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#64153 - 01/26/03 09:57 PM Can't fathom his pain
bwashington Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 2
Loc: washington
Wow, so many responses to my first post. This is an incredible support...
It's been asked, "How does it work for me?" being in a relationship with a male survivor. I cannot fathom the pain that his Father in Heaven feels for him, because I know what I feel. It's a glimpse to me of how much God loves him. I guess it's really NOT working too well right now, considering we're not even speaking. But I am at the end of my first trimester, and the time is coming that I will need to speak with him. He is so hateful towards me, and I wonder if this is because I have been the closest person to him in his life. He's divorced(He married at 19, and his wife cheated.) and I wonder how scary it is for him to think that I love him.
Serafina said:
I understand how you are feeling. I too am in a relationship with a man that I love very much. Good and bad and believe me, there will be lots of bad, but he is a wonderful person. He too, buried all his memories and became a workaholic, drug addict and alcoholic, but has overcome them all. He didn't start going to therapy until I met him and it has been an incredibly difficult road. You can't help him until he is ready. Make sure you set boundaries because if and when he starts opening up to you and trusting you he will have lots of anger and confusion and you being close to him will get alot of his frustration. If you love him, keep visiting here, you will need support too. Or find a partners support group. Just keep giving him information and keeping believing in him and he can use that information when he is ready. Take care of yourself first. That can be easy to forget!!!

THANK YOU SERAFINA! A wonderful note. Most things are "my fault" between us...always been that way..I guess I'm the only safe one. Right now he has completely demonized me in his mind. So hence the not speaking to him, what do you think about that, because this can't go on forever. But I don't want to exasperate that problem, and I wouldn't know what to say.
It took me many days to read through and actually process what all of you responded with last time. It made me cry, it was so helpful. I couldn't take reading it all at once.
We were best friends for so long, I would have jumped through hoops of fire for him. He has a little boy, the reason for his first marriage. We worked together for 3 years. When he had no food for his son, I snuck out of work early and went to the food bank and the grocery store for him and left it on his doorstep, it was my ministry and I did it every week. We were best friends. I took care of everything he couldn't, taxes, paperwork, as time went on he seemed less and less capable of handling his own matters, and yet somehow progressively resentful as well, and I could never find a line between friend and enabler I guess, if there is one... Probably 7-8 months ago, we sat one afternoon and he told me. I know he had mentioned abuse in his family before, although I had never known it was sexual until that day, and my stomach turned. It didn't even sink in, though. He had suddenly freaked out that afternoon as we were getting into a sexual situation, not for the first time. And we were sitting, talking, when he told me. He was sure to add when he got up to leave that night that I was the "only other person besides his friend Mike," to know. And I believed him. Now I know that this was probably an attempt to lessen the impact that would have on him, and our relationship. Mike is his best male friend, and the leader of his small men's prayer group. I don't know what I thought. That he'd be angry with me for bringing it up again, or sad, maybe I figured that there was no way his dad really RAPED him, he hadn't specified that...But I was dead wrong on all accounts. So months passed. And I know that we still talked about it. He'd say things. But I just never GOT it fully... Every sexual interaction between us was impulsive. He was scary at times. I've told him that. And he feels he is truly reliving the abuse when he is intimate with me. There was a day I went to his house to deliver some job forms(He had been out of work for a few weeks due to being so sick from medication and panic attacks.) He was wrapped in a blanket, looking like hell. He was so physically needy that day, and I get the distinct feeling that he hated himself for every bit of it. For me it was because I loved him. I also wanted to love him enough not to be intimate. I kept saying to him that I was his best friend, and that's what he really needed, not a lover. But he kept telling me he wanted me, and I gave in. I feel so guilty.
I told him I was pregnant 2 weeks later, and that night he admitted himself to the psychiatric ward. Mike's wife told me that he was there. I went to him. It was the most frightening experience of my life, seeing him there. It ripped me apart. He stared blankly at me as I walked in the room, as if I had just caught him committing a crime. The doctors stood around us as I sat down across from him. No one spoke. And I just placed my hand around his on the table and bent my head down and prayed silently for him. When I looked up at him he had tears in his eyes, and he said thank you. The next two days I visited him. He began telling me scenes that were playing in his mind, of his father raping him, that he had never remembered. I told him that he should tell the doctors these things as well. He kept saying, "I'm sorry. I should've told you about me. I'm sorry that you got involved with someone like me." He said that he could not marry me, it would turn out axactly as his previous marriage had, and I assured him that it was not marriage I had come for. He said that I would do the same things to him that everyone else in his life had done, lie, and use him. I told him how much it hurt that he thought that of me, I acknowledged what they had done, and asked him to let me be the first one in his life not to. And he agreed. We agreed to speak in a month. I left him a golden cross, and a note telling him how much I loved him, and believed in him, and left him in the hospital for the next week. When I called him the next month, he had nothing to say but screaming, "I hate you." And we have not spoken since. Mike never knew that his father had abused him in that way. I was the only one he had ever told. And I have no idea what to say to him.

Do I call? Do I visit him? How? He wrote me a letter a few weeks ago, that Mike read over and refused to pass along, saying it made absolutely no sense. I don;t know what to think, because he doesn't even know what he thinks. I'm a little pregnant here, and very much at the end of my rope...

In His grip-

_________________________
BWASHINGTON

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#64154 - 01/27/03 01:25 PM Re: Can't fathom his pain
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
bwashington
I'm so glad to see you here again, and I'm pleased we could help some.

All of the things you describe seem so familiar, most of us experience one or more of these things, and like your fella, they can consume us.

We think, and believe so deeply, that we are not worthy of the love and respect of ordinary decent people. We constantly ask ourselves why anyone would want to have anything to do with us, especially those that know what "we did".

Of course the truthe is that we did nothing, they did. But it takes a huge effort and mind shift for us to start thinking like that.
And I know that for me it started when I first disclosed to my wife just before out 25th wedding anniversary and she didn't throw me out the door, change the locks and hire a lawyer.
I really had trouble understanding that for a while, and my trust built up very slowly. It's still building and I disclosed about four years ago.

It builds because she trusts me, and loves me as well. I just had to learn that it was ok to recieve it - and reciprocate.
My wife has only ever asked one thing, and that's to assure her that I will never again act out with other men.
Obviously I don't want to, but can I guarantee I wont ? I honestly couldnt 100%, so we agreed that if I felt in danger of acting out I would tell her. And I do, and the danger of me acting out has gone.

I guess what I'm saying is we worked out boundaries and methods between us as the trust grew. luckily that was fairly quick.
But initially all I had to cling to was the fact that I was experiencing something completely alien, I "knew" I was a "sick pervert who nobody in their right minds wanted" - so I'd kept it a secret for over 30 years, and there I was disclosing and no shit was hitting the fan !
That was alien to everthing I believed about me, her and our relationship.

But all it needed was that spark, and I guess he's already got that spark, he's just taking time to process it.
It's a complex spark, it's got unconditional support, love, trust, understanding and kindness in it, all things we don't understand properly at that time.

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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#64155 - 01/28/03 11:03 AM Re: Can't fathom his pain
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Hard to say what to do - if he does not want to talk to you then there is only so much you can do.. unfortunatley you may have to "wait to see if he comes around". I have found that when my BF was in one of his "episodes" that contacting him made him even more irate and afraid (afraid someone was "coming after him" to hurt him). You must ensure that he does talk about those things that he tells you to the doctors - dont let him use you as his only outlet - he needs to talk to professionals.

You may not want to hear this but unfortunately I have found that with the problems in my relationship with my SA BF it has been difficult to completely imagine our life as a "couple". Sometimes I have felt we were very close but then after an "episode" of fighting and screaming and "go away" behaviour from him, from time to time, that has caused me to take stock of my own life and made me think about how I would live it without him.

While there is nothing wrong with caring for someone who is definitely in need, I am a bit concerned however about you being physically/romantically involved with someone who obviously has some major issues to be worked out. If he is in a situation where he is missing work because of anxiety problems, in a psych ward, it is evident that he has suffered a LOT of trauma and has a LOT of work to do.

The fact that you are pregnant by this man also is of concern. He may see this as too much responsibility/pressure than he can handle (people suffering trauma cannot handle the same amount of stress as those not suffering).

Your situaiton also causes concern as I am a child of a father that has a lot of abuse-related psychiatric issues (I believe he was seriously physically and emotionally abused by his father and siblings) that he has battled ALL of his life. These issues have caused him to be an alcoholic, drug addict, he has attempted suicide 3x, suffers from chronic depression/anxiety, has major social and relationship/intimacy problems. He has been in the psych hospital 2x as an in-patient and once as an out-patient. And his problems have affected my life very deeply (he is a very dominant person and his erratic, frightening moods really "ruled the roost" all the time I was growing up, creating my own trauma, depression, self esteem, addiction and anxiety issues to deal with.) I really urge you do the best you can for yourself and the emotional needs of your unborn child. Unless your friend does a lot of work, his needs and issues could be quite damaging to a child.

It is veyr important to understand that someone like your bf is definitely "needy" - I mean that not in a derogatory sense but the fact that he is dealing with such heavy issues, he is definitely not in a position where he can give anything to a relationship with you or a child. He NEEDS support and love and has no capacity at this time to GIVE. It took me until my mid 30's to understand that about my father.

If you want to continue a relationship with your friend you will have to accept that fact as part of who your BF is at this time and not get resentful of that. While there is no guarantee that with help and with time that he will be like this forever, but right now, you have to accept that he will be erratic and needy. Trauma can literally fry your brain and nervous system. Sounds like that is what is happening to him now. Only he can decide when/if he is ready to be with you, unfortunately.

I really feel for you - I have spent much time with people who are that erratic and don't make much sense - mental illness/trauma is a bizarre, difficult to understand thing. For now, I suggest spending more time developing a support network for yourself and your baby. At this time, that's the only sure thing.


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#64156 - 02/03/03 02:40 AM Re: Can't fathom his pain
serafina Offline
Member

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 36
Loc: Washington
Hi there. Boy I really feel for you and although your situation is different from mine, as always there are so many similiarities. Remind yourself daily...if you are like me...that you can NOT save him. You want to save him and he WANTS you to be his savior, but you can not do it! From my experience, he hates the fact that he is needy. Like my boyfriend, he believes if he trusts someone eventually they will screw him, so he always keeps me at a distance, though this has gotten so much better with time. The bottom line is, you genuinely care and love this person, I know. It hurts like hell to see someone you love and care about fall to pieces and stuggle to find the happiness you want them to have. The problem is that he has to want it too. And the reality is that he won't have happiness until he endures the pain of going through the pain, which is greater than the pain he is already in.

My boyfriend is nearing the end of his therapy and he just quit. He couldn't take anymore pain and he started drinking and lying. I don't know if he will be able to find the courage to finish what he has started, which makes me really sad. He did quit drinking after I quit seeing him and now I have left him to help himself before we can be together again. It sucks, it hurts both of us, but I can't help him.

Maybe just write letters to him. Don't leave his life forever because it will hurt him, but also don't stay if it is hurting YOU! If you want to stay, just keep letting him know that you care and you will always be there for him. He will get the message. But you can't take care of him. I am a classic caretaker too. You want to be his partner, not his mother. You are having one child, you don't want two. You want someone who can take care of you too. You deserve it!!!
Take care of yourself bwahshington that is all that matters.


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#64157 - 02/03/03 01:03 PM Re: Can't fathom his pain
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Quote:
You want to save him and he WANTS you to be his savior, but you can not do it! From my experience, he hates the fact that he is needy. Like my boyfriend, he believes if he trusts someone eventually they will screw him,
That's the truth, the whole truth....

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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