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#210394 - 03/12/08 10:13 PM Question????
Lou Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 100
I am hopeful that someone can explain something to me.

I think I have read in several posts that it is not necessary for CSA survivors to tell anyone of their abuse even their GF's, SO's, partners and or wives unless they want to as it is their story. Am I understanding this correctly or have I misunderstood?

If that abuse has caused them to not be able to have intimacy with their loved ones, to lie, to not want to be touched, to be addicted to porn, to act out with other men, etc., etc., then wouldn't it be best to tell their GF's, SO's, partners and or wives? Don't they deserve the right to know what is going on with the person that they love? Or instead is it somehow better to not tell because that is your right and then your loved one spends days, months, or even years thinking that there is something wrong with them? "They" are the reason that there is no closeness, no intimacy, etc.

If you truly love someone, isn't it being a little unfair and selfish to keep someone in the dark about issues that seem to me to be really big issues that in the end can cause some really heavy duty consequences for the ones they supposedly love?

I hope someone can make some sense of this....for I surely can't!

Lou


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#210399 - 03/12/08 10:31 PM Re: Question???? [Re: Lou]
GateKPR4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
I know for myself I was unable to face it myself until my 40s and after 2 years of therapy did we finally realize my problem was sexual abuse. I took a lot of digging do get to that point. Now that I am aware of it I would most definitely tell a loved one.
Some guys still have not come to grips with what happened and are ashamed of it, some fear disclosure because of abandonment issues, low self esteem, Here is an paper written on the aftermath of csa, and how to deal with it.
http://www.giftfromwithin.org/html/chldhood.html
I hope this will help you understand him better. I'm only speaking for me and my situation, I destroyed my life over and over by not dealing with what happened. I thought I was never going to tell a soul but it was telling that set me free of the guilt, shame, and fear. This was the starting of the healing for me. Disclosure is not always possible if the abused has not faced the abuse issues. At least thats how I experienced it.



Edited by GateKPR4 (03/13/08 06:10 AM)
_________________________
I'm a normal person dealing with abnormal experiences.
The greatest discoveries we will find within ourselves.
Ricky
__m_τΏτ_m__
|| || || || || || |

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#210422 - 03/13/08 12:44 AM Re: Question???? [Re: GateKPR4]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Lou,
Your absolutely right. If a person is in a relationship and it is damaging the relationship and hurting the other person yes they open up and exlain it all so the other person is not also victimezed. I a perfect world Lou that would happen.
However having said that I can tell you from my experience that I never realized all my acting out and symptoms were directly related to my abuse as a kid. I was clueless. I knew my dad had abused me. OK I knew I was acting out with men and had a SSA. OK I suspected that my dad was why but I just could not go there. The only time a therapist asked me about my dad I just about passed out and we stopped and I never went back. I could not have talked about it anyway. It was "the secret" I could never disclose. And didn't until he died.
I know what your post is saying. IT IS NOT FAIR. Yes, Lou it is not fair. Damage occurrs. Damage results. Pain is an equal opportunity destroyer. All I can say to you is you cannot deal with this in your SO/ husband /whatever alone. You need help. Help for you. Help for him. You are both victims. You my friend are what is termed as collateral damage. I am so sorry that this happened to you. I wish I had more to offer but that is the best I can come up with I am afraid.

Take care of you.


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#210428 - 03/13/08 01:18 AM Re: Question???? [Re: Freedom49]
honey girl Offline
Member

Registered: 10/09/06
Posts: 245
Loc: Midwest US
Dear Lou--

What they said.

As painful as it is to stand by and to wait for the process to unfold for the individual man himself, it really doesn't work well in the long run to push it. It has to be the survivor's call. It is such a huge challenge to deal with this, to be forced or coerced or manipulated into disclosing is hurtful in many ways. Sometimes it can feel like a secondary kind of violation, a counterproductive feeling for someone who already has been confronted on a fundamental level with powerlessness.

So, in the short and in the long term, you have to attend to you and hope/pray for the best.

It's not fair. But it is what it is.

Peace,
HG

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

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#210497 - 03/13/08 01:10 PM Re: Question???? [Re: honey girl]
LJA Offline
Guest

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

I think I wrote something along those lines in one of my posts. I should have been more specific because when I talk about my H's story, I am really talking about any details. He has recently shared some of his horrifying memories with me in detail. This was 100% his choice and was something I have never pushed for in any way. (Having said that, I think it was enormously theraputic for him and was a big positive step in his healing journey).

But this is a different matter than sharing the information THAT you have been sexually abused. I realize survivors cant share this info until they actually have it themselves, but it is my opinion that when they do have it, they should share it with a partner if the intent is a long term relationship which may include marriage and children. My H disclosed to me THAT he had been sexually abused about 14 years ago. he shared almost no details. But the small amount of information he did give me changed our lives dramatically. For one, we had a very young child at the time (two more came later) and we regularly spent time with his family/abusers. We completely severed ties with them after his disclosure. (and to be fair to my H, he disclosed as soon as he knew) and we were thus able to keep our children safe.

Together, we also shared the info with my family who we had named gaurdians of our children if anything ever happened to us. We told them because his family had threatened to fight us for visitation with our son and we knew if something did happen to us, they'd be after our kids for sure.

Under circumstances like ours, where you have kids being exposed to the abuser, surely disclosure is a must.

As for the effects of non disclosure on the partner, I know from experience how devastating that can be. I am also 'collateral damage' as Roger calls it. I dont know that my self esteem will ever fully recover. As I said, my H disclosed as soon as he knew so the self esteem damage was unavoidable. But stopping all that self blame and self hatred that was festering inside of me happened with just the info THAT csa had taken place, not details.

The other damage to our relationship was also not a result of my H not sharing details with me, it was a result of him not moving forward in his recovery. My opinion is that if my H had been pursuing recovery more actively over the years, things would have gone very differently for us and there would be a lot less fallout for us to have to try and handle. Not to mention, we could have had the relationship we both deserve a lot sooner. I think if you are in a long term relationship, you have no right to expect your partner to wait if you aren't working to get to the thing they are waiting for. My H promised me he was working on it as much as he could so I waited. He wasn't working as much as he could. But I cant even be angry with him about that though, because he was lying to himself at least as much as he was lying to me. Denial. God, how I hate m....f..ing denial.

So, I think in long term relationships disclosure that SA occurred is necessary. If the survivor has the info, I think they should share it with their partner. Details however should only be shared for the purpose of helping the survivor.

Recovery is a whole other mess. I dont have the right to demand that my H moves forward in his recovery, that is his choice. But I do have the right to identify things that I need changed in the relationship and if he commits to recover enough to enable those changes, I have the right to make sure he follows through. (maybe I should mention that my H has always told me he's committed to recovery, so that isn't something I've pushed either. he wants what I want, its the follow through that's been a problem). I know this isn't really in line with the popular notion of the spouse lovingly waiting in the sidelines, but I tried that for 22 years and what did it get me? Slammed. What did it get my H? So horrified by his meltdown behaviour that its harder for him to address that, than share details of his abuse with me!

I hope that addresses your questions and that I didn't wander off topic. Its just that in my relationship, so much of the damage came from recovery issues rather than disclosure issues.

Also, I am not trying to discount in any way the previous replies. I realize sometimes disclosure is just not possible because the survivor cant or hasn't even remembered. I'm referring to the times when he can.

I'd love to hear your thoughts,
LJA






Edited by LJA (03/13/08 01:16 PM)

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#210575 - 03/13/08 10:12 PM Re: Question???? [Re: LJA]
Lou Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 100
Hello to All,

Thanks to all of you for your posts, I truly appreciate all of your thoughts and ideas.

Just a little back ground and I don't want to get carried away here, but I met my BF 2 years ago. At the time we met, it seemed we had the perfect relationship. I guess I should have known because in my 58 years of life, I have never been fortunate enough to have the perfect relationship.

Well anyways....it was after our 1 year anniversary that we made the decision to live with one another and shortly after that I found gay porn and evidence that he had met up with a guy while I was out of state on a business trip.

Needless to say...I was totally and utterly devastated. And I guess to be truthful, I am still having a hard time dealing with the fact that he knew he was doing these things before I moved in with him and yet he let me move in anyways. We were so careful when we first met to talk about how important trust was in a relationship, honesty, etc., and in a moments time all of that was gone!

I understand from your posts that sometimes survivors have blocked the abuse from themselves and in his case it was for some 45+ years. So, I am carrying this anger for him not telling me upfront before I came to fall in love with him when in fact he himself apparently could not recognize it.

But at the same time, he did know that he was into gay porn and was meeting up with men that he had met online....so now I am questioning why would one want to bring someone into their lives when they are doing these kinds of things??? And all the while acting and talking about trust, honesty, etc. This stuff is just so damn confusing and for the life of me I just can't figure it out! Don't we as adults have to take responsibility for our actions even if one is the survivor of CSA? And so now what do we do?????

And yes you are right Freedom 49 when you say that I can not do this on my own, that I need help....but the therapist that I saw immediately upon finding out about all of this kept telling me that this was not about me and was all about him. What the f---!!! If this is all about him and not about me...then why am I the one that left my condo to move here, left my friends, left my town where I have lived for the past 46 years, feeling the pain just the same as him, my world has been just as turned upside down as his and in some ways maybe even more....at least he is at home in his house! So needless to say...after several visits and hearing this...I have not been back and am pretty burned out on therapy, I am sick and tired of hearing this is all about him! Your term of collateral damage is so fitting....and I feel that my T discounted me totally and I really resent that as I am a good person and I too have been hurt immensely by his perpetrator too!

GateKPR4, thank you for the link...I will definitely take a look at it.

Guess I am really on my pity potty tonight....but again thank you to all of you for your posts...maybe someday I will get it...hope it doesn't take 45+ years....I won't live that long!

Lou


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#210578 - 03/13/08 10:45 PM Re: Question???? [Re: Lou]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Lou I can't figure out how they do the cool Quote thing but this is what I would like to address:

I am questioning why would one want to bring someone into their lives when they are doing these kinds of things??? And all the while acting and talking about trust, honesty, etc. This stuff is just so damn confusing and for the life of me I just can't figure it out! Don't we as adults have to take responsibility for our actions even if one is the survivor of CSA?

We are abso freakin lutely wonderful at denial and compartmentalization. While all this is going on in our secret lives as surviors and trust me this is probably a coping mechanism like it was with me, we still long for the dream of a wife / SO / companion and the appearance of a healthy life style. Like me he may have thought that if he had you around to be there for him he would not be wanting to cope with his feelings and memories and desires in this destructive way. If it had worked you would never have needed to find out. Life would be good and he would never have to have those feelings again.
Of course that is bologna.

In answer to your second question: YES we do have to take responsibility for our actions as adults. I knew it was wrong to do that to another person and so did he. I didn't care. I was selfish. T is right it was all about me/him. That is one of the many sad things about this situation.

By the way. Get a new T. He is an idiot. He is supposed to be there for you. He cannot treat your guy thru you. You need a therapist that will deal with YOU and YOUR issues. NOT his. He needs to get his own T.

I finally faced up to the truth that I cannot continure blaming every bad choice I make as an adult on my abuse. I know better and so does he. Trust and Honesty? Half the time I had no idea what those words even mean. Get Thee to a T woman and take care of you. Also don't be so quick to believe everything we say after a great meal, chick flick and scented candles.



Edited by Freedom49 (03/13/08 10:48 PM)

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#210582 - 03/13/08 11:08 PM Re: Question???? [Re: Freedom49]
Lou Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 100
Freedom 49,

My T was a woman! Can you believe that s---!

He has his own T and he is a male....and quite honestly.....I think his is good....I just got the bad one! :-(

And you are so right! I need to not be so quick to believe everything said after a great meal, chick flick and scented candles....a good lesson to remember!

Thanks and goodnight.

Lou


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#210721 - 03/14/08 06:58 PM Re: Question???? [Re: Lou]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

I agree with everything Freedom said. And since I'm sick with a brain full of cotton balls, that's all I'm going to say.

OK, one more thing - GET A NEW T! OK, Roger already said that, but I second it very strongly. This whole situation is about each of you, his issues don't trump yours in any way shape or form. The T you saw was a jerk!

ROCK ON.......Trish

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

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#210722 - 03/14/08 07:06 PM Re: Question???? [Re: Trish4850]
Lou Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 100
Trish,

Sorry to hear that you are sick, hope you are well soon....and yes I agree.....I think she was a jerk too!

Thanks for supporting that his issues don't trump mine in any way, shape or form.

Sometimes it is real easy to try to convince ourselves that what we are going thru is not as bad as what he went thru as a young boy...but then there are days when the pain for me is just as bad today as if I too am now the victim of CSA and just trying to survive on a day to day basis. This thing is just so damn big and so damn complicated.....I hate it!!!!!!

Thanks again Trish and hope you are feeling well soon!

Lou


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#210944 - 03/15/08 11:04 PM Re: Question???? [Re: Lou]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
Lou,
I agree with you. I've loved my SO for 28 years. We had parted in the early 80's, and I had met someone else. I was set to marry and 2 weeks before my wedding, my SO asked me to run away with him. His plan was to run off, get married and send postcards back telling everyone what we did. In truth, I would have, but he was hanging with another woman at the time who told me she was with him cruising gay bars every weekend and he was wearing a T-shirt that said "Little Boy" on the front of it. (Hindsight REALLY is 20/20)
When he disclosed 10 years later, it ALL fell into place. I wished I had known THEN. I feel that, at least in my case, it would've made a difference. My marraige was never great, he was an abusive alcoholic, but in reality, I never actually loved him. I've always loved my SO. Which is why, even though the marraige is long over, I refrain from starting a relationship with anyone else.
I never pushed the sexual intimacy when we were together. But I always felt that the underlying reason had to be that he didn't love me enough or I wasn't pretty enough...etc. Even though he's been self proclaimed as being, straight, then bi then gay, I always got the feeling, (and still do) that he's sexually attracted to me. He's always so aware, moreso than ME even, of men looking at my breasts or looking at me. Sometimes, it's all in his head. Funny story. We were at a craft store and I noticed this young guy in line in front of me that looked vaguely familiar but wasn't sure why. Then I realized it was the lead singer for My Chemical Romance. (I NEVER would've known but my 16 year old daughter LOVES him and there are probably more pictures of him in my house than of my own 3 kids.) Afterwards, my SO made a point to tell me that while I was talking to Gerard, he was staring at my breasts. I started LOL because I'm 5'10" and this guy is 5'5" at best. Where else would his eyes be? He's at the "tit level". Yet again, let me say, what a long, strange trip, this has been....
Lou, I agree with you, the truth is always the best way to go. There are far to many adjustments that need to be made to make the relationship work. Knowing never changed the way I felt about him, because it could never have that kind of power or impact, but it might've changed how I felt about myself for a long time.
In all fairness to my SO, he doesn't ever outright lie to me. I know alot of you might be LOL right now and calling me naive but I WILL clarify this. I'm pretty liberal. There are alot of things he doesn't tell me, I'm sure. But if I ask him outright, he'll answer. Even when I know he's uncomfortable doing so. That's the reason I stay. He's made himself vulnerable to me at times and I respect that. And even though I can't believe that I could ever love him more than I already do, I find over and over again that it happens

It all makes sense, Lou.

Liv


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#211080 - 03/16/08 05:06 PM Re: Question???? [Re: Liv2124]
Lou Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 100
Liv,

Just to let you know....I certainly am not one of them that would be LOL right now and calling you naive.

What you say makes total sense to me too.

Now that I know about my BF's CSA, he too seems pretty cool to discuss things with me if I ask.

However, upon first meeting him or anyone else for that matter, I would not have ever dreamed of or thought of asking him or anyone else for that matter if they were ever abused.

I guess I am the one that is naive, I always heard about these things and knew it existed, but I never ever thought for one minute that someday I would be having to deal with the repercussions of someone else's CSA.

Thanks everyone for your input.

Lou


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