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Vulnerability...

Discussion in 'General Support and Advice' started by I'mStillStanding, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. I'mStillStanding

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    Thanks for the encouraging words :slight_smile: it really does mean a lot to have the support of you guys here and I mean this from the bottom of my heart!

    When I read y’alls words my thoughts are very interesting. I like to try and stay positive and uplifting. It’s just seems like everyone has their stuff so I hate dumping mine... but I’m going to try and give a glimpse of my thoughts...

    These were my thoughts:
    When I read your first line... I thought he’s so nice but I’m not! I have days I don’t even want to look myself I the eyes in the mirror because I’m really just damaged... how can someone love someone like me? I can’t love me!

    Second paragraph... There is so much in there related to this and all the other stuff I really don’t know that I can control the flow of letting the hurt out... and I’m not sure I’m strong enough to handle the weight of it which scares me a lot!

    Third... it’s funny because I always try and see the bright side... but now that my eyes are opening I don’t see it... it’s weird.


    I have all kinds of crazy in here that I thought I’d be able to keep to myself... it’s out now!
     
  2. smurf

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    Good! Let it out :slight_smile:

    For your thoughts, what has really helped me is to lean in with curiosity when those thoughts come up.

    For example, when I get panic attacks it usually comes from me caring about someone a lot (therapy helps pinpoint where the low-self esteem, anxiety, etc is coming from). This past weekend my dad didn't answer his phone after I called him 3 times. My thoughts immediately raised to imagining him on the floor having some type of attack. In my head, I thought he was dying and that if I didn't go check on him it will be my fault for thinking it was an anxiety attack and not trusting my guts....yeah intense. It all happened in literally 2 seconds.

    A year ago I wouldn't even noticed the anxiety. I just thought most people worried this way. Now I can take a deep breath, think "Wow, so much anxiety coming in. It must mean I love my dad very much how cute" and then I can walk away from it.

    Some days are harder than others. Some days I have to call a friend and say "I'm having the fucking creepiest anxiety thoughts" and talking them through with someone helps. Took me a lot of work to get here and I still have a lot of work to do, but dude its way possible. You got this.

    Remember when coming out felt impossible? Too hard to bare? One step a time. You'll get there

    (fyi, the site is having some issues and I can't access my wall so won't be able to read/reply to you through there sadly)
     
  3. Chip

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    A good therapist can often detect the abuse long before the client acknowledges it.

    From the research, we know that abusers have a 'sixth sense' about which kids have low self esteem, and usually choose a kid with a poor relationship with parents such that parents don't want to hear about the child's problems. They cannot describe how they know, but their accuracy is uncanny. So again, not something you did... but something that came from your parents' inability to be emotionally present for you.

    Of course you did. You were compensating unconsciously for the lack of warmth and closeness and emotional openness from your parents. You did what you needed to get the connection you craved. Again, very typical of children raised in these settings.

    Yes, because you weren't getting the attention and love and closeness from your parents.It was an adaptive behavior that you used to survive, because kids have a physical need for nurturing.

    The thing to understand is that it was an effective strategy to get you what you needed to survive at the time. Children are adaptive and our unconscious will tolerate whatever to get themselves what they need.

    Well, you havent' ost all of it, because you are here talking about it. And I think you are gaining it back. The very fact you are here says a lot.

    Understand it is a process, and be OK with it taking whatever time it needs. I know that's hard, and I also know it's possible for you.

    Unfortunately, therapy doesn't really work that way. You can (and should) have goals, but a date and time by which you will be through it is generally not possible, as it varies for each person. But you are making progress.

    I can imagine. And it does get better as you work through it. It can suck in the meantime, but you'll get there.

    That's one of the amazing things about EC. It creates a space for people to do that.

    That's an excellent idea. You might consider printing out some of what you've written here for your therapist to read.

    What you don't realize is how your story and struggle helps many others. By reading this thread, mant more people with similar issues gain understanding for themselves.
     
  4. I'mStillStanding

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    This is such an interesting thought and very unnatural for me. When it comes to my family and friends I’m totally a fighter and don’t mind dealing with the mess. No matter how hard it gets. When it comes to my own stuff I’d rather run from it than face it head on... I don’t think I’d have time to tend to them and everyone else.

    I totally get this! I’m the same way. If something is on my mind I literally can’t do anything till I resolve it. Sometimes it’s a major thought like you mentioned. Sometimes it’s stupid like what’s the best suitcase available for the money (literally spent 8 hours one night looking and couldn’t go to sleep till I found it but I have it book marked lol).

    This past week has been the worst with trying to sleep and with panic attacks. I think I’ve taken more Xanax this week than I have all year! The other night at 2:30 I was freaking out about someone finding out about this situation. Mainly about who he was. I told three people 4 years ago (outside of therapy) the responses one horrified, one it was a long time ago, one why would tell me this now. Well, I know at least 10 additional people have been informed that I never wanted to know. The information was shared while I was coming out as a way to kinda shame me! But I do freak out about it becoming public knowledge. I’d hate to put my family through that. The guy isn’t a monster. I mean he’s not in a great place, he’s made very bad choices and that’s lead to some trouble. I hope he gets better but he’d have to do that. Addiction is a horrible thing. But if people found out... there’s just no good outcome! They would: think I was lying, think something happened but I wanted it to and now just trying to cover up me doing something and now not wanting to own up to it, or believe me and demonize him. None of these are good! My biggest fear has always been this would come out.

    I do find it odd that people don’t think the way I do at times. I mean I know I’m wired differently... I’m not very judgmental of others (I save that for myself lol), I’m always there for others, I’m always thinking about what they may need (like at parties, trips, etc.), and I tend to have other people’s well being on my mind often!

    I’ve said it before (even in this thread) but I hate that it’s comforting knowing I’m not alone in the journey with overcoming anxiety.

    I really do! I hate that I had to request to have those threads removed. It would be nice to go back and read through the process and see how far I’ve come in that part of my life. I don’t even know if it’d be possible to get them back, but even if it was I couldn’t risk that! It was a long journey but seemed to go by quickly now looking from this end!

    It’s cool. It was actually in reference to a delay in the notification to your comment on this thread. I missed it and felt guilty. Didn’t want it to seem like I’d over looked it.... which saying that now I realize how ridiculous it is to feel guilty that I didn’t reply instatntly... but that’s kinda how it is with me I guess. I’m in a constant state of feeling guilty about something I’ve done or not done... life lol
     
  5. I'mStillStanding

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    You know this made me realize something. Like I said before I told everyone about the old man when I was 4 until I shut down and stopped talking and actually blocked it out. I was in and out of therapy as a kid and a teen. My mom always went in and talked to the therapist alone my first session. I hated this... I felt like she was telling on me! But I actually think she was telling them what happened and not to probe into it... and maybe that’s why the other situations didn’t come up in therapy. They saw the signs of abuse but assumed it was related to the first and was advised not to bring it up. And omg I had a therapist I saw one time when I was 16 he was very interesting... she met with him alone and then we went in together. He brought up sex and I said I wasn’t sexually active but mom was very uncomfortable. When we left she said she wasn’t a fan and was gonna find a different therapist. So I didn’t go back to him.

    Well it’s definitely effectively f***ed me up. This is something I guess it’s gonna take some time to sort out. I don’t see myself in survival mode then. Maybe it’s the guilt or the fact that I still feel that I have some part of the responsibility in it. I understand the age thing matters for sure I got that, I get that. But I’m also remembering how it was... I know it was wrong! Not something I count as sex actually because I wasn’t old enough to consent. There is a disconnect because I feel two ways about this clearly! I see myself in survival mode trying to not deal with it... now looking down the barrel of dealing with it
    I’m clearly no where near as strong as I thought I was!

    I guess it’s gonna take some more tearing down to be able to affectively build myself back up... I literally just throw my head back and went grrrrr lol

    The unknown is something I don’t like. I’m not a big fan of feeling out of control or like in an unknown area. Like I said when a friend says we are going to a new restaurant I’m looking it up to see the menu, where it’s at, how is the parking... I’m not a control freak... I just like things to be orderly, organized, and planned.

    Oh god I literally cringed at the thought of showing her this thread. I don’t know what she’s gonna think about me after we dive into this... I mean I literally start therapy asking how she’s doing lol... it’s kinda my thing to be the guy you can count on to keep you entertained and smiling. There’s no smiles here...

    I totally understand what you’re saying. My family doesn’t do well with my mess. I mean we had so much family illness, so much loss, finically stress, etc. so my stuff took a back seat. There have been a few times I’m sure I’ve been allowed to express my emotions but never for long... but often I’ve tried to express my emotions about stuff (abuse or not) there is a comment... it’s time to get over it, while dwell on it, stop looking for a problem when there isn’t one... these are a few examples.

    I do want to say we are a loving family. We are always saying I love. We kiss and hug... I didn’t realize people thought that was weird literally till a few months ago. All my family always hugs bye and kisses on the cheek. My dad and I don’t talk and last time we saw each other we told each other we loved the other an hugged and kissed on the cheek. It’s just who we are.

    That’s the only positive in this honestly!
     
  6. Chip

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    If that happened... that's appalling, because it's like telling a surgeon "There's this tumor over there, but I want you to ignore it and remove this hangnail." But of course... that's what happens with people like your mom who probably could not deal with her own emotions.

    Which is super unfortunate. This might have been the one therapist that could have saved you years of torture.


    Your statements aren't in conflict with one another. Every behavior we exhibit, according to one of the better evidence-based psychological theories, is a choice... one that in some way fulfills one of our basic needs. And not all choices are objectively wise ones, but they make sense at the time. So in your case, some part of you knew it was wrong... and another part of you desperately craved the connection, touch, and attention. The latter are basic human needs, and we find ways -- not always effective in the long term -- of getting our needs met. So this isn't something you should blame yourself for at all. You essentially did what you had to do. And you also were not really in a position to resist. This latter part is often one of the most difficult parts for surviviors, particularly male survivors, to be able to own. Essentially, you were powerless, and so you put up with it, because there wasn't much other option... and there was a part of you that wanted and needed the touch and connection you weren't getting from your parents.

    That might be. You might actually be stronger than you thought. The very fact that you're engaging in this uncomfortable discussion is pretty good proof of that.


    (emphasis mine)
    The above statement is ironic, because what you describe in the first part of it is classic controlling behavior, and I suspect there are a whole lot of other controlling behaviors you have. This isn't a judgment, or even necessarily a bad thing. Again, it is a choice that arose as a result of feeling out of control in many ways growing up, so again, it's an adaptive behavior that has served you. And as you become more aware of it, and how it manifests, you can begin (if you choose) to begin working on and letting go of it.

    Then maybe that's a sign that you should consider doing it. Our growth occurs when we thoughtfully take ourselves into uncomfortable places. Letting her into this part of you will help her immensely in understanding what's going on, and will likely help to move your therapy forward a lot quicker. But, with that said... you have to feel safe, so if you absolutely can't see yourself doing it... don't. :slight_smile: But do give some serious thought to it.

    Guess what? She almost certainly knows way, way more than she's letting on. A good therapist can usually, within the first half hour, make some good educated guesses about what's going on for the client, what their issues are, and often, have a good idea of where they originate. So honestly, 'what she'll think' is that you're ready to dive in and do the work... which is a good thing. Therapists and counselors don't judge their clients; they are trained to understand why people behave the way they do, so that they can help them to get wherever they want to go.


    And I guarantee you that she sees right through it. :slight_smile: What you're exhibiting is textbook classic 'pleasing' behavior which is common to abuse survivors as well as to children of parents who are emotionally unavailable. So she almost certainly already knows what's going on inside, even if you haven't yet shown it to her.

    And that's perfectly OK. You have to deal with the uncomfortable stuff to get yourself where you want to go.

    Which sends the very clear message "My needs aren't important; others are more important." No matter what went on, you still deserved to be listenened to, to be nurtured, to be able to express your hurts and fears, and to have someone understand, not judge, not tell you to shut it down, but simply to be there with you. That's a pretty basic human need, and unfortunately, you didn't get that need met, which is why you are where you are now.

    Which is almost worse than nothing at all, because it gives you a tiny taste of what it's like to be heard... and then it's cut off abruptly.

    Again, none of this is blaming your parents, because they were doing the best they could with what they had; they were a byproduct of their parents.

    I don't know where you got the idea that's "weird", because it isn't. Lots of families do that. Unfortunately, in your case, while there were outward expressions of love, when it came to where it really counts... being there with you when you're hurting... your parents weren't able to do that. Again... not their fault, but when you understand how that affects you, you're on the way to changing how you perceive yourself.

    What's great is they are trying their best to be supportive, in the best way they know how. They took you to therapy as a teen, so they understood the importance of that; they just tied the therapist's hands from being able to do what was needed. Again, not a judgment, because it was the best they knew how. So recognize that they care, that they were trying, and that they love you... and that, in spite of that, they can still fall short of what you needed. That doesn't make them bad parents; it makes them human.
     
  7. I'mStillStanding

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    I agree. His approach was very different. I only have seen a couple male therapist and all the the others were pastors with a therapist licenses. He was not connected with a church at all and you could tell... it was rather referencing. Mom actually took me to a faith based counselor now I’m thinking back.

    I guess since I’m having both thoughts and emotions at the same time it’s kinda the battle between them... my own eternal conflict and I feel really crazy again. After I accepted I was gay and while I was coming out, every question asked I had two answers for. The straight me had an answer and the gay me. There was similarities in them but they had noticeable differences. It feels the same way now with this honestly. And it sounds insane... but there is grown me who knows I’m not to blame at all and all that stuff and then there’s the kid me who knows well you kept climbing in his bed, crushed on him, etc.! So every thought is going through both minds and it’s exhausting.

    I’m gonna put some more thought into it. I got a few more days. Right now I’m leaning towards not taking it this session, but telling her and bringing it next....

    Maybe she just think I’m a huge teddy bear? Lol that is what everyone else thinks... it’s severed me well for 25 years! The happier you pretend to be the less people pry into your life! But you are right she had me pegged from the first session.... one thing you become good at when your whole life is a house of cards is being able to see who can make it come crashing down with one little blow. It was before she even said a word she made the face and I knew that she saw me... and I wasn’t sure if I was gonna stay with her or say it wasn’t gonna work. But she didn’t push and played along so I stayed. Which is weird... I never let myself stay in the game when my hand has been exposed!

    I’m not excusing it. There was just a lot of stuff happening and I totally get how my stuff wasn’t in the front of their minds. I was a kid they probably thought it was silly playground crap and that’s all. I don’t know... it was crazy stressful for sure for my family growing up with what was happening already.

    One of those is actually my grandma’s quote. Like I’ve said the smell of greens is actually what trigged the memories from the first abuse (when I was 4 the old man) and still to this day the smell makes me sick. I can’t be around it. Well my family loves greens. So when they cook them I’ll sit on the porch or have to leave all together because I just can’t. Well my grandma got mad (this wasn’t that long ago with in the year or so) because I said I could not come to a holiday if there was greens. She said, “Oh dear god! It’s time you get over that honestly. It’s just a food “ I left in tears for real... mom was pissed at her. But we actually never talked about it... no greens at the family holiday though.

    Well... it came up on conversation on “Headnovel” (I’m over saying social media haha). A friend shared a story about a guy giving his 10 year old son a kiss on the cheek and how all the guys at the warehouse he worked at was giving him a hard time. Everyone kinda went back and forth but said after he is a teen it would be weird.... well we still do that. So I started paying attention and asking friends... no one I know has a family that does that and find it super affectionate...

    Honestly I didn’t sleep but maybe 4 hours at most. This is weird for me. I try to always get my 8 hours and this week I’ve had the worst time sleeping. Last night what kept me up is the wall. I noticed how many jokes I was making in conversations and that I was feeling more insecure on the inside than ever. Then while replying to someone on here I realize yesterday I got the details to a birthday party I’m going to Saturday with my family. I’ll be seeing people I’ve not seen in over a year. And I’m already mentally securing the walls... it was very strange noticing that and realizing what was happening. Evening replying to this message has been different. I’ve shared but I’ve felt more detached than before. It’s like I lost complete control of that and am back frozen... part of me is happy because it’s really has somewhat numbed the pain, the other part is extremely pissed because it took so much to go there and so little to be snatched back.
     
  8. I'mStillStanding

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    So as I’ve I mentioned above the wall is back up. Through several conversations over last night and today it’s been bothering me a lot. I strive for perfection in all aspects of my life. I don’t know why... I mean I’m extremely over weight but even still I do like to try and make things nice. When I’m making a meal, when I’m decorating, cleaning, planning a party or a trip, etc. One reason I don’t like people to see me down, because I don’t want to seem like there is any cracks in my happy go lucky attitude, positive attitude.

    Well... while I’ve not enjoyed feeling raw with my emotions, I’ve been committed to doing it right. Since I left therapy last Tuesday and started opening up here (slowly) I’ve been rather determined to not go back even bough every fiber of my being has wanted too. And now... a single text has slammed and locked the doors. And I feel extremely disappointed in that! Very much let down in my lack of control over this situation.

    I didn’t even realize I was closed off till the end of last year. Even then I still wouldn’t have thought I was as guarded as I am. Well, as I realized I just figured it was about being independent and not wanting my heart broken. Now this week I’ve realized I’m basically an ice queen (when it comes to my emotions) and it’s rather deeper and darker than I’d let myself go. Now that I’ve realized it... it was so weird to feel the shutdown last night.

    I’ve always thought I had control over it and I guess I was fooling myself. I feel very disconnected from me today. Almost like I can’t feel a thing. I was actually chopping onions for lunch (made an amazing homemade pizza from scratch) and nearly cut my hand... my first thought was... well that wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen at least I’d feel that! Which is an awful thought I know! I just finished lunch, which turned out amazing by the way, and went for my walk/jog.

    Why doesn’t this shit come with instructions?
     
  9. I'mStillStanding

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    Two more days till therapy... and I’m so ready for that... it’s going to be interesting to say the least. But I for sure am going to bring up the end of the last session and what’s been discussed here. I may feel kinda detached at the moment but I will for sure share what’s been going on. I think I may also email my therapist a few of my posts, that way she will have them. I’ll discuss that in the session with her as well.

    For the last two days, my aunt has wanted to join my walk. I’ve honestly not been thrilled because this was kinda my “me” time. But I am not a person who likes to say anything so she’s joined me both days. Today I could tell something was on her mind (I knew what it was) so I asked her some general questions to try and get her to open up. She did... I’m very comfortable being there for others so it was just such an easy thing. I did try and share some of my own stuff during the walk... I tip toed around a bit of what’s been bothering me. It was really less about trying to open up for support and more about trying to relate and make her feel comfortable and offer her support. I wish I was able to be more open about it in that moment about my feeling and what’s going on inside, but it was my usual detached story time way.

    I’m really afraid Friday (therapy) is going to be much of the same... I’ve already made a mental list of the reason now is not the time to open this can of worms again. I mean Saturday is a family event which I’m dreading because it’s always stressful because of the tension with some of my family, Sunday is 2 years ago my step dad died mom is already falling apart, Monday is 3 years ago I came out to my ex which is kinda a good day for me but still, 25th is my birthday, the end of the month is the 3 year mark of losing my gramps and mom, my grandma and uncle are already upset that is approaching. My grandmother is getting worse and started more intense medication with her hospice care.... these things already require so much attention and carry so much weight... the idea of trying to juggle this new stuff into it seems too much.
     
  10. smurf

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    Its the control issues Chip was talking about. Perfectionism is not a good trait and its usually a sign of a deeper problem. Mostly about control.

    Stop beating yourself up.

    You for the firs time finaly felt the shutdown! May not feel like it, but that's progress my friend. Its the first step in learning how to manage your emotions.

    Sit with this feeling ab it instead of beating yourself up for it.

    Learn how it feels to go back to shutting down, be curious about how you react differently. When you talk with your therapist, talk about strategies that help you get out of this shut down mode because it will happen again. Happens to all of us, we just get much better at getting out of it much faster each time.

    You will learn with time how to figure out your triggers (the text) and what to do in order to either prevent the shutdown or get out of it sooner.

    Pretty much what is happening is that your brain learned how to deal with trauma by numbing you. It sucks, but its also the way that you have survived for so long. You are just now at a point in your life where the coping mechanisms you learned at 4 years old no longer work. That's okay, its normal. Just have to learn new ways to deal with the trauma.

    So you might be onto something here. Alone time or meditation might be something that you NEED. For a lot of people it helps center and ground you.

    With time, you will learn to take care of yourself more. I know its hard now, but in the future you have to learn to say "I would love to walk with you aunt, but I need some alone time. How about we reschedule?"

    Sounds impossible now, but you will get there.

    Your therapist is there to help you out.

    If you know that a bunch of triggers are coming up and that this will be one hell of a month, then ask her for ways to cope with them. Ask them for tools to deal with this crappy month because 1) those are the tools you can use to get out of being shut down 2) this month will keep happening every year. It would be useful to learn how to manage it

    Tons of hugs your way
     
  11. I'mStillStanding

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    I guess it really is a control thing. It’s just nice to feel like I’ve got a handle on something and can get something right. Be it dinner, a flower arrangement, trip schedule, even therapy... it really is easier to focus on the technical aspects! Those things I can control...

    I’ve not thought about that... definitely progress. Don’t like the feeling at all but no body said it would be easy.

    I tend to isolate in my room... no lights, tv on some show I’ve seen 1000 times so I don’t have to think about it. That’s why I’ve enjoyed the walking because I can’t spend my life in here. And honetsly it does make me feel better... I don’t have the heart to say no! But maybe I could schedule some time to mediate! I’ve not done that in a while and that is something they’d have no interest in and I’d just do it outside as well to keep me out more.

    She mentioned something for me to do last time because I had two panic attacks the two days before therapy and I don’t want to be using Xanax everyday. I’ve been so tightly wound for a bit. I guess I just didn’t realize it. I’m gonna need a play book for all this...
     
  12. Chip

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    As far as the "now is not the time" routine... that's your fear talking. There will always be some bogus excuse you can come up with to rationalize why not to go into it.

    One of the most basic ways of dealing this are the Four Questions of choice theory:

    What do you want?
    What are you doing now to get what you want?
    Is what you're doing working?
    If not, how do you want to change things?

    I'd suggest giving some real thought to the above. And BTW, "What do you want" isn't a simple, flippant answer. It's a deep question. That might include "being able to ask for my needs" and "Feeling worthy" and "feeling like I deserve love and belonging" or something completely different.

    The above is an effective strategy for helping you move past 'stuck'... if that's what you want.
     
  13. I'mStillStanding

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    I answered the questions before typing this. I wanted them to be as real and unedited as possible. I’m sure I may think of more and they may change... but I did want to see where I stood with these answers this evening.

    I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and not hate everything. I don’t just mean looks, though that’s part of it. I wanna be able to look at myself in the eyes and see more than what’s there. I want to love me honestly... it’d be nice to be able to do that. Every time I hear the song Let Me Love You (the cover done by Glee) I actually cry a little. Because I want to be able to to sing that to myself. It sounds so weird I know because it’s a love song. But it’s so true to how I feel...

    The lyrics:
    Much as you blame yourself
    You can’t be blamed for the way that you feel
    Had no example of a love
    That was even remotely real
    How can you understand something that you never had
    If you let me I can help you out with all of that

    Let me love you
    And I will love you
    Until you learn to love yourself.
    Let me love you
    I know your trouble
    Don’t be afraid, oh, I can help

    Let me love you
    And I will love you
    Until you learn to love yourself.
    Let me love you
    A heart of numbness
    Gets brought to life
    I’ll take you there

    I can see the pain behind your eyes
    It’s been there for quite awhile
    I just wanna be the one to remind you what it is to smile
    I would like to show you what true love can really do

    Let me love you
    And I will love you
    Until you learn to love yourself.
    Let me love you
    I know your trouble
    Don’t be afraid, oh, I can help

    Let me love you
    And I will love you
    Until you learn to love yourself.
    Let me love you
    A heart of numbness
    Gets brought to life
    I’ll take you there

    It’s so silly even reading those lyrics has me crying like a baby... I’ll pretend it’s the onions I chopped two hours ago. But I really want nothing more than be able to say that to me because no one else has ever loved me that way... the 4 year old me... the 5 and 6 and 7 year old me.... preteen me and teenage me... the young adult and married me... coming out me... me today. I don’t want to depend on someone to love that way. I want to give myself that! I don’t think I’m making much sense.

    This one is harder to answer. I have been working on the outside. Losing weight and exercising and all.

    I’ve been doing therapy and thought I was being productive in the process working on the inside. But I boxed myself in with my boundaries. I mean there has been some movement. I came out. I’ve confronted the bipolar type 2 disorder finally. But there are so many other skeletons in the closet these things don’t even seem like I’ve made a dent.

    Clearly the boundaries have made my progress limited. It’s like going into a ditch on the dirt road. You move forward a little and back a little bit if you’re not careful you go deeper and deeper. I thought I was working my way out of the ditch but I’ve been going deeper and deeper.

    I’m lost on this one. The only thing I know to do is what we’ve discussed. Go in and tell my therapist there aren’t boundaries. Let’s pick up where we left off and go! That’s not something I’ve never done and it scares me but I’ve said I’m gonna do it and that is what I’m gonna do. I don’t back down! It’s not who I am. Once I’ve made up my mind that’s it. And that decision was made last week honestly. The talking back and forth is really my internal struggle being vocalized. But I’ve known since I got in the car after therapy what this next appointment would be. I knew that day that something came up and I couldn’t pretend it didn’t. I wish I could... at least for just a couple weeks. It’s not the perfect time. Just like when I came out. But I didn’t pick this time... it sounds crazy but it picked me!


    I’m not done here clearly. But this is just where I am tonight... I really do appreciate all the support and will continue to use this thread because I know this is just the beginning of this journey. It’s funny to me that this is actually not at all what I intended this thread to be about.
     
  14. Chip

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    It sounds like you are prepared to take some very positive steps. Your therapist will likely tread somewhat slowly... we typically have to be cautious in just going right to the issues, as it can cause clients to run away from therapy or regress. But if you hold your therapist accountable to push you, and she holds you accountable to do the necessary work, I think you'll start seeing significant progress pretty quickly.
     
  15. I'mStillStanding

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    I’m ready to face this issue head on. I think it could be at the root to a lot of my problems. The no self esteem, inability to say no to my family and friends, my constant fear of being discarded and being alone, my control solutions (I really don’t think it’s that much of a problem), my detachment from my own emotions when it comes to my life, (I’d continue but we’d be here all day) etc.

    I hope that sounds confident and brave... because the truth is I’m absolutely terrified!
     
  16. Chip

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    It does sound confident and brave. And authentic vulnerability, especially when it is a new behavior, is sometimes terrifying. I admire your willingness to be willing to go there.
     
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  17. I'mStillStanding

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    Today has passed by so slowly. In 12 hours I’ll be sitting in my therapist office. And frankly, I’m scared shitless!

    I went on my walk alone today and did not notice any of my usual distractions. I can’t tell you a single song that played, and at the end of the 2.5 miles I felt dead. I’m not sure if it was the fact I’ve not taken a day off from exercising or if it was just being emotionally drained.

    Well, while cooking dinner I was discussing the plans for tomorrow with my mom. I started feeling my chest getting tight and my heart racing. I was having a panic attack. I tried to hide it, but felt myself losing control. So I just excused myself to the bathroom for a minute. I took my anti-anxiety medicine (which I’m so over at this point) and pulled it together.

    The morning can’t get here quick enough honestly! I’ve got a bulletin point list of things I want to make sure I say at the start of the session. Just a few and here they are:
    ~ No more boundaries in therapy.
    ~ Need to be held more accountable about editing thoughts and emotions while there
    ~ Able to forgive others and not myself
    ~ I’ve got to be honest about everything not just facts/data
    ~ Disclose highlights of this thread - making excuses for my need not mattering, the guilt and responsibility I feel about the last bit of abuse, the feeling of being vulnerable and hating it, the wall going back up... ask about emailing posts
    ~ She can take the lead and guide where ever but would like the starting point to be where we ended since it caused me to unravel

    This is it I guess... the beginning of the end. I’ve gotta start taking responsibility for this problem as I am addressing it because now that I’m aware of all of this, it is mine to own! Lot of work for sure...
     
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  18. I'mStillStanding

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    I made it through therapy. I didn’t ask my therapist how she was and all the usual questions (hard thing to do but was determined to try and not waste time with distractions even though it felt very rude). She asked me, and I said not so well since you blew up my world before I left last session. She just looked at me like I knew it... she asked me to explain and I told her I had a little list I want to go over real quick first. So I shared the list from above. She made a few comments on them but really allowed me to explain my change in thoughts.

    Then we went straight in. I told her how she broke the rules with the question last week and it kinda forced me to admit something I’d never really done. We talked about how my families response to the first abuse has impacted me a bit.

    Then we got into the last abuse. She said the same thing @Chip has here (a number of times) at least 10 times. “You know it wasn’t your fault!” I told her I know that here (I pointed to my head) but here (my hand on my chest) doesn’t get it and I don’t think it ever will. We talked a bit about it. I was honest with her about it all (I’ll share more I’m sure later still not even home and trying to keep myself together).

    She asked was I allowing myself to feel my emotions. I said of course I’m talking about them. She pointed out that’s not feeling them... that’s acknowledging them. I tried to sneak a few past her but she held on to the hold me accountable bit. I’m scared to go into my emotions honestly. Scared I’ll get lost and not find my way back. I told her this and she gave me a grounding exercise to do. She said go into them, feel them, and when your ready to come back do these 5 things. So I’m gonna give that a try. I’m going back Monday, with everything going on and the party she wanted to see me back soon.

    More to come as I process through the day and get to a safe place to really sort through...
     
  19. I'mStillStanding

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    Finally able to get a break long enough to really process everything. I’m exhausted, honestly. I never nap (unless I’m sick) and I actually dozed off for 30 minutes today. I don’t know how I feel about that.

    During my session today my therapist really encouraged (that’s a nice way of putting it) that I allow myself to feel my emotions. So that’s what I’m gonna do for a moment. She also encouraged me to log them. I mentioned I was part of EC and was gonna send her some of my posts, she thought it would be a good idea to continue to open up in a place I feel comfortable.

    As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve talked about it here and a little in therapy today, I have a lot of guilt related to the last time I was abused.

    Since last week and starting to talk about this the memories have started coming back. I remember the feeling of being close to him. I remember the touches, contact, etc. But I am terrified to remember everything because I’d feel even more like a slut at the idea of us going all the way! I know this doesn’t make sense to a lot of people. But I didn’t have an appropriate response to what happened. I immediately told on the old man the (first person) , I threw up when the 16 year old decided he should “show me how to kiss” when he saw me playing with dolls pretending they were kissing... the kiss was aggressive, his hands on me, and it made me sick. But not with the last guy. Logically I understand putting any blame on a child of that age is ridiculous! But that doesn’t change how I feel. I mean, I’ve always felt like trash... for more than 20 years I’ve felt like nothing more (excuse the example) than a hole in the mattress.

    It was so hard to look at her this session. I had to keep reminding myself to... several times I just gave up and looked away. I reached for my sunglasses but never put them in. Figured she would have said something about that if I had. I didn’t say all this in therapy and the idea of saying it out loud... how do you tell someone the absolute worst about yourself? Even if that someone’s a therapist?

    This is what terrifies me more than anything. It’s now up and I can’t pretend it’s not. I have to go on with my life like nothing has changed but the truth is everything has changed... again! Then there is the fact everyone always asks am I dating anyone yet, something I’ll get asked a lot tomorrow. No! How could I tell someone about this? How could someone love me with this in my past? On the other hand, you can’t not tell someone this... it’s not fair for them not to know they are getting damaged goods.

    So what emotions am I feeling? Fear of what all this means about my future relationships (family, friends, even partner). Disgust at myself for being in that bed after it happen the first time. Anger that I wasn’t stronger then and I’m not stinger now. Completely alone! Sad... broken...

    ————————————

    Sorry for the long rambling post!
     
  20. Chip

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    Kwityerjudgin about your writing. The posts are not rambling, and the length is necessary to describe your experiences.

    I'm glad to hear that your therapist, from what it sounds like, is doing a good job of holding you accountable and taking you into the uncomfortable territory.

    One thing that might help as far as telling your therapist the "absolute worst"... any therapist with any experience has heard some of the most horrific and shameful things any human being has ever heard. And it is their job, and their training, not to judge. Since everyone is doing the best they can with what they have at any given moment... then there's really no judgment to be had. I've jokingly said that a client can come into session and say "I like sex with gerbils and hammers", and a competent therapist will respond, either expressionless or with kindness, and say something like "Are you comfortable sharing more about that? or "There are actually a large number of people who are interested in that sort of sex play". So compared to what you think is so awful... for your therapist, it is almost guaranteed to be something that s/he sees through a lens of traumatic history and compassion. There's no room for judgment when you're looking at things that way.

    As far as dating... when you find the right person, you'll be able to tell him about everything. Not on the first date, but soon enough, when the bonds of trust have been built. As for the anger toward yourself... you really need to let go of the idea that "you could have been stronger". One of the pieces of new research we have from a subject called 'polyvagal theory' is research that shows that different people respond differently to traumatic events. Some completely freeze. Some handle it differently. But none of this is within conscious control; it is a byproduct of how our vagal system developed. And the judgment about