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Sexual Abuse Survivors/Spouses - Part 3

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hopefulkate posted 11/1/2017 12:35 PM

Thanks, DM. I think my want for him to write it all out is so that I can see that he owns it. Fully. And maybe, because I wanted him to say something to make me leave? Or make me stay?

The ball of shame is quite the beast isnít it? Supporting me and owning it, while still living under the reigns of the ball are not exactly done well together. So part of that desire is anger at him for not being what I need. Right or wrong, thatís what I am thinking this could be.

That desire for his writing is tied to this feeling as well, quite strongly:
I would love for him to just, in front of someone else, say, yeah, I broke down, had an affair, but she is still here; moment.

Which - pains me to even write out because I know how shallow this is. So, since this is more a ďmeĒ issue, I am rethinking what makes me tick. Hence the breaks I am taking from here. (Hard to tell I know! 😂

What are my values? *Why* do I get so upset about certain things? What is in my control and how do I want to live?

What do I stand for. What the hell do I stand for??

So, I think I need to answer many of these questions before I make any more demands of him.

Plus there is the whole I donít want the kids to know because they are too young and I want them to have their daddy not be someone who hurt their mommy. One of the reasons I hesitate to tell my story too.

The only reason I didnít out the AP and asked the OBS not to either. (Though their kids know from their fighting.). Petty disclosure? Maybe.

Rambling nonsense? Most likely!

devotedman posted 11/1/2017 13:14 PM

And maybe, because I wanted him to say something to make me leave? Or make me stay?

Ummm? You realize that he cannot make you do anything. I know that you realize this. So, is this wanting him to give you a really good, definite reason upon which to base your decision to go or stay? Or, is this wanting to abdicate the toughest decision of all to someone else?

I would love for him to just, in front of someone else, say, yeah, I broke down, had an affair, but she is still here moment.

I do not agree that this is shallow. Getting married in front of a crowd is a big, public display of a commitment. Him declaring that he fucked up and that you still stayed is another big, public display of a commitment. It is also a realization of your commitment. I don't think that this is a "shallow" want. I do think that the specificity of the want may be masking something deeper.

What are my values? *Why* do I get so upset about certain things? What is in my control and how do I want to live?

Welcome to intellectual, existential, crisis.

Who am I? What beliefs are really mine? Do my beliefs define me, or do I define my beliefs? If my core values / beliefs change then am I still the same person that I was before, or has that "person" died?

Not rambling nonsense. Sometimes these thoughts are important to get to a root-view of self. Sometimes they're fun to pursue for the intellectual, logical, exercise. Rarely, however, do these thoughts put one's food upon one's table.

hopefulkate posted 11/1/2017 13:58 PM

Ummm? You realize that he cannot make you do anything.

Ok, this made me truly, lol. It's like I could hear you in my head! Yes, yes...but...as you said:

Or, is this wanting to abdicate the toughest decision of all to someone else?

Partly, maybe, ok absolutely, yes. If I made some sort of...task up for him to do, depending on how he did on it, I could determine the stay or go decision. But, it really isn't that easy, and it really has nothing to do with him. (My choice, anyway.) But...I don't think I acknowledged this piece of it. Interesting...I will have to keep thinking on this in other areas of life...

I do think that the specificity of the want may be masking something deeper.
Yes, this is due to not feeling respected or thanked within the context of my family growing up, my role as caretaker currently, and my role during our M and even just staying and working now. So, I use the term shallow, because I want to be SEEN for the good I do, which means, I want to be SEEN for the good I am.

Only, until very recently, I didn't fully believe this about myself. And, unfortunately/fortunately, I have had a great number of family members and professionals validate my "entire life's work" after finally sharing my story and asking for help. For reasons I need to explore, this small validation has opened the door to accept myself. As if the self doubt was there simply because they put it there. Shouldn't I have been the one to remove it? Well, a great part of me did much of the work already, but the ...change of heart of the family healed me in many ways too. So the logical thought process for me goes-if they start to be angry with me again, does my self worth go too? It shouldn't. So it's best to consider this deeply.


Welcome to intellectual, existential, crisis.

Thanks!! I've been here for a long time. Just not at all equipped to tackle it! Mind if I come back and ask more questions??? :)

'cuz....I'm gonna.

I think, what this all really is, is that I am really, truly ready for that *me* healing. The A crisis is over. MrKate is in good hands, and I feel able to support him while drawing better boundaries for the others I do support. (I am getting the financial help needed for this btw! It's been quite a time over here.)

Life is settling. Time to shake my insides up again~

brokensavage posted 11/1/2017 16:23 PM

Sorry to interrupt, but can someone tell me what CSA is? I keep seeing it, but I can't find it on the abbreviations page.

Thank you.

silverhopes posted 11/1/2017 16:25 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm sorry to just barge in after so long. If I shouldn't post here, please let me know.

Does anyone else struggle with a lasting sense of shame around sex? Like that feeling like you're not supposed to enjoy it, like you haven't earned enjoying it? I've been struggling with this off and on for years, and I know it ties into my overall sense of not feeling like I'm good enough. Just period. And I'm wondering how much of it ties into the many, MANY experiences of sexual abuse and assault I've had. I hadn't realized how many there really have been, until the other day when #metoo was trending. I was reading friends' posts and my heart was hurting for the stories I read. I realized suddenly that writing down all of what happened to me w.r.t. that topic would be too long of a post for Facebook or anywhere, really. For some reason, I think that's what made me suddenly realize the magnitude of all of it. There's been other stuff happening too, and I was feeling angry and embarrassed with myself for still "holding onto it". Not wanting to "play the victim card", as my father accused me of doing a couple of months ago. Yet the agony won't stop, so I guess that means I better talk about it, right? Or is there really a point where we're supposed to heal silently? :( I'm sorry if I'm not making much sense right now.

I'm sorry if this is a bad post or it's the wrong place to write this. I've tried to talk about it in therapy, but it seems like my counselor isn't comfortable with the subject. Or at least, I get the sense we're being moved along so as not to dwell on it. It tends to take a backseat to my OCD diagnosis and symptoms in discussions.

Sorry again. Thank you for reading!
~silver

[This message edited by silverhopes at 4:26 PM, November 1st (Wednesday)]

silverhopes posted 11/1/2017 16:27 PM

Hi brokensavage! CSA stands for "childhood sexual abuse".

devotedman posted 11/1/2017 16:40 PM

silverhopes, hello!

Regarding shame and sex. I had some of that years and years ago. I realized several things at different times over the years that helped. Most of it boiled down to: I didn't have a choice. Things were done to me without my adult consent - so, I had no control over them. Given that, why should I feel ashamed?

Now, it wasn't -quite- that easy as I was figuring it out. I also had to recognize that taking blame for things was an attempt to control the things. If I was blameful for something then _I_ could choose not to do it and, thus, control it.

I do hope that that makes some sense to you. I'd be happy to discuss it more.

One other thing - please don't apologize for asking questions here. There is absolutely no need for an apology for anything that I've ever read of yours, these questions included.

hopefulkate posted 11/1/2017 18:51 PM

Hi Silverhopes! Donít feel bad. Holding onto it is what us humans do before we process it. Totally normal!!

Sorry for the rough times of late. I did imagine the metoo movement would be hard for so, so many. (MrKate included.)

So, my question is, which way is forward? Best advice is to find a counselor that deals with CSA. Maybe your OCD is just a byproduct of that and not actually OCD.

It was/is true for my mom, so maybe...

Take care. Itís not easy, but there is a road out of here.

And with that super awesome sign off...see you all in a bit!

silverhopes posted 11/1/2017 19:42 PM

DM and hopefulkate! How are you two doing?

I also had to recognize that taking blame for things was an attempt to control the things.

That makes sense. Did you ever fear you were losing control? I feel like I am losing it on my sanity and clarity of perception. Namely, I'm terrified of becoming like my abusers. So I feel this compulsion to check and double check that I haven't abused or hurt anyone (whether or not this is part of my OCD is unclear). I don't feel like the abuse was my fault - I feel totally disgusted by my abusers and what they did and their utter refusal to listen to my boundaries. Some days I feel this dark anger at them and at everyone who victim-blamed me afterwards. But then, I feel like I am disgusting now. They made me disgusting. Whenever I feel sexual, I feel as if I am as disgusting as my abusers. Thoughts of them often invade my head during those times too. Also... not really sure how to say this... I think I might have been getting a faulty perception about how sex is supposed to be for women. Most of the partners I've had in life have made me feel like sex was supposed to be for them, and when I asked for what I liked, some of them openly laughed at me, including Mr. Silver. I'm frustrated because intellectually I know that's not reality, these unhealthy fears and faulty ideas I have, but emotionally I just can't seem to get it.

So, my question is, which way is forward? Best advice is to find a counselor that deals with CSA.

This is gonna sound like a weird question, but do you think CSA therapists are available for people on MediCal? I am low income and disabled - the therapists I have had have been assigned to me - so I'm nervous that I might not have access to one. The therapy center I go to doesn't have any special classes or divisions dealing with sexual abuse and assault - hell, one of my former assailants goes to my therapy center. I've had more than one bad run-in with him: the last one was a few months ago. My counselor talked to his counselor afterward, and she told me that he needed to come in for a certain morning group, so I should schedule my appointments later in the day to avoid running into him. I'm gonna pause to throw a minor tantrum now: I'm so pissed off that they made me adjust my schedule for him!!! I've been at this therapy center longer than he has, and they've helped me in a lot of ways with my mental illness! I don't want to leave my center - he should have to leave! Why do I have to reconfigure my life around him?!?!! /OK, tantrum done. I'll try to call MediCal to ask if they have therapists who specialize in CSA who accept MediCal.

Anyway, I think that's a good question and the one I'm asking too: which is the way forward? What do I need to do first in order to start getting healthy mentally and emotionally?

Thank you both for listening. I really appreciate your advice.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 7:44 PM, November 1st (Wednesday)]

silverhopes posted 11/2/2017 04:45 AM

Should probably disclaim: I'm also triggering more than usual. About a week before #metoo, the caseworker of a family organization I've been a client of decided to call CPS to report a family member's sexual abuse of me that happened during my teens. Their heart was in the right place - "better safe than sorry" - but the CPS worker actually said they didn't have to make a report if they felt I was a protective mama, and that the report would be made against me and not my abuser. I can't even go into detail right now, because I feel such deep shame. I hate myself. I somehow have become so screwed up, so twisted, that what happened to me could have become a reason to take my son away from me. I honestly was becoming suicidal when the report was made - if I had lost my son, I don't know what I would have done. Thankfully, CPS doesn't seem inclined to follow up, because I *am* a protective mother. I would do anything to not lose my son. Including never talk about the abuse I suffered again. So thank you for letting me talk about it here. I'm trying desperately to close my mouth to the people in my "real" life, so that I don't dig a deeper hole, so that MY SON doesn't have to potentially pay for his mother being an abuse survivor!

Lavender0916 posted 11/4/2017 13:37 PM

Hi Team,

CSA therapists are available for people on MediCal?

SilverHopes, I see you are from California too. There definitely should be. What you want to look for is someone who specializes in "Sexual Abuse", PTSD/Trauma, AND possibly DID(Dissociative Disorder) I have heard EMDR and neuro bio-feedback are really good treatment styles. Some even like CBT(Cognitive Behavior Therapy) Look for these people to start the interviews. Its a long process but so much better in the long run to find the right person. Which my 57 year old WH finally did. With that said, IC (and finding the right one) is the best thing for your son. Help yourself and you can help others. Same rational they give you when you board a plane; put your mask on first then your childs.

DM and Hopeful - My WH is stepping back and forth. He almost made a very bad decision and changed his mind. All in front of our DD/CSA with DID. DD said she could see the conflict and for a brief moment the integration. Which I think is huge. However, I don't like the fact WH almost did the very bad decision while he was with her and told her not to tell Mom because it would upset MOM!! How dare he put her in that position. I let her tell me and I did not overreact at all actually. WH *almost* went to bring flowers to AP mother who is in the hospital. Which means AP spoke or txt this information and he did not tell me. Goes back to what Hopeful says about the shame. Plus, I have to wonder if WH was going to do this with DD there to talk him out of it?

I read on another forum - Questions to Waywards- that a WW said it took her 9 months to finally write the NC. She mentioned she has past abuse as well and talked like she doesn't understand why until the "guilt" part sets in. Teens rarely have guilt, remorse or empathy. Especially if they are smoking pot.

My WH feels his previous job almost turned him into a pot head and alcoholic. He plans on cutting back significantly. Those two things trigger him into teen big time. Right before the A, he started to drink more and smoke more. I just need to get through Christmas.

Hopeful, I loved your quote about I just want them to scream; yes I had an affair, I f'd up! I hurt my wife to the world! I am at a stage I can't even get my WH to say the f'ing word AFFAIR. I reminded him just this last week his actions almost landed us a divorce. I have no problem saying the word.

I must wait patiently again as a new job(AGAIN) started with a crazy schedule and he gets back with his IC. The good news (step forward) is I don't have to bring it up anymore. Star for him and Star for me to not being Co-dependent.
Going back to another thing Hopeful said is the proving to be bad. Yep, I think I got that too. Never going to be good, so why not be the worst. The irony is the timing. My Dad never liked him. Right after he died the A occurred. As if to prove to my Dad he was right about him in some F'd up way? On top of my lack of giving, being an emotional wreck, could not support him. blah blah blah

BlackLab19 posted 11/4/2017 19:24 PM

I just read the thread title, first couple posts and last couple posts (because 25 pages is overwhelming :)

I am the BS of a survivor of CSA. It seems like this is still a place for me? If not, my apologies for the mistake.

I am back on SI after several years of bumpy R because now he broke NC with one of the OW (by email, she doesn't want contact). Other massive trust issues not related to the affairs but to the CSA in the last two years have added significantly to the 'bumps'.

I am just looking for perspective of living with someone who is trying to deal with CSA finally and how R is different with this set of circumstances. I still am not sure I am ready to quit trying, but after so many betrayals and 'second' chances, I don't know if I can keep doing this.

But is it a fair expectation that he will ever be honest and able to stick to boundaries?

Lavender0916 posted 11/5/2017 00:30 AM

BlackLab19, you are defintely in the right place.

Many of us are BS of WS survivors. Some of the BS are survivors themselves.

When CSA is involved, it casts different lights on A. Some R, some do not.

We always encourage to do the best for you and your situation. No judgement.

I know this forum has a ton of pages, but encourage you to read it in entirety. I did, and learned alot.

Most importantly, we encourage folks to take care of themselves and be kind to themselves. There are no mistakes, only choices....

Welcome and glad you found us...

[This message edited by Lavender0916 at 12:31 AM, November 5th (Sunday)]

hopefulkate posted 11/5/2017 14:19 PM

Hi All - back from my little break.

While away I read the following and here is my opinion:

1) the subtle art of not giving a F*&^. LOVE this book. A good challenge to my perspective on a few key areas. A quick and easy read, and many pages marked to take into IC for some challenges to my thought processes.

2)rising strong (halfway through): so far, "eh", but only because I have had to come to these conclusions already, time and time again. I have been down and beaten enough to know how to get back up - only this time I am doing it in a much healthier way. I hold full review to the end - I'd hate to get almost all the way through fight club and not see the ending. (Totally knew a guy who did this...)

3)Transcending PISD, not worth the low price of the kindle version i paid for. If you belong here in this forum, and are over a year out, don't bother. Is PISD a thing? Yes. Have you powered through most of the book already? Most likely. Does he have anything important to say about our specific situation? No - in fact in some ways it does more harm than good to someone not yet familiar with the differences in healing that this group will need to work through. Namely - the blame game. Perhaps it is my interpretation, but it seems a little more heavy on the accountability side of the BS. Not that he ever explicitly says so - actually the opposite - but like a lot of places even on this forum, there is much for the BS to own.

Well, ok, but really, and clearly I am working through my own stuff too, but if the A is a reenactment of abuse, then how is it AT ALL related to the M with the exception of we were their safe person? Answer, it doesn't.

Now, since no one is perfect, we hit that rock bottom and see that our imperfections could be looked at too. Maybe we share too much with our WS's with regards to trauma and unhealed FOO. Most likely that is everyone here.

But the A? No. At least, it is not for me, and not for several people. I would be a fool to cast any wide net in any one direction, so I will leave it at that.

but the best book by far for any of us, or any *human*, is

4) the book of forgiving by TuTu. WOW! WOW WOW WOW WOW.

I read this quickly. I absorbed maybe, 10%. But that is because I know I am still unwilling to forgive some of this stuff. Specifically the AP, which I know is something I will need to do in order to move on.

I will say, that it reaffirms my definition of forgiveness to be, letting go of the need for revenge. Letting go of carrying it around anymore and setting myself free.

I will say, that he completely changed my mind.

And I look forward to reading it again and again, and slowly working through his meditations and exercises over time.

And I URGE each and every one of you - especially this group - to give this book a try, and the ideas a try.

And then he mentions a book on Shame -which I will have to go back and reference and read. He says that the counter to shame is to do good deeds. To volunteer and to help is the cure. It is not the first time I have read this, but his reasoning is sound. I will leave that to your own decisions.

As for me, I will take this to heart and work on this.

*************
Now, my break from SI was/is LIBERATING! My issues are many , but my literal nature does tend to have me arguing with others here (even if only in my head) for things like semantics, and does nothing to help me heal. Those not in my situation will heal differently than they will, so I need to just focus on my life, my situation, and respect others' need to do the same, even if they disagree with me. And learn to not take this personally.

Then there is this need for validation that social media has created/embolded. My need to post, check who responded...how many likes did i get...do others think i am right?

this can get out of hand for me, so taking breaks for me is just smart and healthy.
*****************

Life goes on. I am late, so there are mixed feelings here. I continue to talk with mrkate's parts, the kids are great but kids need us, and mrkates family reached out again to him. he may choose to engage them and see if they have changed in the past two years. Want to know my guess?

I could probably write for days in response to all I have been thinking lately, but I already wrote this book and the baby wants me. Take care all. There is an end to this. It just takes time.

hopefulkate posted 11/5/2017 14:24 PM

Hi Blacklab, welcome- this is a great place for you.

Is there hope? Always! Is it a hard road? Incredibly.

To your question - what are your boundaries. What are your limits? Has your WS truly committed to change finally? There is a difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. If you see a difference, there is hope. If you see the more of the same, there is less hope.

I don't know your story, so I can't say much more than that. It took MrKate nearly 30 years to actually change -and it was his A that woke him up. Or, his reenactment of his sexual abuse from childhood that woke him up. The two words are NOT always synonymous. IMO.

What are you doing for self care?

BlackLab19 posted 11/5/2017 18:25 PM

Lavender, thank you for the reply and welcome. I'll work my way through all the pages

HopefulKate, thank you too, for hope. My first thing for self care after confronting WH was to cry out by text to my best friend, and then to log on back here. I'm already in IC and have a scheduled appt this Fri anyway. I resisted the urge to call in a panic and get an earlier appt, probably a good move cause I've had time to back down from the panic and anger. I had a conversation mid-week with WH and just had another this evening, all of which are better for me, to try to speak my thoughts and also try to hear his, and to not pretend that this is ok. Last week when I found out about the email, I confronted and we talked and I sobbed (because, really, again? How could we be here again?), and a while later after I had thought about some of the things we talked about, I laid out two conditions that I needed met this week which he did. So I'm trying to be patient and give him a chance to continue to meet those needs for the moment and start working again on his own IC (once he can start back again due yo work, he says he needs to go back for himself) and some peer support work he also needs to do for himself, his words. I told him separation is still a possibility for me but right now there are other big stressors in my DDs worlds and some other practical considerations. I am feeling that after the holidays, if it needs to happen, then that would be the better time. I will see how my IC goes in the meantime.
He is better than he was in the past, and the email was acting out and part of his messed up 'coping' strategies, that I am trying to better understand. I am tired of being the collateral damage though... Still trying to have hope

silverhopes posted 11/6/2017 04:48 AM

2:30AM and I can't sleep. Just had an absolutely devastating realization. For some folks, the recent #metoo might have been the only time they have ever felt safe in speaking out about it, and some might never speak out again afterwards. :( :( When I was on Facebook, so many of my friends were posting... So many friends who I didn't know had suffered this too. So I wanted to say, if anyone's lurking: we believe you. You are not alone in your struggles... We believe you. I don't have to even meet you to know that what happened to you really happened. If there's anyone who has tried to invalidate you and your experiences, know that this person right here believes you without question. In the name of basic human compassion, we all should believe the survivors. That being doubted or shamed is so common amongst us (what they call 'secondary victimization') should be an issue all on its own to be addressed by society, especially with everything that's been happening lately with more and more celebrities finally being called out for being sexual predators and rapists. Reading the responses on Facebook to articles about this can be devastating and re-traumatizing. So my advice: don't read them. Our culture is still very unsupportive of our struggles, and it's an added burden we SHOULDN'T have to bear as survivors/victims. If it's any small balm, know that we here believe you. Holding all of you in my heart.

P.S. To this thread: Victim, survivor... how do you guys choose to identify? I apologize if it's too personal a question - just wondering, if anyone wants to talk about it. I haven't been able to figure out how to identify myself. I usually go with "survivor", but that's because of something mean my dad said a few months ago about how I was "playing the victim card" and sucking him into my drama - which makes me feel even worse for talking about my issues in the first place! How do we find balance in our healing?

silverhopes posted 11/6/2017 05:35 AM

Lavender0916 - thank you! I'll try to check my MediCal stuff to see if they have listings. It's good to know that this resource is available. I am curious, if you don't mind my asking - why is it important that the therapist specialize in DID? Is DID something that's common in sexual abuse survivors? I'm wondering now what the symptoms are...

I am so sorry to read that your WH broke NC. Even if he didn't go through with bringing the flowers to AP's mom, he still broke NC - he was in contact with OW. How are you and your DD coping with that? Is he expressing any sort of understanding or validation of how much he has hurt you both with that choice?

Shame is a complicated thing. It reminds me of something from "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend - they said that boundaries are sometimes reversed. We take responsibility for things that aren't our fault (like the CSA), but then sometimes some of us have trouble taking responsibility for things we ARE truly responsible for (in your WH's case, breaking NC, putting your DD in that position, hurting you again). As a mad-hatter, I've been encouraged by this site and other books to view each of our betrayals as separate, so that it doesn't become a comparison, and each person's pain is properly validated. Maybe it's the same for this: he can work on not taking responsibility for the sexual abuse AND simultaneously work on taking responsibility for his infidelity. He can receive validation as a CSA survivor AND simultaneously work to validate you for the pain he caused you. I don't know if I'm making sense, and I hope I haven't said anything insensitive or offensive.

BlackLab19: Welcome to the thread! You're in the right place. To answer your question, I think it's like how Lavender said: you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first. He's continually hurting you. You have every right to say "No more". Him being a victim of abuse does NOT give him the right to victimize you through his infidelity.

But is it a fair expectation that he will ever be honest and able to stick to boundaries?

Yes. It is completely fair to expect your spouse to keep you safe emotionally as well as physically.

HopefulKate: Those sound like some awesome books!!! Might have to check them out. Taking breaks sounds very healing. Isn't social media a weird phenomenon? It's at once connecting and invasive. It can be a tool sometimes and an addiction at others... Might have to follow your lead and take a break from social media too. Social media can do a person's head in.

Hope you and MrKate will find a healthy way through with regards to MrKate's family. What is healthiest for both of you? How much or how little do both of you want to engage? Do they have a history of crossing boundaries?

Hope everyone's doing OK tonight.

devotedman posted 11/6/2017 06:57 AM

silverhopes, I've been wanting to reply for days but I have just not had the time to sit and think and write out my reply. For that I apologize.

Does anyone else struggle with a lasting sense of shame around sex?

Shame? No. A really large-sized thought of "what the hell is the point of having relationships at all"? Yes.

I realize that a lot of that is me being all gloom-and-doom. There are a lot of good people out there. My picker hasn't served me too well in the past, and I don't quite think that I want to rely on it again.

Like that feeling like you're not supposed to enjoy it, like you haven't earned enjoying it? I've been struggling with this off and on for years, and I know it ties into my overall sense of not feeling like I'm good enough. Just period.

You _are_ supposed to enjoy it. Earning enjoying sex is simply not a thing that anyone has to do. That would be like earning the right to enjoy breathing, or earning the right to think that water tastes good, or that food tastes good.

I think that, like you mentioned, this all ties in to the abuses that you've suffered over the years. A lot of this sort of thing is the abuse sufferer (instead of victim or survivor) trying to convince themselves that they are to blame for the abuse. Or, believing the abuser that the sufferer is to blame for the abuse. Both happen, taking blame or accepting it, and neither are good.

There's been other stuff happening too, and I was feeling angry and embarrassed with myself for still "holding onto it". Not wanting to "play the victim card", as my father accused me of doing a couple of months ago. Yet the agony won't stop, so I guess that means I better talk about it, right? Or is there really a point where we're supposed to heal silently? :( I'm sorry if I'm not making much sense right now.

I'm going to guess that the "you are holding on to this" feelings are coming from someone else. This is a really complex question with nuances. So, yes, people _can_ end up holding on to abuse. I do not believe that you are doing this because you are seeking to find help from your counselor and you are asking questions about finding other counselors. These are not the acts of someone who is holding on. These are the acts of someone who is trying to find help with dealing with it all.

Yes, you should talk about it. No, this isn't the time that you should heal silently. If you've read hopefulkate's posts about her H, he has shut his family out for a couple of years because they are not getting healthier. My personal opinion is that this is a source of conflict for him. I think that it would be for me if my folks weren't dead.

I'm sorry if this is a bad post or it's the wrong place to write this.

Don't be sorry. This is the perfect place for these questions.

I've tried to talk about it in therapy, but it seems like my counselor isn't comfortable with the subject. Or at least, I get the sense we're being moved along so as not to dwell on it. It tends to take a backseat to my OCD diagnosis and symptoms in discussions.

This says to me that you might not have a great therapist for CSA.

I say that because "ticks", like OCD, are sometimes _responses_ to CSA, ways of dealing with it, and not their own, separate thing. OCD, like the "rocking" that some Special Needs people do, can be immensely comforting -or- they can be a sort of "hypervigilance" thing. Making sure of something, over and over (like some OCD symptoms), has repetitive motions and thoughts sometimes. The act of making sure that everything is okay can be comforting in and of itself. It can also be acting out the "making sure that everything is safe" response to growing up or living in unsafe situations.

So what I'm trying to get across is that what appears to be OCD, and other behaviors, are _responses_ to CSA. They might not be separate things that respond well to treatments for OCD _because_ the root-cause, CSA, isn't being dealt with.

I hope that hopefulkate chimes in here in response to what I just wrote. She's got some perspectives about this very subject, I think.

Did you ever fear you were losing control? I feel like I am losing it on my sanity and clarity of perception. Namely, I'm terrified of becoming like my abusers. So I feel this compulsion to check and double check that I haven't abused or hurt anyone (whether or not this is part of my OCD is unclear). I don't feel like the abuse was my fault - I feel totally disgusted by my abusers and what they did and their utter refusal to listen to my boundaries. Some days I feel this dark anger at them and at everyone who victim-blamed me afterwards. But then, I feel like I am disgusting now. They made me disgusting.

Losing control in the sense of doubting myself and that things are going much too fast for me to keep up, yes.

There wasn't nearly as much literature about CSA when I was young. The popular thought then was that many abused grew up to be abusers (or I interpreted it that way). I didn't want to be an abuser -but- since abused grew up to perpetuate the cycle I had a lot of, um, mental disharmony? there. Being a typical male I didn't do the babysitting thing growing up. I was an only child. My earliest memories are sexual in nature and since CSA folks tend to trigger when _their_ kids are the age that they were at the time the abuse started I had a lot going on in my early adult years. Add in the fact that I still wasn't finished in self-directed healing, well, I was a mess.

I am very familiar with the feeling of being disgusting. Silverhopes, you are not. I am not. Nobody here deserves that level of "victim blaming". People often blame themselves and put themselves in the "disgusting" role as a form of control. "If," they say, "I can choose to not be disgusting then I control the abuse." Yes, the logic is faulty but it is a _safe_ logic because if we can control the abuse then we can stop it that way. There is also the fact that some abusers _try_ to make the abused feel disgusting because the abuser has no way to process their own self-loathing other than to pass it on. Finally, some abusers are just mentally damaged and get a thrill from abusing and from tearing down others.

I asked this next question recently of someone else on this thread, and I'll ask you, now:
A young woman, or girl, comes to you and tells you about how she is being repeatedly sexually abused.

Would you respond by thinking that she is disgusting?

Whenever I feel sexual, I feel as if I am as disgusting as my abusers. Thoughts of them often invade my head during those times too.

Yeah, I'm familiar with this, too. For me this was simply a sign that I wasn't done, yet. Look, people make associations between things. For a lot of CSA folks the events of being abused and the events of adult sexual interaction get all jumbled up -because- of the way that we learned about sex.

I can tell you that you are not disgusting. You are not disgusting for feeling sexual. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being an adult and desiring sexual intimacy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having those invasive thoughts, either, though they are something that you will work past as you heal from CSA.

I think I might have been getting a faulty perception about how sex is supposed to be for women. Most of the partners I've had in life have made me feel like sex was supposed to be for them, and when I asked for what I liked, some of them openly laughed at me, including Mr. Silver. I'm frustrated because intellectually I know that's not reality, these unhealthy fears and faulty ideas I have, but emotionally I just can't seem to get it.

All that I can say is that it is not unhealthy for a woman to ask for what she wants. Hell, I encourage it in my partners. And I respond with what they want -and- I try to throw in a few variations, as well.

I do want to say, though, about your "made me feel like sex was supposed to be for them" statement that they cannot _make_ you think a certain way, they can only _try_ to make you feel a certain way. You have to buy into it as well. And when the person being convinced has a lot of self-doubt resulting from prior abuse, well, it is usually pretty easy for the convincer to do the convincing.

Lavender0916 posted 11/6/2017 17:31 PM

Hi SilverHopes

To this thread: Victim, survivor... how do you guys choose to identify?

Completely up to you. I was reading in a book recently that Men prefer "victim" whereas women prefer "survivors". My DD hates both and my WH uses Survivor. I think most use Survivor now.

why is it important that the therapist specialize in DID? Is DID something that's common in sexual abuse survivors

I don't rule out anything. My WH claims he does not Dissociate, yet my DD and I have seen it in two-fold. Dissociation is complicated. The Wiki version is dissociation is any of a wide array of experiences from mild detachment from immediate surroundings to more severe detachment from physical and emotional experience. The major characteristic of all dissociative phenomena involves a detachment from reality, rather than a loss of reality as in psychosis. Folks used to call it Multiple Personality Disorder. You will read all about it on those forums. Hopeful can probably add more to this.


How are you and your DD coping with that(Breaking N/C)?

My DD is feeling much better that it is off her chest. I am reeling....

Is he expressing any sort of understanding or validation of how much he has hurt you both with that choice?

Not with that "specific" choice. I promised my DD I would not bring it up. Last thing I want is to lose her trust. He held me tight last night(Little 4) and did his "I am a loser speech", "I don't deserve you" "you don't deserve this...."(Oh, back to adult, but with twist of I am not worthy so let me show you why I am not) Plus this morning I got a text "I am so sorry for your misery" I haven't said much lately or reacted any different. So cool I guess. Keep these coming in my opinion.

Shame is a complicated thing. It reminds me of something from "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend

I am definitely getting this...

As a mad-hatter...

Can someone explain this to me as if I am a 10 year old? I see this everywhere and don't know what it means.


Maybe it's the same for this: he can work on not taking responsibility for the sexual abuse AND simultaneously work on taking responsibility for his infidelity.

We are so lucky to find an amazing IC for my WH. The IC is so ready to start my WH recover...however my WH is stalling. He has an awful work schedule like 12-10. How can you book appts with that? Hopefully 10am!!

Work to validate you for the pain he caused you.

The scary truth, they don't realize this right away. It takes time and IC sessions. We are talking about a teen boy, who had no boundaries (ever). My DD(19) and DS(14) have no remorse, no empathy, no concern for my feelings, just that they did not get caught.

I don't know if I'm making sense, and I hope I haven't said anything insensitive or offensive.

Not on this forum. You are doing great! What you are giving me is excellent insight into the world of CSA...Back to the phone thing, there is an earlier post how I dealt with it per the recommendation of MY IC since I am Super Co(Co-dependent). To take the responsibility off of me was tell him I know about it and WH should talk about it with his therapist. Period and Done. She told me to stop looking for it since I know about it. I am super stubborn and found it this weekend via looking for it and was sick and in a panic attack. Now, I cannot beat myself up over it. Luckily, Hopeful swooped down for the rescue and I feel a little better today. That and getting my heart rate up on the elliptical trainer to 150BPM The irony is, I need to figure out how to rescue myself...

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