The following email came to me from a man I know, and it's obvious why he calls himself simply Wayne. He hurts—and he's been hurting a long, long time. I've been praying for him every day for a couple of years. I hope you'll feel compassion for him, especially as you read the last three paragraphs. If you would like to join me in daily prayer for him, please reply personally to me at Cec_haraka (at) msn.com.
I found myself in almost every chapter of When a Man You Love Was Abused. Maybe the beginning of healing is to know where it hurts. I'm learning why I am who I am. That's not to say that just because I exhibit a particular trait or behavior it's a result of sexual abuse. And it doesn't mean that anyone else who demonstrates certain patterns was molested. But it does indicate that those of us who were abused are likely to show certain kinds of behavior.
Much of the things I do may well be because of what I suffered. For example, I've been angry for years—longer than I realize—and I didn't know why. Or whom I was angry with.
I hold many authority figures in contempt and it doesn't matter if that person is my employer, boss, or pastor. Anyone who is ignorant and unteachable becomes a prime target. I detest ignorance, and I abhor stupidity. People who won't listen score extremely high on my list. And I suspect that's because even though I can't remember whom to blame for my abuse—other than the perpetrators—someone must be held responsible. And that's the problem.
Most incidents happened only once; a few repeat offenders. I know where only one of them lives, and he's a relative. Someone should have stopped him—should have stopped all of them. Someone should have protected me.
And no one did.
I can't remember if I told anyone, ever.
So I blame myself because the abuse made me feel good, physically and emotionally. But even if I had told and they didn't listen, I hold myself responsible. In that sense, I become guilty of not protecting myself—as if any child could do that. My mind knows better, but my heart won't cooperate.
I can't exact justice against those who molested me, and I can't blame others for not protecting me or at least coming to my rescue, so I hold myself responsible. I'm still angry with myself, even though I know I should forgive myself. I still struggle, engage in risky behavior, and worst of all, I easily lose hope.
At times II wonder if it's possible to be free from my past. And it's why I know that if I am ever whole, this healing process will take longer than I want it to.