I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

Friendship (Part 1 of 2)

For the first years of my adult life, I considered friendship one of the greatest things in my life. I had friends—many of them—and spent time with them and enjoyed their company.

In 1978, however, after the third person said to me in less than a month, "You're my best friend," I didn't know how to process that information. The third person was the biggest shock because I hardly knew him. He was a member of our church, who was going through a serious career decision, and I spent time listening to him.

About that same time I met David, who became my best friend. Better, he became my first best friend. That's when I faced a startling reality: I had been "everybody's" best friend; I had no best friend.

I also realized that most of them knew things about me and saw me as open and transparent. I was—but only so far. Until I began to deal with my sexual molestation, I didn't know how to open the deeper part of myself.

I wasn't open to myself; how could I be open to others?


Roger Mann said...

You know, to this day I find myself in the same position. I am a best friend to a quite a few people but I really have no best friend. Again, they come only so far.

Mark said...

For the past few years I've been blessed to have a "best friend". Having a best friend brings its own set of challenges for me. Especially since I deal with same sex attractions.

Here's some of what I've learned.

A "best friend" still cannot meet all friendship needs. He isn't my only friend - nor can I be his only friend.

I must resist the temptation to compare myself to him. Comparing myself leads me to jealousy and envy. Which is very destructive to true friendship.

I recognize that I bring as much value to the friendship as he does. It was easy for me to accept that I needed his friendship. Harder to accept that he needed mine.

I'm thankful for this friendship. And thankful for the challenges that it presents.

Cec Murphey said...

Mark and Roger: Excellent insights. Thank you. Friendships aren't everything but warm, positive relationships provide amazing support and encouragement, Now that I have a best friend, I wish it had happened earlier. But then, I doubt I could have been trusting enough to accept him.