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#427069 - 03/04/13 05:43 AM Man Hands
Farmer Boy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia
So I was sitting on my quad bike today - moving some cows in the mud. It was a very slow process. I sat there for a while with my hands resting on my thighs. I turned them so my fingers faced towards me and my elbows sticking out. I looked at my hands...."Wow I have man hands.....huh when did that happen?"

Looking at my hands from that different perspective it was like I saw them for the first time. Like they didn't belong to my body. They look like my dad's hands.

Why did this seem so odd to me? I am a rather masculine looking man and have been since about 18....so nearly 20 years....so I should expect to have big manly hands. Then I realised....

I don't feel like a man! I still feel like a scared little boy!
I don't feel like a grown up....I feel like I am still a teenager on the inside.... sort of emotionally stunted or something.

It isn't that I'm not responsible - cause I am and a good father. I just can't put my finger on what this feeling is.

I am a grown up. I am a 'real' man. So why don't I feel it?

Does anyone else feel like this?

Lee

Farmer Boy MAN
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#427070 - 03/04/13 05:53 AM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
Jacob S Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 613
Loc: where the shadows lie
Yes.

I still sometimes do a double-take when I look into the mirror. Not at much as I used to, but it still doesn't seem like me.

For me, at least now it has changed from one of fear (ah!!!! who the hell is that in the mirror??) to one of empowerment. I still think of myself as a boy, but I have this cool MAN costume I get to wear that makes people think I'm all grown up.

Sometimes it backfires, because people don't realize how sensitive I am to things like raised voices. And sometimes I'm incredibly energetic, and that comes off as scary to people who aren't used to seeing a middle-aged man move around so much.

Sometimes I wish I looked more like a kid, because I want to see who would be nice to me if they knew I was vulnerable. But other times I'm glad people *think* I'm grown up, because they are less likely to mess with me.

But yeah, I definitely feel like I'm just in a long-running version of the Tom Hanks movie "Big" (speaking of that, there's some really messed up stuff in that movie, but that's another topic).
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#427074 - 03/04/13 07:32 AM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 743
Loc: Southeast USA
Lee,

If there isn't a name for that phenomenon already, you need to create one. I've experienced that while caching a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

Even though I have a "professional" office job, I shave my head each summer. I have done it for years---back to high school in the late 80s when it was not as common as it is today.

My family and coworkers expect it. Usually such a move makes one look older, but everyone has said it has the opposite effect on me...it makes me look a kid shorn for the summer.


Last summer, we had new picture IDs made for our building entry cards. In my picture, I have an almost bald head with just a bit of stubble coming back. I had that realization you talk about...that's no kid...that's a man who looks like he means business. Of course the appearance belies my boyish sense of humor and general goofiness. Sometimes I feel like others don't take me seriously at times because I act young---not immature, but exuberant. It's like I hold on to that certain something from a long time ago. The summer buzz, though looks like I'm all business....it's hard to reconcile the two sometimes.

You know Lee, this may be the key. Disarm them with boyish appearances, but unleash the man when you need to.

Will


Edited by Suwanee (03/04/13 11:48 AM)
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#427081 - 03/04/13 10:00 AM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 334
Loc: Iowa, USA
I get this feeling too. I work out at the university gym in my town. I am an alum so I'm able to use the facility. When I'm there exercising, I feel exactly like I'm back in school. I graduated 30 years ago and the students using the gym now weren't even born back then. I'm not trying to be one of them. I'm just working out. Fitness wise, and physique wise, I could pass for a college student, but my face gives me away, as it should. It has all the lines and wrinkles of a 50 year old guy. However, on the inside, I feel like time has stood still. All the time I was supposed to be maturing, and gaining wisdom, I have been stuck in that time frame.

DavO

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#427088 - 03/04/13 11:16 AM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1045
This is classic dissociation, and I am there too.

This is our psyches detaching from our bodies at the time of our abuse, so that part of our inner selves feel trapped in amber at the age we were when the abuse happened, even as our bodies age.

Therefore, when those two parts of us encounter each other -- our young psychic selves meeting our current-age physical selves -- there's a moment of disconnect.

Recovery, or part of recovery anyway, is growing into this meat suit we keep packing around, becoming one with our physical selves.

I'm 6'4" and something like 225, so I sometimes get called "big guy" by people. This makes my young self very upset, don't like it at all. And yet, I am a big guy and should be proud of my stature. Working on it.

Cant
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#427095 - 03/04/13 01:08 PM . [Re: Farmer Boy]
Life's A Dream Offline


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


Edited by Life's A Dream (04/21/13 10:35 PM)

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#427127 - 03/04/13 08:45 PM Re: Man Hands [Re: Jacob S]
BraveFalcon Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1137
Loc: The ATL
Originally Posted By: Jacob S
I still think of myself as a boy, but I have this cool MAN costume I get to wear that makes people think I'm all grown up.


Wow! You couldn't have put the way I go through life feeling any better than that. Sometimes I feel like such a freak because of this and think I must be the only person who feels this way. I often wonder how weird people must think I am, because I know a lot of my behavior is extremely child-like. Not necessarily child-ish, but child-like. Especially when it comes to my sense of humor and the way I joke around. (Ok, that aspect of my personality may be child-ish.) Sometimes it even seems weird to me that I have a car, and a job, and that I have my own place and pay bills and taxes. The stunted little kid that lives in my head gets pretty overwhelmed by all that stuff sometimes, but he somehow manages to keep plugging right along and doing what he needs to do to get by, somehow. As long as that keeps happening, I suppose he doesn't need to grow up.

Ken

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#427135 - 03/04/13 09:37 PM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3488
Loc: somewhere in Africa
i am no longer surprised by my appearance, but i do feel a disparity between my appearance and my feelings. emotionally, i often still feel like a teen-ager. i guess this is not surprising since i put my emotions on hold at about age 12. i have a lot of catching up to do.

the thing i still find startling, however, is that often when i am with other guys, i will defer to them as if they are older, wiser, stronger, more skilled or experienced - even if they are considerably younger than me - especially if it something that involves mechanics, sports or other "manly" things that i am not good at. it is as if i feel like a child in the presence of men - and afraid of being found out - like i have no right to be included. i am always shocked when someone offers me respect as a competent adult.

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
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#427139 - 03/04/13 10:06 PM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
genedebs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 287
Loc: MO
To Farmer Boy, traveler, and others.

Yeah, I am now engaging with me. The person who survived not the one who performed as an adult making decisions like whether the college money should be used during the period of my father's unemployment when I was 14, not the monster I thought I was if I ever lost control and expressed the rage I felt, not the parent, son, husband, student, organizer, politician, or whatever role I was supposed to play. Me, I have never thought I existed and have not permitted him to come out for at least the last 43 years.

So I don't know if he is young, but I am scared, Iam needy, I don't know what I am supposed to do, I know I am not very good with my hands or my car or sports, etc. etc.

The person have always been is an old fart. I don't know yet who me is, but he hasn't been around long enough to be as tired as the old man in my body is.

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#427141 - 03/04/13 10:18 PM Re: Man Hands [Re: traveler]
BraveFalcon Offline
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Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1137
Loc: The ATL
Originally Posted By: traveler
the thing i still find startling, however, is that often when i am with other guys, i will defer to them as if they are older, wiser, stronger, more skilled or experienced - even if they are considerably younger than me - especially if it something that involves mechanics, sports or other "manly" things that i am not good at. it is as if i feel like a child in the presence of men - and afraid of being found out - like i have no right to be included. i am always shocked when someone offers me respect as a competent adult.


Ditto, ditto, ditto. Another post expressing something that sounds exactly like it came out of my head.

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#427158 - 03/05/13 12:47 AM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
JayBro Offline


Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 270
Loc: Germany
I too feel very much detached from my body, like I am still a child or a young teen (around the time my abuse started). I do not recognise myself when I see a picture or reflection of my face and body. Part of me has become much less self-conscious and worried about appearances and photos because I understand it as not being me, but rather some costume or shell belonging to someone else. That is not me in photos. The me inside looks much different.

I hate it when people make remarks about how much older I look, more "filled out" in appearance since I became depressed and started working on recovery, or when people make remarks about my ethnicity, saying that I look "really" much like a member of my ancestors' Italian culture. The ethnicity part was often used by my abusers to describe me as "delicious" or somehow exotic.
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,,Nun ging es immerzu, weit, weit bis an der Welt Ende."

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#427238 - 03/06/13 12:17 AM Re: Man Hands [Re: JayBro]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
I want to add my name to the list. I have shared most of these symptoms. However, I'm afraid of man hands.

I felt like both a boy and a man at the same time for a long time. When I went off to college, they kept giving me small uniforms, in marching band, and in ROTC, and at the sport store where I went to buy a jacket. When I went off to teach they called me the 'boy professor'.

Yes, I have had a startle response many times when looking in a mirror. Not what I expected? What did I expect?

Severe abuse alienated me from my own body... my own self... my own personality...

Puffer

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#427243 - 03/06/13 12:50 AM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 334
Loc: Iowa, USA
Farmer boy, traveler, Brave Falcon,

Deferring to other men feeling that they are smarter, more capable, and overall more manly is standard operating procedure for me. Yet, after doing so, it reinforces feelings of self hatred for feeling less capable and less manly. It's a vicious cycle and what I wouldn't give to break it.

DavoSwim

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#427282 - 03/06/13 10:25 AM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
JayBro Offline


Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 270
Loc: Germany
I find that if I need to look in the mirror, I will stand to the side and just poke in what I need to look at. It has become an automatic.

How can be overcome our self-fear and displacement? Why is it hard to accept the natural changes our bodies make through age? Why are we disassociated?
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,,Nun ging es immerzu, weit, weit bis an der Welt Ende."

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#427360 - 03/07/13 03:40 AM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
crazy gecko Offline


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
I've started so many replies to this thread, but I've never posted because I'm not sure if it's the same...

When I was younger, I often failed to recognise myself in the mirror. I never really knew what I expected to see. I don't think it was really that I expected myself to look younger, it's just that I knew that face wasn't me... And sometimes I'd look at my hands or other body parts and just know with absolute certainty that they weren't mine. It was really scary!

It started going away when I was in therapy in my twenties, but even today, sometimes, I can feel my stomach tighten when I walk into the bathroom, like - what will I see? and then I'm really relieved when I look and see it's me...
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#427364 - 03/07/13 07:46 AM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
LazyPirate Offline


Registered: 01/03/13
Posts: 106
Loc: Ontario
I relate to all of this completely!!! I have spent my life detached in every way imaginable... & the disconnect with my physical self is very strong. When I see myself in the full-length bedroom mirror, I am surprised by the sight of my own junk, of all things. It's actually larger then I think it is. Also, I'm a bit fat & I know it. But when I look in the mirror I don't really see it. Very strange.
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The Bluebird of Happiness long absent from his life, Ned is visited by the Chicken of Depression. - Gary Larson

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#427369 - 03/07/13 09:30 AM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6571
Loc: Never Sugar Mountain
Originally Posted By: Farmer Boy
Does anyone else feel like this?


I posted before here that I cannot even get to words out of my mouth to "call myself a man."

I've never been able to do it. I simply cant say the words.

I also could not say my name until I was about 20-yo.

http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthr...true#Post366042


Edited by Still (03/07/13 09:35 AM)
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#427411 - 03/07/13 07:44 PM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1137
Loc: The ATL
For some reason, this topic is dredging up a memory in me. The first time I noticed I had pubic hair. It was probably right around the time I turned 13. The strange thing is, it seemed almost to happen overnight. Not gradually. Like one day they were just there all the sudden. I've heard other guys say they were totally stoked and proud when they first got pubes but not me. I was so freaked out! For some reason, I hated the site of them. I was ashamed of them and almost disgusted by them. It was just one more thing that made me feel uncomfortable in what I already saw as my own ugly flesh.

In my late teens I began shaving them from time to time but haven't always done that. Still do sometimes, just for the hell of it, but I'm not sure why. Not like anyone is going to see what I have down there as I have no sex life outside of masturbation and don't want one... AT ALL. Not sure why reading this thread brought that memory rushing back so strongly. Just did. Oh well. Peace.

Ken

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#427419 - 03/07/13 09:07 PM Re: Man Hands [Re: BraveFalcon]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 743
Loc: Southeast USA
Ok, I'm not alone in this.

I starting getting pubic hair at 11. At the time I was a little freaked out, but really didn't feel one way or another about it. When I was 12, a kid on my swim team who was a real smart ass said I needed a bikini wax...and he may have been right, but I became obsessed with keeping it hidden at all costs.

I took a set of clippers and got rid of it...and dared to shave it off with a real razor. I did a better job than I should have...since I had never so much as shaved peach fuzz from my face. After I did it I worried someone would discover what I had done. I couldn't win---a least not totally bald.

It grew back, and I never really got the "itch" to do it again.

Will
_________________________
Cruel Summer
My Journal

-Signs and traces left in stone
Ruins of a past unknown-

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#427422 - 03/07/13 09:22 PM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3488
Loc: somewhere in Africa
like you, Ken, i didn't really notice until the hair was already there and other boys started taking notice. since i was earlier than any of my peers in developing, my pubes attracted a lot of unwanted attention. i'd get cornered and forced to show it. i thought i'd take care of that by trimming them down to stubble. i thought that would make me more like everybody else. it didn't help. the fact that i had done that also drew even more attention. and then there was no camoflage or any hair to hide what else was there - which they were also interested in. like you, Will, i regretted it and didn't repeat it.

the feeling of being a unique freak persisted - even after all of them had caught up to me in that area.

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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#427448 - 03/08/13 06:43 AM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
Farmer Boy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia
Guys

I have just been sitting back taking this all in. Wow. We ARE a bunch if boys running around in cool Man Suits aren't we. laugh

For everyone that posted here - THANK YOU. I can relate to everything you have said and I feel like I am in good company.

I still do the double take in the mirror sometimes .... mostly because I always have facial hair of some description and I don't think of myself as having a hairy face. Even though I started shaving at 13 and had a goatee at 16. BTW I have always wondered if I am hiding behind it - if that is something 'we' do.

Originally Posted By: Jacob S
I still think of myself as a boy, but I have this cool MAN costume I get to wear that makes people think I'm all grown up.
Me too - Awesome!

Originally Posted By: Will
Of course the appearance belies my boyish sense of humor and general goofiness. Sometimes I feel like others don't take me seriously at times because I act young---not immature, but exuberant.

Yep - I get that a lot.

Originally Posted By: DavoSwim
However, on the inside, I feel like time has stood still.
(I'm nodding)

Thanks again guys

Lee
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More than meets the eye!

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#427449 - 03/08/13 06:45 AM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
Farmer Boy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: cant_remember
This is classic dissociation, and I am there too.

This is our psyches detaching from our bodies at the time of our abuse, so that part of our inner selves feel trapped in amber at the age we were when the abuse happened, even as our bodies age.

Therefore, when those two parts of us encounter each other -- our young psychic selves meeting our current-age physical selves -- there's a moment of disconnect.

Recovery, or part of recovery anyway, is growing into this meat suit we keep packing around, becoming one with our physical selves.
Very insightful - kind of what I thought was happenning but good the way you put it.

Originally Posted By: BraveFalcon
Sometimes it even seems weird to me that I have a car, and a job, and that I have my own place and pay bills and taxes.
Yes me too! Just add the wife and kids

Originally Posted By: genedebs
Yeah, I am now engaging with me. The person who survived not the one who performed as an adult making decisions like whether the college money should be used during the period of my father's unemployment when I was 14, not the monster I thought I was if I ever lost control and expressed the rage I felt, not the parent, son, husband, student, organizer, politician, or whatever role I was supposed to play. Me, I have never thought I existed and have not permitted him to come out for at least the last 43 years.

So I don't know if he is young, but I am scared, Iam needy, I don't know what I am supposed to do, I know I am not very good with my hands or my car or sports, etc. etc.

You know I get this too. In a lot of ways I feel like I had to grow up too soon and I didn't actually have a childhood (that is another story) and I have always felt I was 'pretending' or 'acting' the part I was supposed to play through out life - so much so that I don't even know who I am anymore.

Lee
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More than meets the eye!

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#427450 - 03/08/13 06:46 AM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
Farmer Boy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: BraveFalcon again
Originally Posted By: traveler

the thing i still find startling, however, is that often when i am with other guys, i will defer to them as if they are older, wiser, stronger, more skilled or experienced - even if they are considerably younger than me - especially if it something that involves mechanics, sports or other "manly" things that i am not good at. it is as if i feel like a child in the presence of men - and afraid of being found out - like i have no right to be included. i am always shocked when someone offers me respect as a competent adult.


Ditto, ditto, ditto. Another post expressing something that sounds exactly like it came out of my head.

Ditto here too.

Originally Posted By: JayBro
How can be overcome our self-fear and displacement? Why is it hard to accept the natural changes our bodies make through age? Why are we disassociated?
All very good questions! I'm going to have a crack at them. Maybe we need to introduce our young self to our current self (the whole inner child thing). Maybe that has something to do with it. I think it is hard to accept the aging process because our minds are 'trapped' by the trauma of CSA (in amber). As a boy we shut down to some degree mentally or emotionally because the shock/pain was too much for our young self to handle. Maybe that shutting down separated us from our bodies. Just thinking out loud.

Originally Posted By: crazy gecko
I've started so many replies to this thread, but I've never posted because I'm not sure if it's the same...
I think it is the same thing.

Thanks again guys

Lee
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More than meets the eye!

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#427452 - 03/08/13 06:56 AM Re: Man Hands [Re: Farmer Boy]
Farmer Boy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: Still
I posted before here that I cannot even get to words out of my mouth to "call myself a man."
Still I am so shocked by this. The qualities I see in you through your posts I would call nothing less than manly. BTW - my son saw your avatar on my screen and said 'that boy looks cool'. smile I said 'yes he is'.

---------------------

I won't quote you all cause this is just getting silly but BraveFalcon, Suwanee and Traveler. I get even the pubes thing. My dad used to torment me about my hairiness. I had pubes and man tackle at 10 and I trimmed them too. I was hairier than him everywhere else at 13. (must have come from mum's side of the family). I felt like my body was betraying me. My hair changed from blonde to brown. Also at 10 I thought I started to get a monobrow so I shaved between my eyebrows - the full width of a razor. It looked ridiculous and there was NO HIDING what I had done. I don't really have one now so it must have been in my head.

I have to confess that even today I am prone to the odd bit of manscaping. blush

Lee
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More than meets the eye!

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#427612 - 03/09/13 08:45 PM Re: Man Hands [Re: genedebs]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY

When I was very young, I remember having this recurrent daydream (the boy in amber). There was this little man carved into a cave inside one of my fingers. I could watch him move around and I knew that he was there. He was naked, but not quite like a baby. I felt like a giant carrying him around. Now, he doesn't seem to be in my finger anymore. he seems to want to be in all of my body. But sometimes I hold him back.

Originally Posted By: genedebs

The person have always been is an old fart. I don't know yet who me is, but he hasn't been around long enough to be as tired as the old man in my body is.


This is the way I have also felt for 35 years. As I connect to the real me, I don't quite know what to do with the old man or the giant who was carrying the little boy around.

Just as I try to listen to my young son, I try to listen to my own boy inside, so that he can feel at home and at peace in the man. I'm hoping that with time, the tired way I feel like an old man might let go little by little. He is very, very, very tired.

Most of all, I want the boy in me to keep talking. I want him to know that me, the man, will listen, that he always has my ear. Somehow, for so many years, he never knew what to say.
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