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#359091 - 04/09/11 12:34 PM Polling the Audience - again :)
Rusty563 Offline

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 209
Loc: Anywhere, USA
Ok, so I have this question, (which I probably already know the answer to but looking for confirmation nontheless)to ask because I've had one of those roller coaster weeks and I'm a bit turned around.

So here's my question, now that I've acknowledged that I was sexually abused, will I always be in a state of recovery? Will there ever come a time when I can say "it's over?" I'm in therapy, I take meds for the PTSD, I try to keep myself "normal" at work (Some people at work have commented that I seem to be like my old self again. I'm a good actor, you dig.) but I wonder, is this the way it's to be from now on?

I'm not complaining. Just looking for feedback, a way to find acceptance and resolution to what the rest of my life is to be like.

Thank you Brothers, Rusty

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you - Maya Angelous
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed - Martin Luther King

#359094 - 04/09/11 12:46 PM Re: Polling the Audience - again :) [Re: Rusty563]
earlybird Offline

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 1007
I’m surely no expert on the subject of recovery – only my experience. I first disclosed and turned to counseling eighteen years ago, after twenty one years of avoidance. I’ve had years of focusing on the rape and years of setting this issue aside. I don’t believe one ever fully is done with the work of recovery from ASA or CSA. I do believe one can take this event and turn in around and us it to an advantage. See it as a “walking through fire” and now understand things in a way that makes them a better human being by being more sensitive to others and their struggles. This is my goal at least, to use it rather than being used by it. Earlybird

Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

#359098 - 04/09/11 01:18 PM Re: Polling the Audience - again :) [Re: earlybird]
1.healing Offline

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio
Hi Rusty,

Good question.... Only my opinion, but I think it's something like having a manageable medical condition, SA/CSA is never "cured" so to speak but can be managed with great results. Another way to look at it may be to think of it from the standpoint of a recovery program much like AA, SAA, CA or any of the others, again it's about management. Unfortunately, I don't think there's a silver bullet, magic or miracle cure out there for it, short of perhaps having amnesia.

For myself I've been dealing with my CSA issues or working on my recovery almost from the moment it happened at 11 yrs old and I'm now 55, I don't think I'm the exception either. Not to say that it's been constant therapies, medications, etc., I have had rather long periods of time when I wasn't in denial about my CSA, but it also wasn't much of an issue either. I believe though that it's always a part of who we are, that it's just easier to accept that and live + plan accordingly the best we can. Hope this might help answer your question.


"It's never too late to be what you might have been."

George Elliot

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life."

Virginia Woolf

#359105 - 04/09/11 01:55 PM Re: Polling the Audience - again :) [Re: earlybird]
freddie Offline

Registered: 03/28/11
Posts: 42
Loc: California
I agree and feel that the eventual move to a 'Thriver' and contributor to others with the subject matter is a goal here. I'm 62 this year and suffered the CSA, or rape, at 10-12yrs of age. My rocky road through multiple PTSD's in other events, particularly the last one on halloween day 2004, actually placed me at my day of reckoning. A more thorough understanding of some of my social shortcomings, especially, allows me to take the residual into my daily activities with greater conscience or awareness........................................


#359157 - 04/09/11 10:39 PM Re: Polling the Audience - again :) [Re: freddie]
Dan99 Offline

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 162
Loc: Washington DC
Wouldn't it be great if we could just fix this and be done with it? It hasn't worked that way for me. Trying to put some perspective on it, I guess it has gotten a little better in that I can cope with problems more quickly or at least I know where to turn. And I can often connect the dots more quickly when trying to figure out why I'm panicking or distancing myself from reality.

But that said, I still hate it whenever something flares up and snaps me back into recovery mode. And it happens fairly regularly. I doubt it will ever end. I think Gary said it best for me: It's like a manageable condition that I have to deal with.

Work like you don't need the money;
dance like no one is watching;
sing like no one is listening;
love like you've never been hurt;
and live life every day as if it were your last.

#359160 - 04/09/11 11:17 PM Re: Polling the Audience - again :) [Re: Dan99]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
When someone tells me to "cut off the past" and don't make the past "part of you," I retort (calmly...yeah right) that "a doctor would not cut-off his prior years and act as if it did not make him what he is...we ARE built of components from our entire past...are we not?"

Would any normal be willing to eliminate his past? The request/suggestion does not even pass the 'laugh-test.'

So...if your past will always be your past, and you can't re-write it, how in God's name will we ever be "over it?"

What we might reach, is some degree of acceptance...ok...I can't even say that with a str8 face.

#359163 - 04/09/11 11:39 PM Re: Polling the Audience - again :) [Re: Rusty563]
jevin Offline

Registered: 11/30/10
Posts: 47
Loc: somewhere on the Red Road
Originally Posted By: Rusty563
So here's my question, now that I've acknowledged that I was sexually abused, will I always be in a state of recovery? Will there ever come a time when I can say "it's over?"

Rusty ...

There's probably no simple answer to your questions because there is no singular map to healing. While there are many common elements to our recoveries, each of us moves through the process in our own time and on our own unique path.

If you're asking these questions then you're probably worrying about things like "Will I ever feel like 'myself' again" and "How much more of this pain and confusion can I endure?" I had the same worries years ago when I began recovery from my abusive childhood. Back then I posed these same questions to a number of men who I would later come to see as damn good models of recovery, and none of them could tell me how long it would take or give me solid assurance that I would find the kind of peace I was searching for. I don't yet know why I didn't give up then and there, because the struggle and suffering seemed so chaotic and unending.

This is literally a process of recovering ourselves -- no small deal, an immense undertaking. At the beginning much of our authentic self is buried under years of denial, distortion, lies, roles we learned to play, and a bunch of other refuse all put in place for one purpose: to keep the pain of the abuse as far away as possible from our consciousness so we could survive. But survival isn't living -- it's only a means of keeping us in a kind of holding pattern -- and we find this out when whatever survival tactics we've employed eventually begin to cause us more pain than they're able to numb. In other words, the anesthetics begin to lose their effectiveness and we begin to re-experience that core pain from so long ago.

Recovery then requires a lot of digging, down through many layers. How many? Who knows. We all have our own unique psycho-geology. But each time we battle through some core pain to reach a new buried part of our authentic self, these individual, small recoveries begin to build into a new sense of who we are. At some point in this process you may reach a brief state of peace, a sense of well-being -- moments at first, then hours, days, weeks, even months sometimes. You begin to have the experience for the first time since childhood of standing on the bedrock of who you are. This uncovered self will probably be quite different than the person you thought you were when you began your recovery. So, when you worry, "will I ever feel like myself again," you will, but probably not in the way you'd imagined.

It's impossible to appreciate at the beginning of recovery the sheer amount of energy and hope that you'll need to achieve those first fledgling footholds. All we can really do when we begin is to keep the focus on today. If you can't manage that, then just try to get your arms around the moment. What do I feel? If I'm in pain, is it because some guy just cut me off on the expressway or is it about something else, something deeper? What is this pain, really? Am I being honest with myself? What do I need? What can I do at this moment to love myself more? Can I take a risk and simply stop just one thing I've been doing to keep the core pain away? If I can't do this alone, can I at least take a leap of faith and believe that I deserve help? Can I risk asking for help?

Recovery is built on hours, days, weeks, months and years of this kind of conscious living. Two steps forward, one back. Three forward, one back. On and on until we start to feel whole. Then four forward and one back. Then five and one. I think you get the picture. Recovery is a journey not a destination. I believe it's never "over." It's a way of life, a commitment to ourselves to reclaim and become more and more and more who we are. Who can say when that ends?

All I can offer you right now is this: I am somewhere down the road of recovery, and the view from here is looking pretty good. So, keep moving, one step at a time.

Peace, man.

- Jev

"Whatever is rejected from the self appears in the world as an event."
- Carl Jung

#359231 - 04/10/11 01:58 PM Re: Polling the Audience - again :) [Re: jevin]
Mountainous Buck Offline

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Minnesota

Admitting the abuse is huge. It is the first step towards a life that integrates lessons experices and wisdom.

Lots of times I thought I had "arrived"-Thinking I had all I needed and was done working hard and learning. Money, education, career-nothing is the end all or be all. Even owning my csa hasn't fully resolved my journey in life.

I still stumble, get lost, and fall down. (the Big difference is that I don't abusively act out, isolate destructively, or engage in obsessive blaming or shaming-these old behaviors recreate the hopelessness I chose for years and exact a high price on my stability, relationships, and dreams.)

Recovery means i choose to get back up and keep going forward.

It also means I have men in my life to help me and hold me accountable so I can keep growing -men who know my story but don't let me stay there-men who have suffered and. Recovered

I hope the rest of my life is about discarding what doesn't work and discovering and integrating what does work.

When I'm done, I'll be the best version of me possible.

Edited by Mountainous Buck (04/10/11 03:32 PM)
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

�It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner


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