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#241862 - 08/01/08 09:35 PM Help
very confused Offline


Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 16
Loc: TX, USA
I posted before about my xbf attempting suicide. I still care alot about him and we've been in touch. Now he says he's joined the Marines, less than 2 weeks after a suicide attempt he joins the Marines! I told him I think he needs therapy, I even recommended a great place here that specializes in DBT...I gave him their website then I dropped it. I'm sure he's not interested and I haven't brought it up again but I have this strong urge to try and convince him. Somebody talk me out of this please cause I know it's futile. I know if he was ready for therapy he'd find it. I just can see a world of trouble ahead for him. He's gonna get in there and have anxiety attacks and won't be able to get away like he can here. I've heard they don't have the best therapy in the service too and I hate to see another failure for him. He's such a great guy, just buried by what happened to him. He needs therapy so bad but he wants to try and work it out on his own. He wants to be "tough". Well just writing this helped...I know it won't do any good to push it. It's an excellent program with a great website and I told him about it so....... Please somebody tell me it's the right thing to back off.

ADDED ON: Ok, I'll watch for openings where I can say something but can anyone tell me anything that has worked to get them to try therapy. I know he's afraid of destroying his family and hasn't told any of them though he's wanted to. I know from a girlfriend of mine who was molested by her father and confronted him and told the whole immediate family that it doesn't always go well. None of them believed her. She was devestated but she has a very supportive husband. I've tried to tell him he can tell a therapist in confidence but I think he wants to bury it. But surely that's not possible. That's why he felt compelled to tell me and to try to do away with himself, yes? What can I say to him to get him to try and face it?



Edited by very confused (08/01/08 10:42 PM)

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#241869 - 08/01/08 09:49 PM Re: Help [Re: very confused]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
I can't tell you to back off...lord knows, I'm guilty of trying to help people when there is no hope, or not something I really need to be getting into. When you are a caring person, it's hard to watch someone suffer.

I can tell you, that you are correct. He needs to get help, and you can't do it for him. As hard as it is.

Stay loving. Give advice when the situation arises, and give yourself permission not to become consumed by this. I know you can't stop caring, but you can't let it take over all of you.

Good luck. I'm sorry you have been through so much.

_________________________
~Jen~
Life is to short to blend in

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#241870 - 08/01/08 09:53 PM Re: Help [Re: very confused]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

Oh, how I hear your hurt, especially that he's made such a seemingly rash decision that isn't changeable. Your assessment of the whole situation is probably right on the money, but your instinct that you can't do anything about it is also dead on. One thing that may work in his/your favor, is that although he signed up, he's probably not accepted yet and if he made a recorded suicide attempt just weeks ago, it's not likely he will be. That may be devastating to him in the short term, but in the long run, I can't believe that the armed service is what he needs right now. Either way, he's lucky to have a friend in you.

ROCK ON........Trish

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

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#241872 - 08/01/08 10:03 PM Re: Help [Re: very confused]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
It seems to be one of several ways that CSA victims react when someone close finds out. They act all tough, clam-up, and withdraw. Does your boyfriend abuse alcohol or drugs? That seems to be another common way that abuse survivors cope. There are family members who are on here who can give you more guidance, along with the family forum moderator, Trish4850. My guess is that he joined the Marines to withdraw and to learn to become a tough guy who is much more difficult to walk all over. Being in control is what most survivors yearn for, some for their entire lives if the problem isn't dealt with. There are family members here who have had success and there are those who have expended lots of time and energy with less-fortunate results. I would suggest that you keep trying, at least for the immediate future, and that you establish contact with Trish and other members of the family support group.

Welcome to the site.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#241875 - 08/01/08 10:13 PM Re: Help [Re: Trucker51]
very confused Offline


Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 16
Loc: TX, USA
You mean keep trying to convince him to get therapy? But I thought that would be worse, like I'm trying to tell him what to do, trying to control him myself. I'm so confused. I know he needs it, he told me about his abuse. I'm the only live person he's told. I think he's borderlilne too, he has every single sign or symptom, whatever you call it. He doesn't rage though, at least that I've seen. He acts "in" rather than "out". Wouldn't the Marines be really hard to deal with for someone like this?

What do I say to try and convince him? I think this is possibly his 3rd attempt. He told me he'd tried it as a kid, I think maybe be was in his early teens then but I'm not sure. Then he told me about some really bad car wreck he'd had. I thought it was just a car wreck but while he was in ICU he said some male nurse after his car wreck gave him a bad time and asked him what he was trying to do to himself. Surely that's an admission that that was a suicide attempt also?

What to do, what to do????


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#241880 - 08/01/08 10:40 PM Re: Help [Re: very confused]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Try to be supportive and try to stay away from doing anything that would cause him to feel out-of-control and/or make him feel like he is small and getting walked all over. Early in my own situation I was terribly sensitive and wouldn't trust anyone. I withdrew to a level where I had control. I could hardly trust anyone. Trust is such a huge issue in recovery.

Boot camp in the Marines is a very tough and demanding experience. If he gets through it he will be a much stronger person. My guess is that if his drill instructor smells too much fear or he doesn't perform up to expectations that he could be in for a tough time.

As others have said you could pull out the attempted suicide trump card and most likely get him pulled from consideration. Would that be a radical action that would leave him feeling betrayed or would it teach him how much you care about him? It seems that he is trying to force your hand and/or his issues with control and withdrawal. In the military he certainly won't have much control or privacy, at least for several years.

I would guess that maybe you continue being supportive, while at the same time you look through one of several books on the subject. The book that helped me 18 years ago when it first came out is Mic Hunter's classic ABUSED BOYS, which is available from our site off of the homepage for $11.00. Mic Hunter has also written several books for couples.

Keep trying and be supportive and most of all, try to stay away from frustration and anger. Let him try to proceed at his own rate. Once you get the book leave it out and leave the room. Sooner or later my guess is that he will take a look at it, most likely only when he is alone.

Getting beyond denial is the first step in recovery.

Stay in touch. There is hope.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#241909 - 08/02/08 07:57 AM Re: Help [Re: Trucker51]
LittleMiss Offline


Registered: 07/02/08
Posts: 66
Loc: USA
very confused - the only thing that I can say is that if he definately gets in, MAYBE it won't be too bad. I know how worried you are and I think all the stuff you have said is right on about how he feels, etc. BUT I also know that my husband excels in situtions such as this. The physical activity, the structure, someone else making the decisions. Since it seems inevitable that he is going, hopefully it won't be too bad. I don't know what type of person he is, I'm only going off of my personal experience with my husband, who is very physical activity oriented type person (I think he tries to be a 'super' man to combat the little boy within, which sounds kinda like what your ex is doing right now, huh?).

I'm sorry if what I said didn't really help. I just wanted to offer a small hope that 'maybe things won't be too bad'. Physical activity is really good for depression, etc because of endorphines and all that. Plus, if they really see that he isn't handling it, that he is 'losing it' so to speak - won't they kick him out or something?



Edited by LittleMiss (08/02/08 07:59 AM)
_________________________
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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#241913 - 08/02/08 08:05 AM Re: Help [Re: LittleMiss]
very confused Offline


Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 16
Loc: TX, USA
Actually I had thought of that, he is like that. Maybe it won't be so bad if nothing happens to trigger him. But it's such a shame. I felt his telling me and attempting suicide were his way of reaching out for help and he's not going to get the help he needs so badly. I sort of feel I failed him somehow though I don't know what I could of done differently. He runs 10 miles a day with weights on...kind of overkill to my mind. He is so wounded inside it's bound to come back out. I don't see how he can keep it buried for 2 yrs or maybe it was 4 he signed up for. And no offense of course to those who didn't seek therapy but it just seems to me the longer it stays inside the more it can damage you. Thanks for all the comments. Can anyone tell me something that was said to them that made them want therapy?


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#241956 - 08/02/08 12:31 PM Re: Help [Re: very confused]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
I would say that when someone bottles it up and doesn't deal with it that their development is down a path that is gradually away from normal development. At first the problems are less noticeable and more easily hidden. As time progresses, the issues become harder and harder to hide, as the path taken is at a different plane and every decision made is affected by the gravity of the unresolved past.

My first trip to therapy was after an experience at a party in my late 20s where I was unable to respond to the advances of a couple of eligible young women and then was labeled gay in front of a crowd. I had tried for many years to cover-up or skirt that issue and had hoped that nobody would notice. And for 10 years my strategy had worked with only a few minor problems until then, only to fail in a spectacular fashion at the worst possible time. I felt both extreme shame and social disgrace. And it drove me to try to resolve it.

Just to let you know what drove me to seek help.

Have hope.

Mark



_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#242006 - 08/02/08 06:42 PM Re: Help [Re: Trucker51]
LittleMiss Offline


Registered: 07/02/08
Posts: 66
Loc: USA
Very confused - I thought of something else. It seems that there are several survivors on this site that are/were military. Maybe some of them can offer some insight on how being in the military affected them. Good? Bad?

_________________________
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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#242012 - 08/02/08 07:00 PM Re: Help [Re: LittleMiss]
very confused Offline


Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 16
Loc: TX, USA
I'm hoping some of them will post. I've read many posts and some were from guys that had been in the miliary. It didn't sound as if the military impacted them too much but it was said more in passing...wasn't the point of the post. I must say, in reading the survivors posts there's a great bunch of guys here. So supportive of each other. It occurred to me to tell him about this place but then he'd recognize his story and I don't know how he'd feel about that. Violated probably, I think maybe I'd feel that way. Reading posts has given me a much better perspective I think and maybe some ideas of things I might say to him if there's an opportunity. I appreciate the responses and welcome any addtional comments...thanks everyone.


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#242083 - 08/03/08 06:48 AM Re: Help [Re: very confused]
jggab Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/29/08
Posts: 53
Loc: California
Ok. . . I'm one of those military guys. I am still in and have been in for 18 years. The military has been very good for me. But it doesn't make the past go away. Some statistics show that military rates of male CSA are on a par with female CSA. Why is that? I'm sure a variety of reasons... 1. it's an escape. In other words its a place they weren't in before, therefore must be better. 2. CSA survivors seem to be drawn to "manly" things like military, contact sports, fighting sports (boxing, martial arts, etc), simply because its a way of channeling anger and taking control. "If I become a Marine, I will be a real man"

But the reality is still this. . . until you deal with and come to terms with your CSA. It will continue to haunt you until you do.
It took me over twenty years to finally start the healing process. I never realized that I needed to. I was always successful (workaholic actually), it seemed like I had the world by the tail. . . at least that want I let everyone see. Inside, I was very unhappy, I rarely took pleasure in anything. It had been many years since I really laughed (I laugh alot. . .but only because that was what was expected at the moment). I have been an expert at hiding how I really feel.

Do I think joining the Marines is a mistake. . . No. But it will not solve any of his past issues. The Navy has excellent counselors (Marines use Navy Medical services). But you have to remember. . . those counselors are human too. The first therapist ya get may not be the one for you! Keep an open mind, but shop around.

Please let me know if you have specific questions. I've been in the Military for quite awhile and will probably be here for a long time to come (hopefully).

Jon


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#242187 - 08/03/08 11:25 PM Re: Help [Re: jggab]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Jon:

Welcome to the site.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#242215 - 08/04/08 05:37 AM Re: Help [Re: LittleMiss]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
VeryComfused,
My experience with the Marine Corps was both good and bad.
For the most part I really benefitted from being in the Corps.
They taught me alot of things -self-discipline etc.
I experienced and saw alot of places and things that most people never will. Thur the Corps I realize how lucky we are to live here in the U.S.A.
I did really well in the Corps until my mother died and my alcohol and drug use went out of control.
The Corps tried to help me but my csa issues of trust came up. At that time I was incapable of allowing anyone to get close to me, to see what I was really feeling. Alcohol and drugs were how I dealt with the pain of my abuse-I hadn't admitted even to myself that it had happened.
I was discharged because of my addictions.
The Corps was the first place who made me deal with the conquences of my behaviors. And really am grateful today for that fact.
I believe that it was the first step in making me look at who I really was and realizing that I had problems.
Who knows the Corps maybe where he needs to be for awhile,the choice is his.
If they find out about his suicide attempts there is no way they will allow him in.
Take care of yourself -first-! and be there for him as he will allow. Seeking recovery is his choice.

mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#242258 - 08/04/08 12:20 PM Re: Help [Re: michael banks]
very confused Offline


Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 16
Loc: TX, USA
Thanks everyone for the input, I've learned alot. I think what I say to him will depend alot on how far he opens the door so to speak. I intend to just try and stay centered, calm and loving. I'll recommend therapy but I know I can't push it. I'd like to recommend this site to him but now I've posted on here and I don't think he'd like to read about himself. Is there a way to remove my posts and if so would that be best?

Thanks again


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#242275 - 08/04/08 01:34 PM Re: Help [Re: very confused]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
If you remove your posts they will benefit no one else. But you can edit all of your posts and remove all but one letter I believe, if you so desire. Since you started the topic you can also change the original title too.

It is your choice.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#242279 - 08/04/08 01:45 PM Re: Help [Re: Trucker51]
very confused Offline


Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 16
Loc: TX, USA
Thanks, I'll think about it...no reason to rush to do that unless I get the chance to tell him about this site anyway. I just wonder, would any of you be angry, feel betrayed to see your story (or a small part of it anyway) on here? Or maybe that has already happened for some?


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#242557 - 08/05/08 05:36 PM Re: Help [Re: very confused]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
very confused,

How he will react no one can say.
Maybe you should seek help for yourself here.
To focus on your needs.
Sounds to me like you have lost yourself.

mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#242568 - 08/05/08 05:54 PM Re: Help [Re: michael banks]
very confused Offline


Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 16
Loc: TX, USA
No, I'm in good shape thanks:) That's why I was considering deleteing my posts and telling him about the site. I just wanted some input from "people in the know" about the best responses when a friend has disclosed something like this. I think I have some good ideas now. I understand that all of you are individuals yet there are some basic things I should avoid saying and some basic things that are good to say. I realize nothing I say is "life or death" but I do want to be encouraging and supportive and certainly not inadvertantly do any more harm then was already done to him.


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