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#67418 - 08/23/03 07:24 PM Love and "Power"?
doctorfrau Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 60
Loc: West Virginia (NOT western Vir...
It occurred to me recently that there may be some kind of connection between love and power/control as far as survivors go.

Does allowing yourself to feel love for someone imply a loss of control? Does feeling love for someone somehow grant them "power" over you? Meaning, that they have the ability to ask/expect things of you, to coerce or to hurt you emotionally?

I get the impression that some guys don't "want" to love - because it makes them vulnerable - especially in a situation where they may have been manipulated into the abuse. In my friend's case, he described it as being "brainwashed" into believing that he couldn't manage without the guy that molested him when he was 16. Would this not then create a sense of mistrust in one's own feelings? Feeling love might create a sense of unease or set off mental warning bells, don't ya think?

Anyone here have the experience of loving someone, and it scared the hell out of you, so you backed off or ran away?

Sorry, but I'm probably gonna still be mulling this crap over for awhile -- especially since I'm just starting Psychiatry rotation.

Regards,
Frau

_________________________
"...your choice, is what to DO with the time that you are given."

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#67419 - 08/23/03 08:00 PM Re: Love and "Power"?
martin Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 229
Loc: The Good Earth
Exactly!!!

That and if you love someone they can abandon you. Also brings up a lot of feelings of not being good enough which a lot of victims develop.

Thanks,

Aaron

_________________________
Its times like these we learn to live again,
Its times like these we give & give again,
Its times like these we learn to love again,
Its times like these time & time again.
-The Foo Fighters

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#67420 - 08/23/03 09:16 PM Re: Love and "Power"?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
ooooohhhhhh - scary !!!!

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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#67421 - 08/23/03 10:36 PM Re: Love and "Power"?
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1983
Loc: Flint, Michigan
OK Doc,

You got that one right on.

When I finally got far enough to enter a relationship, I went directly to a woman that was the "take charge", "in control" type. That is what drew me to her. I married her, this is what I "needed" and felt comfortable with. This was a relationship in which she was in control of me, leading to physical abuse by her. Saying "enough" to her was a big step in my life, but I am just now seeing it. And I only said "enough" because she said that she was entitled to beat me, but I stuck with it.

It took another failed relationship after that before I stepped back to look at myself and to see the effects of the SA, the cycle of self abuse it created.

Your insights seem to be right on, at least how it applies to me.

And, Martin, they do seem to abandon us, don't they?

Bill

_________________________
Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

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#67422 - 08/24/03 01:19 AM Re: Love and "Power"?
gryffindor Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/03
Posts: 131
Loc: St. Charles, Illinois
"Exactly!!!

That and if you love someone they can abandon you."


Aaron and Frau,

Yes, they can abandon you; they can hurt you; they can manipulate you, rip you off, betray you, etc., if they are malicious and sometimes if they are simply insensitive, selfish, and/or impulsive. Beware who you fall in love with. Get to know them really well before investing a lot of your life in them, and even then know that you will cry. If there is any good in them, they will cry too. We are human.

Mary

P.S. Frau, I hope you like your psychiatry residency. My psychiatrist friend told me there is currently a shortage of psychiatrists, especially out here along the suburbia/cornfields frontier.

_________________________
"Where there's a will, there's a way." American Folk Saying

"Had I not fallen, I could not have arisen; had I not sat in darkness, I would not have recognized the light." Midrash Tehillim Ch. 22

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#67423 - 08/24/03 06:29 PM Re: Love and "Power"?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Doc
The feeling of not reciprocating love because I feared the love I was / am being given is very real.
The feeling of being vulnerable if someone really got close was very claustraphobic to me.

I feared that if my wife or a close friend got really close then they wouldsee through the persona I had created, keeping my act together was the most important thing in my life.

It was an act of 'normality' - but how can you maintain an act of normality and shun love ?

The manipulation that accompanied my abuse made me reliant on my abusers for ALL my comfort and affection at the time, at boarding school it was in short supply and sex was the price I paid.

So, move along a few years, is it any wonder that the relationship between sex and affection is so screwed up ?

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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#67424 - 08/24/03 09:29 PM Re: Love and "Power"?
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Thanks! this is so helpful right now. I have been asking myself why he feels defensive toward me when I have been loving and caring in my behavior toward him. Your explanation really rings true -- He is working in therapy on setting healthier boundaries & I have felt frustrated because he uses that as an excuse for shutting me out again. I think his discomfort has been heightened because we HAVE been talking about more intimate issues together. I try to understand, and I think you hit one of the core issues right on the head.

-BB.


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#67425 - 08/25/03 04:42 PM Re: Love and "Power"?
ecb Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 205
Love definately equals vulnerablity. And weather consiously or unconsiously it is something I have avoided. Whenever I would get the sense that someone was falling in love with me, I would break up with them, that's on the incredibly rare occasion when I would get involved with anyone in the first place.

Do I not want to love? I dunno. I do know that people are generally unreliable and self centered, that's just how life is. I'm sure there are vast amounts of benifets to being in love, but I've never expereinced them. Conversly, I have felt the pain, rejection and guilt of being in love (or having someone love you), and it's not something I really want to have lots of.

I hope that this has been helpful.

Eric


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#67426 - 08/25/03 11:33 PM Re: Love and "Power"?
doctorfrau Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 60
Loc: West Virginia (NOT western Vir...
Thank you Eric, yes it has helped me understand somewhat.

I think this is some of what I have experienced from my friend. Although we were just friends and not involved romantically (at least as far as either of us would admit at the time), his abuser was a male friend. So I guess even friendship is risky in his book. He also has had his heart broken a few times by girlfriends, so he hasn't had good experiences either.

_________________________
"...your choice, is what to DO with the time that you are given."

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#67427 - 09/03/03 11:37 AM Re: Love and "Power"?
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by martin:
Exactly!!!

That and if you love someone they can abandon you. Also brings up a lot of feelings of not being good enough which a lot of victims develop.

Thanks,

Aaron
I think this extends not just to SA survivors but to a lot of pepole - a lot of people are scared by the vulnerability that entering into a love relationship brings - SA or no SA. There's lots of reasons why people feel insecure about themselves. I think any kind of abuse just magnifies an already "human" tendency, unfortunately.


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#67428 - 09/04/03 11:57 AM Re: Love and "Power"?
Wifey1 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 380
I hope you Guize dont mine me buttin in here, but that line "Does allowing yourself to feel love for someone imply a loss of control?" REally rings a loud resounding --- YES! from ME personally... I get scared absolutely sh*tless when I feel "Love"... I have new found Independance now being without hubby2 -- or at least not living in the same house with him. It has FREED me to explore what I WANT WHEN I WANT IT.
I cared FOR someone for more than 40 yrs of my life spent taking care of someone ELSE's Needs. And now in the Prime of my life (supposedly) I am faced with having to be Dependant on Others for health reasons beyond my SA issues etc.
It's sometimes days in my apt. alone bumbling around doing Nothing except barely feeding myself and sleeping lots until I figure out -- Hey Sammy, you're .... lonely, happy, tired, mad, etc, and that it is up to ME to do something for MYSELF ... that I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN TAKE CARE OF ME...
and THAT scares me! I havent figured out WHY I can so easily take care of others but have to struggle to take care of ME for personal or emotional needs -- but FAlling in LOVE AAAAAGGGHHH! I get scared thinking they will eventually "take away what I have gained in independance". I realize I am the meanest nastiest person to be around when my so called Independance feels THREATENED... and being in Love feels as if I OWE I OWE I OWE I OWE I OWE
like I am responsible for their ENTIRE BEING -- and that I know comes from my abusers...
I am trying to learn a balance -- scary stuff, this weekend is going to be another a FIRST for me -- Going ALONE to a Orchestra Concert, I'm excited about the concert I've always loved classical and orchestra music but never went to the concerts because my "Partners at the time didnt like that music, so I put my needs last." The other part of going ALONE this time Is I will be in a HUGE crowd of over a 1,000 people and want to know if I can do this -- without finding some dumb excuse WHY NOT to go and then to STAY even tho I may feel that someone is over staring at me, or that someone must be feeling sorry for me etc...
I challenge myself -- but its not a challenge if I dont share what I am challenging MYSELF about with someone. No one but myself to OWN up to and I know I can EASILY B.S. myself about WHy I didnt go...
Love scares me -- I feel as if I am OWNED and a someones Property ... I'm struggling with that right now a whole bunch... So FRau your question has been a good one for me at the right time.
I feel often during relationships - ANY relationship where I feel intimate closeness that if someone does something nice for me I HAVE to return the favor -- I.E. my friend has made two beautiful pieces of furniture for my apartment, one a nice endtable / book rack , the other a kitchen dealy to hold my sweetner paks etc (i saw one at red lobster commented i wanted one he made it \:D ) and in receiving the "gifts" it was HARD and still is HARD to NOT do more or say more than "THaNk YOU"... letting go of the feeling that I must return a favor to him is hardest, he has been real good about pushing me to "Just ACCEPT" and not work at FINDING a way to REPAY.
this has gotten long and blah blahish -- but wanted to add my far too many words... Its a great topic and maybe will add more when I get some time...
Peace Fill Us All ~ Sammy
PS the ONLY time I dont feel SCARED is the LOVE I have with my daughters.... my only fear with them is that I may lose them unexpectedly and I cant even go there....


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#67429 - 09/05/03 02:24 AM Re: Love and "Power"?
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Sammy, that is a really good insight. I think it is great that you are going to the concert. I have struggled with my own neglect of my interest in classical music (I play myself, used to be in quartets & orchestras as an amateaur & also just attending concerts) because my friends or partners aren't into it.

It isn't that I've lost interest, but the focus of energy when looking for activities ends up being an effort to find something social to share with friends. I don't know why I don't try to get my friends to go along to a concert -- I'm sure they'd be open to the idea & like exploring something different. But I don't do it. And going alone really isn't a big deal to anyone else -- I mean, I really know exactly what you mean about the fear of doing it, but I used to do that, too. In fact, my father always had his single seat season tickets because my mother is a musician, so it was normal in my world to go to concerts by yourself. Never thought anything about it until I got used to always having someone to go with when I was married & then got divorced.

I think you have inspired me to open up that part of my life again. Thank you.

-BB.


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