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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / My partner of 12 years says he was raped as a child by his step dad.

Topic: My partner of 12 years says he was raped as a child by his step dad.

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. _syd_
    _syd_ avatar
    4 posts
    29 December 2020

    Hi

    This is pretty heavy.
    Recently I’ve been struggling with anxiety due to an incident. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression most of my life but that doesn’t make the hard times any easier.

    I get worried that I can be to self consumed sometimes and well this is just too important for me to mess up.

    Christmas night everyone had, had a bit too much to eat and drink.

    My partner and his brothers ALWAYS have “deep” conversations once they get intoxicated. They each have a lot of resentment about their childhood.

    Nothing about the night was different to every other drunken night they’ve spent together, until my partner exploded and said that he was raped by his step dad and that he knows for a fact that his younger brother was to because he witnessed it. The step dad is biological father to the younger brother.

    A physical fight started to break out so I just went into action mode to try and seperate everyone and ensure nothing to serious ensued. I feel like I was the only one there who tried to stop the fight - and I got pushed around a fair bit etc. My adrenaline was in over drive- which is not fun for someone who has already been severely impacted by anxiety.
    Everyone was physically safe after the scramble and I managed to get everyone home safely.

    My partner wouldn’t really talk to me that night and I didn’t push it either for fear of saying the wrong thing or making matters worse.

    Boxing Day was a write off and I didn’t try and push conversation with my partner.

    * I still haven’t brought up the issue with him. How do I even do this ?
    He’s not usually someone to share his feelings

    * I’m unsure if this information is true. I have no reason to not believe him. He is not the sort of person to lie about something so serious but what if he was just really really drunk?

    * What support is out there for men and sexual assault? How can I encourage him to get help?

    * How do I try and cope with this knowledge? my mind cannot comprehend or compartmentalise this information.

    This step father is someone who is still apart of our lives and we see him from time to time.

    Ive been with my partner for over 12 years now and this is the first time I’ve heard about this. It breaks my heart and I feel so incredibly useless and inadequate.
    I feel lost. I feel guilty that my own issues weigh on my partner and our relationship.
    Its been 4 days since he said this out loud and I still haven’t done or said a single thing.

  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6625 posts
    29 December 2020 in reply to _syd_
    Hey _syd_

    Wishing you a warm welcome to the forums, you've shown so much strength in sharing your story and we are so glad that you decided to reach out here. We are so sorry to hear what you're going through right now, and we can hear how much love and concern that you have for your partner. It sounds like you're feeling a bit unsure of how best to help support him, but you've already taken such a big and important step by reaching out to our community here. Please know that you don't have to go through this alone, and our community is here to help offer as much support and advice as you need during this particularly painful and overwhelming time.  

    We would strongly urge that you contact 1800RESPECT- they offer confidential information, counselling and support 24/7 for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. The lovely supportive counsellors have a lot of experience offering advice not only to those directly impacted by abuse, but can also offer advice to you to help your partner. You can contact them 24/7 on 1800 737 732 or also through their webchat here: https://www.1800respect.org.au/ They also have online resources on Supporting Someone that you may find helpful.

    We'd also encourage your partner to contact the kind and understanding counsellors at the Blue Knot Foundation, who offer support to those who have experienced childhood trauma- they're available 9am-5pm on 1300 657 380 or also through email at: helpline@blueknot.org.au

    We'd also encourage you to reach out for support whenever you need, as it is also important that you take care of yourself during this time. Our Support Service is always here for you to talk these feelings through (24/7, as often as you need) on 1300 22 4636, as well as our friends at Lifeline on 13 11 14- you're never alone in this.

    We hope that you find some comfort here in the words of wisdom and kindness that our community can offer, and please feel free to keep updating us on how you're going, whenever you feel up to it.

     
    1 person found this helpful
  3. _syd_
    _syd_ avatar
    4 posts
    29 December 2020 in reply to Sophie_M

    Thanks for the kind words and pointing me in the right direction 🙏

    Im scared about bringing up the subject again as he has not said anything since and seems to be acting how he normally would. I’ll give 1800RESPECT a call when I find a private moment.

    THANK YOU

  4. sunnyl20
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    sunnyl20 avatar
    208 posts
    29 December 2020 in reply to _syd_

    Hi _syd_

    I'm so sorry you have found yourself in such a difficult situation. It is awful and gut-wrenching when you find out something so painful that a loved one has been through. Please don't feel guilty though - you are not useless or inadequate, what you have written shows that you care about your partner deeply and are doing your best. You were able to de-escalate the situation and get everyone home safely after what was obviously a very distressing night. I think it is natural to feel helpless sometimes in these situations, and not know exactly what to say/do or how to help - it is such a deeply personal, painful and sensitive issue. I agree with Sophie, https://www.1800respect.org.au/ is a great resource and they will be able to offer you support around talking to your partner about what has happened. If you feel close enough to your partner's siblings, it may be an option to talk with them to see if they have any advice or whether he has talked about it with them before.

    As for coping with what he has told you and compartmentalising the information, it is really difficult. I think seeking support and talking with others can relieve that burden you are feeling a little, but as I'm sure you know, there is no quick-fix. Distraction, writing/journalling, grounding may help a bit but as you mentioned, it is a lot to deal with. If you feel this distress becomes unbearable and you cannot cope at all - please do not hesitate to call Lifeline (131 114).

    You do not have to do this alone _syd_, there is support available - I really hope that you are able to feel a little less stuck and/or lost. Take care. And please feel free to message or chat when/if you feel up to it.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. _syd_
    _syd_ avatar
    4 posts
    29 December 2020 in reply to sunnyl20

    Hi sunnyl20

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to read my post and reply so thoughtfully.

    I always felt a bit intimidated whenever someone recommended BB and I always made excuses to not utilise this resource.

    So far I am just blown away by the support and kindness. I’ve already gained so much from reading the forums.
    I hope that I can continue to muster up the courage to seek more information and utilise other resources.

    Thank you for your wise words, support and encouragement.

    I’m not feeling so alone and overwhelmed today as I was before.

    3 people found this helpful
  6. TheBigBlue
    TheBigBlue avatar
    220 posts
    29 December 2020

    Hi _syd_

    As a person who opened up about childhood abuse to my partner, the thing I feared most was being judged or not believed. It took me almost 30 years to confide in someone & I feel great shame about it, even though I know what happened wasn’t my fault.

    Your partner may or may not wish to talk about it. Just try show that you are supportive, believe him & are willing to listen if he does open up. Knowing that you are believed really makes a difference when learning to cope.

    You don’t need to know how to fix it, just let him know that you are prepared to help where you can. Whether that be going to see a psychologist with him, or just listening to his story.

    And let him know your feelings haven’t changed. I was terrified my partner would leave me once he heard the truth, I felt I wouldn’t be good enough more.

    I’ve used both 1800respect & the blue knot foundation, I found them very helpful

    2 people found this helpful
  7. _syd_
    _syd_ avatar
    4 posts
    30 December 2020 in reply to TheBigBlue

    Hi TheBigBlue

    Im so sorry that you have had to learn to cope with things that no child/ adult should ever have to experience.

    I will definitely take your advice, what you spoke about is exactly the thing that I want to make my partner feel.
    Safe, believed, supported, no judgment.

    You sharing your insight has greatly helped me. Thank you for being brave and courageous

    2 people found this helpful
  8. Littleblue89
    Littleblue89 avatar
    2 posts
    11 January 2021 in reply to _syd_
    Hi Syd,

    First of all, good on you for being so supportive of your partner and those around you.

    Your third * answers 1,2 & 4. It's not up to you to bring this up and as a matter of fact it could impact things more so and be triggering. So as some other mods above have mentioned, get on to those support lines asap for your guidance and reassurance to relive your anxiety around this. And also look into psychological therapies if you are not undergoing them already as this can easily lead to CPTSD.

    All you can do is guide and reaching out for the correct support in how to do so by a trained professional is the best way to go.

    Kind regards

    NEKO ❤️
    1 person found this helpful

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