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#61811 - 09/02/04 03:15 PM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
melanie99 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 5
Loc: NC
OK, all of you are SO awesome! I cant believe the support we have gotten on this site, and clearly you all took a lot of time in your responses, seeing that they are all very long and well thought out. You all seem to be so realistic and level headed, and that makes me feel good because I know that you are all going to be OK as well as my boyfriend and his brother. You have also somehow gave me the confidence to talk to him about these things, to let him know that I am learning and what I have learned through this site and talking with all of you. A couple of points stand out that make me feel especially good. 1) the point about trusting my instinct - because since recently my instinct is telling me that everything is going to be OK. It is also telling me that this guy is THE ONE. 2)The possibility that some people are very resilient and even though what happen was HORRIBLE, he (they) may really be OK or well on their way to OK (with the proper therapy of course). 3) Memories or fantasies are NO indication that he ever liked or enjoyed the abuse. 4) There will always be bad days but they lessen as the years and healing go on. 5) His anger and expression of his feelings IS a sign of progress.

Samantha, thank you so much for being there through all of this, I dont think I would be here right now without you. And we will stick together and make sure those boys get the help they need - we know what threats to make!

To everyone else, all I can say is you have made such a difference in my way of thinking, and I can't thank you enough.

Love, Mel

_________________________
mel

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#61812 - 09/02/04 04:08 PM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
samantha Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/01/04
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally posted by melanie99:

And we will stick together and make sure those boys get the help they need - we know what threats to make!
Yes, we will stick together sweetie! As far as the threats go, I can tell my hubby this "No counseling means no more homemade steak dinners!!" \:D Lol!Just kidding! Seriously though, it is in the benefit of us all to go to counseling! \:\) I really hope they continue. I know my husband hates it, but he's only been a couple of times. I'm hoping it will get easier for him.


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#61813 - 09/02/04 04:21 PM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
[[/qb][/QUOTE]Seriously though, it is in the benefit of us all to go to counseling! \:\) I really hope they continue. I know my husband hates it, but he's only been a couple of times. I'm hoping it will get easier for him. [/QB][/QUOTE]

Indeed therapy is not easy. My fiance resisted it to NO end. I even remember in my own therapy literally walking out of the T's office a few times when she told me something I didnt want to hear. But I needed to hear it! However if its any consolation my fiance started intensive SA therapy last year at this time within a group for male SA survivors and 1 year later I now find him meeting up with the guys OUTSIDE therapy in addition to within therapy.. no coercion required! Its a great "reality check" for him. He needs that point of view in his whole re-shaping of his identity, makes him feel less alone. Its pretty much a real-life version of this site thats' facilitated by a social worker or a therapist - so useful!!

Good that "your guys" ARE going to Therapy. Its not enough for the partner to try and "fix" the survivor. It almost always backfires - the partner feels too overloaded (burn out!!) and the survivor sometimes resists the advice and can sometimes wind up staying stuck or "taking out their anger" on the partner..

Anyhow I find that guys in general dont always want to hear too much advice from anyone, let alone "their women" for some reason or another. They really want us to be their FRIENDS and mates, not their guides. The whole "strong, lone, male, hunter" instinct is still very strong!!!!!!!!!!

The homemade steak dinners are probably as important as the therapy and the understanding - take time out to care for yourselves, to have fun whenever you can, to take part in hobbies, creative pursuits, exercise, healthy eating, and some FUN things too. Dealing with this is SO stressful and painful you NEED to have time and space to blow off steam from time to time, a place to escape mentally and physically. Your relationships really need to be a support system for them, a "soft place to fall" AND a "place to escape from it all". Changes of scene, long weekends here and there are ALL beneficial in keeping up your emotional, mental and physical strength as you battle this...

!!!!!Fight the good fight, ladies!!!!!!

P


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#61814 - 09/02/04 04:35 PM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
>>>You have also somehow gave me the confidence to talk to him about these things, to let him know that I am learning and what I have learned through this site and talking with all of you.

Whats so good about this site is that its totally ANONYMOUS.. nobody's real identity can be known.. privacy is totally guaranteed unless someone chooses to let someone else know more.

>>>Memories or fantasies are NO indication that he ever liked or enjoyed the abuse.

Nope. Nobody enjoys the abuse. Its just the survior gets so confused about "what is right and what is wrong and what is appropriate" its hard for them to even tell what they like, dont like, etc. Their coping mechanisms in the human brain sometimes tricks you into believing that you enjoyed it, particularly if the abuser tries to brainwash the survivor (it can happen unfortunately.. there literally can be some "rewiring" of the neural pathways in the brain that can happen through trauma. HOwever even these can be worked on so that they dont ahve as much power over the survivor over time.

Survivors WILL always be coloured by the abuse, but it WILL, with effort on their part get better over time. Healing is a one way street.. one NEVER goes backwards permamently (there may be backslides from time to time but overall the trend is towards healing).

Humans have an amazing capacity to adapt and be strong in the face of some pretty unbelievable circumstances. I am always amazed and inspired when I hear stories of horrific experiences, of holocaust/genocide and war survivors who go on to live amazingly competent, and in some cases, absolutely extraordinary lives!!!!!!!!!

I currently am friends with someone who survived the Lebanese civil war - She literally fled Beirut as it blew apart around her, people being shot in the street for their faith (she was Muslim living in the Christian side of Beirut).. dodging bombs with a suitcase in one hand and a student visa in the other, off to a completely unknown life here in Canada. She is still working out PTSD and other trauma issues now as a 32 year old (Canadian citizen now), but her amazing experiences and her commitment to continue to work on herself and aspire to a better life for herself TOTALLY inspires me!!


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#61815 - 09/02/04 05:57 PM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Quote:
Anyhow I find that guys in general dont always want to hear too much advice from anyone, let alone "their women" for some reason or another. They really want us to be their FRIENDS and mates, not their guides. The whole "strong, lone, male, hunter" instinct is still very strong!!!!!!!!!!
"GUILTY!"

And this instinct must be something in our genetics or something.
It's just the same when we get a new VCR or DVD player, do we read the instructions? not a chance :rolleyes:
Hey, we're MEN, we don't need instructions. Which is why we can react badly to therapy in the early days, and also why some guys don't take to female therapist as well.

But to compensate for this macho trait I think women have developed a technique whereby they sit back and "tactfully offer helpful advice" ( while surreptitiously reading the instruction manual ) and make it look like anything but "telling us what to do!"

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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#61816 - 09/03/04 12:16 PM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by Lloydy:
[QUOTE]
But to compensate for this macho trait I think women have developed a technique whereby they sit back and "tactfully offer helpful advice" ( while surreptitiously reading the instruction manual ) and make it look like anything but "telling us what to do!"
It's called "coming up with a realistic, informed, well rounded plan, then appeasing the macho ego by subtly convincing the man to think that our solution was HIS own idea"

\:\)


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#61817 - 09/03/04 08:40 PM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
PAS

Quote:
It's called "coming up with a realistic, informed, well rounded plan, then appeasing the macho ego by subtly convincing the man to think that our solution was HIS own idea"
And I thought that sheltering from the rain was all MY idea?

BWWWAAHHHH.... \:\( \:\( \:\( \:\(

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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#61818 - 09/04/04 04:15 AM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Not only is it so, so good that "your" guys are seeking help, but it is awesome that they will have each other (and the two of you have each other)-- not even to they can talk about it, just to silently understand where they're coming from, and one less person to worry about "letting it slip" in front of.

The "little" breakthroughs are important, in some ways more of what healing is really about than the one big breakthrough. Each time he realizes something about himself, he is giving himself permission to think differently, act differently... we say that survivors are "shaped" by their abuse, well, each little realization is a re-shaping.

SAR


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#61819 - 09/04/04 02:13 PM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
samantha Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/01/04
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally posted by SAR:

The "little" breakthroughs are important, in some ways more of what healing is really about than the one big breakthrough. Each time he realizes something about himself, he is giving himself permission to think differently, act differently... we say that survivors are "shaped" by their abuse, well, each little realization is a re-shaping.

SAR
That makes a lot of sense! Thanks for sharing Sar.


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#61820 - 09/05/04 02:46 AM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
melanie99 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 5
Loc: NC
This might sound kindof funny. but i was thinking today - about how much i loved my boyfriend. I dawned on me thAt even though i would be heaviliy involved, him and i were free spirits with each other. Maybe - versus the average guy, maybe ne is nicer, and better looking, and more trustworthy....

_________________________
mel

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