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#405674 - 08/03/12 03:22 AM What has helped you?
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4199
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
A while back, Martin (Whome) started a thread called "What past made us what we are". in it he asked: "What do think opened you up or made you vulnerable to being abused?" It was, IMHO - a very good question and the answers were insightful and helpful.

The other day my wife remarked that she has observed 5 specific improvements in my behavior, attitude, and ways of relating and communicating from the time i started therapy till now (and i also began actively participating in the MS forums about the same time). She asked me if i realized how much i'd changed and if i'd ever looked back to notice the differences since then.

I thought it would be interesting and helpful to ask a follow-up question to Martin's : "What has helped you to make progress, start healing or overcome the abuse?"

I'll start out:

1. i had to admit i had problems - that they were rooted in sexual abuse - and that i needed help.

2. i had a supporter (wife for me) who cared enough to confront me, intervene and insist that i seek professional counseling.

3. i was fortunate to find a therapist who was qualified, experienced, accessible and whose style and personal approach clicked with my personality and needs.

4. i read as much as i could get my hands on relating to the topic of CSA in books, articles, online, and started to understand my issues thorough the experiences and analyses of others.

5. i came to the MS forums for information, advice, support, encouragement, and a sense of community - and participated actively in conversations and discussions with fellow-survivors. it was and is so empowering to know that I AM NOT ALONE and there are others who UNDERSTAND!

6. i started writing in depth and detail about my experiences, memories, gaps in my past, questions, doubts, insecurities, theories, feelings, and possible connections and explanations for how and why things happened as they did and my reactions in the past and present.

7. i have increasingly shared my thoughts, feelings, memories and writing with my wife - which helps her to understand me - and helps me to trust her more as she sticks with me through the hard times.

8. we have been seeing a counselor together so that we can work on "us" instead of having all the focus on fixing me.

9. i told my story to a trusted friend who had no prior knowledge of my history and was surprised and encouraged to discover that i was believed and was still accepted, respected and liked, rather than being judged, condemned and rejected as i had feared.

10. i have faith in God that has endured despite some periods of serious doubt, questioning, defiance, confusion and anger - and that helps to give me hope.

not saying that i've arrived or that the work is finished, by any means - and there have been plenty of setbacks and troughs along the way - but i am definitely tending to go in a general forward direction. so that's my perspective from where i stand today.



P.S. i hope to see as pattern emerge of what tactics seem to be mentioned most frequently and appear to be the most helpful - so don't hesitate to post similar entries just because something has already been listed. And - by all means - if you have something NOT already listed - share the wealth!!!

Edited by traveler (08/03/12 03:43 AM)
Edit Reason: PS
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#405676 - 08/03/12 03:38 AM Re: What has helped you? [Re: traveler]
Shields Offline

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 13
Loc: Georgia
For me it was letting my Wife know because she is helping to push me to get help (God lover her, because it has been a real uphill battle). It has also been helpful to tell my parents. I was worried about what they would think, but now know that they will love me and support me no matter what. My abuser lives in my parents home town and there was always a good chance that I would see him if I went home to visit. I always had to try to act normal and deal with it internally. By telling my parents, I have eliminated that person from my life and theirs. I can feel safe going home again.

#405689 - 08/03/12 01:05 PM Re: What has helped you? [Re: traveler]
HappyDays Offline

Registered: 06/16/12
Posts: 28
For me it was accepting that I had a problem with friends and realationships. I was in a good realationship and made many bad choice while in that realationship. I finally came clean and told her about my passed, but it was to late the damage was already done. I found a great T while I was in the realationship but could not even tell her it took me a long time to feel safe to let her know about the abuse it was towards the end of the realatioinship. Once I did I fell even lower and could stand myself, hate me for all my bad choice in life. I continue to go T, getting help for me and asking for in the passed was almost impossible for me. but I did it for me. I read books, order DVD, talk to some friend and they believed me are are here and me and came to this site. I have admit to having a drinking problem and now go to AA(only a week so far). Today I am not looking to the past or the future. I am just accepting things today, learning to live life with dealing with what ever happnes and trying extremely hard not to blame the abuse or the connections to my drinking problem for the choice I make today. I already met some very cool people in both the MS group and AA group. One of the old timers has told me every time I see him each day is a new story, I love that, I realize it about being selfware around me and it my choice to write a good story or a bad one. Keeping things simple and digging deep inside my heart to deal with Abuse/drinking to be honest with myself and realizing that I need to make better choice has been the key for me.
Anything and all things are possible when you understand the feelings coming from you heart

Courage, honor, respect = strength!!!!

#405738 - 08/03/12 09:45 PM Re: What has helped you? [Re: traveler]
Country Offline

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 654
Loc: Alabama
Number 1 .. God and my new faith in Him Ad actually having a personal relationship instead of acting religious.
Number 2 .. My wife
Number 3 ... Understanding that I wasn't alone
Number 4... Going to therapy an reading Male Survivor
Number 5.. Realizing that I can be normal and my mind was exposed to bad things as a child but I can make a change and it ain't easy but definitely worth it. I will not be a victim any longer but now I am a survivor.
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

#405886 - 08/05/12 12:26 PM Re: What has helped you? [Re: traveler]
ahyden Offline

Registered: 05/22/12
Posts: 21
Nothing has helped me.

#405894 - 08/05/12 03:03 PM Re: What has helped you? [Re: ahyden]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3748
It takes time and surrounding yourself with good people who are truly there for you. You will find these people, and once you do you will learn you have value and deserve the best.

Keep trying, join support groups, find a therapist that you feel safe with and avoid situations and people that make you feel unsafe. The initials steps were small steps for me, a few forward, one back and this went on. It progressed and once I found support and people who care for people in actions and not words, I began to feel better about myself and could begin to explore the past, the CSA and lost time. I have faced the CSA head on and one day will face the lost time in this way--but I first must focus on me and my child--taking the child into the whole of me. That child has been the one who carried the pain and suffering all these decades and also took over when I was weak and crumbling. So the road may not be easy, but I am confident you can do it-

Keep well and begin to heal


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