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#389050 - 03/12/12 05:27 PM Husband destroyed his pictures last night
penelope_c Offline

Registered: 03/12/12
Posts: 4
Hello, I am so glad you are all here. I've been married 14 years. Two weeks ago, my husband started telling me about his abuse that occurred between ages 8-16. He is now 45. I am the first person he's ever told. Last week he told the therapist we've been seeing a bit of information, but nothing like what he's told me.

Over the last 2 weeks he has started revealing more and more details, just one horrific thing after another. I listen and just try to support him, not push for details or anything like that. Those come out on their own I've found. I've been nauseous for 4 straight days.
Last night he stayed up all night, and from the browser history I see that he watched or read the Oprah 2 part episode from 2010. He told me that he spent time destroying all his personal pictures from those ages last night as well.

I was wondering if this is common, and if I should try to save any as he might want them down the road. I could scan them to a folder that he wouldn't have to see.

I don't know what to do and I'm worried he's going to do more destructive things. He goes to the therapist again tomorrow.
Thanks for listening.

#389051 - 03/12/12 06:23 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: penelope_c]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 2614
Loc: Central PA
I know for me, there came a point where I asked my mother for any and all pictures for me from my childhood. It was hard looking through them and sadly.... the ages I wanted the most were the years where there were really no pictures. My sister died when I was young and my parents really withdrew into themselves, so the years I wanted the most they really didn't take any.

I consider the pictures I have important to me now, although there was a time where I couldn't look at pictures of me as a child, as I literally hated who I saw in them.

I think he may eventually come to regret destroying them, but that's just my opinion.

#389053 - 03/12/12 06:26 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: penelope_c]
peroperic2009 Offline

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3846
Loc: South-East Europe
Hi Penelope,
welcome to Male Survivor. It is shame that you have to be here, obliviously there is reason for that frown . Nevertheless at least here you can find many good advices and supportive people who have can help you with some warm words.
Please consider bringing your husband here also, in all virtual world this is the best place for us survivors and he could benefit hugely from presence at this site.
I presume that many survivors are sometimes destructive to themselves. That act of burning own pictures is certainly destructive action toward his past and himself. I'm not sure should you keep those pictures, please be aware that many different things are going at the moment at your husband's head.
Try to keep his trust, that is very important. As he has reveled you, it is obviously that you are very important person for him, that means a lot to him. Try to keep that trust at every cost. Try not to be too sneaky, that could destroy your mutual trust easily.
He must be going mentally trough abuse and bad experience again and that could explain his destructive force at the moment. That is a little bit wild situation and some time is needed for him to regain his inner peace. You should look for yourself too. It could be that some difficult time is in front of you. Be prepared, work on yourself. You could find and get to know some things that you could not be able to understand. It could be something scary, repulsive and etc. Because of that you have to watch on yourself in first place, many women were trying to take some leading role in path to recovery/healing of their husbands and get lost along the way under huge burden and many unsuspected difficulties.
You have to know that there would be situations where he will have to be left alone, respect his boundaries in those moments, some force sometimes could be contra-productive.
I' m sure that some more experienced people would give you some answers and advices.
Be Well,

My story

#389054 - 03/12/12 06:36 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: penelope_c]
1islandboy Offline

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 906
Loc: washington
I am not therapist...

But uh...mine actually came in useful in order to get in touch with (and heal) my inner child...

Destroying pictures, to me is like trying to forget or abandoning ones little self.

I also believe this type of denial is a great avenue in which one can accept the shame that this is ultimately the childs fault...

"The Problem Is"...the child doesn't own one ounce of shame...(I had to cross that bridge quite a few times in order to believe it myself)...

Trying to unring a me...seems about as futile as trying to change the wind.

Perhaps you could suggest that he bring this topic up to his T...(for a second opinion)...before he goes any further...

Fight the good fight (Triumph)


Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

#389067 - 03/12/12 09:23 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: 1islandboy]
Esposa Offline

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 811
Loc: NJ
I collected pictures from his family for years and years and he never wanted to see them until recently. Scan them to a disk and save it for "someday" - I agree that it is a link to that child and he will need to access it someday.

#389068 - 03/12/12 09:24 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: penelope_c]
Gretta Offline

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 240
Dear Penelope,
My husband didn't do that but I can tell you that he did many things during this time that were uncharacteristic and unpredictable. I remember each memory seemed to be worse than the last. He still has memories but he has the tools to deal with them (at least I think). So his actions are so less scary.

It's huge that he trusts you and I know for me personally this was a time when I felt powerless to protect him from the pain. He was physically and mentally in pain.

Good luck and my husband is much better now. THat is ultimately what I wanted to tell you.

#389085 - 03/12/12 11:29 PM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: Gretta]
penelope_c Offline

Registered: 03/12/12
Posts: 4
Thank you so much for everyone's replies. He left two pictures out by the computer and didn't destroy those for whatever reason. I scanned them to my computer and put them in an electronic folder in case he ever regrets what he did. I put the original pictures right back where they were, and will not interfere with whatever he wants to do with them - taking Pero's advice. His trust in me is the most important thing right now. I don't want to lose that.

It is a very scary time. When the time is right and he brings things up again, I will gently suggest this forum as a resource.
Thanks again everyone...

Edited by penelope_c (03/12/12 11:30 PM)

#389087 - 03/13/12 12:05 AM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: penelope_c]
Jim1104 Offline

Registered: 03/17/11
Posts: 410
Loc: Louisiana, USA
I have been unable to reply, but I do think you did right. The pictures can be of great value in the future


#389089 - 03/13/12 12:21 AM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: Jim1104]
Canuck Offline

Registered: 05/26/10
Posts: 57
Loc: CA, United States
I don't like looking at photos of me that were taken when I was in the age range that the abuse took place. I look at them, and I see only pain.

My parents still have all of the photos from when I was a child, as long as I don't have to see them, I'm fine with them there. I suppose one day, I may have to deal with them. Perhaps my son will someday want to see them. My wife can deal with that, I suppose.

I don't ever want to see them again.

I don't know if that helps at all. If you manage to save some, just make sure that he knows he won't ever have to look at them again if he doesn't want to, that may be good enough.

#389104 - 03/13/12 01:29 AM Re: Husband destroyed his pictures last night [Re: penelope_c]
Geeders Offline

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 1901
Loc: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Hi Penelope:

With your husband having watched the Oprah show(s) (There were two episodes) he would have seen us holding pictures of ourselves at the age we were abused. (There were several of us from here on the shows).It was hard for other people to watch us hold those pictures. It also was difficult for many of us to look at them. We felt the same way your husband is feeling right now. But in time, I think he may come 'round and realize that the boy in those pictures was in no way responsible for the abuse. We looked at those pictures, and were instantly reminded of the pain the abusers caused us. No one likes to be reminded of pain. Survivors included. But as others have already pointed out, the boys in those photos helped us survive to the point when, as adults, we could actually do something for ourselves, and for our healing. Smart kids in those photos, but who knew at the time? I sure as hell didn't.

Now, at 55, I am still learning about that kid in the photo. That kid, who at 13 thought he was all grown up and knew everything, and could handle anything, including abuse. It took me 38 years to actually hear that kid say "Its your time now. Go tell someone!" And I did. It wasn't fun. It wasn't pretty, but it was the truth. The first time I could be the real me and say what was done to me.

Your hubby is rightfully angry at what this has cost him. He has a right to be angry about it. Trashing the photos, while perhaps regretting it later on, its just part of how he is saying he is feeling. He's spent a lifetime not wanting to go through this. He's gone over, and under it, and around it every which way. Now though, he is going through it. And you are doing a great job of supporting as he does this piece of the work. Good for you! Well done.

If he's interested in asking us about the show, he's more then welcome to do so. We'd be honoured to have him join us.

All the best, to both of you.


My name is Jim
WoR Mysthaven 2008, Level 2 WoR Alta 2009, Kirkridge 2010, 2011, Oprah 200 men

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