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#58735 - 11/11/05 04:10 AM Asking advice
ak Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/10/04
Posts: 1491
I would like to know, from ladies here who have had a survivor tell them of what happened to them, what is best way to say it? What is best to hear, how much to hear, how specific it should be? Just enough to understand, or more?

I had a girl before I enjoyed to spend time with, but we never get more then just a few dates, and to go out to just have fun, not as like girlfriend or boyfriend. So I never tell her of all this. I have shared some with some people, but never before with someone I was hoping would be my girlfriend. I have two friends who have done that, and I will ask them advice of it also, and also the girls they tell to, but neither of them, they are not together no more, so I worry that this have to do with that. I want her to know, to understand some of me, but do not wish to scare her.

Advice, help? Please it would be appreciated that anyone respond. Thank you.

andrei


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#58736 - 11/11/05 05:01 AM Re: Asking advice
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
Andrei, Tough question. I probably wouldn't share it until such time as I would be very comfortable with her, know the relationship was a very close one and of a permanent nature. I didn't tell my wife until we were married for 3 or 4 years. Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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#58737 - 11/11/05 05:39 AM Re: Asking advice
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
I agree with Andrew. Sharing this type of information with someone can give the appearance of a more intimate bond than there is in reality.

If early disclosure sabotages or damages a relationship, it's probably because there's no foundation-- no where to rest that heavy weight of info. and emotions. It's like trying to build a treehouse in a sapling.

My boyfriend disclosed only what he was comfortable sharing at the time-- and it was so that I would understand some of the things that happened in our shared past-- not so that I would understand HIM. I understand him because I've known him for more than 10 years.

When he disclosed, he told me just names, ages, and the context of the abuse-- no specific acts or places. As he's been in therapy and processed different events, he's shared a bit more. Much later he shared a story of something that happened directly after the abuse, and his feelings and reactions... but I think not for me, just because he needed to tell it.

I have never felt the need to know more details about the abuse than the ones he feels are important to share.

SAR


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#58739 - 11/11/05 01:04 PM Re: Asking advice
beautifuldisaster Offline
Member

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 85
Loc: usa
My husband told me when we had been together about 6 wks. We very quickly knew we found 'the one'. We had far greater unspoken intentions than just dating.
When he disclosed it was after I told him something personal.
He was very matter of fact. No details, nothing of that nature just a simple statement: My brother molested me when I was a child.
I think he mentioned his age and that was about it.
It was very shocking to hear and I appreciate he gave me a little and then backed off and I had time to absorb it. I dont think it came up again for over a year. That is when I saw the impact of his statement in our lives.
He has never shared details, I respect that.
I think I could handle it, yet being a mother of two small boys myself I already have such pain in imagining him being small and innocent like them being subjected to something like that.
I live the results of this everyday. There is no need for him to tell me everything unless it helps him. He doesnt have to help me, I understand.

xo

_________________________
I AM THE MASTER OF MY DREAMS,
I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL-

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#58740 - 11/11/05 01:43 PM Re: Asking advice
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Andrei,

I would agree with Andrew and SAR, and not only for the reason that it might be too much for the girl at an early stage in your relationship.

As survivors we have this huge tendency to identify ourselves as such. That is, we succumb to the temptation to think that what was done to us defines who we are now and for the rest of our lives.

That isn't true. You are Andrei, with all sorts of ideas, abilities, dreams and experiences that serve to shape who you are. Sexual abuse is unfortunately one of those experiences, and a horrific one, but bro, it was a crime committed AGAINST you by someone else. It was part of THEM, not you.

What I mean here is that in declining to disclose to a girl you are not withholding vital information about yourself as Andrei. That stage can come later, when there is more trust and commitment on both sides.

I have been married for almost 25 years. For 20 of those I was in denial, but then even when I was fairly certain about what had happened it still took me another five years to tell my wife. Why? Shame and guilt mainly. But those feelings were real and powerful then, and to a great extent they still are today. I don't blame myself for taking so long to tell her, and neither does my wife.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#58741 - 11/16/05 03:16 PM Re: Asking advice
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Andrei,

I think we're all on the same page. Your girlfriend has to know YOU before before you disclose to her. My b/f didn't tell me until we'd been together for 2 years and then, while he was distraught and fairly open during our conversation, he didn't want to talk about it again for many more months. Not knowing what to do with the information I now had, I followed his lead and put it away for another time. I didn't even recognize the full ramifications of the information I had. Looking back, I regret that, but I didn't have anywhere else to go with it - I was naive.

When a significant other realizes that the man she loves has been emotionally damaged by something he had no control over, she needs to look at the man she knows to be able to deal with it. That knowledge only exists because she DIDN'T know right away. She had time to see the man that is.

Like in every relationship, for a man or a woman, only the best of you is shown at the beginning. The flaws only come out a little at a time so that the person you're with is drawn to you. That's the dance we humans do. Each partner begins to love and respect the "good" you so that when the flaws each of us has are shown, they are not so important; they're just part of the person.

Your girlfriend needs to love the man who exists today and when she does, she can be there for him and help heal the child that was.

ROCK ON........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#58742 - 11/23/05 03:24 AM Re: Asking advice
ak Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/10/04
Posts: 1491
Thank you for advice. I did not really say it best. This is not a new person to my life, she and I, we have known each other for five, almost six years, although not always near each other, we remained in contact. We trained together for a short time with the same coach, and always would see each other at certain events. Now she is one of two other people who is sharing the apartment I live in now, so we are together more, and knowing each other even more. Always, I have had some interest in her, just as a girl, but when we first know each other, I was quite young (she is five years older of me, so she was adult when first we meet and I wasn't). Also, there are things, like nightmares and sometime sleep walking, that I do some because of the past, and I just wonder if it would be best to explain that before it happens.

Thank you everone, for answering to me.

Andrei


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#58743 - 11/23/05 03:30 AM Re: Asking advice
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Andrei,

Have you thought of the possibility of just telling her that you are under a lot of stress (which would be true) and that your nightmares and sleep-walking are connected to that? At this point she doesn't need information that is more private.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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