Keeping quiet about the abuse in my life is an old habit; I felt ashamed and guilty and so many times just let the topic slip by without comment.

Things are somewhat different now. I have spoken up about the abuse; and thanks to this forum, I am now speaking out, in a safe place.

My silence over the years was I'm sure a way of protecting myself--perhaps not the best way, but what I could do at the time. Living alone with the memories of abuse got too painful, and I began to talk about it. Relief came slowly but surely.

Now I am no longer content to just let things slide--it bothers me when people disparage sexual abuse survivors; when my gay friends talk about having sex when they were very young and try to convince me that it was not abuse, because they asked for it, etc.

Now one of my best friends, who has been my AA sponsor and supporter for the last 10 years, and who knows about the abuse in my life is really bothering me. He realizes too that he was sexually abused by his father.

He is a gay man who continues to talk about getting a hold of some young guy--the younger the better--to have sex with. He goes on and on, laughing and joking about them being smooth and hairless, or inexperienced but very horny.

It really bothers me a lot! What seems to bother me even more is that I am not willing or able to speak up and let him know how I am feeling about his continued references to sex with young boys.

It really pisses me off! That he just doesn't get it; that I have to worry about responding to his remarks; that I act phony and dishonest.

I also feel confused. Am I over-reacting? Making a big deal about a common theme in adult conversation? Will I hurt his feelings by challenging him on his behavior? Should I even worry about that?

I have the feeling that I am going to finally talk to him about it--any help or feedback before then would be most welcome.

I don't want to silently acquiesce to the sexual degradation of others.

What do you guys think?

I love this guy a lot and he has been a big help to me over the years. But if I continue to just "let it go" I end up feeling used and unhappy.

Anybody out there been here before?

Regards to my brothers,

"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White