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#469130 - 08/19/14 06:23 PM breakthrough is scaring the crap out of me
don64 Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 815
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Everyone,

My parents are my abusers, my father is a Christian Minister, and the religion I grew up in was very harsh and judgmental for me. I generalized the intolerance I grew up with to all of Christianity. It's taken me three years and a lot of work to work through my fears of Christianity.

I've finally felt comfortable going to a Christian Church on island that I have wanted to go to for three years. Sunday I felt like I had come home to a family that I choose. The experience couldn't have been better for me. I sang with the choir--music is second only to breathing for me. This is my first experience in 65 years where I feel healthy enough to actually allow nurturing in. I have been received so very warmly and genuinely. And, I can be microscopic in my scrutiny.

I guess what I want to say is that sitting here at home ALL my old fears are coming up about "they're going to hurt me." I understand it is not reality, and that I'm not going to create that reality, and that I just have to walk through this new experience enough times to begin believing it. But, all the places inside me that say I'm not safe are kicking into high gear. And, conversely, all the places inside me that have isolated for so many years are grieving for the nurturing and spiritual community I have not been able to experience, now that I am experiencing it.

I'm grateful to have arrived at this place. It feels like a turning point in my life. It's also kind of scary, because it's new.

Don


Edited by don64 (08/20/14 01:29 AM)
Edit Reason: remove specific church references
_________________________
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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#469146 - 08/20/14 12:54 AM Re: breakthrough is scaring the crap out of me [Re: don64]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
don64,

In some respects, my experiences were almost opposite of yours. I was brought up mostly in a godless environment. I never had a chance to become bitter about religion.

So, when I did start to find the reality of God, it was like a relief from the bleakness before.

Now I'm a member of a Southern Baptist church. I go there to honor God and to learn of Him. I lack close fellowship there for several reasons. I believe it's what God wants me to do.

I have had those kinds of fears about those who abused me when I was 12 and 13. I think so even with good reason for it. I don't want to get into it any deeper right now, but perhaps I can do so later.

Puffer

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#469150 - 08/20/14 01:35 AM Re: breakthrough is scaring the crap out of me [Re: pufferfish]
don64 Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 815
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Everyone,

I removed the references to specific churches that I had included in my original post. Though I intended no criticism of any particular Church, I realize it was insensitive of me to include specific Faith groups, one I had a bad experience with, and one I am having a good experience with. The point of my post is to celebrate my breakthrough in being finally able to enjoy spiritual community, and to vent some about the backlash of fear after having done so.

Love and support to you all.

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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#469159 - 08/20/14 09:25 AM Re: breakthrough is scaring the crap out of me [Re: don64]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3509
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Don -

Congratulations on going out and attending that service! that had to have been a big milestone and victory. and i am glad that it was a positive experience as far as your reception and enjoyment of the music and community expression.

it seems significant that the fear only kicked in afterwards - which i take to mean that it wasn't a reaction to the present experience - but to your old memories and associations. you have no reason to expect to be hurt in the present - except you memories of the past. use whatever calming and grounding and centering exercises you have to stabilize yourself and take it from there. you have come a long way - and can keep on going!

hope you are able to return next week.

grace and peace to you,
LEE
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#469162 - 08/20/14 10:21 AM Re: breakthrough is scaring the crap out of me [Re: don64]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1781
Don

That was a great step forward. Sometimes when we have time on our hands, our minds return to the past. I think you moving in the right direction. You are facing the fears of the past and not fears that are real today.

My T and doctor would always say when I spoke of flashbacks and nightmares, he cannot hurt you today. For some reason I felt or believed he was with me in the present--I could feel his touch, hear his breath, but I learned it was my memories--body and mind memories that were coming together. I gather I had to go through this process in order to free myself of him, the abuser. You are letting go by facing the fears. I remember when I went to the church where the abuse occurred a few days prior to my mom's funeral, I had terrible thoughts before and during the walk through with the priest of the cellar where the abused occurred. A few days after I thought I was ok but in reality the visit stirred up the memories, feelings and emotions of the abuse. They came back with a vengeance a few weeks after. I must say they were terrifying but over the next eight or so months I began to feel in control, the memories were fading and I did not have fear. I think my fear of the past and the known and unknown memories were a catalyst along with other triggers for by fugues,dissociation and emotional fears. Well I finally dealt with the past and realized it was the past and not the present. He could not hurt me today. In hindsight it is all so simple, but to me and how the abuse programmed me, the abuser retained control of me.

Don, you just need to work on developing a coping mechanism to help you manage those fears when they arise. We all have different mechanisms, breathing techniques, music, writing, exercising--something that takes your mind to a different place. But you have made such wonderful progress--this is just another step.

Good luck

Kevin

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#469192 - 08/20/14 10:48 PM Re: breakthrough is scaring the crap out of me [Re: don64]
don64 Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 815
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Kevin,

Thanks for your post. At home alone it's not so hard for me to work things out. This is the first time I have been in a social setting in nearly a year, and the last time was a disaster. I have healed and grown a lot during that time, and feel like this church I am attending is a rich source of nurturing for me as well as a GREAT outlet for me musically. It's the being in contact with other humans I'm a little edgy about. I've rehearsed a good bit with a place in my head to go to for a time out before having any conversation if I get into a triggering situation. Before, I've always gotten triggered out of fear and reacted unconsciously, with disastrous results for me. This time, I am praying that I've sufficiently brought this old stuff into consciousness enough so I don't shoot myself in the foot. Also, this church is a very warm place and is not nearly as triggering as the church I was at before.

Anyway, thanks for your support. All I can do is show up and do the best I can. I am feeling pretty good about it, and I am feeling an enormous amount love and support from the minister and his wife, who know my whole story. The minister and I are actually becoming friends. There is a prayer circle after choir practice, and the members who want to ask for prayer requests. It is important to me to let people know where I'm at, as I've always minimized my needs before. I've been rehearsing my prayer request this week, and what I've distilled it down to is "I began to remember childhood abuse 12 years ago. It's a rigorous process, and the past 1 1/2 years have been especially hard on me mentally and physically. I ask for your prayers as I continue my healing journey." Thanks for being here, Kevin.

Don


Edited by don64 (08/20/14 10:49 PM)
_________________________
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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