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#409473 - 09/08/12 07:59 AM Thoughts that keep me up at night
CdnDW Offline

Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
I have some things banging around in my head that I need to get out. I know some of these will be resolved when I get back into therapy, but right now, they are going round and round in my head and almost obsessively. Some are self-centered, some are coming from a place of self-pity. Please don't judge me... I just need a place to vent without censor.

1. Will I be able to accept that my H will never be free from his abuse. I believe the words.of survivors here that recovery will bring vast improvments, but there may be some fundamental things that are now hard wired into my H's personality that might never change. I can accept these things for myself, but for our children, this is much, much harder. They are more important to me than anything or anyone else by billions of miles. Will he ever be able to be the kind of father that is connected and responsive to their emotions? Not the big explosive emotions that he can't ignore, but the subtle changes that tell me when they are struggling with school, feeling lonely or hesitant about something. Will he ever be nurturing? Will he ever be able to listen to his instinct about their emotional well being ? And more importantly, if the answer is no, will I be able to accept this when I believe they deserve that in a father? Will he ever become brave. He is a big, strong man that does not come across as wimpy, but I have seen how he shrinks from serious confrontation. He does not stand up and fight for himself and he doesn't stand up and fight for us either. His instinct is to turn and hide, and he often wants me to as well. He is complicit to the point that if I had not tthe courage to take a stand, alone, our son would never have received the school support that he needs (he has Asperger Syndrome).

2. Will I ever be able to let this seething hatred for his abusers go. It consumes me and eats me from the outside in. I want to confront them, scream at them, scream it our to every person we know. And have them experience the pain thay all of us feel

3. Will I ever stop feeling like "WHY HIM, WHY US.... AND WHY ME!". I have these thoughts amd know they are completely unproductive, but I just feel like taking a hissy fit temper tantrum all the time for everything that has been thrown on my plate in life without my doing. I have a husband with CSA trauma and all the dysfunction that goes with that, one child with aspergers and tourettes and the other with dyslexia and I have serious and life threatening auto immune blood disorder. There are many, many days when the exhaustion of dealing with all of these is overwhelming.

4. Will be able to accept that my H may never ben able have a normal sex life with me. I may never again experience certain pleasures because they trigger my H. Can I live with only being his best friend?

5. Will I ever be able to stop thinking about all of these things and feel light and carefree again?
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

#409475 - 09/08/12 08:42 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2711
Loc: durham, north england
One thing about this list is that it strikes me there is a big difference betwene some items and others, which can and which cannot be changed, but it's not really a difference that on an emotional level is easy to distinguish, particularly in the late hours of the night.

So, perhaps doing exactly what you are doingn now, venting your emotions here, as well as other ways of dealing with what you feel and leaving considderation of what you should actually do for later might help.

Just as one suggestion, your above "venting without sensor" still strikes me as a little restrained, and sinse there isn't! a sensor, perhaps you could vent a little more, sinse people here will understand the purpose of venting especially if you make it clear that's what your doing, ---- maybe try poetry if your so inclined.

I remember earlier this year someone really making me furious and hurt by his prejudiced actions. i very carefully composed him an E-mail, which was polite but still pointed in it's comments and explained just how his actions had affected me, but that wasn't the least bit satisfying. What I wanted to do was tell him exactly! what I thought of him, which would've started with the words "you bloody Prejudiced scumbag!" and gone down hill from there.

i'm actually sorry I didn't write that other mail, even if I never sent it sinse I think it would've helped my feelings if nothing else.

I've read what you said above and really hope things get better for you.


#409504 - 09/08/12 03:54 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
HD001 Offline

Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 276
Loc: us
Vent away girlfriend! I have stuff that keeps me up too. I wonder if my H will ever listen to me when I'm talking really listen? Will he ever be happy? Will he ever quit blaming me?
Everything comes from within

#409515 - 09/08/12 07:10 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
Esposa Offline

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 811
Loc: NJ
When we are consumed by what another person will or won't do, will or won't become, we guarantee ourselves a life of unhappiness.

We need separation, we need to be able to see other people as separate from ourselves and recognize that we are each on our own paths.

CdnDW - your mission is one of acceptance. Find acceptance for yourself and for the situation. This is a stage of grieving and is completely normal. Like the serenity prayer states so perfectly:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

And it is just that - a sense of serenity will be achieved when we can accept reality and claim providence over our own selves because our path, in reality, is the only one we can change.

#409584 - 09/09/12 03:59 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
aksnowyowl Offline

Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 47
it is hard isn't it...

"enough for today" is my motto and if need be, break it down to "moment by moment." if a red flag goes up (and honestly, i'm still early in dealing with codependency so my red flags are really more yellow), i say to myself "in this moment, is that behavior of my h's helping or hurting? should we talk about it?"

and i keep coming to the conclusion that it's ALWAYS better to talk about it with him. uncomfortable for both of us: sure.

but i went to our marriage counselor and said:

"i'm in a place where i can accept that things may never be different, even though i'm hoping they'll change. i'm proud of H for putting in a lot of hard work towards healing himself and our relationship. i think he's doing great. however, if we have rules about our sex life, if we have rules and walls up that prevent constant triggers, if i need to be this accomodating, i NEED to be able to talk to him about anything anytime if i feel like it and i want him to trust me enough to know that i might push his limits, but i won't break them."

and that's the new goal. and it's amazing how much pressure has been released from our relationship. we're finally building more attachment, after months and months of straining the attachment we initially built at the beginning of our relationship and hoping it doesn't stretched out taffy.

you are thinking about things, you're taking it all in, and it's a lot. i'm sure it's overwhelming and it's particularly hard to sort out the tangled messes of loyalty and protection and patience and resolve. and you are venting! which is so good. this is the perfect place to vent. and of course, you are thinking about your kids, which is a wonderful guide...a guide you can trust.

part of this, i think, is grief. there are those classic 8 stages of grief and for me, i have to remind myself that i am going through a process, for which each stage is temporary...and maybe cyclical.

it's taken me and my H a long time to wake up to the reality of our relationship. we had to re-evaluate and i think it's fair that we both re-evaluated the other. and we reaffirmed that so far, we have been good for each other. but it's hard to let go of "what i thought was coming/what i thought was going to be our future." which in some ways is silly because i never knew the future in the first place, and in other ways, is genuine because i feel blindsighted...unimaginative in terms of how complicated and pained someone can be...had never considered how hurt my H could be.

and so for me, i have to vent, to go through my grief process, for the life i thought we would have. it really is letting that future die, so i can have right now, and be open to something different.

and then, with therapy, time alone, time with my people, time with my H when we build on our strengths, i begin to believe that it's possible that there are good things waiting for us if we want them.

thank you for continuing to come back here.

#409648 - 09/10/12 03:04 AM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline

Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Thanks for the posts above. Sometimes I just need to get my thoughts out. they run around and around and if I can't find a resolution right then, they keeping going. I have been finding lately though that if I write them down, or post here, I can let them go... because I know they will be there waiting for me to tackle another day. I can revisit with new perspectice and perhaps some friendly advice or reminders about codependancy and sort some of it through... and then leave it again for another day.

I do know there are things I can't change and I am, definately going through a greiving process. I remember when my son was first diagnosed with high functioning autism, I felt total grief. Once this grief passed, I was able to give up control and start working with what strengths he had. I turned to a lot of Taoist sayings and it helped.

I will eventually get there with this too, but it is a process and I am trying to be patient with myself. Bottom line, I didn't come to this forum for my H. I didn't come here to find out how to help him or fix him. I came here for me and my healing. I hope that through my example and my progress, my H will begin his own healing, but this is secondary.

Thanks again for your support.
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

#409691 - 09/10/12 02:59 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
Robert1000 Offline

Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 453
Hey CdnDW, I hope you had a good weekend. It's good to see you and everybody else online again today, still wrestling with the demons! By the way, take a look at a few of the posts in the male survivors area, if you get the chance. I posted one asking for people to post the bravest thing they've ever done (you can encourage your H's to post something there, or you can tell their stories there). There's also a thread about physical memories. I read it and posted to it, even though I was a little nervous about what would happen when I started to write. But, hell, it turned out pretty well. And it's a good thing to describe these things--physical memories and what-not--because I think it helps me to control them, to define them and to let them begin to fade. They're like unruly ghosts. Once they're honored, they can start to rest in peace.

But on to your points.

1. Your H will never be free from his abuse. It's a part of his history. But it can and will fade as a malevolent force in his life. I'm sure there's an ugly history back there. Fucked up stuff. But, hell, we've all understood that women get raped. It's horrible. But they're not "ruined" forever. People survive. People overcome. For some reason, in our society, it's an almost unthinkable violation for a man to be raped. How does he overcome the violation? How does he continue to be a "man?" Well, shit. I got raped. I'm still a man. (By the way, writing that makes me feel so awesomely powerful, but also a little freaked out. And I feel the rage that only those with PTSD can understand.) I don't think that your H's abuse and your idea of him as a father are necessarily tied irrevocably together. When a person behaves as your husband does, he's probably doing it out of fear, out of the feeling that he has no choice. So my question to him would be, what's the worst case scenario? What's the worst thing that could happen if you stood up and fought for yourself, you wife or you family? Seriously? Well, the worst thing might be that he'd lose the fight. That he'd get punched in the face. Or that he'd be rejected by, what? the school? He might feel like the safest thing for him is to fly under the radar. He might think the safest thing is for him to coopt the abuser, to join the abuse in some version of the Stockholm syndrome. (That's the thing where the hostages fell in love with their captors. It's something that people will do instinctively to try to save themselves.) Well, your husband is clearly reacting in the present to dangers that are now far in the past. And he's interpreting things that aren't dangerous (i.e. standing up for your boy to get him the help he needs in school) as dangerous. That's just crazy. He needs to get a handle on that shit, and I believe he can. A lot of times, we survivors don't do shit until we need to. You can tell him what you expect in him as a father, a husband and a man. I know from experience that we can and will pull our heads out of our asses if we have to. You can use humor. You can nag the shit out of him. Those phantom fears are scary, but in the end they're only phantoms.

2. You will have to let the hatred go. I really feel for you, because his abusers are right in the middle of your lives (or at least close by, some of them, the brother, right?). You can cut them out of your life. Basically, I think you and him need to create safe space for yourselves. If you can do that with them in it, great. That's a tough one. I hope you have a counselor for advice on it.

3. I sure hope you stop feeling the "why him" and "why me." There is no answer to that. Sometimes life sucks. You know, in reference to your husband's cowardice, I can identify with that. In my old pre-therapy, pre-acknowledgment of my child sexual trauma, I thought of myself as a coward. It was one way that I could hate myself. I was scared to stand up for myself. I stood up for myself, but it was in a reckless and crazy aggressive way. I also used all kinds of magical thinking to rule my world, and to make decisions. The truth is that none of that stuff made me safe. The aggression didn't make me safe. The cowardice didn't make me safe. The magical thinking didn't make me safe. BAD SHIT HAPPENS sometimes. It's not the case that bad shit happens to good people. Bad shit happens to everybody sometimes. It's all about opportunity. There are people out there with evil impulses. They will hurt us if they get the opportunity. People get diseases. People get sick. People get hurt. I'm sorry that you've had more than your share. I understand that it's exhausting and overwhelming. That's all the more reason why your H needs to get his head out of his ass. Things are easier to deal with if you have a partner.

4. No. Don't accept that you can't have a "normal" sex life. You two need to work toward being fully adult, fully husband-and-wife. What the hell? I know that all this trauma we've experienced is a big deal, but what the hell? It's only history! So he got fucked in the ass by his brother or neighbor or whatever! Who cares!?! Get over it! It's life. There's too much in front of us, too much happening right now, for us to get too goddamn caught up with the past. My goal here is to let the past be the past. Goddamn the past. And I want a full sex life, a full life with my wife, even though I cheated on her. Even though I lied to her. I won't lie to her again. I won't cheat on her again. She's still traumatized by what I did. But I still want a full and fun sex life with her! (We're not there yet, but we're working on it.) I'm not going to give up, because she's the love of my life.

5. You'd better be able to stop thinking about these things. You know, my therapist once warned me to keep a journal. You don't, she said, and your thoughts will bounce around in your head in the worst, most destructive way. Man, was she right! The past might be that past, but it's also the prelude to the present, and abuse casts a long, long shadow. You need to write things down. Write down your thoughts. Fears. Worries.

And, finally, I'll suggest that you model the behavior that you want with your husband. Role play on him standing up to or confronting someone in a scenario that would mean something to you, like in a conversation with a school counselor, or even his brother. You guys might gain a lot from something like that. You could talk through troublesome intimacy stuff with him that way, too. You need to work toward erasing the barriers between you. And if he's not getting therapy and maybe meds, then get him to a therapist! I take meds every day, and MAN MY QUALITY OF LIFE IS BETTER!!! Do it, CdnDW.

You've got a bright future with this man. Go for it! I hope this is helpful. And don't forget to check out some of the stuff on the malesurvivor site. And, dude, if your husband's not on this site, at least have him read some of the posts. Or read them to him. Whatever.

I hope I wasn't too blunt above.


#410730 - 09/20/12 02:26 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline

Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Not sure if you are still checking this post Bob, but H said something last night that I am curious about. He has always avoided anything that resembles a social group that people feel a sense of membership in. Examples would be things like church, AA, group therapy for csa and there are others. He talks very poorly of a former friend who was part of a semi-cult and then became a pagan and is a drummer in this pagan ritual drumming group. He says that people join these things because they are weak and need to feel like they belong somewhere and end up distorting who they are to fit into the image of the group. While I think he has a point to an extent, I find it very arrogant that he thinks people only "need" God to affirm themselves and their moral beliefs because their strength of character isn't firm enough to have these morals without the external oversight of god. obviously religion is a trigger for him (one of his first abuse experiences was a man who belonged to his mom's church in the church basement outside the washrooms). However, he extends this avoidance of "belonging" to something for support to everything. Do you have any insight on this? Do you think, aside from the obvious incident above, that this is rooted in his csa?

I ask because when I was telling him about the forums here I was explaining how everyone from different backgrounds and with different personality types come together here to support each other. I told him that I have observed some of the survivors referring to themselves as a group with a shared experience... as a brotherhood. Well, BIG mistake on my part! He made this face like he had something bad tasting in his mouth. I asked him why he had this issue and he said he didnt know, but that he just wasnt comfortable with the idea of being in a "group" or a clique (sp?). I think I may have achieved the opposite of my goal and guaranteed he will NOT seek help through these forums now despite the fact that I think he would find it helpful. Argggg! He is so frustrating and confusing to me. He and I are truly quite opposite personalities and while this compliments each other in some ways, it can also drive me nuts sometimes too!! smile

Do you have any insight on how I might undo what I did last night? I think he's got this impression now that MS forums are full of touchy feely type guys that lament about their pain and generally feel sorry for themselves. I know that it is completely opposite... you guys are some of the bravest, toughest men I have ever known. Do you think this is just another imaginary wall he has constructed to prevent him from exposing himself to the judgement of others?

Hope all is well with you! Thanks.
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

#410738 - 09/20/12 03:06 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
Robert1000 Offline

Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 453
Hell, CdnDW, I'm still finishing my fucking "rounds," so to speak. So yeah, I'm still here. I appreciate you asking me. As you probably gathered from my other posts, I'm fighting mad today. I just have floating rage. Whatever. I'm honestly trying to settle myself down a bit before I sign off.... Until last June or so I avoided this site for a long time because I'm the furthest person from a group joiner or a whining bitch of a guy. I talked to a therapist once who started to lecture me about dependency on therapy and stuff. I said, "FUCK YOU!" I see therapy as a means to an end. I need to deal with a pile of crap. I need to look clear-eyed at my own life, my own personal history, and the world around me. I want to be free to pursue the life I want. I mean, sure, I care about the people on here. I didn't have any idea that it would turn out to be a community of people who I actually LIKED. That's a fucking surprise. It's still pretty surprising. Don't get me wrong. I'm not about to show up to some fucking weekend retreat hug-fest. I'm still entirely anonymous. Which is what I want to be. But I'm honest. And that's helping me heal. It really is. And I appreciate your honesty and that of most of the other people here. I can see myself in your lives, and I can see my wife in the things write. And that helps me sometimes, honestly, get my head out of my ass and understand and appreciate this woman who chose to throw her lot in life in with mine. When I first read the post, "waiting for the other shoe to drop" I was stunned. That's what my wife said like 100 times. She'd be crying, saying, I don't trust you. I'm so scared. I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And I didn't know what to do, except be steady. Keep trying. Focus on making our life the life that we want day after day. But it's hard when you're not trusted, especially when you're not trusted FOR GOOD REASON!! Especially when guilt and shame are your go-to emotions and resentment is like your most trusted strategy.

I came to this site because I was all fucked up from the Sandusky news. I felt like I was going backwards in my recovery. And I saw a mention of this site in a news story. I'm pretty sure I had heard about it before. I think I may have even visited it. But the stuff I saw was all about just fucking bullshit that didn't appeal to me. Weepy suckers who lay around feeling sorry for themselves while spouting lines from Jonathan Livingston Seagull about selfacceptance and bullshit like that!

But the truth is that this site actually has some good dudes on it. Regular dudes who are just finding a way forward. And we use this space to talk through some tough issues. That's all it is.

Maybe this isn't the best site for your husband. Or maybe he's not ready yet. Don't push it. He'll come when/if he's ready. We each got to go our own pace. I know it's hard to ask for your patience. I mean, you don't have to be patient. You could say, fuck it. If you don't start making progress and trying... then I'm gone. And you could say, Hey, if you're on this site, at least I know that you're trying or that you're in a place where it looks to me like you're trying. That's fair. You could do that. It might work. It might not. He might say, I'd rather just walk away than go on that site and hold hands with those fucking wierdos!

But I doubt it. Here's what I would do. The first time I considered coming to this site is when I came across this news story:

I'm not that similar to this guy, but I'm similar enough that I identified with him, especially with the cold and murderous rage that he felt, and with his recklessness and toughness.

I don't know if the author of it is on the site, but I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't drop in from time to time.... I don't know. I guess it doesn't matter.

But if you really want to get him here, tell him to read my posts. I don't have any special insight, but I sure as hell try to write down shit as it comes in my head unfiltered.

Good luck. Thanks again for asking. Bob

#410835 - 09/20/12 09:39 PM Re: Thoughts that keep me up at night [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline

Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
I just read the link... wow. That's all I can process right now. That anxiety I talked of in my other post is back. Maybe I am just too black and white of a thinker to get my head around this. Someone is the bogeyman or they aren't. I can't control what I can't predict and this fucking situation is just too unpredictable. I feel the same way about my brother-in-law as this guy felt about his abuser. I want to hurt him and guarantee he never has the chance to do what he did to his brothers to anyone ever again. I want to talk to his kids (who are all now adults) and make sure he didn't hurt them and I want to tell his wife what a monster he is. It eats me alive knowing that he lives, breaths and walks among good people that have no idea what a sick pedo he is But I sit here on my hands day after day doing nothing nothing because it is not my story to tell or battle to fight. I sit here as the sweet, loving survivor's wife moping up the fucking shit this monster has left in his wake. I feel My rage has been absolutely castrated and I have to just keep stuffing it down because it isn't about me. But goddammit it is about me. It is about me and my children because we are living with this fucking legacy. I live with my husband's older sister treating me as if I have no stake in this and it only.affects her and her family, so how dare I have an opinion about what actions her brothers take. Underneath it all she is just frightened that people will find out how damaged they are and she feels responsible for not knowing because she was the oldest. Well maybe her perfect vision of her childhood has been tarnished, but my and my children's present and future has been impacted by this more than she can ever comprehend!! Fuck!! I better stop now because I am just fanning the flames and I'm not sure I will be able to stop if I go further. I'm sitting on a fucking commuter train right now on my way home from work, but every cell in my body is reacting like I'm in the middle of a warzone and in a fight for my life. No fucking wonder I have anxiety. Why do I feel this pain so intensely like it's my own? Sorry Bob for this barrage of hateful anger, but I guess I just really, really need to start finding ways to let the pressure out of the bottle once in a while, you know?
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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