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BatChick98

Friend of Survivor Looking for Help

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Hey all! I am new to After Silence. Just under a week ago my best friend told me that he had been abused when he was about ten years old by his 17 year old brother. I'm the only person he's ever told and the only person who knows. He's struggling with a lot of the typical issues like blaming himself and feeling bad for the ways he reacted to it. He thinks that it is his fault because he was too weak, too trusting, and too easy. He happened to share a room with his brother and still does, so obviously none of this is true. He was groomed and was only in that situation because they shared a room and he was the youngest sibling for his brother to take advantage of. He thinks something is wrong with him for having enjoyed that time with his brother and for reacting to it in the way that he did. Overall, he's doing exceptionally well and has even forgiven his brother all on his own but he tends to think that it's just him. He continuously compares his trauma to other people and says that what happened to him isnt as bad as what has happened to other people. He thinks his reactions to his abuse are abnormal.

I was hoping maybe some other men on the site would be willing to share their stories so I could show them to him. He isn't willing to talk to anyone but me, but he is willing to read other survivors stories and the reactions they had. I think it will help him to realize that the way he reacted is very typical and that it doesn't matter that he was trusting, it still doesn't make it his fault. 

I would also welcome any advice you have for me as his sole support!! I know typically we aren't supposed to ask questions but he can't talk about what has happened very much yet and has responded very well to questions. He actually prefers them because then I know, and can know how to better support him, but he doesn't have to say the words. 

TIA!

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Hi Bat, welcome to AS,  I am sorry for what happened to your friend. You are a good friend for being there for him. Let him take his time sharing with you. We are here to support you both.

Patricia 

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Welcome to AS @BatChick98, you are being a good supportive friend. I hope others who may be able to relate are able to share their stories to help your friend feel less alone.

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Hi @BatChick98 and welcome to AS. You are a great friend to look for help as to how best to support your friend. Take your time to look around here on AS in order to find the resources here to support your friend. You might look at the Secondary Survivors forum for additional help for you.

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Thank you all for the help and support! Right now we are working on reading through a bunch of survivor stories. I showed in an article today about what is normal and some of the myths vs. realities about sexual assault especially regarding men, as that involves an extra set of difficulty. Unfortunately we were in the library at our college and he couldn't open up as much. Our biggest issue is that we have nowhere we can go to be alone together as in his culture, men and women cannot be friends and he still lives with his parents who are very firmly against that. My apartment is a place he's come to rely on as somewhere comforting and safe and we can't be here now which is very frustrating for us both... The other big problem is that he shares a room with his brother/abuser and is worried that his brother will notice that he is no longer comfortable around him. 

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Welcome @BatChick98!  I think it is wonderful what you are doing for your friend, support like yours is so valuable to healing :) 

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Thanks @waterlily13

Today was a rough day unfortunately, but also good in a lot of ways. He told me details... lots of details. It was the first time he had said what happened to him out loud and he said that as hard as it was it was very beneficial. I'm so glad to be able to shoulder some of his pain because I can't imagine what you all have been through... No one should ever have to deal with that alone. 

Edited by BatChick98

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