Newest Members
jeremywickers, JScott12, TMatti2, DaiseyLady, uvagrad4
12501 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
innocence (60), pablo999 (53)
Who's Online
5 registered (DaiseyLady, GT13568, Tiger1982, 2 invisible), 20 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12501 Members
74 Forums
64186 Topics
447900 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#428157 - 03/15/13 03:27 PM Patterns
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1490
I'm caught up in a horrible situation at work right now and starting to realize it goes right back to my abuse issues. I am seeing patterns where people take advantage of me - so I try to give more, thinking that will make them happy - but it's like feeding a bear at the park - once you run out of food, it suddenly turns into "what have you done for me lately?" God, I kept all my abuser's secrets, I kept him off my sister (or as I later found out, not nearly enough) and kept him happy. And that's what I have been doing in the nonsexual theaters of my life ever since. And not ONE of those situations have I ever received the respect or dignity I felt I deserved. Is it not enough in this world to be good? I always thought goodness and honesty had their rewards but now wonder if it's all just a lie. And while the church extols the virtues of being meek, I see what happens to the meek - as both children and adults.

Current situation - boss hired me on and I've been doing a really good job plus I've taken on a lot of extra assignments not in my job description. Now I'm being bullied like crazy - failed to do this and that - even personal stuff that has nothing to do with the job like what side of the street I park on and what mode of mass transit I take - as unbelievable as it sounds it's really true - just nit-picky stuff with no apparent boundaries.

And as a survivor of abuse, I suppose I still don't know what "triggering" means - although this must be it. I never identified with the word because I always thought of triggering as being lost in a sudden past hallucination - like a soldier's flashback on a bad TV movie or something. But I can't sleep, I'm stressed beyond belief, getting stress patterns in my vision like kaleidoscopes so my BP (usually normal) is probably sky high at times. If that's triggering, then I'm definitely in the club - otherwise I guess I'm not. I even had a disturbing dream that my boss joined me in bed and made me do more work (no sex) - then patted me on the butt when we were done. Woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. I swear I fear losing my sanity...

Do some of us survivors wear a sign on our sleeve that says "Kick Me"? How do we kick back? Is that a lesson I should have learned at some point?
_________________________
Eirik




Click my pic to see why I'm here

Top
#428160 - 03/15/13 03:42 PM Re: Patterns [Re: Chase Eric]
bodyguard8367 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""
""


Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/26/14 09:34 PM)
Edit Reason: SILENCED

Top
#428161 - 03/15/13 03:44 PM Re: Patterns [Re: Chase Eric]
bodyguard8367 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""
""


Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/26/14 09:34 PM)
Edit Reason: SILENCED

Top
#428166 - 03/15/13 04:08 PM Re: Patterns [Re: bodyguard8367]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1490
Originally Posted By: bodyguard8367
...I don't expect to be treated well, just fairly. I make sure I don't try to get a pat on the back, because I know that I will eventually be dancing like a little dog begging for food.

OMG, Geoff - thank you so much for that. It really resonates. That's how I feel - like the little dog dancing for a treat.

I'm still discovering the damaged goods that I am. It never ends. I don't have the tools. I just don't have the tools I need - I gave them up when I was twelve and never got them back. I can't get out of this box.

My dad taught me to be good, to be responsible, to be honest, to have integrity. I think I learned those lessons well, but I must have missed the one on how to be strong - how to stand up for myself. He died never knowing my secrets, my shame at the hands of my next door neighbor. I never let him know. I got so good at keeping secrets - mine, my sister's, the other victims, my abuser's - so maybe I have myself to blame even though I was just a kid - I mean, I knew it was wrong but I just didn't know how to stop it. Maybe I didn't learn that integrity lesson enough? But for however good I've learned to keep my secrets, at least I've found a place here I can share them. So there's hope maybe -perhaps I can still change other things. But I'm so incredibly deformed mentally by this - just so twisted functionally.

So I have to now learn those lessons I missed on being strong. And I fear it may be too late. But I want to stop the abuse in all it's new forms. I want to stand up for myself and not let others dump on me when everything in my heart is good. I want to know how to do it I want to know how to do it! I want to know how to do it!!!
_________________________
Eirik




Click my pic to see why I'm here

Top
#428167 - 03/15/13 04:43 PM Re: Patterns [Re: Chase Eric]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
C E-

Survivors of abuse generally don't have a sign that says "kick me" taped to their back, we don't need. The T says it a feeling of compliancy brought about by conditioning.

Run the scenario of any instance with the bully - I mean boss- through your head again, try to remove your emotions if you can, and see him or her for what they are. You will find them to be an insecure little person who gets their feelings of accomplishment from hurting and publicly embarrassing another.

And just out of curiosity, I wonder if there is something they find intimidating when around you. Usually its a positive attribute the victim has such as looks, or personality, or intellect... or maybe most people prefer being around you as opposed to them. There is something about you that makes them feel very insecure. So you, sir, need to discover what that is and use it to your advantage.

And btw, they work in the same establishment as you... They must go thru the same door to enter the same building...

You deserve the same respect that you said you wanted. YOU DO... and find another position asap.... and give zero days notice when you leave. Just my thoughts, but I have been there. Stay strong, guy.
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



Top
#428168 - 03/15/13 04:55 PM Re: Patterns [Re: Chase Eric]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
"when everything in my heart is good. I want to know how to do it I want to know how to do it! I want to know how to do it!!!"

Chase Eric-

You will... I will repeat myself... you will emerge from this "box", stronger than you can imagine. I did not believe it could happen, but it is...

It will happen... angels my friend.
(your story triggered me in both postings...I wish you well)
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



Top
#428171 - 03/15/13 06:00 PM Re: Patterns [Re: Chase Eric]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 918
Loc: New York
Eric,

The more you just give yourself to people, the more they take. It sets up a sick dynamic and bullies can sniff it out and exploit it quickly. I hope you don't despair over this - no job is worth your emotional health and self-esteem and constantly feeling victimized. As Bill said:

Originally Posted By: ThisMan
Find another position ASAP and give zero days notice when you leave


Been there done that and hadn't felt as good about myself in months! I too had an abusive anger-addict bully of a boss and was targeted in ways that were so workplace inappropriate that I'm pretty sure theyre illegal (a story for another time). I got a job with our closest competitor, then gave no notice, just up and quit - and quit to HR not to my boss. I BURIED her in the exit. And I wasn't the only one.

I never knew I could stand up for myself - until I did. Felt damn good. I think you could surprise yourself too.


Matt
_________________________
My story

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

Top
#428181 - 03/15/13 07:10 PM Re: Patterns [Re: Chase Eric]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1490
Thanks TM, Geoff and Matt! Seems when I think I've traveled pretty far down the road with this, it suddenly feels like I wake up and find I haven't gotten anywhere. Healing words like you all have shared mean a lot.

Originally Posted By: This Man
You will find them to be an insecure little person who gets their feelings of accomplishment from hurting and publicly embarrassing another.

I do think what you say is quite true, even though the ferocity of the bullying belies that logic and makes me lose my religion all over again.


Originally Posted By: Matt
The more you just give yourself to people, the more they take. It sets up a sick dynamic and bullies can sniff it out and exploit it quickly.

I don't argue or even doubt that at all. I just am completely clueless to understand it. I just cannot fathom what would motivate such behavior.

I still think the dynamics involve me as well - that I somehow attract these people into my life. This is not the first time - or even the second time - this kind of thing has happened. I'm an abuse magnet - have been since I was twelve. I wonder if that next-door neighbor never trespassed my boundaries back then, people would be doing it today. Not that I'll ever know the answer, but I still wonder.
_________________________
Eirik




Click my pic to see why I'm here

Top
#428197 - 03/15/13 11:35 PM Re: Patterns [Re: Chase Eric]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 336
Loc: Iowa, USA
Eric
I can relate to about everything in your post. You could have written the story of my work world. I experienced CSA, and in addition have suffered SSA and have acted out as an adult. At work, I feel I have to be absolutely perfect. I feel I can avoid any criticism if everything I do is top notch, yet it seems like the harder I work and the better I perform, the more criticism I attract. What starts out as going above and beyond the normal call of duty becomes the new standard, which means I have to work even harder the next time around. The cycle never ends. And the slightest bit of criticism by my boss unleashes feelings of complete inadequacy. I never defend myself, but just take in and internalize it.
When I was in grad school, my major prof was an ass to me. I felt he was trying to drive me out of the program, because I was unqualified. In four years, I never got a word of encouragement from him. He fawned over other students, praising them for what I felt was substandard work. I, on the other hand would be criticized, sometimes in front of the entire research group, for the smallest thing. It was brutal. As a result, I would seek attention and approval from other men. I was recreating what happened to me as a kid. It only served to reinforce feelings of worthlessness.
I feel I can never show any signs of weakness, for I must be perfect. It’s like the scene in Animal House, where the pledge upon being beaten says “Thank you sir, may I have another.” The harder I work, the more my personal life falls apart. I have suffered insomnia, ulcers, and other physical symptoms. I will withdraw from activities, which ordinarily provide enjoyment. I feel I have to work harder to keep my secret from being revealed – that I’m a worthless piece of shit, good only for letting some guy get his rocks off on.
The anger I feel towards myself never lets up. It just simmers below the surface ready to blow. I too, feel like I have a sign on me that says “Victim, not worth anything.”
I would love to know how to stand up for myself.
Davo

Top
#428257 - 03/16/13 07:43 PM Re: Patterns [Re: Chase Eric]
DRA Offline


Registered: 02/07/13
Posts: 47
Quote:
My dad taught me to be good, to be responsible, to be honest, to have integrity. I think I learned those lessons well, but I must have missed the one on how to be strong - how to stand up for myself.


Hi C.E.,

I'm a survivor of CSA and date rape. For most of my life, I've had trouble with ideas of masculinity rooted in strength and power because they can be buried in fogs of anger and/or derision. For example: hatred at my weakness and socially contextualized mockery of my failure. Thinking of myself this way leads to a spiral of anguish.

Instead, I focus on truth. Please note that I've said "truth" and not "Truth". I don't want to make a statement about what happened to me or what actually is at the moment. The pretense that I can know the Truth about the events surrounding my abuse or the situations in which I find myself triggered is far to large a burden; how can I know what each individual brings to this moment? Rather, I intend to recognize how I am living in a moment. Recognizing the truth of my experience, respecting my emotional state, and allowing myself to experience the truth as I feel it at that time gives me the poise - when I'm successful - to respond to triggering moments in ways that allow me to defuse my reaction.

I focus on truth because most of my life has been spent in a lie. I refused to recognize the reality of what I've lived with for nearly 16 years. It has infected every relationship that I've had, save one that began before the abuse. That lie, that secret has eaten at my heart, devoured my soul. So I've taken the only action that I can: I bear witness to my truth.

When I write, bearing witness resonates and calls to a book given to me by my Rabbi in response to a traumatic event not related to my abuse Bearing Witness: A Zen Master's Lessons in Making Peace by Bernie Glassman. I've linked the Kindle Edition. (Fair warning, I may sound like I'm preaching and I extend my apologies. I'm not trying to endorse a religion or promote a belief system. Rather, I intend to explain a tool I've found useful.)

For me, bearing witness involves recognizing a person's experience(s) - other's or my own - and acknowledging that however one experiences reality is true for him or her. It doesn't matter if I think a reaction is strange or off putting (yes, I try to bear witness to my reactions); my response is secondary to acknowledging the power that an experience can hold for the experiencer. Ironically, the event that lead my Rabbi to give me Bearing Witness is still more difficult to discuss than my abuse, but I'm working on that. Regardless, bearing witness has helped me care for myself and develop more healthy relationships.

Bearing witness is a powerful (yeah, I used it) tool in my belt because it gives me heart-centered emotional distance that allows me to remain present; I don't go numb. As a result, I am more authentic both when interacting with others and when dealing with myself. As a Trekker, I'm going to talk about Klingons for a moment.

There are several times though out The Next Generation and Deep Space 9 where a viewer experiences the difference between Worf's definition of honor and the "normal" Klingon honor. The cultural norms are agressive, violent, and after victory at all costs. Worf's definition of honor rests in his heart. Paraphrasing (Sorry, I can't remember the episode, so I can't cite verbatim.): honor is an intangible idea, a statement about truth and respect. One acts respectfully to his or her own truth as well as that of others. One respects others and respects one's self equally.

As an example, I'm going to recap a text conversation that I had approximately a month ago with a former classmate. I'm going to paraphrase to avoid triggering details, but am happy discuss the details if you would like.

This classmate - let's call him CM - and I had been doing homework together for over a semester. For reasons known only to him, he decided to change our text conversations from, "Are you free on XXXXX night to work on the problem set?" to unsolicited advice regarding shaving. (For the record, I have a gotee.) This evolved into explicit that my appearance is that of one with several very serious STIs and cancer. He went as far as suggesting that I wax my entire body.

I had two options. I could be "strong" and get "angry", which would involve lashing out. Or, I could be true. For me, this meant acknowledging how much his texts hurt; I have a very dear friend who suffers from one of the STIs CM mentioned and have lost friends and family to cancer. Moreover, I don't know what CM thought he was doing. Sometimes, bullies don't know that they're bullying. Other times, a cultural difference can get in the way. So yes, I felt angry. Writing about it, I feel angry. But that's my experience. I am not angry and I can't assume that CM is just a douché bag who deserves all of the physical retaliation that I've thought up.

The difference is where my agency lies. Is it thrashing about the river Styx in Dante's 5th circle or am I still in my body on this green Earth, breathing sweet fresh air and feel hurt? If I were ragefully lashing out with my anger, I would be drowning in the Styx and have less control of my life. Sure, it's an experience I'm used to and a space in which I feel safe because I Feel as if I have control, but really I'm being pulled along by me emotional sludge. Instead, if bore witness to (in some contexts, this process is called surrendering) to my experience and acknowledged that I was hurt and that feeling pain is NOT bad. It is true. With that truth in hand, I chose how to respond.

I started by asking CM if he understood the implications of his comments:

"What are you talking about? CM, do you have any idea what you're saying? Do you have any idea how offensive, out of line, utterly inappropriate, and disrespectful you're being?"

In stead of telling CM, I asked. Instead of assuming I was right as he had - a bully assumes power-based authority without cause and usually tries to manipulate - I focused on the truth of my experience.

CM responded that he didn't know why he was out of line and continued his verbal assault: "Do you like my fashion tips?" In stead of using agressive or strong language like "you're being mean" or cursing, I spoke a dead-pan truth:

"Neither [of your tips] is appropriate. Not only are you diminishing the severity and seriousness of both diseases, but you're actively telling me that I'm diseased and unfit for society. That is the implication of what you've said. You've gone from unsolicited fashion tips to harassment and become completely inappropriate."

Yes, I labeled actions as his. I could have done a better job by saying something similar to, "to me, you're statements mean I'm diseased and unfit for society," instead of, "you're actively telling me." But I still didn't attack.

We continued this back-and-forth for several days; he wouldn't drop it and over the next two days, I found it empowering to be so honest about my experience. At the end of the 2nd day, I blocked his number and reported the texts a week or so later.

Right now, I'm at peace knowing that I not only responded to CM but did so in a way that showed respect for myself and my experience. I acted honorably. I spoke my truth without becoming a bully.

I'm not entirely sure if the story was necessary or telling it was just something I need(ed) to do. I hope that it's both. I'd like to think that I've exemplified standing up for myself without making my problem someone else's, without lashing out and raging all over someone. But I cannot know how you've experienced reading what I've written. Only you can and I hope that you're able to recognize the peace and strength in doing so.


Edited by DRA (03/16/13 08:30 PM)
_________________________
Strength in power is a false victory rooted in vapid grandiosity. Strength in character and integrity is the freedom to act righteously irrespective of the surrounding pressure. True power is the presence of mind to live with character and integrity.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, TJ jeff 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.