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pale flowers

in this life we can do no great things: only small things with great love
-mother teresa

she is the person who watches girlie movies with you on saturday nights, he is the one who brought you flowers when you were sick, she is the one who you share poetry with, he is the one you always played stickball with on the corner. they are your friends.

friends are one of the most integral part of any person's life. everyone, at some point in life, has at least one very special person whom they consider a companion, a confidante, a true friend. we find our friends in different places and in different ways, at different times and for different reasons. our friendships grow, and we and our friends are entwined like flowers, growing together, blooming together, watching the sun pass through the sky, standing side by side.

when a survivor has open, honest and trustworthy friendships, violation can often cause the friendship to take an interesting turn. in most of my early friendships i avoided telling anyone about it until i felt that it was too late. i was afraid, mostly, that when my friends found out about my abuse they would abandon me out of shock and disgust. i thought that if i had told them about it at the beginning of our friendship they would have had the choice to either leave or stay, but that burdening them with this information now would be unfair. so i started telling people about it. after the first few times, it became easier and easier to talk about my issues, to open up to people. i really feel that my friends have helped me to get to where i am today. without them, i don't know where i would be right now. without the lessons i have learned alongside them, without the precious support i have received, i know i would feel lost.

dealing with sexual violation is sometimes nearly as difficult for friends as it is for survivors. people find it hard to believe that someone so close to them could have been so wronged. sometimes secondary survivors adopt a survivor's pain, sometimes they try to fix a survivor's problems. secondary survivors can easily become depressed and often have feelings of loneliness, helplessness, or inadequacy because they feel unable to help their friend.

i have created this page to honor the delicate bonds between survivors and their friends, and to offer secondary survivors a place where it is understood that they need to heal, too.

make new friends,
but keep the old;
one is silver
and the other gold.