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#52572 - 03/11/03 02:30 PM Re: The Choice is Yours
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
Thanks for the words.

I have to admit, they feel a little more like an admonition, but, then, I do not think I need to be coddled and I sometimes need to be cajoled, so, maybe, this is just the thing I need.

I am not yet at a year of surviving, and I am having a definite slide. I am smoking and not writing as much and veering toward the lower level of my acting out behaviors (porn, strip clubs, etc.). I appreciate any words of wisdom, even admonishing ones, frankly...

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#52573 - 03/11/03 06:13 PM Re: The Choice is Yours
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Cement: I hear you loud and clear. It is easy to slip back into that blanket that we used as a coping mechanism. It helped us survive but that is all it did. I have learned that I must avoid the poor mees at all costs because I will slip back into what is familiar ( not healthy)and wallow in it. Think of the little you inside and you will resist it.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#52574 - 03/11/03 06:15 PM Re: The Choice is Yours
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Cement I hear you loud and clear. It is so easy to slip back into that numbed down state that was so safe for us. I must always be on guard against the poor mees cause that is what I will do and will wallow in all the sordid shit. Think of the little guy inside you and that might help. If you feel the drift get up and do something, anything

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#52575 - 03/11/03 06:17 PM Re: The Choice is Yours
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Will
What you say is so right, I can't imagine my life any different to what it is now.

My recovery has taught me so much, it's opened my eyes to so many possibilities. Now I'm willing to take a chance and accept failure if it comes.
Failure was always the first option for me before I started recovery.

I'm a maintainance fitter by trade, and I like what I do. But messing about with mechanical stuff is more of a hobby - which is why I build competition 4x4's at home.
But my job is something I do, I enjoy it but there's no challenge.

Now, I'm learning to be a counsellor, I've done psychology at night class. It stretches my brain cells. It's made me a different person and I love it.

It's a by product of my healing, and like you I'm lucky to gain something more than just the healing.

I wouldn't change how I feel today for anything, but I would change the reasons I feel this way.

Sometimes I wonder if I would be like this in a perfect world. I'll never know.

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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#52576 - 03/12/03 12:24 AM Re: The Choice is Yours
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Boy can I relate with all y'all!! For years I was angry, miserable...trying to atone for my being "such a wretched pervert". Years of beating myself up...playing the victim's role ... literally letting others steal my ideas, helping others to get ahead because "I didn't deserve more". BUT!! For the last 5+ years as healing has occurred deep within, after reading a most marvelous book (I forget just now the title - senior moment!)...everything came together. I also realized I had the best training ever in abuse recovery! I all ready had training as a therapist!! Boy - did that LIGHT GO ON!! If you could see the kids and teens I help today - about 90% sexual abuse patients...see their whole person literally light up when they realize I was where they are! Someone believes them and can understand what they say and how they feel! They open up - talk, talk, talk - ask questions, begin to work on real issues...I get a real warm feeling and feel my abuse counts for something! To see these kids (3 yrs through 18 yrs.) suddenly get angry at their perp and explode in safety - taking it out on that SOB who assaulted them brings tears to my eyes. If I could only share their stories with you guys - what an empowering, healing, growing experience!! Every chance I get to talk with groups, even if it isn't on this topic, I manage to squeeze sexual abuse awareness in somewhere!! I just praise God that I am where I am and work with whom I work!! Sorry if I get carried away but it took me almost 35+ years (I was abused from 5 yrs. old through 13 yrs.) to get free and now I have the great opportunity to show kids and teens the way to freedom!! Does it get any better than that??? NOWAY!!! Let me encourage those who are healing to keep the faith - there are blessings and rewards to those who wade through the pain, depression and other crap! Thanks for the opportunity for sharing!!

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#52577 - 03/12/03 12:32 AM Re: The Choice is Yours
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Boy - I did get carried away!! Sorry!! I have healed a great deal but - No! - I haven't finished with myself. I still am working with little Scotty and such. Didn't want to sound like it's all done. But I do feel blessed to be doing what I do! \:\)
By the way, my given name is Howard!
Blessings - Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#52578 - 03/12/03 12:44 AM Re: The Choice is Yours
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
If we can use our experience to help others it seems to give us some kind of meaning to all the horror. I am noticing we have several people here who work with young teens. It really is good to see them find someone who believes them and whom they can trust.

Nothin makes the horror ok, but being able to help someone else gives it a tiny bit of a positive slant.

Bob

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

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#52579 - 03/12/03 02:00 AM Re: The Choice is Yours
cog Offline
Member

Registered: 01/10/03
Posts: 42
I am glad for your success. There are some here that are at different levels of recovery. It sounds like you are at the top. And those that responded positively appear to have years behind them and are also at the top. I am relatively new at recovery. Because I am not fully recovered, does it mean I am still a victim? Or choosing to be a victim? I am not wallowing in victimhood, but I am not gleeful and happy. I struggle every single day.

I am sure that I am misunderstanding because I can't possibly imagine being grateful for being sexually abused because it has enriched my life compared with those who have not been. Perhaps after 12 years I will have your insight.

Am I a victim because I hurt and am in pain and am trying to recover? Or am I survivor just because I am alive inspite of everything that has happened.


Within the last week or so, there seems to be an influx of "why don't we see more positive posts." Sometimes, like this post, I feel that I am made to feel guilty for not doing better. For not feeling better. For not "surviving" like the rest of you. I have actually posted 2 of what I thought were positive posts. Not many replies. Maybe I wasn't positive enough, or maybe I didn't sound positive and condescending enough at the same time to spur others into replying.

I think it is because of the nature of this site -- that it is normal, and even expected that there will be a lot of intensity and raw emotions of the negative sort. I find it unrealistic to expect everyone to be at the same level. Some are at the bottom, and some are at the top.

I am sorry, but I cannot agree with the following:
Quote:
I know this may sound sick to many of you, but in a way I am thankful that I was abused both sexually and physically.
Respectfully, I can think of many different ways of maturing into manhood and gaining powerful insights into life than having to go through what I am going through now.

Lastly, you talk about this as a choice. As if I could wave a magic wand and choose to no longer have a pychogenic seizure disorder due to incest.

What I can do is choose to move forward and try to recover through therapy. Do everything imaginable in my power to recover. But I cannot choose the timeline. If I could, It would have been 6 months ago.


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#52580 - 03/12/03 10:28 AM Re: The Choice is Yours
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Cog - I'm sorry you feel guilty or saddened by the posts. They may seem to be from those at the top but I know I still have healing to go. What is not reflected in my post was the 7 years of therapy (Why 7? I couldn't find a therapist who could understand my issues! I trained at least 3 of them and became frustrated!!). Not reflected was the 3 years I spent suicidal (no attempts but had the notes written and life in order). If it wasn't for Paxil then Prozac, I don't know if I would have made it. (Still on Prozac for the Depression, a legacy from my mom along with anxiety). My wife and kids (all 3) road the "roller coaster" of moods and assorted issues that accompany "extreme abuse" (not only my term but the diagnosis my therapists gave me). If anything, my post was a celebration of hard work and encouragement for all of us who struggle with sexual abuse!! I wanted to let all of us know that we can make it! Sure there is suffering but that's life. We deal with 'Life on life's terms'!! But good can come out of bad. I would rather not have been drug through years of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional - incest included)...I am sad that 'normal' means something different for me than most other folk. But, you know what, I fought it and encourage everyone who wants to to fight it to do so! each in our own way! I know it isn't easy...it still is not easy at times but it does feel better more than feel bad. I've been in the valleys - deep, dark, alone(?) - but I know there are hills and mountains when life does get better! Hope I helped, Cog. Keep 'the faith'!

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#52581 - 03/12/03 04:37 PM Re: The Choice is Yours
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Cog: You are not alone in how you feel buddy. If there was a magic wand or pill or whatever and we would be whole we would all be using it and there would be no need for a forum like this. For me the important thing is that for the last 1/4 of my life I want to be free and whole. To do this will involve a hell of a lot of hard work, pain, regret and anger. But most of all it will bring me joy. Joy in the little accomplishments of myself and all my brothers here. When one of us in is pain we all feel it. You are right about the percieved negativity in a lot of the posts. Not really negativity but more downers. But look at the post by Ethan_B of the joy he got from his six year old son who loves him withount reservation. Cog be a little kinder with yourself. You have one some little battles but they seem to be far outweighed by the other shit. But none the less they are accomplishments and too often we do not celebrate them appropriatly. I like my journey to that of a contractor. I must destroy the facade behind which I hid; even from myself. That includes all the high risk shit I put myself through by re-enactment to verify my facade and the reason to hide. I have to destroy the chains around my mind and the little Mike inside. In a nutsehll I have to CLEAR THE DECK. Then one brick at a time i have to create ME as I truly am. A human who deserves respect, happiness and succsess by whatever measure I choose. I can get caught in the trap of saying oh shit nothing works then I get in a downward spiral. Gotta guard against that. Ime good at it. But COG celibrate your sucesses however small and share them with us. And I know that there will come a time when the potholes are merely dips in the road.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#52582 - 03/12/03 05:21 PM Re: The Choice is Yours
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
WillP:

Early in recovery, at a conference, we were all asked what one thing we could change in our past if we could.

My immediate thot was of course being abused.

But then I started to think of what course my life might have taken: Would I have ever met my wonderful wife? Had two wonderful daughters? Would things be even worse? Would I have the compassion I now have for the traumatized & ill? Or would I just be wrapped up in the rat race, caught in the rat trap of keeping up with the Joneses whoever they are?

So I answered the question saying that I would change nothing. I thot maybe I'm weird or a glutton for punishment or something. But no in some form nearly everyone whose responses I heard,
most of the group, answered the same.

A question I've been exploring with a good friend recently is would I even care about the intimacy I long for yet have so much trouble living in? I mean at least I want it. So many "normal" people seemingly could care less. So who's "normal"?

Now that doesn't mean I expect everyone or anyone else to answer that question the way I did, or to see "the silver lining on the cloud of abuse." After all I've just started seeing it myself.

And I'd be lying if I said I wish I could have the family & good things I have now without the abuse? Damn, who wouldn't?!

Being a survivor & recovering from SA is a process
& it has ups & downs, I suspect no matter how long you're at it. There is a time to mourn & a time to dance, a time to weep & a time to rejoice.

What's great is that here we can weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who are rejoicing!

Cement:

Hang in here and draw in our support as we soak in your poetic words of wisdom & beauty.

Mikechurch:

For a time my theme song coulda been "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" by Linda Ronstadt. Now it's more like Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down!"

Dave:

Perfect world or not, I'm grateful for who you are in this world.

Bro, any male survivor would do mighty well to have you as a counselor!

ScottyTodd:

"I wanna be like Scotty!"

Hey, it also took me about 35 years, from the last SA incident at age 10 to recover memories & begin recovery at 45, 20 months ago.

Thanks for sharing your ESH (Experience, Strength & Hope)!

Cog:

Quote:
Because I am not fully recovered, does it mean I am still a victim? Or choosing to be a victim?
No. What is fully recovered anyway? Life, recovery or not, is a process; we are in that process as long as we live. Where there is life, there is hope, there is recovery, there is growth.
IMHO.

Quote:
Am I a victim because I hurt and am in pain and am trying to recover?
No, that's what makes you a survivor. A victim doesn't feel the pain without trying to bury it, take it out on someone else, medicate it, etc. Victims don't try to recover. Survivors do.

Quote:
Or am I survivor just because I am alive inspite of everything that has happened.
Yes! You are a survivor, Cog!

Quote:
I think it is because of the nature of this site -- that it is normal, and even expected that there will be a lot of intensity and raw emotions of the negative sort. I find it unrealistic to expect everyone to be at the same level. Some are at the bottom, and some are at the top.
IMNSHO you are right about the nature of this site
and that it's unrealistic to expect everyone to be at the same level. Or at least the same place.

I don't see it as a matter of levels, top to bottom. I see it this way: We all started our life's journey in different places and have gone thru many similar & many very different experiences since we began, each of us. So we're just all in different yet equal places, becuz we're all equal.

In short, there is no caste system & there are no
upper or lower classes in this MS community. I don't think anybody wants to imply that. I certainly don't think you ought to feel that you are a 2nd or 3rd class male survivor.

You are not. You are a survivor. We are survivors.
Period.

Interesting topic & dialogue men.

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#52583 - 03/12/03 08:01 PM Re: The Choice is Yours
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
Mikechurch:

Quote:
I must destroy the facade behind which I hid; even from myself. That includes all the high risk shit I put myself through by re-enactment to verify my facade and the reason to hide.
I read this over and over...I think I am going to print it, blow it up and put it on my wall. Write it backwards on my forehead so I see it first thing in the morning, last at night and a few times in between (hey, I like to wash my hands).

Such a precious little nugget. But hey, Mike, could you hit the return key a couple of times when you post? don't mean to be critical, I like what you write, just gets a little tough when all them words is smooshed in.

Thanks a ton for the insightful words. Made my day.

James

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

Top
#52584 - 03/12/03 08:47 PM Re: The Choice is Yours
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Cog
Quote:
Because I am not fully recovered, does it mean I am still a victim? Or choosing to be a victim?
I moved from victim to survivor the very second I opened my mouth and said to my wife "when I was a kid I was sexualy abused"

At that moment I was in recovery, I was healing and I became a survivor.
I attached many labels to myself, and I've written about it in the Survivors Stories forum.
http://www.malesurvivor.org/cgi-local/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=10;t=000039

I know which label you have ;\)

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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#52585 - 03/12/03 09:23 PM Re: The Choice is Yours
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Cement that is what we are all here for. To help each other.

I have profited greatly by what I have read and the joy of winning the little battles that each of you make.

Take care!!! And be gentle with yourself. God we are not perfect.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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