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#385252 - 02/11/12 02:01 AM Brand New really needing advice
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
Hello all, I want to start by thanking everyone for being brave by A. sharing experiences and b. sticking by loved ones through healing...
I am brand new to this, i love a man and our relationship was great then suddenly little red flags turned into burning down buildings and the relationship fell completely apart... he had begun therapy for his sexual abuse as a child and in the midst of his therapy he and i really fell apart.

I felt i had to distance myself from him because i began feeling that he did not love me and he was too needy i found myself emotionally exauhsted in a way i had NEVER experienced before, well after having done research and gotten involved i have come to understand much of what was actually being said in his actions and words towards me, that what he was going through was so much more involved then if he loved me or not...( i really admire all of you, MS and FF of MS.. you guys are brave, courageous, patient, faithful, )

i am looking for some advice, he and i do love each other, and while we are not in a relationship right now, for many reason... we are close friends and i am someone he feels safe with through this process... i don't have anyone who has walked with someone through this, so any advice i can get would be really great.

like: boundary advice? he and i are not "dating" we have set up some strict sexual boundaries, time spending boundaries etc.. trying really hard to be friends

also: has anyone struggled with worry that they may be becoming 'unhealthily involved' in their survivors healing process?

also: are there symptoms or markers of an unhealthy recovery process... sometimes he wants me around sometimes he doesn't, and i don't want to emotionally damage myself but at the same time i want to be patient but at the same time i want to be able to feel 'independent' needing lots of advice


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#385253 - 02/11/12 02:39 AM Re: Brand New really needing advice [Re: KL24]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
HI KL

Sorry that you are going through this. There is a blessing to all this and that is that you are not married yet. My wife and I have been married for 20 years and we are now going through this phase of healing. There a lot of pain that I have caused her over the years.
So to try and answer some of the questions, ans I will start with the one that I feel is most important (personal opinion)and you didn't really put it out as a question.
Quote:
I felt i had to distance myself from him because i began feeling that he did not love me and he was too needy i found myself emotionally exauhsted in a way i had NEVER experienced before,


This is perhaps an important move, I was never able to distance myself from my wife and kid for fear of hurting them, and I still struggle with the finding myself thing.
Odd thing is that although we need space to discover ourselves, there are times where we need love and a gentle word, just to remind ourselves that there is someone that cares for us.

This process can be extremely draining to you though. So what I say next is very important or you.
Get yourself support, join a group like CODA or Al-Anon, He might not be an alcoholic, but the behaviours are the same. YOU NEED SUPPORT.

Quote:
are there symptoms or markers of an unhealthy recovery process... sometimes he wants me around sometimes he doesn't, and i don't want to emotionally damage myself but at the same time i want to be patient but at the same time i want to be able to feel 'independent' needing lots of advice


Recovery is so different for the individual, and the only unhealthy recovery is no recovery at all. The best approach here is to treat him as you would a good friend, be there for him but don't get involved sexually right now, sounds harsh but its actually the kindest thing to do. Let him heal and if he really works at it he can get a long way into healing in a year or so.

Quote:
also: has anyone struggled with worry that they may be becoming 'unhealthily involved' in their survivors healing process?


My wife experienced this and she then threw the baby out with the bath water, in hind sight I cant blame her, but it hurt me more when she said "I don't care what you do or what you are going through" that was for me even more rejection.
This is why you need a support group, to teach you not to become Co Dependent.

Quote:
boundary advice? he and i are not "dating" we have set up some strict sexual boundaries, time spending boundaries etc.. trying really hard to be friends


I know this is hard to do, but stick with it, or at least try. Mostly don't let him use you, eg: sex when he is sad or down, make him work for it, he must be charming, "treat you right" be good to you, be a real gent and then for this he is rewarded. Don't reward if he is acting out being pushy or mean and horrible. He needs to learn what being a man is all about.

Remember one important fact HIS HEALING IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM. You need to focus on yourself, care for you, and in your strength he will find peace. If you try to heal for him or change yourself to make him happy or more comfortable, then you are in for a lot of hurt. WE DON'T WANT TWO BROKEN PEOPLE HERE, one is bad enough.

You are in for a rough time, and so is he, but healing is possible. The nicest thing is that you will discover that you are with a better man, than the one that you originally started going out with.
I hope that my experience helps you, and feel free to PM me if you want to.

Heal well
Stay strong
Martin

_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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#385255 - 02/11/12 03:10 AM Re: Brand New really needing advice [Re: KL24]
tomebamboo Offline


Registered: 02/08/12
Posts: 4
Loc: WA
Greetings kl24,

First I would like to honor your compassion and empathy for your loved one, regardless of where you are in your relationship. This is a dis__ease that can effect not just the survivors but their relationships with lovers, friends, family, employment, ect.. Understand that you are not alone although it does take an honest, strong and humble being, not everyone can withstand the survivors fall out. I have lost much to this "Survival". If you to continue to support your friend please remember that you need to take of yourself even if that means space apart at times. Its the strength of our supporters that carries the weight of our woes and hardship. At times it wont seem fair to you, to give of yourself and you may feel emotionally drained.
A childhood is a time of foundation building, and its the "village" of people surrounding the child that carries, installs and balances the building blocks of life that we all need. Without the proper foundation to lean on at difficult times, one can begin to crumble from within.
With desire and support he can be helped as well as yourself. This site can be just one avenue, and I recommend a support group. Such as yourself, therpy, a support group, heathy diet, exercise and perhaps drugs if nessary.

Keep the faith, will and remember you yourself can only give so much.

Peace onto you friend and feel free to contact me,

Tomebamboo


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#385267 - 02/11/12 08:49 AM Re: Brand New really needing advice [Re: tomebamboo]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 415
The guys gave excellent advice, As someone who has personally benefitted from Whome's advice in my early days on the board, it's gold. I'd also add to read. Understanding how being raped as a child impacts him as an adult has helped me to not take things as personally as I was.

My current therapist is a sanity saver. She has worked extensively w CSA which helps me tremendously because I'm not a survivor. She lets me know how my expectations--based on having a childhood uninterrupted by early sexual trauma--don't make sense to someone who has, and why. Take the time to find someone who specializes.

_________________________
Wife of a survivor

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#385268 - 02/11/12 08:50 AM Re: Brand New really needing advice [Re: GoodHope]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 415
Whoops! Forgot to tell you "welcome" and to let you know you can PM me too.

_________________________
Wife of a survivor

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#385288 - 02/11/12 11:41 AM Re: Brand New really needing advice [Re: whome]
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
Wow, tears in my eyes. thank you everyone.

Thank you for your support and post, i think the most amazing feeling about this, is right now i don't feel alone in this process... I have not been able to lean on friends or family for this process because i want to protect his healing process, i have friends who are aware of the change in our relationship but they do not understand the complexities within the decision to break up- so having this group means a lot to me,

i have contacted a therapist and will be starting sessions next week. thank you for the support of not sexually engaging sometimes i feel guilty for not partaking, but the affirmation of that decisions is very helpful.

i also want to thank you for being honest and taking time to honestly share with me. i really look forward to getting to know everyone on here so much, i know i have much to learn- i am open to any advice thank you.


also open to resources, i have been on the website 1in6, i am reading 'victims no longer.' I really have been looking into co-dependency to make sure i am not crossing boundaries to create an unhealthy situation, i will look up support groups though i had not thought about that, thank you!!





Edited by KL24 (02/11/12 12:04 PM)

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#385305 - 02/11/12 12:57 PM Re: Brand New really needing advice [Re: whome]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: whome
...HIS HEALING IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM. You need to focus on yourself, care for you, and in your strength he will find peace. If you try to heal for him or change yourself to make him happy or more comfortable, then you are in for a lot of hurt. WE DON'T WANT TWO BROKEN PEOPLE HERE, one is bad enough.


so well said, martin, i'm just repeating. :-)

_________________________
Jeff

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#385320 - 02/11/12 02:16 PM Re: Brand New really needing advice [Re: KL24]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
Quote:
also open to resources, i have been on the website 1in6, i am reading 'victims no longer.' I really have been looking into co-dependency to make sure i am not crossing boundaries to create an unhealthy situation, i will look up support groups though i had not thought about that, thank you!!


Hi and Welcome, KL24!

You've gotten great advice (above) from both survivors and supporters. I second every word they've offered you.

You asked for resources. As a supporter who really needed to focus on myself, my values, what I could accept and live with, what I should expect from my husband-in-recovery, I found profound help at www.recoverynation.com. There, I am working through the "Partner's Workshop", which consists of "lessons" I go through. Each lesson teaches about the adult left behind in the wake of CSA, and the ways he/she may be acting out: alcoholism, drug abuse, compulsive masturbation, love/sexual addiction, gambling addiction, etc. The workshops are free and a "Coach" will pop in from time-to-time to comment on your work, offer advice, answer questions, suggest other resources, etc. There's also a workshop designed for survivors as well as one for couples to work through together.

I highly recommend this site, which kills two birds with one stone: putting the focus on YOU and teaching you how to best support HIM!

Priceless!

PM anytime! We share your heavy heart and your eagerness to be of loving support to one who has, and is, suffering so much!

Hugs-
herowannabe

P.S. IMHO, the ultimate measure of gauging my husband's progress is that he was able to generously focus on the pain he'd caused me (by his acting out sexually). He owned his destructive actions, expressed and practiced healthy remorse (not crippling shame/guilt) and has a clear goal of becoming a healthy, productive husband, lover, father and friend. His efforts feed my conviction to be supportive; my support feeds his efforts to recover.

_________________________


For I know the plans I have made for you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11


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#385323 - 02/11/12 02:36 PM Re: Brand New really needing advice [Re: westchesterguy]
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
Westchesterguy and Martin,

i know i mentally understand that his healing is not my problem but how do i apply this practically? too ambiguous? sorry if it is, i just really want to make sure i have these lines in my head... its so hard to sit back and watch and sometimes feel helpless... i know this is KEY... his healing is not my problem... its so important...
i think i am looking for a little more elaboration if possible. you guys are so great!! thank you!


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#385324 - 02/11/12 02:38 PM Re: Brand New really needing advice [Re: herowannabe]
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
herowannabe i just went to the website!! thank you for offering that information. i am going to get started tonight... thank you thank you! i am so blessed by all of you.
hugs!


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