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#205228 - 02/14/08 09:52 PM Re: new to group [Re: dangal]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
*lol* When you are in the F&F forum, you'll see a New Topic tab just before the list of threads. Click on that and type away.

ROCK ON........Trish


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

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#205279 - 02/15/08 08:41 AM Re: new to group [Re: LJA]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2579
Quote:
Hey JustScott, I am so glad you have such a wonderful support while you are doing such difficult work. It really does take an immense amount of courage to move forward, doesn't it. Do you mind me asking what your wife does when she doesn't let you get away? I have asked my husband a few times in the past few days if he's still with me, is that the kind of thing you mean?

Yes, she does that kind of thing for sure. When we driving back from visiting my parents a few weeks ago, the drive was very quiet for me. I had my first appointment with a therapist the next day. I was a nervous wreck and I have a tendency to think way too much. During the drive my wife knew I was thinking way too much, so she started singing loudly along with the radio. At first it ticked me off, I hate having my thoughts interrupted, but then I noticed that she was looking right at me as she sang. Once I figured out what she was up too, I had to laugh, which of course was another reason she was doing it. She keeps me grounded in the here and now. Which isn't always easy. We were at a restaurant recently, and I was staring out the window thinking too much once again. She simply reached over and took my hand, and once she had my attention and gave it a squeeze and let me know that it was going to be ok, we were going to get through this. It's these little moments, that for me break through all my barriers and I can feel her love for me.
There are times where she isn't so patient in the way she brings me back, but I can truly say that the most effective ways are the gentle ones. I hope I'm quoting this right, "A gentle answer turns away wrath..." I think that's how it goes. And for fellows full of anger issues, the gentle answers definitely effect me more deeply than when she's over tired and gets short with me. Although I do my best to understand at these times that she's been dealing with me all day and is just worn out.
Quote:

I think I am only just starting to fully grasp how much of my husband's behavior is unconscious. For years when he pulled away I assumed it was a choice. Now I realize he doesn't even know he's doing it, which is why I've started asking him. Many of the things he told me over the years, I had a hard time even believing; like how he could completely forget the horrendous argument we had had a few hours earlier, for example. I know sometimes he feels like a preprogrammed robot doing things he's unaware of that are the opposite of what he wants to do.

I'm just realizing myself how much of what I've done for so long is a result of all this crap in my past. It hurts to realize. Somedays it's downright painful. But knowing that has helped me. When I start to fall back into those old habits, I can usually see it pretty early on and put myself on a new direction. My memory lately thought has been absolute crap. I'm forgetting things all the time. My poor wife has to tell me something 3 or 4 times before I actually hear the words she saying. It's like there's something in the way, and I know she's talking, but she might as well be speaking a different language. Sometimes I have to focus really hard in order to understand what she's saying. It sucks and it frustrates her to no end, but at the same time, she understands why I'm having trouble.

Dangal, to use an analogy, think of your husband like an abused dog. When you call attention to his wounds, he barks, bites, lashes out, as he doesn't want to be hurt more. Opening up and dealing with this stuff hurts. Hurts so bad that there are definitely times that I momentarily wish I could put it all back inside and lock it up. I felt so much better when it wasn't being dealt with. But I realize it needs to be dealt with, that the only way I'll truly ever feel better, is to work through everything. If you try to clean out a hornets nest, you're going to get stung, and that's what hurts. Reopening all these old festering wounds. It can be hard to see how damaging letting this stuff fester can be when compared to the immediate pain and anguish we feel. It feels good now to hide it, but the festering will destroy everything we care about.


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#205320 - 02/15/08 12:32 PM Re: new to group [Re: JustScott]
lorraine Offline
New Here

Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 27
Loc: Texas

During the drive my wife knew I was thinking way too much, so she started singing loudly along with the radio. At first it ticked me off, I hate having my thoughts interrupted, but then I noticed that she was looking right at me as she sang. Once I figured out what she was up too, I had to laugh, which of course was another reason she was doing it....

Wonderful, even in the midst of pain we can find laughter. What a wise woman! We can all learn from her. Thanks for sharing this.
Lorraine

_________________________
I can do nothing to change my childhood but I am in the driver's seat now as an adult!


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#208422 - 03/02/08 10:47 AM Re: new to group [Re: GateKPR4]
honey girl Offline
Member

Registered: 10/09/06
Posts: 245
Loc: Midwest US
Dear LJA,

I might do better replying to the later thread about difficulties with sexual intimacy, but this is the one I found when I looked back to see where you had jumped in.

My BF and I have not been together very long, not quite four years, but there are still some similarities in our current conditions. And also, I think, some possibilities I can suggest to you that might be useful.

We're both middle-aged; we're both CSA survivors; we've both had pretty rocky adulthoods--that is, my BF and I. I disclosed to him almost immediately upon our first interaction, because I wanted him to have that information. My recovery process is at a different point than his, to be sure: I had many years of therapy and self-education about this topic to draw upon while he was pretty actively avoiding all consideration of it for about 40 years. Our early sexual interactions were in some ways far more--oh, let's say, dramatic--than ours tend to be now. Maybe part of that was simply novelty, but part was also 1) realizing how much we did truly mean to each other and 2) wanting the sexual expression of intimacy to convey that same sense of devotion. And as has been discussed on those other threads, sexual activity as love is unbelievably provocative for survivors. Sad, and truly one of the worst after-effects to endure, but there it is. (It is retrievable, eventually, but it takes a long time and a lot of relearning.)

My BF finally disclosed about a year and a half into our relationship, and the sexual difficulties we then encountered were only a small part of the problem. It's better now, much better, on all fronts. There were many times, though, when I thought I would not have the fortitude to stick it out, and more than once I came here to vent when things were really tough.

So why did I say I might have something to tell you, a long-married woman? Because I believe very strongly that for your H to have told you means that he is very deeply devoted to you. I think that survivors have a pretty well-developed sense of self-protection (which works almost too well, except when it doesn't ;\) ). My BF never even contemplated telling his first wife, and it's a good thing he didn't. If she had been a loving, compassionate, and responsive person, though, I think he would have told her and they would still be together. I guess I'm trying to tell you not to underestimate the significance of your H's trust of you.

Then, yes, of course, there are the betrayals.

You've probably read this other places, so I'll be brief. It's very common for survivors to take in all the blame and self-hatred to such an extent that they feel that they are just as bad as what was done to them. (In many ways, it's they and we, for me, but here I'll stay with "they" and "them".) That all they are, in essence and in truth, is [supply your most loathsome entity here]. Acting out, hurting those who are dearest, is at least in part the expression of that despair. As in: So now I will show you what I'm really like, and then once you'll understand the true me you'll run away. The surprise is, as you discovered, when someone stays. I know, it's contradictory and not very comforting at all, but there is a sort of twisted logic to it.

You will have to decide eventually, of course, how much is too much, and how long you will wait. From what you have written so far, it seems to me that your H is still leaning on you quite a bit to take the initiative in encouraging him to proceed. Eventually, I believe, he is likely to catch that spark himself, and become more self-directed and confident in pursuing his recovery. Meantime, I wonder if he's not still just terribly afraid that he's done so much damage that it's too late, and so his reliance on you for this is his way of hearing from you that you are still committed to him and to your relationship.

When we're in the middle of all of this, every day seems intense and painful. Then, when there's a break, our sense of time can change yet again--and we can be refreshed, our spirits renewed. The trick is not knowing when that break will arrive! I think it's very encouraging that you're still here, and that he's here, too. (My BF does not visit, as far as I know; it's his decision to make.) I wish you and your H and your children all the best as you make your way forward.

Peace,
HG

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

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#208832 - 03/04/08 02:23 PM Re: new to group [Re: honey girl]
LJA Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 35
Hi HG,

Thank you so much for your post. I am so touched that you read my posts and took the time to reply to me. I think a lot of what you said is very insightful and I will continue to mull it over for a while, I think.

The twisted logic you suggested does describe my H's behavior when he left me. It was his final test for me, in order to continue into the next stage of recovery.

I am also very sure he worries that the damage he's done is too great to repair. He hurt me more than either of us could have ever imagined. Even though I have forgiven him and mentally put it in the "shitty fallout from CSA pile", he has been unable to forgive himself so we can't talk about it.
Unfortunately, the damage from his meltdown is pervasive in our relationship so it keeps coming up. From my perspective, we are in a constant cycle of something from the meltdown coming up, him being unable to discuss it because it involves the pain I was caused by him, and my pain being dismissed. I am so worn down. We have been bashing our heads against this brick wall for over a year now and its not budged; it just has lots of blood on now. The way I look at it is that although he has allowed me into his heart by sharing his story with me, we only have intimacy one way because he wont come into my heart and look at my feelings.

And I know that him sharing his story was huge. He had planned to take his story to the grave with him and I do feel honoured that he chose to share it with me and let me in to that most protected area of his heart. But I will be more mindful of what you said and try not to lose sight of the huge gift of trust he gave me. It means a lot about how he feels about me and I shouldn't forget that.

It all so f-ing confusing! On the one hand he gave me the biggest gift of trust a person could give; on the other hand he cant hear about my pain, so I dont get to heal. Should I be ecstatic or miserable? Am I a positive force in his life or a piece of crap that doesn't get heard? I know, the answer is 'yes'.

Yes, it is very encouraging that he is here. Anything that breaks down the shame and secrecy is golden, and this site is a wonderful resource for that as well as other things. It has already done me a world of good knowing I am not alone. And I'm not just talking about my experience, but also my feelings.

Thanks again for your post and for your kind thoughts and wishes.
I wish you all the best on your journey too.

LJA


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