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#63005 - 07/25/02 11:51 AM proper reactions/support - continued... (reply to babs)
soccer Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 43
Thanks Babs for your soapbox presentation! I am not saying that to be funny or smart but I really do appreciate directness.

I think you are very right about a lot of things, particularly:

>>"This is my opinion ONLY, but I think you are mixing apples and oranges. You seem to be confusing (1)his sexuality with your desirability, (2)his obsessive compulsive SA-based pathology with his moral standards (based only on what he has expressed verbally to you)
THIS IS NOT AN ATTACK ON YOU OR HIM, but imho several "shadow issues" could yet surface. You seem to be able to separate and tolerate his SA triggered anger issues, but once you wander into the sexual areana, quite naturally, you lose your objectivity."

Oh most defintely I do lose my objectivity. I Have been seeing a shrink about these painful thought processes about his past (I tend towards obsessive thoughts sometimes) and I've come to the conclusion that a lot of this has to do with my own attitudes about myself, and the "abandonment" issues I have from my own childhood, my own attitudes about my own lovability (I dont think I am very lovable sometimes and I compare myself to other women and feel inadequate - getting older and seeing some signs of aging) and also due to two serious relationships that broke down (they left me for someone else) as well. Also that often in the dating world I found myself as a "trophy girlfriend" or "someone to screw (or screw over) and brag about" rather than someone that guys would respect, love and marry (i've been told by many people that my appearance (I did hair/face/makeup modelling when I was a teenager makes guys "intimidated" so they'd rather just screw me, not make a relationship with me).

Also, my painful lack of objectivity about his past really flares up when there are problems in the relationship (i.e when he's on one of his selfishness tyrades, or acting very mean, waffling/changing his mind, backing out of plans, etc. )Coming from a household where I could not express anger at all (for my own safety), I tended to turn anger on to myself and blame myself, rather than directly confront treatment that I dont like (you could NEVER tell my dad something he didnt want to hear). I've never really learned to "stand up" and say what i like and what i dont like and what I wont stand for without being really scared, emotional and upset. I think those are definitely shadow issues that I personally am dealing with.

Again, a long road from the mind to the heart. My mind can rationalise all of this but still it hurts...

Blah.. this whole process is just digging up so many other issues.. for both him and me.

>>"Maybe your BF was spared some of the after-affects of SA that Getteddie and others on this forum have openly admitted because his abuse took place in his late teens.
>>"Maybe your boyfriend was lucky enough to have a well developed sense of himself as a "male" and that the abuse was NOT his first sexual experience."

Unfortunately the abuse *was* his first sexual experience, however, he had dated a few girls before this experience (not sexual realtionships) so he did have *some* idea of being a male.

Indeed I do think that he was "spared" (if I can use that word.. when talking about sexual abuse I think the use of the word "spared" is a crock of bullcrap...) some of the major effects because it did not happen over a long period of time (I think there were at most, three incidences) and there was no penetration or violence.. however in NO WAY should that statment implicate that I dont acknowledge the unbelievable amount of damage that those incidences caused. The shock, dissasociation, abuse of trust, etc that happened is still the same. My BF turned to a friend/"authority figure" to find support in relationship/girls issues that his parents could and would not give (very strict, old school catholic view of sex), and this "male mentor" person took advantage of that. My bf indeed thought he was gay until he was about 25, which is when most of his acting out/sexual confusion took place. At that time he was also an alcoholic/pot head, which indicates there was still a lot going on (in fact he only quit pot this February..)

We had a BIG blowup about this awhile ago when I freaked out and told him that his past disgusted me.. and he pretty much put me in my place. He just said "I think you're confusing the person I used to be, the alcoholic with the person that is standing here before you now and you BETTER change your attitude".. I was pretty damn upset after he said that but man, it hit home and I do believe he meant what he said! Again.. once the sharp pain of the truth passed, I really appreciated his directness.

>>"For Getteddie and others who was raped pre-puberty have EXTRA added confusion because their first sexual pleasure is forever linked to the sexual abuse.

For my BF it was not rape, there was no penetration, but it was molestation/fondling. I have to admit he does have a major obsession with wanting to be touched, but I can handle that. I dont think he wants any guys to touch him though.. he's got a REAL phobia about male authority figures and wont let ANYONE "be the boss of him".. (which is where the main relationship problems lie.. his inability to compromise and trust).

>>"It may be that he minimizes his real obsession because (1) he is ashamed of the 'compulsion' or (2)he is afraid that the reality of his 'needs' will drive you away."

Its possible. I know he does have a lot of shame about sex, partly from the abuse and partly from his parents' attitudes.

I realise that he may still have compulsions - however, this may suprise you, I totally OK with my partner turning to porn (I have read/watched it with him at times or masturbation as long as its not hurting him or the relationship (i.e. as long as he doesnt turn to porn all the time and ignore me, or if I see it increasing (I know where his stash of magazines are) and our relationship getting rockier, I'll say something.

I find that my attitude has really lessened his anxiety and compulsiveness about it. He says I'm the first person he's met who had that attitude. I have lived in several places (french culture, etc) with people from whom I learned quite liberal sexual attitudes (hell where I live you can get soft core porn on regular cable TV - Quebec (Canada) is a very different world from mainstream USA...).

My attitudes are just conservative when it comes to sex in a committed relationship, but what goes on in that committed relationship as long as nobody gets hurt (physically or emotionally) its fair game. I'm pretty adventurous myself, just really really really (did I say really?) against casual/unsafe sex - it literally grosses me out (probably because I relate it to those guys who just wanted to "screw and brag" - in fact I've had guys make up stories about me..)

>>"I know that I sound 'more together about sorting through issues' than is actually true. My capacity to understand the impact of SA from an intellectual standpoint FAR EXCEEDS my emotional reconciliation. I have just gotten to a point that I can't waste my limited energy fighting what IS unfair and am trying to focus on 'healthy ways' to accept and move forward."

I can certainly relate to the intellectual vs. emotional splitting... I think maybe I"m just at the point where I'm able to accept what happened.. I think I was so angry and shocked that I just couldnt deal with it and perhhaps I was doing my own splitting/dissasocations, etc.

Up until now I think in a new relationship I was lost in the fantasy that THIS ONE would be perfect and somewhere something was nagging at me that I was just seeing the tip of the iceberg that we had to dismantle before this relationship could progress.

Speaking of healthy ways.. my BF and I had a chat last night (he goes to therapy on weds. pms) and afterwards he is always in a good mood. He did sit me down and say "I know I am being really strange lately and I will have to ask you to be patient and not take this personally. I am doing this work so we can have a better relationship and so I am healthier. You are important to me and this relationship is important. If I wasn't with you I probably would eventually do this work, but probably not quite yet. I just dont want this relationship to wind up like the others".

WOWEE!!! I guess that his rocky relationship road HAS taught him something.

I am so glad he has gone back to therapy - it is opening up new wounds but it is also keeping him a bit more focussed on problem solving, etc.

>>"Putting my soapbox away now,"

Bring it out again any time. I really appreciate it. I do need to be whacked in the face with cold, hard reality sometimes.

I am very glad that I can talk to all of you on here .. just writing this post out has really clarified my own ideas/attitudes. Thank you all again. I hope that I havent written something that will be misunderstood.. let me know if I have. In no way do I intend to be obnoxious or challenging in any way.. I just may not always express myself properly. I do appreciate all the advice and discussions so far.

soc


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#63006 - 07/25/02 01:04 PM Re: proper reactions/support - continued... (reply to babs)
AMiNUTS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/13/02
Posts: 37
Hi Soccer,

I am VERY impressed that your BF sat you down after his session and said what he said. That shows tremendous understanding on his part and that the work he is doing is progressing well. GOOD FOR HIM and you!

I think Babs had said (or someone else) that everything is OK as long as we see a little forward progress. (maybe it was eddie) Anyway, two steps forward and one step back still equals progress. We just had the one step back that I am feeling today. But I suppose I need to remember the two steps forward that were made over vacation last week.

As far as your BF goes, he deserves an 'atta boy, way to go!

Be well, AMiNUTS


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#63007 - 07/25/02 08:36 PM Re: proper reactions/support - continued... (reply to babs)
getteddie Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/01
Posts: 226
Loc: Cub Hill, Md
WOW,
This is some pretty heavy stuff...seeing how the other side feels and thinks..I feel very luckly to have the chance to read this...Babs doesn't say this much to me!!! Kinda creeps me out because I know that I've been acting like this... reading these post have really helped me to feel some empathy for what Babs is going throught...can't see why any of you would want to stay with a nutty male SA survivor!!! Must be LOVE but I don't really understand love...when I hear the word love..I think of sex...I know that it is something very deep but I can't put a handle on it! It must be like I feel about my daughter...no sex but a great bonding that I would die for. I'm 53 and feel like I'm just learning what love is...very strange...thanks for the help!!!

Eddie


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#63008 - 07/25/02 09:00 PM Re: proper reactions/support - continued... (reply to babs)
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Eddie
Isn't it just a vicous circle of equating love = sex = memories of our abuse ? How in hells name do we break this cycle ?

I cannot, no matter what I do or what the circumstances are, enjoy making love to my wife without this cycle kicking in. And that drags me back down.

The girls are on the recieving end, and they know it. We get angry and they battle along trying to find out why, and I don't suppose we give them too many clues.

It aint the only thing that drags us down, but it's way up the list.

And like you Eddie, I feel privelidged to hear their views. It certainly makes me think about what I tell my wife, or rather - what I don't tell her.... :rolleyes:

Lloydy

_________________________
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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#63009 - 07/26/02 09:19 AM Re: proper reactions/support - continued... (reply to babs)
AMiNUTS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/13/02
Posts: 37
Lloyd and Eddie,

Its great to hear your response to this type of conversation and your recognizing yourselves and your relationship in it shows great progress in your healing. I am jealous, however, that my H won't even acknowledge anything. I don't want to become obsessive about his issues, but I can't help relating behaviors to his SA, especially since coming to this site. Can you tell me what finally led you into therapy and honestly working on it?

Thanks, AMiNUTS


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#63010 - 07/26/02 10:54 AM Re: proper reactions/support - continued... (reply to babs)
soccer Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 43
Yahoo for the recent chat with my bf indeed...We're going camping for the weekend.. hopefully it wont be too tense. I've just been suffering incredibly bad case of the nerves (haven't been able to eat for a few days) on account of the friction in this relationship lately. Its just hard to wipe the bad out of my brain even though there has been some good lately - even despite the chat on weds. pm I still have a bad case of the nerves. I guess it comes from some realtionships in the past that have turned sour - I'm really really nervous that once my BF gets his head together, he'll realize he doesn't really love or need me anymore. That has happened in the past to me and I'm deathly afraid of it happening again. I swore that i"d never get involved with someone who didnt have his shit together and here I am.. tackling this behemoth problem.

I took my BF canoeing last night - he really seemed to like the wilderness.. hopefully this weekend will give him some peace. Now if I could just get MY anxiety under control.. just so hard to always feel that at any time he could blow his stack.. I'm like totally on edge all the time. I grew up in a really unstable home and this situation just seems to be rekindling all the anxiety problems I grew up with.

re: Why am I with a survivor? Well see I have been much the same over the past few years.. only recently have I been able to put my own destructive behaviour in check - I have had my own abuse issues. I realize through all of that I was acting pretty awful, and driving people away, but also that I am worthy of love and the same is true for my BF. He's REACTING to a situation, not through and through a bad person.

Wish me luck.. will keep you posted next week on the camping trip.

soc


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#63011 - 07/26/02 12:21 PM Re: proper reactions/support - continued... (reply to babs)
AMiNUTS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/13/02
Posts: 37
Good luck this weekend! I wish you a peaceful weekend.

AMiNUTS


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#63012 - 07/26/02 09:38 PM Re: proper reactions/support - continued... (reply to babs)
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
AMiNUTS
Hellfire, that's a deep question, but here goes...

But, stranger than fiction, my wife and I were talking about this tonight.

My abuse ended at age 15, and I disclosed to my wife at 46, three years ago. She was the first person I told.

Tonight I was telling her that I had problems from the day it ended, I used the memories as fantasy and it escalated until I started low level acting out at about 30, and reached full acting out with other men at about 44.
By then I was so screwed up with the lying, cheating, recognising my own depressions and angers, the suicidal times, the nights lying awake crying silently, too much to drink, it goes on - I was fucked up and I somehow recognised it. My wife thought it was her fault, she thought I hated her, I didn't - I hated myself.

somehow one person came along and showed some faith in me, a lady director at work, she trusted me and listened to me- not neccesarily agreeing- but she listened with respect. How this came about I don't know - fate or something...
But it made me realise I wasn't completely stupid and useless, which is what I firmly believed.
But I still didn't know what to do, my worst acting out was at this time, my confusion was extrodinary, suicidal.

One night I saw an advert in the local paper for a charity that provided therapy for sa victims, and something clicked, I cut it out and kept it in my wallet for weeks.
One night we were discussing holidays ( AGAIN !! ) and the possibility of going somewhere with some friends. Again something clicked and I just blurted it out "when I was a kid I was sexually abused" why then ? who knows, I hadn't planned it for even one second before.

So I guess it was the combination of regaining a slight bit of self esteem, by chance, and the recognition that if I didn't do something then I was doomed, and finding the small ad'
I haven't got a clue if I could have got here without one of them being in place, or the order of them.

I've yet to thank that lady, but it's something I have to do.
Lloydy \:\)

_________________________
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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#63013 - 07/27/02 02:24 PM Re: proper reactions/support - continued... (reply to babs)
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
AMiNUTS
part two...

What I was really frightened of was losing EVERYTHING, and that was definately a major kick in the butt to get something done.
It might seem somehow false, for want of a better word, to have been concerned about losing my material stuff, but it definately came into the equation, we have a decent enough lifestyle, a lovely old cottage I've restored, my jeeps, and decent holidays. And I could see ruination facing me if I got caught cruising or having sex with strange men. I had visions of just being thrown out and shunned by everyone I knew if I was caught, and believe me that got closer by the day- risk was a BIG part of my acting out.
All this led to the more important aspect of losing what I love, my wife, family and close friends. I was convinced nobody would stand by me, and who knows if they would have if I had been caught ?
And ultimately, my life. I finally figured I was too big a coward to end it, and began to think that if I could change it then I wouldn't have to consider that option again.
And I haven't.

The choice was- take a risk and make some effort to sort it, become a bum, or suicide.

Lloydy \:\)

_________________________
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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#63014 - 07/27/02 07:31 PM Re: proper reactions/support - continued... (reply to babs)
babs Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 59
Loc: Cub Hill, MD
Lloydy,

I beg to differ with your self evaluation
Quote:
I finally figured I was too big a coward to end it
No SA survivor is a coward. You are all heros. Just surviving the abuse shows tremendous strength and finding your way the maze of subsequent damage to build the life you have now demonstrates your overwhelming desire to live. I think the choice of that negative adjective you used is a measure of the shame and guilt that still haunt you.

I very much identify with
Quote:
My wife thought it was her fault, she thought I hated her, I didn't - I hated myself.
I too DID think and still DO feel that I am somehow at fault for Eddie's issues. Considering all that he and I have gone through these last 2 years I know that those particular feelings are " pure bullshit." I guess the feelings are a measure of how co-dependent I still am, wanting to fix him and blaming myself when I can't.

Does you wife feel that you have a closer, better relationship now that she knows the secret? I know that my relationship with Eddie is closer than ever. And like many a survivor I grieve for the lost times while we were living a lie.

Thoughtfully,

Babs


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