Friends who are THERE FOR YOU. Could anything be better?
We’re celebrating those friends today in this great guest blog by KAREN ROCHESTER, author of ‘BE BRAVE – for those hurt by another.’ (Share her story with your friends who might need some inspiration and a reminder that you’re THERE FOR THEM!)
It is completely normal to share your life with your friends, but what if you want to share something that has been a secret for a long time and you are afraid how your friends will react? What if after you tell them this secret they won’t want to be your friends anymore? Do you take the risk?
This happened to me. There was a time in my life when things were not going so well, not well at all actually. I was an emotional mess to be honest. I still had friends and tried to make my life look normal and together. This in itself took a lot of effort. As time went on I realized I needed to get professional help and I did.
After some years of therapy, I trusted my psychologist enough to tell her that I had been sexually abused as a child and we started to work through that as well as the PTSD issues and physical impairments I has sustained from a major motor vehicle accident I had been involved in while serving in the military. With a lot of love and support from my husband and psychologist, I put in place many and various strategies to get my life back on track. However, it became clear that from the time of my disclosure about my childhood trauma I started to get better, a lot better, both physically and emotionally.
All my friends knew that I had had a serious motor vehicle accident and they were very supportive, but how was I going to tell them what happened to me as a child? The shame, guilt, and pain were enormous and at times, unbearable. But, as time went on and I became emotionally stronger I was more determined than ever to improve my life and that meant sharing all of it, including my past, with my friends. But how would they react to the secret I had kept from them for nearly 25 years in some cases?
Eventually I plucked up the courage to tell my friends what had happened to me. What I discovered was:
- Every single one of them was pleased that I trusted them enough to tell them.
- Every single one of them was supportive.
- Every single one of them hugged me.
- Every single one of them asked if there was any more they could do to help.
- Every single one of them wanted to know why I had not told them sooner.
- Every single one of them expressed sadness and empathy to my situation.
- Some of them opened up to me and told me things I didn’t know about them!
- EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM IS STILL MY FRIEND!
Now I feel as though there are no secrets between us. My disclosure made our friendships stronger and definitely more open and honest. It created an environment where we actually understood each other even better. Nothing bad came out of my disclosure and now I know that the friends I have are truly lifetime friends. I am so happy and grateful to have them in my life.
Trust your friends enough to tell them how you are feeling and why… if they are real friends, they will want to help you – they will not abandon you. There is an old saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ and I have found this to be so true.
KAREN ROCHESTER was an officer in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) before a major car accident saw her medically discharged. Needing a full facial reconstruction so she could breathe (meaning 6 plates and 31 screws) and still suffering some residual physical disabilities, Karen transformed her life by working very hard to recover both physically and emotionally. She is the author of BE BRAVE – for those hurt by another. She loves scuba diving (soon to be an instructor) and underwater photography. Completely adores her husband and Tenterfield terriers. See: www.bebravebook.com
Thanks Karen – and that for being brave with your true friends. Lovely reminder!
By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!)
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