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#377085 - 11/28/11 02:31 AM Just Found Out
stripeysocks Offline

Registered: 11/28/11
Posts: 43
Loc: US

My husband and I have been married for 5 years. We are both survivors of physical and mental child abuse done by our mothers. However, I did not know and just found out early Sunday morning that my husband was sexually abused by a man when he was a child. I don't know any details yet and I def. wouldn't post them to avoid being triggering if I did.

Anyhow his mom knew and abused him more for it, punishing him and making him feel more shameful. I am so angry with her and full of hate towards her. The things she's done to him are so horrifying. I'm the second person he's told in his life and he feared I wouldn't believe him. I was actually relieved that he trusted me, as I knew something was going wrong and him confiding in me has restored our trust in each other.

You see a few months ago he started changing and becoming withdrawn and angry. This is very unlike him. He's a very gentle and loving man normally. He's had flashes of anger from time to time but when those things happened it seemed connected to problems with his mom.

Anyhow he started changing a few months ago after a male friend of ours confided in us that he had been sexually abused as a kid. I never connected it or suspected it since my husband and I had been open about our abusive histories. We are very close. The self-destructive things he has done are the same as the things that I have done, drinking excessively in the past. We both have anxiety around other people among other issues. He's taking a med for anxiety.

Well since the horrible Penn State stuff came out he started changing even more. The Penn state thing really upset as I witnessed a rape when I was in college and reported it. Again I did not connect this stuff as at the same time he's had more pressures at work and been very tired. However, we started getting into fights for no reason and he was telling me I didn't let him explain himself among other things that didn't make sense. Nothing he was saying or reacting to with me seemed to be based in what I was actually doing. I kept asking him what was really going on because at this point I knew there was something else.

At Thanksgiving we went to his parent's house briefly and he became very upset when his mom patted his back. We left. Then we got home and were fighting off and on all weekend. Finally this morning he told me. He said he had wanted to tell me for a long time but was too scared.

He's so broken and hurt and I love him so much. I feel like him telling me has really restored our relationship, but I don't know where to go from here.

First, I was already mad at his mom for what she's done. She's an alcoholic and at one point we stopped going there because she got incredibly drunk and attacked him physically in front of me. However now? I don't want to ever talk to her or see her again. I feel angry. I'm not sure how to proceed on that front and I would appreciate advice.

Thanks for listening.

Edited by stripeysocks (11/28/11 07:24 AM)
Edit Reason: shorten title

#377089 - 11/28/11 05:48 AM Re: Just Found Out & My own Child Abuse [Re: stripeysocks]
kolisha54 Offline

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
One of the things I have learned along the way.... No matter how simplistic it seems to connect the triggers with the Survivor's behavior.... It usually DOES have a direct relationship AND the person who is suffering almost never sees it until it is pointed out. But we MUST MUST MUST be gentle and make sure we are on the same side! Sometimes, being too direct can re-trigger and although it might satisfy our own needs to be heard, the success is only temporary. In the long run, the best thing to do is disengage and provide a loving supportive "background" where the Survivor can feel calm and relaxed as possible.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

#377092 - 11/28/11 07:16 AM Re: Just Found Out & My own Child Abuse [Re: kolisha54]
Gretta Offline

Registered: 09/17/11
Posts: 240
Dear Stripeysocks,
I am sorry it sounds like you and your husband have alot on your plate. This has been a great place for me and I hope you find help and comfort here too. I have had the pleasure of talking to women who are going through almost the exact same thing I am. They have given me perspective and even made me laugh. The survivors have also shared their experiences and help me better understand my husband and his behavior.

My best advice is one day at a time. If you try to take it one day at a time it doesn't seem too overwhelming.


#377093 - 11/28/11 07:23 AM Re: Just Found Out & My own Child Abuse [Re: kolisha54]
stripeysocks Offline

Registered: 11/28/11
Posts: 43
Loc: US
Thank you so much for your response. I absolutely understand what you are saying as I went through therapy after I went through violent trauma in college and have experienced being triggered. Honestly I don't feel like I have anything that needs to be heard because we have dealt with my issues as a couple and are mostly aware of what bothers me due to the violence I've been through. I've done a lot of therapy, research, etc on my own problems. So now we are trying to go forward together to start healing him and really make something for our lives.

I guess when I mention my own abuse I just mean to contextualize that I am very aware of what the world is really like unfortunately.

I'm not sure if I was clear in what I wrote. We are not fighting and will not be fighting ever over his abuse. He was lashing out due to being triggered and unable to tell me what was really wrong. I sensed it and asked him several times what was really going on. As soon as he confided in me the problems instantly disappeared because they weren't actually problems; they were him wanting to tell me and not being able to. Now that I know we both feel immensely better and hopeful. We spent all of yesterday cuddling and watching movies and playing video games. He really is a very amazing and loving person.

Right now my main concern is that I don't want to see his family again and I need to figure out a way to cope with the anger and disgust I feel at his mom. She and I get along actually because I already use the same style of boundaries with her that I do with my mom.

I don't want to bring this up with my husband as he's been going through his own process of disengaging from his family and slowly cutting them out of his life (starting with us moving 200 miles away). We see them a few times a year, but with Christmas I know we'll need to visit his niece and nephew who live in the same town and we'll see her. He doesn't want to see her either which I've been supportive of, but his entire family will text and call him and guilt him and make him feel bad for not visiting them.

So I will remain in the background for him on this family issue, but I still need to find a way to deal with this anger I have towards her on my own and I'm hoping someone might have some suggestions or support.

I just love my husband with my whole heart. I want to do whatever will help him.

#377094 - 11/28/11 07:25 AM Re: Just Found Out [Re: Gretta]
stripeysocks Offline

Registered: 11/28/11
Posts: 43
Loc: US
Thanks Gretta. I'm at day two at this point and have been awake all night. I do hope that I can be there for others too and I'm glad you have found help here from other women. I think that's really important.

#377096 - 11/28/11 08:17 AM Re: Just Found Out [Re: stripeysocks]
Mountainous Buck Offline

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Minnesota
You've both already done a LOT-

Breaking the silence and finding support are the foundations of building a better life-honesty with those we love and a willingness to face the abuse and all its Consequences moving forward from this point on.

If you both pursue this path and recovery, you will become more literate and understanding of the language of abuse-driven PTSD.

It is a journey- as the secrecy ends, there will be despair, anger, sadness and ache. Those are tied to the past -unexpressed and unprocessed stuff that needs to come out. The trick is to avoid making decisions today that you regret -those actions/mistakes tie us to the past and te abuse more freshly and that really hurts.

Edited by Mountainous Buck (11/28/11 08:24 AM)
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

�It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

#377100 - 11/28/11 08:55 AM Re: Just Found Out [Re: Mountainous Buck]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
Thank you for standing by him. Thank you!!!

I wish I could say more about that, but I can't right now.

#377235 - 11/29/11 12:48 AM Re: Just Found Out [Re: Still]
stripeysocks Offline

Registered: 11/28/11
Posts: 43
Loc: US
Thank you. I appreciate it.

#377342 - 11/29/11 06:59 PM Re: Just Found Out [Re: stripeysocks]
Shawushka Offline

Registered: 01/05/11
Posts: 128
Loc: VA
Unfortunately I can't give you advise but still wanted to respond to let you know you're not alone in this. Hold on and don't give up!


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