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#63290 - 12/09/04 05:58 AM Advice needed
maggie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/18/04
Posts: 4
Loc: Georgia
Hi everyone,

I guess I'm new to this whole thing and believe me, this is the last place I want to be. I'm sitting here hurt and terribly confused. My boyfriend for the past year disclosed to me he was sexually abused by a family member for almost his entire childhood. I've tried to be loving and supportive, but I simply have reached a point where I don't know what to do?!?

He basically has told me that our relationship is over and then will send me/us on an emotional rollercoaster by then re-contacting me wanting to talk. I know he is incredibly lonely and guarded with his emotions - he is in therapy and I am really his only true friend he has in life. I want to be there for him, but at the same time I don't understand what he wants from me????? One minute I'm the best friend in the world and the next minute I don't hear a peep from him from weeks and weeks at a time. I'm confused? How/what do I need to do?

I've been reading this site a lot and I understand many survivors feel that they are somehow "guarding" us and "saving" us from being a part of what they view as a shitty, miserable life, but I just wish that it was a choice that he would let me make.

I just don't know what to do??? One minute I'm a good friend, the next minute he is gone telling me he never wants to see me again (incredibly hurtful to me) and then he will contact me again and we begin the cycle again. Will someone who has gone through this please write something helpful? I don't have a clue as to what I should do?


#63291 - 12/09/04 06:29 AM Re: Advice needed
lostsoul Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 3
Loc: new york
Its hard, my wife and I have gone thru this. First It was on her side when our girls turned 13 thats when her dad did her for years and she thought I would do the same to our childern. It was a nightmare. We worked thru it with help . proffesional. Then Several years later I confessed to her that I had been beaten and rapped by 4 soldiers in vietnam, we are still dealing with this. AT times I need her close at other times I want to be left alone to lick my wonds Its a very confusing time. Im 53 years old I shouldnt have these feelings but I do. I have dreams that she is there watching and laughing at me. Its hard to deal with. Just try to give him some space to work out what is going on, there is also an idenity issue that Im sure, he is fighting with along with so much bottled up anger. Not at you but at hisself it takes time to heal, and the fact you know this secret may make you the enimy at times without you doing anything. dont push just be there without saying anything unless he brings it up first. Good luck.

#63292 - 12/10/04 04:23 AM Re: Advice needed
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire

I understand many survivors feel that they are somehow "guarding" us and "saving" us from being a part of what they view as a shitty, miserable life, but I just wish that it was a choice that he would let me make.
Ain't that the truth!
That's why, or at least one of the main reasons I didn't tell anyone about my abuse until I told my wife just before our 25th wedding anniversary.

My wife showed her love and trust towards me all the way through this time, and to her credit she's done it in as unconditional way as possible.
How hard was it for her? I can't begin to guess. But she persisted, took all my crap and anger, and eventually I began to realise that what she was doing was for real. She wasn't doing it for a reason other than she wanted to grow old with me.

I went through life until then thinking that nobody did anything without an ulterior motive. I didn't understand how love and all that emotional stuff worked. All I did was make the right noises at the right time, and with 30 years practice I was good at it. I picked up pointers from TV and movies and watching other people and copied them, there was very little of my genuine love for her displayed because I didn't trust myself to recognise it.
It might sound strange, but my love was genuine, I didn't know how to share it, and I didn't know how to recieve it.

I do now though, and that's down to her persistence and my willingness to learn.


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

#63293 - 12/14/04 11:48 AM Re: Advice needed
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Hi Maggie,

It's been my experience that when people want to get healthier, they seek out and are attracted to healthier people--gradually though, because sometimes when you are aware of your own emotional shortcomings, people who seem to have it together are pretty intimidating.

The "cycle" that you and your boyfriend keep repeating is not healthy, I don't have to tell you, and you're showing a disregard for your own emotional well-being by allowing yourself to keep doing this, and get hurt over and over.

I agree, you shouldn't push him for a relationship, or even a conversation, that he doesn't want to have-- but gently laying down some rules for yourself and how much hurt you can handle-- and sticking to those rules-- is the only way you can break this cycle.


#63294 - 12/15/04 03:49 AM Re: Advice needed
MikeNY Offline

Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 927
Loc: NY
Have you tried to talk with him about how this yoyo that he has you on is hurting you? IF he is "protecting" you, he probably doesn't realize that the way that he is doing it is hurting you even more. Don't lose who you are in any of this. You are a person who deserves to be treated with decency, kindness, and respect. Set your boundaries, explain to him what they are, and if he crosses them, talk with him about it and explain to him why it hurts you. Ask him questions. Remember, the largest portion of talking with someone is having the ability to listen. Also remember, as you have pointed out, his context, where he places himself, is in a state of flux. It is constantly in motion. He is just as confused as you are, maybe more. His emotions are probably raw, direct, and related to that moment. The context of that moment could be anything at any given time, including the things that you read here.

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

#63295 - 12/15/04 05:21 AM Re: Advice needed
reality2k4 Offline

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6845
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Maggie, always keep yourself safe, in this forum, and also in your personal relationships.

I've been reading this site a lot and I understand many survivors feel that they are somehow "guarding" us and "saving" us from being a part of what they view as a shitty, miserable life, but I just wish that it was a choice that he would let me make.
Many survivors really need to be close, but for some reason maybe not be able to handle all the
psychic stressors involved in making the relationship work. It may be that he just needed to retreat into his own self to identify whether the relationship can work.

There are many factors in CSA which lead to various states of mind, sometimes a survivor can be overwhelmed by these stressors and will retreat to gather up the information and process it.

It is hard for anyone on the outside to understand, but you need to give him space.

It causes us to mistrust sometimes for no valid reason. He may think you are too good for him. He may think, hey, she doesn't need to take this emotional garbage. How can I possibly put this girl through my past???

It is hard but, please do not be overprotective or overly sympathetic. Abuse survivors are rarely looking for sympathy in a relationship, they are looking for the impossible.

A relationship to them can be symptomatic with trauma, where love was seen as hurt, so love equals expectancy of hurt. There are loads of other things involved.

Expectancy that you will be the next one to walk away and leave him can also stop him making the relationship work.

Often the victim will say to himself, why didn't I go for it, I had nothing to lose, but then say to himself, I don't deserve to hurt this girl adn brand her with my worries, this is my perception, not his.

An example I will give you here, is when a girlfriend really is in love and just wants all his attention and will not be able to understand his need for space, she will not know this, and it will surface in your mind, as him not being able to take in all the love you are giving out, because he is blocking them and relating to hurt.

Conditional love to an abuse survivor may be impossible in a survivor, because he needs you to understand the conditions he has to place within the relationship for it to survive, he may think you are not able to really take it in, and maybe you will walk out and leave him empty.

It might be a good thing to write to him and say, hey, can't we try and make a go of it, I will stick by you, and try to understand. But don't be used in a relationship!

While it is not easy for you to understand how he thinks, just think of this.

A child normally gives unconditional love to anyone he/she meets, we make relationships through experience of growing up and adventure with the opposite sex or whatever. They are intense experiences of love etc.

A child who has been through CSA has a lot more trouble identifying with sexuality and identifying with normal sexual response, to situations of love and affection, to that of a normal child.

The situation can be profound in it's effect on a child who expects to be nurtured, but finds him/herself outside the norms of growing up in a normal world of discovery.

Sometimes it manifests as, at least, negative response to empathy, to love, and to meaningful relationship, but to me, I would say, it is worth a try, because he probably is really a little boy crying out for help, in a world that let him just let him cry in the wilderness.

As a child, I would go back to states of being in extreme despair, nobody to talk to but myself. I could not find the answers so I withdrew as a kid, and the longer it goes on as a kid with nobody to talk to makes the kid think he is not loved because nobody can understand the problem!

To me, as a boy of 11yo, he didn't understand what happened to him, he cried. He tried to identify with his kid logic, Why? Nobody answers because nobody cares, and that is what a kid takes into adulthood.

I think, trying to identify CSA with relationships is very hard, it takes the kid back through so many parts of his life that can be so traumtic to him.

If you want to know wht trauma consists of, PM me.
take care of yourself,


Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!


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