It’s Not Easy to Love a Sexual Abuse Survivor
The sexual abuse survivor.
He is never there for you because he does not know how to be close, how to trust, how to belong, how to love and receive love.
He knows no real closeness. He is afraid to expose himself to new strong emotions. All this is frightening to him. He has enough to deal with, and why should he risk to get another disappointment? How does he know you will always be by his side and never betray him? And he is so afraid to risk for love because he has been betrayed way too many times in life.
He thinks you don’t understand him sometimes because he cannot understand himself most of the time.
It is difficult to live with such a burden on your shoulders. The life of a sexual abuse Survivor is a never-ending struggle, never-ending fight to prove to others, never ending circle of pain and disappointment, and dealing with it is not easy.
The sexual abuse Survivor doesn’t understand himself sometimes and cannot find the words to describe all the emotions and feelings he is going through. He wishes he doesn’t feel this way and he wishes just to wake up one day and forget everything, and start over his life. Impossible, right? With all this on your mind, it is not easy to believe someone else understands you really.
He seems to be so distant from you sometimes, and even like he is not present. Why is that? The self defense mechanisms work like this-not thinking about the problem, or not talking at all and not getting attached to anyone saves you from pain and disappointment again. This is of course not a real solution of the issue, but a victim of abuse rarely realizes it and keeps it going on for years.
He doesn’t really believe you love him for who he is because he doesn’t really love himself and cannot accept the person he had become. The image of who he could have become if the abuse never happened to him is always on his mind.
He wants to be that imaginary person without a painful past, he wants to turn the time back and do something to prevent the abuse, to rescue his own life now knowing what followed the abuse, knowing what kind of a life he is living and what kind of a person he is.
Admitting or not, he blames himself for what happened to him and even though he knows it is not his fault he does not really believes he deserves to be loved or that he is going to be ever really happy. This is all the aftermath of the abuse. Only people who experienced abuse in their childhood know best that one little part of you always believes you could have done something. And you wish you knew all that by the time of the abuse.
The sexual abuse survivor, he cannot comprehend that someone else is able to accept and love him truly because he has never experienced a true love. The people who betrayed him were the closest to him and part of him still cannot realize that not all people are the same and not every person would do the same.
He is so many times cold and he has got his moods, he is sometimes distant and sometimes so open to you so you find it difficult to understand what exactly he feels about you. You want to know how to be able to help him, and he is not helping much.
He seems that sometimes he wants love, and sometimes he claims he is better off left alone, because any relationship would be another difficult issue he is supposed to deal with.
Loving a sexual abuse survivor is a constant battle.
You need to be aware in what are you involving yourself and to be willing to walk this way.
A life with him will not be just happy days.
He is going to be always the man who was sexually abused as a child.
And you cannot change that (even though you wish you could). You have to accept him together with the burden he brings on his shoulders and to be ready to be always supportive, understanding and caring. To be his best friend, to be the person he can always share what he feels with, the person with whom he will be always able to find comfort and peace.
You have to fight to win his trust, and you have to keep it for good, and never disappoint him. You have to be willing to wait until he is ready to open up and until he is ready to trust you completely, until he is ready to believe you will never betray him, until he is ready to be really close to you. To be really close to you -this means to him that he is vulnerable and to share his life, and his everything with you means actually more to him than you imagine.
He is not the ordinary man. If you ever wish your man was just a ordinary man, “like everyone else” then you are not ready to walk this way with him. Wanting to change him is never going to bring any good in your relationship. It may just make him go away. He cannot change. He cannot change his past. And you cannot. You accept him for who he is or you don’t. It’s simple. You decide to walk the difficult way and be with this man, or walk away and find another love without a painful past.
Loving a sexual abuse survivor is not an easy path. This is why so many relationships and marriages of survivors end up soon with painful break-ups or divorces. You need to be aware what kind of a life and who you choose for your soul-mate. You need to realize that pure commitment, love, understanding and devotion, courage and braveness is just enough. This is all you really have to do. But it is not going to be easy.
If you choose to be with this man, just be there for him always when he needs you. One day he will respond you back with the same devotion. One day when he knows he can trust you and that trusting you is worth risking.
It is not easy to love a sexual abuse survivor.
And I am one of them, a marching army of sexual abuse survivors.
I am one of those people who need to be loved but really don’t know how.
I do not really know how to trust, how to open to others, how to believe in pure love and tenderness, how to experience passion without feeling guilty, how to just enjoy the feeling of being loved and the feeling of loving someone with all my hearth, with all my senses, with every single part of my soul.
I don’t know that all, it never truly happened to me, and I do hate myself sometimes so I find it difficult to believe someone would really love me unconditionally when I know I am not capable of feeling such love for myself.
And I find it difficult to trust and believe another person really. I always think something will happen and the person I am with will walk away, again because of who I am, because of who I have become after the abuse.
And I find it impossible to believe there is someone who would love me for who I am and would accept me with all my emotional baggage, and painful past. And why should someone choose me among all the women in the world? What makes me so exceptional so someone would volunteer to walk the difficult way with me?
And I find it impossible to open my soul to someone truly and deeply to fall in love. Love? Have I really experienced that feeling?
Closeness? This is what I miss all my life really. I remember when I was in my 20’s and sometimes I was ending up in someone’s place just to have that feeling of closeness, of waking up safe in someone’s arms and knowing someone cares for me. Looking for closeness in all the wrong places just to discover and experience that feeling. The knowing that this someone will be always there for you and will never give you up. This is actually what I never got. Then later through the years I found out this is the wrong way to find love, but still don’t know the right way.
It is not easy to love me just because I am a sexual abuse survivor. And I don’t know if it will ever be easy.
The “prince on the white horse”needs to be extra strong and extra brave, with some emotional power for both of us.
Is there such a man? I am still wondering. But I know for sure that. It is not easy to love someone who’s been abused.
I know it for sure because it is just not easy to love myself.