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#61801 - 08/31/04 02:52 PM my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
melanie99 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 5
Loc: NC
Hi everyone. I am a new member, my boyfriend is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse that went on for 13 years by his stepfather. When i met him, he seemed close with his stepdad. It has been a year and a half since i have known him and this all surfaced very recently. The evil man is in jail awaiting trial. My boyfriend is in therapy but things are still very difficult. He seems committed to therapy and eventually having a normal life. I dont know the intimate details and I dont think I want to, but I know that is was VERY bad. I love him more than anything in the whole world and i havent left his side, but I am really scared for him and for us. He recently had to face the fact that his mother knew about this and chose his stepdad and drugs over his safety. I want to know that he will be OK and what I can do to help him, and what he needs to do to have a normal life again. I want to know if he will have to have these awful memories for the rest of his life, and i also have horrible visions and nightmares. I cant stand that this beast hurt tis person I care about so much - I want to see him rot in prison. Also, I worry that he has buried demons that may come out years from now. Not necissarily that he would ever do this to someone but any kind of demons. If any of you are male survivors with a similar story, please write to me and help me understand.

_________________________
mel

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#61802 - 08/31/04 05:38 PM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
crisispoint Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
Melanie,

First, let me say that I'm so sorry for what your boyfriend had to endure. It is wrong and indescribable that nimrods such as these would do things to children, but it does happen.

I also want to thank you for sticking with him and trying to find ways to help him. This is a service and a great thing, because too many people walk away simply because they can't cope with it.

Now, to answer your questions. Yes, there are no doubt memories that will yet come to the fore. When you survive abuse of any kind, there will always be scars, and the demons will always be there. No doubt, your boyfriend will have to face that and more. He's in therapy, though, and he's committed to getting better, so this will make it less difficult to deal with. It hurts. It will ALWAYS hurt, but I heard once that pain is like being saddled with an enormous rock. Sometimes, that damn rock is so big and so heavy that it takes everything we have to just move it an inch or two. it's overwhelming. But, with time, we get stronger, and the rock isn't as hard to move as it used to be. It gets less difficult every day. Not by much, but it does, and eventually it doesn't hurt as much as it used to.

Also, with therapy, it's far less likely that his abuse will result in him being an abuser. the worst thing in the world is hearing about some scumbag abuser being caught, and the first thing out of their mouths is that they were abused. It makes the vast majority of us who survive and not offend cringe, and trust OURSELVES less. Your boyfriend may also be afraid of this, and he may not trust himself because of it. Again, with proper therapy, trust in self and others will be rebuilt, but it's a long road to recovery.

You also need to be aware that there will be days when he isn't okay. He will be moody, he will be mean, he will hate himself and lash out at everyone around him, even those he loves. It's hard, particularly when he may say truly hurtful things. Be patient with him. I'm not saying to tolerate truly abusive behavior, but understand when he doesn't want to talk about it or anything. Be there for him even when he's being withdrawn and difficult. be prepared to listen when he DOES want to talk about it. And I mean PREPARED. He may need to tell others about what these animals did to him, and the details are never pretty. Refrain from asking questions that may be destructive. Also refrain from saying things that CAN be hurtful to him, even when they're not meant to be.

I know about this, and a lot of the guys here do too, because I was abused for months by a guidance counselor who manipulated me into thinking I loved him. Yeah, I loved him, and he used that just because he could. I still feel very conflicted about this, and he probably will, toom because he may still love his stepfather and his mother, even though she let him down. One of the hardest things is when other people knew, or should've known, about the abuse, and did nothing. It certainly made me feel like less than nothing (I was constantly being taken out of class, and a teacher saw me being dragged into his office for more abuse).

As long as you are patient, understanding, and supportive, you will be doing the right thing.

Again, he will probably say it to you someday, but I'm going to say it for him now. Thank you for being caring and understanding to him.

peace and love,

Scot

_________________________
There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

fromacuriousmind.blogspot.com
malehurtandsurvive.blogspot.com

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#61803 - 08/31/04 07:54 PM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Melanie
If I had a magic pill or cure that made us forget I'd be a very rich man.
Unfortunately, memories cannot be made to go away.

But on the positive side we can, and do, learn to live with them and process them in a way that enables us to live our lives once again.
Will we ever be completely normal again? define 'normal'? We CAN make our own normality, we can learn to understand the way we process this shit we've endured and live a good life.

the key is, I think, in understanding ourselves.
We're NEVER going to understand the abusers and their evil ways, and why the hell should we waste our efforts trying? Let the law, society or whatever higher power we might believe in deal with them. Let's spend our precious energy on US.

And that also includes YOU.
You've already discovered that loving and supporting a Survivor is heartbreakingly difficult, and many partnerships crumble under the strain.
It's your responsibility to care for yourself now, he might want to and try to as well, but the truth is he's going to need all his resourses and more for a good while. So if you want to support, treat yourself with kindness and don't risk being crushed, that way when he needs your support, you'll be his tower of strength.

I'm not painting a pretty picture I know, but the fact is we are badly damaged people with the potential for a lot of serious problems.
The right help and support are essential, so therapy is I believe the first priority.

Feel free to read the other forums ( although we do ask that females don't post on the Male Survivor Forums ) and ask whatever questions you feel you need to. The help and support here is wonderful, I'm sorry you need it, but please make the best of it.

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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#61804 - 09/01/04 09:52 AM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
melanie99 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 5
Loc: NC
Dave and Scot,

Thank you both for your words, it helps and it means alot. Dealing with my friends and family is difficult because all they can say is "run". But I dont want to run and if they had any clue what kind of person I am they would realize that I couldn't run even if I did want to. He has been abandoned enough. I know I can deal with the bad days and random spurts of depression, I just want the best for him. I think he is making progress with his therapy, but maybe you guys can confirm. I see that he is starting to express feelings that he has always supressed, such as anger toward his mother and admitting that this is her fault and she could have stopped it. To me, even though it may be painful for him to admit that his mom is a piece of shit, I think it is a good sign because it makes sense. He should feel anger toward her. If he didnt, that would tell me there is a problem, am I right? I think he is going to sue his stepdad for pain and suffering, does a bit of revenge help the healing process? I guess my last question would be - what finally got through to you guys? I mean, was there a point in your post-abuse life that was like a breakthrough? Sometimes I think he is dealing with everything really well, because he seems happy and positive about the future, but I want to be sure he is not covering anything up. And what if he is and HE doesn't even know it? I suppose these are things that a good therapist could recognize. I was reading some of the other message boards, and one person said he has fantasies about the abuse. Is that common? I can't imagine him ever admitting to that, even to a therapist. It is things like that which scare me. Thanks again you have been a great help, and I am really glad I found this site. If nothing else it helps me to get my feelings out there, because people that have not been in situations like this just dont understand.

_________________________
mel

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#61805 - 09/01/04 10:51 AM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
crisispoint Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
Melanie,

You DO ask the tough questions!

Is there a "breakthrough moment?" I don't really know, because I don't think I've had it yet. I've been dealing with this crap for going on two years, and sometimes it seems like yesterday. Other times I feel it's a hundred years ago. This is how it's going to be for a while.

Recovery from prolonged abuse, rape, whatever, takes a good LONG time to deal with. There may be no single "breakthrough," but a bunch of little ones. Like I said, it's when the rock starts feeling less heavy, that's when healing comes.

I'm starting to see a future. This is a breakthrough for me.

Yes, some people (myself included) have fantasies about the abuse. In my case, they come with the flashbacks. They're a residual effect of the abuse, and it has absolutely nothing to do with "enjoying" the abuse, sexuality, or anything like that. The truth is we were introduced to things far too early to process, and by either emotional manipulation or force, which can thoroughly screw up your mind. You can think you "traded off" the sex for affection, which will really do a number on your self-esteem. You can have enjoyed the affection and believed the garbage about them "loving" you. Some days, and this will sound really twisted, I think about my abuser rather fondly. But those "fond memories" came at too big a price.

As long as you take time out or yourself, and keep in mind that he's probably got a long way to go, you can be a great support for him. I don't say this to be mean or hurtful, but like Dave said, loving a survivor can be the hardest thing possible, particularly if you have no frame of reference. I hope to God you don't.

Peace and love,

Scot

_________________________
There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

fromacuriousmind.blogspot.com
malehurtandsurvive.blogspot.com

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#61806 - 09/01/04 11:54 AM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by melanie99:
I want to know that he will be OK and what I can do to help him, and what he needs to do to have a normal life again. I want to know if he will have to have these awful memories for the rest of his life, and i also have horrible visions and nightmares. I cant stand that this beast hurt tis person I care about so much - I want to see him rot in prison. Also, I worry that he has buried demons that may come out years from now.
Hi - Im a partner of a survivor and I can say two things for sure a) with help and therapy and hard work there is a LOT that people can get through and b) things wont be the way they are now forever.

I'll make no bones about the fact that it is exhausting, painful and a lot of hard work to get over abuse. There's no way to get over it by avoiding it - your friend will have to be committed to putting his healing FIRST which may make it difficult with respect to having a relationship with someone else for a time. The initial stages of the healing process are all about "TOTAL SELF FOCUS" which can drive partners away.. and/or drive them nuts.. but it is absolutely critical in the healing process. The survivor has to "regroup" into himself before he can come back out again (and even then he may come back out in fits and starts..come here.. go away stuff..).

Its critical for partners at this stage to get a support network of their own as it is a total and complete emotional roller coaster ride. Patience and tolerance and realistic expectations are CRITICAL for the partner when the survivor is in this stage. I found I had to turn to spirituality (belief in a higher power) to get me through those times when I had absolutely NO FAITH in the future, in healing for my fiance, for our relationship. It really helped.

I understand your feelings and your night mares. I have had dreams where I have shot, stabbed and run over the guy who abused my fiance, numerous times, particularly in the early stages of learning about his abuse. I know the kind of anger that you are feeling right now. Its blinding and blistering and all consuming. It physically made me sick for a long time.

There's no guarantee that your friend will not have some resurfacing of "repressed memories" from time to time - there's no telling what he remembers and what he doesn't. But hopefully he'll be able to put together a strong support network of friends, therapists and others who he can call on in times of crisis. He'll absolutely need that strong support network to get through this - which can be hard for men sometimes as many of them have been socialized to believe they can "do it alone" and that asking for help is a "sign of weakness".

In the end, what happened to my fiance and your friend cannot ever go away that is a wishful thinking "wish" that will never be achieved. We have to accept that what happened, happened, and may always have some kind of effect in their lives, BUT that does not mean that their experience means a life of horrible pain and suffering. There IS always hope for dealing with it and going on. Many guys on here can attest to that.

My fiance and I have had our ups and downs in our relationship. Soon after I learned of his abuse history we went to a couples therapist. When I asked the same question "how can this EVER be ok" he said to us:

"an abuse history in someone's life is like a thick, heavy denim shirt - at first its stiff and stifling its difficult to wear and hard to get around and live in. But over time, it breaks in.. you will tend to it, mend it, wash and dry it, hang it up in the closet for awhile, put it back on.

Over time the shirt becomes softer and more broken in and you really CAN learn to live your life while wearing it, and its no longer the heavy, stiff strait jacket it once was."

Hope this helps.


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#61807 - 09/01/04 12:15 PM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
>>>I see that he is starting to express feelings that he has always supressed, such as anger toward his mother and admitting that this is her fault and she could have stopped it. To me, even though it may be painful for him to admit that his mom is a piece of shit, I think it is a good sign because it makes sense.

Trust your gut feelings during times like this. It DOES make sense.. and it does sound like he's making progress.

>>>He should feel anger toward her. If he didnt, that would tell me there is a problem, am I right?

Yes - my fiance does not always express the anger he should at his mother and it comes out sideways back at me. Always encourage him to direct his anger to those that caused it, not to others who are innocently in his path now...

>>>I think he is going to sue his stepdad for pain and suffering, does a bit of revenge help the healing process?

I wouldnt call it revenge but it IS some kind of redemption, and it can be healthy.

My fiance is taking out an investigation on the man who molested him. Its kind of a liberating experience to know that just because someone back then did not stop this horrific abuse, that someone NOW will stand up and say HEY! Yeah! What happend to him was NOT acceptable and we are going to prosecute this guy and let you know that we will try to get this guy to pay for what he did, that we will try to ensure that there will be some consequences for HIM because of what he did to my fiance that was not acceptable. It does sort of restore some of the shattered faith of one's safety and stability in the world. It does not completely fix it but it does help, its kind of like a feeling of "a second chance at having protective parents" if you get what I mean?

>>>Sometimes I think he is dealing with everything really well, because he seems happy and positive about the future, but I want to be sure he is not covering anything up.

There ARE people in this world who are considered "highly resilient" - I have read stories of pepole who survived war, torture, concentration camps, and have gone on to live lives of high achievement, greatness and other things. There is always the possibilty that your partner is one of those people who can thrive in spite of the pain and abuse he went through... who knows????

>>And what if he is and HE doesn't even know it?

Then it will all come out in time. With a strong support network he will be able to get through ANYTHING. But the fact that things "make sense" to you with respect to his anger is a good sign. I sometimes have inklings with my fiance that he is not dealing with things and he does not know it... i.e. for awhile when he discussed his abuse experience he had little to no expression of emotion and said that it "didnt bother him". To me that never sat well with me... for obvious reasons.

Be VERY careful to trust your gut feeling, your intuition on all of this. Keep a support network of your own, a "reality check" if things get too hairy from time to time.

>>I was reading some of the other message boards, and one person said he has fantasies about the abuse. Is that common? I can't imagine him ever admitting to that, even to a therapist. It is things like that which scare me.

I have had the same fears - and I have had to tell my fiance about them - and look to him for reassurance that he/we are "ok".. I had to confront my fears with him and it all turned out OK. He was totally open and honest about the extent of his fantasies (none) and sexual acting out (some - prior to when we met).

>>>people that have not been in situations like this just dont understand.

You got that right!!

One tip for you as a partner - make sure your relationship with him is NOT all about dealing with his abuse. Make sure you take time OUT from the pain to go and have fun - to go and play, to have fun, to take a break.

Make sure your partner looks to you as a "time out" from thinking about his abuse as well as a support for him. DONT make this relationship solely focussed on "getting him well". Healing is primarily the job of therapists and other professionals, and there's a reason why many of them suffer from professional burn-out from time to time!!!

P


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#61808 - 09/01/04 08:22 PM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Mel
you're asking difficult questions once again ;\)
But that shows you're thinking hard about your position in your boyfriends life.

I don't think there is one breakthrough, we're all individuals and our breakthroughs will be different - and at different stages.
But it's not unusual for us to suddenly find that something begins to make sense, and it can be very small and seemingly inconsequential things that make us sit up and say "HEY, now I understand!"

You say he's expressing emotions that he hasn't done before, that was a major thing for me I know. I went for 30 years without expressing my emotions to myself or others - especially my wife.
I acted some emotions, and I acted very well. But I gauged what emotion was expected of me and did "that one".
That's a big difference to accepting our own emotional response to something and acting accordingly.
Acting more or less guaranteed that I sailed through life trouble free, because I was lying to myself and accepting things I didn't want.
Does that sound like your boyfriend "accepting" his mother in the past and reacting negatively towards her now?
His present reaction is the TRUE emotion, and he's going to be scared witless about this. It's all new and untried, and only the people ( you mainly ) who know, trust and support him can validate these new emotions.
Don't go over the top though ;\) just be there and trust.

Anger and revenge will most likely be a part of the new emotions as well. But again it's an individual thing what we do with them.
I've never looked for revenge, and I directed my anger into my writing. Some guys work out, there's many ways of 'losing' a bit of anger.

Quote:
I was reading some of the other message boards, and one person said he has fantasies about the abuse. Is that common? I can't imagine him ever admitting to that, even to a therapist. It is things like that which scare me.
I did it for 30 years, still do very occasionally. But I can stop it when it starts now.
one of the key things to breaking a fantasy is disclosing it, and a good therapist will have heard it all before.
As for you feeling scared of his fantasies, that's understandable, but I don't think it's something that should scare you.
People use fantasy for heightening their sex drive all the time, ours just tend to be moulded from our abuse unfortunately.
They are hard to wipe out, very hard. Slightly easier to .....soften ( for want of a better word ) or reduce. But, just like the whole healing process, being brutally honest with ourselves is the key. If we can also be as honest with our partners as well, then that's a huge bonus.

that's painful for you guys, make no mistake about that. And there have been times when I have caused my wife untold pain, and I was so wrapped up in my healing that I barely noticed. And she, to her eternal credit, never let me see all of her pain. It's only now that I realise what she actually put up with and just how much she supported me.

I have a lot of making up to do! \:D

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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#61809 - 09/01/04 10:41 PM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
samantha Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/01/04
Posts: 5
Hi everyone. My name is Samantha. I am also a new member. Melanie's boyfriend is my brother in law. My husband was also sexually abused by his stepdad. I can't tell you enough what it meant to read everyone's posts. It made me feel so much better to hear your advice and thoughts. Melanie asked all the questions that I've been wondering about for years.I'm sure I'll post a few more on here as time goes by. It's nice to finally have people that I can talk to about this stuff. Melanie, if you read this I want you to know that I think you are so special and so good for my brother in law. I'm glad that you found this site and posted what you did. Reading everyone's replies tonight has helped me feel more hopeful about my future with the man I love more than life itself.
Anyway,I hope I can give him the family that he never had growing up. We have a great marriage and he seems to not be too bothered or concerned about his past. Everynight though he get's a high from drinking and such. He seems dependent on these "highs" and it sometimes scares me. I think he gets them to help shove his pain back down and to help him forget. That is what has always worried me.I don't want him to become an alcoholic or dependent on a high.
I just hope that my husband and brother in law open up in therapy and continue going. I worry about them so much.


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#61810 - 09/02/04 04:18 AM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Melanie, and Samantha,

Welcome to MS.

It's late here, Melanie, and the folks who've already welcomed you here have given you excellent advice, but I'd like to add one thing quickly. Don't worry too much about what you read on these forums or in articles if it's not something that you think you need to worry about. Not everyone goes through the same things in their healing, although there is lots in common. It's easy to read the long list of problems experienced by some survivors, and feel very scared and disillusioned. If something doesn't seem like a concern for you and your boyfriend, save your energy for where it will (and trust me, it WILL) be needed.

This is a wonderful resource, please keep reading and posting.

SAR


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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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#61821 - 09/05/04 08:21 PM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
samantha Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/01/04
Posts: 5
:p


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#61822 - 09/13/04 06:37 PM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
melanie99 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 5
Loc: NC
Yes, I was drunk when i wrote the last one, i have no idea what i was talking about. but i see the replies slowed down considerably!!!!!!!!

_________________________
mel

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#61823 - 09/13/04 06:47 PM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Melanie
I used to think I was "average looking" - but I seriously underestimated myself!

Quote:
Maybe - versus the average guy, maybe he is nicer, and better looking,
So your fella must be something special!

Dave ;\) \:D ;\) \:D ;\) \:D :rolleyes:

_________________________
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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#61824 - 09/16/04 03:03 AM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
Bryan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/30/04
Posts: 37
Loc: tokyo
Melanie and Stephanie...
I:m a normal Survivor who:s recently got ahold of this site, and welcome to both of you as well. This is my first post to the Family Forum...I was wondering to myself what it would be like if I had people like you in my life to support me thru my tough times of recovery, as I have had nearly noone but a therapist (and that:s not quite enough) and recently this site - nobody wants to deal with this stuff. To you both I say You Are Awesome, I mean that sincerely! Running away from your boyfriend should make you ask *What am I running TO?* and in facing life the only place to run is to yourSelf and each other. You could just as easily run to someone who Seems OK, but is in denial about something else or another...at least this guy is brave enough to face things head on. I hope you can see your loving him makes you stronger and hopefully your relationship more intimate. I have no great insight at this time, just encouragement that your strength makes him stronger and gives everybody Hope.

Careful of your Personal Boundaries...see a good book in this sites bookstore called Ghosts in the Bedroom for a good, quick, enlightening strategy for both of you. It:s the slimmest, yet most complete book I can think of. Lew:s books would be good for the survivor if he hasn:t got them already. Congradulations on your decision for strength, you should be proud to be a part both sides of *For better or worse.*.

_________________________
Bryan Beezer

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#61825 - 09/19/04 09:25 PM Re: my boyfriend is a survivor, any advice?
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Hey Bryan,

Welcome to Family and Friends. \:\)
Quote:
you should be proud to be a part both sides of *For better or worse.*.
This is how I think of it too. At least I am getting to experience the real worst and the real best, and as bad as the worst has been, the better is great.


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