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.

Control

(This blog post comes from Bill Christman.)

The priest raped me and I couldn't do anything about it. After that, unconsciously, I decided I wouldn't ever allow anyone to control me again. For example, my mom's new husband, a captain in the military, told my brother and me to use sir or ma'am when addressing them. That resulted in my negative responses such as swearing, yelling, or obvious indifference—whatever it took to stop it and give me control. Throughout my life, whenever I perceived being controlled in any way, I reacted angrily. Verbally at first, physically if that didn't work.

Many times it was my mistaken perception of what someone was doing or saying, such as a man's friendly gesture of touching me on the shoulder and saying hello. My fear of being controlled brought out my dark side.

Bill Christman is the author of Forgiving the Catholic Church: Finding Justice for the Abused and Abusers (WinePress Publishing, 2012).

1 comment:

Heather Marsten said...

I am so sorry that you were under control of that priest and the stepfather's rules. I'm glad that you are on a path of healing and I thank you for sharing your journey with us.

For me, control means not to let go of emotion, not let someone see how I feel, and be perfectionistic to a fault. Anger scares me, so I control anger, shoving it deep down. I'm not occasionally able to cry and show some of the hurt, but I bite back tears.

I was trained to keep control - cry the right amount of tears, too many got a beating, too few got a beating. I had to read the emotion they wanted and try to portray it. The requirements changed nightly because an alcoholic household does not have stable rules.

God bless you.
Heather