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#447684 - 09/20/13 12:20 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline

Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
You all wrote some really helpful things. I am not saying just recovery friends, I only said that because they are easy relationships to get close to people emotionally. I mean any realationship that isn't based on neighborhood gossip, any kind of relationship based on something other than surface stuff I think wold be helpful. The guys he grew up with he has only seen twice in 5 years because all the do is hang in bars and my husband is an alcoholic. He can't seem to enjoy being with them sitting in a bar and not drinking. I have suggested calling them to go grab a bite but he won't . I have asked him if he wants me to invite them over for dinner, he shoots that idea down too.

I feel like Julie McCoy, cruise director, social director. Remember the Love Boat? I don't wanna do it. it isn't my job.

And fyi, he would never disclose to anyone. Just me, therapists and the guys in meetings and groups. No one in the outside world except for me. Not even his family. I wish he would but I am not gonna hold my breath on that.

I think, like what Dark was saying, that he feels he has nothing to offer. He has actually said that. Bullshit, bullshit. That is a lie he tells himself. He has much to offer.

"The problem however for me is that being a charity case, feeling I have nothing to contribute to another person is not really a tennable situation. I can't trust someone with my feelings, since I don't want to put upon them, I can't request anything from someone else since that risks what I've got, heck, I can't even chase contact with another person since that just makes me feel that I am pestering them. "

I think that what you wrote above Dark is a lot of it. Sad, very sad.

#447693 - 09/20/13 01:19 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
Esposa Offline

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 811
Loc: NJ
My husband really only has people who enable self destruction. He calls them friends. I call them, well, self destruction buddies wink

When we talk about friendship, it seems that he doesn't really understand what it means. It requires vulnerability and it requires trust and intimacy. All things that come with recovery hopefully.

So Lucy my love - maybe friends come later wink

#447694 - 09/20/13 01:19 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
CruxFidelis Offline

Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
It takes time to trust people. sometimes years.

and it is not your job to be a cruise director. i think my wife felt like she should have that role for awhile too, since she knew the way I used to socialize before the assault and i am not the same. but... it is not your job.

my wife once told a dear friend of hers what happened to me, because I think it was hard for her to keep all of it to herself. It made me wish I never told her, because I saw what a drain it was on her and I should have known it would have been. I also felt that my trust was violated. But it is a huge burden to carry. I carried it for years when I was the only person who knew about her abuse... at least the only person who knew and believed. I never told anyone though I did journal about it and write fictional stories with it as a theme.
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

#447709 - 09/20/13 04:58 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
tbkkfile Offline

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 393
Loc: Surrey, United Kingdom
Hi Lucylives, in one of your previous posts you mention

"I get the trust issue except that his abuse wasn't by friends or family but by strangers so why not just be untrusting of strangers??"

I read an article at which I hope kind of gives one aspect or explanation, I've extracted part of it it for you - for me growing up you can substitute "Trusted adult" with "Adult"

To try to grasp complex emotional concepts like love, children group experiences into simplistic extremes. Good or bad, black or white, there is no grey. They can't differentiate between one trusted adult's behaviour and that of another's. Therefore, if one trusted adult abuses them, this experience is not taken away by the non-abusive relationships they experience, it just becomes part of their understanding of 'relationship'. The child learns not that 'some adults do bad things', but that 'all trusted people can do bad things.' This includes even the child itself. Like many other aspects of their developing psychological make up, this distrust becomes an integral part of their socialised constructs

#447720 - 09/20/13 08:59 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2711
Loc: durham, north england
Yes lucy, it's frankly sad, but I'm increasingly of the opinion that it's the way the world works as much as anything.

I was lucky as an undergraduate to be in a university where most people were open minded, and where I even met some people who were both emotionally independent and honest enough to convince me that I wasn't just a charity case. However that time has gone, those people are married and moved away, and most other people just aren't like that.

As a disabled person most people actually do! treat me as if I'm not the same species (especially other disabled people ironically, since I'm not part of their cleaque and tend challenge their limitations), if I walked into a bar nobody would speak to me.

The only solution I've found is recognizing this myself and engaging in regularly scheduled hobby groups where people are forced! to speak to me, and where I can use all those social skills I have to put others at ease.

yes, I'll likely just end up with a bit of witty conversation followed by playing brother confessor, hearing someone's problems and then having them piss off and forget my existance, but that's life, indeed it seems that is what most people want at least from me.

It's not all bad, I get to do whatever the hobby is and enjoy myself, and give others what I can before they go, heck this is one reason I'm looking at going to opera school next year, since giving others my love of music and my performance is the single best experience of my life.

But close friendships still less actual relationships, well I suppose those happen to other people, and I shouldn't really complane, after all at least I have! the social skills to engage in singing, role play and other activities with people however superficially.

That would be my personal suggestion to your husband, join some hobby groups, since you get companionship if nothing else, and as I get older I realize "companionship" is really all that I at least should expect.


#447759 - 09/20/13 10:51 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline

Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
Thank you all for your responses. they were very helpful.

tk, that quote was also very helpful.

And Esposa, I hope you are right. Kisses for you my friend. wink

#448927 - 10/02/13 12:02 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
gettingstronger Offline

Registered: 09/24/13
Posts: 317
Loc: Virginia

I had composed a much longer post but realized it was turning out to be more about me than you. I'm completely in your husband's boat. I don't know if any of these apply, but reasons that have blocked me from developing male friendships include:

1. Male friendships that became sexualized. Due to an extreme level of isolation from my family (and several years of csa at the hands of a neighborhood boy,)I developed a tremendous amount of envy. They had fun, played sports, were in shape, were popular, had great tans from being outdoors, and were allowed to have girlfriends (you read this right.) I, on the other hand, was the polar opposite. This disparity somehow morphed itself into what I thought was sexual attraction. I was insanely jealous both of what they were and what I thought they were. Long story short, until I really started to dig into this with a good T, I was afraid to trust myself in male friendships for fear of what I thought was sexual attraction. Now that I have a correct understanding of what was happening and can distinguish a child's envy from sa, I am starting to welcome male friendships without this fear.

2. Trust. I won't beat this up since it's been covered, but this has been a tough one. I told my best friend about being on antidepressants and told him not to tell anyone. He promptly told his mom, who then mentioned it to my mom (a drama queen if ever there was one.) Needless to say, I am VERY careful about who knows what. Depending on how your husband's experience was in his formative years, don't be surprised if this is especially hard.

3. Basic social skills/activities. What sort of hobbies does your husband have? Is he really good at something? Are there things he'd like to get into if given the chance? Does he like sports? I'm sorely lacking in the sports category, so that cuts down much of the small talk I normally would have. Are things like this an impediment for him?

I don't know how much of this applies to your husband, but I wanted to throw it out there. Sorry for the long post. Hang in there and take care.

Edited by gettingstronger (10/02/13 12:09 AM)
Edit Reason: brevity, clarity

#448955 - 10/02/13 04:03 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: gettingstronger]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Boys who are abused at a young age have a lot of trouble forming relationships. It is even harder if they came from a dysfunctional family. They almost need intervention. They need someone who can hold them together until they learn to trust and get along with other boys.


#448999 - 10/02/13 06:51 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline

Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
Thanks gettingbetter and puffer. He does have people he can talk sports and such with but I am talking about friends yu can call in times of trouble not just casual friendships. I wonder about the stuff you wrote, gb. I think a lot of it may be feeling different from other men.

And puffer, I wouldn't think it would be so fricking hard for him. His csa happened when he was 15 so he had plenty of time to develop skills of friendship before. Of course, I am always convinced that something else happened to him at a younger age. Who the hec knows.

#449018 - 10/02/13 10:45 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
newground Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 1153
Loc: michigan
I'm not sure that it matters the age Lucy. no matter what or when we are not who we once were. I think maybe it is worse at older ages because you have some line of comparison. and for me at least who I was was the original undamaged, so what is left has to by definition be less that is a feeling that is hard to shake. and as victor said "we know what we are capable of" to not have a friend is painful, but to HAVE one, and then have him find out some of these things and bolt,would be devastating." better the devil I know then the devil I don't know" happens all the time.
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

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