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Interesting problem
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* February 06, 2005, 08:18:30 PM
­Well, I've always liked forums and have built an image in other realms of the internet, but I still feel a little guilty coming here. Not only am I talking about someone else, but I feel remorse for publicizing the following information. Don't be surprised if I delete this post soon.

I love my girlfriend... she's really perfect and I see a future for both of us... typical, yes. However, I have a strange feeling that either she does not love me, or doesn't believe what I say, or my actions remind her of a past she's been trying to forget.

When I first started dating my girlfriend, a lot of her friends reminded me that all of her past boyfriends have been... well, jerks. Also that I'm going in way over my head with her. Now, I didn't take your typical hero approach of "oh, that's no problem I can take it" but more of a constructive approach of "well, then maybe I'll help her". This coming from a decent guy who is NOT an jerk However, I've been discovering in the past few months that her past boyfriends have been more than just jerks. They have abused her. No, not your typical "oh he hurt me so much" emotional disrespect, this abuse was physical. Beatings, druggings, accidents, the works. As far as I know (and I know a very small fraction because she does not tell me) at least 5 past boyfriends have destroyed her mentally AND physically in the past, and I'm surprised she hasn't given up on men altogether. Her whole past has left her in a disoriented and very fragile state.

I fell in love with her because to everyone besides herself and people who know, she acts hyperactive and cheery to distract everyone from it... her mentality is that if no one else knows about it, then she won't have to deal with it either. In my opinion, this is wrong, but I can't force her to disclose information. When she's not reminded of this horrifying past, she's in the greatest of moods and we match completely. My father told me a bunch of things about the woman I should marry, and she has all of them easily.

I guess my main issue is... I know everyone is different, but is there a preferrable way to approach and help a girl who has been abused?

The problems I've encountered is that she does not trust men, even me. Most of these past boyfriends that have abused her, she describes them as being nice for a certain amount of time, and then miraculously snapping and then beating her. It has happened so many times in a row, that it has completely TWISTED and SKEWED her view of men... NOT ONLY THAT, but she has now developed the thought that its HER FAULT. She now thinks that there's something about her that makes men want to beat her, and I just KNOW that she's waiting for me to snap and abuse her, "just like all the rest of them have".

This is a forum and I doubt anyone will believe me, but let me clearly assert that I have no intention of beating her or ANYONE. I flinch at the site of violence, for pete's sake. I can't stand it, I just wish people would use their damn words sometime. But in any case, I digress...

I don't think she believes me when I tell her how different I am than the other guys... and if I give her evidence about how different I am (I'm practically a nerd to these guys) she then suggests that she is the problem.

Now, our relationship is very stable, we've never broken up and gotten back together or had serious fights where we stop talking for weeks. We do have occasional arguments online, but I think that's because online you can't tell someone's mood or sarcasm. I guess this is a person problem more than a relationship problem, but I really really really really want to help her become happy. She TRULY hasn't been happy since she was a kid, and is constantly reminded of the pain she went through. I'm doing all I can to make her happy but no avail.

The reason why I don't think she loves me is because I've done some pretty romantic surprises for her over the months... I've left flowers on her doorstep, taken her out to dinner many times, movies, I do anything... and she really hasn't given me any romantic surprises in return... she says she loves me but that's all she does, she never shows it as far as I can tell. Maybe this is just a guy complaining, but is this unequality in favors normal? Also, I fear it because she won't open up to me about her past... maybe she doesn't like talking about it, but I am a firm believer that talking about things serves as a good anger outlet, and I know other people think that too and can back me up on it.

I guess I'll end this post... I appreciate any and all responses, but I may remind you all that therapy is not an option for reasons beyond our control. Believe me, if she could, I'd have her... hell, I'd even pay for it. I would EXTREMELY appreciate any replies that have solutions that I can do ON MY OWN without the aid of other people. I say this because she's sensitive about keeping the information private, and I know I'm posting here, but this is anonymous and a different issue.

[Edit]Had to fix some structural issues.[/Edit]

Thank you all.

- delerted


* February 09, 2005, 08:56:48 PM
­Well it's been a few days with no response. That's fine, I am willing to wait for help, because I appreciate ANY and ALL help at this point. In any case, I want to add a few things about my thoughts that she doesn't love me.

1. The lack of romantic favors from her I mentioned MAY have to do with the fact she doesn't drive yet. But I'm still wondering if women are normally less surprising/romantically spontaneous than men. Again, this could be me being paranoid... I do tend to do that, don't be afraid to tell me.

2. Sometimes, mostly online, she doesn't even say she loves me... I'll say it, and she'll normally respond with something like "no you don't" or the change of subject. Rarely she'll say something good like "not as much as I love you"... in that regard I can't tell if she's joking or not. Now, people aware of her past, who continually bug the heck out of me and watch my every move have told me that the words "I love you" to her have previously meant nothing more than "I want to get in your pants" (past abusive boyfriends, remember?) but how am I supposed to ensure that when I say those words, I mean it for what it REALLY means, not that absurd and horrid translation? This may again be me and my unrealistic movie-watching, but I was under the impression WOMEN say those words more often and guys are more like "yeah whatever"... however in this relationship it is completely the opposite.

I'd just like to add those few things. Thank you for your concise and appropriate email, Mary-Anne I look forward to your advice.

And as I said before, I appreciate ALLLLLL and ANNNNYYY advice on this issue... it is, in my opinion a hard one and the pros and cons are certainly not all black and white... there's a lotta grey in there... so anyone who is willing to take the time to give me any advice they can will have my sincerest gratitude. I refuse to give up on this.

Thanks again,


- delerted


February 11, 2005, 02:00:46 AM
­ Delerted:

I understand what you are going through and I understand what your g/f is fighting inside of herself. Where there is a problem is you can not help her. Anyone who has been abused must go through abuse counseling as it is a very complicated and deep emotional trauma that takes experts in the field of what your g/f has “Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.” You can and I am sure are the most loving and kind guy towards her but it has nothing to do with you per say. What she has to work through are demons that are haunting her and she can not just get rid of because she meets a guy who “acts” and “treats” her like we all should be treated with love. Her definition of love is negative and has very bad memories and there is no way she can just forget them and become a normal young woman. She has been betrayed, violated and for her to “attract” abusive guys means someone very much did abuse her in her past, either a relative or a first b/f. In psychology we learn that you will attract what you have been taught by who brings you up. So whoever brought her up and had the most influence on her development is the one who abused her. Now she needs to find a counselor who specializes in abuse and go see her. She must see a woman counselor so she can feel safe and work all of this through. You can stand on the side, be supportive and be there for her but you can never be the one who works her through her trauma, no guy can. So it isn’t you, it is all males. Unless she works through what happened in therapy she will never get over it and she will always attract abusive relationships and she will always push away any good relationships. It is like you are banging your head against a brick wall. I know as a counselor never to try to help anyone in my family or my mate as I can not do it.
So you need to encourage her to get into counseling for abuse with a woman counselor. Here is the National number for Abused Women, have her call them and they are great. They will help her find someone in her area to help her. They will help her if she has financial difficulties so that she can still get the help she needs. I have referred many women to this hotline and everyone has gotten back with me saying they were great and helped them all the way through their process of getting the help they needed. Hotline for abused women 1-800-799-7233.
How you approach her is also important. I don’t know if you know much about Oprah but she was sexually abused and also became pregnant by an uncle. Through doing her show she learned she had to go through therapy to get over all her trauma and she did. This may be one approach to tell your g/f. Then you could tell her that you have been reading up on abuse and that you love her and want the two of you to have every chance to have a loving relationship. Then go into her needing to work through the trauma with a special counselor and that you will stand by her through it all.
But you will never be able to have a healthy, normal or even lasting relationship with this girl if she does not go into counseling and get the help she needs. Also like I say you can not help her. It isn’t like you think where if you set an example of what a nice guy is like she will come around and just “get over” what happened and say Oh well it was just that one incident and all the rest of guys in the world are all OK. It just doesn’t work that way. Her whole safety zone, belief system, trust, oh so many things have been destroyed and have to be rebuilt from the inside out. Like I say you can be there for her, support her, continue to show her how healthy love is shown and given. But you can not be her savior. I think that is what you are seeing and are frustrated with. I just want you to know it is not you. It is very natural and normal what both of you are going through and feeling. She must go into counseling with a woman and one that is an expert in abuse counseling. Have her call that number after you have an open, loving and committed talk together and if she really wants to get through this and get to where she can have a healthy, loving and happy relationship with a man she will do it. Now some women like being wrapped up in soap opera type relationships where there is abuse because it is how they were taught to love and it is the only kind of love they know how to relate to. You will also have to accept this if this is her choice. You have seen it before where people live lives that you just can’t believe and wonder why and how. They are very comfortable with their sick and disturbed lives because this is all they know and can relate to. If this is what you have been taught is “love” and you feel safe with it then why would you change? We only change when something gets so bad we can not stand it anymore and most of the time that doesn’t happen. Most people choose to stay with what is familiar even if it hurts and destroys so please be understanding of human nature. She may choose not to get help or see that she needs help.
Think about it, read up on it, you call the hotline and talk to them as they will explain this to you also. Then decide what and how and get back with me. Let me know what you decide, what she decides and the outcome. Since I don’t get paid giving you the best guidance with 20 years of knowledge and experience is what I give and my payback is you getting back with me. Letting me know what the outcome is so I can know things turned out good or I can help guide you in another direction if what you decided to do doesn’t work or she declines to pursue help.
There are other ways we can go but this is the healthiest and best for all concerned.
OK let me know what happens and if you have more questions write and ask.
I will be waiting to hear from you,

Where you know you can come for Professional, personal, right on target advice, life skills, crisis intervention,ask questions, confide in guaranteed help. With all the traps, scams, perverts and sites out there that are very unsafe, this site is your safe place. I have been doing this for 10 years.

* February 13, 2005, 10:39:46 AM
­ Thank you so much, Mary-Anne! However, I have a few followups...

First up, I think you hit the nail on the head with the problem. I think I can be her savior but she's been betrayed so severely her trust has gone down the tubes. Not my problem, but I still wish I could help her just from the love I'm giving her.

I know this seems unorthodox, but she cannot see a therapist for -- what I think are -- good reasons.

1. Neither of us being 18, the therapist must break the confidentiality barrier and tell her parents. Her parents have absolutely no idea about the abuse or drugging, to have them find out would surely be devastating.

2. Again, without her being 18 and without her parents knowing, seeing a therapist is a financial concern also. No one has the money for it. Even if the money did become available, she is an insanely guilty person and would feel terrible for robbing her parents (or anyone else) of the money required for counseling.

3. In retrospect, she hates all doctors... and this goes back to her trying to forget it and move on... if she talks about her problems, she's going to break down and it will make matters worse because to her, talking about it will turn it into a reality again. I would encourage her to talk about it more, but it appears to be one of her peeves that may take some time to get over.

Please give me feedback on these issues... whenever I see her or talk to her over the phone, she's fine... she seems to be very comfortable around me, and I can read her emotions. For example, if she begins to shake, I know she's thinking about something that upsets her, so I comfort her and try to divert the attention.

I've also discovered another issue. She doesn't know that I'm an extremely patient person, and she's smart and has caught on to an idea that her problems are making me angry. First off, this is not true, but in some occurances where I talk about our future she'll say something like "you will hate me by then, i'm too obnoxious". It's also a deterrent.

Nonetheless, i'm not giving up... I hope for a response on all ove the above, Mary-Anne. Thank you so much once again for opening this window!


- delerted

[edit] She also does not get much sleep at all, and I worry about that because I'm a firm believer that sleep is VERY VERY important? Could this be attributed to her post-abuse trauma? [/edit]

[2nd edit] This is also disrupting my schoolwork. [/2nd edit]


February 14, 2005, 06:11:32 AM
­OK, gotcha on all counts but these are still just deterants and it does not change the problem and the solution that must be taken. So what to do, Planned Parenthood. They are exempt from telling anyone including parents no matter your age. They will counsel at no charge and help her get the help she needs or do it themselves. They have doctors, counselors that specialize in this area. Most people think Planned Parenthood is for abortions but they are wrong. They want to prevent abortions so they work hard on being "proactive" at helping young women and men work through their truama and issues so they don't get messed up or if they are already messed up help them work through their issues so they don't end up in a worse situation that they were in. So every city in the country has a Planned Parenthood I have referred many young women to them and they have gotten the support and help they need. I called them and interviewed them in several states. They are the real deal and spend a lot of time helping young women work through their sexual and relationship issues. So this is where you encourage her to go and talk to a counselor there. They are all women so she will feel safe and not threatened because she will be dealing with all women. Women who know exactly what she is going through, are there to help her and finances is not an issue. IF I thought in any way that they were just an abortion clinic I would never have anything to do with them. Or if I thought they ever did or directed young women incorrectly I would again never refer anyone to them but I know that this is not the case. Women who have gotten back with me after going to them for counseling I have gotten nothing but positive feedback to their experiences with Planned Parenthood. They are by law allowed to keep everything in total confidence no matter what your age is. They also by law allowed to counsel under age meaning under 18 year olds without having to turn them in to the law or their parents. They feel that it is better to have a young girl to come to them and let them "prevent" more problems than to tell parents and just get the girl in more trouble and then she has no where to turn. This gives her an out yet an "in" so she has no excuse not to reach out and get the help she needs.
Again all this will be on how you present it and approach her on the topic. From whatyou say she is acting very "typical" of an abused young girl and she will continue to get worse that I can promise you. She also will not want to go and find all kinds of excused not to go but if you really love her, patience is good but just going along to show how great you are so she will stay with you is not a healthy motive. Do you want her to get well or do you have to prove that you can get her well so she will be beholding to you and you can then look like this great guy that she will be indebted to forever? Look at yourself and seek the truth in your heart. I feel from your letters that you have some controlling issues in you, that is not a good thing. I must ask you what is it that you are needing to prove to her but mostly to both of you?? It is like unless you help her you are not going to be able to hold on to her, why would she need you? There are plenty of great guys out there but if you "saved" her from herself then you would be special and she would be clingy to you until she woke up someday and she would wake up then you would hit some real rocky times that may end the relationship. Tell me why you feel the need to "be the one" to save her? What is it in you that needs this. This part is about you and only you so what was mising to wear you need to be in control and save her? I feel strongly about this because even though you list your one, two, three IF you didn't have a need in you you could see other options for getting her help but because you don't it is clear you have an unfulfilled need that needs validation. Think about this Delerted. I say this with only wanting to help you work through this whole issue that now includes you. For it to include you, delerted you have to have some need in there for you or you wouldn't be holding on so strong and like most guys you would move on. It is great that you want to help her and I told you the places you could make a difference but it isn't enough. If you continue and don't contact planned parenthood or use all your control power to make sure you have your talk with her and have it so she will want to get help then I say for sure what need in you is lacking so that you need to save a victim and be a rescuer?????
Just think about it , get back with me and let's see if there is any truth here and if there is just a speck of truth let's work it out so you don't become part of the problem instead of part of the solution. There are only two roles in this senario neither is a healthy role.
Think about it and let me know if you are going to try and put a really positive and hopeful talk with her and get her to go to PPH and get the help she needs that no matter what excuses she comes up with or you do why something won't work. I have been in this busines for over 20 years and understand how human behavior works and what attitudes play out in just about every kind of scenario there is. So please look at yourself and ask yourself some very sensitive questions and find the answers inside of you as they are there. Then write and tell me what you find inside of you. She will always have an excuse why something will not work and that is all part of her Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Read up on both PTS and your role in helping keep her dependent on you instead of taking the risk of getting well through the long road of counseling and facing her demons from all that she has and will continue to have until she makes the commitment that she is worth taking the risk of getting well. From your relpy it is obvious that she is resistent to looking at the painful truth and having to work through her issues. You both also seem to think that just by her staying in there with you shows she wants to get better and is boosting your ego needs at the same time. You can not help her through this, this is a proven fact. So if you approach her with Planned Parenthood and you don't present it in just the right way and she has excuses why she can't go there what next? There will always be some reason for not getting help. If I am right what then?
Think about this whole picture delerted write and let me know what you think and what you are going to do?
I am still with you and always I am on your side and I stay in here because I care and why I do this for free. But I am also going to point out the truth as I see it playing out in somsething like this.
So let's work to gether and you tell me after you search your soul and find the answers to your own self write me and let me know what you are going to do.
Have a great Valentines Deltered

Where you know you can come for Professional, personal, right on target advice, life skills, crisis intervention,ask questions, confide in guaranteed help. With all the traps, scams, perverts and sites out there that are very unsafe, this site is your safe place. I have been doing this for 10 years.

* February 14, 2005, 10:41:00 PM
­ Mary-Anne,

I thank you again for your honest and well written response. It is this advice that helps me attain a bigger picture and work towards what I need to do to help her.

I do have a few followups.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding... but you speak as if I'm only trying to save her for my own [selfish] needs. That IF I am able to save her on my own (which you think is impossible, however I choose a more optimistic route), I will get an inflated self ego and she will be forced to feel debted to me for eternity. This would mean I then can feel free to hog the relationship benefits, and essentially abuse her, because "remember, I saved your life".


This may sound sappy, but I do love her with everything I have. The reason I want to help her is because I feel remorseful for the abuse she has taken over the years... I even feel angry that people have done such horrible things to her. This passion drives me to do what is best for her, NOT FOR MYSELF. As far as I'm concerned, I am totally out of the picture. Yes, if I can save her, that will be nice, but I by no means intend to be a hero, I just want to put my best foot forward. If my best foot forward happens to be heroic behavior, so be it... but I won't wear a plaque about it. If she comes out of it a better woman, I'll be happier than life. I don't need nor do I even want an inflated ego to supplement it.

If what you predict above is true, I would be perpetuating an ever lasting cycle of abuse on this woman. <<< I DO NOT WANT THAT. I WANT THE ABUSE TO END.

Maybe I haven't told you enough about myself... but I have a certain integrity-related hatred towards anyone who exhibits arrogant, conceited or narcissistic behavior... honestly, I can't stand people who talk about themselves all the time. If I'm guilty of it, then tell me... I can assure you that I am a human, I make mistakes and I in no way intend to place my life above anyone elses. This whole issue is NOT about me.

I don't feel that I HAVE to be her savior, I don't feel that I HAVE to prove to her and everyone else that I will help her... again, this issue is NOT about me. I do NOT reject the help of others... if I did, I wouldn't be at this forum... I do NOT think that she needs extravagant romantic attention because she has been abused, I treat her romantically as I would anyone that I love. This is inherent within me, I have a passion to make the people I love feel good, regardless of their history. You referred to me feeling strongly about this as opposed to most guys "moving on". Let me assure, you I am nothing like most guys.

I do want her to see counseling... Again, I don't feel as though I could be a substitute for a good counselor, or that I can be Superman here. However, I feel apprehensive about it because of the convenience and circumstances involving others. I know that the outcome for her would be excellent... but what will her parents think? And this directly affects her.

Again, I have no malintentions. I want her to be happy, and I hope you understand that. I know its hard to believe me, I've had a tough time convincing all that are involved how I am not just another false cry for wolf. I think its hard to believe Planned Parenthood can provide counseling for FREE that is confidential for -18yr old, but I will look into it as you suggested. When the right time comes, I will contact PP, talk with her, and get a sense for how they can get involved in her life and make a positive difference.

I guess this can be summed up as... what can I do as a supplement to counseling that can ease her into a normal life and a normal lasting relationship.

Thank you again, Mary-Anne, I hope you do not find my painfully honest post in anyway insulting, I just feel passionate about this subject, and no one may expect it from a teenager. I do contain powerful emotions, approach with caution.


[EDIT]Also, can we return to my original question? I'm looking for advice BESIDES THERAPY on special measures I should take to make sure I don't screw things up.

I know therapy is always the best solution, but at the moment it is out of my control and there's not much I can do about it. I thank Mary Anne for the link to Planned Parenthood, but I mainly came here for advice on how to handle abused women, because I know it is a different ballpark than normal women, one I have NO experience in. Personal experiences would VERY GREATLY help me on this, not links to therapists or verbal attacks on ME and how I AM handling the situation. I'm all for constructive criticism, but it is not what I came here for.

Mary Anne, a second question... she is against medication and will not take it... can you assure me that Planned Parenthood has counselors that will NOT under ANY circumstances prescribe medication?

That's all. It's been a week with no responses... I may have to take my concern to a more lively forum. Sorry but after a month without a lively discussion, anyone's patience will wear.



OK, its been some time... Mary Anne, please continue our debate.

Also, does PLanned Parenthood do counseling over the phone or do they have offices in certain spots


- delerted


September 01, 2005, 02:19:48 AM
­ Delerted:

Gee I didn’t know we were having a debate. I would rather give you what I consider the highest professional advice on the Internet. If there are gaps between answers that you time as “too long” it is because I am ill and disabled. That is why I do this on the Net. I want to give something back as I work so hard to get better and go back into practice again. So I must tell you for a debate yeah you need to go to a debate site. I do not recommend it because you are speaking about someone else and I do not condone that. If you are going to share someone else’s pain to the world I don’t think they would appreciate it especially the illegal things so rethink whose needs you are trying to meet.
As far as your last post I want to answer it. I hope you did call PP to confirm my information. I would not post something I had not checked out myself as I am responsible for what I write and I take that responsibility I take very serious.
Wow you are sensitive I have not personally attacked you nor would I ever. I do this for free and spend all the time I can on it. But I also have to live, eat and take care of my doctors and medicines. How do you think I get any funding for all that? Be pleased that God put me on here free for all teens to use so I can really say “I will leave no teen behind.”
As far as what you can do sometimes getting out of the way is the best help. Your girlfriend needs a lot more than you can ever give her to get over the abuse and her now abusing herself with drugs to numb the pain and memories.
If you want and feel the need to do something the best thing you can do is read up on Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome because that is what all trauma, stress and abuse come under in Psychology. So spend your evening on google and learn all you can about PTSS and how to help someone overcome the causes of PTSS.
I do care and would like to know after you read up on PTSS what you plan to do. You have to make a plan and start implementing it at some point laying aside debating or misunderstanding responses to you.
But I don’t debate people’s lives. I have a wealth of information and will answer questions but no debates, please let me know the outcome of all your investigating and what course you plan to take in helping your girlfriend.
Please be careful and know I am here to help you if you need advice or feedback.

Where you know you can come for Professional, personal, right on target advice, life skills, crisis intervention,ask questions, confide in guaranteed help. With all the traps, scams, perverts and sites out there that are very unsafe, this site is your safe place. I have been doing this for 10 years.