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.

Not Quite Healed

A note from Cec: 

Lee Willis emailed and gave me permission to reprint this. He also wrote, "In any future emails, please use my name.” It’s part of saying, “Look at me. I’m a real person and this really happened.” He said, “Thanks for helping me finally find a safe place. I’ve tried other internet sites and felt uncomfortable and abandoned them. This is safe. I’ll be back often.”

* * * * * * * * * *

I found the book Not Quite Healed. I haven’t finished reading it, but it has already helped a lot. I did therapy over the years, which helped, but I became burned out and stopped. I don’t regret stopping because I believe it was beginning to do more harm than good.

I started therapy after my mother died and I had some strong anger issues with her and my father who died years ago. My first therapist, whom I completely trusted, was cautious not to sway my way of thinking.

After several visits, he diagnosed me with severe PTSD, since I had most of the usual symptoms. I journaled privately and then read my journal in our sessions and talked about the entries.

One day I was reading my journal to him, and he stopped me. He told me to go back because he felt I skipped over something. I read the part about being a young boy at the day care and two men abusing me.

I threw my journal to the floor, buried my head in my hands and sobbed uncontrollably, wishing I would die. Throughout the next two years, I talked to my therapist about sexual and physical abuse in our home as well as the day care.

In an effort to help my sister, I tried to bring this up to her; however, she adamantly denied it, and turned the rest of my extended family against me.

My memories are vague. My therapist told me that I had traumatic amnesia. My therapist told me that I would not be making up stories about such abuse and he didn’t plant any ideas in my mind that would cause me to come up with specifics.

I have told my family and been shunned as a result, I feel considerable shame, wondering if my so-called recovered traumatic memories were nothing more than an overactive and exaggerated imagination.

I have continued to struggle with intimacy issues and addictions. I came to the conclusion recently that those things must be true and began to accept them.

I still feel anger, but it seems to lessen when I own up to the abuse. In the back of my mind I wonder, “Suppose it wasn’t true. Then I have slandered people.”

I have found relief in your book and your blog. I feel at peace there.

We all have stories. It’s all about pain and shame and owning it, I think. I try not to dwell on it and push it out of my mind, but then the anger comes and the addictions worsen. I realize I can’t do this on my own.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Thank you Lee, for your courage.