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#458571 - 01/14/14 10:25 AM Re: Advice regarding a frind (long post!) [Re: Londinium]
Londinium Offline

Registered: 12/28/13
Posts: 5
Dear all,

I'd just like to thank you all for your honest - sometimes brutal - responses. I've spent a while thinking about the situation in light of them; it's very useful to have ones ideas and assumptions challenged.

It is true that my motivation goes beyond friendship, which is obviously of concern as it stops me being wholly objective. I recognise that and try to temper my behaviour appropriately.

The most thought provoking questins have come from Lancer:

"To be blunt, you feel a need to "save" him? From himself? And you believe YOU'RE the one to do it? Really? YOU'RE the one who can "fix" him? Really? And YOU think he needs to do it TODAY/this week/this month? Why should he be dealing with HIS issues on YOUR schedule? Because you know better? "

To answer these as best I can:

Do I feel the need to 'save' him? Perhaps I do. I think there is something wrong and I think he needs help. Am I the best person to do it? I really don't know, but I don't see anyone else around him at the moment - his last boyfriend dumped him due to the problems, his friends just encourage him to drink and find it funny; I'd like to think that I'm better than that ... that might just be an ego boost for me, I don't know, it IS hard to be objective. But to put it simply: someone I care about needs, I think, help in some way and I'd like to be able to provide it.

As to the 'schedule' which you mention, I think perhaps you have hit the nub of my issue here. I tried to raise the issue of CSA with him, thinking that he might have been bursting to disclose for many years, that he'd be grateful for the opportunity to get it into the open. Instead I got a very equivocal response. That was unexpected. If, as have some have suggested, he may well be in denial and not ready then I had hoped that my raising of the issue may act as a catalyst. It hasn't done. As Lancer points out, it is not for me to set the agenda. I had made an assumption that anyone with such issues as I suspect would be glad to get it all out in the open; that it would be a cathartic release, like lancing a boil. You are correct that I have no right to dictate any agenda, but please believe me when I say that I am trying to do the right thing for someone I care about.

I think I'm pretty much resolved now to not pursuing this issue actively with this guy. He is aware that I care; he knows that I think I know something is wrong and he knows where I am. I do hope he can start to deal with some of the issues he seems to have. I've promised myself that if he turns to me at any point for help; be that tomorrow or in 5 years time, I will be there in whatever capacity he feels he needs. But only he can decide that. I think he's a long way from that point. I think it will come, and of course it may not be me he turns to at that point.

Simply put, I think I should get on with my life, be around and be willing to help if and when needed. And avoid any of the sexual kind of contact which makes me uncomfortable.

#458577 - 01/14/14 01:44 PM Re: Advice regarding a frind (long post!) [Re: Londinium]
HopeDiesLast Offline

Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 62
First things first, I think it is great that you want to help instead of just looking away and moving on. If less people chose to be blind and instead would open their eyes and acknowledge what is happening around them, a lot of evil could be stopped.

Also, I don't think you need to be objective. You like your friend. That's not objective, but it is a good thing. Does that mean you can save him or fix him? No. But as far as I understand it, you like your friend and not the fact that he's 'damaged goods', right? I'm the wife of a CSA survivor, so I know the difference. I love my husband, but I didn't fall in love with his problems (that would be dangerously close to co-dependency). I want him to have the best life he can have and I'm there for him when he wants my help, but I feel no need to save him or fix him. He's quite capable of that on his own.

There is one thing I wanted to add to the discussion, because I think it's important. In my experience, when someone comes from a very violent background, they expect the same behaviour from everyone who's close to them. That's simply the way they've learned to interact. So it is very well possible that the violence in the text messages is the only way your friend knows how to relate to you on a sexual level. If I was you, I would set a clear boundary here and actually be quite blunt about it: "No. I will not abuse you." It might produce quite a bit of puzzlement and confusion. He might break off contact for a while or test this boundary, so you might have to repeat it before it gets through. But it is my firm belief that it is important to be straight-forward and clear in this regard. That it has to be stated clearly sometimes that not everyone and everything in this world is evil. And that there are other ways to relate in an intimate relationship than to be abused.

And I don't think that's pushy. You're setting a boundary for yourself more than anything else.

Apart from this: Patience. That is all that I can counsel. Patience. And yeah, from the perspective of the significant other of a CSA survivor, I agree with what people have said in this thread: staying friends and finding someone else for an intimate relationship will save you from a lot of tears and frustration. Of course sometimes the tears and frustration are worth it. Otherwise I wouldn't be married anymore.

#458581 - 01/14/14 02:55 PM Re: Advice regarding a frind (long post!) [Re: Londinium]
Londinium Offline

Registered: 12/28/13
Posts: 5
Thanks for that. I agree that a co-dependent relationship is not a very healthy one; I have friends who seem, from the outside, to have such relationships. It works for them, but I don't think it would do so for me. I fell for this guy long before I started to realise what might be going on.

But, yes, patience. I guess that's all I have, really. In many ways, might it not be better for me to have the time and distance to 'get over it' to a certain extent, to let my stronger feelings subside. That way I might one day be a better friend if he needs me to be. That will take time, of course, but it may well be best.

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