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#61488 - 04/27/06 06:35 AM Helping someone who is a survivor, advice?
anonym Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/27/06
Posts: 2
I am in what has become a difficult situation. For over a year and a half dated an adult male survivor who was abused by a neighbor when he was 12 years old for almost a year. He told me that he has never really dealt with this issue because at the time, he would just cry when he went to therapy. I know that he hasn't talked with his family about this, and 14 years later, I'm the only person who he's gone into detail about what happened.

We have since broken up, but not lost contact. I know that he desperately needs to get counseling but his insurance won't pay for it. Does anybody have any ideas or resources for this?

Also, he has started dating someone new, but he calls me often stating that he masturbates to the thought of me, wants to be sexual with me, and expose himself to me. When I ask him why he just tells me it's because he trusts me and feels comfortable around me. When I ask him why doesn't he want to do these same things with his current girlfriend he gets defensive, and still claims that I'm the only one he feels comfortable enough with to do these things. I feel like he does this because of the abuse, as he doesn't exhibit this behavior with anyone else. Did I somehow get past a trust boundary that no one else has? That's the only thing that I can think of. I've cut off ties with him for the moment because his requests were getting to intense for me to handle. Is there something that I can do to help him at this point? Should I do something? Or should I back away?


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#61489 - 04/27/06 03:22 PM Re: Helping someone who is a survivor, advice?
Nobbynobs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 1286
Loc: Toronto
Quote:
Originally posted by anonym:
Also, he has started dating someone new, but he calls me often stating that he masturbates to the thought of me, wants to be sexual with me, and expose himself to me. When I ask him why he just tells me it's because he trusts me and feels comfortable around me. When I ask him why doesn't he want to do these same things with his current girlfriend he gets defensive, and still claims that I'm the only one he feels comfortable enough with to do these things. I feel like he does this because of the abuse, as he doesn't exhibit this behavior with anyone else.
Anon, this is a warning sign. Yes, it sounds like he trusts you, but this behaviour is inappropriate, even for an CSA survivor.

Quote:

Did I somehow get past a trust boundary that no one else has? That's the only thing that I can think of. I've cut off ties with him for the moment because his requests were getting to intense for me to handle. Is there something that I can do to help him at this point? Should I do something? Or should I back away?
You may have earned his trust, however, I think you need to clarify your relationship with him. It is very difficult for survivors to establish boundaries, especially in a romantic or sexual relationship. He may trust you, or he may be acting out his victimisation on you. The first is good; but the other will only end up in you getting hurt.

That said, I am very impressed that you want to help him. It is very hard for us to trust anyone, and I think you are doing your friend (and CSA survivors in general) a great service by writing this. However, you need to be comfortable with how much help you want to give. It sounds like you have ended the romantic relationship and begun a new one. You ended the relationship for a reason, so be careful that he is not attempting to lure you back.

I would suggest you sit down with your friend and have a candid, sincere conversation with him. Be clear that the relationship is over, and that you are not comfortable with him approaching you sexually, but that you want to help him. His response will help you determine what to do next. If he becomes abusive or tries to guilt you or otherwise manipulate you into helping him, then walk away. If he responds honestly that he needs help, that's a good indication that he is being sincere. Trust your feelings on this, if something feels wrong, it probably is.

A final note, if you do decide to help him, be very careful to establish limits. CSA survivors can be extremely needy and you need to live your own life. If you are not willing or able to make such a commitment, then make sure that you establish good limits with your friend so you don't get drawn in. And remember, no matter what happens, by wanting to help, you have already helped your friend, and the rest of us here, a lot.

Sorry for being wordy, but I hope that helps.

Nobby

_________________________
When you go up to the bell, ring it! Or don't go up to the bell.

- Mel Brooks

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#61490 - 04/27/06 04:52 PM Re: Helping someone who is a survivor, advice?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

What especially concerns me about your post is that your ex is basically telling you that he needs and wants you as a sex object and not much else. He doesn't seem to be saying he misses you as YOU, or that he regrets the loss of any relationship. He is also contacting you while he's seeing someone else. Did he make such contacts with other people while he was with you?

So I would have to say my main concern here is that you should watch out for yourself. Perhaps you can help him see his need for professional counselling, but the problem is that his attitudes are so needy and selfish that he may not want a need to recover to get in the way of his thirst for short-term gratification at the expense of other people.

I'm sorry if my post here upsets you Anonym. I may be reading too much into this, and, to be sure, I am speaking on the basis of limited information. It's just that everything you say rings the alarm bells in me. Please do take care, and I agree with Nobby: If things feel wrong, they probably are.

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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#61491 - 04/27/06 05:46 PM Re: Helping someone who is a survivor, advice?
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

Personally, Id head for the hills. Whether this guys problems result from abuse or just being an a**hole or a combination of both, I dont know, but hes trying to use you. Larry and Nobby are very kind and gentle in trying to figure him out and help you at the same time. I just dont feel the same thing. I read your post and I got angry, not at you, at him.

Its absolutely ridiculous that this guy wants you to be there for sex on demand, but his girlfriend gets the flowers, cards, little presents, hugs and kisses, etc., etc., etc., while you get fd figuratively and literally.

If the guy wants help his methods of trying to get it from you are all wrong. You obviously want to help him, but he needs to know - immediately - that the crap hes pulling on you is way out of bounds. If hell back off and talk to you as a friend, then go for it, be a friend. Otherwise, stay clear or itll be like heading for a wall at 100mph.

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

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

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#61492 - 04/27/06 09:23 PM Re: Helping someone who is a survivor, advice?
anonym Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/27/06
Posts: 2
Thank you everybody. I have tried telling him, several times, that the relationship is over and that I do not like it when he propositions me.

Trish, what you said as a female I have felt. I really don't like being in the "moral compas/sexual object" position. In the past he'd only call me and ask to cuddle, but then it turned into his present request. I feel bad for giving into the cuddling part.

However, when I do confront him about any of this, he becomes very defensive and walls himself up behind it. And everything is of course "none of my business". I feel like his maturity level was stunted at age 12, because it really shows when he's up against anything. I'm generally empathetic as a person and I think that this is why it's so hard for me to leave him go on his own, but maybe it's for the best?


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#61493 - 04/27/06 10:37 PM Re: Helping someone who is a survivor, advice?
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

I understand empathetic and I understand that you already have a history with this man, BUT

Quote:
I have tried telling him, several times, that the relationship is over and that I do not like it when he propositions me.
The fact that he simply disregards your feelings is a very bad sign. The fact that he becomes defensive if you confront him with anything is also him disregarding you. He may be protecting himself, but I tend to believe that his shutting down is the equivalent of a 3 year old throwing a temper tantrum because you won't buy the toy he wants. You are not a toy and you don't deserve to be treated as such.

Don't feel bad for wanting and trying to help him. That's what a good person does. But it seems like your efforts have only been met with demands for more, not thanks, not love, not an attempt by him to move closer to you, just more demands for you to meet his physical needs. That's messed up.

Protect yourself first. If he, and more importantly you, truly want a friendship, then tell him you'll be that friend. You'll be someone to laugh with, cry with, be stupid and silly with and be supportive, but you want to be a friend, not a booty call. He must stop what he's doing and show you the respect you deserve.

ROCK ON......Trish

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

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#61494 - 04/28/06 03:25 PM Re: Helping someone who is a survivor, advice?
Nobbynobs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 1286
Loc: Toronto
I completely agree with Trish. Protect yourself. It sounds like he is trying to act out his abuse on you, which as I said above will only cause you a world of pain.

My suggestion is to make it absolutely clear that sex/physical contact is completely off the table. If he doesn't accept those conditions then you should walk away from him. If he does accept them, like I said before, set your boundaries and enforce them. But be very careful. Don't allow yourself to be manipulated into sharing his victimisation.

_________________________
When you go up to the bell, ring it! Or don't go up to the bell.

- Mel Brooks

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#61495 - 04/28/06 04:08 PM Re: Helping someone who is a survivor, advice?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Quote:
However, when I do confront him about any of this, he becomes very defensive and walls himself up behind it. And everything is of course "none of my business".
What he has on offer emotionally isn't even enough for a casual friendship so far as I can see. Your further posting here really does make me think that his interest in you is just to use you: for affection, for support, for sex, for whatever you are prepared to give him in exchange for absolutely nothing.

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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