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#450418 - 10/16/13 10:46 PM Everything I wanted to know (but am afraid to ask)
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
I'm pretty much at the one-year anniversary of the nervous breakdown that accompanied my full recall of the CSA. I've made a lot of progress in the last year but now am really psyching myself out, extremely anxious, jittery, and gloomy. And thinking too much about shit I probably really shouldn't do.

I want to ask my wife something. But I'm scared. After a horrible start, then slow improvement, then utterly catastrophic divorce-justifying plummet, then some improvement again.... she's once again my supporter, my rock, we ARE on the same team. But as I get more into "danger season" and feel worse and worse, I want to ask her.....


"If you could go back and see me the way I looked RIGHT AFTER - if you could see me as I was when he was done with me, everything I'd been reduced to, would you look at that boy and think 'Yep, when he grows up I'll still marry him!'?"


Is it unfair / stupid of me to ask that? I think it would be something of a risk.... we're kind of at our best when we don't really talk about it.... but I've been brooding because of this fucking season and it's on my mind and I kind of want to know.

Thanks for reading, I guess, and for any insights you can offer.


Matt
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#450428 - 10/16/13 11:33 PM Re: Everything I wanted to know (but am afraid to ask) [Re: SoccerStar]
mattheal Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 142
Loc: Ohio
Matt,

I have read a lot of your post, and think you are a very compassionate and intelligent man.

I think I understand where your question is coming from, but I don't think it's fair to ask. I don't think it's fair because you are not the same person you were as a boy (no one is). After reading your posts, I think the question I would want to ask if I needed more reassurance than my wife's continued presence would be the same that I asked mine: "knowing what you know now, would you have still married me"

I would however simply keep such questions to myself right now since as you say, things are going well.

All my best,
Matt
_________________________
It's okay to find the faith to saunter forward
With no fear of shadows spreading where you stand
And you'll breathe easier just knowing
that the worst is all behind you
And the waves that tossed the raft all night
have set you on dry land
- The Mountain Goats - "Never Quite Free"

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#450429 - 10/16/13 11:37 PM Re: Everything I wanted to know (but am afraid to ask) [Re: SoccerStar]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 415
I'm trying to understand the question. Am I reading too much into it to ask if what you really mean is that you felt the most damaged immediately after the abuse? Or that you feel like that incident made you disgusting or potentially unmarryable (made up word I know)? I think I'm confused because I'm wondering if any woman would look at any boy at any point in his boy life and perceive that he would one day be marryable. It's not something I've ever thought in terms of. Can you clarify? Can you reduce it to what you really want to know?

My husband asked me almost immediately after disclosing if I thought less of him because of the abuse. Is that what you mean?
_________________________
Wife of a survivor

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#450434 - 10/17/13 12:44 AM Re: Everything I wanted to know (but am afraid to ask) [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
It's mostly what I mean, yeah, and after disclosing to her last year I must have asked her 5 times. To her credit she always gave the right answer.

I guess I just see the "during/after" as being so disgusting that someone would look at a person being damaged like that and think "no way will I want to be around him when he's full-grown."


And I think Mattheal is right - it would just be asking for trouble. This is why God invented therapists, so I can ask it in that setting.
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#450451 - 10/17/13 09:49 AM Re: Everything I wanted to know (but am afraid to ask) [Re: SoccerStar]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 678
Loc: NJ
I am with GH, I don't think as women and as mothers, we would look at a child or a boy and think NOT MARRIAGE MATERIAL.

It is very easy to say "I wish I hadn't married him" when we are in pain and struggling to stand up. The reality is quite strongly that we would have married you anyway. Women have an insane capability for compassion, it is the initial seed that feeds what can become the negative codependency. It seems a waste of time to project a lack of compassion on to your partner.

For me, the boy and the man are different. Like Matt says, you are not the same as you were then. You are different and you have grown and changed. I have compassion and empathy for the boy my husband was - but this does not keep me from having passion or attraction to the man that he is. It also doesn't keep me from being angry at a man who acts on the impulses of that boy. wink

I believe we are drawn to our partners with purpose. And for any woman to reject her responsibility in creating a union with her partner, it is simply not fair nor accurate.

Perhaps instead of asking her your question directly, you could rather say "I feel like...." because that is honest communication of your feelings and your fears and it will ultimately bring her closer to you.

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#450454 - 10/17/13 10:11 AM Re: Everything I wanted to know (but am afraid to ask) [Re: mattheal]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3356
Loc: somewhere in Africa
S Star - i think Matt is on the right track when he said:

Originally Posted By: mattheal
I think the question I would want to ask if I needed more reassurance than my wife's continued presence would be the same that I asked mine: "knowing what you know now, would you have still married me"


but i'd also like to throw in another possibility. just judging from my own experience, as i became more aware of my "inner child" - or as i call him, my "younger self" - i wanted and needed the assurance that he/i was lovable and acceptable and would not be condemned and blamed and shamed and abandoned again - like he/i/we were in the past. it was as if i needed an outside observer to validate my desires and reassure me that my own assessment of self-loathing was not accurate - that i had worth and would continue to be loved no
matter what had happened to me or how i felt about it and myself as a result.

i was not able to articulate this to my wife - but she somehow got it anyway. she grieved with me for the lost boy of my past and comforted him and me.

maybe this is what you are looking for?
lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#450455 - 10/17/13 10:40 AM Re: Everything I wanted to know (but am afraid to ask) [Re: SoccerStar]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 329
Quote:
"If you could go back and see me the way I looked RIGHT AFTER - if you could see me as I was when he was done with me, everything I'd been reduced to, would you look at that boy and think 'Yep, when he grows up I'll still marry him!'?"


Wow, great question!

Honestly, I don't see any relationship between a victim of a crime and whether or not they are marriage material.

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#450483 - 10/17/13 05:01 PM Re: Everything I wanted to know (but am afraid to ask) [Re: SoccerStar]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Thanks for saying that, sugarbaby. A crime does not define the victim.

But I have a question or thought for you soccerstar. One thing that I'm still having a hard time doing is to self-soothe. I constantly look to my wife or other people to confirm my self-worth. And I'm trying not. I wonder if you'd be well-served to do the same.

The truth is that you're marriage material. Just look at you. You're a strong man who's dealing with some TOUGH SHIT. Probably the worst thing that anyone... man or woman... will deal with is sexual assault, because it is so insidious and so intimate and secret. I mean, the death of a child? That would be incomparably bad. The death of a spouse or a parent. Yeah, bad. But the world would at least acknowledge it as bad. CSA is bad, but the burden is a lonesome burden. It isolates. And eats from the inside. And just sits in there breeding pain after pain after pain.

So take it from me. You're marriage material. The fact that your wife is with you is testament to the fact that she agrees with me. But if she didn't, it wouldn't mean you're not marriage material. It would just mean that the circumstances of your marriage are just too much for her. And that would be her loss.

But what I'm trying to do for myself is to man up. I was a wreck for a good five years after my abuse. And then I was still in pretty bad shape for another 20 years. And then I fell apart, had an affair and almost tore my life and my family into shreds. Since then I've been battling back. I don't intend to stop. And if my loving wife can't take the journey, then God bless her I'll continue on. I love her, and I hope and believe she'll keep after it with me. But I know that the surest way for me to not be marriage material (in my own judgement) would be for me to lose my backbone and self-sufficiency. Know what I mean?

Good luck, brother. Take care. Keep seeking peace. You'll find it. And when you do, hold onto it. Enjoy it. Make it last.

Bob

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#450505 - 10/17/13 09:40 PM Re: Everything I wanted to know (but am afraid to ask) [Re: SoccerStar]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 415
I can't speak for any other woman except myself but I look at pictures of my husband as a boy and I want to scoop him up and run away with him (in a maternal way). He is so sweet and precious looking and it fills me with a rage I cannot properly express that someone robbed him of his innocence. I don't see damaged property in that boy. The thought of him immediately after the first assault doesn't disgust me. He isn't stained by that action or any others that followed in my eyes,only his (which breaks my heart). Maybe it's because I'm a mother but I'm acutely aware of my kids are capable of and not capable of. I see how easily they are manipulated, how much attention they need--normal childhood responses that are what make children exploitable. My husband still doesn't see it that way. He's looking at it through the eyes of an adult instead of the eyes of the child he was. If she's with you still, she deems you worthy.I can't tell him enough for him to believe me and you are probably the same way but all I can do is tell you one more time...
_________________________
Wife of a survivor

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#450611 - 10/19/13 07:22 AM Re: Everything I wanted to know (but am afraid to ask) [Re: GoodHope]
On The Fringe Offline


Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
Originally Posted By: GoodHope
I can't speak for any other woman except myself but I look at pictures of my husband as a boy and I want to scoop him up and run away with him (in a maternal way). He is so sweet and precious looking and it fills me with a rage I cannot properly express that someone robbed him of his innocence. I don't see damaged property in that boy. The thought of him immediately after the first assault doesn't disgust me. He isn't stained by that action or any others that followed in my eyes,only his (which breaks my heart). Maybe it's because I'm a mother but I'm acutely aware of my kids are capable of and not capable of. I see how easily they are manipulated, how much attention they need--normal childhood responses that are what make children exploitable. My husband still doesn't see it that way. He's looking at it through the eyes of an adult instead of the eyes of the child he was. If she's with you still, she deems you worthy.I can't tell him enough for him to believe me and you are probably the same way but all I can do is tell you one more time...


That was a very insightful reply for me. My wife has a pic of me at 2, sitting on the couch with a toy in my hand, as her wallpaper on her phone.

She is a good old southern woman. Has a concealed weapon permit. Her love is very strong and comforting. She will do anything for me, and I would for her likewise.

If she could eliminate my perp with no evidence, I'm sure she would. I don't understand her compassion and dedication to me. But it is intense. Her mother started to get snippy one evening and she set her straight immediately. I was surprised. Her love for her family unit is intense. I see that in the women here.

I know how I see this and see other men post questioning the love and dedication of the women with them. I don't think we have any idea how much they have and would go thru, if we keep trying, keep loving them and our families.

Your word rage is good. My wife would flip her shit... Seriously....

No crime committed on me as a child would ever change her love for me.
_________________________
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

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#450661 - 10/19/13 06:16 PM Re: Everything I wanted to know (but am afraid to ask) [Re: SoccerStar]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 255
Loc: us
I second what sugarbaby said! If my H asked me that it wouldn't bother me. Chances are your wife has probably thought about how your story played out and visualized in her mind to an extent. I know I have thought about what my H has been through.
It doesn't make me think he has less worth either. Not in the least. It just makes me wish I could scoop him up and hug him. Just like a lot of the other women on here.
_________________________
Everything comes from within

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#451001 - 10/22/13 05:02 PM Re: Everything I wanted to know (but am afraid to ask) [Re: SoccerStar]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
I'm not sure that looking at a person in the immediate aftermath of a crime, traumatic event, and a tragic loss is a fair time frame for this question or even the right one. What one does after that seems to be the better time frame to examine.

My H was 8 years old when when his abuse began and he survived in the best way he knew how. He has come dangerously close to ending his life over this and developed some other awful coping mechanisms, but he has managed to survive for 30 years now. More over, he succeeds in everything he sets out to do, so now that he is working on giving up those bad coping skills, and is working on integrating all the little compartments in his head, I have no doubt he will accomplish that as well.

I would never even think to consider that time immediately after. He was a defenseless child trying to survive. His survival hasn't always been pretty. It's been pretty damn heartbreaking, truth be told, but he is the strongest person I know, and that strength is one of the many, many, many reasons I fell in love with him.

I grieve for the child whose life was irrevocably changed, but I marvel at the man that child became.


Edited by Valkyrie (10/22/13 05:03 PM)

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#451821 - 10/30/13 08:44 AM Re: Everything I wanted to know (but am afraid to ask) [Re: GoodHope]
L84 Offline


Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 22
Loc: USA
GoodHope,

Thank you! I really needed that today. smile

L

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