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#4807 - 09/09/02 02:56 PM Seeking Advice
JamesMichael Offline

Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 134
I'm very anxious this week:

1. I've seen a new therapist 5-6 times in the last month and a half. Most of those sessions were assessment-oriented. He's a psychologist, and has a good handle on the PTSD aspects of my history, but I'm wanting to address SA issues specifically. I generally like him. But there's a snag with the insurance. He's out-of-network, so it may be a few weeks before I can resume my appointments with him ('cause I can't afford to pay the $125 @ hour out-of-pocket). The first few sessions were covered by an EAP contract. Then he went on vacation. It's been hell finding someone in this rural area to talk with. If it's gonna be weeks before I resume sessions with him, I'm gonna need other support because I've let the genie out of the bottle, and he's not going to go back in, and I don't want him back there anyway. I'm pretty resourceful however, so I may just have to continue with the reading, journaling, and coming here. Otherwise, I may have to go with someone "in-network," but I don't want to because that would be starting all over again. I just don't think there are that many professionals who understand the unique gestalt of male victims/survivors. I also haven't been referred to a psychiatrist. I'd at least like the opportunity to examine what rx's might help me.

2. My daughter wants to be confirmed in the Catholic Church. I was reared a Catholic and molested by a priest/spiritual director when I was in a seminary program when I was 19. We've done some church shopping as a family, and generally feel comfortable with Catholic-Episcopalian-Orthodox traditions. But it's real hard for me to make a committment to any. My daughter wants to belong to a faith community. She doesn't know from whence comes my ecclesial reluctance--other than the obvious hypocrisy of insitutional hierachies.

3. I'm feeling stronger, and so am sticking up more for myself at work. And the otherwise easygoing nice guy is getting some heat for not being a push-over. I see this as a natural result for sticking up for myself. I just don't have a strong foundation for doing it since I was so demeaned and abused, etc. as a child. I can do it, it's just producing lots of anxiety. The manager I'm dealing with is notoriously manipulative. I'm in the right here guys.

4. My brother's 48th birthday is next week. I have 5 brothers. He's one of two who didn't abuse me. I confronted the oldest brother 20 years ago. Everyone scattered. No rush of support for me. Awkward avoidance ever since (but then it was there before). I want to write to this birthday brother and say, "it was rough for me growing up in that house, things were weird, I'd like to talk about it. Just drop me a line or call and let me know if you can do this." I want more validation from him (anyone?) that, yeah, it happened to me too, or yeah, I always thought mom was a little strange, etc.

Any thoughts to share?

I feel better at least getting this much out.


#4808 - 09/09/02 06:34 PM Re: Seeking Advice
Mark S Offline

Registered: 08/25/02
Posts: 130
Loc: England
HI. I certainly understand your need for validation. I've been dealing with my own abuse issues for the last 18 months or so, with an absolutely marvellous therapists, (She's Person-Centred). She started her own charity to help male survivors. I've even done talks for the charity and I had been looking at many different ways to validate my experiences, I think I was allways looking for someone to tell me it was my fault, that I was dirty, that I should be ashamed, the list goes on, but I'm sure you know the score.

I don't know how close you are to your brother, but be aware that each time we as survivors open up to people, or even on this discussion board. there is a risk. So make sure you are comfortable, and try to limit your risks. You are important.

I wish you all the luck in finding a good Therapist. I don't know about in America but over here in England we have various charities who offer all forms of therapy. from 1 to 1, group or telephone, on a sliding scale of fees, depending on how much you earn. My then girlfriend found my charity on the internet and I was lucky enough to live only 20 miles away. (We had never heard of it). so don't give up trying. If you do find a local charity that deals with specific Male survivors it is easier to talk. I spent almost 2 years talking to a general therapist and never mentiond my abuse once so I sympathise.

Good luck, Take care and most of all be good to yourself. Mark S

#4809 - 09/09/02 08:18 PM Re: Seeking Advice
Cement Offline

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
I think you should write a letter to your brother, as blunt as can be, but don't send it. I'll bet he feels guilty about what happened to you; he would most likely react defensively if you sent it. You need validation, and you can find it here.

I spoke to my mother recently about what happened to me. She is,I think, open minded and psychologically centered. Still, we had stern words as I tried to explain what she had great difficulty in understanding, even though she wanted to understand. Enough of my sermonizing there...

I changed my attitude at work myself. I used to bend too much ,then would resent that someone had advantage of me. Well, not anymore. Some people might say I am overly forceful, but I am trying out my wings. I have to give myself the freedom to be an asshole every now and again - after all, how do you know where the line is if you don't cross it?

And let the darkness fear our light.

#4810 - 09/09/02 10:17 PM Re: Seeking Advice
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
It's going to be a pain having long breaks between therapy, or worse changing therapist, but you sound as though you realise that, and that's half the battle. If you know what you're up against you can at least plan ahead a bit and maybe on the regular therapy days do something special that you wouldn't normally do. It gives you something to focus on for the coming week.
And of course you can get support here.

It's a nice feeling as we progress through recovery, the feeling of standing up for ourselves and taking crap from nobody.
It's a freedom of thought, an escape from the chains of abuse. We begin to think clearly once again.
Before I disclosed I was an angry loudmouthed troublemaker, especially at work and with those in authority. And my career "progression" reflects this :rolleyes:
But now I'm calm and thoughtful, I engage my brain before my mouth, and it's so much more effective, people listen now instead of getting defensive and turning off.

I guess you have to try getting some validation from your brother, if you dont try you'll never know. But tread carefully.
It took me a long time to tell my older brother, and because we live each side of the Atlantic we don't get to talk closely very much.
But I know he's there for me, and that's worth everything to me.

difficult questions, but nobody said recovery was easy....


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#4811 - 09/10/02 07:31 AM Re: Seeking Advice
Happy Birthday Roy Offline

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
Hi JM,

The brilliant and wonderful thing is that you recognize your limitations, making you very human, and have come here asking for help with several things that are bothering you. So besides being resourceful you are also wise, which will aid you greatly during the off times from therapy. I say stick with the therapist you like and feel a connection with. This is so incredibly important, the rest of your life and future peace of mind rests on it. You may need to make some serious sacrifices to continue with this guy. That may mean taking out a loan, getting a cheaper car, selling stuff, get a second job, whatever, but what could be more important than your mental health? Lloydy had a great idea by suggesting you set aside your normal therapy time or day and doing something meaningful for yourself.

(Lloydy, I think you should change careers and become a therapist!)

Your animosity toward the Catholic Church and religious hierarchy is completely understandable. I'm not a fan myself. However, the despicable acts of some priests and their superiors ought not be a general indictment of the entire church. As survivors, we have a tendency to think in terms of black and white, and this is something to guard against. Perhaps allow your daughter the freedom to explore a variety of religious expressions, someday sharing with her what happened to you, if you so choose.

It's great that you are standing up for yourself in multiple areas of your life, including work. I read somewhere (respectable) that survivors can unconsciously choose work settings which are similar in many ways to their family of origin. As you continue to heal and grow, you may eventually decide to change jobs so you can be in a healthier setting. I guess I am urging you to use caution when it comes to your job. Someone I have a great deal of respect for once told me that its important to "choose your battles". Of course, I didn't listen and ended up exhausting myself and making things worse for myself in the long run. You have a lot on your plate right now and it sounds like you don't have a trust fund lurking in the background. Do you really want to use your job as a battle ground? Condsider changing your perspective internally to one of choosing to stay in this job and not make too many waves so you can continue to progress in your recovery, pay for therapy, and provide for your family all the while knowing this is a choice because you have more important concerns. Later, when you are feeling stronger and more stable, you might want to risk making a stand at work. My concern is that with your newly discovered ability to stand up for yourself, there might be negative and unanticipated consequences, and thats the last thing you need right now. I say put that one on the back burner and let it simmer for awhile, reminding yourself that this is your choice so as to avoid developing too much resentment. A friend told me resentment is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die.

Sounds like your intuition is telling you to reach out to your brother. I believe in intuition. I think its normal to want to put pieces of the puzzle together during recovery. By keeping your mouth shut and not talking with your brother there will be no movement or change in the relationship. If you are hoping for greater depth in the relationship then that will only happen through dialogue. You run the risk, however, of losing some of what you have with him if he is unable or unwilling to cope at this time. One way to broach the subject might be to let him know what you are experiencing during recovery, what you have learned and such, putting it in a positive light, leaving the door open to him to respond. Without asking him direct questions you avoid putting him on the defensive and lessen the chance he will run away out of fear. You may not get the validation you seek, but do you really need that from him? In recovery you are learning to trust yourself and your own memories, so validation from others may not be as important as you think.

I hope this helps. These are just my own thoughts based on my perspective and experiences.


#4812 - 09/10/02 06:13 PM Re: Seeking Advice
JamesMichael Offline

Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 134
Thank you men. I'm mulling over all of your responses. The input is great. Today, I'm working on just getting centered. Lots of free-floating stuff. Need to grab hold of something and get grounded. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for caring enough to reply. I really appreciate it.

#4813 - 09/10/02 06:33 PM Re: Seeking Advice
andrew51 Offline

Registered: 09/07/02
Posts: 6
Loc: edmonton, canada
I agree with Brian -z on this one JM. Write your brother, you have nothing to lose and lots to gain. Your daughter's choice of church is her's alone. Hope you have a good day. Courage friend, Andrew


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