Newest Members
JayNL, Robert Barrett, lostsoul824, beatcook, MassGuy
12279 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
cainrafael (28), GL (67), JohnP725 (66), Lloydy (61), Marie-TwoOfUs (35)
Who's Online
2 registered (2 invisible), 26 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12279 Members
73 Forums
63185 Topics
441811 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#451427 - 10/27/13 11:10 AM Starting relationships and physical affection
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1928
Loc: durham, north england
Okay, this is a hard one to discuss and I suspect only other survivers of female sa will get this so I'm posting it here.
As people may know I had a really awful trigger, ---- actually a full on physical flashback, (I've always had the memories, but I've never felt them so strongly), last weekend. Unusually for me, I felt I needed to talk to someone in person and in real time. My options were fairly limited given out of the three people who I've told my entire story two in detail, one I could get, one is married with a child and nearly impossible to get hold of, which left me with the third. She's a lady who is rather a lot older than me in her late fifties, indeed I suspect I only ended up telling her because she has a masters in counselling and thus is used to that type of thing, also because manifestly she doesn't quite respond or think in the same ways as people my age do.

We discussed the trigger and got into some rather dark areas, and of course touched on my problem with relationships, that I sometimes feel a literally physical ache! for the sort of conection I've seen with people. I said again how jealous I feel of women, because men are always expected to make the first move. I also said how one of my major problems was perceiving that anyone was interested in having! that sort of closeness with me. Female friends are fine, I have many of them, but anything else? the idea that anyone wants to be more than friends?

Said lady then said that for at least a lot of men, there was no! perception of female interest at all, most men she stated simply pushed, showed their interest with a blatant gesture of physical affection and a woman would catagorically refuse this if she wasn't interested herself, indeed she recounted an occasion when a co worker she was barely familiar with simply grabbed her and put an arm round her for no reason and she quite literally (and in my view quite justifyably), told him to get his ****ing hands off.

Bare in mind this lady is neither a raging feminist nor a man hater, and up until her husband died, she had a ridiculously happy relationship with him, (indeed I've been trying myself to at least be sympathetic to her grief).

This idea though i find down right disturbing, that basically men need to push that much and risk causing someone that amount of discomfort. If I contemplate say even a miner gesture of physical affection such as hand holding or patting a girl on the back, I feel disgusting, feel like one of my own abusers, indeed one girl I've discussed at least the relationship thing with described me as the physically least intimidating and most completely asexual man she knew, despite me being not exactly small in build.

Most of my male friends never mentioned this sort of pushing gestures of affection on a woman and seeing how she responds, indeed most of them talk of "natural signals" which made the hole process of finding a relationship much more mutual, like a matter of communication, and yet this is the bit I've always been missing myself since I've never! been able to perceive that anyone has been interested in being closer to me.

Of course, my friend is not a young lady, and she admits herself that her experiences are not modern. It might be that that was how most men behaved thirty years ago, but that things (at least among enlightened men like my male friends), have changed and become a degree more equal, (indeed one of the other three people who I've told about my abuse is a girl who fulfills all the usual masculine sterriotypes even down to actively asking her now husband out). But I do find what my older friend quite disturbing.

The occasion that destroyed me, that convinced me I needed to go into recovery was the occasion I tried to hold a girl's hand. She didn't object, or scream or think I was disgusting, but when i told her the way I felt, I just got "I'm flattered" for all I'd tried to move that huge weight of self disgust.

So, how does this attraction thing work? Is it possible to do without! physically being so dam forward and down right unpleasant? I've always wanted a woman to just verbally ask me, to say she was interested in being closer and thus encourage! physical affection, but that dam well doesn't happen.

Terms like "flirting" or "dating" I find dam well alien. I've been "out" in the sense of gone to concerts, gone for drinks or just stopped off for coffee with more girls than I could count, but nothing has ever come of it, whether I wanted it to or not, (and on the vast majority of occasions I truly didn't).

Is there actually a way to show physical affection without feeling like one of my abusers? If a woman ever did! tell me "know" or "get your hands off" I'd frankly feel so guilty, so fowl and disgusting I'd want to burn my hands off.

Btw, I'm not even here talking about touching any part of a body intimately, just pat on the shoulder, hand holding, mild stroke of the arm etc.

Also note when I say "relationship" I don't mean anything actually just physical. If I simply wanted to go to bed with someone I could likely pay for an escort, though frankly my genophobia makes that idea rather disgusting.

What I have felt this deep desire for, this ache which is sometimes almost physical is what you could call communication. I can't exactly say what this is, but it's something I've seen between people who are together, something that goes beyond friendship. Part of it is physical, part emotional, part almost spiritual, heck, the physical end doesn't have to be particularly s/xual at all, simply hand holding, kissing or hugging would be enough.

I know this state exists, I've seen others who have it, or have achieved it, and as I said I have a deep seated desire for it that sometimes feels like an actual physical pain. But I have no idea how to actually come close to this, to show someone I was interested in being more than friends or to actually perceive that anyone has that interest in me, (again, why can't people just be honest). Since however ignoring this desire or trying to crush it simply doesn't work, I might as well ask the question.

I've assumed that my sense to perceive others interest is simply broken, that because I had my s/xuallity destroyed as a teenager I couldn't achieve this, ---- but if that is the case, why can't I rid myself of the desire? after all, I don't have normal vision but can live quite successfully without desiring to read unaidedd.

Luke.

Top
#451600 - 10/28/13 05:47 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 319
Loc: NY
Luke:

Your post is a clearly stated accurate description of a conflict I know too well. Thanks for writing it and reminding me of how important it is to find others to relate to on this website.

Your subject is not only one of attraction and sexuality. It is the description of a social interaction. For me, one of the problems of having been too fused in many ways with my primary caregiver (Mom!) is that I also lack a simple understanding of these kinds of exchanges between two people, i.e. intimate ones with women. Sometimes it feels like I've got some wires crossed internally that won't allow true computing of the situation. And if I rely too much on others to know this, I can get more lost and embarrassed.

When I first started facing all of this stuff a few years ago, I received counseling from two different men who referred to a way of knowing what to do, as a man. They were kind about it, but nonetheless, I was left to wonder. Was this something I ever knew or just forgot? If it was never in my consciousness, could I learn it somehow, at this later stage in my life? Although these both seemed like valid questions they actually left something else out, namely the importance of how to develop a deeper trust in myself. Learning how to reach out and communicate in the way I want to do that has been an important part of growth and recovery. One might say that this whole time I've been in pursuit of a deeper "knowledge" of something. The moments when I feel present enough to acknowledge this pursuit, things make just a little more sense.

Although there are no stated rules in this area of physical affection, there are ways in which people come to know each other. Men and women may do it differently, but at some point in a healthy relationship I think there would be some celebration of this on a equal level. What's so hard for me is that I want to subscribe immediately to something greater, some elusive view of sex and love. Yet by doing that I tend to skip over something else that is unstated. This is very similar to how I interacted in my family. Strong feelings were not addressed. Ways of learning social interactions were missing. When this modus operandi takes over too much it's possible that I am leaving out the other person and possibly the chance to actually know them intimately.

As your post illustrates, this is a process of trial and error. One question I have is, what was your overall impression of the "I'm flattered" response? For us who have a healthy amount of self-contempt, it can be very difficult to trust that someone is being truthful. We might also expect and desperately desire a response that would immediately address or erase our "self-disgust" in some way. Unfortunately, the sheer "weight" of self-loathing amidst the anxiety of reaching out can make us unable to hear the reality: that someone is actually giving back to us another honest experience.

Thanks again for putting this out there. It's good to know that others have these questions. Hope I've at least provided some food for thought.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

Top
#451628 - 10/28/13 08:08 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1928
Loc: durham, north england
Well Fb, what has always confused me in this area is I have absolutely zero problems developing friendships with girls, indeed some extremely close. Take last week as an example, I went to a dance group to improve my dancing and spent nearly an hour after we'd finished conversing casually with my dance partner. nothing wildly profound about feelings or anything similar, just general interesting conversation, she told me for example that she went to Zambia in Africa to do performances and so was used to teaching others, and I of course found this facinating, likewise she asked about my own experiences performing. All of this came absolutely naturally to me, just good conversation, not really different to what I'd do with a man, and indeed in the context of this particular girl that was all I either wanted or intended it to be. Even on an emotional level people tend to tell me things, simply because I've learnt enough social skills to know how to listen interactively.

The problem is, for all I've been able to do this for years, it's never! got me closer to the sort of experience I want. On those rare occasions when i actually become interested in someone, and desire! for something closer I have no idea how to go from one state to the other, likewise, in none of these conversations for all I learn a lot of people's history and feelings and emotional conflicts do I ever! get that someone desires a closer friendship with me, I used to believe I'd know it when I saw it, but as I've got older and it's continued not to happen, I've concluded that whatever the faculty is, it's simply one in me that is just broken.

On four occasions in the past I've tried to make my interest clear in a reasonable way, usually because what I was feeling was so extreme I had to get the words out. But on all these three occasions, when I told the girl in question, always a friend, always someone I'd known for a long period of time (this is never instant), "I love you" I have been told "I'm flattered"

The first time I was told this when I was eighteen, it was accompanied by a kiss on the cheak, and when I said to said girl "that's the first time anyone's ever done that" she replied "not the last time" however she's been if not quite wrong, wrong in the way she meant it.

On each of the three other occasions i've said that it's felt more of a rejection, more painful, more like "oh yeah your nice, ---- but not much else!" for all I know that's not how it's meant. It just feels like I put everything emotionally into something so difficult and then get nothing back, ---- hence why I have often wanted to be female (I'd love to hear those words from someone else).

On the last occasion I said so in 2007, to****, I was feeling so desperate I did somehing I've never done before, I actually took her hand, which made me feel disgusting! and when she gave me that "I'm flattered" the rejection was so extreme I nearly lost all sense of reality, heck that's not a night I like to think about since it was in a lot of ways as violent as anything that happened during my abuse, though it did force me to admit that I wasn't fine and that my abuse needed dealing with, so I suppose it was good in retrospect.

The thing is however, most people don't seem to work like this. I've asked friends of both genders, and they say the interest is a lot less emotionally invested, but mutually communicated. Rather than it being my painful falling in love, it's a two way thing, an exploration. but I just don't seem to be able to either hear half of the conversation or communicate myself.

My older friend then suggested this communication came in the one thing that makes me feel most disgusting, forcing physical affection on someone, pawing at someone and making them simply sit there and take it, ---- the idea of it makes me sick!

of course if it was just about physical needs I could sort it another way, but the thought of anything purely physical without an emotional component disgusts me, even when both parties are consenting adults.

I'm just sick of feeling like I am lost with this, but don't know any way of fixing it.

What is equally irritating is that I know! if I could! get the emotional elements that accompany the physical, it would help me with my genophobia, tactile defensiveness and everything else. I'm not saying relationships fix everything, (I know that not to be true), but it just seems to me that at the moment the only association of s/x I have is pain and humiliation. The concept, either bltant or overt, even the word itself, something in me reactions and there is nothing good in it, ---- which is why this desire of mine to have a connection with someone that is more! than friendship is so utterly bizarre. I would contemplate medical castration castration if I didn't think it'd adversely affect my voice.

In general I just hate being in this position, and still more hate being male, since it seems if a woman is shy or unable to act, ---- well no trouble since guess who lays themselves on the line for little miss princess to accept or reject.

And yes, that probably did come out rather more bitterly than I meant it to, but I'm just sick of feeling this desire and being stuck not knowing how to do anything about it!

And yet people (especially girls), have the gaul to tell me things like "oh you'd make a great husaband/boyfriend" or "I'm amazed your not with someone your too nice" (I was told both of these things at music school last month for the thousandth or not time).

Part of me thinks people say this in the same spirit fat, millionaire chief executives justify paying their chinese workers under ten pence an hour as they work eighteen hours a day "because it is good for the economy" though equally I know this judgement is unfair and most people do mean such complements as a kindness.

Why can't someone just ask me! why does the fact that I've never been kissed as an adult still bother me!

I've been through hating myself for feeling this, and trying to crush it or ignore it, but I just don't know how to deal with it since people make it so dam difficult! I've read books, I've talked to friends, at my mum's insistance I even tried eharmony for a year (a laugh since nobody actually spoke to me). I'm just sick of feeling this and feeling so dam helpless with it! of all the consequences of my abuse it's the one that gives me most frustration since I just don't know! what I should do!

Luke.

Top
#452379 - 11/03/13 10:23 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
Harvey Dent Offline


Registered: 11/02/13
Posts: 28
I feel so unqualified to offer advice. But, I know some of the pain that you describe.

I was told by my mother and her best friend during our "the birds and the bees" conversation that all women give up a piece of themselves whenever they have sex. So I needed to be certain that I wasn't a thief when I made love.

They were telling this to an 8 year old boy that had been caught repeatedly fooling around with kids in the neighborhood. The didn't know about my abuse, even though both had been victims themselves. They simply didn't do the calculus of where my behavior was coming from.


At the end of that conversation, I was convinced that my sexual desire made me a thief at best and a rapist at worst. That was a burden I didn't shed until last year, at the age of 32.

Even though I longed for female companionship, I remembered those words and my abuse and I hated myself for wanting to inflict my dirty desire on some helpless woman who would lose a piece of herself to me no matter what.


So I became unable to approach women (girls, really....I was 14 when I started trying to overcome this aversion). I believed that my presence in their life was necessarily destructive. I believed that no woman would ever want me for me and that I would have to trick them into meeting my needs.


However, I am a natural optimist. And my abuse did not kill that optimism. It just twisted and warped it. But in this case, I stumbled upon "Game Theory" which was mostly mind games to victimize the willing. But it did make me rethink my assumptions. These are the things that I needed to do to have a relationship. If any of this helps, use it. If it doesn't....keep trying. That's the hardest part.

1: If a woman is talking to you, you have a chance. If she continues talking to you after she could have politely stopped, she is enjoying herself...that's why she is still talking to you.

2: if she is enjoying herslf and you are enjoying yourself, then you have the beginning of attraction. Attraction in healthy women is very different than most men expect: attraction for the healthy woman is based upon how much you believe in your ability to attract her.

3: if you believe in yourself, then Act like it: don't apologize too much. Don't talk fast. Don't be nervous about getting your needs met. Don't focus on yourself at all. Focus on her. Get out of your own head.

4: Do not make assumptions other than this one: you will enrich her life by being in it. If that is your starting assumption, and you believe it, then she probably will too.

Ask her out. If she says yes, just focus on her. Don't expect or need anything from her. Just give her the gift of who you are. If you do, she will fall in love with you.


Having said all that, I offer this warning: you cannot feel or create chemistry if you cannot get our of your head and into the moment.


Best regards,

Harvey Dent
_________________________
I am not defined by what is done to me. I am defined by the choices I make.

My story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=452346#Post452346

Odds are that I am typing on my phone. Please excuse punctuation and spelling. Editing is a serious pain in the neck.

Top
#452401 - 11/04/13 07:07 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1928
Loc: durham, north england
thanks for the advice, but I really don't know, all of this just sounds alien. Most is just what I would count as being a friend, listening to someone, paying attention to them and what they are feeling, trying to help if they need it, heck just engaging in conversation! no different to what I would do with a man really.
I don't even know what "ask someone out" means, as I said I've been "out!" with girls plenty of times, just getting a drink, meeting for a chat or whatever, but it's never gone further, and I don't really know how to get it further, I just wish if as you said any woman I'm friends with is interested in some way (a fact which I frankly find dubious), they'd dam well just tell me!

I hate being male and having all the first move stuff put on me! it's so not bloody Fair!

I also don't know why does all advice boil down to "don't be a scumbag!" Well, I'm not! or at least I try not to be and judging by all those complements women keep giving me I presume I'm doing something right.

Why the hell! wasn't I born a girl, or at least why can't relationship chemistry work for men like it does for women!

What scares me is if this continues not to work, one day I'll just pay a prostitute out of well morbid curiosity, like wondering what happens if you pick off that scar, and even assuming my genophobia will let me go through with it I dread to think how I'd feel afterwards.

Sorry harvy, this isn't a good day and I'm frankly just sick of this hole dam thing. If I could burn out whatever part of my brain has that desire for an intimate connection with a woman I'd do it, it's stupid and gives me nothing and like an idiot I still keep harming myself with it. I still hate the fact I'm 30 and never had a girlfriend or even kissed anyone, despite the fact that probably %70 of my friends are! female.


Edited by dark empathy (11/04/13 07:17 AM)

Top
#452505 - 11/04/13 10:50 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
Harvey Dent Offline


Registered: 11/02/13
Posts: 28
DE,

Check out a book, The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida. (In fact their is a free .pdf version online). The author explains some ideas of masculine/feminine interaction that I believe you would find useful. It was a very positive and insightful book that has helped me overcome the lies I leared and the lies I had been telling myself.


Not all of it will apply to you. It didn't for me, or my two best friends. But what does apply is simply life altering.

-HD
_________________________
I am not defined by what is done to me. I am defined by the choices I make.

My story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=452346#Post452346

Odds are that I am typing on my phone. Please excuse punctuation and spelling. Editing is a serious pain in the neck.

Top
#452640 - 11/06/13 04:58 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1928
Loc: durham, north england
If there is an online pdf version could you please post a link? One of the problems with books is getting them in a form i can read, (this is why I've not even read mike Loo's victims no longer), because they're not usually available, and while I could! theoretically pay someone I don't particularly want to recovery.

I tend to be suspicious of very gender biased books, mostly because I don't particularly identify myself with all the masculine sterriotypes, (I was once recommended the men are from mars books but the very assumption of those just puts me off and if I'm pissed off with an author for their sexist attitude it's not likely I'll take their advice).

This is indeed why a lot of the advice sites I've looked at don't apply, since usually they boil down to "don't be a scumbag" and "don't do all the stupid masculine sterriotype things like toilet humour or put downs or what not"

Well I don't do either of those so what is the problem?

Top
#453069 - 11/09/13 05:15 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
Harvey Dent Offline


Registered: 11/02/13
Posts: 28
Sorry for the delay in replying. I am at home right now, and my time online is greatly reduced versus when I am at work. Below is the link to the .pdf.

http://smilyanov.net/download/pdfs/The%20Way%20of%20the%20Superior%20Man.pdf

If you are concerned about being gendered, this is probably not the book to you. If you simply don't know how to be masculine in a positive way, then this is definitey the book for you.

This book has been crucial to me developing normal relationships. Not just romantic. It improved my relationship with my mother, my father, my sister, my daughter, my wife, my ex, my pastor, my best friend. All of them, separately.

Use your best judgement on this book, but try to be open to the possibility that your view of what the author says may be skewed by the CSA you suffered.

I learned so much positive from this book. I hope it offers the same to you.
_________________________
I am not defined by what is done to me. I am defined by the choices I make.

My story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=452346#Post452346

Odds are that I am typing on my phone. Please excuse punctuation and spelling. Editing is a serious pain in the neck.

Top
#453198 - 11/11/13 05:08 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1928
Loc: durham, north england
I don't know what masculine even means accept for negative and sterriotyped and shalow, everyone I've met who tries to be "a man" just strikes me as a moron, just as people who do things because they are "a woman" all the people I most admire in relationship terms are just decent people, gender or not, but it doesn't seem to work like that for me.

So maybe this is the wrong book on that score.

Indeed on sterriotypical gender lines I am probably a little closer towards the feminine end, for all I do have some masculine trates like being a perfectionist, though I don't particularly think of myself as either, I'm just me, end of story.

I am straight, indeed I've often thought if I was gay or at least by I'd get on better since then at least the sterriotypes of not being able to play the signals game wouldn't matter, but unfortunately that's not the case.

Top
#453244 - 11/11/13 02:42 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 319
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: dark empathy
I'm just me, end of story.


Luke:

Every time you say that, it brings a smile to my face and warms my heart.

Everyone has some experience with too much conformity, even if they don't admit it at first. If one gets beyond the initial social cues and gets closer to someone, the less immediate importance they have.

It seems to me that the difficulty in life is being honest enough with yourself that you feel comfortable sharing personal pain with someone else. Although it can overwhelm people who are not ready for it, there is also good reason to assume that others will recognize not only who we are, end of story, but some of the painful parts of that story. Learning how to do that in ways that that work is a process of trial and error, happening in fits and starts.

I found the above book helpful, but as Harvey recommends, at a certain point took what worked and left the rest. As your moniker suggests and reminds, empathy is an important part of being human. Although I don't think it's possible to expect it everywhere, holding the hope for it has helped me go on.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, Publius, TJ jeff 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.