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#216522 - 04/08/08 05:05 PM Faking Control
Jordan Offline
New Here

Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 8
Loc: Kenosha, WI
Triggers? Possibly

My father was best at his mind games. The master of all manipulators, to the point where he could make you believe that snow is green or at least feel bad that it wasn't. It was always the scariest and most painful of all the things he did, and I'm noticing now, more than ever, how much I picked it up.

I've spent the past 11 years ignoring the whole situation, occasionally referencing or acknowledging what had happened and the effects it's had on me. The scary part right now is being 20 and feeling like I've made as little progress as I could have possibly made. I feel like I'm supposed to be making my life right now, and instead, I'm just beginning to learn how to use it correctly.

My main problem is the manipulation. I picked it up and am just as good as my father with it, but I don't usually use it the same. I'll catch myself trying to con someone into doing something I want in everyday plans, or sometimes when it's just something I want to do. Its effects on my everyday life are usually minimal and I catch myself in them. Nonetheless, I feel like Luke Skywalker, but weaker.

The times I actually use it to the caliber my father could is when someone is trying to help me or tell me something is wrong. I have never been able to hear that what I'm doing is wrong because I've felt like something was wrong my entire life; I didn't know what was going on those first nine years of my life was wrong, and I didn't barely know what being gay was when I started going through puberty and thought nothing about girls, but I knew it felt wrong.

Any time I try to get help, I totally convince whoever is trying to help that I don't need any. I spent a couple days of my senior year of high school in a "Rehabilitation Center" after an attempted suicide. I downed a bottle of Ibuprofen after my first relationship ended by his choice. I spent a night in the ICU before someone came in to talk to me and in less than 24 hours and after drinking a couple bottles of charcoal, I was still able to convince the social worker that I would not need to be chaptered as a temporary ward of the state, and went willingly: knowing that if I continued to cooperate and tell them all what they wanted to hear, I would be out of the hospital.

It took me three days to get out of the hospital, while most all of the kids had been or would be in for weeks. My roommate was in the newspaper three days later after hanging himself in the shower I used for those three days, and I was worse off than when I was in the ambulance, but of course, no one knew.

I hate doctors, I can never convince myself that they really care what I'm saying more than what I'm paying them. I need help from people who know and care what's going on, so there is a long, but brief example of me digging my own hole and not even meaning to. Any help from any person would be really appreciated.


It's getting hard to be someone, but it all works out.

#216532 - 04/08/08 05:27 PM Re: Faking Control [Re: Jordan]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
I wonder if all this acting and telling people what they need to hear is a CSA specialty? I know my acting and manipulation of the powers over me cost me dearly over the years. I was fully aware that I would never get the help I needed in my life because of my acting and manipulations.

You'd think that ICU staff would have been wise to your manipulations...but they were not - clearly.

#216537 - 04/08/08 05:30 PM Re: Faking Control [Re: Jordan]
Freedom49 Offline

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 2724
Loc: Washington State
Jordan that distrust is many times justified unfortunately I think the thing that would help you is a Therapist that specialized in treating victims of CSA. Caution, though, you are going to have to go through a few probably to find someone smarter than you. Someone who can sense and see though the attempted manipulation expertise that you have.

I have that dubious gift myself and the only way to combat it and get some real help was to 1. find a T that could see that and 2. be totally and painfully honest with them. Anythng less and your just kidding your self and stalling your recovery. I got out of the hospital the same night I was taken in for my suicide attempt because I was familiar with what they wanted to hear.

Recovery is not easy and it is painful and you will want to run, hide, or misdirect when confronted it the pain. Don't do that. The only way out is through and you can do that. You survived to get to where you are now.

You will find that the coping skills you had used as a child will harm you if you use them as an adult. Your T can help you with developing some healthy ones.

I am glad you found us Jordan. Soon you will be too. You can make it. You can do this. I am so sorry you need to but there is a great bunch of guys here to help you figure it out and make it through. You have your whole life ahead of you and it can be great if you take the time to undo the damage and grow. Again Welcome and post your questions and feeings. That really does help.

#216540 - 04/08/08 05:35 PM Re: Faking Control [Re: Still]
VLinvictus Offline

Registered: 12/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: NY
I can totally relate. I've always been afraid to come straight out and ask for what I want or tell people what I think. I'm afraid that they won't give it to me or won't do it for me, regardless of what it is, and I'm afraid they'll get angry or upset if I tell them my honest opinions. It's much easier -- on the surface -- to try to subtlely manipulate things so that I can hopefully get what I want without asking and to cloak my opinions in language inoccuous enough as to be meaningless. Of course, what's reall easy is to just do without what I want because it's too hard or I won't get it and to just lie and tell people what I think they want to hear.

I know that for me this is a subset of my desperate need to control the situation and making everything "OK," to defuse problems before they happen so everyone (except myself) is happy. Because if anything goes wrong, it's my fault.

I'm learning, though, to be direct and clear. If I want something or need to know something, I'm striving now to simply ask for it rather than trying to come at the thing from oblique angles.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~ Oscar Wilde

#216545 - 04/08/08 05:46 PM Re: Faking Control [Re: VLinvictus]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

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

Welcome to the MaleSurvivor site. I'm glad you have found us and I know you will find a lot of understanding and support among your brothers here.

You speak of manipulation as being your main problem, and man, I sure can relate to that. There's so much to say to you, but for now just let me assure you that you learned this as a tool that helped you to survive. That is, as a boy you needed to be able to do this.

As adult survivors one of the big challenges confronting us is the need to recognize these old tools for what they are and learn ways to set them down and face our problems in more fruitful ways. you will have many opportunities to talk about all this here on the site.

Once again, welcome, and if there's anything I can do to help you please don't hesitate to PM me.

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)


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