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#3754 - 04/08/03 12:28 AM Intimacy...
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
This is basically a continuation from the It's Hard to Remember… thread by Ben. I decided to start a whole new post on intimacy so that it would get more exposure.

Everyone who responded to my intimacy question I want to say thank you. I was very impressed by the responses. It truly gave me much comfort. I know that this issue is central to many SA survivors as well as to many partners and spouses alike. However I almost have to approach this issue from a very basic and novice point of view. As survivors, I think we all know what it is like to have problems with intimacy but I have completely denied myself any intimate relationships. I could never handle the emotions and so I've made myself unavailable to anyone that would get near me. It's incredibly frustrating, to say the very least. I'll be 25 in a couple of weeks (Dear God, the quarter century mark...I'm getting old. \:D ) and I am so ready to start experiencing life. It just seems like there are so many wonderful emotions that have been locked away from me. I'm ready to unlock them.

Even with friends I find that I have difficulties. Fortunately I have a good group of friends that have helped me out a lot. But I noticed a pattern in how I made these friends. I became friends with them only on my own terms. I, more or less, initiated our friendship. If someone came to me to initiate a friendship I would run like hell. There's no way I could let myself be approached. Maybe it's a trust thing…I don't know. I've never thought trust was an issue for me but maybe so.

And as for romantic relationships, well, no way. I withdraw all to easily. When a woman has shown interest in me or has completely offered herself to me I totally withdraw. I always thought I liked girls but after feeling myself withdraw so often I really have to question my sexuality. Whether I like guys, I don't know. I'm becoming more at peace with that thought everyday but I do know that I like girls, at least a little bit.
Cement:
Quote:
But I have tried, at the moment of feeling like I want to withdraw, to do the exact opposite. I reach out, just a little...it doesn't always work, and I definitely don't always remember, but it has given some comfort to try.
First, part of me was glad to see you mention withdrawal because of our similar experiences. Secondly, I'll try to do the exact opposite. Maybe it will help.

Mike Church:
Quote:
Intimacy is a huge issue for all of us. If you are ready to tackle it the first thing you have to do is trust someone completely. You had trust before you were abused and that trust was destroyed. It is a scary thing to do for all of us.

But it is important that you do it. You will feel you are standing on quick sand but that will pass. Just be sure of the other person.

Let them know the issues that it involves and be patient with yourself. It will not happen overnight. You should start slowly and safely for yourself and the other person. Do not be afraid to stumble. It has been a long time for you. And be gentle with yourself

Intimacy involves caring sharing and comfort. It is a huge step to take but well worth it believe me. My prayers are with you brother. Keep us informed
What can I say? That was a wonderful bit of advice. I'll certainly take that to heart. Any other thoughts?
Okay, that's enough for now.
mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#3755 - 04/08/03 05:24 PM Re: Intimacy...
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Sleepy: About the only other thing I can think of is be yourself and try and relax. Easy to say and hard to do. But it will all be worth it believe me. Good Luck

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#3756 - 04/08/03 05:50 PM Re: Intimacy...
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Intimacy is a hard one for me. I am doing much better at it, but there are times like right now, that I just don't live in my skin (so to speak). It gets frustrating for me and usually this will past. Heck, just a few years ago (like maybe 3.5), I had not even experienced true intimacy with someone sexually. (psst.. and I'm 38). So I have to be careful that I don't get too hard on myself right now. My body is under a lot of stress with work, school and the fears of beginning down a path which is unknown at this point. But sometimes for me it is hard to not expect everything from myself.

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#3757 - 04/09/03 12:40 AM Re: Intimacy...
Ron_dup1 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 87
Loc: Arkansas
This whole discussion is facinating to me... I have never thought about intimacy like this. I am 35 and while I've had sex, I can't say I've ever had intimacy. In fact I'm not even sure what intimacy would look like or feel like. I watched a young couple today at a resturant at lunch. They just held hands and stared into each others eyes speaking softly and kissing once in a while. They looked so comfortable with each other. I sat there thinking ... that is so wierd! That would freak me out to have someone stare into my eyes for that long!
I have spent so much of my life hiding and making sure NO ONE could look into my soul and see all the pain and shame hidden there. I can't imagine that kind of intimacy! To be honest I am not even sure I would ever want that level of intimacy. I wonder what that says about me...
Thanks to all who have posted please keep it going I am learning alot from you all!
Thanks,
Ron


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#3758 - 04/09/03 01:29 AM Re: Intimacy...
Sick Puppy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/03
Posts: 300
Loc: Nowhere Land
I spent all of my (albeit young) life running away from intimacy and engaging in passionless sex... or attempting to find intimacy, only to get cold, abusive partners. I am finally in a relationship where intimacy is present and now that I have finally allowed myself to feel it I must say it is wonderful... it was really scary to let down my guard in order to connect but I think it was worth it. \:\)

_________________________
And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly
From the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see


Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

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#3759 - 04/09/03 11:11 AM Re: Intimacy...
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Ron,
Quote:
In fact I'm not even sure what intimacy would look like or feel like.
Maybe we need to take a step backwards and ask the question, "What is intimacy?" It freaks me out too to let someone stare into my eyes so that they can see into my soul. My gut reaction is to guard everything I do and to not let anyone find out who I really am. Actually I don't even know who I really am so it is hard to let someone see the core person that I am. You mentioned hidden shame, boy, can I relate to that. I can't let someone see all the shame that I harbor. But this is something I want to breach so badly. I can see how wonderful it can be but just can't have.

SP,
Way to go. It seems like you are doing quite well from what I have read from your posts.

Don,
You are an inspiration for me. You've walked down this road and it seems like you too are doing quite well. Living in your skin, I don't think I know what that feels like. I'm still trying to answer the question of "Who am I?" But it's nice to see you doing so well.

Thanks guys,
mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#3760 - 04/09/03 11:41 AM Re: Intimacy...
Sick Puppy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/03
Posts: 300
Loc: Nowhere Land
I just made a post related to this in the Family and Friends area...

http://www.malesurvivor.org/cgi-local/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=000235

_________________________
And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly
From the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see


Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

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#3761 - 04/09/03 02:07 PM Re: Intimacy...
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
I would like to think I have had intimacy, but I cannot say that I have, for sure.

And that thing about staring into someone's eyes creeps me out.

I want intimacy, but I am certain that the moment I give myself I will be betrayed. And I examine the situations in my life and see the times I have been betrayed, just for opening little.

I am going through one of those times right now. I will put it in another post.

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#3762 - 04/09/03 06:15 PM Re: Intimacy...
ecb Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 205
I have never really had any level of intimacy with another person.

I'm only just now beginning to realize exactly why I've kept the world at arms length. A lot of pretty standard stuff for survivors apparently: belief that if they really knew me they wouldn't have anything to do with me, feeling like if anyone got close they would only hurt me, belief that I have nothing to bring to the table, that my only function would be to be used, stuff like that.

While most of these beliefs probably aren't accurate, I still feel this way a lot.

Added to that I have never in my life seen a relationship succeed. It was rare when I was ever able to see one that wasn't horrifficly disfunctional and painful. As a result, it is very difficult for me to make that huge step and let someone get close to me, because it will only end up being painful anyway.

It may be lonely keeping everyone at bay, but it's safe, and the last thing I need right now is more pain.

Eric


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#3763 - 04/09/03 11:53 PM Re: Intimacy...
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
James,
Betrayed...yea, I know what that feels like. Like a used condom.

Eric,
Quote:
belief that I have nothing to bring to the table
Most of the time I just feel nothing. I am nothing and I have nothing to offer. It's like I'm on the outside looking in at everyone who is participating in life. I'm on the sidelines. How can you be intimate when you feel like this.

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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