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#409963 - 09/12/12 06:26 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Had a good session with the new therapist. He gets it, which is wonderful, and gave me some tools/maps to help me understand this better. The one showing "wobbles" was quite interesting.

It was interesting for me to find out that I fall a little bit into the "dismissive/avoidant" attachment style, but no great surprise given that I've been on my own since I was 19 and am uberindependent...kind of the opposite of co-dependent. Rather than "this relationship defines me" sort of thing, I'm "this relationship has absolutely nothing to do with who I am", which is the other extreme. I'm a mild case, which is great to know....I guess?

He said that it would be well within acceptable for me to email my husband encouraging him to do this, given that although separated we are still married. It's my D/A style that sends up red flags for me, I think. He said its apparent that my husband is still attached to me on some level. Maybe there's hope then.

I still haven't heard from my him about the tool loan or the fishing this weekend that he offered up, so I have made other plans for both. I'm disappointed, but I can't sit around conjuring up good experiences that he's not committed to, if that makes sense. Talk about kidding one's self.

So here's the final draft of the letter I'd like to send to my husband. A letter in the post is probably better than an email, I think...less pressure for him and he can't just hit delete. In a sense it's my swan song...everything is on the table and he either takes my hand or he doesn't. Not sure how much time I should give it to percolate...end of the year maybe? Any feedback on content, timelines and mode of delivery, or anything else, is welcome and encouraged. Thank you so much in advance.

Husband,

As I said before, I am unbelievably proud of you for opening up to me about your childhood trauma. I am deeply saddened for what you've had to bear and honoured that you chose to trust me. I can only imagine how difficult that was for you.

I've done a lot of thinking and reading in the past few weeks and have learned some very important things.
First, you are not alone. One in six men have walked your path. A brotherhood of support is there but you must be open to it.
Second, you cannot do this alone. You need to deal with it in therapy. I respect that the decision is yours alone to make. I hope you know that you're worth it.
Third, you are still running. Until you get the help you need you will continue to run and hide from yourself and the people who love you. Do you want the next 40 years to be the same as the last?
Fourth, there is absolutely nothing I can do for my husband or my marriage unless you let me. You would whisper "don't leave me" in my ear, and I said I wouldn't. And I didn't. And I haven't yet.

My vows are as true today as they were when I said them to you on our wedding day:
I love you, not only for who you are but for what we are together. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for passing over my weaknesses and instead drawing out the strengths that no one else had looked quite hard enough to find. I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate to make me happy. You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself and I love you for who you are. From this day forward I promise to laugh with you, cry with you, to share your dreams and your goals. I will give you compassion and understanding, especially when the fishing isn't going so well, and I will try to when the Habs are losing. I will remain faithful to our vows for better or for worse, in times of sickness and health. You are my best friend and I will love and respect you always.

When I vowed to give you compassion and understanding, to remain faithful to my vows, to love and respect you always, I meant it. I let you go with love because that is what you wanted and it was something I could give you. It hurt like hell but was the right thing to do.

I see the man you are, and you are a good man. You deserve love. You need to let people love you. But you must love yourself first. You need to give that child a voice. Nothing that happened was your fault, but you are responsible for the decisions you make today.

The only way out of this is through it. A lifetime of hiding, ignoring the past, and trying to do this alone hasn't worked. The only way to slay this is to face it head on. Until then your abuser still has power and will continue to hurt you and, through you, hurt the people you care for.

I have three resources I hope you use:
1. www.malesurvivor.org - I have seen our marriage and my experience in it play out in other people's stories over and over again. I have seen you in their descriptions of their husbands.I found solace in knowing I was not the only one. You can find that too. I have learned from surivors what I can only imagine is the pain in your mind, your soul and your body. There are literally thousands of men there, your brothers, with open hearts, arms and minds. They have supported me and already send their thoughts and prayers to you. They will welcome you with understanding. They can help you. Please reach out to them, for you.
2. Victims No Longer, which is a book by Mike Lew. Many of the survivors on the website recommend it. It is an unbelievably difficult read but one that they all say helped them tremendously. I will be ordering it.
3. *******, who is a therapist in ****** whom I have seen. He has a great deal of experience with male sexual abuse and can help you in this journey. My next appointment is in two weeks. You are welcome to join me to meet him if you are ready to take that step for yourself. Or I can give you his contact info.

No matter where things are with us, I am here for you if and when you decide to deal with your abuse. I will support you in any way I can. All you need to do is ask. Nobody can fill the emptiness or carry this burden for you, but I can walk beside you. I am here for you, for better or for worse, in times of sickness and health. You are my best friend and I will love and respect you always.

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#410030 - 09/13/12 11:36 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 307
Northern, if you want to send something to me, feel free. Please do. I'd be glad to look at it. I hope your h can keep moving forward. The things you're describing sound encouraging. I forget, has he been on this site? If not, it might be something to try. He's not alone. That's probably the most important thing he needs to know. He's not alone, and he won't be traveling his path alone.
Bob

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#410032 - 09/13/12 11:43 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 307
Okay. Well, clearly, I read your previous post first and then the most recent one. Holy shit. What a great letter. It's powerful. It's beautiful. It's moving. Northern... damn. That's one sweet piece of writing.

Here's one thing that we survivors don't say enough to each other... buck up. Hell, it's not that bad. It's just life. We're survivors. That's what we are, because that's what we do. Sometimes, like right now, I feel like I could kill the asshole who hurt me as a kid, and walk away from his corpse with the same light heart I have right now. But I won't. I'm trying not to live with anger. I'm taking things lightly. I'm embracing my sense of humor. My sense of proportion.

I encourage you and H to do the same. I hope you guys do that fun stuff together, too. Fishing and all that.

Keep after it, northern. I'm so glad you got a new therapist. I'm on the market for a good one myself. I'm thinking about getting emdr.

Bob

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#410037 - 09/13/12 12:44 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
I read your letter too and love it. I hope you dont mind, but I think I may steal some of it to send to my H. It very beautifully captures all that we want for them. Thank you for sharing.
_________________________
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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#410044 - 09/13/12 02:20 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Thanks so much both of you. I was a little sheepish about putting it out there. I'm happy that you like it. Still pondering email vs post vs reading it to him but am leaning towards email. It will be after our fishing day at any rate.

Bob, the fishing is on for Saturday, 5.45 am. I had given up on him getting in touch so today's email was a bit of a surprise. Saturday will be one of levity. I want to enjoy the day. I know I'll get my butt kicked at fishing though. I like what you say about not getting lost or caught up in the CSA. It's not the same scenario, but my brother, while he was alive battling a neuromuscular disease that ultimately took his life, hated being called brave. "it's just my life" he'd say.

CdnDW please use whatever bits you like.

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#410047 - 09/13/12 02:45 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 307
OK, northern, glad to hear it all. And plus I like the jaunty tone of your posts today!

If you ever feel sheepish, just read some of my older posts, from when I first came on, and if you can find the ones where I'm really getting into my own feelings of shame and guilt... well, you'll see that I'm fighting the same thing the rest of us are. Shit. What can you do, right? I like what you said about your brother. Anyway, I look forward to hearing about the fishing. And as far as how to get the message to your H, why not use the old fashioned post office? It remains an elegant way to send a message.

Bob

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#410225 - 09/15/12 08:05 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
So fishing was fantastic. I caught three to my husband's ten or twelve. We kept two pike in the boat and two bass. We saw lots of loons, a pair of swans, an otter or muskrat or other rodent type creature and a great blue heron resting on rocks. An absolutely beautiful day.

After he cleaned the fish at my house he wanted to go straight to the basement to see what was left of his belongings. Having spent ten awesome hours together at this point, mostly in the boat, I couldn't help but choke up so I just went upstairs to his "are you ok?" and proceeded to pack away his grandmother's tea cups. I thought, you want the rest of your shit after spending a wonderful day with me? Fine. Let me help you. I was done.

Needless to say the day ended horribly with lots of pent up emotion expressed on my side and lots of avoidance on his. Once again, he left and came back, but this time partly to get his bass and partly to say that the truth hurts and he has a hard time looking at himself and his actions.

The kicker for me is that he told whore at work about his abuse before he told me. That cut like a knife and I said as much, for good or for ill. He accused me of implying that his healing process is bullshit. I said it wasn't fair to say that, that my feelings are valid too. He doesn't need or want me for support; he has the whore.

I guess today I was done with subjugating my hurt and pain to his and kind of let loose. He says, all contrite, that he'll never come back to spend time with me or go fishing with me again because he hates that it hurts me and he doesn't want to see me cry. This despite the fact that he said he felt good about opening up to me about his abuse. The latent message to me is that if I express my feelings then the person walks out. Not a good message but one I was brought up with. I pointed this message out to him.

He doesn't seem to understand that what hurts is his choice to continue down the path of separation and divorce even though he could have reversed the course at any time. Instead he waxes remorseful about how he fucked up blah blah blah. He could fix this but he chooses not to. And at the same time he refuses to say he doesn't love me. He won't do it. Instead says "I don't know what love is". I told him I don't know what's real and what's fake anymore.

What a fucking mess. I don't think I'll be sending that beautiful letter to him. I'm shattered.

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#410292 - 09/16/12 12:19 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
The tone with which he said something about dying as he left yesterday made me uneasy today so I texted him, saying I need to know that he's OK today. I'm living, he replied, and said he'd be OK.

I reminded him that I have forgiven him and that my pain today is a result of my choices. I need to make different ones. I also asked him to know that he is a good man with a big heart. He didn't reply to either of these.

I wanted to believe that the relationship with the whore at work was superficial, but since he confided in her and continues to see her today I can no longer believe that is the case. He says he doesn't know where it's going...after a year? Whatever. I and our marriage and our life together were not worth facing his pain for.

He did say he felt really good after telling me about his abuse. Then yesterday's disaster happened. But what does he expect? That after he confides in me, spends a wonderful day fishing with me, I will be OK with the separation and my pain will cease to be? Maybe he's just fully and completely self absorbed. I'm complicit in this too, though, because I let him come see me and spend time.

I am a fool. I should just pack it in. I implored him to tell me to let go, to tell me he doesn't love me. He said I need to let go but he refused to say he doesn't love me, even though I said it would set me free.

The kicker in this is that his holy place, so to speak, is in the boat fishing. He mostly does it alone, but sometimes brings people. It kills me that we can spend a day on the boat, that he respects me, values my opinion, but refuses to be married to me. It makes no sense. He believes that as long as his daughter and I are friends, he will be in my life. Not so, as she is an adult. He also said, strangely, that when I die he might not go to the funeral but he will be sad about it.

He has the boat only because my name is on the loan as co-borrower. I pull my support for the loan and he loses the boat. Most people say I should have pulled my financial support months ago. Maybe they're right. I know I am not responsible for him and all that, but to kick a man when he's down that way is not an easy thing for me. That said, I cannot back a loan for a man who is hell bent on divorcing me.

I don't know how to be now. I told him that maybe I'm hanging on because I don't want to get the the place where I feel nothing for him. I don't want him to land on my doorstep when it's too late. But I dont' even know that this will happen. The odds are certainly against it.

I feel like I'm abandoning him by giving up, like I'm abandoning all I ever wanted in life...marriage, closeness, a sense of home. But then I feel like he stole all that from me. I thought I had found those things but now doubt I ever will. I feel like a complete and total fool. None of this was real. I just wanted it to be.

What I have written smacks of simply moaning about the loss of my marriage. I need to remember that it is about the effect of CSA victim behaviour on a spouse. The pain is unbelievable right now.

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#410367 - 09/17/12 10:37 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 307
Northernflicker, you're so brave for sharing all this. Thank you for opening up. Here's the truth. Emotionally, you're a warrior. A strong and loving woman who knows what she wants. You WILL find a positive and loving way forward for yourself. I don't know how, how could I? But I can tell by the things you write, how you do it, that you will.

One of the most hurtful things about us CSA survivors (and I believe that term is good for all of us who are alive) is that we have no boundaries to speak of. All things being equal, we'd fuck just about anybody, but worse than that, we'll allow people into our lives and our personal space... just whenever for whatever reason. We let people trample all over us. We trample all over other people. It's because we have no natural boundaries. And so we have to make them. Your husband/ex, obviously has no boundaries.

It's normal for a married couple to co-own a boat together. It's normal for separated-but-still-working people to co-own a boat together (or for you to be a co-signatory on the loan or whatever). It's normal for people, when they're no longer going to be together to separate their finances completely. It's not mean. It's not kicking him when he's down. It's simply a barrier going up where it makes sense.

Your husband/ex isn't doing himself any favors by leaning on you and his "whore." It's not emotionally healthy to do that. But that's his problem, not yours. I think you need to assert barriers in your life. Your husband (as I said, this is totally common for survivors) doesn't respect your boundaries. It's one of the ways that he perpetuates the abuse that happened to him. He got violated, and so he violates you... by fucking someone else, by keeping his finances tied to you, by doing fun and loving things with you, by claiming he "doesn't know" what's happening with the "whore" or with you or "love."

Come on. I think he's probably telling the truth about his confusion, but please.... The way he's behaving isn't OK. I'm glad you've got your therapist. I hope you can rebuild a nice set of boundaries for yourself, logical ones that allow you to heal and keep you from getting violated and crapped on.

you're right, by the way, about the effect of CSA victims.... But no amount of history should excuse us from the things we choose to do today. We HAVE to be accountable. That's the ONLY way for us to build a new and better life. And the same goes for you. Good luck! I hope you post again soon. Know that I'm praying for you. Bob

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#410419 - 09/17/12 05:25 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Thank you Bob. I appreciate your support and insight. I've realized that i do it to myself as much as he does it to me.

It's interesting what you say about survivors letting people into their lives And personal space for arbitrary reasons. It seems my husband extricates them in the same way. He said on Saturday that he hasn't contacted the friend he spent almost every weekend fishing with because he just doesn't care. It's messed up to me that a friendship can mean so little to a person.

He of course had to get in touch today to tell me he doesn't want any smoked pike. I'm sure it's not about the pike. I was almost sucked into asking him how he's doing today but instead I'm ignoring the text. My friend thinks he's punishing me in some passive aggressive way for having to hear my feelings yesterday. I think she's right.

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