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User Topic: Sexual Abuse Survivors/Spouses - Part II
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Default  Posted: 3:48 PM, January 16th (Monday)

For those that are personally dealing with this situation.

Posts: 10000 | Registered: May 2002
CanISurvive
Member
Member # 29788
Cool  Posted: 5:01 PM, January 16th (Monday)

TY Admin for starting the Part II after the last subforum filled up! This should be the URL to the original subforum if anyone wanted/needed to refer back, read up on past posts, etc.

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=158510

Thought I'd start off with a check-in to see how everyone is doing in the new year? My IC continues; progress is slow but I do feel like I am making progress. Wishing all the othe SAB & Spouses of SAB Survivors healing and peace in 2012.

(edited due to SmartPhone not being as smart as it should be)

[This message edited by CanISurvive at 5:02 PM, January 16th (Monday)]


D final 11/25/2011 -- on Black Friday! ;-)

Moved my stats to my Profile; click there for my story.

I am a Phoenix; I may be in the ashes stage at the moment, but I am now actively working on my Rebirth. =)

PS: I edit posts for typos & clarity


Posts: 330 | Registered: Oct 2010 | From: California
wincings_sparkle
Member
Member # 27129
Default  Posted: 7:35 PM, January 16th (Monday)

Thank You, Admin.

Ditto CanISurvive: Wishing ALL Healing and Peace in 2012!

My first post in the old part I was on http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=158510&AP=721&HL=

It was the first time that I had "spoken out" about the abuse that I had survived as a child or the rape that I had survived as a teen.

Since then, I continue to see my IC, continue to read, and I am now working at a psychiatric facility where I help others who have gone through similar experiences sometimes. Not all of the patients, just some.

Which is good because I couldn't do it all the time. It's hard. I come home and cry. It's good though. For me and for them. It's a way to pay it forward. To help and to heal.

Anyway, it's always one day at a time.
Reminding myself that I'm in control of myself and no one else.
Reminding myself that I can't fix anything but myself.

I still have nightmares on bad nights. They are fewer and farther apart.

Maybe someday they will stop.

That's my update.


"When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free."
- Catherine Ponder
Me-FWW. BH-wincing_at_light

Posts: 1609 | Registered: Jan 2010
Nature_Girl
Member
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 10:02 PM, January 16th (Monday)

My grandfather molested me for 10 years, from however young he could get me (I can recall not liking him as a toddler) up to age 10. The only reason he stopped at age 10 is because we moved away to another state.

I tried two times to tell my mother. The first I was about 4 or 5-years old. I didn't have the words to describe what he was doing to me, and she didn't understand what I was trying to say (or didn't WANT to understand). So I was forced back into his affections. The 2nd time I was older & begged her not to make me be around him or allow him to touch/hug me. She became very angry with me and again forced me to submit to him.

As an adult I've discovered that he molested most/all of his children, and the majority of his grandchildren. Boys, girls, didn't matter. I am aware of one instance in which he fondled the wife of an adult grandson.

At age 19 I was date raped. He showed me his gun but didn't put it against me, just showed it to me & laid it on his nightstand. I got the message. He made me tell him I loved him over & over, and then he turned into some kind of sick stalker or something. Forced me into a sick boyfriend/girlfriend situation, insisting I keep telling him I loved him. Threatening to tell my family what a slut I was to have sex with him, forcing to harm them... I eventually moved to another state & he followed me, broke into my room...

And now I'm married to a SA.

I just want it all to stop.


Me = BS
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 tween-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - DIVORCED!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJgjyDFfJuU

Posts: 10722 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
HFSSC
Member
Member # 33338
Default  Posted: 12:36 PM, January 17th (Tuesday)

I'd like to introduce myself to this group.

My name is Holly. I was molested by my maternal uncle for as long back as I can remember. He also molested my mom and her sister. When I was in 2nd grade, he needed a place to stay, so my mom allowed him to move in our home in exchange for providing free child care. What a great deal!!!

I was date-raped at age 19 (this was how I lost my virginity) and found out I was pregnant 3 weeks later. I gave the baby up for adoption and spent the next 21 years trying to make the pain go away.

I learned in adulthood that my uncle molested every kid in my generation, boys and girls. It is so sad and sick to look at my family tree.

And I never learned so many important things about love and relationships and trust. I never knew I was worth being taken care of.

My 1st H cheated on me multiple times and eventually left me for the OW. And now I find myself in marriage #2 with a WH. But things are different this time.

I got sober in 2008 and I learned that I am valuable. I am beautiful. I am worthy of being loved and cherished and respected. And my H is rising to the challenge. Every day is a new beginning, and I am finally experiencing love.


But so many of the scars from my childhood are still there. It pisses me off that someone had the power to absolutely destroy me when I had no power at all.

Thank you all for being here and for being willing to open up and share your stories. It helps to know I am not alone.


Me, 48
Him, 41 (JMSSC)
married 18 years. In R. We are making it. The past does not define who we are today.

Posts: 3164 | Registered: Sep 2011 | From: South Carolina
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 10:32 AM, February 2nd (Thursday)

I haven't posted in a while, glad to see there is a new thread going, it means we're surviving.

Since August-Sept, I've turned a corner in my healing, much to do with reaching out to my aunt, my abuser's sister, and she has been a fierce force in my corner. When I started to notice the change this fall, I was afraid to say anything out loud, worried I'd jinx myself. And now, I'm ok if it's temporary or tomorrow is dark and bleak.

I had a light bulb moment when thinking about everything and all I have been through, and I'm pretty sure I've put this out there somewhere else on this forum, but it still bears repeating because it's huge for my own healing journey. I'm a sort of "things happen for a reason" person. All my suffering must be for a reason, and surely I won't suffer anymore now that I'm healing and working on myself. And yet I kept suffering in many ways, because of me. I was allowing myself to believe that I'm owed a pain-free life here on out, so when anything bad happened, a traffic ticket, a bad day, the kids acted up, it was all the injustices in the world pitted against me, life sucked and wasn't fair. Life doesn't work that way. There are no guarantees, no promises. Life has ups and downs, bad things happen, good things happen, sometimes for no rhyme or reason, some things are simply out of our control. When I let go of that perfect life I had built up in my head, let go of trying to control my life's outcome to fit what I had envisioned, I started to feel that allusive peace I thought I'd never find.

It was acceptance. I didn't do anything to cause my abuse, and no karmic energy of the universe caused it either. I don't know why it happened and I still ponder those whys now and then, but I can't change that it happened. I can only change how I deal with it now, those choices are mine, to deal in a healthy way, or an unhealthy way. I have accepted that my abuse is not the last painful thing I will go through. For some reason, this is comforting thinking. Life isn't perfect, and that's ok, it doesn't have to be. There will be pain, there will be joy. It's enough. I finally feel like I'm a survivor, not just surviving or simply existing.

This has been the longest I have gone without cycling through a depressive episode and actually not trying to NOT make it happen or make it happen. It's ok to feel sad and angry at times, it's ok to feel down, and it's ok to feel ok in my own skin. I have let go of a lot of guilt, misplaced guilt, guilt for cutting my parents out of my life, for not throwing some sort of crumb of hope of reconciliation their way, guilt if they harm themselves, guilt for being a helpless child. The grip the abuse had on my life has lessened greatly.

I'm healing, not healed. I work on accepting and loving myself every day, focusing on my strengths. I work on honest communication and intimacy with my husband. I have immense gratitude for the caring and sensitive individuals who post here and have reached out with a kind word. I hope everyone is finding their inner peace.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
EasyDoesIt
Member
Member # 29514
Default  Posted: 6:03 PM, April 6th (Friday)

I'm posting here because it's an applicable forum as I was raped by my spouse, which is what led to me discovering his infidelities.

Spousal rape. Yes, it DOES happen. I still can't say the word out loud. I'm in counseling but I've been sleeping on the couch for over two years even though he moved out 8 months ago. I cannot even look at the bed.


Anything less than full disclosure and total transparency is pure bullshit. WARNING! No emotional pollution allowed.

Posts: 3728 | Registered: Sep 2010 | From: Georgia
oldtimer97
Member
Member # 2365
Default  Posted: 1:58 PM, June 23rd (Saturday)

Does anyone know any good books about Sister-Brother incest? It was only through an online chat my H was having w/a 21yr old (maybe) online gal that he was trying to procure, that he revealed he and another brother were molested from 5-8 years by his older sister..think she's 6-8 years older. He said he never told me because it felt good. I just told him yes, I understood that & there wasn't any shame in that.

This explains so much. It's something he never told me. The first 10 years of our marriage were great, although I was a bit more permissable about porn back then & we'd watch it together to spice things up. Before he got totally wound up with the internet...first huge porn downloading of which he'd never be able to watch all in his lifetime, I did notice he started spending more time watching the porn movies than me.

Things started to go to a downhill slide when he got one, said it was a mistake, but it was a very violent one with gang rape. That pretty much squelched it for me, having been gang raped on two occasions. It wasn't long after that he started to act out with women online.

But anyways, I'm also an SA survivor & this new revelation makes so much sense. The whole family is screwed up. The sister besides being older was a half-sister if that makes a difference. She seems to be the only one he has a bond with, even though she's never told him the time of day since we've been together...she's been a meth addict on & off & really never communicates with him.

During a recent meeting we had with my Psychologist, the question was brought up on who the sister learned this behavior from. I was surprised my H said not just her father, but also possibly his! This has been quite the surprise since he's always presented his growing up as Ozzie & Harriet, but forgets he told me how as the 3rd youngest in the family of 4 he was pretty much ignored or tried to stay out of the chaos. And here I thought I chose the sane one out of their group.

Anyways, if anyone knows any books or has personally experienced this, I'd really like to know more...thx in advance.


“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”

― Maya Angelou


Posts: 3313 | Registered: Oct 2003 | From: Sunny Arizona
smokenfire
Member
Member # 5217
Default  Posted: 9:27 PM, June 23rd (Saturday)

I am a survivor - there are not many books out there dealing specifically with sibling on sibling abuse - I Have no idea why. I just know when it happened to person I was trying to help, I could not find a single one - I think really any of the other books "could" help - but it'd be better of course to have one specifically dealing with that.


I have a very strict no returns policy - if you got him - you have to keep him.
Don't kick me in the mouth and then complain about how I bleed...

Posts: 5961 | Registered: Aug 2004
oldtimer97
Member
Member # 2365
Default  Posted: 11:30 AM, June 24th (Sunday)

Thanks Smoken..this doesn't surprise me. At 64 yrs old, I've seen the changes (in fact would say my generation has fought for those changes) to open up about the SA taboo, get it out there so people & children in particular will speak out to keep it from happening or feel freer to discuss it.

BUT...the popular myth is that females are not capable of this & tho less prevalent, it's not true. I became a victim of my mother of all people. Yep, there are very few books about that. I'll be the first to admit it's not something I feel free to discuss, much less alone, write a book. Add in the confusion and child like thoughts..and then between siblings "were we only playing doctor?" type messages, yeah, sounds like there won't be much, if anything out there for the casual reader...only psychological journals I guess.


“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”

― Maya Angelou


Posts: 3313 | Registered: Oct 2003 | From: Sunny Arizona
0115
Member
Member # 31740
Default  Posted: 12:00 AM, June 29th (Friday)

My fWH suffered abuse mainly from his older brother but also older cousins. A SA IC said that the whole affair was an acting out (knee jerk reaction) to his trauma. Have you heard this in any of your counseling sessions? I do trust the IC and it makes sense to me...I was just looking for your opinions. Thanks so much in advance.


BS (me) 49
FWH 49 newbeg2011
Married 29 years
Very Long LTA
DD 01/15/11-6/30/11
The hard work is done...let the healing begin.

Posts: 1017 | Registered: Apr 2011
NothngElseMattrs
Member
Member # 35917
Default  Posted: 12:53 PM, July 8th (Sunday)

Hi all.

The aftermath of D-Day was a big trigger for me. H accused me one night of never being truly honest with him about me and my past. This led to me putting into words for the first time in my life, for the first time in 20+ years, about my molestation as a child. Now that all this is churned up, it's really hard. I get triggered all the f-ing time. I used to watch SVU with my mom and siblings, who know nothing of my abuse, and now I can't watch it without triggering. WTF!!

I thought I had put all this behind me. Sorry for the rant. The past 24 hours have been kind of a nightmare for me.


"Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?"

Posts: 496 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: The wind before the storm
CanISurvive
Member
Member # 29788
Default  Posted: 3:53 AM, July 12th (Thursday)

NothngElseMattrs:

A lot of SAB's compartmentalized to survive. Opening that box does lead to a lot of triggers (I have never watched SVU because it would be highly unpleasant). Are you in any counseling? If not, I strongly recommend you find one soon. As painful as all this is, counseling can really make a difference. Sending you healing thoughts.


D final 11/25/2011 -- on Black Friday! ;-)

Moved my stats to my Profile; click there for my story.

I am a Phoenix; I may be in the ashes stage at the moment, but I am now actively working on my Rebirth. =)

PS: I edit posts for typos & clarity


Posts: 330 | Registered: Oct 2010 | From: California
deepbreaths
Member
Member # 36101
Default  Posted: 9:17 PM, July 15th (Sunday)

My husband was raped by his father throughout his childhood- until the father was incarcerated for molesting other children in the home. I didn't find this out until after DD1, which was 10 years into our marriage. We've done counseling together and he's done some IC,but it never lasts long before they say he's doing well, and I don't think enough goes into his childhood. Any suggestions on finding a counselor to really get to the heart of things?


BS: 35
WS: 33
children: 2 yrs, one on the way
married 13 years

Posts: 102 | Registered: Jul 2012
NothngElseMattrs
Member
Member # 35917
Default  Posted: 12:58 AM, July 16th (Monday)

CanISurvive, I'm sorry I missed your reply... I am in IC but we were shoving my SAb issues aside to deal with the A's. But H's SA diagnosis and some of his behaviors are that much more complicated and now I do have to deal with my SAb issues in the present :/ Sucks, but it is what it is. Bummer that I keep wanting to climb back into that place where I could safely compartmentalize so much.

deepbreaths, in my limited experience with IC's... they're not gonna make their patient go there and deal with it if the patient doesn't want to. Perhaps your H doesn't exactly want to deal with it and talk about it with an IC? Maybe gender plays a role? I know I'd be somewhat uncomfortable talking to a male IC about the abuse I survived. Perhaps the converse is true for your H?


"Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?"

Posts: 496 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: The wind before the storm
deepbreaths
Member
Member # 36101
Default  Posted: 9:20 AM, July 16th (Monday)

He just scheduled an appt with a male counselor whom specializes in sexual dysfunction. This isn't the same in my eyes as someone who focuses on abuse. We'll see how it goes, but we are really struggling to find a mc dealing with infidelity and sexual abuse. I believe they are related, even if just in terms of self esteem issues.


BS: 35
WS: 33
children: 2 yrs, one on the way
married 13 years

Posts: 102 | Registered: Jul 2012
OnceWasEnough
Member
Member # 29991
Default  Posted: 1:04 PM, July 16th (Monday)

I'm glad, but sad to see this topic active again. It is posted on so very little but is the spot where I really need to hang out.
My FWS was molested by both his father and sister (see my profile) Thankfully we found a SAB specialist for males who were molested in childhood, however in doing so, the A was pushed aside and has been swept under the rug since.
The specialist was recommended by an IC I was going to at the time. A few books I had purchased back when his SAB was disclosed are:

Repressed Memories, A Journey to Recovery from Sexual Abuse, by Renee Fredrickson, PHD

A Couple's Guide to Healing, If the Man you Love was Abused, by Marie H. Browne, RN, PHD, with Marlene M. Browne, ESQ.

The Sexual Healing Journey, A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse, Revised Edition, by Wendy Maltz

Broken Boys/Mending Men, Recovery from Childhood Sexual Abuse, by Stephen D. Grubman-Black

Hope this helps.

Once

[This message edited by OnceWasEnough at 12:41 AM, July 17th (Tuesday)]


BS-53, WH-56, M-almost 35yrs, 2 grown DD's, DD#1-OW#1 1988, DD#2,3,4,5,6,7,8-OW#2 9/10, 10/10, 12/11, 8/12, 10/12, 12/12, 2/13 Just too many to matter anymore.

Posts: 212 | Registered: Oct 2010 | From: Oregon
noremorse
New Member
Member # 35351
Default  Posted: 1:06 PM, July 16th (Monday)

I haven't been on SI for a while and just saw this thread. Glad to know that this exists as I was raped by my spouse.

Posts: 35 | Registered: Apr 2012
deepbreaths
Member
Member # 36101
Default  Posted: 10:36 PM, July 16th (Monday)

Thanks for the book info. I'll check that out. It just seems like the abuse and the A are so intertwined that there's no way to heal one without addressing the other. but maybe I'm making excuses?

no remorse, i hope you are able to get the support and healing you need from this forum. My thoughts go out to you.


BS: 35
WS: 33
children: 2 yrs, one on the way
married 13 years

Posts: 102 | Registered: Jul 2012
0115
Member
Member # 31740
Default  Posted: 5:18 PM, July 17th (Tuesday)

I would love some opinions on this. Have any of the spouses of a SAB ever confronted the abuser? Have any of the SAB's?
Thanks in advance. I know this is such a sensitive topic and I have no one IRL to ask.


BS (me) 49
FWH 49 newbeg2011
Married 29 years
Very Long LTA
DD 01/15/11-6/30/11
The hard work is done...let the healing begin.

Posts: 1017 | Registered: Apr 2011
OnceWasEnough
Member
Member # 29991
Default  Posted: 12:35 AM, July 20th (Friday)

"Have any of the spouses of a SAB ever confronted the abuser? Have any of the SAB's?"

My FWS was abused by his father who is now 85 years old and as with many elderlys this age, he suffers memory loss.

It would be futile to initiate any type of confrontation at this point. Even if age was not a factor, my FWS would not confront due to his PTSD. I will also not confront, this is FWS's 'demon' and whatever method he decides to use in living with it, I will support him.

[This message edited by OnceWasEnough at 12:37 AM, July 20th (Friday)]


BS-53, WH-56, M-almost 35yrs, 2 grown DD's, DD#1-OW#1 1988, DD#2,3,4,5,6,7,8-OW#2 9/10, 10/10, 12/11, 8/12, 10/12, 12/12, 2/13 Just too many to matter anymore.

Posts: 212 | Registered: Oct 2010 | From: Oregon
0115
Member
Member # 31740
Default  Posted: 10:58 PM, July 20th (Friday)

Thanks Oncewasenough. I appreciate your response.

This is quite a slow thread! I went to my IC and she said don't confront the abuser on my fWH's behalf. First it's his issue and his choice and second she doesn't want me to be the one to "bell the cat". I've never heard that expression before but she explained that the mice were getting killed off so they came up with a plan to put a bell on the cat so they would know when it was near. The question is "who bell's the cat" (and basically dies or become the sacrificial lamb). The whole family is involved and all have rugswept it or denied so it would be very ugly for me. I just felt that SOMEONE should stand up for him.


BS (me) 49
FWH 49 newbeg2011
Married 29 years
Very Long LTA
DD 01/15/11-6/30/11
The hard work is done...let the healing begin.

Posts: 1017 | Registered: Apr 2011
momxgbg
Member
Member # 35350
Default  Posted: 10:35 AM, July 27th (Friday)

0115

As a sexual abuse survivor, I would be highly pissed if my WH confronted my abusers.

Not because I don't want someone to stand up for me, I do, but I can only handle so much at a time...and I need to be prepared for the repurcussions.

I need him to be there for me when those repercussions hit.

I was, however, finally able to confront my mom about my stepdad. It sucked.


My story...is much easier to tell after years of therapy.

My mom and dad married while in high school and divorced shortly afterwards. My mom had my older brother at 15 (we have a different dad) and had me at 17 and was divorced before she turned 18. Both my parents were heavily into whatever they could snort, swallow, or inject into their bodies.

The first abuse I can rememebr is a babysitter's boyfriend. I was very very young. She babysat my brother and I for 4 years (my ages were 3 years old till 7) our 2 cousins were there also.

So for 4 years this man had all day access to a 1 year old (my cousin) two 3 year olds (me and my other cousin) and a 5 year old (my brother)

He abused us all, for years. He videotaped us, took photographs and every other ugly thing...for years.

He told us everyday that if we told our parents he would kill us, then our parents.


At the same time, my mom was usually drunk or high and hit us all the time (my brother and I have many broken bones). She would have boyfriends over, pass out, and sometimes the boyfriends weren't so nice either. I'm pretty sure we were used to buhy drugs, no concrete evidence...just a feeling.

During this time my dad was doing and dealing drugs and really couldn't be bothered with his children. He usually just locked us in a room for his weekends so he could still party.

My dad was arrested and spent almost 5 years in jail and my mom went to rehad and the most wonderful time of my childhood started, I got to live with my grandparents.

For years, I was with them and I absolutely loved every minute of it. They taught me everything I know and what type of person to be. I will forever be in their debt and will love them with all my heart.

Then my mom got out of rehab, met a married man, they married and pulled me away from my grandparents. For awhile it was fine, my stepdad didn't let my mom hit us and there was no more babysitter or sexual abuse.

Then I developed, got boobs, and all of that changed.
My stepdad no longer started looking at me as a daughter. He commented on my breasts and was always in the bathroom when I showered. This remained until I left home, when I graduated high school.

Our neighbor during this time also touched me inappropriately, i immediately stopped going over to play with his daughters, so that only happened once -- when I was 12.

I left home, joined the Navy and was physically assaulted in "A" school. I immediately told my class advisor and the other student was masted and discharged.

So as you can see, many years of assault, from many different people.

Fast forward to now (at age 37) and I was finally able to tell my mom, 3 years ago, that I didn't want my stepdad around my 3 children. My oldest daughter was starting to develop and everything came crashing in like a tidal wave.

All my mom said was "she understood"

that was it!

Since then, she calls on the kid's birthday and Christmas. That's it.

I don't talk to my stepdad, nor will I anymore.

Wow..that was cathartic! probably way more info than what y'all wanted.

Needless to say, this pain and hurt, from those who were supposed to protect me, is making this A really hard to handle.

But I am taking it day by day...as my IC tells me...
I have survived worse


Dday - Jan. 22, 2012
Dday #2 - Apr. 01, 2012 (found out he was still in contact with OW...WHILE we were in MC)
married 17 years
me - bs - 38yrs
him - ws - 36yrs - EA/PA
DD - 15
DS - forever 12 - earned his angel wings 24Nov2013
DD - 10

Posts: 285 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Virginia
stunned-dad
Member
Member # 3488
Default  Posted: 5:17 AM, July 29th (Sunday)

Not surprised but still sadden to see this post...we all could come back in 100 years and something similar to this post would be up.

Some thoughts since that post both as a BS of a SAS and now going on 7 years as a marriage and family therapist.

Really love The Sexual Healing Journey, A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse, Revised Edition, by Wendy Maltz used it first as a BS with then SAVictim and over the years including this week as a therapist working with an ongoing caseload that includes past abuse victims. The surveys in the first few chapters are eyeopeners for many SAVs who suddenly realize that are acting/reacting in a sane way to the insanity of abuse.

Two strong believer in Bill O'Hanlon's posssibility therapy which central to that is the concept "your past influences you but doesn't define you" which he strongly promotes when working with abuse victims.

It is critical that you focus on what happened to you not what is wrong with you. By that you didn't chose to be a victim so whatever issues that followed are a product of what happened to you.

You need not understand your past abuse to overcome it. It is not so much what happened back then as how it still makes you feel today. If someone invading your personal space triggers specific feelings learn why you have those feelings and how to cope with them in safe/non-destructive. Understanding how you react to touch both wanted and unwanted has nothing to do with going back over past abuse.

Finally the cruelest thing about past abuse is the false message it gives its victims....and how they continue to give themselves that same message long after their abuser is out of their life.


BS-Me 47 WS-Wife 40 Kids-D13 S10
DD 11/20/02 Affair lasted 2 1/2 years. OM sexual predator 12+ prior affairs. Wife had suppressed sexual abuse/rape issues she hid.

Life gives us us sorrow so we can have something to measure happiness with.


Posts: 6152 | Registered: Feb 2004
momxgbg
Member
Member # 35350
Default  Posted: 7:54 AM, July 29th (Sunday)

Stunned-Dad

Thank you for the book recommendation, I will certaintly be checking it out.

There is much work left to be done, boundries to be set, and triggers to overcome. But I can handle it, a day at a time.


Dday - Jan. 22, 2012
Dday #2 - Apr. 01, 2012 (found out he was still in contact with OW...WHILE we were in MC)
married 17 years
me - bs - 38yrs
him - ws - 36yrs - EA/PA
DD - 15
DS - forever 12 - earned his angel wings 24Nov2013
DD - 10

Posts: 285 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Virginia
0115
Member
Member # 31740
Default  Posted: 12:22 AM, August 2nd (Thursday)

(((momxbgb)))

Thank-you for your story. It's absolutely heart wrenching!! I just can't understand cruel people.

I am the BS and my WH is the SAB survivor. I can understand why he has to do this on his own time. I appreciate you letting me have insight into the life of SAB's.

Gratefully
0115


BS (me) 49
FWH 49 newbeg2011
Married 29 years
Very Long LTA
DD 01/15/11-6/30/11
The hard work is done...let the healing begin.

Posts: 1017 | Registered: Apr 2011
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 12:35 PM, August 7th (Tuesday)

"Have any of the spouses of a SAB ever confronted the abuser? Have any of the SAB's?"

My husband never confronted my abuser and I would have been devastated if he had. Back when we were dating and the abuse was going on, I had begged my then boyfriend, to not tell anyone. Had he divulged my secret to someone, a friend or his parents, without my permission, would have been equally devastating. Now that the abuse is over and I've worked on it, I could care less who knows or who he tells and discusses with if he was so inclined, I'm no longer a captive of shame.

I have never really confronted my abuser. There was one instance when I was 14 or 15 and my mother made my dad and I sit in our driveway so we could get our "angries" out at each other, so I could have my chance to confront him about what he did to me as a child, she thought it would be a good exercise for us, it was surreal. Little did she know that the abuse never stopped and he was having sex with me since I was 13.

We sat there, sobbing. First time I ever saw my dad cry. He was broken, I know that now. Neither of us could grasp how broken I was at that point though. He didn't talk, just cried. I finally told him that it had to stop, it was wrong. He said he knew it was wrong and he was sorry, and it would never happen again. It was probably the last time I ever felt truly hopeful about the abuse ending. But it was very short-lived.

I confronted my mother 7-ish years ago, who I consider the enabler in all of this, the one who failed to do her duty and protect me. I just calmly told her the abuse never stopped. She wasn't sorry or angry on my behalf, she wanted off the phone and we'd never speak to each other again. Being the peacekeeper, I wanted to work things out, but she refused to take my calls. After several weeks I decided it was best and haven't resumed a relationship with her, despite her now twisting it around that now she is the victim and I'm punishing her, and yet she is living merrily with my abuser, yeah that's not supposed to bother me one bit.

If I wanted to punish her, they'd all be in jail. Right now, I'm just ready for them to die, but they probably have several more years left in them, they're in their 70's. And to clarify, I don't wish them dead. I'm just trying to prepare for the mental upheaval their deaths might cause. I love my parents. I don't wish them ill or death. I wish they could have been better parents is all and just leave me alone in peace forever.

Hugs to momxgbg. I hope you find healing.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
NothngElseMattrs
Member
Member # 35917
Default  Posted: 2:11 PM, August 7th (Tuesday)

My SAWH/BH wanted to confront my abuser, or tell my parents so they could. I told him the violation of trust would be so profound, I could not recover from it if he told anyone IRL besides therapists.

Because momxbg and others were brave enough to share...

my story.
I was 3/4yo at a summer camp with lots of other kids. I am allergic to some kind of grass and when running around outside, had an allergic reaction and had to come inside for cortisone cream. Of course the camp director, a slimy old guy, was in charge of administering first aid.

I clearly remember sitting on a high bench, dangling my legs. at this point, this filthy old man used me as a receptacle and forced me to do something that I cannot fathom someone making a child do, much less a child so small.

it is likely he did this to both boys and girls. Some kids, I grew up ad went to high school with. The camp closed down about 13 years later. gee, wonder why. maybe he finally got caught, the sick fuck.

I bet if anyone ever confronted this filthy loser, he would relive mentally his happy times putting himself in children's mouths. I firmly believe in karma. There is a special miserable fate awaiting this asshole if he hasn't met it already.


"Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?"

Posts: 496 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: The wind before the storm
NaiveAgain
Member
Member # 20849
Default  Posted: 4:01 PM, August 7th (Tuesday)

My uncle just got jailed for molesting his granddaughter. He is 84. He was apparently somewhat busy in our whole family. I have blocked most of it. I don't think there was more than just some touching/groping. My sister just admitted he "touched" her and she has wanted him dead all these years. She was crying. My cousin's child was threatening suicide. I saw my counselor today. He told me it is okay to be angry at my uncle. I have no anger at all. I don't even remember anything too terrible, except being uncomfortable around him and destroying part of my diary that I wrote in when I was around 13 or 14 about him.

I really don't think it was that bad but I just don't remember a lot. Except I do remember his icky nasty lips. My cousin's wife said he used to chase her around and try to "romantically" kiss her. I sort of have memories of that and his lips make me want to vomit.

I don't know what to expect here.


Original WS D-Day July 10, 2008. Kept lying, he is gone.
New WS (2 EA's, no PA) 12-3-13
If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.

Posts: 15917 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Ohio
msk99
Member
Member # 29293
Default  Posted: 4:33 PM, August 7th (Tuesday)

Does anyone have any history/information/research on a linkage between being sexually molested and being a wayward later in life?

STBXWW has recently suggested her actions may be a result of being molested by her uncle when she was 7 years old.

Thanks...


BS (Me): 40 STBXWW (Her): 40
M: 15 Years, 2 Awesome Boys
Divorced

Five simple rules of happiness:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.


Posts: 712 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Alberta
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 6:44 PM, August 7th (Tuesday)

NaiveAgain,

Maybe you have repressed some memories, and if they happened when you very young, that is a natural thing to do. Even just touching and groping is very damaging and terrible, it all is. There is no worse or less, it all hurts and is all relevant. I hope your family is able to heal and your uncle is punished for his crimes.

msk99,

I am a WW and was sexually abused as a child. For me, there is a link between my abuse and infidelity. No boundaries, poor self esteem, reenactment of the abuse and shame cycle, reinforcement of negative thoughts about self, feeling worthless.

I found the Sexual Abuse Survivor's thread very helpful, the first part. The third post outlines it very well. Here is the link.

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=158510&AP=1

[This message edited by caspers1wish at 6:45 PM, August 7th (Tuesday)]


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
NaiveAgain
Member
Member # 20849
Default  Posted: 7:17 PM, August 7th (Tuesday)

caspers, thanks. I'm trying to come to terms with this. My counselor thought it was pretty significant that I felt the need to burn the pages of my diary that I had written stuff down in. And then I just pushed it all out of my mind, I didn't want any problems within our family, I felt I was strong enough to deal with it, I guess I didn't think it was life or death type stuff, but my counselor told me it was an invasion of my safety and my body and my trust no matter what happened.

I just don't know why I can't remember. My sister remembers some stuff and she was in tears about it, and she has wished him dead all these years. I had no idea. My cousins girl was threatening to commit suicide, they put her in counseling, that is how all this came out. They had no idea either. There are more.


Original WS D-Day July 10, 2008. Kept lying, he is gone.
New WS (2 EA's, no PA) 12-3-13
If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.

Posts: 15917 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Ohio
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 8:27 PM, August 7th (Tuesday)

NaiveAgain,

I just don't know why I can't remember.

Forgetting the abuse is a very effective coping mechanism and it happens because your brain is trying to protect yourself, to protect the small child who endured abuse.

With all that is going on in your family, do not be a little surprised if some of it comes bubbling to the surface. You should allow yourself to feel whatever you need to, maybe it's anger or sadness, or the need to process all the information coming to light, or maybe you will continue to have no feelings about it. There is no set way for you to react and work through things. Keep us posted.

Hugs and support.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
NothngElseMattrs
Member
Member # 35917
Default  Posted: 8:43 PM, August 7th (Tuesday)

msk99, I'll echo caspers1wish here.

My SAb was related to my A. I did not connect the dots til after D-Day, and I am still working through IC to put it all together. I was used like a filthy dishrag, then my life and my sister's life were threatened and I was thrown aside like garbage. Then, when I had my A, I put myself in a position where my value and self-respect was about equal to that filthy dishrag. Not ok or healthy.

That said, SAb does not excuse my A. Period. I have shit in my past and the healthy way to deal with it was through therapy, reading relevant literature, healthy activities, journaling, etc. NOT having an A.

I'm guessing you are seeking an understanding of your wife's issues. That is very valid and fair and acceptable. But do not let her use that to excuse her actions. There are plenty of SAb survivors who do not deal with their trauma by having an A. I'm sure there are some on this and the previous thread that can echo this.

Are you/your WW in IC with a therapist that has experience dealing with trauma survivors? That would probably help immensely.

Thank you to caspers1wish for the link, this is helpful to me as a newbie to this thread as well.


"Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?"

Posts: 496 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: The wind before the storm
msk99
Member
Member # 29293
Default  Posted: 9:26 AM, August 8th (Wednesday)

Wow, thanks for the replies on this. To be honest, I'm not sure how to react to this. Based on what I read, I can see how those past heinous actions may have led to her to become wayward recently. I guess at a minimum, I will encourage her to IC to try and get better in her own mind as I know she is struggling. As for our relationship, I'm confused as hell as to how to move forward...

Thanks again, very enlightening information....


BS (Me): 40 STBXWW (Her): 40
M: 15 Years, 2 Awesome Boys
Divorced

Five simple rules of happiness:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.


Posts: 712 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Alberta
NaiveAgain
Member
Member # 20849
Default  Posted: 6:20 AM, August 9th (Thursday)

And all of a sudden I am starting to really truly understand how my ideas on relationships and sexuality were formed early on.

Here comes the anger......


Original WS D-Day July 10, 2008. Kept lying, he is gone.
New WS (2 EA's, no PA) 12-3-13
If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.

Posts: 15917 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Ohio
0115
Member
Member # 31740
Default  Posted: 6:24 PM, August 9th (Thursday)

Nothingelsematters

Thank-you for your story and honesty. My fWH doesn't want me to confront and my IC says I shouldn't and I won't. I want to respect him. I agree with your whole post about how the abuse relates to the affair.

Msk99
So much about my fWH's FOO issues (SAB/incest) came out just after dday. After getting to a great IC, she explained how it all related. The pieces fell into place and I could understand it. It still didn't make it any less painful and just like nothingelsematters said he could have dealt with it without having an A. Now that he is completely out of the fog and he has dealt with his past he is just horrified, disgusted...so remorseful. The whole story is just so sad...everything about it. We are just now moving forward (18 months out). It's hard. It's also worth it.

Good Luck

0115


BS (me) 49
FWH 49 newbeg2011
Married 29 years
Very Long LTA
DD 01/15/11-6/30/11
The hard work is done...let the healing begin.

Posts: 1017 | Registered: Apr 2011
joeboo
Member
Member # 31089
Default  Posted: 4:51 PM, August 12th (Sunday)

My fWW is a sexual abuse survivor. For obvious reasons she does not like to talk about it because it started at a very young age and lasted several years and involved many abusers. She has had many partners since then and is not even really sure why. She does understand that her view of sex was very distorted.

She does not want to go to IC and I can definitely respect that. My question is will IC help if she decides to open up to an IC? It makes me uneasy that fWW is willing to forgo any counseling because it is tough to talk about and there is no reason to bring up the past. She has made it this far without IC, I am sure she can make it further, but she has really compartmentalized quite a bit of her life with abusers and other men she chose to be with.

I am just not sure what to do, or how to help, or if there is anything I could do.


Posts: 1220 | Registered: Feb 2011
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 6:10 PM, August 12th (Sunday)

joeboo,

Her distorted view of sex and of herself is very much the result of her past sexual abuse.

Is she willing to discuss the abuse with you? Or if neither of you feel comfortable, as it would require a lot of support and patience on your part, a difficult task when you are the one who needs some support and patience as well at this time, what about a friend? sibling?

Or maybe attend IC with her as her support. I'm pretty resistant to counseling, but dealing with my past is very much a priority. I have an amazing support system of friends and family who I discuss the abuse with often, I have books and work books, an online support group apart from SI.

She may not be ready to talk about this with anyone, but she needs to stop running from it. She can journal out her feelings, do work on herself. Simply what's important is that she wants to work on it and face it and drag up the past. You cannot move forward and change distorted views without addressing where those views came from.

She is trying to suppress and ignore. Those things such as traumatic abuse, while forgotten, cannot be ignored. She will continue to act out and hurt you and your family without getting to the bottom of her past.

My husband wanted to help me too, but didn't know where to begin. What he found helpful was to educate himself on sexual abuse. He bought books, for me and for himself, but read them all anyway, so he could understand. And even though I was resistant to wanting to face my past, even if we had divorced, he needed to know what he had been dealing with and why for himself. His willingness to face it no matter if we were together or not, really helped me to gather the courage to make that step towards healing.

Hugs and support.



Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
0115
Member
Member # 31740
Default  Posted: 7:16 PM, August 12th (Sunday)

joeboo,

This book was helpful for me

Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused as a Child

By Laura Davis


BS (me) 49
FWH 49 newbeg2011
Married 29 years
Very Long LTA
DD 01/15/11-6/30/11
The hard work is done...let the healing begin.

Posts: 1017 | Registered: Apr 2011
joeboo
Member
Member # 31089
Default  Posted: 10:48 PM, August 12th (Sunday)

Is she willing to discuss the abuse with you?
Yes/No. She has referred to it, but does not discuss it. I don't press her for details, and she doesn't offer to discuss. She has a problem with lying to anyone about anything and everything, especially if she feels it might make her look bad, so I am not sure if she would discuss it with an IC honestly.

It sounds as if a qualified counselor could help her. I think I need to learn more about this so I have adequate information to encourage her to get help.

This book was helpful for me
Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused as a Child
By Laura Davis
Thank you for the book recommendation. This sounds like a great place to start.

Posts: 1220 | Registered: Feb 2011
atsenaotie
Member
Member # 27650
Default  Posted: 9:13 AM, August 13th (Monday)

MSK99 asked:

Does anyone have any history/information/research on a linkage between being sexually molested and being a wayward later in life?

Not a linkage, but it certainly was a factor for FWW. She was SAb and raped as an adolescent. These are among the factors in her FOO that led to her not forming emotionally intimate connections. As she explained it in MC, she wore an emotional body condom to keep anyone (including me) from getting inside and connecting. She was much more comfortable with her AP relationships because except for one of them, they did not want a deep emotional connection. The one who did want more of a commitment from her she dumped hard.

Her history also figures into our relationship. My primary love language is touch, and after sex, I feel deeply connected and loved. For FWW sex is a fun physical activity, nothing more, no emotional connection. Sex with her AP was fine because she could "be in control" scheduling it when she wanted, they finished and that was that. Now as we are trying to R I know she is trying to be better with touching and sex, but it is a huge struggle. Sex 3x a month is good for us, but usually once a month or less. This leaves me frustrated and feeling rejected even though I can rationalize the reasons. FWW is very good at noticing my emotions, and when I feel rejected, she feels rejected and withdraws. Pre dday this led to her looking for affirmation outside the M, and post dday I still worry we will not survive over the long haul.

In addition, she has been deeply ashamed of her past and unwilling to share much of it with me until after dday. She feared, and I believe still fears, that if I knew who she really was I would leave her.

So not necessarily a if this then that relationship between SA and adultery, but it certainly contributed to the environment in my M.

--Ats


LTA FBS 54
dday 10.5.09
Separated and Divorcing

Posts: 4171 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: FL
atsenaotie
Member
Member # 27650
Default  Posted: 9:18 AM, August 13th (Monday)

joeboo:

Yes/No. She has referred to it, but does not discuss it.

I don't press her for details, and she doesn't offer to discuss. She has a problem with lying to anyone about anything and everything, especially if she feels it might make her look bad, so I am not sure if she would discuss it with an IC honestly.

This very much describes my situation with FWW. For a long time I felt this was OUR problem and frustrated that I had to rely on her alone to "fix" it. I now see this as her problem to manage in a way that OUR relationship provides more positive than negatives.

FWW says that her 1+ year IC helped with many things including helping her to forgive herself for her SAb and rape. While our day-to-day relationship is better than pre-dday, it still lacks emotional and physical intimacy. This is a problem for me, and either I will have to adjust and settle, she will have to push through her issues related to sex and intimacy, or we are not going to make it.

--Ats


LTA FBS 54
dday 10.5.09
Separated and Divorcing

Posts: 4171 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: FL
FR2012
Member
Member # 36345
Default  Posted: 9:21 PM, August 14th (Tuesday)

I am glad there is a thread like this.

I am a sexual abuse survivor.

I was molested when I was about 9 years old by a neighbourhood friend. It happened once with him. I talked to a detective a couple days later and he was never seen after that in the neighbourhood. I never got any kind of therapy for it. My mom kept it on the down low. Never spoke of it with me. I had to deal with it all on my own.

The second incidence was my mom's fiance. Didn't molest me but did touch me inappropriately. My mom quickly got rid of him after that.


BH (him): 28 ~ FWW (me): 27
Together 9 years
2 kids
D-Day: April 19, 2012

Posts: 167 | Registered: Aug 2012
esposa
Member
Member # 35068
Default  Posted: 9:32 PM, August 14th (Tuesday)

I think I stay because my husband was abused as a child. His affair was complete and utter insanity. He is in therapy working on the abuse issues, but sometimes I wonder what is in this relationship for me. Where do I fit in?

I am very supportive of his process. I have much compassion. But should he get a free pass??? So confused sometimes.


Me - 40, Him - 36
Dday: May 2011 (my "friend")
Dday2 (same person): December 2011
Married since 1998
2 kids (12 and 9)

Posts: 127 | Registered: Mar 2012
NothngElseMattrs
Member
Member # 35917
Default  Posted: 10:36 PM, August 14th (Tuesday)

While it is sad to see that this affects so many people, it does bring a sense of community to this thread. Thank you to all abuse survivors and spouses that are here looking for answers and support. It is my sincere hope that we all find peace.

atsenaotie, some of the things you said touched on some issues between me and my WH/BH.

My primary love language is touch, and after sex, I feel deeply connected and loved. For FWW sex is a fun physical activity, nothing more, no emotional connection. Sex with her AP was fine because she could "be in control" scheduling it when she wanted, they finished and that was that

My second love language is touch, but I struggle with sex. Sometimes to me it is just a fun physical activity, while my H.. for him it has been sometimes the only way to express/receive love from me (partially due to his Sex Addiction). It is really hard to give up control as a survivor of abuse. Sometimes it seems like we must take control any way we can get it, even if it's over something trivial in our daily lives (I don't mean sex, I'm not saying sex is trivial.. it is absolutely not). I know the need for control has carried over into somewhat OCD behaviors in me.

Have yall discussed what the ideal for you and the ideal for her is as to frequency of quality, meaningful sex together? Your expectations for sex? My H and I are still working on our issues, but in the past, having conversations *not* in the bedroom about our expectations for sex has been helpful. What brings your wife that deep emotional connection, if it isn't sex?

esposa- your H should not get a free pass. His past CSAb does not excuse his A, but it very likely colored the person he is today and his thought processes/ feelings. Is the only reason you stay out of not wanting to abandon him because he has suffered trauma? Maybe you could journal about this. Is your H trying to use his abuse and what he wrongly assumed to be an A on your part (from what your profile says) as "permission"?


"Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?"

Posts: 496 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: The wind before the storm
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 11:51 AM, August 15th (Wednesday)

FR2012,

Welcome to SI. I read your thread in the other forum. Survivors tend to have extremely poor boundaries, and you've had your boundaries violated as a child, and then received no help in processing that and ensuring that you built them back up. Something to think about as you work on the past and present.

esposa,

I have often felt that my BH went easy on me because of my past traumas. You can still be supportive, but I think it's important that you establish your own sense of self and self-respect, lead by example, survivors need good examples of what self respect looks like.

Your husband's past does not trump your feelings. That sets you up that your feelings will always be secondary to his. You can still be supportive, but it doesn't mean you stuff your own hurt and pain, it doesn't mean his destructive actions don't get addressed. Unless he's truly mentally ill, he's not fragile and too weak. He won't crack, and if he's giving indications that he might buckle under facing what he's done (been there done that), let me say it's completely manipulative.

I don't know how far out of dday you are or how long your husband has been in therapy. If it's been recent, he may need some time to get to a point that he's healthy enough to work on marital issues. It doesn't mean you have to wait until he's ready. It's vital you have your own support in this as much as he does.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
atsenaotie
Member
Member # 27650
Default  Posted: 1:41 PM, August 15th (Wednesday)

Hi NothingElseMatters,

Have yall discussed what the ideal for you and the ideal for her is as to frequency of quality, meaningful sex together? Your expectations for sex?

We have, even with the MC. For her, she would be fine never having sex again (her words), but says she things 1 - 2x a month is reasonable. I would like sex 1-2x a week, but find myself accepting 1x a month or less. We have discussed touching other than sex, but that does not happen much either (1-2x a month) and doing things together, but she complained of feeling smothered or obligated to do things with me.

What brings your wife that deep emotional connection, if it isn't sex?

She says words of affirmation and acts of service, but the reality is these are things she likes, not things that bring a deep emotional connection. Just now typing this the reality I have known for a while has sunk in. FWW does not (cannot?) form deep / intimate emotional conections. They frighten her, she fears she will lose control of her. This is why she is happy in a marriage that is like a friendship, and was satisfied with A relationships.

--Ats


LTA FBS 54
dday 10.5.09
Separated and Divorcing

Posts: 4171 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: FL
OnceWasEnough
Member
Member # 29991
Default  Posted: 8:53 PM, August 15th (Wednesday)

JoeBoo,

It may be in your WW's best interest mentally and physically to address her abuse with an IC who specilizes in SAB.

For me, my first mistake was to not address my WH's issues over 20 years ago in the aftermath of his first A. Yes, he had some IC, however he was not honest with his therapist and did not reveal any of his history with his father. (What I knew at that time was very limited).

Jump forward 23 years later, another A and suddenly WH hits rock bottom and his true history is revealed to me. Those compartments in his brain were repressing many events he chose not to deal with. The constant lying was so damaging to our marriage.....

I got him in touch with a very specalized therapist dedicated to men with a history of childhood sex abuse. The therapist worked with him for the next year, eventually transferring him into group therapy with other men with similar histories.

He should still be in that therapy but we had to move due to a job change (his) and FWH has no desire to "start over" as he calls it with another therapist.

I still cannot say what our future might be, there are other issues he refuses to address that I need and have asked for many times.

1. Ask me to marry him again,
2. Buy me a new wedding ring,
3. Renewal of marriage vows on a new date,

I have given myself a deadline of 7/1/2013. If none of the three items occurs, I'm on to a new life.


BS-53, WH-56, M-almost 35yrs, 2 grown DD's, DD#1-OW#1 1988, DD#2,3,4,5,6,7,8-OW#2 9/10, 10/10, 12/11, 8/12, 10/12, 12/12, 2/13 Just too many to matter anymore.

Posts: 212 | Registered: Oct 2010 | From: Oregon
NothngElseMattrs
Member
Member # 35917
Default  Posted: 9:41 PM, August 15th (Wednesday)

Ats, I read your profile.

Your W connected sexually with the OMs. But she would be fine never having sex again? I don't know how old you two are, but perhaps she is having hormonal issues? Is she depressed? On AD's?

Why do you think she has chosen R?

From your posts, it sounds like she just does not know how to be. I am familiar with this feeling and have felt it before. The only way I overcame periods of extreme disorientation in my life, pre- and post-D-Day, as well as even before I met Mr NEM, I would have some kind of triggered epiphany where I just decided I was sick of slogging through life, just surviving. I would have moments of clarity where it was abundantly apparent to me that I was wasting my life by living it the way that I was.

I really do think it was somewhat related to depression and chemical/hormonal imbalance. Stopping taking some of my medications helped significantly with this, and I noticed a personality change.

Has your W started/stopped/changed any of her meds recently? Is it possible that this has happened that you are not aware of?


"Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?"

Posts: 496 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: The wind before the storm
atsenaotie
Member
Member # 27650
Default  Posted: 10:15 PM, August 15th (Wednesday)

NEM,

All of the above.

I am low 50's, FWW is 7 years older than me, and recent hysterectomy. During her As she worked out, shopped at Ann Taylor, and got her hair and nails done. Now she shops at Macy and Penny's, no longer gets her nails done, no longer works out, and hair 1 every couple of months.

FWW started taking testosterone shots and she thought they helped her more than I did, but she stopped them and "keeps meaning" to schedule another. She self medicates a lot with Xanax and other drugs, goes on and off her antidepressants that she insists are only for weight control.

To me she is very negative, about her job, other people, everything; and this is after more than a year of IC that has really helped.

I think this is just who she is. Afraid/incapable of a committed relationship, seeing sex as an obligation, and comfortable with the status quo because she worries what others will think or say if we divorce. Worries how she will care for herself (I earn 2.5x her salary).

I have always been safe for her. I take care of things. I understand if she put kids or family, or job ahead of me. She has said I make her normal. Being normal is a big deal to her.

--Ats


LTA FBS 54
dday 10.5.09
Separated and Divorcing

Posts: 4171 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: FL
NothngElseMattrs
Member
Member # 35917
Default  Posted: 10:45 PM, August 15th (Wednesday)

Ats, maybe this is weird... but you are describing my mother, almost to a T. Good thing my parents' ages are different, so I know you and your W could not be my parents and we are not figuring this out on a thread on SI, LOL

Maybe you can get her a gift certificate and give it to her in such a way that a friend/sister/daughters knows and will go with her to get hair/nails/shopping done. My mom has a habit of ending up giving her gift certificates to me or my sisters unless my dad gives it to her in a way that other people know and drag her along for the ride. Or, you could buy her clothes, and let her pick out ones she likes, then return the rest? I don't know how much of a shopper you are, but my dad is a BIG shopper, and my mom is not. She does enjoy that he buys her clothes that he thinks will look nice on her, and she enjoys the control that she gets from being able to pick and choose what she keeps. Gifts is obviously my dad's primary love language (and one of mine... apple... tree.... hmm...). But my mom does get to feel some control at the same time. I don't know how else to explain it, but it does work. If not for dad, she would be wearing the same clothes from 10, 20 + years ago as long as she could still fit in them.

As a woman and a CSAb survivor, I do feel like not taking pride in my appearance is a behavior that occurs when I am feeling especially down and when I am in those periods of "funk" that I end up shaking myself out of. This may be a sign. Your W's recent hysterectomy is a big one... I do think that Dr's and the general public overlook the effect this has on a woman. My mom is SO DIFFERENT since having hers, and her dynamic with my dad is SO DIFFERENT, I can't even put it into words. It makes me sad.

FWW started taking testosterone shots and she thought they helped her more than I did, but she stopped them and "keeps meaning" to schedule another. She self medicates a lot with Xanax and other drugs, goes on and off her antidepressants that she insists are only for weight control.

This worries me. Medically, she should not be self-medicating. She should really be under the care of a Dr WRT all these meds that she is/isn't/should/maybe shouldn't be taking. Perhaps she should see a psychiatrist? Is she drinking a worrisome amount too? I will admit, self-medicating with RX and alcohol is something I have been prone to in order to dull the pain of my existence in the deepest doldrums of my past. I don't know if other survivors can attest that they have experienced the same, but it is something that is so easy to slip into (for me, at least).
I have always been safe for her. I take care of things. I understand if she put kids or family, or job ahead of me. She has said I make her normal. Being normal is a big deal to her.

Have you explored this in MC? Do you feel that all your needs are getting met and have you brought this up in MC? In IC?


"Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?"

Posts: 496 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: The wind before the storm
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 11:20 PM, August 15th (Wednesday)

I agree with NEM, that the hysterectomy is a big deal. Factor in going on/off antidepressants, which are known to interfere with sex drive, she sounds chemically out of balance.

Also, I can relate to the lack of self-care...it is much worse in that funk state of mind. Also, as a survivor, I have recognized how my needs went unmet as a child. Abused by one parent, while the non-offending parent did nothing...there is an undercurrent of neglect throughout my childhood...and not just emotional neglect, but other things like seeing a doctor, regular health visits...none, zilch...when in Kinder, it took my mother days to change my bedding if I wet the bed, she took 2 weeks to treat a case of lice...my point is that neglect as a child turns into self neglect as an adult.

In regards to the sex and intimacy issue. My primary language is touch. We have frequent sex. Survivors tend to swing from one end of the spectrum to the other, there is very little in between. My sister has a hard time being sexual, it brings up all these feelings about the abuse she doesn't want to feel and acknowledge.

I'm the opposite, I use sex to self-medicate, to soothe, because I'm bored, tired, I just need to be cuddled. I've had to struggle learning to be intimate without pressuring myself to be sexual.

I really struggle with viewing sex as a meaningful, intimate connection. For me, it's something I can do with anyone, and that right there is the real issue. It's not a special act, and I view it this way out of self-preservation, to protect myself. I can't be sexual or have sex without the flashbacks and physical triggers. I can't view sex as special and sacred and an act of love between two committed people when there are really 3 people going at it...me, my husband, and my abuser. If I were truly able to suppress those things, it would mean shutting down sexually. We've tried it, it was a big fail and we were both miserable for the effort.

Survivors go to great lengths to avoid intimacy, real intimacy. It means being vulnerable, exposing our undersides, literally and figuratively. Abuse, especially repeated abuse, tears down and destroys trust, in anyone else and ourselves.

Putting a voice to some of the thoughts in my head during sex, was a horribly terrifying thing to do, and I figured my husband would run for the hills hearing my darkest thoughts. His acceptance has helped me accept myself, and relax more in the bedroom. But I know what it's like for a survivor to be afraid to really open up to her partner and share and trust and be intimate. It's a very lonely and heart breaking place to be. Those thoughts are there, rattling around in our heads, gnawing at our self worth, laced with guilt and shame, letting them out really brings them out from the darkness so we can live in the light of the day.

I hope your wife finds healing and peace.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
vivere
Member
Member # 34465
Default  Posted: 11:43 PM, August 15th (Wednesday)

I have read all 50 pages of Sexual Abuse Survivors/Spouses - Part I. I identify with so many of the stories told. I am a BS, my husband is a SAbS. I knew nothing of this until 8 months ago...

We had been married 23 years when I found out about my H A's. It's taken 8 months to uncover the details I have to date. (He now swears I know everything but given that he has been forthcoming with nothing unless I have presented irrefutable evidence first, I am sceptical).

After the initial discovery my H developed a life threatening illness. I mention this by means of explanation because his hospitalisation enforced a 2 month hiatus in our 'recovery process'. Now he is healing and although still encumbered by pain, he is able to participate more fully in 'the process' should he choose to do so.

Discoveries (using the TT Method favoured by many WH )are listed below in an effort to condense the post. (Don't want anyone to get bored and give up on me ).

Uncovered LTA, long distance affair. It lasted approx. 10 months before becoming PA x1 sexual encounter? It ended after 12 months, the day I found out.
Uncovered texting persual of another woman during the LTA (nothing eventuated because she stopped returning texts)
Uncovered Prostitute use x2 Before and during LTA.
Confirmation of greater use of pornography by H than previously aware of. All our married life.
H reveals visits to Strip Clubs 3-4 times (something he knows I hate).
H reveals approx. 12 months of SA at age 10. He has never spoken of this since he told his parents when he was 10. The abuse stopped then. The abuser was a trusted adult family friend. It was never spoken of again.
Uncovered actual use of prostitutes much greater than previously admitted to. Last 2-4 years, maybe 15-20 occasions. All but 2 occasions said to be 'Adult massage with hand relief'.

Please believe me, by listing everything I am not minimising my H actions nor the impact they have had on me. I think I have experienced every possible emotion, felt every knife twist in my heart and cried every tear available, all whilst smiling outwardly, maintaining the charade for our beautiful teen-aged children.

I have also discovered many things about me. I am stronger than I ever thought I was. I am codependent or at least have many codependent traits. I held a somewhat idealised view of our marriage and did not see poor communication as a major issue. (Big Mistake!!) Our marriage, whilst ok, could have been much better. I own 50% of our marital issues but none of WH choices. I acknowledge they are his alone.

I have also learned some things about life, indeed, it is not fair. People can tell you that they love you but it wont stop them crushing you. Trust is underrated and now I fear, given way too freely in the past. You can think you know someone intimately, build a life with them, only to have it unravel in front of you, whilst you stand by helplessly and watch. You can't ever unlearn what you have learnt, even if you want to...

Today we are in limbo. We are agreed that until this important academic year is over for our eldest we will not tell anyone anything. 8 months ago that seemed like an impossible task but here we are in August already I have seen an IC just to save my sanity. That and SI have been my much needed sounding board!

I love my H. I would like to travel the road of R. I would like a stronger, more honest and fulfilling marriage with him. I see several obstacles however.

My H needs to love himself before he can love me the way I deserve to be loved, before we can have the marriage we both deserve. He needs to be well for his own sake and for that of our children who look up to him and need him to be present. He needs IC. He is reluctant and I can understand why. He is fearful. He has maintained this secrecy for over 37 years and as he says, opening up and talking about 'it' goes against every grain of his being. I get that, I really do. He says he even regrets telling me now.

I know this decision has to be his. He has to be willing to do the work necessary. I can be there every step of the way, to dry his tears, to listen when he needs to be heard and just to hold him when he needs to be held but I can not do the work required. I have learnt that through my reading since DDay.

I have the luxury of time. I don't have to make any hard and fast decisions just yet. I don't have to act on anything right this minute. Today I sit here typing this feeling relatively calm, resigned even. Tomorrow, I know I will probably be a basketcase, lamenting the direction my life has taken, especially since the recent changes have been well out of my control. Such is the roller coaster.

I am very grateful to SI for this thread. It helps enormously to know that my H and I are not alone. It also helps to read what people have shared with regard to things they have done that were helpful and things which were not. I am guided by what I read both here and from suggested texts by others. I am inspired by what people have posted and it keeps me ever hopeful. Thank you, each and everyone posting.

[This message edited by obliviousnownumb at 11:53 PM, August 15th (Wednesday)]


You are responsible for your own happiness :)

Posts: 316 | Registered: Jan 2012
Waiting@home
Member
Member # 24792
Question  Posted: 12:08 AM, August 16th (Thursday)

Does anyone know where the post is about a SA survivor and being told they are wrong? I read it a couple of days ago and have been searching for the post.

I saw something about how a survivor struggles when told that they are doing something wrong and how they become defensive. I feel this way. A friend made several controlling remarks over the past month. I couldn't stand it any longer so I let them know that I didn't appreciate being judged by them or made to feel that my way of doing things is wrong.

If anyone knows where the blurb is about being defensive, please let me know.


BS-me
DD1 Dec 13, 2008 EA
DD2 April 15, 2009 EA
M 17 yrs
Divorced the WXH


Posts: 331 | Registered: Jul 2009
momxgbg
Member
Member # 35350
Default  Posted: 4:30 PM, August 16th (Thursday)

In regards to the sex and intimacy issue. My primary language is touch. We have frequent sex. Survivors tend to swing from one end of the spectrum to the other, there is very little in between.


I find it very interesting that some abuse survivor's primary language is touch...including mine!!! It floored me and my IC!! I would have never guessed my language was touch, but the more I thought about it and the more I talked to my IC...I discovered that touch HAS to be my primary language...but non-sexual touch.

I need my WH, friends and family to touch me in non-invasive ways and respect my boundries. When they do this, it shows me that I am special to them. That they are really thinking about me and what I need, and that they care.

Don't get me wrong, my WH and I have sex, but it is the hand holding, playing with my hair, patting my knee touches that show me I am special to him. That he values me for more than just sex.

Once I realized that I needed non-sexual, non-hurtful touch...I understood why touch was my primary language. And it made it easier for my WH to really respond to my primary language. He realized how he needed to show me that he loved and valued me.

Hope this realization helps some of you too.

Many hugs to us all.

[This message edited by momxgbg at 4:31 PM, August 16th (Thursday)]


Dday - Jan. 22, 2012
Dday #2 - Apr. 01, 2012 (found out he was still in contact with OW...WHILE we were in MC)
married 17 years
me - bs - 38yrs
him - ws - 36yrs - EA/PA
DD - 15
DS - forever 12 - earned his angel wings 24Nov2013
DD - 10

Posts: 285 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Virginia
VD2012
Member
Member # 36317
Default  Posted: 8:51 PM, August 16th (Thursday)

I don't know exactly what I want to ask, so I'm just going to toss out stuff and hope you folks understand.

During the beginning of my relationship with my fWW I divulged in her all sorts of things that happened to me throughout my life, because its been quite eventful and awful. One such incident happened when I was 6. A guy around the corner of my house had a tent set up in his large front yard and a friend and I went into it late at night, well past when I should have been home. I don't even remember why. Anyways, the guy zipped up the tent and said he was going to show us something and we had to do as he asked. He then proceeded to pull his penis out of his pants and said we had to touch it if we wanted out. I freaked out, may or may not have touched it, and I kicked him square in the mouth, unzipped the tent and went running home. When I got there it was extremely late (well after 12am I'm sure) and my father decided to spank me with his belt before I could explain where I was or what happened. Until I told my fWW, and I guess now, I never told anyone about that. I don't know what happened with my friend and I never saw him around school after that.

Honestly, this has never phased me much. I've always been more upset that I abandoned my friend like that to save my own skin (probably why I have some sort of guardian/protector complex now) than by the fact some sicko tried molesting me. That said, telling her this prompted my wife to tell me very vague stories of when she was also a kid. One of which she was trapped in a house and a guy was going to touch her but her mom showed up and nothing much came of it.

She finally just told me the other day what really happened to her. And it crushed my spirit a bit. I just tried comforting her and held onto her. To think someone could do that to a kid, but also to my wife, just pisses me off. Now, a few things have arisen from this:

1. I absolutely loathe the very essence of my MIL. She's the one my wife told and she got the police involved, and that was that. No therapy, no talking about it ever. She never mentioned it. This woman has mentally traumatized my fWW throughout her life and I've even bourne witness to just how depraved she is mentally. This just worsens it. We have a daughter of our own, and if that ever happens to her... fuck, we'd actually deal with it. Therapy, talking, consoling, prosecution, everything that was needed for her to feel better. The big issue... we've been trying to schedule the first meeting we'll have had with her in over 4 and a half years, and now I dislike her even more than I did. Yay...

2. I honestly, don't quite know how to handle this to be frank. I don't know how to talk about it, don't know what to do. I told her it was very brave of her to tell me, and that I'm proud of her. That I won't pry (I did ask a couple questions for clarification of things but nothing too bad) and if she needs to talk I will listen. I even told her I'm not bothered that she "lied" (as she feels she did) when she first told me, that I can only imagine how difficult it is to deal with let alone by yourself. That said, I have no clue exactly how to help her or what to do, if anything. I know "be there for her" is obvious. Just, is there more? We're on a waiting list for a MC that uses a sliding scale, and can't afford other counselling options at the moment.

3. This has really altered the way I've been looking at her A. To be concise, she had an affair with a nearly 20 year older married coworker who fed into her desire for a friend and mentor of sorts. fWW had that with my mother, but she died last year and that was a big part of my fWW's spiraling issues. This man manipulated her and used coercive behaviour to get sex out of her, and strung her along on the hopes of him "listening to her" again like the first time they really talked. She's said emphatically, and texts do back it up a bit and I believe her, that she had no intent to cheat but when he pushed the sex onto her she couldn't say no out of fear of possibly being raped and just because she couldn't and she didn't want to make him upset with her. I honestly have not understood that... Is that possibly linked to her experience as a child? Same reason she says she started sexual texts with him after trying to end it and he refused or convinced her to keep talking to him. Her second sexual encounter happened weeks later and pretty much was a result of him telling her he'll talk to her again but only if they meet (and he apparently knew something about her that would shatter her world), at that point he refused to talk through text, only in person, but to get him to meet in person he wanted her to agree to go down on him. She did. She then did so and says she didn't think he was really serious but when in the situation again did it anyways hoping to get him to talk to her and make him happy. I found out days later.

What could her experience as a child influence with this?

I guess other relevant info to have is she (prior to the A) was only ever with me sexually. We're each other's firsts in every way. She has turned down countless guys prior to me, and has said she wanted to be with me because I looked at her like a person not a sexual object. Any sexual activity we ever started was always initiated by her because that's how I told her it would be, because I respected her and would wait or go at her pace however she felt. We've generally always had a healthy sex life, and prior to early this year she never so much as looked at another guy let alone flirted. Yet she went into overdrive with flirting at work earlier this year and being secretive and all that leading up to and including her A.

It's really stumped me and got me wondering.

When questioned about her A, prior to know about her molestation, she said many things that seemed odd to me. Like being fearful in OM's van and kind of feeling uncomfortable around him. That when they had sex she just wanted it over with... like seriously I gues is, yeah she betrayed me by going out with this guy but then it seemed he sexually assaulted her. Then she continued the relationship for whatever reason until I caught her... Is that normal? It really complicates things.

Same with her behaviour after her night our for "coffee with a friend". She had a super long bath and came out bright pink with obvious scrub marks. She even cried herself asleep with a stuffed animal I got her a long time ago that she only sleeps with when upset. Me being a buffoon just assumed she was upset about us. In the following weeks of her A, while at home, she looked up dozens of stories about women cheating on their mates. She looked at lots of websites (including Project Unbreakable) about rape and such. She even started talking about men being pigs and only wanting one thing (that being sex). And the showers. The constant multi hour long bath/showers with blistering hot water. I even tried to join her one day and burnt myself. It was all odd behaviour, that before D-Day I wasn't sure what to make of it, and after D-Day I figured was a sign of her guilt during the A , but now... now I wonder how this relates to everything.

She's even said since telling me about the molestation, that it's come back into her mind because of the A. Because her experience with the OM reminded her of it.

I really hope all my rambling has made sense...


Me: 28 ~ Her (FR2012): 27
Together: 9 years, 2 children
D-Day: April 19, 2012

Surrender to the truth of life.


Posts: 466 | Registered: Jul 2012 | From: Traversing Dark Places With The Light of Truth
momxgbg
Member
Member # 35350
Default  Posted: 10:56 PM, August 16th (Thursday)

VD,

Although while I, personally, don't think abuse is a reason for an affair, I do believe abuse can play a part in a WS's reasoning because abuse shapes so much in a person.

I don't know what your WS's abuse was like...so I can't answer for her...but I can give you some insight into me and maybe that will help you understand her.


Now, to answer some of your questions on how this could happen. Speaking strickly from personal experience...as a childhood sexual abuse survivor I have horrible boundries. Really, really horrible. I cannot STAND people around me to be upset, in any way. And the closer, emotionally, I am to this person only exaggerates the feelings. This is something I work very hard on because it can/will/ and does consume my life.

For me, as a child...anyone not happy go lucky ...was danger.
A stranger, my mother, a babysitter...
especially my mom. If she was happy-go lucky...then that meant she was drunk or high and "forgot" about my brother and I...which was absolutely wonderful...
because when she remembered us...the abuse would begin. Sometimes broken bones, sometimes just slaps, sometimes on "loan" to pay for her habits.

So now at 37...I am just learning to set boundries. I have spent my whole life conforming to what I thought someone else wanted in me to keep them happy. Them being happy, to me, meant no pain of any kind... I am just now learning who I REALLY am, because I have spent my whole life changing from minute to minute depending on who I was around. Whether I had known them my whole life or for only a few minutes...I would become whatever kept them happy.

This included doing things I did NOT want to do, because it made them happy. And trust me...sometimes I could have said no and the other person would not have hurt me at all...but my ingrained/learned response is to avoid conflict and unhappiness at any cost.

This even drives my OCD and perfectionism today...because as a child, if I was perfect and did everything just right, then maybe - just maybe...my mom or the babysitter's boyfriend would forget I was there. If nothing drew their attention...sometimes I could disappear.

Even now, to step out of these comfort zones causes me extreme anxiety, to the point I am almost crippled.

It took 2 years! of therapy and my oldest girl developing into a young woman (physically) for me to finally gather enough strength to confront my mom, and to finally say there will be no contact between her, my stepdad and my children. And it still wasn't for me...it was to protect my children.


Along with all of my boundry problems comes the inability to trust that someone would help. My Mom knew about the abuse, hell...she did most of it. But my Dad also knew (my folks were divorced) auynts and uncles knew, I vividly remember telling a teacher and you bet that at least some doctor's knew as they treated broken bones and "other" injuries. But you know what? No one ever took us from her. No one ever saved us, no one helped. It happened over and over and over...for years.

So I also "learned" to never tell, never complain. No one was going to help anyway.

I hope this helps you understand? some with your WS. I want to reiterate that abuse does not cause an A, but the psychological and lingering effects can affect a person for the rest of their life.

It has takem me over 2 years of weekly IC appt.'s to even be able to talk this openly about what happened and be able to step back a bit and realize why I do...what I do.

I hope this helps you a little bit.

Good luck to you both.

[This message edited by momxgbg at 11:06 PM, August 16th (Thursday)]


Dday - Jan. 22, 2012
Dday #2 - Apr. 01, 2012 (found out he was still in contact with OW...WHILE we were in MC)
married 17 years
me - bs - 38yrs
him - ws - 36yrs - EA/PA
DD - 15
DS - forever 12 - earned his angel wings 24Nov2013
DD - 10

Posts: 285 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Virginia
VD2012
Member
Member # 36317
Default  Posted: 9:32 PM, August 17th (Friday)

Thank you for the response. Yes it did help.

I know that her abuse as a child isn't a reason or excuse for her actions now, but I've just been trying to figure out how exactly that sort of experience would shape someone's mind.

It's made sense of some of the things she told me about the A that made no sense before, and now trying to learn how sexual abuse affects people is enlightening.

It's no excuse for her A obviously, but does help paint a better picture of how she got to that point.


Me: 28 ~ Her (FR2012): 27
Together: 9 years, 2 children
D-Day: April 19, 2012

Surrender to the truth of life.


Posts: 466 | Registered: Jul 2012 | From: Traversing Dark Places With The Light of Truth
Fractured.Us
Member
Member # 35085
Default  Posted: 3:02 AM, August 19th (Sunday)

Haaaa, where to start. Seeing the thread the other day in General about being a SAS and A. I told my story. I've only once written about it before that, and was not too long after dday2. I guess the A made me think more about myself. I don't know what I want to say actually. I don't even really know if I still hold anger or resentment from CSA. Perhaps just apathy?

My coping mechanism was, and still is, to compartmentalize. I didn't know what that was until coming to SI and reading about it. I buried everything deep within me to cope. Back then, to survive rest of my chidhood in as much "normalcy" I can muster. Did a damn good job, as not even my best friends ever suspected anything and everyone thought I was so damn emotionally balanced and stable, lol. I had no issues with intimacy, developing relationships, etc. just hid my dark secret very well and NEVER let it show outwardly whatever effects it may have had on me. To this day, I have constant contact with my abuser. No feeling of enmity. Just knowledge that this person no longer can have any hold on me and I am no longer afraid. My long term SA was between age ten until almost 15, when I finally started growing some balls to plan avoidance and develop subtle passive resistance tactics to discourage or make the abuse not possible. Yes, it stopped. I guess he figured he can no longer coerce or scare me into compliance without things blowing up.

There are times the memories pop up, and different scenes play out in my head without me being able stop it. Sometimes during sex, sometimes when alone doing something mundane, or sometimes triggered by what I see or hear. Every one of those instances, I let it play out and ignore while I continue whatever I was doing.

Weird? Lately I have been wondering though if I am just a cold, calculating weirdo. Or is it that I have come to accept that it was something I could not control therefore could not change? I honestly don't know. Before the A, my H never had issues with my intimacy or affection. Ok, except during couple of years after our second child when we had virtually no sex life - that ended up to be due to PPD meds and BC pills.

Now, post A, I sometimes think that I am again trying to box up my emotions and bury it. Maybe right next to some of my childhood memories...


Married 21

This was not how it was supposed to end.


Posts: 338 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: USA
Keepbreathing5
Member
Member # 36534
Default  Posted: 9:46 AM, August 23rd (Thursday)

I'm not sure what answers/advice I'm looking for but I thought it might help to share my story (sorry in advance that it's so long).

Both my WSO and I are sexual abuse survivors (his much worse than mine). I was molested once when I was 15 and he was beaten and raped repeatedly by his cousin for a year when he was about 8. Neither of our families handled this well. His cousin lived in the same house as him and his parents had started foster care "because that was the only way they could take in these cousins while his mother's sister was in jail" (cough bullshit cough). After he finally told his parents what was going on, they removed that boy from their house and asked WSO if he wanted them to stop taking in foster children (really a 9-year-old SAB survivor???). I was molested by a 50-year-old friend of the family. I told my parents the next morning and they promptly "forgot". They have "forgotten" countless times since then and the man is still in my life in a very real way. He has been to all significant life events and my parents were forcing me to include him on our wedding list.

Moving forward - D-Day was only a little over a month ago. He had a 4-5 month EA and a 1.5 month PA with a co-worker. I had gotten sick (for about a year) and he had closed off and stopped talking to me about his problems, talking to her instead.

After his EA started, all the sudden he had problems with our relationship [e.g., I didn't clean the house enough or cook enough. He had a problem with me not working out enough (btw as part of my illness I wasn't allowed to exercise for 10 months)]. After he had created these relationship problems and justified his f***ed up behavior - the PA started.

Once he was discovered, he claims that he immediately knew he was disgusted with himself and didn't want anything to do with her. He has been trying to be honest with me but lying is a big problem with him (always has been). He TT'd me four weeks after D-day and that has hurt me more than anything else. Piling lies on top of the injury is just inconceivable. But I find that I want to forgive him and I find that I can somewhat understand how this happened. We are both in IC and he recently received a diagnosis of Bipolar 1 on top of the CSA problems.

I have told my IC that part of me is actually glad that the A happened because it forced him to deal with his huge pile of issues (hate myself for that feeling). I also told IC that another part of me feels this isn't the biggest betrayal I've ever experienced (compared to the one from my parents) and that it might have desensitized me towards future betrayal. Now I'm trying to sort through my feelings that I might expect the people I love to hurt and betray me? I didn't think I felt this way before but I deal with the fact that my parents continue to and I am considering R with my WSO so is something wrong with me that I think this is normal?


BSO (me): 24
WSO (him): 27 (cheaterSteve05)
Engaged 1.5 years, Together 6 years
EA: ~4 months/ PA: ~2 months with MOW (coworker)

Posts: 64 | Registered: Aug 2012
momxgbg
Member
Member # 35350
Default  Posted: 2:23 PM, August 23rd (Thursday)

I deal with the fact that my parents continue to and I am considering R with my WSO so is something wrong with me that I think this is normal?

Right here ^^^^ it took me years of IC and the "need" to absolutely protect my CHILDREN that I was able to finally set a boundry with my Mom and stepdad. To finally say "what you did/allowed/ignored to me was wrong, I will not tolerate that behavior anymore to me or my children"
Today...I don't speak to my parents...any of them (mom, stepdad, dad, stepmom) it was all their choice, not mine, when I set down the rules of no "physical" contact with my children.

As to you wanting to R with your WSO, no...absolutely nothing is wrong with you. You love this person, you understand them (most of the time


) and you can see, maybe, some of their why's for the A.

None of that means anything is wrong with you. But, just because you can see it, doesn't mean you are rolling over for them. It will take time and much work on your part to start to realize your worth and what you deserve.

I'm still working, very hard, each day and just found my new IC to continue this growth.

It's hard and you will have decisions that you absolutely DO NOT want to make, but each time you realize a little more of your worth and demand respect...it's gets a little better.

Good luck to you.

[This message edited by momxgbg at 2:24 PM, August 23rd (Thursday)]


Dday - Jan. 22, 2012
Dday #2 - Apr. 01, 2012 (found out he was still in contact with OW...WHILE we were in MC)
married 17 years
me - bs - 38yrs
him - ws - 36yrs - EA/PA
DD - 15
DS - forever 12 - earned his angel wings 24Nov2013
DD - 10

Posts: 285 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Virginia
HurtYetHealing
Member
Member # 34376
Default  Posted: 12:09 PM, August 25th (Saturday)

Let me start by saying this is unbelievably hard for me to discuss.

Both WS and I are SAb survivors. I learned in August of lat year the extent of his abuse. I think in divulging that to me, the first time he's ever spoken about it, helped him go down the slippery slope. I listened and comforted him but I don't think I fully understood the scope of what he was telling me.

The ensuing months were filled with ridiculous yet horrible arguments.

He was in the A, full fog mode, and blamed me for it all.

I know now that his tale of abuse was much more than he led me to believe.

His mother molested him and introduced him to things at a very young age. Then his stepfather raped him for years. I don't know if his mother knew. I can't speak badly of her, he loves her dearly and since she passed away when he was 15, he'll never be able to confront her.

He admitted to me yesterday that he knows he needs help. So, we're going to get it for him. I am struggling with so many things lately, his A has taken a back seat to it all (never thought that would happen!).

He sees me as his mother, always wanting my approval, looking to me for direction/instruction. It's hard, after 17 years with this man, to see where I have screwed him up even more. I didn't know is my only excuse.

I'm struggling with wanting to leave him because it's just too much. But I love him and want him to be okay. I want him to be happy.

I hate seeing this grown man, knowing he's a scared little boy on the inside. He hides it so well!!

I hate his mother. I fucking loathe her. She did this to him, allowed her piece of shit husband to destroy him and now cannot even answer for what she's done!!!!

It feels good to get that out. He doesn't want to hear it. He loves her. But I can't stand her. I hope she's burning in hell.

My poor little boy, broken and consumed with feelings of unworthiness, of hate and disgust for himself.

And here I am, dealing with how his A triggers me about my own abuse, trying to fix him, myself, and our marriage.

I can't talk to anyone IRL because he'll flip out. He doesn't want anyone to know but he's willing and WANTS to do therapy.

It's a start right?

How is this my life?


Me-32 BW, Him-34 fWH
5 amazing children
Dday: December 2, 2011
M: 14 years(13@JFO), together for 18 (17@JFO) Status: Roller coaster of R
It takes a heart to forgive, and a brain to move on.

Posts: 706 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: New Jersey
0115
Member
Member # 31740
Default  Posted: 10:22 PM, August 27th (Monday)

HurtYetHealing

I know the confusion you're going through. I am not a survivor of abuse but my fWH is. I had no idea until after I found out about his 12 year LTA/PA. I hate his brother and his father...I hate the whole messed up family and yet he wants to forgive them and move on. I go between hating him for what he did to me and then hating his brother for what he did to him and then realizing that hating is not getting me anywhere. I'm trying so hard to let it go and move on.

I just wanted to let you know that I empathize with you. I'm so sorry you have so much to deal with. You're young...maybe if he can get therapy you can salvage a marriage and teach your beautiful children a better way of living and loving.

Hugs!


BS (me) 49
FWH 49 newbeg2011
Married 29 years
Very Long LTA
DD 01/15/11-6/30/11
The hard work is done...let the healing begin.

Posts: 1017 | Registered: Apr 2011
HurtYetHealing
Member
Member # 34376
Default  Posted: 2:09 PM, August 30th (Thursday)

Thank you 0115!!

I struggle with triggers and pain from his A, then jump to feeling so sad for him, anger at his mother and stepfather, then back again.

What happened to the fairy tale? What happened to my happily ever after?

I'm just so tired of it all. I can't fix him. It's not my job. But I so badly want to help him! Then resent him for not putting as much thought as I do into all of this.

Ugh.

This.Shit.Sucks!!


Me-32 BW, Him-34 fWH
5 amazing children
Dday: December 2, 2011
M: 14 years(13@JFO), together for 18 (17@JFO) Status: Roller coaster of R
It takes a heart to forgive, and a brain to move on.

Posts: 706 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: New Jersey
0115
Member
Member # 31740
Default  Posted: 10:43 PM, August 30th (Thursday)

HurtYetHealing

I read your profile and one of my first thoughts is "you're going to make it". You are amazingly strong! You are so much farther along in such a short period of time and have so much to deal with.
My biggest advice is for both of you to get IC. We stayed in just IC for almost 12-18 months and didn't start MC until last month. He has a lot of work to do and although it seems like you have already done so much work on your own with your abuse, you need help dealing with the A. It's freaking hard. It's truly a mindf***. You feel so sorry that they went through what they did and yet why do YOU have to suffer because of it.

Truthfully, I didn't think we had much of a chance. About a month after we were married a switch flipped. He was abused by his older brother and always felt emasculated. He blamed these feelings on ME and became very controlling. He never told me about the abuse. All of this came out on Dday 01/15/11. The A's were reenactments of the trauma he suffered. It's hard sometimes for me to understand but it does make sense. He does take full responsibility but I have to keep his foo issues in perspective too.

I just want you to know that it's going to be hard. It's a long road and I'm not there yet but I'm really close.

I just see something in you and your story that tells me IF he can get a really good IC that he's going to put all the pieces together and you two are going to get your fairytale. You will be his WIFE, not his mother and he will treat you differently than ever before. If either of you need anything PM me or newbeg2011. Our prayers are with you both.

I have this hanging on my wall...

"It's never too late to live Happily Ever After.".

Some days I still smirk at it but here lately I'm beginning to believe it.


BS (me) 49
FWH 49 newbeg2011
Married 29 years
Very Long LTA
DD 01/15/11-6/30/11
The hard work is done...let the healing begin.

Posts: 1017 | Registered: Apr 2011
braddenlee5580
New Member
Member # 36743
Default  Posted: 11:22 AM, September 7th (Friday)

[This message edited by braddenlee5580 at 11:23 AM, March 30th (Saturday)]


Posts: 4 | Registered: Sep 2012
vivere
Member
Member # 34465
Default  Posted: 1:13 AM, September 9th (Sunday)

Oh braddenlee5580, my heart is heavy for you, your wife and family. Hugs to you all. No one should ever have to deal with so much hurt. My words are really inadequate

Thank goodness you have enough insight and the desire to seek help (not everyone does). I hope, for you all, that your new therapist will be a catalyst to the road to healing.

Wishing you all the very best.


You are responsible for your own happiness :)

Posts: 316 | Registered: Jan 2012
0115
Member
Member # 31740
Default  Posted: 11:16 AM, September 9th (Sunday)

((((braddenlee5580))))

My counselor said that when the shell that you have covered up with breaks open, then you can start living an authentic life. The person you are supposed to be, the true person inside that shell. She said the shell can't be put back together..you won't go back to that behavior once that happens. It's all forward from there. It sounds like you took a sledge hammer to that shell and now are ready to face a new life. Good luck to you and your wife. This is such a sad sad story...I'm pulling for you that you can make the ending a happy one.

Sending you hugs and strength
0115


BS (me) 49
FWH 49 newbeg2011
Married 29 years
Very Long LTA
DD 01/15/11-6/30/11
The hard work is done...let the healing begin.

Posts: 1017 | Registered: Apr 2011
Lilypad
Member
Member # 36399
Default  Posted: 9:41 PM, September 9th (Sunday)

I am too a survivor, however, I have blocked alot of it out. My bad behaviour and drinking has been bad for the last 3 years.

Every since I did jury duty, my life has been in chaos. Guess it triggered me.

I have since quit drinking (50 days sober) and am no longer seeing MM.

Trying very hard to work on myself and get better and to be the person I use to be.

I wasn't always this way.


“You can make mistakes, but you are not a failure until you blame others for those mistakes.” -John Wooden

Posts: 121 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: Canada
longroadahead22
Member
Member # 37328
Default  Posted: 6:51 AM, November 18th (Sunday)

hi all,
I'm new to the thread, I'm even surprised that I'm posting on here. I am a WS in the early parts of R and early parts of trying to understand why I had the A's. Compared to the horrors that I read on this thread and I see at work due to being an ER nurse, my story seems almost laughable. But I know its not laughable cuz it did affect me and still does. I was molested by my brother's best friend when I was 6 and they were 6 years older. I was made into his make out partner, not horrible but still. I don't know if anything else ever happened, I don't remember much if any of my childhood. I was also physically and emotionally abused by my father and still continues. Still nothing hoorible no fists or bruises, but slamming my head up against metal doors, choking me, throwing me through doors, ect...Not the worst things ever, but I know when I say that I try and rationalize it. I never told anyone until about 1 month ago when I told my W and then our MC/ IC. Never thought about it for years until then. Never examined it and coped with it. But it is obvioulsy affecting me to this day. I think it may have played a role in my A but know idea as to how much. Not using it as an excuse by anymeans, that is my fault, my sin. But it might help me understand where my mentallity comes from. I lie like crazy to protect myself from pain, conflict avoidance stemming from avoiding my father, and have obsession with kissing (probably from the molestation). I compartmentalize everything painful, to the point where I have big massize holes in my memory for many years as a child. I guess what made me post is that i want help/ need help...help to understand me and therefore my choices and how they affected my A so that I can move on in a healthy mannor to R. any books or threads or articles would be very helpful. Thank you all for listening. posting this information is definetly against my former character and is a big time streatch and reach, but I want change, I want understanding....


WS (Me): 26 y/o
BS (Her): 26 y/o (MandoBando)
Relationship: M for 4 years, a 20 month old son and a 8 month old son.
D-Day: 10/23/12
Working towards R...

Despite the fact that i am an ass hole, horrible father, and horrible husband; i LOVE and


Posts: 76 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: Toledo, OH
longroadahead22
Member
Member # 37328
Default  Posted: 6:51 AM, November 18th (Sunday)

[This message edited by longroadahead22 at 6:54 AM, November 18th (Sunday)]


WS (Me): 26 y/o
BS (Her): 26 y/o (MandoBando)
Relationship: M for 4 years, a 20 month old son and a 8 month old son.
D-Day: 10/23/12
Working towards R...

Despite the fact that i am an ass hole, horrible father, and horrible husband; i LOVE and


Posts: 76 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: Toledo, OH
UnexpectedSong
Member
Member # 21761
Default  Posted: 9:28 AM, November 18th (Sunday)

Braddenlee - I read your story. I am so sorry... No child should ever have to be destroyed by someone else's filth... Nor to see a grown up, who was supposed to protect you, stand by and buy your silence with gifts.

You have been looking for your grandfather in every arcade...

I hope you are able to find a therapist who will help you process your past. Start over authentically. There is no more need to hide.


WW(SA)
"Feedback is the breakfast of champions." - Boris Becker

Posts: 6220 | Registered: Nov 2008 | From: California
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 11:42 PM, December 17th (Monday)

Thank God. I didn't know this thread was here before. I'm so sad to know that so many of us are struggling here, with this. I hope this will be our safe place...

Be back later.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
Ascendant
Guide
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 8:49 AM, March 3rd (Sunday)

I've been dealing with this all lately as well....my WW was abused sexually by her cousin's grandfather when she was 4. She's never forgotten it, but also never dealt with it properly. Past BFs have noticed her repressed anger and thought she needed to seek counseling as well. In the time, she's also become an alcoholic. I don't want to get into the entire A story here, but sufficed to say that I'm sort of struggling on how to deal with both my feelings of anger/hurt due to the A, and her needing to do all the stuff associated with R, while I know she's also dealing with some crazy painful stuff of her own....any suggestions from someone who's been through it?


Me: 31 Her: 30

Still married.

“The goal is to have more heart than scars."


Posts: 3574 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: North of Chicago, Illinois
ladypersephone
Member
Member # 38638
Concerned  Posted: 8:26 PM, March 5th (Tuesday)

I was groomed by a man with NPD who married into my family. He spent years grooming me. One night while I was on vacation with him and his family, he gave me drugs and raped me. I didn't tell anyone because I was worried that I would get in trouble for taking drugs. I was 16 years old. Because I kept my mouth shut, he continued to abuse me for 3 years even getting me pregnant and I had to have an abortion. He took my virginity. I held my secret in for 15 years and finally told my parents last month. I am 33 years old now and finally free from it. I am in weekly therapy making enormous changes.

But going to therapy didn't happen until after the A. I don't really like calling it an A, because it really wasn't consensual. Although I was 32 at the time, I was operating from the perspective of a young teen. I know that in some people's eyes that they think I should have had better boundaries. I think so too. But I didn't because of the boundaries that were broken down by CSA. The OM pushed me down on a bed and assaulted me. Instead of telling my husband what had happened to me, I kept my mouth shut. I let the OM tell me that he was sorry and even continued to see him. I feel so guilty for allowing that to happen. I even told him that I didn't want to have an affair. One night while I was out with friends and drunk he took his chance. I am so ashamed because I just gave in to him.I told my husband and he is so angry. We worked on it for a while, then he left in December. He filed for divorce in January and he is absolutely pissed at me.

It's been a horrible year. I am working through some very deep rooted abuse history and current issues that are linked in my past. The good news is that I've learned to say "no" to unwelcome advances. I am amazed how many men think its an opportunity to jump on a woman going through a divorce. I am working hard on loving myself and have even taken a vow of celibacy for the next year in order to really heal. I miss my husband though. I still really love him.

[This message edited by ladypersephone at 9:48 PM, March 5th (Tuesday)]


WW (Me) 33 (MH)
BS/RA (him) 36 (MH)

Formerly fiercely in love.
Currently on desolation row...


Posts: 55 | Registered: Mar 2013
Ascendant
Guide
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 8:10 AM, March 6th (Wednesday)

The good news is that I've learned to say "no" to unwelcome advances.

That's been a bone of contention between my CSA WW and I for a long time. She would complain that someone was flirting with her, and I would tell her that she needed to let them know in no uncertain terms that it was not ok. Not laughing or giggling while you tell them "You asshole!!!", but a firm, clear, "Stop, I don't like what you're doing, so stop." She would always want me to take care of the situation (we work together)...and don't get me wrong, if she had told them to stop, and then it continued, I certainly would have said something. But if I just swing on through and say something without her making clear that she is uncomfortable with it, then I just look like a jealous husband who's being overprotective.


Me: 31 Her: 30

Still married.

“The goal is to have more heart than scars."


Posts: 3574 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: North of Chicago, Illinois
ladypersephone
Member
Member # 38638
Default  Posted: 7:49 PM, March 6th (Wednesday)

Face punched,

She would complain that someone was flirting with her, and I would tell her that she needed to let them know in no uncertain terms that it was not ok. Not laughing or giggling while you tell them "You asshole!!!", but a firm, clear, "Stop, I don't like what you're doing, so stop."

This was so difficult for me to see, too. I didn't want to seem like I was being rude or something. It's so odd to me now. There were several times that men made advances to me and I just didn't know how to deal with it. I would let them even when it made me uncomfortable. Then this happened!! This man (AP) pushed me down on a bed after I told him no. I was so mortified and speechless that I went into freeze mode. It makes me sick to think about it now. I just didn't know how to say no and that was the grooming. I told my AP "no" but would still have coffee with him!! WTF!! I am still angry with myself about that.

It's been incredibly empowering to say no. I am amazed how many men jump at the chance when they find out I am in the process of D. It's so disgusting and I am not compromising myself anymore. Saying "no" has truly liberated me. I am firm and forward and embody the word "no" like I never did before.


WW (Me) 33 (MH)
BS/RA (him) 36 (MH)

Formerly fiercely in love.
Currently on desolation row...


Posts: 55 | Registered: Mar 2013
PlainsGirl29
Member
Member # 33520
Default  Posted: 9:32 PM, March 6th (Wednesday)

ladypersephone:

your initial sexual contact with your AP is date rape. "no" means no, it doesn't matter what situation you were in, how drunk, how quietly you said it, I don't not know all the details of the extent of the relationship before the initial sexual contact occurred. Or what happened after. But what you are describing is date rape.

Please read "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend. I am currently reading it and it is really good for those of us who have a hard time saying 'no' and helping build better boundaries.


Posts: 1146 | Registered: Oct 2011
Ascendant
Guide
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 9:23 AM, March 7th (Thursday)

ladypersephone-
I didn't want to seem like I was being rude or something.

This is something I've heard probably a 1000x, phrased 1000 different ways by various women I know. For some reason in our culture, it seems to appear that if women assert themselves about what they will/will not accept from men (behavior-wise), they're pegged as 'rude' or *gasp* a 'bitch'. I've heard female co-workers complain about the way a male coworker flirts with them or tries to get them to go out with them for drinks or something, and my response is, "Why not just tell them, "No, I'm not interested in hanging out with you", or "Do not talk to me like that.""? By and large, the answer is that they don't want to appear rude or a bitch. By being wishy-washy about conveying their actual feelings towards the guy, a LOT of guys will see the chinks in the armor and become MORE persistent, because unfortunately a lot of times, it works. I know women who can't stand certain men, but just get tired of fighting them off all the time and so eventually acquiesce to their request. It's so nuts to me.

[This message edited by FacePunched at 9:23 AM, March 7th (Thursday)]


Me: 31 Her: 30

Still married.

“The goal is to have more heart than scars."


Posts: 3574 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: North of Chicago, Illinois
Ascendant
Guide
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 10:49 AM, March 7th (Thursday)

Saying "no" has truly liberated me. I am firm and forward and embody the word "no" like I never did before.

I'm a believer that a good, strong, firm, "No." is maybe the most powerful word in our emotional/social arsenal, but also the one that many people are most hesitant to use.


Me: 31 Her: 30

Still married.

“The goal is to have more heart than scars."


Posts: 3574 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: North of Chicago, Illinois
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 12:38 PM, March 7th (Thursday)

I'm a believer that a good, strong, firm, "No." is maybe the most powerful word in our emotional/social arsenal, but also the one that many people are most hesitant to use.

Often because when it is used, it's blatantly ignored, and we're forced to do it no matter what, and in the case of CSA, that is learned at a very early age, for me, at least 3 or 4 years old. It was a lot easier to give in and mask it as acceptance, than face the horrid reality that I was utterly and completely helpless. Fighting and losing felt like it cost more than just accepting I had lost from the get go. When your boundaries are crossed and you can do nothing about it, it stands to reason that it's as if your boundaries don't matter, or even exist.

The problem with that manifests in all sorts of ways. I couldn't get out of situations if men flirted inappropriately. I couldn't sense or respond appropriately to danger. I ignored my gut. My instinct to self-protect was seriously compromised.

It's really only been a couple of years that I've started to feel comfortable telling people "no" and not feeling guilty or allow others to guilt me.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
Ascendant
Guide
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 3:24 PM, March 7th (Thursday)

than face the horrid reality that I was utterly and completely helpless. Fighting and losing felt like it cost more than just accepting I had lost from the get go. When your boundaries are crossed and you can do nothing about it, it stands to reason that it's as if your boundaries don't matter, or even exist.

So I guess as someone who is not a survivor of CSA (my WW is), how does this manifest itself in the infidelity sense? In my WW's case for example, I understand the poor development of boundaries, certainly. But her POSOM was not really the predatory type. My wife did all the heavy lifting, affair-wise. He didn't really pursue her, though he probably was emotionally manipulative to a degree.


Me: 31 Her: 30

Still married.

“The goal is to have more heart than scars."


Posts: 3574 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: North of Chicago, Illinois
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 6:06 PM, March 7th (Thursday)

I was coming to ask a question, something I'm struggling with: has anyone else here, any other survivors, dealt with clutter and having too much stuff?

I've been trying to get rid of my stuff - I have at least a hundred boxes of crap in our building's basement - but I feel just weighed down. I wonder sometimes if I see the stuff as "padding". Like how, when I was a teen (and beginning to again now) I wore an excessive amount of baggy clothes to hide my body. Especially because of how uncomfortable my godmother made/makes me.

But a total lack of motivation to get up, even though I desperately want to get rid of all the stuff. Like a horrible cycle that feeds the depression. I don't know if I'm making sense...

So I guess as someone who is not a survivor of CSA (my WW is), how does this manifest itself in the infidelity sense? In my WW's case for example, I understand the poor development of boundaries, certainly.

Hmm. I'm not sure if I'm answering this question right, but I'll give it a shot.

My H and I are in a mad-hatter situation as well, and I believe he also is a survivor (we both are). In his case, I wonder if part of it is that feeling single and lacking emotional attachment to others was a way of protecting himself. I know that this comes and goes for me as well. Wanting to have connection, yet afraid of intimacy, betrayal, abuse... Therefore for too long, maintaining poor boundaries, saying yes to the wrong things and no to the healthy things we should be saying yes to...

In our mad-hatter situation and the one before, I used my BS status as an excuse. A lie I told myself both times was: my partner has already cheated, so it won't matter if I cross this line... I used the BS status as an excuse to cross the line - I was already broken. In the first case, I had a ONS and was doing it in an EXTREMELY misguided attempt to feel good about myself and get some of my self-esteem back (like I said, very stupid). The second time, this round with my H, wasn't about intimacy or pleasure at all, it was about not being alone while suffering.

The healthy thing to do, when confronted with these situations (first guy cheating, then in next relationship my H cheating), would have been to recognize the pain, take a long time to heal, try to figure out if the relationship with this person was healthy, and use it as a catalyst to understand that *I* wasn't healthy... I chose that instead, and I'll carry that with me forever.

This day, my way of handling it is different. I am aware that sexual abuse is no excuse for making unhealthy choices. So the right thing to do, instead of making those unhealthy choices, is to address the abuse, seek out supportive help (like IC, a support group, etc), identify healthy goals - who do I want to be and where do I want to go? - and, unfortunately, feel this pain. It hurts. It sucks. It feels like being in hell some days.

It's good to have goals. If I wake up one morning feeling doubts and not sure what the next healthy step is, I do nothing. I wait for my sanity to come back before I make a decision. Or I find someone who I identified as a healthy person in my saner moments and reach out to them. Sometimes that's the IC. Sometimes that's here on SI. Sometimes that's a small group of IRL female friends who have known me for years, who I recently began to open up to...

Who is your wife's network of support?


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
Ascendant
Guide
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 6:37 PM, March 7th (Thursday)

Who is your wife's network of support?

You're talking to him. No one in her family knows about it, and she just started IC a week ago. A few friends know, but it's sort of weird...when she starts to feel comfortable around new friends, all the bad shit that's happened to her is the stuff that comes pouring out. She doesn't so much form emotional attachments to people (at least in my opinion) in the healthiest ways. That's sort of how the emotional 'bonding' happened between her and POSOM...both pouring out their various insecurities and issues and reassuring each other. She thought she could 'fix' him, he thought she was running away from a bad marriage.


Me: 31 Her: 30

Still married.

“The goal is to have more heart than scars."


Posts: 3574 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: North of Chicago, Illinois
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 6:59 PM, March 7th (Thursday)

when she starts to feel comfortable around new friends, all the bad shit that's happened to her is the stuff that comes pouring out.

Yeah. If the abuse is so much of her reality, then she might try to seek bonds through it, or being comforted. Traumatic bonding. It's a way (not always a healthy one) to seek intimacy; it's also a way of showing the worst of yourself (we carry a lot of shame) as a way of testing if people can withstand you at your worst, knowing the "real" (read: abused) you.

I hope that her IC can help her to explore a new identity of herself - one in which she can see herself as a healthy person. Is it possible that she sees herself as identified by her abuse, and has a hard time seeing her good qualities?


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 7:15 PM, March 7th (Thursday)

I should add... I used to do that as well, oversharing with new friends (mind you, this was while I was single, long before I met H). When I got into a relationship with H, there were times when I would try to share with him and he would check out... In retrospect, it might have been because it made him feel uncomfortable. I felt like those kinds of things were now inappropriate to be discussing with people outside of my relationship/marriage. I'm now discussing some of it with female friends with whom I already have longterm healthy friendships, as well as making sure that it's not all-consuming. IC really helped... but you have to be careful to find the right IC. It should be someone who makes your wife feel safe. Sadly, not all of them are that way.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
ladypersephone
Member
Member # 38638
Question  Posted: 10:34 PM, March 7th (Thursday)

Plainsgirl,

your initial sexual contact with your AP is date rape. "no" means no, it doesn't matter what situation you were in, how drunk, how quietly you said it, I don't not know all the details of the extent of the relationship before the initial sexual contact occurred. Or what happened after. But what you are describing is date rape.

This has been a major point of contention between me and BS. You are totally right, and I have been seeing a therapist about it. My BS also turned me in to my work place saying I had an "inappropriate relationship" but they too called it rape. My H also called it rape at one time... until he just didn't anymore.

My boundaries were skewed. After the initial assault, he apologized and I actually believed it. Instead of telling someone, I met with him for coffee. We talked a lot and text messaged. I was not romantic though. We were mostly talking about common interests-- friendly stuff. Then one night I gave him a ride home, I was drunk and I gave in to sex. I was horrified that it happened. I told him I didn't want to have sex with him!!

My H was put off by all the contact I had with the OM. He just couldn't understand. My IC and I tried to explain to him that my CSA was a major reason I had a hard time telling anyone and had continued contact. So my struggle is finding out where I stand. Am I an adulterer or a second time rape survivor?

I joined a rape support forum... they of course say it was rape. Joined this forum for a different perspective. In fact, I recognized your screen name and saw another response you had to one of my posts. I appreciate input.

[This message edited by ladypersephone at 7:13 AM, March 8th (Friday)]


WW (Me) 33 (MH)
BS/RA (him) 36 (MH)

Formerly fiercely in love.
Currently on desolation row...


Posts: 55 | Registered: Mar 2013
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 11:26 PM, March 7th (Thursday)

First post on this thread and hoping to get some answers. Complicated sitch as they all are but I think I'm in the right place. I've never posted a profile for a multitude of reasons, but primarily cause I don't have a clue where to begin.

Hi guys, I'm 5454Real, a genuine dyed in the wool KISA. My username is my history. 5 long term relationships, 5 women who were unfaithful, for real. Obviously my picker is aligned to finding women who I could help. All broken, none that I could see. I have my own FOO issues obviously, but this is not the right forum for them. I am here seeking help for my WW.

I brought up my history for a reason. I know IC is needed. One small problem, number four in my history is a woman who I helped through grad school to get her MSW and liscence to practice councilling. Guess who the only insurance approved provider is?(Can't make this stuff up). So we are kind of stuck. Finances prohibit self pay, have you checked the rates? Anyway, hoping you guys can help. Forgive the rambling.

After the affair and things were not totally jumbled, we began to discuss the why's. I ran into roadblock after roadblock of 'I can't remember/I don't knows'. Being on this site, of course I didn't believe. Things got extremely tense for awhile. I kept asking/watching. She would obviously become frustrated and angry, but not with me, herself. The only clue I had to go on was that she had a history with the OM from an early age. I asked.....

At the latest, 13! Could be earlier she doesn't remember how old she was when she lost her virginity to the OM's best friend even earlier. He told her she would be pretty if she only lost a little weight, she decided to show him how pretty she was. She has very few memories of her childhood. However one of them is her mother stopping her uncle from touching her inappropriately in a car when she was between 4 and 6.

Background on the parents. She has no memory of either one directly telling her that they loved her. In the time we have been together, I can't claim to have seen that either. More of a casual aquaintance type relationship. Her tears when her father died lasted maybe a day and a half.

She remembers no cufews, no rules, no love. The only person that ever told her that her dad loved her was her dads suspected AP. The woman next door, where he stopped for 'a beer' every night before coming home. I never put two and two together, just thought that it was a private thing for her family to not express emotions.

Anyway, the OM was 17 at the time they began thier 'relationship'. WW can't/won't admit/say abuse.

By the time she was 14 she had participated in a threesome w/OM and the aforementioned BF of his. They would use her at thier leisure and she thought it was affection/love. At 15ish she moved in with the man who lived across the street. No protest from mom or dad. By 16 she was with a 36 yr old for the summer touring with a band. By fall with a 26 yr old going to construction sites for weeks on end.

At 17, engaged to a 26 yr old and pregnant and married by 18. Somehow graduated HS. By her best memory 7-8 different older men in that span.

1st marriage obviously failed. Abusive alcoholic XH. Threatened suicide in front of the kids at christmas with a gun to his head as a final straw.

Met her a year and a half after the D. I was impressed with a woman who had achieved what she had in spite of the abusive marriage. I had no clue as to what FOO were. Heck its the first name of a band right?

She was supervising 20 people. One of her job responsibilities was teaching ethics. She made the local paper for her weight loss(100lbs plus). She was competeing in amateur body building competitions. But most of all, was very anti-infidelity. Absolute dealbreaker. In premarital counseling, it even caused an issue when my response was that in certain cases it might be forgiveable. Given my history, oh the wonders of irony. How little I knew.

Little more history on me, I won custody of my son from #3. XW fought thru state supreme court. I raised him alone for 7 yrs(#4 never moved in, waiting for marriage), got used to and even liked cooking and cleaning.

WW has cooked maybe 10 suppers in 10 years, I do the dishes and laundry. Split the rest. Treated her like a queen, expected to be treated like a king in return and was until the birth of our son. We were active in society and sports. Each had our own hobbies. The c-section changed that.

I travel during the days, sometimes late. Always made sure thre was a premade meal ready to reheat if I was going to be late. After the birth of our son, after the breastfeeding was done, I assumed all the late night feedings as well. Loved it, great bonding time. anyway, it seems that the c-section did something. Things began to change.

3 knee surgeries, 2 shoulder surgeries 2 spine surgeries and a nerve burn over the next 6 years. I was no longer the king, but woe betide me if I didn't continue to treat her like a queen. The treatment had become an expectation and not the gift as I was offering it. Sex life died. Twice a month, maybe and never without a fight(romantic,not).

I turned to drink, she retreated even farther. Would rarely come out of her room. Scrip for depression that only seemed to make it worse. She regained all the weight. Thought it made her less than attractive. Didn't understand that I married her, not the shell she inhabits. Tried to support her in everything. Got pushed even further away.

Hope arrives in the form of the nerve burn. Had been on half days due to pain from spine surgeries. Relief at last. Begins to work out, things are looking better than they had in years. Back to work full time!

Devestation, I awake Saturday morning to her getting ready for 'work to catch up' at 630 am. (I had gotten drunk the night before). Told her have a good day and I love you. Text at 930 saying "Sorry, I have left to take some time by myself to sort things out". I actually cheerfully texted back to take her time, look forward to you coming home.

330 SD comes over worried that she can't reach her mom. We all start texting and calling frantically getting no responses. Finally get one back saying 'don't worry, I'm safe'. Daughter digs deeper, finds she's at another mans house. Ive never heard of him, but the claim is "we're just friends".

Been down this road, several calls to her friends and family who all contact her and the denials continue. I give up at 830 after SD told her she was having an affair and she wanted nothing to do with her and the response was along the lines of "I'm sorry you feel that way". SS texts her at 1030 and says "I hope you're happy with what you've caused". And the reply was "that wasn't my intention". 1130 I get a text that shes coming home.

Welcomed her home with open arms at 230 am and fed her. Hoped for something other than what it was, but got a full admission over the next 3 days.

POSOM frickin pedophile had contacted her the day before the nerve burn through FB. Sexting within 36 hrs. Phone sex within 72. 3 days before she went to him he told her she was the one he should have married. All of this occurred within 12 days.

Questions obviously are endless. Is memory loss/blockage common? Why go back to an abuser? She is literally devestated and doesn't understand herself. What was she looking for? What was the sudden change in demeanor? And of course the big one, how likely is a recurrence? Hell, is this the right forum?

Thanks in advance to anyone who responds, and quite honestly, given the length of the missive I won't be too suprised if it's too much. Sorry for the length. Just felt good to get out.

Strength to all the survivors and thier SO's.


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 21(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 3787 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 11:29 PM, March 7th (Thursday)

Often because when it is used, it's blatantly ignored, and we're forced to do it no matter what, and in the case of CSA, that is learned at a very early age

Same.

I'm struggling with flashbacks. And I feel so angry with myself. My godmother wouldn't stop running her hands across my body. It didn't matter when I actually said no - I wish I had yelled it at her the first time! But it didn't matter, she played dumb and then tried it again next week... and next... and next, until I stopped going over there. So then she just guilt-tripped me over the phone. We live with her now, since we don't have our ducks lined up and have nowhere to go (yet). I've gotten very good at keeping the door to our room closed, but I feel the anxiety and violation every time I hear her voice. No doesn't matter to her. No doesn't matter to any of them. They feel their sick "needs" and will do it to self-soothe and think that they "have the right" and it's "not so bad". Bastards.

And when you fight back, sometimes you get punished for it. But better to fight back and be safe than to take it silently. Find your anger.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 11:49 PM, March 7th (Thursday)

Why go back to an abuser?

I can relate. The OM in my current relationship/marriage was my abusive ex-FWB. In my circumstances, I was terrified of actually having to have sexual contact with him, which is why I stopped. But why? One thought that comes immediately to mind is self-hatred. Also, self-destruction. I thought I deserved to be hurt. Extremely low self-esteem, but in this case, not going to him to raise it; going to him to confirm it. Happened at a time when I thought H (then-BF) was going to break up with me (he did). I wanted to hurt worse than I already was.

So, how do you turn that around while also accepting that you cheated on your BS? Seems like processing both the A and also the initial abuse as well. And that can be confusing, because we're supposed to be taking responsibility for cheating and breaking our spouse's heart... while also trying to look at the abuse and forgive ourselves for holding the abuse as evidence that we're dirty, for hating ourselves because of the abuse? While looking at and denouncing the original abuse? That must be hard on the BS, if it feels like the focus goes to the abuse but then the affair and the BS's pain must not be pushed aside... we both need a safe place for healing, and it's important that the BS's healing as the betrayed isn't overshadowed. Balancing... That's why IC is so important. Healing takes a long time on all counts. The timeline says 2-5 years for infidelity... I wonder if it's similar for sexual abuse, once the supportive exploration begins? It could be a goal to get healthy again together and help each other through healing.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 12:37 AM, March 8th (Friday)

Thanks SH, I get the low self esteem angle. Given everything going on with her health issues, I really do. I also kind of understand the older men aspect of them filling a need for attention when she was a child. Sex was all she had to use to get any kind of attention and she did.

But, she hadn't even talked to the guy in almost 25 years. 13 days to get her to abandon everything she had worked for? Ignore not only me(yes, I understand she may have been getting away from me) but her children and grandchild for a guy that used her as a fuck toy? Shared her? She was possibly wanting to hurt herself or confirm her own low image?

Gonna have to chew on those for awhile. This all sucks.

You are absolutely correct in that somehow simultaneous healing needs to occur. While I may understand the problem, it certainly doesn't lessen the pain. The complete and utter abandonment is a tough nut to get past.

Thanks for the insight!


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 21(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 3787 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 2:10 AM, March 8th (Friday)

But, she hadn't even talked to the guy in almost 25 years. 13 days to get her to abandon everything she had worked for? Ignore not only me(yes, I understand she may have been getting away from me) but her children and grandchild for a guy that used her as a fuck toy? Shared her? She was possibly wanting to hurt herself or confirm her own low image?

Gonna have to chew on those for awhile. This all sucks.

Yes, it does all suck very, very much.

I don't know if her feelings were similar to mine or not, with feeling self-destructive. Has she given you transparency to see all of their correspondences, including the one the day before the nerve burn? What was her tone? Could there have been approval she was seeking? Had she shut down the abuse and only sought the boost? Or could there have been a trigger word or phrase in his message to her that made her vulnerable to acting out?

It is important that she takes responsibility for making those choices. If you both are trying to learn the story, those might be some questions to ask. There was someone I knew once a long time ago (unfortunately, my mother's OW), and while I hated her, there were some pretty horrible things she went through as a kid. One was that her parents, particularly her mother, were part of a cult, and she was badly abused and programmed or brainwashed (not sure the right term) to believe that she had to die at age 25. So when 25 came around, she began suffering symptoms and then began to remember the abuse. So I know that some types of abuse can leave mental cues behind that trigger things. I don't know if this happened in your wife's case, but I think all possibilities are worth mentioning.

I wish the OW had chosen a better way to handle her problems rather than have an affair, in her mid-30s, with my mother and break my stepmother's heart and rip apart my family. I really wish she had stayed away. Had she chosen to examine those issues and seek out the proper support (and if my mother had had better boundaries), maybe it wouldn't have happened at all. Hopefully she has now, so that she'll never be anyone's OW ever again, and be a healthier person for her children. Knowing the details I know now of her A with my mother, it sounds like they reenacted some things through SM. My mother claims they were safe; I doubt it was really good for either of them, sexual abuse survivors that they both were. I really do wonder about the self-punishment piece of that...

In my case, part of my healing has been, while taking responsibility for my poor choices, to also confront my overwhelming self-hatred, which at the moment is manifesting in my depression. I've made it a personal goal to not give up healing until I get stronger - not only for my son but also just for myself - and healthier, so I'll be a healthier person in this world. Letting myself drown in self-hatred would be selfish; so while it's OK to have a hard day, it's not OK to give up.

Just seeing you here trying to understand, 545... you're a good person, and your wife is very fortunate to have your support as she struggles through these issues. I hope she will be able to give you what you need and support you through your healing from her betrayal, and you two will emerge an even stronger team.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 2:11 PM, March 8th (Friday)

@ FacePunched

So I guess as someone who is not a survivor of CSA (my WW is), how does this manifest itself in the infidelity sense? In my WW's case for example, I understand the poor development of boundaries, certainly. But her POSOM was not really the predatory type. My wife did all the heavy lifting, affair-wise. He didn't really pursue her, though he probably was emotionally manipulative to a degree.

For many CSA survivors, there is a drive to recreate the abuse. For me, I was often trying to recreate the abuse to achieve a different outcome, as if I could ever change the past. Sometimes, being the aggressor, in our minds, offsets being the victim. In order to not be victimized, we pursue, but, deep down, I knew that I was then just victimizing myself. It was still recreating negative emotional aspects of the abuse that survivors replay quite a bit.

when she starts to feel comfortable around new friends, all the bad shit that's happened to her is the stuff that comes pouring out. She doesn't so much form emotional attachments to people

Friends whom become close friends, not just acquaintances, I certainly tell them about my abuse, it is very discretionary than before. Silence is deadly. Holding this shit in, keeping our abuser's secrets, all part of the shame cycle. I've done the lies of omission, changing subjects, redirecting attention away from myself, so that I don't have to reveal this secret about myself, it makes me feel like the biggest fraud. You know what, I was abused, it sucks, it's why I don't talk about my parents because they were shit parents and this is why. It's no longer my shame, I'm not proud of it, but I'm not going to hide it to protect them anymore. Don't discourage your wife telling people about her past, but encourage her to tell safe people.

Forming emotional attachments with people is pretty hard. Intimacy involves give and take, sharing that is healthy and reciprocal. I can draw people out, but I don't let anyone in. Look closely at the emotional attachment in your marriage.

My husband wasn't abused, but he was raised by a woman who is a survivor, who has never dealt with her abuse. He moves on to marry a survivor before he even ever knows about his mother's past. Not a coincidence, really. We both spoke that unspoken language where emotional attachment and intimacy is lacking, and it's normal, and is a big part in why we work, why we chose each other.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 2:18 PM, March 8th (Friday)

@ ladypersephone:

After the initial assault, he apologized and I actually believed it. Instead of telling someone, I met with him for coffee. We talked a lot and text messaged. I was not romantic though. We were mostly talking about common interests-- friendly stuff. Then one night I gave him a ride home, I was drunk and I gave in to sex. I was horrified that it happened. I told him I didn't want to have sex with him!!

This phenomenon is prevalent and many perpetrators want this because it will confuse the survivor and make it seem like you were complicit somehow. You will question whether you really were assaulted, and especially if you feel like you gave in to sex (drunk, which doesn't constitute consent).


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 4:04 PM, March 8th (Friday)

Has she given you transparency to see all of their correspondences, including the one the day before the nerve burn? What was her tone? Could there have been approval she was seeking? Had she shut down the abuse and only sought the boost? Or could there have been a trigger word or phrase in his message to her that made her vulnerable to acting out?

For someone who placed honesty and integrity so high on her list of values, She left no trail. If I am to believe her(whichI mostly do, or this is oscar worthy), when the covo's got too personal on FB messenger she SHE suggested they take it to text. SHE suggested instant deletion as they go. No trail to go by, covered her tracks almost as if she had done this before. That aspect is tough to get past as well. If this was all the result of a "fog", how are you able to cover it so well, so quickly? She admits she knew it was wrong and that is why she covered it up, but then if you knew it was wrong in the first place, why continue?

I stressed her focus on honesty and morals, before I knew about SI, I requested a N/C text be sent so its really not what would be suggested. It is what it is.. It read as follows; "***, I have made the largest mistake of my life. I am now trying everything in my power to save my marriage, my family...essentialy my life because if I lose them...I have no life...they are everything to me. I'm sorry I did this please do not contact me . I have destroyed the morals and honesty that I told you I believed in...my husband knows everything it was his right to know. I am posting that honesty Praying that honesty will save the best thing that ever happened to me." Again, what was going through her mind? Very few memories of the texts or the conversations.

The large blank spots really concern me. She remembers that he would masturbate daily through texts and she would help. The day of the first phone call she phone sexed him through it. He sent pictures(deleted x2) of his junk for her which she masturbated to once(her claim). At one point she did ask if it was all about sex and he of course replied no, I want all of you. She remembers him referencing her as Mrs POSOM to which she claims to have replied but im married.

He told her he loved her 3 days after first contact. She responded back the next day.

Shit, I guess there could have been a trigger phrase. Again, concern is that are there more?

Crap,otta go, will be back to answer more with more q's


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 21(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 3787 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 7:46 PM, March 8th (Friday)

For someone who placed honesty and integrity so high on her list of values, She left no trail. If I am to believe her(whichI mostly do, or this is oscar worthy), when the covo's got too personal on FB messenger she SHE suggested they take it to text. SHE suggested instant deletion as they go. No trail to go by, covered her tracks almost as if she had done this before. That aspect is tough to get past as well. If this was all the result of a "fog", how are you able to cover it so well, so quickly? She admits she knew it was wrong and that is why she covered it up, but then if you knew it was wrong in the first place, why continue?

Good questions. Has she been a WS previous to this time? Even if she hadn't talked to him in 25 years, was she aware of him or in touch in some way? Why, when she heard from him on Facebook, wasn't her first instinct to run? Did she think about or remember the abuse? Minimize it? These are important questions. Maybe there weren't any thoughts or triggers about the past abuse - perhaps it was about ego or validation or any of the "usual" reasons we have As (I cringe using the word "usual"). It was still a choice. Why did she make it? How was she able to compartmentalize so quickly - as you said, to throw away everything in less than 13 days? These are good things to keep talking about with her, so hopefully she will give you the whole picture.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
Ascendant
Guide
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 8:39 AM, March 9th (Saturday)

Don't discourage your wife telling people about her past, but encourage her to tell safe people.

That's moreso what I was trying to do. It was always an awkward area of conversation, because I felt like by being able to talk about it, that in itself was a healthy thing. But sometimes she would do it say, after work, over a couple drinks, to a group of mixed coworkers. By mixed I mean male/female and friends/acquaintances. These are not usually people she's known for years, more like a few months. So while I certainly felt like it wasn't my place to control who she told her past abuses to, I was trying to tell her to be careful with that info to a degree, because you send out a certain feeling of intimacy when you share deeply personal stuff like that. Mostly I left that issue alone though, because again, it's NOT my trauma to share or not share. This only came up from time to time.

For example, when I was 19 or so I dated a girl who had been sexually abused when she was like 14...however, she had taken the guy to court, attended counseling right away, etc., and had been able to deal with it to a degree that my now-wife has not yet. She was very cautious about who she told about the abuse, and only after a long period of knowing them. But as soon as my WW feels a little comfortable with someone, it's one of the first things that comes out, and it always struck me as a little weird, but not my place to really harp about.

Forming emotional attachments with people is pretty hard. Intimacy involves give and take, sharing that is healthy and reciprocal. I can draw people out, but I don't let anyone in. Look closely at the emotional attachment in your marriage

Curious. What do you mean ^^^ here?

[This message edited by FacePunched at 8:43 AM, March 9th (Saturday)]


Me: 31 Her: 30

Still married.

“The goal is to have more heart than scars."


Posts: 3574 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: North of Chicago, Illinois
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 3:00 PM, March 10th (Sunday)

If this was all the result of a "fog", how are you able to cover it so well, so quickly?

I had another thought that I think might help.

During the time I was with the ex/OM (before I met H, during our original relationship), the abuse was kept secret. There were things he did to ensure I would keep it a secret, insidious things that I am still working through. So there was something ingrained about the secrecy with him that was already there, before I became a mad-hatter.

If your wife was forced to keep the abuse a secret when it was happening and afterward, that might factor in to the hows. Just a thought. I know you guys might be struggling today with triggers, so I am sending both of you healing thoughts today.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 11:35 PM, March 10th (Sunday)

Nope, never a WS before. In fact,her BFF had a drunken A that made her physically react. Utmost concern for friend, but thought the actions were contemptible. Really PO'd @ friend. BFF's H has a RA, wife no less adamant that the behavior was wrong, but hopeful that they could work it out. H has another affair and WW is the first one over there to help hefty bag the guy. She flew to a conference in your fair city(I think, the one with the BIG bridge) and her roommate engaged in a ONS while there. When she came home she was almost physically ill while telling me about it. Could not understand the morality of people who whould do that. So all in all, no I'm pretty sure other than the EA earlier(didn't involve sex talk i'm pretty sure, just way far down the slippery slope)she has never demonstrated WS thinking or behaviors.

Reading back through some earlier posts, she wasn't physically abused by this guy.(got a problem with that though, statutory rape, even if the victim is willing is physical) She was 12, he was 17 and would use her daily and even once(?) simultaneously with his friend. He was an on again off again for the next 5 years. Then he moved out of state and she got married.

Says that thoughts of him never crossed her mind even after her D. She dated several other men before she met me and then we hooked up. Her claim is the first thought of him was when he contacted her on FB. Even then, her first thought wasn't to hook up, but OMG, how are you doing? Yea, that lasted 12 hours, she didn't make the first move, but didn't hold back when he asked if she really wanted to know what he was doing.

The guy has predator written all over him. Told her he was taking care of business while looking at her profile pic. Less than 24 hrs after initial contact . That's when she suggested taking it off fb messenger cause they keep records of that. Suggested text cause it was more private and easier to delete. Told him that she would contact him when it was safe(when I had left for the day)and they could continue thier conversations.

She is open about everything. I have all passwords, phone is open to me 24/7. Answers all questions, but has some trouble with some because she can't remember(won't?) some and gets frustrated. When I become upset, she will immediately apologize and tell me it's not the question, but the frustration of not being able to remember.

It's so damn wierd. She is back to having little tolerance for wayward behavior. Watching that Betty White show and something infidelity related came up and she indicated her disappointment in the show, we talked about it's prevelence in society and the fact that she is disgusted with herself.

I'm lost, baffled, confused....idk. After dealing with 4 other women who had affairs, this was/is the type of woman I was looking for in her. Yet she has shown/proven that not only is she capable of doing it, she actually did it.

To answer your last, no, never a secret really. She didn't go out of her way to tell her parents, but never lied about it either. Doubtful they would have cared anyway. At 15 she moved in with the 30 y/o across the street and the closest to a negative was once when she went home for a meal her dad commented to her mom(not directly to her) that if she was gonna fuck over there she might as well eat over there also.

Thanks for noticing the date. Actually yesterday was worse(the friday/saturday thing). Today we had 10 inches of snow and 30 mph winds. Still snowing. We spent the day together. Did some baking together.(Really! Banana bread) Talking, reading SI. Posting some. I think she sent you a pic for support.

In a way, it's scary. She literally acts like she did before the incident regarding infidelity. Doesn't deny or defend. The whole situation is like that damned clapper commercial. Clap on, she's in an affair. Clap off, that type of behavior is disgusting to her. Again she's not rugsweeping it!

WTF!

Thanks again


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 21(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 3787 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 12:59 AM, March 11th (Monday)

got a problem with that though, statutory rape, even if the victim is willing is physical

I agree, I think it counts as physical, sexual, and psychological abuse.

She did post me a picture for support, and it helped. Thank both of you.

There's a lot to sort through isn't there? It's good you guys are talking about it all, even though it must be very painful.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 1:41 AM, March 11th (Monday)

Yea, there is. And very painful. Is/was the damage so great that under stressful situations her default reaction is to seek affirmation elsewhere?

Had a bit of an argument today regarding her weight loss/physical appearance(yea, brave I know).

Shortly after the A I made a decision to daily compliment her on her appearance. Very self conscious about that since she regained a lot of weight throughout the surgeries and physical inactivity. I do mean daily, been fairly religious about it. Mind you, it doesn't matter to me one way or the other. I am/have been/will be always in love with her(OK, understand that sounds very co dep, but it is an attempt to say that the physical appearance means very little to me). A person is not defined(unless they are very shallow, and then it doesn't matter cause I ain't interested) by thier looks, but thier actions.

Anyway, daily compliments. She told me today that she could only remember a couple of times in the last year! WTH? Is that a symptom? Can she not hear/remember due to past abuse? Do I take out yard signs?(sorry, PA) Just at a loss.

Advice?


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 21(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 3787 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 3:39 AM, March 11th (Monday)

That's a difficult one. And I can imagine that hurts too because you've been saying them, but then not being heard might feel sort of invalidating. I think it's good to keep saying it from your heart, and as long as you say it when you truly feel it, and you guys keep working on R together, she will hopefully grow to be able to hear it and feel it too. Does she give you compliments too? How are you guys about accepting each others' kind words?

There could be so many different reasons why she's not hearing... I'll speak from our experience if that's OK. I complimented my H a lot on different things (still do) - I'd tell him how handsome he is, or how he has good taste in cologne/perfume, or his video game skills, or his thoughtfulness if he makes food, or how I love how gentle he is with the cats, etc but he couldn't always hear them either. I noticed that at certain points (namely when an ex said something to him) he was very concerned about his weight, and I couldn't reassure him no matter what I said. So it's possible that my compliments didn't sink in because he didn't believe them about himself. I've had that happen before too - friends or family or coworkers have said something kind about me, but because of my own insecurities and self-doubts, I have a hard time believing it, therefore a hard time hearing it... And that's really sad. People have said some really wonderful things. But I have a hard time remembering what exactly they said, and that sucks, because they took the time to say it. We have to *change our minds* so that we hold onto the positive words instead of letting the negative words echo in there. That's not a very happy legacy. The kind words should be the legacy.

Anyway, more with my H... So I wondered if he couldn't hear my compliments because he had low self-esteem. But on the other hand, when other girls complimented (or criticized) him, he dwelled on it, lapped it up, etc... Maybe he felt like because I said it, and I have a "stake" in him, then it was insincere or "what I was supposed to do" but when they said it unsolicited it meant more, because they chose to say it to him just because, a girl who didn't have to (and who he probably didn't know as well as me) had said it, so it made it 'special' to him. And that was really frustrating and hurtful for me. Or... it could have been that he has trouble with intimacy (see signs of that in other ways), and so accepting compliments from people with no emotional connection is "safe" because he's not vulnerable with them. Could be. Problem with all these thoughts is, H won't talk about them with me. So I have no way of knowing if they're true.

Don't know if any of that rings true for you guys, we're struggling with this too, but that's what came to mind. It's also worked both ways. H claims that he's called me hot at least once on a specific date (Halloween), but for the longest time in my bitterness I didn't accept the compliment because I felt like I had fished for it instead of it coming naturally. Petty, I finally realized - who cares about the technicalities, he said it so that probably means he meant it. Also I might have let resentments get in the way of accepting compliments from him. In H's case, he's complimented other girls and called other girls hot, so when he finally said it about me, I had nursed my resentments and so I pushed away the positivity of the moment. Those resentments are things I have to work through on my own. Part of why I held them, I believe, is because I don't have the self-confidence to believe in the real compliments, so I hold onto the negative ones that reaffirm my unworthiness - a cycle that spirals downward and remains unhealthy. And that's something to work on in IC. Ties into shame and other things.

The way it's sort of working now (work in progress): H can actually hear my compliments now, I think. He gets a lightness in his eyes when I say one. Sometimes he still makes a silly noise or changes the subject, but he doesn't get irritated anymore when I say something nice (though I think he thinks I'm excessive). Don't know what work he did on himself (improved self-esteem maybe?) or what work we did together (we had a conversation one day about his accepting my compliments during a week last summer where he was being inappropriate with one of my cousins - it was an eye-opener for him how dismissive he'd been of me). Or whether the compliments grew on him. But he seems to believe me now.

Food for thought. Definitely something to talk about together, especially because this seems important to you. Start with how you feel - do you feel hurt, saddened, frustrated, confused, all of the above? Talk to each other. Have you two read "The 5 Love Languages"? That might be a wonderful book to read together.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 3:42 AM, March 11th (Monday)]


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
ladypersephone
Member
Member # 38638
Default  Posted: 5:48 PM, March 12th (Tuesday)

Getting totally reamed in another forum for admitting that my CSA has some effect on my A.

Anyone else feel like they have some similarities in their A and CSA?

*BS-- please stop with with the "excuse" statements... You don't know unless you have gone through it.


WW (Me) 33 (MH)
BS/RA (him) 36 (MH)

Formerly fiercely in love.
Currently on desolation row...


Posts: 55 | Registered: Mar 2013
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 7:30 PM, March 12th (Tuesday)

*BS-- please stop with with the "excuse" statements... You don't know unless you have gone through it.

I noticed I used the word "excuse" in a post on last page - did this trigger you? If it did, I'm sorry; I did not mean to make you uncomfortable. I have been through CSAb as well and I would never mean to accuse a survivor of using their SAb as an "excuse" for anything, I know we suffer for a very long time as a result of what was done to us. When I was posting about "excuse", I was meaning to say that I had used my status as a BS as an excuse to become a MH, wasn't meaning that I'd used my CSAb as an excuse to cheat. I might have worded it wrong, and I'm sorry if I triggered you.

CSAb is very serious, and I'm sorry we're all suffering with it.

Anyone else feel like they have some similarities in their A and CSA?

Definitely. Elements of abuse present in the A. One of the same people even.

Are you feeling like someone is invalidating the abuse you suffered? That's not right.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
ladypersephone
Member
Member # 38638
Default  Posted: 8:26 PM, March 12th (Tuesday)

Hi Silver,

No I wasn't referring to what you said. I see it now. I have another forum going right now and some BS attacks from hell. They are reaming me because they say I am using my CSA as an excuse. I just say that:

I know why it happened-- it has so much to do with my childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and poor boundaries.

Everyone is saying that I am so full of it and using it as an excuse. I don't think that is what I am saying. I am being introspective about why I skewed my lines in the first place. I feel just awful about all my bad decisions and so much of the bad decision making is rooted in poor moral fabric. I don't mind the truth, its why I came here in the first place. What bothers me is the fixation of so many BS attacking me about my CSA and telling me I am using it as an excuse.

I see the similarities in my A and my CSA. I see why it happened and why I didn't speak up sooner to it. Am I crazy? I wasn't out looking for an A!


WW (Me) 33 (MH)
BS/RA (him) 36 (MH)

Formerly fiercely in love.
Currently on desolation row...


Posts: 55 | Registered: Mar 2013
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 8:42 PM, March 12th (Tuesday)

Hmm. Sounds like examining the whys and hows, and this can be a good thing so we can heal and make choices that are healthier. I think of "excuses" as what we told ourselves to make the A seem OK. If we'd said, "I was sexually abused, so I deserve to go cheat," then this would be an excuse and we would be here to examine how we felt entitled. Recognizing the abuse itself as a part of why we had poor boundaries or why we were vulnerable or where our ability to compartmentalize came from or why we wanted to self-destruct or self-sabotage, etc... that's important because, how are we going to find healthier habits if we don't recognize the ones that are unhealthy? Doesn't mean we said it's somehow acceptable that we had an A. If anything, it's even more obvious that we need to learn healthy tools for healing from the abuse - an A harms everyone and is just plain unhealthy...


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
ladypersephone
Member
Member # 38638
Default  Posted: 11:32 PM, March 12th (Tuesday)

I agree with you Silver. It never occurred to me to think about CSA during the affair. It wasn't until after it happened that I realized the reasons I did what I did and how I could have done it. It wan't because I was NPD or unhappy. So, with a lot of IC I uncovered just how damaged and broken I had been all along. Not an excuse!!! Just a fact. My moral fabric was damaged. I had poor boundaries... How did that happen? You have to get down to the root of the problem so it doesn't happen again.

I am so tired of people reaming me about my honesty in dealing with the root of my issues. I feel like BS want me to just keel over and die. People are harsh on this site.


WW (Me) 33 (MH)
BS/RA (him) 36 (MH)

Formerly fiercely in love.
Currently on desolation row...


Posts: 55 | Registered: Mar 2013
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 12:06 AM, March 13th (Wednesday)

It wasn't until after it happened that I realized the reasons I did what I did and how I could have done it.

Yes. This is a big part of understanding the brokenness - how were we already unhealthy? What unhealthy coping skills were we using as a result of the CSAb? What would have been healthier? How can we learn this? While fully processing and feeling and healing all the effects from the CSAb.

It never occurred to me to think about CSA during the affair.

This is the part of the knowing the story and the healing where we ask ourselves - what did we say to ourselves in those moments to tell ourselves that cheating was OK? What excuses did we tell ourselves? Did we say "what he doesn't know won't hurt"? Did we say "our relationship is already over"? Did we say, "I deserve..."? etc. And why cheating, as opposed to getting very drunk, as opposed to any other number of unhealthy coping mechanisms? And the goal behind digging and asking these questions is to identify where we need to get healthier so we don't make that choice again.

I think personally that the CSA needs to be dealt with separately in a way - needs to be fully revealed and expressed and mourned and supported. Whether that's through help within a support book, or a support site like here, or IC... And the dreaded thing with all of that effort - a lot of time and painful acceptance. May we all recognize our beauty, may we all escape the abuse mentally as well as physically, may we reclaim ourselves again.

I see the similarities in my A and my CSA.

What were the similarities you see?

[This message edited by silverhopes at 12:07 AM, March 13th (Wednesday)]


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 10:10 AM, March 13th (Wednesday)

Forming emotional attachments with people is pretty hard. Intimacy involves give and take, sharing that is healthy and reciprocal. I can draw people out, but I don't let anyone in. Look closely at the emotional attachment in your marriage

Curious. What do you mean ^^^ here?

I'm just saying that as a survivor, it is near impossible to have a healthy emotional attachment...to anyone, and that includes a spouse. You may feel you are closer to her than anyone in her entire life, and that may be true to an extent. But does she really let you in, or does she struggle with that? Is intimacy an issue (emotional, not physical intimacy)? You said she struggles to form emotional attachments with others, I'm just saying it's safe to say she probably has a hard time forming that bond with you as well, it's just harder to see that struggle and how that impacts your relationship, for both of you.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 10:24 AM, March 13th (Wednesday)

ladypersephone,

I completely understand what you are saying and where you are coming from. I pulled this from the SAB-Part 1 thread that is now closed, I hope you find it helpful. The whole thread is worth checking out and has some great insight.

Topic: Candid talk about sex abuse and its role in affairs

I have seen it plenty of times on more than one message board....sex abuse and infidelity going hand and hand.

It seems to have a category of its own because often what happens in the here and now is not just influenced by past abuse but HEAVILY influenced by past abuse.

Some common vunerablities of sex abuse victims:

1) Low self esteem/sense of worthlessness. For those who were repeatedly abused they percieve there only value in having sex or being used for sex. They have a hard time seeing themselves beyond this. Often they cannot accept compiments, cannot accept loving relationship is because they don't feel worthy of being loved.

2) Disassociate. Victims learn both in the begginning of being abused then later as a coping mechanism to disassociate themselves from the abuse from their attacker. During the abuse the victim will learn to pick a spot on the ceiling or wall and focus on it until the abuse was over. After the abuse is over they learn to disassociate the every day person from the person abused. It allows them to seperate the pain of abuse from the everyday life.

3) Minimizing. Abuse victims learn to minimize the abuse. After all if they convince themselves its not abuse then they are not victims...who wants to be a victim. Or if they convince themselves the abuse wasn't all that bad then don't feel the urgency to face it to deal with it.

4) Compartmentalize. Abuse victims learn to comparmentalize things. If they store painful memories in the far reaches of their mind then don't have to live with it constantly. The memories are still there unlike suppressing or repressing memories.

5) Secrecy. Abuse victims learn real early you don't tell. Often a skilled (word used loosely) predator can tell which children will or won't tell. And of course they go after the child they think won't tell. In closer relationships where the abuser is a someone known to the victim they rely on pressure and manipulating the victim into silence. They may say things like be quiet you don't want to people to know you did this or that. They may imply some type of harm will come to the victim and in some cases outright threaten the victim should they tell.

6) Self blaming. This comes in many forms. The abuser themselves while try and convince their victim they "wanted it" or they "enjoyed it". The victim might have a physical reaction to the abuse. They will say well if I felt something if I responded then I must have wanted it in someway. Finally society will project blame....good girls don't do that. For boys straight boys don't do that and so on.

7) Lack of empathy. Not surprising that if you learn to ignore your own abuse then you won't be very aware of other persons pains.

8) Distorted sexuality. Sex becomes something that is based on control not on love and pleasure. The victim sees sex a way to get "secondary gains". If I submit to this then I will be liked, loved or even just left alone. They see sex as unpleasant, as hurtful as being less of significane. In short they take those skills of minimizing, disassociation and apply it to their sexuality. Sex is less about pleasure and more about who is the boss.

Those are just some of the many ways sex abuse impacts its victim.

How does that relate to adultery?

Well first and foremost we know many WSs had low self esteem. They felt unloved, they felt worthless.

We also know that WSs compartmentalize, minimize, disassociate themselves from the fantasy of their affair and their every day life.

And of course all affairs involve a high level of secrecy.

But here is the big key for those WSs that were sexually abused as a child or young teen........these feelings (distorted sexuality and sense of worthlessness), these learned behaviors (compartmentalizing, disassociating and minimizing) were FORCED on them.

The SA victim HAD to learn these behaviors in order to cope with something forced on them against their will. And often forced on them when they were for the most defenseless to deal with the abuser.

I would urge any BS who's spouse was sexually abused to read The Sexual Healing Journey. It covers a ton of stuff on how SA impacts its victims. It also speaks to the partners or loved one of SA victims.

My old computer crased but I hope to get the bookmarks off the old drive. There are ton of posts on Marriage Builders by abuse victims. They talk very candidly about how the abuse controled them for years even though they thought they had a handle on it.

So both WS and BS dealing with SA please keep in mind what happened in the recent past was strongly influenced by your WS's past as a child or young teen. And it was a past that saw things forced on them against their will.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 12:01 PM, March 13th (Wednesday)

^^^^ Thank you so much, caspers1wish!!! That struck a lot of points for me. It hurts reading it because it's bringing up some painful things with one of my abusers, but this is important because it's also indicating what I still need to work on healing.

Want to second the recommendation about "The Sexual Healing Journey". I've been reading it in small bursts (felt overwhelmed and had to stop for a little while) and it's a really good resource.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
ladypersephone
Member
Member # 38638
Default  Posted: 10:15 PM, March 13th (Wednesday)

Wow, Casper, this is exactly what I have been talking about in my therapy for the past 9 months. She has been trying to tell me all of this and I could have used this as a check list!! This is exactly what I am talking about. Low self esteem, dissociation, minimization, etc.. all of it applies.

Durring my recent A, I dissociated each time he approached me. I wanted to scream in my head, but I just couldn't. He must have read it as an invitation rather that a red flag (or am I minimizing again?) In addition, I did sometimes feel like I wasn't more forthright because I was afraid he wouldn't like me or think I was very nice. One way I know I am getting better is that I can't believe I ever thought that way. I really didn't know the warning signs... I didn't know that I had this mode in me. I kept my CSA quite for 15 years. When I finally realized it happened, I was in full flooding PTSD. It was so awful, that is when the A happened too.

Thank you so much for posting this. I want to sit with it a while and let it all sink in. I think I will also take it to my therapist to talk more. I am so grateful for your help


WW (Me) 33 (MH)
BS/RA (him) 36 (MH)

Formerly fiercely in love.
Currently on desolation row...


Posts: 55 | Registered: Mar 2013
sailorgirl
Member
Member # 38162
Default  Posted: 9:42 PM, March 15th (Friday)

Caspers,
Thank you for that quote. I have been reading this thread even though WH's abuse was emotional and physical, not sexual. Every one of those vulnerabilities applies to WH except #8.

I hope it's ok that I post here, even though sexual abuse has it's own specifically horrible effects.

LadyPersephone,
Please know that not all BS's are so wrapped up in their own pain that they can't see another's. Maybe it's because I was so lucky with my FOO that I'm grounded enough in myself to let my heart go out to WS's.
Tonight, WH and I were talking about the emotional abuse he dished out to me during his A. He feels awful to the point of sick about it, but I don't.

I told him that I wouldn't trade places--his burden is far greater. I felt unloved, but he felt unlovable. I knew that being unloved was temporary. WH would snap out of whatever had hold of him, or I would eventually find someone else who would appreciate and love me. Plus, I'm very loved by my children, parents, sisters, friends, etc.

He felt unlovable, and that felt permanent. Sometimes, he still feels that when he faces his past and how he became what he hates the most. At those times, it's like looking into a black hole. And I feel like that would be me if I had been through what he has.

[This message edited by sailorgirl at 9:43 PM, March 15th (Friday)]


Married 14 years, three amazing kids
H had 17 month EA/PA
D-day 1/5/13
Reconcilling

Posts: 787 | Registered: Jan 2013
ladypersephone
Member
Member # 38638
Default  Posted: 7:58 AM, March 17th (Sunday)

Since the article from Casper was so helpful, I found an article about revictimization I thought I might share.

http://www.pandys.org/articles/revictimization.html


WW (Me) 33 (MH)
BS/RA (him) 36 (MH)

Formerly fiercely in love.
Currently on desolation row...


Posts: 55 | Registered: Mar 2013
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 10:59 AM, March 18th (Monday)

silverhopes,

I also find the "Sexual Healing Journey" a great resource but also overwhelming to get through. I think it sometimes takes me so long to get through some of the books, that I'll go back and reread some of the things I've read before, and it's like I'm reading it for the first time, or could be like, "how on earth did I miss this or not remember it the first time??"

sailorgirl,

Of course it's ok for you to post here, secondaries who are supporting a survivor need just as much support for themselves. Keep posting as much as you need.

I understand that distinction between feeling unloved vs. unlovable. I hope your husband can find peace and overcome that false notion that he is unlovable.


ladypersephone,

Thank you for the pandy's article. I am a member over at pandy's and that was actually the first time I've even browsed through their online articles. Revictimization very much applies to me, thanks for posting that link.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
sailorgirl
Member
Member # 38162
Default  Posted: 12:52 PM, March 19th (Tuesday)

I realize that this post might be triggery for people who've been through unhealthy situations surrounding sex. Please feel free to skip it!

I am trying to put myself in WH's shoes so that I can understand him better and appreciate how much progress he's made (child abuse, both parents/older brother).

I can see how he used faulty coping mechanisms: denial, compartmentalization, and turning off empathy. I can imagine how those allowed him to conduct a lot of the affair.

Here's what I'm having trouble with--it doesn't make sense that he had sex with OW.

Background: Our sex life was creative, mutual, intimate, amazing (pre A). He hates infidelity and feels that it is the worst thing you can do to someone you love. He wasn't attracted to OW and did not feel lust or anything sexual for her. She did not seduce him, just made it clear that if he did not have sex with her, he was abandoning her and sending the message that she was undesirable and worthless.

The sex was silent and mechanical, and in WH's words "bad bad bad". Why would he do this repeatedly? Is it possible for a man to disassociate during sex?

For the last year of the A, she would get him back in her bed by threatening to tell me or his boss, and by lots of crying about being all alone and possibly doing something to hurt herself. This is all kinds of messed-up on both sides, right?

I hope someone has some insight for me. WH doesn't know--he says he was "confused". I get that up to the point where he's taking clothes off. How can you be confused at that point? There are two decisions, Adultery or Faithfulness. He had to go against his deeply held morals and his cherished family to do something that he did not on any level want to do. How does that work?

Thank you,
sailorgirl


Married 14 years, three amazing kids
H had 17 month EA/PA
D-day 1/5/13
Reconcilling

Posts: 787 | Registered: Jan 2013
Ascendant
Guide
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 10:31 AM, March 21st (Thursday)

I hope someone has some insight for me. WH doesn't know--he says he was "confused". I get that up to the point where he's taking clothes off. How can you be confused at that point? There are two decisions, Adultery or Faithfulness.

This is me, too...all the way. I can understand poor boundaries, etc., but when you reach ^^^ THIS point, there's zero ambiguity about what's transpiring. None.


Me: 31 Her: 30

Still married.

“The goal is to have more heart than scars."


Posts: 3574 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: North of Chicago, Illinois
sailorgirl
Member
Member # 38162
Default  Posted: 6:26 PM, March 21st (Thursday)

FacePunched,

Thank you for answering. It makes a difference that somebody out there is struggling with this too.

The thing is, WH and I have a great marriage, tons of love for each other and for our kids, but infidelity was a deal breaker for me. So, if it were regular garden variety "I fucked someone else for over a year because I wanted to," I would go for D.

But, WH would not have cheated if it hadn't been for his fucked up FOO. So, I really want to understand how the childhood abuse made the affair possible. WH says that I am totally enough for him in every way--that he didn't want OW and didn't even like her. Ok. Either he's lying (in which case I'm in false R), or I'm way over my head into something I don't understand.

I am learning, and I can grasp way more than on d-day. I'm just failing at sex. Can I believe him that he felt no attraction for her yet still did this because he had reverted to a helpless, manipulated 12 year old boy?

Aren't I infantilizing him if I believe that he wasn't able to say "No"? Or even that it was really hard for him to say no? Also, he's the guy--am I being sexist or is it hard for a guy to have sex against his will (especially since OW just lay there).

With all my heart I want to continue in R. WH was my best friend and I only love him more when I see how vulnerable and open he's being to me, and how hard he's working to fix his damage.

But I'm . Was he denying what was happening while he was putting his penis into her? Like the thrusting was beyond his control? Sigh. I'm actually not angry. Hope the post doesn't sound angry. I'm just feeling baffled and defeated.

I see that it is unfair of me to ask for a survivor of abuse to help me understand this. It's just too much.

FacePunched, if I gain any insights, I won't hesitate to let you know.

sailorgirl


Married 14 years, three amazing kids
H had 17 month EA/PA
D-day 1/5/13
Reconcilling

Posts: 787 | Registered: Jan 2013
Ascendant
Guide
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 7:06 PM, March 21st (Thursday)

Aren't I infantilizing him if I believe that he wasn't able to say "No"? Or even that it was really hard for him to say no? Also, he's the guy--am I being sexist or is it hard for a guy to have sex against his will (especially since OW just lay there).

It's possible...but it involves popsicle sticks and rubber bands...and is fun for NOBODY.

With all my heart I want to continue in R. WH was my best friend and I only love him more when I see how vulnerable and open he's being to me, and how hard he's working to fix his damage.

Me too...I find I get the most angry and triggery when my WW seems normal...it's like,"Ohh, she's normal...JUST LIKE SHE WAS EVERY DAY DURING THE A!!! WHORE!" But when we are chatting, and she just breaks down and starts apologizing profusely and whatnot, it's much harder for me to be angry, or to hold onto the anger.

But I'm . Was he denying what was happening while he was putting his penis into her? Like the thrusting was beyond his control? Sigh. I'm actually not angry. Hope the post doesn't sound angry. I'm just feeling baffled and defeated.

Again, this right here, is me. I think what's the hardest part for us to get, comprehend, and process is that the shitty boundaries from CSA enable shitty boundaries, which let people get close who shouldn't have ever been so close...but the unfortunate truth is probably that they had sex with them because they really, really wanted to.


Me: 31 Her: 30

Still married.

“The goal is to have more heart than scars."


Posts: 3574 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: North of Chicago, Illinois
sailorgirl
Member
Member # 38162
Default  Posted: 8:28 AM, March 22nd (Friday)

It's possible...but it involves popsicle sticks and rubber bands...and is fun for NOBODY.

Hard to make me laugh in the midst of this, but you managed .

I think what's the hardest part for us to get, comprehend, and process is that the shitty boundaries from CSA enable shitty boundaries, which let people get close who shouldn't have ever been so close...but the unfortunate truth is probably that they had sex with them because they really, really wanted to.

I hear you. The thing is, that I believe WH when he says he did not desire OW and did not want to have sex with her . . . my gut tells me this is true.

WH did want to make OW's demands stop. He couldn't stand to witness her pain any longer, and he did very much want her to stop crying. OW made it clear: If WH did not follow through with sex, he was a liar who did not care about her, and she was worthless, hated, discarded. In order for her to feel anything but despair, he had to have sex with her--nothing else would work.

A healthy person with boundaries would have of course called bullshit on OW. Go fix your own fricking self, OW! I didn't cause your brokenness, I can't change it and sex will absofuckinglutely not cure it.

But WH's boundaries sucked and he stopped thinking for himself and let OW call the shots. He tells me that the only thing in his head was "rescue hurting helpless victim OW". Nothing about me. Nothing about our marriage. There actually is no ambiguity. The BS doesn't exist in any real way, the marriage is compartmentalized, and the WS isn't in the driver's seat. The AP wants sex, so sex it is.

Ouch.

[This message edited by sailorgirl at 10:49 AM, March 22nd (Friday)]


Married 14 years, three amazing kids
H had 17 month EA/PA
D-day 1/5/13
Reconcilling

Posts: 787 | Registered: Jan 2013
Lulu38
Member
Member # 37570
Default  Posted: 11:44 AM, March 26th (Tuesday)

First post here. Super nervous as only my BH & IC knows about my past Sab. Abuse was by boyfriend when I was 18, my mother died maybe a month or two before I got involved with him. My Dad was in and out and I didn't tell him. Everything was great with this new guy and I moved in with him after dating for 2-4 weeks. We only dated 6-8 months, but the abuse was physical, mental and sexual. It took an a$$ kicking to get out, but some how I did.

I have successfully compartmentalized the whole relationship for nearly 15 years. Never giving it any thought.

As relationship with BH and I started getting rocky, particularly regarding sex, I would start triggering (although I didn't know it at the time). When I felt pressure from H for sex, my anxiety would spike and I would do it to keep the peace but sometimes mentally check out. At times I felt so used.

Post A, BH has made it clear that he requires physical intimacy for R. It is his love language and how he feels loved. We have had arguements, which makes me feel like withdrawing more. I want to want to be with him sexually, but now it feels like so much pressure. A couple times I was crying about guilt or just feeling terrible about my choice to have an A, he would be raising his voice and yelling at me that his needs are not being met. Ever since those arguements, I have been constantly triggering when sex is brought up. He will usually try to confirm that we will be having sex later that evening and my anxiety shoots through the roof.

My IC is helping me start to put the pieces together. It never occured to me the effect the SAB has had on all of my life. Ever since the SAB box has been opened, it seems like all my anxieties about sex have been amplified.

I guess the biggest problem is how to I help my BH in R, and meet his needs, and not feel dirty and used? I have been honest with him about how I feel, and he asks how is he supposed to deal with his feelings. He feels like his needs have to be pushed aside and he can't even bring up sex. I just answer with I don't know, because I don't know what to say to him. I'm so lost.

[This message edited by Lulu38 at 11:48 AM, March 26th (Tuesday)]


Me: WW
Him: BH
DD: 7
DS:3
Married: 9.5 Years
1st DDay: 9/17/12 Admitted to EA
2nd DDay: 10/18/12 Admitted to PA with coworker

Posts: 64 | Registered: Nov 2012
Trusttrusttrust
Member
Member # 37694
Default  Posted: 8:11 AM, March 28th (Thursday)

I am seeing an EMDR therapist today. Has anyone done this? I would love to hear your experience. I am looking forward to this. I am going for the sexual child abuse and the cheating.


Married 31 years
D-Day Sept 3, 2012
I thought we were in R. Now I am not sure.
Second D-Day August 5' 2013
No kids

Posts: 99 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Virginia
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 7:48 AM, April 9th (Tuesday)

I know this is a slow response area, so I may never get a response to my question. But I fear if I post it in general it will be misunderstood.

My fWH has really dug deep and discovered a lot of his whys, is working with an IC, reading, exploring his long term CSA. We all believe that his LTA was a symptom of his issues and not the cause. I am fairly comfortable with where he's at and truly feel that he is in a different place, feels "reborn" and do not fear that he will cheat on me any time soon.

The issues I am struggling with right now is how the LTA started. We were not in a bad place in our marriage. We had been getting along as well as ever (which was quite good usually). We traveled, went on dates, had passionate sex, did things together. He had built a new business and was under a lot of stress, but stress was not new to us. We had teenagers and our son was giving us a modest amount of grief. I had gone back to work full time and was in partnership negotiations to help support his drop in income. We were very supportive of each other.

He had the habit of going out for drinks with people from work, which he knew I didn't love and tended to hide it or diminish it. He had one employee who had been with him during the transition who was going through some tough times and he started mentoring her. He was not particularly attracted to her, certainly didn't love or respect her, didn't even like her alot. Yet when it became clear that she was available he just....went for it. He says that he doesn't even remember really trying to resist. He says there was really no thought process involved. He says repeatedly that it didn't mean anything and he really didn't feel anything. No love, no passion, not even real excitement. He said that it was a different part of him and he felt like a different person. In fact it fairly quickly became toxic and he ended up stuck in a compulsive, toxic, threatening situation for years.

So I guess what I have learned about CSA I can understand about dissociation, compartmentalization and compulsiveness. I also have told him that he has to own the choices he made--he agreed to go over to her place, he drove over there, he did the deed and he does own it. But I can't understand the piece about a loving husband just basically falling into something like this, without agonizing over it, without considering what he was doing. Other As that are filled with passion and people who are in love and can't help themselves (in their twisted minds) are one thing. But just this?

I asked him this am if she was the first one who seemed available to him and that was why her. Granted he is handsome and powerful and numerous women have told me that have had crushes on him but most decent people don't make themselves available. He said he can't be sure because he wasn't looking for anyone. He feels this was a particularly vulnerable time but can't say exactly why. His parents had recently died, he was facing middle age, but is not sure if this played a role.

He calls it a perfect storm, but I still struggle with the "what the hell, might as well sleep with this unimportant person repeatedly with no joy involved" attitude.

Is this particular to CSA survivors? Any thought?

Thanks for reading my long post, if anyone does!

[This message edited by catlover50 at 7:54 AM, April 9th (Tuesday)]



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1951 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
Lulu38
Member
Member # 37570
Default  Posted: 10:40 AM, April 9th (Tuesday)

Catlover,
Maybe this will help, maybe not. Wanted you to know you were heard.
I am fWW, and abuse survivor. I did not have LTA, but can relate. I would like to respond to some of your points...

Our marriage was not in a good place. Actually it was crap. Is it possible he was not in a good place in your marriage? I know I am a conflict avoider and wasn't open at all to sharing a lot of my feelings with BH.

I think one can understand in theory about dissociation, compartmentalization and compulsiveness. But not truly. As a WS can't not truly understand what a BS goes through.

I think she could have been anyone that was available to give him what he needed at that time. He was getting something out of it. That's what he's got to figure out. What was he getting at the time? For me, he was validating my worthlessness, and that I was good for only sex.

I would bet that his parents dying did play a role. Depending on their role or lack of in his CSA, it probably brought back (or triggered him) back to his childhood feelings of worthless, only good for sex or however he felt.

I wish this thread had more activity. I know I value everyone's thoughts as I'm struggling with this stuff too. Good luck


Me: WW
Him: BH
DD: 7
DS:3
Married: 9.5 Years
1st DDay: 9/17/12 Admitted to EA
2nd DDay: 10/18/12 Admitted to PA with coworker

Posts: 64 | Registered: Nov 2012
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 1:43 PM, April 9th (Tuesday)

Thanks Lulu.

I also suspect his mother dying may have played a role. He remembers thinking that his mother knew about the CSA (it was by her then boyfriend) and looked the other way. He never shared his history with anyone before he told me last fall; had just pushed it down.

From my perspective our M was in a good place, and he remembers it that way as well. If there were issues he was avoiding, escaping, it did not appear to be the M. He did have the weight of transferring the entire staff to his new, financially risky business and carrying everyone's expectations, all the while not talking to me about his fears, because he didn't like to appear weak and also to spare me the worry.

The OW did need him for mentoring; she was very needy as she was going out on her own in practice. He liked being needed in that way. One theory is that he may have been "paying" for her attention with sex, which can be a CSA coping mechanism. But even those professional needs of hers became strangling, yet with his conflict avoidance he was unable to break free.

He tells me that the sex was mechanical and he was not thinking or feeling during it. He actually felt like a "whore" in his words, since she was threatening to tell me if he tried to break if off. He would go to see her every few weeks to months for the last few years, and feel very bad about the whole thing, but then was able to compartmentalize and be normal at home.

And he was normal at home. The whole time. He always was selfish and had a tendency to withdraw, but was loving, complimentary, etc. Also, there was not much overt lying since the rendevous occured around late night emergency calls and were relatively infrequent.

It is very complex and confusing. I am trying to be as supportive as possible, but of course I am very hurt.

He says, and I believe him, that he never truly thought about what he was risking with his behavior. That he risked everything for something that was so meaningless, and in fact unpleasant for the most part. But that, I guess, is part of the pathology.

Thanks, again, for listening.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1951 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
cantaccept
Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 5:33 PM, April 11th (Thursday)

I am a BS/SAS, I just never saw the connection to the pain before, the acceptance of the verbal abuse, the ability to put away the bad and only focus on the good. I thought it was all in the past.

When I met my husband, he was the first person to make me feel special, valuable, cherished. For the first time in my life I enjoyed sex, did not feel dirty. He treated me like I was worthy. Then the verbal assaults, I always excused them forgave, made excuses.

Now, with the affair, I am tortured. He left me for 2 months and I had to know he was with her and that I was disposable.

We are in therapy, but I still feel so crushed. Is it worse because of my past? Is that why I feel so replacable? I still cry every day, have anxiety attacks. I am still losing weight, 50lbs so far.

I thought I was done with the abuse in my life and now I see I have just chosen not to see it.


"So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key"

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013
wh deleted
I attempted R, he was a lie

Divorced!


Posts: 2057 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
sailorgirl
Member
Member # 38162
Default  Posted: 9:00 PM, April 11th (Thursday)

catlover,

I'm not an abuse survivor, but I have noticed the parallels between our situations. I don't know whether you read my posts on this thread . . . I am also struggling with how WH would have sex with OW since he wasn't attracted to her, and didn't desire her.

I think part of WH's motivation was the OW was emotionally manipulating him (subtly at first and directly later). WH let her breach his boundaries, and allowed her to make him feel obligated to make her happy. WH does not have codependent traits in his relationship with me, so it was really hard for me to imagine him acting this way, but he did.

Some things I know about the beginning: OW went above and beyond to help WH at work, and then later leaned on him to feel indebted towards her. Then, she very slowly solicited compliments from WH by putting herself down. Classic, "Does this dress make me look fat?" stuff.

Her next tactic was playing the victim. She would say how alone she felt and how her alcoholic father abandoned her. WH would feel bad because he had a similar FOO and try to help. She also made him feel guilty for having so much--lots of friends, children, busy full life--while she was hurting and her fiancee had left her.

She also started making small comments about how I probably did not understand him, or how I was too controlling. She would say, "You and your wife must have grown apart." He would just agree because it was what she wanted to hear.

To get him to start the PA, she let him know that he needed to back up his compliments with actions. If he really found her desirable, then he would want to kiss her. Otherwise, he had been lying to her and he had hurt her terribly.

WH did not recognize this manipulation for what it was. He thought she was a real friend He also thought he was in control of the situation when clearly he was going against his core values because she wanted him too. He does remember feeling agitated and uncomfortable, which should have been a sign to him that something was wrong. But, he was conditioned by his childhood to deny negative feelings and his boundaries sucked.

An article by Mary Treffert about manipulation has been helpful.

How do we manage manipulation? By becoming more aware of our interaction with others.

- Is the interaction an attempt to communicate or does it feel like a contest?
- Are you beginning to feel anxious or irritated?
- Do you want to get out of the conversation?
- Does the interaction fit into a manipulative style?
- Is there an attempt to use power, service, guilt, or weakness to get your cooperation?
- Are you a willing participant in your own manipulation?
- Is it easier not taking responsibility?
- Are you attempting to manipulate others instead of setting clear boundaries?
- Are you making a distinction between a value and a preference?
Preferences can be negotiated, but values should not.

Hope something there resonates with you. Your posts have been so full of hope and inspiration for me.

sailorgirl


Married 14 years, three amazing kids
H had 17 month EA/PA
D-day 1/5/13
Reconcilling

Posts: 787 | Registered: Jan 2013
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 6:44 PM, April 12th (Friday)

Thanks sailorgirl.

Yes, OW was definitely manipulative, even to the point that he feared she would kill herself. My H has now become distrustful of others motives, which can actually be healthy, since he is in a position of power at work.

We had a really powerful talk Wed. night after his IC. He apologized, again, for his actions and hurting me so badly and then talked about all the changes he feels in himself and that he is confident they are lasting. He told me that there has never been a woman in his life to compare to me in any way. He asked what more he could do to help me heal. I told him that fidelity alone was not enough and that I needed this new man to remain; I would no longer " settle". He said that he expected nothing less.

I realize that I have had on average only 75% of him over the years, due to his attachment disorders, etc. The OW got about 5% of the dark part he kept from me. No loss! But now I have close to 100% and it feels amazing to both of us. He no longer has an " empty place" inside to fill, no depression, feels like home is a refuge, etc.

I can begin to see acceptance, if not quite forgiveness.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1951 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
courageous
Member
Member # 34477
Default  Posted: 9:29 PM, April 12th (Friday)

Caspers1wish-- I have a question about something you said:

Sometimes, being the aggressor, in our minds, offsets being the victim. In order to not be victimized, we pursue, but, deep down, I knew that I was then just victimizing myself. It was still recreating negative emotional aspects of the abuse that survivors replay quite a bit.

Can you please explain this? I'm not sure if I really belong to this group but that behavior sounds a lot like me and I would really love to figure out why I do it.

Background:
My exwh for most of our marriage would initiate sex and he wouldn't take no for an answer. He pushed and pushed until I would finally consent. It got to the point where I would try to not have any sexual kind of contact with him because I didn't want him to get in the mood for sex. When he pushed me into sex he didn't care that he was hurting me or that it was very painful.

I actually didn't act like the behavior you mentioned during my marriage because I tried to stay as far away from anything sexual with exwh because of his aggressiveness.

But that's not when my "behavior" you mentioned started...it started in middle school and has continued even to today. I don't know if it would count as molestation but in middle school a guy use to tickle me and grope me at the same time. Because I was super ticklish and would laugh none of the teachers standing nearby did anything about it. It lasted for a while I have forgotten how long. Needless to say I hate being tickled since then.


Me: BW (35)
Him: ExWH (31) EA/PA with MOW coworker
Married 9 years, 2 small kids
dday 3/12/2011 divorced fall 2012
Exwh married his AP

My ipad does a lot of crazy typos.


Posts: 755 | Registered: Jan 2012
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 12:04 PM, April 15th (Monday)

RA Dickey was on 60 minutes last night and he talked about his CSA and also his infidelity. My fWH was watching in the kitchen and called up to me to turn it on. Afterwards he came up and had tears in his eyes. He seemed to feel better to hear someone else's story. He said it may make it easier for him to talk about it with our adult kids, for example.

I thought it was so great for RA to do that; I wish more men could speak up. It would help end the shame that so many survivors feel.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1951 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
Hurt for 33
New Member
Member # 25477
Default  Posted: 5:04 PM, April 18th (Thursday)

catlover50

Thank you so much for the information about RA Dickey. I went to the site and found out that 1 in 6 men are sexually abused as children. I gave my husband the site 1in6.com and we are talking again!

[This message edited by Hurt for 33 at 5:05 PM, April 18th (Thursday)]


Me-52, BW
Him-57,WH
D-day 3AUG09
EA
Trying to R
Kids 2 grandchild 1
Married 33 yrs.

Posts: 11 | Registered: Sep 2009
Ladyogilvy
Member
Member # 31558
Default  Posted: 10:39 AM, April 23rd (Tuesday)

This is an amazing thread! Starting with families in which the abuser got away with victimizing multiple children with in a family over generations. I've met plenty of victims but never heard other stories that resembled mine.

I just wanted to add to the current discussion regarding having sex without it meaning anything. The result of my CSA was taking the meaning out of sex. Sex became just another thing you did because I was supposed to. It became no more meaningful or memorable than having eating something unhealthy. It was there, I ate it and now I feel a little gross but no big deal. Sex really only became progressively more meaningful to me over the years of being committed to one person.

Unfortunately, that one person ended up being unfaithful to me and piled so many lies so much abuse on top of the affair that I still have PTSD two years later. My WH had his own issues. An abusive mother, father died of a heroin overdose when he was on 8yo. By the time he was 14, he was already an alcoholic. When you look at it, it's amazing it took so long for him to blow himself up and a miracle he's been so high functioning before and after blowing himself up. He did get progressively worse over the years but slowly. I was like the frog in the pot of water that slowly came to a boil without my knowing it.

My WH is still emotionally retarded. I don't even mean that in an insulting way. It just is what it is. Between that and the PTSD he caused in me, things are still pretty challenging. I know one of the reasons I married him to begin with is I thought he was so normal and healthy and would protect me from all the crazy sh!t in the world. I didn't learn how crazy his childhood had been until long after we'd married. I didn't know he was an alcoholic and was already a secret drinker when we married. In hind sight, it all should have been obvious.


Me: BW a youthful 49
Him: alcoholic, sober now, WH 56
Married 19 years
Two sons, 16 & 17 years old
DD? He's still keeping secrets and only admits to what I have indisputable
evidence of... the $2000 earrings he bought her for x-mas.

Posts: 1553 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: California
Hurt for 33
New Member
Member # 25477
Default  Posted: 5:04 PM, April 23rd (Tuesday)

(((Ladyogilvy))))

In hind sight, it all should have been obvious. Don't be so hard on yourself! I grew up in a loving family, but could not see that my husband had not. We were married 25 years before it finally came out. That was even after we taught a seminar on marriage about the difference in couples.
He was trying so hard not to be the victim, that he was even hiding some of it from himself.


Me-52, BW
Him-57,WH
D-day 3AUG09
EA
Trying to R
Kids 2 grandchild 1
Married 33 yrs.

Posts: 11 | Registered: Sep 2009
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 5:27 AM, April 24th (Wednesday)

Hiding from themselves seems par for the course. It's a coping mechanism that helps them survive. I'm also amazed at how well my fWH did for years. I'm not sure how he got through the middle years of our marriage without straying! But he got hit with a perfect storm 6 years ago.

I'm glad it's finally come out because now he has a chance to be truly happy, and I have a chance at a complete connection.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1951 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 10:25 AM, April 24th (Wednesday)

@ courageous,

For me, I compulsively would recreate/reenact the abuse. Being victimized my entire childhood, I had no idea how to just be when someone wasn't using and abusing me, it was so foreign, and I was so full of rage, mostly at myself.

Living without the chaos was strange. I created chaos. I purposely put myself into chaotic and damaging situations. Each time I told myself, this time will be different, it will stop when I say it will stop, I'm in control. It is that false sense of self control that I was talking about, that I thought I could achieve by being the aggressor, being in charge, making choices in the belief that I would change an outcome from my past and somehow make it all right in my mind.

But cheating is so extremely self destructive. On the one hand, I wanted to self destruct and self harm, on the other hand, I was really, really lost. Hurting myself repeatedly, I knew I wasn't in control of the situation, that I would freeze up, and not only would I re-experience the physical aspects of the abuse, but also the emotional aspects that would cycle, immense shame, guilt, anger, rage, self-hate. I was trying to reinforce and support the negative rhetoric and internal messages that I was bad and unworthy.

@ Ladyogilvy,

The result of my CSA was taking the meaning out of sex. Sex became just another thing you did because I was supposed to. It became no more meaningful or memorable than having eating something unhealthy. It was there, I ate it and now I feel a little gross but no big deal. Sex really only became progressively more meaningful to me over the years of being committed to one person.

That really describes my view of sex now. It means diddly, and honestly, because it's a constant reminder of all the sex I've had since the age of 3. When I really think about that, I just want to burst into tears. So instead, I try not to place any significance or value to sex. And I feel a bit gross after each time. And that is such a struggle currently, and never was before. Because now I know, it's supposed to mean something with my husband, it means something to him, and I want it to mean something, too, but now that I'm trying to make it meaningful, instead of just feeling great after sex like before when sex was no big deal, I feel like I indulged in something that was bad for me. WTH? I feel like I'm going backwards.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
Jeyana
Member
Member # 38464
Default  Posted: 8:36 PM, April 24th (Wednesday)

I'm tough..ya, cause I said so...sighhh. I grew up with many abusers, abuse of many kinds. Became a ward of the state at 11yrs old being taken away from my mother. Grew up in a group home, had a lot of counceling, when I wasn't being a runaway. I have survived! Never became a drug addict or alcoholic somehow. I have healed from things I thought impossible. Cause Im tough I say! But...something happened....My exfiance rocked my world with infidelity, betrayal, I threw him out, I was in despair. Utter despair. And then this man, sensing my terrible anguish, reached out, told me all the things I wanted to hear. Exfiance is an idiot for doing that! You are gorgeous, how could he? You are the most amazing person I've ever met..and so on. Perhaps if I wasn't blinded by the grief of loosing my future wedding, my step daughter, my bestfriend, my reality, I would have seen what was realy happening. But dammit im tough! I don't fall victim to predators! Im a strong woman and would kick any mans ass that tried to hurt me, touch painfully, attempt to tear me down psychologically. Right? But here I am, posting in a room that I don't want to really be in. Betrayed by my exfiance, then raped by a "friend". How easily I slipped into that role, the abuse, to the point that I didn't even know who I was anymore, or maybe even know now. Blindly listening to him tell me ther was something wrong with me, and that I was a horrible person if I didn't do this, or do that. I was a puppet. He even said he understood why my exfiance cheated. And I believed it! But damn it im tough! or..i was tough...I feel very small now. Ive lost that confidence that Im tough and in control. I cant believe im posting this. It has been almost 4 months since that abuse ended. 3 sessions with a councelor at a womens resource center, cause thats all I need, cause we all know im tough. (In denial) I know im stuffing it down. Im aware of it when I check the doors at night for the 8th time. When I hide from silver suv's. when I jump when people say my name..even quietly and when I know they are there.

Posts: 121 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: oregon
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 1:31 PM, April 26th (Friday)

(((((Jeyana)))))

So sorry hon. Hang in there!



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1951 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 8:01 PM, April 28th (Sunday)

So my fWH made what I consider an insightful comment today. He was talking about how needy and insecure the OW was and I asked how he could like that in a person. And he said that the person he felt he truly was, the person I knew, doesn't like that sort of person ( I am independent and self confident). But the "other" part of him, what I call the dark part of him that he hid from me, had his own insecurities that recognized hers and felt a sort of kinship. I have heard this called neuroses meeting each other.

After a time her issues became impossible to ignore and the relationship became increasingly toxic. He's always said that it was toxic and that they were both sick.

Doesn't sound very appealing! But I thought it was cool that he had that much insight.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1951 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
courageous
Member
Member # 34477
Default  Posted: 7:34 PM, April 29th (Monday)

I would put myself in dangerous situations like meeting a guy from the Internet or leaving a restaurant with a guy I just met knowing full well how dangerous it was but not caring what would happen to me and feeling I deserved anything and everything that came to me.

I have lost all value in myself and when I was treated well by a guy I would freak out because it was so out of the normal for me.

I always need to be in control in the relationship and have used sex as a tool to find love. I always need to know what a person wants from me.

Sorry for rambling.


Me: BW (35)
Him: ExWH (31) EA/PA with MOW coworker
Married 9 years, 2 small kids
dday 3/12/2011 divorced fall 2012
Exwh married his AP

My ipad does a lot of crazy typos.


Posts: 755 | Registered: Jan 2012
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 9:27 AM, April 30th (Tuesday)

Hello Everyone,

Some of you probably know me from the other forums. I am finally posting here as our saga (as I keep referring to it) is very relevant to this forum.

I am also posting here because my WW has abruptly refused to continue therapy to confront her issues.

I will try to be as concise as possible. I hope for some insights. Thanks in advance.

My wife was repeatedly sexually abused by her step-grandfather when she around 15/16 years old. She coped with the trauma for many years by, in her words, "splitting"--living two selves, one a child and one an adult. (Or at least this was one manifestation of the splitting.).

In subsequent years she was never alone without a man. But she went from boyfriend to boyfriend, each one unable to meet the needs of both the adult and the little damaged girl.

Finally she met me and we married and had two children. We were happy. But looking back, we had a "daddy/child" dynamic in most ways. Everyday interactions, but especially sexually, to the point where she lapsed into little girl voice and behavior when we had sex. I went along with it willingly, but to me it was only role playing. I realize now that for her it went much deeper. I WAS the daddy who she felt safe with but it was unhealthily intwined with sex.

Then around two years ago I made the mistake of my life, one that will haunt me for the rest of my life. In a time of stress from kids and work and subsequent detaching from each other, in an attempt to spice up our sex life (which was good, but a little worn from the years), I urged her to have some sexual experiences with men and tell me about it. This excited us both and she agreed. NOTE: had she said no, I would have dropped it immediately. But my wife has always had boundary issues and an inability to say say no to those she loved and who loved her.

Her other deep issue is a terrible fear of abandonment.

The "rule" was that these experiences must only be with those whom she would never see again, lest she become emotionally involved them.

What happened was predictable in hindsight. She started a sexual relationship with a coworker and began a deep emotional affair that has lasted for two years, which has been two years of hell for me and for her.

We are on the brink of divorce. She is unable to detach from him, and she has detached from me. The revelation she has come to is this: she has reenacted the trauma from her childhood abuse. She has "split" her worlds. She has attached to this man as an adult but remains attached to me as her daddy. However, I have become not the daddy who is safe, but the daddy who has betrayed her sexually. Her splitting, her compartmentalization, has been dramatic to see. She would go to him (unbeknownst to me) and come home to me and our family with no discernible personality difference or disruption to our lives. Family trips, loving moments, great sex life. Her affair came as an utter shock.

She understands what has happened to her and wants to be with me but, as she says, she just "Cannot come back to me emotionally, with trust and safety." Nor can she leave this man.

She has tried to break off contact with this man but is unable to. She does not trust herself not to abruptly leave me for good and run to him as her "savior," away from the daddy who sexually betrayed her.

As for myself, I simply cannot continue with HER betrayals, even as I understand her terrible trauma and how it has manifested, as well as my role in it. She continues to blame me for the whole thing and is terribly angry with me.

I would prefer to save our marriage.

She is in agony over being abandoned by this man (even though she has been the one trying to end it) while at the same time begs me not to divorce, her fear of abandonment just as strong with me.

There is more, but that is the basic narrative. Is there any best path out of this? Can she recover and begin a new healthy relationship with me? Can this be undone?

Any insights/thoughts/advice is greatly appreciated.


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1787 | Registered: Dec 2012
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 12:32 PM, April 30th (Tuesday)

Sorry, abbondad; that is tough. I would think that heavy duty counseling is in order all around. Dealing with sexual abuse can take years of therapy, and with what she is dealing with now, even more.

Did you know about her abuse history when you suggested that she sleep with other men?

Would she ultimately be happier with her AP? Is that even a possibility?

I feel for you, but I also feel for your wife.

Therapy, therapy, therapy.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1951 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 1:13 PM, April 30th (Tuesday)

Thank you, Catlover.

Yes I did know her history when I asked her. But it did not even cross my mind that this would stir up any of it or be relevant in any way. I was uneducated about the psychology of adult survivors of CSA. And she agreed and assured me she had no problem with it and indeed was enthusiastic. As I have said it is the mistake (for want of a better word) of my life. And this is why I have stuck out her infidelity for so long--because of my part in it. It's so hard to absolve myself of some responsibility and just throw her out as most have suggested (meaning well and coming from a place of caring).

Yes it is possible that she would be happier with the other man. Possibly. And of course that adds an extra layer to my pain.

I am trying to persuade her to return to therapy.


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1787 | Registered: Dec 2012
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 2:04 PM, April 30th (Tuesday)

Best of luck to you both. This is really heavy shit.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1951 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
64fleet
Member
Member # 18710
Default  Posted: 2:18 PM, May 2nd (Thursday)

Since dday I have found out my fWW was sexually abused as a child. She had told me of once her uncle put his hand under her towel as a teen-now I find out he molested her from about age 6 or so until about 11 maybe.
Do other abused women ask if their husband has tried anything with say, their young nieces, etc? This creeps me out that she did this. I'm no pedophile.


time wounds all heels

Posts: 5408 | Registered: Mar 2008 | From: deliverance land
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 9:37 AM, May 3rd (Friday)

Do other abused women ask if their husband has tried anything with say, their young nieces, etc? This creeps me out that she did this. I'm no pedophile.

The abuse shattered my ability to trust any man, especially when my abuser was my dad, the one man who should protect me from all others. I also experienced sexual abuse from my older brother and my sister's boyfriend. When a child is hurt by the adults in their life that are supposed to shield them from harm, love them and look out for them, you are going to grow up thinking anyone is capable of it.

I have 3 girls under the age of 10, when my oldest was young, I worried a lot. That I was letting my husband be alone with her too much, maybe he shouldn't be bathing her, or tucking her in at night, all the times I was abused and opportunities my dad had, came rushing back at me in those early years of new motherhood. I would ask my husband if he would ever abuse our kids. And I felt horrible for remaining suspicious even if he would assure me he'd never do that. My dad lied to my mother, and she stupidly believed him, and loved him. The thought that the man I desperately loved would hurt my kids, I finally felt what it must have felt like for my mom all those years. That conflict and wanting to be in denial about it. I didn't want to think such a thing would be possible, what would I do? Did I really want to be my mother?

I was terrified the first time my daughter had a blood in her underwear due to the itching and pain of UTI as a toddler, and with girls, it's so very common. I was humiliated in the doctor's office when they assured me there were no signs of sexual abuse, protocol for them to say, but I was terrified it might be true, terrified I was giving off some sex abuse vibe, terrified of just being confronted with those words.

I couldn't help being accusatory, in a panic, and scared. My husband was patient and calm and reassuring. He admitted that because of my past, he is overly aware of how he cares for our girls. Overly conscious about things he didn't think he'd ever have to think or worry about if he were with someone who was not a survivor. His understanding that he knew where my fears and worries came from, really has helped me see that no, not all dads abuse their daughters, not all men are bad, there are those who are willing and do earn your trust.

For me, no man, or woman, is trusted around my children, especially alone, unless they have first come under the "microscope" so to speak. I don't blindly trust, especially in the case of "family" after learning early on that family tends to be the most untrustworthy, and those few who I do trust the most, like my in-laws or very good friends, they know of my past.

Sex abusers do not go about advertising their crimes. They operate in utmost secrecy. I think it's a way to test someone, see how they react, gauge a reaction, a litmus test for survivors to question those closest to us. We simply can't just trust without trying to verify first.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
64fleet
Member
Member # 18710
Default  Posted: 12:53 PM, May 3rd (Friday)

thanks, caspers. I am rarely alone with my daughter, and I don't go into her room. It saddens me that I have to stay clear of her for fear of accusation.


time wounds all heels

Posts: 5408 | Registered: Mar 2008 | From: deliverance land
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 7:48 PM, May 3rd (Friday)

I think that is sad, too actually. I had triggers and suspicions to deal with in the beginning. He had his own set of fears, too. Sharing them with each other, talking it out, we were able to work through it so that he could be as much a part of his children's lives as any other father, that there was no need to distance himself, that he's capable of healthy love for his daughters and is free to show it.

Being with a survivor does not mean you deny yourself a close relationship with your daughter. Do not let your wife's abuser rob you of the father you can be and the one your own daughter needs.

Hugs to you.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
courageous
Member
Member # 34477
Default  Posted: 11:03 PM, May 5th (Sunday)

Something very disturbing happened yesterday and I don't really know what to think of it....

I was making out with my SO yesterday and 2 thoughts kept repeating over and over again in my mind. 1. this is THE man I love and want to marry and 2. I wanted him to rape me.

Little background: my exwh forced me to have sex with him for more than 6 years of our marriage. He didn't take no for an answer. It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago I realized that what he did was considered rape.

I don't know if I was thinking that thought because of that's how it was with my exwh but it really disturbed me. I'm not in IC and have never been. I guess this just goes to show how badly I need it.

I told SO about my thought and now he wants to talk about it. Plus since he knows of my past abuse he is probably going to not want to be intimate with me until this is figured out.

Does anyone have any suggestions/ ideas of what's going on with me?


Me: BW (35)
Him: ExWH (31) EA/PA with MOW coworker
Married 9 years, 2 small kids
dday 3/12/2011 divorced fall 2012
Exwh married his AP

My ipad does a lot of crazy typos.


Posts: 755 | Registered: Jan 2012
64fleet
Member
Member # 18710
Default  Posted: 3:12 PM, May 6th (Monday)

Being with a survivor does not mean you deny yourself a close relationship with your daughter

That's kinda hard-she also asked my daughter if I had tried to molest her.

Evidently I'm guilty until proven otherwise.


time wounds all heels

Posts: 5408 | Registered: Mar 2008 | From: deliverance land
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 8:42 PM, May 25th (Saturday)

I just saw this thread and read it with interest. I don't expect a quick reply...but I suppose there must be online communities for CSA survivors. Does anyone recommend one?

So much of my fucked-up-ness comes from being molested as a little girl. Luckily, I guess, I suppressed the memory from about age 7-18. Then it all came flooding back, and I remember the tactile feelings, the smells, everything like it was yesterday. Now I have a 6-year-old daughter, and the thought of her being forced to fondle a man's genitals makes me so sick and sad. I won't admit, even anonymously, what I'd like to do to that fucker.

The abuse stopped because, somehow, God reached down and gave me the idea to say "No more" when I was about 7 years old. POS must've been afraid of me, because he never touched me again.

Pretty sure other parts of my brain shut off that day and never woke up. Like, the parts that feel guilt and regret. That's why I've (sort of jokingly) labeled myself as a sociopath. A lot of the characteristics fit.

I worked up the guts to tell my mom about a year ago, and she completely shut down, as if she hadn't heard me. The pedophile POS was my parents' employee and, I'm sure they thought, friend.

My damage isn't a justification for an A, but it helps to know that others have gone through the same thing.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
Former motto: "Fake it till ya make it." Now: "You can't win if you don't play."

Posts: 1438 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 10:04 PM, May 25th (Saturday)

Pretty sure other parts of my brain shut off that day and never woke up. Like, the parts that feel guilt and regret. That's why I've (sort of jokingly) labeled myself as a sociopath. A lot of the characteristics fit.

I think a person needs to be very careful with self-diagnosis like sociopath. It is very common for survivors to have difficulty regulating emotions, and to "control" the emotions we shut them down so as not to deal and hurt and struggle with them in the first place. It's not always conscious. I think it takes conscious effort to face and address our feelings - not necessarily even feelings associated with the abuse, but feelings in general.

That must have really hurt when your mother shut down. It's not right. Please don't take on her response - I know that such a response is so painful and can even further the trauma by minimizing it, and it can feel like a person who should protect you isn't safe to tell. That's so hard.

Is anyone else reading "The Sexual Healing Journey"? How is it going for you?


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
courageous
Member
Member # 34477
Default  Posted: 3:12 AM, May 26th (Sunday)

There are days that I feel completely normal and that I don't need any counseling. Then there are days when I feel completely broken and just want to die.

The way I have learned to handle everything in life is denial and to bottle up my emotions so much that even I have no idea how I feel.

It's been a little over 3 years since I was last raped by exwh. The mental, emotional, and sexual abuse had gone on for the 7 years prior to then. I went to a counselor last week and she focused no the divorce and my anger regarding the OW still in the picture (specially around my kids) but never addressed the abuse he dealt me.

I keep wondering .....was it really not a big of deal then? No one I have talked to in a professional capacity has seemed to want to address it. How do I get help for the abuse when I can't even get the counselor to discuss it?

Someone has suggested calling my local domestic violence shelter for a referral. I just feel to weird calling...like the rape doesn't really qualify....after all. I did stay with him for soooo long. I just hate being a bother to anyone.


Me: BW (35)
Him: ExWH (31) EA/PA with MOW coworker
Married 9 years, 2 small kids
dday 3/12/2011 divorced fall 2012
Exwh married his AP

My ipad does a lot of crazy typos.


Posts: 755 | Registered: Jan 2012
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 4:10 PM, May 28th (Tuesday)

courageous: you are. Have you ever visited the website rainn.org ?

I'm generally not one who would seek out counseling or therapy, but I'm open to considering it. RAINN has free 24/7 live chat support that I am planning to try when I have time. As a way to dip my toe into the counseling water. If no professional has ever taken your abuse complaints seriously (sorry that sounds awful!) maybe those folks can point you in the right direction.

silverhopes: I haven't diagnosed myself. It's just that I have, in varying degrees, many of the "key characteristics" of sociopathy. But, obviously, yeah, I'm not a clinical sociopath. If I were, I would think I was perfect and didn't need fixing

I just now bought The Sexual Healing Journey on Amazon.com. Thanks for the rec. This will be the first book I've read about this topic, ever, and I am terrified but hopeful to finally be digging into that dark past that I've "rugswept" for so long.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
Former motto: "Fake it till ya make it." Now: "You can't win if you don't play."

Posts: 1438 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
windowsnotwalls
Member
Member # 36983
Default  Posted: 4:27 PM, May 28th (Tuesday)

How do I get help for the abuse when I can't even get the counselor to discuss it?

Your phone book should have a number for a local rape crisis center. They provide free counseling for all victims of sexual abuse and trauma. It may be best to see a specialized counselor in one of those settings as opposed to trying to get a "regular" counselor to have a clue. I'm sorry you aren't being heard in IC. Good luck, and keep seeking the help. It's out there.


Me (34): BF, weekly IC through giveanhour.org
Him (34): WF, PTSD Marine, beginning EMDR
Praying my way through each day.
Content (Philippians 4: 11b-13)

Posts: 613 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Pittsburgh, PA
courageous
Member
Member # 34477
Default  Posted: 11:28 PM, May 30th (Thursday)

20wrongsvs1: I have visited the website. I'm trying to build up the courage to make the call or use the online outline.


Me: BW (35)
Him: ExWH (31) EA/PA with MOW coworker
Married 9 years, 2 small kids
dday 3/12/2011 divorced fall 2012
Exwh married his AP

My ipad does a lot of crazy typos.


Posts: 755 | Registered: Jan 2012
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 8:59 PM, June 11th (Tuesday)

Just an update: I'm reading The Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Maltz, and it has helped me a lot. Thanks for the rec, silverhopes

Also I used the RAINN "chat counseling" and it was awesome. It really convinced me to get off my butt and find an IC IRL, The person I chatted with was really sharp and helpful.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
Former motto: "Fake it till ya make it." Now: "You can't win if you don't play."

Posts: 1438 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
AppleBlossom
Member
Member # 38541
Default  Posted: 9:13 PM, June 26th (Wednesday)

I would like to share my story. My SO was unfaithful to me by using prostitutes. He was unfaithful to his ex wife in the same manner, as well as having casual relationships with around six women that I am aware of. I cannot categorically say that he only used prostitutes while in a relationship with me, but he has been open and honest about everything, so I will take his word.

My SO was abused by a family member from the age of around 6 until 13. At the age of 15 he met his ex wife, who was 20. They first had sex when he was 15 and in high school and she was 20 and at university. Its only recently that he can see that he went from being abused by an adult as a child to being taken advantage of as a teenager.

After our D Day he addressed the SA and it has been very painful to watch. A driving force of our reconciliation was understanding what the boy in him experienced when he was young, and not being able to leave in him as a friend when he really needed someone. At that point, our relationship was on hold as we worked through those issues together.

He has changed beyond measure, although he is still the same beautiful man that I fell in love with four years ago. Our relationship is close, loving and honest and we have reached a level of understanding that I did not every envisage. The only way I believe we could do this is by him being courageous enough to address this, and for me to be courageous enough to stand by him while he did that.

It has been very, very hard and I have never ever let him use the abuse as an "excuse" for being unfaithful and acting so dishonestly and disrespectfully towards me. He understands that he had a lot of other choices. One huge change he has made is recognising his triggers for wanting to engage in inappropriate sexual practices and finding other ways to deal with that.

As a part of this journey I have come to realise that what I went through as a child was in fact SA and I accept that I modelled this behaviour in my early teens. I also used sex as a way of controlling men in relationships, and connected sex with love and power when it was wrong to do so.

I cry for all those young children that were betrayed and abused, and I wish us all healing and peace.


Posts: 154 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Australia
FR2012
Member
Member # 36345
Default  Posted: 9:15 AM, July 14th (Sunday)

I am just wondering for all SAS, how did you come to accept what had happened to you?

I mean I was sexually abused when I was 9. That was 18 years ago, but I still have nightmares about it, I still think about it and it still affects my life to this day because I haven't dealt with it. I just don't know how.

Please tell me how you dealt with it. Help me out.


BH (him): 28 ~ FWW (me): 27
Together 9 years
2 kids
D-Day: April 19, 2012

Posts: 167 | Registered: Aug 2012
FR2012
Member
Member # 36345
Default  Posted: 7:11 AM, July 16th (Tuesday)

Bump


BH (him): 28 ~ FWW (me): 27
Together 9 years
2 kids
D-Day: April 19, 2012

Posts: 167 | Registered: Aug 2012
Schilling
Member
Member # 39774
Default  Posted: 2:51 PM, July 16th (Tuesday)

This past month I started to confront my own childhood abuse in therapy for the very first time.

Shortly after I confessed what happened to me in IC, my partner in a drunken state confessed his own childhood sexual abuse.

It didn't surprise me based on his many issues as an adult.

But, I can't bring myself to tell him about my own experiences. Because.. I don't trust him. He wouldn't do anything malicious with the information, it might shock him, but.. I just don't trust him because of the many times he has cheated.

I want to tell him, but I can't bring myself to do it.


I am 26(Bgf). He is 36 (Wbf).
On Again, Off Again - 10 years.
Not Married. No Kids.
D-Day: Too many to list/ remember.
Trying to Reconcile.

Posts: 103 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: San Francisco
nealos
Member
Member # 35284
Default  Posted: 9:14 AM, July 18th (Thursday)

FR2012: I came to realize that I was sexually abused as a kid only because my ex-fiancee pointed it out to me. I am a wayward, and a sex addict in recovery. A little more than a year ago I was in the car driving with my then-fiancee after she discovered my infidelity, and I was giving her an inventory of everyone I've ever been sexual with. For no other reason than to desperately provide her with more information, I told her about my brother and me being sexual when I was 7-8 yo. I really didn't think it was relevant, but only threw it out there because I was grasping for straws. She then pointed out to me that my first sexual experience was with my older brother-- suggesting that was the beginning of a confusing and shameful relationship with my sexuality. I later began to think of that experience as abuse.

For the record I don't blame my infidelity on my abuse. I think it contributed to me having fewer healthy choices as an adult, but it isn't a prudent excuse.

Our experiences are probably different-- my abuse experience was locked away in denied. Even when it came out, I have tried not to allow myself to feel like a victim. What comforts me is knowing that my abuser was sick/confused/scared. People who sexually abuse others were probably abused themselves. I feel sorry for my brother. I don't know where he learned to be sexual, but I would guess he was abused by someone and shown incorrectly what sex was... then he passed it on to me. I try to empathize with my abuser, and that has helped me to accept it for what it is: very very unfortunate, and very very sad.

My mission is to break the cycle. I won't pass on emotionally-detached communication to my kids, and I certainly won't teach them that sex is a confusing & shameful thing meant to be secretive. This is a significant part why I'm in recovery.


32yo WS-SA

“When we disclose the thought and intents of our hearts in surrender, we identify with one another at depth.”


Posts: 261 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: 5280'
Duffy1958
Member
Member # 39755
Default  Posted: 1:38 AM, July 22nd (Monday)

Schilling, maybe 10 years enough to spend on a relationship you can't trust. It isn't always necessary to tell your S/O but you would at least like to be able to. Strength for you my friend & a hope for you to find your self worth. You are worth more than a 10 year serial cheater.

Nealous, I applaud your reasons for recovery. Our children are a good reason not to do a lot of things & good reason to make better choices. Good job, loving your kids.

Being a child sexual abuse survivor has so many repercussions! I have PTSD & it makes a huge difference.

I haven't had problems with my self esteem so much as, the residual effects of CSA. It IS like a banner on your forehead, predators notice this stuff. They look for it. By predators, I mean spouses or S/O looking for a
"beard".

I have become aware of the banner & actively work to change the outward message. So I'm cordial upon meeting ppl. Not so friendly anymore. I like it better. I wear black (I mean business) a lot. Not morbidly so. My hair is not as blonde as it use to be. Dateline has even done a study, in ppl take brunettes more seriously. I'm sure there are other changes. Being aware of your surroundings is a big thing.

These are just my "things" I have done to help myself. It carries over into dealing with my husband. I can 180 good because it's how I usually live my life with people.


Me-SAHW soon 55
Him-asshat age 60
Married 3.5 years together 13.5
Step-children 8 altogether Grandchildren.
Cheaters are the same yesterday, today & forever. They may have different caveats but they lie the same & pull the same shit.

Where i


Posts: 114 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: California
PhantomLimb
Member
Member # 39668
Default  Posted: 12:46 AM, August 6th (Tuesday)

This might sound odd-- but I'm looking for some insight as to whether or not my last sexual experience with my WS was an assault or not. I'm going to try not to get too graphic, but I have to explain some stuff to get your opinion.

Background is that I was date raped back in college and after my last sexual encounter with my WS, I had something of a psychosomatic recollection of that rape and it's been tough for me to sort out.

As for the thing with my WS: it was shortly before DDay and I hadn't seen him in about 8 weeks. We did our usual thing but I felt like he was a little rough during. In my mind I thought that he was out of practice and because he works out a lot, I likened it to him "doing reps" on me. He was also pulling my hair a little, which he had never done before. I didn't say anything about it at the time thinking that after so many weeks apart and male egos being what they are, to suggest that he was majorly sucking didn't seem kind. I figured I was moving back home in a couple of weeks and we'd get back into a groove. No big deal.

He suddenly got incredibly sweaty-- to the point that I had to ask him to go towel off or hop in the shower. He came back out and, per usual when we've been apart, we prepared to go again. Usually on round 2 I would get into doggy style because I know he likes it (although it doesn't do much for me-- so it's usually something I do after I'm all set, if you know what I mean).

This is where it got weird. He couldn't really get it in, but he just kept shoving it really hard. I was trying to use my fingers to guide it, but he wasn't even waiting for me... he just kept forcing it. He got it in and started going really hard and he grabbed the back of my head by making a fist with his hand in my hair (he had never done that before). He just kept going and I was trying to bear it. It was definitely one of those experiences where you just want him to hurry up. He was so violent with it that he fell out a couple of times and did the same thing-- tried to force it in again. Finally I just asked him if he was at all close. He said no. I told him I couldn't do it anymore.

He laid down and I tried to do oral, but he started to lose it. I asked him what the problem was (I had never seen him fail at a second round before). He just said the second time was a crap shoot sometimes. I was just glad it was over, so I stopped. We were late for a lunch date, so we got dressed and that was that.

I bled for three days after that and was still uncomfortable/in pain for at least a week after.

A few days later I was out with a friend who asked me how his visit was. I paused and said "good... it was great to see him." I paused again. And then I started venting about how the sex was awful and I didn't understand what was wrong. My friend encouraged me to talk to him about it. I agreed that we needed to talk if the next time was just as awful.

DDay was a few days later (over Skype). A lot of those conversations are foggy because of the shock, but when he told me, one of the first things I remember saying was "Oh, Jesus, please don't let that be the last time we have sex. Don't let that be the way I remember you!" I asked him why he was so rough with me. He told me that, he didn't want to go into too many details, but that's the way the OW likes it (hair pulling, etc). So I guess he just tried that shit out on me? If that's what they're doing together, more power to them!

I told him that I didn't want to use the "R" word with him-- but that I think I could consider what he did to me, now that I understood the context wasn't his lack of practice, was assault. He was just silent.

So I don't know how to think of this. Did he assault me or was he just trying out his new rough play that he likes with his OW?

I hate that I'm carrying this around.

[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 12:50 AM, August 6th (Tuesday)]


BS / D

Posts: 880 | Registered: Jun 2013
AppleBlossom
Member
Member # 38541
Default  Posted: 7:37 AM, August 17th (Saturday)

Hey Phantom Limb. That sounds like quite a traumatic experience - all of it.

It doesnt matter what your husband was doing, what is really important is how it made you feel. When you are making love with someone, there is a level of trust, no matter what the relationship. If the role and the method becomes something else then it is really important that you both consent to that. If you did not consent to that and you felt violated in some way, you were assaulted. As an abuse survivor myself, I spent most of my adult life trying to minimise the actions against me, but in the end the only way I could recover was to acknowledge what it was.

Not only did this act make you uncomfortable, but apparently it was borne out of some act that he had performed with someone outside the marriage.

I think there are two aspects to this - the physical betrayal and the assault.

How are you coping at the moment?


Posts: 154 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Australia
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 3:55 AM, August 19th (Monday)

AppleBlossom said it. It sounds like a very difficult thing you're carrying, PhantomLimb. Please keep talking about it, we're here for you.

There's something bothering me tonight and I needed somewhere to talk about it. This might sound kinda dumb, I've been watching the Buffy and Angel series recently and reading some online discourses about it. Read articles on a particular character who has been thought to sexually shame his fellow female characters. It brought up a lot of odd thoughts I hadn't known were in here. I feel overexposed. Everything that's not covered up, emotionally or physically, feels like I'm "asking" for inappropriate attention or commentary from people, or any little slip in behavior merits criticism. Not sure why this hyperawareness is going on. I can hear the voices of some of the people in my family in my head. I don't like it. I don't know how to make them stop talking.

Does anyone else ever struggle with conflicted feelings of questioning what's appropriate and proper? Sometimes feelings of being less?

One of the critiques of this particular character was his sense of entitlement. He'd had a crush on one of the other characters, but she didn't return his feelings, so he made commentary on every romantic and sexual choice she made, rather than respecting that it was her and her partners' business. It made me aware of so many boundaries. How much can I really judge what my partner does and doesn't do? More acceptance. Fewer judgements. I was judging him for so long because of things he'd done in the past - not because he'd done them, but because he wouldn't do them with me. Where do I get off feeling entitled to those things? It's comfort I might be looking for, but that comes from within. I have no right to ask that of him, especially if it's something he doesn't feel comfortable doing. No entitlement allowed. I have my own insecurities, wondering if I'm tainted and fighting that - but he's not my bandaid. Intimacy is beautiful. It's still growing. It's not to be demanded.

Just sharing thoughts, still forming what healthy intimacy looks like to me. I think it ties a lot into being a survivor of sexual abuse. Because someone else crossed my boundaries and told me what was expected, what I was and wasn't allowed to say no to. Or shamed me when I said stop. People in my family. That twists things. I have had trouble sometimes with nursing my son, and it's torn because on the one hand it's nurturing him and it's bonding, and on the other I feel deeply uncomfortable as certain feelings come up, mostly with feelings of invasion and feelings/fears that it's dirty. Not sure how to navigate those boundaries. But it was something important for my son, something I'd learned about and believe in. But it's so complicated, and it's one of the things my family and friends have made the most off-hand comments about: "When do you plan on weaning him?" (happening right now). "That child must be constantly on the boob!" "Just don't be nursing him when he's five, haha!" It feels weird that people can make such blatant commentaries on it to my face, but I know it's not meant to be invasive. Just... complicated with the other issues surrounding abuse. The comments feel invasive, even though that's probably not anyone's intentions.

Thank you for letting me ramble. I hope I haven't offended anyone.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 3:59 AM, August 19th (Monday)]


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
jjct
Member
Member # 17484
Default  Posted: 6:32 AM, August 27th (Tuesday)

Hi everybody!
I've never posted in here, but I'm in a NB with *one of you* - that is, a survivor of SAB, and I've recently started reading in here & other places for insight. I've also scheduled IC for myself to go over some of my findings, and to acquire tools to try to have THE BEST RELATIONSHIP EVAH despite the SAB and its inevitable issues.
No question I got to "fix my picker".

I have seen some patterns I'd like to point out & see if they resonate.

@silverhopes
It seems to me that "feelings of being less" are common. I might go so far as to say predictable and inevitable. (I'll let you guys guide me here)
By its very nature, is not SAB *just that message* imprinted traumatically in a young, not-fully-formed mind?

Thus, self-esteem suffers, and issues relating to it surface later - issues you all are so bravely working on. I'm in awe of that. You are all so kind and helpful!

So, common denominator #1 - feelings of being less, and its attendant older sibling, shame.

Could it be helpful to release shame's shackles on your heart if you knew it arose from that abusive "imprinting of being less"?
How many times have you been told; "You didn't deserve that. You have nothing to be ashamed of."...and still it sits there, like some nail in your soul?
I'm trying to forge a prybar, to pull that bitchnail out!

Common denominator #2 -
Fear.
"I feel overexposed."
Thinking about it, I think, How can fear not be imprinted?
Fear's inevitable result(s) include:
- not being able to trust, or at least, let's face it, sometimes it wise not to trust, hah!, why we're here in the first place...but
- having "trust issues". Common? I think so...ties into the future-forming of healthy bonds (interesting word, right?) and boundaries.
- Do you feel sometimes you're in an emotional fetal position? Garden-variety A damage leads to this for sure, but I think it's magnified to incredible proportions with SAB survival.

Common denominator #3 -
Anger.
It could arise from fear, (pretty natural) but I think if it does, it becomes an underlying theme, an undealt-with hum that permeates too many interactions and relationships. Why? Because it's arising from fear, and fear is the triage point, the originator and cause of that particular type of anger. That seems to be why it's "not doing anything for you", not helping, not resolving, not going forward. It's. Just. There.

The other kind of anger is healthy anger, based on what really happened, and owning the righteous rage of; "I didn't deserve this dammit" and getting away - to safety.
It's the anger that moves you to a healthier place, a safer place. It's the anger that puts its boots on,
kicks ass, and walks away from the toxic.
It's good for you, and the other benefit is, you don't have to hold on to it once you're in that "safe place".

Gosh this was long. I think I might've broke the internets.


Posts: 7037 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: texas
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 8:49 AM, August 27th (Tuesday)

silverhopes

Because someone else crossed my boundaries and told me what was expected, what I was and wasn't allowed to say no to.

Just wanted to say ICR. Took me 20 years (well, 35 from the CSA events, 23 from when I remembered them) to finally get into IC and deal with this damage.

Now post-DDay, I am faced with this: have I ever had a clue of what healthy intimacy looks like? Looking back, signs point to "no."

If you feel uncomfortable or angered when people comment about your nursing, those feelings are valid. If it were a family member I might say, as gently and blame-neutral as I could, "Nursing isn't always easy for me, so I'm sensitive about that topic. When you just said that, I felt uncomfortable."


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
Former motto: "Fake it till ya make it." Now: "You can't win if you don't play."

Posts: 1438 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 9:07 AM, August 27th (Tuesday)

jjct

Gently, are you looking for a girlfriend or a fixer-upper? Forging a prybar? Only she can pull that nail out, and only when she's ready.

Are you seeking a better understanding of this woman--like studying Portuguese for an extended trip to Brazil? Or, are you hoping to help her overcome her damage?

Not intending to criticize, just observing and asking questions that are yours to answer (or disregard) for yourself...since you said you need to fix your picker.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
Former motto: "Fake it till ya make it." Now: "You can't win if you don't play."

Posts: 1438 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
jjct
Member
Member # 17484
Default  Posted: 9:33 AM, August 27th (Tuesday)

Seeking a better understanding.
For the purpose of helping her.
Even if it's only just "being there" for her.

So, when I see things, hear things, it doesn't confuse me, so I will know what basic common denominator xyzee thing is coming from at its source.

I will explore the fixer-upper question in IC, because my heart is really being attracted, and I do want to make sure I'm making healthy choices - not knee-jerk or old patterns.

It honestly doesn't feel like it though. I think of her like any one of us, willing to work on things. She does not seem *that broken*...

The prybar.
If I gain insight and understanding (knowledge is power), they are tools for me to wield for my own peace and understanding.
I can hand them to her, knowing she's the one to have to use them.
I can't do it for her.
I been to that town.
No thanks.

Thanks for the questions.
I've learned if some of them make me uncomfortable, there's a reason for that.

I know I don't want to hear that SAB cannot be overcome (like some PD's)...

...but if that's the case, I need to hear it. Please tell me that's not the case...


Posts: 7037 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: texas
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 9:51 AM, August 27th (Tuesday)

She does not seem *that broken*

Pre-DDay, my BH said the same

jjct, this ICR thread is obviously not popular, despite all the CSA survivors (W and B) on SI. Could be awhile, if ever, before anyone wiser comments.

I just stepped onto the healing path a couple months ago, but I say hell yes CSA damage can be overcome. If the survivor is ready and willing, and she takes the initiative.

So, when I read this I cringed a little.

I can hand them to her, knowing she's the one to have to use them

At the risk of nit-picking semantics: she doesn't have to use them. What if you hand them to her and she drops them? Will that be OK with you?

More questions for you to take to your C...or not. Consider the source (barely-former, recently-deeply-delusional WW) and take it FWIW

Best of luck on your NB journey.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
Former motto: "Fake it till ya make it." Now: "You can't win if you don't play."

Posts: 1438 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
jjct
Member
Member # 17484
Default  Posted: 1:18 PM, August 27th (Tuesday)

That is kind of you - no worries.
I have to let go if she doesn't use the tools.

I am trying to be sanguine (and slow) about it, but I can't imagine feeling safe with her if she didn't...

sigh


Posts: 7037 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: texas
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 10:38 AM, August 29th (Thursday)

Hi everyone, I am also a survivor of extreme SAB as a child. My mother forced me to go to bed with my drunk father, starting at age 6. Over the years, I have done IC to try and patch up the damage, which was significant, though I hate to think of myself as damaged. Battle scars maybe.

For FR2012, I found that in my early to mid 30s, I was able to finally start to confront what had happened in my childhood. It was like a switch flipped in me that could never be turned off. I knew what they had done to me. I was angry and thought they should have gone to jail. Of course, they lived out their years with respectable silence from my other sibs. Good citizens and all that.

I moved to another state a few years after my confrontation. My sibs all are experts in denial and attacked me relentlessly for my accusations, even though they were all victimized as well. The beatings made my brothers "stronger," my sister claimed our dad just wanted to "cuddle." Cuddle is an obscenity to me now.

After my dad passed some years back, I was really able to build up my healthy rage. I have struggled with my responsibilities as a daughter to my mother, though. IC advised me not to contact them, but they always seem to reach out to me, usually in an hour of need. Which brings me to the current issue.

My mother is ill, has had surgery and hospitalized for almost 2 weeks. I have made arrangements to travel there to visit with her and help out for a few days, which I can feel the anxiety building. She lives in the same house of my childhood. I have a hotel and a rental car in case I need to make a quick escape, but the nightmares are back and this is causing me a good deal of distress.

How do you balance family responsibilities with what they have done? This is probably the last time I will see my mother alive. I'm not sure how I will feel when she is gone, but I don't want to feel guilty for not having been there, at least to a very limited extent.

I very much appreciate anyone's opinion.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 11:41 AM, August 29th (Thursday)

@jjct,

I think that you have a good grasp of what your SO seems to be going through, and I think it will be helpful for her knowing you want to understand her, as well as it being a great peace of mind for your own sanity to go in with eyes wide open.

Absolutely survivors constantly deal with low self-esteem issues, crippling shame, fear (over things as simple as fear of the dark, to major things like fear of abandonment, feeling hopeless and powerless), not being able to trust, and intense anger.

For me, anger came out at everyone over the smallest of infractions. It didn't really come from fear, although I'm sure there were elements about it (it is maddening to be fearful about things I think I shouldn't be), but it was more anger at myself. Tied in with low self esteem and shame, there was intense self-hate. For not fighting back, for not telling anyone, for not being protected, for feeling responsible for how long the abuse went on, to thinking of how cowardly I was, for not being able to just be ok once I was on my own and away from the abuse. For me, I couldn't do anything right, and I hated myself for it.

All that hate gets focused inward and it's very destructive. It takes a while for the survivor to place the blame and anger at the feet of the perpetrators and enablers of the abuse. Because there is a lot of guilt associated with viewing your parents or loved ones as less than, when they were really less than quality people.

I know I don't want to hear that SAB cannot be overcome (like some PD's)...

...but if that's the case, I need to hear it. Please tell me that's not the case...

I do think SAB can be overcome and it takes time. I still have issues trusting and struggle with intimacy with my partner. I still struggle with shame and fear and anger, but to such a lesser degree that it no longer interferes with my everyday life and self view. The death grip of being SAB no longer has the same choke hold on me as it once did. I can breathe, I can smile, I can relax, feel peaceful, and it feel authentic, not a facade to make everyone believe I'm ok, but really feel ok deep inside. I can even still feel less than at times, and know that I need to just give myself a break. The lows are never as low as they used to be. I've accepted what happened, what I felt during, and after, and forgive myself. My abuser can rot in hell, and I forgive myself for not forgiving him.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 11:53 AM, August 29th (Thursday)

@Edith,

I know that it is very painful to let go of your parents. I thought I could hold on until my dad died so that I could reach out to my mom and repair that relationship. I came to realization that that waiting was doing a lot of damage to myself. That holding on to the hope that they were someday going to finally come through for me, it was draining.

I wrote my mother this past spring and severed that relationship forever, and it has honestly brought me an even greater level of peace. I've let go on my terms.

I'm so sorry you have to go back to your childhood home where the abuse occurred. I think that if you feel the need to be there while she is ailing, even in a limited capacity, then you are doing what's right for you. If you get there, and it is too much, let yourself acknowledge it, unacknowledged, the anxiety will build. Know your limits. I think it's great you have a safe place you can retreat to if you need to. Don't feel beholden to explain yourself.

I wish I had better words of wisdom for you.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 12:43 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

Thank you C1W. I was probably about your age when I severed the relationship with my entire FOO in what I thought was a final letter. Of course, over the subsequent years, my mother reached out to me and literally begged me to speak to her.

I was then called upon whenever there was a family crisis, my brother had cancer and they needed my help. I have always been the one to help, despite my being an outcast. My father's funeral was a circus, I was the target of such unbelievable hatefulness. I suppose it was fitting and has helped me cope with my childhood memories. I have allowed myself righteous fury.

So I suppose I have to suck it up, take a deep breath and get on that plane.
Most of my life the rage was focused inward. After his death, I have permitted myself to feel the rage toward the rightful owner(s). But now I have to pretend all is well and let my mother have the peace she has stolen from me.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 1:18 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

I don't think you should feel obligated to pretend or sacrifice yourself to anyone if it's not in your best interest and is not what you want. Only you know and only you can decide the best course of action. I'm really sorry you are having to struggle with this decision.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 5:03 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

If you feel uncomfortable or angered when people comment about your nursing, those feelings are valid. If it were a family member I might say, as gently and blame-neutral as I could, "Nursing isn't always easy for me, so I'm sensitive about that topic. When you just said that, I felt uncomfortable."

Thank you, 20v. It would feel a lot better to set boundaries with them. Maybe I could say something like that. I feel unbelievably vulnerable admitting I'm sensitive or uncomfortable (I am, it's just so strange how I suddenly felt when I thought about saying it)... It's strange to note it. This might be something for me to explore further.

Could it be helpful to release shame's shackles on your heart if you knew it arose from that abusive "imprinting of being less"?

It would be, but part of the problem is that I am still around some of the people who crossed my boundaries. Some of them were family members. So a goal I have is that one by one, I am slowly cutting ties and "escaping" from the people who make me feel so uncomfortable. With each person I get away from, it's easier to release the shame back to them. Easier to push them away. But some of them are still around. It's complicated. But your suggestion makes sense.

Do you feel sometimes you're in an emotional fetal position?

Yes, constantly. I'm in the process of imagining a person who is stronger and not vulnerable, and who can effectively get away from uncomfortable people. Right now I'm trying to learn the new habits to support this. One is getting out of the house more often, taking my son to the playground (and standing back as he plays and learns with the other kids), and being a very active mother. Believe it or not, even that was hard and a struggle for a long time, but it's finally becoming a habit. It helps me feel more like an adult to throw myself as hard as possible into my role as a mother. To remind myself that I'm not the child who got abused anymore, I'm the mother who is giving my child a happy, safe childhood. And of course, it's healthier for my son. Motherhood represents strength and caring and protection and trust in your children.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Flame  Posted: 11:19 AM, August 30th (Friday)

((Edith))

Take care of yourself. It was your mother's job to take care of you when you were 6 (my DD's age now). She chose to maliciously hurt you instead, and inflict a lifetime of pain.

But now I have to pretend all is well and let my mother have the peace she has stolen from me.

FTN. The hell you do! You're not a 6-year-old girl with no choices. Your mother begged to speak to you, but has she ever apologized? Or even acknowledge what she did?

You couldn't choose your family when you were six, bless your heart, but you can now. Detach. 180 and NC your entire family, for good this time...unless you feel you have something to gain from it.

You didn't deserve what happened to you, and you sure as hell don't deserve to be hated by your siblings. Nor do you owe your mom a damn thing. I'm gonna quit now before I get any further incensed.

Just, bless you, Edith, I hope you will put your own "peace" first: once and for all.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
Former motto: "Fake it till ya make it." Now: "You can't win if you don't play."

Posts: 1438 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
unfound
Member
Member # 12802
Default  Posted: 5:06 PM, August 30th (Friday)

bumping


ka-mai
*******************
From time to time, I do consider that I might be mad. Like any self-respecting lunatic, however, I am always quick to dismiss any doubts about my sanity. DK

Posts: 14902 | Registered: Nov 2006 | From: mercury's underboob
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 6:25 AM, August 31st (Saturday)

((20swrongs)) Your compassion is overwhelming. Thank you. I am going on this trip. I have no illusions about my mother or my sibs.

The nightmares have been replaced by insomnia. I think that's perhaps an improvement.

After confrontation many years ago, my parents and sibs joined my XH in a custody suit agaist me. Both parents and all sibs testified against me to try to take my kids away. I stood strong and prevailed. Walked away for good, or so I thought. But I got dragged back. My mother admitted that their testifying against me was retaliatory. I demanded an apology. Her answer to me is burned into my memory. She said "Edith, you had better hope your DD and DS don't ever DO THIS TO YOU." Again after that I went years of NC. It has been an ongoing battle.

But I am going on this trip in an effort to do what I feel is right. This woman gave birth to me. I have looked at all the wrongs she has done in her life and thank God I am not like her. I know that so many times she had choices to make and she made the wrong ones. I don't want to ever look back on my life and feel regret for having made a wrong choice on something irreversible. I don't know if this makes sense to anyone.

I will update when I return. And thank you for the kindness, it means so much to me. I pray that we all find peace.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
jjct
Member
Member # 17484
Default  Posted: 9:21 AM, August 31st (Saturday)

God bless you Edith. You're stronger than I am.
I just hope you don't take any more hurts, and that some piece of this trip is settling to your heart.

Thank you casper and silver, I appreciate your feedback and perspective.
I have IC coming up, and what you've said is very valuable to me. I will be covering it, and let you know...
(should I be doing this in NB? lol)


Posts: 7037 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: texas
courageous
Member
Member # 34477
Default  Posted: 8:07 PM, November 4th (Monday)

I'm not doing very well. The truth that what my exwh did to me was rape, during our marriage, was pointed out to me earlier this year. I struggle with PTSD from it. I thought I had gotten over that from his cheating. I can't tell my family about his abuse because they still have to interact with him and I'm trying to protect them.

I don't know what I should be doing first.... Healing from the infidelity or the rape. Some of the issues regarding the A has caused me a lot of shame for taking his abuse. I'm going to a support group that consists mostly of CSA and I think I never had it that bad. If I don't face the issue.... The rape on a daily basis I slowly revert back to denial.

I don't know of any groups that deal with infidelity AND abuse. The issues are so intertwined that I can't seem to separate the two. My rape counselor hasn't made me talk about the rapes so I haven't. I'm stuck.

I dread sleeping because that is when I deal with everything I have pushed aside during the day. I'm so exhausted


Me: BW (35)
Him: ExWH (31) EA/PA with MOW coworker
Married 9 years, 2 small kids
dday 3/12/2011 divorced fall 2012
Exwh married his AP

My ipad does a lot of crazy typos.


Posts: 755 | Registered: Jan 2012
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 2:37 PM, November 20th (Wednesday)

(((Courageous))) I know your pain. I also am a rape survivor. PTSD is an ongoing struggle, and I truly wish I had the answers.

I went on the trip to see my mother. She has utterly lost her mind, called me by my siblings' names. I went to the store and bought the things she needed, I fed her and took care of things for her while I was there. I met with my aunt and cousin who blame me for being distant from the rest of my FOO. They do not know the truth, nor do I need to tell them. They continue to think my parents were pillars of virtue and I am an unappreciative daughter.

So I am back to waking up screaming from nightmares. Back to feeling so hopeless about my H and his lies. Back to feeling worthless and discarded. I pray for help for us all.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 11:51 AM, January 3rd (Friday)

The continuing saga of my life....my mother was again hospitalized after yet another fall. Her health is failing and her mind is pretty much gone. She has been telling me that she thought my new granddaughter is "not a real baby" because she was conceived via IVF... I am trying my best to not let the things she says hurt me, not always having success with that one.

I think the biggest thing I struggle with right now is my own ambivalence toward her. Like how can I care so little about my own mother?? The fact that she forced me to go to bed with my drunk father for years starting at age 6 is something about which I have rightful anger. Rage even. But I think it is my codependency that sucks me back into the compassion mode (or lack of, in this case), causing my feelings of guilt.

So my plan is to remain supportive but distant. I call her once every 1-2 weeks, see how she is doing. She is now having problems putting together a sentence, so the calls are mercifully brief. And I will continue to make myself as bulletproof as possible with my sibs, who are just as vicious as ever.

I pray for all of us on this thread to find healing.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
Healinggirl
Member
Member # 39747
Default  Posted: 2:42 AM, January 21st (Tuesday)

I'm posting here because I've realized that this is where I really belong.

My fWH was abused, saw his abuser decades later which triggered flashbacks and he began recreating the abuse again but with prostitutes, which apparently is an unconscious way of trying to enable a different outcome in order to get closure of something impossible to process as a child. It's more complicated obviously, but that's the basics. Even the last woman he took advantage of because she offered herself. She was cheaper than a prostitute. Looking back she'd been circling him for years, I trustingly thought she was a nutter and dismissed it. She was the one who wanted an EA and that was what made him behave so oddly and how I suspected there was something going on. There was no EA with her, she couldn't speak English very well anyway, so that makes sense. I actually knew her. And he dropped her on DD like a hot brick and came running back to me when I offered R. Since then he says he never even wondered how she is and has certainly never wanted to contact her since.

I know this sounds like denial on my part, and I'm aware of that, but I've questioned him for 14 months and it's been exactly the same story, perhaps each time with a few more details, but basically the same. Not even enough new info to be TT. I think this really is the truth of the matter.

I honestly believed he went through some sort of breakdown after he saw the abuser, he certainly had PTSD. He has had treatment for the abuse since DD and is a completely changed man. He has cried daily for the last year. I admire his courage for being able to face things as he has and has taken it upon himself to heal me at the same time. Not an easy task.

I've been reading the other forums, and occasionally posting, but I feel like I don't quite fit in there somehow. So many of the posts don't apply to our situation.

I think I understand the why now. We've become very close and because of the sheer volume of treatment and healing, the openness and communication, I don't believe there's much likelihood of a repeat of his acting out again.

I'm still hurting, still processing, still healing and that is ongoing, as is his healing, too, but I'm becoming cautiously optimistic that it's going to be ok.

Having said that I'd welcome any differing views in case I'm way off here.



Me 58
WS 58 Sexually abused as a boy
OW Prostitutes in double figures
OW Home wrecking, work-shy, gold-digging secondary abuser

D Day 11 November 2012
Reconciling

You can't scale a mountain in a single step


Posts: 148 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Uk
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 2:50 PM, January 31st (Friday)

Hi Healing Girl, and welcome! Of course you know that everyone's situation is different. My IC used to tell me that what we experience in childhood we are destined to repeat, either as an abuser or a victim. I think child abuse is a very difficult pattern to break, and your fWH seems to have made terrible choices perhaps stemming from his own pain.

I certainly hope the two of you find healing and peace. Sending you hugs.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 5:20 PM, February 2nd (Sunday)

Something on my mind today…

Was anyone ever punished for trying to fight back? Or else told that what you did - whether it was speaking up or physically striking someone to make them stop - made you in the wrong?

I'm feeling very frustrated today. Some memories are coming up (triggered by a damn comic of all things), and it's so upsetting. I know that my actions are my own to own… So I'm wondering what's an "appropriate" way of saying no to someone - especially someone who won't take no for an answer? I shouldn't have tattled on the guy who forced his tongue down my throat (even while I was shoving him off of me)… Because it threatened his recovery (he was a former heroin addict), and I must have "wanted it" if I didn't stop it sooner (yeah right - I'd said no from before it even happened), and I shouldn't have slapped the guy who wouldn't stop harassing me because violence is never the answer. So I should have accepted that I "asked for it" somehow in order to keep the peace?

Can anyone else relate?


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Helpless  Posted: 9:01 AM, February 3rd (Monday)

((Edith)) Your stories about your FOO enrage me. Supportive but distant? Wow, your strength amazes me, that you can even be civil with your mother.

Silverhopes, the memories are so upsetting. Hell, my brain locked them away in a box till it decided, as an adult, I could deal with them. Granted, I rugswept them for 20 more years, but I believe *remembering* at age 18 helped me because I was able to be (relatively) normally-functioning sexually even though I had an aversion to male genitalia. Remembering helped, because I knew the aversion wasn''t irrational.

Punished for trying to fight back? Not specifically. But I do remember when I started expressing reservations to the abuser, he was like, "Well, maybe your brother wants to play." So I relented. I was probably 6, which would make my brother 8. Close to my childrens'' ages now. (Timing of my daughter''s age with my infidelity...not coincidental according to IC.) So, pushished? No, but subtly threatened, and I caved.

So should I have accepted that I "asked for it" somehow in order to keep the peace?

You can accept that you made a choice that was safest for you at the time. Yeah, easier said than done. I can totally relate though, OMG can I. Like what I said about my brother, above. Around age 7 or so, I did say "No" for the last time and the abuser never approached me again. But I didn''t go to my parents. And I haven''t been strong enough, yet, to connect with the guilt and shame I''ve buried, about not telling. (Granted it was partially unconscious, because I *literally forgot* the abuse from that moment, till age 18.) And the consequences of keeping the secret, not only to my brother, or possibly my little sister, but to the children that surely followed over the years...that''s a crushing load.

I told my mother when I was about 39 years old. She glazed over, went into shock I guess, and didn''t respond, and never brought it up again. My therapist says, I knew my parents well enough by age 7, to know how they''d react. Had my mother "glazed over" or rugswept when I was 7...I can''t imagine the effect that would''ve had on little me. And Dad has a temper (never physically violent toward us) so my therapist opines that I could''ve been worried that Dad would beat up or kill the guy, and face legal consequences.

So not telling may have been safest for me at the time.

My therapist recommends that I go back in time and comfort Little 20, assure her she is loved and help her feel safe. I have, a little, but I''m still too afraid to face the memories and all that entails.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
Former motto: "Fake it till ya make it." Now: "You can't win if you don't play."

Posts: 1438 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 4:32 PM, February 4th (Tuesday)

@ Silverhopes: I am so sorry you are triggering. My mantra is that it is over, it is in the past, and I will never be that helpless again.

Was anyone ever punished for trying to fight back?

Yes. As an adult, I confronted my parents shortly after my divorce from my 1st husband. Their response, instead of apologies, was to testify on behalf of my ex in a custody trial. All my siblings and both parents testified against me. It nearly killed me. But the judge saw through it, thank God, and I moved away from them.

@20: Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so sorry you went through that. From my IC, I have been told that it is quite common for the CSA abused to confront the issue in their 30s. My parents actually acknowledged that I was forced to go to bed with my father, but they insisted it was to "cuddle." They never would acknowledge what it actually was or even that it was wrong. Sending you and "little 20" big hugs. If you need to talk, I am here.

Take care,

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
nekorb
Member
Member # 40306
Default  Posted: 4:20 PM, February 9th (Sunday)

So I haven't read this whole thread...too many triggers reading others' stories....

My WH experienced CSA at the hands of women, multiple perpetrators.

My IC and I have just kind of accepted that CSA exists in my past as well. I don't have actual memories of it, but if it happened, I can tell you exactly when/where/who. I have a still shot of that day/place in my mind. The other time/perpetrator I've only recently come to realize.

I don't know why I never realized it or questioned it before. I've always had a vision/memory/movie in my mind of genital mutilation in the garden at my god-parents house. It's been with me as long as I can remember. Literally forever. I've come to the conclusion that it pretty much points to CSA there as well. Told my IC I don't need to know the details of it, just the knowledge that it is there is good enough for me to acknowledge that it is contributing to my issues with my body and sexuality.

So...that's me.

WH doesn't admit that his CSA had any lasting effects on him. He is in denial. He needs IC desperately but won't go.

It's sad. He's going to throw away our life because he doesn't want to deal with his past.


Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 aka CAT- colossal asshat; Married 22 years
D-day: July 17, 2013, with TT to follow
D filed July 16, 2014, 363 days later than I should have
Psalms 27:14
Wait for The Lord; be strong and take heart. Wait for the Lord.

Posts: 1839 | Registered: Aug 2013
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 9:33 PM, February 9th (Sunday)

nekorb, have you or WH read The Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Maltz? That really helped me realize how badly I needed IC. Also, I did an anonymous chat session with a counselor at RAINN. If WH is too embarrassed to see a live counselor, maybe he''d consider that route?

I am so full of rage and hatred toward pedophiles. The devastation they cause, not only to their innocent victims but our spouses, etc., is just infuriating.

So sorry for your situation. It is sad. Looking at the past is so damn scary, but I got to the point, after DDay, that I realized failure to look at my past, would doom my future. Hopefully your WH will get there too, before it''s too late.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
Former motto: "Fake it till ya make it." Now: "You can't win if you don't play."

Posts: 1438 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 12:24 PM, February 11th (Tuesday)

Hi nekorb,

WH doesn't admit that his CSA had any lasting effects on him. He is in denial.

I agree he is in denial. At every trauma throughout my lifetime, the CSA comes back to the forefront. Even after a great deal of IC, it is still right there. Self esteem is shot. Confidence gone. Thinking of violent ways to end my life. And of course, after the A, these things came back worse than they ever have at any point in my adult life.

There is no shame in being a survivor of CSA, though I understand the thought that it may result in judgement (perhaps more strongly in men?), but if this had any role in his A (as I suspect it likely did), then he owes it not only to himself but to YOU to address this. It takes time and effort, but staying married to nekorb is worth it!

Hugs to you, dear.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
justwe
New Member
Member # 42439
Default  Posted: 7:33 PM, February 11th (Tuesday)

I wanted to start my own post with this but couldn't figure out how so I am putting it here as it is the closest I could find as a match for my topic.

I am reaching out to anyone who has personal experience with D.I.D. and infidelity.

At the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010 I had a sexual affair. On mother’s day 2011 I told my husband. Jan 2012 I learned I have D.I.D. This was after months of severe craziness for my poor husband who had a wife who said she couldn’t remember anything, then who did remember things and gave details, then said those details are not right, and provided new details, and then often said “I remember remembering that, but I don’t remember it now.” Only someone who has dealt with someone with D.I.D. would ever understand that statement.

I will first say that although I have only gained the broadest of memories and knowledges of what occurred, I am fully responsible. D.I.D. is not a “get out of jail free” card and I do not advocate its use for pleading insanity. Just as I only have the broadest of memories and knowledges of the childhood abuse that brought about my fragmentation, I was equally abused as those who experienced it first hand; as well, I am equally guilty of infidelity as the one who experienced that first hand. Although fragmented, I am still an entity as a whole and when one part does something, the whole entity is responsible.

To this day, the best my husband has are motivations (both surface and the deeper physiological ones), the dates of when and where and some details mixed with confusions of what exactly occurred. See, the part of me who would know firsthand what occurred also suffers from flashbacks and melds the flashbacks to the real events to create a distorted accounting. She remembers abuse where there may have been none. This has left my husband still with many unanswered questions. How does one ever try to heal like that?

Although there are those who may strongly disagree, I sincerely believe that the emotional and psychological effects of the abuse of infidelity can be equal to that of childhood sexual abuse. The betrayal of one who should protect you above all others. The love you feel and the dissonance it causes within to feel that love. The utter loss in trust not only in one person but in the world and in yourself. The guilt, shame and self blame. The PTSD that may never go away. The anxiety attacks. I could draw the parallels in a hundred different examples. I also think that one never fully heals from childhood abuse as there are always lingering effects, I also believe that infidelity leaves lifelong effects. So a couple who had to deal with both have a tough row to hoe when it comes to healing.

So with all that said, are there any out there who have had to deal with both, infidelity and D.I.D? Although I am not looking for someone to help me in my process of healing both myself and my marriage, I am looking for others who have experience with this and the things they may have learned along the way that helped them. I think more than anything, I would like to know that we are not alone in this. AND I would love to know that there are those who have survived both and are thriving together as a couple.

Justwe

(To those who don't know, D.I.D. is dissociative identity disorder which is most commonly brought about by severe childhood trauma such as incest, sexual abuse, etc.)

[This message edited by justwe at 7:38 PM, February 11th (Tuesday)]


Posts: 10 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: Westcoast
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 10:38 PM, February 11th (Tuesday)

justwe, welcome to SI. This thread tends to be very slow-moving.

You were, I assume, professionally diagnosed with DID. Was it, in some small way, a relief? Dissociating is common among CSA survivors, as you said, but (from what I''ve read) DID is incredibly rare. I''ve been dissociating, as a coping mechanism, my whole life. My affairs were the worst manifestation, but I do remember everything. Fortunately.

What treatment are you receiving? None of my business, but I am curious.

So, even though there may not be many here with a DID diagnosis, I do encourage you to share your story and participate in the Wayward Side forum. Nobody there, or on SI in general, would dispute that the betrayal of infidelity is traumatic. Many members here report being diagnosed with PTSD due to their spouse''s betrayal. I''ll nit-pick you just a little on this...

I sincerely believe that the emotional and psychological effects of the abuse of infidelity can be equal to that of childhood sexual abuse

There is no "equal," and this isn''t the pain Olympics. It suffices to say that both can have traumatic effects.

Although I am not looking for someone to help me in my process of healing both myself and my marriage

What does this mean? SI is all about people helping one another. Commisseration is part of that, but so is support. You''re not looking for help, because...? You''re getting plenty of professional help? Or, you have this handled on your own? Not criticizing, just honestly curious.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
Former motto: "Fake it till ya make it." Now: "You can't win if you don't play."

Posts: 1438 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 10:41 AM, February 12th (Wednesday)

Hi Justwe,
I was diagnosed with a dissociative disorder at the age of 12 as the result of CSA for years, starting at age 6. Unfortunately, at that time, there was virtually no treatment and the mental health community basically swept it under the rug.

From what I understand about DID, it is so rare as to be nearly nonexistent. I would certainly question that diagnosis.

When I experienced dissociative episodes, I have never recovered the memory of my actions during those times. I have memories of coming back to myself after them, an extraordinarily frightening experience. For example, in middle school, I remember finding myself in a strange classroom, with a boy telling me I was sitting in his seat...I got up and left the room, not knowing how I had gotten there. Also, many of my dissociative episodes were accompanied by screaming.

Is CSA "worse" than the pain of inidelity? I can only say that they are different, and that infidelity brought back a great deal of the pain from CSA. And as 20 said, it is kind of irrelevant what is worse....I hope you find treatment to help you cope. I have tried hypnosis and lots of IC but in the end, the pain of my past and my husband's A is my burden to carry. I also agree with 20 that the Wayward Side is certainly worth exploration.

I hope you find healing and peace.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 7:58 PM, February 15th (Saturday)

20 and Edith - thank you both so much. It is so scary when the people who are supposed to protect us are the ones who sell us out.

Right now, I need to be the protector for someone. My H has begun talking about his history of sexual abuse. Last week we met some of his family for the first time (he wound up going into the foster care system and lost touch with them), and suddenly all these memories are coming out for him. Or he's always had them but he's finally been thinking about them instead of stifling them. When we first met, there was an ex he always compared me to, talking about how wonderful she was, about how he would go back to her someday. It led to a lot of fights, I am ashamed to say. I am very ashamed to say.

Initially, I had not been jealous but rather concerned. But his insistence made me feel that I was assigning her an unfair label, but now we know it to be an accurate one: predator. She was a 40-something year old teacher's assistant he thought was hot. He was a 17 year old high school student. When he was 17 or 18 he moved in with her and her family. They smoked pot, he got hooked, and didn't complete high school. When he was 18 or 19 they began sleeping together. A few months later they moved and left him behind (he suspects that her husband found out). For the longest time he thought (and then I thought) that because he was of legal age, it wasn't sexual abuse (for the longest time, the "wrongness" was over the affair part and the unfavorable comparisons). But it WAS sexual abuse. I feel sick for not sticking to it and pointing that out to him until he got it. He's finally getting it. He's realizing how much she preyed on him. She was supposed to be his guardian, not only because he didn't have his parents but also because of his mental illness. And she had a sexual relationship with him (and then left him homeless) and abused her position with him. Apparently he wasn't even the first one; there were other students (and other married men, but we're talking about the abuse right now).

He's also coming to terms about what this other guy did with him. A very old man, and at this point my H was homeless, and the old man offered him a place to stay. He thought they were friends and was offering to help him out with his job. The old man made a move on him. My H is finally facing these feelings, and I feel so terrible. As his wife, I feel like (I'm not even sure if this makes sense or not), by ever having sex with him I was reabusing him or retraumatizing him. I don't even know why: I am four years younger than my H and it was consensual. But because he hadn't faced these abuse issues yet… Last night he accused me of trying to stick my finger in his anus, which I have never, and said he would break my f*%$ing finger if I tried again. Threatened me then locked our son and me out of our room for half the night. This morning realized what he had said, realized that I had NEVER tried to do that, and realized that he was projecting what had happened with the old man. But I'm wondering… we used to have sex some nights very late, when we were both very tired. What if he now views it as non-consensual, even though he initiated half of those encounters and we had an agreement that waking each other up was OK? What if I've traumatized him? What if I've become unsafe?

I want to help him heal. I want so much to help him heal. But what does he need? It seems like sex should be off the table for now while he processes these painful memories. I don't even know if I should touch him, because he might feel violated, even though he says I'm not and that it's OK (but when we were first going out, he used to lose his temper at me and push me away physically for wanting to hug him, nevermind anything else, and I finally stopped initiating anything because I didn't want to disrespect his boundaries - what if those feelings come back and what if the original ones were unresolved feelings of violation? - there was another woman that he did like to hug, though, one of his EAs, god this is all so messy, I'm sorry for the repeated tangents). Feels like right now would be the time to tell and show him everything I love about him and believe in him as a person, non-sexual support and caring. Like doing lots of listening and validating. Or like asking to go on walks together, or making sure he's eating enough, or talking about the news or good movies or other safe options. How do I help him? Do you guys have any suggestions? I don't know how to ask him either - to top it off, he's 15 days clean from smoking pot. He finally quit. I'm betting in retrospect that this was probably helping to dull the memories, by smoking so much, and that now the memories are in the forefront of his mind. He has had a VERY painful life. And I feel ten times worse for having sex with him when he wasn't well. What should I do? Have I damaged him? Should I back away and try not to do any more damage?

Sorry, meant to add one more thing: part of why this is difficult and I'm freaking out and wanting to help is because our responses to our sexual abuse histories seem to be very different and it's just now sinking in. For the most part (not always), when I have bad memories I usually want physical intimacy right away in order to push away the bad memories and feel good with H. But with him it seems to be the opposite, and I'm just now getting it. When we met, sex was all he could talk about, and his libido has never matched what he was saying. For the longest time, he claimed it was because he had been with a lot of girls before me and done everything exciting, so there was nothing new to try sexually except to have a child with someone (me). And even though he hasn't said this, I really truly believe now that from the start, it's been because of the abuse but he hasn't known how to say it. He used to talk about the foster mother figure during sex and how amazing she was in bed and I would get angry and self-conscious - but now I am sickeningly realizing that he was reliving the abuse! He's probably been triggering from the very start, and I was making it worse the whole time! So our approaches to our sexual abuse are exact opposites: loss of interest in sex (him) and hypersexuality (me). And I don't want to hurt him any worse.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 8:21 PM, February 15th (Saturday)]


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
plainsong
Member
Member # 37826
Default  Posted: 7:16 PM, February 17th (Monday)

Hi, justwe. I'm glad you posted here. I also have a dissociative diagnosis (Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified - DDNOS). And I had an affair, from which my husband says he is "almost recovered". I'm not as far along, but definitely on the path to recovery, from both the shame of the affair and the fog of dissociation in which I made decisions during the affair.

My shame is increased by the fact that I was a therapist (which I should not have been) and my AP was a client. I just posted details about that on my profile. For the first two years after Dday I was nearly paralyzed with fear and self-hate, eventually becoming aware also of underlying grief and anger. During the last year+ I have started to be able to take in my husband's love and to integrate the sense of myself as a horrible, irredeemable person and as just a human being like everyone else, who did terrible harm but also has good to offer others. As far as what has helped, the main thing for me was persistence and listening to input from my husband and my therapist, and trying out their suggestions, even when I was too dissociated to really "get" what they were saying emotionally. First I concentrated on being aware of what I was thinking and feeling, then on considering that there might be other ways to think and feel. Finally I was able to actually have other thoughts and feelings sometimes.

silverhopes, I am so sorry for the tremendous pain you are in, and I hear your loving and heartfelt desire not to re-traumatize him. As someone who responded to CSA by withdrawing from sex, I would just like to say that at the same time, you cannot be responsible for not knowing what he was not able to reveal about his abuse history. Your clear intent now can hopefully help detoxify whatever in your past relations was triggering. But in the end, only he can set the boundaries he needs, which may vary from moment to moment. My husband has always been totally responsive to whatever I told him was sexually disturbing to me, but I had to tell him. I am still realizing what triggers me, and figuring out what I need to do to make myself feel safe and to heal. You may find it helpful to look at Allies in Healing, by Laura Davis, which is written for the spouses of sexual abuse victims.

nekorb (& others), if your husbands find reading a less difficult way of taking in information, a good source for male victims of sexual abuse is Betrayed as Boys. It is recommended by therapists in the trauma field, and when I read it I thought it was well written with a calm, compassionate tone.

I have peeked into this thread a few times since I joined, and I am glad I am finally ready to post.

All the best to all of us.


Me,WW,just turned 70 - the new 50!
Him,BH,70
Dday,12/22/2010
I use capital letters for emphasis, not yelling.

Posts: 86 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Chicago area
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 9:33 PM, February 17th (Monday)

You are absolutely right, Plainsong. It is up to him to set those boundaries. I need to be careful not to inundate him and give him the time and space to consciously make those decisions. And ask. Always ask. Thank you so much for the book rec! I will order it right away!


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 5:04 PM, February 18th (Tuesday)

Hi Silverhopes, I am so sorry you and your H are going through this. From the perspective of a CSA survivor, I would suggest that you talk with your husband and let him set the tone for physicality. Everyone is different and processes this stuff differently.

@ Plainsong, It sounds like you are on the right track and I wish you and your H peace and relief from this pain. In my experience with dissociative disorder, it was a total and complete, 100% blackness. No fog, no memory whatsoever. Complete darkness that has never ever come back to me. I suppose there are as many varied diagnoses as there are those of us who carry them. I wish you well.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
nekorb
Member
Member # 40306
Default  Posted: 5:42 PM, February 19th (Wednesday)

20/Edith,

Thank you.

I have not read that book. I will look into it. RAINN as well...I checked out their website briefly.

It boggles my mind how I can so plainly see how WH's CSA has affected him and he doesn't see it at all.

He is headlong in his A with this OW who is giving him sex constantly.

I'm seeing my attorney next week.


Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 aka CAT- colossal asshat; Married 22 years
D-day: July 17, 2013, with TT to follow
D filed July 16, 2014, 363 days later than I should have
Psalms 27:14
Wait for The Lord; be strong and take heart. Wait for the Lord.

Posts: 1839 | Registered: Aug 2013
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 2:49 PM, March 6th (Thursday)

@Nekorb, May you find the peace you deserve.

My mother has been hospitalized yet again (third time) in 6 months for a fall-related injury. She is going for a major surgery today and I spoke to her on the phone earlier. Did not tell her I love her. Kind of feel like she does not deserve for me to care. I doubt she noticed. Feeling sad.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
Wodnships
Member
Member # 42750
Default  Posted: 10:48 AM, March 17th (Monday)

I've read through most of this, but there's a lot here and I might have missed something. If I did I apologize but I'm having a tough time here.

I've tried talking about my situation in the "Just found out" forums but I get canned response about 180 and making my wife earn my respect back. I'm hoping I can get some better help here.

As a child my wife has memories of her step father coming into her room at night. She says she remembers being held down not being able to move and she'd just close her eyes until it ended. She's often said that she's not sure if they were nightmare's or not, but she says the stopped when she turned 16 and got a lock on her door. I recently found out she can't even remember us ever making love (she remembers sex but never love making.) I told her about specific events that stood out in my mind (the xmas after we bought our first house under the tree, the night I proposed, our wedding night) she remembers these events clear but nothing about making love or even having sex on those days.

Our therapist is very sure she was abused by her step father. She's called Cristina's memories classic abuse PTSD.

Anyway she had an emotional affair on line with en ex. It lasted for all of 11 days before I found out, but she's an emotional wreck right now. And for years I've been dealing with her explorations for no reasons and pulling away. I've tried to give her her space when she needs it, but after the affair things have to change or I can't heal.

I have so many questions that she really is in no state to answer right now. and I thought I'd come here and see what others have to say.

First I understand the concept of abuse and how it plays into a physical affair, but what about an emotional one? One where sex wasn't even discussed?

Secondly, what do I do. Obviously going with the 180 here is only going to server to make her feel more alienated and alone. I don't want to do that. She needs to heal in order for us to heal, but at the same time I am hurting.

Thirdly, what are some of the things your spouse did that helped, what did they do that made things more difficult?

I'm trying so hard to make this marriage work. I love my wife more then anything. But I feel like the advice I'm getting in the other forum doesn't really fit my situation.

I know that there is nothing in your past that excuses an affair. But I've always been a fan of saying, "That's no excuse it just a reason." I just need help to help her.

[This message edited by Wodnships at 1:20 PM, March 17th (Monday)]


me: BH 36
Her: WW 28

Married 5 years. Dating 9. Living together 8.

If a man took his time on earth
to prove be for he died
what on man's life could be worth
I wonder what would happen to the world

- Harry Chapin


Posts: 764 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: California
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 3:10 PM, March 18th (Tuesday)

Hi Wodnships, First of all, I am sorry you are going through this mess. I am a little worried that you are giving your wife too much lee-way because of her abuse. I was abused by both of my parents in the most heinous ways, yet I am a member of SI because my husband had an A.

I can say this from the perspective of a survivor of childhood abuse: Your wife is the only one who can "fix" herself. Depending on the level of abuse, it may never be totally "fixable." In my situation, the trauma and PTSD tends to flare up in times of distress, specifically after our D-day (and many, many times since then). Is she willing to do IC? I think the advice you are receiving in the other forum probably still will be helpful because the 180 is for YOU to heal. Right now, you are putting aside your own feelings in favor of your wife's, while at the same time she is putting herself first. My feeling is that you must heal, and if the M is to survive, she needs to help with that. I don't know your whole story, but the abuse she endured may or may not have anything to do with her infidelity. My wish is for you to find healing and peace.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
Wodnships
Member
Member # 42750
Default  Posted: 3:39 PM, March 18th (Tuesday)

Edith,

Thank you so much for your kind words.

I can't tell you the extent of her abuse, because she doesn't remember. I know she was touched by another little girl for sure. Several years later she started having these "dreams" about her step father coming into her room, but other then being held down and scared she doesn't remember much else.

As far as giving her leeway, it might seem that way because I talk about her here. The truth is I know how to deal with my feelings. I don't need advice on that, so I'm not asking. With her I'm not so sure. Believe me when I say I'm holding her accountable for the affair, for her lies and for the things she does as an adult. And so is she.

As far as healing me, I don't feel like I can trust her, heal and move on until I see a real change in her. So, in a way I am putting her first, but I'm doing it for selfish reasons.

She is in IC right now. We went to a counselor together after Dday. I pushed her to tell the counselor as much as I knew of her childhood. She's gone to IC in the past but she keeps everything on the surface. Which doesn't help anything.

What I don't want to do is address the affair with out addressing what's gotten us here. Again no excuse just a reason. But it still needs to be addressed


me: BH 36
Her: WW 28

Married 5 years. Dating 9. Living together 8.

If a man took his time on earth
to prove be for he died
what on man's life could be worth
I wonder what would happen to the world

- Harry Chapin


Posts: 764 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: California
GotPlayed
Member
Member # 41294
Default  Posted: 3:46 PM, March 18th (Tuesday)

Hi everyone, there''s a TMI question over at http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid526027 I''d like some input from people who frequent this forum. May be triggery.

I''m not the sufferer, it''s STBXWW.


Master of my Fate, Captain of my Soul.
XBH
Divorcing. If we can ever get a final conference.

Posts: 879 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: California
spond
Member
Member # 41686
Default  Posted: 9:26 AM, March 20th (Thursday)

Hello everyone.

I was just wondering if there is a suggested book for a H to read to help with a W's recent dealing(in IC) with CSA? Any suggestions for a H helping his W though this tough journey?

thanks in advance.


BH(me) | fWW
2 Kids - Married 2002
D-Day TT & EA | D-Day #2 PA
Reconciling

Posts: 437 | Registered: Dec 2013
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 9:51 AM, March 20th (Thursday)

Hi Spond,
I don't know if this is any good as I have not read it, but you might try this as a place to start: http://www.amazon.com/Helping-Female-Partners-Childhood-Sexual/dp/0921165382.

I know it is a very long, very personal struggle. She must be motivated to work with a therapist, and depending on her history, it may take years. Complete healing may never occur. Good luck to you.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
spond
Member
Member # 41686
Default  Posted: 10:56 AM, March 20th (Thursday)

Thanks Edith for the book suggestion...

I actually found this book after my post and already grabbed it. I will check out the one you linked after I finish it.
http://www.amazon.com/Allies-Healing-Person-Sexually-Abused/dp/0060968834

I think we are blessed because our MC is also a CSA survivor and has given some good advice because she has that experience under her belt. My W is in IC as well and seems to like her as well.


BH(me) | fWW
2 Kids - Married 2002
D-Day TT & EA | D-Day #2 PA
Reconciling

Posts: 437 | Registered: Dec 2013
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 2:31 PM, March 21st (Friday)

You are welcome. I hope the books help.

I spoke to my mother via phone this morning. I am pretty sure she is dying.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
cindergirl
New Member
Member # 42966
Default  Posted: 7:59 PM, April 1st (Tuesday)

Wodnships, I know your post has been a couple of weeks, but I just joined and just read this. I would PM you, but I'm too new to the forum to have that privilege.

First, I would like to commend you for your bravery and understanding for choosing to face this with compassion and empathy. I don't think you're giving her too much leeway. I think you're wise in recognizing how devastating childhood abuse is, how it eats at the core of a person. As a survivor of sexual abuse, I believe that EAs can absolutely be a result of PTSD, as readily as PAs. When your self-worth is eroded at the core, it is common to seek validation in grossly inappropriate places, both emotional and physical. If she is serious about working through this so you both can heal, she needs to stick in IC as long as it takes, likely years. That doesn't get her off the hook for her actions. It makes her responsible for her healing so it doesn't happen again.

Try reading this summary of PTSD as it relates to infidelity, and dig for further research from there. http://www.ptsdspirituality.com/2010/09/06/ptsd-spirituality-ptsd-damages-love-increases-porn-and-infidelity/ She's going to have to delve into what happened to her, as much as she doesn't want to. Personally, I had great success with a technique called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). I believe, even given your wife's gap in memories, that she can have success with this technique. It's a fascinating process that works the trauma through the brain and past the flight or fight response, which is where we get stuck when trauma still has a grip on you. Also, since she's reluctant to open up with a therapist, she might find success at home working through things at her own pace. I'd suggest checking out this workbook you can pick up on Amazon for about $25. http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Trauma-Abuse-Womens-Workbook/dp/1572241993

I hope you find this information helpful. Please feel free to PM me.


The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. -Joseph Campbell

Posts: 37 | Registered: Apr 2014 | From: United States
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 1:13 PM, April 3rd (Thursday)

bump


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 21(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 3787 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
plainsong
Member
Member # 37826
Default  Posted: 11:35 AM, April 7th (Monday)

Dear Wodnships,

I have delayed responding to your post because it can be hard for me to separate my own experiences from the specifics of the person who is posting, so please take what seems helpful from what I say and trust your own gut.

I am a survivor of CSA, and it definitely led to an emotional affair for me first, which unfortunately in my case I followed up with a sexual affair. From your reading you probably know that shame is a nearly universal component of experiencing sexual abuse. Shame includes a sense of disconnect from others, which for me led to my not taking in how much my husband loved and accepted me. I didn't realize it, but inside I just KNEW that I was not OK and would never be really acceptable to anyone. So I used co-dependent behaviors to express my love for him, but wasn't really present.

I remember well the sense of feeling like my memories weren't real. My abuse happened when I was an infant and toddler, so I have visual images and body sensations, but not provable memories. Luckily, I could confirm the likelihood of what happened from facts about my abusers living with us at the time, and my sister's confirmation that she also found them "creepy". To the best of my knowledge, my parents didn't know what was happening, but when I started crying in the presence of the abusers, they did make sure I was never alone with them. The typical sequence is that after feeling her anger at her abuser, your wife will have feelings about her mother not protecting her, whether she knew about the abuse or not. Betrayal, intentional or not, by a mother, is like betrayal by a spouse/partner. It pulls your whole foundation out from under you. There is no source for the sense of safety that a caregiver provides for child, and shame - the feeling that there must be something wrong/bad about me if I am not being protected - is automatically triggered.

In my case, my mother issues were exacerbated by the fact that I believe my mother was also abused (by her father, who was one of my abusers). She never indicated knowledge of that, but in her behavior she was emotionally shut down, and she was uncomfortable with physical touch and with sexuality. I have an image of reaching out to touch her face as an infant, and her pulling back and removing my hand. These specifics are just to give you a sense of why an emotional affair can be so appealing for someone who has been sexually abused.

As for what you can do to help, knowing the difference between a reason and an excuse is primary. Her healing is something she will have to do herself, and it will take a lot of courage and persistence. She needs love, but you can't "give" it to her - she has to learn how to receive it. What you can do is keep offering it to her. That is what my husband did, and now in the fourth year after Dday, I have figured out how to create images of his loving glance and touch and "get" the concept of what unconditional love is.

You mentioned MC and IC for your wife. Do you have an IC as well? That's the other thing you can do for your wife - honor and respect and take care of yourself. The book I have read for partners of sexual abuse victim is Allies in Healing - don't know if that is the one you were reading. I especially like the emphasis that both partners are of equal value and are entitled to decide what they are able and want to accept in their relationship. YOU are also entitled to love and caring. You are entitled to have a place to express your anger and grief and fear and shame and any other feelings and thoughts that arise as you go through this process.

I believe that the 180 is described on this site in terms of only communicating about finances and kids, not about emotional issues. I think the term was originated, however, to mean just to do the 180 degree opposite of whatever approach you have been using that is not working in your marriage (see Divorce Busting, by Michele Weiner-Davis). I think the value in infidelity situations is not in cutting off emotional connection, but in not being caught in dysfunctional, codependent emotional connections. You clearly don't want to persecute your wife, but neither would it be helpful to try to rescue her or to let yourself be victimized by her behavior. These are the three positions on the Drama Triangle, first described by Dr. Stephen Karpman (KarpmanDramaTriangle.com). You don't want drama in your marriage or your life, but healthy intimacy with yourself and your partner.

All my best to you and your wife as you deal with both the infidelity and sexual abuse issues. You can get through this and create a healthy, loving connection, with time, self-respect and determination. It is great that you started both MC and IC for your wife right away. Just make sure you take care of yourself as well, I hear that you know how to take care of your feelings, but you don't have to do that alone.


Me,WW,just turned 70 - the new 50!
Him,BH,70
Dday,12/22/2010
I use capital letters for emphasis, not yelling.

Posts: 86 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Chicago area
lovehonorcherish
Member
Member # 41843
Default  Posted: 11:34 AM, April 13th (Sunday)

I was told I might receive some advice here in this specific forum. Found out last March H was having A. We have spent the last year in IC (for me) and MC (together) before I returned home on March 15th of this year. Home one week when his AP called me to confirm that the two of them have remained involved in A with plans to continue. I moved out and contacted a lawyer. H is now telling me that he is a victim of CSA and, as such, I am abandoning him in a time of crisis. H has contacted our family doctor who referred him to a psychologist. H says his actions for the past year stem from the fact that he was abused as a child and that is his "connection" with AP. I say that millions of people have issues and they don't solve them by engaging in an affair. I am now feeling guilty and ashamed for leaving...yet I am not the one who has lied and broken my wedding vows repeatedly for the past year. Advice?


I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change...I am changing the things I cannot accept.

Posts: 126 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Northeastern US
plainsong
Member
Member # 37826
Default  Posted: 12:29 PM, April 13th (Sunday)

I am a survivor of CSA, and that did contribute to my affair, but I don't think you have any reason for guilt. Your husband may be in a crisis, but he emotionally abused you by lying to you for the last year, and the crisis is, in any case, his responsibility to deal with. If you were to decide eventually to help him with it, that would be a gift, not something he has the right to demand. If he is phrasing it as a demand, which is what it sounds like, I would urge you to take great care in protecting yourself in the process. A book which is very clear about the rights of both parties when a partner has a history of CSA is Allies in Healing. I am so sorry that you have experienced this continued betrayal, and wish you all the best as you move forward.


Me,WW,just turned 70 - the new 50!
Him,BH,70
Dday,12/22/2010
I use capital letters for emphasis, not yelling.

Posts: 86 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Chicago area
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 1:54 PM, April 14th (Monday)

Hi LoveHonorCherish. I am so sorry you are going through this. Whether or not your H truly is the victim of CSA should not be the determining factor for you to R. I agree with PlainSong that you have no obligation to help him with his healing. If this is a contrived manipulation to try to force you to stay in the M, then he is doing damage to all those of us who genuinely suffered the horrific trauma of CSA.

Please make your decisions based on your own needs. The suddenness of his "crisis," in my mind, calls into question the veracity of his allegation. I would probably continue with the D if I were you. If he "fixes" himself, then perhaps you two could remarry at some point. Or perhaps OW should help him with his healing during his crisis. Please try not to feel guilty or ashamed. You are correct, there are many of us who suffered the most heinous abuse and have not been unfaithful. Sending hugs.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
lovehonorcherish
Member
Member # 41843
Default  Posted: 3:02 PM, April 14th (Monday)

Thank you for the much needed advice plainsong and Edith. I am definitely having trouble sorting this all out. plainsong, if I may ask you gently...how did CSA contribute to your having an affair?


I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change...I am changing the things I cannot accept.

Posts: 126 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Northeastern US
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 4:53 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

Hi LCH, I hope you find the answers you seek. Take care.

E.

[This message edited by Edith at 4:53 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)]


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
plainsong
Member
Member # 37826
Default  Posted: 1:28 PM, April 27th (Sunday)

To LHC,

Every situation is different, but there are common themes, so I will give you some details of what I think my dynamics were, and you can judge if they might apply in your situation.

For me, I was responding not just to my own abuse, but also to my mother's abuse and how that affected her. I was abused by my maternal grandfather, and I believe she was abused by him as well. (I was also abused by a great uncle.) My sister and I agree that my mother seemed like someone who had shut down sexually and in terms of physical touch and emotional vulnerability. I have the sense that my mother didn't know how to cuddle me, and cringed and drew back when I tried to touch her. So when my grandfather reached out to me with what started out as feeling like warm physical touch, I think I would have been hopeful and opened myself up to him (I would have been 6 - 12 months old when it started.) When the touch became overwhelming and unpleasant, I would have concluded that again, there must be something wrong with me and my desire for physical touch. I believe I decided that I was not acceptable to others and would never be acceptable to others, so I shut down as well. So my issues were about lack of self esteem (to put it mildly) and hopelessness, as well as touch, sexuality and relationships.

So, you may ask, how did that lead me to turn to my AP instead of my loving husband for healing? A good question. My husband had always given me loving touch and esteem, and totally respected my boundaries. But I was operating on an unconscious decision made as an infant or toddler that no one could really understand or accept me. I didn't understand how he could love me, or what that love felt like for him. I loved him the best I could given my coping mechanisms, and felt guilty that I couldn't 'love' the way other people seemed to. We discussed my sense of inadequacy from early in our relationship, and he thought that his love would overcome my issues. But love can only work if you let it in. I let in a lot, and made a lot of progress over the years, but the underlying hopelessness remained.

As you will see from my profile, by AP was a woman, and a therapy client. I believe I used my relationship with her to try to make up for the female nurturing I didn't feel I got from my mother, as well as female friendship I wasn't able to take in from other girls/women. I thought she 'understood' me, and giving nurturing to her felt soothing, like giving nurturing to my inner child. (All of this was totally not ok both professionally and personally, as I would have been very well aware of in my adult, non-foggy state.) So the EA part of my affair was related to mother issues and self-esteem issues, as well as relationship issues.

When I started sexual contact, I dove even deeper into the fog. Again, the issues were not about the AP but about me. I used exploring her body as a surrogate for exploring my body and my sexual issues. I had blocked out my sexual feelings as a teenager, and I felt like a teenager letting them out again. I was aware I was doing this, but managed to convince myself that she was benefitting as well. Before this, I would have been totally clear to me that this was an insane thought. There was no way it could not be harmful to her. And I didn't even think about how painful it would be to my husband for me to share my body sexually with another, even though he had told me in the past that that would be devastating to him. The only way I can explain this is that my sexual abuse history had left me feeling that my body and my feelings were nothing special and not valuable to anyone. Again, why wasn't able to explore my sexuality with my husband? Looking back, I think I found it easier to explore sexual issues with the AP because on some level I felt it was a fantasy relationship, and I didn't feel as vulnerable as I did in the real relationship with my husband.

These are a lot of specifics about me and my experiences as a woman. The parts that might apply to a man include the search for affection to make up for FOO deficiencies, early conclusions and decisions that block taking in love and support from a loving partner, self-hatred and hopelessness, and unhealthy development of sexuality as a teenager. One I haven't mentioned yet is underlying anger at not being understood and having early needs met. (See my first post, in my profile.)

I hope this can offer you some help and hope. Your husband can change, but he has to be willing to find his own whys and face his own pain. If he is willing to do that, your love can help him, when he has done enough work it let it in.

All my best as you deal with this excruciating experience.


Me,WW,just turned 70 - the new 50!
Him,BH,70
Dday,12/22/2010
I use capital letters for emphasis, not yelling.

Posts: 86 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Chicago area
lovehonorcherish
Member
Member # 41843
Default  Posted: 5:36 PM, April 30th (Wednesday)

Thank you for sharing, Plainsong.


I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change...I am changing the things I cannot accept.

Posts: 126 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Northeastern US
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 12:41 PM, May 22nd (Thursday)

Some days the memory of my father's horrible stale cigarette and alcohol breath is enough to make me physically sick. I can remember trying to get away from him, terrified, and plotting to make my escape as soon as he fell asleep. And how my mother sat only feet away, having forced me to take her place. Her head should have been on that pillow! Instead she kept on knitting while her 6-year-old daughter was being damaged beyond any repair. She has never regretted what she has done to me. I wonder if at the moment of his death my father realized what a monster he had been.

Sorry for rambling, having a really difficult day today.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 1:08 PM, May 22nd (Thursday)

sending strength and praying for peace for you.


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 21(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 3787 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
justme1264
Member
Member # 42890
Default  Posted: 8:47 PM, August 1st (Friday)


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


33 BH
DD#1: 2/14
DD#2: 5/14
D: 11/14

Posts: 767 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: Southern California
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 4:12 PM, August 4th (Monday)

justme1264,

That was wonderful. I hope you continue to heal with courage and strength that pour out of your words.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 5:08 PM, August 5th (Tuesday)

Hi Justme, and welcome. Your words of pain are eloquent, and I am so sorry for your suffering. I pray that someday you will look back and realize how much better your life is without her. Take care.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
BlueBlueEyes
Member
Member # 43949
Default  Posted: 3:33 PM, August 6th (Wednesday)

I just found this thread and need a lot of help. I really don't know what to believe with my wh. In the just found out forum, several people warned me that a wh willie about sab to deflect the consequences for the A. I'm having a hard time believing a man would throw that out there. However, we've been married 30 years and I'm just now hearing this. Please someone read my story and help.


BW - 49
WH - 50
Married 30 years
Beautiful Son, Daughter and 2 Grandsons.

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


Posts: 194 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Texas
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 3:58 PM, August 6th (Wednesday)

BBE, *disclaimer* I am not a CSAB survivor, my FWW is. I've looked into CSA quite a bit. I have somewhat of an issue with WH's story. He's had at *least* 6 different unconnected abusers of both genders. Highly unusual to say the least. Not impossible, but very atypical.

Proceed with extreme caution. If the story is accurate, he will need years of therapy just to uncover all the details.

Strength


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 21(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 3787 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
BlueBlueEyes
Member
Member # 43949
Default  Posted: 7:37 PM, August 6th (Wednesday)

Ok, I just reread my story to see where people are getting all of these abusers. I see that I ran everything together. Abuse was by different uncles and a high school male teacher. Questionable behavior of adult women when he was 18. One "neighbor in twenties and then two women in ND. He was technically of age but to me, big age gap. My question is how to handle the male abuse (no doubt by anyone this was abuse).

[This message edited by BlueBlueEyes at 7:38 PM, August 6th (Wednesday)]


BW - 49
WH - 50
Married 30 years
Beautiful Son, Daughter and 2 Grandsons.

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


Posts: 194 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Texas
BlueBlueEyes
Member
Member # 43949
Default  Posted: 7:41 PM, August 6th (Wednesday)

Two uncles. I can't type :(


BW - 49
WH - 50
Married 30 years
Beautiful Son, Daughter and 2 Grandsons.

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


Posts: 194 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Texas
nekorb
Member
Member # 40306
Default  Posted: 8:14 PM, August 6th (Wednesday)

BBE: my WH disclosed CSA after about 18 years together, and it was prior to the A. He has compartmentalized it SO much...he doesn't think it affects his daily life at all, doesn't need counseling to deal with the aftermath, he claims he doesn't even think about it.....but when he disclosed, suddenly so many things about our life started to fall into place.

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.


Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 aka CAT- colossal asshat; Married 22 years
D-day: July 17, 2013, with TT to follow
D filed July 16, 2014, 363 days later than I should have
Psalms 27:14
Wait for The Lord; be strong and take heart. Wait for the Lord.

Posts: 1839 | Registered: Aug 2013
BlueBlueEyes
Member
Member # 43949
Default  Posted: 8:24 PM, August 6th (Wednesday)

My husband said it was a sickness and need to play the role of the abuser but with women. I don't want to get too graphic. He says now that he's finally told me everything from childhood (he didn't think he could ever tell me) that he's now working on himself with adult eyes and not the wounded child's perspective. He says he will never cheat and do that to himself ever again. He doesn't miss anything about the APs and doesn't think if them fondly. Are any of you buying this. I truly don't trust my feelings any more. To the point where I told him today that I don't think he can fix us and him at the same time. I told him I'm working on my exit plan. I'm so confused. Serious roller coaster. I want him to be the man I thought he was. I'm not sure I even like who he might be.

[This message edited by BlueBlueEyes at 8:25 PM, August 6th (Wednesday)]


BW - 49
WH - 50
Married 30 years
Beautiful Son, Daughter and 2 Grandsons.

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


Posts: 194 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Texas
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 8:02 PM, August 7th (Thursday)

Blue, what you described in your last post, yes, I completely buy it. Unfortunately. Recreating childhood abuse is common in adult survivors. So no, again (I answered you in BS Q''s to WS awhile back), I doubt he''s making any of it up.

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.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
Former motto: "Fake it till ya make it." Now: "You can't win if you don't play."

Posts: 1438 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 6:10 PM, August 9th (Saturday)

BigBlueEyes,

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.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
BlueBlueEyes
Member
Member # 43949
Default  Posted: 7:20 PM, August 11th (Monday)

Wrong and Caspers,
Thank you both. I really want to believe him and that we are working through things, but I don't have any working knowledge on what to expect with any if this. People keep advising me to be wary of his story. It really makes me doubt myself because members here have seen it all and I trust their experience. Lately, I feel surrounded with past abuse of family members. Talked to husbands sisters... Ug.


BW - 49
WH - 50
Married 30 years
Beautiful Son, Daughter and 2 Grandsons.

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


Posts: 194 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Texas
BlueBlueEyes
Member
Member # 43949
Default  Posted: 9:04 PM, August 11th (Monday)

And... I just bought the book. Hopefully it'll come quickly.


BW - 49
WH - 50
Married 30 years
Beautiful Son, Daughter and 2 Grandsons.

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


Posts: 194 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Texas
Healinggirl
Member
Member # 39747
Default  Posted: 2:11 AM, August 12th (Tuesday)

Blue blue eyes, I felt exactly the same as you on DDay. My husband had kept his abuse secret for 47 years. He recreated the abuse over and over again with prostitutes. The final one wanted an emotional commitment and that's what finally broke him and he finally confessed to everything.

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.


Me 58
WS 58 Sexually abused as a boy
OW Prostitutes in double figures
OW Home wrecking, work-shy, gold-digging secondary abuser

D Day 11 November 2012
Reconciling

You can't scale a mountain in a single step


Posts: 148 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Uk
BlueBlueEyes
Member
Member # 43949
Default  Posted: 4:47 PM, August 12th (Tuesday)

I'm so relieved to find people in this forum with some answers and guidance for me. My whole world has changed. I love my husband, and I know he loves me. As someone who was never (thankfully)abused, I have a hard time understanding how the victims feel such guilt. My husband's feelings are what I would expect the abuser SHOULD have felt and obviously didn't. I never dreamed that he was dealing with such a heavy problem on his own. I wish I'd have understood this a very long time ago. As sad as I am that you are all dealing with this as well, I feel very lucky to have found support here.


BW - 49
WH - 50
Married 30 years
Beautiful Son, Daughter and 2 Grandsons.

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


Posts: 194 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Texas
Healinggirl
Member
Member # 39747
Default  Posted: 9:24 AM, August 13th (Wednesday)

I've never been abused either and I've accepted that I can never fully understand what my husband went through as a child. I do know that it was a massive burden of guilt and shame that stayed with him for decades, not to mention the boundary issues and the warped sex that they were introduced to.

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)]


Me 58
WS 58 Sexually abused as a boy
OW Prostitutes in double figures
OW Home wrecking, work-shy, gold-digging secondary abuser

D Day 11 November 2012
Reconciling

You can't scale a mountain in a single step


Posts: 148 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Uk
BlueBlueEyes
Member
Member # 43949
Default  Posted: 6:34 PM, August 13th (Wednesday)

H,
What types if things did you do to help him? Our situations sound eerily similar. I don't think I'm codependent either as I have very strict boundaries on what I tolerate and what I don't. However, this is something I really don't understand and certainly don't judge. Funny, I don't believe my husband will ever cheat again either, but I don't trust my instincts yet. I ordered the book recommended above, I'm spending quality time with my husband, he's in counseling and I'm getting my help here. I know everyone recommends IC, but I'm not comfortable with that yet.


BW - 49
WH - 50
Married 30 years
Beautiful Son, Daughter and 2 Grandsons.

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


Posts: 194 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Texas
Healinggirl
Member
Member # 39747
Default  Posted: 3:00 AM, August 14th (Thursday)

When I got upset and questioned him, he kept saying things that I didn't understand...like 'I was standing in the doorway watching myself, like it wasn't me'. At first I got very angry, furious in fact, then I researched it and realised he had been dissacociating during the infidelities.

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)]


Me 58
WS 58 Sexually abused as a boy
OW Prostitutes in double figures
OW Home wrecking, work-shy, gold-digging secondary abuser

D Day 11 November 2012
Reconciling

You can't scale a mountain in a single step


Posts: 148 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Uk
Lola2kids
Member
Member # 32789
Default  Posted: 11:08 AM, August 15th (Friday)

I came here just to read.
It's so hard to read some of these stories.

I was molested when I was a young girl.
I don't remember how old I was around 8-10 I think.

I describe it as molesting but I really don't know what the term means. I was touched inappropriately and I always say in IC that I was molested.

The story:
I was covering for my brother's paper route. Yes, back when papers were delivered door to door and then you had to collect the money and punch the card for each subscriber that they had paid.
This disgusting old man with bleary eyes and a cane all hunched over paid me the money for the paper. I think it was about $1.60 a month or something like that.
He held up two dimes in his hand. I don't remember if he ever spoke, I'm not sure but if he did speak I didn't understand the mumbling.
I realized that the 20 cents was for me as a tip. I put out my hand and he brushed it aside and reached for my private area. He put the back of his hand on the outside of my vagina and rubbed back and forth.
I remember feeling impatient that the stupid old man was so blind that he couldn't find my pocket to deposit the money. I remember the pants I was wearing had 2 pockets that were sewn on the outside. Placard pockets I think they are called.
When I tried to redirect his hand to my pocket he kind of brushed my hand aside. He rubbed me again and then handed me the money.

I left finally and went on to the next house. This would have been in the 1970's and I promptly forgot about the incident.

It wasn't until I was in my 20's that I realized what had been done to me. I don't know why I remembered it then.

You would think that this simple little incident would be easy to get over.
I find now that it has coloured almost my entire life from that moment on.
I have never been close to my brother. I think I resented that I was doing his job and that awful man had access to me.
I have been betrayed by my father. He decided to turn his back on his kids in order to continue his "platonic" relationship with a married woman. He lived in her house along with her husband and kids. When my older sister protested he disowned all 6 of his kids.
I realized that it could have been so much worse. If the old man had dragged me into his house and raped me or killed me. It's scary.

I never had a boyfriend in middle school or high school.
I never even had a date.
I never went out drinking with friends.

Until I met X. I was 31 years old.
I took a chance.
I even told him about the old man.
I never told ANYONE else except him.
He betrayed me.

I have very little trust left.
He lied to me over and over.
He told me that all he did was fall in love for the first time in his life when he reconnected with an old girlfriend. She has the same first name as me.
This was after living with me for 12 years and 2 kids together.

How do I get over this?
I am in IC. She is the only other person I have ever told.
It's hard to even type out the words.
It seems so minor. Like it shouldn't be a big deal.
But...I don't think I will ever trust again. I have no desire for another relationship ever again and I push people aside and make myself so unattractive that it is not even likely that anyone would want me.

I can't imagine the pain of actual sexual abuse which is so much worse.

I survived, I guess.
It doesn't feel much like I will get over this.

[This message edited by Lola2kids at 11:55 AM, August 15th (Friday)]


BS: (Me) 48
Kids: twins DD(11)
D-Day April 18, 2011
Him:out Sept. 11, 2011
He moved an ocean away June 27, 2014.
"They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder but I am growing more and more fond of his absence"

Posts: 1736 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: Ontario, Canada
BlueBlueEyes
Member
Member # 43949
Default  Posted: 12:32 PM, August 15th (Friday)

Healing,
Wow. I really hope to get there. I'm following in your wake!

Lola. If you aren't open to love you can't find it. Some people aren't worth fighting for, but you are. Why aren't you fighting to make your life better and leave him in the rear view mirror. You are your daughters example. Would you want them to place their entire self worth in two men? I hope this isn't too harsh, I truly wish better things for you.


BW - 49
WH - 50
Married 30 years
Beautiful Son, Daughter and 2 Grandsons.

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


Posts: 194 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Texas
Lola2kids
Member
Member # 32789
Default  Posted: 1:14 PM, August 15th (Friday)

BBE

Not harsh, no.
I am working on it in IC.

Let's just say for now I am open to the possibility of another relationship. I just don't think that is likely to happen given my track record.

Now I just need to work on the self esteem to realize that someone may actually want me.
I'm not there yet.


BS: (Me) 48
Kids: twins DD(11)
D-Day April 18, 2011
Him:out Sept. 11, 2011
He moved an ocean away June 27, 2014.
"They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder but I am growing more and more fond of his absence"

Posts: 1736 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: Ontario, Canada
BlueBlueEyes
Member
Member # 43949
Default  Posted: 6:52 PM, August 15th (Friday)

Lola,
Think about some of the people you've loved the most. The people I admire the most are average, low key, loving and kind. Their looks, weight, color etc. don't matter. It's their ability to smile across a room and make you feel special. I'm sure your daughters recognize that smile.


BW - 49
WH - 50
Married 30 years
Beautiful Son, Daughter and 2 Grandsons.

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


Posts: 194 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Texas
plainsong
Member
Member # 37826
Default  Posted: 12:19 PM, August 17th (Sunday)

BlueBlue Eyes -

Two books I would recommend are Betrayed as Boys by Richard Gartner and Allies in Healing by Laura Davis. I am not familiar with what is available on online websites, but it sounds like there are some good resources out there. You can also check Amazon or other booksellers for books on trauma, sexual abuse, PTSD and dissociation. Repeated abuse is a very common outcome of sexual abuse, as is an intense feeling of shame. I like Davis' book because she deals with both how a partner can help and the partner's absolute right to decide if this is too hard for them.

All the best as you deal with this. Remember that finding out about this is also a trauma for you. You deserve IC support for yourself, too.


Me,WW,just turned 70 - the new 50!
Him,BH,70
Dday,12/22/2010
I use capital letters for emphasis, not yelling.

Posts: 86 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Chicago area
plainsong
Member
Member # 37826
Default  Posted: 12:28 PM, August 17th (Sunday)

Lola2kids -

Yes, you were molested. Your private space, your body, your sexuality and your sense of self were invaded. And then your sense of agency and power to protect yourself were overridden. Your conclusions about life and your decisions about how to cope have affected the whole rest of your life. THIS IS NOT MINOR. There is no need to compare what you experienced with what anyone else may have experienced.

By the way, CONGRATULATIONS on trying to redirect his hand. This shows your inherent sense of boundaries, strength and self worth, which you can build on now that you have a safe place to process your feelings and get accurate information about how you are entitled to be treated. You can do this.


Me,WW,just turned 70 - the new 50!
Him,BH,70
Dday,12/22/2010
I use capital letters for emphasis, not yelling.

Posts: 86 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Chicago area
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 1:52 PM, August 18th (Monday)

Oh dear Lola, I am so sorry for what you endured. Though our stories are different, the results are very much the same. I also avoided boys all during school and even now at 56, I am fearful of men. It takes me a very long time to feel at ease with people, and very little can send me into a panic.

I have worked with IC a great deal, but in the end, I feel it is my burden to carry. The fact that I was betrayed by my husband brought back so much of my childhood trauma I was truly shocked.

I remind myself that all of that is in the past. I will not let anything like that happen again. Of course, there are situations that are beyond our control, but I carry mace and do kickboxing.

Hugs to you, my dear. PM me if you need someone to talk to.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
BlueBlueEyes
Member
Member # 43949
Default  Posted: 1:55 PM, August 18th (Monday)

Plainsong, I just ordered the Allues in Healing book. These should keep me busy. Thank you for the wonderful wisdom and guidance. I sincere appreciate it.


BW - 49
WH - 50
Married 30 years
Beautiful Son, Daughter and 2 Grandsons.

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


Posts: 194 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Texas
Lola2kids
Member
Member # 32789
Default  Posted: 9:10 AM, August 19th (Tuesday)

I just wanted to say thank you all for your compassion and your kind words.

It helps to know I'm not alone.

I felt alone for so long (in and out of the relationship).

My kids are the focus right now.
I am working on myself.
If I had not been cheated on I would never be in IC. This is for the best right now.
I am getting help.

I feel so much stronger.
Maybe just knowing why you are the way you are puts you on the path of healing.

Hugs to all.


BS: (Me) 48
Kids: twins DD(11)
D-Day April 18, 2011
Him:out Sept. 11, 2011
He moved an ocean away June 27, 2014.
"They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder but I am growing more and more fond of his absence"

Posts: 1736 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: Ontario, Canada
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 7:42 AM, September 7th (Sunday)

I think I am finally done with them. I have been dutifully calling my mother every couple of weeks. This time I missed a week because I was having a tough time. So I tried calling this week. No answer. Repeatedly no answer. She has dementia, and my brother had moved in with her. So I sent a text to my sister, and she finally called me yesterday. They put my mother in a nursing home a week and a half ago. The dementia had gotten so bad, but no one bothered to let me know.

So just like at my father's funeral when there were not enough chairs in the front row for me, there was not enough room in the limo for me, when my mother was admitted to the hospital, she told them she had 3 kids instead of 4 so I could not talk to the nurses. They have left me out, so it is time for me to step away.

These people hate me for telling the truth. They hate me for confronting my parents. My mother is too addled to remember now, but I cannot forget. So I think my duty to her is over. I probably should have done this years ago, but at this point I feel I have no choice. She is too demented to even answer a phone call, and I live in another state.

So go ahead, Mom. Live out the rest of your life with the 3 kids you "loved." You finally get to pretend you were a good mother, and no one else knows of the hundreds of times you forced me to go to bed with my drunk father. No one else knows that what the two of you did was the reason for my dissociative disorder, no one else knows how you ridiculed me for that. How you screamed and raged at us and gave us enemas when you were angry at my father. You will never know the humiliation of a 12-year-old girl in middle school dissociating, the kids all looking at me like I was crazy. You will never know the pain I felt when I learned that my parents and all my siblings were testifying against me at a custody trial. You even admitted that that testimony was retaliatory, but thank God the judge saw through your horrific hate. You look harmless and benign, but I know the truth. And I will never forget.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 9:13 AM, September 7th (Sunday)

Edith, every time you share your story, I am stunned by the evil depravity to which you''ve been subjected. There just are not words. I can''t relate to what you''re going through, but I am and for you all the same.

Can you just pretend they''re all dead?


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
Former motto: "Fake it till ya make it." Now: "You can't win if you don't play."

Posts: 1438 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 11:53 AM, October 6th (Monday)

Edith,

Always know you did the right thing and live by your truths, regardless of the so-called family who chose to ignore and blame you. I think it is best to be done with them. It seems so unfair, doesn't it? But you can finally allow yourself to let go. They will never get it, never be there for you the way you needed them to. Letting go of that hope really hurts, but it allows you to move toward a peaceful life that is no longer full of pain and anxiety.

Hugs and support to you. Hoping you are doing well.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
Mike26
Member
Member # 45062
Default  Posted: 10:19 PM, October 6th (Monday)

Hi All,
I've been struggling a tremendous amount recently. I cheated on my husband 2 months after we got married and after an amazing 7 year relationship. I was sexually abused by a priest who took my virginity and continued molesting me for almost 5 years. I finally stopped the abuse once I met my husband at age 22 because he was the first person I ever truly felt safe with and loved by. I'm now an emotional wreck. I went to a friend's party, got drunk, went skinny dipping, and had oral sex with another guest there. I felt horrible and told my husband the next day. Its been 4 weeks since DD, and he wants practically nothing to do with me and is looking into moving out. I am filled with more self-loathing than I ever have been in my life. I know that my sexual abuse history created some boundary issues for me sexually, but I still went to that party and allowed my issues to cloud my judgment, and now I might have lost the best support system I have ever had because of a stupid, stupid choice I made. I hate feeling powerless to ease the pain I've created, and I hate feeling like I've allowed my abuse history to completely fuck up the best thing I've ever had going for me. I've engaged in some self-injurious behavior several times since DD and have called a crisis center twice because I've felt so isolated and humiliated by what I have done. I wouldn't say that I'm suicidal, but I have frequently thought about how much easier it would be if I were to just have some life-ending accident. I've had a drinking problem since my abuse, but I've adopted a "fuck it all" attitude with drinking and eating since DD. I guess I'm hoping that by sharing this, I can find another WS who has pulled through this incredibly awful time. I don't know if my marriage can be saved, but at this point, I feel like I don't even have the energy to focus on saving anyone but myself, if that makes any sense.


WS, CSA survivor
Dday 9/13/14

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." -Anais Nin


Posts: 136 | Registered: Sep 2014
MissMouseMo
Member
Member # 38562
Default  Posted: 7:14 AM, October 9th (Thursday)

Mike, I am so very sorry for you pain and shame. I have only read this page and want to post but see that it is slow but I wanted to say I hear you. I hurt for Lola (I want to hold her and say, "No, sweetie, it is a huge thing," and help make it better), I am horrified by the pain Edith has had to endure, but I am not able to stay.

Know that you have been heard. Writing it here is a good beginning. While the path ahead is long and hard, you have begun the work.


It is the gut-wrenching, down-to-your-soul honesty that helps so much. ~paraphrased from CancunCrushed
"I edit, therefore I am." -BionicGal

Posts: 504 | Registered: Feb 2013
MissMouseMo
Member
Member # 38562
Default  Posted: 7:16 AM, October 9th (Thursday)

As everyone is well aware, SI is incredible. But it is S*I* - does anyone know of someplace like it that is for surviving sexual trauma? (Oh, please someone say there is!)


It is the gut-wrenching, down-to-your-soul honesty that helps so much. ~paraphrased from CancunCrushed
"I edit, therefore I am." -BionicGal

Posts: 504 | Registered: Feb 2013
Mike26
Member
Member # 45062
Default  Posted: 9:56 PM, October 9th (Thursday)

Hi MissMouse. I don't know about sites for women, but I know there's a site for men called malesurvivor.org. It has been an AMAZING support for me in the hellish 3 years since I've admitted that what happened to me was abuse.


WS, CSA survivor
Dday 9/13/14

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." -Anais Nin


Posts: 136 | Registered: Sep 2014
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 12:22 PM, October 10th (Friday)

MissMouseMo,

Check out Pandora's Aquarium.

http://pandys.org/forums/


You need to create an account to access the survivor support forums. It is a wonderful resource for survivors and their secondaries.

ETA: The site has several communities, for men, women, teens, and covers just about every area of sexual assault imaginable. There is so much support there, but it can be overwhelming as there is a lot of info to process.

[This message edited by caspers1wish at 12:33 PM, October 10th (Friday)]


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 12:51 PM, October 10th (Friday)

Hello all.. MM, I found this, it may be what you are looking for. http://pandys.org/forums/

Best wishes and healing to all.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
MissMouseMo
Member
Member # 38562
Default  Posted: 6:41 AM, October 11th (Saturday)

Grateful thanks to you Mike, Casper, & Edith.
Scared, but grateful.


It is the gut-wrenching, down-to-your-soul honesty that helps so much. ~paraphrased from CancunCrushed
"I edit, therefore I am." -BionicGal

Posts: 504 | Registered: Feb 2013
plainsong
Member
Member # 37826
Default  Posted: 4:06 PM, October 19th (Sunday)

Dear Edith,

I'm so sorry to hear about your being cut off from participation in your mother's life in this way by your siblings. You have been doing what you felt was your duty toward your mother. I agree that whatever duty you had is now over, and could have been over long ago. In my religious tradition (Judaism) the discussions I have heard and read state that the duty to honor your parents refers to seeing that they have food, shelter and clothing. Especially in the case of abusive parents, feelings are not required, nor is personal contact. It is entirely to your credit that you have wanted to give your mother whatever she was capable of taking in from contact with you, but you do not have to subject yourself to abuse to do so. And now she is even less able to receive that from you.

I can only imagine how terrible it would feel to let go of this last thread of possible positive contact with your family of origin (even though the positive aspect was your feelings towards your mother, rather than her feelings towards you). Despite all the grief and anger you have already felt, this may bring up even more grief and anger. Or maybe you will just start to feel peace from loving and supporting yourself and taking in the love and support of others who care about you. I hope you know you have that support, at least from those of us here.


Me,WW,just turned 70 - the new 50!
Him,BH,70
Dday,12/22/2010
I use capital letters for emphasis, not yelling.

Posts: 86 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Chicago area
Cherry Tomato
Member
Member # 19255
Default  Posted: 10:27 AM, November 7th (Friday)

Wow, I am literally sitting here in tears reading all these posts. My heart is broken for all you those who have suffered so much from SA. I've been a member of SI since 2008. I am in the process (or was in the process) of R with my H. I'm a madhatter...and it is such a crappy situation. I have never talked through all my issues on SI so here goes...

I was SA by my brother when I was 5 years old & he was 12. Quite frankly, it didn't surface until all the A stuff was coming out & being dealt with. Oddly, I had the same reoccuring dream all my life about the same incident with my brother. I always thought it was very very strange, but I never really put any merit in the fact that it actually happened. Repress much?

It was a light bulb in IC, but even then (and now sometimes), I can't/wont' make it part of my reality. It couldn't have happened...it's not possible. I revealed it to my H years ago and then to my sister. Both believe it really happened, but I have not cut ties with my brother completely. I really truly believe in my heart he either has repressed it himself or would deny it to his grave. And my parents are both in their 80's & this revelation would probably kill them.

I know this is what broke me early on. It re-wired me into a person who trusts no one. I mean no one. Trust=giving up control Giving up control = becoming a victum. I seemed to have approached this differently in some respects. Subconsciously, I told myself never again would I be victumized so I had to control everything & everyone in my life. This is/was a major strain on my marriage. And it could be a defining moment in it's demise.

The irony is the one thing I lost total control of was myself. I had such low self-esteem that I did seek attention from an OM who was in no way someone I would have chosen in my right state of mind. And the more I think about that, I think it was because I felt control over him & the situation at least for a while. I told myself I was out of his league so I would maintain the upper hand.

Has anyone else felt like this? This whole dynamic is very disturbing & perplexing to me. It seems atypical to others who suffered SA.

[This message edited by Cherry Tomato at 10:29 AM, November 7th (Friday)]


FWW/FBW(me)-43; FBH/FWH(him)-44; DDay 12/25/07; M 18 yrs, 1 DD
Separated 8/6/08; H moved back home 1/6/09; In R 4/24/09
"You and I’ll ride tonight till the past is out of sight. We don't have to look back now." ----Puddle of Mudd

Posts: 1163 | Registered: Apr 2008 | From: Wonderful New Happy Place
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 2:15 PM, November 12th (Wednesday)

Plainsong, thank you for your kindness. It is heartwarming to read the compassion in your words.

@Cherrytomato, I am so sorry for your suffering. Yes, low self-esteem and distrust of others is very common. We were used by trusted family members who exploited us. It is quite logical that we developed tendencies.

I ended up confronting my parents before I was actually ready. My sister had gotten out of prison, and I spoke to her about our childhood, she then went to my parents and painted a scenario that made them angry before I ever had a chance to ask them why. Of course, it was the beginning of the end of my FOO relationships. The most important thing to remember, I believe, is that WE as adults must defend those helpless children from our past. I WILL NOT rewrite history for anyone else's comfort, I have suffered so immensely from their heinous acts. I will NEVER back down and will NEVER deny the abuse. That little girl from my past deserves for me to live in the truth of her suffering.

I pray for all of us to find healing.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 12:31 PM, November 27th (Thursday)

EDITED. Sorry, I found I couldn't talk about the childhood sex abuse like I thought that I could.

Sorry.

[This message edited by devotedman at 12:33 PM, November 27th (Thursday)]


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
LotusFlwr
New Member
Member # 40485
Default  Posted: 5:47 AM, November 28th (Friday)

When I found out about the A, it felt like I had been violated all over again. I thought I was over it but I have been having flashbacks all over again. This stinks.


Me: BS
Him:WS
Married: 14 years
Kids: 13 and 11
D-day: 8/24/13

Posts: 9 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Hell
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 10:46 AM, November 28th (Friday)

I'll try again, but with less information this time.

My mother was verbally, mentally, physically, and sexually abusive to me for as long as I can remember.

My very earliest memories (age 3-4) are sexualized.

The mental and verbal abuse was around how nothing I could ever do was good enough, I was always a failure because I should have been able to do better. This has left self-esteem issues that crop up to this day. I've had therapy, developed tools and methods, but that hurt child is still in there.

The physical abuse included slapping, shaking (I can still feel my head rocking back and forth, and the headaches afterwards) until I was too big for shaking, and switch-assisted beatings that left bloody welts between ass and knee such that I had to wear long pants to cover them until they healed.

The sexual stuff affected me the most, probably.

As a result I was quite promiscuous around and during puberty. Resources were few, then. I was raised to avoid cruelty, and empathy and remorse were stressed to me.

My volatile mother was only not volatile during sexual teasing and activity. I came to associate calmness, approval, and acceptance from a woman with sexual behavior.

The only problem was that one woman (same age girl, really, as this was when I was in my teens) wasn't enough. The approval from without was empty calories, but I didn't know that.

The promiscuous behavior stopped when I watched a teenage sexual partner cry because I was ending things with her. I noticed that I felt empathy, but not remorse.

And at that moment I realized that I was fucked up.

The only help that I knew about were the psychology and psychiatry books from local libraries. I read them. I thought, analyzed, wrote, reintegrated, and survived.

I stayed out of relationships until I could feel remorse and empathy together.

Recently, I went through more self-esteem issues. Stress was high. I created an environment in which my long-term GF couldn't be happy. I pushed her away because I knew if she was close she'd know that I was a failure and leave. I couldn't answer when she'd call because of the same thing. I wasn't able to see the self-esteem problem until later because then I was consumed by it. I couldn't see the forest for the trees. She tried so hard to help, to talk, to get close, but then I just couldn't.

It looked to her exactly like I was having an affair. Now I see that, and I feel remorse for the pain I caused her. I can only hope that it wasn't nearly as bad for her as it is, now, for me. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

I've a couple of threads in Just Found Out detailing what has gone on with that relationship. I kicked myself in the ass and started working on the relationship again, but it was too late to save the relationship. She is truly my love, and she's gone, and I'm not Ok with that because she's being self-destructive in her new relationship choice (FOO issues for her, too), but that's life.

So, thanks, Mom. You always said that you'd pity any woman foolish enough to get involved with me.

Remember the internet curse, "Get cancer, die screaming"? She did.

ETA: I've always dated older women. I married one 4 years older than me, and the greatest age difference was 23 years older. My WGF is the greatest negative age difference ever, at 5 years younger.

One thing that I've always seen as good is that I've never, ever, taken someone's virginity. I viewed that as special, and I knew that I wasn't. I've also never, ever, had a first sexual encounter with a partner while said partner had been drinking, even a little. I was so afraid of inadvertently hurting someone, of making them regret sex with me.

Heh. Standards. "If a person who indulges in gluttony is a glutton, and a person who commits a felony is a felon, then God is an iron." - Spider Robinson

[This message edited by devotedman at 10:59 AM, November 28th (Friday)]


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 12:24 PM, November 28th (Friday)

Hello Devotedman, and welcome to our thread. I am so sorry for the abuse you suffered at the hands of your mother, it sounds horrific. And kudos to you for your insightful approach to overcoming it.

It sounds to me as if you are blaming yourself, at least partially, for your SO's cheating. Please dispel that thought, as it is not the case. You mentioned her FOO issues, perhaps that is the source of her behavior, only she knows the answer to that. But however distant you may have been in the relationship, her cheating is because she is messed up. Not you.

Also, I experienced an exacerbation of my FOO issues after my husband cheated. PTSD back with a vengeance, the nightmares, waking up screaming, everything to do with what my parents did to me came back, on top of what I was dealing with from his A. From what I understand, this also is normal, it is an extra burden of enormous pain for those of us who have experienced childhood SA.

Our coping mechanisms are as varied as we are. My sibs have all become abusive in different ways, I have been abusive to myself. You became promiscuous, I became terrified of men. There is no cookie cutter response, we just do what we must to survive.

Maybe some counseling or more reading would help you to cope? I pray that you find healing. Take care.
E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 1:41 PM, November 28th (Friday)

Thanks, Edith.

I've read several pages of the thread. I'd have to say that my experiences, compared to yours, were less horrific.

Thank you for stewarding/appearing often on the thread. And thanks for reading my post, getting it out there helps.

Re: Blaming myself. I'm doing my best to take the 50%/50% of the relationship. When WGF gaslights, blameshifts, and rewrites history I stand firm in what I'm responsible for and what she's responsible for. thank you for the understanding comment, though.

One of the hardest things that I've had to deal with as a result of the long-running sexual abuse was that, as a pre-pubescent and especially pubescent male, on some level I wanted it to continue.

Partly because pubescent males are intensely interested in sex, and partly because that was the only consistent approval from her to me.

God, that was hard to write.

thank you again, more reading is now on the agenda.

RAINN provided me with a list of books and web resources.

In hopes that they help someone here they are:
Journey to Wholeness by Monique Lang,
The Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Maltz,
The Rape Recovery Handbook by Aphrodite Matsakis,
Courage to Heal Workbook: For Women and Men Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, by Laura Davis,
I Can't Get Over It, A Handbook for Trauma Survivors by Aphrodite Matsakis,
How to Survive Sexual Assault for Women, Men, Teenagers, and Their Friends and Families by Helen Benedict---Nonfiction. (Partially) Available online at: http://books.google.com/books?id=79kJd2eYWmQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=how+to+survive+sexual+assault+for+women+men+teenagers+and+their+friends+and+families&source=bl&ots=InMnQyWNm3&sig=cvk-dDpfdlWS1poofsy_4WuSJ0U&hl=en&sa=X&ei=WYxQUNjqFKay0AGbpIDoCQ&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=how%20to%20survive%20sexual%20assault%20for%20women%20men%20teenagers%20and%20their%20friends%20and%20families&f=false

http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//SMA-3717/SMA-3717.pdf
This link has tips on physical and emotional self-care for survivors:
http://www.rainn.org/get-information/sexual-assault-recovery/self-care-for-survivors


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 2:58 PM, November 28th (Friday)

Hi Devotedman, Sometimes I just have to remind myself that that part of my life is over, that I am no longer that terrified child. My dad has been dead for 7 years, he died on Thanksgiving. My mother has end-stage Alzheimer's, and I am 8 hours away from my siblings, but even still I sometimes have to remind myself that I am a grown woman and can stand up for myself.

As you probably know, CSA is a wound that never completely heals, we carry those scars for life. Other emotional trauma will open those wounds and we are sent back to that awful place.

One thing I have done since his A is that I have worked on changing my life for the better. Doing things for myself that I never felt worthy of. Exercising and taking better care of myself, I have even gone back to school. Working toward a new career, after 36 years in my soon-to-be former job. So maybe it will help you to look ahead?

Take care,
E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 10:56 AM, November 30th (Sunday)

A few more details, hoping for some sort of catharsis, maybe?

I remember that when I was around 6yo I was leaning forward from the back seat of the car, one hand on either bucket seat top.

Mom was driving, we were leaving the grocery store, still in the parking lot, IIRC.

She said something, ending with, "you little son of a bitch."

Always analytical, and with total innocence, I considered. I knew that I was her son. I knew that a bitch was a female dog. Something didn't compute. (I read voraciously, still do, though during this post-affair apocalypse my concentration suffers.)

I asked, sincerely, "If I'm the son of a bitch then what are you?"

As one might expect, things went south from there.
---
When I was due a whipping for whatever minor annoyance I would be told to go to my room, sit on my bed with my pants and underwear around my ankles, "think about what I'd done and what was coming", and wait for up to 15 minutes or so for her to go pull a switch off of the bush, or get a belt, or whatever. Then the bloody whipping would happen. Funnily enough I don't remember many details of the whippings nor do I remember what would happen afterward.
---
My earliest sexual memory is at age 3 or 4, I masturbated while she watched.
---
My next sexual memory is age 6 or so, she used to wait until my father had gone to bed, or was out, dress in a robe, and lie on the floor for me to "rub her legs". I'd have to start at her feet, then lower legs, then she'd raise the robe a bit, then upper legs, robe higher, and I'd rub her ass with generous views between her legs. Rubbing in that area would follow.
---
Teasing views of pubic nudity or near near nudity were quite common.
---
The last physical abuse was at age 16 or so. She was in my room. I said something, I don't remember what, and she turned and slapped me open-handed, hard, on the face.

I don't know what I looked like, but it must have been bad. She looked concerned and she stepped back. I stepped forward, picked her up, carried her from my room across the hall to hers, dumped her on her bed, and walked out. I don't think that I was ever hit again.
---
I remember once as a teenager that my hand was between her legs in her bedroom while my father was showering in the master bathroom.
---
Grades in school, A's and high B's weren't good enough. A+'s weren't really mentioned as anything other than what was expected of me, I was finally performing to my potential.
---
My WGF is a Special Needs teacher. Expecting understanding, I finally opened up to someone other than an IC about what had happened to me as a youngster. About how I'd reacted as a teenager and adult. I opened up about bad choices that I'd made. I thought that if anyone could understand, that she could. I told her more than I'd ever told the IC.

Instead she told me that she had never known these things about me, that therefore she didn't know me, and went and found solace in the dual arms of swinging OM/OMW and doesn't want anything to do with me now. Dammit. Just dammit. Now I feel like I know how the world at large will react to me. Pity party, much?

The split was actually more complicated than that, but that opening up was a part of it.
---
Mom would also leave her sex toys out for me to find. Uncleaned.
---

There's more, dear readers, but I'm worn out. I've written this stuff before and erased it. I'll leave this one up.

Edited to ask: What did I do to get this page so wide? Can I fix it?

[This message edited by devotedman at 10:57 AM, November 30th (Sunday)]


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
goingtothrive
Member
Member # 45486
Default  Posted: 6:33 PM, November 30th (Sunday)

I belong here, although for 48 years I didn't know. I wasn't penetrated, so I didn't understand that I had been sexually abused. When my H left me for OW, the trauma was so great, the loss of control so devastating that it began to dawn on me that I had had these feelings before...as a child. I talked to a crisis counselor and asked her if what I experienced was sexual abuse. She said, "My god! Yeeeessss!" I was stunned. I remember when I was in my mid 20's reading an article that listed all the symptoms of adults who were abused sexually as a child, and I had every one. I shut the article and wondered how that could be....no one had abused me! Now I know.

Age 6: A playmate took off my pants and performed cunnilingus on me. I remember now feeling absolutely paralyzed. I didn't know what was happening, but I knew I didn't like it. I wanted my mom to help me, but I couldn't speak or move. I didn't remember those feelings my whole life until age 54. I remembered the incident, but just chalked it up to stuff kids do. I now realize that a child her age would not know how to do that if it weren't being done to her. I consider her father my abuser as she was just acting out.

Age 6: For at least an entire year - neighbor girl in 6th grade would hold me down and do sexual things to me. I remember now feeling the same loss of control, shame, fear - I never said anything and never stopped it. Again, I shoved all those feelings deep inside and chalked it up to child's play.

Age 11: Neighbor boy age 16 or so would catch me in the dark (we were playing hide and go seek) and shove me into the dark barn, lay on top of me and shove his tongue down my throat and dry hump me. I couldn't get away. He was so big. He finally would let me go, but he would do these things whenever I was around his sisters. Don't know how many times or for how many years. I do feel fortunate that he didn't penetrate me. Again, I shoved all the feelings away and thought that these were the games kids play.

Age 12: Sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor of my Dad's family members in L.A. We were there to go to Disneyland. His 18 year old cousin sneaked into my bag while I was sleeping and laid on top of me. Did basically the same thing as boy mentioned above. I was again, paralyzed, scared, etc.

Age 12: Married older man grabbed me and shoved his tongue down my throat. Couldn't get away.

Age 12: Man exposes his genitals to me downtown Corvallis. I ran.

Age 13: At religious school, choir teacher trapped me up in the dark balcony of the gym and proceeded to berate me for being sexy and always trying to turn him on. I had no idea what he was talking about, but was very afraid. He finally let me go. I felt that I was dirty somehow.

Age 13: Same school. Math teacher made a boy put his hand down my shirt and he snapped a photo. Everyone laughed. We were on the bus. I felt dirty. Wrong. Shame filled me every time I thought about that photo out there somewhere. At age 26, my friend went to his house for Sabbath dinner after church and he brought the photo out and showed it to everyone at the table.

Age 13: Boyfriend forces me into sexual things I do not want to do.

Age 15; Witness my father rape my mother in a hotel room late at night. Us kids asleep on floor.

Age 25: Man circled me in a parking lot on his bike saying, "I'm going to fuck you. I'm going to fuck you." I ran.

Age 25: Driving my car, man jerks off in car beside me thrusting his pelvis up in the window for me to see.

Age 34: Man rapes me when I am drunk.

Ages 38 - 54 - During sex Husband whispers "I love fucking my wife," always asks for sex rather than telling me he loves me and wants to make love to me, constantly whines about how he didn't have much sex before he met me and wants to experience other women, tries to get me to have sex with others, guilts me into considering a threesome, propositions other women during the marriage - once in front of me, husband begins affair and has very emotionally distant and ugly sex with me, Dday - affair exposed and I am devastated, sobbing - he takes off my clothes and enters me. I continue to sob underneath him with my arms curled up over my heart. He says, "Be quiet. You sound desperate." His face has power and dominance on it. No love.

Husband also tried to have sex with my 11 year old daughter. I minimized and swept it under the rug. I let her down. I am so ashamed. She suffered along time, because I didn't stand up for what was right. I thought he was so good that it had to be my fault. After that sex with him was my job. He told me I had to keep him satisfied to keep him from doing something stupid.

I am now utterly crushed. I am a wreck. When things seem out of my control, I lose it. I get suicidal. I do things that will wreck all my relationships and at the time I don't care.

I apologize to all who have been brutally raped. These incidents do not even compare.


Dday Dec. 2012
Divorced Dec. 14, 2014
M 17 years
1 DS 17

Posts: 1459 | Registered: Nov 2014 | From: Oregon
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 8:50 PM, November 30th (Sunday)

I just wanted you to know that you've been heard, and I'm sorry that this happened to you.

I'm told that the different experiences of different people cannot be compared as more/less abuse. That it is the abuse that we live with and is somehow all the same even though it seems different.

You might check out http://www.pandys.org/forums/, a place for survivors like us. You have to sign up there and I haven't, yet, but I've read some of the freely available articles and they've shown me some things about myself. Perhaps they would help you, too. Articles are at http://www.pandys.org/articles/index.html

I wish you the best in your healing journey. Believe me when I tell you that someone has heard you and that someone cares.

[This message edited by devotedman at 8:52 PM, November 30th (Sunday)]


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 10:36 AM, December 1st (Monday)

Hello Lotusflower, and welcome. Please share in any way that you find helpful, we are here and we care.

@Devotedman, Please remember the shame is not yours. One of the most evil parts of being victimized as a child is that we have a tendency to pick up the blame and carry it for a lifetime. I hope you can try and set it down, the blame is hers.

@ Goingtothrive, welcome, my dear. I read a good deal of minimizing in your post. These people exploited you and harmed you. You were innocent and victimized in heinous ways. And like you, I was victimized by multiple people in my lifetime, it is almost like we have a sign on our backs. I also was raped at age 19 by my first husband, married him out of guilt and shame. Somehow abusers are able to zero in on those of us who have suffered at the hands of others.

I think the best piece of advice I have learned is that we have been conditioned to hate ourselves (at least I have). The way to overcome that is to focus on loving ourselves, seeing value and beauty in our lives and how we treat others. Part of loving ourselves is to shut down any further harm from those we love. Not blaming ourselves for a cheating spouse, not taking responsibility for things we intellectually know are not our fault.

I pray for healing for all of us.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
goingtothrive
Member
Member # 45486
Default  Posted: 11:05 AM, December 1st (Monday)

I am not surprised I am minimizing. It is what I have done best all these years. It has kept me sane and insane altogether. Well, it doesn't protect me any longer. My husband's abuse was the last straw. I must fix this. I must heal.


Dday Dec. 2012
Divorced Dec. 14, 2014
M 17 years
1 DS 17

Posts: 1459 | Registered: Nov 2014 | From: Oregon
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 11:52 AM, December 1st (Monday)

Hi GTT, I know what you mean. When my H cheated, it was more than I could take. He confessed, and I jumped out of the moving vehicle on the freeway, hoping to be killed. I have learned a lot since that day, and I will never go back.

A therapist once told me to take an item that you associate with your abuser and destroy it. I took a clock that had been a gift from my parents, took it in the back yard and beat it with a sledge hammer. I don't know if it would be helpful to you, but the important thing to remember is to think about what they did to you during the time you are destroying this inanimate object. For me, it helped a little.

I also took up primal screaming. If there is concern about privacy, you can always scream into your hands or a pillow. I remember screaming to the point of exhaustion.

These are Band-Aids for what you are dealing with, honey. They helped me get through the toughest of days. The true answer, I believe, is to love yourself. You are worthy, and you are the prize. Hugs.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
lost94
Member
Member # 41244
Default  Posted: 3:01 AM, December 7th (Sunday)

Warning .... Very long post ... Grab a drink and a blanket

My brother sexually molested me somewhere between the ages of 8 & 10. I don't know how many times and I'm not certain if it was actually rape. I have always said he rubbed his body parts on me at night after everyone was sleeping. But when I finally talked to my BH about it almost two months ago I remembered my brother telling me that I needed to tell him if/when I got my first period. He is about 5 years older than me. I'm struggling with why would he ask me that if there wasn't penetration? Was it because he was young also and didn't understand sex? I have always looked up to my brother even today. I'm not sure why I even trust him. I feel like a part of me has forgiven him over the years, but is it really forgiveness or is it just a way for me to not deal with it? The abuse ended when my parents divorced. My parents divorced when I was almost 11. Like I said I don't know how long it went on, but I know the house we lived in and know that we moved in there when I was in third grade and left when my parents divorced. I have always and still sometimes do take responsibility for what happened mostly because at the time I didn't understand but now do that my body responded I. A "good" way. I had orgasms at that young age. I remember my brother telling me that I liked it or my body wouldn't respond that way. I told him no so many times. I tried so hard to fake that I was sleeping in hopes that he would go away. I have never told my parents about this. We grew up in a fairly unstable home. My dad was an alcoholic and smoked pot. Him and my brother used to get in physical fights throwing furniture around, pushing one another through windows and fireplace doors, etc. My mom never did anything really to protect me from the fighting. I was never told that what was happening between them was wrong.

When I was like 13 or 14 I was with my newly met girlfriend when she had her first sexual experience. While walking back to her house she said to me please tell me that you have had sex. While I hadn't, I told her yes because I didn't want conflict and didn't want her to feel bad. She then told others and now I was labeled as a slut in this new town that I had just moved too.

I was basically told the only way that guys would like me is if I would put out. I lead guys on and then would freeze up the moment I thought we were actually going to have sex. Assuming I didn't lose my virginity by my brother, I waited until I was 17 before having sex for the first time. I had been dating a guy for almost 4 years and finally gave in. It was the worst experience ever. He didn't do anything wrong, just didn't feel good.

When I was 16 my step dad began sexually abusing me. It started with back rubs. I have always had issues with my neck and back being sore . The rubs would become over the shoulder and stroking the upper part of my breasts. Stupid me, even though I felt violated and didn't like it I continued to go back for more. There was a time after school one day that I came home and was curios about porn. I knew that my mom and stepdad had tapes and watched it . So, decided to watch one. Nobody was supposed to be home for like an hour. About two minutes into starting it I heard the front door opening so I hurried up and shut off the VCR . Well, my stepdad was suspicious of what I was doing and checked it out. He asked me to watch the porn with him. I said no and went to my room. Mostly due to embarrassment. So many things happened between the two of us. I remember waking up one night and seeing him run out of my room. I realized my tshirt that I had worn to bed was pulled up and he blankets had been pulled down. I finally got up the nerve to say something. Things felt like they were getting out of control. I told a couple friends in school and they approached my brother. He came and asked me what was going on. I told him and he stood up for me. He confronted my mom. She was in denial as would any mom. When my stepdad was confronted he basically denied everything. When asked about coming into my room he admitted to it but said it was because he thought he heard me up and the motion sensored light at the front door was on.

My mom didn't believe me when it was all said and done. She made me go live with my dad for the summer. I was told by family members that I was not good for my mom, as she was seeking treatment for codependency at the time. I eventually snapped and told her I was going to commit suicide. She had me come to her house and she drove me to a treatment facility. This facility had two wards. One for addictions and one for mental issues. Because my dad was an alcoholic and had used drugs she put me in that ward. She was going to the same treatment facility for her codependency. We ended up with the same counselor and she told him that I was a liar and a manipulator. I made all of this up because I wanted her and my stepdad to split up. Needless to say the counselor believed her and was no help. After 10 very long, brutal days of watching people come off their highs the insurance company had me released. My mom was very upset that I had been released, so much so that she talked about turning me over to the state. My dad wanted no part of that. She sent me back to his house. I didn't want to be with him either as he and my stepmom both drank a lot and argued quite a bit. As much as I didn't want to go back to my moms it was the start of my senior year and I didn't want to go to another new school for one year. I ended up graduating early in December 17, turned 18 on the 20th and moved out on the 21st.

So, now that I have written a book I can tell you that I never dealt with any if this until just recently. On the brink of losing my marriage due to my infidelity, I finally opened up to my BH. I have never trusted anyone, nor have I ever let anyone fully into my heart. I have always kept all relationships at arms length. While I don't trust anyone , I have always tried to be as nice to everyone as I possibly can. I have never cut any of my family members out of my life. For some silly ass reason I love each of them with all my heart. I hold a lot of resent and anger towards them. My parents have seen me struggling lately. They are aware of my A. I have had to lie to them because I am so afraid of hurting everyone . I believe wig everything in me that my brother is a wonderful father, husband, friend, etc. he is successful and loving. I have no idea if he is filled with guilt. For all I know he doesn't even remember. When my dad has questioned me I can at least openly tell him that I am just now beginning to deal with the issues from my stepdad. But my mom, I completely lie. I know her stance with my stepdad and I'm not strong enough yet to be told that I'm wrong and lying about this. And I can't bring myself to tell either of hem about their son.

I am struggling this week because we are celebrating Xmas with my brother at his house next week. I have never had any issues around him in the past but right now I am feeling so very panicky. Is this normal? I told my BH this week that I want no part of Xmas this year. If he wants a tree and wants the kids to have gifts he needs to handle it. This is not me and I know that. I just don't know how to get out of this rut.

I apologize for the length of this post. I have never really talked about this to anyone, let alone a group of people that understand. My emotions are everywhere due to finally feeling with this along with the devastation of the A. I did read a book called Secret Survivors Women of Incest. Holy cow, couldn't believe the things that were pointed out in that book that I could say yep that's me. Not sure what I am looking for. I think this is more of a vent for me. Thank you for taking the time to read.


Me: WS 38
Him: BS 46 (Devotedfool68)
Married 18 yrs, together 21
2 teenage boys

"You are free to choose but your are not free of the consequences from your choice"


Posts: 147 | Registered: Nov 2013
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 2:41 PM, December 8th (Monday)

Hi Lost94, and welcome to our thread. It is so sad that you have to deal with this, and terribly sad for both you and your husband because of its impact on your lives.

I think the only way forward for anyone struggling to deal with childhood abuse is to shine the light of day on what happened. At some point, perhaps after Christmas, I would suggest you approach your brother and ask for an apology. See what happens. The little girl you were all those years ago deserves for you to stick up for her.

Sometimes our ideas about who we love are more about who we NEED. When I was younger, I "needed" my FOO. As I got older, I realized such was not the case, and that their presence in my life was actually extremely destructive.

He confronted my mom. She was in denial as would any mom.

I take issue with this statement. As painful and earth-shattering an experience this must have been, as your mother, it is her duty, her instinctive obligation to PROTECT her child. Is she still with this stepfather? This makes my blood boil! She should have defended you!! She also owes you an apology.

Again, I am terribly sorry you are dealing with all this. Of course, I am sure you know that it does not excuse an affair, but perhaps makes you resolving the issue even more urgent. We learn coping behaviors from CSA, and those can lead to making a further disaster of our lives. I will pray for you and yours. Take care.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
lost94
Member
Member # 41244
Default  Posted: 5:07 PM, December 8th (Monday)

Thanks Edith

Yes, my mom is still with my stepdad. While I know logically it makes sense that she should come to my defense I have often felt compelled to defend her. My dad cheated on her and left. She met this guy and was able to marry him. She didn't think she would ever find happiness after her divorce with my dad. So, I guess I always keep that in the back of my mind because in her eyes she was finally happy again and now her bratty teenage daughter was stirring up trouble.

My stepdad has a daughter a year younger than me. She didn't come visit much during her teen years. I wondered at the time if the same thing was happening to her. But, 20 years later she has 3 daughters of her own. She is best friends with her dad and her daughters adore him. Don't get me wrong he does have a lot of good qualities. For the most part he has always been nice to me. Which then often leads me to am I over reacting? Did he really if something wrong or was I making it up, being manipulative and asking for attention?

Understanding a little bit about the effects of CSA has me questioning everything that has to do with external validation. Which leads me back to how much of all this is real? My therapist told me that while one can implant memories, images you can't implant feelings. I'm trying very hard to remember that and hold onto it.

A part of me does hope that some day I can approach my brother. I don't want to hurt him or his family though. I am also a people pleaser and with that hate when someone is mad or upset with me. All things I need to work on. Some days the list of things that needs to be fixed is quite overwhelming.

Thank you for your prayers!!


Me: WS 38
Him: BS 46 (Devotedfool68)
Married 18 yrs, together 21
2 teenage boys

"You are free to choose but your are not free of the consequences from your choice"


Posts: 147 | Registered: Nov 2013
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 8:34 AM, December 9th (Tuesday)

Hi Lost, I can remember struggling with feelings about my mom especially. I mean, she is my mother and I love her, right? Automatic. All that was based on the presumption that SHE loved ME as well, which turns out not to be the case. She loved herself, first and foremost, and next in line was my father. CSA instills a kind of rage that amazes me. I see it in my siblings, the hatefulness, the fact that they take pleasure in hurting others. For me, I have taken the rage out on myself. Very harsh thought dialogue, cutting, you name it. So the question becomes how to turn this whole thing around? How could this all have happened? The answer is, I was taught this. I was taught to hate myself by those who hated me first. And I decided that this was not who I am.

I hope the first thing you can do, Lost, is to think of that small child and whatever happened, envision in your mind that you embrace her when she is frightened and scoop her up in your arms, protect her. Reassure her and become her protector. And let that replace any negative dialogue you have in your mind about yourself.

As for your family, your mom, brother and stepfather have to atone to your satisfaction if they are to have a role in your life going forward (my opinion). It is difficult, because those who abused me refused to apologize and simply went on the attack after confrontation. But I think you will know when the time is right to bring it up.

she was finally happy again and now her bratty teenage daughter was stirring up trouble.

Does her happiness trump your well being? So if her husband touches you sexually against your will, so long as your mom is happy, no harm no foul?

he does have a lot of good qualities. For the most part he has always been nice to me. Which then often leads me to am I over reacting? Did he really if something wrong or was I making it up

This ^^^ is how abusers force us into compliance. Ambiguity, confusion, rewriting the past. Just like my siblings canonized my dad at his funeral, all the bad things were swept under the rug. The booze, the rage, the....horrible worse stuff. Not mentioned. Only that he was the BEST FATHER EVER. No, my little Edith remembers very well.

Some things for you to think about my dear. No one's happiness is valid at the expense of a child. Sending hugs and prayers.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
Kapooie
Member
Member # 46002
Default  Posted: 4:29 PM, December 19th (Friday)

Hi, new here. I saw my question touched on way back in this thread but not much since and maybe this question doesn't belong here.

My WS has given me a lot of different reasons by he thinks he's had affairs. But he said he's just not sure why he did it. When we went to counseling together the therapist said if he doesn't figure this out he's just going to cheat again. She was right. So after the latest affair and our split, he's gone to IC. He's hinted to me that he was abused by his older brother when they were teenagers and maybe an older sister knew about it but said nothing.

Does anyone have experience with something like this? I know sexual abuse can have far reaching ramifications, and usually I'd be right there to support him in what he's going through, but I'm just so tired of him telling me all these different reasons for what he did.

Any thoughts would be helpful.

[This message edited by Kapooie at 4:30 PM, December 19th (Friday)]


"If someone treats you like shit, just remember there is something wrong with them, not you. Normal people don't go around destroying other human beings."
Married 28 years. 3 amazing kids. One ass of a husband. Divorcing.

Posts: 271 | Registered: Dec 2014 | From: Upper Midwest
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 7:48 AM, December 21st (Sunday)

Hi Kapooie, I read your profile, and sadly you are married to a serial cheater. Could he have been abused in childhood? Sure. Many people are, unfortunately. I think what jumped out at me from your post was:
My WS has given me a lot of different reasons by he thinks he's had affairs.

Is this just another in a series of attempts to explain his terrible behavior? Could be. Perhaps having been abused will trigger some pity from you? Is he trying to save the M by getting you to feel sorry for his being abused? I don't think you have any way of finding truth in this case.

It has also been my experience when someone "hints" about something, it may be their way of telling themselves a lie is not a lie... Just my 2 cents.

If you are divorcing, then I would say this is his mess to clean up. Hopefully he will do the work to better himself, and he will no longer be your problem. On the other hand, if you are thinking of giving him the gift of R, provided he deal with his demons, I would proceed with great caution. You have been through so much already.

I hope you can focus on taking good care of yourself, my dear. Hugs.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
RDM0779
Member
Member # 44387
Default  Posted: 5:33 PM, December 22nd (Monday)

Hi Everyone:

I honestly had no idea this thread existed.

I was sexually abused by my cousin and my babysitter repeatedly during age 6-7 and then once by a neighbor on my paper route at age 12.

Through therapy and shedding my depression, I've unearthed these horrible suppressed memories and over the 4-6 weeks have had vivid flashbacks while driving and even just at rest.

Flashbacks had me back in my old bedroom where the SA occurred - I could see the colors of the room (The tones of the curtains, etc), and even the stale smell of our old townhouse that we lived in.

I've been able to recall the layout of the townhouse vividly where I could not recall it for years.

IC has helped me trace this back to several issues starting at a young age.

- Trusting anyone with my deepest, darkest emotions
- depression for most of my life (that I wasn't aware of, but is completely apparent through self discovery and IC after my A)
- night terrors for years as a child (chest being crushed by a giant clay ball)
- bed wetting for years as a child
- anti social behavior (lack of friends)
- massive self esteem issues my entire life

A lot of these issues were contributing factors to my behavior last year and many, many things were suppressed for a long time that I've been able to recall and work through in therapy.

I have finally been able to confide in my BS and she has been supportive and comforting.

I've apologized repeatedly for coming into this marriage so unknowingly messed up and broken - to which she replies, it's not the broken that upset me - it's how you handled the broken that upset me.

I am deeply remorseful and sad at how I coped with my depression, but so grateful for my wife's love and support.

Looking forward to offering my questions and support to this group going forward.

~M

I've not read the thread yet, but I wanted to join and share my experiences. These traumas as a child affected me for most of my life until I finally was able to get help and start fixing myself.

[This message edited by RDM0779 at 5:49 PM, December 22nd (Monday)]


Me: WS, 35
Her: BS, 37
Married 5yrs.

- 5/'13: 2 week EA (online) & 2 day PA. Same OW.
- 6/'13: Inappropriate texts.
- 7/'14: Chatted to a old GF on skype twice.

DDAY: 7/17/14

In a loving R, looking to the future.


Posts: 86 | Registered: Aug 2014
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 8:51 AM, December 23rd (Tuesday)

Hi RDM and welcome to our thread. So sad for what you have gone through, but glad that you are finding help. It was my experience that I had suppressed the CSA until my early 30s, one psychiatrist told me this is quite typical.

We were all abused in my FOO, and each of us has handled it differently. My other 3 siblings have directed their rage outwardly, while I have directed mine at myself. For all of us, the rage of having been that helpless child is there, the difference is in what we do with it. For me, exercise is helpful, as is my wood chipper...

Difficulty trusting is also a quite common trait, and I can relate to the night terrors. After all these years, I still have them. Three nights this week I have been screaming in my sleep, 50 years after my abuse started. Also, a smell can bring me right back to that terrible time, stale cigarettes and alcohol are triggers.

Hopefully your IC is a good one and can guide you through this. One thing I learned is that there is no "cure" for this sort of trauma...it becomes a part of us and we must live with it. If an A was your coping mechanism, then hopefully you can deal with it in a healthier way. Your wife sounds like a wise and forgiving lady, lucky for you.

Take care, and keep posting. Praying for you and your wife.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 10:21 PM, December 23rd (Tuesday)

Grrrr, a question. I know it is common for survivors of CSA to disassociate sex and intimacy. Any suggestions for a reconnect?

My history allows me to seperate them. Not proud, but my *medication* between LTR's was sex. Not in a player way, but many casual encounters. I did/do seperate the two EXCEPT in a committed relationship.

I was wondering if there is some way of demonstrating to FWW that there can be a conscious way to connect the two.

Just frustrated this evening.


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 21(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 3787 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 11:59 PM, December 23rd (Tuesday)

545, I think the disconnect between sex and intimacy stems from a sense of powerlessness. Not sure what Mrs. 545''s background is, but when a little kid is used for the sexual gratification of an adult, that disconnect becomes a psychological survival mechanism. CSA wires us to have an expectation that what we want is irrelevant.

A book I read soon after DDay, which was recommended here on SI and pretty much convinced me I needed IC, The Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Maltz. One theory therein that really hit me like a ton of bricks, the author writes that CSA survivors are frequently incapable of saying what we want, sexually. We might have a sense of what we want, that, e.g., would create a link between sex and intimacy for us, but we''re literally incapable of forming the words. Which I know can be damn frustrating for our partner.

There''s no easy answer to your question, sorry. What blocks intimacy, IMHO, for a CSA survivor is a sense of imbalance of power. Any indication (not necessarily based in fact) that our partner is "taking" something from us can cause us to emotionally disconnect. Perhaps ironically, one way to connect intimacy and sex may be to sometimes have intimacy without sex. It can be reassuring to know that sex isn''t the price of intimacy, if that makes any sense.

If Mrs. 545 would like to reach out privately, she''s most welcome. This thread, unfortunately, tends to be a bit slow. Edith (God bless you) has been holding down the fort practically solo.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
Former motto: "Fake it till ya make it." Now: "You can't win if you don't play."

Posts: 1438 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 12:43 AM, December 24th (Wednesday)

Absolutely, Edith has my vote for sainthood.

20, therein lies the rub. *I wanted it* is the most common reply I get. She was 12 or 13,he was 17 or 18. He *shared* her with his friends. She was filling a void left by her parents. Hell, there was one guy who was 36 when she was 16. She introduced him as a very good friend.

Any suggestions in how to break through the denial? What really sucks is that I *know* I can't cure her.

How do I help?


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 21(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 3787 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
Kapooie
Member
Member # 46002
Default  Posted: 8:22 AM, December 24th (Wednesday)

Edith,

Thank you for responding and your kind words. I cannot go through another R with him. I just do not have it in me. While I think it may be true that he was abused as a teen I also think that he's telling me about it now as a manipulation tool. The really sad part about this is he went to the OW first and told her he was sorry for his actions and that he was in counseling for "some stuff" that happened to him as a teen. He said he felt bad for hurting her and owed her an explanation.

I'm so glad that I found this site. It's a relief to have people to "talk" to who totally understand what you're going through. It's a Godsend.

Kapooie


"If someone treats you like shit, just remember there is something wrong with them, not you. Normal people don't go around destroying other human beings."
Married 28 years. 3 amazing kids. One ass of a husband. Divorcing.

Posts: 271 | Registered: Dec 2014 | From: Upper Midwest
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 8:55 AM, December 24th (Wednesday)

Awww 20 and 545, thank you for your kind words. I pray that we all find healing from this nightmare.

545, I agree with 20's eloquent response. Perhaps the best answer I have, and in no way am I the expert, is that we patch ourselves together and do the best we can. Tons of counseling and many years later, and I still have those difficulties. A good emotional connection, even for a few days, I find sometimes helpful. It sounds a lot like what 20 said...intimacy without sex can enhance intimacy WITH sex. The problem for me is that that background movie still plays sometimes in my head, it still affects me in ways I cannot always control. And on top of that, his A has really done a number on my trust issues. Is any of that resonating with you? It sounds like your wife has been through a pretty horrific series of experiences. Is she in IC? Just remember, no IC that I have found yet is capable of miracles, but they can help guide us. And you cannot do the work for her, she has to step up and work on it herself. I will keep you two in my prayers.

@Kapooie, I am pleased to hear that you are not attempting R with him. Goodness, he has blown it too many times already, and you deserve more!

His story about abuse, if it is, indeed, untrue, hurts those of us who have truly suffered from CSA, as it casts doubt on our veracity. Something I have struggled with my whole life. My sibs always stuck to denial along with my parents, so I was (am) the only one who lives in truth. And the fact that your H apologized to OW, if I may share my opinion....Many of us who have been betrayed are the "nice" ones. In my husband's A, the OW was demanding and manipulative. What she wanted mattered more than what I wanted because she was putting the most pressure on him. Me? I was crushed and just trying to survive, so hurting me more was the path of least resistance. I don't know if that makes sense to you, but I am happy you are ready to move on with your life.... May 2015 find you healing and moving forward toward happiness.

Praying for all of us.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 9:41 AM, December 24th (Wednesday)

Edith, thanks for the reminder about 20's comment about intimacy w/o sex. TMI ALERT.....Ok, every night when she goes to bed, I will snuggle up behind her, run my fingers through her hair, massage her neck and back or lightly run my fingers over her skin. Every night. Sex is NOT attached in any way shape or form.

She is incapable of arousal on her own. I might as well be a cat or dog for all intents and purposes. That's not completely true. When there is something(NOT sex) that she desperately needs, the arousal is through the roof. Pre M, when she wanted to get M'd. Pre child when she wanted to get pregnant. In and around her A. Post D day for about 2 months. Then *light switch* turned off.

Thanks for the recommendations. I'll see if she will be open to them. Remember, she still has a hard time admitting to what happened.

She *wanted it*.


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 21(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 3787 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 9:03 AM, December 25th (Thursday)

Hi 545, The little information you have posted about your wife's experiences makes me think there was someone in her childhood who may have abused her, resulting in her acting out and "wanting it" when she was older....is that a possibility? She may even have repressed those memories or buried them so deeply she cannot even access them. IDK, just a thought.

The light switch on and off must be terribly difficult for you to deal with. I experienced rejection from my H for years before his A because of his use of pornography. It was devastating, then the A pretty much destroyed me.

I think the place to start might be with a physical perhaps checking her hormone levels, and then IC. Unfortunately, she has to do the hard work to heal herself. Does she know how you are feeling? I'm sorry, I know this is painful. Take care.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 3:27 PM, December 25th (Thursday)

5454real, we've interacted on some of the other threads.

As a CSA also, I can tell you that part of the hell and self-esteem problems is that *I wanted it*.

As a six-year old sexualized child. As a pubescent teen. Then she died.

The I Wanted It thing is so real. It stems from this: kids want attention, love, and validation; abusers equate attention, love, and validation with sexualized acts. I learned that to get attention, love, and validation from women all I had to do was be good at giving them sexual pleasure. Plus, having been sexualized, now sexual stimulation was, not fun, but pleasurable?

The result: someone who has low self-esteem, seeks validation from outside themselves, and knows that offering sex to the validator is a good way to get validated.

Not all sexual abuse survivors react this way, but some do. It is a lot more complex than my poor typing ability can handle, but the above is roughly true for me.

How to get a handle on it? Show her some of these posts in the last few pages. To be healed of a wound you must acknowledge the wound. Show her that it isn't shameful, that it wasn't her fault. She needs to learn that sex is a wonderful, intimate, safe, bonding activity.

From your post it sounded to me like she uses sex to get what she wants. That sounds worse than I meant it, likely she was taught at a young age that getting what she wanted or needed required sexual acts. That training sticks, man.

the best to you two.

EDIT
I was stuck mostly fixing myself and I made a few mistakes. Whooda thunkit?

She absolutely should not try to fix herself. She needs real, qualified help if she is a CSA survivor. I'm sure the women in this thread would be more than happy to help her or make suggestions that you can take back to her.

[This message edited by devotedman at 3:30 PM, December 25th (Thursday)]


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 4:06 PM, December 25th (Thursday)

IIRC, The Sexual Healing Journey addresses the connection between arousal and "recreating" the abuse. I guess denial for Mrs. 545 is a psychological coping mechanism, perhaps similar to repressed memories. Shrink One says my CSA memories came back at age 18 because my brain judged me strong enough to handle them. It was surreal, the return of the memories. Shocking. But I was grateful, because months later when I lost my V to my first serious BF, it was like, "Yeah, my aversion to male genitalia makes total sense!"

Took me 20 more years, and throwing a grenade into our M, to seek professional help. Pulling back the curtain and facing those memories again was terrifying. So ICR to embracing denial. But it''s no way to go through life. For either of you.

ETA, read this later and thought "recreating the abuse" wasn''t very tactful in this context, sorry. To clarify, you say she gets aroused when she wants something. When she was 12, she wanted attention. That''s maybe what she''s (probably subconsciously) recreating. Delving into that might be helpful, is all I was clumsily saying.

[This message edited by 20WrongsVs1 at 7:57 PM, December 25th, 2014 (Thursday)]


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
Former motto: "Fake it till ya make it." Now: "You can't win if you don't play."

Posts: 1438 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 9:14 AM, December 26th (Friday)

I have just a bit to add...I would hope that Mrs. 545 would be sensitive to your frustrations, and that that might be the impetus for her to seek help. You are in the unenviable position of having to be sensitive to her pain while carrying such enormous pain from her infidelity. While I understand that she has these coping mechanisms from her past, they have wreaked such destruction on you and your M that it is time for her to seek help. Denial is the most common (in my experience) form of coping with this stuff, and it is a way of perpetuating the horror of CSA. So long as she "wanted it," nothing wrong was done....or in my case, "it never happened," was a way of invalidating my pain. Just like the secrecy of an A, the secrecy of what happened with CSA needs to be illuminated in all its ugliness.

Best wishes to all for healing and peace.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 9:55 AM, December 26th (Friday)

5454real, what really resonates with me now is nonsexual, bonding touch. Holding hands, a hand on a shoulder, long looks, draping a leg over mine while sitting on the couch, that sort of thing.

I'm not sure if this is CSA related or not, but it feels really, really good to be cherished and acknowledged in non-sexual ways. I've changed validations or encouragements that I can accept from only sexual to a mix of sexual and non-sexual. It feels much healthier.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 10:00 AM, December 26th (Friday)

Edith, perhaps a chance to help another CSA victim/survivor...

In the General / Very Angry Today thread a woman spoke out for the first time about her abuse part way down the thread.

It was sort of heartbreaking, but you know that.

She said that she didn't know of any resources. I pointed her here but my post was 22 or so hours later.

I hesitate to reach out via PM.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 10:55 AM, December 26th (Friday)

Thank you DM, her PM is not enabled... hopefully she will read the thread again and see our responses.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 12:08 PM, December 26th (Friday)

Perhaps a thread with her name in the title in the same forum?

That might be too much, I don't know. Vacillating, I'll do nothing.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
lost94
Member
Member # 41244
Default  Posted: 5:14 PM, December 28th (Sunday)

I have been struggling with how to get through this pin. I went to the dr the other day to have my antidepressant increased and admitted to her that I just recently started dealing with my abuse recently. She said to me everything makes sense now. She has been my dr for 18 years and always wondered what I was keeping from her. She sensed that I was holding back and was certain that I was dealing with some form if trauma.

Like I told my H this morning, I keep reading to feel your feelings that is the only way through it. If that's the case then why does it still hurt so bad? More and more each day I don't feel like I can function. My concentration is gone, my anxiety is getting worse and I just feel like I'm losing my mind. I have never been so depressed in my life. It used to be when I was depressed I would get medication and within a week or two I would feel fine. I would stay on the meds for 6 months to a year and then quit taking them for a couple years until I hit the next low. She has me now on the strongest dose and it isn't doing much of anything.

How long will this last? Not sure I can make it through this pain.


Me: WS 38
Him: BS 46 (Devotedfool68)
Married 18 yrs, together 21
2 teenage boys

"You are free to choose but your are not free of the consequences from your choice"


Posts: 147 | Registered: Nov 2013
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 8:18 AM, December 29th (Monday)

(((lost))) I am so sorry. Perhaps that medication is not the right one for you? I have been on many different ADs before I finally found the right one. For me, it takes the edge off my depression, it does not cure it. I also am committed to using it long term.

Are you working with an IC as well? It is best to use all the ammunition available to battle your way through the effects of abuse. I hope you are taking good care of yourself, and perhaps your doc can suggest a different drug to treat your depression.

Certainly infidelity can trigger PTSD from childhood abuse, it did for me. Just focus on caring for yourself and working with your doc is a very good first step. Take care.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Sad  Posted: 8:01 PM, January 2nd (Friday)

Big FOO explosion. I am being attacked apparently for not showing enough attention to my mother who may be "gone tomorrow." An ugly hateful message from a sibling who drinks the Kool-Aid and lives in denial, like the rest. Accused me of "forgetting" my parents, as if I could. So painful and sad, I just cannot escape this horror show.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 8:35 PM, January 2nd (Friday)

Edith, you've helped so many so I'll try to return the favor.

I hear your pain, I can only partially understand what you're going through. I have no siblings and both parents passed rather quickly.

You've handled the CSA well. You're doing the necessary things to heal. The things to be a complete person. The things that let you be here to help.

I know how hard that is. Kudos, hats off, congratulations for working on yourself.

Now you're doing something even harder. Enduring your siblings' barbs.

Just tell yourself that their words don't matter.

What has always helped me is to realize that what people say about you conveys far more about them than it does about you.

You're valuable to so many, Edith. I literally cannot do what you do, which is monitor this thread and help those like us.

You are so strong, don't listen to what they say but the pain in their hearts that makes them say it. Pity them, have sympathy, but don't listen to their words.

Strength, sister. (as the say in the Betrayed Menz thread)


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 9:46 PM, January 2nd (Friday)

Your FOO are assholes. As a child of NPD/alcoholic parents, I get the assholishness you are being subjected to.

N/C. I maintain close contact with only 1 of my three siblings. My dad passed and mom suffers irreversible brain damage. I still maintain minimal contact with her only for appearances. I'm 350 miles away from the bullshit.

Honestly, my healing didn't begin until I severed ties. It hurt, but it was healthy.

You have much more on your plate. Whether they get it or not, you need to do what is the best for you. Your healing needs to take precedence. IMO, that involves N/C to the best of your ability.

I am so, so sorry for your torment. I too send strength to deal with this.


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 21(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 3787 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 7:49 AM, January 3rd (Saturday)

Oh DM and 545, thank you for your kind words. Your story sounds much like mine, 545, I had one sib who I was in contact with, the others are poison, all 450 miles away. The one who I had any contact with reached out yesterday with the ugliness, which I am sure is just the first volley. My dad is currently rotting in hell, the sibs made the decision to institutionalize my mom b/c of her dementia. No one told me until 3 weeks after when I had been trying to call her.

My mother told me not to call her there. So I send her cards and gifts for her bday and Christmas. Then I get this idiot tormenting me yesterday.

The siblings are in so much denial....my sister went to prison for years, my brothers are so completely messed up, misogynists and one with NPD. Don't you know, we had the greatest parents EVER?!?

So life goes on. I had just started a new class yesterday and have to spend 11 hours a day on my studies, plus working full time. No time for their BS. Unfortunately, it all comes back, the PTSD, his affair, all that garbage I thought I had been able to set down. Thank you friends, I am babysitting my granddaughter today, and I will find joy.

Prayers for all of us.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 10:02 AM, January 3rd (Saturday)

from handheld

yes i remember now.

npd sib simply cannot handle and create fantasy world of perfection and denial and any threat must be destroyed. pity no coping mechanisms and fragile nonreality in which they live.

reaction of in contact one only shows their brokenness too does not reflect on you but on them.

your consistency and generosity here show you deal with reality though very hard to do.

reading your story gave me courage to tell more than one person. have toldmany in real life found many types of abuse now i point to pandys.org forums and elsewhere.
tears typing hard you have helped so many directly and indirectly be proud of that.

thanks so much stay strong have nice time w grandchild


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 10:56 AM, January 3rd (Saturday)

*Greatest parents*, oh yeah, evah! One semi normal sister in an emotionally empty M. Me, permanent KISA. I can *fix* anyone. Alcoholic, serial cheating brother who married an alcoholic serial cheating woman. Then there's baby sis who's an alcoholic drug addict with a felony conviction on her record.

The *only* thing to do was disconnect.

Edith, you are in my prayers.

Strength


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 21(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 3787 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 6:51 AM, January 4th (Sunday)

Oh my goodness! Just like infidelity, FOO issues follow the same script, I am amazed...

Yes, DM, helping others helps me. The shame is not ours. The brother who attacked me is the one who is emotionally dependent on my mom. He has had 3 divorces. None of sibs have any other successful relationships, sister with a character disorder, learned quite a bit in prison. Drugs, alcohol, you name it.

545, our FOO sound like clones. My mom taught us denial, I was the only one who *couldn't* learn that. Rewrite history of childhood and continuously eulogize my dad. I disconnected when I moved away, they kept reaching out, I think only because it bothered them that I *could* disconnect.

DGD sleeping sweetly in the next room. I got lots of baby slobber on me, it is highly curative.

Thank you my friends, praying for us all.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 9:18 AM, January 6th (Tuesday)

Okay - here's the deal.

In General I posted a thread Finally Done Today? in which I finally got burned out on feelings for xWGF.

Still feels true, and now I'm feeling sort of depressed.

I realize that I wasn't being a fool when I fell for her, there was a lot of real conversation and probing dialogue on both our parts to ensure that our old behaviors and FOO issues were dealt with. I, at least, was being totally honest and I felt at the time that she was as well. Which doesn't mean backsliding isn't possible, because it is. I believe that at the time we both believed that we were better. That we weren't deceiving each other.

That said, I was having feelings this morning about dealing with my recent loneliness with the old behaviors - tons of meaningless sex.

I'm not in danger of acting on these feelings. Old behaviors are seductive because they're familiar, somehow comforting, but in this case really, really dangerous and destructive. I could actually, literally die from acting out. And not immediately in some quick, completely final way, but in a long, lingering, painful, little-bit-at-a-time way.

That possibility scares me beyond being able to do the meaningless sex thing. It does. The period of my acting out luckily coincided with the period of history when the prevalent diseases in this country could all be cured by a simple course of antibiotics. That is no longer the case, especially with the types of partners similarly broken who make the behavior so possible.

But the feelings are real. The urge is there, not even to the point of a little voice saying "do it, it'll be ok. it'll feel better", but there nonetheless.

Just typing this has really reinforced the current, healthy coping mechanisms. Admitting the issue to some group that understands. Dealing with the feelings by talking them out, acknowledging them and that they have no real power. Acknowledging that while it _is_ a coping mechanism it is not healthy, not healing, not in my best interests.

Thanks for listening to the vent, admission, whatever this is. Feel better already.

Now, off to start the day!


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 11:55 AM, January 6th (Tuesday)

Posting of self-discovery.

I tend to believe that most 'common' stability, centeredness problems issue from self-esteem issues. We pick the bad behaviors to feel better.

Thus, I set aside the desire to act out with casual sex. Instead, I started doing some of the self-esteem increasing exercises. Just simple ones.

The urge to validate through multiple partners disappeared immediately upon feeling better about myself. !Poof!-type gone. Just gone.

I now feel better about me and also don't have to battle the other urges.

That's great! Hope this little episode helps someone else.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 12:18 PM, January 6th (Tuesday)

Awesome to hear, DM! Self-destructive behaviors definitely must be kept at bay, by whatever means possible. In your scenario, not just the STD issue, but also "using" another person as a salve for your pain is unhealthy, even if they are likely using you in the same fashion. You would both ultimately be diminished, IMO.

Self-esteem is a very big issue for me, though my coping mechanism is to avoid people and isolate. I work from home, which has turned me into a hermit. Going back to school is helping, though I still have social anxiety, especially with men.

Exercise has helped me in a HUGE way. I learned kickboxing, I lift weights and just about anything physical I can think of. Working out to the point of exhaustion always feels good.

I pray for you to continue on your positive journey. Take care.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 12:47 PM, January 6th (Tuesday)

coping mechanism is to avoid people and isolate

One exercise I learned is to keep a daily diary of successes, at least one per day. The success can be small "I loaded the dishwasher" or "I cleaned the toilet" to larger later on "I finished moving the entire system from testing to production".

Keep the diary. Occasionally re-read the diary.

My trick today? Simple truths repeated to myself: I am a person who deserves the best for me. I deserve to be good to myself. I deserve to expect good from myself. I am worthy of this.

Repeated a few times, thought of a few successes. The ones that benefit others are of great personal worth.

Poof! I'm awesome! I rock. I deserve real intimacy someday if I choose to seek it.

Thanks for the recognition, Edith. You reading this thread and mentoring it is a huge success for you. You're facing so much and helping others even though reading this is hard. Huge success, be proud!

First entry in the diary?


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
FightingBack
Member
Member # 34770
Default  Posted: 1:10 PM, January 6th (Tuesday)

I am not sure if it is acceptable to ask a question here. My WH had a very LTA with an employee who pursued him with attention and flirting and then sex. Of course he was a willing partner to this, but even she admitted to me that in the very beginning, she was the more aggressive AP.

My H also experienced CSA, although he never considered it to be abuse. He was seduced by a young married woman in her mid-twenties and had intercourse with her when he was12 years old. He understandably did not know fully what was going to happen when she took him to her bedroom, and felt very guilty afterward. He told no one. He went back to her home a week or two later, for another encounter. After that, she and her husband moved away. He still does not relate to the abuse here. Growing up, he considered himself "lucky". There was no violence, no fear, but there was guilt. Later, when he was 16 and 17, he was given oral sex by two different older men. One was a coworker, one was a sort of a "mentor". He hadn't asked for this, felt no attraction to them, but was unable or didn't want to say no. He has had no admitted homosexual tendencies since.

I wonder if these occurrences have any bearing to his affair and his choices. I look at them as CSA and can't help but wonder what effect they would have on an adolescent's developing sexuality, but perhaps I am grasping at straws.

I would appreciate any feedback if it is not too painful for anyone here on this forum. Thank you.


Me 53
WH 58
Married 25 years
4 children S30,D24, S23,S21
D-Day Nov. 29, 2011
15 year affair with married employee.
Together trying to make sense of it all!

Posts: 965 | Registered: Feb 2012
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 1:24 PM, January 6th (Tuesday)

Thank you for that, DM. I am thinking about it...

Hi FB, I am sorry about your husband's A. I would definitely characterize his experiences (especially at age 12) as abuse. Is there a correlation between CSA and infidelity? Perhaps. It is something that he should probably explore in therapy to figure out how it has affected him. Of course denial is a very "popular" coping method with CSA. However, the fact that he felt guilty about the encounter demonstrates that he knew it was wrong and put the blame on himself. It is pretty common for a survivor of CSA to take the blame, I have done it myself. I found greater insight as I grew older and was able to look at my own children, remembering what my parents had done to me at such a young age. It gave me a voice to say that it was wrong. It helped immeasurably.

I hope that you can encourage him to find some help, but not "blame" his CSA for his A. He owns his A. I was abused throughout my childhood, and I am the faithful one.

I remember when I was working in therapy and my therapist told me that there was a pretty reliable degree of certainty that my mother had been abused as a child. The idea almost destroyed me. I grieved for weeks over what she had must have gone through. Then I realized that whatever happened to her did not give her the right to hurt me. That I did not hurt my children because of what I experienced.

Sending you a great big hug, honey. Take care.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 2:31 PM, January 6th (Tuesday)

FightingBack, if he was not old enough, mature enough, emotionally developed enough, to give consent then it was abuse.

Whether or not this has any bearing on his choice to have an affair is a question for a professional counselor experienced in this sort of thing.

My reaction to all of the different types and instances of abuse included extreme promiscuity, anger and rage fueled fist fights with my male peer group, acting out against authority, resentment of authority, large self-esteem issues, and several others.

I would not have been a safe bet for an adult, committed relationship until I made myself one. I pretty much did. Minimizing accomplishments sticks with me to this day, as you can see from the statement I just made including "pretty much".

The fact that he felt guilty means he knew it was wrong, but whether from the fact that she was married or the fact that her (adult) and him (child) being together was wrong is not stated. The fact that he went back is not unusual for either abuse or simple maturation/sexual exploration.

Your most compelling statement was:

she admitted to me that in the very beginning, she was the more aggressive AP

Compelling stuff for any man. The type usually pursued doing the pursuing can be quite flattering given an unhealthy mindset in a married man.

There's the crux. I've been the pursued by women before when in a relationship. I turned the offered sex down.

Whether or not someone comes on to you is not under your direct or indirect control. You can minimize chances of it happening with changes in dress and deportment.

I tell all of my dating partners (pre-xWGF, there are none since she walked out on our 10year relationship to be with a married, swinging man and his wife) that they cannot control if someone flirts with them they can only control how they respond.

This is what boundaries are about. I've turned down outside sex when offered. So had she. This time we had some communication problems and she emotionally checked out and did not turn down the outside sex. Neither did your husband.

Boundaries and the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. That is what affairs are all about. There is really no other reason than the failure of those two things.

I wish you the very best. Whether or not your husband was abused (and he was) he needs IC to find, explore, and resolve the issues that made outside sex acceptable.

You might need IC to deal with the emotional holocaust of his having an affair.

You both need to be in MC, perhaps now, but definitely after some of his and some of your issues have been dealt with.

Good luck and I hope you have a long and happy marriage.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
FightingBack
Member
Member # 34770
Default  Posted: 2:59 PM, January 6th (Tuesday)

Edith and Devotedman, thank you both for your replies. I always appreciate the support here on SI, but from those of you who have a history of pain to deal with, your help seems even more gracious.


Me 53
WH 58
Married 25 years
4 children S30,D24, S23,S21
D-Day Nov. 29, 2011
15 year affair with married employee.
Together trying to make sense of it all!

Posts: 965 | Registered: Feb 2012
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 6:21 PM, January 6th (Tuesday)

Honestly, FightingBack, thank you for the opportunity to help another human being. That feeling is priceless.

EDIT: Another thing, we CSA's often compartmentalize the abuse to varying degrees.

I've read that men in an affair compartmentalize the affair in one "area of life" and the marriage into a different "area of life".

I don't know if early abuse makes that compartmentalization any easier, but it might.

Interesting question. You've given me something to explore. Thanks!

[This message edited by devotedman at 6:23 PM, January 6th (Tuesday)]


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 11:01 AM, January 20th (Tuesday)

I think anytime we experience trauma, we compartmentalize to cope and survive, irregardless of when or how often.

And compartmentalizing has its purposes, for me at least, I honestly can't function without the order. There are times I need to be the mom, the wife, the friend. In order to do that, I put away the boxes that are the survivor, the child, the angry adoptee, the cheater. I think it becomes unhealthy when we choose to ignore certain boxes and try to forget they even exist. Each must be tended to, they are separate, but all parts that are me.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 2:11 PM, January 21st (Wednesday)

Perhaps we are saying the same thing differently.

To be all-around healthy I needed to re-integrate the contents of those boxes into my life.

Now I can recognize the behaviors stemming from those events. Even the ones that don't seem related. Those events shaped me, but have largely lost their _power_ over me. I can choose healthy behaviors.

I don't always do it right away but in the long run I can see where I went wrong and correct.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 2:26 PM, January 21st (Wednesday)

Hi everyone. I seem to be unable to compartmentalize. I consider myself a brutal realist. I tend to think of it as when I sustain a cut, the first thing I do is look at the cut. Evaluate it....does it need stitches? A bandaid? Or is it a paper cut? Is my finger hanging off by a bit of skin? I need to know the severity of a wound in order to process it and move on. The same with my childhood experiences.

I will say, however, that I have found elements of CSA impossible to fully process and move on. I am trying my best, though, and have many years' experience working through those feelings.

All of us are in my prayers. Take care.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 3:47 PM, January 22nd (Thursday)

I wish I had someone to talk to sometimes. I feel like I'm all alone. My wife was a victim of childhood sexual abuse. She hid it for many years and when her and I met, she confessed it to me after we got married. I'm the only one that knows. Her folks don't. It was a friend of the family. I was convinced for years (she was too) that it didn't affect her. Well 2012 and BAM!!! Years of internal unhappiness and brokenness comes out with an affair. She was basically all physical with the guy.

After it was all found out, I was baffled as to how she quickly said, I think my child abuse is coming back to me. "The shame?" I asked. She said everything.

Anyway, don't want to bore you with the details, but here's what I have found after 20 something years of being married. We married young, she was my first so I didn't know what to compare it with:


1: When we were dating it got physical very quickly and it was all sneaking around.

2: After we got married, sex drive disappeared.

3: Her sex drive is bi-polar. There are times she can be crazy in bed. And then there's times when she doesn't care for sex all together. No in-between.

4: Often I have felt like just a penis in bed. I mean, she screws me as if I'm just anyone instead of her husband. I never quite understood it. I could easily be interchangeable.

5: She believes emotions and sex are two very separate things. I often felt kinda strange after sex feeling all emotions and wanting to makeout, go for round 2 and she was done and done.

6: In her 40's she changed. From sex once a week if, to wanting to screw all weekend, watching porn, wanting to try lesbian sex, ...it's like the floodgates got opened.

These are some of the things I've seen about our sex life. Other than this she experiences a lot of unhappiness, shame and self loathing.

After the affair, I'm exhausted. I don't know that I could help her or go one with all this. Please someone say something to me?



BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1553 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 4:11 PM, January 22nd (Thursday)

Hi 2m2q, Wow, you are dealing with a lot. I will try and share my thoughts, but they are nothing more than that, thoughts. I am a CSA survivor, but was a BW. I am the faithful spouse.

In my opinion, the emergency situation here is YOUR feelings. In trying to deal with the enormity of her CSA, you are getting lost in the shuffle. The fact is that you have experienced a life-changing trauma from her A. No matter whether you R or D or something in between, your life is forever altered. And not in a good way. So please focus on your own needs, they are paramount at this point.

Your wife has lots of work to do on herself. I can understand the self-loathing that comes from CSA, I have made huge efforts to tamp that down for my entire life. Disconnect between emotions and sex? I think there is probably a good chance that is a result also of her CSA. I suppose digging and exploring that is a worthwhile endeavor.

Fact is, if your wife is going to be worthy of R, she must make herself the best possible wife for you, better than she ever was before. She needs to address her brokenness in ways that are immense. Does she have the intestinal fortitude to do this? Only she has the answer for that.

Has her infidelity affected her to the extent that it becomes the impetus for change? All of us who have been betrayed need to evaluate that question, but in your wife's case, I feel there is an extra burden to fix. I pray if not for both of you, that at least she can do so for herself.

CSA is taboo as long as you permit it. I think telling her folks would be an excellent idea, perhaps after she has worked with an IC who certainly knows more than me. They should know what their trusted friend did, but that is my opinion.

Please do not try and fix your wife. Although she has been hurt by CSA and formed unhealthy coping mechanisms (as almost all of us do), she must take responsibility for her adult choices. Those resulted in her betrayal of you and your M. I hope you are able to focus on your own healing, and the specific issues you mention are definitely worthy of a good MC.

I will pray for your healing. Take care.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
Mike26
Member
Member # 45062
Default  Posted: 8:50 PM, January 22nd (Thursday)

2married2quit, I'm really sorry that you are going through all of this. I am a CSA survivor, and I am a WS. My husband and I are 5 months out from DD, and he is still having a very hard time with everything. He's known about my abuse for about 2 years, and he still struggles with that, let alone the fact that I cheated on him. Through MC, we've talked a lot about how my abuse impacts the choices I made as an adult (for example, to cheat) but about how I also have to take personal responsibility for my adult choices. Its been a difficult tightrope act, to say the least; balancing between trying to stay strong for my husband who I hurt so deeply and allowing myself to be vulnerable in front of him as I reel from the realization that my abuse has scarred me much deeper than I ever realized. I imagine you and your wife will go through a similar process. What she did was wrong, regardless of why she did it. Allow yourself to feel whatever you're feeling, be it anger, resentment, pity, etc. I would also say that for me, it has been immeasurably helpful to hear my husband say that I am not a bad person because of what I did. He is still hurt by my choice, but he is seeking to understand is in the context of my past, and being validated that I am a good person was invaluable (because I was going through hellacious self-loathing.)

As for some of your points, I can relate to your wife. My husband and I discovered through MC that I connect intimacy to kissing and cuddling, but sex is very much about physicality and pleasure for me, whereas for him, it is the ultimate expression of intimacy. It breaks my heart to pieces that I can't seem to make myself feel emotionally connected to sex, but that has a HUGE amount to do with my sexual abuse. Our MC is having us do vulnerability exercises to try to work on that, although my BH isn't ready to be vulnerable with me yet.

If there is anything that might console you through the hell I'm sure you're going through, try to hold onto this: Your wife wouldn't have been able to come forward about everything she is going through without feeling safe in your relationship. She has you to thank for that. You pulled her out of her hell and gave her the strength to admit what she has been through. I know it seems terribly dark right now, and I sincerely hope that your wife (and you) are seeing separate ICs and a good MC, but I think it has the possibility to get better and stronger because of the honesty you've allowed your wife to share.

I hope this helps some.


WS, CSA survivor
Dday 9/13/14

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." -Anais Nin


Posts: 136 | Registered: Sep 2014
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 1:31 PM, January 23rd (Friday)

Thank you guys for the feedback. I'm struggling with this now. Healing vs helping her heal. I have chosen to heal myself. Took me a while to finally do it, but I'm doing it.

I think she has started to see the connection between it all and how it has affected her. Now it's only time that will tell if she's fixed herself or at least attempted to.


BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1553 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
Mike26
Member
Member # 45062
Default  Posted: 11:08 PM, January 23rd (Friday)

I'm glad to hear that you're choosing to work on yourself. In the end, working on yourself is the only thing you have control over, so that's the best route to take. My BH has struggled with letting me have my own journey through healing rather than feeling like he needs to take my pain away or do the healing for me. No one likes to see a loved one go through a tough time, especially when its something like CSA that is so incredibly painful, but in the end, we grow stronger as survivors by figuring out how to make it work on our own, and we're able to have better relationships with our spouses if they do the work they need to do to take care of themselves so that we have a shot at a functional and healthy relationship.

As far as your WW being fixed, I'd offer to maybe see her as working on fixing herself as opposed to being fixed. Hopefully she has seen the tremendous pain that cheating has caused and won't ever take that road again, but its a pretty unfortunate reality that for sexual abuse survivors, the road to healing will present some lifelong challenges. If you take her back, be ready to work through and support her in that reality. I can say that the support through the hard times will lead to many more happy ones.


WS, CSA survivor
Dday 9/13/14

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." -Anais Nin


Posts: 136 | Registered: Sep 2014
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 12:28 AM, January 24th (Saturday)

CSA survivor here, I had to do the fixing myself thing. 'Twas hard, very hard, and I probably made some mistakes.

Back on page 14 after my story (which you can skip, I just give it as reference point) I made 3 or 4 more posts that give support websites and books and articles for CSA survivors.

HOWEVER, I cannot stress enough the need to get her into IC for CSA survivors. Even though I tried the 'fix myself' thing when I connected with a CSA qualified IC I learned a few new things and identified some other behaviors that were negative that I had never connected with the CSA but, indeed, were connected.

They included but probably were not limited to:
rebellion against authority
resentment of authority figures
fighting within my peer group
rages occurring around triggering events
extreme promiscuity
disassociation of sex and intimacy
developing into a 'fixer', desire to work on any and all problems
boundary issues
extreme self-esteem issues to the point that I'm not having problems, I am the problem
feelings of "wanting the abuse to continue"
propositioning the abuser (to regain some sense of the control we've lost)

other behaviors include
recreating the abuse
repressed memories
compartmentalization of the abuse making easier later compartmentalization
various self-destructive addictive behaviors
feeling unworthy of true love and intimacy
shame
guilt
blaming oneself for the abuse

To reiterate, she should not try to fix this herself, as I had to, because she'll likely miss things, as I did.

Your decision to work on yourself is very wise. You cannot fix her, the only thing that you can do to help her is to be supportive and encourage her to get the help she needs to correctly work on fixing herself.

good luck, all of this is very difficult. also realize that she might continue to be an unsafe partner until the fixing gets far enough along.

If you haven't, yet, get tested for STDs.

[This message edited by devotedman at 12:31 AM, January 24th (Saturday)]


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 3:40 PM, January 24th (Saturday)

Yeah, she's got a lot of those traits. I'm just scared that she'll stray again. It's like this thing inside her to get control again. When she was with the OM, she controlled things. I think she needs to figure out who she is and what was the damage. I read also in some websites that children who are sexually abused grow up to be unhappy. Resulting in bad marriages. I'm not sure I can do this. I mean, I'm a pleaser by nature and to know she is constantly unhappy really ruins it for me.


BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1553 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 4:01 PM, January 24th (Saturday)

I asked a counselor once if the CSA issues were like alcoholism - always there, always ready to re-assert control, always to be on guard against.

He said, simply, "No."

He went on to say that you can get over it. It becomes like acknowledging an old scar. Sure, it hurt at the time, but it doesn't define you. You can know that it happened, that it had bad effects upon you, that you had bad coping mechanisms as a result, and then realize that you discarded those mechanisms in favor of good ones.

I'll always be a CSA survivor. These days when I'm walking through downtown I'm usually grinning. I get smiles in return. Feels good, man.

You can read on this page or the one before about a day I was feeling the urges to feel better by dropping into those old coping mechanisms. The urge, though, wasn't _really_ an urge so much as a "you used to feel better this way" thought. I knew that I wouldn't feel better, though. I knew that the "empty calories" satisfaction and validation of promiscuous, anonymous, sex wouldn't actually last long and would make me feel worse within a very, very short time. I knew it wasn't a good idea.

My self-esteem took a real nosedive when my love of 10 years chose a married, swinging couple over me. That was her brokenness. It hurt, though. I allowed myself to feel less when her choice doesn't really reflect on me at all, but instead reflects on her.

So I attacked the problem not as a CSA issue but as a self-esteem issue. Poof! Problem solved.

Back to smiling as I walk, and I'm smiling right now as I type.

I wish you both the healing you need. I feel empathy for your wife and hope that she realizes that it wasn't her fault and gets the help she needs.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 5:19 PM, January 24th (Saturday)

2married2quit said:
Yeah, she's got a lot of those traits.

As Edith pointed out a page or so ago, CSA survivors follow scripts just like WSs do.

I'm just scared that she'll stray again.

She might. It will be very hard for you to realize this, but it isn't about the sex as sex and intimacy, no matter what she says. Without counseling and/or reading a _lot_, she simply doesn't know.

It is about the sex as a coping mechanism. When sex is forced upon you one way of coping with that is to take control of having sex. This is a horrible way of coping, very self destructive and generally destructive. It is also so very understandable. We CSA survivors were freaking _children_ who had no control at all. Our self-esteem is shattered and we see ourselves as victims of sex. Which we were. Now we try to not be victims by having sex. The coping mechanism is so understandable and so poor. Until we realize this and develop different coping mechanisms, though, what else can we do?

It's like this thing inside her to get control again. When she was with the OM, she controlled things.

Likely self-esteem or some other thing cropped and she feels out of control. So the coping mechanism is to go have controlling sex. I'm not saying that this is ok. It is not.

I think she needs to figure out who she is and what was the damage.

She needs help to do this fully. I accurately figured out only some of my bad coping skills. Others were left for later.

I read also in some websites that children who are sexually abused grow up to be unhappy. Resulting in bad marriages.

Unhappy children grow up to be unhappy adults. Therefore interactions with other people are tinged with unhappiness. True.

I'm not sure I can do this. I mean, I'm a pleaser by nature and to know she is constantly unhappy really ruins it for me.

The best thing that you can do for her is to convince her that she needs help and to seek it out.

Pleaser or not, you cannot fix her. You cannot make her happy as happiness must come from within. She is unhappy through no fault of her own (well, sorta, because the root cause is in childhood unhappiness) and through no fault of yours.

Realize that CSA and the fallout from that is her problem to deal with. Your thing to deal with is the aftermath of her A(s).

We're a right mess as adults, make no mistake. If we're not fixed we destroy a lot. If you decide for your own mental health that you have to get the hell out of Dodge then I don't think that any healed CSA would blame you.

If you ever want me to write up any of my experiences and journey to healing and PM it to you so that you can give it to her anonymously and it won't be found via google searches just PM me so. I'll be happy to do it.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
cantaccept
Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 7:33 AM, January 26th (Monday)

I have been reading here lately. I posted here once before, April 2013, but there was too much immediate chaos to even begin to delve into this.

I am also a CSA survivor. I don't think I am fully healed from it. I was just beginning to talk about it shortly before dday #1. Death of parents seemed to trigger it.

It has been a couple of very long, rocky years.

I have a couple of questions for others. I was reading the list of behaviors. I really identified with some, others not very much.

One that I did not see or maybe missed???

Did anyone feel like they were lying about the abuse?

I get this very uncomfortable feeling when I talk about it or think of it, like I am making it up or exaggerating. I know it happened, I know it is the truth.

I did finally talk to my sisters. One has daughters and they have daughters. I was concerned, felt guilty for keeping quiet for so long. My ex brother in law was one of my abusers. I was afraid that maybe he had done something to his daughters. I was afraid that he might do something to his granddaughters.

Turns out he molested his younger sisters. My sister told my nieces and one said, "I don't believe it. It is only aunt Can saying this".

This has been churning in my gut for several years now. That disbelief. I had trouble even writing it here. I erased a couple of times. I start doubting myself. Am I a liar???

So much to deal with it just feels like it is too much. x always said this to me also, as well as mother, "you are a liar".

I know it is not true. I keep going over and over things in my mind that I might have lied about.

Just wondering if anyone else has this lack of trust in yourself, I guess.

Sorry if this is so confusing. The thoughts just get so jumbled lately, like everything is tangled.


"So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key"

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013
wh deleted
I attempted R, he was a lie

Divorced!


Posts: 2057 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 8:41 AM, January 26th (Monday)

Sorry, Can, you're getting into areas of CSA that I know little about.

I do know that I minimized it to myself for a long time. It was a way to get positive acceptance from my mother and I used that to my advantage.

You, OTOH, are getting into guilt style stuff. I never had that.

I do know that the abusers get us to lie and hide the abuse. Being hidden is a requirement for the abuse to continue. Because being a child abuser is _not_ something that most people believe about their loved relatives right away being doubted by family members is pretty common as well.

Perhaps these issues and some guilt that you're taking on coupled with stress from talking about it are causing feelings that are hard to identify?

Honestly, and with all sympathy, working on CSA problems is beyond my capabilities. I'm not trained, I do not believe that anyone in this thread is. I do know that working on things yourself, alone, is very hard to get right. I'm generally considered intelligent and I missed a lot about me.

Please look into ICs in your area who have experience dealing with CSA issues. There are some in my area and there probably are in yours.

Head on over to some of the links I provided on page 14 (after my story). The articles link on pandys.org has some articles written by a Doctor, IIRC.

EDIT:
That list I gave above is not comprehensive coming from a trained professional. It is the list that I have and some that I remember but didn't have. Do not consider it either authoritative or complete, please.

Good luck with your healing and finding an IC to talk to.

[This message edited by devotedman at 8:44 AM, January 26th (Monday)]


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 9:25 AM, January 26th (Monday)

Anything helps. I think some of the stuff posted above has helped a lot. The cycle of patterns is interesting. When she married me she left her parents and moved far away across state lines with me. She now wonders why? She's said perhaps it was resentment that they didn't protect me. So she put those negative feelings on her parents and then saw me as an escape. Later as our relationship wasn't making her happy anymore and we had some issues, she put negative feelings on me and resentment. She was ready to move on when she had the affair. She was ready to leave me behind.

This has been the hardest part about R for me. To know she was ready to leave me completely. To know she put so much resentment on me because she just wasn't feeling happy anymore. Shakes up a tree and makes you not want to continue because is she a time bomb ticking? Is this going to happen again?


BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1553 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 9:44 AM, January 26th (Monday)

The cycle of patterns is interesting.

It is. My xWGF, whom I considered the love of my life and the only woman I ever really, really wanted to marry, had a pattern as well. It wasn't, to my knowledge, CSA based but FOO based. I realized when we started dating that I might be a part of it but she had a whole shelf of appropriate self-help books, talked the right talk, and I took a chance. Turns out I was just #5 in the pattern. She's on to #6, now.

is she a time bomb ticking? Is this going to happen again?

She _was_ a time bomb ticking. If she's facing or getting ready to face the hurt, to accept the abused child inside, and to really work on herself then this is defusing the bomb. No guarantee it won't explode through handling. There never are any guarantees, though, and you're taking a chance here. Weigh the risks and reward and decide whether the chance is worth it. I did that, it was worth it, and her bomb exploded. bleh.

Who can predict the future? Certainly not I. So here goes.

This pattern contains a coping mechanism. Nothing more, nothing less. When the trigger for that coping mechanism is pulled the mechanism fires. There are two things that will prevent it from firing: 1) The trigger is never pulled, but always there, waiting... 2) Learn new coping mechanisms to use instead of the faulty one.

The pattern is likely this:
1) be unhappy and in pain because [reasons]
2) see an out
3) use coping mechanism to relieve the unhappy and pain
4) go to step 1.

The pattern _should_be_ this:
1) be unhappy and in pain because [reasons]
2) realize the unhappy and in pain
3) talk with loved one honestly and openly using good communication skills
4) go to IC, MC, learn new coping skills.
5) Profit!!! (actually, profit is solved problem and greater togetherness because of solving problem together)

She needs IC with CSA-experienced C. Realizing the problem and the need is step 1.

EDIT: I'll work on the other thing we talked about. Realize that I'm not a trained CSA counselor, just a fellow sufferer.

My xWGF's pattern?
1) fall in love
2) get married
3) stuff any negative feelings down and assure partner that they are loved and all is ok
4) be more unhappy because step 3
5) find another new, bright, shiny, _perfect_ partner
6) leave current partner and move in the same day with new partner; lie to current partner about there even being a new partner
7) go to 2

Much sad. So hurt. bleh.

[This message edited by devotedman at 9:48 AM, January 26th (Monday)]


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 9:48 AM, January 26th (Monday)

Hi Can, and welcome back to our thread. Your post struck a nerve with me:
Did anyone feel like they were lying about the abuse?

I was accused of lying by ALL of my siblings and both parents. Thing is, I know what I know. Those memories of being a 6-year-old girl forced to bed with her drunk father....I remember trying to get away from him. I remember how he smelled, how he sounded, how my mother closed the door. I know what I know, and that is the source of my strength. I will never let someone convince me it is a lie. It has done so much harm, I will not allow someone to turn it around on me.

I do not believe I will ever be fully healed from that trauma. I do not feel like a ticking time bomb, but in times of extreme duress, the fears I have battled for my whole life come back. When my husband cheated, the crap with my FOO piled back on my shoulders. I hurt myself.

If there is one thing to be gained from this thread, I hope that it is strength. We all stand shoulder to shoulder and defy the abusers. They WANT us to lie for them. They want everyone to believe that "nothing happened." It is another form of victimization.

May we all find strength to stand against those who hurt children. Praying for all of us.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
cantaccept
Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 10:43 AM, January 26th (Monday)

devotedman, I understand that you are not an expert. It is rather a relief though to have others that understand.

I wish I could do IC. I had to stop after dday #2. x walked out on me that day, for
the second time. It is still a struggle financially. I now in a house with an underwater mortgage and barely scraping by. Living with choices that we made as a couple. IC for me right now is not a possibility.

Funny, I just had a memory of my parents. My mother wanted a divorce. My father threatened that he would just leave and never pay her anything if they divorced. I am living my mothers worst fear. She stayed until she died.

I think that for me, x was the first person that believed me. He showed empathy and just believed me. I trusted him with this.

I finally felt like someone cared about me. I can't explain why. Finally I was comfortable with someone physically. I had gone the opposite as far as sex before. I just didn't want it. Until I met x. It just felt like finally I was normal. Until the abuse started. I think that is part of why I was so tolerant of the abuse. I just did not want to believe that it was not true. I just wanted to believe that the good was real, that someone really loved me. I think I probably would have stayed through anything for the crumbs.

One of the most painful things right now is I cannot stop thinking about how he told ow#1 about this. He used this to gain. He used it as a reason to have an affair, a justification or maybe just to get sympathy from her for what a damaged wife he had to live with.

I don't know really, just the thoughts going through my head. He never told my why, though I asked. He only told me that he told her.

It just makes me so very angry.

Both my parents are dead now, 2010 for my mother and 2012 for my father. It was never discussed except for one moment. My mother had dementia, she said, "he bothered you didn't he?" meaning my father. That was all.

I do see my ex brother in law occasionally at my nieces but have never said anything. I often want to though. I was about 5 or 6 when it was happening. I want to tell him that I know, that I did not forget, that I didn't know what it was then but I do now. I just don't know if any good would come of it.

It does feel like the infidelity and abandonment, along with the continued abuse from x (I have now blocked him in every way possible) have just made me look very hard at my life. It feels as if I cannot help but look at everything now. It comes in waves of memories. Like the boxes are open now and everything is spilling out all at once.

I sometimes wonder now, if the guy x pretended to be was real, compassionate, thoughtful and kind if I would have been okay. Maybe it was not possible for me to meet someone like that because I really wasn't okay. I know that I was so easily pleased, so willing to accept so little as wonderful but if he hadn't been faking...just wondering.

I will check out those links. I don't think I can just let this go. I need to, well not sure what I need to do but I know I feel compelled to sort this out the best I can.

I suppose it is the same as with the infidelity, reading of others reactions and ways of coping, growing helps us not to feel alone.



"So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key"

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013
wh deleted
I attempted R, he was a lie

Divorced!


Posts: 2057 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 11:00 AM, January 26th (Monday)

Hi Can,
how he told ow#1 about this.

OMG, this makes me furious! What a monstrous betrayal! Something so personal and intimate, sharing it with OW is so completely evil. I am so sorry!

I think speaking your mind to your ex-BIL is a great idea. So long as you are prepared for fallout, though it sounds like he is not someone in your inner circle anyway. And I am so terribly sorry your mom did not protect you from him. It must have weighed on her conscience...

I was compelled to speak out to my abusers as well. My dad passed in 2007, but I confronted my parents in the mid 1990s. They and all my sibs circled the wagons and pointed their cannons at me. It was not easy, but I stood strong against them. I know the truth is on my side, and I am not able to live in denial (thankfully). Sibs suffered the same abuse, and it messed them up to the extreme, but they are unable or unwilling to make the connection.

I am sending you virtual hugs, and please come to us as you sort through your memories. We are here, and we care.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
Mike26
Member
Member # 45062
Default  Posted: 11:33 AM, January 26th (Monday)

It is about the sex as a coping mechanism. When sex is forced upon you one way of coping with that is to take control of having sex. This is a horrible way of coping, very self destructive and generally destructive. It is also so very understandable. We CSA survivors were freaking _children_ who had no control at all. Our self-esteem is shattered and we see ourselves as victims of sex. Which we were. Now we try to not be victims by having sex. The coping mechanism is so understandable and so poor. Until we realize this and develop different coping mechanisms, though, what else can we do?

devotedman, this hits the nail on the head big time, and its been something my BH and I struggle a lot with. For him, sex has always been an emotional connection, and it never has been for me. I never put two and two together until discussing how my abuse went down in IC. I lost my virginity, something I had been looking forward to giving to something I loved, to a horny, despicable priest who groomed into into having sex with him at 16. He guilted me into having sex for several years after that, until I finally got old enough to realize how wrong he was and put a stop to it. Unfortunately, the damage had been done. Prior to meeting my now husband, I was wildly promiscuous, trying to take back the power of having sex, and using the validation I'd feel when someone thought I was hot or sexy to feel good about myself and about sex. I truly never considered that during my 7 year relationship with my husband, I'd feel an emotional connection while cuddling or kissing (something the priest never did to me) but once things became sexual, I'd go in my head and detach from any feelings of emotion or vulnerability. When things got rough in our relationship, I stopped taking care of myself and didn't feel like my husband wanted me anymore, so I decided to seek out that old validation through an anonymous partner.

Its been 5 months since DD, and my BH continues to struggle with trying to understand my choice, as do I. Its hard to put into words why I did something that was fueled by completely irrational thought. It truly feels like it was someone else that did it, like I can't imagine my rational self ever doing something that in my right mind I knew would devastate the man who has been my rock for 7 years.

2m2q, my BH has the same fears you do about me doing it again when times get rough. As others have said, the best thing I have done is get myself back into IC to identify my triggers and work on developing healthy copings mechanisms for when my negative and irrational self-talk creeps in. We're also very lucky to have an amazing MC who has experience with trauma work, so she can help us walk the line between me taking responsibility for my actions while also helping my husband to heal and understand why I would ever make such a choice. I hope you and your wife are able to find the same type of support to pull through.


WS, CSA survivor
Dday 9/13/14

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." -Anais Nin


Posts: 136 | Registered: Sep 2014
Mike26
Member
Member # 45062
Default  Posted: 11:37 AM, January 26th (Monday)

cantaccept, I hear you about worrying that it feels like a lie. I've been working on dealing with my abuse for a little over 2 years, and at the advice of my therapist I've been very cautious and purposeful about who I tell. My abuse was at the hands of a priest I met while doing a retreat in high school, so the dynamics are very different having it be someone I don't have to see and who is outside of the family. I do worry that when I get the strength to report him and people find out, I will be accused of lying. I also worry about the specifics that I remember from the abuse, because in 5 years of being sexually abused by this monster, I only recall 4 events clearly. A lot has been blocked out, which worries me that when I report, I won't have enough evidence to actually start a case.

Our situations are obviously different, but I'm here for you in spirit. I'm sorry you're going through this hurt.


WS, CSA survivor
Dday 9/13/14

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." -Anais Nin


Posts: 136 | Registered: Sep 2014
cantaccept
Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 11:45 AM, January 26th (Monday)

x telling ow is really getting to me. I have known this since spring 2013 but it was never dealt with. Not in any real way. There was too much to deal with. Well, nothing really got dealt with. It was just round and round.

It has just been coming into my head over and over lately. I am so angry about it now.

We were in MC when it was brought up but therapist didn't really discuss what a betrayal this was. I think he was more focused on trying to help me not dwell on it, to reframe it, to not feel so much pain about what ow thought. I think he was doing triage.

There is just nothing to do with all this betrayal except accept it.

I keep having the same dream about lobbing family size tuna cans at x's head. They just bounce off.

I think he truly is evil. Not "just" wayward, broken but truly evil.

Did you find that the memories of abuse from childhood started increasing after dday?

So much of my father's behavior is similar to x. It always was but I just didn't see it until now.

My father abused me as well as brother in law. He abused my sisters as well. They know it but choose to not really see it, if that makes any sense at all.

I never considered that my mother knew about my father until she said that to me. It just never occurred to me. Pretty blind on my part. We lived in a tiny 3 bedroom ranch. You couldn't sneeze without everyone hearing you.

I still remember the first time. He fell asleep after. I got up and went to his bed, my mother slept on the sofa all the time. I got in his bed because he was in mine.

He came in and started yelling at me for being there, "what the hell are you doing" "why are you in here". That made me feel like I was bad, I did something wrong. I was so confused.

He was a pig.


"So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key"

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013
wh deleted
I attempted R, he was a lie

Divorced!


Posts: 2057 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
cantaccept
Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 11:48 AM, January 26th (Monday)

I had a "box" for this. That is always how I think of it, like I put it in a box.

"he was drunk. he didn't know it was me so then it doesn't count". That was what I told myself, for years, probably about 40 years, that was my story if the lid popped off the box.

I suppose that would be compartmentalization?


"So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key"

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013
wh deleted
I attempted R, he was a lie

Divorced!


Posts: 2057 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 11:59 AM, January 26th (Monday)

Hi Can, yes, your father was a pig, as was mine. And keeping memories in "boxes," as I understand it, is repressing memories. I did it until I was going through D with my first H. I was seeing a therapist who asked me how my childhood was. I said it was fine, perfectly wonderful. When driving to my next appointment with him, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was driving eastbound on I480 just outside of Cleveland when I was utterly flooded with the memories. When I arrived to our IC session, I told therapist what I remembered, but that "nothing happened," which was my mother's mantra. She sent me to bed to "cuddle" with my drunk father, because she did not want to go to him. So I was forced to lie in bed in her place, she closed the door and left me there.

In my situation, I know I never "forgot" those things, I know they were always there. It was not a surprise, but I was shocked at how they had done such horrendous things to me. And at the same time acted like it was perfectly normal, defended the indefensible. So in my experience, looking at those acts through adult eyes for the first time was quite unsettling, to say the least. My adult self, being a mother, would NEVER do that to my children.

I think it is important for you to open those boxes and examine what is in them. I agree that your therapist probably did triage in getting you not to "dwell" on the memories. But I do think you will need to process them. There is consolation in being grown up and able to assure yourself they cannot hurt you anymore. I also took up kickboxing for personal empowerment. I am physically small but very strong. It helps.

Time for you to be selfish and self caring, time for you to take the power back from those abusers and start sorting through as the first step of healing yourself.

Also, to Mike, I am so sorry for your abuse. I pray that you may one day hold that priest accountable for the atrocities he committed. I will pray for your healing.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
cantaccept
Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 12:07 PM, January 26th (Monday)

Mike, I just saw your response.

I am sorry that you are struggling with this also.

I agree with your therapist, be very careful who you tell. I wish I could untell my x. I think now sometimes of telling him it was a lie, it didn't happen. It feels like he doesn't deserve to know that vulnerable place.

He does love to call me a liar so I could just confirm it for him!

This is all just so twisted. Just all of it.

If it helps, I believe you.


"So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key"

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013
wh deleted
I attempted R, he was a lie

Divorced!


Posts: 2057 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
Mike26
Member
Member # 45062
Default  Posted: 12:58 PM, January 26th (Monday)

Thanks, cantaccept. Its always helpful to have others who have gone through this/are going through this. My BH tries hard, but he truly doesn't understand the deep personal hell I continue to fight my way through.


WS, CSA survivor
Dday 9/13/14

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." -Anais Nin


Posts: 136 | Registered: Sep 2014
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 1:19 PM, January 26th (Monday)

2married2quit,

I read also in some websites that children who are sexually abused grow up to be unhappy. Resulting in bad marriages.

Is this a surprise to you? Or anyone? I think when children are abused, almost always by a trusted adult in their life, and then blamed, ignored, and victimized further by families who want to keep things in house, these children are going to grow up confused, angry, hurt, and extremely unhappy.

CSA is very complex, we can't just wave magic wands and be happy, be better, unlearn unhealthy coping mechanisms overnight. It takes a painful process of popping the lids off all those boxes and taking inventory, clearing out the toxicity that has grown unchecked, unacknowledged. Kind of like leftovers in the fridge, at my house at least, can go weeks growing who knows what, the longer it goes, the more terrible the surprise. And it's a terrifying process because it transports us back to a time where we were vulnerable and unable to protect ourselves, having to relive all the awful things again. The lack of familial support, legal support, and advocacy keeps many survivors in silence and crippling shame.

In hindsight, I shouldn't have married and had kids. I used my husband as an escape, to run from my problems, except you can't ever run from your problems. I was so unhappy, I was so angry and I'd often have intense rage over the smallest of things. I had so much self hatred, so much shame, and often because I felt out of control over sex, triggers during sex, nightmares and flashbacks. He thought it was him, like he wasn't doing something to make me happy. I just needed him to see how much pain I was in, how hurt I was, how badly I wanted to die, how dead inside I felt. He kept saying what a good person I was, how much he loved me why can't I just be happy with what I have? He kept trying to fix me, instead of seeing me. It would make me angrier. Didn't he see how unworthy of love I was, how broken inside I felt? I tried very hard to prove how unworthy I was.

I finally had to say when enough was enough, that I needed to stop punishing myself, that I wasn't to blame, and that I was destroying everything around me out of self hate and rage and pain. It's a terrible way to exist and I'm damned lucky I didn't lose everything in the process. The secondaries of survivors, spouses, children, parents, siblings, whoever is supporting or close to the survivor, suffer immensely. They need their own support, counsel, education, and guidance as they navigate around a survivor in any stage of healing or lack thereof.

If your wife refuses to work on herself and heal her past, you may very well need to move on without her. She is capable of finding healing and peace. I never would have imagined that I would have peace in my life, it's like waking up, feeling all these feelings and emotions that I thought only other worthy people were having, not me. Me feeling happy, feeling peace, looking forward to living and seeing tomorrow? 10 years ago, hell 5 years ago, I'd have never believed that I could be one of those people, but I am today.

And I'm better for it, my marriage is better for it, my family is better for it, and it was worth all the pain of going into all those boxes and facing everything in there. My husband had to realize that my acting out had nothing to do with him. Of course it still hurt him and made him angry, and felt betrayed, but he could see the person I was trying to hurt wasn't him, it was me.

He would be no lesser of a person had he said he couldn't do this any longer and left me, that it was my problem. But he read the books that I got, that were for me. He would sit and talk about anything about the abuse I wanted, without judgement, discomfort, or disgust. He was trying to prove his trustworthiness, when I should have been the one trying to prove mine.

He set aside his need for healing for my own. I sometimes forget that he made that sacrifice and get angry at him when he doesn't want to rehash past hurts. For him, me healing, was healing for the marriage, and it was, it is. I want him to be able to heal himself though, to not feel like his feelings are secondary. It's much harder I think, to acknowledge toxic things when they are more subtle, like manipulation or covert abuse, and it's much easier to focus on someone else than self examination. We are all works in progress.

cantaccept,

I would be furious if someone used my past as a tool against me, to make fun of me, or hurt me in some way. That is a special kind of terrible person to betray your trust in such a way, very much a setback when trust is nearly impossible for survivors.

For those that deal with not being believed, I don't have experience with that personally. I've always had positive experiences telling about my abuse. But my sister was not believed and it's the most devastating aspect of the abuse for her. To be made out to be a liar by her family is another level of betrayal and pain that is extremely difficult to deal with.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
cantaccept
Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 1:35 PM, January 26th (Monday)

caspers1wish,

Something you said really hit me. You were trying so hard to prove that you were not worthy of love.

Wish I could figure out how to quote!

I was doing the exact opposite. I was trying so hard to prove how worth of love I was! I put up with so much abuse from x. I was going to be so good, just so very good to insure that he would love me, even if it killed me.

I think when I found out that he had told ow I was still in such shock, just reeling in pain that I couldn't process it. There was just so much, mountains of crap. It is only now that it is starting to sink in.

I get so angry now remembering he told her. Then there is the conversations. His response to me being upset, "well, you told my mother". Then there was, "your father did much worse to you than I have" or "you are not upset about my betrayal, it is because of your past".

I hate him now. I read about forgiveness but I just hate him now. He is evil.


"So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key"

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013
wh deleted
I attempted R, he was a lie

Divorced!


Posts: 2057 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
Hurtconfused1013
New Member
Member # 46407
Default  Posted: 1:38 PM, January 26th (Monday)

I want to thank those of you that have shared your stories, they have been eye opening to both me and my wife. I posted in the just found out forum about all that my wife and I have been going through (topic: trickle truth/just found out the whole truth). It has been exhausting and draining on the both of us. I encouraged her to explore this forum and she is the one who found this topic.

When I read the list of behavioral characterstics of CSA survivors that devotedman posted it was like he was writing specifically about my wife. My wife is the product of an abusive NPD alcholic mother who was physically and emotionally abusive. She was also extremely promiscuous. On at least one occassion one of her drunken hookups sexually assaulted my wife when she was approximately 7 years old while her mother was passed out in the bedroom. My wife never recalled this even until the first revelation of her affairs and treatment had begun with an IC and a psychatrist.

That revelation came in the shower one day while cleaning herself she had a strong reaction to her mother cleaning her in the bath tub and yelling at her for getting her bed dirty. The reaction was so strong that my wife threw up.

With more counseling my wife has come to accept this event has happened but still struggles with doubt. We don't speak to her mother any more due to continued emotional verbal abuse of both my wife and my family.

It has been difficult for me to accept because the revelation came at a time when my wife had also confessed to massive infidelity (a multitude of affair partners with unsafe sex in dagnerous and public ways). A part of me worries that it was just an excuse to justify her bad behavior. The more I have read about CSA and the more I think about our lives together there are behavioral characterstics that seem to coincide with her abuse and CSA symptoms that pre-date the affair.

My wife has very few memories of her childhood. She recalls certain facts and events but it is almost as if they were told to her and she is repeating them. My wife has always had a tendency to lie about the smallest little things even when the lie is completely transparent. It feels as if my wife has would tell you anything to avoid conflict or having anyone be mad at her. My wife has also had an unreasonable fixation of pleasing her abusive mother at all costs. My MIL did such a number on her kids conditioning them to kiss her ass that she doesn't even have to say jump anymore to get them to ask how high.

More specific to her recollections of the abuse, my wife would only take showers and would never take a bath or soak in the tub. My wife has never felt comfortable being "pinned" and kissed. By that I mean that if my wife was standing near the kitchen counter, I would put my arms on either side of her, turn her around and kiss her in a playful way. I would not actually hold her there but just kind of put my arms to either side of her (kind of like wrapping your arms around your partner while slow dancing). This makes my wife extremely uncomofortable and she could never explain why.

With the revelations of my wife's affairs, the portrait she has painted of herself is a woman who felt that she couldn't say no to men who asked for sex. She felt that she owed it to them, and that it was the only way she could get the attention she claimed she needed. When having sex with other men she claimed to "turn off" and not think about the fact they were having sex. After sex was over she claims in her mind she put it away in a box and it was if it didn't happen. Several of these men treated my wife in terribly degrading ways that I don't imagine any women would ever want to be treated. However when confronted with them my wife acted as if she was afraid to rightfully tell them off. Most of that venom seemed saved for me. I used to joke that I was my wife's whipping boy but looking back at our lives together I feel sadly that the joke was on me. At the height of her affairs my wife would get angry when we would have sex, she would accuse me of not really caring about her and just using her for sex. At the time I couldn't undertand where that came from, after all (12 years, 3 kids and a house later she would have to be the most expensive one night stand ever), but the more I look at the full picture of our lives it feels as if she was transferring all the anger and aggression from the affairs on to me. I became the jerk that was using her. There were times when it came to sharing the household reponsibilities (kids, chores, bills etc) where I felt like the only adult in the relationship. When I expressed my concern about something my wife reacted more like a teenager rebelling against thier parents then another adult disagreeing about an issue.

My wife and I have been through MC and IC and my IC has told me that he believes my wife's behaviors are a product of both the CSA and the abuse of her mother. When speaking to my wife about how she felt during that time she has told me that she could never believe me when I told her I loved her because I was her husband and I had to say that, it felt to her that the attention of strangers was more valid because there was no real connection there. My IC and her IC believe this is an affect of the abuse of her Mother where my wife was taught to expect pain and betrayal from those closest to her.

We are still in counseling and still trying to work together despite all the pain she has caused but I struggle because I don't know anyone who has been through all this. My wife has been like a wrecking ball in my life and the life of so many others. I know what she did was a choice and the abuse is not an excuse. She has expressed regret and is trying but still struggles. I hope any of you on the board who are maybe a little further down the road can tell me if there is a light at the end of the tunnel or if I am just trying to see one that isn't really there cause I love my wife.


Posts: 7 | Registered: Jan 2015
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 1:42 PM, January 26th (Monday)

Crying as I type this. Not being believed is painful, yes. I developed a dissociative disorder as a result of my being abused for all those years. I was 12 years old. My FOO ridiculed me for it, had a horrible name they called me when it happened. So utterly devastatingly painful.

In high school, I shared the dissociative experience with my best girlfriend, who ultimately used it to ridicule me. And also my first H who also used it against me when he was angry.

I feel your pain Can. Take care.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
cantaccept
Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 1:56 PM, January 26th (Monday)

(((Edith))) There are just not words. I am just so sorry.


"So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key"

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013
wh deleted
I attempted R, he was a lie

Divorced!


Posts: 2057 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
Mike26
Member
Member # 45062
Default  Posted: 2:05 PM, January 26th (Monday)

Hurtconfused, I'm so sorry for what you and your wife are going through. It sounds like you've put in a tremendous amount of work, because wow do you have a grasp on her issues and how they're affecting her, your relationship, and you. I think the question you asked at the end is a really tough one, because there are so many possibilities. As the eternal optimist, I think that yes, it is safe to say that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it might be a different track than you're on now. If your wife continues doing the painful and difficult work of IC with someone trained in trauma therapy, I think it is quite possibly that she could identify her triggers, identify her needs, and realize the safety, support, and true love that she has in you. On the other hand, if she isn't able or willing to do the hard work, finding a light at the end of the tunnel might have to mean doing what you need so that you can find peace. Being married to a CSA survivor, especially one who also carries dysfunctional baggage from an abusive parent, is a very tall task, and I respect you a lot for all of the hard work you've clearly done to understand how you can help and support your wife. That being said, you ultimately cannot fix her, she'll have to do that work for herself. If you reach a point where you need to focus on yourself and your kids, that's OK.

Be well!


WS, CSA survivor
Dday 9/13/14

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." -Anais Nin


Posts: 136 | Registered: Sep 2014
Mike26
Member
Member # 45062
Default  Posted: 2:07 PM, January 26th (Monday)

Edith, I'm so sorry for what you've been through. I hope that you find yourself in a better place today than you did yesterday and the day before that. ((((hugs))))


WS, CSA survivor
Dday 9/13/14

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." -Anais Nin


Posts: 136 | Registered: Sep 2014
miadianna
Member
Member # 10516
Default  Posted: 4:13 PM, January 26th (Monday)

Hi, I have never posted in this forum before but I have a question and don't know where else to turn.

Is it common for family members who are now grown and in their late 50's and 60's to come forward about sexual abuse that occurred a very long time ago by an uncle (who is still alive) after the death of an older and very beloved member of the family? Why does this happen?


Me: BS 53
Son: 28 years old
Daughter: 25 years old
D-day(s) 9/23/94 - 1/31/05
Divorced 4/10/08

Posts: 7496 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: Illinois
Mike26
Member
Member # 45062
Default  Posted: 4:29 PM, January 26th (Monday)

Hi Mia,
It is very common for people to not come forward about abuse that happened to them until they are much older. A lot of times the shame runs so incredibly deep, especially when their abuser was a member of their own family. All anyone on here could do would be to speculate why the death of a beloved family member gave them the strength or the drive to come forward. I'd recommend asking them for yourself what helped them make the decision to come forward now.


WS, CSA survivor
Dday 9/13/14

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." -Anais Nin


Posts: 136 | Registered: Sep 2014
Hurtconfused1013
New Member
Member # 46407
Default  Posted: 4:32 PM, January 26th (Monday)

Mike26, Thanks for the support. You are right, no matter how much I try to learn about my wife's issues, it is her job to fix herself. I have spoken to my wife and she says that she understands this. It is just too soon to tell.

Posts: 7 | Registered: Jan 2015
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 8:02 PM, January 26th (Monday)

As I've said before and surely will again: God help us, everyone.

caspers1wish, cantaccept, Mike26:
Yes, yes, and yes. That list of behaviors of mine? All of them, I own them, I did them. The shame, the wanting to be loved, the using sex for validation and approval, the pushing away of people who wanted to be close, the valuing the opinion of others because they "didn't have to say I was sexy or desirable or good in bed", all of that and more. All mine.

HurtConfused1013, from the bottom of my heart thank you for your patience and attempt to understand your wife. I'm crying, too, now. I'm grateful that you can't _know_ what the abuse is like. You wonderful husband, you, you can only take it into account and try not to be hurt by her (our) brokenness. It isn't about you.

Part of the reason she acts out against you is that she knows that you're safe. Like the children of divorce who rail against the parent they love and trust and act especially good for the parent they love and do not trust with their feelings, your wife is railing and acting out against you because you'll take it.

Specifically to your wife, if she is reading this:
I'm a 52 year old man. I solved the promiscuity problem alone with the help of psychology and psychiatry books from the local library, introspection, and a good deal of forging myself into the kind of man I wanted to be. I had been brought up beaten, bloodied, cursed, denigrated, and sexually abused by my mother. I was also brought up to be kind to animals, to look at things from their point of view. "Don't hurt the puppy. Be careful. How would you like to be hurt?"

One day I looked at an age-appropriate sex partner (we were teens). She was crying because I didn't want to become girlfriend and boyfriend (we had been experimental a few times, but she wanted to "go steady"). I empathized with her hurt. I did not feel badly for being the cause of her hurt. I felt no remorse. Zero. None. I realized that that was fucked up. Wrong. Bad. I did a little research once (before this incident) and found that I had, by that time, 10 times as many partners as the average adult male _in_a_lifetime_ and I couldn't even vote yet.

Look at your husband. He loves you. He thinks about sex in ways that you probably don't, yet. Yet. He's hurt and loves you anyway. He. Loves. You. He is willing to stand by and help where possible, support where needed, do what it takes, to have and to hold until death do you part, while you fix yourself. Walking away would be the easiest thing for him to do. You owe it to yourself to fix yourself. You owe him at least a "thank you."

He is everything that you missed as a child and everything you need as a healed adult. He's hurt and confused and tries to understand. Most men should quote some Robert Louis Stevenson at him: "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!"

Like me, you learned to submit. Like me, you learned to get approval from outside yourself by responding sexually to others. By pleasing them and by letting them use you if they wanted. Like me, you've acted out and been promiscuous. How promiscuous was I? I literally cannot tell you. I don't know the names of some of my partners, I never did. I don't know how many I've had. I can guess within about 50. Bragging? Nope. Ashamed? Not really, I was broken, I was hurt, and I was acting out in the only way that I knew how. I was feeding my broken ego and staying alive. Not all of us do. It was a survival mechanism to force away the pain so I did it. I did it, I owned it, I got over it before I got married. I never had repressed memories to deal with.

Because, by God, my own brokenness is _not_ going to stand in the way of me being the kind of man I want to be. As they say, "Fuck that noise!"

Hurtconfused1013, this is for you:
From the little bit of reading I've done on repressed memories they, and the abuse, sort of "stick" emotional development at the age of repression. Sort of like you can't get past that point in that line of development because you don't know how, you've repressed the memories that most have of the period and thus the growing past that doesn't happen. Sort of. Badly explained.

To everyone of us:
You can tell people. Sometimes, like anything else personal you reveal, it can come back to hurt. My 1st and only wife to this point was abused sexually by her grandfather. I told her of my abuse before she told me of hers. After we'd told each other when she'd get mad and want her way she'd use the fact of my abuse against me. In pretty horrible ways that I'm not going to talk about even today. Let us just agree to agree that they were horrible.

But I still tell people. I tell each woman I become involved with. Especially if the woman has children (though now I'm of an age where that doesn't really matter). Many abused grow up to be abusers and deny it so I always felt it my duty to let the woman get to know me and then tell her. I never had any suspect that I might harm their children.

I am not ashamed that I was taken advantage of as a child. If a thousand tellings and a thousand rebukes and attempted shaming saves one child or helps on adult deal with this then that's an even trade. I have no shame for being beaten. I have no shame for being cursed. I have no shame for being told I was worthless and no woman would ever want me. I have no shame for being sexually abused. They did it, it is theirs to own, not mine.

To Hurtconfused1013 and his wife: a counselor told me that we can get past this, that it can become a scar that we acknowledge but don't live the pain of the original wound each and every day.

You _can_ be different. First step is to realize you have no shame for being abused. Second step is to realize that help is available. Third step is to heal and stop hurting. Decide to stop hurting. Decide it today.

I'm rambling, everyone, good night.

EDIT: I guess I still have to reveal because, you know, grandchildren. Gosh, ten years off of the dating market with xWGF, with grandkids of (formerly) our own, I just didn't think of that until this minute. Wowzers.

[This message edited by devotedman at 8:07 PM, January 26th (Monday)]


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 8:32 PM, January 26th (Monday)

He thinks about sex in ways that you probably don't, yet.

I want to clarify this because of the place in healing that HurtConfused1013 and his wife are.

I meant that he thinks of sex as fun, experimental, loving, affirming, building true intimacy, an expression of his love and devotion to you, a yearning to bond, a strengthener of that bond, delicious, great, wonderful, heady.

I've been where sex isn't that. Where it is casual, impersonal, distancing, not intimate but mechanical, a survival mechanism, a necessary validation of me as a person. Those are not the ways that "normals", the un-abused, think of sex.

cantaccept: to quote: hit the reply button. Select the text from the message you want to quote. Paste it in the reply box. Select it again in the reply box and hit the quote button. The words quote and /quote will appear with square brackets around them at the beginning and end of the text. If I type exactly what they look like I'll just get an indented quote out of it.

I just created this and
now I'm appearing to quote within a quote
and back out again

You can type [ quote ] some text [ /quote ] (without the spaces between [ and the word) and create a quote yourself just like you can type : wink : without the spaces and get a wink.

EDIT: typos, because typos.

[This message edited by devotedman at 8:33 PM, January 26th (Monday)]


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 8:16 AM, January 30th (Friday)

caspers1wish - Thank you for your response. It has helped us immensely.


BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1553 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
lilies21
Member
Member # 35833
Default  Posted: 12:09 PM, February 4th (Wednesday)

I found this thread and thought I would share my story to get it off my chest and since a lot of people think that my STBXWH's abuse has a lot to do with his A .

My STBXWH and I were both sexually abused as children. I don’t know how old I was when it started for me. Three? Four? Somewhere in there because I've been triggering badly since my son turned three; the abuse stopped around age ten. Multiple abusers. From what I remember, my uncle, four of my mother’s boyfriends although three were only one-time incidents but the fourth was a registered sex offender whom she actually married, and then one of her boyfriend’s sons. My mom didn't believe me the times I told her and she only thought my uncle and I were “experimenting” when she caught him once. I was five and he was a pre-teen.

My STBXWH was abused by his mother. From what he told me, it started when he was around 11 and lasted 2-3 years. It happened while his dad was in prison for statutory rape of a 15-year-old. STBXWH only had a couple of counseling sessions after the abuse and he said he would never go to counseling again. He claims even to this day that his mother only abused him when she was drinking and he thinks she is rehabilitated. His family has swept it all under the rug and his three brothers use their mom as child care on a regular basis. I was always the odd one who would never let her watch our son.

I remember just clicking with STBXWH the second we met. We just fit. We seemed right. I always told people that my heart smiled the second I saw him. I know now from IC and being on SI that it was apparently broken attracting broken with our histories of abuse. As nuts as this sounds, it had felt like honest love at first sight (after two weeks of emails, calls and texts since we met online). Knowing now what it truly was just breaks my heart even more.

As I mentioned, I started triggering really bad once my son turned three. Anxiety through the roof, nightmares, not wanting to go many places with DS because I was afraid of someone getting a hold of him. I wouldn't be able to breathe if STBXWH leaned over me in any way. I needed dental work and I started having panic attacks at the dentist’s office and crying because I couldn't stand the feeling of being trapped with someone leaning over me. So I started going to IC. Obviously diagnosed with PTSD. The first five sessions, I came home and STBXWH wanted to know everything: what did I tell the counselor, what did she say, did I remember anything new, etc, etc…. I thought he had a right to know at first so I told him everything but it just got too hard. I couldn't rehash everything twice in one day. I stopped telling him about the visits and he got mad. So then I stopped telling him when I was going and he never asked again. I was going to counseling regularly for nearly a year without him knowing because I just couldn't give him all of the details. And the memories that came back…I didn't exactly want my husband to know all of the details either. It was also hard to tell STBXH details too because he said he didn't believe me. He didn't think people could be that cruel to a little girl...even after his own abuse. As IC went on and I remembered more, I know I pushed STBXWH away physically. I would hold hands and cuddle with him but I started distancing myself from sex and sometimes when we would have sex, I would be physically ill afterward. The times I couldn't keep him from knowing, I know it hurt his feelings and I let him know I was working on it. He never asked how.

Condensed history of last year’s events: OB (now 55 years old) moved in on May 18, 2014. The second I met her my gut said “trouble” but I ignored it. She was not what I considered my STBXWH’s type: she was much older, she was loud, crass, in-your-face, a heavy drinker and a full-time party person. How wrong I turned out to be. Just ten weeks later, and I only think they were actually talking/texting/calling for two or three of them, my STBSWH said he was in love with her and wanted a divorce. He moved in with her a short time after I moved out, he's taken on over $40K in debt to get new things since I left, and he’s taken up drinking too; he’s been too impaired to drive on occasions and he’s missed a lot of work. This coming from a man who never wanted to touch alcohol because of what happened to him as a child. A lot of people have opinions that he has unresolved issues since he never had proper counseling and that he is drawn toward OB because she’s reminds him of his mom. I don’t know and I’m trying not to care. I stopped IC for a while because I felt like dealing with my PTSD issues led to pushing him away which led to where we are today but I’m back in IC.

[This message edited by lilies21 at 1:05 PM, February 4th (Wednesday)]


Me: 32; DH: 33. Married 11 years. 4-year-old son.
DD1 4/14/12: WH browsing personals.
DD2 6/9/12: Same + porn.
DD3 8/2/14: EA with 55-year-old neighbor (OB: Old Bitch). Now PA. Divorcing.

Posts: 1661 | Registered: Jun 2012
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 12:25 PM, February 4th (Wednesday)

Thanks for sharing, I know it was hard. I'm sorry for the horrible things that the two of you went through as children.

Talking about it does help, though.

This

I know now from IC and being on SI that it was apparently broken attracting broken with our histories of abuse.

really resonated with me. My first wife and I had both been abused as children. Me by my mother, her by her maternal grandfather. Neither of us ever told anyone until we were adults and our abusers were dead.

I've also asked xWGF (when she was GF/Fiancee) if she had ever been abused. She said that we hadn't but knew that I had.

I agree that it sounds like your stbxH is "recreating the abuse". That is so sad for him. I hope that he finds some peace someday.

It also sounds like your stbxH was using your time with the IC and your revelations there to deny to himself that the abuse happened. It sounds like he isn't ready to deal with it yet, if he ever is.

but I’m back in IC

I read all you wrote. I understand what you're saying even though our experiences were different. Back on page 14 after my story I made a few posts (that may continue on page 15, I don't remember) with support web sites and articles and books for CSA victims/survivors.

Congratulations on continuing to deal with this and I wish you strength and peace.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
Mike26
Member
Member # 45062
Default  Posted: 9:33 PM, February 9th (Monday)

I'm wondering about other sexual abuse survivors' experiences with connecting to their feelings. I'm finding through MC that mine seem very black and white compared to my husband's. For example, our therapist might say something and ask him how it feels, and he'll be able to rattle off a whole slew of feeling words. She'll then say something to me and ask how it felt, and I more often than not say that I can't really find a feeling word other than good or bad, or happy or sad. It's made me wonder whether I have a deeper problem with disconnecting from my feelings, like maybe its too painful to really explore how I'm feeling, so it just feels easier or safer to stay on a surface level and categorize things into one of 2 categories (either happy or sad, either good or bad, etc.) Does anyone else experience this struggle?


WS, CSA survivor
Dday 9/13/14

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." -Anais Nin


Posts: 136 | Registered: Sep 2014
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 10:05 PM, February 9th (Monday)

no but i had to work a long time to be comfortable talking about my feelings at all.

i did not tell anyone i loved them until age 13 or 14 and then it was my aunt. i mumbled it while turning and entering a car.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
xhz700
Member
Member # 44394
Default  Posted: 3:26 PM, February 10th (Tuesday)

Not too sure if this is the right thread for this question, this would be mostly for any rape survivors, preferably female. My WW was raped more than once, one time resulting in a pregnancy in her late teens. She had an affair about 6 years ago, and things never have been really resolved to my satisfaction.

The issue I am having is a non-infidelity related issue. Over the last 16 months she has had two surgeries related to endometriosis and ovarian cysts (the last of which was in April). As a result, she is now on hormone replacement, and she also began taking an SSRI in the last 8 months to deal with bi-polar symptoms. She has made a great deal of positive changes over the past three years emotionally and mentally. Prior to those three years she went through a terrible time with opiate addiction (doctor assisted, all legal) which I think was mostly due to self-loathing from the affair and her history of abuse.

Here's the catch. We've had sex five times since October. When this was brought up in November in MC (I wasn't super upset at that point about this latest dry spell, this issue has been consistently getting worse for seven years) she broke down and basically admitted that sex had always been disconnected for her. She has had over 100 partners in her life, male and female. I asked her if it was more of a performance with me, and that really knocked her back. We spoke a few days later and she said she'd make an appointment with her IC to start working through her sexual issues to try and improve our connection. I have felt extremely alone and sexually rejected for a very long time, and adding that to my personal anxiety and self-worth issues carrying over from the affair (and my life prior) has created a cocktail that is extremely hard for me to manage and I fear I am losing attraction to her/patience to work through anything else with her.

She hasn't made what I would consider a reasonable effort to make appointments to get in for her IC. She has to schedule them a long way out, then doesn't follow up until she is at that appointment, making the next appointments a long way out again. I've tried talking, and she claims her libido is very low. I've told her how I feel, but there just doesn't seem to be any urgency from her side on this. I've asked her to look into the SSRI she's taking to see whether that might be having an effect on her libido (it is) and what she can do about it.

What can I do to help her? What can I do to make my feelings more clear? I feel like I am at an 8 out of 10 for urgency, and I feel like she thinks it is a 4. I'm almost 40. I will not live in a sexless marriage.


Me: BH 39
Her: WW 37
D-Day 12/?/2008

Posts: 193 | Registered: Aug 2014
ddame23
Member
Member # 40407
Default  Posted: 3:42 PM, February 10th (Tuesday)

I just found this thread, so I apologize for posing before I have had much chance to read others' posts. I'm not even sure what I want to say. I'm not even sure it is okay for BS to post here.

I was abused by my father when I was small- my memories are around kindergarten into 2nd grade, but I have a nagging suspicion that it started earlier. We moved into a new house and I would crawl into my parent's bed for security- my mom delivered a baby the week we moved, so no mom, new house, new school- and instead of comfort and reassurances, I was used. I knew about foster kids from school and I was afraid of that happening to us. My mom was a stay at home mom who didn't drive. I never told anyone when it was happening. I now live far away from him and have informed my sister in law because I would hate if he went after her kids.
I was very isolated and sad throughout my youth, and my mother often scolded that I needed an attitude adjustment. I have spent my whole life sacrificing myself to keep a family together without anyone knowing. I have a terrible longing for someone to "see me".

This may have TMI...
My husband had an A in 2012, but even before that, he always had a "work wife" and hid activities with these women from me- even if they weren't all sexual affairs, I've learned that each was a betrayal. I made my needs so small and deferred to him always. When I expressed emotions I would get a logical lecture in all the ways I was wrong for feeling what ever it was I was feeling. I had EMDR early in our relationship and struggled with sex for a while during and after that. He has told me on many occasions that I'm broken sexually since I did the EMDR. Over the past 10 years or so he has frequently told me that I'm too hard to figure out sexually. Apparently, his 18 year old AP didn't have nay trouble in that dept., and he made sure I knew it. I have recently had just awful experiences with him sexually- I start out okay, but then I think of his affair and how he put my health at risk and I want to gag. My body clenches up and insertion is painful. I've torn and bled the past few times. I spend the rest of the time trying not to cry and still be alluring enough to get him off. Then I cry after.
I struggle with being assertive, I'm constantly worried that I'm being passive aggressive and can't recognize it, but I have come a long way since my D-day. I just wish I could get some empathy and comfort from him. I'm working so hard to try to save this marriage, but I feel like I'm failing.
I've been in counseling several times over the years, read all the books and done the exercises, and the abuse doesn't haunt me so much anymore, but I'm afraid I traded one trauma for another.

Sorry, I don't think this goes anywhere. Thanks for being out there... I'll be away from a computer for the next day or so and I hate trying to do this on a phone, but I'm grateful for anyone who reads this...

[This message edited by ddame23 at 3:59 PM, February 10th (Tuesday)]


D-Day April 18 2013
TT for Over 18 months
The whole truth 7/21/14
Spoke (wrote) too soon more TT 7/23/14
He has lost all credibility, my respect, my love.
Cautious R, but sometimes I can't figure out why I'm still fighting for this M.

Posts: 81 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Coastal Empire, GA
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 8:57 PM, February 10th (Tuesday)

ddame23, welcome, you're fine posting here as either BS or WS. We CSA survivors (of which you are one) have so many issues. Edith, who also posts here from time to time, is a BS. I'm a BS had I not felt abnormal before I became old enough to vote and worked on myself some I would likely have been either a madhatter (both BS and WS in same relationship) or WS. Others are WSs.

All are welcome here, as are questions from survivor's SOs. Those unabused cannot really understand how abuse, especially sexual abuse, can so alter a person. I, personally, suffered early from a detachment of sex and intimacy. Sex was traded for validation and self-esteem. Intimacy was achieved via non-sexual activities. When it was achieved at all.

This may have TMI

There have been some pretty horrible abuses recounted in this thread. Some of us have survived a lot. You speak mildly of some horrible abuses at the hands of your father and your husband. I am so, so sorry that this happened to you.

When I expressed emotions I would get a logical lecture in all the ways I was wrong for feeling what ever it was I was feeling.

That was very cruel of him. Feelings are feelings. Gently helping someone to see another viewpoint if they choose to is one thing, but telling you that your feelings were wrong hurts very much, I know. Gently, your feelings are your feelings and valid.

I had EMDR early in our relationship and struggled with sex for a while during and after that.

I'm not very familiar with EMDR therapy beyond knowing that it is sometimes used for PTSD. Are sexual side effects common with EMDR, or was it what came out during the therapy that might have caused trouble with sex?

(And, by the way, being abused at all very often affects our self-esteem, our perceptions, and our sexual response.)

My body clenches up and insertion is painful. I've torn and bled the past few times. I spend the rest of the time trying not to cry and still be alluring enough to get him off. Then I cry after.

Gently, this is not normal. Your physical condition indicates, though you haven't said it, that he continues even when you're in pain. If that is what is happening then that is abuse. Trying not to cry during sex means that you shouldn't be having it. Can you get back in IC?

I'm working so hard to try to save this marriage, but I feel like I'm failing.

I know exactly how you feel. Exactly. Eventually I had to decide that the marriage hurt me more than I could stand. When I realized that I was becoming so affected by the vitriol in my marriage that I would almost rather be dead than married I knew it was time to get out. I even lived in a van for a week or so. In the summer.

EDIT - Gently, he is abusive to you. No matter how you act you do not deserve to be treated this way. No one does. Flaunting AP in your face, telling you that she performs better than you, and then expecting you to be alluring is the behavior of someone who really, really needs help and you need to get away from.

[This message edited by devotedman at 9:04 PM, February 10th (Tuesday)]


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 9:30 PM, February 10th (Tuesday)

xhz700, you've been heard.

From talking with someone who has been on an SSRI, their libido tanked. It wasn't missed, it wasn't even realized that libido was lacking, there was simply no interest. Also, the someone said that the surgeries indicated a great deal of 'female trouble', and that that could contribute to painful intercourse and general fear of intercourse.

Your statements that she was raped, that sex was disconnected from intimacy and the relatively large number of partners (I, personally, can only tell you within about 50 how many I've had and I didn't always know their names) indicates that she, like I, probably had a self-esteem rating of, oh, -50 or so. That's on the devotedman scale, so don't look for it anywhere else. Has she done anything to address the underlying self-esteem issues?

SSRI's, IIRC, make the lows not as low and the highs not as high for bi-polar people. I've talked to some who said that they felt in a fog, like zombies, on some drugs of that type for that condition.

Have you talked these things over with her Doctors on her behalf? Perhaps, if foggy and disconnected enough, she simply cannot summon the will to do these things. That might be the issue with scheduling IC appointments as well. I've certainly had times where getting out of bed in the morning seemed too much to do. And I wasn't under any chemicals of any sort at the time, either.

I understand your frustration. I also understand that your wife might be simply too overwhelmed or too drugged to be effective right now. Please explore these possibilities with her Doctors. Also, is she acting zoned out right now? Would she be open to the possibility of you scheduling the IC appointments while the drug (side?) effects and possible other issues are explored?


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
SorrowfulSoul
New Member
Member # 42817
Default  Posted: 10:24 PM, February 10th (Tuesday)

There is so much pain in this thread, reading what people have lived through during their childhood and teenage years. I hesitate to even post in here because what my issues seem so minor,

So here goes..... my father abandoned our family (mom and four young children) when I was11 in 1968. In the era where single parent families were looked on as second class. Sometime in the next year or two, I was taken out to the barn by a cousin's husband but stopped short of actually touching me. He had climbed over a low wall into a pen and "claimed" to have hurt himself (genitals) and wanted me to check. I declined. He then took me out to look at crops and told me that I was lucky I had nothing that "stuck out" that could get hurt. Who takes a 12 year old kid to look at crops and leaves the other three kids, his wife and in-laws at the house? From there, beginning at age 16? I had over 20 sexual partners, which included what my husband considered rape by a different cousin ten years older than me. I don' t know what to think As I have always figured it was my fault.

I have done some reading around CSA and I feel there is likely something more I don't remember. It seems there is a lot I can relate to with CSA but is it an overlap with father abandonment?

There's are a few other incidences that I have not related but in general, I have been promiscuous as a teenager and was faithful through 25 years of marriage.

I find it very difficult to engage in sexual relations with my BS. I also am on SSRI and have low libido. I understand the splitting of sex and intimacy. For the most part sex is somethingI do for my husband but I never initiate and it is pretty standard and mundane and not much for my BS. This is not new but has been the norm in our marriage for most of 37 years.

I read recently that commitment and intimacy is very difficult for CSA survivors. I believe my committing adultery was running away from my BS and facing my issues (which I believe is pretty standard WS behavior) So how running from issues around sex to sex with OM makes any sense, I don' t know.

My BS has asked me how I thought anything around committing adultery could be positive, what did I t he ink I was getting out of it? I have answered that perhaps I wasn't getting anything positive, but it was negative. I read some notes out of my journal tonight and back in October, I was traveling home by myself after along day and told myself over and over and over that I needed to hurt myself. Would committing adultery be something that I would unconsciously think of as hurting myself, not making excuses for my decisions but to understand making the decision to commit adultery?

I am so confused. There seems to be so many overlapping issues from my childhood, abandonment, CSA with possibly more as I am beginning to feel there likely is, teenage rape, teenage promiscuity and also a teenage miscarriage and then another pregnancy that I terminated. How many ways can I screw up my life?

And then to figure out why I would commit a LTA for three years.

Sorry for rambling. Just needed to get it out there I guess.

[This message edited by SorrowfulSoul at 10:28 PM, February 10th (Tuesday)]


It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful. - Brother David Steindl-Rast

Posts: 32 | Registered: Mar 2014
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 7:59 AM, February 11th (Wednesday)

SorrowfulSoul, you're very welcome here. Glad you found us.

The degree of abuse isn't really something to compare to someone else. It was abuse to a child and we develop coping mechanisms to handle that. The coping mechanisms for each individual can be very different but usually come from a larger list of common ones.

what my husband considered rape by a different cousin ten years older than me. I don' t know what to think As I have always figured it was my fault

Shouldering the blame for abuse is very common. You are not at fault for being abused. I wasn't at fault for being abused. That can be hard to let go of, but for your own healing you have to.

I have done some reading around CSA and I feel there is likely something more I don't remember.

Repressed memories seem to be common. I've never had them so I cannot comment further. If you start reading pages here quite a few people mention their repressed memories finally coming out years later or under IC.

It seems there is a lot I can relate to with CSA but is it an overlap with father abandonment?

I've read that for a female bonding with her father is very important. A friend of mine has a wife whose father was absent and she sought the attention of other men as a result, according to their therapist. Friend's wife needed the attention of other men to feel validated.

I read recently that commitment and intimacy is very difficult for CSA survivors

Commitment to a person and relationship I'm not sure about. I become very committed, but not easily, I'm a bit skittish. I was married for 20 years (10 bad) and was in what I thought was my life relationship for 10 years. I'm 52, I've spent 30 years of my life in committed relationships, and all I've ever wanted is someone to grow old with, to be the little old couple holding hands and walking, someone who understands that I will have low self-esteem periods that I have to work on sometimes as I'll understand that they have problems they have to work on sometimes.

Naturally, on SurvivingInfidelity, the people posting in the abuse forum are in committed relationships or they would not be on this site, so generalizations from here are difficult. Certainly infidelity can be a problem. This is very often due to low self-esteem and the need for validations from outside ourselves rather than from within ourselves. The outside validation I refer to as "empty calories" because they fill you up for a bit and then are consumed quickly and gone. Ultimately, those validations are empty and more are sought. Very often the husband or committed partner's validations to us are thought of as "he or she has to do it, strangers do not so their validations are better" when, in fact, exactly the opposite is true.

Intimacy during sex is often difficult for CSA survivors. Our sexual awakenings included no intimacy at all but instead were acts perpetrated upon us. We easily shut down or escape during sex because sex was learned from an abuser, someone who used us.

I believe my committing adultery was running away from my BS and facing my issues (which I believe is pretty standard WS behavior) So how running from issues around sex to sex with OM makes any sense, I don' t know.

Gently, SorrowfulSoul, adultery and "facing my issues" do not really belong together. Adultery is the result of having issues and not facing them.

I read some notes out of my journal tonight and back in October, I was traveling home by myself after along day and told myself over and over and over that I needed to hurt myself. Would committing adultery be something that I would unconsciously think of as hurting myself, not making excuses for my decisions but to understand making the decision to commit adultery?

Again, gently, feeling the need to hurt oneself is the feeling of a person in real emotional turmoil and suffering. The adultery is hurting you, whether or not you perceived it as such.

The whys of you committing adultery are issues for an IC. Please seek one out who is familiar with CSA.

Back on page 14, after I tell my story I made several posts with links to articles, websites, and the names of books recommended to me. Those resources posts may continue on page 15, I'm not sure.

Please, for your sake, your H's sake, and the sake of the M, find an IC with experience in CSA issues and start counseling. I had to change myself so many years ago and I missed some things that are now understood to be related.

[This message edited by devotedman at 8:06 AM, February 11th (Wednesday)]


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
xhz700
Member
Member # 44394
Default  Posted: 11:27 AM, February 11th (Wednesday)

devotedman,

Thanks for the reply...

From talking with someone who has been on an SSRI, their libido tanked. It wasn't missed, it wasn't even realized that libido was lacking, there was simply no interest. Also, the someone said that the surgeries indicated a great deal of 'female trouble', and that that could contribute to painful intercourse and general fear of intercourse.

Yes to libido tanking, your description seems to be spot on. She is aware it's gone, and I think she cares that it bothers me (I think it also bothers her). She has had a great deal of female trouble, that's accurate. There used to be pain, but that has gotten better since the last surgery. I think there is still some fear there for sure.

Your statements that she was raped, that sex was disconnected from intimacy and the relatively large number of partners (I, personally, can only tell you within about 50 how many I've had and I didn't always know their names) indicates that she, like I, probably had a self-esteem rating of, oh, -50 or so. That's on the devotedman scale, so don't look for it anywhere else. Has she done anything to address the underlying self-esteem issues?

Nailed it again. We both have self-esteem issues, but hers seem to effect her a lot more (or maybe just differently?) She stated that she wants to work on her underlying self-esteem and trauma issues to try to deal with the sexual ones, which I fully support.

SSRI's, IIRC, make the lows not as low and the highs not as high for bi-polar people. I've talked to some who said that they felt in a fog, like zombies, on some drugs of that type for that condition.

She has experienced that before, on Celexa for sure, but this go round it seems to be helping her more than hurting her.

Have you talked these things over with her Doctors on her behalf? Perhaps, if foggy and disconnected enough, she simply cannot summon the will to do these things. That might be the issue with scheduling IC appointments as well. I've certainly had times where getting out of bed in the morning seemed too much to do. And I wasn't under any chemicals of any sort at the time, either.

I have not, maybe that's a good idea. I have frequently gone with her to other doctor appointments, but never to her psych. Perhaps that would be a good start.

I understand your frustration. I also understand that your wife might be simply too overwhelmed or too drugged to be effective right now. Please explore these possibilities with her Doctors. Also, is she acting zoned out right now? Would she be open to the possibility of you scheduling the IC appointments while the drug (side?) effects and possible other issues are explored?

I lean more toward overwhelmed and less toward drugged. She is actually making more progress in other areas than I have ever seen before. I should clarify that I am extremely proud of the work she is finally doing, she's been too altered or fragile to really address any of this before, and she's really doing well. I think that she would be open to me scheduling appointments, but at the same time I am working through my issues as a codependent. Having to continuously over-function while trying to sort out healthy boundaries is really starting to suck.

The problem is that while I am trying to be supportive of her, it's been a VERY long time since I was satisfied sexually with this relationship (I could probably pinpoint this to about the time her EA/PA began). Going 3-6 weeks between being intimate with her is starting to get old. I feel lonely, unattractive, disgusting and worthless. Add that together with the near daily thoughts asking myself 'why am I not good enough' or 'why it was so easy for her to jump into bed with someone else, but it's so hard for her to be intimate with me'... I know it's not that simple, but it sure as hell feels that simple.

She's my only outlet sexually. I do not and will not cheat. I am not going to a prostitute or massage parlor. It's really frustrating, and it's getting really hard to be supportive of her.


Me: BH 39
Her: WW 37
D-Day 12/?/2008

Posts: 193 | Registered: Aug 2014
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 12:05 PM, February 11th (Wednesday)

xhz700,

I strongly suspect her meds are messing with her libido. Were there issues before the meds? Or at any time during the marriage in regards to sex, frequency, etc?

I used sex to medicate, because I was bored, angry, sad. I couldn't turn it off, but there was no intimacy, no connection, nothing special, I just needed to get off to get out of my head.

A few years ago we took a hiatus from sex, and it was initiated by my husband. I was really resistant to it at first. We had sex all the time, I couldn't imagine going without for any extended period of time. His point was that I was sexual in some form or another since the age of 3, I needed a break, in order to reconnect sex and intimacy, and connect it to him.

As I work through aspects of my abuse, I have found from time to time, that I'll go through a period of low libido, and it can be a struggle for us both at times, and honestly, it is very difficult to always be in sexual sync with your partner. I try to look at it as I'm giving myself permission to not be sexual. I think that other survivors struggle with the opposite, of giving themselves permission to be sexual. We have sex less frequently than we used to, maybe less than he would prefer, but the quality is much better, and I try to make it a rule to connect, most times. As a woman, there is tons of pressure to sexually satisfy our partner. For someone struggling with sexual trauma, it can make the issue even bigger and more difficult to deal with.

The times you are struggling to support her through this, who are you able to turn to and talk to? To work out the difficult feelings and emotions and working on your own self esteem? Keep open communication with your wife and certainly express your needs for physical affection. Have her talk with her doctor about changing meds or dose.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 12:38 PM, February 11th (Wednesday)

xhz700 as someone to whom sex has been both so casual that i did not even know their names and so incredibly intimate that we both cried during for the closeness the intimate times are harder for me because they matter so much more.

if she is learning or experiencing such intimate feelings they could be overwhelming for her. she might not realize exactly how overwhelming.

regarding codep and appts sometimes helping out someone overwhelmed is simply helping out someone overwhelmed.

not having codep issues myself could setting limits to helping or involving her help your boundaries there?


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
xhz700
Member
Member # 44394
Default  Posted: 1:14 PM, February 11th (Wednesday)

caspers1wish, thank you for your reply...

I strongly suspect her meds are messing with her libido. Were there issues before the meds? Or at any time during the marriage in regards to sex, frequency, etc?

There have been issues with frequency since her affair at least. About a month after D-Day she went on a 3 year, physician assisted opiate bender. I didn't even get a HB phase. She was so far gone during that time, everything was a shambles, not the least of which was our sex life.

I used sex to medicate, because I was bored, angry, sad. I couldn't turn it off, but there was no intimacy, no connection, nothing special, I just needed to get off to get out of my head.

I think you have nailed it pretty well. I've had sex with 4 women, ever, 3 of which were LTR's. We're wired very differently in this way, and sex has always been intimate and personal for me. I really wish it wasn't an ordeal to get her to come somewhere like SI to talk to people that understand what she's going through.

As a woman, there is tons of pressure to sexually satisfy our partner. For someone struggling with sexual trauma, it can make the issue even bigger and more difficult to deal with.

She has referenced this several times. I have made a sincere effort to make her feel safe since this all was uncovered in November, and I think I have done a good job of that. The infrequency and constant rejection is getting really difficult though. I feel like my choice is just to sit back and let her figure it out at her own pace, or divorce.

The times you are struggling to support her through this, who are you able to turn to and talk to? To work out the difficult feelings and emotions and working on your own self esteem? Keep open communication with your wife and certainly express your needs for physical affection. Have her talk with her doctor about changing meds or dose.

I do have an IC that I speak with about this. From my experience so far, an IC can only do so much to help with daily rejection from your wife for 6 years. It just hurts. It's now to the point that when I think about it I actually sometimes experience physical pain. I am not exaggerating, my body hurts just thinking about it at times.

I hope I don't sound irrational. I really do appreciate any advice people can give. I just don't understand what she's going through and I am hurting.


Me: BH 39
Her: WW 37
D-Day 12/?/2008

Posts: 193 | Registered: Aug 2014
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 1:21 PM, February 11th (Wednesday)

since this all was uncovered in November

Could you explain a bit about exactly what was uncovered when in relation to you and her?

Expecting much healing from November to end-Jan/start-Feb just might be a bit premature depending on the number and magnitudes of revelations and to whom they were made (sufferer/sufferer's mate).


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
xhz700
Member
Member # 44394
Default  Posted: 1:35 PM, February 11th (Wednesday)

devotedman,

if she is learning or experiencing such intimate feelings they could be overwhelming for her. she might not realize exactly how overwhelming.

Yes, I think that there is a good chance that this is the case. Last time had sex, she took a Xanax first and said that helped with the anxiety. She said it was the first time she'd had sex sober that she could remember not disassociating during.

regarding codep and appts sometimes helping out someone overwhelmed is simply helping out someone overwhelmed.

The trick with codependency is that I can't tell where the healthy stops and the unhealthy starts. That said, putting it the way you did really spoke to me. Thank you.

not having codep issues myself could setting limits to helping or involving her help your boundaries there?

She's very difficult to engage on things like this for now. It's better than it has been in the past... I guess my main issue is that she's on step 4 toward getting this dealt with, and I am just running low on patience.


Me: BH 39
Her: WW 37
D-Day 12/?/2008

Posts: 193 | Registered: Aug 2014
xhz700
Member
Member # 44394
Default  Posted: 1:43 PM, February 11th (Wednesday)

Could you explain a bit about exactly what was uncovered when in relation to you and her?

Expecting much healing from November to end-Jan/start-Feb just might be a bit premature depending on the number and magnitudes of revelations and to whom they were made (sufferer/sufferer's mate).

This was the first time I brought up the issues I had with frequency of sex in a direct way. The thing that was uncovered was the fact that sex was more of a performance for her up to this point, likely because of her trauma issues. She felt no intimacy at all when engaged sexually. She would often dissociate.

I agree that it's unfair that I should expect this much to change in this short of an amount of time, but really I am just so tired of taking a back seat to whatever is happening at the moment. It's exhausting, and I have gone so long without having had my needs met.

Talking this through certainly helps, especially with people that can give me more insight into what she's thinking and feeling. Thank you for that.

I'm just starting to lose hope that my needs will ever make it to the top of the heap.


Me: BH 39
Her: WW 37
D-Day 12/?/2008

Posts: 193 | Registered: Aug 2014
Lola2kids
Member
Member # 32789
Default  Posted: 1:49 PM, February 11th (Wednesday)

My story is on page 13. Adding to that story I have uncovered some memories of possibly being fondled at a sleepover with a girl friend of mine when I was a little older than the first incident.

I have a few questions now that have to do with my kids, the OW, X and OW's son.

I find that I am hyper vigilant with my kid's safety. They are girls. I know that I did nothing wrong or unsafe when I was molested. This bothers me that somehow they might experience the same thing I did and I can't protect them from it. It scares me so much.

Some background:
I had feelings of suspicion towards my xFIL one time when I found him changing the diaper of my DD. This was because X had told me that his father asked for him to get some porn so that he could whack off which I thought was gross because he is over 70 years old. I found "naked women over 40" magazines in the garage after DDAy. XFIL would go to the garage quite a bit. Something could have happened with the girls, I don't know. I have told myself that I am probably wrong. I am just being paranoid.

Now:
X lives in Europe with OW and her 11 year old son. X told his X wife that OW walks around the house naked even when her son is there. I know there are a lot of people that don't think there should be shame associated with the naked body. I will change in front of my daughters but I find it unusual to do that with a son. Xwife asked X if he asked her why she does this. He said that she is proud of her body and wants to show the son what a beautiful body looks like. Yes, I think she is NPD.
I find this very disturbing. Her son is coming towards puberty and I think that when he starts having wet dreams or mastubating, the image he will see is his mother's naked body.
I don't want my girls exposed to this. I am assuming he is going to be a pervert from this. Also, Xwife told me that X bragged about the sex with OW. She said that it sounds like she is pretty perverted. I didn't get any specifics as to what that means to Xwife.

I want to protect my girls so that what happened to me will never happen to them.
I don't know if I am being overly sensitive to this kind of thing.
Any feedback would be appreciated.


BS: (Me) 48
Kids: twins DD(11)
D-Day April 18, 2011
Him:out Sept. 11, 2011
He moved an ocean away June 27, 2014.
"They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder but I am growing more and more fond of his absence"

Posts: 1736 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: Ontario, Canada
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 8:24 PM, February 11th (Wednesday)

xhz700 said:
I guess my main issue is that she's on step 4 toward getting this dealt with, and I am just running low on patience

Gently, I know this is frustrating, but you wife is hurting. She's trying. That first time sober having sex not disassociating or detaching is _huge_. From experience, huge. Sure, the lack is frustrating for you. But to trust you enough not to detach from the act is a big step forward. Praise her for things like this. She's at a delicate phase right now and has to basically learn that sex is fun, intimate, enjoyable instead of a tool to get validation or that she is just a body for others to use.

first time I brought up the issues I had with frequency of sex in a direct way

You might have done yourself a disservice before this. She might have simply not realized that it was as important to you as it is. Also, please be very aware of her transition from "I'm an object" sex to "I'm loved and this is wonderfully intimate" sex. Your approach to sex with her is key now. And very delicate. Stress how connected you feel, but stress lightly.

I agree that it's unfair that I should expect this much to change in this short of an amount of time, but really I am just so tired of taking a back seat to whatever is happening at the moment. It's exhausting, and I have gone so long without having had my needs met.

Keep your long-term goals firmly in mind here. Do not sacrifice long-term happiness in short-term frustration. The libido issue doesn't help at all, I know. Again, talk to the Doctors. Perhaps a different drug would affect libido less. Welbutrin(?) used to be a drug that was said to not affect libido. I don't know if it is still in use.

I'm just starting to lose hope that my needs will ever make it to the top of the heap.

I understand this completely.

I do hope some of this helps. CoDep, SSRIs, and some of the other factors in your situation are things I have absolutely no experience with. I wish this thread got a little more traffic but I'm also glad that it doesn't.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 9:05 PM, February 11th (Wednesday)

Disclaimer: I am not a therapist or counselor of any kind. Naturally inquisitive, thirsty for knowledge, I spent a lot of time in my teens reading about sex and sexuality. Mores, ethics, abnormal psychology, all grist for my mill. My books were more the textbooks than the lay person books, but that's it. That was all a long time ago, but I sort of keep up with the subjects today.

I find that I am hyper vigilant with my kid's safety. They are girls. I know that I did nothing wrong or unsafe when I was molested. This bothers me that somehow they might experience the same thing I did and I can't protect them from it. It scares me so much.

Gently, and I was aware of the same things with my kids, it is possible to protect them too much. Hovering, smothering, is also bad for them. The best we can do is teach them to have voices and to use them. Teach them about dangerous situations, puberty, maturing. Then back off a bit and help them mature and be strong.

I had feelings of suspicion towards my xFIL one time when I found him changing the diaper of my DD. This was because X had told me that his father asked for him to get some porn so that he could whack off which I thought was gross because he is over 70 years old.

One of the things I had to learn is that not all women are abusers. I had to learn that sexual urges can be normal. Men and women both masturbate. Age doesn't matter. Age appropriate sexual outlets does.

I found "naked women over 40" magazines in the garage after DDAy. XFIL would go to the garage quite a bit.

Gently again, while there are Over 40 mags, Over 50 mags, and Over 60 mags the older the subjects the harder such magazines are to find. Notice that he had to ask for magazines. He was either uncomfortable buying them himself or didn't know where to do so. He might not have even been able to drive at that age.

Something could have happened with the girls, I don't know. I have told myself that I am probably wrong. I am just being paranoid.

Gently, most people are not abusers. While I was abused, and most child abusers are also abused children, I was never sexually interested in anyone younger than I. My non-incest partners ranged in age from 5 years younger (xWGF, 37 when we got together) to 23 years older when I was 18 or 19. Most men are fine, and even though might be jerks are simply not sexually attracted to young girls.


X lives in Europe

I've never been but sexual mores are different there and vary by country. Nudity is more accepted in some parts, less in others.

with OW and her 11 year old son. X told his X wife that OW walks around the house naked even when her son is there

Ok, this seems weird to us, but _may_ not be, depending where they are. Research nudity mores for the country they're in.

I know there are a lot of people that don't think there should be shame associated with the naked body. I will change in front of my daughters but I find it unusual to do that with a son.

My xWW and I changed in front of the kids until age 2 or 3, then quit. Nudity around the house was not practiced, but in the US that's the norm and anything else will probably get your kids taken by state government.

Xwife asked X if he asked her why she does this. He said that she is proud of her body and wants to show the son what a beautiful body looks like. Yes, I think she is NPD.

The "beautiful" part is, I think odd, but again social mores might be different.

I find this very disturbing. Her son is coming towards puberty and I think that when he starts having wet dreams or mastubating, the image he will see is his mother's naked body.

Honestly, with my background I can't speak to this. I've read that most boys to through a "mom" phase but I'm not sure masturbation is involved, just like most girls go through a "dad" phase, but I don't think masturbation is involved there, either.

I don't want my girls exposed to this. I am assuming he is going to be a pervert from this.

Honestly, gently, bad assumption. Again, depends upon how sexuality is taught in the society.

Also, Xwife told me that X bragged about the sex with OW. She said that it sounds like she is pretty perverted. I didn't get any specifics as to what that means to Xwife.

Again, details, sexual and societal norms and mores are key. Incest is _not_ commonplace anywhere in the world, really, though the royal families of Europe are remarkably intertwined and close marriages were not uncommon. Keep the hoi-polloi out, you know.

I want to protect my girls so that what happened to me will never happen to them.

Completely understandable. All parents want their kids to not be abused.

I don't know if I am being overly sensitive to this kind of thing.

Understandably, you are in some ways. As was I. I tried hard to back off to normal to avoid giving the kids sexual hangups or body image hangups.

They're adults now. They seem ok. Be careful about being overproductive, talk your parenting methods and teachings over with IC or Child Development Counselor, and you'll be a great parent. Recognize your insecurities, acknowledge them, and correct for them. No one can really do more.
Any feedback would be appreciated.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
Lola2kids
Member
Member # 32789
Default  Posted: 9:07 AM, February 12th (Thursday)

Thanks devotedman for the response.
It felt good to get that out.
I know that not everyone gets abused and not everyone is an abuser. I never expected what happened to me to happen so I am extra vigilant.

As for the OW. I have zero respect for her as a person and the little I do know about her I find disgusting and cringe worthy. Unfortunately I know that her morals will or have been passed to her son and that is a concern to me.

It's unusual that X finds this something to admire in OW. He was always very careful that my girls did not see him naked. He would be very upset if they came into the bathroom with him. But, I shouldn't be surprised because the person he is now is unrecognizable to me.

Also, one of my DD's saw her grandfather peeing once when she was around 5. What she told me was "I know what a penis looks like". I was very shocked and fired off a lot of questions to her until I found out that she walked in on XFil in the bathroom.

It's very frustrating to know that you can't protect your kids. It's something I am working on in IC.


BS: (Me) 48
Kids: twins DD(11)
D-Day April 18, 2011
Him:out Sept. 11, 2011
He moved an ocean away June 27, 2014.
"They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder but I am growing more and more fond of his absence"

Posts: 1736 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: Ontario, Canada
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 9:25 AM, February 12th (Thursday)

regarding your opinion of the son.

am i automatically perverted because my mother abused me?

i admit that i find her behavior troubling and potentially abusive. beyond that my judgement is probably clouded as to be worthless.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
Lola2kids
Member
Member # 32789
Default  Posted: 11:18 AM, February 12th (Thursday)

am i automatically perverted because my mother abused me?

No. I think this....

Unfortunately I know that her morals will or have been passed to her son and that is a concern to me.

In the sense that he is 11 years old and he has likely not yet come to the point where his morals may diverge from his mother's (or his family's).

Maybe the above quote says it in a more gentle way.
I'm sorry if I implied that he will be perverted in my previous post. I did re-read it and it came off as harsh and offensive considering the audience here.
I feel sorry for her son because he has a piece of trash as a mother. She travelled a lot for her job and to see X and he is left with caregivers.
I feel empathy for you devotedman because you had an awful childhood and it was because of your mother. I feel the same empathy for this boy. I do worry about my kids in their father's care because of stories I have heard about abuse from siblings, cousins, friends etc.
Again, I appologize.

[This message edited by Lola2kids at 11:21 AM, February 12th (Thursday)]


BS: (Me) 48
Kids: twins DD(11)
D-Day April 18, 2011
Him:out Sept. 11, 2011
He moved an ocean away June 27, 2014.
"They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder but I am growing more and more fond of his absence"

Posts: 1736 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: Ontario, Canada
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 11:31 AM, February 12th (Thursday)

Absolutely no apology necessary, and absolutely no offense was taken.

These are the hard questions in one of the hardest threads on this site, I think. Maybe I think so mostly because this stuff sucks and it applies to me.

I meant no offense either, but I was just kicking the tires on the idea. Words are so hard, emoticons so limited, no body language and tone makes communication tough.

From the point of view of our basically Puritan society, where sexuality is always a hushed subject, where things like that just aren''t done and just aren''t discussed, then he would be almost guaranteed to get an odd outlook on things. I agree with that.

However, in a different society with different, more open attitudes, where the comparison of private home lives with others is more common, and where things are more openly discussed he''d be in less danger of getting weird ideas and more likely to think, "Mom is _really_weird_."

I personally hate to convict too soon but I''m not too sure I''d want pre-adult daughters in that situation, either. I don''t think that I''d particularly want my adult daughter there, but at least she''d be responsible for her own decisions at that point and my opinion would be exactly that, _my_ opinion.

Congrats on going to IC to discuss things, BTW. That''s a good, positive sign.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
Lola2kids
Member
Member # 32789
Default  Posted: 1:55 PM, February 12th (Thursday)

However, in a different society with different, more open attitudes, where the comparison of private home lives with others is more common, and where things are more openly discussed he'd be in less danger of getting weird ideas and more likely to think, "Mom is _really_weird_."

This is so true.
My girls have been open with their friends about X's affair. They knew he had a girlfriend and that he should not while he was with me. He told them in a roundabout way. He was showing them pictures of his "girlfriend" and one picture he had was her, her husband and her son. When they asked who the others in the picture were he told them the truth. Don't know why he didn't lie like he normally does.
So they told some of their friends at school and I asked how did the friends react. They said that their best friend said, "that is so wrong!!!"

Yes, I think that is the best answer they could have gotten. It's not like infidelity is discussed openly either.

I never told anyone about my molestation. There are only 2 people IRL that know. Unfortunately, one is my X. It's not something that is discussed in polite company is it?


BS: (Me) 48
Kids: twins DD(11)
D-Day April 18, 2011
Him:out Sept. 11, 2011
He moved an ocean away June 27, 2014.
"They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder but I am growing more and more fond of his absence"

Posts: 1736 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: Ontario, Canada
xhz700
Member
Member # 44394
Default  Posted: 2:13 PM, February 12th (Thursday)

devotedman,

Thanks so much for taking me through this. I really had lost my sight on the long-term goal, which is to have a wife that I can connect to intimately.

Part of the issue I have is that we are just wired SO differently in this way, among others. I love what she brings to my life, good and bad.

I will try to work on refocusing on what I really want, and being patient in the pursuit of that.

I think I will put together a letter for her. I'm pretty enmeshed with her moods and it's difficult for me to have a conversation with her without both of us devolving into semantics and arguing.

Thanks so much for your help in this.

Gently, I know this is frustrating, but you wife is hurting. She's trying. That first time sober having sex not disassociating or detaching is _huge_. From experience, huge. Sure, the lack is frustrating for you. But to trust you enough not to detach from the act is a big step forward. Praise her for things like this. She's at a delicate phase right now and has to basically learn that sex is fun, intimate, enjoyable instead of a tool to get validation or that she is just a body for others to use.

Agreed. It's hard for me to see this from her perspective, but you've done a good job of explaining this to me. I am a pretty esoteric guy, and a good reason behind something, no matter how irrational and fluid it seems, means the world to me.

You might have done yourself a disservice before this. She might have simply not realized that it was as important to you as it is. Also, please be very aware of her transition from "I'm an object" sex to "I'm loved and this is wonderfully intimate" sex. Your approach to sex with her is key now. And very delicate. Stress how connected you feel, but stress lightly.

I think she knew that it was an issue for me. The November thing was the first time that I made a particular issue of it. I did do myself a disservice however, by pressuring her as she goes through this. I kinda saw it then, but I see it more clearly now. Also, I can be a bit of a blunt object, especially with emotional discussion. I will try to back off even stressing the positives when it comes to this. I think she's very fragile.

Keep your long-term goals firmly in mind here. Do not sacrifice long-term happiness in short-term frustration. The libido issue doesn't help at all, I know. Again, talk to the Doctors. Perhaps a different drug would affect libido less. Welbutrin(?) used to be a drug that was said to not affect libido. I don't know if it is still in use.

I brought Wellbutrin up with her after having seen it online. I don't think she's against it, but she wants to deal with the trauma first (through therapy) to make an effort that way. It's ridiculous really, because this is exactly what I've always wanted from her (to work through things and stop medicating) but now I feel like I've let her down at a really key point of her growth.

Again, thanks for talking through this with me. I get things out and in so much better with reading and typing.


Me: BH 39
Her: WW 37
D-Day 12/?/2008

Posts: 193 | Registered: Aug 2014
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 2:18 PM, February 12th (Thursday)

So they told some of their friends at school and I asked how did the friends react. They said that their best friend said, "that is so wrong!!!" Yes, I think that is the best answer they could have gotten. It's not like infidelity is discussed openly either.

Good for your girls! Very supportive of your girls' friend, too.

I've often wondered why we're so ashamed of being abused (cheated on is abused, IMHO). I've read variously that we're ashamed to be different and that we're ashamed that our judgment was so bad that we allowed ourselves to be used.

I don't know the answer is all I know.

And then there are the people who only claim to have been abused or cheated on, to draw attention, gain sympathy, whatever. Those piss me right off when it is discovered. The lessen the reaction to, or believe of, actual abuse for the really abused.

[ about CSA ] It's not something that is discussed in polite company is it?

Generally, no. And it should be, like world hunger, human rights, global warming, science education.

I have spoken of it before, however, a time or two. The subject came up and I piped up. Other people became very uncomfortable.

That was because I upset their world view. They knew that these things happened but happened to a nebulous "someone", a "them" or "those poor children". A living, breathing, 50 year old survivor who does pretty well generally but still has horrendous self-esteem issues to overcome from time to time wasn't something that they'd dealt with before, so they didn't know how to respond appropriately; they were confused and unsure in the social situation. A living, breathing, beaten-until-bloody-while-young, CSA survivor was just too much for their social etiquette model to process and it crashed.

At times talking to people I know I variously cry, sob, change the subject, turn away, smile, laugh, or get a grim, angry, forbidding look. Or so I'm told.

I'm neither proud nor ashamed of it. It just happened to me, like the chef knife nick the other day, the leaving of xWGF, or the births of my kids.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
Johnnyfever
Member
Member # 44827
Default  Posted: 2:46 PM, February 15th (Sunday)

Hello everyone, I hope it's ok for me to comment and ask a couple questions on this thread. If I am in the wrong place, let me know. Also I am under the impression CSA stands for Childhood Sexual Abuse

First off to Edith and Devotedman, you are so active on this thread, I only just began reading (started on page 14 as per devotedmans suggestion in another thread) but I am so impressed with the great information and how much empathy I see here.

My story. My wife was abused sexually multiple times as a child, I was aware of this before we were married but after our final dday 2 months ago she opened up to me and shared it was more than one time and more than one person (one a close family member). Please understand that while I cannot begin to understand the depth of her pain, I am trying to be empathetic to her and help her deal with this trauma.

So here we are 2 months after dday trying to R, almost immediately after she agreed to MC she said she would like to try IC but she was scared and wanted to start with MC, this seemed more than fair to me. I also explained in MC that for me a requirement of R was for her to understand why she cheated and to work towards healing, she agreed.

A few days ago I suggested she make an appointment for IC, she declined. Essentially saying she felt she could handle it on her own and she didn't want her CSA to affect her life any more and she wanted to feel normal. I am all for her CSA not affecting her life anymore and I am all for moving forward. It just doesn't seem possible to deal with something so traumatic by yourself.

(For what it's worth, I have no reason to beleive my wife is currently being unfaithful to me, nor do I have any reason to think she is not truly committed to R. I believe the stumbling block for us right now is her CSA, I want her to deal with it and for her, the pain is just to great)

My questions;

1) How can I help my wife to heal/move forward? How can I be as supportive as possible?

2) What books can I read/my wife read that will help us move forward?

3) Am I wrong in thinking it is extremely unlikely she will be able to truly heal the wounds of CSA alone?

I want to be understanding about this whole situation but I find it difficult to walk the line between BS who is feeling hurt himself (and wants his wife to help him heal) and trying to help my wife heal. Any advice is appreciated.

[This message edited by Johnnyfever at 2:50 PM, February 15th (Sunday)]


Me: SURVIVOR of Infidelity (BS)
Both: Working hard at R and having some success

You Are The Result of 3.8 Billion Years of Evolutionary Success... Act Like It.


Posts: 480 | Registered: Sep 2014 | From: Cincinnati, Ohio
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 3:14 PM, February 15th (Sunday)

You're in the right place, but understand that we're none of us trained counselors. We're all at different levels of healing with different experiences and behaviors.

The page 14 reference I give is only because some resources are found there, and I put them there. I haven't made it all the way through this thread yet. Hits pretty close to home, you know? Objectivity is hard as a result.

The fact that she opened up to you is huge. The fact that there was more is unsurprising. It isn't self-serving trickle truth, it is simply too big for her to handle, to admit to, and might be causing her too much shame as a victim to acknowledge or verbalize. Some even have to repress the memories, they're so traumatized.

Speak with your MC, privately if you can, and relate the initial acceptance and later refusal of IC. Ask if your MC and find out/recommend an IC experienced with CSA. I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried like a baby while talking about it and still do, sometimes.

Essentially saying she felt she could handle it on her own and she didn't want her CSA to affect her life any more and she wanted to feel normal.

If you've read what I wrote this drive to be normal is mine, too. I had to handle it on my own and got better but I missed a lot. The literature and accepted treatments is still sort of sparse, as I understand it. Someone trained in CSA treatment is going to be much better equipped to deal with it than a survivor alone. For one thing, the therapist can give much needed encouragement that it wasn't their fault rather than a survivor trying to learn this on their own.

It just doesn't seem possible to deal with something so traumatic by yourself.

It certainly isn't easy, and it is too easy to miss related things. On page 17 I listed some of my resultant behaviors and didn't realize that they were related until I was in counseling for an unrelated physical accident 20 years later.

1) How can I help my wife to heal/move forward? How can I be as supportive as possible?

Get the MC to gently suggest that she seek IC to help her understand how she has to heal herself. Just like she'd go to vet school to learn to treat animals she needs to go to a pro to learn how to help herself.

2) What books can I read/my wife read that will help us move forward?

The ones listed in a few posts after my story on page 14 are what I was recommended recently. Also www.pandys.org/forums and www.rainn.org, IIRC, specialize in CSA related matters.

3) Am I wrong in thinking it is extremely unlikely she will be able to truly heal the wounds of CSA alone?

It is very difficult to recognize all of the related behaviors, so that makes it easy to miss some. Much easier for someone else to see the behaviors and ask about them. Also, the encouragement of another person telling the CSA victim that it wasn't their fault, there's no shame, etc., means so much more than telling yourself, alone, that it just makes sense to get the outside encouragement.

thanks for asking for her, good luck and strength, brother.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 3:57 PM, February 15th (Sunday)

Johnnyfever,

We have more than a dozen books, the ones I found most helpful were,

1. The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis,
2. The Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Maltz
3. Allies in Healing by Laura Davis,
4. Ghosts in the Bedroom by Ken Graber,
5. What about me? by Grant Cameron

There are several others focused on sexual abuse and recovery, a search in Amazon will provide a wide variety. These were what we used at the time that were available to us. The first is a big book and mostly for her, but you will both get a lot out of reading books that are aimed at each other, either for the survivor or the for support for the partner. I have several other books that focus on incest recovery, as that is what was pertinent to my situation. We also own several Patrick Carnes books that deal with sexual addiction and recovery steps.


Am I wrong in thinking it is extremely unlikely she will be able to truly heal the wounds of CSA alone?

I didn't go to IC, I went for a year while in college. The bulk of the work and healing I did for my CSA didn't happen until my 30's, and I did not have IC, but I had an arsenal of books, we did endless reading, together, separately, took notes, I had my husband to support me in this process, and he was in it with me, I didn't feel alone. I can't say whether I would have benefited or not from IC. I think if I'd had remained stuck, not progressed, continued to cheat, um, I needed to be in IC.

The biggest reason a survivor doesn't want IC because we do not want to face the past, it's terrifying. Finding a good counselor can be tricky. I find that people seem to get stuck, but remain with the same counselor, because it's a pain to keep shopping around. My biggest issue was that counselors are people too, with their own baggage, problems, and agendas. Building trust and rapport with someone would have taken so much time and resources. My husband became more knowledgeable about the effects of CSA than I did at first. He was someone I trusted and could talk to. He didn't treat it as something that was my problem, it was our problem, that I could face the past and not do it alone.

The stages of healing run a particular course, and the beginning went text book for me, being resistant at first, feeling so uncertain, feeling overwhelmed and like I was falling apart all the time, crying hysterically, and that's really what the start looks like. All of that was brought on by the fact that I'm going to have to remember the abuse, what it felt like, what happened, how, when. Working through remembering, being angry, sad, grieving, this process can be done, and I do believe without counseling, but she better be eating up books like a crazy book worm.

You can't get through it without doing the work. Same will go for counseling too. When I went earlier in life, I was just going through the motions, I wasn't doing any hard work of facing my past. A good counselor won't let you do that. And you won't get anywhere without it being a tumultuous scary ride. The ride is worth it. I can see the abuse for what it was, a sick person hurting a child. It was done to me, but it doesn't control me. I have worked hard on loving myself, and forgiving the child that I was hating and ashamed of.

Not until the healing process could happen could I address how it affected my marriage, my choice to cheat, poor coping skills. I'm still working on it, but it's working, we are still making progress, slow but sure.

You support her by understanding as much as you can about CSA. You support her by having your own support network or even IC. You support her by knowing your own self and own limitations and being open with her about them, making your own healthy choices.

Secondaries are amazing people, even if you find you cannot support her through her process. I had to understand that once I started healing, it didn't matter if my husband stayed or left. If he left, I couldn't give up on healing. If she truly wants to heal, she won't give up if you do. Don't feel obligated to see her through this, it will only build resentment. My husband held me up a ton in the beginning, once I could get out of the emergency stage, could I steer my own healing, and I wanted to. Without the drive to want to heal, she will remain stuck and repeat poor coping skills over and over until one or both of you can't take it anymore. BTDT.

Good luck to you both.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 870 | Registered: Jun 2010
Johnnyfever
Member
Member # 44827
Default  Posted: 4:14 PM, February 15th (Sunday)

Thanks you so much for the replies. I am going to read them both a couple more times to make sure it all sinks in, this is an extremely complicated issue. I can say this confidently, I wish to be a rock for my wife and help her heal, I want to do this together.

Thanks again, I will check out some of the books and the forum that was recommended.

Anymore advice from others is greatly appreciated.


Me: SURVIVOR of Infidelity (BS)
Both: Working hard at R and having some success

You Are The Result of 3.8 Billion Years of Evolutionary Success... Act Like It.


Posts: 480 | Registered: Sep 2014 | From: Cincinnati, Ohio
ManOverBoard83
Member
Member # 46643
Default  Posted: 8:23 PM, February 19th (Thursday)

I want to be understanding about this whole situation but I find it difficult to walk the line between BS who is feeling hurt himself (and wants his wife to help him heal) and trying to help my wife heal. Any advice is appreciated.

Reading these posts, I think you're doing a great job. Certainly much better than I am to his point. But I digress...

One thing that I've been researching is trauma reenactment syndrome. Have you looked into that at all?


Posts: 54 | Registered: Feb 2015
lost94
Member
Member # 41244
Default  Posted: 11:13 PM, February 19th (Thursday)

Johnny - I am in the beginning stages of dealing with my CSA. I was abused by my brother & stepdad. I'm not good at reading books as I have a hard time staying awake. But, the one and only book I have finished thus far is Swcret Survivors - uncovering incest and its Aftereffects for women, by E. Sue Blume.

This book helped me recognize my personality traits that fit a victim of CSA. I can't give you a whole lot of advice at this point other than to be there for her. Be the rock for her that you said you wanted to be. She will need the support. My H has had to pull me up several times, as I have continued to blame myself even though I know deep down it wasn't my fault.

Good Luck to you & your wife. Is she a member of this site? If not maybe tell her about this thread, maybe she would be receptive?


Me: WS 38
Him: BS 46 (Devotedfool68)
Married 18 yrs, together 21
2 teenage boys

"You are free to choose but your are not free of the consequences from your choice"


Posts: 147 | Registered: Nov 2013
ManOverBoard83
Member
Member # 46643
Default  Posted: 5:40 AM, February 20th (Friday)

lost94 - I'm sorry to hear about what you've gone through in your past.

If you don't mind my asking, do you experience dissociation? If so, what is that like? My wife is a CSA and experiences dissociation. I really don't understand what it's like and what it does to a person afterwards. If you have any insight there, it'd be highly appreciated.


Posts: 54 | Registered: Feb 2015
lost94
Member
Member # 41244
Default  Posted: 11:09 PM, February 20th (Friday)

Manoverboard - I don't think I do that, however I'm not sure I fully understand what it is.
at this point in my recovery, I have come to realize I don't trust anyone. I am very reluctant to let anyone including my H to get too close. My only biological sibling abused me between the ages of 8 & 10, my mother did not believe or protect me when I came forward about my stepdad, when I was 17, in fact she chose him over me, and my father was an alcoholic when I was younger. He had an A on my mom and divorced her when I was 10. I am very close to my dad now, but can't say as I trust him fully either. My H hasn't done anything like this to me but I struggle being vulnerable with him. I also have a hard time admitting when something is wrong. I never felt valued, that my well being meant anything. I wish I could help you more. Please encourage your W to reach out to us.


Me: WS 38
Him: BS 46 (Devotedfool68)
Married 18 yrs, together 21
2 teenage boys

"You are free to choose but your are not free of the consequences from your choice"


Posts: 147 | Registered: Nov 2013
knightsbff
Member
Member # 36853
Default  Posted: 2:20 AM, February 21st (Saturday)

The aftermath of D-Day was a big trigger for me. H accused me one night of never being truly honest with him about me and my past. This led to me putting into words for the first time in my life, for the first time in 20+ years, about my molestation as a child. Now that all this is churned up, it's really hard. I get triggered all the f-ing time.
nothingelsematters, I have come to this thread multiple times but have never been able to bring myself to post. I'm not ready to post what happened to me but what you posted there has been exactly my experience.

I compartmentalized the abuse and convinced myself it never happened. After d-day my BH insisted that I tell him everything about my past. My whole relationship and sexual history. I wanted to be open and honest with him so desperately. But when I started trying to talk about things it started coming back to me. I had a big meltdown and really thought I would rather kill myself than have to talk about it. If talking about it was the only way I could be open and honest and find intimacy with my H then I needed to die instead. I was a mess.

I did IC for about a year. I'm not in IC now and I really didn't talk with the IC much about the CSA but it did help.

I can't read this thread often but I do find it helpful.


fWW 40s, BH 40s
D-day 27 Aug 2012. Kids 23, 16, 11. 2 dogs.

I edit often to fix stuff ☺️

Profoundly grateful Every. Single. Day. that I am blessed with an H with strength, integrity, and compassion, and that he decided to try.


Posts: 1674 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Deep South, USA
justme1264
Member
Member # 42890
Default  Posted: 3:17 PM, February 26th (Thursday)

I am in my first sexual relationship since my ex. And the first sexual relationship since I got help and therapy for my past CSA.

I am overwhelmed with emotions. I am usually good with words, but there are none to explain how I feel. I hope someone here "gets" it and helps me sift through this mess.

This young woman is very sweet, affectionate, understanding, and giving. We are not exclusively seeing one another, but agreed to be honest and up front if we start engaging with other people. It's refreshing because we are on the same exact page when it comes to what we each want in the next few years. This is the first time I have been with someone since having dealt and faced with my CSA. I now know why certain sexual acts bother me; I am numb to blowjobs, and am incredibly uncomfortable with them if I am not the one to initiate it. Always have been. With my ex, this was just an unspoken thing.

I don't know where I am going with this. I just feel like the therapy I received for my CSA is a double edged sword. My ability to be self aware, open, and honest about who I am with this young woman is great/scary. My ex was turned off by my vulnerabilities, and always avoided my past, even telling me parts about me are weak and pathetic, and how they turn her off sexually. The young woman I am seeing now is enjoying me for exactly who I am, at least I think so. Every time I share a part of my past with her I feel too vulnerable for it, and become turned off. She asked me today about blowjobs and I just said I am not fond of them unless I initiate it. She knows I was molested, and some of the details. But, I am not comfortable sharing everything, or the fact it was 4 different people during different times. It was difficult facing my past, admitting out loud what happened, and letting go of the deep seeded shame I had in myself. I am still struggling with being in love with myself. I am finding it hard to love what's left. I don't know how to explain it. I know it wasn't my fault, none of it. But, I am still somewhat ashamed of who I am now. I was molested by my step brother at 7 years old, sodomized and forced to do things with a 17 year old woman when I was 8, and passed between two other high school girls when I was 9 where they humiliated me for pleasure.

Before, it was easier not dealing with my past. It was easier hiding who I am. It was easier being a pleaser instead of being pleased. At least, it was easier in the short term. I was so much alone back then. It is what led me to try and kill myself. Granted, I am so much better now and feel alive for the first time. But faaaaawk, it is emotional and intense. My picker this time isn't so screwed up. I am in a physical relationship with a young woman who is trustworthy and healthy. Ironically, it is wonderful and terrifying at the same time!
Thanks for listening.


33 BH
DD#1: 2/14
DD#2: 5/14
D: 11/14

Posts: 767 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: Southern California
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 10:48 AM, March 31st (Tuesday)

justme1264 - Hugs. Wishing you the best.


BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1553 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 10:54 AM, March 31st (Tuesday)

My FWW was sexually abused at 8yrs old. It all came back now I suppose, or always did but I didn't get it.

Here's a few things that are happening and if anyone has any feedback, please help.

1- She has an ON or OFF button for sex. Only when she wants it we have sex. She has to have control of it. She's either very into sex or not at all.

2- She had an affair and now told me she misses it. During that time she was VERY sexual. She misses being desired by a man, being turned on and having very very hot sex. Even though it was really with me. She never got the opportunity to have sex with OM since they got caught prior. They had sexual activity, but not inter-coarse. Least to that point.

3 - She wants to experience another man. Why? Well, my conclusion has been that she wants to take back what was taken away from her? At the same time, she's not one to jump out and meet a random stranger.

4 - Since affair (3yrs ago), her sex drive is almost gone.


I'm trying to be as understanding and everything that I can be. I've forgiven her for the affair. I get it, no excuse but I get it. As far as her emotions, that's been the toughest. She basically fell out of love with me and had been prior to affair. She tells me now it was depression.

I just don't know how long I can be with her under these circumstances. I need love too. I need to be wanted, desired, sex..etc.

[This message edited by 2married2quit at 10:56 AM, March 31st (Tuesday)]


BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1553 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 2:13 PM, April 2nd (Thursday)

bump


BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1553 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 11:45 AM, April 4th (Saturday)

I'm going to jump in here for a bit. Haven't been posting much of late because my situation was so... fucked up that I didn't feel that I could give any good advice. Situation improving, so maybe this understanding will be ok.
1- She has an ON or OFF button for sex. Only when she wants it we have sex. She has to have control of it. She's either very into sex or not at all.

She's not comfortable with giving you the control of initiating. Somewhat understandable since we didn't have any control for so long. Unfortunately, this is pure hell for you. I get it, I've been on both sides of that fence.

2- She had an affair and now told me she misses it. During that time she was VERY sexual. She misses being desired by a man, being turned on and having very very hot sex. Even though it was really with me. She never got the opportunity to have sex with OM since they got caught prior. They had sexual activity, but not inter-coarse. Least to that point.

For me at least, during my promiscuous time, there was no way that any one person could have provided the amount of validation I needed. Hell, there was no way one person's validation could equal validation by strangers.

This is a very broken mind set. It took me a long time to get it right and I was still overly flirty with bad boundaries for a while even after the promiscuity stopped. While promiscuity with me was limited to a bunch of ONS, FWB type throwaway relationships your wife seems to have not fixed herself before marriage.

We've conversed a bit about that before, and this road for you is a long, hard one. You have limits on how much you can accept and for how long you can accept it. Like exercising anything, exercising forgiveness, compassion, and caring does wear out those particular "muscles".

She's missing the cheap validation, the "thrill" of being accepted and desired by someone new. You and I both know that this is broken and unacceptable, but she doesn't. Also, this is incredibly hurtful to _you_ and undoubtedly damaging to your self-esteem and self-worth _unless_ you're a very, very strong personality.

From your side I get it. I really do. Now you need to, for you, read up on codependence and see if you're doing it.

3 - She wants to experience another man. Why? Well, my conclusion has been that she wants to take back what was taken away from her? At the same time, she's not one to jump out and meet a random stranger.

For me this would have been a validation thing, a sexual control thing (both of _you_ and the OM? I don't know, but it is a possibility).

For me the cheap, promiscuous, nameless at times promiscuous sex was a validation of me because someone else wanted me and, well, scores of women can't be wrong, can they? But this type of validation eats at you and lessens your own self-worth.

This lessening of self-worth is also a validation of sorts, though it is a validation of her (my) own lack of self-esteem and self-loathing. It is a dangerous game of mind-fuckery that we play upon ourselves. We're validating both feeling wanted and our own, certain knowledge of being a worthless slut. Truly some fucked up shit.

4 - Since affair (3yrs ago), her sex drive is almost gone.

No real thoughts here besides maybe her self-loathing has gotten to the point that she doesn't see how anyone would want her? Or she's just in such emotional turmoil that sex isn't even interesting any more because there's simply no energy left over? (Note - I was completely uninterested in sex from the day xWGF left until recently, when I've started noticing women as complex beings again.)

I've forgiven her for the affair. I get it, no excuse but I get it.

Forgiveness doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt you still, it just means that you've decided you don't need to exact that pound of flesh any more from her. And that's okay, because forgiveness is not forgetting. You can forgive someone and yet not be able to be with them.

She basically fell out of love with me and had been prior to affair. She tells me now it was depression.

This is so crushing for you. You've been a wonderful, supportive husband for a terribly treated, confused, broken woman.

I don't remember, and for me re-reading these threads is pretty painful right now, so I'll ask again - is she in IC? Have you talked these feelings over with her therapist, or yours? Honestly, friend, you need one because this whole thing that you're going through is so, so much to go through.

I just don't know how long I can be with her under these circumstances. I need love too. I need to be wanted, desired, sex..etc.

These feelings are completely understandable. From someone who's been on the victim side I think that you're a great guy who is doing his level best when he's in completely unfamiliar, hostile, damaging territory. Don't try to handle more than you can.

Also, you do need to be wanted and desired by your partner. IMHO, even very strong, self-validating people deserve good things, positive feelings, positive reinforcements, recognition, and gratitude from their partners. It sounds like you aren't getting any of those.

This is not an accusation - be aware of these feelings and please be aware that these are the exact sorts of feelings that can make you vulnerable to a predatory woman, or to anyone who will validate you. I'm not telling you that you're a risk for infidelity, I'm telling you that you're traveling in risky territory. There's a difference. Be aware and keep that self-respect you've earned by supporting your wife through these hard times.

Counseling, talking to people who understand, those things are things you need. And you also need to know that it is okay to reach your limit at times. You and she both need some recovery time from the intensity of all of these feelings you're both having.

People in the R forum talk about setting aside the R for a bit just to recharge. Can the two of you set things aside long enough to have some relaxing or fun times together? Go out to dinner, take a walk in a park or on nature trails, or something similar? Handball or tennis, dancing? A comedic movie?

Hope this helps. I, too, am pretty drained right now. Sorry that I can't be more help.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 8:19 AM, April 6th (Monday)

devotedman - Thank you thank you thank you. We've been working on it. We do have fun time and it is great. I think at this point we are better than we've ever have been post affair. However, there's always those dry periods that are just real bad cause I feel unloved and after the A, unloved is a bad feeling.


BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1553 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
Furious1
Member
Member # 42970
Default  Posted: 6:22 PM, April 18th (Saturday)

I survived some pretty horrific CSA. I have been in IC for 3 years. I have absolutely NC with any of my siblings. Even so, I live in the small town that I grew up in. I've been in IC for 3 years. At first, it was to deal with the abuse and CSA I went through growing up. After D-day, I was busy dealing with a lot of infidelity issues. Now that things have settled down with my WH's A's, I have really been working on my anxiety issues. I have really worked on trying to get out of the house more and to be around other people more.

Doing so has been a double edged sword. Anytime I go anywhere locally, everyone asks me about my siblings. Each time, I inform the person who asks that I have absolutely nothing to do with my siblings at all and that I don't even have them as friends on FB. Some people get the hint. Some people want to know all of the juicy gossip. Mind you that these people are not people I consider friends of mine, but actually friends of my siblings.

There was a thing about National Sibling Day on FB not too long ago. I posted about how it made me sad because I don't consider myself to have any siblings. In no time at all, I get a private message saying that I need to quit talking about them or they will sue me for slander and harrassment and that they have someone spying on my FB page and telling them everything I post.

Now first of all, it has to be a lie before it can be slander. Secondly, they are people who I have blocked from my FB page who are spying on me and finding a way to contact me through private messages which means they are stalking and harassing me, not the other way around.

Then I started really thinking about it. The more I did, the angrier I got. I decided that I would no longer cower to the people who abused me. If they were going to "sue" me, then so be it. I decided to post the real story of why I have no contact with my siblings. Perhaps I should have thought harder before I did it, but I was completely fed up with it all. The way I saw it, if I was going to get sued and have to go to court, it was going to be for all of it and not just being sad. It would come out in court anyway so I guess it was my way of standing up for myself and letting them cowards know that I wasn't afraid to talk publicly about any of it.

Now the responses that I got directly to me were all supportive and caring. A few people have been talking about me behind my back, but that's to be expected I guess since those people are not any kind of friend of mine. I did go through my friend's list and remove a great deal of people, and I'm sure that even more will be removed before it is all said and done. I would rather have no friends at all than have ones that stab me in the back.

Now that I've heard a little bit of backlash about it, it only strengthened my resolve on the matter. This stuff happened to me in MY LIFE and I have a right to speak about it to anyone and everyone I want. It's not my job to keep their dirty little secrets. They made their choices to do what they did to me and now I have the choice of whether to speak about it or not. Now that I have spoken publicly about it, it just feels like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. All of those years of secrecy and shame are gone. It was never mine to begin with. Now it's on the people who should be carrying it.


BW (me): 41 WH (him): 49
Married 19 years. SD26 from his 1st M. DS21 from my 1st M. DD17 (autistic), OC18 (S), OC17 (D)
D-day: 10/4/13 with ongoing TT (last TT was 10/2/14). True R: 12/24/14
2 OC with 2 different OW. 7 year PA with my sister.

Posts: 790 | Registered: Apr 2014 | From: United States
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 10:07 AM, April 19th (Sunday)

Furious1, good job! It takes a lot to stand up for ourselves sometimes. Oftentimes.

I know how liberating, new, scary, and empowering talking about it can be. I also know how you get odd looks and some people treat you differently after they find out about your past.

But you know what? They have no clue, none.

That's why I often bring in up in threads. A full disclosure so that if my attitude is off, then the reader can compensate. Plus, they get to see that I'm a normal guy. Well, you know what I mean. No horns, no spots, no unkempt, wild demeanor.

I have really worked on trying to get out of the house more and to be around other people more.

This was never much a problem for me, though when I'm around others I'm often the quiet one in the back. Which is okay, some are outgoing, some not, and some vary. I vary.

On this very page books are listed by caspers1wish. You might try some of those. My story is on page 14 and in a few posts after that I list some online resources; websites, books, articles.

You might give some of those a shot.

In no time at all, I get a private message saying that I need to quit talking about them or they will sue me for slander and harrassment and that they have someone spying on my FB page and telling them everything I post.

Now first of all, it has to be a lie before it can be slander. Secondly, they are people who I have blocked from my FB page who are spying on me and finding a way to contact me through private messages which means they are stalking and harassing me, not the other way around.

It is all about fear and control. They fear the truth, they want control. Document, document, document.

If legal in your state to record audio without their knowledge, get a VAR. Use it. Don't delete emails, record voicemails into your computer, laptop, or cell phone if from a landline and you have a voicemail supplier that automatically deletes them (ATT does).

Then I started really thinking about it. The more I did, the angrier I got. I decided that I would no longer cower to the people who abused me. If they were going to "sue" me, then so be it. I decided to post the real story of why I have no contact with my siblings. Perhaps I should have thought harder before I did it, but I was completely fed up with it all. The way I saw it, if I was going to get sued and have to go to court, it was going to be for all of it and not just being sad. It would come out in court anyway so I guess it was my way of standing up for myself and letting them cowards know that I wasn't afraid to talk publicly about any of it.

Right here is where you were magnificent, brilliant. That took anger, courage, and a need for justice to be done. This is how you take back control.

Now the responses that I got directly to me were all supportive and caring.

That's good, those people are your friends. I got a few "oh, wow's" of incredulous surprise, but that's to be expected, too. They weren't being dismissive, just shocked.

Now that I've heard a little bit of backlash about it, it only strengthened my resolve on the matter. This stuff happened to me in MY LIFE and I have a right to speak about it to anyone and everyone I want. It's not my job to keep their dirty little secrets. They made their choices to do what they did to me and now I have the choice of whether to speak about it or not. Now that I have spoken publicly about it, it just feels like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. All of those years of secrecy and shame are gone. It was never mine to begin with. Now it's on the people who should be carrying it.

Taking back control of our lives, our stories, and to whom we tell them is enormously freeing, isn't it?

I had a few "why didn't you tell _whomever_?" questions. I answer those with, "it started when I was 3 or 4, after that it seemed normal, and I was afraid of another beating. Why would I tell?"

You've gotten off to a great start. It sounds like you and I have in common that we try not to rock the boat, try to ignore what we want or need, and try to make or keep others happy.

You can't _make_ anyone else happy. The very best that you can do is try to create an environment in which a reasonable person can be happy. Note that I'm referring to reasonable people we want in our lives.

If the people we want in our lives aren't reasonable, that's on them to fix and on us to distance ourselves from.

Don't be afraid to push for, negotiate for, and make reasonable compromises on, what you want. The hardest thing for me was the "reasonable compromises" part. And knowing when to walk away from a relationship.

One counselor told me it was common for CSA victims/survivors to be "fixers". Very hard to learn that not everything can be fixed.

Good luck, I wish you the best.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 7:52 PM, April 21st (Tuesday)

Hi Furious! Welcome, and I am sorry for all your pain. I also have lost all my extended family because of CSA, so I understand you completely.

I have really been working on my anxiety issues. I have really worked on trying to get out of the house more and to be around other people more.

Absolutely, me too!

I confronted my abusers (both parents) in my early 30s, which ended up in them joining my ex to testify against me in a custody trial. My mother later admitted that it was retaliatory. Thankfully, the judge saw the truth and dismissed the case. Sadly, not all of us are born to people who are qualified to be parents, and sometimes it is best to cut your losses and walk a different path. My siblings all live in denial and went on the attack when I started to speak out. It was not pretty.

Strength to you, and stand tall my friend! The shame is not ours. May you find healing and peace.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 5:46 AM, April 22nd (Wednesday)

Hi all....just found this thread.

The biggest reason a survivor doesn't want IC because we do not want to face the past,

Yeah...this is me. Passed on an IC appt last week.....it would have been my second with an IC specializing in CSA.

My first session my therapist said "blake, it's okay to preface your thoughts and feelings like you do....but it's okay to just say "I was hurt deeply by my parents actions" too"

I minimize and dismiss away my feelings with CSA just like I did in my M. Ugh.

Bigger fear is that for 30 years I was pretty well ignoring and denying the reality of that summer....older brother and I calling this our "drug years". He too experienced similar abuse....


I didn't become aware of reality until a year after my first DD.

Now I facing the fact that my wife betrayed me.....and I betrayed my own self!

It's unnerving to say the least.....who can you trust?

I've had enough reading and therapy and spent enough time on SI to know I can have fear but not let it have me.


Right now a blocker for me is the "light" nature of my CSA.....as near as I can recall no physical pain involved, it occurred one time and lasted for around an hour....

So the event was not chronic......but it preceded a dark tine for my family. Mom left dad, dad had an affair, tried a little family counseling (1 session)....then D and dad went to OW, mom became bitter and withdrawn........I was 12 when it started, 14 when D happened.

Thing is, the stuff that was done/said in that 1 hour I took and molded into a way of doing relationships. I see NOW how I believed lies that were told me then.....but to hold onto them as "healthy" for 30 years?!

But....there are so much worse cases of CSA....almost hate to post here. A part of me is scared I will find more new-to-me details as I have proven to have the ability to compartmentalize pretty completely.

I know I'm going back to IC. I know my abuse, while not extreme, shaped my perspective in unhealthy ways. I know it's worth fixing/healing.

Sorry for so much pain on this thread.....but I can relate to a lot of what people post here. Makes me feel like less of a freak.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not yet incurred.

Posts: 4679 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 8:26 AM, April 22nd (Wednesday)

blakesteele, you are not a freak. Not at all.

You are also in no way responsible for what happened. You were young, inexperienced at life, and at the mercy of someone who was responsible for caring for you.

There's different types of abuse, different sets of experiences for each abused person. The mental turmoil of _being_ abused is the same. This mental game of "lessening" our own abuse by comparing it to others is not really very productive because it is just another way to stuff those feelings down, to minimize our own trauma, and ultimately to not deal with it in a healthy, resolving, manner.

Your abuse is unique because it happened to you, affected you, and you're unique. You're the only blakesteele on the planet. You're the only blakesteele that has ever been or ever will be. Don't minimize the things that need to be resolved you turn you into a tempered, healthy, helping, caring, blakesteele. Have your CSA issues affected relationships? If you can answer yes then it is time to resolve those feelings.

I've been able to give understanding and advice to people in my life who I haven't told about my CSA. There's a guy at work whose daughter and step-daughter accused step-daughter's biological dad. I was healthy enough to offer support and some suggestions as he has moved through the legal system and the family dynamics. Before dealing with this stuff I'd have just shut him down. Painful memories.

Join the group that no one wants to be a part of and don't be afraid to let your hair down.

We all react differently. Back on page 17 of this thread I list a few ways that I've been affected and a few other things that CSA victims/survivors commonly do. I'm not a counselor, the list isn't complete, but just what I've experienced.

wishes of success to you, blakesteele.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 9:29 AM, April 22nd (Wednesday)

Hi Blake, and welcome. I am so sorry for the abuse you suffered.

and I betrayed my own self!

I strongly disagree with this statement ^^^ Our psyche has ways of coping with severe trauma. It is far more common than you may think, and actually is a protective mechanism. I had "not thought" about my abuse throughout my 20s and only began thinking about it again in my early 30s. It was at a time of great turmoil, I was going through a D and dealing with a very difficult situation. Spoke to a therapist who asked me how was my childhood. I said it was great. It was on my way to my next appointment that the memories flooded back. I can remember exactly where I was, and it hit me full force. I subsequently went through a time of making excuses for my parents (as it sounds like you may be minimizing), but as I was able to assemble the puzzle pieces with other memories, I realized that I had to finally stand up for my little girl self who was so traumatized. And I have done precisely that.

Of course what happened to you in your childhood shaped your behaviors in adulthood. The same is true for everyone, whether those events are positive or negative. As we grow and find insight, we are hopefully able to change those unhealthy coping mechanisms. For me, it has been a lifelong struggle, but I am not giving up. I am stronger than this, and I have broken the cycle. I pray that my children have not been hurt by my trauma, and now that they are adults, I have spoken to them about it.

who can you trust?

Trust yourself, Blake. Your mind has entangled the trauma of your parents' relationship ending with the abuse you endured. So perhaps your work begins with untangling them and looking at your unhealthy coping mechanisms you may have formed as a child and address them. And don't worry, you have the rest of your life to work on it.

Take good care, and may you find healing and peace.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 12:41 PM, April 22nd (Wednesday)

I strongly disagree with this statement ^

Thanks Edith.

I was disappointed I read that I wrote that.....me betraying myself. In IC he was STRONGLY working with me on that statement. I'm a slow learner.

Its an odd thing.....to desire to have had the opportunity to work on my CSA BEFORE my wife chose to have an affair, but realizing it was the pain of her betrayal that lead me back to the betrayal I experienced at the hands of my parents.

I know I gotta face and process this.

I see the tie-in to choosing who I married and her choice to have an affair. She was never going to demand I be truly, maturely intimate with her....and I was going to return the same "favor".


I am hopeful that as I heal and learn how to maturely love.....I will someday have a taste of real mature love and intimacy.

Its painful, scary work....but to go through life and never have a shot at mature intimacy is more so.

So I will be going back to IC.

Thanks for the kind words and support.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not yet incurred.

Posts: 4679 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 3:44 PM, April 22nd (Wednesday)

Yes, Blake, sadly it often takes us being hit by a train for us to realize we have been hit by a train before, as in my experience and in yours. I can remember thinking how could he have betrayed me knowing what I had endured as a child? And he witnessed the attacks I suffered from my parents and my siblings in my adult years, he knew how I really had no one in my life I could trust, yet he also chose betrayal. Immensely painful, and it triggered all my childhood trauma to raise its ugly head yet again.

Even after working through CSA, there are setbacks. I have been in IC off and on for 25 years. I asked my mother for an apology, but received only an angry outburst, and I realized the apology would never come. I know that life is not fair, and we all suffer at one time or another. I pray that I am a stronger and better person than my parents. I am trying to shift the focus of recovery to loving myself, as incredibly difficult as that has been. His A really took so much away from me, but it caused me to shift my focus to myself.

I am not sure if any of this is resonating with you, but I hope you are able to find the best path for your own healing.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 8:27 PM, April 22nd (Wednesday)

Yeah....it's resonating with me. Thanks for sharing honestly.

I figure I'm going to have to visit with this with my Mom at some point....I guess?

My greatest fear? That I will endure what I did upon my affair DD. Minimizing what happened, denying it, blame shifting......

But I survived DD, didn't I.


Still so unnerving.....to deny something so completely but having that "something" influence you so strongly.


sadly it often takes us being hit by a train for us to realize we have been hit by a train before

I must say this made me sigh in relief. Best analogy to what I feel.

Peace.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 8:28 PM, April 22nd (Wednesday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not yet incurred.

Posts: 4679 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 9:03 AM, April 23rd (Thursday)

I'm going to have to visit with this with my Mom at some point....I guess?

Maybe...but it should be when you feel the need to do so. My "confrontation" was forced, in that IC had told me to ask my sister about what she remembered about our childhood after she was released from prison. She said that it was just "cuddling..." She went to my parents/siblings and everything blew up from there. I had death threats from my sibs.

My advice to you is to look out for yourself #1. Think of yourself as the age you were at the time of your traumatic experience. As an adult, envision yourself hugging and soothing your younger self. And if this becomes a topic of discussion with your abuser(s), stand up for your younger self and fight!

Sometimes I have to remind myself that my dad is dead and cannot hurt me, my mother is feeble and has no coherent thought. Those patterns of terror, anxiety and unhealthy coping that we had in childhood we still carry, sometimes for an entire lifetime. Those who are insightful enough to fight the battle can overcome a great deal, but I think deep down, those formative years are so impactful that they have simply become a part of us.

I pray every day that God will guide me to help others in His name, and that I might overcome my terrible feelings of fear. I will pray that you find the answers that help you in the best possible way also. Take care.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
tired girl
Member
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 10:43 AM, April 23rd (Thursday)

Hi,

I have sort of an odd question. Do any of you have any experience or have heard of anyone that has zero memory of what happened to them but they know that something did due to triggers? I also as of a month ago think I know who it was now thanks to a family reunion and becoming physically ill when this person came up to me. And I have zero memories of the things that this person and his sisters told me about when I was a child.


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 5490 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 10:51 AM, April 23rd (Thursday)

Hi GTG, I think it is possible...I would say that in my experience, some memories came back in times of extreme stress, as Blake said, as well. Perhaps worth some exploration with IC, and I think I would avoid that person. Hugs to you.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
tired girl
Member
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 11:43 AM, April 23rd (Thursday)

I have zero memories, but what has always been odd is that when I have seen counselors in the past, and even this one I am seeing now, In the first or second session they have always asked me if there was CSA in my childhood. I always answered no. But I have always thought it was very strange to be asked that question all the time.

This has come up recently because a song triggered me very hard to the point that I became physically ill and had to pull over. I had an anxiety attack and it felt like it was happening to me yet I had zero memory of what.

We are dealing with it in IC, at least to the point that I can deal with the triggers and handle them.

Thank you for the hugs.


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 5490 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 3:06 PM, April 23rd (Thursday)

Tired Girl. A sign for me was big gaps in memory during this particular time in my childhood. Yes I had a memory of the hands on sex talk (mostly that it happened, but no real details)....but I minimized, denied and coped 90% of it away. I could see how if it were repetitive in nature (ie: stronger) I would have blanked even that other 10% away.

I, too, have been almost physically ill with the details that have surfaced. Details that I have been told will continue to surface now that the lid has been removed. This is why I know I must find the courage to continue IC. I find myself holding my breath and my heart racing at times too.

how can a 30 year old experience have such an effect on a 44 year old man? I've been less scared of fighting wild fires, cutting trees with their canopies in flames! ugh....Tired Girl, this is unnerving. I can't explain how things can be "unknown"....sorry.

Edith....wow. Thank you so much for responding in such detail. You lived a worst case scenario with regards to approaching the person who abused you.

IC homework for me is to write a letter to my parents and fill it full of truths. Truths like "you lied to me. You got me to believe lies. In doing so you set me up to hurt myself and those I love most....."

In my first session I was full of "qualifiers", as my therapist called them. I had lots of "yeah buts" that, he said, were aimed at protecting my parents....and keeping me from really owning the real hurt I experienced as a young boy.

I get this.

It wasn't until gracerunner asked me this.

"What if your nephew experienced that with his parents? How would you feel?"

White as a ghost. I finally felt for my nephew what I should have felt for myself.

A few weeks later I boldly visited with my older brother. Turns out he experienced the same abuse.....maybe more\other, I don't know for sure.

He responded the same way we always have about this time period in our lives. "It was weird". We have done this for decades because we have tried to remember that summer and the year between that and our parents D....and simply came up blank.

I then asked him if he were going to do that with his daughter. His calm face went blank....white....then red. "hell NO!!!" He got outraged....but then backed down and said. "No childhood is perfect, but we turned out okay."

I see now I reacted to my wifes affair in similar fashion. Denied reality, minimized my own pain. Thats why I'm not keen on visiting with my Mom on this.....what if she reacts as my wife did? What if she denies reality, minimizes, or blame shifts?

I'll cross that bridge if and when it is time.

Right now I am grateful I have a IC specializing in this. The IC I discovered this under was our MC who was actually working with my wife at the time my memory returned.....I still remember that day. Man......"shock" hardly covers it.

Thanks again for those responding so honestly to me on this thread. Its really a new frontier for me and nice to have some support.

God is with us all.....its no coincidence I found this thread and support.


Peace.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 3:08 PM, April 23rd (Thursday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not yet incurred.

Posts: 4679 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 12:21 PM, April 24th (Friday)

Hi TG, I think it is not unusual to not remember. The way I "remembered" is that I felt I had never actually forgotten what happened, just that I had not consciously thought about it in a long time. Plus other traumatic events in my adolescence that I had not linked to the abuse that started when I was 6 and went on for so many years. IC can help you put it together.

And as far as remembering around the fringes and using qualifiers, as you say, Blake, I did that as well. My IC asked me how I felt about it, and I said I HATED it! He said that that is enough to indicate that the act was wrong.

For example, one of my brothers spoke about his toddler daughter getting into bed on Sunday mornings with mommy and daddy. Innocent enough, right? He compared that to what was done to me for many years, my mother forcing me to go to bed with my drunk father. I so vividly remember her making me go there, get in on her side of the bed, him being there drunk, naked. The smell of alcohol and stale cigarettes on his breath is enough to make me sick even now, more than 50 years later. Is my brother's comparison accurate? Of course not! Even just those details I have shared are enough to qualify these as horrible acts.

I'm not keen on visiting with my Mom on this.....what if she reacts as my wife did? What if she denies reality, minimizes, or blame shifts?

You know, Blake, you don't HAVE to confront your mother. She may minimize, or deny altogether. If you choose to confront her, you should first take those possibilities into consideration. When I asked my mom for her apology, she said that I had better hope that MY children never "do this" to me... Sick and twisted stuff.

While IC can help us put the puzzle pieces together, I do not believe IC helps us "remember" things that are missing. I believe that our inner well being dictates the flow of recovering memories. I think that God has given us yet undiscovered abilities to protect ourselves, and those elements I totally respect.

I pray that we all find peace.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 6:55 AM, April 25th (Saturday)

Thanks Edith. Grateful for this thread but my heart aches to read it.

I see how I used qualifiers since childhood to minimize and deny pain. I also see how, by doing this, I have

1. Missed opportunities to heal and grow.
2. Denied others (namely my wife) opportunities to do the same.

My wife asked me a while back "Do you think your Mom failed your Dad?"

This question has stuck with me.

In addition to learning the value of pain I am also understanding that truth is critically important to healthy relationships.

All truth - grace and mercy = brutality
All grace and mercy - truth = codependency
Truth + grace and mercy = mature love

That's from a conference I went to that had Dr Henry Cloud as a presenter.

Motivates me to change my ways.

So kind of you to post openly to me. It has provided me much comfort.

God has shown me He is faithful. He has used other people to comfort me. You are one of them.

Peace

[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:57 AM, April 25th (Saturday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not yet incurred.

Posts: 4679 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
Furious1
Member
Member # 42970
Default  Posted: 10:11 PM, April 27th (Monday)

Thank you all for the kind responses. It's been a long road to get here.

Blake, confrontation is an individual thing. It's entirely up to you whether you confront your mother or not.

Tiredgirl, while I could not remember specifics for the longest time, I remembered enough to know that I was severely abused and severely sexually abused. I have strong dissociative tendencies which I used to cope with my childhood. My memories were in broken fragments that I could not recall as one coherent memory. My IC taught me that the mind wants to remember. For me, it came through as flashbacks and panic attacks. It's only been as I work through my broken memories that my flashbacks and panic attacks have started to ease. My IC has told me that it might take my entire life to remember everything, but that I also might not ever remember everything that happened.

Edith, I am sorry that you also lost your family. I have been fortunate in that my mother has not tried to deny anything that happened to me. She has also repeatedly apologized for it since I confronted her. My father has passed so confronting him has also passed. As for my siblings, I have not heard a single other word from them since I outed what they did on FB. My next IC appointment isn't until Wednesday so I'll be interested to hear what my IC has to say about it all.


BW (me): 41 WH (him): 49
Married 19 years. SD26 from his 1st M. DS21 from my 1st M. DD17 (autistic), OC18 (S), OC17 (D)
D-day: 10/4/13 with ongoing TT (last TT was 10/2/14). True R: 12/24/14
2 OC with 2 different OW. 7 year PA with my sister.

Posts: 790 | Registered: Apr 2014 | From: United States
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 9:51 AM, April 30th (Thursday)

Hi there...

I'm sorry to interrupt. Just hoping for some advice. How do we bring up sexual abuse in IC? It's something we talked about before, but not a topic we stayed with. I'm not sure how to talk about it. It's been on my mind a lot more over the past few months, and I think the IC and the psychiatrist might think I'm reopening old wounds. But there's been a lot of stuff I just realized. Feeling too ashamed to talk about it. But I have to. Any advice?


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
Edith
Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 10:12 AM, April 30th (Thursday)

Hello everyone... I have been away for a bit working hard on my studies.

Blake, thank you for this...

Truth + grace and mercy = mature love

Our paths to healing are very painful, but hopefully we are able to rise from the ashes. I need to focus on my own journey, and grace and mercy have been sorely lacking. I have blamed myself for everything for so long.

Furious, I hope your IC gives you the credit you deserve for your great act of courage! Standing up to those who have violated us is such an act of power. Be proud of the woman you are becoming, and stand up for truth. Everything else must fall away. I think you are awesome!

Hi Silver, No interruption here... Please remind yourself that the shame is not yours. The person who committed those acts against you owns that shame. If you find it difficult to voice your needs, perhaps an e-mail or note to your IC ahead of your appointment would help open that door? IC is your sanctuary, and it is imperative for you to make it about your needs. May you find strength.

Healing and peace to all. Take care.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 501 | Registered: Feb 2013
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 12:57 PM, April 30th (Thursday)

Silverhopes said:
How do we bring up sexual abuse in IC? It''s something we talked about before, but not a topic we stayed with. I''m not sure how to talk about it. It''s been on my mind a lot more over the past few months, and I think the IC and the psychiatrist might think I''m reopening old wounds. But there''s been a lot of stuff I just realized. Feeling too ashamed to talk about it. But I have to. Any advice?

Exactly the way that you''ve said it.

"IC, we talked about CSA a bit before. I need to revisit it. Not to open old wounds, but to help me deal with new details, reactions, and thoughts that I''ve been experiencing. I feel ashamed, and I know that I shouldn''t, and I need to talk about it all."

Say that, email that, write it on a note and hand it to them at the start of the session.

They are there for you. They help direct and guide and inform, but if something comes up with you then please, talk to them about it.

silverhopes, I was also ashamed for many years. Then I was finally shown, truthfully, that it wasn''t my fault, it wasn''t my shame, and that any reactions that I had to CSA were normal responses, well within the range of the human norm.

Your responses to CSA are the same. The shameful feelings? Normal, though not based in any shameful act on your part. The hesitancy? Again, normal, and again there is no real reason for it. I also sense, from your wording, that you might not be as assertive as you''d like - again, normal. If your IC is any good at all then they _want_ you to bring up these things that you need to deal with.

silverhopes, I was right where you are many years ago. I never had the repressed memories to deal with but I have had the same reactions that you''re having.

buck up, little camper, life is wonderful!


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 8:29 PM, April 30th (Thursday)

Thank you, Edith and devotedman. I brought it up again today in IC. She listened. But we didn't talk in depth about it. It's so hard to bring up. A lot of my shame is around the reactions/lack of support when the abuse happened. There were different abusers, there were a lot of different incidents. Each time, it felt like I was partially blamed for it, or sometimes lectured on how to not "put myself in that situation". In a few instances, I was treated like I had been making it up and it wasn't really abuse, or else I had misinterpreted a "friendly" gesture. I feel disgusting and like I need to stop existing in some capacity. Or at least be invisible. It's all screwed up. It's affecting everything.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 8:58 PM, April 30th (Thursday)

Congratulations on the strength to bring it up!

Again, nothing that you have described as a reaction by you is in any way abnormal. Look in a mirror at the wonderful human being there and tell her that she''ll be fine. That this is hard. That pain means growth and that it is okay to take time to process this and the associated feelings.

Like you, I didn''t have an advocate. I hid it for years. I didn''t have a counselor, just books from the library to help explain it all and how to work on myself.

People minimize to us because they don''t want to believe that happened to us, or that the abuser is capable of doing that, or because they''re scared. That isn''t our fault.

Strength to you.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 8:39 AM, May 1st (Friday)

Thank you. I'm both glad and sad to know that all these things I'm feeling are normal. I guess I just wonder if it ever gets easier. Do we ever stop feeling disgusting? I tell myself that it wasn't my fault, and every time some other part of me says, "Yes, but..." So I need to keep working on that. I tell myself, "No means no." Sometimes it helps a little to think it in my head toward the people who hurt me and the ones who blamed me for it. I try to imagine saying to them, "No means no."

A couple weeks ago, there was a local march against rape. It was intense and wonderful being part of it. A lot of feelings around that too.

Thank you for listening.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 9:12 AM, May 1st (Friday)

So much courage in you SilverHopes. Glad you are in IC and are facing truths in your past that need to be faced to have a bright future.

"it wasn't my shame"

this is what I am working on.

Trying to get to the point where I don't feel shame for having physical and emotional needs.....perhaps better said, finding authentic ways to put my physical and emotional needs out there/seek to get them filled?

Its like I denied having them....but since you can't live without a little of them being met I found un-authentic ways to nibble a bit????

....still a work in progress. I find myself trying to speed this up!!!

Really appreciate this thread....thanks for sharing and nudging.

I will most likely go back to IC next week....this homework assignment has been a challenge and I passed on IC for 2 weeks now.

Peace

[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:14 AM, May 1st (Friday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not yet incurred.

Posts: 4679 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 12:35 PM, May 1st (Friday)

silverhopes said:
Thank you. I''m both glad and sad to know that all these things I''m feeling are normal.

I know exactly what you mean. To re-emphasize, what you''re feeling are perfectly normal reactions. They are your brain and feelings trying to process things _without_having_all_of_the_tools_and_information_to_do_so_. As a result we come up with some odd reactions, odd thoughts, odd coping mechanisms. Odd in that they''re not the _healthiest_ ways to deal, they''re not truth, they''re not reality, not odd in unusual or strange or unique.

A child has very little in the way of coping mechanisms. The acts perpetrated upon them, they didn''t want to experience when they started happening. So the child hides them away, doesn''t deal, denies, feels shame.

The shame is not ours. Even if you''re one of the ones who later seeks out the abuse, or initiates it in an attempt to exert some form of control over it that they never had, even that is not shameful but well within the range of normal human reaction. To control the uncontrollable, to seek validation of flawed self-image, to gain a measure of power over the abuser. To have some choice, no matter what the choice is.

Because it strikes to the core of our self-image it reflects in almost all of our development of self and coping strategies. The list of my flawed behaviors was long. I fought with peers (not bullying, but I took no shit and defended others). I had suicidal thoughts. I was promiscuous. I sought out further contact with the abuser. I initiated abuse. I was withdrawn. I felt alienated. I didn''t tell anyone that I loved them until I was 14 years old and then it was mumbled while I was turned away from them (not the abuser by the way, but a loved aunt).

Coping mechanisms, and flawed ones. But the shame and guilt goes to the original perpetrator and any other adults who hid or perpetrated, too. Not to us. Not as children, not as adults who suffered the indignity and harm of CSA. We do have a duty to our SO''s to get better. We have a higher duty to ourselves to get better.

I guess I just wonder if it ever gets easier. Do we ever stop feeling disgusting?

Watch this. "I, devotedman, am not disgusting. I am an amazing guy to get into a relationship with. One warning - I will fail at things sometimes, just like anyone else will. I will learn and move on. If I hurt an SO I will sincerely apologize. I''m not perfect and imperfection is the basis for learning and improving." Know what? I believe that.

silverhopes, what reason do you have to feel disgusting? What real, valid, objective reason? Truly, if you met a child right now who came to you and said, "silverhopes, I''m being sexually abused" - would you recoil from the child in disgust? Because you''ve got one, right now, inside you saying that to you.

Some of our coping mechanisms, our growth, seem to stop at the age that the abuse started. Identify those areas in which to grow and start fixing them. In the long run it really is that simple. In the short run we need help identifying and learning how to fix, to heal, to grow. Do not allow false shame or false feelings of self-disgust stop you from becoming a healthy, happy, silverhopes who just happened to have some horrible things done to her when she was young.

I tell myself that it wasn''t my fault, and every time some other part of me says, "Yes, but..." So I need to keep working on that.

See, you''re getting it... "but... someone I should have been able to trust betrayed me and my trust and used them for their own selfish satisfaction." Try ending it that way until you can come up with your own ending for the "but..."

No does mean no. And saying it inside to those authority figures from youth robs them of their power over you. Even the remembered power.

blakesteele, all of the above applies to you as well. No shame. In time you''ll be able to choose who to talk to about this in real life. Your postings are already helping others.


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 11:33 AM, May 2nd (Saturday)

Trying to get to the point where I don't feel shame for having physical and emotional needs....

This seems to be a huge part of my struggle right now too, Blakesteele. In my case, there's a very unfortunate component that I've just had to start acknowledging: Mr. Silver has said a lot of unkind things and put-downs during our time together. Sexual related ones. They've been feeding all the negative messages I've internalized from the abuse. So I'm not even sure what to do with this. He's shamed me for having physical and emotional needs. Decided that as of a couple weeks ago, I'm going to abstain for the time being. I have no idea how to make it healthy between us. He also is an abuse survivor, quite possibly sexually in addition to physically and emotionally, so I need to be mindful of that. I need to be mindful of how he might be feeling with intimacy in general.

The shame is not ours. Even if you''re one of the ones who later seeks out the abuse, or initiates it in an attempt to exert some form of control over it that they never had, even that is not shameful but well within the range of normal human reaction. To control the uncontrollable, to seek validation of flawed self-image, to gain a measure of power over the abuser. To have some choice, no matter what the choice is.

That's exactly how I feel, Devotedman. In the case of an abusive ex, I kept going back to him even though he would hurt me. So in that case, I felt I was less victim and more volunteer. Sure, I would try to push him off me when I couldn't breathe (he wouldn't stop), sure, I would ask him to treat me better - but I kept going back to him. In his case, I sought out the abuse. I thought I deserved it. Still struggling with that.

Because it strikes to the core of our self-image it reflects in almost all of our development of self and coping strategies. The list of my flawed behaviors was long. I fought with peers (not bullying, but I took no shit and defended others). I had suicidal thoughts. I was promiscuous. I sought out further contact with the abuser. I initiated abuse. I was withdrawn. I felt alienated. I didn''t tell anyone that I loved them until I was 14 years old and then it was mumbled while I was turned away from them (not the abuser by the way, but a loved aunt).

I'm so sorry you suffered all of that. It does strike at the core of our self-image. It's like there's a piece of glass embedded in our core (or possibly right in our hearts), and it's lodged in there so deep that we can't pull it out without possibly hemorrhaging. We don't know how to not identify ourselves with the abuse. It becomes a context for so much, and in so many ways, without even meaning to.

silverhopes, what reason do you have to feel disgusting? What real, valid, objective reason? Truly, if you met a child right now who came to you and said, "silverhopes, I''m being sexually abused" - would you recoil from the child in disgust? Because you''ve got one, right now, inside you saying that to you.

That's right. I could never do that to a child. I would never. I'd want to hug the child and keep him/her safe. I don't blame myself as a child, not for what happened then. It was what happened when I was older that has me struggling. From 16 onward, everything else that happened. Possibly because I was told I'd had control over not letting it happen to me. Also because of some of the comments surrounding the abuse, and also surrounding times when I was interested in sex - so comments regardless of whether the subject was consensual or not, and it gets all mixed up, to where I'm not supposed to be sexual because I'm too unclean to be, too disgusting, or that when someone abuses me, well it was just because they needed xyz, or because I led them on, or etc etc etc. And now the only people who will touch me are my abusers.

I don't think I was disgusting as a child. I couldn't have been, I was just a kid. Maybe this is why I'm so protective over my son - I see a lot of my child self in him. I want to give him what I didn't have: a stable, sane, safe, loving, appropriate person, a protector. And now I'm even more fearful - because of everything that happened to me, I'm scared of ever making him feel the same way. So nursing was hard at times, I'd ask myself if I was being inappropriate with him somehow. Changing his diaper is still difficult (he's having troubles with toilet training, though it's improving, and he wears a diaper during the night), because when I clean him, I feel wrong to even do that. But he can't clean himself. Not sure what to do. I want him to be loved, but I don't ever want him to feel I crossed his boundaries. I don't know what to do.

Some of our coping mechanisms, our growth, seem to stop at the age that the abuse started. Identify those areas in which to grow and start fixing them. In the long run it really is that simple. In the short run we need help identifying and learning how to fix, to heal, to grow.

Spot on. Need help identifying those areas. Maybe this is something I should talk to the IC and psychiatrist about. What were the coping mechanisms I missed? How do I heal this?

"but... someone I should have been able to trust betrayed me and my trust and used them for their own selfish satisfaction." Try ending it that way until you can come up with your own ending for the "but..."

But... they should have respected my 'no.'
But... they should have looked to another adult to meet their needs from loneliness.
But... they should have been strong enough not to use anyone to meet their needs. They should have met them themselves.
But... they should have kept their fucking hands to themselves!!! Didn't they fucking listen when I said no?! They should be grateful I didn't punch them in the face!
But... but nothing. I said back off!

I'm not sure what to do with this anger.


Devotedman, thank you so much for helping me. It's scary how deep all of this goes.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 12:02 PM, May 2nd (Saturday)]


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 4058 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
devotedman
Member
Member # 45441
Default  Posted: 12:57 PM, May 2nd (Saturday)

silverhopes said:
blakesteel said:
Trying to get to the point where I don't feel shame for having physical and emotional needs....

This seems to be a huge part of my struggle right now too

Non-abused adults have physical and emotional needs. Truth.

Non-abused adults also have their own problems in these areas. Truth.

Abused and non-abused adults can work on their problems in these areas with success. Truth. Their paths are just different.

Tell yourself in the mirror - and get your IC to tell you - that many adults have various self-esteem or other problems that affect their sex lives. Tell yourself this until you believe it. It is true.

Ok, now that you've got that understood, and internalized, then realize that you're not so very different. Sure, the causes are different, but while the range of normal human reaction is wide and varied it is limited because we're all human. There are _no_ new reactions under the sun. None. Zero, zilch, nada. Internalize that, too.

Now, you're not so very different. You are like other people. People that you've known, or not known, and looked up to. Every single human being on the planet has their own set of problems, bar none.

All of us have sexual and emotional needs, too. In this I counsel you to be your own warden: Does fulfilling _my_ sexual and emotional needs invalidate, demean, or hurt another human being in any way? If the answer is "yes" then you have something to work on. If the answer is "no" then all you have to do is watch yourself, make sure that you don't become skewed in future. And by that I mean skewed like the waywards that are so broken from the CSA stuff that they continue to seek out abuse outside the marriage as adults.

Then turn that question back on yourself: Does fulfilling _my_ sexual and emotional needs invalidate, demean, or hurt _me_ in any way? Those answers are more likely to be "yes", IMHO. Those "needs" aren't really "needs", they're just broken ways of validating our broken self-image. Our ideas of what we're worth and worthy of.

It is those broken ideas that are needful of change and hard to change. One helpful thing is, again, the mirror-talking. While looking at that person, human, unique individual in the mirror tell that poor hurting person some truths.

"You didn't have a choice originally, but you do now."

"You're worthy of love, respect, and being treated well."

"You have a _choice_ of who your partner is and what you will accept from a partner."

"If my partner treats me badly then I can stop it."

"Loving an abuser is wasting my love."

"Spending time with an abuser is a waste of my time."

"I am worthy of being treated well. I am worthy of being loved. I am worthy of being treated with respect."

"I am beautiful, I am unique, and I have a lot to offer. Some day I will be able to help people suffering just like me."

silverhopes:

He also is an abuse survivor, quite possibly sexually in addition to physically and emotionally, so I need to be mindful of that. I need to be mindful of how he might be feeling with intimacy in general.

I agree with you, though not in the way you mean.

Sure, he's an abuse survivor. So are you. Do you abuse? Thought not...

Encourage him to learn about abuse and the results and reactions it can result in when unhandled. Back on page 17 or so (after page 14, certainly, my story starts there) or so I list out a lot of the behaviors I had as a result. He can learn to change. He might choose not to.

If that is the case then you have no way to stay. You _must_ get out of abusive situations. It takes time to heal, to correct, to salve, to philosophize. You can't take the time while being abused.

silverhopes:

In his case, I sought out the abuse. I thought I deserved it. Still struggling with that.

That's the child inside who never grew up recreating the environment. While abuse is uncomfortable the environment is known. Oddly, it is validating and less scary than the unknown. The child is looking for validation, comfort, and, oddly, for things to change. For the abuser to suddenly _stop_ abusing and thus prove to us that we are worth something.

The child is looking for validation from the adult.

Now that we are adults we missed out on the step where we learned that validation comes from within. But it does, it must, it is healthy and natural.

This is a _huge_ step, a _huge_ work, and both difficult and rewarding. You must re-learn that you _are_ worth something, that you _do_ have intrinsic value, and that you're fine, ok, a unique, valuable person. You have to learn to love yourself. You have to learn to love yourself before you can accept true love from others. You might find on the way that you grow out of the abusive relationships as you outgrow your "need" of them.

I'm so sorry you suffered all of that.

Thanks, I appreciate that. Similarly, I'm sorry that you were surrounded by abusive assholes in your young life. Neither of us deserved it. We _can_ grow out of it, though.

It is sort of cool to think now that I'm a pretty good guy. Not perfect, but pretty cool.

It becomes a context for so much, and in so many ways, without even meaning to.

Sure it does. It can't not. Remember, we were kids, learning our environment, our social skills, our ways of interacting with the world, with our social network, and with our family.

We simply learned a really screwed up way to do it. Re-learning is hard but rewarding. During the process we'll have some triggery things but as we get better they'll diminish and disappear. We'll learn to interact in healthy ways with healthy people and to simply distance ourselves from the unhealthy ones.

Where's the safest place around a rabid dog? Not being around the rabid dog. Where's the safest place around an abuser? Not being around the abuser.

We can't change the abusers in our lives, that is _their_ job. But we can put them in their place, which is somewhere else and out of our lives.

Remember, clearly, pellucidly, _trenchantly_, that we cannot change them. No matter how we want to, we cannot. But we _can_ choose to fill our lives with healthy people.

this is getting long, and I have a couple of things to do. I'll post another reply to discuss the rest of your post in a bit...


Me: b 1962
xWW: b 1958, multiple OEAs, PAs? 24 yrs, M 20, DS, DD
xWGF: b 1968, 9.5 yrs, affianced 8.5-ish, left me for swinging OM&OMW

Posts: 1530 | Registered: Oct 2014 | From: Central USA
Topic Posts: 422