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#227850 - 05/30/08 02:54 PM Helping my friend and survivor, needing advice.
Stephen1535 Offline


Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 3
My friend is an adult survivor of CSA. He disclosed to me 2.5 years ago. I have been his main source of support. He confronted his abuser, started dating girls, disclosed a suicide plan, and began seeing a psychiatrist under my friendship. His father died about a year ago and complicated things. He has no health history, but he is very depressed. The doctor put him on prozac, he says it does not help, however, my friend has not completely opened up to the doctor, I am not sure the doctor knows the extent of my friend's pain. We call each other brother.

My relative, my friend and I went out one night. We were past being drunk and we all fell asleep on the same bed. I woke up to my friend attempting to reach down my underwear. Now, before this, I was convinced that he was a straight man; one time we touched on the subject and he was truly offended at the idea. Additionally, I am a straight married male, my friend is aware of this, he is friends with my wife. He was not dreaming. He was not overly drunk. I confronted him right away. He tells me that he just wanted to me to make me mad at him. He wanted me to hate him.

I'm in the position where I can't be his sole council. I told him to give me time and that he should get serious about his therapy. I told him to start exploring possibilities of sexual role confusion (bi, gay) and that I would love him no matter what. What would you do in my situation?


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#227915 - 05/30/08 07:39 PM Re: Helping my friend and survivor, needing advice. [Re: Stephen1535]
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
Stephen,
I think its great your trying to help your friend. Just because he tried to touch you doesn't mean he's gay. He may very well have been acting out. Its possible that his abuse happened this way and he is subconciously trying to recreate it or it could be something else. I'm not sure if I'm understanding your post, is he getting therapy from his psychiatrist or psychologist/LCSW? If he is getting it from his psychiatrist, I think he should probably reconsider. Most psychiatrists are good at medication but usually not good at therapy. In addition, who ever he has therapy with should have some experience with child sexual abuse preferably male CSA. You might print out the consumers guide to therapy that is on the main page for ideas on what he should ask.

I'm also concerned about the fact that he attempted to touch you without your consent. I think thats something that definately needs to get looked into as to why he did that? He says he wanted to make you mad but he may not know why.

_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


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#227918 - 05/30/08 08:00 PM Re: Helping my friend and survivor, needing advice [Re: onlyakid]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
No offence Stephen but if you want the best behavior out of your friend, first reduce the alcohol consumption. Pedophiles are lubricated by alcohol. Most people are, but it's the pedophile drug of choice.

The second thing is, you're each sending conflicting signals to each other by falling asleep on the same bed. Your note says "We were past being drunk" and then "He was not overly drunk". So, when you're talking about YOU being drunk it excuses falling asleep with another guy on a bed (Implication: You don't have to take responsibility), but regarding HIS attempted assault, you say your friend wasn't overly drunk (Implication: He has to take responsibility). Hmm. That's a little skewed. You must get these facts straighter for your friendship sake, or he's going to pick up the same inconsistency in your story as I did.

Third, my wife would sever my jugular vein if she found me drunk falling asleep on beds with men. That wasn't assumed in our marriage vows.

Still, regarding the law, it's still an (attempted?) assault.

If you follow these pieces of Motherly advice, and ignore how much of an asshole you may think I am for bringing them up, you don't have to counsel him at all. Instead, you protect your own boundaries (and the vows of your marriage) and you don't have to worry about him following or not following a better plan of therapy.

I agree with JTT5254 also in that it IS worrysome that he tried to touch you while you were drunk and asleep. The friendship is going to suffer until that one is worked out.



Edited by hogan_dawg (05/30/08 08:01 PM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#227965 - 05/30/08 11:07 PM Re: Helping my friend and survivor, needing advice [Re: hogan_dawg]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Stephen,
In addition to the others that have replied I would also suggest a heart to heart with the guy. It is obvious that he still has some major issues that he is confused about. When I was young and I found another male friend becoming close and intimate emotionally it naturally brought out the urge to sexualize it. After all, notwithstanding the fact it was wrong on several level, I was conditioned to react that way in those situations because if the CSA and the fact that I was not dealing with it. As long as he is in denial and not addressing that issue he will naturally be drawn to act out that way.
I would reassure him that you love him and care about him but that this behavior is not possible or desirable on your end. I would further encourage him to discuss it with his T and question him after to make sure he does. Sooner or later if it is not addressed he will see the rejection of this behavior as a rejection of him. That is how this stuff twists you up. See if he will check out the web site here. Thanks for posting this.


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#228076 - 05/31/08 10:16 AM Re: Helping my friend and survivor, needing advice [Re: Freedom49]
Stephen1535 Offline


Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 3
Thanks for the replies gentlemen. A couple answers for you. He is seeing a psychiatrist, however, I don't think he has fully confided in him. I have already suggested switching gears to a specialist especially now that I can't help him as much because we have hit this bump on the road.

The alcohol thing. He started drinking briefly, he would get really sad and use the drunkenness for catharsis. I put two and two together rather quickly and saw how easy it could be for him to hurt himself while drinking. We talked, decided to stop drinking and drew up a contract. One of the conditions was that we would have a last hurrah. So he had been sober for two months until the last hurrah which is when all this happened.

My relative, my friend, and I go camping. It was not the first time we had to sleep in the same bed. This time it was also out of necessity. It is not something that is that out of the ordinary in our costumes. I am a light sleeper and I can guarantee this is the first abnormal occurrence.

I stand in awe of the confusion that CSA can leave in a man and I am not assuming that my friend is gay because of what he did. It actually opened my mind to possibilities of ideas ranging through my friend's head. I would like to inquire about why he would do what he did as a manner of understanding my friend and resolving the issue. JTT, you mentioned something about trying to recreate his abuse...to me that is gold because I have no idea where you are coming from. Freedom, you talked about sexualizing your close relationship. I feel my friend falls somewhere in the likes of these categories or he could be starting to open up to possibilities in alternative sexual roles.


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#228617 - 06/02/08 09:47 PM Re: Helping my friend and survivor, needing advice [Re: Stephen1535]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
I hear you Stephen: I thought of a mantra "Beds and booze and best buds make odd bedfellows". The thing is, you're the one without the CSA background so you have to lead on the establishment of personal boundaries. You should also feel comfortable taking the lead on controlling the context so this doesn't get out of hand. It's the first event, I agree, but there doesn't have to be more.

I'm writing to you because if HE thinks he has a problem it is HE who should be writing here, not you. So you're my main concern, not him. He's sort of secondary until he rears his head and jumps into the fray. Ok? \:\) If he's not leading the charge that worries me a bit. Get what I mean? Like, how committed is he to his own recovery? So far, you show yourself as being more committed to his recovery than he!

Also, I personally would let him bring any homosexual thoughts to you naturally, and you sound like you care about each other so maybe he'll reciprocate and disclose his feelings on the subject. I think the idea of writing to here to this bulletin board to get a 'heads up' is a good idea. But I caution that if he is going through some kind of sexual 'trying on of a new hat' then his feelings may be quite raw on the subject. I don't know, but I think as a CSA victim we all have struggled about what sexualized child male-adult male behavior means. Roger is right, the heart to heart is required, but 'how' to bring that to him might require some advanced thought.

Good luck! I think you care about this guy and that feeds my hope for you both.



Edited by hogan_dawg (06/02/08 09:58 PM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#228746 - 06/03/08 01:49 PM Re: Helping my friend and survivor, needing advice. [Re: Stephen1535]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
There seems to be another possibility here that has not been discussed.

Is it possible that your friend has DID? (formerly known as multiple personality disorder). This would actually explain everything you have said here.

As the counseling community grows to understand DID better they realize that having low levels of DID is fairly common among abuse survivors. Your friend could switch under these stimuli and perform an act which would be otherwise totally unexpected but which would be consistent with this condition.

Various levels of amnesia accompany the various alters of DID. It might be possible he had only a vague memory of what happened.


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#228825 - 06/03/08 10:32 PM Re: Helping my friend and survivor, needing advice. [Re: pufferfish]
Bewlayb1 Offline
Guest

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 243
Loc: NYC
Hi Stephen,

What struck me most reading your post is how much you care about him and how much he must rely on you. In one sense, it's very touching and admirable. However, he is obviously confused about the nature of your closeness. It's not his fault. His boundaries were devastated when he was very young, while they were still forming. It's possible that he knows you care about him, but, because of the abuse, simply can't grasp that you don't crave him in a sexual way. If anyone likes him, he thinks they only want to use him to get off.

Sleeping in the same bed with him, getting drunk, that's not your fault. You weren't purposely leading him on. You had no idea he would take it that way. Nevertheless, I'm torn about whether you should distance yourself from him, or help him sort himself out. I'm sure you're torn too.

Ultimately, I think you have to consider your wellbeing first. Is his unstable behavior draining you? Do you feel unbearably uneasy around him? Is your fondness for him worth all this anxiety? Only you can answer that.

I want to write something about myself. I was raped and molested for two years by a gym teacher starting at eight. I waffle between calling myself gay, bisexual and nothing. I've been attracted to several men who only wanted a friendship from me. When I was eighteen, and still quite out of touch with reality, I wrote a love poem to a straight guy. I didn't know he was straight, and I apologized. Since then, I've never pushed. If a guy says he's straight, I walk away. I've even liked a lesbian, or two, but I've learned to back off. Though that incident happened years ago, I still cringe thinking about it. There's no question I have many issues to deal with, yet I'm very careful to never act inappropriately again, never become a type of abuser myself.

Your friend WAS recreating the abuse. Someone unconscious has as little choice as a child. He's inflicting torment on you as was done to him. The fact that you're both men is not nearly as important as the psychology.

I guess I'm saying, you should forgive him and be understanding up to a certain point. But though he is seriously damaged, he still needs to take responsibility for his actions. He's not a child. He has to realize that what he did was both wrong and bizarre. If not, I can't see this friendship really being beneficial for either of you.

You sound like a very decent person. However you handle this, that won't change. No one expects you to be completely selfless, or to be his pro-bono therapist. I wish you both the best.


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#231643 - 06/18/08 12:03 PM Re: Helping my friend and survivor, needing advice [Re: Bewlayb1]
Stephen1535 Offline


Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 3
I know it has been a while since I last posted something. I was far away from technology. I wanted to thank you all for your advice. Bewlayb, you hit a few nails right on the head.
I am torn between trying to help this guy and distancing myself. Currently, I am distanced, however we work together, and we talk once in a while. Definitely not how we used to talk. He is extremely apologetic and subservient. He is seeing the exact therapy group that I had recommended and did not fail to mention how much more is costing him despite insurance. He is trying to get back to normal by hanging out with common friends and asking me if I am going to this and that with "everybody". I have so far declined.
It is not that I don't understand the situation. In my heart, I have accepted his apology and I really don't think it was him that night. A weak moment perhaps with his history close at hand. Be that as it may be, I feel awkward around him, and I have responded with distance. And yes bewlayb, this has drained me. I was doing well helping him because I didn't know a different way. However, this was so far out in left field that I am waiting on him to come back with answers for me instead of me having to figure it all out, having to post on the internet and do didactic journal searches. Yet here I am. So, I will stand by keeping a close eye on him, but I just can't let all this just go back to normality. Not at this time.


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