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#4936 - 04/12/03 09:04 PM Re: New and Feeling Discouraged
jimrh Offline

Registered: 03/22/03
Posts: 273
Loc: Roswell, GA
MichaelB I think you said it best, yes history sucks.

The point of my comment "There is no hope when you cannot accept that which cannot be changed." was not that I wanted to change history, naturally that cannot happen.

If you cannot accept something about yourself in the present which also cannot be changed, then there is no hope. Retreating into a fantasy world is EXACTLY how I cope.

#4937 - 04/12/03 10:06 PM Re: New and Feeling Discouraged
Aptrick Offline

Registered: 06/26/02
Posts: 84
Loc: Nashville,Tennessee

I know I can never have a father who loved me.

That thought has haunted me for years. He took my trust, my innocense, and my self-worth. I am 29 and married with a 5 year old son; I struggle daily to find joy even though my life is full of joy. I know that my down fall is myself; I just dont know how to 'fix' me. Ive been in group therapy for 8 months now and I dont know if I am 'better'. I am a wonderful person but I dont feel like it and believe me, its taken all 8 months of therapy for me to say that. I struggle with the evil things that were said to me and the physical beatings as well as the sexual part of it. There are days when I doubt my own ability to be a human being.
I realize that you struggle and it seems hopeless but you have to continue to struggle to make some sort of peace with it.

#4938 - 04/12/03 11:50 PM Re: New and Feeling Discouraged
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I might have been a bit flippant there, but I also stand by what I say.

What happened is a fact to all of us, that ain't going to change.
And it's a horrible thing that we live with, and we need a survival technique, such as fantasy.

I hung onto my secret for over 30 years by using fantasy as my main line of defense, my survival technique. And it did the job, it kept me alive, married, in work and outwardly normal. I could not have survived without it.

BUT, and for me this was a huge 'but', to move forward and become the survivor I am now I have had to develop new survival techniques that can't include my old fantasies.
To move forward I have had to gradually leave that behind and work with the facts that are the real world.

It's as scary as hell, 30 years of coping by the same methods is hard to let go. It's like a kid with a comfort blanket who hangs onto it forever.
My fantasies took me away from everything that bothered me from a break in my daily routine to the disfunctional sex drive I had. Every little thing that I looked upon as a problem could be made better by retreating into my fantasies.
And they were all kinds of fantasy from winning the lottery to giving BJ's to strangers, they all took me out of reality.

Now I relish reality, and with my mind free ( for most of the time anyway ) I can actually deal with the the things that bothered me before. And I now realise that what bothered me was just the stuff of normal everyday living to most people. At 49 yo I have just for the first time in my life gone into a bank to pay some money in ! This is the kind of thing I avoided with a list of excuses so my wife did it, and I would retreat with a fantasy to avoid feeling guilty.

I do understand your view that change is not possible, believe me I've felt that way.
But I, and many others here, have proved that wrong. Change IS possible, and we have to start somewhere. I believe that 'somewhere' is our history, we have to go back and have a long hard look at what happened and why.
Not to wallow in the guilt and shame, but to be ultra critical about our role and the abusers role. We have to seperate them before we can see that it was NOT our fault, THEY were to blame.

It was Henry Ford who famously said "History is bunk" I had a Ford car once for 3 weeks, THAT was bunk ! ;\)


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

#4939 - 04/14/03 09:01 PM Re: New and Feeling Discouraged
abcd Offline

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 189
Loc: GA
Hello Jim,

I haven't been on in a while, but just wanted to post if that's okay. Hmmm...let me see...from what I can understand here, you're 43 yo, married, have a good job, have good kids, but were abused as a child. Now, you find that the more you try to deal with the abuse and some of the related issues, you find yourself more lost and lost. Does that sound right? Well, me...I'm a 24 yo, not married but in committed relationship, on my way to a decent job (currently a med student), and was abused as a child. Like you, I too found that the more I try to deal with the abuse issues, I get lost and despair. Still, that was the beginning...after it, I got back up and was way up. Then, recently I hit a lull again as I started to grapple with the issues again. Now what is my point?

Well, what I want to say is that first off, the ups and downs of this are typical. Second, you are NOT alone. For every person out there who is crippled and becomes some drug addict or whatever after they were abused, there are others who are handling things relatively okay but very much struggling with the abuse. Many times, however, they do not talk about it so much. So even when you look all around you in your cushy job or whatever, know that your fellow officemates may also harbor their own secrets--not just abuse, but deaths and other extreme pain.

The key, I think (and maybe it's just 'cuz I still have the idealism), is to keep going and hang on to what you do know to be right and true. Try not to get overwhelmed by all the psychology and inner child and whatever social science suggests. Each person is different, I've realized...and what I/we as abused persons need to focus on is what we believe, and as ironic as it sounds, what we WANT.

This will help give you direction...and keep you from getting overwhelmed. As a human being with so many concerns in this world, and especially as an abused person who had been "overpowered" so to speak during the abuse, I think that I/we need to really balance that acceptance of uncertainty (through faith), and really grabbing life by the horns and controlling it. I dunno...but I think that if we focus on what it is we want, we may be able to get out of the rut.

If what you want is the impossible (to recapture the past), well two things: 1) accept that it cannot be changed and 2) grab it by the horns by NOT letting it hamper you and possibly even grabbing as much good as you can from it. I, for instance, look at how the abuse has taught me a certain perseverance and determination. Just as important, it taught me how to be more empathic of other people--to really care about others. I don't know...I'm not saying that the abuse was a positive, but you really can bring a good out of it--make blessings in disguises from all the pain.

Yeah, I know that sounds trite, but really think about what it means: "blessing in disguise." A good friend of mine tells me, things happen for a reason. It's not to say that we should not resist wrong/evil, but simply to say that when it does happen, you have two ways of looking at it: 1) it's a curse or 2) it just happened. So which are you going to do...if you believe it's the latter, then try to make good out of it. Like anything else in life, it's really how you react to things that sometimes matter more than the actual thing that happened itself.

Anyway, hope that made sense, and for what it's worth, thanks for sharing your story--I don't know how to explain it, but I think it just helped me somehow \:\)

#4940 - 04/14/03 10:43 PM Re: New and Feeling Discouraged
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Hi jimrh,

Your strong pain and despair are eminently clear in your posts. Whatever happening to you was so awful that your spirit seems to have been murdered. It is a good thing that our spirits are not material, like our bodies, that die and decay. A spirit is always there, always able to be enlivened.

You did have a childhood, as did we all. We were all at one time, one day old, then a week olde, then a month a year and s forth. These are our childhood years. Perhaps something attrocious event happened to you as a child. Perhaps those years of childhood were marked by torture and wretched abuse. But you were a child when all of that happened.

jimrh, I agree with you in part. I can't stand people who tell me to paint my face like a clown and run freely in a park, or fly a kite, or do childlike things. I am not a child--though at times I fear I am moving into my second childhood.

It is futile for me to try to reconstruct something that was marked with pain and shame, betrayl and lonliness. I don't want to be a child again.

But some of us, myself included have certainly found that as an adult we can go back in our minds, grab that little child that we were and hold him and love him and promise we will protect him when no one else did. Somehow, I have found that to be astonishingly healing.

You are right--you can't become one month old again. We we can all accept the fact that we are the victims, that we do not share a thing in the blame for what happened to us, NOR for the effects of the SA that have followed us. We have today, and we can refuse to let our abuse paralyze us. Therapy sure helps, and understanding friends sure help. There are 1100+ understanding men here.

Peace to you!


If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

#4941 - 04/21/03 01:27 AM Re: New and Feeling Discouraged
wanderer Offline

Registered: 04/18/03
Posts: 50
Loc: massachusetts
Jim -

None of us had happy childhoods, but we certainly have the power to create a happy adulthood. Going from victim to survivor is definitely not an easy task, though. Leaving the "comfort zone" is difficult. But in order to make room for the new, you have to say goodbye to the old. Whether it's certain behaviors, certain fantasies, or certain people. It's a long process, but we've paid our dues for the happiness we deserve.

"i'm not crazy i'm just a little unwell" (matchbox 20)

#4942 - 04/22/03 12:59 AM Re: New and Feeling Discouraged
Ivanhoe Offline

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
God, you guys are good. And, I gotta go outta town. I've never experienced a greater desire for a lap top. And, it's all because of you guys. My wife's gunna flip when I tell her what she can get me for my birthday!!
I've just gone back over the posts in this category and I gotta say it again, You Guys Are
Good. Can you imagine it, I could have gone my whole life and never met you guys. Makes me want to cry. You've responded to Jimrh with such sympathy, love even. I'm glad I'm here. Sorry I have to leave--without a lap top, I might add. Sayyyyyyyyyyy, I just got an idea. Now, if you guys want to pool your resources, and, well, you know, take up a little collection,
my wife wouldn't feel so much pressure to
respond about the birthday wish.
All kidding aside, everyone of you has responded like the big brother I wish that I had. You were reminding us all, really, what it is that we're here for. To tell our story, to be received with dignity and to try to make sense out of some really bad years that all of us have survived. We some how got off of the battle field, wounded, hurting and confused. Now we're here, on this side, with each other trying to make sense of it. Like a war, we had no say in it. We were there on the battle field, taking all kinds of hits, some direct physical wounds, some insideous mind bending coeersions that made us puppets dangling on strings, naked and alone.
And then we come here, and there are brothers like we never had, ready to hold us and tell us that now we're ok and that they'll stand beside us and listen to us and comfort us and love us. It's almost too much to take. We're not use to that. Me? Us? Important? Likeable? Loveable?
By other GUYS? That's really too much to believe. Sounds like if I stay here and listen and talk and start to care I might feel some of those other things that I use to care about, too. Won't that be painful? More pain? What I missed. What I didn't have. How can I get it? How can I recapture it? How can I go on if it means more pain? Will it get better? Will it ease off? Can I have my turn? Will I be happy? Can I make someone else happy? Can I love someone else? Will someone else love me? Listen to these guys, they are my new brothers, they do have some answers; they're survivors.
Thank you for being here for me.
I'm gunna miss you this week.

Now if you want to take up that little collection..............

"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

#4943 - 04/22/03 12:03 PM Re: New and Feeling Discouraged
jimrh Offline

Registered: 03/22/03
Posts: 273
Loc: Roswell, GA
To all of you: thanks for all the kind, thoughtful words.


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