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#61863 - 07/02/01 11:50 PM Need advice

Hello. I have just joined this web group to seek some guidance.
Just recently my boyfriend of 1 year revealed to me that he was sexually abused when he was about 10 years old by his cousin on several occasions.
I am so confused and feel like a heavy weight has been dropped on me because I am the only one he has ever told since it happend (he is 26 now).
I don't even know where to begin to help him with his healing process. I realize it has started with him telling me and breaking his silence.
It has become apparent that this has caused him great pains over the years and festered in many different ways while he choose to ignore the reasons bad things were happening.
Probably the biggest effect has been a violent nature. He has a physically abusive relationship with a girl in college that was pretty severe. His girlfriend before myself he has admitted to some violent behavior towards her and no wI find myself being the one who is at the recieving end. He has never hit me or hurt me but there have been 4 times were I was grabbed very hard and had my hair pulled and some slight pushing.
After the last event of this I called the poilce and it was after that time when all of this about his past came out.
He needs help and I feel like I have the pressure to see to it that he gets it because he has trusted me with this information. I have convinced him to tell his mother but refuses to tell his father or sister.
I just need to know how to guide him and if anyone out there can help me or even relate.
Thanks for listening!

#61864 - 07/03/01 01:51 AM Re: Need advice
abcd Offline

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 189
Loc: GA
It's interesting to read your post...some of what you say are surprising VERY similar to my own position (though that of the boyfriend). I'm not physically abusive though--at least as far as I know--and he is a few years older than me. Anyway, it's tough because my wounds are very fresh and to a certain degree, I'm still dealing with it. One thing I did learn is that my relationship with my girlfriend (and only confidante about this abuse), is that it really freed me to a good degree. I have not opened up to my family or anything, so you're boyfriend is actually ahead of me in that process. I know that perhaps we may be in two completely different boats, so please take what I say with a lot of salt (since you know him well--and certainly, it would not help him to put you in danger). One thing I realized though was that my girlfriend's constant but subtle and gentle insistence was very helpful in my healing (to this day, she is one of my closest friends--though we are not "together" anymore). Even when I did not do what she said, I was acutally slowly leaning towards doing it...I hear that sometimes, someone needs to hear about 7 times until they start slowly listening! Especially if he knows he needs help and all, that gentle nudge (empasis on GENTLE) can help. Actually, if you want you can refer him to this site, but take all your posts out perhaps before doing that. This site has been very helpful for me, and perhaps it could be the same for him. Hope that helps.

#61865 - 07/05/01 07:50 AM Re: Need advice
Brian B14 Offline

Registered: 05/04/01
Posts: 122
Loc: New York

You sound like a very caring person. But don't forget to take care of yourself. It sounds to me like you could be getting yourself into some sticky situations with his violent episodes. I've seen this hundreds of times (I'm a cop). It always starts with grabbing, pushing and hair pulling. PLEASE BE CAREFULL \:\(

#61866 - 07/06/01 05:59 AM Re: Need advice
UrsoBear Offline

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 91
Loc: Washington, DC
Hi, lihla.

I think you've gotten some good input from the other two guys here, and I'd pay special attention to Brian's cautionary remarks. Please be careful.

You talk about your deep desire to help him, and I do admire that. But you speak of a "heavy weight being dropped on you" and "pressure" on you because you are the only one he has ever told, and he has trusted you with this information. I think it's important to distinguish between a) your being given the responsibility or having it forced on you because he made the choice to disclose the information about the abuse to you, and b) your choosing to take the responsibility because you care for him and you want to help him get better.

I think clarity around that issue is important for your relationship so that you don't develop a sense of resentment for having this responsibility thrust upon you when in fact you yourself are choosing to accept it. But I also think it's important because, if things ever become difficult due to his violent behavior, it may make it easier to see where the boundaries lie -- i.e., you are helping him because you choose to, not because you have to -- so if things become precarious for you, you are not failing him somehow or shirking this responsibility that's befallen you, but rather are choosing to take care of yourself first, since you clearly have to be able to do that before you can begin to take care of him.

Good luck to both of you.



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