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.

Secrecy, Shame, and Self-Hatred

This comes from an anonymous reader.

All that happened to me as a child was cloaked in secrecy. The abusive sexual activity happened in the dark behind closed doors. It wasn’t acknowledged or discussed even though it was the most consuming factor in my young life.

I lived for sex. I was active with men and women before I was sixteen years old and led a highly promiscuous life. It wasn’t uncommon for me to have sex many times a day with multiple partners.

In my recovery, I now recognize that the activity I engaged in was my attempt to cover the shame I felt from my own early childhood sexual abuse. Acting out began to feel normal and part of my identity, thus I cloaked my shame in the very activity that caused it.

The ultimate result of my acting out has been self-hatred. I look back on nearly five decades of wasting myself chasing “love” that could never exist in lust, pornography, and acting out, and I hate myself.

Part of my healing is to realize that secrecy and shame have fueled my self-hatred. The desire to be known, to be loved, and to have a healthy relationship is natural. The secrecy, shame, and self-hatred aren't natural, but were forced on me.

1 comment:

Heather Marsten said...

I wanted to thank you for what you shared. I can relate because I also lived a promiscuous lifestyle, and lived with shame and self-hatred. I figured I was ruined goods because of what my father did to me, so what did it matter?

What was hard for me was listening to a teaching about the woman at the well and how, when you give up yourself to others, you leave a piece of yourself with them. I walked into my pastor's office devastated and told him, if that is true, there is nothing of me left.

He pointed out to me that when I came to Christ, I was a new creation, that my past was just that, my past. That Jesus sees me as virginal, and that I am not that hurt child that acted out. It took me a long time to believe that.

Sometimes, as I write my memoir, I find myself slipping into shame, but then I realize that I have to choose to believe Jesus, that my sins and behaviors are forgiven. That He really does love me.

I don't know where I would be without Him.

Have a blessed day.