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Sexual Abuse Survivors/Spouses - Part 3

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hopefulkate posted 4/6/2017 09:52 AM

also, can you just contact that uncle and make a visit?

Skan posted 4/6/2017 13:43 PM

Thanks a lot, Kate. Things are better today. I've regained my equilibrium.

Most of the time I do simply ignore them or regard them as somewhat annoying work acquaintances that I have to put with every so often. Most of the time I can sit back and watch the interplay as an impartial observer. But this Uncle lives on the other side of the US from me, so seeing him was a big deal. Going to see him isn't an option because he married a woman who is a toad. There is no alone time with him; she is there to make sure that she is the center of all drama and worship.

I simply let down my guard and was reminded, again, that I cannot do that. Ever. Back to avoidance. I don't actually "need" any of them. They are not important to my life.

YouMeI posted 4/7/2017 19:16 PM

This is all BS. It is complicated it is lonely as hell and I don't understand it!!! ITS NOT FAIR!!!!

I am 3 people I am 5 people or wait!!!! am I 6 PEOPLE!?!?!?!

I can't tell people who I am or what I am.

You can't just casually say "hey family members abused me so my crazy brain did this awesome thing where it invented the ability to detach my body so I wouldn't have to "experience" the abuse so now I have multiple "me's".....so next time I meet you I might not be "me" so if I don't remember anything about you don't feel bad. I don't really know anything about me either. Lifes crazy huh"

Now my teen goes to therapy...then I the adult don't remember the session as early as the next morning!! What the heck is that????

I WAS TALKING...yet not there...sweet.

My kids gone ..yup gone...he gave up on me??

I don't know...Have you realized how much none of this makes sense...That's my head. All day... searching for a kid...who is me!!!in my own damn brain.

I walk around all day at best 2/3rd of the person I was...but I don't really know what that person was any way.

People have called me strong...people have called me resilient...I am really just a robot built by some evil sick people with a computer glitch that bounces around from program to program and where it lands I do not know.

I am down a program

Signed

YouMe

Skan posted 4/7/2017 20:42 PM

Fucking crazy making, isn't it YouMe. There's nothing fair about it. As Funnelcakes says, sometimes Fair is just a place that you go to get deep fried crap. With an olive on it. {rueful smile}

SorrowfulSoul posted 4/8/2017 18:49 PM

YouMe - I feel like I can so relate to what you are saying, even though I have never been diagnosed as DID or even tested. My poor memory, that I have recently being posting about, could also be a case of which identity was doing what at the time.

Years ago, I mean many, many years ago, my BH said that sometimes my whole personality changed when the sun went down. That I became a different person. Not a nice person either.

It may be as suggested that your child has integrated and only the teenager and adult remain able to pull out separately. Perhaps easiest for the child to integrate as the child may accept help and love from others whereas the teenager has a built in rebelliousness as only teenagers can and the adult is working to remain in control.

The brain works in so many mysterious ways, the more I read and understand about the brain rewiring or creating different pathways to deal with what it is facing, the easier it seems to be to understand how we help ourselves face what we perhaps couldn't face. (if that makes any sense)

Keep on keeping on. You may not be missing a program, your 2/3's might be the whole you with the child snuggled up inside.

hopefulkate posted 4/18/2017 14:59 PM

Not to take anything away from youmei's post, but because both sides are represented here, a little nod to us supporters who sit on the sidelines while our survivor struggles to do just that. It's hard.

It's hard to heal, and it's hard to watch someone you love heal; especially because some of these steps we take to get through it are full of painful memories, overwhelming emotions, and dark, dark thoughts. And we, the supporters, we see it. Sometimes we have them too...

But what is amazing is that as both parties struggle through this - both healing from the A or the past or both - what is amazing, is the amount of strength we all possess; especially when you don't feel strong at all. The amount of grace and love here is something to marvel at.

Just sayin...

theakronborg posted 4/18/2017 15:43 PM

Kate, your post made me teary. I am not at all sure I have the grace and love to support WH and watch him heal.
He is starting to do more now (he just started "Body Keeps the Score") on his own. That is a positive sign. And he's sharing it with me and relating it to himself. More positive.
I'm just wondering if there has been too much damage from living with this broken person for so many years. The love has been lost. It seems like such a risk to stay and watch in the hopes that he turns into someone I will love.

Knowing what a challenge it is to sit on the sidelines, I join you in applauding those supporters who make the choice to do so. Such grace and strength is inspiring.

devotedman posted 4/19/2017 17:25 PM

This Mod Approved link is particularly apt right about now...

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/08/on-marrying-a-survivor-of-childhood-sexual-abuse/278967/

theakronborg posted 4/19/2017 22:04 PM

Thanks DM. I've read that before, but it was good to read it again.
I can't help but feel like I've abandoned WH as he heals. Here he is going through what is probably the most difficult time in his adult life and I am really not there to provide support. Not only is he finally confronting the trauma of abuse, but he is also dealing with his father, who is in hospice care with late-stage dementia. Oh, gee, I almost forgot - he's also a WS dealing with the fallout from his confession, and very much afraid he will lose his M. So I really do have a lot of empathy for him on an intellectual level (is that a contradiction?). But that is about as far as I can go right now.

[This message edited by theakronborg at 10:26 PM, April 19th (Wednesday)]

Adlham posted 4/19/2017 23:36 PM

That was a good article. So very sad.
Honest to god, people who sexually abuse children should be skinned alive.
Obviously I'm a CSA survivor with that statement.
I'm usually ok with it all. I've long since come to terms with it in a way that allows me to keep moving forward with mostly healthy boundaries. My abuser suffered a traumatic brain injury 25 years ago and can no longer 'perform' and watching him suffer has been extremely satisfying. So much better than him just being dead.
But that one thread in JFO is killing me right now. How the dad is not in jail for killing his ww & posom is amazing to me. But then again, I have very strong feelings about the subject.
The other super fucked up thing that happened today was that I went to my youngest daughter's parent teacher conference. Her teacher and I went to school together, it's a very small town so of course, everyone knows your shit. DD has been reading 13 reasons why and her teacher wanted to make sure I knew the subject matter (teen suicide).
I said I did, that I read the book, and that we talk about a lot of different things. Then I said that I didn't have a very nice childhood and the teacher just nodded and said yeah.
I fucking hate that shit. So I guess I can look forward to a long night of fucking night terrors because I'm triggering like crazy and I'm so upset that I've gone numb because disassociation is my goto coping mechanism that gets back at me when I'm trying to sleep.
Thank you for letting me rant.

onlytime posted 4/20/2017 08:56 AM

But what is amazing is that as both parties struggle through this - both healing from the A or the past or both - what is amazing, is the amount of strength we all possess; especially when you don't feel strong at all. The amount of grace and love here is something to marvel at.

Agreed!

hopefulkate posted 4/20/2017 13:25 PM

I know that this couch moment will pass, that it will never be as bad as those first early and uncertain days. I am grateful that “I” is now a solid community of “we” because now, most nights, instead of waking to sounds of Trav thrashing himself alert, I wake to find that at some point in those early morning hours, my husband’s hand has reached across our bed’s center pillow to rest on my waist.

I do like the article, DM. Thanks for posting it here.

Thea, the unfortunate place we find ourselves in is a lifetime battling these invisible ghosts, not knowing they are there. Discovery of the abuse is traumatic for us spouses as well. The person we love so much was hurt in ways we can't even imagine.

It takes time to heal from the disclosure. It takes time to heal from the affair.

It takes time to heal from telling people about what happened. It takes time to discover that the people you told about your abuse, still love you even though they know the "gross" truth about you. [What my husband calls himself -NEVER what I EVER think of him.]

I think the above quote catches what I was trying to say in my posts of late. That with the affairs, that with the abuse, we are clawing our way back our of our holes, looking for that hand to hold.

For us, we are getting there. And though you feel as if you are abandoning him, find comfort in the fact that you are still there.

I know you are on the fence - but his actions of late speak rather loudly to me! Don't worry about that feeling of numbness. It is a necessary part of this journey. And if it turns out that this has been a deal breaker for you, I am quite certain you will continue to support him in his healing if he asks, and you are able.

But now he has others to rely on. He is reaching out for help. It doesn't have to be all on your shoulders anymore, and that's a really, really good thing.

**********************************
YouMeI may not like me posting this, but I find it hilarious and case for pause...

I was recently diagnosed with ADHD - quite high on the spectrum apparently - and we both have taken to reading about this - me from a having it perspective, and him from a supportive spouse perspective.

He paused and said, you know, people get divorced over this stuff!

I know. :)

And truthfully, he's right. Pot meet kettle.

All is well, no harm intended, no harm received.

Take care all!

********
Adlam, so, so sorry you are triggering right now. I hope you find peace again soon.

Adlham posted 4/20/2017 20:48 PM

Thank you, Kate.
It just sucks. I don't trigger often but when I do, it ends up taking up way too much space for weeks at a time. I try to occupy my mind with other things but there is an underlying maelstrom of emotions that feels like it taints everything.
On the up side, spring is finally here so I'm heading to the mountains this weekend with my family so I can recharge. Nature makes me feel grounded and should reset my brain.

Skan posted 4/21/2017 17:11 PM

Glad that you're going to be able to get out in nature, Adlham. That's my go-to as well, to ground myself. Even something as simple as a flower on a weed can help bring me back. And the ocean? I can lose my complete self, in the ocean waves.

Adlham posted 4/21/2017 20:39 PM

I love the ocean! It's my favorite place wherever it is!

I've been struggling for the past few months with the CSA baggage and really don't know why. I was talking to my friend about it and she provided a lightbulb moment!
I had back surgery at the end of December. Don't know how many of you are in the health field but surgeries are brutal. The reason you hurt so much after is partly because once you are out and in the OR, they are not gentle! And that's just the positioning. I read my operative report. They used a freaking mallet on me for part of it! So there I am, unconscious and basically being brutalized. Yes I totally signed up for that but my lizard brain doesn't know that.

The body keeps score. The body remembers. So it's very likely that my subconscious lizard brain is just reacting and remembering and that could be why I've been in such a funk about it all. It makes sense to me. So I wanted to share that partly for thoughts but also a warning that it could mess with your brain too, should you need surgery.

ETA: I should mention that I wasn't just sexually abused as a child but also physically abused as well because you know, completely breaking a small child's spirit is apparently such a good time! And then, just to add insult to injury, because of how I grew up, I had not one, but TWO spectacular abusive relationships. So my body remembers way too much.
Thankfully, I have been in and out of therapy since I was 13 (almost 46 now) and fixed myself enough that I have a husband is is wonderful. He is the only person in my life who has ever made me feel safe. This is a little TMI but I think that of all people in the world, most (if not all) will understand the significance of me telling you that he is the only person I have ever been with 100% during sex. That's huge for me. I have a pretty sordid past of acting out sexually as a form of control when I was younger but my brain was never a participant until my husband jumped through all my hoops.

[This message edited by Adlham at 4:45 AM, April 22nd (Saturday)]

ISurvivedSoFar posted 4/23/2017 21:52 PM

This

The person we love so much was hurt in ways we can't even imagine.

Oh my gosh. In twenty years of marriage I have not really known the depths of my H's abuse. Then the A came and we started talking more intimately. I have never cried so much for someone I love. I cannot imagine how he lived through those years. It took me a week to get through a timeline he wrote of his childhood abuse. I had to avert my eyes from the words on the page. How could he even live through this?

I relate so much to others here. My H suffers from disassociation which is coming out more now or at least I am aware of it. This is a totally new journey we are on and frankly we don't know how it will come out. We are hopeful and glad to have more knowledge than before. But oh how I wish I understood this so many years ago. I do believe I could have stopped the A with this information. But hindsight is twenty/twenty right?

I don't think any of us should feel guilty for our actions when we are just trying to survive and/or trying to understand our situations. I don't want my H to suffer any more and the irony is he created a situation where he has to suffer more. So sad...

hopefulkate posted 4/24/2017 13:47 PM

Hi ISurvivedsofar - love your name. :)

The haunted self is a great book to help understand dissociation from a clinical perspective. It is full of stories - mostly of sexual or ritual abuse in order to help show the text, so it can be rather hard to read. And if your H is just starting his healing, I do not recommend he read it as the content could be rather traumatic.

Take care. It's a long and hard journey, but the destination on the other side is worth it!

hopefulkate posted 4/25/2017 10:11 AM

I posted in general about adhd and recovery - but I also talk about an emdr session and how i recently integrated...didn't know i had split!

Anyway - I didn't know how to title the post, but if you want to read about the emdr session, its at the bottom of my post. Take care all!

hopefulkate posted 5/1/2017 12:47 PM

I saw my H's IC with him today to help give a voice to the others who don't always get body time.

It was really good to get to share, be heard, and be able to hear they are having a hard time processing the affair too due to guilt or anger or xyz. You know the drill.

Anyway, if you can bring your SO to counseling, i recommend it for all parties. Not all the time of course! But it's a good check in for the IC to see the whole and not just the part. The only individual who is a whole is that guy who lives alone in the mountains. Even then I bet he talks to the squirrels!

I'm looking forward to bringing him to my IC in the future and doing the same -just different.

Take care everyone. Remember! The past is written, but today is not. Today is yours. And so is tomorrow.

DaddyDom posted 5/5/2017 00:12 AM

Hi all,

I'm new to this thread and I hope that anyone that would be willing to reach out to me would do so via PM or whatever.

I have extensive childhood FOO issues. They include sexual abuse, a sadistic brother, physical, mental and emotional abuse both at home and at school, an overbearing and non-protective mother, being forced to apologize to my sexual abuser, enormous loss such as my father/uncle/dog/girlfriend all within a few months of each other... the total story goes on and on. I wrote out a timeline of abuse for our MC recently and it took 5 pages even in nutshell form. :(

When I was 27, after spending 10 years as a drug addict, was self destructive, slept around, got into trouble. I ended up putting a gun to my head. I made a decision that night, and decided that I needed to change my life. I turned everything around, stopped using drugs, left all my friends, got clean, got a job, a career, and met my wife, had a kid, and spent the next 20 years as a happily married man and father. A normal, responsible and loving human being.

But shoving down that kind of trauma and abuse for 20 years is not a healthy thing. Frankly, it is amazing that I got as far as I did without any major issues.

2 years ago, I had a breakdown. I disassociated and went into a deep depression. Life felt like watching a movie. I no longer knew who I was and didn't even feel like it was me "driving the bus". My wife was commuting for work at the time and was only home a few days a week for a while. I did my best to hide my breakdown from my family, but it was hard, I felt like I was going crazy, and about a month in I couldn't even suppress it long enough to hide. I felt ashamed and stupid for feeling like I did. I didn't know why I was crying for up to 12 hours a day, feeling so lost, and absolutely unable to "feel" anyone or anything.

6 months later my affair started. It lasted 5 months. During that time I was cold hearted. I cared about no one but myself. My AP was half my age and childlike in nature, and I flaunted my affair in front of my family which gas-lighting everyone. I was horrible, and completely out of control. This behavior is nothing like me. I have always put my family and my marriage first, never had even the smallest inkling to be with anyone but my wife, had integrity and patience. I was a good man. Until then. I fear who I became.

Fast forward, my affair is exposed and my family, my marriage and my life is ripped apart. The trauma of being exposed snaps me back into reality somehow, and now here I am, me again, most of the time anyway. What I learned recently is that all those years of abuse left me with a "fractured" personality, similar in nature to multiple personality (DID) but more like DDNOS, having not individual personalities but versions of myself at different stages in my life. There is me, there is the 16 year old "protector" and there is the child. The 16 year old is who was driving the bus during the affair. I remember having arguments with my wife where she kept saying, "Who are you? This is not the man I married. This is not the man I know." And I kept telling her that she was right. That I was someone else, someone new. I just didn't realize at the time how true that really was. I thought I was crazy. Turns out I was.

The 16 year old me shows up when fear, trauma and threat is afoot. He protects the little boy who gets scared. He is brave because he doesn't care about anything or anyone but himself. He is angry. He is sick of having no voice, no control, no choice, so he makes sure that he has all of these, even if they make things worse. His "normal" is anger and trouble and hurting others with his insensitivity.

So here I am. Broken in the truest sense of the word. The adult me is back and taking control again, but the mess is made, and I cannot deny responsibility for my actions, even if he was the one in control. It was still me. I destroyed my wife, destroyed her joy, her trust, her love, left her with nothing, no husband, no best friend, even hurt the kids... And when she asks me why, how could I do this to her, what was I thinking...? How do you explain to someone that nothing was rational? That the reason that her faithful husband of 20 years hurt her and that I still can't offer any reasonable explanation of "what I was thinking" because I was out of control at the time. It makes no difference. The damage was done. She was the victim.

I could use some advice, maybe some friends who understand. I'm trying as hard as I can to save my marriage, to reconcile and be me again, be the remorseful and empathetic spouse. Help me.

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