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#36171 - 06/02/03 04:25 AM Worried about my partner (maybe a trigger)
Sick Puppy Offline

Registered: 03/30/03
Posts: 300
Loc: Nowhere Land
Not sure if this should go in Family and Friends?

Well... I am worried about him, and don't really know who to go to about it. My partner Dave is a survivor as well but he is very quiet about the abuse and rarely speaks about it.

For the most part he seems like a normal guy, but every now and then I will get a glimpse of something strange or wounded inside of him. I really wish that I could help him, but he won't let anyone in. I am worried that holding everything inside is going to hurt him in the long run.

He tends to get agitated and angry if I bring up the things he's told me about his past. I feel that he strongly dislikes it when people ackonowledge that he has emotions-- that he basically wants to be emotionless. He is not a cold person at all, he is very loving and fun to be with, but it seems that he has blocked himself from feeling sadness or pain. I don't think this can be healthy.

I am not sure how much of this to attritbute to the enivronment (excluding the abuse) that he grew up in. He was raised a strict Catholic and emotion that was seen as "weak" was frowned upon on the males in the family. I thought maybe this is the reason for his behavior...

I don't know. I always end up making my posts too long. What I am trying to say is that he seems normal and fairly untroubled, but because I know him very well I can see him in those momentary lapses where a bit of his shield goes down and I realize there's something damaged underneath.

Every once in a while he will slip up and tell me something strange that makes me worry about him. I remember that he told me in a fairly casual, off-hand way that he does not masturbate. I thought this was odd and asked him why. He said that he had been doing it once as a young teenager and his father had found him and beat the shit out of him for it. Since then he didn't want to do it anymore. I didn't think that was healthy but he didn't seem to realize there was anything strange about it.

It's just little things like that. Today I was listening to music with him and a song came on that was about a little girl who got molested. The chorus was talking about how she was told never to speak of the abuse. Dave was perfectly fine one moment and then the next he was crying as the chorus was on and I was trying to get him to tell me what was wrong. I'm sure it was something about his abuse, but he wouldn't talk to me and once he composed himself again he acted like it didn't happen.

I don't know that much about his abuse. It was by his (adoptive) father, and I think it started around five but I don't know how long it lasted. I also don't know if that was the only incident. His father was physically abusive as well. Dave said his father beat him into a coma once. He says his father is dead now but hasn't ever told me how he died and seems to shy away from the topic when it's brought up. I have a suspcision that his father is still alive somewhere.

I guess I just don't know where to go with this. Dave won't let me in and gets angry when I try to talk to him about it. He does so much for me in terms of support and patience, and I would like to do the same for him, but he won't let me help him. I think he's got this nearly airtight shield around him. It's a good disguise. You'd never know there was anything wrong with him... but I worry that he's hurting inside of all that, and I desperately want to comfort him, but I don't know how.

And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly
From the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see

Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

#36172 - 06/02/03 05:37 AM Re: Worried about my partner (maybe a trigger)
Marc Offline

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 256
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Ahhhh you and I josh,

Too much alike. Sometimes I wonder if we'll ever learn.

You...Dave; You Get the picture?

It is so much easier to deal with or want to deal with someone else's abuse... their issues. Better than dealing with our own. We cover it by saying that we want to help them and in many ways we really do! But we can't be responsible for their happiness. We can't place their recovery on our own. We can't expect them to be going along at the same pace or at the same place in our own recovery.

Dave will likely deal with it when he is ready to. You are showing that you love him in so many ways. Probably more important, you are showing him a path to walk. That's what is most important. You are showing him that you are you and that you love him so much that you want to share this too. Let him walk beside OR behind you. Either way he is still there with YOU Josh. His choice. You.

Nothing wrong with that... but give him his own space and his own time to deal with it. He may not recognize the level of harm that it has done. Eventually... it WILL come to him though. And you can be there for him every step of the way.

Just continue to let him know that you love him. That is most important. Sometimes, we are so afraid that we need to let others go first.

Hope I am not too much of an idiot in this post.



#36173 - 06/02/03 12:26 PM Re: Worried about my partner (maybe a trigger)
sonlite Offline

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 100
Loc: North Carolina
I can really feel how much love and care you have for your partner. I have also been in relationships where I know that the other has SOOO much emotion inside and who chooses to avoid experiencing and releasing that emotion.

Emotions can be horrifying to someone who has been programed to deny them. Please understand that your partner may have many, many fears of loosing control, (maybe of loosing you), of the huge weight and debilitating consequences which could come if the damn burst. When a person has been denying their emotions that long ... a major, major backlog of untapped horror, sadness, and RAGE is haunting them.

So, I would say that your partner needs your support and reassurance. It may be that you feel like less of a good partner bc he won't confide in you, but it may have nothing at all to do w you.

thats my two-cents worth


#36174 - 06/02/03 12:49 PM Re: Worried about my partner (maybe a trigger)
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada

I can feel your pain through your posts. But please dont beat yourself up over your perceived ability to help him.

Remember how hard it has been for you to open up at times, even here. Be patient with him.

He knows that you care fo him and that is all you can do until he decides it is the right moment or when his subconsious rises to the surface. Just be there for him my brother as he is for you.

You yourself know that it takes a lot of care and patience and huge trust to even let someone really close to you inside.

I think you are doing the right thing sp. Just make sure to be gentle with yourself too.



#36175 - 06/02/03 01:39 PM Re: Worried about my partner (maybe a trigger)
MrDon Offline

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
I sure understand a lot of what you are saying and hurting for a partner or person that you are very close to, is normal in some ways I think. Otherwise you wouldn't be human. The tricky part is trying to do it in a healthy way and that can be very tough.

You know people often say listening is sometimes the best thing or just being there for people. For me that is pretty much true because more often than not, I know what I have to do and sometimes all I need is just someone to be there. They don't have to do any more than that. Sometimes I just need them to help me hold the flash light as I walk down that dark path because I can't quite hold it by myself.

I'm know Jeff sometimes feels like he wishes he could do more (or I think he may feel that way) but what he does by just being there and listening is worth more than I could ever find words to explain. When my mom died, he went with me to the funeral and did a lot of things that were a big help to me. But most of all, if I needed to cry, he just let me cry while he held me.

Give Dave time and just be there for him like you are. I've got a feeling that this is one of the things that attracts him to you. Let him feel safe and let him see by the growth in your life as well as the struggles that healing is possible. That sometimes is much more powerful than many of us realize. In time he will deal with it, but it has to be in his own time. Forcing it to soon, could cause more pain than he is able to deal with.

But you both are very fortunate to have each other as there are just too many couples in this world that don't respect each other or truly care for each other.


In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!

#36176 - 06/03/03 03:45 AM Re: Worried about my partner (maybe a trigger)
ecb Offline

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 205

I know that this has been said by everyone who responded to this, but they are right in that you should give him time. By the way you describe you partner, he sounds a lot like I used to be (and to some extent still am.)

He is probably not ready to deal with his abuse right now and nothing you can say or do will convince him to deal with it until he is ready. I know that it is incredibly frustrating, but you have already done all that you can at this point. You have made it clear to him that you will be there for him whenever he is ready. Unfortunately, that is all that you can do until he does choose to talke to you.

All I can advise is to continue to be there for him, and don't focus on his healing at the expense of your own.

Hope that you have found this helpful.



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