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#49289 - 02/28/03 08:45 AM self-determination and choices
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
I have spent the past few months challenging what my inner voice is constantly saying. Following the abuse, it was always telling me that I was flawed, that I was abnormal. All my life, that inner voice drove me to do darker and darker things. As a preteen, I decided that if I made sex painful enough, I wouldn’t want it. It was a foolish perception, because all I did was gain a taste for the extreme, as I opened up my mind to it. As I tried more and more, I felt sicker and sicker, and I hated myself for it.

What I had to do, I realized, was to challenge what I was saying to myself. Abuse seems to make us see things in the darkest, most negative terms. I see it in many posts here, and it is very clear to me that this is the case. We are condemned to a lifetime of pessimistic existence by things beyond our control. Even after realizing that this is happening, it is very hard to stop.

Starting about a couple of months ago, I have begun constantly challenging the negative things coming into my mind. It takes a great deal of time and energy, but I am hoping there will come a point where it is automatic, and I don’t have to focus on doing it so much.

Healing has been a combination of things for me, challenging those false messages was certainly a big part of things. Every person on earth has problems, and if we feel abnormal for struggling with sex or relationships, we are lying to ourselves. It would be unusual to not have any problems with these things. Every relationship worth having struggles as we go along, and we are lying to ourselves when we say we are abnormal for having relationship issues. We are lying to ourselves when we think it doesn’t matter, and we can handle the abuse without facing it and dealing with it. I lied to myself when I told myself that I was the sickest man in the world, or when I glossed over the abuse by blocking it out. In the end, only I could decide that those were lies, and challenge them with the higher truth.

Another thing I struggled with was forgiving and accepting myself. I mean I knew I was supposed to, but actually doing it didn’t come easy. What finally made it go from trying to doing was this site, and you men. Through your struggles, I learned that I am not abnormal, and that after being abused what I was feeling was very much normal. I also just simply got tired of labeling myself. I reached a point where I just refused to carry the weight of assigning feelings and judgments to every person I met.

See that is what we all do. I told myself, Debbie wouldn’t stay with me if she knew about this sick stuff. I assigned her feelings and emotions. Those weren’t her feelings or emotions; those were what I put in my mind she would feel. It is a huge burden to take responsibility for everyone else’s life like that. I fretted and worried until I was depressed and lifeless. I finally came to the point where I refused to do that any more.

I cannot help what others feel or think. I can only answer for myself, and it relieved a whole lot of guilt and shame just to cut it loose. At some point, you have to say f**k them. They can hate me or love me, and there is nothing I can do or say to change that, and I am not going to waste my time trying. Even my own family, if they hate me because I was abused, and because I am depressed and struggling, then they are just going to have to hate me. I can’t own their problems and feelings, only my own. If my parents feel guilty for letting me fall into the abuse, then they are going to have to deal with it. Those are their feelings, and they have to be the ones to deal with them. I didn’t make them feel it; they chose to feel it. A person cannot own other people’s feelings only their own.

Finally, I had to accept my past for what it was, and let go of the shame I was carrying around. Yes, it is easy to walk through every day beating yourself over your head with what you have done, but it isn’t going to change a damn thing. I couldn’t not go back, and not do what I had done, but I could change how I looked at it. The past is the past, but I alone determine every step I take from here on. So when I became tired enough, I was finally able to cut it loose. I told myself I couldn’t, but you know what, it is really just a matter of making up your mind to do these things. There is no trick to it. If you are waiting for your therapist to give you some magic solution, you will wait forever. You are the one that must let go, and forgive yourself, and it is just as simple as making up your mind you will not allow it to own you any more.

All of this is totally mine to control; I can at last see that. I feel guilty because I want to, or I lust for kinky sex, because I close my eyes and dredge up old memories. I struggled with masturbation, because I allowed myself to think of sex all the time. I told lies to my wife and hid things from her because I chose to do those things. It can all end today, by challenging things and making new choices. When you catch yourself thinking, ‘boy I’m so sick’, catch yourself and remind yourself that you are not sick, that you are healthy and normal. Refuse to allow that sexual fantasy to take control. When you first catch it, find something else to take your mind off it, or force it out. See all of this really is a choice we make either conscience or out of learned routine and habit, and we can control and challenge those choices.

It’s funny. It is so simple that it seems there must be more to it, and yet it is so hard to pull off. I knew what I needed to do for years, but I wasn’t doing it. There is no magic that can give you strength or make you do the things to get healthy. It is a matter of determining that I am sick enough of living the way I was, that I will just do what I need to at all cost. You have to get out of bed, and say, ‘today I refuse to let my past own me any longer. Today I will take control back, and I will do it every moment and every step.’ At first you have to be ready and onguard every second, but as the weeks past, it gets easier. After two months my whole outlook, and that inner voice are beginning to change. You know, the glass is really half full after all.

jeff

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

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#49290 - 02/28/03 01:23 PM Re: self-determination and choices
moo2 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/31/03
Posts: 82
Loc: pottsboro,texas
I agree that you need to not let your past totally control you. You need to totally trust that you will change. My hubby [Mr Edd] is just at the very beginning of even seeing his past childhood trama. He can not even see the good that had happened through Mr Edd's tramatic childhood, but when he does see some good, I know my hubby will heal.Mr Edd has truly healed some with 30 days of flashbacks. We have a long way to go, but at least I can see some healing. Sorry about me babbling. Talk to you soon!!!
WITH MUCH LOVE,
Kim


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#49291 - 02/28/03 01:32 PM Re: self-determination and choices
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Jeff
That makes so much sense, you've explained our dillema so well. Thank you.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#49292 - 02/28/03 02:04 PM Re: self-determination and choices
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
thank you both. you know for months i have felt like i was standing on the threshold of some new breakthroug, but i filled my mind with so many fears that i stopped myself short. the moment i came out to my wife, and to a few others, my life instantly changed. i wasnt damned for it, but instead everyone has rallied to my side. it feels like the weight of the world has been removed from my back. i have been stuck in the depressed rut for so long, i didnt know how it felt to be free. i feel like at last i can be myself again. always before i was measuring what i said, holding back for fear i would reveal something i didnt want to. it feels fantastic to be able to just say what i feel again!

my wife and i watched oprah the other day. she had a child molester on there. i cannot tell you how good it felt to sit there and tell my wife about how i felt as i watched it. i mean how i really felt, not some watered down version of it. well, i have got to go do a few more handsprings \:\) so i'll be going now, have a good weekend everyone.

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

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#49293 - 02/28/03 03:52 PM Re: self-determination and choices
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Thanks Jeff,you truly have written a very motivating piece here. But so much more than that because in reality you have experienced about what you wrote. Thanks very much.
Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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