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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Furubasu Offline
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I'm the only one who knows. Am I responsible for anything? - August 19th 2010, 12:23 AM

So there's a problem with two of my best friends. One (whom I will call Mary) and the other (whom I will call Jane) are both real sweet people. A while back, Mary was dating Jane's older brother. (he's only older by 2 grades, but he's real young for his grade, anyways, not 18 yet) They weren't allowed to see each other, so they really only talked at school and texted. As far as I know, the relationship never really got physical beyond a stray kiss here or there. Jane didn't know they were dating. Mary went to stay the night at Jane's house (no ulterior motive with Jane's brother). Later in the night, she and Jane's brother were up talking (Jane had fallen asleep) and Jane's brother raped Mary. Shortly after, their relationship ended. I am the only person who knows, and we both went to Jane's house yesterday and Mary basically left crying because she was really uncomfortable and her current boyfriend had called her and freaked out that she was near him. He came and picked her up. I just found out today that her boyfriend also knows, and Mary has also been raped by another man before, but I know nothing about this.

She's a beautiful girl who struggles with ED, and I don't think she's gotten help with this either. Basically, she's trusted me with this information and I don't know how to help her. I'm helping her talk about her feelings surrounding the incident and all, but she told me she doesn't want to do anything about it (for fear of straining friendships, I assume). Am I responsible to do something about this because I know? And how can I help her?


I either feel like no one cares, and that I should be breaking things, and that everything is falling apart, or that everything is great, and I can do anything, and I really do have friends.

I'm stuck halfway in between.
   
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Re: I'm the only one who knows. Am I responsible for anything? - August 19th 2010, 01:27 AM

i would try to convice her on going to the police because she dosent need to be treated like that because she is someone special to you i know she is because you are trying to help her when she needs you the most. from my side i just did a police report but, it has happen over five years ago. so it dosent need to be now but the sooner the better, but i think just telling her that you are there for her and that you will suport her in whatever she wants to because you are a good friend. but she needs to get help because it can end up being alot for and even more reason since she hasnt told her parents just you and her boyfriend but, i think whatever you can give her would also help her so she could feel more support from the people who really care about her.

you can pm anytime if you need to talk.

Theresa
   
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Re: I'm the only one who knows. Am I responsible for anything? - August 19th 2010, 01:37 AM

Thank you for your help, but we're talking now (er, emailing) and it apparently goes farther than that. She's not ready to help herself yet because she's really busy trying to help her boyfriend figure out the problems he has with his family. I asked her to try and put herself first, but she's not willing.


I either feel like no one cares, and that I should be breaking things, and that everything is falling apart, or that everything is great, and I can do anything, and I really do have friends.

I'm stuck halfway in between.
   
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Re: I'm the only one who knows. Am I responsible for anything? - August 19th 2010, 02:28 AM

i am here for you but, she can take her time when she is ready then she would be able to move forward and everything may be easier for her but i think she should take her time because it can get hard at times

Theresa
   
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Re: I'm the only one who knows. Am I responsible for anything? - August 19th 2010, 08:51 PM

Hey,

This is a tough situation to be in.. on the one hand you want to help your friend, but you don't want to hurt her, betray her trust, or strain any relationships in the process. Knowing the best thing to do becomes trickier, because you want to do the right thing - but sometimes the right thing isn't clear. There are always different factors that influence our decisions and our ability to decide what to do, or how to help, factors that make things everything BUT straightforward.

It sounds like your friend trusts you - which is great. She's lucky to have such a caring friend in her life. Dealing with rape is incredibly difficult, and it's so much harder when you're on your own. Knowing she has support could be such an enormous help to her right now, so I can't stress enough how important it is that you remind her you're there for her. Sometimes that on it's own is enough to make a difference. No one wants to be alone, you know?

It sounds like right now, she's uncomfortable with telling more than a couple close friends (like you and her boyfriend) about the rape, and about her past. Which is very normal. It's hard to talk about something so traumatizing, and it's hard to open up and tell someone about being hurt in such a way. She might be afraid to strain relationships by telling people, like you said, and she may also be nervous to reach out, afraid of making things complicated.. there are so many emotions she must be feeling right now, and a lot of mixed thoughts.

I think, as a friend, how to help her depends on how well you think she's coping. I definitely think having the support of her parents or a counselor could help her heal from what happened, but if she's handling things okay right now, I don't see any reason to tell an adult what happened. Encourage her to open up to an adult in her life, but don't push unless you think she's a danger to herself.. and in that case letting an adult know may be a good idea. Again, it's a bit of a grey area, so the best decision isn't always clear.

I think you should definitely keep doing what you've been doing.. and just be there for her. Be her shoulder to cry on, let her know you're there if she needs to talk or vent or just get things off her chest.. support is so invaluable and like I said, she's lucky to have a friend like you. And, there's nothing wrong with asking her what the best way for you to help is. There's nothing wrong with this - knowing how to support a friend who's been raped, it's not easy if you don't have firsthand experience, and it can be hard to know what to do. So talk to her about it. Talking can make such a difference.

Also, make sure you're taking care of yourself.. and remember it's okay to take a step back if you're feeling overwhelmed or not able to help her at a certain point. It's lovely that you want to help her, but remember you can't help her if you crash and burn yourself.

Best of luck and take care - I hope things look up for your friend.



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  (#6 (permalink)) Old
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Re: I'm the only one who knows. Am I responsible for anything? - August 19th 2010, 09:00 PM

Thank you, Sarah. I'm usually aware of when I need to back out of things, so I'll keep your advice in mind if I don't feel capable of dealing with certain problems she has. She said she doesn't really want to do anything about it, but at the same time she's trying really hard to help her boyfriend deal with his problems and I'm just worried she'll be the one to crash and burn. I tried to make her see that she needs to take care of herself sometimes, but it's not really working. I'll just be as supportive as I can unless it seems like she might harm herself in any way. I have her mom's number, so I can call her if things ever seem to get way out of hand. She hasn't told her parents yet, but I'm hoping she will someday.


I either feel like no one cares, and that I should be breaking things, and that everything is falling apart, or that everything is great, and I can do anything, and I really do have friends.

I'm stuck halfway in between.
   
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