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#440455 - 07/09/13 04:25 PM Re: Details Wanted including from Joe Smith [Re: Disappointed]
SamV Offline

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5972
Loc: Sunnny, South East USA

If you could be more specific, for instance, in asking how a survivor feels in a given situation, like flirting or sexual advances from a source other than the spouse or relational person. In my own experience as a unrecovered survivor decades ago, the initial reaction to an inappropriate sexual advance was interest, perhaps an exchange or two that determined the level of interest, then a strong emotional reaction, either toward the advancement or away. This would be towards women or men. Then I was in a committed relationship and the sexual advancement occurred, I would oppose it using self effacing comments and thoughts, but I would use porn and fantasy. When I entered into recovery, I was able to understand the issues behind needing that intimate access and was able to mature those feelings of loneliness and fear of abandonment into healthy boundaries so that my spouse and I now enjoy a relationship free of temptations including sexual advances and porn.

The information leads to a formula, the formula can be populated to include additional information as well as resolutions. In taking a look at survivor behavior, it can be surmised that some types of triggers are reacted to in similar ways. Unwanted attention, difficult situations whether in relationships, geographical places or sabotaging internal workings create feelings of isolation, destruction and abandonment. These then need to be reacted to, either with coping mechanisms like porn, cheating, alcohol or drugs, or eating disorder. The coping mechanism(s) allows the survivor to continue to function, even achieve seemingly improbable things. What it also does is burn though our resources, those emotional resources that allow us to be achieve or be consistent or simply to be aware of ourselves and others. When those resources are used before they can be replenished, we can become lethargic, impotent, distracted or the opposite, we can rely on adrenaline to become boisterous, playful and competitive. Conversely, triggers can be reacted to with dissociation, disconnecting from reality into fantasy or "switching" so that another part of our personality can handle the situation. DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder, is a fairly new area of treatment and can be difficult to diagnose.

Trying to discern that process can be frustrating. We caution supporters to be themselves, to be informed but not authoritative so that the survivor is not tempted to be learned helpless, allowing the supporter to be the conscience or the boundary. It is a difficult situation, being involved with someone who has changed, perhaps dramatically since the beginning of a relationship experience. The survivor that goes into recovery many times is not the person who continues through it nor who may come out from it. Edgy risk taking, romantic dreamers or plucky silliness may mature into more communal roles, grounded in sincere sympathizers and sensitive men with proper boundaries that can feel exclusive.

Please know that supporters in a relationship are a fundamental part of survivor recovery because they continue to provide a safe, non challenging environment for healing. This environment is crucial to recovery and can take months and years of patient supporting and waiting. That is why it is imperative to the supporter to find support locally and globally. Support groups, one on one therapy, cyber support such as MaleSurvivor and other sites that allow healthy exchange of the survivor/supporter, supporter/supporter relationship to help supporters understand and have patience, create productive boundaries that support and encourage healing, considering the health and safety of the supporter in a relationship with a potentially abusive or infidelitous survivor and the feasibility in the relationship continuing, allowing the survivor to perceive the best in the supporter as well as the supporter to be at his or her best.

Edited by SamV (07/09/13 04:36 PM)
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

#440641 - 07/11/13 03:14 PM Re: Details Wanted including from Joe Smith [Re: Disappointed]
Disappointed Offline

Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 542
Loc: U.S.A.
Dear Sam,
That's the point: It's another world, so I'm interested in specifics on anything. FOR EXAMPLE only:

1. Why is he a recluse at home? He works, very successful, but at home, only has 2 people I know of that he lets set foot in the place.

2. He had alters. His youngest alter I know of likes to talk to me. He's fusing. But he recently told me, the reason he is slow to give me money - even if he owes it to me for work - was because it was fun. Now why is it fun to stiff me?! To him it's a game. If I get the money, I win, he loses. If he keeps his money, he wins, I lose. How insane!

His behavior is different than mine in almost every way.

Another example:

Why does he have ants in his pants? He's always in a hurry to go do this or go do that. He's very overscheduled. He complains about it, but still does it. Very intentional. What is that about? Okay, trying to stay too busy to have time to think. Got it.


#441030 - 07/16/13 12:32 PM Re: Details Wanted including from Joe Smith [Re: Disappointed]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2711
Loc: durham, north england
Hi D.

I don't know how much I can say about this but I'll try. I've had no experience of Alters, so to me that sort of behaviour just seems as incomprehensibe as it likely does to you, indeed "childish" in it's most literal sense.

With isolating however, one thing at least for me is that people take work. I can deal with people, indeed I can get on stage and perform at people or give a lecture at an international conference, indeed using social skills and applied empathy to get people on side is one thing I'm good at and if you met me in person doubtless you'd think I was an absolute extravert and loved others company. Indeed, one counsellor I met for a first meeting, after a half hour of pleasant conversation, mild humour and friendliness actually asked me "why do you need counseling?" and it was only at that point that I realized what I was doing and forceably stopped.

This isn't to say it's false or putting up a front, it's just applying a set of learned skills in a given situation, much as someone who was an expert chess player but awkward at goodness knows how many other things would be a very different person across the chess board to how they'd be the rest of the time.

Given however that (honest though it is ), for me, interacting with people is a use of carefully learnt social skills and empathy, it is work. There is no other way of saying it, it's actually tiring!

to relax, recharge or whatever, for myself and doubtless for other intraverts too it's being alone does it. Being alone there is nobody to need to practice those skills for and I get to just be on my own resources, enjoyingreading, writing or whatever.

I've actually noticed quite often among couples one will be intravert and one extravert. this is certainly how my parents are. My mum, like me can apply! all the social skills and empathy, but in order to actually relax needs to be alone. My dad on the other hand actually enjoys! other company and will actively seak it out, indeed it's that something of a family joke that if my dad goes to the shops or similar and doesn't come back for a while we say "oh he's met someone to talk to"

Of course however when you add in abuse, that certain amount of necessary isolation to relax can get twisted, ecause isolation is for an intravert quite addictive, and I've certainly been guilty of this myself, not speeking to others for four or five days straight.

Of course I did realize this, and while I will admit I don't always take dealing with people with good grace I do try since I am aware how easy it is to get overcome with the ease of not dealing with anyone, especially when there are other things, phobias, depresison etc, not to mention apathy which get in the way.

As regards overscheduling, I know for me at least that would be one of a few things. Either it could be simply not noticiing how much I was taking on through having my mind on other things, then suddenly realizing. Also however it could be an attempt to do things for others. I know myself it is much easier for me to do something for another person than myself, thus if you asked me to do a job I'd likely take it as a complement and work to the best of my ability to do it, even if it wasn't practical for me to.

Equally, it could be as you said, another form of isolation.

I do hope some of this is helpful. Of course this is most often based on me, and thus I don't know how much applies elsewhere, but still I hope you some of it gives you an idea.

#442976 - 08/02/13 03:50 AM Re: Details Wanted including from Joe Smith [Re: Disappointed]
Disappointed Offline

Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 542
Loc: U.S.A.
Dear D.E.,
Your thoughts were very helpful. I believe you're right. People are work! He needs the rest.

And yes, sometimes he's childish. He has a child alter!


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