I'm currently in a long term relationship with a woman who was sexually abused in childhood.
I was hoping that people here could recommend books or other resources, hopefully aimed at partners of sexual abuse survivors, with which I can educate myself, and hopefully help her through the difficulties she sometimes has as a result of it, or at least not inadvertently contribute to them?
Many thanks, in advance, for the help. :-)
I want to thank everyone for being welcoming and supportive, especially to someone coming from a different place as the partner of a survivor. I've enjoyed entering this community. I joined one other community with less promising results. I got only one comment and it was someone telling me to end the relationship. People like to give up when things get too hard. Though I do ask if she can make the progress she needs to make while being romantically involved with anyone. But I think that as supportive as we are and that she moved to a strange place for me (She moved with me a year ago so I could go to grad school), I think her recovery would be better with my full support as a partner trying to respect boundaries.
We live with a great deal of hope, all of us here have to I'd imagine. Hope keeps the heart beating. My girlfriend and I had a few days off together and she was so sweet to me on my birthday. It reminds me of the connection we do still have. We talked of what the future could be and that refreshes my hope.
Some days I dont handle it so well. Some days I am very depressed. These days its good though. I suprised myself by getting a bit drunk and not breaking down on her. Sometimes alcohol will bring up feelings I can't control. Usually the fear and sadness. Then I'll cry and she will shut down. But this time I was okay, and she talked, I didn't. It's so refreshing when she talks about her head because she's usually so stoic about it. I really hope she goes through with therapy in the fall.
Anyway, thanks again. And I'd like to be here for everyone here in anyw ay that I can.
I have Allies in Healing, which I will start reading. I've read Ghosts in the BEdroom, which was great, very compassionate and well written. I'd recommend it to any of your partners dealing with the same thing.
Hello. I am a 25 year old woman in a relationship with another 25 year old woman who is a survivor of sexual abuse. We have been together for 3 years and have a very positive and supportive relationship. One area that overwhelms both of us is her past abuse. She does not remember much of it, but feels haunted by the repressed memories none the less. A trigger occurred for her early on in our relationship that brought her past flooding back. She shut down emotionally, physically, sexually and affectionatly for almost a year. We kept talking and stayed monogamously together. It is worth it because part of her is back now.
She still does not remember much, but kissing and physical intimacy is still difficult for her. She is only able to be intimate every two to six months. It is hard for her to give me even low level affection, making out is too intense for her, she feels dissociated. We cuddle and hold hands and short kisses daily, which helps. But we both miss having sex more than a few times a year.
I want to know how to be supportive to her. I also need help dealing with what I need. I miss it. I want more than she can give. We both believe that with love and patience we can heal a lot together, but dealing in the meantime is challenging. Sensing that I need can shut her down even more. We can get into a cycle of her detachment feeding my neediness and my neediness in turn making her more detached (See where that goes?). I try for the balance of respecting her and asking for more. I am afraid of stagnating. We have stagnated before and passed through it. Now seems like a time filled with the energy of change. I am in therapy to deal with my own issues, and she will be starting therapy this fall when she gets health insurance.
We dont fight, we have some bad habits with eachother that we work on keeping in line, we still see why we fell in love, we still love eachother more than the gap this abuse has created. We communicate, share interests and we have been very supportive to eachother. I've had my own past of emotional abuse that she has been helping me through. All in all, we have an amazing relationship, the kind I have yearned for my whole life. Yet, some asshole years ago has branded us both with an emptiness that strains the heart.
I wanted to find other people, be able to talk, listen and exchange advice. Thanks for reading this.