Hello

D Enigma

Registrant
Trust is something I don't seem to have an abundance of. When I did put my trust in "professionals" in an attempt to "fix me" I ended up in more pain and mental chaos than I did at the start. All I know is that I am tired of carrying around the pain and grief of someone else making and living a life that makes no sense to no one but God. I am looking for a way to gain the trust enough to allow God to help me out of this pit of confusion I currently find myself in.
 

newground

Chat Moderator
Staff member
Hey bud
You are not alone for sure. Many survivors struggle with trust. Thing is the only way past the pain is through it. I hate that truth but it is truth. Therapists are a lot like socks ... Some really stink, and when they wear out you need a new one. There are good t out there who will walk with you start very slow and tell them why. Their reaction to the words I can't trust you will tell you if you need a second visit. When I began looking I emailed first then went ant told him where my head was. You deserve to be free, it is for freedom that he came it's hard but you are worth it
 

D Enigma

Registrant
Thank you. I really appreciate your comments. My comments about therapists regard the kind I found in low cost drug treatment facilities. I had maternal abandonment issues (I made a way) that were an easy out for them. They enforced those issues and kept me blaming my mother well passed her death. Only years after her death was I able to come to the realization that she did not set me up and actually did her best to protect me. Now I do need help in self forgiveness for the horrible way I treated her and grieving her death.

I will look for a therapist, but one who specializes in my issues. I know I have to go through the pain but it has to be my pain not pain created to take shortcuts.
 
Welcome my friend. There is no doubt that those of us carrying the residue of sexual trauma are left with both shame and confusion. Healing involves unpacking our history and coming to a new understanding of what happened, how it affected us, and grieving what we didn't receive simply because we were lost in trauma. This is what men here are doing, often with the support of a therapist... but for trauma survivors there are no cookie cutter solutions. A recovery oriented facility is likely immersed in a 12 Step model that is often insensitive to the realities of trauma. I'm glad you found us and introduced yourself. Please check out the website and when you feel motivated, join the conversations. You will doubtless meet kindred spirits here. We know this territory from first hand experience and will listen to what you share without judgment. Remember that patience is essential to this healing journey on which you are embarking. The pain we carry is often quite old and the ways we've tried to survive have often produced more pain. Please remember that nothing that happened before, during or after the trauma(s) you experienced was your fault. Be gentle with yourself... healing comes through self-compassion and self-care.
 

D Enigma

Registrant
Thank you my friend. I appreciate your reply. I know this is a marathon. I've been spreading out the jig saw pieces and trying to make sense of the fragmented pieces of my life for years. As time has passed, I've been able to connect some of the pieces. A part of my puzzle that has been emerging is the understanding that my mother did not abandon me. She did not play a role in setting me up. This is a major part of the puzzle but there is still a tremendous hole there.

If you can provide any direction or resources of self forgiveness, it will be appreciated. I did not realize this until years after my mother's death. My maternal abandonment issues caused tremendous friction in our relationship. I had a fantastic mother and I treated her with a lot of contempt. I can still remember as a child feeling a sense of satisfaction when I could make her cry. During a time when her oldest son had passed, instead of showing compassion for her pain I attacked her. She did not deserve this type of treatment.

Six months after my eldest brother died, my mother died. Officially, she passed from an enlarged heart but actually she died from a broken heart. This has been a tremendous amount of guilt that I have carried and don't know how to come to terms with it. If I can come to terms, it will allow me to move forward.
 

SebastianVier

Registrant
I will say the same thing. Many survivors find extremely hard to trust anyone. You need to remember that professionals are not perfect and sometimes that is shitty. Sometimes I feel that you have been so damaged that any type of hint to mistrust will be used.

2 things to do about that.

1) First, you need to become stronger. To learn to expand your limits of what you can do and what you cannot do. At the same time you need to be really careful about this. Because if you judge yourself through what is possible to somebody who haven't been through this, you are going to push too hard. Need to be really in contact with what your body is telling you. Learning and accepting that you have to do stuff feeling pain in hard and its tough.

2) Try to explain your therapist that you have problems with trust. This is a tricky one. The best way to hide is not even acknowledging anyone that you trust no one. Telling someone you need time and you need space; is telling them there is this barrier and it feels that you give them weapons so they can attack you.

I hope this helps but it is hard. Not sure how people will you take it. :)
 
Enigma... obviously I don't know your full story which means I have no understanding about your family. What I find most informative is what we do and what we don't do in life. I interpret your anger toward your mother, the feeling of betrayal you now believe was a mistake, as an important indicator that something was very wrong. A healthy relationship with a mother is the product of life experience and it really is the responsibility of the mother, not the child, to create and nourish that relationship. Your anger meant something and it was not mediated by the relationship that existed in reality with your mother. As much as it pains you to reflect back on how you treated her, your behavior is rooted in events in your life, perhaps the trauma you were experiencing. Sometimes parents inflict the pain, sometimes they are disengaged and fail to notice that we are hurting. It is easy to feel abandoned in those circumstances.

Bottom line is that trauma is monstrously destabilizing and we will fragment under the weight of it all. We may take out our anger on ourselves or on other people, but the anger exists NOT because there is something wrong with us, but because trauma made the world unsafe for us and we were forced to devote ALL of our energy to protect ourselves. Sadly, many of the things we did were rooted in trauma and instead of making us safer... aggravated feelings of shame and the cycle simply kept repeating. Healing involves understanding and compassion. We could have done nothing other than what in fact we did AND we can stop hurting ourselves. This begins with self-compassion and is nourished through self-care. If we have amends to make for pain we caused others, we can do that... but never from the place of self-recrimination. We love ourselves AND with a full heart we love those in our lives. With regard to your mother, the picture will become clearer as you come to understand how you became that angry boy and how trauma you experienced affected your life... the healing journey.
 

D Enigma

Registrant
I will say the same thing. Many survivors find extremely hard to trust anyone. You need to remember that professionals are not perfect and sometimes that is shitty. Sometimes I feel that you have been so damaged that any type of hint to mistrust will be used.

2 things to do about that.

1) First, you need to become stronger. To learn to expand your limits of what you can do and what you cannot do. At the same time you need to be really careful about this. Because if you judge yourself through what is possible to somebody who haven't been through this, you are going to push too hard. Need to be really in contact with what your body is telling you. Learning and accepting that you have to do stuff feeling pain in hard and its tough.

2) Try to explain your therapist that you have problems with trust. This is a tricky one. The best way to hide is not even acknowledging anyone that you trust no one. Telling someone you need time and you need space; is telling them there is this barrier and it feels that you give them weapons so they can attack you.

I hope this helps but it is hard. Not sure how people will you take it. :)

Thanks. I am looking for a therapist and I will use your words of wisdom and the wisdom from a post I recently read on this site about choosing a therapist. I've dealt with a lot of bootleg therapist who "know me better than I know myself." All I have to do is trust Jesus or they try to minimize the pain that I feel or tell me to just go to NA and everything will be fine. That's why my trust is so deleted.

I know this is very dangerous but I've been forced to do a lot of self analysis. I've been able to put a lot of the jig saw pieces together. I've been able to come to the realization that my mother did not abandon me and set me up. I've been able to make peace with my dead step father who was actually a very good man but an alcoholic during the time he was in our household. A drunk ain't shit. I've been able to discover why I always kept company with people who did not have my best interests at heart. etc, etc....

But, I do need counseling for areas that I don't see or don't want to deal with. I am searching for one and am developing a plan so that they earn my trust. Because of you guys I am getting stronger because finally I am not alone. That in it's self gives me strength. But, I am taking all suggestions under advisement and acting on most of them.
 

D Enigma

Registrant
Enigma... obviously I don't know your full story which means I have no understanding about your family. What I find most informative is what we do and what we don't do in life. I interpret your anger toward your mother, the feeling of betrayal you now believe was a mistake, as an important indicator that something was very wrong. A healthy relationship with a mother is the product of life experience and it really is the responsibility of the mother, not the child, to create and nourish that relationship. Your anger meant something and it was not mediated by the relationship that existed in reality with your mother. As much as it pains you to reflect back on how you treated her, your behavior is rooted in events in your life, perhaps the trauma you were experiencing. Sometimes parents inflict the pain, sometimes they are disengaged and fail to notice that we are hurting. It is easy to feel abandoned in those circumstances.

Bottom line is that trauma is monstrously destabilizing and we will fragment under the weight of it all. We may take out our anger on ourselves or on other people, but the anger exists NOT because there is something wrong with us, but because trauma made the world unsafe for us and we were forced to devote ALL of our energy to protect ourselves. Sadly, many of the things we did were rooted in trauma and instead of making us safer... aggravated feelings of shame and the cycle simply kept repeating. Healing involves understanding and compassion. We could have done nothing other than what in fact we did AND we can stop hurting ourselves. This begins with self-compassion and is nourished through self-care. If we have amends to make for pain we caused others, we can do that... but never from the place of self-recrimination. We love ourselves AND with a full heart we love those in our lives. With regard to your mother, the picture will become clearer as you come to understand how you became that angry boy and how trauma you experienced affected your life... the healing journey.

Thank you. Malesurvivor is a God send. Let me give you some background in a form of some creative writing I am doing for self therapy-

I would run as fast as I could as she walked slowly and methodically toward me without emotion or expression. That’s how death looked in my nightmare. As a seven year old, this nightmare terrified me. The most terrifying part of my dream was my muteness. I could not talk or communicate with anyone I would pass as I ran for my life; I could not tell the secret. All she had to do was touch me and I would die.

No matter how fast I would run or where I would hide, eventually I could feel her presence, look up and there she would be, reaching toward me with the touch of death. I was defiant in my dream and refused to go to the depths of hell easily so I would find a way out of my delima and run, trying desperately to seek help but no one could hear. No one could understand me because I could not tell the secret.

Eventually, I would be faced with a terrifying delima. A mountain cliff on one side of me and death slowly and methodically walking toward on the other side. But I was defiant and would not let death take me easy so in a desperate attempt to escape I would jump off of the cliff. I would fall at the speed of light to my doom. But, right as I braced to feel the pain of hitting the ground, I would awake. Terrified and confused, I would awake.

Finally, I would be able to fall back asleep but would be dumped into the nightmare again. I would run but not hide. I could not speak or communicate for help. I was in danger and no one could help me. I would see a train rumbling down the track and in an attempt to seperate myself from death would try to beat the train. But, I don't outrun the train. Right as I am about to be hit by a speeding train, I would awake in terror and sweat.

One of the few memories I have of my childhood is being so terrified to go back to sleep that I would sing, dance and whatever else I could do to stay awake. Unfortunately, I was not the only one being kept awake. After trying to talk me to sleep, my mother would punish me. A whipping did put me to sleep. But, it also left me with a life long, unconscious hatred and distrust of my mother who forced me back into my nightmare and who I thought set me up to have my innocence ripped from my spirit through sexual molestation.
 
I was so afraid of my mother that the neighbor boys who invited me to join in their sexualized play didn't seem so bad and even after being raped at age seven by an adult in that family, I couldn't tell my mother about it.

If your mother whipped you when you were too frightened to sleep she DID set you up for other traumas... not intentionally, but in reality. My mother was always confused about my behaviors... NEVER aware that what she did to me in the crib set the stage for everything. It seems you have more unpacking to do... you are a trauma survivor and the trauma began with your mother's treatment of you. That is painful to realize but maintaining a fuzzy fantasy does us NO good at all.
 

D Enigma

Registrant
Thank you. Malesurvivor is a God send. Let me give you some background in a form of some creative writing I am doing for self therapy-

I would run as fast as I could as she walked slowly and methodically toward me without emotion or expression. That’s how death looked in my nightmare. As a seven year old, this nightmare terrified me. The most terrifying part of my dream was my muteness. I could not talk or communicate with anyone I would pass as I ran for my life; I could not tell the secret. All she had to do was touch me and I would die.

No matter how fast I would run or where I would hide, eventually I could feel her presence, look up and there she would be, reaching toward me with the touch of death. I was defiant in my dream and refused to go to the depths of hell easily so I would find a way out of my delima and run, trying desperately to seek help but no one could hear. No one could understand me because I could not tell the secret.

Eventually, I would be faced with a terrifying delima. A mountain cliff on one side of me and death slowly and methodically walking toward on the other side. But I was defiant and would not let death take me easy so in a desperate attempt to escape I would jump off of the cliff. I would fall at the speed of light to my doom. But, right as I braced to feel the pain of hitting the ground, I would awake. Terrified and confused, I would awake.

Finally, I would be able to fall back asleep but would be dumped into the nightmare again. I would run but not hide. I could not speak or communicate for help. I was in danger and no one could help me. I would see a train rumbling down the track and in an attempt to seperate myself from death would try to beat the train. But, I don't outrun the train. Right as I am about to be hit by a speeding train, I would awake in terror and sweat.

One of the few memories I have of my childhood is being so terrified to go back to sleep that I would sing, dance and whatever else I could do to stay awake. Unfortunately, I was not the only one being kept awake. After trying to talk me to sleep, my mother would punish me. A whipping did put me to sleep. But, it also left me with a life long, unconscious hatred and distrust of my mother who forced me back into my nightmare and who I thought set me up to have my innocence ripped from my spirit through sexual molestation.

I really needed your support. I've always tried to be understanding and forgiving toward everyone. But, I've never gave myself the same understanding and forgiveness. Even though it was right in front of my face, I was not able to come to that realization until after reflecting on your post on forgiveness. I am going to seek out tools to work on that. Thanks.
 
These are all hard won victories because our first inclination will be to believe there is something wrong with us... that the bad things that happened were our fault. We carry shame about it all and the shame drives us to do shameful things. We perpetuate the shame when in reality what we need is understanding and kindness. That is one of the great things about being here. No we are not all enlightened men who have solved all our problems... there are no saints here. But for the most part, we've come to realize we can't carry this pain all by ourselves... we need support. Fortunately, there are those among us who have found the truth about what trauma does to us and can suggest there is a kinder way through this mess of feelings and confusion.

I remember when the phrase came to mind... "I'm not a problem to solve." I believed my whole life that all of the problems I faced were present because there was something wrong with me. Learning that is not true has been painful but I'm getting there. I write about these things because I need to remind myself of what it takes to heal. The photo you see on the left is me at age two. The bad things that happened with my mother were already deeply rooted in me. I was timid and afraid, clutching that teddy bear because it was the only way I felt safe. The next year I fell into the clutches of neighbors. The die was cast and my life was a hell realm... not of my making and not because there was something wrong with me. I was simply a trauma survivor who soon forgot ALL the traumas but remembered all the sexual distortions within the trauma. Healing has taken a long time... I turn eighty in September. But finally I am alive. My hope is that you can liberate yourself while you're still a relatively young man. Keep reading... keep sharing... be exquisitely gentle with yourself.
 

D Enigma

Registrant
I was so afraid of my mother that the neighbor boys who invited me to join in their sexualized play didn't seem so bad and even after being raped at age seven by an adult in that family, I couldn't tell my mother about it.

If your mother whipped you when you were too frightened to sleep she DID set you up for other traumas... not intentionally, but in reality. My mother was always confused about my behaviors... NEVER aware that what she did to me in the crib set the stage for everything. It seems you have more unpacking to do... you are a trauma survivor and the trauma began with your mother's treatment of you. That is painful to realize but maintaining a fuzzy fantasy does us NO good at all.

Thanks for your frankness. My mother whipped me that night because I was making all kinds of noise in the wee hours of the night. I was not just keeping me up but her or my step father. And if I kept him up she did me a favor because he was abusive and may have taken it to an extreme.

Whipping in the 60's in my family was a common occurance when you acted out. Me singing and dancing at 2 or 3 in the morning was "acting out" if you did not know the reason why. I will say this. I was molested by some step cousins. We use to go over to their house every weekend so my step father could drink and party. One day as we were going for our weekend visit I began to act out (according to my brother) and my mother put a stop to us going over there. He said that after I acted out we only went on holidays and very special occasions. She may not have known what had happened to me but she knew something was wrong and she did do something about it. I did not know this and blamed her. Unfortunately, that is when my stepfather's alcoholism began to emotionally abuse me. He was mad because we stopped going over to my abusers home so he could drink and party with his family.
 
So in other words, your home was terrifying with an angry alcoholic step-father your mother protected you from by whipping you. I understand from having spent time here that many of us come from very broken families and that everyone is simply trying to survive. Being honest with ourselves about what growing up was like we can begin to cut ourselves some slack. I don't know why your mother and natural father split... or how she chose a second father who loved to drink and party... but that is exactly what happened. Walking on eggshells gets very old very fast for a kid. The two paths available were to shut down and dissociate or act up and become a distraction... both are reactions to shit happening at home.

Just remember, it is never the responsibility of a child to make a family work... that is a parent's job and it strikes me you got the short end of the stick in that family. Alcohol, partying, anger, whipping and then a bit of child sexual abuse to top it all off... step cousins which were from his extended family. That too is a telling comment. Not too many happy childhoods come from such circumstances. This is what unpacking trauma looks like. Stay with it.
 

D Enigma

Registrant
I was so afraid of my mother that the neighbor boys who invited me to join in their sexualized play didn't seem so bad and even after being raped at age seven by an adult in that family, I couldn't tell my mother about it.

If your mother whipped you when you were too frightened to sleep she DID set you up for other traumas... not intentionally, but in reality. My mother was always confused about my behaviors... NEVER aware that what she did to me in the crib set the stage for everything. It seems you have more unpacking to do... you are a trauma survivor and the trauma began with your mother's treatment of you. That is painful to realize but maintaining a fuzzy fantasy does us NO good at all.
So in other words, your home was terrifying with an angry alcoholic step-father your mother protected you from by whipping you. I understand from having spent time here that many of us come from very broken families and that everyone is simply trying to survive. Being honest with ourselves about what growing up was like we can begin to cut ourselves some slack. I don't know why your mother and natural father split... or how she chose a second father who loved to drink and party... but that is exactly what happened. Walking on eggshells gets very old very fast for a kid. The two paths available were to shut down and dissociate or act up and become a distraction... both are reactions to shit happening at home.

Just remember, it is never the responsibility of a child to make a family work... that is a parent's job and it strikes me you got the short end of the stick in that family. Alcohol, partying, anger, whipping and then a bit of child sexual abuse to top it all off... step cousins which were from his extended family. That too is a telling comment. Not too many happy childhoods come from such circumstances. This is what unpacking trauma looks like. Stay with it.

Yes. This is not pretty. But, it's liberating. I guess this is how a seed feels when the plant busts out of it. Thanks.
My father died when I was 3. My mother was an attractive single woman with 3 big headed boys to feed. She married an alcoholic because he really was a great guy, when he did'nt drink. I'm sure that my mother made the mistake a lot of people make, "I can change him." She did a pretty good job. When they were first married, he worked at a parking lot and did bumping and painting as a side hustle. My uncle got him a job at the auto plant so his income blew up. My mother handled his money so we lived a middle class life. We went to private schools, got cars when we turned 16. And, my mother did not play drinking at our house. We went over to my step cousins house so he could party with his relatives. We were over there a lot on the weekends. Last year, my older brother told me he remember me acting out one saturday night and I did not want to go over to their house and we did'nt go. After that he says we only went over there on holidays and special occaions, never to drinking partys.
I only have one memory of being naked in bed with my older step cousin and someone in the room watching. So it makes sense that it happened one time. I had my reoccuring nightmare in the following nights and acted out the following Saturday.
When they had drinking parties the first thing adults would say is "kids go up stairs, then the older kids "yall little kids get out of here" so one saturday it was me and two of my step people and shit happens. But, after I acted out we stopped going over there. So maybe my mother knew but how was she going to prove it. But she stopped it. We stopped going over there for drinking parties.
 
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