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#59273 - 12/22/05 01:03 AM Re: Survivors and lying
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I guess the question of "What makes a male survivor feel safe?" is rather like asking "What do men like?" We are all different and have different experiences and problems. I think this is one you will begin to see as your partner works on things. You will be able to notice how he reacts to different challenges.

But as SAR says, you won't be able to "make" him feel safe in the way that a mother can make a child feel safe.

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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#59274 - 12/22/05 04:38 AM Re: Survivors and lying
johnsurvived Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/20/05
Posts: 332
Loc: Arlington, Virginia
As the folks above have put it so well, you can't make him feel any one way or the other. You cannot alter his feelings -- they are his, and they are valid; just as your feelings are yours, and just as yours are every bit as valid. Feelings aren't right or wrong, we don't get to choose them, making them happen is manipulative -- kind of like lying.

Lying, unlike feelings, is a behavior. You can ask anyone to change behaviors that hurt you (or them); you have every right to ask this of them. It's the only way to get them to stop doing things that hurt you (and them). Tracy, you radiate wisdom and compassion in your posts. Please let us know how this progresses.

h,
j

_________________________
Take for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards; for our vines have tender grapes. Song of Solomon 2:15

But let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. Amos 5:24

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#59275 - 12/22/05 04:44 AM Re: Survivors and lying
johnsurvived Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/20/05
Posts: 332
Loc: Arlington, Virginia
Oh, and Tracy, I just want to throw this out to you as well:

In any relationship, the 'safety' of both partners is equally important. You do not have to sacrifice your sense of safety to his. See post above, re: hurtful behaviors and asking them to be changed...and talk to your co-therapist about all of this.

h,
j

_________________________
Take for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards; for our vines have tender grapes. Song of Solomon 2:15

But let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. Amos 5:24

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#59276 - 12/22/05 07:27 PM Re: Survivors and lying
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Great thread, and again I'm so late to the discussion. I've been tending to other duties and working, spending little if any time here.

From the sound of things, it would appear that being untruthful IS a problem for survivors. I too found that I had to lie to protect myself. My mother would have beat me with a belt on my bare little bottom if she found out what was happening to me (as if it were my fault!).

So I grew up in my own little culture of lying. As an adult I kept right on in that culture in an effort to cover up my acting out.

This new concept of honesty and openesss with my spouse can be hard at times to maintain because the "old tapes" are still trying to play in my head. I came home from work today after only being there an hour. Something broke in the works and I was not needed while the maintenance crew does the repair. It'll take all day. And I sit here trying to figure out what lie to tell my wife when she gets home about why I'm home before she is. How bizarre is that? What happened to telling the truth? I've nothing at all to hide and yet the "old tapes" tell me to "make up a story so you don't get in trouble".

Sh*t! I've got a lot more work to do I see.

Great thread Tracy. Thank-you.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#59277 - 12/23/05 12:50 AM Re: Survivors and lying
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Tracy,

most abused do not lie!

Their lives consist of a constant lie about their past, and how they do not anybody to know the stark truth about what they went through.

OK, I will rephrase it, most abused boys are so sick of lying they dont know when they are doing it.

I get taken for a liar all the time, when I totally avoid telling lies, but people pick up on the other side of me, and hurt me.

If you do not want him to lie to you, try and get to know his problems, and tell him you are willing to listen and cry with him as he talks them thru.

Showing distrust to an abuse survivor is quickly picked up on his radar, so get to know and feel for him, ans also make sure he looks after your feelings,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#59278 - 12/23/05 02:07 PM Re: Survivors and lying
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
Again, so much wisdom from you people. The distiction between beahviour and feelings John is a useful one and also your spot on, that lying does impact on my feeling safe. I couldn't have articulated that but thats exactly how it feels and I think thats a valuable one I'm going to share with him.

Sar

You make a good point re; the problems that are his/mine/ours. It is actually work we've done with the therapist because I do try and anticipate his needs. EG; He boils 5 eggs at the beggining of ther week and has one a day with his lunch. Months ago I saw that by thursday he'd none left so I started to boil another for him. Thoughtful or facilitating his helplessness? Well I decided on the latter, didn't boil the egg and told him about it later.
As I've stopped doing stuff like that he's started to ask me to do more things for him. I have a reply that comes in regularly "boil your own eggs" which we both laugh at. I actually find it quite liberating which is good and he's happy that I'm happier.

Larry

The bit about mothering is astute because thats how I feel when he goes into little boy lost mode and feels all the hurt as a child. I feel maternal and protective!! Its an effort to not wrap him in cotton wool and try and make it all go away. Its really hard when you can clearly see a childs pain on his face and its something I struggle with. He changes so dramatically. This is something that has only featured since his disclosure.

Theres os much that rings true or I recognise in all your posts. You made me laugh John with your tapes about lying and leaving work early. He SO does this. Makes up bullsh*t when its SO not neccessary. I see him doing it to other people and its like a complicated pastry bun has been made when the truth was actually just a simple bread roll. It looks such damn hard work, I bet its exhausting?

Also Ste, he does talk about feeling as if he's not going to be believed even when he's telling the truth. Thinks everyone sees a bullsh*tter.

These things are lessening and he's also getting much better with trusted friends. I do think that the safety thing is key but as you guys say thats his feeling and not mine. I could get tied up in knots trying to create safety.

Thanks a million everyone.

I definatl feel better having talked and read your replies. My needing to talk doesn't always cooincide with his being able to listen and being able to come here makes all the differnec. I kinda get things sorted in my head much more for when we do talk.

Lots of love

Tracy


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#59279 - 12/27/05 02:56 AM Re: Survivors and lying
beautifuldisaster Offline
Member

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 85
Loc: usa
Tracy,
Your situation rings so familiar in my life.
We have been working toward our goal over three yrs....9 months focused, and one month with more honesty and truth than I ever imagined possible.

It took fighting, loving, tears and laughter to make it where we are today.....
this past holiday wkend was AMAZING.
He was in for 3 days from a work trip (it will be 3 months total when he returns).
I tended to think if I DID ENOUGH he would do what he had to do to realize what he needed to do to turn things around.
Well, it never worked that way, EVER!
I did push, and I did love....I was hurt many times and I said things to him that were painful but truthful.
He lied, he fought what was right, he cried and he loved me back.
We have lived on a rollercoaster!
I feel like I had to prove myself loyal and worthy. He tested me with the most painful things a person can survive...(pushing me away intimately, infidelity and lying)...
but when we went to the T...his T told me that I was correct in what I wanted in a relationship...but I had been living REACTIVELY.
And he was right.
I was reacting to what he did to me, I was letting it destroy me from the inside out...I lost myself in the process of supporting him.
He told me, in front of my husband that it was indeed my choice to be with him...but it was also my job to draw a very definite line (and STICK TO IT) of what was acceptable and what was not. He told me it was my job to let him know my limits and let him know that I could only take so much and where the 'correct' boundaries in our relationship would be. He tended to want to stretch the hell out of them on his side but demand I walk a tight line on mine.
Once he saw the control-freak (me!) deminish, and me put the accountablity on him...things started turning around.
I didnt stop loving him because he was pushing me away. I didnt stop loving life because I couldnt control his behavior. I was carrying on...and happy and life was good again on my end...and it drew him to me instead of him wanting to run away from me.
He knows the truth is one thing we have to have to stay together.
It is by far one of the hardest things for him to do in certain situations (in regards to his mind regarding women and the situations his actions would put him in)....
He is reading Mike Lew's book now.......ON HIS OWN...and text messaging me periodically to ask me questions about things.
He is doing it all on his own....because he sees the beauty of what boundaries and real love offer him not because of anything I have done or not done to get him to do the right thing.
It took a long time girl, and me almost losing myself....but his T was correct.
Living reactivly to his problem was drawing me into the dysfunction of his issues, and pulling us apart.
I think you are on the right track.
Good luck!

xo to all and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

_________________________
I AM THE MASTER OF MY DREAMS,
I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL-

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#59280 - 12/27/05 12:56 PM Re: Survivors and lying
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Quote:
He lied, he fought what was right,
I saw this at the top of Beautiful's post and though "yeah, he's fighting because she's pushing!"

Then at the bottom there's this -

Quote:
He is doing it all on his own....because he sees the beauty of what boundaries and real love offer him not because of anything I have done or not done to get him to do the right thing.
It took a long time girl, and me almost losing myself....but his T was correct.
Living reactivly to his problem was drawing me into the dysfunction of his issues, and pulling us apart.
Which shows that in a relationship, one that's going to work, we need the boundaries just as much as you do - possibly more.

For so long we set our own boundaries based on our dysfunctional thinking, and expected our partners to fit in with those boundaries - I certainly did.
And it must be very tempting for a loving partner when abuse first becomes a talked about issue in the relationship to want to give us space, and give us permission to set our own boundaries wherever we want them. DON'T DO IT !!

Agree boundaries, and fight your corner! Don't make huge allowances for us, make us work a bit for what we want. That way we learn new things, we learn through experience that the relationship we're in has TWO people in it.

And don't treat the boundaries reactively either, stick to them. I got roasted for crossing or ignoring them plenty of times, I learnt all about boundaries very rapidly :rolleyes:

Going back to the lying issue, I have a gut feeling that many survivors ( me included here \:\( ) are / have been world class bullshitters.
We all know people who must be at least 300 years old, they've "been there and done that" to such an extent it can't be anything else but BS.
I've seen a lot of this in survivors.

Probably because we had such low self-esteem and truly believed that we were worthless we then created stories and lies to make ourselves interesting, macho or whatever.
We hated who we were so we created someone else.

It's very difficult to keep up, and also extremely difficult to stop.
Stopping requires us to admit we're bullshitters, and that's something that men rate lower than a snakes belly. Many guys would rather admit to drinking their own bath water than being a bullshitter.

The danger there is that although we pledge honesty and truth to our partners, and we try our best to do that, the old and established lies that have become our persona are so deeply fixed we leave them there. Possibly out of expediency because at the time we're dealing with so many other issues that we put the established lies on the back burner, which seems safe enough at the time but can then come back to haunt us later on when some aspect of our false persona comes to life again, maybe a meeting with an old friend.

This does create one more thing for the survivor to deal with, and the chances are they won't deal with it because they have more than enough going on already, so maybe it's something partners need to be aware of - and deal with? I don't know, but I can see that it could be a huge problem, and could cause boundary crossing.

Possibly there are some things that are best left quietly ( or even silently ) acknowledged and allowed to fade away? if there is, then I would vote this issue onto the list.

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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#59281 - 12/27/05 02:57 PM Re: Survivors and lying
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

What a great post. I get into quarrels with my wife all the time over boundaries, and I'm glad we are able to call each other on violations. Otherwise what do we have? A lot of simmering resentments and feelins of being taken for granted, and that is a recipe for disaster.

Lying: I am still so far back on more basic issues that I find it difficult even to add this one to my list of "things to work on". To be honest, Dave, right now I am still trying to figure out who I am. I have been offloading so much crap about myself in the last two months that it's very intimidating to ponder what sort of vision of myself I am left with. I don't mean there is nothing there, just that it is all so new and daunting.

Frankly, I think survivors who for years have been hiding and denying what happened to them as boys must by definition be expert liars. Or bullshitters as you would say. Why? Because we have even been able to lie to ourselves. Maybe that's being too harsh, okay. But surely the life of a non-recovering victim of CSA must contains mountains of accumulated untruth, extending even to doubts as to whether the abuse ever even occurred. I am not judging here, just pointing to what I see as a basic reality.

I think this is hugely significant. All of a survivor's assumptions about the world and his place in it have been wrecked as a boy. Then he assumes burdens of guilt and shame that are not his and acts out to compensate for deeds committed by others. He carries feelings that he is worthless and unlovable into adulthood, where in every aspect of his life he encounters difficulties that seem to prove that these feelings are accurate. Finally he hits bottom and realizes that he has to seek help.

Then what happens? He discovers gradually that all the things he took to be truth, all the things upon which he based so much of his life, are not truths at all - they are just junk from abuse. He feels like he is reinventing himself and he wonders can all this be true. (I still sometimes wonder will I just wake up one day and I am 11 and safe and all this was a dreadful nightmare.) He finds his story to be incredible, and yet when he tells it he is believed and supported. Huh? And to top it off, just when he thinks he has something figured out, something else comes along and the house of cards comes crashing down.

I could continue but I guess you see where I am headed. How can all this NOT have a profound effect on a survivor's sense of truth and falsehood? In many ways he is still discovering some pretty basic truths that he has a lot of trouble believing. He may well think that seeing as all his life feels like a lie, just one more to protect himself isn't a big deal.

I guess I see this as a lot more than a matter of boundaries. It seems to me that there is a huge and continuous element of confusion and redefinition in all this. But I would admit in a second that here I am expressing my own issues, and especially a sense of discovering a "me" that I like, but am unsure what to do with yet.

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)

Top
#59282 - 12/29/05 11:44 PM Re: Survivors and lying
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
But we're not the only liars, this is a good atricle that appeared in the Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago.

Dave
"Liar, liar, pants on fire"

_________________________
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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