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#463466 - 03/31/14 09:08 AM A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 585
Hey guys,

I just wanted to share some stuff that's been going on with me lately. A few weeks ago, I came up with this idea to start working on a semi-autobiographical novel. So far I've got about 36 chapters outlined, and tons of memories to work with. In the process, I was looking for some old journals of mine, in order to try and get an idea of what I was going through. I was pleased to find some journals (about ten notebooks), dating all the way back from 2006. I was 18 then.

Honestly, up until now, I obviously knew I had kept these journals, but I had never bothered to reread them. I was embarrassed, to say the least. But after rereading a few entries, I realized the real reason why I didn't bother - it was because I hated myself. That really hit me hard, this realization. It was only when I was about 20 (I'm 26 now) that I realized the true nature of what had gone on between my mother and I, and to reread journals from before then meant I was faced with the prospect of reading the thoughts and feelings of a potentially clueless idiot who had no idea what was going on about himself and the world around him.

Well, some bits from July 4, 2006:

"...you must do things never relative to anyone - that is, you should never let anyone enter your own world. Do it alone, and create your own world. Sensitivity is something that you do have. But it's something you should use wisely and sparingly - that is, only for love. For some people, this is not applicable. People may kill for love. Some people will trash you completely, too engulfed in their selfish realm to realize it. However, you are unique, and so there are things that are applicable to you only."

I have to admit, my initial reaction was well DAMN, I actually had a brain back then. And I think I knew something was wrong, just not what exactly, just something. I was talking about the environment, corruption, wars, delinquency, things like that. There was also another entry from June 25, 2006, which read: "I have thoughts - perverted thoughts, violent and sometimes murderous thoughts. I don't know what to do yet, but all I know is that I have to solve my problems alone." That really cut to the heart of the problem, and for the first time in years, I felt my heart aching for the kid I was - so isolated from the rest of the world that he thought he had to figure everything out on his own. The problems were there. He just had nobody to provide him with the compassion and language necessary to make sense of it all.

Fast-forward a few years to 2009. There's this one entry, with a line marked in capitals: "MOTHERS' BOYS FLARE OUT IN THEIR MID-TWENTIES, SHIT!"

Obviously some things had changed. I would've opted for "burnt out", but what I had written six years ago was weirdly prophetic. I did pretty much burn out at 25 and 26.

A lot of the psychological jargon had already entered my writing by then - abuse, OCD, projection, regression, transference and all that, things that weren't in my conceptual framework in my late teens - and I also noticed something very peculiar: from 2006-2008, I had always written in the first or second person, but from 2009 onwards, none my entries included the words "I" or "me". I guess that signaled that my focus had moved from me to other people. And it feels like I had regressed. Like I was much more mature when I was 18 than I am now. Maybe that just shows how I was put in an impossible situation where I had to be a lot more mature developmentally (or at least, act like it) than I was in terms of age. Maybe that shows that in these recent years, I was living out a boyhood, in all of its gloriously outrageous confusion and instability. Maybe rereading all those journals is a sign that I'm ready to put those two characters in me together - the boy in me, and the man in me. Maybe I can go back to occasionally writing my journals in the first person again.

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 used to hate my 18-year-old self. Or at least, what I've now realized - I used to hate the image I had of my 18-year-old self. He was actually OK. Admittedly, pretty dry, self-centered, bratty and sarcastic, but he was confident, asking the right questions...and it was refreshing to realize. Rereading what he had written, I just now see him - and by extension, really, myself, all the way up to the present - as really just this lost kid who was searching for his identity and his place in the world. I've done a lot of things I'm not particularly proud of these last few years. But maybe, I still was a good kid. Maybe I am a good kid. Troubled and damaged, but still, a good kid.


Edited by concerned_husky (03/31/14 09:31 AM)
_________________________
Husky

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#463471 - 03/31/14 09:40 AM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1563
Husky

Wow you have come a long way and you should not should have would have because we cannot change the past. I saw something today

I have a past
But I now longer live there

I too have journals during the time I unraveled. I re-read them every so often and realize the pain I had, the insights I had, but ignored, as to the cause of much of the pain and unraveling, my self destruction which I could not see because I did not know, writings I do not remember writing or written in my normal handwriting, and so much more. I find the words insightful and helpful to remind where I had been and what was happening around me. It makes me realize I never want to go back there or to those times.

Most of us were good kids, had dreams and a future filled with hope, and then one day it was robbed from us. I no longer say why didn't I tell about the abuse, why did I hide it, why did I allow myself to be revictimized over and over later in life, why when I was loosing time more rapidly than the norm for me did I not seek help. I now know I was not ready to face the past. I preferred to keep myself fragmented I thought--but I had developed this separateness to cope with the abuse and what was done. I cannot change the past and like you I now see myself in a new light, the good and bad.

The last few years for me, were bad and nearly took a permanent toll on me, but it was a time of facing the past, uniting myself as one, learning to love myself and the child within and accepting all aspects of the abuse.

Your writings are always insightful and makes me think about myself--which is a good thing--because it keeps me in check and encourages me to reflect on where I was and where I am today.

Thank you.

Kevin


Edited by KMCINVA (03/31/14 09:43 AM)

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#463472 - 03/31/14 10:16 AM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 695
Loc: Southeast USA
Husky,

Excellent work!

I've found that writing is probably the single most effective thing I have done to address the past and put it in some kind of perspective. Like you, I journaled extensively as a teenager. Reading it today reveals a teenager driven to succeed, but also one with fears and weaknesses. It's both awkward and comforting to read what that kid wrote once upon a time---and some of the insights I made then were rediscovered and at times became the basis for a few of my MS posts.

Keep on writing; keep on reading. We can't change the past, but we can reframe it if needed.

Will
_________________________
Cruel Summer
My Journal

-Signs and traces left in stone
Ruins of a past unknown-

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#463550 - 04/01/14 09:14 PM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
JayBro Offline


Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 245
Loc: Germany
Husky, I must admit, your writing is refreshingly insightful and so well written. I am happy for you that you have this outlet, and also one too that you are able to share with others.

It is interesting that you started this thread now because I am writing a piece for my support centre about my trauma and recovery. I am working on condensing so much, giving myself a voice while also crafting a short memoir that is relevant and well-written. It is challenging and emotionally exhausting because I am going back in time and evaluating what I want to include, exclude, and how I want to represent certain phases of and events during my trauma. I hope the final product will be good!!

How do you decide what to include, how to condense, etc.? I am finding it quite challenging and I have been working on this project for almost a month now.
_________________________
,,Nun ging es immerzu, weit, weit bis an der Welt Ende."

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#463555 - 04/01/14 11:44 PM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 585
Kevin, Will, JayBro - thanks for your feedback and encouragements. smile It's uplifting to be in the company of others who have moved forward with the help of writing/journaling. It's no easy task, revisiting and re-experiencing what it felt like in the past, but like you said Kevin, it reminds me of a place I would never want to go back to again, and it motivates me to keep trying to change some things in my life.

JayBro, I really get it when you say it's challenging and emotionally exhausting. My journals from about 2009 onwards write more like chronicles, reporting day-to-day incidents of the abusive home environment I had (it is really, really packed with emotional abuse, which some physical and some covertly incestuous acts), and rereading them really feels like I'm opening up a can of worms. It's sort of like I was addressing the future me - the me right now - saying, look, I can't process all this shit happening right now, but I'm going to write everything down anyway so that you won't ever forget, and when you're strong enough, you can start processing all of it. I'm trying to be very careful not to tax myself too much at one reading.

I'm really happy to hear you're working on this memoir of yours as well. Like everyone's said here, I think writing things out can have a profoundly healing effect, where you can reframe, process and make sense of what happened in the past. I'm actually having troubling deciding what to leave out and how to condense everything too. What I'm finding useful at the moment is to organize everything under specific themes, so that I can condense numerous events under one category. I think that gives it a sense of conciseness, continuity and organization - a sense that I lacked previously in trying to understand everything because things were so chaotic. This method seems more workable for me, rather than going about on a day-to-day recounting sort of way. I hope this helps and good luck with your memoir, keep us posted!


Edited by concerned_husky (04/01/14 11:47 PM)
_________________________
Husky

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#463573 - 04/02/14 07:54 PM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 597
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Husky,

I understand the great energy required to do what you are doing. It sounds to me you are integrating your experience--the precursor to wisdom and understanding. How smart of you to unconsciously have set it up this way. You are able to help you now in a way you weren't able to earlier. It has a real healthy feeling to it to me.

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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#463697 - 04/05/14 10:02 AM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 585
Thanks Don. smile It's taking a lot of energy for sure - I think it's exactly because of what you said, that I'm integrating everything. As much as I thought I was processing things, I don't think it was enough. Either that, or I was doing something wrong, because I'm still stuck in the same destructive cycles that have defined my life for close to a decade now. It's not easy to stay conscious of things you'd like to forget. And it seems to me like remembering is just the first step, and processing everything - making sense of the emotions and the dynamics behind what happened - is a far greater task, something that I think I've been neglecting. I'm hoping something comes of this. Thanks for your support.
_________________________
Husky

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#463714 - 04/05/14 05:13 PM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1093
Loc: The ATL

Hi Husky. Thanks for sharing this with us. Good luck moving forward with your book. It sounds like an ambitious project. I kept journals in my late teens as well and it's been a while since I've gone back and read them. In a way, it's kind of a painful thing to do. Reading the words of this lost, angry kid who had absolutely no direction at all in life whatsoever. A kid who was only beginning to realize how unbelievably fucked up he was and who was terrified of his future and of the world he saw around him. Not much of that has changed, only I'm older now. (Sigh).

Anyway, I hope you keep us posted on how the project is coming. Sorry I haven't been around much lately. Peace,

Ken

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#463721 - 04/05/14 09:07 PM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
JayBro Offline


Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 245
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: concerned_husky
I'm still stuck in the same destructive cycles that have defined my life for close to a decade now.


Hey Husky!

I am writing more to my own little memoir now and decided to take a break and read any new comments on this post. What are the destructive cycles that you referenced? Have you been tackling them as its own stage in your trauma recovery? I found that for my destructive habits which I managed to control, I was re-traumatising myself by exposing myself to men and situations that were reminiscent of my abuse. I think taking hold of and ceasing these destructive cycles can be a tremendous break through in our trauma recovery. Because not only are you treating symptoms, but you are eliminating the continuing ailment at its root.

Big hugs to you, by furry, four legged, tenacious friend!!
_________________________
,,Nun ging es immerzu, weit, weit bis an der Welt Ende."

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#463722 - 04/05/14 09:29 PM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 322
Loc: NY
Husky:

As you and I discussed once before, integration kind of goes on its own pace, finding it's way with our help, but also when we allow things to happen rather than direct them.

That's what I like about your post. You are considering the possibility of creating a space for something, even as you reflect.

There is an exercise you might consider. It is mentioned in Howard Fradkin's book (he got it from someone else). The exercise is a conversation between the boy in oneself and the man. The conversation is written out using the non-dominant hand for the child within and the dominant hand for the mature adult.

Best to you in any case, my friend.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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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: 245
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: 597
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: 1563
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: 217
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: 245
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: 1563
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: 245
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: 1563
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: 585
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: 585
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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#463847 - 04/08/14 11:14 AM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
JayBro Offline


Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 245
Loc: Germany
KMCINVA- wow!! I read your post yesterday, and it felt like I was reading an excerpt from a motivational, inspiring book!! That is absolutely so beautiful and I am glad you shared that with us! I feel humbled! I have been thinking about what you wrote a lot these past 24 hours and I still don't know what to say. Just that it really moved me and I am happy for you and your wife to have shared that experience. I was also able to vividly imagine the experiences in Europe you described. Isn't life beautiful? We are ABSOLUTELY more than our abuse- and we should never forget that!!

And thank you Husky!! HUGS It is only 4 pages, but was much longer before! I am passing around to my close friends and my therapist to read over before I send it in to the support centre where I go to which is collecting stories of peoples' experiences with trauma to get them published.
BTW you mentioned that you struggled with gambling- are there support services for that where you are? I noticed that the subways and buses I ride everyday are running an ad campaign for last few months for support services for gambling addictions. It's everywhere!!
_________________________
,,Nun ging es immerzu, weit, weit bis an der Welt Ende."

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#463848 - 04/08/14 11:52 AM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1563
Jaybro

Thank you for the kind words. I feel inspired by many around me,included those here at MS. It takes feeling good about yourself, being appreciated and encouraged to heal. I feel safe these days, I no longer fear words or actions of others, I have removed myself from having to face. Triggers are less and less these days, I can prepare myself and have learned how to cope differently.

I have learned on this healing journey that people are people and I like to believe most are loving, kind and compassionate--because I have met so many as I healed. There will always be people that bring harm to others, reflect their own pain and issues on to others to hide from their own truths. But for me I have learned to walk away or hold at bay those that continue to hurt. I know I have hurt others and I am sorry for all hurt I may have inflicted, others can never say they were wrong or sorry.

I have been sharing with a special friend my past and she has given support. She has been instrumental in my healing. She listens and is non judgmental, she understands trauma and has lived a life where she has witnessed more than most. My wife, now former wife are no longer. The trials and tribulations of CSA, PTSD and other issues created a divide too great to mend. Despite what I have lived, today I am feeling whole and wish everyone a good life. I have learned to judge others is not my role, because I do not know the pain and scars they carry within. I have also learned asking for help and recognizing your past and issues is a sign of strength and not weakness. It is easier to hide and deny until the day comes when the past takes control.

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#463852 - 04/08/14 01:13 PM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
JayBro Offline


Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 245
Loc: Germany
Fantastic news!!! I think I know very much of what you are talking about, and it is like I am reading a page from my own "book" wink
So happy for you, my friend!
_________________________
,,Nun ging es immerzu, weit, weit bis an der Welt Ende."

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#464932 - 05/04/14 12:17 PM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 585
Sorry but I just felt the need to update and vent tonight. Still working on this thing everyday. My outline has grown to about 50+ chapters and sometimes I feel like it's going to grow into something like the Count of Monte Cristo or War and Peace. Tonight's been rough. I've been going through journals from late-2010 to mid-2011, and for better or worse, I had recorded pretty much everyday in staggering detail (dialogues, or rather monologues and being spoken at, and daily events) during that time period, and the things my mom said to me day after day, tirelessly, mercilessly, cruelly and relentlessly...it's really doing my head in and I'm wondering how the hell I came out in one piece, alive...I mean just reading entry after entry of sheer poison. And then she would say things like how much she loved me and kiss me and hug me and stroke my arms and shit and tell me how cute and beautiful I am and I'd let her do all that and ugh, just fucking kill me. And if I showed any signs of anger I'd get called an ungrateful hysterical prick. How am I having a harder time reading all this than living through it??? And all this was before I joined MS. I shudder to think how I would've turned out if I didn't have music to keep me sane those days. It's amazing how just toxic to the bone someone can be. I bet if you cut her up and let some of her blood drip onto steel, it would go right through, dissolving it in the process like some powerful acid. No wonder I spent so many years running away from memories. I just hope all of this amounts to something eventually, that it's something good I'm doing, and not just another form of escaping the present and self-destructing. In a few minutes I'll be unlocking my door and interacting with my parents, doing the best I can to pretend everything's alright, like I've been doing for 26 years. I hope I don't crack before I can get myself in a situation where I can start to learn how to make my way in this world on my own.
_________________________
Husky

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#464945 - 05/04/14 04:10 PM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 695
Loc: Southeast USA
Husky,

Because I've revisited old journals of my own, I won't mince words here. Tread very carefully with the past. Treat it like an inoculation. Take just enough of the pathogen to build up a resistance, but not so much that it makes you ill.

That said, it isn't an approach for everyone since you are dealing with the past which is immutable and a source of continued pain and frustration if you are not careful. It's a fine line to walk. I've found re-reading journals to be very helpful, but only when balanced with an appreciation of what DID go well, and the untapped potential of the future---whether it is two hours, two weeks, or twenty years forward.

Be careful. Be kind to yourself. Be well.

Will
_________________________
Cruel Summer
My Journal

-Signs and traces left in stone
Ruins of a past unknown-

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#464951 - 05/04/14 07:01 PM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
PhoenixRising Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 33
Loc: Richmond, Indiana
Husky

Have just read this part of the thread, but it struck a chord because I am also writing two separate pieces, a play and a book, and finding that as I write, many difficult feelings come up that I might have thought were gone. My writings tend to also be revelatory, and they unearth much that is unresolved.
I echo what Suwanee says, in that when I move too quickly, I get overwhelmed. I think I could liken it sometimes to when you redress a wound, you know take the gauze off, and underneath the wound has not healed yet. It is slow, and can be painful, but if one is to keep the dressing clean, it must be done. Eventually the wound can be open to air.
My thoughts would be too find allies this time as you enter this material, that you indeed are not alone, and be gentle. Be loving. It is the vulnerable the child that enters, I believe.

Steve

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#464953 - 05/04/14 09:24 PM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 322
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: concerned_husky
I'm wondering how the hell I came out in one piece, alive...


This is probably a good starting place for a memoir or reflection. Knowing what has kept us ticking is authentic, real and probably indicative of deeper resources that are struggling to be heard and expressed.

Hope you can continue to find help for that which is healthy within.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#465021 - 05/06/14 02:17 PM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 935
Loc: southern California
Husky,
Reading your thoughts here I'd say you are not "troubled and damaged" as you say, but healed with war wounds (scars).

Think about it. Every motion picture warrior has been depicted with at least one trademark scar. From Hercules and Conan the Warrior to Stallone's Rocky. Even the G.I. Joe action figure was introduced with a war scar on his cheek. It makes you interesting. It is the mark of one who survived an intensely threatening situation.

Please keep us posted on the novel; you have a battalion of survivors here cheering you on.
_________________________
"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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#465044 - 05/07/14 07:40 AM Re: A Writing Project, Journals & Introspection [Re: concerned_husky]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 585
smile Thanks guys. It was a rough few days and your replies helped me back onto my feet again.

I'm still pushing on, but more carefully now. I think when I posted earlier, I was getting engulfed in the blackness of the past, and I started losing sight of the present and future. Bit of a meltdown. It's a delicate balance for sure. On a more positive note though, it seems like my mind is slowly reorganizing itself, and I'm beginning to see patterns in past events. They're starting to fall under a set of overarching themes, and that has helped me make sense of a past that used to seem chaotic and disjointed. Maybe my degree in history is finally coming in handy. smile Never thought it would in this way though.

Thanks again guys. Really appreciate it and will keep you posted.
_________________________
Husky

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