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#424575 - 02/07/13 08:10 AM Tricky question about abuse/ healing to survivors
confusion4life Offline

Registered: 02/12/12
Posts: 109
Loc: Italy
hi guys,

i need to explain parts of the past, to get to the question, so that i can get real insight answers the helping way from survivor.

as many of you know, my husband is a survivor of crazy abuse by several perps (family, caretakers, neighbors, his mother!). it started when he was a baby and ended at about 12 or 13.
he then became a perpetrator and abused two girls. the second girl is my daughter and she came and told me (before he penetrated or raped). he lost his family (three kids and me).
he fled the country all the way to tanzania (from italy) and came back after three weeks, rather ready to go to jail than never seeing us anymore.
i took him to court and he got two years probation. i monitored the house with cameras and never even one second left him alone with any of the kids. my small son is only 6 now, that time almost 5.
then i pestered him with questions, he started therapy, he became honest, controlled his fantasy and masturbation addiction. no porn, no fantasy, no masturbation - it was HIS decision; well, otherwise none of us would have dealt with him anymore which would have been just fair.
but...he WANTED to heal.
so thru the abuse topic always being open in the family, he started getting memories. before that he had lived for 38 years and out of those 38 years, for about 30 years he assumed all men are like that, all men feel like that for young girls (starting puberty or earlier, or young women...)
well, reality hit him and he put up healing strategies.
among those was staying real, no sexualizing of anyone, no fixation feeding, no masturbation (he says he feels he is not ready to do it without the feeding of the perp side, so he doesnt want to do it for now), no fantasy...and any image, wanted or unwanted he immediately says to me (wife - no matter how much it hurts) and any other thing which comes to him, he says too.
it worked well sofar. more and more memories came, he read books, dealt with things.
things changed a ton! everything became better. he feels a lot of grief at times, cries a lot, is much happier all together and feels free of so many things. the kids love him more again (including our daughter) and he keeps all the safety guards up. all in all, he fights like a lion.
the only thing he is still not too capable to address is the abuse from his mother. she died end of october and he is between reality and denial regarding the mother. he knows she did abuse him, knows she did it regularly and since he was a baby, but he feels she loved him too cause he remembers hugs. other memories about her, their life, are very fading and cloudy.

now as he has gone thru different steps to get rid of the perpetrator in him (85% of all therapeutic work are about his perp side, the other 15 on his healing as a survivor side) and he succeeded pretty far.
he gets dreams sometimes. now as he doesnt do any of the harmful things when he is awake, he has sexual dreams where he abuses or where he is with someone who doesnt want it. he then wakes up or realizes in the dreams that its wrong, so he changes the dream or wakes up, because he doesnt want this.
last night he had three of those dreams, after weeks of not having any of those dreams, because he was stressed.
and he woke up and had started masturbation in his dream. masturbation for him means that he masturbates prone (stomach down on bed and pops into the matrace - like he did since he had been eight).
he then realized that he is doing what he was doing and stopped it and told me in the morning. he was proud of himself that he coudl stop it.
but i am worried that his perp side feeds on the dreams. and what if he doesnt realize or wake up before he has finished it (he says he would know). isnt this a step back from where he was?

the rule here is that any step back results in the end of our marriage. i feel some sort of love for him (which is not normal), but my first priority are my kids and steps backwards towards feeding the perp side are just not on. he ows us that, especially his daughter!

1. does any of you know how to get better control of the dreams? 2. is it possible that he completes a masturbation because of dissociation or sleep and doesnt actually know? ( i know about the orgasms at night if men dont have sex for a long time, but he never had that, he also has normal sex, so thats not what i mean).
3. Could it be that he has already gone a step back and thats why he now started dreaming those things, cause he doenst fantasize them when he is awake?

the last question is my own, the other two i would also like to know, but for question 1 and 2, he asked me to ask them here - to survivors.
if any of you survivors doesnt feel like helping a surivor/ perp out with answers, then its completely fine if you dont answer. i totally understand that. i dont want to tell anyone to "deal" with a perpetrator. all of you have dealt enough with them when you were kids or adults, so i really fully understand if i dontget many answers here.
its just so very helpful for me here, because i am not abused and i cant possibly know what you guys REALLY go thru. but you have helped me understanding so much so far, that i just feel in good hands here.

thank you everyone!

everything is always okay in the end, if it's not, then it's not the end

#424579 - 02/07/13 08:37 AM Re: Tricky question about abuse/ healing to survivors [Re: confusion4life]
Rosemary Offline

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 31
Loc: Johannesburg, South Africa
As a mother I can only imagine that you must be constantly worried that your husband might lapse and harm your children in some way. You are very brave and might I add forgiving of what could have happened with your daughter.

Your questions:

1. I am note sure if many people can do it, but I have seemed to master the art of dreaming about what I want to dream, the bad dreams do sometimes creep in. I tend to dream about things that I see or experience just before going to sleep. A warm drink (like milk) before bedtime does have a calming effect on some people.

2. I cannot give you any insight on this question, sorry.

3. Your question, a very troubling one. My advise is to follow that voice you are hearing, follow your intuition it is normally spot on correct.

I am glad you have taken the stance that your children are your priority, too many mothers look the other way.

Be strong for your children.

Partner Support
South African Male Survivors Of Sexual Abuse
Web page

#424608 - 02/07/13 04:10 PM Re: Tricky question about abuse/ healing to survivors [Re: confusion4life]
sugarbaby Offline

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 382
It seems to me that your trying to attempt a recovery in a non-recovery environment. It is similar to having a recovering alcoholic living in a bar.

Regarding the questions. Just my opinion:

1. If there is a way to control dreams, I've never heard of it.
2. I would think he would know.
3. I don't see how he can go forward in that environment. Things have to change for him to be able to effect real change.

#424764 - 02/09/13 09:34 AM Re: Tricky question about abuse/ healing to survivors [Re: confusion4life]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2711
Loc: durham, north england
Hi confusion.

I cannot speak about feelings towards underaged girls, much less acting on such feelings since though I have my share of issues that has never been one of them.

One thing however is mb and dreams is a difficult subject anyway simply because anyone in their dreams lacks control and what you might attempt and struggle to control while your awake will surfice in dreams, whether this is worries, fears, hopes or even desires.

My own problem is genophobia, that is a severe fear of s/x and indeed my own reactions, and I use mb as a control on my dreams since if I stop, I know myself I will experience extremely frightening, s/xual dreams, and likely mb in my sleep or worse, though for me at least mb is a pretty mechanical and distant process and about the most I will think of is a certain lady's face or at most holding hands since anything more triggers my genophobia.

In fairness I have never made love in my life nor indeed ever had anyone to make love with, and if I did this may be different, however the fact that! even though the thought of anything vaguely to do with s/x causes me to freeze or panic I need to engage in such controls to avoid dreams does indicate something about the subconscious mind and it's relationship to the body.

While I don't think your husband was responsable for his actions in dreams, just the same way a person who is sleep walking and stamps on someone's foot isn't responsable, equally this might indicate that he needs to considder other ways of dealing with and processing his desires. What those are I do not know, since my own issue is so different, (even standard s/xual attraction I find a pretty incomprehensible thing), but maybe it's something he should discuss with his T.



#427170 - 03/05/13 08:48 AM Re: Tricky question about abuse/ healing to survivors [Re: sugarbaby]
confusion4life Offline

Registered: 02/12/12
Posts: 109
Loc: Italy
what you are saying, i would really like to comment.
you are saying a man who has been severely abused in his childhood and therefore has a fixation on kids as he never got to grow up can only recover if he is not in this environment. well then where should he go to recover?
are there no kids out there? he does not have a fixation on our daughter. he has a fixation on teens and young women in general. so where exactly is the environment you are talking about?
and due to my opinion: if an alcoholic living in a bar can recover,once he is over it, i am pretty sure he is more over it than anyone who has never entered a bar anymore.

and i am NOT trying to attempt a recovery, i am making sure he has every chance to recover. he has changed tons already and he is capable of more things than it might seem. all survivors are who want to change and who have proper support.

it is not nice after seeing the positive things happening that i post a question here and i get a demotivating message from you just for the sake of, without any real answers. what i am going thru is not an easy thing. its the hardest thing a mother can possibly go thru.
due to your answer, i assume you dont know too much about the things i needed answers for.
as a woman i understand your hatred or non-ability to understand me regarding the safety of my kids. the first priority ARE the kids and i have created that situation first and with more importance than anything else. not all mothers are bad and not facing things in life but just throwing the fahter of my kids out against my kids wishes would only traumatize them again. in fact, i have feedback from MANY survivors and therapists (REAL specialists) who say what we do is really the only true way out which works for good for him and for everyone.

everything is always okay in the end, if it's not, then it's not the end

#427171 - 03/05/13 08:49 AM Re: Tricky question about abuse/ healing to survivors [Re: confusion4life]
confusion4life Offline

Registered: 02/12/12
Posts: 109
Loc: Italy
dark empathy and rosemary, thank you for your answers. i have learned - again smile

everything is always okay in the end, if it's not, then it's not the end

#427756 - 03/11/13 07:06 PM Re: Tricky question about abuse/ healing to survivors [Re: confusion4life]
1.healing Offline

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio

Dear Ela,

Seems you and your husband are both amazing people. You for your willingness to give him a chance, to help him and for the gift of insight and forgiveness that you possess. For your husband, who although a perpetrator, has worked through treatment to understand and change his behavior. Not an easy accomplishment or one that most abusers are capable of, he is to be admired for this. He also deserves to have support and therapy for being a victim himself. He, having been hurt and betrayed by abusers himself, especially his mother, requires no less. It's very difficult to believe and confusing to admit that your own parent is capable of caring for you in many good ways and hurting you so profoundly in other ways. With help, I think he's more than capable of sorting this out, of coming to terms with it and of healing from it and moving forward. With your support and help it increases the chances.

I wish both of you the best of luck in healing and in claiming a better life for yourselves and your family.

"It's never too late to be what you might have been."

George Elliot

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life."

Virginia Woolf

#428579 - 03/21/13 09:09 AM Re: Tricky question about abuse/ healing to survivors [Re: confusion4life]
mike13 Offline

Registered: 02/02/11
Posts: 419
Loc: California USA
Ela this is a great thread. I have learned so much from both you and the people how have responded. Thanks for all of the insight


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