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#410905 - 09/21/12 12:46 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
I think it takes a very special woman to live with a survivor. smile
_________________________
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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#411058 - 09/22/12 12:21 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Thank you pheonix.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#411461 - 09/26/12 01:20 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
CdnDW,

Hey. I'm online today. I think I commented on some shit where you were posting earlier. I have to tell you that I am grinning from ear to ear about your angry rant. Don't worry about letting it out!

Let me begin by saying that your feelings/anger/outrage are not only legitimate but important/valid what-have-you. Your responsibility is to yourself, your children and your husband. If someone wrongs me or my wife or god forbid my kids? I'll kill them. I'm not someone who thinks that killing is flat wrong. I'm afraid of the damage it would do to myself. I'm afraid of dark secrets. I know how dangerous they are. And I don't want to go to prison. For those reasons, I won't kill the motherfucker who abused me, but... I can't say that it would be wrong, exactly, if I did....

But... let me say... you also need to deal with your anger. You can't let it eat you up. You can't let it fester. I admit that someday I hope to be able to reach some sort of peace with my anger. I'm not there yet, but recently I've been able to articulate that as a goal, which is good.

I think you would also do well to look very closely at your life. I don't know about the distant past as much as the present and what you want from the future. I've been thinking about some of the stuff you've written and the struggles you're having with your H and his family. Have you thought about getting more distance from your in-laws? It seems to me that there are some pretty dysfunctional situations there that might be compounding the effects of the abuse. A little breathing room might be just what the doctor ordered.

So this morning I realized that I dropped my wallet on the way to work yesterday. Someone turned it into a bank near me. The cash was gone. For a few minutes, I wasn't sure what had happened. Had the wallet been stolen? Had I dropped it?

Well, when I found that it was dropped, but the cash was gone, I briefly flirted with turning my original thought that it was stolen into a lie. I could believably say that it was stolen, as cash was taken. And a strange thing happened. I started to feel a wellspring of emotion. Something close to tears. A feeling of chagrined stoicism that I could trot out to display to people who felt sorry for me for being the target of theft.

It's weird. That string of thoughts and feelings used to be so common for me. I'd go for it. Play it up. And feel like a fraud. But also feel genuine emotions. And I'd feel very confused. Where were the genuine emotions coming from?

Well, now I know. The genuine emotions were coming from the fact that I NEVER dealt in a straightforward way with any emotions in my life, from my childhood onto adulthood. And I had plenty of things that justified emotions. I have been in fights. I've been shot at. I actually had someone put a gun to my head and try to kill me. I've caused heartbreak and suffered heartbreak. And underneath it all I was a victim of sexual assault.

One thing I've learned, though, is that not everything traces back to the assault. Things happen every day. Some of those things hurt. And those things that hurt cause me to feel emotional pain, pain that I need to learn to deal with in the here and now.

Where were we? Shoot. Bob

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#411479 - 09/26/12 06:48 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Welcome back online Bob. The rage has retreated for now. My guy and I had a tough time sunday after he started with dropping the gloves over little nit-picky things on saturday, but I confronted him about my feelings and we worked through it. He had his third T appt on Monday and literally seemed like he had a load taken off his back. He was just, I don't know... kind of joy filled. It was amazing. He shared with me and I just listened. The entire mood in our house has been lighter since.

Regarding family... I agree. I am BIG on family never understood for years why my H always kept them at arms length, but I do now. We don't see them too much - especially this year. It's kinda sad that my kids don't have the same relationship with his parents as with mine, but distance is still better than drowning in dysfunction.

I think its awesome that you caught yourself with the wallet thing. I get it. I can totally relate with the temptation to distort a situation to seek self-pity from others. It's about validation I think. Needing to know people care and notice us, but that kind of validation leaves us feeling worse because we know it's fake. I mean, even if the wallet WAS stolen, I think that kind of validation still feels artificial. Good for you for catching yourself and being present enough to recognise the tricks our psyche can play on us to feed some insecurity in us.

I think you are right about everything not tracing back to the abuse too. I think that's an easy trap to fall into though... Almost defining all the things you don't like by your abuse. I think it maybe encourages someone not to own their truths. Know what I mean? Anyway, I know I have been guilty of reading too much into my H's behaviour in the past and now I am asking straight up if something has triggered him. Funny enough, he usually answers no. I'm not yet sure if he is being honest (with himself as much as with me) or if it really hasn't triggered him. Time will tell, but the more I talk and ask and not walk on eggshells around him, it seems the more we trust one another. This is a good thing. The best thing that I could ask for. I know it's a long way to go, but as long as I know we are a little further ahead than a month ago, I feel like we are going to be ok.

Thanks for writing Bob.

Angela
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#411503 - 09/27/12 02:21 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
aksnowyowl Offline


Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 47
It's good to see things changing in your situation CdnDW and I'm glad you've found such a helpful place to vent:) I look forward to reading more of your posts, thank you for the updates.

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#411515 - 09/27/12 09:24 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Thanks Aksnowyowl... As I said in another post, you are my role model! laugh I feel really good again today. Made a BIG decision the day before yesterday that will put me in a place where I am spending more time on my own pursuits, and instead of my kids and H being stressed or needy about me not being around as much, they all congratulated me for doing this for myself!! You know you have done your job right as a parent when you see your kids changing from NEEDING you the time to just enjoying you when you can give them your time. Independence, self-sufficiency, self-esteem is, imo, the most important thing you can teach your kids! Anyway, life is getting smoother. I hate to break this bubble, but I think it is important for myself to admit that I am sort of waiting for it to go to hell in a hand basket again. Life is an ebb and flow though so I will have to remind myself then that we got here once and will find our way back and further even if we stumble along the way.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#411519 - 09/27/12 10:27 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Well, CdnDW, that sounds promising! So... what's the new pursuit? Running a marathon? Building model rockets? Learning to fly fish? Don't leave us hanging!

But seriously, that sounds good. I'm really psyched that your husband has been getting into therapy and coming out with a load off his back. I can remember those days well. It can also be kind of a scary time. I remember feeling euphoric one moment and just fucked up in a pit of despair the next.... Unlike your husband, I never even owned the memories of my childhood AT ALL until therapy. I claimed... and truly would have argued with all honesty... that I had a model childhood.

You know what's weird? I used to have the sharpest, most distinct memories of my entire childhood. I can vividly remember my fourth birthday party, for instance, which was pirate themed. I can remember specific times, as well as moments that seem frozen in my mind, like solid impressions. I could remember the abuse, but I didn't. I didn't define it as abuse. It was just something fucked up that happened. And I only thought about it when I worried how it had affected me. I worried that I would become a pedophile. I also worried that I was just a sick bastard. But mostly, I just had these vivid non-abuse memories, and it was almost like a parlor trick. I mean, I could trot out these memories about times when I was five but my cousins and aunts and uncles were adults, and they'd just be amazed that I could remember it all. Well, I started therapy and got into all the stuff with the abuse. By the way, I was diagnosed early on with ADHD, too, but that turned out to be wrong. I was just jumpy and distractable (sp?) all the time because of PTSD. I mean, I hit like 95 out of 100 on the checklist. Anyway, I even tried ADHD meds. Didn't work. And neural feedback. Also didn't work. But it turns out that PTSD just presents itself very similarly to attention deficit hyperactivity. You're just flitting around to keep distracting yourself so you don't fucking relax and remember that you were fucked as a kid!

Whatever. My point is that I had this phenomenal memory... until therapy. Once I started dealing with the memories that I had been hiding from myself, all of my early memories began to lose intensity and immediacy. You know how you might remember something vividly that happened, I don't know, a day ago? Well, I used to have those from 32 years ago. Now? Not so much. Actually, practically never.

I think my brain was just stuck at that time. People say that abuse can stall your emotional growth. I think that's definitely true. It stalled other things, too. I wonder if your husband will experience that.

Well, I'm just rambling. Have a good one. Bob

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#411521 - 09/27/12 10:31 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
aksnowyowl Offline


Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 47
I TOTALLY RELATE TO THAT! the freakin' shoe/bubble/brewing storm.

I am doing my best to enjoy the place that my husband and i are in, cause it's just such a reassuring place...but I can't help but notice that our lives are really more like a roller coaster, what goes up must come down. It seems like we average about 2 close weeks and 2 tense weeks and then 2 weeks of stress/indifference/separateness.

which is fine...but it's so hard to stop and enjoy. It's important for me not to rely too heavily on grouping situations, people, experiences into "good" and "bad." sometimes it can't be helped and I say (especially in the case of sexual abusers) "let someone else find their humanity." I'm just not there yet. But when it comes to my H and I or even my kids, I learned a quote that I love, "I know better than to take credit when things are good because then I have to take credit when things are bad."

Anyways, what I was saying is that I often feel like there "is a storm brewing." and I've haven't been able to escape it. But I am finding that while the storm never goes away and we're constantly on hurricane watch, I'm learning to switch my focus. Instead of freaking out about the storm, I've tried to focus on grounding myself and bonding with my husband. Better to have something to hold onto in a storm.

I love what you are writing about your kids. That's such an insight. I've felt that way but haven't worded it so well or thought about it in that context. But I have been thinking that lately it's nice to have them around, independent but close by, and not needy. Like we're finally filing their emotional buckets.

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#411524 - 09/27/12 11:19 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
One thing that has helped me detach from the roller coaster and enjoy time with my wife has been humor. I used to take things so seriously, because it seemed that MY LIFE was on the line. Well, yesterday, for instance, my wife asked me to give her a ride to the train before work, because she was late for the bus. I was on my way to work, too, but I'm hard-wired to be a resentful ass so I said, sure. Then I sat in the car, irritated, while she slowly and grumblingly got her stuff together and came out to the car. Well, that scenario could have turned into a fight last night, but when she kind of needled me about it at the dinner table, I joked that I was pulling my favorite trick, which was to gain the upper hand by sitting in an idling car. So it became a joke. I mean, geez. It was childish of me to do that. She was also slow. But on the other hand, I was giving her a ride to the train which helped her get to work on time.

That's all possible, thanks to therapy. Thanks to both of us growing up a bit, especially me, and thanks to the fact that I no longer feel that everything in the world is on the line all the time with my wife. Not everything is about my self-worth. You know?

It's good not to be carrying such a heavy freaking load.

Bob

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#412036 - 10/02/12 10:37 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Hey Bob, I just remembered I never answered your question and spilled the beans on the new pursuit! Not a big deal in terms of the big picture, but a positive turn for me.

For about the past two years I had reduced my work day to part-time after a couple really bad years helping my son to cope and dealing with my health and my H's behaviour. I had a great career, but had to put its progress on hold because I was just torn apart with anxiety from trying to juggle so many conflicting priorities. Part-time gave me the time and energy to get my son on the right path and reduce my stress which was a huge factor in my health... My son is now doing better than I could have dreamed (investment well made), and this left me more energy to see the other areas in my life that weren't working. I joined a gym 5 months ago, joined male survivor almost two months ago and started laying down boundaries with my husband. Then, last week an opportunity arose with my employer where they really needed my expertise, so I agreed to go back to full-time spearheading a special project, but leveraged their need by insisting they allow me to work from home 3 days out of 5. This is huge for me because a normal daily commute is 3 hours... If I had begun commuting everyday again I would have gone back to having no balance or maintenance of the areas of my life I had just got running more smoothly. For me, this is huge!! It means I have something meaningful for myself again, but that fits with the rest of my life... In the past I would have just gone back to trying to give everyone 150% and leaving nothing for myself. Learning to set boundaries is not only helping my personal life, but also my professional! It is still pretty busy and I haven't had as much time to check on and support my friends here on MS, but I am trying.

Thank you all. I feel strongly that this success was in part due to your support and encouragement.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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