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#67610 - 09/07/03 06:40 AM in search of identity
wrangler Offline

Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 84
Loc: Northern Virginia
It did not occur to me until this evening that I might find some form of support here on the Internet. And after only a few minutes of searching I stumbled across this forum. I have spent the last four hours reading post after post. It sent chills down my back to read peoples messages that describe me. I know the sexual abuse inflicted on me as an adolescent was not particularly unique. But I never would have believed for an instant that other people shared the misery of my consciousness. As I read the messages here I felt so much desire to reach out to you for help. But I am scared too. In spite of my fear I take a timid step out into the open…

My early childhood was devoid of affection. My mother was only a teenager herself and I didn’t have a father until I was six. I grew up far out in the cornfields. I never had a “best friend”. I lived my life on the outside of all the social groups at school. Sexual abuse started when I was 15. The first man I reported immediately. But the second man, a friend of my mothers, befriended me first. He earned my respect, trust and admiration. He was a sort of role model for me. He was non-judgmental and open-minded about my thoughts on life. Gradually he introduced sex into our relationship. After that our relationship lasted for about five years seeing each other sometimes frequently, sometimes not. There were several other instances of abuse with still more men after that, but after a certain point no more damage could be done… there was nothing left intact to damage. When I wanted to get out of the last abusive relationship the man tried to pay me to keep seeing him. God only know how, but this stirred enough self-respect in me to finally make a stand for myself and end the abusive relationships.

But this really is only the beginning of my misery, because my life now is inconceivable more miserable than it was then. Then I had no understanding of what was happening to the “real” me. I couldn’t fathom the depths of the consequences of what was happening to me. I think that I still can’t for that matter.

Three and a half years ago I married my wife and in a decision that seemed reasonable to me then I abandoned everything that I had made stable in my life. We were both in school at the time, but in different states. I transferred to her school and converted to her religion. None of this seemed significant at the time. But it turned out to be devastating. Without realizing it I sank gradually into a deep and prolonged depression. Our marriage was rocky and anything but a haven to either of us. We hung in there for quite a while though, but a month ago my wife moved out.

Okay… those are the facts but they are just the facts. I have told my story many times and while it gets easier to tell with time it really doesn’t describe the horrible misery that I live. My life is so completely devoid of *connection* that I can barely comprehend the concept. I could tell my wife everything except how I felt… what I thought. I am so ashamed of my feelings that I can scarcely find the courage to describe them to myself. I am terrified that I will never know what it is like to connect with someone. I put my post here because so many partners of sufferers have so much insight into my wife’s perspective on our relationship.

Whenever we would have one of those “moments”… the ones where I felt the possibility of some sort of intense closeness… I would shut down inside. I couldn’t tolerate the emotional intensity. Try though I might I could not share that with her. It breaks my heart to admit that. I am ashamed f it and scared to death of it. I love her with all that I am… and what I mean by that is that I want to make her feel safe and happy. I want to make her life and mine a more fulfilling experience. And I also mean that I want her to be the one that makes me feel safe and happy.

We don’t know if our separation is the beginning of our divorce or the beginning of our marriage. I have finally come to appreciate her desire for space and time to nurture herself. I also am coming to realization that our relationship was an impediment to any sort of healing on my part. I was consumed with the desire to save our marriage because all of my self-worth rested on her not rejecting me. But I cannot make this journey with the goal of saving anything except myself.

I hate that I have to make a “journey” and that I have to “heal”. Those words fill me with rage. But I cannot direct the rage at anything. It is aimless and intense. I hate my mother for making my childhood one of isolation. I hate my step-father (the only father I had) for not protecting me. I hate the Bad Man for earning my respect and admiration and then using those things to satisfy his pathetic compulsions. And that these peoples careless disregard for the horrible misery it is to be so alone as an adult… it makes me want to scream and cry at the same time. WhyMe indeed. And I hate so much the whole concept of healing.

I was robbed of all things worth anything in childhood and adult life is so ridiculously unsatisfying. I cannot imagine what it is like to be really happy. I don’t know what it is like to enjoy a nice day because it is nice. I only fake happiness because I am supposed to be happy on a nice day. Except for this crazy fit of anger that I have brought on typing this I think all of my emotions are fake. For three years I have forces myself to have sex because that is what a good husband does with his wife. But because I don’t know what it is like to want sex to express love, I always feel like I am taking advantage of her. I can’t comprehend her wanting me sexually because she loves me.

I can’t stand the touch of another man. A pat on the back makes me flinch with fear. A hug is a sexual advance. A sincere conversation is an opportunity for him to earn my trust so he can exploit me. And hasn’t it been the same with my very wife. I could never really believe that she wouldn’t somehow inflict the same sort of emotional devastation on me if I gave her the chance. She is, of course, the sweetest tenderest person I have ever had in my life, but even that is not enough for me.

I don’t want to heal. I want to be better. I don’t want a journey. I want to be happy when I would be happy. My life is a fake because I can’t stand the though of what I am… a victim of other peoples thoughtlessness. I am a sad, lonely man who can’t figure out why he is not happy. My life is the fantasy of joy without a trace of the real thing. How can I face that? How can I admit that changing school or religions is important to me? How can I feel the desire for something… anything? I work. I eat. I sleep. I take out the trash. Life is empty and I just don’t know how to give it meaning. I wish that I wanted to go out with friends. I want to have an actual relationship. But I don’t know how.

This scares me to death. In the past I would have pleaded with you to treat me tenderly. I would have apologized for the length of my post. But I can’t keep up this farce. I am this raw unnerved person and I can't keep hiding it. I have been so afraid of pain in the past that I have done absolutely anything to avoid it… and in the process heaped mounds of it on my wife. But the pain and anger are so intense now that there is no hiding from it. There is no avoiding it. It is in my face and it is exactly as awful as I expected it to be.

Maybe my pain and anger are fake too. Maybe I conjure them up just so I can feel *something*. I can’t tell the difference anymore. When you live a lie and pretend that it didn’t matter you destroy your identity. I picked the name wrangler because I drive a jeep and I love driving my jeep… maybe that’s all the identity I have left.

Thanks for listening. It is a relief to pour this out of my head and into the keyboard. And it is better than my journal because it does feel like reaching out.


"Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself." -Mary Schmich

#67611 - 09/07/03 02:38 PM Re: in search of identity
outis Offline

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2261
Loc: Maryland USA

This is where many of us start on that journey, start healing. Nobody ever wanted to have "to heal," no child dreams of a life of abuse followed by denial and missed opportunities just so they can someday set out on "a journey." But having survived abuse and lived in denial, I find facing the truth is possible when I come to this community. I really hope that it will benefit you, too.

I wonder about feelings, are they mine or am I still acting the role I'm expected to play? Even the pain and sadness seem like they belong to someone else, and I'm "watching" him struggle.

I was desperate to "save" our marriage last year, and finally told my wife about being raped when I was 16. It was the first time I'd even hinted at what happened to anyone. I can't say that was the start of us getting a better relationship, though I think we're headed in the right direction now. I hope that you and your wife are able to find the right direction for yourselves.

I think it may have been a kind of personal malleability that got me through, that helped me survive. Then it went on to leave me unformed and indefinite. I can mold myself to a situation, an episode, and live to walk away from it. But real life isn't a situation to endure, and I am only starting to evolve some context in which to approach it as "myself." Recently I went on an intake interview for therapy. My answer to "What do you want to get from this?" was that I want to know how deep this stuff goes, where it ends and I start.

Many survivors find that we need to work with someone, a professional, in getting through this. Here's an article on shopping for a therapist , and here's a list of therapists in VA who've registered with this site

If you go to you can search for a counseling center near wherever you are in No VA. The DC Rape Crisis Center, near McPhereson Square, is at 202 232 0789. Their 24 hour hotline is 202 333 7273.

Oh, if you come around a lot (even a little) you may notice that I ramble. \:\) I hope that some of what I've written will help you see that you are not alone. There are many good people here, helping each other and moving forward a little at a time. They're a lifeline for me and I hope we can be a source of strength and hope for you.



"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

#67612 - 09/07/03 04:41 PM Re: in search of identity
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
What a first post eh ? You've obviously been thinking deeply about what you want from your life, and why you've been denied it so far.

in some respects you are maybe at an advantage to many of us, you seem much younger than some of us were when we decided that we'd had enough. I was 45 and had been married for 25 years when I finally told my wife and then sought help.

I think professional help from a good therapist who either specializes, or has good experience, in SA is essential.
So many guys know they're smart, have good jobs and hold down a life of 'normality'. And we think we can sort ourselves out, but just because we can repair a tranny, teach a class, prepare an account or whatever we do for a living doesn't mean we can fix ourselves. If my TV breaks I call a TV repairman, or totally ruin it myself !

The little knowledge we have is of what happened, what we don't like about our lives now, and if we're truthful to ourselves; what we keep trying to do, to to get over it - and usually failing.
I know I went around in circles for over thirty years, and a good therapist has shown me how to find MY way over most of it in a tenth of that time.

You've made the biggest decision already - you have decided to help yourself.
And maybe if your wife see's that commitment, and the start of some change then she will reconsider her position ?
But I would venture the thought that it's something you both have to sort out at the beginning of your recovery as having to deal with a collapsing marriage and SA will be too much.
I just hope it all falls your way.

Now to serious business; do you take your Wrangler off road at all?
You might notice that I've got the Jeep as my Avatar image at the top of my post, I'm an avid off roader over here in the UK. But I have had the great pleasure of some 4x4 action at Moab and other parts of Utah a few years ago.

Stick around and post some thoughts though, there's a good bunch of people here with lots of support and ideas.


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

#67613 - 09/07/03 05:13 PM Re: in search of identity
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1986
Loc: Flint, Michigan
Welcome George,

You have found a good location to begin your journey to healing. This site is full of understanding and compassionate brothers, that have had or are having the multitude of feelings and effects you may be feeling. Feel free to post your concerns, questions and rants. They will be heard by people that understand where you are coming from and will be responded to with respect, caring, and truly honest feelings. I know that I find tidbits of wisdom in the posts and discover something about myself when I respond.

We’d love to go “poof” and instantly be free of all memories, feelings, and affects of the SA, but that is not going to happen. We must go on this journey to heal, to learn that this happened to us and was not caused by us, we are not guilty. For many our need for affection was exploited for the perps self-serving perverted needs. It is a brave and fearful event finally ending the abuse. It took me a long time to end the second go around.

Many of us have heaped anything and everything we can on top of the wounds, to hide from the memories and the pains. Unfortunately this does not work. The pains are real and it effects us in many ways, some that you may not fully comprehend at first. I know that I am seeing more all the time. To end the misery, we must cleanse the wound, allow it to heal, and learn to accept and live with the scars. This journey is not easy. Changes for the better rarely are.

To make changes, usually the pain of not changing must outweigh the pain of not changing. Yours is the possible loss of your wife. Mine was the loss of my second wife and the possibility of losing my son.

It is hard to tell those you love and fear losing the deep-rooted feelings that you don’t understand yourself. We don’t want to chance losing them, to expose our fears and pains, are misplaced guilt about what had happened. It is important to share these with your wife, or significant other. A relationship needs to be based upon openness and honesty. I waited too long before I let my wife know about my SA, now she is my ex-wife. This journey is to heal yourself, and with this self healing we can stop afflicting the effects upon those that are close to us.

Please continue to post, to air your feelings and concerns. We will listen. We understand.

There is a Family and Friends section that your wife may be interested in.

Joe has provided you with good sets of references. Check them out.


Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

#67614 - 09/07/03 07:21 PM Re: in search of identity
wrangler Offline

Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 84
Loc: Northern Virginia
Wow. By the time I went to bed last night I had convinced myself that no one would even answer my post. Once you’ve been lonely long enough, and I mean emotionally alone, you really do start to believe that you deserve it.

I am was married when I was 23 and about a year into the marriage my wife asks me “You don’t look at pornography do you?” She asks because the church leaders were urging women to ask their husbands whether they suspected or not because these problems live in the dark. I knew it would only be a matter of time before she asked. “Well, actually, I do.” I can remember the conversation like it was this morning, which is unusual because I have a terrible memory. I don’t know why I told her. I easily could have gone on hiding it for years. But something inside of me wanted something more. Some little piece of me knew that there had to be more to life than deleting Internet histories and sitting around wondering if the clean up jobs was thorough enough. So I told her. And I told her that I looked at mostly gay porn and that I had been abused a lot as a teenager.

Over the next chunk of time, a month or a year I don’t know, I worked out most of the facts of my story in as much detail as I could. But facts are just facts and it turns out for me they really matter so little. I couldn’t tell her that it mattered to me. I couldn’t tell her that I think I am only just now starting the nightmare… not waking from it. Instead I pretended like it didn’t matter. I found a therapist that wanted to help me stop looking at porn. He helped me solidify my view of life: if I can control my sexuality I can be a normal person in every way. He fed me bullshit and I devoured it. It was so self-loathing and I craved it.

His main premise was that men suffering from so-called same sex attraction a.k.a. gay could move beyond that. They could get better. They could put their gayness behind them. Oh boy did he play into my hand. I was afraid I was gay but didn’t want to be. But don’t gay porn, gay fantasy, and gay abuse make a man gay? So why not find a nice intolerant therapist who could convince me that he could cure my gay disease. So I paid him to try for a year and a half. He did one other great “service” for me… he convinced me that someone one who was really supporting me would be nice to me. If my wife wasn’t being nice to me she didn’t support me. It was such a subtle message I didn’t consciously understand it until several weeks after she was gone. At the end of that therapy I couldn’t understand why all of that time, money and labor had yielded NOTHIING.

I was more miserable because I was obviously beyond even good therapy’s help. After all, it seemed like good therapy to me. Around this time, my wife and I finished school, she a lawyer and I an engineer. Life seemed spread out before us like a feast. We moved to the town I wanted. We bought the jeep I wanted. We both found great jobs that we love. It took about two months for the depression to arrive in full. Once there, deep in depression, it didn’t even seem like depression. But I wouldn’t even go to the movies. I wouldn’t help clean the apartment. I wouldn’t go to church. I absolutely wouldn’t go back to therapy. I had to pretend that I was “over it”. I pretended not only on an external level, but also on an internal one. There was no real me left and then life had no joy. I dreaded the weekends and got through them by waiting for Monday.

About eight months into this, last January or so, our sex life dried up. I had no desire for human sexual contact. In fact, it had filled me with such awful feelings that I actually had a strong desire to avoid it. I must be gay. What else would do this to a person? I didn’t want that. It didn’t feel good either. So I dried up. There was nothing left. My wife begged for me and us to go to therapy. I told her to go to therapy. I didn’t need it and didn’t want it.

In May she started trying in earnest to leave. I pleaded with her to stay. I didn’t think I had the capacity for more suffering, but in this last, final human rejection (I had no other friends) I found worlds more. It took about a month and at the end of May she flew to Boston to see her family and left me a note. When she came home I put on such a performance to get her to stay and work this out. I had an appointment with a therapist. Picked her out of the yellow pages at random. I promised couples therapy. I got on anti-depressants. Please, please I begged.

To my bewilderment it seemed to work. She stayed. It was horrible for us both. I lived it this paranoid depression where I existed to minimize her… her what? Her feelings I guess. She could leave anytime. I was never safe. I had severe panic attacks. Couples therapy was a nightmare.

God is real. He picked that therapist out of the yellow pages. She didn’t care about porn. She didn’t care about gay. She didn’t care about anything except me. She cared about the real me that I couldn’t see anymore. It took her about three months to get my depression and anxiety under control. She restored some measure of love for myself… enough so that I could assert my needs in my marriage. I don’t mean the fake need for niceness either. I mean the need to express what I was feeling and suffering with a companion that could share their feelings and suffering with me. I’m not sure how to do that just yet, but I know that I need it. Companionship here is somewhat shallow. It cannot substitute for the human connection and contact. But for those like me to afraid to tolerate the intensity of that connection this is the best place in the world to start.

Asserting this need and admitting that I was pretty far from okay was more that my wife could handle. She came home one Saturday afternoon and said she was leaving. She didn’t know about divorce, but had to have separation. I was ready for this. I was sad and afraid, but I made no effort to stop her. We are both still sad and afraid, but we support each other now in our own efforts. We don’t have much to offer each other right now, but we do still love each other and we give what we can. Most importantly, I now accept whatever she gives me as what it is: an incredibly generous gift that I have neither earned nor deserve.

So am I gay? No. Sexual orientation is a misnomer that cost me years of confusion. If I must label it, I would call it intimacy orientation. I have never felt intimacy towards another man, only lust, and then only in fantasy. The actual experience has always been a painful way for me to shame myself. As I put this question to rest (which still takes a little time even with these conclusions) I am finding so much of my fear is melting away. And as the fear subsides I am increasingly willing to feel whatever feelings surface from inside me… most of which are quite awful to feel, at least at first.

That is our mission in therapy right now. To guide me away from pretending that I don’t have feelings and to a place where I am willing to feel them even if I don’t like them. Not just the feel them, but to embrace them and indulge them… to wallow in them. She is leading me to a place where I can accept the glimpses I get of the “real” me without judgment. I am now working to accept that I will continue to look at porn and struggle with gay fantasy… maybe not forever, but for now. I want to discover that my validity and value as a human being exists even with those behaviors. For so long (and with the help of my first therapist) I believed I could only discover those things after I stopped the upsetting sexual behavior and thought.

I may sound confident and well on my way as you read this, but I am not. The first step is developing a knowledge and understanding of these things, but it is a relatively easy one for me to make. Accepting myself for who I am is not so easy for me. It pisses me off that I have to do it in the first place. It humbles me and I don’t like being humble. It forces me to be tolerant, but intolerant is so much safer. It forces me to accept that the pain I cause other people is real, valid and most importantly, my fault. Even if the reasons for my causing it are not my fault, it is still me that causes it. It is not easy to take responsibility for hurting the people I care about when I feel like I can’t control myself. But it is important for me, my wife and any close friends I discover along the way while I make this stupid “journey”.

Whew. These are long posts. I have so much to say and now that I am talking I don’t want to stop. It feels liberating to say these things, and even though the sincerity I feel about them wavers a lot, I am starting to trust them as a part of the “real” me.

And David, as far as the important things go \:\) I do take my jeep off road, but once there I like to mountain bike more that to drive. I broke my hand playing softball two months ago and can’t do either now though. Boo hoo… I’m so pitiful. But please don’t pity me and don’t be nice to me either. Be sincere with me. And thanks so much for listening to all this.


"Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself." -Mary Schmich

#67615 - 09/08/03 12:54 AM Re: in search of identity
martin Offline

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 229
Loc: The Good Earth

Welcome to MS. Its good to see this little community grow as more people reach out for help on their healing journey. None of us wanted to have to be here but its good, as I think you have seen already, to have good people to accompany you.

I can really relate to your search for identity. I've been on the same search myself for what seems like an eternity. Most of my life I've been trying to be what I thought others wanted of me just to finally feel loved. That left me not knowing who I was and still feeling unloved.

Emotions I think are kind of like computer memory, there is only so much space for processing. When the space gets clogged with so much unprocessed feelings--like the effects of SA--there is no room for processing new ones. Thats a really corny analogy, sorry for that, but my point is that you will be able to feel more once you work through the old crap.

It may not be what you want but going on the journey to recovery you will find attributes of yourself you never knew you had.

It sounds like you are doing good work with a caring therapist, that will serve you well. So too will all the support and advice from the good people on this site.

Again welcome, I hope you find much peace and healing.


Its times like these we learn to live again,
Its times like these we give & give again,
Its times like these we learn to love again,
Its times like these time & time again.
-The Foo Fighters

#67616 - 09/08/03 03:28 AM Re: in search of identity
wrangler Offline

Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 84
Loc: Northern Virginia
It is so good to feel embraced here. I know that this is no substitute for my ultimate goal of human connection. But that type of emotion induces so much anxiety in me right now that I simple cannot tolerate it. I find myself shutting the whole world out when I sense an emotion connection about to happen in person. So for a while at least, I can’t think of a more perfect place for me than right here in the forum of people that so obviously care about each other’s happiness and sorrow. I especially include in this the people who were not abused but who are struggling to reach their partner.

For three years I was entirely blind to the grief I was inflicting on my wife. I simply couldn’t see outside of my pretend world where dealing with the abuse was behind me and our marriage would be perfect if I didn’t occasionally look at pornography. If ever her grief came crashing through and I got a glimpse of it, I couldn’t understand it. I could never “get” her. Coming here and reading the posts by the wives and girlfriends of survivors has shed so much insight into what her life has been like.

I honestly believed that if I pretended not to feel the way I really did my wife would not experience anything relating to my actual emotions. And I believed that by shear force of will I could change the feelings inside me without having to let them see the light of day. When my first long attempt at therapy failed and then shear willpower failed, I accepted defeat. I gracefully bowed my head and resigned to a life where nothing would be fun and I would never know true love. I told my wife if she felt like she had problems then she needed some therapy for a change. And then I folded. I was like that for about six months and pretty much nothing was going to change that for me.

When my wife left, which she did about four months before she moved out, I woke up. Although it felt like the fear of her leaving was the wake up call it wasn’t. It was the loss of the last human acceptance I knew at the time. It was the realization that with her gone, even just emotionally at first, I was truly alone in the world. For a few days I had no one to turn to. There were some people I talked to but there was absolutely no one that I trusted.

It wasn’t rock bottom, things could always get worse… losing my job or apartment or so on. But emotionally it really was rock bottom. That feeling of complete and utter isolation is truly the worst feeling in the world. I guess it lasted three days, but it seemed like three lifetimes. And I think I was truly dead inside. I guess God came, uninvited, back into the picture because I don’t think I would have left that place otherwise. Somehow it occurred to me, “This is not life. It doesn’t have to be this way.” So I found a therapist who pulled me out of my depression and she created the first place I had ever been where it was safe to stop pretending.

Then I found this place, the perfect place for me to keep on not pretending things are okay. I attached myself to the Family & Friends section because that is my struggle. It is about relating to people in an honest and sincere way.

Well I guess I’m done with my rant of an introduction. I feel as though I am on the verge of discovering true friendship, first here in the safety of anonymity, and eventually in the complexities and uncertainties of real life. For the first time in forever I actually feel like that might be possible.

I can’t wait to get to know you and to offer of myself whatever I can to help you reach a more fulfilling, satisfying and rewarding life. It sucks to have to heal, to have to go on a journey. But I guess in the end I won’t be surprised if I find I am a better person that I ever imagined possible.


"Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself." -Mary Schmich

#67617 - 09/08/03 09:01 PM Re: in search of identity
Freedom Offline

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 164
Loc: US

You said;

I can’t wait to get to know you and to offer of myself whatever I can to help you reach a more fulfilling, satisfying and rewarding life. It sucks to have to heal, to have to go on a journey. But I guess in the end I won’t be surprised if I find I am a better person that I ever imagined possible.

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. It has been extremely helpful to me. I have no doubt that you are heading in the right direction. You doing some great work on your life! I understand about "it sucks to have to heal" but I am at a point where I decided since it has to get done, I might as well get on with it. \:\) Sounds like you have too.

I am glad you are here even though I wish the reasons that brought you here did not happen in your life. Take good care,


Life is moving on. AM I?

#67618 - 09/08/03 11:13 PM Re: in search of identity
PAS Offline

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Wrangler if I could give you a hug right now I would. I am a partner of a survivor and it sounds like you are doing all the right things, all the brave things, that you really ARE on the road to recovery and reclaiming your life.

You struggle from many many many of the same things my BF suffered from. Abused as an adolescent. Thinking he was gay. Losing girlfriends. Feeling isolated. Shame. Guilt. Relationships causing so much anxiety he needed to run away. Feeling lonely and isolated because he couldn't be close to anyone. Anger overload. Re-enacting his "dramas" over and over. Sexual acting out. Some of the poetry and songs I have read that my fiance wrote over the past 10 years totally relate - he has written songs about feeling cold and ashamed, isolated and alone, masturbation, porn, etc.

I cant say anything more than what the great guys on this site have already written. They are great guys, have been to hell and back and are still here to offer support and compassion. I dont know how many times I've come on here practically crying my eyes out as I'm typing and they come back with the best advice, exactly what I needed to hear. To put my bf's weird and wild behaviour into context. To learn that I have not done something, that my BF is not the scary monster or the cold, unfeeling iceman that he's acting like at the moment, but that its the "abuse talking".

I've also had to do an inventory of my own life in the context of being with a SA survivor. Add that on top of an already traumatic, abuse-filled upbringing of my own. And I had to come up with ways of nurturing myself, of finding joy in my life outside of my relationship, and sometimes in spite of him (we have had some serious rough times!). Part of me resents that I had to do that, but that too has been a blessing - to become more self reliant, to become more qualified, more happy in the non-relationship part of my life, that has been a very good journey for me. Makes me a better partner, a happier person, relationship or no relationship.

its tough right now because you dont knwo where your relationship is going. Or even your life for that matter. And yes you could come out of this a totally different person. But if its one thing that I'm sure we all agree with, you're on the right journey.


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