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#463968 - 04/11/14 12:57 PM finding my way in this world
Nothing Man Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/10/14
Posts: 104
Loc: Ohio
I am a 50 year old married father of two trying to make sense of the shambles and chaos which has been my life so far. After eight years of sobriety and six months of counseling with an amazing psychologist I think I am beginning to make progress toward living a happy life. Of course, life itself is always intervening and making things difficult for me.

I was physically, psychologically and sexually abused by my addict-alcoholic mother. She continued to hit me when I was in college. I was also raped at about age 8 by a male babysitter who was about 14 at the time. Neither of my abusers were ever prosecuted; given the way I was treated by my mother I felt I could never tell anyone about the boy who raped me.

In the midst of pain, however, I think there are some glimmers of hope and I cling to them. I have a wonderful and supportive wife and two terrific daughters. I am alive and, through therapy, trying to learn that none of the abuse was my fault (I still have a way to go there). I have a job, eight years of sobriety and a home to live in.

I am trying to be compassionate toward my abusers. They must have suffered some sort of abuse themselves because I do not believe that such behavior as they exhibited comes out of the blue; it had to have been learned somewhere. Perhaps I am wrong and maybe some people are just evil. I really don't know.

So now I am here on this website. Maybe being here will help -- my therapist seems to think it will. Time will tell.

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#463970 - 04/11/14 02:20 PM Re: finding my way in this world [Re: Nothing Man]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1447
Dear Something Man -

I have a tough time addressing you by the name you ascribed to yourself. I am not being superficially deferential when I say that - anyone who has been able to cultivate a family from the "shambles" of a challenging childhood is obviously far from nothing. Anyone who can write as you do is certainly not nothing.

So few of us get to the point of taking such an objective view of our assailants as you have. It takes a special perspective to see around the wall of anger. We share common elements. While my mom was not abusive, she turned her head to my abuse. I never would have come to the grace of accepting and forgiving her had I not striven for compassion. Never lose that.
_________________________
Eirik




Click my pic to see why I'm here

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#463972 - 04/11/14 03:58 PM Re: finding my way in this world [Re: Nothing Man]
Adam A Gedman Offline


Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 188
Loc: Canada
Hello Man,

I am sorry for your reason to be here, but glad for you to have chosen to join us here at MS.

Im with Eric, "Nothing" is not how I would prefer to refer to you.
No judgement here, it just comes across as derogatory when I type it out.
I hope you'll accept my modification.

I find myself now challenging my own anonymous moniker, A Damaged Man.
How clever I thought to make a name out of it, Adam A Gedman.

The name we choose is indicative of how we see ourselves, and you my friend are not nothing, and I am not damaged.
Hopefully shining a light on these things takes away our want to identify this way.

Our stories may differ, but without our choosing, we are brothers in the harm that was perpetrated against us.

Welcome, take your time, and when you're ready speak your truth.
The MS community will be here to listen share and support in whatever way we can.

Welcome and keep well.

_________________________
Presence is the key, for all we have is now.
All we ever have is right now.

Formerly Adam A Gedman (AKA - A damAGed man)

But you can call me Kevin

Toronto Mini WoR - May 2014

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#463977 - 04/11/14 05:58 PM Re: finding my way in this world [Re: Nothing Man]
Nothing Man Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/10/14
Posts: 104
Loc: Ohio
Thank you Kevin and Chase, I appreciate your comments. My pseudonym comes mainly from the Bruce Springstein tune of the same name from the album "The Rising." One of the lyrics stays in my head: "I'll show you courage you can't understand ... I am the nothing man." I am trying to see myself as having survived some awful events through a special kind of courage that only we survivors really understand. I see myself as the nothing man because I really am just another person on the street, albeit with a horrifying childhood. But even that is not entirely true as not everything in that childhood was bad, and my mother was not continuously abusing me; I actually do have some fond memories of her, but of course those memories are tinged with the color of her abuse. So call me what you want, as the nothing man I don't expect anything else.

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#463993 - 04/12/14 01:12 AM Re: finding my way in this world [Re: Nothing Man]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1588
Loc: New England
Welcome NM,

Sounds very familiar. I mean the shambles and chaos. I too turned to alcohol (and more) to try to escape the pain of my past. I am now 17 years sober, but it took most of those 17 sober years to finally begin to come to terms with the abuse. I wish you well in your efforts to heal. The fact that you have a wonderful and intact family is certainly to your credit.

Originally Posted By: Nothing Man
I am trying to be compassionate toward my abusers. They must have suffered some sort of abuse themselves because I do not believe that such behavior as they exhibited comes out of the blue; it had to have been learned somewhere. Perhaps I am wrong and maybe some people are just evil.
One thing that has been very helpful to many of us in recovery is the fact that the vast majority of CSA victims do not go on to become abusers themselves. That is a popular myth that places another stigma on victims. Jeez, don't we have enough to deal with?

My vote is that some people ARE just evil.

Be well,

Jude
_________________________
Can't be bothered with sorrow
And I can't be bothered with hate, no, no
I'm using up the time but feeling fine every day
That's why I'm telling you
I just want to celebrate another day of livin'
Rare Earth

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#464000 - 04/12/14 08:58 AM Re: finding my way in this world [Re: Nothing Man]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1753
I agree your name does not tell you who truly are--a person with much to offer.

You have traveled a long journey-but it seems as though you are finding hope and a future. First you need to be compassionate toward yourself, accept what happened and try not to let the abuse define who you are. You cannot have true compassion for others, unless you love yourself.

One day you will find the right emotions you have for your abusers--it could be forgiveness, compassion or no emotion at all. I hated my abuser but has learned hate is a destructive emotion, it consumes you and prevents you from loving yourself.

I am glad you came to MS. We are here for you, to support you and we do not judge--for we all have traveled a journey that we would never wish on anyone.

Kevin

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#464006 - 04/12/14 12:49 PM Re: finding my way in this world [Re: Jude]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1447
Originally Posted By: Something Man
I am trying to be compassionate toward my abusers. They must have suffered some sort of abuse themselves because I do not believe that such behavior as they exhibited comes out of the blue; it had to have been learned somewhere. Perhaps I am wrong and maybe some people are just evil.

Originally Posted By: Jude
One thing that has been very helpful to many of us in recovery is the fact that the vast majority of CSA victims do not go on to become abusers themselves. That is a popular myth that places another stigma on victims. Jeez, don't we have enough to deal with?

My vote is that some people ARE just evil.

Originally Posted By: Kevin
I hated my abuser but has learned hate is a destructive emotion, it consumes you and prevents you from loving yourself.

I think what you have all said is very true. For me, the journey has been much like NSomething Man's - wondering if there is a deeper angle to everything other than just lumping it into the "evil" box and trying to believe that encapsulates the entire truth.

Like many kids, I read the Diary of Ann Frank in school. What she endured was an abuse I would not trade my own for. Yet through it all, she still said...

.....Despite everything, I believe people are really good at heart.

I have always been drawn at the deepest levels to statements which so brazenly challenge what I assume to be obvious. Statements that come from tortured hearts carry more sway with me than the louder voices that appease popular sentiment, even if I don't fully understand them. They suggest to me that perhaps the answers are not so obvious, that maybe there are deeper lessons in the darkness we do not see. Perhaps our assumptions seem so obvious that they stop us from further thought, from seeing deeper truths. How could Ann Frank, who was pursued by the Nazis - whose family was separated and destroyed, and who was ultimately consumed by the hatred of her captors - say something as incredulous as that? In another example that I still cannot completely wrap my head around, how could Lou Gehrig, first baseman of the Yankees, given a death sentence of ALS that ended his career at its peak and promised to end his life through slow and torturous death, stand in front of a full stadium and declare himself the luckiest man on the face of the earth?

I was never tortured by the state and shipped off to a concentration camp. I had never been handed as devastating a diagnosis as ALS. If these people, who have been through the fire, could still say something positive and beautiful about life as they knew it, that challenges me to at least ask why. And the intensity of their struggles gives undeniable credibility to what they have said. It begs the question - could the pain that each of us has been through carry similar seeds of understanding if we dig deeper than the relative comfort of our more visceral conclusions?

There is a simplicity to life, but the paradox is that the simple-minded will never appreciate it. I am pretty convinced of that. Simple are the strands which are woven into a seemingly complex fabric, but the composition is still best understood when seen from the perspective of its elements. I can look at the tapestry as a whole and come to one comprehensive conclusion, or I can look at each strand and gain a deeper understanding. It takes a bit of effort to appreciate such a shift in paradigm.

Evil? I'm not sure. I suppose there are truly evil people in the world. But I think that more impacting than evil is weakness. Weakness covers a lot - it fosters enabling and complacency and keeps others safely inside their own self-serving comfort zones - others who could otherwise make a difference. I believe that my abuser molested me and the other kids not because he was evil, but because he was weak, and very likely because he was defective. He could not say no to his predilections - which themselves were likely defective - and probably never developed the tools to keep them in check. The parents didn't look closely enough not because they were evil, but because they were too incurious to look at it. My molestation got worse after he was caught - not because he became more evil, but because an apathy on the part those who could have helped but chose not to actually made me more vulnerable to his designs. I think it's the same phenomenon with the Catholic Church, with the Boy Scouts of America, with Penn State - with almost any institutional or community based situation involving the double taboo of male child sexual abuse.

It sounds like a paradox, but I believe that the way to destroy evil in the world is not to attack evil itself, but to attack the complacency that allows it to grow. Nazism flourished not because of Hitler, but because an entire country gave him the reins. Sandusky kept molesting because no one was willing to really step in and stop it - and there were plenty of opportunities. Look at Sandusky - and see how everyone just "passed the buck." McQuery told his dad. Paterno told Curly and Schultz, who told Spanier, yada yada... You can go around the world knocking out every evil-doer you see, but they will keep sprouting up like weeds. Or you can encourage a healthy accountability within the community, and kill the secrets that appeasement allows to grow unchecked.

The display outside the Centre County courthouse in Bellefonte, PA when Attorney General Linda Kelly announced the verdict was disgusting. Who were these people cheering, as if they owned a victory? Where were these voices when they were needed? The only people who had the right to cheer that day were the victims who stepped out of that darkness and took the stand, and maybe the families who supported them. The evil one may have been vanquished, but he thrived because of the weaker ones all around him. Sandusky rots in jail as he should, but the quieter legacy of enabling will go on.
_________________________
Eirik




Click my pic to see why I'm here

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#464010 - 04/12/14 01:53 PM Re: finding my way in this world [Re: Nothing Man]
I Want 2 Thrive Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 81
Loc: Florida, U.S.A
Spot on Eric...

I noticed more beauty in East Berlin in 1984, then I had seen in the West. It was not because things were better than in West Berlin, I think it was that the eye could not take it all in.

It was because the little beauty that was there in the East, it had shone like a laser against the darkness.

One candle can illuminate all of the darkness in time.
_________________________
Izzy

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind" C.S. Lewis
My Story: Short / Long version. *TRIGGERS*

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