My new partner did not respond well AT ALL when I opened up about past sexual abuse and assault. He is a CSA survivor, so I'm confused

Do you want this relationship to work out?

If so, stop treating each other like therapists.

IMHO it’s ok to get support from a partner, but it’s not ok to discuss trauma details. This, X 1000 if your partner has been traumatized, too.

He’s been telling you in his own way that he doesn’t want to hear about your sexual abuse, because he can’t handle it.

I think the only things that are ok to share with a partner are things that trigger you, so that you can have a good sexual experience with your partner. But, even so, it’s more like “please don’t do XYZ because it triggers me” and not “please don’t do XYZ because it triggers me since that’s what my abuser did to me every time he raped me and these are the details about what happened and....”
I appreciate the straightforwardness of your answer, and I think you are 100% correct. My therapist has helped me to understand how and why revealing these things was harmful on my part, and I have apologized in earnest to him for it. Thank you for your response.

Have you ever been treated like a rapist? Or been physically assaulted, or verbally torn down, or recoiled from in disgust? By either a stranger or someone you care about? It’s often not a very pretty response, especially from people who haven’t been conditioned to accept being treated badly. And it’s really no wonder... living with someone with PTSD is often like livin with a drunk, or an abuser. All smiles one moment, lashing out or bursting into tears (over god only knows what) the next, and then all smiles again. Rages, crying storms, self hatred, apologies, smiles, impossible demands, constantly moving targets, expecting to be treated like a king/queen with all their bad behaviour forgiven and not even the good behavior of their partner keeps their partner “safe” from causing the next storm of tears or rage, mistrust or cold distance... it can get really brutal.

Which isn’t to say not to date. It IS to say that it’s not an irrational response by a caring person to NOT want to be treated badly. It’s a pretty legit gripe.
I found so much of your response helpful, thank you for taking the time to respond. I don't understand what you mean here, though, and I hope you will be willing to explain what you were trying to express in a different way? Thank you for your support!
 

RoseyViolet

New Here
I started getting to know a man very slowly and at a distance (due to Covid), beginning in June of 2020; we both come from nightmarish upbringings and years of retraumatization by the world. My developmental trauma is pretty bad; in fact, I had met very few others whose DTD was as severe as mine, and certainly never in a romantic partner.

We started really opening up to each other about our trauma, and the abuse suffered by him and his brother is objectively worse than most. I have PTSD and depression from serious domestic abuse last year, and sometimes, I have really bad days with intrusive thoughts that just spill out. Normally, when I have a traumatic memory, he is supportive, saying he understands and offers support, etc. But when I mention any of the adult sexual abuse I have been a victim of, his first response is to relate by reminding me that he went through the same thing as a child, and it's better not to worry, think about it, et.

Here's my issue and question: After a flashback about a pretty sick rape that happened to me 20 years ago, I was having a rough day and while spending time with my CSA survivor boyfriend starting recalling the traumatic series of events to him (I was drugged and raped by a much older roommate who continued to sexuallyassault assult me for weeks, leaving me strange gifts, etc.), and after I had told him this shit his response was basically, 'cool now every time girlfriend I wanna touch my girlfiend I gotta deal with feeling like a rapist?". His response was so unsupportive and out of character I thought that maybe I had triggered his CSA, so I apologized for bringing it up without a trigger warning. He then said, "I don't need a trigger warning, I mean, it happens. Why worry about it? You know? you make a choice to worry. I worried for years about all the CSA that occurred to me, but it didn't help at all, so I just stopped".

I am confused. Did I trigger an out of character PTSD response in him, or is he just an asshole, CSA or not? Can trauma victims have weird responses to rearing about trauma?
It could be it triggered memories inside of him that led him to respond the way he did. I know for myself, when conversations become a little to close to home on ugly feelings and memories it rears up an ugliness inside because it brings the abuse to the forefront and has to be dealt with again instead of pushing it down and not dealing with it head on. Each person responds differently, you both have choices on how you will respond and also move forward. I'm sorry for all that happened to you and to him, that's a tough thing to face by yourself and then to add in a SO that has gone through trauma as well... super tough. Kudos to you for sticking up for yourself as well as sharing very difficult, painful parts of your past. You are very brave, no matter what direction you decide to go in relationships.
 
It could be it triggered memories inside of him that led him to respond the way he did. I know for myself, when conversations become a little to close to home on ugly feelings and memories it rears up an ugliness inside because it brings the abuse to the forefront and has to be dealt with again instead of pushing it down and not dealing with it head on. Each person responds differently, you both have choices on how you will respond and also move forward. I'm sorry for all that happened to you and to him, that's a tough thing to face by yourself and then to add in a SO that has gone through trauma as well... super tough. Kudos to you for sticking up for yourself as well as sharing very difficult, painful parts of your past. You are very brave, no matter what direction you decide to go in relationships.
Thank you for your words, they are very meaningful.
 

Friday

Moderator
I found so much of your response helpful, thank you for taking the time to respond. I don't understand what you mean here, though, and I hope you will be willing to explain what you were trying to express in a different way? Thank you for your support!
No worries. I was essentially asking if anyone has ever gotten triggered around you... treating you like you’re someone from their past/their trauma history, rather than you yourself?

It’s not necessary, of course, to understand why people with PTSD often treat the people we love badly... nor to understand why that’s wrong & needs to stop. BUT it’s often hard to see in the moment, because it feels right // like they “should” understand why we’re lashing out, distancing ourself, recoiling, etc. one moment.... and then not the next, because that’s not how we “really” feel....over everyday/simple/normal things.

One of the things I’ve found is that it’s easier for me to stop being upset with someone else, for being upset with me... when I’ve been on the other side of it. When I reach for their hand, like I’ve done a thousand times, and they just LOOK at me with hatred and disgust (or a thousand other possible reactions whilst triggered)... and it’s like Whoa. The f*ck???
 
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