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.

Lonely All the Time

(This post comes from John Joseph.)

One of the first books I read in my recovery was Lonely All The Time: Recognizing, Understanding, and Overcoming Sex Addiction, for Addicts and Co-dependents by Gregory Crow, Ralph Earle and Kevin Osborn (Naperville: Bennett Books Ltd. 1989). It was the first book that helped me identify the feeling I carried inside that drove me to unwanted behavior and attractions. For the first time I felt that someone understands me. That feeling gave me just enough hope to carry on. 

Since that time I’ve read many books on abuse, addiction, and recovery. Some were more helpful than others, but my hope of healing has been fueled be each book in one way or the other. Reading on recovery topics is actually called bibliotherapy and is a valid path to our healing. Without a strong desire to be healed and some drive toward digging it out for myself by reading, I know that I wouldn’t be as far along in my journey as I am now. I am thankful for the counselors, psychiatrists, and authors who write on abuse-related topics for our benefit.

The feeling that I am lonely inside is a remnant of the abuse I suffered. The secretive nature of childhood abuse cut me off inside from others who loved me because I carried the secret shame of what was happening to me. It formed my psyche in such a way as to keep a safe distance from people and it actually taught me to reject their love.

As I read I come to a deeper understanding that this feeling lies to me and that I should reject it, opening my mind, heart, and arms to genuine love in my life.

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