New significances and thoughts

dark empathy

At the Mike Lew workshop, we did a really heavy going exercise where we talked to someone else as if they were a person from the past.

I originally was going to do one of the teachers who stood by and watched nothing while I was multipley abused in various ways, but then I thought I should try and do the full distance, so visualized one of the ring leaders of the gang of girls who abused me.

Something really confusing happened. I'd never thought of these girls, ---- or the boys who exposed, insulted or hit me as people before. One of my most profound memories is screaming once at a science teacher who told me off for swearing at some of my abusers with the words "you can't speak to people like that"

"Those! aren't! people!"

that's the way I've always felt, that they were things, unnatural, a desease or an earthquake, something I could do nothing about.

part of this I know was to do with one of the most hurtful remarks that was ever passed my way, ---- while being exposed, hit and generally tormented "do you like me?"

But this was a real revelation, ---- that the people who did this were! people, with feelings.

I was surprised at the feeling of force that this applied. Not anger, not desire to hurt or be revenged, just, ---- -force, pressure, a differently directed emotion.

As though to combine with this, another one of the remarks tossed at me, someting at the time I was glad to here sinse insults were better than some of the other things I got was "your deseasd"

I'm not sure why thi is coming back to me now, o what the force was.

I'm also only just starting to realize something else.

At the age of 20 or so I decided that being "male" just was not important to me, and that I was simply me, unclassified, if someone accused me of being like a girl I'd just say "so?"

One thing I'm realizing now though, is that I literally think of both genders the same wayas well, ----- unless on the very rare occasions I fall in love with someone.

I find touch an issue from both males and females, it just more often comes up with girls because they seem more inclined towards physical affection (again social sterriotypes and British culture I assume).

What I'm starting to wonder though, is maybe this is also involved in my relationships problem? not thinking of people the right way or "putting out the right signals" and maybe this goes back to the fact that I never had the experiences with girls as a teenager which I should've done?

Everytime I read a book or see a film with teenaged characters having a miner romance, ----- or even being just vaguely interested in each other as in Harry potter, I get a really painful sense of what I've lost. In fact last night a friend of mine who's 18 was talking about her X bf, and I was thinking "what? ---- X bf at 18?"

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, I'm just thinking out loud, and my thoughts seemed to belong here.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Sorry about the rambling, I'm trying to understand these things myself as well.



Hi Luke,

There's a lot to talk about in your post there, I can tell there's a lot going on within you. On that exercise about pretending you're talking to someone from the past, I've never heard of that one before but I can imagine it could be REALLY painful to do that, particularly as though you were talking with someone who had inflicted pain on you. But that's interesting the observation you've made, which is that they were and are people. They weren't robots, they weren't machines, they were people. I know it may seem obvious to some people, but I think abuse tends to make me somehow dehumanize the people who hurt me as some way of thinking that no human could have done that.

Touch is a really difficult thing for me as well, although it has gotten a LOT better in the last few years. Used to it would literally give me chills for anyone to touch me. And it could very well lead to relationship issues if you are afraid of getting close to someone in an emotional sense. Perhaps you're keeping that distance because you don't want to have to eventually deal with the physical closeness as well?

I think it's natural to grieve what we lost in the way of normal teenage relationships. Coming of age is hard enough as a teenager without everything else of SA dumped on top of that, but I look back at times as well and wonder if I would have been different in my teenage relationships had I not gone through the SA.

Sounds like you're figuring a lot of things out here, Luke, I'm glad to see it.

dark empathy

Thanks Egl.

To be honest this topic is basically me trying to do things on my own. One disadvantage of getting councelling at the university is that there are appointment problems, ---- now my T has been ill. So even though I came out of the workshop ready to start on things, I haven't been able to for three weeks, and now unless my T gets back I might have to start again with someone else, ----- which I really! would rather not do sinse we were actually doing some good work.

So basically this is a tide over and a place to put my thoughts down.

The touch thing is an absolute pain, because people have this stupid idea that just because I'm visually impared, that gives them a license to touch me. Everytime I walk out of the door, some idiot will grab my arm and try to direct me across the road or onto a train, ---- irrispective of what I want. Other people will just lay a hand on me while talking.

this is really! hard to deal with.

Emotional closeness is an odd one. I can become emotionally close to people and have some very close friends, ---- but nothing else happens, even though several of my friends are female.

One thing I've increasingy realized, is not only do i find it impossible to tell if someone is interested in me, but I also genuinely don't know how what I'm supposed to do.

on a very few occasions I've fallen seriously in love (roughly once a year), and the last one of these was the desasterous business with ****, where I actually tried to show that I was interested, passing all of my demons on the way, failed miserably and ended up collapsing into tears. That was what started me onto recovery in the first place.

One thing I'm coming to realize now though, is all of the things your supposed to learn about interacting with girls on a level different from friendship when your a teenager, ---- I never had chance to learn, or even understand.

The problem is, i have no idea what I'm supposed t do about this at all.

the "not people" thing is something I've felt for a long time. One of the hardest things I found to deal with and in fact one of the earlier questions which I remember posting about here is the fact that what happened to me wasn't intended to be abuse.

It was a joke!

Even worse, it has been suggested to me that some at least of the girls involved did genuinely have some sort of interest in me.

I think now if i confronted any of them, ---- they'd just say "it was a joke" ditto with the boys who were involved in the physical violence.

One thing I'm now wondering, is does my sense of worthlessness, my absolute conviction that I'm worth nothing come from the fact that for many people as a teenager, I was! worth nothing, ---- just a casual amusement for people who were board.

Often whether I was abused or not depended upon some stupid factors, ---- whether the teacher was in the room, whether people were talking about or interested in something else, if I'd drawn attention to myself in a lesson by doing well (something which unfortunately happened all the time).

I was just a casual amusement, something to make school more fun. I genuinely don't think they saw what they were doing as hurtful, ---- in fact sometimes I was forced to touch a girl and then called a pervert, or a dirty bastard.

Part of me does also wonder now if I reguarded these peopleas things just to avoid dealing with the feelings associated with interacting with them?

Sorry this a rambling, I'm stil not sure how to understand this.