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Sexual Abuse Survivors/Spouses - Part 3

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hopefulkate posted 3/14/2017 19:39 PM

Hi Crush - welcome!

First - I do want to point out that you are absolutely right - not everyone will act out in the same way from CSA. I like to think of human behaviors as categories. If XYZ happened, at this time in your life, for this long, then these are the likely side effects and can result in these number of behaviors - which can be boiled down to one word like, addiction, obsession, etc...which can then be further categorized into one thing: "PAIN SUPPRESSION".

The key here is that some people are aware of where their pain comes from, and some are not. My husband blocked his for years, but his body remembered and he suffered intense pain for years until the big disclosure of his past. The next day - the pain was gone.

My mom was abused in a lot of ways, her CSA is from her dad - and maybe a brother? - further rape later in life...

Her coping skill is Denial. I have yet to meet anyone better lol! She definitely dissociates, but its not into different parts, per se, maybe like different emotional states. And she has never used drugs or alcohol either. Her thing is spending and people pleasing.

I have many memory gaps that all coincide with either saving people, or saving myself. It's odd - and I have never done drugs either - but I don't have DID. I just have these...moments of extreme emotion that seem to block my consciousness and memory. Others tell me these stories and I'm, I'm cool! hahahaha, well, kinda, but whatever possessed me at that time is the cool one. :)

(I'm totally normal...)

I also CHOSE to use my daydreaming/dissociating ability to sort of coast through life. I would often write stories in my head, choosing to "live" there while dealing with my husband's depression. At the beginning of this- shortly after DDay I thought, I should just do that.

Good news - I can't! (I came close to being able to.) But it is good news...

Dissociation is really more about the subconscious parts of the brain, centering in the imagination center - so, could you put this in a box for a bit? SURE! Will it break open and destroy you all over again? You bet!

As for your memories being locked, my therapist seems to think *something* happened to me, but since I can't remember, and don't tend to think so, exactly, we are simply working on my own feelings of self hate and other messages given to me during my childhood. We could do hypnosis and all that other stuff to unlock them, but it is not necessary. If these memories do surface, and I have done the work to counter the negative self talk and learn things like mindfulness and living with gratitude, then if/when those memories come, I will be more than ready to deal with them - though it may not be fun, obviously.

Hope this helps!

onlytime posted 3/24/2017 16:47 PM

Triggering so badly from a post in General right now. I feel like I can't breathe.


hopefulkate posted 3/24/2017 17:53 PM

Oh no! Going to read it and come back...

This will pass...It is just a moment...a painful one, but fleeting...

Adding now in edit mode:

Ugh....I'm so so sorry. Just remember that you are ok. Right now you are safe.Look around you and to the present test. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you feel and smell? Focus on those things...

[This message edited by hopefulkate at 6:07 PM, March 24th (Friday)]

onlytime posted 3/24/2017 18:53 PM

Thank you for responding so quickly Kate.

It got so bad that I ended up going to BetterFuture13, who was napping with our grandbaby, and I told him about the post and how I was feeling. I had a cry and then snuggled up with the two of them for a bit to calm down.

I responded to the post. I am not sure I should have.

The C-PTSD and BPD have been bad again lately. I have been struggling so bad just to find the will to keep going. It has been incredibly hard regulating my emotions.

I am so close to finally getting into the treatment programs I need (CPT and DBT), but I am still waiting...ugh.

hopefulkate posted 3/24/2017 20:10 PM

Update time:

I don't come here that often anymore. I'm healing and sometimes this site can trigger me or just keep it alive still. But I care about you all very, very much!

My H was recanting the first few months from his perspective the other night after counseling, and it sort of took me aback. He recalled all the things I said and did in those early days....ouch, that was rough! Though I did not apologize for any of my reactions - I had every right to feel how I felt.

However, the interesting piece of this is that he took it all - in such stride too. Every curse, every dig, even a punch when he wouldn't get out of my way - he never fought back, yelled back...defensive sometimes? Sure...but he really did take it all and kept on coming back.

What is different here is that he took it all, but didn't understand why. He didn't do these things, so what is happening, is a thought process that occurred on occassion.

Also interesting, I don't really remember those early days - not in specifics. The feeling? Yes. Details of what I said? Not really. Too much hurt.

Food for thought for all of this anyway.

hopefulkate posted 3/24/2017 20:13 PM

Company came and interrupted, then babies...

So glad you were able to process a bit and have a good cry. I saw your post. Excellent post and needed. I didn't know what to add, so I just opted to not this time.

Hope you are calming - napping with grandbabies sounds wonderful! :)

Skan posted 3/25/2017 13:38 PM

Hey onlytime, how are you doing today? A bit more settled today? Snuggling with grandbaby and hubbie sounded like a REALLY good choice in handling the trigger for you!

onlytime posted 3/26/2017 08:04 AM

Feeling a bit more settled today in regard to that particular trigger, thanks.

Still struggling to find the will to live. Desperate to get treatment going. I just met with a new psychiatrist recently in an attempt to get ECT (yes, that's how desperate I am to feel better, since multiple meds have done nothing for me). He won't be doing ECT, says he believes all of my mental health issues are trauma-based, and referred me for intensive trauma treatment.

Waiting for the phone call to get in. Waiting and waiting and waiting.


Great update, Kate!

I could relate to much of what you wrote.

hopefulkate posted 3/26/2017 10:53 AM

I will try to be back later for more - what about your primary care dr?

Zoloft and Xanax combo worked wonders for me and my regular dr gave them to me.

New note: I was just diagnosed with ADD - started Ritalin as an experiment - WOW! The difference is indescribable. Ritalin works with Zoloft to treat depression too / not sure why yet. Just enjoying and not reading at the moment. Take care and breath! It will be ok!!!!

I remember those earlier days - they are HARD!!! But they pass. Keep that in mind as you are breathing through this.

theakronborg posted 3/28/2017 17:17 PM

I'm back for a little perspective from all of you. For a quick recap:
WH is a CSA survivor. Kept it hidden for 40 years until the day after dday.
He is in IC. As some may recall, this is the IC who recommended that he walk through the experience with me. IC suggested sharing such a powerful moment would bring us closer together. You all gave me the strength to get through it when I didn't think I could hold all that pain as well as my own.
So, fast forward to last night. WH and I had a deep conversation about how I feel he has not been supporting me in my healing. I suggested, for example, that he come on SI to learn more about what I am going through. He tried a while ago, but didn't find it helpful!?! Last night he also shared that his IC actually recommended he NOT come here, because it was too "broad based" and suggested he go to CSA websites.
I don't understand this. From my perspective, it seems both he and IC have determined that all of his problems, including using hookers, are related to the CSA, therefore healing him from that is more important/should come first.
I understand that he needs to heal from the abuse, but his lack of empathy for my pain has become a roadblock for R.
I really wonder if his IC understands infidelity.

Skan posted 3/29/2017 17:15 PM

thea, I think that one thing that you have to remember, is that one's IC acts in what they believe, rightly or wrongly, is in the best interests of their client. In your case, your WH. His IC may not be focused on the infidelity at all. The IC may be only focused on the CSA and working through that, as it were, and might be putting the "infidelity" on a lower priority. So yes, it's very likely and probably that that is exactly what the focus is, of his IC.

Are you getting help IRL at all? It sounds like you could really use an IC of your own, to help you. Yes, your WH should be a lot more present for you, IMO, but perhaps it would help you a lot more if you had an IC of your own to support you.

theakronborg posted 3/29/2017 18:01 PM

Thanks Skan
What you say makes a lot of sense. I truly am glad for WH that he finally confronting the CSA and on the road to healing.
I guess I was hoping that his IC would also take him beyond the abuse itself towards seeing how it impacts his relationship with me, beyond the actual sex aspect. Also, taking a look at how his other FOO patterns impact his relationship. For example, he has never been very engaged in our lives. I am sure this is part of his fear stemming from the CSA, but I am also sure that this is a pattern he learned from his own parents. (no judgment, it's not bad or good, just a very different pattern than what I grew up with.) Maybe I just have to give it time for the IC to get there. But my impression so far (after 4 months of IC) is that WH and IC put all of the blame for the infidelity on the CSA - so that's that, end of story, no need to go any further.
Even if they do intend to go further, a"one before the other" approach leaves feeling alone in my healing, while also justifying WH's lack of action towards helping me. I feel like I don't matter to his IC at all. (At one point, IC even suggested he was improperly trying to "rescue" me - huh?)Maybe I shouldn't matter directly, but that seems rather myopic to me. And not entirely in WH's best interests. WH clearly wants to R, so shouldn't IC include giving him the tools to do that? I know, I can't and shouldn't interefere with the IC/WH relationship. But sometimes I wonder if maybe a different IC would be appropriate.

I am in IC, and it has helped tremendously. I feel so much better since I started about 6 weeks ago. I finally have someone IRL who is helping me.

hopefulkate posted 3/29/2017 21:29 PM

Thea, wow I remember those early days! They are hard!!

Is his IC family therapist or just individual? Makes a difference when it comes to dealing with infidelity. From a clinical standpoint, it makes sense to deal with the abuse first, because then it will be used to understand the affair - the why you want and need to hear. Unfortunately, this takes time to unravel. Two years later and we are still sorting through some parts.

Skan is right in that his IC is looking out for him. Ask him if you leaving would be good for him. And If the answer is no, then tell him he needs to work with his counselor on some coping mechanisms for RIGHT NOW, for how to comfort his wife - a secondary survivor to his abuse - because his first priority is helping you, and second fixing his shit. Of course, soon this will need to switch to his priority being his health, and then the marriage; while you work on you and then the marriage.

And within reason, whatever you feel you need from him in order to heal, should be given.

I get the emotional lack of ability here - but this will grow over time too with counseling. What other things can he do for you when you are upset besides talk feelings? Back massage, make tea?

I feel like I wrote your post several times over in the beginning. If he is serious about help and change, and you can find patience to wait, he will be able to give you what you need.

Edited to add: our IC's talk to each other to make sure they get a full picture and he can help me. I was going to leave at several points. This helped beyond words.

[This message edited by hopefulkate at 9:32 PM, March 29th (Wednesday)]

theakronborg posted 3/29/2017 23:37 PM

Thanks Kate. Helpful as always.

At this point, I have accepted that he can't help me heal. As in, just has no idea how to do it. And no one is guiding him, nor is he seeking guidance. I've taken charge of my own healing, which BS should do anyway, IMO. I feel like I don't NEED his help, I would LIKE his help.

Maybe I just need to be more patient. I am taking care of myself and he is taking care of himself, and I guess that is where we need to be right now. Intellectually I understand the clinical viewpoint - deal with the abuse first. Emotionally, I feel left out and unimportant.

I think my impatience comes from a sense of having already waited so long for a better marriage. I was ready to walk out last year because of his lack of engagement, etc. I had been unhappy for a number of years before I finally figured out why I was unhappy and decided to do something about it. I just feel as if I've been waiting a long time for a real M.

hopefulkate posted 3/30/2017 09:41 AM

honestly, i wish we were closer. That is my story, practically verbatim. Waiting, and still waiting as he heals and right now if back in depression mode - is HARD.

In between we have had amazing times, so i hold onto hope that in the end, that is what i get.

Right now I am researching caregiver fatigue. I think I need to do more for me right now and try really, really hard not to take his depression and withdrawing as rejection of me. I can only do this with constant self talk as i can rabbit hole like the best of 'em.

My IC said that it likely takes longer for the BS to heal in our situations because our spouse can not give us what we want and need in year one. Instead we will have to wait for them to be able to a)articulate this and b)process their own guilt and shame enough to be able to have these conversations.

It sucks. It's hard. It's NOT FAIR! But...they really are processing a lot too. I am far enough along to see this and am trying to be patient. His depression sends me right back to those bad days where I was ready walk too.

No judgment from me if you choose to walk! I don't think I would be happy years from now if I did leave, so I stay. I only have so much in me though. ((Thea))

derealizingMe posted 3/30/2017 21:45 PM

Hey everyone, just poppin in to let you all know I havent fallen off the face of the Earth and I do stop in and read a thread here and there.

Hopefulkate - lovin the new name! Skan, the posts from you and kate are always food for my soul (even the hard to swallow ones). Saw some new names and posts, too :)

I'm still trying to find the balance of self healing and making sure I am there for H and doing for H. One of kate's posts really resonated with me (an electronic slap in the face, so to say). I started with good intentions, but have found myself withdrawing more and more for various reasons -I'm thinking the new med has been counterproductive.

Still working the IC and EMDR w/hypnosis. I have tried a couple of different meds for depression and anxiety but I do not do well with them. The most recent was generic Cymbalta but the longer I was on it the worse the side effects became.

ps just started watching Brene Brown videos - ouch.

Skan posted 4/1/2017 12:47 PM

I hope that you continue to try meds until you can find the correct combo with your doctor. I can't even think of how frustrating that must be, to pin your hopes on a med and then not be able to take it because of the side effects.

Have you talked to your H about the withdrawal? Because it's real easy to think, when you're on the other side, that the withdrawal is from the other spouse and not because of medical/mental issues or pressures. FWH and I are both withdrawers. We fade away when we're stressed, tired, and so forth. And that can cause the other person to start feeling like they are being ignored, or that a wall is going up. We've made it a safe thing for either of us to say that we want to "Bear Up" which is our code for going into our cave and just being "alone" for a while. Mind you, we can both Bear Up while sitting on the couch next to each other, as he plays his computer game and I'm on SI or reading a book. But it's our code to let the other person know that the withdrawal isn't because of them, but because we need some mental alone time.

derealizingMe posted 4/2/2017 13:50 PM

I've tried to engage in conversation and keep him informed. I've been really confused from the side effects, the therapy, reading posts on the forum, and my H's anger. Well, I'm not confused by H's anger, but rather finding an acceptable balance to be able to talk with him and acknowledge H and his feelings while working on myself as well.

The longer I was taking this last med, the more depressed and irritable I was getting. The only perk was that it really did help me with the nerve pain in my neck/shoulders that I have been dealing with for decades. When I looked it up to see how common it was to become more depressed, I was shocked to see how common with that particular med it was! Now, I am dealing with "discontinuation syndrome" which is not a picnic either. Hell, I didnt think I was even on the meds long enough to have to deal with that crap- was I wrong!!

I am going to ask my IC if we can do a session w/H since I am finding myself withdrawing and putting up walls on purpose. I told my H before any of this, when I started to open up about my exH and some of the shit he'd do to scare me or humiliate me, etc, that his driving is a trigger at times and it wasn't personal. But now, I cant help but to wonder if he chooses to drive aggressively to set me off because he doesnt stop when I ask him to (hmmmmmm, this is really starting to sound like deja vu!!!!!) I've made the decision to drive myself from now on or make other arrangements if need be.

I dont think he will do IC for himself, so MC may be the only helpline he has. I no longer feel safe - I dont mean that I am afraid he will beat me, but that he will take information that I share with him and use it to my disadvantage. Does that make sense?

PS I've been honest with him. He still has full access to everything, and dont know or care if he is 'checking up' on me because I'm not doing anything questionable.

Skan posted 4/5/2017 18:08 PM

Well, I made the always Oh So Great choice to pain shop today, with the resulting splintering and feelings of being the invisible person in the photo.

My Uncle R came to visit my Dad, and my Dad (bio dad) had an appointment in town today (he lives about 1.5 hrs away in a small town) for a checkup. A couple of weeks ago, my Ĺ sister (21 years younger than me) texted my full little sister and me to see if we could all get together for brunch after the appointment. Let the mind games begin.

1. My UncleR is the All Guy Uncle that biosis and I loved as children. Heís also the person that The Boy alter models himself after.
2. Ĺ sis is the apple of BioDads eye. I was never in the running for being a loved child, but Ĺ sis de-throned biosis as the favorite. So there is always a subtle competition that I am totally outside of, being a non-person in biodadís eye and sort of a non-entity in Ĺ sisís eyes. So most of the time, I get to listen to BioDad sing 1/2sisís praises, how involved he is with his grandkids, what new car/house/vacation/etc that he has showered her with, blah blah blah.
3. Que the internal argument of Fuck That Guy, Want to See UncleR, Maybe They Will Love Me This Time, Everyone Just Shut Up, more blah blah blah.

I decide to go, but to leave my options open by meeting up with them and taking my own car. Surprisingly, it starts off very well. I got there after everyone, and a seat is actually left open for me next to Biodad. No one gets up to actually greet me, of course, but thatís expected. The conversation is good, food OK, and we all decide to go to show UncleR the ocean so at least he can say he saw it, before he eventually goes home.

That goes pretty well too. Iím actually able to have some short conversations with UncleR about what weíer seeing, and reconnect a bit. I start to remember the loving man that he is and was. BioDad is pretty crippled up these days, and once it becomes evident that he is starting to tire, we decide to get me back to my car so that the rest of them can drop biosis at her house, and then head back to biodadís home. SO we head back in the car to the parking lot.

Where, essentially, my biosis who is driving (she is an Uber driver part time so she drives a lot when they are all together in this bigger city) pulls into, not the empty parking lot that I am in, but into a busy in and out pull through, so instead of being able to say proper goodbyes and actually have a moment to hug the Uncle that I will probably not see in another 10+ years, I am, essentially, tossed out like yesterdayís unwanted trash, and they drive off. Abandoned by the side of the road, again. While they, no doubt, head to biosis home, sit for an hour and talk, and then head down the road to biodadís place. Which is the MO for the few times that I actually know when any of them are in town and meet up, other than Facebook posts.

I did this to myself. We did this to ourselves. Let down the guard and were reminded, again, that ďIĒ am not more than a casual acquaintance. No one asked about me. No one caught up with what Iím doing. At least this time I wasnít expected to foot the bill for being butt fucked. When will I ever learn? Damn that poor little girl inside that needs to believe that at some point, she will count to them. Damn her and tears for her. The tears just keep rolling down from a deep, dark closet. When am I ever going to learn?

hopefulkate posted 4/6/2017 09:52 AM

Oh Skan, I know this pain too well!!

Hoping the new day has brought clarity into the quality of the people part of you wants to be approved of - which sounds like nothing but trash!

It is very easy to go back to that thinking when contacted by these family members. Can you block them? Make the choice to leave them?

That helped me. Not 100% because what I WANT is their approval. I won't get it. So I decided they suck and are stupid and I am awesome and hit block. Felt good.

But ugh for those feelings....

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