What My Sexual Assault Taught Me about Friendship

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Warning: This story contains descriptions of and references to sexual assault and may be triggering, especially for people who have experienced assault and/or harassment.

What makes a good friend? 

I never had to give it much thought as a kid. We were either friends, or we weren’t. 

When I went through my first breakup at 16—five days short of our one-year anniversary—one of my oldest friends came over with Us Weekly, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and a special crystal on a necklace that was meant to bring peace. The gratitude I felt for her was enormous. Was this what it meant to have a true friend? 

Over the years, my definition of friendship varied from person to person. We could talk as much as or as little as made sense, spend as much time together as we wanted, discuss serious issues, frivolous gossip, anything, but it was how we turned up for one…

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