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Helping a rape survivor
#1
So, how do I help my boyfriend, who has been raped twice in the last year, to overcome his fear of physical intimacy?

The last time was in December when he was on a trip visiting family and friends in another state. He didn't tell me any of this until after he was on a 3 week bender of booze and pills trying to avoid feeling anything. All he said to me was that he left the bar alone, and drunk, got pushed down and raped.

He's in therapy, but I don't know what him and his therapist are focusing on at all. He's got multiple issues going on, and this is just one of them.

The only times he has shown any sexual interest in me, he's been so loaded that I wouldn't feel right taking it farther. He's finally getting to the point where cuddling with him in bed at night isn't uncomfortable for him. He's not having nightmares about it as often. I can usually tell when he's having a nightmare, he tends to kick out a lot. Almost kneed me in the groin once, so now when he gets restless I turn over.

I've been patient with him. I stop touching him when he's uncomfortable with it (though it's so hard keeping my hands off his gorgeous body.) I try to make sure I touch him in non-sexual ways mostly (backrubs, foot rubs, leg massage.) The only time I've felt his hardon has been when he's asleep, which I don't mind holding onto, but anything more feels creepy to me.) Any other time he takes my hand away. I take care of my needs by myself, even though he's been open to me seeing other guys a time or two.

I don't bring sex up, other then to let him know that I'm willing to wait for him. Mainly I tell him how much I love him, and that I'm not going to take anything from him that he's not willing to give.

Any help would be appreciated. I've got no points of reference for helping him or even truly understanding the pain he is in.
Those who have HATE in their heart are HATEFUL PEOPLE
#2
Hi,
I haven't been on as much lately as I would have liked to be (personal/business issues have kept me busy) and I don't personally know you, so I was reluctant to reply to your post...but it kept coming back to the forefront of my conscious, so I will do my best...

To start, I would like to say that you can't ~really~ "help" a rape survivor. Infact, I would even argue that just because someone still breathing, that doesn't necessarily make them a "survivor" of rape---wether the person is a "rape survivor" or not is more determinant on how they cope with the violation over the course of years, because someone who seems to be doing well today with a rape that happened last week (last month, last year, last 10 years, ect...) may very well commit self-harm tomorrow.

Also, it should be obvious that every person is different and deals with trauma differently. Where as one person may be emotionally shattered for life, another may put it behind them like flipping a page on a book.

Essentially, what I am trying to get at is this: the BEST thing you can do for your boyfriend is to encourage him to seek out professional help. You mentioned that he is seeing a therapist, but from what you are saying he really needs to be getting help for his drinking problem.

I realize that, when you have strong feelings for someone, you want to do everything in your power to help them. However, helping and enabling can be two sides of the same coin.

There are questions I would like to ask you, and other things I might like to say, but I am not sure doing so publicly would be in your best interest. In all honestly, some of the things I feel compelled to say may not be taken well by you, so I am giving you an out by putting the ball in your court as to wether or not you wish to discuss them.

If you would like to discuss this privately, please feel free to send me a pm.

Best of luck,
~Beaux
Life is beautiful, and wonderful, and strange. Cool
#3
OP, consider talking to the therapist yourself to ask about ways you can provide helpful support. Ask about ways to "be there" in a good sense.
I bid NO Trump!
#4
kindy64 Wrote:...Any help would be appreciated. ...
Are you in therapy or seeing a professional? You don't need to answer that publicly. Its just that we (meaning anyone in your position) need to be very careful here. As [MENTION=13210]Beaux[/MENTION] said, you can't "help" him. You can be there, perhaps. But it is equally important to help yourself. To understand your own motivations. I say this because I learned in my last relationship that it is possible for two people to love one another AND -- completely unintentionally -- re-injur one another.
.
#5
Beaux Wrote:Essentially, what I am trying to get at is this: the BEST thing you can do for your boyfriend is to encourage him to seek out professional help. You mentioned that he is seeing a therapist, but from what you are saying he really needs to be getting help for his drinking problem.

A forthright and sensible suggestion.
"You can be young without money but you can't be old without money"
Maggie the Cat from "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." by Tennessee Williams
#6
Thanks for the words of wisdom.

No, I am not seeing anyone right now, last time I saw a therapist was back in November. Earlier this evening I had already decided that when we get our spending under control I'm going to get back with the last therapist I saw.

I have been reading a few self help books that one therapist had recommended. One of them is about co-dependency, so I certainly understand about the comment about helping versus enabling. I've always felt the need to help others, whether it's regular donations to charitable organizations, with extra money for large disaters, helping friends out, or even just giving money to strangers. I know that not all help is positive in the long run.

Since the end of January I've only purchased alchohol once for us. And that night ended pretty badly, with him throwing things around, yelling at me (because I bottle things up and don't talk,) started throwing his clothes in a pile to leave, and freaking out a girl that was staying with us. He ended up driving her and her boyfriend home that night, and was lucky it was his uncle who pulled him over just to fuck with his head. Other than that he has been fairly sober, and making his therapist appointments.

I understand that in the end, whether he is a victim or survivor is in his hands. As is staying clean. I know he has to want to get better, to stay sober. I haven't pushed to hard on him going to rehab because of that. I know part of his reluctance is that he has history of inpatient treament at a few facilities from when he was younger for cutting and suicide attempts. I remember one comment, when I tried to tell him how a breathing technique often helps with my anxiety, oh, I've done all that, none of it works.

Talking with his therapist sounds like a good idea, though I don't know if he'll go for it.

As far as my motivations go, I want him to be healthy and happy, and for the two of us to have a complete, healthy relationship both emotionally and physically. We've been working on the emotional side of things. We have been communicating more, he wants me to write a list of what I expect out of our relationship (which I'm struggling with,) and we've been enjoying each others company more.

I know there's no time table on healing from pain and suffering, we all do it on our own schedule. I'm just at a loss because I feel so powerless when it comes to helping him with this. And not powerless that I have no control, just that I have no help or advice or anything more I can do for him. And yes, one of my motives is selfish, I want in his pants, and I want him in mine. If that were all I wanted out him he would have been gone a long time ago. I love him and I hate seeing him in pain.

I figured with the depth of experience and compassion here on this forum I'd find some clues about what to do next.
Those who have HATE in their heart are HATEFUL PEOPLE
#7
Alto Wrote:there is nothing gayer than being raped.
Sometimes I think the only person that can amuse you..is yourself..

You lack baseline empathy, pride and respect .

Shouldn't you be looking far dates with flaky guys in coffee shops .. ?
#8
Alto Wrote:Or maybe I am just too honest.

My empathy is reserved for real life things, not fake shit on the internet love.
If you suspect it's fake..
You could ignore it..
#9
Alto Wrote:Or maybe I am just too honest.

My empathy is reserved for real life things, not fake shit on the internet love.

You really want to do this again? You are NOT honest, as I have already proven. One would imagine that you would try to be on better behavior, considering....but I suppose you can't help yourself...
~Beaux
Life is beautiful, and wonderful, and strange. Cool
#10
Beaux Wrote:You really want to do this again? You are NOT honest, as I have already proven. One would imagine that you would try to be on better behavior, considering....but I suppose you can't help yourself...
~Beaux

No worries bae, he's now on the ignore list. Just ignore him, he is a cad.

Quote:there is nothing gayer than being raped.

What a detestable thing to say ever, I'm glad my boyfriend doesn't read these posts.

Quote:My empathy is reserved for real life things, not fake shit on the internet love.

One has to wonder why he's even on the internet, or a forum like this.
Those who have HATE in their heart are HATEFUL PEOPLE


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