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#429603 - 03/31/13 12:49 AM never held **trigger**
Still Offline
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Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6452
Loc: Right Behind You!
One of my major malfunctions comes from my complete lack of parental-based affection. I find more and more that what I saw in other families as a kid, did in fact exist and is/was healthy and normal.

I grew-up with no physical affection from my parents and plenty of violence.

While working on a project recently, I came across a stock-photo that befuddled and grieved me greatly.

I will not place it here and it may be triggering for some survivors. I cannot look at it without thinking things like:

- I only knew THAT through the lead-perp.
- I never knew that from my father but needed to.
- how different would my life have been if this were the type of parents I had.

I have to tell you...Its a very very difficult picture for me to see.

*******TRIGGER WARNING*******

Picture linked is of a shirtless boy being held by his shirtless father.

Held

I'd really be interested in your impressions and thoughts. Am I alone in this grief?


Edited by Still (03/31/13 12:50 AM)
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#429604 - 03/31/13 01:50 AM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Still]
traveler Offline
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Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3420
Loc: somewhere in Africa
yeah - that's a tough one for me, too. even with shirts on it would be difficult. even if the kid was smiling i'd be uncomfortable with it.

virtually the only physical contact i had with step-dad was "discipline" and/or abuse. i both longed for something other than that - and was scared to pieces of it.

Lee
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#429605 - 03/31/13 03:44 AM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Still]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1536
Loc: New England
Yeah, thats not really "triggering" for me, just sad. My own father never showed affection, never said anything supportive or positive. Never said much of anything to me really. He was in his own alcohol soaked world, totally checked out. I guess I should be thankful that he never hit us, but then it was partly his neglect that made me a ripe target for a pedophile.

At Christmas last year, my wife pulled out the home videos we made of our oldest children when they were young back in the 1980's, a period I was in my own alcohol soaked world, and have very little memory of. I was surprised to see my younger self so engaged with those four little boys. I wasn't checked out at all. Maybe I haven't always been the total douche bag I believed myself to be.

Jude
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#429611 - 03/31/13 08:42 AM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Still]
newground Offline
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Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 761
Loc: michigan
I have to say guys this hits home. not only did my dad never touch me not even for discipline the closest I ever got was a kick in the butt like he would the dog if it did something wrong. and as far as shirtless... I never saw him shirtless. I made up my mind that I was going to tell him I love you weather he ever said it to me or not and for two and a half years I said it each time I left his house. and all he would do is grunt or say yup. one day about a year ago as I stepped out the door he said love ya too and it literally staggered me I did a double take and had to look back. I cried all the way home
Jeff
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#429612 - 03/31/13 09:10 AM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Still]
Obi Offline
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Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1338
Loc: kansas
.


Edited by Obi (05/03/13 06:05 PM)
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#429613 - 03/31/13 09:13 AM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Still]
SoccerStar Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 916
Loc: New York
I had an affectionate, "holding" dad and I am one myself, and... it doesn't look like that. I find that picture sinister and disturbing to be honest.

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#429614 - 03/31/13 09:27 AM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Still]
Obi Offline
Member
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Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1338
Loc: kansas
.


Edited by Obi (05/03/13 06:04 PM)
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#429621 - 03/31/13 11:29 AM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Still]
EdfromNYC Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 233
Loc: New York City
This entire thread applies to me too. Especially this understanding:

Quote:
it was partly his neglect that made me a ripe target for a pedophile.


We need male to male touch. I think it is a necessity like babies that don't have touch actually wither and die. I think as a boy, I needed that physical bond and to know that a man can hold his child, give love through that touch, make the child feel protected, embraced, attended to, seen and to make the child feel like he has actually substance on this earth.

I didn't look at the picture before I wrote this. I am in the gathering knowledge stage of what I missed and not quite in the feeling stage of what I missed and I am not ready to face some things just yet.

Edit: looked at the picture. I think it is provocative and meant to be edgy as noted in comment below. Not natural.


Edited by EdfromNYC (03/31/13 12:22 PM)
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#429623 - 03/31/13 11:57 AM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Still]
Suwanee Offline
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Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 726
Loc: Southeast USA
Still,

That picture just doesn't seem right. It may be a photographer's attempt to be "edgy" with or without any prurient intentions. Whatever the case, my own father was loving and caring--but he didn't hug me like that. My issue (and his) is more the quantity of father-son time, not the quality of it. I really am troubled that many, many people were betrayed by their parents---whether through selfishness, mental illness, or just plain meaness. The parent-child bond is crucial. Those who miss this important interaction and still grow up to be loving, caring parents in their own right are to be commended.

We have a number of pictures from swim meets or at the beach where either or both of my parents are hugging me when I'm not wearing a shirt. They are spontaneous snap shots....this one is posed and a llittle too "possessive" in my opinion.

Will


Edited by Suwanee (03/31/13 12:13 PM)
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#429627 - 03/31/13 12:58 PM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Still]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south


Regarding the photo, I am not triggered by it. I am made uncomfortable by what I see as the attempted sexualization and eroticism of child and adult. I do find it distasteful in form and subject matter and a very poor attempt at the edginess mentioned earlier. The embrace is not really a protective move, its presents itself more as a control move in motion. When I consider the lighting and tonal qualities, it seems rather menacing to me. I don't like it. I find it disturbing. So maybe I am triggered by it.

Thought provoking, Still. Thanks for sharing the visual. Wish I, too, had known healthy embraces and words from my dad. ...at least one memory of "love you" or "proud of you".


Edited by ThisMan (03/31/13 01:00 PM)
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#429629 - 03/31/13 01:03 PM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Still]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 916
Loc: New York
It looks like a choke-out sleeper hold and the look on the boy's face is neither happy nor peaceful. You don't wrap the neck from behind like that, you just don't. I hate to say this but I think this illustrates how people can need male touch so much that they're attracted to an example of it being done "wrong".
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#429683 - 03/31/13 11:21 PM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Still]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1356
The picture seems to be trying to make some kind of a contrasting statement between young and old, and the black & white format speaks to an "artistic" intent. Yet the pose is awkward and seems contrived. My first impression is that the embrace looks more than threatening - it seems the kind of hold one would use to twist or break someone's neck.

Originally Posted By: Still
Picture linked is of a shirtless boy being held by his shirtless father.

A couple of items I notice seem to belie that. The texture of the older person's skin - especially in the creases on the left elbow and the tops of the hands - suggests that person is too old to be a parent, especially to such a young child. The relative ages are probably more like grandparent/grandchild than parent/child (not implying those are the relationships - just the relative generational ages). Also, I can't help but think the older person is a female. The nipples are just too low on the chest, suggesting the sagging flat breasts of an older woman. That's what I see, at least.

I am not a parent, but I had a great relationship with my father that was not touch-inhibited - he was certainly not afraid to hug me and show physical affection. So frankly, this picture is "off" to me not as a "trigger" but more like a really bad lounge act.
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#429728 - 04/01/13 12:54 PM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Still]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6452
Loc: Right Behind You!
Wow! I'm just NOT seeing the sinister nature that you folks are seeing. I see a boy who is down and recving a reassuring hug and sort of head-hold from Dad or Grampa. To me, the kids expression is purely of sadness and not any sort of strain, horror or fear.

But hey....what do I know about physical affection. But I was alarmed by it at my very heart...but i just don't see "disturbing" or "sinister." Sorry to have posted what sounds like it was offensive.


Edited by Still (04/01/13 01:25 PM)
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#429730 - 04/01/13 01:09 PM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Still]
bodyguard8367 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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


Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/26/14 09:58 PM)

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#429732 - 04/01/13 01:27 PM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: bodyguard8367]
Still Offline
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Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6452
Loc: Right Behind You!
Originally Posted By: bodyguard8367
I only knew two emotions from my father:
Disaproval and Anger/Rage.

I didn't get hugs, I got beat.

I didn't get love, I got ignored.

I don't see the photograph as being very affectionate. Maybe like a headlock? I see the boy submitting, and keeping his eyes down for fear of upsetting the others...I see the father's "embrace" as a control. The boy must have been running around and got into trouble. (Moments later the boys averted eyes will be filling with tears and his skin will be bruising).



Dang! What's wrong with my warped mind then? I'm just not seeing violence or violent intent.
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#429736 - 04/01/13 02:06 PM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Still]
bodyguard8367 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

You know nothing is wrong with you.

I didn't know love and can't recognize it.

I share it with my son now, but I don't know....it isn't the same as the profound neglect of my youth.

It was my own filter, not yours Still..

Geoff

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#429737 - 04/01/13 02:10 PM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Suwanee]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1403
Loc: California
I agree with this observation. As a filmmaker / photographer, I found the posted photo staged, and inauthentic. In the context of the question, I found it troublesome. "Possessive" quality, indeed.

As far as the question, yes, I have the same experience. A lack of intimacy in this way from any male role models as a young child.

There were 2 occasions when I remember seeing my step dad and my step grandfather naked (2 different occasions!) and felt immense shame and embarrassment over seeing them that way. I had already been molested by my cousin and was in a 'relationship' with him during those times as well.

Deep, deep shame. Blocked me from experiencing any authentic intimacy with my older role models.


Originally Posted By: Suwanee
Still,

That picture just doesn't seem right. It may be a photographer's attempt to be "edgy" with or without any prurient intentions. Whatever the case, my own father was loving and caring--but he didn't hug me like that. My issue (and his) is more the quantity of father-son time, not the quality of it. I really am troubled that many, many people were betrayed by their parents---whether through selfishness, mental illness, or just plain meaness. The parent-child bond is crucial. Those who miss this important interaction and still grow up to be loving, caring parents in their own right are to be commended.

We have a number of pictures from swim meets or at the beach where either or both of my parents are hugging me when I'm not wearing a shirt. They are spontaneous snap shots....this one is posed and a llittle too "possessive" in my opinion.

Will
_________________________
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Loving Kindness Meditation will dramatically improve your spirits; give it a try for just 3 days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM

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#429742 - 04/01/13 02:50 PM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Magellan]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6452
Loc: Right Behind You!
Originally Posted By: Magellan
I agree with this observation. As a filmmaker / photographer, I found the posted photo staged, and inauthentic. In the context of the question, I found it troublesome. "Possessive" quality, indeed.

As far as the question, yes, I have the same experience. A lack of intimacy in this way from any male role models as a young child.

There were 2 occasions when I remember seeing my step dad and my step grandfather naked (2 different occasions!) and felt immense shame and embarrassment over seeing them that way. I had already been molested by my cousin and was in a 'relationship' with him during those times as well.

Deep, deep shame. Blocked me from experiencing any authentic intimacy with my older role models.


Originally Posted By: Suwanee
Still,

That picture just doesn't seem right. It may be a photographer's attempt to be "edgy" with or without any prurient intentions. Whatever the case, my own father was loving and caring--but he didn't hug me like that. My issue (and his) is more the quantity of father-son time, not the quality of it. I really am troubled that many, many people were betrayed by their parents---whether through selfishness, mental illness, or just plain meaness. The parent-child bond is crucial. Those who miss this important interaction and still grow up to be loving, caring parents in their own right are to be commended.

We have a number of pictures from swim meets or at the beach where either or both of my parents are hugging me when I'm not wearing a shirt. They are spontaneous snap shots....this one is posed and a llittle too "possessive" in my opinion.

Will


I do realize its a stock piece and was clearly set-up, but again....I saw love in-physical affection. I'm keying-off the kid's expression and calmly-clsed eyes.

Maybe its all cuz I loved fully submitting to Dean....(the lead perp). It was the ONLY time I felt anything like love, attention, affection. It burned right to my soul with warmth.

That's probably where my "difference" originates. Sorry for bringing it up.

I won't delete the link as future readers will say "WTF R they talking about??"
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#429743 - 04/01/13 02:59 PM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Still]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1403
Loc: California
Don't apologize. I found it rather revealing about how abuse impacts our perceptions.

Thank you for posting and for asking.
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Loving Kindness Meditation will dramatically improve your spirits; give it a try for just 3 days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM

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#429765 - 04/01/13 10:11 PM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Still]
genedebs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 285
Loc: MO
Hi still,

It looks like the child is being held. The arm under the chin does not reach the throat so it does not appear to be violent to me. I am triggered by any photograph of partially naked boys. My mother directed me undressing for her photographer friend when I was 12.

My father's standard dress in the house was a t shirt and socks. Always his genatles (sp) showing. I am thankful her rarely hugged me in that dress. He would demonstrate his strength by putting pressure on us. It was just another form of abuse. He yelled daily and hit one of us boys weekly and my mother weekly.

It also reminds me of having to initiate hugs to get them from my mother, In the last years of my fathers life I hugged him regularly and told him I loved him. Eventually he learned to hug me back.

I am struggling to acknowledge my losses. (If I never had it how could I lose it?) It is good to see the perspective of what it represents to you. And that that demonstration of affection is normal, tells me that physical affection from a parent given as a gift and with no reprecusions attached is one of the many aspects of my childhood that is a loss.

Thank you for sharing the loss you felt. You you find the healing for that loss. Remember we all have different stories and we all are just the same.

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#429779 - 04/01/13 11:48 PM Re: never held **trigger** [Re: Still]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 344
Loc: NY
Still:

The photo may be saying different things to different people, which is healthy. For me it means several things. It is a man being strong and being able to show his son how that feels. It is a son who is not showing much joy in his father's embrace. This might be because he is disturbed by it, or it might simply be how he is experiencing his father at the moment. Perhaps he is feeling his father's strength and power, when at another moment he might feel the joy.

I love the shirtless part of it and don't find it disturbing. I had some of that from my Dad and think that my children should feel my skin as well.

There are so many forms of touch and so many ways it can be experienced. I know I have to remind myself of that in order to break out of the frozen emptiness that keeps a part of me hidden away forever. It may be that we all have our own personal triggers. With me, it is my neck and hips and back where things are really fragile.

But if I look for only one kind of touch from another I'm afraid I will ultimately reinforce my own untouchability and never experience real trust.

I hope you may find a way to allow for all of the feelings and possibilities to be there, because that shows how human you are. Being human also means that no one has the right to take away your own dignity.

Focused
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