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#446326 - 09/03/13 12:52 PM Why I can't let myself off the hook
learning2remember Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 268
Loc: Europe
First of all, if you follow my logic below, you might think I blame all male victims of abuse. I don't. I KNOW none of your are to blame. I know I shouldn't blame myself, but I'm just being honest about why as far as my own story is concerned I do blame me. In a way, I know better, which is why what I say below applies to no one else but me. Below is what I feel about my own story, or my own family, nobody else.

The logic is like this:
1) Erotic pictures of women, or looking at real women in pleasurable way might be called "smutty" (Mom-ish phrase) or "exlpoitative" (more common and current PC), but bottom-line it is wrong and shameful.

2) My granfather (Mom's dad) had his collection. My father had his collection. My older brother had his few. And when I had a chance I looked at these or even kept what I was given.(My mother gave me an issue that belonged to her father.) I am not above any of this.

(3)In other words, this shameful thing is something males in my family are guilty of. This is not an excuse, or a comfort, but rather a reason I look down on myself. It is a flaw I was born with and can't shake.

4) This inert failing was a factor in what Mom did to me. Yes, she did it, but I was a part. If I did not have this inert flaw, seh would not have been able to get away with it. It is not a case of my doing teh wrong thing, but of my being the wrong way.

5) My wiring is even more flawed...less male, because I also enjoyed things my brother did to me, and because, whatever happened inthe past can trigger a kind of pleasure sensation now.

Am I saying it is my fault? No, it's deeper than a mistake I made. It's not my fault; it's my flaw.

AGAIN, this is something I wouldn't let anyone else say about themselves, I know the theory of why it is not true even for me, and I KNOW that in every other person's story the reason we call it abuse is because of the mis-use of power and the crossing of boundaries. I'm not saying this for you to defend yourselves against what I say. I'm asking if you can help defend ME against what I say. Thanks.
_________________________
"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy

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#446328 - 09/03/13 12:57 PM Re: Why I can't let myself off the hook [Re: learning2remember]
learning2remember Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 268
Loc: Europe
OK. I just posted this, and as I did so I saw my avatar...the young me, and there is NO WAY I would EVER blame him. He was just a kid. So how am I blaming me but not the young me? See, I know I'm not making sense. And, then, as I write this, I see my little sign-off motto thingy, "This is not my shame..." which I know is true. See, I'm workign on this, but I still appreciate any help. Thanks for understanding.
_________________________
"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy

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#446330 - 09/03/13 01:16 PM Re: Why I can't let myself off the hook [Re: learning2remember]
Rich1967 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 289
Loc: PA
It's one thing to know something and another to feel it. You may know not to blame yourself, but you may not feel it inside you to not blame yourself.

Since it sounds like you like reasoning arguments here's one for you. It's easier for you to blame yourself BECAUSE it gives you some control over the situation AND it means you weren't just someone's sex toy - that you were a worthwhile kid who just made a mistake. By blaming yourself you acknowledge that everyone would have loved you and treated the way you wanted them to and that the only reason they didn't was because you made a mistake. One that you can now fix and then everything will be OK again. You blame yourself because in a way it makes you feel better about yourself.

Did I explain it well enough? If not, I can try again.

For me this was a huge flashlight on my rationalizations and enabled me to overcome the blame game.

Hope it helps.

You're right, there's no way that kid in the picture caused all this. I hope you can know and feel it to be true soon.
_________________________
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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#446333 - 09/03/13 02:07 PM Re: Why I can't let myself off the hook [Re: learning2remember]
nomad510 Offline


Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 28
Rich, you make some good points that I'm reflecting on...

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#446335 - 09/03/13 02:34 PM Re: Why I can't let myself off the hook [Re: nomad510]
Lenny Offline


Registered: 07/19/13
Posts: 20
Loc: Kansas
I have come to realize that I was "groomed" in a different sense of the word. I was not directly "groomed" by one person solely to be abused. When I was five I was caught by my mom looking at my dad's porn magazines in their room. She closed the door and left me alone. My mom also performed nude yoga in my presence. We had a one bathroom house and she would not cover herself and would let me come in to use the restroom. I also had my own collection of porn magazines, which I looked at and masturbated to almost daily.

My step-dad, who unknowingly to me, was abusing my younger sister since she was five. One day he asked me, when I was 13, if I wanted to have sex with my mom. I said yes so one night the four of us were in bed together. He with my sister and me with my mom. This only happened once. A couple of years later I approached my mom for sex and she accepted. I was never directly forced to have sex.

I now believe that if it were not for all the exposure to sex and nudity I would not have said yes to my step-dad. Because of the indirect "grooming" and my age it was easy to accept my step-dad's invitation. I also firmly believe that I would not have approached my mom if it wasn't for that one night prior.

I want to suggest that you are not flawed because of your upbringing. You were not born with this "flaw." You were indirectly "groomed" or nurtured to think in a certain way. Now that you and I are adults and are aware of how we were nurtured, we have the freedom and power to make different choices. As children, due to our nurturing, we did not have the mental or emotional capacity, the control, to handle the situation we were put in. Where there is no control there is no responsibility.
_________________________
No one can make you feel inferior without your permission
Don't take anything personally
It's not the event, it's the meaning applied to it

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#446336 - 09/03/13 03:00 PM Re: Why I can't let myself off the hook [Re: learning2remember]
freeze-on Offline


Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 76
Loc: southeast
Guys..

If this isnt clear, please help clarifying as it is an issue with me as i work on this path.....

Regarding a flaw....Yes, i had to come to terms with myself that yes i did enjoy aspects of the sa...especially the attention from the male and the connection, though inappropriate for a child.....i had a lot of feelings and emotions tied up with the pleasure/soul killing event.....and have even re-visited it at times to relive the pleasure in my mind, when i was awfully lonesome or feeling abandoned or needing to feel loved....

and today if i am not careful i am prone to re-visit it in an unhealthy manner.....but one of the things i've done is to go back to that time (s) of the sa and address the emotions involved re: what i really needed that was legitimate, acknowledge i had those needs, and forgive myself for responding that way....(responding positively , though bent )to the sa as pleasure, forgiving self....forgiving the little boy for not knowing better, for not knowing i could have ran(had i known how damaging it would be later in life), forgiving myself for being needy emotionally(though legitimately needing love , affection affirmation, etc,) .

A flaw....NOT yours and not mine....the flaw is on the perps, those who acknowldege and those who hide from the damage done to me/us. We, YOU are becoming, growing, putting things in perspective, and being angry legitimattely for those who do not or did not intervene.....as well as denying the existence..of the abuse. its natural to want to let the sibling off the hook, (we love them/hate them)....so as not to want to cause them distress or face the reality of our accurate memories...but our memories are accurate, regardless of how much they suppress, repress, deny---that is their chosen method to cope....by not coping with the horrendous pain inflicted...and even when they seem to be ganging up on us through their denial and rationalization(of our craziness or false memories-vs-the actual evil they committed with us)....in time they will have to deal with it or suffer the inner pain of denying even when it is obvious to you....they are already suffering they just dont realize it-----all that are involved in the coverup of denial.

But we are not flawed when we reflect on the pleasure of the abuse....in time that will pass and heal and will begin to see it as it is and can separate out the needs we had with the evil that was done to us. regardless of whether or not we had pleasure.....we are b3ing healed and not flawed....though we may live with residual for part of the rest of our lives, the flawed part is not WHO we are...it becomes a part of what makes us or is making us today in our recovery....stronger people, stronger men, and being built up to reach and touch the hearts of others thru our brokeness..and ultimate healing, whether in this life or the life to come....

you count man.... a great person of worth, with endless value....and what you feel is real......one day at a time.....

sorry to jump in and ramble but it is all i can do for today to hopefully encourage a fellow bro in this journey out.

peace to you, peace to all the bro's out there for being courageous

chas

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#446343 - 09/03/13 03:49 PM Re: Why I can't let myself off the hook [Re: learning2remember]
Adam A Gedman Offline


Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 188
Loc: Canada
Hey Learning,

I sense a lot of judgement of yourself and your actions, both of current and older actions.
I am learning that judgments of any kind serve no purpose but to separate us from our needs. Empathy is the key, in particular for or young selves.
When I get in this state, I actively empathize with myself. I question what I am needing. Support, affection, sense of community, sense that I am not crazy or alone, to feel normal?
It's no magic bullet, it takes time and repetition.

Like learning to walk when we were small children, we kept trying.
We didn't stress about it or criticize ourselves for not being able to do it, we just kept trying until, one day we no longer had to try, it just became the new normal.

I don't see a flaw or flaws in you, I see someone who like me, was stuck in a world of conflicting and skewed information, and somehow had to make some sense of it.
As A child we did the best with what we had. We're still here, so that speaks volumes about how resilient we are.

I do get how you feel, and self blame is something I too still struggle with. The bullet points are different, but but the thought pattern is the same.
I am actively trying to change the blame to admiring a childs ability to survive, but the cycle of blame will continue to be the case until some new beliefs sink in.

Intellectually, we can comprehend but that really is the easy part.

I give you this line from a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, that I think explains this well.

The line reads
"Pity me that the heart is slow to learn
What the swift mind beholds at every turn."

We're replacing an old well established habits, beliefs, or patterns with something new, and that just doesn't happen overnight.

Keep coming back, express your thoughts and concerns about where you're at.
I have also learned that there are many here who will echo your feelings, and give concrete examples of how they conquered this obstacle.

Keep well, and keep trying.
_________________________
Presence is the key, for all we have is now.
All we ever have is right now.

Formerly Adam A Gedman (AKA - A damAGed man)

But you can call me Kevin

Toronto Mini WoR - May 2014

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#446373 - 09/03/13 09:11 PM Re: Why I can't let myself off the hook [Re: learning2remember]
traveler Online   confused
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3488
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Learning - i can empathize with what you have expressed here because i used to think that way, too.

Originally Posted By: learning2remember

1) Erotic pictures of women, or looking at real women in pleasurable way might be called "smutty" (Mom-ish phrase) or "exlpoitative" (more common and current PC), but bottom-line it is wrong and shameful.


on the other hand - this is something that most males are wired to enjoy - and is usually considered "normal" behaviour. it is so near to being universal as to be considered typical - especially for adolescents. it is NOT a flaw. and the physical response that it gave you is also normal and typical and nearly unanimous.

Originally Posted By: learning2remember

(3)In other words, this shameful thing is something males in my family are guilty of. This is not an excuse, or a comfort, but rather a reason I look down on myself. It is a flaw I was born with and can't shake.


OK - so all the males in your family share this desire and tendency with maybe 85% of the other males in the human race?

Originally Posted By: learning2remember

4) This inert failing was a factor in what Mom did to me. Yes, she did it, but I was a part. If I did not have this inert flaw, seh would not have been able to get away with it. It is not a case of my doing teh wrong thing, but of my being the wrong way.


NOT your flaw - and you were not "being the wrong way." you had no choice or control over the reflexes and sensory responses built into your body before birth. remember - you are NORMAL. she did an abnormal thing to you. your body responded in a totally normal way - you are wired to react in a predetermined way - whether the stimulus comes from an adult or child - from either gender - friend or stranger - related to you or not.

Originally Posted By: learning2remember

5) My wiring is even more flawed...less male, because I also enjoyed things my brother did to me, and because, whatever happened inthe past can trigger a kind of pleasure sensation now.


see my comments about point 4 above. NORMAL!!! you could not prevent your body's reaction of experiencing pleasure any more than you could stop your body from feeling pain if someone cut you or burned you or hit you.

this is called "FALSE GUILT" - and is related to the sense of shame. you can get past this. start telling yourself the truth instead of the lies that your wounded self-esteem has been believing all these years. give yourself the same forgiveness and mercy that you would to others. this is what we feel about you: INNOCENT! NORMAL! NOT TO BLAME!

lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#446378 - 09/03/13 09:51 PM Re: Why I can't let myself off the hook [Re: learning2remember]
Onesimus75 Offline


Registered: 08/22/13
Posts: 158
Loc: Minnesota
***TRIGGERS***

I gotta chime in because I can't count how many times I nearly killed myself over this. It is my biggest, most recurrent wound.

I was date raped for 2 hours and in terms of my body's reaction it was the most intense sexual experience I'd ever had in my life.

My perp was similar aged, but he set up circumstances to make me vulnerable while he stayed straight-headed, and as soon as I wasn't all there he went right for the sex stuff.

And I've never felt anything so intense. It destroyed our relationship because I couldn't look at him without remembering how good it felt, and how much I hated myself for feeling that. HATED myself. It would creep into my fantasies. I had sex dreams about it, and I would wake up, go to my bathroom, and want to kill myself. Because only the dirtiest person in the world would have that done to them and miss it, or want it.

That was the way I stabbed myself in the heart over and over for something I didn't do. Didn't ask for.

Man, if he had just freaking ASKED me I'd have probably done every thing he wanted. I loved that guy. But he wasn't loving towards me.

That was 16. I was 30 or so when my shrink finally convinced me to deal with this.

Man, I wish I could throw myself between your heart and that knife of guilt you keep hitting yourself with. Because I have that same thought tied up in a corner of my mind. If I let it out... man... it can really kill me.

The other guys have really hit it, the truths that have set me free even if I still feel the wounds from time to time.

1] I am MADE to want sex. I'm made to want someone to want me. It's supposed to feel good that someone wants me, when someone holds me, when someone looks at me like I'm made of solid gold. That equipment is made to be touched. Held. Prompted. It's made to react. It's supposed to feel good.

2] So when my perp gave me those things, it was HUMAN of me to feel good. And when my perp used those God-given, normal things about me to get what he wanted, he was using my humanity not my flaw to turn me into his toy.

3] My brain's set up to remember sex, to seek it out again. It isn't built to sort out the bad from the good, it just knows off and on. So when it remembers stuff that I don't want it to... it's being human, too.

4] And I knew it was wrong, so there's all that adrenaline, all that "hand-in-the-cookie-jar" feeling piled onto all the sex stuff... and it was too much for my teenage brain to deal with. It wasn't meant to handle all that. So it broke a little, scarred a little. Left an imprint like a boot-mark on my sex drive. He stomped on my private life, and I live with the boot mark.

But it's his boot mark. It's not mine. It's there because I'm human, not superman. And that's ok. I was only ever meant to be human.

And he set me up, just like your family set you up. It sounds like they made sure that you knew about sex, that you were wrapped into their circle. And just like my perp, if they had used it for good, that would have been awesome. Just like my perp, the fact they took what they wanted, shame on them.

You're just human. You're just my hero.
Because you survived, like me.
You have the guts to talk about it. Like me.
And you're willing to get help.
Which makes you way smarter than me.

Today you're my hero.
So let's be human together.
K?

Just human, hero.
_________________________
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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#446383 - 09/03/13 10:38 PM Re: Why I can't let myself off the hook [Re: Onesimus75]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6571
Loc: Never Sugar Mountain
Originally Posted By: Onesimus75

So let's be human together.
K?

Just human, hero.


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