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#421160 - 01/05/13 08:48 PM What makes you unable to give and receive love?
love Offline


Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 37
Male survivors who happen to read this...

What makes you unable to give and receive love?

Is it fear? Mistrust? Fear of disappointing another? Not feeling good enough? Sabotage? Not knowing how to?

What makes this impossible or challenging?

What would it take for you to be able to give and receive love?

Thank you for sharing!

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#421178 - 01/05/13 10:21 PM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: love]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: love
Male survivors who happen to read this...

What makes you unable to give and receive love?


Having no one to love. If I resolved that problem I'm sure I can give and receive love.

But maybe I'm missing something. What you you mean by "love"? (and who better to get the answer from wink )

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#421187 - 01/05/13 11:11 PM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: love]
CloudyFalls Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 173
Loc: Ohio
I wish I knew, and even when I have met others with this same problem it's just as perplexing.

I would say for me it has a lot to do with not being able to believe that it's even remotely possible that somebody could love me. A lot of times this comes as a form of a question like, "How could they love me if they knew who I really was?" Also trust is a big issue. I can't trust whether or not what I'm being told is true or just superficial bullshit. And I guess one of the most significant reasons is that to some extent I hate myself so I end up sabotaging myself so that I don't receive love, because well, I hate myself so I don't deserve it.

It's different between everyone I guess, so I just give you examples from me.

As to what would it take for you to be able to give and receive love, well if I knew I guess I wouldn't have this problem. Part of me understands it's a delusion, but part of me believes this delusion. It's an inner struggle, and if someone hates themselves, I don't see how it's possible for an outsider to help them if they're not open to the help in the first place. I've been told many times that you can't help someone who doesn't want help, idk if I believe that though, but I do know it holds some truth.


Edited by CloudyFalls (01/06/13 12:11 AM)
_________________________
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein

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#421192 - 01/05/13 11:38 PM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: CloudyFalls]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Being abused at a young age cauterized my heart. It's like I had scar tissue there where I was supposed to love and trust and communicate.

Puffer

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#421233 - 01/06/13 09:16 AM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: love]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5959
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Good topic.

Fear is what used to stop me from loving in the sense of dropping my defensive walls and allowing someone to fully engage my heart. I was afraid because my siblings not only rejected me, but they became sarcastic and demeaning, ridiculing me. My siblings also sexually abused me. My parents believed in corporal punishment when they were angry, the beatings were stopped when they were tired, not due to incident or indiscretion.

Fear. Maybe more to the point, a supporter may be confused because when a supporter meets their survivor, he was happy, funny, unconcerned, took chances and made you feel special. He was attentive and co dependent, eating, sleeping, driving and working became about you. Please dear supporter, do not confuse these things for love and openness, they are not. It is decades of creating the perfect wall to hide behind, and dear supporter, we are not laughing when you are hurt, we are screaming, we are terrified, we are clawing at the walls we make, hating them and yet desperately needing them lest we are overtaken again.

We love, we cannot trust. Happiness, hope, safety and comfort all come with a terrible opposite, because we MUST control ourselves, or we will be destroyed.
_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#421238 - 01/06/13 09:42 AM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: love]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Minnesota
I think trauma damaged my ability to be intimate.

(And if healthy relationship skills were offered in my family of origin, I missed those classes.)

And my myriad coping skills (drinking, reading, acting out/solo sexual activity and keeping others at a distance). Only undermined any natural inclination I had towards Intimacy.

Shame, trauma, isolation don't encourage vulnerability or intimacy.

So I had to start with me.

I had to seek help and find others who struggled in the same ways. I took an long honest look at myself and my life and choices and impulsive behaviors- and that continues to this day.

This same process and support helps me be intimate wih myself first and foremost. And others - male and female- in non sexual ways.

I create safe space to open up and experience my emotions I've stuffed for years.

And it opens me up to experience intimacy.


Edited by Mountainous Buck (01/06/13 10:05 AM)
_________________________
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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#421252 - 01/06/13 12:14 PM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: love]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
On behalf of my H who is a survivor, I know he feels love. He is a very gentle heart with a tender soul. He gives and receives love, but only to a small circle of few and only in moments when he feels safe. For the rest of time and people in his life, he saves his inner Comedian, or Performer, or Athlete... anything to distract them from the possibility of seeing HIM. He stumbles greatly with trust and with communicating in an emotionally honest way. He struggles with all levels of intimacy. So, for him, trust and intimacy, emotional communication and connection are what I think was damaged, but not the ability to give or receive love in of itself.

And to your question about what makes it challenging, I'd have to say yes to all. Fear, mistrust, self-worth, conditioning, control is a big one, sometimes sabotage, and sometimes the path of least resistence. Sometimes he is just tired of trying and working so hard all the time and just wants just wall himself in so he can take a break.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#421266 - 01/06/13 03:28 PM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: love]
crazy gecko Offline


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
I had to learn how, as an adult. I never learned how to show love as a child - I had no role models.

And receiving love was terrifying. First - Someone who loves you can stop loving you/abandon you. It's safer to not be loved. That way you can't hurt anyone and no one can abandon you. Second - When I was in my teens and moved in with my grandma (the first home where I wasn't abused) I had no idea how to respond to kindness. It was completely foreign to me. It was unknown and therefor frightening. I did my best to hurt her and piss her off just so she would act in a way that made sense to me, that I knew how to respond to...
_________________________
I guess what I'm trying to say
Is whose life is it anyway because livin'
Living is the best revenge
You can play
-- Def Leppard

My Story, Part 2

My blog

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#421295 - 01/06/13 07:47 PM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: SamV]
CloudyFalls Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 173
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: SamV
Fear. Maybe more to the point, a supporter may be confused because when a supporter meets their survivor, he was happy, funny, unconcerned, took chances and made you feel special. He was attentive and co dependent, eating, sleeping, driving and working became about you. Please dear supporter, do not confuse these things for love and openness, they are not. It is decades of creating the perfect wall to hide behind, and dear supporter, we are not laughing when you are hurt, we are screaming, we are terrified, we are clawing at the walls we make, hating them and yet desperately needing them lest we are overtaken again.

We love, we cannot trust. Happiness, hope, safety and comfort all come with a terrible opposite, because we MUST control ourselves, or we will be destroyed.


Wow, that's such a great explanation. I couldn't agree with you more.
_________________________
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein

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#421298 - 01/06/13 08:37 PM Re: What makes you unable to give and receive love? [Re: love]
EagerLearner Offline


Registered: 01/04/13
Posts: 16
Loc: Midwest
Great thread! Thank you love for posting this topic and thank you survivors for your candid and thoughtful responses.

My survivor friend has told me that he doesn't think he could ever love the way I love. It's confusing because sometimes he does seem very affectionate, but at other times he is very distant. He says he goes through periods where he has strong feelings for me, but other times he feels nothing, numb. He says it's easier to feel nothing than to feel the pain.

I also think there is some fear. He has said before that he is afraid I would leave if I really got to know him. I sometimes wonder how much is a direct result of CSA and how much is related to reactions that he has received in the past after disclosures. I know he has had some bad experiences with girlfriends in the past telling him that he would become an abuser himself after he disclosed.

It seems like he thinks he doesn't deserve love and that makes me really sad. I try to give words of affirmation liberally, but he always seems a little surprised that I could see him in a positive light.

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