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#447797 - 09/21/13 01:52 AM Foolish Step
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6365
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
Last night, I gave one of my local church's Celebrate Recovery program another look. What a mistake. They are still bound and determined to get to the root-cause of the Hurts and Hangups and Habits of those in need. That's cool! That's what CR is all about.

Get to the root of verbally abusive parents, verbally abusive peers, early aclohol experimentation, and then there's sexual abuse as a child or adult...for women.

Women ONLY. 6 years ago they told me they "just are not equipped to handle the male side of it yet, but should be shortly." I showed them what other churches around they nation are doing with CR for Male Survivors. They just got strangely enraged and suggested I find a new place to hang on Sundays.
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#447816 - 09/21/13 11:10 AM Re: Foolish Step [Re: Still]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
Still...I find it very sad that the church leadership is so uneasy with Male Survivors of assault that the only thing they could offer was the exit door. I wonder sometimes if the Holy Elite actually read and study anything from today's world and the struggles people truly have. (And this statement IS NOT a condemnation of the Church.)

It's sad for you because you trusted the Church enough to ask for help in moving deeper into your recovery and sad for them because the scores of spiritual men who have been violated desire a safe place to spiritually go. And this church, like most others, can not offer such because of their own fear with the "unknown".

Good luck, man, as you search for a place to feel spiritually safe with ALL the things that make you, you. Maybe some day I might also stumble upon a safe place for spiritual growth... maybe.

b
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#447820 - 09/21/13 12:31 PM Re: Foolish Step [Re: Still]
Still Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6365
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
Thank you for the kind words and well-wishes TM.

It would be funny if it were not all so bloody sad. I really loved fellowship in Christ. When I was 14, the fellowship I found from complete strangers (but brothers in Christ) was 1000 times richer than anything today.

I don't want to say I'm met with hostility when I so delicately approach only a deacon or pastor when I explore a new church, but I am...universally...and it really hurts.

I remember one church that was re-building their flock with their new Pastor. All around the area, they posted signs; "We Don't Want Perfect People - It's OK To Be You..." and similar messages of "hey...yer a drunk...wife-beater...coke-head, money worshiper...come on in...we don't judge."

I emailed the pastor with a brief inquiry of 'what he meant on those signs.' I wanted to be clear that they would take gutter-scrapings like me. He bounced back with a big-ole "yes," and probative questions of his own. Never heard from them again.

I can hear the Myth Factory in the Deacon's meetings. "Its probably best if we don't invite disaster by willingly and knowingly bringing in one of those."
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#447828 - 09/21/13 03:24 PM Re: Foolish Step [Re: Still]
FormerTexan Offline
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MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11025
Loc: Denver, CO
It is saddening to hear of a local body that six years ago said "we will shortly" then does not follow through. Quite disheartening.


Edited by FormerTexan (09/22/13 08:00 PM)
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#447833 - 09/21/13 04:09 PM Re: Foolish Step [Re: Still]
JustScott Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2572
I've given up ever thinking I'll get any local help. Church or otherwise.

Even my local crisis center is clueless. They think by making their Womens programs to men, they then help men too. I've tried to help and inform etc, but its proved a waste of time.

Sadly the churches are just as deaf and blind as well.

So I keep going alone and try to ignore the ache.

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#447897 - 09/22/13 12:12 PM Re: Foolish Step [Re: FormerTexan]
Still Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6365
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
Originally Posted By: FormerTexan
It is saddening to hear of a local body that six years ago "we will shortly" then does not follow through. Quite disheartening.


I taught myself something, somewhere around 6th grade I think. That is; 'Stop expecting people to be other than what and who they are.'

I know I did that to be able to tough-it-out at home and to be less disappointed/upset when things went down. Its a rule that works...I mean truly works! if you apply it, it works. I need to remember to apply it universally.
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#447899 - 09/22/13 12:28 PM Re: Foolish Step [Re: JustScott]
Still Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6365
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
Originally Posted By: JustScott

Even my local crisis center is clueless...Sadly the churches are just as deaf and blind as well.



This, in and of itself, is a huge source of 'ache.'

When I walked among the normals and my mask was strong, I really enjoyed the Christian fellowship I had. When I opened-up vulnerable at 14 at the Cape, the adults must have been truly strong. Maybe they were truly Strong in Christ, or maybe they were ...who knows. Its not for me to wonder.

Now they send a bus into the city centro and pick-up the homeless to fill chairs. But I've straight-out asked for help several times. (Pride is out the window when you are trying to save your family...and I know shame like a brother).

Are there this many phonies under the Christian Church roof? Yes!

So Scott, we sit here on a Sunday, aching for hand of help from His people.
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#447927 - 09/22/13 07:53 PM Re: Foolish Step [Re: Still]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5941
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Based on this:
Quote:
So Scott, we sit here on a Sunday, aching for hand of help from His people.
I have to add, "normals" are not able to handle the load we carry, not even those who have been put in a position of religious oversight. We carry the blackness of shame and control that is so overwhelming that fear and uncertainty come out in sharing as rage, angry chest pounding. We literally would rather have a limb cut off than have to experience that again, in our heads our through our eyes. Rejection, the thing most of us ran into abuse trying to avoid, is the tool the world uses to stop us sharing. When a few moments into the share we hear, "God has tested you, it will make you strong" and "stop it" or "don't think about it", we acutely feel that rejection.

May I share? Recently I have had the emergent epiphany that my thought processes NEED to be fully worked through. When my local support stopped trying to stop me with those thoughts above or with silence, when she finally told me to talk it out, I felt such a relief, in short, acceptance of my chaos with a listening ear and support who would stay by me until I worked through the fear. The best line I heard my local support say was, "Okay, I think you should bring him up on criminal charges." Complete acceptance, it was truly wonderful.

I have traveled extensively, I have visited many centers of worship and shared my story but I have found only two people who would do this, and they were not perfect.

It is not about religion or stature, it is about the random chance that someone.., anyone.., will sit with us until we have resolved and concluded the terrifying, overwhelming images and emotional burden we carry.

Until I found that in the real life, I found it here. Your situation is different Still, here is not safe entirely, but is there something within this that can comfort and support you?
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#447953 - 09/23/13 02:11 AM Re: Foolish Step [Re: Still]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6365
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
So when Christian brothers, sisters and phonies look at us, post disclosure, I wonder what they see? What do they imagine?

Now; please understand that I do not make a habit at all of disclosing to nearly anyone except for those like pastors et al whereas I can hear their views on allowing me as past of the flock, but many (as in zillions) of my local peeps heard lots about me as my ex made certain to tell all, tell the rumor-mill and all channels like them.

So what do they see when they look at us/me/we. A kid on his knees, all fours, in bed?

Just how disgusting a vision are we?

Same question to F&F.
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#447993 - 09/23/13 12:42 PM Re: Foolish Step [Re: Still]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5941
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Quote:
So when Christian brothers, sisters and phonies look at us, post disclosure, I wonder what they see? What do they imagine?
Their own fear. They cannot imagine the terror we are reporting, the devastation we do not even understand but seek to compare to their own comfortable past. They cannot get to the actual abuse, it is too far for them to imagine.

We have a community, we live here with our shares because no one outside, save a professional few, can begin to grasp the enormity of the persecution we have endured. While we share and repair here in MS, testing the waters outside by disclosing recovery-repaired thoughts to those we trust allows us to find support as much as they can absorb. Those who care to listen are in stages of the ability to react, some dissociate from the gruesome parts, some are scared or overwhelmed, some can really sympathize because they experienced trauma, but those who have not only been sexually abused but went back because it was attention and acceptance really.., truly.., know and can empathize. These can share their story with us and work through those emotional processes till we are reasoning, calm and balanced. No, not completely, but functionally, not as we were, but in some ways better.
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#448002 - 09/23/13 02:16 PM Re: Foolish Step [Re: Still]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1552
No matter what one's faith or spirituality may be-difficult subjects shows a person's true character. If they turn it means they lack the fortitude to stand by the people they may love or have a connection with. It shows their own weaknesses and fears. Like Sam said they cannot imagine and accept the terror we lived and continue to live. Sadly their reactions sharpen the terror and pain.

I then look at the people who stand by,listen and do not judge. I have the most respect for them--their hearts are in the right place. I have also learned these people stand by in silence--never talking or expecting anything in return. Remember there are many of these type of people amongst you--seek them and distant yourself from those that only see the worse.

People are people despite their faith or spirituality. Labeling Christian as being good is misleading--because amongst every group there are good, middle of the road and bad people.

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#449290 - 10/05/13 07:14 PM Re: Foolish Step [Re: Still]
On The Fringe Offline


Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
The church of mercy and love only shares that within their comfort zone for the most part.

I do not think the followers of Jesus do a very good job, for the most part, of doing as he did.

We are unlovable to society. Our crime is being abused as a boy instead of a girl.

Except here.
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#449294 - 10/05/13 07:40 PM Re: Foolish Step [Re: Still]
freeze-on Offline


Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 72
Loc: southeast
Sadly, it is true. People , men and women, are usually only able to have compassion and genuine understanding to the degree that they have become comfortable with their own masculinity/femininity thru broken admission to themselves of the horrors of life. Men who are broken and have hidden places unresolved, in and out of the church, have no capacity to reach out. But yet, go forward shouting the law of "don't do this, don't do that"....Jesus called the keepers of the law (Pharisees) white washed tombs , full of dead men's bones. Jesus despised the keeper of the law, was determined to reach the core issues of the heart.....and love, and heal......perfectly.

Man is always going to be man. And every now and again we come across 'whole' men who can reach out and have compassion and understanding and identify with the agony of the heart. Thus able to provide support. Sadly, keepers of the law of the Pharisees will never be there for us ....only the keepers of the law of grace will be able to do that. and then only Jesus the perfect healer will ultimately not fail us in our brokenness, even when he seems so distant and brutal at times. but he is there and consistent in his unfathomable love for each of us.

peace to you my brothers-in-arms, the bravest of the brave.

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