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#412971 - 10/13/12 03:27 AM In the Company of Men
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1478
Loc: New England
Okay here's a question thats been on my mind for a while. When I'm in a group of men socially, I never feel like part of the group. I always feel like a little kid, awkward and unsure what to say. Even when most of the men are younger than me. Its like I'm stuck at 13 (my csa age).

At the same time I can socially relate well to women. I do great at public speaking. I can be funny, articulate, and poised. But put me in a small group of guys and I freeze up.

Am I alone in this or what?
_________________________
"But now old friends are acting strange,
they shake their heads, they say I've changed.
Something's lost but something's gained in living every day
....it's life's illusions I recall, I really don't know life at all. "
Joni Mitchell

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#412981 - 10/13/12 05:11 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3319
Loc: back in the USA
Jude - i know that feeling exactly. and i remember others here expressing it similarly.

i always feel like i don't belong. like i am different. like there is a big sign on my back that identifies me as a phony who is masquerading as a real guy. (notice i didn't even have the nerve to say "man.") like the others are just tolerating me and can see through me and will be glad when i leave. like i am an outcast who has deceptively infiltrated the ranks of the normals and is likely to be exposed at any moment. like i am outside myself observing how inept and what a big loser i am...

face it - we ARE different. we have experienced things that set us apart. we see things from a different perspective - and have deeper insights to some issues - and no common ground with normal guys in other areas. nobody ever taught us how to be one of the gang.

and sometimes i am glad that i am not as shallow and mindless and simplistic and as much of an instinctive animal as the way i see them. and other times i long to be just that - with no reason to have to even consider anything but the trivial stuff that occupies them.

in short - NO - you are not alone.
Lee
_________________________
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9

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#412983 - 10/13/12 05:23 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3600
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey Jude,
I can so much relate with you. I'm embarrassed to even count how many girl friends I have, they are highly over-numbering my male friends smile
I've never feeling at home in some huge group of men. Especially if someone is loud and aggressive there.
And certainly I'm somehow nervous if I have to meet and spend some time with some men that I don't know. I've been forcing my self a little bit there and I've started to play tennis with guys that I don't know, so far it was great.
But there were some failures too. I went on two occasions on ski weekends with couple of guys (all alfa males) with whom I don't have nothing in common and I survived drinking and eating in huge quantities and making terrible mess in house but I would not repeat it smile

At my work women are coming in my room for some chat all time and it is always some laugh and noise there and some male colleagues are jealous but I really don't have any intentions, I'm just more relaxed in company of women smile

Pero
_________________________
My story

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#412998 - 10/13/12 10:53 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2572
I'm 100% like that. Always find myself with the women rather then men and haven't ever felt like I fit in or belonged.

Yet like you I speak publically, I teach, I'm very technical, write well etc. But am on the outs with men.

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#412999 - 10/13/12 11:18 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 749
Loc: michigan
not alone at all man. I have never been able to feel secure around a bunch of guys and smaller groups are even worse. I just feel like I am wearing a mark somehow. and that all the "guy talk" is so superficial.And just like the rest of the guys here I speak in public,even sing but when I am "on" t just seems like another act lots of times. when I'm there I feel safe cause I'm in control just another kind of isolation I guess.
hope that helps
_________________________
Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!"
Herman Melville

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#413002 - 10/13/12 12:31 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Treehugger75 Offline


Registered: 02/08/12
Posts: 158
Loc: Ontario Canada
You are indeed not alone. I very rarely socialize with men of my own age. They generaly are roughly a decade apart either older or younger. Men my age seem to put me on edge and I feel like I'm singled out as the weird one, regardless of how esoteric my companions are. I'm fairly sure they don't pick up on it as like you i'm articulate can hold my own in conversation and am occasionally pretty damned funny, but on the inside i just feel like vomitting. Perhaps its the pecking order most men feel the need to place them selves in that makes me feel more comfortable I wouldnt be competing for women more than 10 years in age difference. Hell i dont know why i don't feel comfortable around men my age, just that I hear ya on this one.
_________________________
I will never ALWAYS be right, I wasn't wrong, I am whats left.

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#413003 - 10/13/12 12:39 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6815
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Jude
Okay here's a question thats been on my mind for a while. When I'm in a group of men socially, I never feel like part of the group. I always feel like a little kid, awkward and unsure what to say. Even when most of the men are younger than me. Its like I'm stuck at 13 (my csa age).

At the same time I can socially relate well to women. I do great at public speaking. I can be funny, articulate, and poised. But put me in a small group of guys and I freeze up.

Am I alone in this or what?


Me too. And I'm also responding to the other guys who have expressed this. I know I first felt this when I went off to first grade. I know that these feelings made me vulnerable to more abuse.

The book I'm reading about the effects of abuse in children comments specifically on this social problem.

Puffer

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#413005 - 10/13/12 01:02 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1390
Loc: California
I have EXACTLY the same issue.

ADD to that, I'm also very uncomfortable around women. I envy you guys that have any friendships at all.

After a very hard short lived dating experience, I've just now learned that I haven't got a clue what "intimacy" is.

I don't understand intimacy. I mean, sure, I can "talk" very intimately, but non verbal intimacy? NONE.

I'm all alone on this planet because of that. My heart is broken. Has been broken almost all my life.
_________________________
It's a heroes journey, and you are the hero.

Loving Kindness Meditation will dramatically improve your spirits; give it a try for just 3 days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM

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#413009 - 10/13/12 02:05 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2572
Awesome thread. Thank you for bringing it up. It actually helps me feel not so quite alone. So many here like me. Like Allen I was on outs even by first grade.

Crazy thing is, I know others see me as confident and capable etc. but I sure don't feel that way at all.

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#413010 - 10/13/12 02:14 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Letourski Offline


Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada
I can relate to everything here as well. I even have a hard time using the word "man". Truthfully, I have days when I am feeling more confident and those also coincide with feeling more comfortable with my masculinity. Great thread. Thank for sharing.
_________________________
I am the warrior.

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#413013 - 10/13/12 02:35 PM * [Re: Jude]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
*


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (04/29/13 12:32 PM)

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#413015 - 10/13/12 04:07 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Magellan]
Treehugger75 Offline


Registered: 02/08/12
Posts: 158
Loc: Ontario Canada
Quote:
but non verbal intimacy? NONE.


This brought an interesting point to my mind. Do I also not feel kinship between either sex. Do I simply overcompensate in a non verbally intimate way as a form of a mask to hide my real inability to connect. The same way others have stated before of being uncofortable and in the wrong skin in a wholey male crowd but being able to talk enough of a game to slip through the radar. I find intimacy EXCEEDINGLY difficult to grasp and understand, and, with but a single exception in my life beyond my abuse, exchanged sexuality as a substitute almost immediately, for they became interchangable from the start.
_________________________
I will never ALWAYS be right, I wasn't wrong, I am whats left.

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#413018 - 10/13/12 04:39 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Well Hello Brother.

Sounds like I wrote this Myself. Actually I don't really have an Guy friends and my wife gets a little peeved if I have only lady friends, so I go through life with well, no friends.

I'm not like most guys, cant do the he man talk, cant talk about sex all the time and don't really do the phony sports talk.

So yep.
BTW I hope this post isnt to positive??? Hehehe

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

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#413023 - 10/13/12 06:03 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
thedudeabides Offline


Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 27
Loc: Augusta, Georgia
I have realized recently that I am completely ill at ease in the company of men, especially a small group. I feel inadequate, like I don't and couldn't possibly belong. I had to type this post three times because I felt like it was stupid and you guys aren't even in the same room. How weird is that?
_________________________
I don't ask for much, I only want trust,
and you know it don't come easy.
Ringo Starr

They flutter behind you, your possible pasts;
Some bright-eyed and crazy, some frightened and lost...
And strung out behind us the banners and flags
of our possible pasts lie in tatters and rags.
Roger Waters


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#413056 - 10/14/12 04:39 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Yerac Offline


Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 45
Loc: Southern CA
.

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#413060 - 10/14/12 05:05 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: thedudeabides]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: thedudeabides
I have realized recently that I am completely ill at ease in the company of men, especially a small group. I feel inadequate, like I don't and couldn't possibly belong. I had to type this post three times because I felt like it was stupid and you guys aren't even in the same room. How weird is that?


Not at all tda. You'll love this: you're in the right place! (and if no one's said it...WELCOME!)


fwiw, I edit my posts all the time.

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#413062 - 10/14/12 06:37 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1478
Loc: New England
Wow, I never expected this much response. I thought it was just me and my feelings of inadequecy. Truth is after my CSA at 13, I completely withdrew from the human race. Never had a friend again in my life, except for one at 18, which became sexualized (though without any contact)and ended up a disaster. Otherwise, never let anyone near enough to possibly hurt me again, or learn my "secrets".

Even now when I force myself to go to a men's AA meeting, I feel like everyone there is bigger than me. Even so, I like the honesty that happens there without women around. Honesty...thats another thread!
_________________________
"But now old friends are acting strange,
they shake their heads, they say I've changed.
Something's lost but something's gained in living every day
....it's life's illusions I recall, I really don't know life at all. "
Joni Mitchell

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#413063 - 10/14/12 07:27 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5941
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Gary,

This is certainly a survivor's cringing moment. Personally I used to dread one or more men paying me any attention, but I craved attention greatly, so it became a cycle of drawing near to men, then becoming overwhelmed because I was not getting the support I wanted from them or they would begin to pick on me because I was not understanding their form of humor. I was rejected so much more than I was accepted. My father was also abused, unrecovered he beat me emotionally and physically, so I figured guys who were older than I would do the same. I was told to be respectful of older ones, but the older ones were sarcastic and condescending, so it was difficult to do anything to please them. I remember once I was with some of my dad's friends and they had a flat tire, I was about 14 or 15 and rushed to take the tire off, you know, to be helpful. I could not break the nuts loose, and one of his friends pushed me aside and said "you kids think you know everything" and broke the buts loose. Later on that guys kids both had severe emotional issues, including hospitalization, paranoia and schizophrenia, his son carried a gun onto a busload of kids. I felt so sorry for that boy.

I had trouble relating to men until I became balanced in my thoughts. Recovery supported me, so I did not need to seek validation from other men. They were them and I was me. I was not angry with them when they talked about sexual things in a derogatory way, or if they tried to make me feel like I was dumb, I could walk away. One of the most empowering moments of my life was when a guy in a group told a "soft"(as if) child sexual abuse joke, and I confronted him in a calm but very firm way. I looked him in the eye before the punch line and told him that was inappropriate. I did not demand he stop, I just let him know it was not funny. He did not finish the joke and apologized. That was amazing.

What I wanted from men I really wanted to balance in myself. I was not going to have sex with them, they were not going to control me, I did not need to confide every sin I ever made with them, they are just trying to find a bunch of guys who are detached from their emotions and want to laugh about body waste and listen to stories of killing animals. I guess in a group of men I listened more to me telling me I was not worthy of being with them, that I was going to do something stupid and be embarrassed. I was scaring me out of being with those I really felt I wanted to be with. When those thoughts no longer controlled me, I found I could be with, well, almost anyone I wanted to be with, I was fine, they were fine and we good.

The bonding of men can be about connecting to a stronger, more likable guy who can fix anything, is admired by men and women and can be in any disposable shaver commercial. Let's change that by showing them how "manly" attentive, empathetic, compassionate, firm and gentle a man can truly be,

Sam
_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#413079 - 10/14/12 11:22 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Letourski Offline


Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada
Thanks Sam,

I really needed to hear those words. I always feel like I am caught between who I want to be, and who I want to be for others.I am not sure how to reconcile who I am as a man.

Heal well

Daniel
_________________________
I am the warrior.

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#413080 - 10/14/12 11:55 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5941
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
(((Daniel))) Keep searching for the answers fellow survivor. They ARE coming. We are a composite, we are whom we have been. Finding the one hurt, loving him and then teaching him who we want to be matures us. In empathy, in really feeling the confusion of the hurt survivor, the embarrassment of the mistakes since then and the frustration we feel now, we heal. In healing, we seal the composite pieces into a solid frame, a picture of self support.

This is in time, the success of recovery is in the little battles won, as they teach us how to dance at our victory of the war.
_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#413104 - 10/14/12 05:23 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Dolphinboy Offline


Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 39
Jude, like so many others here, I am also one who feels uncomfortable in the company of men. I am Slightly surprised to learn that I am not alone in this. I have never been to a stag party and if I were to get married, at no stage in my life did I have a friend who could be my "best man". I can relate to so much of what has been said here on this topic. I have tried very hard to be seen as just another guy when in a group and lately it is getting better. But for most part of my life going out and being in a group of men was very hard. My csa took place from ages 8 to 12 and in a way I became locked into that age. I just could not mature like other guys and always looked years younger than my real age.
_________________________
When there are dolphins in the waves,
the sharks wont get to us.
I believed my dad that day
and became Dolphinboy,
my own protector.

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#413166 - 10/15/12 10:12 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
iambubba Offline


Registered: 04/24/12
Posts: 31
Loc: Canada
!00% with you. Its same for me. I actually perform in front of 1000's of people put me in a group of guys even 1 guy and the word uncomfortable doesn't begin to describe the way I feel.
I found this interesting though..put me in a group of gay men and I'm ok. Why?
I spent my years at college waiting for my roomate to do something to me...and remember finding it strange he didn't. This was one of my first moments of ah I'm different then everyone else.. I was expecting something to happen and almost felt like I was worth less cause he didn't try taking advantage.

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#413198 - 10/15/12 04:07 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Farmer Boy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia
Thanks guys. You have all said it so well. All I can add is me too.

The funny thing is I would rather talk to girls but my wife would rather talk to guys (we are perfect for each other). She didn't have any CSA - just was a tomboy. Lol. We find ourselves in situations all the time looking at eachother across a room and seeing that the other is uncomfortable and would rather be where we are.

I don't feel like a grownup either. Even though I'm 6'2", have a beard and all manly farmer type I still feel like I'm pretending to be a man(don't feel comfortable calling myself that either). I have a lot of friends and try hard to fit in and listen to them talk about stuff I really don't care about (mostly sport and hunting). It just feels so unnatural for me.


Edited by Farmer Boy (10/15/12 05:52 PM)
Edit Reason: added not grown up bit
_________________________
More than meets the eye!

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#413200 - 10/15/12 04:16 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2572
So.... since this is apparently a really really common thing... how the heck does it get fixed? How do we work on it?

What's the practical application for this? Maybe for some of us we're content with the way it is... but what about us (like me) who realize that I have huge longing and void that I need male friendship and companionship and even feel it's something I need to move forward and heal the next broken thing in me!

I have a wife who I love dearly and love her affection (when she's willing to give it, which isn't often enough for me but... anyway), but that affection certainly doesn't help fill or sooth the hurting spaces in me. Maybe seeking that from others, regardless of gender is just a fool's errand, I really don't know. I've always been this way (at least it feels like it has been).

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#413249 - 10/16/12 05:24 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Edward2 Offline


Registered: 09/30/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Maryland
I am so grateful for this discussion. I too am far more comfortable with women than with men. It seems that men who are good listeners, are sensitive, are not into sports are excluded from the world of "real" men. I too have learned how to fake it, walk into a room where guys are watching sports and always ask "what's the score" -- as if I care and know what teams are playing. So does this stem from the abuse? I have felt different ever since I experienced the pain of being called "faggot" and "fairy" for three years in elementary school. I was being sexually molested by a young man in the neighborhood at the same time.....what's been so hard to sort out is the fact that I loved the special feeling of being with this young man, felt special, never thought of it as abuse. It all happened between ages 8 and 11......the legacy: I have created a facade, know how to deal with the world but always feel empty, always feel that I'm on the margins, never fully participating in life. Several women have told me over the years that I am just like one of their girlfriends in that they can confide in me and that I care about their issues. I DO NOT want to be a girlfriend but I am also not a guy friend. I am married, seem like anyone else on the outside but am in a state of constant emotional turmoil. I want to let out the feelings that have been pent up for decades but fear ending up alone in a ratty apartment with rejections from everyone I know. I actually long for a relationship with another man to finally find out if I'm gay but doing that would be the end of my marriage and would be so far out of my comfort zone......so do we who are sensitive guys pretending to fit in our whole lives, do we just spend our entire lives wondering who we are, fearing the exploration of that question, and never really knowing.......

Ed

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#413251 - 10/16/12 06:09 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Crusoe Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Dubai
My therapist made an interesting point the other day...

Only men need have this discussion and only men put themselves and each other through this purgatory. As boys and later men we battle with the idea of what makes a MAN. We tease each other and torture ourselves over the issue and our sexual identity. Women do not question if they are a woman or not. They do not argue over what characteristics define a woman. They are simply woman (They are cruel to one another/themselves for other reasons and in other ways)

We were born men and we are therefore men, regardless of our character traits or preferences. If you do not like sport you are still a man. If you don't like to fight you are still a man and if you prefer not to be coarse and insensitive it doesn't mean you are less a man. You can add an unending list of issues here that still won't change the fact that you ARE a man.

The question is what kind of a MAN (insert here emotional human being) do you want to be (what do you admire in others) Don't be a sheep and try to fit in.

The real challenge for us is standing tall and being proud of who we are and the values we hold. Recognising our strength and beauty and understanding that others will see what we see. If you believe you are the dogs b*ll*cks then others will go along with this. If you believe you don't have the right to exist you will project an uncertainty toward others.

We feel alone and insecure because we are uncomfortable in our own skin. (But so are many of the masquerading MANLY guys out there. Most people will respect us for standing up for ourselves and our views (whatever they are) but it is so scary to show people what we stand for if we need recognition and approval. Sometimes you will get BOTH but it is not guaranteed. These are the reasons I struggle so much and the same reasons challenge me to be intimate. I am scared of people seeing who I am without guards because I am not comfortable with myself.

The more risks we take and the more we push ourselves the more pride and self esteem we earn.

Sorry ... my point meandered toward the end ... these are my current thoughts though.

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#413259 - 10/16/12 08:59 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3600
Loc: South-East Europe
Hi guys, this is so good discussion!
Well as the most of people we survivors are insecure and it is really hurtful for me seeing that I'm more supportive and kind for others than to my self. Sometimes I'm feeling like nothing good in life I deserve.
If I'm anxious and under stress I've been caught in constant turmoil and fight with such negative thoughts. There is no worse punishment for me than being left alone in such mood, it is terrible to handle sometimes.
I think that source of that negative self image is in unconsciousness. I feel it during my sleep and at the moments when I'm not fully awake early in the morning.
And no matter from what I've been scared when final confrontation comes I've been felt huge relief; relief of my grumpy inner voice more than from some difficult situation that I have had to deal with.
That voice is telling me to be scared of men, to expect the worse, to be not good enough or not man enough etc.
I guess some self esteem and confidence will come with age naturally.
But guys I wanted to tell you that I remember my childhood and later past when I was one of the leaders for bunch of boys from neighborhood. I was good in sports, I was helping others with school problems, I knew for many things that others didn't understand. Some of boys looked at me like in some hero.
Sometimes later during my high school I pulled back avoiding exposing my self to others and especially male friends from school. My mum died at that time, some boys attacked me and my brother because of some girls and some of them called and looked at me as I'm gay in the most negative context.
I've been caught on that spot ever since. Somehow it was much easier for me to feel good in my skin when I was boy than now as grown man.
So now here is my status related to this issue:
I've been trying to look more positively on myself.
I'm aware that I don't need confirmation from other males, I know who I'm.
I know that I can be supportive to others so I'm looking for that strength to revert it to myself; why not to try to do something for myself and to put my well-being a little bit higher on the list?
I dare occasionally to push myself to go over my comfort zone: like playing tennis with some new guys (it was great so far) or going for ski weekends with some men (I'll try not to repeat it) or becoming friend with my coworker (who is terrible annoying alpha male and now I'm trying so hardly to pull back smile ).
I needed to talk to my father about my brother who couldn't tell him that he is gay. I become aware how scared my father could be and fragile as person.
I started talking with my father and some men from my family more openly, I'm still felling that some of them consider me ass much younger and not equal and that neglect especially drives me crazy.
I'm trying to be more active and not passive waiting for things to happen, this is the most difficult task for me.
Some anxiety toward other men in my case would always be present like my hyper-vigilance but I learned that after some time my inner voice full of fears and negative messages would become silent.

So guys I know that some improvement is possible.
Let's share all our issues so we can learn how to become more relaxed in own skin!


Pero


Edited by peroperic2009 (10/16/12 09:02 AM)
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#413265 - 10/16/12 09:31 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Obi Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1288
Loc: kansas
i find this interesting....

where, it seems, a lot of you find it easier to talk with women than men, well.... it's the opposite for me....

i find it a lot easier to be in a group of men than women...

strange, considering that i was abused by an adult male....

i tend to see it that the person who abused me screwed up sex for me. i'm extremely afraid, and other than the abuse, consider myself a virgin... i'm currently working on these issues...

anyway, i'm sexually attracted to women... this makes it very difficult, and scary, for me to be in a group of women...

i'm not sexually attracted to men, so it makes it easier for me to be around them. i've always enjoyed sports, have some natural athletic abilities and was playing sports before my abuse happened... i continued to play sports after... i can talk sports with the "guys"... action movies, games and so on....

just always seemed easier for me to be in the company of men than women... with women, i feel like a stranger in a strange land.
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#413318 - 10/16/12 06:33 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Yerac Offline


Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 45
Loc: Southern CA
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#413351 - 10/16/12 08:46 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3319
Loc: back in the USA
Yerac - i think you are right about the inferiority. i always feel like i am a gawky adolescent when around other men - even those younger than me. i hadn't thought of it under that name. i was calling it "shame." i guess both could be true.

ironically, one of my "what ifs" has aways been - what if my real father hadn't died when i was almost 3? he was an athlete - a coach and Phys. Ed instructor at a college. i was even the basketball team's mascot his first season on that job. if he hadn't died - and i had grown up with him - quite apart from probly avoiding the CSA stuff from the settings that i ended up in - i always wonder if i'd have been the hopelessly awkward physical reject that i was. would i have grown up with my own private personal trainer with whom i'd have had a warm, strong bond and been a sports star? or would i have been the same inept loser that i became - and been rejected and scorned by my own father?

i know it doesn't help to torture myself that way - but i can't help it sometimes.
lee
_________________________
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9

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#413364 - 10/16/12 11:49 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Edward2 Offline


Registered: 09/30/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Maryland
There are so many themes of rejection, inferiority, secrecy, living dual lives that seem to characterize us. And there are all the what ifs: what if the CSA had not occurred; what if we had found someone else who had affirmed us and accepted us for who we are -- whatever that might be.....I have been trying to "deal" with my CSA in therapy but I'm stillnot sure what "dealing" with it means. I can describe it, I can try to go back there and relive it. But is that really dealing with it? I have a sense of the experience that I thought was truly fucked up until I saw that other guys have had similar experiences. For me, the abuse was not perceived as abuse. It was perceived as loving, warm, special, someone caring about me between ages 8 and 11 when the other boys in the neighborhood appeared to delight in calling me "fairy" and "faggot." So the young man across the street embraced me, emotionally and physically. And this became our secret. The difficulty occurred when he rejected me. Was I no longer good enough? Did I not perform oral sex in the way that he enjoyed? Is this truly fucked up? Probably. Not feeling as if you are pleasing your abuser and not knowing it was abuse until much later. So the secret stayed with me and I guess it did all sorts of things to me emotionally that I still don't understand. Trying to understand but all I know is that there is the facade of a successful guy who manages a successful program for families and children with disabilities and seems to be liked by staff and clients. But I never really believe that I have anything to offer and accolades mean nothing because anything that I accomplish I assume that any asshole can accomplish. I even have a Ph.D. that I pursued primarily to please my parents and to validate that I was smart. But as soon as I got it, I plunged into despair. There is always the line from the Peggy Lee song: Is that all there is? Under the facade there is emptiness. There are feelings of longing, of chronic uncertainty, of wondering who the fuck I really am....I seem to do a good job of helping other people but perhaps we never can really uncover all the layers, all the crap that defines us. And is this uncertainty due to the abuse or maybe I am really just an asshole. But three years of getting your penis sucked while being called fairy and faggot does have a legacy. Still trying to figure out what the fuck that legacy really is.....

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