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#43402 - 08/01/02 08:12 PM How does one act around other men?
Redsongbird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/01/01
Posts: 209
It has been quite a while since I posted on here. But I always come back. I think once I posted about having trouble going to an all male fitness place. Being sexually assualted (lets just say it as it was "raped!") back in October was (and is) causing me difficulty in going. Well, I have been going about three times a week now. But still gaining weight..go figure. I just don't know how to act around other men. They tell jokes, they stand there butt naked with their thing hanging out and I don't know how to act. I know I have come across as unfriendly. I do talk though yet I always feel like I am unreal.....fake...like I am interested. Why hell I even walk around naked from the shower! Just trying to fit in. But I do dress pretty quickly compared to the others. Geez! am I not acting like 13 instead of 41?

I met my new boss this week. He seems really transparent. HE was very easy to talk with. I was quite amazed at how freely we talked. In my profession (teaching) though there is only three men on staff. Gee, I wonder if picking this profession has anything to with my abuse issues! But honestly I throughly enjoy teaching (thus the apple for the picture) if I can make one 5th graders day "normal" than I have done my job.

Sorry didn't mean to talk about the job. I just don't know how to feel around other men. And I NEED male friends. It just that men who have not been thourgh what quite a few of us here have been through just don't seem to understand.

I feel like i am rambling. Anyway does anyone else feel uncomfortable or not sure how to act around other men? I guess I was never really "taught" how to act. The men in my childhood ...abused me. I mean I do interact with men but I am always wondering if I am coming across as all right or something. (sigh)

Terry


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#43403 - 08/01/02 09:08 PM Re: How does one act around other men?
James_dup1 Offline


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 1332
Loc: Wyoming
Hey Terry,
I understand how you feel. I dont have any male friends at all, Im so uneasy around them. I wonder if Im doing the right manly thing or am I acting wrong, (would a "real" man do that?) etc. It's hard to understand the "why's" isnt it. Well I know I didnt answer anything just wanted to let you know I feel the same way. I could never join a gym no way.

_________________________
I have more issues than Rolling Stone!


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#43404 - 08/01/02 09:15 PM Re: How does one act around other men?
Eddie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/31/02
Posts: 25
Loc: Cub Hill, Md
Terry,
You must be doing a lot better than you think that you are doing...you're still going to the gym!!! That's more than I could ever hope for...could never do that kind of thing again...don't even want to try! Finding male friends is a tough one...it just happens...find where men go that share your interest..if you have any. Good luck and keep going!

Eddie


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#43405 - 08/01/02 09:31 PM Re: How does one act around other men?
mrsunshineguy Offline
Member

Registered: 07/13/02
Posts: 67
Loc: Texas
Hi Redsongbird,

I am 41, too. Just my opin, but the acting and feeling 13 is a pretty good place to start.

I find myself back at 8 (age of abuse) for a lot of this stuff, that is the point I usually (still) have to go to start to work things through.

But in your case . . . I mean a 13 year-old in a locker room with men . . . any 13 year old would be thinking "Who is hairiest? Who is (or not) circumcised? Who is biggest?" Geeezzz, no wonder your mind is saying get me out of here, get me out of here. \:\) I think you are pretty normal.

- - - - - - - - -

But as far as proper manly behaviors, Yeah, you could learn them, but I can?t really recommend it.
I learned to fake all the proper manly behaviors exceptionally well.

Worked in farming, construction, was an army troop, and then a combat arms officer, construction engineer with a four-wheel truck. If anyone wanted to mess with me, I would go to the manly-handbook, and come back the routine of "I?ll rip your head off and sh*t down your throat." (page 206 of the manly-behavior handbook \:\) )

Even when my ever-so-versatile all manly-behavior totally failed me and my brains melted-down, and I wound in an (all female) on-line therapy group, I was still stuck in it. I was jerky and "manly" to point that I got kicked out. I was just a wreck from that. It was maybe the most traumatic thing I had to go through in this recovery stuff.

But when any of the guys at work would ask -- How is your therapy group?

You know my answer -- back to the routine ? "smoke, joke and be cool." (page 185 of the manly behavior handbook \:\) )

I would slowly smile and meet everyone's eyes and say, "Well, things are not going that great. I got kicked out of my all women?s therapy group."

Everyone would just fall on the floor laughing. And I would laugh instead of cry.

Not smart for my heart. Here is the real deal. I had to un-learn all those manly things, and I can finally (usually) just be me. And it turned out I like that ok.

Again, just my opinion -- just be yourself, be kind to yourself, and be well.

Sunshine


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#43406 - 08/02/02 12:26 AM Re: How does one act around other men?
michael Joseph Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
Hi Terry, did you change shcools or did you get a new principal?

If you remember I teach also and live in Michigan.
I have lived all over the state. I am not sure how you get comfortabe with men in the locker room, what about outside the locker room. Maybe you need a friend. Do you have 1 good male friendship? There are hard to develop. Anyway time may be the factor in your delemia.

I teach in St. Joseph County in a little place called Leonidas, I live there too!

You are probablly far away. I wish you well.

M J

_________________________
Standing together is so much better than hiding in the dark.
***I am a three time WoR Retreat Alumni***
The Round Table, Men's CSA Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat

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#43407 - 08/02/02 04:11 AM Re: How does one act around other men?
arghilles Offline
Member

Registered: 07/26/02
Posts: 45
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Hi!

I totally understand your insecurity about other men. I have it all the time and it has haunted me for so many years. I usually feel like a victim and I need to control them.
However, things have began to change for me, very slowly, but it is happening.
Yesterday I was at a couple of friends and I was so anxious, cause I didn't know how I was going to be able to handle the males present. I just tried to be me, and I found that I could actually start to get strength from being with other men. I know how much I really need attention, confirmation and friendship from other men.
I think that right now I am a teenager somehow in my mind. I can see other teenagers as being my mates.
I have always believed that I am so different and that I don't belong and that they won't accept me. I have understood now finally that the truth is: I am not. I have been molested and I have reacted normally, I am just a regular guy. Now that I have started to realize that life has began to embrace me again. I am starting to feel a little bit happy.

I am sorry this was much about me, just wanted to share, I hope it helps a little bit.

_________________________
Erik

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#43408 - 08/02/02 09:28 AM Re: How does one act around other men?
Redsongbird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/01/01
Posts: 209
It was enouraging to get online this morning and see all these posts. I am grateful for this place once again.

James: I really identified with how you worded this whole thing. That question "Would a real man do this?" is exactly how I have been feeling.

Eddie: So where do men go? Seems like a silly question huh? I also wanted to tell you that I think your name change is much better too! 8-=)

Sunshineguy: 41 must be the age to deal with this crap huh? I liked the way you compared how I feel as a 13 year old in the fitness place. When I was doing quite a bit of my momeory work the age was always 7 or 8 so I have at least advanced some! Thanks for the advice on just being myself. I have really been trying to do just that. I think it when I compare myself to other men I do not feel very "manly" though. I know everyone is not the same. So I should not be comparing myself.

Michael: I have been looking for a position since back in October. We (wife and I) moved back to Flint after my attack in MD. My degree is afrom a christian college. In MD it was no problem but here in MI I was told they could not consider me certified. So, I have been looking ever since I came back. About three weeks ago I did get hired at a christian school. With the idea that I work on the degree. (I have taken 12 credits so far) I will be teaching 5th grade once again. I have been teaching 4/5/6th for 14 years now. When I got hired one administrator hired me. Then I went back to sign the contract he told me that him and his wife were leaving to go to TX. The other day I met the new ad. He seemed really nice. I do not have any male friends though. ....I have heard of Leonidas but I have not ever been there. I live in Flint.

Arghilles: Attention, confirmation and friendship is wht you said. Thats what I really think I am looking for. Especially the confirmation part. Then I wonder why am I giving that power to someone else to confirm me? I am really glad to see that you are feeling better about all this. To be honest that gives me hope that this will all end good.

EVERYONE: Thanks again for your advice. This has really started my day out good. I by the way did not join this fitness place myself. It was a gift - christmas gift. But I am determined to use it. Knowing that other have a hard time around men sort of makes me feel better. Not that anyone else would have a problem but, I guess it just means that I am sort of on track about all this. Thanks again....hope everyone has a good day.

Terry


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#43409 - 08/02/02 10:53 AM Re: How does one act around other men?
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Terry, you have to be one of the bravest guys I know of. If you were raped only months ago, I don't know how you could be comfortable around naked men. That really takes guts.--but if you can do it I think it is a way to desensitize you to your trauma.
I too was a bit happy--and sad--to hear that other guys have few friends. I have few, really none, makl or females, that are not also professional relationships. I just can't trust people. I am learning to trust the guys on this forum. I will look forward to meeting some of them at the retreat. But, I just have a wall around me that I don't let anyone pierce through. I can't find it in me to trust people--adults that is.
Thanks for being a teacher--I am one too, though these days I counsel more than teach--in a high school.
Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#43410 - 08/02/02 04:16 PM Re: How does one act around other men?
Redsongbird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/01/01
Posts: 209
Hello Bob - nic eto meet you here. I do not htink I am really all that brave. I have been going three times for the last two weeks. This week? I have not went at all. Right now I can go any time so I pick the "down" time....noon. There are not many men there then. The only thing is I am not sure what I will do when school starts. I know after 3pm this type of place get very busy. I just don't know if I will beable to handle that or not. I am forcing myself to go now.

Thats great that you are involved in teaching/counceling also. How long have you been teaching?

Terry


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#43411 - 08/02/02 04:31 PM Re: How does one act around other men?
Ken Followell Offline
President
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 987
Loc: Bradenton, FL
Terry,

Sounds like you think you need to give yourself credit for when you do go instead of focusing on when you don't. Keep moving forward.

Ken

_________________________
Ken Followell

Everything works out right in the end. If things are not working right, it isn't the end yet. Don't let it bother you, relax and keep on goin
- Michael C. Muhammad

"I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing."
� Rabbi Hillel

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#43412 - 08/02/02 06:35 PM Re: How does one act around other men?
jackjohn Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/17/02
Posts: 23
Loc: Fallston, MD
Terry,

So sorry to hear of the rape in MD. I live in MD and just feel really bad for you.

The locker room issue is very timely for me. I recently joined a health club because my Dr insisted since I had a heart catherization several months ago. I always feel queasy walking into the locker room. In fact I haven't gone to the club in three weeks. I have to get my act together and go back. I'm planning on returning Monday. We'll see. Here come the queasies. I've talked to my therapist about this. I know intellectualy it should be no big deal. But as I walk in the club I feel light headed. Will it ever end?

_________________________
jackjohn

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#43413 - 08/02/02 08:52 PM Re: How does one act around other men?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
The weird thing for me is that I have been doing a real dirty job for 25 years, and all the time I was in denial I showered at work with the guys - with no problems for me. I didn't feel threatened, use their nakedness in my fantasies of other men- I felt ok there.
But as soon as I started therapy and my recovery I stopped, and showered at home.
I can't explain it, to be honest I didn't even think about it until I read these posts and it just clicked with me.
Perhaps it's vanity, and my beer belly is embarrasing me, I hope so ?
Lloydy

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#43414 - 08/03/02 12:12 AM Re: How does one act around other men?
orodo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 735
Loc: Imladris, The Safe Haven of Ar...
Please don't take this Joe Jackson tune the wrong way. Whenever anyone goes to this topic, I can't get this song out of my head....

Joe Jackson
Real Men

Take your mind back - I don't know when
Sometime when it always seemed
To be just us and them
Girls that wore pink
And boys that wore blue
Boys that always grew up better men
Than me and you
What's a man now - what's a man mean
Is he rough or is he rugged
Is he cultural and clean
Now it's all change - it's got to change more
'Cause we think it's getting better
But nobody's really sure
And so it goes - go round again
But now and then we wonder who the real men are
See the nice boys - dancing in pairs
Golden earring golden tan
Blow-wave in the hair
Sure they're all straight - straight as a line
All the gays are macho
Can't you see their leather shine
You don't want to sound dumb - don't want to offend
So don't call me a faggot
Not unless you are a friend
Then if you're tall and handsome and strong
You can wear the uniform and I could play along
And so it goes - go round again
But now and then we wonder who the real men are
Time to get scared - time to change plan
Don't know how to treat a lady
Don't know how to be a man
Time to admit - what you call defeat
'Cause there's women running past you now
And you just drag your feet
Man makes a gun - man goes to war
Man can kill and man can drink
And man can take a whore
Kill all the blacks - kill all the reds
And if there's war between the sexes
Then there'll be no people left
And so it goes - go round again
But now and then we wonder who the real men are

_________________________
It is better to be Dragon Master than Dragon Slayer. Some Dragons are meant to be mastered, others meant to be slain. Odin, Great Spirit, God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference. "May the Valar guide and bless you on your path under the sky"

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#43415 - 08/03/02 12:53 AM Re: How does one act around other men?
Broken Offline
Member

Registered: 03/25/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Huntingtun Beach, CA, US
You know, it might be a better idea to just get there early and go home to shower, thats what i used to do when i could afford to go to a gym. I know the teenager problem too, it makes you feel like people can see straight through you and see what your "really" like. But thats BS, your fine. And the guys who are hanging around naked are probably just as shallow about thier manhood as well. Thump your chest, and just go, you dont have to give a damn about what they think. When you reach a certain point, stereotypes shrink away, and wisdom starts to replace it. Everything you take for gratned that this society teaches you is warped by the ideology of america. Your body is not something to be ashamed of, it is something to be proud of, a marvel of biological perfection, you dont have to prove its better or worse, you are there to repsect your body and test its limits, not to be ashamed. For me, pride started with a "SCREW YOU! Theres nothing wrong with me!" and has slowly been gaining ground with the recent dicoveries that its "okay to love" and "i have a right to stand up for myself" A miraculous couple of philosphical breakthroughs im sure. \:\) Another thing i liked doing was getting pissed off, even though it takes a long time to stop suppressing the anger, it feels good to get anrgy even a little. Try to remember there is nothing wrong with you, and its not your fault your thinking this way. Strength isnt how much you can lift above your head.

May you find the stregth to be proud.


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#43416 - 08/03/02 03:48 AM Re: How does one act around other men?
Roy Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
Hi Terry:
I am 40 yrs old and was raped 7 years ago. Pretty weird isn't it? Being an adult man and then getting raped! Whoever heard of such a thing, except in prison or something. At least thats what I used to think. I can totally relate to the disconnected feeling around other men. Actually I felt that way around the whole world for the first year or so. I kept looking at men and wondering if they were rapists, molestors, or what. When I go to the gym I don't even try to fit in. I just go to do my thing to improve myself and leave. It is not the place I choose to make friends in because of the competitive atmosphere. There really are good men out there adn it is hard to find them. Like one of the guys said, maybe get involved in hobbies or activities you enjoy and pursue friendships there. And, it might just be too early in your recovery to be worrying about such things. Things will definitely get better with time if you get help and keep talking about it. October was not very long ago!

My best to you, Michigan friend.


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#43417 - 08/06/02 04:29 PM Re: How does one act around other men?
Redsongbird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/01/01
Posts: 209
I was unable to get online for a few days. I sometimes think this computer has a mind of it's own!

Ken: I think you are right I need to give myself credit. I think sometimes those of us who have been abused are way too hard on ourselves.

jackjohn: Yes, I lived in Baltimore back in October. We were planning on moving back to MI already but I had stayed behind so that the school where I worked could find a teacher. My last day of school was October 12th..the attack happened Octber 15th. If I could of only left earlier.....

Lloydy: I do not have a "beer belly" but it sure looks like one!! Mine is from too much Coke/pop!!

Oroda: I have never even heard of this person or this song? Where would I find it?

Roy: Like I said we seem to have some thing in common.

Broken: I agree with your statement: Strength is not how much one can lift above their heads.

I have not been to the gym at all this past week or this week so far. The wife and I are going on vacation this Saturday....which is realy not stopping me from going.

Terry


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#43418 - 08/10/02 03:38 PM Re: How does one act around other men?
fhorns Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/10/02
Posts: 613
MrSunshineGuy,
I have one thing running through my head..
How the hell did you get into a work scenario where they actually know you are in therapy? THAT takes guts. Or something.

What happened?


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#43419 - 08/10/02 03:55 PM Re: How does one act around other men?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Yes, letting the guys at work know what's happening is a big step, one I was thinking of taking.
But last week a rumour started about one of our supervisors, it was said he was sacked from his last job because he'd been caught having sex with another man in the back seat of his car on the car park.
Well, you can imagine how this rumour went...
It was fast and furious, and the levels of derision were only matched by the homophobic bigotry. Was there a scrap of sympathy or understanding ? no.
Last night his boss came round and explained to us that the rumour was totally untrue, an incident like this had taken place but we had the right surname - wrong man.

It'll be interesting to see peoples attitudes on Monday morning, will this guy still be the pariah he instantly became ?

The whole episode upset me greatly, there but for the grace etc....
Was this guy acting out ? was he a victim ?
It made me rethink letting my work colleagues know my history, or that I have therapy, and for the foreseeable future I will maintain secrecy.

It will mean joining in with the derision etc just to maintain the front, not something I am proud of this last week, but seeing the screaming hordes at work made my mind up.
Lloydy

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#43420 - 08/12/02 02:19 AM Re: How does one act around other men?
mrsunshineguy Offline
Member

Registered: 07/13/02
Posts: 67
Loc: Texas
Hi Thorns,

About my work scenario . . .

Part of it is that our business was put together by a pack of nuts . . . present company of me very much included in that. But more specifically, I think the concept that my therapist would have used . . . .

a TOTAL LACK OF BOUNDARIES.

Not only do they tend to know waaayyyy too much stuff about my stuff,

I know waaaayyyy too much about most of theirs.

The "designated grown-up" (can't really call him the boss, because he hardly is) of our operation is a total, total, total slut. Up to six girlfriends at one time . . . . besides his wife. And hugely explicit details about many of them. But we are best buds, because we played Army together, and he was my senior officer.

One day while we were working at a college, one of the guys who was with me on that job, started teasing and coaxing, why don't you write some math equations up on the chalk board, and then you can be just like that guy in "Good Will Hunting" (a movie about an abused boy) and then he would laugh and laugh.

I know that another one of the guys used to screw his horse for fun, as a teenager, and that when he was being squished against the barn wall by the horse, his cousin punched the horse, and he beat the cousin up, for hitting his horse. geeezzzzzz.

I know that other co-workers dads abused their sister.

Others like ?double-dipping? the same prostitute.

It goes on and on and on and on and on . . . .

So yeah, when it came to me having problems, I was just going to babble on and babble on about my stuff . . .

And we all laugh(ed) at each others stuff . . . .

ALL because of a TOTAL LACK OF BOUNDARIES.

But I guess it does not really fit with most work environments. I mean, with the kind of work we do, you can quit, but you really can't get fired or laid off or anything . . . . But I guess I do love that I can actually be me, most of the time, and be accepted . . . . or at least tolerated. \:\)

But on we go with a TOTAL LACK OF BOUNDARIES.

See you,

Sunshine


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#43421 - 08/12/02 02:54 AM Re: How does one act around other men?
mrsunshineguy Offline
Member

Registered: 07/13/02
Posts: 67
Loc: Texas
Hi Thorns,

About my work scenario . . .

Part of it is that our business was put together by a pack of nuts . . . present company of me very much included in that. But more specifically, I think the concept that my therapist would have used . . . .

a TOTAL LACK OF BOUNDARIES.

Not only do they tend to know waaayyyy too much stuff about my stuff,

I know waaaayyyy too much about most of theirs.

The "designated grown-up" (can't really call him the boss, because he hardly is) of our operation is a total, total, total slut. Up to six girlfriends at one time . . . . besides his wife. And hugely explicit details about many of them. But we are best buds, because we played Army together, and he was my senior officer.

One day while we were working at a college, one of the guys who was with me on that job, started teasing and coaxing, why don't you write some math equations up on the chalk board, and then you can be just like that guy in "Good Will Hunting" (a movie about an abused boy) and then he would laugh and laugh.

I know that another one of the guys used to screw his horse for fun, as a teenager, and that when he was being squished against the barn wall by the horse, his cousin punched the horse, and he beat the cousin up, for hitting his horse. geeezzzzzz.

I know that other co-workers dads abused their sister.

Others like ?double-dipping? the same prostitute.

It goes on and on and on and on and on . . . .

So yeah, when it came to me having problems, I was just going to babble on and babble on about my stuff . . .

And we all laugh(ed) at each others stuff . . . .

ALL because of a TOTAL LACK OF BOUNDARIES.

But I guess it does not really fit with most work environments. I mean, with the kind of work we do, you can quit, but you really can't get fired or laid off or anything . . . . But I guess I do love that I can actually be me, most of the time, and be accepted . . . . or at least tolerated. \:\)

But on we go with a TOTAL LACK OF BOUNDARIES.

See you,

Sunshine


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#43422 - 08/12/02 05:52 AM Re: How does one act around other men?
BlueOne Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/29/02
Posts: 27
Um, wow, I'm not even gonna touch Sunshine's disclosures. Total lack of boundaries may be an understatement. \:D

Just a suggestion about the whole locker room/gym thing. I never go to the gym because I can't afford it, but I still work out pretty much every day. I've got some free weights (very cheap at a garage sale, thank you) and I go out running every morning, sometimes do things like hiking or biking so I don't get bored. If locker rooms are really so bad, there are other ways to work out so you don't have to make yourself sick with worry.


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#43423 - 08/12/02 09:59 AM Re: How does one act around other men?
michael Joseph Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
Redbirdsong-I go to LaPeer once a month, was just there, Flint is not too far for a short visit.
It would be nice to meet some of the guys here.
Like at the retreat in Sept. email me michaeljk62@yahoo.com anyone can email me I dont care. i could use the company right now.

Glad about your job, Michael

_________________________
Standing together is so much better than hiding in the dark.
***I am a three time WoR Retreat Alumni***
The Round Table, Men's CSA Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat

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