Newest Members
JohnWC, KKumar, J44, Anura, reynel5
12420 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
MADcHATTER (54), Ready2MoveOn (44)
Who's Online
2 registered (2 invisible), 43 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12420 Members
74 Forums
63790 Topics
445472 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Topic Options
#195369 - 12/15/07 11:19 AM Normalcy
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
I'm posting this in the offchance that other SO's might find it helpful. Everyone wants to be in a "Normal" relationship. In a situation like this, when someone shares that they've been abused (and alot of times in an off-hand manner like it's incidental), you find yourself filled with alot of feelings and emotions and no one to share them with. I remember thinking, "How could I have missed this?" The signs were there.
After disclosing, he didn't want to talk about it. He even told me to "forget about it."
Over the years, (and I mean, YEARS), he would give up little things ..i.e triggers, and we were able to work out a creative definition of "Normal" most of the time. He can't stand to be touched, unless he initiates it or he's aware that it's coming. That was an easy one. The dissociation was harder. He once told me that he could leave his body and watch himself interacting from another part of the room. I realized that there were times, (prior to knowing) that I could touch him and he wouldn't jump 10 feet in the air. He was "somewhere else". I made it a point not to touch him when I'm aware he's dissociating because I'm not sure what it would look like to him from another part of the room.
I never lie to him, I always tell him the truth even when I know he's not going to like what I have to say. And he has pulled away, shut me out for weeks, months and years at a time.
I don't take it personally, don't chase after him, and I make it a rule not to feel sorry for myself. I just let him know from time to time that I'm here if he needs me. He's always come back.
I don't badger him with questions. I never ask him what his therapist said or what he said to his therapist. It's none of my business. He tells me what he needs to when he can. On the other hand, if I see something getting out of control, I'll tell him "This is what I see happening..."
The saddest part of all of this is that the abuser's actions do not only affect the survivor, but the people who love them as well. Sometimes I think that because he blames himself for what happened, he blames himself for what it's doing to me to. If I get upset over something that's happening, he thinks it's because he's doing it, when actually, it's the situation I'm upset with. Our relationship is a delicate balance.
I don't know if anyone might find any of this useful, but I wanted to share it. Our relationship improved when I came to the realization that I couldn't save him from this. He has to work this out himself. And what I found most useful, with the touch, dissociation and communication issues, is to acknowledge that they exist and find a way to work through them, instead of pretending that they aren't there. They aren't a focal point in our relationship, but we've come to the understanding that we both know they exist.
Best of luck to everyone and Happy Holidays!
Liv


Top
#195381 - 12/15/07 12:18 PM Re: Normalcy [Re: Liv2124]
Lou Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 100
Thank you Liv for your post....for people like me.....a control freak and wanting to fix the world due to my being raised in an alcoholic home.....I really appreciate the words that he has to work this out himself.

When I apply my 12 steps of Al-anon....admitted we were powerless.....that a power (God) greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.....let go and let God.....then....things get better for me and more than likely for him too!

My BF is NOT stupid....he is an intelligent human being.....and I know that he not only has the determination to get well and live a better life from all of this....he knows that he has God to walk with him every step of the way....just as he has been for the past 59 years!

For me....I have decided to place my trust in God....and in my BF.....that together they will work thru this....and I can be there to support, love and try to understand all of this....but I can't do it for him!

Thank you for helping me to remember this....and I hope and pray that everyone who has been affected by CSA....as well as the spouses and GF's and other family members can find a little peace this Christmas season in realizing that our loved ones can do this....they have already proven they can survive!


Top
#195429 - 12/15/07 06:37 PM Re: Normalcy [Re: Lou]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
Lou,
Your realization that you can't do this for him will help YOU, more than you realize. I have found that it's better when I stay consistent, stand behind what I say, and never lie. I never "flip-flop" between what I said last year and what I say now. It hasn't been easy. He's shut me out over and over, but I mean it when I say, he's always come back. One benefit of never lying to him? He hears everything I say, even when he doesn't immediately acknowledge it. He's quoted back to me, things I told him 10 years ago. The funny thing is, (and I believe you have to find the humor in EVERYTHING to keep sane!) he has mentioned things his therapist has said and alot of it is what I'd been saying for years. But coming from a professional stranger, it must sound different.
You have to focus on yourself. It's easy to get caught up in his issues and what you feel he should do. But the truth is, you can'T MAKE him do ANYTHING. You really are powerless over what he does and the help he seeks out. You can calmly explain why you feel he should pursue other options, but it doesn't mean he will. With us, it took a rock bottom scenario before he agreed, and at that point, there was no resistance.
It's hard to watch it happen. When I confronted him the last time with what I saw happening, I didn't especially like it. Turning over the cards and forcing him to look at it from my perspective hurt him and made him uncomfortable, and he still had the option of telling me to take a walk! At that point, he agreed to try therapy again, but remember, I've been with him for over 20 years.
Best of luck to you and your SO!


Top
#195442 - 12/15/07 07:49 PM Re: Normalcy [Re: Liv2124]
AndyJB2005 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1245
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Originally Posted By: Liv2124
I never lie to him, I always tell him the truth even when I know he's not going to like what I have to say. And he has pulled away, shut me out for weeks, months and years at a time.
I don't take it personally, don't chase after him, and I make it a rule not to feel sorry for myself. I just let him know from time to time that I'm here if he needs me. He's always come back.
I don't badger him with questions. I never ask him what his therapist said or what he said to his therapist. It's none of my business. He tells me what he needs to when he can. On the other hand, if I see something getting out of control, I'll tell him "This is what I see happening..."


Boy, my mom could sure take a few lessons out of your book. She enabled her partner, my other mom, for going on 20 years or more now.

Her partner is also an abuse victim, and growing up I always felt Mom took J's side, even when J was verbally and emotionally abusing my sister and I. Mom always played it off, saying "J has a 'disease.' She can't help it.." blah blah blah.

But that's for another post...good advice though!

_________________________
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

Top


Moderator:  ModTeam, peroperic2009 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.