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#60678 - 03/18/06 06:30 PM Re: Acting Out
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
I agree with every word of Dan88's post. I guess that makes four cents. \:\)

I've come to realize, in my own relationship, that the "why" stuff didn't resonate in my heart, or reassure me the way I wanted, because it wasn't really the right question.


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#60679 - 03/19/06 01:09 PM Re: Acting Out
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Your posts are usually so helpful to me anyway, but this bit especially affected me:

Quote:
In the past the future was something that I never considered, but I do now.
This was important to me because so often I am making progress and I don't even notice it. This seems to be a case. I am looking to my future with enthusiasm and anticipation, whereas even just a year ago I think I was still just living from day to day.

It's good to celebrate these little moments I think.

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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#60680 - 03/30/06 04:18 PM Re: Acting Out
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
Rayne

I'just going to tell you the things that have passed between my partner and myself that have most helped us to understand each other. I am lucky in that he talks to me now. He acted out with strange men for most of our relationship.

He says that he was unable to get away from all the truly negative crap that went on his head so the only option was to be numb. He could do this through drinking, very absorbing solitary pastimes, marijana (sp?) OR when it all got too bad, his othercoping mechanisms didn't work and he started to feel suicidal he had the crack cocaine of withdrawal and numbing.... go find a strange man and give him a blowjob in a public place.

For him this was a hit of massive proportions and ensured that his head was full of something else and his feelings and emotions were completely dead.

He could then carry on functioning.

I truly believe that before therapy and the start of recovery without this particular form of acting out he would have been dead by now.

I once said to him that I couldn't understand because for me, having sex with someone else would have to worth the following risks.

1. Getting an STD
2. Loss of pride in my own fidelity
3. Losing him if he found out
4. Loss of pride in our monogomous relationship


He responded that he already had no pride, thought I'd be better of without him anyway so if I did find out and leave all the better and if he caught an STD and died it was all he deserved.

Whilst I don't sit thinking "Oh, well thats all right then I'm cool about it all", I do think I've achieved a level of understanding enough to not dwell on it too much.

Good luck, its a hard one. I do think knowledge is power and understanding your man can only help you. I think you do absolutly right to try and find out more. A councellor I saw insisted that I stop dwelling on his problems and work on me. I ditched her because I absolutly needed to understand before I could move on. Before I did I felt paralysed and unable to move anywhere in terms of making a decision about our relationship.
Not sure if you know but we are getting married now and am so glad neither of us threw in the towel.

Hope that helps

Tracy


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#60681 - 03/31/06 12:41 AM Re: Acting Out
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Tracy
the risks never entered my head when I was in the cycle, and adreniline rush, that lead up my acting out.
They were there in the guilt and shame period imediately afterwards, they were there in big flashing lights!

I remember the first time I acted out and gave a bj, the first one since my abuse nearly 30 years before.
I phoned all the helplines I could find numbers for sick with worry about AIDS and all the other STD's.
I called gay helplines because I thought I'd turned gay, I called the Samaritans because I was suicidal.
I was working late one night and made all the calls from a public phone box in a town well away from where we live, I was that paranoid I wouldn't even use my mobile.
After every call I flung the door open and threw up. I was drenched with sweat and shaking like a leaf. I normally have a stammer, but that night I could barely speak. Eventually I collapsed and fell out of the door into the pool of vomit, and lay there for what seemed like hours.

Two hours later I arrived home as though nothing had happened.

Five days later I was acting out again.

When I've described the acting out cycle to people who have no experience of it at all, I always feel as though I'm exagerating things or making excuses, and I still feel that way.
But what we experience is the truth, and we are truly out of control once the cycle kicks in. And the efforts we make to maintain our secret acting out and are immense, they have to be when faced with the horrendous risks.

Thankfully the risks are a far greater reality to me now, so acting out is a very low risk for me.
But what about the chance of giving a bj to someone who we 'trust' is clean and discreet? maybe someone advertising in a local paper who's 'curious' and after some investigation is a first timer, and sex could take place discreetly and safely? Would that be a temptation?

I admit that it has crossed my mind, but the reality for me is that it just doesn't float my boat at all - not that I've tried it!
All my acting out was done with fantasy as a precursor, and using the 'safe guy, safe situation' as a fantasy just didn't work. The only thing I was interested in was the actual bj, I didn't even wan't anything sexual done to me in return, and I never ever let another man touch me sexually at all. I was out of the door and gone after my performance.

The survivors that I've talked to who have acted out nearly all say similar things, yes some did do / recieve return sex acts, but they never wanted anything that came close to ....... I'm struggling to find a de>
_________________________
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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#60682 - 03/31/06 06:49 AM Re: Acting Out
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Your comment about your partner's attitude to acting out really struck home for me:

Quote:
He responded that he already had no pride, thought I'd be better of without him anyway so if I did find out and leave all the better and if he caught an STD and died it was all he deserved.
My acting out was with alcohol and drugs rather than sex, but I felt exactly the same way. There was no combination or excess that I wasn't willing to try, and the danger of death meant nothing to me since I didn't feel that my death would be much of a loss to anyone. All that mattered was escaping for those few precious hours.

The fact that I would always come crashing back exactly where I had started out also didn't bother me; I didn't feel that I deserved any solution to my problems, and in fact I figured that I had already placed myself beyond help. And of course I had - I am such a pathetic and disgusting loser. blah blah blah. See how it goes?

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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#60683 - 03/31/06 01:19 PM Re: Acting Out
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
Thanks Larry /Dave

Although I'm quite OK about it now its STILL iluminating to hear you describe your experiences. It does seem that the nature of the beast changes ie; coping mechanisms. drinking, drugs, sex... the drivers and emotional stste are so damn similar.

Dave
Interestingly my partner also has a periodic stammer. He says in his teens it was so bad it was like a disability and rendered him virtually mute.

I hardly ever hear him stutter and its quite a shock when we are with certain people because it comes back, namely his parents, brother and a couple of childhood friends. As we rarely see them I kind of just look in amazment as he can become a bit incoherant whereas his speech with us and with his "adult friends" is pefectly clear!!

I feel some anger as I write this...Its that feeling that creeps back, what did they ever do to deserve.......

Love to you guys whether you are partners trying to understand or brave brave survivors.

Tracy


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#60684 - 03/31/06 04:59 PM Re: Acting Out
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Yeah, my stammer comes and goes, and often I can see no reason or pattern to it.

I had a car accident last week and I dealt with it, talked to the other people involved etc without a stammer, and I was very stressed because it had the potential to have been a fatal accident but luckily nobody was hurt at all.

Today I was speaking about my abuse to a friend who up till now didn't know anything about it, and I didn't stammer even though I felt slightly tense.

But I went to the cake shop and could barely talk to order a bun!

My wife says I'm the worlds worst liar because I stammer when I'm tense, which I agree with mostly.
But what made me tense ordering an iced bun?

And am I now so relaxed in what are generally regarded to be stressful situations that I don't stammer?

Some days I'm like Arkright though, but that's a British joke!

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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#60685 - 03/31/06 07:34 PM Re: Acting Out
blueyes25 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 15
Does everyone end up "acting out"??? Is this common in all survivors???


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#60686 - 03/31/06 07:56 PM Re: Acting Out
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
Arkright? I'm guessing that as well as British thats also ageist coz I've never heard of it, me being young and you being old. :-):-) I'm a Yorkshireite.

Glad your OK after your crash, do you mean we nearly lost you, what a thought!

We are seeing a pschosexual therapist at the moment and he says that men use sex to medicate, whereas women dont (in his view another reason why women struggle to understand "unfaithful" men)... so in times of extreme pressure for men sex works and can ultimately be replaced by other theraputic ways of managing stress. We had this discussion in response to D admitting that stopping acting out had left a big gap.

Its a strange one isn't it. I am generally sceptical of the many touted "differences between the sexes" and this is another learning curve, although I'm kinda reserving judgement at the moment.

In response to your post Blueeyes25 I don't think all men act out sexually. Larry might chip in because I don't think he ever has but, acting out / coping mechanisms.. I'm starting to see them all as methods male survivors use to.. well, survive.

Love

Tracy


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#60687 - 03/31/06 08:43 PM Re: Acting Out
FastForward Offline
Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 188
Loc: US
All,

This is a good string of thoughts. Thank you all for your candor in sharing this.

Here is another thought: is it possible to abuse your significant other so much that at some point they do understand because at some point they become a survivor?

I believe I am at that point of understanding. I have been abused by a survivor to a point when there are moments of despair such as described above, and in other posts, by survivors. I had come so close to blocking all feelings that the sheer despair touch the wish to die so closely that at times I already feel dead, absent from reality. At times fearing that I will become absent from responsibility for my action. After all I feel it is not me there.

So, I do not act out in physical ways against others but I do "punish" myself in a way that I was conditioned to that was "acceptable" - junk food - trying to fill a bottomless void. And I
try to understand - just to maintain a grip on sanity - and not block out and remove myself from sanity. In the meantime, I often still cannot believe that it is possible to be hurt so much by another human being.

I feel for the survivor in my life still. But I have come close to the point when I am indifferent toward the abuser. The catch 22: they are both contained in the same person.

My job now is heal and be s survivor. I am determined not to be an abuser for I can see abuse as a potential weapon against the abuser that survived abuse and is now potentially using it to cominicate IT (CSA) through like action.

How is it possible not be driven out of one's mind by all this?

Take care all. Sorry, if this makes no sense. But I recently gave myself permission to ramble ... . \:\)

_________________________
FastForward

L&P - always.

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