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#222761 - 05/06/08 11:59 AM New - please help me....
Marissa Offline

Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 69
My husband told me on Friday night about an incident in which he and another young girl were was sexually molested on a playground by three older girls (with their big vicious dogs....)when he was in the first grade.....


The thing is - this is the first time he has *ever* talked about this. He was so flippant about it - so obviously detached from it - I was crying and wanting to beat the tar out of somebody and he was talking about it like he was describing how the new lawn mower works.

Thank god we had T the next morning - he wasn't even going to tell her! "It was only once - it doesn't really matter".

Dude! We've been in counseling beating our heads against a wall for a year over your sexual issues, self esteem, BDD, and anxiety that have turned into OUR sexual issues that we can't figure out and you think this is *unimporant* information???

I should mention that my husband is forty one and we have been together for almost nineteem years! Again, "I was a kid - I'm a grown up now I should be over it...".

The *only* time he showed any emotion (he actually broke down and cried - still counting on one hand the number of times I have seen him cry) when he was talking to the T about it was when he was talking about how the little girl was crying (they were best buds) and she was so terrified and he was helpess to do anything to help her.

I'm like - what about YOU?? What about somebody helping YOU!??!!???

I don't know what to do. I don't where to turn. I don't know how to help. It's like - we FINALLY have some idea where all of his fucked up/juvenile ideas about sex and women come from and all o fhis body insecurities and he's like - "Yeah - I don't think it has anything to do with it..."

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!

THis explains so much to me - why I feel like I am married to a boy instead of a man. Why he is in the victim role in SO many areas of his life. We he is SO all about justice being served and people "getting what they deserve" - even if it is vigilante justice, so to speak. Why he has such a need to be "in control".

He never remembered the details before he started talking about it to me on Friday. SO now he is second guessing himself - well - maybe it didn't happen like that? Myself and T have explained to him about the brain's coping mechanisms for trauma and how it can block things out. My god - the man is a doctor - he knows all of this yet is unable to apply it to himself.

T tried to say - what if your DS was sitting here telling me this story and you were sitting where Marissa is listening. Would you expect him to just blow it off and move on? "Oh - well, that's different - he's my kid". T - "YOU were a kid!". Dh - blank stare....


please point me in the right direction....

please help me to keep my codependent behaviors at bay - I've been working so hard at unlearning them (spiritual abuse and subsequent eating disorder for me....)

I'm so frustrated at how this affects MY life and my lack of control over it.

It makes me want to scream and throw things and hit things and jump up and down...

It hurts so much when you see someone so wounded - you can see the potential for who they ccould be and they are just SO stuck in their pain and their experience - yet so numb to it all at the same time.

... it's like watching someone drown.....

If anyone could point me to some articles that outline the effects of childhood SA (yes - even ONCE) on adults so I can show him some concrete evidence of how this has effected our lives, I would really appreciate it....

AND - Can anyone tell me if SA contributes to a man's insecurity about his penis size? This has been a monumental issue in our lives...

Any other suggestions - about anything - I can use them.

Thanks for having this site.

#222764 - 05/06/08 12:13 PM Re: New - please help me.... [Re: Marissa]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Hello Marissa and welcome. I'm afraid I'm on the run right now, so this response will be short. As for articles, you might try here, which is right on our home page. You may also want to look at the Myths and Facts also on our homepage. Once or 100 times doesn't matter a whole lot when you're talking about a child who has been traumatized. The fact that your husband was abused and witnessed the abuse of another child at the same time clearly fits the definition of trauma.

I'm sorry you had to find your way here, but I'm very glad you did.

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

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

#222768 - 05/06/08 12:22 PM Re: New - please help me.... [Re: Trish4850]
Marissa Offline

Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 69
Thanks Trish -

You know - I'm so new to this - I never even considered thatt he was also witnessing another child be abused ..not only did the abusers touch them, but forced them to touch each other...

Can someone explain to me why DH thinks this is :

"no big deal"

"Doesn't matter anymore"

"was only once"

"Not really abuse..."

It makes me want to scream and cry.

I'm going to check out that link you provided. Thank you...


#222775 - 05/06/08 12:36 PM Re: New - please help me.... [Re: Marissa]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
There is a lot of research out there to support the contention that WITNESSING abuse (mostly from domestic violence effects on the kids) is just as or more damaging than being abused themselves.

That's one important point to consider. And, yes you are correct, what about what was done to him? At this stage, it may be very difficult to acknowledge his vulnerability and helplessness. But isn't it interesting that although he was a helpless kid, he still feeels he should have done something to protect the little girl?

Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#222784 - 05/06/08 01:13 PM Re: New - please help me.... [Re: Marissa]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1

Edited by Robbie Brown (05/09/08 12:35 PM)

#222790 - 05/06/08 01:30 PM Re: New - please help me.... [Re: Still]
Marissa Offline

Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 69
Robbie - that does make sense the way you describe it - the walls and such....

Will he ever come around? This man is SO intelligent it just blows my mind that he is unable to see the relationship between this event and all the crap going on in our they get there???

#222795 - 05/06/08 02:05 PM Re: New - please help me.... [Re: Marissa]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
NOTE: Please forgive my rather direct assertions here. I'm greatly speaking from my own direct experience.

Originally Posted By: Marissa
Will he ever come around? This man is SO intelligent it just blows my mind that he is unable to see the relationship between this event and all the crap going on in our they get there???

He may...he may not. I was 46 when I disclosed the abuse and finally dealt with it an a healthy manner. I think one good sign is that he cried...he may have cried for the girl....but he was crying about the same incendent. He cried because he could not help her. He may even know he's crying for the little boy too...but he has to dive back behind that wall before things get too real. Another good sign is that he even told you about this. I did not tell my wife until year 14 of our marriage. He trusts you! Very good sign!

So "do we get there?" Maybe...hopefully....but it will not be one minute before he's ready. I'll say it again because its a true factor of what you and he are dealing with: it will not be one lousy minute before he's ready.

You can't force cant coerce cant move it forward as something that needs to be dealt with.
You say he's intelligent. Yeah...many of us are. Many of are hyper-educated. We have PhDs, MBAs, teachers, Doctors, Lawyers...we got everything here. Its got nothing to do with he reluctance/refusal to deal with this in a healthy way. And BTW...he IS dealing with it. We all deal with it in some manner every day. He choses his wall..or denial..or whatever...His wall has gotten him this far in life. He (and I) see it that way. To risk de-construction of the wall would be to risk examination of a real-life nightmare so hiddeous and sad that we fear it may kill us or ruin what life we've been able to build.

For me, it was an emotional wall, denial, drugs and alcohol, worldy achievement, competition, etc. My story of what led me to finally disclose and deal with it will be in the next MS Newsletter. But I dont think it will do either of you any good. If he's not ready, he's not ready.

I would however suggest you make it clear to him that you'll be there for him and with him if he choses to take this issue head-on. And we'll be here for him (and you) too.


If he does show any sign of being willing to examine how the assault could influence his life, let us know. We all know of resources that can help make things clear for him...or at least stimulate and structure a new view for him.

Edited by Robbie Brown (05/06/08 02:11 PM)

#222798 - 05/06/08 02:27 PM Re: New - please help me.... [Re: Still]
Freedom49 Offline

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 2724
Loc: Washington State
I Echo what Robbie says above here. It is not unusual for a survivor to surpress and disconnect from such trauma to the point where we can discuss it as if we are talking about the lawn mower. It is a survival tool. This kind of thing does something to us at our core. At the place where we think and see ourselves. This will take time and lots of loving help. At times you maybe dealing with the child instead of the man and that is ok. Deal with him because that boy inside of him mayb be the stronger of the two personalities. Reassure, comfort and make that boy feel safe and understood. That may allow him to come out and deal if he feels safe to do so.

#222801 - 05/06/08 02:52 PM Re: New - please help me.... [Re: Freedom49]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

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

In addition to what has been said above I'll just add that you are running into some of the survival mechanisms that an abused boy creates for himself when he is being abused. These strategies aren't very healthy and in the long run they don't last, but remember we're talking about a defenseless boy here. These are what he could come up with and at least they kept him alive. About 25% of abused boys don't make it.

And these strategies don't disappear just because the boy is all grown up now. Part of him thinks he still needs them, and so he keeps them available and at the ready. Part of the real challenge of therapy is dealing with these broken ways of thinking we bring with us from boyhood.

Much love,

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)

#222836 - 05/06/08 04:45 PM Re: New - please help me.... [Re: roadrunner]
Marissa Offline

Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 69
Thank you all.

I guess I am really getting a lesson in patience....

It just feels like I've BEEN patient for SO long, and now this - I don't know if we're back at square one or simply hit a turn in the road.

At some point you get tired of being patient, tired of parenting your spouse and would just like to have a PARTNER....

A grown up, mature, well adjusted partner....

DOn't get me wrong. I love my husband more than anything. But I need a partner, not just some guy bringing home a paycheck and helping to care for the kids. I need someone to talk to who doesn't make nearly every decision in his life out of fear - fear of money, fear of religion, fear of sex, fear of me leaving him, etc.....

I just want our life to be quiet and settled and comfortable.

Is that asking too much???

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