TW: How to deal with/help my girlfriend?

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Anonymous #1
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So anon for obvious reasons but a little advice would be greatly appreciated here and advance trigger warning on the content so i've blocked it out for those who don't want to read about sexual abuse and rape

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So it turns out i grew up in a nice little countryside bubble where bad things just didnt happen, fast forward to now and im 6 months into a new relationship with someone i truly love and means the world to me. But here's the kicker..
I always knew something was wrong and she never hid the fact she had some demons in her past but until now she never wanted to share and i never pressed the issue but they got to the point where they were really starting to eat away at our relationship due to her PTSD.
So she finally opened up the other day (the reason she didnt do so earlier was apparently because she thought id run or look at her differently) but it turns out before me she had a string of abusive relationships with at least one of them being beating her up as well as repeatedly raping her. She said there's worse than this but didnt elaborate and i definitely didnt push her for more. And there were some other unpleasant details but long story short she's had some terrible things done to her in the past by truly evil filth.

Now i've never really come across this before let alone with someone who i want to spend the rest of my life with but i really dont know how to deal/cope with this knowledge and to try and help her when she needsa it (like when shes triggered and dissapears from reality) with the main bit being the knowledge that ive done something that reminds her of these terrible moments in her life and im just left not knowing what on earth to do and really struggling not to take it personally as well (being compared to scum like the ex is not exactly fun).

But does anyone have any advice, maybe from similar situations, on how to go about dealing with both in terms of being there for her and keeping myself from continually thinking ive done something. She did reccommend an interesting book by an American author on the topic but its more for survivors than people in my position.

I'm rasther doubly screwed here in that aside from her being the person id usually talk to about such things im also wary of talking to any other friends about something this personnel. So i'm stuck with no one to talk to, no knowledge on how to take care of her or myself and generally not being in the best position anyway. I love the girl dearly and it pains me someone could ever have done something so evil to her but shes equally a stubborn one who makes it hard to help.

So apologies for the long ramble, does anyone have any advice on this topic?
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FibonacciGuy
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No matter what you do, or how much information you manage to gather about what happened to her, you are never going to fully understand what she went through. That's probably the first and most important thing to keep in mind, obviously not in a negative way.

Then you can only be there for her. Make sure whenever you talk about the past she understands that you could never fully know what she went through, but that you will always be there for her if she wants to talk about anything, that whatever she shares or doesn't share will not change how you feel about her.

I guess the last point is, if you want to be with her, this is the deal now. You need to afford her extra consideration without admitting to it, you need to afford her moments that you cannot explain. Don't second guess yourself though, just be genuine and be you.

She's lucky to have somebody who at least hasn't already become inpatient with her over this and actually cares. Just don't ever sell yourself on your pity or your making allowances, any of that is yours to keep quiet about.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by FibonacciGuy)
No matter what you do, or how much information you manage to gather about what happened to her, you are never going to fully understand what she went through. That's probably the first and most important thing to keep in mind, obviously not in a negative way.

Then you can only be there for her. Make sure whenever you talk about the past she understands that you could never fully know what she went through, but that you will always be there for her if she wants to talk about anything, that whatever she shares or doesn't share will not change how you feel about her.

I guess the last point is, if you want to be with her, this is the deal now. You need to afford her extra consideration without admitting to it, you need to afford her moments that you cannot explain. Don't second guess yourself though, just be genuine and be you.

She's lucky to have somebody who at least hasn't already become inpatient with her over this and actually cares. Just don't ever sell yourself on your pity or your making allowances, any of that is yours to keep quiet about.
Thank you
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Anonymous #1
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Bump, any and all advice desperately wanted/needed here <3
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Dunnig Kruger
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1 You are not responsible for her past. It wasn't you that abused her.

2 Carry on treating her with respect.

3 Do not walk on eggshells around her. There will be times that you have lover's tiffs. There will be times that you should be politely but firmly assertive and stand up for what you think and believe when it contradicts her views. As a general guide by assertive about things that affect you and tolerant about things that affect her. For things that affect both of you, try the gently politely assertive approach and give-in on as many small things as you can to give you ammunition for influencing her to give in on the big things.

4 It is largely down to her to heal herself and to process what's happened to her in an as positive way as possible.

5 Do not stay with her because you feel sorry for her. Stay with her because it makes sense for you to do so. Because you're in a win win with her. She should be contributing about as much to the relationship as you do.

6 Check that the 2 of you are compatible over money, sex, number of children desired, basic approach to raising children, how you resolve conflict. If you are not compatible with her in all those areas, you should move on so that you are both free to find someone that is compatible in all those key areas.

7 Focus on filling your time with her with as many great adventures as you can. These can be in the form of lots of little fun adventures. Such as walking out your front door with her, turning right and walking for 40 minutes and seeing where it takes you to and who you meet and start talking with.

8 Generally aim to keep things light and fun and joyful. And not heavy. Of course there will be times when you have deep, soul revealing conversations. But the general tone should light and fun and positive.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Dunnig Kruger)
1 You are not responsible for her past. It wasn't you that abused her.
No, but if we're having sex and she suddenly freaks out as my face has been replaced with that of her rapist its hard not to take it personally, especially when im the one triggering her
5 Do not stay with her because you feel sorry for her. Stay with her because it makes sense for you to do so. Because you're in a win win with her. She should be contributing about as much to the relationship as you do.
No, im with her because i love her. Unfortunately, she's just making it hard by pushing me away with things like 'i dont deserve you,. youre too nice to me', 'you could do such better than me' and some other less pleasant ones. We love each other, but god damnit i just dont knowe how to deal with this or support her properly.. The desire to kill the vermin that did this though..
6 Check that the 2 of you are compatible over money, sex, number of children desired, basic approach to raising children, how you resolve conflict. If you are not compatible with her in all those areas, you should move on so that you are both free to find someone that is compatible in all those key areas.
We're quite different in several of those, im high paid, she isnt and conflict resolution can be a bit awkward given i avoid it like the plague :lol: but i wouldnt say any of those are deal breakers?
7 Focus on filling your time with her with as many great adventures as you can. These can be in the form of lots of little fun adventures. Such as walking out your front door with her, turning right and walking for 40 minutes and seeing where it takes you to and who you meet and start talking with.

8 Generally aim to keep things light and fun and joyful. And not heavy. Of course there will be times when you have deep, soul revealing conversations. But the general tone should light and fun and positive.
Thank you
Any idseas on how to handle the conversations if they suddenly take a turn? As in, we'll be chatting/sex/just walking around or something and something can trigger her and things can go very pear shaped very quickly - be it in terms of handling the conversation itself or steering it and her back to something more palatable?

Its not as very fun situation i must say. I do love her, and im fairly sure she loves me, but not being in such a situation before this is all unpleasantly new to me but i really want to make this work. Not just because of some martyr complex to try and 'fix her' but she is a wonderful person who really deserves nothing but the best, but thanks to the actions of the filth its tricky. I do wonder if i can report him or if thats overstepping my mark far too much?
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