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#386430 - 02/19/12 06:30 PM Daily Affirmations
LN3(SS) Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/20/08
Posts: 486
Loc: MD
On the front page of this website is a listing of "10 Daily Affirmations for Male Survivors". I request that they be edited to be reflective of all male survivors as they purport to be or removed from the website.

In the midst of some wonderful suggestions is this:
Quote:
7.I commit to connecting to the boy inside me today so we can play, laugh and experience joy together, even if just for a minute or two.


I feel this affirmation is an insult to adult survivors. Those of us that have had good childhoods and were traumatized as adults should not have to suffer the indignity of cringing through "inner child" stuff that does not apply to ASA while reading a list of affirmations that are supposed to belong to all male survivors.

I understand that MaleSurvivor may not have the ability to edit this insulting affirmation because the work may legitimately belong to the author if it was not created for this organization. If that is the case, then MaleSurvivor should give serious consideration to removing it from the website since is not truly reflective of the male survivor community as a whole.

Brian

_________________________
"When we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead, or alive, we will all come home together." LTG Hal Moore, Jr., USA (Ret.)

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#386455 - 02/19/12 09:59 PM Re: Daily Affirmations [Re: LN3(SS)]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
I have no problem with the existence of inner child work and its relevance to CSA survivors and their recovery. I've heard from a lot of guys here that it's a really meaningful thing they have done in therapy and on healing retreats with other male CSA survivors.

That being said, it's completely irrelevant to me and my experiences as an ASA survivor. Sexual abuse never took place when I was a boy, and my boyhood was overall a really positive time in my life. I don't say that to gloat and I'm aware that many boys were not so lucky, but it's true. I really think it takes a village to raise a child, and my parents, schools, teachers, and extended family raised me to become a healthy well-adjusted man. Until the rape.

What is written about the Daily Affirmations for Male Survivors does not apply to male survivors as a whole (ASA survivors are included in the whole, right?!) I can say that what would make me feel more acknowledged as a man whose sexual assault took place in adulthood, would be some online content on the MS site that is specific to male ASA. I don't think there's any need to take away from the worthwhile work of men healing from boyhood sexual abuse, but I wish this organization would understand that inner child work is only relevant to some CSA survivors and not male survivors as a whole.

If you're going to use more general phrases like "Male Survivors," then what is being said should reflect the experiences of men who were abused/assaulted at any age. I'm not offended by the concept of an inner child and how it relates to healing from CSA, but I am offended by saying something is for "Male Survivors" when the language is clearly only specific to CSA survivors and I don't fit into the "target audience" even though I'm a male survivor, too. That's very marginalizing and ASA survivors shouldn't have to deal with that on top of the very real trauma that we are all struggling with day to day.

How would you feel if you went to the store and bought a bag of frozen peas and carrots, then you take it home and open it and it's all peas? Where are the freaking carrots? That's kind of how I feel as an ASA survivor when I brows the MS website. There's nothing wrong with a bag of frozen peas, but the bag said peas & carrots and so I should be able to expect that the content in the bag should reflect the label.

_________________________
“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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#386484 - 02/20/12 04:46 AM Re: Daily Affirmations [Re: CruxFidelis]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5942
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
The traumatic experience of adult sexual abuse/assault is overwhelmingly tragic. In searching for a place to heal in a society that has a difficult time validating this specific area of abuse, the journey needs to be equally assertive as it is validating. Society is often slow to respond to the needs of the minority, and awareness needs to be raised over this issue, however the goal of any group in seeking such validation is to build up those allies they meet along the way as well as to spread awareness and seek support for their noble cause, and to a certain extent, it is to challenge those organizations that minimalize any aspect of tragedy and loss in society. In fact, criticizing organizations within a specific field for an apparent lack of awareness or misinformation concerning an issue can lead to positive action to correct such an oversight.

The Daily Affirmations is a list of wonderful suggestions aimed at reducing the negative feedback male survivors can generate when reviewing the abuse through memories, flashbacks and present thoughts and feelings of the abuse/assault. These suggestions as a whole are not be taken as an "all or nothing " general dogma, there will be those who cannot assimilate every aspect of these proven affective positive affirmations. There is nothing in the immediate content or the surrounding context to suggest that it is a failure on the part of a survivor should he not be able to accept the complete list.

In my own opinion, having the Daily Affirmations is a powerful, positive ally in recovery that spans many differences including age, race, gender as well as cultural and economic diversity during and after the abuse in any age group. The majority of the Affirmations appeal to the larger audience of male survivors, and does not discriminate between abuse/assault occurrences as to chronology in the survivor's life. However the perceived absence of adult specific verbiage does not constitute disparaging posturing from an entity such as MaleSurvivor. In fact, in reviewing the Affirmations, there are references to "connect to loving, affirmative, strong, sensitive, accepting men and women in my community" as well as "to speak the truth of my abuse and deserve to be heard, understood, believed and supported." These are not juvenile concepts aimed at a target audience, but can be accepted in all aspects of male sexual abuse/assault recovery and healing.

Additionally, affirming those areas of connecting to "the boy inside of me" has merit in the oldest concepts of psychology in maturing the child(and immature tendencies) into an adult. Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development maps the stages of human personality development with two very different outcomes based on the success or failure of the person to accept and display healthy, positive, connecting traits in their lives. I feel this statement, "Failure to successfully complete a stage can result in a reduced ability to complete further stages and therefore a more unhealthy personality and sense of self.., these stages, however, can be resolved successfully at a later time" serves this situation in that those areas of our personality affected by abuse can be suppressed or exposed for a lack of generation in our lives at any intersection the abuse occurs in a lifetime. That should not be taken in foreboding context, as the latter of the quote assures the reader that steps can be taken to assimilate these lessons and more completely fortify the whole of the person.

Let us focus on the commonalities of recovery of male surviving as we continue to define the areas of the abuse and move to support every contingency surrounding male sexual abuse awareness and recovery healing.


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#386492 - 02/20/12 10:03 AM Re: Daily Affirmations [Re: SamV]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
Crux, you worded this very well. I would not be for removing the affirmations but you are very correct in that the label must fit the population in general or be changed. This could not have been put any better.

Sam, I do not think anyone is attacking the affirmations as not being good resources. These men are just questioning what it does for all survivors here. I think men can embrace the commonalities here as well as seek positive change for themselves. Would that not be supporting awareness and recovery? But it would be doing so in a broader way than perhaps is being pursued here right now.

At one point I sent an email in reference to the Dare to Dream project's flier. This was when it was first appeared to the public and here. I gave my opinion that it would not attract any ASA men and why I felt that way. I then received a very kind email from one of the key men associated with the MS organization. He not only asked me to add what I thought needed to the D2D flier but to the WoR one as well. Then he asked me to do that for the entire site. So in time I did that. I went over all the site and made tweaks here and there and pointed out my thoughts. This included the one affirmation being discussed here. I tried to be thorough on the site as best as possible and of course did not suggest an overhaul. I just pointed out terminology changes/additions that would light the path for an ASA man. I went back to when I first landed here. Well, actually both times since I only stayed two days the first time and returned over a year later. I wanted an ASA visitor to land and not question his place here or if he belonged.

I also used conversations I had been privileged to have with other ASA men. It may be noted that few stay here. Mostly I just wanted these visitors to see themselves more in the reflecting pool here. For are we not always looking for something with our name on it? When we read an article on men who are survivors or think about attending some work shop? Call me stubborn if you wish but I still do that.

I am not a woman who was raped. I am not a man who was abused as a child. I can take many things from the work done for both populations for my own recovery. I have done so many years involved in my recovery. But I am a man who was kidnapped, tortured and raped from sunset to almost sunrise one night. I think I deserve to be looked at with special interest concerning my own assault and recovery.

I appreciate MS for what it does and has done as well as for what I gained here when I was an active member. Just as a person who cares enough to call me to change can appreciate me for who I am.


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#386503 - 02/20/12 11:19 AM Re: Daily Affirmations [Re: prisonerID]
tartugas Offline
Board Member
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 513
Loc: NYC
Brian,

I hear your frustration, both on this particular issue regarding the daily affirmations, and your broader point about feeling that adult survivors get short shrift.

To respond to your request - the affirmations were written by Dr. Howard Fradkin and as they are his creation it is up to him to make any changes or alterations to them. To ask us to remove the affirmations in their entirety is unwarranted in my opinion. You are, of course, free to bring your objections up to Dr. Fradkin, but I see no reason whatsoever to remove material from the website that provides guidance and insight to many users and visitors.

Chris
Chair, Web Oversight Committee

_________________________
"I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections.
And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds to the soul, to the deep emotional self...."
Healing D.H. Lawrence

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