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#425299 - 02/15/13 12:19 AM New to all this

Registered: 01/21/13
Posts: 22
Loc: Canada/USA

This is the first time I have ever done anything like this before but with everything that is going on I think I need help...

I have been a 4 year relationship with a wonderful man that suffered childhood sexual abuse by a 2 uncles as well as a neiborough that started when he was a boy and lasted several years. He was very open and honest with me about this from the very beginning of our relationship and I| have always been very supportive towards him. About 1 year ago he decided that he no longer needed the medication that his Dr had put him on and feel into a deep depression. it was the same time that he started closing up on me and refused to talk about the abuse or even admit that he was struggling with it. To make matters worse, he then stopped seeing his therapist saying that he was fine and no longer needed it.

8 months ago his sister told him that she was abused as a child by the same neiborough, this started a downward spiral that has been worse than anything I could have imagined. He finally told his mother about the abuse but she said he was lying and refused to talk about or even acknowledge that it even happened, his sister now refuses to talk to him about and says that it happened to them in the past and he should just get over it and forget about it...

The last 2 weeks have been terrible, he is in such a dark place but I finally got him to call his EAP and he got into a therapist yesterday...Tonight he called me to say that he has not been honest with himself or me and that he doesn't think he wants to be in our relationship anymore and that he is not sure if he still loves me (Happy Valentine' Day to me) He then started talking jibberish and crying about how he really is suffering with the abuse and all that has been going on...I should that that due to work, he is in a different country now and has been for the last month.

I am very worried about his state of mind and very confused by what he said to me regarding us...I'm not sure if this is part of the depression or if he really doesn't love me anymore and I should just walk away??? He has no self esteem and feels totally worthless. Any suggestions on how I should proceed?

#425660 - 02/18/13 09:15 AM Re: New to all this [Re: YYZGIRL]
peroperic2009 Offline

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3866
Loc: South-East Europe
Hi Girl, welcome to Male Survivor!
I'm sorry to hear about your partner and his abuse. You are on right place to learn more about implications of living with scars left after such destructive happenings.
I'm very sorry to hear that your partner left therapy and that he is not coping well with his problems. He could be in some volatile state and it could be good for you to take all measures to protect yourself and to change your focus from him to self. Many times wives and spouses with best wishes are giving their all to help, to be there, to listen and actually many times they are forgetting that they need to have some time for self, own friends and own time. That could be very unhealthy.
There are a lot similar stories here and it can be very difficult to be part of such dynamics, please read more in Family and Friends part of the board, maybe you'll find about similar stories/experiences.

You partner needs therapy the most if he is feeling so bad and talk with you can't bring him therapeutic relief nor you should play his therapist, that could be ticket to some wild road for both of you as you two are involved on many emotional levels.
Plese share with us furtehr and think even to bring him here?

My story

#425790 - 02/19/13 08:20 AM Re: New to all this [Re: YYZGIRL]
Anomalous Offline

Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 2242
Hi XYZGirl,

Your significant other is going through a lot of pain right now.

He is trying to deny that the abuses happened, but it is not working. The ugly truth keeps surfacing and letting him know that it did happen. It is not uncommon for survivors to tell themselves things such as "it didn't happen," "ok, it happened, but it wasn't that bad," "ok, it happened, but it was a long time ago and it shouldn't be affecting me," "it happened, but so what? Others have endured worse," etc., etc., etc.

No one wants to admit to themselves that they were used in this manner by another. The pain, emotional and physical, is just too great. We would rather accept our distortions than to admit, and accept, that we were objects used to gratify the needs of others.

Please do not make any decisions regarding your relationship right now while he is in the throes of depression. Right now is the time for you to engage in self care, which may mean that you see your own therapist. Give him some space - do not ask him about the abuse or where the two of you stand. He wants to be in your life, but he does not feel worthy of your love. He does not feel worthy at all. All he can consider at his point, as a result of the depression, the trauma and the damage to his self esteem, is that you would be better off without him. He cannot accept himself and he cannot see how you could possibly love him or want him in your life. Depression is cruel.

I am sorry if this pains you, but it is part of the healing journey with which we, and those who love us, struggle.

The response he received from his mother is -- enraging. She is telling him that her needs (denial; possibly protecting someone) is more important than what happened to him. She ignored his pain when he was abused and she is doing it again.

His sister knows the truth - she also endured it from the same neighbor. Telling someone to "get over it" is one of the most hurtful and disrespectful things you can tell a survivor. While his sister may believe that denying the abuse is working for her, the reality is, it doesn't work for long. She may not want to believe events from the past are affecting her, but they are. She wants her brother to "get over it" so SHE doesn't have to deal with it. That statement is for her benefit, not his.

There are several books written for the signifcant others of survivors and those for survivors that you may find helpful. You will find them in the MS bookstore. I am certain the people who post in the Friends and Family forum will have suggestions regarding the books they found most helpful.

The books will not be easy to read, but they will give you an insight into the ravages of sexual abuse and the impact it has on all facets of life.

Please post as often as you need in the Friends and Family forum. There is a lot of support available here for you. There is also a Friends and Family room in the Lounge (chat room), which will give you real-time support.

Regardless what happens with your relationship, you must take care of yourself. Eat properly, exercise and get adequate sleep. Seek support where you can find it. But don't make every conversation you have with friends be about healing/ supporting. Part of taking care of yourself means taking a break from this wild ride.

I hope your signifcant other gets the help he needs to deal with the trauma he has experienced. There is an amazing man beneath the pain.

If you and your signifcant other have the courage and the strength to ride this wild roller coaster, the two of you will emerge stronger individually and as a couple. You will grow in ways you are not able to envision right now.

This will not be an easy journey for either of you. Nor will it be a quick journey. Recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. There are times each of you will be tired of this - sick of the books and the therapy. Sick and tired of the ups and downs, and you will be mentally and physically exhausted. Sometimes things will feel much worse than before you embarked on this journey. That is par for the course.

It is okay to take a break from healing from time to time. Even when you are not actively working on healing, there is healing taking place.

If you are ready to dive into the deep end of the pool, the life guards here are on duty.

Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

#425830 - 02/19/13 04:36 PM Re: New to all this [Re: YYZGIRL]

Registered: 01/21/13
Posts: 22
Loc: Canada/USA
Thank you both for your responses and the helpful advice. I am heading down to the US this weekend to see him and spend sometime with him. I am happy to report that he has agreed to see a new therapist and has an appointment tomorrow and is willing to talk about going back on medication :-) I have told him about this site and he has gone on it so hopefully he will find some comfort in that he is not alone in this struggle.

Thank you both so much :-)


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