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#59665 - 01/12/06 12:23 AM Re: Where did the little boy go?
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Thank you Ste. I sometimes feel so inadequate to deal with the mess I find myself in, so I have to run alot on my instinct and alot on the advice I get here. You're definately a big help.

Quote:
If he finds he can talk to you from his boy mind, then feel fine to tell him it is safe now.
These are beautiful words, Ste. Sometimes, the boy does talk to me, and I comfort him, because he is a huge part of the man I love. I cherish the boy and will keep him safe now.

ROCK ON.......Trish

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

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#59666 - 01/12/06 07:17 PM Re: Where did the little boy go?
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Trish,

it is nice to help also.
It is always a tangled mess to the women to unravel, I wish you well,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#59667 - 01/14/06 06:58 PM Re: Where did the little boy go?
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Trish--

What I was saying is what you said here:

Quote:
But there is a part of us that needs to be there and needs to work stuff out. Not just for him, mostly for us.
Right. It is for you. It is important to stay honest with yourself about that and not to use "helping him" or "what he needs" as a way to justify crossing his boundaries or trying to heal for him. I see a lot of partners do this and I think we all need to be careful about it.

I think some partners are afraid of seeming insensitive or selfish-- or maybe just not used to having their needs met in the relationship-- so they feel compelled to make it about the survivor and what's best for him. It is totally valid for you to want to address an issue with him because of your own emotional needs... it is up to the two of you to be honest and negotiate when your needs conflict-- but it gets messy and sometimes emotionally abusive when people try to get their own needs met by convincing someone else that it is in his best interest to do so.

If there is a partner who is NOT guilty of thinking/acting with these justifications at times, I haven't met him/her yet. The point is not to be perfect and have no needs. The point is to be honest about what's at stake for us without making it be "should I do X for him."

I see it a lot on these forums when it comes to anger at the perp. A lot of partners get angry and need to feel validated or allied with the survivor so they make strong arguments about why the survivor ought to be just as angry at the perp, "for his healing". They feel left out or afraid that the survivor is minimizing the abuse when he's not that angry and this translates into a more "acceptable" fear that he's stuck in healing and needs a push. Maybe she is a survivor herself and feels insecure about her own healing when her partner chooses a different path.

What that person needs to hear is that her anger is valid and she is entitled to it, even if what the survivor feels now is very different... and that there may be several important reasons why the survivor isn't in a place to be so angry. It doesn't mean he isn't going to heal.

Or when we say we will listen to all of the terrible stuff because it is what he needs-- sure-- that's true-- we are responding to his need, doing that "for him"-- but at least for me, there is something affirming and important that happens FOR ME after those conversations. I know that I am trusted. It validates our relationship and helps me feel important.

AND IT DOES NOT MEAN that I am meeting his need any less because my needs are also met. The idea that in order for someone to meet your need, they must do it without regard for what is good for them-- IS ABUSIVE.

All I am saying is that partners owe it to themselves and the survivors in their lives to "measure twice" when it comes to our motivations for getting involved with someone else's healing.

Every situation is different. I can't answer the questions I asked you in my other post about why it might be important to YOU to have this "lightbulb moment" and/or to share it with him. But I think they are worthwhile questions.


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#59668 - 01/14/06 09:31 PM Re: Where did the little boy go?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Trish
I think it's both impossible and bad for John if you turn a blind eye to incidents such as this. If he brings it up then I would think he's either ready to talk about it or testing the water. You can always back off if talking about it seems too painful or counterproductive, trust your instincts a bit.

Dissociation is a tool many of us used, and I certainly used it to construct a more glamarous and safer alternative life as a boy. Like John I wanted to be a race car driver, and it was only in middle age that I came close to fullfilling that dream when I started driving in off road competitions. That was a great turning point for me when I discovered that I could actually do some of the things I dreamt of.
Has John fullfilled any of Jakes dreams? If not, it might be worth resurecting those dreams in some way and show him that they were possible all along. He might not be the next Schumaker, but inspiring his interest in racing again might well provide a feeling of self worth and belonging to 'normal' society. John might find Jake once again, and they can help rescue each other.

Dissociation is, as we all seem to agree, a tool that kept us alive and relativly sane, so it's not something that I would actually discourage if an adult still uses it, although I would also stress that as adults we seem to use it differently, and I for one allowed it to become so overwhelming that it led to me fullfilling the 'dream' and acting out sexually. Not a good thing!

I still do it though, and have done so a lot recently due to the pressure of dealing with my ageing parents.
I said to my wife last night that I felt as though I'd swopped one sort of guilt for another - the guilt that I felt over my abuse for the guilt of placing my mother in a care home. And the tool I've used most to escape, because escape is what I'm doing, is dissociation.

Most of it has been harmless stuff, and some has been sexual fantasy that I'd rather do without. But one thing I know for certain is that the sexual stuff is under control and will never lead to acting out again. So I accept the dissociation for what it is, a coping mechanism that I can use to escape the huge pressures that I'm under at the moment.

I've found it interesting in a way to return to this tool at this point in life, because now I can appreciate how I escaped from my abuse at the time it was going on. I also see how it got out of control a few years ago.

I don't think we should always discount the tools that got us through the crap as some people try to do, we should instead learnt to modify them and make them work for US.

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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#59669 - 01/14/06 09:43 PM Re: Where did the little boy go?
michael Joseph Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
I just hope your BF is doing better trish, sounds like things are being brought up at least.

_________________________
Standing together is so much better than hiding in the dark.
***I am a three time WoR Retreat Alumni***
The Round Table, Men's CSA Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat

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#59670 - 01/14/06 09:55 PM Re: Where did the little boy go?
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

You're so right on so many levels. As I try to figure this stuff out, I'm also learning that I do need to watch out for me. Sometimes that means taking a step back and I'm learning to be OK with that. I'm pretty important to me ;\) and alot of other people, my b/f included.

I've decided to put my "lightbulb moment" away for now. If he brings it up again, I won't be blindsided by the revelation and maybe I'll find a way to talk to him about it, but I won't just bring it up cold.

We spoke again last night, Friday seems to be pretty consistent now, and mostly what we talked about was us. Yes, the abuse came into it, but it was about how the abuse has affected us as a couple. He's so F'd up in the way he thinks. In one breath he said he doesn't want me to have to deal with HIS problem at all because it doesn't affect us and then in the next, he says its F'd up everything, including us.

I know he trusts me more than he's ever trusted anyone, but he's still waiting for other shoe to drop. I said that to him last night and he was so hurt, not because my words were untrue, but because he didn't want me to know that. I assured him that it was OK, I would wait for the day that he realized that both shoes were planted firmly on the ground. He's terrified that the day will never come so I asked him to try, really hard, to not look a the whole because it was too overwhelming. Just look at the little things. The fact that he doesn't flinch anymore when I touch his face, that if he hears or sees something when we're out, he turns to me and holds on, knowing that even if I don't know what happened, I'll hold on just as tight and for as long as he wants me to, and a couple of other little things that taken all together mean a great deal. He won't let himself believe that these little things make a difference, but he said he would try. I can't ask for more than that.


ROCK ON........Trish

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

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#59671 - 01/15/06 07:46 PM Re: Where did the little boy go?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I have been trying these days to deal with a pretty bad revelation from my own abuse history, and I thought of something over this weekend that helped me a lot and might be useful to you as well.

You are looking at your partner as a survivor and trying to make sense of what is happening. That is a natural thing to do, and in fact where else would you possibly start?

The problem here is that there is so much about survivors that doesn't yield to "sense" or "logic". What hit me this weekend was this one: What is "logical" about the molestation of little children in the first place? Surely nothing that I can see. And as a survivor myself I have so often asked myself: Why am I doing this? It doesn't make sense!" But of course it doesn't. What was done to me was viciously criminal and insanely wrong. My response was then - and to a large part still is now - pure emotion. A kid thinks he has the world figured out, at least in so far as he needs to do that to have his childish desires and needs met. Then abuse comes and everything is turned on its head. Nothing makes sense anymore. I think I see that in spades when you said this:

Quote:
He won't let himself believe that these little things make a difference, but he said he would try.
This is him trying to cope with the "senselessness" of a lot of what he feels.

I am acutely aware that this doesn't help you figure out an effective response! But perhaps it will help you to understand the erratic way your partner is thinking and behaving and ease your sense of frustration.

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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#59672 - 01/15/06 09:08 PM Re: Where did the little boy go?
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Trish,

imagine having a problem and being able to sort it out, it is a complex one, but you get help to work out the best way to tackle it.

Now imagine you have a problem that you dare not talk about through fear or humiliation, worse still denial.

Then imagine the problem that lifts its head every day of your life, and gets more complex as it goes on, then you realise that you are only a child.

Kids have enough probs without CSA as well, so I guess this is where he is at today, and I am not saying it is impossible to get over, because it is not.

If I met you in the street, you would never think that I had the same problems as I am so good at masking them, but should not have to.

If you took a fancy to me, I would probably dismiss it, because I would not want to share such a burden with you.

This is how immense it gets, then we all have our own life stresses also, I have not worked for almost a year, but the stress of doing so would not be good for me.

I find it hard to find therapy in this so called first World Country, whats new, it just goes on and on, and I have been trying to get help for three years.

As long as you can give him a feeling of safety, he will open out for you, when he wants. It is a slow difficult process, I guess it may be worth it,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#59673 - 01/17/06 08:42 PM Re: Where did the little boy go?
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
You guys are so awesome and as always, you've given me even more things to think about, in a healthy, constructive way. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Dave, I've actually thought of buying him one of those ride in a racecar things - maybe up at Pocono Raceway, but at 6'5" 225lbs, I don't think the man would fit into a NASCAR. Every now and again, I know he fantasizes of being Dale Earnhardt smashing Jeff Gordon in to the wall \:D ; nothing makes his Sunday more complete than a Gordon wreck. Thank goodness the season starts again in a few weeks. And of course, like every good boy, he'll run the truck through the biggest puddle he can find, spin the tires in the snow or just throw it into a safe skid if it's icy. I never will understand men, so I just hold on and shake my head! ;\)

ROCK ON......Trish

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

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#59674 - 01/17/06 10:00 PM Re: Where did the little boy go?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Trish
ahhh, another petrol head!
I caught the bug long before my abuse started, and it's never gone away.

I just love driving and modifying motors, and in a way it's been the one constant thing in my life that I've been in control of.

I drive way too fast, I can get my wifes Subaru in a four wheel drift and feel 'in control' ( please don't tell her though ! \:D ) or I can drive my competition 4x4 over terrain that would terrify most people. I ( nearly ) always feel in perfect control.

That's something I very rarely felt in my life up until recently, the things you describe your boyfriend feeling are just how I felt.
The emotions of someone loving me, trusting me and caring for me were still alien after 25 years of marriage, I didn't know how to deal with them or reciprocate them. And that was down to me not trusting myself to allow these emotions in.

I could trust myself enough to drive off the edge of a quarry or along the side of a hill that would more than likely roll me over, but that was a trust in something that I had 100% control over. Other people I didn't, unfortunately.

I started driving in off road competitions about 10 years ago, and have done a bit of rally driving many years ago, both before I disclosed and started therapy and healing. At one point though I nearly stopped, I was depressed and thougfht that I needed to concentrate on my healing.
I'm so glad I carried on though.

By doing so I reinforced my self esteem, I made the effort to mix with people who at that time knew nothing about my past or present troubles. For competition day I was 'just another lunatic in a 4x4'. And that was a terrific feeling, win or lose ( lose mainly :rolleyes: ) I was a part of something and made welcome by people who I eventually realised liked me ( or not ) for who I am.

I'm a huge advocate of getting out and doing 'something' that allows ua both an escape and the chance mix with others, and that can be anything from volunteering in a charity shop to joining a chess club.
Ask a survivor waht they most desire and they will almost always say something like "to be normal"
I'm not going to argue about what's 'normal', but mixing with other people in a natural way has to be high on the list?

If your guy won't fit in a NASCAR then maybe try an extreme off road experience, and I'll take the NASCAR ride \:D

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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