As I begin to gain the courage to try to unravel one end, it begins to hurt in another place.
We know the feeling Danny.
Instead of trying to undo all that tangled web all right now, I try to focus more on being kind and loving to myself.
Danny for me that is the key to untangling the barbed wire web of SA. If we can love ourselves & be good to ourselves, we can untangle a lot of wire & ease the pain of a lot of barbs.
I have absented myself from my faith community for a year now--the people there miss me and ask about me---I honestly don't know what to tell them. So for now, I say nothing.
Be careful Danny. I know how people in faith communities sometimes say they miss you but just miss what you give them or are just saying it to be or look nice. After all, you said in your earlier post that "the other members chose to turn a blind eye." So it may be wise for you to be guarded and say nothing, certainly until you're
good & ready to say something on your terms.
Just a thot, maybe not worth two cents: if & when
you're ready, you could ask them: "If you missed me, why did you turn your backs on me when I needed you?"
I get really pissed off though when I do around because it seems that a lot of the
"pretending everything is Ok mentality" is a standard fixture when people gather together for moral education.
Danny this is one of the things about faith communities I find most exasperating. Of all the places where we should be able to be real, to let it out when everything is not ok, that's where it should be. If everythings ok what do we need moral education for anyway? No wonder so many people decide they don't...
I am happy to know that there are people like you in positions of leadership in religion who are willing to confront and accept the fact of male sexual abuse.
Danny it took me 35 years from the last time I was SA 45 from the first time (I'm 46) before I finally really did so, but I had to.
This makes SA by spiritual leaders all the more infuriating to me!
My spiritual life is and always has been very important to me---that's why the man who abused me chose that route to get to me. Part of my recovery leads me to reclaim my spiritual heritage from that bastard. I want to stop participating in the abuse by refusing to maintain my silence. I'm willing, so that's a big step. I feel now that I am getting the tools I need for the job so that I can be able. Then I can decide when I'm ready. Ready, willing and able. And I don't have to do it alone. That feels beautiful to me now.
Danny what a powerful paragraph; it says so much about you, and says so much for so many of us here! Why let that bastard take your spiritual heritage from you? He probably doesn't know it from a hole in the ground & sure doesn't know what to do with it! Whatever you do, whenever, and
however, is your call. But you're not alone in it!
I'm new here (still getting the hang of the quotes) and have not been able to access your story. Any suggestions?
My apologies Danny, the link I gave you for that story didn't come up right. Now I can't get a link
to it or even find it. Fortunately I saved it in my files. So here it is, slightly edited. Hope it helps:
My Male Survivor Friends:
I've had two 2-chair therapy sessions in which I meet with my mother & my T in the safety of his office. Tho not physically present, she has been there & we have communicated in a very real way.
Between each session I had taken a week or 2 to process what happened & talk with my T about it. We've worked together, usually weekly, for well over a year now.
Well, this past Monday, a couple weeks after my last 2-chair time, I had a major breakthrough.
I told my T I had been thinking about whether or not we needed to meet with my mother again, and that I just wasn't sure; what did he think?
Basically, he said he thinks I've probably dug up the past & the worst of the stuff there all I need to, at least until something else different comes up, some really bad memory that's a new event not just another detail or more of the same garbage--which he thinks is unlikely.
He doesn't want me to forget or deny the past, or even stop dealing with it. He just thinks I'm at the point where I can really live in the present, using what I know out of the past, but not dwelling on it anymore. He thinks that's the best way to deal with the past now--just live.
Yeah I know; it sounds so simple, so obvious. It's certainly nothing I haven't heard of or thot about plenty of times before. But it was the first time he ever said it to me in that way, in the present-now-you can do it tense.
It's also the first time I really believe it! (And I know how vital that is). I don't need to meet with my mother or have any contact or connection with her anymore.
I'd already broken contact with and put aside my mother of the present, who would not be much of a threat even if she were closer by than she is. The mother I've been needing to put away much more is the one who abused me so much all those years ago--a woman I doubt my present mother even remembers & certainly doesn't want to remember.
Now, I've done that. Not that I haven't wanted to; I have. But to release the hurts & hatred was hard. What was probably once necessary for survival had become like a security blanket for me, sometimes even an excuse, a very unnecessary hindrance that kept tripping me up.
Now I've released it. Oh there still are & will be hurt feelings to heal, bad habits to break, etc. But there also are & will be new good feelings, new habits & hobbies to get into, new & renewed relationships, new & wonderful experiences.
The key is that I believe now the new, the positive, the present, is where I can truly focus & live, even when bad feelings or new problems come, as they will.
In short, I think I'm finally beginning the move away from just surviving to thriving.
And I emphasize "beginning." I don't think I'd really even started or felt capable of doing that until now. I didn't become a victim, or a survivor, overnite; I won't become a "thriver" that way either.
What I now can & will do is begin to be a thriver moment by moment, day by day. Not without setbacks or obstacles, from the past or the present.
I can start really practicing & living life w/o always automatically going into victim mode when someone is abusive or disruptive. I believe the time will come when that will rarely to never be my 1st inclination anymore. Which means my 1st reaction won't always be acting out in some hurtful, harmful way.
Oh man I know its not over! Damn, those nasty old habits do die hard don't they? Even now I'm dealing with temptations to act out sexually. I'm still hurting physically & wanting to medicate somehow. But its not dominant in my heart & mind. Not now. Hopefully never again. But if so, I still have taken a big step, made a major breakthru, that will help me thru.
No, its not over. Its a beginning. Another big step taken on the road to health & wholeness, with many more little & some big steps yet to come. But I look forward to them now more than I ever thot possible.
Yeah its still scary. Getting abused & shot down so many times when I thot I was going to be happy or get ahead or be able to trust does that to you. I know it won't just magically disappear. No magic here.
But I'm finally at the point where I'm starting to really believe that trying to live life to the fullest & enjoy it the most I can, even when I have problems even traumas, is going to be less painful than just settling for misery so I don't get disappointed, becuz then I was just disappointed all the time anyway.
Wow am I rambling this is hard to put into words! So simple, so basic, yet so exciting & powerful!
I guess I'm learning not to underestimate every little step I take no matter how much it hurts or how many hazards I face, becuz the little steps lead to big steps, and all steps lead home as long as I keep stepping.
And I've got to add that this is happening as it is in great part becuz of you men, my fellow survivors. It was just a couple of months ago I started on this forum & now here I am. You've helped me take a big step, fellas, know it or not; and that means you've taken a great step yourselves, at least in my eyes. THANK YOU!
I had to take the step. I did take the step largely becuz you, fellow survivors, gave me a lot of the hope, courage & inspiration to do so.
Fellow survivors, this is why its so great when we help each other walk the path together as we do. And I'm glad we do becuz I know I'm still gonna stumble & need plenty of support. And as with the downs, its nice to have people who understand to share the "ups" with too.
Take care & thank you men!