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#367963 - 08/11/11 11:49 PM A Question for Non-Survivors
jls Offline


Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
Hi there. As some may have seen in the Survivor Forum on this site I am about to embark on Inner Child therapy as part of my recovery from csa. The reason I am doing so is to assist with re-connecting with childhood memories, most of which I’ve completely forgotten, or if I do remember they are more like watching a movie of someone else’s life rather than experiencing memories of my own with feelings attached. This is true for any memories that I can recall from childhood, whether they be good or bad. Anyways the question I have for non-survivors here is this:

In your experience, how much if any of what I described for myself is true for you as someone who did not experience abuse in childhood? If it is not true for you I would appreciate hearing how your experience with childhood memories differs from mine.

I suppose I’m simply seeking some contrast of my experience with childhood memories with that of non-survivors, with hopes gaining a fuller personal perspective. I ask since childhood was a long time ago for many of us and in my thinking I find myself questioning whether it is unnatural in general to forget anything from far in our pasts, especially from a time when one’s mind was not fully developed to begin with. I am not looking for analysis here, just simply to learn of your experience in relation to my question so I look forward to hearing from you on this topic. Thanks in advance:) JS


_________________________
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.


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#367964 - 08/12/11 12:35 AM Re: A Question for Non-Survivors [Re: jls]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
As someone who was assaulted as an adult, I am not a "non-survivor" but I don't have any childhood sexual abuse.

I had a lot of health problems as a kid, and I think that can be traumatic, although it is a different level of trauma than sexual trauma. I have a lot of memories from a young age, mostly of hospitals, doctors, painful stuff but no abuse. It is hard to compare painful memories of my childhood with the abuse I suffered as an adult. There is a lot I don't remember, and I think that is normal. No childhood is completely free of suffering I think and I would still say that even when I wasn't always physically healthy I still had a healthy emotional development.

I have some particularly vivid memories of painful childhood events, but also vivid memories of happy & joyful events.

I have so many memories about being stressed about school, swim practice, the school play, a big test, etc. Little did I know how relatively care free I was back then!

_________________________
“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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#367967 - 08/12/11 12:54 AM Re: A Question for Non-Survivors [Re: CruxFidelis]
jls Offline


Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
Thanks for sharing your experience with me. It is exactly what I was seeking.

I hear you that no one's childhood is completely free of suffering, anymore than one's adulthood can be. Feeling pain is part of being human, just as being happy and joyful is like you described. Memory is a funny thing. Like you mentioned, I believe it to be normal not to be able to recall everything from childhood, no less normal than it is for me not to recall everything I did last year, or even last week for that matter. After all, the human mind is much more than just a sophisticated tape or video recorder that can be played back on demand. On that note, it is the feelings associated with memories from my childhood than I am after, which do not come easily for me. Perhaps through this therapy my memory will come back through feelings first, rather than through simply trying to force myself to remember places and things. I’ll have to wait and see.

_________________________
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.


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#367969 - 08/12/11 01:14 AM Re: A Question for Non-Survivors [Re: jls]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Hmm. You mention feelings.

While I would classify my emotional development as pretty normal, that is not to say that my memory hasn't been completely messed up by the sexual assault. It is almost like someone took the tidy organization system my brain had for categorizing life experiences, and then turned it upside down and things are a little out of order. So as an ASA survivor, I have all these memories, but at the same time there is this great distance between who I am now and that man I was before the assault. It is hard to identify with the way I felt about myself back then. I read stuff I wrote from before my assault--my masters' thesis, essays, old journal entries... it looks like something another man wrote. I don't understand how he looked at the world with that lethal combination of arrogance and naivete. so when it comes to feelings, it is like there is a big wall between me, and that aspect of my memory.

_________________________
“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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#367971 - 08/12/11 01:33 AM Re: A Question for Non-Survivors [Re: CruxFidelis]
lapchinj Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1166
Loc: New York
Peace,Rainbows & Healing


Edited by lapchinj (03/18/13 06:37 AM)
_________________________
Forgiveness is giving up on the hope that what the past was could have been any different or better.
It's accepting the past for what it was, and using this moment and this time to help yourself move forward.

It will get better....

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#367973 - 08/12/11 01:42 AM Re: A Question for Non-Survivors [Re: CruxFidelis]
jls Offline


Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
I think any serious trauma can affect how our mind is organized i.e. how we view ourselves before and after the event, whether this occurs in childhood or adulthood. In fact I would say that the differential between the effects of trauma in childhood and adulthood isn't that great when we're talking about something so outside what would be categorized as normal for a human being to experience, a sexual assault being one of those things. I felt very much the same way recently where I was witness to a homicide. Witnessing the event itself had a profound effect on me, leaving me with flashbacks and bad dreams of what occurred, but what’s more is that I didn’t feel and still don’t feel like the same person I was before it happened, like there’s a piece of me missing after watching someone die in front of me, especially as a result of a violent act. I don’t know if I’ll ever get that piece of myself back but in order to not become overwhelmed I try and keep focused on who I am today and building on that.

_________________________
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.


Top
#367977 - 08/12/11 02:02 AM Re: A Question for Non-Survivors [Re: lapchinj]
jls Offline


Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
Hi Jeff. Just so I'm clear, are you a survivor? From your post you said you experienced csa from aged 10 to 17 so it sounds like you are. Another question: You mentioned that you can't remember much before 10 so do you think the sexual trauma starting at that age had an effect on being able to recall memories before then? I ask since my abuse began when I was 12 and while I can't recall anything abusive prior nor can I remember childhood in general before this age. Therefore I'm wondering if abuse does more than just erase memories of the abuse but of earlier memories of childhood as well, whether they be good or bad. Sorry for all the questions. Just trying to figure things out for myself as best I can is all.

_________________________
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.


Top
#367979 - 08/12/11 02:43 AM Re: A Question for Non-Survivors [Re: jls]
lapchinj Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1166
Loc: New York
Peace,Rainbows & Healing


Edited by lapchinj (03/18/13 06:37 AM)
_________________________
Forgiveness is giving up on the hope that what the past was could have been any different or better.
It's accepting the past for what it was, and using this moment and this time to help yourself move forward.

It will get better....

Top
#368233 - 08/16/11 12:19 PM Re: A Question for Non-Survivors [Re: jls]
lapchinj Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1166
Loc: New York
Peace,Rainbows & Healing


Edited by lapchinj (03/18/13 06:37 AM)
_________________________
Forgiveness is giving up on the hope that what the past was could have been any different or better.
It's accepting the past for what it was, and using this moment and this time to help yourself move forward.

It will get better....

Top
#368888 - 08/25/11 04:56 PM Re: A Question for Non-Survivors [Re: lapchinj]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 329
Quote:
In your experience, how much if any of what I described for myself is true for you as someone who did not experience abuse in childhood?


I am so happy someone asked this question!

TONS of things my H describes are perfectly NORMAL childhood/teenage anxieties/issues/etc. I don't think he always really believes me when I say "yup - everyone is like that".

If someone jogs my memory I remember a lot (like when my H talks about something he thinks was unique for him) but...no I don't really have a lot of memories.


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