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#453530 - 11/13/13 06:38 PM A friend in need - but secrets are stopping me
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
Small world. I recently found out that the husband of one of my wife's best friends (in other words, a guy I know pretty well and hang out with often) was sexually abused.

But I'm not "authorized" to know.

Quick backstory: These two are the cutest couple you'll ever see. Seriously, I call them Mickey and Minnie Mouse. They're happy and hilarious, and Mickey shares so many of my dorky hobbies that he and I can always talk comfortably when the girls are doing girl stuff.

It is a known, open fact that Mickey's dad was severely physically abusive. He once said that if anyone thinks they have a "bad dad story," chances are his is worse. Well naturally I filed that one away. Minnie later pulled my wife and I aside and specified that as bad as it had been, it was non-sexual physical brutality. I gave Mickey a ton of credit for being able to put together a positive, functional, on-all-appearances happy life.

Few weeks ago, Minnie was visiting sans Mickey and during the course of a wide-ranging conversation she let slip that there was a lot of family drama unfolding because two of Mickey's five brothers had recently had nervous breakdowns. Dude that's like my middle name! I tried to comfort Minnie and said there was too much of a stigma against mental health problems. That I was proud of those guys for seeking help. And that this can happen to anyone because, hey, I'd had a total functional breakdown myself last year, EVERYONE needs some help every so often, etc.

After I left.... my wife later related to me that Minnie had if anything been even MORE agitated by what I'd said, about getting help when you needed it. And she drew back the curtain on some more bad news.

Mickey had been molested by his oldest brother, multiple times. He had told Minnie this, once, years ago, with no further detail, and he'd made it clear that this was to be their only discussion of the matter and no one could ever bring it up again. He'd told her at all only because they were at the stage of their relationship where they were about to get intimate - and he has great difficulty there. Minnie says he "vanishes" during. He refuses therapy.

Since I'd already broached the topic of my breakdown, my wife figured (rightly) that if I'd been present for a bombshell like that, I'd have matched it - so she mentioned my CSA past too, though without details. She did the right thing and I'm proud of her for trying to comfort an obviously disturbed friend.

Here's the problem: Mickey isn't "dealing" and he isn't "okay." Some of it is just the mask I know - we ALL know - too well. If the eldest brother was the perp and two middle brothers have had psychiatric emergencies, I bet he got them too - and that Mickey's stability is at risk.

But I'm not authorized to know anything about his CSA: his wife promised not to tell mine who then promised not to tell me. Which also means Minnie can't just mention my CSA to him, because what could have been the possible prelude to a disclosure other than her breaking his secret? Oh the fucking Desperate Housewives soap opera shit of it all.


I really, really want to help this guy. I was crushed when I found out how much pain he was in, his refusal to get help even as things worsen, and how much of their happy and hilarious Mickey & Minnie routine is a farce. If his wife weren't hurting and scared, I'd leave it be - but she is, because HE is, so I think it would be immoral to not offer help when I can. But I can't just up and confront him, obviously!

I want to get him alone in some guy-stuff pretext, drinking or DVDs or somesuch, then maybe talk about how great it is to have a calm night after the shit-swamp my life had been, etc, you know there was some stuff I thought I could deal with but I couldn't, etc, and see if he engages. Never once asking him about his issues but allowing for an open discussion of the topic.

Has anyone else navigated through this sort of soap opera shit before? If I discuss even my own CSA do you think he'll smell a trap and figure out that his wife broke his confidence? I can't picture him getting angry, but until two weeks ago I couldn't picture him being troubled about anything. Hence why I always thought of him and his wife as Mickey and Minnie Goddamned Mouse.

I'd be very receptive to ANY tips here, folks. Thank you.



Matt
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#453532 - 11/13/13 06:46 PM Re: A friend in need - but secrets are stopping me [Re: SoccerStar]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5942
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
I found myself talking to a guy I felt safe with(my wife, his wife, our kids, their kids sort of thing) in his basement open garage one night. We talked about a wide range of topics and then it felt like I could comfortably tell him I had CSA and ASA abuse in my past, but that I had found a great deal of relief and stability in recovery. He immediately volunteered that he was sexually abused by his uncle. I thanked him for his share and asked if there was anything I could do to help, he said he felt like it was taken care of but appreciated my earnest reaction.

I have disclosed to others, men and women, I find they usually share their abuse story with me as well, but that is about the log and short of it. Most of the folks that have disclosed the abuse lead stable lives, so it was not a risk for me nor for them.

Hths,
Sam
_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#453534 - 11/13/13 07:13 PM Re: A friend in need - but secrets are stopping me [Re: SoccerStar]
Castle Offline


Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 730
Loc: NJ
I would consider the difference between privacy and secrecy.

A great lesson I've leaned in recovery is I can't and shouldn't try to save everybody. While he is a good friend and obviously hurting, he may not be ready for the help.

I can only point to my own life and experiences and tell you how hard it is fir me to watch a friend self destruct right now. While I certainly can and have helped in the past, I can't force help or change on anybody else and further sometimes our help doesn't always come across that way.

This friend who went through a DWI, and choose a random lawyer who promised everything and delivered nothing vs the lawyer who I had via a recommendation who was two thousand dollars less but was up front and correct in his assessment and consequences of the charge. I can't get mad, it's his decision. When I saw them trying to rework thier mortgage abd I thought them being scammed, as I didn't believe they qualified for a modification and wasted $1000.... They/ he didn't want you hear itfrom me, so I didn't say anything and watched as it imploded after the fee was paid.

It was/ is very hard for me to step back but for my well being and to not accept the role of thier scape goat I have kept quite a nd sadly watched.

It's hard to watch friends/ family have difficulties but sometimes others are not ready for what we see through the eyes of our recovery.

One of the hardest lessons I have to teach my son is to sometimes our his need to help aside to focus on himself... he seems to get himself in trouble worrying about everybody else needs... something I know all to well.

You can't go wrong telling your story and hoping he sees your value and asking for help.... but consider that it can backfire as his truth/ story disclosure is out of his control.

I hate hea ring about sibling incest and the fallout associated within a family... but at the same time it seems there are more than one victim, and the fallout will probably be large.

Sometimes being a good friend is just being around and listening and letting them know your not there to solve issues that are not in your control but will be there to listen and help as best you can.

fwiw
_________________________

My posts can self destruct at any time..read them while you can.

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#453541 - 11/13/13 07:55 PM Re: A friend in need - but secrets are stopping me [Re: SoccerStar]
don64 Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 692
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
I agree that it is your friendship and stability that is important FOR HIM, not your ability to solve his problems. Just being around when it is NATURAL to do so, and having grounded and centered energy to bring to the table is an enormous help in his turbulent times at the moment. Actually, you may be meddling in trying to help. He's not the one asking you for help. His wife is the one asking for help. Sounds like she's the one who needs to be seeing a trained therapist to learn how to deal with HER issues of feeling helpless. I really don't think this any of your business. That doesn't mean you don't care.


I really do believe in the power of the nonphysical. It doesn't matter to me what words people use--the power of love, prayer, ancestors, God, expanded selves, divine self, etc.--but I do believe the energy to be real. You can send your care and concern over the airwaves where it is real and effective and meaningful. Just my opinion.

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#453542 - 11/13/13 07:59 PM Re: A friend in need - but secrets are stopping me [Re: SoccerStar]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 342
Loc: NY
Matt:

Seems like the ball is in Minnie's court.

Women would naturally discuss details of intimacy and sexuality, so it doesn't seem out of the realm of reality that she would have to talk to someone about what he told her. Perhaps Minnie needs to know that it's okay to know about your experience as well, as far as you're concerned. It doesn't mean you know about what happened to him, just your wife. That might give him the necessary space.

I'm going through something similar with my brother and who knows what. I appreciate your posting this. It's good to just breathe the open air for a while.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#453547 - 11/13/13 08:27 PM Re: A friend in need - but secrets are stopping me [Re: SoccerStar]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 698
Loc: NJ
I think supporting the wife is a fantastic first start.

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#453595 - 11/14/13 03:09 AM Re: A friend in need - but secrets are stopping me [Re: Esposa]
HopeDiesLast Offline


Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 62
Originally Posted By: Esposa
I think supporting the wife is a fantastic first start.


I agree with this. Pointing the wife here or to other resources and in that way helping her deal and be stable is a good foundation. She is in a uniquely better position to know when he's ready for a few nudges in the direction of healing. And she can also judge if and when it is safe to disclose that she shared the information with your wife. I do believe that if you just bring up the topic "randomly" he's going to smell a trap if it feels even the slightest bit intentional or forced.

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#453607 - 11/14/13 08:48 AM Re: A friend in need - but secrets are stopping me [Re: Esposa]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5942
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Originally Posted By: Esposa
I think supporting the wife is a fantastic first start.
My apologies, I forgot where I was in my haste to support. Indeed, recovery is a multifaceted path away from surviving. The wife is an integral part of that journey and needs support from our wise sisters in healing as well as their experience to be able to work through acting out and emotional extremes by the survivor as he either chooses to recover or continues to survive.

It may be that the survivor will open up, the advice here seems to be to share your story as you can then step back. Definitely encourage the spouse to visit MS. Let her know that the issues he is dealing with are triggered in the present, but the overwhelming reactions are not about her. Supporting is one of the most important havens a survivor can know, it is difficult work.

Sam
_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#453608 - 11/14/13 09:06 AM Re: A friend in need - but secrets are stopping me [Re: SoccerStar]
Castle Offline


Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 730
Loc: NJ
Actually, IMHO Minnie is indeed currently getting support from Matts wife and as suggested it was to be kept private between the two.

As we suggest to supporters here, breaking a confidence of staying quite, often times has negative consequences.

I suggest your wife talk to Minnie about this site, support and as hard as it may be to hold back a little while and see how it goes. If they talk and want to bring you in on the discussion, thats a different story.

So far Minnie has breached confidentiality and then subsequently, that confidentiality was further breached by being brought to matts attention.

I would be upset if everybody was talking about me behind my back, even if the intention is a good one….it would take my control of my process away from me.

_________________________

My posts can self destruct at any time..read them while you can.

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#453644 - 11/14/13 03:39 PM Re: A friend in need - but secrets are stopping me [Re: SoccerStar]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 341
Support Minnie. Maybe letting Minnie know that she can discuss the cause of your breakdown with Micky might be a good way for him to know he has company close by for when he is ready.

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#453665 - 11/14/13 06:24 PM Re: A friend in need - but secrets are stopping me [Re: SoccerStar]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 261
Loc: us
Hey soccerstar
I'm have a very similar story. My best friends guy is a csa victim. She told me about it but swore me to secrecy because she knew wasn't supposed to tell anyone. She needed to talk to someone and she choose me but then felt horrible after. When as luck would have it I was standing outside with her guy one day and the man who molested him drove by. He just blurted it out and so I asked him if he was okay etc. She felt a lot better after he told me himself. This guy is a really good guy. He is trying to get better but doesn't have much support in his life. I don't think he has any close male friends and his dad just died.
He has a ton in common with my H. and my H doesn't have any guy buddies who will talk about csa. I heard my H try to tell a guy buddy once and the buddy made H feel stupid. I really want to just tell these two men. "Hey you guys are both in recovery for csa and a messed up family. Maybe you could help each other out"
But I can't do that and I know you understand why.
So I just keep hoping that something will happen organically.
I think in your position you have to be careful. If he smells a trap it could ruin your friendship and that would be tragic. Something I've done in the past around people who need to talk is I talk about my struggles that I know they could relate too. Often times they chime in and share themselves. If they don't then I know that they aren't ready to talk and I leave it alone.
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Everything comes from within

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