Sometimes you need to know you are not alone.....

md4e

Registrant
It's been awhile since I have posted, seems like a lifetime has passed.
My H had some severe health issues and survival was my only goal. Things have calmed a bit and gosh you wouldn't believe it, but the wake csa left in its past is still here.....i say with a wink.
In some ways the pain i feel is a bit deeper, because i worked so hard at keeping him literally alive that i feel after all of this he could now work on resolving the trauma and dissociation. As my therapist says......expectations are the hardest thing to manage.
I have read all the posts during this time. Some new members have such a parallel mindset.
Thank you all for posting, sometimes reading the progress you've made has kept me hanging one. Knowing that it is possible to heal, show up for life and loved ones.
It really is the intimacy that gets stolen. Monetary, chores or helping other in a non-relational way....that works. But to be seen by a loving spouse of 36yrs, not having to dissociate during "life", that is hard. Loving someone so much tho having to always remember/consider the abuse and its effects...so tiring!!
Today is one of those hard days, having to accept its not me...its not me that he is reacting to. The past is still controlling his reactions because i believe from the bottom of my heart he the man i fell in love with and is inside him , would make or have a different response to me. He still runs from the base that he has to isolate and protect himself. But from me.....really. it hurts to the core.
Enough rambles, again a thank you to all that post, because you without knowing it have kept this spouse hanging in there.
D
 

HealingHope

Registrant
Hello dear friend. I’ve thought about you often and how you’re doing. So good to see you. There are two things constant aren’t there? Our unconditional love for them and the echoes of their struggles. The healing goes on. We grow too as they heal, I feel. But it takes its toll on so much. It’s hard to not take it to heart when they’re triggered or ‘away’ but know that without you, he could not have made it so far. You are a gift to him, the love in your heart will guide you, my love for my SO it guides me too. Always keeps me grounded like the roots of an ancient oak. Your strength is like oxygen to him... breathe dearest md4e catch your breath. You’ve got this. Much Love to you. HH
 
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I read posts in this forum to remind myself of my past, of the women who loved me who I couldn't stay married to. There was too much terror in intimacy and one can only play the seduction game for so long before it wears out. Yesterday I visited my former wife after asking her about where I might go to repair a tea cosy she made for me almost thirty years ago. We're friends still though my recent revelations about acting out behavior during the years of our friendship have caused her to step back from what we'd called a partnership. Now we're at friendship which doesn't include time simply hanging out or sharing activities, unless they're health related. I'm reading about betrayal and taking in her feelings of pain. As I do that I look at the quite lovely tea cosy she created and KNOW it was done as an act of love for me. I said that to her yesterday, a tender moment. I wish I could have done better when we were together, but I couldn't. I'm grateful that friendship remained and if she were to be willing for a closer relationship I'd be very happy. I'm not certain whether my healing work would enable me to open to the intimacy, but I'd like to have another try.

Deep respect to both of you for staying with your partners. I hope they're not acting out in ways that put you at risk in any way and I hope you have a good support system for yourself. This trauma stuff is very intense and disorienting. I wish you and your partners well.
 

md4e

Registrant
Thank you for responding,
Zilla..a cheer is always helpful.
HH..my comrade in this..what can feel like a war. I also have thought of you over my time away. Your words always feel like a loving hug to my tired sad heart. You get it, and gently encourage me to continue.
Your comment about us learning is so true. My heart, mind and soul have been expanded. I crave understanding, it allows me to be a better wife, mother, grandmother and such. What a wonderful world if others did the same....compassion, grace etc. Yes, i do think his life would have been very different without me. It's just those days that my soul screams I matter too, what about us. Abuse effects everyone!
Thank you again for the soul hug.
Visitor..hello, so nice to hear from you. I have read your responses to others. You have such a gift of compassion and willingness to share your story. That is the number one reason I have shown many of your posts to my H, with hopes it will click. That is the thing that is most troublesome for me, his not sharing(intimacy). The sad part is he says he doesn't get it, he then starts the usual....I'm here aren't I, I don't know how, I have told you what I know. It starts to feel like gaslighting because I do know what intimacy is, I have it with others. I then can get caught up in defending myself, trying to get him to understand what this situation does to me. Which I now know will only bring on the dissociation. Because I now am seen as someone wanting something from him, the past then is running his choices, because I do believe if he was present he would choose differently. I have seen that, it is why I'm here...thats the guy I love and trust, not the part that wants me to go away. Sometimes I just need him!
Wow, sorry for going on. I really understand your actions and hope your former wife understands. Your realizing the love in the tea cozy, is what it is all about. As a spouse thank you for sharing your story with her. Sharing who you were, who you are. My past posts talked a lot about the fear not knowing brings. So true in all areas.
And yes I am safe with a support system.
Again thanks for posting.
I'm hoping today is different. Yesterday was filled with deafening silence.
Peace and ease,
D
 
You pain reverberates through your post and I am so sorry you have to still go through this. The man you loved is still there. Just overpowered by the monsters in his past. He needs to deal with it or it will not get better. And you have to take care of yourself as well. You deserve that.

I am so sorry for the loneliness that this has caused you. It truly breaks my heart to hear the secondary victim's pain from the abuse their loved one suffers. He did nothing to bring on his pain. Nor did you. Please, please, take gentle care of yourself as you go through this struggle. You sound like an amazing person. We are here for you.
 

HealingHope

Registrant
Thank you for responding,
Zilla..a cheer is always helpful.
HH..my comrade in this..what can feel like a war. I also have thought of you over my time away. Your words always feel like a loving hug to my tired sad heart. You get it, and gently encourage me to continue.
Your comment about us learning is so true. My heart, mind and soul have been expanded. I crave understanding, it allows me to be a better wife, mother, grandmother and such. What a wonderful world if others did the same....compassion, grace etc. Yes, i do think his life would have been very different without me. It's just those days that my soul screams I matter too, what about us. Abuse effects everyone!
Thank you again for the soul hug.
Visitor..hello, so nice to hear from you. I have read your responses to others. You have such a gift of compassion and willingness to share your story. That is the number one reason I have shown many of your posts to my H, with hopes it will click. That is the thing that is most troublesome for me, his not sharing(intimacy). The sad part is he says he doesn't get it, he then starts the usual....I'm here aren't I, I don't know how, I have told you what I know. It starts to feel like gaslighting because I do know what intimacy is, I have it with others. I then can get caught up in defending myself, trying to get him to understand what this situation does to me. Which I now know will only bring on the dissociation. Because I now am seen as someone wanting something from him, the past then is running his choices, because I do believe if he was present he would choose differently. I have seen that, it is why I'm here...thats the guy I love and trust, not the part that wants me to go away. Sometimes I just need him!
Wow, sorry for going on. I really understand your actions and hope your former wife understands. Your realizing the love in the tea cozy, is what it is all about. As a spouse thank you for sharing your story with her. Sharing who you were, who you are. My past posts talked a lot about the fear not knowing brings. So true in all areas.
And yes I am safe with a support system.
Again thanks for posting.
I'm hoping today is different. Yesterday was filled with deafening silence.
Peace and ease,
D
“It's just those days that my soul screams I matter too, what about us.” I know this too, feeling left out in the cold as we patiently wait wrestling with our own insecurities all the while trying not to demand anything. You do matter so very much... your reaching out helps me, as I see your strength in all this. Remembering how you’ve caught me many times as the fog confused me for so long. Grateful for you. HH
 
There is a funny irony in this, of course. We represent the full picture of what trauma does... the men carried away by what happened when they were young and the women who love them who can't make intimate connection with them. But here we are having the conversation we all wish we could be having with our loved ones. I realize the best I could do with my former wife was to try to get her to understand the depth of my pain. Of course, even I didn't know the depth of my pain, so in a way it was a fool's errand. I wanted her understanding but even if she'd been there for me PERFECTLY, it wouldn't have healed the wound because no one can erase it; PERFECT understanding wouldn't have been enough to make real intimacy possible. So we're all caught in this painful dynamic of wanting things to change but not knowing how to do that. My wives, four of them, all loved me but they did not hold the key to my healing... I couldn't find the perfect replacement for mom, couldn't merge with a woman who would take the pain away, allow me to feel safe. (My mother was my first perpetrator so you can appreciate the insanity of the wish to merge with her.) What I needed was to find compassion for myself... to tell myself the whole truth about what happened and how it affected me... the whole truth about what I did to survive the feelings of terror and shame... and to find compassion for myself as I learned how to care for myself... Only then can I bring a real person into an intimate encounter... only then can I listen to my partner to hear of her pain, the pain that is the residue of my trauma. My trauma traumatized her and so long as I'm lost in my own drama-trauma story I'll NEVER be able to listen to her.

I'm so sorry you've been caught in all of this. There are no villains here, of course, only tender hearted people carrying profound pain. There really is a path out of this horror but we must each find it for ourselves. MaleSurvivor is an amazing resource, but even here men are struggling to find compassion for themselves. But at least being here one encounters men who have been realizing relief through the hard work they've been doing. There is hope here and men willing to engage in the struggle to find peace and solitude. We can support one another in ways that no partner can because we've lived the terror and shame. It almost broke us, but we survived and are committed to other men engaged in this struggle. Blessings to you. I hope your partners find the way to compassion and healing. We'll be here for them when they're ready to do the work.
 

md4e

Registrant
It really is lonely....for all involved. My H because I believe he still is in the "shame" of thinking it was him, and us that love them....so much wanting to love them and for them to love us. No, that already is going on, it is intimacy that is missing. The seeing and being seen.
Yes, Visitor I can't do anything about it and I know it isn't me, but all that knowledge doesn't make the pain go away. If I live in that knowledge I do struggle less, the same as it would be for him if he lived in his truth, instead of denial....of himself, of me, dang it is so unjust. If people REALLY knew the long reaching effects of csa I believe it could be different.
I saw someone bring up dissociation and I would like to comment here.....in our life dissociation is when he isn't here now, but making decisions using the tools that his young self did. Behavior that keeps him isolated, regarding me he will react not respond. In uncomfortable situations he will numb out. There but not feeling anything. Won't comment or leave, just waits til it's over. When that young part is running the show he doesn't make informed choices....just choices with using past info. Not the info of today. Very unsettling for me, hard to have a sense of safety if a young part is making choices. Our therapist said being present really means have a choice. Where if your still in the past....you feel and react as if you don't have a choice. Victimization. So complicated but simple to see.
All this makes for a life more difficult than needs be..for all.
Thank you all for your posts, it helps so much.
Peace and ease
D
 
I mentioned this thread when talking with my former wife this afternoon after we'd spent a couple of hours at the farmer's market. That is one thing we share that seems to work... she shops for produce and I play sherpa.

We dove deeply into our conversation and she spoke about how traumatized she has been by my behavior over the years. She is frustrated because she doesn't experience me being able to listen to her, observing that I turn the conversation back to my experience, my trauma. I did my best this afternoon to listen and she eventually said she felt heard. She thanked me. From my perspective, it is very painful to witness her pain knowing that my troubled life marred by very early sexual trauma has caused her so much pain. Then I dropped into the terror I've been avoiding my entire life, sobbing uncontrollably. I knew intellectually that this was here, but this is the first time I've gone into it. It is a very young place... from the time before language was available. I was overwhelmed by terror which doubtless belonged to my mother because she was doing things with her son that no mother should dream of doing. I'll be in therapy in a couple of days and this will doubtless be where we work... somatically because there is no story attached to any of these feelings... they are held in the body.

My former wife was very kind and is very supportive of my work around these issues. It doesn't change anything in terms of our relationship but at least we're addressing real feelings rather than defensive posturing. I'm far from finished with this process but I'm grateful to be doing the healing work rather than being lost in the pain. It is possible to heal, but it requires dedication and hard work. My wish for you both is that your partners would find their way to this website where they will receive support in facing their demons. it happens here every day. Blessings to you both.
 
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