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#263057 - 11/22/08 12:11 AM in a bit of shock - husband just told me
cariad Offline


Registered: 11/21/08
Posts: 3
Loc: London, UK
Tonight my husband of 2 months (been together for 1.5 years) told me about the violent and horrible SA he suffered at the hands of his father from a young age until he was 14 and able to fight back.

I am in shock really, and dont really know how to process it.

I knew he had been physically abused, and that was why he had cut off contact with his family, but this admission puts a whole new spin on it.

He has had counselling in the past to deal with this, but I am of course worrying that maybe he still should be dealing with it somehow. I can see the effects in some ways, and assume I always will. He is very dependant on me, and has tendencies to depression and low self esteem.

I have never met his father or mother (mother is still with the father and doesnt deny the abuse happened). I have met his younger brother and sister, who were also victims and actually live at home with the parents still.

I feel extreme anger towards his father, and I cant understand how he was never locked up. I think the system failed my husband, as he was always told there wasnt enough "proof" when he reported things as a child. Its probably a normal reaction, and also probably unrealistic, but I want something done! I want this horrible man to pay for what he did to my husband. I dont want him to be able to continue to do it to my husbands sister...she is now 21 and supposedly told my husband the abuse stopped, but I just dont believe it.

I keep having these horrible visions in my head of what my husband described. I havent cried though...I think I am still processing it.

I dont really know what to do next. If my husband feels he has put it behind him and done enough counselling...am I ok with that? I dont know.

note - sorry I am new here and I hope this post is in the right place...I dont quite get the trigger guidelines, but dont want to upset anyone obviously


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#263079 - 11/22/08 01:43 AM Re: in a bit of shock - husband just told me [Re: cariad]
An Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 151
Loc: usa
Cariad, welcome albeit it with some sorrow you are in the trials of finding yourself in this situation. youre perseptions are right on- i't not just this week's phase - BIG RECOMMENDATION- GET MIKE LEWS VICTIMS NO LONGER book asap. the truly equivalent equivalent book fro partners has not been written yet. there is a "if the man you love was abuse" and it's useful and practical esp for getting through the day to day dealings and the beginning functional ways of dealing with the shock.

but understanding deeply what's beneath it all is what kept my soul able to understand more daily and thus love more daily, even though i don't know that we'll ever be together again. the understanding has been the gift of my life, and all he brought me that way. lots of pain for sure, almost infinite depths of confusion before the understanding depths developed.
it's still a daily discovery to live fully after the loss - he couldn't keep the realtionsihp now , much to his equal displeasure/ distress. and i understand that now. it was actually self sacrificial on his part to give it up and it took a long time fr me to understand. i see in these boards all he wanted to protect me from.

it's sleep time, you are in the RIGHT place. i super recommend Mike Lews book - it eas a sunburst of the emotional depths of understanding of all this and that's where the peace in dealing with it lays. Just my experience. i'm years past the initials roller coaster after disclosure. it's a trying, draining road usually and not because they don't care or don't want to love, they just have so much to self heal efore they can truly be in intimacy emotionally.
they're Good Men . the best deepest most vaulable meni i've ever met. but hard to be in relationship with . absolutely.

if you can find a therapist who truly has training in this too (there are special sexuality therapy certifications that is the only type therapist i'd deal with - and i'm i my final internship semesters to become a T myself. so i know what's "out there" and there's nowhere near the understanding or training on this in the basic traising- thus my recommendations for those who've gone for the extra certification in sexuality issues- by state it may be called different things but you get the idea.

best of luck. I had a real intense day at internship day today-i work at crisis unit psychiatric facility now for this semseter and the rate of sexual abuse history is mind blowiing- and undealt with so it's a bit of a torture scene for me inside. it's all crisis management there and i know, when it's stuffed/undealt with or underdealt with, these crisis psychosis/ depressions etc are more than likely.

recovery is hell for the guys - but it's the only way through. but it's theseboards and seeing their Courgae - outrageous courageous- to perservere through recovery hell, that gives me hope. but often , the patners have to be gone for the process- for their own health and the benefit of the guys recovery paths. gotta sleep. forgive my heavy tone. it was a very heavy day at the unit and seeing even 8 years olds on massive meds in a residential program because no ones dealing deep with their SA , is torturing me today on top of what's happening on the adult units.

BET WELCOME!!! SOrry to spill so much but i felt you had some sense of understanding these depths and hope it heps down the line even if it sounds more like a "downer" now.... Much caring, An



Edited by An (11/22/08 11:50 AM)
Edit Reason: too many typos from sleepiness!

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#263088 - 11/22/08 03:17 AM Re: in a bit of shock - husband just told me [Re: cariad]
michaelmovies Offline


Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 21
Loc: Long Beach, CA, USA
Cariad,

I hope this helps in some way ...

Your husband should basically try and set up a more-or-less permanent, regular contact with a therapist, someone trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and with some knowledge of PTSD. Even if he feels he's healthy, doesn't need medication, can do it on his own ... he should really, really know that the odds are he can't do those things day in and day out, with all the stresses of love and marriage and life in general, and not need to talk about it with someone other than you.

My wife has just seperated from me after three years of marriage, five years together. I told her basically straight away, but I fell into the trap of feeling like, because I was feeling good and succeeding, I didn't need to keep going and working over the feelings of shame and anger ... so instead they bubbled up in ways I couldn't have predicted; I stopped really hearing my wife, started paying attention more to my role (as husband and provider) then I did to my place (as a woman's lesser half :P) ... started working more on trying to avoid my recurring, growing feelings of shame and self-loathing by throwing myself headlong into 'success' then working on real, open communication with the growing woman I love.

If you provide him with a place that is too safe he will snuggle into it and hibernate ... he will stagnate, he will just do anything possible to stay warm and safe ... and it will slowly wear you down and sap your energy, because it's simply not possible to hold a person up for that long. And the fact is the part of him that is a survivor, that has seen hell from the inside, will always feel a little pissed that you think you even can hold him up ... his emotions, no matter how old he is, are still in a way locked at the moment of abuse. Only regular contact with a truly non-judgemental, non-involved third party can really help him realize his own way through this stuff.

Right now my guess is he loves you with all of his heart and he's wanting to hold on so bad it's got to feel a bit suffocating. That's normal; a feeling of having been abandoned by everyone is normal, a feeling of deep shame and inner ugliness is normal ... a desire for an almost too close, too passionate connection with someone 'good' is also normal. None of those things are long-term healthy though, believe me ... I've done all of them.

If you can find a way I'd really suggest couple's therapy ... anything where the two of you can sit down in a room with a mediator and learn to really communicate. Communicate about sex (he's going to have all sorts of hangups and issues to grow through, and he's going to have an almost complete lack of trust, even with his wife), communicate about trust, about boundaries, about safety ... it's very hard for a survivor to take risks, very hard indeed ... but only through doing so in a calculated, adult manner can we really begin to find a place where we feel safe inside our own heads.

I've lost my partner and my best friend ... it's only been two weeks, and maybe it gets better, I don't know ... but I've not woken up beside her in too long, I've not been able to hear her in too long, and I've not taken the responsibility I needed all along to get myself and her into regular contact with good therapists ... I've learned the lesson, but possibly too late. Please, don't let that happen to you.

Learn to accept, learn to find wisdom in anger ... don't ever allow him to actually hurt you, physically or emotionally, but recognize that almost all of his rage (especially if coupled with shame) is directed at his father, not at you ... you and him miscommunicting, you not hearing him say 'I love you' in the same way he's not hearing you say it because you're both speaking different languages can be so incredibly frustrating that it pulls flashbacks out, triggers, causes intense emotional outbursts ... all signs that it's time to start meeting more often with the therapist.

You've chosen the hard road just by being with this man. I congratulate you on that, and on your courage in coming on here. Don't ever believe it's your fault, don't ever take on enough of the burden to make it your fault ... don't ever give so much of yourself to trying to heal him that you fail to let (and force him) to heal himself.

And, if at all possible, try and find a way of showing him ways to back out of his own actions. A safe word ... something that you can say or do that is intended to force him to recognize that he's thinking / feeling / acting / reacting to the abuse, and not to the moment. I wish I'd gotten my wife to say 'potato' every time I got angry or scared or ashamed, because just that one word would have brought a smile to my face.

Anyway ... hope any of this helps ... you're doing a brave thing. Try not to be so brave you fail to keep yourself sane and connected and communicating ... try not to fall into the temptation to just keep him safe and warm. He needs to be able to face risk and to earn rewards on his way to healing, and you can help him do that.

Michael

_________________________
"Because the stars won't reach for us ..."

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#263094 - 11/22/08 05:50 AM Re: in a bit of shock - husband just told me [Re: michaelmovies]
steveb121 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/02/01
Posts: 157
Loc: Swindon, UK



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#263095 - 11/22/08 06:06 AM Re: in a bit of shock - husband just told me [Re: steveb121]
cariad Offline


Registered: 11/21/08
Posts: 3
Loc: London, UK
thanks everyone for the responses...feel a bit less in shock now and have had some good discussions with my husband about everything...

A fuller picture is emerging of all the work he has personally done to deal with this...including years of therapy and group support...including him mentoring other younger men who have dealt with similar issues. He did at some point stop going to therapy, with the blessing of his psychologist, but he feels he was given a lot of help to deal with this over the years and is grateful for it. I guess the NHS is good for something, eh?

I am not naive enough to think that he has put everything behind him and will never have issues to deal with, but I guess I feel lucky to know that this is not something he had been supressing and ignoring and letting build up till now.

The shock was on my part, because i wasnt expecting to hear it. He hadnt told me because he does indeed worry that I will want to drag it all up again and analyze it to death (ok yeah, I have a tendency to over-analyze). And yes, I think he was also worried that it would affect my love for him, and at his core he obviously just needs to be loved and feel safe.

He doesnt feel the need to be in regular therapy right now, but we have talked about the fact that as issues inevitably come up, we are both open to therapy and want to be able to deal with things rather than ignore them. We do have a very healthy sex life and levels of physical and emotional intimacy, so we arent looking to solve anything in that area.

I think he deals with things in a way that not everyone can understand. He has a very high intelligence level and was treated as a genius in school, and he has been told by therapists that he rationalises things to a much higher degree than a normal person. Sounds to me like they didnt always know how to deal with it...

Anyways....this is obviously a journey that I have just been made a part of, and I appreciate everyone's feedback and thoughts. I will definitely be getting some books and doing a bit more research into everything.


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