My first post

charles123

New Registrant
Hello, This is my first post. I am in SAA but I am also dealing with being abused beginning at around age 8 and then also being groomed and used when I was a senior in high school and in early college by a therapist.
I was just fired by my SAA sponsor this morning because I wasn't working diligently enough on my first step, which is honestly the truth, it was just so painful. I am also a recovering alcoholic with many years of sobriety in AA.
 
Hi charles

Welcome to MS, Sorry for what you have experienced. This is a good place and truth is what helps. It is hard to be honest at first. I had a hard time to be honest about my passed and in my past, I live in two totally different worlds it seem and I couldn't mix the two.

Good luck on your healing journey
 

Photoman

Registrant
Welcome first off. You should be able to talk about things in your own time.
You are around friends here with open ears and non judging hearts.
I'm glad you found us. Eight years old seems to be a common denominator for a lot of us. It happened to me about that age. We're here for you.
 

Flying B.

Registrant
Hello Charles!

I'm a member of SA, and while I realize their is stigma between the two programs, I know how it feels to work the 12 steps on the behavures that I do that qualify me as a sex addict, while also being a survivor of other people's sexual behavure. (at that time I viewed myself as a victim, the word survivor had too mutch hope and victory associated with it - I fealt none of these things)

That step one is a beast, and it took me a year to get through it - it's hard to be asked or required to dig into a sexual past that I have spent a lifetime blocking out.

It is unfathomably complicated to personally understand (for one), then discribe (to someone else) the dynamic of being compelled to persue something that I know is hurting me, and is contributing to my abuce and PTSD - but not being able to stop, where the only thing I can think about is "How and when will I get it again, I need this to function".

Unfortuenetly, their are people in S programs that don't understand the effects of CSA - and if I'm honest with myself, I didn't understand it either. This leads to Shame, Rejection, and Guilt as I try and try to live up to expectations and continue to fail - further reinforceing Shame and Rejection. Especially as my life continues to crash down around me.

I'm so sorry for your expiriances.

Patience with yourself durring the journey, having an intentional time to work through the steps that is manidgable and allows you to stop when needed and come back to it, and pocibly working at the goal from a different angle or perspective.

As it is commenly said in the rooms "these are only suggestions, how you work the program is up to you", "nothing changes if nothing changes", and "keep it simple".

I'm sorry that these sayings can be a little trite, I realy feal for you. That year was so hard for me. I'm glad you found this space - I hope you find it helpfull.
-Flying B.
 

charles123

New Registrant
Thanks, guys. I'm confused as to what to do next. I just told my husband about losing my sponsor and he was very supportive. I also told him about my PTSD diagnosis which is from years ago and I had never told him.
 

Flying B.

Registrant
Well, hummmm.

I think it would be good to take a look at Betrayal, Abandonment and Shame.

Being sexually abused by a Therapist (if I understood that right) introduces profound affects upon the allready abused persion. Seeking out help from a professional that takes advantage. I've had to see and work with an unhealthy Therapist, it's deviating to put my life in someone's hands and not have a voice.

Being let go by a Sponcer would make me feal like a failure and a burden. Not to mention bring up the PTSD from the Therapist. The Shame, I remember this fealing while sitting in the rooms in pain while I get the impression (or outright told) that I am an abuser ("What was Your part" ... untill I was able to understand what that sentice ment for me - defined by the fact that I wasent responcible for the abuce - it only lead to additional self hate)

However you are fealing - it is honnered and valid. Congratulations for opening up to your Husband - talking about these things with family is varry hard. Write out what your fealing as well. Writing is sutch a good tool, it helps to prossess the thoughts and make them a little bit more manidgable.

Again. You are honnered and valid, your fealings are appropriate, and are natural reactions to the PTSD triggers you're expiriancing.

Safety - you need to feal safe. Positive aframations are a good tool, as well as seeking out people who afferm you.

This space is here for you!
-flying B.
 
I echo what Flying B. Said. It is a really brave step to open up to your husband. That shows great strength. I opened up to my wife and I was afraid she would think I was making it up. Luckily, she is a therapist and said people don't just make up what I told her.

I also e ho what was said about writing. It helps me.
 
There are a number of men here who don't feel a sex addiction program is the best way to address what at root is sexual trauma. The behaviors in which you engage are rooted in experiences you didn't choose, but more importantly, those experiences sexualized you, laying down a template for how you would behave when disturbing feelings arise. We invariably feel shame about what happened to us and equally important, the things we did with those feelings as we got older perpetuated that shame. I spent five years in SLAA believing the problem was my sexual acting out behavior. It took a fair amount of therapy and a deeper understanding of how trauma affects us to understand I was acting out the trauma.

To be "fired" by your sponsor for not working hard enough is simply one more shame inducing experience. Healing from trauma is hard work and sadly 12 Steps don't acknowledge the impact of trauma. They do offer some useful things, such as a sense of community, but to the extent joining the community requires acknowledging the problem you're facing is an addiction has the potential for re-generating shame. The Fourth Step, for example is a "Searching and fearless moral inventory" as though what you're doing is the product of your defectiveness. Character defects are much talked about in those rooms. When we realize we do those those things that cause suffering for ourselves and for other in you life because sexual trauma changed our brains we discover healing will take a much different course. It will be about overcoming shame and terror. It will be about learning to have compassion for ourselves as worthy people. It will be about learning how to treat ourselves with kindness and care.

I've been a member of Overeaters Anonymous for 12 years. I have a problem with food and weight. I've developed deep, loving relationships with members of that fellowship, but the deeper I go into my trauma work the clearer it becomes a conventional 12 Step fellowship won't give me what I need. As a result I created an OA meeting that focuses on childhood trauma. The folks who are coming to that meeting from all over the United States have expressed both their frustration with a normal meeting and the great relief they feel when trauma is not treated as an "outside issue." Please don't allow what happens in SAA to add to your shame. Of course you're out of control with your behaviors and your life is unmanageable... but the solution ultimately is not to be found in a 12 Step fellowship. You'll find it right here with men who know this territory from first hand experience and who are willing to speak the truth with one another. Welcome.
 
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charles123

New Registrant
Hey guys, It is so wonderful to read what you have written. I am feeling shame about being fired by my sponsor, and so many other things. I am wondering, and have been wondering if there is an SAA group that involves men who have experienced childhood trauma.
I believe in 12 step programs, I have over 12 years of sobriety in AA, and have over 80 days of sobriety in SAA but I feel so much hope in what I can find here at Male Survivor and maybe in therapy. My head is spinning right now with information overload.
Any suggestions for my next steps.
 

Flying B.

Registrant
Survivors of Insest Anonymous is a 12 step program that I have heard good things about. It is a small fellowship, with online meetings, and they are also relatively new - they don't have many literature resorces.

I'm sorry Charles. The is road of recovery is a trudge - and you will surely find the people who you need to help you recover. Keep reaching out - shairing yourself is the only way to get the pain out and find people who identify with your pain.

-Flying B.
 
Flying B is making a great suggestion. With the arrival of Covid online meetings are becoming much more available. I contacted SIA and attended one meeting with a focus on food. They recently added a men's meeting I haven't tried out yet. Here is a link to their website.

Survivors of Incest Anonymous

I'm not happy with some of the language in the 12 Steps which likely derive in part from the Lutheran minister who founded the Oxford Group... but the framework of the steps and the structure provided by the fellowship can be incredibly supportive in doing healing work. I've been a sponsor and worked with many who derived great benefit from their involvement. But the trick is always managing shame and for a trauma survivor, shame is at the heart of our suffering and the root of our sexual acting out. If trauma is not recognized straight on, the step work will be very difficult to do.
 
I know this sounds stupid, because feelings are real and not easily overcome. I a recovering alcoholic of 36 years and formally SAA. I am not in AA, it saved me the first year, but I am so shy in social situations that I could never get comfortable. Don't mean this as a brag or anything. If anything, I am weak because I just couldn't stick with it. The thing that I think about SAA as I was reading your post, is why be ashamed. I really do get it. I feel shame when I have to say I don't go to AA meetings, but in addition to dealing with the real chemical addiction, you are also dealing with a natural function of the body. Step 1 is hard regardless, but in AA, you were not dealing with a natural function of the body.

With a history of CSA and already fighting with the chemical/natural body functions it is no wonder the task is too painful. Maybe the brain is still trying to protect you. Please be gentle with yourself. A) It will come at the right time and b) putting undue pressure on yourself is counterproductive. I will tell you, in my opinion, that you have nothing to be ashamed of. Don't beat yourself up. Other people have done that to you and you don't deserve it. You deserve abundant life. I pray you will find it.

Now, how's that for spending a bunch of words saying what I feel you probably already know.
 
Don't diminish your contribution to the conversation Jim. We do that to ourselves as well. We're in this together and we share what has been helpful for us. Some things are helpful... some not so much. But we discover that only through trying and paying attention to how it makes us feel. Ultimately we need to cobble together a way of caring for ourselves that allows us to step beyond shame. Honestly, every twelve step program is focusing on one way in which men and women tried to cope with intolerable feelings... likely rooted in trauma of one sort or another. We often play wack-a-mole, trying to get control of first one, then another "addiction" when what we really need is to unpack the trauma that lies beneath ALL of those behaviors. This is what we're doing right here, right now.
 
You are right Visitor. I guess it is part of my coping mechanism. If I downplay myself I feel like I cannot be assailed for saying something stupid.
 
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Flying B.

Registrant
Hi Charles, just wanted to check in and see how your doing.

The Road of Recovery is broud and roomy. Take heart and be patient with yourself. You found SAA and MS and other sorces for a reason, they are all usefull.

Their is a great line in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous that says, "... will show you how to create the fellowship you crave" pg164. What I have allwayse done is figure out what I am in need of, and stitching together the people, tools, and stratigies that get me their. In order to do that - I had to enter the spaces that I was using to find healing with honesty, and be ok with who I am and what I needed to work on. When shairing from this space, I found freinds that identified with what I have been through, excepted differences with joy, and saw people who have found solutions to the problems I was expiriancing.

Their is also an amazing word called "Sugested". Everything that someone says or is found in their literature somewhere is only and is allwayse a suggestion - even if it also includes a concequence for not following the said segestion. The word segestion is not a suggestion - when the BB of AA authers said "these are the steps, and are sugested as a program of recovery" they ment it.

I have come to be shown in the 12 steps that "my truth" is so important. My expiriances are honnered, and so are the pieces from varius sources of recovery that I need to live a saine life and find a well rounded and practical Recovery. Their is a concept in the rooms called "Terminal Uniqueness", and where it does have ucefullness in braking down rationalisations to not be working twords recovery and cause the individual to opt themselves out as "unrecoverable" - it does not mean that one's individual needs in order to find recovery are not valid. It only means that one is not alone, and it may take some time and surching to stitch together the people who have simeler expiriances in their persional history, and how they have found a way to live a comfortable and saine life.

Hold onto those people. Stitch together your resorces. Your journey is honnered. "You will find some of us as you trudge the road of Happy Destiny!"

We are with you in this!
-Flying B.
 
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