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#61674 - 05/16/01 03:29 PM I want to help but don't know how

I don't even know how to begin. This is the first time I've been exposed to this kind of situation and I am clueless on what to do. I met this guy about a year ago who I love very much. He always acted like he had feelings for me. However, when we got close to eachother he told me he couldn't be my boyfriend because he wasn't sure it was the right thing to do. About two weeks ago, I found out that he had been sexually abused by his father when he was a child. He said the abuse went on for two years. He also said his father raped him but not in a violent way. His brother was also raped. He also told me he went to counseling and had seen a therapist for very long. After that he said that he wished he could feel something for somebody but that he can't. He says he feels empty inside and that he wishes he could at least feel pain. I don't understand this. I know he has feelings for me but he can't let them out. He's a sweet guy and I am in love with him and I want to help him in anyway I can. I bought him a teddy bear and a bunny and he was touched. He said it was the first time anybody ever gave him stuffed animals and he hugged them very strongly. I've also noticed that he has started to pet my cats. They seem to love him too. I know he enjoys it. Everytime I see him with them, he looks like a child smiling. I just wish I could reach him somehow because I really love him but I am afraid too because I am 32 and he is 27 and I don't know if it's the right thing to do (as he would put it). Please help me! I don't know how to act when I am around him and I want to hug him and kiss him but I am afraid that is only going to push him away from me and I don't want to act like his father did but I know so little about it that it's really hard. I do know that his father has never been punished for what he did and he is coming to visit him in a month and I am really afraid it's going to hurt him to see this person again.

#61675 - 05/22/01 08:16 PM Re: I want to help but don't know how

Thanks to everybody who sent me a message. it really help to know that I am not alone dealing with this. I was out of town for a while. Indeed, my boyfriend opened up a little bit. He hasn't seen a therapist yet but it seems like he is more comfortable with human hugs. He does seem to care a great deal about what his male friends think about our relationship though. Almost like he needs their approval to go on. He said he doesn't know where we are, if we are friends or a couple or what. We haven't even kissed in almost nine months and that hurts me because I don't know what to do. should I hug him and kiss him by surprise or is that only going to make matters worse? I haven't tried anything b/c I don't want to trigger any memories or anything...I don't know what to do. It has been nine months already and although in everyrespect we behave like a couple, the only thing missing is intimacy. I also found out that his ex-girlfriend is coming to visit (he didn't tell me) and he is being all torn inside because of this. He doesn't know how to deal with this situation because as he put it, he loved her "mentally" (I don't know what it means) very much and I am afraid she will be a part of his life again and I will be forgotten. Is it worth the wait and the effort? I mean, are we really going somewhere? this is all very confusing because he says one thing but his corporal expressions say otherwise. Has somebody here been in a similar situation or is it just me? is there any hope? or should I quit and forget about it?


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