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#214151 - 03/30/08 11:55 AM Re: An open letter to the women we love [Re: WalkingSouth]
Lou Offline
Guest

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

Yes, your first post was extremely triggering for me. I think what hit home from it is that even though I am not a survivor of CSA, and my issues from my past don't really belong on this site, some 25 years after the suicide of my first husband the aftermath of my BF's CSA has now reopened those old wounds and I too am bleeding again. Everything that I felt then, I am feeling now.

Some 25 years ago I too felt all alone. I too found myself in the bathroom stall crying, I had been a stay at home mom and now I too was having a hard time concentrating on my job of which my children depended on to feed and clothe them, I too coped the best way that I knew how. I was alone, he had made the decision to end his life and leave me to pick up the pieces.

Now some 25 years later, I do not have the worries that I had above. I am financially independent, I do not have two small children to worry about. But I am still alone. I am experiencing the very same feelings and emotions that I had some 25 years ago, sadness, anger, betrayal, loss of a loved one, he is not dead but I am still alone. We rarely discuss my feelings or needs when it doesn't turn into more about him.

"We understand you need us too. We truly do, but right now this may be all we’re capable of doing".

For me, I found your quote above to bring me even more sadness.
It doesn't bring me much hope and leads me to believe that it may be a very long, long time before he may be capable of doing anything different.

Thanks.
Lou


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#214157 - 03/30/08 12:36 PM Re: An open letter to the women we love [Re: Lou]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Lou,

This topic has nearly come full circle, from the view of the male survivor in the relationship to how his dysfunction affects you, and now back to the impact of the realization that his dysfunction may be a long term thing. That realization was one of the points I was attempting to get across.

I remember when I first started therapy my T at the time had no experience with treating males who had been sexually abused and suggested I read the book "Courage to Heal". I picked it up off the store shelf and realized it was a book about and for the sexually abused female. I had secretly read it some years previously when trying to understand my wife's dysfunction. I knew immediately that much of the material in the book could not be of use to me as a male survivor. It just didn't apply.

This then becomes the dichotomy faced by the spouse or significant other of a survivor, to gain a comprehension of what he/she is facing, and once that comprehension dawns, to decide firstly what is best for oneself, and secondly what is best for the relationship and the survivor.

Quote:
It doesn't bring me much hope and leads me to believe that it may be a very long, long time before he may be capable of doing anything different.

Which is exactly why our partners need to take care of themselves first. This is the scary thing for me as a survivor to tell my wife because my fear is that in the end, due to my dysfunctions, she may decide what is best for her is to leave. In reality, when faced with what may be a lifetime of denial and refusal to face the issues head on, that should probably be the decision many parters make and too few actually do.

On the other hand, if the survivor is actively engaged in healing like so many of the men here on this site are, one would think that there is hope. One would hope that our wives or girlfriends would cut us some slack. It may yet take some time before we are able to be the actively engaged and the functional husbands or boyfriends you would like, but we're working on it. It hurts like hell, but we're trying to make it happen and our sincere hope is that you'll still be there with us on the other side.

Lots of love,

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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#214162 - 03/30/08 01:00 PM Re: An open letter to the women we love [Re: WalkingSouth]
Lou Offline
Guest

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

I am scared too.

Thanks again.

Lou


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#214188 - 03/30/08 03:43 PM Re: An open letter to the women we love [Re: Lou]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
Lou, I'm not currently in a relationship but the real motivation for me being here is so that one day I can. I think the "other" is definately forefront in most of our minds, but we've come to understand that without doing all the work on us, not much good are we to them. I think that "you" are on our minds constantly but because of the large nature of the "work" we need to do, it can seem like it's all about us.

Just an opinion but I think that's so far from the truth.

You talk about how it always comes back to his issues, the problem is he can't even deal with his own issues, how could he possibly feel he can help you with your's. Think of you're child asking you for help with his math but you don't know anything about math, so you tell him you're going to go back to school and learn math. Would seem like it just became all about you to the child, but again, you're not much good to him/her if you don't know how to do math.

Stay strong
Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#214294 - 03/31/08 12:13 AM Re: An open letter to the women we love [Re: mogigo]
Muldoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
Man John this couldn't be more timely for me. I will E Mail this to my wife this week. Thanks for speaking and writing for me.


Tom

_________________________
Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

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#214300 - 03/31/08 12:29 AM Re: An open letter to the women we love [Re: Muldoon]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Lou,

Just sending along a safe hug and hope it helps.

(((((Lou)))))

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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#214331 - 03/31/08 07:15 AM Re: An open letter to the women we love [Re: WalkingSouth]
honey girl Offline
Member

Registered: 10/09/06
Posts: 245
Loc: Midwest US
Hi, all--

One reason I appreciate this site so much is the incredible honesty and directness of the communication here. John, I do see your points, in your original post as well as in your follow-ups, and (for what it's worth) I think you're right. Lou, I can relate to some degree to your position too. It is a rotten thing that we have to cope with this, any of us. I also hate the inability to be in charge of anything except what I myself choose to do! (I don't mean that to be funny, though I think it comes across that way.)

We F& F have slightly more discretion than the survivors themselves, though. We can indeed choose to leave the situation, by leaving the relationship--a choice that is only a partial solution, especially if children are involved, I realize; you never really leave a relationship in that case. The MS don't have that option if they want their lives to be different, better than before.

We are all in a tough spot. Fear is an entirely sensible reaction sometimes. And yet, sometimes, hope will see us through.

Peace,
HG

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

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#214395 - 03/31/08 01:45 PM Re: An open letter to the women we love [Re: WalkingSouth]
Chagrin Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/18/08
Posts: 17
Loc: BC Canada
Quote:
Which is exactly why our partners need to take care of themselves first. This is the scary thing for me as a survivor to tell my wife because my fear is that in the end, due to my dysfunctions, she may decide what is best for her is to leave. In reality, when faced with what may be a lifetime of denial and refusal to face the issues head on, that should probably be the decision many parters make and too few actually do.


Quote:
On the other hand, if the survivor is actively engaged in healing like so many of the men here on this site are, one would think that there is hope. One would hope that our wives or girlfriends would cut us some slack. It may yet take some time before we are able to be the actively engaged and the functional husbands or boyfriends you would like, but we're working on it. It hurts like hell, but we're trying to make it happen and our sincere hope is that you'll still be there with us on the other side.


Hi John!

I couldn't agree with you more on these points. My husband and I were going through some extremely rough patches before I finally made the decision that I have a role to play in his recovery as well.

Taking care of myself is not something I really feel I have ever learned to do, so I think for a time I had very unrealistic expectations of my husband. I actually found myself going through a period of denial when he first started the recovery process. I kept telling myself that he had no problems, and that we were fine, and that I just wanted all of it to go away and get swept under a rug!! I thought (painfully) about what it would be like to leave the relationship... (Looking back now I can not BELIEVE I ever thought these things!)

I am very grateful that he was strong enough at that time to push through MY problems and his own to get himself to the point in recovery that he finds himself today. It's been amazing to watch him and MYSELF learn and grow through this process!

To say the least, it's a challenge. I have periods of EXTREME loneliness, (he's not just my husband, he's also my very best friend!) and feelings of complete disconnection from him, us, and my own identity as "his wife". I have days that I forget to look after myself because it is something I am still struggling to learn...

But, in all this, I am thankful that I have made it to a point where I can recognize and learn things about myself that I never knew before, and maybe wouldn't know had I been in a "perfectly functioning" relationship.

If he's willing to put that much hard work into self healing, self discovery, and keeping "us" together, then what kind of wife or friend would I be if I was not willing to do the same?!

Thanks so much for this thread!

~ Chagrin \:\)


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#215033 - 04/03/08 11:42 AM Re: An open letter to the women we love [Re: WalkingSouth]
jcf1957 Offline
Guest

Registered: 09/11/07
Posts: 192
Loc: North Of The 49th Parallel
Hey John;
This admirable poignant post has touched me in more ways than one. It's made me see something within myself that I though was dormant for so many years of wrestling with my heterosexual identity. It's not that I entertained any thoughts of being gay.
Perhaps it's more specifically my conflicting introspection of my past rape trauma and how it has effected my disquietude with respect to my manhood being intact. You answered a multitude of questions. I know now that my heterosexual identity is intact.
But it's the haunting pain that may take quite some time yet.
I liked your analogy of the elephant in the living room stepping on the heart and the physiological hurtles men are confronted with in the way our "linear" cognitive brains process life as compared to the way woman see the "big Picture" ("most of the time"). Anyways; John I really appreciate this post.
Thanks Chris

_________________________
No affliction nor temptation, no guilt nor power of sin, no wounded spirit nor terrified conscious should induce us to despair comfort from God.

Today well lived...makes every tomorrow a vision of Hope.
Anonymous

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#215256 - 04/04/08 02:28 AM Re: An open letter to the women we love [Re: jcf1957]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Guys and Gals,

What you have witnessed in this thread is me coming to grips with and putting into words some things that were rumbling around in my head as disconnected thoughts, none of them doing me much good until I read something someone posted which was the catalyst that brought it all together.

I won't begin to pretend that I'm absolutely right in all the conclusions I've drawn. I'm sure there are other very valid perceptions of this topic that also make sense and are very true, especially from the point of view of our wives or girlfriends. What you are going through because of what happened to us is very sad and I truly am sorry.

For the guys who've responded, I'm glad some of the things I've said have been a catalyst for you in understanding more of your own journey. Though it was not written for you specifically I can now see how it would touch a chord in your being and why you were impacted the way you were. Thanks for your kind words.

To each of you, I with so many good things. I look forward to the day when places such as this will be a thing of the past because there will be no need for them.

Lots of love,

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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