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#425789 - 02/19/13 03:10 AM How do I stand up for myself? ** Triggers**
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 388
Loc: Midwest
I'm still early in my CSA recovery. I'm so grateful for the help I've received from others going through similar experiences. I knew the stats on MSA, but somehow I still thought I was the only one. Sometimes, the truths that have emerged because of the help of my T and my MS friends, and the emotions I experience have been tough to take. It's only with the help of some really good friends on this site that I've made it. I'm started to make connections between behaviors I exhibit and the abuse I suffered. I was foolish to think I had buried the experience, for it was showing every day, but I was too blind to see it. I've always had a problem standing up for myself. As a result people walk all over me, and I just let them. It's been happening for years and I'm still haunted by episodes that happened 20 and 30 years ago. These aren't even instances of CSA. I know it happens, but I feel I deserve it, and I don't know how to stop it. My thought is if I defer to the other person, I won't make a scene, the other person will be happy and he/she will like me. What compounds the problem is that I'm a tall guy and have been described as good looking. People notice me and so I just can't disappear into a crowd, although that is my instinctive reaction. Friends, colleagues, and family notice it happening and ask me why I don't stick up for myself. The answer is I can't, I don't know how, but I dare not say that. I just stand there afraid to say anything. They give me advice on what I should've said and done, but by then it's too late. When things like that happen, I revert back to being a kid and I act the part of that kid being unable to defend himself against being held down and fondled. When I get figuratively beaten down, I replay the incident in my head over and over again, and I picture myself being strong and forceful. This doesn't help because at the next incident, I wilt once again.

I'm asking for input and advice. I hate myself for being like this. And when I hate myself, I just send myself back to the cycle of destructive behavior. I would appreciate any help you can give. Thanks, Davo

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#425797 - 02/19/13 04:14 AM Re: How do I stand up for myself? ** Triggers** [Re: DavoSwim]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Glad to hear you're getting help, some relief and a great deal of insight Davo.

I don't know I have a "how" for you. What happened for me was that when I gained the kind of "doormat" insight you describe, I became consciously aware of situations as they were happening.

I suprised myself when one day the word "no" came out of my mouth naturally and amazingly I didn't dissolve into jelly. From then on it got easier.

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#425815 - 02/19/13 08:43 AM Re: How do I stand up for myself? ** Triggers** [Re: DavoSwim]
Zug Offline


Registered: 02/18/13
Posts: 56
Loc: Progress
I have had the same issues, except with me I either let folks walk all over me, or I go to the other extreme. This has played out many times in my life. Over reacting to things like this has been destructive in my life because it drove people away. In my opinion, these are coping mechanisms that we are forced to learn to survive. I learned to fight, I moved all the time, had no family to back me up and was constantly beaten and RAISED to fight. If I lost a fight as a kid, I had to fight them again until I lost. Sometimes a loss would result in a terrible beating from one of my stepfathers. Learning how to advocate for myself and look after my own interests appropriately has been one of the greatest challenges of my life. I never wanted to be a bully, but I feel I was forced to behave that way in some ways. This is a great challenge for me after the powerlessness I grew up with, we have been CONDITIONED to the kind of responses you describe to people trying to get over on us. Part of that is human nature, but we have stuff built into us through our experiences and family dynamics that guarantee this will be an issue for us. Learning how to 'stand up for myself' appropriately has been a process of taking my power back, and Im not far into it. I've found that real power on a personal level doesn't come from my fists/elbows/feet/knees or even from the barrel of a gun, but from inside me and from spirituality and my ability to connect to it and build/maintain a spiritual life. I am not preaching religion in general or mine specifically (I won't discuss my personal beliefs, generally) Im just saying what's worked for me.
_________________________
"what matters most is how well you walk through the fire"
-Charles Bukowski


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#430976 - 04/12/13 04:00 AM Re: How do I stand up for myself? ** Triggers** [Re: DavoSwim]
Rj2660 Offline


Registered: 03/13/13
Posts: 22
Loc: Texas
CSA robs a person of power in many ways. It sounds to me that you are exhibiting that sense of powerlessnes. We all have to deal with this to some degree and find ways to recover that sense of control over our lives. We must learn how to step up and set things straight with that person who infringes upon us. We all need to recover and feel a certain sense of who we are in dealing with these feelings. It is not abnormal or just you.

You can recoup that power. You are worth it!
_________________________
If someone throws trash on my lawn and drives away, it is mine to deal with. I make the decision whether to collect it or take responsibility for cleaning it up. We are the sum of our choices. For some, these were thrust upon us at an age when we were not qualified to take such resposibility. R.J.

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#431095 - 04/13/13 10:36 AM Re: How do I stand up for myself? ** Triggers** [Re: DavoSwim]
BraveFalcon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1231
Loc: The ATL
Originally Posted By: DavoSwim
When I get figuratively beaten down, I replay the incident in my head over and over again, and I picture myself being strong and forceful. This doesn't help because at the next incident, I wilt once again.


I've done this all my life as well. Imagine myself standing up to someone, being strong, being forceful, being macho and tough, kicking someone's ass for fucking with me, then, when I get an opportunity to do any of those things, yeah, I wilt. You'd never know it to look at me either. I'm 6'0", 185 lbs, work out a lot and am pretty muscular, but, I'm a total pussy on the inside. Whatever component it is that other guys have in them that makes them tough and confident, well, I just don't have it. It's missing in me. Whether I was born with it missing or it was taken from me at a young age, I'm not sure, but it's missing. In a way I'm like a slimmer, trimmer version of the character Milton from the movie Office Space. ("I believe you have my stapler.") I'm cooler than him and slightly better looking but, on the inside, I'm just like him.

Originally Posted By: DavoSwim
I'm asking for input and advice. I hate myself for being like this. And when I hate myself, I just send myself back to the cycle of destructive behavior. I would appreciate any help you can give. Thanks, Davo


I wish you didn't hate yourself. I wish I didn't hate myself. I want to tell you not to hate yourself but I know as well as anybody, it's not like you can just stop feeling that way, even if you know you shouldn't. I wish I could give you sound advise on any of this but that would be like the blind leading the blind. All I can do is encourage you to keep sharing. It's good to at least let some of these negative feelings and this self-hate out. Even is it doesn't fix the problem, sharing somehow eases the burden of it all. Sharing and knowing there are others out there who feel your pain and know it well. Peace,

Ken

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#507403 - 03/06/17 07:04 AM Re: How do I stand up for myself? ** Triggers** [Re: DavoSwim]
svssurvivor Offline


Registered: 03/02/17
Posts: 51
I just want to say that I hear you DavoSwim - I'm in very much in the same boat. I only discovered this site a couple of days ago and am very much in the beginner stage of healing but reading some of your posts and other peoples on here has helped me enormously. I can relate to almost everything you say in this post
_________________________
My personal story http://www.discussion.malesurvivor.org/b...7328#Post507328

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#507506 - 03/08/17 06:08 PM Re: How do I stand up for myself? ** Triggers** [Re: DavoSwim]
BDD Offline


Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 257
Loc: PA, USA
HI DavoSwim,

TylerZ was wondering why he didn't fight his Uncle everything
I don't know, but it sounds similar.
_________________________
Brian
Owning It https://owningitlog.wordpress.com

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#507510 - 03/08/17 07:42 PM Re: How do I stand up for myself? ** Triggers** [Re: DavoSwim]
grayONE Offline


Registered: 03/06/17
Posts: 17
Loc: SC, USA
Davoswim,
I read this a couple of days back. I really didnt know what to say to you. I feel your pain though. I often struggle with the aftermath of not defending myself. Others have made it a point to "teach" me how to be agressive. That didnt work for me. I know conventional wisdom says we should all be ready to throwdown at any moment. I find myself, like you, wondering if I even would try. Something that has helped me out, in my head anyway (have yet to be able to actually do this physchically) is this quote from a movie.

"You have a divine animal right to protect your own life and the life of your offspring."

Were social beings, so I guess that can be the same for verbal threats as well. I mull this over alot, because I wish no ill will too anyone. But it somehow seems to find us. My well being has become more important to me because of this quote, as well as my physhical safety. Im finding this not from a place of anger... but from a place of survival. Mentally, Physchically, Emotionally. I recently read that anger isnt a requirement for defense. This was a well needed revelation because I always thought I needed to be angry to defend myself. I dont get angry easily, but I know now I have a right to defend myself. So for you and for me, We have the right to defend ourselves.

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#507515 - 03/08/17 11:10 PM Re: How do I stand up for myself? ** Triggers** [Re: DavoSwim]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 388
Loc: Midwest
SVSSurvivor, BDD, and grayONE,

Thanks for your responses. I wrote this post several years ago, and it's good to reread it, and both remember what I was like when I wrote this and compare it to where I am now.

I've made progress in standing up for myself, but it's easy for me to slip back into old habits and let people walk all over me. I guess it'll be a lifelong endeavor to be strong and defend myself.

I appreciate your comments and advice. If in any way it has been useful to you, that's even better. I wish you all healing.

Dave

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#507578 - 03/11/17 01:10 PM Re: How do I stand up for myself? ** Triggers** [Re: DavoSwim]
MACH123 Offline


Registered: 08/08/15
Posts: 9
Hi thank you for bringing this thread back, it deals with the root of the problem for me.

I'm submissive. I've been in serious trauma therapy for about five years. I figured out more or less by myself in my forties that what was going on with me was coming from my subconscious. I knew I couldn't do anything about it. That was when I started self medicating again, I just couldn't take the suffering any more.

Because I want to submit in a sexual way I can't deal with people. I have this image of myself as a pre teen. I want the people around me to be attracted to me but they aren't because I'm wanting to attract them in a submissive way. I'm the wrong sex for doing that though. That makes me as the therapists say, an abuse reactive female. I always tried to be the male and exhibit the required dominance lol. It didn't go very well because you can't be strong from weakness. (not weakness really)

Needless to say life was hell. I ended up married with 6 children, and everyone, my family included, beating the hell out of me (because of my asking them to mostly.)

I stopped working because of this and got into trauma therapy finally because I was trying to kill myself and someone stopped me. Now I know all this but ... I am hiding still. Thank goodness my wife stayed with me somehow and she actually understands. She's the worst dom in the world lol. I never thought she'd admit it. I think we were only married a couple years and I started trying to tell her to stop beating on me but she couldn't because I was asking her to.

I have been on the other side of this kind of relationship but I was never comfortable being the dom. It's really awful I don't even like to win at games and things. It's because I'm abuse reactive. It's another way of saying everything is wrong.

So, really it's not about sex it's about dominance and submission but it is about sex. It's about dealing with other people.


I went to an event that Paul Linden put on about body work for trauma survivors. He is affiliated with this site so it's ok to mention him I think. http://www.being-in-movement.com/ I am hopeful somewhat that what he is talking about is a better way.



Edited by MACH123 (03/12/17 06:50 PM)
_________________________
Even just saying it out loud took a lifetime.

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