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#345988 - 11/22/10 12:36 PM I just don't know what i'm doing wrong...
closerthenveins Offline

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 8

I have posted a few times before when things have become really confusing with my CSA survivor partner/friend. I have tried, tried so hard at giving him space, not putting any expectations on him, that a normal relationship would have usually. I have started seeing a counselor... so i can help understand myself and him better.. i have lost myself too.. because i have lost all boundaries with him. My counselor seems great, she's a great person to help me not become too attached (as i realise i am with him), and help me not obssess over him, and help me find myself again and remain positive.. but when it comes to CSA survivor questions, i dont know.. she seems very harsh when i bring up certain qualities or certain events that happen between me and my partner. I've asked her before if she's experienced, she said she's worked for a long time with a rape crisis team and treating rape survivors.. but im starting to question her expertise when it comes to CSA survivors. Would being experienced with Adult rape survivors be the same as dealing with CSA survivors?.. she seems to think so but my partner/friend doesn't. My major problem today is.. no matter what i do, there seems to always be something wrong or controlling about me. I have tried so hard to let go of all boundaries. I started off with a whole lot of expectations and everything, being new to relationships and new to to CSA. Over the two years, i have tried my hardest, i have changed a lot of my thinking. I have given up all my expectations. Just simple expectations of what you'd expect in a relationship- as in fairness, equality of making effort, etc. Reading, and talking to people CSA survivors i have learnt how hard it is for survivors and i need to be patient. Just a couple of days ago, he told me he feels controlled by me. He feels trapped by me like he's in a jail. I was so upset by that, i don't know what i'm still doing for him to feel that way. He hasn't told his therapist about me even though we have been "together" for about two years now. He says the reason behind this is she will not approve of me and regard me controlling. I want to change and don't want him to feel controlled by me... But nothing i do is good enough. I do have one boundary...and that is him flirting with girls and becoming attached to other girls online. What i last found was a very intimate (in a sexual way)conversation, even though he was joking around..i felt hurt and betrayed by him. Is it not normal for me to have issues with that? regardless.... i wasn't angry, i was hurt yes, and i wanted to help him.. i brought it up with him.. showed him the conversation.. and he got angry. What i made of what he told me.. (i could be wrong or have misintepreted), was that i brought out this "problem".. which he originally didn't see as a problem. And now that he sees it.. it's something else he has to work on .. when he already has a lot on his plate. And he has also said some very harsh things to me, such as im trying to speed up his healing, his healing isn't good enough for me.. etc. My counselor said he was playing mind games with me (when he would tease me about other girls.. even though i know it was a joke.. but it caused so much anxiety in me.. especially since it happened after i found out about him talking sexually to other girls.. and other complicated issues)... she told me to bring it up with him. So i did. And he got angry at that too. He felt like, again, that i was controlling him. And trying to speed up his healing. That is not my intention... but if he does cross one of the few boundaries i set for our relationship (as in flirting with other girls and becoming attached to them.... even though its just online...)is that me trying to speed up his healing? All i ask of him is to acknowledge the problem, and maybe bring it up with his therapist.. so he could get help for it.. so we don't both hurt. I just want some kind of "help"... if someone could please shed light to the wrong i'm doing in order for him to feel that way..? Am i suppose to keep everything to myself, even if i feel cheated or hurt by an action? Sorry for the ranting.. and any kind of advice would be welcomed..

#345991 - 11/22/10 01:19 PM Re: I just don't know what i'm doing wrong... [Re: closerthenveins]
earlybird Offline

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 1007
Morning closer,

I was raped as an adult and have become friends with many CSA's and have learned a great deal from them. I'd like to give my two cents worth on the counselor. She may be great I'm not saying otherwise but there are many many different issues between an adult rape victim and a child rape/sexual abuse, especially how the victim internalizes the event. So if she is treating you as a partner of an adult rape victim she and you are missing the boat!

As to giving up "all" expectations I'm not sure that is healthy in any relationship nor is not sticking to your "needed" boundaries. Just my thoughts. Earlybird

Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

#346004 - 11/22/10 05:21 PM "Dating" a csa survivor TRIGGERS! [Re: closerthenveins]
Disappointed Offline

Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 541
Loc: U.S.A.

Edited by Disappointed (12/20/10 02:00 AM)

#346017 - 11/22/10 08:42 PM Re: "Dating" a csa survivor TRIGGERS! [Re: Disappointed]
Neverquit Offline

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 147
Loc: Ohio
Honestly, I don't see you as doing anything wrong. They are his issues that get triggered and I see him as not being yet strong enough to see the truth of his behavior. As I get stronger I am able to take more responsibility for my actions, but before I could do this I would project the "fault" onto other people.


Edited by Neverquit (11/22/10 08:43 PM)
There is always hope

#346027 - 11/22/10 10:55 PM Re: I just don't know what i'm doing wrong... [Re: closerthenveins]
closerthenveins Offline

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 8
Thank you everyone for your input it was greatly appreciated,
I understand it's not the same between a CSA survivor and adult rape survivor. Now i'm thinking of what to do. Because i go uni, and i'm seeing her through university i wonder if they will let me change her and find someone with experience. She is good at helping me with my personal issues, but is it okay if i can PM people on this page, especially survivors if i ever need answers or someone to second my counselor's opinions before i do what she tells me too? I really don't know where we stand anymore. He keeps saying things like, he doesn't feel happiness with me. He doesn't feel love or feel loved with me (no matter what i do). He has blocked his emotions and feelings so when i ask him what that means, he simply says 'how do i know when i can't feel.' He also said you and your online theories and bullshit and how they don't apply to everyone, cause he knows i read up on all this on different sites. My counselor called him immature and emotionally abusive and told me to tell him, and he was not happy by that, and because of that we haven't really been talking last couple of days. He tells me to stop acting so perfect, cause im not..?!! She's also said in the past (which my partner/friend said was untrue), that withdrawing is a choice. He says he has no control over it though...?
Well i just want to really support him and stand by him, but he is making it so difficult, and i'm getting the message he doesn't want me too. I just don't know what to do, he can't give me up yet he says all these things about me

#346094 - 11/24/10 01:24 AM Re: I just don't know what i'm doing wrong... [Re: closerthenveins]
hopeandtry Offline

Registered: 07/29/10
Posts: 476
I don't think it's wise of your counselor to tell you to tell him he is immature, abusive, etc. Labeling and "name calling" is never helpful, in my opinion. I agree with the others that you need to set boundaries and keep them. Don't let him treat you like a doormat. Yes, you can be compassionate and understanding while taking care of yourself. Withdrawing and making yourself less available may be a wise need to take care of you and let him take care of himself. Trust me, I gave up all (or most) of my boundaries before and it was NOT helpful.

#346102 - 11/24/10 02:51 AM Re: I just don't know what i'm doing wrong... [Re: closerthenveins]
SunnyGirl Offline

Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 79
I'm glad that you are open to the idea of questioning the advice and expertise of your T. Her job is to advise and counsel you, not to act as a referee by inserting herself into conversations between you and your partner. It's not clear to me how she thinks you telling him that your T thinks he's wrong for behaving the way he does will help the situation. By telling him that, do you see how he might have felt ganged up on and attacked? If so, that's not exactly what you want to cause a CSA survivor to feel. I would leave her out of your conversations with your partner. Feel free to talk to her about what you need to, but don't necessarily repeat those conversations to him because it could come off as judgmental. His recovery isn't about what's right or wrong in the eyes of your T. It's about what he's able to do on his own timetable. But, he still needs to be respectful of you and you need to set and keep boundaries with him to protect yourself.

When I initially started therapy, I was seeing a woman who claimed to have experience with rape victims. I don't know how much experience, but after some time, it became apparent it wasn't with male survivors. She'd tell me to do things that I knew would take control away from him and would not be well received. I began to question her judgment. I didn't do what she advised and finally, when I'd heard enough bad advice and had been pressured by her one too many times, I confronted her and found a different T that expressly had experience with trauma and PTSD.

Switching Ts has made a world of difference. My new T freely admits that he's not there to counsel anyone but me. He's told me it's not his job to counsel someone who isn't present in the room. But that also doesn't mean I'm not learning a ton from him about CSA. My eyes are wide open now to the fact that I'm a secondary survivor and I've been impacted, too -- keeping secrets from my friends and family, feeling alone and misunderstood. With his help, I'm now standing up for myself -- setting boundaries with my friends, family and even co-workers. My old T wasn't helping me do any of that.

Just remember that you go to therapy to help YOURSELF deal with the issues in your life, to learn to set goals and boundaries. If your T isn't helping you do that, it may be time for you to look for someone else to guide you. It's your life -- don't settle if you think she's doing a mediocre job and not addressing your needs.


"When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us." - H. Keller

"Change & growth take place when a person has risked himself & dares to become involved w/ experimenting w/ his own life." - H. Otto


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