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#239153 - 07/20/08 12:19 PM Re: Other People don't "GET IT" [Re: indygal]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Little Miss,

Your situation is one that many women face who are married to a survivor. Assuming one gives their heart away to the person they love for life, which I believe many do, it's a devastating thing to face what you and many other partners here are facing. There's no way of getting around that. My heart goes out to you.

My advise to you would be to try and find a local divorce recovery support group or grief recovery support group if the former cannot be located. They are fairly common in most metropolitan areas and even in many local towns of fair size. If you can find one of those groups the folks there will be of tremendous support to you as you go through this process.

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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#239219 - 07/20/08 08:46 PM Re: Other People don't "GET IT" [Re: BJK]
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
BJK,

being judgmental is deciding who "deserves" further explanation - yes, that is making a judgment whether you meant it to be or not.

as for being in a state of emotional distress - I've been there, I assure you, and if any of that pain is as visible on the outside as it is on the inside; well then it's a natural response for people to inquire as to what's the matter that would make one appear so uncomfortable -----

and when the response is "I don't want to talk about it"

many (most? everyone?) will hear

"I don't want to talk about it TO YOU"

this is where we build walls, not bridges. Having a prepared statement in anticipation of the questions we expect will come gives us time to, as you suggested, protect ourselves, with boundaries in place that can stop further inquiries for the moment but leave the door open for future discussion if and when appropriate.

Indy

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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#239220 - 07/20/08 09:19 PM Re: Other People don't "GET IT" [Re: indygal]
CDavid Offline


Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184
Little Miss,


I certainly understand how being with a survivor is tricky. It just is, no two ways about that. Often times it is an all or nothing proposition, "Do I tell them everything?" Or, "Do I tell them nothing?"

"How do I get my needs met?" That really is the issue, seems like. And, John's suggestion of a support group is great because it puts you in contact with other people in similiar situations.

You do not "owe" anyone anything. As adults we get to choose who we tell what. If a friend is a friend, "I do not want to talk about it now," is enough. It always was, always will be.


CD


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#239222 - 07/20/08 09:30 PM Re: Other People don't "GET IT" [Re: CDavid]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Well...if choosing who to talk about my personal issues with being judgemental, then I certainly don't see being judgemental as a negative personality trait. And if someone interprets a simple statement like, "I'd rather not talk about it right now" as "I don't want to talk about it with you", then it's probably a good thing I chose not to talk about it with that person.

Quote:
If a friend is a friend, "I do not want to talk about it now," is enough. It always was, always will be.


Thanks for that, Dave. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#239241 - 07/20/08 11:03 PM Re: Other People don't "GET IT" [Re: BJK]
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
Well I don't know why you now have changed what you originally said BJK - before you were qualifying your statement with who deserved to be told; that's a lot different than what you are saying now.

A point I've yet to make but is very important here - I think you are trying very hard to give the survivor's point of view - which is appropriate of course - but Little Miss is NOT a survivor - she's a PARTNER - and what and how we talk about our relationships is a lot different than you do - and it's important you, as survivors, recognize that difference.

We are not obliged under any circumstances to react to people's inquiries, especially friends' inquiries, in the same manner that our partner would or would like us to.

It seems to be par for the course survivors don't want to talk about their situation which often times, is part and parcel the problem. It can very well be the reason the relationship is failing, in fact.

Moreover, it can also be helpful to other couples to hear about unresolved issues in the sense they may very well be facing similiar challenges in their own relationships.

To shut down discourse is, again, and I cannot emphasize this too much, building walls, not bridges.

If we only shared with those we want to share with - or those we thought "deserved" to hear - well - what's the point in that exactly? I think they call that "preaching to the converted" - right?

Personally I look at every situation in life as a learning experience, some are more difficult than others - and every opportunity to share my experiences with others as a teaching experience - it's a cultural concept one borne from my indigenous ancestry, yes, but one that I value and find appropriate for many cultures.

Unfortunately, there is a status quo of culture in the U.S. as well as elsewhere that particular information can only be shared with certain individuals - and not others - those who don't "deserve" it for whatever reason.

This cultural anomaly hurts society by hampering growth of individuals who can benefit by learning that their experiences are neither unique nor rare; in fact, that's the way this forum operates. It's the sharing of knowledge meant to benefit those who in the past have been shut out and as a consequence, have shut down, hampering their contributions to society as a whole.

Indy

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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#239246 - 07/20/08 11:14 PM Re: Other People don't "GET IT" [Re: indygal]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
I think the key word here is "trust". It's not about who "deserves" to be told. It's about who we "trust".

And my point of view hasn't changed a bit here. I've said all along that no one should feel obligated to say anything to anyone that one doesn't feel comfortable saying.

Again, it's all about trust. And with the OP in mind, I interpreted her statement that "some people don't get it" means that her trust is being abused. My experience as a survivor led me to trust everyone without regard to how they hurt me. I was burned again and again, over and over, before I finally came to the realization that I had a choice in whom I could trust. That is why I can relate so closely to what the OP is saying.

And so I chose to trust. And the people I do trust are the people I owe my life to.

Bryan



Edited by BJK (07/21/08 02:14 AM)
_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#239252 - 07/20/08 11:35 PM Re: Other People don't "GET IT" [Re: BJK]
CDavid Offline


Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184
May I just say, "Oh, dear." And, "Thank you."


CD


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#239270 - 07/21/08 02:59 AM Re: Other People don't "GET IT" [Re: CDavid]
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
BJK,

you are the one who brought up the term "deserve" not me - I'm the one that objected to using that term as a kind of criteria for discussion of what happened in one's relationship.

as for trust -

sometimes we have to trust ourselves that we are doing the right thing regardless of how people react - just because they don't react the way we'd like does not mean we've done anything wrong - not at all.

everyone has been burned when trusting people - that's life - we get burned over and over again - but we get up and trust again because if we don't well, life will quickly become quite narrow and boxed into a place that's quite difficult to get out of.

moreover, we have to trust ourselves first and foremost before we can trust others.

as for what kind of information we choose to share - again - obligations are what they are, only each individual can decide what and how much information they share with their friends and coworkers - I never disagreed about that - I only offered a way to state it in a way that doesn't shut down discussion altogether but offers a path to future discussion - the bridge I keep talking about.

even adding the word "now" at the end of "I don't want to talk about it now" leaves a door open that in the future, you can share more just not at this particular time.

yes, some people don't get it - perhaps they never will - but then again - sometimes people just need to hear it more than once - the first time perhaps can be the hardest - I can think of so many examples right now that are fundamental - so many people thought war with Iraq was a good thing - now there are so many who question that - it's not really all that different.

discussion of life issues such as csa is a sea change for society in general and add to that male csa and add to that women as perps - this is an entire paradigm shift in people's thinking in general as to what and who is damaging to our children and the consequences this has for all of us, absolutely all of us in society.

shutting down the discussion when one is possibly the lone beacon of light in an otherwise black and dark void of emptiness can quite possibly perpetuate the darkness for an infinite amount of time until someone else dares to speak up again.

it's not easy, no one said it ever was or will be. it takes guts, courage, persistence and determination to continue to speak up, especially when people don't want to listen, don't want to hear.

but if those who don't know from first hand experience don't speak up - that leaves the door wide open for misinformation and ignorance to come forward instead - which is why so often we here news reports stating as fact what many on this forum now know as untrue - for instance, that survivors of csa are more prone to abuse children themselves.

one cannot address ignorance unless one dares to speak the truth, no matter how unpleasant it might be sometimes.

again, no one ever said it'd be easy.

Indy










_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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#239406 - 07/21/08 06:44 PM Re: Other People don't "GET IT" [Re: indygal]
LittleMiss Offline


Registered: 07/02/08
Posts: 66
Loc: USA
Thank you indygal and BJK for the viewpoints. I understand what you both are saying and I feel that inner struggle inside myself. Thank you everyone else too.

Indy - I have tried the "He has unresolved issues from his past" or "he had a bad childhood" line on some of my closer friends/family, but that just seems to stir up way too much 'curiousity' (or should I say nosiness!). They start with the questions - well did this happen? Or this? Or that? Then I say "I can't talk about it", which like you said - they seem to take as rude/building a wall.

Yes - I guess I believe that family members and friends should get a better explanation than just a co-worker, and one should 'trust' family and friends enough to be able to offer that explanation. I really can't. My husband trusted me with the information regarding his csa. He is obviously a very private person, so, as far as I know, I am the only person who knows. I can't offer that as an explanation for his behavior, though if I could, others could see his behavior makes perfect sense. I can't use it to educate others, though I wish I could. (My mother actually said - "Did something happen to him as a child?? If so, he needs to just get over it." oh mother, if life were only that easy.)

So - I have to say SOMETHING. Then it doesn't make sense, then I have to explain, then that doesn't make sense, and I take up for my husband, which doesn't make sense. I just swirl into a big whirlwind and wish I NEVER said anything at all, but wish so much for someone to understand.

So that leaves me with saying that we are getting a divorce. I'm sad because I don't want the divorce. So people 'know' that it is his idea. I take up for him, then they think I'm pathetic - but I CANNOT let others think badly of him because he is such a good person, who is struggling SO hard right now to find himself.

I have always walked a fine line myself with my 'feelings' and who I trusted. I sometimes feel that if you know me for 10 minutes or 10 years - that you know the same person. I am a VERY open person about SOME things, and the things I am not open about - I am COMPLETELY closed off about. So, people in my life ASSUME that I am totally open (I'm not) and therefore assume that I will talk and talk and talk about this (I'm not). I have just started to be very vauge about answering people's questions. My family is the WORST - equating their experiences to my 'now experience.' Their divorce was like 'this', so now mine will be too.

No one can understand why my husband and I are still talking, why we want to remain friends, why we are still living in the same house while waiting for my new place to be ready. Several people have even come right and asked what our sleeping arrangements are!?! (Yes - we are still sleeping together - but I don't tell anyone that!)

I know it is completely surreal - but our relationship has ALWAYS been that way. We have always danced to the beat of our own drummer, though to the world we presented a shiny veneer.

I am having dinner with a former co-worker tomorrow who also knew my husband. She and her husband got divorced and remained friends. I was going to get some advice from her, which is ok with my husband. I told her a brief summary of what is going on (but obviously not about his csa). She said "Honestly, I'm worried about ****. Does he have somone to talk too? Will you let him know that I don't think badly of him and support you guys in whatever you decide." THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Finally, someone can see both sides and understands how much I care. It was like I could breathe again when she said that - like someone else acknowledged that I am not a crazy person for still loving him.

BJK - thank you for offering the male viewpoint. I feel like you really do understand what I was putting out there. You put your feelings out there, hoping for help/understanding, then most of the time you just wish you never said anything at all. Its hard. Trust is hard. I trusted my husband. He is my best friend. He is who I talked to about everything, but now I'm supposed to talk to everyone else instead. I miss him so much.

I'm sorry for the long post - I was away for the weekend.

I'm really thinkging about going to therapy - at least for myself. There I can be open about what I say, and not immediately regret I said it - right?



Edited by LittleMiss (07/21/08 06:54 PM)
_________________________
LittleMiss

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

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#239415 - 07/21/08 07:05 PM Re: Other People don't "GET IT" [Re: BJK]
LittleMiss Offline


Registered: 07/02/08
Posts: 66
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: BJK
I empathize with her. I also have the utmost respect for her decision to stick by her partner if and when he has dealt enough with his issues to welcome her back into his life. This decision might change over time, and I respect that as well. I also understand that most people just don't get this and probably never will.


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You have no idea how much that means to me. Especailly coming from a survivor. Just that SOMEONE gets it. (And some many others on this site get it too.) THANK YOU a hundred times over.

_________________________
LittleMiss

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

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