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#4545 - 04/10/03 02:07 AM Shame, guilt and mistrust
PeteT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 28
Loc: Michigan
This morning on the way home from work (I work third shift) I was listening to John Bradshaw's cassette "The Price of Nice". It was then that I realize that I needed to get everything out in the open before I could really begin to heal from my SA.
Tonight my wife started talking about guilt, shame and trust while reading another book on CSA. She was talking about peeling the layers of these things to get to her inner child. I started to cry. My first secret about SA was told to her two years ago, at age fourteen, my step-father started sexually abusing me. I had kept it a secret for thirty-five years.
Tonight, I finally told her the rest of the story. At age ninteen, a boss I had at the time started messing around with me. I was really confused about everything I had gone through with my step-dad. I would just go to the boss's house, get stoned and numb out when he started with me (I had already experience numbing out with my step dad). I was confused about my sexuality but after three visits to his house this guy got really possesive. What had I done? I had a step dad and a boss now wanting me for the wrong reasons.

I was in love with my high school sweetheart (now my wife), but I had to get out of this situation. I ended up moving in with my brother and started attending college in a near by city. I had escaped my abuse. Or had I? It changed my life forever. I was so ashame of what happen. I felt guilty that I had gone to this guy's house,and did what I did with him. I didn't, I couldn't trust anyone after that,not even my wife. I tried to be so nice and tried to make everyone happy but I could never trust anyone enough to get close to them.
Now when I need my wife more then ever, it's her that can't trust me. I've hurt her again by not trusting her enough to share my shame, my guilt and my fear. I hate my self for doing this. Even though I always want to make everyone happy I end up creating a mess. I now hurt, because of my pass and because I have put my wife through all of this. I have been faithful to her for twenty nine years. I love her and I want her in my life. I don't think I could have survive without her. She is a strong woman but how much can I expect her to with stand.
All I wanted as a kid was a strong male role model to follow. I didn't have that. Now I only want the one that has stuck by my side all these years. I hope she will be able to forgive me for not telling her my secrets and hope she will continue to stay with me.

_________________________
Pete

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#4546 - 04/10/03 09:39 AM Re: Shame, guilt and mistrust
wifenneed Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/20/02
Posts: 91
Loc: Michigan
Hi Pete-

You could be my husband by the words you share. A few months ago he said that he still felt like he couldn't trust anybody fully, and I felt so bad for a few moments. But to that I said, and I don't know if I should have, is that I really didn't care if he trusted me enough to talk about his past (fully). He has told me he was abused, how many times and at what ages. I do not know details, and why should I pry or feel bad about him not trusting me because of these nasty people in the world who hurt him so long ago? If he wants to share he knows I am here and love him, implicitly. I do though selfishly wish sometimes I could hear from him or see in print from him the things you have written here today, as it was a great comfort to me, somehow. I love him for who he is. I can forgive my husband for not trusting me with everything....definitely...Yes I get hurt by it, yes I hate it that he is distant at times and emotionally unavailable. However, I love him regardless, and want him just the same, all the more. Your wife probably does too.

Thank you for your post, Pete...

Another Michiganian


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#4547 - 04/10/03 12:38 PM Re: Shame, guilt and mistrust
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Pete
for me telling my wife about my SA after 25 years of marriage was terryfying, and I had to do it slowly. What I could, when I was ready.
It's too much for us to deal with in one outpouring, I dread to think what it would do to someone else who has no comprehension of SA.

I told her over a period of about two years, as and when I had sorted my thoughts on a particular aspect of my SA, that way if she asked something and I needed to explain at least I had an idea of what I was talking about.
It wasn't a case of hiding anything, or finding the best excuse for my behaviours, far from it. We both needed to understand fully what was going on, and to do that I needed to get my own head around it.

I felt guilty at times for keeping things back, but that was better than makeing a mess of it.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#4548 - 04/11/03 12:22 PM Re: Shame, guilt and mistrust
teimosa Offline
Member

Registered: 04/07/03
Posts: 33
Loc: LA
Hi Pete, I am new here too. My boyfriend and I have been friends for 10 years. We have finally decided (believe it or not about 2 weeks ago) to make a commitment to each other.

He started telling me about his abuse about 7 or eight years ago. I don't know if anything I say will give you any perspective, but I love my boyfriend (and before that I loved my friend). I understand that he has to tell me things when he is ready. After 10 years of friendship, he is still recounting new information to me. I don't think of it as lack of trust that he didn't tell me these things before, but growing trust as he feels more and more comfortable telling me about his life. The fact that you are able to tell your wife these things about yourself is definately an indication that you are willing to learn to trust. Don't beat yourself up about the length of time that it has taken you to get to this point, people have been beating you down all your life. Your wife seems to really love you and care about you, sit with that and really experience it for what it is. If I were in her position, I would be relieved that you were finally able to begin to release the pain in your heart that you have been carrying all these years. Congratualtions! ;\)

_________________________
Peace and Blessings...love and light

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#4549 - 04/11/03 12:39 PM Re: Shame, guilt and mistrust
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Hello Pete,

I can understand that your wife is mistakenly thinking that you did not trust her to tell her the entire truth. BUT, your wife needs to get informed about sexual abuse. It is hard for men or women to talk about that. When it is a repeated abuse it is very complex. It takes time for us to accept that something that awful happened to us. We have to take time to recall it and admit it to ourselves. Then, there is all the worry about what will happen when you tell.
Some men kind of fall apart when telling their story. That sometimes happens to me.

Then you do not really know how the person you tell will take it all in. Some say it could not have happened--but you know it did.

Help your wife understand how very difficult it is to talk about this stuff. She will love you even more as she understands how difficult it is for you to even think of it.

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#4550 - 04/12/03 04:05 PM Re: Shame, guilt and mistrust
johnshea Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/10/03
Posts: 11
Loc: upstate NY
Hi Pete,
I know what you are going through, not trusting your wife, the one that has given you love, because of the love that you didn't get.I go through the same thing, or at least hve for the past 12 years, keeping to myself, denying my wife whats inside of me. I told young al the other night that my wife was in the bath, he asked why I wasn't there giving her a backrub. I said I was scared. Al just said BAH, she's the love of your life. And he's right. I went to the tub, and there was no scary monster, only Jan, the love of my life.Take Care Pete. I was going to search for some info on the Unitarian Universalist Church for you, havn't gotten around to it yet but I will.

_________________________
johnshea

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#4551 - 04/12/03 07:47 PM Re: Shame, guilt and mistrust
PeteT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 28
Loc: Michigan
Thank You, everyone, for your words of incouragement. My wife and I have been doing a lot of talking over the past several days about all of this and while I still have a very long way to go, I really believe I can move forward with my healing now that all my past has been revealed. I am now able to talk to my wife about what happen so long ago and how it has impacted my inner being. It's still very hard but it's the step I needed to get the past behind me and allow me to work on my future. I feel such a load has been lifted off my shoulders, but at the same time I'm still very depress from the shame and guilt I have for not being honestly open with my wife for so many years.
My wife is trying to be understanding and supportive and if it wasn't for all the research she has done on CSA she probably would not have been able to handle this. She still wishes I would have gotten this all out in the beginning, but understands what guilt, fear and shame can do to a person. We will have to work on the trust issue with one another, but it something that I think will happen with time and help through counseling. I feel so bad that I have put her through all my emotional garbage but love her even more because she has stuck by me.
In the past I was always worried about making eveyone else happy. Now I'm going to focus on what I want out of my own life and trying to make myself happy.

_________________________
Pete

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#4552 - 04/12/03 10:40 PM Re: Shame, guilt and mistrust
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
PeteT:

Man you & your marriage sound so much like me & mine at these points it's kinda scary yet reassuring. Sounds like you & your wife are working thru things well as you put a healthy emphasis on self-love & self-care. You may find you'll please people more that way anyway but without trying & without that being the point.

My CSA was secret for about 35 years from the last event at age 11 becuz I simply blocked out the memories of it all.

Soon after the flashbacks started near two years ago I told my wife, and continued to share things as they came to me relatively quickly. But it still took time & was very painful at times. Yet very therapeutic & good for our intimacy in comparison with just keeping everything buried in secrecy.

Still it's very difficult to be intimate with my wife & trust her, after 23 years of marriage. It's good you are at least starting to share these things with her now. Ask her to be patient with you. If you don't have a good therapist I strongly recommend it.

Pete I didn't have a strong male role model either to put it mildly. So I'm trying to model for Little Victor myself, learn from others the best I can.

Hope you can find good support out there like here online with MS.

TC & TTYL

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#4553 - 04/13/03 05:40 PM Re: Shame, guilt and mistrust
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Pete
welcome to the club of very lucky men, those with partners who love and support us.

Dave \:\)

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#4554 - 04/14/03 02:15 PM Re: Shame, guilt and mistrust
ernie Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 121
Loc: Portland, Maine
Hi Pete, As everyone has said, your post goes to the core. My wife has made a post (The wall-family and friends). I keep reading it and the responses that have been made to it. They are strong and encouraging. This is an awful uphill battle we face, none of us wanted it to happen, in my case, my keeping it to myself for 25 years has robbed me of the most precious part of my life, my wife. We have been seperated for almost 3 years now. We are working hard, hopefully God willing, we will be able to put it behind us and have a stronger relationship and deeper love.
Stay strong, you are not alone, keep reading and asking questions.
Bob

_________________________
The roads of life are full of stones but, they can be moved take my hand we will help each other.

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