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#35579 - 04/05/05 04:14 PM feeling cowardly
bkeithb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 63
Loc: Milwaukee
After making a baby step last week (by calling some counselors in my area) ... I feel like I've taken a step backwards this week in this whole recovery process.

See, in order to be able to spend the money to see the counselor, I need to first share the SA with my wife. We do not make major spending decisions without telling the other (and therapy qualifies, I've found). But, I find it incredibly difficult to broach the topic of my SA with her. Impossible, really! I'm a complete coward about opening up to her.

Then I begin to "rationalize" and justify it all. I think, ... well, I've gone 25+ yr. without telling a soul ... I've done alright ... been married 17+ yr. without telling her ... and we're still together ... what's the point?

Damn that Michael Jackson! If he weren't in the news, I'd never started thinking about this crap again. Don't you just hate it when reality slaps you upside the face and dares you to do something about it?

Thanks for letting me "rant" a bit this morning ...

_________________________
bkeithb

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#35580 - 04/05/05 04:36 PM Re: feeling cowardly
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
bkeithb - Ranting? This is the place to "work through" your stuff! You are working through some important decisions for your recovery...rant, vent, question...we're hear to listen and support you. Have confidence, many of us married guys have had to walk that walk! It isn't easy but the benefits of recovery are "too marvelous for words" !!! Good Luck!!

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#35581 - 04/05/05 04:36 PM Re: feeling cowardly
theo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 1117
keith,
this may sound flippant, but it works...slap it back.

i have been through dante's nightmares in the last year and what finally started working was taking my life back on my terms. it was a case of whup ass, iron balls, and the final peice of the puzzle, my name change. all of that has worked towards my gaining control of my life on my terms while still pursuing recovery. eye of the tiger, keith. i know how hard it is, and i know your post was mainly a rant...but when you are fully ready you are going to whip out your own case of it and start popping those tabs. i am here if you need me.

_________________________
journey well,
theo dewolfe

- It is gift, and gift will find its way
- I inherit through my choice. I build through my affirmation. It is through my freedom that I nurture, or fade into autonomy
- I was not given to serve life, but to embrace it

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#35582 - 04/05/05 05:46 PM Re: feeling cowardly
Moving on Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 5
Loc: Maryland
I just wanted to say that I feel the same way about MJ. Right now, the man makes my skin crawl. For all of us, I hope he gets what he has surely earned. What is unfortunate is the detailed de>

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#35583 - 04/05/05 05:50 PM Re: feeling cowardly
Aden Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 499
Dear wife,

I have a problem that has been bothering me for a long time, for which I need professional counseling. Thank you for understand that this is an economic decision that I must make on my own.

PS: I love you.


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#35584 - 04/05/05 08:42 PM Re: feeling cowardly
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
bkeithb, If I remember rightly, you said you are a minister.

This is a profession, where you are so frank and honest with your flock, the ability to listen, and share.

Going around with all the burden of not telling a soul about this, sure is a massive burden, is it any wonder that none of us really want to tell our loved ones.

We always wonder what the outcome may be, but in order to seek the help you need, then I think your wife will back you, as she loved you enough to marry you.

Write her a letter, and leave it for her to find when she is alone, tell her how the embarrassment and fear has kept you quiet for so long, and ask her to keep the secret close.

It sucks, but at least she may have some input into therapy with you, and it may just be the biggest step, but the most positive step you can make.

Any girl who I managed to tell, were really caring towards my plight,

Good luck,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#35585 - 04/05/05 10:59 PM Re: feeling cowardly
bkeithb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 63
Loc: Milwaukee
As usual - thanks for support and encouragement, friends.

Theo - good idea about "slapping back" when reality slaps us in the face. Not there yet ... but someday \:\) .

Aden & Reality2k4 - I like the idea of writing her a letter about this (others have suggested via PM). However, I'd still have to face her eventually ... (ha).

And yes, I am a minister ... and this is a burden I'm carrying at the moment. If I were counseling myself, I'd tell me to seek professional help and that my relationship with my wife would likely be strengthened through sharing. It all sounds so reasonable in my head ... but my heart keeps saying "bury it back where you had it before and move on!"

So, I'll have to really think & pray about this move. I guess if I'm gut-level honest about it, I don't want my wife to think less of me. What she thinks/feels about me "matters" intensely to me. Will she ask the questions I ask myself? "Why didn't you say "No" ... (esp. when I was a teen with the teacher)? " ... "Are you homosexual ... bi-sexual?" ... etc.

I have every reason to believe she will be loving and supportive. But it still scares me half to death. Also, because it is like the proverbial toothpaste squeezed out of the tube ... once out, can't put it back in!

_________________________
bkeithb

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#35587 - 04/06/05 04:29 PM Re: feeling cowardly
Rustam Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 471
Loc: UK
bkeithb,

I am a bit late to this. When I first told someone it was my partner. I was so shame filled and guilty that I told her as though I was confessing some terrible wrong I had done. I expected her (not in my head but at a feeling level) to reject me and as I told her white faced with fear of her judgement she visibly recoiled from me. It was the way I told her not what I told her, she was just picking up on my feelings of self-disgust and self blame. Looking back it would have been better had I told someone neutral first like a t so that when I told her I would have not have been coming with such a distorted perspective. She was distant for some time before she figured out that I was not dirty and guilty or a damaged freak because of what happened to me. I donít know if its possible to tell your wife that you need to do some counselling without telling her the reason, it might be a possibility for you.

Its only natural to feel this fear, good luck with whatever you decide,


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#35588 - 04/06/05 08:01 PM Re: feeling cowardly
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Keith, been thinking on this one, rustam has good points to make.

It is a massive step to have to go through, and maybe a good T could give guidance.

You have this massive burden, but it does not get any lighter, you sure wish you could just face it head on and tell her, but not so sure of the outcome.

Thing is though, that if you let it go on, it just causes so much mental sh*t, because of maybe the outcome, one way or another though, she is gonna have to find out someday.

Imagine the relief when it does.

I do not know your wife or your relationship with her, but I can imagine this crap has done harm to what should be normal life to you both.

How about phoning a good marriage counsellor, and seeing whether they can give you a sway on this, you are bound to come across one with experience of this,

good luck,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#35589 - 04/06/05 10:37 PM Re: feeling cowardly
bkeithb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 63
Loc: Milwaukee
Reality & Rustam ... (and all)

Thanks for the support and suggestions.

I posted "My Story" under "Survivor Stories" today. My thinking is that, perhaps, by writing it out, I could get in my head what I do and don't want to share. A sort of dry run?


I'd appreciate anyone looking at it and giving me PM feedback as to if I reveal too much or if this would be suitable to share with my wife.

Thanks again for everything!

_________________________
bkeithb

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#35590 - 04/07/05 02:05 AM Re: feeling cowardly
Dan01 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/21/02
Posts: 18
Loc: S. California
Hi, bkeithb
I read your post in 'my story'. You are very couragous, I know it takes alot of strength to talk about all this garbage. It will get easier and easier as you continue to discuss it more often. I was abused by my step father from age 4-12. He made me have sex with other people, including my sibblings. At the beginging of my recovery I thought I would die if enyone ever new. It was an awfull feeling to even think about. I would feel so sick I thought I would lose my mind. But when I got it out in the open, first with a therapist then with my wife and eventually even in groups I've attended. It seemed to lose its power. Its as if, at first we feel like it is unmentionable, especially because we worry about what will people think of me, will they think im gay or bi or whatever? I have found that my wife has much respect for me. She has said she admires my courage to be able to handle all this garbage and still manage to be a pretty decent guy, Not perfect by any means I still have some problems with depression and anxiety and so fourth but over all we will overcome. I have come to realize that most everyone has some skeleton in their closet, its part of this fallen world we live in and most people are usually understanding when it comes to victims. Even though you were 16 at the time of the abuse it is very understandable that you did not know how to react to this inapropriate behaviour. You where a victim of this sick adult. Take your time and talk about it here, it is a safe forum. And when the time is right you can talk about it with your wife. I never gave my wife everylast detail of the abuse, I told her general things and was very honest but, I left out alot of the gory details. I explained to her that I didnt want to burden her with all the garbage and she understood, I didn't want her Having all that in her mind. As it could be very disturbing. The gory details I usually leave for my therapist. Or someone who can relate ususlly people who have gone through SA and are in recovery.
Best wishes, Dan


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#35591 - 04/07/05 03:16 AM Re: feeling cowardly
Pete2004 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 958
Loc: North Carolina
BKB:

I am so sorry about what happened to you in your youth. I can identify with much of what you went through as well as struggling to share with your wife. As a fellow Christian, I can relate to and appreciate the need to disclose to your wife before you begin investing in therapy. I am struggling with the T issue and disclosing to my wife as well. However, I think we both need someone with experience to assist us in disclosing the details to the most significant friend we have on this earth. Someone who can help us and our wives put our abuse in context and properly address the natural fears that will crop up in their minds. I recemmend that you seek counseling and then disclose.

Hope this helps... PM me anytime.

Regards,

Pete

_________________________
There is a destiny that makes us brothers;
No one goes his way alone;
What we send into the lives of others,
comes back into our own. (Edwin Markham)

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#35592 - 04/07/05 05:20 AM Re: feeling cowardly
ShyBear Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/05
Posts: 149
Loc: The American South
bkeithb,

As a minister, you might find some strength / hope / comfort in a post I wrote back on 2/26, in which I quote John 8:32 : "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."

If you want to read the entire post, click here .


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#35593 - 04/07/05 05:37 AM Re: feeling cowardly
subdeacon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/12/04
Posts: 83
Loc: Florida
BKB,

It might help to talk to someone neutral first, to get used to putting it in words that can come more naturally when you speak to your wife...when the monster has been shackled a bit. There is always fear about how the other person is going to react..and you'll have to be prepared to let their reaction be their reaction. I have told people close to me and it has been an important and wonderful thing...others didn't know what to do with the information....at first...and came to it from their own perspective and in their own time. I didn't like at all how they might have first taken it, but as they got around to acceptance, it became OK.

Have you thought of talking with another minister about this? I don't know what church you are in, but in mine we have a confessional (and I'm not saying this is confession of sin...no way at all), and we have spiritual direction. The Irish would call it an anam cara...a soul friend. The point is that another minister is bound to keep things confidential...may have experience dealing with these things with others, and may be able to direct you to a good counsellor who shares your beliefs and could help you broach the subject with your wife in a gentle and most beneficial way. And a minister's advice is free \:\) .

Remember most of all that the Lord bears all of our burdens...if we ask. It came as a surprise when I finally realized in my heart, rather than my intellect, that if I wanted consolation from God...all I had to do was ask. He respects us enough not to force Himself on us, but He reminds us enough so that we finally have to say "help." Read the parables, read the stories of the healings in the New Testament. Ask Him and the way will be made clear. It isn't always the way we think it should be, but it's always what we need. Didn't mean to preach to the choir, though. I've applied to seminary and maybe I've got preaching on the brain right now! God's peace be with you and His love as well.

in Him,
Philip

_________________________
"By way of trials and sufferings we must purify the divine image in us...for it is by reforging our senses in the furnace of our trials that we free them from defilement and assume our royal dignity. --Abba Philimon

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#35594 - 04/07/05 04:04 PM Re: feeling cowardly
bkeithb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 63
Loc: Milwaukee
Wow! What a place of encouragement and support!

Thanks to all who, either by posting replies or sending PMs, have reached out to me. It was very difficult to write even the abbreviated version of my story. Felt like I was stepping outside of myself and watching it happen to someone else ... wanting to stop it ... but helpless to do so. You know? (I'm betting you do)

But it was cathartic in a real way as well. I can only believe that when (not if) I finally get the courage to share with my wife ... a therapist ... that it will be equally cathartic.

Thanks again for the encouragement and support of all here. I pray I, too, can one day do the same for others.

_________________________
bkeithb

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#35595 - 04/07/05 05:42 PM Re: feeling cowardly
phoster Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
i'm sounding in late, but maybe you dont have to tell her yet. maybe tell her you've been struggling with depression or whatever. be generic, and say you feel you need to talk to someone. then when you are ready you can tell her. it took me months to finally get it out, in a letter left on the dining room table for her to find. wow, i've come a long way from that!

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#35596 - 04/07/05 09:38 PM Re: feeling cowardly
Splitting Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 62
Keith
God bless you in your work. I startedmy journey 7 months ago and it is a challenging road. I have run 18 marathons and nothing compares to this pain.

Well almost nothing. The greater pain for me now is to be able to look back and to see just howpervsive this crap hs been in my life. Every aspect of my life has bee tainted by it. I am responsible for $millions every day, yet I coward at the thought of returning something to a retail store for a refund.

I just lothe the way I used to treat my wife and not be able to give 100% to my daughter. I sometimes just want to hurt myself beyond comprehension because of the affair I had. It ended 12 months ago and my wife and I are still tgether and committed to mking a quality life together.

I do think that you will be amazed at the incredibl intamacy that you will experience with your wife once you tell her. It will prepare her for the battle that you have started. Once the battle is started it is tough to stop it. Your fear of abandonment and disgrace is shared by all of us. It is completely undeserved. You desserved better than being abused and your deserve more out of the rest ofyou lefe.

Fight the good fight!

I am really struggling with rligion. I know that God's grace is a true gift and that "salvation" is in place. I just do not think that he gives a crap about me on earth. The I read Psalms 3. It has a special meaning to me. I will share tat with you later this evening when I get home from work.

Thanks for listening.

Danny


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#35597 - 04/07/05 10:05 PM Re: feeling cowardly
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
I think the above post is so correct, I know this girl who lives in Germany, she knows my past and I see here maybe only once a year.

She always asks me to come and live with her in Germany, and even though I can pick up the language so easy, and I so much would love to do it, I just feel so stuck in the rut I make for myself.

I always think that I will not be able to make it over there, yet I can build and program computers, and pretty high up in mathematics and software.

Sometimes though, my mind does not work right, and I need to be alone, but she knows all that and she still loves me, but I have always to be sure of the next step in life, because I make so many mistakes along the way.

My past always holds me back, it is like saying, don't take any more chances, look where it got you.

When Monica comes to see me, adn she is due anytime, I just want to go with her, if she comes at christmas, she makes my christmas so worthwhile, without the hurt I normally feel.

I know, that I am talking about me, and not you, but think about what you have between yourself and your wife, think about maybe the differences between you, adn the distance that may have grown through not disclosing to her, and she may think things are her fault that you are not the same any more.

Maybe I speak like a child, I spend so much time in there, that it makes sense, I wish I could have structured your letter, and maybe if you want me to I will.

I think that when you marry, you take a vow of not holding secrets between you and your wife, in Gods view he will not have seen this secret as annulment of your vows with your wife, he would understand, it is only what I find from talking with missionaries, but it is something I always remember from being a boy.

You will have to retake your vows, just to reinforce them with God, or just go to reconcilliation,

My mind is not so good at the moment and it takes me ages to type this, sorry about spelling,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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