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For men only

Thread starter #1
This thread is meant as a place for men to discuss their trauma issues, as experienced through the lens of manhood. Men have particular issues with trauma, due to the ways we are often socialized. Depending on the type of trauma we have, we may worry that we no longer count as men, or that others see us as predators, or many, many other issues that we may encounter specifically because we are males. This thread is for open and honest discussion of these issues.

While this thread is open and viewable to all, I’d like to respectfully ask that only people who identify as men post here. As a Premium Member and the thread starter, I do have a few ways of policing this thread. With that in mind, here just a few rules for this thread:
  • Male-identified posters only. There is a companion thread where anyone can post or ask questions about men’s trauma issues. This thread, however, is reserved for people who identify as being males.
  • Be respectful and supportive of all others in this thread. We are men from all walks of life, of all ages and geographical areas. We have all had different lived experiences. Some of us have always been males; some of us may have chosen to become male. We are straight, gay, somewhere in between, or none of the above. We have a multitude of faith traditions, or none at all. We have all had different and unique traumas that we are struggling with, but trauma is what unites all of us. Please remember that no matter how our traumas were acquired, we are all here to heal and support others in their healing.
  • Be respectful and supportive of all others, period. While letting your hair down in this thread is fine, generalizing is not. For example, you may be angry at your significant other, which is fine, but if you use it to justify a misogynistic viewpoint, that is a problem. Likewise, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and bigotry of all kinds are verboten. I don’t believe this will be an issue, but I just wanted to make it clear. Furthermore, as men we are allies in healing to all the women and other-gendered people on this website, and what we say should reflect this at all times.
This is an experiment I wanted to try until the upgrade comes and we can create true groups. If guys are interested in posting here but feel uncomfortable about the public nature of this thread, I can make a protected conversation once we get a number of guys on board. Also, it's possible that no one will want to participate because no one really wants to talk. If it happens, that’s OK. Us men are well known for being reluctant to talk about our issues. However, in talking there is healing, so I’d really love it if men here felt like participating. Let me know if you have any concerns or questions.
 
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Thread starter #2
So, I'll start! I'm a 47-year-old dude from the USA. I am a sexual abuse and domestic violence survivor; my perpetrator was my wife at the time. I've been bottling it up for 15 years. I've been in and out of therapy for that long, but just a couple of months ago decided I couldn't live that way anymore and started to get really serious in my healing.

There's no need, by the way, to introduce yourself in order to participate, but as the thread starter I thought it would be the polite thing to do.
 
#4
Depending on the type of trauma we have
Not just the type of trauma we have, but the manner in which the trauma was inflicted. For instance I am a combat vet (I go to group with other combat vets). One of those guys I go to group with in particular was blown up by an IED and trapped inside his vehicle for a long time, so he gets claustrophobic, and if he is inside for too long it feels like "the walls are closing in on him". Now I'm a combat vet (same "type" of trauma) but my fighting was out in the middle of the desert where the enemy was using micro terrain for cover and concealment, so I don't feel safe outside; I see every possible vantage point when I walk out the door. We have the same "type of trauma, but it was inflicted in a different manner, so our symptoms are very different. He feels safe in wide open spaces, and I feel safe boarded up in my house.

I do think there are some stigmas unique to men when referring to PTSD. The big one that comes to mind is "suck it up" suffer in silence. Like stated (I'm not sure if it was in this thread or the other you created) there are tons of women's groups for PTSD survivors but hardly any men's groups. About the closest thing to a men's group I can think of is a combat support group which isn't even a "men's" group but tends to be male dominated, but even that isn't for everyone.
 
Thread starter #5
@Florian7051 - excellent points. It's so easy to generalize and lump everyone into a category (i.e. "combat vets," "CSA survivors," etc.) but in actuality everyone's traumas are absolutely unique. That's a really important thing to remember.

That "suck it up" mentality is absolutely the #1 reason men don't get help (and is also one of the reasons, I think, why there aren't any men's groups). It's about weakness. I'm starting to see some really tentative steps, especially at the VA, to try to redefine strength and weakness as in "Asking for help is a sign of strength" and "Weak people suffer in slilence" but I think, as a society, we have a long way to go. I don't know how to fix this other than be open about our trauma, and I totally get that not all of us can do that. What's the answer?
 
Thread starter #7
I worry that others will think that I am a perpetrator of abuse because I was myself abused.
This absolutely slays me. I recently read somewhere about a crazy woman who tried to get her son-in-law's child taken away from him because he was a CSA survivor. As if the original trauma isn't bad enough, now you're also a predator in many people's eyes.

I have to point out that I don't believe that female CSA survivors are automatically thought of as probable perpetrators - only male CSA survivors. Have you found this to be the case?
 
#8
I'm a 33 year retired road cop. Before I was a cop I was a 911 Operator/police dispatcher. I had just turned 19 when I started this career of adult baby sitting.

My first "stressful" call as a dispatcher was a 911 call from a kid who's brother I went to school with. He would've been about 12 or 13 at the time....I knew the whole family. (It was a small town) He was calling from under the bed because his old man had just walked in with a shotgun after mom. I'll leave it at that.

There were other calls bit things just started mixing in together after that. Then fast forward 2 years and I became a cop at a different department.

At 21 my shift mates referred to me as Dr Death because it seemed like every time I worked we had a death investigation if not a couple. Fatal crashes, suicides, natural causes we always had them. If a death came in and you were investigating it, you also had to attend and observe the post mittens....just in case something odd came to light.

A couple of years of this and I was assigned to an undercover project. I won't say much other than we were burned and there was an ambush (assassination) attempt on myself and partner. Lots of gunfire.

A month after that I was involved in a high speed collision that left a civilian dead and myself seriously injured.

Up in returning to uniform I became involved in a high speed chase where the suspect tried running me over at a DWI Spot check. A subsequent chase ensued where the suspect ended up t boning me at a high rate of speed. Somehow I walked away.

During all of this I started feeling "different". A shift mate of mine spoke with my Corporal who was ex military. I was sent to see the force shrink....an needed one himself. He told me I was depressed and that I was going to be transferred to an other office and that I should see my family doc. That's what they did back then. Each office, if they had an issue with someone would transfer the issue somewhere else. A bra cadabra issue fixed for them.

Anyway years of more crap suicides, death, homicides, domestics. One homicide was that of a very young girl my a neighbor....I'll leave it at that.

One night I took the night off with some overtime I had built up. Because of that my partner at the time had to ride solo. He was ambushed that night while sitting in his cruiser. He survived but never fully recovered.

I'm skipping a lot but one night at a traffic stop my partner and I became involved in a fight with six occupants of a car we stopped. Before I knew it my femur was broken and my knee was blown out from a side kick, 3 ran off and my partner held the other ones at gunpoint until help arrived. I had fallen onto my gun and there was no way I could get to it as two of the mutts were standing over me.

I ended up being off for 3 years and had 10 major surgeries. It was during this time I had my "suicide attempt". I was approved for workers comp for ptsd and allowed 12 therapy sessions. After that I was deemed "cured" and when I physically recovered I was sent back on the road....For another 24 years of more crap.

There was a lot more work garbage up until retirement, including a non work event where two of my children who were toddlers were critically injured in an incident. They were in ICU together. One recovered fairly well, one didn't fully recover.

That's the Coles notes version. I never went back to therapy. I know I prob should but I've lived with this now for the better part of 35 yrs and it's who I am now. Some days are miserable but I know that I also have some pretty good days too.

Those are the ones I stick around for.
 
#10
I recall after I was transferred by the force psychologist. My very first day there the district superintendent called me into his office. He was a miserable pos.

I was at attention when he said...."Get one thing straight son. This office runs pretty smooth. You had some issues at your old office, don't bring them here. I don't want to hear you talking about them. This is a new start so start off new. You're dismissed".

Word for word.

had to attend and observe the post mittens....j
This should read post "mortems". Frggn auto correct drives me nuts. It did make for a smile when I read it though.

Post mortems...I've probably been at dozens, there were a lot of them. Picking up various body parts at scenes...yep done that on more than one occassion.

My mind feels like a whirlwind of crap that blows out stuff at random. Then I take care of that, sometimes get a repreive for a bit then another one. I don't think I ever totally stop thinking about something from the past unless I'm working out or watching the nature at my bird feeders.
 
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Thread starter #11
@CdnCopper - any chance you might someday try therapy again? I think the feeling of "this is just how I am now" is really common to everyone with trauma issues, but I think it can be a lot more ingrained among us guys just because we're not supposed to talk about things that bother us. We deal with stuff, but we don't talk about it. That's what we are socialized to do as men. That's what I learned for sure.
 
#12
Your analogy is spot on imho. Therapy, some days I think so, most days not. I'm in the shy side of 60 now, I know, you're never too old, but I just don't know if I want to go thru that at this point in my life.

I self medicated with alcohol and prescription drugs for a very long long time just to make it through the day. I was a functioning addict with a gun and a badge....certainly not a proud moment in my life, in fact I'm extremely ashamed of that. However I was able to overcome those demons on my own, no therapy, no interventions, I just did it.

So I guess I look at ptsd in the same light. I'm extremely personal and private...except with the anomity of the internet, and I know that sharing this stuff one on one with a stranger ould be difficult on its own since the only person I trust is myself.
 
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