How do I support my friend?

Discussion in 'Rape and Abuse' started by ThePhantomLady, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    My friend was pretty brutally attacked and the man attempted to rape her.
    Luckily she was saved in the last moment which I'm so grateful for.

    I found out in a pretty tough way... she had contacted the press because 3 people had passed by and hadn't helped her during the attack, and one ran away after when she asked for help.

    I went on facebook and another friend had shared the article that had a picture of her bruised face and I panicked... I hoped it wasn't her, then I hoped it was a 'fake' article to point out how that does happen... but it wasn't. I also saw her a few nights later on TV. And that messed me up too... seeing such a strong and happy woman as she always was with a cracking low voice.

    I wrote to her asking if she was okay, and told her I was there for her if she needed me (years back I was always the first one she ran to with issues)... she told me she was 'surprisingly' okay... and told me she was waiting for therapy, which I encouraged her to get. And I told her to take care of herself, and be in control of the media rather than letting them control her...

    She has later asked me for coping tips for anxiety since she knows I suffer from it... well, she knows that from some stuff I post on facebook.

    We have a bit of a long distance relationship and sometimes we don't talk for years... but I'd do anything to help her.

    The thing is... I've been through rape and sexual abuse several times, and I'm currently finally in therapy for it. But my friend doesn't know any of that... I wonder if it would help her talk about some of the things. But I have no idea how to make her aware of that. I talked to my therapist about it, but she had no real advice other than for me to see what I thought was best; and to make sure I was taking care of myself.

    I also want her to know how important it is that she does go to therapy and get help. I want her to know it doesn't just go away by ignoring it.
    It's one of my worst regrets... not getting help... dealing with it alone.

    I am seeing her next month; the girl 'gang' from school is planning on a yearly get-together.

    I just don't know what to do I guess.
  2. Brian777

    Brian777 Safety and Support Forum Pro SF Supporter

    Hey my friend, if you feel up to it yourself. It may help her to process what she's going through, knowing you have experienced it too. Good to see you back :)
    ThePhantomLady likes this.
  3. moxman

    moxman I am proud to call Rosie, my best friend =) Forum Pro

    Listen to your heart. It is obvious you care for her very much. If you feel like sharing the vile nightmares you have endured, would help her. Then maybe call her or skype with her, and share your pain with her.

    One thing, you would definitely need to consider, is the toll it will take on you. I don't think you can share something so personal, and it not have an impact on you. Are you willing to pay that price, to help her?

    There is no easy path here. Do you share your pain with your friend , and deal with the emotional toll? Or do you keep silent and protect yourself?

    BTW I am glad your friend was saved. That is the one good thing out of all this, the monster was not successful in hurting her, like he wanted too.

    Take Care
    ThePhantomLady likes this.
  4. Frances M

    Frances M Mountain Woman

    I also regret not getting help when I was much younger, the only thing I can say is open up to her, but be prepared if she doesn't want to take your advice. Nobody could have convinced me to get on meds and even go to therapy back in the day because I thought the best way was to ignore it. Hindsight right? I'm glad she was saved, my gosh.
    ThePhantomLady likes this.