How do I best help my friend
I have a relatively new friend, (someone my partner met first) so I should say, we have a new friend. He lives in the same neighbourhood as us.
He revealed to us that he remembers being sexually abused by his mother when he was little, this was a few months ago. He doesn't have many memories but he believes there's more. This is very heavy subject matter & it's hard to know what to say, but I think he just wants someone who will listen. I did tell him that it wasn't his fault & that I believe him. He has told us he has not had good support from therapists. He is a very good person but a very troubled person & I feel so sorry for what he's been through.
I would like to know if anyone has been in a position of supporting someone with repressed memories, or similar?
I realise I'm not the one who can give him the help he needs but I want to be constructive in what I do say, especially because he does not feel he's getting support from the therapists he does see.
Any advice would be very much appreciated.
Hello & thank you for you reply.
Well he told my husband first (privately), then he brought it up in conversation between all of us. It is unusual yes, this kind of sexual abuse is never spoken about, written about.. he hasn't asked us to help him, he just talks about it briefly from time to time. And we can't help, I do know that. I guess all we can do is offer our support. But I was putting it out there to see if anyone had been in a similar situation.
I agree with AlsoSusan2, it's *not* normal for someone you've to all intents only just met, to spill such seemingly deep, dark problems so soon in the budding friendship. This could indicate, either that [a] this is a friendship-making tack of his (narcissistic traits, whether actually to personality disordered extent or not - I call it 'playing the violin', it (wrongly) creates the impression the person is benign and needs/warrants premature new-friendship fast-tracking on your part(s) and preps you both for being give-give-givers (aw, poor baby, have some sweeties money)), [b] is genuine but just going against normal etiquette out of desperation (in which case, offer to help him find another counsellor, one with whom the odds now say he will click), [c] he's done something bad in the past that he won't be capable of keeping hidden from you, so the 'violin' is pre-provided as a softening backdrop/context so that you won't reject him when his 'crime' comes to light (i.e. desperate for friendship), [d] has nothing special with which to recommend himself so chooses the victim role as a way to gain attention and have something 'sensationalist' to talk about.
But - what was this rare kind of sexual abuse? Knowing what he's said on that score would certainly help everybody to give more correct and tailored advice.