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#63661 - 11/29/02 07:33 PM Welcome Lizzie
New to this Offline
Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 138
Loc: Mississippi
The following is a private message between me and lizzie. I am moving it here with her permission. I know that she will be well received here and that you guys can offer her words of encouragement & understanding.

Quote:
Welcome!

Let me know if I can help.

Devon

--------------------
Second star to the right and straight on until morning
Peace Baby
Old Farts Rule, Adolescents Drool

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Posts: 126 | From: South Mississippi | Registered: Sep 2002

lizzie
New Here
Member # 970 posted November 28, 2002 05:03 PM
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Thank you Devon.

I have been in an 18 month relationship with a man who was abused 38 years ago. I left England, where he is and returned to my home, Australia 5 weeks ago with the assumption for both of us that the relationship was over albeit neither of us wanted it to end.

He has never dealt with the abuse and until i came into his life he said he had buried it all. When we first met I made a statement "i want to know all about you", meaning your likes, your hates, your favourite subjects at school, that type of thing. What he "heard" was "oh my God, she can see right through me, she knows of the abuse and wants all the gory details". What he heard of course was not my intention but nevertheless it is what he "heard".

It has been 18 months of secrecy, paranoia, porno, lies, obsession and betrayal (betrayal via the internet) and I could not handle it any more. But, in saying that, on a day to day basis no two people could laugh as much as we have, he is my soul mate and I adore him but I had to protect me.

Since being home he has written and phoned constantly. He said he is going to start therapy, that he NEEDS answers as to why he has treated me the way he has and that he NEEDS me to know these answers. Since being home he has shared a little of the abuse with me, the sexual abuse whilst in a reform school and the emotional and physical abuse of his actual home.

Without going into too much detail here, from the little he has told me, he was subjected to what I can only call a pedifile (sp) group for 18 months whilst in the reform home as well as watching beatings of his mother and beatings of himself by his father plus emotional abuse. He has started to write his life story and todate I have read up until the age of 10. by that time no sexual abuse had taken place but in every other regard it is sickening and heart wrenching.

He wants us to work and of course I do also. My biggest obstacle is knowing if he is simply a bastard or is someone whose actions in the present are a result of the abuse of 38 years ago. He is now 51.

Smiles, that was a drawn out explanatin as to why i have joined the group. I am simply trying to understand. There is no judgement from me, only love for him but I need to understand if his actions are as a result of everything. I have read the articles on the site and from those I can see huge similiarites. I guess at the moment me joining the group is MY therapy. I truly beleive that he must do HIS therapy for HIM, not me. If he simply can not do it, thats fine, he has my friendship which is solid but I cant go back to allowing myself to in essence being abused, albeit in a different fashion.

lizzie
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Posts: 0 | From: australia | Registered: Nov 2002

New to this
Guest
Member # 879 posted November 29, 2002 09:48 AM
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Wow!
It sound like he is on the road to recovery. It is a rough ride. If you want to help(it seems you do)then you need to take care of yourself also.

Continue to encourage him. He really needs that. Educate yourself about male sexual abuse. There are many similar stories here.

I think you will get more support & find other women going through this on the "Friends & Family" forum. If it is ok with you I will move all of this over so we can get more input.

Let me know if that is ok.

You've found a great place for support here. Welcome.

Devon

--------------------
Second star to the right and straight on until morning
Peace Baby
Old Farts Rule, Adolescents Drool

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posts: 126 | From: South Mississippi | Registered: Sep 2002

lizzie
New Here
Member # 970 posted November 29, 2002 02:54 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
yes, that is fine to move it over to the friends and family. What do I do to get there?

Thank you
lizzie


_________________________
"Knowledge itself is power" Francis Bacon

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#63662 - 11/30/02 08:46 PM Re: Welcome Lizzie
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Lizzie,
I'm 49, English, abused at boarding school, disclosed at 45 and getting out the other side !!

It can be done, life can get better.

Try to persuade him to come here, ask for me - hell, we can share something other than our crappy upbringing I'm sure.

Keep trying, and look after yourself.

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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#63663 - 12/01/02 04:49 AM Re: Welcome Lizzie
lizzie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/28/02
Posts: 7
Loc: australia
Thanks Lloydy, I will ask him to come here.

We have spoken much over the past few days and he is aware that I have made contact with this group.

He starts therapy next Friday. Today he said he is scared. He said he will come out of this OK or be placed in a straight jacket, one or the other.

He can do this, I know he can. It's the first step which must be just so hard and I can only imagine just how hard.

lizzie


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#63664 - 12/01/02 10:44 AM Re: Welcome Lizzie
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Lizzie:

When I read your story I think of my poor dear wife of almost 23 years now. We have a wonderful marriage tho I know it could be so much better. I have trouble with intimacy tho I long for it.

Like Lloydy I disclosed at about age 45, tho for me that was just last year, and at the time I first started recalling my abuse memories, which I had totally suppressed or dissociated from. For virtually all of my life in some cases, as my abuse, in the forms of both incest & being shaken & hit, began in infancy. These along with verbal abuse & emotional incest continued thruout my childhood years.

It was right when I began recovery the flashbacks & recovery of my abuse memories began. My wife & I talk about this fairly openly tho not a lot.

She realizes the abuse is not an excuse for the symptoms, but that the symptoms are nevertheless an extension of the abuse, a PTSD reaction of acting out. She trusts me to deal with it by focusing on the cause to work on the symptoms. So far & overall this is working out pretty well, tho there are of course ups & downs. Thankfully many more ups lately.

Lizzie you must do what is right for you to protect yourself, and taking care of yourself is the best & only way to be able to "take care of" your soul mate & your relationship.

Could your partner be acting out in patterns set by his abuse 38 years ago. Speaking from my experience & those of many others I've seen, yes.
Of course that assumes I'm not a lying bastard. Is your partner? I guess that's a matter of trust to some extent anyway. You probably know better than anyone except him & God. Maybe better than him sometimes.

For sure he needs encouragement & support, if indeed you do believe he's sincere & thus worth the effort. As my wife could tell you it won't be easy. That the two of you are now sharing about this stuff early in your relationship is good, if your relationship is strong enuf for it, which of course it needs to be if its going to last.

I empathize with your soul mate and hope he is getting good therapy. At least he knows the basic problem going into therapy. I was in therapy 10 years before this stuff started coming out from under all the layers of other crap.

Still I know how hard it is to talk about & work thru this stuff. I also know its worth it, and in fact for me its a matter of sanity & survival.

Lizzie I'm glad you're here, but don't overlook therapy for yourself if you need it, or a live support group if you can find one (good idea for your partner too). My wife doesn't go regular but came with me to mine a couple of times & it really helped her understand me, and me understand her.

Take care of yourself

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#63665 - 12/01/02 11:50 PM Re: Welcome Lizzie
Lil Red Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 14
Loc: Oregon
Hi Lizzie,
I don't claim to be any expert on any of this, but I did have a relationship with a fellow years ago and the two of us hinted and made little inroads into talking about past abuse on both our parts, but frankly we were too chicken to face it at the time. It sounds like you both have the courage to take this on and I admire that.

Everyone has already said it, but please take care of yourself. By leaving a bad situation, it sounds like you already have established that you have boundaries that deserve respect, but it does seem worth repeating.

Is your soulmate really just a jerk? I reckon nobody else can answer that, but I think back on all the incredibly jerk-like things I have done in my life and prefer to think I acted like a jerk not that i was a jerk. \:\)

Good luck on your journey, where ever it leads.

E


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#63666 - 12/02/02 08:45 AM Re: Welcome Lizzie
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
"...I think back on all the incredibly jerk-like things I have done in my life and prefer to think I acted like a jerk not that i was a jerk."

Good point taken, Lil Red!

Contrary to the title of the 70's song, we are not what we do, we are who we are! \:\)

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#63667 - 12/02/02 08:23 PM Re: Welcome Lizzie
lizzie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/28/02
Posts: 7
Loc: australia
Hi Wuame,

Thank you so much for your reply. It made me cry. Not sad tears but tears of relief I guess, tears that there are people out there, good people, who do understand what I have been going through.

I have some wonderful friends here but their advice is "just keep walking" and I can understand this. If anyone told me my story without knowing what I know now I would say "run as fast as you can and dont look back". But as I said in one of my previous posts, I need this for MY therapy and to try to understand.

The more I read the more I understand although I would be foolish to say that I will ever understand completely as I have not experienced any form of abuse. I think your words "she realises the abuse is not an excuse for the addiction, but that the addiction is nevertheless a symptom of the abuse" is something which Ihave been thinking about a lot of late. I keep saying to myself the way I was treated can not be excused as such but, perhaps it all has been symptoms of the abuse. That is the hardest part for me, symptoms of the abuse verses a possible bastard. Of course I do not want to beleive the latter but I have had to protect myself, just in case.

I should ensure though that I do not paint him as a total horrible person. He is far from that. He is my best friend. He makes me laugh for hours. He touches my cheek as he walks past. He stands behind me in supermarkets and whispers "have I told you i love you today?" *smiles* But, unfortunately these wonderful things were continually masked by the secrecy, betrayal etc.

We have probably discussed the abuse and our relationship (feelings/hurts) more in the last week than we did during the entire amount of time we were actually together and I see this as good for both of us.

He said to me yesterday the difference between the two of us is that I trust until someone proves they are untrustworthy. He does not trust at all until he proves the other is trustworthy. There is a huge difference, I feel, in how people react to others with the two different mindsets.

He has said he didnt know how to handle his emotions, both being in love and being loved. Up until this point I thought well what is there to handle, you just love and you just accept the love you are given but I am understanding that it is not so easy for one who has been abused.

I can handle all of this. All of the various emotions, the porn, secrecy, lies etc but I struggle on a day to day basis with the betray (on line). This just rips me apart but I am getting there.

Can you please explain further about the 12 step work?

You wife sounds a wonderful woman. I am trying to trust him, trust him to follow through on this therapy, trust his words as he speaks to me etc but it is so hard at times, especially as we are now in different countries. But, maybe thats a good thing. Maybe it has had to come to this for both of us to really realise the enormity of everything.

We faught a great deal towards the end of the relationship but I am seeing now why. I was fighting his betrayal, secrecy. He was fighting his pasts. We were never playing on an even kicking field and this is just so sad.

Yes, I have wondered if he could be acting out in patterns set by his abuse. He said to my yesterday that he stopped telling people what he felt but rather what he thought they wanted to hear. He told me that when the abuser asks you what you feel and certain things happen you learn quickly to say what the abuser wants to hear. This apparently has followed him throughout his life.

On many levels I do beleive I know him better than he knows himself but on other levels I dont even think I know him at all. It's interesting that throughout all of this, even when things have been at the worst, I never stopped beleiving in him, ever. I always saw the good guy in him, sometimes I think, even when he could not see the good guy in himself. I cant be wrong surely. I am an intelligent woman, I just dont know how I could see the good guy if it really wasnt there. I get so scared on this level at times, lots of times.

We are not attempting to reignite the relationship at the moment. At the moment we are trying to get back to where we started from which was that we had an amazing friendship. He is going to start his therapy and I am recovering and learning. Mostly we are talking and I think for the first time, talking openly and honestly. I think he is sincere but there is always that doubt. After all the lies and betrayal etc I think doubts are normal. He has always been worth the effort to me but again, I have to protect myself. I have asked him that if he is not prepared to committ to his healing as much as I am prepared to learn and understand that I would rather he tell me. He said he is totally committed. Only time will tell on that I guess.

I hope you dont mind but I copied your posts onto him. I feel your words with regards to "I also know its worth it, and in fact for me its a matter of sanity an survival" needed to be read by him.

Thank you for your words about caring for me. I will.

I see many similarities in what you have written to those of my friend and I sincerely thank you for sharing them with me.

lizzie


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#63668 - 12/02/02 08:27 PM Re: Welcome Lizzie
lizzie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/28/02
Posts: 7
Loc: australia
Hi E,

Thank you for your post.

I hope we both have the courage to take this on. I know I am committed to understanding, or at least trying to.

I am taking care of myself but it is wonderful how you all keep telling me to do it. Each time I read it it is a reality check for me, makes me stop and think, assess if I should keep going or where I may need to pull back but at the moment I am prepared to keep going.

I agree with Wuame your comment "I think back on al the incredibly jerk-like things I have done in my life and prefer to think I acted like a jert not that i was a jerk" is an excellent point and one I am thinking about a great deal.

Thank you so much.

lizzie


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#63669 - 12/03/02 12:18 PM Re: Welcome Lizzie
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Lizzie:

I find myself relating to & empathizing with your soul mate very much, and thus really feeling for you. You seem like a wise person who is handling this incredibly well. If you see a good person in there, very probably he is there.

Actually I think everybody has a good person in them, and that's who they really are under all the crap, including abuse. The question is whether one is trying to let the good person out, or in other words be true to themself & be themself. Whether or not he is doing so is what you have to answer satisfactorily for yourself.

Your difficulty trusting him after the betrayal is understandable & wise, it protects you. Trust must be rebuilt. That takes time & space--both of which you have plenty of right now!

I don't mind your copying my posts to him at all!

As to the 12 steps, for now I'll just copy them here for you. They are the foundation of a recovery program started for alcoholics which became Alcoholics Anonymous. There are now "Anonymous" groups adapting the 12 steps for various areas of recovery. Here are the ones I use as a survivor of incest (taken from Survivors of Incest Anonymous, or SIA):

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .THE TWELVE STEPS*

.1. We admitted that we were powerless over the incest experience and
. . that our lives had become unmanageable.

.2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us
. . to sanity.

.3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God
. . as we understood God.

.4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

.5. Admitted to God, ourselves and another human being the exact nature
. . of our wrongs.

.6. Were entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character.

.7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

.8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make
. . amends to them all.

.9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to
. . do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly
. . admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact
. . with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of
. . God's will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried
. . to carry this message to others an to practice these principles in all
. . our affairs.

(ADAPTED)

. . . . . . .*The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions adapted and
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Reprinted with permission of
. . . . . . . . . . .Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Here are the 12 steps for SA (Sexaholics Anonymous):

The Twelve Steps of Sexaholics Anonymous

1. We admitted that we were powerless over lust—that our lives had become unmanageable

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to sexaholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

(Adapted)

If you want to know more look up SIA, SA or AA on the net. Or drop me a note & I'll try to share with you more later. I'm off, out of town.

Take care Lizzie:)

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#63670 - 12/03/02 09:54 PM Re: Welcome Lizzie
lizzie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/28/02
Posts: 7
Loc: australia
Hi Wuame,

Once again ty for your post and for understanding, both him and me.

I agree on everyone has a good person inside them, totally. Can that good person come out and be more consistent than the not so nice one is yet to be seen. But, I do have faith and I do see so many changes in him over the past week or so. Talking about the abuse, us, the past situation etc seems to be easier for him, and me too. It is just so nice to talk and not fight. I hated fighting with him, i really did but as I said before, we were fighting different issues. At least now we are on the same page.

I want to trust so badly. I want to go back to where I was when I first met him. It never occured to me not to trust him and equally, I worked on the assumption that he would trust me. Well actually, I didnt even think that about him not trusting me. In my eyes there was no need not to trust me so why even think about it ya know.

Yes i guess the lack of trust is wise at the moment though. It does distance me a little, a shield I guess. But the shield is not big enough to be open to him, to listen and to learn from him and hopefully both of us grow from all of this. There has to have had been a purpose. I truly beleive that.

Thank you for the information on the 12 steps. I will read more about it.

OK, well things to do, places to go.

Again ty
lizzie


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#63671 - 12/04/02 08:25 AM Re: Welcome Lizzie
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Lizzie:

YW. I hope things work out for the best for both of you, whatever that may mean.

Speaking from experience, for him that has got to mean him making his recovery from abuse trauma & from sexual addiction, an absolute urgent priority.

This is no excuse for his/any addicts behavior but it's like he's 2 people--his real self & what we refer to in 12 step groups as "the addict." In his case (as is the case with most sex addicts, probably 80-90%), this "addict" is largely the product of abuse. The abuse must be worked thru to find the true self. The addiction must be worked thru to act like the true self.

The work, breaking thru layers & breaking out of patterns, is ongoing. But their are points of "major breakthrough" one of which I had recently (if you wish, find my post of that title)

Therapy will help him immensely if its good therapy. So will any live and/or online support groups, both for survivors (especially this one), and for sex addicts (Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous, & other such 12 step groups have online chats & other support). In any case I recommend he find materials on the 12 steps & work thru them, with others if possible.

And you, Lizzie? I guess the best thing for you is to work on your own recovery from your betrayal & the mistrust you now rightly have. There are 12 step (and other) support groups for SOs (Significant Others) of survivors & sex addicts, tho often the best you can find are groups for SOs of alcoholics (AL-ANON)/drug addicts (CO-ANON), which still wouldn't be bad for you.

Eventually the two of you, if you get this far, may want to attend therapy and maybe support groups together as well.

Ok. Enjoy Australia for me. I want to go there more than any country in the world except Italy the land of my roots. Including Tasmania. Taz is my hero. \:D

Take care

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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