easier for survivors to manage situation without partner?

 
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lino333
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:41 pm    Post subject: easier for survivors to manage situation without partner? Reply with quote

I have been in a relationship with a woman for 1 and ˝ years and she had told me that she’d been abused by her step father, without giving more details.

One month ago she had a big issue at work and she sent me an email (I was away) to tell me that she had a crisis and all feelings/memories had resurfaced, but that she was getting medical help.

She also told me that she did not love me anymore. That she had tried but that she was not meant for relationships. That I had been the best partner and human being she had ever met but that it was the end of it.

2 weeks after the pick of her crisis she accepted to see me. We had a pleasant 1-2 hours but then told me that although she feels good when we hug and kiss, it is only temporary, that after she feels bad again. She also told me that she feels uncomfortable having someone worrying about her, waiting for her. She says that we need to let each other go, that she needs me as a friend and that she does not think we could be a couple again.

It seems to me that she loves me and that the crisis has made her sentiments go away and confuse her. Have been through that? Is it temporarily?

Is this part of a stage of reconstruction? I am supposed to her at face value, leave her and go abroad to keep on with my life? Or I am supposed to stay close to her?

Is it easier for survivors to manage the situation without partners, as she seems to want to do it?

I precise that I will help her even though our relation is dead and that I will never reproach her the efforts I decide to make (stay close, how long, etc.).

Basiquely I would like to know how to help her and if there is a chance that our couple survives.

Many thanks for your comments and help
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LoneWing
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello lino,

I am a survivor. I am very sorry you are going through this. You have sadly become a secondary survivor. By that I mean that when someone we love is harmed, we too are harmed.

There are no solid answers, but to say that the best you can do by her is to honor her feelings and requests. There is no way to know if she needs time, or truly feels that at this point, she can no longer bond with anyone.

When memories first started coming back to me, I really didn't have a choice but to be utterly selfish. I was so lost, confused and in so much pain, it was difficult to talk to anyone. I looked in the mirror, and the person looking back at me looked like a stranger. It was very overwhelming.

Touching was out of the question. I didn't want anyone near me. I felt insane, and I was afraid - of myself, of others, but especially, of men. I was afraid I was losing my mind.

In a way, I was. I was losing all the lies and illusions which my mind had wrapped around me, to keep me safe. But I hadn't really been real. I didn't know it, but the biggest lies were the ones my mind had told to me.

I had believed myself strong and honest. I believed I survived my traumas without any mental deficits. I believed I made free choices. None of it was true.

My choices and decisions had all been made from a protective cocoon of fear. I didn't realize how numb I really was until I started feeling the pain of what I had survived, and what I had lost.

It didn't mean that I didn't love those in my life; it meant that I had no clue who I was, and needed to find the ground again. I needed space and time alone. I also needed the stability that "losing me" took with it. At the time, I didn't know what I needed.

I'm sorry if this is confusing, but that is what it was. There is nothing that I can say except that you can only be responsible for yourself, and kind to yourself. Modeling healthy behavior, including protecting yourself from undue emotional harm from anyone, including her, is a good thing you can show her.

Be good to you, too.
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lino333
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much LoneWing,

I hope you are now feeling much better.

I recognise her so much in your story: the need to be alone, the need of space, the idea that she is crazy, that she doesn’t know who she is, etc.

What do you mean by "honor her feelings and requests"?
she doesn’t want a relation with me and says that there is no way back but at the same time she gets serious panic attacks at the idea that I disappear from her life. She wants me to stay as a friend.

So I don’t know if I should be honest with her and tell her that I love her so much and being just friends is hard…or if I should lie and tell her that it is ok to just be friend, and suffer at least until she gets better.

What is the best way to honor her feelings and requests?
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alva1
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey, I'm the partner of a survivor..almost everything described in the original post and the first reply feels like her (my girlfriend). I cannot say how oddly comforting it is to read that others are experiencing what we are.

Lino..my advice to you would initially would be to stand by her from a distance, leave communication open and up to her. but on second thought as someone who has experienced the same convo more than once with my own gf..I have to tell you the hardest part is how intense the worry for her becomes. knowing that I may very well be the closest person she has and fearing that without that at least something horrible could happen?? idk it's like intense fear vs my own anger vs her confusion vs my own at this point. I feel you dude..
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LoneWing
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lino and alva,

I hardly know what to write. Being a survivor is like a roller coaster ride, and anyone who loves me knows that.

I am alien to non-survivors. Either a person is a survivor, and can empathize, or is not a survivor, and can sympathize. It is very difficult for me to explain to a non-survivor what I might be going through, because doing so may trigger me. If I don't explain, how can he be understanding?

Triggers are painful, and just identifying them is a process. I don't want to be triggered in public, which is not safe. I need to experience and live through my triggers, but at my own pace.

So that I'm not misunderstood, I understand a trigger to be one or more stimuli that induces involuntary thoughts, feelings, emotions and/or physical pain from the traumatic events. It's a reliving of the trauma.

When I say "honor her feelings and requests," she may not know what, but something may be triggering her. If you are doing no more than standing near her doing dishes, she may ask you to leave, or run away herself. She may be reliving her trauma. She won't be able to explain it, much less tell you why she suddenly yelled at you to go. She doesn't want to feel what she's feeling; again, it is painful. It may not be you she doesn't want near, but the memory that has been evoked.

I'm a runner. I am sometimes out of my room before I wake up. At work, I have a boss who uses the same tone of voice as my father's, and I put my headphones on to avoid being triggered.

One time, my late fiance and I were in an argument, and we were both angry and starting to raise our voices. It took me a moment to see his blank-looking face, and realize he was no longer participating. I had gone from our argument to holding him responsible for things he never did. He never hit, raped or abused me, but I was defending myself against a perpetrator. I was ready to fight. My heart was racing in fear, my brain was a jumbled mess, and I was so confused. The argument had triggered me. I think - don't know - that when we were arguing, he took a step. That was it. It was just an angry man coming at me, and I was no longer in the moment, but a vulnerable child, about to be attacked.

Another time, voices raised, I grabbed my purse and checked into a motel. Don't get me wrong, we didn't argue often, but when we did, all he had to do was raise his voice, and I could be triggered. Later, I could barely recall the argument.

That is what I meant by honoring her feelings and requests. It's not a choice for her to relive painful events. Is it possible that because of you, her brain finally feels safe enough for her to heal? These childhood traumas were suppressed, and must be processed to move through them, grow beyond them, but it won't happen unless she's in a safe place.
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briancoxlhd6
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi my names brian and i am no longer a partner of a survivor but i still very much love her and want to help her and my self also my girlfriend and i broke up last month the issue is she feels like i molested her one morning we had been living together for 2 months and where in a very good relationship when she told me this two days after i had made her feel that way i was shocked and hurt and disgusted with my self i have three small children from a previous marriage and that has always been my biggest fear when they are visiting with there mother she told me that she had been molested in the past but wouldnt go into details and i didnt press for any out of respect for her i felt that when she was ready she would talk i encouraged her to seek counseling but she refused she wanted to deal with it on her own that what i had done that morning brought all the repressed memories back for the next four weeks we still lived together and at first she was trying then came more fighting i started sleeping on the couch then she started staying at her brothers we broke up seven days later she filed charges on me and after a two week investigation the DA's office decided not to press charges the detectives told me that her report and mine where almost exact im not hurt that she filed charges im hurt that i hurt her even though that was not my intentions because of our location there is not many resources to get help for me i find my self unable to sleep in the bed we shared or sleep much at all is this guilt for what i did is it possible that something i did that morning to trigger all those memories to come back and even though that wasnt my intentions now im just as bad as the person that hurt first.
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