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.

"I Don't Feel Like a Man"

(By Cecil Murphey)

Culture and training gives us a skewed picture of what it's like to be a man—a real man. Many of us pull back, convinced that we don't, or can't, live up to those imposed standards.

We who were sexually molested have struggles with our sense of masculinity. Some take on the macho image to hide from reality; others slink back and don't try. Regardless of how we respond, it's a challenge. We know we have the same anatomy, but we wonder—and sometimes worry—about muscles, strength, and penis size.

One of the biggest obstacles to feeling like a real man is the message that we absorbed, even though no one said it. "If I were a real man, I wouldn't have been a victim. I wouldn't have let him do that to me. I would have fought him."

Here's my message to men who struggle with this problem. You were a child and defenseless then. Now you are facing the issue. You are struggling. That ongoing effort makes you a man—a real man—because you refuse to give up.

I struggle with issues arising from my abuse.
The struggle reminds me that I am a man.

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

2 comments:

Mark said...

Just this week I was asking myself why it is so difficult to receive the love that my friends express and speak to me.
The answer came immediantly: "you have not accepted that it is good to be a man - you can't freely accept others love, because you do not freely accept that it is GOOD for you to be man".
This makes so much sense - every since I was age 4 or 5 - my being male has seemed like a burden, since my maleness was sexually abused.
I'm excited, hopeful, thankful for this new bit of insight.

Cec Murphey said...

Mark, that was a wonderful comment. So many of us were damaged as children and we have similar battles. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Cec