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#447579 - 09/18/13 08:21 PM Not having friends.....input from all please
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
Has anyone else experienced this? My husband has no friends. He is in a recovery group, has a sponsor, knows othr people from treatment and still has no friends.

Part of recovery is reaching out and not isolating. I think that is the key to healing the shame of addiction, abuse whatever. When you know so many men that are in the same position as you, why not call for help? Why not have conversations? Why so uncomfortable?

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#447580 - 09/18/13 08:46 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3517
Loc: O Kanada
my wife is my only friend.

all my close friends are dead.
all my current companions are co-workers and career colleagues.
trying to make new friends at 52... not impossible, but difficult. trying to have deep and meaningful relationships is never easy.

to be honest, i am too busy to be lonely.
maybe after my kids leave home.
my house is crowded and chaotic so being alone is a luxury i savour.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#447581 - 09/18/13 08:51 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
genedebs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 288
Loc: MO
Dear Lucy lives

The reason I chose booze as my solution (for only 27 years so it was no big -ha,ha)included fear and a lack of trust. Would you talk to someone who would use whatever you say to attack you?

Wouldn't that be like arming your enemies. And if you had a brother like me ( don't pretend as an adult that you know it all, I remember when you used to scratch your ass through your diapers)

Or a mother like mine (remember when you said I should get away from father and take the two other boys with you. I stayed in the abusive marraige for 50 years to protect you. Don;t you ever forget that.

She never did accept that I was 9 she was 39, she was the adult.

So which friends do you have who are going behave like that.

Trust is essential to friendship. And we don't trust easily.

LOL

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#447584 - 09/18/13 09:32 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
I understand making new friends when we are older is difficult but when you are in recovery, you all have a commonality. A shared hell, so to speak. You really can't help but make these deep bonds with people. I don't understand why he doesn't or can't. How can u not trust people who are in the exact same shoes as you, who share your pain?

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#447585 - 09/18/13 09:33 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
Gene, so the drinking thing masks fear and lack of trust?

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#447601 - 09/19/13 06:36 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
HopeDiesLast Offline


Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 62
My husband doesn't have close friends, either. He has a few friends that go back decades and who live far away. He talks to them when they call, but even with those he doesn't talk personal issues. I asked him why before and his answer was he doesn't need friends. I don't get it really, because I have a close network of friends who bring me joy in good times and are my safety net in bad times. But I can't change him, either.

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#447609 - 09/19/13 08:29 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 811
Loc: michigan
this really is a trust issue.
friends are a liability at least that has been my thinking. they know "things" about you and it is one more person to watch. that I think has been the issue for me, I did drink for a time and been quit now for many years but I don't think that was to hide in my case I found just the opposite it was very liberating. but even from my elementary school days I am able to have one real friend... at least it is a semblance of friendship he makes a LOT of concessions for me even still. as much as I long for intimate relationships they scare the hell out of me. there is always the fear that I will say something, do something to screw it up. it is an expectation really I have a hard time doubting that it WILL happen. so I guess there is some sabotage rather then anticipating the inevitable I just keep the distance. Alone feels natural for me, and when someone often even my wife,tries to break into that isolation I have to wonder what they really want...seems it couldn't possibly be me
_________________________
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

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#447612 - 09/19/13 08:35 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 811
Loc: michigan
this really is a trust issue.
friends are a liability at least that has been my thinking. they know "things" about you and it is one more person to watch. that I think has been the issue for me, I did drink for a time and been quit now for many years but I don't think that was to hide in my case I found just the opposite it was very liberating. but even from my elementary school days I am able to have one real friend... at least it is a semblance of friendship he makes a LOT of concessions for me even still. as much as I long for intimate relationships they scare the hell out of me. there is always the fear that I will say something, do something to screw it up. it is an expectation really I have a hard time doubting that it WILL happen. so I guess there is some sabotage rather then anticipating the inevitable I just keep the distance. Alone feels natural for me, and when someone often even my wife,tries to break into that isolation I have to wonder what they really want...seems it couldn't possibly be me
_________________________
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

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#447616 - 09/19/13 09:58 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
pittsburgh Offline


Registered: 05/26/11
Posts: 89
Loc: west Chester, Pa
I agree with newground It is a trust issue. When I trusted one person I was beaten, raped and left bloody. So as still a child I learned not to let anyone close to me, this has carried over to adulthood. My first marriage I had not learned to trust. I am sure that was a big issue with myself and the marriage. Now I have married a women who is also a survivor, between being older and more experienced I have been able to be honest and more open with her, this has lead to a great relationship. I believe that it is very hard for a survivor to learn to trust and truly be open. At least it has been for myself.
_________________________
it is and has been quite a trip thru life, as last I feel that I am in a better place, it takes work and in my case a wife the was and is forgiveing and helpful. At last a relationship has gone right, messed up three.

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#447618 - 09/19/13 10:22 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: lucylives
I understand making new friends when we are older is difficult but when you are in recovery, you all have a commonality. A shared hell, so to speak. You really can't help but make these deep bonds with people. I don't understand why he doesn't or can't. How can u not trust people who are in the exact same shoes as you, who share your pain?


I've never participated in a recovery group in the real world, only online. I've tried to find real world recovery groups in the past but finding them for male ASA is tricky and the only ones I know exist are in the UK (and that's an 8 hour flight)

But from the people I know who have been in real-life group therapy, the therapists who lead them often recommend that participants do not socialize with each other outside the therapy group. This might be to protect the confidentiality of what is said in therapy, and it might be because some people who need group therapy have difficulties having boundaries with people. So the fact that they are all survivors and in the same therapy group does not guarantee that they are built-in friends automatically.

I was in an outpatient program for people with disabilities not long ago, and when they served lunch, the people who were on feeding tubes were all put at one table together, while everyone who was able to eat could sit wherever they wanted. I am not sure if it had to do with a nurse being assigned to the table but I was on continuous feeding anyway and so the nurse didn't even touch my system the entire time. It bothered me that they assumed we'd all want to sit together simply because we have the shared reality of not being able to eat.

Some things to remember:

- some people are just introverted. Everyone's need for socialization is different. My wife and I have been together for 16 years and I have only been a survivor for 4 of those years. Even before the rape I had more of a tendency to keep to myself than she did. Extraverts receive a lot fulfillment from social contact and usually feel energized. I'm an introvert, and I have always felt more fulfilled by reading books and playing my piano, and I find socializing, especially in a group, to be draining. It doesn't mean I don't desire companionship and a sense of belonging. I used to love going to the pub after work with friends and family gatherings but I never craved it the same way as an extravert would.

- There are always exceptions to this, but in general, women are more inclined toward socialization activities that are centered around talking about their feelings. When men get together, socialization tends to involve doing a shared activity, whether that's playing video games, fishing, sports, building a computer, whatever. Before the rape when I had more of a social life, if I invited a friend over to talk, usually the talking was about a shared intellectual interest or hobby, and less about our personal struggles. It's not to say my friends and I didn't care about each other. The true friends I have always ask about my family, my health and how life is going, and I genuinely care about their lives as well, but it's not the central focus of our time together--we have something to DO. The fulfillment I get from socialization, as an introvert and as a man, comes from the fact that it makes me feel connected with something bigger than just myself.

After the rape, I have told two male friends about it, and my younger brother. Each man responded with support and compassion, but it is not something I talk about with them all the time. It's not easy to just bring it up in conversation "so... I've been having these terrifying body memories..." Sometimes my friend will ask how therapy is going, because he knew I was in therapy for awhile. They care but they don't always know what to say. Honestly, it's enough for me that they don't think any less of me and they still want to be my friend. I always worried people would cut me off because of what happened to me.

So the fact that the man in your life has met some other survivors in the 3D hard copy world doesn't guarantee that they share any other interest or hobby or that talking about these deep, painful things will be something he would want to do outside group therapy.
_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#447623 - 09/19/13 11:31 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 811
Loc: michigan
hey guys one more in response to the group Idea. T has been wanting me to go to the only available group in my area. we talked about it months ago I put it off for a long time, then e-mailed the leader who kind of insisted I talk to her. so I waited another three weeks and finally gave her my number to call and I really hoped she wouldn't but she did and now they are both hoping I will go I still haven't made up my mind to do it and this is a huge part of why. it feels like a trap at first ... then like I am under some kind of obligation like I loose my choice. and my voice is taken away. I have never BEEN TO A regular group. I did go to WOR and it was not like that but each time a new thing presents itself it is like right back to the start. my take is always to be tentative and never too eager. lord help me if I was ever to actually get excited about a new adventure cant set your self up like that you are bound to be hurt.I don't know how to ever break that cycle.
_________________________
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

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#447636 - 09/19/13 01:23 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3517
Loc: O Kanada
Originally Posted By: lucylives
I understand making new friends when we are older is difficult but when you are in recovery, you all have a commonality. A shared hell, so to speak.
... How can u not trust people who are in the exact same shoes as you, who share your pain?


because i know what i am capable of,
i know what they are capable of.

many of us here do not even trust our own actions and behaviours, which makes it difficult to trust others.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#447647 - 09/19/13 02:43 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
oh my God, you may just be right about that Victor. It is probably scary because of what my husband has done and what the other men have done.

I just feel bad for him. I feel like the sexual acting out may have been a way to feel connected to someone else. I want him to have healthy connections and relationships with other men, men who can help each other. that is the amazing things about 12 step groups.

It is hard to be someone's only support person and friend though there is probably a small part of me that is flattered by it (sick as that is);) I am also the only person he feels comfortable with being physically affectionate with that he knows. (except acting out)

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#447648 - 09/19/13 02:47 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
Crux , you are right some people are just more introverted. But my husband is an extrovert but with very very surface relationships. Like you said it is all about what they do.

I guess I should just give up on this. It isn't my problem though it is a huge responsibility to be ssomeone's only friend and confidant.

And others, the 2 guys in his group therapy are also in the sex addict recovery meetings with him and they are encourage to socialize as a part of recovery.

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#447649 - 09/19/13 02:48 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
I get the trust issue except that his abuse wasn't by friends or family but by strangers so why not just be untrusting of strangers??

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#447650 - 09/19/13 02:55 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3517
Loc: O Kanada
eventually, if you are lucky, your spouse will not depend on you for things you cannot provide. it is too much pressure. i was finally able to do this for my wife. she cannot save me. it was a major breakthrough in our relationship. i can find comfort from other sources, and i don't mean adultery or abstinence.
it has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with soul and spirit.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#447651 - 09/19/13 03:13 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
absolutely Victor. Finding comfort in others that isn't sexual is key and has everything to do with the heart and soul.

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#447655 - 09/19/13 04:04 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Maybe you could offer to cook something and see if he'd like to invite anyone over? My wife offers to do that sometimes since I have become a hermit.

Would it be possible for him to disclose to some of his friends? Even if they are friendships that are more focused on doing things rather than long involved talks about feelings and personal lives, it really helps. Even though I rarely discuss the assault with the friends I've told it is good, I feel less of a fake around them. I don't feel like I'm pretending I'm someone I'm not the entire time. That is very therapeutic for me, even though it doesn't look like "recovery work"
_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#447659 - 09/19/13 04:21 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
Adam A Gedman Offline


Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 188
Loc: Canada
Lucy,

I didn't think I had anything to offer here, as I have a very close group of friends and have since high school basically.
But, truth be told, I believe I had these friends because I needed somewhere to go, they were my escape from the dysfunction of home my drunken abusive father.
The lesser of 2 evils if you will. I had to trust someone, and adults had proven untrustworthy to me.
I now view the early days of these friendships as crutches, I offered nothing, but wouldn't go away either, I had nothing else.

Eventually life happens and they became more than my crutches.
Telling them of my CSA, was not easy, but it did help cement our bond in my own mind.
These relationships are not without their own issues though. I became very angry with all of them for a time, after my son was born.
I felt they abandoned me, and I felt justified in cutting off all contact with them.
Some time in isolation helped me realize that being alone was less desirable than being insulted.

Even now, I can create problems in my mind about innocuous things they may have done or said, and the trust I had is gone, even if it is just temporarily.
I have learned to talk myself through these times, and realize the issue is with me not them.
Ultimately as others have said, it comes down to trust, the who is immaterial.
Just a little more food for thought.
_________________________
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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#447680 - 09/19/13 08:02 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2024
Loc: durham, north england
@Lucy, regarding "abuse by strangers and trust" while it is true that abuse by strangers doesn't hold the same sort of conotations as some survivers who experienced abuse by family members, eg, "i can't get close to her/him since I'm not sure what they want", for me at least there is also a trust element created by the sense of worthlessness.

Having been shown in the most crude, obvious, and absolutely plane terms that I was completely and utterly dispicable, diseased and repulsive over several years, I started to believe that anyone who spent time with me, who was able to tolerate my company was doing so simply because they were a particularly tolerant and wonderful human being. At first, directly after the abuse for a good three or four years, this was a revelation to me, and it's the point I made some very close friends because I simply demanded nothing, and was absolutely grateful for whatever I got, a smile, a conversation, I remember nearly crying the first time a girl in my psycyhology class asked me to sit on the same desk with her and everyone else rather than in the corner on my own where I'd sat as usual, (thinking about it, it's not really surprising that I later fell madly in love with said girl).

The problem however for me is that being a charity case, feeling I have nothing to contribute to another person is not really a tennable situation. I can't trust someone with my feelings, since I don't want to put upon them, I can't request anything from someone else since that risks what I've got, heck, I can't even chase contact with another person since that just makes me feel that I am pestering them.

So, trust can be extremely difficult even so, since to trust another person you! have to believe that you are worthy of not only giving trust but recieving it, indeed I still! always feel honoured, feel obliged if (as people do), someone shares their problems or feelings with me, since it indicates that my relation to that person is not just as a charity case.

This again, is something that I've only in fact recently recognized, but it's something which has meant that I developed very close friends, however felt far too emotionally invested in those friendships, indeed a difficulty for me at the moment is the fact that all the friends I did! make are now very much rapped up in their own lives and have mostly moved far off.

In terms of recovery, well to be honest I just plane wouldn't want to have a friendship, or even regular contact with someone based just! on recovery matters. I attended a mike loo workship in 2010, and that was great as far as it went, I even met some of the chaps from this site, however it was just too intense to want to repeat, to personal, too plane intimate. Also, discussing recovery with people who share the issues simply for the purpose of support is a very different matter to discussing it with a friend, ---- as I said above.

While as time has gone on I've found various ways of sharing little bits of my recovery with people, eg, "I've done some research on male sa and found out" or admitting to someone that I am genophobic, the full disclosure of the events if you like is something I've only wanted to burden two people with. These are my two closest friends, (both of whome unfortunately live elsewhere), people who I considder as close as brothers, (irrispective of one being female), and even then, I only disclosed when I was actively forced to, after an hour of crying in each case and the need to just clear the air. I also told both over the phone since the physical proximity of someone else, even someone I'm close to would make me even more uneasy for both what i was putting on them and how hard those things are to share.

heck, with my family, even though i will discuss feelings in general terms and even though both my mum and my brother tend to talk about their feelings and specific issues in great detail with me, we don't! discuss recovery, or indeed me and relationships, in fact some of the worst arguements I've had connected with my recovery have been where my mum particularly has had either full out suggestions or vague hints connected with either recovering from my sa or finding a relationship, even though my mumn was the first person to use the word "raped" in connection with my abuse.

So, disclosing to someone is difficult, and being friends afterwards even more so.

Myself, I'd just suggest perhaps your husband considder developing the skills to be closer to his regular friends, and perhaps considder what he believes about friendship as well, rather than looking at recovery groups for friends.

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#447684 - 09/19/13 08:20 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
You all wrote some really helpful things. I am not saying just recovery friends, I only said that because they are easy relationships to get close to people emotionally. I mean any realationship that isn't based on neighborhood gossip, any kind of relationship based on something other than surface stuff I think wold be helpful. The guys he grew up with he has only seen twice in 5 years because all the do is hang in bars and my husband is an alcoholic. He can't seem to enjoy being with them sitting in a bar and not drinking. I have suggested calling them to go grab a bite but he won't . I have asked him if he wants me to invite them over for dinner, he shoots that idea down too.

I feel like Julie McCoy, cruise director, social director. Remember the Love Boat? I don't wanna do it. it isn't my job.

And fyi, he would never disclose to anyone. Just me, therapists and the guys in meetings and groups. No one in the outside world except for me. Not even his family. I wish he would but I am not gonna hold my breath on that.

I think, like what Dark was saying, that he feels he has nothing to offer. He has actually said that. Bullshit, bullshit. That is a lie he tells himself. He has much to offer.

"The problem however for me is that being a charity case, feeling I have nothing to contribute to another person is not really a tennable situation. I can't trust someone with my feelings, since I don't want to put upon them, I can't request anything from someone else since that risks what I've got, heck, I can't even chase contact with another person since that just makes me feel that I am pestering them. "

I think that what you wrote above Dark is a lot of it. Sad, very sad.

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#447693 - 09/19/13 09:19 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 726
Loc: NJ
My husband really only has people who enable self destruction. He calls them friends. I call them, well, self destruction buddies wink

When we talk about friendship, it seems that he doesn't really understand what it means. It requires vulnerability and it requires trust and intimacy. All things that come with recovery hopefully.

So Lucy my love - maybe friends come later wink

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#447694 - 09/19/13 09:19 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
It takes time to trust people. sometimes years.

and it is not your job to be a cruise director. i think my wife felt like she should have that role for awhile too, since she knew the way I used to socialize before the assault and i am not the same. but... it is not your job.

my wife once told a dear friend of hers what happened to me, because I think it was hard for her to keep all of it to herself. It made me wish I never told her, because I saw what a drain it was on her and I should have known it would have been. I also felt that my trust was violated. But it is a huge burden to carry. I carried it for years when I was the only person who knew about her abuse... at least the only person who knew and believed. I never told anyone though I did journal about it and write fictional stories with it as a theme.
_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#447709 - 09/20/13 12:58 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
tbkkfile Offline


Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 282
Loc: Surrey, United Kingdom
Hi Lucylives, in one of your previous posts you mention

"I get the trust issue except that his abuse wasn't by friends or family but by strangers so why not just be untrusting of strangers??"

I read an article at http://www.secasa.com.au/sections/surviv...n-with-my-life/ which I hope kind of gives one aspect or explanation, I've extracted part of it it for you - for me growing up you can substitute "Trusted adult" with "Adult"

To try to grasp complex emotional concepts like love, children group experiences into simplistic extremes. Good or bad, black or white, there is no grey. They can't differentiate between one trusted adult's behaviour and that of another's. Therefore, if one trusted adult abuses them, this experience is not taken away by the non-abusive relationships they experience, it just becomes part of their understanding of 'relationship'. The child learns not that 'some adults do bad things', but that 'all trusted people can do bad things.' This includes even the child itself. Like many other aspects of their developing psychological make up, this distrust becomes an integral part of their socialised constructs
_________________________
To look up and not down,
To look forward and not back,
To look out and not in

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#447720 - 09/20/13 04:59 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2024
Loc: durham, north england
Yes lucy, it's frankly sad, but I'm increasingly of the opinion that it's the way the world works as much as anything.

I was lucky as an undergraduate to be in a university where most people were open minded, and where I even met some people who were both emotionally independent and honest enough to convince me that I wasn't just a charity case. However that time has gone, those people are married and moved away, and most other people just aren't like that.

As a disabled person most people actually do! treat me as if I'm not the same species (especially other disabled people ironically, since I'm not part of their cleaque and tend challenge their limitations), if I walked into a bar nobody would speak to me.

The only solution I've found is recognizing this myself and engaging in regularly scheduled hobby groups where people are forced! to speak to me, and where I can use all those social skills I have to put others at ease.

yes, I'll likely just end up with a bit of witty conversation followed by playing brother confessor, hearing someone's problems and then having them piss off and forget my existance, but that's life, indeed it seems that is what most people want at least from me.

It's not all bad, I get to do whatever the hobby is and enjoy myself, and give others what I can before they go, heck this is one reason I'm looking at going to opera school next year, since giving others my love of music and my performance is the single best experience of my life.

But close friendships still less actual relationships, well I suppose those happen to other people, and I shouldn't really complane, after all at least I have! the social skills to engage in singing, role play and other activities with people however superficially.

That would be my personal suggestion to your husband, join some hobby groups, since you get companionship if nothing else, and as I get older I realize "companionship" is really all that I at least should expect.

Luke.

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#447759 - 09/20/13 06:51 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
Thank you all for your responses. they were very helpful.

tk, that quote was also very helpful.

And Esposa, I hope you are right. Kisses for you my friend. wink

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#448927 - 10/01/13 08:02 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
gettingstronger Offline


Registered: 09/24/13
Posts: 191
Loc: Virginia
lucylives,

I had composed a much longer post but realized it was turning out to be more about me than you. I'm completely in your husband's boat. I don't know if any of these apply, but reasons that have blocked me from developing male friendships include:

1. Male friendships that became sexualized. Due to an extreme level of isolation from my family (and several years of csa at the hands of a neighborhood boy,)I developed a tremendous amount of envy. They had fun, played sports, were in shape, were popular, had great tans from being outdoors, and were allowed to have girlfriends (you read this right.) I, on the other hand, was the polar opposite. This disparity somehow morphed itself into what I thought was sexual attraction. I was insanely jealous both of what they were and what I thought they were. Long story short, until I really started to dig into this with a good T, I was afraid to trust myself in male friendships for fear of what I thought was sexual attraction. Now that I have a correct understanding of what was happening and can distinguish a child's envy from sa, I am starting to welcome male friendships without this fear.

2. Trust. I won't beat this up since it's been covered, but this has been a tough one. I told my best friend about being on antidepressants and told him not to tell anyone. He promptly told his mom, who then mentioned it to my mom (a drama queen if ever there was one.) Needless to say, I am VERY careful about who knows what. Depending on how your husband's experience was in his formative years, don't be surprised if this is especially hard.

3. Basic social skills/activities. What sort of hobbies does your husband have? Is he really good at something? Are there things he'd like to get into if given the chance? Does he like sports? I'm sorely lacking in the sports category, so that cuts down much of the small talk I normally would have. Are things like this an impediment for him?

I don't know how much of this applies to your husband, but I wanted to throw it out there. Sorry for the long post. Hang in there and take care.


Edited by gettingstronger (10/01/13 08:09 PM)
Edit Reason: brevity, clarity
_________________________
Never worry about "three steps forward and two steps back." Thirty steps forward and twenty back are still ten steps in the right direction.

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#448955 - 10/02/13 12:03 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: gettingstronger]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Boys who are abused at a young age have a lot of trouble forming relationships. It is even harder if they came from a dysfunctional family. They almost need intervention. They need someone who can hold them together until they learn to trust and get along with other boys.

Puffer

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#448999 - 10/02/13 02:51 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
Thanks gettingbetter and puffer. He does have people he can talk sports and such with but I am talking about friends yu can call in times of trouble not just casual friendships. I wonder about the stuff you wrote, gb. I think a lot of it may be feeling different from other men.

And puffer, I wouldn't think it would be so fricking hard for him. His csa happened when he was 15 so he had plenty of time to develop skills of friendship before. Of course, I am always convinced that something else happened to him at a younger age. Who the hec knows.

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#449018 - 10/02/13 06:45 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 811
Loc: michigan
I'm not sure that it matters the age Lucy. no matter what or when we are not who we once were. I think maybe it is worse at older ages because you have some line of comparison. and for me at least who I was was the original undamaged, so what is left has to by definition be less that is a feeling that is hard to shake. and as victor said "we know what we are capable of" to not have a friend is painful, but to HAVE one, and then have him find out some of these things and bolt,would be devastating." better the devil I know then the devil I don't know" happens all the time.
Jeff
_________________________
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

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#449022 - 10/02/13 09:36 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
Hauser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2962
Loc: United States
Hello Lucy.

First impression here. He married you. That's way beyond what I and many others in this survivor group have done or will ever do. Don't discount that. There is great value in what the two of you have already forged. I suspect you probably already know this, but sometimes it just needs to be heard, so I'm saying it.

I know nothing about your husband, so I'm just talking.

Sexual abuse has a scary way of affecting the victim in a myriad of ways which can never be predicted or guessed, they can only be discovered or uncovered and (typically) resolved after that point.

I'm just throwing this out there, so don't take this an accurate guess, but maybe your man is wired this way. Maybe, had he been allowed to grow and mature normally, he wouldn't be far off in terms of lifestyle and habits as he is now. Many men I know are perfectly happy to simply coming home to a loving wife and having little or very little outside social interaction.

That's my take after having read this single post from you. If it helps at all, I get good vibes knowing that this man's wife cares enough about him to come here.

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#449041 - 10/03/13 03:38 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: pufferfish]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6596
Loc: Never Sugar Mountain
Originally Posted By: pufferfish
Boys who are abused at a young age have a lot of trouble forming relationships. It is even harder if they came from a dysfunctional family. They almost need intervention. They need someone who can hold them together until they learn to trust and get along with other boys.

Puffer



What he said!

I Still don't trust other males whom I have not known for at least 20 years and that trust is fleeting. I'm more likely to trust those I've known since teen years or pre-teen, but those guys are not on-the-set.

Then there's those very, very palpable lessons we learned in betrayal, human failings, what 'male-male' friendships turn into, and our paranoia of betrayal can be fully justified. AND...we built our survival upon doing and seeing things differently. We had to.

So I dwell in the "why bother" mode...except with fellow survivors.
_________________________
Objects In Mirror are Less Than They Appear.

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#449077 - 10/03/13 07:48 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: Still]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
By the time I was in 4th grade I figured out that I had trouble making and keeping friends. While the other boys were shooting marbles on the playground I went upstairs in the school to tell my teacher, Mrs. Romig. She was busy chatting with another teacher. She told me to go out and play. I went out but I couldn't play.

Puffer

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#449105 - 10/03/13 11:53 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
Sterling Offline


Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 291
Loc: Winnipeg, Manitoba,Canada
sorry to hear this.
i never had friends- i struggled to get some boys to like me.
My personality kept changing year after year.
A teacher i had in grade 5 , i had her again in grade 8.
I told her during recess while i was in grade 7 " that i changed
alot!" ,,,like i was a clown; like it was a good thing.
Sometime in my grade 8 year i had someone escort me to an office
in my elementary school. When the door opened and i saw
(what was a social worker) - i sat down and i was wailing
" please dont tell anyone, please". I got up and left.
They did nothing. ( smile frown ) I started smoking/drinking at
age 12.
When i entered high school ,, i no longer was popular.
I never had friends. If you ask a few of the people who I
DID hang-out with might say different. But i needed help!
And i needed it fast!
It took me six years to graduate high-school even now ...i tell
friends "how i graduated , i dont know, they probably felt
sorry for me".
- five years later moved to the nearest large city.
I abused alot of people here.
Then i joined a group, and met my therapist who was also a member. He told me if i wouldnt take this therapy seriously, that
he couldnt pursue therapy with me.
By taking his words seriously; i learned (AND WITHOUT UNDERMINING
ALL THE SUPPORT OF MALESURVIVOR) that there was problems with
my thinking. I had psychosis and i had better look after myself
or i could end up in places i dont want to go.
It was very scary, but i took a dive into taking responsiblity
of my feelings and that i much needed and craved REALITY!
I met a lady friend of mine back in 2002- same time i started
therapy. My relationship to her has had it's ups and downs.
We are very close now. And i met a male friend of mine 4
years ago. I love him. He is adorable. But i have to be
watched by myself to not hurt him in any way. - psychologically
meaning. ( in my feelings and working out who i am , i have
to be aware that ( and from what my buddy has shared w/ me over
the span of 4 years) he needs to do /feel whatever he needs to
feel SAFE! If he doesnt want friends who push him into therapy
or "hey you can do this or that"... i had to learn to shut-up!
And keep it into my head and share it either w/ my therapist
or some other professional. I have to start being ONLY a friend
and not a therapist. This was a BBBBIG, problem i had.
Goran knows everything. Goran can go fuck himself!!!

I met another guy at a group meeting a couple months back ,,,
we get along really well.
And an old friend of mine,,that i treated like crap 12 years
ago. I was lucky to get him again in my life.
And with him i have to be extra -careful b/c he went thru allll
ottttt of shit! It is so sad, but i am not his dad and he
isnt mine. I have to step back sometimes and just listen,
support and let my friends figure themselves out!
But i do deserve a girlfriend. And i hope that philosophy
" nice guys finish last"
i want to be the best guy i could be for EVVVVERYYYONE!

But for 11 years in therapy,, i would do anything for what
my therapist taught me...and for what the International Primal
Association and Malesurvivor has done for me!

I havent had a beer in 2 1/2 years and love it!
I love people. Friends ARE AWESOME! It is sad , when you
have to ask someone to be your (MINE) friend.

Goran


Edited by Sterling (10/03/13 11:57 PM)

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#460367 - 02/09/14 04:07 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: newground]
96789594 Offline


Registered: 01/21/14
Posts: 21
i feel the same way , close relations ships cause me nearly shake . evry one is diffrent , but for me i believe it's in one hand , my feeling of worthlessnes ,that i have nothing to offer i'm not intresting.. and on the other hand ,i have this constant anxiety associated with just the thought of socialising with frends , "afraid that they perceive me as fake and they 'll humilate me !!"(my T and i been able to trace this , wich is related to my abuse ,following my CSA i was realy afraid that ppl in the neighboor hood would find out what happen to me , i was ashamed especialy from friends) and when someone seems to show intrest in getting to know me , i wonder what they really want ...seems it couldnt possibly be me.
_________________________
The life you have led doesn't need to be the only life you have.-Anna Quindlen-

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#460426 - 02/09/14 09:27 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
On The Fringe Offline


Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
I would guess that, it is more of a symptom of abuse to feel the deep desire to have friends. Most guys I know have casual acquaintances. In books I read that most people have 1 or 2 good friends in their life.

Relax and try to accept that maybe friends are few and far between for everyone,
_________________________
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

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#461432 - 02/24/14 10:44 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
ZIGGY Offline


Registered: 02/24/14
Posts: 4
Loc: AUSTRALIA
To describe to you how I have felt all my life, since childhood abuse, up until the past few years of attending a support group:

I was the lonely starving dog, locked out in the cold blizzard of night, looking in through the window, watching everyone else talking, laughing, dining at a full table, socialising happily in the light and the warmth, while I had no right to enter and be part of this.

That is how I felt.
Because of those feelings, I personally avoided socialising and never felt comfortable in a social setting.
I socially isolated myself by making all sorts of internal excuses as to why I would not be welcome.

I genuinely felt: unwanted, rejected, unacceptable, below standard, lacked self esteem, uneducated, socially inept, thought people did not like me, cringed at anyone laughing behind my back because I worried they were laughing at me.

At Highschool: I walked around with my eyes on the ground so I did not have to make eye contact with anyone other than a few trusted friends.
I always sat at the rear of the school bus so nobody could mock me behind my back, but I still worried about anyone laughing in case they were laughing at me.

As an adult: I learnt to put on a mask and pretend to be confident, to bluff people, so they would not discover the frightened little child inside of me.
When bullied by the inevitable "office bitch" you meet in the workplace or social setting, I was unable to defend myself and would slink away.
I married men who claimed they loved me, but turned out to be abusive emotionally and physically and I did not recognise the abuse in time to get out before I was harmed.
I believed their lies that I had caused them to abuse, through looking at them the wrong way, or leaving clean folded washing on the lounge chair, or not preparing a meal at exactly 6.00 on the dot, etc..and that it was all my fault.

Now thanks to the support group I attend, and the sharing by other survivors and the caring facilitator of the group, my mask is no longer needed.

I have the feeling now, that somehow, the paddock gates have been unlocked and tossed open, and I am set free to really be me.

Family and others, who used to see me as a person who was easy to manipulate and guilt trip, have not yet fully realised the internal change in the way I speak to myself and re-affirm my right to dignity, respect, and to love myself.

To put it bluntly, now I usually dont really care or stress out, if someone doesn't like me, because I realise it is their loss.

I still have to work on the socialising bit, and try to develop friendships with like minded healthy individuals who respect me and value me for who I am.

Attending the support group has been a big help.
I have formed friendship with some of the people there, who I meet weekly at the group, and then spend lunch time with..
I still do not have anyone who visits me, and I rarely ever visit anyone else, but maybe in time I will develop a circle of friends.
I do have 4 friends who are people I reached out a helping hand to in the past, and they each have become friends for life despite living many miles away from me now.
We communicate by phone now as the distance is too great.

All my life I had not realised that I was self sabotaging myself socially.
Very few people ever got to really know "me".

To my understanding now, it is somewhat like a quote I read once.
"If I let you see the real me and it turns out you dont like me, what do I do then"? "All I have, is me".

Fear of rejection/abandonment can stifle your life, because the pain of percieved rejection/abandonment as a child, is horrific and unbearable.
Maybe this is why so many of the childhood abuse victims I meet are similarly socially isolated?

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#461456 - 02/25/14 08:54 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
pittsburgh Offline


Registered: 05/26/11
Posts: 89
Loc: west Chester, Pa
I just did not want anyone to close to me for fear that they might find out " my secret" so people could not hurt me if they just did not know. This affected my life in every aspect. I am better now, but it has taken years of effort and therapy also a understanding wife. I now understand that I have been very lucky . HOWEVER with work and a willingness things can get better.
_________________________
it is and has been quite a trip thru life, as last I feel that I am in a better place, it takes work and in my case a wife the was and is forgiveing and helpful. At last a relationship has gone right, messed up three.

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#461465 - 02/25/14 10:12 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1778
Dear Lucy

I found this thread very interesting. I believe the abuse affects us in ways we do not realize.

For me I always had friends--why I do not know and only learned to accept their true friendship after I disclosed the abuse. I was stand offish, fearful, scared they would learn of my secret. Then there were people I allowed to make me the brunt of their jokes as a child and an adult, pick on me, bully me, isolated me, but the true friends were always there to pick me up. I did not realize this-I could only see the hurtful people I needed to please. I tried to please those that hurt me with their words, actions, spit, isolation, their denials of the abuse and much more. Why, I thought I needed their love, they must have known what happened in the cellar and what they did to me is what I deserved. Those that were kind and supportive I looked at with distrust. It was convoluted thinking. The abuse really played and controlled my mind. I have learned who my true friends and family are. I have heard from friends from high school, college, work, places I have lived after they heard of the abuse--offering their hearts and words of encouragement. The disclosure I feared for a lifetime has been a catalyst for change and acceptance.

Why throughout life could I not see the true friends were the people who make the world a better place. Instead, I gave time, love and extended myself to those that have ill treated me when they needed help or support but they were not there when the abuse nearly destroyed my life--they ran to the hills and could not accept and more honestly some said the medical diagnoses of dissociative fugues and PTSD were from quacks despite these doctors and psychiatrists being highly respected in their profession. It hurts. They could not accept the abuse and denial protects them from their own truth and flaws.

I now realize I have lived a fragmented life due to the abuse--almost like two people within me, the child and me. But both are now me because I have accepted the abuse and the whole me. This acceptance has allowed me know who are true family and friends vs. fair weathered friends (who truly are not friends). I bet each victim/survivor has true friends, but due to the abuse we cannot unconditionally accept their friendship or love instead we gravitate towards those who are destructive to our lives and turn from those who truly love us. We believe destructive people are like us, flawed and damaged. In reality I have learned everyone is flawed and not perfect. Only in the end with acceptance the abuse and ourselves do we accept love and friendship.

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