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#359336 - 04/11/11 02:56 PM Survivor Guilt (Disturbing and Triggering)
EmptyVessel Offline


Registered: 01/16/11
Posts: 19
My H has been doing alot of talking with me lately and it has been amazing. This question is particular to his situation in the fact that he escaped his hell through deadly force. He tells me that he feels like he was supposed to die during his ordeal but for whatever reason there was that moment. A moment of clarity, or a moment of loosened ropes, or whatever and he seized it and escaped. The memory of the lifeless face of his assailant is what haunts his dreams as much as the memories of the abuse. He feels like he shouldn't be alive, shouldn't have the life that he has. Marriage, two beautiful children, a moderately successful business built on his back and with his own two hands. I tell him that he should feel brave and I am amazed by him and his ability to survive and his ability to be the man I see and know. However, he does not take care of himself at all. He avoids the doctor, the dentist, the barber, clean clothes, etc. He will go without eating, he will drink to excess, engage in physically risky work environments. I know that he doesn't feel like he deserves to be taken care of. I know he wants to appear unattractive. He has told me these things. I guess, I just want to know how I can reach him and let him know that survival guilt is not uncommon. How to reach him and make him understand that his survival and the destruction of this monster not only saved his life but the lives of the ones that would have come after. (We feel very strongly that he was the victim of a serial killer.) How to make him understand that his survival is the basis of our lives, our marriage, and our children. That those things would not exist without his survival. I would love to hear from survivors about how they see this. Particularly those survivors of stranger/kidnapping attacks. I feel that the trust betrayal issues may be somewhat different between stranger vs. familial abuse. Meaning that the incestual betrayal of trust is a betrayal of what one might consider a sacred trust while being snatched off of the street and waking up in a basement is, well, it's just different. Although any responses will be greatly appreciated. As always, thank you for the support and to all who are here, continue to heal well.


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#359345 - 04/11/11 04:44 PM Re: Survivor Guilt (Disturbing and Triggering) [Re: EmptyVessel]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6401
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
All I can do is stand up and applaud him for surviving no matter what it took (NO MATTER WHAT IT TOOK!!!).

I applaud YOU for not dropping your rifle and running-off screaming. You are a true partner to a true survivor. You amaze me!

At the same time, I feel a great deal of pain and sadness for him. Clearly, given your de>
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Wishing You Were Here!

The Aftermath Video

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#359366 - 04/11/11 09:40 PM Re: Survivor Guilt (Disturbing and Triggering) [Re: Still]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
I am absolutely shocked that anyone would feel guilty for exercising self-defense.

I can't wrap my head around that.

_________________________
Female.

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#359414 - 04/12/11 09:31 AM Re: Survivor Guilt (Disturbing and Triggering) [Re: Disappointed]
EmptyVessel Offline


Registered: 01/16/11
Posts: 19
Robbie: Thank you for your reply. It is nice to be told that we are both amazing. I am amazed by him as well. He really is a kind and sweet man. I have been trying to get him to talk to someone other than me for the last 18 months since he disclosed. I appreciate your kindness and empathy esp. given your own situation. You have our support as well.

Disappointed: I am having a hard time with this as well. I try to put it into the perspective of our own children. What would he want them to do? What would he want me to do in the same situation? Survive! Survive! Survive! He is truly an amazing survivor. He is our hero!


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#359421 - 04/12/11 10:25 AM Re: Survivor Guilt (Disturbing and Triggering) [Re: EmptyVessel]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
EV,

Tell him to read Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged." He won't be able to feel this way ever again, after reading that book.

Also, one of my favorite quotes is by Adam Smith, the 18th century economist:

Mercy to the guilty, is cruelty to the innocent.

_________________________
Female.

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#359429 - 04/12/11 12:09 PM Re: Survivor Guilt (Disturbing and Triggering) [Re: Disappointed]
EmptyVessel Offline


Registered: 01/16/11
Posts: 19
That is one of my favorite books. I read it last year after his disclosure and I bring up a lot of its points all the time. It is truly a life changer if you are open to its message.


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