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#41258 - 07/22/02 05:18 PM AND SO I SAT, ALONE
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
RAMBLING, REMEMBERING, AND RUMINATING

WHILE TAKING A BREAK FROM THERAPY SEVERAL YEARS AGO
I JOINED AN ONGOING 12-STEP SUPPORT GROUP FOR MEN AND
WOMEN SURVIVORS OF INCEST. IT WAS SPONSORED BY A
VERY INSIGHTFUL WOMAN WHO HAD A LOT TO TEACH. I WAS
THE ONLY MAN IN THE GROUP FOR QUITE A WHILE AND I
FELT WOMEN THERE KEPT SOME DISTANCE FROM ME BUT NOT
THE SPONSOR.
WHEN HER LIFE'S PATH TOOK A NEW COURSE SHE LEFT THE
COUNTRY AND HANDED THE KEYS TO ME. THE OTHER WOMEN
STOPPED COMING TO GROUP. I UNDERSTOOD WHY, AT LEAST
I BELIEVE I DO. THERE WAS A MAN IN THEIR SAFE SPACE.
THEY HAD LEARNED TO NOT TRUST MEN, AND THEY COULD
NOT SEE ME AS A VICTIM TOO. I UNDERSTOOD WELL THE
NEED TO DISTANCE, AND I FELT VERY ALONE. I SAT THERE
ONCE A WEEK ALL BY MYSELF FOR THE NEXT SIX MONTHS.

WINTER STORMS CAME AND WENT AND SO DID SPRING
STORMS. IN MY HEAD I WOULD DEBATE WHETHER OR NOT TO
CONTINUE. WAS I BEING FOOLISH?
I DID A SHIFT IN ATTITUDE SOMEWHERE IN THERE FROM
SEEING THIS AS AMPLIFYING MY LONELINESS, TO SEEING
THIS AS A TIME FOR SOLITUDE.

I USUALLY HAVE THE DEFENSIVE STANCE THAT NOBODY
REALLY CARES. I ASKED MYSELF, "WHAT IF SOMEONE DID
CARE? COULD I ACCEPT THAT CARE ? WHAT WOULD IT FEEL
LIKE TO ACCEPT THAT CARE? A WOUNDED CHILD'S VOICE IN
ME SAYS, "DON'T GO THERE, IT'S GOING TO HURT!" WHILE AN
ADULT VOICE IN ME SAYS, "THAT'S INTERESTING." I WANT
PEOPLE TO CARE AND AT THE SAME TIME I DON'T WANT THEM
TO.
TO USE THIS AS A TIME FOR ME TO CONTAIN AND FOCUS
ON MY ISSUES LET THE DAY TRICKLE AWAY AND MEDITATE.
TO RUMINATE IF I NEEDED TO. I STILL HAD COPIOUS
MOMENTS OF SELF DOUBT, FEELING DIRTY, SELF LOATHING,
WONDERING IF I WAS DOING SOMETHING WRONG, IS THIS
HAPPENING BECAUSE I'M A FUCK-UP, OR OTHERWISE JUST
GENERALLY BEATING UP ON MYSELF. I WOULD THEN EXERCISE
SELF ACCEPTANCE IN THAT I TEND TO MISTREAT MYSELF.
I GUESS I WAS A GROUP BY MYSELF, BECAUSE I KNOW I'M NOT
ALONE IN THOSE FEELINGS.

THEN AGAIN A TRICKLE OF MEN WOULD COME IN FOR A FEW
WEEKS. THEN AGAIN ONE NIGHT A WOMAN SURVIVOR WOULD
COME TO THE GROUP AND THE MEN WHO HAD BEEN PERPED
BY A WOMAN NEVER CAME BACKAND NEITHER DID THE MEN
WHO WERE PERPED BY A MALE, FOR THEM IT WAS NOT SAFE.
NEITHER DID SHE RETURN. I SAT BY MYSELF ONCE A WEEK
FOR THE NEXT 4 MONTHS. THEN ONE NIGHT FOUR MEN AND
SIX WOMEN CAME TO THE GROUP. I THOUGHT, "THIS IS
STARTING TO HAPPEN!" THE SHARING WAS WONDERFUL.
NOT ONE CAME BACK THE NEXT WEEK.
WEEKS LATER MEN STARTED TO TRICKLE IN AGAIN. ONCE IN
A WHILE WOMEN WOULD SHOW UP BUT THEY USUALLY DIDN'T
STAY. THEN EVENTUALLY, AFTER ABOUT A YEAR, THE GROUP
STABLIZED WITH BOTH MEN AND WOMEN. I UNDERSTAND AND
RESPECT THE REASONS FOR MEN AND WOMEN'S FEARS. WOMEN
HAVE BEEN MY HEROES WHEN DEALING WITH SURVIVOR ISSUES.
THEY WERE THE FIRST TO HAVE COURAGE ENOUGH TO SPEAK
THEIR TRUTHS. I HAVE HATED/FEARED MEN MOST OF MY LIFE.
TO DO SO I HAD TO HATE MYSELF. I FEARED WOMEN AND IT
WAS LACED WITH ANGER. I DIDN'T TRUST ANYONE. I HAD
REASONS FOR THIS. MY PERPETRATORS WERE MY MOTHER AND
MY OLDER BROTHER.

WE MEN AND WOMEN HAVE MUCH TO TEACH AND LEARN FROM
EACH OTHER. WOMEN ARE NOT THE ENEMY OF MEN NOR ARE
MEN THE ENEMY TO WOMEN. WE DO AT TIMES BEHAVE AS IF WE
ARE ENEMIES OR MAYBE EVEN ENEMIES TO OUR OWN GENDER.
THAT'S ALL PART OF THIS HUMAN CONDITION.
MY HOPE IS THAT I RESPECT MY FEARS, BUT THAT I'M NOT
CONTROLLED BY THOSE FEARS. JUST SOME THOUGHTS ON MY SELF-HELP
GROUP EXPERIENCES.
------------------ I THINK WE ALL NEED TO FEEL SAFE
----------------- BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELVES


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#41259 - 07/22/02 07:50 PM Re: AND SO I SAT, ALONE
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
RJD
Your persistance and insight is wonderful, and I love the way you coped with the lack of people in the group.

Quote:
I DID A SHIFT IN ATTITUDE SOMEWHERE IN THERE FROM SEEING THIS AS AMPLIFYING MY LONELINESS, TO SEEING THIS AS A TIME FOR SOLITUDE.
That's a subtle shift, and one I didn't take for a long time, well into my recovery. To me loneliness led to fantasy and acting out, something I chose to do battle with rather than relaxing and thinking "around" it.
Your "time for solitude" is so right.
Lloydy

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#41260 - 07/22/02 07:50 PM Re: AND SO I SAT, ALONE
jackjohn Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/17/02
Posts: 23
Loc: Fallston, MD
Beautifully written. I feel the same way.
Thank You

_________________________
jackjohn

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#41261 - 07/22/02 09:36 PM Re: AND SO I SAT, ALONE
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
It certainly took faith that you were supposed to be there for a reason. I know that I would not have stayed more than a month, figuring it was not meant to bee.
I even all the men and women who can have a support group on this issue. I wonder what would happen if I advertised one starting up where I live.
Thanks for telling us about that. If I ever do try to get one started I will remember you sitting there for such a long time with so many disappoinments.

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#41262 - 07/23/02 03:42 AM Re: AND SO I SAT, ALONE
Ross Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/02
Posts: 34
Loc: Vancouver, BC Canada
What a wonderful post. I learned a great deal from it. Thanks from Ross a fellow survivior!


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