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#209525 - 03/08/08 03:02 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? *DELETED* [Re: spirit of winter]
awakening Offline

Registered: 01/01/08
Posts: 342
Post deleted by awakening

#209558 - 03/08/08 04:40 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: awakening]
Freedom49 Offline

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 2724
Loc: Washington State
I have to echo Gregory's WOW. I need to read this everyday. I am soooo glad I read it today. Thank you SOW for posting this and thank you for being that man.

#209569 - 03/08/08 05:19 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: spirit of winter]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

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

I think we all have what it takes to be a man, simply because those things are not the kind of things that can be robbed from us by abusers. Courage, strength, character: we had all those things as boys and they are what got us through. Part of what we need to do in recovery is to learn to trust ourselves again as we search for those tools within ourselves.

I can't think of anything I have ever done as an adult that required half the courage that 10 yo Little Larry had to find every time he had to ride his bike home after yet another episode with the abuser.

Think about it, guys.

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)

#209576 - 03/08/08 05:40 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: roadrunner]
Freedom49 Offline

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 2724
Loc: Washington State
Thanks Larry, for some reason I just needed to see this thread again and I am glad for whoever bumped it back to my attention. Thanks to all who posted. I am needing this today for some reason.

#209581 - 03/08/08 06:07 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: spirit of winter]
KENKEN Offline

Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 762
I Am A Good Person;

I Am A Good Man;

It Is OK For Me To Be Me;

Something I have to tell myelf everyday. I try to live a good moral and ethical life. I stumble and fall along the way, but God gave the common sense and security to get up and try again. As I look at my life, it was and is not a bed of roses, but it is me. It is who I am and I am proud of what I have accomplished and proud of my disire to change what I don't like about what I did and who I have hurt along the way.


From the Movie: Antwone Fisher


#209585 - 03/08/08 06:57 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: KENKEN]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Excellent post, Roger. I think so many abuse survivors wonder if they somehow "measure up" when it comes to being a man, because everything that happened to them in the past puts that in question. Many of the messages that we were told were negative, so how do we begin to undo that crap and understand that we truly are men, and that we deserve to recognize ourselves as such?

I posted a thread here at MS a couple of years ago, I think, in which I was asking this same kind of question. In it, I referred to how in some tribal cultures the elder men of the tribe teach the young boys by action and words about what being a man in their culture is like. In my post, I said that I think there is some tribal stuff I never learned as a child, since my own father was such a miserable failure at being a father.

But when I get down on myself and questioning my abilities as a person and father and man, a good friend here at MS always points out to me the obvious fruits of my life and how I have taken the different path than my father did. I have "broken the cycle". And that's true, I have, and I recognize that as being one of the most manly things I have ever done. I see that in you as well. Manhood is not about brute stength, sex, and beer. It's about being a survivor in spite of all the things of the past; being able to transcend all that, and put our lives back together when they were in a million tiny pieces.


#209592 - 03/08/08 07:22 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: EGL]
MagRaith Offline

Registered: 12/24/07
Posts: 69
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT
Roger - once again you've had the courage and ability to express your personal feelings and say things that I still can't say out loud. Thank you for that. This very subject hit me square between the eyes last night and I've been struggling with it all day.

Laz, SoW, and all the others who have shared - thank you as well. I struggle every day to not return to addictive behaviors as my means of coping with life, and this very issue last night put me in a bad place. I'm glad I can rely on people here on this site to share and open themselves up and help me see things in a better perspective. It makes sense in my head, I hope some day it makes sense in heart.


#209596 - 03/08/08 08:54 PM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: KENKEN]
spirit of winter Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 19
Loc: Weaver Alabama
We all have what it takes to be men. We are men, hurt, but we are still men. But trusting ourselves i don't think is enough. I know that i took a 6 year old boy and and threw him in a dark room and shut the door. I have denied him, his memory, his feelings, and his experience for thirty years, even after being retraumatized, i threw the door shut again. That part i denied is an esential part of who i/we have become, it formed our attitudes, perceptions, emotional capacity and all from a subconscious level. If we don't learn to accept that hurt part of ourselves, and understand that it wasn't his fault (that's hard to believe sometimes), that he did become a man (again hard), i don't think we will ever truly trust ourselves. Self-acceptance i believe will be the beginning of trusting ourselves. I could be wrong, it wouldn't be the first time, but thats how i feel.

And i don't mean to trample anyone elses belief or feelings. i know that is a big fear for me in posting, but i continue on hoping for better wisdom than i currently have.

I am gald that post helped someone, and i am still becoming a man. I read that daily and sometimes more than once, as needed. Not every day is a successful "manly" day. but it is a start to a better life than i have had uptil now.

Wishing everyone the best, hold your heads up high, you are all men. From what i have seen on this site, the courage, strength, and support proves beyond a doubt that you are all men - true men. And i applaude and admire all of you.

I want to be me. I want to be whole. I want to be the loving person me and my wife and family deserve. Mostly I want to feel like I deserve to live without fear of people, of who I am, of intimacy, and without fear of a past I canít change.

#209621 - 03/09/08 01:17 AM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: spirit of winter]
Scoutvictim Offline

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 434
Loc: St. Louis, Missouri
Spirit of Water,

I love the new avatar photo!!!!

Wow... it took me about 8 months before I got up the courage to face my younger self. Now everytime I log into MS, I know who I'm fighting for.

Bravo!!!! for making this huge step on your road to recovery.

Luv ya,

P.S. Sorry ... I don't mean to hijack this thread.

Shawn and Ben will always be in my heart....

Happiness is like peeing your pants; Everyone can see it, but only YOU feel the warmth.

Peebles, Ohio WOR alumni, Oct. 2007

#209641 - 03/09/08 02:41 AM Re: Do I have what it takes as a man? [Re: Freedom49]
king tut Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2488
Loc: UK
That is a really inspiring post by spirit of winter.

I haven't got anything to add, besides a little thought to myself about a quote I was looking at below.

"We have not passed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until we move from the passive voice to the active voice -- that is, until we stop saying "It got lost," and say "I lost it." [quoted]

So this quote suggests that traditionally becoming man is about accepting responsibility.

But for me becoming man is about denying responsibility too. It is about saying it was not your fault.

I think that is why I keep coming back to the question of man, because of apparent contradictions, contradictions that are not on the conscious mind but sub-conscious. It is the difficulty in simultaneously understanding your weaknesses and your strengths, in understanding that they can exist together (accepting responsibility grows strength, but something about denying responsibility generates weakness in vulnerability and it is hard to shake off the weakness whilst retaining the denial of responsibility).

To heal you have to go backwards before going forwards, but when you go forwards again you still hold something that was backwards.

So you can hold your head up high, accepting responsibility, but must try to remember that you weren't responsible for what happened. But you're a responsible person now, and now you are logical too, so you have to put the responsibility somewhere, so you throw it at him. You feel strong inside, you could shout with the power of a general motivating his armies even in the face of certain death. You are strong, and you are a man.

But soon you will feel weak again, and that string that is still lightly attached to you starts to pull and unravel you.

That string keeps reminding you that you are weak, telling you that your strengths have grown from weak foundations- tricking you, making you believe that you built your house on a swamp, making you fear the moment when the house sinks. But you weren't weak- you were just a kid- we can only become men when we can accept that we were once just children. Then we can be strong again, and not the temporary strength of one who rages against the enemy, but the strength of one who is firm of heart. You can understand that your house is not built on a swamp, it is the strongest house there is, because when you were building your house the winds threatened to blow it down, but it didn't blow it down, because you built it strong, although when you think about the times you built it you know it was difficult. You see that the winds have stopped, you realize that it is sunny outside, but you still have to work on the house, because now it has become a fortress, but you have learnt a lot on your way whilst building your house, and your not afraid anymore.

At this moment, whilst I'm feeling strong, I am happy to say
I am man because I say "I lost it" and I do not say "it got lost", but I am also man because I, rather than denying responsibility so literally, accept that back then I would have said "it got lost". I am man because I was once a child.
(hope I can try to hold onto that thought- it makes sense to me anyway)

There is something very important and very liberating about the question of man, and I don't think it is coincidence that this question keeps reappearing here.

Maybe defining the difference between yourself as a man and yourself as a child allows you to compartmentalize things and therefore allow you to flourish, progress and grow strong without the fears or insecurities that continue to haunt. I don't know. It's a long road, and Im not very good at reading maps.

"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. He whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."
[quoted-slightly altered]


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