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#57560 - 01/17/04 10:10 PM New To This Board--Have Many Questions
ConcernedGal Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/17/04
Posts: 19
Loc: California
I'm a 49 year old female and had been long- distance dating a wonderful man from another state for 7-8 months. We live 3 states away from each other. I will call him my boyfriend even though he has ended the relationship as it was. I guess I can still call him my boy-friend, as we still e-mail almost daily and talk on the phone on occasion.

We started out as friends, talking on the phone, e-mailing each other, etc. No, we did not meet on the internet, but through an organization we both belonged to.

We talked on the phone night and day through the duration of our romatic relationship, but initially sent pictures and videos of each other. We asked alot of questions of each other since we have both been three 3 marriages, and were very cautious. I'm a recovering alcoholic and addict with 17 years of sobriety, so I'm very familiar with therapy, AA, Alinon, ACA, N.A. and other 12 step programs. I've heard it all in other words, so we got into some pretty direct conversations about our childhoods, my recovery, etc. so I think he felt pretty safe with me in talking about some of the more upsetting aspects of his childhood.

Well, early on in our getting to know each other he hinted that he may have been sexually abused by his mother. In fact I asked him straight out if he was ever molested and he said "he didn't know. That he has memories tugging at him, but that he can't put a "face" to these memories." He has shared some other memories of abuse at the hands of his mother and father, but they were not memories of sexual abuse. So, this possibility has been discussed fairly openly between us a couple of times over the course of our 7-8 month relationship. The first thing I liked about him was his soothing, and very masculine voice. I'm a bit gregarious to his more shy demeanor. But, we had months and months of fun on the phone. He told me he loved me first and we fired up the phone lines.

I first went to meet, and visit him, over the July 4th holiday, then again 4 weeks later, and one more time for a week at Thanksgiving.

Each visit was wonderful. He was loving and affectionate and we clicked. After the first two visits he continued his loving courtship of me with cards, and e-mails, and lots of phone calls. We planned a future with him moving to my state at the end of 2004, and even planned a home in the country that we eventually wanted to invest in a few years down the road. He is smart, handsome, athletic, funny, and perfect in every way for me. He even likes cats! :-)
My children came to know him a little when he would call, but they have never met him.

His last divorce was very difficult as his ex-wife left him with a huge debt that he had to repay. She was an ill woman, suffering from Bi-Polar Disorder which caused severe mood swings and abusive behavior towards him. But, he hung in there until it just completely unraveled for both of them. He was on his own for three years when we met, and became interested in one another. He tends to have a strong sense of duty, even when it causes him great stress.

When I returned home after the visit at Thanksgiving he was different. He suffers from migraines, and they had become more prevalent it seemed as our relationship stretched out. I know he suffers from allergies, which causes sinus infections and subsequent migraines, but I now believe they may be stress induced as he is now experiencing dreams of actually YELLING at his parents. He and his younger brother were never allowed to misbehave without dire consequences from the father.

His father was never home due to traveling a lot for business. Something, his dad states, he wouldn't change today--that he enjoyed it. His traveling left my b-friend at the home having to pick up some of the father's role. I remember he had to learn to fix things, and take care of things. I understand that some mothers would become attached to a son inappropriately who has been put in this role. I also remember him telling me that his mother made him break up with a nice girl he cared about in High School. She gave him no reason whatsoever. He broke up with her. Sound to me as if mom was jealous?

He also shared a memory with me within these last couple of weeks that just came back to him. He and his brother were going to run away from home. He had it all planned out, but the plan was exposed somehow and he was punished. I know many kids plan to run away for various reasons, but he was going to take his younger brother with him. A brother who he still feels very responsible for due to his being a bit slower developmentally than others. Both are in their 40's.

Anyway, to try and shorten this story. I came back after Thanksgiving and within two days he was having a migraine to beat all migraines. It lasted two days (the first time it ever has) and he was physically ill at work. On Dec. 3rd he called me at work and didn't sound very happy. I had a feeling something wasn't right and asked him about it. Basically, he told me that "he just can't do relationships." I WAS DEVASTATED!! I said "what?" He said it had nothing to do with me, or had nothing to do with anything I had done, but that he could not continue in the relationship.

He had told me early in our relationship that he had put a wall up after his last divorce, but that he couldn't believe I had torn that wall down. We were so very happy for all those months. He was happy, AND LOVING.

So after the initial shock, and discussing it with both of us crying, I began the recovery of being rejected. He's been very kind in helping me "get over him", but I still love him very much.

I have pushed him to seek therapy so that at least something positive could come out of this. I believe his mother molested him while growing up, but he has blocked it out. There is a picture of him and a pet dog, and he doesn't remember interacting with that dog. He has lost huge amounts of childhood memories. Is this common?
I believe his health is suffering from stuffing his feeling, controlling the memories, and stuffing his anger. He tolerates a lack of interest from his father when they talk on the phone and his mother drives him nuts. I would even say he 'hates' her, but he would never disloyally use that term. He is very dutiful in making sure she has a little extra money and her car gets fixed, etc. But he tries to have as little contact with her as possible. He told her he no longer has e-mail and said it's because he's gotten too many viruses. (Not true--he has e-mail, but only I know it.) He has a cell phone, and only I have the number. He only answers the phone to me and his family, except his mother.

There's much more, but basically that's it in a nutshell. I told him a few minutes ago that I was joining this board to find some answers. I love him, and feel he's worth waiting for. But, he says he may never be comfortable again, or healthy, for us to be together. He feels unloveable, I'm afraid.

I don't know what caused him to have to end it after my last trip, except he tells me that "he woke up one morning and realized that I had gotten too close." I asked him if our making love caused memories to bubble up, but he's avoided answering that question. I have dubbed his secret memories "his whispering demons" as he can't really remember them. I have never met a man more wonderful than him, and at my age there aren't too many who are available and this wonderful. I'm not the type to just settle for someone, and have no problem meeting men, but he's just the finest man I have met in a very long time, if ever, and it hurts me to see what has happened to him. I think the hardest thing is that I have no control over any of it, except to settle for being his friend for now and maybe for always. I don't know if I can settle for just being friends with him because I miss and care about him so much.

So, in closing, he has been waiting for a referral to a therapist, but after 5 weeks just found out that they can't help him. That he has to take some other avenue to finding a therapist. Basically, he has to see another Doctor, who has to make another referral, then wait for an appt. to see a therapist.

Any light that can be shed would be greatly appreciated. I think I'm his only friend as he's quite the loner. At least these last few years anyway. He has several hobbies he enjoys where he interacts with others, but other than that he's a stay-at-home kinda guy. Kinda shut down.

Thanks for "listening". If any of these behaviors sound familiar, please share them with me. I cannot be just his friend without hope for more, then again I can't imagine life without him at all. What a dilemma......He's very willing to go to therapy which is a plus. He wants to try to do something positive about this mess.

_________________________
ConfusedGal

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#57561 - 01/17/04 10:35 PM Re: New To This Board--Have Many Questions
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
Hello Confused/Concerned Gal

I don't know what use I may be to you as I am someone who doesn't even do relationships anymore (who knows what 2004 will bring).

As an outsider looking in, are you sure that it was the Mother who abused and not the Father? The mother may be distant because she did not protect - your boyfriend may look after her financially because she was not a perpetrator and feels that he owes her some form of comfort.

If the father was the abuser, then he may still have some control over your boyfriend.

Like I said, I don't know what the reality is, but there is sometimes more than one perspective you can put on things.

You have made a good choice by posting here, there will be others along shortly who may be able to help you more.

Try and get your boyfriend to read some of the other postings in Male Survivors - it really helps and no one is judgemental at all.

Best wishes ...Rik

*PS - you will notice that we have mood swings between positive and negative but that is quite normal for us survivors.

Best wishes ...Rik

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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#57562 - 01/18/04 02:42 AM Re: New To This Board--Have Many Questions
ConcernedGal Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/17/04
Posts: 19
Loc: California
Hi Rik:

Thanks for the response.

You have a valid question, but the father was never home. I know that the father tended to expect perfection and would resort to hitting in the face and SCREAMING into the boys' faces when they violated some minor infraction. (Getting water on the floor of their camping trailer while taking a shower. The dad seemed to have a really uncontrollable temper and didn't care where they were when he lost it. He embarrassed him/them in front of those around them.

From what my boy-friend says, his dad was gone A LOT. This leads me to believe that his MOM was left home with the kids which, to me, sets up the flare alert for her loneliness, resentment and dependancy on my b/friend. She was a drinker too.

Now, my boyfriend states that he doesn't remember her being a drinker until later in life, which seems odd to me, a recovering alcoholic. But, his younger brother says she drank alot after my b/f went into the military. Perhaps he just doesn't remember, or her drinking progressed later in life. I know she has alot of years of sobriety now, if you can call it that. I don't consider her current behavior one that's indicative of a truly sober person with a lot of years of sobriety. She tends to annoy, harass with her cigarette smoking, and doesn't seem to care if she's annoying (he hates smoke, and he gets the feeling she smokes more when he's visiting. He hasn't visited since Mother's Day 2003.) She seems to want to "bug" him as a way of connecting with him. Makes a pest out of herself as if she's has a bit of neediness where he's concerned. His dad and he talk on the phone and the same animosity is just not there. His Dad just doesn't seem to give him much support emotionally. He doesn't seem to have the ability to empathize, and they never had that "familial support" thing going on.

They do tend to spoil the younger sister and helped her and her husband out financially when they wanted to buy land. They put her through College. She was adopted. The two brothers have never received the same kind of support, perhaps so they would be more manly. I don't know. Perhaps there was a jealousy on the dad's part towards my b/friend. I just don't know what went on.

_________________________
ConfusedGal

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#57563 - 01/18/04 01:58 PM Re: New To This Board--Have Many Questions
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
ConcernedGal
With 'parents from hell' - probable abuse and a bad marriage it's small wonder he's frightened of relationships.
ESPECIALLY one that looks good with a loving, well sorted person ( which you seem to be ).
That might sound odd, why wouldn't he be keen to rush you to the Alter and marry you ?
He's scared that he's not good enough for you, no matter how much you tell him he is, he doesn't believe it.
I bet he also thinks that when you 'really' get to know him you'll think he's just a stupid, no good loser. So he's getting out now before the dissapointment comes along, which he firmly believes will sooner or later.

He's been raised to fail, abuse and a crappy childhood does that to us, we EXPECT failure because we were taught that we're no good, all we're good for is being someones sex object, or the 'reason for their failures'- because to people like his parents ( from your de>
_________________________
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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#57564 - 01/18/04 03:03 PM Re: New To This Board--Have Many Questions
ConcernedGal Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/17/04
Posts: 19
Loc: California
Dave:

Thanks much for all the good input. Yes, I believe he does not feel loveable anymore. I need more help from you survivor's. I will actually put out questions so it's easy for the responders to reply to them.

1st Question:

Why all of a sudden, with no warning, did he break up with me? What is the panic he felt?

Up until the day I got to his house at Thanksgiving he was counting the hours until I got there. He was affectionate up to the last night, and at the airport to come home. Something triggered him after I left. I believe something happened before the day I left, but he hid it well.

I was also treated as an incest survivor early in my sobriety, so I have some ideas about how a parent can affect you sexually/emotionally even though their abuse was not directed at you but at the other parent. So, indirectly I was affected. I had access to "Sexology" magazines way too young and read tittilating stories that shouldn't have been read by a ??? Ten ??? year old. Don't remember how old actually. So, there was covert stuff going on in my house that affected me even though I didn't have to experience the horrors of what my b-f and you folks did. So, I don't have the degree of pain that is talked about here. I do suffer from depression, as many alcoholics do, and of course I drank for many years. I had my own pain, but this is new for me and I want to love him 'till he can love himself as we say in A.A. and Alinon.

Question 2:

How do I support him if he changes his mind about going to therapy? What do I say to encourage him without pushing?

My b-f does not "act out" sexually. He has been more saintly in his sexual behaviors. Let me be more specific. He was never unfaithful to his three wives even though his second wife was very unfaithful. He's not interested in porn and only enjoys sex within the confines of a loving relationship. He does not engage in sex for entertainment sake. In the military he never used the native women like the other men did. Not once. I believe him when he tells me these things since I've never caught him lying to me. He has a lot of integrity, his has a good job and works hard, he is very adept in the shooting sports and other sports. He fills his life with the hobbies, and once told me that I would be his last attempt at a relationship. I know he's scared of me finding out his weaknesses because he says he "loses" himself in relationships. I think that means he puts on a front or fascade and doesn't want me to see sides of him that he feels inadequate about. He is afraid of being abandoned, I know that. He doesn't understand ME very well. I once told him that I take hostages, not make friends. :-) I want to be here for him, but he keeps me at arms length for safety sake. In AA we stick by our friends NO MATTER WHAT. He hasn't understood this yet.

Is he testing me to see how easily I go away?

If he's reading this.....too bad. I'm here for life. He's my doll baby even though he doesn't want to hear any endearments right now. I can't imagine anyone filling his shoes for me. Even with all his insecurities and failings. We all have them.

Question 3: When he's scared, how do I help?

When I registered here yesterday he was aware of it, and it was OK with him. I even forwarded some posts to him to read. He said he couldn't read very much because it makes his stomach sick. Then he said he's not sure he can go through with starting therapy. I told him "but you promised you would go!" Knowing now that was the wrong way to approach his fears. He responded with "well, geez Confused!" (Only he called me by name, of course.) I'm afraid that if I let him off that easily, and he never starts therapy, then he will force his self-prophesized idea that I will leave him. It's like I'm fighting for him instead of him fighting for him.

Question 4:

How does one determine a therapist that is considered good? And should they be the same sex?
Or does it matter if you're comfortable with them?

Question 5:

Should I tell him how I feel about his parents, or keep myself neutral with respect to my comments about them? Should I support him in his avoidance of his mother's calls to him?

I try to encourage him NOT to talk with his mother because the calls seem only to benefit her, and don't seem to offer any value to him and his well being. In other words, I try to support him in his avoidance of her.

He's fairly agitated after talking with his mother and hasn't spoken with her since a couple of weeks ago when he tried to discuss his childhood with her. She always just "blows him off" and changes the subject. She does not LISTEN to him. Maybe it was his DAD that harmed him and she didn't intervene, but his Dad was just never home and it just doesn't "feel" like it was his dad.

Question 6:

What do I do to continue supporting him? Can I tell him I Love Him?

He says he doesn't know how to respond when I tell him I Love Him when we hang up or in my e-mails to him. Should I stop doing this? or continue?

Last Question:

How long have you folks been in therapy and what are your ages, if you don't mind me asking?

Thanks for being so patient with all my questions.

_________________________
ConfusedGal

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#57565 - 01/18/04 06:52 PM Re: New To This Board--Have Many Questions
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
Concerned Gal - I'm pleased you're sticking with us. I can't speak for your boyfriend, but I can answer your questions from my own perspective... he may think and act in a similar way (many of us seem to have similar behaviours - I can identify that and I've only been coming here a matter of weeks).

1/ Why break up with you without warning?

Well not only was I abused at 12 by a male from outside of the family, but when I plucked up the courage to start dating real women I had some bad luck with that as well. Of 3 serious relationships (so I thought), one used me as her personal bank until she managed to progress in her career - I had to be told by several friends that I was being used (they were right). The next one decided to marry her brother's best friend (whom she allegedly hated)because he had been working abroad in a tax free environment for several years, returned and paid for his own business cash. Number 3 - well a friend unexpectedly called to take me to a pub one night and she was in there with her tongue down her ex boyfriends throat. If someone like yourself appeared on the scene and showed interest in me, I would either just completely ignore you until you went away. If you didn't go away, I would test you to your limits. I think that anyone such as yourself that shows an interest in me has an ulterior motive. In my heart I know I have been unlucky, but that's how it is!

2/ The main point from this question that I identify with is 'he keeps busy with hobbies'. I kept busy for 34 years because when I was busy, there was less chance of my mind being taken over by morbid thoughts and memories.

3/ I started therapy just before Christmas - no one could ever have forced me to go. The difference is that I kept quiet for 32 years before telling anyone - got a positive response then & thought I was OK. Just before Christmas, I got to my breaking point (34 years)- I had to get that low before I could realise that I needed help. This I requested through the NHS (National Health Service in England)and am currently on a waiting list to see a Clinical Psychologist. My Boss however stepped in and got me some immediate councelling - this I believe actually saved me. I believe that you could not force anyone here to attend councelling it must be of our own free will, when we recognise that need within ourselves.

4/ Good Therapist v Bad - I don't know how to identify these people. You can't exactly ask anyone at work if they know a good therapist that deals with survivors of abuse (although on second thoughts, as I am getting stronger, perhaps now I would ask). I've only got experience of one therapist (they do have codes of practice) and She is excellent.

5/ Discussing his parents - you appear to have qualities that will eventually increase his trust in you. Let him lead any conversation about his parents and support him in the conversations. He will know what he thinks and in time you may become party to those thoughts.

6/ Can you tell him you love him - yes, eventually he may begin to believe that you do love him and that this love, is not the 'other love' that was abuse. We do find it difficult to believe that people really do love us (even when we know in our hearts that they do). I am frequently told that I am loved by friends, their wives, family members - but do you know what, I cannot say it back. Why because the word was tarnished forever when I was 12 years. old.

I am 46, been in therapy for 3 weeks (34 years later than I should have been), been coming to this site for about 3 weeks and it helps so much. Please keep using this site it is a fantastic resource towards understanding the issues that survivors carry with them. I hope that my answers help and don't give you too many negative feelings. I have been honest with my answers as I hope it will give you more understanding of how us SURVIVORS may think.

Best wishes again to you both... Rik

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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#57566 - 01/18/04 08:35 PM Re: New To This Board--Have Many Questions
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
Concerned Gal - I'm back again... something just hit me regarding the father never being around:

'I know that the father tended to expect perfection and would resort to hitting in the face and SCREAMING into the boys' faces when they violated some minor infraction. (getting water on the floor of their camping trailer while taking a shower). '

Just read that paragraph it frightens me!

Best wishes again ...Rik

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

Top
#57567 - 01/19/04 12:10 AM Re: New To This Board--Have Many Questions
ConcernedGal Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/17/04
Posts: 19
Loc: California
I sent my b-friend an e-mail today telling him I won't "push" him into therapy anymore. After reading some of these posts I realized that he needs to make his way to help in his time, not mine.

He sent me this e-mail today and gives me permission for you folks to read it. Do not take offense at some of his comments about some of the posts he's read. He's quite the alpha male who has experienced some horrific things in the military for extended period of time, on top of all the other crap with the bad women he picked to marry and the abuse from his childhood.

This is what he has to offer right now in the way of a self-assessment. Maybe some of you have some comments after reading it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Confused,

Can't believe I'm saying this, but feel free to c/paste the below info on that Board; maybe it'll help.

Thanks for being there and agreeing to not PUSH. Pushing too hard will definitely build resentment; I'm having a tough enough time trying to take some action here. Yep, you're on a roll!! "I'm a hostage" - funny how you
took a phrase that was so terrible to me and turned it into a phrase of support...

I've read quite a bit on this site. For years, I've used the term "wall." How strange it was to see that other folks use it in much the same way.
Like minds, eh?

But there's alot of stuff there that I don't think applies to me, which I imagine is normal. I don't think I wobble, as they say. Think I'm pretty well grounded, as related to that. Everyone has some degree of mood swings;
mine aren't any worse than anyone else's. Whatever has happened to me in the past, is only manifested by my putting up the wall. I've done and seen some things in the military that I'm sure have left a mark, but I've learned
to deal with them. I honestly don't think I'm a candidate for the PTSD label. There are no violent outbursts, suicidal ideations, excessive
spending, drinking, sex as a recreational sport or as a way to penalize, etc. Here's how I see it:

My professional life is great, but my personal
life (as some people see it) sucks. I have developed excellent coping skills and defense mechanisms. Guess I've just accustomed myself to being alone. Each of my marriages failed. Was it my fault? Well, it always takes two to tango - but in retrospect, I admittedly made poor choices.
Have I preprogrammed myself for certain failure? Maybe so. We've had this discussion before, right? Sheesh... what I'm trying to say is that the repeated failures has led me to develop a defense mechanism, whereby being alone is now normal for me. I have my work and hobbies which, for my needs, give me all the social interaction I need. Is this right or wrong? Beats me. I now realize there are some things in my past that were not good for me. What are they? I know a few, but wonder about sexual abuse. As we've
talked about before, there is so much about my childhood that I can't remember. The story about the photo of me and the dog just recently came to
light. Very strange.

I feel absolutely horrible for hurting you. You have no idea. Maybe someday you can forgive me. I can't accurately explain what happened, other
than the wall, immediately and completely, went up.

I read some of the site last night, then again this a.m. Honestly, this morning when I thought about the site, I got the thought of "what a bunch of wussy, touchy feely, anti-gun, anti-war, liberal asses!" Denial? Hmmm...maybe.

I do believe my father was verbally abusive. I remember some times, when he was home, of sitting at the table and him screaming at me because my numbers (math homework) were not in a perfect column. Adequate or very good were not standards that he measured; things had to be perfect. In 1992 or so, my grandmother related to me that my father would really yell at me to "get things right" and such. She said they had quite a few arguments about that. At least someone stuck up for me! So I guess my father is mostly the reason
I'm often the perfectionist today. As we've talked about before, I don't believe I try to impose those traits on others. Hey, feel free to agree or disagree here. HAHA!

So this is uncharted territory for me. Do I want to explore further? Yes - but I'm not making any promises. I may find this doesn't apply to me or
that I just can't deal with the (potential) pain.

Anyway, I think I've had enough talking and thinking about this for one weekend. Hell, who knows; maybe I'm so fucked up that I can't see the writing on the wall that's right in front of me.

Talk to you later,

Boy-Friend

There it is, as he feels it, today. I don't get the feeling he will follow through. If he doesn't then I really have no opportunity to get back the man I fell in love with. I will always have to settle for e-mails and an occasional phone call. I love him, but if he is un-treated and doesn't need me on the level I need him, then maybe I need to realize the it's truly over for good. To do that I cannot offer the same kind of support I'm trying to provide to him right now. To get over my love for him I would have to truly "go away." The interaction now continues to give me hope and I don't think he will ever need me the way I need him. It's not healthy for me to be entrenched in a relationship that is one-sided. He's my love interest, not a friend. We started off as friends, but it became very close and intimate for a wonderful 7 months. I can't go backwards with my feelings for him. I would have to end communications. Hard for me to do when I've learned you don't just give up on someone when they're down. I don't want anyome to give me any false hope, and he hasn't either. But, if he can't follow through to try and become whole again, then I can't be there for him for an extended period of time. If he doesn't try, then I won't either, in other words.

There you have it. This is a very sad thing to me and it had been very difficult for both of us, not just me.

_________________________
ConfusedGal

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#57568 - 01/19/04 01:25 AM Re: New To This Board--Have Many Questions
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
How I wish I had your courage! But I also respect BF's integrity: at least he has responded AT ALL! My friend/ ex-friend/ whatever he is won't even discuss any of this - and that makes it even more difficult to achieve some kind of closure...

Just had another bruising experience last night - will be needing some support from y'all out there, but am not ready yet to write about it yet.

Anyway. I wish I had the clarity of vision that you have been able to achieve.

Thanks - hope I can follow your example.

_________________________
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

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#57569 - 01/19/04 02:02 PM Re: New To This Board--Have Many Questions
ConcernedGal Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/17/04
Posts: 19
Loc: California
:rolleyes:

Thanks for the strokes, but I'm feeling like I can only work this only one day at a time. I'm very proud of B/Friend. He's scared, or maybe even back-peddling a bit with respect to his need for therapy. I'm backing off of him and allowing him to make his own plans, on his own time.

We talked last night after he read all these posts, and I still pump him for answers to what happened between us and various other questions that come to me. This helps me try and understand where I fit in to all this. He's been awesome and very patient with me considering I have to probe to get some of these answers.

B/Friend is very functional and has learned a great amount of control to live life as fully as possible. I don't believe GOD made us to be a solitary species, and instead made us to be loving and connected to others. If it wasn't for his breaking it off with me so suddenly, I would never had known he was suffering emotionally

It's quite the enigma, this whole eye-opening situation with the two of us. I'm can only take care of me and show him as much respect and courage as I can. He is a dynamic, and brave man. But, this is difficult even for him. I need to learn patience. I'm not a patient gal. Period. I want what I want, when I want it. I want him. He's not available anymore. But, he clarified last night, so I would understand, that my "hanging in there" with him is important to him. He loved me deeply before breaking up the relationship, I believe that love is still there buried somewhere.....hiding. Maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part, but worth waiting for. At least for today.

He's very special to me. I only want him to be happy and do not to make him feel guilty, or overly stressed. If he decides he absolutely "can't do" the therapy, then that's his choice. He has the GOD given right to live his life the best way he knows how without any hounding from me or anyone else.

I'm really on my own it feels.

_________________________
ConfusedGal

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#57570 - 01/19/04 03:22 PM Re: New To This Board--Have Many Questions
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
>>>But there's alot of stuff there that I don't think applies to me, which I imagine is normal. I don't think I wobble, as they say. Think I'm pretty well grounded, as related to that. Everyone has some degree of mood swings;
mine aren't any worse than anyone else's. Whatever has happened to me in the past, is only manifested by my putting up the wall.


>>>My professional life is great, but my personal
life (as some people see it) sucks. I have developed excellent coping skills and defense mechanisms. Guess I've just accustomed myself to being alone.

Thats the problem. Survivors develop coping skills/mechanisms that help you when you are being abused.. and they serve you pretty well in other places.. i.e. if you are in the military or in policing, etc.. but....

I bet that the wobble and anxiety starts when he is in a relationship, hence the wall.

I'm an abuse survivor so is my fiance (why i'm on here) and i can tell you that in many aspects of my life i'm pretty sane, capable, normal.. etc (whatever normal is) but its when i get into relationships too that I am a mess.. and my fiance is/was too...

Abuse does not always affect all aspects of your life.. but relationships is the place that this affects you the most.

>>>I read some of the site last night, then again this a.m. Honestly, this morning when I thought about the site, I got the thought of "what a bunch of wussy, touchy feely, anti-gun, anti-war, liberal asses!" Denial? Hmmm...maybe.

I'd say so.

I guess he's totally fine and ok in this world as long as he does not want to have a relationship.

If he does he's got a lot of work to do.

P


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#57571 - 01/19/04 03:28 PM Re: New To This Board--Have Many Questions
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
>>>>I don't believe GOD made us to be a solitary species, and instead made us to be loving and connected to others. If it wasn't for his breaking it off with me so suddenly, I would never had known he was suffering emotionally

Indeed God did not make us to be solitary, but abuse histories can cause us to act in that way as a protective mechanism.

>>>I believe that love is still there buried somewhere.....hiding. Maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part, but worth waiting for. At least for today.

How long do you want to wait? I know you dont want to right now, but eventually you may have to make a decision for yourself, and be open to someone who may come along who WILL be able to do relationships!!!

>>>He's very special to me. I only want him to be happy and do not to make him feel guilty, or overly stressed.

But what about your happiness?
What about your specialness?

>>>I'm really on my own it feels.

he has made it clear he doesn't do relationships.. i'd say you are on your own!

And that is not to say there is anything wrong with many aspects of this guy, sounds like a good guy to be friends with, to have fun with, but if you are looking to be in a serious committed emotionally intimate relationship, he has made it very clear that he is not the person for you!!

Sorry to be blunt but I can only see this ending in heartbreak for you!

I have beeen here before.. and it is tough.. someone has everything going for them EXCEPT they just are so emotionally scarred that they can't do relationships!


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#57572 - 01/19/04 09:27 PM Re: New To This Board--Have Many Questions
ConcernedGal Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/17/04
Posts: 19
Loc: California
Thanks PAS.

You're right on! I do deserve to be with someone that can love me, and if that's where I end up going then it will be because it's the right time. He's been very honest and has not made any attempt to deceive me with respect to coming back to me. He's been very straightforward about the possibility that he may never be OK in a relationship again. That's why I've come here.

I guess I first needed to understand what he's experiencing, and how serious this all is, so I could ascertain what I was up against. Without therapy for him there would be no possibility for us and I know that. I can live with that. I'm not so insecure that I will be there for him indefinitely, but, I can't just say "see ya' later 'cuz you're sick" either. I will take the opportunity to go out with another if the opportunity avails itself. He knows that. But, I told him I'm not looking right now. It's too soon after our breakup and I don't jump from one relationship to another. Not good for the soul. So, don't think I'm a wilting flower without him. He just loved me the way I loved him and was perfect for me...for a while anyway.

Because he recently made a comment that he doesn't know if he can follow through with therapy, I now know that I really don't have any say so, or control, over my future with him. I suspect he's entertaining thoughts to back out. I won't be surprised if he tells me that anyway.

I tend to go through my own mood-swings where this is concerned, and today is not a good day for me at all. Work is bad, lost my wallet, and I'm beginning to hear rumblings of him backing out of therapy. I don't want him to do it for me....he has to do it for himself, but I guess I gauge how worthy I was to him by his seeking treatment or not. Probably not a fair thing to think, but there were two of us involved together...not just him. He made sure I was good and connected, and then dropped the bomb. I'm angry for that. I didn't need another failed relationship under my belt. He just was sooooo stable, it seemed.

I think child abuse is THE saddest thing in this world. I had my own issues to deal with when I got sober, but this is so much more horrific. I want all of you survivors to know how proud I am that you are trying to work through your pain. Just taking that first step is soooo important. Just like in AA/NA, and I admire you all for that. It can't be easy, but I believe you will get whole one step at a time. I attended AA meetings for the first 7-8 years of my sobriety!! Not to mention one-on-one therapy off and on for two years, and marriage counseling off-and-on. Sheesh.....I've been severely therapized!!

I appreciate each response that I'm getting here.

_________________________
ConfusedGal

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#57573 - 01/20/04 02:26 PM Re: New To This Board--Have Many Questions
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
>>>>I guess I first needed to understand what he's experiencing, and how serious this all is, so I could ascertain what I was up against. Without therapy for him there would be no possibility for us and I know that. I can live with that.

I guess the one thing that is really key is that people who have been abused/traumatized, particularly sexually, the whole concept of being intimate, physically or emotionally is just so overwhelming that it just sets off so many alarm bells that they often go into a seriuos deep freeze ("the wall") and until they process the issue

So whiel your friend says he does not have PTSD I would beg to differ - he was abused intimately in a close relationship so naturally trauma responses (checking out, the wall, etc.) will show up when he is in a similar siutation - wont necessarily leave him totally unfunctional in all aspets of his life just those that remind him subconsciously of the abuse.

>>>>Because he recently made a comment that he doesn't know if he can follow through with therapy, I now know that I really don't have any say so, or control, over my future with him.

I dont think it is possible for him to really be in a relatioship unless he does get therapy. Unfortunately...

>>>>I tend to go through my own mood-swings where this is concerned, and today is not a good day for me at all.

Of course! You are still in the throes of grief and loss yourself. You really liked this guy, you had high hopes, you invested time and energy and felt good about this.. and now you are realizing it will not happen. You see a GREAT guy who has been so affected by abuse, you tend to focus on that one thing that you feel is keeping you from that great guy.. hard not to be angry about this!!!


>>>I didn't need another failed relationship under my belt. He just was sooooo stable, it seemed.

Been there. Done that. Many times. I can completely understand.

>>>I've been severely therapized!!

Me too! I've had about 12 shrinks since 1989, 3 social workers, two outpatient psychiatric nurse therapists, been to ACoA for years, hypnotherapy, been on antidepressants twice, sleeping pills off and on, tranquilizers once, couples therapy, EMDR and hypnotherapy. Sheesh! I should have my B.A. in psychology by now!


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#57574 - 01/20/04 08:04 PM Re: New To This Board--Have Many Questions
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
ConcernedGal
I'd say he's nearly there....soooooo frustrating !

I'm no expert on PTSD, and I know I denied it with a vengance when my T said I displayed all the symptoms. So he explained, and I did some research, and he was right. So what ? it's another label to add to the many I've collected on the way as far as I'm concerned. But having the label makes sense of some of my behaviours.
And for so long I couldn't make any sense of them, why did I do things that I didn't really want to do? why did I take huge risks ?

I didn't know any of the answers, but my life became intolerable so answers had to be found. Perhaps a level of intolerance has to be reached before we feel compelled to act ?
I know my friend who went through the divorce from hell felt like your friend, all he wanted was his own company, his hobbies and peace and quiet.
He's just moved in with his girlfriend, 13 years younger and as loud as they come ! \:D
But he did it in his time, on his terms.
Is there something about men that makes us more wary of getting hurt again ?
I'm sure that we only do anything when we've run out of alternatives though :rolleyes:

I like my touchy - feely side now, It took some getting used to, and I reacted against it. But it can exist perfectly happily alongside the old 'macho' me ( believe that, you'll believe anything ! \:D ) - well, maybe not macho, but the rough- arsed, slob image I cultivated for so long.
We can do both, maybe not perfectly, but we can at least try. If I fart in bed I say "sorry" now.

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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#57575 - 01/20/04 08:26 PM Re: New To This Board--Have Many Questions
ConcernedGal Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/17/04
Posts: 19
Loc: California
PAS:

Are you male or female? I'm getting female, but can't be sure.

Anyway. I guess what I find interesting is that he was in three sexual marriages before me. He was in a relationship with a gal named Mary just for the sex for an extended period. It was mutual between them that it was just for the sex. She was rather promiscuous and wasn't interested in him for more.

Why, with me, could he not have the sexual intimacy and broke it off, but he could with his wives and past girlfriend's? Was it because he saw in me a person who was not going to just take off at the slightest provocation? That it had had gotten too serious? I know the others don't have anything to do with me, I'm just not understanding what it was about me that sent him over the brink. My personality? My experience and comfort with therapy, 12 step programs and recovery?

I now believe the sex brought up the deep pain. It must have made him sick to some extent. That's the only thing I can think of, and he wouldn't tell me that for fear I would think it was me instead of the activity that made him ill.

I asked him if he's testing me for loyalty. He said "no" very sincerely.

It would be hard for me to say goodbye during this period, but if he doesn't do the footwork then I would consider that a silent "f/u" to me. Passive resistant or passive aggressive? Although he would never see it as that.

Alcoholics are given ultimatums all the time. I guess an example would be me drinking myself into oblivion every night, and being told by those who loved me that either I get some help or they won't hang around. I would be expected to do something. People don't HAVE to hit a "bottom" before they get help anymore. We can help them along by showing them they aren't alone and they are loved. I know it's different here since we're not married, and I have no real ties to him.

To settle for friendship, with him doing nothing to make this break-up into a positive, would be very telling. I'm giving him a litte while to follow up with a new referral, but I won't keep giving support to someone who doesn't need it. He only needs my support if he's going through the trials and tributions of therapy. I think he's moving into an area of minimizing his issues, now that the dirty work of breaking up with me is no longer an issue.

All this writing and talking situation is actually helping me to move forward albeit exhausting. The more I write, the closer I get to making some changes for me. Especially when he tells me he's not sure he can go through with it. He has called some here "wussies", but these "wussies" weren't too "wussie" to get help! Are you reading this b/friend? :-)

It takes courage to get help and face the whispering demons. Only "wussies" stay "as sick as their secrets" (A fine AA term). I also firmly believe that it won't get better, but only worse. Either physically or emotionally he cannot maintain the strict control he manages for himself indefinitely. He already suffers from bad migraines, which I think HE even believes has to do with the crap he's carrying around.

Like I said before to him in an e-mail, I may do him a favor and just give up on waiting. Then he wouldn't have to do a thing but live his life alone as he's most comfortable. I'd hate to see the waste of that, but life has to go on for me at some juncture. If he can't do it for himself, then do it for me. We have learned that when companies force their employees into recovery programs they get sober. And sometimes alcoholics can only muster up the reason to get sober for someone other than themselves. I can't see a lot of difference here, since many alcoholics were also sexually molested and abused. Admitting we have a problem and then facing it is a very scary adult thing to have to do. Fear doesn't offer up motivation to face horrors like this. But, what choice is there really? Do nothing? I guess I'll end by saying that millions have dealt with their demons, I think he has what it takes to do so also. Then again, if he doesn't.....well, God Bless His Heart.

Keep up the good work that all of you are doing. I admire you all greatly for your individual hard work, and the time you put in here for the newcomers like me who just ramble on....

_________________________
ConfusedGal

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#57576 - 01/20/04 09:05 PM Re: New To This Board--Have Many Questions
ConcernedGal Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/17/04
Posts: 19
Loc: California
Dave:

You crack me up!! Thanks for the great input.

What did you mean "He's nearly there?" Do you mean he's close to seeking help? I sure as hell hope so.....
He's reading these messages so it's good that you men are responding.

I'm long winded, but most of it is therapeutic for me more than anything else. And good for you at your progress!!

When you talked about your friend who just moved in with his girlfriend, I have to assume he sought out therapy or else he wouldn't be seeking companionship, correct?

Labels are important. I know that doesn't make sense to those who have never been in recovery, but I'm AA/Alinon (called a double-winner)NA & ACA. But, incest survivor was not my primary problem although I was treated for more covert/indirect sexual issues during marriage counseling and in early sobriety therapy. I have other insecurities now, but nothing hugely serious. I guess if we had gotten married, I would have had a better chance of being influential in his getting help. Maybe I'm just a catalyst to start the seed growing in his head. He's probably saying "dang, why did I have to meet her!" :-)

Is it a true statement, from the survivors perspective, if I was to say that his parents still control him even though they are only in his life very little? That until he gets help they will continue to influence him negatively?

He talks with his dad on the phone maybe once every weekend, but he avoids his mother as much as possible. When she does get through to him, she has the ability to frustrate him alot. It's like a love/hate relationship. Instead of cutting her loose for good, he goes awhile without speaking to her, then she manages to get through again. He continues to send her money out of duty, even though she offers him only negatives. It seems like a sick connection to me. She controls him still.

I believe his father does too. He cannot stick up for himself, and settles for his dad's "morsels" of interest in his life. The father was very intimidating and cold when he was growing up. His father is dealing with either prostate or colon cancer (in remission right now, I believe) so his dad may only be around a couple more years. I'd only tolerate enough to get my inheritance if I was him, but I'm not him, and I don't have the emotional connection b/friend does with him.

I have a male friend who was physically abused by a violent father, along with his brothers. I asked him what happened to his dad and he said "he died before I got a chance to kick his ass." Just like that! I find that to be a healthy response. To hate your abuser and be able to talk about hating them. Sometimes they deserve to be hated. I hated my mother for not taking my brothers and I away from my alcoholic father. But in those days women stayed. She didn't drive and one of my brothers is handicapped. She was stuck as stuck could be in those times.

_________________________
ConfusedGal

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#57577 - 01/23/04 08:12 PM Re: New To This Board--Have Many Questions
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
Concerned Gal / Confused Gal - I am working my way through the posts tonight and will surprise everyone by giving my shortest response yet. Which will surprise everyone (now avoids going into lengthy explanation in brackets but still uses those bloody brackets).

1/ Everyone here has issues, that's why we are here (or we are supporting someone that needs to come here). We need good people to help us resolve those issues, however we cannot and should not expect anyone to help us if we do not help ourselves. *You are welcome to give us a kick to get us moving (well me anyway).
2/ We all deserve a good life that is very positive in all aspects. We are all also responsible for trying to build that life for ourselves - I can blame my perv, and have done for years if I do not achieve what I want. That BASTARD is NOT GOING TO WIN ANYMORE
3/ We all have a duty to ourselves to have that life.
4/ Every time that 'the abuser' pops into our minds, build up a defence that tells him to go away on holiday (**** off and travel) - this is difficult, but building that contempt helps.
5/ People here help - accept it... I'm not going to get into the olympics, but you seem to have done a marathon with Your Sobriety - I award you a GOLD MEDAL for achievement.

Best wishes and a smile... Rik - I could never do anger...now I'm learning.

*Might not have specifically answered your questions, but a summary of what we can and should be!

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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