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'm Afraid"

(an encore post by Cecil Murphey)

Those were Evan's first words to me when he talked about his abuse. He had been in a support group through Celebrate Recovery and had come a long way in less than a year.

He was afraid, he said, that he might become an abuser and perpetrate what had been done to him. Because I didn't know what to say, I let him talk.

He had talked to his former pastor and the man said, "You be careful now. Most molesters were once abused as children."

"You mean you're afraid because of what the pastor said and not because of any urges or desires?"

"I wouldn't want to hurt kids. Why would I bring such pain on them after what I've gone through?"

Probably I could have said, "Your fears are unfounded," or "Your former pastor is a jerk." Instead I said, "As long as that troubles you, it may be a good sign that you don't want to molest others."

Evan stared at me for what seemed like a long time. Then he smiled. "You know, that feels right. If I wanted to hurt kids I wouldn't be afraid, would I?"

I think Evan understood a powerful lesson about life.

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