Return to Forum Index
FAQsFAQs  RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   SearchSearch   GroupsGroups   ASCA Web siteASCA
Log inLog in

Rock and a Hard Place...

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Return to Forum Index -> Friends and Family of Survivors
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Joined: 04 Apr 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:37 pm    Post subject: Rock and a Hard Place...

***I had to insert this note when I finished because this got to be a very long post. This is a year of chaos and turmoil that I've shared somewhat with some family and friends, but no one who would really understand. It all kind of just came spilling out once I started. I hate to say it but after finishing it all up my first thought was, "Wow. That wasn't even the half of it." I didn't even get to the passive-aggressive warfare, crazymaking, attention seeking ans victim/rescuer rollplaying, or how having to fight her to stop falling asleep while smoking made me realize she has no innate response to danger except in response to anger. But if at least one person reads this through and offers some advice, kind words, or anything, I'll be truly grateful. I wish that I didn't have to say "I think I'm giving up". I broke out in tears seeing myself write that just now. It sucks. I can't even really describe how it makes me feel except that it makes me cry HARD every time I say it. I know for a fact that I love her and I'm going to miss her terribly. I wish things were different.

I'm not trying to make myself out to be the victim. I'm not. SHE is. I'd like to say she's a "survivor" too but it doesn't feel right because her life is falling apart and she doesn't seem care. I'm not sure if she even can anymore.

I stopped looking at her like an adult a long time ago. She's more like a child's imagining of what a grown up is supposed to look like. She's not the tough, bitchy, thick skinned, laid back hot chick she makes herself out to be. She's actually just a kid who is really, really easy to hurt. I thought she turned into this mean, spiteful woman, but really she's just so insanely easy to break and she's the most fragile person I know.

That's the only place I know where to start; I think I'm giving up. I can't take it anymore. It isn't that I blame her for anything. I used to blame her a lot. I didnt understand why she was the way she was. It made me frustrated. But once it clicked that her father's sexual abuse wasn't something she'd just "let go of" like she said, it was something that had come to define her as an adult, I stopped blaming. I felt compassion for her and started blaming him instead.

Once it "clicked" it was almost like a spiritual experience. I didn't just understand it, I FELT it too. Two occassions at work someone had to pull me to the side to tell me I was crying and didnt realize it. My brain was so engaged in forming all these new connections between previously unrelated things and I was EXPERIENCING a new understanding, a simple truth that made me realize nothing had made any sense until that moment. Until some random neural pathway fell into the right place, made the right connection, and suddenly it all just made sense. Something that once you see it, you can't unsee it. It's just there and it's just Truth and it isn't really even good or bad yet because you havent even decided what to do with it yet.

This is going to be a bit of a "structured rant". Yes it will be somewhat "long-winded" but I have it in my head and I have to put it out somewhere or it's going to eat me alive. There isn't much to it except a series of connected things, "symptoms" I suppose, as they occur to me in the most structured way I can manage.

I hate to say it but I think I've lost hope. I finally "got it", finally understood it all, and I took advantage of my newfound compassion and just talked to her. Told her I didn't blame her about all the things I was constantly complaining and fighting about. There wasn't any more anger in me, it was gone, because I UNDERSTOOD now, and that it wasn't about any of these superficial things anymore, because I could SEE she had never really dealt with what her father did to her. I feared I might trigger her denial, which is often so detached from any realistic appraisal of certain things that I hate to admit it out loud, but I would often label as "crazy" or "completely insane" in my head because I didn't understand how anyone could think like that.

I was relieved that she agreed. She cried. Just a little. But said I was right, she tells herself she's "let it go" but has never really dealt with it in any meaningful way. She thought she needed help. Said she didn't really think counseling would do anything though, I said that was okay, we'll deal with that in time, right now we just need to find something and start SOMEWHERE.

Nothing has changed except now everything is just more obvious to me. MORE frustrating because now I KNOW she knows it's there, that it's kind of a big problem, but chooses to live day after day in turmoil and do absolutely nothing about it. She doesnt accept any outside input, doesn't seem to really care about anything.

Our daily life is often exasperating. Yesterday was an example of something "typical", it's a little game called the "hide the feelings" game. I haven't seen her all day, she gets home and barely acknowledges me when she comes through the door. I'm clean shaven and in a good mood and I know she likes my cheeks smooth so I tap my cheek and affectionately try to get a kiss out of her. Nothing. Barely makes eye contact. She has "something's bothering me" written all over her face. Her body language is screaming it.

I ask her if anything's wrong, she says nothing. I point out that she clearly LOOKS that way and ask if she's agitated because that's what I'm picking up on the most. She's not agitated. I ask if she's angry about something. She's not angry. It's never anything, but it's always something. I might as well ask if she's "potato" because my emotional vocabulary is meaningless to her. I'm blurting random words.

But I let it go after only a minute or two of casual, careful, and gentle conversation. I play along with her "everything's okay" facade and keep my happy face on and leave for work like it's no big deal. Inside it's killing me. I hate it. It's probably something stupid like coffee or cigarettes or I drank more juice than I'm entitled to and it shouldn't be that big of deal but it always is. And its usually over some arbitrary assertion of possession and entitlement. But we have to act it out in charades instead of just saying it.

I can go ahead and just not say anything if I want, I've done it for months at a time. We won't fight as much, and I'm sure she's comfortable, but it kills me. My brain will still interpret her body language and produce an emotional response, it's what the brain does. The only difference is I just don't say anything. This is just an example of some minor day-to-day frustrations, a little trickle through a dam that's cracked and crumbling and ready to give. There are bigger things.

Back in October we were going through considerable turmoil and took a "break". The instigator of this particular "break" was that she was supposed to be at a girlfriend's house and was at some dude's house instead. There was some story about her friend's mom being rushed to the hospital and I picked up on three subtle but distinct changes in the story that told me she was lying. I gently asked her to tell me the truth and she refused. I pushed harder, she denied harder. I called the hospital and told her that and there was just a series of additional excuses.

When she got home I went through her phone. Proved it. She was even calling me a "psycho" and a "lunatic" to one acquaintance because I called the hospital. It hurt a lot. I was bawling when I told her what I'd seen because I didn't understand how anyone could do that. She WAS lying, I picked up on that and KNEW that, plus we're supposed to love each other right? All that happened is I got blamed and hated and openly scorned for looking in the phone. Drove me to my parents' house because it was time for a break right then and there. And according to her she had already communicated that for weeks prior in her elusive passive-aggressive way and I was the idiot for not realizing that. I thought she cheated. In hindsight I wish she had because that would be so much more simple.

She was using heroin. She found an enabling little buddy that could give her both the attention from a man she sometimes craves (Ive come to call them her "sympathetic rescuers") AND wouldnt try to stop her from indulging in a past addiction. I didn't know it at the time but she brought the dope home with her. She has a 5 year old (4 at the time) and a 14 year old.

During the week I was gone, I still called her everyday to make sure she was awake to make it to the clinic where she receives methadone. She had been diagnosed with a sleeping disorder, narcoleptic syndrome. I didn't know she had relapsed yet. It was already part of the routine. On one occasion, I had to come over and physically wake her up because she wasn't responding to the phone. She was passed out cold on the couch while her 4 year old was alone to do whatever she wanted, which luckily was only sitting there watching TV. She took a bag with her when she left and was acting really odd about it, plus she has a purse and didn't need the bag at all. When she got back I heard the plastic rustling under a hoodie she was carrying and the fact that she was trying to hide it cemented it in my mind.

When I came back the following week, it was the only thing I could think about. What was in the bag that was so important? That day, my first day back after the break, she left to go to an appointment and I stayed to watch her daughter. I went upstairs to check the bedroom, told her daughter to stay put and Spongebob was on so she barely even heard me. Peeped out the door repeatedly to make sure she was staying in front of the TV. Then I found the bag. On the second shelf of the closet, arm's reach for her daughter, along with a shoebox containing a big ba of syringes, spoons that had been cooked in, empty dope baggies, rolled up bills, rubber hose, the works.

My first thought was that I might have to report her. I wanted to confront her about it first. But I knew she might just lie and get rid of it all so I took pictures. I was alarmed. I had seen with my own eyes the previous week she was unable to control her sleep and had on at least one occasion, left her unattended in the house because she was not awake to supervise her. This closet was also where we had often kept big bags of candy and her daughter KNEW that. Plus she has never set any meaningful boundaries with her; this is a wonderful, BEAUTIFUL child who I had come to love, but knows nothing of boundaries and knows very little fear or sense of danger, or even vague sense of "no".

We battled for weeks and she fed me stories, obvious lies, but impenetrable ones nonetheless. I was often angry, but other times gentle and calm and got the same stories. Her behavior was also pretty much erratic and sometimes seemingly "disconnected" is all I can describe it. The pinnacle finally came when I THOUGHT things were leveling out. One day we were just talking about scheduling the day to make it to a special event for her son. It felt as good as "normal" could be at the time. She was on her phone though, typing something, and it turned out she was typing an email to my mother to tell her what an awful, abusive man I am and how she needed to come get me or I would be "removed by force". My mom called me alarmed to ask if SHE was okay because she knows I couldnt be further from that type, and the email was so discombobulated it didn't even make much sense. And she was writing this while she was sitting RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME planning out the schedule for the day!

So I left. But I had to do something. Things were obviously out of control and I had no realistic way to assess the situation other than the evidence. And I had the pictures. I knew she might hate me forever but I'd hate MYSELF forever if something happened to that little girl and I could have done something. So I called the child's father and sent him the pictures and just told him the truth. The next day his lawyer sent me an affidavit to sign and an order of emergency custody was put in place. I hate to put it this way but she went berserk.

The next few months were insane. She claimed I Photoshopped the pictures. Put her son on the phone to say "My mom's not on drugs" to try and "prove it" to her daughter's father. She was threatening suicide and cutting herself but only to take pictures of it and send it to the guy she relapsed with. I came to get some belongings and she called the police, sat on 911 yelling "Calm down! Calm down!" at me while I sat calmly on the arm of a chair. Another occasion she called the police on me while I was sleeping. Said she feared for her safety and I was some abusive loser who she couldn't get out of her house, and the previous night I had went to bed to her telling me how much she loved me. Played the victim roll so well before they even woke me up the police wouldn't even let me speak. I have no idea why they didn't question how somebody who was clearly sound asleep could be threatening anyone.

To this day we can't talk about it. Any minor battle, if pushed to hard or for too long, eventually comes back to this. She blames me for it. All of it. She would never LET anything happen to her daughter. It was just a "one time thing". She didn't even get high because she was on methadone. She would have told me the truth if I hadn't been so angry about it. I didn't give her enough time tell me on her own. She'll say things that make absolutely no sense. But it's all about denial. Abject, concrete, impenetrable denial.

Things have leveled out but are still pretty much the same. What really made this sink in for me was pain. Chronic pain. Pain defines her as a person. She's always in pain. For years she's been in pain, mostly lower back pain due to a car accident. But when I casually mentioned the accident to her 14 year old a while back, he said "What accident?" and it kind of threw me off. Being in pain and "sick" in bed is the running theme of her life. She managed to maintain an enormously successful career but is also "sick" and in pain and helpless so much, she still has a bell she used to ring for a previous boyfriend to tend to her. "Achy" is the norm and often says her skin even hurts.

The most recent diagnosis is FMS. It fits with a lot of other things like chronic fatigue. But I also know she self-diagnoses. I watch her do it. Day after day after day of reading reading reading trying to figure out what is wrong with her. Then goes to the doctor and will exaggerate symptoms and minimize or ignore others. She's pretty much never completely honest with any single physician, and I've come to view her various docs more as pill dispensaries for whatever medication she's decided is going to fix it. Plus she's on a cornucopia of meds already. So who knows which symptoms are side effects at this point and which her body is actually doing on it's own. The thing with FMS is it's largely a symptomatic diagnosis, there isn't really a "test" for it beyond the doc pressing on certain points that are generally more sensitive to pain in patients with FMS. Honestly you could press on any point on her body and ask if it hurts when you press there and she'll likely say, "OW! Yes! It hurts there!"

Im not a doc and I'm not saying she doesn't have FMS or that she's making it up. To her it's probably real. It just seemed a little too coincidental that the literature on adult manifestations of trauma from childhood sexual abuse describe chronic lower back pain and chronic complaints of pain as symptoms. Pain is pretty much all we talk about, her life literally revolves around it.

I can't even have minor disagreements with her. Things that with most people you wouldn't even realize you just technically "disagreed" because its just casual conversation and no one really notices or cares. If something even hints "disagreement" she often gets visibly upset and storms out the room. But if I say she stormed, she didn't storm. If I say she stomped, she didn't stomp. It turns back into the "hide the feelings" game so I'm back to just not saying anything every other day and often a couple times a day that this happens which just lets her do whatever while I just sit there responding to whatever she's acting out, but in my head instead.

It's almost like everything is colored in strictly black and white. It's either something she uses to make her feel good, or it's something she's afraid of. I guess you could add one shade of gray, complete disinterest. It effects the family dynamic subtly but profoundly. Cleanliness for example, almost as a rule she does not pick up after herself. It isn't a general sort of laziness or mild procrastination either. That much I could deal with because honestly I'm kind of a procrastinator but my parents trained me to pick up after myself and put things away so for the most part I just do it. And I realized why. It's REWARDING to me. It feels good. I intuitively understand the benefit of it and the character it builds, the sense of personal responsibility that most people don't even consciously think about, and it feels GOOD for me to do it. I've always had some tendencies towards procrastinating but living here has made me feel like a neat-freak. I'm not. Meal times are the same way. It's just....not there. These are things I know on some level could make or break her son in college, and cause an enormous amount of stress for him in the future. Stress he won't be able to deal with because he's adopting her coping mechanisms already.

I know he looks at other families and sees they have something he doesn't and he WANTS that desperately because he's told me. He used to confide in me. He told me he felt bad because he didnt want to be here anymore and he wouldn't know what to do if I left. I made the mistake of thinking I could talk to her about it. She treats him the same as any other guy she talks to and it really sucks. It's all about attention. She gets very jealous if he gives it to someone else so I messed up when I tried to talk to her because she took it and made him feel guilty for it. Which I failed to recognize was why he told ME and not her in the first place. Now he stopped confiding in me. I also sense she's been telling him things when I'm not around to sway his opinion of me. It's just kind of evident in his attitude now and I've seen her do it before. I dont ask him about it, I've always been committed to NOT talking about her with him unless he brings it up and even then I only respond to and talk about his own feelings. Otherwise I just try to display good character and be a good teacher. Teach him about health and nutrition and discipline and hard work through my words AND my actions and I NEVER jump right in to anything without committing to some careful study first.

I finally got the the "this is it" point yesterday after the latest round of the "hide the feelings" game. The guy that she relapsed with is still a close "friend" although it's always been obvious that it's a deeply codependent exchange of needs and not much else. She was so adamant that he was a "good friend" and "like a gay dude" to reassure me about sex even though it was never about that to me and I explained it all the time. She did convince me to "give him a chance, he's a good guy" for a short time. But that only lasted a short time because WE are supposed to be in a relationship and she was going WAY out of her way to meet his needs and get whatever she gets out of it and all but neglecting anything going on at home. To the point where several times she went out there night after night while I was busting my butt at work and lied and it got so bad she was neglecting her sleep over it and wasn't awake at noon for one of her two weekly 4hr visitations with her daughter. They had to call the police to come wake her up and that is going to follow her into court. Rather than address the REAL issue of the clearly toxic person, she reaches out to other toxic people to help her slap together an excuse the court will find acceptable for being asleep at noon on one of only two days she gets to see her daughter. I'm not sure how that is even going to work, but I'm pretty sure there isn't one.

I got a little too curious last night and logged on to the phone account to see who she's been talking to. I don't go out of my way to figure out random numbers but there are a few I recognize and one of them is his. I texted her when I got to work just to maintain the upbeat attitude and thank her for bringing me some coffee earlier. She texted back a few hours later and said she just woke up. Thats when i got curious. When I looked that wasnt even remotely true, there was my solitary text sandwiched in between dozens of sent/received messages between her and this toxic person I've come to view as a living metric of how bad things really are. She has just ignored my text because she was completely engaged in whatever she gets out of that relationship. For hours. Didn't sleep at all unless her phone was sending SMS on it's own every 3 minutes or so plus a half hour phone conversation around midnight.

I'm not going to confront her about it because history has shown me that will never accomplish anything. It was more just personal, for me to have SOME way to assess where things are at right now. I thought we'd made some progress since we started talking about things differently, about her dad and her whole family basically accusing her of lying. But I can't help to feel like she doesnt even really want it. Like she just acts agreeable to get me to shut up because she knows that's what she's SUPPOSED to say but doesnt really mean it. I feel a little jealous yes, I'm as loving, affectionate and as kind as I can be, I just want to know what's wrong and I get nothing but lied to while she seeks out and refuses to let go of damaging relationships that she's putting ALL of her emotinonal energy into.

But mostly I'm just sad. Because I know what this might ultimately mean. I might have to just go. I can't say anything to her, but I can't just ignore it either. I can't keep getting hurt and just coming back for more. I have to draw the line somewhere.

I think that someone like her deserves extra chances. It's not her fault she's like this, her monster of a father infects her mind like a disease and that wasn't her choice. But on the other hand, she KNOWS that. So every day that passes that she chooses not to get help and keeps doing things the same way, IS her decision. So at least to some degree she has to be accountable and it's one thing to be more flexible with your boundaries for someone you love that has been deeply traumatized, but it's another thing entirely to just not have boundaries at all for someone that really doesnt want any help.

I hope somebody takes the time to read this. I love her dearly but I don't think I can take it anymore. I just wanted somebody else who might understand to know that.
Back to top
View user's profile Send e-mail
Site Admin

Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 489

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:40 am    Post subject:

What a terribly situation! It sounds like she's abusing you, too.

It's wonderful to have a supportive partner, but it's also not your job to be her doormat.

Good luck, and may you all find health and healing!
Back to top
View user's profile Send e-mail

Joined: 04 Sep 2011
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:35 pm    Post subject: Rock and a hard place

Your pain is screaming out in this post. I too am a survivor of childhood abuse of all kinds so I see what she is feeling. I also see my husband in you right now. He is frustrated and angry- with all rights to be so. I have taken all my past remembered and not remembered feeling of anger from the abuse out on him. I never meant to and until this week had not really seen how bad it was affecting me since I was taught young to act as if you're ok even if you are not. That is how an abusive home works- show one thing to others and keep the hurt and pain inside. I have treated my husband badly and am ashamed. I have sought out help to heal myself. It has to come from her. It does sound like she has given up- I too went for the numbing affect that alcohol gave me at least for a bit. I have stopped drinking because I realize it is only numbing me to him and to the healing I need. I have no answers for you. You know in your heart what to do and what you need. Don't deny yourself happiness and a calm life. I do understand that you want to help her, but from a survivors point of view, if she doesn't get to the acceptance point herself you can't make her admit the problem. It sounds like she also has some serious drug addiction problems which sadly to say will only make it worse and break her down faster, but again she has to be the one to admit it and seek out the help she needs. I pray she makes it through this and that her children remain safe. You sound like a good man, but like my husband, you can't heal us abuse survivors, we need to want to heal to start the process. If she ever gets there on her own then you may be of some help as a support system for her. My husband- bless his heart is a kind man and has tried to help me through all this- but until I saw it 100% then it was nothing but talk to me. The desperate need for help needs to come from her. I had to open my eyes and look at myself and my actions- and although the abuse suffered was not of my doing as a child, it made me hurt the people that truly love me. I had to realize that hurting people is not ok, no matter how bad I hurt inside. I hope she sees the light for her sake. Thank you for sharing your story and I am so glad I looked in this family section to see your post. Its a hard reminder of what I may have put my husband through and the pain our hidden hurt is causing others. Its a bitter sweet experience for me. This is a good site and I hope you find the answers you seek.
Back to top
View user's profile Send e-mail
Kikki Lilithian

Joined: 03 Sep 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:53 pm    Post subject:


Last edited by Kikki Lilithian on Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Joined: 26 Aug 2011
Posts: 54
Location: Upper Midwest, USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:43 pm    Post subject:


Kelly Clarkson - Save You.

Unfortunately, I know exactly how you are feeling. A male friend, just like me, had all the signs.

Gave him tons of information (3x), told him I'd been there. I know what it's like....denial, defense of his abuser, head in the sand, then started treating ME like I was the one who was suspect!!!

Hurt like hell - but had to walk away and continue to work on my own recovery. Getting sucked in to someone else's drama can drain the life out of you...and leave YOU feeling like you've been abused.

Just let her know that you will be there when and if she is ever ready...then get up, walk away, and do NOTHING until she comes to you.

Sucks. Trust me, I know.
Back to top
View user's profile Send e-mail

Joined: 04 Apr 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:42 am    Post subject:

An update to all who were kind enough to respond:

I left her in June. We kept in loose contact, mostly because I knew she needed help around the house sometimes and I helped her financially when I could.

The day before Christmas Eve she died of an overdose and her son (now 15) found her.

I'm utterly exhausted it's almost 2am here but I'll post more when I'm able.
Back to top
View user's profile Send e-mail

Joined: 14 Apr 2009
Posts: 1556
Location: West Midlands UK

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:10 pm    Post subject:

I'm so sorry that this had happened, but it wasn't your fault, this person obviously needed more help than you or possibly anyone could give her. I feel for her son too but also for you, take care of yourself, stay safe and look after yourself.
Back to top
View user's profile

Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:52 am    Post subject: LosingHope82

Know that you truly did everything you could do to help her, you went far above what you had to. She was abusing you, as we tend to abuse the ones we love the most because they give unconditional love. Your first post gave such insite into your Love for her, and she was so lucky to have had your Love. I am sorry for your loss, leaving was the best thing for you to do and you need to know the same out-come would have happened weather you had stayed or left. Keep in touch on here if you need encourgement threw this difficult time, we are here for you and care.
Back to top
View user's profile Send e-mail

Joined: 26 Sep 2012
Posts: 75
Location: wisconsin

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:55 pm    Post subject:


Please keep in touch when you are able. Grieving is hard. I belong to a grief support group. You were incredibly patient and loving. The pain and frustration it brought you was undeserved. How's the son doing? He will need a lot of help. You will need a lot of help. Please spill anytime you need to.
Back to top
View user's profile Send e-mail

Joined: 01 May 2013
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 3:34 pm    Post subject: I'm really sorry.

That was terrible. That was horrible. BUT it does remind one of the responsibility to heal from child abuse --- so we don't hurt others the way that we were hurt!!!! I have behaved in some pretty bad ways and have really hurt people because of this and I have been scared and ashamed. I NEVER want to hurt others. Yes I am so sorry.... This IS WHY WE MUST HEAL!!!!!! I am really SO SORRY......
Back to top
View user's profile Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Jump to: 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Return to Forum Index -> Friends and Family of Survivors Page 1 of 1  All times are GMT

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Powered by php B.B. - ©php B.B. Group