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#424082 - 02/02/13 05:41 PM Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS)
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 928
I've said before that I never really "got" a lot of the "inner child" talk that goes on around here. I had a pretty darn good childhood both before the abuse and, thanks to self-preservational memory burying / muting / dissociating / sterilizing, after it as well. I can easily envision myself at most ages - 7, 8, 11, whatever - and find something to like, while also feeling strong emotional continuity / identification. I didn't think any of my childhood in and of itself was lost from one really awful day.

You knew there'd be a "but."

Since the feelings of that day came back, I've been... stuck, I guess, in a level of primeval terror. That is the only emotion I am able to feel towards the perp. I'm not angry at him, don't hate him, and can't force it or fake it. It's existential fear and nothing else.

My T (who is wonderful, really understanding and supportive and has already helped me restore a lot of function) says that's got to be the inner 8-year-old. That he was the one who had all that fear - of being attacked, nearly choked to death, incomprehensible pain, the loss of all control, becoming a thing. I today am under no threat, and both she and I feel I'd be better off able to get angry instead - because at least there are clearcut ways of purging anger, ie hollering, punching pillows, finding some small objects that won't be missed and cavemannishly destroying them, etc. Because it feels, well, more manly to be mad, more childlike to be terrified.

This week when she kept talking about "Little Matt" and how we should try to put his fears to rest, I asked her how that works. And she gave a sad smile and said "That's when I put Little Matt in that chair across from you and then you-"

Totally fell apart before she could even say it. I don't want to see him, don't want to talk to him, whether I'm play-acting as me now or play-acting as me aged 8, who I remember very clearly as a funny class-clown dinosaur fanboy whom I like a great deal. I don't want to see the other version, the victim version, at all. I call it the monster, the thing in the bathroom. T got confused by that - wasn't the perp the monster? Well, I really hadn't seen the perp during the worst of it, just a belly, he was about 11 feet tall. And I wouldn't be talking to him, I'd be talking to the... thing.

"I think you could tell him you forgive him, Matt. Tell him it wasn't his fault."

But I don't blame myself, any part of me, for the attack. I used to blame myself for not being able to suck dick well enough to please the guy and avoid being violently fucked down my throat - but that has faded, because honestly, I know and feel I would never have been spared regardless.

No, I dont blame that thing of an abused boy. I hate it. I HATE IT. It's so fucking freakishly ugly, disgusting, and weak; I've used terms like "mindless subhuman bitch garbage", which T says I should stop - I repeat it here to illustrate the mindset. I was proud of myself, a smart kid and smart-aleck, computer camp, model rockets, awesome pet salamanders, lots of friends....

And then I get turned into this... well, you saw the words. This thing terrorized and brutalized into mindlessness, losing everything I'd ever been and done, a slave, a thing. I'm supposed to look at that? Talk to it? It couldn't talk back, maybe it would give some broken scream or holler "PLEASE STOP!" It's like the stories of Hiroshima, where people would find their family members as shambling ruins, skin burned away and eyes melted. You can't exactly talk to or comfort someone like that. Well, that was me at that time, wrecked and empty and unrecognizable to the real me of any age.

And... and maybe I do blame it. Not for the attack, but for the foulness dumped onto my life since this all woke up. 22 years ago I finally deciphered what the fragmented emotionless pictures in my head meant. Mr. L had sexually abused me. Had touched me and his penis had been involved with my face in some manner. For 22 years I knew that and wasn't hurt, wasn't consciously effected, didn't care. And now... well, Mr. L is just still doing basically what I'd always known he did.

The new stuff? The pain and terror, the shock and shame, the feeling my mind being erased as it happened and knowing I existed in such a degraded state? Well, that's from the thing in the bathroom, the melted Hiroshima zombie, the subhuman. THAT is where all the bad stuff had been living and THAT is what re-entered my mind and gave it all to me... and took so much away.

And I hate it. I hate it for being so disgustingly mindlessly ruined and for dumping its mindless ruin all over me, for hurting me NOW.

I really, really pressed my T on whether she thought such a "chat" would help.... and she is very confident it would. But it's heavy duty, so would have to wait until I was properly ready for it.

Won't be for a while. I know my REAL inner child, from pretty much any age past 4, and he's just me and I like him a lot. This thing... is an other, and it has brought me nothing but hurt and heartache.

And fear.


Matt
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#424084 - 02/02/13 06:24 PM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: SoccerStar]
cdlphn Offline


Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 9
Great sharing Matt,

I can tell you from my recovery expeerience which has included working with my inner wounded child at different ages was scary at times. Once I got to where I could talk to him at the ages where there was more fear because there was more anger initially, this helped me to move forward a great deal and I became more centered, powerful in a healthy way, and kind, etc. as a result. I have also learned how my adult sellf can take care of these other younger parts of myself...so keep on going brother Matt!!

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#424121 - 02/03/13 01:11 AM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: SoccerStar]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3959
Loc: settling in the USA again
hey, Matt!

amazing writing on that post, to start. you have a gift with words. i could feel it with you, even though my circumstances were different. i read it several hours ago and needed some time to think about it.

unlike you, i had a wretched, miserable childhood and felt pretty much about myself, all the time, for as long as i can remember, the way you described feeling towards the "inner monster" of that one day. the difference was - for long stretches of time, i didn't know why i had that attitude toward myself because the memories of abuse were not accessible to me.

when them memories started returning, i started working on recovery and reading books and seeing a T and participating in the MS forums, and all the assurances of "it's not your fault" and "you were not to blame" and "you did not want or deserve it" helped - but didn't completely get rid of the terrible self-image and bad feelings i had about myself. there was still guilt and shame and self-loathing and the inability to see myself as anything other than ruined and worthless and unworthy of acceptance or affection.

the realization that finally made the difference to me was - recognizing that in feeling and thinking that way about myself, i was doing to myself the exact same thing that all my abusers had done to me. i was joining them on their side. the ONE thing i was sure of was that they were all wrong in what they did to me. i was CERTAIN of that with every fiber of my being and every little grey cell in my head and every drop of blood in my veins and every beat of my heart. by accepting what they had dumped onto me, i was participating in their abuse and believing their lies. that was the way they treated me and the messages they had sent loud and clear and repeatedly - both verbally and by their attitudes and actions. and i had bought into it and swallowed it whole and let it poison my whole life. it had to be wrong if it was coming from them! therefore i had to fight and resist and negate those lies and every other distortion that sprang from them.

my T had me write a list of "Lies I have Believed About Myself" and then another - "Counters to the Lies I have Believed About Myself." i am still working on the second one. it is much more difficult. but just listing the lies and naming them as such has made a big difference already.

i understand why you feel the way you do about the "inner monster." all those feelings are legitimate - but what i urge you to consider is that those feelings are misdirected.

Lee
_________________________
"My experience has shown me that I all too often tend to deny that which lies behind, but as I still believe, that which is denied cannot be healed." Brennan Manning, "All is Grace - A Ragamuffin Memoir"

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#424130 - 02/03/13 09:08 AM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: SoccerStar]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: SoccerStar
I don't want to see the other version, the victim version, at all. I call it the monster, the thing in the bathroom.......No, I dont blame that thing of an abused boy. I hate it. I HATE IT. It's so fucking freakishly ugly, disgusting, and weak[
I hear you and can relate. But the smart, fun, happy boy that you love, and the "victim boy" that you hate are both you. They are both part of who you became as a man. You can't take one without the other, you need to deal with them both to fully heal and overcome your terror.

Originally Posted By: SoccerStar
For 22 years I knew that and wasn't hurt, wasn't consciously effected, didn't care.
For 42 years I swore I wasn't hurt, wasn't affected. That was all bullshit. A man shoves his dick down my throat and I'm not affected? Not much! 42 years of drug and alcohol abuse, and acting out sexually, broken relationships, lost jobs.... Maybe you haven't had to suffer through all that, but don't think for a minute that you escaped without a huge hole torn in your soul. A hole thats been there for 22 years.

Your current "pain and terror, shock and shame", did not start last year, it started 22 years ago when you were abused. And its been buried inside you ever since waiting for you to deal with it. So DEAL WITH IT. Deal with that "thing terrorized and brutalized into mindlessness", because that thing is YOU and you need each other.
_________________________
I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

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#424144 - 02/03/13 11:27 AM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: SoccerStar]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada

Yes to everything Jude said.

When I understood all this I was shit sacred of the thought of going there. But I know it has to be done.

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#424146 - 02/03/13 11:36 AM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: SoccerStar]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1055

Matt,

This is a wonderful post that seems to be a very clear emotional self-portrait, and thank you for writing it.

Might I suggest, however, that there could be an error in you emotional algebra here. 1) The terror you feel is your inner-child's existential crisis (many of us, including me, know this feeling all too well); 2) it is hard for you to hate your attacker because he was just a belly and an erection during the attack; 3) Although you don't blame your young self for the attack, you now hate him for making you feel these new overwhelming feelings. Do I have this right?

First, I'm sorry you're now in touch with existential terror; it's a close companion of mine as well. But it's not fair to your young self to blame him for breaking the seal on this dormant pain. He needs you to feel what he feels so that you can protect him from it.

If you're blaming and hating him for it, then you and he aren't going to get along very well. I find myself using the term "psychic alchemy" when thinking about this issue, both for me and for others. It's a process by which we learn to take negative emotion A and turn it into constructive emotion B; I am not good at it, but that's the idea.

I feel like, with me (and perhaps others), the abuse caused this certain kind of energy to be unleashed inside of me, like nuclear energy, which if I kept it bottled up would rot me from the inside out... but if I can find a way to channel it outward, it becomes this laser beam that helps me accomplish the seemingly impossible. (a nuclear powered laser beam, apparently. Sorry for the mixed metaphor.)

This appears to be similar to what you're experiencing, too, which is why I bring it up. I'm not sure how to suggest you move from where you are now (hating your young self for making you experience his terror) to directing that anger outward in a constructive manner, but that's the goal.

Imagine your present-day self in that toilet stall, watching it happen. Who are you angry at now?

Cant
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#424151 - 02/03/13 12:03 PM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: SoccerStar]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1627
Loc: Minnesota
Just a quick question

You say it was part of YOU that brought you pain and headache.

Didn't the perp do that?
_________________________
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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#424189 - 02/03/13 09:05 PM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: SoccerStar]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
I don't want to derail the conversation but just felt I needed to add the following.

Originally Posted By: cant_remember
I feel like, with me (and perhaps others), the abuse caused this certain kind of energy to be unleashed inside of me, like nuclear energy, which if I kept it bottled up would rot me from the inside out... but if I can find a way to channel it outward, it becomes this laser beam that helps me accomplish the seemingly impossible. (a nuclear powered laser beam, apparently. Sorry for the mixed metaphor.)

Candu is the name of a Canadian nuclear reactor design. It just sounded right for me being Canadian and containing all this nuclear energy. But also that dealing with this is something I can do.

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#424198 - 02/04/13 12:11 AM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 928
Seriously had a lump in my throat as I was reading all these responses, and one in particular left me woozy for like an hour. Seems to be unanimous, that I ought to go through with this. I'm (surprise surprise!) really scared.... but as memory serves, that is exactly the circumstance of me first coming to MS in October, when I basically said "should I deal with this at all?" and people all said that yes, it's worth the new pain to dull the old, you can't turn back now. I even see some of the same names here in fact. And you were all correct that time....

A few specific points....

Originally Posted By: Mountainous Buck
You say it was part of YOU that brought the pain and heartache. Didn't the perp do that?


I know... I know... yes, he did. And I can hate... what he did to me. I sure as hell hate feeling this way. It's just blocked at some level... it's harder to associate the feeling with him because I'd been cognizant of what he did for so long and felt nothing at all. The poison burst out from within - so I guess that's where I'm focusing the blame, at the part that actually changed. On that note....

Originally Posted By: Cant Remember
Imagine your present-day self in that toilet stall, watching it happen. Who are you angry at now?


Another perfectly reasonable question to which I'm surprised I find I can't give what seems like the reasonable answer. WTF is wrong with me. I'm too afraid of that guy to muster the thought of realistic in-person anger. I spoke to him on the phone in November. It was a horrible, horrible mistake. By the next day his voice was sandpapering me all over my body and I couldn't keep food down. And that was him at 92! Probably in a goddamned Depends diaper! I wish I could say that, yeah, if I were timewarped back to the critical moment, I'd be more clear-minded about it. But if there's anything this whole vile business has taught me, it's that Life Is Not A Movie, the "good guys" are not always stronger than the "bad guys" and don't always "win," and that "facing your fears" absolutely does not "conquer" them, it in fact can make them worse.

Quote:
Although you don't blame your young self for the attack, you now hate him for making you feel these new overwhelming feelings. Do I have this right?


Yes yes yes yes yes. Your whole post was extremely well-written and astute but that's really the nugget of it. I just...

People here talk about becoming "thrivers," but in all honestly I feel I WAS a thriver, I had a great life up until late 2011 if I say so myself, and even through most of 2012 even when things got bad it was still MY LIFE, as lived by ME.

And that was made possible by whatever sort of psychological NORAD bunker that had sealed off the direct involvement, the pain, the sheer immediacy of the abuse. Whatever broke down those defenses is the enemy, a traitor, and I hate it. At least for now, I hate it. It doesn't help that the bunker-buster takes the physical form of the exact opposite of everything I'd ever believed myself to be: I always prided myself on being smart, on being likable, and certainly thought I looked at least above-average too. So the source of weakness comes out as.... something with no mentality at all except animal terror, something that was just a target for hate and dehumanization, something that would have been... you know it really makes me cringe and shiver to imagine what I must have looked like during the incident and I don't think I have it in me to write it down. It is the excruciating opposite of everything I ever believed and worked for. Why WOULDN'T it horrify me, why WOULDN'T I hate it? Forget logic, none of this is logical. If CSA issues were logical none of us would be here, we'd all be like "well, the rape, etc., is over, and you're in the ground for a long time, so fuck this teary shit, I'm gonna go a-skippin' through flowerfields and find my heart's true love by next Thursday!" That would be logical. But the mind is too complicated for its own good.

Quote:
it's not fair to your young self to blame him for breaking the seal on this dormant pain. He needs you to feel what he feels so that you can protect him from it.


And that was the part that left me woozy for an hour. Still not sure what to say to it. You definitely reached me.... rung me like a tuning fork.

Originally Posted By: Jude
But the smart, fun, happy boy that you love, and the "victim boy" that you hate are both you. They are both part of who you became as a man. You can't take one without the other, you need to deal with them both to fully heal and overcome your terror.


Originally Posted By: Traveler
in feeling and thinking that way about myself, i was doing to myself the exact same thing that all my abusers had done to me. i was joining them on their side. the ONE thing i was sure of was that they were all wrong in what they did to me.... by accepting what they had dumped onto me, i was participating in their abuse and believing their lies.... it had to be wrong if it was coming from them! therefore i had to fight and resist and negate those lies



And both of those rung the tuning fork too.

It's true. It's all true. Intellectually I know it's true. On the EMOTIONAL level it doesn't FEEL true, I still react to the thing in the bathroom with nothing but horror, disgust, and betrayal. But I've seen several guys here come around and forgive / accept their younger selves for perceived flaws, however damning.... guess it'll be my turn, sooner than later.

I'll try. I don't know HOW to try. I don't know HOW to "get ready" for something like this. I get dismantled badly enough in average T sessions, I go there during my work day and have to ask her to check me at the end if it's obvious I've been crying (and sometimes it is).

I spent a lot of time at my parents' house this morning. It was sort of the sequel to my initial disclosure, a sad sequel, I leveled with them and told them I was having a really bad time of it and a lot of fear. They.... were so sweet about it. They were perfect parents. They took turns holding me and telling me it would be okay. Mom is bitterly, venomously angry at the perp... I view it as some exotic practice of an alien culture, like religious charismatics who speak in tongues. I took Dad aside in private and said the saddest part is that no matter how many good days I have, and no matter what happens, I just feel like I'll never be the same. And he said: "Well, you're the same to me. And I've known you as a person since before you knew yourself as a person. You're yourself, plus this bad thing. But I don't see you any differently."

Maybe that's just something parents are supposed to say.... but when I needed it, it helped, a lot. There's another MSer here whose PMs have been particularly constructive too... all but holding my hand as I resign myself to moving towards the scariest part yet.

Have asked my mom to find pictures of me at 8. And also, a specific artifact, something from those years that meant very, very much to me, that I know could not possibly have ever been thrown away. I don't know how all the rest of this will unfold but I just feel - just KNOW - that that will have to play a role.

None of my feelings have changed yet - but I've accepted that it would be appropriate for me to go through with the process that would change them. I've got to move on, I've got to feel better. Thank you for shouting loud and clear that it IS worth it, despite the fear.


Matt
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#424205 - 02/04/13 01:12 AM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: SoccerStar]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1055
Love you, brother.

Cant
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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