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#372385 - 10/14/11 10:03 AM Can I ask a difficult question?
Shaun The Sheep Offline


Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 188
Loc: West Coast
Hi guys - something I was thinking about today and wanted to bounce off of you. If this offends you, my apologies. For those of you who have 'acted out' in your adult years - what did that ever do for you?

I ask because I have never acted out and there's a part of me that goes 'acting out could help you figure yourself out.' I know enough not to trust that part of me ... when I was looking at porn years ago ... that never helped me as much as I thought it would. I'd feel guilty for looking at it, for masturbating, and hate myself for ... oh, about a week or so. And then that little itch would start again. I've reconciled myself to living with the itch, not doing anything to feed it and ignoring it until it goes away again.

The itch itself is tiring and gets me down sometimes. I can always track it immediately back to some personal stress in my life (and my life is stressful right now ... job and financial issues). I learned from another thread that I have the potential to sexualize non-sexual things and so I'm working on identifying those triggers and being at peace with them. I'd just like to feel good about not acting out and if you have anything to share on that topic, it would be appreciated.

Cheers,
~S


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#372387 - 10/14/11 10:14 AM Re: Can I ask a difficult question? [Re: Shaun The Sheep]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1540
I think it is different for all of us why we may have acted out. In my case it was new actions of others that caused me to retreat. These actions later in life created the same feelings of the abuse--being trapped, controlled and violated (not in a sexual sense but physical and verbal). But these same feelings awaken that part of me that I had long buried. It caused that part to re awake and take control and it also caused me to lose time. It seems during the loss time I was looking to recreate the abuse from childhood but this time to be in control. It still confuses me. We are working on piecing the memories of acting out, but it is very slow to come back.

I do not know if this answers your question, but this is what happened to me. Everyone reacts differently.


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#372390 - 10/14/11 11:02 AM Re: Can I ask a difficult question? [Re: KMCINVA]
Anthony39 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 345
Loc: Montreal, Canada
Hey Shaun,

Nothing offensive about that. We hall have to deal with the elephant in the room.
From my perspective , acting out was just a way to "control" my life. If i look back at the most stressful or anxious moments , it probably coincides with acting out.
Another part of that is that we are sexual beings also. We have physical needs and porn stimulates our libido. I'm not saying it's right or wrong to use porn. I think once you realize that porn has little to do with sexuality other the act of copulation, it looses some appeal.
For me it was simple, i stopped feeling guilty about it, and decided to indulge my urges. Once the forbidden aspect, the secrecy and the guilt were removed, and i saw porn for what it really is, it broke the charm. It allowed me to focus more on my sexuality, on what i really wanted, on intimacy, on closeness. It shifted the focus away from sex being a performing act where i had to prove my masculinity with my wife , to an expression of love and intimacy.
To be honest i will still use porn from time to time, but I see it for what it is, a physical response to a visual stimuli, no more no less.

_________________________
Look up and not down; look forward and not back; look out and not in; and lend a hand.
E. E. Hale


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM213aMKTHg

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#372391 - 10/14/11 12:05 PM Re: Can I ask a difficult question? [Re: Anthony39]
Shaun The Sheep Offline


Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 188
Loc: West Coast
Thanks for the responses. Let me rephrase the question but before I do that, let me put it in the right context. I'm looking to answer a question, not to find an excuse to act out. I love my wife and son and I would never want to do anything that jeopardizes my relationship with them. Acting out would definitely do that and more to the point, it has never been emotionally satisfying in the way that my family has been.

All that being said - I'm not talking about porn - I'm talking about actual sexual encounters. Based on what I've read here, they don't seem to do much for the CSA survivor but I'm looking to understand better what you *did* learn from that sexual encounter. Worth it / not worth it? Did you learn something or did it just leave you feeling guilty and angry?

Where I've been lately is a lot of buried emotional junk coming up because of stress but that one part that says 'a sexual encounter would teach you so much about yourself' has been rearing its ugly head. I don't want to hurt my relationship with my family ... I'd just like this thought to go away.


I find the collective knowledge of MS to be so much more valuable than masturbation and porn. All those 'what if I ...' questions that would normally haunt me for weeks and months are gone after 10 or 20 minutes of reading other person's experiences.

Thanks for reading ...
~S


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#372394 - 10/14/11 01:13 PM Re: Can I ask a difficult question? [Re: Shaun The Sheep]
Anthony39 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 345
Loc: Montreal, Canada
Hey Shaun,

I haven't acted out in over 20 years. I can say that I really didn't learn anything that i didn't already know. I was looking for validation in all the wrong places. And no not worth it. All it did was to add baggage to an already heavy load.

Cheers,

Anthony

_________________________
Look up and not down; look forward and not back; look out and not in; and lend a hand.
E. E. Hale


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM213aMKTHg

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#372397 - 10/14/11 01:52 PM Re: Can I ask a difficult question? [Re: Anthony39]
Shaun The Sheep Offline


Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 188
Loc: West Coast
That's what I suspected - stand by, I'm going to PM you something.

Cheers,
~s


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#372406 - 10/14/11 04:22 PM Re: Can I ask a difficult question? [Re: Shaun The Sheep]
George Offline
Member

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 120
Loc: NY metro
I've acted out as an adult, starting from 11 (I was sexually abused from 9-12).

*From something I wrote earlier*
-------------------------------------------------------------
1- Having been abused by a male I often felt the need to re-enact the events with me being in CONTROL. My trigger was whenever I felt weak or powerless, or had failed at something.

2- Self loathing would trigger the acting out as a form of self punishment.

3- Being overwhelmed with shame, I couldn't ever see myself dating a girls/women, I thought that girls were sugar & spice... Boy/guys are filthy dogs (like me) and that's all I deserved. I thought girls would see, even smell the shame on me. Boys/men were rivals to conquer to make up for my lack of masculinity.

4- Years of masterbating infront of a mirror trained my mind that the male form = sexuality & climax. Unknowingly I trained my self, much like Pavlov's dog was trained to expect food when he heard the bell ring.

5- Measuring up- Ever since childhood I felt like less than a boy / man than the ones around me. The others were into sports & teams, played 1000 times better sports in gym, talked sports, etc... Not having a father involved in such, not teaching me about such left me at a disadvantage. If you know what its like to be picked last in gym in grade school you know what I mean. As an added obsticle, throw in the sexual abuse starting at age 9 and it realy screws with how you measure your masculinity & self worth.

6- If it's done to you early on (as in abuse), or if you agree to it early on (like whats called childhood play/exploring), just once, it makes it easier and even easier to do it again and again.

7- Acting out over and over again sets a path in your mind, your brain makes all these connections, wires itself. Like a habbit, it's hard (but not impossible) to change or break it.

I've found that coming to understand the reasons "why" really helps in finding the way out of the wilderness. I had found the way out of the wilderness 14 years ago, but 7 years ago I fell backwards into it again after a very emotional ordeal that I wasn't ready for and it really blind sided me.

What did I get out of acting out?

1- Misery

2- More shame

3- More self loathing

4- an STD

5- I Kept the abuse cycle going in my life.


What did I learn from it?

1- Don't do it again.

2- I wish I never started doing it.

3- Forgetting the past & root reasons & triggers makes me bound to repeat the acting out.

I wouldn't recomend "trying it" to learn something about yourself, infact I beg you not to, you'll have great regret like I do.


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#372407 - 10/14/11 04:54 PM Re: Can I ask a difficult question? [Re: George]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1540
I believe point 3 under What Did I Learn from It? is very important. The triggers can set you off. It was the triggers that created by self abuse and loss of time. I am very aware of them now--I try to regain composure when I am made to feel worthless and trapped. I am also working on healing the inner child so when the triggers take over and I leave I am taken to safety and not to dark and unsafe places to re enact the past under the child's need to control. It is extremely scary. Support and love helps--



Edited by KMCINVA (10/14/11 05:15 PM)

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#372413 - 10/14/11 07:26 PM Re: Can I ask a difficult question? [Re: KMCINVA]
Driftwood Offline


Registered: 05/27/11
Posts: 86
Loc: Colorado
I keep thinking about that buried emotional junk coming up because of stress. Im not sure I understand what exactly that is or the specific questions it raises for you or how it works that a part of your head is telling you that the answer may be in a sexual encounter (something the other guys here would dissuade you from, and something youve decided you would never do anyway). It might be useful to sit with the junk, try to feel it without instinctively pulling away. Yeah, right, easier said than done. I may be just full of pretty words, but Ive had a little bit of success with this, and I think if you can spend some time feeling the discomfort, breathe into it and try to observe it objectively, without getting to hooked into panicky feelings, or overwhelmed, you may learn something interesting about how that cycle works in you. And be stronger the next time the cycle comes around.

I dont think the answer is in anything outside you, but rather in developing a friendly attitude about this aspect of yourself. Be gentle with yourself and curious. Hi there, buried emotional junk. I recognize you. What have you come to teach me?


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#372424 - 10/14/11 11:15 PM Re: Can I ask a difficult question? [Re: Driftwood]
Dan99 Offline


Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 100
Loc: Washington DC
What did acting out do for me? It showed me just how fucked up I was. It made me realize how I would never understand what love was about. It made me realize how limited my life would always be. It made me realize that it would be struggle for the rest of my life just to pretend I was normal. It put me the closest to killing myself I've ever been.

So my advice is whenever you're thinking about it, think of it like a car's dashboard with all the warning lights flashing and all the needles pinned in the red. Grab every healthy activity you know and cling to it for dear life, whether it's focusing on your therapy, calling your sponsor or just submerging yourself in family or friends. There is no help down the road your being pulled toward.


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