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#61518 - 04/28/06 01:40 PM Therapy + Me = Sane
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
I saw my T again last night. It had been about a month for a bunch of reasons, so I obviously had a lot I wanted to talk about. Not the least of which was how to distance myself from my b/f. Now that sounds weird but let me explain. My b/f made a deal with his T when he resumed treatment that he didnít want to talk about the abuse. He wanted to deal with us and what is happening to him today. Obviously, that all relates back to the abuse, but his T is treading very carefully with him; things seem to be moving along nonetheless, which is good.

Hereís the problem. While he told his T he doesnít want to talk about the abuse, he is talking about it - with me. I canít do that. He gets morose for no apparent reason and heíll stay that way for days. Without warning, heíll have too much to drink (whole separate yet related problem) and start to talk. Most times he speaks in the abstract, but always making excuses for his family, saying itís just the way things were, etc. I get angry because he pushes the point beyond what I can take. He knows damn well the reaction heís going to get out of me and then as soon as he does, he shuts down and wants the conversation to end. Iím worked up, angry and upset, but HEíS had enough. This is exhausting.

My T was not the least bit surprised when I told her all of this and said the heís doing it intentionally. Maybe not with a conscious thought process, but intentional nonetheless. Among other things, he canít/wonít get angry with his parents, siblings or anyone else for that matter. But I do. Itís almost like heís experiencing his anger vicariously through me, but once he sees it, it frightens him and he shuts himself and me down. Does this ring true to any of you guys?

My T told me to stop reacting to him and what heís doing and to react to myself instead. When I start to feel that too much is coming my way, I have the right to shut it down by switching gears on him and telling him that I canít deal with what he wants to talk about. Iím his girlfriend, not his T - he needs to talk to her about this stuff, not me.

Iíve heard this before on these boards, many times, but to have a professional to talk to who is focused only on you, set it out is really helpful. The above is the Readers Digest version of what took an hour to get to, so itís not really so easy.

To any F&F reading this who thinks they can figure this all out on their own I say - donít try. See a T yourself who is experienced in CSA so that they can help you through the minefields that you too must walk through. Iím pretty smart and I take everything to heart that I read here, but putting the right things into practice is really hard when you plain and simply donít know how and when your own emotions are so involved. Having a third party professional be able to tell you, OK, if this happens, you can try a, b and c is worth its weight in gold as far as Iím concerned.

Thatís all for now.

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

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

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#61519 - 04/28/06 04:25 PM Re: Therapy + Me = Sane
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I am always anxious to talk to my T and I look forward to every session these days. But still, sometimes there are stormy arguments with my wife and suddenly I catch her saying something like this: "I am not attacking you or taking your abuse issues lightly, but..." Then I think to myself, what did I say or do? How did the subject get to be my abuse issues?

I'm not sure about this one yet. I would agree that my wife is my partner and not my T, but so many times I just don't SEE how a discussion got hijacked into the area of abuse, who started the digression, and so on.

I doubt that this helps at all. I can just say that for me such things are very confusing.

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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#61520 - 04/29/06 12:29 AM Re: Therapy + Me = Sane
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

Everyone relates back to their life experiences in every day living. I tell stories of my childhood and teen years to relate to something that someone else is telling me, thatís how we all get through life, for good and bad. For a survivor, I think what you have to relate to in childhood is abuse. It comes to the forefront whether the survivor and his partner is originally talking/fighting about that in the first place or not. The problem, as I see it, is that sometimes its just not about you (survivor). Sometimes itís just about why the hell am I coming home to a sink full of dishes when youíve been home for 2 hours! What should be a 2 minute squabble turns into a heart wrenching episode because the survivor got chastised by a loved one for something stupid that, had he not been a survivor, would have been a whole lot of nothing.

For my boyfriend and I itís usually something more like, ď*** is only trying to be a friend, you know he loves you, why do you give him such a hard time?Ē This has happened so many times, I canít count. Part of it is my own fault. I donít think before the words leave my mouth and then itís too late, the flood gates open. This relates specifically to one friend of ours. My b/f does really like him and trusts him, to a certain degree. This guy is very needy so itís hard to be his friend, but my b/f makes it even harder. Iím pretty straight up with this friend and he and I have argued in the past over his bad behaviors, but what causes friction between my b/f and I is that while he gives our friend a hard time about the good things he does, always thinking there is an ulterior motive, he defends his bad behaviors. Result: an argument between us that reverts back to my b/f and his own problems. What should have been a discussion about a friend, turns to something about my b/f when thatís not what was on my mind at all.

All conversations can very easily take a turn with one sentence and that turn almost always seems to come to my detriment. We both need to recognize that and deal with it. Iím going to do what my T suggested. Iíll call it to his attention the minute it happens and stop it, telling him that I canít solve the problem. He and his T have to do that. No, I wonít shut off all conversations between us if he needs to talk, but I have to stop getting caught up in the argumentative side of it. Until he is ready to admit that what happened to him was abuse against him and not ďthat it just happenedĒ weíll have to agree to disagree and I need to be the one to stop it before Iím tied up in knots.

ROCK ON........Trish

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

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#61521 - 04/29/06 04:02 AM Re: Therapy + Me = Sane
wrangler Offline
Member

Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 84
Loc: Northern Virginia
I am usually more defensive / aggressive with the people that know about my abuse, even though these are people are generally closer, more supportive, more loving, etc. I sometimes still perceive myself as damaged goods and I will project that perception onto people that know about the abuse. So when I drop the ball on a chore and get chastised I might think someone has interpreted the situation as a manifestation of my "damage". And once I go down that road nothing good can come of it. When I get blindsided with an "I know the abuse makes it hard but" my self image can easily wind up in the toilet.

I am definitely not advocating anyone trying to watch what they say prevent something like that from unfolding. It's my emotion and my reaction and my self image, so it's only my responsibility. But I thought it might be insightful to hear a possible explanation of how innocuous or well meant comments degeneration into a disaster.

_________________________
"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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#61522 - 04/29/06 05:00 AM Re: Therapy + Me = Sane
JAAY Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/04
Posts: 115
Loc: NYC
I am not sure if this makes sense but I think that it is "safe" to talk about the abuse with you. Your b/f cannot talk about the abuse to his family and seems to avoid talking about it with his T. If he was to talk to his T about the abuse he would be admitting the abuse and in some way "hurting" his family. My sister who also was abused works very hard to keep up the image that things were not that bad. It is like opening the window and having a bad breeze wreck your home.


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#61523 - 04/29/06 01:18 PM Re: Therapy + Me = Sane
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

There was a good thread on projection not to long ago on F&F. I know my b/f does this and Iíve gotten to the point where I call him on it. Not every time, Ďcause that would only result in him feeling bad all the time. I wonít be the one to do that to him. Our friends, who know nothing, ask him why he says and thinks the things he does because sometimes itís so uncalled for and inappropriate. I see the look of surprise on his face when this happens so I keep my mouth shut and squeeze his hand. Sometimes, heíll ask me later if he was really out of line and then Iím honest and tell him yes and we talk. He does feel badly about himself after something like this happens and no matter how hard I try, he does it again and the cycle repeats. Iíve asked him to talk to his T about it and work on methods to try to curb and eventually stop it, but I donít know if he has. Now that Iíve written this, I see that maybe heís doing to other people exactly what heís doing to me - goading them into an angry response. Things never deteriorate into a full fledged fight because heís so subtle in his aggression that no one really knows what to do and then he backs off, like ďwhat did I do!? *grrrrrrrrrr* Frustration is an understatement.

Jaay, his parents were the abusers. Theyíve been out of his life since he was 15, except for one attempt at reconciliation, and now they are dead. I know Iím safe for him and Iím glad for that, but that safety is a double edged sword for me. I can handle a lot, but I canít be a replacement for his T. First, I have no training in that regard and second, thatís not who I am. I love him and support him, but I canít and wonít allow myself to be drawn into a role that doesnít fit and is not right.

I told my T the other night is was easier when I didnít know. For instance, we went to Vegas a few years ago. At first he was happy to make the plans but the closer we got, the more anxious he was, almost to the point of cancelling. I just plowed ahead and off we went. We had a blast, but taking him out of his comfort zone was very hard for him. I knew no better, so I basically said suck it up weíre going. Today, it would be virtually impossible for me to do that because I would know the problem, he would tell me, and I, today, would not cause so much angst for him. Yet, I know heíd be fine once we got to our destination. Iím in a real Catch 22 - damned if I do and damned if I donít.

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

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

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#61524 - 04/29/06 02:31 PM Re: Therapy + Me = Sane
JAAY Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/04
Posts: 115
Loc: NYC
Your a great lady Trish! I hope that I find someone like you! It must be tough to have draw the line with your b/f. Sometimes I think that I burden my friends with my struggle to recover and I must seem needy and boring. It seems to take abused people along time to figure out these things out and like most guys I hate to ask for directions...LOL.

It must be painful to see someone you love in pain. I know that when a good friend lost her sister it hurt so much to be around her because I did not want her to hurt. I hope this makes sense.

All the best!
Jaay


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#61525 - 04/29/06 02:52 PM Re: Therapy + Me = Sane
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

I'm pretty sure that great isn't an accurate de>
_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#61526 - 04/29/06 03:06 PM Re: Therapy + Me = Sane
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
Well done Trish, you really seem to handling it with so much levelheadedness and getting that support for you which I agree is so totally neccessary. I also think its def not a DIY thing.

The first time I really felt anger towards the people who abused / didn't protect my partner, and actually let it out in front of him he thanked me a lot. He still struggles to direct his own anger at them but seemed comforted by me being able to do that.

Good luck and keep looking after you.

Love

Tracy


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#61527 - 04/30/06 08:08 AM Re: Therapy + Me = Sane
Brian Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 1563
Loc: Upstate NY
Hi Trish,

In your post you said that your b/f make excuses for his family saying "that just the way things were".

I've been in counseling for several years now and it's only been in the past few months that I have started to acknowledged my mothers negligence in my abuse. I made excuses and protected my mother for 30 years. She is the woman who worked 3 jobs and went to college on the weekends to keep the family together and to make a better life for me and my siblings (dad was out of the picture). She is the one who worked 7 days a week, 365 days a year to provide for us. At one point she worked 3 1/2 years without a single day off (yes, she worked on Christmas and Thanksgiving too). She refused to be on welfare!! If I had entered her into the "Mother of the Year" contest, she would have won!!

But, as I said, it was just in the past few months that I'm starting to realize what my mother DIDN'T do. My mother was not available. She was either at work, at school or she was sleeping. She wasn't there to teach us how to brush our teeth, to make sure we took a bath before we went to school, clean the house, cook meals (my sister was the cook in the house when she was 7 years old). She wasn't there to do her main job: to protect her children!!! My sister was being abused at 8 years old by her best friend's 18 year old uncle. At 13, she was a being prostitued out in NYC and Seattle. She was gone for a year and we had no idea where she was. I was being abused about the same time. My mother didn't have a clue that 2 of her 3 children suffered years of sexual abuse. Yes, she will tell you that she was very busy. She just didn't see it. And I say... She was WAY to busy to be a mother!

I've always blamed myself for being sexually abused. My mother worked so hard for the family that I couldn't possibly suggest that she had anything to do with it. I would be the loyal son and protect her at all costs (and it was very expensive)!

Family loyalty is a powerful thing. Be careful, he will have to come to grips with that stuff on his own - when he is ready.

I don't know if this helps you at all, but if nothing else, I think it helped me.

Brian

_________________________
Recovery is Possible!

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