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#458592 - 01/14/14 01:32 PM What does healing really look like?
TR101 Offline


Registered: 01/10/14
Posts: 23
Hello everyone, I'm new here and I know I haven't posted an introduction or anything yet (I'm working on it), but first I do have a genuine question for all of you that's been gnawing at me since I started looking at the site.

I am the victim of csa, and I do desire healing. I've always viewed "healing" from that abuse (at least in part) would be no longer being defined by the abuse as a person (I.E. being free from unwanted memories of the abuse popping up... not feeling like I have to tell people about the abuse for them to know who i am and why i act that way that i do... not being affected by those innocent remarks that people so often make that are so hurtful to someone with my past.... etc.)

Now, please understand that I don't want to make anyone angry or anything, I'm just looking for understanding. I've done a fair amount of looking around on this site, and it seems like there are people who I imagine would probably describe themselves as "healed", and yet are still heavily involved in the site.

But, in my humble opinion, being active on this site inherently means that abuse at some level defines who you are; that you're not over it, because, well, you're a member of a support forum! (if that makes sense)

Of course being a member of a support forum is a good thing if you are in need of healing (after all, that's why I'm here!), but what about the people who do consider themselves healed? do they leave after achieving healing, as I imagine I would? Is there anyone here who would consider themselves healed? If so, why are you here still?

Like I said, I'm not looking to make argument, I'm looking for understanding. Do I have the wrong idea of what healing is? is that even attainable? What do you guys think?
_________________________
Ever hate how every single time that you read a post, you read the signature like it's part of that post? Yeah, me too.

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#458601 - 01/14/14 05:47 PM Re: What does healing really look like? [Re: TR101]
traveler Online   confused
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3393
Loc: somewhere in Africa
hi, TR!

first - welcome to MS. i have been participating here for about 2 years and 3 months, though I signed up years before and got spooked and disappeared. I hope that you will find the kind of help, support and encouragement here that I have.

during my time here, I have seen many guys come and some go. some of those who move on feel that they are not getting what they need and others feel that they are well enough that they no longer need to be here. some come and go as they feel the need for more distance or additional reinforcement. there are others who feel that they have improved a great deal and want to stay to offer support to others. I would put myself in the last category.

the fundamental question that your post demands to have answered is your title: "What does healing really look like?" you will find that there are many different answers and variations on each - some with huge disagreements. I think many of us would agree that few if any will ever be the same as if nothing had ever happened. I liken it to having a wound heal, but still having a scar - or having an injured leg that heals enough to walk, but with a limp. what I can tell you is that I am functioning in a far, far better way than I ever thought possible. and this site - especially the forums - has been a HUGE part of my progress, along with the help of a good therapist, a supportive wife, lots of reading and writing, and my "Higher Power."

you might also find other discussions of this topic - "What does healing really look like?" in older threads if you look for it.

excellent question - and a good start to involvement here. introduce yourself in more detail whenever you feel comfortable doing so.

looking forward to hearing more from you,
LEE


Edited by traveler (01/14/14 07:58 PM)
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#458602 - 01/14/14 05:58 PM Re: What does healing really look like? [Re: TR101]
Greg56 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/10/14
Posts: 27
*


Edited by Greg56 (01/18/14 01:56 PM)

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#458619 - 01/14/14 09:57 PM Re: What does healing really look like? [Re: TR101]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1527
Loc: New England
Welcome TR,

I can only share my own experience, which is that I don't believe one ever is totally healed from CSA. The wounds are too deep, the effects too numerous, and what has been lost cannot be replaced. What can be accomplished in my view is to learn to live with it, to work around it, and not be controlled by it. Its can still be possible to live a meaningful life

I compare it to a vet returning from Afghanistan missing a leg. At first the pain and sense of loss are unbearable. He believes that he can never be "normal" again. His dreams are shattered. After all, he can't grow a new leg. If the guy is lucky, he has the support and inner resilience to accept the loss, learn to accommodate it, work around it, to walk with a prosthesis, and go on with his life. Not the life he would have had. A new life thats somewhat limited by what's happened to him, but still satisfying and meaningful.

Likewise, we can't "grow a new leg". Can't reclaim what was taken from us. Can't rid ourselves of all the memories, all the fears, all the anger. But we can learn to accept the loss, learn to accommodate it, work around it, and go on with our lives. Not the lives we would have had. New lives that are somewhat limited by what's happened to us, but still satisfying and meaningful. It doesn't come all at once. Its an ongoing process. Maybe a life long process. Always healing, but never healed.

And why am I still here at MS? First because I still value the company of men who can understand me because of our common experience. Second, because I feel a responsibility to this community of men who have taught me so much. When I arrived at MS I was quite a mess. There were men who took an interest in me and listened without judgement, shared their own experiences without fear, and encouraged me that it could get better. I can do no less for the steady stream of new arrivals looking for help.

Jude
_________________________
Well, I won't back down
No I won't back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won't back down.
Tom Petty

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#458628 - 01/14/14 11:26 PM Re: What does healing really look like? [Re: TR101]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 948
Loc: southern California
TR,

A complex question with a multitude of answers out there to be offered, I'm sure.

For me, it has been a journey with inner changes along the way. I worked on myself in therapy, then I needed a break to adjust to a new perspective on life. I knew, by way of a triggering event or inner restlessness, when it was time for me to resume therapy and work to the next level of healing.

For me, it's been like this....

Traumatic trigger event, a year or so in therapy, living life at a new level of experience,
Feeling a desire to experience life more fully, a year or so in therapy, living life at a new level of experience,
and so on.

From the many survivors I've encountered, I've heard a multitude of individual formulas. There doesn't seem to be one pat answer for everyone because our life experiences, our trauma, and our genetic makeup all come into play.

I know survivors who claim to be fully healed but are extremely messed up (denial) and I know survivors who believe they are screwed up beyond repair and yet they are mentally more sound than the majority of Americans.
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#458635 - 01/15/14 01:23 AM Re: What does healing really look like? [Re: TR101]
TR101 Offline


Registered: 01/10/14
Posts: 23
Okay, thanks for replying, all. I guess I was really hoping that my healing could be quick and complete, (at this point, it's very painful to face daily) but that was probably foolish of me. It's been a year since I "let the cat out of the bag", and while it hasn't always been painful, not a ton of healing has come in that time, I suppose (unfortunately) that's an indicator of what healing is like.
_________________________
Ever hate how every single time that you read a post, you read the signature like it's part of that post? Yeah, me too.

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#458637 - 01/15/14 02:37 AM Re: What does healing really look like? [Re: TR101]
1lifenow Offline


Registered: 03/07/11
Posts: 406
Loc: west coast
TR

my first therapy session went something like
me -"can we get this over with quickly, I just don't have time for this bs"
T - "welcome to the couch, you have taken the first step"

almost 3 years, many therapists -( some amazing, some beyond bad, some with an agenda of saving me), a psychiatrist, Weekend of recovery later, i consider myself mostly healed, sorta like in the princess bride when billy as the sorcerer says Inigo the swordsman is "mostly dead".

The funny thing was i didn't know it was a wound till i dug deep to find out how all the childhood shit - CSA, CHild of an alcoholic father and mentally unbalance mother, ADHD affected me. It was and still is work. But at least i now feel there is an explanation for why i acted and felt the way i did about things. I was not
TERMINALLY UNIQUE !

So i come here still, cuz i remember how out of control and living with my feet in quicksand i felt. If i can offer anything to someone, the way i was helped, it makes me feel like i need to give back, cuz i am in a place now that i could have NEVER imagined.

I met some amazing men here and at the WoR, that i will consider brothers for the rest of my life. One in particular likely saved it, and yet if you ask him he would just say he was just telling it like it is.

I guess thats the big thing, finding out where your "telling it like it is - is" . Learning to be honest with yourself, its so tough, and really can only happen when you lose the fear of what others think of you.

Some guys I know feel they don't want to continue here or in group cuz the hate the bitching, and hate how many stay frozen in fear. it frustrates them. others i know continue for moral support, friendship, a sense of group "usness" and some because it allows them perspective on their new reality and appreciation of how far they have come and the humility to see that it is a PROCESS not and EVENT.

As an anti theist - i have come to understand that faith dulls critical thinking. So if men are able to get help and solace from their so-called higher power or other means, thats great for them. However, i found that scapegoating of my personal responsibility or seeking vicarious redemption through a third party morally reprehensible. I was blocked in my recovery process by attending SAA and AA. Again if it works great, its just that there are other more rational options out there. I see and have talked to many men, who have allowed organized religion and its dogma from allowing them to feel ok with being who they are. They live in the should rather than what is only to their detriment. The sad thing is they don't or won't see it. I was like that too, I had a friend who is a psych nurse, who 8 years ago told me, "dude, you need to see a therapist" . of course i said " fuck you, i am fine". its funny how the human brain creates a reality that isn't real. i think by coming to this site, and doing the other things too, my bullshit meter is so much more finely tuned both for the crap is see going on around this recover field but more importantly for myself. It has made me a better man.

So i think for a lot of us, we come to just check in and read or chat and feel connected.

All i can say is welcome, what ever feels right in your path or journey like is and when something doesn't resonate with you, and i understand its hard to know what you don't know, but just truly without prejudice listen to that inner voice. It's wiser than you know.

peace

grant
_________________________
The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. Dalai Lama

WoR Barrie 2011

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#458656 - 01/15/14 01:18 PM Re: What does healing really look like? [Re: TR101]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1402
Loc: California
Healing happens like a flower blossom. you can't force it, or hurry it along. But you can make sure it has plenty of water, light, and love.



Originally Posted By: TR101
Okay, thanks for replying, all. I guess I was really hoping that my healing could be quick and complete, (at this point, it's very painful to face daily) but that was probably foolish of me. It's been a year since I "let the cat out of the bag", and while it hasn't always been painful, not a ton of healing has come in that time, I suppose (unfortunately) that's an indicator of what healing is like.
_________________________
It's a heroes journey, and you are the hero.

Loving Kindness Meditation will dramatically improve your spirits; give it a try for just 3 days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM

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#458660 - 01/15/14 01:40 PM Re: What does healing really look like? [Re: TR101]
traveler Online   confused
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3393
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Originally Posted By: TR101
But, in my humble opinion, being active on this site inherently means that abuse at some level defines who you are; that you're not over it, because, well, you're a member of a support forum! (if that makes sense)


of course it makes sense - but I think that is placing too much emphasis upon that one element - the CSA - in our definitions of who we are.

an argument can be made that one never totally "gets over it" in the sense that it ceases to influence thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and actions. in order for that to happen there would have to be a complete amnesia of the abuse events and all of the recovery processes after the "healing" had taken place. I don't see that as possible, beneficial or desirable. in fact that kind of amnesia before I started working on my problems was a very unhealthy condition.

but the CSA does not have to be my only or even my main defining description. I am also a man, a husband, a father, an artist, a writer, an actor, a member of several organizations, a believer in God, a person with a nationality and a certain type of personality and specific tastes and preferences and hobbies, and so on. As I think of "healing" it means that the abuse and its effects becomes less and less of the dominant element in my self-description.

LEE
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#458689 - 01/15/14 10:18 PM Re: What does healing really look like? [Re: TR101]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
There is no "over," there is no "past."

There is a state where it is less emotionally intrusive, less prominent in your mind. When it doesn't outweigh on the scales every single other thing you've ever been and done. When you can enjoy life.
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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