Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

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surportingMyGF
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Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

Post by surportingMyGF » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:24 pm

Hello, not sure if this should be here or in "our loved ones" so a moderator feel free to move this if you feel nessocery

Well, where to start, my girlfriend was sexually abused by her farther while growing up, I knew this before I asked her out but didn’t change how I felt about her in the slightest. As we got closer I learnt more and more about her past and she has been through a hell of a lot, sexual abuse, rape, violent relationships, and i just always tried to show her that I would never harm her, was always there for her, would buy her little presents sometimes and we was getting closer, she would have days where she just wanted to be on her own, and I guess that’s fair enough. at the time I didn’t feel like that it did annoy me but now after some time and learning more about her i can understand things like her flash backs.

then she did admit to me that she didn’t always want to see me because she was scared about getting close to me, she didn’t want to get close and then have me hurt her and lose her. I thought what I was doing was showing her that this wouldn’t happen but I guess not. but things where slowly getting better between us and we had an amazing valentine’s day what she did for me no girl has before and I really felt loved and felt like she wanted to be with me. then I don’t know what happened, the next day she went out with a couple of her mates, they all got drunk and home late, still herd from her while she was out. Then the next day she didn’t want to see me like we planned and she was questioning if she wanted to be in a relationship right now.

In the past she has said she understands if I want to take a break from this relationship while she tried to get over her past but I always refused, I just wanted to help her and be there for her as much as possible. Then after that weekend where she questioned the relationship we didn’t see each other for a week, I went round without telling her, she seemed a little annoyed at first but after a while she seemed happy and I had her in my arms again. Sadly that was the last time i saw her, around 3 weeks ago. She had been trying to distance herself from me since she went out that night, like not answering calls and texts. Then that weekend she said she wanted a break. That killed me I had never felt so low, felt like I lost the girl that id been fighting for. She said something along the lines of "I’m sorry, I know you want to help but you just can’t, and I’m not dragging you down with me". I went off for a few hours, phone off and when I can back I had a few texts saying that she loves me. So I was confused. She later said that this "break" should mean no contact at all, I didn’t know what to say to that but she did txt me still, sometimes she just wanted to talk.

I don’t know if this has anything to do with it all but when I was over last, she got a letter and i found out she was about to start counselling, if she has yet or not I don’t know, I don’t like bringing it up with her so i try not to.

I’ve never been through anything like this before, I’ve never known anyone with the past she has had so it can be hard for me to understand at times. She seems to try and block me out her life, when she is just angry she won’t talk to me, but when she is at her lowest, for example there have been two times where she has had or been close to having a panic attack she has called me after to explain and just talk. So I guess that she still wants me in her life?

i guess the questions going through my head constantly are why doesn’t she want me there, why does she want this break, and why does all this happen when I come along, she’s had relationships in the past and seems to have been ok, but her life just seems to fall apart when I start to get close to her.

wow this is longer than I expected, probably a lot I’ve missed out, but right now I’m just scared about losing her, scared she is going to hurt herself and.... I just want her back more than anything, feel lost without her....and I hate the fact that other than going to work she just does nothing, she never used to be like this, and as far as I know she hasn’t even seen her friends since that night out.

just wanted to add, when we got togeather, she was an amazing person, the best girl friend i could ask for, she is gorgeous, funny, starting to get on in life, as in she has a job she likes, but i just what her like that again, and i so dont want to lose her because of what other people have done to her

Jonesy
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Re: Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

Post by Jonesy » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:16 am

Hi surportingMyGF

I only just saw your post, apologies for not responding sooner.
It seems to me that your gf may well be doing the whole... 'I'll push him away before he does it first', routine. The fear of being abandoned can be a huge trigger and when things become overwhelming for survivors, the need to hide can be massive and the protective walls come up in a flash.

Just to know you are there for her is a solid support in itself and that she can talk to you if/when she is ready. Is it ok to ask how old you guys are? If she still has contact with her family (Dad) then that will most probably affect her daily functioning too. You also mentioned she was about to start counseling... this is a huge deal for many people and when you begin to prob and delve into an abusive past then the sea becomes rough for a while.

Keep writing for support - we are listening.
You are important
Email: jonesy@hush.com

surportingMyGF
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Re: Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

Post by surportingMyGF » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:23 pm

thats fine, thank you for replying

i am 21 and she is 19, she works full time and i am in university, she does still live at home but not with her dad, i think he lives localy still as she saw him once and this did seam to make her panic for a few days after, nothing too bad but u can tell she was upset.

she has said to me in the past that she is scared to let me close and let her barries down, i can understand that this may take time, its just that as it felt like we was getting somewhere they quickly came back up.

also she may not live with her dad but she has quite often got upset by her brother and said "he is just like my dad", there has been times where she has been ready to come over or something and then just locked her self away because of him, ive never really known what her brother does, i assume its only shouting at her or something along those lines rather then him acutally doing anything to her.
Last edited by Aspen on Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lydia
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Re: Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

Post by Lydia » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:18 pm

Hi SupportingmyGF,

It's nice to meet you, and I'm so glad to see your obvious care for her. My father SA'd me, too, and those walls you speak of are soooooo hard to break down. For me, they would go up anytime things were going really well. Not every survivor is like me, but for me, I wasn't comfortable with good.

You didn't mention if she is seeing a therapist or not, or what kind of healing she has undertaken on her own. Survivors need support, care, and safety to heal, and ironically, until we are ready to face it, we tend to push people away (and along the way in healing - it's a defense mechanism). The best thing you can do is to do what it seems you already are - care, support, and don't force. I know I felt overwhelming shame, disgust, like everyone else would find me disgusting, and the vast majority of people I have shared with have only accepted and cared for me. They see my abuser as the one who is vile, not me.

What are you doing to take care of you during this? I think one of the hardest things for survivors partners is that the healing has to be done by the survivor, no one else can "fix" us, we have to do the healing, and it is really tough to do.

Keep posting, it helps.

Lydia
Vulnerability is the most accurate measure of courage.-Brene Brown

surportingMyGF
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Re: Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

Post by surportingMyGF » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:11 pm

Hello Lydia

and you saying the 'walls' going back up when things where going well i guess does make sence, i do rember her saying that she finds it hard to accept how nice i was beening to her, and sometimes she is waiting for me to do something horrible but it just wansnt happening and she found all of that hard to accept. a couple of examples of this would be just before she went away for a week i got her a little present, a toy dog and she did take it with her, and as far as i know she still aint let him go. and one day she went to hosptial (elargic to nuts) and the next day on my way home i stoped at hers with flowers..and jelly babies (was playing it safe, i knew this wouldnt have nuts!) and there has been other things like that...i think she wasnt used to someone doing stuff like that for her, i was just trying to show her i cared for her.

as for her healing, i know she is having, or will soon be starting councelling, i know this as a form came through the post when i last saw her, and she did fill in some of it when i was there, that in a way showed me how real all of this way, i even found out a few more details about it all, maybe her way of telling me more about her? before this she was talking to someone over the phone, but she said she would rather speak to someone face to face and they found her a better councling (familymattersuk).

and as for you or her or anyone else that has gone through this, i cant see how you are disgusting. when i found out about some of this, i did go quite for a while (she told me over a phone call at first) as i wasnt quite sure how to react or think, but now all i feel is anger towards her and and who ever raped her, she is a lovely girl and really doesnt deserve to go through any of this, no one does.

as for me, i have had a bad month or so, when she was starting to distance her self from me i was starting to feel confused, angry, couldnt stop thinking things like is she seeing someone else? or what have i dont wrong? now im 99% sure neather of them things are or have happened, though sometimes i am still scared of her finding someone else, but i thinks thats just me. and when she said she needed a break, i did break down a lil, turned off my phone for a day and just stayed in my room really, didnt want to speak to anyone. but since then im trying my best to get back to doing things just without her, somethings are hard, like when i planed to do something with her, im now doing it on my own or with someone else and that just hurts a little but i guess its better than sitting at home doing nothing.
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surportingMyGF
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Re: Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

Post by surportingMyGF » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:12 pm

i did have a couple of slightly worrying txts from her last night

"Cant do this anymore i hate my brother he just like my dad. He keeps letting me down i ant do it anyor"
"That was a horrible flash back i been sick :'( i felt like i was being strangled"
"im so scared i cant go on like this"

cant say its nice hearing things like this from anyone, and is very hard to know what to say, i try my best but i have no idea what i can do to try and cheer her up at all when she is like this....
Last edited by surportingMyGF on Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

the husband
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Re: Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

Post by the husband » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:05 am

Hi surportingMyGF

I'm sorry I didn't see your post earlier. I have some experience in this area.

First, I must say that you are very young to be taking so much on. If I may ask, are you the child of an alcoholic, addict., or otherwise responsible for your mother at some point? I am/was and apparently this is quite typical of us.

You are very kind to be taking this on with your girlfriend. I must warn you outright that her recovery could take many years, or the rest of her life. It depends on the severity of her abuse, who she is, and how you respond. This will not be easy, and you owe it to both of you to be sure you are taking this on for the right reasons. If you are taking this on because you believe no one else will have you, walk away. If you think you can fix her, run!. She doesn't need to open these mortal wounds for a passerby. If you think that she is the one for you, are willing to subjugate your own needs (within reason), can tolerate the possibility of unmet expectations, understand that this is her journey and you have no say in the matter, and think that she is the most amazing person to walk the earth despite all this other crap - perhaps you should ride it out.

I hesitate to tell you that all of this is happening because you matter to her, because I have a sense that you really need to matter, even if it becomes detrimental to you.

Her brother is likely part of the problem. He might have been a sexual abuser, and he may continue to be an emotional abuser. Support her, but don't get aggressive with him. She needs your support, but she can't trust you if you go off and take matters into your own hands. Your anger and indignation on her behalf is likely enough.

Understand that she was robbed of her control over her sexuality before she even understood its significance. She may feel foolish, robbed, cheap, dirty, disgusting, and so on. Abusers often reinforce these feelings and tell their victims that they are worthless and that nobody will believe them if they tell.

surportingMyGF
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Re: Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

Post by surportingMyGF » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:47 pm

hello the husband

no, growing up I feel ive had a fairly normal family, both my real parents are still living togeather and I feel we are fairly close. I do really keep my self to my self but I know they are there if i need them.

and... I know I cant fix her, would be good if I could take all her pain away but I know I cant. and i do want her, i do think she is amazing, and i do want to go through this with her, even though its going to be hard, i can see that.

the day before yesterday she went to hosptial, i wont go into details why but i found out what ward she was on yesterday and without telling her i went to the hospital, i got there at the same time as her parents (her mum and step dad) and i was worried about how they might react, but they didnt seam in the sightest to be surprised i was there. though they did warn me they dont no how she will react. when we got to the ward she wasnt there as she was having some tests done, she came back in a wheelchair, stoped infront of her mum and got up pretty much falling in her mums arms crying, i steped back and just let them have a bit of space, she then asked if she wanted to say hi to me, while crying she just nodded and turned around. this was the first time in over a month i saw her and she was ill and upset so i was nervous. but she just clung onto me, her dad handed me her drip to hold and they left us alone for a bit. i managed to stop her crying, i even saw her smile and she laffed a little bit. she then said she needed to sit down so i helped her into bed, while she was sat there, looking down she said "why are you here, i dont want you to see me like this", and she asked me to leave, i just gave her a kiss, told her i loved her and she did say it back, but didnt look up as i walked away. i told her parents and they said i was brave for trying and thanked me for coming, it hurt knowing she didnt want me there but i didnt want to upset her any more so i just left. the way she reacted, by hugging me and everything it did make me feel she does still love me, she has told me she doesnt want me to go back today so i wont.

anyway i hope you are right in a way about that, that i matter to her i mean, but then i feel bad that in a way it might be me that cuases her to go through this again.

and about beliving her, it was hard to when i first herd it all thinking "how could all of this really happen to one person?" but now i know its all true, the more i find out about her the more i relised she has never lied to me about anything, not even in the slightest.

surportingMyGF
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Re: Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

Post by surportingMyGF » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:48 pm

hmm was thinking about your "If you think you can fix her, run!" no i dont want to fix her as such and know that isnt something i can control, one thing i really want is just to go back to where she would...accept me, like there was a time where if she had a long day at work so we wouldnt speak much she would come see me the day before, now i never see her, i just want her back...

the husband
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Re: Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

Post by the husband » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:50 am

I must say, I am concerned for you. You are young, and young people go through a number of partners before discovering who they are and who they want to be with. The endeavor you are facing here is one best left to life partners. In order to make you a part of all this, she would need to be able to trust you implicitly. I gather that you want that very much, and it worries me for you.

I am sure that your girlfriend is a lovely person, and the fact that she is "out" about her abuse now bodes well for her. She has requested space, and she has told you that she does not want you to see her this way. In my opinion, you would do well to respect what she tells you. You can tell her that you will be there for her, even check in on her every week or two, but honor her wishes. Be her trusted friend who accepts her for who she is. She is worthy of that. Romantic thoughts should be on the back burner, or perhaps on an entirely different stove in another country. Can you do that?

I'm telling you all this, and being a bit rough about it, because this is a major undertaking. If my wife and I didn't have kids, hadn't already endured so much together, and didn't agree before they were conceived that we would make everything work for the kids (long story, bad childhoods for both of us), I might well have walked away. And you know what? SHE would have walked away. As hard as it was for me, it was at least that hard for her.

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