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#219485 - 04/21/08 03:55 PM What's our duty, and to who?
Leosha Offline

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
I've been away from this site quite a while now. I do check in to read sometime, but really, not sure what or how much I have to offer here, and whether I can give it if I do have any such thing.

I don't know. I see some "old timers" here, who stay here, who become moderators, who help welcome new folk and help them work on their pain and such. I see some folk who go even further, and speak openly on abuse, who work to educate the goverment and other people to male sexual abuse. Who involve themselves publically in the cause, who voluntarily do interviews and are involved in projects to educate the public.

I'm just wondering, in general, what do people think our duty is? Once we heal, or become healed enough to be one of those more "normal" people who I'm sure I'll never be, to who do we owe more then? And what to do? Is there some kind of calling or feeling people get, of what they want or can do to help others? I don't know, I've been doing this a long time, this healing stuff. Some days, I feel almost normal, whatever that may be. But still, the idea of being so public about this, to talk on it and share so much with people, is enough to make me panic. Is this something that will someday happen, or maybe never for some of us? I'm kind of an ambiguous person, in some ways I am not at all a private person, and in some ways, I am incredibly private. I can't image going public about this stuff like I know Curtis, and I think Tom have. Kudos to them, but I would rather just stab myself repeatedly in the eyes then to do that.

But what is it that is our duty, or is it only to ourselves? I have been here a lot in the past, not so much in recent time, and can't ever know if any of my words help another human being. I just feel kind of in limbo, not knowing if I could say or do anything here that is not already being said or done by some very fine people.

Hmm, this is just really not coming out well, I'm not really putting my thoughts into words well. Maybe someone here will get a whiff of what this is I'm trying to say!

I think I just feel selfish, and have been enjoying that feeling far to much.


Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

#219494 - 04/21/08 04:37 PM Re: What's our duty, and to who? [Re: Leosha]
Freedom49 Offline

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 2724
Loc: Washington State
Leosha, there is nothing wrong in taking care of yourself. I know I am feeling stronger now and I have spoken out but it was out of a desire to help, not out of an obligation. You should not feel obligated to do anything more than heal and recover your life.
Normal???, I will never be normal, I was never normal to begin with. I will be healthy. I will be loving and compassinate. I will be a better husband and father and better friend. I will never be whatever normal is or was.

I am encouraged that this question concerns you enough to post it. Perhaps you are thinking of someone who is hurting and you are wondering what to do. Who knows? Be assured though that your first obligation is to you and your health. What ever you decide from that point on is up to you. You are a good person. You will do whatever is right.

#219498 - 04/21/08 04:49 PM Re: What's our duty, and to who? [Re: Leosha]
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills

I think our primary duty is to ourself and our healing. That's not selfish, that's taking care of ourself, allowing ourselves to grow and heal. By responding to a post with my feelings on a subject, I hope that I can give some other person an alternative idea to help them in their own healing. My posting has ebbed and flowed over the time that I've been here. Sometimes I post quite a bit, sometimes not. I contribute only when I have a view that has not been previously stated or not stated as comprehensively as I would state it: sometimes I just want to chime in and say that I agree with what someone else has stated. Many times when I start to respond I write out a long detailed response only to delete it as being redundant. But by writing it out it may help me to see just how far I have come in the time that I've been here.

Am I 'normal' now? I don't really know, but I've come to feel much more at home with myself and my feelings. Will I ever be healed? Again, I don't really know, but the impact of the CSA has less and less of an effect on my life.

I just hope that by my being here I can help alleviate someone else's trauma when they're here dealing with the after affects of CSA.

Take good care of yourself,


I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

#219499 - 04/21/08 05:05 PM Re: What's our duty, and to who? [Re: Freedom49]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

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

Your duty is to yourself, bro. MaleSurvivor is a site where we should all be thinking of ourselves first. Sharing and supporting others is of course a part of that. When you share your feelings with another guy in your post, you are breaking the silence and rejecting the shame and blame. But it's always best to remember that we can help out best when we ourselves are stronger. As I keep saying, two ships sailing together cannot help each other if both are burning. Each captain has to look after his own ship first, and then turn to help others.

But do we owe anyone as we recover? Should we feel we owe anyone? Or rather, do we have a debt or duty that needs to be fulfilled?

Again, I think our duty is to ourselves, to live a happy and fulfilling life as we were meant to all along. That in turn will bring joy and fullfillment into the lives of others.

Looking at my own case, yes, I do feel that I owe MaleSurvivor a lot, and that has had an effect on what I do here. But I also do it because somehow it "works" for me. It's something I can do, and our community has come to be very important to me. I don't expect anything in return; I'm just very pleased when I see a guy turn the corner and make decisive new progress. If I have had something to do with that, fine - that's enough.

But that's just me. Other guys may feel they cannot do what I do, or don't want to do what I do. That's fine with me. They have to decide for themselves.

After all, abuse is a decisive intrusion into our lives. Some of us may wish to fight this intrusion, defeat it, and return to the lives we feel we otherwise would have had. Others, like myself, may also wish to fight and defeat the intrusion, but will consider that the battle has shaped them into a different person and that this new trajectory needs to be followed - at least to see where it's going.

Either way the decision is ours, and so long it's one that brings us peace and fulfillment then the choice will have been the wise one.

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)

#219526 - 04/21/08 08:15 PM Re: What's our duty, and to who? [Re: roadrunner]
Power_water Offline

Registered: 09/14/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Portland, OR, USA

Do we have any obligations to others? I can think of one, make sure that we don't in any way perpetuate the cycle of abuse or neglect, or in other words that by freeing ourselves of these chains we will indirectly cause our future posterity to be freed from these chains. By choosing to live a better life for ourselves by choosing to reach what positive potential that we can, we then better the lives of other people around us.
That much at least, is an obligation, a damn hard one too.
I'm sure we can all agree that we should never turn into our abusers. Our obligation is to fight their effect in our own lives and in defiance of them move in the opposite direction.

"brings us peace and fulfillment" Wow! Roadrunner, is that stuff real? I don't mean to unfairly doubt you, but I have been working on this for over a decade and a half. I can see that I have come very very far, but that uneasiness, that anxiety that feeling of shame and fear, division in myself that most of the PTs call PTSD, it has continued with me in full force. It seems that I've learned some tools to better cope, I have learned to recognize most of my own symptoms. And what do I get for my trouble?? I have regained a whole SHXT-load of repressed memories and emotions, that most sane people would rather not know about themselves.

When does the payoff finally come for me??

Bring works of darkness to light

#219546 - 04/21/08 10:00 PM Re: What's our duty, and to who? [Re: Power_water]
Denniss Offline
New Here

Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 25
Loc: California

I read your post earlier and have been thinking about the appropriate response as this issue strikes to my very core.

Power Water stated it precisely..... it's ours to own as individuals and to end the cycle of abuse. "Hurt people, hurt people". Our obligation is to stop it now, heal ourselves as individuals, and to personally decide the next course of action. It could be to help others, donate time, chat with others, etc.... or simply move on outside of the brotherhood knowing that there's always safe refuge when needed. It's a personal decision.

One thing is for sure, by simply asking/posting it you've helped those here explore the issue which in itself helps heal.

Thank you!

Edited by Denniss (04/21/08 10:07 PM)

#219589 - 04/22/08 02:50 AM Re: What's our duty, and to who? [Re: Denniss]
WalkingSouth Offline

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16270
Loc: Waldport, Oregon

Like others have said, our first responsibility is to ourselves. Anything beyond that is being giving, sure, but there's no rule that we MUST give of this very personal part of ourselves. I'm convinced that not everyone is supposed to speak to groups, etc. like some do. Not everyone is supposed to write or give money or be an activist, but everyone is supposed to be the best person they can be, not for everyone around us, but for ourselves first. If we can do that those other things will happen whatever they are and when it is supposed to.

Lost of love,


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'Holy Shit! What a ride!'" ~Hunter S. Thompson

#219613 - 04/22/08 07:48 AM Re: What's our duty, and to who? [Re: WalkingSouth]
alexey Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 08/16/05
Posts: 1676
Loc: Moscow, Russia

Do what makes sense to you. Your genuine moves will be enough duty for you and other people.



When you feel all alone and unhappy, turn to you Inner Child and talk to Him.
You will see He can comfort you like nothing else!

#219686 - 04/22/08 05:27 PM Re: What's our duty, and to who? [Re: alexey]
Muldoon Offline

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN

Been thinking about this post for a few days now.

Taken care of ones self has to be #1 for us all.

I have more to share but will think about how to say it. Back in a few days.


Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

#219856 - 04/23/08 06:05 AM Re: What's our duty, and to who? [Re: Muldoon]
VN Offline

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 723
I think what all else here say, it is true. First importence is taking care of ourself, and treating people right. We can be example to other people just in how we behave ourselves.

And please know that you have done very good in 'giving back' already. And it is very much appreciated.


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