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#391222 - 03/28/12 06:39 PM Are you your story?
F.A. Offline


Registered: 09/02/11
Posts: 229
Loc: United States
We struggle to come to terms with what happened to us as children and/or adults in some cases both. To recall faint memories and create our personal history that was blurred.

At some point we discover what happened and we then wonder who we are because the person we created came from a place of needing to be hidden and safe. Then we wonder if that person was created for safety who are we really? how do we let go of the person who in part is us but mostly is what we think other people expect to see or what we found on TV to mold ourselves from, a piece her and piece there until we make a whole person even if hollow inside.

Do we fear removing the pain and thus having no reason to be the person we created?

Do we fear who we might really be and will we even like that person?

Do we substitute the victim person for the recovering person?

Are we addicted to our story instead or working on your future?

How can we let go of we identify ourselves as survivors of child or adult sexual abuse. Yes we survived the fact we are here proves it! Now is time to time to identify ourselves in a different way, but how and in what way?

_________________________
F.A.

To be sick is to be fragmented. To be healed is to become whole, and to become whole one must be in harmony with family, friends, and nature" -Navajo-
Blog: http://csafresno.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/CSAFresno
My Story: http://tinyurl.com/78upvvu

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#391228 - 03/28/12 07:41 PM Re: Are you your story? [Re: F.A.]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3391
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Excellent, deep, thoughtful questions, F.A.!!!

Each is worthy of serious consideration and discussion.

When i first entered therapy last nov, i remember feeling empty and like i had suffered a loss after telling my story to my T & W. it was as though the secret i had kept for so long defined me in my own mind and to share it made me feel diminished or altered in some way because others then saw me differently than they used to. My self-constructed identity was now now longer mine alone.

I have always had a very strong sense of who i am - probly because i had to deliberately defend, reinforce and protect my own self-concept in order not to be re-defined or annihilated or forced into the mold of the roles the abusers forced upon me.

But when the dynamics of relationships change and the lens that others look through to view you changes, you find yourself shifting too - like drifting out of focus and then trying to re-focus. that i found very disorienting, uncomfortable and scary.

one of the biggest fears was being re-defined by others' preconceptions instead of really being heard and understood. I am not a statistic or a specimen or a case study. I may not fit all the typical symptoms, even though i find comfort and enlightenment and a sense of oneness with other survivors who have had similar experiences or reactions. I am a unique and totally original individual and only i can tell you how i think or feel or act. T does pretty good at getting that. W is still struggling because of no previous frame of reference and the surprise/unfamiliarity of it all. She thought she knew me. But i didn't let anyone really know me. And then, once she has caught up to a new set of weirdnesses in my personality, thought patterns, emotions and behaviours, i go and change on her - a good thing for me, as i heal and grow, but very confusing for her...

I hope to see this thread go on and on and on...

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#391231 - 03/28/12 07:58 PM Re: Are you your story? [Re: F.A.]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5942
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Caution! Deep recovery struggle ahead. Seriously, struggling with the facade is a battle royal.

From my perspective, and the recovery I have had, the facade is an extreme part of the survivor. I agree that the survivor creates a "story" or better yet, a bard,a poet of sorts who becomes "us". This part of our personality shows itself whenever we feel threatened. However, other parts of our personality become dominant or recessive; self love, assertiveness. The facade is fueled first by the sheer extreme of the abuse. We want to get back to our lives, we do not want anyone to find out, business as usual, so that part of our facade is given all of our resources to grow and mature. We give it all of our intelligence, emotions and creativeness, so it becomes dominant. Time goes by, and the extreme of the abuse wears down, and then we should begin recovery, but without the proper motivation, we transfer to another facade. The "smart" one, the "fun" one, the "dark" one.
These all need support, so we give it what we have, sexual resources, drugs and other coping mechanisms, and isolation, withdraw, and eventual breakdown.

Do we fear removing the pain and thus having no reason to be the person we created? The pain, yes, and the shame, the blame, the stigma.., all of these are overwhelming, and what do w do when we are overwhelmed? We hide behind the facade.

Do we fear who we might really be and will we even like that person?Survivors are often terrified of their own power, worried that they(we) are capable of harming as we have been harmed.

Do we substitute the victim person for the recovering person? Yes, and more. We can transfer between recovery and victim, anger and giddy, fear and courage.

Are we addicted to our story instead or working on your future? Addicted? Yes, but more like floating debris of our shark infested past. We grope the facade with all of our strength, all of our being, we try to find safety and protection in the facade.

I wonder if September of last year, fellow survivor, you let go of the survival instinct, and jumped into the recovery waters and found rubber band toy sharks with sharp teeth. Still painful, but not destruction.

Sam
_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#391282 - 03/29/12 01:09 AM Re: Are you your story? [Re: SamV]
Dewey Offline
Member

Registered: 11/13/02
Posts: 137
Loc: the sunshine state
I like that Sam- Rubber band toy sharks. I did find that when entering therapy. The problem for me is, who exactly is this person that jumped in the water? And how in the world does he keep treading water with those heavy self condemning cement boots on? Great, great topic F.A. I just spoke to my T about this today. I was a little troubled by my constant patten of disclosure [seemingly to anyone with an ear] and maybe lack of boundaries regarding my privacy. She mentioned that it might be a sort of disclaimer that any disappointment that I may bring is because I walk with a limp, see? Maybe, but then she touched on something that almost made me cry. She said that I haven't grasped the full impact of what "my story" means, the full impact of it and how valuable I am because of it and despite it. Something like that, my head started spinning a little and I didn't quite receive everything she was saying. But she said that it is a very powerful story that has helped to shape who I am and whenever I speak about it, it's almost as if I'm just telling a narrative. So by continuing to tell other seemingly trustworthy individuals my story, I may be looking to be believed, validated, honored and admired. She also had reminded me of a way to integrate the adult part of me to the child part by writing answers to questions that I have for myself by first asking permission, ie; hey Dewey, can I talk to you about something? Then writing the answer using my non-dominant hand. I think it's worth a try. Thanks F.A. for confirming some of the very issues that I'm seeking healing for myself. D
_________________________
I refuse to use my past as an excuse to not have a future.
My hero Dad; Trigger warning- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi3Hyxuf5AE

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#391283 - 03/29/12 01:17 AM Re: Are you your story? [Re: F.A.]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Great stuff.

Do we fear removing the pain and thus having no reason to be the person we created?

A. Or, changing won't make any difference, I still be alone and how to control all those emotions is scarier than hell.

Do we fear who we might really be and will we even like that person?

A. Yes.

Do we substitute the victim person for the recovering person?

A. I dunno.

Are we addicted to our story instead or working on your future?

A. It's hard to go from a story to no story. And, what if they find out the old story even if I bury it and they don't want anything to do with me? I think that thought happens to anyone with a past not just CSA survivors.

How can we let go of we identify ourselves as survivors of child or adult sexual abuse. Yes we survived the fact we are here proves it! Now is time to time to identify ourselves in a different way, but how and in what way?

A. I hate that "fact." If I could eliminate it, I would. I didn't survive; I just existed.
_________________________
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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#391312 - 03/29/12 03:54 AM . [Re: phoenix321]
Life's A Dream Offline


Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 886
Loc: Bouvet Island
.


Edited by Life's A Dream (01/12/13 11:15 PM)

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#391316 - 03/29/12 04:39 AM Re: Are you your story? [Re: Life's A Dream]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Originally Posted By: Life's A Dream
"and the trouble is we don't know who we are instead."

I've missed out on so much of my own life. I guess a lot of men on here have.


LAD,

I definitely can relate. Jesus, I missed everything. I think God made a ton of errors when he created humans since too many of us just ended up animals, predators or wounded. If you believe the Christian persuasion, he knew we'd end up animals. Wonder what his point was? Or, he had none.
_________________________
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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#391335 - 03/29/12 06:42 AM Re: Are you your story? [Re: F.A.]
Forexpreneur Offline


Registered: 02/08/12
Posts: 141
Loc: Uranus (hell no not yours. lol...
Very deep questions FA and very good ones. For me, I no longer believe that I should be ashamed on any level for what horrors happened to me and how I have been shaped by them.

Those experiences will never totally leave me, and frankly I don't think they should 100%. That may sound odd but the reason why I say that is because I am becoming a very strong and healthy person by overcoming those horrors. By working through them, and trust me I still have plenty of work, I am becoming much more of a compassionate person to myself and the world around me. I believe far more so than if I had never been abused.

Some really happy and positive things are happening in my life now and I can absolutely promise you that I appreciate these good things far better and far deeper than I ever would have if I didn't know what incredible pain and horror was.

When a person comes out of the deep cave that they were a prisoner of they enjoy and appreciate the sun and the outside world far more than the average person. That's because the average person takes those things for granted. I see the beauty and the peace in things that most people walk right passed because their eyes don't see. Most of my life I had only seen the pain and the darkness. I no longer only see those things.

I am not my story, I am my healing. I shape my life each and every day because of that healing. I will NEVER forget my story, but now my story will no longer forget me.

I am a survivor. I am strong. I am compassionate. I am healing. Every day I become a better person by healing my past.

I am Alex for the first time in my life, and I really truly like him. wink

Alex



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#391364 - 03/29/12 10:39 AM Re: Are you your story? [Re: Forexpreneur]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5942
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Quote:
I am not my story, I am my healing. I shape my life each and every day because of that healing. I will NEVER forget my story, but now my story will no longer forget me.

I am a survivor. I am strong. I am compassionate. I am healing. Every day I become a better person by healing my past.


"I am my healing" Alex, this is substantial recovery. I got chills reading it. It is remarkably well fitting to my own victory.

This statement is bigger than it seems, thank you.

Sam
_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#391365 - 03/29/12 10:44 AM Re: Are you your story? [Re: Forexpreneur]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3391
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Amazing post, Alex!

You are making such good progress.

I was encouraged to hear you say: "I am not my story, I am my healing. I shape my life each and every day because of that healing. I will NEVER forget my story, but now my story will no longer forget me."

I've got a slightly different slant on that idea - i am creating my own story from here into the future, for the rest of my life.

at our last session, my T gave me an assignment. now that i have already written most of my past story out - and found it a very painful, but helpful and healing experience - he wants me to go on. I am to write what he calls "Untold Stories" - untold because they haven't happened yet - ways that i can visualize using the hard things of the past to create and build positive things for my present and future. I am excited to discover what that looks like and start making my own reality that is not controlled by my past - but is founded upon it and transcends it.

... and i really truly like you, too, Alex! you inspire me.

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#391381 - 03/29/12 12:51 PM Re: Are you your story? [Re: traveler]
Dan99 Offline


Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 100
Loc: Washington DC
Wow, what a set of questions. Some of these issues I've worked on, like not being defined by my story.

But I repeatedly find myself stalled at exactly this point of trying to figure out who I *really* am. I've stumbled along for years cleaning up addictions and getting straight with life. I've grappled with anger and forgiveness and acceptance of the past.

I feel like I've gone into a room and cleared away all the crap. But now what do I want to put in it? It's not fear of who I am that's my obstacle, it's an absence of finding anyone there at all once I dump the junk. And what makes me saddest of all is I'm beginning to think it's getting too late to ever figure it out in time for it to matter.
_________________________
Work like you don't need the money;
dance like no one is watching;
sing like no one is listening;
love like you've never been hurt;
and live life every day as if it were your last.

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#391382 - 03/29/12 01:30 PM Re: Are you your story? [Re: Dan99]
Sobernow Offline


Registered: 05/17/10
Posts: 256
Loc: Oklahoma
These questions are very insightful -- and scary to comtemplate.
But here goes.
I too, have been the type recently to tell my basic story to everyone I can. I don't know why I want to reveal it (just the basics - no details). Am I using my story as a crutch?
Also, I have recently felt that I want to pack my story away - close the hatch on it - bury it - whatever the fuck others have told us to do --------- now I want to do it also. And just move the FUCK on with my life (what my accountability partner told me yesterday).
Perhaps if I bury it again - it will die - and I can have a normal life (at least normal from the sense that I can go back to hiding and coping the way I found acceptable to me for 49 years).
I think my wife will be happier - I think my recovery buddies will appreciate it.
If I can just go back to being a porn addict and someone who cheats on his wife --- then the waters will calm. Who knows - maybe I can even stay clean from the acting out crap --- and not use porn (1 year sober again!)
Also, I have considering this week the following question to my wife: Would it make more sense economically for me get a seperation/divorce from you but keep supporting you for our remaining years? or would it work better if I just disappeared and you could collect my insurance benefits and retirement money?
Or maybe just putting the lid back on my CSA work -- and also reducing my SA recovery groups to one meeting a week - and discontinue counseling after my next visit - might be another acceptable option.
All of this stuff is floating around in my head -- as I take my Wellbutrin this morning (I don't think it is working so good).
Perhaps there are NO answers really.
Only questions.

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#391498 - 03/30/12 05:46 AM Re: Are you your story? [Re: SamV]
Forexpreneur Offline


Registered: 02/08/12
Posts: 141
Loc: Uranus (hell no not yours. lol...
Originally Posted By: sasuva

"I am my healing" Alex, this is substantial recovery. I got chills reading it. It is remarkably well fitting to my own victory.

This statement is bigger than it seems, thank you.

Sam


Thank you very much Sam. I am so happy you find it to be inspiring for you. smile My T is so impressed with how well I am responding to therapy and I am too lately. We recently reviewed the difference in my thinking compared to just a short couple of months ago and I have been so caught up with healing I didn't realize how much of a change I had truly made. I was so happy to see the difference. smile

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#391500 - 03/30/12 05:52 AM Re: Are you your story? [Re: traveler]
Forexpreneur Offline


Registered: 02/08/12
Posts: 141
Loc: Uranus (hell no not yours. lol...
Originally Posted By: traveler

... and i really truly like you, too, Alex! you inspire me.

Lee


Thank you Lee.

That sounds like a really good therapy excercise to write out the "untold stories". I like that idea a lot. It gives a positive direction to work towards as you are healing. I think we all need to do that as CSA survivors because ultimately that is why we want to heal. We want to be as healthy as possible and to have as healthy of a life as possible. wink

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#391511 - 03/30/12 09:33 AM Re: Are you your story? [Re: traveler]
Dewey Offline
Member

Registered: 11/13/02
Posts: 137
Loc: the sunshine state
HHmm, "Untold Stories".....,

Yeah, I heard about that book. It was written by someone other than myself. It looked very good so I ordered it. I've been waiting here by the mailbox for what seems like forever.
_________________________
I refuse to use my past as an excuse to not have a future.
My hero Dad; Trigger warning- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi3Hyxuf5AE

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