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#203500 - 02/04/08 10:39 AM I do not know how to comfort her
BruisedSpirit Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 192
Loc: Ontario, Canada
My GF and I had a difficult conversation this weekend. I'm not going to post the details because I respect her feelings. What I will do is give a little background and hopefully get some feedback from both survivors and F&F.

A short time before Christmas I told my GF about my Self-Harm issues. It had gotten worse in the previous weeks, but because she lives in another city and we hadn't seen one another in about a month, she knew nothing about what was going on.

I knew it was going to be hard for her, and I couldn't exactly hide it because I had visible scars on my arms. So I had to tell her what I had been doing.

She was understandably upset and I tried to calm her down as best I could.

Saying sorry just didn't seem to be enough, but it was all I could think to say.

The only thing I could do was hold her.

All the while, my mind was racing, but I could say nothing but "sorry".

Fast forward to this weekend and I am looking at the Public Forums with her looking over my shoulder.

I didn't know if she had ever come on to MS so I told her again about how great the support is here and that she might find some interesting things in the F&F forum.

Not much else was said and we carried on with the day as usual.

Sunday morning we started talking about things and she was really upset.

What I found out is that she is scared for me.

She looks at my self-harm and the situation with Heath Ledger and she's afraid that something similar might happen to me.

She is scared that I can't talk to her about how I'm feeling.

Here's the problem:

I really do have a hard time talking about how I'm feeling. I can't seem to get the words out.

It has nothing to do with her, she has done nothing but be totally supportive and understanding.

It's just me, I just can't talk.

So here we are, she's just opened-up and obviously needs me to say something to comfort her, and I can't do it.

I've got nothing.

My mind is frozen.

This is so frustrating for me, and I can't even imagine how hard it is for her.

I'm not really sure what it is I want form this post. Maybe some insight into how others have handled similar situations.

Any comments or insights would be greatly appreciated.


Scott


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#203509 - 02/04/08 11:23 AM Re: I do not know how to comfort her [Re: BruisedSpirit]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear Scott:

My therapist would be shaking his head in disapproval for what I'm about to say...here it goes though. How about especially just to start in sharing your feelings with her, do it by email? Then progress to personal messaging, telephone and then in person. Sort of work your way up in the process.

The reason I said my therapist would be shaking his head in disapproval is that I have gotten into the habit of emailing my husband. For me it is the easiest because I can take the time to organize my thoughts, edit, sit on it, consider all angles make sure my feelings are being accurately described, then push send. To me it is much more thoughtful to what I am truly feeling as opposed to just reacting to his reactions.

I'm not sure if this is exactly healthy (as my therapist has suggested) and I need to work on "live and in person" communication but at least it is a beginning.

Sometimes I'll send husband song lyrics if they fit what I'm feeling in a way that better describes what is in my heart than my words. There are many ways to tap into it...I guess we all need to figure out what works for us as individuals.

Good luck,
Best wishes,
S-n-S

_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#203513 - 02/04/08 11:59 AM Re: I do not know how to comfort her [Re: sweet-n-sour]
Agape Girl Offline
Guest

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 120
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Bruised Spirit & S-n-S;

I loved that S-n-S just validated what my partner and I do, for some of the heavy stuff we can't shut off say at work or at inappropriate times, or moreover the Hard times. We don't always do this sometimes it's better for him to write to me as his shame makes talking even more difficult than usual. He too has a difficult time talking personal things, it's just not what he or his family does, plus add the CSA and talking about "him & feelings" becomes harder than ever. I don't know if this is helpful truthfully it's frustrating for me, but I really have to just go with the flow and I"m learning. I talk to him and then at the end I tell him what I need him to say, just this past week We talked about rejoining the T world, he's looking for a new T. I can't make him go back to Therapy he'll do it when he's ready. But I need to know if he plans on going back or not so I know where it stands with him. I simply challenged him to tell me YES he's in T or NO he's not ready. Small challenge to me but maybe larger than I can imagine for him. Who knows. Sorry for the long story maybe you should ask her what she want's to know from you. List some questions and tell her possibly you'll do your best to answer them, and there's a chance you can't answer any of them right now, but at least you'll know what she wants to know. I wonder if any of that made sense. Small steps I guess is what I was getting at which is exactly what SNS was saying. You have to start somewhere.

good luck

_________________________
AGAPE'
means selfless love of one person for another
without sexual implications
(especially love that is spiritual in nature)

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#203535 - 02/04/08 02:52 PM Re: I do not know how to comfort her [Re: Agape Girl]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Scott,

The truth is the most comforting thing you can offer, even if the truth is nothing more than I'm working on it but I'm just not in a place where I can talk about it yet. If you speak to her gently, she will find comfort in your sincerity, your efforts to heal yourself and the fact that you care enough to be worried about her.

Reassure her that the self harming behavior is not suicidal behavior; that seems to be of great concern to her and I really don't blame her. If you've never dealt with he before, self harming is all lumped into one terrible, scary catagory. Just easing her mind in that regard should help too, although it really will take her time to adjust to what is a new phenomenon to her.

ROCK ON...........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#203578 - 02/04/08 08:06 PM Re: I do not know how to comfort her [Re: Trish4850]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Scott,

My first thought after reading the following

Quote:
So here we are, she's just opened-up and obviously needs me to say something to comfort her, and I can't do it.

I've got nothing.

My mind is frozen.

This is so frustrating for me, and I can't even imagine how hard it is for her.

is that if you can't say it can you write it out? My wife and I went through a phase years ago where we wrote each other letters telling each other the things we needed to say but somehow could not. Is there any possibility that kind of approach would work for you?

I just read through the other posts and see that SnS has a similar suggestion. I really think it's worth a try. It worked for us. It may work for you as well.

I wish you the best.

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#203593 - 02/04/08 09:41 PM Re: I do not know how to comfort her [Re: WalkingSouth]
Lou Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 100
Bruised Spirit,

She may not only be afraid for you....but she may also be afraid for herself.

Thank you for this post.

I too am going through some similar emotions right now. My BF, who is a CSA survivor, has made the comment on several occasions that if he ever acts out again that he has actually decided how he will end his life, that he feels the world would be better off without him.

Some 23 years ago, my first husband did commit suicide. It was not a threat, it actually happened.

I can only tell you that I am scared to death for my BF and also for myself. Scared because I know that when people get desperate and feel their lives are out of control and that they have nothing to live for....sometimes it does happen.....and scared because as I found out some 23 years ago....there was nothing I could do to stop it!

It amazes me how even though I am not dealing with CSA, my past to this day still haunts me. It is horrible to lose someone you love so much because they feel there life is so invaluable.

I hope and pray that the two of you will find some way to talk through this whether verbally or in writing. A lot of times, our fears are valid.

I can only speak for myself, but right now I would imagine that she needs you to assure her more than ever that you are going to be ok because she loves you and doesn't want anything bad to happen to you.

Best wishes to you both.


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#203663 - 02/05/08 09:45 AM Re: I do not know how to comfort her [Re: Lou]
LittleMissL Offline
New Here

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 42
Ditto what S & S and WalkingSouth said. Sometimes it is a lot easier to write your thoughts and feelings down then to express them aloud. I have occasionally resorted to an email to tell my husband something because I know it is something that I may get emotional about and when that happenes it is hard for me to communicate effectively.

By writting it, I am able to get out what I need to say and have it be understandable and more coherent then trying to say it through a choked-up throat and tears.

It is worth a try.


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#203689 - 02/05/08 01:12 PM Re: I do not know how to comfort her [Re: LittleMissL]
BruisedSpirit Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 192
Loc: Ontario, Canada
S-n-S, AG, John, LML,

Thankyou for sharing your thoughts. I do like the idea of writing down these things. I suppose it will take a little while to find what works for us. I will discuss the idea with her and see if she's comfortable with it.

Thanks,

Scott


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#203690 - 02/05/08 01:37 PM Re: I do not know how to comfort her [Re: BruisedSpirit]
BruisedSpirit Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

When I disclosed to my GF about the CSA, I wanted to make sure that she felt comfortable asking me questions.

I told her that if she had any questions I would answer them with complete honesty. However, I also told her that there would be times that I couldn't talk about the things she wanted to know about.

I'm afraid that this is one of those times and to her it's probably the worst possible subject for me be silent about.

This has upset her so much that I am desperate to find a way to communicate my feelings to her.

I am going to talk to her and see how she feels about other forms of communication, such as email, and then I guess we'll go from there.

Thanks for your input,

Scott


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#203694 - 02/05/08 01:54 PM Re: I do not know how to comfort her [Re: Lou]
BruisedSpirit Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 192
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Lou
Bruised Spirit,

She may not only be afraid for you....but she may also be afraid for herself.

Thank you for this post.

I too am going through some similar emotions right now. My BF, who is a CSA survivor, has made the comment on several occasions that if he ever acts out again that he has actually decided how he will end his life, that he feels the world would be better off without him.

Some 23 years ago, my first husband did commit suicide. It was not a threat, it actually happened.

I can only tell you that I am scared to death for my BF and also for myself. Scared because I know that when people get desperate and feel their lives are out of control and that they have nothing to live for....sometimes it does happen.....and scared because as I found out some 23 years ago....there was nothing I could do to stop it!

It amazes me how even though I am not dealing with CSA, my past to this day still haunts me. It is horrible to lose someone you love so much because they feel there life is so invaluable.

I hope and pray that the two of you will find some way to talk through this whether verbally or in writing. A lot of times, our fears are valid.

I can only speak for myself, but right now I would imagine that she needs you to assure her more than ever that you are going to be ok because she loves you and doesn't want anything bad to happen to you.

Best wishes to you both.







Lou,

I wanted to reply separately to your post. I thank you for being so honest and I am so sorry you've had to go through that experience.

I had a hard time reading your post because it hits really close to home.

I don't know what else to say, but that I will try and do everything I can to make sure she won't have a similar story to tell.

Thank-you again for your honesty and openness,

Scott


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