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#366042 - 07/16/11 01:17 AM A Man?
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
Am I the only survivor who has a hard (maybe impossible) time calling himself a "man?" And I mean the actual label "man." I've NEVER been able to speak my name (even now), without mumbling it terribly and cannot bring myself to call myself a "man."

Other people are "men." I, however, am something other than "that." I certainly know from where it originates, but I wonder if I'm alone in this? It came from a vast mix of degradations that sepparated me from idenification with others. The "name" thing, I don't know where that comes from, but likely from zero self esteem or self-regard.

The haunting tid-bit was that question the lead perp would ask: "How do you let us keep doing this to you?"

My 6th grade teacher asked: "when are you going to stand-up for yourself?"

I won't even get into the mirror issues.

#366043 - 07/16/11 03:03 AM Re: A Man? [Re: Still]
LandOfShadow Offline

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 684
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Hi robbie,

I've ben thinking and “working"with this for a while's a source of no end of shame sometimes..but I can see how I just didn't process...wasn't present for.. Figuring out an identity as male, straight or gay, and dealing with the so many ways I couldn't fit with expectations of “male"

I doubt your alone on g this at all....

Et par le pouvoir d’un mot Je recommence ma vie, Je suis né pour te connaître, Pour te nommer

And by the power of a single word I can begin my life again, I was born to know you, to name you

Paul Eluard

#366044 - 07/16/11 03:07 AM Re: A Man? [Re: Still]
Fissy Tsickens Offline

Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 466
Loc: Bassett, Virginia
Hey, Rob.

I think I kind of know where you're coming from. I was called "fag" and "queer" so consistently over so many years, by kids at school and my own brothers, that "fag" is what I believed myself to be. To this day I still don't view myself as a man; on a good day, I consciously think of myself as a boy, but I don't, and can't, think of myself as a man. This has been a serious issue in my marriage, too.

So, you're not alone.



Wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
About a home I’ll never see

It may sound absurd...but don’t be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed...but won’t you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
It’s not easy to be me

#366045 - 07/16/11 03:34 AM Re: A Man? [Re: Fissy Tsickens]
CruxFidelis Offline

Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
I struggle with this as well. I used to see myself as a man but now I feel like that was stripped away from me. Spending time with friends of mine who are men has been helpful but sometimes I see myself trying to "act" like a man instead of just being a man like I did before my assaults. Underneath all of my attempts to fit in I feel like a eunuch.

“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

#366047 - 07/16/11 04:03 AM Re: A Man? [Re: Still]
Sailboat92 Offline

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 79
Loc: Ct
I recall when I was growing a go tee, I was absolutely convinced that someone would call out my inauthenticity, as this activity was reserved for men, males,- neither of which I had felt worthy of being referred or seen as. I was and am deeply ashamed of myself and to this day, always look for the person who is going to call me on this sham and I will finally cease to exist because I will crumble to nothing, having outlived the need for pain and disgust and remorse and fear and of not being what I see and feel every other "man" has, a strong and proud sense of being apart of an amazing gender that is strong, sensitive, supportive, provider, masculine, and reeks of what I thought would some day rub off on me. Your words are so true to me, my heart breaks for you, and truly to the boy in me that wanted desperately to understand the joys of manhood, but instead, fount a way to drown the hurt and emotional rape of my genger identity. I still think, if I could just do x, or y, it would make me a man...and if I try to do something like a man, install a light, fix a fence, I am destryoyed bt paralysis of being found trying to engage in something I'm not....what a fuck in powerful post
Filling prophecy of self hatred and disempowement, and disbelief that I was, am , will ever be a "man"

I don't have one

#366052 - 07/16/11 04:59 AM Re: A Man? [Re: Sailboat92]
Kaene Offline

Registered: 07/04/11
Posts: 40
Loc: Ausin, TX
I think I know where you're coming from Robbie. I've never felt like a man.

I don't feel like I'm a man socially. I don't feel like I'm a man sexually. I don't feel like a man even though I know useful things about tanks and airplanes.

And don't be mistaken, I don't feel like a woman either. I dunno, I tried explaining it to my wife, I think unsuccessfully once. I dunno if it's that I feel kinda genderless, like I don't fit in anywhere on the scale of biological gender, or if it's that I just still feel like a prepubescent little kid. I just know that I love who I love and I like who I like and that's it.

I also have a bit of the whole name thing going to. There's lots of very interesting and famous people who share my name, and I have no problem saying their names, like Kevin Spacey, Kevin Klein, Kevin Bacon, and even, though I'm loathe to admit it, Kevin Costner. But strangely I hate hearing anyone say MY name, and I don't like saying it myself either. It just doesn't seem right. Like it doesn't fit somehow.

I also think this may have something to do with my disconnect from other people socially. I remember watching the show Dexter and feeling such empathy for his charecter. Not the whole killing people part, but how he never knows how to act around people, or what to say or do in emotional situations. I always feel like I'm acting in a play, just trying to remember my lines.

I also have never really been able to stand up for myself, there have been times when I know I've been wronged and my body and mouth react, but it's a dissociative kind of reaction. I can hear my mouth lipping off at a drive through attendant, or public servant, but it's like someone else is doing the talking, and usually afterwards I feel so shocked that I felt that kind of anger, or said anything like that.

"Do you think God lets you plea bargain?" - Calvin & Hobbes

#366062 - 07/16/11 11:13 AM Re: A Man? [Re: Kaene]
EdfromNYC Offline

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 334
Loc: New York City
I've suffered from this for a long time too. I am 45 and I am truly starting to feel like a "man". I think its because I started to really get to know other men and let them get to know me. Once that started, I started to let go of my idea of what a "man" is supposed to look like.

I did a lot of work. I realize I had some kind of irrationality going on inside of me that I was 100% physically male but thought other people saw something different. I think that is a common sex abuse symptom - to believe others can see something in you that isn't there. For me, it was about abuse from my father, sexual abuse from others making me always doubt myself, question whether I was causing it. Victimizers depend on that dynamic; I believe that's one of the main reasons why we are "chosen" oftentimes.

I did a lot of writing, saw therapists, recovered through a 12 step group, read a lot and started praying more recently. I suffered through almost all of my life alone. So much of my recovery has been about letting go of self-centeredness and realizing that other people, other men, aren't more than me. I suffered something that is more shameful, more secretive, more confusing than most men and I have compassion for that and I make room for that and I accept it but I also accept that it doesn't diminish me and I have a right to have my voice added to the voice of men in general as does every man regardless of how "weak" he might think he is.

And more, much more, the heart may feel,
Than the pen may write or the lip reveal.
Winthrop Mackworth Praed

#366065 - 07/16/11 01:45 PM Re: A Man? [Re: Sailboat92]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma

Your example of the go-tee really made me pause and think back to similar times in my life. Attempting things, style and otherwise, after the assault always made me wonder if someone would speak up against me or if in their minds they were making fun of me. "Calling me out" is a perfect way to put it because that is what we do to fakes and liars. And so often so much of my life I have felt like both and not being an authentic man.

But over time it has gotten better as I become the man I think I need to be.

This is a very good thread and appreciate the thoughts and sharing of this pain by each one here.


Broad statements often miss their true mark.

#366067 - 07/16/11 02:37 PM Re: A Man? [Re: prisonerID]
ren42 Offline

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 54

Edited by ren42 (12/30/12 03:06 AM)

#366078 - 07/16/11 04:05 PM Re: A Man? [Re: ren42]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
Thanks for the feedback guys...and keep it coming for all those who have something to say. I ought to have guessed that such a raw, open nerve with me would be common anoung survivors.

Rather than trying to meet some standard of masculinity, my problem is just using the label "man." Like Fissy Tsickens says, a lot of it was from enduring cruel labels being thrown at me for nearly my entire childooh. So many single incedents stuck, it will likely take a lifetime to peel them off. Just to make matters worse, those labels still sting to this day. Individual stings!

**********Sadness Triggers***********

On a side-note, I remember a line I heard on TV as a kid; "Would the boy I was respect the man I am today?" I though a lot of that line from the time I ffirst heard it. The trouble was, I did not even respect the boy I was at that time.

Shit! This is one of the saddest healing tangents I've ever stepped upon. Sorry if it does the same to you. I sure hope the evil bastard pedos that lurk this site see this...but they probably don't care

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