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#35153 - 01/15/03 03:21 AM Re: How much do you tell?
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
Alan,

I told my wife that I was abused on our 28th wedding anniversary after I had been seeing a therapist for 2 months. I had told no one about the abuse for 38 years, no one. I answered her questions, told her as much as she wanted to hear. She was very supportive.

It took a few years before she learned of my other problems; pornography, sexual addiction, acting out. I told her about that in a moment of anger. It almost tore our lives apart. We're still together but it's been a lot of work to rebuild her trust in me. I would like to think that if I had been more forthcoming when I first told her about the abuse and how it had affected my life things would have been different. I was afraid of how she would react and I was ashamed of my behaviours. I understand now why I did the things I had done and she does too to some extent. She knows that I didn't tell her the whole truth right from the start and now she knows why. We're still dealing with it but we're still together and we still love each other.

Steve

_________________________
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

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#35154 - 01/15/03 12:31 PM Re: How much do you tell?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Wifey 1

Quote:
the info shared gave me something "tangible" to deal with rather than intangible....
Have you been talking to my Wifey ??

Dave ;\)

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#35155 - 01/16/03 12:14 PM Re: How much do you tell?
al Offline
Member

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 143
Loc: canada
Thanks allot guys for your input, it all helps. It's like you know there are others out there that have been through what you have, but that doesn't give you any insight into their daily, short-term and long-term coping mechanisms and how their spouses affect or are affected by those matters. I'm having a hard time finding words today so you'll have to bear with me \:\(

I feel guilty sucking up all the info here without sharing much of myself. So let me try to explain why I was asking this.

Marc and I have been together two years which to me is an entire lifetime. He has taught me how to live, love and laugh. Before Marc, these things did not exist. Nor did I in any real sense.

Marc knows more about my past than I have ever told him. He can tell by the ways I can't be touched, by the things I don't respond to, how the sound of a slamming door or a churchkey on a bottlecap or even a quick hand movement towards me can send me into an anxious panic attack that can last anywhere from an hour to a day or two. He sees the physical results of dream states, he knows when and how to wake me from the nightmares. He says sometimes I cry in my sleep. He knows how I will panic when the lights go out in a storm if we don't get the lamps lit quickly. I do not know how he knows all this stuff or how he knows what to do. He just does.

He tries to get me to talk, to tell him how I "feel". He tells me to try and let a little of the anger out. The problem is I spent so many years keeping the feelings turned off just so I wouldn't go completely insane. I really don't know how I feel. I just want it all to go away. I'm far from denying that the abuse took place....I would just like a little escape from it somtimes is all. I also have pyschotic episodes so sometimes I can't tell what's real and what's not, whether I'm dreaming or whether I'm awake. I have a notebook beside the bed now but I haven't written anything in it yet....my thoughts aren't always as liquid as words.

I told Marc last night that I feel guilty talking to you guys and not to him. First he laughed (he says I take things too seriously sometimes) then he suggested letting him read these posts which might open up communication between him and me. So fair warning guys, I might be confusing and I might be a pain in the eyes, but holy hell, I'm going to try to talk :rolleyes:

That said, it's time for my nap \:D

Alan

_________________________
Those who dance appear insane to those who cannot hear the music. Mark Kleiman

Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it. Winston Churchill

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#35156 - 01/16/03 02:03 PM Re: How much do you tell?
andrew-almost52 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/02
Posts: 243
Loc: canada
Dear Al, you are a very fortunate man to have found a guy like Marc. And I suspect he is lucky as well. Great name Marc .... same name & spelling as my son. Salute to you both. Peace, Andrew


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#35157 - 01/18/03 03:33 PM Re: How much do you tell?
Mark S Offline
Member

Registered: 08/25/02
Posts: 130
Loc: England
Hi Al.

I was slightly backed into a corner, re telling my partner of my abuse. I'm physically disabled and was abused/raped by a nurse whilst in hospital.

I was having an affair, with my Physio. When I had another (minor) head injury, understandably she wanted and was pushing for me to have a scan etc. Obviously I panicked. I started having flash backs and nightmares which she also found distressing. She wasn't stupid, she was well aware something was wrong. Though hadn't realised the extent of my abuse. I was in total crises and one evening when we were alone I told her.

Over the next few months I told her all but one aspect of my abuse and that wasn't truelly my abuse it was a coping mechanism. I was pleased I told her, I still am. (I honestly don't think I would be here today, had I not had her to guide me through the early stages of my recovery). When we made love she let me dictate what happened and at what pace. I had been so concerned at loosing control during sex and her understanding as to why allowed me to enjoy our relationship. Sadly we have now split up. I still don't regret telling her. I trusted her with my inner secrets then and I still do now. I would do the same again. She was the only person apart from my T who knew the details.

As for friends and family I have over the last two years told them all I was abused. Some I have told more than others but on the whole very few details have become knowledge. I try to answer questions when they arise but they just don't seem to arise. Helen seemed to want to know the details. I think she was aware of the fact I needed to tell someone, (it took a while for me to get into counselling and I was loosing it big time). Also with her working in hospitals I think she wanted to know what to watch out for.

I suppose at the end of the day it all comes down to trust and need to know. Not just trust in the person you are telling but also trust in yourself to judge who to tell.

One other thing. Initially I wanted someone to blame me and tell me I was disgusting. I suppose I felt both, (though now know I was neither). I was so disapointed when everyone accepted me and understood how I was feeling. It also explained a lot about the previous 15 years.

Sorry for rambling. Best of luck. ;\)

Mark


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#35158 - 01/19/03 09:59 PM Re: How much do you tell?
hlc Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 2
I'm sorry that this post is so long.
I'm a 20-year-old woman. Over the past year and a half I've become really good friends with this man that I work with. Five months ago we realized that our feelings ran deeper than that. At that time I had moved to New York, so even though we talked for hours every night on the phone, our relationship was never physical.

When I came home for Christmas, even though over the phone he had talked to me about how much he wanted to see me and needed to hold me, the first day that I was there, he got really tense and avoided touching me. He told me he needed to be alone. That I didn't understand, he couldn't be touched, he couldn't be around anyone.

The rest of the visit was good. I would sit next to him on the couch while we watched movies, and once he lay down and put his head in my lap and just had me hold him. And we did consummate our relationship.

But when I went back to New York, he got really distant, and one night he lashed out and told me he didn't care anymore, he wasn't in love with me, and he didn't want to be in a relationship. The next night he was really tender and tried to explain that he was dealing with this "Problem" that he has. He said I couldn't understand it, but that he wasn't well and that was why he couldn't deal with a relationship. That was why he'd been alone for the past three years.

He's 30, and he has never talked to anyone about this. He has never told anyone what the problem is. He said he couldn't tell me. He needed to deal with it alone. He said I couldn't understand what he's gone through and how fucked up his mind is because of this.

From things that he's said before and the way that he reacts to things, I've suspected for a long time that he was sexually abused as a child by his stepfather. He told me that he's been dealing with the Problem since he was seven, which is the same age he was when his stepfather came into his life. He has nightmares about his stepfather. He's told me his stepfather beat him, but he also said he "did things to me" that no one knows about. And one time when we were watching a tv show about a girl who killed her father and got off because he had abused her as a child, he told me that he could kill his stepfather and get away with it because of what he had done to him. He doesn't sleep at night.

When he left home at 17, he was in a string of relationships that were, as he's told me, just about fucking. He told me sometimes he would sleep with four different girls in one day. When I stayed with him at Christmas, he said he felt that I was pressuring him to have sex, but that the relationship was about more than sex to him. It was like he didn't understand that we could make love and still have a relationship that was about more than just "fucking."

He doesn't trust anyone. But he trusted me. He told me that I was his trust and that I couldn't understand how much it meant that he could trust me and relax around me. But now he's pulling away. He's told me he's afraid of becoming his stepfather -he thinks he is like his stepfather. He doesn't see the loving, courageous man that I see. He would often ask me why I was with him, he was just a pile of shit somebody had left by the side of the road. He would ruin my life. When we were talking about sex, he said he was used goods.

I love this man with all of my heart and I want him to be well and to be happy. Is there anything that I can do to help him? He told me yesterday that I can't understand and he doesn't want me to understand. I know that I can never know the pain and the fear that he suffers. I can never know for myself what happened and how that affected him, but I know him. He thinks I love him because I don't know any better, and that if I knew what had happened to him, I wouldn't love and respect him the way I do. But the thing is, I love the man that he is, not in spite of what he's gone through, but because of it.

He let me in; he let me get really close. I don't want him to shut himself away again and keep himself from letting people in because it's painful and because he's afraid of hurting the people he loves. Is there anything that I can do to help him?


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#35159 - 01/20/03 04:06 PM Re: How much do you tell?
Mark S Offline
Member

Registered: 08/25/02
Posts: 130
Loc: England
Hi hlc.

Your situation sounds very similar to the one I found myself in re: the post above yours. Helen, my ex was the first person I had trusted with the knowledge of my abuse. Much of what you wrote bought back some sad feelings for me. I was convinced she shouldn't love me, that I didn't deserve this beautifull womans love and when I told her of my abuse I was convinced whe would leave me. When things didn't work out, I was convinced (still am occassionally) that she was ashamed of me for not stopping it. Even though she has told me she is proud of me, I don't believe her.

The only advice I can give you is, give him time, be patient, let him explain things to you when he is ready too, be honest with him, if you are finding his story difficult and you need someone to talk to discuss it with him, (that one can be difficult but it is important to keep yourself safe. You can't be of any help to him if you are coping yourself). Maybe try to encourage him to see a therapist. And most of all hold him when he needs/wants to be held.

I wish you both well. ;\)

Mark


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#35160 - 01/20/03 09:23 PM Re: How much do you tell?
hlc Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 2
Mark
Thank you for your advice. What you shared in the previous post reminded me of my friend. You wrote that you were expecting someone to blame you and to be disgusted, and he feels the same way. I know I have to be patient. It's hard though, when all I want to do is to hold him and erase all of his pain. He's such a big, strong man, so in control and formidable, but I feel how afraid he is inside. He's breaking up inside.

Anyhow, it's been very helpful to read everyone's testimonies and to gain more insights on what he's going through. It also gives me hope that he can overcome this, too. I know he can.
Thank you


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#35161 - 01/21/03 07:57 PM Re: How much do you tell?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
hlc

Quote:
It also gives me hope that he can overcome this, too. I know he can.
With support like your's it's going to be a whole lot easier.

Dave \:D

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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