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#60841 - 07/15/04 03:45 AM New Here
Susanna Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 1
Hello. I joined here several weeks ago, but had not posted yet. My boyfriend comes here, and another friend comes here. I don't want my presence to be at all uncomfortable for either of them. I don't get online often for the purpose of anything but work, so I doubt I would be here too much. I think we can respect each other enough to avoid reading the other's posts.

My boyfriend and I, we've known each other for about 7 years now. We've been friends, we've been roommates (as friends), now we're in a more romantic style of relationship. We haven't been more intimate than holding each other and kissing. I know that he has his boundary needs, and respect that. I would never push him in any way. Just as I know he wouldn't push me.

He is in a "down" mode recently, after doing quite well. He's been working on these issues for about a year now, but only has been in serious therapy for about 5 or 6 months total. I know to expect ups and downs, and it's ok, it's all part of this stuff.

I am fortunate, I have never experienced any abuse. So, this has been a learning experience for me, in helping him with his panic and flashbacks, his DID, his depression. I don't regret any of the helping him through this, because he's helped me through some rough patches in my life also.

But I despise these people. I feel so much hatred and disgust about what "people" can do to other people, to children for crying out loud. I don't understand it, I don't WANT to understand it.

What I want is to understand myself more in this. Because as much as I love that he trusts me to help him, it does take a lot out of me as well. I'm NOT complaining, please don't think that. And I am not making it "about me" at all. I am just wondering, how do you do it? How do you remain positive and strong in support? That's what I want to be, for him and for my other friend. Because I CAN be the strong one. I was not the one abused, and I thank God for that. So it is on me to stay strong and be able to be what he needs.

For male survivors, what is it you need? And for other significant others, how do you meet their needs without losing yourself?

I really don't have a whole lot, as far as a "support system" in the real world on this. My friends are mostly my age (almost 21), and frankly, a lot of them are a little, um, "shallow" when it comes to serious relationships! ;\) I tried talking to one friend from work about some general issues, and her advice was "Dump him and get a 'real man'". Needless to say, I keep my distance from her now. I'm not close to my family really, although they know him (and probably like him better than me!)

I HAVE a real man. I love this real man. And I want to make everything as good for him as possible.

Thanks for any advice, I appreciate it. And thanks to Male Survivor, in general, for being here for him, and me.


Edited because: I forgot to say, he's aware that I came here, he is the one who suggested it to me. I just didn't want to come across as a snoop or something!

#60842 - 07/15/04 04:18 AM Re: New Here
kolisha54 Offline

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Hello Susanna!

Welcome to our little "home!" It's really moving to know that you are here to learn about how to support "him." And you are also showing yourself to be wise beyond your years - because you already recognize that you also need support for yourself.

Unfortunately, I doubt anyone on the entire planet is ever 100% blissfully happy - and when you are involved with a MS, your peaks & valleys of emotional well-being are going to be much higher & deeper than in any relationship with a so-called "normal."

So - how do you keep your sanity? By finding those things in your own life that give you the greatest joy (apart from your relationship) and making sure that you do not ever ever ever lose sight of them.

Also - you will find a great depth of support here from some very profoundly wise & generous people. I think a great strength of our community is that there is such a belief in LOVE & the possibility of LOVE - it's especially inspiring when we take into consideration the horrible s&$T that so many of us have experienced in our lives. We are all fighting for honor & joy - and THAT in itself is quite an accomplishment coming from folks like us.

You are very welcome to be here!

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

#60843 - 07/15/04 04:53 AM Re: New Here
MikeNY Offline

Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 927
Loc: NY
Welcome. What you are doing is great.
\:\) \:\) \:\) \:\) \:\)

"Every child asks the questions which hold the answers to the secrets of the universe, WHAT?, and WHY?". --Me

#60844 - 07/15/04 04:53 AM Re: New Here
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Welcome Susanna,

Please don't worry that you will sound like you're complaining or making it all about you. There's a Friends and Family board here for a reason... as you've said, there are ups and downs in our relationships, there are times that supporting someone else takes a heavy personal toll, and there's not always a lot of "real world" support for us as partners (especially when you're ahead of your friends in building a real relationship. Chances are not many of them would "get" the stuff that you guys are going through even if there were no abuse issues at hand, because it takes work and support to be serious about loving anyone. I found out that a friend of mine was getting engaged the other day and I was SO happy... for him and his fiancee, but mostly for ME because now I will have a friend who "gets it" :rolleyes: )

I think a big part of staying positive most of the time is understanding and accepting that no one can be strong and positive all the time. It's okay to blow off steam, cry, feel like giving up, get angry about sacrifices you've made... maybe you don't want to do all that around your boyfriend, but if it's what you need, you're allowed to find a space that's safe for you to do it. This forum is one good place for that. (If you are worried about respecting your friends' privacy and you decide to join MS, there is also a members F&F board that is closed to everyone but dues-paying family and friends.)

The "losing yourself" is a tough one, and I think about it a lot. For me, part of it is realizing that all people see the others around them through some distorted lens... when we love people, we exaggerate the aspects of them that we love and that draw us to them. So the person my boyfriend sees when he sees me, the person he sometimes expects me to be, is REALLY patient and compassionate and smart and understanding, probably more so than I really am... I will lose a part of myself if I try to make myself into the person he sees instead of the person I already am.

I'm glad you're here, and I'm glad we can be here for you.

#60845 - 07/15/04 12:50 PM Re: New Here
Archnut Offline

Registered: 10/26/02
Posts: 343
Loc: United Kingdom
Thankyou Susanna.

Your support will be welcome, I'm sure.

"And all that was left was hope"


#60846 - 07/15/04 04:08 PM Re: New Here
Pollyanna Offline

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 211
Loc: Missouri
Hey Susanna,

There is a lot of support here. I came here to help a kid, and in the process learned to trust own instincts. I felt like I was in over my head, so I asked millions of questions. Most of the time, the answers were right in line with what I had felt or thought. Of course there were lots of ideas and things that I hadn't thought of too, which were very helpful, but the fact that I was "on track" gave me what I needed to keep on keepin' on.

I think one of the most helpful things was learning how the thought processes work, and some of the "why" behind certain behaviors. I was never abused either, so understanding those things helped me to be more patient and actually do some good. You probably already know that stuff by now.

Trying to understand, and talking about how you feel are never "complaining". It's just as important for YOU to feel understood. You are an incredible person, but it's hard to hold everyone up by get tired too.

Ya know how when you come home tired from a hard day at work, and you just want to plop down in a chair and veg for awhile? This place can be that comforting. Just having someone to share it with and feel understood. Sometimes it may be all you need.

The good thing about the "down" is you KNOW there is an "up" right around the corner.

Just keep swimming.....


"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."

Anne Lamott

#60847 - 07/15/04 11:59 PM Re: New Here
crisispoint Offline

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts

Welcome. i'm glad to see you here and I'm grateful for your support of a brother.

So many people aren't ready or unwilling to learn how to cope with this. To love someone who may be flawed. Well, it makes me glad to see this.

What do we need? Hard to say, because you're doing so much of what I would need. I guess the thing is to continue to love, to support, to help, and to understand when we're at our worst as much as we're at our best. But also I hope you remember to take care of yourself and be strong for yourself. Being a survivor doesn't mean you have to take our rage when it's unjustified. I doubt if you've had to, but some have, and it's just as important to take care of yourself as well as your boyfriend. He wants you to do this too, I'll bet.

Your boyfriend is very lucky to have you in his life. And we're very lucky for you to be here.

Peace and love,


There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies


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