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#417636 - 11/29/12 12:29 PM Running
outoflove Offline


Registered: 11/06/12
Posts: 26
Loc: USA
Can we discuss running and why survivors feel the need to run? Maybe survivors can chime in...

What is it that causes survivors to run away from loving, healthy relationships and love, and turn to self destructive behavior (ie: drinking, drugs, promiscuity, unhealthy relationships). Is it because they truly feel that they do not deserve love? Is it that they are trying to punish themselves? Why do they fool themselves into thinking that the things they run to will help ease their pain? Is dealing with and facing their issues so much worse than self destructing?

Can any survivors tell me what finally made them stop running and face their fears/demons?

I am just so lost and alone - When you see someone you love so much throw everything away in an instant - without much thought.

Is the need to run so strong that it blinds reality.

Any thoughts?


Edited by outoflove (12/03/12 11:49 AM)

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#417667 - 11/29/12 07:53 PM Re: Running [Re: outoflove]
RunningOnEmpty Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 91
Loc: georgia
Vulnerability, the unknown, and feeling not in control are all "scary". When they were vulnerable (childhood) serious pain occurred (CSA). Survival response kicks in- and that could be fight or flight. My H doesn't run- he pushes.

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#417675 - 11/29/12 08:46 PM Re: Running [Re: outoflove]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: outoflove
Can we discuss running and why survivors feel the need to run? Maybe survivors can chime in...
What is it that causes survivors to run away from loving, healthy relationships and love, and turn to self destructive behavior (ie: drinking, drugs, promiscuity, unhealthy relationships).

I'm glad you asked this. I have been wondering about this since I have been exposed to it here. (I didn't know much about CSA issues, other than a few of my own) I would have thought that if I had a loving relationship I would be home free. I could guess at reasons but I don't really understand.

I wonder if I had been lucky enough to get someone attached to me would she be here eventually trying to deal with the same issues?

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#417676 - 11/29/12 08:47 PM Re: Running [Re: outoflove]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 625
Loc: Southeast USA
.
_________________________
You take a walk and you try to understand
Nothing can hurt you
Unless you want it to... R.E.M./Pylon "Crazy"


My Story: Cruel Summer

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#417692 - 11/29/12 10:36 PM Re: Running [Re: outoflove]
traveler Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3204
Loc: back in the USA
Originally Posted By: outoflove
Can we discuss running and why survivors feel the need to run? Maybe survivors can chime in...

What is it that causes survivors to run away from loving, healthy relationships and love, and turn to self destructive behavior (ie: drinking, drugs, promiscuity, unhealthy relationships).
...
Can any survivors tell me what finally made them stop running and face their fears/demons?
...
I am truly struggling. Any thoughts?


i'll try - male survivor here.

first - i'm sorry for your pain. i am very wary of coming to this F&F forum because i often feel personally guilty for the suffering that all of you wives and partners are experiencing - i know i have inflicted a large dose of that on my wife.

i was afraid to face what had beenb done to me. i could see only the tip of the iceberg and feared that there was much more and much worse still buried and out of sight. (i was right!) the little that i was aware of was so devastating that there was no way i was gong to voluntarily dig it up and expose it. so i found ways of hiding, denying, distracting, displacing and running to cope with the unknown monster in the closet.

intimacy was threatening to me because in order to truly be close to my wife i would have to be open, honest and vulnerable - and that meant i would have to bare my heart, soul, memories and the hidden past and all of that was too much to even consider. there had been too much shame, rejection and condemnation already in the past - both from other people and self-imposed. i couldn't take more of that and i didn't trust her enough to hope that this time would be different - due to my fault, not hers.

what made me finally stop running and face the truth was that i had no choice. i was backed into a corner. my wife knew somnething was wrong and had reached her limit. she said that unless i got help she would leave me. i was desperate for that not to happen. though i kept her at an emotional and physical distance, i knew i needed her and would be lost without her. faced with the loss of everything i valued, i went to counseling and both i and we have been making progress ever since (with a number of rocky ups and downs along the way.) And she has amazingly stuck by me all the way! don't know where i'd be without her ultimatum - or consistent, faithful perseverance!!!

just my story - but maybe something in it will help a little.
Lee


Edited by traveler (11/29/12 10:37 PM)
_________________________
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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#417697 - 11/29/12 11:11 PM Re: Running [Re: traveler]
outoflove Offline


Registered: 11/06/12
Posts: 26
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: RunningOnEmpty
Vulnerability, the unknown, and feeling not in control are all "scary". When they were vulnerable (childhood) serious pain occurred (CSA). Survival response kicks in- and that could be fight or flight. My H doesn't run- he pushes.

What do you mean by pushes? I feel like my spouse pushed me...tested me and is still testing me constantly. He has tried, without success, to make me call it quits. When he did everything he could possibly do to hurt me and realized that I wasn't leaving...he left. I don't get it though. I know it isn't about me - but it's still very hard to understand why someone would reject unconditional love, support and understanding.

Originally Posted By: Candu
I wonder if I had been lucky enough to get someone attached to me would she be here eventually trying to deal with the same issues?

You truly never know, but I think the fact that you are here and you are dealing with your past speaks volumes about the type of spouse you would be. You want to be healthy and you are working hard at it - that's very brave.

Originally Posted By: Suwanee
Call me Phidippides. I was simply too tired to keep running. A lot of my energy went into building walls and running to keep one step ahead of the hellhound on my trail.

I led an amazingly productive existence from age 17 to age 38. Then, 40 started looming-and with it the need to confront old demons head-on before they caught me from behind.
Do you have a lot of regrets about the running you did? Do you wish you had started confronting your demons much earlier? Sorry if too personal.

Originally Posted By: traveler

what made me finally stop running and face the truth was that i had no choice. i was backed into a corner. my wife knew somnething was wrong and had reached her limit. she said that unless i got help she would leave me. i was desperate for that not to happen. though i kept her at an emotional and physical distance, i knew i needed her and would be lost without her. faced with the loss of everything i valued, i went to counseling and both i and we have been making progress ever since (with a number of rocky ups and downs along the way.) And she has amazingly stuck by me all the way! don't know where i'd be without her ultimatum - or consistent, faithful perseverance!!!

Thank you for your thoughtful response.
Much like your wife, I have been that one consistent, faithful, loving person in my spouses life. I have been his rock - no matter what. Unlike your wife, however, I never gave him an ultimatum or told him to "straighten up - or else". Was that where I went wrong? Is that what my he needed from me - for me to have a backbone?

I am just trying to understand him leaving - when he says he still loves me. When I see the pain in his eyes. When he tells me that he is evil and I deserve better.

All I want is for him to realize that he IS worth it, in my eyes. I wish he would stop running and believe that there is hope and things can get better.

This is just so hard.


Edited by outoflove (11/29/12 11:14 PM)

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#417699 - 11/30/12 12:02 AM Re: Running [Re: outoflove]
love Offline


Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 37
.

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#417700 - 11/30/12 12:06 AM Re: Running [Re: outoflove]
love Offline


Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 37
.

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#417702 - 11/30/12 12:17 AM Re: Running [Re: love]
outoflove Offline


Registered: 11/06/12
Posts: 26
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: love
It's such a complex matter... How do we know if it's sexual abuse related or if the one we love simply does not want the relationship anymore?
In my case, I have been with my survivor for many years. There was always a barrier (something there) but he was always able to pretend like everything was okay. When real memories started surfacing and he could no longer suppress them - everything hit the fan. Our lives completely changed. Then the running started. I watched this happen before my eyes. Completely textbook.

I think every survivor comes to this point eventually. The mind can only take so much --sooner or later, it breaks. Everything starts rushing back. I am the only one who knows of the abuse. He can't escape the fact that I know or pretend with me. The fact that he isn't able to face his abuse yet is probably what is making him run. He can pretend with everyone else, but not with me. With me he is himself and, unfortunately, he cannot bear to face himself yet. How do I know? He has told me. He hates himself. Cannot look himself in the mirror. Says he is sick and evil.

I guess, for now, it is just easier to run.



Edited by outoflove (11/30/12 11:58 AM)

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#417705 - 11/30/12 12:45 AM Re: Running [Re: outoflove]
RunningOnEmpty Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 91
Loc: georgia
Darn it. I composed "the greatest reply ever" and it disappeared into cyberspace.
Don't you hate when that happens?

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#417707 - 11/30/12 01:21 AM Re: Running [Re: outoflove]
traveler Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3204
Loc: back in the USA
Originally Posted By: outoflove
Much like your wife, I have been that one consistent, faithful, loving person in my spouses life. I have been his rock - no matter what. Unlike your wife, however, I never gave him an ultimatum or told him to "straighten up - or else". Was that where I went wrong? Is that what my he needed from me - for me to have a backbone?
...
All I want is for him to realize that he IS worth it, in my eyes. I wish he would stop running and believe that there is hope and things can get better.


i commend you for being there for him. maybe a "backbone" would have helped. - or maybe it would have just speeded up the running - who can tell for sure?

what i do think made a big difference for me is that when i didn't really believe that it could be any better - or even any different - i thought i could delay the probably inevitable split by at least complying with her insistence to get help. i was going to go through the motions to keep her - even if there was no other point to it. when i didn't have hope, she did - and i was along for the ride. eventually, that turned around and i had more belief that it was helping than she did. it took a LOT longer than she expected for me to start changing and seeing results.

if you don't have that card to play - "if you don't... then i won't" - i really don't know what else to suggest - except to hold out the promise or possibility of hope - as you mention in your last lines - if you are still close enough for that to happen.

my life now is better than i ever thought possible. i'm not perfect - but am actually enjoying life again - and so is my wife. we are closer than ever. i don't know if i could ever have imagined this myself - but she did - and somehow got me to go along. and i'm so glad she did.

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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#417710 - 11/30/12 01:32 AM Re: Running [Re: outoflove]
crazy gecko Offline


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
RoE - I don't think we run from healthy relationships. We run from ourselves, and from pain that we expect will come.

Vulnerability is terrifying. Even now, after all these years and all the therapy I've been through, the thought of being completely vulnerable frightens me so much I feel like I can hardly breathe.

A healthy relationship requires openness, honesty and trust. For us, all three of those are near impossible.

The closer you get to someone, the more you care, the more you need that person to return your love and the more that person has the power to hurt you. When you've been used, abused and discarded by someone you trusted, someone who was supposed to be on your side, it's hard to trust someone again. If you never depend on anyone, no one can ever abandon you. The easiest way to avoid being hurt again, is to not trust anyone.

When no one loves you, you can't disappointing anyone. And because we usually believe only the worst about ourselves, the thought of not disappointing someone seems almost foreign.

I know I push people away... first - intimacy/vulnerability is scary, as Lee also explained so well. Second - I always expect people to disappoint/reject/abandon me. So I'm always testing - are you mad? Will you be mad if I do this? Will you leave me if I tell you that? It's like I have to make people constantly prove their loyalty, or else I can't trust them. Does that make sense?

Originally Posted By: outoflove
it's still very hard to understand why someone would reject unconditional love, support and understanding.

He probably doesn't feel like he deserves it. When someone else's picture of you differs so fundamentally with yours, it makes you feel like a fake or a fraud, and you spend you days waiting to be caught out. Even though I'm in a happy relationship at the moment, I'm always searching my girlfriend's eyes for a signs that she's finally caught on to me, realised what I looser I am and is preparing to leave me... Some days I want to leave her, just so that I won't have to go through the experience of having her walk away from me...

What made me stop running? Loneliness. The only thing that I fear more than intimacy, is loneliness. It's almost like a phobia for me. Every time I start to run, I realise that the only thing I'll find at the end of that road is more loneliness, so I pick the lesser of the two evils and stop running.
_________________________
I guess what I'm trying to say
Is whose life is it anyway because livin'
Living is the best revenge
You can play
-- Def Leppard

My Story, Part 2

My blog

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#417712 - 11/30/12 01:56 AM Re: Running [Re: outoflove]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
OK I've given this a lot of though but that doesn't mean that it's right. I don't know him and I don't know you or your history with him. So based on virtually no facts I came up with the following.

Aside from your relationship, how is the rest of his life going? And I'm thinking work here. Is he doing what he wants to do? Is he fulfilled with where he is right now and on his way to where he would like to be? My guess is no. I think he feels like he is a failure.

I won't go into what CSA can do to a person but we all know it isn't good. In my case I had a father with his own problems and we were never good enough. So there was emotional and physical abuse and later on sexual abuse outside the home. At an early age I sniffed solvents, stole alcohol, then later when I had money from a job I did other drugs.

The CSA was in the past and I moved on but with damaged core. But I had an interest and went to college, quit doing drugs because I was serious about obtaining my goal (but still relied on alcohol to get me through the stress). Socially I only had a few friends, most who moved away eventually. I had a couple of relatively short wonderful relationships that ended painfully. (nothing like being told your not great in bed, but you don't hold anything back)

But I had my job that I enjoyed as it allowd me to express my creativity. And that has been what has kept me going. But things started to fall apart there two years ago. Stuff that would not have effected a lot of people as badly but kept chipping away at any positive feelings I had of myself. Six months ago I was in a very dark place. I'm pretty fragile now but doing better.

But I wonder what I would have been like if I didn't have satisfaction in my work (until the recent period). How negative would I feel about myself and how much worse would the effect of the abuse be?

During the last 5 years I have been involve in some stuff that has been extremely stressful. Some things I had to do but I wasn't able to because there was this incredible wall internally that I couldn't get over. I would try and try and I would always fail. I just couldn't get over the wall. But there were some hard deadlines and at the last minute I did it because I had no choice. But I know what that internal wall is like. The harder I tried to get over it the more it tried to crush me.

Back to you and him. I wonder if he feels like he is a failure. And not good enough for you. And you being so wonderful keeps amplifying how much of a failure he is. If his CSA (and other) problems has created such a huge wall that he can't deal with. That every time he has tried it has crushed him. And because he can't take that wall anymore he would even give up you.

I don't know. But that's the best I can come up with.

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#417713 - 11/30/12 02:10 AM Re: Running [Re: crazy gecko]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: crazy gecko
RoE - I don't think we run from healthy relationships. We run from ourselves, and from pain that we expect will come.
Vulnerability is terrifying. ...

Everything crazy gecko said is dead on in my case. Except for the loneliness part. I chose the loneliness because it was easier for me to deal with than getting involved again.

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#417719 - 11/30/12 04:15 AM Re: Running [Re: outoflove]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Well I find running a very good for of exercise, whether running from family or strangers.........., sorry

Basically for me it was a case of leave before you are rejected or before people find out that you are the pervert that you aren't. I did manage to hold onto my family, but emotionally ran from them.
And yes the need to run is huge, and worst thing is that we dont know why we want to do it.

Hope my experience gives you a little help.

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

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#417727 - 11/30/12 07:23 AM Re: Running [Re: outoflove]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 625
Loc: Southeast USA
.
_________________________
You take a walk and you try to understand
Nothing can hurt you
Unless you want it to... R.E.M./Pylon "Crazy"


My Story: Cruel Summer

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