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#456996 - 12/18/13 10:07 AM Confronting my shadow
Sam Wise Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/26/13
Posts: 5
Loc: MI
A few months ago, my marriage completely fallen apart, my wife of 10 years accusing me of being gay, pushed me to open up. I admitted there were things that happened to me as a child that I couldn't tell her about. She was a victim of sexual abuse too (her step-father). One night she was angry/hurt and couldn't let it go, she kept me from going to sleep, started arguments, pushing me, when I fell asleep, she poured a large glass of cold water on me. If I didn't open up and tell her what was going on, she was going for the divorce the next day. So, I told her a portion of my story. We started marriage therapy and I told part of my story again. I went on a New Warrior Training weekend with the Mankind Project, and shared more of my story. My therapist is focusing on my marriage, but is also pushing me to deal with this part of my story. So, here I am.

I began exploring sexuality with an older male cousin when I was around 8. At first I was complicit, at some point I tried to stop it, but he forced me. Eventually, I quit fighting, it went on into my teen years, I don't remember when it stopped. It has been hard for me to call it abuse, I have felt responsible and I have struggled with my sexual identity. I struggle with shame.

At 43, I'm realizing this has been destroying my ability to be intimate with my wife. I'm trying to save my marriage, and trying to provide a stable secure family life for my 2 adopted kids which I dearly love. I would love to forget all about it and get back to a "normal life", but it's not going away. Thanks for sharing your time and stories. Thanks for providing a safe place.
_________________________
like in the great stories.. Full of darkness and danger. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, itís only a passing thing this shadow. Even darkness must pass.

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#456999 - 12/18/13 10:30 AM Re: Confronting my shadow [Re: Sam Wise]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1744
Sam Wise

The shadow is always there, lurking at your being, holding you back from being the person you want to be. The shadow is the abuser who gained control over you and did things you did not want to happen. You have taken a brave step-coming to MS and you know what you want to achieve from healing.

It is important you face and accept the past--it cannot be changed but you do not have to let it control you. Share here, seek support with friends and support groups and if available a therapist. It takes time and the healing can be an emotional roller coaster--but do not give up--seek support and encouragement.

Your wife needs to deal with her abuse and your abuse. She should seek help and support.

Heal well.

Kevin

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#457005 - 12/18/13 11:40 AM Re: Confronting my shadow [Re: Sam Wise]
timetorecover Offline


Registered: 12/11/13
Posts: 12
Loc: Mi


Edited by timetorecover (12/18/13 11:51 AM)

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#457025 - 12/18/13 05:01 PM Re: Confronting my shadow [Re: Sam Wise]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3413
Loc: O Kanada
i welcome you to our online community of survivors.
i sincerely hope you find something good here.
i wish you all the best in your current struggle.
we are all at different stages of survival here,
and i am sure you will find similar situations to yours throughout this site.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#457042 - 12/18/13 09:06 PM Re: Confronting my shadow [Re: Sam Wise]
Sam Wise Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/26/13
Posts: 5
Loc: MI
Thanks for your welcome and encouragement. I know it's a long road ahead. I've been looking around on the boards and it's good to know there is a lot of help here. I will find what I need to face the shadows.
_________________________
like in the great stories.. Full of darkness and danger. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, itís only a passing thing this shadow. Even darkness must pass.

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#457047 - 12/18/13 10:22 PM Re: Confronting my shadow [Re: Sam Wise]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3413
Loc: O Kanada
may i recommend the following links to some excellent poems written by our fellow ms.org members.

Shadow Life
by traveler

http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthr...3679#Post446736

I Like The Shadows That Feed On The Night
by MADcHATTER

http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthr...amp;#Post313203

the poetry forum is a great place to start exploring this website.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#457099 - 12/19/13 09:47 PM Re: Confronting my shadow [Re: Sam Wise]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1579
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: Sam Wise
At 43, I'm realizing this has been destroying my ability to be intimate with my wife. I'm trying to save my marriage, and trying to provide a stable secure family life for my 2 adopted kids which I dearly love. I would love to forget all about it and get back to a "normal life", but it's not going away.

I'm right there with you Sam, but I would add that you are dealing with all this you for YOU as well. It was your childhood that was stolen, and your life that was twisted. You deserve the opportunity to take all that back, AND save your marraige, and care for your children.

Like you, I remember wishing I could rewind and go back to "normal" life. But what I found was that the life I had wasn't normal at all. The tentacles of what happened to me were present in every area of life. I couldn't drink it away, I couldn't drug it away, I tried everything. No, it was either face it all, or die.

You will find this a safe place to talk about it. When I started here someone tlod me that the more you talk about it, the less power it has over you. I've found that to be true. I hope you do as well.

Jude
_________________________
Can't be bothered with sorrow
And I can't be bothered with hate, no, no
I'm using up the time but feeling fine every day
That's why I'm telling you
I just want to celebrate another day of livin'
Rare Earth

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#457113 - 12/20/13 08:11 AM Re: Confronting my shadow [Re: Sam Wise]
Sam Wise Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/26/13
Posts: 5
Loc: MI
Hey Jude,

Thanks - I'm beginning to see much of my life has been effected. I have hidden so much of my feelings, pushed down my thoughts, lost my voice, and have lived under the weight of the shadow my whole life. What woke me up was seeing that I need this for them, but I am just beginning to understand I need this for me.
_________________________
like in the great stories.. Full of darkness and danger. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, itís only a passing thing this shadow. Even darkness must pass.

Top
#458588 - 01/14/14 12:51 PM Re: Confronting my shadow [Re: Sam Wise]
Steve J Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/26/08
Posts: 24
Loc: Louisiana
Hi Sam Wise,

Thanks you for your story, and I'm glad you're here. I especially want to honor you for attending the New Warrior Training Adventure put on by the Mankind Project. It took a lot of courage on your part to do that. I did my training in May 2008, and I discovered a group of men who genuinely cared for me. I found out that it is possible to have an intimate, NON-sexual relationship with other men. The men in my group have been incredibly supportive as I've dealt with the CSA. I've come to realize that I can bring anything to the group, and I will never be criticized, judged or condemned. I may be challenged, but never criticized. If you are not in an I-Group, I encourage you to find one. It has been a godsend for me.

My marriage of 46 years ended a year ago when my wife filed for divorce. For the first time in my 72 years, I am living on my own and learning to take care of myself. It has been a real challenge. I rarely hear from my children, grandchildren or siblings, but he guys in my group call me weekly to check up on me. I can't tell you how comforting that support is.

If you want to know more about my involvement in MKP or just want to talk, please contact me privately. I wish you the best on your journey; it does get better.
_________________________
Steve J
Courageous Buffalo

New Warrior, May 2008
WoR, Hope Springs, October 2009
WoR, Dahlonega, May 2010
malesurvivorsstory@blogspot.com

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#458597 - 01/14/14 04:54 PM Re: Confronting my shadow [Re: Sam Wise]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1443
Originally Posted By: Sam Wise - emphasis added by Eirik
At first I was complicit... It has been hard for me to call it abuse, I have felt responsible and I have struggled with my sexual identity. I struggle with shame.

You were eight. You may have been cooperative, but you were not complicit. It is an important distinction. So it is no wonder that you "have felt responsible," and that you feel the shame of owning it. You need to redefine this for what it is. And that's not going to be a sudden epiphany or a convincing realization. It took me years to get to that point. And it is so worth the journey. You are at the trailhead.

I, too, was a victim of long-term sexual abuse. For years and years it was just that "dirty little secret" I tried to shelve forever in the dark closets of my memory. I suspect a lot of us were similar. And then something happens that wakes you up to yourself, as if for thirty years you were just sleepwalking through some paint-by-numbers life you could never quite master.

The rabbit hole goes deeper than you can probably imagine. Remember that a normal life is probably a mirage - it doesn't exist - it's just a lie you told yourself you have to be. So don't try to get back to a normal life - instead, just try to get to Sam Wise. If your journey is anything like mine, you'll find him standing there alone in those memories, patiently waiting for you to come back to him.

Good luck, Sam Wise.
_________________________
Eirik




Click my pic to see why I'm here

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#458600 - 01/14/14 05:39 PM Re: Confronting my shadow [Re: Sam Wise]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 785
Loc: michigan
hey sam wise
you were abused and that is what happened. if it began as playful exploration then that is what that was but the two are not expressly tied together. once force became involved you lost your ability to even have any perception of play.It is easier for us to accept that as children we have NO ability to stop the abuser that we are easily manipulated or overpowered. but it is just as true that we really have no ability to say yes. the choice is not real in any meaningful sense of the word. I hope that you can soon be free of those feelings man and let the guilt rest where it should
Jeff
_________________________
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

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#458603 - 01/14/14 06:15 PM Re: Confronting my shadow [Re: newground]
Greg56 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/10/14
Posts: 32
Loc: Upstate NY
*


Edited by Greg56 (01/18/14 01:55 PM)

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#458630 - 01/14/14 11:41 PM Re: Confronting my shadow [Re: Sam Wise]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5945
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Your fellow survivors are correct above, it will not be "normal". The secret of others in real life around you Sam and Greg is that most are "non abused". They did not have to feel the trauma and extreme emotions we have to struggle with, the uncertainty, the revictimization, the destruction.

The road to living "abused-but-thriving" is a long road taking many months. You are on the right path, please consider a Weekend of Recovery and the Healing Circles here in chat on Wednesday nights. We have good resources in our library on the main page, books that show the path, however you have come upon it and at whatever age or ability, to thriving.

It is a marathon with checkpoints, not a sprint.

Welcome Sam and Greg,
Sam
_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#458640 - 01/15/14 07:56 AM Re: Confronting my shadow [Re: SamV]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1443
Originally Posted By: SamV
The secret of others in real life around you Sam and Greg is that most are "non abused".

This statement from SamV says much that is true. In fact, it may be the biggest truth I have learned on this journey. You cannot carry a steamer trunk full of secrets on your back through your entire childhood without it deeply affecting almost every aspect of your life. The paradox, however, is that it became such an every day thing for so many of us. For me the summer I turned thirteen went like this: wake up, brush my teeth, go to school, play some sandlot baseball until it was too dark to see the ball, then listen to the older boy schmooze my mom into letting her little boy (me!) camp out with him in the back yard.

It was just every day. And they become your normal. The things I had to acquiesce to in that tent would blow your mind - they should blow my mind. As I told my therapist the play-by-play, I remember being taken aback by the shock I saw in his eyes. And to me, it was just my "normal" - no big deal. It was only with the help of a good therapist that I was able to look back and see what a sham I had created of my life just to avoid stepping on all the landmines.

It's like finally looking in a mirror and seeing yourself for the first time. I did ...what? I did ...that? And then I ...walked away? There was this movie I saw years ago with Jeff Bridges, about a guy who survived the crash of an airliner. He walks through this surreal landscape of wreckage and blood, rents a car, checks into a hotel and doesn't tell a soul.

How many of us were like that? How many of us are in that weird club of shared experience that actually understands that?
_________________________
Eirik




Click my pic to see why I'm here

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#458642 - 01/15/14 08:19 AM Re: Confronting my shadow [Re: Sam Wise]
manofwisdom Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/03/12
Posts: 21
Loc: Minnesota, USA
Hello Sam,

My wife also is a sexual abuse survivor and our blind daughter was sexually abused at the Minnesota State School for the Blind. All my family knows of my abuse, also. So I partially know what you are going through.

I want to encourage you in your pursuit of wholeness and healing. You find much support and encouragement here at MS.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Blessings to you and your family,

Jerry
_________________________
Jerry

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