My new friend

Q: Hi, I need some advice regarding something.
I’ve just befriended this great guy who experienced a lot of pain when growin up. He was emotionally abused by his mother and sexually abused by his sister.

He takes initiative for physical closeness when we meet, after talking for a while and having a good time. I do not pressure him in any way, I’m rather taking the distance. Why does he want to hug and be close to me even though he’s got to stop because of anxiety along the way…? I am worried about him and I sound paranoid about that he shouldn’t do something he doesn’t want.
He’s telling me he can take responsibility, but can he really??
I’ve read a lot of psychology, but this is a topic I know little about.
I love to be close to him and liking his energy so much and we agree that we’re having a chemistry going on. But should I stop? Meaning; don’t let him touch me, etc.

Dear worried lady.
Hi, Peter here.

Let me first just say that you’re doing good by contacting us! That’s saying something about how much you love him and how much you want this to work out for you. This is not an easy situation. I was molested by a woman, in my case it was mother. Without any comparison, I know something about how it is to become intimate with a woman. For some it’s all right, others can get in contact with the childhood trauma which is often very difficult.

When you write as you do, it shows that you have a great understanding for the anxiety he’s carrying and there’s work ahead of you before he’s through it all.

If Iwere to allow myself to give some advice to you; it must be to use time! Take the time you need. Because you will be needing time. Talk about is if possible. If there’s tears, welcome them and be the one who catches them with honor. Tears redeem and it’ll often turn out for the better afterward.

Remember love is a good warm feeling which lasts forever if you take good care of it. Unfortunately a lot of relationships crack when truth about the challenges from the childhood comes for a day. It delights me knowing that you’re taking the initiative here.

Let him take the lead. Take the time it takes. Let him feel himself forward. Do not pull yourself away. After all no one knows their bodies more than the victim, so he’ll certainly find his limits. Through patience and understanding from your part he will pull through if you stand together about it, but it’s important that it takes places within his premises in a safe environment.

I wish you all the best and good luck with your relationship.
May all women show the caring you show!

Thank you for the question. There’re a lot of people who are uncertain about how to relate to someone who’s been abused. I know from my own experience as a victim that it’s difficult to talk about my experiences, and I’m afraid that the fact I’ve been abused would ruin the relationship. I think what Peter wrote to you answers the most. You’re not telling us if he’s getting help from others to sort out his feelings. I’m thinking about a psychologist, support centers or similar. If not, you could bring it up as a suggestion, with not pressue. I think he’ll be able to set his limits if you’re doing something he’s not comfortable with. Use time.
Good luck.

Odd Sverre

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