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#302615 - 09/12/09 09:51 PM We need some help!
zanders_wife Offline

Registered: 08/31/09
Posts: 4
Many of you guys know my husband and I and we are so grateful for all of the love and support you have given us in the 2 short weeks we have been on the site.

We had a tough night last night. I have asked Alexander and he's given me permission to write this post. I would ask most of you that if you talk to him, let him bring up the issues. Please don't push him to talk about it. As many of you know, he is very reserved and does not easily open up. There are a few of you know him well enough to bring this up and I think he might appreciate that. You know who you are!

So here it goes...

Alexander had his first therapy session on Wednesday afternoon. It was hard but worth it he has said. It left him feeling very emotional so he decided to take leave from work until at least Monday.

He took leave from work so that we can spend some time together and he can try sorting out things in his head after therapy. We took a long hike one day, have made dinner with the kids a few nights, he took me shopping (he gets the best husband award for that!), we've worked out together... over all it has been a great couple of days. Last night we decided to have my mom come over and watch the kids so that he and I could get all dressed up and have a fancy dinner and maybe hit a "grown up" movie.

About half way through dinner he froze. He was holding my hand and we were talking and laughing about something our daughter had done. But then he just completely froze. His whole body went stiff and he was starring straight ahead. I managed to have the waiter get us our check while I watched Alexander in a completely different world. His eyes were tearing up, his breathing was so fast and his pulse was racing.

After some prompting, I got him to stand up and walk to the car with me. On the way home he began to relax a bit, put his head back and closed his eyes. I continued to hold his hand and just told him that I loved him. I didn't push to talk about it and I didn't pretend like I understood. I just reassured him that I loved him and I wasn't going anywhere.

By the time we made it home his breathing and pulse were back to normal. Before we went inside I grabbed his hands and made him look me in the eyes. I told him how much I loved him and how even if I cant understand, that I am here for him and not going anywhere. I love every part of him, even the panic attacks, nightmares... everything. I want to share it all with him. He kissed me back and told me that he loves me.

After my mom left and I checked on the kids, I came out to the living room. Alexander was putting his shoes on and said he was going on a run with the dog. I could tell from his demeanor and tone of voice that he had emotionally detached himself from me and was shutting down.

I ended up falling asleep on the couch waiting for him to come back. I stayed up at least an hour before dozing off. I have no idea how long he was out there running. He said today that he thinks he ran for 2 hours, came home for awhile, talked to a few of you and then went out again for a shorter run.

At about 3 in the morning I woke up to him screaming, another nightmare. He calmed down and fell asleep. Only to wake up again at 5 from another nightmare. He got up and ran and worked out and has been going full steam ahead ever since.

We talked about things a little. He says he can't remember what triggered him at the restaurant. He wont tell me what the nightmares are about. He makes light conversation with me but it is like talking to a stranger. He just speaks to me like he would anyone else. It is shallow conversation just so the kids don't notice there is tension.

I know that he is struggling so much internally and that it is just easier to shut down emotionally and push people away. But then, as the emotional woman that God made me, it leaves me feeling rejected and unloved. I know in my head that he is not trying to hurt me but my heart aches so much when he is like this.

I don't know how to react anymore. I will continue to stand by his side because I love him. I will never ever leave. But I don't know how to deal with the rejection anymore. I don't know how to strengthen this marriage. I don't know how to be a good wife to Alexander. I want to be there for him through all of this but I also have a desire for my emotional needs to be met.

Does anyone have any suggestions or encouragement for me??

Sorry this was so long! Thanks for your love and support.

Bren and Alexander

#302641 - 09/13/09 04:07 AM Re: We need some help! [Re: zanders_wife]
Freedom49 Offline

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 2724
Loc: Washington State
First it is important that you understand that he is NOT rejecting you. He is hiding from his fears, his memories, and his pain. Withdrawing to a safe place in his head. Coping the only way he knows how to right now with the pain of what has happened to him. Be there. Love him as best you can. He will get through this with therapy but it will take a while and for a time it may get worse before it gets better but it WILL get better. I went through that myself.

While I was dealing with surfacing memories, flashbacks and dealing with things I had refused to look at for decades I was a mess. At time I physically went into a mild state of shock.

My wife eventually gave up on me and just waited for a good excuse to find another bed mate. That nearly destroyed me at the time but I made it through with friends who stuck by me. There were times though when I didn't think I knew who I really was, what I was all about, and even how to put all of that into words. I feared that I might be hopeless as a husband, father, man. The love of my friends and my faith sustained me through it and I came out the other side more at peace with myself than ever in my life. I am still not where I feel I should be but I am a hell of a lot better than what I was.

He will need a lot of love, an anchor if you will in reality as he deals with the insanity of abuse recovery. You can be that but it will take time.

Alexander, do not leave your mate on this journey. Take her with you. You need that anchor in this reality as you deal with the unreal and the insanity that you may have to walk through to find healing. God bless you both.


#302644 - 09/13/09 05:24 AM Re: We need some help! [Re: Freedom49]
DJsport Offline

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Hello, Bren.

I agree with Roger - he is not rejecting u personally. It sounds like flashbacks, but it is not your fault or business. Sorry if that sounds harsh.

If you get to close he might completely shut down. He wants to completely run away.

Now for you. Your wonderful. You can only do so much.

My partner left me too. But, the point is you need to take care of yourself. I blamed him at first but, not now. I was a mess and I am better off without him.

Take care of yourself,

Live to your fullest potential

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

#302646 - 09/13/09 05:40 AM Re: We need some help! [Re: Freedom49]
faithjoy Offline

Registered: 09/09/09
Posts: 11
Loc: USA
I was in a treatment center years ago when I had to face the worst of my nightmares. and I had trained Professional all around me that knew how to talk me through a Flashback.

I now share this information with anyone that has to deal with someone in the flashback Terrors stage of recovery.

# 1 - IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU. very hard to not take personaly But it is not personal.

# 2 - In a flashback - they are there it is no a memory like you call to mind by choice. you are there you are three and what evey it is is happening right then and there at that moment.

# 3 A few simple questions can be helpful, like; Where are you? How old do you feel? you can actually help them walk through the memory this time not alone. Keep them grounded by your presence, support, and in the present.

# 4 Most people react like you have lost it. and YES... it does look like you have sometimes. THEY HAVE NOT GONE CRAZY, WHAT THEY LIVED THROUGH WAS CRAZY.

# 5 But keep in mind flashbacks are a part of recovery never loose sight that with the love and support of a good mate , family member or friend the recovery will get better in time and you will have a man that is much more whole on the other side. The issues what ever face and color they have will no longer be between you. This too shall pass.

# 6 Triggers can be anything and can produce profound reactions at any time. But Memories only come when we can Actually handle the memories.

# 7 once you have handles the fears they become less fearful you over come the fear by facing the fears. and then you are no longer afraid.

Think about that - For a minute. the reason it is happening now is because he does feel safe on some deep level with you. And he CAN handle it. You can help him remember this is not happening because he is weak it is because he is strong.

and You know and beleive and trust he will take care of himself -and when he has to "go in to that Man Cave" you will be there when he wants to come out.

I hope you find that a bit helpful ... there is more to it all as you well know but I have found that information very helpful when Someone I care about is in a level ten flashback.

Edited by faithjoy (09/13/09 05:45 AM)
Edit Reason: typos (not that ther might still be some more)
I am the mother of two survivors. And Also a Survivor Now trying to help other secondary victims of CSA. - sorry ahead of time for many typos - T have a silly notebook and no spell checker a bad combination.

#302790 - 09/14/09 08:08 PM Re: We need some help! [Re: faithjoy]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
My husband gets cold towards me when I show emotion. Not during flashbacks but the pain and the rejection hurts just the same. If I am hurt, if I need him, if I am crying all those things will cause him to shut down and shut the door to his heart. He pushes me away and I feel like a stranger, worse most of the time. He wouldn't be mean to a stranger. He can be downright awful towards me. I guess he just can't handle feeling feelings. Here I am all female and all feelings and emotions and it just scares the hell out of him. The hardest thing for me is watching him push the kids away. Watching my 10 year old having a meltdown and watch hubby shut down and walk away just about kills the heart. I go pick up the pieces but my goodness. It's not easy. Maybe hubby is having some sort of flashbacks that I'm just not seeing. I DO know that my son is about the age that he was when he was thrown deep into a world of porn and abuse. He's better with our younger boys....
What we do is help each other. Be strong for our babies and ourselves and our men. smile Good luck.

Life is to short to blend in

#302814 - 09/15/09 04:10 AM Re: [Re: dangal]
Freedom49 Offline

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 2724
Loc: Washington State

Edited by Freedom49 (05/22/10 06:19 AM)

#302863 - 09/15/09 03:28 PM Re: We need some help! [Re: Freedom49]
cstjude Offline

Registered: 09/05/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada

What you witnessed was a highjacking of a loving relationship by past abuse. The trigger can be anything and it is not a rejection of you. But I know it can be hard to accept that when the person you care for is suddenly elsewhere; engaged in another reality. It sounds like it was a particularly severe flashback or panic attack, I don't know what else to call it from your de>
Female, Friends & Family Forum Fan

#302865 - 09/15/09 03:55 PM Re: We need some help! [Re: cstjude]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
thanks for the kind words. I don't want to steal this thread so I will send you a pm.

Life is to short to blend in

#302959 - 09/16/09 08:24 AM Re: We need some help! [Re: dangal]
Matt from Oz Offline

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 56
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Hi there Bren,

As a new member where my relationship breakdown has been as a result of me communicating my child abuse from my mother, I commend you so very much on your love, support, care and empathy.

I often had episodes like your husband with my partner, but she did not understand these episodes because of the immense shame, and guilt I had from my childhood thinking it was all my fault.

In hinsight which is a lovely tool on reflection, I wish I told her during our time together. Unfortunately she will not buy into any of this and does not want to learn to support me and wants me to heal on my own which is very very hard. To heal without collaboration defies all society's norms unless one is locked in solitary confinement in jail.

So what I am saying to you - is Alex is not rejecting you in the very slightest, he is trying to distance the pain he is experiencing from someone he loves very dearly - you. I only say this because what you wrote is almost a playbook for much of what I have experienced,

Kind Regards,

Matt from Down Under

I have finally revealed to world my 20 year torment from mother-son sexual abuse, and in dire need of fellow people who have endured this horrible experience,

#303085 - 09/17/09 03:22 PM Re: We need some help! [Re: zanders_wife]
roxanne Offline
New Here

Registered: 03/22/08
Posts: 16
Hi Bren,

I am another wife. Same story.

The men here explain quite rightly that it is not a personal rejection of you. That does not mean that you don't feel rejected, hurt, unimportant, even foolish sometimes. The men say that we can't fully understand how they feel and that will always be true. We can say the same, they will never understand how it feels when they turn away.

They imply that we are not very good people if we can't hang on and see it through to the end. This is unfair and untrue.
It is a very lonely road. It's normal to be hurt. It's not about being too emotional or too needy. The men would feel exactly the same if the situation were reversed. Anyone would feel the same.

All we women want is a mutually supportive and giving relationship. This is good and right and as it should be. The sad truth is that it isn't there for you right now and may never be.

All we can do is wait and see.


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