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#59852 - 01/22/06 05:34 PM need advice from family and friends
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
can anyone tell me how your bf or spouse told you about the abuse ? also do you think we should tell a friend or girlfriend right away that we have issues or wait till they become a problem to speak ,i guess what i'm asking is should i make sure that someone knows i have some problems before starting a relationship with them ,also how much is enough to tell someone ,would you rather hear all the details or just generaly that there was abuse ? i feel like i'm hiding something from someone if i don't tell them ,i don't want to start a relationship biult on hiding the truth .but i don't want to scare them away either .i think telling the truth is essential to having a good relationship. thanks adam

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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#59853 - 01/22/06 06:25 PM Re: need advice from family and friends
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I am speaking as a survivor of course, not a partner of one, but I thought I might offer you something here.

Yes, it is important to be truthful with someone you care about, especially if the relationship is something you see as possibly lasting and possibly becoming intimate. But YOU are one thing, and the abuse is something else. Don't let your abuse history define you.

You, as Adam, are a guy with certain ideas and values and dreams, and all of that is essentially YOU. About all that you should be honest from the start.

The abuse, on the other hand, is something that was DONE to you by a criminal. It belongs to him, not you, though yes, sure, you have to cope with the consequences.

Think of yourself as Adam first, then "a survivor" somewhere else down the list. Yes, recovery is a huge task and it hurts, but don't let the pain overwhelm everything else.

I would also play this by ear. Take it slow. Try talking about personal matters bit by bit and see how it goes. This girl may be a very compassionate and loving woman and still not be able to react as you need her to do if she is totally surprised by what you tell her.

Above all, go easy on yourself. You don't have to make up for lost time bro. Take time to smell the roses, as the saying goes.

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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#59854 - 01/22/06 06:41 PM Re: need advice from family and friends
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Adam, from my experience, not telling leads to all kinds of confusion and eventual breakdown of relationships.

If you think a lot about somebody, tell them sooner and dont put it off, find a relaxing venue and tell her you have a secret.

You may not want too tell her anything more than that you were hurt as a child.

Most women are stronger than you think, and it would form extra bonding by telling her, because you have got rid of some more weight,

ste

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

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#59855 - 01/23/06 04:39 PM Re: need advice from family and friends
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

Tread lightly here. I had been with my b/f for several years before I knew anything about the csa. I did, however, know that he had a totally disfunctional family that was abusive in other ways. He would make a comment, which would prompt questions from me that he always answered quite honestly without actually telling me about the csa. There was alot to tell and alot for me to absorb. Whether he knew that and dished out information slowly or whether that's just the way it worked out, it was good.

I knew my b/f very well before he completly disclosed to me about what he went through yet this did not stop my mind from wondering some really ridiculous things because of my own ignorance. The fact that I did know him so well, prompted me to learn rather than just write him off as a potential danger to me and my daughter. Yes, I did fleetingly think that - stupid I know now, but as I said, I was ignorant when it came to anything like this.

Don't give this woman you care about too much to digest at one time. You can absolutely tell her that you had some traumatic experiences that you are dealing with. If she asks questions, definately give her limited answers or tell her your just not ready to talk about it, whichever you feel comfortable with. Be gentle with yourself and with her. Let her know you as the man you are today before she has to completely deal with what happened to you.

You ask if you should wait until things become a problem before telling her. The answer there is a definate no. Don't wait for problems, try to avoid them by slowly getting to know one another.

Honesty is always the best policy, but it doesn't have to be everything all at once.

Good luck Adam.

ROCK ON.......Trish

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

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#59856 - 01/24/06 04:31 AM Re: need advice from family and friends
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

You are right that telling the truth is essential to a good relationship-- but you can focus on the truth of the present (issues in your relationship, issues with your life right now) and deal with the past as it comes up in relation to your present life.

For example, if you have problems or phobias in certain situations, that might be something to share right away. If you are going through a particularly rough time due to changing meds or something, you can communicate what you need without getting too specific. Let the rest of it come out as you feel comfortable sharing.

My partner did not disclose to me until we had been together for many years, and ultimately he disclosed when he did because issues related to his abuse history had badly damaged our relationship. I was angry at him for not telling the truth about some of the ways he had been acting out, but I wasn't angry at him for not telling me about his abuse.

SAR


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#59857 - 01/25/06 06:14 PM Re: need advice from family and friends
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I think everybody is saying much the same thing here, that it is better to disclose.
Speaking as a guy who is 51yo, I wish I could go back and dislosed more.

There are guys in here, who never told their wives for many years, and were terrified to tell them now.

When they did finally disclose they found it so much less of a burden to carry.

You have probably told that many lies to protect yourself in the past, so now you dont have to.
Imagine the weight that gets lifted.

Imagine how you felt when it was really bottled up with nobody to talk to?
I guess it is a lot easier to be able to talk about your fears.

I thought I was mental before I found this place, most ppl did.

One thing to consider in a relationship, is the need to have your own space, to do what you feel is best, let her know.

ste

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

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#59858 - 01/26/06 01:14 AM Re: need advice from family and friends
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

I don't think any of us are actually recommending to Adam that he disclose everything to his friend right now. I believe that he needs to go at his own pace and she needs to know him better and truly care for him for who is now. I don't think it would be fair to expect her to absorb everything that happened all at once. I also don't believe that Adam could relay all of the information at one time in a way that she could possibly understand. That's a risk that I don't believe is worth taking, especially for Adam.

I think SAR's suggestion is best

Quote:
...but you can focus on the truth of the present (issues in your relationship, issues with your life right now) and deal with the past as it comes up in relation to your present life.

For example, if you have problems or phobias in certain situations, that might be something to share right away. If you are going through a particularly rough time due to changing meds or something, you can communicate what you need without getting too specific. Let the rest of it come out as you feel comfortable sharing.
You're the first one to say, and rightfully so, that society as a whole does not understand and is more likely to run and hide rather than deal with the very real issues brought on by csa. One way to begin to correct that, is that the ones who haven't had to deal with it need to learn, step by step so that they don't get frightened and run and hide. I believe this is especially true for partners.

I don't know what my reaction would have been if my b/f had told me everything right away. But given the stupid fears I had, even knowing him as well as I did, I might very well have walked away. That would have been very sad.

Adam, be as kind and gentle to this woman as you would have wished others had been kind to you. You don't need to protect her from the truth, but dole it out only as you and she are comfortable with.

ROCK ON.........Trish

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

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#59859 - 01/26/06 11:25 AM Re: need advice from family and friends
riviera Offline
Member

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 59
Loc: Spain
Hi shadowkid,

My boyfriend and I were friends before being together.

Truth is that from the start we connected perfectly. After a year we were very close as friends. He told me about being SA pretty much at the beginning of our friendship but never went in more detail until the healing started. That was 5 years after we started going out as a couple. I must admit that I knew somehow that his self-destructive behaviour (drinking pints almost everyday) was related to it but I couldn't do anything until he'd ask me to do something.

I think that at the time when we were just friends he felt comfortable, he wanted me to know what happened to him. After the healing started he would be very graphic telling me what happened to him but when it was about disclosing to people who did not know (some family members or close friends)he would be very sensitive and cautious on who to tell.

You don't have to tell right away. I think it is a matter of telling when you/with who you feel comfortable. Follow your guts... That worked for my boyf and I.

About how much to tell...It is your choice. In my experience it is very very very hard for a partner to actually know what your loved one went through exactly but I must say that for my boyf that was a key element on his recovery. He needed to tell. And I must confess that knowing some things that happened also helped me to get more insight and understand some of his feelings/reactions that would have been difficult otherwise. Once he told me he released a lot of burden. As for me the benefit of knowing that he got better since he told compensated my pain of knowing... After all it is real life we are talking about here, real life and real people... closing eyes and ears won't help to end with CSA.

Just remember who you are (all the things you are as not everything in you is cause of the abuse, pretty much the opposite), abuse is part of your past and it was never you fault, you are healing and that is an act of courage and celebration. I think that by telling someone you trust you are also standing up for yourself. No matter what the outcome is, you have all the credit and admiration for being a survivor.

wish you the best
H


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#59860 - 01/26/06 10:10 PM Re: need advice from family and friends
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Somehow, after 25 years of marriage, I just felt that the time was right.

That says more about me than my wife though!

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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#59861 - 01/27/06 05:25 PM Re: need advice from family and friends
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
thanks i knew you would understand ,i also agree that it will help her understand the way i react to certain things ,because i din't want her to think there is something wrong with her ,you know?i think i need just one real person to listen ,just listen she don't have to have the answers to my questions just let me ask them ,maybe if i tell her i will be able to let her just hold me without feeling trapped . i want her to know that it is the abuse that makes me react ,not her.

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

Top
#59862 - 01/28/06 03:40 AM Re: need advice from family and friends
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

Just be cautious and remember to protect yourself just as carefully as you want to protect her.

ROCK ON.....Trish

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

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#59863 - 01/28/06 05:49 PM Re: need advice from family and friends
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Adam my friend,

As you think about the things you mention in your last post, think about where she is as well. How much does she know about CSA? What background does she have that might enable her to help you or respond in a useful way? Will she be able to give you what you need as a sirvivor - validation, comfort, support, and so on?

If you are unsure about any of the answers to these questions, then perhaps this means that while disclosure may be a good idea, you might want to proceed slowly and not right away.

You need to know that non-survivors are often clueless about CSA and can say very hurtful things that they don't mean to be taken that way at all. They just DON'T KNOW anything about the subject or the problems and issues it raises for us.

Remember also that the information about your abuse history is YOUR information right now. No one else knows it: not even us, since we don't know who you are. But if you tell your friend then the cat is out of the bag and you have no control over where the information goes after that. Is your relationship far enough developed to face that fact?

I'm sorry if this sounds negative and tough bro. I just don't want you to get hurt.

Are you still seeing that T? If so, this is a good topic for discussion.

Just for the sake of comparison Adam, when I wanted to tell my parents about what happened to me I planned and talked about it for six months - here, with my T in Germany, with another T before I told them, and so on. It all went very well, but that was because I was ready - really ready.

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)

Top
#59864 - 01/28/06 11:20 PM Re: need advice from family and friends
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Adam

Quote:
you know?i think i need just one real person to listen ,just listen she don't have to have the answers to my questions just let me ask them
That's all we need at that time, someone to listen.

When I disclosed to my wife I felt the same, I don't remember expecting answers. I got them in the end though.

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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#59865 - 01/29/06 09:55 PM Re: need advice from family and friends
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

The bottom line, my friend, is that you are going to be okay. All these things raging in your head will get resolved and you will safe and loved in the world. Please do believe that.

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)

Top
#59866 - 02/01/06 10:44 PM Re: need advice from family and friends
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
Adam

I think two things. Firstly I think you need to trust your own instincts quite a lot. Who is the woman you are with? Is she a survivor, estimates are 1 in 3 women are. Does she have any / a little / no knowledge about CSA. Has she just come out of a relationship where there was no communication and she's looking for someone who is able and willing to talk about feelngs or has she had a really heavy time and looking for a bit of lighthearted fun?
Is she strong, stable,loving and caring or a bit fragile herself? Is she trustworthy or not? So many factors and maybe you'll get more of an idea about how much you want to share with her if you find out about her first.

Secondly, although what happened to you and dealing with it may be the biggest thing in your life right now, CSA isn't you. You are Adam. Bright, kind, warm with many facets that make you who you are. However much you decide to share with her about CSA make sure you also knows who you are.

Good luck

Love

Tracy


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#59867 - 02/02/06 12:39 AM Re: need advice from family and friends
Born to Resist Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/30/05
Posts: 269
Loc: Southern California, USA
Adam,

Similar to others here ... ask yourself the right questions about the person and what stage your relationship is at. Speak with your therapist about disclosing. Ultimately trust your own instincts. I just started to date someone and drift off thinking about when would be the right time to tell her. It's only been 2 dates. I'd rather focus on the present relationship between us first. I don't know what the right answer is ... if our dating continues and grows into a serious relationship I don't imagine telling her within the next 4 months ... maybe after 4 more months ... and I would have to have a high comfort level with her ... but that's just me.

Courage-Wisdom-Spirituality


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#59868 - 02/02/06 02:22 AM Re: need advice from family and friends
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
i talked to my gf and told her much of my past ,she cried ,i hate that! but then she said it didnt matter to her then she cried some more ,then she asked if i wanted to be held ,it was ok ,iguess being held i mean . she says she wants to help me if she can .but i told my t about her and she says it might not be a good idea for me to get serious with this girl ,she says that because i am at about a 14 year old level sexualy and that i look so young it would be easy for someone to take advantage of me ,well no shit thats what attracted my perp to me !im aware of that .i think its because she works in a bar and is 26 years old ,the t says i'm looking for a mother not a girlfriend . i dont agree with her on this at all . hey thanks everyone for the advice . adam

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

Top
#59869 - 02/02/06 06:38 PM Re: need advice from family and friends
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

That's great you got such support from your girlfriend - it sounds like your relationship is moving very fast!

I think what your T means is that you might be looking for a "mother" in the sense of a female caregiver to whom Little Adam can relate. I would talk more with your T about this and see where the discussion goes.

Right now I think it is so important that you not put yourself into a situation where you are uncomfortable and easily hurt. That said, I can sure imagine how great it feels to see that a woman you like is attracted to you as a man!

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)

Top
#59870 - 02/08/06 11:33 PM Re: need advice from family and friends
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
Adam

Whatever happens next, well done you!!! That must have taken a lot of courage. Take good care of yourself.

Love

Tracy


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