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#44149 - 06/23/03 06:54 PM Trapped
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
I started reading "The Courage To Change Workbook" by Laura Davis today. I feel trapped. I got to the first page of section one, where it says

Quote:
Over the years, I've come to realize that healing is, in fact, a process that takes a lifetime. As survivors, we need to settle in for the long haul. It's a process that continues for the rest of our lives.
I feel trapped between the memories that I can't ignore anymore, and the idea that I'm in this for life.

OK, I'm not despondent or suicidal or anything like that. I had a good day today with my family. This point blank "rest of our lives" stuff makes me wish there were some other way. I want my magic pill!

This isn't more talk about recovery or getting anything back. This is facing up to the fact that I will never be done with this. It's not so much what the bastard took as what he did that I can't undo. Ever.

I think I feel sad about this. Gee, how perceptive of me. I can actually think I have some clue what I feel.

This post is going nowhere in a big hurry. I'm lazy, and I have a lot of work in front of me. That's the bottom line, that's why I'm whining.

I tell myself, "Look on the bright side. This means that things will get better and better for the rest of my life." Somehow, that's a pretty cold comfort at the moment (besides being overly naive). There's this sense that something enormous is.... missing? gone? I don't know. There's just a sense that continually getting better doesn't make up for whatever it is that's bothering me so much about that idea, "process that takes a lifetime." Maybe I had other plans for a lifetime. I only get one, and maybe I didn't want to spend it numbing, acting out, and recovering from sexual abuse. And maybe it doesn't make a damn bit of difference what I wanted.

Usually I would keep something like this on my hard drive but I haven't found a male survivor group yet. The literature for the 12 step groups talks about taking stuff that's too much for group meetings to your sponsor. I know it works for a lot of other people, but I don't have a sponsor for any 12 Step group. Last time didn't work out real well for me, so you guys here get to be my "sponsor." Or not, I just need to vent.

Dammit, the "unfairness" is killing me today. Here's my sense of injustice in the definition of abuse. It was wrong; I didn't deserve it; and that knowledge and $1.00 will get me another cup of coffee.

Not really as down as he writes,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#44150 - 06/23/03 08:13 PM Re: Trapped
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Joe
it might sound cruel to say "wake up and smell the coffee" but- I agree with Laura Davies.

Well for the most part I do, I can't see it ever going away. There's no way we can force ourselves to forget, god knows I've tried for long enough.
So the memories will remain with me.

And that's not a fun thought, but I can control, regulate maybe, and assign the right amount of importance to those memories.
And so far I have done a lot of that, and surprising as it might seem with my being here, and at the charity I help at, my memories rarely surface and don't bother me that much when they do.

I control them now, I reach back and take what I want from them. Which is 'my experience' when I come here and share it like I am with you. I can dip into my past and use it as I want.
And I think that if I wasn't involved with helping other survivors my memories would be fairly dormant. They certainly are when I'm at work or off in my 4x4 at the weekends.

So don't despair at having to take the memories along with you, they're a part of you anyway. They make you what you are in some small part.
And as you sort through them, give them the low priority they deserve, learn from them - and we can do that, then they won't bother you half as much as you fear.

Dave

_________________________
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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#44151 - 06/23/03 09:44 PM Re: Trapped
Marc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 256
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Joe and Dave,

I do not agree with that old hag!

\:D Just kidding about the old hag thing. I don't even know who she is!

Here is the formula that I offered another survivor the other day regarding the healing process...

A - B = C + D = E

Wherein:

A = Age you began to 'deal' with the abuse
B = Actual age abuse started
C = Difference between A & B
D = Difference between A & B
E = Sum of C & D

(C = Years needed to unlearn incorrectly built thinking)

(D = Number of years to learn, 'but correctly')

In My case...

38 - 7 = 31 + 31 = 62

Sad, Frustrating? Aggravating?

I believe shortcuts in time can be made through 'proper' therapy technique (I'm watching you Tom S, ya do have some very valid points but not all therapists are the same. ;\) ) However exact standards are difficult to measure. Additionally, this does not take into account any time or effort between the time that you start the healing/corrective thought and the moment of completion of work through.

These are the lessons that we've been tasked to learn through our own choices or the choices of others. All of which may be concurrent or consecutive as the participant is capable.


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#44152 - 06/23/03 10:02 PM Re: Trapped
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Boy, here's a string that hits me square in the nose.

How old are you now, Dave?--I call myself Dave when I talk to myself, all others, please call me David. Just turned 63. Oh, my God. What are you going to tell these guys? That you're 63 and you still need therapy?
Hey, I'll answer that, I'll finish this tonight.

David

_________________________
"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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#44153 - 06/23/03 10:24 PM Re: Trapped
andrew-almost52 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/02
Posts: 243
Loc: canada
SA is just one event(s) that can preoccupy a persons thoughts. Absolutely everyone is working on issues all their lives, not necessarily SA issues but nevertheless issues. All of us, SA survivors or not, we should all be working on becoming better human beings, better adjusted, kinder, gentler, brighter, healthier, the list goes on...... and it is a lifetime project! So grow up. Peace, Andrew


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#44154 - 06/23/03 10:42 PM Re: Trapped
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Dave, Marc, David,

I felt a need to vent, I guess. I have read so much about this stuff. I browsed and surfed, here, Usenet, jimhopper.com, and on and on. I tracked down SIA and cross two counties to get there once a week. Then I read in the workbook that she (Laura Davis) had the misconception that if she healed intensely she would cross the finish line sooner. I laughed out loud, 'cause I knew I thought that way, too. And I knew that that's silly, that I have to just keep going "for the duration."

But I kept reading, and when I read the part I quoted above, I caught my breath. It never hit home like it did this afternoon. That surreal moment when it began in the "judo lesson" didn't define me and my life, but it altered both irrevocably.

Dave, I saw in the other thread about how your parents didn't provide the information and kind of protection you needed earlier. My parents were neglectful, due to their own dysfunctions (which seem to have come from the expected sources, their parents, as I hear in the family histories now). I was set up for the SA in part because of that neglect. So I think that the atmosphere and conditions that make us targets of perps are abusive.

Marc, I hope there is some formula that will play itself out as I go along. Let's see,

42 - 16 = 26
26 + 26 = 52
52 + 42 = 94 years to go + current age

If I live to see 94 \:\) I'll let you know how I turned out. I'll move my eye, or something energetic like that.

Seriously, I think I always knew that it's a lifetime hitch. But I knew that the way I know Columbus sailed with 3 ships. Today I think I began to know it the way I knew she would be my wife the first time I saw my wife. I know it inside. I know it for real.

And I don't like it, but I do have to "smell the coffee."

David,

I enjoy reading and learning from your words, so I hope I haven't preempted your follow up post. I need to get some sleep, and I wanted to reply to the other guys while the thoughts were fresh.

And to all a good night.

Thanks,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#44155 - 06/23/03 10:52 PM Re: Trapped
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Andrew,

On my way out and I saw your post.

You're right. It's a matter of facing the fact that I have to grow up, and part of my growth is to grow through and beyond this.

I just felt overwhelmed by the sense of unfairness today. Why did I think life is fair? I didn't, but that didn't make the "feeling" any less unpleasant.

Somehow, the kinds of things that I've read about became a little more real today. It's really possible for one moment to be so damn....damnable! And to actually be applicable to me, here, inside my chest and behind my eyes.

At any rate, I do not feel anywhere near as bad as it sounds when I re-read this stuff. I'm very lucky, no, I'm blessed to have the family that I do and to have found this place. Better, I found the guys who make this place what it is.

Thanks again,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#44156 - 06/23/03 11:28 PM Re: Trapped
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Joe,

Maybe you'll see this in the morning during your first cup of coffee. ;\)

I really understand the need to let out these feelings of frustration and exhaustion.

You are doing the right thing with that stuff and in the right place too.

I guess my only piece of 'advice' is so trite that it must be true:

You do not have to do this for the rest of your life.

You only have to live it for today, right now.

Tomorrow is too much for any of us to bear; that's why it's never there when we get to it.

Focus on today. Have a good cry for the guy that got molested--I'll cry for him too.

Goddamn it, this shit just isn't right!

But it happened. And just for today, we have each other to help us get through.

If one day at a time is too much, as it is for me sometimes, then just take it one hour at a time, or one post at a time, or in your special case,

one cup of coffee at a time. \:D

You're a good man, Joe. I'm sorry it hurts you so much. I feel very honored that you let me know that. I've always wanted to know men like you, and now I do thanks to this place.

Your friend and brother,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#44157 - 06/24/03 03:05 AM Re: Trapped
andrew-almost52 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/02
Posts: 243
Loc: canada
Joe, you write with such elegance. I think we all get bitten by the 'what ifs' now and again, part of the struggle of growing up gracefully. You mention your family with such love and fondness, they are your legacy, your validation that you have indeed reached many milestones during your road of self discovery and clarity.

I have often wondered what I would have been like had I not experienced the challenges brought about by my SA. I have concluded that I would have quite likely been dramatically different than I am today. I probably wouldn't have met the lovely lady I married, nor would our children have been born. So although I am not thankful for having been sexually abused, I am aware that as my life unfolds, the SA was just one of the events that led to me being me, much like losing my best friend in a car accident or being adopted .... something that just happened, something I had no control over. I think a big part of 'recovery' is not allowing the SA to have too long a shelf life. One knows it happened, gets help if necessary, does what one can to safeguard others if possible, and then moves on. In my humble opinion, the worst thing an SA survivor can do is give the SA experience an importance it doesn't deserve by attributing to it all future failings and fallibilities. Doing this breathes life in the SA, reopening the wound continually. It is also, in my opinion, a total cop out ... an excuse, and a very convenient one. Peace, Andrew


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#44158 - 06/24/03 09:40 AM Re: Trapped
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Quote:
You do not have to do this for the rest of your life.

You only have to live it for today, right now.
That's so true. I was talking to myself in traffic this morning, and I asked, "How can I do this?" The answer came back, "One day at a time."

I try to pace myself. I really do. I have a daily Al Anon reader, "Hope for Today," with shares from adult children. I deliberately refuse to read the listing for any date before its time. I'll absorb no wisdom before its time. :p I mentioned that in a meeting, and some folks said, "There are no rules, read what you want." I replied, "I know myself, and without this kind of discipline, I'll sit down one night and read cover to cover. I'll say to myself, 'Got it,' as I slap the book on the table."

Laura Davis mentions that kind of attitude, too. Again I am amazed at the similiarities between male and female surviviors. There must be something in abuse itself (which we should capture for the definition) which assaults our humanity, without regard for race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

Quote:
Have a good cry for the guy that got molested--I'll cry for him too.
I have a feeling that's coming, and soon. I still have not been able to cry. I seem to be getting closer and closer, week by week.

I'm not looking forward to it except that it will mean I have recognized that boy and his pain are worthy of tears. One of the survivor quotes in "Leaping Upon the Mountains" really sticks with me. Ismail, in Malaysia, said, "Have no shame for your tears. You have the right to them. You have earned them."


Quote:
I think a big part of 'recovery' is not allowing the SA to have too long a shelf life. One knows it happened, gets help if necessary, does what one can to safeguard others if possible, and then moves on.
I like that idea. Moving on to me would be enjoying what my life does have. If I don't try to recover, get "better" for that, then why do I try? I know that the "payoff" is a better life, so why not start living the better life as best I can as soon as I can?

Quote:
In my humble opinion, the worst thing an SA survivor can do is give the SA experience an importance it doesn't deserve by attributing to it all future failings and fallibilities. Doing this breathes life in the SA, reopening the wound continually.
This is so correct, if I may share your humble opinion.

Hiding the wounds where they could fester for so long, we do need..... "Earth to Joe, don't speak for the world" I do need to open it enough to clean it out and address it properly. Then it can heal properly. But I don't need to keep it open, never letting it heal at all.

Quote:
Hey, I'll answer that, I'll finish this tonight.
David,

Please chip in. You have a good way of talking sense.

Thanks guys, it took a full cup to get through this \:D

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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