Newest Members
Stormchaser, johnnyc717, bluebook, Roscoe, SJC
12314 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
clutzygurl (22), dun (50), Gene (50), ufp1964 (50), Zoot (68)
Who's Online
4 registered (Scott1962, TJ jeff, 2 invisible), 19 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12314 Members
74 Forums
63355 Topics
443023 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Topic Options
#428194 - 03/15/13 10:33 PM feeling like the abuse made me a woman *Trigger*
shalom Offline


Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 6
****Might Trigger****

Hi everyone. I'm new here and am scared to share this, but I am really hoping to find others who can relate to what I am feeling so I won't feel so alone. I hope what I wrote doesn't sound stupid.

I am a survivor of incest by several family members, including my dad and my mom. But the abuse by my mom is I think probably the hardest to deal with. It hurts me so much. It makes me sick, it makes me feel ashamed, disgusting, humiliated, broken, and weak.

Part of me feels as though I should have been able to stop it, though intellectually I know that is impossible for a child to do.

As a small child, I tried to make sense of why my daddy was touching me. I decided he must have mistaken me for my mother. My mother's abuse made me feel like she had sucked out my soul and put herself in it's place. So between the feelings caused by the abuse by my dad and my mom, I ended up feeling like I was her. And so I grew up with this feeling that I was my mother. It has made me feel emotionally "castrated". I don't know how to separate from my parents, emotionally. I feel like, no matter how far I am from them, they are inside of me, inside my mind and my soul and like I can't be free. I feel forever bound by them.

I have stopped communicating with them. I tried setting boundaries and that didn't work, so I finally realized that for me to be able to heal, I had to stop talking to them. I have felt so guilty, like such a bad child. It's really hard to resist the urge to call them, but I know I can't, it is too damaging and I have to heal.

This has all made it very hard for me to be intimate with my partner. It wasn't too long after we got married that I began having trouble, and the trouble just got worse and worse, though he is so kind and understanding. I just feel like sex is sick, dirty, demeaning, and shaming. It makes me feel like I am my mother again. It makes me feel so vulnerable and that is so hard for me. Vulnerability is hard. I hate vulnerability, I fear it, though I know that it is actually true strength.

I struggle with feeling like I have to be strong, like I shouldn't cry, I shouldn't hurt, I should "be a man". I don't know how to connect to other men and that even furthers the feeling that I am different, that I am a woman, though I don't want to be a woman. I don't say that in any way insulting women, I am just referring to that I feel like a woman partly b/c I felt like I had become my mom.


Surviving each day is so hard. I feel so alone. God and my partner are basically the only ones who have been there for me. So I am hoping that here I can connect with others and feel less alone.

Has anyone else struggled with similar feelings after abuse by their mother or another woman? I hope I don't just sound crazy.

Top
#428214 - 03/16/13 09:19 AM Re: feeling like the abuse made me a woman *Trigger* [Re: shalom]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Hi Shalom:
Welcome to MS. You might want to take a look at:
http://www.malesurvivor.org/ArchivedPages/singer3.html

If you want to do this exercise, write it to one person, rather than both. You might want to start with your father if that is easier for you. Write it as if you are not going to send it (and you don't have to send it.)

It's really created for the survivor's benefit and you can get a handle on what is difficult for you. Suggest you get a therapist who understands male victimization issues. You can find the link in "A Consumer's Guide to Therapist Shopping" if you don't have a good one.

Good luck and welcome to the community.

Top
#428220 - 03/16/13 10:45 AM Re: feeling like the abuse made me a woman *Trigger* [Re: shalom]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 751
Loc: michigan
shalom,
Dude you are NOT alone all victimization is terrible and I think leaves it's own distinct scars, I feel so much what you say about not being vulnerable... I CANT...EVER I HATE IT. to the point that I will not take risks if there is a chance of being caught "with my pants down" so to speak. to be left feeling isolated and embarrassed is the most terrible thing I can think of. I feel I have to be the answer man... the "go to guy" to even admit that I have has been until recently a complete non starter. that being said I have started. It took way too long. i hope that you can find a way to acknowledge that this is a result of abuse and therefore not your fault and that you can overcome it. it will take some help but we are here
Jeff
_________________________
Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!"
Herman Melville

Top
#428246 - 03/16/13 05:46 PM Re: feeling like the abuse made me a woman *Trigger* [Re: shalom]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1096
Loc: The ATL

Hi Shalom! Sorry to hear about what you are going through. My abusers were mostly female as well, although they were not family members. I can't say that I identify with feeling like the abuse "made me a woman" but I can somewhat identify with feeling like the abuse robbed you of your soul. I'd urge you to stay strong when it comes to not contacting your parents. If the relationship is that toxic and after what they did, they don't deserve to have you in their lives. Lean on your partner. Share your pain here. Find strength, hope and solice where you can find it. Stay strong. Peace.

Ken

Top
#428543 - 03/20/13 08:24 PM Re: feeling like the abuse made me a woman *Trigger* [Re: shalom]
shalom Offline


Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 6
Hi guys! Thanks for the comments, and thanks for the link Ken Singer. I'm really glad to have found this forum and to be reminded that I'm not alone in this journey to healing.
When I posted my original post, I was feeling so much shame and really wanting just to know that there were others who had similar experiences. But reading your comments and reading in other places on the forums I've realized something that was really freeing to me. I realized that we all have different experiences and different ways in which the abuse affected us, and yet, we can gather here together and support one another. One survivor's struggle may not be another survivor's struggle, but that doesn't make anyone better or worse than the other. We're the same in that we were hurt, and now we're trying to find healing. So that was just a very helpful realization for me.
Thanks again for your support! I'm happy I can be here.

Top
#429068 - 03/25/13 12:26 PM Re: feeling like the abuse made me a woman *Trigger* [Re: shalom]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 332
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: shalom


As a small child, I tried to make sense of why my daddy was touching me. I decided he must have mistaken me for my mother. My mother's abuse made me feel like she had sucked out my soul and put herself in it's place. So between the feelings caused by the abuse by my dad and my mom, I ended up feeling like I was her. And so I grew up with this feeling that I was my mother. It has made me feel emotionally "castrated". I don't know how to separate from my parents, emotionally. I feel like, no matter how far I am from them, they are inside of me, inside my mind and my soul and like I can't be free. I feel forever bound by them.



This is a very frightening feeling, but one which has some familiarity for me.

Early on, I think I took on a female identity to deal with my abuse. Although it was probably in response to boundary crossing by mother, it served a purpose of protecting me from what was happening. Over time, this ability to protect myself would serve me in many different ways.

It wasn't until I felt the desire to live life the way I wanted to live it, that I had to ask myself to take away this protection. It was a scary moment because it meant that I really wouldn't know what would happen next. It meant that I might have to start all over again, from crawling to walking.

That is pretty much what happened. There have been long periods of time that I felt I was just getting by. Eventually, my consistent effort to live on behalf of myself began to convince the more feminine part of me that it didn't have to rule every interaction.

I used to try to think of the male and female as being in some kind of opposition to each other. I also used to associate the feminine with vulnerability because that is what we are sometimes encouraged to do. What helped me was to ask myself what I truly thought about vulnerability, especially as a man.

I guess what I'm saying is, it can seem somewhat contradictory for the "woman" in us to be protecting the "man" in us. But that may have been the only way we knew how to survive. To reclaim our real, whole self requires a bit of trust there is a real you, a man who is real, who is waiting to breathe and look around.
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

Top
#429319 - 03/27/13 07:10 PM Re: feeling like the abuse made me a woman *Trigger* [Re: shalom]
shalom Offline


Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 6
Thanks for your comment, focusedbody. I'm really glad you've been able to work through those feelings. You gave me a lot to think about. I realized that I do feel like it protects me. I realized that deep inside I see women as powerful and able to destroy me. I'm sure that's b/c of my mother abusing me, she was more powerful than me and destroyed me in many ways as a child. So now, when I feel threatened or triggered, I revert to feeling female. I need to think through all of this a lot more, but I did a lot of writing and thinking about it and feel that I am beginning to understand what is going on. Thanks again for sharing your experience, it really made a lot of things click.

Top


Moderator:  ModTeam, Publius, 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.