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#263554 - 11/24/08 04:49 AM Re: anybody dating a survivor? [Re: Logan]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
Hi Logan,
To answer your questions:
It was 15 years in, before he disclosed.
I don't know that I can tell you why he chose to disclose when he did. I CAN tell you that it explained alot. He had major issues around touch, intimacy etc. I always blamed myself prior to the disclosure. (I wasn't pretty enough, he didn't love me enough, etc. etc. etc.)
I started to suspect something just prior to his disclosure, and there was a near-sex experience that left me with questions I couldn't answer at the time.

#263970 - 11/27/08 01:25 PM Re: anybody dating a survivor? [Re: Logan]
LittleNinja Offline

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 9
Loc: South Africa

My guy actually disclosed to me about 2 weeks after I met him and before he officially asked me to be his gf. (I'm the 1st and only person he has disclosed to, I don't know why he felt like he wanted to tell me but I feel honoured that he did).

My initial reaction - I think I was as supportive as I could be, I hope I was! It's hard to explain how I felt, there were many emotions! I felt outraged that he had to suffer the abuse, I felt hate towards his perps (even though I don't know who they are, and I still feel that hate in me). I felt (and still do) that I wanted to do anything in my power to help him recover from what happened. I felt a deep respect for him, for the fact that he disclosed and because he has been surviving his abuse alone for so long.

As for your third question, I can't answer that because he disclosed to me long before we ever set foot in the bedroom! smile

Peace and love x0x0x


"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love." - Mother Teresa

#263992 - 11/27/08 03:00 PM Re: anybody dating a survivor? [Re: LittleNinja]
Kathryn Offline

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303

I knew something happened to Rob, but I didn't know what. Among other things, my oldest brother picks his arms and always has open wounds, so does Rob, though less now than before.

Rob's outwardly gregarious, optimistic and seems really well-adapted in that he's successful at work, loves his daughter, and knows how to play.

But the first time I met him, I mean the first time I looked at him, I got this image in my head of those happy/sad masks that announce that a play is to begin, it comes from the Greek Tragedies. And this was a very clear image in my mind. But then we began to talk, and because he's so gregarious, optimistic and seemingly well-balanced, I sort of pushed it aside.

Still, I teased him about being gay -- not something that is my habit. And the first time I went into his bedroom and saw that it was messy, I sighed in relief and said to him, "Oh good, I was so afraid you're anal".

Sex was great, the best ever, and I'm 45 years old. Early on I wrote an email to Rob in which I said that I loved his receptivity, again, not a feeling I've ever had about a guy before.

So since he's receptive, and I'm receptive, there was a sense of merging. I guess that's what they mean by "an oceanic feeling", or the "little death" -- or a oneness experience... Two people who surrender to the unconscious communication of the other and converse in silence....

A lot of you guy's fears are groundless, you'll be who you are when you're ready.

"Forget your Perfect Offering, There's a crack in everything -- That's how the light gets in". By L. Cohen

#264318 - 11/29/08 05:42 PM Re: anybody dating a survivor? [Re: Zooey]
king tut Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2488
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Zooey
However, because I'm also a survivor, I am hyper-aware of their re-enacting behaviors during sex and their dissociative and detachment behaviors during and after sex.

Really? you noticed that, what did they do wrong exactly?

Were they very aware that they were doing it?

How did it make you feel?

How do you know they were re-enacting behaviours?

If i do stuff with my girlfriend, i don't want her to think i am re-enacting anything, and i don't want to dissociate because that would be bad for her and she would think somethings wrong or something.


#264377 - 11/29/08 10:28 PM Re: anybody dating a survivor? [Re: Zooey]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Zooey
I've dated 2 survivors. Neither one of them disclosed to me while we were together. However, because I'm also a survivor, I am hyper-aware of their re-enacting behaviors during sex and their dissociative and detachment behaviors during and after sex. After the relationships ended, I found out that they had indeed been sexually abused in the past. Btw, I've never disclosed my own CSA to anyone, but I'm working through it with my new therapist.

If they had disclosed to me during our relationship, I would have been 100% accepting and loving and supportive. I would have loved and cared for them more and made every effort to understand, feel compassion for them and worked through it together. I think it would have been a cathartic experience for me too, and I would have been able to face my own issues and face my demons alongside him.

I completely understand why they didn't want to disclose to me. I know how frightening it is - which explains why I haven't been able to tell anyone about my own abuse experience. Several years ago, one of my therapists hinted at it and started administering hypnotherapy. I freaked out, pretended to be hypnotized but never "went under," then I never returned.

My late wife dated a survivor (me). I never disclosed because at the point of our engagement, I didn't know either. I had almost complete amnesia about "it". We had a good relationship. We were close friends. We were very active sexually. We shared everything. We have two wonderful kids and 4 grand kids.

But then my amnesia left. At first slowly, and then like an avalanche. I started having severe flashbacks during intimacy. The guy that "got" me as a 12 year old was reaching his slimy ugly fingers into my marriage.

What could I do? I just had to bear with it and stay in counseling until I worked it through.


= pufferfish whistle

#264402 - 11/30/08 01:00 AM Re: anybody dating a survivor? [Re: pufferfish]
dgoods Offline

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
One of the aspects that keeps kicking me in the hiney, psychologically speaking, is how unreasonable my emotional demands seem to be, when it comes to relationships...
What right do i have to expect total emotional transparency on the part of whoever i might become involved with, while simultaneously demanding that they accomodate my own halting, step-by-step unfolding of my true self?
While achingly lonely, being at this stage in my recovery is exactly why i am not at all allowing myself to get lost in the labyrinth of a romantic relationship... i honestly don't have anything solid enough to bring to such. While it would be easy for me to lose myself in the emotional entanglements and distractions that a romantic relationship entails, i honestly am not in a place to be involved in one for the right reasons...
i'm just too @#$%^'n much of a mess right now to be a partner for anyone. I know enough that a S.O. should never be asked to fill the role of a parent, sibling, therapist, etc.- even if sometimes they do temporarily. In my past, i've been drawn to those that were more emotionally scarred than myself- that way i at least felt that i could fulfill the role of protector/provider, and not be crippled by feelings of shame and inadequacy. I admit when i become emotionally involved/attached to a woman that's emotionally/psychologically "stronger" than me, i feel both viciously resentful/jealous, and yet very pleading and vulnerable, all at the same time.

Like i said, i'm obviously not in any shape to enter into a relationship at this point in my life- no matter how much i might hate having only the other pillow to hold at night.

Wow, i guess i'm all full of "spew and dump all over MS" lately...
Hope this helps SOMEbody else besides me wink

Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

#264430 - 11/30/08 03:19 AM Re: anybody dating a survivor? [Re: dgoods]
WalkingSouth Offline

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16270
My wife and I are both survivors. She disclosed to me early in our relationship I waited 25 years to disclose to here. Yeah, I do feel badly about that but then I didn't really realize the impact the abuse had. It was over with and I was in the process of repressing those memories.

The fact that both of us are survivors has been both problematic and beneficial. We have a level of understanding that may not have been possible without that commonality, but it also serves for some pretty sever drama at times. We've been able to work through a lot of that in recent years with the help of a family counselor.

I certainly have no regrets in my choice of life partner in that regard.


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'Holy Shit! What a ride!'" ~Hunter S. Thompson

#264504 - 11/30/08 09:09 PM Re: anybody dating a survivor? [Re: dgoods]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
I took particular interest in your post for a number of reasons. My SO is a survivor and we were together for 30 years.
Now that I'm "free"... I'm finding it difficult to go into or even broach a new relationship. I don't trust it. I keep waiting for something to come to light. It's conditioning...
I loved him. You don't walk away from a 30 year relationship without a scar.
What I accepted as normal was not the norm, and I made allowances...ALOT of allowances...
In the end, what little he did was to keep me on "retainer", in case another issue came up.
My text messages and voicemails went unanswered, he called or texted me with issues he didn't want to discuss with the people/friends he spent actual time with. In the end, I realized, I couldn't count on him and there was little in this for me. I let go.
I think that when the time is right for a new relationship, I'll be able to feel it. Right now, is not the right time.

#264541 - 12/01/08 02:27 AM Re: anybody dating a survivor? [Re: Liv2124]
mrrecovery Offline

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 80
well i am not really one to talk as i have never had a real long term relationship...but honestly i can't imagine NOT can the other person love the "real" you without knowing about your abuse???? like it or not, it is a part of us...

i have a talent for identifying other survivors (of rape or CSA)..and i often become attracted to them...1) i think they would understand me and we can help each other 2) it shows that they are strong people who can persevere

so far, i have not been too successful with other survivors BUT I have not given up on this road...a VERY important lesson that i learned at a Weekend of Recovery is that this mostly works IF the other person is as committed to recovery as you.

WoR Alumni - Mysthaven Nov 7-9, 2008; Advanced WoR - Alta Sept 11-13, 2009, Mike Lew Victims No Longer Workshop 2010, Malesurvivor International Conference 2010

#265352 - 12/05/08 12:07 PM Re: anybody dating a survivor? [Re: Logan]
Partner Offline

Registered: 12/05/08
Posts: 18
Loc: United States
I am dating a survivor. We dated for two months or so before he told me. He told me after sex while lying in bed. I am not easily shockable but in honesty I was a little freaked out. I have male and female friends that have disclosed to me but it was sort of out of nowhere and early in the relationship and right after sex :?
However, my first thought was something like "oh my God he must really trust me, I better not fuck this up" so I tried really hard to not let on that I was anything other than supportive. And in reality I am very supportive. I wasn't faking it, I just was covering that initial shock 'cause I didn't want him to feel like he made a mistake by telling me. He also told me I was the second person told and that he thought his ex broke up with him because of it. frown
Later after I was actually comfortable with talking about it, I asked him to tell me about it if he wanted. He did but he generally doesn't want me to bring it up.

I reacted the way I did because it was shocking especially under the circumstances. Admittedly, I was a little worried health wise because we were using birth control rather than condoms and I had been ok with that under the premise that he had 1 sexual partner before me(the ex). That was far from my first thought though, that was a day or two later. Anyway, I guess I just really was surprised that he would tell me this so soon. I don't trust that fast. I also felt protective of him though so I really wanted to smack his ex and just hold him.

I did not suspect that he had been through anything like what he was. I knew his mom was bipolar and thought that was why he was so quiet and dark. I doubt his Mom helped the situation but evidently it also is due to his other experiences. I have no idea what the person was talking about with reenactment and disassociation during and after sex. My guy is disassociated alot of the time but sex and right after is about the only time he is fully present...probably why that's when he told me. I guess it did shed a lot of light on almost all his out of bed behavior but the in the bedroom stuff is much harder to have seen beforehand.

Though, I only really realized that I am a survivor recently and he had no idea. I mean, I was reading a book for partners of survivors and within pages I was identifying all this stuff about me and my childhood instead of learning about him! I bring this up because I may not see the things someone else might. He and I have very similar sexual boundaries, or lack there of, so maybe someone else would have thought something strange. I think I thought, finally a guy that isn't freaked out by things I like smile

I think it might be useful for you to realize that survivors react very differently sexually depending on various things including their own healing stage. Some people close themselves off to sex and others are quite promiscuos and still others are picky about the partner but open to trying almost anything. I don't think we all have "a tell" or anything. And finally, I can tell you that the fact that I know he trusts me in bed completely, and is very interested in ensuring my enjoyment of every experience, makes it so it wouldn't matter to me if he was "re-enacting" or anything. Whatever he needs or wants is totally fine with me because I know it is the same for him.

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