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#446465 - 09/05/13 05:34 AM Friends
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1369
Loc: New England
After my CSA occurred I never had friends again. I stopped hanging out with the neighborhood boys. I stopped playing sports at school. I stopped any and all activities that put me in touch with others. My world shrank to school and my room. I became afraid of people. I imagined that people could tell what happened by looking at me, or reading my mind somehow. I couldn't allow myself to be hurt or exposed. I stayed high or drunk alot of the time.

Then in college I made a friend. The friendship lasted 3 years. We laughed alot, talked alot, drank alot. I felt close to him. But I ruined it by trying to sexualize it. Seemed like a good idea at the time. He resisted. I got angry. We stopped speaking. I returned to my isolation.

35 years later, I am stepping out of my shell, trying to make friends. Its not easy. Younger men don't want to hang out with middleaged men. Middleaged men are busy. Most men try to stay aloof and distant. I force myself to talk to men. I invite men out to coffee. Sometimes they say they can't, but then avoid me. Sometimes they accept, but its difficult to make conversation with them. No one ever reciprocates with an invitation.

When I see groups of men enjoying each other's company I feel jealous. Just like I feel when I see a happy couple spending time together. It seems to come so easily to others. To me its like a Rubiks Cube. I just can't figure it out.

Has anybody had success making friends?
_________________________
"When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown, the dream is gone
And I have become comfortably numb."
Pink Floyd

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#446467 - 09/05/13 06:05 AM Re: Friends [Re: Jude]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1866
Loc: durham, north england
Firstly Jude, why do you assume all friends must be male? I myself have had some extremely good female friends in a completely platonic sense, indeed one of the people I've told about my abuse is a girl i think of as a brother.

I also wonder wheh you talk about "groups of men" if your thinking group activities. Generally I've found myself that groups are bad. Joining an established group of people is extremely difficult (far mroe so for me). I'd personally recommend taking up an interest where you interact with others in a generally friendly way, since then at least you can have the interaction.

Reciprication of invitations, and people being busy with their own concerns are two problems I have myself, indeed it's been difficult in the last few years that all the people who I was close to now are happily married and several have children and have even mostly moved round the country. Therefore, the best way to interact I've found is do an activity with other people. That might be all! you do with those people since people are so bad at staying in contact, but that is there problem, and at least if your regularly interacting in course of some sort of interest or activity you will! get to be friends during that and not feel as if your chasing someone for contact.

Regarding conversation, well it is simply a skill like any other, it can be learned, perfected and mastered, indeed having a disability it's simply a necessary thing I've had to learn despite the fact that I am primarily an intravert and relax by being alone.

If however an intravert like me can learn how to converse, well surely anyone can! the bad news is it takes practice.

Talk to people, bar tenders, bus drivers, shop assistants. Often simply listening to what a person is saying and empathising with their emotions is enough without actually having! to say much, though having a wide enough knolidge on various subjects to converse can help quite a lot, ---- though I do confess myself that some things that are sterriotypically male tend to completely fail to interest me at all, such as sports, though equally I've found that being polite but honest can be an advantage, since people tend to respond far better to just admitting "that's not really my thing" rather than trying to fake an interest that you don't have.

Conversation is a skill I tend to think anyone could learn, ---- of course actually finding someone to apply it to is more problematic.

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#446484 - 09/05/13 10:20 AM Re: Friends [Re: Jude]
Rich1967 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 264
Loc: PA
Jude,

Wow, I have been thinking about friendships since I joined in July. It's one of the main reasons I joined. I've been thinking constantly about posting something on it and I still may do that. It's an issue that's killing me - I feel like I was abused all over again with something that recently happened to me. I lose all perspective when it comes to this particular issue I'm having.

Anyway, don't want to start my own thread in the midst of yours...

So sorry to hear about the isolation and the loss of the one friend. Have you ever thought about looking the college friend up again. I reached out to three of mine and all three were receptive to talking and I told them about my abuse as well. Turns out I had already told one of them and didn't remember. I think that goes to how much I disassociated from my feelings back then in order to survive and when I do that I don't remember the events because they weren't memorable without the emotions.

On a completely natural level in my opinion many guys don't like one on one situations or situations where talking is the main point of the event. Particularly younger guys. As they (notice how I'm refer to guys as if I'm not one) get older I think they are more open to just getting together to talk. What I've found that seemed to work is organizing something around an event like a movie, watching a sporting event, etc. AND with at least two other guys so there are at least 3 of you. Guys seem to feel less pressure when there's more than just one other guy involved AND when the main event is something that doesn't require talking. Then when you are there you can see if talking is an option. Most of the time I think it will be.

I think the hardest part is trying to find guys our age that want to just hangout because at this age they all have well established lives by this point and don't need to add another friend to the mix. There needs to be a find a friend web service where you can check boxes like NOT interested in sex and needs to have a keen understanding of CSA issues :-)

I'd be friends with you.

I recently bought some Flyers tickets - 4 seats a game for 11 games this season. Scares me to death now because I have to find people to go with me now. I did it as a way to make myself have more contact with other guys. I still think it's the right call, but I freak out about it often. You making any trips to Philly in the near future?

I could have written EVERYTING you said except for the specifics about your college friend. I would have to add a section on how I am afraid of other guys. Seeing a group of guys talking (like the chat room here at MS) is frightening at best. I always assume that they won't like me because for most of my life no other guys ever did like me and some even went out of their way to tell me they didn't like me so I assumed I was a worthless guy.

I hope others have more to say as well. I will be reading every word of it.

_________________________
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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#446492 - 09/05/13 10:50 AM Re: Friends [Re: Jude]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2568
Right there with you Jude.

I still am quite isolated and feel friendless. Really no one to talk to or connect with. Hurts.

I'm not sure even how to go about it, as I'm not into things so many others are, like sports etc. Just not my thing.

Sad to be my age and no clue how to connect with others. It's lonely.

I keep looking for "groups". Like men's groups of any type at this point, and being in a very rural area, there isn't anything I can find, but I realize that even if I did find one, I'd likely attend and just feel like an outcast and a reject the whole time.

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#446497 - 09/05/13 11:23 AM Re: Friends [Re: Jude]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1866
Loc: durham, north england
Well I find university students in the Uk a better bunch for this, especially the single conversations thing, in fact not being able to do the eye contact, none verbal communication thing, if Iam in a situation where conversation is not possible, eg, a very noisey nightclub, that's pretty much that. This is likely why people end up telling me things, since usually sitting and having a conversation is what happenns, and in those csituation most people ofboth genders tend to feel a lot more relaxed.

Mutual interest groups is about the best I've found. I do a tabletop rp game each week for this and have occasionally met people outside the game for drinks etc, I also go to events in our department.

Generally music based groups tend to work, provided the director is reasonable. The main problem I tend to find at the moment is I'll get to know someone as part of a group activity, then that activity finishes and people just piss off! even if they've told me their life story, and I've been doing essentially emotional support. It also doesn't help that my long term friends I met at uni are all now getting married, indeed everyone I know at the moment seems to be settling down and marrying off, ---- accept me!

Well at least if I can do something regularly each week it will stop me isolating too much. Again this is why I tend to collectively hate people, but be fine with individuals.

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#446500 - 09/05/13 11:39 AM Re: Friends [Re: Jude]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 758
Loc: upper south
Hey, Jude. I understand what you say. When I found myself no longer married, it was a difficult adjustment. Middle aged and male and unattached just needing friends.

Most of my friends are female from years ago, but they are friends I can count on. I have almost no close male friends. Wish I did.

When I do meet someone I would like to befriend, male or female, they seem to have a recipe for happiness... instant commitment .... Just add... ME and THEE.
Alll I really need right now is a couple close male friends that I don't have to have intimate relations with. I even like having an intelligent, beautiful lady on my arm, but I certainly don't want to remarry and that becomes almost an instant question. Can you imagine explaining the years of CSA and the past couple of years and the result of the ASA? It just isn't a creek I am willing to cross.

All i need is a friend who would understand and laugh when I say stupid guy shytt. I am not in search of someone to take care of, just someone to be my friend.

If you figure it out, let me know. I am sometimes lonely myself... a lot.
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



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#446521 - 09/05/13 04:58 PM ! [Re: Jude]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
!


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (02/28/14 09:38 PM)

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#446522 - 09/05/13 05:06 PM Re: Friends [Re: Rich1967]
Castle Offline


Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 695
Loc: NJ
Too bad the beat up devils fans in Philly...I l ove hockey!


Edited by Castle (09/05/13 06:05 PM)
_________________________

My posts can self destruct at any time..read them while you can.

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#446523 - 09/05/13 06:29 PM Re: Friends [Re: Jude]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1043
Loc: The ATL
Originally Posted By: Jude

Has anybody had success making friends?


Very little. I have a couple of what you would call good friends and one of them I have known since high school. The other is the son of an old coworker who I would sit for sometimes when he was little. He became like a son to me himself and turns 21 this month. Still, I only speak to either of them maybe a couple of times a month and see them less than that. I don't have a circle of friends or a group of guys I hang out with and probably never will. Partly because of my introversion and my tenancy to isolate myself and partly for the reasons you already mentioned. (Those being that younger guys don't want to hang out with some older dude and guys over 30 tend to be to busy with career/wife/kids to make new friends and hang out with you.) I guess it's a good thing I tend to thrive on "me time" and prefer isolation to company, otherwise I'd find myself in your exact same dilemma.

I almost feel stupid suggesting this because surely you have, but have you considered looking into an off-line group for male survivors? If not, than maybe another type of support group? If you have trouble connecting with other guys over superficial things like sports talk, perhaps you could find guys you could connect with over more deep and meaningful things. Personally, I always default to talking about sports, movies, video games or TV with other guys but that's because those are the types of things I'm comfortable with and know about. I wouldn't be nearly as comfortable talking about the kind of stuff I talk about here if I were face to face with people. You may differ from me there though. Have you ever tried going that route before?

There are a lot of good suggestions I'm reading here and I hope at least some of them are helpful. Good luck with this. Talk atcha laters. Peace,

Ken

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#446533 - 09/05/13 11:18 PM Re: Friends [Re: Jude]
Rich1967 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 264
Loc: PA
@castle

They beat up everyone in Philly so it's not personal wink Just don't wear your colors and I won't tell. I have tickets for the Nov 7th game at 7... grin

It's all about love here. Didn't you see Silver Linings Playbook? smile
_________________________
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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