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#31559 - 03/22/05 12:05 PM it's hard to say
stickman Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 2
I just found and joined this discussion group. I have to say that I'm awfully impressed by the bravery of all the people who are participating here; you are an enviable bunch.

Since leaving a brief stint of therapy about three years ago I've continued to have a lot of trouble thinking about, or trying to forget the nightmarish experiences I had as a child. Physical abuse from very young, and sexual abuse from age ten to sixteen. The guilt of not checking up on the abusers and talking to someone to get them investigated and stopped... well, don't get me started.

I've maintained a somewhat functional existence in the 19 years since the abuse stopped. I have an absolutely fantastic wife whom I love dearly, and a decent career. I still feel a bit of a shell of a person though, and it's what I've felt for probably 25 years, and well, despite having such a loving wife, am quite unhappy. This maintains a constant guilt that I can't be a more normal husband for her, though I'm not sure she knows the pain I continue to feel so perhaps I seem normal to her. I don't know.

I chose all the wrong ways to deal with the pain and guilt of the childhood, and with a long history of self mutilation and heroin addiction behind me I manage to continue faking my way through the day and looking for the nerve to even wonder if I should be getting some more therapy. That was an ugly can of worms while it lasted, to be sure, and while I was told I was doing the right thing, it sure didn't feel good whatsoever.

A suicide attempt as a teenager had me talking to what seemed to me to be a very angry and apathetic doctor in the hospital. This, I'm sure, went a long way to keeping me the quiet kid thereafter. Damn him, or damn me... not sure who's to blame there. We were both wrong, I guess.

The more recent therapy lasted for about a year and a half, and I'm also dope free for three years now. The heroin use started as an alternative to suicide and very quickly got out of control. There's not a day that goes by that I don't still think about using, but it's not something I ever seriously consider. Just more like enjoying the memory of that state of detachment. Things were getting pretty desperate financially as a result of it though, so I knew it was either confess to her that I was an addict and get clean, or go the whole nine yards and lose it all.

My wife and therapist got just a fraction of the picture of my abuse and by their reaction (shock from my wife and a real sense of compassion and urgency from both her and the therapist) I thought it best to kind of stop there and to keep the rest to myself.

It's just too hard to talk about those things, as I'm sure you all understand. I don't really know where I'm going with all of this. Just trying to string together a "here I am" kind of post.

Again, well done to all of you who have gotten as far as you have, and the honesty and empathy of your writing; it's very admirable.

I guess I'll give this a go for a while; will continue reading and will post to help others where I feel I can.

As of today, I have no advice to offer with the exception of: "do not use drugs to make yourself feel better. They are far stronger than you are and if you get out alive, you will be in an ugly state of want for a long time afterwards."

That said, I really knew this before I started down that road myself, and I ignored the facts anyhow (the "it won't happen to me" blinders were on all the way). Please just know what an all around bad and scary scene it is to be involved in. You will find yourself dealing with awful people that you never thought existed. Yes, many will likely have a similar painful background as yours, but that commonality will not make them your friends. They will be like you in that you both share the same common, urgent goal, and all the ugliness that is generated and overlooked in order to attain it are just nasty incidentals.

whew! That's out. I anxiously look forward to being a member here.

Hope you all are doing okay.


PS. Are there any therapists, counsellors, or doctors as members of this group?

Thank you for reading.

#31560 - 03/22/05 07:22 PM Re: it's hard to say
self_righting Offline

Registered: 03/01/05
Posts: 69
Loc: Tampa, FL

I am glad you found the forums. I haven't been here that long but I've really benefitted in that short time by sharing my pain and stories with everyone. I can relate to much of what you posted. I think we've all tried to find ways to "escape". Many of my disassocaition strategies involved "self-medication". Anyway, nothing profound to add other than I'm glad you made it here but deeply saddened for the reasons that brought you.


#31561 - 03/22/05 08:22 PM Re: it's hard to say
markw Offline

Registered: 12/27/04
Posts: 52
Loc: chicago
Welcome Stickman,

Sorry that you had a reason to find this site. You will find a great bunch of guys here. I am sort of new here also. I can relate very much to your heroin addiction. I just have come out of methadone withdrawal. Been “clean” since December 1st. What hell it was, and still is at times. I know what you mean about how not a day goes by without thinking about it. At times it can be all consuming. But not using is better than using. As you said, it is and was very ugly. Leaning to cope with sa and drug addiction is very, very hard. The hardest thing I have ever done, or better said, attempting to do. Always a work in progress.


#31562 - 03/22/05 10:07 PM Re: it's hard to say
ForeverFighting Offline

Registered: 02/09/05
Posts: 1253
Loc: New Mexico, USA
Congratulations on three years. Mine aren't substance abuses, but I understand the everyday fight. Mine are internal. I'm glad you found this place. The support is unbelievable.

I'm sorry to hear the one time you had a possible opportunity for help you were stuck with a stupid doctor. They're out there. It wasn't your fault by any means. A cry for help unanswered. That hurts. For me it was my dad. I got the brilliant idea that I'd ask him for help. He betrayed me and I shut down until only recently when I found there are men out there who I can trust with pieces of my past without fear of betrayal.

You sound like a protector, a helper, to me.
My wife and therapist got just a fraction of the picture of my abuse and by their reaction (shock from my wife and a real sense of compassion and urgency from both her and the therapist) I thought it best to kind of stop there and to keep the rest to myself.
Healing comes from sharing those worst things that happened to us as we're able. Don't ever feel pressured to tell more of your history than you're comfortable doing. But on the other hand, you don't have to help everyone on the board here. You can use this place to share those things that are painful. That's what I try to do. I'm a "helper", too. You shouldn't have to protect your therapist from your own pain. That's why you pay him. And it wasn't your fault. The evils you suffered that took you to the brink--they weren't your fault.

Take your time. I'm sorry you had such a tough life, but I'm glad you've found help and support along the way. And welcome to the brotherhood.

"This search for the truth--it's not for the faint of heart."--Goren on 'Law & Order: CI'
"The former things will not be called to mind, nor will they come up into the heart."--Isaiah 65:17


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