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#450479 - 10/17/13 04:51 PM trying to let myself enjoy life and relax
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Hey guys,

It's hard for me to set any kind of personal boundary for myself, although I'm getting better at creating a safe place for myself. It's also hard for me to lower boundaries between me and the people I love, so I can share more of myself and my honest thoughts and feelings.

One thing that's really hard for me to do is to relax and enjoy things. Like I have a hard time making time with friends. I like to have a few drinks, enough to get a light buzz, but I'm plagued with worry that I'll become an alcoholic.

I tend to see things in a moral framework... good versus evil. And things that are enjoyable or feel good in my mind are shameful. I'm really getting tired of this.

I think I associate this division--good and bright versus shameful and dirty--with the abuse I suffered as a kid. It's kind of horrifying to me to think that the stuff I think of as "enjoyable" is somehow in my mind equated with being raped as a prepubescent and forced to perform sex and so forth. (Pardon the graphic stuff, but I hate to mince words.) I also find it disturbing just to have what feels like a curtain in my life... between the good stuff and the bad stuff. On the bad stuff is where I had an affair. It's where I have written bad checks. It's where I've done drugs and other self-destructive behavior.

I guess I'm not asking for advice or anything. I just wanted to share this. Because the truth is that I'd love to be able to enjoy a few drinks at home without feeling like I'm bad. I'd like to be able to go spend a day with a friend without feeling like I'm bad and somehow have to hide things from my wife. There isn't even anything to hide! It's just that I have this feeling that if I'm enjoying myself, it must be bad. And I'm referring to an actual event. On Saturday, I went to a nearby town and ran a half-marathon with a friend. Afterwards, we had lunch and drank a few beers and headed back home. No big deal. But somehow I felt guilty and fraudulent about it all. What the hell?!?

Anyway, does anyone else feel like that? I want to be able to relax and enjoy life. That's not too much to ask, is it?

(I know... most of my other posts have been about much more serious stuff, dire things about abuse and all that crap. But these kinds of issues are important, too.)

Bob

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#450482 - 10/17/13 04:56 PM Re: trying to let myself enjoy life and relax [Re: Robert1000]
unhappycamper Offline


Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 616
Loc: VA
Bob:

At one time or another, I think =everyone= on this site has posted something about feeling fake, fraudulent, unreal, not really there, etc. I certainly know what you're talking about. I realized not long ago that I've spent a lot of my life being a spectator, and feeling like I wasn't even entitled to do that--much less actually participate in life.

It's a bad feeling, but it seems to be standard emotional procedure.

John

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#450485 - 10/17/13 05:21 PM Re: trying to let myself enjoy life and relax [Re: Robert1000]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Bob - yep - i get this too.

i think part of it - for me, anyhow - is feeling like i am bad because of the bad stuff that was done to me. therefore, i do not deserve to have anything good or enjoyable or worthwhile as a gift or a possession or an experience. therefore when something good does happen or when i do something i enjoy - i feel guilty because that sort of thing is reserved for good and worthy and deserving people - and i do not qualify.

i am getting over it - partly by putting the blame for the abuse back where it belongs - on the shoulders of the perps. and by starting to believe that i am ok - and of worth in my own right - regardless of what all the other voices in my head have told me all my life - as echoes of the real voices in my childhood.

and you are worthy to enjoy life and have the right to have good things happen to you, too!

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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