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#454853 - 11/23/13 01:07 AM Recovery
mattheal Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 142
Loc: Ohio
From the SAMSHA (health and human services) website:

The new working definition of Recovery from Mental Disorders and Substance Use Disorders is as follows: "A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential."

I prefer this definition of recovery: the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.

But I really want a better term for what ever this transformation process and end goal of healing. I'm recovering or I'm healing - it sound so passive.

I want an active word that says - I'm fighting some of the hardest shit I have ever dealt with, trying to understand myself and all my flaws, doing my best to be self aware, and trying to change things that have held me back. People fight cancer, what do us survivors do? What is this process where you have days when everything falls into place and you can give help to other, and the next day you can be begging for the support from others. What is this gradual climb of up and downs to some summit?

We have survived, so what are we doing now? It's more than recovering or healing - we are battling, we are ...
_________________________
It's okay to find the faith to saunter forward
With no fear of shadows spreading where you stand
And you'll breathe easier just knowing
that the worst is all behind you
And the waves that tossed the raft all night
have set you on dry land
- The Mountain Goats - "Never Quite Free"

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#454855 - 11/23/13 02:52 AM Re: Recovery [Re: mattheal]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3322
Loc: O Kanada
we are ... winning.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#454873 - 11/23/13 11:04 AM Re: Recovery [Re: mattheal]
mattheal Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 142
Loc: Ohio
I think it's more than winning. Having had a bit of sleep, that I see my progression as follows:

Victim (the abuse was ongoing)
Survivor (the abuse had stopped)
Hider (passive to the affects)
Confronter (or some better word for now)

Me the Confronter is in most cases the opposite of the hider, even if the two share many of the same behaviors and issues. I the Confronter am finally battling in the War that started when someone made me their victim:

The Confronter faces the victim; examines the man; sees his issues; starts accepting things; starts not accepting things; finds a voice; starts to feel again; starts to notice when he does those things he wants to change; starts identifying and even setting some boundaries; accepts he's not perfect; wants help and even starts asking for it; says too little; says to much; starts fitting into himself; learns that everyone he meets is facing or has faced a lot of hurt - everyone you meet suffers and hides it through smiles and perfect life facades; and begins to see and regret how the ways we have coped have hurt others.

I am not sure that Winner follows after Confronter. Maybe the last step is Living. Or maybe Confronter is the win. I don't think there is some end point that I must reach or aspire to. Even if I set one, the bar would be something far greater and unreachable than the one I would set for someone else. I also think such a goal would only set a precedence for setting or putting off plans until the impossible goal was reached.

The Confronter learns to gentle with himself.

Much Love,
Matt
_________________________
It's okay to find the faith to saunter forward
With no fear of shadows spreading where you stand
And you'll breathe easier just knowing
that the worst is all behind you
And the waves that tossed the raft all night
have set you on dry land
- The Mountain Goats - "Never Quite Free"

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#454876 - 11/23/13 11:14 AM Re: Recovery [Re: mattheal]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1305
We are... learning to accept who we had to become in order to make it through our offender's day.
_________________________



Click my pic to see why I'm here

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#454877 - 11/23/13 11:38 AM Re: Recovery [Re: mattheal]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3363
Loc: somewhere in Africa
i like "OVERCOMER" - that's what my wife calls me!

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#454878 - 11/23/13 11:40 AM Re: Recovery [Re: Chase Eric]
pufferfish Online   embarrased
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6845
Loc: USA
I like this discussion. It fits into my current thinking.

First the bad part:
I'm 74. I've been depressed most of my life because of what people did to me as a child. I "remembered" the abuse I experienced as a child about 28 years ago. It threw me into a tailspin that has lasted until recently. I felt that I was at least 2 people, an adult and a boy of 12. I had unemployment problems. The boy of 12 was laden with terrible memories of torture and abuse. I have had DID because of being abused so very young. Many times in life I suffered from having people point the finger at me. Sometimes maybe they weren't but I was afraid they were. I had big problems with things that we're supposed to learn early in life: reading, math, relating to people.

Now the good part:
I am genuinely having whole days now where I'm not depressed. Sometimes now I actually feel good. It's good to feel good. Feeling good is much more than merely not feeling bad. I'm finding out who I really am. {Have you ever played with a simple lens? Focus the point of light from a lens on a paper and you can see the image there}. Being a survivor left me severely unable to focus the image of who I was. I had a "damaged lens". As healing progresses, the image is beginning to focus strongly. I'm starting to regain a bit of aggressiveness into my role in life. My reading has significantly improved. I'm beginning to find that I can like and enjoy people.


Puffer




Edited by pufferfish (11/23/13 11:45 AM)

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#454884 - 11/23/13 01:24 PM Re: Recovery [Re: mattheal]
flightmedic38 Offline


Registered: 09/13/13
Posts: 78
Loc: Kansas
Matt,
What an amazing out look inspiration for others for sure!!!!
_________________________
Either get to living or get to dying!!!!! Shawshank redemption

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#454888 - 11/23/13 02:31 PM Re: Recovery [Re: mattheal]
Banjo596 Offline


Registered: 08/20/13
Posts: 42
Loc: Ohio
Can I add, that for me, on my good days, I am generally positive. A positive outlook, thinking positive thoughts, looking forward to an unknown future with good feelings about it, even though I have no plan for what exactly that future might entail. I know it will include some type of "healing", but then other than lots of thought and reading, I don't really put any daily effort into it. I don't talk to anyone about it...
Then, out of left field, negativity creeps in. I am not good enough, I'm flawed, I will never find someone who understands me, let alone would want to put any effort into getting to know me and all my flaws. These make for not so good days.
I am grateful that I have learned to become mindful of these feelings, and to sit with them, work through them, and allow them to be, but it is an ongoing cycle.
I would think this is probably the case with most people, even those who have not had csa in their life experience.
I have the extra kicker of dealing with a very recent divorce, brought on in part by years of hiding my csa, and all the things living in silence and shame brings with it.
Not sure where I am going with this, but your post, Matt, brought out my need to express how I've been feeling lately.
I have found myself slipping somewhat back into silence, even though I am living with much more awareness.
_________________________
Jeff

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#454889 - 11/23/13 02:34 PM Re: Recovery [Re: mattheal]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3322
Loc: O Kanada
Originally Posted By: mattheal
Victim (the abuse was ongoing)
Survivor (the abuse had stopped)
Hider (passive to the affects)
Confronter (or some better word for now)


using your definitions...
led me to this train of thought.
i came up with this,
which i now share.

i was caught up in the VICTIM phase until my early 20's.
my HIDER phase ended in my late twenties,
after a short stay in a psych ward on suicide watch.
that's when i realized the abuse had changed me into someone/something i did not want to be.

my SURVIVOR phase started around that time,
and i quickly became a CONFRONTER,
which i remain to this day.
it took me a looooooooong time to finally feel safe.
many many many years after the abuse ended, i still felt threatened.
this DANGER! RED ALERT! security system is permanently installed, i am afraid, because it has been the backdrop to my two decades of parenting.


relapses in my recovery are now years apart, far less disruptive, shorter duration, and much easier to overcome.
the intensity of emotion and the possibility of bad behaviour and poor choices has never been completely eliminated.
the potential for permanent damage inflicted in a moment's rage is always going to haunt me, i think.
sometimes, think of it like my hidden reserve super power,
but that is foolish fantasy.
it is a lurking beast.
a raging bull, locked in a closet.
frankenstein, chained to a wall in the dungeon.

always there, like a backup plan.
like a secret weapon,
my own stockpile of nuclear warheads.
all aimed at potential enemies (current friends and strangers).
i have spent significant time, in the last five years,
carefully trying to disarm, defuse, dismantle, and discard my doomsday devices.


other that that,
i'm fine.

i am winning.
i always win,
even if i fail a test or lose a battle,
i am still winning!

i don't really think of this as recovery.
i have already recovered.
i have loved my self and my life for the last 25 years or so.
i think of this as self improvement.

my life is already going better than i ever expected,
or thought i deserved.

i live in the attitude of gratitude, now, but it was not easy to get to this emotional status. i had to work and fight and struggle and strive and invest and confront my worst enemy on a continuous basis... my own soul doubt.

sometimes it took an overinflated ego with delusions of grandeur and a pompous arrogance to get through the dark depression of self loathing that lies beneath the surface.
as superficial and fragile as my image was, there were times when that was my lifeboat in an ocean of stormy emotion.

now i am trying to dismantle that character.
the persona that carried me through the last few decades
has served his purpose.
time to reverse engineer the construct,
carefully, and keep anything of value.

i never throw out the baby with the dirty diapers.

like the snake, i must shed my old skins, as i outgrow each one.

i also like the cocoon/butterfly metaphor.

recovery is ... METAMORPHOSIS!
healing is natural.
all i have to do is avoid halting or hindering it.

if only i could learn to relax, recognize it, respect it, and stop re-injuring myself.

it ain't a pretty process, but the results can be beautiful.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XWFFTuX5gQ


_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#454900 - 11/23/13 05:33 PM Re: Recovery [Re: mattheal]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 667
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
For me, it's like peeling the layers of an onion
except i have many more layers than an onion

with each layer i grow a little bigger
with each layer i grow a little more familiar with the process

at some point after many many layers i begin to see patterns
at some point after seeing patterns i begin to consider i may be able to consider the possibility of one day maybe...well, is it possible to think of trusting how this works?

at 64 i'm feeling like trusting the process is possible and i can have some predictability over how i am growing. not quite there yet, but getting there

back to the growing with each layer peeled. it feels like i'll eventually grow enough to hold all my experience in consciousness
and it will be no biggie. just my experience and a part of supporting me on my journey, no longer causing me to stumble

peeling is frequently volatile, painful, scary, unpredictable

So, i'm in the peeling stage

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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