I am new to this!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2003
I am new to this!
6
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 10:04am
Hello All! I am new to this whole message board thing but I feel like it's time for me to find other people to talk to that also have a history of sexual abuse. I am in a loving, committed relationship currently but my boyfriend is having a hard time dealing with all of this. I am finally seeing a therapist to work out my issues and my boyfriend feels frustrated because there's nothing he can do about the situation. I feel like I have so much to work through and I don't have a clue how to help him. I am looking for a support group so that I now other people have gone through this and survived!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 12:48pm
Welcome to the board! Your instinct to seek out a support group is a wonderful one! I have found more healing in support groups like this one and the one I attend face-to-face. OA has also been great for me. I never thought I would be a support group person, but they sure have helped me. Me thinking I would never be a support group person was isolation (a definite effect of the abuse) talking.

I hope you'll keep coming back!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 1:36pm
thank you for welcoming me! i am already viewing other postings and finding my way. i am so glad there is a forum for people to feel comfortable and unashamed of their pasts. i look forward to signing on and getting support from people like you. thanks a lot!
Avatar for hayleywart
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-08-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 2:29pm
I am also new to this bed, but I have used message boards before (Domestic Abuse and Bedrest Pregnancy) and have found them to be amazing. The support I have had has helped me through so much, and no one understands quite like other people with the same experiences. I can really feel for your boyfriend struggling to deal with your past experience. I don't know what your situation was, and I know that I am a bit of the 'odd one out' here, because my abuse was at the hands of my xh, but I know how my 'new' husband battles to deal with it. Part of the reason I use message boards is because I can't talk to him about it. He is very understanding, and has never been put off me because of it, but it makes him so angry and it really hurts him. Also, I don't like to discuss what happened to me with him, because I don't want him to picture me in those situations. I still have a lot of contact (God forbid!) with my ex because we have a 5 yr old son together, and he has visitation regularly. As a result, my husband has to see and speak to my ex often. This is incredibly difficult for him, as he is so angry at what has happened to me. This is the main reason I don't discuss things with my husband - he becomes too angry to be able to communicate with my ex - he gets the shakes, and turns white at the mere mention of his name! I don't know if I am handling this in the right way, so I won't suggest you necessarily do the same, but I find the best thing is to find support from elsewhere, to protect him from being hurt by it. My relationship with him is far to precious to risk losing. Perhaps we should look for a message board for them - 'Partners of sexual abuse victims'! Are you in therapy? I confess, I am not. Partly also because of my husband - I try not to let him know how much it is still on my mind, and by seeing a therapist I'll be admitting to him that it is. I did see a therapist when I first left my husband and she helped me a lot, but she was counselling me more on my general marriage/divorce situation, and not so much on the abuse. She did organise a sex therapist for my ex to go to, as she said he definitely did have a problem. However, he denies to this day that his preferences are anything but perfectly normal, and still maintains that I am the one with a problem.

At the end of the day, you are both the innocent victims of abuse, but as it was you who endured it first hand, I like to think he will be able to support, and stick by you while you work your way through it. Best of luck to you both, and be sure to visit the board often - I'm sure you will find strength in it.

Hayley
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 7:33pm
Thanks Hayley, it makes me feel better knowing that people can have these issues and still be able to have a loving relationship. I'm not sure if your husband would be interested but I found a book called "What about me? A guide for men helping female partners deal with childhood sexual abuse" by Grant Cameron or "When you are the partner of a rape or incest survivor" by Robert Barry Levine. I think it might even be helpful for us to read and help communicate with the men in our lives. My problem is that I have so much guilt in terms of the things that happened to me that I can't bare to have any more guilt about my boyfriend and how this effects him. And yes I am in therapy and though it hasn't been a quick fix, it is so empowering to talk about all the things I kept quiet about for so long. It is difficult but not going because of your husband and what he might think is still letting him control you in some way. I think you should do what you are comfortable with but consider talking to someone as well. I just hope that my boyfriend and I can make it through this because I would hate to lose someone over something that wasn't my fault- I hate that the abuser has such an effect and doesn't care. I am still in the angry stage of getting over this and the person I was abused by is dead and so I feel like I can never have a real resolution!
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 10:30am
Hello, and welcome to the board! I'm sorry not to have welcomed you sooner; things have been hectic the last few days, so I haven't gotten to the new posts as I'd like to.

It's great that you've made the decision to find a place(s) where you can talk about your abuse. It is very validating; has made all the difference for me. I also have a great counselor.

Maybe something to keep in mind is that as you are helping yourself you are also helping your boyfriend. As you get further along in your healing, maybe he can attend some counseling sessions with you. It's important for him to understand how he can support you, and if he understands what issues are there for you, that will enable him to be especially sensitive in those areas.

A book I've seen recommended here in called Ghosts in the Bedroom (I think) and it's for partners of individuals who have been through SA. I haven't read it myself but you might want to check it out.

Glad you're here; you've taken a great step by coming and posting!

Hugs, Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 2:12pm
Thanks for the welcoming, I am hopeful that with counseling and support my boyfriend and I will get through this and become even closer. I find it comforting to know that there are other people out there dealing with the same issues I am. I also found a book called "What About Me?" for partners of sexual abuse victims that I might read myself to help understand my boyfriend's point of view. I think just talking about and acknowledging my past abuse will help me get over it and maybe I can help others along the way!