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#143189 - 02/25/07 11:37 AM Re: Acting Out [Re: Kathryn]
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
one thing that bothers me about this thread is are the women here giving up some of the very basic things people need because their partners were abused? you the partners of survivors ,are a different kind of person right from the start ,it takes a special person just to be able to live with a survivor i think.its like you just put your needs and feelings on hold in order to try to help your partner.abuse is about boundries and having them broken ,shouldnt there be boundries set for living with us? its not fair or right for anyone to abuse the faith and kindness and understanding ,that comes from a serious relationship .if you were married to a 'normal guy' would you think its ok for him to act out ,or have affairs ? would you make excuses for them if they did? i dont think that giving up the boundries that make a relationship equal is gonna save your survivor . it just seems to me it would be real easy to abuse the trust and faith you give your partner,in your desire to help your partner dont lose sight of what you need ok?your needs and your feelings have to be just as important as those of your partner .god i wish i had somebody like you women in my life and if i did and if i knew how to be in a rel;ationship ,i dont think it would be ok for me to act out for any reason,im not ragging on guys that have or will ,but in a way to me reading the stuff that happens is like reading an abuse story,the feeling of betryal and low selfesteme you guys describe sounds way too much like what abuse does to us. you are special people so please set some boundries and stick to them ,letting stuff like acting out just slide can be enabling to your partner ,letting them get away with acting out might just make them act out more . im not really getting across my meaning here ,its hard for me to find the right words. for me if i had someone like you in my life?well id do everything in my power to express how much it meant to me,and i would never do anything to screw that up. dont lose yourself trying to help is what im saying i guess,your well being is just as important as your survivors i think .giving up the respect that you would exoect from a non survivor is not gonna save him and i think it can hurt you in the long run . sorry this is a kinda dumb response but i just hate to see people being hurt and trying to find ways to say its ok ,its not ok.abuse is not an excuse for what our perps did to us ,and its not an excuse for guys acting out and hurting you. it might be the reason and it might not be the survivors fault ,its so weird cause what most of us want is to be able to trust again to be able to not worry whats gonna happen tomorrow ,to be able to have faith in people again ,dont you think partners deserve the same things?i think in order to trust again ,we also have to be able to be trusted again . i know acting out is not a controlable thing ,but accepting it is.im gonna stop cause i have no idea where im going here ,sorry for rambling .

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

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#143192 - 02/25/07 01:00 PM Re: Acting Out [Re: shadowkid]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
A couple of points if I may...

1. When a survivor acts out, it's not about you, the partner. It has nothing to do with your ability to please him sexually, your weight, your looks, or your emotional connectedness to him or the lack thereof. It has everything to do with the damage done to him. I think most of you aleady realize that, but wanted to throw it in just in case.

2. Each of you as the survivor's significant other needs to decide in your own mind what you will tolerate and what you will not. Please DO NOT stay with us in this relationship simply because you know our history and you want to help fix us. Please DO take care of yourself. Don't put up with us cheating for whatever reason. The relationship is afterall about setting boundaries. It's the basis for a loving, caring, committed union. Draw that line over which you will not allow us to cross if we want to preserve what we have. There is safety for us in having those boundaries set. If we cross that line we know what we will loose. There may come a time when we do cross over and you may indeed discover our secret. Please, for both of us, follow through with the consequences whatever it is you've laid out. Again, there is safety in that for us and you. Your actions may be conditional on certain things and you many indeed get back together with us, but we need to know and experience the boundaries you set forth. It's the only hope for the relationship.

3. Unfortunately in some cases we may cross over that line and never come back. While that may be heartbreaking for you. Please understand that it is STILL not about you, but about our ultimate inability to cope with the damage from childhood. It is not a failure on your part but a result of the terrible actions perpetrated against us combined with our own stupid decisions. Each of us ultimately are responsible for our own lives and our own decisions. It is us who goes cruising for men at the local freeway rest stop, or masturbating to gay porn on the internet, and we know at the time we are doing it that it's a bad decision, that it's wrong and against everything we should be standing for as a husband and father, etc. We did it anyhow despite that, and every time we do it we risk our relationship with you not to mention the possibility of bringing home death to you through disease. So if you loose us because you set a boundary, it's not your fault. You have done the right thing. You have taken the high road and you will be a stronger person for having done so albeit one who's going through hell at the moment it all goes down.

Well, I've said my speel. I've been wanting to do that for a long time. Please forgive me if I've stepped on any toes, and if I've said something you disagree with please feel free to say so, but be gentle, huh?

Lots of love,

John



Edited by walkingsouth (02/25/07 01:01 PM)
_________________________
“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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#143193 - 02/25/07 01:06 PM Re: Acting Out [Re: shadowkid]
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
I think I know what shadowkid is saying. Besides being a survivor of CSA, I'm the ex-husband of a woman who suffered horrible mental and emotional abuse in her childhood. I know there is no measuring rod for abuse, but I'm thankful that I didn't have to endure what she did. She never tried to get any help for herself, though. What she did do was act out, with years of infidelity, jumping from affair partner to affair partner (3 in the last six months we lived together).

I wanted to "forgive and forget" the first time I learned about one of the affairs. I wanted that way too much. I was a classic "enabler."

Looking back, I still believe I did what was right for me at the time. Even after she left with "her soulmate" of that month, leaving her mother, me, and three kids behind, I still wanted to "make it work." But one person alone can't "make" a relationship work. If a victim won't seek help, won't accept help when it seeks them, they're not ready to be a full partner in a healthy relationship. Each person in a relationship with someone like that, with someone who refuses even to try to heal, has to come to terms individually with that realization, or deny the existence of the elephant in the living room.

I hope the men whose partners are here are able to get the help they need. Some will. Some won't. Some might, after it's too late for the relationship. But no one has a right, abuse history or not, to expect their partner to accept unacceptable behavior indefinitely.

Thanks,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#143200 - 02/25/07 02:18 PM Re: Acting Out [Re: shadowkid]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Adam,

You are so cool.

John,

I have no doubt that some men create a reality in which they feel/believe that thier behavior is not about those with whom they are connected. Let's just say we have different conceptions of reality. My reality is that this feeling/belief is sort of like a man who freely asks another person to tie their wrists to theirs, then he decides to drown himself in a lake cuz he's feeling bad. He didn't mean to drown the person who's tied to his wrist, yet he's the one who asked for that physical bond. So, while he may feel/think that his jumping into the lake is merely a personal decision based on his own bad feelings, the other person is as dead as dead can be. And their dead both because 1) the guy who jumped in the lake asked them to tie thier wrists together and because 2) he decided to jump in the lake under the false feeling/belief that he's only hurting himself.
Who's reality is right? Mine or yours, or my bf's? Well, the fact that two, not one, person is dead seems to me to validate a greater reality which is not merely in either your or mine or my bf's head.
It just is.

And the other thing that just is, it seems to me, is that if a guy is off doing gay porn (which I personally am not sure I'd find overly-objectionable -- not sure) he is doing it in part because my female body doesn't satisfy something in him. And assuming that I'm with the guy under the assumption that he's not interested in looking at naked men, then his interest is something that involves me just as much as the guy who asked me to tie my wrist to his... then decides to jump in the lake.
One of the things I've wondered about is whether "acting out" isn't in part as a means to pull both into the lake: "I feel bad about my sexuality, so to even the playing field, I'll make you feel bad too". It seems to me that it is. Even in situations where the guy thinks he'll keep it a secret forever. It's a way for him to tell himself that even if "She" rejects me, it doesn't matter, cuz I've already rejected her -- if only in fantasy, porn, or meaningless sex with men. What greater message could you give someone (or merely yourself) that their power over you is minimal than telling them that they simply do not have the ability to capture your full attention and never will have?
The "It's not about you, it's just how I'm fucked up, so don't think it's about you, even though you can't fully capture my attention..." loop is the most exhausting circular stuff I've ever experienced.
I would much rather someone be blunt and say, "You know, even though I love you, my heart (or my dick or whatever) belongs in part to someone else". Or conversely, tell me precisely why my reality is faulty. Precisely.

Thanks,
K.

K.


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#143203 - 02/25/07 02:57 PM Re: Acting Out [Re: Kathryn]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Just to clearify my previous post (and why isn't there a spell-check on this thing?)....

If "acting out" is a flight towards working through abuse issues, and I'm sure there's meritt to this feeling/belief (it makes sense to me), isn't it ALSO a flight from something? Like intimacy? And to the extent it's a flight from intimacy, it's like the guy who jumps into the lake all the while telling himself that it doesn't involve the person who just so happens to be tied to his wrist.

There seems to be an emphasis on the "acting out" being merely, or mostly, about re-enactment, etc... And less concentration on it being a flight from intimacy (women). But it seems to me that this is certainly an aspect. And a big one.

For a guy who's never been abused, but has multiple straight affairs, he's doing it in order to make himself less vulnerable in his relationship -- "See, I don't really NEED HER. And I'll proove it by having an affair". The reason people feel belittled when their lover has an affair is because that's the PURPOSE of having an affair -- to reduce the power those we love have over us.... Etc....

Of course this involves the person being cheated on -- and it's MEANT to. At least in part.

And if not, then please someone tell me how or where I go wrong?

And sorry for my crappy spelling.

Thanks,
K.


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#143205 - 02/25/07 03:22 PM Re: Acting Out [Re: Kathryn]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Quote:
And the other thing that just is, it seems to me, is that if a guy is off doing gay porn (which I personally am not sure I'd find overly-objectionable -- not sure) he is doing it in part because my female body doesn't satisfy something in him.
Absolutely not true in most cases of CSA with men. Your female body has nothing whatever to do with the affects of abuse on his psyche. He would be doing these things if he were living alone so, to attribute it to some inadequacy on your part is simply a false assumption. It's gonna happen with our without you. A harem of 300 virgins would make no difference because he's still trying to work out, and act out the effects of the abuse on his mind and heart. You cannot now, nor will you ever be able to meet his needs till he realizes that he needs to meet his own needs and seek appropriate intervention. Until that happens you are a bystander watching at train wreck with little or no control over the outcome, if you even know it's going on at all.

And why would anyone tie their own identity so closely with another that if he jumps into the figurative lake and drowns they do too? Relationship is all about joining your life to that of another, granted, but it is also about maintaining proper boundaries and keeping our own identity and person as a separate entity, a separate free moral agent, if you will, who chooses to enter into mutual relationship of love, trust, and respect. Just because one partner chooses to sever that trust is not a sign that the other must follow. A person must take care of themselves in this situation. Sure, it hurts like hell and is destructive, but not nearly so as if he/she gets pulled into the cess pit along with the partner and they both drown because they were tied together in an unhealthy bond.

Sorry if I sound heartless here, but as I say, that's the way I see it. My wife does as well, by the way. I'm modeling my comments here from the way she's taken her stance toward me, from comments of my/our T, and books I've read on relationship.

I'm perfectly willing to be deemed wrong in your eyes. That's ok with me. Really. \:\)

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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#143209 - 02/25/07 03:41 PM Re: Acting Out [Re: WalkingSouth]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


It's not about right or wrong: it's about discussing two different perceptions of reality.

I don't think I have to be overly enmeshed (which admittedly in this case I am) to nevertheless recognize the fact that some guys look at guys or have sex with them. And sure, a lot would continue to do so if they were single. I don't take it as a PERSONAL attack on me qua me. But it's also true that I happen to reside in a female body.

If I'm with a guy who likes men in some way, it's not about me in my personality or whatever. It's just that he likes men in some way. But no matter how hard I think through this, I can't see how it's not also true that HE (even if I don't) finds me not "quite the thing in some way, at some times" simply because I live in a female body.

I'm not trying to challenge anyone on a personal level.

I'm just trying really hard to understand.

Thanks,
K.


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#143210 - 02/25/07 03:47 PM Re: Acting Out [Re: Kathryn]
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
K,
Quote:
But no matter how hard I think through this, I can't see how it's not also true that HE (even if I don't) finds me not "quite the thing in some way, at some times" simply because I live in a female body.
I think John's point, and I hope he'll correct me if I'm wrong, is that it's not about you simply because this hypothetical survivor wouldn't find anyone "quite the thing."

It's an internal struggle for the survivor. Those outside the survivor's own pain who get hurt in the struggle are like the non-combatants who are hurt in a military attack. They weren't targeted, they weren't factored into the planning, but they were hurt nonetheless.

Thanks,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#143211 - 02/25/07 03:47 PM Re: Acting Out [Re: Kathryn]
tartugas Offline
Board Member
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 513
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: Kathryn


My reality is that this feeling/belief is sort of like a man who freely asks another person to tie their wrists to theirs, then he decides to drown himself in a lake cuz he's feeling bad. He didn't mean to drown the person who's tied to his wrist, yet he's the one who asked for that physical bond.

I would much rather someone be blunt and say, "You know, even though I love you, my heart (or my dick or whatever) belongs in part to someone else". Or conversely, tell me precisely why my reality is faulty. Precisely.

Thanks,
K.


Hi Kathryn,

Let me try to be both blunt and compassionate. I certainly feel for you and can hear your frustration, but there is a contradiction in what you are saying. On the one hand you are asking for your bf to own up to the full responsibility and obligation he incurred when he asked to be with you romantically. Yet on the other hand, you are not owning up to the responsiblity and obligations you incurred when you agreed (an active, not passive, choice) to be with him.

The analogy you use, while very poignant, paints you out of the picture. While he may have indeed held out the shackle, you were the one who allowed it to be closed around your hand. You are just as free to say no to the offer of his outstretched hand. ANd that freedom exists even now. There is no lock holding that shackle close. If it's clear that this man is about to jump in the lake, you have the freedom, and the obligation to yourself, to simply open the shackle and release yourself from this supposed "bondage".


There is also another issue I'd like to raise with your analogy. In essence, you are saying that your relationship is akin to a kind of confinement, or imprisonment, to the emotional whims of your partner. This is not a very pretty picture to paint of any relationship, and I would imagine that if someone else were to describe their relationship in these terms you would quickly detect the unhealthy dynamic at play. Further, were someone to ask you what your idea of a perfect relationship was, I'd be willing to bet it would look nothing like what you currently have.

It's very easy to look at the faults of our partners and allow our compassion to turn quickly into judgment when we get hurt. (And for the record, I'm not saint when it comes to doing so myself) But this is a trap we should be very wary of in all of our relationships.

_________________________
"I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections.
And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds to the soul, to the deep emotional self...."
Healing D.H. Lawrence

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#143213 - 02/25/07 04:09 PM Re: Acting Out [Re: tartugas]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303



It's NOT about JUDGEMENT!!!! Really !!!! And of course I have personal freedom. And NOW I have enough information to excercise that freedom in the very dark prison of my relationship -- Just kidding! But really, I chose to tie myself with this person not knowing he likes men, for whatever reason. So at least for awhile, my freedom to choose whether this relationship was acceptable was not provided me.

But now it is. So now the only person at all responsible for me deciding to choose to stay in or not is ME. Granted.

But part of my decision entails understanding this stuff.... Of course I could choose to walk away just cuz it scares me. Or I can choose to try to understand, then make an informed decision....

THAT'S ALL I'm saying. That's all.


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