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#65110 - 03/28/03 06:53 AM How to help my friend?
Fruity Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 1
A few months ago my friend, he is nineteen years old, told me that he had been raped when he was seventeen. He told me that three men were involved. Since he told me this, he refuses to talk about it, or seek any outside help. His family don't know, he said he told me because he knew I would believe him. His dad is very old fashioned and strict and has this very 'macho' attitude. He does not want to tell his family because he is scared that they, especially his father, would not believe him.

Whenever I try to talk to him about it, he tells me that he does not need any help and that he can deal with it on his own. He is getting more and more distant and is spending so much time at home on his own.

How can I help him? I don't want to put pressure on him but I am worried he will hurt himself.


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#65111 - 03/28/03 11:39 AM Re: How to help my friend?
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
in my mind the worse thing you could do is drive him away. he must really trust in you to have revealed it, and you dont want to make him sorry for saying anything. the best thing you can do is be there for him. clearly he is struggling with it, and with the concept of opening up about it. you can't force someone to go there. healing is something you must embrace on your own. JMHO
jeff

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

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#65112 - 03/29/03 05:30 PM Re: How to help my friend?
ecb Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 205
I would be inclined to agree with jeff. Let him know that you are there for him if and when he does want to talk about it. The fact that he told you about it at all was a very big and very difficult step for him. Let him come around at his own pace. Meantime, be a friend to him and just be there for him. It might not seem like much, but it makes a big difference.

Hope this helps.


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#65113 - 03/29/03 06:24 PM Re: How to help my friend?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Fruity
The only way we get help is when we ask for it, it's something we seem to do only when we're ready.

But a big influence in feeling ready is trusting someone, and he's trusted you with the the most horrible thing that's ever happened to him.
I feel that if someone in his position is pushed then he's going to retreat from you.

Maybe all you need to do is listen when he talks, show him you care, don't judge him and honour his trust.

Thank you for helping this young man, it's not going to be easy but it's worth every bit of effort.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#65114 - 03/29/03 07:58 PM Re: How to help my friend?
SandyW Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/03
Posts: 86
Loc: NJ
I agree with all the previous responses, and just wanted to add one thing. Don't take it personally. When he becomes introverted, know he's not withdrawing from you because of anything you did. However, your concern about him hurting himself cannot be ignored. Life is too precious. Has he told you he would do anything? Above all, reassure him...he is worthy of having you in his life, he is worthy of life itself and he is worthy of overcoming this.

Sandy


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#65115 - 04/11/03 03:57 PM Re: How to help my friend?
doctorfrau Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 60
Loc: West Virginia (NOT western Vir...
I need some advice. A male friend confided his experience of when he was 16 of being emotionally manipulated and then molested by a slightly older "friend" who was living in the home at the time. He is now 33 yrs old and I think that he has never come to terms with it. I unwittingly overstepped his emotional bounds, and now he has refused to speak to me for over a year. I had made no connection between his behavior and his teenage abuse until I read your forums today. Oh, how this sounded like him. My heart bleeds for him, but now I am afraid that I can't help him, as he won't speak to me. I think he is acting out on "me" (female), what he could not act out on his abuser (male). I want to help, but I also dont' want to make things worse for him than I already have - I apparently set off his "alarm bells" without even knowing what I did \:\(

He was a great friend to me when I was going thru my depression, and I really do not want to abandon him, but what can I do?

I would really appreciate someone telling me if I should just stand silently by, and let him come to me, or if I should risk the boundaries and contact him to say that I understand and I am here if he wants me.

Also, would sending him a link to this site be helpful? Or would it seem too much like stalking?

_________________________
"...your choice, is what to DO with the time that you are given."

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#65116 - 04/12/03 05:46 AM Re: How to help my friend?
SandyW Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/03
Posts: 86
Loc: NJ
I would start by sending him an email reminding him that you are thinging about him and that you miss him. Tell him to call you. If he doesn't realize that he's being triggered, you pointing him to this site is probably going to make him think you're stepping over more boundaries. Get some dialog going first, then send him the link here.


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#65117 - 04/12/03 08:52 PM Re: How to help my friend?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Just let him know that you want to renew your friendship, tell him you miss him.
But I wouldn't let him know your suspicions until you have regained his trust at least.

We need our friends and supporters, but in the early days we don't know it, we're confused and angry, and prone to retreating into ourselves again. Well I was certainly.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#65118 - 04/12/03 11:02 PM Re: How to help my friend?
doctorfrau Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 60
Loc: West Virginia (NOT western Vir...
The sad part is that I can't renew the friendship - I have tried, but he refuses to speak to me. He may even have my email blocked. \:\(

I didn't realize it at the time, but the more I protested his cutting me off without an explanation, the more of a "trigger" (new word for me) that I became for him \:\(

The whole thing is very complicated, but at the time we first met, I was married. I think that this made me "safe" in his eyes - ya know? Though the friendship was strictly platonic, my marriage was crumbling for other reasons. He supported me immensely as I was going thru my mid-life crisis/depression and my decision to divorce and go back to school. But the closer the divorce came to being final, the emotionally needier I became, and the more distant he became until he cut me off completely. I didn't handle it very well, and said things that I probably shouldn't have, but I was dealing with my own baggage at the time too. \:\(

I realize "now" that this was the entirely wrong thing to do, and probably only made things worse for him. Although I was female, I was a "friend" who was getting attached to him emotionally. I am also a few years older than he - both things match what little he told me about his abuser - although his abuser was male. I am the friend who developed an attraction. I thought it was mutual -especially because of the things that he shared with me. He told me things that I have never heard come out of another man's mouth before - fear, pain, hurt, insecurity. Surely he trusted me - but now I am not "safe" anymore, and I can't reach him. It tears me up to know that I may have added to his pain.

_________________________
"...your choice, is what to DO with the time that you are given."

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#65119 - 04/13/03 06:21 PM Re: How to help my friend?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
We add to our own pain, I was a master at it.

I shut people out emotionally, my wife was the main one, and it's only through our new found commitment that we're getting over it.

What happened was not your fault at all, something between you was right at the time, and as things changed then maybe his boundaries were crossed.
But you didn't know where they were and he didn't tell you, please don't beat yourself up over this.

If he has good memories about the way you were then maybe he'll respond to your calls, I hope he does.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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