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#454165 - 11/17/13 05:01 PM Releasing Body Memories of Rape
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 725
Loc: United States
I've been doing therapy of one sort or another since my mid-twenties. Individual therapy and group therapy have helped with the shame and isolation but there's one aspect of recovery that seems hardest to make progress in.

*** Possible triggers past this point ***

I was raped when I was 12 years old, it was traumatic in many ways but by all accounts it was certainly physically traumatic. I was so sore the next day and my underwear was blood stained. I'm a gay man and having been raped makes having sex pretty confronting. I avoid sex because it's stressful, and my body locks up when it gets physical because of what happened to me.

Lately I've realized that I have to work on releasing the "body memories" I have of being raped so I can reclaim my sexual power and get some ease back into my body. Ultimately, I also want to replace the old memory of being brutalized with one of being pleasured. Does anyone who might have done work like this have any advice to share?

-efm
_________________________

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

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#454171 - 11/17/13 06:54 PM Re: Releasing Body Memories of Rape [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 562
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi efm,

I've been doing therapy, meds, self-help, personal growth, groups, energy work, psychics, shamans, and massage therapy since age 20 after an overdose. Years of anonymous sex, depression, alcoholism, and suicidal thoughts and with all the work I still couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. It wasn't until after 3 1/2 years of body work as a massage therapist that my first memories of sexual abuse by my father began to surface at age 53. Now at 64 the memories of sexual abuse, physical abuse and torture by my mother from ages 0-3 1/2 have begun to surface this year. So, severe trauma can/does substantially block short term and long term memory.

For me, the beginning of all this was body work. However, I'm not saying body work is necessarily the answer for everyone. I have some specifics to share with you, but first I want to say that I believe that "all of you" and "all of me" will naturally process through our stuff when we are ready--when we have the tools we need to do the work. Body work was essential to me to access any memories. Before I began body work I attended an 18 day personal growth retreat that regressed back to in utero and reworked ages birth 0-12. This was 19 years ago for me. The regression work was necessary for me to begin to even understand that concept of body memory.

I've been talking to a guy on another site who has many similarities with me with early abuse by both parents and the effects this has had on his life. He talks of the "original imprint" and the fears surrounding the imprint. The original imprint for him is the original event. He has reported great success with consciously moving back towards the original imprint, moving through the fear surrounding the imprint and re-experiencing the original event as an incredible cleansing and clearing process. He has been able to move back to infancy where he had a "knowing" of what happened but no emotional connection to it and clear the energy. He reports major physical and mental and emotional benefits of this process.

I have known for years that my mother intentionally stuck me with pins in my lift hip to intentionally inflict pain. This knowing has been as if through a gauze filter, and I have never been able to do anything with this information. I tried this new way with my left hip(many problems with left hip for long time). I brought my focus to my left hip and consciously moved into the hip with my imagination. An amazing thing happened. I felt the pain and I felt the injection of hatred from my mother. I have always known that my mother resented me, in fact resented all her children. It is still hard to say hated, but hatred is the real word. One of the things that has made me so crazy is all the deception, manipulation and lies from her. Moving into the hatred stored in my left hip suddenly allowed me to put together years of disparate experiences and to integrate the events. It all moved into understanding and wisdom for me. Now, I don't know the course of this because I just did this 3 days ago. I may have to repeat this work with my left hip many times. I don't know. But I do know I have a new tool to work with.

I have a lot of work to do, because the memories I do have never have moved past that knowing through a gauze filter stage--the stage with only an intellectual sense but no feeling connection. I have begun to use this process with other issues, and have not moved back to the main event but am aware of moving toward the main event. My imagination suggests that some traumas will require more time, and that I should absolutely respect the process--otherwise I may hurt myself by pushing too hard. This process feels good to me. I just didn't know to bring my focus toward the energy in this way and know that what I was doing was gently working through the fears surrounding the trauma.

As a gay man of 64, I have never known love nor have I had a satisfying sexual relationship. Since I began this new way of addressing my traumas, I am experiencing a hopefulness I have never had. I've been struggling through muddy trenches for years with primarily a determination to persist. I have a new tool to work with now. I may need other tools, and I intend to be open to other tools showing up for me.

Good luck to you. If you get any ideas of things that work for you, I'd like to know. Being isolated this way is touch to endure.

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#454201 - 11/18/13 01:51 AM Re: Releasing Body Memories of Rape [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
1lifenow Offline


Registered: 03/07/11
Posts: 392
Loc: west coast
The body "fixes" the imprint of the feeling no matter what the age.

Its great to see both of you have come to understand the body can let it go too.

I went to a RMT who helped me "feel" that I could unhitch my bodies stress response from what went down so long ago.

As we talked about things, she was able to sense my muscles tighten, my jaw lock, my breathing rise and my stomach tighten. She slowly helped me become aware of what my body was doing that i had been oblivious to before. Slowly through breathing, feeling the muscles, softening my face, relaxing my jaw and tongue and just becoming aware of the sense of the rising anxiety that I could begin to help it dissipate.

It has taken time but with practice i has become a little more accessible. I can sense the rising tide of the panic and not let it overtake me.

Many therapists and psychologists are coming to realize they can help trauma patients through the healing the brain this way. I agree, sometimes they call it somatic work, or mindfulness or body work. EMDR and tapping do this to some degree as well.

Having said that, i had a stupid fight with my bf yesterday. Instead of calmly seeing his side, i just reacted. I could feel what was happening in my body and i let it go just like a geyser. I know i need to learn to let the top of the pressure cooker wobble as it lets off steam. I will reset and try again.

It is like anything else for survivors, more practice required, sex/relationships/boundaries don't come easy to us, but we are now at least able to see there is something we can do. We don't have to be the deer in eternal headlights.

thanks for sharing EFM
_________________________
The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. Dalai Lama

WoR Barrie 2011

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#455607 - 11/30/13 07:55 PM Re: Releasing Body Memories of Rape [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 725
Loc: United States
Thanks Don64 and 1lifenow. I appreciate your perspectives.

The lack of understanding and recovery resources for men who were sexually assaulted and boys who were sexually abused is yet another burden that survivors are forced to carry.

Thinking about the resources we do have, it seems like there is a big gap (and perhaps one for women and girl survivors as well) that many of us need to navigate.

We have individual and group talk therapy to reduce our isolation, let our feelings out, tell our stories, and deal with the psychological aspects of our abuse. We have EMDR and other clinical interventions that help us reduce the impact of PTSD, triggers, and other symptoms in our lives.

Where do we go to deal with the parts of our abuse and assault that aren't accessible by these methods? I have felt cut off from my erotic self for my entire adult life. Sure, at peak hormones the drive was strong enough that I tried having sex with a few of guys, aided by enough alcohol to blunt my simmering terror, but there was no pleasure in it and certainly nothing connecting or life affirming. Just a sense of an ordeal endured that didn't change anything.

At a recent WoR I made the connection between my abuse and the injuries to my sexual and erotic self. Injuries that need healing, but where can we go to get these kinds of injuries healed. Where can I go to work through my body reactions to having sex? Where can I go to release the feelings coiled into my muscles and nerves? Where can I go to learn what an orgasm (not ejaculation) is *supposed* to feel like? Who do I see that I can trust enough to share how sexually damaged I feel?

Losing the shame, feeling my anger, and being able to tell my story just isn't enough for me. I want to be a fully realized human being who can have sex, have a real honest-to-god orgasm, and feel the joy and meaning in it.

When I consider what I need for my recovery, it feels like there's a big hole in the already meagre recovery services men have access to.

-efm
_________________________

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

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#455626 - 11/30/13 09:30 PM Re: Releasing Body Memories of Rape [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 562
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi EfM,

Just some thoughtss:

1. Misery is a prime clue that I have not given myself the time and space I need to adopt a new position.

2. Confusion is a good thing. It means an old way that does not work for me is unwinding and making room for a new understanding to emerge.

3. I have mastered the ability to react in fear and urgency, creating situations more dire than the one I was trying to fix.

4. My experience is, symbolically speaking, the right book falls off the shelf and hits me on the head when the time is right.

5. Learning to trust this process has been very difficult for me. I am 64 and am only now BEGINNING to trust the process.

6. If nothing is showing up for me right now, it just means there is more I need to know and figure out before I am ABLE to take action. Rushing it will attract energy I will not enjoy.

7. I am worth every ounce of time it takes and every ounce of perseverance it takes and every ounce of kindness, gentleness, and love I have to give to myself.

8. I understand and recognize and have a personal knowledge of everything you have said in your latest post. I have made progress on some things, and each step of progress opens the door a little wider for more healing light to come in. I am feeling very optimistic about ME, and I am learning to RESPECT my SELF'S natural process and natural knowing about what I can handle and when. Going with the flow is much more productive than trying to swim upstream.

Sending you love and support,

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#455811 - 12/03/13 02:14 AM Re: Releasing Body Memories of Rape [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
1lifenow Offline


Registered: 03/07/11
Posts: 392
Loc: west coast
yes

i did work with a massage therapist who helped me unfix the memories to the body response

then i went to a somatic psychologist who then slowly released the valve on a pressure cooker. She helped me slowly unhook the anxiety from the pleasure. She did it by helping me re-pattern the trauma. its funny , as i spoke the unspeakable her kind eyes and gentle nod as i ripped my heart open helped me see for the first time that it could be ok to get it off my chest.

It is ironic , or maybe its not that when i was at the WoR, our guide really did the same thing. As i revealed so much that was shameful, he met my fleeting gaze with a calmness and kindness i could not have anticipated. His unflinching response to all our stories in our group ( mine was not even close to the most tragic) made us all see that we had nothing to be ashamed of.

It changed everything for me.. no longer alone, no longer afraid of my own shadow, self gaze and first step towards change.

hope this helps

cheers
grant
ps, the best thing in the world as my friend the minister Blair said is " we get to live our lives as gay men, for the rest of our lives,
how cool is that?!"
_________________________
The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. Dalai Lama

WoR Barrie 2011

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