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#421309 - 01/06/13 10:20 PM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: love]
love Offline


Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 37
What open and honest responds!

Thank you all for sharing your innermost thoughts. There is a familiarity in what you all shared and it saddening yet informative.

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#421310 - 01/06/13 10:22 PM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: Candu]
love Offline


Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 37
Originally Posted By: Candu
Originally Posted By: love
Male survivors who happen to read this...

What makes you unable to give and receive love?


Having no one to love. If I resolved that problem I'm sure I can give and receive love.

But maybe I'm missing something. What you you mean by "love"? (and who better to get the answer from wink )


And you can have that person, someone who will adore you and love you just as equally.

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#421312 - 01/06/13 10:35 PM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: CloudyFalls]
love Offline


Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 37
Originally Posted By: CloudyFalls
I wish I knew, and even when I have met others with this same problem it's just as perplexing.

I would say for me it has a lot to do with not being able to believe that it's even remotely possible that somebody could love me. A lot of times this comes as a form of a question like, "How could they love me if they knew who I really was?" Also trust is a big issue. I can't trust whether or not what I'm being told is true or just superficial bullshit. And I guess one of the most significant reasons is that to some extent I hate myself so I end up sabotaging myself so that I don't receive love, because well, I hate myself so I don't deserve it.

It's different between everyone I guess, so I just give you examples from me.

As to what would it take for you to be able to give and receive love, well if I knew I guess I wouldn't have this problem. Part of me understands it's a delusion, but part of me believes this delusion. It's an inner struggle, and if someone hates themselves, I don't see how it's possible for an outsider to help them if they're not open to the help in the first place. I've been told many times that you can't help someone who doesn't want help, idk if I believe that though, but I do know it holds some truth.



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#421314 - 01/06/13 10:44 PM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: SamV]
love Offline


Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 37
Originally Posted By: SamV
Good topic.

Fear is what used to stop me from loving in the sense of dropping my defensive walls and allowing someone to fully engage my heart. I was afraid because my siblings not only rejected me, but they became sarcastic and demeaning, ridiculing me. My siblings also sexually abused me. My parents believed in corporal punishment when they were angry, the beatings were stopped when they were tired, not due to incident or indiscretion.

Fear. Maybe more to the point, a supporter may be confused because when a supporter meets their survivor, he was happy, funny, unconcerned, took chances and made you feel special. He was attentive and co dependent, eating, sleeping, driving and working became about you. Please dear supporter, do not confuse these things for love and openness, they are not. It is decades of creating the perfect wall to hide behind, and dear supporter, we are not laughing when you are hurt, we are screaming, we are terrified, we are clawing at the walls we make, hating them and yet desperately needing them lest we are overtaken again.

We love, we cannot trust. Happiness, hope, safety and comfort all come with a terrible opposite, because we MUST control ourselves, or we will be destroyed.



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#421315 - 01/06/13 10:53 PM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: love]
love Offline


Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 37
@Mountainous Buck, it seems you've been progressing a lot in your journey and coming closer to accepting yourself. It's beautiful to hear!




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#421316 - 01/06/13 10:58 PM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: crazy gecko]
love Offline


Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 37
Originally Posted By: crazy gecko
I had to learn how, as an adult. I never learned how to show love as a child - I had no role models.

And receiving love was terrifying. First - Someone who loves you can stop loving you/abandon you. It's safer to not be loved. That way you can't hurt anyone and no one can abandon you. Second - When I was in my teens and moved in with my grandma (the first home where I wasn't abused) I had no idea how to respond to kindness. It was completely foreign to me. It was unknown and therefor frightening. I did my best to hurt her and piss her off just so she would act in a way that made sense to me, that I knew how to respond to...


How did you learn as an adult?
What your wrote is familiar! He always said he was terrified of disappointing me - would hurt me often then feel so much pain over it. It never made any sense to me. Why hurt another in the first place?

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#421318 - 01/06/13 11:03 PM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: SamV]
love Offline


Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 37
Originally Posted By: SamV
It is decades of creating the perfect wall to hide behind, and dear supporter, we are not laughing when you are hurt, we are screaming, we are terrified, we are clawing at the walls we make, hating them and yet desperately needing them lest we are overtaken again.


Is this why he would break down and cry from the bottom of his heart for hurting me? Yet repeatedly do what caused the hurt in the first place? It never made sense to why a person would be in so much pain causing hurt yet continue to hurt me in the same way after repeated, open, heart to heart talks.

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#421323 - 01/06/13 11:48 PM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: love]
EagerLearner Offline


Registered: 01/04/13
Posts: 16
Loc: Midwest
Originally Posted By: love
I also remember being told he doesn't like being caught off gaurd and needs to really have control over phone conversations - what he's going to say, how he's going to respond etc.



I found this interesting. My survivor friend hates talking on the phone and I've never quite understood why. I've actually never met him in person and we've never talked on the phone. We've just communicated online and via text for the past 2 years. I've asked to talk on the phone and every time I bring it up he gets really quiet and stops responding. At first he said it was because he had a stutter. I told him it wouldn't matter to me, I'd like him just the same. Now he just says he doesn't like talking on the phone. I wonder if it might be related to needing to be in control and not being caught off guard or made vulnerable.

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#421326 - 01/07/13 12:08 AM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: love]
love Offline


Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 37
I'm not sure exactly if it's related to sexual abuse or not. I guess I didn't make it too clear. We didn't exactly meet first and then have the phone situation take place. We spoke for months over the phone and really grew to learn of each other. We only lived a few blocks away, but I was very busy until one day where we finally met in person. We were very comfortable and raw around each other. Felt a lot of peace and acceptance. After our split, we didn't really split emotionally or energetically, just technically if you know what I mean... Until 2012 after everything that was expressed to me. He had been in and out of my life due to his own issues. He wanted to pick up the phone and call me at times but didn't due to fearing a lack of control over how our conversations would be. I'm very straightforward. He likes beating around the bush.

How do you feel about never have spoken to someone you've known for so long over the phone? That's a long time!

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#421332 - 01/07/13 12:30 AM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: love]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
It is hard to answer your question Love... He doesn't talk about these things in a clear literal sense most of the time. He just tends to react and then I get glimpses of these things when I press him to talk after the reaction so I can gain some insight. He is triggered a lot by anything that may be mistakened for a criticism. He can take a question like, "are you going to do such and such..." and react to it like someone has just said "why haven't you done this and you should have done this by now and you are a jerk for not having done this by now!" This is his guilt and shame surfacing and has nothing to do with me. I have to just steal myself away when this happens and continue on in a neutral way like he has not reacted at all. I have to just carry on without being drawn in by his reaction, without acknowledging or engaging his defensiveness... But it is really hard and I screw up a lot.

He has never wavered in his statements of love to me, he just doesn't always walk the walk so to speak. He can spend weeks being distant, not noticing what is going on around him with our family and emotionally withdrawn, but when discussed, he is surprised that I might question his love for me. He just doesn't show it in the same way and has very little self awareness yet when he withdraws. This was his normal for almost forty years, so he is often not aware when he turns off. He just fades to grey and then it is extremely hard to get any reaction from him at all for a while. I am learning to handle it by trying to focus my reaction, interpretation or reception of his love. I am trying to learn how to nurture myself and simply feel loved without his validation or affirmations.

My father also suffered trauma when his parents and 7 siblings died in a house fire, so I was raised by a man who loved his family feircly, but was emotionally distant, never showed emotion, rarely said "I love you", even to his kids, and suffered bouts of depression where he seemed to just go into his head for months... sometimes years. I did not possess the ability as a child to understand his trauma, so I became co-dependent and tended to think that I was at fault for his distance and lack of displays of love and affection. All I knew is that I felt invisible to him sometimes. This is what I am learning to gain independence from now. My husband has never acted out in hurtful ways like cheating or been verbally or emotionally hurtful to me, he just turns off and or becomes angry. He just withdraws and seems to be sleepwalking through his entire life sometimes and reacts with irritation and anger at anything or anyone who inadvertently draws him out of hiding. As he is now seeking therapy, I am trying hard to focus on my co-dependence and emotional independence. I am trying to learn to get on with my life with the hope that he will join in, but not the need that he do so. This gives me the confidence and patience to bear witness to his journey without feeling responsible for, hurt, unloved, or negatively impacted by the results of his trauma. Sometimes, I feel I have been self-centered in owning his reactions. His reactions and responses are about him and his pain, not about me. I am trying to learn not to be so affected so I am free to just love him for all that he is right now and all that he may or may not be tomorrow without requiring him to grow at any particular pace or in any particular direction for my happiness. This isn't easy for me and I stumble a lot.

I'm not sure that answers your question well, but this is what I am doing to try to help myself and deal.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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