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#429176 - 03/26/13 12:12 PM Isolation
csasurvivor1992 Offline

Registered: 03/25/13
Posts: 132
Loc: Texas
Hi. I'm new to MS and new to recovery. It's been about a year now since I've started therapy. It's been tough and necessary. About two months ago, I stopped holding on and had a huge breakthrough... share freely and openly with my therapist.

So here I am. I am learning how to share, what to share, and what to expect in response. It's new and very scary.

For now, I understand and recognize that isolation is my go to. I never really struggled with alcohol or drugs. I struggled with porn occasionally, but not now. My go to is isolation. I am most comfortable with myself. I am most comfortable at home, by myself. Even during the work day. It's an unhealthy and destructive habit I've decided, but one I have.

I am looking for help... how do I give myself a break when I find myself isolating?

And how do I deal with "triggers" which for me, now, are compliments and criticism?

Feeling good is new for me too, so I was feeling good this last couple of weeks and then BAM, triggers... a compliment from a customer followed by criticism from my wife, on the same Friday. Spent the weekend trying avoiding, I think, and here I am on a Tuesday, overwhelmed and without confidence (which is also VERY new for me).
May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground, carry on. ~Fun.

#429180 - 03/26/13 12:45 PM Re: Isolation [Re: csasurvivor1992]
bodyguard8367 Offline

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""

Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/26/14 09:50 PM)
Edit Reason: SILENCED

#429183 - 03/26/13 01:07 PM Re: Isolation [Re: csasurvivor1992]
toysoldier Offline

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 500
Loc: Texas
When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.still trying to do that my self ....good to meet you!
I'm supposed to be the soldier who never blows his composure
Even though I hold the weight of the whole world on my shoulders..

Bit by bit Torn apart We never win But the battle wages on
For toy soldiers!

#429235 - 03/26/13 10:16 PM Re: Isolation [Re: csasurvivor1992]
BraveFalcon Offline

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1231
Loc: The ATL
Hi csasurvivor1992. Glad you found this place. I've been posting for about a month now and I'm blown away by how many other guys here isolate themselves as a defense/coping mechanism. In fact, posting here has helped me to realize that my own isolation and solitude is very likely something I'm doing as a defense/coping mechanism and perhaps not just the "natural introversion" that I always tell others and myself I was "born with". I'm still not 100% convinced that my own introversion isn't partly "just the way I was born" but the more I read here the more I am forced to confront the possibly that I may be lying to myself. Either way, believe me, you are in good company with this issue. I only wish I had some answers to give you regarding how to deal with this problem. Sadly, I'm probably just as clueless to those answers as you are at the moment. Take care. Peace,


#429266 - 03/27/13 05:26 AM Re: Isolation [Re: csasurvivor1992]
pbert53 Offline
Greeter Emeritus

Registered: 10/26/09
Posts: 576
Loc: Washington, USA
Hey csasurvivor1992,

You have shown much courage by making your first post. i am glad that you were able to get that much out on your first run at it. Props!

Yup, isolation, part of my MO. It took me becoming an alcoholic who was sinking fast and finding AA that made the difference in my living and not.

i drank at home alone and enjoyed my own company the best i guess. i tend to be shy around new people and reserved, but now i am more able to socialize like i used to. i also found out that i have a hyper sensitive personality which was compounded greatly from the CSA.

For some reason AA gave me the belief that i could get into recovery by asking a trained person to be my T (therapist).

i wouldnt have made it if it wasnt for a great T, the Male Survivor site and all the great folks here, my children and grandchildren, and true friends. i feel fortunate to have such a good support team. i hope you have a good one too.

But if you have trouble making friends, you are welcome to start here. My fellow survivors and i are at your service. PM (private message) me any time and i will get back to you as i check the site daily.

You are on the good road now man, it can get bumpy and very much like a roller coaster, but stand as firm as you are able and we can all get through this, one day at a time.

take care


paul smile
If you cannot control what happens to you, you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.

~ adapted from: Sri Ram

#429283 - 03/27/13 10:16 AM Re: Isolation [Re: csasurvivor1992]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: csasurvivor1992
For now, I understand and recognize that isolation is my go to........ how do I give myself a break when I find myself isolating?


Great choice of names. SURVIVOR not VICTIM!

You are fortunate not to have gotten involved with drugs, alcohol, or porn. Many of us have been down those roads, and isolation also is one of the ways we try to numb ourselves to the pain. For me, isolation was a way to say "I can't trust anbody, and no one will every hurt me again". It also was a way to keep anyone from learning my "secrets", ie CSA.

Like drugs alcohol, and porn, isolation is a dead end. All we end up with is alone. I have had to force myself to not isolate, to be with people and have them know who I really am. In short, to be vulnerable. Its scary as hell, but it beats the alternative. And it gets a little easier each time you try. Good luck man. We are all behind you.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#429318 - 03/27/13 06:30 PM Re: Isolation [Re: csasurvivor1992]
DavoSwim Offline

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 388
Loc: Midwest

I understand your situation, and my preferred state of being is to be alone. I am learning how to distinguish being alone from being isolated. I am naturally introverted and get worn out being around people. I need to find time alone to recharge myself. I have learned that there is nothing wrong with this and I'm actually helping myself be better with others when I do this. Perhaps there is a nugget in this that applies to you. The problem is when I choose isolation vs solitude. I isolate myself when I wish to not be involved and cut myself off from others. I choose isolation when i don't wish to face problems head on. When I isolate myself, as opposed choose to be by myself, I actually escalate my problems instead of solving them. Therein lies the difference. Perhaps examining the conditions under which you isolate yourself will help identify your motives for doing so. Perhaps isolation is merely a symptom and not the illness.

There are some really good suggestions here, and I will merely echo them. Survivors of CSA experience tremendous shame, and that wreaks havoc with our self image. We feel unworthy of love at time, and commonly feel we deserved what happened to us. Compliments can conflict with one's self image and cause turmoil. Criticism, can reinforce feelings of unworthiness, and consequently the shame we fill.

One thing that has been helped me is to rehearse my response to compliments, and to not turn the other way and run. I have repeatedly told myself to just say thank you. It's not easy to do, but it has helped. This is but a suggestion. I wish you well. You're in good company here and you'll get tremendous support.


#430454 - 04/07/13 11:34 PM Re: Isolation [Re: csasurvivor1992]
Rj2660 Offline

Registered: 03/13/13
Posts: 22
Loc: Texas
There comes a point in your survival where you realize that you are beginning to swim out of the tunnel. It is a great feeling when this happens and you find yourself respected, especially and most importantly, by yourself. You also come to understand that all the work and sacrifice was wll worth it all.

Good to see that you are swimming. smile
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.

#430472 - 04/08/13 03:05 AM Re: Isolation [Re: csasurvivor1992]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2534
Loc: durham, north england
Hi Csasurviver.

Yes, isolation can be an addiction, and I deffinately recognize the to complements since it is something I've struggled with myself. however, one other thing to realize is that for some people and their personalities, isolation is a quite natural state too, and it is only (as with many things), when this is carried to extremes that this is a problem.

I know for a fact for instance I am a natural intravert. I can deal with people, i can even make myself very approachable towards people, but if I do not spend a small amount of time (an hour or so), each day alone with myself, something is wrong. Yet, when I've really struggled with worthlessnes that small amount of time has increased and increased, and it got to the point I was not seeing the sky outside my flat for four or five days at a stretch.

so, while I fully agree isolation is indeed an addiction, and something that can be carried way too far, equally don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Think of isolation like eating fatty or sugery food, okay in moderation and even quite reasonable, but not when carried to exess. Spend some time with people, but spend some time alone if that is what you need to do for your own wellbeing, just make sure that it doesn't consume your hole life.

Much of western society sees extravertion as the norm, and believes that anyone who is against that norm must! be wrong, but like any sterriotype this is wrong.

Of course, getting the balance right is a very personal thing, and takes time and work, but you will in the end.



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