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#50800 - 03/07/03 02:32 PM Self Respect and Image.
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
This is a very difficult topic for me. I want to share with you all a litle trip and then what I feel about the whole issue. I welcome any and all agreements or disagreements

As a young child I was repeatedly whipped and beaten by al my older male relatives including my Grandfathers. I was a hyper kid and always in trouble. In every case though when one came home drunk I was the one dragged out to the woodshed. I think their frustrations at not going off to war had something to do with it. All the female members of my families ignored the cause of the blood and pain and, as far as I can remeber, told me to go clean up and be more careful in the future. In retrospect I think it was self preservation on their part. During my childhood I had no close friends my own age. Understandably they did not want to get caught in the follout. As a result I obtained no social skills for interaction. The male members of my mothers's family called me a bastard just like my father. I was born 4 months after they were married. The male members of my fathers family said I was just a fucking mistake. I did not know what a bastard was but I was anxious for my father to come home from overseas cause I was just like him. Within a week of his return I recieved my first beating from him. So much for sameness.
At about 12 years of age I decided that if I could not be like other kids I would have the best goddamned body bar none. This I accomplished through hard physical labor on farm. WeekendsI would mend fences from dawn to dusk. I ran away the first time when I was 14. I had a great body that wrapped up a very shy person. I did not know how to make friends. If I saw buddies I would get enraged and beat the crap out of one or both. That did a great job of building relationships. My attitude then was who cares; nobody has a body like mine. I was so proud of it. When I was 16 my father arranged for me to be sent to a Military College to give me som disipline in my life and make a man of me. Well I will not go into what happened ther but I have posted it before. Susequently, after my little discussion with a so called councillor I wound up on the street as a male whore. Even when the abuse was going on in Military College my perps marvelled at my body and how the muscles moved when tormented. I was a hot commodity on the street. The clients I catered to were the more perverted and kinky element of the so called normal society. And they too wanted youg hard meat. I guess it was all about control and power over something they did not have. I was into any and every kind of perverted scene anyone could imagine. The reconciliation in my mind was I was just doing it for money. If the truth was known I thrived on the violence and pain. It really turned me on. Things changed dramatically when I was given an injection of heroin by some clients whlie they were torturing me and havaing their way with me. The one thing in my whole life I was so proud of was being destroyed by alcohol, abuse and finally heroin. A good friend got me off the street and that is for a later post. For the rest on my life I have always been overweight or skinny depending on how the pendulum was swinging. I hated my body and would work like a madman to get it back in shape. When I did that I would get suked into the vortex of selling myself to men to achieve release. Afterwards I would then get totally out of shape. I is a wonder I am alive today. I joined AA when I was 36 and am 62 now.
The point to all of this is that I think now I know what was going on. Little Mike had one thing going for him; a great body. Little Mike was feared by any and all peers. I was the kind of kid who would not quit a fight until he won. I thrived on pain; the more of it, the better I liked it. I wonder why!!!.Then little mike's body betrayed himself and reacted physically to the abuse. I now had it both. Attention and pain. I was in heaven. I was worth something to someone. Ye what a lot of bullshit that was.
I realize now that I had for the rest of my life a deep seated fear of self image and always overrode my desire to get in shape. I also made sure that little mike was securely locked up so that he could not bear witness to what I was doing to his body. Consequently I had absolutely no self respect or image at all. What the perps, the concillor and my Johns did was to totally ignore the brain behind the body and they did not give a rats ass about me as a person; only as a piece of meat, from which they could enjoy their perversion and control over something they did not have.
So fear of rejection kept me on the street; a fear of rejection for what I had done to my body kept little mike locked up and finally disgust for what I had done and continued to be draw too all made for a total lacke of respect and self image for me as a person.
Now all of your stories have a different drama but each and everyone of these dramas resulted in a loss of something for which we all wanted desperately or had and I think to gain a measure of self respect we have to redally look inward at what we lost that was most precious to us. We all had a happy childhood stolen but ther must be something else to. Artistic people may have had their dreams destroyed; this includes entertainers, writers, etc. Leaders maybe lost the ability to lead. But I think it all comes down to causing the lacke of self respect and image. I personally have attempted suicide a few times. Not good at it as you can see. I sudffered from binge eating and drinking and the purging. Th list goes on and on. But when I Pys and I put together the thing that really was at the root of my self respect and image was the loss of the one thing I had created myself; a great body. I think that we all should look for that missing piece but terribly important piece of the puzzle. It can be anything; acceptance, love or whatever. And I really believe that if we find it we can slowly merge the tow of us into one. Or as I have said in other posts let the little guy out to enjoy things and feel proud that we have done it.
As a result I have joined a health club and will get my body back into top shape for a 62 year old. I will never have the body that I did at 18 but I had it once. I think the self respect is coming back a little at a time. Yes I have bad times; I think we all can relate to that but the good times are getting longer.
I a way I was mutilating the one asset that was totally mine; my body. It does not matter how we do it we just do it.
Thoughts, arguments or stories are all welcome. You are my extened family and I feel guite calm in trying to find out if I am totally off base or all of you can relate to what I am suggesting.
It is the missing piece that is so important.



#50801 - 03/07/03 05:37 PM Re: Self Respect and Image.
cog Offline

Registered: 01/10/03
Posts: 42
This post is hard to read for me. Not because I have a reading comprehension problem, but simply because of the topic. Mike, I feel just terrible that you sufferred so much. It sounds like you are trying to resolve the difficult issues in your life and make things better.I find myself still trying to do that. Each of our stories are different. But I think the theme is common:


In childhood you felt, I felt, we all felt that we lacked CONTROL. Throughout our lives as children and adults we strived to regain that CONTROL. However, things happened to us that were out of our CONTROL. Our lives were out of CONTROL. We desire as adults to have CONTROL. We now desire COMPLETE CONTROL -- Over everyone and everything. Sometimes this CONTROL desire overrides more normative desires such as love, and compassion, and trust. CONTROL is more important than everything now because we had none of it growing up. We now must be in CONTROL at all costs.

It has been hard for me to see that in my life until now. But I see it in my life. I don't have the answer as to how to nuetralize this desire so that it isn't so overpowering in our adult lives. I just see it as being there in mine. This is my opinion.

#50802 - 03/08/03 12:53 AM Re: Self Respect and Image.
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Mike, it seems to me that the big difference this time is that you want to get your body healthy, for yourself and to extend your life. Before, you wanted to be handsome so you would be a popular commodity on the street. That is a major difference as I see it.

I want, even at 66 years, an attractive body--it is no longer an achieveable goal. But I still believe that trying to improve my health for the feeling of not being so OLD is a realistic goal for me.

I too plan to join a place where I can walk in the water and take a whirl pool to try to lessen the pain of my aching joints.

Great success to you.


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

#50803 - 03/08/03 12:56 AM Re: Self Respect and Image.
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
enjoy your gym work, and reclaim your body. But do it on YOUR terms and just for YOU.
It is important for us to find that link back to a place before the pain, and I suppose it's why so many survivors say "to hell with it" and throw away our existing lifestyles and embrace a new one.

I'm working on leaving my job as an engineer / fitter and doing something with my brain for a change. I hope to become a counsellor.
As a kid I wanted to be a journalist, but as I've said in another topic here, I was always being compared badly to my elder brother, and then the abuse began, so I thought I was too thick to follow my ambition.

Learning to think for myself once again is my workout, but it's no good at all for my waistline.


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

#50804 - 03/08/03 03:15 AM Re: Self Respect and Image.
guy43 Offline

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota

you've much going for yourself now. good work. i get a lot from your posts but. yeah, the infamous "but".

but this is a bit off topic, and please... please this isn't a critical statement about you or anything, it's a request that you can take or leave.

i find it hard to read your posts because of the written format, not WHAT you write.

it would help me lots if you could insert some white space (a blank line) between your paragraphs. spacing between paragraphs makes it easier to follow a post.

the message box we type posts and replies in is way too small and difficult to work with because it hard to see what the final results will look like. i usually hit the preview post button for a final check. another thing i do is type up a post/reply in another text editor like windows notepad in a full sized screen and then copy and paste the text into the dissussion board message box.

thanks man,

#50805 - 03/08/03 03:23 AM Re: Self Respect and Image.
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Jer. Ok thanks brother. Ime new at this and will

do it in the future. Sorry about that.

Is this better.



#50806 - 03/08/03 03:50 AM Re: Self Respect and Image.
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Cog: Like you I had to have total control. You

know something I did to all my adult life.

Controlled everyone and thing safe for one:

MYSELF. I was totally out of control. My self

destructive behaviour, including rages, acting

out, destroying anything I was sucessful at

cause I did not deserve it. What I am saying is

that I fugured out the root. They took from me

the one thing I created for myself. And that

body was a result of making myself; if not loved

then admired. Everything else about me had been

controlled by others including my conception.

Cog search for it. And do not denigrate what

happened to you. As I said in another post

there are no degrees of Hell. It is an inferno.

The one thing that was unique about me was what

I had created myself. For you it could have

been a beautiful relationship, or an artistic

bent. It is the one thing that you had absolute

control over. Search for it brother.
Bob: I hear you brother. Growing old is a hell

of a lot of work. You mention that my body

made me attractive on the street. You are right

but I had the body before the abuse and the

whoring. What I had so proudly built for me

compounded my descent into hell. For that I

will never the f**kers. Now you mention aches.

Bob have you tried Glucosamine Sulfate. A

friend of mine tried it and it has worked

wonders for him. Give it a whirl. Also get into

some form of cardio aroebics in water. Great for

the heart. There is a guy at my Fitness Club

75years old and if you did not see his face you

Would swear that he was a very fit 40 year old.

YEh you are right I am getting my body back in

condition for my own sense of self worth and





#50807 - 03/08/03 03:52 AM Re: Self Respect and Image.
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Not Bob in the Last post. The last part was for the Dean. Have you found your missing piece of the puzzle yet.




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