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#58285 - 10/21/05 06:51 PM Feelings. Including the irrational ones.

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
This post is about a female ally. Please dont read if you think you might not want to hear it.

You have just found out that the person you love most in the world has been attacked. In my country and I think the world over its a moral, legal, emotional and physical crime.

If I saw a stranger being attacked I'd try to face the attackers and I'd ring the police.I'd tell family, friends or neighbours so they'd have support and I'd be witness in court if they wanted that.
But This is isn't an anonomous stranger, its someone you love with all your heart, who you share a life with, you've both always helped each other out before, in the ways you know and are familiar with.
And what do you do in the face of the knowledge of this attack? Nothing!! At least it feels like nothing.
You don't tell a soul because that adds to the crime. You just listen. and inside you feel.....fury (at the agressor and every goddamned person who didn't protect him), depths of compassion you didn't know you had, a weird sort of maternal protectiveness that you don't recognise, overwhelming love, an energy to DO something that possesses you, guilt for the times you've scolded him when he's been uncomunicative with your friends,

So.... Lesson Number one. You've got lessons to learn. Lessons you didn't know existed.

It feels like a ship has been launched and you have your own responsibilities for that ship but you don't know what they are. You know it has gaping gashes in the side and you fear it might sink, should you try and mend those gashes. NO, because then he feels controlled. He has to mend them. and if that ship sinks in the meantime.... well... can't think of the words.

Lesson No 2. That fear of it all sinking is big. and it isn't going to go away, not as yet for me anyhow.

Lesson No 3. Your'e best friend is too close to this issue to help you in your time of need, this is the biggest crisis that you've ever had to deal with and you have lost him as your confidant. You can't lean on him like you have in the past, nor can you lean honestly on friends or family because they musn't know. You can ask him what you can do, answer nothing.

This is leaving aside the fact that at first he told you the details, quite easily, about the 9 years of secret unprotected sex with anonomous men you've just found out about. You learn later he can chat because he's zoned out. Later when he's not zoned out he can't get the words out, holds himself and sits so hunched and stiff and frozen you just don't recognise him. But before you learn about zoning out and reenacting, does anger come close to describing what you feel. Not really. You scream at him, you slap his face and you demand he finds the tel No of the local HIV centre so you can make an appointment and you kick him out of the house.

Its days later that you find out about the abuse. Then you learn what guilt really is all about. Then all those feelings of love and protectiveness collide with the anger at him at you.... well frankly I don't know how either of us got through that period.

I'll try to illustate the feelings of uselessness. I read and read and read, good books, helpful books, insightful books. "Ask permission to touch him, don't talk when he speaks, listen. and keep listening... this isn't about you its about him.. OK That makes sense. when he talks I'll listen. A time comes up. he's talking, his pain is palpable and boy am I listening.. he tells me some progress he's made with his therapist and inside I'm leaping up and down, I'm cheerleading him I'm whistleing loud and shouting YES..I'm doing really well,no suggestions, no opinions, all I do is smile and try to look encouraging. He pauses... Are you sure you are not a smiling assassin?? he asks.

Is that lesson No 4? Learn not to smile in a way that makes you look like a killer. No. I'll go shopping and wait until he can trust me.

I don't have much experience of the waiting. Its only been three months and so far we are in and out of crisis I think.

Any insights on the waiting, good people? What is there to look forward to emotionally on that one.

I say this tongue in cheek because inbetween all that pain I can honestly say that the progress, both his and mine has been nothing short of exhilerating. We all talk about small steps but when they happen a shaft of light burns down and your loved one suddenly gets bathed in it. In fact you both get bathed in it. I know we will get there... wherever there may be.. I do know it will be out of the blackness.

Joy and peace are two words I didn't really have in my vocabulary before this. I think thats because I'd never felt them before. Its made me realise you have to go pretty low before you can really see the highs.

I hope that other partners, spouses friends etcc can add their feelings to this post. Its been a breath of air into me to realise that I'm not on my own. I know some of things I did in those early days deserve to be judged but I accept that and the fact remains. I am human. and just trying to love someone the best way I know how. as I said lesson No one. Theres lessons to be learnt.


#58286 - 10/21/05 07:25 PM Re: Feelings. Including the irrational ones.
fozzy_bear Offline

Registered: 10/16/05
Posts: 54
Loc: Upstate NY
One thing caught my attention. People, loved ones or friends, that know a CSA survivor's story often feel helpless. The worst thing to take away from that is to leave the person alone with it, which is a common unfortunate outcome. A better initial step would be to share that past, listen to whatever is re-emerging. To the survivor, it is old news but feels fresh. To the witness, it is new and feels new. In reality it is done, the actual abuse is done. What is not done is the release. It makes me sad to think of all the survivors out there that told someone and they cared for a minute or so and then dropped it like a hot potato. To a survivor, that is rejection. Its not always the intention, but thats what it is.

I don't know if this is the right place for this response but that's what came to mind.

#58287 - 10/21/05 08:33 PM Re: Feelings. Including the irrational ones.

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
another hard one is feelings towarsd the abuser.

Once able to successfuly place the blame at the right door, his, (at least I'm 90% there, coz the fact remains that faced with a choice to have a sex life with me or with the dirtiest old men my partner could find, he didn't choose me).. anyway.. the abuser. He is to blame for: my strained and sometimes non existant sex life, my extended stress sick leave on an otherwise blemish free absence work record, my proffession prizes people who can handle the pressure. In the future am I likely to explain why I was off sick to a potential employer. No.
My loss of some friends, my partner finds it increasingly difficult to feel OK with gay life talk and my best friend is gay. Try having that conversation with someone. "Do you mind not discussing large sections of your life when with us, in particular if you really fancy shagging someone". So now my best friend isn't really welcome in our house. Abuse being about abuse and not sex is something my partner struggles with still.

I'm in pain, my loved one is in pain, there is dispair and rage, hurt and mistrust. We won't be spending xmas with family. We'll be going away, probably abroad to mitigate the discussions about not being there for xmas dinner.
Do I want to go away for xmas? Not really. I don't want any of this and why is it all in my life.

Because you abused my loved one when he was 9 years old.

I want to find you and confront you. The details of that confrontation don't belong here but lo... they would be ugly.

and heres the irony. In all my urges to seek retribution with you because of how you have turned my life inside out, I am impotent. I cannot find, speak or contact you. Because my loved one means more to me than you do and because he doesn't wish it.

Frustration doesn't name it and I have flashes of what its like to feel controlled. Any retribution with this man and his family is totally in my partners control. No matter how much the abuser messes my life up I have no say in the matter. Its right but its hard.

#58288 - 10/21/05 11:25 PM Re: Feelings. Including the irrational ones.
Kirk Wayne Offline

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 499
Loc: Shrewsbury UK
Hi Tracy.

Your post really lept out at me for the simple reason being this is how my wife must have reacted in some ways. Early on in our relationship I disclosed to her my past "homosexual" relationships. This is exactly what I thought they were as a few of my abusers had brainwashed me into thinking I was "either gay or at the very least bisexual". I think at the time I was testing her to see how she reacted as I saw myself as a pretty disgusting human being. However what I didnt tell her was at what age these "relationship" commenced. I was fourteen and trapped by my abusers as I occasionally found myself homeless due to family dysfunction and they offered at first to support me. I fell for it hook, line and sinker.

About six months after my first disclosure to her I disclosed to her again after seeing one of my abusers on the television it was infact Jonathan King (I take it you are in the UK hence the UK at the end of your name). I had been drinking and it all came out in one fell swoop and after that I clamed shut again, she would not approach the subject as I was liable to go ballistic as I did when drinking (I'm a recovering alcoholic and addict).

The thing that really jumped out at me was your statement of "my strained and sometimes non existant sex life, my extended stress sick leave on an otherwise blemish free absence work record, my proffession prizes people who can handle the pressure. In the future am I likely to explain why I was off sick to a potential employer. No2.

The pressure on my wife I learnt was severe so severe she had to give up work altogether, especially the stress I put her through about MY sexual identity crisis, MY drinking to oblivion, MY sudden outbursts of pure rage and MY suicide attempts. Fortunately I got sober so I had to face my demons head on and we gradually got better, its still not cured and I dont think it will ever, as that word sex frightens the life out of me. I can cuddle her and thats about it and I know it is so selfish but I still cannot break that link between love, sex and abuse. I feel as though I have abused her when we have managed to get physical and at that point I get really angry (with myself).

I dont know if this has helped any but after reading your post I felt I had to write something. If its way of beam I apologise.

Best wishes


#58289 - 10/21/05 11:33 PM Re: Feelings. Including the irrational ones.
fozzy_bear Offline

Registered: 10/16/05
Posts: 54
Loc: Upstate NY
My post wasnt directed so much at your situation but I thought I had to get down on "paper".

To comment on some things you said, I want to let you know that I hear what you are saying and it sounds like you are going through emotions that a survivor feels. However, blame and fault is a dead end street, nothing but long lasting anger will come from that. Responsibility is better way to reference the action. The abuser is responsible for the actions not the abused and not you. Lets say the abuser is dead, if you look for conflict and blame there would be no release and you would be stuck there with the same feelings.

If you are spilling your guts out, by all means go right ahead. You haven't said anything so far that is unusual or hasn't been said before. You are in the right place, that's for sure. Sorry for that.

#58290 - 10/21/05 11:36 PM Re: Feelings. Including the irrational ones.
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA

I told you in PM I would leave this one to partners, but.... \:\)

I just want to say this: Go get him Tracy!!!

All this stuff is what YOU need to say about YOUR issues. The bastard wrecked your happiness as well as your partner's. You have a right to be furious. Claim it and say how it feels.

Take care,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

#58291 - 10/22/05 01:56 AM Re: Feelings. Including the irrational ones.
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey

I've read your post 3 times today. I'm at work and can't sit down and properly add my own, but I want to and I will.

I love the attack mode you find youself in sometimes - I'm with you 100%! Hurting people is bad, but sometimes......Grrrrrrrrrrrr!

I'll write later or tomorrow.


If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

#58292 - 10/22/05 02:17 AM Re: Feelings. Including the irrational ones.
sunshine2 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/23/05
Posts: 16
Believe it or not, I have no desire to confront my fiance's molestors. I wish them death but I don't want to confront them. Probably because I know that one day, they will both be out of jail and while the stepfather, at this point, is pretty much a moot situation, he's moved on to something else in prison because he makes no attempt to contact my fiance at all, but his mother? She'll be out and she'll be on our doorstep so, inevitably, there will be a confrontation and given this woman's penchant for violence, sometimes I wonder if I'm going to open my door to the barrell of a gun. I guess that's why I really don't contemplate confronting her. There's no point and no reason for what she did. It was heinous and evil and she can't even use the lame butt excuse some incestuous mothers use in that she was 'replacing' a 'missing or absentee' man in her life. She saw her boyfriend do it and thought it was a good thing and joined in. There's no excuse for that and there's nothing I could say to her that would make her see that. Sadly.

#58293 - 10/22/05 05:04 AM Re: Feelings. Including the irrational ones.
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
you know how I feel about the partners of survivors, and the incredible tasks they face, you also know how much I appreciate the love and support I have from my wife. I know 100% that it saved me, which is why I'll do all I can to help a partner through these difficult times.

I also do it because I know that so many survivors change as we grow older, we begin to experience the effects of our abuse and become different people to the the person our partners first knew and fell in love with, and I honestly believe that that person is still inside us, we can return to that man you guys fell for.
That's the true man that we are, the abuse gives us a shell that we retreat into, or a fire that burns out of control, whichever way we go we're not ourselves.

We're here somewhere, fight alongside us and help us return to the men we were.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#58294 - 10/22/05 07:13 AM Re: Feelings. Including the irrational ones.
Bluebird Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 15
You said this so well, Tracy.

I really identified with some of your de>

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