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#172716 - 08/12/07 07:05 AM Relationships
endlessjourney Offline

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 518
Loc: Cincinnati Ohio
The most terrifying thing ever to me is relationships. I fear not being man enough to even start one. It's strange how this works. I start talking to someone and all goes well at first. I take interest in her as a friend and I am able to be myself. I have a great sense of humor and I'm understanding and a good listener. Pretty much what any quality woman would take interest in. However, when I start to get feelings for her, I clam up. It also seems that, after the first time I fantasize about sleeping with her, I get the same effect. I then feel like I'm unstable. I can't be myself. I think women loose interest and then I end up getting blown off. I guess I shut down and scare them away.

I get this terrible anxiety and do what I do best. Run away. Then the girl gets hurt and I get hurt worse because I lost my opportunities to have great relationships and I guilt myself for that which is double the pain.

What is it that causes the anxiety? That is the fear of not being able to add up as a strong man. I have to take care of myself first and I still have trouble with that. How can I be strong for a woman If I'm already a wreck myself? I guess the thought hits me "maybe if I find a good relationship, maybe It'll help me to gain enough strength to know what to do in situations". I have a constant fear of going out in public with a woman and having some men try to hurt her and disrespect her. I fear I'll clam up and look like a coward. What kind of man does that. I feel like such a weak sorry excuse for a man. It's sad because my main intention would be to protect a woman I love. However, if I get caught in a bind with someone, I fear that I'll get killed or maimed. I also fear, that, If I snap on someone who tries to attack me, I could possibly end up killing them and going to prison for the rest of my life.

I guess I'm paranoid because of bad situations I've gotten into in the past. It's just so damn confusing and it is extremely painful. The feeling seems like someone is shuving a knife into my gut and pooring scalding hot water on my face. any comments would be greatly appreciated. This is my most painful issue and I know it has to do with my CSA. I just can't quite point it out yet. Please help.


Truth is the very reason we strive to live. It surrounds and resides within us. Accepting the truths we already know and seeking out those we do not is a direct path to inner balance and joy. For life is not a means to an end, but a journey. Life comes and goes but the truth will always live on.

#172719 - 08/12/07 08:09 AM Re: Relationships [Re: endlessjourney]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA

Every single thing you talk about here sounds like the continuing effects of feelings and ideas you learned as an abused boy: the idea that the world is basically a dangerous place that threatens you with harm 24/7, the idea of sex as something harmful that A does to (not "shares with") B for the sake of "getting off", and most especially that whole galaxy of bad feelings we have about ourselves as boys and then men. I am worthless, I can't protect myself much less anyone else, I will never be able to relate to a woman sexually, I will be abandoned if I get close to anyone, etc.

Jason, I still remember - as if it were yesterday - the first time i had the chance to have sex with a girl. I was 16 and my parents were away, sooooo..... But when the time came the thought came crowding into my head: "This is what Mr **** does." Needless to say, nothing else happened that evening. And later on in my youth I can see that the few relationships I did have were basically dysfunctional and fueled on both sides by alcohol and drugs - not really by caring for one another.

I think you hit the nail on the head right here:

Originally Posted By: endlessjourney
What is it that causes the anxiety? That is the fear of not being able to add up as a strong man. I have to take care of myself first and I still have trouble with that.

We do have to be strong for ourselves before we can offer any strength to others. That is, we need our strength and confidence before we can get into a successful relationship. We need to face these old feelings and recognize how false and harmful they are, and for that I personally think we need the help of a good T.

But behind all this stands the need to recognize that these difficulties don't mean we are fuck-ups and losers. When we feel like that we just make things worse. What we need to do is get the help we need, find the courage to face our issues, and commit to moving forward.

Much love,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

#172902 - 08/13/07 04:05 AM Re: Relationships [Re: roadrunner]
deck Offline

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 109
Loc: Indiana
Hey Jason,

I definitely know this feeling. I tend to be a good friend but never able to be more than that. If there some fashion, if I can 'rule them out' (age difference, their married/involved, we work together, etc.) then I can talk and be friends. The whole thing seems very asexual... as soon as I start to think of a woman in a sexual context and/or they're available then everything falls apart. I can never jst relax and talk to them. My experience with women is very limited and not very positive.

I have to think that Larry is right that first we have find confidence and strength in ourselves. Which means working on ourselves first. this still seems like a huge obstacle. I have a hard time thinking any woman would ever be interested.

I don't think Im being very helpful but I do understand what you're talking about.


#172910 - 08/13/07 06:38 AM Re: Relationships [Re: deck]
peer345 Offline

Registered: 06/09/07
Posts: 35
Loc: australia
Hi Jason,

I stayed relationship free for over 20 was really hard but easier than getting involved...or so it seemed at the time. I found I could begin a relationship when I began therapy...the talking, my first realy honest conversations, carried into 'real'life. Up until then it had been 'relationships' such as they were ie thoughts, were accompanied by sheer terror and huge amounts of self hate. I tried really hard to kill that part of myself that needed companionship but the only problem was it kept coming back and I got tireder and then pretty crazy.

Honesty is definitely the best is amazing how nice women can be when you are honest. I guess you give them a choice as to whther or not they want to take your stuff on board but it puts the onus on them to make that decision and its not all up to you to hide things and perform as though all were okay. With negotiation and cooperation there are ways of having sex or making love that are not impossible but it does require some deep honesty and lots of talking, talking about feelings and with that comes the defining of safe boundaries.

My first sexual experiences apart from the CSA (does that really count?) were terrible and not very many(!)...I was really just trying to lose my virginity. I did but I paid a terrible price...huge retrauma-ing. I shut down so bad I thought I would never come out of it; big time depression too, on top of my normal everyday one!

So the guys are right...find the confidence and strength in yourself to feel vulnerable again...but at your pace and in your way.

Hope this helps


"Our life's work is to use what we have been given to wake up." Pema Chodron


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