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#9231 - 04/23/03 12:25 AM The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Here is something I just wrote about an experience I had last night. It may be a trigger to you but I don't know for sure. I would really appreciate any feedback anyone can give me on how to deal with this. I am scared and I have to face this instructor on Thursday night in class. I'm trying to maintain my boundaries but some days it is hard and sometimes it is hard just operating in this world. Anyway if you can read through it and have some insights on how I can best deal with this, I would be grateful. In case you are not aware of this, I am learning to be a massage therapist and that is what the clinic is about. I am a little over half way done with the course.


---------------------------


---------------------------


TRIGGER WARNING

----------------------------


----------------------------

The Night of Embarrassment

On my last clinic, I had a client who after being instructed on what to do, decided she didnít need a towel to cover her up. She was laying face down when I came in with her undergarments still on. I asked her if she wouldnít be more comfortable and warm with the towel on top of her and she said she was perfectly fine with it.

A couple of things about myself before I go any further on this story of embarrassment. I am one that really does not see a woman as a sexual entity or it doesnít seem to bother me anymore working on them. I am more afraid of touching or doing the wrong thing than having any emotions or thoughts come out of working with women. If anything, I am overly respectful of them if there is such a thing. Another thing is that we are very new in clinic working with people off the streets. I am not normally a very self confident person where I can find the right way to tell a person to put the towel over them. I get a little shy in these circumstances. With that said, let me proceed in this story.

So I decided with her that this was not a problem to give her a massage and figured I would make it work. According to state law, if a client declines draping and the therapist is in agreement, there doesnít have to be draping. So I wasnít too worried about it. And of course I wasnít thinking about what would happen either when I turned the lady over on her back. (note: we tend to be a little nervous and scared right now which affects what we do as well.. with practice it should get much better though).

Anyway, half of the way through the session, my instructor came in and saw this. She immediately in a very respectful way to myself and the client corrected the situation. I did briefly explain to her what had transpired and she said that is fine, but in clinic, all clients are covered. Ok, now I know because no one had really said this before and I definitely will not make this mistake again. Just as the instructor was walking out, I noticed another instructor (who teaches my Anatomy class) was walking by and saw the incident. I felt very embarrassed at this point.

At the end of the class when we had our rap up, the clinic instructor did not bring this up in front of the entire class which I was grateful because I do get embarrassed about things like this very easily. The other instructor though was asked by her if he had any comments and he declined to say anything about anyone. I sort of sighed a breath of relief that day because I didnít want to be embarrassed. I am hard enough on myself and I sure donít need help from anyone to make matters worse for me.

So last night in Anatomy class this ďobservingĒ instructor said we have a few minutes before class officially starts and I would like to share some observations from what I observed when I walked through clinic. I knew what was coming and wanted to run but I was sort of frozen. Of course he started talking about the great things all of these people were doing that he observed and it made it all sound so nice. When he got to me, he brought up the incident in enough detail that the class got a good laugh out of it. Of course he had to say that the ladies butt cheeks were right out in the open facing up for all to see.
I was furious and that doesnít even quite capture my feelings at the time. I was so embarrassed. I could not believe he was even talking about this in our Anatomy class after he had the opportunity in massage class to share his comments. I felt it was inappropriate and unprofessional of him to do this and do it in a way that he did. I donít even know what he said after he made the statement about the butt cheeks, because I was long gone in my mind. Physically I was there, but mentally I was somewhere else.

It hurt deeply and I have about 35 more classes with this instructor. Somehow Iíve got to get past this because it will affect the remaining time I have in school if I donít. I had hoped to talk to my therapist tonight about it, but the session got postponed. I did scream and rant and rave about it when I got home though as it was still boiling in me several hours later.

You see, I was exposed to sex between my parents when I was around 8 years old. It was not something I wanted to watch, but was forced to watch. I grew up in a home that in addition to the abuse I suffered, I watched my mother endure all kinds of abuse from my father. He was very mean to her in so many ways. He would talk about her in derogatory ways to me and I was just a very young kid at the time. I learned more about her sexual side from him than I ever wanted to know in my life. My father was a sick bastard (but thatís another story).

Anyway the feeling embarrassed like I had been bad came out when this instructor observed me working on the client like I did. It triggered me pretty hard that day but when my clinic instructor treated us all with respect, I was able to hold things together. However when the instructor had to bring this up in front of the class (just like my father would have done to me), it triggered me so hard. Than when he made the comment about her butt cheeks, I thought I was going to lose it completely, but of course I was frozen that night and speechless. Just like a little boy that once experienced these same things.

A friend of mine that I talked to later about this told me to talk to him and I said, I donít know if I can at this point. It is my issue to work through and she said, yes but he would understand and be more careful. I told her I donít want people catering to me because of triggers I have. I am oversensitive when it comes to comments like this being made because of what I experienced. Right now I donít know if I can talk to him or not and it sure wonít be tomorrow because I will make sure I avoid him. Iíve got to think about all of this right now because this goes very deep. On top of it, he has the physique of my father with the grey hair and a similar age. Not a good combination!

Some days, I get so damn angry at the triggers I still face. I would love to be free from them and maybe one day I will.. just maybe!

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#9232 - 04/23/03 12:38 AM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
Sick Puppy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/03
Posts: 300
Loc: Nowhere Land
Don, I am sorry you had to go through that, and I know how you feel. As survivors we often get triggered by things that were meant as jest or in fun. It's hard to explain to other people.

_________________________
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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#9233 - 04/23/03 12:18 PM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Don
That's a horrible thing to happen, but perhaps he did it that way out of ignorance rather than something malicious.

I would try to talk to him and let him know that you were embarrased by his comments, and that you would rather he dealt with those sort of things personally with you. No need to tell him why, just say you'd feel more comfortable that way.

But don't let it eat away at you Don.

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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#9234 - 04/23/03 03:27 PM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Don I think that Sickpuppy and Lloyd have it right. You are a great massage therapist. Will the triggers leave. Yes in time and when you are ready. You did not know the rules at the clinic.

I think that outwardly you handled the situation well although inside you were a firestorm.

I think it was not done on purpose and that maybe a private chat would be appropriate.

I still remember you post about your first session and brother you are doing just fine and it will get easier over time.

_________________________
Mikey

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

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#9235 - 04/23/03 10:21 PM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5779
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Hi Don:
You are probably on to something when you recognize the similarities between your father and the instructor. We all get triggered by people who have been authority figures or abusive to us in our past. How we handle the triggers can make the difference between a revictimization and a victory in an old battle.

Your wrote:
Quote:
However when the instructor had to bring this up in front of the class (just like my father would have done to me), it triggered me so hard. Than when he made the comment about her butt cheeks, I thought I was going to lose it completely, but of course I was frozen that night and speechless. Just like a little boy that once experienced these same things.
This may be a great opportunity for you and your therapist to work out a game plan to address this, I believe. Just as it would be very difficult for you to confront your father without the preparation and resources you need to deal with a bully, you will probably do best with preparation and support to deal with the instructor in a way that leaves you feeling empowered rather than frozen and silent. That may have been the only or best action way back when, but now that you are an adult with better skills, knowledge, and understanding, you have an opportunity to change the outcome.

Ken


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#9236 - 04/24/03 10:07 AM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Thank you everyone for your response. It has helped me a lot and I agree with what you are saying.

I don't think he maliciously made the comment because he has no clue that I have any issues related to this. However I do think he used poor judgement in how he brought this up and the timing was absolutely horrendous. This should have been something that was discussed in our wrap up meeting that day when he was asked if he had any comments, not outside of the clinic class or outside of the main instructor.

I don't plan on sharing much with him about why it really bothered me other than to try and let him know that it did and that I feel it was poor judgement on his part. I plan on bringing this up with the clinic instructor as well because it was disrespectful to her also.

Some in my class that know me could tell that it really hit me hard which they shared with me last night. They did tell me that everything he said after that point was very good because I blanked out.

I had hoped to talk to my therapist about it but our appointment got postponed for two weeks and so I will need to address this alot sooner than that because these are small classes and it would affect too many things otherwise. I actually think that by addressing it, this will help empower me over being the little kid with no say in what happened. I will be careful to protect myself and keep myself safe as well.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#9237 - 04/24/03 03:28 PM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
I admire you greatly, Don. Always have, because you have taken on visceral challenges.

I am not sure how you do it in the first place! You should be very proud of yourself. I hope you are. I am proud of you and for you.

To me, it sounds like the instructor was trying to handle the situation in an offhanded, almost humorous manner. I do not think that was the right way to do it, but it was the way he knew how. Separating our triggers from the missteps of others is a real challenge.

but boy, did I love what Ken wrote:
Quote:
How we handle the triggers can make the difference between a revictimization and a victory in an old battle.
You have notched up many victories, and you are an inspiration to me. You handled yourself well, and I know this will be a learning experience for you.

Peace,
James

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#9238 - 04/24/03 03:34 PM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
If you must share with the instructor before therapy, I think you will want to avoid any language that the instructor might find critical. It could make him defensive and could trigger you again.

I would stick to the idea that the comment made you uncomfortable and that you do not wish to feel uncomfortable in the class.

I think this will give him the opportunity to help you feel more comfortable.

I know it is not great form to give specific advice in a post, but without a chance to see your T, I am throwing in my two cents.

and frankly, when have I ever hesitated to throw in my two cents?

Smiles,
James

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#9239 - 04/24/03 04:15 PM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
James,
I actually thought I just vegetatated out or spaced out and didn't think I handled it very good at all. Maybe I need to rethink that and of course I usually am pretty critical of myself.

I feel personally that I need to say something because this will hinder my learning in there as well as other things. I have class tonight and I will probably just tell him that it did make me feel uncomfortable and that the phrase about the butt cheeks was something that I felt was inappropiate. I will probably also make the statement to him that this should have been said in our wrap up meeting of clinic with the main instructor and not in this classroom setting. To me it was a boundary violation.

Thanks James. I appreciate your input.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#9240 - 04/25/03 12:24 AM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Well I went to class tonight but I couldn't say anything... nothing would even come close to coming out. And I could feel the slight awkardness in the air....

I'm sort of pissed off at myself for not being able to say anything.... feel like the "speechless" little boy.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

Top
#9241 - 04/25/03 12:51 AM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Don,
I don't really know what to say other than I hope you can emerge from this a stronger person. Maybe you'll have a clearer understanding of your triggers and in the future you'll know how to handle them better. It's just a thought.
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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#9242 - 04/25/03 03:14 PM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
Don, please go easy on yourself.

I think (please note I am using the word think, I do not know, I can not know) you may be upset with yourself because you didn't punish what you see as a boundary violation.

I think you are just finding a way to blame yourself by doing this. You are not to blame and you do not have any part in the problem, especially by not reacting.

I am a person who overreacts to boundary violations, then feels guilty about the overreaction. It seems you are having the same experience, only backwards?

Ah, who knows? I just want you to take it easy on yourself and not to worry.

Peace,
James

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#9243 - 04/25/03 03:25 PM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Hi Don,

A little different viewpoint: if I were a patient in your clinic and ever found out that my body had been the joke of the week I would never return and I would let other people know how I was treated.

I am sorry that instructor triggered you. I feel he was very much in the wrong and completely out of place.
I also don't think I would want to have a massage in a space where people could walk by and observe me. Doesn't the client have some rights to privacy there?

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#9244 - 04/25/03 10:38 PM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Mike,
I hope I can emerge as a stronger person. This is an issue that I need to resolve for myself. I will continue to just try and own what is going on within myself right now and see where it leads me.

James,
I'm not totally sure why everything is hitting me the way it is on this. Maybe with some time, I will be able to sort through all of this, but it kind of looks like muddy water right now.

Bob,
I totally agree with you on this and we are taught different than this instructor displayed. That much I want to get across to him. The situation I am describing occurs in our 'student clinic'. Basically it is a big room with curtain dividers (like you would see in a hospital). If you are tall enough, you can see over the top a little. The main instructor we have for clinic does come in and out of the curtain made cubicles. And the clients that come in for this do know what to expect because they are told what is going on. A different situation than it would be if we were doing this on our own. I guess they have to mix the teaching with the real world some how. I just didn't want everyone thinking it was a totally open inappropiate place as we do try to honor and respect everyone. I would definately prefer a much more private place than we have.

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#9245 - 04/25/03 10:45 PM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
I hope everyone doesn't mind me continuing on with this thread but you are all helping me process this stuff.

Tonight I went to a Yoga class that I try to go to as much as I can. Believe me, it ain't easy for me! The affects of the paraylsis and abuse that still resides in the cells of my body play a major role in how I am able to do the Yoga. But tonight I really noticed how much my body was holding tight and holding back from moving, especially in my legs. My legs were the first things to go when I was paralyzed and I know it has a lot to do with being frozen in a early abuse situation and not being able to run. In fact I was just reading more about this the other day. Anyway, my legs just don't like to move well although I can walk and get around just fine. They just don't stretch and they aren't relaxed and flexible.

It is frustrating to me and I told the lady that teaches these classes about how I was getting mad at myself for not being able to move tonight. She said, just accept what your body allows you to do because if you get mad at your body, it will become weak. That kind of hit me hard but it makes sense to me. There is still a lot of forgiveness that I need to do with myself because I think I still blame myself for being that kid who was speechless or frozen in that moment even though I mentally know there was nothing I could do (not when you are 5 years old).

Anyway, I guess the Yoga class as frustrating as it was gave me some good information to work with. So for now, I will just add that information to my bank of information in my body and hopefully before long, the puzzle pieces will fall in place.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

Top
#9246 - 04/26/03 08:52 AM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
It is frustrating to me and I told the lady that teaches these classes about how I was getting mad at myself for not being able to move tonight. She said, just accept what your body allows you to do because if you get mad at your body, it will become weak. That kind of hit me hard but it makes sense to me.
Don, my friend, thanks for the epiphany!

I get so frustrated with my body not doing what I want it to do with this damned fibromyalgia.

Lately things had been going so much better with all my increase in activity, doing more water aerobics classes, etc.

Now, the last couple few weeks or so my body has been fighting shutdown, along with my feelings.

So--please pardon the sick & ***possibly triggering*** pun--I've gone back to beating up my body, abusing it in anger for not "working right."

The results? You guessed it: My body is weaker than ever becuz I am not accepting what it will allow me to do and I'm getting mad at it, at me.
Just like your wise yoga instructor said.

This only makes it harder to deal with the mental & emotional & spiritual stuff that's also been coming up lately...

Quote:
There is still a lot of forgiveness that I need to do with myself because I think I still blame myself for being that kid who was speechless or frozen in that moment even though I mentally know there was nothing I could do (not when you are 5 years old).
Don, I am finding lately that I still need to do a lot more self-forgiveness than I thot. As a good friend has just told me, I have some deep grief work to do.

"Frozen."

Don, this makes me think of what I've been reading recently (in "The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation and Disease" by Dr. Robert C.
Scaer) about the freeze animals & humans go into in trauma when they can't fight or flee.

The animals instinctively do things to discharge the freeze & thaw out. Humans, becuz of our
"superior intellect" aka stinkin thinkin, our emotional & societal hangups, tend not to do this.

So we get frozen in time, the time of the abuse for us survivors.

That seems to tie into what some say about us getting stuck somewhere in the emotional age of our abuse.

Don, maybe it's something for you to think on.

Me, I'm convinced that thru therapy (maybe more intensive) and probably also some good body work,
I need to work on a freeze discharge.

Otherwise I'll continue to struggle with these shutdowns. Thankfully I've not totally shutdown like in years past--yet.

I better crawl somewhere & thaw!

Thanks Don. TC & TTYL

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#9247 - 04/26/03 12:38 PM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Victor,
Ahhhh, I'm not the only one that experiences this. I do thank you for sharing what you did.

I am reading a book right now called "Compassionate Touch" by Dr Clyde W Ford and he references the same thoughts that you were sharing in your post. Of course his premise is that these points in our life where Trauma happened are locked in our bodies and through body work and movement, we are able to become aware of these things. Once we become aware of these things, we can then release the power held within them. One of the things that he brings up is how movement and body work can help us heal in so many ways by just bringing the awareness to our bodies.

I think you are right about getting stuck at the emotional age of our abuse. I keep telling people I feel as if I am only about 15 now but my abuse/neglect started when I was a baby.

This week has been one of those "growing pain stretches" and while it will most likely yeild a lot of good, whew.... I'm tired!

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

Top
#9248 - 04/26/03 12:59 PM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
Victor,
Ahhhh, I'm not the only one that experiences this. I do thank you for sharing what you did.
No, and I suspect there are more out there. Thank you for starting this thread.

Quote:
I am reading a book right now called
"Compassionate Touch" by Dr Clyde W Ford and he references the same thoughts that you were sharing in your post. Of course his premise is that these points in our life where Trauma happened are locked in our bodies and through body work and movement, we are able to become aware of these things. Once we become aware of these things, we can then release the power held within them. One of the things that he brings up is how movement and body work can help us heal in so many ways by just bringing the awareness to our bodies.
Clyde's premise sure makes sense to me. I have at least one other male survivor friend who has this book. It might be worth my getting.

Quote:
I think you are right about getting stuck at the emotional age of our abuse. I keep telling people I feel as if I am only about 15 now but my abuse/neglect started when I was a baby.
Yeah my abuse, sexually, started 2 or 3 maybe younger. It ended, at least in an overt sense, when I was 11. I seem to have been stuck somewhere in between there when I began recovery, maybe 8 or 9. But I feel I've grown at least into mid-adolescence somewhere--tho sometimes I wonder!

Quote:
This week has been one of those "growing pain stretches" and while it will most likely yeild a lot of good, whew.... I'm tired!

Don
Ditto my friend. Let's both take it easy on ourselves ok?!

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#9249 - 05/14/03 12:11 AM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Update:

My therapist and I talked about this entire episode the other night in our session. It was amazing that when I was talking about what pissed me off in this matter, she said my voice and body posture portrayed it. Then as I began to explain things and talked about the other side of this instructor, my body posture and voice changed to portray this as well. It was like I saw the event, was triggered and all I could see was the face of my father as well as all I could hear was the voice of my father. However in therapy, I was able to switch gears and see that this instructor was not my father and there was a big differance. Hope I'm not over simplifying this too much but it makes sense to me.

Anyway the outcome of therapy was to try and talk to my clinic instructor and get her support, than talk to the instructor that made the comments. My therapist coached me to talk about how things made me feel instead of just making it into an accusatory situation.

So last Saturday I talked with my clinic instructor and she totally agreed with me on everything I was saying. Oh how that feels so good to be listened to, believed and respected (never got that while I was growing up). She however did tell me that it was my responsibility to talk to the other instructor which is correct and the best thing for me. But that part went well and I felt good after it. Of course up until that point and all the way through clinic, my body was present but my mind wasn't and my massages sucked that day!

Monday night I was a little pissed off over the test that this other instructor gave us and so it was the perfect time to talk to him. I need a little bit of anger to get myself to the point of talking to him and I just wanted to get this over with. I didn't want to keep thinking about it and going over and over it in my mind. So after class I walked up to him and jumped right in! I didn't accuse him or anything like that but in plain, unemotional straight forward terms told him that the statement he made upset me and made me angry. I told him I felt it was disrespectful to the client, to myself and to the clinic. I told him that I felt the use of this phrase to me was derogatory in every way. Of course he was a little shocked I think and did listen to what I said. He said he would try to be more sensitive to these things and didn't realize that what he said offended me. Ok, maybe the guy doesn't have all the people skills he needs, but at least he listened.

It cleared the air and I felt empowered afterwards, stronger, more assertive and like a big weight had been lifted off of me. I don't know of too many times when I have done this type of thing as I usually just run from the situation but I really kicked serious butt in this situation and did it in a very respectful way. I think he heard me well and I didn't shrink within myself but held my head high and strong.

Still kind of riding cloud nine on this one.

But like my therapist said, it is ok to get triggered and not know what to do. That's ok because we are human and the little boy in me says hey, you stood up for me, I think you're pretty special. So the adult in me stood up for my little boy and said, damn it, I'm not going to let anyone hurt you and the little boy is doing plenty of high fives right now.

You know the event that triggered me was one (after I have thought about it) that the adult was scared. I didn't know what to do. So the little boy says, hell I've been through this many times before and I know what to do... withdrawl, hide, get quiet, escape. And the adult in me says, ok, I don't know what to do and you do, so take care of me. In reality the adult should have taken care of the little boy when it happened. Maybe the adult will know more how to do this when it happens again.

Man, I'm learning.... so much from my little boy inside of me!

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#9250 - 05/14/03 12:54 AM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Don,

Thanks for the update and for the very insightful & empowering post my friend. WTG on handling a tough situation without compromising yourself yet with a lot of class & grace!

I bet your massages will be even better now too!

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#9251 - 05/14/03 01:44 AM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Way to go, Don! It made me happy to read your post.
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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#9252 - 05/30/03 01:53 PM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
It has been some time now since this happened and it is finally good to really see all of this in perspective. I've been able to talk about it with classmates more now and the instructor and I have a much better working relationship. I feel much more empowered about myself and like a lot of stress was taken off my back. So all in all, I'm glad that I was able to work through this process and get to the point I have. It is just nice to look back and see this entire event in a whole different way.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#9253 - 05/30/03 03:30 PM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Hey, Don, it's David........Ivanhoe, nice to meet you.
I just read your thread and I wanted to add my congratulations.
When I read the frist part of this, I noticed how insightful you are with your own reactions to your triggers.
I just get mad most of the time but I am getting better.
I particularly appreciated how your resolved this issue.
I see three areas where you were a positive influence--there are probably more, but these three stand out:
1-You stood up for yourself in an important arena, the school setting.
2-You were an example for the other students.
3-You were an example for us.
I'm already thinking of others as I'm sure readers here are thinking--
another would be the other instructors and the way that they perform as teachers--they ought to be the most professional!!
Thanks for all of this--you remind us all that there are areas in our lives where saying, "ouch," and working for resolutions in those situations are important.
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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#9254 - 05/31/03 02:29 AM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Hi Don,

Danny, here. Just want to say please keep letting us in on the details of your life in recovery. The abstract notion may be intellectually comforting, but personal experience such as yours can be life saving.

Real life and real recovery, lived day by day, class by class, emotion by emotion. Thanks for being so willing to grow in public. It helps me alot.

REMARK OVERHEARD IN A COFFEE SHOP:

"When you have the ability to look at your own
feelings, you no longer need to engage in
control maneuvers to protect your feelings."

Thanks Don, for welcoming me and letting me learn from your experience. A precious gift indeed.

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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#9255 - 05/31/03 06:00 PM Re: The Night of Embarrassment - TRIGGER?
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Thanks David and Danny,

I do appreciate your comments. I do appreciate you saying that it makes a differance when I share these things. I try to keep my life open but sometimes that is very scary for me and I don't know how it is always perceived. I just know like both of you have said that I learn so much when others share things about what they are going through. Textbook therory is fine, but real life down in the trenches stuff gives me hope and inspiration. I'm a firm believer that I didn't go through this abuse to just hide it under a rug. I think part of the bigger view of the universe involves me being a link in the chain that holds us all together and helps each one of us recover. Of course I'm not a person that could just ignore others when it comes to healing as I know just how horrible this is to deal with.


David,
I do think standing up for myself made a big impact on me. My clinic instructor asked me if I had talked to this guy today when I went to clinic. That was nice that she was thoughtful enough to check back with me on it. I told her I did and what transpired as well as it was some personal growth for me. I feel just a tad bit stronger out in public now than I did. I'm gettin that voice back.... little by little.

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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