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Sexual Abuse Survivors/Spouses - Part 3

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devotedman posted 11/28/2016 11:21 AM

Yes it makes perfect sense. He was recreating the abuse to find safe and normal. He was trying to recreate it everywhere, in every facet of his life.

That's what people in extremity do.

hopefulkate posted 11/28/2016 15:40 PM

Thanks DM. Same time, same place next year for the same convo??

Also - is there a button they make that prevents posting on forums when too emotional? Should be. Like a mood ring prevention program. I would like that. :)

hopefulkate posted 11/30/2016 08:12 AM

I'm sorry for hijacking this board. Please ignore me and post if anyone is feeling up to it! I just don't really have anyone to talk to about this stuff. My counselor is expensive so I go less these days...

The DID is hard. Not hard because it's weird or bothers me, it's hard for me to understand from an enpathetic place. Like, you bang your funny bone and it hurts. You see someone else bang theirs and you feel empathy for the pain they have because you have felt that before. There are many facets of his life that I can relate too, the abuse in all its form as I saw all of it too but in such a tiny way comparatively, but for me, I can take that little pain and feel something to relate to. But the DID is different. I can feel my little inner child, but it's more of an emotional memory I guess. (I'm trying to work on explaining this so don't take this piece too firmly yet), and I totally talk to myself all day long. We all have inner monologue. But I don't have convos with only part of my memory, or have memory blocks of feelings. (I do have memory blocks though, swaths of time missing...)

Anyway, the DID piece is hard for me here because I am in recovery from an affair and am trying to R but I need to know my H is safe. Only, I need to know that everyone inside my H is safe. Hence the recent posts and discussions and discoveries, and my H's amazing aha moments of late and ability to explain how his brain is divided through feeling and drawing. It's pretty great.

Anyway, I'm trying to get to that information. Because everyone was there and everyone played a role somehow. The other night we had a good discussion and more things made more sense, he discovered one alter is actually split in two worlds - sort of like bipolar but not - and that this part wanted the affair too.

It's just hard. I'm still discovering things, it's my affair season, and all i want to do is find the OW and just kill her. Make sure her life is miserable because mine is. (It's not - that's just the emotion of the moment talking) - but how dare she?! How dare his mother?! How dare his aunt!!!!! I'm iust really, really angry and hurt and in part reliving it all because he needs to, I need to, and it just sucks.

And his alters don't always get body time. He holds them back but they want out, so it's a power struggle within too, and if healing means giving them time, I'm scared at what they might do. Reach out to family? To her?

They all hate all of the people above, so I shouldn't need to worry. But they are kids. So, I don't know...maybe it's just me projecting my fear of being hurt again.

Whatever, it's hard. It's hard for him. It's hard for me. But we are still going and growing. Just dealing with growth pains I guess.

devotedman posted 12/5/2016 08:13 AM

Hopefulkate, you are most definitely _not_ hijacking this thread.

You haven't posted in a while, how are you doing today, this week, through the A season, and through the almost-equally-awful Holiday Season? (yay. holidays. bah, humbug. )

hopefulkate posted 12/5/2016 19:36 PM

Thanks, DM. My self esteem is pretty low - working on NOT needing validation from others. Although I gave up looking for it years ago - I am as human as the rest of the group and find myself questioning what I am worthy of. Not sure if this makes sense. I am very much in the thick of the affair season - thankfully a handful of days spread just weeks apart - thankfully??? - so at least the end is near?

I have no idea why I think last year was easier. It's weird, I can't remember in this moment.

How are you doing? If memory serves, you joined around now at this time, right? Hoping you have peace my friend. :)

I will say that today was a good day. My H was here - and not off anywhere else - and we both responded finally to his father (representative of the whole family) with regards to their constant harrassment. My H's idea was to send our letters together to show a unified front.

THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME IN OUR HISTORY TOGETHER THAT SUCH A THING OCCURRED. It really is no small thing. My letter was fun to write..f u...legal jargon...blah blah blah. I was allowed out today! (I had respectfully remained silent for my H to fight his own battle, and determine what he wanted from them.) Anyway, it still is bittersweet of course. While my letter was actually short and to the point, without embellishment etc., and though I did not even give *any* detail or anything that would attack them to make them feel bad...the letter of goodbye is hurtful enough. And the part of us that is kind and thoughtful, is sad that in order to protect ourselves, and our children, other people will feel some pain today.

I will say that my H's letter also finally stood up for me to his father. He recanted how I had been there for everyone over the years - specifically and for each person - and how if anyone should be respected it should be me. (Now, I *KNOW* again, not to need or get validation outside of oneself, but damn if that didn't feel good.)

He spoke of his breakdown and that although he hopes they can find happiness, that he is not strong enough or willing to continue a relationship with them at this time.

Meanwhile...I also added that these are cease and desist letters and that further legal action will be taken should it be necessary. Ya know...cuz I wanted that in writing.

So, two years ago today, my husband - the teen(s) and child-and adult?? went to the AP's home to talk about how wrong the the night before was and to make it go away only to be told to shut up and get in bed.

This year, and last year, they are all here and talking to me. Trying to help me. And me trying to help them.

It's exhausting. I truly can not wait for this little time of the year to be over. One more week for me. Will I feel relief? I think so? For now, I look forward to that and am TRYING to live for today, see the changes, and hug my babies. Because they really are SOOO incredibly amazing. My three miracles. :)

Sending well wishes to all this holiday season. This too shall pass.

devotedman posted 12/5/2016 20:40 PM

hopefulkate, and tired kate, you have earned the tired. You really have. You have been _brilliant_!

A word on that, if I may. Please recognize the difference between _recognition_ and _validation_. Validation is "I'm okay because DM told me so". Recognition is "I kicked ass and took names and others saw that, too!" along with a bit of "I kicked ass and took names and nobody saw it because there were no survivors. bwahahahahaha!"

I think that you got recognition from your efforts and that does feel good. I don't think that you're getting "I'm a good person because they say so" from your efforts. The first is Okay! and You Go, Girl! while the second, not so much.

I was an October 30th joiner, two weeks after DDay. I was still getting TT, being a willing Plan B, and pick-me-ing about this time... that, and randomly breaking into tears at work. (sigh)

Congratulations on the writing letters together. That is, from where I sit, an immensely important milestone and undertaking from the _two_ of you, together. Good, too, on keeping it short and non-waffle-y.

I understand that it was all of hard, necessary, freeing, comforting for the both of you. Frankly, what a relief it must be getting past that step. Especially so since he invited you to write as well and stood up for you, in detail.

Picture me with a beaming smile for the katefamily.

No matter what happens from this day on, hopefulkate, know that you have done excellently, exceedingly, above and beyond from DDay until now. And look how you've grown in knowledge, understanding, etc.! Oh, my, I'm a bit envious I am.

Personally, I'm in a bit of a funk. Not quite sure why but I see a few of the emotional tell-tales popping up. I need to work on a few self-esteem/self-appraisal things.

One favor? You know that "references for CSA" second post in this thread? Could you recommend a few books for it? Might help out the next fellow sufferer, who knows?

Thanks for the update. Always good to hear from the folks here.

2frayedsouls posted 12/5/2016 21:05 PM

Hey Kate....wanted to pop in with some support. Your husband's comments about you needing to be more like the AP makes sense in the context of a reenactment affair. Soul crushing sense no doubt, but I think you nailed that. The healthiest parts of him want you....and find her unappealing now.

Glad you were able to present a united front to his family. That is a giant step forward! I am learning to celebrate victories amongst the skirmishes.😉

I don't know what it is about year 2 that makes this A season so much harder. Maybe just the general exhaustion that comes from months upon months of turning this over in our heads....the emotional fissure...loving them, hurting for their hurt, wanting to help them challenge the self hatred the CSA left behind but still being so hurt and angry for the pain that was delivered to our door....and trying to make the holidays special and happy for our kids....like trying to live in a pressure cooker.

Remind yourself that you are a pretty amazing person friend. You strive to do right by each member of your family with complexities that would make a lesser person run.

I completely understand feeling that she "won". Perhaps that's why my current IC assignment is to write a letter to my spouses AP's (for my usage only....not to send).... As I am writing it I am starting to see that they didn't win. They accepted scraps from a broken man trying to glue himself back together with ego kibbles. Turns out that that shit doesn't have great sticking power. I know your husband's acting out was less about ego kibbles and more about normalizing experiences and trying to exert control or power over his CSA...but she still accepted scraps from a broken soul. That isn't winning. It is being a manipulative bottom feeder.

Be kind to yourself 🙂. Hang in there!

hopefulkate posted 12/7/2016 19:58 PM

My dear friends - thank you. Thank you is not enough for what you have been and continue to be to me. As we all trudge through this season I am thinking of you often and wishing you peace. We deserve some!

You both gave me some things to think about - and not for the first time!

DM, you wrote on 28th (and not for the first time) that "he was recreating the abuse". And 2Frayed, you reiterated it, and not for the first time.

But, for the first time I HEARD you. Finally! I get that part! He tried to make me like her (really his abusers) and I would not lower myself. I am better than her. I am not like his abusers. I am more valuable, and he thinks so too, and I realized for the first time that he thinks so much more highly of me.

It's another piece of the puzzle where I can finally say it was not about me. It was not about her. And yes, this point is made over and over again in this forum and others...but today I FELT it. And wow, does that feel good.

It makes the whole thing meaningless. It makes the whole thing pointless. It took away ALL of the power the AP had over me - from my own doing.

I'm sure I will have down days again, but this piece is so great. And it was there in front of my face since day one! But...that's not how this stuff works, huh?

And 2Frayed, I soooo LOL'ed when I read, "manipulative bottom feeder". I'm totally taking that.

In my letter to her I called her the piece of sh*% he had to eat in order to survive his time lost in the woods. But I can repeat what you wrote more!

devotedman posted 12/8/2016 06:30 AM

This is me hoping that I'm not talking out of my ass. Well, that and also hoping that I'm not belaboring the blindingly obvious. I have been in the spot that he was, very roughly, back just before and during his A.

The warring factions between self destruction and instinct-to-live take a _huge_ amount of mental resources, at least they did for me. There was little left over for other mental activity like, oh, I dunno, what my actions might do to other people. My personal idea is that the mind's fight for basic survival simply overpowers other social niceties like considering consequences for others. I had a few friends in need at the time (what teen doesn't?), and I responded normally to that, -but- where things involved _me_ I was completely selfish.

You know how stressed folks often seem to try to simplify their immediate lives mentally? Surround themselves with the familiar? Older folks will collect the remembrances of youth in the form of toys or stuffed animals. Sometimes they hoard, often to make up for not having things in childhood. They transfer their emotions to The Hoard and The Hoard is "safe". Not healthy, but safe. Not scary.

For those of us who had an unsafe upbringing that retreat from current pressures back into the realm of the unsafe seems particularly odd to "normals." I don't think that it is so very odd, myself. I've done it, though. Recreating the abuse is a named thing for a reason. And it isn't something that is oh so very rare, either. Recreating the abuse is returning to a time that we knew how to navigate. We survived it. Well, if we're returning to it then we must have survived it, eh? Because there are those who don't.

So recreating the abuse is returning to a time with which we are _familiar_. We know how to navigate it, we understand (sort of) the parameters. The extremity of the day-to-day can be somewhat forgotten about as we move into something more comfortable.

Why not pick a hobby? Why not read a book? Why not seek counseling? Because we, at least in this culture, aren't taught those things as normal responses when we're young. Those aren't the things that were in place when our lives were simpler, when we were just starting out and when those folks that we automatically trust, our parents and close family, were teaching us how to live.

There's more to it than that, too. The abusers (family or not) instilled in us, either over time or all in a bunch, taught us exactly what we were worth. Nothing. Sexual plaything. Less than nothing. Those thoughts hide in the darkness and grow. We don't talk of them because they are uncomfortable. They are scary, they hurt, and they wield the Vorpal blade of snickersnee.

I believe that recreating the abuse is an attempt to simplify things into an environment with which we are familiar. The problem with that is that those abusive conditions, while familiar, while navigable, are not healthy and not always survivable.

I also believe that another facet of recreating the abuse is that people seek out other people and situations, or evidence, that our conclusions are valid. People do that. They surround themselves with like-minded folk, or yes-men, to validate themselves. The abused surround themselves with abusers.

In your case specifically, hopefulkate, Mr. kate tried to turn _you_ into at least the physical image of an abuser. Even if you weren't abusing him you could, to him, at least _look_ like someone who did.

Please don't take offense at this next - it wasn't about you, not at all. It was about _him_. Likely, at least to my mind, it was even lower-down that _that_. It wasn't about _him_ in a normally selfish way (picture a foot-stamping Veruca Salt as normal), but it was about his mind trying to surround him with things that reinforced his beliefs, good or bad.

He couldn't get some of the abusive elements of his childhood from home, so he sought them out elsewhere. It wasn't about "wanting" the abuse like we want a shiny bauble, or a treasured heirloom, or a nifty gadget, it was about "wanting" in an unhealthy, self-destructive way. More a "need" than a "want." A validation that he wasn't crazy.

And since he was, crazy right then, since he was - what form could satisfying that crazy need take but a crazy want?

Hope this helped. It was heck to write.

Now, hopefulkate, a question for you - you talked about being hypersexualized, the both of you.

When does hopefulkate start her journey of figuring out the source of the hypersexual part? Could be a lot of things, head injury, hormone imbalance, abuse.

Don't get so wrapped up in healing him that you leave behind/ignore a hurt you, you know?

fistbump }{

hopefulkate posted 12/8/2016 08:25 AM

Thank you as always, DM. I know that isn't the easiest task to do.

And I will say that when I belonged in the JFO forum, the idea that it wasn't about me was offensive! And as I learned that most WS's are just broken and fixing themselves, I logically got that, but there was still this piece, the part of it where us BS's are completely overlooked, ignored, or...the better words escape me but we all know what that is and feels like. We are important so of course it is about us because they are important to us too.

I suppose now, accepting that it wasn't about me - which I had somewhat done before - the difference is that he wasn't foresaking me - oh I'm doing a horrible job here wordwise - it's sort of like ....

he had this broken leg that was stuck in a vice that he walked around in. And he did everything he could to not think of the pain, until it became so much that he had no choice but to try to make the pain go away without touching the vice. And while he tried to get me to join that 'crazy' party, I refused because I suggested actual medical treatment and would require getting rid of the vice, so he went and found someone/something else that could, in his warped thinking, make the pain go away but leave the vice there. Soon the pain got so big that his brain shut off knowing me and by association, dealing with the vice.

And I could never make the pain go away that way. I'm good, and those ways are bad; to oversimplify.

So I wasn't overlooked, per se, I was purposely not looked to for help because there was nothing I could do for *that* kind of pain, until he was ready to deal with the vice.

It was all about pain management (which includes validation, ego kibbles, distraction, familiarity...all of it is part of that big ball of black pain/shame) that was put there by his years of abuse and abusers.

So, for me, he didnt even know me that last year. It wasn't the part of him married to me that was there most of the time. And when he was there, he was so disgusted with himself, that he didnt think he should be around me and the kids. In fact, in this warped thinkinh, he thought he was saving us...

I remember that period in our lives. It was so dark. I felt like he had mentally checked out of the marriage - I had no idea it was that he checked out of himself. It's helpful now to see what I see now, to know what I know now, and to go back to that time and *FEEL* how he treated me then.

It was the teenager. The one who knows me sometimes, and who doesn't. The teenager doesn't put his hand on the small of my back as I walk in front of him. The teenager doesn't look me in the eye and I just know he is feeling *something*.

But my husband does. And he did those things for nearly two decades until he didn't. He didn't FEEL right to me. So, with my own FOO and rejection issues, it was 'obviously' my fault because I am bad. And when I asked finally if we could go to couple's therapy and he shouted "ITS NOT YOU ITS ME!" but didn't go...I started, at long last, to think about separating. I could not even think or say the D word yet. That would take a year after DDAY to get comfortable saying!!

This path of healing - that we all are on - is not for the weak. So I commend you all!! And I thank you all, because it is also not a path that should be walked alone.

hopefulkate posted 12/9/2016 09:06 AM

Will do on the book list. I need to get the titles from my IC again. I borrowed them.

As for self care - self healing - working on it. Working on challenging all the hate I was given as a child. So hard.

I get it. I really do.

hopefulkate posted 12/13/2016 11:08 AM

DID healing continues...

My H has his abusers in his head as horrid ghost like dementors that torture him in his dreams (AP is one of them). This season has been hard on both of us, and the night terrors are back, so he sleeps less and is more tired during the day - which means those dementors are around during the day. He told me they were really angry at me and were trying to get at me, but were stuck in his head. To which my very scared self puffed up her little chest and shouted "fuck you guys!", you're not even real, you're just figments of his imagination. His fear personified you as he tries to deal with your hurt!!"

I shouted this - that's how scary this moment was for me. Then I took my phone out and played "you'll be ok" by, A Great Big World, and all three H's broke down in tears - finally! And he fell into a long, calm sleep.

The dementors hate me, but I think they are afraid of me now? This is weird, as they aren't different people. They would never get body time. This part is still so new to me that I don't know enough to really speak about it. But challenging it, telling my H how to challenge them seemed to be the answer. Good thing my stress reaction is fight! :)

The next day I was really mad and was just not having any compassion for him. Enough! I'm sad, just let me be sad and get over it! But it doesn't work that way, so he crumbled and disassociated and laid his head down on my shoulder/chest. He could hear my heart. He said his littles flocked to the *left* side of his brain so they could get in and hug my heart.

(NOW HERE IS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE STORIES)

His TEENAGER, the PROTECTOR, took the hand of the child and was HELPING the child.

This is the first time for this dynamic. No small thing!

Next, the teenager asked if he should go away again because he is afraid of me too, and feels like he doesn't have a job anymore. So I told him his new job was to learn how to fight like an adult, and his adult can show him how, but he needs to show the adult courage, and he needs to hold that little kids hand and show him its ok to say no, and show him his power too.

He accepted that as his new job.

**************
Anyway, these are steps towards integration. It's signs of incredible growth, even though there is still a monumental amount of fear, pain, and shame still there.

Our journey continues...

devotedman posted 12/13/2016 11:28 AM

Don't know what to say except I'm impressed again, and Wow! and You've Been Heard.

hopefulkate posted 12/13/2016 13:08 PM

Thanks, DM. Means a lot.

hopefulkate posted 12/16/2016 07:40 AM

I posted this on another site but am curious to anyone's thoughts as well.

Yesterday's counseling session has me feeling a bit...odd. But first, a story.

I shared the DID progression (?) post, so I won't restype that here. But the next day I was feeling better and I asked my H to be my only again. (My brain just said these words. It's like they had their own agenda of getting out!). Anyway, he cried and said that was the nicest thing I had said in two years and desperately wanted to be my only again too. Aww nice moment.

Until the next day when I come to my senses and say, wait! We SAID that before. I believe the words were, "I do." Anger and confusion set in, at the same time my brain reminds me that "I only married a piece of him before. He didn't lie. He just didn't know he was a time bomb." Ok calming down but sadness and hurt remain. So I asked him how it makes any difference what is said?

His response was to draw a picture and said that my words [just go with this for now you skeptics! ] pierced his heart, and since his heart is shared by everyone, they all felt it, and were able to separate. He drew all of himself separated but holding hands. He drew them happy. Then he drew them sad and wrote the words, it will be ok. Meaning, finally, he acknowledged that it is ok to feel sad, and sad doesn't meant the end of the world or deeper feelings all the time.

He says he *feels* like a whole person today, and that breathing *feels* different. That he feels like there are no divider right now and that they are all communicating freely.

*******

ok, so I brought this to counseling and a number of recent journal entries (including a recent discovery that I actually have pity or compassion for the affair partner now - so broken) and she believes that I am out of survival mode. For the first time in my life. (My mom has DID and i "raised" her and my sister). I have been in survival mode -always. And it's exhausting! But, how can one just be in survival mode and then not? How can one say one day they feel separate and the next not? How can anyone say "I do" or "I promise?"

maybe im just seeing reality in that you can't trust anything. (I'm still pretty happy even though this may be the case.) so I wonder if it matters?

I just have NO idea how to not be waiting for some hypothetical pin to drop. I mean, my mom almost burned her house down just weeks ago and my sister was harassed for being gay. (She doesn't even know what she is but 'tis the climate we are in.). So really, does survival mode end?

and there's the knowledge that healing is more of a spiral than a linear line. There will be setbacks. There could be more traumatic events in the future...maybe this just means more letting go of the outcome? I have acceptance this viewpoint with our marriage and it has helped tremendously. Maybe I just need to make that view bigger?

post crack - and getting help - what does another crack look like? The same?

I do know personally one survivor who has fully integrated, but without being in someone else's mind, how can we really know? Looking for patterns and just being in today is enough for now I guess.

I did take the list of abuse from the other post and talk about that too. It felt great to acknowledge my own pain as a secondary survivor. I brought it up to my H as well, just a little and asked if we could talk about it when we return to MC. Just to be aware that I trigger when he reacts a certain way now because I fear the past still. So he can be aware that if I over react to him simply having a bad day, he can reassure me that he's only really mad because it was one of those days where he hit every red light. Normal stuff. Because in all of this is normal stuff too. Lol- I forget that sometimes!

Wodnships posted 12/19/2016 15:41 PM

I haven't been on SI for a while, but I come here today because I'm not sure where else to go.

My wife was molested by her step father. Like so many it played a role in her affair and many of the issues in her life. She spent over 2 years in therapy working on it and things have been much better between us.

She's been really struggling with anxiety lately and one of her brother's has serious physiological issues of his own. Last night we were celebrating "Christmas" and they got in a fight. When he called her a b- she told him that the sounded like his father and that he had to leave becasue she wouldn't allow someone to call her that in her house.

He got upset at being compared to his father and started listing all the things his father did to him and she exploded "Do you want to talk about what he did to me? Do you want to hear about how many times I was raped and molested in that house."

The rest of the evening was chaos as one would expect. Her other brother called his dad (I'm not sure why, but I suspect he was prompted by their mother) and now her stepfather says he's getting a lawyer.

She's upset right now as you would expect, and has called her physicist, but I'm concerned as well. First she's pretty well withdrawing from the rest of the holiday's, which just sucks. It hurts to see her shutting down in that way and it's kind of but a damper on the season for me.

I'm concerned that by lawyer he means he intends to try and sue for slander. We aren't poor, but we aren't wealthy either. Not to mention the emotional strain that will put on my wife.

Finally I worry that she's come so far, and how much this will set her back. I worry if I need to start checking her FB again and that her intense explosions will come back. Or that I will have to live with the constant turmoil she used to create. I'm not sure I can go back that.

I can't talk to her about this, becasue she's going through a lot right now and doesn't need my stuff piling on. This isn't something that I really have a good support system for. I thought I'd reach out here and see what people had to say. At least I'd expect people on this forum to get it.

hopefulkate posted 12/19/2016 21:48 PM

Hi Wodnships, welcome. I'm so sorry to hear about all of that. This time of year can be really hard, especially with all of this.

Was this the first time she said anything about her abuse to anyone? Or, did anyone know of it prior? That would settle my next thoughts:

Regarding the lawyer, I don't really know what can be done regarding slander of something spoken in your own home. Not knowing any more than this post it sounds like a protective reaction, a puffing up of a chest, or the scared criminal talking more than an actual thing that could happen. I don't know, but it seems an unlikely thing to come of this.

As for the rest of the worry, I can only tell you that your feelings are all completely normal, and she may *need* to withdraw a little (or perhaps a lot) for the moment. Did you have plans with your family? Or friends? People outside of her family?
Something you can do JUST FOR YOU right now? This is important, as I'm sure you have learned over the years. Our version, as supporters, of the 180.

She was in therapy for 2 years - what did that look like? What coping mechanisms did she learn? My advice would be to be as open and sensitive as you can right now. That she needs you as a rock for this moment in time. Hopefully she does not crack again - if she did the work she likely won't - but if she does and you are left hurting again, I'm sure you know what your options are.

But that is not something to be concerned with now. Though I completely understand why you are feeling this way too! Think of this as trauma - a little ptsd of your own from the past. You are triggered right now too. But it's ok. You are ok right now too.

This happened yesterday. It is a whole week until christmas - but on the other hand just one week. It will pass, the new year will come, and everyone likes the feeling of a fresh start.

I say hold her hand. Remind her how hard she has already worked, and what she learned back then to keep in the moment. That sure, this tension with her brother is happening right now, but the rest of it isn't. She is safe.

Above all, help her see she is safe.

At least, that's what I would do.

Wodnships posted 12/20/2016 08:37 AM

Thank you hopeless. I am doing everything you said for her. That's part of the reason I came here. Normally I'd post in reconciliation where I'd be told that as the BS I should put my concerns first. In this case, that isn't going to help anyone. I came here to talk about them without adding to her stress.

My wife told me and a couple of close friends about here abuse shortly after the affair. She's talked extensively to her counselor about it. She hasn't talked to her family at all. They aren't exactly a supportive bunch. Or more specifically they will fakes support in public and then shay away. We won't hear from any of them for a month or more now.

Your thoughts about the lawyer are very similar to my initial thoughts. When my wife got the call telling her about I said, "That's exactly what an innocent mind does, runs to a lawyer." obviously sarcasm. The more I think about it the less likely he is to want to go to court. There was a lot of abuse in that house, much of the not sexual abuse was seen by multiple people. I doubt he wants all of that on public record.

The tension with her brother is on-going. He's an extremely smart kid, but he needs help and like so many that need phycological help, he thinks it's the rest of the world that is skewed not him. Until he's willing to recognize the truth it will contenue.

Thank you for pointing out that my feelings are normal. One of the things I struggle with is taking care of myself. In situations like this I feel guilty for having my own feelings, as if my feelings matter less then whatever is going on for others. It really is helpful to hear that I'm not being selfish to feel for me.

I'll try to make some time to get out on my own a bit. It's tough this time of year. Everyone is really busy right now and the holidays can be stressful at the best of times. Not to mention we have birthdays starting in mid-November and going all the way into mid-January. So our "holdays" seem to last an extra month. LOL.

hopefulkate posted 12/20/2016 14:26 PM

So, I can't think of a better example, so I will try to use this delicately.

What if, instead of surviving abuse, she was surviving cancer? Wouldn't you, the spouse, also get support? Wouldn't you, the secondary survivor, also NEED help? Someone to talk to? Some time to just be you and not *the issue*?

Not all SAS's will react the same, so I mean no disrespect here, but there is something to be said about what this type of abuse does to a person. The age, the safety of their home environment, who the abuser was (were)...and sometimes these events have such a HUGE ripple effect across all aspects of that person's life. Remember, the brain on trauma stops in time at that point. The brain comes up with all sorts of ways to survive the INTENSE pain this causes. And during the abuse these ways are helpful. But later, not so much.

My H says the emotional abuse from his mother was the worst of all that he experienced. And, somehow, I get this. (To the extent that I can, anyway.)

So, back to my analogy, a person with cancer has to go through treatment, they have to grieve the life they thought they had or would, they get sick and are not full participants in life...so much to deal with.

Now, as an abuse survivor, you have to grieve many things too - perhaps its acknowledging the abuse happened and any lies you told yourself to make it go away never worked. Perhaps its the loss of idealized parents that will never be. Regardless, there is a large grieving process involved. And as feelings and emotions are stirred up, they get sick. Sometimes physically ill too - but depression CAN BE JUST AS debilitating as anything.

So now let's look at the supporter. For the cancer patient, they are now their health advocate, nurse, therapist, secretary, cook, maid...EVERYTHING.

For the abuse survivor triggered and in a really dark place no one should have to be, the supporter now becomes all of the above too.

Only, these supporters aren't allowed to talk about what they are dealing with. The immense pain they have because they are grieving for the pain caused to their SO, the pain their SO caused them, and for all the slack that we need to pick up when life gets too much.

Her pain is awful. But so is yours. And you have just as much right to health and happiness as she does. And if you commit to helping, remember the key - "It's almost always Airplane rules".

When the oxygen masks drop down on an airplane - put yours on first, then help others. Because if you can't breathe, how can you help anyone else?

It's not completely selfish to take care of you. She needs you to be strong. And that can only be done by seeing you need to breathe too. And that's totally ok.

Wodnships posted 12/20/2016 22:57 PM

Your point is well taken. My wife also has MS, and there are times when I play the role of caretaker and I understand your point well.

My comments were more general. It's something that I struggle with all the time. I can tend to neglect myself for others, and it's something that I try to be mindful of. Your words hit the target to remind me.

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