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Sexual Abuse Survivors/Spouses - Part 3

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Skan posted 1/23/2017 19:26 PM

Well, FWIW I agree with you 100%. I refuse to read that person's postings because my instincts are to go all postal on his ass. However, if you really are worried about what the moderators might think, I urge you to PM one of the Wayward experienced ones and let them know what happened, give them the name of the author of the post and the name of the post, and let them decide if something needs to be taken down OR if the author needs to be called on his poop. I've always found it better to reach out to the moderators than have them reach out to me, if you know what I mean!

theakronborg posted 1/26/2017 16:28 PM

Seeking some advice and input from all of you.
As background, we were already in MC because about a year ago, I realized I was just not getting what I needed from this M. It always felt like WH was holding himself back from me and that we didn't really share a life, just a house and kids. I felt really disconnected and alone and had already lost a lot of the loving feelings for him.

I learned just after DDay that WH is a victim of CSA (age 7, I think one or two times with a family member). Prior to DDay, he had kept what happened a secret for decades. He is in IC and we go to MC.
I know he regrets his infidelity (escorts/massage parlors) and he says he wants to work on us. This week I raised a concern that he was not giving "us" his all. He responded that he "has a lot to do to heal himself" from the abuse, in addition to the work he needs to do to heal the M. (I expect there is a lot of overlap.) I realize he has a double burden, but what does this mean? Does this mean he needs to heal from the trauma first so he can be "all in" for the M? Because him being partly in is not working for me. I want to be understanding but at the same time, part of me is asking how much longer do I have to wait for this whole person I've been promised?

YouMeI posted 1/26/2017 20:44 PM

This week I raised a concern that he was not giving "us" his all. He responded that he "has a lot to do to heal himself" from the abuse, in addition to the work he needs to do to heal the M. (I expect there is a lot of overlap.) I realize he has a double burden, but what does this mean? Does this mean he needs to heal from the trauma first so he can be "all in" for the M? Because him being partly in is not working for me. I want to be understanding but at the same time, part of me is asking how much longer do I have to wait for this whole person I've been promised?

This is tricky. As a WS who has suffered CSA and knows what host of issues this brings with it I will say this.

The 2 of you are in a relationship [obviously]...

Where he is the cause of your pain and you are not the cause of his.

After DD for me is when my wife also found out about my CSA. And while I wanted ALL of her support she just wasn't available...through 0 fault of her own.

So after surpressing my childhood issues down for 3 decades I had to do it again. And it was hard sometimes but is 100% what was needed. And I did this for I would guess 3 to 4 months.

Even almost 2 years later its hard to work on these things [The A and CSA] at the same time. But right after DD? I don't want to say impossible but I know I couldn't have stood there and been as strong as I needed to be for her otherwise.

He needs to get you to a place of strength before you can help him get to his.

Now this isn't to say in that 3-4 month period my stuff never came up. She certainly let me vent. But he needs to be in therapy for himself and work on taking care of you for now.

And that 3-4 month timeline is just a timeline we used naturally. Your might be 1 month or 1 year.

CSA is betrayal he knows how that feels. A is most certainly betrayal. But the A is happening right now. That fire needs to be slowed down before you can start putting out other fires.

theakronborg posted 1/27/2017 12:19 PM

Thank you so much. This gives me a good perspective. It is so painful for me to see him processing this trauma and just not having the resources to help him Like your wife, I only found out after DDay (same weekend).

He had an IC session last night and now wants to talk about the session and in particular going through the abuse. He expects to "cry inconsolably." I feel like such a beast because a big part of me just doesn't want to hear it. It seems like one of us has to suppress the pain in order to help the other, and I'm just not sure I can. But I probably will try, because I just don't have the heart to tell him that I don't really want to hear it right now.

hopefulkate posted 1/27/2017 17:19 PM

This is the hardest part at times, I think. Days when we can be there for the other and put our stuff aside are survivable, but when we both need that compassion at the same time, and the other just doesn't have it...those are hard times.

Take care, with time, this balance gets easier and takes on a more natural flow.

What helped me to find compassion early on was to read about trauma, and how his brain was functioning- both in the past, and during the A. It would help me to make sense of the A the more he talked about how he felt about his past.

You are pretty early on yet, so hang in there if you can. It does get easier, and he will - if he is doing the work and willing - will be more available to you.

I remember the first two counselors we had told me in the beginning that the things I needed, the things I wanted in order to heal from the A, were not available to him then. That he would be able to give them to me in time, if I could be patient. I honestly did not know what that meant at the time (I do now), nor did I think it would take so long. I think there is still a little more I need...but I can feel it coming. I do have almost everything I need now. I was patient.


(lol...see how patient in my posts! )

2frayedsouls posted 1/27/2017 18:08 PM

What helped me to find compassion early on was to read about trauma, and how his brain was functioning- both in the past, and during the A. It would help me to make sense of the A the more he talked about how he felt about his past.

This helped too. I found out a few days after dday. I read
everything I could find on the effects of the abuse. Helped me get his actions on an intellectual level. I am still working on bringing my own emotions and the trauma he transferred to me and accepting it all.

I also focused on my son. He was roughly the same age at dday as my husband was during the abuse. I could look at him and see so much of my husband in him...and that helped my compassion quotient exponentially. I almost separated
Him into two people in my brain...husband hurting child, and husband bringer of devastation. I could shut down one while dealing with the other.

theakronborg posted 1/27/2017 18:48 PM

I read
everything I could find on the effects of the abuse. Helped me get his actions on an intellectual level. I am still working on bringing my own emotions and the trauma he transferred to me and accepting it all.

I think I am there on the intellectual level. But my intellect and the compassion in my heart are at war with the intense pain from the betrayal.

You are pretty early on yet, so hang in there if you can. It does get easier, and he will - if he is doing the work and willing - will be more available to you.

I remember the first two counselors we had told me in the beginning that the things I needed, the things I wanted in order to heal from the A, were not available to him then. That he would be able to give them to me in time, if I could be patient.

Patience is tough for me. I think that is partly because I feel as if I have been waiting for him to heal for our entire marriage (I just didn't know why or what from.) He was never "all there" in the M. I was pretty much done about a year ago, which led to MC, which was followed by one more hookup, and then DDay.

I think lately I've just been in a place where everything he says sounds like an excuse. And maybe part of me doesn't want to stop being angry. Like if I give in to the compassion, does that mean what he did was ok. Of course not, but maybe that is part of what is holding me back from showing the compassion that he deserves.


I almost separated
Him into two people in my brain...husband hurting child, and husband bringer of devastation. I could shut down one while dealing with the other.
I will try this. We are supposed to talk tonight. I hereby give myself permission to be compassionate for one night, if not for WH, for his 7 year old self who did nothing wrong and was so horribly hurt.

Thanks for the caring. Hope you all have a good weekend.

2frayedsouls posted 1/28/2017 10:51 AM

Thea....thinking about you today. I hope your talk went well last night. For my husband, once he let the dam crack it slowly crumbled and sometimes poured out for weeks. Between the two of us I should have bought stock in Kleenex.

My mantra became what I learned here...hurt people hurt people. (I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that I evilly muttered it too myself when I had fantasies of smothering him with his pillow while he slept like a baby next to me when I was wide awake and tortured during the night.)

As Kate and YouMeI can attest it does get easier after you both do some trauma work. That said, you will always find support here if you end up deciding that you cannot wait upon him to be all in or if he isn't willing/able to do the work to be safe. I really struggled with that. I felt like leaving would be abandoning that hurt little boy. I didn't break him, but felt an overwhelming responsibility to help him heal. Now that he has been in IC for months he is taking charge of his own healing, and has been able to offer me a lot more support. (Not without hiccups and a few major "I can't do that this!" meltdowns on my part.) But each blowup was followed by a step forward or greater understanding in our case so I guess they had their purpose. Regardless, we are here for you.

[This message edited by 2frayedsouls at 11:17 AM, January 28th (Saturday)]

theakronborg posted 1/29/2017 17:46 PM

Thank you 2frayed. And everyone here.

Friday night we had our talk. He walked himself through his remembered experience. It was painful, and he cried. He "let the little boy go play" and told him that he didn't have to take care of WH any more. It was moving. I held him and let him cry.
Then he turned to me and told me the 7 year old was not in charge any more and that he was working on healing.
Looking back, I wish I had kept my mouth shut (as it had been up to this point.) But I just "had" to give voice to my concern that it sounded a little like he was putting the blame of the infidelity on the shoulders of the 7 year old. Like grown-up WH wasn't the one responsible. He seemed to understand, and said "I messed up. I made the mistake, but the 7 year old me isn't the one in charge anymore and I won't do that again."
Then we got into a discussion of whether it was really a separate 7-year old self, or whether it was skills he developed when he was 7 to cope with the trauma which he was still using 40 some years later. My point of view is that it is those skills that need to be improved, regardless of "who" is in charge.
That lead to his response of "thinking about it that way does not help me with my healing." Which I guess circles back right to my concern about trying to do both types of healing at the same time. I feel like such a monster because part of me feels as if he is being self-centered, focusing on his own needs without considering mine at all. I am so torn because intellectually, I recognize that he probably needs to be self-centered to heal properly. But I still need him to acknowledge that I have needs right now too. Focusing on himself makes me feel like I'm not important and that he isn't going to be there for me. Saying that to him seems really selfish on my part.
There are just so many moving parts to this whole situation!
Anyway, I thought the talk went pretty well and that I was able to be there for him, at least through the heaviest parts. But I got a sense from him that I let him down somehow. I am not sure what he expected and I asked him, but he couldn't say either, other than to say that sharing something like that would bring us closer. Well, yes, sharing our deepest thoughts is a way for us to be closer in ways that we never were before. Maybe he thought I would break down and feel so much compassion that my love for him would come flooding back. I did tell him I was glad that he felt safe enough with me to share something so painful. I think it will be a long time before I feel that kind of safety with him.
I do so want to help that little boy. I hope I was able to convey that to him. You all gave me the support and words I needed to be able to do that.

Skan posted 2/3/2017 14:48 PM

Thea, it was great that you were able to let him get it all out. That was really courageous and compassionate of you. But please do not for one moment think that it's being selfish to need acknowledgement that YOU are hurt, YOU are hurting, and HE is the one that hurt you. That's a fact, a very truthful fact. Yes, he needs to heal himself and go deeply inside of himself to become mentally better, but YOU have needs too and he needs to admit that, own it, and act on it.

Quite frankly I get the impression that he thought that this conversation would "top" your pain, would make his needs more important than yours. And that's a way of minimizing the effects of his infidelity to you. Not OK. At all. This conversation may have led to a lot more understanding on your part of what's ticking in him, and it may make it easier to deal with and discuss his therapy, but it does not give him a "pass" on becoming a safe person for you to be with. If he can't commit to that, to working on being a safe partner for you, then that's that. You cannot and should not stay with anyone who is not capable of being a safe partner.

Look, my FWH had major clinical depression when our DDay hit. Took him over 4 months until his meds truly kicked in. But he made it his job to work very hard with IC to start proving that he could be a safe partner for me. He did a lot of things wrong, and he made some truly stupid decisions, but it was his stated goal, and one that he showed me actions on, to become someone who I could stay married to. With my splintering, it's wasn't exactly a walk in the park, if you know what I mean. Yeah, he had his own healing that he had to do, to fight to get himself stabilized. But there was never any question that he concurrently had to fight for me.

So, in a very long-winded way (as usual ) I'm saying, you need to take YOUR needs seriously, and he needs to keep holding his feet to the fire to help you. Note I said that HE needs to hold HIS feet to the fire, to help you. If he can't give you what you need to be safe, then no matter what his issues are, his history has been, you need to do what's best for you. Your healing is just as important as his in the grand scheme of things. And he either commits to doing what's necessary to help you, or you need to do what's best for yourself. That's not selfish. That's healthy self-love on your part.

2frayedsouls posted 2/4/2017 09:08 AM

Thea....everything Skan said with a big fat AMEN!

hopefulkate posted 2/20/2017 20:19 PM

First - bump! How is everyone?

Second - any DID peeps ever lose one of themselves? Just curious. No reason. Really.

Currently, my WH has lost his child self. I have some theories...the last time he went missing the others went looking for him...A town...

Now, I don't fear this happening again, and the way I see it, it's all completely different now and different reasons for the probable temporary loss. I'm just curious if others have had a similar experience. He doesn't feel whole...

devotedman posted 2/21/2017 09:08 AM

fist bump }{

Not DID - could the child self have simply been reintegrated? I dunno how that works exactly.

hopefulkate posted 2/21/2017 11:21 AM

Thanks DM. That's my current working theory, but as this part of the adventure is new and foreign to me, I was hoping someone may have experienced this part before?

Skan posted 2/23/2017 20:00 PM

Sounds like re-integration. Or maybe the child has buried himself very deeply, gone to sleep if you will, because he's not exactly needed anymore? Which I consider to be one step away from re-integration.

Two of my alters were very deeply buried until after DDay. Traces of them were there but "they" were not. It was shocking to me/us when they came roaring out. And now, I find that they are much less present than they were. Still awake, but with less need for facetime. Well, except for driving. The Boy still likes to drive!

hopefulkate posted 2/23/2017 20:05 PM

So, the child is existing simultaneously at the moment - so YouMeI was happy to hear I had spoken with him (though he didn't remember).

An unfortunate - but long term fortunate thing happened. His counselor admitted to mine that she was in over her head with him and couldn't help him the way he needed to be helped. My counselor told her that the only right thing to do would be to stop treating him and send him to someone who specializes in DID (and fortunately there is a leader in the field nearby that she knows).

As I'm sure you can imagine, having the comfort and safety of your counselor taken from you can be frightening and traumatic in and of itself. He looked broken from it...though I know he will pick himself back up. But my heart broke for him. He is in a very dark place at the moment, but STILL made the call to make the appointment when the kid kept saying, (literally out loud), "I don't want to go" over and over...

Looking forward I am excited. I have read so much on this subject and am excited to finally see him get some tools to use! Even I was getting frustrated with his counselor - who was kind and nurturing, and I absolutely believe served a purpose - but admitted that I knew more about this than she did.

And my counselor pointed out to me, that *that*, not the affair, is what holds me back at times. That I am forced to play counselor because his wasn't able to.

So...I'm going to say something I didn't think I would say. If I can find my wallet some time soon (I'm on the couch and too comfy to get up)...I think it's time I changed my name on here. Because this guy...this is the guy. And I *KNOW* I'm about to get my husband back.

And so please, call me hopefulkate.

Skan posted 2/24/2017 19:58 PM

I'm hopeful for you too, Kate!

Hey, that's really wonderful news! You know, many people come into and out of our lives for reasons. Sometimes it's to teach us something that we need to know, or open ourselves to something that we need at the time. And IMO, once you've learned that lesson, that thing that you needed to know, then quite often you have to move on, and that person may leave your life. Say goodbye to them with both sadness for their leaving and gratitude for that which they have brought to you, and look forward to the next person who will walk your path with you for a while.

I'm filled with hope for you AND YouMe!

devotedman posted 2/24/2017 20:14 PM

You go, girl!

Crush13 posted 3/13/2017 14:31 PM

Hi. I'm a regular poster on the other forums but this is my first time on here. I was wondering if anyone else has repressed their traumatic memories of CSA like I have. I know they happened. But it's like it happened to someone else when I try and access those thoughts. And so despite the trauma i suffered I I have never 'thought' about what happened to me as such. Or more in abstract.I did a lot in my teens but not after that. can anyone relate? It's hard to explain. What I feel now is that I COULD easily do the same with the trauma of WHs affair if I'm not careful. I found out in a horrible way- I heard them have sex when he called me by accident- that was trauma enough let alone the rest of the A. We are 5 months out. I think I probably have codependency issues. He has FOO and abandonment issues. Despite my past I am the most optimistic, trusting (ha) and positive person. When I read about victims of CSA I can't relate to them. I feel like a victim outcast if that makes any sense. People are quick to judge that we must all go off the rails, turns to drugs etc that wasn't the case for me (and many others) but back to the A- yep I think I'm repressing the trauma. I'm in IC. We talk about the A but not the CSA. Anyone out there know what I'm going on about?

deephurt posted 3/14/2017 12:55 PM

Crush, I can relate to this to some extent. I spoke to my IC about this as I suffered years of CSA when I was little and other CSA in pre-teen and teen years from different people. I blocked the CSA completely from my memory of the original CSA. When I was about 18, I drove past the building where most of it happened and the memories came flooding back. The memories came flooding back but I didn't feel it. It was like I was watching a movie that I was in. I never felt it.

Years later, after giving birth, those memories really invaded my life. Doctor said its normal after giving birth as during birth, your body remembers everything. So I went to IC. Not much happened during this IC.....I don't find anything there was really helpful and the problems I had continued to bother me sexually...ie freezing when touched, tensing up etc...having to concentrate to relax. The actual visualization of the memories though, remained like watching a movie and they were spotty. I remember bits and pieces to this day.

IC told me that I have some dissociative traits that are different to my WH dissociative traits-he also suffered CSA....one incident that he remembers but she believes there were more.
For me, I blocked and most of it is still blocked. For WH, he put it in a box and left it there after remembering (previously blocked) and went on to have anxiety, wrong meds that made anxiety worse and said he felt like he was a different person when he left the house and was in the A. IC said it was a different type of disassociation than me.

This other life he felt like he had seems to be gone now though and I don't really know if DDay made the difference or I am still living a lie.

I sometimes feel like being able to block out the A would be better for me but it seems like for me, I will be constantly trying to put the damn
A in a box and only take it out once in a while but will never be able to. It isn't on my mind as much anymore but it remains there everyday.

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