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.

"I Rarely Feel Like a Real Man"

(This blog post comes from an anonymous reader.)

I wanted to thank you for your Shattering the Silence blog. It has been a tremendous help reading others' stories.

Starting when I was five, and off and on for a couple of years after, my older cousin would rape and fondle me and have me perform oral sex on him. Thankfully, the Lord showed me how to forgive a decade ago. Before that, I was planning how I could get away with burning down the house that everything happened in. However, now at 31, I find myself still dealing with the effects of what happened.

I rarely feel like a real man, always plagued by inadequacy and not being masculine enough. I've struggled continually with same sex attraction since the abuse happened. It seems that all I crave is to have a guy I consider a real man, tell me that I am man enough - to be accepted as a guy. The only time I feel like a regular guy is when I'm working out at the gym. I spend almost all of my free time there. Although I've gotten bigger and stronger, when I look in the mirror, all I see is shameful weakness. The shame is suffocating at times.

I'm trying to convince myself to get your book as I know it will be of tremendous help. However, having the pain become even more raw through this process is daunting. The pain has gotten more acute lately, and I've retreated into sinful behaviors to buffer against the pain. The fun part is I work at a church, and if they ever found this out about me (my struggles, my sin), I'd be let go.

Your blog has provided great comfort. I was watching a Beth Moore clip last week, and she asked, "Have you ever let God touch those deep painful places in your life, or are you just quickly scabbing over them?" I asked God to touch the deep places in me, and that's when I found the link to your site. I think I will get the book.

Through it all, the Lord has been so merciful to me, so gentle. I fight against myself every day to trust Him.



Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for the hurt you have experienced and are enduring.

I am 36, married with two kids, run a business, and have been a church high school staff volunteer for 13 years.

I was hurt/abused on a family vacation by our family friends older son. I thought I had done something wrong. I was afraid if I said anything or told anyone I would be in trouble. So I told no one for 24 years.

3 years ago a friend of mine and co high school youth worker shared his journey with molestation and confusion around same sex attraction on a high school guys retreat. For the first time the lie, that I was the only one who felt this way, was broken. Further, my friend is thriving in life, it gave me a visual of what dealing with this could look like. All I could do at that point was shove an anonymous note in his coat pocket that said "me too" as I was to overwhelmed ashamed and frightened at letting my worst dirt secret out.

2 years ago on a youth trip two of my guys confessed to me that they had been molested and that another friend of theirs had been as well. My friend (same guy mentioned above) and I formed a small group and started chasing after these guys and diving into their pain. Their hurt combined with mine, which was completely walled off at the time, became too overwhelming and finally I started getting help as well.

All of this to say, I deeply resonate with everything that you have said and feel. I have struggled and wrestle with the yearning for a 'real man' to tell me that I am man enough. I too rarely feel like a real man. I know what it is like to be right on the edge of the cliff and are deathly afraid of what it might look like to start the healing process, the enormity and upheaval of saying you were molested.

Right down to Beth Moore, our small group looked at one of her studies on Joseph, "can't quite forget" where Joseph can't be whole till his past is put in proper place with his current and future.

I am praying for you and that God would send one real man across your path that is ahead in the healing process. A man that you could confide in and trust to walk with you.

Honestly, two years later, my life is so different, freer and better. I still have much to work through and face. The first part, right where you are is like almost the worst, but actually like a remodel on a house, the tear down process is super messy at first but then the new starts to take shape and it gets better rapidly.

friendofbillw-ptsd@blogspot.com said...

i recently started a blog to write down my feelings and try and deal with my past. i also hope to help others in the same situation. i was abused( i don't remember how long) i used drugs and alcohol to blot out the pain. i got sober 9 months ago. without the drugs and alcohol it is tough to deal with the pain. i am seeing a therapist and working on it but it's a slow process.