Overrationalization

I think I have done what I can to rationalize what was done to me, to try to make it make sense. Of course, logically, it shouldn't make sense. But for all this time, I've tried to force it to make some kind of sense, what was done to me, to be able to "deal" with it. (not that I've actually effectively been dealing with anything). So I guess in a way I've been an abuse apologist in my own scenario, by rationalizing what happened. I don't know how to get out of that trap, of "well, they were a good person except for this and this and this, and maybe it was done to them, maybe it was the drugs, etc", and actually accept what was done to me at face value. Do I need to do that to actually heal?
 

SC66

New Registrant
Hey Dre, I'm far from an expert on this but my two cents would be that it's important to think about how you feel about what happened and focus on that. If I'm rationalizing the experience it lessens the emotional impact and it's way of keeping that feeling and the hurt at bay. I would go in at face value and work through all of that. But, again, that's just me. I've been at it for years and there's been a lot of healing, but still more to go.
Sending you my best and sending healing thoughts,
Donny
 

Dan99

Registrant
Definitely a good topic to talk with a therapist about. I do believe the first step of healing is to understand and accept your whole story. I tried to minimize my abuse for years in my head. It felt very awkward to accept how rotten things had been and how rotten people were to me. If I accepted the awfulness of it I was affirmatively stating that I had value and deserved better. That was a big jump.
 
Alright since no one else is going to say it, I will. I can't believe Dr Dre is on this forum!!!!!!!!!!! LOL joking of course. Hope you don't mind a little humor.
 
Alright since no one else is going to say it, I will. I can't believe Dr Dre is on this forum!!!!!!!!!!! LOL joking of course. Hope you don't mind a little humor.
I actually do have a PhD, so yes, you may refer to me as Dr! :) I don't mind humor at all, it's kept me alive almost 36 years now.

Thank you everyone for the responses!
 
When we're confused one attempt at a solution is to get an advanced degree... :p

A favorite quote I mention from time to time comes from an East Indian spiritual teacher named Sri Nisargadatta who said The mind creates the abyss the heart crosses. Donny above, says it well... what happened to you had an emotional impact that you ignore when using your skills to figure it out. It is understood now that we carry the residue of trauma in our bodies long after the traumatic events occur. I speak about the residue of trauma as consisting of shame, confusion, terror, rage and grief. Typically all we are in touch with is shame and confusion... the terror and rage are too much to allow into awareness and the grief really becomes evident only after we've been able to accept the horror of what happened and how it affected us.

The work of healing is all about stepping through the shame and confusion to a place of self-compassion from which we learn at last how to care for ourselves. Trauma survivors generally don't consider themselves worthy of care, often blaming themselves for what happened or at the very least feeling it was no big deal and we should be over it already.

You've found Male Survivor and introduced yourself. You've also started this conversation. That is a great place to start your healing journey my friend. Keep reading, keep sharing and remember that in addition to sharing on the open board, you can initiate private conversations with any member who accept them. There will be a "Start Conversation" button on the lower right hand corner of a person's Avatar. (I just noted mine doesn't have one... which is a mistake I'm trying to correct.) Stay engaged and the path will become clearer since this is what every man here is doing.
 

JeremyG

Registrant
Dre, a very important thing (for me) that I learned through the work I've done so far is: I overly (and perhaps understandably) first focused very hard on trying to recall everything that happened in my past, as if I was trying to figure out the critical elements of a chronological story. I'd convinced myself that if I could just piece together everything that happened to me, when it happened, and in what order, then I'd be able to see things for what they were, understand all that had happened to me, and...hopefully move on. Instead, I learned that my approach was, sadly, a further extension of a lifetime of me being distant from my feelings. As SC66 so wonderfully says above: it's important to think about how you feel about what happened and focus on that. If I'm rationalizing the experience it lessens the emotional impact and it's way of keeping that feeling and the hurt at bay. I learned that I was trying to piece together a narrative memory when such isn't possible, Dre. I'll simply never know what, exactly, my father did to me, and when exactly he did the things he did. (Much less will I know why he did what he did.) And that's fine: The emotional truth of my trauma memory was what was important for my focus and healing; and, ultimately, for me, it was the first doorway through to my initial steps at moving on...toward freedom.
 
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Samson360

Registrant
I think I have done what I can to rationalize what was done to me, to try to make it make sense. Of course, logically, it shouldn't make sense. But for all this time, I've tried to force it to make some kind of sense, what was done to me, to be able to "deal" with it. (not that I've actually effectively been dealing with anything). So I guess in a way I've been an abuse apologist in my own scenario, by rationalizing what happened. I don't know how to get out of that trap, of "well, they were a good person except for this and this and this, and maybe it was done to them, maybe it was the drugs, etc", and actually accept what was done to me at face value. Do I need to do that to actually heal?
I am the world's worst at rationalizing. Like things I know I have done wrong in my life that I try to rationalize. I have tried to rationalize the abuse I endured. I was nine years old and he was 18 years old. I rationalize that I must have wanted it because I was a very curious little boy and I really looked up to him and I did just want to make him happy. But after the curiosity of being next to him naked and really finding it interesting since I never saw an adults genitalia, I did realize that my gut was telling me that it was wrong. It was not my fault and I'm done with rationalizing any of it because he stole something from me, my boyhood.
 
I overly (and perhaps understandably) first focused very hard on trying to recall everything that happened in my past, as if I was trying to figure out the critical elements of a chronological story. I'd convinced myself that if I could just piece together everything that happened to me, when it happened, and in what order, then I'd be able to see things for what they were, understand all that had happened to me, and...hopefully move on. Instead, I learned that my approach was, sadly, a further extension of a lifetime of me being distant from my feelings. As SC66 so wonderfully says above: it's important to think about how you feel about what happened and focus on that. If I'm rationalizing the experience it lessens the emotional impact and it's way of keeping that feeling and the hurt at bay
I can so relate on both parts. I dont know how many times i have told my T i wish could recall everything like watching a movie. I had driving myself to a bad place in my mental state. Now with here and seeing a T i am starting to lessen my focus on trying to get every detail. I have also finally started to think about me an not trying to only think of others at my own expense.
So I guess in a way I've been an abuse apologist in my own scenario, by rationalizing what happened. I don't know how to get out of that trap,
i understand and it has been a struggle for me but i am realizing its possible. I have been that apologist, i still do it at times. I know i spent my life trying to never “rock the boat” Or be invisible. But it’s unhealthy, its hard to break that cycle for me but i have started to as of late. Hang in there and share how “you” feel.
 
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