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#199037 - 01/11/08 06:07 PM In no-therapy Limbo
violet Offline

Registered: 08/13/07
Posts: 118
Loc: US
Our lives are like a rollercoaster. One minute he's ready to really start 'dealing' with some of the underlying issues from the csa, then he says he's fine. Then he starts getting angry at life in general and the next thing I know he won't even talk about it. Though things are much better in general than they were a year ago, it's just exhausting.

I know he has to pick his timing to work on things and I support that. He disclosed to immediate family and very close friends, which was so incredibly brave. He says he'll start therapy and then suddenly he feels like he is doing okay without it. He read Victims No Longer which really was life changing for him. I want to support and encourage him, but I just need to know, what can I do or say to support him when he isn't in therapy? He is willing to read books and he's been here but he wouldn't read the forums or post. Any suggestions?

And I'd like to hear from any survivors who have not gone to therapy and are dealing with things on their own. I just want to know what I can do without being pushy or overbearing.


I was silent as a child, and silenced as a young woman; I am taking my lumps and bumps for being a big mouth, now, but usually from those whose opinion I don't respect. - Sandra Cisneros

#199091 - 01/12/08 01:12 AM Re: In no-therapy Limbo [Re: violet]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Hi V,

I'm glad to see you, it's been awhile. I can't answer your question since I'm not on the other side but I wanted to let you know I'm here, listening and looking forward to the answers you receive. I'm glad things are going better for you both, even though the therapy isn't there. It will be a huge step for him when he takes it. Maybe he thinks he's taken enough big steps for right now and just isn't ready for another one.

ROCK ON...........Trish

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

#199157 - 01/12/08 01:27 PM Re: In no-therapy Limbo [Re: Trish4850]
Olive Offline
New Here

Registered: 01/01/08
Posts: 16
Loc: New Jersey
Hi Violet,

I have been on your roller coaster for 10 years. I'm the one right behind you screaming. My husband will at times be so tormented he will just start sobbing, and have thoughts that he somehow is responsible for the abuse because he let it go on so long, and he didn't stop it, in fact he started to expect it. It became part of his life when he should have been outside blowing up GI Joe dolls like the other boys his age.

I knew all along he needed therapy. I'm pretty good at comforting him but the hurt and guilt and multitude of messed up feelings he had about his abuse are more than I can handle on my own. 10 years of me, not pushing, not nagging, actually not even mentioning therapy, just waiting for the right moment. You see, my husband is this really great guy sometimes and sometimes he's a real asshole. Sometimes he comes home from work and explodes because someone left a glass on the counter instead of putting it the dishwasher, when the day before he told them to reuse the same glass all day and not put it in the dishwasher. The kids look at him like he's nuts and I'm sitting there thinking that this is not even about the darn glass.

This website has been a god send for me. I think after reading all the posts, and having "ah ha" moments, I knew more about why he is the way he is, more than he did. Also through this website I did some research and found a therapist who only deals with survivors. I was just getting ready in case one day he woke up and said "i need therapy".

In my case, he never really talks about it, only on rare occasions I might hear him crying in bed when he thinks I'm asleep. Because he feels so guilty about it, I just tell him he was just a little boy, and everything he is feeling is perfectly normal, and how so many men are going through the same emotions and that he's not alone. I was able to get him to go on this site (I put a particular post on the screen, and said something to make him come over and read it) and I really think it helped after 40 some years of going through this alone, he finally saw that he's not alone at all.

That was huge. I can't emphasize how monumental that was for him.

Baby steps in a long journey.

I think that your guy reading the books is great, and that he's disclosed to his family and friends is a big...HUGE step.

I wish I had some great, earth shattering advice for you but I just take it day by day and use the knowledge I've gained here to handle each thing as it comes.


#199170 - 01/12/08 04:00 PM Re: In no-therapy Limbo [Re: violet]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
I don't know if there's any right or wrong answer to you question. It's hard to be supportive when he can't tell you what he needs or what he's thinking. Whoever said "Silence is golden" has never loved a survivor of csa. The silence can get so loud it's almost deafening.
You can't make him see a therapist. But it's a good idea to research and find a therapist that specializes in treating male survivors. Not all therapists are the same. Like physicians, they may have the same basic education, but, well, you wouldn't see a foot doctor for a problem with your eyesight. And the symptoms vary. Anxiety, depression, anger, frustration.. Olive is right, it never really is about the damn glass!
The longer you're with him, the more tuned in you become to the cues. When and how to push and when to back off. When I brought up therapy initially, he was terrified of it. I brought up medication and he's afraid of that too. And even when I know that some of what he's most afraid of could NEVER happen, it doesn't make the fear any less real to him.
Your post hit home for me because he's also at a therapy standstill. Something the therapist said or something he read freaked him out, and he hasn't been back. He hasn't pulled away again, but he doesn't want to discuss it. We're back to the "avoiding, ignoring, and hoping it will go away method." Ineffective, but one of his favorites. Does that method ever really work when applied to anything? Someday, I'd like to point out to him that avoiding and ignoring me has never made ME go away either! And maybe it's me, but I think "pushy and overbearing" has gotten a bad wrap. Sometimes, you do have to push alittle, or at least dare him to move.


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