Link – How to Support a Friend or Loved One Who Has Been Sexually Abused
This is a really good description of what I have heard referred to as “sitting with their pain”.
““Don’t let your own feelings of anger or sadness get in the way of you being there for your partner,” Ms. Engel said. Getting angry, even at the person who did this to your friend or loved one won’t help, she said. In fact, it could just scare your friend into closing off. Your job isn’t to “fix” your friend, make them feel better, or take their pain away. Your job is simply to listen.”
When someone is telling you something horrible, whatever it may be. just sit with their pain. For example,just over a week ago, when my mother in law passed away, I had to remind myself of this, because there wasn’t anything I could do to “fix” that for my wife. I just needed to be there, and sit with her.
You can’t fix someone’s sexual abuse, mental health struggle, or grief. But you can be there for them. Just to sit with them.
In the end, that’s all they can ask for, and it’s a lot more than they get from much of the world.