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#436147 - 05/29/13 12:44 AM Re: New here, partner of CSA survivor, need advice pls [Re: imperfection85]
imperfection85 Offline


Registered: 05/13/13
Posts: 18
It's great that you were able to gauge his reactions and let him open up comfortably without pushing- that takes patience! You're right, I have noticed that with baby steps he does open up to me more and more (slowly but surely), it's a long process but I can see some definite improvements from the beginning until now. We are still relatively knew to eachother (only been together a year) so I am hoping there will be a lot more growth to come!

I am definitely going to look into therapy, I actually really wanted to in the beginning as I didn't really understand what was happening and had a very difficult time adjusting to it all. Hearing that it has helped you a lot is encouraging, now I just have to find the right therapist!

I would love to do couple's therapy with him but you're right, I think that this is something I might think about in the future as I don't think he would be ready to let me in that way just yet. I could really see that being helpful for sure though. Have you and your husband tried couples therapy? Or do you do therapy individually? smile
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#436189 - 05/29/13 10:09 AM Re: New here, partner of CSA survivor, need advice pls [Re: imperfection85]
tidestheyturn Offline


Registered: 05/24/13
Posts: 5
I think that sort of thing comes with time. Being together a year is a good amount of time - and I hope this doesn't come off as minimalizing or discrediting your relationship - but learning about each other more comes with being together for longer amounts of time. I feel like I've read somewhere that it takes three years or something to really get to know someone. But it's hard to figure that sort of thing out because a couple who spends the majority of their time together for a year versus a couple who sees each other once a week for a year are going to be completely different, you know? But I hope you get what I mean. As you said, you're relatively new to each other - and it's good, I think, that you recognize this. Because that means you have to be extra sensitive in how hard you push since he may not have reached a point of being more open to you.

And yes - finding the right therapist is really important. I had the same one from ages 16 - 25. She was there for most of my life, most of my life-changing realizations and moments. But towards the end, it wasn't what I needed. It was just a venting session, but I needed something more intense than that. So I tried seeing another therapist closer to where I was working back in January-ish. She was TOO intense for me. Everything was Some Big Revelation that would fix my entire life. I told her that I wasn't comfortable, that I was still trying to find the right therapist, and that I would get back in touch with her if I felt like I wanted to move forward. I found another therapist ten minutes from home at the recommendation of a friend, and she's been very helpful. She can relate to a lot of things that others haven't been able to understand first-hand. But I'm currently going through a lot of self-identity issues - I'm adopted from Korea - and, as a white woman, she can't really understand a lot of what I'm struggling with or going through when it comes to race. So I may end up finding another therapist somewhat soon. Don't be afraid of saying "It's not working" and finding another one - you have to make sure that the therapist is right for YOU.

We don't do couple's therapy, but I wouldn't be opposed to it. I've been thinking of offering to either go with him, if he wanted, to his therapy sessions or having him come to some of mine. I haven't made a decision about it yet, though. Right now, we do individual therapy at two different places.

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#436299 - 05/30/13 11:06 AM Re: New here, partner of CSA survivor, need advice pls [Re: imperfection85]
imperfection85 Offline


Registered: 05/13/13
Posts: 18
You're absolutely right, we have been together for a year but we only see eachother about once a week (well once every few weeks more recently since he's been in a distant phase), so it's much different than if we were to see/talk to eachother regularly.

I think you make a great point- that a therapist should be able to relate to (or at least genuinely empathize with) the issues that you bring to them. So I could definitely see how the race thing may play a part sometimes when you're trying to solve through self-identity issues. That reminds me of whenever I try to talk to people about anxiety, and they tell me to just 'shrug it off and stop worrying' when really they don't have an understanding of how impossible that really is sometimes.

This might be an obvious question, but since I've never actually been to a therapist before I have to ask, what is a typical session like? Do you just start speaking about whatever is on your mind and the therapist intervenes? Or is it more of the T asking questions and you thinking/reflecting? Sorry if that's super elementary lol but I really have no idea of what it's like!

Btw thanks for your constant responses, this is very therapeutic in it's own way! smile
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#436713 - 06/03/13 05:50 PM Re: New here, partner of CSA survivor, need advice pls [Re: imperfection85]
tidestheyturn Offline


Registered: 05/24/13
Posts: 5
Hi! Sorry it's been a few days - didn't have a chance to check the board.

People who haven't had anxiety don't quite grasp what it's about or how it affects you. Just as people who've never dealt with depression or feeling suicidal don't understand that it has nothing to do with "not being happy enough" or "not thinking positive." It's beyond that. But if you've never been in the situation, it's hard to understand.

And please don't feel bad for asking questions, regardless of how "elementary" you think they are! smile In the beginning, it'll be a lot of just ... talking. I've gotten to the point where I'm able to give my life spiel in a succinct manner, but that's generally how your first (and more than likely second) session will go. Your therapist will probably ask you a lot of questions as you start to explain what brought you to therapy. S/he will want to just get a feel for why you're there. S/he will probably also write a lot of stuff down (although 2 out of my 3 therapists have amazing memories and never wrote stuff down, but remembered EVERYTHING) to keep track of what you're saying and what your issues are. After that, it kind of varies. Usually, my therapists have started with, "So, how was your week?" And then I just kind of run with it. Some weeks, I don't think I have a lot to talk about, but I end up finding all of this stuff that's been on my mind that I never really gave a chance to feel.

It depends, also, on what kind of therapist you go to. I went to one therapist who specialized in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It focused a lot on how your thoughts effect your behaviors and how to control yourself with your thoughts, rather than letting them amount to erratic or bad behaviors. So I used to get panic attacks with my mom whenever she had to travel long distances. I immediately pictured a thousand horrible things happening to her, which I was powerless against, and it would cause me to go into major panic mode - crying, shaking, unable to breathe, etc. My therapist worked on me in controlling my thoughts before it got to that point.

So, she would say, "What do you think is going to happen to your mom?" I'd respond. Then she'd say, "What ACTUALLY happens to your mom?" And of course she always got to her destination safely. So she helped me catch my erratic thoughts - she told me to picture my mom going through all of the steps to get to her destination, to picture her arriving safely, and to ask her to let me know when she got to where she was going as positive confirmation. I stopped having panic attacks after that.

Now, I'm in general talk therapy. Which is what it sounds like. Depending on how intense your therapist is, s/he might ask A LOT of questions as you talk, or s/he might not. Each is different. I tend to prefer the middle of the road - I don't want someone who's so intense I can't handle it (which happened to me once) but I don't want someone who kind of just listens without giving me suggestions or advice or things like that.

Sorry, I ramble a lot ... I hope that was helpful for you.

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#437423 - 06/08/13 12:14 PM Re: New here, partner of CSA survivor, need advice pls [Re: imperfection85]
imperfection85 Offline


Registered: 05/13/13
Posts: 18
Oh I love rambling it gives me all the information I need so please don't apologize, it's extremely helpful!

Thanks for sharing your experience and getting a little personal yourself. I'm glad that your CBT helped you and the panic attacks you had about your mom. I'm happy you've been able to move past that, that's a great accomplishment! smile

General talk therapy seems like something I would look into, I would just have to see if it's affordable as I've heard that therapy sessions can sometimes be a pretty penny. I agree with you, I think a balance is good- I wouldn't be able to handle someone who made it like a therapy boot camp but I wouldn't want someone who just listens to me speak either, I would need something in the middle where I'm getting 'help' and uncovering issues with myself but at my own, comfortable and safe pace. I'll let you know how it goes when I look into it- thanks for your encouragement, I really appreciate it!!

Would it be possible for me to PM you to ask you questions regarding relationships? Sometimes I struggle a bit, and since you've been so kind in taking the time to talk to me about all of this, I was wondering if you would mind me PMing you about relationship challenges I face (and hopefully hearing about yours as well). Please let me know if you'd be okay with this!

Thanks again smile
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