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#458197 - 01/07/14 05:49 PM Survivor Identity
gaatt Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 121
Hi y'all,

I often struggle with the label "Survivor" and wonder if any of you do too.

I realize that surviving sexual abuse is an accomplishment in itself. I've struggled with suicidal impulses many times and totally lost my personal will to live about 7 and a half years ago. Much of my will to live from then on stemmed from my unwillingness to retraumatize my mother who traumatized me severely and deeply herself. She has very clearly stated her interest in keeping me alive and has more recently supported this direction very strongly. So survival has a conflict in it for me as an objective and hence as an identity. Am I here for myself while I endure the severe and deeply incapacitating pain of Crohn's disease (the psychoemotional roots have been linked to a martyr like mother in youth (see: Gabor Mate's "When the Body Says No"))? or am I here for my own purposes?

Recently I managed to resolve the conflict while reading a passage from Mikhail Naimy's "The Book of Mirdad". In it, a seeker asks a sage (Mirdad) how to free himself of this earth. The sage's answer involved telling the seeker to "Love this Earth and all her offspring". This was the key he suggested to relief from the suffering many of us experience while on Earth. It got me to rearrange my life purpose to fit with this direction (by first of all loving my body, my feelings and myself as one of the many offspring of this Earth) rather than simply trying to please Mom by forcing myself to stay alive (at least until her death).

This direction distances me from the "Survivor" identity and places me more strongly identified with "Lover of Life", or "Seeker of my True Nature" or "Meditator". These identities hold a stronger sense of purpose and positive sense of self worth for me. I've survived, yes. I want to thrive. I take great pride in my new sense of purpose and want to celebrate it.

Do any of you struggle with the "Survivor" identity too?

Sincerely,

"GAATT"


Edited by gaatt (01/07/14 05:54 PM)
_________________________
"Love yourself and watch...Today, Tomorrow, Always." Buddha.

My Story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=468661#Post468661

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#458205 - 01/07/14 07:05 PM Re: Survivor Identity [Re: gaatt]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3333
Loc: O Kanada
i hate all labels.
they tend to degrade, define, limit, entrap, imprison and restrict my abilities, opportunities and possibilities.

what is inferred is not often implied.
what is implied is not often inferred.
so much is lost in translation.

i reject them.
but they do not go away,
and i have nothing to offer as an alternative to labeling.

all i can do is substitute one label for another, forever searching for better labels.
a label will never be an identity.

a label is like a 2 dimensional drawing of a 3 dimensional object. you are not getting the whole object, not even the whole picture, just a single subjective relative perspective, which cannot be completely accurately representative.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#458241 - 01/08/14 02:46 PM Re: Survivor Identity [Re: gaatt]
gaatt Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 121
Hi Victor,

Thanks for your thoughts. I agree that at my core, I have no label. I have no name.

I suppose temporarily taking on whatever label helps me move in the direction of a healthier, more conscious, more loving me is helpful. I've legally changed my name 4 times as I've struggled with the label I was given at birth. The final version doesn't seem, on the surface, to be that different from the one I was born with, but the first name I was given is gone... and that is a huge relief for me.

I'm not sure how to identify myself as someone who is recovering from the effects of childhood sexual abuse. I think I need to find a way to celebrate the strength and courage that it takes to heal at this level. I like your "Victor" identity. It sounds good. I'll have to find something similar for myself.

Sincerely,

"Gaatt"
_________________________
"Love yourself and watch...Today, Tomorrow, Always." Buddha.

My Story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=468661#Post468661

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#458242 - 01/08/14 03:03 PM Re: Survivor Identity [Re: gaatt]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3333
Loc: O Kanada
i often use the label 'warrior'
it is one of my favourites.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#458363 - 01/09/14 05:33 PM Re: Survivor Identity [Re: victor-victim]
Jacob S Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 594
Originally Posted By: victor-victim
i often use the label 'warrior'
it is one of my favourites.


I like warrior, though when I say it it comes out sounding like "worrier." I'm one of those too.
_________________________
Like a spent gladiator
crawling in the colosseum dust
who can count on his remaining limbs
all the people he can trust.
Like the one who stands behind him
cheering him on
Estatic when he stands defiant,
wild with abandon when he's gone

just stay alive.
do whatever you need to.
you are worth it.

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#458368 - 01/09/14 07:12 PM Re: Survivor Identity [Re: gaatt]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3333
Loc: O Kanada
warriors and worriers are warier.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#458823 - 01/17/14 03:33 PM Re: Survivor Identity [Re: gaatt]
gaatt Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 121
Hi y'all,

There is an approach to healing from childhood abuse called "Survivor to Thriver". (see: http://www.ascasupport.org/)

Are any of you familiar with this approach?

Sincerely,

"GAATT"
_________________________
"Love yourself and watch...Today, Tomorrow, Always." Buddha.

My Story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=468661#Post468661

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