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#423975 - 02/01/13 02:47 PM Undeserving of love? Confusion
lfp Offline

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 122
In another forum I saw a thread: Would you date an abuse victim? and some of the replies were like "No, way too complicated due to sexual dysfunction"... seriously? I can't believe there are assholes this size.

Anyway, while I'm sure I wouldn't want to date them either, this got me somenow and made me ask myself: Can I reallistically expect someone to love me despite the fact that I'm an abuse victim? This is an accidental thing and there's so much more to me than this. On top of that, my sexual experience is quite limited and I'm 25 -I have decided not to engage in casual sex because it'd leave me feeling shallow, depleted and used.

I feel like the moment I share this, I will disappoint the other person, and I will feel patronized or that they pity me.

It's difficult for me to distinguish between true kindness and patronizing confused

Any thoughts?
Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there. ~Josh Billings.
The Round Table, Mondays 7:30pm CST.

#423994 - 02/01/13 07:13 PM Re: Undeserving of love? Confusion [Re: lfp]
cant_remember Offline

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1070


I have similar issues. It's a tough one. It's something to handle on a case-by-case basis, and at the core of it is the question of disclosure: when do you tell someone that you care about that you're a CSA survivor?

Some of us here (not me) come to terms with their CSA history when they are already midway in a marriage or relationship and end up disclosing to their wife or partner as they begin to deal with this crap.

Folks like you and I, however, are in a different boat. If you find someone you like, my recommendation from experience is to delay disclosure until you have proven that you might be worth the trouble. As in, not on the first date or too soon thereafter... but if things are clicking and you want to risk it, then disclose.

Later is always better... that way you don't have to worry about distinguishing between kindness and patronizing.

I'll be just fine and dandy
Lord, it's like a hard candy Christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But I won't let sorrow get me way down.

#424060 - 02/02/13 11:47 AM Re: Undeserving of love? Confusion [Re: lfp]
Still Around Offline

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 22
Loc: Pennsylvania
I could have written that myself. Like you I'm also single and 25 (a story in and of itself), and I'm increasingly aware that I simply cannot handle even the idea of casual sex (I think it comes down to that I consider it using people even when it's not, and obviously that sets off some triggers); even thinking about it sends me into avoidance mode, so obviously the bar scene is right out---probably a good thing IMO.

I just have to get this off my chest after a triggering episode last night, but one of the things that has me worried about my value and prospects (as if I needed any more than the nagging doubts within myself) is that I don't dance, at least not without dissociating myself. I love music and I do play instruments, and while I love to dance to feel the joy within me, it's simply too much for me, probably part of my whole touch / getting close to people I don't really know well thing, combined with the way that bastard manipulated and groomed me when I was a kid.

And I've heard from multiple women (and some men) our age that "women know when you can't dance, it's a real turn off / real men dance, it's so sexy / wallflowers are creepy / etc." And even though it's not, it just feels like a direct attack on me and my worth as a person. It makes me so angry to hear that, I want to shout at the top of my lungs that I'm a goddamn man whether or not I dance or not! Dancing doesn't determine my value as a person or a mate! I'm a really terrific man, I really am, and I can be just as loving and sexy and caring as someone who can dance! You think I want to feel the way I do when I dance? I wish could just express the joy within my heart through dancing but now it's just too painful for me, at least for the time being.

And to hear people talk that somehow what's happened to us and our coping strategies that allowed us to survive somehow make us not only less attractive, but somehow lesser men and lesser people altogether and totally unsuitable for dating or anything, well, that's intolerably cruel.

Because we know that our trauma does not define as or our value as people, whether others understand that or not.

#424061 - 02/02/13 12:04 PM Re: Undeserving of love? Confusion [Re: lfp]
crazy gecko Offline

Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
I don't think my history of CSA makes me unsuitable to date.

However, after the last two weeks or so, I have to admit that I'm not easy to be in a relationship with. It's not so much sexual dysfunction (I'm one of the few lucky ones there). It's more about basic emotional instability and my habit of sabotaging relationship by pushing people away from me whenever I feel unsure (which is often).

If I ask myself if I would let my daughter date a guy like me, I have to be honest - I probably won't forbid it, but we'd have a long talk about the difficulties she'd face, and whether or not the pain would be worth it...
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

#424074 - 02/02/13 07:35 PM Re: Undeserving of love? Confusion [Re: lfp]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2712
Loc: durham, north england
Well myself, dancing is out entirely, so all that stuff about men who can't dance drives me nuts. What is odd though is friends of mine who have what I'd term good relationships didn't find their partners dancing, mostly they were friends who they met through mutual interests of one sort or another and something "naturally happened" well myself I'm 30 and nothing has ever "naturally happened" to me at all, despite a large percentage of female friends, so god knows, I don't even understand what "date" is meant to mean as a verb anyway since while I've been out for coffee, drinks, to other events and such with female friends many times I've never once been on what one could call a date, indeed as far as I'm concerned nobody has ever been interested in me as more than a friend, ---- which is either because nobody has been or because I lack that ability to pick up that someone could be which everyone else is supposed to have learnt.

This is why my solution has been my resolution, to devote my life to music, writing and creativity and attempt to crush the desire for a relationship. It's not something I'd recommend to everyone, and I don't always succeed, but I have had more peace myself since (despite falling in love again for the first time in three years in december of last year).

as to casual s/x, well my genophobia makes that a little difficult. It's something I've considdered paying someone for, but even if I could avoid my panic reactions long enough to even take my clothes off let alone get further, I sort of dread what I'd feel like the next morning.

On the disclosure point, well I do remember one occasion where I do wonder if not! disclosing actually lost me a relationship. A certain female friend I'd known for a long while was visiting me a lot, us going out together fairly often, she also attempted to give me a hug on on one occasion (which unfortunately caused me to freeze). She told me nearly her life story, which is pretty usual with me and girls, my parents, as well as various other people now suspect she was interested in becoming more than friends, but of course, this was something I didn't pick up myself, indeed I had no knolige of such. Yet, part of me does wonder if I had! explained to her precisely why I was not able to understand if she was! interested in me whether she would've been far more honest and not relied on these mysterious "natural signals" whatever the hell they're supposed to be (yee gods! women have it easy! I'd love to be able to just sit around and wait for a guy to ask me!).

My friend was extremely emotionally stable and I'm fairly sure wouldn't have freaked out on me, and I knew she was feeling quite lonely at the time since she'd just finished her degree and all her friends had moved on, and had several months previously broken up with her previous boyfriend (indeed she told me as much).

This is why I am sticking to my resolution. I've tried the dating sites thing, tried reading books and advice, but nothing tends to make a difference, indeed three quarters of the advice basically boyles down to "be a good friend not a pig" and I try to do that anyway and it still doesn't help.

So, my resolution, the only relationship I will have any certainty of is that with the mues of poetry!

#424081 - 02/02/13 10:26 PM Re: Undeserving of love? Confusion [Re: lfp]
LazyPirate Offline

Registered: 01/03/13
Posts: 106
Loc: Ontario
I'm so damn awkward in social situations. I don't dance, sing, stand out, I'm not that funny, not outgoing, nothing... It's a wonder that I lucked out & found a great girl 18 years ago. She's been with me ever since. I only disclosed to her about 2 years ago & she's been a rock for me. We, the survivors of CSA have big issues... But I would completely date a girl with these issues if I were single for some reason. If I had kids I wouldn't stand in their way either. Everyone is beautiful & needs love.

If entering a new relationship I would wait until there is an established emotional bond before disclosing. No need for pity... Just love.
The Bluebird of Happiness long absent from his life, Ned is visited by the Chicken of Depression. - Gary Larson

#424086 - 02/02/13 11:33 PM Re: Undeserving of love? Confusion [Re: lfp]
cdlphn Offline

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 9
From my perspective I think as CSA guys we have a lot to offer in relationship with someone else. We tend to be sensitive and compassionate and there are many women and men out there that would love to be in a relationship with a guy wha has these qualities. From my experience, as I have made progress in recovery, I know how to develop and maintain real intimacy, while tthis was something I really struggled with during my pre-recovery and early recovery phases.

#424210 - 02/04/13 07:01 AM Re: Undeserving of love? Confusion [Re: lfp]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2712
Loc: durham, north england
The problem cdl, is at least for me, I can self understand until the cows come home, I can accept I need intimacy, I can show compassion for others, and indeed yes I can say that through recovery I've learnt, but it takes two to tango.

I'm fairly certain that if I could form a relationship with someone it wuld work, or at least give me the experience 've been looking for, and that even my genophobia would be avoidable, but to get to that stage is just not possible and that's not as far as I can tell due to anything I'm doing, it's just this same "natural process" that everyone else seems to get but me.

which is unfortunately the real problem, in recovery I can only work on me, not anyone else, ---- heck at least for me doing things for someone else is always far easier than for myself anyway.

Ultimately this is society's fault for making relationships so difficult to initiate for males and so easy for females, but that's unfortunately how things are and there's no way of changing it.

#424352 - 02/05/13 10:36 AM Re: Undeserving of love? Confusion [Re: lfp]
takingitslow Offline

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 100
Loc: UK
I can relate to a lot of the mentioned above. I'm 24 years old (1 year into recovery from csa groomed and molested 14-21 yrs)and my pressing concern now is to 'catch up' with all the other people my age in the dating arena but it is difficult.

I don't like women showing interest in me and casual sex isn't a priority when I'm sober. My problem is that I've been a heavy drinker 17-23 and I have lots of confidence when i'm drinking dancing, flirting ect but I want my future to be less alcohol and less gambling (my gambling is very severe) and I'm not sure whether my 'sober' personality is capable of dealing with the pressures of dating without me getting very angry. When I'm sober I explode when someone says something to me about my csa whereas when I'm drunk I'm more carefree and the only thing which bothers me is men who get aggressive to me and I have to retaliate and get into fights to protect my personal space/integrity/ not be submissive to strangers ect.

I feel at 24 time is going fast and I want to make the most of my search for looking for potential partners as I feel I can deal with female rejection better than I can with my other problems like gambling and my relationship with close friends and family who I have disclosed my csa. So I will try to disclose my csa as soon as possible when dating. Its been suggested by others that is not a good idea but I want to try for myself and if I fail badly then so be it get up and move on. I don't want to spend the next 3 years dating women for small stretches (1-6months) disclosing the csa and then the relationship breaks down and I've wasted x months. I'm looking at dating as a numbers game for finding someone who is understandable and not prejudicial.

#424355 - 02/05/13 12:14 PM Re: Undeserving of love? Confusion [Re: lfp]
Still Around Offline

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 22
Loc: Pennsylvania
I think I may have come to a realization from the last time I posted (which I now realize was probably me in a triggered state, it can be difficult to tell when it's happening). Maybe the dating arena as it stands just isn't for us. Maybe it's not about "catching up" at all for us; we've been through hell, and whether or not we wanted to we've all learned, most terribly, what love and affection are not.

And while I say that it can be frightening to put ourselves out there again, for fear of being hurt again and again, maybe it's the rest of our generation that has to play catch-up to us. Sure, we may not "know" a lot of the signals and finer points of attraction, but we know quite a bit more about the the frailties and failings of humanity, and what it means to be a real, authentic person, without which true love cannot flourish. Many of us have pretended for so long to be anyone but ourselves, and it is I think only through acknowledging and accepting yourself that we can only be ready for love.

We know that happiness does not lie at the bottom of a bottle, or in posturing and pretending to be something you're not. Honesty, with others and yourself, I'm beginning to think, is key. It lies in accepting yourself and others as they are, recognizing and understanding faults and strengths. It usually takes people many years to figure that out; many strive for ideals, only to come crashing to earth once they realize that perfection is an illusion, and that people are frail and vulnerable creatures all. Many of our generation, I feel, have yet to figure that part out.

So do not get disheartened. You must leave yourself open and dare I say vulnerable (though I'm somewhat of a hypocrite for saying this at the moment I must admit) for love to find a way in. And do not think any relationship is wasted, for you learn more about yourself and life in each.

I don't know if I will feel this way for long, or if what I've said makes any sense. I know that a slip back into a different mode of thinking is only a trigger away. And that's something I ---we--- have to live with.

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