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#41375 - 02/07/03 08:49 PM how come ?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
How come I, and I suspect many of you out there, know what is going on, know what causes our problems, know what we need to do, but somehow can't get our heads around doing it ?

I read the books, I learn SO MUCH from you guys it's frightening, I did a class in psychology and I'm doing counsellor training, so by now I sould be a friggin expert who's completely cured and perfectly balanced. But I'm not.

The truth is I'll never be an expert or attain a 'cure' because there isn't one, but I still feel so much frustration at not being able to achieve the goals I want.
And to add to that frustration I think I know the "why's and how's" of achieving those goals. But maybe I don't ? I'm no expert and I know that self analysis is notoriously difficult.

Do we swop our old survival techniques, the acting out, denial, dissasociation etc for new ones or just adapt the old ones ?
Have I just traded my old obsessive compulsive ways of acting out, online porn for spending hours reading survivors 'manuals' and participating here ? And if I have is it such a bad trade off ?

Well, I'd have to say it's a terrific trade off, but I still have the OCD, so it's "good news / bad news" If I lost the OCD would I lose interest in everything I do ? Because I recognize that most things I enjoy I get obsessive about, and I don't want to end up being a couch potato.

I know I still have great problems relating to my parents, and they weren't my abusers. I just feel let down by them. But there's nothing logical about my feelings at all. My mother is fearsome, and would have killed them at the time. I know they love me dearly. So where's my problem ?

Most of all I still have great problems being intimate with my wife, who's a very sensual woman.
I can talk to her about acting out and giving BJ's to strangers, I tell her EVERYTHING. But I can't say "Fancy a quicky then ?" and I can't talk, or show love by kissing, when we make love.
I know why, it's in the details of my abuse, and I can talk the talk about overcoming it. But I can't actually do it.

So, what do we have to do to jump that final fence and practice what we preach ?
Are we still bound by our old beliefs of our worthlessness, our low self esteem. Do we still cling to the comfortable feeling that we can't possible achieve anything good ?
I know that I used to self destruct whenever I approached doing anything well, the thought that I couldn't possibly achieve anything made me fear it. And the prospect of the huge fall that would 'inevitably' come was all the confirmation I needed to pull the plug, act stupid, and fail.
Is this such a hard thing to overcome, I guess it is. Even the prospect of achieving 'recovery' is still tainted by my low expectations.
I admit they're way higher than they were and I have achieved a great deal, but I sense that the old ways are still there to a degree.
Maybe I haven't traded them in for new ones, maybe I've just modified them to suit my recovery.

Some of the first words my therapist said to me were "David, it's not going to be easy" luckily I believed him.
I'm not complaing, I've come a long way I know, I suppose I've just remembered that it aint a quick fix.

Dave
\:\)

_________________________
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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#41376 - 02/07/03 10:43 PM Re: how come ?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Dave I could have written this about myself & what I'm going thru right now...

I guess that's one good thing about being in this brotherhood of survivors...

Thanks brother...

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#41377 - 02/07/03 11:08 PM Re: how come ?
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I feel exactly the same way about recovery. I have been at it for over six years after telling myself it was no big deal for 44 years. Logically I know what happened, that it was not my fault, and I should not let the past influence me. But it does. Acting out, craving the violence and humiliation, suicidal thoughts, what if, if only, ad nauseum. Every time I go forward two feet I feel like I slip 1-3feet. And everywhere you turn in the media this shit we went through is coming out of the woodwork from all directions. The Catholic Church, Hockey Coaches, Pedophilia rings. God will it never end. And you know the hell of it all. People will band together to protect seals and whales but never their children. I mean if that does not make us feel like shit nothing does. Then there is the judicial system, the politicians and so on and so on. It makes me sick. And if we speak out people look at you like "You should keep your dirty laundry to yourself". And it is from the element of society that does not include us that our perps come from. It is really TUFF to heal. Sometimes I think that we should all get together and start our own society but we wont. We desperately want to be ok. Now I wonder what the hell is OK. Maybe just a figment of our immagination. You are right about it not being easy but why are there so many roadblocks along the way????????

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#41378 - 02/08/03 12:15 AM Re: how come ?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
God will it never end. And you know the hell of it all. People will band together to protect seals and whales but never their children. I mean if that does not make us feel like shit nothing does.
Hell yes, save the whales & kill the babies! Yeah, that does make me feel like shit!

Quote:
Then there is the judicial system, the politicians and so on and so on. It makes me sick. And if we speak out people look at you like "You should keep your dirty laundry to yourself".
Don't even get me started on our damned criminal injustice system!

And yet they will waste their time & money & energy watching Michael Jackson's dirty laundry being aired!

Quote:
And it is from the element of society that does not include us that our perps come from.
Yeah, the world of the rich & famous: Michael Jackson, Gary Glitter, Johnathan King, etc etc yadda yadda ad nauseum...

(OK so I added nauseum--sick pun intended...)

Quote:
It is really TUFF to heal. Sometimes I think that we should all get together and start our own society but we wont. We desperately want to be ok. Now I wonder what the hell is OK. Maybe just a figment of our immagination.
Tell ya what I think! I think if we started our own society of survivors & supporters it would be a whole lot better than what we've got going now! I think we've got a much better idea of what "OK" is and what "reality" is than all those sick rich parasitic perverts out there, and the fupped ducked media & legal & social systems that not only protect their rights, not only support them, but even glorify them!

Quote:
You are right about it not being easy but why are there so many roadblocks along the way????????
A good question, my friend, for which I have no good answers...

Sorry if my venting & puking & all offends or upsets you or anybody else. I've got a lot of bile to get out of my system right now... \:o

Take care

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#41379 - 02/08/03 12:16 AM Re: how come ?
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
I'm one of those out there, too. And it makes me cry sometimes. But what else can I add? I think my tag lines says enough. I don't want to forget that message but sometimes I do. And those are bad days.
Mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#41380 - 02/08/03 02:35 PM Re: how come ?
michaelb Offline
Member

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 211
Loc: cincinnati, ohio
Dave...what you say is so true for myself as well..the self-defeating behaviors are never ending....i became quite upset in my therapy session last week and went home and went to bed...the bad thing is that i stayed in bed for a week, just crying and sleeping....when i saw my therapist yesterday she pointed out to me how i had made thousands of decisions to not go out and do something and that i cause my depression to get so much worse than it already is.....i see and recognize these self-destructive behaviors, but i keep repeating those same behaviors over and over again throughout my life, even though i'm quite aware that those techiques do not work...i know my new therapist of 4 months is frustrated with me, hell, i'm so damn frustrated with myself because of my behavior for the last 40 years.......................

One thing i find when i sleep in excess is that i dream alot, but they do not seem to be horrifying dreams...plus i think i feel safe while sleeping....it seems when i wake up, i'm 4 years old again with life to look forward to unabashed.....i know my maturity level most of the time is that of a 4 year old boy and i do not think that will ever change.....i just wish i'd go to sleep and never wake up..........michael


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#41381 - 02/08/03 03:03 PM Re: how come ?
Don-NY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
Quote:
How come I, and I suspect many of you out there, know what is going on, know what causes our problems, know what we need to do, but somehow can't get our heads around doing it ?
When I am brutally and totally honest with myself I find several answers to this. All of these have been or are true for ME.
  1. Because it's easier to make excuses than to risk or try or do.
  2. Because I tell myself it's too tough, too costly, or impossible to change.
  3. Because even though I know that I alone am responsible for my life, actions, and happiness, I don't want or don't know how to take and own that responsibility.
  4. Because even though I know that life is unfair and bad things happen, I still think that it was a little bit more unfair to me, and what happened to me was the worst.
  5. Because certain tired old behaviors, especially when used with just the right finesse, earn me the only recognition, concern, and warmth that I allow.
  6. Because I don't, can't, or won't admit that some things that happened to me, as wrong and sick as they were, were pleasurable. I hate it, maybe even myself, consciously or not, when I enjoy or desire those same pleasures.
  7. Because there is something about myself I don't like, or won't accept. So I keep digging (sometimes wallowing) in the past in an attempt to figure it out; to find a reason; to understand and explain away something that just may be "the way it is". This actually brings me back to my first point, but instead of making excuses, I'm looking for one that fits.



Donald

_________________________
If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

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#41382 - 02/08/03 03:13 PM Re: how come ?
michaelb Offline
Member

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 211
Loc: cincinnati, ohio
Donald....what you say is very insightful and kind of summarizes self-defeating behaviors....do you think the self-hatred causes these behaviors????

How long does it take to get rid of the self-pity????? i've been conscious of being in that mode for a couple of years, but if i'm honest with myself, guess i've been there for 40 years...will being aware of it allow me to get over it???? to really change things?????

You think all this self investigation can really help you or me in the long run????????

michael


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#41383 - 02/08/03 09:13 PM Re: how come ?
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Victor. I just read your breakdown of my venting. Golly we are a lot the same. You know the really great thing about us that we do not give ourselves credit for. WE ARE SURVIVORS ALL OF HERE. Maybe we have a lot of problems about how we did it; all the usual denial of worth, da da da da add nauseum but goddammit we did survive. And that was in spite of our perps, society, the courts, the churches etc, etc. I know we all have really severe scars from the abuse and our way of surviving but I think we should all stand up and give ourselves a pat on the back. If that does mot make each and every one of us real men then absolutely nothing does.
I am so grateful for this site because despite my rantings I am getting a whole lot of good out of it. We here in Canada do not seem to have any voice anywhere.
Speaking of that I overheard a conversation in the office the other day about claim settlements for victoms. One guy said it would have been a hell of a lot easier if the perps had killed em or they had killed themeselves. Shit I went ballistic. I guess I am outed at work now. But you know I really dont give a shit. I shut that asshole up. When he tried to appologize I told him to fuck off because he had shown his true colours and as far as I was concerned he had become a non person in my eyes. Later my boss appologized for him and I told him to forget it cause I thought the remark came from a low life. My boss knows my history.
SO BROTHERS LETS PAT OURSELVES ON THE BACK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US AND THEN KICK OURSELVES IN THE ASS TO MOVE TOWARDS OUR IDEA OF A WHOLE PERSON WHICH AS YOU SAY VICTOR IS A WHOLE LOT BETTER THAN SOCIETY'S

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#41384 - 02/09/03 12:18 AM Re: how come ?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Thanks Mike you're right on target bro!

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#41385 - 02/09/03 04:10 PM Re: how come ?
Don-NY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
Quote:
Originally posted by michaelb:
Donald....what you say is very insightful and kind of summarizes self-defeating behaviors....do you think the self-hatred causes these behaviors????
I think self-hatred has a lot to do with it. But self-hatred is just the top layer of this particular "onion". Underneath is the guilt and shame I felt. Guilt that I caused it. Guilt that I enjoyed it. Guilt that comes from loving the perp and refusing to think he could be an evil sick f*ck, so it must be me who was evil and sick.

Shame from being raped. More shame from liking what was happening just before the rape. Shame from liking and wanting sex.

Not to forget the shame and guilt that I absorbed from the culture and society I grew up in.

For me, some of the self-hatred got converted somewhere along the way, but it was just as pointless and just as deluded. I guess it was just another method of coping. I began to think that if I didn't have sex or even think about it, this made me somehow superior. At least I could never be like my perps, I could never be abusive.

Quote:
How long does it take to get rid of the self-pity????? i've been conscious of being in that mode for a couple of years, but if i'm honest with myself, guess i've been there for 40 years...
How long....? I can't answer that. No one can. I've been at this actively, seriously for close to 6 years now. Self-pity, for me, was the last to go, but I only felt self-pity after other things had been dealt with.

I mean, the first to go were the guilt and shame. Then I was in a full blown anger stage for a time. Rage at my perps, anyone who didn't protect me, myself for my own stupidity, God, the universe, fate, you name it. This got directed at everyone around me; family, friends, co-workers, clerks in stores, everyone.

I realized I was hurting people and so I isolated as much as I could, to protect them, and myself from the consequences.

But the anger went after a while. Then I worked on forgiveness. I forgave who and what I could, and I have made my peace with what and who I cannot forgive.

Forgiving myself was part of this, even though I THOUGHT I had forgiven myself already when I no longer felt guilt and shame. I think deep down, self forgivness was and is the hardest. Especially if you think that something about yourself is "wrong".

This could be anything. I mean if I am immature, irresponsible, unreasonable, selfish, or just plain lazy, that couldn't be my fault could it? Let me check the literature on this... I know there's a good reason.

If I don't like crowds, or cake, or talking on the phone, there must be something wrong with me, and I bet it's because I was getting blowjobs when I was 3.

I could gain weight and muscle if I really wanted to, if I was a better, stronger person, but my cousin raped me 38 years ago so obviously I can't, and I really don't deserve to be fit and healthy.

Sorry, I got carried away. Making excuses was my point. And for me, making excuses, and the constant searching for them was/is a way to stay stuck in self-pity mode.

Quote:
will being aware of it allow me to get over it???? to really change things?????
Quote:
You think all this self investigation can really help you or me in the long run????????

michael
Yes, I do. But awareness isn't the end of it. Acceptance is.

I accept that I'm not the life of the party. And I don't care why. But last night, I was at a birthday party and I had the best time I have had in decades. THE BEST. I talked and laughed with more people last night than I have in months.

The work, the research, the self-investigation, the awareness are necessary and important. Very important.

But when the work becomes an end in itself, or a search for more and more "reasons"; more and more excuses, then I think it's just "mental masturbation", and it's time to force myself to try something else.

I am starting with acceptance of who, what, and how I am. I am consciously living IN AND FOR today, and for the future I want.

Yes, it's tough. Yes, I slip. Yes, sometimes I need support and validation and reminders of what I have already learned.

I have this place and other resources for this.

But I needed something else. Accountability. I have gotten this by telling people my story. Disclosure. To groups of other survivors, to my aunt and uncle, to my best friends, to my mother, and now, just recently, to my boss.

All of them were supportive. All of them validated my worth and value.

My telling them was many things; necessary, healing, triumphant.

But most of all, disclosure was a statement and then a promise to myself. I will get past this. I will be OK. I am healing.

I leave you with this. It may seem foolish or trite but it has stayed in my head for several years now.

I was on-line chatting with another survivor. He told me to do or just think about doing this:

Quote:
Go to a cemetary. Find the grave of a child, or a young parent. Ask yourself, "Would they change places with you, knowing all your sorrow and misery and pain?"
I know I am a lucky man. My life of misery, pain, and isolation has left me in a position, a lifestyle, and with assets that many people envy.

They don't know my history or that I have a medical condition which may make me blind, or place me in a wheelchair, even possibly kill me.

I laugh to myself when someone says "Man, you have it made!" I wonder what they would say if they knew all about me.

And then I think of a cemetary.

_________________________
If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

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#41386 - 02/09/03 06:12 PM Re: how come ?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Thanks guys, there's lots to think about here.

"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

Thanks Sleepy.
*********************

..i see and recognize these self-destructive behaviors, but i keep repeating those same behaviors over and over again throughout my life, even though i'm quite aware that those techiques do not work...

Michael, I guess this is our major hurdle. But we musn't let it become an locked door.
**********************

When I am brutally and totally honest with myself I find several answers to this.

Don, I know I need to be more honest with myself - however brutal !
**********************

guess i've been there for 40 years...will being aware of it allow me to get over it????

Michael, YES !!
***********************

SO BROTHERS LETS PAT OURSELVES ON THE BACK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US AND THEN KICK OURSELVES IN THE ASS TO MOVE TOWARDS OUR IDEA OF A WHOLE PERSON WHICH AS YOU SAY VICTOR IS A WHOLE LOT BETTER THAN SOCIETY'S

Mike ( and Vic' ) I have to that everyday, and if I forget my wife does it for me !
**********************

Sorry, I got carried away. Making excuses was my point. And for me, making excuses, and the constant searching for them was/is a way to stay stuck in self-pity mode.

Don, sometimes I feel I've written the Book of Excuses !
*********************

Dave \:\)

_________________________
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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#41387 - 02/09/03 06:50 PM Re: how come ?
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
I suspect that many clinicians understand why we have so much difficulty doing what we need to do to get better. But as clients/sufferers it seems difficult to understand.

I have lost 100pounds, then 95 pounds, then most recently 65 pounds. Even more recently I gained 25 pounds.

IK feel so much better when I am thinner, am determined I will starve rather than get fat again but as you can see. I gain lots of fat.

I know I feel terrific when I exercise. But lately I seem too tired to do it.

I feel much better when I get up at the same hour everyday. But lately I have slept until 2 and 3 PM, missed the whole day, important meetings but when I woke a bit it just felt it would be impossible to get out of bed. If I have to I do--but then go back to bed.

WHY? Why can I help other people get a good quality of life but do not do the very thing I suggest to them? Why?

These days, there is a part of me that thinks I am letting everything go in the hope I will die soon. Of course, it has to be a nice neat death, in my sleep--no strokes or paralysis for me!! This is so goofy, but something seems like a positive power getting in my way, not just me not making the best choices.

At least that way I can feel helpless against thios power. If I think I have to make wise choices, well, that sure can be a bother can't it?

Write a book about this and it will be a million copy seller easily.

Bob

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

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#41388 - 02/10/03 12:23 AM Re: how come ?
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Bob. I can read your pain. It is all of us. I keep saying to myself when I get down, and I do that a lot, THOSE BASTARDS CANNOT WIN. I liked the quote of being in a cemetary and asking a dead young child would he trade places with me if he knew my background. IN A SECOND. I think that what keeps us the way we are is the shame, guilt,horror, pain, and self loathing that was actually forced on us. What we overlook in all this is the FORCED ON US PART. We feel to blame because it might have felt good or we were lonely and someone paid attention to us. There can be a million reasons. I have now taped a message to myself on my Vanity mirror. It tells me what happened and how I survived (not very well, and that is part of the guilt shit) and that I spite of everything I CANNOT LOSE. More importantly WE CANNOT LOSE. Lets find a way to dump it all back where it belongs. AND WE ALL KNOW WHERE THAT IS.
I am sure glad you are a moderator and can put up with all this rambling. I can feel you pain and feel my own sense of loss.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#41389 - 02/10/03 12:42 AM Re: how come ?
jaketk Offline
Member

Registered: 09/26/02
Posts: 49
Loc: illinois
I hate to vary the topic, or to bother anyone, but what if I don't feeling guilty? What if I there's just indifffernce?

jake


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#41390 - 02/10/03 09:02 AM Re: how come ?
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Jake. I admire you that you can show indifference. I wish I could . speaking personally I thought that what happened to me and where I lived on the street as a hooker for 3 years plus was no big deal and that shit happens. Over the course of my life the addiction I had for violence and feeling wanted would put me at risk because I would seek out what I was craving. At 56 years of age I decided that this sort of shit would probably wind up killing me so I set about healing. I thought I could take a pill and be cured. What an ass I was. When I think back at all the anger I had against those closest to me and the screw ups I made a work because of my disposition it hurts. Im my case my anger was really at myself because of my low self esteem. I have reached the point where I can direct the anger where it belongs, most of the time and I admire you that the effect on you has been what it has. I still have real difficulty with intimacy and believe that in those situations there is a winner and loser all the time. This, even though I have been married for almost 36 years. I never let anyone in because I was terrified of a repeat performance. I hope that this has helped you understand where a lot of us come from. I would be interested in knowing how you deal with it. Maybe there is something that we are missing and that you can help us with. Take care.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#41391 - 02/10/03 06:16 PM Re: how come ?
jaketk Offline
Member

Registered: 09/26/02
Posts: 49
Loc: illinois
I think you give me too much credit. I haven't any insight to offer, and certainly have not discovered anything that any of you have missed. What was done is done. There's no need for me to focus on it. I acknowledge it was done, but that's where it ends. Wrong is a matter of perspective, so I keep that to myself. I don't mention it unless I need to explain something. I don't dwell on it. I think it's great that you guys are making strides to fix your lives, to overcome something that brought you down. I think you should do whatever you need to do to feel whole.

jake


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#41392 - 02/10/03 10:05 PM Re: how come ?
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Thanks Jake. I guess it is as cold there as it is up here in Chicago. I guess you have put it to bed. I certainly hope so.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#41393 - 02/11/03 05:46 AM Re: how come ?
Jess Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 107
Loc: California
Don,

Thanks for your powerful and thought-provoking words. I learn something about what I should do in healing myself and recovering from not only the abuse the perpetrator did, but also the self-damaging behavior I added on top of it. Whether or not I would have participated in my own abuse had I never been abused, is something probably only heaven knows. But my big focus now is to heal. To find a remedy for the "bad" behaviors which have worked to destroy the good things in my life. Don, you made me happy and it made me laugh so much to read that you do not consider yourself to be the "Life of the Party." I am so glad you had such a great time. My Brother, it sounds like you WERE THE PARTY! That is so great! I would like to think that we should all face life, situations and others, as if we were people filled with a HAPPY BIRTHDAY PARTY inside. Don, I liked what you said about accountability. I have to work on that one. There are a few people (2) who are close to me and who need to know my history so that they can understand my recent past and what my present and future needs to be for awhile (gee I sound like a bad mystery novel writer). Finally, Don, thanks for the reality check. The cemetery story hits a responsive chord within me. Thanks for your support and encouragement here. Jess.


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