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#469381 - 08/26/14 07:04 PM big breakthrough out of learned helplessness
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 939
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
I've recently started going to a church. It's taken three years of conscious personal work to feel safe coming out of my isolation and begin to attend. It feels good to be able to do this, and is meeting a number of needs for me.

Sunday, there were a number of stressful events for me, and fortunately, I did not need to act out with any of them. In fact, I wasn't even conscious of how stressed out I was until I got home, and was in shock until Tuesday morning. And then, my normal set of conclusions kicked in: the world as I know it is coming to an end, I won't be able to get someone to take me grocery shopping any more (I have to have this--not able to do it on my own steam), and I won't be able to go to church any more.

By late afternoon today sanity had kicked in, and I realized that all of the incidents of stressful situations had medium to major elements that were totally within my control to influence. In fact, there are things that I can do and have done this afternoon that don't require the participation of anyone else. Other things are group participation issues that aren't really difficult to deal with. Previously my learned helplessness would have carried the day and I would have ended up isolating again out of a need for self preservation.

Amazing breakthrough for me. Healing happens. I'm able to make choices that keep me safe without isolating. A first. I'm grateful for everyone who posts here.

Don

p.s. forgot to mention I had to do intense rage work over 3-4 hour period quietly screaming (so as not to alarm the neighbors) at my mother and beating the shit out of my pillows "Get your f***ing hands off me" many, many times.


Edited by don64 (08/27/14 12:11 AM)
Edit Reason: p.s.
_________________________
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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#469389 - 08/26/14 11:46 PM Re: big breakthrough out of learned helplessness [Re: don64]
kcinohio Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/06/12
Posts: 428
Loc: Ohio
Glad you were able to have a breakthrough and stay out of isolation. Hope the progress you're seeing continues strong.

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#469404 - 08/27/14 09:44 AM Re: big breakthrough out of learned helplessness [Re: don64]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3701
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Don - this is excellent news and great progress.
thanks for sharing your success.
it is encouraging to hear.
Lee
_________________________
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself... And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity." - Paulo Coelho


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#469406 - 08/27/14 10:47 AM Re: big breakthrough out of learned helplessness [Re: don64]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1988
Don

Excellent news--great achievement. I am glad you were able to hold it together and the positive tone of your message is encouraging. Keep going.

I returned to the church about 10 months ago at the urging of a wonderful friend. She made it simple, we returned to the Chapel at the University I attended, less dogmatic than the parish church's. I remember feeling scared when I entered but as the Mass progressed I felt included and not excluded. It was a collegiate environment and it tends to be more inclusive of all people. We continued to go to Mass there and I was moving back towards the church that for so long represented the abuse. I have learned it is not the church--it is the institution and certain individuals that caused the harm. We eventually made our way to a parish church, run by the more liberal Jesuits, I did not die nor did I have flashbacks. My friend headed overseas for an extended period several weeks ago. I have gone on my own, not as frequent, but it has been uneventful--and I like it that way.

I believe these steps you have taken are giving you the freedom to be you and not a product of the abuse--breaking the chain of control takes time and courage--you are doing it.

Thank you for sharing.

Kevin

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#469436 - 08/28/14 12:01 AM Re: big breakthrough out of learned helplessness [Re: don64]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 939
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
HI kc, Lee and Kevin,

Thank you for being here.

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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#469438 - 08/28/14 01:31 AM Re: big breakthrough out of learned helplessness [Re: don64]
GT13568 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/02/11
Posts: 138
Loc: California, 93451
Congratulations to you, Don. You have power. It's wonderful that you share it here.

Best wishes,

Geoff
_________________________
I won the moment he hurt me, because he poisoned his soul, and I did not poison mine. I did not hurt anyone. He did. He was the perp. He tried to make me into a victim, but I became a survivor. Yes.

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#469439 - 08/28/14 04:10 AM Re: big breakthrough out of learned helplessness [Re: don64]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 939
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Geoff,

What a nice thing to say to me. Thank you.

Best wishes to you, too.

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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#470338 - 09/21/14 11:26 PM Re: big breakthrough out of learned helplessness [Re: don64]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 403
Loc: NY
Don:

Sorry I missed this, but it sounds positive..............!

The other thing I wanted to mention is that about the P.S.

Frequently I will go through some very intense feelings. Well, hell, it's every day! Sometimes I am on the floor, on my stomach, sitting in my car, lying on my back, or my side (it engages my hips...). I might be in one of these places and positions for what seems like an eternity. I might sob deeply. I might lose a bit of consciousness.

But, like yourself, once I have allowed the feelings and faced what I can, there is a sense that I know just a little more about being safe. It is a journey of one, where solace comes from many different sources, none to be relied on for everything.

Finding the words for the experiences has been the first step. Then getting some kind of handle on what they mean in the bigger sense feels empowering. Walking away from these solitary experiences into the light of day sometimes feels like a bit of denial, but with the deeper acknowledgment there is also a sense of peace that remains and endures.

Hope your path continues to be filled with self-awareness and hope.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#470485 - 09/26/14 03:22 AM Re: big breakthrough out of learned helplessness [Re: don64]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 939
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi FB,

I've recently moved out into the world of people again, and joined a small church that's interested me for 3 years, but I had to work through my terror of the Christianity I grew up in, and that my father (one abuser) is a Christian minister. Done that, and it's great to be singing again.

Over that past two weeks I have had a distant awareness that I am racing--thoughts, actions--all fear based, and all driven from the early infant/child place in me that has run my life. The distance from the awareness has prevented me from being able to actually do anything about it. My intellectual strides while in seclusion had not yet translated into being back in the physical world of people. At this point, racing has pretty severe physical consequences for me, and a minor physical crisis occurred Friday evening. It meant I was not able to go to church on Sunday.

The little kid in me loves to go to church and sing more than just about anything. MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the first time, after months of conscious work, that the little kid/infant place in me has integrated enough to dialogue with. I was able to explain, and feel the understanding and growth occurring, that the terror programs the little kid/infant place in me runs overwhelms the rest of me and causes great damage to me. And the result was I couldn't go to church because of the damage my physical body sustained running the fear programs. Amazing breakthrough being able to have an interactive conversation with the early me. It's not about what I do, it's about how I do it.

I am already experiencing, here at home, continuing dialogue, and feel certain on Sunday when I do a number of things I really enjoy, I will be able to pace myself much more peacefully and somewhat meditatively.

I also experienced my first ever (in this lifetime) genuinely satisfying voice rehearsal yesterday. The things I know intellectually are becoming available for me to put into practice physically. Just an amazing experience for me, as music is second only to breathing for me.

My learned helplessness dissipates as I continue to bring my unconscious damaged places into consciousness. I imagine this breakthrough will translate gradually into improved physical health. As my body is no longer flooded with adrenalin 24/7, there will be some time and space for my systems to focus on rejuvenation.

I guess the main thing I know, is that on Sunday I will be able to be present and conscious of any racing, AND be able to mediate. The more I am able to bring my damaged places into consciousness, the stronger I become and the less I allow my damaged places to run my life.

Thanks for your continuing interest.

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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#470489 - 09/26/14 06:49 AM Re: big breakthrough out of learned helplessness [Re: don64]
JW1230 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/12/14
Posts: 67
Loc: Ohio
Thanks Don...I don't post a lot but wanted to tell you that I try to read everything you post. I appreciate how you always try to focus on something positive somewhere in your posts...I have to believe that I can come out of all this a better person. Yes, I am damaged, but damage CAN be repaired with the proper tools. I stress proper; I wouldn't fix a small crack in a pane of glass with a sledge hammer. It is through reading thoughtful posts such as yours (as well as therapy) that I learn to choose my tools wisely.

I relate to the automatic thoughts of fear that you experience and am so happy that you are learning how to manage them in your life. I too have had adrenaline flowing through me 24/7 for the past 42 years and am just now beginning to learn how to tame that terrorized boy in me. I have been able to "touch" peace briefly which has given me just enough hope to keep going.
Thanks for being you and know that your posts not only help me but based on the feedback you get, help a whole lot of others as well!

Peace and love,
John

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