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Sexual Abuse Survivors/Spouses - Part 3

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devotedman posted 3/19/2018 14:59 PM

Good luck, silverhopes!

Healinggirl posted 3/20/2018 13:09 PM

Five years plus! Iím due for a PAP test next week or cervical smear test as itís called in the U.K. Iím frightened. FWH gave me genital warts which is HPV and I know Iím now at a higher risk because of that and they keep coming back, but he had so many prostitutes that Iím terrified I have the really bad kind of HPV. At my age, 63, this is ridiculous! I feel so resentful that I have to even deal with this.

I just want to have a normal husband. Because we had to deal with his CSA after DD itís been all about HIM. I had my heart ripped out and all he wanted to talk about was the CSA. It was the Ďother Healingí that did all that stuff, it wasnít him! Now heís behaving like a priest, getting very spiritual. Oh my God, there are so many different personalities in this guy, itís so hard to know who Iím living with.

This is a rant.....When I imagined myself living without him in my life it was such a relief. Iíve had to deal with the fall-out of his CSA for forty years now and I feel so tired of it all.

silverhopes posted 4/7/2018 13:06 PM

^ And that's the thing it sounds like he's forgetting, Healinggirl. You BOTH need healing and support.

He's addressing his issues, which is good. But he's making it all about him, which isn't right. There are two of you in your marriage, and he has hurt you significantly. He's got to learn how to separate his healing from yours. He can't use his issues as an excuse to disregard what you're going through.

Surely there must be a way to heal both of you at the same time, right? Where you can BOTH be validated for what you're each healing from. Can't he see that?

I'm wondering today - has anyone else dealt with self-harm? I'm sure the answer is yes. What happens is, I encounter my abusers. This is unavoidable, I've realized after many years of trying to avoid them. They trigger me. I never allow them to cross my physical boundaries. I keep them as far away from me as possible. But I see them. I feel disgust. I can feel them on me, like ghost sensations, and I hate myself and feel so tainted. So, starting last year, I think - "Can't I burn them out of me?"

I haven't done this in 9 months, but there was a brief period of time where I put out matches on myself to get rid of them and the ghost sensations. I don't know what to do. The IC is starting to help me now. She recommended a book called "The Body Keeps the Score", which I'm ordering. Should be here Monday. I've tried to lose myself to Mr Silver's and my sexual times, to replace the painful flashbacks of abuse to more pleasant memories. I hope sex will not trigger me anymore someday.

I'm sorry, I'm not sure I know where I'm going with my rambling. Does anyone have any coping mechanisms they use when the bad memories start invading their heads? This happens on a daily basis for me. Two things make it extra complicated: 1) I have a high libido instead of having aversion - which means I deal with slut-shaming in addition to the rest of the triggers around sex, but I can't seem to stop wanting sex. 2) I have OCD. Obsessive, intrusive, egodystonic thoughts. The therapists haven't taught me how to control them yet, though a couple of members here (devotedman and one other) gave me helpful visualizing strategies that sometimes help (more helpful than anything else I have learned thus far, so thank you both immensely!).

I guess, I'm wondering if anything helped anyone else here. My IC doesn't seem to know ERP or CBT. Would those help, or would they trigger me worse? Are there resources for an individual to treat themselves with those therapies, or is it only possible with a trained professional?

I'm not sure what I'm asking, because everything is a haze of pain right now. But thank you for listening. Thank you all.

Lavender0916 posted 4/8/2018 13:11 PM

Hi Silver,
I know we havenít chatted in a while. I hope you are doing better.. However reading your latest post I may have something.

My oldest daughter was sexually abused too as a child by her BIo-momís boyfriend. Sadly, what is going on in our household has her triggered badly. She was a cutter. I have been super worried she will go back to cutting. She actually got a very pretty tattoo to try to cover up her scars. She has been doing VERY well coping through all this nightmare because her dad refuses to leave the house. (Hate California - I will have to finalize the D and then the courts will have to order him to leave). Her thing though has been cigarettes and physical activity and dancing.

As for your libido. Do you notice you get more ďexcitedĒ when you are under much anxiety? I ask that because i do. It was my coping mechanism to calm myself. I am much more calmer now that my STBXSAWH barely comes home (thank goodness) and I am not hypersexual. (Part of my FOO crap too). However in my relationship with my STBX, he wanted me to be a porn star and little did I know it explained why I constantly yearned for connection.

Lavender0916 posted 4/8/2018 13:13 PM

Oh forgot to mention about therapies. EMDR is very awesome when doing Trauma work. You have to find someone who is experienced and really knows what they are doing. I am addicted. It has helped me so much in just a few sessions.

silverhopes posted 4/11/2018 06:59 AM

I'm glad your daughter is coping well, though I'm sorry you guys are in this nightmare to begin with, Lavender. How long will it take to finalize the D? I hate that you have to live with him and a daily reminder of everything he's putting you guys through. (((((hugs)))))

Hmm. I'm not sure if I get more "excited" when I'm feeling anxiety, but my instinct is to say no. I'm pretty much always interested. I've never been diagnosed with hypersexuality, though to be fair, my psychiatrists haven't cared to check in much about my sex drive, past making sure I have one. Only recently have I been able to discuss my history of sexual abuse and feel HEARD. Fairly new psychiatrist, very very new IC, and they both have more compassion and make me feel safer than any other therapists I've had before now. Before, they therapists and psychiatrists didn't say much and let the subject die, rather than helping me address it. So I'm both grateful and scared to be doing the work finally. Maybe now I'll be stronger than my memories.

Thank you Lavender. I'll keep my eyes open for EMDR... Definitely worth looking into.

PricklePatch posted 5/25/2018 11:42 AM

I have never posted here. I am not sure why. I know this week has brought up my sexual abuse triggers. I need to go to the gynecologist. I havenít been able to make a appointment and keep it in four years.

It is silly, irrational and down right dumb. I have to go. I hate going because of my history. I havenít had a gynecologist in 20;years I trusted. I moved coasts, but went back my first two years for my annuals.

How wrong would it be to contact a personal friend who is an ob gun and ask them to see me?

devotedman posted 5/25/2018 11:45 AM

It would not be wrong, but they might refuse due to the medical thing of not treating friends and family. Not in medicine, me, so I don't really know.

OTOH, if friend doesn't want to do it then ask if friend can recommend someone who will not object to friend accompanying you. Having friend as emotional support / a second set of professional eyes might help almost as much as having friend do the exam?

Just shotgunning, here. Hope it helps.

hopefulkate posted 5/29/2018 10:32 AM

Hi Prickle patch! Absolutely take a friend! Iíve done it - totally normal! Good luck!

How is everyone?? This forum got pretty quiet. Thought I would update a bit.

MrKate and I are meeting with his counselor today because her mentor wants to use MrKates story in his research and talks he gives. His SUCCESS story!!! Wha?!!! 😍😍😍

Now by success I will mean phase 1: integration of parts to the same era. And by that I mean, through talk therapy and a willingness to go back to the bad feelings in order to process and purge them, MrKate was able to get all of his personalities to be in one room in the same time : the present. This is step one to having a working collective; still debating whether they want to be one or a group- that will be their (his) choice.

And now that he felt the feels and did the work to find the deep shame and blah blah feelings in the basement, he can now start antidepressants to help curb the depression and anxiety. Doing this prior to feeling the feels *may* have gotten in the way of the work *he* needed to do. Hard to say for sure.

As for life, he is ready to move forward and take some chances career wise. (This is big!) he continues to support me over three years in so far if I trigger or get sad etc. Even though he wasnít exactly consciously choosing to hurt me, I still hurt by those actions and he owns it completely. It has helped me heal tremendously!!

It is a marathon, not a sprint. He goes at his own pace (which admittedly at times feels painfully slow to me), but this is not something that can or should be rushed. Just like you canít rush a betrayer to heal, I canít rush him. It does help to take many steps back and see the big picture from time to time. The growth and changes we have made. How we relate to each other, to the kids.

Itís definitely not all roses and sunshine, but the trend is headed that way. He now says he wants to live and grow old, only to see what I look like as an old, old lady. He says, ďI want to see how this turns out.Ē 😂😂😂😂😂

Not too shabby from a guy who only three and a half years ago thought death was his only answer !! No!! Talk!! Share!!! Ask for help!!! You are loved!!!! Even by people who donít know you - so many people (like myself) have love for others ready to give it willingly!!!!

Anyway, thinking of everyone often. Just keep swimming...

devotedman posted 8/21/2018 12:37 PM

This thread was near the bottom of the list of I Can Relate. That's not a bad thing, given the subject matter...

This is mostly venting. Maybe. Maybe I have a question. If so, I don't know, right now, what that question would be. Maybe just my assumptions checked/validated/challenged? I dunno...

Anyway, a few days ago I had some interaction with a young mother. We're sitting around chatting while interacting.

She takes her turn and talks about how a family member has been abused her kid. Young kid. Then she says how she was abused by the same family member while she was a kid.

I gave her the websites Pandy's and RAINN and talked a bit about behavioral changes, etc., and how that sort of thing affects us long after the events are done. Emotionally. You guys know the drill.

It struck me how many of those behaviors -she- was exhibiting. Blaming herself for her young abuse. Trusting the abuser years later. Being way too open for the venue. Seeking validation, maybe?

Thanks for listening. I sort of triggered a bit while listening to her and again, right now. Dammit. Just, dammit.

Oh, one more behavior - Recognizing another abuse victim? Maybe?

Comments? Suggestions? Commiseration?

hopefulkate posted 8/29/2018 08:27 AM

Hey DM, I just popped in while waiting for something -I don't come here too often lately - but saw your post. My heart aches for everyone in your story, I hope a few days have helped clear the pain away some?

Wish I had time for more but I must run. Thinking of you and will be back later...

devotedman posted 8/29/2018 11:13 AM

Thanks for the reply. Yes, time has lessened the triggers, thanks for asking.

KatyaCA posted 8/29/2018 15:47 PM

Anyway, a few days ago I had some interaction with a young mother. We're sitting around chatting while interacting.

She takes her turn and talks about how a family member has been abused her kid. Young kid. Then she says how she was abused by the same family member while she was a kid.

I gave her the websites Pandy's and RAINN and talked a bit about behavioral changes, etc., and how that sort of thing affects us long after the events are done. Emotionally. You guys know the drill.

It struck me how many of those behaviors -she- was exhibiting. Blaming herself for her young abuse. Trusting the abuser years later. Being way too open for the venue. Seeking validation, maybe?

Thanks for listening. I sort of triggered a bit while listening to her and again, right now. Dammit. Just, dammit.

Oh, one more behavior - Recognizing another abuse victim? Maybe?

Comments? Suggestions? Commiseration?

I think she was seeking relief from guilt, relief from shame and some validation.

[This message edited by KatyaCA at 3:47 PM, August 29th (Wednesday)]

KatyaCA posted 8/29/2018 15:53 PM

I feel like this is probably the one place I most belong on this board and yet, I hesitate to put myself and my story out there. I thought I had dealt with it but since Dday almost a decade ago all of my childhood abuse keeps coming up and up and up and I feel like I am devolving. I thought I was good. If you didn't know it had happened to me you wouldn't have a clue so that's success, right?

I feel like I am walking around both visible and invisible in this world we live in. I am seen and yet mostly unseen. Does that even make sense to anyone here? I've always felt like the odd man out in so many ways.

Lavender0916 posted 8/29/2018 15:56 PM

Hi Hopeful and DM, long time no chat as I spend a lot of my time in D and S.

Hopeful, so happy to hear things are "growing" big hugs.

DM, you are much more patient and "calm" than I would have been. I do not have a poker face and I probably would have given that mother the worst look in the world of bewilderment.

Who are we to ever judge, but I noticed in my own personal healing I am finding that I am easily triggered.

Sad there is another victim/survivor in our midst and there is more qualified therapists out there to help than 15 years ago. Hopefully the young one gets the right help she needs early on and that f'in family member is arrested!!!

Can u do an anonymous report on this guy?

Glad u are feeling better. Big hugs

devotedman posted 8/30/2018 04:43 AM

KatyaCA said:

If you didn't know it had happened to me you wouldn't have a clue so that's success, right?

I used to think so, too. Whoo-boy, was I ever wrong.

I used to feel good about how it "didn't affect me." Right. I was unintentionally lying to myself. I was, I think, wanting to feel like a part of the pack when I didn't really feel like part of the pack. And I know now that that is all pretty normal.

I feel like I am walking around both visible and invisible in this world we live in. I am seen and yet mostly unseen. Does that even make sense to anyone here? I've always felt like the odd man out in so many ways.

This is actually a lot more common than everyone thinks. A lot of folk feel like this. They put it down to all sorts of personal differences when in fact (I believe, based on lots of reading) pretty much everyone feels like this at some time or another.

KatyaCA, I'm not saying these things to diminish or depersonalize you, or to disregard your very valid feelings. What I'm saying, though, is that perhaps your conclusions are naturally swayed to your emotional viewpoint. In other words, if I _feel_ alone then I must _be_ alone, right? Wrong.

In an "all roads lead to Rome" sort of way I'm saying that "all humans have a limited number of emotions." We have unique experience sets, each of us, but... -but- we only have a limited number of emotional responses to those experiences.

Take this statement of yours:

If you didn't know it had happened to me you wouldn't have a clue so that's success, right?

and turn it outward.
If I didn't know that it had happened to them then I wouldn't have a clue...

and realize that we don't know what has happened to others. We only know, at most, what they tell us has happened to them. Barring shared experiences, of course, but even those are subject to each sharer's personal interpretation of events.

So where does that lead us? I dunno, really. I guess that I'm trying to say, "Welcome and well met." We're all a unique collection of experiences but many of those individual experiences, maybe all of them, are the same as someone else's individual experience.

Perhaps this?
"Hi, DatyaCA. Welcome and well met. I'm a collection of good times and bad, of verbal, psychological, physical, and sexual abuse at the hands of my mother and also a collection of successes and failures and also a collection of feelings, interpretations, and reasonings based upon my upbringing. I'm human, hello human."

If you feel like perusing it the second post in this thread contains a collection of online and offline (in print) resources for folks like us, who have the shared experience of CSA.

Lavender0916 said:

I do not have a poker face

I do not think that I did, either. But, one does what one must, eh?

Regarding anonymous reporting, there is no point. It has been reported already and the affected are in counseling and the case is wending its way through the *ahem* justice system.

I'll not say any more partly because I know very little more and partly to maintain anonymity and because it isn't my story to tell.

Prayers and wishes of good outcomes to all involved is about all that we can do.

edited to add:
My mother died before I got married and had kids, but I've wondered before how I would have handled them around her. I've read that a lot of CSA survivors (literally, those who survive to child rearing age) blame themselves and so do not think that their abuser would abuse others. Or, have other thinking patterns with similar outcomes.

The long and the short of it is that I don't know how I would have handled that. I know how I would have wanted to handle it _now_, but I'm a more mature, less addled person now than I was _then_.

Knowing how fucked up _I_ was at various points in life I can only have empathy and sympathy for the fucked up now. That doesn't relieve them from the responsibility of their decisions and actions, but it does allow for some level of understanding. Not condoning, mind, but understanding.

[This message edited by devotedman at 4:48 AM, August 30th, 2018 (Thursday)]

Bestthing posted 9/3/2018 09:24 AM

Itís my first post here. My WH revealed CSA post affair discovery. The CSA on top of religious upbringing seemed to have his personality disintegratied. He felt he needed the illicit sex while he had love-making gentle sex with me at home. He said he carried a lot of shame about sex into our marriage.

I feel I am in limbo in terms of our marriage until he gets his CSA trauma straightened out. I donít feel safe and canít reconcile until I know what I am dealing with.

Is 6 months long enough to get him to see how his CSA is related to his infidelity? What does the recovery path look like? He has blocked out the identity of his childhood abuser. We donít know who it is but there are several candidates because his sister was molested and she remembers the abusers. He was also raped by a woman as an adult. He blocked that out until his latest AP reminded him (the AP was friends with the rapist.)

devotedman posted 9/3/2018 10:02 AM

CSA has some really long lasting consequences. People often take years to work through it. Your His compartmentalizing his abuse. He stuck the memories in a box, locked the box, threw away the key, and then hid the box.

Please read the second post in this thread, check out some of the resources listed.

His recovery path is going to be painful for him. For his child-self to survive he had to block painful experiences. Now he'll have to dig out and deal with things that were too much to deal with before.

CSA changes one in ways that are very strange to people who haven't had it happen to them. We can do things like tie random sex to approval and validation. We can compartmentalize behaviors easily. Some of us sleep around, some are almost monastic, and some kill themselves.

Some have sex as a way to recreate the abuse, maybe to prove to themselves that that is all that they're worth. Some to take control and change the outcome.

In most or all cases we develop coping mechanisms that are very skewed. After all, it is an abused preteen figuring out how to survive without benefit of caring adult input.

Good luck and ask more questions.

BTW, I know how messed up we are. I'm the first one to support you divorcing and the first to support you staying.

Bestthing posted 9/3/2018 12:44 PM

Thanks for the perspective, Devotedman. I see you have multiple betrayal experiences. What has helped your most in your recovery?

My WH finally found a therapist who he can confide in. With all the others, he didnít tell them about the CSA. The therapist suggested that he goes on antidepressants in preparation for their CSA work. I think she is anticipating significant pain as you mentioned.

In the meantime, I canít figure out my own emotions. Am I trauma bonding? Do I leave my best friend when he is on the cusp of fixing his biggest trauma? Why am I hyper bonding still even though I know it doesnít stop him from cheating? How can I respect myself if someone steps on me this much and I am still here? Why does my staying say to HIM? Part of his charm is that he gives me this child like puppy love. The good side of him is so devoted and loyal. Then, this disintegrated side showed up and turned out to be cheating on and off for the last 9 years. Heck I feel like I have be disassembled and HE shouldnít reconcile with me until I find out who I am!

devotedman posted 9/4/2018 10:20 AM

Bestthing, I've had two different kinds of "recoveries." A couple or three of my postings up on this page I describe what life at home was like. That is a recovery or recoveries from your WH's point of view. Then, I've had to recover from almost every girlfriend that I've ever had cheating on me. Those are recoveries from your point of view. There are links between the two, and each one is different.

Without further ado, here we go with more answer than you questioned :
Recovering from the abuse, which I remember all of (I think, there are no signs of protective forgetting in me), took years. First, I had to realize that the abuse was abnormal.

That last sentence might seem weird to you. However, my earliest memories are of a sexual nature. I grew up with the abuse and being abused. I grew up being taught to lie about it to the outside world. It was my "normal," what I grew up with, what I knew. In fact, it was the only thing that I knew.

Growing up being taught to lie taught me to, well, lie. I lied well. I lied often. Children who grow up being abused learn to lie to others to protect themselves, their life, and by extension, their abuse and their abuser. It is what the child knows. That doesn't make it a pleasant life -but- it is the life that they're familiar with. So the children learn to lie to others and also learn to lie to the abuser. They lie to the abuser to protect themselves.

Recovering from all of this takes a long time and in cases where the abused has "forgotten," or compartmentalized, the abuse it may take even longer.

First, we have to really internalize that everything that we learned when we were young and learning is, in fact, a lie.

Second, we also have to get comfortable enough to start the work that would "break through the wall" and release all of that hidden childhood pain onto the CSA survivor. That can take - a while.

Third, we also have to throw away all of our learned, defensive, coping strategies and re-learn new ones. This is sort of like having to "forget" that you always look both ways before crossing a street. Or, like forgetting how to ride a bike and re-learning it. Very difficult stuff. This, too, takes a while to do.

He likely will have to work through grief and shame, too. Kids are selfish little buggers and think that the world revolves around them. Anything that goes wrong in that world is, then, their fault. He'll have to work through that misplaced responsibility. He'll have to work through grieving the little boy's loss of a normal childhood.

Fourth, after all of that, he's going to have to work through betraying your trust.

I listed those in an order, but that is not how it'll go in real life. He's going to be dealing with multiple things at once.

One more thing for you about him before we get going on the other answer to your question, this from your point of view. That is, if you really want him to heal -and- you want to talk over your betrayal with an adult who has a healthy adult's healthy coping mechanisms: You're likely to have to put most of the work on his A off for a while.

We have another poster in these threads who was in exactly your shoes - her H had been abused as a kid, had a massive flame-out when one of his multiple-personalities wanted to kill himself, and then an A was thrown into the mix. She had to put off dealing with the A while he got healthy enough to deal with the A. Start on page one of this thread and read a while and you can probably figure out who she is.

Now, answering the question from the BS point of view...

Remember that I've never successfully R'ed. I've tried but one was lying about things and the other was, well, uninterested in R and lying about things. This will unavoidably color my perspective.

What helped me the most was:
1) Realizing that they weren't the prize.
2) Realizing that if their lips were moving they were lying.
3) Realizing that the continued lies were, in fact, deal breakers.
4) Realizing that living alone was better than living with them.
5) NC. No Contact equals No New Hurts. NC, NC, NC, and then NC some more.

The second time I wrote down a list, one item per line, of their actions and their lies. Then, anytime I had a positive though about xWGF I would end the thought by reading random items from the list. That kills love and regard pretty quickly, it does.

Both times I started doing things that would not have been possible for me to do while in the relationship. I started saving money after xWW. I got out of debt. I'm debt-free right now except for a couple of suits that I haven't picked up yet. I even pay more on my taxes than I have to so I get a return every year and thus don't really have to worry about coming up with money on April 15th.

I started learning how to do things that I didn't know before. I'm a mean recipe-follower ! I'm not a cook because I can't come up with amazing original stuff, but I can follow a recipe with the best of 'em. I tried new hobbies. I read new books in new genres. I started having better relationships with my kids.

I also discovered that my picker is broken. I am not responsible for women in my life cheating -but- I am responsible for picking, for allowing, the women in my life to -be- in my life.

My xWW was, in many ways, a spitting image of my abusive mother. Not physically, but mentally and emotionally.

xWGF, and other, more minor women in my dating life, had similarities, too. Things that I now know are Red Flags. I didn't know it then so those women made it into my life, but I know it now and if I were to meet them new today, well, I wouldn't date them.

Does this help at all?

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