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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: 990
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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