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#445551 - 08/27/13 01:24 AM Acclimating
Dave PNW Offline


Registered: 04/03/13
Posts: 121
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Acclimating

A couple of weeks ago a survivor friend shared with me his thoughts about "healing" and "recovery". He has been working through his CSA for a decade and he told me he thought those words really missed the mark. For him it was more like acclimating. You can't recover your childhood or the lost years or missed chances or fully heal the damage. It was crushing news in a way. I have not even been at this a year and guess I thought I could mend it like a broken bone, maybe a little scar tissue or a throb from time to time when the barometric pressure falls. If I just worked harder. But he is wise and I took his words in. It helped me too to recognize and accept more fully the reality and depth of the injury. Sometimes I just don't want to look anymore.

But acclimating, makes sense to me. It is something I know well. I have spent a fair amount of time in the mountains and understand the physiology. I have lost friends who have gone too high, too fast. One I spread his ashes for his widow across his favorite mountain range until there was nothing left except the empty vessel. Acclimating hurts, it sucks the breath out of you, temples throb, loss of appetite and drive. There is a burning in your gut that antacids don't repel and sometimes at night you wake up in a panic not able to get a full breath. It is there constantly telling you this is a different world and you don't belong here. But eventually if you stay with it long enough and don't push it too hard, it gets less and less. Eventually you find yourself almost feeling like you once did down below ..... until you push higher.

I am there right now. I am resting. The pain and demons and panic and rage and depression have been gone a few weeks. I dropped my therapist as a guide, he didn't seem like he was leading me anywhere. My drive is coming back, but there is now a familiar numbness. A while back I might have thought the injury had mended. But I believe I have just acclimated to the powerful truths that I have recently accepted. I was sexually abused between ages 9-14. Acclimated to the truth of my emotional and physical abuse as a child. Acclimated to the fact I have had issues and confusion over my sexual attractions since my teens and that my abuse over those formative years left a deep groove. Acclimating to the knowledge that if I am not aware and mindful I am still capable of causing damage to my relationships through acting out when I feel anxious, lonely or not worthwhile. Acclimating to the idea that this is a part of me and that I have to learn to live with it. Right now I don't hurt. I am thankful for the break. I am plotting my next route upward.

A year ago if you had sat me down and asked me what I would be working on in my life in late August of 2013, I never would have said this. I had no idea this pent up vein of unprocessed emotion was just down there ready to hemorrhage. But it started in October and after my mothers death in February it ruptured. I am glad I found my way here. I had no idea there were so many good and wise and caring men out there. I came here first to try to figure this out. At first focussing on the abuse and it's effects. I received abundant insight and perspective and support from men who were all so different. Different stories, different stages of working through this, different lives.... Young, old, straight, gay, bisexual, asexual. All different, but somehow speaking a similar language. " I understand.... me too.... I get it."

I have learned something in the last four months I have been on MS. I have learned more about being a man, a real man, than I ever thought possible. Through posts and threads and messages you have taught me things I never learned from the men in my life growing up. There is power in speaking the unspeakable. There is courage and dignity in telling your story of being vulnerable and powerless. There is strength in knowing you are not alone. There are 1 in 6 of us out there. Real men can cry and weep and show deep emotion and caring for each other. I came here looking for answers to my questions and found out some of those answers. But what I didn't expect was to find a deeper understanding of our humanity and connection, despite all of our differences. Thank you for that. I have lived a deep and rich and good life, but what you have taught me here has taught me what it means to be more full and real as a man, as myself. Thank you.

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#445553 - 08/27/13 01:37 AM Re: Acclimating [Re: Dave PNW]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 334
Loc: Iowa, USA
Dave

This piece is so powerful and every word serves to reveal the depth of your story. Thank you for writing, and for revealing the secrets of your soul so that you and the rest of us may find a better understanding of the task at hand, which is healing and finding our purpose in this life. You are a courageous man, not only for writing this but for being willing to find the truth of your life. You are an example for all of us, a shining light in the darkness of our experiences. Best of luck to you in everything you do.

Dave

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#445554 - 08/27/13 01:45 AM Re: Acclimating [Re: Dave PNW]
toddop Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 225
Loc: California
Thanks so much for sharing this. I too have been really struggling the last few months with the pain of the CSA memories flooding over me, and what it all means, and what I am working toward. Recovery never seems adequate or right to explain what we are going through. I like the acclimation metaphor you have used and think that really is what it is like.

I too have tapped into that "vein of unprocessed emotion" and I am now just getting the magnitude of how it feels to absorb that which I have repressed as I move forward. Sometimes I feel really lost and unsure about what to do when I hit that vein. It is like a deluge. Then, gradually, as you say, I get used to it or acclimate to it. I reclaim it.

Every once in a while a post just grabs me and syncs up with what I am going through seamlessly. This post did that for me. It is one of the magic things about this site. Thanks so much for sharing this and putting it out there. Know that another man is out there and shaking his head in agreement. I'm right there with you. Learning from you and with you.
_________________________
Todd

"Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds."
-Albert Einstein

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#445555 - 08/27/13 02:33 AM Re: Acclimating [Re: Dave PNW]
nomad510 Offline


Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 28
Good analogy. And makes sense as we can never undo what was done to us. Just learn to adapt/adjust/acclimate to it and not let it destroy anymore those things that are valuable in life including ourselves.

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#445585 - 08/27/13 12:40 PM Re: Acclimating [Re: Dave PNW]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 744
Loc: Southeast USA
Dave,

I hear you.

The realization of what you articulate here very well here stings the ears. It scrapes the psyche raw, but to a level where---I dare say healing can take place.
To be sure, being "healed" probably requires a dose of "unobtainium." Healing (acclimating) on the other hand, allows us to learn how to manage a chronic condition.

In a parallel, I'm fond of a particular Dwight Eisenhower quote made in the context of preparing for the Allied invasion at Normandy.

Plans are nothing, planning is everything.

The end product may end up gathering dust on a shelf, because life is too complicated to plan to the Nth degree. What is truly valuable is the collaborative process ahead of time that allows us to organically meet and respond to challenges as they arise. There's a time to operate by the book, but there's also a time when we must find a solution on the fly based on the knowledge gained and used to create the "book" in the first place.

We are all learning how to heal even if we are never "healed"---and this process carries just as much weight and importance---even if the ring we reach for turns turns out to be crafted not of brass, but of unobtainium. In the meantime we have learned to acclimate to and to manage our chronic condition. If diabetics can manage their condition well, I can too.

THAT is what I'm striving for.

All the best.

Will


Edited by Suwanee (08/27/13 12:51 PM)
_________________________
Cruel Summer
My Journal

-Signs and traces left in stone
Ruins of a past unknown-

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#445589 - 08/27/13 01:27 PM Re: Acclimating [Re: Dave PNW]
Rich1967 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 289
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: dw1972+
Acclimating
I have learned something in the last four months I have been on MS. I have learned more about being a man, a real man, than I ever thought possible. Through posts and threads and messages you have taught me things I never learned from the men in my life growing up. There is power in speaking the unspeakable. There is courage and dignity in telling your story of being vulnerable and powerless. There is strength in knowing you are not alone. There are 1 in 6 of us out there. Real men can cry and weep and show deep emotion and caring for each other. I came here looking for answers to my questions and found out some of those answers. But what I didn't expect was to find a deeper understanding of our humanity and connection, despite all of our differences. Thank you for that. I have lived a deep and rich and good life, but what you have taught me here has taught me what it means to be more full and real as a man, as myself. Thank you.


Ok, I cried. I admit. So well said! Thank you Dave. It's how I feel too. I will never have a father to love me as a little kid should have when he's growing up, but after finding this place and the people here that doesn't seem so bad anymore.

The only other thing I would like to add is that I think we have the potential to be better in many areas of our lives than we could have been without the abuse. The work we have to go through to survive and then possibly thrive can make us better human beings. If I wasn't abused I wouldn't be at this site and not knowing you and the others here would be a huge loss for me. I too have learned SO MUCH from everyone and I look forward to my continued learning and growing.
_________________________
Rich

"Me too" - I don't think I will ever get tired of saying or hearing these two words.

My Story:
http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=441625#Post441625

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#445643 - 08/27/13 10:54 PM Re: Acclimating [Re: Dave PNW]
unhappycamper Offline


Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 619
Loc: VA
Sometimes I think "surviving," "recovering," or "acclimating" is like trying to avoid potholes while driving. You have to get used to keeping the car on the good part of the road--but once in a while you hit one and get a nasty jolt, even if you already know where they are. Gotta go--I'm on a bumpy stretch today! Peace.

John

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#445669 - 08/28/13 04:24 AM Re: Acclimating [Re: Dave PNW]
Banjo596 Offline


Registered: 08/20/13
Posts: 44
Loc: Ohio
Thanks for the inspirational post, it came at a great time for me!
_________________________
Jeff

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#445735 - 08/28/13 02:17 PM Re: Acclimating [Re: Dave PNW]
Bluedogone Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/03/13
Posts: 247
Loc: Southeast US
This is such a great post for me. Thanks for taking the time to put the words out there,

There were some very good points, but the thing that seemed to leap out and say so much to me right now, where I'm at, is - There is power in speaking the unspeakable.
I want more and more to tap into that power.


Edited by Bluedogone (08/28/13 02:17 PM)
_________________________
Never, never, never, never give up....Winston Churchill

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