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.
Hmm..idk how long you've known him. Does it strike you as odd that he brought this up with you and was it with you and your husband present? I get a bit of an odd vibe. I'd just suggest he try a different counselor and tell him you personally can't help him. Which you can't.
Something seems odd to me though and I don't know exactly what to make of it. I just think it's very unusual.. but how this came up I don't know and if he was with both of you at the time. If he's heavily troubled he really really needs to move on to a counselor that might help him.
Be cautious offering advice other than to move on. It almost sounds like a ploy but I believe I'm thinking he's speaking to you privately, which may not be the case.
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.
I agree with the above posts. He could be "schmoozing" you for the next big "confession" in his life and wants to see how you two are taking this first "introduction". (Do you still like me?")
Now - thanks to Soulmate - you aware, and warned, of POSSIBLE future scenarios (borrowing money, suggesting sexual activities with you two, moving in, justifying some other behaviors, announcing sexual role, etc.)
If he's not getting "support" from his therapist, then suggest he get another one. You and your husband are not trained for anything more than being a friend.
You two can discuss just how much drama you are going to allow to come into your marriage.