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#448673 - 09/29/13 08:40 AM Am I Dysfunctional?
CafeMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 149
Loc: Chicago
Yesterday, my favorite brother told me I was dysfunctional. The shock and hurt I feel is indescribable. I discussed with him that I help our parents because of these reasons:

1. They are older, and they need more assistance with their ailments.
2. It's family, and you just help family--period.
3. My mother helped me after I disclosed my abuse for a year. She talked to me, prayed with me and stayed up all night with me whenever I needed something. This is the reference as to why my brother called me dysfunctional.

So in essence, Item #3 truly affects me to the point where I have sacrificed myself for the benefit of my parents. My siblings, who I adore, are nice people, but took the time in their lives to enjoy their lives.

It's easier to take trips, sleep with multiple partners, go to parties and have sporadic soap opera episodes knowing that there is one sibling back home to hold down the fort. One time I was accused of playing the martyr. My response was, "No, we needed food on the table, and I had to save my $5.50/hr retail salary to pay for utilities." While they had a great time in their teens and twenties, my life was focused on paying household bills, going to the hospital for doctor visits and coordinating physical rehab sessions. And I don't mind that.

I'm not bitter about helping my family. I would do it again and again. I am not bitter towards my siblings, they are what they are. And they have and continue to help out as needed. I am bitter about two things:

1. I, not anyone else, allowed the family's problems to manifest to the point where I felt the need to help out due to appreciation and obligation for my family's continuous support of me -- especially my mother.

2. I tried after 28 years to excel in my life while carrying the burden of csa. I accomplished SO MUCH in a fairly short amount of time. To be called dysfunctional felt like all my accomplishments were negated and deemed trivial.

So I wonder to myself, am I dysfunctional? I don't have any answers anymore. This was said to me yesterday. Last night I was upset and was lucky to speak to a friend from the site about it. Today I woke up, and I still feel the same way . . . Well, live and learn. . .

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#448674 - 09/29/13 09:20 AM Re: Am I Dysfunctional? [Re: CafeMan]
On The Fringe Offline


Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
As a person with a long time in 12step recovery, two ideas surfaced as I read. Not that I am saying it is your case, but more of how I think I would feel.

There is ome martyr mixed in there. I sacrificed for them. That kinda is the definition of a martyr. I sacrificed.

It does sound like bitterness. Sarcasm on how it is easier to party and have sex. That kinda is exactly what bitter is.

Maybe, just maybe you are unhappy in being taken advantage of to a degree? You Did make your decisions and counted the cost. So are you happy inside for being true to yourself?

Being criticized by someone you see as being irresponsible and selfish... How much weight should that actually carry? Should them not relating to your decisions be seen as bad? Or maybe even good?

I feel like more time meditating on motives and being true to yourself is in order. Did you personally do the right thing? If so, there is part of your answer.
_________________________
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

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#448677 - 09/29/13 09:39 AM Re: Am I Dysfunctional? [Re: CafeMan]
CafeMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 149
Loc: Chicago
I always thought I did the right thing. I can die tomorrow, look God in the eye and tell Him I did everything I could for my family. But did I do everything for me . . .

When you are faced with extreme hardships at an early life, hindsight knowledge is the last thing on your mind.

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#448682 - 09/29/13 10:45 AM Re: Am I Dysfunctional? [Re: CafeMan]
On The Fringe Offline


Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
Originally Posted By: CafeMan
I always thought I did the right thing. I can die tomorrow, look God in the eye and tell Him I did everything I could for my family. But did I do everything for me . . .

When you are faced with extreme hardships at an early life, hindsight knowledge is the last thing on your mind.


You just summarized just about every regret I have. I did the best I knew how to. Sometimes I was taken advantage of. It still was bad, but I was not to blame.

For me it always gets back to why I want to feel blame.

It seems obvious you did the right thing. It speaks to your character and integrity.

You are a good man that had some bad things happen to you. Those things do not define you. This is exactly what need to see printed. I can say it to you, and then later forget it for me.
_________________________
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

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#448707 - 09/29/13 06:09 PM Re: Am I Dysfunctional? [Re: CafeMan]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 741
Loc: michigan
hey my friend
I have to say that I am sorry you are hurting and I feel your brother was way out of line to say the things he did. that being said I think maybe some Definitions maybe need to be considered.
1)dysfunctional? I think that is very similar to normal in our context. it seems to me that you have served a GREAT function in the lives of your parents and your life too. As you say you know that you have done all that you could to do right by everyone concerned.
2) bitterness? bitterness is only a prolonged state of anger and as I have said so many times we have a right to be angry... but we also have a right to let it go and heal. unfortunately it is REALLY hard to do one before the other. it seems that is where you are headed now. expressing the truth is a hard thing but NOT a bad thing.
I think the hardest thing I have come across thus far in this swim through an ocean of crap, is to try to deal with my families issues. It is a really hard thing to deal with. your situation is very different but it is still very hard.
you have EVERY right to begin to find your peace,your life, and too look back knowing what you have done was and is a great thing. you are not dysfunctional you function just fine, it just may be time for some small changes.
I don't know all your situation but I know that as survivors we tend to 1. try to help... its what we do and 2. take the blame... also what we do.
I don't know if this helps but with all my heart I hope so.
Jeff
_________________________
Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!"
Herman Melville

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#448745 - 09/30/13 01:43 AM Re: Am I Dysfunctional? [Re: CafeMan]
toysoldier Offline


Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 476
Loc: Texas
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Insecure people always do that, but the really great make you feel that, you too, can become great.
_________________________
I'm supposed to be the soldier who never blows his composure
Even though I hold the weight of the whole world on my shoulders..

Bit by bit Torn apart We never win But the battle wages on
For toy soldiers!

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#448879 - 10/01/13 10:56 AM Re: Am I Dysfunctional? [Re: toysoldier]
CafeMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 149
Loc: Chicago
Thank you for your comments. Couple things. . .

Despite that statement, my brother is a good man. He tries and I know he loves me. I'm just aggravated right now.

Yet his comment did shake me up. I know I spend a lot of time in chat right now. For now, it is fine. I plan to log on maybe one to two times a week, with the intent of not chatting here at all. But at this moment in my life, I need it in my life. I know it will change.

That leads me to my future. Going out with or without people does not fulfill me. I did that. It was fun at the time. The emphasis is "at the time." I volunteer, help people, join committees, etc. Again, doesn't fulfill me.

This leads me to one item--relationships. I need one, maybe even marriage or a steady companion if neither of us wants to get married. I need to express and give my love to someone. I never have loved someone like that. I hear it's a good feeling. Haha! I know I will be good at it. I've given to so many, what's one more to the list . . . lol. Even as a I type this out, I am starting to feel better again. So, in time we will see what happens.

Again, thank you all for your comments. -Nick

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#448905 - 10/01/13 03:16 PM Re: Am I Dysfunctional? [Re: CafeMan]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1466
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: CafeMan
...Yesterday, my favorite brother told me I was dysfunctional....So I wonder to myself, am I dysfunctional? . . .

Hey CafeMan,

EVERYBODY'S dysfunctional in some way. It means nothing. Your brother is out of line in dumping that on you. The more important questions are: "is your life working the way YOU want it to? Are you happy, at peace, content?" No one else can answer those questions, only you. And only you can make any of the changes needed to create a life that is working, happy, peaceful and content. Don't let people like him distract you from your goal.

Jude
_________________________
"There must be some kind of way out of here,"
Said the joker to the thief,
There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief."
Jimi Hendrix

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#448971 - 10/02/13 09:18 AM Re: Am I Dysfunctional? [Re: CafeMan]
Castle Offline


Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 723
Loc: NJ
Deleted due to world view.


Edited by Castle (10/02/13 11:10 AM)
_________________________

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

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#448973 - 10/02/13 09:50 AM Re: Am I Dysfunctional? [Re: Castle]
CafeMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 149
Loc: Chicago
I help out of necessity, not because of being a csa survivor who wants to please. I like to eat, I like to have heat in the winter, I like to take meds when I have a chronic ailment. Determining who should do what wasn't the issue. We were hit hard by the 90's recession. We had to survive. Now my parents are older. They need, not want, need help. So I have to contribute. If I see people I love who need help, I will be there. I had a friend tell me otherwise about my reasoning. I responded that she is a naturally selfish person, which she agreed. I cannot and will not live like that. I have to be a proud person for me. While I prefer to have lived my life a different way, I am still proud of what I did for my family.

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