One reason for murky statistics about male survivors of sexual assault is that many of us aren't forthcoming. That is, we don’t want to talk about being molested. It still hurts and we feel less like real men if we admit our pain.
I never want to force anyone to talk about their abusive past. And yet, I know that until we do bring the dark secrets into the light by talking about them, the pain stays inside. We try to ignore it or pretend it doesn’t hurt. But we know differently.
Speaking about our pain-streaked childhood isn't easy. Shame often holds us back, even though we were innocent, pliable children.
But those of us who have the courage to speak out—even when fear and self-loathing keep trying to pull us back—have learned an invaluable lesson. When the truth comes out, it's no longer a secret. When another human being—a person with whom we feel safe—hears and understands our anguish, the healing process becomes operational.
We were abused in secret; we lived with our secrets.
Now we're ready to bring the truth into the open.
(This post was adapted from Not Quite Healed, written by Cecil Murphey and Gary Roe.)