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#402538 - 07/04/12 10:38 AM And Now for the partners
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I have posted on my BLOG about partners and the need for support groups.
Please could you read it and comment or recommend changes.

Thanks all
Martin
_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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#402545 - 07/04/12 02:32 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
Kazbob12 Offline


Registered: 03/19/12
Posts: 42
I think this is a great idea Martin and its nice to know were appreciated. It is a long hard road and I guess what I would like to see is more awareness and advice....especially from yourself and others who are prone to 'acting out' etc as to how to hande the situations. What has worked what has not etc etc.

I think this is a great way of raising awareness. There are so many lost souls out there who are not aware of the support they can access (when it is available) Here in the Uk we do not have many services which support male survivors... maybe not even a handful to be honest.

The law.... yes I agree...what Law... my parnters perp is being released next Friday (13th ironically!!) after serving only 18 month of a 4yr sentence.. 4 yr because he pleaded guilty.... had he not he would have had 12!! Go figure.. So 18 month for 8yr (maybe more) of my partners life going through this every week / day...

Great work tho keep it up x

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#402579 - 07/04/12 11:44 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
I've been looking for a support group with no success. I live in this big city and there are no other secondary survivors out there also looking for help? Not a single therapist has any clue about starting one either. They treat the victim and forget the family. So very frustrating!

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#402635 - 07/05/12 03:18 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
Martin:

When you write: "The Survivor however does not have the ability to have an emotional relationship with anybody, but really really needs this relationship as his "SAFE PLACE"."

Please tell me what you mean by inability to have an emotional relationship with anyone.

Thanks,
D.
_________________________
Female.

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#402637 - 07/05/12 03:49 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
scottyg Offline


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 253
Loc: Seattle
whome gives great answers but I hope you'll appreciate my take until his post appears.

As a seven year old who was introduced to adult sex in a violent and disturbing way I had no context to understand. My childhood was truncated. Ended right then and there. But I wasn't adult, with adult perspecives and adult coping tools either. I became filled with complex emotions stemming from the trauma, self-blame, self-hate, rage, alienation to name but a few. These feelings are painful, too painful. So the mind shuts them down one by one until the child is the shell of a person feeling no emotion. No sorrow, no happiness, no love, no hate just numb. Drugs helped with that and so did my dad who was also emotionally unavailable. It worked great! I was an island, needing no one, trusting no one, content. Except sub-consciously all those raw, unprocessed issues were roiling in the background. That leads to destructive behaviors. My outwardly bad behavior fed my number one belief. That I am a bad person, unloveable and undeserving of love. I did hurtful things to my partner to prove my point. She forgave me. I did destructive things to myself to prove my point. She accepted me. I pushed the limits of trust and tolerence to show I was bad. She was there for me and she told me she always would be. But I needed to get help. I was an outsider going through the motions in my own family, unable to have an emotional relationship with my kid, my wife, my parents or anyone. I had spent so many years shutting those emotions down that I only felt like a stranger to the people that surrounded me. I think that's maybe what WHOME might mean. But he can tell you much more eloquantly than I.
_________________________
I've got a bike you can ride it if you like.
Its got a basket, a bell that rings
And many other things to make it look good.
I'd give it to you if I could -but I've borrowed it.

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#402640 - 07/05/12 03:58 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
This is another post of the utmost help. Thank you so much for explaining. I look forward to what Martin will write, but you've written something extremely helpful as well.

Let me ask this: If you were "strangers" to them, did you like them? Or once you came out of the numbness, did you find out you didn't really much like them?
_________________________
Female.

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#402643 - 07/05/12 04:10 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
scottyg Offline


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 253
Loc: Seattle
How could I not love them? They accepted and nurtured me. My daughter gives unconditional love no matter how distant I am, no matter how much I don't want hugs. She gives me hugs. I was often a monster and they allowed me back into their lives time and again. Now that was me. I tried to love my wife and family in my own inept way while I was emotionally crippled. But people also get together for all the wrong reasons, too. So if you have a partner that has burried his feelings about you that aren't exactly flattering, you may need to deal with those when and if they come to light.... just sayin.


Edited by scottyg (07/05/12 04:13 PM)
Edit Reason: bad syntax
_________________________
I've got a bike you can ride it if you like.
Its got a basket, a bell that rings
And many other things to make it look good.
I'd give it to you if I could -but I've borrowed it.

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#402647 - 07/05/12 04:37 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
Okay, this is very helpful.

Thank you.
_________________________
Female.

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#402648 - 07/05/12 04:39 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
So you like hugs, even when you don't like hugs?
_________________________
Female.

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#402652 - 07/05/12 05:28 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
scottyg Offline


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 253
Loc: Seattle
I hate hugs. They're a much needed human connection. This dovetails into the quote from Martin that you inserted in the beginning of this dicussion (where are you whome? I need you today.) Just the word replace "emotional" with physical.

"The Survivor however does not have the ability to have an emotional relationship with anybody, but really really needs this relationship as his 'SAFE PLACE'."

Same for hugs. I have an inability to accept affection, but I really really need a hug sometimes.
_________________________
I've got a bike you can ride it if you like.
Its got a basket, a bell that rings
And many other things to make it look good.
I'd give it to you if I could -but I've borrowed it.

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#402666 - 07/05/12 06:46 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
So, how would a person know a survivor could tolerate one or want one, even if he didn't want one?

You're doing fine. Martin can have a day off. :^)))
_________________________
Female.

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#402677 - 07/05/12 08:35 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
scottyg Offline


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 253
Loc: Seattle
You can't know. And I don't pretend to know what someone else may need form him to heal. All I know is that when I read about other men going through deep dark issues on the Survivors side of this forum, there pain sounds a hell of a lot like my pain.

I guess you could look at it like this: The traumatized child is in some ways still a child even at 20, 30, 40 years old. Something awful happens (death of parents, sexual abuse, violence) and the person can become emotionally stunted to that age. If a child is sick does he want to take his yucky medicine? Usually not. Will he spit it out in a fit? Maybe. Does he need to get it anyway? Yes, he does.

The medicine that I needed was a loving and accepting support system that includes my wife and daughter. The M.S. web space is another huge help for me. Here I learn there are 1,000s like me and I'm learning to accept myself, warts and all. But I have dark days too and the importance of a family who's there when I need them is huge for my recovery. We don't talk at length and in-depth about my issues like this support group. We have dinner and watch tv and lay in bed. We act like we're normal and undamaged until one day that really happens.

Now, you owe me a freakin beer. It better be a tall one.
_________________________
I've got a bike you can ride it if you like.
Its got a basket, a bell that rings
And many other things to make it look good.
I'd give it to you if I could -but I've borrowed it.

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#402708 - 07/06/12 03:04 AM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
HI Scotty and D

Scotty the password to my blog is ******** I'm going on Holiday, Hehehehe.

Well what can I add to what has already been said, Naaa how do you know me, I love to read myself, hehehe

On a serious note, Scotty is right, What happens is that I learnt not to feel, learnt not to feel emotions. My concept of love was totally screwed, because people would tell me that they were doing this to me because they loved me.
I stopped feeling emotions at a very young age, what was love to me was a obedient wife and child that didn't piss me off and loved me when I demanded it. If they stuck to those goals and kept up pretences in public then that was fine.
Well That was not fine, I hurt them because of my inability to feel and love.
Now the good news, when I recovered I realized that it is OK to feel, it is OK to love, that these two beautiful people are not going to hurt me.
I must point out that the reasons for not being affectionate with my daughter were completely different. I was a victim of the Myth that victims become perpetrators.
I understood that this beautiful thing was precious, but I was afraid that I would do something bad to her because victims become perpetrators.
I love my family now, for real, I can share my life with them instead of trying to hide it with lies and fabrications.
There is however one important factor here. The Survivors MUST BE WORKING HARD AT RECOVERY. If they dont want it then it wont happen.
It is possible for you as a partner to love the survivor, but not be Co-Dependent with them. If you are Co-dependent then all you are going to do is enable them to live a Dysfunctional life.

Hope this clears up a few points.

Heal well
Martin
_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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#402759 - 07/06/12 12:28 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
Dear Scottg,

Yes, I owe you a TALL beer! Next time you're in ATlanta, let me know, and we'll set it up!

D.
_________________________
Female.

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#402760 - 07/06/12 12:29 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
Scottg,
One more thing: if he doesn't want his hug, should I give it to him anyway??
D.
_________________________
Female.

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#402765 - 07/06/12 01:17 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
FishmanofRI Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 13
YOU PERFECTLY SUMMED UP MY LIFE, MY WORLD, MY PAIN
I AM that empty shell - that lost woman. The one who supported everything - was the rock through the many storms. Now I am like a discarded empty can, tossed aside, licked around (emotionally), crushed and forgotten. A world I am desperately trying to emerge from.


4th July 2012
AND NOW FOR THE PARTNERS
One thing I am passionate about in setting up MatrixMen, is the partners of Survivors.
Partners are often the unknown victims of SA (sexual abuse) perpetrated on men.
Lets look at the impact that it may have.
Often this poor unsuspecting lady/ Man meets this charming outgoing man that seems to have it all going on. They don't know that they have met the Alter ego or one of the different Personalities of a male survivor. Often the male survivor can keep the Persona going for a really long time. By the time the couple decide to get serious, the partner has been so manipulated by the survivor, that they are either totally besotted with this person that does not exist, or are so mentally abused that they accept any instruction that is passed. I am using a bit of poetic licence here.
Now the couple, and I talk about homosexual and heterosexual partners here, get married. And things start to deteriorate. Now you are caught in a situation, you have had the wedding and the dream is starting to fall apart. BUT, the partner thinks, I HAVE MADE A COMMITMENT.
The partner has gotten involved with a manipulating scheming Survivor who is probably an alcoholic, drug user, sex addict or sexually dysfunctional. Either way they are pretty messed up. Emotional affairs, multiple sexual partners, Swinging, bisexuality and porn are par for the course.
The Survivor now has what he thinks he needs. He has a partner that can take care of him, love him, clean his house, take care of the children, (If they have any), and well generally she /he is there to look after the dysfunctional survivor.
The Survivor however does not have the ability to have an emotional relationship with anybody, but really relly needs this relationship as his "SAFE PLACE". This safe place is something that he will try to keep at any cost. It allows him to portray a sense of normalcy to the world, but it is just a cover for his Acting out and dysfunction.
The Survivor, as I said will do anything to mantain this safe place, and this includes mental and psychological abuse, and financial abuse.
It's not often that the survivor will resort to physical abuse, as he has probably made himself a promise somewhere in his past that he will not afflict such pain on others, as he has been subjected to.
Thing is that he doesnt realize that he is actually causeing mare damage, as the pain and scaring that he inflicts are on the mind and emotional well bing of his victim.
We do not see mental anguish as pain, so we therefore carry on and on and the abuse gets worse and worse till what you end up with is A Broken shell of a person that has no self esteem, no confidence and essentially no life.
I cannot comprehend the pain that I caused in my wife's life completely, I am only now starting to realize a bit of what I have done, and it scares me a little.
Children tend to be a little more forgiving and fit into this new healed person pretty quickly, but the partners don't feel this way. They tend to be a little more sceptical, a little mare cautious, after all what can we expect after years of abuse.
It is massively important that we as a male Survivor Organization, establish groups and get therapists that understand the impact that this has had on the partners life. The impact of the abuse, the broken trust issues, the co- dependency issues, these are all very real and very very debilitating to the future health of the relationship.

If there is to be any hope of the relationship lasting, then it is of the utmost importance that both survivor and partner attend group or therapy.
There are groups that can assist, Al-Anon. CODA, but these are after all the side effects of he survivor battle and not the cause. It is I am sure better to have a group that caters specifically for the partners of the Survivor.


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#402770 - 07/06/12 02:06 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
TimHorton Offline


Registered: 05/09/12
Posts: 44
Oh, FishmanofRI. I feel the heartbreak...the pain. I am in the exact same situation. I have literally been left behind after giving everything and now...

...Well, now I just don't know.

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#402823 - 07/07/12 04:34 AM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Hi Fishman and Tim

I am so sorry for your pain, I am sorry that I cant reach across the seas and help you guys. Hopefully my experience and healing can offer you guys some respite from your pain.

Heal well
Martin
_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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#404751 - 07/25/12 01:07 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
silentspouse Offline


Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 24
Loc: ID
There is not enough support for spouses because we are expected to be compassionate before anything else. Many days I am compassionate, and many days I am full of rage. But it's difficult to feel righteous about being angry at a boy who was abused.

There are not enough places for spouses to get help. I am so tired. Since this started, I've been ritualistically cutting my hair every morning. I finally figured out today that when I cut my hair, I tune everything out. I don't think about anything except cutting my hair. Everyone thinks I have this cute little pixie hair cut, but I know why my hair is so short.

I put on my mask the same way my husband does. I put on my wife mask and have sex, make the meals, iron his shirts, clean his house. I put on my mom mask and volunteer at school, help with homework, drive carpool... I put on my mask at church and pretend that my husband is the same as the other husbands. I pretend that I'm okay with all this, but deep inside there's a little voice that whispers, "you can have normal. If you're brave enough and work hard enough, you can have a normal life. YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS!"

Then I feel shame because I can't be compassionate enough to want to stay and work through it. But sometimes I think the only speck of self-esteem left in me is that voice telling me I deserve a life with more happiness than sadness, without so much shame and guilt and sexual dysfunction and apologies and hopelessness.

Then my husband holds my hand and tells me he's trying and he loves me and he can't do this without me. The only way I can escape is to cut my hair.

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#404804 - 07/25/12 09:26 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: silentspouse]
shortieg Offline


Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 58
Originally Posted By: silentspouse
There is not enough support for spouses because we are expected to be compassionate before anything else. Many days I am compassionate, and many days I am full of rage. But it's difficult to feel righteous about being angry at a boy who was abused.

There are not enough places for spouses to get help. I am so tired. Since this started, I've been ritualistically cutting my hair every morning. I finally figured out today that when I cut my hair, I tune everything out. I don't think about anything except cutting my hair. Everyone thinks I have this cute little pixie hair cut, but I know why my hair is so short.

I put on my mask the same way my husband does. I put on my wife mask and have sex, make the meals, iron his shirts, clean his house. I put on my mom mask and volunteer at school, help with homework, drive carpool... I put on my mask at church and pretend that my husband is the same as the other husbands. I pretend that I'm okay with all this, but deep inside there's a little voice that whispers, "you can have normal. If you're brave enough and work hard enough, you can have a normal life. YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS!"

Then I feel shame because I can't be compassionate enough to want to stay and work through it. But sometimes I think the only speck of self-esteem left in me is that voice telling me I deserve a life with more happiness than sadness, without so much shame and guilt and sexual dysfunction and apologies and hopelessness.

Then my husband holds my hand and tells me he's trying and he loves me and he can't do this without me. The only way I can escape is to cut my hair.

I am literally in your shoes, I know every pain you talk about, about feeling guilty when you wish for something better but then hate yourself because how could u turn this poor boy away? I struggle every day with this, and I know the mask all too well.. To church,work family friends.. We are the normal happy couple..
My husband used to do that, now he just says he understands if I left... That doesn't make me feel any better..

I wish we could offer hugs over typing..

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#404850 - 07/26/12 01:53 AM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
(((Silent))) and (((Short)))-

I don't often fall into sobs on MS, but your pain is so searing, I have been scorched.

Any words I want to offer will merely sound like platitudes, but I am compelled to reach out to you both as a sister who knows of the path you're on.

Please, please find some support for yourselves. Yeah, I know, that's a tall order because there simply isn't much support for us (wives).

I don't know exactly what you're stuggling most with, but for me, my husband's sexual acting out with prostitutes, an adult family member, compulsive masturbation, alcohol abuse, and I don't know what else has consumed my very soul. Sexual addiction and dysfunction in a spouse is a bloody nightmare that seems to have no end- especially if they won't fully embrace help and recovery. So, sweet souls, save yourselves. In doing so, you may save him.

www.recoverynation.com is a site that has been very helpful for me. There you will be in the company of spouses who are trying to stay afloat in the midst of it all. You'll work through "workshops", which are lessons that not only teach you about the inner-workings of sexual abuse, addiction and dysfunction, but will help you discover your long-buried values so you can rediscover and put in place boundaries that will allow you to end the cycle of the hamster wheel you're stuck in.

The underlying question that echoes thought our hearts is, "Do I stay or do I go?". Recovery Nation will help you figure that out.

My situation has no bearing on yours, but I will tell you that I've stayed. But I only stayed because my husband dug in and began recovery. He gave up drinking, which allowed him to think clearly. He came here to MS and found his own story in the stories of the other survivors. He got a counselor and has a growing understanding of the damage done to him. With understanding he could embrace honesty. With honesty came discussion. With discussion came compassion. And trust is taking root.

There is nothing you and your husbands can't overcome. And if your husbands won't join you, then there is nothing you can't overcome on your own.

This too shall pass. It really will.

I send you my love and prayers-
herowannabe
_________________________


For I know the plans I have made for you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11


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#404865 - 07/26/12 09:52 AM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
silentspouse Offline


Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 24
Loc: ID
Me too, Shortieg. I've let go a lot of female friends because I can't stand hearing about their very normal problems. It's not their fault, but it sucks the energy out of me to smile and nod my head while all the while I'm thinking, "this is nothing. You want something to complain about? Listen to this....!"

My support system here is pretty pitiful because my husband isn't ready to disclose to people. So I carry his secrets, too. I don't blame him, it's just how it is right now.

Our Pastor has been very respectful and compassionate. When I told him how alone I felt, he said, "If you only knew the things I know. So many people are struggling with problems right now."

It was meant to be reassuring, but it served to reinforce to me how ostracized and alone male victims of CSA and their spouses are.

If our "big problem" was cancer, my Pastor would have given me names of other church members that had been though that process that I could talk to. We may have gotten together and discussed treatment plans, side effects, doctor referrals, etc. But because it's CSA, our problems are automatically secretive.

We have little girls, age 7 and 9. Sometimes when I think I have the courage to leave, I think about them and how that will alter their world forever. My husband is a good father. Protective, loving, active in their lives. I don't know how I could look at them and tell them we were getting a divorce, knowing it was ME that wasn't willing to do the work.

Last night I told my husband, "Everyone just assumes I'm capable of dealing with this. Nobody has asked me if I really AM capable."

I'm a believer, and I don't think God has forgotten about us. I just think He's absent right now. Like when you call someone and their cell phone drops out, so you keep talking not knowing that they aren't on the other end of the line. Just absent.

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#404866 - 07/26/12 09:56 AM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
silentspouse Offline


Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 24
Loc: ID
herowannabe:

Thank you for your kind words. My introduction in the introduction forum is called "Brief History & Introduction".

I will check out Recovery Nation.

My husband will be in recovery for 8 months on August 6th. He's trying his best and he is very committed. But he gets overwhelmed, and so do I. The question "stay or go" is so much harder BECAUSE he's trying his best in recovery. If he were still acting out and in denial, my choice would be easier. My guilt comes from knowing that I'm still not happy even when he's trying his best.

Thanks for your help.

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#404908 - 07/26/12 04:22 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
shortieg Offline


Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 58
Herowannabee. Silent. Thanks for the kind words and you are right, it does come down to do I stay or do I go? I sometimes wonder that when he tells me he needs me to stay, if that's just a line or if he truly for his well being needs me to stay?

I too have the same guilt silent, it haunts me daily that i know he is trying hut im still not happy. My husband did join this site, and i really hope he embraces the people on here. He needs help and so do i, I hope through our trials and stories we may help each other..

I too let go of alot of my friends.. For the mere fact of when they told me struggles, I felt like you.. And also when they talked about their love life.. It made me burst into tears every time.
My husband has just the opposite, he wants nothing to do with sex, emotional or physical intimacy, but he has his fetishes he is sometimes ok with. This hurts me in so many ways, because for years I felt like we could only play around his way, there has never been a moment of passion or true love making.. Its always been an act or playing his way.
i just want one moment of passion with him...also, sorry for the horrid spelling.. Im on my phone and its hard to see the screen.


Edited by shortieg (07/26/12 04:33 PM)

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#404919 - 07/26/12 06:45 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
silentspouse Offline


Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 24
Loc: ID
When I went to my first 12 step meeting, the gal greeted me with the phrase, "We're glad to meet you and sorry you're here!"

That's how I feel right now. I'm so happy to meet you all and so sorry we're here. To know I'm not alone with this guilt and grief is such a comfort.

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#404921 - 07/26/12 07:10 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
shortieg Offline


Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 58
Amen to that.

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#404943 - 07/26/12 09:00 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
Haps Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
I've never felt so confused, hurt, consumed AND loved online before. smile

I'd say EVER, but my 12 step program is my first love that way. wink Who could hate a club that's so focused on moving at your own pace and doesn't kick people out?

:: HUGS ::

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#405546 - 08/01/12 04:32 PM Re: And Now for the partners [Re: whome]
FishmanofRI Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 13
Thanks ladies for sharing your feelings and sharing your compassion and stories.

I know I should be relieved that I am out of the situation - although it wasn't the way I ever imagined it would be. The hurt and pain and loneliness still lingers. Unemployed, with my "benefits" ending in just 10 days ... then what?? No job, no purpose, no income and no one to love and be loved by ... Still pray every day ... I just don't know anymore.

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