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#174402 - 08/19/07 09:33 PM Need help with disclosure to GF
BruisedSpirit Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 192
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Hello everyone,

I am writing this in the F&F forum because I'm hoping to receive feedback from friends & family as well as survivors.

As some of you already know from previous posts, I have not disclosed any information about my CSA or rape to my GF. She and I have been together as a couple since 1995, much of that time it has been a long distance relationship. Currently I live and work in a city about two hours from where she lives and, because of this arrangement, we only see one another on, not all, but most weekends.

Most of our contact with one another throughout the week is in the form of very long telephone conversations and email. Which brings me to my problem.

For the past several weeks I have been trying to tell her about my abuse(s) but every time I think I'll be able to tell her, something happens and I can't do it. We have had several conversations about my past, but I just can't seem to find the strength to look her in the eyes and discuss my most painful memories.

I would prefer she be the first person I disclose to because I'm having a very hard time beginning my recovery, and I really need someone close to me that I can talk to about this.

Here's my question to you all: Do you think this is a conversation that I absolutely must have with her face to face, or can I be selfish about it and find a way to tell her that would be more comfortable for me? At this point I'm considering a written note sent via email for her to read while she and I talk on the phone.

Please, any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Scott


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#174404 - 08/19/07 09:38 PM Re: Need help with disclosure to GF [Re: BruisedSpirit]
trusty Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 167
Loc: Indiana, USA
Oh, wow, Scott. This is tough for you, I can tell. But, I hope you don't mind me saying this...I really think face to face is the best way. She will be able to instantly respond to you. There are so many parts to communication in person that can't be perceived through a note. I highly recommend in person, if you can muster the courage. You might find that it makes it easier for both of you once you get it out, if you are physically together. Just my opinion.

Good luck,
Peace,
REJ

_________________________
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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#174408 - 08/19/07 09:55 PM Re: Need help with disclosure to GF [Re: trusty]
dannym Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 543
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
Scott, I agree that the best way is in person. I have disclosed to several people now, and each time the physical closeness makes it more manageable for me as well as them. This is not easy, Scott, but I know I was so relieved once it was out - like a huge weight of secrecy was gone from my soul.

my thoughts are with you

Dan

_________________________
"You should listen to your heart, and not the voices in your head."

Marge Simpson

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#174417 - 08/19/07 11:00 PM Re: Need help with disclosure to GF [Re: dannym]
KeithR Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/06
Posts: 363
Loc: Georgia
I agree. I think face to face is better. I think when you disclose it's important to have someone there with you who cares about you. That's how I disclosed to my wife (girlfriend at the time). I will say that neither of us understood the magnitude of what I shared until years later. It is good that you do.

With that being said, when I confronted my perp, I did it over the phone. It was not my intent, but I reached a point where I HAD to, and we were on the phone at the time. At least that way, I could hear his voice and see how he was reacting. In my case, it was probably best because I did not know what to expect.

Hope this helps.

Keith


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#174419 - 08/19/07 11:32 PM Re: Need help with disclosure to GF [Re: KeithR]
denise42 Offline
New Here

Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 2
Dear Scott,

From a gf's perspective who just learned of her bf's CSA, I agree that face to face is the best. Communication is more than just the words. Let her hug you, cry with you and tell you she'll be there to support you...in person. I'm sure it will be difficult but she'll appreciate hearing it from you, rather than a letter. And maybe saying it out loud will also help you as you take the first steps to heal.

Good luck.


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#174469 - 08/20/07 09:04 AM Re: Need help with disclosure to GF [Re: BruisedSpirit]
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
Originally Posted By: BruisedSpirit
Here's my question to you all: Do you think this is a conversation that I absolutely must have with her face to face, or can I be selfish about it and find a way to tell her that would be more comfortable for me?


Scott,

first of all, there's nothing selfish about choosing where, when and how to disclose such significant personal information. it is after all, your life, and you do have the right to decide as much as is possible about how it's going to be managed.

moreover, since you don't see each other on a daily basis, maybe the time you do spend together is that much more precious. depending on both of your jobs, if there is a lot of stress involved, i could see why you might think writing an email would be easier, then the person can read and absorb it at their own pace.

however, considering how it does seem a lot of survivors have difficulty with communication, writing may not be the best choice since what you write may not be perceived and understood the way you'd like it to be.

so that leaves the telephone and in person. in this regards, i'd say which one would you prefer first of all? it might be easier for you to talk on the telephone. i know my bf certainly prefers lengthy discussions to be on the phone rather than in person, when we are usually doing something more enjoyable than "relationship" talks.

personally, i don't see a problem with doing it over the phone. it would also give her some "alone" time to absorb it all, to think about what you've said, and how this is going to impact the relationship as well as her life.

whatever way you decide, i do hope you'll invite her to the friends and family forum and let her know she's welcome.

good luck and please do let us know how it goes.

all the best,
indy

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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#174477 - 08/20/07 10:15 AM Re: Need help with disclosure to GF [Re: indygal]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Maybe writing a letter and giving it to her in person would be a nice compromise.

Maybe even just giving her a few of your posts, among them this one, would be good.

As far as I can see you really have nothing to hide so much as not knowing how to reveal -- they're sort of different things.

Take care,
Katie


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#174478 - 08/20/07 10:19 AM Re: Need help with disclosure to GF [Re: indygal]
honey girl Offline
Member

Registered: 10/09/06
Posts: 245
Loc: Midwest US
Dear Scott,
How about if you ask her about the process first?
Have you had conversations about difficult topics before?
Maybe you feel as though you've kept her at a distance (figuratively); she may or may not feel that way too.
My thought is, that if you say--over the phone, perhaps, or in a letter (email is its own medium and not always the most flexible)--that there is an important topic about your past you'd like to discuss with her, and you're not sure which is the best way to start this discussion--you could take it a step at a time. At present, you're basing a lot of your decision on speculation about what she would prefer. As long as you don't think you would feel pressured (by her or by your own inclination) to disclose in a manner that would feel precipitous, then it seems to me you won't lose by asking.
It doesn't have to be all of it, all at once. You can set some groundrules between yourselves even before you begin, about how long you're going to talk at any one time.
I know this isn't a "therapeutic" relationship, but I am thinking about the message that Ken Singer posted a few days ago--in response to a thread started by coopstah--I still haven't learned how to include links!--about managing disclosure in tolerable bits. The same sort of gradual process, including "talking about how to talk about it," can be helpful here too, I would guess.
Good luck in any case.
Peace,
HG

_________________________
I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger, a million miles away from home.

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#174480 - 08/20/07 10:40 AM Re: Need help with disclosure to GF [Re: Kathryn]
Lazarus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Below the radar, USA
Bruised,

I agree with Katie. Face to face disclosure is almost certainly the best way, but as Larry (Roadrunner) said in a different thread, it's OK if it is>
_________________________
"That which does not kill us, surely makes us stonger." - Neitsche

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#174482 - 08/20/07 10:57 AM Re: Need help with disclosure to GF [Re: Lazarus]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303

I think what Lazarus said is great advice.

But I also think that mulling over the "right" words is probably not something you need to worry about because you don't have anything to "hide".

Probably just a note that says: "I was abused as a child" would suffice.

Yep, what follows is a big story, most of which she already knows cuz she knows you.

Take care,
Katie


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