how can i help him?

how can i help him?


originally posted to r/relationships, who took it down and asked that i post here instead

partly venting, partly looking for help. sorry for the length.

so a man i love very much (21m), recently (after many years of dating) opened up to me (21f) about his sister having molested him repeatedly for ~5 years from the time he was about 6 years old (she is ~7 years older than him). he hasn’t been able to tell me any details or the extent of it or anything, and of course i didn’t ask. i was shocked of course but as supportive as possible, and i am filled with empathy for him. having a brother with the same age gap, i can’t even imagine how horrible this must have felt, and still does. there have been other instances with him at the same ages, with 2 separate strangers – but i think this has obviously affected him the most. i myself am a survivor of many instances of sexual abuse starting at age 8/11 but i think the processing is very different for a male. for example, i have always been able to talk with my female friends about our experiences with abuse but i don’t think guys are able to do the same. it sucks that he’s been living with this for so long, and i just want to help.

he blocked it out then, blocks it out now, and has said he will eventually confront her about it before cutting off all contact with her once and for all. he already has a therapist for other issues, so of course we’ve decided he’ll eventually talk to her about it now that he’s kind of opened that floodgate again after all these years.

we are no longer dating (since before he told me) but will always remain close and may revisit the relationship once a bunch of our other issues are slightly sorted. he’s not very emotionally healthy right now, has way way too much going on – so i definitely don’t want to encourage him to talk to me about it if he’s not ready. that’s why i’m talking here i guess, it’s been hard wrapping my head around this and i’m so angry at her as well. i am filled with empathy for the innocent younger version of him as well as him now. he has a tendency to live in his head a lot, as a result he’s also good at blocking out thoughts/emotions that would otherwise overwhelm him. can anyone tell me what kind of effects sexual abuse from such a close relative has at that age? my therapist said it can be extremely detrimental to maturity because that shift from childhood to puberty is such a pivotal point for a kid, developmentally.

i just want to help, i just want to hold him and tell him he’s safe and how much i hate her from taking away that safety from him on all those nights 🙁 i mean sure it was a curious age for her herself, but going on for this long? i can’t forgive the kind of impact it’s probably had on him, the way his world must have seemed to him back then.

Submitted November 06, 2018 at 07:35PM by puppystares
via reddit

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