Sorry for rambling, having a really difficult day today.
Found myself alone, dug under stone
Fell fast without control, deep into my dark hole
Coping through each addiction, despair with deep affliction
Screaming out but no one knew, what I went through I couldn’t tell you
Learned to hide the boy, abysmally violated as their toy
Saw myself all to blame, guilt and rot with shame
Words bled through me, and always fooled thee
Created an enrichment of masks, hid behind all my tasks
My body grew into a man, but inside the boy always ran
Did what I could not to feel, a child's ripped heart and Achilles’ heel
Alone above a raging sea, drowned deep inside of me
No one could see I was beaten, by this inner wretched demon
My ship has sunk from under me, painted black and drowning in the sea
Despair turned to burning tears, lost and with incredible fears
My world filled with dismal darkness, I gave into the bitter harshness
Intent to take my life, broken and depressed with rife
Fooled myself but one last time, giving up was not my rhyme
Laying in bed as an Admitted, alone for my feelings to be permitted
Found it odd to take on that May, under cover and hid away
Dreaming of a better fate, the kind which could never hate
Lacked the wisdom to ensue, but the passion to pursue
Shown myself as an illusion, filled with anger and confusion
Taught to raise my voice, because I have a choice
Shown how to move ahead, and face what I dread
Used my strength and grip, to repair my sinking ship
To guide the little boy home, never again will he be so alone
We’ve still got time to find, the sweet eyes full of kind
But once no one knew me, now all can look through me
Now I know how to swim, even in oceans of dire grim
For I entered on a gurney, I leave to continue my journey
That was wonderful. I hope you continue to heal with courage and strength that pour out of your words.
OW - multiple, just found out about ALL of them, Husband coming out of years of fog due to multiple childhood and military events.
Hopeful but cautious
Proceed with extreme caution. If the story is accurate, he will need years of therapy just to uncover all the details.
[This message edited by BlueBlueEyes at 7:38 PM, August 6th (Wednesday)]
My IC says the same defense mechanisms that allow him to compartmentalize the CSA allows him to compartmentalize his part in our marital problems and blameshift for the affair.
[This message edited by BlueBlueEyes at 8:25 PM, August 6th (Wednesday)]
Read The Sexual Hearing Journey by Wendy Maltz. Both of you. It was rec'd to me by someone here on SI, in my early days, and it set me on the path to understanding how CSA had affected me.
I'm also in agreement that he is probably not lying about his past abuse, as if it's not plausible because there were multiple abusers, it's actually quite common. Survivors tend to be revictimized again and again because their ability to recognize boundaries, of their own or others, is seriously impaired. Regular responses to advances or invasion of personal space becomes a freezing moment, as they've been programmed that "no" is futile.
I was sexually abused by my adoptive father, my brother, a neighbor boy who was much older, my sister touched me once inappropriately that I can remember, her boyfriend touched me once inappropriately, and I was sexually assaulted by a 40 year old when I was 18.
Reenacting the abuse was like a compulsion. I was very ashamed of it, and to tell my spouse was terrifying for fear he'd think I was super sick and run for the hills, and maybe I am, but he didn't think so.
Also, my husband's family has history of abuse on his mother's side, 10 kids, all 6 girls sexually abused. They are all in their 40's and 50's, and only recently have the oldest ones just told their husbands. Seems strange for those on the outside of abuse, but it's very shameful and difficult to talk about, survivors would just like to forget it. It doesn't surprise me when I hear someone has gone 20-30 years before telling anyone, let alone their spouse. My sister was 8 years into her marriage before she told her husband. He was devastated.
You are not obligated to stay with your cheating husband just because he is now trying to face his past. He still cheated on you and that was completely wrong. He cannot fix the marriage and himself at the same time, you are right. Don't stick around if you can't wait, you owe him nothing, don't "buy" anything you don't want to. Take care of you and continue to work on your exit plan in case he doesn't follow through or falls into old patterns.
It's been almost two years of questioning him, doing my own research, reading books, etc. He's been in therapy and reading, answering my questions, and doing everything he could to heal both himself and me.
It's been the hardest thing we've both ever had to deal with but it's working. The after effects of abuse can be healed. He's worked very hard though, both to deal with the abuse and to help me get through this.
As far as I can understand, the unconscious mind drives them to recreate the abuse. My husband would go to McDonalds and eat and eat till he almost threw up in an attempt to stop feeling the disgust of what he'd just done with another woman, yet the compulsion remained .... until he started dealing with the abuse.
The abuse was forced on them, and recreating it may well be post traumatic stress disorder.
I know everyone's circumstances are different, but I have managed to work with him in fixing us both, we worked as a team. I didn't do it alone, we did it together, and in the process we've developed a much stronger bond than we ever had before.
D Day 11 November 2012
You can't scale a mountain in a single step
He was abused by a man, too, which is why he felt such shame. Ironically, I worked with this pervert in my first job, so I knew him. It makes my blood boil that people can do this to children.
It's a mental wound inside them that bleeds for years unseen, and can become 'infected' with repetition of the abuse.
Working through this with my husband has been so rewarding for both of us because he's emerged as such a lovely man, with such enormous compassion for people. And in his case, I don't think it's likely he'll ever go down the infidelity path again because the PTSD is healing. Now he's talking about it, the triggers have fizzled out and the compulsion has gone.
I don't believe I'm co-dependent, but I felt that he badly needed my help and I was prepared to try. In helping him, I realised exactly the 'why' and that helped my healing enormously.
It's not for everyone to do it this way, and that's ok. I'm only giving my own experience here.
[This message edited by Healinggirl at 9:31 AM, August 13th (Wednesday)]
When he went to IC he kept asking her questions about the after effects of abuse and she couldn't or wouldn't tell him, just said he needed discover his own 'why'. He stopped going because the answers weren't inside him. It was actually Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but no-one diagnosed it.....they don't do that very often in the UK. So we had to put the pieces together ourselves.
He didn't ask me to do anything for him, but I searched the internet and found a couple of websites dealing with male survivors, which gave me loads of information. I got him to read them and he found his answers. There's a lot of info on the net, thankfully.
Often, because he was working, I'd have more than him and I would scour the internet or download books and read them, the ask him to read them, which he did.
I told him what I'd found out and he'd say 'yes, that's what it's like' or 'no, that's not it'. So he did his part in being honest and was always willing to face it and talk. He did a lot of crying, but that's almost disappeared now.
When he realised he wasn't responsible for the abuse we had a huge breakthrough and he finally reported it to the police. It takes a long time for them to let go of the shame and the guilt. He said 'but I kept going back for more abuse'....and that shame held up his progress for quite a while. Gradually those feelings lessened as we found out about the ploys and grooming techniques abusers use to enable the abuse to take place.
In between all this, I would have a meltdown and get angry because of my own hurt and raw emotions, but he would focus on me, and he would hold me while I sobbed. The fact remained that he'd committed adultery and my heart was torn to shreds, so in between me helping him, he was putting in a lot of effort to help me heal, too.
Even after doing all this I still can't fully appreciate how it must feel to be abused, but I've read enough of other people's accounts to know that it's a massive, massive trauma for a kid that leaves an awful lot of damage in its wake and badly affects their adult relationships.
It was a year of very intense, hard work on both our parts, and it's now not the focus of our lives anymore. It's as if we've been through a very long, dark tunnel and we're now emerging into the sunshine. Last night, as we cuddled up in bed he told me that I'd saved his life. I cried. It's very humbling to hear that from someone you love so dearly.
[This message edited by Healinggirl at 3:39 AM, August 14th (Thursday)]