I will try to express how I feel. I have done nothing else since I started writing here. I seem to understand better how I feel when I see it actually written down.

I like several others who have written feel very badly about how I relate to my wife concerning my CA. We grew up together and have been married for 37 years. She knows all of the people involved in my CA and has had close relationships with all of them. It would seem to be the perfect relationship for sharing.

Still there is a part of this that drives me inside. She asks questions and I try to give honest answers. I want her to know how I feel and what is going on inside. I want to relate to her openly and honestly. But there is a part of this that is so deeply personal.... The damage and the recovery are inside. The perpetrator did something to me from the outside, but he caused me to retreat/flee inside for survival. I am injured and hiding. To come out, I have to descend inside to find myself and try to pull that part of me out into the sun and back into life.

That's no excuse for the way I treat you. You are there, and you are anxious to help and I make you feel as though you were an outsider looking in. I also make you very fearful that the things I am thinking will eventually exclude you to the point that we will no longer be together, so you fight to stay a part of what is going on.

I make you walk a mental tightrope. I need you to be close. I need to know you are there for me. Yet I push you away at those moments when I most need someone to comfort me. I don't know why I do that. I don't want to do that. It's just that, when I am having my most difficult times and need to be held the most, those are the times when I simply cannot tolerate being held. Arms around me cause me to pull away. I don't understand that. I am not rejecting you. I am simply reacting on a level that I cannot explain to you.

Do not confuse my reactions with my love. They are not the same. When I am reacting to my CA, I am in a different place. I still love you. I still respect you. I don't resent you. I always appreciate you. I never want you to go away. I never want to hurt you. I never want to be selfish and only think of me. But I am injured. If I was cut or bruised and you could see my wound, you would understand that, if you touched it, I would pull away because of the pain. This may be the same thing....I don't know. Perhaps when you touch my wound out of love and caring, it hurts so badly that I must pull away from you in pain. I never mean to hurt you...ever.

I would understand completely if you left. I almost expect you to. I almost want you to to protect yourself from this thing that consumes me. It is an approach avoidance thing. To suffer alone is almost more than I can stand, but to watch you suffer because of who I am is just as, if not more painful. I hurt myself and you at the same time and right now I can stop neither.

I can make no promises. I don't know who I am right now. Discovering my CA has destroyed my concept of who I was, and I have no idea who I will be when I have dealt with all of this and have been "healed". I have no guarantees. I can only tell you that I love you and that, if I hurt you, I will hurt myself as well.

I may or may not be gay. I can't tell. I was straight. Then I was gay. Now I don't know. In addition to destroying everything else, he destroyed my concept of my sexuality.

I have been talking to my wife to try to help you perhaps understand where I'm coming from. I know that we are all very different and that your boyfriend, husband, etc., is probably very different from me. We are all individuals. We didn't start out as the same person and we have been affected by this thing in different ways. We do have similarities, however. In fact the similarities are sometimes shocking to me.

All I am trying to say I think is. I appreciate her so very much. I love her so very much. I can't possibly understand what she must be going through. I can make no guarantees. What I would wish is that, when this thing gets better, we are still side by side. I know I will always love her. But I hope beyond all else that she takes care of herself and that, if things get too difficult to stay with me, she will not sacrifice herself, but will do what is necessary for her own well being. The last thing I want is for two lives to be completely destroyed by this thing, although it may be too late.

Finally, it's not my place to thank anyone else but my wife for riding out this thing with me, but I do feel that I want to tell all of you who are going through this how much what you are doing is appreciated by all of us. Sometimes, when we want to tell you that the most, we just can't say it out loud. Bobby