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#302990 - 09/16/09 02:57 PM Need advice and insight
ConfusedGF Offline


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
First off want to say high to everyone. This is my fist time here and I'm not sure where to start. I am the girlfriend of a survivor. He was molested by an older women when he was young, a relatives neighbor. I just found out about all this last night and I am not sure what to do. Not because of his past experiance but because of how I found out. You see I found that he had been looking at child porn on his computer so I confronted him. We have been together 6 years (we are both 26) I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with him. Now he was destroying all that I feel like I can never raise a family with him, I would never trust him. I told him all this and more. Then he started to open up to me about what had happened to him and how it all started. Here is the thing a I am a very synical person and I am finding it very hard to belies anything he says is true or justified. He tells me what had happened and that the child porn thing started when he was younger he thinks he was trying to replace the images of this older women with one his age 13ish. That was just how he delt with it, he never told anyone and got help. He said when he met me things got so much better he thought he would be fine. But obviously I couldn't fix this, it was something he needed to work out (I told him this). I know people can over come these things and be fine but is this normal? Can he come back from this with help? Do I have a future? We have a great relationship on all levels. I just don't know why this is happening to me or him. What am I suppose to do. He says he would never act out those things but I can't trust that, can I? He needs some therapy or something but I don't know where to start or if I should even be trying to work through this. My life is at a cross roads and I have no idea where to turn. Any help or insight into this situation or where I can go for help would be appreciated beyond words. Bythe way sorry for the sloppy writting I am doing this on a phone.


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#302993 - 09/16/09 03:18 PM Re: [Re: ConfusedGF]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
.




Edited by Freedom49 (05/22/10 02:15 AM)

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#302998 - 09/16/09 04:03 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: Freedom49]
ConfusedGF Offline


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
To answer your question I love him more then anything. Which is why this is so hard. Part of me wants to run away and the other wants to help. He is an amazing person. Smart, loving, affectionate, everything I ever wanted. We have a great sex life, if that makes a difference. I don't know I'm probably grasping at straws. I am very releaved to here that his theory is not too far fetched.
I know about all the legalities and to tell you the turth the part of me that is afraid for my unborn children wishes the cops would bust in and tak him away, or that he would kill himself so that I could be absolved of all this. Now don't get me wrong about this it's not th fact that he was molested that
makes me feel this way. I want him to be able to come to terms with that in a positive constructive way. It's just very hard for me o come to terms with the way he has delt with it so far. It's hard for me to believe that this can be fixed, you know I have herd all the stories of the repeat offenders who were suppose to be cured or the guy next store who just seemed like any other person. I think I am going to need some therapy to.


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#303003 - 09/16/09 05:16 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
ConfusedGF Offline


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
So one of the things I told him last night was that I wanted him to get help for this and that though I was willing to be supportive and talk to him about anything I did not think that just talking to me was going to fix things. He doesn't seem to keen on actually talking to a therapist, prefering to find help online and through books. Is this ok for now? Should I be pushing for therapy? I just wish I could understand all of this better so that I could help him. I am so confused right now, allowing him this chance makes me feel like I am betraying myself and any little girl I might have. If he can get help and can get better do you think I will ever feel safe having a family with him? If anyone has had any experiance with something like this I would love to hear your thoughts. I am feeling a bit more positive knowing that it is a common response to act out the way he has. Still very hard to get passed it though.


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#303004 - 09/16/09 05:29 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
wifetryingtoheal Offline


Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 12
Dear ConfusedGF,

I am really sorry to hear of the crossroads you are at. I am in a similar situation for what it is worth for you. I was married to my husband for 7 years and found out about multiple affairs that eventually appeared to be about nothing but degrading sex. Over two years and continued individual and marital counseling and my husband telling more truths little by little...this is very much what he finally relayed to me. I had no idea he had been raped at 11 by a male and a few years later molested by a much older woman along with other life traumas as a child. He struggled with having thoughts or what we think now was flashbacks or triggers not sure but he would see a boy who reminded him of the boy who raped him or a boy who maybe reminded him of himself or a woman that seemed very promiscuous and drank alot and reminded him of the woman that molested him and he would feel a strong compulsion to act out sexually with that type of woman over and over. He describes it now as he was worried that he might act out with a man, or he might act out on a boy, or that he might feel the compulsion to rape a woman. He was very confused but he describes acting out sexually with woman over and over who seemed to want the degrading sex just as he did as the safest way to deal with his compulsive feelings. Seemed like a way to further degrade himself due to his low self esteem, a way to prove he was not gay, and a way to reenact what happened to him in a compulsive way as well as he describes some sort of relief feeling building up to acting out and then feeling like crap afterwards. He had looked at different porn such as boys being raped and women and so forth. It seems to make sense that he was very hurt and confused at a time in his life that he was a curious heterosexual boy beginning to deal with boy/girl issues and hormones and then lots of trauma that confused him. I understand your pain and confusion. I would describe my husband all these years as the best husband a woman could ask for who seemed to me to be the most loving and committed and our sex life too was nothing strange or bad or lacking. We had very loving, fun, and passionate sex. I have talked with the women to verify some things but yes I understand your huge question mark in your head. All I can say is I'm trying to give myself time to come to terms with everything as it has been a trauma for me too and is all very painful for everyone all the way around. Today he insists he knows he is heterosexual and seems to try very hard to understand all his confusing feelings. The main thing presently he is dealing with is anger that he doesn't know what to do with. I hope this helps and I would like to continue to stay in touch as I have yet to find anyone that I can talk to that has any clue what I am feeling as male survivors have limited resources in the way of support and I think their wives and partners and family have even less. My thoughts are with you.


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#303007 - 09/16/09 06:05 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
etat Offline


Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 15
I can only imagine that you are feeling very shocked right now, however, you may want to take a step back, evaluate your own feelings, and talking to a therapist could be very beneficial, as you mentioned for yourself. He's confided in you he's been through something, getting help is priority for him. When you indicate you wish the cops would just take him away or 'worse' to absolve you of all of this please think about what you are saying. This board is full of good men and families who work through CSA after-effects day in and day out for years to come. Some may have very well faced survival decisions, I for one wouldn't want a single precious one of them to make a choice like that because someone took advantage of their childhood.


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#303008 - 09/16/09 06:09 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: wifetryingtoheal]
ConfusedGF Offline


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
Thank you so much for your understanding and sharing. Most of what you said though different sounds exactly like what I am going through and what our partners are going through. One thing in particular about letting it build up acting on it then feeling like crap afterwards hits home pretty hard. You see these warning signs but you never know it because of lack of experiance. Once we fought over him looking at porn (normal porn haha weird to say) while I wasn't around, wasn't a big deal I just felt a little left out. Anyway he ended up telling me that he always felt really guilty and bad after he took care of himself. I thought it was odd told him their wasn't anything wrong with it and to get over it. I never would of thought their was a deep seeded reason behind him not be comfortable with self satisfaction. I wish I could of known more back then to try to get him some help.
How did you go about finding a therapist? I am afraid of bringing up these issues in person with someone. I fear they will pass judgement and think he is a monster (much like a part of me has) when I know in my heart he is a good person, or atleast I am really good at convincing myself of that half the time.
Why do things that seem so perfect have to be so flawed.


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#303009 - 09/16/09 06:22 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
ConfusedGF Offline


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
Etat
I totally didn't mean he should kill himself because he was abused. It because of what I saw last night what he was looking at. It was horrible to see and I can't help it if I feel like peole who take pleasure in that should not be around. Trust me I am trying very hard to look at this differently, if I wasn't I wouldn't even be here. I deffinetly wouldnt still be with him. I don't want to offend anyone but I am feeling very overwhelmed and emotional and disgusted because of what I saw and they way my life is turning out. I don't want to offend or hurt feelings but I think peolpe should be open to how I feel about this.


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#303011 - 09/16/09 06:39 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
wifetryingtoheal Offline


Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 12
Prior to all of this coming out, he had shared with me a long time ago that he had never masturbated and just never felt right about it. Sex was great, very loving, romantic, and passionate with no hang ups that I felt so I didn't think much of that. Signs like that I wish I had paid more attention to.
Therapy has been a real trick. We live in a rural area which really limits the level of expertise with male survivor issues etc. We've tried driving long distances to meet some and we've had to change therapists for those that are a better fit although not fully experienced in male survivor issues. We did see a link to one from this website that is within a couple hours of us which we are seeing next week and we finally have a sense of someone that has a real clue. I have taken what I could from the couple different ones we've seen in the way of support and guidance towards growth and insight. It has been very frustrating though. There is nothing either my husband or I both would really like than to have a group in our area for both of us but that just isn't available. Another thing I had tried was calling the state counseling listings for those with this expertise. We have slowly felt comfortable bringing up these very issues and it was hard. A therapist that has expertise is someone that you might feel safer with as we've had some advice from counselors that we know just doesnt feel right. One with expertise will for sure understand that he is not a monster...and by the way that is what my husband referred to how he felt about himself for his thoughts and always had an intense fear of anyone reading his mind and somehow just "knowing" he was that person. We had a sense of how we felt and trusted a counselor before opening up to them.
One thing I've done for myself is I don't hide my feelings much like it sounds you don't either from my husband in that if I'm doubting him I honestly share this with him in a respectful way(most of the time as sometimes I have a lot of anger with everything). I doubt him because of the amount of lies he has told and how he has drug out not telling the truth about so many painful things over the years. I don't know how to make it any more safe for him to do so, but today the lies feel more traumatizing in many ways than even his acting out with several women or thoughts of men. He has admitted some very difficult things, such as having kissed a man and planning on acting out with him but not being able to go through with it. Anymore I don't know what to believe as on the one hand I understand why he might have had a hard time and it took so much time for him to tell what he is saying is the complete truth...but just like the boy that cried wolf...I no longer know what to believe with him. I'm at that crossroads of just biding my time to see if something changes with my feelings because on the one hand just like you...I feel he is such a good man and I have great empathy for what he has been through and can even understand shame among other things driving his fears, lies, and compulsions. I feel if he is truthful he is the same good man that I fell in love with and think so highly of. But there has been so much hurt that clouds my knowing anything for certain...such as so many lies and lies about lies trying to cover up all of his acting out. Its hard to know. It was so painful trying to come to terms with my husband not being who I thought he was and felt I loved and trusted. I used to yearn for that innocent feeling of being in love with him then, now I just feel a little numb being at this crossroad and feeling uncertain with what to do.


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#303023 - 09/16/09 09:02 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: wifetryingtoheal]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Confused:
As a therapist who works with abusers (including men convicted of possession of child pornography), as well as male survivors, I can tell you that it's not a slap on the wrist for a wake up call if he is caught with these images.

The law, particularly the Feds, regards possession as a very serious crime and Federal law requires a mandatory 5-8 YEAR sentence in federal prison. They have to make a justification for terms less than that but these guys, particularly if caught by the Feds will serve 85% of the time.

If he thinks he can use programs to wipe the hard drive clean, the Feds have (and many state cops have as well) serious programs to recover data that is supposedly "guaranteed" to wipe out the illegal stuff. It dosen't work.

In any event, his past abuse is no excuse for these images (most in the field now refer to "kiddie porn" or child porn as "images of child sexual abuse" because that's what they are-- images of children being sexually abused.

He needs to get professional help to overcome this desire. It is not a do-it-yourself job. He can find a therapist to work on the underlying causes (his own sexual abuse that creates a desire to look at other children being abused) by checking in the Therapist Directory located from the home page. If there is no one near him that can help, he can call StopItNow (1 888 PREVENT) to find someone nearby who has experience in this area.

It sounds like there are other issues you can get help with from this forum but he will need to get rid of his hard drive rather than try to clean it up in case the authorities are on to him. Some of the suppliers of the porn are monitored and will sweep up the producers as well as the customers of this stuff.


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