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#60917 - 10/11/00 02:53 AM looking for help in supporting my husband
anna Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 3
i am hoping that soemone can offer a light at the end of this dark tunnel we have found ourselves in....

recently, my husband told me about an experience where he was raped by an older friend whom he respected greatly. i think that he did not identify that experience as rape until we talked about it.

snce that time, his mental health has suffered greatly. he is paranoid and delusional and withdrawn. he goes for days with no sleep and when he does sleep, it is restless and full of nightmares of violent death.

i don't thimnk that he associates his current mental trauma with his memory of rape. he thinks hs is going crazy and there is no end in site.

i have attempted to give unquestioning a nd unconditioanl love and support. but it is difficult. i know that i can't helpo him alone, but he is adamant that no one is told about this. we need help.

two weeks ago he said he neeeded space and wanted to be alone. he asked me to leave. so i left our home and am now staying in a city 6 hours away and hace only spoken to him 2 times.

i want to help more than anything. i don't know if i did the right thing y leaving... i wonder if i should honor his request, or go home and be by his side....i'm lost and confused and scared and dont know what to do. can someone give me some advice or help????

thanks....anna


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#60918 - 10/11/00 01:19 PM Re: looking for help in supporting my husband
Carl123 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 25
Loc: PA, USA
Hello Anna;

I agree that your husband needs immediate help from a qualified mental health professional. What you have to do is find someone who specializes in sexual abuse issues. This is not easy, believe me. I've had very bad luck in this regard. But they can be found. Unlike the previous post I do not think your husband is on the verge of schizophrenia, but he is suffering mentally.

The first thing I suggest you do is check out the following two books by Mike Lew: Victims No Longer and Leaping Upon the Mountian. You canfind them both at Amazon.com. They will help you to understand what is going on with your husband.

I can tellyou from experience that what he's feeling is NOT UNCOMMON. There is help available for him. He is notlosing his mind. He is suffering from post-traum stress and all its related ramifications.

As to his withdrawl from you, I can alsosay that's not uncommon. He is probably full of a great deal of mixed emotions including shame and guilt, and might be pushing you away because he feels unworthy of your or anyboby else's love.

My own experience has shown that the support and love and care of my wife have been instrumental to me in the healing process. But if you work with him and listen to him, be prepared to do so without judgement. Do not judge him. Love him. Listen to him. Try to understand him. But don't leave him alone!

It's isolation that fosters the worst behaviour in us survivors. Plus, you might be giving him the space he needs to pursue self-destructive behavior.

Good luck! I'll pray for you and your husband!

Carl


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#60919 - 10/11/00 06:42 PM Re: looking for help in supporting my husband
anna Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 3
carl, thank you for your support. your words reinforced what i was already feeling.

can you, or anyone else, give me suggestions on how to talk with him about the relationship between his current trauma and the rape? also on how to talk to him about getting help? he has steadfastly refused in the past to see a counselor. i am afraid if i bring it up he will full imposed upon and pushed and pull away even more.

thanks, anna


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#60920 - 10/16/00 04:03 PM Re: looking for help in supporting my husband
Carl123 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 25
Loc: PA, USA
Dear Anna;

Tinfoil is right. Don't be an enabler.

Unfortunately there's no simple answer to your question. Here's what I suggest. Get him the two books by Mike lew that I mentioned. There are other books about survivors of sexula abuse that you can find in the library or book store, but these two are very good. There are also a whole host of resources that Mike Lew lists in the back of Leaping On Mountains.

This might be a good first approach. Give these to him and perhaps he will see that he is not alone, and not a freak. That's what we all feel like at first and for a long time; freaks. We are isolated not only from out own feelings but from others as well. Perhaps in realizing that what he's thinking and feeling is not unique, he will be encouraged to open up some more.

On top of that, I would encourage you to talk to him and listen. Do not judge him, because whay you hear mught disturb you. But if you love him, your support and love and trust is what he needs to start down the right path.

But like tinfoil said, don't sit back and do nothing. That's the worst thing you could do.

Best of luck, let me know if I can help some more. You can E-mail me if you wish.

Carl123


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