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.

"You Don't Need to Feel Ashamed"

Some statements irritate me. "You don't need to feel guilty," or "You have no reason to feel ashamed" are two of them. I wonder about the people who say those things. How can they speak so glibly?

Of course we need to feel ashamed or guilty—it's a natural reaction to what happened to us. No one explained to us that it was something bad done to us. Consequently, we felt bad. We weren't mature enough to grasp that we were innocent, so shame and guilt invaded our souls.

If I could have disrobed myself of those two emotions, I would have done it long ago. Instead it took me many, many years before I knew the freedom from those enslavements. I don't think I'm unusual.

I'd like to say to those glib-speaking know-it-alls, "Don't tell anyone how he should or shouldn’t feel. That advice helps no one."

But we can say, "I'm sorry you're hurting." As we accept them and express compassion they can slowly free themselves.

But until then, they have valid reasons for feeling ashamed or guilty.

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