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#77179 - 06/25/04 12:43 AM Nervous in Groups
Redsongbird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/01/01
Posts: 209
I have pretty much always been a church goer. I believe in God and infact teach in a Christian school. Since I was assualted back now about three years (in October) I have been finding it difficult to be in church around groups of people. Infact when I think about it - it is not only in church but even when we have devotions at school for the staff. Other times when in a checkout lane (when I am by myself) I get really tenses up. Dealing with all the issues of abuse I realize so many things have been taken away or lost but I am trying to regain them. Once I get to church after a while I calm down but the decision to go is quite difficult. Just rambling on.

Tobey


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#77180 - 06/25/04 12:50 AM Re: Nervous in Groups
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7819
Tobey - Hello, friend. You're certainly not alone in this feeling. After 30+ years of silence, I finally told someone (my wife) about the sexual abuse I suffered when I was 12. I've always had issues with being in groups of people, feeling uncomfortable, etc. I still do. When in check out lanes at Wal-Mart, most people browse the headlines of the mags. I'm scanning the people in the other lanes, looking to see who is around me, determining whether I'm "safe". When in church, I feel very uncomfortable if someone is sitting behind me. I don't really understand why, I guess I just feel like I need to know who is around me at all times.

_________________________
Eddie

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#77181 - 06/25/04 05:57 AM Re: Nervous in Groups
Redsongbird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/01/01
Posts: 209
Hello Eddie - thanks for your reply. You know after reaing your post I feel the same way too about someone being behind me. This week is our denominations what they call "CampMeeting" and when I did go I made sure we were positioned so that no one could be directly behind me. I agree I think it is a safety issue.

Tobey


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#77182 - 06/25/04 11:54 AM Re: Nervous in Groups
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Tobey. Just keep working on it. I know the feeling well. But you know what. As you become more secure with who you are and what you are that feeling will slowly fade. It did for me. When I realized that in a crowd I no longer was the terrified teenager but a guy who could look after himself and the little teenager inside.

_________________________
Mikey

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

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#77183 - 06/25/04 12:16 PM Re: Nervous in Groups
TeeJayUU Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 262
Loc: MidWest
Tobey,

Nice to meet you!

My fear is crowded places where I can be bumped into. One of my perps like to cop-a-feel in public places with me by doing just that.

As for the wandering mind, my BAD times are any quiet times! I CANT work without music or drive, or have the TV on in the background. I never like having a quiet time where there is nothing to focus on because my mind starts to wander to the pain and flashbacks and all of that!

Even my own private time with God will slip back to those memories and issues and boy-howdy, do I HATE when that happens.

I KNOW He understands and is not offended. God wants us to heal and He knows that takes much time and patience. So hang in there!

PEACE! LOVE! HOPE!

God Bless!

TJ

_________________________
"There is a plan for me, God has a Purpose, I know there is a reason that I'm ALIVE!" Cherish Grace
PEACE HOPE LOVE

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#77184 - 07/02/04 11:31 PM Re: Nervous in Groups
whendoIcry? Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/02/04
Posts: 34
Loc: Metro Boston
Glad I read these posts. I never thought I was nervous in groups but now that I am in recovery (AA, heart problems, PTSD) I find that I prefer quiet, small groups, and get very uneasy in grocery stores. I feel that everyone is in my way, they are going to get the food before I do...afraid, just afraid. And, friends, this is sober and taking my medication! I used to just be so filled with fear, anxiety, dread, shame...that I could not sense the deeper feelings of fear. I am 52, was sexually and physically abused by a priest at 19, pushed it down until my late thirties...just seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. We all seem to be suffering from PTSD.

_________________________
I survive, one day at a time...knowing that I now can accept the things that cannot be changed, change the things I can and find the wisdom to know the difference.

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#77185 - 07/15/04 09:01 PM Re: Nervous in Groups
Redsongbird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/01/01
Posts: 209
You know even when I am going to go to places where I know everyone it is still hard. This weekend we have my wife's family reunion. I am already having anxiety about it. I want to go I really do and I promised my wife I would go because last year I opted out. Everyone there is nice but I guess maybe I just feel so not a man because of what I have gone through or something. Three years ago I was a man at the age of 40 and I could even protect myself then let alone the kids within me. I just shut down. And I am realizing thats what I do in groups now even when there is no threat....I shut down. I want to be sociable, I want to be friendly, I want to have things to talk about with other people and just be there and look so stupid by not getting into the conversations. I didn't realize I was feeling all this until writing it now. Hmmmmmmmm, looks like I have more journaling to do tonite!

Tobey


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#77186 - 07/15/04 09:13 PM Re: Nervous in Groups
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Tobey,

Family reunions are not easy...for anybody, let alone guys like us who have been messed with. One thing that I've found, if my favorite family member is not available, I look for the person sitting alone or the older folks who may be hard of hearing and sit by themselves. Sometimes these folks are hungry for conversation and will end up telling you the story of their lives...could be interesting, you could even learn more about the family.
\It's not much, I know, but I just wanted you to know that I'm usually in the same boat when it comes to family reunions.
Take care,
David

_________________________
"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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#77187 - 07/16/04 10:26 AM Re: Nervous in Groups
Redsongbird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/01/01
Posts: 209
Thanks David for your post. That sounds like a good idea I will try it out tomorrow. I am sorry that you go through this too but it is always good to know that I'm not the only one who does go through things like this.

Tobey


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#77188 - 07/19/04 06:56 PM Re: Nervous in Groups
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Hi Tobey

maybe by finding this group, you will find the answers we were looking for all along.

You have a lot of friends in here who have been thru the same thing, hang out and see how they deal with it.

I spent 39 years in the wilderness, never finding the answers to my innermost fears, hopefully the transition will be sooner

take care

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#77189 - 07/20/04 08:57 PM Re: Nervous in Groups
Redsongbird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/01/01
Posts: 209
Well I was able to have a nice time at the reunion. I talked to some when it felt right and the other times I just hung out with my wife. Thanks for the advice. I thought well I have another year before I will go again. .....now my wife tells me they all want to have an EXTRA reunion the frist weekend in August! ha!
Tobey


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#77190 - 07/22/04 08:09 AM Re: Nervous in Groups
David1010 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 46
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
First, allow me to introduce myself. I am David.

I read this topic and found it to be very interesting. It's an eye opener to me, actually. I never associated the way I behave in groups with PTSD and the aftermath of abuse. I too feel the same anxiety and also prefer smaller groups. I scann people in lines and wherever I am in a crowded place. I avoid group activities and hate crowds.

In my case, I remember seeing my perps in a group setting acting "cool" and being the center of attention. Some of them had some positions of authority, so they loved to show their power. And I felt like I had to be there trying to be as invicible as possible, like it was my responsibility t cover the perp's actions.

Sometimes doesn't even have to be a group fro me to feel that disconfort. I sometimes feel extremely anxious when a third person approach me when I am talking to another person.

Anyway, I just wanted to give my two cents.


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#77191 - 08/03/04 03:41 PM Re: Nervous in Groups
Redsongbird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/01/01
Posts: 209
Hello David - nice to meet you. I can really understand what you said about talking to someone and then when a third person comes up it sort of unnerves. I feel that way also sometimes. I would not think I would be nervous in groups. When I am teaching I do not feel that way. Maybe when I am in charge of the group then it is different! I know I can be teaching in my room feeling fine and then after school when there is a "staff meeting" then I start to feel weird.

Tobey


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#77192 - 08/04/04 12:28 PM Re: Nervous in Groups
Aden Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 499
This all sounds a lot like me. I get really grumpy in a group where I feel no sense of control. concerts, ball games, subways...
But if I have some actual authority, I am fine.
Now and then I get that same creeped out feeling from individuals even when there is no croud around. I'm not sure where much of that reaction comes from. But some of it is definatly sexual tension and aversion to subtle signals.

Going to the theater would be a lot more fun if I could get over this one!

Aden


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#77193 - 08/11/04 12:17 PM Re: Nervous in Groups
whendoIcry? Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/02/04
Posts: 34
Loc: Metro Boston
This topic got a lot of hits...and I can see why...this is reasuring that I am not alone in dealing with this problem. I just had a terrible experience in a Target store last week...it was crowded and noisy...I felt like the people were all surrounding me...they all seemed bizzarre and distorted. One guy was talking on a walkie talkie thing and the sound of it made me want to scream. Lately, loud noises and sudden moves by people are enough to send me...I am re-examining my medication protocol as the class of meds that includes zoloft along with the wellbutrin may be making me too anxious. Anyway, I realize that chatting people up in line is one way I defend myself...but I am worried that all the people will get what I came looking for.

_________________________
I survive, one day at a time...knowing that I now can accept the things that cannot be changed, change the things I can and find the wisdom to know the difference.

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#77194 - 08/12/04 06:42 PM Re: Nervous in Groups
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Think it's always good to know you are in a group who know you, it is really weird when I am in a group and for some reason a group of males know someone from their workplace, I subconsciously think, what are their motives, it is a negative response, and one I try to deal with.

I think it is because a male abused me, and I don't fully trust men when I first meet them, I am wary of their motives, why do you like me? It is not me but the little boy inside, truth is we make many mistakes this way by not wanting to get to know these strange men who we meet for the first time, we think, why do you want to know me? It is all part of the hidden psyche we live with, and it can cost us.

If I point to a previous post unknown.

Somebody said, if you went out for a drink, you could drink all night with your mates and never get into the spirit of the night, because you are hypervigilant, you are always waiting for something to happen, you think if the alcohol knocks you off guard someone is going to take advantage of you, it is nonsense but it's an automatic response to the situation you are in.

It can cause a myriad of problems, I have got into some heated arguments because I can take friendship with males as being too personal, and friends put me right on the motives of the person involved who only wants friendship, then I think, why do I think this way???

I can only think it is a primaeval instinct in me, brought on by the past, suppose also I think I am the kid, I am vulnerable, so I retaliate to the perceived assault, I go back to the sorry state I was left to go thru, caused by a man, and sorry you're a man and mess with my boundaries and you get what I feel about men.

Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of great male friends, but maybe they get to know the boundaries, I still distrust men in my psyche, guess I always will, but I grew up with that and I will always live with the mind of an abused kid, but it does work, and most men respect the boundaries, it's just I wish I never had to use them.

Ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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