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#262835 - 11/20/08 08:32 AM Need guidance
Kat20 Offline


Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 4
Hi. My husband revealed a couple weeks ago that he had been abused as a child. He said that he had been in denial for years about it. Since he told me I've done whatever I can to try to be supportive. I've listened, held him while he cried, told him everything will be ok, set up an appointment for counselling (at his request). He's been out of work for 5 months and I know that the depression he's going through is partially due to the fact that he has so much time to think.

The last few days he's gone from depressed to angry bordering on verbally abusive. We got in an arguement the other night and although his reasons for being annoyed with me were valid he turned it into an excuse to just be down right mean. He called me "filthy pig, idiot, disgusting" etc. Last night he told me that he was tired of holding things in and that after 13 years of being with me he wasn't going hold it in anymore. He said that I'm too sensitive and that I can't handle his truths. He said he needs a rock and I'm not that. He says that I crumble when he is truthful with me. I tried to explain that I can handle it, but I may cry or be hurt when my husband calls me a filthy pig. He basically told me that while he's going through this I'm just going to have to deal with it and stfu. I've had problems with depression in the past and he knows that but is now using that against me. He says I'm too damaged to help him and that I can't even help myself let alone someone else.

I understand that I can't imagine what he's going through and what he went through. My question is, aren't I entitled to feel things as well? Should I be expected to just shut down and put up with anything that he throws at me? I want to help him in any way I can, but I'm so deeply hurt about the way that he's treated me the past few days that I feel myself pulling away from him. I'm deeply hurt, I truly thought that he saw me as someone that was there to help him. I now feel not only helpless to help him, but I feel totally worthless.

Is this just a phase of his healing process? Is he just realizing that after this long together that he doesn't like anything about me or is he projecting his inner anger on me?

Thank you for "listening" and any advice or similar experiences would be helpful.


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#262842 - 11/20/08 09:09 AM Re: Need guidance [Re: Kat20]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear kat20:

What you have described, I have believed to be the old "push-pull or pull-push" (pull you close then push you away.) defense mechanism of a survivor. He discloses to you, he entrusts his secret that he has probably carried and has never told another human soul for his entire life. He feels exposed to you, vulnerable...and it was in that vulnerability when he was a boy that the abuse happened. Basically he is scared right now beyond imagining. What happens when a person is afraid? They become angry and lash out to push you away.
The thing is, you are not his emotional punching bag. Although you are part of his support system, it is not your responsibility to be his ONLY support during this time. He needs to speak with a qualified therapist, one that has experience with male survivors of child sexual abuse. YOU can not save him from what he carries or what happened to him as a boy. You can support him but support does not mean letting him use the abuse as an excuse to hurt your feelings. He is angry right now and taking that anger out on the one person he thinks is safe, you. Right now you need to lay some strong boundaries and tell him you will NOT put up with this sort of behavior. You expect him to treat you with the same consideration that you extend to him.
Suggest he find a good therapist and regardless of his decision, find one for yourself and go.
With the proper support it will all get better. The anger is one of the most difficult aspects of being in this with a survivor. YOU have my support.
Best wishes,
S-n-S



Edited by sweet-n-sour (11/20/08 09:23 AM)
_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#262846 - 11/20/08 09:24 AM Re: Need guidance [Re: sweet-n-sour]
Kat20 Offline


Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 4
Thank you sns for your support and advise. I really appreciate it. He sent me a text message this morning saying that he was sorry and that he's in a bad place right now and sometimes needs his space. He said that I can't fix everything as much as I want to. I know that we both have a long road ahead of us.


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#262850 - 11/20/08 09:56 AM Re: Need guidance [Re: Kat20]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
His text message to apologize is a good indicator that maybe he understands that this is not your fault and that you do not deserve to be treated poorly. A good start if you haven't all ready begun reading would be "If the Man You Love was Abused" by Marie H. Browne, R.N.,Ph.D. and of course Mike Lew's "Victim's No Longer." I know sometimes therapy may be out of the question due to financial limitations.
It is important however, to figure out some guidelines as a couple. Sort of like if he needs space, he can express that accordingly...or I have heard of some survivors using a code word that says it all without any further explanation. The thing is, you both need to be on the same page in respect towards one another and the journey forward.
I strongly recommend inviting him to this web site. My husband as well as myself have gained so much from participating on Male Survivor. For my husband, he realized that he was not alone in being a survivor and the complicated feelings that he believed only he held within were shared by other survivor's as well. In knowing that he was not alone in what he was feeling, has helped him grow tremendously.
You are not alone either Kat20! There are many family & friend's that post here on various stages on the path forward. It can be complicated but we are all here to help make sense of a very difficult patch in our lives.
Best wishes,
S-n-S



Originally Posted By: Kat20
Thank you sns for your support and advise. I really appreciate it. He sent me a text message this morning saying that he was sorry and that he's in a bad place right now and sometimes needs his space. He said that I can't fix everything as much as I want to. I know that we both have a long road ahead of us.




Edited by sweet-n-sour (11/20/08 10:00 AM)
_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#262866 - 11/20/08 11:38 AM Re: Need guidance [Re: sweet-n-sour]
cstjude Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada
Dear Kat,

Welcome to the site. Everything S-N-S recommended is solid advice. Those books are enourmously helpful for those of us who find ourselves in the sometimes heart-breaking, sometimes crazy-making situation of loving a CSA survivor.

All bets are off now for your husband. The emotions are likely to come like a dam braeking. He might not be able to control everything he's feeling and it's going to feel very scary. It's very hard to remember that the CSA is talking when your husband is screaming hurtful things at you.

My best advice is to remember that "all behaviour has a reason." And that when he rages it is most likely not about you. The words he chose indicate disgust but not necessarily with you. You were an available target.

You're instinct that this is a tough and a long road are serving you well. But recovery is possible and there is hope! Keep coming back to us here when you need.

C.

_________________________
C.
Female, Friends & Family Forum Fan

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#262868 - 11/20/08 11:51 AM Re: Need guidance [Re: cstjude]
Delores Offline


Registered: 11/12/08
Posts: 18
I'm new to this - my husband also just recently revealed. However, his behiavor has been as you describe for several years and I wish I would have had an idea why he was so irrational. I think he's getting better though.

I tryt o understand and be supportive of him, his rage, his explosive feelings, and having no control over them - almost as if another person (probably the abused child) takes over and he behaves as if he was the age he was abused.

However, would it be healthy to say something like

"I know you're hurting and I want to be here to support you but I will not tolerate being called names like "filthy pig"?

I wonder if it would be helpful to both if that limit is set - it's an example to him that he was helpless as a child but as an adult he (and others) can set limits. My son is the same age my husband was when he was abused and even if my son were abused I think I would say that to him.

I have been emotionally abused and called "selfish bitch" and took it, tried to ignore it but now realize that it hurt, deep down.


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#262870 - 11/20/08 11:57 AM Re: Need guidance [Re: Delores]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
Hi Delores,

The long and short of it is this: your husband does not have the right to abuse you or anyone else because of the fact that he is an abuse victim. Rather, your husband has the responsability to take himself in hand and get the help he needs to work through and overcome his CSA related issues.

You insisting on being respected is not being non-supportive.

_________________________
My Story 1
My Story 2
The longest journey we take is to self-discovery

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#262871 - 11/20/08 11:59 AM Re: Need guidance [Re: joelRT]
Delores Offline


Registered: 11/12/08
Posts: 18
Thanks so much for the validation.

D.


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#262872 - 11/20/08 12:02 PM Re: Need guidance [Re: Delores]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
You sound like a great gal, Delores, and I'm sure that your heart is in the right place. Just make sure that there is room for Delores too in you heart. It's not healthy to give everything away...

_________________________
My Story 1
My Story 2
The longest journey we take is to self-discovery

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#262903 - 11/20/08 03:27 PM Re: Need guidance [Re: joelRT]
cstjude Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada
Delores and Kat,

Joel is absolutely, 100% right. There is no requirement to take abuse even if you understand where the pain is coming from. He has to take responsibility for his recovery and the consequences of his behaviour.

One of the best things I ever did was get counselling for myself independent of everything else. Someone in my corner to whom I could talk about everything I was feeling (helpless, hopeless, shattered, angry) in the face of my loved one's CSA.

Be good to yourselves, you deserve it.

C.

_________________________
C.
Female, Friends & Family Forum Fan

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#263115 - 11/22/08 09:44 AM Re: Need guidance [Re: joelRT]
Delores Offline


Registered: 11/12/08
Posts: 18
Thanks Joel,

I have a history of finding partners with big problems. That way I don't have to look at my own "stuff", and if I can save someone maybe I'll be the hero and get the love I want. frown

I'm beginning to think that maybe eek I could give myself the love I keep expecting someone else to. Hmmm, that's a thought. hee hee.


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#263118 - 11/22/08 09:48 AM Re: Need guidance [Re: Delores]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
I just knew that you are an intelligent woman, Delores! You know what they say, right? Once you've figured out the problem, you're half way to the solution!!! Now you go, girl.



Edited by joelRT (11/22/08 09:57 AM)
_________________________
My Story 1
My Story 2
The longest journey we take is to self-discovery

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