My boyfriend told me today that when he was young he was sexually abused by his fathers girlfriend on one occasion (when he was about 7or 8). This is a huge thing for him, he has told only his father and me, and i am having having a little trouble responding.
I love him and he loves me. This doesn't change that, unfortunately he thought that perhaps it would, he thought i'd feel differently about him. I don't of course, i still love him and I understand that what happened, as far as i can tell, wasn't in any way due to his enthusiastic (for want of a better word) participation, but he doesn't feel this. He feels guilt, he feels abnormal, he feels all those things we learnt that sufferers of abuse feel in PE.
I've told him i love him, i've told him it's not his fault, i've told him it doesn't change how i view him or feel about him but im scared, so scared, that he doesn't believe me. He won't look me in the eyes when he talks about it, he is ashamed.
I think the shame might have something to do with his dad's response to his disclosure as as far as i can tell he only said that the woman was disturbed. His Dad is also pretty Catholic and, while in general i have nothing against the religion, it seems to me like the teachings of his church have made him feel like he was responsible and that he is abnormal.
I really don't know what i can say, what to do. Does anyone have any advice? My boyfriend said that it has, in the past, made him contemplate suicide (when he was as young as 12 or 13) and i can tell it has affected him severly. It scares me that he trusts me enough to tell me, i know it shouldn't but it does. Now i know what do i DO? Has anyone been in a similar situation?
It's hard for me to understand, i've never been abused and even though my childhood was tremendously unhappy it was due more to it being unstable rather than the extreme suburban calm of his family, except for the one occasion where his dad left for a while and the incident occurred.
Sorry, getting off the track, just asking whethor anyone has any advice...
I love him so much and know that this doesn't make him any less of a worthy, 'normal' person, but i just want to know if i can help him to understand that.