exists, whether real or imagined, and to physically emphasize how disabled we feel from it. I am actually thinking the mask might be better replaced with a blindfold.

The partner would be a fellow student. The purpose of that person would be to act as a monitor, explain the project and based on a predetermined script/dossier, provide answers to questions. I would solicit at school foe a volunteer, but I am willing to do it myself.

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#455321 - 11/28/13 02:26 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
Hello Thebo, how are you?
I see that we didn't have any updates here since August, so how is going your school project, are there any news?
Be well!

Pero
_________________________
My story

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#455330 - 11/28/13 08:00 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 731
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Thebo. Your project sounds powerfully focused. I feel the intensity of it. You may want to be prepared for some intensity of feelings/emotions from the public participants. It might be interesting if you could find some way to discern if there are any common characteristics in the population of responders. This feels like it has the possibilities for some AHA moments. Good luck. Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#455331 - 11/28/13 08:02 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 731
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
It feels to me as if you are walking in GRACE, and have a great deal of support and love from the nonphysical realms. I hope so.
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#461942 - 03/03/14 02:37 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: don64]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Yes

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#461943 - 03/03/14 02:44 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3362
Loc: O Kanada
do you have a new url link to some of your artwork.
your link to facebook did not work for me.
i am not a FB member anyway.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#461946 - 03/03/14 03:26 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
I apologize for not posting in a while. Many of you have been so kind in your support and, believe me, I appreciate it immensely. To bring you up to date, for the fall semester I took the Dynamics of Art Materials and Transforming Community Through the Arts. Art Materials was pretty easy, I have to admit. The final project was just an exercise of creating art that expresses where I am at the moment and write a paper about it and how interacting with the materials was significant. My piece is "Trial by Fire". It's about transformation. I built a miniature stone fireplace with a picture of me as a child in the hearth. On the opposite side was a furnace. I used tissue paper to depict fire and wasn't pleased with the result -- except that at some time I I plan to ignite the whole thing and burn it up. The teacher loved the idea.

Transforming Community was hard. We had to do community projects. I ended up working on two. One was working with a team to produce a Wiki. Bleack! But we did it. The other was working with an after school program for children whose mothers are incarcerated or who have been recently released from prison. One little guy, about 4 years old, latched onto me. Scared the crap out of me. We did a skit and we made a costume together. He INSISTED I tie up his wrists and ankles. He was very serious. I can't read too much into it, but I mentioned it to the teacher and to the woman who runs the program. I had "a feeling" about this kid.

This semester I am taking Art Therapy for Groups. Taught by the same teacher as Art Materials the class is going fine. I am part of a group doing s project for the class to participate in. I'm not thrilled with our project, but I acquiesced. The two women in my group were gung-ho on a particular idea so i did not fight it. I figure the grade is more on the paper.

My other class is Abnormal Psychology. It is very trying for me.

Therapy is very intense. The Abnormal Psych class plays heavily on that. Hearing lectures about PTSD, dissociation, depression, etc. is difficult.

I may be starting my masters sooner than I thought. I did not even think i would be going for a masters.

I have approached the organization where I do my volunteer work several times about employment. They like what i do, but they aren't forthcoming. I know they are taking advantage but the experience is good for me to have under my belt. However, this month they pulled a stunt that was insulting. For every program the organization gives the clients a Metrocard and a snack. For a while they were giving them grocery items that were not snacks, but items that needed a can opener and to be cooked. a lot of these guys are homeless. So, I started bringing in candy from me. Lately, because candy makes them wired, I've been bringing crackers with cheese in the little packets that can be packed for lunch. Keeps them calm. However, i noticed the organization seems to come up with the shorts on snacks every week now. I'm like, "Aw come on!" I am like, how cheap can you get? Just the same, even though they are not biting on my requests to be hired, I am going to try to get my internship out of it.

We will see.

Take care, guys. Thanks for reading my posts and being interested in me. Oh!, by the way, this past month is the first ever I believe that I really may be smart and that it is not perverted to like that babies are soft. My abuser would say, "You are so soft." So... Babies are OK to hold and feeling nice about their softness is not bad. At least not in my case.

All right I need to close or I'll be triggered. i am so grateful to you guys.
T

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#461947 - 03/03/14 03:58 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3611
Loc: South-East Europe
Heeeey (((Thebo))))
it was so good for me to see you here and rad your update.
You are helping so much to your buddies, I hope organization would give you more support and step in. I know how big is to those guys to be creative, to do something guided by you and not to feel completely abandoned. You are our hero!

And it is always so inspiring for me to read about your progress with education.

Keep it up like that wink

Pero
_________________________
My story

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#461953 - 03/03/14 08:01 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1045
(((((( Thebo )))))))

Sounds like you're doing pretty well.

Cant
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#461954 - 03/03/14 08:26 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1714
Thebo

You have accomplished much--keeping yourself quite busy. I hope the courses are helping you gain more insight on your own situation.

I hope your employment opportunity materializes as well as seeking your masters degree.

Great to hear you are well and wishing you the best in the future. Keep moving forward.

Kevin

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#462166 - 03/07/14 03:12 AM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
Thebo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 328
Loc: NYC
Thank you, guys for sticking by me

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#467922 - 07/23/14 10:25 PM Re: Moving ahead [Re: Thebo]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3362
Loc: O Kanada
hi thebo,

is this one of yours?




i like it a lot.
beautiful!!
wish i could paint.

i found it here..
http://healingartsformalesurvivors.com/2013/02/page/3/
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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