Newest Members
Green_Lantern, Safe11ride, WillWins, neophiliac, Jerone
12118 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
betterdays (29), ChevyMan76 (46), cuda (48), swartzhund (42), wdf9 (70)
Who's Online
0 registered (), 68 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12118 Members
73 Forums
62517 Topics
438110 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 2 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
#268064 - 12/20/08 09:03 AM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: Julia]
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Have no words of wisdom for you here - all I can do is tear up as I read your posts. I'm so sorry that you are going through this.

_________________________
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

Top
#268090 - 12/20/08 02:18 PM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: riz]
ttoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/19/07
Posts: 977
Originally Posted By: riz


Dave: That's just it. I am NOT following him around demanding he take his medicine. But sometimes I wonder if I should...at least now and then...to show him I am still here and care what happens to him. I don't call him because I think he doesn't want me to. But I worry that by not calling, it may send him the message that he was correct in thinking I don't want him in my life or that he doesn't deserve me in his life. How do I find the balance?



Riz



Riz, I'll tell ya, quite frankly, I do not usually post in 'Family and Friends.'

I have an attitude about generalizations about survivors, whether it be male survivors, female survivors or greyhounds.

If you asked me my opinion on what was the best vehicle to buy, I would tell you a three quarter ton truck...because I need a truck and it is the best suited for my needs. It fits my lifestyle. It might not be what you need or want or, suit your needs, because you, of course, come to the table with completely different experiences and needs.

My first wife had multiple relationships outside of our marriage and as we sat in the therapist's office the therapist told us, with a straight face, that it was my fault. My experiences as an incest survivor pushed her to look for emotional intimacy outside the marriage (through having sex with anything and everyone?). Later, after I dropped the bitch and the therapist, I found out the therapist was going through her own divorce and it was a nasty one.

My first wife was a survivor also, although, not a childhood sexual abuse survivor. Her experiences included a one time, random incident, accident, that involved her being hospitalized for six weeks each year, surgery every year for six years...that started when she was four years old. She ommitted that from her resume as we considered getting married also and, it was not brought up or considered as we did couples counseling. The primary focus, once I mentioned my experiences, was, on me.

So, I am a survivor and, admittedly, although my experiences are uniquely mine, there are most certainly, behavior patterns and things that I do and feel that other survivors share. That being said, in a perfect world, I would ask you what was it and is it that draws you into this relationship with a partner who has these experiences? Because we all bring something to the table. It isn't chance or coincidence that brings us together in relationships.

Your husband has made the choice to separate. It is a choice he has made. He says that he wants limited contact, again, a choice he has made. You can pick up any number of books available on what he might be going through and how the experiences manifest themselves. They might suggest why he does the things he does and there will be some comfort in the solidarity, certainly. But in the end...what about you? What responsibility do you have for your own needs and what you want?

Needs are non-negotiable, I am not talking about desires and dreams, about wishes and or fairy tales. Needs are necessities. Fundementally, it is air to breathe, food to eat, a warm place to sleep at night. It is the reasonable expectation that you have a right to ask for and, receive, reciprocity when it comes to love and respect. To comfort and be comforted. To be who you are, genuinely who you are, in the company of someone you feel safe with. Are those needs being met? Have they ever been met?

That is what I am talking about in terms of responsibility. It isn't selfish to expect that those needs will be met, it is selfcare.

Is this an opportunity for you to explore what you need and how to get those needs met?

It is important and, relevant, to point out that my first wife went on to marry another survivor. Finding out, well after the fact. This time though, she was much older and, by my daughter's accounts, more willing to "negotiate" what she is willing to put up with. Her new husband hits her. Which, was never in our relationship. All the while, still, telling my daughters that our relationship ended because I was a survivor.

What do you need, riz?



Dave

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

Top
#268179 - 12/21/08 08:19 AM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: ttoon]
riz Offline


Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 123
Hi Julia,
Thanks for the empathy. It's always easier to know that someone else knows what you're struggling with. You're right. If I hated him, I would just walk away and be happy he was out of my life. And yes, it is hard to see clearly when you are in the middle of it. That's why I'm appreciative of your response, letting me know that all is well. Sad but well. And that many others have gone before me and are going with me.

Hi Kolisha,

If you're tearing up, I'm glad you don't know the whole story, cuz it was a sweet one. We were each others "destiny" like one of those wacky, sappy romantic comedies. Then we were tested by real life and we made it through! We were happy and triumphant and so were our family and friends.

And then this.

Thanks for your kind thoughts. It's sad, but I really am fine. At first I had to deal with the disbelief, the loss of the "dream". And I still am dealing with that. But that's only one part of it.

The more important part, the only part that's real to me right now, is the devastation of a human life by another human being years ago. Yes, I have needs, too, which I am attending to as best I can, but honestly I have been blindsided by the knowledge of what my husband has been through, and the sheer inability to do anything about it. Thanks again for your support.

Hiya Dave,

Well I am glad you did come over to F/F. You are exactly right that generalizations are shaky ground. But hearing lots of opinions change the generalizations into something I can sort of, kind of begin to grasp, since I have no other way to understand CSA.

What do I need? What do I need? I ask myself over and over. What attracts me to this relationship?

What attracts me to this relationship is that I am already in it. What do I need?

I need to know that I didn't just up and say, "Oh well, Im outta here because, well, that sure didn't work out how I planned. I wanted a handsome Prince Charming to buy me nice jewelry and take out the trash. If my husband isn't going to do that, well, I'd better go out and find me one who will."

I need to know that I looked at a situation that I didn't understand and I tried my best to figure it out.

I need to know that I didn't turn away from something I loved because it suddenly grew a big ugly mole on its cheek and we didn't know if the mole could ever be extracted.

I need to know the difference between my selfish needs, my absolute needs, and the needs of others.

I need to know that my husband isn't sitting alone on Christmas day, by his own choice, yes, but I need to know that he knows at least I will call him to say Merry Christmas or that he can call me.

That last need...Is that placing him in a victimizing role? I don't know. Is it self-important and martyrish to have that need? I don't know.

To comfort and be comforted. Yes, thank you. I believe I have that need and right. The comforting part I am doing my best at. To be comforted is a little harder right now, because my husband suddently isn't available for that. That's why I look to my family and friends. That's why I have a therapist. None of them have the same degree of expertise regarding survivors of CSA as the people on this board do, however, so here I am, looking for the comfort, which you have all so generously given.

Maybe someday I will "just get over it", "get over myself", "cut my losses and move on", "get out of denial", whatever my affliction might be, but until then, here I am.

I guess this has turned more into a rant than a reply, Dave. But it was therapeutic so thanks for bringing it on. I am indeed using this time to figure out what I need.

Riz


Top
#268188 - 12/21/08 10:53 AM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: riz]
ttoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/19/07
Posts: 977
Originally Posted By: riz


I need to know that I didn't turn away from something I loved because it suddenly grew a big ugly mole on its cheek and we didn't know if the mole could ever be extracted.

Riz



Riz,


I grew up in very rural farm country. It was not unusual to trap back then. Trap raccoons, mostly. They went pretty high as far as their pelts. This isn't going to be an indictment for or against trapping, although, I have to say I hated it.

When I was about thirteen I was walking through the woods and there was just this most God-awful sound coming through the trees. I knew it was a cat and, I love cats. I always have. As I got closer to it, there was a cat, one leg caught in a trap at the base of a tree. The traps are nasty, really nasty. Once they spring shut, no small animal is going to get out of it. As I got closer, I noticed that the cat was literally trying to chew it's leg off above where the trap had sprung closed on it. I tried to move in closer, to help, but that just made it worse. He tried getting away, the trap, chained to the tree, but he still kept trying to run from me.

So...I went home, got some ham, because my cat loves ham and went back. I sat down in the grass, far enough away so that the cat would not start trying to get away from the trap again and just sat there. I threw him a piece of ham...he must have been starving, been there for a while because he ate it right up. It took me about four hours, I guess, to get close enough to touch him, for him to trust me, to let me pet him so that he knew I was not a threat but, as soon as I released the spring, he shot off into the trees.

I had it all figured out, you know, at thirteen. The outcome, how it was going to play out. I was going to take him home and my mom would help wrap up his leg so he would get all better. She loved cats, too. I had a relationship with the damn thing now, time invested...there was an investment in the outcome and, although I would not have admitted it then, if asked, I cried when it just ran off.

A very, very smart ole lady, at a workshop I did once, told me that you only have to do three things.

Show up.

Tell the truth and,

let go of your attachment to the outcome.

As survivors we cannot change the facts. We cannot go back and grieve, we can not ever, make it right. What we can do is change "our truth" how we see ourselves in relation to the facts. In isolation "truth" is distorted and rarely challenged. And, I think...it does not ever get smaller...instead, we grow larger and, it seems smaller eventually, as we step out of the darkness of isolation and into the light of recovery. As we challenge the old beliefs and perceptions.

Recovery rarely moves in a straight line...it isn't linear, more often, it spirals around and around as we challenge and revisit old beliefs and incorporate new ones into our belief systems. There is a huge amount of confusion as we transition from who we are to who we will be and, that invites back so much anxiety, triggers attachment to old events and the emotions attached to them. What is familiar is no longer safe because for a lot of survivors the abuse was perpetrated inside their families...and was allowed to go on either covertly or overtly. A lot of survivors do not know and have never known what it is to feel "safe." What is predictable, familiar...has been safe. And comfortable is not the same thing as safe, as we are challenged to step outside of our comfort zones to risk.

But, the men here, are so much more than society's stereotypical definition of what it means to be male. Through the process of recovery they redefine love and celebrate diversity rather than criticize it...they are making this planet a better place, taking their stories and their truth and touching other lives, if only by example.


I am glad you are a fighter laugh


Dave

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

Top
#268189 - 12/21/08 11:24 AM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: ttoon]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6317
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
Dave,

I'm printing that one! You just provided MONTHS of therapy perspective!

Thank you oh wise one!

_________________________
Jesus Loves The Hell Outta Me!

Still's Globs

New Video

Top
#268192 - 12/21/08 12:16 PM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: Still]
michael banks Offline


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

That is the best and most insightful post on csa that I have ever read.
I too am going to save it and read it from time to time.

Thank You so much for sharing it

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

Top
#268212 - 12/21/08 03:30 PM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: michael banks]
fromtoday Offline


Registered: 10/04/08
Posts: 74
Loc: UK
Hi Riz,
I'm sorry my heads not in a place were I can take in all you replies but if my reply is nonsense please ignore but just wanted to throw a few things in.

Boundaries, in my experience you must set boundaries over what behaviour you will both accept, for instance you are married, your husband obviously wants to have a relationship because he calls you, for me its totally selfish of him not to want you to call, but then sometimes he will call you ect.., I would set a boundary something like, I will call you once a week on a Friday, you will call me once a week on a wednesday, you will speak to me even if only briefly checking in. If he doesn't want this then I would say you have to end the relationship. It's okay about when he needs you, but what about if you need him.

I have been forced in the corner in my relationship but boundarys have worked, at one point I was frightened to say that I would leave the relationship but now I always say I love you but your behaviour will force me into the position where I must leave. You husband must make the decision whether he stops or at least trys to stop the behaviour.

Everybody always says that you can't force somebody into therapy, and I totally agree that you can't force somebody to do therapy if they don't want to, however my husband needed forcing into therapy, this took 15 years but he will openly accept that had I not forced him to confront certain issues he wouldn't ever have been able to on his own.

I find that the hardest thing as a survivors wife is knowing what to do and when. how much and with what, I can't tell you how your husband will behave or what treatment he will respond to but your husband does not have the right to trample over your feelings and that will be his first step towards recovery.

Wishing you luck

_________________________
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality
Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see.....
_________________________________________________
Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody

Top
#268221 - 12/21/08 04:26 PM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: fromtoday]
wes-b Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 438
Loc: Western, Canada

Riz, my sister;

you and your husband have my heartfelt prayers and love. Dave set a gem down in this thread. When I read the "3 things" out of his post they totally resonated; especially the final point of letting go of the outcome. That was a tough as nails thing for me to do. I let go of my family and marriage when my wife and I were separated. ( We were emotionally and physically separated between Jan and Sept of 07 ) .

In my case I kicked the apple cart over on 24-Jan-07 by disclosing a piece of my acting out behaviours (my wife has since received full disclosure --understand that full disclosure does not include "gory" details-- ). At that point I was outside any recovery and was acting in my PTSD/Addict state/trance. My actions we both extremes at once "a cry for help and a wish to die"; save-me/kill-me. John Bradshaw puts this far better than I ever will, suffice it to say addict tend to act in the extremes. At that point I was nearly dead inside and started therapy for myself as well as 12-step recovery for my compulsive sexual behaviours.

Sounds nice and pat... and then 8 months later all was well... yeah right, in my fantasy world :-\ This period had been preceded 8 years earlier by my disclosing the incestuous abuse that I remembered (at the hands of my cousin). This disclosure was in an attempt to avoid punishment when my wife found condoms in the armrest of my car. It reduced the punishment and I was required to go to therapy, which I did until I was scared away... I had placated my wife and that was enough at that time... I stumbled around with my addictions of work/food/sex for 8 more years until I found I could no longer live that way and kicked over the foundations of my family's world, in an act of desperation. I will never forget my Wife's eyes when I disclosed the behaviours that I did on 24-jan-2007, I cut her to the core.

There was very little rational and predictable about me before I entered my recovery in Feb of 2007. Over the past almost 2 years of recovery it has been a matter of 2 steps forward and one step back.

Riz, with all of this said I pray that you look for and work at your own healing... Therapy (group and individual), applicable 12-step groups, and applicable support groups. As you heal you will find your path to dealing with where your husband is at and that path will surely lead you to the outcome that will be in the best interest of all. Letting go and letting God, as you understand God, is the key.

Love always, your brother Wes

P.S. my principle prayer, once I let go of the outcome was; "God, please guard my wife and children and guide and direct us that the outcome is what is in the best interest for all of us."

_________________________
Happy to be a recovering survivor. :-)

Continuing to meet more of my fellows as I "Trudge the Road of Happy Destiny".

My Story, 1st pass

Top
#268238 - 12/21/08 06:45 PM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: wes-b]
riz Offline


Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 123
Hi Fromtoday,
Thank you for your ideas. All the discussion is extremely helpful, but I am truly clueless about what, specifically to DO. It may sound silly, but I am not sure what is a reasonable boundary at this stage in the game. I understand that I have to work it out for myself, but it is helpful to know which actions might be helpful and which are not.

Hi Wes,
Thank you for sharing your experiences with me and for your advice. You can imagine that the "letting go of the outcome" is what's up for me right now...every day just trying to do the thing that seems right for that moment, trying not to make choices based on only the hope of him coming back. Of course I have the fleeting moments when I just wish he'd come back and everything would be ok, but I know that is not the reality and the truth is he is not INVITED back, if this is his idea of a relationship.

Dave,
Thank you for the stellar response. Clearly it will be helpful to any one who reads this thread, not just me. Letting go of the outcome is the answer. Tricky to accomplish, but absolutely true. I especially love what you wrote at the end. Aside from my personal situation, reading this board has changed my life permanently.

Oh, feel free to read or not read the next part (obviously). In an attempt to clarify my own mind, I took a stab at continuing the analogy.

Riz

so, what if the cat is not just a random cat that you dream of rescuing so you can have a nic pet, but a cat who has already lived with you for years, keeping your life warm and cozy and free of rats. you are horrified when you find him caught in the trap so of course you do everything you know to get close enough to free him. after trying your hardest, you finally realize that nothing you can do will free the cat from the trap.

amazingly, (and with minimal assistance from you), he manages to live through his ordeal and the leg actually heals around the trap. in this way he is able to at least get around, even with the trap dragging behind him. he finds shelter and most days, manages to get some food. he never wants to come too close to the house anymore, because of its proximity to the place where his ordeal occurred.

you see him from time to time, that awful piece of metal still attached to his leg. you know he would be better if the trap could be removed, but every time you come too close, he goes into his routine of hissing and clawing at you

you feel terrible every time you see your once fuzzy, purring kitty looking so hurt and angry, especially at you, who didn't do anything except want him to get that nasty trap off. you try to imagine what it must be like trying to navigate with a trap, a flippin metal trap! attached to your leg, and you feel even worse.

most of the time, the cat stays away and you tell yourself, and all your friends tell you "there's nothing you can do", "let it go". if it wants to come back some day it will, but it seems to be doing fine on its own, trap and all. besides, you just upset him more every time you try to "help".

so you miss your old companion. you wish you could have him there by your side at the end of the day, and pawing at your nose first thing in the morning, all ready for breakfast. more than that, though, you wonder how he is, if he caught some dinner last night, if the trap hurts or if he has gotten used to the pain. you are fine, after all, except for missing him and worrying. his life seems so much harder.

once in awhile, when the back door is open, you hear him meowing from the far corner of the yard. he has his wild life now, but you know he remembers the warmth of the house. you are happy and heartbroken to see him. it seems like he hasn't eaten in awhile. you feel the familiar closing of your throat and the welling of tears into your eyes.

do you:

a. close the door and turn on some music to drown him out and make yourself happy. maybe finally he'll stop coming, allowing your pain to diminish and finally go away all together.

b. go out to the yard, but not close enough to scare him and leave some food. even if life isn't as it used to be, you don't want to ignore him.

c. run out and try again to free him. maybe one time he will let you help him and, although he could have kept going on his own, he will be grateful that you never gave up, even if he never does come home.


Top
#268241 - 12/21/08 07:11 PM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: riz]
michael banks Offline


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

How about choice-

D. Leave the door ajar and go about your life.
If and when he is ready he will come in for help.

Once it gets cold outside he will remember how warm it was inside.

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

Top
Page 2 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, peroperic2009 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.