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#426264 - 02/24/13 12:24 AM Please..I would love yoru input!!!
Friend2help Offline

Registered: 12/25/10
Posts: 39
I hope you all can help. I‘d love to hear from many of you.

Background: I have a “closer than a friend” for 2 ½ yrs. He is a CSA survivor. I know all about this past. He has shared SO much of it with me and we have been VERY close emotionally. The most physically we’ve done is hug (his choice-and I have respected him). He is going through a NASTY divorce..almost 4 yr since he moved out…and has ZERO desire for a romantic relationship at this time. But we spend time together…dinner, events, movies at home, hanging out, etc. I have spent time with his kids. His 2 youngest from this marriage ADORE me and I ADORE THEM!! We’ve had WONDERFUL times together. He has even trusted me to babysit and NO ONE gets to do that…as he is VERY understandably overprotective.

Often...he gets tooo close to me and RUNS..stays away for weeks or months at a time and returns…and we get even closer emotionally..we have a very special, unique connection.

About 6 months before Christmas 2011 I started to make him his Christmas gift. I designed a cross stitch pillow to hang on the wall. It said “The XYZ Family” and has stitched pictures of him, all his kids, and grandbaby..all holding hands and all of his beloved pets.

By the time Christmas was getting near..he freaked out AGAIN and RAN…refusing ALL gifts…including gifts I had purchased for his 2 youngest kids. Said NO GIFTS. I was heartbroken….I didn’t hear much from him and many months later decided I probably was NEVER going to see or hear from him again. I contacted his mother and gave her the pillow..I wanted it in his family…she said she’d put it day he’d find it.

Five months went by with zero contact then around email..then a few more..then we were talking DAILY……. Christmas 2012 was nearing… I thought were TERRIFIC..he had healed SOOO much..he was like a wonderful, new , better than ever person. (He always was pretty amazing to start off with ) He was was good! So I contacted his mother and decided to get the pillow back and leave it at his home…I didn’t know if I could give it to him…there were no plans to see each other.

He opened it..loved it..said it was special and beautiful and he quickly hung it in his room. THEN….6 or 7 weeks later..I HAVE NO CLUE WHY..because he KNEW I dropped it off and picked it up….his mother had told him….he EXPLODED..said it was a betrayal and he lost ALL trust in me…HUH??? HE WAS FURIOUS AND HURTFUL. HE said he wanted to toss the pillow and take it down and this betrayal was equivalent to being raped?? HUH??? I was shocked and baffled for all the reasons I just wrote!!! He now won’t talk to me. I miss him..and what we have…….

What is going on here??? What is this delayed fury?? I mean he was calling me cutie names..something he hadn’t done before..we discussed that ONE DAY …just MAYBE there could be a future for us…if things took that path…in MANY YEARS to come…..then BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!! He said it was a violation?!?!

Too scared…?? Needed a reason to leave?? How could what I did …..and I told him…I thought I’d NEVER SEE him again..and then when he came back…I so wanted him to have this work of art that I made with so much love put into it!!!

PLEASE enlighten me..THANKS SO MUCH!

Edited by Friend2help (02/24/13 05:49 AM)
Edit Reason: errors

#426301 - 02/24/13 02:58 PM Re: Please..I would love yoru input!!! [Re: Friend2help]
pittsburgh Offline

Registered: 05/26/11
Posts: 105
Loc: west Chester, Pa
I understand your dilemna. What I see missing is Therapy; both indiv. & together. That has been a key reason why wife & I have a better relationship. There have been bumps in the road but w/T & much communication, understanding & forgiveness we have made it work. We have the Willingnessn& Desire to Make it work. I reco you start T first; take care of self 1st. The MALE survivor has a greater & harder time dealing w/abuse - we just do. Keep talk, keep asking here, he obviously has feelings for you.
it is and has been quite a trip thru life, as last I feel that I am in a better place, it takes work and in my case a wife the was and is forgiveing and helpful. At last a relationship has gone right, messed up three.

#426310 - 02/24/13 06:18 PM Re: Please..I would love yoru input!!! [Re: Friend2help]
Friend2help Offline

Registered: 12/25/10
Posts: 39
Thanks so much many have looked at my far you are the only one to respond. I truly appreciate it.

He has had the same T for close to 20 years. He texts him or calls him...when a problem arises. He also had inpatient T for a week...many yrs ago..Since we are not a couple...joint T is not gonna work. I always told him I WOULD go to see his T with him, though. I pray he does forgive me...and sees it was NEVER to hurt him...because I am ALWAYS there for him..ALWAYS! I am happy T has helped you and your wife! So important!

Yes....he does care A LOT for me...yet is SO afraid to admit it with words...instead he shows in his own way.

As of now..he is ANGRY and doesn't want to hear from me...wants me to keep away.... it gets old....but I think we have something special..WHEN things are great...and I let him return.and then things are wonderful...until he finds something to flip out about AGAIN (seems like he looks for keep us from getting closer)...will that continue? Who knows. He has to run away and work this out in his mind.

#426346 - 02/25/13 12:37 AM Re: Please..I would love yoru input!!! [Re: Friend2help]
Lancer Offline

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Hi F2h --

I'm a survivor and I don't drop in to F&F too often.

What struck me is that he's had the same T for 20 years...imo, that's way too long a time. I think the evidence is in his unchanging, perhaps worse, behavior.

The other point I'd make is, what's the payoff for you? And this is more important, again imo. You keep going back to a guy who's repeatedly demonstrated he's emotionally and, for now, maritally unavailable. Do you enjoy martydom? Some people do. Put another way, yeah, you're always there for him, but he's not always there for you. What would happen if you chose a guy who was 100% available? Intimacy. And that's scary.

Instead of worrying about his T, I'd suggest you find your own - definitely not his - deal with your own issues and the rest will take care of itself.

Glad you're here.

#426356 - 02/25/13 03:49 AM Re: Please..I would love yoru input!!! [Re: Friend2help]
mmfan Offline

Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 115
I'll be candid since you're asking for feedback and I believe it's not going to help you if I sugarcoat it. I believe your intentions are good and I have some experience with this because my survivor doesn't like gifts either, so here goes:

Regarding his comparing your giving the gift to his mother, to rape, obviously that's totally over the top. He is extremely triggered, a small thing in the present ignited a truckload of dynamite from the past. The key is that it felt like a violation to him and in his mind, based on his life experiences, violation =rape.

So yes it was an overreaction on his part. But it was still a violation on your part, albeit a small one, but survivors are exceedingly sensitive to any boundary violation.

So how was this a violation? Well, he was clear about no gifts, yet you brought one anyway. He drew an unequivocal boundary, and you ignored it. In reality you probably saw giving it to his mother as sidestepping the boundary to some extent...after all, you weren't giving it directly to him. But in his mind, a gift is a gift.

So when he found out you'd crossed that boundary, an alarm went off in his head. The survivor learned: People who do not respect boundaries are not safe people. People who cross boundaries hurt me.

And you didn't tell him that you'd brought it to his mother. He only found out after the fact from her. So you were less than honest. That's major to someone with trust issues. And going to his mother might feel manipulative to him, rather than going to him directly, you covertly used other family member in your "agenda." I don't know what role his mother had in his abuse, but if she's not a safe person, then going to her would take on even more sinister overtones, tantamount to colluding with the enemy.

I'm sure you meant well, but to someone with trust issues, what you did could be totally misconstrued.

It also crossed my mind that he may have acted happy when you gave him the pillow, but he may have actually felt upset, and was playing the expected part of "grateful recipient." Running to hang it in his room, etc seems a bit over the top. Survivors are trained to hide their feelings and "perform" to please others, when they are put on the spot. Only afterward do they realize they feel angry and violated. So perhaps this could be a delayed reaction to some extent, and finding out you'd given it to his mother, was the last straw.

I wondered reading your post whether you asked first if a gift was OK, before giving it to him? If you didn't ask, and he hadn't given permission, then you actually violated his boundary twice -first giving it to his mother, and the second time giving it to him. frown

Re-reading your post I just picked up on that last bit when you said he was JUST starting to open himself to the possibility that you two might have a future....he probably felt extra vulnerable and at risk, as the beginning is a scary time for a survivor scared of intimacy...and the object of romantic interest also becomes a source of threat/danger. So finding out about the gift and his mother, was unfortunate timing. His mind may be grabbing onto it as "evidence" that his fear is justified. frown

It sounds like he's going to need time and space for his trigger to settle, and you may have to earn back his trust. He needs to know that you didn't mean to do it, but now you understand why it upset him so much, and you won't do it again. You will need to scrupulously follow all boundaries he sets, no matter how minor. If he says he needs space then leave him alone, until HE initiates contact. Otherwise it will feel intrusive.

Triggers are like landmines and we step on them all the time with our survivors. Over time we learn to dance around them. It's not fair. You and he SHOULD be able to enjoy exchanging gifts, but gifts have been warped and twisted for him, and they will probably never feel the same to him as they do for you.

#426364 - 02/25/13 05:26 AM Re: Please..I would love your input!!! [Re: Lancer]
Friend2help Offline

Registered: 12/25/10
Posts: 39
Thank you for taking the time to respond. He has not been seeing his T weekly..he goes periods of time...when he doesn't need to contact him..but he's always there to receive and comment on a phone call or quick text. Mostly over the last many years...he's needed this T because of a VERY NASTY divorce with an extremely EVIL witch!

I have NO interested in marriage to him...we are very close FRIENDS...I wonder many years from now...we might have a relationship(yes..I keep won't be as far into the it WILL is what it is).... there would HAVE to be HUGE changes and none of this constant running away and being hurtful. BUT..I understand and the post after you HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!!!

I am VERY open to finding the man of my dreams...but in no hurry AT ALL. I have not sat back for all this time...I've been OUT THERE looking and to be honest...the guys out there are HORRIFIC and even this special friend of mine, with all his issues..has a MUCH longer PRO list, than CON list. I am so not afraid of intimacy AT ALL..that is HIS deal..not mine...I have been kind and respectful of him and the intimacy from our emotional connection is very importnat to me.

Edited by Friend2help (02/25/13 05:49 AM)
Edit Reason: typos and added stuff

#426366 - 02/25/13 05:34 AM Re: Please..I would love your input!!! [Re: mmfan]
Friend2help Offline

Registered: 12/25/10
Posts: 39
OMG> explained this SO much better than he could. It makes SO much more sense. What you said was REALLY enlightening to me and REALLY important. He uses so many of the same words as you did (safe, unsafe, violation, boundries) GET THIS....

Again..if I knew he'd be back..I would NEVER EVER have involved his mother. I thought I'd never see him again! and yes...sadly he mother WAS involved in his being physically, emotionally abused and sexually molested...she and others in the family and elsewhere. BREAKS MY HEART THE PAIN he's endured...yet..amazes me how he has become such a wonderful, successful employee and daddy!

Yet..the man he is...has stayed close to his abusive parents..being the good son...doing many things for them! She actually passed away last that adds even more to this situation. (I was there every step of the way--as much as he allowed.. during her short illness until the end.)

I never knew this all this occured that I needed to ask permission to give him something...HE NEVER told me this and I have given him A LOT through the years. Perplexing that he never shared what you said to me!

Bless you for taking the time to be SO honest and explain this to me! I never read this in a book, nor on this thank you so much!

I FEEL COMPLETELY HORRIBLE NOW..I said I am sorry a bunch of times..but now I understand this so much better..I feel SICK..and I know how he feels...I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sorry!!!!

#426369 - 02/25/13 06:32 AM Re: Please..I would love your input!!! [Re: Friend2help]
crazy gecko Offline

Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
It's really simple, actually. He refused ALL gifts. Made it clear he didn't want it. He set a boundary. So you gave the gift he didn't want - and something that is very personal too - to one of his abusers behind his back... You not only violated a boundary he set very clearly and unequivocally ("NO GIFTS"), you also colluded with and shared a secret with his abuser behind his back.

My question is this - why did you want so badly to have the pillow in his family that you even went to the extreme of enlisting his abusive mother's help? He made it clear he didn't want it, so it wasn't for him. So why? What was your goal?
I guess what I'm trying to say
Is whose life is it anyway because livin'
Living is the best revenge
You can play
-- Def Leppard

My Story, Part 2

My blog

#426371 - 02/25/13 07:06 AM Re: Please..I would love your input!!! [Re: crazy gecko]
Friend2help Offline

Registered: 12/25/10
Posts: 39
He said he didn't want the gift in Dec 2011 ( a year ago) me was because we were not getting along. I wanted it to be with his it represented their love and no one is more important to him than his kids and pets I was a design of him holding hands with all his loved ones...even the pets were there...I never thought I'd ever see or hear from him again ...and hoped one day he'd see it..or his parents could even enjoy it. It wasn't like it was a shirt...or a wall hanging or candle or a dish was something EXTREMELY personal from me to him..about his loved ones!

A year passed..he was a new man...getting so close..I thought it would be ok to surprise him w/the gift...he said he thought it was beautiful and special..I HAD NO CLUE..until MMFAN spelled it all out to me..HE DID not in the way she totally makes sense now..and of course I know I FUCKED UP ROYALLY OFTEN in this dept. and am EXTREMLY sorry...but I DID NOT KNOW what it all meant. I can't read minds. I thought one day...maybe 5, 10 years later..he'd fine it while cleaning out his parents house.

He has been very involved w/his parents...seeing them often, calling them often, dinners out..dinners at the house...yes...his kids have been very involved with these people,'s not like I purposely found his perps and said..TAKE THIS.

#426377 - 02/25/13 07:57 AM Re: Please..I would love your input!!! [Re: Friend2help]
Lancer Offline

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Re your PM F2h: I think it would be more helpful if you got real with us. Yes?

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