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#56642 - 12/13/03 12:25 AM A sign of change ?
Caetel Offline

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
Hey you !
I just wanted to share with you just a little event that happened tonight (French time \:D ).
I had written to V about me being invited for diner by a friend who had extended the invitation to him because he knows what he means to me and I suspect he is eager to know him better too. My friend rang me yesterday evening to invite me for tomorrow Saturday. I was delaying the phone call to V because Iwas panicking to ask my man out ! (by the way what do you think guys of a woman asking you out ?) I just did not know what to say, how to ask..
Finally after the great massage session I had tonight (which did me good) I called him as soon as I was back home. He seemed very pleasantly surprised by the phone call (sure it was 11pm ;\) ). I just invited him and he said he would think about it because he was thinking of doing something fun on Saturday but had made other plans.
I know it does not seem much but the great victory is that he is now able to say when he needs time to think about it, and eventually may be at some point saying no. Of course I would be disappointed if he decides not to come but I'd rather have him doing that than say yes all the time. Afterwards he would be left feeling controled and manipulated and that whole dysfunctional behaviour would start again, him being like the little boy, doing stuff because mummy wants it ! Well he is a man and I am NOT mummy !
I wanted to celebrate that big change with you because it made me happy tonight ! \:\)

Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

#56643 - 12/13/03 12:43 AM Re: A sign of change ?
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA

I hear you!! I wish my boyfriend would say no to me more about things he cares about. I feel like he withholds his "no" power and then gets mad about it, and says "no" to the stupidest things, not because he really wants to say no, just because he can. So it's like, yes, fine, I'll wake up early and drive you to the train station and not tell you I'm too tired, and then No, I won't put my shoes in the closet when I get home.

One day last week, after something like this happened, I asked him, "what do you really think would happen if you say no to me?" and he said, "It's not that I'm scared of you, it's just that I wasn't thinking about my shoes (or whatever it was)."

Scared of me? Where did THAT come from? He shocked both of us when he said it!

#56644 - 12/13/03 02:23 AM Re: A sign of change ?
Wifey1 Offline

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 380
Hi Guize,
I read with interest the part about "being scared" to say no. With lots of talks with Hubby I found out that he couldnt tell me no about a lot of things over these years because he was AFRAID of me. Then thru the course of discussions off & on about this "fear" he said it was more that he was "intimidated" by my ability to communicate especially by just being able to jump in with responses, thoughts, ideas and "No's" of my own. I appeared more to him as being able to "easily" make daily decisions. Decisions about things that came easy or natural to me. Hubby was struggling daily & constantly with what appeared to be simple things or rather as he said "they SHOULD BE" simple things to him. Anyway Hubby said this made him feel inadequate and "stupid" not being able to make what seemed like simple choices from what he wanted to eat to what he liked to wear as clothing. Bigger issues really put him in a twist as he felt really afraid to "fuck up" & often just wouldnt decide or voice his thoughts just because he didnt want to "hurt" me, or anyone by him thinking he was stupid.
I recognized that this was really debilitating for him with everything he did/does. Where as I am one who is able to just "do it" and damn the torpedoes... he was constantly stressed out about what may come out of his decisions or contributions. It mattered not that Hubby graduated top of his class... is top of everything (prolly cuz he worries so much & is over zealous in his actions thots etc) it still wasnt enough to bolster his self esteem or to push his self talk that was negative away so that he could just "do" or speak his ideas.
He has gotten a lot better over time since we're talking more. I do try to bolster him by telling him that I really want *HIS* thoughts, ideas, knowledge... And even have added that his decisions/ ideas etc are NOT DUMB!
He's been so long at believing those lies its hard for him NOT to think them.
I must admit tho... its a challenge for me to slow myself down when I hear him say NO to something... WHOA! the first time he told me NO about something I was Pissed.. (ok we laff about this now)... BUT it was HUGE for him and ME! I actually had the realization that HE DOES LISTEN to me and I was NOT in the relationship ALONE as I had so often felt. I had to learn also how to HEAR his stuff as it was totally new & really had to no longer go on what I THOUGHT he must be thinking / feeling etc. So it was a bit of (still can be) a shift for me to wait for his answer... I dont have to "prompt him" like I had been doing for so long... and then to actually be "prepared" to let his answer be HIS answer not what I thought/think it should/ could be.
So the "fear" part at first really offended me & hurt like hell... after all NO ONE truly wants their partner to be "afraid" of them. At least I DIDNT/ DONT. After the intitial shock tho as he shared & we talked it definetly got better .. our communication has anyway. Its like discovering this whole new wonderful side of a person that I already knew was there... but he hadn't been able to share it. It's really nice to be able to "witnenss" the validation of what I already knew about Hubby.
I have to admit even tho some of our "fights" have been totally assinine on both of our parts.. its good to know actually very satisfying to know that he can stand up to me state his part without FEAR now. \:\) even if it does piss me off!
I had to "grow my own" decisions with what seemed like simple stuff too... I remember writing notes to hang on the wall next to my phone ... It is ok to NOT talk to X X X. You CAN hang UP on your Mom ... stuff like that and notes on mirrors or even on the bathroom door... it is ok to take a bath for as long as I want.
Peace, Sammy

#56645 - 12/16/03 11:46 PM Re: A sign of change ?
PAS Offline

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada

Scared of me? Where did THAT come from? He shocked both of us when he said it!
I get this a lot in my relaitonship - my fiance gets scared of me and instead of saying NO he goes along with it and then freaks because he did not say NO and he didnt want to do what ever he did.. and blames me for his lack of saying NO.. it is so bizarre and sometimes I want to tear my hair out!!!

It has a lot ot do with the inability to get out of a "victim" mentailty or to overcome the concept of "learned helplessness". Unfortunatley one who has been abused IS a victim for a long time and learns the role well.

I have even read about psychological studies of animals who have been subjected to abuse by shock treatment and having nowhere to go to be safe from the shocks .. after awhile even if they know there is a safe place they dont bother to even go there and they just kind of "take the shocks".. instead of being an actor in their own doggy-lives and going to a place where they will be safe from the shocks.

The same exact thing happens in the minds of abused humans - fortunately for people we are smarter and there is therapy - but it does take time and therapy and acknowledgement to change ones mindset from being a helpless victim to survivor - to truly believing that despite the past, one is NOW an equal, a valid, engaged participant in the outcome of their own life.

Someone who has been abused and a victim for so long learns the victim mentailty well and has a hard time acknowledging when they are not a victim anymore. Its not their fault.

They are getting mad becuase they still feel themselves to be a victim and have no power to change their situation. They are acting in anger against that feeling of helplessness - whether it is perceived or real, is of no consequence for in one's own mind, perception is reality.


#56646 - 12/17/03 09:45 AM Re: A sign of change ?
Leosha Offline

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here

or perhaps I should say 'bonjour', as I am in France right now with two students! (only for about a week more)

I think it is a good thing, what you post of, but also, the reason behind you posting it. A fellow survivor friend of me, she was telling me how important it is to celebrate each victory along the way, and to not wait until we are 'healed' before celebrateing. Because, on this journey, 99% will be the travel on the path to reaching the goal, and only 1% is actually achieving the goal. So by all means, celebrate small steps and victories. I am trying that, desperately trying to maintain that. Good luck to you both.


Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

#56647 - 12/17/03 04:34 PM Re: A sign of change ?
outis Offline

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2261
Loc: Maryland USA

I like the idea of celebrating the small victories along the way, too. So I need to act on that more instead of just liking the idea.

You asked about how men feel when asked out by a woman. For myself it is great. My wife and I are in counseling together, separate from my work on the abuse issues. At one point we agreed with the T that a certain day was our "date." We've done this several times, and I always find something, buy tickets, etc. This time I said, "OK, let me know where we're going."

It felt great knowing that she was thinking about what would be fun for both of us. I know that's how I approach it when I do the planning, and I enjoyed knowing that she was thinking about me in that way.



"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse


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