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#461693 - 02/28/14 02:40 AM First Post....and I don't even know where to begin
sadclown Offline


Registered: 02/27/14
Posts: 57
So I'll admit: I never considered I'd ever be doing anything quite like this before, but given the nature of this subject matter, its not exactly the kind of thing you can talk to your buddies about and get any semblance of legitimate, first-hand understanding. I'm 25 now, and am just now coming to a place where I can begin to address getting molested when I was 12. The problem is, I have no idea what to expect. I can't wrap my head around the idea that it was so traumatic, even though it clearly affected me, and still does. Honestly, it makes me angry that I can't move past it when it was so long ago. Its over, you know? I've spent the last half of my life avoiding and downplaying it but can't pretend anymore, but still: what comes next? How will therapy help? How do I know the therapist is actually competent? I mean, you can't just trust someone. Even if they don't mean you harm, what if they just suck at what they do? Why do I feel one way, when logically I feel the opposite? For example, I KNOW it wasn't my fault, but I feel like I am entirely to blame. How can I hold these opposite ideas at the same time on so much? Why can't I stop hating myself? Why can't I have a single clear feeling on anything regarding it, besides fear and shame? Everything is so mottled and mixed. Is recovery real? Does it really get better? Am I the only guy who feels this mix? Sorry for the rant; I guess I just feel really, really alone in this. I have some friends who know and they are super supportive (even though I never talk about it), but I still cant talk to them about it. They wouldnt know either way. I know I haven't even begun to handle this, but still: is there a point? Or is it just a waste of time and money and this is how I will feel forever?

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#461694 - 02/28/14 02:49 AM Re: First Post....and I don't even know where to begin [Re: sadclown]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3083
Loc: O Kanada
no apologies needed, sadclown,
and no need to explain the sudden rush of questions.

first of all,
welcome to ms.org.
you have taken the all-important first step and started the process of disclosure.
facing up to what really happened, and how it hurt you is a turning point.

take it slow.
you didn't get here overnight.
answer your questions one at a time.
i will answer your last question first.
one thing i know for sure is that no feeling lasts forever.
whatever you feel now… good, bad, indifferent… it will change.

the best thing you said was "can't pretend anymore".
that is a great place to begin.
so take a stand and start your journey of recovery and self-discovery.
be yourself, get to know who that person is.

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Shakespeare (Hamlet)
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#461704 - 02/28/14 04:48 AM Re: First Post....and I don't even know where to begin [Re: sadclown]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1483
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: sadclown
...Honestly, it makes me angry that I can't move past it when it was so long ago. Its over, you know? I've spent the last half of my life avoiding and downplaying it but can't pretend anymore
Many of us didn't start to come to grips with it till we were in our 40's and 50's. Imagine spending most of a lifetime "avoiding and downplaying". You are at a great advantage begining to heal at your age. No more pretending. You have to face every ugly detail. Feel every rotten feeling. As they say, the only way out is through it.

Originally Posted By: sadclown
...what comes next? How will therapy help? How do I know the therapist is actually competent?
Therapists are humans. Some are better than others. I suggest looking for a therapist specializing in childhood trauma, if possible childhood sexual trauma. Read A Consumer's Guide to Therapist Shopping. Don't be afraid to leave a therapist if you feel its not a good fit.

Originally Posted By: sadclown
Why do I feel one way, when logically I feel the opposite? For example, I KNOW it wasn't my fault, but I feel like I am entirely to blame. Why can't I stop hating myself? Why can't I have a single clear feeling on anything regarding it, besides fear and shame?
These feelings are nearly universal among survivors. We were kids. We believed adults always do the right things. If they were doing something bad to us, it must be our fault. It must be US who is bad. It takes time and alot of painful work to move past those feelings.

Originally Posted By: sadclown
Is recovery real? Does it really get better? ...is there a point? Or is it just a waste of time and money and this is how I will feel forever?
Recovery is real. Yes it does get better. I can't promise that you will never feel the pain, shame, and anger again, but you can learn to live with it. You can learn to change the behaviors and actions that are rooted in those feelings. And you can come to have a life that works, healthy relationships, and peace.
_________________________
"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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#461707 - 02/28/14 08:04 AM Re: First Post....and I don't even know where to begin [Re: sadclown]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1554
Sadclown

You have taken brave steps--shared your abuse with friends who have been supportive and you posted here. This site is non judgmental and we all understand the pain, confusion and sense of loss you are experiencing.

CSA is traumatic, it impacts us emotionally and psychologically. We adopt coping mechanisms to deal with the pain--many are not healthy and robs us of ourselves. We try to eliminate the pain but in the end until we find support and face the abuse we are under the control of the abuser.

MS has the board, chat and private messages. It allows you to read at your pace and to share when you feel safe.

Support is important and I am glad you have friends there for you. Talking about it helps you to accept it--silence creates shame and you have nothing to be ashamed of--it was not your fault, the shame is the abusers shame. Hopefully you can find a therapist and for me I found support groups to be extremely positive. I felt free to talk and listen of CSA with others who knew what I was saying.

I am sorry you had to be here, because this is not a place anyone should have to live. But it offers hope and is part of healing. Take your time, feel safe and heal well.

Kevin

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#461766 - 02/28/14 08:26 PM Re: First Post....and I don't even know where to begin [Re: sadclown]
Rustam Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 469
Loc: UK
Welcome to the site, you have made a good beginning.

The contradictory feelings and thoughts are totally normal. Yes therapy really does help, it is very hard to describe how it helps but it does. When you meet the therapist you get a sense of whether the therapist would work for you if it does not feel right for you find another one.

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#461768 - 02/28/14 08:41 PM Re: First Post....and I don't even know where to begin [Re: sadclown]
Frustrated Offline


Registered: 10/28/13
Posts: 192
I am 50 and starting this process I feel very similar feelings the confusion the split decisions my fault not my fault right wrong I can handle it no I can't etc etc etc but on here your not alone

James

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#461774 - 02/28/14 10:16 PM Re: First Post....and I don't even know where to begin [Re: sadclown]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
Quote:
I've spent the last half of my life avoiding and downplaying it but can't pretend anymore, but still: what comes next? How will therapy help?


You just answered your own question. Therapy acknowledges the seriousness of what you were put through and the validity of your feelings. You've spent 13 years echoing the perp's messages: "it's nothing, it's ok, it's a secret, never tell," and all of your suffering gets squashed against that wall. Therapy says YOU MATTER. Your feelings matter, you can tell right from wrong, and you are allowed to feel bad about bad things being done to you. You are allowed to feel cheated, enraged, vengeful, hurt, confused, humiliated, and scared. You are allowed to feel all of these things, and allowed to say them. Without judging or blaming. And to be reassured by an expert that you were right and the perp was wrong.

The secrecy, the absence of justice, is the most poisonous part of SA. All those filthy feelings stay inside, the perp gets away with it, vanishes, so where are the feelings directed? Why, at yourself of course, because you're still there.

When you select an experienced, supportive, caring therapist, you are in a way beginning the walk towards justice - because inside YOURSELF you're coming to say that THIS WAS WRONG and I DESERVED BETTER.

Saying and confronting the secrets can be grueling. Think of it as scraping dead skin off a burn victim, or draining a boil. You need an advocate - and I honestly believe you'll feel better for having one.

I believe you can do this. Every later step gets easier, and you've made the right choice by starting.


Matt
_________________________
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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#461784 - 03/01/14 12:11 AM Re: First Post....and I don't even know where to begin [Re: sadclown]
sadclown Offline


Registered: 02/27/14
Posts: 57
Thanks for the insight, everyone. Its...a whole new level of confusion for me right now. I didn't really want to address it at all. Just sweep it under the carpet- sure, it happened, but its not a big deal and it was a long time ago. No harm done. But then savage and painful emotions tied to horrible memories kinda forced me into a corner of recognition. Ignoring it just isn't an option for me any more, though God knows I wish it were. It was a pleasant fiction. Though, as it stands, most of it is such a mix of emotions, I couldn't put anything into words outside of disgust and disdain for myself. The surrounding ones are words I don't know if this language has, in their strange mixtures and intensities. But the worst part is that for my whole life, I've been the sole authority on what is reasonable and true. No one else can be trusted...but now I am realizing that it turns out my perceptions are perhaps not as reliable as previously thought. Its a kind of second betrayal of mine against myself. Its good to know I'm not alone in this bizarre, contradictory thinking pattern, and its nice to be able to talk to others who genuinely can relate, and not provide sympathy. Which, frankly, sympathy is the last thing I want. Its bad enough I feel damaged, spoiled, and different (to say nothing of feeling complicit in unspeakable acts)- don't confirm it, you know? But yeah, thanks for the insight.....I still have a lot to figure out....like all of it, I guess
_________________________
My Story

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed"- Ernest Hemingway

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#461786 - 03/01/14 04:52 AM Re: First Post....and I don't even know where to begin [Re: sadclown]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 588
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Sadclown,

I didn't begin remembering sexual and physical abuse from my father until age 53, and sexual abuse, physical abuse and torture from my mother until age 63. There is still much that is blocked, but I am committed to uncovering everything I need to in order to reach an authentic me. And, I continue to be hopeful, as I continue to see progress. The progress comes in tiny, tiny steps, but every so often I can see a broad change and improvement in my thinking. For me, you are right on target describing not being able to trust yourself. This has been so important for me, because as long as I pointed the finger at others, including my abusers, I missed the most important point. Ultimately, I am the only one I can ever change. I can't change others. I can only work through my damaged places and bring them into understanding and wisdom. The healthier my damaged thinking becomes, the better able I am to discern what is right for me and make wiser and wiser choices. Congratulations on beginning to take this on so young.

Sending you love and support,

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#461792 - 03/01/14 08:54 AM Re: First Post....and I don't even know where to begin [Re: sadclown]
Sven Offline


Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 261
Hi SadClown,

Coming here is a good start.
Not pretending it doesn't bother you anymore is too.
Feel free to write more here or in chat..
Take your time, there is no need to rush things... I think anyway

Sven
_________________________
In the howling wind
Comes a stinging rain
See it driving nails
Into souls on the tree of pain
From the firefly a red orange glow
See the face of fear
Running scared in the valley below
~ Bullet The Blue Sky - U2

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#461822 - 03/01/14 08:16 PM Re: First Post....and I don't even know where to begin [Re: sadclown]
gettingstronger Offline


Registered: 09/24/13
Posts: 148
Loc: Virginia
Hey sadclown,

Welcome! Believe me, recovery is possible. It may take a while and it happens in stages, but it can happen if you work at it. Like the others have said, take your time and deal with it as you can.

I've sort of broken up my own situation into three pieces: (1) bad things affecting me that happened before the sexual abuse, (2) the sexual abuse itself, and (3) the aftermath-- feelings, beliefs, actions and so on that were driven by items one and two.

One key is to recognize that you're in control of things now. It may not feel like it at times, but you have both the absolute right and the absolute ability to make sense of it all, deal with the negative feelings, thoughts, actions, and so on, and put it behind you in your own good time. You're the boss now.

Many of us realize that csa never really "goes away," in that you can't go back and un-live any part of your life. You CAN, however, get to a point where it's just part of your history and not something that's affecting you one way or the other any more. (I've got loads of work left to do myself, but I'm on this path and doing quite well.) What's more, you'll come out of it knowing a tremendous amount about yourself and people in general. In other words, you'll gain wisdom.

One final thing: DON'T BE AFRAID OF DEALING WITH THE UGLY STUFF. Sometimes when you feel like crap and things don't feel like they're moving forward is when you make the best realizations about things. I've been making all my best progress at times when I've felt bad. Ugly can be good.

I'm sorry you had to seek MS out, but glad you found it. We're all behind you one hundred percent. Reach out as you need to.

Bob

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#462028 - 03/04/14 08:09 PM Re: First Post....and I don't even know where to begin [Re: sadclown]
kcinohio Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/06/12
Posts: 293
Loc: Ohio
Hey SadClown,

I think you shared a lot of the questions of frustration quite a few of us have had with MS-related history. Sorry things are frustrating now, but getting through some of the harder times is the only way I know for getting to times that are better (rather than just denying or minimizing them in comparison).

Sounds to me like you are pushing through it. The other side is worth it, in my experience.

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#462088 - 03/05/14 07:20 PM Re: First Post....and I don't even know where to begin [Re: sadclown]
sadclown Offline


Registered: 02/27/14
Posts: 57
yeah, its ugly, all right. Its confusing, and completely contrary to logic. Logic is the one thing you can count on, that you can trust absolutely, yet it is powerless in this fight. For many reasons, I am very leery and untrusting of therapists and the like, but I'm devoid of alternatives. Hopefully, with another decade of experiences, and a more mature brain, I can find a decent one and start to make heads and tails of this. Its just a lot and the only things I feel about it is an inexplicable ball of things I don't have words for, and shame. Whoever I find to help me untangle this mess has their work cut out for them.....if I can find them

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