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#42973 - 02/11/03 08:54 PM Do We Ever Get "Better"? Is the "Healing Process" Ever Finished?
hanginon Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 89
Loc: sarasota, fl
Dear Fellow Survivors,
I am relatively new to this forum and new to really trying to convert from victim to survivor. My awakening is due to a recent split up with someone who I thought was my lifetime partner, but because he couldn't take any more of my anger and dysfunctional sexual behavior (including acting out as a SA), he left me.

I am still struggling with coming to terms with what that means after all the good things we shared and love between us. Posting and reading replies on this board has been helpful, BUT...as I read through some of the older postings, I am struck by the endless battle that we all face.

If my ex wants me to heal before we see each other again, I need to know:

1) Do we actually ever HEAL completely? If so, how do I know when I am healed?

2) If not, do I give up on all hopes of ever reconciling our relationship?

I love my ex, but I love him enough not to want to put him through any more of my survivor symptoms. I want him to be happy and although I would like to be next to him making him happy, I am afraid I am not EVER going to be healed from the wounds of the abuse.

I need HOPE in my life, but I want to be realistic about what to expect from myself and I want to be fair to my ex. I miss him terribly in my life and wish he could be there for me now, but I am all alone.

Thanks for your help.

_________________________
walker, there is no path, you make a path as you go...

(caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar...)

Antonio Machado

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#42974 - 02/11/03 09:24 PM Re: Do We Ever Get "Better"? Is the "Healing Process" Ever Finished?
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
It wasn't that long ago, I was asking these same questions. Here is what I found for myself in a very small nutshell.

I can't say "I'm Healed" because I keep finding closets that need to be cleaned out. However I can say, that the more I heal, the more distant the abuse becomes. It is a process and even though as survivors it would be nice to jump from step 1 to 100, we have to go through 2,3,4,5,.... and so forth. Because if we try to take a big jump from step 2 to 99, we get a little wobbly. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it is a process (is the point I was trying to make).

I do know that I have been a relationship now for 3 years and we are both growing together. I didn't think this was possible at one time, but it stumbled into me when I wasn't looking.

It is different for everyone and putting a time frame on it probably isn't a good idea. I've also learned that people who are good for us need to meet us where we are at and hopefully we grow together. My partner and I have done this. Too many times in our world, humans have the need to force others to change. I believe that everyone grows and learns as they need to and trying to rush it doesn't do anyone any good. True, others like your expartner may not be ready to meet you where you are at, but that is something he has to deal with (and indirectly you are dealing with it to).

Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and everything will work out. That much I do know.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#42975 - 02/11/03 10:50 PM Re: Do We Ever Get "Better"? Is the "Healing Process" Ever Finished?
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
I back what MrDon says. To me the PROCESS is like the layers of an onion. When I've made one breakthrough, the next challange reveals itself.

The impact of my childhood experiences hits on many levels of my life. It effected the very way I percieve life itself. I can gain perspective on the impact it has had only by living life and learning about the many aspects of its impact.

It taught me to fear my own children because I could hurt them in so many ways. I maintained distance from them to protect them only to find out they felt abandoned by me. Damned if I did and damned if I didn't. They are so precious.

I know doing recovery work to get a family back is a poor reason. I've worked with many men whose violence tore their relationship apart. If they get their family back they have to walk on eggshells to keep them. A man with an anger problem walking on eggshells, how long is that going to last? If he begins his real and personal heart work for change in his life, I think he has a better chance for longer lasting results.

The only good reason for doing it is because you matter.

If the relationship is lost, you cannot fix it by jumping through hoops.

Do it for yourself.

Perhaps she will see the changes, but don't do it for that reason.

What is more important is your relationship with yourself.

I did it the hard way because there wasn't as much understanding about these issues when I began my process. This forum didn't exist.

How I see it is it is related to chemical dependency in that there is a defensive response to the trauma that brings with it a particular way of thinking. We can unlearn this way of thinking and learn new ways to see the world. Part of the difficulty is understanding exactly what we learned so we can know what to change, and what to keep.

Keep your heart, I love seeing it here.


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#42976 - 02/11/03 11:42 PM Re: Do We Ever Get "Better"? Is the "Healing Process" Ever Finished?
hanginon Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 89
Loc: sarasota, fl
First of all, my ex is a "he" not a "she" - please be careful about reading pronouns - I am gay and 100% secure about my sexuality. Not at all tied to my abuse.

Secondly, I never said I was recovering FOR him, but BECAUSE of him. Yes, I want to believe that we will come back together eventually, but I will only do that if it means that he won't suffer anymore because of my past.

I am on the road to recovery without him and when I talk about hope, I want to believe that there is a better place for me, with or without my ex. I would prefer with him, but I do not want to be "in recovery" forever. That is my question - does it every get easier? Do we really "heal" or are our wounds too deep to have anything more than a permanent scab?

I am not healing for anyone buy ME. I do not want to be in this situation ever again.

thanks,

_________________________
walker, there is no path, you make a path as you go...

(caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar...)

Antonio Machado

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#42977 - 02/12/03 12:20 AM Re: Do We Ever Get "Better"? Is the "Healing Process" Ever Finished?
brian-z Offline
Member

Registered: 07/11/02
Posts: 770
Loc: Western USA
yes, it gets easier.

babysteps....... babysteps


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#42978 - 02/12/03 12:41 AM Re: Do We Ever Get "Better"? Is the "Healing Process" Ever Finished?
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Hanginon. I am no real expert but I will try to address the issue for you. Every child is born innocent and with careful nurturing and a loveing evironment and good friends the child is allowed to make informed choices along the living road. It is up to that person with the support he has to make all those choices. It does not matter what race, religion, sexual persauasion or color that person is. The key here is freedom of choice. You did not receive that freedom of choice. At an age when you were defenseless and trusting of higher authority, as most children are, you were violated and that which is most precious to a child (your very childhood itself) was abruptly taken from you. Somehow through time you have come to believe that it was all your fault. We all do. This gives a great deal of safety to those that violate us. We are believing and living the lie that was forced on us; in part by the reactions of our own body. As I said in another thread a poounding erection is a joy for a young person, as it should be. You are older now and have lived this lie and it is like a confortable blanket. It is familiar and we know that we are all afraid of the unknown. It may have been comfortable but it was slowly destroying our very essence of humanity. If we do nothing THEY WIN and we cannot let that happen. The only way to ensure this does not happen is for us to WIN. Is it easy. Definitely not!! Remember what we are confortable with like it was even though we were self destructive and abusive and had severe issues with intimacy. My god so we should taking into consideration what happened to us.
The road to recovery is, I think a long a tortuous one but one we should take regardless. Remember we must win. It is doubly difficult to do it alone and that is why you are with us BROTHER. We can support you along the way. Any small victory by any of us is a victory for us all.A wise old man once told me just before he died that the real horror of growing old was that inside he was only 16-18. All of us, I think, are like that. Yet the 16-18 year old inside of us has been deeply hurt. This is the inner child. This inner child cannot be given back the innocence or the life lost but he can be given the opportunity to share the joy of our life yet to come without guilt or remorse. And that, my brother, I think is the essence of recovery. Is it a selfish decision. You bet it is and about time we viewed it as such. Every small step you take in that direction makes the winning side stronger for all of us. If you have close and dear friends that you can discuss your hopes and asipirations for the future without pretense in an open and honest manner enlist their aid. A true friend will be more than willing to help. All of us hear are willing to help you take that small step at a time. Remember your greatest strengh is the one we so often ignore. WE HAVE SURVIVED. Lets turn that strength to the road ahead. And HANGINON remember you are not alone ever again.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#42979 - 02/12/03 01:38 PM Re: Do We Ever Get "Better"? Is the "Healing Process" Ever Finished?
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
I started out seeking help for sexual addiction, and backed into the abuse as I worked to overcome that. My journey began over three years ago, and I am still finding new things all the time that need dealt with. I know that seems bleak for a relationship, but I donít think you need to be completely healed to have a healthy relationship.

It all comes down to choices we make. For me, I was able to step back and examine everything, and label the most damaging parts of my addiction as totally out of bounds. When can you return to a relationship? I guess in my opinion it is when you are sure that you have firm control over the things that tore it apart to begin with.

Let me use my life as an example. The things that would cause my wife to leave would be being sexual with other people (either physically or emotionally) or lying to her. The other parts of my addiction such as masturbation were a problem, but were not directly threatening my relationship. I made up my mind that the things that she would leave immediately over were strictly out of bounds. The cyber-sex that almost destroyed us had to end, as did any exchange with other people on a sexual level, and I had to begin being completely honest. I knew if she caught me crossing either of those lines, she would leave for sure.

It may take a lifetime to deal with some of this if you ever can, but that doesnít mean you cannot have a happy relationship. Look if masturbating will appease the more damaging behaviors until you are ready to address that, then go for it. You must end the behaviors that have ended your relationship, and the easiest way is to substitute less destructive behaviors for them. You can have a happy relationship, if you hold firm to those bottom lines that are strictly out-of-bounds.

Yes, I still struggle with many issues, but I was able to walk away from the behaviors that would kill my marriage. The rest are less urgent, and can be slowly overcome without putting my relationship at risk. If your SO left because you are cheating on him, then stop. If he left over porn, then stop. It is a matter of reaching down, and finding the strength to do something addicts arenít good at, deny instant gratification for something that you want more. There isnít a choice really. It is an either/or type thing. Either you stop those behaviors, or give up all hope of salvaging things. In every way it is up to you. no one can do the work for you. it is something you have to commit to, and do.

Since this board doesnít totally address sexual addiction as such, if I can help in any way drop me a PM. I have been sober for three years, and might be able to help you with those issues, or at least share my thoughts and experiences on it.

I hope things work out for you,
jeff

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

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#42980 - 02/12/03 01:50 PM Re: Do We Ever Get "Better"? Is the "Healing Process" Ever Finished?
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
I meant no offense hanginon. I apologize. I meant it in general terms when I sspoke of reasons for doing recovery work. And I guess I need to say I'm speaking for myself when I look at motivation. I tend to do for others first. My mother taught me to do for her first.


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#42981 - 02/13/03 12:47 PM Re: Do We Ever Get "Better"? Is the "Healing Process" Ever Finished?
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
One thing you mentioned was being sober sexually for 3 years. I can't even comprehend that; 64 days is my longest ever. Yet experiences like yours give me hope that it is possible. Thanks!

i know it isnt like this for everyone, but once i understood that i was using porn, cybering, affairs and masturbation for, and knew it was unhealthy, it kind of lost power. there was a long dicussion here a while back on masturbation, so my defined soberity might differ from yours. mine allows for some masturbation under certain circumstances. still, to live up to my personal goals and values for so long, is something i am proud of.

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

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