Maggie, always keep yourself safe, in this forum, and also in your personal relationships.
I've been reading this site a lot and I understand many survivors feel that they are somehow "guarding" us and "saving" us from being a part of what they view as a shitty, miserable life, but I just wish that it was a choice that he would let me make.
Many survivors really need to be close, but for some reason maybe not be able to handle all the
psychic stressors involved in making the relationship work. It may be that he just needed to retreat into his own self to identify whether the relationship can work.
There are many factors in CSA which lead to various states of mind, sometimes a survivor can be overwhelmed by these stressors and will retreat to gather up the information and process it.
It is hard for anyone on the outside to understand, but you need to give him space.
It causes us to mistrust sometimes for no valid reason. He may think you are too good for him. He may think, hey, she doesn't need to take this emotional garbage. How can I possibly put this girl through my past???
It is hard but, please do not be overprotective or overly sympathetic. Abuse survivors are rarely looking for sympathy in a relationship, they are looking for the impossible.
A relationship to them can be symptomatic with trauma, where love was seen as hurt, so love equals expectancy of hurt. There are loads of other things involved.
Expectancy that you will be the next one to walk away and leave him can also stop him making the relationship work.
Often the victim will say to himself, why didn't I go for it, I had nothing to lose, but then say to himself, I don't deserve to hurt this girl adn brand her with my worries, this is my perception, not his.
An example I will give you here, is when a girlfriend really is in love and just wants all his attention and will not be able to understand his need for space, she will not know this, and it will surface in your mind, as him not being able to take in all the love you are giving out, because he is blocking them and relating to hurt.
Conditional love to an abuse survivor may be impossible in a survivor, because he needs you to understand the conditions he has to place within the relationship for it to survive, he may think you are not able to really take it in, and maybe you will walk out and leave him empty.
It might be a good thing to write to him and say, hey, can't we try and make a go of it, I will stick by you, and try to understand. But don't be used in a relationship!
While it is not easy for you to understand how he thinks, just think of this.
A child normally gives unconditional love to anyone he/she meets, we make relationships through experience of growing up and adventure with the opposite sex or whatever. They are intense experiences of love etc.
A child who has been through CSA has a lot more trouble identifying with sexuality and identifying with normal sexual response, to situations of love and affection, to that of a normal child.
The situation can be profound in it's effect on a child who expects to be nurtured, but finds him/herself outside the norms of growing up in a normal world of discovery.
Sometimes it manifests as, at least, negative response to empathy, to love, and to meaningful relationship, but to me, I would say, it is worth a try, because he probably is really a little boy crying out for help, in a world that let him just let him cry in the wilderness.
As a child, I would go back to states of being in extreme despair, nobody to talk to but myself. I could not find the answers so I withdrew as a kid, and the longer it goes on as a kid with nobody to talk to makes the kid think he is not loved because nobody can understand the problem!
To me, as a boy of 11yo, he didn't understand what happened to him, he cried. He tried to identify with his kid logic, Why? Nobody answers because nobody cares, and that is what a kid takes into adulthood.
I think, trying to identify CSA with relationships is very hard, it takes the kid back through so many parts of his life that can be so traumtic to him.
If you want to know wht trauma consists of, PM me.
take care of yourself,