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#507551 - 03/10/17 09:25 AM deleted
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279


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#507557 - 03/10/17 04:15 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4199
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
HH -

I was pretty much forced into dealing with it. I was in a deep depression and planning a final exit. circumstances did not cooperate and my wife was desperate and got me to a therapist. At that point I had no resistance left and felt like I had nothing to lose. I went and started spewing out all the garbage and couldn't stop.

Of course, it wasn't as easy as that. I had lots of false beliefs that had to be deconstructed. There were partial memories and missing parts of my past that gradually came back in irregular intervals over a period of years.

Along the way, i had to reveal some of the nasty history to my wife. But at first it was very condensed and lacked much detail. I was terrified that she would be repulsed by me and what I had been through and reject me. It felt safer to risk losing her for my lack of transparency than for her reactions to the abuse.

One thing that i absolutely HAD to have was some remnant or illusion of control. I could not endure the sense of being totally at the mercy of another person's decisions - it was too close to the feelings I had during the abuse. Therefore, withholding some information gave me that vestige of power that i needed.

Eventually - after two series of therapy sessions of about a year and a half each - and separated by a gap of many years, i took the huge risk of telling everything. It was a rocky period, but she did her best to be open and supportive and to work with me. We ended up having joint therapy with my guy for several months - which was a very constructive step.

I don't know if any of that is helpful. We are all so different in our ways of dealing with things - even though our interior reactions and feelings may be very similar.

All the best as you struggle through this. You are amazing to hang in there and not give up on him!

Lee


Edited by traveler (03/10/17 04:16 PM)
_________________________
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

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#507558 - 03/10/17 04:33 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
Ceremony Online   confused
Greeter

Registered: 09/15/16
Posts: 1903
Loc: Minnesota
Kinda quiet around MS to say, after the fact, Happy International Women's Day, and that's understandable, we're not really doing stuff like that, but, I just did, so... yeah!

I've been up since about 5am and read this then. I've pondered it and I want to ponder reasons to ask that question, as well as answer it. And know, yup, a long post is likely. wink wish we had one of the animated rolling emojis, with a smile. That's more like what I was feeling.

So, this might be a bit more than you thought you were asking, but I had all this time to ponder, or short if you think that? confused hmmm... can I keep it together for this answer? Yeah, I've got this.

So part II, I pondered why this would be asked, and I'm sure there are many reasons. The one that came to mind for me was that I would consider comparing where I am with the others sharing. A gauge of progress. Another would be to ponder whether my support connections have developed. Perhaps as a partner, if my spouse disclosed to me, and no other, I would wonder how they'll heal. That last depends on my knowing about the process, and I've seen you get this HH.

From thinking from your shoes HH, has hubbie gotten any healing, by isolating his disclosure to just you? Is that really accurate, and then if so, how could healing move forward, and then too, how could you manage without burnout?

Ok, whew, I didn't mess around there, and I think you know I take this seriously to be careful about your triggers and any for us. I could work myself up in a discussion, but so far so good. That opening does give me pause about your hubbie, but this isn't my place to go beyond sharing myself, strengths, hopes, healing, and support.

I hope you'll stay with this now as a I reply about the process that got me to disclose (and be so prolific here). I really don't see myself as unique, and I am in the right place (MS) and other to heal. There are different levels in my processing mind, about the depth of trauma. All trauma has its real impact, and that's not my point, my point is that some create far more complex ptsd than mine. I don't know your hubbies, and that's why I bring this up. It could be a single rape, or it could be a decade of incest rape, it could be a horrible kidnap to sex slavery rape, AND that's enough of that!!

Ok, I hope triggers can be managed when I do that?

What's important to me with replying about mine, is that there are depths from which the mind finds the deepest darkness is the safest place to leave trauma. Revealing it is nearing the trauma of it. My heart breaks about that. I also think age has a role. I don't know why it took me 39 years, there were no triggers to push this out of me. So few stories. Jacob Wetterling was the biggest in my state, and not often discussed until his perpetrator was caught! And that took way toooooo long!! When his news became a daily part of viewing, I started to trigger. I was very tense, but still suppressed it. Then one day I read a blog about a father whose daughter was being molested and he stepped in to stop it. The mother wasn't doing enough or anything. The daughter started getting help.

I sat and starred at that blog for over a half hour, numb, supper tense, eyes filled but not pouring yet. Then I started typing. I didn't reveal yet, but I stated how this was very hard to read, but thankful he helped his daughter. I pondered what that helping meant to me in that post. I was crying about no one helping me. I just cried and felt torn to pieces that I've had to suppress and do nothing for myself all these decades. That I was such a nobody, the truth had to mean nothing, I forced myself to believe it was my fault, and any other thing, the bullying and molesting became part of punishing a nobody for trying to be. Just stay in my nobody place.

Whoa.... Ok, any triggers?! Sheesh, I do that HH, I get going and it pours out, so how are you, I'm pausing.

1
2
3

Ok, ... Ok, so I had been getting very angry over perceived threats for decades. I would just go batshit nuts. I would punch walls, smash stuff (usually in private, not always) and flip drivers off any damn time I felt like it. But, I would NOT stick up for myself, I would not ask for anything, I would take any shit shoved in my face and life was to do for others, NOT me.

I resented some of it, but suppressed it all, I didn't want to feel, and I tried being wasted to accomplish that. I know that the only reason I got to any point of revealing is that I got sober so long ago. In fact, in 10 days it will officially be 17 yrs. I started to feel again, and that meant, to live, wondered what I would do with infinite sadness?! I pretty much went through the depression part of getting sober. And was on the meds for about 8 of the first 17 years. Now off them all of them for so long, I have to feel and do something with them.

So, is your hubbie the kind that deals with feelings with substance use? I know many survivors do that. Whether conscious of why or not, it's coping with not feeling. Not wanting to feel.

Hmmm... Have I answered? "What was your tipping point to disclose?"

To conclude, I was finally feeling for years, the years showed me some new ways to look at sticking up for myself and I practiced some, I learned how to communicate via prolific use of the internet (why I pour myself out here on MS), and the Wetterling perpetrator was finally caught. Pushed by that one blog post, I finally snapped awake. That's it. whistle Starting an avalanche of feelings, thoughts, pains, depths of getting in touch with me that seem to help me a lot and the healing process has begun!!

I think you owe it to yourself to consider how you're doing, and what's involved for you? I think it's wonderful, loving and very hopeful that your hubbie has you. That love would hasten my healing by leaps and bounds. Which is why I pause about your hubbie, and asked myself why he won't move on healing? Or did he? Does he? And if so, why not tell or include you? I couldn't reveal all of this to my wife until I had some processing of what happened worked on with the Sexual Violence Center advocates. That counseling helped me finally get to a point I could tell my wife, so, if your hubbie only tells you, I don't know how he managed keeping it together?

I was a mess. We're not all the same, so that's that.

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#507560 - 03/10/17 05:36 PM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279



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#507565 - 03/10/17 09:19 PM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#507571 - 03/11/17 10:01 AM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#507576 - 03/11/17 03:40 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
Ceremony Online   confused
Greeter

Registered: 09/15/16
Posts: 1903
Loc: Minnesota
I'm feeling your burden there HH. Mindfulness, like taking time to see where you are for you. I read all these, so it's pondering stuff that I tend to do, and maybe there is more there, or maybe there isn't. I see it stirring and know how that can be. So, I wonder what your T would say about it?

I think sharing this with anyone is healing. It really has helped me move forward. The differences that manifest action or the push to heal are too varied. There's not always clarity, or there's missing information. Your love and patience can be an immense help for healing, and you've espoused the partner attitude any man can dream. So, yes, it surely helped his healing.

There's things he'll have to decide to work on, when he can, and/or somehow finds that it's become more than he expected?

Hope!

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#507582 - 03/11/17 11:07 PM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#507584 - 03/12/17 01:35 AM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2743
Quote:
How did you know you felt safe enough to share with a loved one? What was your tipping point?

My father died and I never told him about what the older neighborhood boy did to me. My father's last words to me were these: "I never got to know you as well as I had hoped. You are such a private person. But I know you love me." That was twenty years ago.

After that, I made the decision to disclose my secret to my mother. The one year anniversary of her death is approaching. Sharing with her gave me the gift of enjoying a good relationship with her these past several years without hiding. Disclosing my secrets was the best decision I ever made. The biggest damage of my sexual abuse was not the sex - it was the secrets.
_________________________
..



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#507587 - 03/12/17 11:47 AM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#507623 - 03/13/17 08:16 AM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
Elad1 Offline


Registered: 01/12/16
Posts: 181
Loc: In The Treehouse
Thanks for asking, I was assaulted ten feet from my front door to my home by a person in a position of authority, it left me in a pile of moosh. I literally saw him as my abuser. 30 years of piled up resentment, shame, and victimization raced through my consciousness. I couldn't shake it because it affected me to the core, on a visceral level. It was then I thought something was revealed, that is when I disclosed and fell into the rabbit hole.
_________________________
"Truly, once the Way is lost,
There comes then virtue;
Virtue lost, comes then compassion;
After that morality;
And when thats lost, there's etiquette,
The husk of all good faith,
The rising point of anarchy"

Verse 38 Tao Te Ching


...and from here I begin the process to heal.







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#507624 - 03/13/17 09:21 AM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#507634 - 03/13/17 05:32 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
Elad1 Offline


Registered: 01/12/16
Posts: 181
Loc: In The Treehouse
HealingHope,

Your statement is true for me, "the time just seems to present itself for survivors to share." And yes, there was no choice because the past abuse was like a wall and I simply could not walk around like I was able to do before the assault.

I think you are asking some really good questions. I live with with person who also has ptsd, his is a result from being in prison in a foreign country for being gay. I have found that my part in his life regarding his healing is to hold space for him...what I mean is I support him by being present without prompting him to disclose his experience nor to judge how he feels, to allow him the space knowing he is supported unconditionally....this was a learned process for me, and we are both happier as a result of my practice to just sit with him. I know he discloses much more to his T than he will with me, and I respect him for that. I know this is not a trust issue choosing not disclosing to me as much as it is having to disclose by re-living humiliation that is too painful to share to someone as close as I am because in some way I am person who is invested in the outcome where as a therapist is not. I hope I am making sense here and I want you to know this is just my perspective from my own experience. Thank you for being here, and sharing your thoughts and feelings.
_________________________
"Truly, once the Way is lost,
There comes then virtue;
Virtue lost, comes then compassion;
After that morality;
And when thats lost, there's etiquette,
The husk of all good faith,
The rising point of anarchy"

Verse 38 Tao Te Ching


...and from here I begin the process to heal.







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#507636 - 03/13/17 06:16 PM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#507638 - 03/13/17 07:12 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4199
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
HH -

to go back to one of the earlier points for a moment -- I would no more think i could heal myself of the effects of abuse than i would try to do an appendectomy on myself. it is a condition that needs outside intervention. trying to deal with it myself got me nowhere except further into darkness and depression. If i could have done it myself, i wouldn't be here - decades later - still wrestling with issues. the abuse happened because of outside interference - and the healing also requires outside involvement.

as to your second question - how to handle things if he reveals more - it reminded me of a time when i was in that exact situation several years ago. I wrote a poem about it. I think i can best answer by copying it here - because it was in the words of a survivor who was facing that insecurity at the time.

I know it demonstrates a paradox of wanting/needing help and intimacy and a fear/avoidance of it. It is a fine line – a tightrope that requires a delicate balance and often places both partners in an impossibly tricky situation that is almost fated to fail at times. But sometimes the blunders and the making up can provide a better basis for healing than a “perfect” performance. Hope this helps.

Lee



Don't

Don’t tell me you understand
or that you know how I feel.
You can’t – and I am glad you can’t;
That is one of the things I value
about you – that you are more normal
and more founded in wholesomeness
than I am.

Don’t try to fix me
or have an answer for every
problem and weirdness
that I have.
I want you to respond – not reply.

Don’t ask me too many questions
or press for more
than I am ready for;
Just be ready to listen
with empathy – not sympathy.

Don’t (s)mother me
or hover over me
or look over my shoulder
or hug too tight or too long.

Although I need and want your help,
I need to feel that I am still a man,
independent, strong enough,
and in control – able to come and go
free as the spirit leads
and as the demons dictate.

Don't look at me too closely
or watch what I am doing.
I might slip;
I might stumble;
I might fall.

Don't hold high expectations
or think I've got it made;
I am weak,
I'm still fragile,
I'm not whole.

Don't cherish preconceptions
of how I ought to act:
what I should think,
how I should feel,
what I should say.

Don't assume that it's over now,
that I am back to normal;
Though I am better -
I'm not ALL better,
not yet well.

But if you want to walk with me
and pace your healthy stride
against my stumbling steps,
supporting one another,
to lend each other strength...

Then
we can travel
together.

10/14/12
_________________________
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

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#507642 - 03/13/17 08:27 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 452
I finally recognized the CSA in my childhood when I had to. I literally didn't even have words for what happened. I knew it was there. I remembered it. In fact, it was vivid and just there, wordless, descriptionless and lurking behind this thin veil in my life. I knew it was wrong, what had happened. I also knew I was cursed with it. I knew it was horrible/shameful/terrible. But if you would have asked me if something like that had happened in my childhood, I would have said no, and I wouldn't have been lying. I just didn't acknowledge it. I was like it happened, and I just shut the door on the memory.

Then, about 25 years later, I cheated on my wife. I had been holding myself together, and doing mostly a pretty poor job of it, for all my life, but I couldn't any more. I was suicidal. My kids and my wife, I just couldn't leave them. I started getting therapy, and then one day I just started talking to my wife. When she said it was sexual abuse that had happened, I couldn't believe it. When I talked to my therapist, she told me that I had described rape. It was like a light went on. It was bizarre to think that I had suffered that but never even thought about the definition of what had happened. These events do have words that describe them. But if you're willing to, you can hide the truth from yourself.

All that aside, I'm skeptical of the idea that anyone can help anyone else deal with CSA. We're SO good at manipulation. Whether we want to be or not.

Good luck.

Thanks for posting on here.

Bob

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#507647 - 03/13/17 09:32 PM Deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#507682 - 03/15/17 01:25 AM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
greenwizard Offline


Registered: 02/11/17
Posts: 497
Loc: PA
I told my girlfriend because I was in a damned if I do, damned if I don't situation. I think I've told the story before, but we had been dating about a month. The attack kinda made my sex drive go south except for with myself, so I hadn't made any advances on her. According to her she was beginning to wonder at that point if I was int her, so she planned to have me over for dinner. After dinner she invited me to watch TV. It all seemed innocent enough until she started making pretty strong sexual advances.

That gave me a panic attack. I'm sure that when women make a sexual advance the last thing they want is for their partner to pull back and start hyperventilating. She asked what was wrong when she noticed I was definitely not having the desired response.

I had two options at that point. I could have lied and swore that nothing was wrong. The thing is, that would've made her think I didn't like her, and I really did. So, I felt my best option was to come clean and tell her why a woman making a sexual advance was giving me a panic attack. Luckily for me she understood.

I know it probably doesn't help, but yeah, I was kinda boxed into a corner. If I hadn't told her I probably would've lost her because no one likes rejection.

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#507687 - 03/15/17 04:54 AM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#508037 - 03/24/17 02:04 AM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
TeeJayUU Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 314
Loc: MidWest
I was abused by 7 guys from being my very first memory till I was 20 or 21. By age 35 I had never dealt with any of it. But my self abuse and self hatred and self destructive behaviors led me to planning my suicide. While attempting to do this I finally realized how much damage had been done to me and I was finally ready to talk and find help. It has not been easy and I have shut my wife out several times. But I always returned to her love, support, strength, safety. She is why I am alive today, almost 20 years after I tried to end my life, she was the reason I pulled the car over and stopped myself.

So, from a husband, please hang in there. Take care of yourself!
_________________________
"There is a plan for me, God has a Purpose, I know there is a reason that I'm ALIVE!" Cherish Grace
PEACE HOPE LOVE

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#508047 - 03/24/17 08:32 AM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#510275 - 05/11/17 08:25 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: traveler]
L84 Offline


Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 35
Loc: USA
Lee,

Great insights here.... could have written a lot of this myself.

****I was pretty much forced into dealing with it. I was in a deep depression and planning a final exit. circumstances did not cooperate and my wife was desperate and got me to a therapist. At that point I had no resistance left and felt like I had nothing to lose. I went and started spewing out all the garbage and couldn't stop. ****

I think we can olnly take so much at a time... maybe that's why It seems to come in layers..
Good thing... I wanted to go head on, and "kill the beast that's hurt me". and by extension, hurt at times those close to me. Like running on broken leg, when you need crutches.

Maybe another reason for layers, is we unleash an earthquake & after-shocks of revelation, that we have to be fortified beforehand, so we can stand the shaking of what we thought our world was, before continuing on.


HH,

Think you have played a big part and brought measures of healing to your survivor, but the seeds you planted, may need to be watered by someone else, and then some more water from another and finally God gives the increase.

Your kind heart and compassionate listening skills are evident.
You love deeply and want to see it thru to the finish.
and certainly have went the extra mile (1.61 kilometers) and then lots more.

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#510276 - 05/11/17 09:31 PM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#510315 - 05/12/17 05:28 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
L84 Offline


Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 35
Loc: USA
You're very welcome HH 😇

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#510321 - 05/13/17 12:59 AM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2667
Loc: durham, north england
Hi Hh.

If you had asked me this question a few years ago, I would've said it was that terrible night in November of 2007 when I tried to hold the hand of a girl who I'd fallen very much in love with, push past my own barrier then have her respond with "I'm flattered"

it was the next day after a night of literal agony that I realized I was not okay and actually registered on this site.

However, one thing I'm realizing is that disclosure and healing is more like digging a huge load radioactive waste out of the ground.

Initially you think everythings fine because the surface is fine, but then things start dying and distorting and you think "oh hell there's something bad down there", so you pull out your the Geiger counter and listen to the clicks and you find out that hay, some really bad stuff buried here years ago.

Then you come your shovel and start trying to dig out the top soil, but there is lots of it, and your not sure where to dig, and the closer you get to the bad stuff the worse things get and the more things around you start to twist, distort and go very wrong.

eventually you actually start hitting those huge radioactive barrels and pulling the dam things out where they can be neutralized, however you have no idea how many dam barrels are down there, which are leaking, and what sort of amazingly nasty stuff you'll find buried, you just have to keep shovelling away.

Hmmm, that was a rather extended and somewhat random metaphor (it's nearly one in the morning over here), but hopefully you take my meaning.

I for example at 22 back in 2004 initially tried to disclose to a solicitor, since I wanted at least an acknowledgement from the local authority that my abuse had at least happened. I told him some of the more acceptable bits of my story, eg, the public exposure, and he actually responded by telling me because I was doing a Masters at a prestigious university, I'd been too successful to a good court case be likely to get an apology, ----- yes, I'd been too! successful.

Needless to say that didn't exactly encourage me to look further.

I could never disclose to my parents, indeed I was shocked that it was actually my mum who first used the word "raped" in connection with what happened to me (I can see why, since I don't think most men at 19 would have a screaming panic attack if their mum walked in on them shirtless in the bathroom), but trying to actually go into any sort of detail, emotional or physical would be, ---- just plane wrong! Also their answers to things were not always helpful, indeed I still remember on that black morning in 2007 when I tried to explain that girl I loved had given me the "I'm flattered" response and was with someone else my mum gave me the "you'll find someone eventually just wait" speech and frankly I threw the phone across the room, since being told the exact thing I'd been toldtime and time again a disgusting old cliche actively hurt.

the only person indeed who
This site actually helped me get a lot of things out, particularly the uglier, nastier parts of what I was feeling, a mike loo conference in 2010 also helped, however therapists have been pretty patchy, especially some of those in the university councilling service have done more harm than good, one even started getting angry at me for avoiding using words like s/x.
I did tell a couple of details to two very close friends (one female one male), but again, these were only sketchy details of what had happened, indeed mostly my friends gave me space while I cried.

The best therapist I had was my councillor in 2014, but he was actually trained in sa, and indeed in male sa.

One of the major problems for me over the years has not just been the sa itself however, but also the total lack of any sort of intimate relationship.

While I've had very good friends I've always considered them incredibly and kind people who could put up with me, indeed one person once accused me of putting my own friends on a pedestal.

One of the major problems for me was not just the sa itself, but the total lack of an intimate relationship.
I cannot actually explain what it feels, what it physically and literally feels! like to know that the closest, the most intimate contact you've ever had with another person is while having your face spat in.

if I were to describe this sensation I'd describe it like literally having a hole drilled through the center of my chest, an absolute, and icy awareness of pure absence!

this is why for me the fact that someone not only loves me, but actively wants to spend the rst of her life with me is such a profound change.

either because of this changeor just on a pragmatic level, my lady has heard everything. Not just the details of my abuse, but also some of the less pleasant things I myself have thought over the years, indeed we're rather at a point now where the abuse is just another fact between us, another point of life story, something we can discuss almost casually, indeed my lady has actively said she wants to read J K Rowling's a casual vacancy which is probably the best portrait of one of my abusers that I've ever seen written.

Going back to your question Healing hope, one thing I wonder about your so is what realizations he's made.

There are dark, ugly and unpleasant things in recovery, and not just the details of the abuse itself, vile though they usually are.

I for example was once in a position where I genuinely desired every human on the planet, (myself included), to just stop! end! be no more.
Not suffer necessarily, but just to drop dead, or vanish.

AFter all the haves just went on with their undeserving happiness, and the have nots would forever live without and be miserable, better for all just to end.

And this wasn't even the darkest thing I thoughtindeed that part of me I call "shadow" has some pretty horrible ideas, especially about myself

I wonder if your so's shadow is similarly causing problems?

Sadly there isn't a cure, or at least the only cure I found for Shadow is simply to trust my lady instead.

Hope some of this helps.

Luke.

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#510330 - 05/13/17 02:05 PM deleted [Re: dark empathy]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#510350 - 05/14/17 12:32 AM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
WG Offline


Registered: 09/10/15
Posts: 414
Loc: WA
I told no one for almost 50 years - yeah, I'm old. I'm almost 63, married for now 35 years with 3 people who were great children and are terrific adults. Too much shame - and as was said before, it wasn't the sa itself, it's the residual. All the fallout from what was done - and we were left to deal with it. It came to the point that my wife, who always felt there was 'something' about me thought I didn't love her. It was a number of other things, but I finally decided in my heart that the perpetrator had rented space for free in my head and heart long enough. I started therapy - that was 3 years ago - and have no regrets about doing so. While it isn't a 'cure-all', it is guidance through the darkness, a light to my feet so to speak as I walked this broken road. Help beyond measure, compassion and support - just what this very damaged boy was needing - and now I can say with a confidence I had not known before - that I'm a grown man. A man. Not a sorrowful, hurt little boy - yes, he exists, but it is no longer the sole definition of who I am today.
I would encourage your man to continue with therapy - or find someone he trusts (that may take a very long time, or not). Encourage him to continue to talk - when he feels safe to do so since he apparently has trusted you for some time now.

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#510359 - 05/14/17 07:06 AM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#510363 - 05/14/17 09:24 AM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2667
Loc: durham, north england
@hh, glad my ramble made some sort of sense laugh.

As regards Shadow and perceptions, one problem I have had is that living for such a long time with a distinct perception of worthlessness it becomes near impossible to shift.
I use the term "shadow" to describe my perceptions as though it is something else or an alternative personality, but that is mostly for poetic effect and short hand. Shadow is not a true alternative personality or similar and though I have had some dark and rather disturbing fugue moments where I have literally heard Shadow's voice, I am still aware that it is very much me, indeed that is the distinct problem.

Any description of myself would include the word "worthless", eg five foot ten, dark hair, worthless!
Similarly, any interactions between myself and the world were unquestionably coloured by this perception. If someone was my friend it was because they were a nice person who could tolerate me. Most people ignored my existence but that is because most people simply are so wrapped up in themselves they don't notice. There is no point me trying to change my situation, look for new friends or things to do since all trying has done in the past taken more trouble or produced more problems.

This even spread to creative and mundane projects, I had significant problems writing my phd thesis because inevitably I'd look at what I'd done say "it's crap" and want to delete it.

If I played a computer game, ---- especially one I'd loved back in the good old days and failed at it, it my fault, things had all gone wrong and what I'd had as a young adult back in the better point of my life had deserted me.

There was little I could do about this. Being on this site had taught me to recognize these perceptions and regard them as irrational, however I felt, ---- and indeed sometimes still feel very much stuck by them.

This is why I call the thing Shadow, something that not only follows behind you, but something that cloaks what you see and feel.

Where my lady comes into this is that firstly and most profoundly she loves me. This is something I actually know! I do not know why, it still confounds me that she does, but she definitely does.

This does not necessarily ultimately change how I think of myself, indeed I've frequently compared our situation to beauty and the beast, (in fact the words to the Disney song are so worryingly accurate at describing us it's rather scary), though in her turn she points out I'm not really much of a beast.

I am also a chronic apologiser, (something she has got gently exasperated with on occasion), however whatever else I can't actually deny the fact that she does! love me.

Quite aside from the rather weerd relation this creates with myself, it also makes some other assumptions difficult to maintain. For example my lady generally has a far less jaundiced view of the world than I do, indeed one of the first things she said to me when she met some of my friends was "they love you Luke" something that absolutely astonished! me since i'd never thought of things that way.

My mum once said that my lady is a "glass half full" type of person contrasting with me, but the truth is little more extreme than that, since for me it's not even necessarily that the glass is half empty, it's just what it is full with always has to be drunk with a rather more bitter tongue.

I don't believe there is an easy answer to this at all, but it is something that is slowly improving, or at least where I could do nothing to help myself directly since Shadow's perceptions were so pervasive, I do find my to always assume Shadow's message as tacitly correct is ebbing.

I'll also say, that this is a loooooong! way past the simple, rather superficial "think positive" sort of messages you get in a lot of popular psychology literature.
It goes a lot deeper than that. It is felt! rather than "thought" and assuming some sort of superficial feel good message might help is like trying to convince someone that their broken knee actually can bear their weight.

To be honest I'll say that a lot of the pop positive thinking cult is something I still rather dislike for it's superficiality, and especially for how frequently it's used to belittle those with a severe problem, indeed I confess whenever I ran up against some celeb or foe sympathetic pundit who would tell me they "used to feel so depressed, but then started to think positively about themselves" I'd want to spit.

It's much harder, much bleaker, and isn't! something it's always to do on your own.

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#510364 - 05/14/17 10:11 AM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#510416 - 05/15/17 12:39 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
WG Offline


Registered: 09/10/15
Posts: 414
Loc: WA
hh - Your man has a lot to walk through, and as Luke stated, it goes far deeper than anyone can imagine. It plays havoc with everything. As was said above, someone becomes an acquiantance then a bit closer as a friend - and you wonder the entire time what they want from you - or what you will be told to do to remain their 'friend' because 'you're special'. It's the sickness of what was done that colors everything - job performance, reading the cooking instructions on a soup can - and going over it again and again to be certain you didn't get it wrong because if you did then its just one more thing that's not right about you, missing an appointment, spilling the milk, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, not understanding directions to do something but you act like you do because to admit to that person you don't get it once again just confirms what everyone else knows about you that you are incapable of learning anything. On and on the tangled mess goes. With little or no assistance to get out of it and you're made fun of if you make any attempt to move forward. Sex terrorizes us on every level - since it was the very weapon used against us. That's where Shadow comes in for me - I became him to disassociate. Mine wasn't named Shadow, but that name will do for now. All too real. I'm learning through therapy that I can say good-bye to him. It'll take time, but it is certainly an option for me now.

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#510425 - 05/15/17 04:52 PM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#510436 - 05/15/17 07:40 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2667
Loc: durham, north england
@Wg, you describe the pervasive problem of the thing I call Shadow very well.
I remember on one occasion in 2014 I found myself not able to get siri to launch an ap on my IPhone, raging at siri, then at myself,, then finished crying and just this sense of how pathetic I was for not being able to operate a simple phone program then crying about it.

@hh, problem for me at least with Shadow, and indeed something that creates problems with my lady is when circumstances tend to reinforce beliefs and I am left with nothing to do but impotently rage at them.

For example one of the most useful things my councillor said is when said I felt I could! heal if an actual community of support from someone who valued what I do and what I am as opposed to the world I get stuck in which destroyed it, he simply said "yes"
Indeed one problem still have that I find myself far angrier at the inanimate, pervasive way the world works than I am ever am at any one person, my abusers included.

Then again since my abuse did! feel basically like the environment, the culture, the entire experience was against me I do understand where this belief came from, it is even justified by the fact that heck we do! live in a world where most people have little importance or impact on those around them and where culture tries to crush individuals down into statistics, all accept the favoured few who won the genetic or social lottery and have been rewarded with some sort of vaguely worth while status. However not becoming ugly at the intrinsic and generalized crappiness of the human race in general is something I do struggle with.

I don't know where your so is, but it is entirely possible he feels this level of alienation from everything and everyone around him.
This is one reason the fact that my lady loves me and that I know it is so wonderful, it's an absolute impossibility.

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#510542 - 05/17/17 01:24 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
md4e Offline


Registered: 02/01/14
Posts: 75
My spouse disclosed over 20yrs ago when his sister asked if he was abused, she had suppressed her abuse and was seeking validation. She says it saved her life. As for me....it answered a lot questions. My counselor said it helped in that I understand some of his behavior, I see that it is unresolved trauma, not that he is an a**.
But the reason I'm sad is i see that he responds to me as an enemy not an ally. Because I know the secret, the secret that he still wants not to be spoken/processed. To stay halfway engaged and totally disengaged if something comes into our life for him to have to think about .....no thinking because then you feel...so disassociate.
All this gets so overwhelming at this point in my life. I was in the position of needing a sense of safety, wanting...really wanting him to talk to me, share, be vulnerable. So I could feel safe.
I wanted to get that feeling I was worth it, worth being uncomfortable for, worth doing the dirty work, to have some ease and not feel like a parent 24-7. Because when he dissociates he acts from that scared little boy...needing isolation. Not a reliable situation.
I'm just coming to the painful realization that it's just been me that has wanted the healing, me doing the work.
I love this man so much, we have a great family, a great home, financially sound. But the ache for a intimate partner that doesn't see me as an intruder, abuser....I sense at those times he's just waiting for me to be done and go so he can be alone. And when I felt the world get shaky under me and had assumed...?????
It seems like the times he does read on this topic is after I've explained for the 100th time why I'm sad, why I've rearranged my priorities. He doesn't have to guess like I do.
I'm sorry if I've strayed off topic. But the reason for his disclosure was out of love, and not easy. At my sad times I ask...what about me. Then feel guilty and selfish. Now I say no to that! I AM WORTH IT. Pain is still there but I know.
Peace for us all
D

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#510544 - 05/17/17 01:36 PM Deleted [Re: md4e]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#510550 - 05/17/17 01:59 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
md4e Offline


Registered: 02/01/14
Posts: 75
Thanks HH,
I've had that book for awhile, in fact I was looking at it just yesterday....shared it with him. He reads some, comments.
Then the. ......crumbling.
I have worked so hard at understanding this, read tons of books, countless sessions etc. I know in my heart it's not my fault things are so difficult at times, hard to be a partnership of one.
I guess I see where I have been a partner to his sister all these years in all her healing, so I know what inclusion feels like.
My counselor once said..."just because you understand/know doesn't mean the hurt goes away"
Where I'm at really. So now what...remind myself every day of all things I'm grateful for. And important...it sucks and harder doing it alone on days you'd like help. And somethings you want to share with a spouse, not others....really hard to do feeling alone in it.
HH I'm glad this forum is here for us

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#510552 - 05/17/17 02:11 PM Deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#510554 - 05/17/17 02:29 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
md4e Offline


Registered: 02/01/14
Posts: 75
No....we are the topic :-)
I'm hoping he's safe also!
The pain abuse leaves in its wake.....wow
If only they could see that together shared it is lessened
If only.......

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#510555 - 05/17/17 02:37 PM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#510607 - 05/18/17 01:52 AM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2667
Loc: durham, north england
One thing I will remind hh, md and any other ladies reading this topic is that yes it can! work.
Easy? no, painful? yes, but there is actually a point where things get better.

My lady sometimes recalls the fact that when we met I had to ask her to put a coat over her sleeveless dress so that could give her a hug, and in turn when I recall how taking a girl's hand in 2007 was an absolute form of torture that left me probably more broken than any time in my life,n quite aside from all the crap after that.

I don't say this to be arrogant or to make light of my own faults, I'm quite aware that am far from perfect. I can become ugly over the state of the world, I apologise too much, I often feel apathetic at the thought of trying something new which involves being evaluated or accepted by others, indeed I have a decidedly jaundiced view humanity as a collective generally and any group of people I must interact with in particular, a problem whichmakes it extremely difficult for me to find any sort of vocational or social opportunities at all, indeed frequently I can't even be bothered to try and would rather sit with my books, my music, my writing and my computer games instead.

I still! tend to panic if I feel vulnerable in a public place, have a pathological hatred of asking for help from strangers (a hatred which often results in a tendency to be curt, if not down right rude), heck I still hate the smell of cigarettes.

As I've said I have no idea why! the hell my lady loves me much less puts up with me. she sees a lot of things about me that I do not, things that I can't even reiterate here since to mention them feels too close to being self important.

It makes absolutely no sense, it is almost ludicrous, yet I can say because! my lady loves me, everything has changed, and my god, when I consider where I was even two years ago it is like living on a different planet.

So yes, it can! get better.

Luke.

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#510611 - 05/18/17 04:33 AM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
Tom E. Offline


Registered: 01/08/17
Posts: 405
Loc: FL
I first told my therapist and my A.A. sponsor almost 2 years ago. I hit an emotional bottom, a crises, & everything was revealed for what it was; abuse.

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#510800 - 05/21/17 07:51 AM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#511961 - 06/13/17 08:29 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
Can_I_Do_This Offline


Registered: 05/17/17
Posts: 145
Loc: California
Hi HealingHope,

Your husband is a very, very lucky man to have you caring for him and for being so understanding of the terror he experienced. You're a good woman and you give me hope.

Two years ago I left a 10-year abusive relationship with a woman who I've learned suffers from narcissistic personality disorder. I started realizing all of my adult relationships were unsustainable. I was deliberately choosing abusive partners.

Of course this realization led me to examining the reasons why I chose abusive partners and I realized it all stems from my childhood abuse.

Just last week I told my Mom I remembered what she did; it was a huge relief, like a clogged drain opening up. Of course she said she didn't remember, but I know she does. I just *knew* I had to say something. I realized that *I* was the one carrying the shame of the abuse, and that I wasn't even responsible. The responsibility is squarely on my parent's shoulders (both abused me, their only Son).

So, yeah, realizing basically my entire adult life has been a failure as far as sustainable relationships go, that was my tipping point to disclose to at least my parents. I've told my sisters and some friends, my therapist, but never my parents.

Take care.
_________________________
My Truth Outweighs Your Disorder

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#511965 - 06/13/17 09:51 PM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#511966 - 06/13/17 10:09 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
Can_I_Do_This Offline


Registered: 05/17/17
Posts: 145
Loc: California
Hi HH,

I am elated my words give you hope!

I've compared this whole "unfolding" of awareness of my abuse and the effect it's had on my entire life to climbing a mountain. You think you're close to the summit but you crest another ridge and realize there's more climbing to do.

Two years ago I summoned the strength to leave the narcissist after 10 years together; learning all about narcissism and cycles of abuse led me to a lot of realizations, mainly that I had no borders or self-esteem due to the fact that, you know, I was beaten like a dog and molested as a helpless little boy. The narcissistic ex had expertly taken all I'd told her of my childhood and sadistically turned it against me.

Narcissists have no real sense of genuine personality themselves so they reflect other's attention onto themselves. Let me tell you, the games that woman played on me were unbelievable, but, again, I did find the strength to leave and so life has been at least peaceful the past 2 years. Just me and 2 cats. I love it.

I admit I'm weary of studying all this stuff, I'd rather be playing guitar and composing and feeling like a happy little boy again, but the narcissist was the most important person in my life so far because she painstakingly exposed my every childhood wound.

Now I realize I tolerated ex because I truly believed that was the way I deserved to be treated. Some say people like me SEEK OUT abusers over and over again with the ultimate hope that they, too, will become aware of their childhood abuse and address it.

Last thing: about the "gay" behavior. I, too, acted out with older men, Father figures. I deduced that the 1st time my Dad beat me my psyche made a pact with myself: I would guarantee myself the love and affection of an older Father figure by tying it in with my sexuality. Once I realized this the desire to dominate older Father figures pretty much evaporated.

I am definitely not gay but my Dad certainly pushed me in that direction. These are deeply rooted survival instincts and VERY confusing for basically "straight" men.

I really, really need to talk to my parents while they're still alive because they have no idea of the chain of events their abuse initiated. I feel I'm lucky to be alive after what I've been thru.

This board is a wonderful place, all the best HH, thank you for understanding and seeing this thru with your man. Blessings to you, too.
_________________________
My Truth Outweighs Your Disorder

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#511970 - 06/13/17 11:37 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
dac Offline


Registered: 05/15/17
Posts: 95
Loc: OR
I really appreciate your insights, CIDT, especially since I feel like I could have written almost the same thing 🙂..
My parents are both dead, and we never talked about anything.. I had my chances but I didn't bring CSA into it, because I wasn't ready to deal with it myself.
Thank you CIDT for your affirmations and self esteem building exercises, they inspire me to keep doing them myself. Love to you my brother

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#511971 - 06/14/17 01:21 AM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
Can_I_Do_This Offline


Registered: 05/17/17
Posts: 145
Loc: California
Dac, you are so welcome, my friend. Yeah, the mind-blower has been this:

I not only attract but am attracted to disordered women; I never knew what a red flag was, man. So naive! smile

Some logic out there says that people like us deliberately choose to be with people who remind us of our childhoods, that it's our way of somehow intuitively knowing that these people will expose our old deeply hidden wounds, ultimately leading to closure and understanding.

And here I thought I was doing what everyone else is doing, partnering-up and creating a lovely life together. Little did I know...

Perspective is everything.

As for telling my parents, seriously, I have concern and some sense of care for them but they need to know the consequences of their actions decades ago. If they get hurt and defensive, fuck 'em. I'M the one who decided to carry THEIR shame for all these years, and that is a decision I am happy to reverse. I have the power and it's simple: just do it.

My whole life I have been the one to bend, to be flexible, so that people didn't get their feelings hurt. Those days are over, I can clearly see that was not a healthy mindset to live with.

I can make this decision now because of the self-love stuff, the fake it till you make it mindset. I am elated to hear you are doing the same thing, Dac, this makes me ridiculously happy. Great work my man!!! Love and support to you, too. We got this!
_________________________
My Truth Outweighs Your Disorder

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#511985 - 06/14/17 05:45 AM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#511991 - 06/14/17 12:37 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
WG Offline


Registered: 09/10/15
Posts: 414
Loc: WA
I think that a huge part - at least for me - was realizing through therapy this will never 'go away'. Work through it, walk through it, deal with it, talk about it, weep over what wasn't and what was lost - yes. But 'over it'? No. We will have this all of our days here on earth. However, and this was huge for me, I can be a victor, a warrior so to speak, for the good. I've learned with my therapist that when I'm feeling triggered or feeling like I'm 6 again, to ask myself "What am I needing?' - a hug? Affirmation? Or the usual HALT - Hungry,Angry,Lonely, Tired. Stopping myself and asking my heart just what am I looking for, then seeking it in legitimate ways. Looking to please someone else is childhood behavior taking over. Looking to appease these feelings with food,sex,shopping,loud music,drinking, drugging, or simply taking off are ways to 'throw something at it' without thinking through what it is I am needing at that moment. Granted, there are times the actions just described are good. In their place, yes. But to use them to excess and anytime I'm triggered is not a good thing for me since the cycle will repeat itself over and over and I find myself on a road that spirals on and on and will not end. It took an immense amount of therapy to come to that place for me. It came to the point where I was tired of losing hope and taking constant chances that 'maybe this time this will work' , and being disappointed once again.

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#511997 - 06/14/17 01:50 PM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#512041 - 06/15/17 01:42 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
WG Offline


Registered: 09/10/15
Posts: 414
Loc: WA
HH - I wanted to add that this also deals with what are called 'neuro pathways' meaning that we all have patterns of behavior. Mostly learned at an early age - be they coping mechanisms, way of speaking, acting, social graces,or actions we do when no one else is watching (like cooking, entertainment, time alone, hobbies,etc.) all come from these neuro pathways. Some remain, others are used until they are no long necessary then others take their place. Some, like what we have just discussed, are very present and can be useful when used correctly (needing to escape a bad situation, preparing a meal for example). However, some can be repeated until they become so ingrained that they cannot be changed except with professional help. That's what I was needing. And, yes, indeed, they do - as you said - 'tug so hard backwards'!

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#512094 - 06/16/17 06:30 AM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: Can_I_Do_This]
L84 Offline


Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 35
Loc: USA
CIDT,

Sounds like you've come a long way.
Getting healthier and healthier. Sorry you had to endure
so much.

About personality types being (subconsciously, I think) that we are attracted to... It may be part of the
factor that we feel that's whst we deserve, but there is
also a phenomenon of we like what is familiar (even thought is is so chaotic and hurtful), because we're used to it and comfortable with the familiar.

One of the things that seemed to happen to me was FOO abuse
and the "required pretending" to those outside the family
was the consequence of: My radar/discernment was switched off. So even when I got away from the environment I was unable to spot abusers by being forced to "don't tell anyone"
"look happy, so no one knows".

This radar (of discerning good people from bad) being switched off, led to even more horrible abuse from strangers in my adolescence.

So thankful to have grown more.
That was so good for you to get out of the toxic relationship with a narcissist.

Thank you for sharing. Definitely "rings a few bells? that sound familiar.

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#512114 - 06/16/17 04:52 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: L84]
Can_I_Do_This Offline


Registered: 05/17/17
Posts: 145
Loc: California
Hi L84,

Thanks for the exceptionally kind words of support, I appreciate the validation immensely.

Originally Posted By L84
we like what is familiar (even thought is is so chaotic and hurtful), because we're used to it and comfortable with the familiar.


Two years before I regained control of my life and left the narcissistic ex, I was pounding in fence posts in the backyard. Ex, typically sloppy drunk, screeches at me, "Come on big boy, hit it! You can do it, big boy! Come on, big boy, HIT IT."

And that, my friend, was my "aha!" moment. Thru my tears, pounding that fucking fence post right into the ground, I asked myself, "why does this relationship remind me of my childhood?"

The answer is, as you said, because it's familiar. It's what we're used to. It's comfortable territory despite the chaos and confusion.

What the abusers find threatening is when we wake up and make changes. They have no clue how strong we are, how far we're willing to go to put a stop to the abuse. Even if it means having them jailed.
_________________________
My Truth Outweighs Your Disorder

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#512130 - 06/16/17 06:58 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 452
Here's one thing about people who survived CSA: We typically have extremely irregular boundaries. By that I mean we might be, at least before we get therapy, able to just have sex with anybody at pretty much any time. Is it "intimate" sex? Well, sure... physically. But it's probably not emotionally intimate. We might be able to be emotionally intimate with people... to a certain extent... but there will be a spot at our core where it's just us, because we are MORTALLY TERRIFIED of exposing that core, because that's where the identity lives that suffered abuse and shame and horror as a child.

For me, I accidentally disclosed my abuse because I had cheated on my wife but didn't know why, and I had to save my marriage. I say it was an accident, because at that time I didn't even DEFINE what had happened to me as sexual abuse. I had those memories, but I refused to look at them. I refused to define them. They just existed behind a curtain in my mind. It was only when my marriage was more important than my fear that I finally blurted out the first words about what had happened when I was a kid, and I still can't share everything with my wife. I still can't share everything with my therapists. I can't do it. It's too much.

You can't make someone open up. And them telling you about the abuse, or portions of it, isn't the same as them being emotionally honest about painful things NOW.

We are all... each of us... experts at hiding in plain sight. We know what to tell someone to give a credible account of our abuse. We know how much we can keep hidden. We know the effect of telling our story on people, and we're not above telling pieces of our story to manipulate caring people into giving us what we want or need. I'm not saying your partner does that or did it, but we're experts on it. Trust me on this one.

Personally, I think recovery is a long and terrible road, one that I don't talk about with my wife, because I don't want her to get hopeful or something, because I'll then try to fit into what I think she wants to hear. It's a hard thing, being so attuned to what others want. I just want some damn peace for myself. I want to be OK with myself, which is hard as hell. I couldn't stand it if someone else depended on me being "better" or "healthier."

It's an ugly thing to have a rape way back in your memory, or a half dozen of them. In some ways, life goes on, but not really. In other ways, it's just there, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

Good luck. I wish you the very best. You seem like a really good person.

Bob

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#512170 - 06/17/17 06:17 AM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#512177 - 06/17/17 12:50 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2667
Loc: durham, north england
@hh, one thing I will say about Robert's post, is that there is a difference. Sometimes affects of abuse are not always clear to us either, I am just starting to realize that I have a fear of crowds and of strangers that tends to keep me isolated simply because it's easier than trying with people. This is not something I've really dealt with before simply because I was too taken up with my genophobia and everything else I was dealing with and because dealing with my genophobia and my need for love was in it's odd way easier, mostly because it's fairly easy to deal with a need for love when you hav someone who loves you, less easy to deal with feeling ot disconnection from most of the human race when the human race doesn't really care about your existence anyway.

I confess I don't really have an answer here, but I can say that for me at least I would be lost without my lady.

I had two nightmares last night both of them vague, and both of them horribly connected.
In one, I was contemplating a detention just as I was as a teenager and imagining what might go on.
Yet the frightening thing was I knew I was dreaming, new I was a 34 year old man not a 14 year old boy, new that I could! change the track if I wanted.

So I changed the track, I was suddenly in Greece having holiday with my wife, but something was wrong. Everything was confused and muzzy, I went swimming while my wife went back to our room, I just pushed off the sands at the bottom of the sea and struggled back to the surface, then I couldn't find our room.
then when I got back my wife was missing and I tried frantically to phone her mobile to find she'd been taken, that someone kidnapped her and she might be hurt. needless to say I literally panicked, woke up in absolute terror and was so relieved to reach out and find her beside me.

What does this show? I don't know, probably that I'm still in a mess but at least I'm in a mess with my wife rather than being in a mess totoally alone as I have been for a while.
I just hate her having to deal with this too.

Sorry I probably ought not to have come on ms this morning, but before I talk myself out of posting this I'll post it.

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#512178 - 06/17/17 01:05 PM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#512190 - 06/17/17 06:31 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2667
Loc: durham, north england
Thanks Hh, one of the problems with having all these sa memories and a capacity to into old patterns is that comparatively mundane things can be difficult.

I suspect that my lady and I just have a touch of a summer cold, as usual it hits unfortunate spots.

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#512191 - 06/17/17 07:08 PM deleted [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279

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#512192 - 06/17/17 07:37 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
Can_I_Do_This Offline


Registered: 05/17/17
Posts: 145
Loc: California
HealingHope,

What you are doing for your love is admirable, but I see you sometimes wonder if it's going to be worth it, maybe it's time to let go, etc.

I'm just cautioning you about getting into a co-dependent relationship where it's more about obligation rather than desire.

The simple truth is you didn't break him, and you are not responsible for fixing him if it leads you to discomfort, pain and doubt. Truthfully, any and all healing is going to have come from him directly, all you can be expected is to offer support, such as you've been doing.

I hope things work out but seeing a little doubt coming from you, I urge you to put your desires and wishes first.


Edited by Can_I_Do_This (06/17/17 07:37 PM)
_________________________
My Truth Outweighs Your Disorder

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#512193 - 06/17/17 07:42 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279
I love him. That's no obligation. Thank you for your concern

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#512206 - 06/18/17 03:09 AM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: Robert1000]
LinEar Offline


Registered: 06/02/15
Posts: 338
Loc: USA
Bob,

Thanks for this angle on things. I see myself in so much of what you've written, yet I've never really thought about it in this way.

I'm the king of irregular boundaries when it comes to physical "intimacy", emotional intimacy, and the inner core especially -- what I think of as the inner child (aka a part, in the IFS model), who took the brunt of the abuse. Irregular boundaries and their associated inconsistencies are frustrating to us, and others, and they can even contribute to repetition compulsion/retraumatization.

It's interesting how emotional intimacy tied to an abusive event is in no way correlated with emotional intimacy related to the painful things we have ongoing here and now. I know I have been in relationships where traumatic events were disclosed to me in a sort of manipulated/forced way much earlier than they naturally would have been. Part of that was an attempt to create instant emotional intimacy (which is not possible), to generate that connection, and even to be used for guilt tripping as an "irrefutable" argument/trump card. Whether we do it, or somebody else does, it's not healthy. This can then lead to one of the issues with disclosure/over-disclosure -- now we're operating out of another part, or another false self, in an effort to fit into how someone expects us to be, as you alluded to.
_________________________
Spotlight...get me out of this spotlight.


My silence is my self-defense.

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#512233 - 06/18/17 06:05 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 452
Hi LinEar,

I totally know what you're saying about the irrefutable argument/trump card. It can be so powerful and dysfunctional to be able to blame behavior on CSA trauma. It's so unhealthy. I know I've done traumatic things to people. I haven't abused anyone that way I was abused, but that doesn't mean I haven't been destructive. I believe we all must be accountable for our actions, just as I'd want the person who hurt me to be accountable for his, even though I'm confident he was also abused at some point.

HH, I do have a lot of anger. I hope you don't feel my anger was directed at you, because it certainly isn't.

Keep finding moments of peace, everyone.

Bob

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#512234 - 06/18/17 06:41 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279
Bob, thank you for checking in with me. I have an uncanny knack of reading what people sometimes are not directly saying. I was processing whether the anger I felt was projection as transference and/ or my own countertransference. I did experience countertransference which led to my self reflections and comment about ....letting go. Which for clarity In repect of another posters comment was NOT letting go of my survivor but coming to terms with my surviviors absence, NOT letting go of him. I could never, I love him and always will.

Thank you Bob, I wish you much peace too.

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#512245 - 06/19/17 01:00 AM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 452
Thank you, HH,

I appreciate this forum so much. It's very comforting to have interactions like this sometimes. I wish you the very best, and your survivor, too. I have been thinking about how important it is to me, personally, to advocate for instance for a society that allows refugees to find a safe haven, how it's important for me to find ways to help marginalized people... and also people like me who've been traumatized, raped and abused. Humans are both fragile and tough. It's worth it to keep loving each other, because that's all we really have.

On a related subject, for some of us survivors it can be difficult to accept someone else's love, because we often see ourselves as unlovable. In a funny way, I think a part of me used to resent my wife for loving me, maybe because she loved an image of me that I thought was fake. Also, I think there was a part of me that sort of blamed her for the terrible stuff that happened to me, as odd as that may sound. We didn't meet until a decade after the abuse took place. How could I blame her? Well, maybe I didn't blame her for the abuse, but I blamed her for how bad I felt all the time. A part of me expected my love for her to heal me. It didn't. Or maybe it did because my love for her was finally what forced me to confront my own past. I knew I had to confront my past or lose her. So I did. In the process, I learned a lot about my feelings. It's an ongoing project. I'm getting better at accepting love.

I hope that stuff makes sense. Take care,

Bob

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#512263 - 06/19/17 07:44 AM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: Robert1000]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 279
Yes, I understand the conflict, it's something I think my survivor experienced too. He couldn't understand why I love him.

This place is special because survivors and supporters share one thing. We're all healing from pain. Everyone here has commited in some shape of form to own their healing journey, their behaviours and to learn. It takes courage to dare to be vulnerable and trust in the process.

Healing blessings to you. HH



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#512322 - 06/20/17 12:24 PM Re: What was your tipping point to disclose? [Re: HealingHope]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2667
Loc: durham, north england
On the subject of "understanding" it occurs to me there is a major difference between "understanding" something and "accepting" or indeed relying on something.

I do not understand why my lady loves me. The fact astonishes me each and every day. There is no reason that I can explain as much.

Even if I try to interlectualise things frame our relationship in terms of two characters in a novel it still does not make sense to me.

when I found myself forced to admit to my lady how I felt the shear astonishment that she felt the same way was positively world shattering! indeed at that point I actually didn't care! she was with someone else, I told her "your best off with him, since i have no life to share with you" a thing I genuinely believed., it was enough to know someone did! love me.

I do however accept! that my lady loves me, a fact I absolutely rely on and which is utterly immutable.

it is like gravity.
If you think about the fact that the earth is spinning extremely rapidly whilst turning in ovals around a far larger ball in space, the idea of it can make you dizzy, especially given the relative speeds involved. You wonder why everyone doesn't fly straight off the earth into space in all directions.

But gravity is there.

We don't know how it works, even down to the subatomic level we don't know how! it works, we can't just point to it and say "there is gravity" without demonstrating it, but we accept that it works each and every day.

that is how it is for me with my lady. I cannot understand that there is anything in me would correlate to her loving me, but I cannot deny the fact that she does.

One thing about disclosure is I've noticed it can actually create a distance between people.

One thing which always irritates me is frequently if I meet a new group of people and we get past the recognizing that I am the same species phase, people seem to think I have a sign on my forehead reading "Brother confessor"

I can think of separate occasions on a train in which a person (three times a lady), started talking to me and finished up discussing personal, often traumatic things, and yet with no conception that we'd ever see each other again.
it is almost as if I have an aura of "talk to me!" about me.

Yet, the odd thing is (as I've learned to my cost), this never creates an actual connection between people. It is not a way to make friends, indeed frequently I confess I feel rather slighted since someone will tell me all the bad stuff that happened to them, their relationship problems or medical problems, and then piss off and forget my existence!

it is not something I've done myself, until my lady I've always found talking about my abuse difficult, mostly because I tend to go into a very cold, emotionless place when I do it (one nasty therapist even accused me of talking as though I were discussing a science experiment), but it does seem to be something a lot of people do, indeed the one occasion I think I nearly fell pray to a sexual predator myself, that was how she got me on side, ---- luckily my genophobia actually saved me on that occasion, but it was literally just one bedroom door away and it terrifies me to think destructive that could have been, especially with how pushy, cold and predatory said woman was.

As for excuses for bad behaviour, my own problem I think is rather the opposite, indeed my lady frequently tells me off for apologising too much, or still worse for thanking her for loving me (something I really can't help doing but which she has told me she finds problematic since she feels it's undeserved).

Luke.

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