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#413104 - 10/14/12 09:23 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Dolphinboy Offline

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 62
Jude, like so many others here, I am also one who feels uncomfortable in the company of men. I am Slightly surprised to learn that I am not alone in this. I have never been to a stag party and if I were to get married, at no stage in my life did I have a friend who could be my "best man". I can relate to so much of what has been said here on this topic. I have tried very hard to be seen as just another guy when in a group and lately it is getting better. But for most part of my life going out and being in a group of men was very hard. My csa took place from ages 8 to 12 and in a way I became locked into that age. I just could not mature like other guys and always looked years younger than my real age.
When there are dolphins in the waves,
the sharks wont get to us.
I believed my dad that day
and became Dolphinboy,
my own protector.

#413166 - 10/15/12 02:12 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
iambubba Offline

Registered: 04/24/12
Posts: 31
Loc: Canada
!00% with you. Its same for me. I actually perform in front of 1000's of people put me in a group of guys even 1 guy and the word uncomfortable doesn't begin to describe the way I feel.
I found this interesting though..put me in a group of gay men and I'm ok. Why?
I spent my years at college waiting for my roomate to do something to me...and remember finding it strange he didn't. This was one of my first moments of ah I'm different then everyone else.. I was expecting something to happen and almost felt like I was worth less cause he didn't try taking advantage.

#413198 - 10/15/12 08:07 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Farmer Boy Offline

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia
Thanks guys. You have all said it so well. All I can add is me too.

The funny thing is I would rather talk to girls but my wife would rather talk to guys (we are perfect for each other). She didn't have any CSA - just was a tomboy. Lol. We find ourselves in situations all the time looking at eachother across a room and seeing that the other is uncomfortable and would rather be where we are.

I don't feel like a grownup either. Even though I'm 6'2", have a beard and all manly farmer type I still feel like I'm pretending to be a man(don't feel comfortable calling myself that either). I have a lot of friends and try hard to fit in and listen to them talk about stuff I really don't care about (mostly sport and hunting). It just feels so unnatural for me.

Edited by Farmer Boy (10/15/12 09:52 PM)
Edit Reason: added not grown up bit
More than meets the eye!

#413200 - 10/15/12 08:16 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 2615
Loc: Central PA
So.... since this is apparently a really really common thing... how the heck does it get fixed? How do we work on it?

What's the practical application for this? Maybe for some of us we're content with the way it is... but what about us (like me) who realize that I have huge longing and void that I need male friendship and companionship and even feel it's something I need to move forward and heal the next broken thing in me!

I have a wife who I love dearly and love her affection (when she's willing to give it, which isn't often enough for me but... anyway), but that affection certainly doesn't help fill or sooth the hurting spaces in me. Maybe seeking that from others, regardless of gender is just a fool's errand, I really don't know. I've always been this way (at least it feels like it has been).

#413249 - 10/16/12 09:24 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Edward2 Offline

Registered: 09/30/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Maryland
I am so grateful for this discussion. I too am far more comfortable with women than with men. It seems that men who are good listeners, are sensitive, are not into sports are excluded from the world of "real" men. I too have learned how to fake it, walk into a room where guys are watching sports and always ask "what's the score" -- as if I care and know what teams are playing. So does this stem from the abuse? I have felt different ever since I experienced the pain of being called "faggot" and "fairy" for three years in elementary school. I was being sexually molested by a young man in the neighborhood at the same time.....what's been so hard to sort out is the fact that I loved the special feeling of being with this young man, felt special, never thought of it as abuse. It all happened between ages 8 and 11......the legacy: I have created a facade, know how to deal with the world but always feel empty, always feel that I'm on the margins, never fully participating in life. Several women have told me over the years that I am just like one of their girlfriends in that they can confide in me and that I care about their issues. I DO NOT want to be a girlfriend but I am also not a guy friend. I am married, seem like anyone else on the outside but am in a state of constant emotional turmoil. I want to let out the feelings that have been pent up for decades but fear ending up alone in a ratty apartment with rejections from everyone I know. I actually long for a relationship with another man to finally find out if I'm gay but doing that would be the end of my marriage and would be so far out of my comfort do we who are sensitive guys pretending to fit in our whole lives, do we just spend our entire lives wondering who we are, fearing the exploration of that question, and never really knowing.......


#413251 - 10/16/12 10:09 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Crusoe Offline

Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Dubai
My therapist made an interesting point the other day...

Only men need have this discussion and only men put themselves and each other through this purgatory. As boys and later men we battle with the idea of what makes a MAN. We tease each other and torture ourselves over the issue and our sexual identity. Women do not question if they are a woman or not. They do not argue over what characteristics define a woman. They are simply woman (They are cruel to one another/themselves for other reasons and in other ways)

We were born men and we are therefore men, regardless of our character traits or preferences. If you do not like sport you are still a man. If you don't like to fight you are still a man and if you prefer not to be coarse and insensitive it doesn't mean you are less a man. You can add an unending list of issues here that still won't change the fact that you ARE a man.

The question is what kind of a MAN (insert here emotional human being) do you want to be (what do you admire in others) Don't be a sheep and try to fit in.

The real challenge for us is standing tall and being proud of who we are and the values we hold. Recognising our strength and beauty and understanding that others will see what we see. If you believe you are the dogs b*ll*cks then others will go along with this. If you believe you don't have the right to exist you will project an uncertainty toward others.

We feel alone and insecure because we are uncomfortable in our own skin. (But so are many of the masquerading MANLY guys out there. Most people will respect us for standing up for ourselves and our views (whatever they are) but it is so scary to show people what we stand for if we need recognition and approval. Sometimes you will get BOTH but it is not guaranteed. These are the reasons I struggle so much and the same reasons challenge me to be intimate. I am scared of people seeing who I am without guards because I am not comfortable with myself.

The more risks we take and the more we push ourselves the more pride and self esteem we earn.

Sorry ... my point meandered toward the end ... these are my current thoughts though.

#413259 - 10/16/12 12:59 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
peroperic2009 Online   content

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3864
Loc: South-East Europe
Hi guys, this is so good discussion!
Well as the most of people we survivors are insecure and it is really hurtful for me seeing that I'm more supportive and kind for others than to my self. Sometimes I'm feeling like nothing good in life I deserve.
If I'm anxious and under stress I've been caught in constant turmoil and fight with such negative thoughts. There is no worse punishment for me than being left alone in such mood, it is terrible to handle sometimes.
I think that source of that negative self image is in unconsciousness. I feel it during my sleep and at the moments when I'm not fully awake early in the morning.
And no matter from what I've been scared when final confrontation comes I've been felt huge relief; relief of my grumpy inner voice more than from some difficult situation that I have had to deal with.
That voice is telling me to be scared of men, to expect the worse, to be not good enough or not man enough etc.
I guess some self esteem and confidence will come with age naturally.
But guys I wanted to tell you that I remember my childhood and later past when I was one of the leaders for bunch of boys from neighborhood. I was good in sports, I was helping others with school problems, I knew for many things that others didn't understand. Some of boys looked at me like in some hero.
Sometimes later during my high school I pulled back avoiding exposing my self to others and especially male friends from school. My mum died at that time, some boys attacked me and my brother because of some girls and some of them called and looked at me as I'm gay in the most negative context.
I've been caught on that spot ever since. Somehow it was much easier for me to feel good in my skin when I was boy than now as grown man.
So now here is my status related to this issue:
I've been trying to look more positively on myself.
I'm aware that I don't need confirmation from other males, I know who I'm.
I know that I can be supportive to others so I'm looking for that strength to revert it to myself; why not to try to do something for myself and to put my well-being a little bit higher on the list?
I dare occasionally to push myself to go over my comfort zone: like playing tennis with some new guys (it was great so far) or going for ski weekends with some men (I'll try not to repeat it) or becoming friend with my coworker (who is terrible annoying alpha male and now I'm trying so hardly to pull back smile ).
I needed to talk to my father about my brother who couldn't tell him that he is gay. I become aware how scared my father could be and fragile as person.
I started talking with my father and some men from my family more openly, I'm still felling that some of them consider me ass much younger and not equal and that neglect especially drives me crazy.
I'm trying to be more active and not passive waiting for things to happen, this is the most difficult task for me.
Some anxiety toward other men in my case would always be present like my hyper-vigilance but I learned that after some time my inner voice full of fears and negative messages would become silent.

So guys I know that some improvement is possible.
Let's share all our issues so we can learn how to become more relaxed in own skin!


Edited by peroperic2009 (10/16/12 01:02 PM)
My story

#413265 - 10/16/12 01:31 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Obi Offline

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1634
Loc: kansas
i find this interesting....

where, it seems, a lot of you find it easier to talk with women than men, well.... it's the opposite for me....

i find it a lot easier to be in a group of men than women...

strange, considering that i was abused by an adult male....

i tend to see it that the person who abused me screwed up sex for me. i'm extremely afraid, and other than the abuse, consider myself a virgin... i'm currently working on these issues...

anyway, i'm sexually attracted to women... this makes it very difficult, and scary, for me to be in a group of women...

i'm not sexually attracted to men, so it makes it easier for me to be around them. i've always enjoyed sports, have some natural athletic abilities and was playing sports before my abuse happened... i continued to play sports after... i can talk sports with the "guys"... action movies, games and so on....

just always seemed easier for me to be in the company of men than women... with women, i feel like a stranger in a strange land.
live another day. climb a little higher.

my story

my vlog

#413318 - 10/16/12 10:33 PM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
Yerac Offline

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 45
Loc: Southern CA

#413351 - 10/17/12 12:46 AM Re: In the Company of Men [Re: Jude]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4285
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
Yerac - i think you are right about the inferiority. i always feel like i am a gawky adolescent when around other men - even those younger than me. i hadn't thought of it under that name. i was calling it "shame." i guess both could be true.

ironically, one of my "what ifs" has aways been - what if my real father hadn't died when i was almost 3? he was an athlete - a coach and Phys. Ed instructor at a college. i was even the basketball team's mascot his first season on that job. if he hadn't died - and i had grown up with him - quite apart from probly avoiding the CSA stuff from the settings that i ended up in - i always wonder if i'd have been the hopelessly awkward physical reject that i was. would i have grown up with my own private personal trainer with whom i'd have had a warm, strong bond and been a sports star? or would i have been the same inept loser that i became - and been rejected and scorned by my own father?

i know it doesn't help to torture myself that way - but i can't help it sometimes.
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

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