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sexual abuse
October 31, 2000
3:42 pm
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nicole
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My boyfriend recently confided in me that he was sexually abused as a child. I love him very much and expressed to him that I would continue to be supportive of him and would never leave him. He had been afraid that once I found out, I would leave him. (He has issues concerning abandonment). But dealing with this new knowledge has not been as easy as I thought it would be. I find myself thinking all sorts of things, such as the possibility that he may have homosexual feelings as a result of this abuse. I'm not sure of the root of this fear, other than feeling that he may leave me eventually. I also feel that he hasn't told me the entire story of what happened in his childhood. I'm scared of how this will affect us if we were to marry. He has been in counseling for the past several years and I plan to join him. But in the meantime, does anyone have any advice on what I can do to heal from this troubling news? I love him and have no intention on walking away.

October 31, 2000
5:52 pm
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Molly
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Get all the facts that you are able, go to counseling with him. Trust your instincts, many times the age and frequency of the abuse can have a lasting effect, and may subconciously effect his choice in sexuality. He may be fighting this who the heck knows. You did not say how long the relationship has existed, and depending -- don't confuse love with lust, love takes lots of time, and trust. Be honost with your self in what you can really accept, and live with with out suspicion, with out doubt, and if he has been in therapy for years, don't think that you are the life boat. You both may end up sinking. Many people live their lives as victims, not necessarily by intention, but have not worked through the issues. Consider your depth of committment carefully, it almost sounds like he is setting this up for failure, do to his "fear of abandonment" Good luck to you

November 1, 2000
12:38 pm
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Messy
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I am a survivor of sexual abuse and I know that it feels really good to have some one that you are close to to stand by you and be by your side when you deal with this stuff. Its hard but basically show him that you will be with him through this whole ordeal and even after wards. Just be supportive but also share your feelings with him about it because you need a release too. Good luck

November 1, 2000
7:16 pm
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nicole
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Thanks for your advice. It feels good to be able to talk to someone. I don't want to betray his trust by confiding in my friends and family but that means I have to deal with it all by myself. Sometimes I feel that he has done an extremely good job healing himself and working through his issues. Other times I feel that he is a little defensive and unaware of some of the obstacles that remain. It scares me. I've never been in a relationship with someone who had as much childhood trauma as he did. I grew up in a household that had its problems, but it was for the most part healthy. He assures me that he doesn't have homosexual feelings but he does feel insecure around my gay male friends. He says this is a direct result of the trauma. I'm not going to leave him. I just have to figure out how to work through this.

November 3, 2000
1:33 pm
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Celie
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Nicole,
I can relate to the issues that you face. I have been married for 7 years and only discoverd a few months ago that my husband had been abused as a child. He had never told anyone else before and literally looked like a frightened child when he finally told me. Then he told me that our son and I deserved much better than him and that he would understand completely if I left him over it. How could I, when he is dealing with a lot of powerful emotions? He said that he needed help dealing with it, only now he won't talk about it. I too, have wondered whether or not he is fighting feelings of homosexuality, and recently have discoverd evidence of him visiting web sites that contain pornography that is most likely illegal in nature. I am terrified that I can't help him even though I strive to be supportive and understanding but I am even more terrified of how is dealing with or plans to deal with his feelings. I am ashamed to admit that I am scared for my son - he is only 2 1/2 and thinks the world of his dad. Can anyone offer advice?

February 22, 2005
4:58 pm
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wemoon
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recovering from sexual abuse is so hard. I was in therapy for most of my twenties and thirties. In my forties after a break I'm there again, flashbacks and so much rage that i don't know what to do with. My old pattern was to cut and drink myself stupid. as a recovering alcoholic I am not prepared to use alcohol to numb my pain and rage. i refuse to cut myself. being in the psychiatric system my doctor offers me prozac which i refuse and I am waiting to see my previous therapist. I am not in touch with my family now for 20 years because they didn't believe my father raped me. but he did, i don't know how long this healing takes. Intimacy with a man scares me and i feel alone and lost, I trid writing the anger out, drawing, smashing pillows yet still i feel it in my stomach and body. To all you brave surviviors out there what do i do?

February 23, 2005
12:43 am
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Murphy123
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I'm so sorry for all the pain you have endured. I'm a survivor of sorts- my daughter was molested for 3 years by my then husband- her father. Amazingly I believed her, though all who knew him (including myself) were shocked. It's been a rough couple of years but we're doing better. He's in prison- so for her that's been hard, but good, too.

I believe you need a good counselor. Maybe someone who can help you confront your father. Maybe that's what you need to feel (physically) better.

This (sexual abuse) is not an uncommon occurance, but it's just something people do not talk about. Maybe if we did it wouldn't be so uncommon. I was shocked what I learned of after the abuse was disclosed- so many people that I even knew who had never told me that at some point in their life they were either raped and/or molested. The victims are ashamed, angry, etc. In my experience he still does not get it. He knows it was wrong- but so wrong to go to prison?! He's not a "MONSTER"- he told me once. Well, what he did, and what was done to you, forever changes everything. The fact that you have no family support is devasting- you so need that.

Are you at all spiritual? If so I'd highly rec. a good church/group. If the idea has toyed with you for a while go seek one out.You need an entity that can carry you through this tough time. You've made it this far- and have the clarity to know that you need to stay away from drugs/alcohol. That's truly awesome!

Best of luck to you--- I'll be praying for you--

~Murphy

February 23, 2005
1:09 am
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orangeboy
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i am a survivor of severe physical abuse at the hands of both of my parents, ultimately ending in my having to move out at age 14 for my own safety. i've been doing a lot of healing work on myself. i've been so exhausted from what feels like years and years of work, only to never get any better. but then i realized that every step i take i get better. i can now admit that all of it happened without breaking down in tears and rage and wanting to know why. it's been a long hard excruciating process, and i feel like after a good 5 years of really really trying, i'm seeing some definite progress. i'm here for you if you'd like to talk about it more. i've been looking for a friend on this site to talk with about healing from abuse, but haven't had many takers. i've been reading a great book the last few days, called strong at the broken places. it's about child physical and sexual abuse. it's one of the most helpful books i've found because it applies to men and women, and survivors of emotional physical and sexual abuse. have you ever read the courage to heal? most of my friends who are women survivors of child sexual abuse have said that it's the most helpful book they have found. i just want to let you know that you're not alone here. this is an incredible space where you can be entirely confidential and say whatever you want, and people can and will be here for you to receive the love and support you need.

February 23, 2005
1:57 am
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Murphy123
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One more thing, when I said drugs I wasn't referring to antidepressants...

these MAY help you work through some issues... of course it's entirely up to you. They may if nothing else help you feel physically better until you're with a counselor you trust.

Again, best of luck!!

February 23, 2005
2:23 pm
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wemoon
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Thank you for your messages, i am touched that complete strangers take the time to write a message of support and kindness to someone they don;t know. You are truly amazing, couragous people and in sharing your journey of healing and pain, i don't feel so alone. Yes i have the books strong at broken places and the courage to heal and i plan tp see a therapist that has worked with me for many years. The flashbacks and rage has subsided tonight so hopefully i will sleep. My therapist mentioned a form of therapy called TIR which works with people who have suffered severe trauma, like raped, physical abuse and victims of torture. The therapist works with the individual to take back control over flashbacks rage etc by learning techiques both to manage and work through. She is trying to find a therapist in my area has anyone heard of this therapy, it is a new one on me. thank you again

February 23, 2005
8:21 pm
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hopeful for change
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I don't know how you fix it, I was molested my one man when I was four, and then my grandfather for eight years. I had alot of therapy.

Now I am 35, I don't really think about the actual incidents much anymore. I mean I can tell someone about it without crying. But I know the affects of it still linger. I know that I learned alot in counseling, like it wasn't my fault. But when someone who you love does such a thing, and your a child, you grow up with this warped thing. Self Esteem Issues, Defintley Sex Issues, Self Worth Issues.

In my mind, sex = love. When I first stared having sex by my own will, I just wanted to be loved. Giving it out like Candy. Eventually, I kept the candy to myself. But I never have been able to have just sexual relationships.

I am so sad to hear about your father. The relationship with our fathers really impact us I know that. I've had more of a struggle dealing with that than the sexual abuse from my grandfather.

My father is an alcoholic and has been emotionally unavailable my whole life.

I have major relationship problems. I am on my third marriage..I always pick men who are abusive and or addicts.

I think counseling helped me the most.

Sorry i rambled, hoped something I said made since.

February 24, 2005
5:09 pm
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wemoon
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Being sexually abused by someone you love, trust and expect protection and care and you are totally dependent on is one of the hardest things. Like you I equate sex with love, I prostitiued myself because i couldn't tell the difference and anyhow my self esteem was so low, why care. I too cannot deal with sexual relationship or should i say intimate relationship. i am afraid of going out with a man because he will expect sex and i can't give it to him. One thing i am trying to do because it is so hard is to reclaim back my sexuality. I am in the process of buying sex toys so i can explore my body and sexuality in safety and on my conditions. Just writing this fills me with shame and guilt but like you i have learnt in therapy that my father like the man and your grandfather didn't give you the natural opportunity to explore sex. i don't know about you but i hate when people talk about thier first sexual experiences, the innocence, the not knowing. my first sexual expereince was with my father, he took that natural development away from me and your grandfather from you. i too don't know how to fix it, i take my healing like you, i didn't think about the sexual abuse for years but now its back and i am determined to more than survive but truly live. I am furious at the men and woman that destroys childrens innocence, feel the rage not against yourself, but the men who hurt you so badly. You are incredible, we are still here, in my profession i have worked with survivors who have either killed themselves in suicide or drugs overdoses living on the streets. We who not just survive childhood abuse but determine to heal and break the cycle are brave people. Hopeful for change you are fixing it, we both are

February 26, 2005
9:36 am
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hopeful for change
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We are survivors. Ya know thinking about it all, I think one of the things that affects me the most is that I was robbed of my childhood. I was not protected I was not loved. I to lost my self esteem. I am 35 and in my head I know I am beautiful but in my heart I must not. One of the things I hate about myself is that I always need validation from someone else. I don't feel good about myself. I constatnly think I need a man, and want a man to take care of me and love me and protect me. All of the things I've never had. I've learned forgiveness, but I don't know how to heal myself. I mean its almost stupid, at twelve years old I was living on the streets, and had enough, street smarts and luck to not be killed and survive. So why do I think I need someone to take care of me?

When you said the prostitution thing, that hit a trigger with me, because when my grandfather molested me growing up he was so sick, he would make me earn the things that I wanted to say the least. Anyway, I always thought if I wouldn't have gotten counseling I would have ended up prostituting.

It is sick that we were robbed of our innocense and we don't have the things others do. I find it difficult to even talk to a partner about my sexual needs.

Its confusing, I just wish I could fix the part of me that needs so badly to be taken care of and loved and needs a man. i am so sick of putting up with shit. I always find people who are alcoholics or drug addicts. Hell after my life you would think I would be the addict.

Sorry to ramble

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