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.

Shaped

(By Cecil Murphey)

Most of us acknowledge that events in our lives shape our attitudes and our behavior. If we reflect on our lives, usually we can see that the past—both good and bad—affected our personalities and outlook and made us who we are today.

Molestation is one of the sad parts. What happened to us at the hands of our perpetrators involves every relationship—even though we're not always conscious of the effect. Success in the healing process means being aware that we behave in certain ways because of trying to cope with our childhood abuse.

For example, I'm a compulsive overachiever. I used to say that God gave me a lot of energy (true) and I work quickly (also true). A third truth, however, is that the little boy inside me was crying out, "I'm worthwhile! Look at what I've been doing! I'm showing you!"

I was driven by overpowering forces and a search to feel acceptable to myself. I'm learning to appreciate who I am, and I'm much happier.

The more aware I am of that need to be loved and appreciated, 
the less I yield to my compulsion.

(This post is adapted from Not Quite Healed, by Cecil Murphey and Gary Roe.)

2 comments:

Heather Marsten said...

This is so true. I tend to do far too much because I want to be loved and accepted. I figured if I did the right things, then they would love me. It took years to realize that love is a gift given, not something earned. And fortunately God loves us freely. I still fall into the trap of trying to earn God's love.

I also apologize a lot, even when something is beyond my control. I learned that a quick apology might forestall a beating. My husband often asks me, "Why are you apologizing." Of course, then I have to apologize for apologizing too much. LOL

I wish abusers would realize the deep damage that using us for their lust causes.

Thanks for this blog, it is a real blessing.

Gary said...

Yep, me too, Heather. I refer to it as my "shadow" that often drives me along. It says, "Prove yourself worthy of existence. Make yourself valuable." A never-ending, sure-to-lose proposition. A friend told me, "Keep the shadow in front of you. It's most dangerous when behind you and unseen." So now I remind myself, especially when making daily decisions, to keep that ugly ever-present shadow in front of me where I can see it.