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#64496 - 08/31/06 07:40 PM Who is he? Anyone going through this?
Iwanttohelphim Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 92
Loc: Norway
I have another thread going where I am deciding how to let go or whether to let go...and I talked about the conflict of dealing with a polarized person- the angry and dangerous man, the scared little boy, the loving soul.....

And so this is my question..many of us assume that we are dealing with great guys who have "issues".

One thing that keeps praying on my mind is this- what if his issues are an "excuse" ?

There are people out there who are just horrible- there are people with Narcisiistic personality disorder and deviants and sociopaths...(my guy is NOT a sociopath) ..

But how do I know that the behavior (which is very narcisistic) is "borderline" stemming from child abuse- what if he really is a bad guy and I am making excuses for him to see what I want to see? (I don't think I am)

I don't know who he is. i don't know what reality is anymore. I don't know what is going on....

Anyone else feel like this?


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#64497 - 08/31/06 09:26 PM Re: Who is he? Anyone going through this?
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Boy is that a loaded question and one that I'd be willing to bet many of us have faced. I'm sorry, but I can't possibly answer it for you as it relates to your guy - only you can. No pressure. ;\)

What you and all of us want is a guarantee that our guys will get better. They'll realize that we, who stood by them and loved them are the most wonderful person in the world and they will love us for all eternity. They don't have any personality flaws at all that s/a can't explain or that time, love and therapy can't cure.

Wouldn't that be the most wonderful ending to our stories?

Of course it's not and while each of us here encourages and supports the others, none of us really KNOW if what we are opining is the right thing or not because we don't know the real players in real life. We have to rely on what we read on these boards and make a very quick judgment.

I'm afraid that only you have the necessary information to decide whether your guy has "just" been harmed by s/a or if there are other forces at work that would make him a bad guy.

I'm sorry it's so hard. I understand it too. I've questioned my own judgment a million times. But I keep on believing; the alternative is really not an option for me as long as he's working even harder than I am.

This isn't what you were looking for I'm sure, but I it's all I've got.

ROCK ON.......Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#64498 - 08/31/06 10:54 PM Re: Who is he? Anyone going through this?
Iwanttohelphim Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 92
Loc: Norway
Thanks Trish,

Actually, no- I don't need a gaurantee about him getting better anymore....

I need to understand who he is so I can give myself permission to leave him in the past. I am finding it very hard to do that when I think of him as a wounded soul.

There are many times a day I flip from utter disgust at his behavior and then sob for his pain-

It's like being sczitso-

I need to understand him and I feel guilty for thinking he might just be a bad guy - I feel like a really terrible person- but a friend of mine said she thinks it's more than his being a survivor (she is with a survivor) she thinks he has another kind of flaw (jerkface) - I just don't know-

Is my confusion normal? Do other people feel totally confounded by trying to know who we were living with because it turns out to be such a tremendous lie? The reality distortion- the gaslighting that we go through with the survivors is totally hellish and I found myselof thinking today that there is nothing wrong with him and that I made it all up and that I abused him so he left - But I DIDN*T make it all up and he did hit and scream and meltdown and throw things and bully and intimidate and threaten to take my children away of he didn't like my attitude about his descisions...and all the rest...he accused me of being an addict (never did drugs), he accused me of never being able to be a mother and ruining his dreams and all kinds of crazy crap- he refused to let me have a toothbrush or clean clothes at times....

I DIDN*T do those things....

I feel totally crazy....Help!


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#64499 - 09/01/06 05:34 AM Re: Who is he? Anyone going through this?
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Iwant,

It sounds complicated, "to understand who he is so I can have permission to leave him in the past."

You have permission to leave him in the past. It takes two to make a relationship work; it only takes one to end it. People don't only leave relationships when their partner is terrible or abusive, and they don't always stay in them because the other person is hurting.

It sounds like there was a lot of abuse in the relationship. I guess I am wondering what more you would need to see in order to feel justified about letting go of it.


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#64500 - 09/01/06 07:36 AM Re: Who is he? Anyone going through this?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Iwanttohelphim,

Quote:
I need to understand who he is so I can give myself permission to leave him in the past. I am finding it very hard to do that when I think of him as a wounded soul.
But you can't "fix" him; only he can do that. He will benefit if he has support, of course, but ultimately the decisions to do the hard work of recovery and to stick with it rest with him alone.

And you also can't be his caretaker. If you do that you enable him to lean and focus on you rather than deal with his own problems. Your well-intended ministrations to him can easily distract him from his task if, at the same time, you are not keeping your own house in order - demanding respect and ensuring that your own boundaries are observed. Rather than helping him to recover, this could simply produce another victim - you!

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#64501 - 09/01/06 10:09 AM Re: Who is he? Anyone going through this?
Iwanttohelphim Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 92
Loc: Norway
Thanks you guys,

SAR- what more would I need?

I need to know who I left. I feel like I either "made" him abusive because I wasn't good enough at being an understanding partner...that if I had done everything differently, that I somehow provoked and triggered him- Intellectually I know this is not true. I know the choices to behave the way he did were his. But then I think, he doesn't have skills- he was doing the best he could with what he had..I should have been more understanding...I should have been able to manage this...

But I can't. Like Larry said, if I had given in on my boundaries, it would have been enabeling and he would have continued to abuse me.

It is so hard when they blame us for everything. In that relationship "everything" was my "fault". I was in hospital and he screamed at me because I was "selfish" to get sick because I never "considered how it affected HIM"!

I sent him dozens of letters explaining that I fely controlled, bullied, and that we both needed help. I went to get help. He didn't. I told him that the abuse in his family- they still hit eachother was unacceptable to me and that seeing his family hit him shattered my heart. I don't know what else I could have said. he told me he wanted that part of his life to be over, that he wanted a peaceful home and a family- but he was so angry all of the time, and alternatively clingy like a child.

What was I supposed to do?

I need to know what happened. I need to know what the truth is. Maybe I am so in shock about what really went down that I have not been able to process it yet (I have been in a lot of therapy, maybe it just takes time). But I can't help but feel like I made it all up and that he is just a "normal", regular guy and I concocted all of this to make an excuse to hide the fact that I can't keep a relatiuonship. Maybe I was the crazy one--I can't imagine that someone could start throwing furniture because they feel abandonded because the TV is on. I MUST have done something to provoke him. This is not normal behavior. I keep asking myself what I did wrong.

I am scared that I ruined a good thing by having delusions and taking things too personal or taking them too hard...or just plain making them up. Could all of the really have happened?

I read over our e-mails and I talk about my feelings a lot and talk about what I need and his responses are reassuring "I love you, it's ok, you can do it" - but his actions were not like that- he would tell me face to face that I am genetically flawed and all kinds of other things- he would tll me where to sit, who I could sit nxt to, how close to another person I could stand, when I could go to sleep...

I need to understand who he is so I can know what I did, so I can know who I am.

I used to laugh all the time- since meeting him, I can barely get out of bed and I wish I were ...not alive. I used to work and play hard and have adventures and be curious- I can barely get into the shower now...there was so much anger and pain all of the time with him.

He was like a joy vaccuum- sucked it right out of me...Or was that my fault? Did I do that to him?

But he was screaming at me that the no one was ever going to control him again and I was not going to get away with being like his father! (in response to my watching TV- for half hour in the entire 4 weeks we first lived together) and all kinds of other crazy things -

He blamed me for his behavior over and over again- I 2made" him scream at me, I "made" him lose control, if I used his full name instead of his nickname I "purposely disrespected" him, I didn't "understand marriage" and he is therefore "against norway" and can't marry me ummmmmmmmmmm. WHAT???????

WHO IS HE? Is he a survivor who needs to be understood or is he an abusive jerk? Is he a little bit of both? Or is he a really nice guy with a ouple of problems like the rest of us, that I drove to abuse? Or was he a normal, nice guy that I abused and I am convincing myself that he abused me, when in fact I am the monster?

I read and re read all of the "important" leters I wrote to him- the one's he never answered because they were so "awful" - and I was politely asserting boundaries and telling him I love him and making plans for the future and our wedding. Over and over again - he said if we were not one person, I was disrespectful of marriage-

I need to know who he is and that I am not totally crazy. I feel extraordinarily crazy some days-

Thank you for reminding me that I have permission to leave him in the past. It probably is what I have to do and I need some help getting there.


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#64502 - 09/01/06 01:52 PM Re: Who is he? Anyone going through this?
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
Quote:
I was in hospital and he screamed at me because I was "selfish" to get sick because I never "considered how it affected HIM"!
i heard similar words once; an office employee's friend had been shot, the employee furiously complained at how much trouble it meant for HIM - the employee was a clerk, this was over a decade ago, in the midst of the crack epidemic in nyc, the senior partner in the office was trying to help this guy out by giving him a job, and yes, this guy did drugs, everyone in the office knew it.

the point is, i can confidently say i've heard more than my share from a lot of people in my time, but the only time i've ever heard something even remotely similar to what your SO said was from an undoubtedly very messed up person.

am not sure anything else needs to be said. he's bad news, hon, i'm truly sorry because i know you want to have some hope otherwise. \:\(

moreover, a relationship cannot truly be defined by one person simply because it's more than one person who makes up a relationship. therefore, you need communication from him - HEALTHY communication - in order to define what happened before if you want input other than what you recall. unless and until that can occur, well, you have to decide for yourself just how much energy you want to put into trying to understand what perhaps, is not easily explained. quite possibly that's because it was irrational and erratic behavior; triggered perhaps by csa as the root cause but nevertheless acted out by a grown man who MUST take responsibilty for his own actions.

hard words for me to write right now, i think i need to take some of my own advice

all the best,
indy

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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#64503 - 09/01/06 02:51 PM Re: Who is he? Anyone going through this?
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
The permission you seek can only be granted by you and from what I've read here, you have every right to grant that permission to yourself. Your relationship sounds like it was horribly toxic and abusive. No one thrives or even survives for very long in that that environment. Isn't that what this whole site is about? Coming to grips with the horrors of the past in order to survive and thrive in the future?

You don't need to know and understand him in order to let him go; you need to know and understand yourself and the life you are entitled to.

ROCK ON........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#64504 - 09/01/06 03:22 PM Re: Who is he? Anyone going through this?
Iwanttohelphim Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 92
Loc: Norway
Thank you so much, I know I have been asking a lot of "opposite" questions in the past couple of days and asking for a lot of support.

I am having some PTSD problems (probably obviously)and as I said, the reality of the abuse is trying to sink in. I am having a hard time understanding what reality is concerning my X. And as Indy said, I think I am looking for a "mirror" to I can understand my experience- which is pretty normal human behavior-

I need to trust myself that things were abusive. I need to trust my memory of the violence and manipulation and crazy behavior and find my own way to accept it and greive it, without looking for an external mirror. I just don't know how.

I don't know how to let go of the guilt of having survived (and for the most part thrived) CSA myself...not being able to be there for another person.

Maybe I need to know he can see hope because I need to know that there will always be hope. Maybe I am scared to demonize him because in doing so, I would be demonizing myself - I was pretty awful before I found recovery.

I am so grateful for the responses and the fact that you all take the time to read. I really appreciate and value your input.


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#64505 - 09/01/06 03:47 PM Re: Who is he? Anyone going through this?
Iwanttohelphim Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 92
Loc: Norway
and now I know why I don't know how to do it without a mirror of my experience and then grieve- that was the one step I never made it to in recovery about the childhood. It is where UI am stuck about my family and the CSA-

How do I get the skills? Because it feels like it wants to come out- but if it does , I will fall apart....the panick attacks are increasing to a couple a day- it feels like I am going backwards.....

What are some of the skills I need to move through this?


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