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#466849 - 06/20/14 10:09 PM a milestone
pattom Offline


Registered: 05/20/14
Posts: 30
Loc: Southern Midwesternish
today is a milestone for me. a month ago i joined MS. now you might be thinking, "a month? big deal." but you must understand, for me this is a very big deal. i was thinking today about everything that has happened since i have been here. things are moving fast. but is movement the same as progress? im not sure. i can logically see that i am making progress. but that progress seems to come at a price. i keep peeling the layers off. and just like an onion, there is another layer underneath. the pile just seems to get bigger everyday. and that really sucks, big time. BUT... i believe i see hopeful signs.

i really like to mark milestones. just like a road, the milestones are put there so you can see how far you have come. but how do i mark my progress when it comes to CSA? i have been pondering this for awhile. sometimes moving forward doesnt feel like progress. so am i seeing progress or just movement? of course, old habits and ways of thinking kicked in. i thought, why bother? it all sucks, what is there to be happy about? then i realized that i think entirely too much. so i tried to distract myself. it was awhile later, when i wasnt even trying, that it hit me... and its so basic... and really the most important. it hasnt just been "a month." it has been one of the most intensive, gut-wrenching, terrifying, grueling LONG motherf***ing months of my life. i dont feel great about what i have uncovered, but i keep peeling the layers off of the onion anyway. i am diligently doing the work. i have not run away or backed down. im still here. this is huge, i have a history of giving up when the going gets tough. but not this time. i am really committed to my recovery this time. i am so f***ing proud of myself! im scared, overwhelmed and sad, but i know that wont last forever. i have to believe that my hard work will pay off eventually. short term heartache and pain will eventually lead to long term acceptance and, hopefully, peace. i believe that more and more everyday.

when i joined MS, i thought i was joining a message board. i had no idea that i was really becoming part of a community. i was welcomed with open arms and no questions asked. all of your affirmation and encouragement has meant the world to me. know that all of your collective wisdom has changed me.

i have an affirmation page in my journal. when i come across words of encouragement, comfort and wisdom, i copy and paste them to this page. you guys have been a consistent source of snippets of support and hope. so lately, my journal has been filled with your wise words. i use this page as daily affirmation and reminders to keep doing the work. they are especially effective when the days are long and filled with s***.

so here is the deal. as i said, i really like to mark milestones. it breaks up the journey into smaller segments. and usually, depending on the subject, there is something positive to acknowledge, no matter how small. rather than congratulate myself on my short but intensive journey here so far, i would rather celebrate what we have all accomplished both individually and collectively. so i have gathered a few of your snippets of wisdom to share. i believe your words have benefit for the entire MS community. i have also given credit where credit is due. so without further ado... here are some your wise words that help get me through my day...

"you are not alone." (pretty much everyone)
this one still chokes me up. those four words are so powerful. its a reminder that i am not a freak, and that there are people who understand what im feeling. it also helps me remember that everyone is fighting a battle of some kind.

"it's going to get worse before it gets better. but it will get better." (paraphrased, but this basic theme was covered by a lot of you)
looking back over my life, i dont know why this one surprises me. i have experienced this in other areas of my life. i feel like i should say. "no s***!" this quote reminds me to enter my day with an open-mind, and the only expectation i should have is that i will do my best and do what i need to get done to get through the day, no matter what may come.

"In some ways getting over CSA is like choking up a phlem ball after a bad cold. It hurts to swallow and it hurts coming up. Either way you just can't feel better until you get it out." (learning2luvme)
i love this quote! this is as true as it gets. we should make bumper stickers and t-shirts.

"None of us are OK here. It's OK to not be OK. I wish I had something more encouraging to tell you, but you are safe here to process your new memories, however terrible they are." (cant_remember)
you guys showed me its ok to struggle. and that, especially here, there is no shame in that. i am trying to give myself permission to feel what i feel. safety is a big deal for me. i never realized how important. this is a very safe place.

"I believe in you and have faith in you." (obi)
i really dont have the right words for this one. so much meaning in one little sentence. like some of you, i grew up feeling that i was defective and damaged. all of my mistakes and failures were spotlighted. my successes were overlooked. to be encouraged in such a meaningful way is overwhelming... geez... crying now just thinking about it.

"There is a peace that comes with open eyes and awareness...the recognition that we have been shielding ourselves from the glare for too long." (just me)
they say knowledge is power. there is something missing from this. knowledge is not enough. when you add understanding you create power and purpose. i can know everything there is to know about my CSA, but if i dont try and understand what it means for who i am right now, what good is that knowledge? and i am so relieved to know that i may never be at peace with my CSA. and really i dont have to be. but an attainable goal is finding peace with who i was, who i am, and who i am becoming. the only way to get there is to keep walking through the minefield.

"I'm worth every ounce of effort I have to give to myself. No one can do this but me. If my last breath is in healing all the damage done to me, I will consider this a very successful lifetime." (don64)
YES, I AM! we are all worth it. what happened to us was wrong. after suffering for so long, dont we all deserve to be made whole?

"Heal well and remember we are here to support you--we do not judge and we understand the pain and betrayal you have lived." (KMCINVA)
i dont know how well i am healing, but to be in this non-judgmental environment and at the same time feel supported is so comforting. when you guys say that you know how i feel, i know that you really do.

"Don't give up, no matter what. The only way out is through it." (jude)
this one is difficult. as i watch my pile of stuff continuously accumulate, it is very tempting to push it all down and pretend like it doesnt exist. that is something i know how to do well. i have been doing that my whole life. its the not giving up that is new ground for me. "when you are walking through hell, keep walking." i believe winston churchill said that. i believe i am doing just that.

"You must have been far more resilient, stronger, tougher, more patient, more resourceful, braver, more courageous, and filled with much more hope and determination than I can even imagine. Looking back at my younger self, I am proud and amazed by you." (traveler)
im just beginning to understand the horror my younger self went through. ive shared a bit of that. im not sure i will ever share the details. as a little boy, just like some of you guys, hell became real. but i survived, and after all these years, im still here. the bravest thing i have ever done was to live through it. my life is not perfect now (far from it), but i believe it beats the alternative.

"you are older and stronger and tougher now - whether you feel like it or not. you survived before and you will again. you will prevail." (traveler)
i hope you are right. im not quite feeling it yet. its just comforting to know its possible.

"You are strong! You are smart! You are beautiful! You are good! You are going to be okay! You are going to be proud of who you become!" (davePNW)
right now, this is my mantra. if i keep saying this over and over, maybe one day the child inside me will believe it.

so gentlemen, its been a month, and im still here, and im hard at work. that is a surprise. im still sad. im still pissed. and im still overwhelmed. but thats ok. the fact that i am still at it, is proof that i am progressing. i was going to say that you guys and MS saved my life. but thats not really true. its bigger than that. this place... all of you... are helping me save myself.

peace, patrick


Edited by pattom (06/20/14 10:21 PM)
_________________________
Before I knew you, I thought brave was not being afraid.
You've taught me that bravery is being terrified and doing it anyway.
Laurell K. Hamilton

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#466850 - 06/20/14 10:24 PM Re: a milestone [Re: pattom]
justplainme Offline


Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 270
Keep on my friend! Stay strong.
_________________________

"Survivors need an opportunity to define their own sexuality in their own terms, rather than in reaction to the abuse, so that they stop allowing their offenders to have power over them sexually."

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#466851 - 06/20/14 10:27 PM Re: a milestone [Re: pattom]
Obi Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1290
Loc: kansas
congrats on the milestone!

add to your list your very last sentence of your post...

" are helping to save myself. "

that is what it all comes down to... none of us can save you. we can only save ourselves.. however, this community here is full of wisdom, knowledge and incredible support... we can help support and encourage each other.. even open doors for other survivors that are having trouble... but it's still upon ourselves to take those steps through the doors... nobody can take those steps FOR us... however, we can take those steps WITH you.... side by side all the way..
_________________________
live another day. climb a little higher.

my story

my vlog

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#466852 - 06/20/14 10:44 PM Re: a milestone [Re: pattom]
kcinohio Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/06/12
Posts: 297
Loc: Ohio
Congratulations on the milestone and thanks for sharing the affirmations.

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#466865 - 06/21/14 10:45 AM Re: a milestone [Re: pattom]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3321
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Patrick - the next time that you doubt that you are making progress, read the entire post that began this thread.

AND:
Originally Posted By: pattom
it hasnt just been "a month." it has been one of the most intensive, gut-wrenching, terrifying, grueling LONG motherf***ing months of my life. i dont feel great about what i have uncovered, but i keep peeling the layers off of the onion anyway. i am diligently doing the work. i have not run away or backed down. im still here. this is huge, i have a history of giving up when the going gets tough. but not this time. i am really committed to my recovery this time. i am so f***ing proud of myself! im scared, overwhelmed and sad, but i know that wont last forever. i have to believe that my hard work will pay off eventually. short term heartache and pain will eventually lead to long term acceptance and, hopefully, peace. i believe that more and more everyday.
. . .
so gentlemen, its been a month, and im still here, and im hard at work. that is a surprise. im still sad. im still pissed. and im still overwhelmed. but thats ok. the fact that i am still at it, is proof that i am progressing. i was going to say that you guys and MS saved my life. but thats not really true. its bigger than that. this place... all of you... are helping me save myself.


i am proud of you, man! this is spoken by a true survivor and thriver!
keep up the good work,
LEE
_________________________
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9

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#466866 - 06/21/14 10:48 AM Re: a milestone [Re: pattom]
Bluedogone Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/03/13
Posts: 174
Loc: Southeast US
Congratulations, Patrick on reaching this milestone, and thanks for sharing such a powerful yet basic message. I'm glad you took these snippets of wisdom and understanding and made them your daily affirmations.

These various words from others reminds me that a lot of my own success in recovery (which is far from over) is because I can sort of "stand on the shoulders of those who've gone before me" to reach my goal. No one can do the hard work of healing except me, but it's difficult, if not impossible, to do it without a whole lot of support. And MS offers a whole lot of support.

The biggest breakthrough for me was to realize I'm not alone in all this mess. And as you said
Quote:
you are not alone...those four words are so powerful. it's a reminder that I'm not a freak, and there are people who understand what I'm feeling. it also helps me remember that everyone is fighting a battle of some kind.


A month is a pretty short time in what is a very long long journey, but you've made so much progress, you should be very proud of this milestone. Keep up the work.

CJ
_________________________
Never, never, never, never give up....Winston Churchill

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#466870 - 06/21/14 12:35 PM Re: a milestone [Re: pattom]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 596
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Patrick,

I'm glad you are feeling a part of this healing community. Being among other survivors here is slowly bringing down the painful, protective walls surrounding me. I sure support you continuing to ask for the help you need, and appreciate you being so generous with others.

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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