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#52078 - 03/01/06 04:36 PM survivors and alcohol
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Andrew76 recently started a thread in which he referred to drinking as a means he used to cope with his memories of abuse, and of course that one has appeared on the DB many times. I wonder if it's time for a discussion of this issue in particular.

When my abuse stopped at the age of 14 I thought I was saved. I wasn't. I quickly shifted from a kind of day-by-day existence, bouncing back and forth between abuse episodes and a kind of robotic "everyday" routine at home, to one in which I started thinking about what had happened to me. I started asking the "why" questions and had no answers. I felt so alone, ashamed and guilty; it really felt like I was being crushed by it all. What scared me most was that I "missed" the abuser - I could never understand that, since when he was around I had been completely terrified.

In 1963 drugs were not yet widespread, but alcohol sure was. Like any other boy I was curious, and I quickly discovered that drinking would allow me to numb out and temporarily forget what had happened. The problem was I didn't see how I was using alcohol as a crutch, so I got into big trouble pretty fast - we all know how that goes. By the time I was in college I didn't figure I was having fun at a party until I had been sick at least once or twice, and sometimes the evening ended in convulsions - a kind of alcohol poisoning I was told.

I gradually pulled out of this because I was becoming obsessed with my studies and concentrating on that replaced my need to drink. But not before I added a lot of drugs to the equation, and again, I can look back and wonder why I am still alive.

I'm not sure why I want to say all this. Perhaps just as a way of warning myself that this is still a danger, though I am told I'm not an alcoholic. Maybe I just want to think back and be glad I escaped, despite of all the opportunities and joys that drinking took away from me. I don't think I'm venting or moaning.

But I hope others will take up this topic and share their experiences and views. For me the bottom line is that alcohol, which is a depressant anyway, never helped me in the slightest. The next day I was always in the same mess where I had started, or else even worse off.

I'm no crusader or anything like that, but this one is a real peril. If you are taking a drink every now and then to "take the edge off", watch out. I never realized I had a problem until it was really serious. As one of my teachers in college put it, "You have to decide do you want to live your life or lose it".

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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#52079 - 03/02/06 02:58 AM Re: survivors and alcohol
FLRich Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/21/04
Posts: 1404
Larry,

When I was 16 yrs old, I was raped by my boss. I was totally crazy! There is no other word for it. I was frightened for all sorts of reasons. Would he try it again? How could I fight him off? What would happen if I told my parents? If the police were to find out, how many other people would find out? How many people did know? How many guys were being raped by this guy because I wouldn't tell? Could I have helped these victims? Did this episode in my life mean that I was gay now? Would my boss tell others that would attack me? Have I caught any kind of disease? What will I tell my parents if I have caught a disease? Why did he pick me to rape? Did I deserve this? Am I being punished for something?

All of these questions went thru my head, and I don't mean in an orderly fashion. They went thru my head every waking hour just as fast as you can read them here now. When I went to sleep, I had the nightmares. Add to this, the paranoia I developed, along with the guilt and overwhelming shame.

I knew friends that drank. I knew where to get it. I had money to buy it. It was legal, not for me to buy and consume, but I wasn't going to jail for drinking it. So I sat on the seawall one afternoon and drank about 1/3 - 1/2 a fifth (telling my age now) of Southern Comfort. When I decided to get up and walk back home, Irealized that I felt better. It was just as you described it, Larry, it allowed me to "numb out". It was the only way for me to have peace in my head, if only for a little while. I remember being sick a lot from it. I remember having terrible stomach trouble due to drinking liquor and wine.

One afternoon while sitting on the seawall drinking, I saw a man fall down on the beach. He tried to get up, but he fell again, and fell hard onto the sand. I decided to go see if he needed help and when I got close to him, he tried to get up again. At this point I noticed that he was so drunk he couldn't walk. He had vomitted all over himself. HE scared the Hell out of me. I left him and ran back to the seawall. When I got there, I turned around and he was nowhere to be seen.

I decided then and there that I was not going to become an alcoholic. I didn't want to end up like that man. I knew I had one very serious problem, dealing with my sexual abuse, but I didn't want two problems. Sometimes I think that man was an angel, sent to scare me, because the guy just totally disappeared!

Whatever he was, he helped, but didn't cure me. I still use it to take the edge off. I use it when I don't want to deal with issues. In the long run, it has always proved to give me more issues or complicate the issues I already have.

I can go days without touching the stuff, so I tell myself I am not an alcoholic. Once I start, though, I can hardly ever stop for the night. It used to be a glass, now it's a bottle when I start.

I am getting better, I think, but the best advice I could give anyone is never to start. Besides making you feel like Hell the next day, the good stuff is expensive!! I have realized many times that I could have had more fun with the money I spent on liquor, if I spent it on going to the movies, dancing, a road trip for the day, or a nice meal out somewhere. Unfortunately, I usually have this realization sitting on the sofa looking at the idiot box, nursing a hangover.

Realistically, I am sure alcohol never helped my marriage either, but instead helped it towards divorce. God only knows how much of my sons' respect I have lost over the years seeing their father wasted. Talk about shame...


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#52080 - 03/02/06 04:29 PM Re: survivors and alcohol
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Rich,

I don't want to interrupt too much, but this part I thought was important:

Quote:
All of these questions went thru my head, and I don't mean in an orderly fashion.
Isn't that the truth! It was like a whirlwind of fear, questions, doubts, shame, confusion, whatever. When I discovered a way to numb out I went for it in a second.

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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#52081 - 03/03/06 02:34 AM Re: survivors and alcohol
direwolf Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 9
Loc: America
Good stuff.

I drank and smoked copious amounts of pot for about 6 years before I came to the realization that I was abused. I continued using for another 10 years before I came to the realization that drinking/smoking wasn't helping me to resolve my SA issues. If anything, it made the self guilt, shame, and perfectionism worse.

But I wasn't an alcoholic/addict. No, not me. I wasn't drinking everyday. I had a good job. No DUIs. Didn't blackout. And could go for a few days without a drink. But I loved the buzz and relaxation from what seemed like a continous state of anxiety. I became increasingly focused on weekends/drinking time, enjoyed traveling for work b/c I could drink alone, and basically was not happy having 1 or 2 drinks. Who wants 1 or 2 drinks? Who would ever leave a beer 1/2 full? When I started to drink it was game on. Pure signs of alcoholism.

So now I am three years into therapy to cope with my SA. Making some progress, but still drinking 3 times / week and smoking pot every day. Needless to say, I wasn't recovering. Just continuing to treat myself without the respect that I deserved. I tried to 'stop' only to convince myself after a week...'see, you can stop, it isn't a problem'. Then why was I drinking again? Another sign that I was an alcoholic.

The best decision I made was to get into outpatient rehab. I learned that I was powerless over alcohol and drugs. So are a lot of people. I also found AA. Like MS, AA is an unbelievable support network of people who have the same troubles and challenges as I do. I learned in rehab that one of the largest predictors of alcholism is child sexual abuse. Go figure.

I know this is a long post, but I strongly urge anyone out there who thinks he has a drinking problem to seek help. I am proud to say I have 8 months and 11 days clean. It has changed my life for the better. You can do it too. You owe it to yourself. If I can be of any assistance, please let me know. I guarantee you have free resources in your backyard.

Keep it simple,
Scott


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#52082 - 03/03/06 03:44 PM Re: survivors and alcohol
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
like anything else we do as survivors we tend to over do it , my abuser got me started on drugs to make it eaiser to get me to cooperate ,and i discovered that i could block out what was happening even when it was happening ,so the drugs became my escape ,but in the end i needed more and more to escape .if my friends did one line of speed i had to do 3 or 4 to get to the place i wanted to be , my abuser first gave me meth at age 11 i have not gotten completly off the stuff to this day ,but it no longer gives me any relief ,it is like the others said now not only do i have my past to deal with but also my addiction to the one thing i though could help me ,my advice ?dont start with drugs or alcohol.it only makes it harder in the long run to face up to what our life has become .instead of helping me cope it kept me from doing the things i needed to do to heal ,what i though was helping me was really making it worse.helping me hide from the truth ,making it eaiser to just let it eat me up inside.

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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#52083 - 03/03/06 07:00 PM Re: survivors and alcohol
Kirk Wayne Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 499
Loc: Shrewsbury UK
At the age of 15 whilst my abuse was still happening, I latched onto booze like a man grabbing for a life raft. It soothed me, took away my pain, it lifted me out of myself and made me feel different to who I actually was, as the years passed it led me into blackouts that lasted months, homelessness, violence, prostitution and a total of five years in differing hospitals both psychiatric and general plus NHS and privately run drug rehabs.

It very nearly killed me and it definately destroyed every relationship I ever had. In 1994 I stopped and then the hell fell on me I had to face my abuse and accept that it happened sober, it was at that point that everything started to fall into place.

Here we are twelve years down the line and I have been sober all that time except for a couple of minor relapses which I pulled out of as soon as I started. Booze never solved anything for me although at the time I believed it did. Today If I pick up a drink I may as well throw my marraige away together with my relatonships with my two step daughters and my four grandchildren, that for me is too much to lose. I am concious of that now where at one time I was not.

Life still stinks sometimes but today I can get through that.

Kirk

"Lets grab this bull by the horns and swing it about a bit"


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#52084 - 03/03/06 08:40 PM Re: survivors and alcohol
pawhames Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/03/06
Posts: 3
Loc: Mims Florida
My abuse started somewhere around the age of 13 or so. later in life i started playing music in a bar in tennessee. as i drank, I found out i didnt dwell on being raped orally or anally by my sisters ex husband.i kept drinking , now at the age of 39, i am in the middle of my 5th offense drinking and driving charge. when i got out of jail(the state dropped it to a second offense). I got into A.A recovery.I have gone 7 months without drinking, i am on my 4th step right now, and it is rehashing my past life when i felt to blame for getting raped. the 4th step i think will help me to come to terms with my past, and look forward to a brighter future. right now tho, i HAte thinking about the past or my ex brother in law. He is in the national Guard now and i just wonder how many other kids he abused, it makes me sick, and i wish i knew a way to make him pay, but all im gonna have is my recovery and the fact that im comming to terms with everything. thanks for letting me share, and if you younger kids are smart, ya wont start drinking, you will get councelling instaed, thanks mike

_________________________
Help me one day at a time dear God

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#52085 - 03/03/06 09:45 PM Re: survivors and alcohol
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
I started drinking more or less straight after the abuse finished (12/13). It started with just a few pints at first, bought from money we used to get from going shopping (friends parents were quite well off & used to give us the change which was often a considerable amount to us.

When I started work, the drinking became almost every night for years on end. I think the first time it eased up was when I started playing drums in a rock band.

I still like to drink now, but the fact that the perv has now taken on my shame, means that I drink mostly for pleasure now, not just to get blitzed.

I am having a drink tonight of very good wine, and there is a good reason for that!

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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#52086 - 07/13/06 11:57 PM Re: survivors and alcohol
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 797
Loc: North Texas
Just thought I would pop this up, as I just printed it out for a friend of mine. I thought the new guys would like it.

Take care,
Clifford

_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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#52087 - 07/14/06 01:26 AM Re: survivors and alcohol
Muldoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
My release was pot. Smoked my brain out but still the abuse issues where there. 35 years later I am still trying to stop and I am making some progress. I know that it is not good for me to be so dependent on drugs.

I was high on pot so long the abuse issues did fad to the background only to come back many years later. Drugs don't help I know that now but I wasted many years in a fog. Tom

_________________________
Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

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