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#60198 - 02/14/06 08:26 AM Newbie Here Seeking info
SilentLambsSO Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 5
Loc: Atlanta
I have been looking for a place to deal with this all day. I am so happy to find you.

While listening to an NPR program http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5203374 while getting ready for work this morning I learned my 41yo BF of 5years (got to find a better word for boyfriend at this age) had a similar experience when he was 12. He warned his 2 year younger brother, but did not tell his parents for several years. And only because it happened again with another boy and all the choir/alter boys were questioned. No charges were brought, the priest was defrocked and left town. I don't know how, but last BF knows his perpetrator is a lay church organist who lives wih his boyfriend in anothr city.

MY SO says the abuse ws not long term had no long range implications for him. I disagree, because I have at times suspected it. It was upsetting to have my suspisions come true, but it was not shocking to learn this had happened. Can't say exactly why, but I suspected it just the same. Maybe it's simply a case of it takes one to know one. When I was 9, I witnessed my then 10yr sister be raped by 4 teenaged brothers of the kids we played with. I still don't know if they got me or not. I am now 51. I did not tell him about us until 2 years ago, when the Sears floor refinisher tried to rape another one of my sisters (I have 7). He was at my house when I got the phone call and I freaked out so he learned the vagaries, but not the details of what happend 40 years ago. He learned a bit more today.

Only one person outside his family, the other alter boy and me know. Oddly enough my sisters and I never really talked about our problem until we hit our 40s. He just turned 41. Neither his or my family received any counseling or anything when it happened. My past still haunts me, and my sisters, he says his doesn't.

What do I/we do now? We do not live together, but I am sure this topic will be revisited. I also think to a certain degree he is in denial.

So now I'm wondering how to deal with his experience while not letting my baggage get in the way. Is there a support group for him or me as his mate ala Al-Anon?


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#60199 - 02/14/06 10:37 PM Re: Newbie Here Seeking info
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Silent
There are some web sites for survivors partners, but I can't remember them at the moment although I'm sure someone else will. But I think we probably have the edge because MS is primarily a survivors site so 'we' get very involved with partners, and the partners here are a terrific bunch.

It's difficult to tell if someone is in denial or actually getting along OK, we are good actors for a start, and often we don't know any different to the way we are, we think we're OK.
Often it takes a crisis for us to realise that we're actually not OK but suffering because of our abuse.

As to what you can do about his abuse? that's difficult to answer, a lot can depend on how much he wants to disclose and how 'bad' he thinks he is. The experience of most survivors and partners is that we can't be dragged into seeking help or therapy until we're ready and willing to it for ourselves. Someone else making decisions on our behalf reminds us of the loss of control we experienced as kids.

But given your own sad experiences maybe you know that already, and something else you probably know is how important good support and understanding is.
Create a safe place for you both, and then let it flow naturally, I think that will enable someone who is initially reluctant to disclose to open up.

Take care

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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#60200 - 02/15/06 05:18 PM Re: Newbie Here Seeking info
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
Silent, you might want to source out whatever resources there are in your area. You could then offer them to your BF. But as the old saying goes: You can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink. Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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#60201 - 02/15/06 05:40 PM Re: Newbie Here Seeking info
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

We have a great crowd of partners and friends here, and I'm sure they will be very supportive for you and provide a lot of insights and ideas.

Your SO may well be in denial, and the problem with that is that a survivor at that stage just doesn't SEE how bad things are getting. As Dave says, it often takes a crisis to shock him into some serious and candid thinking about how he feels. Dismissing it all as "not long-term enough" to matter or "a long time ago" is the oldest trick in the book, and to some extent I think we have all used it.

I would say just be there for him and let him see that if he does want to talk about things you are ready to listen. He needs to know that you will believe him, that you will not judge him or blame him and that your feelings for him are not in doubt. If he feels safe on these grounds then he may well open up.

Take care of yourself as well, though. It will be difficult if he does begin to deal with things, but remember that you continue to have feelings and needs too.

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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#60202 - 02/16/06 06:19 PM Re: Newbie Here Seeking info
SilentLambsSO Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 5
Loc: Atlanta
Thanks, Everyone

We had a quiet Valentine's Day and didn't talk about IT. We are going on a weekend trip we already had scheduled, 4 hours drive each way and I feel sure it will come up as there will be just us, no interuptions and no jobs to rush off to like Monday morning.

He is a private person and we have talked about the priest issue in general, not personal, before. We periodically go to Mass but he never said anything about what happened but I can understand that.

I do think he is in denial, has periodic authority figure issues and it will be a goodly while before he can even begin to think about going to therapy. He says people try to make the priest out to be monsters and blame the Church. I told him I think they are and the Church is.

We have been having some distance lately because I busted him for cruising singles websites and having a date with with an website woman this past summer. After avoiding it for 6 months, we finally addressed that Sunday and Monday the Disclosure came. I need for him to understand that I would not leave him for what happened years ago, but if I find he's still cruising websites or goes out with someone else I am gone. Trust is a very big thing with me (divorced kid thing). I don't know if he told me now because he needed to ascertain if he is indeed loveable, he is :-), or to push me further away. I agree that WE need to be solid before letting anyone else in.

Wooo, too much drama at one time!


Thank you, Guys, for being here,
Silent


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#60203 - 02/18/06 09:54 PM Re: Newbie Here Seeking info
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
There are not a lot of support groups for partners out there-- and male sexual abuse is still not something people talk about as much. I know that when I was first looking for resources, almost everything I found for partners was directed towards men whose wives were survivors. I hope (and think) things are changing.

Quote:

I do think he is in denial, has periodic authority figure issues and it will be a goodly while before he can even begin to think about going to therapy. He says people try to make the priest out to be monsters and blame the Church. I told him I think they are and the Church is.
You are entitled to those thoughts, whether or not he shares any of them. And if he disagrees with you on all points, he is entitled to that too. That's part of why it's important for you to have your own support. There are some really good threads here about partners and their anger at the perps... you may have to search for them a bit.

I think many survivors find that when a significant other discloses, it does bring up some of their own stuff. Have you thought about finding some therapy of your own where you could work it out?

SAR


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#60204 - 02/21/06 03:24 AM Re: Newbie Here Seeking info
SilentLambsSO Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 5
Loc: Atlanta
Oh am quite aware he is entitled to his own POV regarding perpetrating priests and the Church. He has known my POV on the Priest sex scandals/Church for the 5+ years we have been together before the Disclosure last week. No point in trying to take it back afer the Disclosure when he already knows what I really think. As a semi-Catholic I understand the hold the Church can have on a members mind/thoughts/loyalty but we don't require each other to see every thing the same.

I tried looking for professional help a time or two as an adult, for my issues but was dissatisfied with the therapists/programs that I found and stopped going after several weeks.

My job has an Employee Assistance Program but you only get 8 sessions and I already know that will be inadequate. They don't seem to have an extended program that I can pay for, any can ony refer me on to someone else after I exhaust my 8 sessions. Trouble is I have to do the 8 sessions to get the referral. I don't want to start in one place and then repeat it elsewhere for the extension that I know will be needed. So I am back to researching options.

I know it will be a good long time before he is ready to see a therapist. His job does not have mental/emotional heath benefits so we will have to find some place for him on our own when he is ready.

I have been reading the Family and Friends Board for the week that I have known, but am still unsure how Mates are holding themselves together. This is not exactly something his very private family would talk about and I am not close with them. I don't want to say anything to mine as they can't keep anything to themselves and at this point he would feel betrayed if I told anyone and it became public knowledge and discussion. And right now, exactly 7 days into this, I feel very protective of him.

My best friend of 25yrs would not handle this news well. She learned 4 years ago that CSA happened to her youngest daughter with a family friend and she got angry with her daughter for waiting 15 years to tell her. So no point going that route. I feel like a mime in a box with no door or window.

Silent


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#60205 - 02/26/06 07:29 AM Re: Newbie Here Seeking info
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 797
Loc: North Texas
Hi Silent, for your support may I suggest Pandora\'s Aquarium, a message board and chat room for rape and sexual abuse survivors.

I myself have had no therapist, but I can say from the year I have been on here, that being able to have a place to talk has helped.

Take care,
Lostcowboy

_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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