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#354843 - 02/25/11 02:59 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: worldscentre]
TwoStep Offline

Registered: 01/03/11
Posts: 31
worldscentre, I have had the same thought -- you are the only other one I've seen express it. I almost feel guilty for having it. Any survivor response to
that --?

Of course I want the best recovery for my BF -- but duh I am not so selfless that I wouldn't be miserable if I invest years into a relationship only to be replaced by someone isn't, as worldscentre put it, a reminder of tougher times. Then again, I guess that is a chance you take with any relationship (having walked on a 20 year marriage myself, maybe I answered my own question).

#354844 - 02/25/11 03:02 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: TwoStep]
michael Joseph Offline

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
only thing you can do is love and support him

that is it

that is what would help

Love and Support

It is hard for everyone

Standing together is so much better than hiding in the dark.
***I am a three time WoR Retreat Alumni***
The Round Table, Men's CSA Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat

#354852 - 02/25/11 03:33 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: michael Joseph]
Disappointed Offline

Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 541
Loc: U.S.A.
What kind of humor? About his quandry??

Please elaborate!


#354854 - 02/25/11 04:09 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: Hopefulone]
aloved1 Offline

Registered: 02/22/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Texas
Dewey, you have a very good point with your posting! We do go through the detachment, running, lack of intimacy, etc...and when we sense the weight is bearing too great, it's almost as if it's a "cue" to pop in a comedy. Now, it can't be when he's dead smack in his mood, but when he's more talkative and responsive, I've noticed it's what we do, perhaps to bring back some lightheartedness. And it's always good to hear his hearty laugh once again. No, it's not a problem solver, but it's a good 2 hours of taking the focus elsewhere.

#354862 - 02/25/11 04:48 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: aloved1]
Avery46 Offline

Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 1243
Loc: USA
Lightedheartedness and levity as a survivor is what I need from others including a special someone else.

I can go to extreme seriousness in a split second BUT, can be jovial if inspired.

I am single and finally at a point to "date".

Laying with a special someone and having fun is what life it about right.

Smiles to all,

aka DJsport

#354930 - 02/26/11 03:19 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: Avery46]
worldscentre Offline

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Ireland
It means so much for someone else to acknowledge what I'm feeling. I don't mean to seem selfish, but all the time, worry, understanding and even humour I've given is for a goal. That being helping him to heal and for us to be happy, and is it wrong to have that goal? Yes I want him to be the man he yearns to be but is it wrong to also want him to be with me?
I'll never understand what he went through or is going through now, nor will I have the right words. All I can do is understand as best I can. Don't misunderstand me, I want him to find a safe place, a happy place but a little selfish maybe, I want to be there with him.

#354933 - 02/26/11 03:39 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: Avery46]
sally123 Offline

Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Thank you everyone for your advice and validation. As I am sure you understand that it means a lot. I had a hard therapy session with my therapist where she asked if maybe we should take some time apart... that thought makes me so sad. I guess I have to learn to be grounded and feel safe no matter what he does, and really get that what he does isn't personal. I'm just not sure I can do it. My heart hurts. Perhaps in my head I put too much pressure on the relationship..I'm sure that I do... clock ticking...tick tock... I guess everyone comes to these cross roads... Dewey, we do laugh. I laugh with him like no one else, i love him like no other. Guess I'm gonna keep workin on me, cause I sure can't work on him! smile

#354956 - 02/26/11 05:23 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: sally123]
Dewey Offline

Registered: 11/13/02
Posts: 140
Loc: the sunshine state
Laughing or joking about someone elses pain? Gotta give that one a "no". Is it possible? I sat with a man during dinner at The Oprah Show that was very verbal and forthright about making light of his sordid past. This was not someone in denial either. He has come to a place of peace regarding some of it,and he might be crying his eyes out tomorrow, who knows? What I'm thinking goes more like this; while driving in the neighborhood that he was abused in, he suddenly becomes angry, scared or almost catatonic and detached. Somehow you realize what is going on, either because it's happened before or you ask him and he is able to communicate to you that he is hurting. So at this point, because you have his best interest at heart and he knows it and trusts you or really wants to, you could say something like "Pull over, let me drive honey, I want you to sit all safe and comfy in the car-seat. I'll take care of you. But remember, tonight, there's something I might need you to take care of for me. That is, if'n you want to, big boy"! Or perhaps he's been in a funk for a couple days and you are both frustrated actually. From the other room, you start speaking very loudly, talking to the ceiling." I am such a wonderful person, certainly without flaw, and I'm left to deal with these pesky little human children who simply must think I'm some type of vending machine. And is that a spider I see? And where are those servants anyway? I have a corn on my toe that I need filed. And how in the world am I going to continue driving a car that is already two years old"? At this point you peek your head into the room that you know he is in and say "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know you were here, you didn't hear me complaining again did you"? Yes I know this might sound like it borders on weird but hey, do what fits you and what works for you. Offer to give him a back rub and give slight tickle first instead. Hoping the best for all of us!

I refuse to use my past as an excuse to not have a future.
My hero Dad; Trigger warning-

#354962 - 02/26/11 08:00 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: Dewey]
LandOfShadow Offline

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 684
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Survivor answer here...

Safety is a key issue here. You might have a hard time understanding what I mean, but think about a young child who's terrified but has no way out. Simply put, we're kind of like that until we get help, and mostly, it's not at all easy to get help. 10, 20, 30 years alone doesn't make it better or go away. Patterns in place for years and decades get very automatic and hard to undo. But, certainly can be undone, no question.

My gf and I had this going on for quite a while. Something would look like the past, I'd get terrified and since I couldn't get away or do anything about it as a child, I certainly don't talk about it because that used to make it much, much worse back then. Keep the secret. So I kind of make it go away, yet it controls me. I play along being close, nothing-wrong-here, while I'm far, far away in a galaxy to myself. She'd ask about it, and I just felt "found out", caught, more unsafe. It changed when I could start to recognize my feelings and not make them "go away", face the terrifying past I'm reminded of and recognize the present is a **reminder**, not the past happening again. (PTSD flashbacky stuff, past=present). Then talk to her a little, if only to say, I'm triggered and need time apart for a while. Gradually say more. I'm happy to say we talk about all kinds of details and stuff for hours if she wants. No secrets about anything. Ever. Took a year or two.

Like Hopefulone says, it's a survival body reaction that's quite powerful and unconscious. Like, "fear of death" stuff. Weird stuff. Remember it's a child's coping skills here in essence. For him, I guess the thought of this therapy session and talking about "it", was enough to trip a major survival response. Once you're in that, it's kind of pea soup trying to understand or think or do anything except react out of terror. The reaction might well be quite hidden, covert instead of active, loud, and visible. Remember a child won't try to fight a much stronger, bigger adult. He knows that's pointless so he finds another way to cope.

My gf was SO, SO helpful because she didn't react much. (which would be alarming). She'd just quietly say how she felt and offer to listen (not demand answers) when I was ready. Very safe. Made it much easy to do that. And gradually I learned doing that (talking) actually helped calm both of us down.

Perhaps start small just trying to communicate that "something is up" and stop there. Make that goal together. Don't push for more. Too much. Maintain just that much contact through those times. Then grow from there into what is up exactly.

As I've posted elsewhere, I recommend male survivors talk to other survivors, not just friends and partners. Works much better.

Et par le pouvoir d’un mot Je recommence ma vie, Je suis né pour te connaître, Pour te nommer

And by the power of a single word I can begin my life again, I was born to know you, to name you

Paul Eluard

#354979 - 02/27/11 02:40 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: LandOfShadow]
Dewey Offline

Registered: 11/13/02
Posts: 140
Loc: the sunshine state
LandofShadow, that is absolutely incredible stuff and very well put.

I refuse to use my past as an excuse to not have a future.
My hero Dad; Trigger warning-

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