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#14510 - 01/23/04 01:38 AM confusion
bountiful1 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 62
Loc: New York, New York, USA
Something happened today that caught me so off guard. I went to get a cup of coffee at Coffe Bean, and the guy behind the counter was really nice to me. He said a lot of nice things and in a nice way to me and about my ordering. He then asked me if I'd like a punch card to get a free coffee after a certain number of purchases. I told him I could never remember to bring the tickets with me. He was very friendly and nice and told me to bring 'em all in, I came theer enough. He was so nice.

I immediately started having what I think is a panic attack. I started breathing really fast. I couldn't catch my breath. I felt faint. I wanted it all to stop. I felt dizzy and afraid. (I think those are panic attack things). ??? Anyways, I was a mess for about twenty minutes after that.

I thought that panic attacks happened because something bad was occuring. I am not very used to people being nice to me, or thoughtful of my feelings and experiences when I interact outside of my house. My family have been extremely derisive almost all of my life. Teachers were cruel ("faggot" in front of the class, or "I know what you are - it's discusting", etc. Or that I was an idiot; which I got at home (and still get from there, and at school)).

Anyways, I was wondering if it's possible or probable that I would have panic attacks because I am not used to people being nice to me. It really threw me today.

I only started having feelings and sensations about 1 1/2 years ago - since I was about 7. One therapists told me that is not possible. I broke my arm and felt nothing. I looked at the bone sticking a few inches out of my arm and the blood pumping everywhere, and I thought and felt nothing of it. I broke my coxix (spell?) and got up put soem tape on it and competed at a national competition. years later I found out it healed all over the place. I felt nothing. I was beaten up in high school a couple of times for being gay, and I felt no pain or sorrow about it. I was hit by a car and felt nothing. I found out a week later when my foot was a purple baloon that it had been broken. Anyways, is it that now that I am having sensations and feelings that even being treated nice is going to make me panic? Or is it that because I never came in contact with much kindness that someone being kind throws me. And that being treated horrible is more normal so's I don't get upset by that kind of cruelty? (Although, in the last couple of years I have been feeling feelings when people are dismissive or cruel or derisive. I have stopped hanging out with them.

But that's another story. I can't find the courrage to talk to anyone. I think that that is residual of being abused for 10 years, and being derided by my family and teachers. I mean I'm guessing, but I'd guess that never having been met with much kindness I can't find the courrage to actually start a conversation unless it is pre-designed to be safe - like in therapy. Anyways, I'm off the original topic.

Getting all flustered like that was takling me totally off guard. He was so nice and kind - without demanding sex as part of the bargain. (Last week a guy met me, and he seemed really nice. And trhen he told me he could see that I liked to be told what to do and that I like dbeing forced to please guys. (I didn't know what he was talking about), except then he said he would ahve me do all this stuff to please him - which I would do if I liked a person a lot and was hoping it would lead to something meaningful. But he said he would have me do all this oral stuff to him, and then he would go in the other way. Then he would call up a bunch of his friends and have them all do me that way, and he would tape it, and he would get me pregnanat and have his baby, and the babay would sleep with us and milk on his penis. I couldn't understand what he was talking about. But he said he could see that I would want that. Which I wouldn't. But I was raped by 12 guys once and I was wondering if he could tell from that that he could be talking about being that way with me. I never said I would be into it, and when it happened when I was 15, I hated every minute of it. So how could he say that he knows that kind of thing would be okay to do to me?

But, I was hoping that people being nice to me would feel good and not send me into a panic like today. I am confused.

Are those panic attacks can happen when something nice goes on? I feel like an idiot. And I wish I could talk to people, but if I'm always ending up with people who deride me or ignore me, or make fun of me, or are vicious towards me like my family, I don't know where a person learns that. ?

???

happy New year!

_________________________
We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and I dream of freedom and happiness and fulfillment for us all.

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#14511 - 01/23/04 02:10 AM Re: confusion
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Ashr I think that kindness just threw you for a loop. There are people in the world like that who are just nice. Accept it my brother because it is catching and it is about time you had something nice.

You are a decent kind human being and nice and he saw that in you. You know ashr nice people attract nice people.

_________________________
Mikey

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

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#14512 - 01/23/04 04:53 PM Re: confusion
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
Ashr,

I too have a hard time hearing nice things from people. I wonder what they're after. If someone even smiles at me I wonder what that's all about. In a crowd I look around to see who they're "really" smiling at.

It freaks me out sometimes. My breath gets short, my heart starts beating hard, I get light headed, think I'm going to pass out.

A lot of the time, I avoid making eye contact with people out of fear of what I will see there. I figure if I don't see them, they can't see me, I am invisible and nothing bad can happen to me.

Its hard to take in that someone might be genuinely nice to be, just for the sake of being nice, but I'm working on it.

We deserve good things. I know Mike's right. There are good people out there (he's one of them). I remind myself of that whenever I can but its still hard.

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#14513 - 01/24/04 02:39 AM Re: confusion
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
The nature of anxiety and panic is that it comes out of no where and usually without a specific incident. I am horrified at what people, that one guy specifically said to you. Lucky I was not around to hear that--he would regret having said that for sure.

You are in the process of calling the lies told you just what they are-- lies. And you are beginning to try your hand at trust. It can be a rocky road at times. Talk about stuff here if it helps you.

Bob

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

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#14514 - 01/24/04 02:53 AM Re: confusion
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
Ashr - I don't really know what to say to you other than that you have met up with some right ********. No one has a right to use/abuse you. Forgive yourself for what has happended to you (this is the difficult part)and learn to be the person that you should be. Teachers that are party to such attitudes are dinosuars and you know what happened to them!

Best wishes and good luck...Rik

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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#14515 - 01/24/04 03:15 AM Re: confusion
ak Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/10/04
Posts: 1491
Hello ashr, yes, I can relate of what you are saying, of to not feel. I am same way, and who tell you it is not possible, that is wrong. I have broken foot before and go on training for another week, because not feeling pain of it. Right now have back problem, but do not notice it until I can not walk right. So know how you mean of that. I think it is that we do not know of good things to happen at us without the 'attached strings'. we do not think we earned the good things just of their own. So maybe to think of how you must 'repay' the good or nice things, maybe that is what make you panic. I hope that you doing okay now. Andrei


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#14516 - 01/24/04 03:57 AM Re: confusion
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
Ashr - sorry I missed this bit off last time! Panic attacks can occur when someone is nice to you - your experiences tell you that people might take advantage of you in one way or another after initially appearing to be nice. What you are experiencing is the feeling of 'Oh shit this person is being nice ..... to me of all people'!? Oh no, what's coming next'?

I've finally sussed that this is why I have pushed people away for years....nice = bad (eventually).

I am pleased to be able to tell you that this is not always the case (can be difficult to believe...but good people are out there).

Best wishes again Rik

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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#14517 - 01/24/04 04:24 AM Re: confusion
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline


Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
Ashr:
You have become numb to the abuse and hurt that has come your way throughout your life. Being emotionally (and physically) numb to pain has been a survival mechanism for you.

The act of kindness and acceptance is so different from the routine abuse you have experienced. is not recognized by your mind and your body reacted in a panic attack. Think about how it would be if the circumstances of your life were reversed. Say you had only experienced kindness and respect. If you were suddenly physically assaulted, your body would react very differently than what it was used to.

Like many abused people, you come to accept and become familiar with being hurt, rejected, humiliated, abused, etc. When someone is nice to you, it is an unfamiliar situation that causes confusion and puts you in an unfamiliar position. Panic is an understandable reaction to this unfamiliar state.

Make sense?

Ken

_________________________
Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

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#14518 - 01/25/04 10:34 PM Re: confusion
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
Ashr, I can relate to what you are saying, so much. Someone is nice to me and I feel I want to push them away, and negate anything they say or do that is nice. That all I deserve is bad things, and if someone is nice, it must have a price to it. That they must want something from me, it feels like everyone does want something, doesn't it? And often it can trigger panic in me, the more a friend will tell me something like 'You are a good person', the more anxious and scared I get, and panic completely. I am on some medicines, that have seemed to be helping the panic not happen so much, but still, there will be times when it does. I hope that something, whether it is just understanding it more or medicine, something will help you with it. I wish you well friend, always.

leosha

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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#14519 - 01/26/04 01:17 AM Re: confusion
bountiful1 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 62
Loc: New York, New York, USA
Thank you all for your responses. It feels great to have some people respond to my reaching out. (Also newish to me).

For the most part - and certainly the first 6 years I was abused - the men were never nice or kind before doing the actions of abuse. They just came up to me - followed me around - and pulled me into a place where they could do it. Other adults present - such as at public pools - ignored or turned their backs, giving me dirty looks after I would be thrust back into the change room. (I was 12 and 13 years old). No one reported anything.??? Another woke me up in the middle of the night - went at it and left. Or - as with my ex-coach - just started feeling me up as soon as he started coaching me, as a "technique to help me align myself" - and when he brought in his friend - the guy just grabbed me and went at it.

I am not sure how it all can be defined, but they were almost never nice before attacking me. There was one group who were exceedingly nice to me before taking me to a place to force me into sex, and brought in other men. That was the only time I was "enticed" into it.

I am very confused by all of that. I have been unable to make sense of any of it. The other adults not noticing and my life falling apart promptly after being abused were either ignored or repressed by my family and teachers.

I am hoping that I don't actually have to make sense of it all to recover. I have not had unhealthy adult relationships. On the contrary, they have been amazingly fulfilling and all still go on as loving friendships. None ended badly. I somehow avoidid alcohol and sex as addictions. By all estimates, I am told that my life has been great. It is just that I feel like I am nothing. (I shouldn't say just). I feel like I am nothing. I have also never felt/experienced my successes. Scholarships, Winning Canadian Championships, winning awards in my work; I had no value or feeling (meaning) experienced for any one of those things. And this is only in retrospect. When all things happened to me - good or bad - I experienced nothing - and, having had no other reference point for experiences, thought that that was normal. It is only in retrospect that I see that I experienced nothing in my life. I have been told that because so many men abused me without any concern fo how their actions might make me feel, I learned that I was nothing.

Anyways, Thanks for the replys. I am quite sure (guessing) that I would feel horrible if they had been nice and kind and then went after me. I am sure the results would have been similar to my inexperience of myself - as it has been from their not having been nice first. Almost always thay were nothing forst. They attacked. I frooze.

Sorry to go on so much. One thought leads to another.

Bless you for responding.

Happy 2004 to us all.

Asher

_________________________
We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and I dream of freedom and happiness and fulfillment for us all.

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