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#416141 - 11/13/12 07:33 PM Communicating with my Best Friend
JayBro Offline

Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 325
Hey everyone,
I do not know any other survivors in person, and I often find it hard to discuss my feelings RE: my abuse with friends & family, because they have simply no basis to identify with.

A bit of background: As gay-identified, I find that often other straight guys might not be so open to me, yet I also feel disconnected with the gay community. I had a number of superficial gay male friends at the beginning of university, but last year, after I turned 20 and came to terms with my abuse, I felt my "friends" were some of the least supportive people.

However, earlier this year I moved to Germany and met my best guy friend. As roomies, we did everything together, and even completed each others' sentences, and it was awesome having a wing-man with me on most days. In addition to him being straight, our life experiences were so different, yet we fit together so perfectly. He is not just a friend- and I came to love him like a brother, and call him my brother all the time. Our friendship really did help with my recovery, and I felt like myself again after over a year of depression, guilt, flashbacks, and crippling anxiety.

Having come back to Canada to finish my undergrad, it is difficult maintaining the close contact with my German brother. Computers and our mobiles only help so much, but we haven't skyped for two months or had a real, deep, meaningful conversation. I sometimes put out there with a message or a text that I wish I could talk with him about my abuse, or that I had a good/bad day, or simply that I miss him, but I recieve no meaningful (if any) response to those messages which mean the most to me. I don't know if that makes him a bad friend, or maybe because he has not had such traumatic experiences as me- or that as a guy, he has been conditioned to not be outwardly emotional- he just does not know how to relate or what to say. Maybe he just shys away?

We message each other everyday about other things, and I am also planning on moving back to our town in Germany later this year. But it is the here and now that is important.

I am always so worried that I might be saying too much, but I do not know. It would mean a lot to me to have his support right now as he was so instrumental in my recovery. How do I communicate these feelings with him? Should I even? What might he be thinking when he reads any of these messages?
,,Nun ging es immerzu, weit, weit bis an der Welt Ende."

#416227 - 11/14/12 08:15 AM Re: Communicating with my Best Friend [Re: JayBro]
Publius Offline

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 444
Loc: OH
I understand where you are coming from as far as disclosing to friends. When I first began recovery I was one of those people who felt like telling everyone but I reined in this desire by keeping it to family and close friends. I shared some of your fears and similar experiences when I told my buddies.

Basically, they were as supportive as any non-victim could be for guys like us. After all, we use our personal experiences and empathy in order to understand each other and provide support. Fortunately, many of our family and friends lack any direct experience with CSA. Unfortunately, especially given the complex/widespread after effects of CSA, this means non-survivors have a very hard time understanding and offering support in any meaningful way. Most of the time, I am sure people will offer their ears but beyond that there is not much a lay person can do. Additionally, an issue like child rape is difficult for many people to discuss precisely because of its profoundly negative nature.

In short, I am sorry your good friend seems unable or unwilling to provide much needed support for your recovery journey. I highly doubt he means anything personal by it especially given his continuing communication with you. I will not presume to tell you exactly what to say to him. However, I think it would be perfectly alright for you to tell him about your experiences and how his friendship has helped you.

As far as what he is thinking that is hard to tell. It may be he does not know how to respond, is uncomfortable responding, and so on and so forth. I think as long as he accepts you for who you are, including your status as a survivor, he is a good friend to keep. Luckily, there are also many other avenues of support for you such as therapists, group therapy, survivor literature, and sites like this one : )
"Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." ~ General Iroh

#417863 - 12/01/12 04:13 PM Re: Communicating with my Best Friend [Re: JayBro]
JayBro Offline

Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 325
Thank you so much for your feedback. My anxiety around him as been getting less and less, and I am more so just focused on maintaining intimacy but long-distance. That in itself is hard. Technology is never the same as in person, and he never has time to skype and have a real conversation. I really miss him. He was such a part of my healing and now I am without him by my side. I wish I could just hug him again
,,Nun ging es immerzu, weit, weit bis an der Welt Ende."


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