Wednesday, September 11, 2019


The evil of abuse

As I look back at my life, there is much that has become clearer regarding the effects of what happened to me as a child. There was compartmentalization that occurred that I was not aware of at the time. It wasn’t until my father died in such a shocking way that the fantasy of a happy childhood was shattered.

I wasn’t tortured or severely beaten as a boy. I’d received some seriously painful spankings true, but it was not a regular occurrence. Most of the time I was left to myself to do whatever I pleased which was mostly normal kid stuff. The abuse was usually at night, secret, and never spoken of. It didn’t fit with what was happening during the day and was in contrast to what I was being taught as a good Christian boy.

It didn’t compute, so to speak, and therefore had to be relegated to a tight little box in my mind that could only be opened at special times and special places with special people.

As I grew up the contradiction of the two became too much for me and I really began to wonder if I was entirely sane. It was the reason I believe for much of my anger that I couldn’t explain and difficulty in relating to normal people. I felt different because I was different. I was two people struggling for dominance and the struggle was driving me up the wall.

Part of my journey into healthy relating to others was to accept both parts of my history as a continuous narrative. I had to accept what happened to me, what I experienced both by night and by day as my real past. They had to fuse in order to be a whole person and bring peace to that inner conflict. There is great peace in the acceptance of reality.

Just my thoughts

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Ok, it's been a while. I've been working on getting some help transferring the blog to my Admin control and it's a little more complicated than I had anticipated. It's things like this that stretch me and take me out of my comfort zone. My insecurities start to rear their ugly heads and I feel like a ten-year-old again. I know it's stupid but feelings are feelings and sometimes it hard to push through them.

Sometimes I just have to grit my teeth and tell myself I'm not ten and it's no big deal if I fail a few times at something new. Anyway, I think we're on our way here finally. I'll check out the page and see if I need more help organizing it. Thanks for the patience.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Forests and trees



When I’m feeling anxious or restless, sometimes I’ll do Sudoku. Over time I’ve improved in my technique and now I’m pretty much at the “Evil” level. Most times I win but sometimes I get stumped and have to either start over or go to the computer and locate exactly where I went wrong. I’ve tried doing them while watching or listening to the TV but that’s usually when I mess up.

Sometimes though I just get stuck even though pretty sure I’ve filled the boxes so correctly so far. I’ve found when that happens and I’m sitting and going over and over everything and can’t find the next step it helps to just lay it aside and come back to it later. If I’ve been correct in the puzzle so far, then just getting a break can help me see what I couldn’t see before. It’s like my mind is so fixed on what I’ve done so far, it can’t see other possibilities. I need a break so that when I come back, I’ll look at it with fresh eyes and boom, it becomes obvious.

This struggle to deal with the present without the cloud of the past fogging the picture is like that. Relationships can seem difficult for me because I’m used to seeing them through victim goggles. I’ve got to step back, take a breather, and approach with fresh attitude. I’ve got to keep reminding myself I’m not a little frightened boy anymore. I’m a man and there’s no need to feel intimidated or defensive.

It’s a difficult thing to keep in my head, especially when I suspect someone is trying to take advantage of me. And in sudden situations, sometimes I REACT instead of stepping back a second and then RESPONDING. My social skills seem woefully atrophied and I know that. Probably too much hiding and secrets.

But I’m learning.

Saturday, June 29, 2019


To all who visit this blog, welcome.

My name is Roger Mann and I’m a survivor and thriver from childhood sexual abuse. Cecil has asked me to continue this blog due to the request of some of us who feel it’s important to have a place to discuss, encourage and find support with other victims. I’ve agreed to do this and while it takes a bit of time to get into the administration area and I’m still feeling my way around, I wanted to say hello and let you know it’s in progress. This is my first time doing a blog so bear with me as I learn. I’ve received help from his assistant and she has been very helpful. Thank you, Twila.

I look forward to posting my comments and struggles with you and hearing of yours. May we grow and thrive together.

Thank you

Roger

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Final Words

For a long time I felt different, as if something inside me hadn't been wired correctly. "What's wrong with me?" I must have asked myself that question thousands of times over the years.

Some days I felt as if I wanted to die; other days I didn't know if the struggle was worth it. I can now say, “Yes, it was worth the fight.”

That was the beginning for writing this blog, MenShatteringTheSilence. I started it nine years ago to reach out to men who, like me, were willing to face the hurt and especially the undeserved shame of childhood sexual abuse.

The blog has provided a safe place for us to discuss hard-to-talk-about issues, and we’ve been able to focus on healing and growth.

I appreciate those who have been willing to transparently share your painful experiences. I’m also grateful for the encouragement you’ve given one another and me. Together, we’ve learned and grown. And although we might not be completely healed, we’re getting close.

Now it’s time to say good-bye. As one of my last steps toward retirement, I’m discontinuing this blog. The decision didn’t come easily because I care deeply about each of you.

As always, you are welcome to reach out to me through email.

* * * * *

I am working on shutting down my office, and I have extra copies of the three books I've written on the topic of abuse: When a Man You Love Was Abused, Not Quite Healed, and More Than Surviving. If you are part of a group or organization that could benefit from the use of any of these books, please contact me. I will send them to you at no charge. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Walls and Perceptions

(This post comes from Roger Mann.)
Sometimes I have trouble being around other men because we tend to get close after a while. That makes me uncomfortable, and I have a tendency to sabotage the relationship at some point. The walls stay up no matter what.

On the surface, I’m very approachable. I’m friendly, chatty, and easy going to all appearances. In public, I laugh and smile a lot. Joke around a bit too. But if I feel someone is getting too friendly, I tend to become unavailable. “I’m married, have kids, and am a busy man, you know.” They usually get the message and back off into the acquaintance mode.

After all these years and being pretty lonely, I hoped the walls that protected me so well when I was young would rot away and fall down. I’d love to have a best bud, a pal, a confidant with whom I could share my thoughts and fears and hopes. But that will probably never happen. The walls are too strong now even for me to share normal husband/wife things at home. I know this hurts my wife, and she feels shut out, but it’s hard. At the least resistance or misunderstanding, I close down. Why am I so fragile?

I know this is not normal. It’s not right. I see other guys with best friends who are very close and protective of each other.

Part of my mistrust comes from feeling that because I’m attractive, I fear being set up like I was in my younger and even more attractive days. I could never tell if a guy liked me because I was a good person or just a good-looking piece of meat. And it’s not just the guys either. I’ve been seduced by both sexes. I hate the way I, too, look at others. It’s warped. We’re attracted to attractive people. That’s normal and a part of reality. But I suspect most people leave it at that and see the person as just a person. For me, it takes a while to move past the initial assessment.

The kind of childhood I had has affected so much of my life. I’ve learned to pray for people I see. I ask my Maker to let me see them as He sees them. That’s helped a lot, even though I need to work at making it a habit.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Is Sexual Harassment Different for Men? (Part 9 of 9)

“Some victimized children later initiate sexual abuse,” an article said, “so they can predict when it’s coming.” Those words from a well-known psychologist shocked me.

Some of us may have initiated abuse—after we became victimized. I question the reason was because we’d know what was coming. For me, I see it as habitual, learned behavior. We weren’t mature enough to know the difference between our need for love and the perp’s lust.

We help ourselves by remembering and focusing on our youth and innocence. Someone older groomed us and exploited us. Even if we sensed there was something wrong with what was happening, we had been carefully chosen and were easily convinced of the other’s love for us.

The analogy that comes to mind was my aversion to many vegetables when I was first married. My wife got me to eat a few Brussels sprouts. I didn’t like them. Over a period of weeks, she put one or two on my plate. Over time, I learned to enjoy them as well as cauliflower and other members of the cabbage family. Now they’re among my favorites.

Because we felt wanted and loved in our loneliness, why wouldn’t we sometimes initiate the abuse?

§ 

I started this series by asking if sexual harassment was different for men. My answer: The emotional results are much the same—lack of trust, doubting our self-work, afraid to speak, and the list goes on.

Perhaps we can form our own #MeToo movement to encourage more victimized males to speak up.