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#50213 - 05/25/05 04:46 PM Just a question - got a bit out of control
scooter Offline
Member

Registered: 05/23/05
Posts: 76
I don't know if I'm dealing with this right. I feel like I am for the first time, but then went to a therapist and am questioning.

I've had a very rough few months and esp. last couple weeks. I had made an appointment about a week after I realized or acknowledged what I have been hiding from myself. I wanted a memory. As I was preparing for the appointment I realized that I've had a memory the whole time that was real and it tore me apart - and it's always haunted me. I got my answer of who and a little when. Then I didn't know what to do about the appointment, so I went anyway.

I have made much progress, my wife is educated in social work and I am in psychology. I've been working hard and I've been mourning hard. I have shared the aweful things I've done w/ my wife and she has loved me for them. I seperated the abuse from who I am (even before I could speak it's name) as I started to see clearly over the past year who I really am. Once I recognized the abuse I created a box in my mind and I put it there. I open it and look in as I see safe.

In therapy I was pushed more than I felt comfortable, in fact I went from mourning the awareness of the abuse to terror as I touched closer to it. I've seen all I need to see right now and I have the box closed. I don't know if I want to see more.

When things come up I understand their source and I honor them. I am happy, but I see the box there, almost like I now have one eye on the box. Can I leave it there? Do I have to look again? Just typing about it focuses my energy there and I want to peer inside, but I am frightened out of my mind. I turn away and can't look right now. How am I to deal with this? Is it okay to just let it be for a while? I don't want it to be a focus in my life, even though it has been the cause of so much confusion and pain. I want to focus on that which I love, my wife and children. Is it okay to just put the box away for a little bit?

I'm sorry that my mind is rambling.


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#50214 - 05/25/05 07:15 PM Re: Just a question - got a bit out of control
PD Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/18/05
Posts: 10
Loc: Southeast USA
Scooter:

I appreciate where you are right now, and just know that I have been there. I have been in therapy for nearly four years, and it has taken that long to deal with the abuse in my past. I thought I was done with the process twice...but bumped into memories and feelings again that brought my back. The process takes time...and it is OK to take it slow. It has been like peeling an onion for me...one layer at at time...I've gone through most of the pain and grief...as ugly as it was, but now I feel so much joy in my life. My addiction problems have been nearly non-existent for the first time in my life. It feels good to be me, and the unfounded shame and guilt is being lifted. I found two fantastic therapists - one helped me recognize and embrace the abuse, and the other brought me back to feel the actual emotions. I actually felt the terrible physical sensations again. Now that the toughest part is done, I feel like a NEW man. I will continue in therapy for as long as it takes, but know I am finally on a better road. I'm not sure where you are spiritually, but God has been in the center of my journey with me. I pray more, and feel more as a result of that. Hang in there my friend, and take as much time as you need.

PD


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#50215 - 05/25/05 07:43 PM Re: Just a question - got a bit out of control
scooter Offline
Member

Registered: 05/23/05
Posts: 76
Thank you PD. I appreciate the support when I'm feeling like I'm beginning to go insane. All my previous insanities seemed to be fine for coping, but no longer are fine for living as the person I am. I'm tired of mourning, but I know that there is a long road ahead as I only begin to be aware and accept. My wife "ordered" me to take off work early this afternoon and take a break. I think I will.

My spirituality is all that got me through many of the earlier years. Now it's more my relationship with my wife - but that's also where my spirituality is best expressed.


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#50216 - 05/25/05 08:24 PM Re: Just a question - got a bit out of control
PD Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/18/05
Posts: 10
Loc: Southeast USA
Scooter - I have to say having a supportive and understanding wife is key to healing. My wife was blown away when I shared what had happened to me. We went to the same therapist for a while, and that really helped her deal with and understand my healing. I don't know where I would be without her. Has y9our wife sought help as well? It could only help. Enjoy your afternon off, and hang in there.


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#50217 - 05/25/05 08:28 PM Re: Just a question - got a bit out of control
Curtis St. John Offline
Past President
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 1796
Loc: Westchester, N.Y.
You got to open the box and go through all the stuff in there if you ever really want to be happy.

But you knew that already.

No, its not fun, but think about how free you will be when you really deal with it.


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#50218 - 05/25/05 09:01 PM Re: Just a question - got a bit out of control
ForeverFighting Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/09/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: New Mexico, USA
I'm so glad I'm not a psychologist trying to give myself therapy. Wow. You know as well as any of us that we can't think through this stuff. The therapist is supposed to think while the client has to feel. We have to feel. And there's no right way or wrong way to deal with abuse. If we need time away from it, we take time, but the box will never go away by itself. If we could close the box forever, we wouldn't be here, would we?

I'm so glad you had the courage to write here. None of us has the perfect formula for healing. Even the psychology people who write books on this stuff can't agree. Just do what you can, feel as much as you can, and if I might add something from personal experience, please don't use your wife as a therapist. She has more than a vested interest in your healing. She loves you. It can't help but make her feel your pain more than she would any other client. And if your therapist isn't helping, tell him so. Or find a new therapist.

I've found that the secret to easing the pain is to feel a commonality with others. You're not alone in this. Our boxes open and close, and as they open, we share our feelings here with other men going through the same thing. We're here to listen.

_________________________
ForeverFighting

"This search for the truth--it's not for the faint of heart."--Goren on 'Law & Order: CI'
"The former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart."--Isaiah 65:17

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#50219 - 05/26/05 03:48 AM Re: Just a question - got a bit out of control
G5 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 203
Loc: New Jersey
I too understand what you're feeling. I figured that if I tried to work out my feelings as much as possible, that things would go by quicker and that then I could get back to living faster. I found out that I can not be always trying to work things out. I need time away from "thinking" and working on my troubles. You physically and mentally can not cope with things 24/7/365. You need time to recover and sort emotions out. For close to a year, I felt I needed to see my therapist every week in order to figure this crap out. I was always "on" thinking about how to get better, and why I wasn't better yet. Well, duh, I needed a break.
I sometimes take a month off now, sometimes two weeks, in order to "practice" what I've learned.
You have a box. This box does not always have to be open, it can be closed while you go on with your everyday life. It can be opened as you see fit, when you're ready. It can be wide open if you feel strong, it can be slightly open if you don't have enough energy.
I liken my pain to a library. For a long time all the "books," meaning my emotions and struggles, were strewn all over the floor - everything to me looked a mess and I had to clean it up or my life would be a considered a ruin. As I worked with my therapist, I began to place all these books up on the shelves. Each of these books could be opened and closed at anytime I wanted, if I wanted to or not. I now feel like I have control over these emotions and that I can work on them anytime I want. They will always be there....I may come back to them, I may not. They are there at my disposal. I know that in order to move on and live my life that I will need to go through many of these books and much of what's inside them....that's just how it is. But I'll do it when I'm ready and able.

chris

_________________________
WoR Kirkridge '08
WoR Alta Advanced '09
International Conference '10, '12
Oprah 200
PA Support Group
WoR Alta Advanced '12
"Silence Buster"

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#50220 - 05/26/05 11:16 PM Re: Just a question - got a bit out of control
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
Scooter - for over 3 decades I pretended to myself that I wasn't even carrying a box.

I guess it was lined with lead to stop the thought rays escaping into the rest of my mind.

About 18 months ago I was Christmas Shopping in Leeds (UK) & looking for a present for my then 11 year old Nephew (a year younger than I was when abused). I had this awful realisation that my Nephew lived even closer to my abuser than I had as a child & it just completely blew my mind. Over the next few weeks everything came back and I had a complete breakdown.

My Friends have said that 'I cannot put the lid back on the box'.

I'm not trying to put the lid back on the box anymore, I'm smashing the box up - I'm taking my abuser to court (abuse was in 1969).

Each of us has to find our own way to deal with these issues. We can come here and find empathy, understanding and support, however at the end of the day - we must each decide our own route out of hell.

Sit back and enjoy your Family - you don't have to forget what happened, but you don't have to dwell on it either.

Taking it to court is my current strategy - I don't know if that will make me feel better until it is over. I do know that he has been stopped.

Best wishes ...Rik (hope that helps?).

_________________________
*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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#50221 - 05/27/05 01:40 PM Re: Just a question - got a bit out of control
scooter Offline
Member

Registered: 05/23/05
Posts: 76
I just want to say thank you for everyone for responding. Each of your responses has helped me make it through the last couple days.

I had a memory the other night. I won't go into further detail here, but it was horrible. To think that I am at the strongest point of my life, but a simple memory tears me apart to my core. I feel myself bouncing back and forth from child to adult and feeling it all as one or the other. Trying to own for the child what was not his and then in my strength as an adult saying that I did nothing wrong. I remember cats, focusing on cat figurines, but I know the feeling of what is going on and I just can't yet look. My anger wells up and in my adult mind.

There's just so much just so much. I fear I do not have the strength to face it, but I really have no other choice. I am taking another step very soon and telling my parents about it. I've been trying to protect them, they tried so hard to raise me in a secure and loving home, and I've been trying to protect myself my whole life. I'm half happy that the *man* who did this is dead. I was happy when he died and am going to go and spit on his grave. I rationalized it. I thought I had forgiven him but nowhere in me is there forgiveness for this only anger and hatred. Which tears me apart because I'm not like that I'm not like that.

I just edited this because there was stuff that probably shouldn't have been said here.


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#50222 - 05/27/05 02:26 PM Re: Just a question - got a bit out of control
PD Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/18/05
Posts: 10
Loc: Southeast USA
Scooter:

My abuser is dead too. I was never able to confront him, but have done so through journaling and exercises in therapy. One feeling that still bubbles up is one of paralizing fear of being in the same room with him. I am almost unable to breathe when it comes over me. He used to abuse me in secret, and acted as if nothing ever happened. This caused me to believe it was all my fault, and that I deserved it for some reason. Such overwhelming guilt and shame. It comes back whenever I am in situations where I feel I have no control. Within one second I am back there...in that place. I can never put myself into a situation where anyone or anything has control over me. Anything. Does anyone else struggle with this?

Take your time with the memories...you will continue to bump into them at the strangest times and for the strangest reasons. you will eventually have to give in and go through it. Just know there will be peace and joy on the other side of them. Best of luck my friend.

P.


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#50223 - 05/27/05 02:45 PM Re: Just a question - got a bit out of control
scooter Offline
Member

Registered: 05/23/05
Posts: 76
PD:

I struggle w/ the exact same thing. I actually developed asthma and allergies as a response to the fear. Each moment I got more strength and control and clarity each got better. Since I began to recognize and name my abuse I have had no allergies. I feel my fears leaving my day to day and I'm getting stronger. Still, when I go there I have all the fear, shame, guilt; but since I've gone back with more strength I am beginning to feel the anger and actually taking control of it all in my mind.

During sex my wife is being extra careful with me at the moment, but I'm to the point where I want her to be in control more because I've seperated our sex from the abuse. I am a controling person, and I am realizing that many times in the day I am back there, and now that I am letting go of some of the control I'm back there more, facing more. I can never control the experience I had, but I am realizing that I don't ever have to worry about it happening again. I try to always be aware of where I am now in reality when I go back, and try to be more aware when I am back there that I am in reality still here.


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#50224 - 05/27/05 03:13 PM Re: Just a question - got a bit out of control
PD Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/18/05
Posts: 10
Loc: Southeast USA
Scooter:

I also struggle with control issues. My childhood abuse experience made me feel the need to control everything. As my recovery evolves, I have been able to let more and more go and see, by experience now, that I don't have to control everything. As far as sex, I nearly destroyed that for my wife. I obsessed over it, 24/7 and actually pushed her away. We are in a better place with it now. I don't have to control that anymore either. Once all the abuse garbage is out in the open and you are dealing with it the best you can, life gets better. I haven't thrown or broken things (a huge problem in the past) in almost two years now. The rage has disipated.

Keep going on the journey my friend, you'll get there.


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