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.

The Need to Belong (by Gary Roe)

I asked Gary Roe to write several posts. He also shares his story in my book When a Man You Love Was Abused.

I grew up feeling different. Different from other boys. Different from other kids. Shy. Insecure. An outsider. Feeling very small, less than, and badly damaged.

Given the sexual abuse and the verbal messages of my perpetrators, it’s no wonder I felt that way. If there is any wonder, it's that I'm as healthy as I am.

For a long time, no matter whom I was with, I never sensed I really belonged. I always felt I was outside the happy home looking through the window at others' lives. I wanted desperately to belong, but my self-confidence was non-existent, and my self-hatred was enormous.

Then one morning, while reading my Bible and journaling, it hit me. God knew me before I was born. He personally created me in my mother’s womb. He wanted me and he wanted me to be happy.

God wasn't simply trying to make the best of a bad situation. He thought of me and planned me. He wanted me.

I belong. I belong to him. I belong here, on planet earth. I was meant to be here at this time.

I belong.

So I am going to face the world today as someone who belongs. I am going to continue to heal.


Heather Marsten said...

Gary, I really thank you for sharing. I too felt different, and less than. I felt like ruined goods walking on the earth. My epiphany occurred when I still didn't believe God wanted me in His Kingdom. Best I could do was rouse up some belief for God the Creator, not God the one who cared for Heather. I was complementing God on how awesome his creation was, how everything worked together, one thing fed another, the beauty of a feather, and all the little details of His creation. He dropped into my mind, "And you are part of my creation." Until then, I never felt I belonged.

Thank you so much for sharing your heart. You are a blessing and I know that sharing your story will help others.

Have a blessed day.

Gary said...

Hi Heather. Thank you back. Thanks for your honesty and encouragement. I really appreciate it.

I remember attending a wedding rehearsal dinner. It was a Western theme, and my name tag read: Wanted - Gary Roe. I still have it in my journal. Great reminder. We belong.

Blessings to you.

Heather Marsten said...

LOL. it is wonderful to be wanted :)

Funny story re LOL. One day my husband said to me, why is Joe signing his emails to me with Lots of Love. I had to explain it was laughing out loud. I still chuckle, but do like the LOL>

Have a blessed day.