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#407116 - 08/17/12 04:04 PM Re: Should I bother trying to friend this guy? [Re: supergirl1980]
Haps Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
***TRYING TO STAY OUT BUT I COULDN'T WARNING***

(sorry, not poking fun at the very real need for trigger warnings here, but had to make fun of myself. hope that came across)

Cant_Remember - You make a wonderful point. Caring people are needed for ANYONE to recover from ANYTHING, and CSA is no different. I'm only making small strides to understand my role in the matter with my CSA partner and how I can best position myself to help him. It's a sticky, tricky dance. And I'm about to project a shit load of my own situation into this thread.

SuperGirl - I have to admit, I was warned early on in my relationship with my partner that he was "a mess" and I should steer clear. (Hindsight has this mutual 'friend' having issues of his own and deflecting!) I chose not to heed that advice. I'm not sure I would have run, honestly, but I wish I was prepared for what was in store for the past 6 years. I'm in my mid-30's. My partner is in his early 40s. He was abused from 8 - 18 by a family member.

Fast forward one year ago... my life feel apart. My own issues crept up as his reared their ugly head like I had never scene before. We're talking ugly fights (yes, a few fists), abandonment, emotional/verbal abuse, family and friends pulled in, yada yada...

Nine months ago I went to Al-Anon and started EMDR therapy. I grew up in an (dry) alcoholic family and have a background in mental health, so it didn't surprise me that I had some trauma-related issues to work through myself. I had no idea how the roots of my own codependency were so deep. I did have to save my partner to save my own self worth. I used HIM to feel good about myself. If he was happy, I was a success. If he was working, I was calm. MY life had spun out of control, and I was SO focused on him I didn't even see it happening DESPITE having lived this patter in prior relationships. This relationship just went further than any of the others.

So, what's my point here? Hang in...

First, YOU MUST TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF here. No ifs, ands, or butts. Eat, exercise, sleep, socialize with YOUR friends. If you find yourself thinking about him more than you should, PLEASE listen to us and take those steps back. Your posts really resonate with me and strike my codependent chords. Are you cd? I have no clue! wink I've written graduate papers longer than what you've provided here, so I can't really judge, but know that folks who are VERY in touch with themselves here are having a strong reaction.

Second, look at your past relationships and friendships. Do you do more than your share of the work in them? If you TRULY believe that your relationships and friendships are equal, balanced, and healthy, then I might support you in supporting him. If you have a TWINGE of anything in your gut as a result of that introspection, STEP THE HELL BACK! Yes, he might be a great guy, but YOU might not be ready for this.

Third, check out an open AA meeting or Al-Anon meeting in your area. They're REALLY great groups. I'm not telling you to work the program, I'm asking you to talk with people who are in recovery and people who have been a bit closer to these situations. Arm yourself with knowledge before you become too involved.

Fourth, make sure your emotional house is in order. Many of us supporters have found ourselves up past our eyeballs before we knew what hit us because the process happens so gradually and we had little/no baseline by which to compare what was going on. Do you have friends that you can get down and dirty emotionally with? Supporting this guy might just bring some of your own "emotional corks" to the top of your "psychological pool". Be ready for that. Have your system in place. If you start to find yourself getting pulled in too far, reach back out for help. Post here. Attend and Al-Anon meeting. *DO NOT* look to your new friend for help/support - he's not there to give it to you.

Finally, make sure you have your emotional boundaries in order. If this guy is where you say he is, you're going to be making some very large emotional deposits in a friendship bank. He will probably NOT be able to pay you back for a while, if ever. Are you okay with that? Do you have a system in place where you can borrow emotional money? Boundaries you put in place NOW will help you from going emotionally broke LATER. I'm not joking on this one. It happens slowly... I literally went emotionally and financially bankrupt before I knew the monster had TWO names - CSA (his) and codependency (mine).


So... all of that said, I hope it comes across okay for everyone here knowing that there's a LOT of my own personal crap in there. smile I just wish someone would have sat me down like a good little boy and said "Now, Haps. ::pat on the head:: It's nice and sweet what you're doing, but here's a tiiiiiny preview of coming attractions."


And, all of that out of the way, I do really admire your willingness and desire to reach out to someone who's genuinely suffering. I REALLY hope that he wants to get better. Everyone deserves health and happiness, and this board is FULL of such great people that it made my own personal work so much easier to find more health and happiness for myself. I welcome you to this fold, but PLEASE educate yourself and arm yourself with knowledge along the way.

All the best!

...oh, and don't give him money. Oh, wait... *I* shouldn't have given my P money. DAMN!!!!

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#407124 - 08/17/12 05:57 PM Re: Should I bother trying to friend this guy? [Re: supergirl1980]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 415
I am so sorry Canít remember. I donít even have to try very hard to figure out how awful it must be to be a survivor and read what we supporters are saying to this woman. It is probably especially vexing to survivors who haven't acted out. I wish you guys who are working on healing, and for many of whom, can attribute your success thus far, to having a loved one help you through it, didnít have to read this. Itís the part about MS I hate. I worry about setting you guys back. But then there are cold hard realities associated with loving and supporting a survivor.
Iíll only state my facts.
1. I wouldnít wish this last year and a half of my life on my worst enemy.
2. I believe in complete honesty and what I tell the strangers on this board is no different than what I would tell my own daughter, mother, sister or friend.
3. I only advocated bolting under any circumstances IF he wasnít getting help. Itís not her job to put her life on hold while (if?) he gets it together enough to go.
The other commenters talked about co-dependency. It is in Supergirls best interest to address this issue pronto if indeed it describes her. Weíll shoo her away from this gentleman only for her to turn around and get involved in an equally unhealthy relationship.
I frequently dissuade posters on here who are not married to their partner (who is not seeking help) to flee. You canít help someone who isnít helping himself. You cannot do it. One emotionally sick partner makes for a sick relationship. The math will never add up differently.
Years ago I worked with a girl who I suspected was being physically abused. I told her in a matter of fact voice, ďWhen you are ready to leave, call me. Iíll do whatever I can to help you.Ē
She called a few months later. The staff rallied around her securing household goods, contacting domestic violence centers etc.
She already knew her situation was messed up! There is nothing I could have done to help her until she was ready to walk. Itís the same situation with CSA survivors. Wives sometimes have some leverage (I told him I cannot stay in a marriage with a person who knows he has a problem and isnít working to fix it) but Supergirl doesnít have that. Sheís asking to potentially bang her head against a wall for a very, very long time! Who would advocate for someone to do that? You can be compassionate without entangling your life and emotions with someone broken.
It sounds awful. It is awful. But it would be reckless of me to advise anyone to jump into a similar hell hole like I am in.
_________________________
Wife of a survivor

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#407146 - 08/18/12 12:55 AM Re: Should I bother trying to friend this guy? [Re: supergirl1980]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1039
I know you ladies mean well, but someone needs to tell Supergirl some practical advice, as she seems to have her mind made up that she wants to help and stop pathologizing her attempt at altruism by calling it co-dependancy.

Goal #1 should be to keep Mark out of prison. It's not co-dependent of anyone to want to see someone get help without his life getting ruined.

I've had women run from me when I told them I was CSA, even when I was in therapy and trying my best. I'm 35 and single, and resigned to it. To read the advice from women here telling supergirl to run, it hurts -- because you would have supported the women who ran from me, too. Because I wasn't worth it, either.
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#407154 - 08/18/12 06:13 AM Re: Should I bother trying to friend this guy? [Re: supergirl1980]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
cant remember - no one is saying this guy isn't worth it, we are questioning if she is the best person to help him, and it is utterly irresponsible given what we know, to recommend her down this course of action. This man is in terribly pain and clearly needs help, but it is not moral or ethical to advise her to be the one to take it one if she is not suited for the job.

And for the record, Supergirl has received the best damn practical advice she can get and from people in the trenches no less. She is not a survivor, she is looking to sign on as a partner, and we know of which we speak.

Here's a thought: Supergirl, you say you have a great boyfriend with his act together. Have you discussed this with him? What are his thoughts? Have you thought about how your involvement with Mark might affect that relationship? There's a great pull in feeling "needed", but if it tips into dangerous territory, it will affect your relationship.

My suggestion: discuss with your boyfriend the situation with Mark and how you are thinking of getting involved. Then bring him to this site, show him this thread, and have a conversation about it. Your boyfriend, or even a best girlfriend for that matter - someone who knows you best - might be able to help you think through this situation where you can then make an informed decision for yourself.

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#407158 - 08/18/12 09:26 AM Re: Should I bother trying to friend this guy? [Re: supergirl1980]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1039
Val,

You can't deny what you've already written. Typing in all caps, "YOU CAN'T SAVE HIM," and then turning around and saying, "no one is saying this guy isn't worth it," is pretty damn rich. If you're going to say it, own it. You don't think he's worth it.

And while you're arm-chair psychoanalyzing Supergirl as co-dependent, it might be worth pointing out that you're projecting your situation onto her's, which could be totally different.

I know you must really love your husband, or else you wouldn't be in here struggling to make it work -- but how come that's not the advice that comes out?

One thing you said, Val, that makes sense is this: if Supergirl tells Mark that she "knows," it could certainly cause a class-A freak out. Oh God, could it ever. But there's a way of handling this, I think, that dodges that bullet.

All Supergirl needs to say is something like, "So, the DUI is one thing, but combined with the prostitution thing? And these other things that I've noticed about you? Maybe they're all symptoms of the same problem. From what I've heard and read about, it seems like all these could be the same symptoms of men who was sexually abused when they were kids. Did something like that happen to you? If so, you're not alone. There's help for it."

Then, all he has to do is nod his head.

Of course, yes, he could still freak out. But it's addressing the issue without revealing direct knowledge of it, and I think that's the important thing.

What Mark needs is a good lawyer and a therapist to do some intake sessions and then to act as an expert witness before the judge to divert Mark away from prison and into 1) an in-patient recovery program, followed by 2) a 12-step group like SAA and 3) some serious talk therapy and maybe 4) meds.

Every survivor is worth it; and anybody can save anybody else.
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#407159 - 08/18/12 10:18 AM Re: Should I bother trying to friend this guy? [Re: supergirl1980]
Haps Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
Cant_Remember-
Where were ya when things started on my end? wink I like your slow and steady approach. I do admit to my own projection here. And, I do like your suggestion of an approach that's both supportive and safe without going all out like I have. I can be a slippery slope, and starting on that slope with good shoes with a good footing can make a huge difference, I'm sure.

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#407164 - 08/18/12 11:56 AM Re: Should I bother trying to friend this guy? [Re: supergirl1980]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 682
Loc: NJ
I disagree. No one can save someone else. We can only be supportive and encouraging and loving. Telling someone who has fixer tendencies that they can indeed save someone else, is like telling a crack addict that one more hit won't hurt. It's irresponsible.

Every supporter on this site CARES and WANTS TO HELP. Every outcome though is different - and this is ONLY because of the survivor's willingness to save themselves. It is the key.

Supergirl - stand firm, offer support but know that you are not a fixer for this problem and, if you don't maintain that boundary, you quickly become an enabler.

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#407169 - 08/18/12 01:37 PM Re: Should I bother trying to friend this guy? [Re: supergirl1980]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1039
Would you still disagree if it was you who needed saving?
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#407170 - 08/18/12 01:56 PM Re: Should I bother trying to friend this guy? [Re: cant_remember]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
Originally Posted By: cant_remember
You can't deny what you've already written. Typing in all caps, "YOU CAN'T SAVE HIM," and then turning around and saying, "no one is saying this guy isn't worth it," is pretty damn rich. If you're going to say it, own it. You don't think he's worth it.

And while you're arm-chair psychoanalyzing Supergirl as co-dependent, it might be worth pointing out that you're projecting your situation onto her's, which could be totally different.


Cant_remember - We all project and you are doing no less here. You are coming at it from the survivor perspective and not considering the partner at all.

But understand that my saying Supergirl cannot save Mark while also saying he is worth saving ARE NOT mutually exclusive concepts. Mark is worth saving, but he has to save himself. She cannot go into it thinking she can do the work for him.

And my husband and I have been together 12 years trying to tackle this while Supergirl is in another relationship with someone else and needs to understand the commitment involved.

I whole heartedly agree with you that every survivor is worth saving. And I appreciate your advocacy for the survivor, I truly do. I utterly disagree though that every partner is up to the task.

Supergirl: the truth is somewhere in between. Do the research, be informed, and think very long and hard about this before you proceed.

And with that, I am done here.


Edited by Valkyrie (08/18/12 01:57 PM)

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#407174 - 08/18/12 02:50 PM Re: Should I bother trying to friend this guy? [Re: supergirl1980]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 682
Loc: NJ
It's a funny expression - to need saving.

It's an opinion, open to each person's moral criteria. My friend has a loser boyfriend, does she need saving? My uncle is an alcoholic, does he "need" saving? Saving could become a full time job if you look around.

I followed my husband around, trying to SAVE him, while he picked up STDs, jeopardized our finances, drank, drove, slept with my friends and hurt our children. He surely needed saving. Only it doesn't work that way does it? We can't provide the SAVING. We provide the support. That's why we are SUPPORTERS, not SAVERS.

If I "NEEDED" saving, then I should be the first person in the SAVE ME line. If a supporter is leading the charge rather than bringing up the rear, it's a lose lose situation.

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