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#9656 - 02/09/03 05:52 PM How Long ?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
How long is since you first sought help and have been working on your recovery ?

_________________________
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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#9657 - 02/10/03 12:21 PM Re: How Long ?
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
I once called a suicide hotline when I was in college the first time. I had been slowly disintergrating over several months. Suicidal thoughts preoccupied me.

I had a wife and a daughter.

The volunteer on the suicide hotline turned out to be the head of the psych department at the college I was attending. We made an appointment. My therapist was the first person I told. When I told him about the SA I had experienced with my brother, he began to talk about how he had no sexual identity problems and spent the rest of the session talking about how secure he felt in his masculine identity.

It was like having my spine slit open with a scalpel without anesthetic while pouring salt into the wound.

I soon began making my first suicide attempts. I was dissociating all over the place.

I now know why that therapist headed the psych department, he had no clinical experience.

When I arrived at inpatient I was described as having no ego left, whatsoever. I was assigned a new therapist who I saw for 7 yrs. I believe I lived in a dissociative state all the time. The psychiatrist said that I was in such a deep depression that they wern't worried about suicide at the time. The concern was that as I started to feel better I might become suicidal again. He said that was what often happened.

He was right. After I was discharged they made the mistake of giving me a three month supply of maximum strength antidepressants(ELEVIL). I was internally raging.

It was a time when you went to a therapist to get fixed. Freud, Jung, Karl Rogers, Albert Ellis, Fritz Perls, and a few others ruled the patriachal professional culture.

I remained suicidal during this time, but no real attempts. I had no specific plans, but I was always exploring options. Would it be this bridge abuttment while driving , or that wall.

I started active recovery work, maybe ten years after the first inpatient stay, when I read "Healing the Shame That Binds You" by John Bradshaw. Suicidal ideation (thoughts) began to cease.

I became aware that my mother taught me to think that way. Suicide was one of her threats. She said she wqanted to die if it weren't for us kids. So I became responsible for her very life.

When I said the same words to my wife, she reminded me of my mother's words to me. It was like a cold splash of water in my face. I needed that shock back to reality. I thanked her. They were my mother's words. My mother was living inside me.

I first spoke about the abuse in front of an auditoriun full of people about 5 years later.

It has been 27 yrs since my first overdose.

I think the help that is available today could have speeded my recovery tremendously.

This board in itself, would have done so much to speed my recovery along.

I was a freak of nature out there. What had happened to me had never happened before in the history of time. Adam had no mother to sleep with. Then came Freud who put the subject on the table, but what he presented was passed through his own distorting filters.

I am not alone, and as I find my voice, my voice becomes a beacon out of the darkness. Women have done this before me, as well as men. There is now a pattern of light out there, and it can now be studied and verified. I am not alone

----I try to be gentle with myself now.


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#9658 - 02/10/03 12:46 PM Re: How Long ?
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
A bit off topic:

"Then came Freud who put the subject on the table, but what he presented was passed through his own distorting filters."

Freud was a cocaine addict.


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#9659 - 02/10/03 02:49 PM Re: How Long ?
Chey-Wy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/01/02
Posts: 241
Loc: Cheyenne, WY
I've been following this poll. I think it is interesting. The over 10's right now have it, but the less than a year are a close second. It seems we are either long time survivors or just new to therapy. Those of you who are not in therapy .... I would highly recomend it. I feel like I am finally making some progress. I do know now .... it will never happen to me again. I might end up going to jail for what I do if someone ever tried again ..... but it will never happen to me again.

_________________________
From the Song MOUNTAINS by Lonestar.

Yeah, the good Lord gave us mountains,
So we could learn how to climb

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#9660 - 02/11/03 01:25 AM Re: How Long ?
dc62 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 4
Just my two cents worth, I first sought help about 15 years ago right after I got out of college and seemed to screw up everything I did. But I was just seeking help for being so screwed up, not for being an emotional incest survivor--had no awareness of the symptoms (I've got almost all of them) and that area of my life was locked away so tightly that I would never have considered it. I've gone to therapy on and off since then, but have only come to recognize myself as an abuse survivor this past year. (I only found this website about a month ago). So, if you ask how long have I have been seeking help, then I would answer over 10 years, but as an abuse survivor only 1-2 years. Maybe some other guys have flopped around looking for answers like me.


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#9661 - 02/11/03 01:44 AM Re: How Long ?
Don-NY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
I put five years. It's closer to six, but there have been some long gaps where I wasn't working on recovery at all.

Anyway, that was when I finally went and said "I was sexually abused and I need help with this."

I specify this because the very first time I asked for help was when I was about 14. I felt I was going to explode. I went weeks without speaking unless I absolutely had to (reply to teachers or parents).

It wasn't just puberty, although that was definitely a factor. The thing is I wouldn't tell the guidance counselor why I wanted professional help, so she said that I had to ask my parents.

It was another two years before I approached my dad and said I had a problem and needed help. I didn't get any.

I tried once in college, just as I was about to drop out (the first time), but the guy wouldn't stop smiling and grinning and he freaked me out, so I left.

About four years later, I pretended I was a drug addict and joined a group. It was mostly heroin users and I felt very threatened and way out of place. I didn't stay long.

Maybe ten years later, I tried again. Couldn't say it. Again a few years later, and a few after that. So now I was in my early thirties, and I finally said it.

This jerk, (and he was a jerk - eventually had his license removed, and did time for tax-evasion, and insurance fraud), anyway, he just brushed it aside. Didn't think or say much about it.

That was it until just over 5 years ago.

Oh and let me not forget to mention this. I was sent for evaluation when I was in Kindergarten.

Then again in first grade.

Then there was fourth grade (a different school system), after I freaked (dissociated) when the school doctor tried to take my pants off because I wouldn't.

Seventh grade, another school system, because I refused to undress for gym, was generally unsociable, and my grades plummeted.

I never said a word. I don't think anyone asked.

About year later I was raped. The next year I turned 14 and that is where I started this.

Don't know why I put this all down. I guess I'm still a little annoyed (!!) that the evaluations when I was a child went nowhere, never did anything for me except make me more different.

Ah well, more fodder for the memoirs.

If anyone reading this isn't in therapy, trust me, it WILL HELP. It may take time to find the right person, but it WILL help.

And a retreat or a group is like mega-therapy. Do both.

Donald

_________________________
If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

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#9662 - 02/11/03 02:53 AM Re: How Long ?
brian-z Offline
Member

Registered: 07/11/02
Posts: 770
Loc: Western USA
that is not a question I can answer, I cam here in July, but recovery begain for me last month.


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#9663 - 02/11/03 04:18 AM Re: How Long ?
Jess Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 107
Loc: California
My response is like Brian's. I came here less than a month ago. I finally found a place where I feel comfortable talking about something I never in my life talked about to anyone, until I came here. I found a therapist two weeks ago, and since then I have had three sessions with him. I am so glad I found NOMSV and that I am in therapy. Now I am trying to find a group, and if I don't find one, I'll contact members of NOMSV in my area and try to form one. Another thing I would like to do is attend a retreat for Survivors in Northern California. There has got to be something going on out here! Come on - with statistics of 1 out of 6 men being a Survivor and California being the biggest state in the US, there has got to be something. If you hear of anything let me know ASAP. Thanks for all your support. I appreciate it. Jess.


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#9664 - 02/11/03 09:35 AM Re: How Long ?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
Those of you who are not in therapy .... I would highly recomend it. I feel like I am finally making some progress. I do know now .... it will never happen to me again. I might end up going to jail for what I do if someone ever tried again ..... but it will never happen to me again.
John, I ditto all of that! Therapy has been invaluable for me. It's also been a slice of hell on earth at times. It's taken me too far thru too much pain for me to get set back by in any way ever letting this happen to me again!


Jail I've already been in, if briefly. Jail would be better than getting shoved back deeper into the dungeon the real me is just finally starting to break out of!

Besides, John, there's this thing called self-defense--and I'm not afraid to use it!

Never Again, my friend!...

Victor

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

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#9665 - 02/11/03 09:45 AM Re: How Long ?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
Just my two cents worth, I first sought help about 15 years ago right after I got out of college and seemed to screw up everything I did. But I was just seeking help for being so screwed up, not for being an emotional incest survivor--had no awareness of the symptoms (I've got almost all of them) and that area of my life was locked away so tightly that I would never have considered it. I've gone to therapy on and off since then, but have only come to recognize myself as an abuse survivor this past year. (I only found this website about a month ago). So, if you ask how long have I have been seeking help, then I would answer over 10 years, but as an abuse survivor only 1-2 years. Maybe some other guys have flopped around looking for answers like me.
Actually, DC62, that is very much my own situation
I started seeking help & going to therapy about 13 years ago, and have gone semi-regularly for most of the time since then. I came to recognize myself as a survivor (also of emotional, and also sexual, incest) about 18 months ago. I didn't consider myself as really being in recovery until then, so I answered 2 years.

BTW I'm glad you're here in this brotherhood of male survivors, DC62. Thanks for posting.

Victor


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

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#9666 - 02/11/03 10:07 AM Re: How Long ?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
Don't know why I put this all down. I guess I'm still a little annoyed (!!) that the evaluations when I was a child went nowhere, never did anything for me except make me more different.

Ah well, more fodder for the memoirs.
Yes, Donald. It's easy for us to forget about all of our cries for help as children (even adults!) when no one else ever seemed to hear them anyway!

My fighting, skipping school, shoplifting, going to the principals office, the guidance counselors at school, the staff counselors at the Children's Home--I was screaming but nobody seemed to hear what I was saying.

Maybe I couldn't say what I was trying to say, didn't even know what I was trying to say. Maybe people just didn't want to hear what I was trying to say.

So I too became the different one, the trouble-maker, the outcast...

Quote:
If anyone reading this isn't in therapy, trust me, it WILL HELP. It may take time to find the right person, but it WILL help.

And a retreat or a group is like mega-therapy. Do both.

Donald
Donald, you are so right on! Virtually all of the significant breakthroughs I've had have come in or out of T sessions, or group meetings, or retreats.

Sure it takes time and I've had to learn--ok I'm still learning :rolleyes: --not to expect overnight
miracles. I went to 4 T's the last 2 for long periods of time, for over 10 years before I even realized I was a SA survivor, and that even happened "indirectly."

But therapy--and mega-therapy-- --has made such a difference!

Victor


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

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#9667 - 02/11/03 10:25 AM Re: How Long ?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
My response is like Brian's. I came here less than a month ago. I finally found a place where I feel comfortable talking about something I never in my life talked about to anyone, until I came here. I found a therapist two weeks ago, and since then I have had three sessions with him. I am so glad I found NOMSV and that I am in therapy. Now I am trying to find a group, and if I don't find one, I'll contact members of NOMSV in my area and try to form one. Another thing I would like to do is attend a retreat for Survivors in Northern California. There has got to be something going on out here! Come on - with statistics of 1 out of 6 men being a Survivor and California being the biggest state in the US, there has got to be something. If you hear of anything let me know ASAP. Thanks for all your support. I appreciate it. Jess.
Jess, I'm glad you--and Brian, and all of us--have
finally found a place here in the MS brotherhood! I'm also glad you've found a T. You are taking some big steps. WTG, bro!

Jess, I hear your frustration about having retreats, and for that matter groups, in your area. This is the frustration of a group that has so far been mainly an online ministry and is trying to expand as much as possible into things like more retreats, groups, group starter packets,
and other literature--all in an organization with limited funds and all volunteer leadership & workers, except one part-time "administrative assistant."

Jess, this is also my frustration. Right now I have to drive an hour and a half to go to a group that meets every other week on Saturday mornings.
I'm signed up for the May MS retreat in Florida & may have to cancel becuz I can't afford to fly, can't drive the trip alone, and can't find anyone to share transportation with--long way from NC to FL, especially when you have fibro & a bad back...

However I'm not giving up yet. And who knows maybe we'll be able to have a retreat here in the Carolinas sometime. And one in California. I wish you well with trying to find or form a group. I've thot of forming a group but haven't felt ready. But maybe...

Well, TC friend. TTYL.

Victor

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

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#9668 - 02/11/03 12:56 PM Re: How Long ?
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
Just a thought guy43: Many of us have a history of using in one way or another. There is a theory out there that Freud's sister was molested by his father. To me that makes him one of us. He had no group for support, only envious competitors. Talk about an unsafe world...


I can't believe I just defended Freud. Don't let my friends know that.

OOPS! Pretend you didn't hear that.

Oops, pretend I didn't say that.

Forget it.

or not...


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#9669 - 02/11/03 02:05 PM Re: How Long ?
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
RJD,
I didn't know that about Fraud, whoops err, I mean Freud \:\) . Kidding aside, good points made here by you.
jer


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#9670 - 02/11/03 02:19 PM Re: How Long ?
andrew-almost52 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/02
Posts: 243
Loc: canada
Dave, I get the poll, but tough question. Is being a survivor synonamous with recovery? Does seeking help have to be a formal thing i.e. walking into a shrink's office. I figure I was a survivor from the age of three, when I was first abused. Throughout my childhood, my body gave cries for help, but they went unheeded in the adult world of denial. And then into my teens and early 20s, I descended into madness and disassociative states, the only survival modes I knew. So how long have I been a survivor. 49 YEARS! How long have I been in recovery. Really, from day 1. I fought to recover from what was done to me. I fought to recover from the physical pain and fear. I fought to overcome Dave. Sometimes it was only a small part of me, a faint flicker, that had the will to fight on. I remember feeling so goddamn beaten down. But that small part kept on refusing to die, kept on recovering, like one of those magic candles that refuses to be extinguished no matter how hard you blow on it. Sure, there were important interventions and events that boosted my recovery, but really .... it was ongoing. Peace, Andrew


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#9671 - 02/11/03 05:35 PM Re: How Long ?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
RJD,
I didn't know that about Fraud, whoops err, I mean Freud \:\) . Kidding aside, good points made here by you.
jer
Now that was definitely a Fraudian--ooops, I mean a Freudian--slip!

Victor


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

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#9672 - 02/17/03 06:31 PM Re: How Long ?
Chey-Wy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/01/02
Posts: 241
Loc: Cheyenne, WY
Let's see if we can get this done this time. I started it earlier and crashed.

I am one of the ones that checked the more than 10 years box but I don't know if that is a fair assesment. I have been in therapy for 10 years but I have only really been dealing with the issues of my Three sexual assaults for the last year and a half.

Part of me wanted to know .... Am I destined to a life of therapy and med's so this morning I asked my T some questions. I told him about this poll and while the answers he gave me were specific to me, parts of them could be applied to everyone.

Here is the summary of this mornings T session:

  • Me: How long do you think I will be in therapy?
  • Rick (my T) you are probably looking at another 2 to 3 years of EXTENSIVE therapy. However we are dealing with three issues.
  • Me : O. K. we are dealing with three issues here.
    • 1. The rapes
    • 2. Self esteme
      and 3.


    [*]Rick: 3 is issues of control
    • issues of control from the rapes
    • issues of control from your mother

  • [*] Me : and I remember you telling me that rape is not sexual but the perpitrators way of using his authouity to contorl his victim.
    [*]Rick: Right. Rape is not sexual.
    [*]once we get all the issues clairfied ... we can deal with each one and since there are mulitple issues and multiple rapes we will have to take each one separetly.
    [*]also, the fact that you are taking the church to court is going to be an issue That could bring up some other issues.
    [*] Me : O. K. so we are talking three years. Then what?
    [*] Rick : after that I would say that you will need to see me once a month for a year. Just to make sure everything is going alright. I would also recommend that you get into a support group. You can stay in the support group for as long as you think it is being helpful.
    [*] Me: O. K. What about my meds. Do you think I will be on them for life?
    [*] Rick: No. I the meds are there to help you while we are dealing with the issues. The Meds are helping to control you emotions so we can work on the issues.

I hope this helps. I know that there are days that I have felt like saying screw the T. Screw the meds.

I finally feel like I am on track with my therapy. We have a plan of attack. I know there are a lot of issues ... but I am going to get through this.

Good luck to everyone.

John

_________________________
From the Song MOUNTAINS by Lonestar.

Yeah, the good Lord gave us mountains,
So we could learn how to climb

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#9673 - 02/17/03 07:24 PM Re: How Long ?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Chey
it's a complicated subject, and that poll is a very rough guide without a doubt.

Some people are possibly 'lucky', if you'll excuse the choice of word there, that their problem is contained in a short period of time and with one perp' - maybe then therapy is fairly straightforward.

If life has been more complicated then I think that it's easier to deal the problems individually, although overlap is always going to happen. Then the time scale can stretch.

I've just started going to a group, and I look forward to getting a lot out of it. I haven't had individual therapy for a couple of years now so I feel a bit stagnant and in need of moving myself ahead if I can.
Of course coming here has been good, at times I've experienced the strength of emotion that I felt in therapy, and I have also discussed things in greater depth here as well, it's helped immensly.

I'm prepared to do something to ease the pain for as long as it takes, it's not the greatest of outlooks to look forward to old age and still working on it. But in reality I don't see that happening; I know what kind of healing I have achieved in the last 4 years, and I recognise the fact that it's becoming less effort for better results, so I can't see what will change that trend.
Maybe a big trauma such as losing a loved one or serious illness would set me back, but I can't imagine ever going all the way back for any reason.

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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#9674 - 02/17/03 08:07 PM Re: How Long ?
Chey-Wy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/01/02
Posts: 241
Loc: Cheyenne, WY
Lloyd/Dave

I might have been making some progress but about 5 years ago perp # 3 came into my life. I don't talk about him much in here. I did press charges against him but he moved out of state and the Cheyenne police won't do anything until he (if he) comes back to Cheyenne.

I forgot to mention one other issue that I want to/ need to deal with and that is anger.

I guess the more issues that you have the longer it will take. But like you said, I don't know what will happen when a tragic event happens. Perp # 3 entered my life about the time that my dad died.

Just wondering.

I say it will never happen again. I hope it doesn't. I think I am prepared if the circumstances would arise, because I would never allow it to happen again without a fight.

John

_________________________
From the Song MOUNTAINS by Lonestar.

Yeah, the good Lord gave us mountains,
So we could learn how to climb

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#9675 - 02/17/03 10:32 PM Re: How Long ?
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Chey-Wy
Brother it sounds to me like you and your T have put together a real good plan of attack. I know there are times when you want to say f**k it but that is not the answer. If this was easy shit to get over there would be no need for this discussion group. Snap our fingers and hey we are better. It is a bumpy road. God knows I hit a big pot hole on the weekend but I will tell you that it is all worth it. You mentioned that perp 5 came into your life and then the police would do nothing unless he came back to wyoming. What about the Feds. Isnt this a national crime as it is here. Do you have a good friend who you can talk to about all this shit besides your T. You got the Church dead in your sights and I say let em have it. Have you ever thought of tracing f**k number two. I think I suggested to someone else here that it might be good to right this asshole a letter and let him know you know where he is and that you are not sure whether you are gonna tell the cops where he lives or his friends and the company he works for. One thing is for sure though you are gonna do something. Ask your T about this. It might be real good therapy for that hurt young man inside you. What really matters my brother is that you are here and not afraid to talk about it. You know they would never make a movie about us all. No one would believe it. Remember in this fight WINNING IS THE ANSWER.

_________________________
Mikey

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

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#9676 - 02/21/03 03:46 PM Re: How Long ?
Archnut Offline
Member

Registered: 10/26/02
Posts: 343
Loc: United Kingdom
I cant remember if I ever asked for help during my active drinking days but I did mention the abuse that was inflicted on me to my step-mother (she is not actually my real step mother, its a very long story) although I was in blackout at the time.

I knew I was asking for help as far as my addictions were concerned.

I eventually got sober something I had been trying to do for nigh on thirty years, when all of a sudden reality checked in and I discovered and eventually accepted that I did indeed suffer abuse (including rape) at the hands of a large group of men with similar tastes in adolescent boys during the 1970's. All of my abusers saw themselves as gay and brainwashed me that I was either gay or at the least bisexual, that screwed me up for years. I hasten to add that I am definately not a homophobe.

I asked for help about two years ago and have been having therapy for about 17 months and am I getting any better? I have no idea but I can cry now without a bottle of vodka sloshing around my system, so something is happening.

And all that was left was hope \:D

Archnut


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#9677 - 02/21/03 04:16 PM Re: How Long ?
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Archnut
What a post. Do not be too hard on yourself about booze. We used it as a coping mechanism or to hide from reality. I have meen in AA for 26years; since I turned 36. Guess that make me a real old fart EH(canadianism). It was a goofy want to do it but what the hell I did not know better. I have just started a new Post on What I did in the past 24hours for me and the little me inside. Have a look and post too. We all should get to share in what we did that was fun for ourselves and the little me inside

_________________________
Mikey

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

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#9678 - 02/21/03 05:16 PM Re: How Long ?
Archnut Offline
Member

Registered: 10/26/02
Posts: 343
Loc: United Kingdom
Hi Mike

"Guess that make me a real old fart EH" \:\)

Hopefully one day at a time I will be an old fart too. \:D

Take care

And all that was left was hope \:\)

Archnut


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#9679 - 04/09/03 01:57 PM Re: How Long ?
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
This GRAND OLD FART welcomes LOGAN


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