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#66681 - 06/14/03 09:48 AM Hi! New member here...
Jen45 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 3
Loc: Midwest
I have been reading these posts for several months and finally got enough nerve to post.
First of all I think all you survivors are wonderful, courageous people! I thank you for taking the time to help others, especially us friends of the SA. (We are a confused bunch.) This website has given me so much more understanding.
My friend, who I have known for a few years, has a long way to go. He apparently has no idea he has been SA. He has many of the "symptoms" but can't seem to realize what is going on. He is always telling me things that are so obvious, but then just shrugs it off like "hmm..I don't know why I do/don't like/or act like that." It's like he's holding up these huge signs that say "I have been SA." But he can't read them because he's on the other side. So what do I do? So far I've just been patient, not mentioned my thoughts on the subject (no way can I force this issue; I'm not qualified to handle whatever fallout occurs when he realizes it), and tried to be supportive and make him feel safe with me. And wait, and wait and wait. And yes I do get the brunt of his anger, irrationality, etc. on occasion. And he is good at shutting me out. I learned not to push him, though. So guess if I had any question right now it would be what might happen when he realizes what has happened to him? I know everyone is different and reactions vary greatly. But what is most likely to happen and what can I do if I'm still in his life when this occurs and if he trusts me enough to tell me? Thank you all.


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#66682 - 06/14/03 11:28 AM Re: Hi! New member here...
James_dup1 Offline


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 1332
Loc: Wyoming
Hi Jen,
Welcome to our little corner of the web. Let me tell you as a survivor I can say that having the support of a loved one is probley the most important thing we can wish for, even if we dont understand it at the time.

Quote:
He is always telling me things that are so obvious, but then just shrugs it off like "hmm..I don't know why I do/don't like/or act like that."
Your friend may not be lieing about this. He really may not know why. Some of the guys here talk about how they never remembered there SA for years and years, however they still had all the crap that goes with it. Thats one of the things that's so bad about being a survivor. Even if you dont remember what happened to you, you still act like you do.

Quote:
It's like he's holding up these huge signs that say "I have been SA." But he can't read them because he's on the other side.
Let me tell you. I have always remembered what happened to me. If it was me holding that sign up, I'm not reading because I'm on the other side. Im not reading it out of choice.

Quote:
So what do I do?
Jen I think you answered yourself on this question, it's really all you can do.

Quote:
So far I've just been patient, not mentioned my thoughts on the subject (no way can I force this issue; I'm not qualified to handle whatever fallout occurs when he realizes it), and tried to be supportive and make him feel safe with me. And wait, and wait and wait.
See you answered your own question here. I think it's very insiteful of to see your not qualified to handle whaterer fallout occurs when he realizes it. All you can do it be patient, be supportive,help him feel safe, and wait.

Quote:
And yes I do get the brunt of his anger, irrationality, etc. on occasion. And he is good at shutting me out.
I think you will find that most of the people who support us will understand just what you said here. My wife gets the bulnt of my anger and shutting her out? Please dont her going on that. Right now thats one of the things I am fighting for, not shutting her out. Once my wife reads that line she's going to ask if your friend is me, because it sounds just like me.

Quote:
But what is most likely to happen and what can I do if I'm still in his life when this occurs and if he trusts me enough to tell me?
Jen, like I said I always remembered what happened to me, once I finily told my wife I reacted in this manner: I shook, I cried, I got sick, I had flashback's, I couldnt stand to be touched or even told "I love you", I went totaly numb but at the same time felt like a zillion neddel's were poking me all over my body, for the week after I told her I couldnt get clean enough, I would shower 6 times a day, scrub my body till it hurt, I would brush my teeth till they bleed trying to get the taste out of my mouth, I thought "What the fuck were you thinking? You should have kept your mouth shut, living in denial was better than this.". After a little while of living like that, my wife asked me the one question I needed the most, "Honey do you want to hurt yourself?". I answered her "YES!", I know deeep down I didnt want to die I wanted the pain to stop. So I went to the hospital for 2 weeks. New med's, new coping skill, and new hope. I started talking about my feeling here, and in the chat room. When I first started going to the chat Lightfang was there and he talked with me. He was very understanding of my anger, hurt, and confussion. He gave me some number's to call to try to find a "t", and I did. Because of that I found the only "t" I've ever felt like I could trust. So I guess to answer your question about all you can do is wait and hope.
Now Jen, let me tell you. The SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING HERE TO REMEMBER IS: Take care of Jen first. You are a person and deserve to be treated as such. You can not recover for him, you can support him. But DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT let anyone, not one single person in your life, ever abuse you in any form or fation, mental, phycial, emotional, any way Jen. You say you take the blunt of his anger, that can be very hurtful to you. Make sure you set boundry's in your relationship with him, and do not let him cross them. It's your God give right to have then and not have anyone cross them. He's going to people who were abused as children have no idea what they are. You have to be strong, and let him know in a loving and kind way the he crossed one/two/three hundred. Explain to him how you feel about him but you can not let him do this to you. Jen it isnt going to be an easy road for you or him, he needs a place he can feel safe and your a very nice person to try to give that to him, just dont do it at your expence. Please take care of you first, after all if he "break's" you how can you support him?
Jen peace be in your life, and understanding in dealing with your friend.
James

_________________________
I have more issues than Rolling Stone!


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#66683 - 06/14/03 12:32 PM Re: Hi! New member here...
Jen45 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 3
Loc: Midwest
James, thank you so much for your encouraging words and for sharing your experience which isn't easy or pleasant for you. I am glad you have a supportive wife.
One of the things that went through my mind as I began reading posts here was "Hey, we must all know the same guy." The similiarites are amazing sometimes.
I am learning the hard way that I must take care of myself first, as you said. I have come a long way in that area and I hope I can offer some help or advice to other friends of survivors. It's not easy but sometimes we just have to step out of the way, so to speak. In my case, that's easy because my friend has been avoiding me. I have learned not to take it too personally. If we wants to see me he knows where I am.
Thanks again!


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#66684 - 06/14/03 03:39 PM Re: Hi! New member here...
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Jen,

"We all know the same guy" -- isn't that the truth. It helps me a lot to see that it is the pattern associated with trauma recovery, not something about me personally.

I suspected that my bf had been abused for about a year before he came to that conclusion himself. He does't have any real clear memories of the specific incidents, so he has been trying to piece things together by talking with his siblings & getting therapy on a regular basis. He started the therapy because of depression, then I think after he had established a good enough relationshp with the therapist & he felt safe enough emotionally & with the other people in his life his subconscious let him consider the possibility that he was an abuse survivor himself.

Anyway, I agree with you & with James -- let him deal with it in his own time & on his own terms. And, even though I suspected the abuse, I didn't KNOW it had happened & there are other possibilities or explanations for the behavior. I never felt comfortable saying anything to him about my suspicions. I just tried to leave him enough room and support to feel like he could talk with me about it if he concluded that himself.

I also agree with James about taking care of yourself. Just because you can see the reasons or motivations for anger coming out at you or any other abusive behavior doesn't mean it is OK for him to behave that way. Take care.

-BB.


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#66685 - 06/14/03 06:45 PM Re: Hi! New member here...
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Jen
welcome to our site, I'm so glad you found the courage to join us.

I hope you find something here that will help you when the inevitable happens and he discloses, I'me sure you will.
You obviously care enought to want to help, so you will.

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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#66686 - 06/28/03 06:30 PM Re: Hi! New member here...
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
Hello, I am new here also. I do not know, of course, your friend. But I wonder if he does not give those signals and symptoms hoping someone just ask him if this has happened at him? I have still not told someone in 'real life' yet, because the idea of just bringing it up, it is abhorrent at me. But, if someone were to come right out and ask me, I think it will be much easier. Perhaps next time he gets moody or acts a different way, ask him if he wants your opinion? if he says yes, then ask him straight out if it occurs at him. Maybe that will give him the chance to say it. Of course, I can be very wrong, so please listen to advise of others. Good luck, and thank you to be such a good friend to this person.

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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