Farmer Lee -
How long was it that I was totally immersed in CSA issues to the exclusion of all else? Trying to think back – I couldn’t remember. So I went through the list of my old posts from the very beginning of my involvement here. I know it says I registered in 2006 but at that time I read a bunch of threads and got so overwhelmed that I ran like crazy and didn’t come back here for 5 ½ years - till my wife pressured me into therapy and a couple weeks later I slunk back here ready to learn and change. That was just last November. I started reviewing what I’ve posted since then and it was very encouraging to see what has happened in sequence. So thanks for being the one who gave me that nudge.
I discovered that – like you – at first I was obsessed with my own situation – the wretched past, the miserable present, the fearsome future – and couldn’t think of anything else. I lived, slept, ate and breathed CSA. There was rarely a moment – awake or asleep – when it did not consume my conscious or unconscious mind and emotions. It was hell!
(Right – like you said – it is different for everyone. I don’t know if my timeline will be encouraging or discouraging to you. So don’t assume that yours will necessarily be the same.)
But there were vacations from hell – bright spots when I had a breakthrough or realization or discovery that was so encouraging or enlightening or strengthening – that it gave me the determination to press on. The first really big one came about 2 months after I started therapy. Others followed at irregular intervals. It was a real roller-coaster – but the general trend was upward. It also involved a lot of hard painful work: remembering, analyzing, discussing, reading, writing… I think it was probly 4 months into getting serious about dealing with these issues and entering therapy – once a week at first – and later, adding another weekly session along with my wife – that I realized that life was looking better and more positive and brighter for me. I was wandering off the farm for hours on end without snapping back to my CSA. Someone even remarked that I had a new spring in my step. Just to say – the feeling of being stuck doesn’t last forever.
OK – now about that list of yours – that is a huge amount of good understanding that you have accomplished. Good work – see, you are not stuck. You just feel that way. Wish I could respond in more depth – but for now – congrats on not acting out! That is a battle won. PTL! And I identify with the relationship with the wife and trying to minimize the level of damage and the neglect of her. Now I’m working more at including her and trying to make her feel more loved and valued. She has helped immensely in my healing so far.
The point I want to strongly emphasize is number 6. You are way too over-committed. You need to cut back and not demand so much of yourself. You are headed for a fall if you try to maintain this level of demands on your time and efforts and striving to satisfy everyone’s expectations. You DO need to cut yourself some slack – and not in the area of CSA recovery. You will make great progress if you can apply the degree of drive to your healing that you do to the rest of your responsibilities. But don’t push yourself too hard there, either. Slow down and don’t overdo it. Hope this doesn’t come across as bossy – but PLEASE take it seriously!
When did I start feeling like a survivor instead of a victim? I think it was that first major breakthrough. I could tell the difference in my thinking, feelings and outlook on life.
Believing for good healing for you,
"That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. . . What will your verse be?" Robin Williams as John Keating in "Dead Poets Society"