"Survivor"

My_Mayberry

Registrant
Hello, everyone!

I'm new to this site, and it's with reservations that I call myself a survivor. The word for me carries conflicting emotional meanings, and it sometimes just doesn't always seem to fully fit with my state of being at a given moment. Even so, it's the most common word and is broad enough to cover many aspects daily life that do often fit for me.

So, here I am. I'll eventually detail my story more in the other appropriate forum. I have "survived" persistent childhood and adolescent physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Now in my mid-30s, I am addressing it through therapy for the first time. My therapist and I do several types of therapy, including EMDR. It's tough, and sometimes it's hard to keep doing it. Luckily, she's patient and we move at whatever pace I'm able. It does tend to impact my interpersonal relationships, though. Especially, and most unfortunately, with my closest friend who is a male. All my trauma was inflicted by men, and so opening the wounds up to examine them tends to leave me rough around the edges, and the intense fears of abandonment, being used, or being thrown away rear their ugly head. My avoidance of addressing my CPTSD resulted in a complete breakdown last year and then a severe relapse on pills and alcohol. Luckily, I am sober again, although now trying to put the pieces of that disaster back together.

My therapist recommended this site. I look forward to getting to know people better. It's tricky navigating conversations here because I came seeking support, but recognize the delicate nature of the reason why everyone has come here. It's hard to ask questions, especially since I've not even been able to talk about my own abuse until very recently. Even so, the little I've read so far has me finding stores that resonate with me.

I'll close with one final thing - my screen name. In 2007, I joined another site for support with addiction. The site had become very important to me, as it was literally the only place I could communicate with anyone about my addiction and mental health issues. At that time, I had not yet connected them to my traumatic childhood experiences. I believed in what is now for me a misguided model of addiction. Nonetheless, the site provided me with a community that I really needed. It reminded me of the *seemingly* ideal little town of Mayberry in the Andy Griffith show. Watching Andy Griffith was a type of healing and therapeutic and even cathartic escapism, and not really in the negative sense. So, this is the first time I've sought support online for trauma, and I can already tell this place will likely be very helpful.

I'm looking forward to getting to know some of you better! :)

Be well,
~MM
 

BDD

Registrant
@My_Mayberry

Our relationships with words are powerful things. When I started I only considered my experiences abuse on technicalities, and just barely. It was hard to claim I survived anything from that perspective. Of course I was seriously minimizing.

I believe you will find MS fit's in well with the work you are doing now. I hope you find it as rewarding as I have. Welsome.
 
Appreciate your introduction MM. You've definitely come to the right place to unpack all these early memories. Since you've been reading a bit you know the men here know this territory from first hand experience. You're not alone with any of it. In my experience of being active on the board for the last 20 months, telling the truth about my experience has been liberating. I've shared things here I'd never shared with anyone except my therapist and not all of them. I believe telling the truth is the first step to healing these trauma experiences. So welcome to you. And remember, this is a marathon, not a hundred yard dash. Please take your time and be exquisitely gentle with yourself as you go forward. Nothing that happened before, during or after the trauma was your fault. I know that can be hard to believe, but it is the truth... a truth that will become clearer as you go forward. Hope to see you on the board.
 

JayBro

Registrant
Hello MM and welcome to MaleSurvivor!

Firstly, I want to congratulate you on these important steps that you are taking. Congratulations on re-gaining sobriety! These steps are indeed difficult, however, once you've made them you won't be able to step back (and you'll be thankful that you did!). Many of us run away from our CPTSD symptoms and out of that negative coping mechanisms take over, be it self-harming, self-deprivation, addictions of all kinds, or acting out in various ways. I guarantee you that the addictions support website that you joined in 2007 was filled with countless other survivors of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse in their early formative years. It is unfortunately a common risk factor for these types of issues later in life. Many of those who suffer with them may not admit to or acknowledge the role of previous abuse at the root of their pain and addiction issues. These are often intertwined. Likewise, on MaleSurvivor you will most definitely encounter others with addiction issues. In saying this, I wanted to re-assure you and tell you not to feel bad in way for not addressing your experiences with abuse back then when you were focusing on addiction issues. Sometimes it is too much for us to deal with all of our issues at once and so we break it down and focus on individual peaks along this longer mountainous journey.

Secondly, I am very happy to hear that you have a patient therapist and that she has suggested this website. It sounds like you are in good hands! :) From my own experience, EMDR can bring up so many buried feelings and memories and after the session these triggers linger under the surface only to emerge a few days later. It can certainly be quite tough, as you indicated. But, you are still managing. You can address your milestones, peaks and troughs in therapy on here and - as long as you feel comfortable with it - try and process your memories and thoughts. I read your posting from earlier this week where you stated that were have a fear that the wrong kinds of people may be reading our stories or perhaps interacting with us on the website. While that may be difficult to 100% rule out, rest assured these boards are monitored and there are opportunities to report/flag certain posts and certain users if you ever feel like something is awry. I would also say that 99.9% of the members here are genuine survivors and their loved ones. And you can post as much or as little as you want, tackling larger issues in smaller pieces, only focusing on one aspect at a time. And, of course, with the private message function, you can then share your thoughts and experiences with only a select few of your choosing.

I truly hope that you find this website to be a helpful place of healing. For me, I also have a complicated relationship (and at times fear) of men and so finding bonding and brotherhood again among fellow men was the inspiration behind my name. I reckon that as you are currently in therapy and dealing with difficult memories and emotions you will become more and more aware of what your triggers are precisely. It may then turn out that certain "types" or characteristics of men are triggering to you, or certain situations and behaviours may then later be distressing. That is completely okay and completely normal for someone who has gone through the trauma that you have. Be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion (as difficult as that may seem). These will ease with time. You can work on positive affirmations and mantras in therapy and on your own to counteract some of these fearful or distrusting responses (i.e. "these men are not my abusers", "that was in the past", "I am now an adult: I am now safe") - whatever works for you. You can also remind yourself of the positive relationships and experiences with men such as your best friend and hopefully of many others.

Take care. I look forward to seeing you around MaleSurvivor and seeing you progress along your recovery journey.

We are all in this together.
 
Welcome. Nobody planned to be here, but I know for me there are worse places to be, like my in head alone. You aren’t alone here
 
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