Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

A discussion area for anyone who loves a survivor and needs some support of their own.

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surportingMyGF
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Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:39 pm

Re: Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

Post by surportingMyGF » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:12 pm

i understand where you are coming from i really do. but i see it like this, i fell in love with this girl before i knew about her past, chased her for months and yeh before i asked her out i did know small details about it, but it didnt change my feelings for her or my view of her. i know i cant as you put it "fix her" and i dont want to, you shouldnt have to change for someone, well to an extent. and i dont want to lose her because of her past, stuff that isnt even her fault.

even through this past month or so where she doesnt want to see me, we have stayed in contact nearly everyday, mainly via txt but a couple of short phone calls have happened, i do miss her though. but there is little things that actually since i went to see her without telling her i was coming on friday have happened, this might not mean much to some people but she has gone back to calling me "babe", i sometimes get a "i love you" and she has said that if she isnt in hosptial next week she would like to come with me to a trackday im doing, yeh im not too hopefull on that as i know she is ill and she might not be up for seeing me yet but she has considered it, to me that shows she still has feelings for me and maybe she does want this to work.

and in a few weeks im going to be off for a long time, nearly 6 months, changes in courses at uni etc. and im just going to try and keep busy, get on with my life, my target is to get some money togeather to finaly get a racing licence. im not going to go out looking for anyone else, and im not going to leave my gf, people may say thats a bad move. but the way she clung onto me friday just made me think i cant leave her, she might not want to see me but there is something there, cant explain it. im hoping we do slowly get closer again but im going to make sure its slow this time, i want to make sure she is 100% onboard with this because i dont want eather of us to go through this again, doesnt do eather of us any good. but right now it feels like how we was just before i asked her out, other than the not seeing her but she is ill so i wont hold that one on her.

the husband
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:11 am

Re: Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

Post by the husband » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:30 am

Okay, here's my concern for you: You are glomming on to her tenaciously in response to glimmers of hope and receptiveness. I will leave it to the survivors to share their experience of how and why that might happen, but I'll give you the benefit of my years of being a loved one to many: In my teens and 20's, I glommed on hard to anyone who gave me the time of day. I scared off many, and often the ones that didn't run were survivors who didn't know what to do with me because I didn't even notice their attempts to warn or put me off. I think I did this because I didn't learn social norms. My mother is an alcoholic (among other things) and my father has Asperger's. It was a cold upbringing that led my confusion about societal norms, and craving affection. I can see now how many times I failed to heed well-intentioned warnings. I'm not sure what your story is, but it may bear examining.

Back on the topic of what you can do: Reliably do what she asks of you. Respect her boundaries. Don't succumb to the impulse to make grand gestures of affection, listen, don't overreact if she tells you something - but don't fail to respond either. Accept her truths. Don't rely on her. Be reliable. Be available, but not to your own detriment - respect your own needs. Don't expect romance.

Let he go on this journey of recovery on her own terms. Be there if she asks for you, but otherwise let her own strength carry her through. This is hard work, and she must complete it for herself alone.

surportingMyGF
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Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:39 pm

Re: Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

Post by surportingMyGF » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:48 pm

you asking about "my story" and saying that if i had any problems growing up, i never really considered i have BUT, there is one thing, its not really anything that happened to me, just what i witnessed, i never really thaught about it or even really saw it as different to anyone elses life untill last year when my nan was in hosptial, was probably the last day i ever spoke to her on my own. we was talking about my dad, and noticed how he has changed, now he still gets angry over things, sometimes small things but who doesnt? but she made me remeber something, now there was alot of occasions like this but there is one that sticks with me, one day in the car, with me, mum, dad, sister and nan, cant remeber where we was going but my dad was in one of his moods, and i was annoying him, dont remeber how but i was, and he would never take this out on me, but if my sister said one thing she knew about it, i remeber my dad pulling over, getting out, opening the back door and hitting my sister, hard and repitadly, because of what i done, and this wasnt a one off, im going to say that was the worst but it happened quite alot, he would also shout at my mum alot, to the point of making her cry....

what reminded me of this was just the other day talking to my gf on the phone while my parents where arguing, i dont know if thats had an affect on me, i dont feel it has, i dont have any problems really, maybe shy at times but i feel that more comes from bullying at school, but again since leaving school all of that has gone and i do slowly get more confident around people, as for craving affection i dont think i do, im happy to be on my own really, just i wish there was more i could do to help her.

so yeh, i dont feel my dad had much of an effect on me, the only one i can really think of is that if ive ever been angry or annoyed towards my gf (this hasnt been often ild like to point out) i have just pretty much walked away, because i dont want to show her any anger or shout at her, maybe thats because of seeing what affect it had on my mum when my dad did it?....well thats the only bad 'story' i can really think of

Lydia
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Re: Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

Post by Lydia » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:32 pm

Hi supportingmyGF,

I read through your posts here and on the other thread, and hope you take my words as they are truly intended, which is with much care and compassion. Is she really currently your girlfriend? I mean, If I were to ask her, would she say you are her boyfriend? Or are you ex's with hopes on your end for more?

It is really hard to see people we care about hurting, and survivors can send mixed signals (I know I did). Especially if a survivor comes from a place where they weren't allowed to say "no", or are left utterly with no self-esteem (common). I know that because of the abuse I underwent, everyone else' feelings mattered much more than my own. I would be uncomfortable a lot and not want to say "no" because I didn't want to hurt their feelings, although I was in no place to be in a healthy relationship at that time.

Husband is right -
Let he go on this journey of recovery on her own terms. Be there if she asks for you, but otherwise let her own strength carry her through. This is hard work, and she must complete it for herself alone.
I dated several guys who professed to loving me, but they were all in their own heads, and didn't listen to me. It seems like you are really well meaning, truly, but if she's been in the hospital, and you aren't officially together, and you are leaving soon for a while, it probably isn't the time for a romantic relationship. The best thing you can do is let go of romantic relationship ideas of her right now, and concentrate on being a friend Only if she wants it and is clear about that. If you are getting mixed signals and clinging onto single words "like babe", she's probably not able to give you the relationship you so want right now.

Much care to you.

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

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

Post by the husband » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:57 am

Lydia, thank you. It's that "not okay to say no" part that I was trying to get at. It was terribly confusing for me back then, and I'm sure very distressing to the objects of my affection.

supportingmyGF:
...my dad was in one of his moods, and I was annoying him, don't remember how but I was, and he would never take this out on me, but if my sister said one thing she knew about it, I remember my dad pulling over, getting out, opening the back door and hitting my sister, hard and repeatedly, because of what I done, and this wasn't a one-off, I'm going to say that was the worst but it happened quite a lot
At the very least, you were witness to ongoing domestic abuse in your family. That your father would hit your sister for something you did is rather disturbing, as are his moods. Abuse survivors tend to gravitate toward each other. That's not a bad thing, but it is something we all need to be aware of when it comes to cultivating healthy relationships. Speaking from my own (repeated) experience, sometimes intense feelings of protectiveness feel a lot like love.

surportingMyGF
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Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:39 pm

Re: Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

Post by surportingMyGF » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:43 pm

right erm, i want to try and clear up a few things here, i didnt mean i was going away for a few months i just ment time off, im finishing one course at university early and not starting the new one until october time, but i will still be at home during this time.

as for everything else, yeh maybe i dont know 100% where i stand in this "relationship" and right now i dont think it matters too much, i dont think her getting over her past is her biggest priorty right now, she is very ill, being monitered all the time. i hate not being there for her but she said to me "you know i hate you seeing me like this" so im not going to add any stress to her right now, but she quite often wants to talk to me, be it over phone or txt, as i guess she feels she can open up to me abit, so right now im just going to be there for her through this and try and give her a little surport, even if she is / was just a friend then i would try to do the same, she needs someone.

and after all this, im hoping ill get the chance to sit down with her and discuss 'us' see where i am in all this. and im going to take it from there.

also me 'clinging onto' small things, thats not 100% how i ment it, what i ment was before when she didnt really want me in her life, if i asked say, what you been up to today? she would respond with something like "i dont have to speak to you, you know, we are still on a break", and now i would get something like "sorry i havent spoke today, ive just not had the energy" (obviasly as she is very ill), it just feels like she wants me there a bit more, if its just a friends or more i dont know, thats what i want to find out once she is back at home, hopefully i will be back to ask about 'surporting my gf' but untill then i just want to be someone she can come to when she needs me....

the husband
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:11 am

Re: Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

Post by the husband » Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:09 am

I'll be thinking of you. I hope your (girl)friend's health stabilizes quickly.

Xanthia
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Re: Help with my girlfriend who was abused.

Post by Xanthia » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:43 am

Hi surportingMyGF,

I trust life holds many positives for you at the moment.

Wishing you a very happy birthday followed by a great 12 months. May you celebrate the beginning of your personal new year in suitable fashion.

Warm regards,
Xanthia

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