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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Support Groups » How and when to say something...?

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Author Topic: How and when to say something...?
Member # 35336

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Hi all... So I'd just like to say that I'm doing so much better than when I first started posting about everything. Though I still have some sleep interuptions, I've been sleeping through the night, I have fewer flashbacks, and fewer nightmares, and both are much less intense when I do have them. I don't feel as panicky anymore, and even some of the things that used to trigger me, don't really trigger me as much anymore, and the things that do, I've learned to sort of control...

Anyway, that being said, I've just started to enter a new relationship. The guy is the most amazing person, all around. He's so sensitive and caring, and he makes me feel so special about myself, even when I feel like I'm not worth it, he makes me feel like I am. I can feel myself light up when I talk to him, he makes me feel so good, I can't really describe it. I've known him for awhile now, but never thought of him as anything but a friend, but recently we started to have strong feelings for each other.

What I'd like to know is, when is the right time for me to tell him about what happened? I know now may be too early, but I'd like to be prepared for when I should say something... Also, How do I say it? How do I breech the topic without totally freaking him out (which I don't think he'd do, but just in case) and scaring him. How do I tell him all this stuff, everything that's been going on with me, and how do I bring it up. Still, talking about it is really hard, and I don't like to. It's not saying something happened that's so hard, but saying what happened is still really hard to talk to anyone about. But what's the most effective way to do it, if I need to...

Posts: 401 | From: USA | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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You know, to be perfectly honest, I've found that for myself, as a survivor of several abuses and assaults, that anyone who is going to be "scared away" by ANY way I tell them about my history, or by my history isn't a good choice of a partner for me.

Mind, talking about rape isn't usually sound first-date material, and I think even someone who has the emotional maturity to have a relationship with a survivor might be feeling a little bit funny about talking about assault at the very start of dating.

But if you two start to get more serious, and/or start pursuing a sexual relationship, then is likely the time to say something, especially since you're so much in the start of your recovery and your healing. It was only a very short time ago that you were in a pretty deep crisis mode, so being triggered with sex would not be unexpected. You needing some extra limits and boundaries is likely also a given.

As to how you say what you do, that's one of those things that really is about how you two communicate, and how you, personally, tend to voice things. Me, with new partners when it's an issue (and I'm so long past my assaults and big work on my healing that it's a bit of a different issue), I just am pretty plain about it, saying that I'm a survivor of several abuses, that it's important my partners not do X thing that doesn't work for me sexually without trauma or simple discomfort, and try and avoid X dynamic which tends to trigger me. later on, as a relationship gets deeper, I'll tend to get more comfortable with details per my abuses, but that's usually something that just takes time, happens gradually, and are conversations that happen when we've either had one of those nights where you talk all night are share parts of your history, or when something comes up in a film, book or other conversation, etc. But in order to support you and avoid triggers, a partner doesn't really need to know exactly what happened: they just need to know what you need from them.

Again, I'd not worry about scaring someone off. Someone with the emotional maturity anyone who wants a good relationship needs, and someone with the emotional maturity an abuse survivor really needs won't be scared away. Someone who does get scared away because you haven't lived a charmed life, or they don't want to deal with any of your trauma isn't a good choice of partner, so better they scatter, anyhow.

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 35336

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I don't intend on saying anything now... I just feel like I need to be prepared for a conversation that is likely to come up at some point in our relationship.
I also don't see him as being the type of person to run from a problem, so I'm not really worried about him leaving me because of anything...
Like I said, I just want to be prepared, it makes me feel better about it. I'm scared that when it comes time to say something, I won't be able to. I guess that's a different problem though...

Posts: 401 | From: USA | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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