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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » dont know what to do. :(

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Author Topic: dont know what to do. :(
forgetregretxox
Neophyte
Member # 37421

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My boyfriend was physically/mentally abused alot when he was younger, and weve been friends forever, but lately the topic seems to come up alot more.
some days, hes completely attached to me and hates not touching me or whatever.
but then other days, he flinches when i evern touch him...
it was never like this before, and i dont understand why hes suddenly so affected by it...he seemed to have been 'over it' for a long time...and now hes acting weird and he seems to talk about it alot and i dont know what to do or how to make him feel better.
please help. [Frown]

Posts: 20 | From: ontario, canada | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
atm1
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 37835

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Chances are, the biggest thing you can do to make him feel better is just listen if he wants to talk. But make sure to take the space you need to take care of yourself. Supporting someone dealing with these types of issues can be really emotionally draining, and if you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to take care of him.

Also, you may want to ask him before touching him, or only touch him when he can see that you're about to do it. There may also be times when he simply doesn't want to be touched. That's a pretty common response when someone is dealing with any type of trauma.

It's completely normal for a survivor of childhood abuse to go through phases that are more difficult than others. One thing to know is that often, when people seem like they're "over it" they can be forcing issues to the backs of their mind and simply not dealing with their emotions. In my experience (I help run a support group for survivors of sexual misconduct of all types, including people who were abused as children), a lot of people need to push through a lot of pain in order to really process what their trauma.
I know several people who were "fine" and "over it" for fifteen or more years and before they started processing what happened and were suddenly really affected by it.

Just know that what he's going through now is completely normal. He might also really be able to benefit from some therapy, so you might want to mention that to him. There are therapists who specialize in dealing with childhood traumas, and pretty much any therapist will have dealt with the issue in the past.

And don't forget to take care of yourself, too. If that means you can't listen too him all the time, that's okay. It doesn't mean your a bad partner.

Posts: 2262 | From: in transition | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
forgetregretxox
Neophyte
Member # 37421

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im trying really hard to listen, but its really hard to hear what he tells me...like it hurts me alot to know some of the things that were done to him, and its really...i dont know, painful for me to hear almost. i listen because i know he needs me to, but its hard and yeah.
ive started to ask him if i can tough him, and it helps make things easier so thanks for that. [Smile]
i just dont understand why its affecting him right now? like i dont know if something triggered him into thinking about it more or what, but either way, i know that he needs to push through the pain and such, but ive been trying to find a way to make it less painful for him to get through but i dont know what to do...
i mentioned the idea of therapy to him, and seemed to get kind of insulted. personally, i think its a good idea, but he says it makes him feel "weak" and meh...i dont know...

Posts: 20 | From: ontario, canada | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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