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#374667 - 11/08/11 02:47 PM Emotionally stupid?
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1388
Loc: California
Hi there guys,

I've been coming up with so many questions recently. I suppose I should be feeling hopeful that there is finally movement happening in my "awakening" towards healing.

This year has been rather painful. I've realized that I really don't have any clues as to how to be romantic. This has been gnawing at me for years but I just got confirmation between my sponsor and failed attempts within the last year.

I've also realized that I really don't know how to make friends. I mean, I've read books, and I know I'm supposed to be a good listener, and be honest and open and communicative and accepting of the person I would wish to befriend, but beyond that, I don't know how to develop friendships, AT ALL. I feel completely powerless and without agency to be able to make anything happen it all. If anything starts to develop (which is incredibly rare), it seems purely accidental, as if the stars lined up in just the right way. But because I have such serious issues of not trusting others, and sexualizing all my interactions, those potential developments always fizzle, and fail.

So I find myself feeling very stupid. Even retarded. How can a 40 year old man suddenly realize that he doesn't know how to make friends? How does a 40 year old man get to that place in life and suddenly realize this? How can someone who experiences this NOT feel stupid (and beat himself up over it)?

Is there anyone else who can relate? I'm struggling with the inner critic in me, every thought and emotions pertaining to this makes my critic beat me up mercilessly, and I find that I have to spend most of my time fending off the inner critic, and wondering - how the hell does a person LEARN how to make friends at age 40?

Am I emotionally stupid? I know my mom severely neglected me as a child, she didn't provide me ANY parenting or guidance on how to make friendships happen, or how to navigate through conflict resolution. NONE.

This sucks. I'm lonely, isolated, angry, and frustrated. And to add insult to injury, I now realize that *I* am responsible to learn how to love myself. How do I learn how to love myself knowing what I now know about myself? This is pathetic.

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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#374672 - 11/08/11 03:12 PM Re: Emotionally stupid? [Re: Magellan]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I’d like to suggest your feelings are not “pathetic” nor “emotionally stupid”. Quite the contrary they are normal for many of us who have suffered sexual assault. You are not alone either in the area of finding it difficult to develop and maintain long term friendships. I don’t have any good answers only wanted to help quiet down, a little, that “critic” inside of you for he may not have your best interests at heart. I know mine doesn’t.

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

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#374687 - 11/08/11 05:18 PM Re: Emotionally stupid? [Re: earlybird]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1388
Loc: California
Thanks, earlybird.

While I can contemplate that the inner critic in me is the judgmental one making me feel like utter crap and useless, I still find that I believe that inner critic. There is so much "evidence" in my life to support the claims my critic makes about how useless I am, and there is very little evidence to support that my critic might be lying. My life is strewn with interpersonal failures. I'm baffled at much of the failures. I can't comprehend why there was failure at all.

What a fucked up space to be in. I'm aware of it happening, but can't change it.

Anyways, thanks again.

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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#374717 - 11/08/11 11:20 PM Re: Emotionally stupid? [Re: Magellan]
cris40ky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 188
Loc: KY, US
Magellan, we're allowed to have relationship issues. We get a "pass" on that one!

Tell your critic to read a book or two on survivors.

I had to chuckle when I read the topic, "emotionally stupid". Because, yeah! that's just about it. You hit the nail right on the head with that one for me and for a lot of us.

I miss read so many cues from people. When they are being nice I just can't accept that it's genuine. When they try to break down my walls I can't tell why. Love & relationships? I know only what I've seen on TV, and I KNOW THAT'S FAKE.

So, yeah....we get a pass on this one. It's totally understandable given our lives.

I'm starting to work up the courage to talk more honestly with my co-workers to understand their feelings. Ask questions. One night, a guy I respect got a little more quiet than usual, it seemed to me. That's all I could pick up. So I asked him what he was feeling. He was really mad about something. I didn't see it because what I know of anger is a whole lot more dramatic.

I felt stupid for asking. But am glad I did. Now if I can just screw up the courage to ask about other things smile



Edited by cris40ky (11/08/11 11:26 PM)
Edit Reason: added example

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#374736 - 11/09/11 08:43 AM Re: Emotionally stupid? [Re: cris40ky]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Magellan

Isn't it odd that I could have written this post myself.
At the tender age of 47 I look at people that have had friends since Primary school, and me, none. No lifelong friends, no friends from high school. In fact my best friend I met in AA and we have been good friends for about a year.
I am now finding it difficult to handle as it is normally at this stage of the friendship that I mess things up and move on. I hope this changes, in fact I have told my friend about these tendencies and he has promised to not let me do that.
Now that's a good friend.

Things do get better and with a good T we can learn to get better.

Heal well
Martin

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

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#374742 - 11/09/11 09:52 AM Re: Emotionally stupid? [Re: Magellan]
lapchinj Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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


Edited by lapchinj (03/18/13 06:12 AM)
_________________________
Depression Feels Like Home, and Happiness is Just a Place I Visit

It will get better....

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#374927 - 11/10/11 08:03 PM Re: Emotionally stupid? [Re: lapchinj]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1388
Loc: California
My Surviving Brothers,

Thank you so much for your responses and advice. It lessons the pain somewhat to know that I'm not alone in my suffering alone. It helps to know that others who had sexual abuse in their past also suffer from an inability to connect or relate with others emotionally.

It also gives me a bit of hope (weird!) knowing that others have the same trauma of not knowing how to make friends - because I know there are those who have been around this board for a long time who SWEAR that they've been recovering and have found loving relationships.

I'm so damn impatient. I turn 40 in a few weeks and I feel like I'm staring into my own grave, wondering if I'll ever know what it is like to be human. How melodramatic!

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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#374939 - 11/10/11 10:02 PM Re: Emotionally stupid? [Re: Magellan]
BillW Offline


Registered: 11/05/11
Posts: 1
Loc: New York State
Hey Magellan, I'd like you to know I'm a member of your club and you are definitely not alone! Although I was not sexually abused it was mental abuse within a very dysfunctional family. I was strongly influenced not to have much to do with outsiders. But in addition my therapist tells me I am not assertive enough = learned helplessness. I am too self absorbed, did not learn social skills and did not learn to value and maintain friendships. In addition I did not want to get close to anyone for fear they would learn what it is like to be me on the inside. You are doing the right thing by at least getting on the board here. If you would like to chat further let me know.


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#374947 - 11/11/11 12:24 AM Re: Emotionally stupid? [Re: Magellan]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
That's exactly my problem. Talking to one through email right now and the person is good. I've run out of things to talk about in 20 emails. I'm where you are.

_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#375042 - 11/12/11 12:05 AM Re: Emotionally stupid? [Re: phoenix321]
Asmodeus Offline


Registered: 10/25/05
Posts: 112
Loc: Vestavia, Alabama, USA
What you're going through sounds similar to what I've been going through most of my life, even before any abuse happened. I was diagnosed with aspergers about five years ago. I'm 27 now. To be honest I'm so out of touch with my emotions I don't know what I'm feeling or care enough to have a meaningful opinion half the time, but my friends have made things easier. I still have trouble being in touch with people and often have to ask what they mean, but it usually works out somehow. Although it became apparent a few days ago that I might not have made as much progress as I should have when my brother came back home from hanging out with our sister and some friends. He said they asked why I wasn't there and said I should come over. I said she knew I'm on facebook if she has something to say. He made some comment I didn't really understand about her being a people person. Something else I remember from back in school, my friends would often say that I was just misunderstood. I really wanted to say something about how obvious that was and ask what I was supposed to do about it.

_________________________
I may not be perfect, but at least I'm not fake.

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