It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Worried Friend” who had been the victim of sexual assault and wondered if she should reach out to the step-daughter of the perpetrator, a once-close friend of hers, who was going through some trauma of her own since her step-father’s arrest and incarceration. After the jump, find out whether she tried to rekindle the friendship or MOA.
Thank you so much for featuring me in the “Your Turn” segment. It really meant a lot to me to hear the readers’ advice, as well as yours.
A few things to clear up in my letter: my friend’s mother had only involved with the stepfather about 6 years (married for two of those years), so he had not always been in my friend’s life. I don’t believe that she herself was assaulted, due to the fact she was very vocal in her defense of him when the investigation first started up (although, granted, she became decidedly less vocal after he plead guilty).
Good news first! My friend broke up with the dead beat boyfriend. The bad news is that when they decided to live together, his credit was so bad that she agreed to be the sole leasee on the agreement and is now stuck with the apartment (that she can’t afford alone). I have also since learned that her mother has decided to try and work things out with her stepfather during his mandatory parole once he gets out of jail.
Since this last revelation, I have decided that I can no longer be her friend. It hurts me to say that, but he is still going to be involved in her life (whether she likes it or not), and I’m trying very hard to work through this event in my life to ultimately find forgiveness and peace. Even if I do manage to forgive him, I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to interact with him again, even for my friend’s sake. I’m making great strides at being healthy, and I think that it would be irresponsible and unfair to me and my loved ones to risk all of that trying to help someone else out.
I’m still going to my counselor and she has referred me to a victims of sexual assault support group in my town. Hopefully I will one day get to the point where this won’t be in the forefront of my life, and it will just be one of the many experiences that makes me who I am.
Thank you so much for your update. Good for you for taking care of your emotional well-being and accepting whatever limitations and boundaries you need to have in order to fully heal. Although I’m sure it hurts to no longer be in your friend’s life, sometimes just sending love and good thoughts to those we were once close to is better than trying to be there in ways we’re no longer able. Best of luck to you in your continued path forward.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.