Into the woods

I had some T homework to do and had scheduled a time to focus on it. Here's what I did...
I drove out to a campground in a national forest, a place with no cell coverage, brought some books along and a laptop (along with extra battery).
I hiked for 2 hours up a mountain, thinking about things, talking to myself. I figured if I'm gonna be triggered, put that adrenal response to good use.
At the top of the mountain I set up a hammock and did some reading. There was also enough cell coverage to join my DBT group.
Then hiked back down, still working things through in my head.
Back at camp I had dinner, lit a camp fire, and got out the laptop to start writing.
The next day I hiked an hour and a half up a different trail, lugging my laptop with me, and did some writing from the hammock.
And still talking to myself on the way back down. Did more writing and reading back at the campsite.

A couple observations:
Traumasexuality was a lot less triggering on rereading it, and helped focus my writing.

I've previously mentioned the 11 year old boy who joined our scout troop; this boy, innocent, wanting to please, shy, curious, sensitive. Could have been me. Allowed me to see what it was like to be 11 through my 51 year old eyes.
What hit me is that my youngest son - 15 years old - who is a mentor to this young boy is the same age as my abuser was.
This allowed me to see the stark contrast between 11 and 15, and to know that I didn't have a chance.
I could view my 15 year old abuser with the eyes of a 51 year old, not with the eyes of an 11 year old. Not as a friend and mentor, but as a vile abuser who took advantage of an innocent young boy. I was finally able to feel some righteous anger towards him.

But when I contemplate the idea of confronting my abuser face to face (just a thought exercise, nothing is planned) when differences mean far less at our current age, I still see him through the eyes of an 11 year old and I choke up. I don't think I could ever look him in the eye.

Another thing that hit me, as I was hiking down the trail, enumerating all the knock down effects of the abuse, especially how it affected my marriage and my wife, and all the healing work that we are doing. The phrase that jumped into my head was
"Because I am worth it"
This stopped me cold.
Earlier I might have said that I was doing this work to save my marriage, or for my wife.
It was the first time that I really felt that clarity, that I am worthy of being whole, that I am worth the effort.

There is something about solitude that helps bring out mental clarity.
I still have some editing to do, but I got a lot down.

Starting EMDR in a couple weeks.

Don't forget to love yourself - because YOU are worth it.
 
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MO-Survivor

Staff member
I had some T homework to do and had scheduled a time to focus on it. Here's what I did...
I drove out to a campground in a national forest, a place with no cell coverage, brought some books along and a laptop (along with extra battery).
I hiked for 2 hours up a mountain, thinking about things, talking to myself. I figured if I'm gonna be triggered, put that adrenal response to good use.
At the top of the mountain I set up a hammock and did some reading. There was also enough cell coverage to join my DBT group.
Then hiked back down, still working things through in my head.
Back at camp I had dinner, lit a camp fire, and got out the laptop to start writing.
The next day I hiked an hour and a half up a different trail, lugging my laptop with me, and did some writing from the hammock.
And still talking to myself on the way back down. Did more writing and reading back at the campsite.

A couple observations:
Traumasexuality was a lot less triggering on rereading it, and helped focus my writing.

I've previously mentioned the 11 year old boy who joined our scout troop; this boy, innocent, wanting to please, shy, curious, sensitive. Could have been me. Allowed me to see what it was like to be 11 through my 51 year old eyes.
What hit me is that my youngest son - 15 years old - who is a mentor to this young boy is the same age as my abuser was.
This allowed me to see the stark contrast between 11 and 15, and to know that I didn't have a chance.
I could view my 15 year old abuser with the eyes of a 50 year old, not with the eyes of an 11 year old. Not as a friend and mentor, but as a vile abuser who took advantage of an innocent young boy. I was finally able to feel some righteous anger towards him.

But when I contemplate the idea of confronting my abuser face to face (just a thought exercise, nothing is planned) when differences mean far less at our current age, I still see him through the eyes of an 11 year old and I choke up. I don't think I could ever look him in the eye.

Another thing that hit me, as I was hiking down the trail, enumerating all the knock down effects of the abuse, especially how it affected my marriage and my wife, and all the healing work that we are doing. The phrase that jumped into my head was
"Because I am worth it"
This stopped me cold.
Earlier I might have said that I was doing this work to save my marriage, or for my wife.
It was the first time that I really felt that clarity, that I am worthy of being whole, that I am worth the effort.

There is something about solitude that helps bring out mental clarity.
I still have some editing to do, but I got a lot down.

Starting EMDR in a couple weeks.

Don't forget to love yourself - because YOU are worth it.
@savage_sid - wow. This is excellent work you are doing. Huuuuuge kudos for you for taking time away to focus on your healing work, and on yourself. And for sharing your thoughts and observations here.

We end up with so many parallels and repetitions of our young lives - throughout our lives, don't we? Some are relationship repetitions. Some are abuse repetitions. Some are repetitions but from another perspective or role. The image of seeing the new 11 year-old boy with your son as his mentor - the same, but very different - these things are so good at helping us reflect. We get to compare & contrast the similarities and differences, and give us the ability to see things in a different light.

I'm most happy for you for two things. First, you are clearly loving yourself like you encourage us all to do through this time and this work. Second, you are seeing this work for yourself - which is a reflection of how you are loving yourself vs. doing something for someone else. You are 100% worth it Sid. Don't forget that.

I woke up at 4:30 this morning, and couldn't get back to sleep. My mind and heart was focused on parental connections because of some recent thoughts and events - both with my actual parents, and with my good friends who re-parented me starting at 18. I was so angry. I was comparing the two and I was actually considering that at this point in my life, is there a relationship repetition with my friends compared with my parents? The repetition strikes me this way: they don't really like me, they don't like to spend time with me, they rarely initiate anything, I am not connected. Now, in my anger, of course I was seeing things a bit skewed and not giving credit where it is due. My mom has tried to stay connected my whole life - as much as either of us can. And my buddy - he is responsive, just not proactive. He's too busy for me (same with my dad - in his retirement).

This just made me angry at myself: why the hell do I still care? Why do I desire connection still in a parent / child, big brother / little brother dynamic? Can't I just let it go and be content with my friends and my own family? Too much to think about, and this is why I couldn't sleep. But the time thinking about these things and wrestling them - it is worth it. Not because of my buddy or my parents. But for me. Because I am worth it :)
 

une.vie.d.espoir

Registrant
Do you ? No, you realize that you took away a bundle of guilt and remorse. So you were alone with yourself.

There are many people who are afraid to be alone with themselves. I think you took back a certain part of yourself.

I would gently like you to think about what I want to share with you and encourage you. I am persuaded because I only go through this path if you face your abuser in the eye.

You are going to give yourself the greatest gifts. You will give him what belongs to him and you especially you good and beautiful person you will be able to turn your back on everything you had to go through.

Most importantly you will walk free with yourself with your inner-child and with your adult.

Note this is only a suggestion.

The important thing in that is that you respect yourself to always be well.

Take care,

I am proud of you,

Jp
 
Thank you for your kind words, @une.vie.d.espoir and @MO-Survivor.

At some level, I know that facing my abuser has the potential to free myself in a way that would be next to impossible any other way.
It's just so fucking terrifying.

It's taken me some time to be able to get to the point where I can contemplate the abuse without activating my dysregulation.
Still have challenges around sex and love on that front. I'm hoping the EMDR will be helpful.
If I can get myself to the point where I can feel comfortable facing my abuser, I would contemplate it.

I've considered going the passive-aggressive route and anonymously sending him a copy of Traumasexuality with his old address as the return address. But it feels so childish - I want to be able to face him. I just cannot, right now.
 

MO-Survivor

Staff member
Thank you for your kind words, @une.vie.d.espoir and @MO-Survivor.

At some level, I know that facing my abuser has the potential to free myself in a way that would be next to impossible any other way.
It's just so fucking terrifying.

It's taken me some time to be able to get to the point where I can contemplate the abuse without activating my dysregulation.
Still have challenges around sex and love on that front. I'm hoping the EMDR will be helpful.
If I can get myself to the point where I can feel comfortable facing my abuser, I would contemplate it.

I've considered going the passive-aggressive route and anonymously sending him a copy of Traumasexuality with his old address as the return address. But it feels so childish - I want to be able to face him. I just cannot, right now.
All in good time Sid. And do make sure you talk with someone ahead and after any confrontation. My buddy wouldn’t let me drive home by myself to confront my parents when I was in my 20’s. And it was great to have him there to reflect on the 2-hour drive back. So… someone supportive (therapist or good friend).
 

une.vie.d.espoir

Registrant
Like Mo says "All in good time" .

Savage I would like to share it with you privately because I'm the type one can reserve and also it's that in a private conversation we can correct things.

But I find it important to share with you. I would like to reassure you or at least I would like to reassure you just that to be open frank and honest I think are the best way. Why Savage simply I trust you completely.

Well, I'm going into the water, even if it means drowning. I can tell you that confronting my abuser (my father) was very terrifying and as traumatic as after (a month later) I had depression but hey...

Here what I am going to share with you it’s with my psychologist that I have all dissected this what I am going to tell you. When I was 16 my father wanted us to go play in my room again and I knew why and I told him I didn't want to play or have sex anymore. He started to panic, to encourage me to have sex, even said that I liked it (yes, the body likes to have sex, it's very normal) and I answered him that yes. My feelings and my heart and my head told me it was not normal so I don’t want no more sex whit you.

I made the biggest mistake of my life. My father was a gentle man a calm man at all times but then he became furious with me he started hitting me with his fists at the same time wanting to take off my sweater. It’s sure to get punched in the face and stomach well I fell to the ground and he started kicking me. He was screaming I was a coward I never love him.

I managed to get up and run outside it was -20 because it was winter, I was bleeding I was crying I didn't know what to do I was very scared. I know I was in shock and I was walking down the sidewalk in no were. Maybe 20 minutes later a car arrived behind me, it was my father who told me get in the car. We didn’t speak.

When I got home, the last words I heard from my father were "Go up to your room, go take a shower and go to bed."

My friends the next day asked me what happened, I lied, and I said «I fought with a guy from college (the other high school)

Two weeks later I came home from school and I found my father dead in the garage, he had taken his own life. Then I fell into depression.

In my therapy I discovered that I said NO to my father, I discovered that I gave him back what belonged to him and that my being and my soul were completely mine and not anyone else's. I also learned that when he took his own life he lost his power and I gained mine.

In all that I share with you Savage I would like to finish telling you that I will pray for you. I want YOU’RE good, I want and I would like you to feel good about yourself. You too Mo I want you to be happy also.

Take care and take care of your love ones,

Jp
 
@une.vie.d.espoir That's a terrible thing that you went through, all of it - the abuse, and finding your father that way. I can't imagine the pain that you felt.

My heart goes out to that 16 year old, and to the present day you.
Thank you for sharing your story.
 
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MO-Survivor

Staff member
Like Mo says "All in good time" .

Savage I would like to share it with you privately because I'm the type one can reserve and also it's that in a private conversation we can correct things.

But I find it important to share with you. I would like to reassure you or at least I would like to reassure you just that to be open frank and honest I think are the best way. Why Savage simply I trust you completely.

Well, I'm going into the water, even if it means drowning. I can tell you that confronting my abuser (my father) was very terrifying and as traumatic as after (a month later) I had depression but hey...

Here what I am going to share with you it’s with my psychologist that I have all dissected this what I am going to tell you. When I was 16 my father wanted us to go play in my room again and I knew why and I told him I didn't want to play or have sex anymore. He started to panic, to encourage me to have sex, even said that I liked it (yes, the body likes to have sex, it's very normal) and I answered him that yes. My feelings and my heart and my head told me it was not normal so I don’t want no more sex whit you.

I made the biggest mistake of my life. My father was a gentle man a calm man at all times but then he became furious with me he started hitting me with his fists at the same time wanting to take off my sweater. It’s sure to get punched in the face and stomach well I fell to the ground and he started kicking me. He was screaming I was a coward I never love him.

I managed to get up and run outside it was -20 because it was winter, I was bleeding I was crying I didn't know what to do I was very scared. I know I was in shock and I was walking down the sidewalk in no were. Maybe 20 minutes later a car arrived behind me, it was my father who told me get in the car. We didn’t speak.

When I got home, the last words I heard from my father were "Go up to your room, go take a shower and go to bed."

My friends the next day asked me what happened, I lied, and I said «I fought with a guy from college (the other high school)

Two weeks later I came home from school and I found my father dead in the garage, he had taken his own life. Then I fell into depression.

In my therapy I discovered that I said NO to my father, I discovered that I gave him back what belonged to him and that my being and my soul were completely mine and not anyone else's. I also learned that when he took his own life he lost his power and I gained mine.

In all that I share with you Savage I would like to finish telling you that I will pray for you. I want YOU’RE good, I want and I would like you to feel good about yourself. You too Mo I want you to be happy also.

Take care and take care of your love ones,

Jp
JP, I have never read that story about that happening to you, you standing up to your dad like that, and him taking his life. I'm sorry if you have written about it somewhere else. And I'm so sorry you went through that. I'm sure that was terrible. No 16 year old should have to go through that. And then for your dad to take his life. What a selfish asshole. Selfish in his actions toward you when he abused you. And selfish to the end.

But you are right. You claimed your life back and took it away from him. It was always yours to begin with and although he felt like you were taking from him, you were never his in the first place. Selfish bastard. I'm sorry JP, because of my own dad I know you probably have mixed feelings. But knowing you, and caring for you like I do - it makes me really angry at him.

Thank you for your wishes and prayers for @savage_sid and I. I gladly receive that from you - so that I can continue to move forward to freedom and happiness and to the fullness of who I am. No longer fragmented, but instead embracing and loving the little boy and the teen boy in me.

Here is what's really cool. You know I have dreams sometimes - and they tell me significant things about myself and about the boy and teenager inside of me. The last dream I had like that - that little boy... he slept soundly throughout the whole dream. He was resting, he was at peace, knowing he is loved and in my arms and in my heart. And once I have a dream like that where he is sleeping peacefully, and the teen boy is sleeping peacefully too - wow. That will show me that all of me has found peace and happiness. I wish the same for you JP. And for all on this thread and in this place.
- MO
 

Suwanee

Chat Moderator
Staff member
@savage_sid

A number of things you mentioned resonate with me. Although I‘m a longtime MS member, I haven‘t been as active lately. Those who do know me probably know I’ve often written about how I find solace and contemplation in the wilderness. Hiking the Appalachian Trail solo when I was 18, to various extended backcountry and canoe trips have been my refuge.

I know the unease with not knowing whether the solitude will be beneficial and healing, or malignant and triggering. I’m going to go back and read your post again when I get some time this evening. Thank you for sharing.

Also…my abuse was during a whole-summer session at a distant summer camp—-I was 13, and he was 19 and a counselor. I was his “special“ assistant who got special perks—but at high cost. Take care. You’re worth it.

Will
 
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