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#223502 - 05/10/08 02:05 AM Obsessed with time period of my SA
Brian35 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 16
Loc: East Coast, US
This isn't healthy... or is it?:

In my spare bedroom in my condo I have recreated my childhood bedroom, with identical furniture, bedding, almost identical wallpaper, and stuff I used to have on my little student desk. A couple pieces of furniture are the actual items (dresser and hutch to the desk I salvaged from my parents' basement before they threw it away). But the rest has taken me 15 years to get it all together. I shop at "Goodwill" almost every other week looking for the furniture and little things we used to have not just in my bedroom but in our house. I was incredibly excited last month for example finding "my" old alarm clock! Now it sits "exactly" where it used to be.

I rarely go in that room but it's sort of comforting to know it's there. A couple times a year I listen to the songs from that year (1981) on itunes which sort of freaks me out, then I go in there and just lay on the bed.

I remember EVERYTHING and every thought from that period -- I thought you're supposed to forget it? -- and even sometimes in the morning now on weekends when I sleep in, laying in bed in that haze of waking up I think up some cool new thing for a "project" me and my best friend Jeff were doing that year, and think "I need to go up the street and tell Jeff about this!"... and then I sort of wake up entirely and remember I'm a 39 year old man and that is long gone.

Another thing that crushed me was I found that old friend Jeff on LinkedIn and sent him a message to add him to my friends list. He responded he "didn't know me" although I explained who I was. It was him, no doubt -- his picture, his background, everything. True, we were friends only for about a year, and maybe he thought nothing of it and really didn't remember me, but that was really crushing to me. Like I said, I remember everything from then and still feel like it was last week.

Sorry, no point to this except to show how much of a freak I am and I suppose why I'm still a virgin (with women...)! But that room comforts me for some reason, go figure.

#223503 - 05/10/08 02:34 AM Re: Obsessed with time period of my SA [Re: Brian35]
Freedom49 Offline

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 2724
Loc: Washington State
If you have a therapist I would run this past him. This could be Ok but there is something about it that bothers you or you would not have posted it. I must confess that there is something about it that sets off an internal alarm in me. Gut reaction, yellow alert. Granted many guys have been sexually abused in such a way that it was actully pleasant at the time. That causes some serious confusion and problems in our adult relationships. Living in the past is never a good idea. Nostalgia is ok to a degree. This seems a little excessive to me but I would check with a professional if I were you.

#223507 - 05/10/08 03:42 AM Re: Obsessed with time period of my SA [Re: Freedom49]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Hi Brian,

I think a lot of people feel nostalgia for things from their childhood, I know I do. Our house burned to the ground when I was 17, so I have very few things left from my childhood. I think of little insignificant things all the time that I had, and wish I still had them because it seems like it would be comforting in a way to have them. Is that the way these things seem to you? From my reading of your post, it sounds like you're trying to keep a connection to things that gave you security back then. I don't think that's necessarily bad, I think it's good to seek out things we remember that helped us back then.


#223515 - 05/10/08 05:33 AM Re: Obsessed with time period of my SA [Re: Brian35]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Maybe my problem is related to this.

I lost myself with the abuse in the scout camp (Pufferfish story no. 5). Sexual abuse with torture and degradation at age 12. It's like I am constantly searching, searching, searching for that lost 12 year old.

Who was I? What was I? What did I look like? How big was I? What did I act like?

Mainly I watch movies with 12 year olds, trying to find myself. I am watching Mercury Rising tonight, featuring a child star 12 years old. There is no sexual arousal with seeing these 12 year olds. But something in me is saying, "Is that him (me)?"

I am constantly searching, searching, but I never find out. Who was I, where did I go?

I know this is weird. I am just being honest. I tell my T about it. He has mentioned depersonalization disorder. Apparently this obscession is not terribly common. I saw the movie Father and Scout. It's like I transferred myself into the child star in the film.

I suppose it is getting better. Before EMDR therapy I felt like the traumatized 12 year old. Certain environmental conditions would bring it out. When I would walk down a long hall-way without windows, I would feel more intensely 12-yr-old.

Maybe I need more EMDR, but my relationship with that T has broken down. Somebody made a post several weeks ago about something called BDD which sounded something like this.

I feel I am beeing terribly vulnerable by posting this information. If anybody has any ideas, please help.

#223517 - 05/10/08 06:06 AM Re: Obsessed with time period of my SA [Re: pufferfish]
Freedom49 Offline

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 2724
Loc: Washington State
I think I can understand what your saying. Being that badly traumatized and frightened you would probably dissociate to handle the feelings and the experience. Being isolated on top of that and left alone for hours at a time you could easily lose yourself.
When you were released back to your parents and reentered a "normal" life again you had no way to incorporate those experiences and feelings in the what was now your world again. So what do you do with that? Here his this horror and now here you are back as a 12 yo kid in your family. All smiles and hugs.

There is no context to explain it and no one to talk to about it so you separate your life at that point. Pufferfish before camp, Pufferfish after camp. But what ever happened to pufferfish before camp? He is gone?

Naturally you want him back and you search for him everywhere. Truth? Pufferfish has never left. He is still you and still here. Bewildered and confused and frightened, but he is still here.

#223520 - 05/10/08 06:49 AM Re: Obsessed with time period of my SA [Re: Freedom49]
Bewlayb1 Offline

Registered: 08/04/07
Posts: 243
Loc: NYC
I remember during the sexual abuse, from eight to ten, that I kept wanting to go to places I had been before I was raped: stores, zoos, or cities that had made a strong impression on me. I wanted to regain the boy who was lost. It was a completely unconscious desire: and it was a futile one.

As well, I was obsessed with childish hobbies up until college, such as action figures and comic books. This was also an attempt to be a child forever, and remain "pure," and not have to face sex again.

But nothing can erase what's been done to us. We simply have to live with the damage and try to recover as best as we can. Once you realize that, I think you won't feel the need to recreate your childhood. Reading your post, I got the impression that you already know it's slightly unsettling, and not helping you to heal.

It's so tempting to relive a time before we were ruined; but it's a lie, an effort to avoid reality. Find a therapist who will help you confront your issues and tackle them. I wish you the best of luck.

#223607 - 05/11/08 12:27 AM Re: Obsessed with time period of my SA [Re: Bewlayb1]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

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

Whether this room is a good idea or not depends entirely on why you've recreated it and how it makes you feel. If it connects you with the boy you were back then and gives you a feeling of security that could be helpful.

But even then, bear in mind that your future as Brian can never be in that room. It can only lie in convincing Little Brian that it's okay to follow you out into the adult world and trust in your guidance and judgment.

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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