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Luann, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 158
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist, 24 years experience working with children, adolescents, families and adults.
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I am 41 years old and was a victim of incest by an older

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I am 41 years old and was a victim of incest by an older brother (only 3 times) when I was 11. I also experienced a gang rape when I was early around 30. I have revealed these incidents to my newest relationship, someone who had told me he suffered PTSD from being involved in the War in Serbia. One of the things that most impressed him with me was my ability to move on and be successful (I am a veterinarian with my own practice). I started having triggers, and flashbacks after we began sleeping together, and he addressed this stating he understood, but was not sure he was prepared to deal with it. I have gone to therapy, in the past and more recently, and I have found I am able to work out of these night issues: which I have. but recently I informed him it was my older brother who committed the incest and he informed me about a week later that he felt that was the last straw. We were on vacation, our relationship was going well, I had been drinking a bit and it came out. I did tell him I had never told any other man this information and the reason I was able to tell him was he had told me he understood. I feel I have lost this man because I am perhaps using incidents which happened to me as triggers for there sympathy, to show they care, etc. I want to know if that is possible and how I can talk to this man to help him understand I recognize his feelings and would like to work through this
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Luann replied 6 years ago.
Luann :


Luann :

I am so sorry to hear about the trauma you experienced. It sounds like you worked on yourself and were able to move on. I am sorry to hear that you are currently experiencing some symptoms again. That is the nature of PTSD, there can be a dormant period following resolution and then symptoms can reappear. I do not think it is your fault in any way. I do not think you are creating these symptoms for sympathy, so stop beating yourself up. It is evident that you feel safe with your current boyfriend. In that safety, you have revealed more about the abuse that you experienced. That in itself may be a trigger. Something about him or the situation may be a trigger. Explain to him that it is because of your good relationship that you are able to talk about this, unfortunately, you are also have symptoms. It is not your fault or his fault. I encourage you to get into therapy again to deal with what is currently going on. Resolving trauma is like peeling an onion, you are ready for another layer of healing.


The symptoms have gone away almost 95%, just a little jerking at night but nothing major. I did explain I felt he was a trigger in the beginning and that being open and honest with him was the best way I knew to help begin handling the situation. I now feel a little distrust, while understanding his position, with opening up. It was the fact he felt we could be an anchor for each other, both of us having dealt with trauma and moved on, and then for him to inform me that he was unable to deal with my revelations. I have to honest with the man I am with. He felt I revealed to much to soon and was possibly testing him to see if he would run away. I think he feels this way because he has done something similar. I want to reach out, in a manner that let's him know I understand his position as well as protecting my own. I believe we have a chance at a good relationship and I don't want to lose it over something that happened years ago

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Expert:  Luann replied 6 years ago.

Let him know you are willing to take a step back and work on rebuilding. Keep yourself safe and protected by being thoughtful about what you share. Take time to rebuild. Focus on the positivie in your relationship and get some support for yourself. Good luck!

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