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#409473 - 09/08/12 03:59 AM Thoughts that keep me up at night
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
I have some things banging around in my head that I need to get out. I know some of these will be resolved when I get back into therapy, but right now, they are going round and round in my head and almost obsessively. Some are self-centered, some are coming from a place of self-pity. Please don't judge me... I just need a place to vent without censor.

1. Will I be able to accept that my H will never be free from his abuse. I believe the words.of survivors here that recovery will bring vast improvments, but there may be some fundamental things that are now hard wired into my H's personality that might never change. I can accept these things for myself, but for our children, this is much, much harder. They are more important to me than anything or anyone else by billions of miles. Will he ever be able to be the kind of father that is connected and responsive to their emotions? Not the big explosive emotions that he can't ignore, but the subtle changes that tell me when they are struggling with school, feeling lonely or hesitant about something. Will he ever be nurturing? Will he ever be able to listen to his instinct about their emotional well being ? And more importantly, if the answer is no, will I be able to accept this when I believe they deserve that in a father? Will he ever become brave. He is a big, strong man that does not come across as wimpy, but I have seen how he shrinks from serious confrontation. He does not stand up and fight for himself and he doesn't stand up and fight for us either. His instinct is to turn and hide, and he often wants me to as well. He is complicit to the point that if I had not tthe courage to take a stand, alone, our son would never have received the school support that he needs (he has Asperger Syndrome).

2. Will I ever be able to let this seething hatred for his abusers go. It consumes me and eats me from the outside in. I want to confront them, scream at them, scream it our to every person we know. And have them experience the pain thay all of us feel

3. Will I ever stop feeling like "WHY HIM, WHY US.... AND WHY ME!". I have these thoughts amd know they are completely unproductive, but I just feel like taking a hissy fit temper tantrum all the time for everything that has been thrown on my plate in life without my doing. I have a husband with CSA trauma and all the dysfunction that goes with that, one child with aspergers and tourettes and the other with dyslexia and I have serious and life threatening auto immune blood disorder. There are many, many days when the exhaustion of dealing with all of these is overwhelming.

4. Will be able to accept that my H may never ben able have a normal sex life with me. I may never again experience certain pleasures because they trigger my H. Can I live with only being his best friend?

5. Will I ever be able to stop thinking about all of these things and feel light and carefree again?
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#409475 - 09/08/12 04:42 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1938
Loc: durham, north england
One thing about this list is that it strikes me there is a big difference betwene some items and others, which can and which cannot be changed, but it's not really a difference that on an emotional level is easy to distinguish, particularly in the late hours of the night.

So, perhaps doing exactly what you are doingn now, venting your emotions here, as well as other ways of dealing with what you feel and leaving considderation of what you should actually do for later might help.

Just as one suggestion, your above "venting without sensor" still strikes me as a little restrained, and sinse there isn't! a sensor, perhaps you could vent a little more, sinse people here will understand the purpose of venting especially if you make it clear that's what your doing, ---- maybe try poetry if your so inclined.

I remember earlier this year someone really making me furious and hurt by his prejudiced actions. i very carefully composed him an E-mail, which was polite but still pointed in it's comments and explained just how his actions had affected me, but that wasn't the least bit satisfying. What I wanted to do was tell him exactly! what I thought of him, which would've started with the words "you bloody Prejudiced scumbag!" and gone down hill from there.

i'm actually sorry I didn't write that other mail, even if I never sent it sinse I think it would've helped my feelings if nothing else.

I've read what you said above and really hope things get better for you.

Luke.

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#409504 - 09/08/12 11:54 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
HD001 Online   content


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 243
Loc: us
Vent away girlfriend! I have stuff that keeps me up too. I wonder if my H will ever listen to me when I'm talking really listen? Will he ever be happy? Will he ever quit blaming me?
_________________________
Everything comes from within

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#409515 - 09/08/12 03:10 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 678
Loc: NJ
When we are consumed by what another person will or won't do, will or won't become, we guarantee ourselves a life of unhappiness.

We need separation, we need to be able to see other people as separate from ourselves and recognize that we are each on our own paths.

CdnDW - your mission is one of acceptance. Find acceptance for yourself and for the situation. This is a stage of grieving and is completely normal. Like the serenity prayer states so perfectly:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

And it is just that - a sense of serenity will be achieved when we can accept reality and claim providence over our own selves because our path, in reality, is the only one we can change.

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#409584 - 09/09/12 11:59 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
aksnowyowl Offline


Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 47
it is hard isn't it...

"enough for today" is my motto and if need be, break it down to "moment by moment." if a red flag goes up (and honestly, i'm still early in dealing with codependency so my red flags are really more yellow), i say to myself "in this moment, is that behavior of my h's helping or hurting? should we talk about it?"

and i keep coming to the conclusion that it's ALWAYS better to talk about it with him. uncomfortable for both of us: sure.

but i went to our marriage counselor and said:

"i'm in a place where i can accept that things may never be different, even though i'm hoping they'll change. i'm proud of H for putting in a lot of hard work towards healing himself and our relationship. i think he's doing great. however, if we have rules about our sex life, if we have rules and walls up that prevent constant triggers, if i need to be this accomodating, i NEED to be able to talk to him about anything anytime if i feel like it and i want him to trust me enough to know that i might push his limits, but i won't break them."

and that's the new goal. and it's amazing how much pressure has been released from our relationship. we're finally building more attachment, after months and months of straining the attachment we initially built at the beginning of our relationship and hoping it doesn't break...like stretched out taffy.

you are thinking about things, you're taking it all in, and it's a lot. i'm sure it's overwhelming and it's particularly hard to sort out the tangled messes of loyalty and protection and patience and resolve. and you are venting! which is so good. this is the perfect place to vent. and of course, you are thinking about your kids, which is a wonderful guide...a guide you can trust.

part of this, i think, is grief. there are those classic 8 stages of grief and for me, i have to remind myself that i am going through a process, for which each stage is temporary...and maybe cyclical.

it's taken me and my H a long time to wake up to the reality of our relationship. we had to re-evaluate and i think it's fair that we both re-evaluated the other. and we reaffirmed that so far, we have been good for each other. but it's hard to let go of "what i thought was coming/what i thought was going to be our future." which in some ways is silly because i never knew the future in the first place, and in other ways, is genuine because i feel blindsighted...unimaginative in terms of how complicated and pained someone can be...had never considered how hurt my H could be.

and so for me, i have to vent, to go through my grief process, for the life i thought we would have. it really is letting that future die, so i can have right now, and be open to something different.

and then, with therapy, time alone, time with my people, time with my H when we build on our strengths, i begin to believe that it's possible that there are good things waiting for us if we want them.

thank you for continuing to come back here.

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#409648 - 09/09/12 11:04 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Thanks for the posts above. Sometimes I just need to get my thoughts out. they run around and around and if I can't find a resolution right then, they keeping going. I have been finding lately though that if I write them down, or post here, I can let them go... because I know they will be there waiting for me to tackle another day. I can revisit with new perspectice and perhaps some friendly advice or reminders about codependancy and sort some of it through... and then leave it again for another day.

I do know there are things I can't change and I am, definately going through a greiving process. I remember when my son was first diagnosed with high functioning autism, I felt total grief. Once this grief passed, I was able to give up control and start working with what strengths he had. I turned to a lot of Taoist sayings and it helped.

I will eventually get there with this too, but it is a process and I am trying to be patient with myself. Bottom line, I didn't come to this forum for my H. I didn't come here to find out how to help him or fix him. I came here for me and my healing. I hope that through my example and my progress, my H will begin his own healing, but this is secondary.

Thanks again for your support.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#409691 - 09/10/12 10:59 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Hey CdnDW, I hope you had a good weekend. It's good to see you and everybody else online again today, still wrestling with the demons! By the way, take a look at a few of the posts in the male survivors area, if you get the chance. I posted one asking for people to post the bravest thing they've ever done (you can encourage your H's to post something there, or you can tell their stories there). There's also a thread about physical memories. I read it and posted to it, even though I was a little nervous about what would happen when I started to write. But, hell, it turned out pretty well. And it's a good thing to describe these things--physical memories and what-not--because I think it helps me to control them, to define them and to let them begin to fade. They're like unruly ghosts. Once they're honored, they can start to rest in peace.

But on to your points.

1. Your H will never be free from his abuse. It's a part of his history. But it can and will fade as a malevolent force in his life. I'm sure there's an ugly history back there. Fucked up stuff. But, hell, we've all understood that women get raped. It's horrible. But they're not "ruined" forever. People survive. People overcome. For some reason, in our society, it's an almost unthinkable violation for a man to be raped. How does he overcome the violation? How does he continue to be a "man?" Well, shit. I got raped. I'm still a man. (By the way, writing that makes me feel so awesomely powerful, but also a little freaked out. And I feel the rage that only those with PTSD can understand.) I don't think that your H's abuse and your idea of him as a father are necessarily tied irrevocably together. When a person behaves as your husband does, he's probably doing it out of fear, out of the feeling that he has no choice. So my question to him would be, what's the worst case scenario? What's the worst thing that could happen if you stood up and fought for yourself, you wife or you family? Seriously? Well, the worst thing might be that he'd lose the fight. That he'd get punched in the face. Or that he'd be rejected by, what? the school? He might feel like the safest thing for him is to fly under the radar. He might think the safest thing is for him to coopt the abuser, to join the abuse in some version of the Stockholm syndrome. (That's the thing where the hostages fell in love with their captors. It's something that people will do instinctively to try to save themselves.) Well, your husband is clearly reacting in the present to dangers that are now far in the past. And he's interpreting things that aren't dangerous (i.e. standing up for your boy to get him the help he needs in school) as dangerous. That's just crazy. He needs to get a handle on that shit, and I believe he can. A lot of times, we survivors don't do shit until we need to. You can tell him what you expect in him as a father, a husband and a man. I know from experience that we can and will pull our heads out of our asses if we have to. You can use humor. You can nag the shit out of him. Those phantom fears are scary, but in the end they're only phantoms.

2. You will have to let the hatred go. I really feel for you, because his abusers are right in the middle of your lives (or at least close by, some of them, the brother, right?). You can cut them out of your life. Basically, I think you and him need to create safe space for yourselves. If you can do that with them in it, great. That's a tough one. I hope you have a counselor for advice on it.

3. I sure hope you stop feeling the "why him" and "why me." There is no answer to that. Sometimes life sucks. You know, in reference to your husband's cowardice, I can identify with that. In my old pre-therapy, pre-acknowledgment of my child sexual trauma, I thought of myself as a coward. It was one way that I could hate myself. I was scared to stand up for myself. I stood up for myself, but it was in a reckless and crazy aggressive way. I also used all kinds of magical thinking to rule my world, and to make decisions. The truth is that none of that stuff made me safe. The aggression didn't make me safe. The cowardice didn't make me safe. The magical thinking didn't make me safe. BAD SHIT HAPPENS sometimes. It's not the case that bad shit happens to good people. Bad shit happens to everybody sometimes. It's all about opportunity. There are people out there with evil impulses. They will hurt us if they get the opportunity. People get diseases. People get sick. People get hurt. I'm sorry that you've had more than your share. I understand that it's exhausting and overwhelming. That's all the more reason why your H needs to get his head out of his ass. Things are easier to deal with if you have a partner.

4. No. Don't accept that you can't have a "normal" sex life. You two need to work toward being fully adult, fully husband-and-wife. What the hell? I know that all this trauma we've experienced is a big deal, but what the hell? It's only history! So he got fucked in the ass by his brother or neighbor or whatever! Who cares!?! Get over it! It's life. There's too much in front of us, too much happening right now, for us to get too goddamn caught up with the past. My goal here is to let the past be the past. Goddamn the past. And I want a full sex life, a full life with my wife, even though I cheated on her. Even though I lied to her. I won't lie to her again. I won't cheat on her again. She's still traumatized by what I did. But I still want a full and fun sex life with her! (We're not there yet, but we're working on it.) I'm not going to give up, because she's the love of my life.

5. You'd better be able to stop thinking about these things. You know, my therapist once warned me to keep a journal. You don't, she said, and your thoughts will bounce around in your head in the worst, most destructive way. Man, was she right! The past might be that past, but it's also the prelude to the present, and abuse casts a long, long shadow. You need to write things down. Write down your thoughts. Fears. Worries.

And, finally, I'll suggest that you model the behavior that you want with your husband. Role play on him standing up to or confronting someone in a scenario that would mean something to you, like in a conversation with a school counselor, or even his brother. You guys might gain a lot from something like that. You could talk through troublesome intimacy stuff with him that way, too. You need to work toward erasing the barriers between you. And if he's not getting therapy and maybe meds, then get him to a therapist! I take meds every day, and MAN MY QUALITY OF LIFE IS BETTER!!! Do it, CdnDW.

You've got a bright future with this man. Go for it! I hope this is helpful. And don't forget to check out some of the stuff on the malesurvivor site. And, dude, if your husband's not on this site, at least have him read some of the posts. Or read them to him. Whatever.

I hope I wasn't too blunt above.

Bob

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#410730 - 09/20/12 10:26 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Not sure if you are still checking this post Bob, but H said something last night that I am curious about. He has always avoided anything that resembles a social group that people feel a sense of membership in. Examples would be things like church, AA, group therapy for csa and there are others. He talks very poorly of a former friend who was part of a semi-cult and then became a pagan and is a drummer in this pagan ritual drumming group. He says that people join these things because they are weak and need to feel like they belong somewhere and end up distorting who they are to fit into the image of the group. While I think he has a point to an extent, I find it very arrogant that he thinks people only "need" God to affirm themselves and their moral beliefs because their strength of character isn't firm enough to have these morals without the external oversight of god. obviously religion is a trigger for him (one of his first abuse experiences was a man who belonged to his mom's church in the church basement outside the washrooms). However, he extends this avoidance of "belonging" to something for support to everything. Do you have any insight on this? Do you think, aside from the obvious incident above, that this is rooted in his csa?

I ask because when I was telling him about the forums here I was explaining how everyone from different backgrounds and with different personality types come together here to support each other. I told him that I have observed some of the survivors referring to themselves as a group with a shared experience... as a brotherhood. Well, BIG mistake on my part! He made this face like he had something bad tasting in his mouth. I asked him why he had this issue and he said he didnt know, but that he just wasnt comfortable with the idea of being in a "group" or a clique (sp?). I think I may have achieved the opposite of my goal and guaranteed he will NOT seek help through these forums now despite the fact that I think he would find it helpful. Argggg! He is so frustrating and confusing to me. He and I are truly quite opposite personalities and while this compliments each other in some ways, it can also drive me nuts sometimes too!! smile

Do you have any insight on how I might undo what I did last night? I think he's got this impression now that MS forums are full of touchy feely type guys that lament about their pain and generally feel sorry for themselves. I know that it is completely opposite... you guys are some of the bravest, toughest men I have ever known. Do you think this is just another imaginary wall he has constructed to prevent him from exposing himself to the judgement of others?

Hope all is well with you! Thanks.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#410738 - 09/20/12 11:06 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Hell, CdnDW, I'm still finishing my fucking "rounds," so to speak. So yeah, I'm still here. I appreciate you asking me. As you probably gathered from my other posts, I'm fighting mad today. I just have floating rage. Whatever. I'm honestly trying to settle myself down a bit before I sign off.... Until last June or so I avoided this site for a long time because I'm the furthest person from a group joiner or a whining bitch of a guy. I talked to a therapist once who started to lecture me about dependency on therapy and stuff. I said, "FUCK YOU!" I see therapy as a means to an end. I need to deal with a pile of crap. I need to look clear-eyed at my own life, my own personal history, and the world around me. I want to be free to pursue the life I want. I mean, sure, I care about the people on here. I didn't have any idea that it would turn out to be a community of people who I actually LIKED. That's a fucking surprise. It's still pretty surprising. Don't get me wrong. I'm not about to show up to some fucking weekend retreat hug-fest. I'm still entirely anonymous. Which is what I want to be. But I'm honest. And that's helping me heal. It really is. And I appreciate your honesty and that of most of the other people here. I can see myself in your lives, and I can see my wife in the things write. And that helps me sometimes, honestly, get my head out of my ass and understand and appreciate this woman who chose to throw her lot in life in with mine. When I first read the post, "waiting for the other shoe to drop" I was stunned. That's what my wife said like 100 times. She'd be crying, saying, I don't trust you. I'm so scared. I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And I didn't know what to do, except be steady. Keep trying. Focus on making our life the life that we want day after day. But it's hard when you're not trusted, especially when you're not trusted FOR GOOD REASON!! Especially when guilt and shame are your go-to emotions and resentment is like your most trusted strategy.

I came to this site because I was all fucked up from the Sandusky news. I felt like I was going backwards in my recovery. And I saw a mention of this site in a news story. I'm pretty sure I had heard about it before. I think I may have even visited it. But the stuff I saw was all about just fucking bullshit that didn't appeal to me. Weepy suckers who lay around feeling sorry for themselves while spouting lines from Jonathan Livingston Seagull about selfacceptance and bullshit like that!

But the truth is that this site actually has some good dudes on it. Regular dudes who are just finding a way forward. And we use this space to talk through some tough issues. That's all it is.

Maybe this isn't the best site for your husband. Or maybe he's not ready yet. Don't push it. He'll come when/if he's ready. We each got to go our own pace. I know it's hard to ask for your patience. I mean, you don't have to be patient. You could say, fuck it. If you don't start making progress and trying... then I'm gone. And you could say, Hey, if you're on this site, at least I know that you're trying or that you're in a place where it looks to me like you're trying. That's fair. You could do that. It might work. It might not. He might say, I'd rather just walk away than go on that site and hold hands with those fucking wierdos!

But I doubt it. Here's what I would do. The first time I considered coming to this site is when I came across this news story: http://www.westword.com/2004-05-13/news/stalking-the-bogeyman/

I'm not that similar to this guy, but I'm similar enough that I identified with him, especially with the cold and murderous rage that he felt, and with his recklessness and toughness.

I don't know if the author of it is on the site, but I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't drop in from time to time.... I don't know. I guess it doesn't matter.

But if you really want to get him here, tell him to read my posts. I don't have any special insight, but I sure as hell try to write down shit as it comes in my head unfiltered.

Good luck. Thanks again for asking. Bob

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#410835 - 09/20/12 05:39 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
I just read the link... wow. That's all I can process right now. That anxiety I talked of in my other post is back. Maybe I am just too black and white of a thinker to get my head around this. Someone is the bogeyman or they aren't. I can't control what I can't predict and this fucking situation is just too unpredictable. I feel the same way about my brother-in-law as this guy felt about his abuser. I want to hurt him and guarantee he never has the chance to do what he did to his brothers to anyone ever again. I want to talk to his kids (who are all now adults) and make sure he didn't hurt them and I want to tell his wife what a monster he is. It eats me alive knowing that he lives, breaths and walks among good people that have no idea what a sick pedo he is But I sit here on my hands day after day doing nothing nothing because it is not my story to tell or battle to fight. I sit here as the sweet, loving survivor's wife moping up the fucking shit this monster has left in his wake. I feel My rage has been absolutely castrated and I have to just keep stuffing it down because it isn't about me. But goddammit it is about me. It is about me and my children because we are living with this fucking legacy. I live with my husband's older sister treating me as if I have no stake in this and it only.affects her and her family, so how dare I have an opinion about what actions her brothers take. Underneath it all she is just frightened that people will find out how damaged they are and she feels responsible for not knowing because she was the oldest. Well maybe her perfect vision of her childhood has been tarnished, but my and my children's present and future has been impacted by this more than she can ever comprehend!! Fuck!! I better stop now because I am just fanning the flames and I'm not sure I will be able to stop if I go further. I'm sitting on a fucking commuter train right now on my way home from work, but every cell in my body is reacting like I'm in the middle of a warzone and in a fight for my life. No fucking wonder I have anxiety. Why do I feel this pain so intensely like it's my own? Sorry Bob for this barrage of hateful anger, but I guess I just really, really need to start finding ways to let the pressure out of the bottle once in a while, you know?
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#410905 - 09/21/12 12:46 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
I think it takes a very special woman to live with a survivor. smile
_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#411058 - 09/22/12 12:21 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Thank you pheonix.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#411461 - 09/26/12 01:20 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
CdnDW,

Hey. I'm online today. I think I commented on some shit where you were posting earlier. I have to tell you that I am grinning from ear to ear about your angry rant. Don't worry about letting it out!

Let me begin by saying that your feelings/anger/outrage are not only legitimate but important/valid what-have-you. Your responsibility is to yourself, your children and your husband. If someone wrongs me or my wife or god forbid my kids? I'll kill them. I'm not someone who thinks that killing is flat wrong. I'm afraid of the damage it would do to myself. I'm afraid of dark secrets. I know how dangerous they are. And I don't want to go to prison. For those reasons, I won't kill the motherfucker who abused me, but... I can't say that it would be wrong, exactly, if I did....

But... let me say... you also need to deal with your anger. You can't let it eat you up. You can't let it fester. I admit that someday I hope to be able to reach some sort of peace with my anger. I'm not there yet, but recently I've been able to articulate that as a goal, which is good.

I think you would also do well to look very closely at your life. I don't know about the distant past as much as the present and what you want from the future. I've been thinking about some of the stuff you've written and the struggles you're having with your H and his family. Have you thought about getting more distance from your in-laws? It seems to me that there are some pretty dysfunctional situations there that might be compounding the effects of the abuse. A little breathing room might be just what the doctor ordered.

So this morning I realized that I dropped my wallet on the way to work yesterday. Someone turned it into a bank near me. The cash was gone. For a few minutes, I wasn't sure what had happened. Had the wallet been stolen? Had I dropped it?

Well, when I found that it was dropped, but the cash was gone, I briefly flirted with turning my original thought that it was stolen into a lie. I could believably say that it was stolen, as cash was taken. And a strange thing happened. I started to feel a wellspring of emotion. Something close to tears. A feeling of chagrined stoicism that I could trot out to display to people who felt sorry for me for being the target of theft.

It's weird. That string of thoughts and feelings used to be so common for me. I'd go for it. Play it up. And feel like a fraud. But also feel genuine emotions. And I'd feel very confused. Where were the genuine emotions coming from?

Well, now I know. The genuine emotions were coming from the fact that I NEVER dealt in a straightforward way with any emotions in my life, from my childhood onto adulthood. And I had plenty of things that justified emotions. I have been in fights. I've been shot at. I actually had someone put a gun to my head and try to kill me. I've caused heartbreak and suffered heartbreak. And underneath it all I was a victim of sexual assault.

One thing I've learned, though, is that not everything traces back to the assault. Things happen every day. Some of those things hurt. And those things that hurt cause me to feel emotional pain, pain that I need to learn to deal with in the here and now.

Where were we? Shoot. Bob

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#411479 - 09/26/12 06:48 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Welcome back online Bob. The rage has retreated for now. My guy and I had a tough time sunday after he started with dropping the gloves over little nit-picky things on saturday, but I confronted him about my feelings and we worked through it. He had his third T appt on Monday and literally seemed like he had a load taken off his back. He was just, I don't know... kind of joy filled. It was amazing. He shared with me and I just listened. The entire mood in our house has been lighter since.

Regarding family... I agree. I am BIG on family never understood for years why my H always kept them at arms length, but I do now. We don't see them too much - especially this year. It's kinda sad that my kids don't have the same relationship with his parents as with mine, but distance is still better than drowning in dysfunction.

I think its awesome that you caught yourself with the wallet thing. I get it. I can totally relate with the temptation to distort a situation to seek self-pity from others. It's about validation I think. Needing to know people care and notice us, but that kind of validation leaves us feeling worse because we know it's fake. I mean, even if the wallet WAS stolen, I think that kind of validation still feels artificial. Good for you for catching yourself and being present enough to recognise the tricks our psyche can play on us to feed some insecurity in us.

I think you are right about everything not tracing back to the abuse too. I think that's an easy trap to fall into though... Almost defining all the things you don't like by your abuse. I think it maybe encourages someone not to own their truths. Know what I mean? Anyway, I know I have been guilty of reading too much into my H's behaviour in the past and now I am asking straight up if something has triggered him. Funny enough, he usually answers no. I'm not yet sure if he is being honest (with himself as much as with me) or if it really hasn't triggered him. Time will tell, but the more I talk and ask and not walk on eggshells around him, it seems the more we trust one another. This is a good thing. The best thing that I could ask for. I know it's a long way to go, but as long as I know we are a little further ahead than a month ago, I feel like we are going to be ok.

Thanks for writing Bob.

Angela
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#411503 - 09/27/12 02:21 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
aksnowyowl Offline


Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 47
It's good to see things changing in your situation CdnDW and I'm glad you've found such a helpful place to vent:) I look forward to reading more of your posts, thank you for the updates.

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#411515 - 09/27/12 09:24 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Thanks Aksnowyowl... As I said in another post, you are my role model! laugh I feel really good again today. Made a BIG decision the day before yesterday that will put me in a place where I am spending more time on my own pursuits, and instead of my kids and H being stressed or needy about me not being around as much, they all congratulated me for doing this for myself!! You know you have done your job right as a parent when you see your kids changing from NEEDING you the time to just enjoying you when you can give them your time. Independence, self-sufficiency, self-esteem is, imo, the most important thing you can teach your kids! Anyway, life is getting smoother. I hate to break this bubble, but I think it is important for myself to admit that I am sort of waiting for it to go to hell in a hand basket again. Life is an ebb and flow though so I will have to remind myself then that we got here once and will find our way back and further even if we stumble along the way.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#411519 - 09/27/12 10:27 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Well, CdnDW, that sounds promising! So... what's the new pursuit? Running a marathon? Building model rockets? Learning to fly fish? Don't leave us hanging!

But seriously, that sounds good. I'm really psyched that your husband has been getting into therapy and coming out with a load off his back. I can remember those days well. It can also be kind of a scary time. I remember feeling euphoric one moment and just fucked up in a pit of despair the next.... Unlike your husband, I never even owned the memories of my childhood AT ALL until therapy. I claimed... and truly would have argued with all honesty... that I had a model childhood.

You know what's weird? I used to have the sharpest, most distinct memories of my entire childhood. I can vividly remember my fourth birthday party, for instance, which was pirate themed. I can remember specific times, as well as moments that seem frozen in my mind, like solid impressions. I could remember the abuse, but I didn't. I didn't define it as abuse. It was just something fucked up that happened. And I only thought about it when I worried how it had affected me. I worried that I would become a pedophile. I also worried that I was just a sick bastard. But mostly, I just had these vivid non-abuse memories, and it was almost like a parlor trick. I mean, I could trot out these memories about times when I was five but my cousins and aunts and uncles were adults, and they'd just be amazed that I could remember it all. Well, I started therapy and got into all the stuff with the abuse. By the way, I was diagnosed early on with ADHD, too, but that turned out to be wrong. I was just jumpy and distractable (sp?) all the time because of PTSD. I mean, I hit like 95 out of 100 on the checklist. Anyway, I even tried ADHD meds. Didn't work. And neural feedback. Also didn't work. But it turns out that PTSD just presents itself very similarly to attention deficit hyperactivity. You're just flitting around to keep distracting yourself so you don't fucking relax and remember that you were fucked as a kid!

Whatever. My point is that I had this phenomenal memory... until therapy. Once I started dealing with the memories that I had been hiding from myself, all of my early memories began to lose intensity and immediacy. You know how you might remember something vividly that happened, I don't know, a day ago? Well, I used to have those from 32 years ago. Now? Not so much. Actually, practically never.

I think my brain was just stuck at that time. People say that abuse can stall your emotional growth. I think that's definitely true. It stalled other things, too. I wonder if your husband will experience that.

Well, I'm just rambling. Have a good one. Bob

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#411521 - 09/27/12 10:31 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
aksnowyowl Offline


Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 47
I TOTALLY RELATE TO THAT! the freakin' shoe/bubble/brewing storm.

I am doing my best to enjoy the place that my husband and i are in, cause it's just such a reassuring place...but I can't help but notice that our lives are really more like a roller coaster, what goes up must come down. It seems like we average about 2 close weeks and 2 tense weeks and then 2 weeks of stress/indifference/separateness.

which is fine...but it's so hard to stop and enjoy. It's important for me not to rely too heavily on grouping situations, people, experiences into "good" and "bad." sometimes it can't be helped and I say (especially in the case of sexual abusers) "let someone else find their humanity." I'm just not there yet. But when it comes to my H and I or even my kids, I learned a quote that I love, "I know better than to take credit when things are good because then I have to take credit when things are bad."

Anyways, what I was saying is that I often feel like there "is a storm brewing." and I've haven't been able to escape it. But I am finding that while the storm never goes away and we're constantly on hurricane watch, I'm learning to switch my focus. Instead of freaking out about the storm, I've tried to focus on grounding myself and bonding with my husband. Better to have something to hold onto in a storm.

I love what you are writing about your kids. That's such an insight. I've felt that way but haven't worded it so well or thought about it in that context. But I have been thinking that lately it's nice to have them around, independent but close by, and not needy. Like we're finally filing their emotional buckets.

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#411524 - 09/27/12 11:19 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
One thing that has helped me detach from the roller coaster and enjoy time with my wife has been humor. I used to take things so seriously, because it seemed that MY LIFE was on the line. Well, yesterday, for instance, my wife asked me to give her a ride to the train before work, because she was late for the bus. I was on my way to work, too, but I'm hard-wired to be a resentful ass so I said, sure. Then I sat in the car, irritated, while she slowly and grumblingly got her stuff together and came out to the car. Well, that scenario could have turned into a fight last night, but when she kind of needled me about it at the dinner table, I joked that I was pulling my favorite trick, which was to gain the upper hand by sitting in an idling car. So it became a joke. I mean, geez. It was childish of me to do that. She was also slow. But on the other hand, I was giving her a ride to the train which helped her get to work on time.

That's all possible, thanks to therapy. Thanks to both of us growing up a bit, especially me, and thanks to the fact that I no longer feel that everything in the world is on the line all the time with my wife. Not everything is about my self-worth. You know?

It's good not to be carrying such a heavy freaking load.

Bob

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#412036 - 10/02/12 10:37 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Hey Bob, I just remembered I never answered your question and spilled the beans on the new pursuit! Not a big deal in terms of the big picture, but a positive turn for me.

For about the past two years I had reduced my work day to part-time after a couple really bad years helping my son to cope and dealing with my health and my H's behaviour. I had a great career, but had to put its progress on hold because I was just torn apart with anxiety from trying to juggle so many conflicting priorities. Part-time gave me the time and energy to get my son on the right path and reduce my stress which was a huge factor in my health... My son is now doing better than I could have dreamed (investment well made), and this left me more energy to see the other areas in my life that weren't working. I joined a gym 5 months ago, joined male survivor almost two months ago and started laying down boundaries with my husband. Then, last week an opportunity arose with my employer where they really needed my expertise, so I agreed to go back to full-time spearheading a special project, but leveraged their need by insisting they allow me to work from home 3 days out of 5. This is huge for me because a normal daily commute is 3 hours... If I had begun commuting everyday again I would have gone back to having no balance or maintenance of the areas of my life I had just got running more smoothly. For me, this is huge!! It means I have something meaningful for myself again, but that fits with the rest of my life... In the past I would have just gone back to trying to give everyone 150% and leaving nothing for myself. Learning to set boundaries is not only helping my personal life, but also my professional! It is still pretty busy and I haven't had as much time to check on and support my friends here on MS, but I am trying.

Thank you all. I feel strongly that this success was in part due to your support and encouragement.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#412087 - 10/03/12 02:33 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Hey CdnDW, Thanks for the news. That's great to hear. I really hope things continue to look up for you. I know it's not easy, and when things to get better there's always the fear that it won't last.... But, every good day is an accomplishment in itself.

What does CdnDW stand for, if you don't mind my asking? If it hides your identity, never mind. But I think of it as Canadian something or other. DW happens to be the name of the younger sister of Arthur in the children's book and TV series of the same name. When my son was little, I became a super-cheesy fan of the show. I just love everything about it, from the theme music to... well, everything. So I think of you as Canadian DW, but I don't want to refer to you as "Canadian" or "DW" unless it's OK.

Bob

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#412091 - 10/03/12 03:36 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Lol Bob! I do know the show and thought of it when I first started to these shortforms on blogs etc. DW means darling wife smile DH is darling husband, DS is darling son, DD is darling daughter. And yes, Cdn means Canadian! You can call me Angela if you wish though. I have signed off as Angela on a couple posts already. You really get to know people on here so using Angela just feels right...
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

Top
#412092 - 10/03/12 03:38 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Oh, and I have a white minature Bulldog that looks exactly like Frank and Frank (and about as dumb too!)
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

Top
#412104 - 10/03/12 04:53 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Thanks.
Bob


Edited by Robert1000 (10/10/12 10:35 AM)

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