This is a point to ponder, the closeness of seemingly "easy" friendships and the burden of sexual abuse experiences in a survivor.
On the one hand we see guys bonding over grill fires, cold beers, teaching their children to ride bicycles, and talking over the fence. We can do that too, once, maybe twice, then we stop looking into the eyes, we pretend we are too busy, we look from behind curtains to see if anyone is about before we venture out. I work in a campground and live there, I get to know everyone, and I find it difficult to carry on a relationship with the "seasonal campers". The weekenders and the folks working and passing through are a breeze to get to know, fix a few things for them, and have a meal, once, it is sketchy after that.
Mark, a friend of mine who did not know of the abuse, gave me some business advice. He said "Sam, initiate programs, track the progress and conclude if it is something you could sustain." Enough said right? Hardly, unless you are much smarter than I am, well, that goes without saying... I was in Florida at a campground and was promoted from a working camper paying off a site for a few months to general manger in two months. Yep, the GM embezzled money, I was called back from an off site job to keep the park. The workers were related or loyal to the previous GM and it was incredibly difficult to do the job. I got the advice and it really helped. Basically, he was saying, try anything, within reason. Interact with the staff in ways you think may be successful, and the things that are successful keep doing, the things that do not, discard.
I applied that, and it was a great relief. It spilled over into my personal life, and helped me begin a new process that has kept me firmly in recovery as well, an added bonus. I had usually began a whirlwind relationship with others, getting bigger and bigger until I could not sustain it, then I disappeared. Now I start small, a smile and a wave, then get to know some about them, and give a bit of myself.., school, interests, yard work, how to remove a corroded 120V 350mcm leg off a corroded line and piggyback in a weatherproof to the second leg of the 200A to restore daisy chain to the circuit, right? Just everyday stuff. If the words keep me invested, I keep going. I have found seriously personable folks that like me, and I like them. I have sincere conversations, some that have led to abuse disclosures, some have just be "feel good". Sometimes I stutter when I talk, sometimes I get hyper, sometimes I can get way out there, but these folks take it in stride. I am working on karaoke... more later.
Oh man, I always get wordy when I am listening to Dave Matthews and replying, my bad. Mark it is coming, maybe not amazingly positive, but not half bad, eh?
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