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#460204 - 02/05/14 11:40 PM Hope Anyone?
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1488
Loc: New England
Recently in another thread there was some discussion of "hope", with some writers in favor of it, and others rejecting it. I thought it deserved its own thread, as its presence or lack there-of, likely plays a role in recovery for many of us.

So what are your thoughts about "hope"? It it just the rantings of naive optimists? An empty promise that only leads to disappointment? Or is it what sustains us when life begins to bear down on us? Here's the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition: "to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true"

What does it mean to you?
_________________________
"But now old friends are acting strange,
they shake their heads, they say I've changed.
Something's lost but something's gained in living every day
....it's life's illusions I recall, I really don't know life at all. "
Joni Mitchell

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#460205 - 02/05/14 11:54 PM Re: Hope Anyone? [Re: Jude]
kcinohio Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/06/12
Posts: 296
Loc: Ohio
To me, hope means there is a chance of something better happening because I learn about something better happening to someone else or elsewhere.

For example, on the progress forum here on MS, shares about what is going better is something that can offer hope to others.

I can't hope for a better childhood for myself without CSA, that's already happened. But, I can hope that where that experience holds me back now in my day to day life is changed, maybe even transformed so that my now is better.

Hope is also something you can hold for others as well.

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#460214 - 02/06/14 04:15 AM Re: Hope Anyone? [Re: Jude]
Jacob S Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 592
Hope is that which you want to be true. It is kind of like a rope tied to a dream. It can pull me forward. But it can also hold me back. If what I hope for has already passed me by.

Sometimes I have to untie the rope and let the dream go. The work then is to find a new dream, something that is a real stretch of my abilities but at the same time is not foolish or unrealistic.

To hold onto a dead dream too long will drag me down more than no dreams at all. The times when the rope is not tied to anything, when it is loose and I feel untethered, That is the scariest time. But it is important, because there is only so far a single dream can fly.

I grow so I have to let my dreams grow and sometimes let some dreams go. Holding on to past hope will only give me rope-burn.

Hope is a rope. It saves me or it strangles me depending on what I tie it to. And whether or not I can grab it and release it at just the right times.
_________________________
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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#460215 - 02/06/14 05:37 AM Re: Hope Anyone? [Re: Jude]
On The Fringe Offline


Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
Hope

Optimism

Positive outlook

All of these things matter. Not a silly over the top wish list of outcomes, but a bit of optimism based on realistic actions taken.

Not every action I have taken has work out at intended... But doing nothing and hoping for change has always failed.
_________________________
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

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#460221 - 02/06/14 10:27 AM Re: Hope Anyone? [Re: Jude]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1560
Hope is a desire for something different or for something to happen. I believe hope sets a goal for something different in our lives. For me, without hope I would have drowned from the actions that triggered memories, the triggers, flashbacks, fugues and loss of self and value. Hope is all I had, hope I saw in many here who were able to move forward, hope from others I met in live support groups and seeing their changes as they healed, hope from people who stood by me, encouraged me and would give their smile, their ear, time, compassion.

Without hope I believe today would not be today for me.

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#460297 - 02/07/14 11:08 PM Re: Hope Anyone? [Re: Jude]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
Hope.

A wish for something better than what I have been given. It seems to be more than a wish, it is a desire. A burning need to have the tomorrows altered. I can't change the yesterdays. It has been this way since I was Four. Five. Eight. Ten. Fourteen. Seventeen. Hope has carried me forth, carried me away. Spouse's illness. Hope. Widowhood. Hope. Fifty- ASA- Hope. And so it goes. I am an optimist. It is by nature something I easily master. Life is life, assault is assault. But always I hoped. Hope is my most relevant companion. Has always been so. I continue to live only because of hope for a different tomorrow. As I become older, my hope becomes stronger. I hope so strongly because I quietly believe in the goodness of this world.
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



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#460322 - 02/08/14 12:17 PM Re: Hope Anyone? [Re: Jude]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3321
Loc: somewhere in Africa
i am glad this topic and thread has come up. it is a very important one to me. i would not be here if not for hope. that is not an exagerration. there have been times when i was ready to check out for the last time - and only the hope that things might get better - or at least that something might change - kept me from taking the final step. it wasn't a strong conviction type of hope - but a feeble hint - almost like a mild curiosity to see the last few minutes of a film or read the last chapter of a book that i wasn't even particularly interested in - but already had invested time in - so might as well see it through.

here is another analogy - hope has been like a pilot light on a gas-fueled furnace or water heater or stove. it is not a big flame - but even when the appliance is not in active use, that tiny flame ensures that it is ready to turn on and work. there have been times when that pilot light has gone out for me - but something or someone has always come along to re-light it - and it has never been completely dark for a long period of time. without that re-igniting of the little, flickering flame, i don't think i could have continued for long.

there was a study that i participated in about resiliency in survivors of CSA. after nearly an hour of a one-on-one interview, the bottom line seemed to be the question of what allowed or encouraged or promoted resiliency. in my case, i had to conclude that the thing that made the difference for me was HOPE.

sometimes i mistook it for stubbornness or force of habit or rebellion or obstinacy or determination - but deep down, none of those would have been worth anything without HOPE.

and now i am going to be controversial - so if you get triggered by God-talk - stop reading here.

i think that a big part of my hope has been based upon FAITH. i see these two qualities as very closely related, but not the same.

the Cambridge Dictionary gives these concise definitions:
"hope - the feeling that something desired can be had or will happen"
"faith - a high degree of trust or confidence in something or someone"

the crucial difference to me is that hope is the belief that something MIGHT happen - whereas faith is a belief that something WILL happen or a belief that someone is able to make a difference. for me, that SOMEONE has been GOD. i personally cannot conceive of having hope without faith or faith without God. not to say that i have no questions or doubts or arguments about how things have happened - and God's involvement or uninvolvement in events of my life. that's a topic for another thread.

bottom line - Hope and Faith and God have been essential elements in my survival and in whatever healing i have had. i know it is not the same for everyone. but that is how it is for me.
i can't separate them.

lee


Edited by traveler (02/08/14 12:18 PM)
_________________________
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

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#460327 - 02/08/14 12:52 PM Re: Hope Anyone? [Re: Jude]
risingagain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 595
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
If it were not for hope,
I certainly would not be here.

I have been asked not to share about my project, Made to Soar. It gives me hope.

Hearing the stories of survivors and helping them live their dreams gives me hope.

When we produce our second video, I hope that other survivors will find hope in seeing Alejandro live his dreams.

And I have hope that MaleSurvivor and others will see the value in the work I am doing.

I have hope for survivors because I have come so far in my own healing and I know that a better life is possible.

I have hope for children because I see how speaking out, education, and facing our shame and silence can change lives.

I have hope for humanity.

I have hope.

Nothing can take that away from me. It's a choice. It's a way of seeing. It's believing that there is a purpose to all the pain we've suffered, and that WE ARE MADE TO SOAR. That's what we're built to do. And all this suffering is only grist for the mill, is learning to love and trust, is understanding what family and compassion truly are.

That's my hope.

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#460335 - 02/08/14 03:31 PM Re: Hope Anyone? [Re: Jude]
justplainme Offline


Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 270
I only hope to never lose hope.
_________________________

"Survivors need an opportunity to define their own sexuality in their own terms, rather than in reaction to the abuse, so that they stop allowing their offenders to have power over them sexually."

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#460343 - 02/08/14 06:57 PM Re: Hope Anyone? [Re: Jude]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 585
What does hope mean to me.

This questions has got me thinking for a good while now.

I guess I would define hope as a belief in a positive outcome in the future. That would mean:

- stability - emotional, financial
- independence, self-efficacy
- ability to enjoy a range of activities
- a strong support network with good relationships
- realizing my dreams
- a safe environment in which to grow and develop
- a healthy sexuality

If, when and how I will achieve them is still anyone's guess, but hope, hope in that those things will come, does keep me going.
_________________________
Husky

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