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#72168 - 01/07/04 12:15 PM waiting room experience (possible triggers)
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
I am posting the following as a new thread in hopes that it will generate some discussion on this difficult topic.

Some weeks ago I was in the waiting room at the clinic where I see my therapist.

They treat perps there too, often in group therapy. One such group was about to take place at the same time as my appointment though I did not know that beforehand.

I sat where I usually do, a position that provides a broad view of the whole room.

The perps started coming in and I sensed something awry, a change in energy or something. Before I realized why I found it irksome that they were so chummy and joking and stuff.

Before that, however, just as they started to arrive one by one, one of them took a seat kitty corner from me. As the minutes passed I felt him staring at me. I didn't believe it at first but I checked around me and there was nothing else. It was me and I realize now that a large part of my growing discomfort originated in the feeling that I was attracting his attention.

I felt vulnerable and unsafe but the worst of that was feeling that I was attracting that attention. I got up and moved as far away as I thought I could and still be found by my therapist when she was ready. I spent most of the 50 minutes venting my anger and fear.

Its like I turned into a little kid again, certainly that's where my feelings were at.

I write this here because it is all wound up in the ways I do/don't express my gayness. I hate being seen sexually. I loathe that in myself, that I attract attention from guys and feel guilty about feeling physically attractive particularly to guys older than me and I loathe feeling attracted to other guys.

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72169 - 01/07/04 01:56 PM Re: waiting room experience (possible triggers)
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Brett I am sorry to say that if you are young and good looking you will be looked at by a whole lot of people. Norman guys who wish they were like you, girls cause they think you are hot, other guys who find you physically attractive to them and yes even pedophiles because they see some fresh young meat. When I was 18-21 I was like that too and after for a while. I just ignored it. If I was approched I just said sorry not my bag or some other stupid thing.

Just remember one thing Brett attractive people are stared at by almost everyone. All I can say is try not to let it bother you and take pride in the fact that you are good looking and look after yourself.

_________________________
Mikey

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

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#72170 - 01/07/04 02:45 PM Re: waiting room experience (possible triggers)
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
The odd thing is that I don't think of myself as being particularly attractive most of the time and as you can see from my profile I am not young anymore though I've looked about 10 years younger than I am for quite a while.

I would understand an attraction to youth and beauty. When I was younger I did disguise myself, deliberately (though not conciously) taking on a conventionally unattractive appearance.

This is something else. It was like his eyes were boring into me, touching me deeply and hooking or trying to hook me and reel me in. I could have been 10 years old again and sitting there.

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72171 - 01/07/04 04:27 PM Re: waiting room experience (possible triggers)
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Brett:

Quote:
This is something else. It was like his eyes were boring into me, touching me deeply and hooking or trying to hook me and reel me in. I could have been 10 years old again and sitting there.
I see your point. You recogized a perp and reverted. Brett you realized it and that is the important thing. It had nothing to do with sexual orientation. I dont know what I would have done in your place. Most likey would have created a scene. Confronted him and asked him what he found so interesting in me. Ah shit that is just the way I am.

(((((((((((((((BRETT))))))))))))))))))))))))))

_________________________
Mikey

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

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#72172 - 01/07/04 08:10 PM Re: waiting room experience (possible triggers)
rax Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/00
Posts: 75
Loc: Newark, CA
Hi Brayton,

I can understand how you must have felt.
I feel the same way most of the times.
Im gay and young, and rather cute. I used to hide myself behind 50 pounds of excessive weight, so that people found me 'cute' but not sexually attractive.
Then a few months ago, I realized that I didnt need to hide anymore, and lost all the weight. I even started dressing well. I feel like im getting into my "whore phase" and yet, I dont want people to come closer. Watch but dont dare touch me.

and yes, I have an attraction towards older men. Even dated one for a couple of months, just to see how far I would let myself go.

The dissociation. The freezing-up.
Its so weird.

Hold on buddy, Salvation is just around the corner, somewhere...

rax.


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#72173 - 01/08/04 11:26 AM Re: waiting room experience (possible triggers)
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
Rax,

Thanks for your input.

It continues to startle me how we all have dissimilar outward experiences, are different ages, from different backgrounds, different parts of the country and world, but have the effects of CSA in common.

I understand your problem with letting people get close I think. Its not a bad thing to be cautious anyway during the "w-phase." I know a lot of guys go through that and it can feel really good to feel attractive and desired and also to be able to hook up with guys that you find attractive but you don't have to get intimate with anyone if it doesn't feel right.

I craved intimacy but at the same time feared it and then was confused because I didn't know where that and other feelings were coming from.

I was sometimes attracted to older guys, too. I was looking for someone more mature I think that would understand life better and have answers. I see now that for me that was all complicated by my CSA experiences as were my feelings about sexuality and orientation.

That worked partly but then its kind of weird too when I think of the waiting room experience and how I felt like a kid during that and perceived him (the perp) as being older.

Mike, as usual your insights are helpful and your support much appreciated. It would've been good to get up and go over and see what was up with that guy. He might have denied it or pretended he wasn't doing anything (maybe he wasn't and it was my distored perception, a memory) but it still might have felt empowering to do something for myself instead of slipping into the victimhood thing again which is my habit.

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72174 - 01/08/04 11:40 AM Re: waiting room experience (possible triggers)
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Hey Brett,

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

What you say here is especially insightful and very helpful to keep in mind:
Quote:
how we all have dissimilar outward experiences, are different ages, from different backgrounds, different parts of the country and world, but have the effects of CSA in common.
The kind of awareness that you are gaining, even from difficult experiences like the waiting room, plus the fact that you are here and willing to share them, is what makes recovery possible for so many other men like us.

I'm glad that you expressed your feelings so strongly to your therapist. Perhaps she will add this to her body of knowledge about SA survivors and will mention it the next time the subject of waiting room design comes up!

I try to remember that in some ways we each are pioneers in this long neglected area of human life. What we report back to each other and to our therapists is helping to build a network of recovery that can hopefully become a means of saving many men from the lonely life of a victim of sexual abuse.

It seems to me that I can tell that you have grown as a result of these experiences and will continue to do so.

What could have once been just one more sign that
"the world is fucked up, or it's all so unfair etc" has instead become a way to grow in your recovery and help others achieve the same.

As someone much smarter than me once observed,

"The only difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is how we use it."

Thanks for showing me how that works in real life.


Your comrade in recovery,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#72175 - 01/08/04 12:09 PM Re: waiting room experience (possible triggers)
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
Danny,

I often am down and discouraged. Sometimes things seem pretty bleak but I think also that I have begun to believe in the possiblity of recovery and that has made a big difference.

My therapist pointed out last night that I tend to continue to be self-loathing at least in part because that is most familiar. A brighter world seems scary a lot of the time.

I put it to her like this. It feels as if I am on the edge of a precipice a lot of the time and far below lies only chaos. I spend a lot of energy leaning back to avoid toppling over. It may be that it only seems like chaos because it is so unfamiliar to me. It may be that far below is only a happier place, not chaos at all.

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

Top
#72176 - 01/08/04 11:57 PM Re: waiting room experience (possible triggers)
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Dear Brett,

It's unusual that you chose to share an image that has also been a part of the way I perceived myself....sitting on the edge of the precipice.

Only in my awareness, I spend a huge amount of energy remaining completely motionless....staring out into the dark space, with my ears pricked to attention, listening for the slightest sound. I am on alert.

My neck muscles ache, my eyes strain, every muscle is taut with an expectation of the threat from the darkness that lies beyond the precipice.

Then, one day, while experiencing this sensation, I became lighter than air and floated up above my precipice and flexed my body. Slowly I moved away, floating at first and then flying gently in the darkness. As I stopped focussing all my attention and energy on trying to decipher the message of the darkness, I became aware of the softest, glowing light emanating from the edge of the dark cloud.

Sorry to go on so long with this, Brett.

My point is that someday as you continue to grow and learn and recover, you will cease fighting and straining to stay away from the edge of the precipice; you will lean forward and very slowly and softly you will float free. Flying gently above you will be freed from the difficult safety of the shelter of the precipice.

So often I am unable to see the progress I am making until someone close to me notices it. They can see what I am too close to distinguish.

I hope you will allow us to continue to do that for you.

Regards,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

Top
#72177 - 01/08/04 11:58 PM Re: waiting room experience (possible triggers)
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Dear Brett,

It's unusual that you chose to share an image that has also been a part of the way I perceived myself....sitting on the edge of the precipice.

Only in my awareness, I spend a huge amount of energy remaining completely motionless....staring out into the dark space, with my ears pricked to attention, listening for the slightest sound. I am on alert.

My neck muscles ache, my eyes strain, every muscle is taut with an expectation of the threat from the darkness that lies beyond the precipice.

Then, one day, while experiencing this sensation, I became lighter than air and floated up above my precipice and flexed my body. Slowly I moved away, floating at first and then flying gently in the darkness. As I stopped focussing all my attention and energy on trying to decipher the message of the darkness, I became aware of the softest, glowing light emanating from the edge of the dark cloud.

Sorry to go on so long with this, Brett.

My point is that someday as you continue to grow and learn and recover, you will cease fighting and straining to stay away from the edge of the precipice; you will lean forward and very slowly and softly you will float free. Flying gently above you will be freed from the difficult safety of the shelter of the precipice.

So often I am unable to see the progress I am making until someone close to me notices it. They can see what I am too close to distinguish.

I hope you will allow us to continue to do that for you.

Regards,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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