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#463739 - 04/06/14 08:08 AM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
JayBro Offline


Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 270
Loc: Germany
Hey Husky! My first draft of my memoir is completed and I am going to send it off to some of my supports to get their opinions on it!!
_________________________
,,Nun ging es immerzu, weit, weit bis an der Welt Ende."

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#463742 - 04/06/14 08:36 AM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 721
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Husky,

Whenever I say to myself that my efforts are wrong or not enough, I have learned this is simply a learned and negative way of viewing myself, and that it is not true. I always do the best that I can. The best that I can is not always satisfying or pretty. It's difficult for me to trust that I am always where I need to be, especially when I am in discomfort and strong emotions are close to the surface. I have had to say to myself, sometimes many, many times a day "I don't know what I don't know." There have been so many times on Monday I would say I NEED XYZ, and on Wednesday I would say Thank God I didn't get XYZ. It is extremely difficult for me to break a cycle of continuously propelling myself into repetitions of the past because I react out of fear and urgency. I understand you really do not want to be in the situation you are in now. It seems to me there may be very valuable material that your whole self NEEDS from this current configuration for you to grow and evolve. Only you can figure out whether or not this is true. Whatever my decisions are, I ALWAYS learn something.

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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#463746 - 04/06/14 09:43 AM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: JayBro]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1710
JayBro

Congratulations--it is probably a masterpiece and just as important it allowed you to see life as you had seen it all those years. I bet by the end we see a person who has hope and can see their life had been disrupted but is worth living. Great news.

I have written journals as I was healing but never thought to consolidate and tell the story from beginning to end. Some have read parts of the journey and to others I have read parts to others. I found their expressions to be telling--I could see their shock and sadness as they were reading or listening. Several said it was not just the abuse but the lifetime of lonely feelings and then the acts that finally unraveled me and made me relive the abuse. They said they found the acts and those committing or sanctioning the acts as disturbing. I wrote from the heart, but I do not think I could share with so many or the whole story from beginning to end. I do not want others to feel hurt because of what was done, I just want people to heal and show compassion. We are all human and make mistakes and carry silent burdens or demons. We should not rush to judge because we have not walked in others shoes. I would not want or wish anyone to walk in my shoes. I have shared parts of the abuse and the unraveling here, at support groups, with friends, the parish priest, the Diocese but the journals capture a more emotional and struggling aspect of events over the past 45 years with more intimate details.

There are parts of life filled with happiness and love which helped to mask the pain. These periods would appear throughout life,high school days,college days, back packing across Europe,living in Ireland, the marriage, the birth of the children, celebrating their birthdays, golf, tennis and science trips with the children, the impromptu birthday party for the twins, graduations and many more times. Then there were the dark times--feeling lost,undervalued and under-appreciated. I was unable to give 100% of myself for fear of being hurt and when I came close I would become the target of some so they could mask and hide their pain, their sense of loss and other issues. Finally the ultimate, unraveling and being lost for almost 8/9 years as flashbacks, dissociative episodes, fugues and hospitalizations and the acts that brought the abuse part of my life to life. And as I healed, I slowed down on the writing but what I wrote shows hope and the glimmers of happiness appear through the cracks. But the most important part of this chapter are the people who were there to help me heal and find life, from old and new friends, support groups, MS, even certain members of the Church where the abuse occurred and a person who gave much of herself. But it is all not happiness, there is some sadness for those that I love and believe I gave much unconditionally along with mistakes I made were not there but on the opposite side of the fence of those who wanted me to heal and were in denial of the abuse, triggers, medical reports and so on.

Today I know my emotions, my feelings and most importantly who I am. The abuse no longer is hidden or silenced and I am in control of who I am. One day I will write again in the journal and talk of how I feel today and how my life has changed and how I look at myself, the feelings of being whole with the child within who carried a burden too great for any person and the happiness I have first with myself and then the people who proudly stood with me on this journey.

Today should be a good day as I trek back out to the suburbs. I will be making some more positive changes in my life. I think I should write the changes down and reflect on where I am today. But sometimes I feel if I write the "good" I am setting myself up for a set back.

Hopefully one day we see your life in writing and maybe it will make its way to the big screen. Congratulations and I admire your tenacity and ability to bring all the emotions and events together.

Kevin

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#463749 - 04/06/14 01:04 PM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
OCN Offline


Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 263
Loc: Western Europe
Very interesting post to say the least CH!

Interesting to see that you wrote about the environment and corruption. I spend a lot of years diving into conspiracies and similar stuff. And in my early 20's i also wrote a lot about spirituality. Reading your post is a motivation to re-read my old stuff too.

This part was the most interesting for me:
Quote:
I'm still trying to make sense of it all, but the most powerful thing I'm left with at the moment is this feeling of regret and this thought: I wish I had paid more attention to what I was saying in the past. It was somewhat shocking to realize that the same patterns of self-destruction and emotional/mental abuse within my family had existed for close to a decade, and I just stayed in it, not realizing the repetition of it all, blinded by delusions that some things might change.

I guess ive done the same. I wrote a piece once calling myself the master of complaints. Never did i realize that there was a hiddden deeper meaning behind it untill i found out more about SA. I guess you have to be ready to understand what you were saying in the past. So i wouldnt be too hard on yourself in this matter. Awareness grows with attention, so cherish this little seed which is growing by every piece you re-read from your past writings!

I've seen it a lot, people dealing with SA seem to be writing a lot. I've been writing for 10 years now but in a way it always has been about a personal search for meaning and understanding. I'm also writing my memoirs, but its still pretty much in an early phase and i'm not sure what to do with it.

Thanks for sharing Husky! A lot to pounder about!
_________________________
Trust me, you are worth it to love yourself!

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#463759 - 04/06/14 04:35 PM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: KMCINVA]
JayBro Offline


Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 270
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: KMCINVA
Congratulations--it is probably a masterpiece and just as important it allowed you to see life as you had seen it all those years. I bet by the end we see a person who has hope and can see their life had been disrupted but is worth living. Great news.


Hey Kevin, thank you so much for your encouragement as well as sharing your story with us.

I absolutely understand what you mean by still acknowledging great moments in life and their comparison to painful and "lost" moments. Our lives are filled with such drastic ups and downs, and the devastating trauma created by sexual abuse understandably brings a unique set of difficulties and challenges for us survivors. I found that my positive moments gave me motivation to continue to trudge through my most challenging times during my PTSD. And during my recovery, these peaceful periods motivated me to make the most of my time and be "productive" in my recovery.

Conceptualizing and articulating my abuse and recovery process was a challenging thing to do, and I wrote extensively on Male Survivor and spoke about this to my supports. Being cognizant of this barrier, I wrote in my memoir how dedicating myself to learning a new language while working through my trauma was a metaphor for my recovery. Developing a new lexicon, a new syntax, and a new way of seeing the world and expressing myself also applied to my trauma recovery.

You mentioned that you may write again, however you are already writing on MaleSurvivor. When first beginning my memoir, reading these posts was a little overwhelming but a great starting point in understanding where I was and what I wanted to write about. In many ways, our posts on MaleSurvivor are an open journal which is read by others who understand what we're going through and contributing their own entries.

Don't think though of your most challenging years as years wasted. You were where you were simply supposed to be at that time. It was part of your larger journey. You made it through and now you're successfully continuing on!!
_________________________
,,Nun ging es immerzu, weit, weit bis an der Welt Ende."

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#463760 - 04/06/14 04:36 PM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1710
Strange this thread keeps coming back to me. Today we were moving boxes and as I went through one of the boxes I came across 5 letter size pads. I had forgotten about these pads. They were part of my journal and I had forgotten about them. We ended up reading many pages today and a few tears were shed. One long chapter was about my brother Brian. He led a very troubled life. Once when I said I did not want to do this anymore the abuser said there is always your younger brother. I said no and I would come back but do not touch Brian. I always wonder if he lied to me. Brian's life seemed similar to so many survivors, always lost, looking for something, lost to addictions, trouble with relationships. But he was a good person. Sadly a week from today will mark 17 years since his passing at the age of 37. Strange this lost chapter was found so close to the date of his passing. I will always be haunted did my abuser lie to me and harm him. Most of me believes yes but hope it was not so.

It was good to talk about Brian with someone who did not know him. She saw the good in him and did not judge him. She just said she did not know the scars he held inside but he must have fought the best he could. I hope my healing and supporting gives validation to his life because I know someone harmed him along the way.

I realize with the journals my life and thoughts will be with me. I can feel my emotions now. It was wonderful to remember Brian today and to be with someone to share my emotions with as his anniversary nears.

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#463771 - 04/06/14 07:22 PM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
JayBro Offline


Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 270
Loc: Germany
HUGS

That is so very powerful and moving. Glad you made this entry then today, my friend.
_________________________
,,Nun ging es immerzu, weit, weit bis an der Welt Ende."

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#463794 - 04/07/14 10:20 AM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1710
Thank you for the support and kind words.

We did not get too far yesterday with our tasks, we kept going back to the journals. I became enthralled with what I had written. At times it seemed to ramble but the words caught my emotions. The pain was there but it was not piercing or excruciating as it was when I wrote those words. She read many passages and when details of the abuse appeared she had to move beyond as she did when she read of the triggers and treatment after disclosure of the abuse. She has lived in worlds where abuse is prevalent and said, much of it is learned because many ignore what is being done to others, adults encourage children to participate or engage in abuse as a way to control a child and secure their place in the child’s mind, adults are not shunned for their acts on children, silence she said is a sign of encouragement and propels the continuation of the cycle. She saw this in my writings. She said there were positive signs in the actions of the parish priest and my old diocese. She hopes the world is changing.

She came across one chapter that spoke of a happy time in my life. She found it, started reading and laughing. I looked at her and she said what is wrong. Why are you laughing? I had forgotten about this chapter and remembered I wrote it to my children. I had tried to tell the story many times but if I ever began to talk about this time or my childhood the conversation would be commandeered to others childhoods. It was an experience that I will never forget. After college I backpacked across Europe on the rails on my way to a six week internship in Greece. She asked me to tell her about my adventures. It was the first time anyone asked me and I had become conditioned not to tell this experience or anything else from my life because I was never allowed to finish. My life, as I saw it was not important to be told as were the lives of others where the same stories were told over and over. I started how the journey began in leaving JFK to London and returning to JFK three and half months later. I was excited and looking forward to a journey into another world. I covered many miles and countries, met family who lived in Ireland and England, met many other travelers from the US and European countries—laughing and learning about lives everywhere, experiencing how others lived and living by Frommer’s Europe on $5 a day. As I talked I remembered so many of the people I met, from a relative of Pavlov (from Pavlov dogs), The Hotel California in Paris, the gourmet French dinner in San Michel at a restaurant run by a former woman of the night—appetizer bologna, the hostels, the young woman from Denmark on the rock covered beaches of Nice, to the kind farmer who took me to his family one night as I was hitchhiking through Ireland trying to find a family member, the family I met in Germany where a cousin was an au pair and how they welcomed me in and invited me to the local neighborhood festival the next day, the many young people I met from all over the world during my internship and the parties and travels we made to the islands of Greece, the early morning hike down the Samaria gorge and seeing the elderly woman selling drinks in their dark black garb to sustain the hikers when the temperatures approached 100 degrees, the Mass in the catacombs to walking the coliseum (which cannot be done now), the quick tour of Louvre for those of us who are art challenged and so much more. I must have talked about this for over an hour. We laughed at the stories and fun I had. She has an appreciation for travel as she has lived abroad for many years and will soon return for another assignment. It was a simple experience, no frills but filled with laughter and fun and for me, I was free of the past, the world in which I had lived. No memories of the abused consumed my mind during this adventure. I always wanted to tell the children but for me I felt it was not allowed or important. Maybe one day they will read the journal and learn the simplest parts of my life can bring joy and happiness. I was glad we came along this chapter it took away from the heaviness that is found in many parts of my journal. Laughter is an excellent medicine.

I am glad to have rediscovered this part of my journal. There were good moments in life but I believe many were temporarily lost as I unraveled and began to heal.

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#463796 - 04/07/14 11:22 AM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 589
Wow, I've totally missed out on some developments over the weekend!

First off, JayBro - congratulations on your memoirs! That must be an amazing feeling, to have completed a project like this. I'm sorry I wasn't able to respond when you first posted about it, but I'm really happy it's done and I'm proud of you! I hope I can follow in your footsteps soon. As I'm beginning to discover, this is no mean feat, processing the past. Knowing that someone's done it before is really encouraging for me. Thank you for sharing the great news! As for cycles, my biggest problem is gambling. I'm broke and back at my parents' now, so there aren't many stupid things I can do, but I'm hoping processing my past through this project will make it easier for me to deal with other things, like the gambling.

Kevin - I don't know where to start because I relate to so much of what you've written. I don't know if it's coincidental, but I went on a huge Eurotrip myself last year...and what you write about the ups and downs of life amidst the lingering effects of abuse really resonates with me. I'm glad you've ended up rediscovering these journal entries - they really are gems, in a way - and that it's having a positive effect on you.

OCN - I can really relate to what you said, that you have to be ready to understand what you were saying in the past. Jeez, so much has changed in the last few years - it's like I lost touch with myself, because I started becoming engulfed in addictions and, ironically, "recovery". Sometimes it seems like the rabbit hole digs so deep that it becomes an entity in itself, not allowing space for other things. In a way, I'm rediscovering who I was before I became aware of my abuse (I've even been able to roughly pinpoint when that happened). I feel there's a huge split in me now that I'm hoping to mend.

Ken - "lost" really sums up my journals from my late teens as well. I had identity issues for sure, as well as a subtle, hidden anger that manifested itself in many ways. I think I still do, but at least, thanks to my journals, I'm aware of it. In some ways, "recovery" has blurred issues I was dealing with as a teen, and rereading those journals has made me aware of a bigger picture. I guess a lot of problems stem from abuse, but not everything - that was an eye-opener for me.

FB - thanks for the suggestion. I might have trouble writing my left hand (that sounds difficult enough already) because I have a permanently disabled joint in one of the fingers. But in the book I'm working on, I have created a character that I'm hoping will be a voice for my inner child, so to speak, and he'll be engaged in conversations with me. I'm looking forward to writing those out, and I've got a few chapters of that outlined already.

I'm sorry I'm back on this thread late...it's great to see though that so many members find writing to be healing. My time and energy these past few days have really been spent on these past journals and processing what I read/rediscover. It's been a crazy decade for me, but it feels good, putting events in a neat chronology, seeing their causes and effects, etc. - it's given me some new perspectives that I can use to virtually reconceptualize my entire childhood. I get really awful migraines from time to time, but I guess that's a relatively small price to pay for processing. I did try to quit smoking as well, but that lasted about 40 minutes. I guess that can come later, because this project has been so taxing that I really don't have the energy to undertake other things.

Anyway, it's been really awesome so far reading everyone's input on this. I hope we can keep each other posted on how we're doing on our journaling and writing!
_________________________
Husky

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#463798 - 04/07/14 11:58 AM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 589
Don - I needed a bit more time to think over what you said. I think you're right about my situation. I've been in this situation so, so many times - that's becoming increasingly clear as I reread my journals. This pattern - I thought it was only recent, but this repetition of failed escape attempts has been going on really since mid-2008. Over and over and over and over and over and over. It's become more dramatic, but it's the same thing. And that's over 5 years. I had no idea things were so similar then, despite all the things I've gone through in the time being. I guess maybe it was my unconscious telling me I needed to really face the truth of what's going on? I don't know. But you have a point. All I know is that my hyperfocus is now squarely set on this writing project - I hope it may finally break the cycle of failed escapades. I've had one too many.
_________________________
Husky

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