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.

Ring the Bell

(This comes from Tom Scales, Executive Director of Voice Today.)

A friend sent me this quote by Leonard Cohen: "Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I've viewed myself as damaged—not scratched, but seriously life-threateningly damaged. I spent most of my energy covering over the cracks that symbolized the damage. I labored endlessly to hide the cracks and hoped they would disappear. Most times, I was more willing to allow the internal pain, suffering, and anxiety to build to a bursting point rather than allow others to see the cracks in my fa├žade.

The Cohen quote gave me a new perspective. While I was hiding, I didn't realize I was blocking out the sunlight that brings joy into life and makes me a person others desire to be around. By patching over the cracks, I lost the opportunity for the real me to ring out with joyful, healing sounds.

Today, I accept the cracks, large and small, and I feel joy in the resonance my life has in my ability to encourage and support others. Sometimes there are harsh tones that represent the mistakes of life. I pray to learn from them, and not allow them to silence my ring. My tone is distinctive, because I embrace the uniqueness of my own bell. 


Mrs. Searching said...

That is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful indeed.