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#1747 - 07/30/06 01:19 AM Self Worth!
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6845
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
That is the biggest problem I have in life.
Its like I am not worthy, or worthless in my life.
Hard to shake off what I was conditioned into thinking in my child life.

I think a lot of guys can relate to this, as I read posts here, but how can we gain back the self worth we should have grown with?

People like me, some say, I am a good guy and stuff, but I cannot see it, I dont know it, I need a reality check, but hell, it never happens.

My psyche tells me, I am rubbish, like my family called me many times, and maybe they were right, and its hard to get beyond that.

I suppose a lot of you guys can relate to this, and believe me, its an open sore,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#1748 - 07/30/06 01:21 AM Re: Self Worth!
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
that's the abuse talking

it's quite the opposite ste -

you're very important.

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#1749 - 07/30/06 01:22 AM Re: Self Worth!
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
change that critic into a helpful coach!

like ... i wonder why i think this -

?

as it's not true....!

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#1750 - 07/30/06 01:30 AM Re: Self Worth!
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6845
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
THX Mark,

but really, I cried tonight not real crying, just welling up of tears thinking about stuff.

I never was a real kid in the family, and I got called things like, "IT", or "Thingy", amongst all the other names.

Those are things you call inanimate objects that you dont care too much about, and that was family life back then,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#1752 - 07/30/06 03:53 AM Re: Self Worth!
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Ste
I was actually thinking about this yesterday when I bumped into someone I know vaguely - a friend of a friend - at a supermarket.

He came over, shook my hand, and we chatted away for a long while.
Which was great because he's a nice guy and I hadn't seen him for over a year.

What I thought about afterwards was the fact that I had seen him just before he saw me and I was making my way over to meet him, when he saw me and turned around and came straight over. He could have just waved and said "Hi" as he carried on.

Five years ago I would have avoided him, and have been terrified of him seeing me.
And that was because I had zero self worth, the first thought in my head would have been something like "why would a nice guy like him want to be seen talking with me anyway ?"

But he obviously did enjoy our chance meeting, as I did, which is a new experience for me.
Whether I have changed so much since starting my healing I can't really say - my guess is I have, but not enough to make a move from social pariah to socially acceptable, so I would think people 'liked' me as much before as they do now.

Probably the only person who genuinly believed that I was a social pariah was ME.
So that's exactly how I behaved, at parties such as those from where my wife worked I would spend all the time avoiding everyone and in silence. If someone spoke to me I gave the minimum reply possible and didn't promote the conversation because I didn't believe I had anything to say that could possibly interest other people.

Having 'self worth' is essential to our lives, and it's a different thing to being big headed or having an over inflated ego. Appreciating your self worth is the true, and valid, acceptance of exactly "who you are" - warts and all.

Popeye got it right when he said "I yam what I yam"

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#1753 - 07/30/06 03:57 AM Re: Self Worth!
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Quote:
Popeye: [singing] I yam what I yam and I yam what I yam that I yam / And I got a lotta muscle and I only gots one eye / And I'll never hurt nobodys and I'll never tell a lie / Top to me bottom and me bottom to me top / That's the way it is 'til the day that I drop, what am I? / I yam what I yam.
;) \:D

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#1754 - 07/30/06 10:29 PM Re: Self Worth!
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

As so often, your post here got me thinking and wondering - about your case, about my own self-worth issues, and about things concerning Dave, who is the only survivor I have ever met "in the flesh".

I think the first thing we have to see is that self-worth is a complicated old bird. At one level, we can say we ALL have worth. That must surely be true, not least of all because we are surrounded by people who in one way or another confirm that we have worth. It's just not in question for them! For example, on this site Ste, you constantly get confirmation of your worth as a person. I myself find you one of the most interesting and fascinating people I know here.

But still, who can deny the problem that when we are talking about our OWN worth, it is often so difficult, even impossible, for us to see it and acknowledge it. What the hell is going on?

I think the key is that when we were boys abuse challenged us to discover how it could be possible for all those terrible things to happen to us if we were worth anything at all. As children, of course, we did not have the resources and skills to figure out that the cruel and heartless crimes of a predator do not make the victim any less worthy of love and respect, or any less important as a human being. Abuse and abusers taught us to DEFINE ourselves in terms of the abuse, and that sent our self-esteem spiraling down into that terrible dark place where we blamed ourselves and figured it was all happening because we didn't deserve anything better.

That feeling of worthlessness, or our fear that the discovery of our worthlessness is right around the corner, is a terrible burden to bear. So why do we carry it?

I think we do that because of the trust issues involved in breaking free. If I really AM worthy as a man, or as whatever else it is I want to be, then it's okay for me to take the risk of asserting myself and waiting to see what happens. But here comes the old crazymaker with its questions. What if I fail? What if everyone rejects me or judges me? What if the risk I am taking just proves how worthless I am? Blah, blah, blah.

For me the answer came not by challenging my feelings of worthlessness - they were just too powerful. What broke me free was working on the issues that MADE me feel worthless. I learned that the abuse wasn't my fault. I discovered that when my body reacted that didn't mean I liked or wanted it. I realized that ANY kid can be devastated so badly that he does whatever he's told. And so on.

And mainly, I learned to separate ME, as Larry, from the abuse and all the crap issues connected with it. I WAS a good kid, period. I DID deserve better, period. And I am better than all that shit now. I am NOT just a check list of horrible things done to a terrified kid. That list belongs to someone else, not to me.

Here I come to my experience with Dave, which I know he will not mind if I mention it here. We met some months ago on his territory up north. I was excited about the idea I was going to be seeing him; we had PMed back and forth and clearly we had a lot in common. But as my train pulled into the station there goes the crazymaker: He knows all the shit I "did" when I was a boy, I'm a nerd, I'm too fucking academic, I can't believe the stupid shirt I'm wearing, What will I say, I don't even know what a 4x4 IS (something on wheels)!

In fact I guess we were a bit awkward for all of five minutes. But guess what? We pretty soon discovered that we were just ordinary guys like any other. We were soon chatting away and the whole day was a smashing success. Whatever had happened to us as boys was discussed, sure, but it DIDN'T DEFINE US. We could relate to each other each with our claims of being worthwhile, loveable important people.

Ste, maybe it's something like learning to swim (yep, this is becoming a new mantra of mine). I ALWAYS had the ability to swim. All I had to do was trust myself, pick up my feet, and take the risk that I wasn't going to sink through the bottom of the pool to the center of the earth.

So my answer to you is this. Of course you have worth, just as we all do. The trick is to acknowledge and accept this fact. For that an act of faith is required. But you ARE a man of faith anyway.

The trick is just to have faith in Ste, take it in small safe steps, and, well, pick up your feet and welcome to the wonderful world of swimming.

Much paddling,
Larry

_________________________
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)

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#1755 - 07/30/06 11:54 PM Re: Self Worth!
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6845
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Larry,

that reminded me why I cant swim, the Russian woman teacher who treated kids like they were in a gulag. I often wondered whether she once worked for a concentration camp. :p

Self worth/pity, call it what you want, but it is real, and its hard to shake off.
Its boundaries that worry me most, and that is the hardest part.

The neverending story,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

Top
#1756 - 07/31/06 01:50 AM Re: Self Worth!
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Ste
who's boundaries are they?

And more importantly, who imposed them?

Everyone 'needs' boundaries, otherwise society wouldn't function and we'd all be psychopaths.

(In current, clinical, use, psychopathy is most commonly diagnosed using Robert D. Hare's Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R). Hare describes psychopaths as, "intraspecies predators who use charm, manipulation, intimidation, and violence to control others and to satisfy their own selfish needs. Lacking in conscience and in feelings for others, they cold-bloodedly take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret."[2] )

Clearly we're not psychopaths, a bit f*****g crazy at times maybe, but we have boundaries and consciences that get us through the day.
'Our' problem as survivors is that our boundaries are often heavily influenced by the actions of our abusers, so they are out of line with most 'normal' peoples boundaries. ( and that's a VERY broad statement )

Larry mentioned his doubts and fears about our meeting, I know exactly how he felt because I was feeling the same way as well.
But we both obviously overcame our own particular, artificially imposed boundaries and really enjoyed our day together.

Think about the boundaries our abusers placed upon us for a moment, and see if they still relate to the way you act / feel today?

In my case they certainly did.
The way I was groomed / forced and then moulded into a boy that asked them for sex, all the time knowing that it was wrong, left me with social problems - misplaced boundaries - that stayed with me for over 30 years.

I thought that because of "what I'd done as a boy" I was different, in the fact that I had this terrible secret and that I still believed that I was to blame for that abnormal behaviour when I was 11 to 16 yo.
My abusers created my boundaries back then, I lived a secret life to protect them first and foremost. There was no way I could expose them without exposing myself, and I was asking them for sex.

So there was my greatest boundary, keeping EVERYTHING to myself and trusting nobody else.

I did that through 25 years of marriage! I couldn't even trust the woman I love because THEY had imposed THEIR boundaries on me, and try as I might I couldn't break free without help.

But I have broken free, and now I am able to set my own boundaries.
I can choose to push myself and meet guys like Larry, I can sit in a group therapy session with Kirk and say whatever comes into my head.
I do these things knowing that everything could go wrong, Larry could have been a mad axeman for all I knew, but I'm still here so I guess he isn't.
My judgement must have been about right.

I'm learning to trust my own judgement now, and therefore set my own boundaries.
That's because I trust myself, I know I'm not always right, but don't 'normal' people make mistakes? of course they do - and hopefully learn from them. Which is far better than avoiding making a mistake by not doing something and retreating to safety - behind the false boundaries.

The word 'boundary' describes something that surrounds, it contains and keeps things inside.
We need to break out of OTHER PEOPLES boundaries, our abusers boundaries, and set our own.
The great thing about having our own boundaries is that they are flexible.

Try them, you'll like them.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#1757 - 07/31/06 02:23 AM Re: Self Worth!
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
Ste - I struggle with self worth!

I know exactly why!

Up until the age of 8, I lived in a town where I had many friends. I was very popular at school and seemed to be good at everything, without ever bragging about it!

Change of town, nobody there needed a new friend, so for the first time in my life I was on the sidelines! Made some friends eventually, but they weren't anywhere near as boisterous as I was used to!

Changed school again at 11...my 'new friends' went to the local Secondary Modern, I went to Grammar School.

Made new friends again! One year later, a friend of my new friends came to our school as he had done well at Secondary Modern. He was a year older than us, and jealous of our 'new friendships'. He caused trouble and split everyone up.

A few weeks later, I met my 'best friend ever - the paedophile'. I gradually accepted his values - I was trying to fit in and make sure that this friend didn't leave me! That's why I never questioned anything that he asked of me until it was too late!

An open sore! yes very much so! Since I was 8, I've been trying to fit in and live by other people's rules' other people's boundaries.

That has never really worked!

That's why I eventually told the good friends that I have now. That's why I went to the police! That's why I stuck it out and carried it through to court! That's why I have challenged everyone in the Judiciary, from the Judge up to the Attorney General about the events of the trial!

I am now in the process of adapting to living by my rules. It's a difficult process, as I have been so easy going for so long! I don't want to loose that aspect of my character, but I now challenge so many things that I do not accept as being right. Whether that is at work, or out of work I am becoming so much more vocal.

Ste - do you realise how many people you have helped here? You start posts that make people think, also you add comments to posts made by others that show genuine concern!

My family never called me rubbish..I did that all by myself!

Believe that you are a good and worthy person... I know I am now... if anyone says otherwise, then sod them.

I've never knowingly/intentionally hurt another, and I don't believe that you would either!

Dave / Larry - it must have been awesome for the pair of you to meet up! I've never had a decent conversation with another Survivor (spoke to witnesses 2/3 during the court case, but we were all a bit detached at the time).

I'm considering contacting a local organisation called NAPAC, but don't really know anything about them...that' another post I suppose!

_________________________
*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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