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#41693 - 02/08/03 11:08 PM Association
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Here is a rambling thought.
I have been a member of Alcoholics Annonymous since October 29,1976. I guess that makes me an old fart there too. I was 35 at the time. I used alcohol just as I did heroin over a decade earlier to help me cope, forget, and dull the pain. Fact is neither Booze nor heroin worked worth a damn.
What I am really getting at is AA is founded on the principle that we help ourselves and each other. We are self supporting and have a great deal in common with one another. DO YOU SUPPOSE THAT IT MIGHT WORK FOR SURVIVORS TOO. I mean society is not gonna do a darned thing for us; just hope we go away. Maybe they could supply us a place to meet but I do think that it might work. AA members are not judgemental and the door is always open no matter how many times you slip. Just a thought. The statistics say that 1 in 6 males will have suffered abuse by the time they are 21. Lets say it is one in four. There are 330million people in the US and Canada. Lets say 48% are male. Now the math says that there are probably over 39 million of us just in our two countries alone. Sad number!!! Even worse is the number of possible perpetrators. And that is just the male side.
And despite our numbers we do not speak with a unified voice. Nor do we act as a group. AA allows members to be annonymous and we could too. I choose not to be that way cause I do not want to make excuses to anyone for not drinking. God I might believe my excuses and then I would be in deep trouble. I think that there is a strength in us that we do not see. Feel free to expressyourselves and if it is a hairbrained idea it will not be the first I have thought up.

_________________________
Mikey

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

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#41694 - 02/09/03 12:48 AM Re: Association
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
I think that is what is happening here too. For about 7-8 years I sponsored a 12-step group for survivors of incest anonymous(SIA). They have all kinds of info for running groups. If the perpetrator was a trusted adult(priest, minister,rabbi, teacher, neighbor etc. the doors were open to you. the doors remained open to the survivor. There were even individuals that did not know their perps before they were used by them.

There are other groups dealing various forms of abuse from childhood.

There is ACA Adult Children of alchoholics, some of whom have been sexually abused.

out of Chicago several years ago there was a group called VOICES IN ACTION, and they sent out information on how to start a group.

I've also heard AA really avoids the topic of SA. Their reasoning as I understand it,is that their primary focus is about using, period. To begin to look at other issues is dangerous for the user who is prone to relapse if he opens up about the abuse.. Several members of SIA coming from AA experience a brick wall when they mention SA at AA meetings. They are accused of getting on the "pity pot." I respect what AA does, and I respect why they want to keep these issues separate.

As I understand it, Stage II recovery deals with why I came to use. When an individual is ready for stage II, using is not as high a risk and the individual can deal better with the why's.


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#41695 - 02/09/03 10:54 PM Re: Association
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Hi, I can not speak for AA.

AA does a good job with one thing: helping people who want to, to stop drinking for 24 hours. AA has no other expertise.

Other groups use the 12 steps of AA changing the word alcohol for whatever it is that they was to be absitnent from. I understand that some of these do well and others don't.

I am wondering a bout SIA. I think I will see if there is a group around here.

Bob

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

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#41696 - 02/10/03 12:08 AM Re: Association
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Let me know Bob. Cause I will look for one in Toronto Canada too.

_________________________
Mikey

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

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#41697 - 02/10/03 01:57 AM Re: Association
RickL Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 84
Loc: Oregon
I am an ACA, and attend Al-anon meetings where I live. They have really helped me. But of course, the SA piece is not there. At one meeting I decided to risk sharing that I was an incest survivor too. The room was uncomfortably quiet, and then the next person spoke. It was as if I had said "I had toast for breakfast this morning"--I didn't feel supported or unsupported, just sort of "floating". It was just strange.

A year ago I attended some SIA meetings in Portland, which is over 3 hours away. They were really helpful. Over the past year I became open to starting an SIA group here. I spoke specifically to a handful of people I met at other 12-step meetings who revealed (sometimes you gotta read between the lines) their own childhood sexual abuse. To make a long story short, we started a local SIA group here in November.

The point is, if you want such a group, you may need to stick your neck out and be instrumental in getting it started. You can't do it alone. But there are others out there who want and need this. My community has only 55,000, but that's big enough. We're a tiny group, and we've already had some ups and downs, but that makes us stronger. We're about to send a written PSA to local radio stations to get the word out. What keeps me motivated is not just my own recovery. Think of how many people could benefit from a meeting like this!

SIA also has excellent literature, including at least one pamphlet specifically about the male survivor.

If you would like to know some more of the nuts and bolts of how we started our local group, and what we've done to make it safe, you may private message me.

Rick


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#41698 - 02/10/03 02:50 AM Re: Association
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
When I told my first sponsor just a bit about my background, hinting at the sa, he was like 'I don't want to know about it' and all he wanted to talk about was drinking, plain and simple.

My drinking brought me to my knees (actually flat on my back in convulsions) and it was then that I started, just started to be able to ask for help and want it and be willing to listen. Ditto previous comments about escaping via drugs n alcohol, it just don't work and made things about as bad as it's ever gotten for me.

My answers are elsewhere, elusive though they are.

The twelve steps have and can be adapted for survivor work. I think it has a lot of merit because the steps can be applied to almost any of lifes circumstances and issues. I have a generic 12 step book somewhere, I'll see if I can find it and see whats in it, it's been a long time since I've looked at it.

The good thing about 12 step programs is that they having guiding principles to help overcome the personality problems that often arise. When I was involved in AA, I found more helpful for me to just be around people who's focus was being healthy, rather than just for help with not drinking. I could and should and even may start going back now.

jer


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#41699 - 02/10/03 08:45 AM Re: Association
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Brothers I appreciate all the posts. I do think that maybe as a nation of brothers who had to pay a huge price to belong we should be able to form some sort of support mechanism for ourselves. One thing that has always bothered me is when someone else ( non abused) says I understand how you must feel. What a crock. Nobody can understand how any one else feels and that, when you are new to the healing process can cast a bad smell on everything. We dont understand each others feeling but by god we can understand what takes us where we go. Maybe some of us who are farther into healing should stand up and say. ENOUGH WE WILL DO THIS THING FOR OURSELVES AND OUR BROTHERS YET TO COME. For me to get help originally I had to go to the POLICE and When I was on the street as a male prostitute some of my most violent customers were cops in our nations capital. It was really hard for me. WE ARE THE HIDDEN CRIPPLES. Does any one else feel this way. HOW ABOUT OUR MODERATORS HERE OR THE SUPPOET STAFF> Could we be on to something.

_________________________
Mikey

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

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#41700 - 02/10/03 10:49 AM Re: Association
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
SIA does have a lot of good literature on working the steps as a survivor.

I have a book I had to get used thru Amazon.com but it was worth it (and it was cheap):

"Male Survivors: 12-Step Recovery Program for Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse," by Timothy L. Sanders, MS, The Crossing Press, Freedom, CA 95019, 1991.

I read it a while back but have not really gone thru it and worked the steps. Seems it would be a worthwhile guide for male survivors working the steps tho.

Surely one could do it alone, tho working in a good group is always better. The problem of course is finding or starting one. I just started in a support group, but it's not 12 step and I don't think they'd be interested, from talking with the facilitator.

However, I wonder if something like this could be done in an online group.

The first recovery site I was ever active in had places to work the steps on their discussion board; in fact they had a forum for each step, then general step stuff. They also for a while had a 12 step chat. These were all oriented to general recovery, not specifically survivors.

I don't know if such things would be workable or even desired by those of us on this site. I know this is not a 12 step site. However I wouldn't mind having some feedback on it. Any tools we can use that might be helpful to us in our recovery...

Victor

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

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#41701 - 02/10/03 11:44 AM Re: Association
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
I originally posted this July 22,2002. The population of the town was about 60,000 and doubled with a student population. There were 3 colleges. If you've already read it you can just skip it.

Here goes:

______________________________________________________________________
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

________________________________________________________________________

There was a free COMING EVENTS section in the newspaper where we advertised.


------I say again, be gentle with yourselves.


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