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#389050 - 03/12/12 01:27 PM Husband destroyed his pictures last night
penelope_c Offline


Registered: 03/12/12
Posts: 4
Hello, I am so glad you are all here. I've been married 14 years. Two weeks ago, my husband started telling me about his abuse that occurred between ages 8-16. He is now 45. I am the first person he's ever told. Last week he told the therapist we've been seeing a bit of information, but nothing like what he's told me.

Over the last 2 weeks he has started revealing more and more details, just one horrific thing after another. I listen and just try to support him, not push for details or anything like that. Those come out on their own I've found. I've been nauseous for 4 straight days.
Last night he stayed up all night, and from the browser history I see that he watched or read the Oprah 2 part episode from 2010. He told me that he spent time destroying all his personal pictures from those ages last night as well.

I was wondering if this is common, and if I should try to save any as he might want them down the road. I could scan them to a folder that he wouldn't have to see.

I don't know what to do and I'm worried he's going to do more destructive things. He goes to the therapist again tomorrow.
Thanks for listening.


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#389051 - 03/12/12 02:23 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: penelope_c]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2568
I know for me, there came a point where I asked my mother for any and all pictures for me from my childhood. It was hard looking through them and sadly.... the ages I wanted the most were the years where there were really no pictures. My sister died when I was young and my parents really withdrew into themselves, so the years I wanted the most they really didn't take any.

I consider the pictures I have important to me now, although there was a time where I couldn't look at pictures of me as a child, as I literally hated who I saw in them.

I think he may eventually come to regret destroying them, but that's just my opinion.


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#389053 - 03/12/12 02:26 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: penelope_c]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3566
Loc: South-East Europe
Hi Penelope,
welcome to Male Survivor. It is shame that you have to be here, obliviously there is reason for that frown . Nevertheless at least here you can find many good advices and supportive people who have can help you with some warm words.
Please consider bringing your husband here also, in all virtual world this is the best place for us survivors and he could benefit hugely from presence at this site.
I presume that many survivors are sometimes destructive to themselves. That act of burning own pictures is certainly destructive action toward his past and himself. I'm not sure should you keep those pictures, please be aware that many different things are going at the moment at your husband's head.
Try to keep his trust, that is very important. As he has reveled you, it is obviously that you are very important person for him, that means a lot to him. Try to keep that trust at every cost. Try not to be too sneaky, that could destroy your mutual trust easily.
He must be going mentally trough abuse and bad experience again and that could explain his destructive force at the moment. That is a little bit wild situation and some time is needed for him to regain his inner peace. You should look for yourself too. It could be that some difficult time is in front of you. Be prepared, work on yourself. You could find and get to know some things that you could not be able to understand. It could be something scary, repulsive and etc. Because of that you have to watch on yourself in first place, many women were trying to take some leading role in path to recovery/healing of their husbands and get lost along the way under huge burden and many unsuspected difficulties.
You have to know that there would be situations where he will have to be left alone, respect his boundaries in those moments, some force sometimes could be contra-productive.
I' m sure that some more experienced people would give you some answers and advices.
Be Well,
Pero

_________________________
My story

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#389054 - 03/12/12 02:36 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: penelope_c]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 856
Loc: washington
I am not therapist...

But uh...mine actually came in useful in order to get in touch with (and heal) my inner child...

Destroying pictures, to me is like trying to forget or abandoning ones little self.

I also believe this type of denial is a great avenue in which one can accept the shame that this is ultimately the childs fault...

"The Problem Is"...the child doesn't own one ounce of shame...(I had to cross that bridge quite a few times in order to believe it myself)...

Trying to unring a bell...to me...seems about as futile as trying to change the wind.

Perhaps you could suggest that he bring this topic up to his T...(for a second opinion)...before he goes any further...


Fight the good fight (Triumph)

island



_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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#389067 - 03/12/12 05:23 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: 1islandboy]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
I collected pictures from his family for years and years and he never wanted to see them until recently. Scan them to a disk and save it for "someday" - I agree that it is a link to that child and he will need to access it someday.


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#389068 - 03/12/12 05:24 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: penelope_c]
Gretta Offline


Registered: 09/17/11
Posts: 239
Dear Penelope,
My husband didn't do that but I can tell you that he did many things during this time that were uncharacteristic and unpredictable. I remember each memory seemed to be worse than the last. He still has memories but he has the tools to deal with them (at least I think). So his actions are so less scary.

It's huge that he trusts you and I know for me personally this was a time when I felt powerless to protect him from the pain. He was physically and mentally in pain.

Good luck and my husband is much better now. THat is ultimately what I wanted to tell you.
Gretta


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#389085 - 03/12/12 07:29 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: Gretta]
penelope_c Offline


Registered: 03/12/12
Posts: 4
Thank you so much for everyone's replies. He left two pictures out by the computer and didn't destroy those for whatever reason. I scanned them to my computer and put them in an electronic folder in case he ever regrets what he did. I put the original pictures right back where they were, and will not interfere with whatever he wants to do with them - taking Pero's advice. His trust in me is the most important thing right now. I don't want to lose that.

It is a very scary time. When the time is right and he brings things up again, I will gently suggest this forum as a resource.
Thanks again everyone...
Penelope



Edited by penelope_c (03/12/12 07:30 PM)

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#389087 - 03/12/12 08:05 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: penelope_c]
Jim1104 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 407
Loc: Louisiana, USA
I have been unable to reply, but I do think you did right. The pictures can be of great value in the future

_________________________
Jim
Male/USA

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#389089 - 03/12/12 08:21 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: Jim1104]
Canuck Offline


Registered: 05/26/10
Posts: 51
Loc: CA, United States
I don't like looking at photos of me that were taken when I was in the age range that the abuse took place. I look at them, and I see only pain.

My parents still have all of the photos from when I was a child, as long as I don't have to see them, I'm fine with them there. I suppose one day, I may have to deal with them. Perhaps my son will someday want to see them. My wife can deal with that, I suppose.

I don't ever want to see them again.

I don't know if that helps at all. If you manage to save some, just make sure that he knows he won't ever have to look at them again if he doesn't want to, that may be good enough.


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#389104 - 03/12/12 09:29 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: penelope_c]
Geeders Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 1901
Loc: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Hi Penelope:

With your husband having watched the Oprah show(s) (There were two episodes) he would have seen us holding pictures of ourselves at the age we were abused. (There were several of us from here on the shows).It was hard for other people to watch us hold those pictures. It also was difficult for many of us to look at them. We felt the same way your husband is feeling right now. But in time, I think he may come 'round and realize that the boy in those pictures was in no way responsible for the abuse. We looked at those pictures, and were instantly reminded of the pain the abusers caused us. No one likes to be reminded of pain. Survivors included. But as others have already pointed out, the boys in those photos helped us survive to the point when, as adults, we could actually do something for ourselves, and for our healing. Smart kids in those photos, but who knew at the time? I sure as hell didn't.

Now, at 55, I am still learning about that kid in the photo. That kid, who at 13 thought he was all grown up and knew everything, and could handle anything, including abuse. It took me 38 years to actually hear that kid say "Its your time now. Go tell someone!" And I did. It wasn't fun. It wasn't pretty, but it was the truth. The first time I could be the real me and say what was done to me.

Your hubby is rightfully angry at what this has cost him. He has a right to be angry about it. Trashing the photos, while perhaps regretting it later on, its just part of how he is saying he is feeling. He's spent a lifetime not wanting to go through this. He's gone over, and under it, and around it every which way. Now though, he is going through it. And you are doing a great job of supporting as he does this piece of the work. Good for you! Well done.

If he's interested in asking us about the show, he's more then welcome to do so. We'd be honoured to have him join us.

All the best, to both of you.

Jim

_________________________
My name is Jim
WoR Mysthaven 2008, Level 2 WoR Alta 2009, Kirkridge 2010, 2011, Oprah 200 men

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#389114 - 03/12/12 10:47 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: Geeders]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6712
Loc: USA
Pictures of ourselves can bring up memories of shame and hurt. I've know several folks who have destroyed them because of that.

Actually I think it would be better to put the pictures away for awhile because a little bit later they will be invaluable in sorting out all the details. Pictures helped me greatly in my own memory work. I had to figure out what happened when. They became important in recovery.

Puffer


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#389142 - 03/13/12 05:09 AM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: pufferfish]
Anniemy4sons Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/29/11
Posts: 98
Loc: NJ
It can't hurt to scan them into a folder or on a jump drive is better. Don't let him know. Just scan them and put the jump drive away. In a few months/years down the road when you sense he's "there" or if he expresses regret about the pictures, you can give him the jump drive.
But once they're gone... they're gone. preserve them just in case. My husband said they helped with his therapy. Seeing the little boy. Reflecting or memories resurfacing. He actually said it wasn't all bad...

_________________________
God is my teacher, Jesus my comfort and the Holy Spirit my protector.
I AM Listening...

Thank you Mother Mary.
Pray the Rosary every day. http://www.comepraytherosary.org/

I BELIEVE IN HER PROMISE.

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#389149 - 03/13/12 06:25 AM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: penelope_c]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6317
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
Originally Posted By: penelope_c
...destroying all his personal pictures from those ages last night as well.

I was wondering if this is common, and if I should try to save any as he might want them down the road. I could scan them to a folder that he wouldn't have to see.

I don't know what to do and I'm worried he's going to do more destructive things. He goes to the therapist again tomorrow.
Thanks for listening.


Penelope,

From the moment they came back from the photo-processor, I could not bare to ever look at my childhood pictures. My avatar you see here was from just a week or so before things got even worse than the first rape. I never looked at that picture until I began working on my stuff.

When I grew-up and left home, my mother had one of her domestic helpers put all my surviving pics into two photo-albums and send them to me. I say 'surviving' because I use to intercept them in the mail and destroy them as a child, leaving only the pictures without the 'little monster.'

As for the assembled albums; I wanted to throw them away. Looking at any picture of me was like concentrated cryptonite.

I hated (as in hated) that kid in those pictures. I was sickened by him.

The night I disclosed the abuse to my wife, we got those albums out, sat on the floor and I looked at 'him' for the first time ever...really looked at him.

He was not the fowl monster I remembered him to be.

Your husband (IMO) will come to regret destroying those pictures I fear. However, if you do scan them, do it covertly and do not tell him about them until he verbalizes regret.

_________________________
Jesus Loves The Hell Outta Me!

Still's Globs

New Video

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#389176 - 03/13/12 12:06 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: Geeders]
penelope_c Offline


Registered: 03/12/12
Posts: 4
Jim, Robbie - everyone - thank you so much. I realize looking back at my first post that "I am glad you are all here" sounds absolutely awful. I appreciate you overlooking that as I am sure many have come here for the first time and said something similar, the relief I feel that there is help is overwhelming, it truly is.

By consensus I think I did the right thing. Before my husband comes home today I will ask him if he wants me to move the two remaining pictures or leave them where they are.

Last night he was on his way home from a business trip and stopped for the night in his old hometown. This morning he went by several of the houses where the abuse occurred. It seems like this is all pouring out of him so fast right now - pictures, houses - it's like a tidal wave. He called me as he was driving home, furious at those houses, wanting to destroy them. I gently suggested that maybe his anger might be best directed at the person who hurt him and not at physical structures. Just that - no lecture, no elaboration. I am trying so hard not to be a therapist or evoke more pain, I don't know what the right thing to say is.

Because of his detour this morning he is driving straight to the therapist's and won't have time to come home first. We agreed that I will meet him there after his appointment and go spend the afternoon at one of his favorite places in the country. It was his escape then, and feels safe now.

Please let me know from your points of view, what I can best do for him. The therapist tells me to love him, listen to him and not press him. That's what I'm trying to do, but it's hard not to point out faulty thinking, like blaming himself. I am NOT asking for details or pressing him on anything. I am not taking anything personally as I know he is in an enormous amount of pain. The fact that he chose to tell me this information after all these years speaks volumes about our relationship and should give me all the reassurance I need that we can make it through this.

I am hoping he can come here, and if I ask him to not read the F&F section, I think he will be ok with that. He needs to connect with other survivors, that's what I'm feeling right now. I love him so much I cannot stand to see him hurting so badly.

Thank you again for all your help. I am glad there is a place where we can go and anonymously connect with other survivors and family members. This is a new beginning, but a very, very painful one.

-Penelope


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#389179 - 03/13/12 12:30 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: penelope_c]
unhappycamper Offline


Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 575
Loc: VA
Those old photos may be the only truth we have from our childhood. Some of us find them too disturbing, while others find them reassuring. I agree with the others that you should save a few scans and let your Hub do whatever he wants with them.

One other idea might be to suggest that he take a few of the photos to his therapy session to discuss.

John

p.s.: I wouldn't destroy MY photos, though I wish I could time-travel and replace the hideous shirts my mother bought me in the 1950s (see avatar)! ;^}


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#389183 - 03/13/12 12:55 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: penelope_c]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 856
Loc: washington
Penelope,

Before I arrived here , I drank for oblivion and pretty much found it...(losing all sense of self)...

There is no doubt that the recovery road can sometimes get rough...(damn rough)...but I have also found gifts along the way...

One of my personal gifts is finding myself comfortable in my own skin...but I digress...

When I got here...I had no idea what hypervigilance ~or~ dissociation even meant...

I stuffed my memories so F!@#$%^ far down...never to see the light of day...

Until I entered recovery....(it was then, that I not only got sober, but also started to confront my issues).

I literally inhaled recovery books at a blistering pace and pretty much drove myself pretty psychotic in the process...

So.........

If there was any advice I had to give...

It would probably be...to honor ones own personal pace....( as this is not a race)...

Painful as it was...the inward journey remains the best trip I ever took...


Boys don't cry (Plumb)

island

_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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#389196 - 03/13/12 06:37 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: 1islandboy]
Gretta Offline


Registered: 09/17/11
Posts: 239
When my husband was going through it I constantly spoke to the little boy in side of him. I have boys so it was natural. Not sure if it was right but I constantly reminded him it was not his fault, that he was a beautiful little boy who deserved so much more, and I was sorry I wasn't there to protect him (stupid I know we are the same age). It was heart breaking, it made me want to dig up his child molesting bastard of a father. Good luck


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#389209 - 03/13/12 10:04 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: Gretta]
penelope_c Offline


Registered: 03/12/12
Posts: 4
Oh Gretta - thank you, that is so interesting! I think I have been doing exactly that, it just feels natural. When things get rough I just keep saying those exact sort of things. We have a 10 year old boy so I can just picture what I would be saying to him.


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#389214 - 03/13/12 10:50 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: penelope_c]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3566
Loc: South-East Europe
Daer Gretta and Penelope,
by speaking to your husbands and seeing small boy inside them, you both are sharing huge amount of empathy, love and compassion. It is desirable to act like that, you both have great instincts and follow them further.
It is sign for me that you both have had beautiful and warm families and childhoods.

Gretta you must be very warm mum (and it is not stupid what you are feeling toward your H, please never judge your feelings, they are too precious for that) your sons and husband are blessed wink!

Keep pace in that direction, you both are doing great support to your beloved ones!!!

pero


_________________________
My story

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