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#48545 - 02/16/06 07:34 AM Why I haven't told anyone
melliferal Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/03/05
Posts: 1159
Time for another long-winded post, fellas.

As far as I know for sure, there are 5 people, in the Universe, who know exactly what happened to me. Sure, I've posted the bulk of my story here a couple of months ago, but you guys don't count. I hide behind a made-up name; you all know "somebody"s story, but you don't know my story (if this makes sense). Although I am glad to have simply been able to say some things. But still, to my knowledge, there are 5 people who ever knew about my abuse. I am one; two of them are my co-"victims", two of them are the offenders. I don't know where any of them are; I don't even know if any of them are still alive. For the longest time, I didn't want to know. Now, I wouldn't mind. It would make certain things easier. There isn't a single member of my family, living or dead who knows, or knew. I haven't been able to tell them. To explain why, I need to air a bit of dirty laundry.

A couple of years before my abuse took place, my sister accused my father of abusing her. It didn't happen; it was a lie. I'm not just saying that because I've taken sides over this issue - when it happened, I was too young to understand or even really care. No, I happen to know for a certain fact that my sister is a pathological liar, who has accused several people over the years of the same thing, and other things. That's as much as I think I need to say about her. But as I said, back then I didn't care. My father was court-martialed and found not guilty. I didn't understand or care about that either at the time, except that I was happy that he wasn't going away.

A couple of years later, I was abused; and a few more years after -that-, I came to terms with the fact, and decided that I really wanted people to know. But I couldn't tell my family. My sociopathic sister had poisoned the "abuse" well - I cannot see myself getting any support after opening up. Well, maybe some from some people, but not enough to make it worth the trouble. I know some would become suspicious. I'm almost even afraid to prosecute, if I suddenly found the opportunity. Could you imagine the trial? That's all I need the defense team to bring up - my sister. Great.

But it's not just my sister. This poisoning of the well, as it were, is widespread. What is it about people that makes them wish they were abused? A couple of other forums I go to, not CSA related, have been interrupted at times by people who come on claiming to be the most wretched folks in history. "I was raped when I was a child. Then I was put in a foster home, and they raped me too, and beat me. Then in high school, my boyfriend beat me. I tried to commit suicide. I've had 8 car wrecks, survived a mafia contract, and underwent 31 different surgeries to remove cancerous tumors in the last two months. I'm going to die in 2 weeks. Why won't you guys cry for me?" It goes on and on - I'm sure you guys get the drift. I don't know why people do this - attention? Fun? People who trust these "wretches" at first, and offer so much support, end up getting seriously hurt when they find out the truth. It makes you not want to trust anyone. I've made many good, GOOD friends on these forums, many of whom I've met in real life, who I've been tempted to tell of my abuse - but I won't. The well's been poisoned.

Then, there are people who may not want to have been abused, but want others to have been, or be abused. Not in a hateful way, either - I remember seeing some video taken in the 1980's, during an investigation into the infamous McMartin Daycare mess. The video was of the sessions between "investigators" and the kids, showing the investigators mentally pounding these little kids into saying something - anything - about sexual abuse. The kids were making up stuff just to get the shrinks to leave them alone. Why? Is it so important to "catch the bad guys" that we need to invent victims? This zeal comes back to bite with a vengeance. What if someone really had been abused at McMartin? No way of knowing, now. What if Michael Jackson has abused a boy - how will that victim ever find justice, now? I understand the frustration at the lack of a solid case to show to the world - but that doesn't justify grasping at straws. It is this grasping at straws - this "poisoning of the well", whether direct or indirect, which keeps people from coming forward.

It's kept me quiet for years.

_________________________
Children cannot consent; they can only comply.

Oprah's resources for male survivors

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#48546 - 02/16/06 08:22 PM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
Galapogos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/15/05
Posts: 110
Loc: usa
I haven't told anyone outside of the MS forum either.
(The brief time I was in therapy when I was 20 or 21 I said I'd "had some experiences when I was younger"- but the therapist didn't ask for any more details)

For me I guess I'm still feeling shame over what happend to me as a kid, even if it wasn't my fault.

I have some casual freinds that drop hints like their curious why I'm still single, why I don't date, etc. Sometimes I think about telling them, "look, I'm f'd up from childhood abuse, I have a hard time trusting anyone" But I don't want the reponse I think I'd get- their shock, and feeling sorry for me, and asking for details. And then I'd just be "that guy who was molested" everytime they see me, or talk about me to others. I don't want to define myself, or be defined as a victim of abuse, so I haven't told people about it. Maybe I'll get to a place where I can be open about it, but i'm not there yet.

_________________________
Digging in the dirt
Stay with me I need support
I'm digging in the dirt
To find the places I got hurt
Open up the places I got hurt
--Peter Gabriel

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#48547 - 02/16/06 09:47 PM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
melliferal Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/03/05
Posts: 1159
That's another problem, too - you're right. Explaining to somebody that you were abused isn't exactly like explaining how you like your coffee, is it? Peoples' perceptions, no matter how long they've known you before, will change. I wouldn't want anyone I interact with to become overly sympathetic, to start apologizing for nothing, or to start avoiding me out of embarassment - that would only make things worse.

_________________________
Children cannot consent; they can only comply.

Oprah's resources for male survivors

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#48548 - 02/16/06 11:01 PM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
Dan88 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 247
Loc: DC
Like most of us probably I've wrestled with this a lot over the years. What if I tell and no one believes me and they think I'm crazy? What if I tell and they do believe me and still think I'm crazy. I've concluded there's not a right or wrong way.

I've kept my story pretty close to the vest lately. I told a few people when I needed support years ago. And I told a few people to try to get some justice many years ago. But these days I keep it to myself.

Not much good ever came from telling people about it. But then again not much good comes from keeping it to myself. I guess not much good comes from it period.

The only thing I've changed over the years is I've quit believing that I have to tell people. My first therapist suggested telling one person per day for a year. Just get rid of the secret, was his philosophy. He mainly did it to shock me into realizing that it doesn't matter a whole lot who knows or doesn't know. For a lot of years I felt ashamed that I couldn't manage to just lay it all out there. These days I say it's my story, I'll tell who I choose and not tell who I choose and it really is no one's decision but mine.


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#48549 - 02/17/06 03:30 AM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
Hauser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2962
Loc: United States
Very interesting thread you guys. Well, I've talked about my abuse, I've disclosed to my parents, I've told by brother (who's friend did it to me when I was 9 years old), I've told a Therapist, and I've told 2 girlfiends. Big deal. I don't feel any better. But I've no regrets either.

I've come to feel (I may be wrong about this) that it's not the disclosure to others that's important, rather, it's the commitment to one's self to address the unresolved problems that have obviously manifested themselves in all of our adult lives. (not to discredit the efforts of some kids who have been coming here either).


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#48550 - 02/17/06 06:35 AM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
Morning Star Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: Home
I completely agree with Hauser there, Disclosing and acknowledging for ourselves is far more important than disclosing to others, others cannot do what we are not ready to do for ourselves that is acknowledging our past and responding with compassion and care requisite to our life situations.

Also our stories are singularly ours and not any way compararble to others, they are not better or worse than others, and pain is not a denominator that would make them so, make them more worthy for attention.

For in the long it doesn't matter how much pain we have gone thru in our life but what REALLY matters is what have we done with our pain.

Have we turned it around into love or compassion for others? And as all things is life love also begins with self love, and so it is with compassion.

Only then we can begin to understand the plight of others or see their life with requisite compassion and respect.

_________________________
~ It's over!...Let go of Thy Past, Remember Thy Self ~

Why Don't People Heal, by Caroline Myss; 30 days to clean up your vibrations - Abraham-Hicks

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#48551 - 02/17/06 09:42 PM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
Melliferal,

Quote:
A couple of other forums I go to, not CSA related, have been interrupted at times by people who come on claiming to be the most wretched folks in history. "I was raped when I was a child. Then I was put in a foster home, and they raped me too, and beat me. Then in high school, my boyfriend beat me. I tried to commit suicide. I've had 8 car wrecks, survived a mafia contract, and underwent 31 different surgeries to remove cancerous tumors in the last two months. I'm going to die in 2 weeks. Why won't you guys cry for me?" It goes on and on - I'm sure you guys get the drift. I don't know why people do this - attention? Fun? People who trust these "wretches" at first, and offer so much support, end up getting seriously hurt when they find out the truth. It makes you not want to trust anyone. I've made many good, GOOD friends on these forums, many of whom I've met in real life, who I've been tempted to tell of my abuse - but I won't. The well's been poisoned.
We have thousands of members and visitors. By far and away the vast majority of these people are legitimate survivors. The very few who do
'poison the well' are eventually found out, sometimes it takes a while, but in time they trip themselves up and then they are banned. Why do they do it? Who knows - there is a huge cross section of people in the internet world, many needy people seeking attention. I used to feel angry with them for their deceptions, but now I try to recognize that their challenges are just as difficult, but unfortunately belong in a different forum with a different client group.
Great topic.
Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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#48553 - 02/18/06 12:36 AM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
bc43026,
focussing on our own issues and personal healing is always the most direct and effective course.
I really like what Hauser wrote too, and I really like Melliferal's sign off "Children cannot consent; they can only comply."

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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#48554 - 02/18/06 05:24 AM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
melliferal Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/03/05
Posts: 1159
Quote:
Originally posted by Andrew:
Melliferal,


We have thousands of members and visitors. By far and away the vast majority of these people are legitimate survivors. The very few who do
'poison the well' are eventually found out, sometimes it takes a while, but in time they trip themselves up and then they are banned. Why do they do it? Who knows - there is a huge cross section of people in the internet world, many needy people seeking attention. I used to feel angry with them for their deceptions, but now I try to recognize that their challenges are just as difficult, but unfortunately belong in a different forum with a different client group.
Great topic.
Peace, Andrew
Well, I haven't seen anyone in this particular forum that I'm suspicious of. It's easy to spot a phony in, say, a science forum, when they start harping on. However, this being a forum dedicated to abuse (well, discussion of abuse), it's normal for people to discuss such things here, so nobody sticks out - perhaps there are some, but I digress. These incidents in the other forums are fascinating, I'll admit - almost funny in a way, if I didn't take the subject matter so seriously. But I do wonder, often, what motivates such people.

As to disclosing "to myself", as opposed to "others", I suppose I'm doing fair enough in that regard. I've read many posts here about people who have told friends and family - for the most part, their experiences are good, or at least not negative. As I thought on it, I concluded that my disclosure to friends or family would have more negative than positive antecedents, so I wanted to post my thoughts here. Hey, if I can't disclose, then I can disclose why I won't disclose, I suppose.

_________________________
Children cannot consent; they can only comply.

Oprah's resources for male survivors

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#48555 - 02/18/06 06:00 AM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
I will break my thoughts on this valuable topic into two posts, since they have to do with two different issues. The first is that of trust in general.

Here, as in so many ways, my thoughts more or less line up with those of Morning Star, from whom I have learned so very much over the past few months. I have come to understand that first and foremost I have to believe in myself and love myself. I have to be honest with myself and decide that the recovery I aim for is about me and those I care about. It doesn't depend on what the rest of the whole wide world wants or thinks.

I have come to care about a very large number of people here, and in fact even those with whom I have never exchanged posts or PMs - I care for all of them and I would like to think of them as my brothers. I know there may be frauds here and there, but you know what? I don't care. Out of 3000 people here there are a few attention seekers or whatever? Are you kidding me? That makes Male Survivor a lot safer than the real world in which I have to live, in which I estimate that a good HALF are attention seekers and opportunists that I would not want to trust. It's the responsibility of the mods here to provide me with a safe forum in which to discuss our issues; it is NOT their task to guarantee me or anyone else a cocoon.

As we progress further on the path of healing one thing we have to accept is that the world at large is not 100% safe and never will be. Everything worth having or doing involves risk, and that includes recovery from CSA. I have recently been able to tell a few friends on the spur of the moment that I am a survivor; it worked well and of course I am pleased. But suppose they had said, "Oh, did you like it then?", or, "Oh, so are you gay now?", or some other such nonsense. That would have wounded me, but it would not have deterred me. I know who I am and what I am and I like me as I am now. If others don't understand, these basic facts remain unchanged.

I know, of course, that for new guys it is especially important that they feel safe, in the sense of secure from frauds and opportunists. But FAR more important is the need for them to feel wanted, accepted, believed and encouraged by the rest of us. Fortunately that is all present here, and we all have each other to thank for that - admin people, mods, members, and guests. But that is what makes this place special. A fortress Male Survivor without that spirit of community would not be worth the trouble. It is that spirit of community and compassion, and not the latest in software security systems, that makes us feel we can talk and benefit here.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#48556 - 02/18/06 06:30 AM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
My other thoughts on this topic have to do with a more specific concern that comes to my attention, again in light of Andrew's post about the problem of a few frauds that we have from time to time.

To my mind far more damaging than this is the problem that is posed by - again involving only a few people - cases where a genuine survivor comes here and feels that his own personal issues and problems should allow him to trump the whole site and all 3000 of the rest of us with fuming and blustering that creates a LOT more uneasiness than any fraud ever could. The resolution of these crises soaks up valuable time and emotional resources from all of us and results in the departure of members who could otherwise benefit significantly from this wonderful site.

We have been blessed with a great stretch of calm on MS in recent months, and again, that is because of the spirit of community that prevails here. It is the responsibility of all of us to maintain this and to try to resolve problems according to the rules of the site (i.e. take it to the mods and not to the DB), so the way things are going now I think reflects well on all of us.

Andrew, since you mention the issue of banning I would just like to state my own view (since both sides should be heard) that this is a pretty big sledge hammer and claims more survivors than frauds, at least so far as I have seen. This isn't a judgment, just an observation that if someone is banned it doesn't mean he is/was a fraud.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#48557 - 02/19/06 12:28 AM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
Quote:
isn't a judgment, just an observation that if someone is banned it doesn't mean he is/was a fraud
Agreed. No one has said that. Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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#48558 - 02/19/06 01:11 AM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
Melliferal - I didn't tell anyone for decades! When I did tell, I didn't choose the moment...it chose me! It had to happen eventually!

It's been a difficult, but rewarding time since then. There is still a battle to fight. It's as though I have some purpose in life that I am not quite sure of yet. I'm prepared to walk that journey now though!

Best wishes ...Rik

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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#48559 - 02/19/06 06:44 AM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
bem Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/16/06
Posts: 5
Loc: Texas
With me just now after 33 years starting to talk about my SA, I feel the way that Milliferal feels. That the person I tell will suddenly change their perception of me (no matter how long they have already know me) and I'm terribly afraid of this - why would I want to share? bem


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#48560 - 02/19/06 10:36 PM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
Josh1 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 39
Loc: New York
Rik, the same with me. I didn't choose the moment of my first disclosure, it chose me. I was so distraught that I'd the Christmas presents I got my parents were shitty, I hated myself so much, was so embarrassed, and I just couldn't hold it in any more. My mom asked me what was wrong, and I totally broke down, and I was watching this scared, crying, miserable young man telling his mom that he'd lied about just about everything for the last 6 years. I am lucky enough to have been supported, believed, and loved by my parents and by the others' I've told, but I agree with Hauser: the commitment to one's self is paramount. Everything else falls in place.

With love and support,

Josh


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#48561 - 02/20/06 12:26 AM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
The first time I told, I was terrified that the 3 friends I had told would dump me, or not really believe me.

The one that I thought would understand least, called around my house the next day, looking like a lost puppy. The others both contacted me to ensure that I was OK. They have each written suppportive statements for my recent court case against the perv. Those 3 friends are rock solid.

With the recent court case, two of those friends requested time off from work (we work in the same building for different sectors of the company)& it was granted as they had to attend. One of their managers broke a confidence (took me about two seconds to work out who)and on my return to work, after the case, several of my confidantes told me that a few fish wives had been asking questions - they met a brick wall!

I sent a message back to the relevant person by cutting all links from the chain but one - the person that broke the confidence is now sh****** himself.

When the case is finally over, I don't think that I will particularly care who knows. *There are around 600 people in our factory, and at the moment I just don't want to be hassled with lots of people either asking me for details / telling me I did good / telling me I am talking *****, or anything else.

I have actually told around 50+ people now & I have chosen well - the only person that has let me down is someone that could not keep the confidentiality expected of his position! *That's another bullet in the gun of 'future reference'.

Everyone that I have told has been supportive - maybe I anm extremely lucky, but most of the people that I have told have children / nephews / nieces / brothers / sisters.

Those that state an opinion tell me that I am very brave, that they are proud of what I am doing... I just know I have to do it.

People can and will be supportive - if you have a gut feeling that you can speak to someone, then you are probably right! If you think that no way would that person be able to contain the information you give them, then don't speak to them (no matter how good a friend they currently are).

If someone does let you down, then they are at fault, not you - remember we did nothing wrong!

Remember that no one else can ever tell you when the time is right for you to disclose. It is a very frightening experience when it happens - when you actually reach that stage and speak directly to another person, I only hope that you receive the same love and concern that I have!

Best wishes ..Rik

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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#48562 - 02/20/06 01:17 AM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
FLRich Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/21/04
Posts: 1404
Quote:
Explaining to somebody that you were abused isn't exactly like explaining how you like your coffee, is it? Peoples' perceptions, no matter how long they've known you before, will change.
Melliferal,

This is exactly why I haven't told but a handful of people. I will never tell my parents because of this very reason. It would make my life tougher, and quite frankly at this point, it's all about me and my life.

Two of my best friends know. One was supportive while I was telling him, and even offered me some advice..."Rich, I know that was a terrible thing to go through for you. I used to work in a counseling center for the military. But you need to realize that happened a long time ago. You can't allow it to dictate your life. You're just going to have to get over it." He has never mentioned it again. What kind of counselors do they give our troops in the military?

My other friend's response was, "Oh, man Rich! I'm sorry, but you're OK now, right?" To which I answered, "Yeah, man." However, he has asked more questions over the last year and since my divorce. But it seems the more he asks, the more he treats me with kid gloves. I don't need to be treated with kid gloves! I tell him that, but in all fairness, he doesn't know what to say or do. Like you said, it's not like asking how you like your coffee. The point I'm making is this, my friend talks more about it now, but it makes things more complicated in the friendship. I am his friend, the same friend I have always been before he knew about my SA. I am not, nor do I ever want to be, the "poster friend" for male sexual abuse. I'm just Rich!!!

My ex wife knows, which in large part explains the "EX". My former pastor knows, but he really didn't have any experience with this issue. He did, however, want to know some books he could get to read up on it, though. I suggested a few and he did buy them. He called me one day because a man had come to see him who was sexually abused. He wanted the name of a therapist he could suggest. He also wanted to know if there was anything he needed to tell this guy, and IF the guy wanted, could he give him my name. He never did, I think I hesitated too long. At least he had insight. I was glad that he called, but at the same time I was concerned that I would become the "go to" for male sexual abuse. I don't want that either. I'm just Rich!!

Sorry this is so long, but I needed to vent these feelings, too. These are the only people who know about my past, and I can honestly say, many times I wish I had kept it all inside. The thing is, I may not have told anyone specifically what happened, but I was never able to keep it all in either. It manifested itself thru my actions, fears, habits, etc. They all knew I was mucked up, just not why. My parents think I'm the way I am because I drink too much. Whatever! That is easier than telling them WHY I began drinking.

I'm like you and most of the guys here. I don't want sympathy. Some sort of shit happens to everyone. We just have to learn healthy ways to deal with it. One more thing, we need to realize that we are not alone in this. I cannot tell you how many times in the last 2 years I have thanked Almighty God for leading me to this site. We have differences of opinions here and bicker from time to time, but we are a brotherhood of sorts, and disagreements are to be expected in any family.

At least at Male Survivor, you CAN tell someone who understands. I can still be Rich here, not poor abused, raped Rich.


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#48563 - 02/20/06 06:14 AM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
OKIE MIKE Offline
Member

Registered: 02/13/04
Posts: 982
Loc: HULBERT OK
I kept the terable secret about being raped
for almost thirty years .
I finaly had a nervious break down in 2000 . I ended up in the mental ward at The Veterans Hospital in Oklahoma City . They kept me for Two Weeks . I came out of there so druged out that I could not function .
I think that I kept this secret because . I did not want to believe that That this had hapened to me . It was tucked away in the back of my mind like some terrable nite mare .
I was raped at the age of 18 while I was in the US Army by a SFC (E-7) at the time I was a Private (E-2) I did eventuly tell my squad leader . His reaction was to tell me " to get over it and soldger on " I dont think that He believed me . and I was so humilited that I neaver told another person . This caused a great deal of problems . I finaly snaped .
You know what happened to you . And I do understand keeping it to your self . But you best find a way to vent . This list is a great place for that

_________________________
MICHAEL

"I HAD NO SHOES THEN I SAW A MAN THAT HAD NO FEET"

"All I can do is be me, whoever that is"

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#48564 - 02/20/06 08:31 AM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
Jaco Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 34
Loc: South Africa
I have kept my secret for a long time too. When I did tell my parents my dad walked out on me. My mon was the only one who wanted to talk to me and help me. I did try for a short while but clamed up. Whenever she asked me if I was ok I would just shout that I am. They all thought that all was ok with me.

On Saturday I broke down, the family were all together and I just snaped. It all came out again. Now I was telling my family what was happening with me and the struggle I went through. Afterwards I was so P%$# off that I lost my cool and toled everyone.
WHY DID I JUST NOT KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT?
It would have been better for me but my emotions took hold of me and just run away.

Today I am calmer and sort of glad that I told them that I am not over my CSA. The one I hurt most was my wife.

I think it is good to tell people but at the beggining, where I stand in dealing with my abuse, I made a mistake in telling people again.
I should have sit back and work trought my feelings and sorted it out before I spilled my guts. Now I am sorry for that but also have to deal with it.
Maybe it will help in the long term I do not know. All I know is that I am so screwed up emotionally right now that i do not know what is best or not.

My emotions will get sorted out in time and I will be able to go on with my life and have the happy family that I had once before, but with a change that there is no more lieing and acting out.


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#48566 - 02/20/06 07:41 PM Re: Why I haven't told anyone
Don-NY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
Quote:
Saying it out loud for the first time. Saying it in a group. Meeting other Survivors. Telling the people WE are important to.
I'm quoting myself from another thread. The first item up there was telling a therapist. That's where it started for me, even though it took me over a year (maybe 2) to say it ALL.

The second and third happened at the same time at a retreat. I didn't think of a retreat myself. My T recommended it, and I trusted him, and went even though I really didn't want to, and fought with myself most of the way there, always keeping the thought that "I can leave any time I want."

Both of these things were necessary for me to make progress. In my opinion, the first, talking to a therapist is essential, but that is another thread.

The second, meeting and telling other Survivors was necessary for a person like me who was so emotionally blocked that I could only simulate happiness and joy, and could only cry and get angry in my therapy sessions.

But this topic is all about the last thing I mentioned. "Telling the people WE are important to."

I said it that way deliberately. There are all sorts of people I care about and are important to me, but there is a heirarchy of sorts, and the top of the heap are the people that I am important to.

There came a time when my behavior, mood, and my inability to do what I needed to do required an explanation. Maybe "required" is the wrong word. It wasn't demanded and since I'm talking about the people that I am important to, it probably wasn't totally necessary, but telling these people (7 of them) also told me something about myself.

It told me that I had gotten over the shame and guilt I carried, and just didn't accept it anymore at all. It also told me that I had healed enough to be able to talk about this and let these people really know what was going on; really know me.

In some ways, telling the people I am important to was an explanation. In other ways it was a promise that some things were changed and more would be changing.

It also gave me a handful of real-life people who could listen, understand, and help when I found myself lost, afraid, or just unable to deal with something.

It also gave me a sense of responsibility and accountability for my own actions; a way to measure progress - important feedback on what I'm doing or not doing.

I told seven people, all in 2002, and since then it hasn't happened again. It almost did, a couple of times in conversations, one of them very heated, but it just didn't happen, as the conversations turned in another direction.

If I'm asked directly, I'll answer directly, but it's not something I've ever been asked. Not yet, although I can see it happening as the result of discussing something that comes up on the news sometime.

The only other people I've told, in a limited way, are my doctor and my dentist. Both thanked me and told me I had given them a new awareness and understanding which they have used with other patients.

Like anything else we do to recover and heal, it should be what we need and want, not what someone else tells us we should or must do.

But there are things that work and help. Telling the people I am important to was one of them for me. It was scary but it has helped a lot.

_________________________
If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

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