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#17519 - 11/04/02 04:05 PM situational behaviour
arghilles Offline

Registered: 07/26/02
Posts: 45
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden

I want to share something that I think is wise and it definitely goes for me and maybe some of you guys will recognize it too.

I was sexually, verbally and emotionally abused by my father from the age of six or possibly earlier and then onwards. The sexual acts happened at intervals, but every single day there was talk about sex from his side or hints, or he would simply watch me with a look of desire.

I how finally come to this realization: I am not only afraid of men in general. I am even more affected by the situation I am in or the environment.
It might be something a person says that triggers me and I find myself controlling every move this poor individual does. I have problems concentrating on what is being said. My whole body feels like a sore wire, I am alert, wary. He or even she could strike. And if I would just try and relax I am scared they might really like me. A smile from me could mean they like me, and I am dead scared of the consequences.

Do you see my point? It is also the situations, the words and movements, surroundings. Perhaps you've all already understood this and certainly this would make me a fool. I just think this will help me understand myself better and once I have recognized which situations scares me off the most I can avoiod them for a period and begin my journey towards safety.

I guess that was all. Happy to be in the group.
Take care,



#17520 - 11/04/02 06:39 PM Re: situational behaviour
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Hi Erik,

It is god to hear from you. Yup, I know something of your experiences. I get so uptight that I tell people that if someone were to shoot me in the neck the bullet would bounce off. I have a terror on being a lone in the dark outside.

I have a hard time trusting men. I feel I don't know very well how to relate to women, but they do not cause anxiety. They make me miffed a bit now and then tho.

The situation that you describe would indicate that when people look at you, you remember your Dad looking at you in a way that was dangerous for you or degrading to you. So, it will take time for you to feel comfortable with folks looking at you and trying to communicate something to you.

My suspicions are that it will just take time for you to experience that people will communicate friendship, affection, or romantic interest etc. in you and it is not dangerous for you for them to do that.

You sound like a fellow that will develop some good self confidence in time. I think you can get help by coming here often and getting the ideas of your brother survivors. Just remember, most of us are not professionals, although some are, so most of us just give our opinion as a brother.


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

#17521 - 11/04/02 06:48 PM Re: situational behaviour
Wuamei Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...

It's never foolish to share what you've learned with others. It would be foolish to assume everyone else already knows. At least that's been my experience. Besides, even if we do know, it doesn't hurt to be reminded, especially for those of us who are memory-challenged.

I think you make some good points and clearly have gained a lot of helpful insight about your recovery. Rather than say more here, I'll refer you if you want to Richard Gartner's post on site safety, and my response on boundaries.

Take Care Eric


"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

#17522 - 11/04/02 07:04 PM Re: situational behaviour
Roy Offline

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
Hi Erik,

You are so right and you have brought up one of the most painful consequences of child abuse. The impaired ability to trust others and the resulting loneliness and isolation. I become very suspicious if someone starts to make efforts at closeness with me. I feel like I am going to be sucked up and overwhelmed by them, which is what I experienced with my mother as a child. Fortunately, I have learned to talk back to this internal fear and have some good, close, and trustworthy friendships in my life. I have not seen this issue raised here before, and I think it is great you have brought this to our attention because it is so sad to be alone all the time. We are by nature social creatures, with an inherent need to give and receive love, such that we become a conduit of human relations. The thing that has helped me the most is realizing that I can always leave a situation that is too uncomfortable, which of course I could not do as a child. I also have to remember that other people are not my mother. Once I remind myself of this I can stay in the situation longer and allow people into my life. It happens that way automatically now, but I used to have to slow down and go through these little steps in my head before when I felt especially anxious around someone. Now that you have had this realization, Erik, you will be able to move forward and learn how to manage your fears so that you can experience intimacy in your life.


#17523 - 11/04/02 09:25 PM Re: situational behaviour
New to this Offline

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 138
Loc: Mississippi

You are not a fool, and there are no experts here. We all have unique and different experiences, but very similar problems. We are glad when anyone makes progress. Thanks for sharing your insight.

Many of us can relate, in varying degrees, to what you are experiencing. I did not have a fear of men, but I was unable to relate to men.

One of the best things to happen as a result of coming to terms with my abuse is that I am beginning to form some friendships with men my own age.

You speak of beginning your journey toward safety when you understand--I think you have already begun the journey.


"Knowledge itself is power" Francis Bacon

#17524 - 11/05/02 10:03 PM Re: situational behaviour
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I remembered a post where we touched on what may be the problem you are experiencing.
A while back Tinfoil ( where is he now ? ) started the post "Sensitivity" - June 01 2002 where we talked a bit about Hypervigilance ( and then wandered onto Star Trek ! )
He also put this in another post,

I was amazed to find this info. But it does make perfect sense that both victims of childhood sexual molestation and police officers can become afflicted with hypervigilance.
Might be worth a read and resurecting the topic.


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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