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#445429 - 08/25/13 05:10 PM Body Image
Quixote0028 Offline


Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Texas
I was sexually abused by my father from 9 until 11/12. My father was never physically abusive, just a little distant. I equated the abuse with love. The abuse stopped right as I hit puberty. It was also at that time that my father left us and never came back. I remember thinking that he didn't love me any more because my body was changing. Between 12-16, I would shave off my body hair in an attempt to keep my body young so someone would love me. I stopped that after a humiliating experience where my mother took me to the doctor for a suprise physical and the doctor discovered I was shaving all my hair.

I'm 29 now and have never been able to shake my body image issues. I no longer shave, but I freak out at any sign of getting older. I get very depressed if I gain a couple of pounds. I don't consider myself shallow or vain, I just can't seem to get over these issues. I deep down believe that the only reason someone will love me is for my physical appearance.

I'm sick and tired of this...

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#445434 - 08/25/13 05:55 PM Re: Body Image [Re: Quixote0028]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5941
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
The nature of the discomfort is the abuse Quixote. Survivors reason on what it was that abusers were attracted to and either work obsessively to maintain it or remove it from ourselves. In your case it is the appearance of youth and the avoidance of age. In my own case I was disconnected with my present age and shape, surprised at age and weight when I look in a mirror.

The healing is about letting ourselves feel safe and comfortable accepting the natural process of age, untying it from the abuse and allowing it to proceed on it's own course and speed. The abuse was a terrible, traumatic, fearful event that created many misnomer's in our awareness that became obsessions and paranoia. No matter what they are or how they affect us, they all disable us. Think about this: A survivor will not drink chocolate milk because it was a smell that was prominent on the abuser. While we sympathize with the survivor, we are not controlled nor afflicted with that psychosis. That needs to be our goal, to find the healing that allows us to objectively view our schisms and reason on their control over us, allowing a calming "coating" to overtake that impulse, receding that pushing drive to fulfill that control. As healing takes over the control, we can be aware of it without judging it, without acting on it, till we can one day remember that we were once aware of that, but that it is on our past.

Please keep healing, keep seeking hope, calm and comfort. The path to these is not smooth, but it is navigable.

Sam
_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#445437 - 08/25/13 06:03 PM ! [Re: Quixote0028]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
!


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (02/28/14 09:30 PM)

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#445468 - 08/25/13 11:50 PM Re: Body Image [Re: Smalltown80sBoy]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6815
Loc: USA
I think we can value our body image in terms of how we were treated by others. It is hard to break this chain. One way is to find a counselor you can trust and who will treat you respectfully. Then as you talk over your hurts you will gradually find your self image changing.

Puffer

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#445615 - 08/27/13 05:54 PM Re: Body Image [Re: Quixote0028]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 585
Quixote0028,

I think the issues you have with your body image are very closely tied to your idea about 'love'. You have to really smash home the fact that what he did was NOT love. He used you as an object, and then he abandoned you. From the sounds of it, you're still hungering for a loving male figure - perhaps this is what's translating itself into an unhealthy body image. Please remember that as a human being you have INTRINSIC value and as such, you deserved to be loved as a PERSON, not an object. You deserve to be loved for who you are, for your thoughts, for your feelings.
_________________________
Husky

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#445621 - 08/27/13 07:13 PM Re: Body Image [Re: Quixote0028]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1478
Loc: New England
Its funny, when I get out of the shower and look in the mirror the guy I see looks AWESOME! Washboard abs, broad shoulders, ripped chest. Then when I'm out and catch my reflection in say, a store window, the guy I see looks old and puny. I wonder which is really me?
_________________________
"But now old friends are acting strange,
they shake their heads, they say I've changed.
Something's lost but something's gained in living every day
....it's life's illusions I recall, I really don't know life at all. "
Joni Mitchell

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#445622 - 08/27/13 07:16 PM ! [Re: Quixote0028]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
!


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (02/28/14 09:28 PM)

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#446375 - 09/03/13 09:22 PM Re: Body Image [Re: Quixote0028]
Quixote0028 Offline


Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Texas
Thank you guys for replying. I'm currently working on my issues with my T. Hope to be free of it soon.

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#446380 - 09/03/13 10:00 PM Re: Body Image [Re: Quixote0028]
Onesimus75 Offline


Registered: 08/22/13
Posts: 158
Loc: Minnesota
It's weird, because I hadn't really thought about it too much. But yeah, my ideal body image for myself is right about the age of the abuse.

It's like I learned that's what I had to look like to be wanted or most wanted.
_________________________
We are not defined by our faults, or our wounds, but by the truth within us, which nothing can take away.

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#446418 - 09/04/13 05:26 PM Re: Body Image [Re: Quixote0028]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3317
Loc: back in the USA
Quixote -

i too shaved when i started to get pubic hair. i matured earlier than my peers and was a center of curiosity, and very unwanted attention. i tried to avoid the stares and being forced to show my precocious development by removing the hair so i would look like everyone else. unfortunately - the fact that i suddenly looked different from before drew just as much interest as my previous appearance.

and i was mortified when i had to start shaving my upper lip. the step-dad mad it worse by commenting in insulting terms and making me ashamed of my maturation.

i totally understand wanting to turn back the clock to pre-puberty age. i wished i could have ignored the whole complexity and confusion of sexuality.

i eventually adjusted to growing up - but seem to have gotten stuck in my late 20s-early 30s as far as how i picture myself. that may be because after i reached about 20 my appearance hardly changed at a;ll until i was in my upper 30s - i even still still got carded. i am still surprised at times when i unexpectedly catch a glimpse of my reflection and see the older dude that i am now.

i guess the biggest shock to me was that i never considered my appearance at all until i became the focus of my peers' interest and felt like a freak and then i hated the way my body had become my worst enemy by changing and making me the center of attention. it is kind of a relief now - not needing to worry about how i look. who cares at this point? (except my wife - who says i am still "cute" - whatever that means!)

lee
_________________________
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9

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