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#462472 - 03/12/14 11:12 PM Advice about a friend...
Cardinal01 Offline

Registered: 03/12/14
Posts: 2
Hi, I hope it's ok that I'm posting in this area of the board. I wanted to get input from survivors on what you were comfortable with, or what you would have wanted or not wanted if this situation had presented itself to you. I just don't want to mess this up.

I have a male friend who told me via text the other night that he had been abused in "many different ways" as a child. This is a young man that I always suspected had some kind of sexual abuse in his past, just based on what I know of stereotypical signs (panic attacks/anxiety disorder, substance abuse, being sexually active at an extremely young age...). I'm a nurse so I'm a mandatory reporter and I've encountered a few young men like him over the years. Anyway because he's a bit younger than me he texts constantly... I'm an oldster in my mid 30's who prefers to actually use verbal words to speak to people most of the time! Imagine that!

So he said this to me along with a bunch of other stuff, and I pretty much texted back that I was not really surprised by anything that he told me and (amongst some other things) that if he wanted to talk about anything I'd be here for him. The problem is that I don't think it's necessarily comfortable for most men to just bring up the fact that they were sexually abused and talk about it, even if they're comfortable with the person. Am I right about this? I don't know if I should bring it up again and ask if he wants to talk about that subject specifically, or if I should just leave it alone and see what he does. I'm fairly certain he's not suicidal or anything right now, but I know he has been in the past. He's just had a difficult life and was hurt or let down by a lot of people, so I don't know if it would ever really be his thing to trust someone enough to talk about something like this without a little nudge.

How much is it appropriate to nudge in this situation? I don't want to mess it up, but I don't want him to think that I don't care anymore if I never bring it up again. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated!!

#462473 - 03/12/14 11:41 PM Re: Advice about a friend... [Re: Cardinal01]
fff123 Offline

Registered: 03/05/14
Posts: 15
Loc: Karachi,Pakistan
My experience is hard to open on internet and in person to person???Even he feel awkward later after admitting to you.I think the best way let him share with his own speed or better suggest him on forum.Not only he feel easy but will surely get great help from others like i had and some here are very very professional like therapists.

#462475 - 03/13/14 12:00 AM Re: Advice about a friend... [Re: Cardinal01]
newground Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 1141
Loc: michigan
hi cardnial
it is hard to say what to do in different cases. survivors share many things in common but also there are many differences.I think that you have to defer to him in most situations. it is obvious that he has some level of trust in you or you wouldn't know what you do. but even still most survivors are looking to be betrayed and assuming it is coming so let him take the lead. just do be open to hear and share your willingness to be his friend.
just my thoughts
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

#462477 - 03/13/14 12:34 AM Re: Advice about a friend... [Re: Cardinal01]
gettingstronger Offline

Registered: 09/24/13
Posts: 317
Loc: Virginia
Hi Cardinal01,

I'd say to be sensitive and gauge him as best you can, but give him a little nudge if need be. He sounds like he trusts you at least somewhat well, and his text might also be an indication that he's finally able or willing to open up to someone. (I'm not a therapist. This is just my own experience talking here.)

You might give it a day or two, then when the situation presents itself, say something like, "Hey, the other day you mentioned that some things happened when you were little. Do you want to talk about them?" Or, "If you ever want to talk about them, I'm right here." Then, leave the door open. If he says no, tell him you're willing to listen if he ever wants to tell you about it.

If nothing else, a response like this will provide what a lot of survivors need-- validation. Someone heard them, believed them, and at least offered to listen. This alone can mean a great deal to him. Best of luck.


Edited by gettingstronger (03/13/14 12:35 AM)

#462482 - 03/13/14 01:07 AM Re: Advice about a friend... [Re: Cardinal01]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929
"It means a lot to me that you trusted me enough to start up on that topic with me. I would never push you on this, but I just want you to know that if you ever want to talk about it I will listen. In my line of work I've heard from a lot of people who were abused. There is nothing you could say to me that would make me see you any differently."
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#462545 - 03/13/14 08:59 PM Re: Advice about a friend... [Re: Cardinal01]
Cardinal01 Offline

Registered: 03/12/14
Posts: 2
Thank you very much for your replies! I was kind of thinking a lot of the things that you said but I just wanted to make sure. I feel like with his (totally legitimate) trust issues, people probably have one chance... like just in general with him... and if you screw it up, that's pretty much it. So thank you again. I really appreciate it!!


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