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#67835 - 10/01/03 05:07 PM Could use a little insight...
reise Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/01/03
Posts: 2
Loc: maine
I have an *ahem* interesting situation at work that I could use a male survivor's (or his co-survivor S.O.'s) input on.

There is a man at work whom is generally very humourous, intelligent and easy-going -- a pleasure to work with. However, occassionally he will appear to be in a slightly depressed mood and (during our work breaks)begin talking to anyone nearby about how abusive (physical battering) his family and childhood were. For the most part, everyone seems to ignore him or makes him the butt of the "you're-just-so-weird" ilk of jokes... as a female abuse survivor, it has gotten to be more than I can bear to stand-by and see happening. I have defended him in quiet ways and I have tried to respond to his admissions in a way that would let him know that someone IS listening... He does then, however, tend to shy away, but then I'll catch him watching me/looking to see where I am, he seems especially interested anytime I show a small kindness or generous gesture to another co-worker.

Some background: We have only worked together a few months, but I have worked at this place for over 3 years and know a lot of the staff well enough to kid around and flirt with some air of confidence... and am fairly well known for a NO-BS attitude.
He's mid-30ies, but spends a lot convos reliving his High School glory days (with and without the abusiveness he endured). He's single and lives alone (and does give the impression of being lonely and isolated) with his family in the area.

I don't know what -- if anything --
I should do that could help him. He sems to want to talk, then he retreats. I feel like I'm trying to coax a wild stallion in out of a storm and all I can think to do is stand there in the rain quietly, and see if he'll come over.
Should I even be trying? Am I being to egotistical in thinking that I could help by giving him a sounding board? If not, how can I let him know I am willing to listen and (maybe)that have been there too.
Should I just forget saying anything? If it didn't make me sad enough to hear him and want to tell him he is worthwhile and whomever hurt him was so very wrong... I would just step aside and let it pass. But it has bothered me enought to come find this board and register to ask you.
Anyone willing to comment?

*** ugh, just re-read that and it sounds like a bad budding romance novel! (forgive me, LOL!) But, please understand that while I admit I could be attracted to him in another time & place, it's just not an issue in the cards right now. And I would tell him to come here, but he apparently has no computer or net access***

#67836 - 10/01/03 06:10 PM Re: Could use a little insight...
crisispoint Offline

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
First, Reise, I'm glad to see you care about this guy, especially since he needs to talk, and gets absolutely no support from others he opens up to at work.

Please be aware of a couple of things. One, he may be repeating on some level the type of abuse he got. Maybe he feels he isn't really worthy of help, so he tell the people who will give him the least support and encouragement. He may not really be ready to talk about it yet, or he most likely needs professional-level therapy first. I've been lucky, most of my friends and co-workers have been really understanding about my need to come out with this. As you can see, this isn't always the case.

Two, you both need to be very careful on acting on your feelings, both in support and anything else. He may be attracted to you in a more-than-supportive-friend/co-worker way, and may respond to you more in that mode than anything else. And can you not act on your attraction to him if it could be destructive to both of you. You are a survivor too, and you need to watch out for yourself as well.

Again, I think it's great that you're helping him, so I don't want to discourage that. Just be careful. He'll open up and respond when he's ready. Be there for him. And be good to yourself too.

Peace to you both.


There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

#67837 - 10/02/03 01:31 AM Re: Could use a little insight...
Happy Birthday Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
Don't fish off the company dock Reise. This guy sounds needy and you sound like the nurturing type. Run! Seriously though, don't get too involved. It might be an idea to somehow direct him to a counselling center so he can discuss his history and difficulties with a professional counsellor. Peace, Andrew

there is no courage without anxiety

#67838 - 10/02/03 11:57 PM Re: Could use a little insight...
reise Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/01/03
Posts: 2
Loc: maine
Just wanted to Thank You for your wise words.

I think I'd do best to stand down and if he wants to talk (only talk, folks)... fine. Realistically, pointing out the benefits of a good professional counselor and let him and his higher source take it from there (and that with consideration, as I still have to work around the man) is probably the only true help I can give.

There really is NO chance for it to go any further and just my recognizing my own attraction admitted above in black and white has helped me to see I need to stop thinking that way. You are spot-on about my tendency to nurture, so I have to watch myself in that respect. Again, much thanks and all the best to each of you on your own roads to recovery. May we all find the peace, joy and balance that is so overdue us.


Moderator:  ModTeam, peroperic2009 

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