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#57946 - 02/19/04 01:38 PM Very Hurt & Confused
Tabor Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 35
Loc: lost
Can anyone give me some insight as to why a Survivor would push away someone who cares about them? My friend tells me that no one has ever been as nice as I am to him, that Iím the only person he can truly be himself with, yet he pushes me away and shows no sign that he cares whether or not I exist. I have told him from the beginning that I would always be there for him, that I support him and believe everything that has happened. Iíve always treated him with dignity and respect. Our friendship seems pretty much one-sided. Heíll contact me when he wants/needs to communicate but itís always about him. Of course I understand that he needs to talk about the abuse (Iíd give him all the time in the world for that and not feel bad that it was all about him), but mostly our conversations revolve around whatís going on in his day to day life. I donít want to sound selfish, but itís very difficult to feel so unimportant. My self-worth is at an all time low because of his disregard for me. At times it feels as though heís treating me like I did something to him. I guess what I want to know is what does a Survivor expect from a friendship? Iíve been trying my hardest to learn and understand what heís been through and what he continues to deal with. My heart aches for him and I have no idea how to help or even if I can. Does he even want me to try or would he rather I just disappear? Iíve been reading a book called ďAllies in HealingĒ by Laura Davis. This is an excellent book for anyone who cares about a Survivor and I highly recommend reading it if you havenít already. Thanks so much for listening and any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated.


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#57947 - 02/19/04 01:53 PM Re: Very Hurt & Confused
theo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 1117
tabor,
it can go many different directions. where is he now? was there something of an intimate relationship in the wings between the two of you (as a couple, not physical intimacy necessarily)? did he just recently start recalling his abuse? there are many ways this can be read. there is too little info at this point to really offer concrete advice. what i can say is that survivors do push people away at times. we also tend to focus on mundane aspects of life to avoid the abuse issues when it can be too much. it sounds as though this friendship/relationship is relatively new, or if not new then something is different in your experience. if you can offer a little more background it might be possible to offer a little more insight. read the posts here in the family forum, it will help shed some light on the relationship dynamics of survivors and their partners. take care. pm me if you need to.

_________________________
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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#57948 - 02/19/04 02:07 PM Re: Very Hurt & Confused
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Hmmm. Are we both involved with the same guy????

I will probably PM you later when I have more time, but you might actually find yourself smiling if you look up my various posts from the past....

All I can tell you is: do not obsess over your friend! He cannot heal except on his own timetable. And when he's ready to heal, he will take those steps REGARDLESS of whether you are "there" for him or not. Once the pain gets unbearable enough, once he is strong enough, once he feels good enough about himself - only then will he be motivated to change. FOr better or for worse, there is NOTHING you can or should do to "help" him heal.

Meanwhile, be honest with yourself about your own needs & don't get caught up thinking that you have to be perfectly supportive & saintly as a "partner" or "almost partner" or "wanna-be partner...."

You have legitimate needs for validation & support yourself. If you think you are ready, you might want to spend some time being brutally honest with yourself: are you truly capable of *receiving* love if/ when it is given back to you.... If not, the pseudo-relationship is already filling one of your "needs" & it's never going to improve until you can heal up the core of your own emptiness.

Easier said than done.

Believe me, I am right there with you!

Good luck! I will try to contact you later.

_________________________
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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#57949 - 02/19/04 02:37 PM Re: Very Hurt & Confused
Tabor Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 35
Loc: lost
kolisha54,

Thank you so much for giving me permission to be human. Iíve been so worried about saying the wrong thing or being angry with him or telling him how hurt I am. A weight has been lifted to know that I donít have to be perfect. Thank you also for telling me what I needed to hear - that I have needs for validation and support. Iíve been so worried about him and focused on his needs that Iíve managed to let go of my own. Itís hard caring for someone more than you care about yourself.

And Iíll definitely check our your posts - I could use a smile or two.


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#57950 - 02/19/04 03:53 PM Re: Very Hurt & Confused
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Yup. Know what you mean: Been there. Done that. Trying not to keep Doing that.

Hang in there! A very wise person called Dave who posts on this site once advised me to think about myself & my needs because, after all, that's what "he" is doing....

Just because someone has suffered, he does not have the right to be insufferable! On the other hand, this does not mean that we, in turn, have permission to be equally obnoxious.

You are doing the right thing to educate yourself about all this - once you read the posts of other partners you will begin to see that your friend's behavior is almost predictable.

Use caution, though. And above all, don't get sucked into the Sweet Little Angel Syndrome. Love among Adults is NOT unconditional: ever! It is very very very sad when someone does not get unconditional love at the appropriate time in childhood (or worse, of course, is abused) & then spends a lifetime trying to re-create what never was "if only" he/ she can find the right partner OR if only their current partner would be more..... whatever.

As Adults, we need to recognize that our behaviors have consequences for those with whom we interact. Abuse or no abuse. Survivor or partner.

Your love for your friend will ALWAYS be with you. But until he comes to the point where your needs are important to him, you will not really have the kind of "relationship" that you crave.

Take good care of yourself!

_________________________
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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#57951 - 02/20/04 01:25 AM Re: Very Hurt & Confused
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

It sounds like your friend is taking you for granted and that's not okay. It also sounds like you do need to focus some attention elsewhere, even if it's just enough to give you a source of self-worth that's about yourself.

But don't underestimate the importance of someone telling you the day to day stuff either. Some people are just protective about all of their experiences and emotions. I can't tell you how significant it was (and how much it meant to me) when my boyfriend started talking to me about his days.

peace
SAR


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#57952 - 02/20/04 02:03 AM Re: Very Hurt & Confused
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1983
Loc: Flint, Michigan
Opening up -> frienship and guarded trust -> love and trust = HURT AND MORE PAIN

Break the chain before it gets to the trust and their is not the Hurt and More Pain.

_________________________
Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

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#57953 - 02/20/04 10:01 AM Re: Very Hurt & Confused
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I wanted to reply based on what I saw from Bill. It sounds so much like something in T recently (aka, last night).

But I saw this from Kolisha:
Quote:
And when he's ready to heal, he will take those steps REGARDLESS of whether you are "there" for him or not. Once the pain gets unbearable enough, once he is strong enough, once he feels good enough about himself - only then will he be motivated to change. FOr better or for worse, there is NOTHING you can or should do to "help" him heal.
And I have to say that when he gets to that point, no force on earth will stop him from doing what he needs to do to heal. He will have to get there when he's ready, though.

Last night in T we talked about trust. Yeah, I'm ever vigilant. That's not something to be proud of. Maybe it had a time and place when it was a valuable behavioral trait (I draw breath today), but it's not the way to approach life as an adult who wants to connect to someone else.

I don't know how long it's going to take me to succeed in living differently. How do I learn how to trust? How to come to believe it's worth learning, and not some foolishly dangerous endeavor?

Your friend might be feeling things like Bill and I have described. Not sure how it helps to know about that possibility (only a possibility, I did not read your friend's mind), but take what you like and leave the rest.

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 unbrokenÖ"óThe Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#57954 - 02/21/04 06:23 PM Re: Very Hurt & Confused
Tabor Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 35
Loc: lost
Thank you all for your insight, your opinions, your knowledge. Iím learning a great deal in the few days since Iíve been here and value everything Iíve been reading. There are so many questions I needed answered, things I needed to understand, and still do. Hearing from Survivors and their friends and family is exactly what I needed.

Peace to all of you,
Tabor


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