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#408592 - 08/31/12 10:41 PM survivors wanting to be alone
love Offline


Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 37
I've noticed a lot of survivors in relationships while reading the discussion board. How common is it for survivors to have a deep desire of being alone in life and staying away from intimate relationships?

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#408596 - 08/31/12 11:06 PM Re: survivors wanting to be alone [Re: love]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
It is pretty common. Especially when the depression kicks in
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

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#408649 - 09/01/12 01:13 PM Re: survivors wanting to be alone [Re: love]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 205
Loc: IDAHO
My H is so threatened by intimacy. The mere mention of it makes him runs for the hills. Being a CSA survivor myself a lot of his behavior reminds me of my own pre-therapy behaviors and when I call him on it he really goes into orbit. Survivors have a wall around themselves and anyone who dares try to climb it or peak over it often gets arrows shot at them. I agree with country my husband recently sunk into quite a depression and asked me to live with a friend for awhile. I think he feels uncomfortable about anyone seeing him suffer through his current funk.
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#408682 - 09/02/12 01:21 AM Re: survivors wanting to be alone [Re: love]
love Offline


Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 37
What if depression isn't in the picture and why is an intimate relationship so threatening to a survivor?

HD001, your "H" meaning husband? If so, how is he running away in fear of intimacy if he is married already?

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#408686 - 09/02/12 02:40 AM Re: survivors wanting to be alone [Re: love]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Obviously, love, you'll learn a lot scanning these boards...and welcome, btw. I can only speak from my experience as a survivor.

I prefer my "solitude," I'll call it, because I feel completely free to be myself. Some of it comes from being an only child and learning to be my own best company. Some of it comes from physically, verbally and emotionally abusive parenting. When I came out of my bedroom, I knew I was essentially on stage for them and everything would be judged mercilessly. To this day - not that it's necessarily a bad thing for business - I feel I have to be "on" and convincing in most interactions. Plus side of this is I'm often perceived as gregarious, etc. I am. Sometimes, too, I'm genuinely interested in what others are saying in a social situation. But it takes a lot out of me.

My CSA (childhood sex abuse) was my high school guidance counselor to whom I turned in desperation and as my last chance for help. The Sandusky matter was my trigger, so it's been a rough couple of months since the verdict as I finally put all of it together for the first time. I already had issues trusting people who, though I was supposed to be able to trust them, didn't deserve my trust. With the guidance counselor, it was once-and-for-all driven home that I could trust no one, and especially those who I was supposed to be able to trust.

So, yeah, intimacy - scary enuf for most people - feels downright dangerous to me. 40 years later, I keep people at arm's length.

Re HD001's "slings and arrows" comment: If, for example, someone innocently suggests, "Why don't you...?" I can really go off. I really don't want to have to go thru the full explanation of "why not" because they don't have a clue anyway about what I'm feeling, it means more questions and more explanations. It's just more brain clutter to me and I'm already expending all my energy just to keep it together.

She's also right about "uncomfortable". It's more like embarassed almost to the point of humiliation. Hell, no, I don't want anyone to see me when I'm in a funk.

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#408689 - 09/02/12 03:34 AM Re: survivors wanting to be alone [Re: love]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1871
Loc: durham, north england
Well love, my own position is slightly different.

I have a real problem with genophobia, that is fear of s/x and with touch. For this reason, I've never had a relationship, despite having a desire for one which has sometimes become so strong it's been physically painfull, yet because I'm male, because I'm expected to make the first move, and because I can't perceive those mysterious signals that are supposed to initiate these things, it's never happened.

For this, for my own protection I've made a resolution to cut out that desire in myself. It was my attempt to do something about a relationship that landed me in recovery in the first place, and from where I'm standing, it's brought me nothing but a lot of pain, so it has to go. I don't always succeed at removing this desire from myself, but the more I practice, the easier it is, especially when I am devoting my life to something more fulfilling, such as music or creativity.

This is a slightly different matter to what I believe hd and lanser mentioned, which is the matter of intraversion, that is, relaxing by spending a lot of time alone, away from anybody, which is not the same thing, sinse there are plenty of people who are in perfectly normal relationships who are natural intraverts and relax by being alone (my mum is one, and so am I), though for survivers solitude, like any other addiction can go too far (something I've struggled with myself).

this is quite a different thing though, sinse it's still possible for an intravert to have an intimate, loving and fulfilling relationship with someone else, ---- indeed many of the successfull couples I know are one intravert and one extravert, it just means that where the extravert relaxes by talking to someone else, spending time with other people (often strangers), the intravert relaxes by spending time alone by themselves.

Both can bare! the other situation, the extravert isn't going to freak out if they are alone for a while, and many intraverts (including myself), develope sufficiently good social skills to cope in situations with others, but essentially this is more a matter of ease, comfort and relaxation than a desire for a relationship, though as recovery destorts everything elseI'd say it's quite possible for an intraverts' desire for aloneness to become too much or be destorted into isolation.

Such would be my thoughts anyway.

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#408745 - 09/02/12 11:56 PM Re: survivors wanting to be alone [Re: love]
Brugmansia Offline


Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 3
Loc: Montana
Being married does not mean intimacy, necessarily. There is a line from an old country song that I have repeated many times "If I am going to live alone, I'd rather do it by myself". Classic wounded behavior for an abused person is to keep the spouse locked out, door barred, to their true self. They may do lots of normal couple things, ie sex, social events, children, but the vulnerable walled off inner self remains isolated from anyone, everyone, 'safe' from all harm and judgement. Not safe, of course,
but surely miserable.

My first husband had been cruelly abused by his older brother- sexually and in so many other ways. The parents turned a blind eye, especially Mom, who told me 'Boys will be Boys' when I brought up my husbands obvious scars. In 15 years of marrage, I only really saw him 2 times. The door was slammed shut in seconds. We divorced a year after he told me he would rather do so than see a councilor. Only later did I discover that his picture of councelling was a man standing over him, shaking his finger and telling H all the ways he was wrong and bad. I still pray for him. He was/is a good man in so much pain.

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#408765 - 09/03/12 09:25 AM Re: survivors wanting to be alone [Re: love]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Yep thats true.

I was in a relationship and yet wanted to be alone. It is a scary thing having to lie and cheat to hide our pasts all the time, so being alone is easy, we don't have to think of what was said and what we need to say, we just dont say anything.
Now that all the lies are gone, we are in a better situation. I dont have to think about this anymore, I have a tremendous sense of freedom and a tremendous sense of self these days.
So now it is great to be around people, but only some. I still dont like crowds and I still dont make friends easily, but thats ok because I now have a ton of survivor friends in my life.
One of the old hands on MS.org said that it was great for his wife, she married a better person than what she knew, once he had healed from his past he was a much better person.

Heal ell
Martin
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Survivors Supporting Each other
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#409576 - 09/09/12 10:29 AM Re: survivors wanting to be alone [Re: love]
love Offline


Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 37
Thank you all very much for your comments!

I would like to hear examples of what you do to keep loved ones at arms length if anyone is willing to share. What feeling or moment triggers this?

Would all of this be considered fear of commitment/ "commitment phobe"? And does it just go on and on or does it come to a point where you get tired of it and want closeness or and only to distance and run away again? Does a person have to prove themselves to you or do the tactics of testing or pushing away become more intense?

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#409600 - 09/09/12 02:50 PM Re: survivors wanting to be alone [Re: love]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 205
Loc: IDAHO
My H has never stopped testing me. I knew what he was doing from the get go and even asked him once. "Hey, how many of your tests do I have to pass before you realize you can trust me." He didn't answer just smiled. The more of his tests I passed the more intense they became. I think he believes that if he keeps testing one day the fear of being betrayed will go away and he will trust me. But it doesn't work that way so it goes on and on. I still call him on it. And in the first stage of our our relationship he told me that he felt like I really "got him" and liked that fact that I could see through his mask. But the longer we were together it seemed the more he began to felt threatened by what he was originally attracted to. I don't really blame him, I can be kind of tuff love at times. I have dragged him home slobbering drunk many times and said "Hey maybe you should quit hiding and deal with your crap. You are better than this." If someone had said that to me back before I was ready to talk I would have been triggered big time. For a survivor it's really scary for someone to see the things that you are trying to hide. It feels like a violation. Like if someone where to grab you and rip off your clothes. You would feel panicked and exposed. You would probably want to run away from them, and would be really angry at them for doing that to you. I don't want to make my husband feel that way and I know that I have not always handled things in the best way but I'm doing my best. It's hard to draw the line between being supportive and letting stuff slide and being a doormat. So as supporters we are bound to make mistakes.
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Everything comes from within

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