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.

Non-suicidal Self-injury

(This post is from Tom Scales of VoiceToday.org. It was published on their blog in a slightly different form.)

Many survivors of childhood sexual abuse are brainwashed to believe that they can't make good decisions for themselves. I was one of those children. During the period of abuse, the predator subtly and deceitfully convinces the victims they're responsible and complicit in the behavior. Even though the victims are children, they're brainwashed to believe that the acts were consensual. As a result, the victims assume responsibility and guilt that become serious problems in the healing process.

If they're complicit in the evil, their sense of self is severely damaged. On some level, they see themselves saturated in deceit and lies. Over time, they build up rage and self-hatred that turns into self-destructive behavior.

I had never heard the term non-suicidal self-injury until I started to understand my past and my behavior.

One of the most difficult steps in healing for me was to separate my behavior and my responsibilities from those of the predator. I had to remind myself that I had been a child with the emotional and mental capabilities of a child.

I finally understood that I had no power, no control, and no method of escape. To heal, I had to become truly free of the control and influence of the predators.

I was allowing men who had been dead for years to continue to control my life. That's when I realized I needed to forgive all my predators, and do so without reservation. As long as I carried the anger, rage, and desire for vengeance toward them, those feelings ate at my soul and discolored my self-perceptions.

It took me time to understand that forgiveness didn't release them from accountability, but released me.

My inner change didn’t release them from the prospects of an excruciating final judgment and consequences; it removed from my hands the role of judge, jury, and executioner.

Forgiveness doesn’t relieve the perpetrators from their accountability, and it's not a license for more abuse. Forgiving must come from our hearts. Only then was I free to be me, and that me is now someone I respect and love.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Murphey,

I like the quotes you've contributed from the blog at VoiceToday.org.

I went to that website but I can't find the blog you have been quoting anywhere.

I sent them a message asking them where it is but no one has replied.

Would you mind telling me where I can find that blog? I tried "VoiceToday.org" and I clicked on all the different options I could find, but I just can't find this blog.

I feel sort of silly admitting this, since I'm sure I have overlooked something obvious. But I would really appreciate it if you could tell me where that blog is and how I can find it.

Thank you.

Karrien said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Heather Marsten said...

Dear Tom,

Your heroic healing journey is a blessing. You are right, forgiveness is the key to healing. I held on to unforgiveness for years and all it did was keep me chained to my past. When I finally forgave (and it was in stages) real healing started. I had to first pray for the willingness to forgive, then it was layer by layer. Occasionally new memories emerge and I have to stop and pray and forgive right away. One thing to remember about forgiveness is, it isn't absolution. Our abusers will have to answer to God. We just slip the chains of memories off our necks and walk free when we forgive. God bless you.
Heather