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.

A Third Post from Joseph

(This is the last of three posts from Joseph.)

Mother gave me dolls to play with, played house with me, and taught me how to sew. (Surely she knew better.) My stepfather psychologically abused us both—told me I would never amount to anything. (He lied: I taught school for 39 years; have published local history books; and am a well-known poet in my state. But I still felt less than a man.)

I wasn't allowed to play sports or join the Boy Scouts because the “other boys would be a bad influence on you.” I was allowed to go to one high school football game and that was in the ninth grade. I grew up knowing nothing about sports, cars, or guns.

I was never comfortable around men, but work and church put me around them, so I developed survival skills although remaining “dumb and stupid” about manly things.

Furthermore, I was warned against kissing girls—that could start a boy on the downward path to damnation. As an adolescent, when adult men enticed me, I saw it as kindness and I felt needed. When I discovered it was wrong, I felt that I couldn't ever be a real man.

Having a licensed Christian counselor and telling him everything—and I mean every shameful thing I have remembered—has been unlocking doors and I am progressing into freedom from the past.

God has put me in a church with godly men who like me and I am at ease around them. I may be old, but I’m not too old to learn and to enjoy the fellowship of men.


Mark said...

Joseph, you made the comment "I may be old but..." In my opinion, because you are open, deeply open, and real, you have a heart that is young. My definition of a young heart, is a heart that is being made to be fully alive. I do not say that as a platitude. The world of lost and hurting men desparatly need men whose hearts are being made young through the healing process. The vitality of your heart spans any generation. God bless you, and thank you for sharing!

Joseph said...

That's an interesting observation, and I appreciate it. Fact is, I have to remind myself sometimes that I'm beyond my mid-70s. I have shared some of the psychological abuse with the men's Bible study group at church, and am at ease with admitting my lack of knowledge in certain areas where they had experience growing up. God has been so patient and kind in bringing me to where I am today.