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#65454 - 04/14/03 12:24 AM Lack of friends normal?
serafina Offline
Member

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 36
Loc: Washington
My boyfriend, a sexual abuse survivor, came to see me yesterday. We have not seen each other for 4 months after I left him because he had stopped working on his recovery and had resorted to drinking and had been lying to me about it. We have remained close and talked alot, but this is the first time I have seen him. We talked alot about each of our expectations of each other and have decided to continue to be apart and just meet once in awhile to talk and really try to build something healthier. Two things bother me-One is that he has no one close to him in his life except for me, as far as I can tell. He doesn't have any close friends. He said he got rid of most of his friends several years ago when he joined NA and just needed to worry about himself for awhile. He had been fairly well known and popular. I would love to hear from survivors if this is a normal stage to be going through.

My other concern is that my family is completely unsupportive. They say that he hurt me and was dishonest with me and they think I am better off looking for someone stable. Obviously this would be easier and yes, he has hurt me tremendously in the past, but I also know that he has been hurt too and he is just finding a way to deal with his anger and pain and he gets better at that all the time. How do others find their friends and family dealing with their relationships with SA survivors? Just needing to hear some opinions. Thank you!!


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#65455 - 04/14/03 01:17 PM Re: Lack of friends normal?
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
on the first part, i think surivors often struggle to have close relationships at all. if you get a chance look at the survivor board under a post called intimacy. it describes the struggle we have trusting and opening up to people.

on the second part, and this is just my opinion, someone who has overcome trauma would make a very good partner. if he can truly get his stuff together, he will be self-aware and would have dealt with issues most never do. in my case, i feel i understand things like never before, and like someone who has never before taken a hard look at themselves cant. i am mature, honest and faithful, and i wasnt any of that before i went into therapy, adn sought help. i need to stress IF, because many people who have been abused get stuck and can't get to that point of really being happy.

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

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#65456 - 04/15/03 06:33 PM Re: Lack of friends normal?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Zadok
How I agree !!

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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#65457 - 04/15/03 06:41 PM Re: Lack of friends normal?
Sick Puppy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/03
Posts: 300
Loc: Nowhere Land
Making friends is very hard for me and I imagine it is similar for other survivors. It takes me a long time to trust people, and I am often moody and argumentative, even once I trust them very much. Few people can put up with that so I usually wind up very alone. \:\(

_________________________
And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly
From the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see


Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

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#65458 - 04/15/03 11:48 PM Re: Lack of friends normal?
Tom S. Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 161
Loc: Nashville, Tn
Darned if I know why, but I don't have another soul other than my wife and 1 son left at home. I spend the working day completly alone. I have 2 older kids that call and visit from time to time, but no one else to call ever, unless it's a solicitation. I have thought about it many times, and there are neighbors and people at my church who know me, and have talked to me, but no one who is willing to interract with me. I can't figure out any reason why other than they must have heard somehow I have been assaulted when I was a child.
I don't know why other people shun a survivor/victim, but I have had to use 3 different counselors, in about as many years, because no one is willing to listen and are repulsed and afraid of this type of issue. They all seem afraid and one even said she could not handle listening to me any longer and told me to leave.
I am still feeling that this site is some sort of fantasy. People from cyber space openly writing in about sexual assault. I simply can't believe I am actually sitting, typing and telling something like this that is actually on my mind. To another human being!! It's all too unreal!! I could not wait to tell my wife when she got home today that I had written to this site and had a correspondence with SICK PUPPY about this chat site, and he was a victim/survivor of sexual abuse too. I can't wait to have more time and learn more about navigation around this site.
It's easy to ramble on, but again, I don't know why, but people who have been victimized continue to be shunned by other people unless someone wants to try to victimize them again. [I get my share of hucksters and phone soliciters every day] You are not a loner by choice if you have been victimized. It's just GOD or some spirit that keeps victims safe from other people and the rest of the world. If he is a victim, he will be a loner.
Tom S.

_________________________
' None are so enslaved as those falsely led to believe they are actually free '

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#65459 - 04/16/03 12:40 AM Re: Lack of friends normal?
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Quote:
I don't know why, but people who have been victimized continue to be shunned by other people unless someone wants to try to victimize them again.
Tom, do you really believe this ? I find that most of the survivors here are very emotionally removed people and cannot handle friendships. This is certainly true for me. I went for a long time thinking that nobody wanted to be my friend and I didn't know why. I would wait and wait for someone to come my way and (only recently did I realize this) that when someone would initiate a friendship I would run the other way. I couldn't handle the emotions. It wasn't until a couple of years ago (before I started recovery) that I made a concious decision to make some friends. These friends have been great and have fully supported me when I disclosed my history. I find that friendships are a two-way street. You have to get out there and participate in it.
Take care,
Mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#65460 - 04/16/03 01:52 PM Re: Lack of friends normal?
ecb Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 205
I have my fair share of friends, but I would not call them close friends. I hang out with them, I have a good time when I'm around them, and no matter how foul a mood I'm in, hanging out with them can distract me from my own pain for awhile.

But close friends, people who know the real me and not the "big lovable guy who'll kick your ass if you fuck with him" facade I present, I have very very few of those.

That is largely because in the back of my mind I always have that doubt, that fear of "if they really knew me, they'd run like hell away from me and I wouldn't be able to blame them."

Eric


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#65461 - 04/16/03 01:54 PM Re: Lack of friends normal?
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Tom: Sleepy has it dead on and I agree with him totally.

I would recommend that you tackle the post on intimacy. There you will find a great deal of insight into it and insecurity and lack of self esteem. The Heading is intimacy and I think you can find it by hitting Public Forums and scolling down till you get to it.

Wuamei knows exactly how to do this and I think that Sleepy does too. Both of them really great.

I see you have communicated with Sick Puppy too. He has a lot of valuable insight too and is not afraid to tell it like it is and for that I think everyone here is grateful.

_________________________
Mikey

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

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#65462 - 04/16/03 05:22 PM Re: Lack of friends normal?
Tom S. Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 161
Loc: Nashville, Tn
OK Mike, I found the post INTIMACY, and tried to follow all those messages, but I am still at a loss. While a lot of the things said there may very well be true, the fact remains that a victim/survivor will still be a loner, espicially one who has not had a chance to explore his inner self with someone else, and people find he can be trusted and come around again. I am 47 May 1'st, and I have no other person other than my son and wife outside my home. I always feel intimate with my wife, and have for well over 20 years now. I also did with my first wife and kids, and I had several friends I worked with and depended on in business. But then about 8 years ago I did an assesment on an inmate who was just beginning a 25 year sentence for things he did to an unrelated female child; the same type of things that had been done to me when I was a small child. It was then that I began to expresss anger related to my sexual assault because I was denied access and assaulted again as an adolescent; and my life along with my family and friends, simply changed. No explanation; one day coping well with family & friends, then a couple years later in therapy without anyone and confused as hl. I did not ask them all to leave nor do I know where they all went.
I love my wife and always thought I was experiencing intamacy with her, but then again, I don't have an appropriate yardstick to gauge by. Please don't make me have to start questioning that. The second time we met 6 days after our first blind date pre-arranged by mutual friends, we began holding hands AND engaging sexually. And we still do both frequently. I have loved and respected her for over 20 years now and together have done very well together with our kids even though 2 of them were not hers. Her career has done well also, and I feel grateful for being a part of that. I think we both feel intimate, but then again maybe not. What is intimacy 'supposed' to be? I think it's a lot individual, that's why there are over 40 responses to that post.
But fellows, the fact still remains, victims have few if any close relationships, even family. You be the judge why. Victims are EASILY re-traumatized and can remain victims. So what few relationships they are able to have MUST be supportive and loyal.
I don't think we need to confuse intimacy with limited relationships. What is about quality vs quantity?
Tom S.

_________________________
' None are so enslaved as those falsely led to believe they are actually free '

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#65463 - 04/16/03 06:58 PM Re: Lack of friends normal?
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Tom:
I hear what you are saying.
For years I pushed people away who tried to be friends. There was a price tag for it I thought. I could not believe that anyone would a) want to be my friend and
B) would put a [price tag on it.

I started to make friendships when I met someone that I just knew was safe to be around. I explained to him the issues I was dealing with and told him that yes I would like to be his friend but could we take it slowly. I guess I am lucky because he willingly agreed. Now I can say that I am intimate with him on a buddy basis. Our respect is mutual and he has helped me immensly to actually let down that concrete wall around me and let people in.

It is not easy I will admit cause you run the risk of getting hurt a lot. But I am 62 years old now and am really glad I tried it.

You know I have had very unpleasant experiences in this regard to but I look on them as their problem not mine.

Hope to see you in chat some time
Your brother Mike

P.S My name really is Mike Church I am not a affiliated to any demonination. I have found that some suspect my tag. I have hidden for so long I am tired of doing it any more.

And you know Tom by being here and interacting with us you are actually developing friendships with all the guys you touch in your posts. We are all brothers here and our goal is to heal

Your brother
Mike

_________________________
Mikey

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

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