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#394652 - 04/23/12 09:09 PM Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor
jls Offline


Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
I often feel like my experience of sexual abuse is illegitimate, as if I somehow don’t qualify to be a survivor. Things go thru my head like -

“As a teenager I was old enough to know better”, or

“That’s just what happens to homeless kids trying to survive”, or

“Somehow I must have wanted it since I didn’t fight hard enough to stop it”, or

“Other people had it worse”. or

(I love this one)

“You act too together to really be a survivor”, as if the only way to qualify is to be completely f*cked up.

Truth is I often do feel f*cked up, and people notice it, although when asked what’s wrong the last thing I would admit to being is a survivor going thru a tough time with stuff from my past. Anyways has anyone else had these things go thru their head? If so I’d like to know, if only to affirm that its part of being a survivor, if this is in fact other people’s experience.




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#394655 - 04/23/12 09:18 PM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: jls]
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
JLS,
Somedays I too feel like maybe I wasnt abused because I was 13 and my brother was only a few years older (3 1/2). I too thought that as a teenager I should have known better and that other people had it worse. I dont have flashbacks and I didn't use alcohol or drugs. Turns out my choice was food, enough so that I was recently diagnosed with diabetes because of all my sugar intake.

Wish I could tell you that once you finally see that it was abuse and wasn't your fault that you'll stop doubting but you don't. It may subside for awhile but it comes back.

Jason
_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


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#394657 - 04/23/12 09:23 PM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: jls]
jls Offline


Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
I think maybe I need to start saying it out loud so it stops going around and around in my head. I'll start here ~

I was sexually abused as a kid, and yes, I was just a kid!

Now I'll move on to doing it in front of the mirror.
_________________________
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.


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#394665 - 04/23/12 09:56 PM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: jls]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3399
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Yeah - i've been through that, too. several times.

what helped me most was telling my story face to face with a real live person. As great as these MS forums are, and as much as they have helped me, (and that is a LOT!) the physical presence and immediate response of a personal reveal helped make it legit for me. i've done that several times - with 2 therapists, my wife, and 2 carefully selected, safe and trusted friends (all separate times - and of course - it was difficult every time). seeing and hearing and feeling their reactions was very validating. they confirmed that what i'd experienced was really abuse and their expressions of compassion and understanding were very encoraging and helped to confirm what i kept doubting or minimizing or discounting or denying. now they know and i have heard myself say it out loud and others repeat it back to me, it is much harder to go back - i have accepted it and stand on a solid foundation of truth and can start to move on and build a better future. it's hard to accomplish anything when the ground you're on keeps shifting.

Prevail!
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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#394676 - 04/23/12 11:21 PM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: jls]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1350
Sometimes it helps to step outside yourself and imagine a brother or sister or friend going through what you experienced - as if you could watch it all happen to them like watching TV - and judge it THAT way. Would you be inclined to step in and warn them, stop things? That's where the truth really is.

For me, I saw my molester doing to my little sister and half the little girls in the neighborhood exactly what he was doing to me. That gave me enough perspective to realize that things were quite sick in my world. I often had sex with him because I knew it would keep him off my sister, so my sense of normal was totally screwed up. Another day at the office for me at 13. Just accepting it as abuse was a long process for me because back then I was too deeply in the middle of it to really see it.
_________________________



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#394689 - 04/24/12 12:12 AM * [Re: jls]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
*


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (04/28/13 05:30 PM)

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#394698 - 04/24/12 12:56 AM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: jls]
chambers Offline


Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 118
Loc: VA
Originally Posted By: jls

Truth is I often do feel f*cked up, and people notice it, although when asked what’s wrong the last thing I would admit to being is a survivor going thru a tough time with stuff from my past. Anyways has anyone else had these things go thru their head? If so I’d like to know, if only to affirm that its part of being a survivor, if this is in fact other people’s experience.



You are not alone. I've read some guys stories on here and just felt like a total punk compared to them, so many have endured much worse than I did. I never admitted what was really bothering me to anyone either, it's not an issue many people can deal with. The blame game is something we all have to deal w/ but we should all reach the same conclusion, we were the victims and it wasn't our fault.

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#394731 - 04/24/12 05:05 AM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: jls]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1993
Loc: durham, north england
Oh yes, I've had this one myself, indeed because the idea of a bunch of teenaged girls abusing a teenaged boy is so alien to our understanding, I wasn't even aware of what happened as s/x, let alone abuse.

it wasn't indeed until i was 20, and had a panic attack when my mum by mistake came into the bathroom when i had my shirt off having a wash that she suddenly said out of the blue "oh you were raped", ---- -what? Bullying yes, but that? I was utterly stunned, indeed that's been one of the hardest things to accept.

one thing I found helpful as everyone else has said is telling my story in the third person, or imagining it written down in detail with a different protagonist, that made it more real. Also for me, one comment which Larry aka Road runner made a long while ago helped considderably too, ---- imagine that the gendas were switched and what the reaction would've been. Because yes, it's true, if a bunch of teenaged boys had done to a girl what had happened to me things would've been extremely different, indeed one of the worst memories I have is at one point punching a girl in the chest, where upon she went to a teacher and I! was the one who got a right royal yelling at.

Another helpful thing I found to remember, but something which was extremely difficult to face at the time, was squaring my body's physical response with what happened. My mind was elsewhere, indeed my mind was nearly absent, but my body wasn't.

Apparently the same thing happens if a woman is abused, but because with men the physical reaction is more obvious, people always assume it's voluntary, indeed I often get really irritated at this assumption that just because a man's body involuntarily respondes this implies that he always is implicit in what is going on.

Realizing that my mind and body were completely separated during the experience helped me quite a lot, ---- though I know with some others' experience things are different.

All the best,

luke.


Edited by dark empathy (04/24/12 05:09 AM)

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#394734 - 04/24/12 05:38 AM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: jls]
Dar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/15/11
Posts: 170
Loc: Missouri
jls,
I cannot tell you how many times I have said those same excact words that you posted. It is also very hard for me to seperate the thoughts of what you are saying even tho my therapist and many many others say it wasnt my fault. I too still feel like it was.
I dont know if I will ever get over those thoughts but I am learning to deal with it and move on. I hope you can too brother.

Blessings
_________________________
All I ever wanted was a hug.

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#394739 - 04/24/12 09:06 AM Re: Feeling LIke I'm not a Real Survivor [Re: jls]
unhappycamper Offline


Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 611
Loc: VA
jls:

"Qualifying" is how you get a driver's license or a tax break--by meeting a list of criteria. Trauma (CSA or any other kind) means "injury," which can only be measured by its effect on the victim. There's no other criterion.

Hearing the survivor stories on MS and the parade of child-abuse stories in the news, I've often felt "unqualified" as a survivor because I "only" remember being raped, beaten and nearly smothered once by someone for whom I carried absolutely no family, friend or other trust baggage. But it still can mess me up at times, 53 years later, and I definitely have a gut understanding of the strange reactions (and non-reactions) of others who have been traumatized by CSA.

Don't worry about the labels... just get better! Peace.

John

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