Great thread! Thank you love for posting this topic and thank you survivors for your candid and thoughtful responses.

My survivor friend has told me that he doesn't think he could ever love the way I love. It's confusing because sometimes he does seem very affectionate, but at other times he is very distant. He says he goes through periods where he has strong feelings for me, but other times he feels nothing, numb. He says it's easier to feel nothing than to feel the pain.

I also think there is some fear. He has said before that he is afraid I would leave if I really got to know him. I sometimes wonder how much is a direct result of CSA and how much is related to reactions that he has received in the past after disclosures. I know he has had some bad experiences with girlfriends in the past telling him that he would become an abuser himself after he disclosed.

It seems like he thinks he doesn't deserve love and that makes me really sad. I try to give words of affirmation liberally, but he always seems a little surprised that I could see him in a positive light.