How do I let this go : Trauma related to abandonment..

Bowierocks

Registrant
The trauma of having been in an auto accident at 2am on a rainy highway , side swiped by a big Cadillac who was going 90 mph and kept on going while looking desperately for my wife who had absconded with my kid without warning , or a note is still very real .. It was 8 months ago .. I have forgiven her as I love her and although I never, ever intended to scare her , I must have .We had gotten in an argument. . I think it was about how our sex life has been slowing down .. I love sex with my wife. It makes me feel safe and connected and lovable . She ended up stonewalling which is her go to in arguments .. She locked herself in the library of our house which has glass French doors and just won’t talk to me ., I hate that more than anything , as I can see her but I am cut off from her ..

Anyway , I went over the top ..Banged on the door to try and get her to open it .. Pulled a Van Gogh and threatened to cut my ear off and leave it there as I didn’t want to wait around . Yes, I know that’s nuts .. Finally , blew sone ganja smoke under the door which she hates .. Parenthetically, ganja , besides talking to another survivor snaps me out of a triggered state very rapidally. It helps my forebrain come on line , quiet the lizards who are in my limbic system and want a replay of old trauma . I become objective, empathetic , and basically ask myseif without loaded emotion about what I want out of the situation .. The answer is always peace , love and understanding ( just like Elvis Costello sings , ha ha ) .. So I end up letting it all go and just act loving and understanding ..

My behavior the night we argued was over the top . I am deeply ashamed of that as I would never want to harm her , and did not physically harm her. I have never done that and actually am the ‘malleable one’ in the relationship , and am usually fairly quiet and accommodating when my wife gets upset , as I am a kind person ..But I do accept the reality that I must have scared her , which is horrible ..

What still rattles around my head is how I begged my mother in -law that night to just let her know I was in an auto accident , That I love her daughter dearly , and to have her please , please call me .. I was in tears and hysterical .. but I was clear and spoke from the heart. My mother-in-law never told my wife anything .. I did the same with my brother in law , who I considered a close friend .. Same thing - no response or message given to my wife .

I know this is even more explosive and hurtful to me , a survivor , who was abandoned by my parents to be brought up by my physically and sexually abusive much older brothers , than a normal person .. And I know I don’t actually accept the whole concept of being abandoned - I wasn’t left on a doorstep like some . I was a latchkey kid , or a mistake , but a good mistake as my mom told me .. Still , I just read up on abandonment ( I don’t want to be a whimp or blame my parents at all ) , and a lot of research regarding how Gen X is the generation of latchkey kids .. I’m 53 ..

But it just hurts my soul that my in-laws , who I considered a surrogate family for 25 years , would be so inhumane and just let me die on the highway ..I considered them a surrogate family ..My parents died very traffic deaths . My mom died of ALS , or paralysis , 2 weeks before my first child was born .. My dad descended into alcoholism , married a horrible person quickly after my mom died , abd got killed by a crocodile in Africa . My brothers were abusive .. So I felt so relieved that I had a ‘normal family ‘ I could seek refuge with , my wife’s family ..

However , I have come to the conclusion that my in-laws never loved me, the feelings of being safe were all a facade . I was only treated well because I took care of their daughter , bought her a big house , car, had 3 kids , paid off her educational loans etc .When I stopped working due to sudden blindness as a surgeon , and had the trauma of my childhood burst in my face , I’ve been discarded like a half eaten McDonalds Hamburger left in the hot sun beneath a car seat ..

That night when I got in an accident I ended up calling my oldest brother . He just physically abused me , and only sporadically, as he used to protect me from my middle brother , and didn’t really sexually abuse me, as far as I know . Still I stopped trusting him as when I got older he would have psychotic breaks and turn into an absolute monster .. I had him on FaceTime .. I pleaded with him to give her a call .. He wouldn’t , so I got angry and said I would have to do something rash - like drive my car loaded with gas tanks a 100 miles across country to either find her or go up in a fiery ball .. I said it as an angry threat. I wasn’t serious . I am actually terrified of death as it’s the ultimate form of being alone .. Ironically , I have nightmares all the time about dying in a car crash .. My middle brother would refuse to steer and close his eyes all the time when I was the passenger at age 10 , making me take the wheel . I almost steered us into a barrier on the highway once ..

So my brother called the cops .. I got thrown into the worst psychiatric center in the state involuntarily when I tried to tell the police my story .. My brother has been involuntary commited a few times by my dad , who is a physician as am I , so I have a hard time believing it was altruism .. I think he wanted to suffer like he did and he did project a lot of what he doesn’t like about himself on me , and even blocked me for life on his phone when I got out ..
That is , he asked me if I would fill out an internet survey about being narcissistic as he scored on the severe category himself . I told him ‘no’ .. I have had 37 years of psychotherapy and no one has ever come to that conclusion .. I have way to much empathy .. Besides I just got out of a psych hospital and my kids are visiting so I will take a pass .. He got so angry he blocked his phone and said he would never talk to me again ..So that sucked .. Another person to just up and leave me .. I had a long winter of being alone in a rainy seattle in a big house with no job ..

Anyway , sorry this is so long ..

HOW DOES ONE LET GO THE PAIN of BEING SILENCED ?

It drives me absolutely nuts . My wife will often stonewall me by blocking her phone or putting on her headphones and pretending I don’t exist .. I panic and then fly off the handle as I feel manipulated and devalued to the point I don’t exist .. Then I end up apologizing for my behavior and we never address what the problem was in the first place as I am now ‘the problem ‘

BEING SILENCED is the WORST PAIN in the WORLD ..

I’m looking into meditation but if someone has any ideas or can just relate , I would be very grateful . Thank-you ..
 
This is going to sound as though I'm trying to silence you but I'm not. I'm just going to observe that this forum is intended for family members of abuse survivors to talk about THEIR experience. Your story really belongs in the Male Survivor forum where it will get more attention. Not everyone from MS visits this forum. I'd encourage you to ask a moderator to move this thread to a different forum. Hopefully, you'll find the support you seek.
 

mmfan

Registrant
@Bowierocks sounds like you've been through a lot, between losing your sight and your career, and your childhood trauma.

If your intention in this post is to understand your wife better, then I can share some thoughts and questions that are merely food for thought.

It sounds like the accident and her disappearing was traumatic for you and that it might have triggered a history of abandonment trauma. You mentioned you've been in therapy many years- has that helped at all with addressing your deep wounds?

How about your wife, what do you suppose was going through her mind when the accident happened? Was she upset? It seems significant that she took your (hers and yours?) child and fled. It sounds like she might have been scared and/or angry. Do you have any idea why?Is this the first time this has happened? Was there alcohol involved?

I wonder why she refused to speak to you afterward and why people close to her refused to bring her messages. Did she give you any indication why? Why would her loved ones feel the need to protect her from you?

You acknowledge that the "Van Gogh" incident scared her. Is this the first time something like this has happened? Do you often have trouble regulating your emotions? I can see how that would be very scary for her especially if you are larger and stronger than she is.

You mention your empathy and that is a great strength that will help you to understand your wife's perspective and might help you to identify areas that you can take responsibility for. This might be a step toward reconciliation.

Hope this helps.
 

Bowierocks

Registrant
I guess I scared her and feel really ashamed of that. There was no violence and I don't drink at all .. It makes me sleepy . . She did actually call me after 3 days when I was hospitalized, and said she still loves me . We did talk everyday at 1 pm ..

Yes, I have really deep abandonment issues . I was a latchkey kid and my brothers of 5 and 8 years beat me up everyday and my parents weren't around or didn't do much about it . It's very hard to understand abandonment as my parents did live with me . However, both my psychiatrist and counselor who are quite sharp , are very confident in saying I was abandoned . I hate blaming my parents who died tragically, one got eaten by a crocodile, and one died of ALS in a year long course of rapid paralysis.

Yes, abandonment really is at the heart of it. When we get in an argument, my wife stonewalls me . That is 'I've heard this before ' , or 'take your meds ' or call your therapist ' , or 'I've already discussed this ', or pretty much just leaves and locks herself on a room so I can't talk to her .

I have never hurt my wife physically and I am a loving husband , and loving father to my 3 kids.. I am so ashamed of what happened .. I feel like a monster that I swore I would never be , just like my brother. Any ideas about what one does about abandonment in terms of alternate therapy besides just 'talk therapy' ?
 

Bowierocks

Registrant
This is going to sound as though I'm trying to silence you but I'm not. I'm just going to observe that this forum is intended for family members of abuse survivors to talk about THEIR experience. Your story really belongs in the Male Survivor forum where it will get more attention. Not everyone from MS visits this forum. I'd encourage you to ask a moderator to move this thread to a different forum. Hopefully, you'll find the support you seek.
No , not at all . I didn't know .. Good idea . Thanks .
 

mmfan

Registrant
I guess I scared her and feel really ashamed of that. There was no violence and I don't drink at all .. It makes me sleepy . . She did actually call me after 3 days when I was hospitalized, and said she still loves me . We did talk everyday at 1 pm ..

Yes, I have really deep abandonment issues . I was a latchkey kid and my brothers of 5 and 8 years beat me up everyday and my parents weren't around or didn't do much about it . It's very hard to understand abandonment as my parents did live with me . However, both my psychiatrist and counselor who are quite sharp , are very confident in saying I was abandoned . I hate blaming my parents who died tragically, one got eaten by a crocodile, and one died of ALS in a year long course of rapid paralysis.

Yes, abandonment really is at the heart of it. When we get in an argument, my wife stonewalls me . That is 'I've heard this before ' , or 'take your meds ' or call your therapist ' , or 'I've already discussed this ', or pretty much just leaves and locks herself on a room so I can't talk to her .

I have never hurt my wife physically and I am a loving husband , and loving father to my 3 kids.. I am so ashamed of what happened .. I feel like a monster that I swore I would never be , just like my brother. Any ideas about what one does about abandonment in terms of alternate therapy besides just 'talk therapy' ?
Thank you for your willingness to share, @Bowierocks. I'm no expert but one could easily imagine that the loss of your parents would have had a profoundly traumatic effect, and would be more than enough to cause abandonment issues. It sounds like some of the dynamics with your wife are triggering those -the silent treatment for one, would be very painful for anyone (and I believe is considered emotional abuse), esp someone with abandonment fears.

My survivor also deals with abandonment issues, his developed at a preverbal age, we believe, and in so many ways he is still that terrified toddler desperate for a mother's protection and affection, and often I become that mother figure for him, which I do try to fulfill to the best of my ability, but it can be overwhelming at times. In the past he has gravitated toward relationships that recapitulate the coldness and rejection of his parents, and subconsciously trying to achieve a different outcome. He will sometimes perceive coldness on my part when I'm really just tired or completely drained, or when I'm ill, for instance, and have less energy to inject tons of warmth and reassurance into my voice.
I do notice that sometimes his extreme neediness will actually provoke the exact reaction he fears - because his neediness becomes so consuming, he sometimes has difficulty respecting boundaries and requires very strong enforcement of boundaries on my part.

I've read a little about attachment theory, and identified that my survivor has insecure attachment, and I have avoidant attachment. Apparently this pairing is very common.
I also read a bit about so-called attachment therapy, where the client relearns how to have healthy attachment via the relationship with his or her therapist. Although I'm not sure about the therapist-relationship bit, I do tend to agree that the key to healing attachment issues is to experiment developing healthy attachments, with the close aid of a therapist. This would mean focusing on building relationships with people who are stable, constant, predictable, and relatively available. Based on my observations with my survivor, I believe it will remain exceedingly difficult to heal as long as there are unstable, unpredictable, inconsistent or rejecting relationships happening.
 
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