I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

Going Public

For adults who were abused as children, telling our stories can be powerful for us. It can be powerful for others, too, especially for those who haven't begun to talk about their traumatic past. They often have to cope with much shame and denial. To open up and shatter the silence of our past isn't easy, and some men never speak of it. They die with the secret buried deep inside.

Until I was able to talk openly about my abuse, I'd been haunted by the question: Will I ever be normal? I wondered if I would ever be acceptable to myself and to God. For many years I felt I wasn't worthy of God's love. Once I was able to stop thinking of myself as abnormal and unworthy (and it took a long time), I slowly accepted myself as worthwhile. I had moved from victim to survivor to victor.

When we tell the wrong people, we risk setting ourselves up to be mistreated again. As adults, however, we have choices. We don't have to tell anyone. We don't have to tell, but if we find the right people at the appropriate time, it can be extremely liberating.

Some men have been more prudent about choosing whom and when to tell. The second therapist at our state-sponsored group said at our final meeting, "Tell it on a need-to-know basis. If you think it will make the relationship better or clear up problems, tell. Refuse to give information to people for whom it would have little meaning."

--excerpted from When A Man You Love Was Abused by Cecil Murphey, Kregel Publications, 2010, pages 152 and 153.

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