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.

Why Am I Still Not Healed?

(This entry from Cec Murphey was originally posted on Mariska Hargitay's Joyful Heart Foundation site on 3/15/12.)

"Why haven't I worked through all these issues? Why am I still not healed?" Most of us survivors ask ourselves that question many times. "I've been on this journey for five years. When does it end?" Those are the questions we ask on our worst days.

On our better days, we examine our lives and remember where we started. In those self-reflective times, we admit we've come a long way. A friend said to me, "In those depressing times when you tell yourself that you ought to be farther down the road, you're probably more healthy than you know."

Maybe he was correct, but it doesn't stop us from asking the question. Why not? Why not?

For myself, I can say this. I keep discovering the insidious consequences of my sexual abuse. It's a good thing I didn't recognize all the effects in the beginning, or it would most likely have overwhelmed and immobilized me. In my darkest moments, it seems as if the healing takes place one day at a time, or perhaps even slower—one small step a year.

I've jokingly said, "If I'd known in the beginning that this would be such a hard, painful journey, I probably wouldn't have started."

In my early days of grappling with the issue, I felt that way because the feelings were too intense, and too brutal. But now I add, "I'm glad I struggled and fought. It's been worth re-experiencing the pain. I've learned more about myself. I've not only accepted who I am but I honestly like the person inside me." Here's something I say to myself regularly, I am not quite healed; I am a healing-in-progress.


Jan The Wounded Warrior said...

Does "full" healing ever occur? In my experiences the pain does not go away,instead it can become manageable 99% of the time. We are human and therefore not perfect.

Cec Murphey said...

Good question, Jan, and I like your answer.
I think of it this way: I keep ly uncovering new layers affected by my abuse.
Each time I uncover a newer layer, I realize I value myself more and life. I'm also growing as a person. It's a long journey and I'm glad I'm on it.