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#917 - 10/01/05 04:09 AM Survivor - What does it mean?
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16263
Hi guys,

There’s something that’s been bothering me lately. I sometimes feel as if my mind cannot reason through all of this “stuff”. I start out clueless and I end up the same way.

Intellectually I understand so much but it does not always translate into what I would define as a genuine understanding from the heart. Does that make sense?

For instance, I have been struggling with the concept of what it means to be a survivor. To be real honest, I’m not sure I know. Sometimes I think I’m down with it, and other times it’s almost a foreign concept to me.

What I thought I would like to see from you guys is a thread similar to the “Lies” thread from a few weeks ago in which each of us shares in a few short words (or long ones if you feel so inclined) on what “being a survivor” means to them.

I know that it will be a big help to me and more than likely many of the rest of you as well. I’ll start with one that’s been on my mind the last few days.

“Being a survivor means taking the bad things that happened to me, turning them around, and using what I’ve learned because of them to make my life and the lives of those around me better.”

Those of you that have been here longer than I may already have participated in something like this. If that’s the case, you have two choices as I see it. You can either humor me \:D and do it again, or you can point me to the proper thread . Either way, thanks guys. I’m really coming to appreciate each of you and what you bring to our group here.

Courage,

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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#918 - 10/01/05 04:27 AM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
Born to Resist Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/30/05
Posts: 269
Loc: Southern California, USA
I struggle with this term as well. Right now I'd say that survivor means I am no longer being abused. This can be very early in our years. For me it's about how to live with what has happened. It means dealing with the self destructive behavior and moving past it. It feels like I have been surviving for almost 30 years. I'm hoping that I can move past surviving and begin living ... it doesn't seem like I have been living all these years.

I wish there where a term that referred to move beyond surviving. I guess the english language doesn't have an appropriate term. Perhaps we'll have to creat one.


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#919 - 10/01/05 04:37 AM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
Michael Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 92
Loc: Claremore, Oklahoma
Surviving means you are still here in this world. Learning is when you can face yourself in the mirror of some realm where we can look at ourselves without the fog of whatever it is we do to keep the fog there. Overcoming is when we decide that we CAN face what we do and that WE have the POWER to decide for ourselves HOW we will live.

The greatest thing I have learned through all this is that we can decide. The hardest thing is finding the place where we are strong enough to take control. No, the hardest thing is maitin control.

I feel better than I have in years, but there are still times that I become extremely depressed. But... I now have some strength to reach down inside and pull myself back out, because it is what I WANT to do.

Don't know if that makes any sense or relates at all to your question, but I felt the need to write, something I have not done lately.

_________________________
"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers

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#920 - 10/01/05 08:10 AM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
Syris Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/22/05
Posts: 14
Being a survivor to me means getting through the day. It means harnessing all the negative emotions and try to channel them into positive outcomes. There are people who have not survived abuse and it's effects. It is a very real thing to survive sexual abuse and not plummet down into the darkness never to return. So basically it means to get through today and work for a better tomorrow.

_________________________
"Years ago there was lose of control.Constant horrific nightmares,life turned into a deadly maze.The haunting sounds play on.No more bruised feelings.Can it shine through this? Will it ever shine? The pictures in the gold room."

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#921 - 10/01/05 08:31 AM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
ak Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/10/04
Posts: 1491
It is been real hard, emotional few weeks for me. But I think, to me? Survivor means I can make it through of the 'lesser events' of my life right now. Even at times, I feel so much overwhelmed like 'I can not handle no more', that I am a survivor means yes, I can. And I will. And I also will make my life better, because unlike the abuse, it is what I deserve.

Andrei


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#922 - 10/01/05 01:21 PM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
John,

This thread is a good idea, and a few months ago I would have said that I had no idea what it means to be a survivor.

Now, on the principle that anything is better than nothing, I think I have at least some clue. At first I thought no, I won't post this, but now I think I will. It may be interesting further on down the road to look back and see what I thought on 1 October 2005.

For me right now, my short answer is that being a survivor means I am on a path that will lead me to a better understanding of how sexual abuse affected me, how I can fruitfully respond to that challenge, and what I can expect to gain from my efforts.

Slightly longer answers: Being a survivor means I have to look honestly at what happened to me and accept that sexual abuse destroyed my childhood and left me with deep negative feelings about myself, the world, and my place in it. I have to learn to honor and respect these feelings, as a part of me is and will always be that terrified 11-year-old who doesn't understand what has just happened. I have to accept a lot of painful truths, since I cannot respond effectively to hurt that I won't or can't acknowledge.

In terms of my response to abuse, being a survivor means I must learn to accept some more hard realities: there are no answers to the big "why" questions, and many times my best efforts will seem to lead me nowhere except into more hurt. I have to trust myself. In order to do that I have to believe (and not just know) that what happened wasn't my fault. I have to learn to ask for help and accept it. In order to do that I have to trust people and believe I am worth helping.

I am a bit clearer these days on what I get for my trouble. I know I don't get to "forget" everything or "solve" it in a way that explains it away. I will always be a survivor. But I will learn to live a life that is fruitful, joyful and peaceful for me and those I care about, and not corroded or controlled by destructive negative feelings.

I am also learning to see that while I would not wish the ordeal on my worst enemy, perhaps it has made me a more compassionate person, or allowed me to discover that dimension of myself. I am learning to stop fighting against the idea of being a survivor, and instead to explore the challenges that I otherwise would not have had.

Let's see if I can actually post this. It lets out a lot more feeling than I am accustomed to exposing here.

Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#923 - 10/01/05 06:57 PM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
Kirk Wayne Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 499
Loc: Shrewsbury UK
For me Survivor means, that I have had to deal with a wagon load of crap in my early years, but at the age of nearly 50 I can safely say that I have come through it and now I am not ashamed of my abuse any longer.

Kirk


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#924 - 10/01/05 07:08 PM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
a sense of of two tears in a bucket ...


my father was so bad -

i rather say my father is jesus or god -

or a very good friend who treat me better than father ever did -

m

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#925 - 10/01/05 07:09 PM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
a sense of of two tears in a bucket ...

kirk said "I can safely say that I have come through it and now I am not ashamed of my abuse any longer."

i cannot - get there - kirk -


my father was so bad -

i rather say my father is jesus or god -
at least i look to them or virgin mary -

or the very good friend who treat me better than father ever did -

m

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#926 - 10/02/05 01:32 AM Re: Survivor - What does it mean?
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
My thoughts for the moment - a Survivor is someone that does what they are happy doing on a daily basis.

This doesn't mean that what you do on a daily basis is perfection, but that it is OK.

I'm not sure that I quite get that myself at the moment, but I know what I mean!?

Best wishes ...Rik

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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