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#365970 - 07/14/11 11:46 AM Dissociation as a Consequence of Adult Male Rape
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
I've read a little bit about Dissociative Identity Disorder because my wife struggles with DID-NOS due to CSA. The established consensus among the psychological/psychiatric community is that it's linked with extensive childhood trauma, and for many children it is what enables them to function in the world, for a time. There are also other dissociative issues recognized by the psychiatric community, although I don't know much about them.

Not all people who dissociate have DID, though. Dissociation is just a technical term for zoning out, and I think everyone does it to a degree. It's what happens when it's 4pm, you're at work, and all you can think of is your upcoming time off--your brain transports itself to a better place and you can't focus on that pile of paperwork on your desk. It's what happens when you're at the dentist and you daydream to distract yourself from the obnoxious drilling sound and the scraping.

I was always familiar with that type of dissociation.

Now, as a survivor of adult male rape, I feel like I'm viewing myself with a wide-angle lens. I can't just listen to a song like I used to. I feel it. It turns into the soundtrack for three minutes of my life. My mind consciously has to edit out my speech...moving words around to make them palatable to others. I don't just have conversations, I detach from my words as I say them, carefully constructing the text in my head and struggling to string things together that sound like something I'd naturally say before my assault.

I can't control my life anymore. That was taken away from me in the rape. But have you ever done video editing and used a program like AVID or Final Cut Pro? I feel like that's what my brain does with my experience of life. It edits down the positive things in my life and plays the triggers in slow motion... warping and distorting my understanding.

Sometimes the fear of death just all of the sudden washes over me and I can't think of anything else, I can't pay attention to whoever is with me at the time. I am actively trying not to blame myself for the rape, it happened to me. I did not do anything. Yet at the same time, there is this distance I have from my own life, it is like I used to be the captain of my life, charting its course and controlling what I could control, but now things in my life just happen to me, I am floating through it like driftwood--no longer a free agent with control over my destiny.

I think to myself often--"I miss me." "Where did I go?" I mourn the loss of "me." I don't think I have DID but I'm not actively engaged in the world like I was before the rape, and I don't know if I ever will be.

Obviously you guys aren't trained clinicians (well most of you anyway). But can dissociative disorders occur in adults with ASA and not CSA? I have tried looking up information about ASA-related dissociation but there just isn't anything out there. Can any other ASA survivors relate to this?

_________________________
“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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#365973 - 07/14/11 12:29 PM Re: Dissociation as a Consequence of Adult Male Rape [Re: CruxFidelis]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
What you describe for yourself is very familiar to me in many ways. Especially the statement about missing you. The psychiatrist who worked with me in the first hospital stated I had split that night when it went from the physical assault to the sexual part. I really resented that and did not embrace it. Over the years others tried to get me to look at it but I would not. My last therapist presented it and I guess I was ready to accept this.

For me it is like there is a separation from from my life before that night and the one since then. I honestly feel like I have lived two different lives. I am very hard on that young man from before but did not realize it until the last therapist pointed that out. I even referred to myself back then as "him". My last therapist told me I need to understand myself more back then and bring the two lives into one. I gave up fighting it and just accepted the dissociation from that night and the results that I have had to deal with since then. I do not think I am DID and no therapist has ever approached me on this. But I see the effects of the initial dissociation as being deeper now than I had thought before. And I am okay with that for some reason now.

I think mourning is a good thing and then we move on in recovery. And then we mourn some more. It is not a clear cut process or straight line thing - much like the stages of grief. We go back and forth in recovery but I think the depth of it changes as we grow.

We see personality changes in ourselves and other alterations to our lives. I miss parts of my personality from back then. I think I was more "this and less that". I have to be careful or I really can go to town with that. But the truth is changes did occur within me from that night and some of me was fragmented in my thought patterns and especially in my relationships with others.

This is a very useful topic you have brought up here. I hope others, if it applies to them, will share as well if they feel led to do so.


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#366040 - 07/15/11 07:44 PM Re: Dissociation as a Consequence of Adult Male Rape [Re: CruxFidelis]
Lesser1 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/10
Posts: 19
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#366046 - 07/15/11 11:53 PM Re: Dissociation as a Consequence of Adult Male Rape [Re: Lesser1]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
I don't think your everyday daydreaming is necessarily attributed to the rape. Everyone daydreams and it's a normal part of life. But the things you describe (feeling like an observer and not a participant) sounds like some form of dissociation. I know there is also something called depersonalization, too... again I am not a clinician, I am just some guy. I am glad we have a place where we can come together and share common experiences. You should not have to ever feel like you are alone in this. If I weren't married to someone with a dissociative disorder I probably wouldn't know what the hell is wrong with me either.

Daryl, I appreciate all that you've shared on this matter. I have heard the term "splitting" used to describe a variety of things and am still not 100% sure what it means. My wife's psychiatrist has used it to describe the mind creating an "alter" personality or self because the trauma of rape is just too much for any one person to experience, it is almost like in those cases two selves are necessary to reconcile traumatic reality with continued survival. I hope that you are eventually able to revisit this with a therapist. There is nothing--absolutely nothing--to be ashamed of in hearing this. I know I am not the poster child for accepting these things, but what you went through was just too much for any man to experience fully and your mind just did what it had to do to survive, just like your body did what it must do to survive.

Mourning is something I can relate to. I sometimes visualize in my own mind holding a funeral for the man I was before my assault. he is gone, never coming back, no sense acting like I can change anything. Part of me hates the idea of putting him to rest, because I do notice parts of that innocent self still present in my mind and how I relate to others.

Any amount of touch is what drives me to dissociate the most. I can't even mentally comprehend the idea of anyone having their hands on me, even my wife. Whenever I am touched, by anyone, for whatever reason, they might as well be touching someone else. I just try to remind myself they are just doing their job and that it will be over. I don't even know if there is any way for me to be mentally present during touch with my wife. I know she misses me, too.

_________________________
“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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#368284 - 08/16/11 10:54 PM Re: Dissociation as a Consequence of Adult Male Rape [Re: CruxFidelis]
men_of_hrts.dbw Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 301
Loc: Orchidland Big Island Hawaii
Dang, l call it
change up of reality
a acquired syndrom also know as lieing.
To me it wasn' t a lie it was what l wanted you to believe.
a false persona
then...elimination of the person l never wanted to be, the false persona, then l was nothing/ no one.
So, l could never be the Doug from before the assault, l didn't want the Doug l was and without the avoidence/insecurity barracades/security barriers; l felt like l had no identity.
Then l trained my self to be exactly who and what l am.
l am a survivor of adult sexual assault and you men have taught me how to act like one.




Edited by men_of_hrts.dbw (08/16/11 10:57 PM)
_________________________
Doug>ASA Survivor (1x)
ECV 6001/MaTuCa Chapter 1849
E Clampus Vitus
"What Say the Brethren"
"Hang the Bastards"

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#368286 - 08/16/11 11:00 PM Re: Dissociation as a Consequence of Adult Male Rape [Re: men_of_hrts.dbw]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
So good to see you back here, Doug

How did you train yourself to be who you are?

I relate to a lot of what you said in this short poem. I feel like I am always acting--playing the part of myself in the relationships I have with those I have around me. is that dissociation? I think it is more that I feel dissociated from myself. I sometimes feel like shouting to certain friends of mine, family members, even my wife--"YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME BUT YOU DON'T."

_________________________
“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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#368287 - 08/16/11 11:02 PM Re: Dissociation as a Consequence of Adult Male Rape [Re: men_of_hrts.dbw]
men_of_hrts.dbw Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 301
Loc: Orchidland Big Island Hawaii
l could never tell you who and what l was untill l felt o'kay that you could handle the truth.

_________________________
Doug>ASA Survivor (1x)
ECV 6001/MaTuCa Chapter 1849
E Clampus Vitus
"What Say the Brethren"
"Hang the Bastards"

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#368290 - 08/16/11 11:12 PM Re: Dissociation as a Consequence of Adult Male Rape [Re: men_of_hrts.dbw]
men_of_hrts.dbw Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 301
Loc: Orchidland Big Island Hawaii
Thanks for the boost, seems like you, me and D always pull each other up

But, l ain't the expert on DID but to me its a avoidence issue. Can't handle sexual stimuli or some family unity components, home for me is a lonely place so l have disassociated responses to even sterotypical television movies.
Yup, look up Korsakoff Syndrome.
l think its spelled like that
l beleive male/male adult survivors have a "acquired" facet of this syndrom.

_________________________
Doug>ASA Survivor (1x)
ECV 6001/MaTuCa Chapter 1849
E Clampus Vitus
"What Say the Brethren"
"Hang the Bastards"

Top
#368292 - 08/16/11 11:31 PM Re: Dissociation as a Consequence of Adult Male Rape [Re: men_of_hrts.dbw]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Interesting that you mention the Korsakov's syndrome. That sounds a lot like me the few months after I was raped. My wife was pregnant with my own son and I didn't even give a rat's $%@@!. The apathy was present and I barely gave my family the time of day. I resented them mostly and I resented that I was alive. If it wasn't for the sudden realization that I was going to be somebody's father I don't know what would have become of me. I wasn't getting the right nutrition at that time either. I had problems with keeping food down before the rape but afterwards it was even worse. I don't remember much from around that time and I didn't even know that what happened was rape. Still don't like to think of it abd I feel guilty about the way I mistreated/ignored everyone, especially the women I love and the unborn child in her belly.

I actually have a pretty good relationship with my family. Telling my siblings about the rape was good for me. as well as my wife. I still feel like they don't know me a lot of the time. It gets lonely but not as lonely as the outside world--that is my experience.

It is, of course, your choice whether you feel more comfortable sharing more about your life before & after your assault. I am always open to learning more about the similar paths we have walked as male ASA survivors as well as the divergent ones, and I try my best to wrap my mind around experiences that are different than my own. But of course you have to do what makes you feel comfortable and often trust isn't an instantaneous thing.

_________________________
“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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#368334 - 08/17/11 12:46 PM Re: Dissociation as a Consequence of Adult Male Rape [Re: CruxFidelis]
men_of_hrts.dbw Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 301
Loc: Orchidland Big Island Hawaii
CF,
How did l train myself, l did it in segments. All the issues and conditions associated to the assault and post-assault trauma were listed. I found via journalling 145 conditions and 24 issues.
l was affected mentally, emotionally and physically in varied degree by each so one by one l wrote down how my spirit, mind and body responded or reacted. l also noted if the condition or issue was shortterm, constant, sporatic or longterm. Some of the worst came in the later years after three decades of untreated trauma.
You may recall in my posts here how conventional therapy made me psychotic and very neurotic, involuntary scary stuff. Even Benidril caused a tasar/locksown event and a $3,500 hospital automatic door in the Sonora Ca. emergency room. Six lockdowns in 3.5 years, one for 67 days.
Anyway the non-conventional therapy; Bio Feedback, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and professionals who understand psychosomatic disorders.
I had to train out three decades of visual and verbal unhelpful scenarios that were embedded in my memories. I had over 300 words that compounded and continued the trauma, so l replaced them with words that have impact in a positive and healthy result.
Visual memories and mental verbal dialogue (self-talk) had to stop. The moment l realized the unhealthy mental activity l did a quick CURB, four guidelines that remove trash.
Since each condition or issue was multi-layered, l did mental and physical exersizes to retrain my spirit, mind and body.
Example: The SSA
l didn't even know that is one of the results untill l got here to MS, but man did l have it bad. I was fully hetro at 19 years old when l was abducted. About two years after the assaut l began to reenact parts of the assault passively on myself and was stimulated, then disgusted.
l fantasized subordinate m/m sex and developed a ritual simular to the events during the 24 hour assault. Hetro sex was impossible, l was plagued with pre-sexual anxiety and failure. This was rough because women have always found me confident, exciting and comfortable. Even presently women are quite friendly to me.
So l had a secret private sexual life and the original hetro sexuality going for 13 years, then at around 33 years old l went solo and though l lived with women at times, hetro sex did not stimulate me anymore. The women who stayed were either gold diggers or co-dependant. The good ones ran!!
Then l start talking about the abduction in Jul/07 and all hell broke loose.
When l read about SSA here at MS l freaked out big time. What a shock, all the confusion and realization just blew my mind. I was normal, but l sure didn't feel normal.
So about 2 years into the journey for survivorship l decided to regain my sexuality. I journaled my completely honest sexual history. Then l journaled what kind of sexuality l wanted.
I came to the conclusion l must combine the hetro and the SSA, after all that is exactly what and who l am.
I developed mental stragities like allowing myself to be erotic during my day. l would fantasize and desensitize myself by looking at a pretty woman or tune in on internal/external sexual stimuli. l masterbated and if a SSA thought intruded l started over. I took non-porno magazines with pretty women and cut out the ones l liked and 'wallpapered' the shower when l bathed, it was like taking a shower with a woman and l didn't masterbate in the shower.
I have a longterm bathroom issue with psychosomatics and neurosis since during the abduction the bathroom was involved...another layered end result.
I had to deal with that and l won...no more bathroom anxieties.
So, back to how l regained a satisfactory sexuality and no longer have SSA to the point it interferes with my desired sexual preference.
It took about 4 months, and after the initial month l stopped masterbating as much. At night l would fantasize hetro sex without masterbation and as my body felt sstimulated l would hone in on the feeling and promote and prolong the energy. It was bliss!
l'll never forget that first solo session with permenate results. My mind and body restored and rehabilitated; my sexuality reorientated, now all l need is a willing woman.
I've had opportunity but not the right woman.

In closing l might add it is a daily deal, as l am sure you are aware.
I recall the time l told Joe, "You don't know the real me" in 1989. Thank God he didn't ask who was the real me. l didn't know.
Now l do know the real me.

Take care my friend and thanks for sharing your life with me.



Edited by men_of_hrts.dbw (08/17/11 01:03 PM)
Edit Reason: spell ck
_________________________
Doug>ASA Survivor (1x)
ECV 6001/MaTuCa Chapter 1849
E Clampus Vitus
"What Say the Brethren"
"Hang the Bastards"

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