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#278855 - 03/10/09 04:46 AM How to stop assuming the worst and being defensive
Charlie24 Offline

Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 562
Guys my dad had sent me an e-mail today. I saw him over the weekend and he just wanted to remind me how important it is too see the good in life, people, the world.

He also said that I get very defensive when others say something to me, at me. I do admit I'm guilty of this behavior. How do I stop this vicious cycle that goes on and on?

I think this could be a big reason why I push people away and I come off as an ass.

I often wonder if I fall back into bad patterns when I'm around my family?

I try to be positive for the most part but I seem to wonder if my family is holding me back?

Could they be part of the problem. I told my parents about my CSA and I haven't really talked to them about it since. I get the sense they don't care, don't believe it happened.

I want to stop being so messed and start living my life.

Why do I spend so much time in my head?

Again I think this goes back to or comes from the craving for acceptance from others. No one wants to be ostracized.

I often read Psychology Today and it helps me feel a little less out there and helps me understand stand were all a little bit crazy.

As always gentlemen thanks for your thoughts and advice. I'd greatly appreciate them here. Keep up the good work.


#278864 - 03/10/09 06:12 AM Re: How to stop assuming the worst and being defensive [Re: Charlie24]
Trucker51 Offline

Registered: 05/21/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO

Being defensive is one of our more common coping strategies. It got us here and protected us. Most all survivors have issues with trust and we are constantly on guard and wary of social situations. Most all humans crave acceptance. The transition from adolescent peer groups to developing young adult social relationships in a new surrounding is difficult for most people at best. Negativity and seeing the worst scenario often is the result as we experience a lack of approval, rejection, social anxiety, and isolation. Often we lead withdrawn lives suspicious of others motives as a result.

Perhaps you are feeling a bit sensitive because it seems as though your parents don't care. After all, you told them and they have not responded in a manner that you had hoped that they would. The problem is that most people do not understand the depth of this issue, so most likely your parents do not know enough and they are prone to hoping that you will get over it or that your negativity needs to change to more positive thinking.

In a sense your parents are right, but they don't understand the length of the process involved to deal with your past, to recover your self-esteem, and to gain enough self-confidence, to set your old negative and self-destructive coping strategies aside, and learn and adopt more positive and outgoing strategies as you move away from your past. Perhaps your father might benefit from reading a copy of Mic Hunter's book ABUSED BOYS, and you too, if you haven't done so already. The first 150 pages are a great introductory text into the complexity of the issues facing survivors.

There is hope on the horizon my man.


"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark

#278869 - 03/10/09 08:18 AM Re: How to stop assuming the worst and being defensive [Re: Charlie24]
blueshift Offline

Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 1242
Loc: infinity
Just being aware that you have that tendency can be a big help. If you know you tend to assume the worst and be over defensive, you can keep yourself in check.

I have learned to always check out if my fears are real before I respond to them as though they are.

My Story
My Art

#278871 - 03/10/09 09:08 AM Re: How to stop assuming the worst and being defensive [Re: blueshift]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2712
Loc: durham, north england
I'm not certain how to deal wih defensiveness, sinse it's something I get into myself on frequent occasions, especially when someone pays me a complement or, ---- in ultimate defense mode, when someone walks up to me on the street and attempts to grab hold of me in a misguided effort to "help" ---- I've become down right nasty on some of those occasions, which does indeed make me feel guilty, but the reaction is instant.

I admit though, that one is a bit vi specific, ---- and I wouldn't actually wish that experience upon anyone else.

as reguards your parents though, there is actually a problem.

My parents have both tried to be helpful, ---- especially considdering I didn't go into all the gorey details of the sa with them (it would just feel so wrong), they know roughly what happened and that is enough.

The problem has been, ---- particularly for my mum, realizing that no, this isn't something that is either quickly or easily fixed, or has an instant solution.

she did suggest one potential quick fix earlier on in my recovery, which I utterly refused, she tends to push around the hole relationship issue, ---- suggesting I do things that I'm not prepared to, and she's got very close to verging on the "pull yourself together" moments sometimes, particularly when I've had problems giving her a hug or accepting her saying something nice about me sinse, ---- as with almost all complements I dismiss it.

My dad has been a bit more relaxed about the hole thing, ---- and in fact it was him who suggested I start antidepressants. Then again, sinse he was a community psychiatric nurse before he retired, he's probably able to be much more objective about things anyway.

There have been points when I've literally asked both my parents to leave me alone, on my off days when i can't speak to anyone, and after some initial problems their both okay with that, but we stil occasionally run into issues.

I'm not sure about you Charley, but for me, recovery tends to be like learning something on my own which my parents have no experience of, ---- say playing the trumpit.

I go off alone and practice, I occasionally go out in public and try what I've learnt, and it can either go well or badly. Much as my parents would want to help, neither plays the instrument, so are simply left with the sounds coming from my room when i'm alone, and my disappointement or ilation when things work or not.

any suggestion they make is inevitably from a side line perspective, sinse ultimately, while they can sympathise with my ambition, they don't actually have any knolidge of what I'm physically doing.

this is just my thoughts and experience on the subject, of course, yours might well be different. Stil, i hope this was of some help.


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