Wednesday, January 1, 2020


Happy New Year everyone.

This has been a decade of learning, growing, relapse, repair, and reassessment. I got married again this last decade. Something I said I’d never do again. For a couple of years, I feared I’d made a huge mistake but I vowed to hang in as long as I could. We are going on for nine years this coming March. I’ve grown, I’ve learned I still can change for the better. I also learned I was not as “over it” as I thought I was. That was disappointing. But I’m now doing so much better than I ever thought I would so I’m glad I stuck it out.

Jan. 10th is coming up again and the anniversary of my parent’s death and also my oldest son’s wedding. Very mixed feelings there. This time of year is tough but I think having a job and other distractions have helped distract me from the usual depression. I think I’ll get through it ok but I’ll still avoid the mother’s day and father’s day hoopla at church if I can. It doesn’t help.

This year I went back home to see relatives and to visit my parent’s gravesite. I was unable to do it alone as it is in such a weird place, I’d have easily gotten lost. No major scene as there were other with me so I didn’t feel like I could say what I wanted. It’s the first time I’d been there since they died in ’95.

This year looks like it will be even better. The decade not so much for the world. The world is in big trouble. Anyway, I’ll stop for now and just say Happy New Year and wish all who stop in a very prosperous and healthy new year in every sense of those words.

God bless us everyone.

Roger

“Life is a test of Character, not Skill”

Tuesday, December 24, 2019


Merry Christmas to all. May this time bring you too comfort and joy in remembering the reason for the celebration. Even though he was actually born in March. Working in retail as I do part-time I see a lot of happy and some not so happy people. While I do understand both reactions and emotions, I try to maintain and happy exterior facade and try to bring a smile through my admittedly defensive humor and most of the time it has worked. Which also helps my spirits too.

At home, it's more difficult but for the sake of family and friends, I do try to keep good spirits and not just the bottled kind. Alcohol I've found only makes things worse. My real temptation is to overeat and sleep too much. I'm actually getting better at that too in spite of all to goodies people give us.

I think, especially at this time of the year it's important to take some time for myself. I've been finding time late in the evening and early morning when it's quiet for a short time to make the most of it and just meditate on the good things in my life. Gratitude increases my attitude.

Just my thoughts.

Saturday, December 21, 2019


Even though personal connections are difficult for me, I've found that if I push myself to make the move oft times I've been rewarded with a friendship that develops over time. It's not easy and I'm uncomfortable with it. Also, there is the followup that I'm not good at.

I make and connection, then get busy with life and forget to keep in touch. I'm working on that and this next year starting now actually, I'm putting on my calendar to set an appointed time to make that call. Isolation has always seemed my friend but I'm starting to understand I need the outside stimuli to keep grounded and get out of my head.

A work in progress.

Roger

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Holidays


Holidays can be painful for the average person, even more so for those of us who’ve been assaulted. Sexual assault can cripple a victim’s ability to form good healthy connections, and especially with family members for several reasons. When incest has been the problem these issues can become impossible to navigate.

This time of the year has always been difficult for me. My father was my abuser from childhood but as a child, I knew no different and therefore accepted what was as normal. It was only after I entered high school that it really hit me what was going on between me and my father was not good.

Holidays became especially painful. All of the fake love and kisses, happy poses for pictures, and pretending we were just another big happy family. Only with me the odd one. I was by then pretty closed off and distant. It was becoming harder to fake the smiles, hugs, and laughter. I was feeling pretty empty emotionally.

I don’t know if those of us who had good families and were just assaulted by strangers or maybe family friends feel the same about holidays. I would imagine it’s still difficult on many levels but I’d love to hear from some of you about how you handle these happy family holiday times. I know people who are single and hate them but were never molested at all. They’re just lonely. But I know of married friends who find it all difficult too and there’s no victimhood lurking in their background. Maybe it just the way the world is going that stresses everyone out anyway.

Anyway, I was just curious.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Nightmares

Every now and then I wake my wife up with my yelling and/or moaning loudly. It's not as bad as it has been because I'm learning to take control when I sense this coming on. Usually in times of stress or anxiety over something during the day. If I feel it at bedtime, I do some relaxing exercises and prayers before retiring. This has seemed to help a lot.

I had not experienced a nightmare since I was in High School. Then around 40-45 years old, I had my first and it was a doozy. I can't remember what it was about, and I seldom do upon waking. I don't know if I really can't recall or if I subconsciously don't want to recall.

I've learned in my research that it's not uncommon for survivors to have them to various degrees. I've worked with some sleep diagnostic people that helped me with them by giving me the above exercises. I'm glad I checked with some other survivors on this because for a long time I thought I was losing it big time and it really worried my wife. Also, I'd never really connected it to the abuse until talking online with others.

There are all kinds of side effects to being a survivor but that's where reaching out and getting help can really help ease the transition from survivor to thriver.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Part of what bothered me so much in the early stages of my acceptance as a victim was the loneliness. Unable to talk to anyone about the huge secrets I carried was a huge burden. A burden I never realized I was carrying until I finally told someone. I couldn't believe what a relief it was. I cried a lot just to know I was heard and believed and it was okay.

This is one of the major reasons I've agreed to do this blog. I haven't forgotten both the feeling of carrying the load and of finally having someone to share it with. Later on, I found a website that specifically was designed for men who were victims to come and talk with others, share their stories and feelings and get support. That again was huge, almost intoxicating. I was not alone. It was not my fault. I was believed.

The first time I tried to share with someone on a different site, I was not believed. I was very upset that I have finally opened my soul to another and was put down like someone just seeking attention. I never told anyone else until that day in counselling as mentioned above.

Why don't we tell? Because it hurts too much not to be believed and thought evil of. This is dark stuff but it dies in the light and telling can remove the teeth from the memories.

Just my thoughts

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Betrayal has a way of causing a hardening of the heart. In medicine, if we give too much calcium we can end up with a condition we call stone heart. Due to electrical imbalance, the heart just freezes up and won't beat.

The heart of a child needs the right stuff too. Love, discipline, attention and affection. I only mention this because I've realized that my emotional heart is a bit erratic. Sometimes it's overly excited. Sometimes it's unresponsive when it really needs to respond.

The other day my wife was feeling really down. I wanted to comfort her, needed to comfort her, but all I could do was listen silently. My thoughts were all about how her angst was making me feel. So I said nothing and she finally stopped talking and fell asleep.

I don't know how to handle people who are upset, especially when they are upset with me. I either go silent or defensive. I either freeze, run, or fight back. It's all about me. But it's always been all about me. I had no one to turn to, no safe place to go. I withdrew into myself and stayed there. I hardened my heart. I will not be hurt anymore. I will not feel the pain.

The problem I've discovered is this. When you turn your heart to stone so the pain can reach you, the love can't reach you either. I need to learn to soften up, let the walls down. I'll feel the pain, but I can feel the love also. It's scary, it's not easy, and I'm sometimes very afraid of what might happen.

I'm a grown man now though. I'm not a frightened lonely needy little boy anymore. I can learn and maybe I can really connect emotionally even in uncomfortable situations. I'm not alone anymore and that's a big difference. I need to remember that.

Just my thoughts.