Mourning

When I first discovered the degree to which abuse permeated, and permeates, my family of origin, I felt compelled to share with my closest friends. I think there were several reasons for this. Telling the story aloud helped me process what I had discovered. I was trying to consciously utilize a support system. But I think most importantly I was dragging the evil into the light, no longer allowing it to hide.

I have no regret over that decision but I must admit that it contributed to the loss of two friends. Certainly it was not the only factor in what is perhaps the natural drifting apart of friends. But it was definitely a significant factor. While I accept no blame for it, I am still mourning the loss of those friendships.

Not everyone is prepared or capable of handling the personal knowledge of sadistic abuse. While a person can be compassionate, and even wise, regarding familial dysfunction, there is a salient difference between the abuse happening in general and the abuse happening in specific. Based on previous conversations, I misjudged some of my friend’s ability to withstand such information. I doubt there were any conscious decisions on their part; I think it was just too much to handle.

Other friendships deepened as a result of my sharing my burden and I have discovered a new brother-from-another-mother. So in one sense my attempt to strengthen my support system succeeded. But I still miss those other friends.

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