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#58096 - 10/13/05 01:31 AM Brand new to this site-loving wife of survivor
Bluebird Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 15
I have been reading the site for a few weeks and this is my first post. My husband is a survivor of childhood clergy SA. He started remembering his SA in spring 2004 and wrestled with it for about 6 months before telling me last fall. We have known each other for 11 years and have been married for 5. He is a wonderful husband and I love him with all my heart. He is truly my soulmate and we have a very strong relationship that has weathered some sizable storms. And this one is a heck of a storm. I am confident that we will weather this one too. I have always assured hubby that I will stand by him through thick and thin, and he tells me that he feels very safe with me. All these good feelings are reciprocated between us. We are best friends and have fun together. He's the light of my life. That's why I'm committed to helping him any way that I can.

He began seeing his T a year ago, a sage and kind lady who specializes in trauma work and has developed a great relationship with hubby. I am very thankful for this. I go to see her as well, sometimes on my own, sometimes together with hubby. She calls me her ally in hubby's recovery. Recently she and hubby completed the most difficult part of the trauma work and hubby is entering a new phase, a phase of taking back control of his life.

I have watched my husband make so much progress in the last year and I have been here encouraging him and giving him my support and love. It has been a trying time. I know that I can never truly understand what he is going through because I have not experienced SA. But I have been depressed, and I try to relate to that aspect of it. When I was depressed, I eventually discovered that exercise helps, as well as staying active to keep your mind on other things. To keep up routines, to eat right, to think positively. He has come a long way from the weeks on the couch last fall and the voluntary hospitalization for 4 days. He has some really good days now, but the pattern is so up and down. The pattern for the last month or two is that he misses 1-2 days of work a week. Work is very understanding about this, as his boss knows the situation. But he'll have a really good day or two, and I'll think that its going to continue, then he will spiral down again for a day or two, then back up. From my optimist's perspective, I see this as progress, because in the up times he is committed to his healing, he says what he is going to do about it, like go to work the next day, not drink (which he does more nights of the week than not), and exercise. He's gained a good deal of weight during the last year and smoking alot more and I'm concerned about the toll that is taking, in addition to the alcohol. On the bad days he says he is "just so tired" and says "it's a constant struggle just going through the day" and "I'm tired of fighting all the time." Right now he's sleeping on the couch and has been since returning home from work, Despite my suggestion we go out for some exercise. In the last week, he has identified that he is feeling agoraphobic at times and doesn't want to leave the house. This is really at odds with his usual self because he has always been the one to want to party and go out with friends.

Sometimes, on the other hand, he will go for long drives and take his journal with him. Sometimes I don't know when he is coming home. This happened earlier this week after an argument, and when he left the house he went to a bar, then proceeded to drive to a town 2 hours away where we don't know anyone. He slept in the car, and I found this out when I called him at 3AM because I was worried sick. Next day we resolved this argument, he saying he realized he had overreacted and me accepting readily but laying some ground rules for future (no drinking and driving, long drives okay as long as I know when returning home and by the end of the evening). Hubby more than met me halfway and is reasonable, thoughtful, not afraid to admit he was wrong. I always try to do the same and am quick to try to resolve arguments.

I guess that is the background. Lately I have been feeling up and down myself, like I am feeling the residuals of what he is feeling. I have felt a bit demotivated about work, and I am in sales, so it is really important to stay motivated. I noticed today that I am getting frustrated about things regarding work way more than I should. Upon receiving a new assignment from my manager, I felt angry and frustrated that she was on vacation and I have yet another project. I am probably just transfering my frustration about personal struggle to work life, and I want to get a handle on this. Hubby calls me his "rock" and I want to remain so. But I am beginning to realize that I need to take care of myself, too. I am going to take part in a support group for survivor loved ones soon, which should help me to understand and to cope. Meantime I am just trying to keep my spirits up and continue to be supportive and encouraging. I try to put hubby's needs before my own, but am realizing I need to take care of myself also, in order to be happy and to be strong for him.

T anticipates that hubby will make a full recovery. Sorry for the long and rambling post, but it was good to get this out. I should also say we are pursuing legal action too, which should be a good step, though difficult. I guess I would like to ask if anyone has any advice for me, how I can encourage, support and help my husband in his recovery. I have already introduced him to this site, which he has thanked me for several times over because he is finding it so helpful. I guess my biggest frustration is wanting to encourage him in the times when he seems to want to just hide from the world. What's the best thing a loving wife can do? Thank you for your insight and caring.


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#58097 - 10/13/05 03:34 AM Re: Brand new to this site-loving wife of survivor
Major Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 9
Hi there,

I can empathize with you alot. I am brand new to this site myself, and really have no insight to offer quite yet, but just wanted to say hello. I felt much better about life in general after my first posting yesterday, with the informative and compassionate responses that were posted today.


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#58098 - 10/13/05 03:35 AM Re: Brand new to this site-loving wife of survivor
Bluebird Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 15
Just wanted to clarify, when I said hubby was sleeping on the couch at the moment, I meant he was taking a nap! Realized it may have sounded like I kicked him out of bed.


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#58099 - 10/13/05 03:37 AM Re: Brand new to this site-loving wife of survivor
Bluebird Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 15
Thank you, Major

It is comforting just to be in the presence here of others you understand. Thanks for your kind words. It felt good just to write about it.


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#58100 - 10/13/05 12:36 PM Re: Brand new to this site-loving wife of survivor
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
I feel like Major in that I'm not only new here but have less expeience than yourself even.

The CSA was only disclosed 3 months ago and two and a half months of those we were living apart.I want to say two things, I'm thinking of you and hope you do get some support for you. Also thankyou for your honest post. You've clarified that message for me that support for partners is vital. Thanks for that and good luck.


Lots of love

Tracy


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#58101 - 10/13/05 03:55 PM Re: Brand new to this site-loving wife of survivor
riviera Offline
Member

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 59
Loc: Spain
Hi Bluebird

My boyfriend of 6 years disclosed his CSA before we started going out with each other but only until 7 months ago he has really faced his past and started his own recovery.

At the beginning many nights he would not come home and wander in a park near work (he never carries a mobile so imagine my state waiting for him at home until late), he would lose speech or dissociate when arriving home totally confused and lost.He would be up and down in short periods of time and he would definitely stay at home and not going to work for at least one day every 2/3 weeks...all these among other things...

This has been an ongoing process until a couple of months ago when he disclosed and confronted the most difficult parts of his abuse. Remembering very graphically, crying, sharing his feelings and emotions...this has helped him to step by step leave the fears behind.

The conclusion was clear. My boyf feared coming home to the darkest part of the recovery, to the darkest side of the abuse. As much as he wanted to disclose and share he would panic and react as he reacted to the CSA, feeling lost, dissociating, freezing,etc.

This does not happen anymore. He can now openly talk about it, there is no fear anymore and he comes back home as usual, our life is getting better everyday and he feels powerful and full of strength. There are still days but his reactions have changed completely.

I know this is very hard for you but giving him time and space to confront his fears you'll contribute to his recovery in a way you can not even imagine. Things won't be like that for ever. Be patient and believe in yourself and your husband.
Love can conquer everything....

Hope this brings some help
XXX
H


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#58102 - 10/13/05 04:35 PM Re: Brand new to this site-loving wife of survivor
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Hi Bluebird,

Welcome to MS.

I thought that by sleeping on the couch, you meant that your husband didn't want to stay in the bed with you anymore! I was about to tell you that I was sorry... glad you cleared it up \:D and glad that he's not really sleeping on the couch!

Taking legal action is a huge step, which can have challenging short-term consequences even if it is good in the end. There was a woman here, who's home with a new baby now and not around much, but she wrote a lot about her fiancee (now husband)'s struggles during the time that he was taking action against his perp. It might help you to read some of her old posts.

I am glad that you have come here and that you are going to get some support locally. The thing is that none of us are "rocks"-- we are alive, vulnerable, emotional, we do have needs and fears, even when we are busy supporting others.

SAR


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#58103 - 10/13/05 04:54 PM Re: Brand new to this site-loving wife of survivor
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
Bluebird, you sound like a loving and supportive wife. Keep coming here, reading and posting. You'll get some very good support here. Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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#58104 - 10/14/05 12:09 AM Re: Brand new to this site-loving wife of survivor
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Bluebird
we ain't easy people to live with, but you know that by now I guess?

But he must be worth 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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#58105 - 10/16/05 01:58 PM Re: Brand new to this site-loving wife of survivor
Bluebird Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 15
Thank you so much for the words of support. I am feeling much better the past couple of days. It was a challenging week and I realized that I was getting very frustrated over minor things at work, but I was able to recognize that and am going to nip it in the bud. Hubby is doing great the last few days and is very supportive of me taking care of myself too. He even suggested we do a few more joint sessions with his T. This weekend we exercised and he said he was glad he did and felt motivated again to be healthy. We even signed up for a yoga class--which we hope will be good for stress relief, relaxation, and fitness. Yoga class was actually hubby's idea!Hubby really seems to be bouncing back, and I am right there offering all the encouragment and love I can along the way. I tell him how proud I am of him and of how much he has accomplished in the last year. And he says this site has been a real help to him. It showed him that he was not in isolation in his experience and allowed him to reach out to others for support. He also said he feels good about supporting other survivors, which I think is wonderful. Thank you again for being there for my husband as fellow survivors and supporters. My gratitude and wishes for recovery, peace and happiness go out to all of you.

Thank you for your caring,
Bluebird


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