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#426367 - 02/25/13 01:06 AM feminization of the survivor
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
Twice last week, I encountered comments that, shall we say, could have inadvertently set me back quite a distance. Both referenced and passed on to me the feminization that most males would rather not hear. Especially if they have endured child rape or adult rape. Or both. And both comments where in situations and locations that should have been safe venues for discussion or support. But for a few days, the comments have passed thru my mind several times a day. And they seem lodged there tonight.

First, I was with my T. The session was great and I broke down and cried for a moment when talking about the angel experience I had. (That's why, my friends, you may have noticed I often close with the simple word "angels"...I have seen them...seven to be exact- but that is a different blessing). That led to a discussion of the unexplained fear I have. Which of course is related to both the rapes of childhood and the the rape of middle-age. And I suppose the therapist was tired or irritated or carrying some other baggage that day, but she just looked at me and deadpanned..."well, welcome to womanhood..."

Welcome to "womanhood"? ...lol...wtf ??? I just have no words to say. You are sexually used and abused by older boys. Afer a while they know you are different and they use sissy, fag, and all the other terms to defile your being... You are groomed and raped by a grown man before you are old enough to shave. You are raped at 50. You are the receptacle, the receiver of the male, the sexual object against your will. This all results in ptsd, or whatever, and you feel used and abused all over...and RAPED... and this one comment becomes the elephant in your head. Welcome to "womanhood". I know she was referring to the fear women have of being alone or walking alone, etc. but still. A man does not want to be feminized, especially if he has just been raped.

The other remark came in the MS chat room. I had read the rules of behavior. I am pretty socially conservative with comments, etc. I know social etiquette. I would NEVER make a light hearted attempt at humor with a sexual remark in a room of sexual abuse survivors. I think it would be like yelling "fire!" to a room of burn victims. Call me old fashioned. In attempting to make safe intro of myself I just ask of the unwritten rules. First rule that came forth..."don't be a female part beginning with a C..." Really. That which I heard growing up, that which I was used for at 50. And in my first attempt in the SAFE chat room, someone says "don't be a c...". Really?

Actually, that was a major trigger for me. I know rationally it was a lame attempt at humor. But emotionally, in a safe chat for abuse survivors... The older guy who had me as a kid used that word. Many times. I am fighting the feeling that I was that word at 50.

Every day I fight to retain some semblance of manhood. Wedged between 21 and 50 I had found him. When the child abuse collided with the adult rape, I lost him. I want to be more than a feminized male. I am more. More than a hurt little boy, more than a rape victim. I am more. More than the receptacle for a penis. Not a c..., not a female wanna-be or inductee into the "woman"-hood. I am me. Male. Mister. Sexuality is irrelevant. I am me. Becoming stronger and wiser and braver and I refuse to let those terms describe me. And tonight I find I make no apologies and that is refreshing to me.

Angles, my friends.
Bill.
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



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#426368 - 02/25/13 01:31 AM Re: feminization of the survivor [Re: ThisMan]
Sterling Offline


Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 270
Loc: Winnipeg, Manitoba,Canada
that is cool ThisMan! I am sorry that you had to experience
that! Not very respectful! I am with you, in the same way;
i too am sensitive in terms that people have throw to describe-
scaring the shit out of me!

Goran

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#426372 - 02/25/13 02:10 AM Re: feminization of the survivor [Re: ThisMan]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
The reflexive response on this site is to say "I'm sorry such-and-such happened," except in this case I'm not sorry - I'm FURIOUS!!!

"Welcome to womanhood" is an unbelievably snotty and unprofessional piece of shit thing for a so-called therapist to say to a male survivor of sexual assault, when HALF THE FUCKING POINT OF THE PROBLEM is the devastation of masculinity and gender identity!!! WTF??

I'm sure I'm not the only guy here who cringes to think of himself as a "bitch," who has to consciously work to AVOID that terminology - even as a thought!

So, like, if a WOMAN went to that same therapist, after, oh, say, the trauma of someone breaking into her house and spraying her with napalm and burning half her skin off, and all the patient could remember was the terror of falling fire and the reek of her own burning flesh... would she have been met by that T with a similarly deadpanned "Well, welcome to the Vietnam War"?

If everybody's problems were the same, they wouldn't be problems at all and everybody would be fine. This is just intellectual laziness and a disregard for the needs of the wounded to be reassured and validated.

There ARE really bad therapists out there. I had the (mis)fortune of encountering one during a phone screening - could tell within 15 minutes that I couldn't trust her to take my problems seriously.

Or, maybe she's a good therapist overall but had a really bad, off day. Even good doctors kill their patients every now and then. You just have to hope not to be one of them.

This sucks, Bill, and I honestly don't know what to say. Except that, fuck her, she was wrong and shouldn't have said what she did. You are not a woman. You are not a bitch or a c**t. You are a man.

We all are.



Matt
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#426374 - 02/25/13 02:28 AM Re: feminization of the survivor [Re: ThisMan]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Bill, I'm sorry man. I don't have words...well, I do.

There's such a thing as re-victimizing. And in my recovery I've found that completely unacceptable. Nor will I stand for it.

While interviewing attorneys for my CSA case, I interviewed one with a well-known reputation. But it was all about HIM. I became frustrated with his lack of responsiveness and broached the subject - albeit in a detached manner - with his robo-secretary. Eventually I was able to confront Mr. Larger-Than-Life Atty. It seemed we'd reached an understanding until his parting shot, "...and don't you ever hang up on my secretary again!" My calm, firm response? "Okay, sir, we're done." Got his attention and an apology (of sorts) but I never went back.

I won't discuss the MS chat except to say I've stayed out of the room exactly because of these kinds of stories.

More importantly, imo, your Ts comment was arrogant, invalidating, insensitive, sexist, unprofessional and out of bounds (and those are the nice adjectives). I'd start shopping for a new one asap. Your call on whether you want to confront her before packing your bags and whether you even want to pay for a session to do it. (My last T had considerable conflict of interest issues and no way was I going to pay him for the dubious privilege of telling him about it. He got a phone call).

One more comment. It sounds like you and I are quite similar Bill. I suppose one advantage of our CSA is the ability to detach and analyze objectively (kinda watered-down DID, I suppose). Your comment about the T perhaps having a bad day is evidence of that. You're not letting her off the hook, but the recognition is significant. Nor did you automatically make yourself "wrong". That's pretty advanced stuff. Even more advanced is, despite the unacceptable behavior and that you recognized her possible POV, you kept focused on your own issues and feelings as well. That's really, really good stuff, brother. Keep it up.

imo, it's like you've really integrated this:
http://malesurvivor.org/docs/PositiveTraitsandStrengthsofMaleSurvivors.doc

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#426375 - 02/25/13 02:32 AM Re: feminization of the survivor [Re: ThisMan]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3363
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Bill -
the first part of the post - your story - really burned me. i hate it when any group claims that it has a corner on the market of some particular brand of suffering or abuse or victimization. as if - only females ever are mistreated???!!! give me a break - so blind and ignorant - as if that wasn't the whole point of needing professional assistance. as if you are supposed to feel more sorry for her - because of her gender. as if - don't let me get started!

BUT - this part:

Originally Posted By: ThisMan
I am more. More than a hurt little boy, more than a rape victim. I am more. More than the receptacle for a penis. Not a c..., not a female wanna-be or inductee into the "woman"-hood. I am me. Male. Mister. Sexuality is irrelevant. I am me. Becoming stronger and wiser and braver and I refuse to let those terms describe me. And tonight I find I make no apologies and that is refreshing to me.

Angles, my friends.
Bill.



- - - that is beautiful. that is strong. that is worthy to be engraved in bronze and hung on the wall! that could be your mantra or mission statement or declaration of independence. oh yeah - and frame it with giant stone carvings of ANGELS!

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#426445 - 02/25/13 04:00 PM Re: feminization of the survivor [Re: ThisMan]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1510
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: ThisMan
....she just looked at me and deadpanned..."well, welcome to womanhood..."


Just my opinion, but I would 1) Tell her what she said was totally inappropriate.
2) Fire her ass.
3) Report her to the lisencing board in your state.
4) Find a T with experience in working with trauma victims
5) Move on with your recovery.

Jude
_________________________
I went back to the doctor
To get another shrink.
I sit and tell him about my weekend,
But he never betrays what he thinks.
Can you see the real me, doctor?.
The Who

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#426450 - 02/25/13 04:25 PM . [Re: ThisMan]
Life's A Dream Offline


Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 886
Loc: Bouvet Island
.


Edited by Life's A Dream (04/21/13 10:33 PM)

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#426492 - 02/25/13 10:19 PM Re: feminization of the survivor [Re: ThisMan]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
Thanks for the words, guys. Yesterday I had a few hours of confident strength, actually a few days, and I felt I wanted to share the story and I also wanted to take control of those remarks.

Tonight is not so good. Not as bad as it has been, but it feels downward again. Maybe I won't go so low this time. I will definitely talk with the T regarding the remark of "womanhood". But this being in the Bible belt, etc., its difficult to locate a therapist I can feel comfortable with who can deal with someone my age and gender and experience and then sexual trauma, both past and present. So I am not certain I can fire her and find another and i just can't do it alone anymore. I did another on-line search and could find none.

Plenty of Christian counselors, but I have been there, done that. As an aside, I even did a brief stint with a grief counselor when the spouse passed away. For whatever reason, I wound up listening and giving advice on marriage, the husband, etc, to the lady. lol. I did more for her than she for me. I still find that pretty funny. But its okay. We all need a listening ear. Oh, and I did fire her.

Angels.
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



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#426502 - 02/25/13 11:08 PM Re: feminization of the survivor [Re: ThisMan]
Publius Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 396
Loc: OH
Not only am I sorry to hear about your experience but also the precarious position it has placed you in as far as access to professional guidance and sensitive support. While her comments could be construed as a poor attempt at humor I am frankly disappointed to hear a therapist make such a remark. The deeper implications of her quip are disturbing to say the least. After all, not only is she equating our experiences with femininity but she is suggesting that femininity, or "womanhood, is somehow indivisible from that fear you attempted to explore in a safe environment. Furthermore, the MS chat incident was as unacceptable as it was avoidable. I certainly hope the moderators make haste in amending the rules accordingly or, if they do not exist, that some sort of precaution is put in place so that sort of thing becomes scarce.
_________________________
"Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." ~ General Iroh

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#426517 - 02/26/13 12:34 AM Re: feminization of the survivor [Re: ThisMan]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
We're kinda in the same boat on the T, Bill. When I fired mine a few weeks ago I thot it was at the worst possible time...starting a new medical treatment. But I felt I could no longer trust him and that was my bottom line. Interestingly, I'm just fine. I have my low points, more side effects to the new meds, but I've been able to hash that out and live with it for now.

What's particularly interesting to me is that I've made some serious, successful progress on disclosure to family members WITHOUT a T. Results are mixed, but overwhelmingly positive. No one's more surprised than me. (It's meant, however, I'm posting to MS and leaning on my bros considerably more than usual).

Meanwhile, I've shopped thru 5 additional Ts with dismal results (and I'm in a major metro area), except for one who at least has experience with my medical condition, though not CSA nor PTSD.

Just sum thots.

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