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#265558 - 12/06/08 03:24 AM Responding to disclosures aka, F***, not you too!
Partner Offline


Registered: 12/05/08
Posts: 18
Loc: United States
I know I'm not supposed to write here 'cause I am a female survivor but I am experiencing a very similar thing with my boyfriend. He disclosed to me early and I just realized: me too. But he doesn't want to talk much, he's talked to me a hand full of times in two years. Now I want to talk for me and I am afraid that is going to be another problem. I can see how it affects him and one thing is with moving and another is with emotional closeness. I could be patient about the second and I can be patient about his readyness in general but I feel as though if he doesn't start to heal, he won't be able to handle moving and if he doesn't move and/or handle it well, we aren't going to be able to stay in a relationship from 2700 miles away...and I don't want that to happen. Is there a way to get him to let go of the control issue a little without confronting the entire situation? He doesn't think "he's fine" or it wasn't him or anything but he just simply isn't ready to really face it and I can respect that but I don't want to sit here alone forever while he decides he will be ok without exactly the same place and routine that he is used to. And it really frustrates me when I see a lot of this stuff that he "doesn't know why" as stemming from the abuse but I can't say it because that is one more way in which he feels he is "bad" or "ruined" instead of seeing it as something to work through and that doesn't have to be that way if he doesn't like it.

So, sorry for invading the guy board but friends and family just seem to have more questions and the other survivor boards are rarely a great avenue of advice about male survivors.


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#265588 - 12/06/08 09:11 AM Re: Responding to disclosures aka, F***, not you too! [Re: Partner]
ttoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/19/07
Posts: 977
Partner,

I suspect that this will be moved to the apropriate forum soon enough :-) But, I wanted to respond to your post.

As you so accurately point out, we all come into the relationship with our own baggage. So often, I think, in a relationship with any survivor, if one or the other partner becomes the "identified patient" well, it just isn't going to work.

I think we are overlooking a very important process in all of this, personally. Any parent might tell you, remind you, as they watch their ten month old struggle to pull themseleves up and walk, or, as they struggle to learn language in order to communicate...the need or urge to emulate, to communicate, to be part of the "pack" is an important one with us.

We, as survivors, share similiar experiences but, the isolation that follows as a result of the experiences isolates us from the pack. All alone, no new information comes in and we rarely challenge our beliefs.

Watch as any new person on the site transitions from, "I never knew anything like this existed before! I feel like I am reading my story!" to..."I want what you have!"

Because I know it works...if one person consciously makes the choice to change in any relationship, the others in the relationship have to follow.

Blame and shame rarely are good motivators...but if one partner consciously makes the choice to step out of that box, use our histories to inform, rather than blame, if a partner can let go of their attachment to the outcome and do their own work and own only that that is theirs...the other partner will, I think, "want what you have," and follow, however reluctantly, maybe even kicking and screaming but, they have to follow.

Which, is not to say it is easy. It is hard work. Really hard work. But, as they say, just before you take off..."if the cabin pressure drops and the masks drop down, put yours on first because you can not help anyone else if you are not breathing."



:-)


Dave

_________________________
checkin out for a few weeks... whistle
02/07/09

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#265676 - 12/06/08 08:19 PM Re: Responding to disclosures aka, F***, not you too! [Re: ttoon]
Partner Offline


Registered: 12/05/08
Posts: 18
Loc: United States
Thank you so much for the reply. I thought it might be moved but I had not gotten any responses on the other board and figured it was because it was viewed less by male survivors.

What you said is a very good point. I guess then my next question is how much info can I give him so he sees what I am doing without giving him so much that he feels I am pushing him?

We live 2700 miles away currently so it's not as though he actually sees what I am doing or how I am doing. We talk on the phone mostly but I am concerned that if I really talk about my process or whatever with him it will make him feel pressured or be triggering or something.


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#265696 - 12/06/08 10:29 PM Re: Responding to disclosures aka, F***, not you too! [Re: Partner]
ttoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/19/07
Posts: 977
In the early part of my recovery, I was away a lot, for extended periods of time. My therapist agreed to do "couples sessions" on the computer with my partner and I.

Sometimes, you got to be creative...when you have long distance relationships.


Good luck


:-)


Dave

_________________________
checkin out for a few weeks... whistle
02/07/09

Top
#265699 - 12/06/08 10:46 PM Re: Responding to disclosures aka, F***, not you [Re: ttoon]
MichaeldR Offline


Registered: 12/02/08
Posts: 36
Loc: South Carolina
Originally Posted By: ttoon
Partner,

I suspect that this will be moved to the apropriate forum soon enough :-) But, I wanted to respond to your post.

As you so accurately point out, we all come into the relationship with our own baggage. So often, I think, in a relationship with any survivor, if one or the other partner becomes the "identified patient" well, it just isn't going to work.

I think we are overlooking a very important process in all of this, personally. Any parent might tell you, remind you, as they watch their ten month old struggle to pull themseleves up and walk, or, as they struggle to learn language in order to communicate...the need or urge to emulate, to communicate, to be part of the "pack" is an important one with us.

We, as survivors, share similiar experiences but, the isolation that follows as a result of the experiences isolates us from the pack. All alone, no new information comes in and we rarely challenge our beliefs.

Watch as any new person on the site transitions from, "I never knew anything like this existed before! I feel like I am reading my story!" to..."I want what you have!"

Because I know it works...if one person consciously makes the choice to change in any relationship, the others in the relationship have to follow.

Blame and shame rarely are good motivators...but if one partner consciously makes the choice to step out of that box, use our histories to inform, rather than blame, if a partner can let go of their attachment to the outcome and do their own work and own only that that is theirs...the other partner will, I think, "want what you have," and follow, however reluctantly, maybe even kicking and screaming but, they have to follow.

Which, is not to say it is easy. It is hard work. Really hard work. But, as they say, just before you take off..."if the cabin pressure drops and the masks drop down, put yours on first because you can not help anyone else if you are not breathing."

:-)

Dave


Wow! I understand where you're coming from. Although I'm relatively new at dealing full-on my own childhood sexual abuse, I have more than twenty-two years experience dealing with family issues, re: my father's alcoholism as well as my own.

I have to agree with Dave (ttoon), I must look out or myself, first.

A great Rabbi, who lived during the lifetime of Jesus said,

"If not now, when?
If not me, who?
I must care first for myself;
But if I did not care for another,
What kind of man would I be".

I have tried to live by these great words since I was a teenager. I call it benevolent self-interest.

Do the next right thing in your life and things really will turn out for the best.

Best regards,

_________________________
Mike

My mantras:

Easy Does I - - - - - - Lą oł il y a la vie il y a l'espoir.
One Day At A Time - - - Lą oł il y a l'espoir: la vie.
First Things First- - - Where there's life there's hope.
LIVE and Let Live - - - Where there is hope: life.

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#265704 - 12/06/08 11:11 PM Re: Responding to disclosures aka, F***, not you [Re: MichaeldR]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Just chiming in to agree with Dave and Michael-david;
Both at MS and in RL, whether it be myself, or another, it's amazing just how often the concept underlying
"How can you help someone else to their feet, if your own legs are broken?"
comes up...

Best of luck to you Partner

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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