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 Tell Anybody?"

(By Cecil Murphey)

I don't know how he got my telephone number and he never told me his name. As soon as I identified myself, he blurted: "Why should a man tell anyone about his abuse?"

"He doesn't need to tell anyone. He can keep it a secret until he dies," I said.

"But talking is just talking—just mere words."

Certain he referred to himself, I asked, "Have you ever told anyone?"

After a long silence, he mumbled, "No."

"Suppose I had a tumor inside my body," I said. "I could live with that a long time as it slowly grew. But I'd be aware and have some discomfort or even a lot of pain. And suppose the tumor wasn't operable. Then what?"

He didn't respond so I said, “You might use medication to shrink that tumor. It would likely take place over a period of time, but you could do it."

"So you think that's what talking does?"

"It worked for me," I said, "and for many men who've talked with me."

Before we hung up. I gave him one of my original maxims: I know of myself only what I say of myself.

By that I meant, we have to speak the words of our pain to someone else for the healing to begin. "Survivors need other people," I told him. "If you don't want to start with a spouse or a good male friend, go to a professional.

"Once you can start talking about it, you become an instrument of your own healing. You enlist others. Each time you're able to talk about it—"

"The more effective, right?"

I tried to explain that we've been created to connect with other humans. And with a basic need to be understood by others. I'm convinced that as I enable others to understand me, I also learn to understand myself.

(This entry was originally posted at Joyful Heart Foundation.)

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