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#64530 - 01/18/05 12:07 PM Another question
Aden Offline

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 499
Is F&F a forum for those who wish to learn how to help their abused loved ones, or is it a platform for complaining about the difficulties of dealing with men who have been abused?

It is not all that difficult to recognize when a person on F&F is interested in helping his/her mate survive abuse, and when they just want to complain about how hard it is to put up with their mates problems.

I am not painting everyone with the same brush. The differences are often obvious. What I am doing is asking a question that I believe you should be asking yourself.

Yes, I am an abused boy and am hard to get along with sometimes. Are you trying to help me heal, or are you using my weakness to attack me?

I see both things happening here.


#64531 - 01/18/05 10:09 PM Re: Another question
Emerald Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 21
Loc: here
I am here in the Friends and Family section to help myself heal from the emotional abuse I suffered because I loved a survivor. I'm not saying that the abuse was purposely inflicted on me. Because I don't know what his intent was. I assume it was either unconsicious or subconsicious. I'm here to learn.

I didn't come here to help the survivor heal, only he can do that. But by understanding some of the effects of SA, I take less of those effects personally and thus reduce my own suffering and hopefully that helps someone I love.

#64532 - 01/18/05 10:29 PM Re: Another question
Pollyanna Offline

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 211
Loc: Missouri
Hey Aden

I know what it has been for me. I got more support than I could ever have imagined for the boy I was trying to help. It was such rich information. It was a life line, and kept me from taking things too personally. For me, THAT was major! And I'm still learning.

I'm sure in a "partner" situation, the emotions are a bit different, so they are affected differently. Maybe that's why I don't relate to that so much. However, I think the thing that the guys got through my head that made such a great difference in my being able to handle things, was the part about not taking things too personally. It freed me up to be able to see more clearly, and not hurt when I know I would have otherwise. For me who takes EVERYTHING personally, it has been a great thing to be able to seperate the action from the intent.

Yeah, there's venting that goes on here. I personally can't take that, so when some people post, I know I can't read it. If someone else can, and they know what is needed, they do. I don't know the answer to that...a venting icon? Maybe there is one I don't know.

At the top of the page, it says "open discussion for male survivors and their families and friends." The survivors are still "first". Open discussion means that anyone is welcome. To me, that says to post expecting the guys to be able to read and respond. Even the F&F should be a safe place for the guys to come on their own website.


"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."

Ė Anne Lamott

#64533 - 01/20/05 04:52 AM Re: Another question
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus

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

I did a little bit of re-reading before I responded to you about this. I was expecting to find, as you did, that both of these things happened on the forum

when a person on F&F is interested in helping his/her mate survive abuse, and when they just want to complain about how hard it is to put up with their mates problems.
And I found them both-- but not separately, as I expected and as you suggest in your post. I found almost no posts that didn't contain both supportive interest and negative feeling-- I wouldn't call all of the negative feeling complaint, just as I wouldn't call all of the interest a desire to help the survivor.

My ambivalence in classifying people's statements is something we should all recognize-- the subjective nature of reading here. You might read over the same page of threads I read, with different ideas about what constitues positive and negative response from a partner. My loving but loaded question might seem like veiled criticism to you. Your honest frustration might seem like fruitless complaint to me.

Some of what I express here would be negative if I brought it into my relationship, but it is positive and important when I express it here. The best example of that for me is my boyfriend's sexual difficulties and acting out. I think it's fair to say that right after his disclosure, any mention of these things by me would have been seen as an attack. But I had worrisome questions, my my own hurt and frustration.

In real life I respected his privacy and spoke to no one about these things. Speaking to him, in his own fragile state, would have only triggered him and sent him back into his own cycle of guilt and blame. Not speaking about them at all would have only multiplied the burden of shame and secrecy that is abuse. It also would have fueled resentment and fear in me and kept me from doing my own mentally healthy best job of supporting him.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that supporting a survivor is an amibivalent business in general. Just as deciding to compound the difficult work of healing by being in a relationship isn't always the easiest or best decision for a survivor to make.

#64534 - 01/20/05 06:09 AM Re: Another question
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
What motivates us to come to this forum, and for what purposes we say what is said here is really anyones guess.

Mind reading is a perilous venture; what we seem to perceive in others most often turns out to be a pale reflection of what we find most odious in ourselves.

Or as they say down here in Texas, "If you spot it, you got it."

That sort of takes the fun out of ascribing to others motives and behaviors unbecoming to this place.

So in answer to your question, Aden:

Is F&F a forum for those who wish to learn how to help their abused loved ones, or is it a platform for complaining about the difficulties of dealing with men who have been abused?

I would reply, 'None of the above' .

Or conversely, 'All of the above' .

And either of those answers does no more than reflect some personal anxiety that I currently am experiencing in regard to my status as a male survivor of sexual abuse and also as a friend and family member to other male survivors.

What is more to the point, I think, would be to ask:

What is my hope for this forum of Families & Friends?

While my good intentions may be sometimes betrayed by emotional fugues, or simply stalled out by my intellectual constipation, is simply part of that element of the equation called the human factor.

What is important is to have hope.

And I would dare to say that all who come here have some hope for affecting a positive change in their relationships with others.

So I would say that my hope for this forum, used by me and by others, is that it be a place where we can ourselves come to recover from the injury done by the sexual abuse in our lives and the lives of those we love.

It is not possible to recover 'for ' someone else. I have seen cases where people have recovered 'at' someone else--sort of like, I'll show you how easy this is! mentality.

But then it ends up not being so easy at all.

It is my opinion and my hope, that the very best thing that I can do for a victim of sexual abuse, is for me to seek my own recovery; for me to seek my own reconciliation with the terrible facts of sexual abuse, so that I will be able to be strong enough to be of service to someone else seeking to recover as I have.

I personally feel that spouses and close family members are not in any good position to 'help' their loved ones recover, except by pursuing their own path to wholeness and serenity.

While I am busy focusing on my partners dilemnas and agonizing over my friends traumas, I slowly begin to neglect my own needs and purposes. This can breed resentment and much bad feeling, even though we are 'just trying to help'.

A very dear woman, a friend of mine, says she has requested that phrase as her epitaph on her tombstone, "I was only trying to help....".

It may seem as unloving or callous to insist on our own wellbeing while others close to us are suffering so, but if we do not have any peace or serenity, what is it that we are able to give them?

As for me, once I begin to focus on my own recovery from the effects of sexual abuse, I find that I am able to be of maximum usefulness to those I love. How can that be selfish?

This subject is very important to me. For every man who is sexually abused, there are at least a dozen people in his circle who suffer as a result. Think of the parents, the children, the friends who lose the son, father, beloved companion to the many ill effects of this terrible crime of sexual abuse.

Those of us who love victims of sexual abuse deserve to recover from that damage too. We deserve to have a place where we can be heard, understood and find comfort and solace.

And if I make mistakes and complain and whine every once in a while, that's just fine too. Because if I keep doing that long enough others will get sick of hearing it and maybe love me enough to tell me to stop whining and start working on myself instead of waiting for my partner to get better so I can feel OK.

My hope is that we come here to the Families & Friends forum because of the survivor in our lives and not for the survivor in our lives.

This place is about our recovery from the effects of living with a man who has been sexually abused.

It takes a tremendous amount of courage to say "This sexual abuse stuff is too much for me. I need help with it!". If we're lucky we get to come here and we find that sexual abuse is too much for any of us to handle alone.

And then we find the great miracle that we do not have to be alone with it any more.

That I hope is what the F&F forum is all about.

Thanks for asking such a tough and provocative question, Aden.


"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

#64535 - 01/20/05 06:46 AM Re: Another question
beautifuldisaster Offline

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 85
Loc: usa
I think for most of us it is a little bit of both! I love my husband dearly and loyally stand beside him as he faces this monster....but at the same time it can be very frustrating and hurtful when we ultimately become the target of misdirected emotion.
On top of all those things it is hard not to be selfishly human at times, especially when I see that I have to stifle very natural human desire, emotion and touch. Sometimes my nerves are shot from the mere fact that I literally feel like I am walking on a mine field and one wrong move and SOMEONE (he or I) is hurt. I am so thankful that I have a place where others living like me tread.
My pain is as real as his, we are both survivors of sort.


#64536 - 01/20/05 07:27 PM Re: Another question
FastForward Offline

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 188
Loc: US

I came to understand and be of help, or at least not be an obstacle. Then the survivor turned into an abuser and is no longer part of my life.

Now, I just need to heal from the experience. Information helps.

Take care,


L&P - always.

#64537 - 01/20/05 09:18 PM Re: Another question
crisispoint Offline

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
I agree with everyone here. Both, and neither.

WE survivors can be difficult and unpleasant. Frieds, families, lovers, and others NEED to vent. I think there's room for that, as well as learning how to deal with us.

Frankly, Aden, if YOU'RE uncomfortable with the "venting" that CAN happen here, don't come here. You might get more bruised than you want, because you might find YOURSELF in the ventings. It happens to me all the time. And still I come here because there are folks who might want my views.

Part of venturing into "their world."

Peace and love,


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

#64538 - 01/20/05 10:48 PM Re: Another question
Aden Offline

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 499
Indeed Scot. I agree with you completely. As I agree with many other posters in this forum and on this thread.

It is interesting how much emotion is riled up by asking for reasons behind postings. I have been viciously attacked as a monstrous rabble rouser and praised for my courage. That extreme in perceptions seems to lend validity to my question.

It is not my intention to change the nature of F&F, but to understand itís purpose from the point of view of its users. And perhaps help clarify for the more perceptive how they themselves are perceived. Neither objective seemed to me, at the time, to be ill willed or insensitive.

However, my original expectations have been fully met. I have discovered that the family and friends forum is peopled by both wonderful kind souls who seek healing for themselves and their partners, and another kind of people whose qualities I will not describe in an open forum.

Question asked. Question answered. There are those who support healing, those who think they support healing, and those who heap upon the abuse. I have met the ones that I wanted to meet here. For those who want to ban me, condemn me, or tell me to just go away and leave yíall alone, you got it. The friends I made in this brief venture I will continue to value. The enemies I will simply forget.

I didnít come to MS to heal the F&F forum. I came here to heal myself. And try to help other like me along the way. Understanding what was going on here in F&F has been part of the process.

For those of you in the F&F forum who are here to help us heal, I give you my thanks and hope to remain your friend in the future. Feel free, any of you, to contact me via PM. To the OTHERS, thanks for the dis-invite. Getting to know you was informative. I am out of here!


#64539 - 01/21/05 06:25 AM Re: Another question
forlauren Offline

Registered: 10/11/04
Posts: 63
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Hi Aden,

I have always enjoyed reading your posts, and getting to know you a little by PM. I'd like to answer your question in as personal and honest way as I can.

When I first found MS and then the F & F forum, the first thing I did was complain, complain, complain. I had just learned about my husbandís abuse. My reaction was far from level headed. I was furious with him for keeping such a huge secret from me. I thought it meant he must be a potential perpetrator himself. I was terrified, angry, and pretty crazed at the time. I saw everything he did through a lens that was telling me he was an abuser.

A discussion forum feels like a safe place to express your feelings. Your identity is hidden. What are these strangers to you, anyway? The F & F forum only fuelled my fear and hatred.

Sadly, after several weeks of separation and therapy and many breakthroughs I saw that Iíd been really, awfully unfair to my husband. Members who saw my early postings probably have little or no faith when I talk about all the progress thatís been made. I almost feel like when my husband told me what his dad did I really kind of lost my mind and couldnít even see that they were two separate people Ė because he had ďprotectedĒ his dad I assumed he must be just like him. Heís not protecting him any more, and I know heís not his father now.

I canít really say I regret what I said in the past. Maybe that was a phase I couldnít avoid going through. Iím a long-time internet user, so itís not like I take everything I read as advice I must follow. Itís just a place where I can get my thoughts out, and Iíve always been very bored with myself when I journal (gave it up years ago). Sometimes there are people like you who are pretty sharp, and I gain a new insight. These days Iím only interested in loving and supporting my husband, and counting my blessings. Itís probably all about the mindset Ė now that love and trust is back in my life, hearing about othersí relationship problems shows me how stable my life is and much Iíve got to be thankful for.


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