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#356819 - 03/16/11 11:29 PM Boyfriend Just Acknowledging Possibility of CSA
NOLA Girlfriend Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 16
Hi All,

I am a new member and this is my first post. I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for a little over eight months. Until two weeks ago, we were living together for about the last six months.

He is in his late 40s and has never been married or had much luck with long-term relationships. I'm currently his longest relationship. He has a history of issues with sex and intimacy, but we were able to have sex a few times a month. He also was very affectionate and loving.

He took me home to meet his family (out of state) at Christmas. The visit couldn't have gone better. We all got along well, and he seemed proud to show me off. However, when we returned home, I noticed that he was becoming distant and agitated with me. I didn't know why. We've had a rocky time since then. Two weeks ago, he took me back to his home state for an even longer visit with his family. Again, it was a wonderful trip. He recently commented that his family loved me, just as he does. However, again, as soon as we returned home, he pulled back but this time COMPLETELY. He moved out and said that he needed space. I've only seen him one hour in the past week and he has indicated that he would only be able to see me for a few hours this Friday evening and that he would not be staying over. On our daily calls, he says that he loves me and is committed to me for the long term, but becomes angry and irritated if I ask to see him.

He recently acknowledged that he has many symptoms of CSA, including all of the following:

Exaggerated “startle” response (jumping at unexpected noise or touch);

Anxiety;

Fatigue;

Gastrointestinal symptoms/distress;

Swallowing and gagging sensitivity (suffocation feelings);

Feelings of guilt or shame;

Physical risk taking;

Insomnia;

Nightmares (especially of pursuit, threat or entrapment);

Body spasms during sleep;

Difficulty touching;

Repulsion or aversion to being touched;

Difficulty with intimacy and relationships;

Difficulty showing any dependence on anyone (even a healthy interdependence with a mate);

Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others;

Boundary issues, control, power, territorial issues, fear of losing control;

Overachievement or compulsive overworking;

Sense of isolation and need to withdraw emotionally and/or physically;

Intense involvement in a relationship is often followed by abrupt withdrawal and isolation;

Alcohol or drug abuse;

Reduced ability to feel emotions, especially those associated with intimacy, tenderness, and sexuality;

Inability to have sex in intimate relationships (conflict between sex and caring);

Sexual dysfunction;

Erection problems or ejaculatory difficulty;

Avoidance of sex;

Sex feels like an obligation;

Detachment or emotional distance while having sex;

Sexual pursuit by partner feels like violation;

Difficulty with becoming aroused and feeling sensations;

Dissociative amnesia (repression of memory of trauma);

Difficulty concentrating;

Denial (on unconscious level) as a defense mechanism;

Wearing a “mask” (submerging true feelings behind a smile)

He still isn't sure that he is a survivor of CSA because he has no direct memories of abuse. Also, when he addressed these symptoms and the possibility of CSA with his therapist, the therapist told him it was unlikely because he is a "reflective" person and would have remembered it if it happened.

He has agreed to see someone else for an evaluation, but that hasn't happened yet.

Have any of you had a similar experience with a loved one who presents with many symptoms of CSA, but isn't sure that it happened? Also, do you have any advice on how to handle the mixed messages ("I love you" and am committed to "us" but I don't want to see you.) that I am receiving?

I'm scared that I'm losing the love of my life, and I don't know how to stop it.


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#356883 - 03/17/11 11:48 AM Re: Boyfriend Just Acknowledging Possibility of CSA [Re: NOLA Girlfriend]
aloved1 Offline


Registered: 02/22/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Texas
NOLA,

These certainly sound like a lot of symptoms of CSA! If he's willing to see a another therapist, maybe he should find one who specializes in CSA to get his/her perspective. It would be interesting to see what he/she has to say.

Well I can't relate on the "isn't sure that it happened" part because my boyfriend does know for a fact, however, I can relate on a couple of things from your posting. Again, many of the symptoms are present, particularly the feelings of guilt/shame, insomnia, feelings of detachment and difficulty with intimacy and relationships. And I can relate on the "I love you" but "I don't want to see you." That's the detachment that is very common with CSA survivors. Early on in our relationship, we were still in different apartments and he did the whole "running" thing, saying he didn't want to see me anymore. I had no choice but to back off (in fact when they are triggered, it's important to back off!! It was just much harder to do in those days as I didn't understand CSA as much as I do now). I'd say a good 3 months went by and we were back together. Has he done this since? Yes ma'am. But nowhere near the 3 month period since those early days. Again, it's detachment and very common to CSA. I'd say read up and educate yourself on this, but I guess first would be coming to the realization that this indeed happened to your bf or not.

Also, one thing the therapist pointed out that held true. My bf was triggered whenever big commitment steps were taken. We moved into my apartment, trigger. We got a house together, trigger. We got a dog together, trigger. This past Christmas, he expressed in front of my entire family that he indeed has plans for us and that he isn't going anywhere, TRIGGER! Again, I have to give him his space and he's come back each time, working and fighting to break free from some of these things. I'm sharing this with you because you meeting his family was a big step for you guys. A big commitment step! And this is probably freaking him out.

With the extensive list of symptoms you mentioned, it is my hope that he does see another T. No one deserves to live with such chains. But do please take time for yourself as well. Give him his space. I know it's hard and I know it does feel like you are losing your love. But stepping back and offering your love and support may be just what he needs to keep moving forward.

Good luck and keep us posted!


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#356885 - 03/17/11 12:36 PM Re: Boyfriend Just Acknowledging Possibility of CSA [Re: aloved1]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
NOLA,
The I love you but don't want to see you is something I have had a hard time with... I just talked with him about that, cause hard for my mind to rationalize...just another part you can not take personally. Aloved is right though and you will receive so much support on MS and read over and over again that you have to give to yourself during these times. Sometimes I feel good and strong when he distances but other times the fear I feel is almost too much... Sorry for what you are both going through!


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#356894 - 03/17/11 03:03 PM Re: Boyfriend Just Acknowledging Possibility of CSA [Re: sally123]
NOLA Girlfriend Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 16
aloved1, thank you so much for your insight and advice. I keep telling him that he is not alone, and I now realize that I'm not alone either. He is going to see another therapist who has experience with CSA tomorrow. I'm hopeful that he will get the validation he needs there.

The part about the triggers upon major events makes so much sense to me. This is the first time that the "light switch" has been turned completely off, but I do think that he's feeling pressure from himself and maybe his family, friends and me, to make a more permanent commitment to me. I can see why that would cause the super-TRIGGER. I know that he loves me, and it is quite painful to see HIM in distress. It's a natural reaction to want to comfort someone you love when they are hurting, but apparently, with CSA, the "comfort" that they need is distance. I need to keep reminding myself of that.


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#356895 - 03/17/11 03:09 PM Re: Boyfriend Just Acknowledging Possibility of CSA [Re: NOLA Girlfriend]
NOLA Girlfriend Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 16
sally123, thanks for your support and kind words. You mentioned that you just talked to him about the "I love you, but don't want to see you" thing. Would you mind sharing his response? I guess I'm wondering just what it feels like to him because I know that my boyfriend wouldn't intentionally hurt me. I'd love to hear from a survivor what emotions they feel when they feel the need for distance. I wonder if they want to be with their loved one, but are experiencing such panic that they physically can't make themselves do it or if they just decide that they want to forget about the relationship (i.e., avoid the issue) for a while because it's too taxing on them emotionally and physically.


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#356908 - 03/17/11 04:27 PM Re: Boyfriend Just Acknowledging Possibility of CSA [Re: NOLA Girlfriend]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Well, most of the time I express hurt he just looks at me confused and sad... He just doesn't get it... He WANTS to...he can't put himself into my shoes in these situations. I'm not sure he misses me, well, I don't think he feels in the same way (maybe an obvious fact but...) We're all on here trying our best to understand and love... PM if ya ever want to chat! Best wishes


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#356954 - 03/18/11 12:58 AM Re: Boyfriend Just Acknowledging Possibility of CSA [Re: sally123]
hopeandtry Offline


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 476
Ladies, I haven't posted on the boards much in awhile because I've been taking some time for myself. However, I just wanted to say that I've been on MS for quite a while now and if anyone ever needs to PM me, feel free. Also, if anyone is interested in having a group in chat maybe once a week or something, let me know and maybe we can plan that.


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#357032 - 03/18/11 06:52 PM Re: Boyfriend Just Acknowledging Possibility of CSA [Re: hopeandtry]
NOLA Girlfriend Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 16
Thank you hope4him, I love your screen name. I would be interested in having a group chat with other GFs and wives. Just let me know if anyone else takes you up on this offer.


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#357041 - 03/18/11 08:17 PM Re: Boyfriend Just Acknowledging Possibility of CSA [Re: NOLA Girlfriend]
hopeandtry Offline


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 476
I posted about meeting in chat in a separate thread a few minutes ago. I can meet in chat tonight or some other times if those interested will let me know (also, indicating what time according to Eastern Standard would be helpful).


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