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#447617 - 09/19/13 10:04 AM something I might not remember
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY
Up until now, I think I have been clear about the different things that happened when I was a child. But recently, my symptoms of dissociation and problems breathing deeply have led me to believe that there are sections of my childhood that are missing from consciousness. I donít think there is some particular incident that I might be repressing, or a particular horrible event. What seems to be more accurate is that I formed an entire part of my personality around being dissociated with my brother.

What comes to mind is that his reaction to being sexually abused led me to cover up a lot of my own sexuality. I became useful to him only in so far as he could make sense of what happened to him in how he touched me. In the midst of calling up this incomplete part of myself, I also sense the presence of his abuser. It is an odd feeling, but real nonetheless. Itís like a missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle.

It is scary to walk around with this. It feels like a huge spectre enveloping my head and making me distort my body. This blank part of me has effected my interactions with others, especially my intimate ones. I feel like intimacy has another agenda all the time that has to do with allowing some kind of shame to be felt. Meanwhile there is a blind spot that it seems I just canít find.

Iím not sure if this is something that others experience, but would appreciate any insight or perspective.

Thanks,

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#447619 - 09/19/13 10:38 AM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3491
Loc: somewhere in Africa
FB - in a word, YES.

it is very likely that there are gaps or blind spots in your understanding and awareness of mental and emotional impressions or connections - whether there are still hidden memories of events or not.

*"It is scary to walk around with this. It feels like a huge spectre enveloping my head and making me distort my body."*

good description! when i was about to discover or remember some significant memory or feeling or detail or connection, it was almost like the sensation of being followed - an awareness that "something" was sneaking up on me. almost like seeing the shadow of a pursuer cast from behind starting to overtake me - or like hearing footsteps approaching that were not my own.

it produced anxiety - but i think it was also the subconscious mind's way of preparing me for whatever revelation was about to be uncovered - so that it wasn't as much of a surprise or shock. i learned to wait and try to relax (or at least not flee or fight) and be ready to accept whatever was coming.

viewed in this way - it is almost comforting to realize that one is about to understand something better. it may not be a pleasant truth that is revealed - but better to know than to fear the unknown. sometimes the one following us is a friend rather than an enemy.

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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#447624 - 09/19/13 11:34 AM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 786
Loc: michigan
I with ya man though I cant be of any help Im afraid. I have those feelings too and have had the memories come and slap me down sooo hard. other times it seems to fade and it just leaves me feeling weak. I am really afraid to try to remember things. it feels like reaching in for a gumball that is laying in a hornets nest.
_________________________
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
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#447642 - 09/19/13 02:17 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY
Lee:

"Better to know than to fear the unknown".

This feels like where I want be. It feels like a caring statement from the man in me to the boy who remains distant. I'm going to remain open to the sensations and see what they continue to tell me.

New Ground:

"Gumball in a hornet's nest". Ouch! I've decided rather than reaching I will move slowly, keeping an eye on the gumball, but also on the hornets....maybe they'll decide to abandon the nest someday and leave me in peace.

Will keep you posted either way.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#447644 - 09/19/13 02:24 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3491
Loc: somewhere in Africa
FB - take it slow and easy - don't try to force the issue - it will emerge when the time is right. and try not to worry about it - tell yourself that you can handle it - that you are older and stronger and safer than in the past. and have someone to tell about it when it comes - that seems to help defuse it. come back here or send me a PM if you want.
- 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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#448001 - 09/23/13 02:04 PM . [Re: focusedbody]
JoeSmith Offline


Registered: 05/03/13
Posts: 129
.

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#448024 - 09/23/13 07:42 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY
Greg:

Thanks for your support. The fact is, I wish so much that I could confront it, but there are only pieces and fragments of interactions with my brother that are up to me to attempt to put together.

One of the ways that trauma effects an individual is by creating divisions in the psyche. In my case, these divisions are themselves separate ways of being. They do not unite because they do not "know" of each other. Other parts of me have co-existed in more conscious way over the years.

How do I have any inkling of this? I suppose it has to do with moments when I do not feel my self. I float; I act like someone else; I have trouble feeling anything. Yes, I think it is in our feelings that something true resides. I have found that moving down this road ultimately brings clarity, because it is our feelings that have been denied. But, oh, were it so simple as to say, "what do I feel?". The problem here is not necessarily feeling but "I". That "I" has been damaged.

From what I understand about traumatic memory, it diffuses reality into a state where things don't quite make regular sense. How do we get closer to the actual memory itself? It is commonly understood that memory itself is not necessarily the actual events, but a picture we have made of them. Pushing myself for better accuracy results in further dissociation, since it is something that has already happened. I find a better route is to become more present. By staying in the present, I stand a better chance of dealing with the past.

And what can come up in the present is pain, which is in many ways the true sign of that damage. However, pain can only be taken on slowly. As you may already know, it can be overwhelming.

Sad to say, that's the way it is.

Thanks for reaching out and for being there. It still means a lot.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#448026 - 09/23/13 08:22 PM . [Re: focusedbody]
JoeSmith Offline


Registered: 05/03/13
Posts: 129
.

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#448426 - 09/27/13 12:05 PM Re: . [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY

So Iíve been going to physical therapy for a strained knee. Overall itís going well, but the real problem arises when the male physical therapist starts massaging.

In the past I was always comfortable around men, or so I thought. Physical contact and even having passes made at me were handled without difficulty. Whatís kind of remarkable at this point is that having narrowed down all of the reasons for my growing confused mind over the years, I can recognize the mental and emotional trigger. Hereís this regular guy working on my leg and itís an unmistakable feeling of my brother crossing boundaries with me!

The last time this therapist massaged me I went into a kind of state that ended up being out of my body and felt the need to babble on about something that I was later embarrassed about. This time I was able to stay in my body (yeah!) and talk to him about how the nervous system works.

The strange thing that happened was that while talking to the PT, there was a sudden bit of clarity. I found myself noticing more about him. I think a lot of the time people appear to me in two dimensions, especially if I feel too close to them, emotionally and physically. He appeared for a few seconds to be a full human being, almost as if he had climbed out of a tunnel. There was something comforting about realizing that he was a man, and not a boy. Perhaps this was my memory playing out a fear of my brother being out of control.

Not sure what to make of this or where it will go. There are deep feelings of sadness and regret stemming from holding onto a fear for most of my life. Perhaps this will open the door to further memories. Canít say Iím eager for that, but I have a deep desire to be 3-D also, with everything functioning as it should be.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#448497 - 09/27/13 10:29 PM . [Re: focusedbody]
JoeSmith Offline


Registered: 05/03/13
Posts: 129
.

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#448498 - 09/27/13 10:56 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3491
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Originally Posted By: focusedbody
And what can come up in the present is pain, which is in many ways the true sign of that damage. However, pain can only be taken on slowly. As you may already know, it can be overwhelming.


i just heard someone quote the old cliche - "no pain, no gain!"
and i couldn't help thinking - "but just because there is pain - doesn't necessarily mean that there WILL be gain!"

the trick is to make sure that the pain counts for something - that it produces the right result - or that that it at least accompanies the growth and change that is needed. it is - as you say - a "true sign of that damage" - BUT it can also be a sign that points very emphatically and dramatically and unmistakably to an area or issue that needs work and healing. so now when the pain comes, i try to be *present* enough to ask - "what is this trying to show me or teach me or prompt me to do or think or feel or change?"

yes - the pain is still there - but it seems to help.

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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#448598 - 09/28/13 03:52 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY
Traveler:

My long-standing habits of denial were saying something like the opposite: "There's nothing to gain here, so let go of the pain". Eventually the pain has a way of letting you know it's not going away. Once you tell yourself you're not going to ignore it, a slow period of acquaintance begins. You think to yourself that toughing it out is going to bring the maximum benefit. But that can be another way of staying numb. It just doesn't work that way. Everyday I try to be open to learning and sometimes I need to stop and say, "okay I know enough for now. Tomorrow will come."

In any case, thanks for your support and encouraging my curiosity on the subject. I'll keep your good questions in mind so that what I am beginning to understand truly "counts for something".



Greg:

No problem. Happy to respond.

Originally Posted By: JoeSmith
One, do you have a diagnosis?


When all of this starting coming down a couple of years ago, I felt the presence of some strong conflicting forces within me. They felt like very critical voices ready to pounce on my mistakes. I was concerned that I might have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), so I went to a clinical psychologist to get a diagnosis. After a lengthy interview process, he said that my condition was closest to an "impaired self-reference". Although I did not have DID, I did have difficulty referencing myself at any given moment.

The diagnosis has proved useful. It has helped me focus on finding ways to access my true self. It has also helped me pay attention to when I have particular difficulty doing that. I don't know if you have ever seen Woody Allen's movie, Zelig, but my condition is a little like that. When I can't reference myself, I tend to act like someone else for a while, often someone I have just been with.

Over the years, this seemed like a fairly harmless tendency, but I think that what happened was that I failed to nourish a strong enough sense of self to build the life that I truly wanted. For many years I felt pretty wishy-washy. Understanding that I was having trouble consistently getting to the "real me" helped me see that it was a chronic tendency that left me in a kind of netherworld over the long run.

The "self-referencing" problem seems particularly related to mother-son issues. When a parent fails to consistently reflect back to a child their emotions, a child's greater sense of self can have trouble developing. It's also true that fusing with Mom in moments when boundaries are being crossed will make it difficult to know oneself clearly.

Recently, I have come across a theory about traumatic experience that has also been helpful. It is called "structural dissociation". It occurs when different parts of us have no knowledge of each other. Although this occurs in Dissociative Identity Disorder, it can also happen on a different level with a similar effect. This is what it's like for me: after following one train of thought, when I try to have another I have no access to the first. Living life this way can feel confusing and be debilitating.

Originally Posted By: JoeSmith
Two, is your brother older/younger? And I donít understand, was he abused by someone in the family/outside of the family? Did he abuse you?


My brother is older. He was sexually abused by a stranger on a train. I don't believe that he overtly abused me. I do believe in our play as children, he crossed boundaries with me around the time of the abuse that became a habit in our interactions up to this day.


Originally Posted By: JoeSmith
Was your mother ďmeanĒ, physically abusive? Emotionally abusive? Were the undertones subtle or pronounced?


My mother was like a lot of others. She could get her way by being a little mean, with threatening undertones, but she was physically abusive only once that I can remember. Yes, I became her "favorite" in some ways. In some ways this may have been because she succeeded in raising me as a man without the kind of anxiety about being masculine that my father and brother have.

Women at that time were becoming "liberated". However, I do think that women at that time may have also not understood how to handle their "liberation". For instance, instead of finding a way to take their new sense of empowerment into asking more from their husbands, they may have felt their sexuality was liberated enough that even their sons had to put up with a new found ability to dominate. Looking back, I feel like I was a kind of constant road test for my mother as she tried to find out how to express herself sexually.

Once I started heading down the road of wanting to know more about this, many emotions that had been long suppressed have come up. Horror, terror, panic to name a few. Yes, it's important to face them. Then they do not control us. For me, facing them is a process of accepting that they may be at work in ways I am still getting to know. With a kind sense of curiosity for myself, I have been able to uncover a lot of destructive dynamics that became commonplace in my upbringing.

Thanks for your support. It helps me move onward.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#453639 - 11/14/13 02:25 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY
Today I cried in front of the physical therapist. I couldn't tell her everything that it was about, but she got enough of the idea.

Thanks guys for sharing your struggles. As a boy I think I put on a happy face all too often. To truly shed tears about this stuff now helps put me back in touch with reality. The therapist told me of hers as well. She encouraged me to stay with the emotional pain, and not deflect it into my chronic tendonitis, etc.

I'm trying to take another step on the way of becoming not just a focused body, but a conscious feeling one.

As some of the vigilance falls, the world feels both lonely and warm. Funny to be here. And good too.

This is me, FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#453931 - 11/16/13 02:32 AM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 800
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi fb. Good to type to you again. More than twenty years ago I asked a massage therapist if he ever massaged the muscles around the anus. It was a legitimate question, and he let me know that he was trained to do the work. I don't know why I asked him, other than I was learning to trust my intuition at that time. As he began, I burst into tears, as a matter of fact I am crying now remembering the time. I cried for a long time as he worked on me. I did not know what the tears were about, but there was a knowing at some level that I was acquiring information and tools that I needed. And, I also knew at some level I was NOT ready for more information at the time.

I have been moving into my body with awareness for a long time. I am skilled at exploring feelings and information in my body, when that information is available. I have read that the only balance to power is love and compassion. Knowing that my issues relate to massive abuses of power, I have been consciously sending love and compassion to everything I encounter that is challenging for me. That has been a full time job for many, many years.

I have been talking to a guy on another site who shares many similarities with me as a result of early childhood sexual and physical abuse from both parents. He talks in terms of the original imprint and the terror surrounding the imprint. This, for him, is the original abuse. And, he talks of consciously moving back to the original imprint, feeling the terror and releasing this way of seeing himself. He describes freedom on the other side of this work.

I had never thought of bringing my focus to bear in this way, but was very intrigued and tried it. The results have been astounding for me. I have known for years that I was beaten on the head, face, ears, and body with a rolled newspaper or magazine very early--at least by walking and most likely earlier. This has been at a level of knowing, but the knowing was as if through a gauze filter--once removed. I have always known this information is important to me and represented something traumatic, but that was the extent of it.

When I went back with this focus of moving into the original event, I knew it was my father, and the trauma was at such a level of psychic assault that a piece of me vanished. The piece that vanished was the piece that was capable of telling me if I was comfortable, the piece that was able to feel MYSELF and be sensitive to MYSELF. This was not the sexual abuse, but the psychic abuse. And so, the stage was set for the next 60+ years of psychologically abusive relationships in my life. And, the only way I could sustain the relationships was to not feel.

The amazing thing that has come out of this for me is that I realize I have a powerful new tool. And, I now see that I have grown enough to hold this experience in consciousness with wisdom and understanding and integrate it. That's right, I said INTEGRATE IT! Now, I don't know the course of this process, I only started it 2 days ago. But, I do know that I have been able to short circuit an abusive process with the little church I go to. I have gotten involved in the music program twice in the last 4 years, and both times have gotten minced. Singing and playing the piano are a close second to breathing to me, but I have never been able to manifest these passions in this life because of my abuse issues--moth to flame with psychologically abusive relationships in aggressive dependent manner. All the triggers and hooks are in place in front of me, and this is the first time I have not taken the bait. I continue to be able to refuse the bait and I feel myself developing a larger perspective. It is early times, but this feels significant.

It feels good to share this with you.

I am so happy that you are feeling comfortable sharing your tears. It sounds like you have a very special PT. Sadness and warmth sounds so incredibly NATURAL to me. I find sadness to be grounding, because it is real.

I vote for CONSCIOUS FEELING FOCUSED BODY!

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#454203 - 11/18/13 02:19 AM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
1lifenow Offline


Registered: 03/07/11
Posts: 411
Loc: west coast
Things that happened to us b4 age about 5 ish are not easy for anyone to remember.

Before that age events that happen are:

1. PREVERBAL, we just haven't developed the vocabulary to really put into words what happened.

2. NON CONCEPTUAL - we just haven't a clue what is happening yet our body does. Especially when it happens as a pattern our body stores the physiological ( the feeling itself of say pain, or pleasure ) way before we have the ability to understand what the hell just happened.

3. SUB PSYCHOLOGICAL - we literally don't remember what happened because our brains either avoid it, block it out, or just forget it cuz we can't really understand it enough.

My sister came home from the hospital when I was 3, thats the only memory of that year i had cuz i remember her umbilicus looked like apple seeds when you cut the core. My brain thought how bizarre, she has black apple seeds in her belly button. Thats how the young brain tries to make sense of things.

Trigger warning

I know it was very early that he made suck on his penis, i don't remember doing it for the first time, but i also don't remember NOT doing it. I know i have certain fetishes that i also think are a part of this but to be honest i am really not sure. However, i know now that i want sex to be pleasurable and although i don't understand what painted my sexual palette, I know i want to now as an adult enjoy all the colours.

I got the information from a somatic experiencing course by http://dianepooleheller.com/workshops/


[list]
[*]
_________________________
The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. Dalai Lama

WoR Barrie 2011

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#454573 - 11/20/13 06:54 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY
Don:

Thanks for your encouraging words. Hope your own path to being more conscious and feeling will continue. We vote in similar ways on this!

Here's a book I found helpful to look at recently. It got me clearer about what was happening to me physically by describing the anatomy more succinctly:

"Out in the Open: The Complete Male Pelvis", by R. Louis Schultz.

Look forward to hearing you again on the subject and how it relates to your recovery.



1LifeNow:

Thanks for the link on Diane Poole Heller (and the Beckham one too).

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#454602 - 11/21/13 12:06 AM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 800
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi FB,

I read the complete male pelvis 7-8 years ago and found it to be really freeing for me. I was a practicing massage therapist for 7 years. Quit about 7 years ago when I realized I needed all my time for myself and my journey wasn't about me being a massage therapist. I became a massage therapist because I needed all the tools that experience provided me just to move to the next step. Thanks so much for the recommendation.

I just felt how lucky all the medical model dentists and m.d.'s he taught physiology to were to have his energy in their experience. Imagine having a rolfer as a professor in medical school. Amazing.

Happy Trails,

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#454604 - 11/21/13 12:18 AM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 800
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
p.s. I'm still at the intellectual knowing stage and pre-feeling stage regarding early abuse and the most likely rape by my father at age 8. I'm also working with another site that is helping me a lot. The guy I mentioned earlier has a 14 page and running post on paternal incest. I have been unable to continue reading it because the chord of conscious brutality by his father is resonating so deeply within me. So, it has been a breakthrough for me. I now know my blocked memories were very brutal for me at a very young age. The process continues and I trust it. Also, I have also been able to move into my left hip which has been a problem for me for years. I knew mom stuck pins in me intentionally to inflict pain. When I moved into the hip with this new focus I felt absolute hatred from my mother. My hip is better, and I'll just have to play it by ear how many times I need to go there, or if it is something I will always need to do from time to time.

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#455599 - 11/30/13 05:28 PM Re: . [Re: focusedbody]
OCN Offline


Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 285
Loc: Western Europe
Before i found out i had a day of tremendous shaking in my body.. i couldnt control it and it was acompanied by a feeling of fear.. very surreal.. the day after i discovered i was addicted to smoking mj and some weeks after i quit smoking, i found out about the abuse..

i'd give it some time.. perhaps something will come up, as it appears to be happining.. Stay strong and try to stay connected to yourself!
_________________________
Trust me, you are worth it to love yourself!

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#455751 - 12/01/13 10:01 PM Re: . [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY
OCN:

Thanks for the comment about the shaking.

A couple of months ago, I went to my kids' school during the day to volunteer during lunchtime. As I approached the front door, my whole body was shaking. I felt possessed and had no idea what would happen next. Fortunately, once I was inside it was all right. My mind settled a bit.

Last week, I went to the same school in the company of my mother to visit my children. The shaking was there again, but not so overpowering, as I did some deep breathing and got more centered in my body.

Both experiences seemed to help me understand more on the level of my physical and emotional being. This was reinforced by being more communicative and functional that day. Heading back to this brink of awareness can feel like tempting fate, but the fact is it happens on its own in ways that one can ultimately trust to be a positive part of the healing process.

Breathing seems to work into this. Not sure, but maybe that's why it took quitting smoking for you....

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#455995 - 12/04/13 10:32 AM Re: something I might not remember [Re: don64]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY

Originally Posted By: don64
The process continues and I trust it. Also, I have also been able to move into my left hip which has been a problem for me for years. I knew mom stuck pins in me intentionally to inflict pain. When I moved into the hip with this new focus I felt absolute hatred from my mother. My hip is better, and I'll just have to play it by ear how many times I need to go there, or if it is something I will always need to do from time to time.


Don:

Sorry to have waited a while to respond to this, but I was considering how to put it into words, and perhaps face some more of my own demons.

In an earlier post of mine I asked a similar question of "how many times I need to go there". In my case, it involved playing the piano in a new conscious way, which somehow triggered old childhood memories.

As you can probably guess, the answer to that question is most likely to be as long as it takes to feel the truth and pain of what happened.

Originally Posted By: don64
I was a practicing massage therapist for 7 years. Quit about 7 years ago when I realized I needed all my time for myself and my journey wasn't about me being a massage therapist. I became a massage therapist because I needed all the tools that experience provided me just to move to the next step. Thanks so much for the recommendation.


Iím wondering if what you are saying here is that being a massage therapist helped you learn about yourself.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#456155 - 12/05/13 11:57 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 800
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi FB,

All the body work that was done on me was EXACTLY what released my abuse memories, in my opinion. That, combined with living only one hour drive from my parents instead of an 8 hour drive for the first time in 39 years. I lived near them while I was in massage school and for 3 years after, at which time I had begun to remember the abuse and decided to divorce my whole family.

The progression for me was an 18 day retreat in N. California that regressed back to in the womb up through age 12. This was a massive spiritual/energetic opening for me--automatic writing, psychic contact "out the wazoo," channeling energy, spirit contact. Very crazy time as I was stretching myself waaaaaaay out. I fit the profile of psychotic for a period of about 6 months, but I never lost the ability to care for myself by myself. It was dicey at times about keeping myself safe. But I made it through with the help of my shrink and a psychic I saw weekly for 6 months referred by my shrink.

This period was a massive opening up of my inner world and set the stage for me to reinvent my life. If one were involved with a partner, children, friends, family, I would not recommend going this route, as undoubtedly they might have hospitalized you. However, I was fairly isolated and could explore without much interference.

I began to think of massage school, and eventually natural events just urged me in that direction. If I were conscious of my abuse before going to massage school, and felt universal support for the idea, I would also trust I would be directed to the right school with the right people. I would also imagine it important to be absolutely honest with the massage program. It's the only way to get the support you need. Few people in massage schools actually go on to have a career as massage therapists. Its my take that most people go to massage school for personal reasons. I doubt many know that at the time. I certainly didn't. Hope this helps.

Being a massage therapist was a very frustrating experience for me. My strong pull was for intuitive body work. I was able to intuit the energy lodged in body areas causing difficulty. I was not interested in being a massage robot, and never fit in. It just wasn't my journey. It took me a long time to understand I am very, very damaged from my early abuse, was not able to work anymore, and had received guidance to accumulate the tools necessary to face the next leg of my journey. The process of figuring all that out was brutal for me, but figure it out I did, and I feel very fortunate.

I am more damaged than many, and I have more tools than many. Balance. I'm sending you a PM on some other things that be a little hijacking of this thread.

Best Wishes,

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#456251 - 12/06/13 10:25 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY
Don:

Thanks so much for elaborating.

Although I'm not considering going to massage school, I think I am on a similar journey right now. I have had a "strong pull for intuitive body work" for a while.

Like yourself, I did some "regressing" to the "womb". Have you heard of Breathwork? Somehow I think it has allowed me to tap some fundamental feelings that were not available to me before. With all the added information I had about my upbringing given to me by my parents and siblings, I was better able to deeply consider how it effected me, especially with regard to the experience of my body.

Although there have been times that I also thought I was going way too far, these daily efforts have gradually enabled me to handle my emotional life in ways I couldn't do for a long time. (That being said, I still have more work to do.) I suppose most of all, bodywork has helped me put in perspective some of the sensations that go on which before I had no way of making sense of and mostly dismissed. For instance, a lot of writing about relationships brings up the question of ďfight or flightĒ. Well, I guess I always heard that as an either-or. Now I can actually understand that there is another option, which is about tuning into myself and truly seeking the other person. This happens more now in how I get a picture of my body and what's happening in it. I think working on this may be a better road to intimacy than all the theorizing I would do about how to make things perfect.

Hope we can keep this conversation going. Talking about the body is very grounding for me as I work through trauma.

Hope you are keeping a positive attitude through all the work you are doing.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#456285 - 12/07/13 03:37 AM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 800
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi fb,

I began doing breathwork in that regression retreat I did about 19 years ago. I can't remember the name of it, it might have been something like "holotropic" but I am not sure. Any way, it basically changes the brain waves and somehow "stretches" our perceptive abilities. When i was in that retreat it was actually explained as an alternative to lsd as a healing tool. I have kept it up over the years, and frequently find myself doing the kind of more rapid, more regular, deeper breathing that induces the state. My sense is that it produces a state in the brain and/or body's organic adaptive apparatus where old patterns have room to stretch and reform, hopefully in a more balanced if not yet harmonious way. I sort of look on this work as continuous re-tuning.

I too, stay focused on what's going on with my body. For me, it is the only honest feedback I have access to, and it is a completely trustworthy directional signal. Kind of funny, since I have also never been able to actually inhabit my body. Progress, not perfection.

And, thanks for your kind words. My attitude is staying positive, relatively speaking. Connections such as this one with you are very meaningful for me. I have not been in an ongoing relationship in 19 years, and have a ways to go. I'm feeling pretty good about the "curious instead of controlling" approach. As I feel safe moving more deeply into my trauma, I sense that my self-built defensive obstacles will melt the more closely I get to the original damage. I am feeling more optimistic than I ever have.

I'm enjoying this interchange.

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#456419 - 12/08/13 05:51 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY
Don:

I admire your bravery. Having been at the point of facing down the harrowing memories with the "curious not controlling approach", I have a little bit of an idea of what you are talking about.

What's interesting about our discussion is how when talking about combining different approaches, one starts to see connections between them. For instance, your comment about being "curious instead of controlling" reminds me a lot of how Internal Family Systems therapy works. Traumatic memories have to be approached slowly and with compassion, as if one is talking to a child, the child within.

Another interesting connection I had was before I went to my first Breathwork session. The night before going I found myself spontaneously shaking up and down my back. After the session, I soon came upon somatic experiencing, as researched and described by Peter Levine. SE refers to the physiological response of shaking as a way of releasing the accumulated tension and shock of trauma.

I think what's most difficult here is that when we feel traumatized or threatened our "mind" is not functioning well. For me it feel like I'm in constant overdrive, which could be translated as vigilance or defensiveness. What I have recently been thinking about is how this over-vigilant mind emerges with a kind of focused attention that can be exhausting. That attention can even become hypervigilant about our own body.

What's "funny" about the idea of "inhabiting our body" is the fact that we of course are inhabiting it, even when we try to distance ourselves from the experience in our conscious or unconscious mind. I came across a helpful description of the mind-body connection recently. It talked about trying to attain an "embodied mind" as well as a "mindful body".

I think your description of "continuous re-tuning" makes sense. Sometimes when tuning in continuously the same way, the connection gets lost. It seems like the body is not fully there. The contradiction of life rears its ugly head once again. In those instances I sometimes find it helpful to help my focus be softer in some way, as in less directed, concentrated and purposeful. This leads me closer to actually knowing what I'm feeling.

Sorry for the wordiness here. Talking about all of this is sometimes inexact. Nonetheless, I'm interested in your thoughts.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#456424 - 12/08/13 07:01 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 800
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi FB,

Earlier this year I was very close to going into assisted living as a disabled person. I could no longer carry groceries, shower standing up, very difficult and painful negotiating the 3 steps to my apartment, lost use of both thumbs and hands very weak. This all happened in the build-up to remembering the sexual abuse from my mother. Her impact on me was by far the most damaging, as she is/was deceptive, manipulative, and generally communicated energetically the opposite of her words. Very crazy making.

Fortunately, I figured out what was going on and cancelled the assisted living process and turned the situation around. I've picked up a few tools since then regarding consciously going back into the memories of body symptoms.

I've been making many healthy choices lately. Doing this is new for me and I am quite excited about it. So, don't you know my right thumb started really breaking down again--pain, weakness. I caressed my thumb and said to it, "Momma, you don't belong here. You are not a part of me any more. I send you love and good will." The pain left. Still some weakness, but I think that is actually resolving in a much larger shift that is occurring with all my body systems--a much larger over all health shift. Time will tell. My abuse issues have taken a pretty substantial toll on my health, AND I do sense major turn around happening. It's just slow, and that feel's right and natural. It's part of integrating all of this.

My left wrist began to get stiff and painful some time after my thumb thing. I did my "Momma..." sentence and felt a lot of energy leaving my body. Still some pain and stiffness in my wrist, so I moved my awareness into my wrist and felt/saw my mother hitting my left wrist with a spoon while trying to feed me. The pain and stiffness left my wrist and a peacefulness came over me.

I sense I have a lot of work to do in this way with both my mother and my father, but it does feel like a major shift for me--a shift of finally moving the energy out instead of just chewing on it and becoming better acquainted with it. It's just that I was battered a lot as an infant and toddler. By the time I was 5 I had learned to keep myself shut down and pretty much avoid beatings. Not always, but mostly.

It feels I'm in the early stage of developing an ability to sort of continuously release blocked energy in my body with awareness. Feels hopeful and healthy.

As you have gathered, I am not concerned about wordiness. Communication is important from ME to me as well as from ME to others. I am not interested in abbreviating MYSELF. I don't need for you to abbreviate YOURSELF either, and am also interested in your thoughts.

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#460379 - 02/09/14 10:55 AM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY
For me, this thread is like a never ending labyrinth. I appreciate the feedback I've gotten here.

At the risk of heading further into the abyss, I'd like to share another piece just beyond my reach.

After a relatively peaceful day, I woke up in the middle of the night and felt my leg clutch itself, as if to defend against something.

I'm beginning to make connections to this impulse and the many ways in which my body has felt it had to hold on, until a bit of peace and security return.

Originally Posted By: 1lifenow
2. NON CONCEPTUAL - we just haven't a clue what is happening yet our body does. Especially when it happens as a pattern our body stores the physiological ( the feeling itself of say pain, or pleasure ) way before we have the ability to understand what the hell just happened.


I know this might sound a bit too circumstantial, but what I think I'm holding onto is this kind of pattern. It's as if there is the constant loop of pleasure and pain and it never ends and I have no idea of why it is there.

This experience of wondering "what the hell just happened" is basically what I go through each time I see my family.

In order to consciously decouple pain and pleasure it seems like I have to take a dive into a sea of dissociative and diconnected memories. While this seems a little extreme, it is also true that from time to time I'm probably swimming there anyway!

Thanks for the wisdom here. Would appreciate any additional feed back, anecdotes, stories, sensations, as I feel like I am a little child in a little body resting in the flesh of a man.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#461166 - 02/20/14 09:36 AM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 800
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi FB,

It sounds like you get re-traumatized each time you see your family. That doesn't happen with me, because when I began to remember paternal abuse 11 years ago I finally understood just how toxic my family is for me and realized the ONLY healthy thing for me was to divorce them all. Even so, it took another ten years before I could begin to remember maternal abuse. I am not even hinting that you should do anything the way I have done.

I have learned to read my body symptoms quite well, and so have a large understanding of what all happened to me. But, releasing my locked up trauma(fear and terror--emotional pain) is very slow work at this time. I was so battered in infancy and childhood, my developing personality so thoroughly thwarted, that there were no successful efforts at developing a personal identity. There was a great deal of violence with me regarding potty training, in addition to sadistic and violent experiences during sexual abuse in infancy and early childhood.

So, I remained primarily shut down emotionally until the past few years. I had to be forced to walk through painful and terrifying situations due to life situations beyond my control. However, now that I am on the other side of those situations beyond my control, I see the elegance of the process. I would have never chosen to go that route, but I did clear on massive buried terror and can now consciously choose and embrace healthy situations for myself. That doesn't mean that I resemble anything close to what would be considered normal for most people, but it does mean that I have succeeded in seeing myself in what I feel is an honest and clear light. Doing this has enabled me to make choices that are empowering, and choose paths that support healing for me.

The emotional pain that resides in me(fear, terror) is still substantial. However, I have learned that, for me, my healing process seems to be automatic and moves at a pace that I can handle as long as I am able to avoid choices based on fear and urgency. So, while many would look at me and say 'gee, that guy is really sick,' I look at myself and say 'gee, I have moved through so much and have developed extraordinary strength with which to face my challenges.

So, at this point the fear and terror (emotional pain) is not usually threatening to me at all, as I have moved through enough to trust the process, and have learned enough healthy ways of managing strong emotional surges when they choose to break through old, old chains. I am learning to hold my damaged "selves" in comfort and safety as I move through a continuous releasing process.

This recent ability to hold my damaged "selves" when they feel threatened results in extraordinary growth and integration, so my healing process has grown exponentially.

Your chosen screen name here seems particularly appropriate. The level of focus you demonstrate seems a wonderful gift for all those places in yourself only you can care for.

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#461182 - 02/20/14 04:35 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY
Don:

Thank you for your thoughtful post.

Fear and urgency definitely sum up a certain kind of reaction that overtakes me. What's odd is that I am so used to the surge of energy from the reaction that I cannot remember not having it.

I'm not sure how much of my normal daily energy is invested in these surges of fear, vigilance and readiness. So slowly undoing that habit brings up the additional fear that I might collapse.

In general, I don't so much as actually collapse, as experience an intense and sustained need to "get back in my body". So, the cycle continues. I learn a little, become a little more conscious, and allow myself to take another step to being fully present.

Along the way I sometimes feel that I have another persona that wants to direct the whole healing process. I know that it is there because I can feel myself getting defensive, instead of allowing the process to unfold.

Trying to remain conscious about all this can be a struggle, of course. Like yourself, I'm beginning to have faith that the damaged parts of me are safe and healing at their own pace. As I get better, I have moments of relaxing and feeling more peaceful.

Maybe someday I won't have to listen to the part of me that doesn't trust, that wants to force things to happen, and that feels a little inauthentic.

Thank you for having the courage to let others know about this path of releasing pain. I know no other way now, but to continue. It means a lot to not be alone.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#461184 - 02/20/14 05:45 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 800
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
It feels good to participate in seeing and being seen. It makes me feel "real" in a way that is not very familiar to me, but feels very grounding, very calm and very nice. Thanks for your kind words. Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#470994 - 10/09/14 12:21 AM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY
Don:

Funny to be picking up this old thread again. I've made a lot of progress in this area but am still hoping for a little more (or perhaps more, little by little).

I'm now working with a personal trainer. He mentioned that we would be doing myofascial release. I'm wondering if you or anyone else has some experience with this, in particular how it is different from Rolfing.

Thanks,

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#471002 - 10/09/14 07:05 AM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 800
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi FB,

Not sure, but I imagine the biggest initial difference is that Rolfing HURTS, from what I hear. And, Rolfing is very invasive, again from what I hear. I have no specific training in myofacial release, but fascia are sheets of tissue that surround everything and is continuous throughout the body. I've always thought of it as the stuff that connects EVERYTHING. You're getting my personal view here and it has nothing necessarily to do with any models. I think of fascia as continuous, and damage in one area of the body can pull and influence all other areas of the body. So, for me, fascia is also a continuous communication system throughout the body. I don't think anyone really understands all that our body does, and I don't know if your trainer will get it that information is stored in the fascia. But, I'm sure you are aware that any body tissue release work will on some level release the information that caused the imbalance in the first place. As long as you are aware and ready for it, I'm sure you will be fine. I just hope you are very OK with saying STOP! if something becomes too much. I'd like to hear how this works for you. I also hope you and your trainer have a wonderful fit. Please share all you are comfortable with.

Sending you love and support.

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#471084 - 10/10/14 11:14 PM Re: something I might not remember [Re: don64]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 363
Loc: NY
Don:

Your post is really helpful. It puts a context and perspective around this.

The first time that I really had a sense that something was wrong in my upbringing in the sexual area was after a Rolfing session. I agree with your description of it possibly being invasive, however. The experience with it woke up something inside that didn't calm down for many years. Only recently I have been trying to contain that pain in a healthy way.

It's funny that myofascial release is called by that. I wonder if releasing anything is a bit of a misnomer. First of all, what is released has to go somewhere, and even more importantly, what's left behind has to feel okay. I think there are true issues of vulnerability here that need to be acknowledged.

So although I may be looking forward to releasing, I am only too much aware of the fact that the vulnerable part of me that will remain will need support and guidance. That's what wasn't really there when the Rolfing happened.

What I do notice is a very slowly growing acknowledgment of how my system works and has gotten off balance. The fact that I am willing to admit the off balance feeling in an ongoing way is what actually takes the most courage. I'm beginning to realize that at some point I began covering up that area of vulnerability, where I don't feel strong and secure. That is the area where there seems to be a gap in me, and lack of something that would be wholesome and nurturing of myself and others. Instead of that there is a kind of deep fear and distrust.

So releasing will ultimately mean going back to work on things, being curious about the pain and learning new ways of connecting to others, and hopefully building patterns and bridges that are meaningful and caring.

Originally Posted By: don64
I don't think anyone really understands all that our body does


That kind of nails it on the head, sums it all up, gets to the point, etc.!

Many kind wishes,

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#471090 - 10/11/14 05:49 AM Re: something I might not remember [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 800
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi FB,

Again, you're getting my personal view here, so know that and filter what I have to say through your own "good sense" system.

Some medical and body systems seem to be challenged when it comes to recognizing the emotional component and the thinking component in any form of dis-ease or imbalance. For me, this is unfortunate, because the emotions and thinking, IMO, are what have to shift in order for lasting healing to occur. And, yes, for me it doesn't get released from the body but when lasting healing occurs it has transformed into wisdom and understanding.

As you are aware, from your Rolfing experience, major life experience challenges can be stored in soft tissue, and therefore released through soft tissue work. So, IMO, it's not necessary for your trainer to understand at the level you do what's going on with the work, but for me, it would be important for a trainer to be sensitive to me. It would be necessary for the trainer to be able to respect and respond to my limits quickly and not say something like "hang on, the muscle is just about to open up." That, for me, would simply be an abuse of power and potentially destroy any confidence I may have in that person's ability to respect my boundaries. This is the crux of it for me, and is something I have experienced when having body work done on me. People who have no experience with sexually abused persons may also not have any training with body work with sexually abused persons. In massage work the literature says "The client is ALWAYS in charge of the work." It's the kind of thing many would never be taught.

Many kind wishes to you, too.

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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