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#441869 - 07/23/13 11:44 AM Emotionally drained
PookieMarie Offline


Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 12
I am trying my best to gather as much information on CSA as possible so that I can better understand my boyfriend and his sudden emotional withdrawal and severe depression. I am the only person that knows about his sexual abuse and it's been difficult for me because I am very close to his family and his brother who was the one who abused him. My boyfriend hasn't spoken to his brother about it and I feel as if he is killing himself slowly by keeping everything inside for the sake of not destroying his mother. I had at one time suggested that he simply write a letter about his feelings to his brother and offer him the option to talk and at first he was all for it, but now he wants nothing to do with bringing it up.

I am trying my best not to be selfish because I understand that he is unable to meet my emotional needs right now, however it's difficult because for the first year he was so emotionally available and everything I wanted and needed and now he is so withdrawn that I am scared and confused.

I am scared because I see how depressed he is, but he isn't willing to get help. I mentioned that it was unfair to continue our relationship with the goal of marriage and children if he wasn't going to seek treatment because we should not bring children into this relationship until we are healthy and he agreed and said he would get help when we were ready to have children. I understand how unrealistic that is because help is an ongoing process and his wounds cannot be fixed overnight and he may end up stalling forever.

I am confused because I have read a few postings on here with members suggesting that partners leave while they can. I admit I have considered it because of how difficult things can be, yet I would marry this man right now if it wasn't for the fact I would like to finish my education first and if I am willing to marry him I value our relationship just the same and will stay in sickness and in health. I also dont feel like its fair to turn my back on him, being the only person who knows what happened and just because he is depressed. I met him and fell in love with him as a male who was sexually abused and I loved him no less when he told me, so I want to continue being there for him and hoping that he gets help.

I also don't know how to approach some thoughts I have about his depression with him because I am afraid he will shut down even more. He's a contractor and he had prior obligations in our home state 1500 miles away so he is staying with his parents in his childhood home where I believe the abuse occurred. He wasn't suppose to be gone for longer than a month or so but he has been so depressed and unmotivated that he hasn't gotten as much work done as needed or made the necessary money worth the trip so he keeps taking on more work while there and isn't due back now until the end of August (3.5 months later). He is a different person when he is home here, but I can't make him motivate or get home sooner when he is in this funk. His mother has noticed how depressed he is, but she doesn't know why like I do. I can't tell her because I am afraid of what he would do to himself or how he would react, so I just wait and hold onto our daily talks, texts and "I love you's" and keep praying he doesn't shut me out completely.

I am sorry for the rant...I guess I feel like I want to protect him and I can't. I just need some advice and I need someone to talk to. If it's hard for me to know what happened and to have no one to talk to my heart breaks for him to know he has been alone for 22 years with these secrets.


Edited by PookieMarie (07/23/13 11:53 AM)

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#441874 - 07/23/13 12:29 PM Re: Emotionally drained [Re: PookieMarie]
foreverloved Offline


Registered: 02/16/13
Posts: 12
Loc:
Hi pookie, you came to a really great website for support and advice. My H too found out he is a recent csa survivor. I know exactly what you feel and what you are going through this very moment because i am experiencing the same things with my H. Unfortunatly there is no easy way to heal them. Leaving him would be the worst thing in the world to be honest so you are doing a great job at sticking by his side. You are going to be the reason he moves on you are going to be the inspiration that he will seek help eventually it just has to be on his terms. He chose you and trusts you to hold his secret. Hes made you his "safe place" Make sure it remains with just you unless you get permission otherwise to talk to a friend about feelings you are experiencing as hard as it is. This website will be very informational to give you good insides of what he is going through. The other csa on here are amazingly helpful and not afraid to answer any questions you have or even other partners. The most important thing is to not push them into anything or to talk about anything but do offer even if it takes everyday for them to say they dont want to talk about it eventually they will open up to you. Your not being selfish we need to be halthy and have our needs met as well. otherwise how can we be there for our partners if we are sick and unhealthy as well. We need to take care of ourselves so we can be strong. Hang on to those i love yous and get into thinking that may have been one of the hardest things he had to do today and that he should be rewarded for it, cook a favorite meal, leave a note sayign how much it means to you that he said that or thank you for any small task he completes around the house or even involved with work. not even just to be rewarded but do them because you love them remind him you will stand by him you are in this together. it is going to be a tough long road there is no easy way out but it does get easier some days i promise you. but eventually he is going to need to see a therapist the sooner the better. Make sure not to push just offer if you feel its the right time and mood. maybe do some research on therapist that specialize in male csa and talk about it or leave it in a letter and always remind them that you are not trying to push but tell them this person can help when you are ready. and absolutly read up as much as you can about csa and what you can do and what you should avoid the more you know the better. One thing also very important is that know you can never understand what they are going through. i know that sounds bad but trust me it will save you alot of weeks of upsetting them or fighting with them. I learned the hard way, smile just avoid those words all together smile. things i have picked up on are self help books for you and him. A book for him is called Victims No Longer: The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse by Mike Lew. A book for you that i had recently ordered for myself that im told about is amazing for us partners is Allies in healing by laura davis. mines coming in the mail this week and i cant wait. you can always Private message me for any advice or questions i know i am learning too and i always have questions i hope i helped alittle. and trust me no one will turn you away, everyone is like family on here we all try to help one another we are all hurting in someways and the best people you are going to feel better about the situation is no one better than others going through the same experience. Dont be shy to even ask the guys questions, i felt guilty at first to talk to them or ask questions but you get to know everyone very well and they are glad to help. i talk alot lol

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#441920 - 07/23/13 07:01 PM Re: Emotionally drained [Re: PookieMarie]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5942
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Hello Marie,

foreverloved has very good advice, please consider it carefully, there are years of experience and practice there. Supporters need to take care of ourselves(my wife is a survivor of sexual abuse), we need to retain who we are, what our personalities are and what is important to us as we care for our survivors. My wife and I both have to be so careful maintaining personal boundaries when we reach out to help each other recover else we feel frustrated and isolated, even destroyed if we get the wrong response. It is similar to being in an airplane, the flight attendant tells each one to put their personal oxygen mask on first, then help others, including children. That is very good advice, one cannot help another if they are incapacitated, neither can we in a relationship if we are do not have our "oxygen", support from those who have been there, therapy, and our own confidence in those lessons we have learned and have been successful in doing.

It is a specific path to a successful relationship, however it is forgiving. You will learn and you will find relief for the confusion and anxiety you are feeling now.

My best to you, thank you for supporting a survivor,
Sam
_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#441955 - 07/23/13 10:48 PM Re: Emotionally drained [Re: PookieMarie]
PookieMarie Offline


Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 12
Thank you both for your advice. Unfortunately we broke up shortly after my post because he informed me that he would be away even longer than expected and it wasn't fair to me etc. It was the saddest break up ever because he kept blaming himself and crying since we were on Skype talking. I feel like I made the wrong decision asking him to come get his stuff however he was telling me I deserve better etc. so I know that is what he was trying to say. I hope he gets help, but he just keeps running away and I couldn't wait anymore. I hope I did the right thing. It feels so weird how everything happened. I just posted here and ordered a book and hours later I was saying goodbye. I hope things happen for a reason.


Edited by PookieMarie (07/23/13 10:49 PM)

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#441959 - 07/23/13 11:18 PM Re: Emotionally drained [Re: PookieMarie]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5942
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Marie,

I believe you are correct, somethings happen for a reason. Statistically, one in six men are sexually abused, being prepared with information about behavior and attitude presenting from these men serves to enlighten and protect you. The next time you may come upon this, you will be better able to understand the signs. I feel your loss and wish you much success.
_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#442007 - 07/24/13 10:49 AM Re: Emotionally drained [Re: PookieMarie]
PookieMarie Offline


Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 12
I spoke with the man of my life today about what's going on with him as best I could from 1500 miles away and I just have one question that hopefully someone may be able to answer. Is it common for survivors who are in relationships and are in a depressed distance mood to focus on things obsessively like work? I tell myself that the choices he is making to stay in our hometown and work and not come back home here with me is because he is making money and working and probably helps him keep his mind off things, but I also wonder if he is doing it to push me away because he doesn't know how to end things? He mentioned that I should be able to wait a few more months saying what if he was in the military, but what he doesn't realize is that his absence is harder when he is emotionally distant and physically not present. I am struggling now because I am not sure where to separate things. Is this a dysfunctional relationship because of two people who may not want the same things or be right for each other, or a man who is hurting and loves me, but doesn't know how to get out of this pain.

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#442197 - 07/26/13 12:16 AM Re: Emotionally drained [Re: PookieMarie]
foreverloved Offline


Registered: 02/16/13
Posts: 12
Loc:
I dont know your relationship but if it runs the same lines as mine or any othee person being with a survivor its the last one, he is in a lot of pain they often, they often do develop obsessive compulsive disorders to keep their mind off things even if they are unaware of it. He shows he still loves you just by saying "you deserve better" same words my h uses occassionally, one of the books i told you about came in the mail today i started to read it and in there it gives versions of the suevivor and partner and it says that survivors tend to try and back out or distance themselves in a relationship because of feeling axiety the rooms/beds start to feel smaller to the survivor like not able to feel tjwy have their own space. Or somedays they just leave you because they cant stand the pain they cause their partners. As for partners we reach limits and we push this far when our needa are not being met and we end up acting out because we are hurting too and hope they will "snap" out of it even for a second to come to you.. And somehow you need to comunicate a median where you both can get your needs met. only you wjo can decide if a mistake was made. If you love him and are ready to be strong and ready for affects that can happen talk it over, explain you were upset and frustrated. I do get upset and frustrated and say things i dont mean. If you decide to stay together and i show him that you can show him youll be in this together. Good luck to you hope i make sense im getting tired smile

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#442224 - 07/26/13 09:44 AM Re: Emotionally drained [Re: PookieMarie]
PookieMarie Offline


Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 12
It seems so difficult, but I am not saying he isn't worth it. I am struggling with trying to accept behaviors because he's a survivor and not think of them in terms of simply a bad relationship with the wrong guy. I am going with my gut, but I am committed whether we make it or not, to try to understand and help him. I've scheduled an appointment with a T and I hope he can help shed some light onto his behaviors and help me determine if something is normal for a survivor or if I am making excuses for him to hold onto hope that the man I love and want to be there for wants the same.

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#442857 - 08/01/13 02:37 AM Re: Emotionally drained [Re: PookieMarie]
ofig1334 Offline


Registered: 06/23/13
Posts: 3
Pookie,I became friends that was a survivor as well. He was molested by his Grandmothers brother. He was molested from the time he was 4 until he was 9 and moved to another town. He never thought much about it and avoided it all together. He finally came to terms with what happened and told his family. They didnt really seem to believe him. He has struggle with it, at times blaming him self. When I met him I didnt know then what I was getting myself into...looking back I wouldnt change it for nothing in the world. It has been a struggle, everyday it seems like I find out something new. I have recently joined this site because over the last few months he has opened up more then ever before. I am not going to say exact ages for fear he may read this. However I am not even of legal age to drink yet and he is 25 years older then me. However I am very mature and come a rough up bringing as well. Getting back to him though, sometimes I just find it hard to connect with him. I will be over at his house and getting ready to go and suddenly right before I leave he will turn to me and say, "well, arent you gonna give me a hug before you go?" Of course I eagerly give him one. Most the time, it as if he dont even want to be touched. I go through it everyday and usually we just end up at his house watching Television. He seems as if he dont care for an intimate relationship at all. He is more of like an asexual person. He suffers from sever depression as well and is currently taking anti-depressants. He has been through counseling and therapists. He claims they have helped. One of the big things you can do, is just tell him that you were "reading into" sexual abuse and came by this site and he should check it out. As a matter of fact, my guy is on here. He told me about this site and for a felt as if it was his personal space to vent and talk about what he has gone through with others that have been through the same thing, then i got curious. I got online and looked it up and found the family and friends postings, I read a few and logged off. It takes courage and time to wrap your brain around the fact that it happened to someone you care about. Recently have been looking for a new place, as I am getting tired of living with family and he suggest I move in with him, he says JUST as friends. I think it his way of being with my while still not justifying as sexual.

Well i am sorry for just rambling on and on, but there is alot on my mind as I am sure there is on urs as well. If you have any questions or just want to talk feel free to msg me

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#443005 - 08/02/13 03:41 AM Re: Emotionally drained [Re: SamV]
HopeDiesLast Offline


Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 62
Originally Posted By: SamV
It is similar to being in an airplane, the flight attendant tells each one to put their personal oxygen mask on first, then help others, including children. That is very good advice, one cannot help another if they are incapacitated, neither can we in a relationship if we are do not have our "oxygen", support from those who have been there, therapy, and our own confidence in those lessons we have learned and have been successful in doing.

I second this statement with all my heart. It is a long road. A hard road. It won't get easy. Ever (is my personal experience at least). There'll be things that you may want in your life, that won't be possible. You have to be aware of that from the outset. I'm not saying it is not worth it, but I am saying make sure you reach for that oxygen mask when you need it. Taking care of yourself is immensely important and it can totally get swept under in the wave of depression and trauma. So yay for you for scheduling an appointment with a T for yourself. It's a good start!

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