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.

Why Forgive?

"Why should I forgive him?" During the year I spent in the state-sponsored group for survivors, I heard that question several times. At first, several of us tried to answer the question.

One day, one of the group said, "That's a good question. When you know the answer yourself, you're ready to forgive."

I agreed with him.

As I've pondered the issue of forgiving perpetrators, here are reasons I've come up with to forgive:

* I now have freedom from the painful controls of my past. They no longer torment me.

* I have decreased the likelihood that my anger will be misdirected toward others who aren't responsible for the abuse, including myself.

* I have reduced the fear that I might have violent impulses.

* I grow in the process. I grow in relationship with other people. As long as I withhold forgiveness, I'm isolated from many things in my own emotional life. The stronger the anger and pain, the less open I am to positive emotions.

--excerpted from When A Man You Love Was Abused by Cecil Murphey, Kregel Publications, 2010, pages 228-229.

No comments: