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.

My Amnesia

In my book When a Man You Love Was Abused, I wrote about my amnesia (which is denial). One man wrote, "Denial was a powerful survival tool for me when I was a boy. Now I'm an adult and I struggle to be free. I wish I could forget but I know I need to face it."

I understand his situation. Denial worked for us when we needed it to survive. We had few resources and were innocent and naïve about life.

Here's how I think about amnesia for us survivors: In first grade I learned to count by using my fingers. I haven't had to count that way since I was a child. The method worked until I was mature enough to leave it behind.

As adults, we're more sophisticated and can reason out the issues. Most of all, we can feel. The pain was intense when I began recovery, but I reminded myself that I actually felt the pain. My amnesia taught me to deny my deepest feelings; my healing liberates my feelings.

1 comment:

Heather Marsten said...

I would go into what I called the void when my father did his acts to me, especially as they escalated toward rape. I stayed far away from any emotions and after a while honestly didn't remember what he did the night before.

After I got saved the memories started flooding back. I asked my pastor why now? He told me that now that I had Jesus to help me, (although he didn't say this, I also think God waited until I had a pastor who was able to guide me through the mine fields) then the memories could return so that healing could occur.

Thanks for your blog, I really appreciate the points you bring up.