Originally Posted By: expom
Hi Phoenix

I've read your post to the committee regarding information on PTSD (by the way I am one of those non-fee paying overseas members of MS - but that's a different story) and I see that there is a link to this post in regard to feelings - and the lack of them.

May I make the following observations? From what I understand, at the moment, there are approximately 34 different forms of PTSD; several of which apply, or can be applied to Childhood Sexual Abuse. Every one of these is a medical diagnosis yet the terminology is easy to pick up and bandy about because it looks, sounds, and feels official.

Rather than looking at the over-arching term of PTSD, may I suggest that you check out, more specifically, Male Rape Syndrome or Rape Trauma Syndrome (Male). I think that you might find this more helpful.

Let me also comment on your question of "Am I ever going to feel anything . . . . " If you accept the signs and symptoms of Rape Trauma Syndrome (follow this link to find a useful website that includes some useful resources for male survivors; http://www.casa.org.au/casa_pdf.php?document=for_men_rape )you will see that one component of the syndrome is Emotional Shock that leads to the numbing you describe.

Is this reversible? It has been explained to me that PTSD is NOT a mental illness; it is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. Instead PTSD is a Psychological Injury. Not everyone recovers from their injuries when these are physical so, in my opinion, not everyone can be expected to recover from psychological injuries.

But I passionately believe that, with the right help, nurturing and support, every one of us can heal and recover from the psychological injury that we have been carrying for decades.

I find it reassuring that you talk of intimacy - especially emotional intimacy. I don't know why, but I am convinced that for many of us, emotional healing comes about when we - as guys - are able to participate as equals in legitimate, emotional intimacy (where we accept and are accepted; where we can openly discus our fears as well as our hopes; share our victories and failings) with other guys in relationships that don't involve any form of sexual contact. In fact, just as you put it in your last two paragraphs.

You mentioned Mike Lew - one of the things that he has taught me is that our journey of recovery is never linear. There are always times when it feels as if we have stalled or even going backwards - but he reminded me that even in these times we don't un-learn what we have learned and if we have to go over a part of our journey again, then we do so with the assurance that we have traveled this way before - it is familiar to us and we succeeded in getting this far before.

I know that it is no comfort whatever for you to know that others have these feelings of emotional detachment - but we do. I saw the title of a book a while ago (didn't read it just loved the title) "Splashes of joy in the cess pool of life" and at the moment that's all that I can hope for.

Emotional healing is still the holy grail that I'm searching for and until I find it, I keep on changing the batteries (checking out advanced in treatment research) in my torch so that I can keep looking.

Please forgive my rambling - and I hope that there is something here that can lessen your pain, even for a few minutes.

I looked (googled "Emotional shock - I feel numb. How can I be so calm? Why can't I cry?") up that and got:

"Your numbness is often just a bit of a bubble protecting you from trying to get your head around too much too soon. And though you don’t want to stay in this bubble too long, for now it can be incredibly useful. If it wasn’t helping you out right now you wouldn’t be doing it."

Thanks for answering my post. Here's my problem: I've been in this "bubble" of numbing since the rape 40 years 6 months ago.

If someone has stayed in this bubble longer, well...poor us.

I had a therapist tell me I was a lost cause, in the idea of healing would be near impossible, when I was 28 or 29 years old. You know, I knew she was right then I didn't want to believe it.

When I read that on Oxytocin (the bonding chemical in our brains being not produced much in CSA and adult rape victims), I knew she was right again. I can't really heal if I don't produce Oxytocin and, instead, got Bipolar to produce something similar to mimic Oxytocin's effect (it doesn't cause bonding, but the highs make you feel good, real good like a drug--why I didn't do drugs--I don't need them). The difference was I wanted to believe the Oxytocin and settle this fucking healing shit right then. I just wasn't ready to believe her and the lack of Oxytocin.

Now, I read about the bubble. Bipolar was my coping mechanism to feel good in a world of just all pain. DID was my coping mechanism because I felt so alone in the world. I'm still with both. Me and one other, that's it. Just felt the Bipolar High kick in high gear. Woo-hoo! No more pain. Freedom, baby! I almost switched it on a few months ago and just couldn't click it on. Now, oh, fuck, it feels good. There is nothing like it. Also, I won't cycle again. My cycles were long, long cycles. 13 years high then 1 1/2 years depressive then 13 years high then about 1 1/2 years depressive. Now, just high, forever.

Thanks, Expom.

Edited by phoenix321 (11/20/12 08:44 PM)
Edit Reason: add

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"