Newest Members
lilac, The Wife Of, smusab, whiteflag, North101
12287 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
cards (33), korbin2003 (39), Rosemary (53), Zebra (47)
Who's Online
4 registered (don64, 3 invisible), 21 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12287 Members
73 Forums
63214 Topics
442020 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Topic Options
#454581 - 11/20/13 08:26 PM not so simple
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3320
Loc: back in the USA
last saturday, a simple good deed went way off-course – at least in my mind – and ran away with me in several different directions.

after 2 weeks away from home, we desperately needed to rake the leaves in our yard. there was a layer several inches deep and nary a blade of grass showing. a neighbor boy – 15 years old – that we had not previously met, we being new to this area, walked over and offered to help. nice kid – quiet, shy, respectful, hard-working – he stayed with us for 2-3 hours and saw the job through to completion. he refused to take any pay – but I asked if he would accept a thank-you gift instead. he agreed and I gave him a cool native-made artifact from one of our foreign living locations. he seemed pleased and went home. simple enough...

but not really so simple.

my first thought when he volunteered was – what does he really want? no one just helps a stranger out of simple kindness. i am sure i must look old to him – have some grey in my hair – i’m well over 40 (LOL) – must seem ancient to him – yet i had this unreasonable feeling that he might be grooming me for abuse. CRAZY! – as soon as i realized that was what i was feeling – i instantly dismissed that thought – and then just as quickly switched – and i started to worry that he might – or someone else might – think that i was grooming him.

it was very awkward. thought of asking if he is a boy scout doing his good deed – TRIGGER! wondered if he was helping me instead of his own grandfather – TRIGGER! started to ask about school and sports – TRIGGERS!

fortunately i could keep my head down and work in different areas of the yard and not have to work too close together. we eventually had a little casual chit-chat – and i hope i didn’t make him feel weird.

and as i was raking leaves into big piles i was glad i had something vigorously physical (at least by my standards!) to do because i was getting mad – that i seem to see everything now through a dirty distorted lens – in which everyone is either an abuser or a victim. how sick is that?!

i know that this is not really true. but my emotions tell me otherwise.

i so badly want this to pass – again – and quickly.
LEE
_________________________
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9

Top
#454590 - 11/20/13 10:03 PM Re: not so simple [Re: traveler]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1092
Loc: The ATL

Hi Lee. I think most if not all of us here tend to see things through a dirty, distorted lens in one way or another. Being unable to trust, being suspicious of other's motives, being worried that others are going to be suspicious of our motives for the same reasons, etc. I struggle with a lot of that myself, and for a lot more reasons than just the events of my childhood. I guess the important thing is that we are able to identify the times when we are seeing things through that lens and step back and evaluate whether or not what we are seeing is the real picture or something that is skewed by past traumas and/or hurts. If and when you are able to do that, which obviously you are to some degree or would wouldn't have posted this, you have shown that you at least have some clarity about things. Being aware of the fact that you tend to see things through a dirty, distorted lens gives you the ability to compensate for it with insight and self-evaluation. Sounds like you've got that part at least mostly figured out, and that's pretty huge. Take care. Peace,

Ken

Top
#454595 - 11/20/13 10:49 PM Re: not so simple [Re: traveler]
Rustam Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 469
Loc: UK
Hi Lee,

I dealt with similar stuff and found it very uncomfortable to be honest about it at first. I was plagued with similar thinking. I had the obsessive thought when I was with children that people would think I was an abuser. The more I dealt with my own abuse the stronger the thoughts/fears grew. I could be having fun with a child when suddenly the thought that others would think I was an abuser would pop up and ruin the moment. When looking after children I would be hyper aware that what I was doing could in no way be seen as abusive. One time while staying with in-laws, a twelve year old boy sitting with me rested his head on my lap while watching T.V, my immediate thought was that he was coming on to me, at the same time I knew he was a normal relaxed affectionate child, but the stupid sick thought was there making me very uncomfortable.

The persistence of the thoughts had me wondering if I was really, secretly like my father, an abuser, I didn't understand why I could have such distorted, crazy thinking. I talked about it in therapy many times and got to the point that I could dismiss the thoughts pretty much instantly. I can enjoy closeness with children now without the thoughts and fears getting in the way.

The thinking was born of the imprint I had: to be close to adults, children had to be sexual with them and adults only wanted to be close to children to abuse them. That was how I saw the world and therefore thought the world would see me in the same way.

The message we were given early is dirty and distorted, but its not our fault or part of who we are and it will disappear soon enough under the light of exposure, I think your post is a big step in cleaning that lens.

Thanks for posting about this.
Peter

Top
#454613 - 11/21/13 03:18 AM Re: not so simple [Re: traveler]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3088
Loc: O Kanada
i generally avoid young people altogether,
because this type of thing happens too often in my brain.

it is so weird to read about my own runaway train of thought process happening to someone else.
so many times what you describe has happened to me.
simple situations that suddenly trigger.
then i have to keep all that noise inside my head from leaking out.
once i feel awkward, i try to act ok, but that makes me feel fake, then i fear suspicion, and so it escalates...
glad to know i am not the only one who suffers from this sort of panic paranoia.
sometimes, i even question my own motives.

just thinking too much and too fast sometimes.
considering our similar history, i believe this is understandable.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

Top
#454630 - 11/21/13 09:35 AM Re: not so simple [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3320
Loc: back in the USA
Ken - i guess you are right - everyone has their own filter to how they see the world - and being self-aware may be a big part of the battle.

Peter - you said - "The more I dealt with my own abuse the stronger the thoughts/fears grew." that sounds like where i am now. good to hear that you got through that and are able to feel more at ease. gives me hope.

V-V - helps to know that i am not the only one - but i can't just avoid the situations all the time. i am a high school teacher - on sabbatical right now - but if i ever hope to teach again - i must defeat this fear. having company and understanding is good - but unfortunately not enough for me. but thanks for the support - glad it works for you.

LEE
_________________________
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9

Top
#454650 - 11/21/13 03:50 PM Re: not so simple [Re: traveler]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3088
Loc: O Kanada
i have lived my entire life with the fear that i might be falsely accused.
i was terrified of being mistaken for a predator.
as a young man, i had no idea what appropriate behaviour was,
and i was paranoid about my own destructive compulsions and unpredictable impulses.
with my messed up guilt complex and my history, i did not think i could successfully defend myself from false charges.
besides, with this type of thing, to be accused is nearly as bad as being convicted.
to the bloodthirsty witch hunt lynch mob, suspicious and guilty are the same thing.

i made a point of never babysitting and i made certain that i was never alone with any children but my own.
it was my goal to be above suspicion, to escape all misunderstanding, to never even accidentally touch a kid.
that way, i could never be vulnerable to false allegations.

so far, my strategy has paid off.
i still have fun with kids, but i can only relax if there is another adult present. never alone.
i figure it is best to have a witness at all times.
i am worried that even something i say, no matter how innocent, might be repeated and twisted into something ugly.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

Top


Moderator:  ModTeam, 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.