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#60178 - 06/09/04 11:54 AM a bad night
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
My boyfriend's remembering some new stuff. I don't know what. But just telling me that much broke the floodgates and I sat up with him last night. He asked to be held but everything about his body language was pushing me away--his body turned away from me and his face in his hands or in a pillow. I know it's because he's ashamed but it is so hard to hold and soothe him when all of his non-verbal signals are broadcasting "get away from me"--I want to but it's counterintuitive, and hopeless-feeling, because it doesn't seem to me that I'm helping much or even that I'm making any impact.

I feel like a jerk, because he remembered in the shower. He is forever asking me to come in the shower with him, not even to make love, just to be together in private, but it's triggering to me to be in the shower with someone so I usually say no. Now I wish I had been there. (I know I don't need to feel like a jerk about this but I just do)

He wanted me to hold him while he slept (with his back to me of course) and I started crying after I thought he was asleep... I guess he felt the tears because he said "Hey, you're not allowed to cry. I need you to be strong for me." So of course I stopped crying. DAMNIT I have done everything in my power to be strong for both of us for such a long time and I don't think he will really ever know what that means. After all I've been strong for the past 3 days since this started and he's been so quiet and distant and telling me that nothing's wrong.

He kept saying he just wishes he could start over, start his life over, I haven't been this worried about him in a long time.

SAR


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#60179 - 06/09/04 12:10 PM Re: a bad night
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Sounds like you are just exhausted - it really gets tough always having to be "The Brave Little Soul."

I wonder though - is bf's behavior really a departure from that of the recent past OR is it more that you are so fatigued that your PERCEPTION of the behavior is different????

Also - I honestly believe that these episodes of "Come-Here-Go-Away" serve as "cesurae" (hope I am speeling that right.... :p ) within the rhythm of the healing process: we can't get to a higher level without the turbulence/ we only fall apart & get nasty when we feel "safe."

You, My Love, have been sooooo strong for soooo long! You have been holding your breath for a very long time. The next few days & weeks will be tough, but I am sure you will grow in ways totally unexpected - not that THAT will help you feel more soothed while "it" is happening.

We are all here for you to lean on (& slobber on, too, if needed...)

BIG BIG HUG!!!

_________________________
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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#60180 - 06/09/04 08:39 PM Re: a bad night
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
SAR
If he's remembering more stuff then it's progress, he's accepting - in the only way he knows - that what happened was real. And that's some scary crap.

He's full of confusion, and that's going to tear him up as well as he doesn't know what to do with your support and love, his 'old' fears are returning.

I know you'll stand by him, and someday he'll thank you for 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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#60181 - 06/09/04 09:04 PM Re: a bad night
MikeNY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 927
Loc: NY
It may not seem it, but remembering is good. It signals that the body and the mind is prepared, ready, and strong enough to work with the memories.

_________________________
"Every child asks the questions which hold the answers to the secrets of the universe, WHAT?, and WHY?". --Me

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#60182 - 06/09/04 11:13 PM Re: a bad night
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Thanks everyone. You all are great.

This is a departure, it is definitely something new.

S \:\(


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#60183 - 06/10/04 11:18 AM Re: a bad night
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by kolisha54:
Also - I honestly believe that these episodes of "Come-Here-Go-Away" serve as "cesurae" (hope I am speeling that right.... :p ) within the rhythm of the healing process: we can't get to a higher level without the turbulence/ we only fall apart & get nasty when we feel "safe."
Its all part of the "wobble" when people are highly anxious they ALL do the "come here go away" stuff. Ever see a small animal trapped on a roadway when a car is coming?? they go left.. right.. left.. right.. zig.. zag.. It all basic biology... the way mammalian brains work... getting ready for the "flight or fight" reaction.

Yah this does suck.. but its good that your partner is crying.. if its one thing my fiance has recently learned is:

****TEARS HEAL****

The emotion is coming out, he is grieving, although it is difficult to see and watch, it is a GOOD thing.

Right now I think I too am in need of a good cry to clear my psychic cobwebs.

P


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#60184 - 06/12/04 02:17 AM Re: a bad night
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Quote:
left.. right.. left.. right.. zig.. zag.. It all basic biology... the way mammalian brains work... getting ready for the "flight or fight" reaction.
Well, good. At least I know that both of us have brains.

I think today was a healing day for him... he had a late shift at work so he got some time to himself early in the day and I just got off the phone with him, he seems to be having a good night at work too.

I just hope it holds up. It's coming up on the year-mark since "we" started dealing with "his stuff" (the acting-out which I learned about first, then the SA)... I am not one for traumatic anniversaries or grudges or anything like that but it's not easy to separate that stuff from the time of year, because it happened as we were signing a lease which will be up in July and also right around the end of the school year. So, summer vacation/lease renewal/disclosure are all tied together for me... the summer-garden-at-night smell that's been coming in the windows this week smells like sleeping in the same bed without touching. I realized today how much this is probably affecting both of us, if it's getting to me I'm sure it's getting to him because he is much more tuned in to that sort of thing.

I know he has a lot of guilt and confusion and is wobbling about talking to me/not talking to me, letting me support him/"protecting" me from his shit, afraid to get better/afraid to disappoint by not getting better. I know that my worry and frustration are hard for him to see, but damnit, they are getting harder for me to hide too.

I know he appreciates my support but it bothers me that what he really appreciates is my restraint. He tells me that no one ever treated him the way I do, no one ever gave him a chance, listened to him the way I have, that I'm so different from everything he grew up with... my concern and my feelings are part of that, they are part of ME... I am tired of having them rejected and invalidated as a PART of myself and my support.

SAR


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#60185 - 06/12/04 05:49 PM Re: a bad night
wrangler Offline
Member

Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 84
Loc: Northern Virginia
SAR, before I say anything else, I want you to know that I completely appreciate how hard this type of situation can be, both for him and, especially, for you. And there are no good answers, because when the communication starts to breakdown, even temporarily, the situation becomes quickly confused and it is difficult to do much apart from speculate. Nevertheless, I will offer you my thoughts without knowing whether they will be helpful, or even apply. In any case, I hope it brings some small measure of comfort to hear that I can empathize strongly with the confusion and frustration you are feeling right now.
Quote:
I know it's because he's ashamed but it is so hard to hold and soothe him when all of his non-verbal signals are broadcasting "get away from me"--I want to but it's counterintuitive, and hopeless-feeling, because it doesn't seem to me that I'm helping much or even that I'm making any impact.
It might be more accurate to say that you believe it’s because he is ashamed. I very much agree that the recovery of memories usually brings with it some feelings of shame, but it is important not to discount the fact that shame is only one of the things he might be experiencing. In my case, I also get large doses of bewilderment, uncertainty, loneliness, doubt, anger, fear, and loss. It is quite difficult for me to experience these feelings, let alone manage them, and I can appreciate how that would lead to considerable contradiction between my verbal and non verbal messages… and even contradiction between what I said five minutes ago and what I am saying now.

Even the most balanced and healthy person might have a hard time tolerating these times with me, so that it would confuse and scare you is not surprising. And while those feelings are pretty unpleasant, the only thing that ever works for me is to embrace them and remind myself that, although I am very much scared that such and such thing will happen, my fear does not make that outcome a fact. And, in the case of fear, I also have to work very hard to remind myself that I cannot control everything, and even if my fear is realized, it is not the end of the world… the pieces can be picked up, and life can carry on. And I am not saying this lightly either. I was very afraid of Ann leaving me, and when she finally did, piece collection was a real pain in the ass.
Quote:
I feel like a jerk, because he remembered in the shower. He is forever asking me to come in the shower with him, not even to make love, just to be together in private, but it's triggering to me to be in the shower with someone so I usually say no. Now I wish I had been there. (I know I don't need to feel like a jerk about this but I just do)
There’s a lot of ‘stuff’ in here SAR. In the first place, I wonder if jerk is really the most de>
_________________________
"Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself." -Mary Schmich

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#60186 - 06/15/04 01:09 AM Re: a bad night
theo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 1122
sar,
i wish i had been here when you first posted this. you and he are going through some tough and painful things. sorry, if i am not stating the obvious, i am making an understatement \:\) . one thing that really struck me was in your second response here. i forget the exact statement, but its context was in the sense of him wanting you to contain your emotions. i never can get the quote function here to work right, so please bear with me \:\) .

two things i would like to share. the first is that you should never be false in your response to him. i am not refering to a notion of a lie or anything like that. when he said that you were supposed to be strong for him and not cry i think there may have been a couple things going on. the first is that there was probably a sense of exactly what he said, that you have to be strong because he is weak at the moment. i am not saying that is correct, but i know for me that as a man, i act on a sense of balance. if i am down, lady theo has to be strong to balance it out. the same is true in reverse. this is hardwired into me, and i think it could be in other men as well, though not articulated. the second thing i think was happening in his statement was that, if anything like me, he could not handle the sense of shame that would be there knowing i had made the woman i love cry. never mind the truth that it is not me who is making her cry, the truth does not matter. if i am in pain, and lady theo cries, i am responsible for her pain, end of story. i know that is a crock, but it is what i deal with, and perhaps there was a bit of that for him when he said that. if i am feeling so bad over recovery issues i know i would not be able to handle the misconception on my part that i was responsible for any pain to lady theo. selfish, i know, but it is the truth and i know some of my weaknesses at least. okay, for my own benefit and to keep this on track...there is the balance thing and the "selfish" thing. there is also what i said as the first of two things, don't be false. for your own sake, sar, and his, do not hide or suppress your honest emotions. there is the normal courtesy and respect that should be held to as always, but do not suppress your truth for his sake. that does greater harm for both of you. i know this last part far too intimately. there was a second thing i wanted to say on this, but i lost my train of thought on that.

perhaps it was tied in to the first one about never being false. here it is. i told lady theo a long time ago to never be false with me. the reason is simple. as a survivor, i need to be able to explicitly trust the one person i share my life with completely. if i have to second guess her behavior as well as my own then i cannot function at all. i am not talking about telling a lie, honesty is obviously a must in any relationship. and there are things we don't need to share with our partners because they are trivial details or such things as legitimate boundaries. no, what i meant when i said that to lady theo was that i needed to trust her emotions and responses to me in order to guage my own behavior accordingly. does that make sense? if i feel as though i cannot trust her responses to me emotionally speaking, then i am at a total loss as to what to do.

i feel like i took you on trip through a convoluted maze. bottom line, sar, remain honest to yourself about how you feel. no one can be the super hero 24/7, i know because i still fight that myself. yes, he wanted to know that you were strong while he was "weak", as we feel we are at those times. perhaps it was part the balance thing and part the selfish thing. but if either one of you really starts suppressing the emotional truth of what you are trying to share with each other, than it all goes out the window. my former wife eventually isolated herself from me emotionally and it turned out that most of her emotional responses to me were false because she hid them from me as well as herself. be gentle with yourself, sar. this crap hurts, but the sharing of two journeys helps a great deal. take care, sar. pm me if nothing made sense here \:D .

_________________________
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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#60187 - 06/15/04 10:46 PM Re: a bad night
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Wrangler-
Thank you for pointing out the difference between what I know and what I believe... this is related to fear for me because as you said, it's easy to fear and anticipate something so much that it seems a certainty... especially in situations like the one last week, where I was asking him for two days if something was wrong and getting a "nothing..." then when he actually tells me what's wrong, the "I was right, everything I was afraid of is right" feeling comes rushing in. I just have to keep reminding myself.

theo, we were able to talk about the crying thing yesterday, and my boyfriend mentioned to me that he's noticed some "bottling up" in me in some other areas of my life lately... I am not the kind of person who can hide her emotions well or for long, and I think he's right that the stress of having to do low-level bottling up everyday has been getting to me. I suspect that he said that to me about being strong because it's a situation in which he's always seen me handle myself before, and he was surprised, rather than trying to control me.

I wish I could say things were looking up here--they're not, at least not yet, but he's making progress, and we're sticking together again... which I think is better for both of us \:\)

Thanks everyone,
SAR


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