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#453456 - 11/13/13 02:25 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1893
Loc: durham, north england
The problem fb, is that for relationships it just seems simple empathy and compassion isn't enough.What the rest is I don't know, but it's something which in me just seems broken.

I'm always getting comments from female friends about me being nice and easy to talk to and quite often You'd make a good boyfriend/husband" (marital status seems to be dependent upon lady's age), yet nothing ever changes, nobody ever wants to be closer. This is what I find so bloody frustrating since it seems I am! doing everything right according to reasonable advice.

this is also why I find posts in F&F irritate me. I can't imagine myself doing some of the things that women mention their other halves do. Indeed it seems often the compassion and empathy and just being decent is just not there yet they! are the ones with partners who are so devoted that they come onto this board and seak help, even if the men in question don't.

It just seems so dam! unfair!

All I can assume therefore is that this capacity, this ability of communicating attraction in me is just broken, something which got destroyed during my abuse as a teenager, indeed I feel quite robbed by this.

As I said, my biggest fear is that one day I'll just give up, I'll seak out a prostitute out of morbid curiosity, do something physical and then feel disgusting afterwards, like a failure, assuming of course I'd be able to do anything. I must admit this idea has been on my mind of late, for all I know it's an amazingly bad one and not what I want and would likely leave me feeling devastated afterwards.

It still! bothers me that the closest I've been to anyone was while having my face spat in, and that that! is the most intimate experience I've ever had with another person, then again I know paying some random professional bod wouldn't change that for anything the better either.

There's a passage on the front of this sight that still bothers me, about pedophyles being so partly because they cannot having the ability to maintain adult relationships. Obviously I'm not a pedophyle, but if I! don't have this ability what does that make me?

It always bothers me when people casually talk about their boyfriends/girlfriends as if this is something everyone does and a part of life that everyone has, and I just feel, ---- well what's so wrong with me? no, this isn't anything stupid about "scoring" or the like, it's just my increasing knolidge that something is missing, and has been for a very long time.

Back when I was 17 and had extreme trouble protecting myself from genophobic reactions, and would flinch or actually blush, (I'd not connected this to my abuse at the time but my abuse had only finished two years before), a girl got extremely irritated with what she perceived to be my "victorian morals"

"so are you going to be a monk and be celibate?"


i answered no at the time and thatI was in fact waiting for love, (I was quite the romantic), ---- but part of me wants to find where said girl is now and offer my congratulations on her forsight.



Edited by dark empathy (11/13/13 02:44 AM)

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#453580 - 11/13/13 11:22 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
Harvey Dent Offline


Registered: 11/02/13
Posts: 28
To be masculine is to be steadfast in the face of overwhelming adversity. To be masculine is to be patient, waiting for the right moment to act, and then acting without hesitation. To be masculine is to penetrate, whether that is a lover, a mystery, a problem, the World, or the Feminine Divine. To be masculine is to be relaxed when relaxing and keyed up when creating. To be masculine is to be playful, adventurous, silly, strong, rugged, self-certain, benevolent, and deep...all at the same time. To be masculine is to walk to the edge of your fear and stare it in the face, without leaping over the precipice and without pulling back before you face it nose to nose.

To be masculine is to embrace this moment, every moment, each moment individually, knowing that you suffice; for you have already faced the Worst that Hell has to offer and made it out alive.

To be masculine is to look at your scars with pride, knowing that each scarcomes from trial by fire.

To be masculine is to want something so bad it hurts, and then risk losing everything to satisfy your right and proper desire for fulfillment, unafraid of failure; for you know that trying and losing isn't failure. It is only giving up that is failure.

To be masculine is to love someone who is weaker than you, not for their weakness--but for the strength you know they possess.

Those are some of the positive qualities of masculinity.

Everyone possesses both the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine within them. The ratio of masculine to feminine is different, however, in each individual. Some people are 50/50. I happen to naturally be around 80/20, masculine to feminine. However, a great deal of my recovery was learning that fact. I thought was 25/75. It was only after growing my masculinity did I realize that this, my Divine Masculine essence, what I felt was missing, broken, or warped the most by the abuse.


One last thought about why this important. Romance is built upon polarity. People tend to be attracted to their polar opposites. A woman who is 25/75 will be attracted to and will be attracted by a man is very near to 75/25. If the man is too feminine, she will eventually grow to love him as a friend or brother. If the man is too masculine, she will feel out of control, controlled, suffocated, or lost. And if a woman is too feminine for a man, the man will feel like she is crazy, unreliable, overwrought, melodramatic, or bitchy. If the woman is too masculine, a man will find her less sexually attractive, too domineering, smothering, or competitive.
_________________________
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.

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#453583 - 11/13/13 11:51 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
Harvey Dent Offline


Registered: 11/02/13
Posts: 28
To be feminine is to be caught up in the soul of life, growing in the wisdom of the cycles of living and dying; understanding intuitively that Maiden, Mother, and Crone are all shells of the same Feminine Divine. To be feminine is to be pursued against your will and to induce pursuit in the One you desire. To be feminine is to take within your body and soul the desire of another, the pleasure of another, the longing of another whereupon you work alchemy to comingle your essences into the Divine Love. To be feminine is to be vexatious Kali, coquettish nymph, wise Demeter, sultry Marilyn, or conniving Cleopatra.


To be feminine is to feel, each emotion, every emotion: exalting in ecstasy, sobbing in sorrow, giggling girlishly, bubbling buoyantly, crying in crescendo, despairing in denouement, before rising up to do it all again the next day, the next season, the next instant.

To be feminine is to show your best face to a world that seldom appreciates you, knowing that you soothe pain and offer healing to those around you.

To be feminine is to want something so bad that it hurts, longing for what cannot be bought, sold, or traded and can only be created when the Soul is allowed seek its equal in another.

To be feminine is to love someone who is weaker than you--not because of the weakness, but because of the strength you create in one another.

These are the positive qualities of the Feminine Divine.
_________________________
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.

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#453711 - 11/15/13 12:16 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 313
Loc: NY
Luke:

Your reactions to attraction are understandable given what happened to you.

My reactions are there as well. For a long time I denied them, but that didn't make them go away. In the midst of the reaction is pain and other feelings, including self-loathing. I think this is pretty common with survivors. The difficulty of course is moving through the pain.

I'm not sure if you are asking too much of yourself here, but it's possible. Intimacy is ultimately not based on attraction, I believe. I think it is closer to caring and trust, which have to be built over time, much like a friendship. While many relationships may get started because of attraction, there are some that don't start there, but grow out of a friendship, which is where the real communication needed for a lasting bond can be nurtured.

With regard to your considering hiring a "random bod", I appreciate your honesty. There was a time when I did that. Like yourself, I have the qualities of compassion and empathy. What I found myself doing was sometimes just being present with the person I hired and not doing anything. Looking back I realize that I was actually trying to create a safe sexual situation for myself. It took me many years to admit how important a sense of safety is. Now that I'm willing to pursue it, things aren't easier, but at least I have a clearer goal.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#454183 - 11/17/13 10:13 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1893
Loc: durham, north england
@Harvey, I appreciate your thoughts, but they really don't make a lot of sense to me. I don't think of myself or others as being male or female, indeed I ersonally would disagree or your gender assignment of characteristics, (reliability always seems slightly more female to me), but to be honest it doesn't matter. having an arguement about whether people actually are! different from possessing gendered characteristics won't help, because it's not really anything to do with me, the way I think of myself or how I treat others, indeed most of my close friends of both genders i've asked about this the same, albeit the female ones did agree that with me that it was helpful being female and having the other person ask and then being left with the choice, ---- though my male friends didn't exactly push.

@Fb, the problem is that that form of attraction, that sort of mutual communicative interest is what starts relationships, and is just what I don't seem to have the capacity for. I can make close female friends and I have some close female friends, and we can share a lot, but nothing seems to change or happen however close we get. I always assumed when I was younger that I'd know, that something would tell me, and indeed most of my friends who are now married said the same, they communicated a mutual interest to the people they met (all of whome were friends first), but I don't know how the hell to do this.

It just frustrates me! everyone keeps complementing me and saying "what a good boyfriend" I'd make, how nice or kind or insert other complement here , yet nobody actually seems to help, indeed this is just yet more evidence that said people are just being kind and complementary.

To take one example, okay, I've met a girl at some sort of activity, such as a performing group, a lecture, my recent ballroom class etc. We go off for a drink and a chat, perhaps more than one on multiple occasions, ---- then what! what! the hell is supposed to happen?

I have a singing workshop on vocal performance in a couple of weeks, and I can almost guarantee this will happen again. I'll meet someone, we'll get on, perhaps we'll swap phone numbers, have a chat outside the workshop, ---- the nothing!

I'm just bloody sick of not having this stupid capacity that everyone else seems to have, and yet having this idiotic desire that I can't do anything! about.

Sometimes I begin to think that paying a professional is the only way I'll ever find someone who wants that sort of closeness with me, even if just because she wants money, ---- hell even when I tried the dating website (under protest), I didn't get a single hello.

Yet people persist in telling me how tallented I am, how handsom, how kind, how I'd make a good boyfriend, yadder yadder yadder, --- just more kindness, nicely meant but ultimately meaningless.


Edited by dark empathy (11/17/13 10:34 PM)

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#454272 - 11/18/13 12:09 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 313
Loc: NY
Luke (and Dark Empathy):

I empathize! I was always supposed to be the ideal husband, great father, and would use my charm and familiar confidence based on that. But it always seemed like something was missing. Something important.

We are different people, so whatever may be true for me may have nothing to do with you. Nonetheless I will say that one of my primary defenses against the sexual aggression of my mother and my brother was to evolve what might be understood and labeled as a more "female" way of being. It was a way of protecting myself from unwanted interactions. For many years I thought this was just a healthy side of being a man. Over time however, things just didn't seem to add up. It is as you say. I would look around and other people seemed to be having a lot easier time than me.

This kind of conditioning has taken me a long time to sort out. It happens on a very subtle level. One might say that on the inside I'm filled with a paralyzing fear and on the outside I appear nice and a little passive. In many situations that might seem normal and is kind of congenial. Although being comfortably easy-going is not necessarily "feminine", it might however be construed by women as being uninterested in them. So the problem is not so much what I'm doing as what I'm not doing.

Being the victim of chronic abuse, my true self tends to live in fear. That true self is me, a boy who had trouble growing. A boy who thought that being afraid of a woman was being a wimp. But being the victim of some female abuse is to know and understand that there were many moments in one's childhood when that fear was real. There was often no relief from the onslaught of confusing experiences and unwanted sexual contact. For me, acknowledging the fear is the only way for me not to go into denial about it.

The easier identity for me to carry is one that is more easy-going. For a long time I thought asserting oneself was a bad thing. It has taken a lot of work to realize that asserting myself in a positive way requires overcoming some resistance to relying on that easy-going nature in situations where it is letting me down.

I think one of the difficulties with the discussion on this thread is that there is some kind of assumption of either-or. Is the only way to exhibit my true self to drop the easy-going nature forever and completely? What will happen to the person I usually am when my more vulnerable self emerges? How will I live with the experience of feeling rattled through and through?

Maybe that is a fear that I need to get to know. Maybe it is more from the past and not necessarily the present and future. And maybe it doesn't mean that I will never be easy-going again, or that I am defined according to what is more male than female, or any way that others choose to think of me.

Sometimes I can't imagine being more active when I need to be. I feel like I've ever followed impulses that lead to better communication. and fulfilling of desires. But the pain of not doing anything about this has become debilitating. I'm beginning to realize that that is a way of letting the memory of the aggressors win, and I think I've had enough of that.

I guess what I'm asking you is, is there is some fear that you haven't explored that may be stopping you from showing more of who you are to someone? Maybe there is an answer to "what is supposed to happen". Maybe it lies in you.



FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#454456 - 11/19/13 03:32 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1893
Loc: durham, north england
I justdon't know! I'm good with people, I have to be, there's no way to live with a visual imparement compitantly and not be that way, and it has! to be genuine, to be felt, to be real otherwise it won't work, (I've detected plenty of false extraverts and insicure windbags in my time).

I can get up on a stage (as I did last saturday), and speak to an audience of people quite confidently, let them share what I'm feeling. I know I don't tend to be naturally assertive since I do the thing of thinking of others first, but for important things, well I dam well can be, heck, I ran the university's philosophy society for four years, which involved pretty huge public organization.

yet nothing seems to happen, and nobody can sodding tell me even why! even the men who I have seen get successful relationships just talk about communication, well I missed the lesson boys sorry.

I don't know if it's what I'm doing or saying, sorry if being decent to people is wrong. I just am so sick of this hole thing, of having the desire and no way of actually satisfying it.

Yes, I'm genophobic, I'm tactile defensive, but does this realy matter? As I said women just seem to have it so easy. I've been doing this recovery crap for the last five years, and it was trying to hold someone's hand that got me hear, and in relationship terms, nothing has changed and nothing continues to happen and I have no idea why. I can sit and try to think happy thoughts until the cows come home, and I've done lots of that, but in the end it does sod all. It just seems utterly impossible, but if it is impossible why can't I just forget the hole thing?

And the thing that really! gets up my nose is I know all my problems with genophobia would be soluable if I had someone to communicate them with, no relationships don't solve everything, but they would change that at least.

At this point in time I'm beginning to think that it's pretty much a choice between finding a prostitute (assuming I even knew where to find one), or nothing, since there is no other way forward and has as far as I know never been, and I don't like either option.

While I don't feel any individual animosity towards anyone, I'm finding it really hard not to hate women's social position in this, since it just seems however uggly or unpleasant a woman is, all she has to do to at least find a relationship is sit around and wait to be asked.

I try not to be unpleasant, and people tell me I am far from uggly (my perception is different but I know to misstrust it), yet it still just bloody doesn't work.

When I was 25, just before recovery I asked my Russian friend, who is someone I can discuss this with, (she's like a brother quite literally), if she knew any other men who had never had any sort of close relationship. She said I was one, and there was another, but she assured me that the reasons he didn't have a relationship were obvious, since while extremely clever, he's also socially aukward, balding in his twenties, and not exactly the most perceptive of people in social conversation, neither did he actually meet many people outside his specific group of friends.

He got married last year.

God I hate this desire, and hate feeling this, and hate feeling so dam helpless to change it.

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#454541 - 11/20/13 09:26 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 313
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: dark empathy
Yes, I'm genophobic, I'm tactile defensive, but does this realy matter?


Luke:

Although I understand your sentiment here, being touched does matter a lot.

I think whatever triggered your initial recovery process is important to continue to look at. I find the more I look at these issues, the more I have to confront, and deeper the feelings become. In order to do that, I have needed help. In particular, I have found sensorimotor therapy very good for this.

I have had the feeling for many years that I did not have the capacity to be the kind of man who could sustain any real "mutual communicative interest". As you say, there seemed to be some lessons I missed. It's always sad to recall that, but I am now beginning to also realize that the capacity that was missing can be nurtured through caring and healing.

I used to think this would just naturally happen while being in a relationship. Wrong! It takes a much more personal form of courage within oneself.

Thanks for bringing up the question of physical affection. Hope I have given you some food for thought here. You might try bringing up the same question in the Family and Friends section, for some more feedback.

Peace,

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#454556 - 11/20/13 01:00 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1893
Loc: durham, north england
Well Fb, unfortunately finding therapy (much less asking my parents to pay for private), isn't an option. I've tried counselling and that didn't work. However if genophobia and touch is such is such an issue what about all those women from F&F who talk about their significant others having such? how the hell did they get together? I know comparison is bad, but frankly I'm just pissed off, since it seems everyone in the entire world gets this at some point, at some time, accept me! and nothing I can do with me helps! nothing I do with other people or anyone helps.
Everyone's full of complements, indeed just a couple of weeks ago I was told "oh you'll end up with someone your too nice" and "why don't you have a girlfriend, you just too good not to" yet bugger all has ever happened!

And no, as I said I am quite aware relationships don't solve everything, but it seems the only way to improve at something like touch and physical intimacy is to do it, and that's just what I can't do since I have nobody to communicate with in that way, for all people are always telling me how nice I am!

Frankly I am just sick of this, and sick of feeling utterly helpless to change it.

AsI said, therapy isn't really an option since I doubt I could get it on the health service, I can't afford to go private myself, and I really don't want to ask my parents, so I suppose I'm just stuck!

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#455771 - 12/02/13 06:08 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
TheHermit Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 24
Loc: USA
Quite the coincidence; me running across this thread, having just posted some things related to this subject yesterday, like:

"At one point my uncle walks by and gives me a friendly pat on the chest and i'm sure I flinched, because, of course I don't want people touching me without permission. I immediately began to think about the "so-called" alpha/beta behavior, and how alphas are not afraid to touch people while talking to them. I guess i'm seen as a beta then, since I respect people's right to not have their bodies touched without first giving me permission."

And i'm currently writing and debating on posting something about "Male Lesbians" or the "Passive male" which are terms coined by Dr. Gilmartin, author of Shyness & Love (1987) and The Shy Man Syndrome (1989). My writing includes some related paragraphs like:

"As for the “Passive Male” version of the label. I would prefer if women were the initiators. I remember as a teenager I would lie on the couch and pretend to be asleep, hoping that my girlfriend would come and make a move on me. I even had one girlfriend who actually took my penis out and put it inside her because I had not done so after a week of dating. Of course, some of this is likely due to CSA and my learned habit of overly respecting the boundaries of others, but, alas, women are not typically the initiators, and, therefore, my past is littered with a plethora of missed opportunities and regrets.

These missed opportunities and regrets usually lead to the dreaded “friend zone.” Since you’re a nice, sensitive guy, who “seems” gay, and doesn’t make a move, you get friend-zoned nearly every time. Not only this, but women aren’t generally attracted to you because you don’t seem manly enough, I suppose. This then leads to the oft-mentioned dilemma of: Straight women don’t want you because you basically are a gay guy to them, which equals friend, and lesbian women don’t want you because you have a penis."

Maybe this is helpful: (Though, I haven't actually read it yet as my reading list has grown incredibly long recently, so I can't vouch for it.)


Edited by ModTeam (12/03/13 06:51 PM)
Edit Reason: removed link - possible copyrights infringement

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