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#68098 - 01/04/07 05:31 AM Re: Survivors: What We Would Like You to Know About Us.
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Thank you, thank you, thank you Dewey, and Wendy Wood. What an awesome list.

It is a huge pet peeve of mine that partners of survivors (male and female) tend to be presented with "Do/Don't" lists that are mostly "Don't" and very lacking in any kind of real info. Most partners just want something a little more constructive than "Don't tell the survivor any of the following 100 things."
Quote:

15. Our therapy does not break up relationships - it sometimes causes them to change as we change. Therapy often brings issues to the surface that were already present.
This is the one I would have liked to hear most about, right after my partner first disclosed.


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#68099 - 01/04/07 06:08 AM Re: Survivors: What We Would Like You to Know About Us.
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
I think it is interesting that the original list was mostly What survivors want partners to know about survivors and that so many of the partners' responses have been about what they need from the survivors in their lives.

Why is that? Is there a message underneath: What you should know about your partner is, Your partner continues to have needs even while supporting you?
Does this reflect an actual communication breakdown in survivor relationships, where the partner believes that the survivor really doesn't know what (s)he needs?
Is there a dynamic in these relationships where the survivor doesn't respond to a partner's requests? Do partners learn a certain kind of language of "need" in this circumstance?

What I wanted my partner to know when he first disclosed to me:

1. I am not ashamed of you.

2. I don't want you to blame yourself for how your CSA has affected our past, but it is important to me that you acknowledge it and take responsibility for fixing the problems today.

3. I understand why you didn't tell me earlier, but I feel guilty that I didn't know earlier.

4. I am afraid that our relationship has been built on a bad foundation; that you chose to be with me in a sick frame of mind. I am afraid that aspects of our relationship have been abusive or that I have further traumatized you without knowing it.

(see above, "Therapy does not break up relationships...")

What I want him to know now:

1. I would rather hear that you're having a bad day, than have you pretend to have a good day. It means a lot to me that you trust me enough to say "I'm having a bad day" rather than pretending everything is fine.

2. I vent about the people who have hurt you, but I will respect the choices you make about how to deal with them.

3. I really don't want to take on your problems or make them mine-- if I'm talking about issues I have that relate to your CSA, they are MY issues that apply to me and the years of my life that I have shared with you. Our shared past has had lasting effects on me even though your abuse didn't happen to me.

4. I am very, very proud to share my life with the person you have become.


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#68100 - 01/04/07 03:42 PM Re: Survivors: What We Would Like You to Know About Us.
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
What I wish survivors knew - well, at least what I wish what my husband knew. That his cheating on me is probably mostly if not all due to him being weak because he was controlled by the abuser as a little boy. He is still in that mode, unable to turn away someone who comes on to him (he has a beautiful accent and dresses well and many people are attracted to him). I want him to know that he is not immoral. Morals are what people choose for themselves when they believe they HAVE a choice. He is not bad for being"weak," it is just that he is still being controlled by the abuser(s). And I long to help him make that connection so he can at last take charge of his life, turn it around, and decide for himself what choices/morals to choose. I long for him, and all survivors, to be the man he was created by God to be, not the one created by the abuser.

_________________________
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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#68101 - 01/04/07 09:16 PM Re: Survivors: What We Would Like You to Know About Us.
kgm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 39
Loc: usa
its hard on our kids to, on all of us. we al l need you and want u in our lifes.
when u push us away & go into yourself, we miss u. we wil wait 4 u to get better bcause we love u.


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#68102 - 01/16/07 08:40 AM Re: Survivors: What We Would Like You to Know About Us.
AshSurvived Offline
Member

Registered: 01/07/07
Posts: 167
Loc: Australia
To SAR. As someone who has only just the other week acknowledged their abuse and the effect on life and marriage it's a relief to hear a voice of reason. I find myself reading through earlier posts about to erupt with righteous indignation at the audacity of partners who actually sincerely believe they can issue a list of demands. But, thanks to your wise words I've calmed down.

But to the others, please understand: you are partnered to an invalid, you can get used to it or you can throw your weight around. My wife used to throw her weight around; she even took to hitting me in the early days of our marriage, but as you may well guess, I didn't suddenly become Mr Mills & Boon and I didn't tear off my disguise to reveal the dashing hero underneath. I got worse and acted out more and hated her more than I care to recall. She just played into my pattern of abuse so perfectly you'd think she'd been contracted to do so.

So, please beware of making demands, of doing things that put you in the role of the abuser, because your partner might relish it just like I did and become totally unreachable just like I was. The fact that you have such a sense of self and entitlement indicates just how truly, fundamentally different the two of you are.

_________________________
"It's your world Dave, I'm just livin' in it"

- Harvey Pekar to David Letterman
(American Splendour)

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#68103 - 01/16/07 04:46 PM Re: Survivors: What We Would Like You to Know About Us.
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
Quote:
The fact that you have such a sense of self and entitlement indicates just how truly, fundamentally different the two of you are.
this is a truly profound statement and clearly does emphasize a fundamental difference between survivors and non-survivors, if i've been understanding correctly the stories on this board.

taking it one step further, upon accepting this realization, i think one aspect of being a partner and wanting to see a survivor heal is to be able to reach out and encourage him to also learn who his self is, and gain his own sense of entitlement to being human, to be treated with respect and dignity, as we all deserve.

indy

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

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#68104 - 01/16/07 05:27 PM Re: Survivors: What We Would Like You to Know About Us.
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Hi Ash and welcome. I think you mis-read what was being stated by partners, myself included. If you read before and after our wish list of things we want our partners to know, you will see a lot of love and a lot of hurt. Sadly, csa has hit all of us, even if we werenít direct victims.

Iím sorry youíre wife treated you poorly, especially hitting you. Thatís so wrong under any circumstances and you didnít deserve it. No one deserves to be the target of such behavior but you were and I think it may have helped to color your view of what a partner can/should expect of a survivor.

This statements bothers me a great deal:

Quote:
But to the others, please understand: you are partnered to an invalid, you can get used to it or you can throw your weight around.
I think you are selling yourself and other survivors way short by telling us partnerís that we should just get used to it and expect nothing from our survivor partner. One of the points of healing is learning that itís OK to have expectations of other people and of yourself and to deal with the expectations that others will have of you, all in a good way, not simply expectations of horror and evil from others.

We do have expectations of our partners, hopefully, the lines of communication have been opened sufficiently so that those expectations don't exceed what the survivor is capable of at any given time. And there are certain expectations, boundaries if you will, that must be met in order for a relationship to survive. A survivor may have to choose between acting out or meeting the expectations of his partner and a partner has a right to demand that such a choice be made if he/she is going to make a commitment to the relationship.

Does that make sense? Sometimes, I just canít find the words.

ROCK ON........Trish

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

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#68105 - 01/17/07 02:04 AM Re: Survivors: What We Would Like You to Know About Us.
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
Not to take words out of Ash's mouth, but I think what he was trying to say is that once I as a survivor tell you about what happened, please do not be heavy-handed in your support i.e. belittling us for not seeking help on your timetable, determining what we need to do to recover, being outright afraid of telling anyone else and demanding we disclose to someone, and so on. The only thing that will do is drive us further away.

Is that close Ash?


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#68106 - 01/17/07 05:21 PM Re: Survivors: What We Would Like You to Know About Us.
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
Quote:
belittling us for not seeking help on your timetable, determining what we need to do to recover, being outright afraid of telling anyone else and demanding we disclose to someone, and so on.
point taken.

indy

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

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#68107 - 01/17/07 11:02 PM Re: Survivors: What We Would Like You to Know About Us.
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
Indy, I did not mean what I wrote as a personal, pointed comment aimed at you. If you took it that way, please accept my heart-felt apology.

Dwayne


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