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#25835 - 02/20/04 07:15 AM There really is a lot of pain
wrangler Offline

Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 84
Loc: Northern Virginia
It’s late and I am tired. I should be in bed, but I know that I won’t sleep. Sometimes there is just too much pain inside, and I cannot keep my mind still. I have been trying to do something to make my life better for so long now – could be years and years I guess. Then just tonight I begin to understand how much I really do feel the pain. I have plenty of coping tools… workaholism, pornography, sexual fantasy, social isolation… But these things only move the pain from something so intense I can barely even acknowledge it to something of a dull throb, mostly of loneliness.

I am learning tonight that the pain really is there, even when I can’t feel it because I am distracted. But as soon as something gets to close to a sore spot… a fiend at work, a television show, my wife… is as soon as I am aware of the pain and trying to distract myself again. It is awful to have whole chunks of the life experience basically off limits because those experiences make the pain to clear, to vivid.

Over the years I have learned to head it off at the pass so I rarely get glimpses of the horrible thing I carry around inside me. But sometimes my guard is down, like tonight, and I get it full in the face. So early in my childhood adults took from me something they could not even use for themselves… they took my membership to society. Intellectually I know that I am not so different from nearly everyone I meet. We all have pasts, some more gruesome than others. One of the things that separates us is our belief that there is an intangible, indefinable thing that makes us outcast.

I say we and us, but I also mean I and Me. I was abused when I was fifteen by an old man. I already felt like a social outsider, probably because of my family life at home, and this edged me further out. Shortly after that another older man abused me. But this second abuse was tangled in what had previously been a very trusting relationship. The more I was abused, the easier it was to find me and abuse me. I was almost twenty-two when I finally was able to say no.

But by then it was too late to stop the damage, and the effect of one act of defiance is lost in the sea of shame and anger. I had already lost the belief that I was a man, same as all the rest out there. After several non-abusive sexual relationships I learned that the only way I was sexually satisfying to another person was when I submit myself to their control, not physically, but psychologically. I was fast losing my own sense of identity… my own sense of control and desire. Soon I also lost a belief in my ability.

Now I am recovering, and I am far enough along to realize that those beliefs about myself are probably not true. I can safely say that their foundation is one of lies and abuse and neglect. I mentioned pain, and it is here where my pain lives… in these beliefs about myself. Whenever they are challenged or otherwise brought near my conscience, I fall all to pieces inside.

Last year this really forced itself on me as my wife left me. How, I wondered, could I be so far gone that this woman who seems so open and understanding, leave me. But now even my beliefs about her are not so surefooted anymore. In many ways I am fast finding myself short on friends that I can relax with. But the more I push away the fear to keep some friends, the less I am able to experience the pain at all. I do suppose that there are some rough nights ahead, though I cannot say how far, but at some point, I must go though the pain.
I must say how weak a really feel... how ashamed of my body I am… how afraid if someone gets too close they will discover something awful about me. I can say them here I suppose, but what I mean is that I will have to really feel those things. It is no good to stay at work late to avoid getting close to someone or to look at pornography to forget about my sexual shame for a while. The funny thing though… when I want to escape the damage is already done. For me, at least for now, there is no resisting pornography so I can let the shame feelings out because they are already to sub-conscious. Instead I must let them come out whenever they surface. Stop whatever I was doing and just let it out.

But it is so hard to do and it is so scary, and most of all, it really does, honest to God, HURT. It is those times that my loneliness seems so acute that it will never really go away… Not because other people do not want to be with me, but because I am too afraid to let them.

All alone or in twos
The ones who really love you
Walk up and down
Outside the wall.

Some hand in hand
And some gathered together in bands
The bleeding hearts and the artists
Make their stand.

And when they’ve given you their all
Some stagger and fall. After all,
Its not easy banging your heart
Against some mad buggers wall.

Pink Floyd – Outside the Wall

"Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself." -Mary Schmich

#25836 - 02/20/04 08:13 AM Re: There really is a lot of pain
Em Offline

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 38
Loc: North East Ohio

I understand how you feel. I have been struggling with letting go of pornography, and working as much as humanly possible, among other forms of numbing and trying to kill the pain, and shameful feelings.

I understand now that this is part of a cycle, which always lead to more pain.

I work hard to try and stop myself before I repeat the cycle, but it is difficult. Basically I understand a lot of what you said. I've only begun my recovery a short time ago, so other then my empathy, I'm afraid I don't have anything else to say that is helpful.

On the lonliness, someone gave me good advice recently. Give yourself what you wish others would give you. Know yourself, love yourself as much as you hope others would love you and know you. It is helpful when you are not able to let others in. .... That advice has started to serve me well. Good luck to you.


#25837 - 02/20/04 10:31 AM Re: There really is a lot of pain
Leosha Offline

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
Wrangler, much of what you said, I could like read myself in between your words.

Yes, there is a lot of pain. It is not easy, and it has hurt involved. Some of it may be pain we had shut out previously. Some of it may be pain we were not sure how to feel previously. Some is grief, for what we have lost. Some may be sadness, isolation, anger. Anyone who tells you different, that there is no pain or that it is easy, is full of crap.

I am so very familiar with pushing people away, being afraid with them, what they think of me, what they will think of me, all these other thoughts in my head. As I am still working on getting past that, I can not say I have any answers for you on that. I just know that I have been fortunate enough to find some who don't seem to leave, no matter how hard I push. That does help increase faith and trust with others, and for the next relationship.

I wish there are easy answers, or ANY answers for all this. We all have to work it ourself, and discover things within ourself. Because we all come here with our own truths. Yes, some of our experience and backgrounds may be similar. But we are all unique, and must do this work ourselves, and discover it within ourselves. This site and the men here are wonderful for advice, support, understanding, listening. But the work is us. The work is ours. And it is hard.

I wish you well, and good luck.


Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

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

#25838 - 02/20/04 02:41 PM Re: There really is a lot of pain
outis Offline

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2261
Loc: Maryland USA

The pain is real because the wrongs were real. Pain is a normal reaction to such abnormal experiences. When we bury it, hide from it, flee it, disguise it, we simply give it power that is rightfully our own.

It ain't gonna be easy, but sooner or later we have to feel it. That's all it's for, to be felt. Trying to hold it at bay, we exhaust ourselves. Fighting the wrong fight we cannot win.

Not sure where you are in No VA, but I'm in County Calvert, down Pennsylvania Ave from the Beltway. (Way down Pennsylvania!) There was some talk once about a few of us near DC getting together sometime. PM me if you like.



"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

#25839 - 02/20/04 02:57 PM Re: There really is a lot of pain
uselesstheories Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 23
Loc: USA

I am so terribly sorry for your pain; you are amongst folks that perhaps identify with your suffering more than you know.

Being a HUGE Floyd/Roger Waters fan myself, I thought I would offer this: The Final Cut is perhaps the most difficult, yet oddly cathartic continual experience I have ever had with their music:

the final cut

through the fish eyed lens of tear stained eyes
i can barely define the shape of this moment in time
and far from flying high in clear blue skies
i'm spiraling down to the hole in the ground where i hide

if you negotiate the minefield in the drive
and beat the dogs and cheat the cold electronic eyes
and if you make it past the shotgun in the hall
dial the combination, open the priesthole
and if i'm in i'll tell you what's behind the wall

there's a kid who had a big hallucination
making love to girls in magazines
he wonders if you're sleeping with your new found faith
could anybody love him
or is it just a crazy dream

and if i show you my dark side
will you still hold me tonight
and if i open my heart to you
and show you my weak side
what would you do
would you sell your story to rolling stone
would you take the children away
and leave me alone
and smile in reassurance
as you whisper down the phone
would you send me packing
or would you take me home

thought i oughta bare my naked feelings
thought i oughta tear the curtain down
i held the blade in trembling hands
prepared to make it but just then the phone rang
i never had the nerve to make the final cut
- Roger Waters

Life is pain your Highness; anyone who tells you differently is selling something.
- William Goldman

#25840 - 02/20/04 02:58 PM Re: There really is a lot of pain
crisispoint Offline

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
My friend, Wrangler,

Sometimes, at least for me, it's easier to walk alone than deal with others. Because of many things, and not just the abuse. I was always an outsider, picked on by other kids, and my family life wasn't so hot. I learned that it was easier to be alone than invite it by allowing others in.

But this can also be unhealthy. I was near the end when I realized I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't keep my private life, my SELF, alone anymore, because there was no one to tell me how GOOD I was. I feared hearing again and again how BAD I was, and ended up believing it, so I saw no hope. No peace.

It's the hardest thing to do, when all we're accustomed to is pain. It's what we learned, so believe me, you're not "alone" in that thought. But you should take a minute to look around you. There ARE good people out there. People who will not hurt you, use you, or mock you. There are those who will listen to you, care about you, laugh with you, and love you for who you are. It should be easy, because it shows that you are a good man, someone with a lot to offer.

Wrangler, to borrow an image from the Wall, we can build our walls so high that there is no sky to see. We have to go BEYOND the wall. Keep a few to be safe, but lower them and build in doors to that those who are worthy of us, and we're worthy of, (and we're worthy of EVERYONE!) to come in.

It's the hardest thing I can think of, but it can be very rewarding.

Peace and love, my brother. You're truly not alone.

Scot \:D

There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

#25841 - 02/22/04 04:34 AM Re: There really is a lot of pain
RICK57 Offline

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Wrangler -

I don't know if that's your real name or not, but one of the first pairs of jeans that I ever bought were wrangler .... I knew that they were quality, wouldn't let me down & would last far longer than most of the alternatives. They had tradition that no one could deny....not bad to be compared with something good that everyone knows (you may have the name for a completely different reason, but accept my de>
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

#25842 - 02/22/04 04:57 AM Re: There really is a lot of pain
michael Joseph Offline

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
I am glad you have a place to post how you feel.
Very few of us had a place to go as children. Boys are supposed to be able to take care of themselves. Many of the male victims are hurt beyond repair. All that many of us need is a tender heart and someone to listen. There are many men here, and much support.

Standing together is so much better than hiding in the dark.
***I am a three time WoR Retreat Alumni***
The Round Table, Men's CSA Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat

#25843 - 02/22/04 10:44 AM Re: There really is a lot of pain
mrwhiskers Offline

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 193
Im sorry, im not very good with words , i wish a could stop the pain u r feeling, im sorry for the boy cryng in the dark, dont let him in the dark anymore, please take him to the beach, let the sun shine in his eyes, he-s the one who needs u , only u can take him out of the dark and kiss his tears away.

"Dont be scared... angels r here" Maria Fernanda (Mafer)

#25844 - 02/22/04 03:19 PM Re: There really is a lot of pain
markgreyblue Offline

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
wrangler - in your post you seem to be talking about my experience in a way - there are so many similiarities - the loss of self the fight to keep people out - the pain
and all the isolation
you are not alone wrangler -

we are here for you -
i am here -


" not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous

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