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advice needed: childhood abuse

(63 Posts)
notdazedjustconfused Wed 22-Aug-12 20:27:13

I have recently met a man who has opened up a lot to me about being abused in many ways up until his late teens. He has said he is interested in me, however has a lot of relationship issues. Does anyone have any advice regarding how I can be sensitive to his background/current issues without seeming pitying or patronising? Thank you in advance.

amillionyears Wed 22-Aug-12 20:58:10

I think the fact that you on are on here asking the question,probably means you are doing a good job.
I should imagine that you listening to him is useful and helpful to him.Has he actually said that you are coming across as pitying or patronising?

notdazedjustconfused Wed 22-Aug-12 21:02:07

Not at all, he has said he has never told as much to anyone as he didn't want to be pitied. He has huge boundaries with being touched and all I want to do is show a little affection but I daren't in case he can't handle it.

Houseofplain Wed 22-Aug-12 21:03:05

Honestly? He is telling what you he is listen. He is interested in you but has relationship issues. So when these issues raise their head....well he told you.

It's not your job to fix him. He should be doing that himself before embarking on a relationship. Telling you so early, as a get out clause for potential shit behaviour.

Red flags. Don't make the mistake of becoming an egg shell dancer at the start....

notdazedjustconfused Wed 22-Aug-12 21:10:58

I'm not trying to fix him, would like to not break him any more though!

Lonelylou Wed 22-Aug-12 21:18:04

As houseofplain says. He doesn't need sympathy he needs empathy and to get himself some proffessional help. If he wants a genuine relationship with you he will be willing to find an appropriate counsellor. You will be taking a lot on your shoulders being a listener and may need some support yourself (as with posting on mumsnet)

It's only a 'heads-up' that the 'poor little me' game played by some may be the gate to being expected to being let off with unacceptable and abusive behaviour to others.

notdazedjustconfused Wed 22-Aug-12 21:37:56

Thanks for the head's up, he's not really seeming like a 'poor little me' type but I shall be aware that that is something people do.

Abitwobblynow Wed 22-Aug-12 21:38:11


House of Plain is telling it like it is.

So, listen with empathy, but don't make allowances . When you have to start doing that, please save yourself.

notdazedjustconfused Wed 22-Aug-12 21:48:44

I may sound completely naive here but he's never had a real relationship before. Would the run principle still apply here? To me he just seems like he has no idea how things are supposed to work.

Houseofplain Wed 22-Aug-12 21:49:47


Lonelylou Wed 22-Aug-12 21:51:07

OMG yes. How old is he?

notdazedjustconfused Wed 22-Aug-12 21:52:22

Early 20s, I am in my late 20s.

Lonelylou Wed 22-Aug-12 21:56:26

I suppose early 20s is no age and if he has been abused it could make him mistrust others so would have a knock on effect with forming relationships.

It would be an ideal time to seek professional help if he's wanting to work it all out now, wouldn't it?

notdazedjustconfused Wed 22-Aug-12 22:00:12

It would, however, I don't want to appear patronising, I wouldn't know the correct way in which to broach councelling.

Houseofplain Wed 22-Aug-12 22:04:33

Don't. You are late 20's let's be realistic here. He has no real healthy boundaries in a relationship. He has "many" relationship problems.

He has a lot to do for him self. To work on himself. To the "find" himself, live, learn, laugh. Experience happiness as a 20 year old man in his own right. What normal relationships are. He is only young. But that will probably take most of his 20's. You'll be then late 30's.

I would be careful.

ratbagcatbag Wed 22-Aug-12 22:04:50

Hmmmm maybe he could just be explaining why certain things affect him. I was abused and it took me years to get the courage to tell people. Even my DH doesn't know everything, however early on I did tell him bits, mainly because certain words or actions were trigger points or having screaming nightmares at night needed a bit of an explanation

I'm fine generally now and never used it to excuse any behaviour just make him informed of stuff I couldn't tolerate at the beginning.

ratbagcatbag Wed 22-Aug-12 22:06:38

Sorry but you seem like you're trying to
Write him off because he was abused houseofpain, so he shouldn't have a relationship because of what happened???? Which is how it comes across?!?!?

Houseofplain Wed 22-Aug-12 22:09:04

Well you are assuming wrong then.

Lonelylou Wed 22-Aug-12 22:10:01

HOP is saying he should seek help and OP should take care whilst he does, as I see it. Sound advice.

FarelyKnutsAboutTheIrishTeam Wed 22-Aug-12 22:11:54

I have to say I am amazed at all this "run now from the damaged man".
As an abuse survivor I would feel really hurt to think that someone would advise to run away from people because they were unfortunate enough to have been abused!
If you wanted to broach the idea of counselling with him why not something along the lines of "thank you for trusting me enough to share that with me, have you ever thought about talking to a professional about it?"
IF he wasn't willing to get help or it was being used as an excuse for bad behaviour then yes it's a bad idea to stay in a relationship with him but your OP doesn't say that.

Houseofplain Wed 22-Aug-12 22:15:03

Let's all get off the soapbox shall we? I'm an abuse lets not play that card neither.

He is telling her very clearly he has a lot of relationship issues. He has no boundaries of what a healthy relationship are.

He needs proper help to come to terms with it and to "relearn" who he is, what is healthy and normal. Which in reality will take most of his 20's

Op needs to be very, very careful. She can't fix him. Or all of is "many" issues.

jadebond007 Wed 22-Aug-12 22:17:11

I think it's an outrageous suggestion that he shouldn't even be given a chance because he has been abused. What a horrible thing to say.

It may be awkward, OP. I've been in a relationship like this, and my advice is to listen to your intuition. Give him plenty of space, be aware that he may freak out and have triggers that make no sense. Be gentle and patient. He's not broken, he's just going to be more cautious than most. Once bitten twice shy they say. So he's going to be twice shy.

Houseofplain Wed 22-Aug-12 22:18:09

I think it's an outrageous suggestion that he shouldn't even be given a chance because he has been abused. What a horrible thing to say.

Who said that exactly? Feel free to quote.......oh you can't

Lonelylou Wed 22-Aug-12 22:19:23

I can only see one person who said 'run'. As I see it all others are saying he should seek professional help and supporting the OP.

FarelyKnutsAboutTheIrishTeam Wed 22-Aug-12 22:30:53

Soapbox? Play that card?
Did you intend to be so insulting houseofplain?
There's no agenda here just different opinions.

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