...i think i am looking for a little more elaboration if possible. you guys are so great!! thank you!
from my perspective, yes it is very difficult to sit back and watch someone go through a great struggle. and i think that by our very nature -- we want to save him.
but it becomes a matter of circumstances, right? let's say this was not about childhood abuse. instead your friend lost his job - also traumatic in this country nowadays - but you see he is out there, networking, applying, etc., and you yourself put feelers out there too. you can turn him on to a lead, etc. you can be an "active participant" in helping him find a job while being there as well to break dishes in frustration with so many HR people not even returning his calls. right?
overcoming abuse is completely different. first, the time element is out the window -- there isn't a measure of how long it takes. and unlike that example above, i am not entirely sure how one can be such an "active participant" in that process. not to say you can't support him and learn about recovery - for that is helpful.
hitting the recovery process -- is almost as though we turn 40 but have forgotten everything we ever learned. at 40 we have to relearn the alphabet. we have learn multiplication -- again. how to eat and kick ball - again. etc.
you realize from being around a child - you can't "learn that alphabet" for him, right? but most assuredly he'll learn it all in first grade (i.e. succinct amount of time.)
all you can do is keep holding up those flash cards and repeating a,b,c,d.... repeat after me... and help him learn - without turning him off to the learning process by being too pushy.
meanwhile, you have to balance your role in "reteaching" with taking care of yourself - your career, your needs, your family, right?
i'm really oversimplifying this and may not even be doing justice. what are you prepared to learn about him as he navigates his way through the recovery? as you may have already read here - this whole same-sex attraction and gay issue seem to be a major theme. there is a whole issue about re-relating with people, self-doubt and guilt.
reticence to even have anyone involved.
simple words with tremendously disparate outcomes!
i know this term may sound selfish but "take care of yourself first" is a very responsible approach under these circumstances. and perhaps even by doing so and by communicating that you are doing so to him, you are actually "helping him to relearn how" to take care of himself first too -- for perhaps the very first time in his life.