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#371365 - 09/30/11 06:46 AM I can't believe I'm just Collateral Damage..
Anniemy4sons Offline

Registered: 09/29/11
Posts: 98
Loc: NJ
I think its been 3 weeks since the first nuke attack. That's what I call his first reveal. He told me in 3 stages. 1)Some of the infidelities and the CSA 2)The major infidelities (my sister&best friend) 3)All the anger and resentment directed towards me through the years (he did a big book 4th step on me)
I'm not sure which one hurt more. In each phase HE thought he was doing "the best he can". He killed a piece of me each time. The 22 years of lying. He started off with "I've never been faithful to you". The day after or every time I announced a pregnancy. Any major event in our lives. He acted out. Strip clubs or prostitutes. I asked him, "why didn't you just leave me alone?" Why drag me into this world if you didn't really love me (serve & protect). "I did love you. I do love you. I'm just really messed up. " He looks at our marriage in phases. Phases of awareness. Phases of love. I'm this object that he had to hold on to. He didn't want anyone else to have me. Years of sick jealousy. Sabotaged relationships. I see now my codependence. The more he didn't love himself, I tried to show him I loved him. I would dress down, not talk to people or gain attention. I stopped taking modeling jobs or going out. Cut down my friendships until there was no one. Boosting him up at all cost to myself. "Telling myself, I can take it, he can't." I always knew deep down he was insecure. He always made it clear "I can't believe someone who looks like you choose me?" That used to break my heart. I set about proving to him and anyone else who questioned or made comments to him. "Holy Crap!@ That's your wife??" How much I loved him and you should too! It's a crazy sick cycle. I realize now, I can't love him out of feeling unloveable. There is nothing I can do. My focus now is support without enabling. THAT IS SO HARD!! Because I don't trust my judgement anymore. I can't tell when he's manipulating me or not. When he's lying or not.
He said to me. I trusted you enough to tell you about the abuse. I've told you everything. I'm completely honest now. And then another bomb drops.
He did something even worse than an sex encounter with my sister. HE exposed my beautiful 18 year old son to his world of pornography/prostitution. My son Nick and I had a very close relationship. Of all my children, there was a special bond between us. My Husband later told me how jealous he was of the relationship. My H just told me what he did. Before taking my son to college they went on a golf trip together. My H took him to an all nude strip club where he paid someone to take MY CHILD into the "back room". He says he does not know what happened. I can only imagine. My H, this on the surface in public practicing praying Catholic. Man of faith. Did this to my son.
I'm still trying to let in sink in. I don't think HE even realizes the enormity of what he did. He repeated it in a detached manner to our therapist. He looks at the incident from his perspective like "I made a really bad decision". I could have gone right but decided to go left. Very detached. Like, "you're gonna be mad..."

The last few weeks have been all about him. How he feels. He's so different. I can see the difference in him after revealing the secret. I think he's lighter because he's finally able to unload the CSA. And the sex addiction (what he's calling it) is secondary. He's on this weird high. I can't explain it.

All I know is my world was nuked. Everything looks different. Colors look different to me. He looks different to me. The grocery store even looks unfamiliar to me. I haven't accomplished anything in weeks.

At first his goal was, "I can't loose her"! peppered with "I need to heal" "I need..." "I need..." All the while inside I'm screaming "What about me?" I can't even vent to the only friend I had left (my sister) because she died last year. Up and died on me.! But now I find out. She's a liar and betrayer too.

This fallout from CSA is deeper, wider, more destructive than I ever thought. Is ALL of this CSA FALLOUT??? seriously?? is that possible?? mad OR is he just a cheating scum bag with a personality disorder.

Weeding through the lies is difficult. I don't know if I should believe what he says anymore. I let him talk as much as he wants. Sometimes he talks for 4-5 hours. He has told me more about himself in the last 3 weeks than in 22 years.

When he talks about the CSA, often, too often he reminds me of the following:
1) His abuser was ONLY a kid himself, 12 or 13 (my H 9 when it started)
2) He found pleasure in most of it. (never identifies what was not pleasurable)
3) He had to GO to the abuser NOT the other way
What is he trying to tell me. Why does he keep bringing that up?
I'm the one who calls it abuse. I'm the one who calls it exploitation. The grooming etc.
Because we have 5 children (4 of them boys) I have always been vigilante in being watchful and educated about CSA. One of his childhood friends was "overly" interested in my boys when they were young. He would bring them treats and spent WAY too much time and interest in them. My Mama antenna went on full alert. Something didn't feel right about this guy. My husband ALWAYS dismissed me and my feelings but I never let it go. I kept a watchful eye but my H did not. The angrier and more watchful I got, the less my H paid attention. Did he know deep down what this guy was? My boys are now older. The three older ones with SO MANY ISSUES (addiction, anger etc) My mama instinct is telling me something I don't want to ask. So afraid to ask. I've told my H, something happened to them. I'm not paranoid. He never comments beyond "You think so?" It's like he doesn't care or doesn't believe me. Is that possible? Given his CSA. Is that possible?
Someone please tell me what to do. What should I do about my kids? My husband. I refuse to believe we are JUST Collateral Damage. Oh well, you're just Collateral Damage. This has little to do with you...

How do I talk to my kids? How do I get my Husband to tell me the TRUTH? Is there a truth to find out? Am I paranoid? Am I crazy?

Edited by Anniemy4sons (09/30/11 06:58 AM)
God is my teacher, Jesus my comfort and the Holy Spirit my protector.
I AM Listening...

Thank you Mother Mary.
Pray the Rosary every day.


#371378 - 09/30/11 08:49 AM Re: I can't believe I'm just Collateral Damage.. [Re: Anniemy4sons]
whome Offline

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1743
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
He brings it up because he feels like it was his fault, like he was complicit in the abuse.
He fears his sexuality, and probably thinks he has gay tendencies.
He is putting on a macho front but is very afraid.
He blames himself.

He is trying to justify (falsely) what happened.

There s huge confusion, going on in his mind.

He needs space to think and you need space to think

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#371380 - 09/30/11 09:18 AM Re: I can't believe I'm just Collateral Damage.. [Re: Anniemy4sons]
Gretta Offline

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 240
Dear Annie,
You are dealing with ALOT in a little bit of time, anyone would feel the way you do! I remember when our therapist told me he was a sex addict. I thought, isn't that a great excuse? No he just wanted what he wanted with no regard for me and our family. It took me awhile to accept that diagnosis. I believe he is a sex addict.

Please try and take care of yourself. This is a huge burden to carry. You definitely should have your own therapist. I know how hard it is to try and keep your life going when everything is falling apart. Especially with a little one.

CSA is this destructive.
Prayers to you.

#371394 - 09/30/11 03:43 PM Re: I can't believe I'm just Collateral Damage.. [Re: Gretta]
kb8715 Offline

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 811
The man needs help whatever the cause. You are not crazy that's some bad stuff.

We all deal differently. I'm married 21 years and faithful as a puppy. No disrespect to your husband but no way I'd have taken our son to a strip joint. Hell he would have dragged me for help at the suggestion.

I have my monsters demons and fears but my abuse at 10 is no pass to be stupid. Don't work that way.

So sorry for your hurt and his to.

Good luck.

"You can get far in life by pushing except through a door marked PULL...." Profile quote in my son's senior year HS Yearbook.

#371420 - 10/01/11 12:54 AM . [Re: kb8715]
lady123 Offline

Registered: 09/14/11
Posts: 28

#371433 - 10/01/11 08:38 AM Re: I can't believe I'm just Collateral Damage.. [Re: lady123]
Anniemy4sons Offline

Registered: 09/29/11
Posts: 98
Loc: NJ
Thank you. I needed to confirm with another human being how heinous his behavior has been. I have no one to talk to. I talk to my therapist 1 time a week. So basically I've had 3 sessions to talk about this and its all about him. The marriage counseling sessions are all about him. He blames ALL of his behavior on CSA and Sexual Addiction. His ultimate goal is to get back into the house. I asked him to leave NOT because of the CSA but the betrayals.
I'm clearly codependent, that I would feel pain and anger for his treatment of my child but just hurt for mine. I got so angry the other day I tipped over the edge. I broke a couple of windows in one of his work vehicles and exploded with anger. Told him to stop F*ing with me. Don't mess with me because I'm finally mad. Really mad. I haven't been mad in over 20 years.
I got a good nights sleep and the first thing that came to mind is this:
He has been using my relationship with the Church and Jesus as reasoning for coming back home. He says he "CAN'T" do this alone. HE NEEDS ME to heal. "you said you loved me and would not leave in times of trouble...." seriously. I'm getting pissed.
There are other CSA Survivors who did not and DO NOT do the things he has done. Why does everything have to come back to CSA. HE CHOSE THE BEHAVIOR. He chose to take my child into his dirty world. NO ONE ELSE, in my opinion. And what I've told my H is that he victimized our child. He had a choice when my son asked to go there. He could have acted like a normal father. He said he knew it was wrong. but did it anyway. Like so many other times.
Every time I ask for space he can't give it. He does not respect my boundaries. HE's been LIVING with this for 33 years. I've had 3 weeks.
I love him, I'm a practicing catholic, I believe in our marriage vows. BUT I won't be his doormat. He said I broke our vows when I asked him to leave. I broke my vows "in sickness and health". He said he broke them because he is sick. "What's my excuse". Manipulation.
His behavior is no better than the person that exploited him. Staying at my house until 2 or 3 in the morning. Not letting me sleeping but telling me you need sleep. Talking talking talking. He wants back in. HE can't work on his recovery unless he's here. He's obsessed with losing our family. My daughter is acting out. My son left his treatment center. He is leaving bodies in his wake. I need peace. I NEED TO TAKE CONTROL OF MY SPIRALING OUT OF CONTROL LIFE. He can't lead a family in trouble if he is in trouble. His sick, dishonest, manipulative behavior got us here. I enabled it by making excuses for him. ENOUGH.
Thank you everyone. Your support is the kick in the pants I will need every now and then to refocus my attention on what I can control. ME. What I can protect ME and my CHILDREN.
He is a confused mass of contradictions. He needs to learn how to be honest again. He needs to learn to love himself BEFORE he will ever love us properly. Sex is not love. Control is not love.

Love means to serve and protect.

For right now, I need to go back to my initial instincts.


God is my teacher, Jesus my comfort and the Holy Spirit my protector.
I AM Listening...

Thank you Mother Mary.
Pray the Rosary every day.


#371439 - 10/01/11 01:31 PM Re: I can't believe I'm just Collateral Damage.. [Re: Anniemy4sons]
virginiaguy Offline

Registered: 09/17/11
Posts: 25
I think that your first responsibility is to keep your children safe and keep yourself sane and healthy. Once you have done those things, if you can help your husband with his journey, that is wonderful. If you are not going to be able to do that, that is alright. You CANNOT sacrifice your children's well being to his demons and you DO NOT have to sacrifice your well being to his demons in order to be a decent human being. CSA can have terrible long-term effects, but people react differently and not all victims act out in the way that your husband acts out. On the other hand, most normal heterosexual men do not act in the way that your husband has acted out. That kind of hyper-sexuality has to have a cause, and trying to deal with the insecurities and pain of CSA is as good an explanation as any. That means that your husband needs help and compassion. On the other hand, letting him manipulate you or endanger your childrens' well being does not help him and is not compassionate.

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Tim. 1:17

#371442 - 10/01/11 02:05 PM Re: I can't believe I'm just Collateral Damage.. [Re: virginiaguy]
GoodHope Offline

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 428
Annie, I am angry, heartbroken, confused and horrified with/for you. People use/misuse our love and reverence for Christ against us. Our guard against that is to know what the bible says. Telling him he has to leave under these circumstances is not a violation of your vows. It's asking for time and space to process the unimaginable. God loves you! He will get you through. He entrusted children to your care. They have been hurt. It would be insane not to insure their well being before proceeding. Stay strong. I'm praying for you. There are other believers on this board who will do the same.

Edited by eldee (10/01/11 02:33 PM)
Wife of a survivor

#371444 - 10/01/11 02:30 PM Re: I can't believe I'm just Collateral Damage.. [Re: Anniemy4sons]
WalkingSouth Offline

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16270
Loc: Waldport, Oregon

Let's see.... several things here in no particular order.

First of all you deserve to be treated with respect. His behavior in acting out is not filling your basic needs as a human, a wife, and a mother. You must decide where to draw the line and then hold that line even if it means he's out of your home and your life. Tough love. He'll never choose recovery if you provide him an easy path. He'll have no reason to.

Secondly, his acting out with other women, perhaps men, etc. IS an outgrowth of his childhood experiences. He's anesthetizing a deep and constant pain in his life using sex as his drug of choice. I hate it that he involved your son in his world of pain. Tho not illegal it was sooooo wrong of him to do so. Sooo messed up. Still, it's part of his drug.

Thirdly, Any recovery work he engages in will have to be his choice. He cannot be forced or coerced by anyone into making that decision. The only thing anyone outside his skin can do is provide him the vehicle. It's up to him to get in and drive it. If he doesn't he forfeits his relationships. End of story!

Fourth, Relationship is a two way street. You have your own dysfunctions that have in part contributed to the mix. We don't make the choices that we make in our friends, companions, lovers, etc. in a vacuum. There are reasons why we're attracted to the personalities that we are. My advise would be to seek counseling for yourself. Find out what it is that attracted you to a guy who would live this kind of secret life behind your back. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming you. Not at all, so don't take on that blame. As I said, our choices are not made in a vacuum and it would be good for you to learn about yourself and why you make the choices you do. A good family therapist can assist you in that endeavor.

Sounds to me like you're making good decisions here. Keep it up. You deserve better than what you've been getting. And who knows? He may well make the right choices. He may do the right thing for him. If he does you're lives will be better than you could ever imagine.

"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

#371450 - 10/01/11 05:29 PM Re: I can't believe I'm just Collateral Damage.. [Re: Anniemy4sons]
jls Offline

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
As a survivor and as someone who’s in recovery from alcoholism I can totally relate to a lot of what you said in your post about your husband. On that note try and remember that not only are you living with a survivor but also with someone who’s immersed in addictive behaviour. Like with any addiction, the addicted person will do whatever is in their power to make their behaviour someone else’s problem and to manipulate to get what they want through lies and secrecy and making promises that they have no intention of keeping.

I did such things in my last relationship, not lying or manipulating about sex since I always remained faithful in that regard but to do with my drinking I made constant promises to my partner that I would change which I had no intentions of keeping. Like with your husband it was all about getting what I wanted with little to no concern for her feelings. I didn’t blame it on my CSA since I never shared that part of my past with her (I wasn't ready to admit the abuse to myself back then) but I would say whatever I thought she needed to hear to get her off my back so I could continue to drink without interference. After a number of years of this she eventually up and left me, which to be honest is the best thing she could have done for both of us. I needed to come to my own decision to get sober and this came following her handing responsibility for my life back to me, albeit in a painful way. Thankfully we remain good friends, and despite my story I truly hope that your relationship with your husband can be mended. That said, I feel you are doing the right thing by maintaining some distance. You certainly need it, and while he may not realize it he does too. Good luck to you.

Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

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