I Have Strong Reason To Believe My Boyfriend Was Sexually Abused By His Mother, And I Need To Help Him.

cicismith135

Registrant
Hello,

I have come here to seek help for my boyfriend whom I suspect has been insestually abused. I am very grateful to have found this forum and I thank all those who gained the courage to share their stories. My deepest sympathies go out to you all and I wish you nothing but the best on your healing journey. Your posts have given me the strength to finally take action on the matter, I have been confused and stressed for so long on what to do and how to approach him.

We have been together just over 2 years and the suffering caused by his mother only continues to grow worse. It’s time for me to step in and do everything I can to help him. I will explain the timeline of events chronologically. The first 3 weeks of our relationship we were having sex near 5 times a day, which I felt was normal during the honeymoon phase. He told me he’d “never had so much sex in his life,” and he’d “wonder how long this would last.” This felt odd, but I paid no mind to it. Soon after he started opening up about his sick mother, at first he was very vague and I interpreted that she had dementia. But soon found out she was a severe alcoholic, with depression and brain injury from the 30+ drunken incidents that led her to the ER. Her mother died by suicide when she was just 6, and she told me she was abused by her step mother. She’s incapable of self-care and needs 24/7 supervision, and my boyfriend was the only person in his family who supported her for the past decade. At first I saw this as heroic, that he was a really good son. As things unraveled, it’s a clear case of Stockholm syndrome. One by one each family member abandoned her because they could not deal with her behavior any longer, she has gone to multiple rehabs, and retirement homes. She’s in her mid 50s, but has a memory span of 2 minutes, she’s completely disassociated. He has had to deal with this for most of his life, in his teens he would act out in class which resulted in his mother sending him away to one of those boot camp schools where they kidnapped him and he had to earn all his privileges - like a pillow to sleep on, using the toilet etc. with “good behavior” meaning, to take the neglect and abuse they inflicted. This only traumatized him further. He has broken down sobbing to me about 15 times longing for the love of his mother, wishing he could just have his mother back. At this point, I view the situation as a bad case of neglect, and I comfort him as much as I can through it. I spent 2 weeks packing up her belongings to send her to a new retirement home, my boyfriend was exhausted from moving her from place to place every year, it would be too painful to do it again - so I was happy to do this for him. I found hidden alcohol everywhere, and she offered me sex board games and lube to use with my boyfriend, when sorting through her stuff. This made me uncomfortable, but again I paid no mind. I excused it for her absent mind. She was kicked out of this top of this line retirement home we spent months trying to get her in to, in just 3 days… For a drunken accident. Now she lives with her daughter in another state, to take the weight off my boyfriend. Once I saw first hand what he is dealing with, I started to understand why he is the way he is. For example, on his birthday he got into a fight at 2 different bars and we were kicked out. When we got home he broke down crying saying he wishes he could control his anger and he hates this about himself. Without any word proceeded to show me a video, from a year ago, of his mother drunk is his bed begging for sex. She said “can we have sex, please. Please?!” I was shocked and sick to my stomach. She was staying at his house and managed to find alcohol while he was out working. He came home to find she had pissed in his bed and was asking for sex. Him showing me this video was a cry for help, I could tell he wanted to tell me more so badly, but the words were trapped inside of him. 6 months have passed since the video and I have not brought it up, I have been avoiding it… but it keeps replaying in my mind as if I was there. I can’t sweep it under the rug, because it’s uncomfortable to talk about, his pain is no match against my discomfort. My silence is deadly and enables these things to continue. I can no longer be a part of the problem. I have to face fact that this is just this video is just of the ice berg; his mother sexually abused him. It would explain his explosive anger, delusions of betrayal, controlling tendencies, intimacy issues, his lack of sex drive (we went 5 months without - currently have sex once or twice a month), and why he doesn’t want to go down on me. He is physically healthy and has a successful business that he built from the ground up, I see he has turned his pain into drive. But at the same time he is constantly in survival mode, he is overly prepared for everything and always on the go, he is distracting himself in every way possible. Beneath the big muscles, the big smiles, and list of achievements, there is a wounded soul. He is one of the most outstanding human beings I have ever met, the only person I’ve ever trusted, the only person I can fully rely on, the person I would want to be with of the world was ending, he goes above and beyond in every way he knows how, and all of his friends have nothing but good things to say about him. He has consciously made the decision to not let the abuse ruin him, he is the warrior that vowed to end the cycle of his generational abuse. He deserves peace. I will take any advice or insight you have to give! I’m now ready to take on this journey and be by his side every step of the way.

Thank you.
 

DanielQ432

Registrant
The best thing you can do for him in my opinion is to encourage him to find whatever kind of professional help he needs. If he is ready to accept that, great, but if not nothing you can really do.
 
Yes, what you describe would be horribly traumatizing in many ways. Honestly, coming to terms will all of this is much more than a loving partner or a group of trauma survivors will solve without professional help. It is good that his mother is no longer on the scene but he has spent a lifetime grappling with shame and trying to make the world work for himself and his mother. He can take care of others but he has no idea how to be with his own feelings or take care of himself. Getting into fights in bars suggests both alcohol and anger are problems for him. Of course, he distracts himself all the time. Being with himself is practically impossible. There is much work to do. I don't expect your friend would be excited to talk with a therapist, but honestly, that is exactly what he needs. It should be a therapist who understands child trauma. And don't allow yourself to get lost in his struggles. You need your own support or you could drown with him. If you're using alcohol to soothe yourself I'd encourage you to stop. This is not party time... it is healing time and to do that you both need to be present.
 

cicismith135

Registrant
He’s gone to therapy once throughout our relationship - and was very off and angry for days after… which I’d expect to be the outcome since they dug deep during the session. I will push for him to go back. Thank you for your reply!
 

cicismith135

Registrant
He’s gone to therapy once throughout our relationship - and was very off and angry for days after… which I’d expect to be the outcome since they dug deep during the session. I will push for him to go back. Thank you for your reply!
I think it turned him off from going back // he swears he’s tried everything he can before he met me like support groups, leadership programs etc.
 
he swears he’s tried everything he can before he met me like support groups, leadership programs etc.
Unfortunately trying is not the same as succeeding. I think we all have been in and out of therapy for much of our lives. Sometimes we click with the therapist other times we do not. When we do not click we usually quit. I do not know how you can get him to try therapy again but sounds like he really needs it. Perhaps look for a therapist who specializes in trauma. Not all therapists are good at it. I have therapy once a week and on the night I have therapy I often have nightmares and anxiety attacks. Some times it lasts for a few days. He is lucky to have you in his life.
 
It can be very difficult to accept that we've been traumatized by our mothers. It is easier to lose oneself in trying to make the world okay for her than to acknowledge the pain we feel. It is classic co-dependent behavior. As I said, he appears to have issues with anger... which can easily be the case. When we aren't taking care of ourselves we get resentful. He is trying to take care of mom, which has been a losing proposition forever, yet he kept trying and never got a positive result. And so he is angry... but not with her... not enough to begin taking care of himself without alcohol.

You're a good friend to be seeking help but you can't make him take care of himself. A leadership program is not going to solve a history of trauma, nor is a support group that isn't focused specifically on trauma. He is traumatized. Honestly, if he isn't prepared to work with these issues directly, I don't hold much hope for your relationship... Please don't abandon yourself.
 

cicismith135

Registrant
Unfortunately trying is not the same as succeeding. I think we all have been in and out of therapy for much of our lives. Sometimes we click with the therapist other times we do not. When we do not click we usually quit. I do not know how you can get him to try therapy again but sounds like he really needs it. Perhaps look for a therapist who specializes in trauma. Not all therapists are good at it. I have therapy once a week and on the night I have therapy I often have nightmares and anxiety attacks. Some times it lasts for a few days. He is lucky to have you in his life.
Definitely going to do my research on the best trauma therapist I can find, thank you so much!
 

cicismith135

Registrant
It can be very difficult to accept that we've been traumatized by our mothers. It is easier to lose oneself in trying to make the world okay for her than to acknowledge the pain we feel. It is classic co-dependent behavior. As I said, he appears to have issues with anger... which can easily be the case. When we aren't taking care of ourselves we get resentful. He is trying to take care of mom, which has been a losing proposition forever, yet he kept trying and never got a positive result. And so he is angry... but not with her... not enough to begin taking care of himself without alcohol.

You're a good friend to be seeking help but you can't make him take care of himself. A leadership program is not going to solve a history of trauma, nor is a support group that isn't focused specifically on trauma. He is traumatized. Honestly, if he isn't prepared to work with these issues directly, I don't hold much hope for your relationship... Please don't abandon yourself.
Thank you for your well written response, it means a lot! You’re right we are starting to hit a fork in our relationship since each outburst of anger comes more frequent and gets more scary.
 
Remember... he is the one who needs a trauma therapist... your finding "the best trauma therapist" does no good unless he's committed to doing the work. His more frequent outbursts of anger are not a hopeful sign. I hope you have a good support system for yourself. If not... you may wish to speak with a therapist yourself to discuss boundaries you may need to feel safe. Your encouragement/insistence that he seek help could trigger an angry reaction. Please be careful. You don't want to become another victim of this family's brokenness.
 

Me&Me

Registrant
practicing mindfulness/meditation can help control anger, it might sound contradictory but practicing martial arts can often help people get anger/aggression out in a controlled way rather than a toxic way, obs professional help is the best port of call. I found group therapy and art therapy with other survivors of abuse helpful.
 

JeremyG

Registrant
Definitely going to do my research on the best trauma therapist I can find, thank you so much!
I have been in therapy for 27 years. It wasn't until a childhood trauma victim I trust advised me to "find someone who specializes in trauma to help you; you cannot do this alone" that my life began to turn around and make sense. It was, and is, hard work; and your boyfriend needs a specialist to help him. Good luck.
 
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