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#56809 - 12/17/03 11:23 AM Breakthrough!!!!!!!!!!
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Ok.. for those of you following my story..

Especially my recent posts on my partner's anger and lack of support...

My partner however has made a major breakthrough -this past weekend he went on an "active therapy" weekend for survivors of childhood abuse (of all kinds). There was role-play, art therapy, all kinds of active things to get the feelings in the open....

He came home after the first day (friday) and was a bit scared.. feeling nervous.. all weirded out..

The second day (first full day) of this I asked how he was and he went "I didnt cry but others did" and it was like he was in this weird spacy state...

Not 5 minutes later, he's trying to cook dinner and he just loses it...

....he started crying.. and shaking....

he CRIED AND CRIED.. admitted that he has tried to convince me that everything was OK, and to convince himself that everything was OK... and that he was really NOT OK!!!!

He admitted trying to stuff everything in and he was just sick and tired of it all....

It was so sad - I just led him to my room, sat him down on my bed, gave him a box of kleenex and a hug, encouraged him to cry and cry and cry... and then left the room and shut the door.. and it was so sad to hear it.. (I went into the kitchen and cried myself hearing how much pain he was in) but I recognized that the last thing he needed was for me to try and soothe him... that was so hard... my mama-bear instinct kicked in and it was all I could do to stop myself from going in and holding him but I knew if I came in he would stop crying.. but I stayed away!! Instead I cried, then chewed off all my fingernails and proceeded to eat 4 chocolate pudding cups and six chocolate truffles... yikes \:\)

However, since that time...

A major move towards self-honesty has happened!!

I never would have believed it! I was pretty much resigned to the fact that this was the way it was gonna be forever... and was seriously contemplating what I was gonna do.

It just seems like a major shift has happened. We are now entering into discussions I never thought we'd ever entertain! We talked about my fears about his past sexual acting out, my fears about the effects of SA on possible future sexual acting out, my fears and insecurity about our current lack of a sex life, his guilt and shame about the past, about how he was so wrong about trying to control my crying, about how bad he did feel that he couldn't be there for me.. and he has been responsive, respectful, and reassuring!!

I have never had that from him before on these most sensitive of topics - usually he woudl get angry and snap at me or pull away on things that were not even remotely close to this level of intimacy..

What is best of all is that I have had some tough nights since then due to work issues, and just the move towards honesty in his life is kind of revealing some issues that I didnt even know I had... I mean I know I have had my own abuse history but new things keep popping up as I start to remember and start to process... and he has BEEN THERE for me!!! He rubs my back, listens to me, lets me talk to him in the middle of the night, holds me when I cry... so amazing. Its like everything i ever wanted.. is finally happening...

I am still a little skeptical about things - with a long history of coldness, anger and lack of support, it will take me awhile to trust.. and I have such a tragic recent history that I"m still coming to terms with.. I guess I have just gotten used to shouldering all my pain - In addition to my own abusive/alcoholic home upbringing I had been through a horribly shitty string of other experiences even BEFORE I met my partner which included losing a friend to a plane crash, my cat dying of cancer, my dad's arrest for DUI and third suicide attempt, losing a serious live-in relationship which led to homelessness and joblessness.... a few horrendous relationships since that time, and then at the end of it the whole issue of meeting someone so wonderful and fidning out about his SA and all the challenges therein.. I was already down before I got into this whole partner-of-a-sexual-abuse survivor thing!!

But hopefully things have taken a turn for the better... I am hopeful.. I am not going to think that this will be the final, magic bullet and we will ride off on our white horses to our castle and live happily ever after.. but at least.. some things I have always wanted.. someone to listen to me, to help soothe me from time to time, to be brutally honest about our feelings and our fears, to create a truly safe relationship.. they appear to be starting!!

Man.. last night I wrote in my journal:

"It's like the universe is righting itself -
I must have done something right for someone somewhere along the road of life to be getting this reward!"

Somebody pinch me!!!!!!

P


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#56810 - 12/17/03 11:45 AM Re: Breakthrough!!!!!!!!!!
theo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 1117
pas,
i am thrilled for both of you!! you are right, of course, this is not the magic bullet with the sunset over the horizon and the trusty steed where it belongs, however, i am convinced that the horse is being saddled \:\) .

one of the hardest things for a male survivor to do is to allow our emotions to surface. i was picturing him at this retreat and those quiet words of other survivors crying. i can see that in my mind's eye and see the struggle he was going through to contain it. such a thing annot be explained. for male survivors we have to try ten times harder, if not more, than other men to prove we are men. to be faced with that ultimate "weakness" is far more terrifying then facing a raging bull, or whatever other image one cares to throw in here. but once that breach is made, and we are blessed with a partner who loves and supports us in this "weakest" moment, the path is set in stone for our healing. it still wont be pretty, but we can never go back completely once it happens. please convey my best to him, if he would accept it, and accept my warmest wishes for you as well. take care, pas.

_________________________
journey well,
theo dewolfe

- It is gift, and gift will find its way
- I inherit through my choice. I build through my affirmation. It is through my freedom that I nurture, or fade into autonomy
- I was not given to serve life, but to embrace it

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#56811 - 12/17/03 11:57 AM Re: Breakthrough!!!!!!!!!!
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
PAS,

Congratulations! That is a breakthrough, or series of breakthroughs for the two of you.

I was at a weekend retreat this past weekend, too, though I doubt it was the same one. I came close, but didn't get to crying. I'm glad for him that he was able to make the connection to himself and his emotions. I hope it helps him to feel the more pleasant emotions more fully and to share his feelings with you.

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#56812 - 12/17/03 12:10 PM Re: Breakthrough!!!!!!!!!!
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Thanks for your replies.. I smiled so much reading it...

I am just getting to the edge of understanding the "cult of masculinity" and how hard that is and how restrictuve it is in the ability of men to come forward and start effectively dealing with heavy duty emotional issues...

I am very glad that this post has shared more about the male-view of this whole thing.. helps me when I get to the point of "why doesn't he just do this or that" but then I have to stop myself and think ok his reality is different than mine.. he has the "cult of masculinity" to overcome that I just dont understand! Women and men are really very different creatures in many ways!!

P


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#56813 - 12/17/03 02:48 PM Re: Breakthrough!!!!!!!!!!
Caetel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
Chère PAS !
Tu m'as vraiment fait pleurer avec ce grand message d'espoir. C'était vraiment très courageux de la part de ton homme d'oser faire ce week end. J'étudie moi même en ce moment pour devenir art thérapeute (par le théâtre)et je voudrais me spécialiser pour aider les hommes abusés. J'aimerais bien en savoir plus sur ces week ends !
Je suis vraiment très heureuse pour vous deux !
A bientôt, bisous
Caroline

_________________________
Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

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#56814 - 12/17/03 03:18 PM Re: Breakthrough!!!!!!!!!!
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by Caetel:
Chère PAS !
J'étudie moi même en ce moment pour devenir art thérapeute (par le théâtre)et je voudrais me spécialiser pour aider les hommes abusés. J'aimerais bien en savoir plus sur ces week ends !
Hmm. I dont have a lot of info. on the actual event I don't think there is much info. online.. all I know is what my partner told me and I dont want to ask too much as I know it was a very emotional experience for him.

However.... si tu veux plus d'information, il y a un organisme qui est concernant des issues d'abus des hommes a ce site web:

http://www.themensproject.ca/

I am sure that group would be able to give you more information on active therapy/art therapy weekend retreats in the goal of healing male survivors.

This group is in Ottawa, Canada - if you wanted to contact them or request information - les services et information sont disponible en francais et en anglais...

Again I apologize for my bad "franglais"but I am trying!

P


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#56815 - 12/17/03 04:02 PM Re: Breakthrough!!!!!!!!!!
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
PAS,

Good for him! Good for you! That's awesome! You both deserve it.

That's so hard, to stay away and let someone feel how they need to feel, without trying to help. Heartbreaking but important... maybe soon you guys will be able to cry together. Pass the truffles! \:D

Sar


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#56816 - 12/17/03 06:02 PM Re: Breakthrough!!!!!!!!!!
Pollyanna Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 211
Loc: Missouri
I'm probably showing immense ignorance here, but what's wrong with holding someone when they cry? Is it just personal preference, or is there something about being 'alone'? I thought the 'alone' thing was part of the problem, which brings people here...

I've never had anyone tell me that it made them hold back, it's always been the opposite.

Just trying to understand. The chocolate thing...now THAT I understand!

At any rate, I bet the relief factor is incredible! Yey!

Have a good one!

Lynn

_________________________
"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."

– Anne Lamott

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#56817 - 12/17/03 07:20 PM Re: Breakthrough!!!!!!!!!!
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
PAS
men crying in front of each other !! whatever next ?

We think the world as we know it will end at the first tear, but it doesn't does it ?

I still have the urge to fight the tears in the group therapy I go to, we all do. We sit there grimacing and pulling faces as we fight back the tears.
But our T knows EXACTLY where our buttons are and when to push them.
It's getting easier, but it's taking time.

The first good cry is the best one though, the one your boyfriend has just had. That does release some pressure.

Pleasure also makes me cry now, and wonderful news can bring a tear to my eye. ( hiding behind shades ;\) )

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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#56818 - 12/18/03 12:03 PM Re: Breakthrough!!!!!!!!!!
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by Pollyanna:
I'm probably showing immense ignorance here, but what's wrong with holding someone when they cry? Is it just personal preference, or is there something about being 'alone'? I thought the 'alone' thing was part of the problem, which brings people here...
In theory, theres nothing wrong with holding someone when they cry. However, my partner is very much the introvert and operates under the assumption that "I have to be strong and pretend everything is OK" - it was the message and the lesson that he was taught by his mother about how to go through life - hence the difficulties he's had with his SA - he kept everything in, he told nobody and instead lived with the guilt and shame, pretended everything was OK and coped through drugs and alcohol and anger and sexual acting out.

I have long learned that when I come into his environment and he is upset, he pulls away, or stops feeling his bad feelings in the pursuit of maintenance of the "everything is OK" veneer (leading to his anger outbursts, etc.) I recognized that veneer was cracked during this weekend retreat but it is not a complete switchover and I realize that in order for him to be more open about his feelings he has to truly feel them and I had to give him a safe space (i.e. being alone) to feel them. He is still very much threatened by my presence in many ways - flashbacks of his mom, giving me emotional power over him that I dont really have, I dont know but there is something there.

Anyhow I just didnt want to distract him from the important job of crying and feeling.. so I left him alone!!

P


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