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#446421 - 09/04/13 06:44 PM memories, life, pain, surviving [trigger warning]
Survivinguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 310
Loc: Colorado
[trigger warning - childhood sexual abuse(csa), depression, negative coping techniques]

[trigger warning sexual abuse]

1. It used to be I had a couple memories. For the longest time my total memory consisted of 3 or 4 memories of the csa - horrible memories for sure but just a few. Now, 17 years since the first recalled memory, it's like an oil drum without a lid - it's dark, it's filled to the brim, it seeps out, it stains everything and it doesn't go away. I've completely lost count of all the memories now. If I spend any time thinking about my childhood and sometimes regardless of whether I'm thinking of my childhood - memories open up in my mind as clearly as recalling what I ate for dinner last night. And it's anything from remembering the horror and fear I lived with waiting for the next raping to remembering the faces of and brief conversations with the other boys in the sex ring to remembering my older brother convincing me not to tell anyone because Dad won't do it forever, only to realize he was convincing me not to tell on him too. My own dad had to resuscitate me on one occasion when he started tying a bag over my head while raping me. What the f do I do with that memory - he almost killed me. My own god-damn dad. I can't imagine doing any of it to a toy stuffed animal and he was doing it all for more than ten years to his youngest son. what kind of piece of shit garbage do i have to be that someone can see doing that to me. and he died a respected man more than twenty years ago, his youngest son giving his eulogy because i didn't remember the abuse when i was 21. what greater injustice can you muster god?

2. Our oldest son is struggling in school and he's only in 4th grade. His teacher has her own website with loads of work every four days. He has autism and is very high functioning but there is so much work to keep him up with the class my wife and I feel like failures when we can't spend enough time with him. He reaches a limit of input after which any word at all sets him into an emotional breakdown so you stop working with him out of sympathy for him and out of exhaustion for yourself. Push him too hard and you are causing him emotional pain. Don't push him too hard and you're setting him up for failure. Damned either way and the last thing I can accept is failing my children.

3. Our youngest son is in his 30th month of leukemia treatment and has nearly missed two weeks of school already this quarter. We fear he will fall behind in school. He's on chemo every day, steroids for a week every four weeks, spinal tap every twelve weeks, he's sensitive of his weight, now he has a metal expander in his mouth as a precursor to braces and his latest is random chest pains. He is smart, strong and courageous but he's also seven years old and he understands death. My own childhood issues abound throughout my son's treatment but even throwing all that out of my mind - to have my son suffer for three years to 'cure' cancer - it is emotionally and mentally exhausting.

4. My wife and I are still together but she's been honest that she's no longer in love with me and I can't blame her. I'm all sorts of F'd up with my csa issues at times and then add in a child with autism and a child with leukemia - I understand how much pressure she battles and can't blame her for falling out of love. I do as much as I can manage to do to help her but I worry that it won't be enough and then in addition to everything else we will have a broken home.

5. I had a great therapist I was doing essentially ground-breaking (for me) work when my therapist was offered a dream-come-true job to apply his specialized PhD in a new field of technology-based physical conditioning for professional athletes. I can't blame him for quitting his practice but I am facing another new therapist, I feel like I'm starting over, I have to wait 3 weeks to see the new person and can't imagine how I'm going to re-create enough trust to pick up where I left off. It feels insurmountable.

[trigger negative coping technique]

6. I started back up with one of my early negative coping technique - cutting. I used cutting as a teenager as really my only coping technique aside from drinking. I cut again about three weeks ago and again last week. It's like remembering an incredibly reliable addiction - it's bad and it works. I had to take a pocket knife off my key chain because the urge to cut has become so strong. Torture was part of my csa abuse from about age 9 to 12 so cutting has a whole other aspect I can't even begin to wrap my mind around.

7. Anger broils inside me. I'm angry at God (yes I believe). I'm angry at my dad. I'm angry at my brother. I'm angry at myself. I'm angry at God (yes twice as much). The anger feels uncontrollable at times. I pray I get home without any random opportunity to totally-fucking-lose-it presents itself on the way.

8. Depression rolls in and out like huge sourceless waves on the deep ocean. I take medicine and my psych guy increased it recently. It feels like it helps sometimes and sometimes it feels like nothing will ever help.

[trigger warning - body memories/torture]

9. Body memories of being raped, body memories of the various ways I was tortured - usually with needles in my feet, body memories of gagging and choking, body memories of being held down/bound. It is maddening. I try all sorts of crap to diffuse its impact. Breathing. Present talk. Visualizations. Massage. I know many "methods" but sometimes that shit just doesn't work. I take big breaths, I know it's now not then, I know there are not needles in my feet right now and the intense pain in the soles of my feet are only in my mind, I know he's dead, I can feel my feet and imagine a safe place and all that doesn't help every time and it's f-ing maddening.

10. Body tremors. They aren't as bad as they had been but sometimes it feels like some electric charge runs through my body like I've been struck by a small, invisible lightening bolt. Other times it's more like an unexpected shudder I can't shake off. I spend a lot of focus/energy hiding the shudder so that people around me don't think I'm tweaking or have Parkinson's (I'm not tweaking and I don't have Parkinson's). It's exhausting.

11. I have a good job, I love my wife, I love my children, we have a good home. I'm not homeless, I'm not unemployed, I'm not a drug addict or an alcoholic. Why is this still killing me? I want all the csa shit to just go the f away. It is killing me. If I focus on csa recovery - the shit comes flooding in to my life and I feel like I'm going to drown - I can't swim forever. If I don't focus on the csa recovery - it creeps in from the shadows in the forms of anger, fear, hate, terror and days of feeling like I'm undead - numb, useless, wasted, cursed. Damned.

12. I don't tell my wife because she has enough. I don't tell my friends because they won't understand the csa or the cutting or any of it. I hate telling anyone because it feels like I'm spreading the disease-tainted, corrupted-oil-sludge; spreading it when I should be burying it.

13. i am trapped. i live in spite of it. i wont quit - i cant quit and leave my kids. sometimes surviving feels like its in spite of death. sometimes surviving feels like its proving how strong their evil was more than the strength it takes to survive. the harder it is to summit a mountain, the more evident it is how harsh that mountain is rather than any real regard to the ability of an individual climber.

14. i dont know you. you dont know me. there is no solution. there is no missing puzzle piece to make sense of this - to make all of this makes sense - to make anything ok. it is what it is. nothing will change the past. the swimmer's mantra, "find a way", doesn't make the swim easier. it is a long painful swim, there is hopelessness, there is reliving the powerlessness, there are times i can see the sun rising, right now it is dark, i feel like i have lost sight of any horizon. im treading water. shallow breaths saved me before and are killing me now. and I remember Mikele quotes Audre Lorde to me, "...it is better to speak, remembering, we were never meant to survive". But holy God does it hurt.

sorry for the sludge but i had to speak it
_________________________
Survivinguy

============================================
I have to survive and I hope to thrive.

Alumni Dahlonega WoR May 2010
Alumni Sequoia WoR March 2012

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#446423 - 09/04/13 07:27 PM Re: memories, life, pain, surviving [trigger warning] [Re: Survivinguy]
Onesimus75 Offline


Registered: 08/22/13
Posts: 158
Loc: Minnesota
holy crap.
There's so little I know to say here.
Regarding 1], it sounds like you come from a Christian background. If it's any consolation, no one gets off. That faith tradition incorporates the idea that there is a judge who knows everything everyone's ever done, and justice will be done one way or the other. He didn't get eulogized in heaven, I am 100% sure.

The rest, all I can do is be here. Silent. Present.
Keep surviving.
_________________________
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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#446425 - 09/04/13 08:17 PM Re: memories, life, pain, surviving [trigger warning] [Re: Survivinguy]
Rich1967 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 289
Loc: PA
It does suck a lot of the time. There just is no easy way to take the journey. It does sound like you do have some things to be thankful for so maybe you will be able to focus on them and build on them at some point.

Maybe your new T will be better than the last one. I never worry about trust with a T. They are either good at what they do or not. Maybe you will build comfort more quickly this time because you've already done it before.

Glad you felt comfortable putting it all out there here at MS.

I'll be praying for you and I agree with Onesimus75 - your perps are rotting in hell or will be.
_________________________
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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#446428 - 09/04/13 09:14 PM Re: memories, life, pain, surviving [trigger warning] [Re: Survivinguy]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1743
My heart goes out to you. So much to handle. I hope you find the right T to help you through so many tragedies. I am hopefully your sharing will give you comfort. We are here and our thoughts are with you and your family. I hope the best for your children and for the little one, the chemo proves effective.

I am amazed at your courage to face so much. Stay strong and seek support--we are here for you.

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#446441 - 09/05/13 12:53 AM Re: memories, life, pain, surviving [trigger warning] [Re: Survivinguy]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1579
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: Survivinguy
....there is no solution. there is no missing puzzle piece to make sense of this - to make all of this makes sense - to make anything ok. it is what it is. nothing will change the past.
WOW Survivinguy, do you ever have a lot on your plate. Despite your feelings of hopelessness, which I can understand and identify with, I admire you for hanging in there, at least for your kids sake.

But I think you are right about there being no way to make sense of it. What sense could there possibly be in a man raping and torturing his son? What mindset could possibly allow a person to think thats ok? And the irony of you having to give his eulogy is even more bizarre. No, nothing will change the past. Its done.

So what do you do when the past is horrible, the present sucks, and the future is unknown? Have hope? Cheer up? Look for the silver lining? For me the answer came in a bottle, along with other addictive behaviours. All negative coping methods, that worked....until they didn't.

I have no solutions. All we can do is come along side you and let you know that there are guys here who get you, support you, and care about you. You are not alone with all this. Keep posting. Tell the truth about what happened, and never give up. We are with you.

Jude
_________________________
Can't be bothered with sorrow
And I can't be bothered with hate, no, no
I'm using up the time but feeling fine every day
That's why I'm telling you
I just want to celebrate another day of livin'
Rare Earth

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#446494 - 09/05/13 11:03 AM Re: memories, life, pain, surviving [trigger warning] [Re: Survivinguy]
Survivinguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 310
Loc: Colorado
Thanks guys. I re-read my post yesterday and thought it was probably just too much and didn't expect any responses.

It helps just to be heard. I appreciate you being present Onesimus75, I appreciate your positive outlook and prayers Rich1967, I appreciate your support and encouragement KMCINVA and I appreciate your acknowledgment and support Jude.

I did feel better after posting - screaming didn't help then but it does now and to be heard screaming and to have someone say I hear you, I understand you - it helps. Thank you.
_________________________
Survivinguy

============================================
I have to survive and I hope to thrive.

Alumni Dahlonega WoR May 2010
Alumni Sequoia WoR March 2012

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#446537 - 09/06/13 12:14 AM Re: memories, life, pain, surviving [trigger warning] [Re: Survivinguy]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Survivinguy

Sorry I wasn't able to read your post earlier. It's been a busy day for me. We had some discussions some months ago in which we compared our stories.

Yes you do have an aweful lot of pain in your life. But you are doing a great job in sticking with your family. That's wonderful. The thing is of course that the pains of your childhood are still with you so powerfully. Body memories. They are stored in a part of your brain that is not releasing them to rational thought.

It might be that EMDR would help. But be careful. The idea is that once the rational part of the brain can access the stored body memory part of the brain that then the memories can be made obedient to your rational mind. Then they might start to decompress. I found EMDR to be a powerful tool to release these kinds of pains. Just don't try to go through it too fast.

Another idea is to write out the memories. Not that you're going to publish them or anything. It's just that the very act of writing the memories can allow those memories out of the place in your brain where they are stored. Then they can be dealt with. Do this a little at a time. Same for EMDR.

Another idea is: Find a local support group there where you can start to talk out these memories with guys who are going through stuff and therefore will be able to understand.

Puffer



Edited by pufferfish (09/06/13 12:16 AM)

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#448204 - 09/25/13 01:32 PM Re: memories, life, pain, surviving [trigger warning] [Re: Survivinguy]
Survivinguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 310
Loc: Colorado
Thanks Puffer - I appreciate your input and am likely to start EMDR in the very near future. I have done a lot of written word journaling in the past and I sometimes find it helpful. I have stayed away from support groups for various reasons. I appreciate that we've shared our stories and regret very much that we have so much in common. I hope you are doing well.

Survivinguy
_________________________
Survivinguy

============================================
I have to survive and I hope to thrive.

Alumni Dahlonega WoR May 2010
Alumni Sequoia WoR March 2012

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#448213 - 09/25/13 04:07 PM Re: memories, life, pain, surviving [trigger warning] [Re: Survivinguy]
On The Fringe Offline


Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
I have no idea what to say. I can tell you that nothing you shared pushed any triggers for me.

If you want to vent, send me a message. I have 18 years so dr in AA and have sponsored people and either done or heard most everything.

The big thing I hear is that you want to live. You want to pile up the junk and burn it off. I wrote my 4th step out and burned that bitch up. I still see the image of the smoke rising.

Hang in there and be your own best friend. I admire your fighting spirit. If you need to toxic dump, I can listen.

Peace to you.


Edited by On The Fringe (09/25/13 04:08 PM)
_________________________
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

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#448339 - 09/26/13 06:07 PM Re: memories, life, pain, surviving [trigger warning] [Re: Survivinguy]
Onesimus75 Offline


Registered: 08/22/13
Posts: 158
Loc: Minnesota
i was re-reading this, and did have one thought.

I'm obviously a fellow believer. And one thing I like about that set-up is that God's got broad shoulders. He says he likes truth in the inner-most heart, and elsewhere we're commanded to bring our cares to him.

It took me until I was 35 to realize that meant I could yell at him when I'm mad. Sort of like a little boy who holds onto his dad's shoulders and pounds on them doesn't hurt the dad, who's just holding on and loving his son.

When you're doubly-mad, (and who wouldn't be in your shoes!) Pound away. Not only can he take it, but he's ready and willing to do so.
_________________________
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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