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#26811 - 03/06/05 05:53 PM Needing advice for a friend
Leosha Offline

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
I have a friend, who it is a good assumption to think he has had some sexual abuse in his childhood. I know of one instance that I would consider abusive, even though he does not appear to think so. And I do know there is a history of physical abuse in his family.

This person is a quite 'stoic' person, and I think is set in the stereotype idea of men don't talk about these things, even though he knows me, he knows Andrei, he knows we are both dealing with these kinds of issues, even if not the specifics. He has been a good friend to both of us, but has really not offered any of his own experience. But several times, has seemed on the edge of talking about something.

I know I can not 'get' him to talk about it, to go to therapy, to do anything at all about it. But, I'm wondering, is making mention of it, is making a casual comment like 'if you have any issues of your own you ever want to talk about, please know you can' or something similar, is that appropriate, or to pushy? What got me first started in dealing with things was an offhand comment by a friend about our old coach, who he had trained with for a short time also. Not about abuse itself, just about him. What got Andrei talking about it was witnessing an interaction between myself and our old coach (and now we can't shut the boy up! ;\) ) So, with me, it wasn't really someone making an offer, or bringing up actual 'abuse' that put me on the path. I am not sure how I would have responded, if someone had made such a statement to me.

I have full confidence that he will not come across this site inadvertantly, so that is why I am posting it here. I want to be a friend, I want to be a good friend. But I don't want to push something at someone who is not ready for it.


Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

#26812 - 03/06/05 11:02 PM Re: Needing advice for a friend
TM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 6
Loc: Miami, FL
You're in a difficult situation, Leosha. You want to help but you know that if you try too hard, it will just hurt the possibilities of your friend reaching out.

What might be helpful for you friend is to lower the height of some of the barriers you think he faces to opening up. Perhaps telling him of someone who shares his masculine stoicism who found the strength to get past that barrier and how much you admire that person for it would help. Perhaps you might mention how many people here feared rejection before telling their stories and how accepting and supportive people have been.

Also, you offer some notions of the appeal of working through problems. I for one am 34 and SO wish I had been through this process 10 or 15 years ago. I really feel I could have avoided some destructive behaviors if I had.

But most of all, let him find his time. Anything else is likely to lead to resentment. We all know how painful the process can be.

#26813 - 03/07/05 05:47 PM Re: Needing advice for a friend
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
when the moment is 'right' one of you will know what to say, and I know that you won't blunder in.
Just make it safe for him, let him know that whatever he says to you will be treated with respect.

Take care

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#26814 - 03/07/05 08:44 PM Re: Needing advice for a friend
crisispoint Offline

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts

WHy don't you try just saying, "if there's anything you ever want to talk about, I'm here and I want to help?"

A friend will welcome this, even if they don't open up, or open up about something else.

I certainly wouldn' think this approach would be pushy. Especially if it was mentioned at one of those times they're on the edge of opening up.

I hope this helps, my friend. You're right, and a good person, to want to help.


Scot ("The Mouth," for I too, never want to shut up! :p )

There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

#26815 - 03/07/05 10:27 PM Re: Needing advice for a friend
markgreyblue Offline

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
Leosha -
I don't know your friend but I can say that please be very careful with your friend -
a stoic has many walls put up -
and if there was abuse - and they - the walls -come down - tumbling down - he will need some kind of safety net to catch him - maybe therapy for many times a week - and the resources to do so - and all that entails -
I hear your concern for him and you are a wonderful friend for caring -
- that is and amazingly wonderful thing -

Your friend has his coping mechanisms in place right now -
someday if there was abuse -
they will probably stop working -

maybe just offer your experience of your life -
at the right moment - with him -
when you are alone and in an quiet setting -
talk about your life with him -
and see if he offers any info about his -

- if he sees how you discuss things - it may make him feel safe for him to talk about it too...

thanks for this post Leosha -


" not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous

#26816 - 03/08/05 12:58 AM Re: Needing advice for a friend
theo Offline

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 1122
you already know that if you try to bring up the subject, even beating around the bush and not saying it directly, it is possible that you would be inadvertantly forcing soomething that is not ready to happen yet. the best example i can offer of what i mean is my former roommate from college.

because of the abuse and lies i suffered through about the faith i grew up with, i became an avowed, and very vocal atheist. i never pushed it on anyone, but just made it clear i was an atheist. simply by my roomie's example, i began to notice that maybe there is a way i could interact spritually again. he never spoke of his catholicism, he lived it. by his example, i became reacquainted with the holy and became confired into the Church Easter of 1997.

i think the best way we can lead or share is by example. you are living the life of a worthy survivor, as is andrei. by these two examples, and your simple prescence, he will speak when it is time. support is not in the words, it is in the silent gestures that need no words. follow your heart, leo, you know what to do.

journey well,
theo dewolfe

- It is gift, and gift will find its way
- I inherit through my choice. I build through my affirmation. It is through my freedom that I nurture, or fade into autonomy
- I was not given to serve life, but to embrace it

#26817 - 03/08/05 03:56 AM Re: Needing advice for a friend
FLRich Offline

Registered: 06/21/04
Posts: 1404

I think that if your friend knows about you and Andrei, even if not all the details, whenever HE is ready to deal with this, and he will one day, he will know that he can talk to you and/or Andrei. He is your friend. All you can do is make yourself available. I wish him luck, but he is already lucky; he has you and Andrei as friends. He'll come around, but on his time.

#26818 - 03/08/05 11:36 AM Re: Needing advice for a friend
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
I like Mark's advise.

- if he sees how you discuss things - it may make him feel safe for him to talk about it too...
I would just remain a good friend and let him talk to you or others in his own time.
Peace, Andrew

there is no courage without anxiety


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