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#64506 - 09/01/06 04:14 PM Re: Who is he? Anyone going through this?
Cecilia Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 63
Loc: Maine
Hi,

It sounds like you are having a terrible time right now. One thing that has been helpful to me when dealing with overwhelmedness is what my therapist calls "ABC," or "A Bigger Container." I don't know if I can explain this quite as well as my T does, but he always reminds me to check in with my throat, my chest, and my belly and breathe. And then, to make more room (ABC) within myself to "contain" (embrace?) the feelings that seem to be overwhelming me. In other words, it is the contraction against the feelings that make them seem overwhelming. I don't know if this is at all helpful, but as someone who also suffers from PTSD (and one step forward, two steps back syndrome) sometimes it is helpful to reassociate our feelings with our bodies and not just our minds activity.
Love and good thoughts will flow from me to you today.
Cecilia


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#64507 - 09/01/06 04:52 PM Re: Who is he? Anyone going through this?
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
iwanttohelphim,

remember not everyone goes thru recovery the same way, or with the same attitude. that's not just for survivors of sexual abuse, either. it's the same for alcoholics, drug addicts, survivors of physical abuse, all of the above. and unfortunately, sometimes people don't even succeed at recovery. you seem like you are trying extremely hard to succeed and deserve a lot of credit for that.

you can't tie your recovery and growth to his - it's simply not realistic or practical. maybe you are feeling guilty because you are getting better and you don't want to "leave him behind?" is that what you are talking about?

in some ways, i can identify with this - i lived in nyc during 9/11, in manhattan, and let me tell you, the entire populace was suffering tremendous survivor's guilt. for me, i'd even had the intuition to walk out of a job interview in 1998 at a very respectable firm in the wtc but my inner voice said "don't do it!" and i turned and walked away. they begged me to come back and interview and i refused, saying i just couldn't work at the wtc. you can't imagine how i felt after 9/11! tremendous guilt that shook me to the core of my soul!!

i finally balanced my guilt by acknowledging i'd been given a special gift and to try and live a more balanced life, less work, more personal involvement with people (i tend to be a workaholic). maybe that's one of the reasons i'm on this site? i know it's played a role in my wanting to really succeed in my relationship with my bf.

i do hope you feel better soon \:\) try and do something good for just you this weekend. don't know how it is where you are but we are starting to see some really nice fall weather; i'll be traveling out of town to see some friends; it's also her daughter's 10th b-day. i'm so looking forward to being around good friends, i don't get to see them nearly enough. i hope you can do something similar - hey everyone here, actually. life's too short!

all the best,
indy

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

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#64508 - 09/01/06 05:07 PM Re: Who is he? Anyone going through this?
Iwanttohelphim Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 92
Loc: Norway
Thanks Cecilia- I know about the big container- and it is helping- but sometimes it doesn't work and sometimes it is REALLY hard to have to focus all the time on just that- nothing gets done---it's a mess- I'm sure you know.

I have actually been using the big container and ...I need something ..no. I need to use it better.

And I am going to take my big container to the park tonight to BBQ and see the Wizzard of OZ :-D

Have fun indy. I was there on 9/11. It was horrifying. I know how you feel. I can still smell it in my clothes and on my hair. I'm sorry you had to go through it. But we walked away and I am not sure why we made it, but we did. It's part of what reminds me how precious life is- and when I think of that- it makes me want to remind HIM even more that this is true. But I guess we all have to stand in the flames and the noise and figure out who we are when the dust settles. I just can't beleive he shook my foundation so badly.

I remember telling him "I have worked hard to earn my happiness and my peace of mind and no one will take that from me." And he did- temporarily-

Maybe I have been linking him with this next step for me- but I think it is more like, he gave me the opportunity to see that there was a next step. And I do feel guilty "leaving him behind". I think I know he is not the right man for me- but I feel like I am doing what he said I would do- abandon and hurt the little boy. But he did that to himself- he manipulated my heart to make me beleive I was responsible for him (could "save" him/"fix" him) when I never wanted to be. He ran away. I didn't leave him.


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#64509 - 09/02/06 04:33 PM Re: Who is he? Anyone going through this?
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

There can be more than one version of the truth... it's not like there's "your side" and "his side" and only one of them can be right.

I think it is great that you want to examine the ways that you could have contributed to the dysfunction in the relationship. I AM NOT SAYING THAT YOUR ACTIONS CAUSED HIS ABUSE-- ultimately he could have chosen to act differently and he did not. But, it is easy to stand there with a checklist of wrong actions and say "He did this and this-- therefore he is the abuser and he is bad.... I did not do this or this, so I am not the abuser and I am good." Just because X, Y and Z don't happen doesn't mean there's no abuse there.

However, why not change your perspective a bit-- instead of needing to figure this out so that you can understand what went wrong with HIM and how to leave him behind, focus on understanding YOUR choices and feelings so that you can move on to better and healthier relationships, and make decisions that will keep you safe in the future.

You say that he "made you believe" that you were responsible for him, could save or fix him. Is there something in your own life that made that belief attractive to you? Was there an emotional payoff for you in believing that you had the power to save a hurt child? I can see how this belief would be be very attractive to any CSA survivor, and how they might break a lot of their own boundaries or make poor choices in order to keep believing it.


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#64510 - 09/02/06 07:18 PM Re: Who is he? Anyone going through this?
Iwanttohelphim Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 92
Loc: Norway
double post...sorry


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#64511 - 09/02/06 07:59 PM Re: Who is he? Anyone going through this?
Iwanttohelphim Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 92
Loc: Norway
This go t really long---I started to vent....
Quote:
Originally posted by Iwanttohelphim:
Quote:
Originally posted by SAR:

You say that he "made you believe" that you were responsible for him, could save or fix him. Is there something in your own life that made that belief attractive to you? Was there an emotional payoff for you in believing that you had the power to save a hurt child? I can see how this belief would be be very attractive to any CSA survivor, and how they might break a lot of their own boundaries or make poor choices in order to keep believing it.
ACtually, it was very unattracrive- and in it's more obvious forms- I ststed that he was manipulating and I would not stand for it (in a gentle way) and he would have a tantrum.

It's very subtle the way it happened- his pain and his puppy dog eyes and his terrible stories- would then be followed by a request- "If you could just stroke me hair I'll feel better"...never mind that it was 4 am, after 6 hours of hair stroking and I had to fly in 2 hours- all that didn't exist- but if I didn't do it- I would get a meltdown...again...

Or even less obviously..."when you sit next to me, I feel good" (wow great! I will sit next to him when I can, as much as I can..after all I LOVE him and love to be near him) to "You didn't sit next to me. You don't love me and I have to break up with you because you are a liar"

I picked up on this pretty quickly and I did the boundary thing, I went to get professional help and I hated every moment of it (his behavior).....but it did take longer time for me to pick up the subtle stuff- or the stuff that was presented in a positive way "I love you, you complete my soul"...

When I hear something like that- I beleive it is an expression- it is not what the person really beleives- so we were speaking 2 languages- I was speaking "fluffy" in love flowery language- he meant that stuff. He actually expected me to complete him and to fill the hole, which is what I meant by "fix" him.

I beleived I could help but limited only to making sure his physical needs were met (I mean hydration, balanced meals, propper sleep not sex)
and by asserting boundaries and by suggesting professional help- I did everything that is suggested on MS - I do see where my mistakes were- I had a tendency to allow him to argue me and my feelings- "why do you NEED clean clothes. If there wasn't a washing machine, what would you do?"- I would finally give in after all the appropriate responses to that and say- I like to be clean, it's really important to me..blah blah blah" and then I would feel violated. I realize that part- but after being screamed at, threatened and bullied in an isolated environment, with no way to get out, no money and at 3 am ...it's easy to see how someone can crack when this happens frequently and I was going on 2 hours of sleep a night for 3 months- (yes, my other efforts did not work in the sleep dept). I gave im a lot of CBT tools to work with - but no dice- he said the CBT stuff was my point of view- i tried to explain that it is untwisted thinking and he scoffed- attributing it to "values" then my values weren't good enough....... I thought if I could demonstrate good self care- he would rspond to that- I thought that at least I wouldn't be exposed to moods based on physiological things (like hunger=anger) and that it would even out the ground for us to start building ....

I told him in writing, because talking didn't work, that I was concerned that the two times I was dependent on him, he got violent and I was exposed to external violence and that my basic needs were not met, after stating them clearly multiple times and being assured they would be taken care of- I need not worry or do XYZ, because it was all going to be taken care of (getting me a tooth brush for eg. I asked point blank "what can we do to solve this problem? I love you and I want everything to be talked about and solved so that we don't have to fight and so that we are both relaxed and feel secure."

When I did that- he freaked out and blamed me for ruining the relationship and his heart- I had "stained his heart" and caused "permanet damage" and he would never forgive me for the act, my feelings, my thoughts, or for the damage.

After a "fight" we would talk about it- he would interrupt, character assisnate, blame me, make me..then when he said everything was ok- he would repeat the behavior- and months later he would bring it up again- say I destroyed the realtionship- character assasinate - say he could never forgive anyone for anything and switch everything around to make it my fault. So in essence Absive behhavior, justification, demand for appology, make a reconcilloiation, harbor a grudge, blame me, and start the fight again blaming me for his abusive behavior again..all the while sending me love notes, saying everything was fine and continuing to plan a wedding. And then the wedding was off because I am a monster who ruined the relationship 3 months before...but he said everything was fine and had melt downs if I said maybe we should wait to get married..6 months so all our friends could be there...It was totally destabilizing (and I told him so over and over again). But I couldn't have known until it played out. I couldn't have known that 2-3 months after a "fight" he would start it again and blame me for it and still hold a grudge and flip out.

When I realized that was happening- that he was holding me responsible and it wasn't going to stop- I left. It took a 8 months and we lived in 2 seperate countries. I am not really worried about me in that sense.
I did ok in that respect.

I know there is not one absolute tuth or one side being right- that was my problem with him- there was one right way to do things- if it was not done that way- then it was purposely done to "get" him and hurt hiim and the person or the act was unacceptable and disrepectful and he couldn't see them again or tolerate it. he was totally inflexible and totally unable to accept others- not just me- mostly himself- But I will feel guilty for not doing a good enough job helping someone so desperately in need and not guilty for leaving a jerk. If he is a guy in need acting like a jerk..I will feel ok about leaving, but sad in my heart- I have to know how to feel and feel that way consistantly- I can't live in turmoil.

The more I type and remember- the better this is for me- I did do everything I was supposed to do- I had excellent boundaries- I explained boundaries to him and he sadi I was making that up- people become one - and y'know what- I did a lot to hold my temper and to be positive and to always encourage- I never held grudges and I bought into his BS about how committed he was to the relationship- I also know he is a totally messed up person- I really am not, and I know that because when I went through all of the recovery stuff and the boundary books- I could hear myself saying all of it to him - without having read them- and I know I am ok and that's why OI left the relationship.

What he "made" me beleive- I chose to beleive- was that he knew he had a problem and that he was committed and that he was working on it- I wanted to give him the time and space to be succesfull. I know how hard it is. I know it doesn't happen over night. he was able to express feelings in calm times, but not manage emotions- if you read our correspondence- I look like the crazy one - He could also be just wonderful- very sweet in some ways...until his thinking got involved and then it was just very ugly- he was very ugly inside....he is very ugly inside- at least part of him is- and that is the part that guided his choices, behaviors and words 90% of the time.

I have to learn to deal with the greif and the sadness and anger at the people who did this to us while learning to be grateful he is out of my life, instead of feeling sorry for his pain all day. Not that I expect this or want it, but it is a way to have perspective for me - he doesn't stay up mights sobbing because I was SA as a child and he is devastated for me- he doesn't send me e mails worried that I am ok - he doesn't do research to help me, he doesn't do anything to help himself, he doesn't accept me or appreciate me - he doesn't care about anything but his own pain- no different than what it was in our relationship- all about him. [/QB]



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#64512 - 09/03/06 02:42 AM Re: Who is he? Anyone going through this?
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
Iwanttohelphim,

My heart goes out to you. I don't know how things will turn out for either you or me, but I hope we'll both realize something: That though we may feel sad for someone else, sad that they may miss out on all the love and goodness in the world, that they may grow old and die one day, not having had joy in their lives.....as much as we would be sad for THEM, let us then be sad for OURSELVES. For WE ought not to miss out on joy in life because of someone else either. WE also will grow old and die. WE also deserve better. What we want for them, let us want it for OURSELVES.

_________________________
Brokenhearted

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:2

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#64513 - 09/03/06 10:51 AM Re: Who is he? Anyone going through this?
Iwanttohelphim Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 92
Loc: Norway
Quote:
Originally posted by Brokenhearted:
Iwanttohelphim,

My heart goes out to you. I don't know how things will turn out for either you or me, but I hope we'll both realize something: That though we may feel sad for someone else, sad that they may miss out on all the love and goodness in the world, that they may grow old and die one day, not having had joy in their lives.....as much as we would be sad for THEM, let us then be sad for OURSELVES. For WE ought not to miss out on joy in life because of someone else either. WE also will grow old and die. WE also deserve better. What we want for them, let us want it for OURSELVES.
This was wonderful brokenhearted and you are absolutely right. What is wrong with ME, that I can't do this for myself? Back to therapy....arghghghghghghgh.

\:\)

Hugs

Bunny


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