Friday, March 1, 2024

DEAR CHRISTINE: Should she trust ex-con?


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Dear Christine,

PLEASE TELL ME how you would handle the following scenario.

I have a friend who was physically and emotionally abused by her parents. Her mother left the family home before my friend became a teenager, and at the age of 20 she was attacked and raped by a stranger.

Since then, she has gone through a number of abusive relationships and suffered two failed marriages, which left her devastated. In addition to all that, she was sexually abused by a boyfriend whom she trusted. As a result of these circumstances, my friend has found it hard to trust men and is afraid of sex.

However, she met a man a short while ago who appeared to be interested in her well-being. She lost her job and was on the low down – if you know what I mean. He offered to help with her resumé and assist with finding a job. From the look of things, they seemed to be good friends and she appears to be happy.

However, according to my friend, she told him about all her past experiences and he offered to help on the basis that he has studied counselling. He said he wanted to see her improve her confidence and self-esteem.

To cut a long story short, my friend is falling head over heels in love with this man, even though she recently discovered that he spent time in prison (on two separate occasions) for rape and sexual assault. He said he would never commit those crimes again.

I am writing to you because I am concerned about my friend. She is not sure what to do, and I know your advice could be the key to her making the right decision.

She confessed to me that she does not know what to do – if to stick around or leave this man. She said he told her friend she is afraid and has been having nightmares of someone running her ever since he revealed this truth about himself.

Should she give him the benefit of the doubt? He has been doing everything possible to prove he is no longer that individual. Give me your honest opinion.

There For A Friend


Dear There For A Friend,

There are two things that bother me about this situation. The first is that this man is not a licensed counsellor, so why should your friend seek his advice? In my opinion, she is giving him enough ammunition to strike when he sees it fit. He could well be manipulating her and, to some extent, controlling her.

The second concern is that while people who have been incarcerated can change during their time in prison, your friend has only known this man for “a short while” and perhaps knows very little about him, his background, modus operandi and whether or not he is still a “rapist of some sort” who happens to be at large.

Bearing in mind his previous crime and her past experiences, I think she should ease her way out of this “friendship”. Leave well alone and seek professional counsel from a recommended psychologist or psychiatrist.

She could be playing with fire and both you and I know that fire burns badly and can destroy.

Tell your friend to wise up. All that glitters is not gold.



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