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#462878 - 03/19/14 11:19 PM How We Look
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1747
Last night I was at a support group meeting. I was talking to a new member. Out of the blue as I was speaking the group leader turned and said I have to say you have changed so much, your body language, your expressions, your words and the confidence in your voice. I asked was I that bad when I first came here over 2 years ago. He laughed and said you were so wounded and had so much hurt in your expressions, how you sat in the chair, how your hands kept rubbing up and down your arms, your tears and emotions. Then other members laughed and one said you were struggling and tonight you are helping someone through what you lived. They asked did I see a change--I said the change I was at peace, no longer afraid of triggers because I know how to cope, I was happy and content, I am addressing issues that I need to resolve to move forward financially, I have been surrounded by those that give and support, I do not let others that triggered the past control, and I feel loved by others and myself. I guess I have changed but never realized my outside appearance told a different story when I first came here.

I think our outside appearance, body language and expressions may be seen and allowed others to hurt us, because we gave the appearance of being susceptible to others need to hurt, control, manipulate or whatever. We talked about this and the consensus was we looked the victim and became a victim once again. I believe our inside feelings are portrayed on the outside.

If we heal internally we heal on the outside and people treat us as we should be treated.

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#462879 - 03/20/14 12:27 AM Re: How We Look [Re: KMCINVA]
1lifenow Offline


Registered: 03/07/11
Posts: 411
Loc: west coast
hell to the ya

same experience for me at my first group, i barely talked
they said i just sort of disappeared into the chair and i am not a big guy to begin with
slowly the chin lifted, the eyes brightened and gaze aversion became a thing of the past
thanks for the post KM, it helps us refocus

now even the tough muscle guys at the gym give me that knowing nod, who da thunk. lol
_________________________
The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. Dalai Lama

WoR Barrie 2011

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#462885 - 03/20/14 09:35 AM Re: How We Look [Re: KMCINVA]
On The Fringe Offline


Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
In a thread I started, a few people mentioned being at war with ourselves, and stopping that internal war.

I can imagine I looked like a prisoner of my internal war. I would imagine other trapped in the same painful struggle show the battle damage as well.

Great topic
_________________________
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

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#462886 - 03/20/14 09:55 AM Re: How We Look [Re: KMCINVA]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1747
I now believe (but did not see when I was hiding the past) when we are a prisoner of our internal war as has been said by On the Fringe, people see our struggle, some come to our aid while others use it as an opportunity to prey on our weaknesses and we respond and never are we appreciated for what we do only told of what we fail to do or what we may have done wrong. Like you, I see more affirmation from people as I heal and the true and once self hidden me shines through.


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#462889 - 03/20/14 10:45 AM Re: How We Look [Re: KMCINVA]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3488
Loc: somewhere in Africa
all very true and very good Kevin!

great to hear that you are doing so well - and being affirmed by others too.

i had a similar experience in the 12-step group i attend. several told me i was looking so much better.

i even feel different - physically taller and more energized.

and how we present to others definitely has a lot to do with how they relate to us. and it often says as much about them as it does about us.

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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#462964 - 03/21/14 10:40 PM Re: How We Look [Re: KMCINVA]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 601
Kevin,

That's a pretty inspiring post. The place you're at sort of sets a benchmark for me, some place I'd like to be at in the future. I'm really happy for you. smile

I think you're absolutely right about body language. A few weeks ago, I met up with an old college friend of mine. He took of a photo of us - him, his family and me - and posted it on Facebook. I was pretty startled to see how I looked. My hair was disheveled, greasy. Hunched back, hunched shoulders, forced smile - I felt that after all the years of effort I put into healing that I'd look a bit more confident, but the photo told me a completely different story. It looked like I was really defeated, totally lacking in confidence and self-esteem, just floating by in life without any purpose...I guess it kind of showed me that I still have a long ways to go.
_________________________
Husky

My Story

Growing up isn't about losing innocence - it's about learning how to keep it in a cold and unforgiving world.

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#462971 - 03/22/14 09:53 AM Re: How We Look [Re: KMCINVA]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1747
Thank you.

I feel differently and asked a friend, who has been a godsend a simple question do I look and sound different today than a year ago? A question like this always catches everyone off guard, she laughed. I said seriously. She said, do not take this the wrong way, but you look better, happier and your smile is natural. Better I said, laughing and saying I did not think I could get better looking. She laughed and said you do not seem afraid of the world or people. She said if people are not kind to someone you find something good to say about the person and then walk away. Before she said I would stand there and let them go on, hiding and looking uncomfortable. She said I treat myself better, no longer putting myself down or finding fault with myself. She said more personally I am less inhibited and I make sure both enjoy. She says I am comfortable in my own skin. I must say I do feel comfortable and safe.

One thing that she said hit me, I do not have anger or rage when I speak of the abuse or what was done to trigger the past that nearly destroyed my life. Her worldly experiences of living and seeing tragedy, trauma and suffering has taught her those that hold anger, rage and hurt never reclaim their lives. She understands it is difficult for most because they never escape their living environments. She said I escaped and went through the pain and work required to heal. She said for me to escape was to realize and accept people I love were unable to accept the abuse and how their actions made you feel like a trapped and wounded child in the hands of the priest. She reminded me I have accepted this is their issue and like you have done they need to do some self discovery, which you know is painful. They may want to bury their pain because this way they do not face the truth, like you did for decades. She told me I also accepted I will never know what really happened in dissociative and fugue states and she told me I also have expressed sorrow for what may have happened. She said since the abuse was validated by the diocese I no longer beat myself up trying to remember if these things did or did not happen. She said the diocese acknowledging the effects of the abuse seemed to pull together everything the doctors had told me. She said beating myself up only hurt me. She said I no longer talk about being responsible for the abuse and just say I was a child. This was hard for so long, because I always looked at a child going back for more abuse through adult eyes and not through a child's mind. But once I accepted the child within this perception changed.

I told her I could not have done it alone--it took a village and kind and supportive people to get me here today.

I asked one more question, do not know why I asked but asked do I look like a victim--she smiled and said I now looked like a survivor (and I am not quite sure what a survivor really looks like) but I felt good.

I now believe our outsides cannot hide what our insides are feeling and hiding.

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#462974 - 03/22/14 11:00 AM Re: How We Look [Re: KMCINVA]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 800
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
HI KMCINVA,

Congratulations on healing your wounded self. I am very much in process, but can see so much of me that is no longer traumatized. Still a ways to go before I can comfortably go out my front door, but I do see continuous progress with my damaged thinking shrinking and my healthy thinking growing.

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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#462975 - 03/22/14 11:30 AM Re: How We Look [Re: don64]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1747
Don

Great to hear you are moving forward--each step helps you get your life back. I am proud of you, it takes courage and perseverance to move forward. Keep going and I remember we are here for support and encouragement.

Kevin

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#462976 - 03/22/14 11:31 AM Re: How We Look [Re: KMCINVA]
Rusty563 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 200
Loc: Anywhere, USA
Thank you TM for sharing your progress. I find it ironic and maybe a bit of providence if you will, that your post should appear because I'm kinda coming from being a person who gave the appearance of a change to putting on a false face now because I'm fast approaching a fall but from you I'm getting words of encouragement.

Thank you very much.

Rusty

(btw, i was a victim of priest as well)
_________________________
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you - Maya Angelous
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed - Martin Luther King
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qF_qbaWt3Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDOkMSf-F14

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