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Sexual Abuse Survivors/Spouses - Part 3

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onlytime posted 7/1/2017 09:39 AM

And in case y'all didn't know, surgery can be a major trigger for PTSD because your lizard brain can't differentiate between the fact that you willingly and knowingly chose this terrible invasion of your body and past trauma of CSA.

Less than a week out of surgery on my vagina to repair a prolapse (sorry for the TMI, but it felt relevant to the discussion) and I am suffering both physically and mentally. I knew the surgery itself was going to trigger the PTSD, talked about it in IC and thought I had the tools to get me through it and that I would be okay.

The pain and pressure are horrible and incredibly triggering. I have refused narcotic pain meds because I cannot tolerate not having control of my mind (coming out of the anesthetic was bad enough) and I am sure some of you may be able to relate, so I am just taking Advil/Tylenol. I have a catheter for a week, which is not helping the situation.

BetterFuture13 has been very supportive, helping me physically and trying to help keep me mindful and in the present, but I have been struggling mightily.

I feel I made a bad decision having the surgery, that I could have just found a way to cope with things the way they were. Right now it just doesn't feel it was worth it.

I am not doing well

Adlham posted 7/1/2017 12:14 PM

I so totally relate to that. I had surgery in December and I've been barely treading water since.

Not constantly drowning in it, but the overall undertone for the past six months has been overwhelming because my brain just keeps playing the same old tired songs on the radio.

I couldn't avoid surgery as I was rapidly losing the ability to walk. I'm 46 with kids going into middle school. I've got things to do, dammit!

I wish I had known that surgery could throw me for such a loop. I would have prepared better. The funny thing is, I've had other surgeries and never felt like such an emotional train wreck. But I'm also in a different lifestyle too. We moved back to take care of my uncle so I'm in close proximity with my mom and her husband who was my abuser. That in itself has been a huge blow. Yeah, she never left him, so I've got some issues. Karma kicked him right in the balls, quite literally, with prostate cancer and a blood clot that left him with just enough brain damage that he would need a surgical implant if he ever wanted to have sex again. That does help my mental health a lot! But my mom and her rose-colored glasses...talk about someone in desperate need of therapy.

I am just struggling. Sometimes I am absolutely drowning in it all. And even though I know and usually have good coping skills, once my brain starts going there, I can't seem to switch tracks and the next thing you know, I've cycled through all my shit and end up feeling like a small child who needs saving all over again.

It's so overwhelming and I'm just stuck. And bitter about having to constantly remind myself that this too shall pass.

Skan posted 7/3/2017 23:12 PM

onlytime and Adlham, I sure wish I was close enough to you to come and bring you a cup of tea, or a glass of wine, and simply sit, and let you get it all out to someone who was a stranger and had no judgements at all.

The loss of control that surgery, anesthesia, being not in complete control, not being physically able and competent, being vulnerable, damn, that resonates. It seems like such a simple concept. Going in for necessary surgery. A small procedure, even. But the loss of control, the not being in CONTROL of your reactions, of letting your guard down, of being vulnerable, that can be so overpowering, so crazily over-reaction overpowering to most people.

Y-all will be fine. You're strong. You're survivors. You will get through this and you will thrive.

Still wish I was close enough to bring you a comforting beverage, though.

Adlham posted 7/4/2017 14:11 PM

Skan, you totally hit the nail there. The loss of control is a huge trigger because it just brings back all the other things where I didn't have control over what what being done to me.

I just didn't expect it. And I didn't think I was still so damaged? Is that the right word? I don't know. I just feel like I've been handed a huge setback.

I should also mention, this has been a 7-year long battle with my back and my third surgery so I've been on pain meds for a very long time. I'm finally to the point where I don't need them so I tapered down and got off of them about a week ago and that's also a huge factor because they numbed the emotional pain too.

So it's a mess. It will pass. Today is better than last week.

But I would so love to have some drinks with you! My husband tries, but he can't relate at all. His childhood was completely opposite of mine, lucky bastard! I'm happy for him but also insanely jealous too.

Just rambling. Thank you so much for your words. I sat and cried for a while when I read them because you understand and I really needed to feel that connection.

Lavender0916 posted 7/5/2017 20:42 PM

Hi there everyone. I joined SI.com 3 weeks ago and finally finished reading Part 3. I am amazed to say that I am not overwhelmed. I find this site to be informative and caring. I am on another site which I found HopefulKate and she directed me here to all these amazing people and experiences.

My story in a nutshell. I knew marrying my H that he was sexually abused horribly as a child by his live in uncle then family friends until about 14 years old. His mother was extremely neglectful. Loved her foster kids more than her own kids. I suspect Dad was mostly absent during all of this. There is more; sex is probably the only "comfort" my husband learned. His dad passed away right in front of him around 18. Sadly he clings to his Dad as the only person who every loved him. Until he met his friend Vivian. At first a client for computer work. Strangely a CSA herself and PHD in psychology. They bonded right away. My H met his 1st wife who took advantage of his pain and rubbed it in his face. 1st time in therapy and started going regularly. Not to mention double whammy seeing Vivian every week for remedial computer work. Saw the person his ex was (who later found out is DID/BPD). Met me 14 years ago. I did not know it at the time but dealt with his "parts". Nor did I know the toll it takes on someone who hits rock bottom. WH has always been in some type of therapy. Until the last 5 years. WH had 2 kids from a previous marriage. The oldest who I adopted is also a CSA(Mother's boyfriend - sigh). She also Dissociates. Has an amazing IC. The boy is confused and my WH and I have a 5 yo child together. I swear I live in a funhouse.
WH left the tech industry to become a bartender. I encouraged it due to ageism he is encountering in the workforce. Didn't realize that, ED, and my parents cancer and dying through him through a spiral. Never suspected until he acted as another person described it. Not himself...a teenager. Blew off family, me everything to be with A; which he described as a "friend" It got worse with Cialis; when DDAy #2 occurred. All of a sudden a clue happened in him. I haven't seen Part 1 or Part 2 so not sure how people addressed the hypersexual partners after D-Day. I still went through the the motions. I am in IC, WH is in a "group" and had 2 IC referrals but still not called them yet. I am not sure why. He knows how important it is for our marriage and if I stay. Everything is still new. Trying to take care of myself and the kids. It can be suffocating.
All I can post now. Running to my CoDa group meeting So blessed to read all your stories and not feel alone.

devotedman posted 7/6/2017 00:52 AM

I think that I posted this reply into the wrong forum. I'm having a Senior WTH Just Happened Moment.

[This message edited by devotedman at 7:25 AM, July 6th, 2017 (Thursday)]

hopefulkate posted 7/6/2017 05:11 AM

It's far too early in the morning for me, but since I can't sleep, I can post!

First, I loved reading the responses to my last post. Thank you all! It was a trying week with triggers, and I think DevotedMan has a good point about not keeping them as friends.

Sending good healing thoughts to you all recovering from surgeries!! I totally get how difficult that can be. Remember to think of the other side of healing - you will get there and you will be happy!

Welcome Lavender! Glad you made it through!

Group: Is there any way to see the older pages? Much of my healing is there and I would greatly appreciate going to see it; warts and all.

hopefulkate posted 7/6/2017 05:22 AM

I was going to post this in reconciliation, but I think it belongs here.

The triggers sent me down some rabbit holes and reminded me I am not yet healed from all of this. At counseling yesterday my IC asked if I wanted to stay married. My black and white answer is, not if it will always be this painful, but the bigger answer is yes - not sure if this makes sense?

YouMeI has DID. The part of him I married did not cheat on me, but the parts that did, did not know me, or know who I am to them, did. There are days still where he is in and out - and he doesn't know me or the kids. Moments, but they exist.

So my logical brain wonders if ALL of him loves me and won't hurt me again. My logical brain looks at him and hears him claim he loves me, and my logical brain says, possibly, while my emotional brain says run in this moments of pain.

So I wonder, perhaps this is just trust? And trust takes the longest right?

Also of HUGE importance is what happened in IC when I said all of this to her. She put her notebook down and said, "I think this has less to do with your husband and more to do with your mother."

Questioning her meaning, I just sort of looked up at her with tears freely flowing down my face. She asked, "Did your mother ever forget who you were?"

.....wow. Powerful moment there.

My mom also has DID, and I am currently reviewing my childhood through this new lens. It has been incredibly healing. However, I had not thought of this.

No resolution yet as I need to sit with this for a while. But my gut answered right away - yes, and my answers lie in the past, and not in the present. Many, at least.

Who knows....rambling...need coffee...

devotedman posted 7/6/2017 07:47 AM

hopefulkate, first about Part II:
As a paid subscriber you are supposed to be able to go to the Profile section and then find your older, "aged out" posts under Oldest Posts.

If this does not work for you (you see nothing there) then you're supposed to post a reminder to, I think, SI Staff, and MangledHeart will add you to the list of folks who can see their Oldest Posts.

I never got added and I never prodded him about it so I don't really know from experience but that's the way that it should work.

If you read my posts here in Part 3 there is a link for Part II that I remember posting for another guy. That might work, too.

Second, about your most recent posts. Wow. Can I borrow your IC please?

Seriously, though, has his alters' feelings about you changed or at least become known since he's started therapy? You now know about them. Are they getting less time? Do they understand what M is and that Adult YouMeI alter is M'ed to you?

Finally, yeah and a fistbump to having some rough moments having your childhood intrude into other parts of your life and perhaps loom menacingly / affect dealings with other things. }{ Lotsa people don't get that and what it feels like when that happens.

Lavender0916 posted 7/6/2017 08:08 AM

Be gentle on yourself. You are working so hard for your marriage. Infidelity is super super painful and the ability to trust again takes time. Why they say Affairs cause PTSD. Mix that in with our own neglected pasts it gets harder.

Wow thanks for sharing about your Mom. It's like children raising children. My mom was the reason I started therapy 17 yrs ago. You have a great IC.

Doh, train is arriving at work. Will post more later.

2frayedsouls posted 7/6/2017 08:30 AM


I am in IC, WH is in a "group" and had 2 IC referrals but still not called them yet. I am not sure why. He knows how important it is for our marriage and if I stay. Everything is still new. Trying to take care of myself and the kids. It can be suffocating.

One of the trickier parts of dealing with infidelity when your partner has been abused is giving yourself permission to enforce your boundaries, without feeling like you are "piling on" to their pain.My fwh drug his feet initially about calling IC too. Acknowledging it was all real, and had greatly affected his life, his decision making, etc, was a terrifying realization for him. At times I think he felt the mountain was insurmountable, so he was just going to set up base at the bottom of the mountain, and hope for the best. It wasn't until I was ready to lose the marriage...and he could tell I was serious, that he made the call. IC has been really tough, but good. Wishing your strength and peace!

Kate: I agree with devotedman: your therapist is a gem. I am continually amazed at how so many of my present feelings are colored by the ghosts of my past. Sorry the rabbit hole snuck up on you. Insidious nasty little tunnels aren't they? Hugs friend.

Lavender0916 posted 7/6/2017 18:12 PM

Acknowledging it was all real, and had greatly affected his life, his decision making, etc, was a terrifying realization for him. At times I think he felt the mountain was insurmountable, so he was just going to set up base at the bottom of the mountain, and hope for the best

Wow, 2Frayedsouls, u summed it up right there. I know he is extremely terrified. However, doesn't give me opportunities to talk(especially the consequences talk)..."Not ready" My concerns are how can I trust anything WH says? Like this Monday group meeting WH claims he goes too each week? I know I will get protector/teenager the minute I suggest a phone tracking app. Normally folks would respond to that as WH put us in this mess. However those partners of survivors know what that looks/sounds like and can relate. So early in the game just trying to keep my head above water without all the initial defensive, extremely loud snarky reaction, followed by 3 days of silent treatment.(sigh) Protector throws me over the edge. One day at a time....and a case of wine

DaddyDom posted 7/6/2017 18:36 PM

Some of you have mentioned support groups. I live in SoCal, and so far my searches for support groups have yielded very little. (Which is surprising given how dense the population is here). Maybe I need to start one?

I'm curious what groups you (or your spouse) have attended, and if you/they found a particular group helpful?

Lavender0916 posted 7/6/2017 20:31 PM

Hi DaddyDom,
Luckily we live in Northern California and there are some resources. My WH actually seeked sex addiction and found his group. unfortunately we cannot post links here so I will find some links and PM you.

DaddyDom posted 7/6/2017 22:27 PM

Thank you Lavender. There are several SA groups around here. At one point my therapist recommended them as well since CSA groups seem to be lacking, and they share some commonalities in terms of backgrounds.

Lavender0916 posted 7/7/2017 10:40 AM

I guess I am proud of me?

Last night was date night. No word from him until WH walked through the door at 8pm still expecting to go out. Claimed he was in a class all day and I called the place and there was no class. Furthermore checked phone records and saw he called a hot springs/mud bath place in the morning. An hour after he dropped off our daughter at summer camp. I sent numerous texts and called no response. Of course then sent the texts about finding out there is no class and that he called the hot springs to be with AP(Can I use the "B" word instead of P?) all day. Teenager/Protector came out with a vengeance. Told WH, "enough" and "done". He left last night on his own accord. Packed for at least 3 days. Protector flicked me off several times. Told me only talk through his lawyer, should not of married me(at least he realized he is married). All kinds of stuff. I ignore that. Back again in 10 minutes; Protector stored tightly away; Crying, frustration, hostility but he seemed much more mature. Claimed he will call the therapist today. Left again. 8am this morning. Comes in, needs to sleep and shower. OMG!!SAS fun...
Yes he deny's he was at the hot springs with AP/AB. Says he was in class all day and not sure why they told me there was no class. States there will be a presentation to prove there was a class. I told him, can't wait to see the proof. Which there isn't any ever when confronted. I know he lies because the truth is so super painful. A spiraling vortex out of control... Thanks for listening.

Lavender0916 posted 7/7/2017 17:54 PM

Sorry DaddyDom, I guess I am too new to the site and need to create 50 posts. I have a feeling after this weekends events I will be making that goal. WH wants out of the house and look for another place to live. "Says he cannot come home to yelling and accusations anymore." Feels like he has a tight leash around his neck. TOUGH!!! I am torn up. My Co-Dependency is getting the best of me right now. Constantly have to remind myself this is not my fault. This is WH sh**. Also remind myself that not once last night did he care about my feelings. It was all about his feelings. (projection) "That I didn't care about his" Lastly, that I made my choice about the relationship (to end it) When all I was saying I can't keep going like this, All I asked was he needed to be in therapy and end it with her. Which he swears up and down he did.

2frayedsouls posted 7/8/2017 09:13 AM

Lavender,you should be proud of yourself! Changing patterns and establishing boundaries is no small feat! Maybe read up on the 180. I can't speak to the DID aspects of your story, as I don't have any personal experience with that, but your husband is not showing you with his actions that he is a safe partner for you now. It is okay to assert your right to have an honest, transparent relationship. He is using his anger and bluster to try to make you doubt yourself or shift the blame. Whether that is a conscious decision by him or whether it is his protector coming out, it is not the treatment you deserve.

You cannot love him into getting help, you cannot anger him into getting help. You can protect yourself. That is such a hard realization. Watching a loved one self destruct is torture. Keep reaching out for support....this journey is a marathon.

[This message edited by 2frayedsouls at 9:20 AM, July 8th (Saturday)]

2frayedsouls posted 7/8/2017 09:18 AM

DaddyDom, my husband tried some online support threads
for CSA, but found them to be way too triggering for him (kind of like the JFO thread here is too raw for me). We are in a small rural area, so there are no other resources/groups close by. He just consistently sees an IC to work thru it.

hopefulkate posted 7/8/2017 11:05 AM

Lavender, I'm so, so sorry you have to endure that. I haven't checked the other forum, but I am sure the others there like desperado are there to support you too!!

Damn DID....damn abusers really!!!

It's not your fault. It's not at all about you, a reflection of you, or anything like that at all.

The only thing to do now is to draw your boundaries and keep him out of your life as much as possible, until or if, he gets help.

I'm so sorry. It's confusing as all hell. I think I remember you have a counselor too right?? Lean on them right now, and vent vent vent!!!

What is something you can do for yourself today?

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